Nashville names USA assistant B.J. Callaghan as head coach

Nashville SC has hired United States men’s national team assistant coach B.J. Callaghan to be its next manager, the MLS club said on Wednesday.

Callaghan, 43, will officially join the club on July 22, ahead of Nashville’s Leagues Cup match against Mazatlán F.C. on July 31.

Callaghan is the second assistant to depart the USMNT following its elimination from the Copa América, with goalkeeping coach Fabian Otte joining Liverpool.

Callaghan spent the last five years as an assistant coach under U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter.

He also served as the team’s interim manager prior to Berhalter being rehired by the USSF in June 2023.

During his spell in charge, he led the USMNT to the 2023 Concacaf Nations League title, and guided a largely reserve team to the semifinals of the 2023 Gold Cup.

His record while in charge was 4-0-3 as the penalty shootout defeat to Panama in the Gold Cup counts officially as a draw.

He returned to his role as an assistant coach upon Berhalter’s rehiring.

“Taking the head coach position at Nashville SC is an incredible opportunity and an exciting next step in my career,” Callaghan said. “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Gregg Berhalter for his mentorship and support throughout my time with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“The experience I’ve gained here has been invaluable, and I’m deeply appreciative of the relationships and memories made along the way.    

“While I am thrilled to embark on this new journey, it is bittersweet to leave a team and staff that I believe in so deeply. I have full confidence in the exceptional coaching staff we have in place and know the team is in great hands,” he said.

“As we approach the 2026 World Cup, I’ll be cheering on the team every step of the way. Thank you to everyone at U.S. Soccer for the support and camaraderie — it has truly been an honor.”

Nashville general manager Mike Jacobs called Callaghan’s arrival the ushering in of a new era.

 ”B.J. has a tremendous amount of experience that spans all levels of soccer at the highest levels of the game and has excelled throughout the MLS ecosystem,” Jacobs said. “He is an exceptional leader who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached and brings a hard-working and relentless mentality to our club.

“B.J. is ready for this opportunity to continue to build and develop a winning culture and is the right person to drive our club’s ambition for success.”

Prior to his stint with the USMNT, he worked for the Philadelphia Union, starting out as an academy coach in 2012 before joining manager Jim Curtin’s staff in 2014.

He remained with the Union until joining the USMNT staff in 2019.

Callaghan started out as an assistant with several programs, including Ursinus College, Saint Joseph’s University and Villanova University.

He also worked as a youth coach in the Philadelphia area with FC Delco, Montgomery Soccer Club, and EPYSA/Region I ODP programs.