|Job||USA Head Coach|
|Club as Coach||USA National Team [Head Coach]|
2019 03 13 Retrieve
[Berhalter leaving the door open for Johnson to make USMNT return] I was in Germany a couple weeks ago and I was able to meet with Fabian and talk to him about how he’s doing and his international career and his thoughts moving forward, and he’s a guy that still is available.
I spoke to him and said, ‘Listen, if you’re needed, we’ll certainly look at you and bring you in.’ I’m very comfortable with Fabian and what he’s done. I’ve known him for a long time. I’ve probably known him for 12 years. I played with him in Germany and I left the door open and I said, ‘We’ll stay in contact’
[Even with his willingness to return, and his relationship with Berhalter, Johnson still faces an uphill battle to still be a viable option by the 2022 World Cup, when he would be close to 35] When I look at his profile and look at his position and being an outside back and the demands of an outside back and I’m projecting towards 2022, he’s one that’s right on the borderline. It’s a tough one. Having said that, I said, ‘Listen, we’re not closing the door. We’ll leave it open but here’s where we’re at right now’
2019 03 18 Retrieve
[United States national team coach Gregg Berhalter said Wednesday that he and his staff are continuing to watch LA Galaxy teenager Efrain Alvarez and said the 16-year-old will get an opportunity with the U.S. if he continues to excel] Regarding Efrain, for us it’s been interesting to watch from the background because he’s a guy that has taken a pathway that, you’d call it a somewhat normal pathway although it’s been accelerated. He started out in the academy of LA Galaxy, he played there, he went to the second team of LA Galaxy, he did really well with the second team and now he’s making an impact with the first team. That’s exactly what we want to see continuing. It would be great that he continues to chip away and get playing time and now can be a consistent performer for one of the top clubs in MLS
We’ll be there watching the whole thing, and when he’s doing what we expect him to do, there will be an opportunity for him with the U.S. national team. Regarding a potential choice for him, we want to create an environment that players want to be in. We want to create a playing style, a team spirit that players want to be a part of. If we do, we’re confident we can get players like that and keep players like that in our program
We’re not necessarily looking at these players as solely dual national players. We’re looking at them as players. There’s a universe of players that are eligible to play for the United States. We’re looking at all of those guys. I think that’s an important process
I’ve said all along that every player has their own pathway. What I want for my players - each and every one of them - is that they can maximize their own potential, so then they have different ways to do that. For some of them it’s going to be going to an MLS academy, playing for an MLS second team and signing with an MLS first team really developing that way. For other guys it’s going to be different pathways and it is going to be going to Europe or it is going to be playing at a mid-level team in Europe and then making a jump from there. Every player has a different pathway
2019 06 05 Retrieve
[USMNT faces Jamaica with Gold Cup roster spots and roles still in play] I think most of the roster is set. I think there will be a few positions that that are up for grabs, but not many. And a lot of the work has been done beforehand. But we will make a few decisions based on on tomorrow’s game.
I think the good thing about it is you know you get to see other options and that’s important. You know we know in a tournament format the games come very quick [one] after another and we know there’s a lot of travel associated with it. So we know we need other guys to step up and this gives the other guys an opportunity to get fit, to be involved in our system and to play
[The match will be an opportunity for national team debuts for both Holmes and New Zealand-born Tyler Boyd] He’s one of those like Weston McKennie type of players where you can put him anywhere on the field and he can hold his own
[Another player who could see his first action under Berhalter is winger Joe Gyau] We watched him in Germany in the second half of the year and you know we’re looking for wingers that have dynamics, that have a good change of pace, that have very good acceleration, good speed, good 1-v-1. He has some of those qualities. So it will be nice to see how those translate into international soccer. But he showed it this week for sure in training
2019 06 06 Retrieve
[USMNT vs Jamaica. Berhalter’s experimental USMNT lineup falls flat in Gold Cup tune-up] We lacked speed. We lacked aggression in the final third. When you talk about when the ball’s wide there should be four guys in the penalty box and we only had two half the time. Even when we won ball in good positions, now it’s time to counter, now it’s time to really enforce ourselves on the opponent and we didn’t do that.
[Hanging over Wednesday’s match was the reality that some U.S. players were playing for their places on the USMNT Gold Cup roster] Some guys you could tell that I think the moment of ‘Okay, am I going to make the team or not’ was wearing on them, and that’s never nice. It’s never nice for it to come down to one game or something like that, so I felt for the guys.
[There were few bright spots, but one was Duane Holmes, who impressed in his USMNT debut] Duane performed well. What you see from him is exactly what you saw at Derby County. He has this mobility. He has an aggressiveness, but he also has good technical ability in tight spaces. I thought he performed well tonight
[Holmes was the exception on Wednesday, and Berhalter didn’t mind admitting his team’s performance wasn’t good enough] We know we need to improve. We know we need to get better. We know we need to be, I think, more aggressive in the final third. We had one shot on goal today. That’s pretty poor, and we know that. The guys tried, I think we gave a decent effort. We didn’t play well, and you’re going to have nights where you don’t to play well. I’m not sure it should be that volatile that you turn against the team after one poor performance. There’s going to be more, as time goes on there’ll be more poor performances when I’m coach. I guarantee it, and that’s part of it. Are the guys bought in? Are they working hard? Are we executing the type of soccer we want to execute? We’re getting there.
2019 06 07 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter’s selections for the U.S. national team’s Gold Cup roster didn’t figure to offer many surprises, but Josh Sargent’s exclusion definitely caught USMNT fans off guard] This was the most difficult decision we had to make, involving Josh. When I talked to him and gave him the news, one thing I mentioned was that he is going to be the striker for the national team in the future. We’re sure of that. He wasn’t able to play as much as he could have. And he lacked a little sharpness.
When Sebastian Lletget went down, it tossed a wrench into the plans and we didn’t think we could carry three strikers at that point. Josh will have more chances, but he wasn’t able to carry over his early-season momentum with Werder Bremen into the second half. We think Jozy and Gyasi are ahead of him right now
2019 06 09 Retrieve
[USMNT vs Venezuela. Coach Gregg Berhalter approaches the match under some pressure after his team turned in a listless display against Jamaica] It was something to learn from. There were some positives. One of the objectives of this first camp was to play an alternate formation. We achieved that. The effort was okay, but we performed poorly tonight.
2019 06 10 Retrieve
[USMNT falls flat in final Gold Cup tuneup] don’t feel like, for 90 minutes, we competed on the level that we needed to compete on. We came up short, and it doesn’t mean that we’re now going to scrap all the plans. We’re always evaluating, and always seeing how effective we can be, and where we need to improve. So we’re going to just continue that process.
We need to get Aaron Long where he needs to be. We need to get him fit. So then the question is do we not play him? Do we not give him this game routine because we’re worried that he can fail the challenge, or do we know where we need to go and because of that he plays? To me it was clear, he needs to play. He needs fitness. Forty-five minutes was enough. He came out injury free, which was very positive, and now we build
[Berhalter isn’t blind to the building cynicism surrounding his team after a pair of home shutout losses] I know what the narrative is going to be, that we have no chance, and we’re going to lose or maybe not even make it out of the first round. That’s fine. We’ll deal with it
[The recent losses have led to a growing chorus of boos among disappointed fans] Of course it’s not ideal, we want to win every game, but we’re not naive enough to think every game is going to be perfect. We’re going to keep going, and we believe in our squad that we’re going to get it right. We know we have the quality, it’s just fine-tuning things. We can’t dwell on (the losses). We have to work on the things we need to improve and get back to the drawing board, because we know we’re a good team and we’re going to get it right
2019 06 13 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter says his side will ‘move on’ without Tyler Adams as the team prepares for the Gold Cup] It’s one of those things that you can’t control. We bring Reggie Cannon into camp and we move on. Obviously, [Adams] is a strong player, he’s a great talent. We’d love to have him, but we don’t.
He has a club to play for as well. That’s something we just had to balance. We were making final decisions and speaking to the player. It’s a risk we knew was there
2019 06 13b Retrieve
[USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the Jamaica friendly on Duane Holmes] Duane performed well. What you see from him is what you saw at Derby County. He has mobility and aggressiveness, but he also has good technical ability in tight spaces. I thought he did well coming off the bench.
I feel like you’ve got to have a bit of bite in your game, especially since Im not a big lad. I’m not scared to get in amongst it and I feel like everyone needs a bit of that in a game. You can’t just walk through a game without putting in a tackle or leaving a bit on someone at times
2019 06 14 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter says he expects his squad to win the Gold Cup] There’s a lot that we can’t control. We can’t control reactions. And I understand fans being upset with losing in a friendly game, I do. We also have expectations on ourselves to get results. So when we’re entering this Gold Cup, we want to win this Gold Cup. That’s what we want to do and that’s what we expect to do.
The other part of it is we just have a process of how we work. We work everyday, we work hard. We try to create an environment that the players love to be in, that we’re creating a strong team culture and a clear identity on the field. And that’s all we can control and we work hard every day to ensure that
2019 06 17 Retrieve
[Berhalter focuses on establishing balance as USMNT head towards Gold Cup] Any successful team needs diversity. Any successful team needs experienced guys, guys in their prime and guys that are developing. Any time you get too heavy in one of those areas I think you’re in trouble
[The kind of team he hopes to build as USMNT coach] It gave me an idea of what you need to be successful, because then I compare it to 2006 and we didn’t have all those elements and I don’t think it was a shock we didn’t perform as well. That’s the thing, it’s not just talent, we were a talented team (in 2002), but it was also the cohesion
I just had honest conversations with guys and said ‘Listen, I think you’re doing great, you have a lot of potential, but you need to be playing’. Find a spot where you can play, find a team that’s going to play you because you need to keep developing. There’s one thing to have potential, and there’s one thing to realize your potential, and those are two very different things
I remember when we were playing in D.C. (with the national team), it must have been in 1999, and (Bruce Arena) brought Landon (Donovan) to a training camp, and Landon was like 16, and we were thinking ‘What the hell is this guy doing?’. And three years later he’s scoring in a World Cup and was one of our best performers. It was important that he came around that time (when he was a teenager) so you could expose him to that
[When asked about that turn of events, Berhalter could only laugh] Welcome to the national team. You always have in mind what the best version of our team can be, and when I talk to all these national team coaches, they say ‘Gregg, listen, you may have this idea, but you’re not going to get it all the time’. That’s part of our business, and we have to have the next man up mentality. Injuries happen, suspensions happen, and we need to be ready
[He has already endured the ups and downs of life as a coach, including being fired from his first job, as manager of Swedish side Hammarby, when he was 39] When I took over in Sweden I had no idea how to coach. I had no idea the things you needed to know to effectively coach a team, and I had to learn, so it was a great time for me. Coaching is difficult It’s not just tactics. There’s a lot of different layers to coaching and all these experiences that i’ve had, particularly in Sweden, really helped me to grow
Have you ever been fired? That’s not a good feeling. I doubt you come out more confident, that’s not the case. But I reflected, and I said ‘Okay, what did I do well, what did I do wrong?’ I actually reached out to a lot of the players and said ‘Hey, what do you think?’. I also said ‘Okay, I need to study more’ and that’s what I did. I went around Europe for six months and I learned. I learned about really having clear principles about how you want to play. To me it’s really important that you have a defined way to play, and a defined way to teach it and you need to have a defined way to train it, and those three things need to be closely linked if you really want to transfer the information to the players
[The 2019 Gold Cup will be the first major test for Berhalter and his system] We want to win the Gold Cup. What are we talking about here? That’s why we’re doing it. When there’s a trophy out there we want to compete to try to win. That is going to be one of the benchmarks of how we’re measuring our success in this tournament, do we win? That said, I also have the long term in mind, and the long term is getting to 2022 and then performing well in 2022
2019 06 19 Retrieve
[Gyasi Zardes delivers another perplexing USMNT performance] It was a great reaction from him, seriously, a really good reaction. You see strikers that can just smell things like that. It’s funny, the two goals that he’s scored so far for us since I’ve been around have been very interesting goals. I talked to him after in the locker room and he said he’ll take it, and I don’t blame him. I’d take that also.
[Jozy Altidore still working his way back to full fitness] Jozy’s a player that is getting up to full speed. I think he’s done a great job this camp. When I talked to Jozy before the Gold Cup and talked to him about some of the expectations for him, he’s exceeded every expectation that we had of him, really working hard, great team guy, and we’re excited to start integrating him
One thing you’re always going to get with Gyasi is the work rate. I thought he worked really hard today
[Zardes is a model teammate] I think people don’t understand the value of having a guy that is a total team player. It’s funny that you mention this because in France they were absolutely killing (Olivier) Giroud and all he did was win the World Cup. He played every game, and did his role and his team won the World Cup. It’s not always you need to have this prolific goal scorer to be the great team, it’s not always that. That is sometimes the answer, but I think when you have a guy that’s a total team player, understands his role, and can score by the way, you can be successful
2019 06 23 Retrieve
[Saturday marked Pulisic’s best national team performance in two years, and easily his best under Berhalter, with the former Dortmund man showing what he can do in Berhalter’s system, which is dominate] What we’re doing is trying to put him in position where he can do exactly that. The structure around him accommodates him being flexible and he can go wide, he can come inside. He can create space for himself. We can use the striker to get him the ball, bouncing it back to him. That’s what we’re trying to do, and the reason we’re trying to do that is because he has these game-changing abilities and you saw that tonight. Very fluid with his movement, dynamic, able to take players on, good ball security. And today was great because the final product was there also, which is always important for attacking players.
[The Americans head into their group finale against Panama on Friday with momentum] What we’re seeing is the team is getting confident, and we’re getting fit and that’s important. I classify today as a good game. We still know there’s a lot we can improve on and we want to keep progressing as this tournament goes
2019 06 24 Retrieve
[Six weeks ago, Aaron Long suffered a hamstring injury that looked like it might put his place in the Concacaf Gold Cup in jeopardy] As he gets more fit, he’s a dynamic player. We rate him highly. We think we have four good center backs in camp, and together with Walker Zimmerman they formed a good pairing in these first games.
2019 06 25 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter facing USMNT rotation decision ahead of group finale] That’s a good question, and to be honest I don’t have experience with that. It’s the first time we’re going through it so we’re going to have to figure it out. We know that the tournament is a lot of games in a short period of time. So there’s going to have to be some balancing. Part of it was getting some guys off today to get them some rest. That’s going to be an interesting problem that we’re going to have to solve.
The guys feel good right now. Part of us analyzing the game against Guyana saying ‘Okay, we need to take another step as a group. We need to keep progressing as a group’. It made more sense to play the same lineup. So we looked at who performed well in their position, who was able to keep their spot. And we found that everyone was able to keep their spot. In this case you know as we go into the Panama game the guys are feeling good right now. For us it’s assessing where everyone is and then making the appropriate decisions
2019 06 26 Retrieve
[Panama vs USMNT. Berhalter played down the significance of overcoming that particular opponent] For us, we advance to the next round. That’s important. Our focus was to prepare for this game knowing that if we’d be able to go to the next round. That was the focus of the group. Trinidad was in our way.
2019 06 30 Retrieve
[Curacao squad that is arguably the toughest team the Americans will have faced so far in the tournament] I don’t ‘think’ (Curacao) could be a dangerous team, they ARE a dangerous team. It’s a good team, a lot of flexible movements offensively. They get into high positions with their fullbacks. The wingers are tucking inside, overloading the middle of the field and they have good players
2019 06 30b Retrieve
[USMNT vs Curacao. If Curacao’s qualification was only sealed at the last gasp, the U.S had the luxury of being able to rotate their entire squad for their last meeting against Panama] The decision to start 11 new players was an easy one to be honest. We believe in the group, we believe in keeping the group together, we believe that everyone can contribute to this team for the team’s success, and we wanted to show that. The guys have been training really well and they deserved this opportunity
: 2019 07 01 Gregg Berhalter is bringing back his original 11 starters for Sunday’s quarterfinal clash against Curacao. Columbus Crew striker Gyasi Zardes has been given the nod over Jozy Altidore for the target striker role
2019 07 01b Retrieve
[Christian Pulisic dons the armband and leads by example in USMNT win against Curacao] He’s a guy that can lead through performance. I talked to him about being captain in this game, and it was something that he readily accepted. You see his work. He’s a guy that - despite getting fatigued in the game - he didn’t stop working, and then he has the quality to give a great pass to Weston, an in-swinging cross. He was in on a number of other chances, shots from the top of the 18, had that other chance in the beginning of the game that was really close to going in, And his defensive work was excellent. Really happy with his performance, and that’s why he was captain, to be able to put in performances like that.
2019 07 03 Retrieve
[Perfect Gold Cup record hiding worrying flaws for USMNT] I think we could have been more efficient with our midfield line, moving closer to our forwards to press more. I think we could have been tighter with our backline, pushing up more. We allowed too much space. We allowed them to play balls into the striker too easily, and that would have made things easier for us in the game.
[Berhalter did credit Curacao’s man-on-man approach for helping to disrupt the U.S. team’s tactical spacing] We became disconnected, and a lot of times in build-up you saw either a 4-1-5, or a 3-1-6, where Michael [Bradley] would either drop on the other side of the attacking line and have only Weston [McKennie] central. Or Michael would be central and we’d have five guys high and that’s just not proper spacing. It becomes very difficult to get any type of offensive flow when that’s what your shape looks like
[Berhalter said of Jamaica] It’s very similar opponent to what we’ve been seeing in terms of some strength, and some speed. Their wingers are high-quality players, I think they have maybe a different gear of speed than we’ve seen in this tournament in particular. That’s why it was good to see them in the beginning of June, to see what that looks like
[Berhalter said of Leon Bailey] I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet. I think he’s got another gear. I’ve seen another gear in Germany. It’s just him getting integrated to the team, him feeling comfortable, him being used the right way
The success of this team will be measured by whether we win this tournament or not. We want to get to the final, we want to win the final. If you asked me a month ago, the answer was still the same
: 2019 07 04 Gregg Berhalter has used the same starting lineup for three of the U.S. national team’s four Gold Cup matches, but the challenge of short rest and a dangerous opponent in Jamaica should lead to at least a modest shake-up in personnel
2019 07 04b Retrieve
[Jamaica vs USMNT. The progress of the U.S. has been unconvincing, typified by their struggle to overcome minnows Curacao in the previous round] We could’ve been more aggressive with that, for sure, and that’s something that I think about. Jamaica has quality. They’ve always had quality, especially in their attacking positions. When you talk about Leon Bailey or Dever Orgill, it’s a talented group of players.
2019 07 07 Retrieve
[Pulisic has registered a team-leading three goals and three assists for the USMNT so far in the Gold Cup] When I think about this month for him it’s been a lot of personal development in terms of him blossoming with his personality within the group, his importance to the team on the field. The skills haven’t changed from a month ago, but in terms of his role, what he’s comfortable with, how he’s embracing his role within the team, and his role on and off the field, I think it’s been really nice to see.
The most important thing we’ve focused on is giving Christian flexibility, putting him in position where he could affect the game in a number of different ways. We wanted to play him central, but also get him wide. When you think about him being central, arriving in the penalty box, the two goals (against Jamaica) were a result of him being in good positions to be able to finish off plays that end up in front of goal
When you think about some of the assists he’s had they’ve come in wide areas, notably against Curacao. With Christian we know he’s a top talent and we want to get him into position to affect the game. We know he can affect the game on an individual level, and he’s shown that so far in the tournament
2019 07 07b Retrieve
[Mexico’s Tata Martino, USMNT’s Gregg Berhalter express mutual respect] I really like him as a coach. I think he 9484afd5836d307b314a404d745a9a68, first of all, a very nice person, a very good person. Also, the way his teams play, he’s very clear, very specific. He gets them to compete, there’s a very certain, specific intensity level that he gets with his teams. I really like the offensive transition that they perform. I really like the defensive pressing that they do. There’s nice interchanging movement on the wings - they get three players on the wings and that really create problems for each opponent. Overall, I have a lot of respect for him. His Atlanta teams really performed well. They had some good talent, and I’m looking forward to the match tomorrow
2019 07 08 Retrieve
[Mexico vs USA. Gregg Berhalter, is fully confident in the ability of his players to exploit what he sees as a potentially vulnerable Mexico side] It’s a good team. Quality players, a good team concept, with a lot of intensity that they play with, and they can hurt teams. Having said that, they’re also vulnerable, and we’ll plan to hurt them as well.
2019 07 08b Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter watched his team attack Mexico’s defense relentlessly in the first half, creating chance after chance, but as those opportunities went unfulfilled] It cost us a lot of energy to play the way that we were playing. We had very quick attacks. You can’t go from your goalkeeper and try to go to their goal 15-20 times a night. You need also to change the rhythm of the game, keep the ball, get them moving side to side, and we didn’t do that
We felt like we had an advantage on them with speed, with quickness, and we definitely showed that in the first half. Again, as we continually try to have quick attacks it will cost energy in the end and Mexico, they stayed calm. Their experience really helped and they were able to keep moving us around and we lost some power
Mexico definitely have an experienced team, but we have a quality team. We believe in a lot of the young players and we think at the end of the day we need to gain experience so a game like this is perfect for us. It was a big occasion, a lot of the player’s first time playing in a game like this and we need to learn. We weren’t ready for the step tonight but we will be ready. I think the guys will learn a lot from this game. There’s a lot of guys playing in their first game like this. For us, the whole month the focus was on making progress and when I look back and evaluate it I think we did make progress. This experience will help us moving forward
2019 07 09 Retrieve
[USA coach Gregg Berhalter on Zack Steffen] Zack Steffen is a talented goalkeeper with great potential and someone who has performed on the biggest stages for the USA youth teams
2019 07 23 Retrieve
[Josh Wolff moved on to join Berhalter’s staff with the Columbus Crew and then with the USMNT] I’m thrilled for both Josh and Austin FC. His continual development as a coach, hard work, and dedication to his craft has certainly earned him this opportunity. His attention to detail and meticulous preparation are qualities that will help him be successful on and off the field. He will be a great asset to Austin FC and their soccer community, and we all wish him the best of luck
2019 08 20 Retrieve
[USMNT to face Cuba in D.C. in first match of CONCACAF Nations League] We are excited to be competing in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League where not only is a championship on the line but we are able to play meaningful games in a competitive format. We have seen how valuable the Nations League has been for Europe, and for this region it’s another important opportunity to raise the level of competition. As a team that represents the United States, there is something incredibly meaningful about playing in the nation’s capital, and we aim to produce not only a good result but a good performance
2019 07 25 Retrieve
[USMNT confirms September friendly date against Uruguay] We look forward to this challenge against an excellent Uruguayan team. They possess a mixture of top-level offensive difference makers and experienced defenders that have competed on the world stage for years. Part of the development of our team is being able to consistently compete against teams with the profile of Uruguay.
2019 08 28 Retrieve
[Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent and John Brooks headline USMNT’s 26-man squad to face Mexico and Uruguay in upcoming friendlies] Along the lines of progress, the starting point for the roster is we’re able to maintain a core group of main players from the Gold Cup and continue building. We are also bringing some new players into the fold that we feel have the potential to make an impact with this team
2019 08 29 Retrieve
[Where to play Christian Pulisic? Latest USMNT roster gives Chelsea star the chance to shine out wide] I think he’s done a good job. Moving to Chelsea is a big, big opportunity but also a big responsibility, and when I see his contributions so far, they’ve been good. I think it’s a good platform to keep building, as he gets more comfortable in the league and as he gets more comfortable with the team, I think we’re going to see very good things from Christian
2019 08 30 Retrieve
[Berhalter did opt to take other players with matches during that break with LAFC’s Walker Zimmerman, LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget, NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Seattle Sounders duo Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan all joining the squad] We’re in a very difficult position because we’re only allowed to play certain times of the year. One thing I’ve been a little bit disappointed in is the MLS teams opting to play in FIFA windows. It’s infringing on the time we have with players. I understand their situation in not wanting to play mid-week games during the year, but it also puts us in a difficult spot, where we have to make some of those [decisions] that are difficult for both the player and the club. Having worked in MLS, we try to be somewhat accommodating and try to work with the clubs, but sometimes there’s not perfect solutions and sometimes we just have to say, that’s just the way it is
2019 09 03 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter says that Timothy Weah recently suffered a very bad hamstring tear that kept him out of the current camp] Weah has a very bad hamstring tear. He’s getting rehab on that now. We would’ve given him a look in this camp. He’s playing for Lille, doing a good job
Miazga has the same thing [as Weah but] not as severe. Adams is getting back in, Yedlin is getting back into training. So four players that would normally be at least looking to be involved
[Berhalter will miss out on those four players in the upcoming friendlies but will hope to have them back for October’s Nations League kickoff with the U.S. set to face Canada and Cuba to start the new tournament] I’m not worried about that right now. I’m worried about this window
2019 09 05 Retrieve
[Berhalter concedes Mexico ‘slightly ahead’ of USMNT ahead of friendly rematch] I think that we’re both in a position where we’re battling for supremacy in Concacaf. We’re both trying to be the top team. I think right now Mexico is slightly ahead of us, having beaten us in the last game and performed well in the last few years. But when we play them, you see the intensity takes a different level. Everything is up a level. The tempo of the game is up, tackles are a little harder. These are special games. It’s always an occasion to be playing against Mexico - even if it’s a friendly game or a Gold Cup game or qualifying game or World Cup game
[Berhalter is looking forward to the opportunity to face the same opponent twice in a row, anxious to see how his adjustments will pay off] That’s the beauty of playing them in the next game. You get to make adjustments. You get to look at what you want to learn, how you want to learn, change things a little bit, how the team is going to react. For us it’s good. What we’re trying to do is just gather information on Mexico, gather information on what we can do to off-balance them. These are fun games. When you get to play them back-to-back, we’re obviously going to alter things and see what affect it can have
2019 09 06 Retrieve
[It’s been two months, almost to the day, since the U.S. national team and Mexico met at Soldier Field with the Gold Cup title on the line] I think that we’re both in a position where we’re battling for supremacy in CONCACAF. We’re both trying to be the top team. I think right now Mexico is slightly ahead of us, having beaten us in the last game and performed well in the last few years
2019 09 07 Retrieve
[USA vs Mexico. Berhalter is agreed that the opportunity to face their rivals is one not to be missed] In the next game, you get to make adjustments. You get to look at what you want to work on, how you want to work, and change things a little bit and how the team is how is going to react. For us, it’s good. What we’re trying to do is gather information on Mexico, gather information on how to hurt them, what we can to do off-balance them. These are fun games. When you get to playing back to back, we’re obviously going to alter a couple things [from the final] and see what effect it will have.
2019 09 07b Retrieve
[USMNT given reality check in humbling defeat against Mexico] From my perspective, and you guys may think I’m crazy, but I’m happier about this game than the Gold Cup final because in the Gold Cup final I felt like all we did was play the ball long, and that was our only solution. And now at least we tried to play the way we’re envisioning. I think, when I look at the game, it’s 3-0. To me, that’s not a fair reflection of the numbers
2019 09 10 Retrieve
[USA vs Uruguay. Despite the loss, head coach Gregg Berhalter was unmoved by criticism of his desire to see the team playing a passing game from front to back] First of all, I wouldn’t get caught up on playing from behind. We want to be able to break lines, we want to open up and disorganize the opponent. It was a huge emphasis against Mexico in that game to show the guys they can do that, be brave against a high-pressing team and you can succeed. In terms of international soccer, it’s really a young group. You’re talking about a number of young players that could easily be the core of this team for eight years. They are intelligent players, technically good players, and we’re going to develop and we’re going to keep developing
2019 09 20 Retrieve
[USMNT confirm Orlando’s Exploria Stadium as location of Concacaf Nations League clash with Canada] Winning at home is critical in these tournaments, so finding a home-field advantage is important. When you talk about great environments, the atmosphere in this stadium is one of the best in the country. Like we’ve seen in previous visits, the fans in Orlando are there when you need them and we look forward to their support
2019 10 02 Retrieve
[Christian Pulisic and DeAndre Yedlin headline the U.S. men’s national team roster for the upcoming Nations League matches] This is competitive soccer. Anytime there is a trophy on the line is exciting, and in the inaugural Nations League we want to put ourselves in a position to win the tournament. One thing that’s important is we continue to bring some of the younger guys along, integrate some new players into camp, but also have a familiar base. Most of the guys have been in camp before, understand how we want to play, and we think that continuity will help in our performance
2019 10 02b Retrieve
[USMNT core becoming clear as latest squad features more of the same] Entering this competitive phase, one thing that’s important is we continue some of the younger guys along, integrate some new players into camp, but also have a familiar base. Most of the guys have been in camp before, understand how we want to play, and we think that continuity will help in our performance
I think it’s very important to have veterans in the team; for them to share the heritage of what it means to be a United States men’s national team player
2019 10 10 Retrieve
[With discontent on the rise, USMNT embarks on Nations League journey] Anytime we play we want to compete for results, that’s our goal. Along the way we have some tactical objectives that we want to accomplish. The Mexico game in New York, it was very important for us to try and play through a high press. You don’t get those opportunities very often and this was a good learning experience for our group
[It’s unclear if the USMNT has really made progress since that fateful night in Couva but should they fail to top their three-team Nations League group, it would appear increasingly likely that they have actually gone backwards] We want to be playing in the semifinal and eventually the final of the Nations League. So it’s important for us to win the group
2019 10 11 Retrieve
[The U.S. will head into the game as favorites against Cuba, and a victory for Berhalter will come as immense relief as he began his reign as head coach to a less-than-dream start] Josh Sargent will start the game tomorrow so he has a great opportunity. It will be nice to see how he can perform tomorrow in the context of the team performance.
It’s important to mix in friendlies against high caliber opponents but it’s also important for us to play our part in Concacaf and understand that this is a competition. It’s an opportunity for us to go out on the road and compete. And there’s a trophy up for grabs. In general, I think this is good preparation for World Cup qualifying. And good experience for the group at this stage of its development. For us, it’s important in a way that we get to compete against Concacaf teams. We get to play away games. We get to prepare our group for the rhythm of what World Cup qualifying looks like. For us, these games are important
2019 10 12b Retrieve
[USMNT demolishes overmatched Cuba, but bigger challenges lie ahead] From the start of the game you see the focus in the players, the intensity in the players and it was good to see. I think we maintained that focus and intensity for the entire first half. Overall I think it was a worthwhile game for us to continue to grow
[Berhalter said of the game in Toronto] These are the games that are going to help our team grow. We’re really looking forward to a game like this because we’re going to learn a lot about our group. It’s going to be a difficult environment to play in and it’s going to be a very motivated opponent. Everything lines up for us to really test ourselves against Canada
2019 10 22 Retrieve
[USMNT vs Netherlands: Ajax teen Sergino Dest caught in an international tug-of-war] We’ve had a number of conversations with Sergino, and we’re going to leave the content of those conversations private. They were positive talks and we’re going to leave it at that
2019 10 25 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter says Christian Pulisic fits perfectly into new-look Chelsea] There’s a lot of pressure that he’s under. He’s at a big club. What I really like about where he is right now is that there’s a lot of young players. There’s a manager who is a manager who is used to working with young players, has that philosophy who wants to build this club with this group of talent, and he fits perfectly into that mould. I think Frank Lampard has been trying to say: ‘the outside stuff is not real, it’s really not’ - when you analyse the transfer fee, when you analyse who he’s replacing, when you analyse he’s the only guy they bought. That’s not real. What’s real is this kid is in the Premier League, trying to make his name, trying to perform. That’s the only thing that counts
[Berhalter believes that should offer encouragement to Pulisic] Let’s not forget that he’s not the only player in the world who has had a challenge adapting at the beginning of a move. Look at Griezmann in Barcelona, Hazard in Real Madrid. These are top, top players. Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea, of course. The list goes on and on. Because he was the only transfer this year, a lot of attention is placed on him
2019 11 01 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter has called in 20 MLS-based players for a U.S. men’s national team pre-camp gathering ahead of November’s Nations League matches against Canada and Cuba] We have the opportunity to take advantage of the MLS post-season window to start preparations for the matches against Canada and Cuba. It’s another week to keep progressing as a group as we focus on getting the results we need to advance to the knockout phase of the Nations League
2019 11 11 Retrieve
[Berhalter will be missing at least three key players in Pulisic, Bradley and Zack Steffen, the latter of which pulled out due to a knee injury] Christian Pulisic is officially at this stage ruled out. We just got that information. This was a collaborative decision with the club, looking after the best interest of the player. These decisions are always difficult because this group and the coaching staff want nothing more than to have Christian here, but it was a risk we weren’t willing to take at this time
[While the U.S. did suffer that 2-0 defeat to the Canadians, a 7-0 win over Cuba in their opening fixture does provide a little bit of hope ahead of the group finale against the Cubans on November 19 in the Cayman Islands] Advancing to the knockout phase is our priority, and that starts by getting a win against Canada. We will be ready to play, the team is looking forward to competing in front of our fans. Orlando has been a great venue for the National Team, and the support of our fans makes a big difference
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that Christian Pulisic has been ruled out of his plans with a hip injury] Christian is officially at this stage ruled out. We just got that information. This was a collaborative decision with the club - looking after the best interest of the player
2019 11 13 Retrieve
[Berhalter said of Christian Pulisic’s absence] This was a collaborative decision with the club, looking after the best interest of the player. These decisions are always difficult because this group and the coaching staff, we want nothing more than to have Christian here, but it’s a risk that we weren’t willing to take at this time
[When asked about where goals will come from in the winger’s absence] That’s a good question. We’re going to have to get creative to find that creativity. It’s about putting the right personnel on the field to capitalize on some of the weaknesses we see against Canada. We’ll use this week to determine that, but we certainly want to be aggressive in that game and we want to score some goals
2019 11 14 Retrieve
[USMNT looking to rediscover intensity and send a message in Canada rematch] Canada hadn’t beat us in 34 years and was playing like it. And for us to be successful in away matches, we need to match the intensity of our opponents and that’s been a consistent message in this camp. You would think that it would go without saying that we know that, right? That’s the logical thing to think, but when you think of seven players playing in their first away game, when you think about a coaching staff coaching in their first away game together, in a competitive Concacaf match, these are the things that go along with it. The message was received loud and clear
[Changing that perception starts on Friday. If the U.S. fails to secure all three points, Canada will move on in the Nations League] We’re embracing it because that is our situation. When you look at the history of U.S. Soccer, we’ve been in games like this before. In the pre-Hex groups, we’ve been in must-win situations. In the Hex round, we’ve been in must-win situations. This is what builds the team and makes the team strong. We need matches like this. We talked about the benefit of the Nations League before and I feel it’s absolutely good for us to be able to play in these type of matches
2019 11 16 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter on Sergino Dest] Sergino Dest is a gamer. He’s the type of kid that shows up in a game when the bright lights are on. He has no problem performing and we haven’t really seen much like that from a player, the ability to just step up and perform like that. We’re really happy that he committed to us and you can see his overall display today how calm and smart he is in some situations. It’s really going to help our program moving forward
2019 11 19 Retrieve
[Americans accomplished all that without three of their best players, missing forward Christian Pulisic, midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Zack Steffen to injury] One thing I said to the team after the game is you have nights where you play absolutely brilliant, and everything works and you’re executing everything, you’re scoring goals. And then you have days that you don’t play great and things aren’t working and it’s not as fluid as it is normally. In all those cases you need to show the type of effort and type of tenacity that the group showed today
There was some real big criticism on the group. You know, it was a perceived lack of effort, a lack of heart. You couldn’t mention that today. The way the guys were fighting for each other, the way they had their back, the amount of effort that was put in. To me the difference was we were ready to overcome anything
2019 12 30 Retrieve
[Llanez, Pomykal, Morris headline USMNT squad for January camp] At the start of an exciting year, this is a great opportunity to continue our process and build on the foundation established in the last 12 months. At the same, there are a number of players getting their first exposure to the senior national team who will be provided the platform to make a positive impression. We appreciate all the support and cooperation from MLS and the clubs that released their players and gave us a chance to get a head start on the challenges ahead
2020 01 31 Retrieve
[Concacaf’s qualifiers begin in September, and there’s still a lot of work to be done before the U.S. tries to erase the memory of 2018] It’s a good opportunity to see how the guys have progressed int his month. The guys have been off for a while so first getting them in and getting them up to an acceptable fitness level and to work on some concepts that we’re looking to integrate this year is going to be very important.
For us, it’s about gathering information. We talked about the theme of this camp being ‘stake your claim’ or ‘seize your moment’. Everyone has a different situation, somewhat to make the Olympic qualifying group, some want to be starters in that group, some want to be starters on the full national team, some want to be involved with the full national team. Everyone has a different way that they’re looking at this, but collectively, can we perform well as a group? Individually, can guys make a case for their involvement going forward?
It’s a strong age group that we have right now. It would be nice to put these guys in position to compete in the Olympics. We’re not going to be able to pull from all of the players in this qualifying tournament, but nonetheless it’s still an opportunity for guys to step up and be battle-tested in a Concacaf qualifying format and learn from it. When you think about what we have in store for us this year, we’re going to be going through 60 percent of our qualifying games for the World Cup. It’s a good testing ground for that
It’s a good opportunity to see how the guys have progressed in this month. The guys have been off for a while so first getting them in and getting them up to an acceptable fitness level and to work on some concepts that we’re looking to integrate this year is going to be very important. Tomorrow we’re looking for execution. There are a couple of key topics that we want to execute tomorrow and it will be interesting to see against a good opponent if we can do that. We’re going to be measuring a couple of key things tomorrow
2020 02 01 Retrieve
[Ulysses Llanez scores in debut as U.S. men defeat Costa Rica in exhibition in Carson] We were training for four weeks now and we knew the age of our guys, we knew the capabilities of our guys. And it was nice to see them grow throughout the month. We were very comfortable that they would be able to perform today
2020 02 26 Retrieve
[Gio Reyna has seized that opportunity, scoring a goal in the DFB-Pokal while emerging as one of Dortmund’s go-to supersubs] They’re using him in a way where you know they’re not asking him to take full responsibility. He doesn’t have to carry a team. He’s playing a role, and he’s executing his role. What I really liked from him? His position when he gets the ball in the pocket, his awareness to turn and his efficiency and when he’s turning is excellent. He doesn’t waste any touches turning, he turns right away.
Second thing is his ball security under pressure is phenomenal. And, you know, there’s a play against PSG where I mentioned he got the ball on the sideline. And [Thomas] Meunier, and I forgot who the other player was try to close him down, and he just turns and gets out of pressure.
He just did it with so much awareness, that it was really impressive. So it’s been nice to see how they’ve been utilizing them. It’s nice to see their group, you know where they have [Erling] Haaland now is that tearing it up and it’s really good to see them embracing younger players, and giving younger players an opportunity
I think I can see him playing as a winger. I can see him playing as potentially a number 10 in a 4-3-3. He can play in a number of different positions. I like him being able to affect the game on the offensive side, similar to Christian Pulisic. They’ve been using on him on the left, (but) he can also play on the right, so I think he gives you flexibility
[Berhalter says that Gio Reyna would not have been released to join that group] We talked about this a number of times about this throughout the course of last year and saying we want our younger players performing playing at a high level, and he’s doing that. And as a result of him doing that he gets an opportunity with the first team
It was a collaborative process together with Jason. Jason’s taking the lead on who he prioritizes in each position, and then us deferring in some cases. Normally we’d love to have Reggie [Cannon] and Jackson Yueill come to Europe and play with us, but it was a priority of Jason to use them. And, we’re doing everything we can to support him and his group to qualify. It’s challenging, the qualifying process, with 17 players on the roster plus three goalies and there’s a lot of games in a short period of time. But we’re going to do everything we can to get to the Olympics
2020 02 27 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter also has an optimistic view of the future of MLS league] I see in the 25 years, the whole world watching our game on television. The production quality that we can produce in America, we’re going to be the leader in soccer
2020 03 26 Retrieve
[Gregg Berhalter said following that Costa Rica game on Ulysses Llanez] It’s typical he took the penalty because that’s what type of player he is. He plays with confidence. Even at the beginning of the game, he didn’t see nerves, he was going at guys one v one, he’s getting into good spaces, he’s running behind the line. His defensive work was strong as well
2020 04 20 Retrieve
[USMNT coach Berhalter sees improvement in Christian Pulisic] When Christian was moving from Dortmund to Chelsea we knew there was going to be an adaptation period. The Premier League is an extremely fast and physical league, and we knew time would be needed for him to get up to speed. What I really like about how his season unfolded, particularly in the beginning, is that he had to endure adversity to overcome struggle. He had to get used to the English game. It took time, and as he did that he came out performing really well, helping the team and scoring goals and being influential. All these things we projected him being able to do took an understandable time period. When you go into the injury period he had, it’s unfortunate because he was in such good form. The next part of it was him dealing with a serious injury. He was in a lot of pain. It was a difficult injury to come back from quickly although I know the fans wanted him back
[Berhalter added on where Pulisic has taken his game to even greater heights] The thing he’s really improved on that I’ve seen this year is his finishing ability. He’s done a great job of that, and it’s something the high-level players, when you look at the top players in the world, they’re able to score a big number of goals because they have that finishing quality
Some of his best actions for Chelsea have been when he’s central, playing the ball behind the line, combining and making things happen in a central position, but having moved inside from the wing. Both Chelsea and us want him affecting the game, in a position where he can hurt the opponent. Sometimes it’s going to be wide, sometimes that’s going to be central. It’s a different Chelsea than we’re used to seeing. It’s interesting what they’re doing and that they’re still able to get results. They’ve done a great job of that with a young team. They have an athletic team with exciting players in key positions, and to me it’s been fun to watch. Christian has the quality that he can adapt with a more experienced team as well, but there’s a lot of room for these players to grow and he’s in a good spot
2020 05 15 Retrieve
[How the Bundesliga became USMNT players’ league of choice] The Bundesliga is a top league in the world, so that’s taken into consideration when you consider a player’s performance. For us to be a top team in the world, we need players performing in top leagues in the world, so that’s one of the issues we’re faced with. This is a high-level program and if you can perform here, that means you’re a high-level player
2020 05 25 Retrieve
[USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter on Llanez’s penalty on debut] It’s typical he took the penalty because that’s what type of player he is. He plays with confidence. Even at the beginning of the game, he didn’t see nerves, he was going at guys one v one, he’s getting into good spaces, he’s running behind the line. His defensive work was strong as well
2020 05 29 Retrieve
[Josh Sargent’s struggles at Werder Bremen a major concern for USMNT] With Josh, in particular, I see [his issues] as partly down to how the team functions. They haven’t been creating a lot of chances, and that’s difficult for a striker. For him, it’s a case of hanging in there, continuing to do the things that got him to that level. It’s about continuing to think about his movement off the ball, how he’s moving in the penalty box, and when he gets opportunities, making the most of them
After 25 minutes, I could see Josh suddenly closing down the central defender at pace because he wants to put pressure on. This means that the eight has to step out, then the six steps out, and [Hertha winger Matheus] Cunha comes into the danger area in behind. Sometimes we do not do things that are clearly discussed and that work well as a solution. And that drives me crazy. Why do you move away from the plan? So, Josh has to learn that to focus on completing the little things