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USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter criticised after poor performance against Trinidad & Tobago

The U.S. head coach suffered criticism from fans after his side squeezed past Trinidad & Tobago, with some in favour of him leaving the role.

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Criticism has hit Gregg Berhalter hard after his USMNT side put in another poor performance, this time against Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF Nations League, although they did finish the game with a 3-0 victory.

The United States got off on the right foot in the CONCACAF Nations League, with the win over Trinidad and Tobago giving space to the team that have ambitions of winning the tournament and qualifying for the next Copa América. The U.S. will qualify for the Copa Ámerica in 2024 if they finish the job against the Caribbean side and reach the Nations League semi-finals. What was noticeable last night, and has led to the fans’ disgust, was that the Soca Warriors caused significant problems for their American opponents, despite having a player fewer on the field at Q2 Stadium.

Fans were quick to criticise Berhalter’s game plan, putting the spotlight on the lack of creativity and the inability to control the match against a side that was much weaker on paper. The coach’s reputation, despite the result, has been hit hard, with a number of analysts calling for a higher quality appointment on the bench.

In terms of squad quality, the United States would be expected to beat Trinidad and Tobago with no problems whatsoever, but the reality on the pitch was very different indeed. The USMNT needed 82 minutes to open the scoring against a side that went down to ten men in the first half of the game.

El USMNT se encamina a ser cabeza de serie de Copa América
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Despite not convincing, the USMNT have their destiny in their own hands.RONALD CORTESAFP

‘We want Berhalter out’

Such was the American team’s lack of fight that during the first half they had no luck in front of goal, with the AS report on the game saying they “struggled to create any clear-cut chances”. The fans saw Berhalter as the main culprit in a game that was even described as “visual torture” by certain fans.

“This man (Berhalter) should not have the manager’s job with the USMNT”, “the idea that we couldn’t get a better coach because of the salary available is a lie” or “we want Berhalter out” were just some of the posts with the highest number of interactions on Twitter during the match.

Berhalter has always had a love-hate relationship with his fans, a bond which reached its lowest point after the Qatar World Cup when the coach stepped away from the role in a period of chaos and disappointment.

Trinidad and Tobago surprised Berhalter

The coach came out to explain what happened in Texas as soon as the final whistle blew, giving more credit to Trinidad and Tobago’s style of play than his own approach. “I think the easiest thing to do is to give credit to Trinidad and say how hard they fought, how they didn’t give up, and how compact they were. At the end I said to the guys, ‘Listen, they played really well. You really did, you gave it your all. I think our guys matched and even exceeded expectations,” Berhalter said. “We lacked a little bit of precision and you could see there were a lot of moves in the first half that were pretty good moves where we were just missing the final pass or the first-time shot.”

The second leg between Trinidad & Tobago and the USMNT will be played at Hasely Crawford Stadium, on Monday 20 November 2023 and will kick-off at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.


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