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Berhalter: We must move on without Adams

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be without one its rising stars for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Tyler Adams’ groin injury has forced him to withdraw from the team, allowing Gregg Berhalter to call in Reggie Cannon in his place. Adams’ absence leaves the team with one less versatile piece for the tournament, after expecting to have him available in Berhalter’s first competition as head coach.

Cannon and Nick Lima are now the options at right back for the Gold Cup, with both previously earning minutes under Berhalter this year. They both may not bring the versatility like Adams did, but it’s something that team has to get over before its June 18th opener against Guyana.

“It’s one of those things that you can’t control,” Berhalter said after training on Wednesday. “We bring Reggie Cannon into camp and we move on. Obviously Tyler’s a great talent, a good player, we would’ve loved to have him but we don’t. We have to move on.”

“Tyler has a unique skill set,” Berhalter said. “He is versatile, he can play wide or inside. He’s a great talent. Reggie has a different skill set, he plays wide, has speed and gets good crosses into the box. He’s a dynamic defender so they both bring different traits to the table.”

After being beaten by both Jamaica and Venezuela this month in friendlies, the pressure is on Berhalter to have a positive showing this summer. A 1-0 loss to the Reggae Boyz saw the team lack offensive chances, while a 3-0 thumping to Venezuela saw the defense picked apart.

The positive news is that several players have been able to recover from injuries and get themselves ready for meaningful matches. Aaron Long, Jozy Altidore, and Jordan Morris both featured against Venezuela after respective injuries picked up in MLS play. Playmaking midfielder Christian Pulisic should be ready to go after being rested against La Vinotinto.

“I think we’re making a lot of progress in that area,” Berhalter said. “The game against Venezuela allowed us to get guys fitness and get to where we want the players to be physically. We will be a little short with some guys but again that’s life and we just have to keep pushing on.”

“Five guys came in with hamstring injuries, MLS guys have been a little fatigued after playing every week and sometimes twice a week,” Berhalter said. “We have guys that have been on vacation so we’re trying to get them back to speed. The goal of our first camp was to get guys back physically and on the same page with what we wanted to do. We’re going to use the rest of this week to do that.”

As for Cannon, it’s another shot to represent his country after continuing to impress as one of MLS’ best right-backs. The 21-year-old made his USMNT debut last October under then head coach Dave Sarachan, but has yet to play a minute under Berhalter this calendar year.

Like Lima, Cannon brings speed and the ability to provide opportunities to the mix. Cannon hasn’t played in the hybrid midfielder role that Berhalter has used with Adams, but it’s a task that he isn’t afraid to try in order to get onto the field.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to represent your nation in a competition like the Gold Cup,” Cannon said. “It’s football, sometimes things happen and unfortunately Tyler won’t be here with us.”

“It’s something I feel that I have been working on in my game, stepping into that midfield role,” Cannon said. “I’ve been working on that role since January camp and it was tough for me to adapt to it. I think Gregg has given me that confidence to play that position if need be and we’ll see what happens when the games come.”


  1. Gives you an idea of priorities. For a last minute add on, a veteran would fit in faster and better, even if you know they won’t play with you going forward. He puts little value on the Gold Cup

  2. Adams has been nursing an injury for some time. It was hoped that he would recover in time; he did not.
    Yedlin is injured.
    None of the other possibilities at RB have exactly been great.
    The same goes for LB, but there, there is no injured first or 2nd choice, we start with 3rd tier players.

    At least at CB there are Miazga, Long and Zimmerman any 2 of the 3 should be enough for the GC only Brooks is missing due to injury, CB might be the US deepest position.

    In midfield, there is a real lack of experience, beyond Bradley and he is probably not going to be the choice in 2022. It really cries for the young midfielders to step and play up to their hype for the USMNT.

    Forwards, Jozy is still a physical beast, but he needs to be replaced fairly soon. I am not impressed with Morris or Zardes and let’s face it Sargent is still a young boy (a very good one, but probably not quite there yet.) Weah is physically talented and skillful, but still disappears for long stretches (the last U-20 game was the most intelligent play I’ve seen from him, but still it was uneven)

    Keeper: Well Steffan had a real howler vs Venezuela. I think Miller is better. but why no Robles?, he has been a standout keeper for the Red Bulls for years and at least commands the box, saves penalties and does not often make mistakes.

    I think the short form answer to what is the problem is that the majority of US players aged 23 to 28 are just not good enough. Until the 18 to 22 year olds grow up things are not likely to get much better.

  3. Question for everyone: If the US doesn’t at least make it to the Gold Cup final, does the USSF have any choice but to fire Berhalter?

    • Looking at how bad this organization appears to be (and corrupt), I don’t see Berhalter being fired no matter what. But that would be a very sane thing to do if we do not make it to the final.

  4. There are so many things wrong here, it’s hard to know where to start. First off, it looks likely that we will have only one DB who has much international experience and shows that he might be ready for international play and that’s Miazga. Omar, IMO, has shown he is not up to the task, even though he has a lot of experience. Next, Berhalter just seems to be oblivious to all the problems. He sees positive in the Venezuela game because some guys got minutes? What does it take before he wakes up and recognizes that this team has serious problems/ Losing on aggregate at home by 4-0 to 2 mediocre teams doesn’t set off alarm bells? We should be seeing some commitment to work harder, to re-evaluate what they are doing, who they are playing in what positions, etc. Instead, a bunch of happy talk. The first 2 games in the GC we could probably win with a good college team, so the key is how well we do vs. Panama, which isn’t as good as it was a couple of years ago. If we don’t beat them, the USSF should start looking for a replacement.

    • Yeah right. Better settle in and get used to it. If it took over a year to make a decision, simply select a new manager to fill a vacancy…. how long would it take to decide to remove “their guy” and select a replacement??????

      Although I’m less than thrilled with what I see- the biggest issue is this breaking in period should have been going on last summer, not coming into Gold Cup.

  5. If Long was coming off an injury why did he not use a perfectly healthy Zimmerman for the Venezuela game??!! See it’s little crap like this, is why this guy needs to be axed asap!!! ??‍♂️

    • Long had almost a month on the shelf.
      The goal was to get gametime under his belt ahead of the tourney.

      Wouldnt you want to use a meaningless game to have one of your prospective starting CB’s shake some rust off?

      Zimmerman did come on so they each got a half. What’s the grip?

      Wished he rolled out a consistent backline in both games.
      Maybe the mindset was that vs. Jamaica, likely to see them in the tourney, didnt want to show our hand.

      Having Miazga start both, logic would say he is a safe bet to start back there next week.
      And then suspect Zimmerman vs. Long is the fight for the other starting spot?

      We’ll see. Let the tourney start……

      • sane, measured critiques and analysis no longer have legs amongst our fan base….GB has had 5 months to implement his style and we haven’t even been healthy enough to see our first unit but yet calls for firing him persist…tough crowd geez

      • No you rest him until Guyana. Sorry just my opinion. Guyana is very weak. Zimmerman should have played whole game.

    • @Ronniet, good post. this has been going on for a LONG time here. Start with the JK lovers who could not see the facts before them and instead only what they wanted to see. They are still here and popping off, leading the call to fire Berhalter after 2 losses. He may not be up to this task, but JK would trot out the most ridiculous lineups and player selections, with players out of position and tactical messes, game after game after game, literally, and yet he was passionately defended as somehow being ingenious, by these same posters. LOL!! That’s a brutal tell about these folks’ lack of insight. Very simple equation to pick out. I give credit to JK for exploiting this for his own selfish gains, he was the ultimate self-server, and the naive fans would scream down those of us who warned that ALL of this we currently see was coming from his actions, that he was destroying a locker room that was the true strength of US soccer, and we’re still left trying to pick up the pieces, if we ever will again. My only wonder is whether he did it on purpose. This was all predicted by some insightful posters here

      • JK was fired in 2016. To keep pointing at him as the main reason for the current mess is most definitely a lack of insight.

  6. If GB wanted versatility, why was Acosta sent home? He could play outside back and defensive midfield. More than decent. Should be giving more time for guys like Acosta than retreads like Bradley.

    • Acosta was awful under Sarachan. GB has not even called him up to look at Acosta. I remeber he scored that nice goal against Colombia. I remeber he then gave up several goals in that game and was a turnover machine.

    • Pretty sure Acosta was called in by Berhalter for a camp, but then sent home due to “fitness issues.” Sounded like he was out of shape…


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