Why is Anthony Hudson being replaced as USMNT interim head coach? Who is B.J. Callaghan?
There will be a new man in charge as the United States prepare to defend their Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup titles.
With the Concacaf Nations League Finals and Gold Cup just around the corner, the U.S. Soccer Federation has announced that Anthony Hudson has been replaced as interim head coach of the USMNT by B.J. Callaghan.
Hudson had taken over from Gregg Berhalter after the 2022 World Cup, from which the Stars and Stripes were eliminated in the round of 16 by the Netherlands, and took charge of five matches. He failed to oversee a victory in three home friendly games (against Serbia, Colombia and Mexico), in which he was forced to field weakened teams, but did win both of his competitive matches in charge.
The USMNT thrashed Grenada 7-1 away from home and beat El Salvador by a single goal in Orlando to book their place in the Concacaf Nations League Finals.
Hudson “not in the running” for permanent USMNT role
US-based journalist Keith Costigan was first to report the news on Twitter, revealing that Hudson was leaving to take up a head coaching position in the Middle East and suggesting that he was doing so because he wasn’t in the running to become the permanent USMNT manager.
When does the USMNT play next?
There will therefore be a new man in the dugout for two upcoming tournaments this summer. First of all, the United States will take on Mexico in the semi-finals of the Concacaf Nations League on 15 June, with the winner progressing to the final where they will face either Panama or Canada three days later.
The Concacaf Gold Cup then kicks off less than week later on 24 June and runs until 16 July. The USMNT have been drawn in Group A alongside Jamaica, Nicaragua and one as yet unnamed qualifier. They will be involved in the opening game of the tournament against the Reggae Boyz in Chicago.
B.J. Callaghan: a USMNT ‘veteran’
Unless something completely unexpected happens, B.J. Callaghan will take charge of the team for both tournaments, in which the USMNT are defending champions. As a player, Callaghan spent four seasons at Ursinus College and took his first steps into coaching with St Joseph’s Hawks and then Villanova Wilcats in NCAA Division I. From there, he moved to Philadelphia Union, where he spent two years with the academy before becoming Jim Curtin’s assistant from 2014 to 2019.
In January 2019, he was appointed by then USMNT head coach Berhalter as strategy analyst, with his work in the role earning him a promotion to the position of first-team assistant ahead of the 2021 Concacaf Nations League. His four years with the team mean his is current the longest-serving member of the backroom staff.
Callaghan’s clear USMNT goals
Callaghan had this to say in a statement made following the announcement:
“I understand the responsibility of the job and am honoured to have the opportunity to build upon the progress this group has made the last four years. 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.
“Our goal is clear: defend both of our Concacaf titles.”
When will the USMNT appoint a permanent head coach?
The U.S. Soccer Federation have received plenty of criticism for taking so long to appoint a permanent manager, which is now not expected to happen until after the Gold Cup. Former incumbent Berhalter, relieved of his duties following the Gio Reyna ‘saga’, has been linked with a return, while former New York Red Bulls and Leeds United boss Jesse Marsh has also been touted.