With Berhalter in limbo, the American men begin camp under Hudson.

With Berhalter in limbo, the American men begin camp under Hudson.

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Hudson’s first practice in charge of the United States men’s national team would have been a milestone in the veteran coach’s career under ideal circumstances.

The current situation is not cause for celebration, Hudson admits.

Hudson has no idea how long he will be in charge of the US team, and no one knows if his former boss and close friend, Gregg Berhalter, will ever return to his job amid a misconduct investigation after his contract expired three weeks ago. .

“On one hand, this is a very proud moment and it’s an honor to be in this position,” Hudson said after opening practice Saturday at the team’s training complex. “On the other hand, the circumstances in which it occurs, I am a very loyal person, and it is difficult for me. It’s hard for the staff.”

Hudson acknowledged that he is still in regular contact with Berhalter, who promoted him in 2021 from a head coaching job with the US Under-20 team to an assistant role.

“I’m close with Gregg,” Hudson said. “There is no coaching course or anything, really, that guides you in moments like this. … This is a really different situation, and I just resort to being honest. I respect Gregg a lot and he gave me this opportunity, so I don’t know why my relationship would change. He is still a good man.”

Berhalter’s future is in limbo as US Soccer conducts an investigation amid a sensational dispute involving Berhalter and the family of American player Gio Reyna, who is staying with Dortmund during this camp.

In response to Berhalter’s belittling of Gio Reyna during the World Cup, Danielle Reyna, Gio’s mother and wife of former United States midfielder Claudio Reyna, notified US Soccer last month about a 1991 incident in which Berhalter kicked her future wife, Rosalind, Danielle Reyna’s college roommate. .

The drama surrounding US Soccer hasn’t been limited to the Berhalter and Reyna families, either. On Friday, USA Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart told the organization’s board of directors that Brian McBride will not be the general manager of the men’s team.

All that is known for certain is that Hudson is running Team USA’s annual January camp in Southern California outside of an official FIFA window. The camp typically provides a showcase for MLS-based team talent and any available international club players to begin preparations for next year, which includes the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The United States hosts Serbia at Los Angeles FC’s BMO Stadium on Wednesday night, followed by a second exhibition against Colombia in Carson next Saturday.

Hudson, 41, is no stranger to leadership roles: the Seattle-born Englishman has managed clubs ranging from Newport County and MLS side Colorado Rapids to the national teams of Bahrain and New Zealand in his itinerant career. as a coach.

“It’s really important for me to understand that it’s not about me,” Hudson said. “It’s about this group of players who have the opportunity to come into this window and represent the national team, and potentially there are some players in there who will do well and stay with us, and have a chance to compete in the next World Cup.” .

Team USA was in a pretty similar leadership position at the start of the previous World Cup cycle. Bruce Arena resigned in October 2017 after the Americans failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and Dave Sarachan served as his interim coach until Berhalter was hired in December 2018.

Hudson said he has already “had a very nice conversation” with Sarachan about the challenges of filling this temporary position for as long as it lasts.

The Hudson players also acknowledge no concern or disappointment with the current state of leadership in US Soccer.

“You’re still going in and you’re representing the United States of America,” said Julian Gressel, the German-born Vancouver Whitecaps fullback who got his first shot with Team USA after receiving citizenship in November. “You are playing for your country, so no matter what happens in the future, you can show that you want to be a part of the group in the future, no matter what that looks like. It’s a great opportunity.”

The full team roster will not be assembled until Monday. Six players are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday night, with Alejandro Zendejas joining from Mexico on Sunday before Matthew Hoppe and Jonathan Gomez arrive from Europe on Monday.

Zendejas comes after FIFA fined Mexico 10,000 Swiss francs (approximately $11,000) and ordered El Tri to forfeit two recent friendlies in which it used Zendejas, who played for the United States in the 2015 U-17 World Cup. .

“There are a lot of new faces, including me, and we are excited to build on what has happened at the World Cup and what has happened in the last four years,” Gressel said. “I think everyone is eager to step in and make a name for themselves to be considered for the future.”


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