CHICAGO (June 16, 2023) – The U.S. Soccer Federation has named Gregg Berhalter to lead the U.S. men’s national team for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Berhalter brings nearly three decades of experience and is the first in American soccer history to participate in a FIFA World Cup as both a player and head coach.
U.S. Soccer athletic director Matt Crocker led a worldwide search process and made the final decision to name Berhalter as head coach. During the search process, Crocker used a mix of data and interviews to evaluate a multitude of national and international candidates and determine their abilities to achieve US Soccer’s lofty ambitions to propel the USMNT into one of the best 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-driven identity, pushing innovation and boundaries, and being a decisive decision maker. Within these categories, he used advanced data analysis, sophisticated metrics and cutting-edge hiring methods to profile and rank each candidate. Over the course of several weeks, candidates were evaluated through all these filters and underwent a battery of practical and psychological tests.
“When I started this search, my focus was to find someone with the right vision to take this program to new heights in 2026,” Crocker said. “Gregg has the vision, as well as the experience and growth mindset on and off the field to move this team forward. Appointing the right head coach to a national team is a critical decision that reflects the identity of American Soccer and lays the foundation for playing soccer throughout country for years to come. I am confident that Gregg is the right person for the job and look forward to working with him.”
Berhalter joins the team with a vision to continue the development of young players to compete at the highest level, develop 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 Association for the confidence they have shown in me,” Berhalter said. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to build on our achievements at the World Cup and to contribute to this exciting time for football in our country. The entire group of players and staff have worked incredibly hard to establish our identity at 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 American soccer. Yesterday, the US men’s national team beat Mexico 3-0 in the 2022 Concacaf Nations League semifinals and will play in the final on Sunday.
BJ Callaghan currently serves as the head coach of the US Men’s National Team and will continue to lead the team during the Concacaf Gold Cup, which will take place from June 24 to July 16 at venues across North America. Aiming for a record eighth Confederations Cup, Callaghan named his 23-man squad earlier this week and will start Group A play on June 24 in Chicago against Jamaica.
“This is not just business as usual and going back to how things have been in the past,” Crocker said. “We have a unique opportunity to grow 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, BJ will continue to lead through the Nations League final and the Gold Cup tournament this summer while I work with Gregg on some of the big pictures away from the team, we are all excited to start that process as we continue to support BJ, 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 compiled an impressive record of 37-11-12 in 60 games during four years as head coach, during which the American team won two conference titles and advanced to the round of 16. 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 setting high standards and creating a cohesive, winning and hard-working culture,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “I know these are important parts of Gregg’s philosophy. He knows the player pool better than anyone and it means a lot to him to wear the badge. I am confident in Matt Crocker’s thorough search process to identify the best candidate and know that Gregg will lead the team to 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. With 44 career appearances, Berhalter represented the USA at two FIFA World Cups and was a notable part of the 2002 team that advanced to the Korea/Japan quarterfinals. A natural leader, Berhalter is one of only a few Americans to have captained multiple teams in Europe, earning that honor for two different clubs in Germany.