Add former Everton coach Howard Kendall and former Colombia coach Francisco Maturana as possibilities to take over the U.S. team.
Kendall, who left Everton of England's Premier League last month, has been rumored to be interested in the U.S. job, which opened when Steve Sampson quit June 29 following a last-place finish in the World Cup.Maturana, who led Colombia during the 1994 tournament and recently coached Ecuador, is another possibility, U.S. Soccer Federation secretary general Hank Steinbrecher said Saturday.
"We're just taking the names of people, getting it down to a manageable few," USSF president Alan Rothenberg said after a news conference to unveil the official ball for the 1999 Women's World Cup, to be played in the United States.
"After the tournament, we'll either fly them in or we'll fly to them," said Rothenberg, who has not yet spoken to any of the candidates.
Bora Milutinovic, the U.S. coach from 1991-95 and Nigeria's coach this year, is another candidate, as are former Brazil and Saudi Arabia coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and former Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz. Parreira and Queiroz are former coaches of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in Major League Soccer.
Rothenberg, a Los Angeles-based lawyer, intends to hire a new coach before his term expires Aug. 22. Robert Contiguglia, a doctor, or Lawrence Monaco, a retired government lawyer, takes over as president the following day. Rothenberg will consult with them on his choice and remain active in the USSF.
On the women's front, Rothenberg hopes to begin a U.S. professional league by 2001. The 1999 Women's World Cup will be a proving ground. It will be played from June 19-July 10 in Chicago; East Rutherford, N.J.; Foxboro, Mass.; Landover, Md.; Pasadena, Calif; Portland, Ore.; and San Jose, Calif.
"We need to prove the American media, American sponsors and American individuals are willing to support a league," he said.