The U.S. Soccer Federation has appointed Matt Crocker as the new Sporting Director, succeeding Earnie Stewart who left the organization in February to take on the director of football role at PSV Eindhoven.
Crocker will now be responsible for “setting U.S. Soccer’s sporting vision” by overseeing technical development plans, and developing a sporting culture and greater communication. Though he officially kicks off on August 2, the new sporting director will immediately begin the search for a new U.S. men’s national team head coach.
For now, Crocker is to focus on supporting the U.S. Women’s National Team general manager Kate Markgraf and USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
“During the interview process, we identified several key characteristics and experiences that set Matt apart,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone.
“He is an experienced leader and has had success at the professional and National Team level. He is a great communicator and team builder. Matt brings a wealth of experience in player development and has a clear strategy. As we continue to build and strengthen U.S. Soccer, we are confident that Matt’s leadership will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. We are thrilled to welcome him to the U.S. Soccer family and look forward to working together to continue the growth of the sport.”
Crocker arrives after serving as English Football Association Head of Development Teams and Southampton Director of Football Operations. He previously helped to develop the English youth national teams, inspiring the 2017 FIFA Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup titles.
With Southampton, Corcker focused on the men’s and women’s senior teams, and academy programs to maintain the team afloat.
“I am honored and excited to join the U.S. Soccer as the new Sporting Director. This is a tremendous opportunity to build an elite program and to help raise the level of soccer in the United States. As Sporting Director, my immediate focus will be on supporting the Women’s National Team as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup and on hiring a head coach for the Men’s National Team. These are critical priorities,” said Crocker.
“And I am committed to ensuring that both have my immediate focus. I am also looking forward to working with the entire U.S. Soccer community, including coaches, clubs, and players at all levels, to develop a clear and consistent playing philosophy and to identify and advance talent across the country. U.S. Soccer has tremendous potential, and I am excited to be a part of its future.”