U.S. Soccer Looks to Premier League for a Performance Boost

He added, “I was happy at the Premier League and had just been promoted, but the scope of this role was just too big to turn down.”

Bunce’s hiring also seems to be an admission by U.S. Soccer that combining the disparate jobs of coaching the national team and overseeing youth development as technical director in one person, as the federation did with the former coach Jurgen Klinsmann, was a mistake. The roles, in fact, are quite different: The national team, now under the direction of Coach Bruce Arena, must focus on short-term successes, while the larger development program requires the freedom — untethered from day-to-day implications of wins and losses — to prioritize and promote player development, a process that can take years.

About a year before Klinsmann was fired, Sports Illustrated reported that the technical director’s responsibilities he was assigned were actually being divided among several U.S. Soccer officials. Last summer, U.S. Soccer’s president, Sunil Gulati, acknowledged that the technical director’s job was “a group effort” — one encompassing not only talent identification, but also the…

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