CHICAGO (Jun 16, 2023) – The US Soccer Federation has appointed Greg Berhalter to lead the US national soccer team to the 2026 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Berhalter brings nearly three decades of experience and is the first in American football history to participate in the FIFA World Cup as both a player and a head coach.
NFL athletic director Matt Crocker led a worldwide search and made the final decision to hire Berhalter as head coach. During the research process, Crocker used a mixture of data and interviews for evaluation A multitude of local and international Candidates and determine their ability to reach American football’s lofty ambitions to propel the USMNT to one of the best national teams in the world.
Crocker identified ideal competencies for a head coach, which included building lasting relationships with staff and players, planning and effectively leading a vision-led identity, driving innovation and boundaries, and being a critical decision-maker. Within these categories, use advanced data analytics, sophisticated metrics, and sophisticated recruitment methods to profile and rank each candidate. Over the course of several weeks, candidates were assessed through all of these filters and underwent a range of practical and psychological tests.
“When I began this research, my focus was on finding someone with the right vision to take this program to new heights in 2026,” Crocker said. “Greg has that vision, plus the experience and growth mindset on and off the field to drive this team forward. Hiring the right coach for the National Team is a critical decision that reflects the identity of the USA National Team and lays the foundation for football development across the country for years to come. I am confident that Greg is the The right person for the job and I look forward to working in partnership with him.”
Berhalter joins the team with a vision to continue developing 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 NFL, for the trust they have placed in me,” Berhalter said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to build on our World Cup achievements and contribute to this exciting time for football in our country. The whole group of players and staff have worked incredibly hard to define who we are 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 would continue to pave the way for the future success of American football. Yesterday, the US men’s national team beat Mexico 3-0 in the 2022 CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals and will play in the final on Sunday.
BJ Callaghan is currently the head coach of the US men’s national team, and will continue to lead the team through the Concacaf Gold Cup taking place from June 24-July 16 at stadiums across North America. Aiming for his eighth Confederations Cup title, Callahan named his 23-man roster earlier this week and will start the Group 1 game on June 24 in Chicago against Jamaica.
“This is not just business as usual and back to the way things were,” Crocker said. “We have a unique opportunity to develop the squad and improve going forward, and I want us to take the time to look at how we can do that collectively in partnership with Gregg. With our focus on that, BJ will continue to lead through the Nations League Final and Gold Cup this summer while I work collectively with Gregg has gained some big picture elements away from the team. We are all excited to begin this process while continuing to support BJ, the players and all the staff as they look to win two more awards next month.”
With nearly three decades of experience as a player and coach, Berhalter compiled an impressive record of 37-11-12 in 60 games during his four years as head coach, as the All-American team won two Confederation titles and advanced to the Round of 16. FIFA World Cup 2022. During the tournament in Qatar, the team recorded as many shutouts for the first time since 1930, all while tapping into the smallest pool of players in the team’s history.
“As a former player and coach, I know how important it is for a head coach to set high standards and create a cohesive, winning, and hard-working culture,” said Cindy Barlow Cone, president of USA Soccer. “I know these are important parts of Greg’s philosophy. He knows the player group better than anyone, and wearing the crest means the most to him. I trust Matt Crocker’s exhaustive search process to identify the best candidate and know Greg will lead the team to a successful future.”
An intelligent and competitive central defensive anchor 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 the Football League. Berhalter made 44 lifetime appearances, represented the United States at two FIFA World Cups and was a notable part of the 2002 quarter-finalists in Korea/Japan. A natural leader, Berhalter is one of the few Americans to have captained multiple teams in Europe, earning the honor for two different teams in Germany.