Gregg Berhalter will be the first U.S. World Cup player to coach the men’s national team, U.S. Soccer said on Sunday as it announced the 45-year-old’s appointment to the top job.

Berhalter, a journeyman defender who made 44 appearances for the national team, competed in two World Cups.

He has resigned as coach of Major League Soccer (MLS) side Columbus Crew to take up his new position.

“This is a tremendous honour,” Berhalter said in a statement. “Having played for the national team I know what it means to represent our country.

“I believe in our players and our programme, and together we will work to build something special and develop a team that will make our supporters proud.”

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By Ian Dei

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