Gregg Berhalter: USMNT players lack confidence
After a 0-0 tie against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, the American coach spoke about how the players felt.
With the World Cup taking place in late autumn, there is a lot about the build-up to the tournament that isn’t typical. Instead of an extended camp leading up to the World Cup, all participating teams will have as little as a week to prepare after players are released by their clubs.
Berhalter has stated that he will announce his World Cup roster on November 9. However, he believes there was an added sense of anxiety in the recently concluded camp as some players jockeyed for a spot on the final roster.
“I feel for them. It’s a difficult situation to be in, everyone’s fighting for roster spots, and instead of coming out and really performing like the team we know we are, we lacked a little confidence in that.” Berhalter added after the match. “I think that hurt performance. There were certainly spaces to take advantage of today, and we didn’t do that enough.” He concluded.
An injured USMNT is no excuse for Berhalter
Even though the United States is dealing with injuries to players like midfielder Yunus Musah, left back Antonee Robinson, and center back Chris Richards, this hasn’t done much to alleviate concerns that the team isn’t performing up to its potential.
Gio Reyna, who has missed much of the last 13 months due to injury, left the game after 30 minutes due to tightness in his hamstring. Moreover, After missing the Japan match due to a minor injury, Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic was able to return to the United States starting lineup.
Regardless of the team’s injuries, the American coach left a message to those who did play and had the opportunity to shine before the World Cup. “There’s not many players that performed up to their normal levels in this camp, and that’s just how it is.”
As the United States prepares to face Wales in their opening World Cup encounter on November 21, a lack of hope is looming in the USMNT camp.