IMAGE: Sarachan

Former United assistant Dave Sarachan named USMNT interim coach

Former D.C. United assistant coach Dave Sarachan has been named the USMNT interim coach ahead of the United States' Nov. 14 friendly against third-ranked Portugal in Leiria. The friendly is the USMNT's final match of the year. 

Sarachan served as an assistant to Bruce Arena at D.C. United from 1997 through 1999, in addition to being Arena's right-hand man at the University of Virginia (1984-1987), the Los Angeles Galaxy (2008-2016), and the USMNT (1999-2002, 2017).

While with the Black-and-Red, Sarachan helped guide United to a 47-17-0 record over the 1998 and 1999 seasons. After Arena left to coach the USMNT following the 1998 season, Sarachan stayed on to assist new head coach Thomas Rongen, and was part of the 1999 MLS Cup squad. Sarachan also gained head coaching experience from his time in Chicago, where he served as the Fire's leading man from 2002 through 2007. 

Sarachan, second from left, with John Harkes, Marco Etcheverry, Bruce Arena, Kevin Payne, Hristo Stoichkov, and Dave Kasper (left to right) at Last Call at RFK. 

United States v. Portugal kickoff at Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa is set for 7:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on FS1 and the Univision Networks. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook and Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Originally set to be played at Estádio Algarve in Faro, the host federation elected to move the match to Leiria, near the area that has been affected by wildfires that claimed the lives of 37 people earlier this year. All proceeds from the match, as well as Portugal’s friendly against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 10, will go to benefit those affected.

The match will be the seventh time the U.S. faces the 2016 European champions. Dating back to 1978, the teams having split the all-time series 2-2-2, and this marks the USA’s first visit to Portugal since 1990.

The nations have met twice in the World Cup, with the United States famously collecting a 3-2 win in the opening group match that sparked its run to the quarterfinal of the 2002 tournament in Korea/Japan. Most recently, the teams split the spoils with at 2-2 draw in Manaus at Brazil 2014.

Led by 2016 FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal advanced to the 2018 FIFA World Cup by finishing atop Group B in UEFA qualifying. Ronaldo (15) and Andres Silva (9) accounted for 24 of the 32 goals scored by Portugal in the campaign, the fourth-highest team goals total in Europe.

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