Hudson not focused on USMNT future after rout

CHAMPIONSGATE, Fla. — United States men’s soccer interim coach Anthony Hudson said he hasn’t given any thought to whether he’d be interested in taking on the job permanently.

Hudson has been serving as interim manager since predecessor Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired at the end of last year. Since then, he has overseen a 2-1 loss to Serbia, a 0-0 draw against Colombia — both friendlies — and Friday’s 7-1 demolition of Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League.

There is no indication from U.S. Soccer that Hudson is a candidate for the job, one that will only be filled once the vacant sporting director job is filled as well. And Hudson seemed well aware of the fact that he may be merely keeping the seat warm for whoever will take over.

“I haven’t thought about it,” Hudson said about the job on a Zoom call with reporters. “I’m just taking it a camp at a time and it’s a unique situation. I will just take it — again — a day at time. I explained before about it, that I’ll do my best, and I feel I have enough experience to know how to do the right thing now for these games and also have one eye on to do what’s right for the team for the long term.

“I feel I have the experience and capability to do that, but that’s all I’m doing. I’m just doing my job. I say to myself every day when I say to people, laugh to people around me, ‘It’s just a day at a time.’ So we’ll see how things play out.”

The U.S. currently sits atop Group D, two points clear of El Salvador, ahead of Monday’s group stage finale between the sides at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium. With that lead over El Salvador, a draw will be sufficient for the U.S. to advance to the CNL semifinals in June.

While training camp in January was comprised mostly of fringe players, the CNL marks the first time Hudson has led the team’s first-choice group. He said that little has changed in terms of his goals.

“My objective is pretty clear,” Hudson said. “We want to make sure that for this camp, we put on a very good experience for the players and the staff, and the bottom line is help support them to be at their best and win these two games. And then beyond that, if I’m asked to, we’ll do the next camp.”

The U.S. and El Salvador played to a 1-1 draw in San Salvador in June 2022, thanks to Jordan Morris‘ stoppage-time equalizer. Hudson said he’s expecting another tough match this time, and praised the work of El Salvador manager (and former U.S. international) Hugo Perez.

“I think the coach has done a great job with them,” Hudson said. “He is someone that when you watch his teams play against other teams, and then when you watch the games against us, he is someone that has a very, very clear plan … and he’s not afraid to change things.

“We’ve gone into games where we are fully expecting for him to play a certain way, and he changes it. So he is a very, very good coach. I think that’s the starting point. And then I think they’re a team that they have a really good mentality in terms of just an honest, aggressive team, work really hard, clearly believe in what the coach has asked them to do.”


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