Overall Performance under Gregg Berhalter 11-5-2

Wins (11)

Panama (3-0)
Costa Rica (2-0)
Ecuador (1-0)

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019
Guyana (4-0)
T&T (6-0)
Curaçao (1-0)

CONCACAF Nations League
Cuba (7-0)
Canada (4-1)
Cuba (4-0)

Ties (2)

Chile (1-1)
Uruguay (1-1)

Losses (5)

Jamaica (0-1)
Venezuela (0-3)
Mexico (0-3)

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019
Panama (0-1)
Mexico (0-1)

CONCACAF Nations League
Canada (0-2)

Key Moments

Highlights of USMNT in 2020

  • Sergiño Dest chooses USMNT
  • Made Final of CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Made Semi-Final of CONCACAF Nations League
  • 25 successful minutes of a single game utilizing Berhalter’s system
  • Berhalter fastest to 10 wins as USMNT coach

The most important moment by far for the USMNT was when Sergiño Dest committed to playing for the crest over his country of birth and where he currently resides and plays in Holland. This sent shock waves of hope for US fans and added another Champions League level player with international interest.

The USMNT does not choose who their opponents are or at what level those teams are performing, but it was a noticeably pathetic path to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final and yet they still struggled against the likes of Curaçao to arrive there. It was not a convincing performance and they were out-possessed in the game. Possession being a core feature of Berhalter’s system it was a noticeable misstep.

The national team was defeated by Mexico in the final, showing early signs of life and threat, but solved within 30 minutes and the US struggled mightily to get the ball out of the back and respond to Mexico’s press. Earnie Stewart identified the first 25 minutes of this game as proof of progress for Berhalter’s system, but his inability to adapt in game to the chess match has to leave questions in the mind of leadership and fans watching.

They won 10 games faster than any team under a new manager historically, but also had one of the lightest schedules in that group’s history. Again Berhalter didn’t choose his opponents necessarily, but context is important.

USMNT were required to win their final game of the year against Cuba and did so in convincing fashion, 4-0 as expected. While this is taking care of business, it was definitely down to the wire and a must win game for the team against a weak field.

Low lights of USMNT in 2020

  • Two losses to Mexico
  • Loss to Canada
  • 0 wins against competitive CONCACAF team in a meaningful game
  • 25 successful minutes of a single game utilizing Berhalther’s system
  • Were unable to win a meaningful game utilizing Berhalter’s system
  • Benching Pulisic 60 minutes into a critical loss to Canada
  • Poor minutes from several players who were continually rewarded with call ups and minutes
  • Many missed opportunities to test young talent and cap tie prospective highly talented USMNT talent

Berhalter’s team was building his system throughout the CONCACAF Gold Cup with mixed eye-test results, but wins on the score sheet. And while through 20-25 minutes of the game the US looked like it belonged, they could not finish and hit a wall against Mexico. As the game wore on it became obvious that Mexico had solved the system and continued to pore pressure on the US’s attempts to build out of the back. Pulisic rarely saw the ball in the second half and possession dropped dramatically for a system that is possession dependent. When the final whistle blew, the better team left with an important win against their rivals to the north. They added insult to injury a few months later with a 3-0 win to follow it up.

A draw against a docile Uruguayan team and a crushing win against Cuba sparked a little interest from fans, but few expected the disaster that was soon to occur. The national team tried to push their system against lowly Canada and were defeated 2-0 in their first loss against the neighbors in 34 years. That following year the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup. The personnel on the field, the execution and tactics both sub selections and on field destroyed the team’s psyche. An obviously distraught Pulisic was subbed off in the 60th minute and the team did little to get back in the game. They looked lost and dejected.

Following the Canada defeat deserved calls for Berhalter’s job if he were to lose to Canada again in the rematch. Few fans showed up to the game and many were calling for Berhalter and his older brother Jay’s jobs regardless of the result. American Outlaws and other groups pushed for accountability.

Call ups and line ups were questioned, his system had seemed to be a failure and far too complex for the international process and lack of in game strategy and tactics including bizarre substitutions were all pointed at. Additionally, the overwhelming club success of players when not with the national team like Christian Pulisic’s hat trick in the Premier League, Premier League goals from Yedlin and others drew into question whether players wanted to and were giving their best minutes in Berhalter’s system.

In response to the pressure, Gregg abandoned his system and changed his roster and style and was able to manage defeats against Canada and away at Cuba. The ending to year wasn’t a completely quiet as soccer media awarded grades that at their highest were “C’s. Many fans hold grave concern over an important year in 2020 with World Cup qualifying being 60% complete in the next 12 months.

  • Will Berhalter continue to force his system?
  • Will he continue to push his roster selections and heavy poor performing MLS players on to the field?
  • Will the addition of a healthy Tyler Adams be enough to move us forward?

Only 2020 will tell us.