Earnie Stewart in negotiations to become first U.S. Soccer general manager

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Earnie Stewart is in negotiations to become the first general manager of the U.S. men’s national team, a source close to the discussions told Yahoo Sports.

Metro New York was the first to report that Stewart, currently the Philadelphia Union’s Sporting Director who played in three World Cups for the United States, is the frontrunner for the job. The position will be based at the U.S. Soccer Federation Headquarters in Chicago.

U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe declined to comment on the report.

The Netherlands-born Stewart, 49, previously served as an executive with Dutch top flight clubs NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar.

As a player, Stewart made 101 appearances for the USMNT between 1990 and 2004, captaining the team in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup — a 3-2 win over Portugal that put the U.S. on course for a place in the quarterfinals.

He also played for three Eredivisie clubs and with American side D.C. United, helping the latter win the 2004 MLS Cup.

At least one former teammate thinks Stewart is up for the job, which was created after the U.S. failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

“Earnie’s an excellent soccer mind,” New England Revolution coach Brad Friedel, who played with Stewart on the 1994, ’89 and ’02 teams, told Yahoo before the federation’s pick became known.

Stewart was chosen from a pool of more than a dozen original candidates, according to multiple sources.

Doug McIntyre covers soccer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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