USMNT was only CONCACAF World Cup team that disappointed
The United States was the only World Cup team from CONCACAF that went scoreless, therefore not winning, during the recent international window.
The final international window of the year has ended and the 2022 FIFA World Cup is approaching. The four CONCACAF teams that qualified for Qatar saw action with a pair of friendlies and now the head coaches from the respective countries have decisions ahead of them as they choose their 26-player roster that will be traveling to Qatar in less than two months.
The United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada came out with their respective conclusions at the end of the international break of September and the results were not what they were expecting. Primarily, the pressure is growing on the United States men’s national team and the Mexico international team after poor results in their most recent games.
USMNT with a lot of work ahead of them
The team managed by Gregg Berhalter was the only World Cup team from CONCACAF that went scoreless and didn’t win in their last two preparations games, something that has US fans worried ahead of the start of the campaign. The USMNT’s ‘golden generation’ ended up with a scoreless draw against Saudi Arabia, following a 2-0 loss to Japan, results that are a concern for Berhalter.
“There weren’t players who performed up to their normal level in this camp, and that’s how it is,” said Berhalter after the 0-0 draw against the Asian side on Tuesday night. “It’s our job to get them confident so they can perform up to their normal levels. So you can ask about center back or full backs or forwards, anyone you want to ask. I’d say we were below our normal levels.”
Berhalter confirmed that he will announce his World Cup roster on 9 November and that he felt that some players didn’t perform as expected because they might be anxious with his upcoming decision. The key players during his tenure have been Zack Steffen, Weston McKenney, Sergiño Dest, Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna, who failed to perform during the international window.
The team managed by Gerardo Martino keeps struggling to generate offensive plays and Martino remains in hot water. El Tri defeated Peru 1-0 with a late goal from Hirving Lozano, but lost 3-2 to Colombia in the last game of the international window. Mexico is left with more questions than answers and Martino is expected to announce his World Cup roster on 14 November, with the hopes that Raúl Jiménez recovers in time from his groin injury.
Los Ticos had a very positive conclusion at the end of the international window with a 2-2 draw against South Korea and a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan. Also, Keylor Navas keeps proving to be the heart and soul of this team with solid performances despite not playing a single game with Paris Saint-Germain this season. The other good news for Costa Rica is that they are working as a solid block and finding ways to win games.
The Canada men’s national team was the biggest surprise in the World Cup qualifiers and they returned to the tournament for the first time in 36 years. Les Rouges defeated Qatar 2-0 with a dominant performance, but Uruguay gave them a lesson in their last preparation match after a 2-0 defeat. The latest result served as a learning experience for Canada for what’s to come in the FIFA World Cup.
“This is what Canada’s got to learn,” head coach John Herdman said after the 2-0 loss. “You’re not going to get a gift. You have to earn it.”