US Soccer opens itself up to conflict of interest claims over Berhalter brothers

The United States Soccer Federation has opened itself up to further conflict of interest accusations by announcing that Jay Berhalter remains in the running to become the organisation’s chief executive despite his brother Gregg being named USA head coach.

US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro has said that Jay Berhalter, the US Soccer chief commercial and strategy officer, could become his brother’s boss within the federation, should he succeed Dan Flynn as chief executive next year.

“At the end of every board meeting, we sit down and talk about succession planning,” Cordeiro said at a press conference in New York on Monday. “Dan will retire at some point. It might be next year. And when that happens, we will have a selection committee, a board committee that will spend time identifying potential candidates.

“We’ll have an outside search firm working with us. We will have a very open, transparent process that will come back to the board. We’ll have internal candidates – Jay could be one of them – we’ll have external candidates, and we’ll make an independent assessment of who we feel is the best person, man or woman, in order to take Dan’s place.”

It has already been a cause of some concern that Jay Berhalter was involved in the hiring of men’s national team general manager Earnie Stewart, who himself hired Gregg Berhalter.

“We anticipated way back in August when the search began that with Gregg being a likely contender, we wanted to keep things very separate,” Cordeiro said. “We were incredibly careful about that, and Jay had nothing to do with that process.

“So I want to be very clear that we think the process has been honest and fair. And put yourself in our shoes. [When] Gregg comes out on top, why would we discriminate against Gregg because his brother happens to work at the federation? This is an independent process that concluded with that result.”