Written by 14:38 Sports

Berhalter on thin ice as USMNT hopes to avoid Copa America catastrophe against Uruguay

The US Men’s National Team (USMNT) finds itself under immense pressure as it prepares for a decisive Copa America 2024 group stage match against Uruguay tonight.

Following a surprising loss to Panama, the team’s chances of advancing to the knockout stage hang in the balance, sparking intense scrutiny and criticism directed at the US Soccer Federation’s decision to retain head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Pulisic gets torched by USMNT teammates playing American footballParker Johnson

Berhalter’s tactics put into question

Former USMNT star Herculez Gomez is among the most vocal critics, expressing his frustration with the federation’s choice to stick with Berhalter.

Gomez, speaking on ESPN, emphasized that the federation should have acted sooner, particularly after the team’s narrow escape against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals.

He questioned the message being sent to fans and the expectations for the team as they look ahead to the World Cup.

“The pressure you’re referring to has always been there,”Berhalter told reporters at Arrowhead Stadium.

He emphasized that the external criticism is beyond his control, focusing instead on preparing the team to play confidently and perform strongly.

Despite Berhalter’s achievements, including leading the team to the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup, recent performances have been underwhelming.

The defeat to Panama highlighted tactical shortcomings, with the USMNT struggling even before Timothy Weah’s red card.

The team’s midfield was overwhelmed, and Berhalter’s substitutions failed to change the game’s dynamics, leaving fans and analysts questioning his strategies.

USMNT’s do or die game against Uruguay

The stakes couldn’t be higher for tonight’s match against Uruguay.

The USMNT, currently second in Group C, must secure a victory to have a chance at advancing, especially with the expectation that Panama will defeat Bolivia.

Berhalter and captain Christian Pulisic have emphasized the need for a strong performance, with Pulisic initially stating that the team must “play the game of our lives” but later tempering his remarks to stress the importance of intensity and execution.

Adding to the challenges, the team’s starting goalkeeper, Matt Turner, is uncertain for the match due to a leg injury sustained during the Panama game.

Turner has been participating in light training, but his status remains unclear.

Meanwhile, the absence of Timothy Weah, who received a two-match ban, leaves a gap in the team’s lineup that Berhalter must address.

Uruguay, despite already securing a spot in the knockout rounds, is expected to field a full-strength squad.


Last modified: 9 July 2024