The United States Men’s National Team opens the campaign that leads up to the 2026 World Cup tomorrow against Serbia. An interim head coach, Anthony Hudson, will lead the team. That outcome is not what most USMNT soccer fans expected after a semi-successful World Cup run in Qatar that ended in a defeat to the Netherlands in the knockout round.
Since World Cup 2022 ended, things have been rocky for the USMNT. Since the tourney ended, the United States Soccer Federation has been messy, filled with infighting, rumors, and an overall lack of direction for the program.
The 2026 World Cup will be hosted jointly by the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It will be a tremendous opportunity for the UMSNT to show to the world that they’re serious about challenging for a World Cup. Unfortunately, everything that has happened since the end of World Cup 2022 has shown the opposite.
Gregg Berhalter Drama
Most of the drama starts with the manager, Gregg Berhalter. Berhalter has been the manager since 2018 and has led the team to 37 wins, 12 draws, and 11 losses.
After the USMNT elimination from the World Cup, Berhalter was criticized heavily for his choice of tactics and personnel. One personnel decision stood out – Gio Reyna, one of the most talented players, only saw playing time in two of the four games in the tournament.
Berhalter made comments publicly about an anonymous player whose lack of commitment and poor attitude prompted the team to have open meetings about whether or not the player should remain with the team. After the allegations became public, Gio Reyna revealed that he was the anonymous player Berhalter referenced.
The story gets even more interesting from here. About a month after Reyna revealed his identity as the player in question, Berhalter made a public statement about a domestic violence incident between him and his wife in 1991. Berhalter did this of his own volition after it became clear that someone had brought these allegations to his bosses at the U.S. Soccer Federation.
It turned out that Danielle Egan, Gio Reyna’s MOTHER, leaked the rumors to USSF in response to Berhalter’s public comments. Given that the USSF has devolved from a national team into a behind-the-scenes catfight, it’s easy to see why USMNT is without a permanent head coach.
New USMNT Coach: Opportunity for a Big Splash?
Since the USMNT is one of the host teams for World Cup 2026, they’ll automatically qualify, so the team has time to decide on a head coach. Given Berhalter hasn’t been named as manager, USSF is likely looking at alternative candidates.
There are two ways the team can go when hiring a new manager. One, they could go with American coaches who want to coach the national team. That includes names like Jesse Marsch, who is currently managing Leeds United and working with a number of the national team players that are there now. It could also mean Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin, who has had a strong track record in MLS and has developed talent at Philadelphia without access to tremendous resources.
The other direction the USMNT could go is with a European name. There are rumors that the USMNT had reached out to Zinedine Zidane through his agent, and there have also been rumors of Jose Mourinho. Given the level of infighting that’s been on display in the USSF, it might be a breath of fresh air to bring in a European manager with high expectations for the program.
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