When it comes to the USMNT coach, it really doesn't matter who takes the gig

In the eyes of many a United States Men's National Team fan, the ideal future looks something like this:

The United States Soccer Federation finally learns the right lesson from the Jurgen Klinsmann era. Rather than retreat inward and fill the USMNT apparatus with former USMNT-ers who've never achieved the success that the fans want this team to achieve, they give the keys to an outsider -- just, you know, an outsider who isn't completely clueless and actively destructive in the same way that Klinsmann was. They hire, say, someone like Carlo Ancellotti or perhaps Mauricio Pochettino or maybe Jose Mourinho or, I don't know, if you want to get wild, Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp.

The specific name is less important than the archetype: a well-respected, supremely successful manager with a European background. With someone who has succeeded in a Big Five European league and won games in the Champions League, the most talented generation of American soccer players would be trained and then arranged on the field in a way that would finally allow these precocious stars to compete with the Frances and Brazils of the world. Throw in some home-field advantage in 2026, and hey: Why can't they win the whole thing?

While the 2026 World Cup will be the USMNT's best-ever chance at making a deep run in the tournament, it won't be because they hire a big-name manager. Of course, they need to hire someone: Anthony Hudson, a Gregg Berhalter assistant and former Colorado Rapids manager, is the interim coach for these CONCACAF Nations League games against Grenada and El Salvador, and who knows beyond that.

But given the recent history among the top national teams in the world, a star coach isn't realistic. It also probably wouldn't make that much of a difference.