LOS ANGELES — Anthony Hudson, an assistant coach with the U.S. during last year's World Cup in Qatar, will direct the men's national team during this month's training camp in Southern California while the federation continues a review and investigation into the performance of former coach Gregg Berhalter, whose contract expired Dec. 31.
Hudson will be joined by fellow World Cup assistant coach B.J. Callaghan and Mikey Vargas, the coach of the U.S. U-20 national team. Those men will choose the roster for the training camp, which will likely be announced next week.
Hudson, 41, previously coached the national teams of Bahrain and New Zealand and in MLS with the Colorado Rapids. He joined the U.S. national team staff in 2021. His appointment is considered interim.
Berhalter, 49, a two-time World Cup selection as a player, took over the national team in December 2018. In his four years in charge, he overhauled the team, auditioning 88 players and leading the U.S. back to the World Cup after an eight-year absence. He also won the Gold Cup and Nations League tournaments, going 37-11-12.
But Berhalter has recently become embroiled in a pair of controversies. Last month, after the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup in a round-of-16 loss to the Netherlands, Berhalter spoke at a summit on moral leadership where he referenced some internal issues in Qatar involving a player he did not name.
The player did not display sufficient intensity in training, the coach said, and was nearly sent home. It was later revealed the player was forward Gio Reyna, who was little used in the World Cup. Reyna reportedly apologized to the team for his lack of effort in Qatar and Berhalter was roundly criticized for speaking about the issue publicly.
Then on Tuesday, U.S. Soccer said it has launched an investigation into an attempted blackmail plot against Berhalter involving a 31-year-old physical altercation with the woman who later became his wife. According to Berhalter, U.S. Soccer was contacted last month by an unnamed individual who said "they had information about me that would 'take me down' — an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer."
The federation said it learned of the allegation against Berhalter on Dec. 11 and hired the Atlanta-based law firm of Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an independent investigation in that matter as well as "potential inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization."
U.S. Soccer issued a statement Wednesday in which it said a review of the coaching staff typically follows the end of each World Cup cycle but the unique November-December timing of the 2022 tournament in Qatar significantly reduced the amount of time it had to conduct its review before the start of the new cycle.
The January camp, the first of that new cycle, will conclude with friendlies against Serbia on Jan. 25 at Banc of California Stadium and Colombia on Jan. 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
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