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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Gregg Berhalter emphasizes significance of ‘essential’ Copa America to constructing USMNT momentum for World Cup

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Copa America prep is formally underway as the USA males’s nationwide staff prepares to face Colombia. With questions forward of the event surrounding the health of gamers, who the primary selection proper again might be with out Sergino Dest, and even when the staff can compete in opposition to nationwide sides of the caliber of Colombia and Brazil, it is an vital time for supervisor Gregg Berhalter to see what areas of enchancment are wanted forward of a event with excessive expectations. Berhalter said that he’ll put out a powerful lineup in opposition to each Colombia and Brazil with few modifications as there are eyes on competing in opposition to Bolivia when the group stage begins.

“We’re on the lookout for our performances to present us info of the place we’re at. We all know we’re enjoying two high South American groups and we’ll be taught loads each about our group and our opponents in these two video games,” Berhalter mentioned about what he is on the lookout for beginning Saturday. “However for us, it is about how will we exit within the subject and have a great degree of efficiency? How will we exit on the sphere and compete? After which get all the group prepared and match for Copa America.”

Berhalter takes issues a step additional although when he speaks about Copa America. Whereas most view the event as an vital litmus take a look at not just for if the USMNT can compete in opposition to high opposition but in addition for whether or not Berhalter is the coach who can lead this staff in 2026, he would not appear to really feel the same strain about these video games. In a sure sense, he should not present that there is strain as a result of that simply transfers strain to the staff, however determining gauge the upcoming event is important. Whereas followers wish to advance previous the spherical of 16, in some ways in which’s simpler mentioned than achieved with out Dest, however Berhalter did have a number of issues to say about his views for the event. 

“I feel that Copa America is crucial to the expansion of this group and I consider that this can be a crucial event for this staff. That is the final main event earlier than the World Cup. We’ll have Gold Cup however the caliber of groups doesn’t match Copa America When you concentrate on the massive 4 groups which can be on this factor in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia,” Berhalter mentioned. “We’re enjoying two of them pre-tournament, one among them within the event and we will probably face them in opposition to as we march all through the event, so this can be a massive event for us and it is a constructing block during which to enter the World Cup assured. I feel this will construct an amazing quantity of momentum among the many group. It could possibly convey confidence to the staff so you realize we’re treating this severely and we need to put in good performances.”

He is proper that the USMNT might be going through among the greatest groups on the planet, however the half being disregarded right here is how deflating a poor efficiency can get. If the staff cannot alter for lacking Dest, they’re going through groups that can make them pay for it. It is a good factor to do this now to know the place they stand forward of the Copa America, but in addition there is not a lot time to tinker with issues if plan A would not work this late within the sport. Taking a look at proper again, Berhalter remained coy about what he plans to do.

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“For the subsequent two video games, we’ll attempt totally different seems to be. We’ll give the pure proper backs a possibility in these video games after which we’ll maybe take a look at another choices for us,” Berhalter mentioned. “We have been in a position to see up to now in camp with the performances of our proper backs, but in addition with different gamers and actually simply taking it sport, opponent by opponent.”

When Dest cannot go, Joe Scally has often been his main backup, however that hasn’t boded effectively, which may give Shaq Moore an opportunity at enjoying too. In 33 caps for the nationwide staff, the staff has a file of 18-8-7 when Dest begins with three of these losses coming with him at left again. With the USMNT choosing up 4 losses throughout Dest’s profession throughout non-January Camp matches that he did not seem in, his significance to the facet is sort of clear. 

This factors towards needing to attempt one thing new at proper again, but when that does not work it nonetheless leaves Berhalter looking for choices. The Bolivia match is approaching quickly as June 23 is true across the nook. The USMNT can have extra time to coach forward of then however setting proper again amongst different rotations now as a substitute of continuous to Copa with looming questions might be important.



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