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Berhalter: “USMNT can shock the world at 2026 World Cup”

The U.S. Men’s National Team may be aiming to get back to the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but already has one eye set on hosting the international competition on home soil in 2016.

It will be the second time in the country’s history that it will host the competition and with many exciting young players hitting their strides at club level, it should see many of them in their prime by the time 2026 comes.

Tuesday saw five USMNT players appear in the opening day of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage with several others who could feature by the time the group stage concludes in December. Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest, and Ethan Horvath all started for their respective clubs while Tyler Adams and Giovanni Reyna came off the bench.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has had the opportunity to work with several of these players in his 21 months in charge of the team and is excited to see how things go forward with this bunch of exciting players.

“The good thing is we’re hosting in 2026,” Berhalter said on CBS Sports Champions League broadcast. “So if you can project out over these next five years, we think we can build a team that can really perform well and potentially shock the world in 2026.”

The USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but since has showed positive signs of getting back into the limelight of international soccer. Not only is the current player pool filled with exciting European talent, but there is a solid mixture of players in MLS who could play vital roles for Berhalter in the coming few years.

After seeing the COVID-19 pandemic force a lengthy halt to international action, the USMNT could be ready to take the field in November should a pair of reported friendlies against Wales and the Netherlands become official. It would be the USMNT’s first matches since a 1-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in February and likely would feature many of the European stars who are in the Champions League this fall.

World Cup Qualifying was pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic, but Berhalter’s squad will be expected to put up a much better fight after missing out in 2018. For now the goals will be focused short-term, but possible World Cup experience in 2022 could be vital when the USMNT hosts the competition in the United States.

“Our first step, our goals as a team – we want to obviously qualify for the World Cup and then we want to perform well at the World Cup,” Berhalter said. “The way we’re looking at this project, it is a long-term project. When you think about how young our team is, we’re going to need that experience playing in a World Cup.”

 

Comments

  1. If you look at the last two surprise semi finalists at the WC:
    2018 Runner-up Croatia 11 out 13 players had Champions League experience the other two had Europa League experience. Manager had never managed in a big league and only had won silverware in Albania and the Persian Gulf.
    2010 Semi-Finalist 9 out of 13 had Champions League experience other 4 had extensive Copa Libertadores experience. Manager had won a Copa Libertadores 20 years prior and one Brazilian League title.
    You don’t need a big name manager if you’ve got the horses. Our squad isn’t their yet in terms of experience compared to these two clubs and wouldn’t even be close to France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and the Netherlands that have been the other semi-finalists. The gap between quarter finalists and semi-finalists which was what most of you are saying should be the goal is immense.

    Reply
    • in your usual effort at defending the status quo you fail to grasp what the job requires. deschamps, who won the world cup, has won 2 leagues, 6 cups, and runner up in UCL as a manager. dalic as manager has won a league, 6 cups, and runner up in Asian CL (which you left out, which makes it pretty inaccurate). martinez won a league and FA Cup. even the underqualified southgate once won a prestige YNT tournament (Toulon) as a manager. in your drive to attack my request that we get out a checkbook and get a real coach — worthy of that level of achievement — you offer a coach who never won SS, never won MLS Cup, never won a foreign league, never won a cup, and couldn’t win gold cup last year. to me i don’t expect a coach who has never been deep in the world cup, or won a league, or won a cup, to magically make things happen in azteca or in a world cup. if they can’t do it with hammarby or crew how is it happening in the hex or a world cup?? quit pretending like i misunderstand what the job requires when you pimp inferior resumes — even after it’s not getting results. and don’t even get me started about the amusing contradiction between your player snobbery meeting a coach selected from the freaking domestic bargain bin. how does that make any sense.

      Reply
    • Johnny, for the love of God!! Let’s not do this again this cycle. It went horribly wrong last time, remember.

      I’m giving him some time given the covid break but I’m at my wits end. Been waiting/dreaming for this type of pool talent for decadesssss. You keep pointing out the lowest probability scenario in Croatia. Johnny, I know you want us to lift that WC trophy at least once in your lifetime, that what all of us want and dream as USMNT diehards.

      We got an outside chance with this group. They need to bleed a seeping run in 22 to get the experience in the big pressure knockout games. Two or mor knockout round this cup would set them up well for 26.

      All we’re saying is we want an manager who experience winning trophies as a manager. Someone with a resume that approaches what our young kids have accomplished in their short lives.

      Did we have a proper coaching search? No

      How many candidates were interviewed? 2-3 iirc

      Why did we take a year to hire a manager with so little search activity? Maybe because USsoccer and Berhalters own brother was just waiting for his brother Greg to finish out his mls season, essentially putting the clubs interest above the national team.

      When we’re down 2 goals at halftime in a knockout round and GBs at the whiteboard drawing up adjustments do you want even a shadow of a doubt in ou CL players heads that maybe this coach isn’t up to it.

      And damn bro, those substitutions again. Omg

      But seriously let’s be on the same side this cycle. Our talent has surpassed MLS level coaching, it’s that simple, and that is a glorious development. Get on the fking bus already.

      Reply
  2. Has this manager every won a trophy as a manager? No
    ~~
    Has he ever manage in a top 5 league? No

    What his results on the fields so far? Not great

    I gave GB a chance thru his first three friendliest but with the Gold Cup and NL performances I wasn’t impressed. Both in his selections and tactics, and those god awful substitutions.

    I’m willing to give him a little more time if he shows both results AND has the squad playing quality soccer out of the back, well organized, linking, string more than 3 passes, creating quality shots on goal, maintaining 50+% possession, overlapping, midfield dominance, etc.

    I don’t expect all this to happen against a Brazil or Germany, but against most of Concacaf I expect domination given the talent in this pool. There are no excuses on talent. We have more Champions League minutes played than at any other time in our pool’s history among active players on a two year rolling basis.

    Results are expected. Anything less and I’ll be screaming for GBs head. I’ll give him a few more games given the gap and new pool options and re judge in a few months but I’m giving a short leash.

    This is our golden generation. They deserve an experienced trophy winning manager who’s managed at the top levels of the game.

    Every window matters because this generation needs to gel and learn to play with each other in the best style that suits this talent. Every window is precious right now at their ages. What they’re learning about their teammates now will determine our up side in the future.

    Two or three windows max unless he’s dominating Concacaf or 50/50 in Europe.

    Reply
    • i definitely agree with your factual discussion, and i would amplify it by saying i want “objectivity.” before being hired i want a resume where you have won things before. ideally more than once with more than one team. which suggests you can build another winner. a league title or similar accomplishment (Klinsi went to a world cup final 4) in fact used to be a USSF application requirement. it gives an answer with facts and evidence to “can he win.” i am no longer guessing or hoping. similarly, i want facts and objectivity after they are hired. i get people think he is some value coach. i get they think he is bringing in a style they think will help. but objectively, the results suck and we look like crap. these are the facts. everything else is self serving speculation or hope. we should stick to facts and get off the hope train. hire a winner. hold him to getting wins. simple.

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  3. We’ve got people yelling defense defense defense, and we have people yelling talent, talent, talent. I think a few recognized that a good team has a balance, a compliment of strengths and weaknesses. Look at Chelsea – all that attacking talent but they rely on Kante to do all the work in midfield. That is a team in need of balance. So on that note we have Adams and Weston who are looking very reliable, and Richards is the deal no matter who doubts it. We have the potential to score lots of goals and to cover for bad matchups. If we find a balance in a system that works for all phases of the game we could scare teams and then really scare teams during the next two WC’s, or we could stumble, and our weaknesses could come back to get us. Elite teams will find them, but if they neglect Pulisic, there is no accounting for Pulisic. If everyone compliments him well, and he gets openings, watch out. The coach is huge in this process. He’s the key and the players have to know their roles and prepare. Too soon to know if Berhalter is up for it, as players reach their potentials.

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    • i was never saying no offense. i was saying the 2026 happy face folks ignore half the team needed to get where they want to go. a team built to do nothing but attack, with players known to have defending issues, will lose in group or an early knockout. we got a couple goals on colombia and played them well for a half. we lost 4-2 because we couldn’t stop them. we had the most goals last hex. we missed qualifying with a high amount of goals allowed. the snobs are offering a 2011 spain xerox without asking for spain’s defense. they grasp half the equation. without a defense even with all this talent we will not go any further than before.

      my model is teams like france, germany, italy. they don’t bunker. but they do get back as a team, organized defense, before with slickness and speed getting out in the attack. i just think the dutch crap we are xeroxing proves naive at world cups, which they have never won. they are the epitome of the team that entertains and captures interest, but watches the trophy ceremony. the snobs said this was about winning and not aesthetics. ok, i want a system that wins. my system is also from europe. my system objectively gets the job done.

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  4. to be clear, this coach did not develop this pool and has yet to do anything with it. the idea he gets to ride its coattails without showing anything is childish. if he cannot produce results this is not only an ordinary failure but a further inability to cash in on what he admits should be superior talent. so when games get going again, i want the team to look drilled and get results. i do not support forcing things that don’t work with the pool. i do not support endless time with no expectations. if he is the man to make this team even better than the talent, he should be winning with it. personally i think we beat mexico 2018 and he’s holding us back. if it takes “years” to implement a system i don’t think it’s actually working. i think you’re doing a light show while actually waiting for the talent to show up. in which case it’s the talent and not you. in a few years any idiot should be able to roll the ball out for this bunch and get at least second in the region. is that the test of earning the job? or is it that he actually makes them better?

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    • and you better be sure you have the right man in charge if you give him 2/3 of the career window for this generation. because if you have saddled the wrong horse, and he gets the next two chances to fart around with his ideas, in 2030 this young generation will be 30 or older. you will have wasted their chance. that’s why NT coaches get fired so fast, is a mistake ruins 4 years of team, not just a season. or in berhalter’s case, perhaps 7 years if he got through 2026. by the time some of you would figure it out, the players you are excited about will be nearing retirement. we don’t have endless time to play around. it either bears fruit or on to plan B while they are young.

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      • What you are missing is that the USSF isn’t just implementing Gregg’s system they are trying to change the entire US setup. Watch MLS now it is very different from 2010 or even 2014, when most teams sat back in a 4-4-2 tried to counter. Now if you look at the top 10-15 clubs they’re trying to control possession. All of this flows down hill NT to MLS to Colleges, Clubs, HSs. USSF isn’t only concerned with this group, they are putting in place the pieces for the next generation to be better and the one after that. The next manager isn’t likely to use Berhalter’s same patterns for build up but you can bet they are going to be a possession style. Defend at all costs and try to be more athletic on counters and set pieces isn’t going to cut it with a team made up of Champions League players. It also doesn’t typically get you past the quarterfinals of a WC. He said in the interview qualify for the WC and do well. That’s where the bar should be for a team that will likely have 1 or 2 players with WC experience on the roster, and as I said below it’s hard to say much about WC success until you get your draw.

      • what you’re missing is a team trying to climb the ranks is unlikely to win with the same formation as the next guy. you’re so eager to mimic something that was novel 10 years ago you miss that at this point most of the region and europe plays it. so you are not offering a novel formation. you are xeroxing a xerox. the way to beat the xeroxes is come at it different. counter soccer was different from the rest of the world when we did it — and an equalizer of sorts against superior offense. you are not going to shock the world with a xerox machine. i think y’all are stuck back in 2011 with spain or 2015 when the coach made his only final. you need to be creative for 2020, where we exist now. at this point you are just a follower running the same fashion plate as most of the rest. you are a roadside knockoff counterfeit that thinks it’s gucci. if you want to actually be gucci get an expensive coach and start from scratch on how the team will look.

      • i have no doubt your idea has become fashionable. i doubt it is any better concretely than how things were done before, which i see you detest — but which made a world cup quarterfinal whether you like it or not. that is the bar. with this talent anything less is a waste of my time and a fib about what you claimed it would produce — improvement on 2010. to be clear, my college alma mater looks slicker but plays worse defense than when i was there and no better results. they have followed the trend to where it went. but we were the team that used to upset ranked teams. so whoop de do they play prettier soccer. and let’s be honest. this is a forced effort by missionaries — top down — and not the organic outcome of teaching kids since age 5 to play some way. that’s why we can try this for a year and still suck. is you are trying to take adults and teach them a new way. that is not how adult soccer works. a wise team at the adult level maximizes the tools on hand. it doesn’t pretend it’s something it’s not yet. and thus far losing to mexico every time and canada and jamaica half the time raises basic questions whether you are really offering the pot of gold or instead aestheticians whose stylistic complaints are childishly naive in competitive world soccer. this is not bayern. we cannot buy the players to make a system work. it has to work with what is here. the normal objective way of discerning such is results. until you produce results, you are wasting my time.

    • You kind of missed the point. The next guy isn’t going to use the same formation but their going to hire someone who using a possession style. Like the Wing T in football the 4-4-2 empty bucket isn’t sustainable. Yes, it can knock off a team here or there but it doesn’t win Championships. The game has moved on, if you used Arena’s tactics 20 years later it is not going to get the same results as it did in 2002. The US will never win a WC bunkering and countering, so if the bar is let’s scrape our way to the quarters ok, but if it’s eventually to win we have to play soccer where we limit chances and possess the more of the ball.

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      • I think that totally misrepresents the tactics involved in the game. The 3 man back line was totally dead as recently as 5 years ago. It is very much back en vogue now. Why is that? People like Conte found a formula to make it successful, and now we see plenty of copycats. If I’m not mistaken Atletico often use an empty bucket 4-4-2 and are very successful with that. Formation is really irrelevant. Tactically implementing a plan to balance your team, accentuate your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses etc. I think Rafa Benitez famously said that planning tactics is like trying to sleep with a blanket that’s too small. To cover your toes you leave your torso exposed etc. My one issue with Gregg is it seems like he has a very firm idea of a style he wants to implement. I’d much rather see a flexible manager look at the players in his pool and ask how do I construct a team that can win from the pieces I have? Maybe he is doing that and all we hear is coach-speak in interviews.
        Also getting back to the main topic, I think he shouldn’t ever answer a question about 2026. Focus on the task at hand.

      • defend and counter is one example of a balanced approach. i also support german and italian and french styles. don’t pigeonhole me as a mere counter guy. i support balanced soccer. it doesn’t have to be bradley ball. it does have to be better and more balanced than this trash.

    • There is always a few that try to hold on Navy and Air Force still run flexbone offenses on their American football teams. Yes Berhalter changed the formation but that’s really secondary to the style. The next guy might use a 3-4-3 or a 4-4-2 but still be possession based. The stated goal from USSF soccer is to be possession based not necessarily Gregg’s 4-1-2-2-1.

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    • I find it quite amazing that people who call themselves fan just gloss over the fact that GB winning pct thru his first year and a half is pretty even or above any manager that weve ever had. Bet yet and more importantly, we ha e yet to field our first choice lineup in any game bc of injuries, so while its cute to dimi ish Berhalters club record or the fact hes never won anything(see Portugals manager)the fact remIlains hes been working with not much when you consider the injuries and many of our young players in Europe just now starting to make way at club level. We’ll see what happens when it all comes together and fingers crossed players stay healthy!

      Reply
      • it’s misleading. the coaches he is competing with on the career win % list played years and their stats include the period that got them fired. bradley’s first year he barely lost a game. his career stats, though, include 2011 that got him fired. ditto klinsi. for that matter, while GB feasted on GC — only to finish second to mexico — he didn’t win a friendly after march. if you want to pretend like second in GC and a lousy friendly record is a good coach, have at it.

    • The US pool gets more and more interesting.

      With Pulisic, Reyna, Morris, Sargent in the attack with even younger players (Caden Clark, Christian Torres) and Anthony Fontana looking ready to move up, that is exciting.

      In attacking midfield, Pomykal, Aaronson, and Duke are interesting additions to McKennie.

      In holding midfield, Adams is the clear front runner, but guys like Yueill may yet develop.

      The back line has a lot more uncertainty but Brooks, Long, Parker, Miazga, Zimmerman in the middle and Dest, Cannon, Robinson on the outside are not bad starting points.

      Keeper well, I don’t think we have a really clear choice there.

      “All” a coach has to do is select the best players and implement a system that allows every player to prosper.

      Reply
  5. Not sure “the host with Champions League talent at 8+ positions in its starting lineup” is likely to “shock” anyone even if we win.

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  6. the hole in such discussions is people always rattle off a list of attackers or wingbacks more concerned with attacking. they don’t tend to mention defenders who make their case defending. if you think 2026 is going to be special you will need a defense and not just an offense. offense is taking care of itself. but if you don’t round up a defense, we aren’t stopping neymar or the 2026 equivalent and we’re not going any further than before. and if you think we can advance in 2026 (or 2022 for that matter) with just an offense, go back to 2014. the difference between 2010 and 2014 was one team could defend and the other shipped goals. i think 2010 was our best team ever — won their group, tied england, lost in overtime in the knockouts — and they gave up 4 goals in regulation in 4 games, and then the killer 5th in overtime. if you want to advance deeper than that you need at least the same defense if not better. a good offense would also help, but half of soccer is stopping the other guy. and that seems forgotten in the golden generation sales pitch. start putting together a defense, also.

    Reply
    • the teams that won world cups since 1990 goals allowed in group play (going backwards from 2018): 1 2 2 1 3 1 1 3

      goals for in group play: 3 7 4 5 11 9 6 10

      so it’s an offense conjoined with a defense, but the necessary offense is actually not necessarily more than what we’ve already been capable of. the necessary defense, however, is at least 2010 equivalent (3 group goals) if not better. if 2010 frightened you, i don’t think you actually understand how organized and tight we would need to be.

      holland has never won and spain won once with basically a miracle generation they have not been able to replicate. which we beat in 2009 playing counter soccer. the snobs have precisely backwards what we need to go deeper. france had some offense but also a strong backline swept across by kante. italy in 2006 was almost impossible to score on. nope, i don’t think you or berhalter actually understand what it takes to get that golden generation across the finish line higher up than before. i think you’re just aesthetes who didn’t like how 2009-10 looked. i think you sold a bill of goods that nothing but offense possession soccer would advance us deeper than that. i think you need to start paying dividends or it’s time to change the CEO and go back to what actually works, either our counter soccer or at least some sort of german or italian or french approach with some actual steel to it.

      Reply
      • That same defense of 2010 got smoked many times as well outside of the 2010 WC.
        You mentioned Spain (2009) didn’t we get smoked by 4 goals in the second half by Brazil? The bottom line, a good defense is a consistent defense.

    • Here is the defense for the 2010 team. Age is in parenthesis.

      Tim Howard (31) Everton
      carlos bocanegra (31) Rennes
      jonathan spector (24) west ham
      oguchi onyewu (28) Milan
      steve cherundol (31) Hannover 96
      Jonathan Bornstein (25) Chivas USA
      Jay DeMerit (30) Watford
      Clarence Goodson (28) IK Start

      That team advanced with luck more than once. I’ll take a back-4 of Robinson, Brooks, Richards, and Dest anytime. They are younger and better pedigree.

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      • what you’re missing is boca gooch dolo demerit was a brick freaking wall that could even beat spain. you can sniff at that all you want but i think everyone but richards you listed is a collander waiting to happen. dest was burned by mexico, robinson by brazil, and brooks lit up by costa rica. i am curious how you plan on advancing deeper in the world cup with a defense that gets lit up by the teams we would have to beat to do so. have at it. pretend they will make the offense good. it won’t work as a defense. it will be like when spector started on that 2009 team and got lit up by brazil and that’s how we lost confed cup in the final with a 2 goal lead.

      • you also seem to have this confused with a resume competition instead of a soccer game. in a soccer game you can either mark neymar or not. saying “but i start for wolfsburg” doesn’t change that.

      • No way. And Defenders usually hit their prime a bit later: 27-31
        Demerit in his prime was a decent premier league Center Back. Cherundolo was class. Bocanegra was pretty solid. Onyewu- I thought was overrated, but he still held his own against top players at times. The new young guys mentioned show a lot of potential- but they are far from the finished product. Dest still needs to learn how to defend against high quality competition. Richards has hardly gotten first team minutes. Ditto for Robinson. Brooks is quality but has had issues with consistency.

    • A good defense is a good team defense, not just the back line. So you need some midfielders who can defend. Additionally, if you control the possession, the other team doesn’t have as many opportunities to score. While the emphasis in the media has been on the offensive players, while we may not have a Vincent Kompany on our future team, I think you underestimate our defensive talent. Both McKennie and Tyhler Adams can also play defense in a pinch and Richards, Dest, and Robinson all have a bright future. I generally agree with you that you can’t overlook defense and I’m not a fan of the 3 man back line. Nor do I think we are sure to go far in 2026, but I think you are too pessimistic and we have seen teams in the past over perform when playing in their home country.

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      • the 3 man back line was lit up by mediocre Venezuela and Jamaica. that is not even a real debate. re the players you listed, you offered no one new and i have detailed the games they have lost and the teams that burned them. i don’t get why in the abstract you grasp we need defense to win a championship but in the concrete you let them bully you into a group who won’t get you there. to me you reflect the growing contingent of fans here who can’t seem to hold players to an actual performance standard, or play the ones who show well. you look at resumes. you watch tv soccer. and you ignore their nightmares on the NT in the actual shirt. the only way to improve on last year’s results is not have last year’s same players starting next year. otherwise this is the definitional insanity of giving the same players another chance on the theory they play different the second time.

        the fallacy taking root — and the US has developed a nasty incumbency bias — is that the team of the moment should be the team until they retire. that no one else better is out there. this is such silly intellectual hubris. you see what the results on the field are. where do you magically expect improved results from? just pop reyna and adams in? you think that’s all we need to beat mexico? to win the world? no defense?

  7. my concern in labeling this a long term project is that can imply he gets to run it the whole way. i don’t think he’s earned the right. and you don’t get to call it a long term project to avoid ever getting actual results. the 2026 generation is already moving into the team and so where are the results? your system is supposed to be a better mousetrap, where are the results?

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    • Its hard to get results when you don’t have the players at your disposal, and that’s been the case for this program the last year and a half,not debatable!

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      • that’s a fib. my whole point is how he’s had a lot of these 2026 players at his disposal the whole time — some of whom were capped by sarachan — and often slow-walked players like sargent, or left them out entirely. it’s not that they don’t exist. it’s he takes his sweet time bringing them up. to then have him talk 2026 2026 2026 is rich. he selects like he is playing 2018 cycle again, or for 2022. the idea he is building towards 2026 is laughable. he puts guzan or bradley or zardes or the like out there too much to pretend like this is a 20226 team.

  8. When I saw this article I was expecting more detail. It adds almost nothing to what we already knew. I wish there would be a more comprehensive interview where Berhalter addresses things like formation, integrating the players, deciding who plays where, and so on. then he could tell us his plans for how he is going to handle all the different competitions this next year and maybe which younger players like Llanez, Ledezma, and so on does he see making the jump to the national team in the future. There’s just so much that I would like to hear about.

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  9. The telling words there are “the way we’re looking at this project is as a long term project.” So those screaming scrap the possession soccer plan because there’s not enough time, guess what Gregg’s got all the time in the world. He’s never been able to put Reyna, Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, and Dest on the field at the same time and for most of the time he’s only had 2 of the 5. Adding those three takes Lovitz, Bradley, and Roldan off the pitch so what’s your selection complaint now? He didn’t select players that were injured, refused call ups and were trying to win the U17 WC.

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    • i don’t think he deserves the job on results so far, but even if the idea was a fair shake going forward, the way to protect our interests is performance milestones. expectations at gold cups. expectations in qualifying. expectations at 2022. etc. otherwise you’re just relying on subjective hope and the magical notion that a switch flips 6 years from now. if he is the guy then a progression should be taking place.

      thus far, to me, we have actually regressed. despite the tools at his disposal. so he grasps that we have a unique opportunity but what he is able to do is lose to mexico twice and split with jamaica and canada. at that point all you’re doing is relying on hope that he turns it around over time.

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    • also, i think you are ignoring that he was hired by different people than he currently works for. cordeiro can be naive, jay berhalter nepotistic, and stewart a dutch soccer zealot. but parlow and mcbride now are in the drivers’ seats. i think he might be arrogantly assuming he still has carte blanche for a long term project with no expectations. that is not the vibe i felt when we had to beat canada the second game to advance. that was he was one foot on a banana peel already. so i think if he struggles further he may have identified the generation’s future but he may not be leading it. i find such comments by him and dest presumptuous. who said you will be along for that ride? you have to earn it.

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      • While I wasn’t happy with Berhalter’s selection, I think it is much too early to pass judgment on his success or failure. In a year or so after qualifiers, Gold Cup, and more friendlies we will have a better idea. Hopefully he will have close to a full complement of our top players. I don’t think Berhalter is a bad coach, it’s just that we had a lot of better choices available, one of whom is in Mexico.

      • He was hired by Stewart, Stewart is still his boss. Parlow-Cone is in charge of the business side and has little say in the day to day on field operations. It was structured after 2018 to avoid the tinkering of a Gulati like President.
        ———————————
        Short of not qualifying Berhalter will be the manager in 2026 that’s the way it is. That’s why the slow build up not focusing on results in 2019. That’s why he had the freedom to experiment with lineups and formations in the losses to Venezuela and Jamaica. It’s why we just tried to force it out of the back in the friendly loss to Mexico. When we needed to win against Canada (against their Golden Generation) Berhalter used much more pragmatic tactics.
        ————————————
        I don’t typically like using a manager for two cycles because it can go stale but I think that was the plan all along from the hiring committee and might actually be the secret as to why some of the big names weren’t interviewed, they wouldn’t commit to 6 years.

      • “much too early?” within a few friendlies klinsi had changed the way we played and revived morale. bradley didn’t lose a game most of his first year. can we quit pretending that new coaching of consequence doesn’t have immediate effects? and to be blunt, objectively, all i see is a struggling style and middling results. i am confused where any faith comes from. normally faith is based on improved results or the team looks better on the field. something tangible other than me trusting a middling MLS coach secretly is onto something but i just cannot see it in any way shape or form yet. that sounds like a cult.

      • what you’re missing is stewart was punted upstairs and mcbride is now the US GM. that is a layer between stewart and the men’s team. mcbride was a tougher target man on superior US teams who played in england and germany. my feeling is he and parlow will be more practical versus the naive missionary crap of cordeiro, berhalter, and stewart. dutch mimickry will either quickly bear fruit, or it will be cast aside in favor of something that will work. i don’t doubt GB abandoned his ideas for canada game 2. i also don’t doubt results improved and that if he has to abandon his mission to get results this casts doubt on his mission, and as with klinsi becoming defensive, will lose him his missionary constituency. he will then keep his job as long as results come. based on canada, jamaica, mexico, venezuela, etc., i am not sold he is secretly some practical genius. i think he sold ideas we’re not ready for. i think the team looks not fully baked. i think we are not in the “gimmee” region the snobs think — it is earned — and i am not sold GB is competent to earn anything even with no less than 2nd place talent at his disposal. i think 8 team qualifying will be rigorous and more a grind than you’re ready for.

  10. I like all the talent they have and a few younger ones coming through but most of the major countries have just as much and more plus depth. Anything can happen but a quarter or semis run is not out of the question, things would have to go their way. The US is still not a major soccer country and probably won’t be even though this is probably their best generation to date.

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  11. Meh. Talking about the 2026 WC is easy. It’s scarcely a “hot take” anymore to say the US might be a contender to win on home soil in 2026. Not even lukewarm. Let’s focus on goals for the next 2 years.

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    • If you click on the interview he talks about the first goal is qualifying for 2022 and gaining experience for the group who could contend in 2026.

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    • What are your goals for 2022 then? I know it’s hard to say much beyond qualifying until a draw has happened? I’d like to say qualify and get out of the group but if you draw Brazil, England, and Côte d’Ivoire is that realistic?

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      • Why not set high targets? Why worry who we draw? What is the downside (other for the job security of the coach who sets them)? For me, I’ll say right now QF’s or better in 2022 should not be dismissed as “unachievable” just because there is an outside chance we get a ridiculously terrible draw. Say what you want about him, but Klinsmann had a starting XI with a combined aggregate market value of ~30-35 million, and he still set ambitious targets like getting through the Group of Death draw in 2014. By 2022, the combined market value of our starting XI is likely to be $200-300+ million. And we are still okay with “qualifying, and making decent account ourselves??” How often do you think WC’s come around man!?!? Have some ambition!!!!

      • I do agree here. For all of Klinsi’s faults he projected confidence in his team and always set ambitious goals. The US is good enough to get out of any group they get placed in. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will be the top 2 most talented, but it does mean we are good enough to overcome whatever challenge is in front of us and advance. Failure to advance from the group stage is a failed WC. The quarterfinal is an ambitious and realistic goal. We are good enough to potentially achieve this.

    • i also get the idea that like dest he is trying to lock himself into that process by commenting on the hope he has for 2026. the team has talent coming up, yes. if you want to be coaching it, show me some results with that talent. i don’t see them yet. worse, i feel like he’s actually sandbagging many of the players he would be implicitly including when talking up 2026. zardes, jozy, bradley, many of the guys he is relying on when given a choice, they won’t be around 6 years from now. so while chatting the future up he is arguably indulging in the past in practice. i wish he pivoted to the 2026 bunch more fully and committed to that future. i think he talks the talk but when the moment comes i see ream and bradley out there. i see pomykal and others beefing they feel held back. i think he’s sloganeering or trying to secure a place in the process. i think his place in the process should be contingent on pivoting to that generation and showing he can produce results with them. otherwise i think he’s an adept politician confused with a soccer mind.

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    • I think if it was you and Gregg sitting at the pub you’d get that answer. When the question was how are you managing expectations for this group, you get the vague answer. He’s well aware that this group has had some club success but even within those big clubs they haven’t won much silverware. Pulisic a German Cup, Morris some MLS Cups but that’s it.

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  12. Agree with him 100%. Right now, a not too far fetched starting 11 plays at Man City, Barca, Wolfsburg, Bayern, Fulham, Leipzig, Juve, Seattle, Dortmund, Chelsea and Bremen. That’s not too shabby. By 2026 our core will be in their prime, with the Qatar WC under their belt, and playing on home soil. Get to the quarters or semis on merit and then get a little lucky. It happened for Greece at the Euros, it can happen for us.

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  13. Yes, the USMNT can “Shock the world at the 2026 WC”, but only if we have a different coach than we currently have.
    We have some excellent young talent that will be at their peak/prime by 2026 (Pulisic, Reyna, Dest, Adams, McKennie, Richards). What we lack is a coach who’s able to craft a system/style of play that gets the best of the talent we have.

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    • Nah, what we have is a team full of injury prone youngsters, albeit with a lot of talent but nonetheless habe not proven they can ne available when needed. People keep pointing to results against the likes of Mexico and Canada as evidence that its not working but failing to address that we hardly EVER beat Mexico and in the return leg of Nations vs Canada we blew em out, lessons were learned in my opinion

      Whats also never talked about in the Gold Cup Final is tjat uf Jozy and CP would have scored goals that they normally score we’re having a different conversation now, but it seems to be too convenient to put everything on the manager. Berhalter inherited an ageing and lack of depth pool, one that needed retooling depth wise and tactically. We are seeing the results of that and its crazy to think people who supposedly played the sport are incapable of having perspective bc they simply hate the federation and its cronyism(which I get)! We have another year and a half to keep building the depth and pushing the emerging young stars to greated heights in that time frame, so we need to relax and let it play out and cross our fingers injuries dont continue to hold us back

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      • Not to mention this Mexico team right now is better than it’s been in a long time. Their players are either with good clubs in Europe or the top clubs in Liga Mx, Pizzaro taking their Beckham $ being an outlier. Canada has its best team ever with one of the top players in the world and one of the hottest young strikers in the last transfer window.

  14. Keep dreaming, Bud.
    we need change mind-set in order to have an impact, right rightnow USNT has regress it’s no because talent by mind-set of coaches and USSF

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      • normally a coach adjusts to a style and formation that actually works. normally i don’t hire a coach to teach a style the team isn’t ready to play. who hires a coach to send out players to play a formation that MIGHT make sense in decades? and that is arguably naive in terms of balance and defense and thinking we can just pass a ball around endlessly in concacaf or the world cup?

      • @ Panda Have you not been watching the past USA games? We came out scared away from home against Canada, a none intimidating side!!!! Wake up, use common sense!!!!

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