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Former Union, Villanova assistant named USMNT interim head coach



Photo by Matthew Ralph

A former Philadelphia Union assistant coach who worked with Jim Curtin both in the Union Academy and at Villanova has been elevated to interim head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

BJ Callaghan was announced as the new interim on Tuesday, taking over for Anthony Hudson who is departing to pursue another opportunity. Callaghan, a 41-year-0ld Ursinus College grad, has been with U.S. Soccer since leaving the Union in 2019. He was on the technical staff at the Union for five years, serving previously in the academy and locally in jobs at Villanova, Saint Joseph’s and his alma mater Ursinus. He was also an Olympic Development Program coach for Eastern PA Youth Soccer for several years.

Curtin was asked Tuesday during his presser about Callaghan shortly after the announcement was made.

“I’m really happy and really proud,” Curtin said. “(He’s) a guy who will never be outworked, a guy that’s seen it and now at every level, who I think has an incredible understanding of the United States player pool and has the experience of a World Cup and working with Greg (Berhalter). Anybody that works with BJ and the people in the know realize just how good he is.”

The Ventnor, N.J. native joined U.S. Soccer in 2019 initially as the strategy analyst before being promoted to assistant coach as the U.S. team captured the 2021 Nations League and Gold Cup titles before reaching the Round of 16 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He is currently the longest-serving member of the USMNT technical staff.

“I understand the responsibility of the job and am honored to have the opportunity to build upon the progress this group has made the last four years,” Callaghan stated in a news release. “Together, we have built a strong culture and a great understanding of how we want to play, and we expect to continue to build on that progress. Our goal is clear: defend both of our Concacaf titles.”

Callaghan will serve as the interim head coach for both the Concacaf Nations League and Concacaf Gold Cup this summer.

“B.J. has been an integral part of the USMNT staff during the last four years as this young team has grown and developed,” U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker stated in a news release. “Working alongside Anthony Hudson these last five months, we are confident he is prepared and ready to lead this group in the summer tournaments. We are grateful to Anthony for the tremendous job he did and wish him success in the future.”

Callaghan’s first game at the helm will be in Las Vegas in a couple weeks at the Nations League semifinal against Mexico on June 15. The Gold Cup kicks off on June 24 against Andre Blake and Jamaica in Chicago.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

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