NEW YORK — Gregg Berhalter promises to transform the U.S. men’s soccer team into a pressing, attack-minded group the Americans rarely have been.

“We want to see ball circulation, breaking lines, creating goal-scoring opportunities,” he said at his introduction Tuesday. “That should be the DNA of this team.”

Berhalter, 45, is the first American to coach the national team after playing at a World Cup. He spent the last five years coaching Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, which reached the playoffs four times despite a small payroll but failed to win a title.

“Greg isn’t just the right choice, Greg is the best choice,” said the U.S. Soccer Federation president, Carlos Cordeiro. “He will push our men’s team forward, with an identity and approach that will be uniquely and fiercely American.”

The job had been held by Dave Sarachan on an interim basis for 14 months since Bruce Arena quit after the shocking failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup. Sunil Gulati made the decisions to hire Bob Bradley in 2006, Jurgen Klinsmann in 2011 and Arena in 2016 after consulting within the USSF, but the federation established new procedures after Cordeiro replaced Gulati in February.

Former midfielder Earnie Stewart, who played alongside Berhalter on the national team, was hired in June for the new position of men’s national team general manager. Stewart started his job in August and picked Berhalter, a decision ratified Saturday by the USSF board.

The U.S. often has resorted to counterattacking to go with a never-give-up attitude and superior conditioning. Persistence and perseverance dissipated among an aging core in the last four-year cycle.

Sarachan gave debuts to 23 players in 12 matches, and Berhalter will decide what veterans to integrate among the team’s emerging core of Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, all 20 or younger, and even rawer players such Tim Weah and Josh Sargent, both 18.


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