Oregon soccer team head coach Scott Sutter said Saturday that the team is preparing to begin a search for a replacement for former UO head coach Jeff Vanney, who is leaving to become a high-profile NFL analyst.
“We’ve got a good group of coaches,” Sutter told the AP.
“There’s a lot of good candidates, but obviously the biggest priority right now is Jeff Vanrey.”
The UO team has won four of the last six Pac-12 regular-season games, but hasn’t reached the final four of a conference tournament since 2006.
It’s not clear who will replace Vanney as the team’s coach.
Vanney was named UO’s head coach in 2012.
He was fired on June 5 after a 2-1 season that saw the Ducks finish second in the Pac-10 and finish second overall in the preseason Associated Press/USA TODAY Sports poll.
The team has lost three of the four games it’s played this season, including a 2–1 loss to Cal on Saturday.
It finished 2–3 in Vanney’s first season, finishing third in the conference.
“Our team needs Jeff VanNeal, so we’ve got to get him,” Sutt said.
“He’s been a great head coach, but we’re not a bad team, and we have a lot to work on.”
Vanney played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2001 to 2009, winning the Super Bowl with the New York Giants.
The 49ers signed him in 2004, and he became a San Francisco icon when he was named to the All-Pro team.
The U.S. national team has also been plagued by injury problems, and coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in his second season with the team.
He led the U.s. to a 1–1 draw in a World Cup qualifier in February.
The United States will play Argentina on Thursday in a two-game World Cup qualifying series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.