The U.S. men's national team will be captained by Gregg Berhalter in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. men’s national team will be captained by Gregg Berhalter in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Gregg Berhalter has been chosen by the USSF to captain the US Men’s National Team to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the US, Canada, and Mexico. As the first head coach of an American soccer team to have participated in a FIFA World Cup as both a player and a coach, Berhalter has almost three decades of expertise.

After conducting a global search, U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker ultimately chose to name Berhalter as the team’s head coach. Crocker evaluated a wide range of local and foreign applicants throughout the hiring process using a combination of statistics and interviews to assess their suitability for achieving U.S. Soccer’s high goals of becoming the USMNT one of the best national teams in the world. 

Crocker listed the ideal traits for a head coach, including forging enduring bonds with teammates and staff, organising and successfully executing a vision-led identity, pushing the envelope of innovation, and making quick decisions. He profiled and ranked each applicant under these areas using cutting-edge recruiting techniques, complex metrics, and powerful data analytics. Candidates were assessed using all of these filters over the course of many weeks, as well as a battery of practical and psychological tests.

The goal of Crocker’s search, she added, “was to identify someone with the vision to take this programme to new heights in 2026. “Gregg possesses the experience, development mentality, and vision necessary to lead this squad forward both on and off the field. A National Team’s head coach selection represents U.S. Soccer’s brand and paves the way for the sport to expand throughout the nation in the years to come. Gregg is undoubtedly the best candidate for the position, and I am forward to collaborate with him.

With a mission to expand the game for the future generation, train new players to compete at the top level, and establish a winning culture and playing style, Berhalter joins the squad.

For their confidence in me, the U.S. Soccer Federation as a whole and Matt in particular, Berhalter added, “I want to thank you.” “I’m thankful for the chance to build on our World Cup successes and take part in this wonderful period for football in our nation. To define our identity both on and off the pitch, the whole team of players and staff have put in a tremendous amount of effort. To the satisfaction of our supporters and the country, we look forward to continue our adventure together.

Gregg played a key role in putting together a squad that continues to set the road for U.S. Soccer’s success in the future. The United States Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 3-0 in yesterday’s 2022 Concacaf Nations League Semifinal to advance to Sunday’s Final.

The Concacaf Gold Cup, which takes place from June 24-July 16 at sites around North America, will continue to be under the direction of B.J. Callaghan, who is presently the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Callaghan picked his 23-man roster earlier this week with the goal of capturing a record-tying ninth confederation title. The team will face Jamaica on June 24 in Chicago to open Group A action.

Crocker said, “This isn’t just business as usual and going back to the way things were in the past.” “I want us to take the time to think about how we accomplish it jointly in cooperation with Gregg because we have a special chance to grow the squad and become better going ahead. With that as our primary concern, B.J. will continue to guide the squad throughout the Nations League Final and the Gold Cup competition this summer, while Gregg and I collaborate on some of the major issues away from the team. While continuing to support B.J., the players, and the whole staff as they strive to win two more trophies in the next month, we are all eager to begin that process.

With over 30 years of combined playing and coaching experience, Berhalter led the United States squad to two confederation championships and the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup while compiling an amazing record of 37-11-12 in 60 games. The squad used the youngest player pool in team history during the tournament in Qatar, recording multiple shutouts for the first time since 1930.

As a former player and coach, Cindy Parlow Cone, president of U.S. Soccer, said: “I know how crucial it is for a head coach to establish high standards and develop a cohesive, winning, and hard-working culture. “I am aware of the significance of such ideas in Gregg’s thought. Wearing the crest means a lot to him since he is the one who understands the player pool the best. I have faith that Matt Crocker’s exhaustive search will provide the greatest result, and I am certain Gregg will guide the group towards success in the future.

Before spending seven years as a coach in Sweden and Major League Soccer, Berhalter played 18 professional seasons as an anchor in centre defence for teams in the Netherlands, England, Germany, and the United States. In 44 total games, Berhalter has played 44 times for the United States, twice in the FIFA World Cup. He was a key member of the 2002 squad that reached the Quarterfinals in Korea/Japan. A natural leader, Berhalter has held the position of team captain for two separate clubs in Germany, making him one of just a handful of Americans to do so.

More in Sports:
Photo Credits: