- Date of Birth Aug 01 1973
- Hometown Tenafly, nj
On June 16, 2023, the U.S. Soccer Federation appointed Gregg Berhalter to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
A two-time FIFA World Cup veteran as a player, Berhalter returns to the position after amassing an impressive record of 37-11-12 in 60 matches during four years as head coach in which the U.S. team won two confederation titles and advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup while recording multiple shutouts in the tournament for the first time since 1930, all while utilizing the youngest pool of players in team history. He is the first MNT head coach to have played for the USA at a FIFA World Cup.
Initially hired in December of 2018, the first two years of work were a prelude to arguably the most successful year in USMNT history, as the team collected back-to-back championship titles in 2021. Deploying almost two entirely different rosters, the U.S. defeated regional rival Mexico in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League championship in June and then again in the Concacaf Gold Cup final the following the month. By year’s end, the team had amassed a record-setting 17 victories, while Berhalter became the fastest coach in U.S. history to collect 30 wins at the helm.
Utilizing the youngest team in the world during World Cup Qualifying, the team advanced through the grueling 14-match Octagonal and qualified for its eighth World Cup since 1990. Of the 32 finalists in the 2022 World Cup, the USA’s lineup averaged four years younger than the other 31 participants. In addition, a total of 29 of the 38 players the USA deployed during qualifying were participating for the first time.
During his first year on the job in 2019, Berhalter worked to develop a new style of play with a young group, leading the side to an 11-5-2 record, and becoming the second-fastest manager in team history to achieve double-digit victories (17 games). That summer, Berhalter guided the USMNT to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final, advancement to the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Final Round in June, as well as 1-1 draws against reigning Copa America champion Chile (March 26) and No. 5-ranked Uruguay (Sept. 10).
An intelligent and competitive anchor in central defense as a player, Berhalter spent 18 professional seasons in the Netherlands, England, Germany and the United States before serving seven years as a coach in Sweden and Major League Soccer. Capped 44 times, Berhalter represented the United States at two FIFA World Cups and was a notable part of the 2002 team that advanced to the Quarterfinals in Korea/Japan. A natural leader, Berhalter is one of only a few Americans who have captained multiple teams in Europe, earning that honor for two different clubs in Germany. He is the first MNT head coach to have played for the USA at a FIFA World Cup.
Showing a keen interest in coaching, Berhalter began in the sport’s technical side during the late stages of his playing career. While with German club 1860 Munich, the defender scouted opponents from 2007-2009. He transitioned into the coaching ranks during his final season as a professional, serving as a player/assistant coach for the LA Galaxy in 2011, helping the club to the MLS Cup and Supporters Shield in the process.
Immediately after his retirement in 2011, Berhalter moved into the management ranks full time, taking the top job with Swedish club Hammarby that December. The move was unique in that Berhalter became one of the first Americans to begin his management career with a foreign club. During two seasons, the club played to an 18-11-17 record and finished within one spot of promotion to the Swedish top-flight in 2012.
In late 2013, Berhalter returned stateside to take the reins as sporting director and head coach of Columbus Crew SC. Overseeing all facets of the club’s soccer operations, Berhalter led Crew SC to postseason appearances in four of his five years in charge, all while working with a salary budget that consistently ranked in the bottom half of Major League Soccer. Most significantly, Berhalter guided Columbus to the 2015 MLS Cup Final and nearly returned the club to the league’s title game two years later, falling 1-0 to eventual champions Toronto FC in the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.
Collecting 44 caps during an international career that spanned 12 years, Berhalter earned his first appearance in 1994 and went on to play a part of MNT squads at six major tournaments, including the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. A fiery competitor and vocal leader, the center back played in both of the USA’s World Cup Knockout Round matches in Korea Republic, helping keep a clean sheet during the 2-0 win against Mexico in the 2002 Round of 16. His most memorable moment in a U.S. shirt came in the following match. With the USA trailing Germany 1-0 in the second half of the Quarterfinal, Berhalter’s volley was handled on the line by Torsten Frings, but Scottish referee Hugh Dallas waved off calls for a penalty kick. With his appointment, Berhalter becomes the first MNT head coach to have represented the United States in the sport’s pinnacle competition.
Berhalter went on to help the USA qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and though he made the squad did not appear in any matches in Germany. The cerebral center back participated in many of the USA’s significant runs in international competitions, including the third-place finish at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup in Mexico. He was also part of the USA squad that finished fourth at Copa America ’95 and went to the final of the 1998 Concacaf Gold Cup.
A native of Englewood, N.J., Berhalter played three seasons at the University of North Carolina before deciding to leave college early to begin his professional career in 1994. Foreshadowing the choice to begin his management career abroad, he moved to Dutch Erstedivisie side Zwolle, beginning a six-year stay in Holland. In 1996, he moved up to the top-flight, spending another two seasons with Sparta Rotterdam followed by two years with SC Cambuur where he won the club’s Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons.
In 2001, Berhalter joined English League Championship side Crystal Palace before making a long-term move to Germany the following year. Following impressive performances at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he signed with Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus that summer where he spent four seasons, captaining the side for the final two and eventually helping the team win promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of the 2006 campaign. From there, Berhalter joined 1860 Munich, where he continued to wear the armband for three seasons before departing to join the LA Galaxy in the summer of 2009.
Joining the Galaxy in the twilight of his career, Berhalter helped mentor the likes of Omar Gonzalez, AJ DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin, a core of young defenders that would become staples in the club’s most successful years. In 2009, he helped the Galaxy advance to the 2009 MLS Cup Final where they fell to Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks. The following year, he aided in the club’s 2010 MLS Supporters Shield campaign, before ending his career with the MLS Cup and Supporter Shield double as a player/assistant coach in 2011.
Showing his leadership qualities early on, Berhalter served as captain for the U.S. at the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia, helping guide the team past the group stage for just the second time in tournament history. Three years later, Berhalter was slated to captain the U-23 MNT at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta but was forced to miss the tournament after suffering an injury just three weeks prior.
Along with holding the UEFA “A” coaching license, Berhalter was part of the inaugural class to attain U.S. Soccer’s “PRO” coaching license in 2016.
Berhalter is the godson of former Boston Red Sox player and baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Gregg and his wife Rosalind have four children: Sebastian, who signed as a Homegrown player for Columbus Crew SC in 2020, Santana, Lily and Delilah. The family enjoy traveling together, cooking, golf and reading in their spare time.