Anthony Hudson, interim head coach of the US men’s national team, left the union for another job. BJ Callaghan’s assistant took home this summer’s CONCACAF Nations League interim title and the Gold Cup.
Callaghan has served as an assistant coach with the United States for the past four years and is currently the longest serving USMNT head coach.
Hudson’s next stop will be a club in the Middle East, according to multiple sources who have been granted anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about Hudson’s future.
The change in interim managers comes as NFL continues to search for a permanent head coach. Former head coach Greg Berhalter’s contract expired at the end of 2022. NFL hired Matt Crocker as athletic director on April 25, and they recently said they hoped to hire a coach by the end of August. Crocker is leading the search along with NFL President Cindy Barlow Cone and CEO and Secretary JT Batson.
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The organization’s decision to wait until after the summer tournaments to appoint a permanent coach will now be under the spotlight when they move on to a second caretaker manager in the last six months.
“BJ has been an integral part of the USMNT over the past four years as this young team has grown and developed,” Crocker said in a statement. “Working alongside Anthony Hudson for the past five months, we are confident he is ready and ready to lead this group in summer tournaments. We are grateful to Anthony for the tremendous work he has done and wish him well in the future.”
The NFL is expected to announce its Nations League roster on Thursday. Camp opens June 5 in Los Angeles ahead of the semi-final match with Mexico on June 15.
Hudson left after serving as a coach for the U-20 team in 2020 and then as an assistant coach for the USMNT since 2021 before taking over the interim position in January of this year. With wins over Grenada and El Salvador in March, Hudson advanced the team to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League as well as the Gold Cup where he would defend both titles. He also helped secure the commitment of several dual nationals, including Alejandro Zendegas and Folarin Balogun.
“I want to thank US Soccer for the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team of players and staff,” Hudson said in a statement. “It has been an honor to represent the national team, a team that I admire and really enjoy. The group is in good hands with BJ, and I am excited to watch and support the team as they continue to grow and reach the heights we all know they are capable of.”
Callaghan joined US Soccer in 2019 from the Philadelphia Union and initially served as a strategic analyst before being promoted to assistant coach. He was part of the coaching staff that won the 2021 Nations League and the Gold Cup and reached the Round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup.
“I understand the responsibility of the job and I am honored to have the opportunity to build on the progress this group has made in the past four years,” Callahan said in a statement. “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 this progression. Our goal is clear: to defend both CONCACAF titles.”
Callahan spent seven years with the Philadelphia Union, two years coaching at the academy and five years as a first team assistant to Jim Curtin. Callaghan played four seasons at Ursinus College and served as an assistant at Villanova.
“I called him right away,” Curtin said. the athlete in 2018. “A lot of people tend to go with maybe guys that I’ve played with previously or done someone a favor. But I did it in a way that I picked someone I trusted and who I knew had a high football IQ and could help facilitate the messages that We wanted to deliver it. He was the most important person in my development as a coach, to be honest.”
While performing the normal duties of an assistant coach with the USMNT under Berhalter, Callaghan also implemented processes for how the technical staff analyzed opponents and developed a game model for the USMNT. Callaghan managed USMNT scouts and analysts, as well as scouts who were watching games featuring future USMNT opponents.
“After speaking to BJ, one of the main takeaways is that nothing has changed for this group,” USMNT defender Tim Ream said in a statement. The messages, goals, and ideas remain the same, with a new voice on top. It’s a familiar sound we all feel good about and we’ve been around for years.”
It is not clear who will join Callaghan on the USMNT squad for the two tournaments. United States U-20 coach Mickey Varas has previously worked with the first team, but is currently with his team at the U-20 World Cup. The U-20 team plays against New Zealand on Tuesday in the round of 16. Marko Mitrovic, the coach of the United States U-19 national team, also served on the team at times. US Soccer does not currently have a full-time goalkeeper coach. New York City native Rob Vartogian served as the goalie coach at the camp earlier this year.
Callaghan will now serve as a bridgehead for two CONCACAF competitions before a new manager is appointed.
“I’ve learned a lot navigating these competitions with the team over the past cycle, as well as the three-match World Cup qualifying periods,” Callahan said in a statement. “The Nations League has two high-profile matches and then you immediately have to switch up your game with a different squad mostly and you come to navigate the Gold Cup in a 30-day period. I have solid experience in both competitions and understand the unique challenges that exist in both. We will rely heavily on solid relationships with the players In order to help us defend both titles.”
(Photo: Mike Janosz/USSF/Getty Images)
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