Earnest Stewart will be the new director of football affairs at PSV. He has already had an impressive career as a player and also as a director. Although things are not going very well with PSV at the moment, it is certainly not his biggest job so far. Five things you should know about the American ‘Ernie’ Stewart who was born in a Veghel hospital, but grew up in Uden.
Earnest Lee ‘Earnie’ Stewart was born on March 28, 1969 in the Sint Joseph Hospital in Veghel, but the family lives in Uden. When he is two, the family moves to America for five years. Father Earnest Stewart senior is an American Air Force officer with a past as a professional American Football player for Houston. Mother Annemien comes from Gemert and the family eventually returns to Uden.
The young ‘Earnie’ wants to become a car salesman, but at the Uden amateur club UDI ’19 he turns out to be a good football player. This ensures that he leaves for VVV Venlo in 1987 and makes his debut as a professional football player a year later. It is the beginning of a long career in the football world.
After three seasons in Limburg, Earnest Stewart goes to Willem II. He stays there for six seasons and then plays seven seasons for arch-rival NAC Breda. After playing football for two years at DC United, he ends his active career at VVV Venlo, but after a serious injury he becomes a director there.
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World Cup debut
Earnest Stewart makes his debut for the American national team at the end of 1990 at the age of 21. Three years later, the attacker makes his debut at the World Cup, notably in the United States. During the opening game, Stewart is visibly moved as 70,000 spectators sing the American national anthem.
The US plays a draw against Switzerland, but against Colombia the Brabant American experiences a career highlight. He makes the winning 1-2 that ultimately ensures that America reaches the eighth finals. It is eliminated by the later world champion Brazil.
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Hero status in the US
In the Netherlands, Earnest Stewart is a respected footballer, but in the US he enjoys hero status. He is the first American football player to make the front page of the famous Sports Illustrated magazine. After his World Cup debut in 1994, he also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. In 101 games, he scored 17 times for the American national team.
Although he just plays in the Netherlands in 2001, he is still named American footballer of the year. In the twilight of his active football career, he played in America in 2003 and 2004 for DC United. In his last year he becomes national champion.
Tumultuous time at AZ
Stewart becomes technical director at VVV for the first time and moves to NAC in 2006. What is special is that the Brabander is bought away there by AZ. It will start in 2010 when the DSB bank has just collapsed and major cuts have to be made. In five years he can record a cup win, two quarter-finals of the Europa League and four times of European football. Still, the supporters of the Alkmaar club are watching not very positive back to the Stewart era.
When it comes to trainers, things are going less well at AZ. Gertjan Verbeek, Marco van Basten and Alex Pastoor all have to leave the field under his leadership. In 2015, Stewart leaves for America to become technical director at Philadelphia Union. In 2018 he starts working for the American Federation as general manager and a year later he becomes Director of Football Affairs.
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