United States
Gregg Berhalter's return as USMNT head coach confirmed
United States

Gregg Berhalter's return as USMNT head coach confirmed

Updated Jun. 16, 2023 4:12 p.m. ET

Gregg Berhalter has been confirmed to return as the coach of the U.S. men's national team for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Friday. 

"When I started this search, my focus was on finding someone with the right vision to take this program to new heights in 2026," USSF sporting director Matt Crocker said in a statement. "Gregg has that vision, as well as the experience and growth mindset on and off the field to move this team forward."

Originally hired in December 2018, Berhalter qualified the USMNT for its first World Cup since 2014 last year. He led the Americans to an undefeated first round at Qatar 2022 before the U.S. was eliminated by the Netherlands in the round of 16. He was in talks with then-USSF sporting director Earnie Stewart to extend his contract through the 2026 World Cup that will be co-hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico, but those discussions were put on hold after a decades-old domestic violence incident involving his now wife.


That episode was reported to U.S. Soccer by the parents of USMNT attacker Gio Reyna, both of them former national team players. An independent investigation determined the disclosure was in retaliation for Berhalter revealing he considered sending the younger Reyna home from the World Cup for poor behavior after he was informed he wouldn't start the Americans group stage opener against Wales.

The investigation also found Berhalter had been truthful when he admitted he had kicked his then girlfriend during an argument outside a bar when the two were freshmen student-athletes at the University of North Carolina. Danielle Reyna, Rosalind Reyna's roommate at UNC, didn't witness the altercation but learned of it afterward.

U.S. Soccer insisted Berhalter remained a candidate to be rehired. But first U.S. Soccer needed to replace Stewart, who left the federation in February for a similar position with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. Crocker was named his successor in April.

FOX Sports reported earlier this week that Crocker had interviewed more than 10 potential candidates for the USMNT's coaching job. The squad has been led by a pair of interim bosses, first Anthony Hudson and then B.J. Callaghan — both former Berhalter assistants — since January. Several players, including World Cup goalscorers Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah, recently said publicly they wanted Berhalter to return.

Berhalter had been linked to open club jobs in Wales, the Netherlands and most recently Mexico's Club America. FOX Sports' Rodolfo Landeros reported Thursday that Berhalter had withdrawn his name from contention for that position, citing his desire to return to the USMNT.

He and many of his players got what they wanted in the end.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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