Jurgen Klopp rejects approach to coach USMNT after Copa America elimination

Jurgen Klopp has turned down an offer from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to take over as head coach of the men’s national team following the sacking of Gregg Berhalter.

Initial contact was made with Klopp about the possibility of leading the USMNT, but he reiterated that he would like to take a break from football, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. However, sources add, there remains interest from US Soccer in making the 57-year-old their next head coach.

Berhalter was fired on Wednesday after the U.S. national team was disappointingly eliminated from the group stage of this summer’s Copa America, which was played on home soil.

Klopp officially stepped down as Liverpool manager in May, ending a transformative nine-year spell at Anfield during which he won eight major honours.

“I absolutely love everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our fans, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But for me to take this decision shows that I am convinced that this is the decision I have to take,” he said when he announced his departure in January.

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“It’s just that I don’t have any energy anymore. I don’t have a problem with it anymore, I knew for a long time that I would have to announce it at some point, but I feel completely fine now. I know that I can’t do the job over and over and over again.”

Klopp enjoyed a successful spell at Anfield (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Under his leadership, Liverpool won the Premier League title for the first time in 30 years and in 2019 they won their first Champions League since 2005, when they beat Tottenham Hotspur.

Klopp’s move comes as the US prepares for the 2026 World Cup, which it will co-host with Canada and Mexico, hoping to improve on its last-16 exit in Qatar 18 months ago.

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US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker stressed the urgency of the search for a new coach following Berhalter’s firing, which followed a “comprehensive evaluation” of the team’s performance at the Copa America.

“Our immediate focus is on finding a coach who can maximise our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup. We have already begun our search process,” he said.

Berhalter’s departure followed a mixed tenure, marked by both successes and controversies.

Despite leading the USMNT to the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup and winning two CONCACAF Nations League titles and a Gold Cup, his reappointment last summer came as a surprise. Troubles with key players, including a high-profile dispute with young star Gio Reyna, and a string of disappointing results culminating in a Copa America disappointment, eventually led to his dismissal.

The U.S. national team defeated Bolivia 2-0 in the Copa America, but lost to Panama and Uruguay to exit early. They are the first host nation to be eliminated in the group stage since the tournament went to a single-host format in 1987.

Reflecting on the performance, Crocker said: “Our tournament performance did not meet our expectations. We have to do better.”

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Additional reporting: Greg O’Keefe and James Pearce

(Top photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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