The U.S. Soccer Federation has appointed Gregg Berhalter to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Berhalter brings nearly three decades of experience and is the first in U.S. Soccer history to participate in a FIFA World Cup as both a player and a head coach.
U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker led a worldwide search process and made the final decision to appoint Berhalter as head coach. During the search process, Crocker used a mix of data and interviews to evaluate a multitude of domestic and international candidates and determine their capabilities in reaching U.S. Soccer’s lofty ambitions to drive the USMNT into one of the top national teams in the world.
Crocker outlined the ideal competencies for the head coach, which included building lasting relationships with staff and players, planning and effectively driving a vision-led identity, pushing innovation and boundaries, and being a decisive decision-maker. Within these categories, he utilized advanced data analytics, sophisticated metrics, and cutting-edge hiring methods to profile and rank each candidate. During the course of several weeks, candidates were evaluated through all of these filters and went through a battery of practical and psychological testing.
“When I started this search, my focus was on finding someone with the right vision to take this program to new heights in 2026,” said Crocker. “Gregg has that vision, as well as the experience and growth mindset on and off the field to move this team forward. Appointing the right head coach for a National Team is a crucial decision that reflects U.S. Soccer’s identity and lays the foundation to grow soccer across the country for years to come. I am confident that Gregg is the right person for the job and looking forward to working in partnership with him.”
Berhalter joins the team with a vision to continue the development of young players to compete at the highest level, grow the game for the next generation, and build a cohesive culture and style of play to win major tournaments.
“I want to thank Matt, and the entire U.S. Soccer Federation, for the trust they’ve placed in me,” said Berhalter. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to build on our achievements at the World Cup and to contribute to this exciting time for soccer in our country. The entire group of players and staff have worked incredibly hard to establish our identity on and off the field. We look forward to continuing our journey together to make our fans and our nation proud.”
Gregg was instrumental in organizing a team that continues to pave the way for the future success of U.S. Soccer. Yesterday, the U.S. Men’s National Team beat Mexico 3-0 in the 2022 Concacaf Nations League Semifinal and will play in the Final on Sunday.
B.J. Callaghan is currently serving as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, and will continue to lead the team during the Concacaf Gold Cup which takes place from June 24-July 16 in venues across North America. Aiming for a record-tying eighth confederation championship, Callaghan named his 23-player roster earlier this week and will kick off Group A play on June 24 in Chicago against Jamaica.
“This isn’t just business as usual and going back to how things have been in the past,” said Crocker. “We have a unique opportunity to evolve the team and improve moving forward, and I want us to take the time to consider how we do that collectively in partnership with Gregg. With that as our focus, B.J. will continue to lead through the Nations League Final and the Gold Cup tournament this summer while I work collectively with Gregg on some of the big-picture items away from the team. We’re all excited to start that process while continuing to support B.J., the players, and the entire staff as they look to earn two more trophies in the coming month.”
With nearly three decades of experience as both a player and coach, Berhalter amassed an impressive record of 37-11-12 in 60 matches during four years as head coach in which the U.S. team won two confederation titles and advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. During the tournament in Qatar, the team recorded multiple shutouts for the first time since 1930, all while utilizing the youngest pool of players in team history.
“As a former player and coach, I know how important a head coach is to set high standards and create a cohesive, winning and hard-working culture,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “I know those are important parts of Gregg’s philosophy. He knows the player pool better than anyone, and wearing the crest means a great deal to him. I am confident in Matt Crocker’s thorough search process to identify the best candidate and know Gregg will lead the team toward a winning future.”
An intelligent and competitive anchor in central defense as a player, Berhalter spent 18 professional seasons in the Netherlands, England, Germany and the United States before serving seven years as a coach in Sweden and Major League Soccer. Making 44 lifetime appearances, Berhalter represented the United States at two FIFA World Cups and was a notable part of the 2002 team that advanced to the Quarterfinals in Korea/Japan. A natural leader, Berhalter is one of only a few Americans who have captained multiple teams in Europe, earning that honor for two different clubs in Germany.
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