US Soccer announced BJ Callaghan will serve as head coach of the USMNT at the upcoming Gold Cup and CONCACAF Nations League. The former assistant takes over for Anthony Hudson. Hudson is departing for a new opportunity, but there is no indication as to what that is. Crucially, Callaghan is not the permanent head coach of the USMNT. He remains the side’s second interim manager following the contract expiration of Gregg Berhalter after the 2022 World Cup.
Callaghan is the longest-serving member of the USMNT technical staff. His four years as an assistant to both Berhalter and Hudson provide him with more inside knowledge of the side than any other. Therefore, given the proximity of both the Gold Cup and Nations League Finals this summer, he can quickly assimilate into the role. Five months of that was under Anthony Hudson, which US Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker said was a pivotal fact in his decision to elevate Callaghan.
“Working alongside Anthony Hudson these last five months, we are confident he is prepared and ready to lead this group in the summer tournaments,” Crocker said in US Soccer’s release.
Callaghan first arrived with the Federation in 2019. At the time, he was a strategy analyst. Then, ahead of the 2021 Nations League Finals and Gold Cup, US Soccer promoted him to an assistant coach. Of course, the USMNT won both of those competitions with Callaghan on the staff.
“Together, we have built a strong culture and a great understanding of how we want to play, and we expect to continue to build on that progress,” Callaghan said. “Our goal is clear: defend both of our Concacaf titles.”
Callaghan not the permanent head coach of USMNT
While BJ Callaghan will be defending the two most recent USMNT titles, it is important to remember he is not officially the permanent head coach for the side. Instead, he is the second interim head coach in the last half year.
Success on the pitch could lead Matt Crocker to be more inclined to make this interim switch permanent. Hudson was making a case for that having acquired Folarin Balogun and led the USMNT into the Nations League semifinals. Hudson had a record of two wins, two draws and a loss to Serbia in his five games. He was, recently reported, to continue to be in line to manage in these two tournaments. Yet, the unnamed opportunity for Hudson swayed him away.
That all being said, US Soccer did specify in its press release that a head coaching search is underway. US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone discussed the delayed hiring process for the side since Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart departed as general manager and sporting director. The plan was to fill the sporting director role, which it did with Matt Crocker. However, the coaching search appears to continue to drag on.
Callaghan will throw his name into the hat in these two competitions. That starts with a Nations League semifinal against Mexico on June 15, which is in just over two weeks. Then, the Gold Cup begins on June 24, just six days after the conclusion of the Nations League.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Agencia MexSport
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