Time to Admit What We All Know: Gregg Berhalter Isn’t the Right Coach for the USMNT

Chops September 7, 2019 262 Reads

Let’s face it, because deep down we all know it’s true: Gregg Berhalter isn’t the right coach to resurrect the USMNT. And the US program is doomed until they figure this out.

That doesn’t mean that Gregg Berhalter isn’t a decent human being. Or that he’s even a bad coach. But he’s not the right coach.

The USMNT lost 3-0 to Mexico on Friday night. Save for the first 20 minutes, it wasn’t even remotely close. Despite the game taking place in New Jersey, it was essentially a home match for Mexico. Their fans were as dominant as their squad.

There’s no momentum for the USMNT or its program. This is US Soccer Federation’s fault. They screwed this up. They lack vision. They’re a joke.

Gregg Berhalter should’ve never been hired

Berhalter fell ass backwards into this job. His coaching record prior to taking over as manager of the USMNT was mediocre at best.

He got the job because his brother, Jay Berhalter, is one of the Federation’s highest-ranking executives (Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer at the time of Jay’s hire). There’s no other reason. Berhalter wasn’t in demand anywhere else.

There was a better choice right under US Soccer’s nose: the man who coached Mexico to their thrashing of the Americans, Tata Martino.

Hiring Tata would’ve taken vision. It would’ve taken ambition. It wouldn’t taken everything that US men’s soccer lacks.

They lack everything that defines the US women’s program.

Confidence. Ambition. Vision. Guts.

While the women’s program dominates the world and draws massive crowds everywhere they play, the men can’t even deliver more fans to a match in their own country.

That’s what gutless nepotism gets you. It gets you a coach that when the US needed a goal to save face at the end of the game, he allows his best player, Christian Pulisic, to give a penalty shot to someone else (Josh Sargent). While Sargent has a promising career ahead both with country and club, Berhalter should’ve demanded Pulisic take that penalty. But that would require some Berhalter lacks.

There’s no shame losing to Mexico. They’re an elite team. They play with passion and pride.

It is a problem when you take steps backwards with nepotistic, bland hires. This was the worse loss the US has had against Mexico in a decade. It’s not going to get better. Not unless US Soccer recognizes they need to fundamentally change.

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