Gregg Berhalter: “The Copa América is the goal, but we want to defend our title”
Berhalter admitted that qualifying for the Copa América is the goal, but they want to win the Nations League.
Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT side can book their place in next year’s Copa América when they take on Trinidad and Tobago over two legs.
All eyes are on Berhalter, who knows there is a lot at stake, and in an interview with Telemundo Deportes, he admitted that the main objective for the country is to qualify for the Copa América.
“It’s a great opportunity for the team. The quarter-finals and potentially the semi-finals, and of course, the Copa América, which is the main goal,” said the USA coach.
How Copa América qualification works
The United States will host the Copa América in 2024 but don’t automatically qualify for the tournament, however, the winner over the two legs between the USMNT and Trinidad & Tobago will progress to the Copa América next summer.
The loser of the two games between the USA and Trinidad & Tobago can also qualify, as from the eight teams competing in the quarter-finals, the four winners qualify but the four losers then play off for the final two spots in the expanded edition due to new strategic agreement between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
USMNT vs Trinidad & Tobago
Berhalter does not want to be overconfident heading into the games against Trinidad & Tobago, a nation the USA beat in the Gold Cup earlier this year.
“For us, the focus is the mindset of the players coming into this game. If we are flawless at home, good things are going to come,” he added.
Reigning Nations League champions
The USA go into the CONCACAF Nations League tournament as the reigning two-time champions of the tournament (2021 and 2023).
They beat Mexico 3-2 in the first edition of the tournament, thanks to Christian Pulisic’s extra-time goal from the penalty spot and Ethan Horvath’s save from Andres Guardado’s spot kick.
This year, they beat Canada 2-0 in the final to win their second title in a row. Now, they will look to extend that run in March 2024.