29 August 2019
The last month and a half was a complete rollercoaster for me. I got announced as new USMNT manager, got in a relationship in the space of two days. Got flooded with criticism during those first few days as well and then had a month in which I travelled the world to prepare for my debut as Team USA manager.
Slowly but surely nerves were starting to kick in. My first game was in a week time, but it started to approach extremely quickly. Like most of the last few days I was in Chicago, I stayed with Abby. As weird as our relationship started, as weird it continues. I spend most of my days away from home, while Abby, who recently got a new job as journalist, was away from home relatively often as well. It did work for us however, we spend the few days we had together and the relationship was evolving. The next phase of our relationship was inevitable and seemed to happen quickly as Abby said:
“I wanted to wait to tell you this until you got back, but I just can’t wait. What if we move in together. You practically already live with me, so why not make it official.”
“Would I move in with you, or would you move in with me.”
“I was thinking that you’d move in with me for a while, but that we look to find a new home for us to live in the meantime. Some place we could really call our home.”
“I would like that.”
29 August 2019
As I spend most of the last few days moving over all my stuff to Abby’s, I almost forgot to finalise my squad for our upcoming games. Luckily enough, I’m always well-prepared and had the squad list already completed.
We wouldn’t play 2, but 3 matches in total this international break. First of all we leave for Trujillo, Peru to play against the South Americans, who are currently ranked 17th (tied with Sweden). In comparison, we’re currently 32nd in the world.
Following Peru, we move to the Dominican Republic, where ‘Los Quisqueyanos’ host us for my first competitive game in charge. It would be the first game in the North American Nations League. Where we are drawn in group 3 of Division A together with Panama as well.
Last but not least Hamilton, Bermuda would host the Confederations Cup Playoff game, which qualifies as a trophy which could be won, but most importantly could see us qualify for the Confederations Cup, which will take place in the summer of 2021 in Germany. Our battle for qualification will be against Costa Rica.
The squad does, contrary to the U20’s side, mainly feature players playing outside of the MLS. With 9 players playing their football in the USA. The star player is undoubtedly new Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Other names to look forward to are experienced centre-back John Brooks, who is a new signing at The Hawthorns after signing from Wolfsburg, with whom Brooks got relegated. While also Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent are likely to become key players for us.
The side is very experienced with 15 out of the 23 players over the age of 26. The most surprising absentee is Michael Bradley. Bradley, who is currently our captain and only 11 games away from being the most capped player (would be tied with Cobi Jones on 164) misses out. Bradley suffered a minor ankle injury and I don’t deem him fit enough to feature.