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Callaghan insists there's no unease among U.S. players after staff turnover

John Dorton/ISI Photos / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New United States interim head coach B.J. Callaghan says there is no sense of turmoil among his players despite the latest in a series of departures from the team's staff.

Callaghan, who has no head coaching experience, was promoted on Tuesday to take charge of the team for this month's CONCACAF Nations League Final Four and Gold Cup tournament.

The move came after Anthony Hudson, quit his interim role in order to take up a job with an as yet unspecified club team.

Hudson had been appointed interim head coach in January after Gregg Berhalter, who led the team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, saw his contract run out.

It means the US, who will co-host the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico, have had three national team coaches in the space of six months.

Adding to the churn, US Soccer also lost technical director Earnie Stewart and men's team general manager Brian McBride in January and was shaken by a bitter public row between Berhalter and attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna and his family.

The federation is conducting a search for a new permanent head coach but has said it does not expect to complete that process until the "late summer".

Callaghan announced his squad for the Nations League on Thursday and said he had not sensed any unease among the players when he called them.

"When you talk about is there turmoil in the group, the best thing I can describe is when I would call the players. 

"There's always an element of surprise from the phone call that Anthony steps down. And I can assure you that there was zero panic in the group. And that's a testament to the culture that we've built over the last four years," he said.

Callaghan served as one of the assistants to Berhalter and then Hudson after previously working as an assistant coach at Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union.

"I think from my standpoint, the players are familiar with me and I'm familiar with the players. There's a sense of continuity," he said. 

"The way that we're gonna operate, the way that we're gonna run ourselves day to day, the messaging that we're gonna have throughout the camp is all gonna be very familiar for them. And it'll be stable," added Callaghan.

While speculation continues to swirl over who might become take over the reigns on a permanent basis, Callaghan said he was not concerning himself about whether he might put himself in contention.

"That's not something that I'm focused on right now. I'm completely focused on making sure that we provide a great environment for our players, one that they're familiar with, and really just remaining to be the continuity and the glue," he said.

Callaghan's first game will be the Nations League semi-final in Las Vegas against arch-rivals Mexico on June 15 and he will be able to call on striker Folarin Balogun for the first time.

Arsenal forward Balogun, an England Under-21 international, recently switched his allegiance to the United States having enjoyed a successful loan season in France.

The 21-year-old has scored 20 goals on loan with Ligue 1 club Reims this season, generating high expectations among American fans.

"The only thing that we're focused on with Flo, is getting him up to speed with how we play. And I think as long as we do a good job, spend a little extra time with him before training... reflecting on different things then he'll be able to reach all those expectations," said Callaghan.

Should the US beat Mexico they will face Canada or Panama in the Nations League final on June 18.

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