USMNT fans tuning in to watch the team for the first time since the World Cup may notice that there’s an unfamiliar face in charge of the squad and manning the sidelines.
The U.S. are currently without a head coach after Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired at the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Instead, Anthony Hudson is serving as head coach until a permanent hire can be made.
With the 2026 World Cup being hosted primarily in the United States alongside neighbors Canada and Mexico, U.S. Soccer know that while time is of the essence, getting the hire right is also of critical importance.
Berhalter remains a candidate to continue as head coach, but there are a number of other individuals who have either openly expressed interest in the job or are linked to the position for obvious reasons.
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Who is interim USMNT coach Anthony Hudson?
Anthony Hudson is a British-American dual national who was born in Seattle but grew up in England, starting his playing career as a West Ham youth product.
His time with the Hammers did not see him reach the professional ranks in England, and Hudson moved on in 2001, spending a brief time at Dutch club NEC Nijmegen before playing two years with United States lower league side Wilmington Hammerheads.
He called time on his playing days there and began a coaching career, first with now-defunct USL club Real Maryland Monarchs before heading back across the pond to join Tottenham’s youth system, eventually hired by then non-league club Newport County. Hudson got his first taste coaching international football leading the Bahrain team in 2013, before being hired as the New Zealand head coach in 2014.
In 2017, Hudson was hired by the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, spending two years in MLS before switching back to the international ranks as the U.S. U-20 head coach. In 2021, Hudson was promoted to an assistant role with the senior team under Gregg Berhalter.
With Berhalter’s departure at the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup, Hudson was elevated to head coach on an interim basis while U.S. Soccer searches for the next permanent head man.
Hudson took charge of January camp as the U.S. fell to Serbia and drew with Colombia, and is leading the squad for the CONCACAF Nations League fixtures in March against Grenada and El Salvador. It is also possible that he remains in place for the 2023 Gold Cup, which begins in mid-June, should no hire be made by that time.
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Timeline for permanent USMNT head coach hire
It could be a while before we know who will lead the U.S. men on a permanent basis.
During a conference call in January, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said they are targeting a coaching hire “by the summer.” More specifically, Cone stated that they hope to have everything concluded before the 2023 Women’s World Cup begins in mid-July.
Cone said that they wish to hire a sporting director first, and then will put that new individual in charge of selecting the next head coach. Former sporting director Earnie Stewart departed U.S. Soccer in January to take a similar position with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
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Who are the candidates for USMNT head coach?
USMNT head coach of the last four years, Gregg Berhalter, saw his contract expire at the end of the 2022 World Cup.
While U.S. Soccer were conducting their performance review to determine whether they wished to extend his deal through the 2026 tournament, Berhalter was accused of domestic violence over 30 years ago with the parents of player Gio Reyna leaking the information, which sparked an investigation. At the conclusion of that investigation in March, U.S. Soccer announced that Berhalter did not violate any ethical boundaries as USMNT head coach, and that he would remain a candidate for the position.
A number of U.S. players, including Christian Pulisic, have gone public with strong words of support for Berhalter, indicating the squad is behind their old boss.
However, that does not mean others could step in and assume the position themselves, should U.S. Soccer wish to move in a new direction.
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The most common name mentioned in conjunction with the open USMNT coaching position is former Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch who was sacked from his Premier League position in January with the club battling relegation. The American rose to notoriety at the New York Red Bulls and has also led RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig as he rose through the Red Bull network of clubs.
Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry, who currently serves as a Champions League and Europa League studio analyst with CBS in the United States, has been linked to the job and indicated some level of interest recently on the air.
Additionally, Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin also stated publicly that he would be open to the job, and even would consider leaving his MLS post to accept an offer to serve as assistant coach with the USMNT, should that come his way.