U.S. Soccer have found their next top target, Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz.
Queiroz, Sir Alex Ferguson’s top assistant at Manchester United, has long been rumored one of the top prospects to land the U.S. coaching vacancy, and even more so now following Jürgen Klinsmann’s decision not to take the job.
The Sun published a report Friday quoting a source close to the process, “Carlos is the top choice. His work in helping the MLS has not been forgotten. We will do everything to get him.”
What has Carlos Queiroz done for MLS, USA’s top-flight league? Queiroz was the mastermind behind U.S. Soccer’s Project 2010, a program designed in 1998 as a blueprint for future success of the U.S. men’s national soccer team. Queiroz’s “Q-Report” was the fulcrum for the program.
Ironically, “Project 2010″ refers to USA’s ambition to field a team capable of winning the 2010 World Cup, a tournament to which Queiroz likely would lead the Americans if he indeed ends up with the job on a full-time basis.
MLS, as the source quoted in The Sun hinted, has been a driving engine in the improvement of the American player. Specifically, the league has engaged in a youth development initiative designed to place promising young American prospects into the league at a young age, the belief MLS could develop and improve talents faster and better than the college system. Generation adidas is the name of the current program.
Former U.S. assistant and Chicago Fire and Chivas USA head coach Bob Bradley, a finalist himself, was named interim coach earlier this month. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, though, said USA will be spending the next six months pursuing some foreign-based candidates, one of them Carlos Queiroz.
Queiroz, 53, was born in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. He rose to stardom with his management skills, credited with unearthing the “Golden Generation” of Portuguese players from the famous 1989 and 1991 U-20 World Youth Championship-winning sides. Luis Figo and Rui Costa were among the players led by Queiroz.
Queiroz’s management resume has a bit of everything U.S. Soccer brass could possibly want. In addition to his successful spell as Fergie’s number two, Queiroz has managed such giants as Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid. He also has experience managing at the international level (South Africa) and in MLS (MetroStars).