The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced that Dave Sarachan will guide the U.S. men's national team for its Nov. 14 friendly against Portugal.
The move comes two weeks after the U.S. lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup qualifier, a result that ended the Americans' hopes of qualifying for Russia 2018.
One USSF source indicated that the immediate plan is for Sarachan, a long-time assistant under former manager Bruce Arena, to take charge for the Portugal game only. The thinking is that with Sarachan and the rest of Arena's assistants still on the USSF payroll, it made sense for Sarachan to take charge, and that bringing in an interim coach for one game didn't set that person up for success. The rest of the staff will still be on hand as well to lead the team in the run-up to the match.
The source added that a broader strategy for naming the next head coach is currently being worked out, and that a new manager wouldn't be appointed until after the election for USSF president in February, and perhaps even after next summer's World Cup.
The team's annual January training camp may still take place, and that Sarachan or perhaps another coach would lead the team during that period.
In terms of the roster for the Portugal game, sources indicate that it will be comprised of the younger elements of the U.S. player pool that were part of World Cup qualifying, such as Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin, FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta, and D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola. More will be known of course as the MLS Cup playoffs progress and more teams with U.S. internationals are eliminated. The roster is unlikely to include mainstays such as Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Sarachan worked under Arena during two stints with the U.S., as well as stops at the University of Virginia, D.C. United, and the LA Galaxy. Sarachan also was the head coach at Cornell University from 1988 until 1997. At the professional level, he served as manager of the Chicago Fire from late 2002 through 2007.