It has been a tough few years for the USMNT. But 2020 is set to be a bright and encouraging year. Here are three reasons to be excited about the year ahead.
The United States Men’s National Team has had a rough past few years. The USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2017, which led to two coaches being fired in that time span, the federation then took almost a full year to find a new manager, which meant they played nearly all of their games with an interim coach, and then when they did make a hiring, it was a disappointing one.
They settled for Gregg Berhalter, who was coaching in Major League Soccer with the Columbus Crew and was coincidentally the brother of a high-ranking official in the federation. Berhalter struggled in his first year at the helm and the team suffered plenty of growing pains. They lost to Mexico twice in the summer, which showed how far the gap now is between the two nations, and also historically fell to Canada later in the year.
However, all that considered is now in the past, and there are plenty of reasons for USMNT fans to be excited for 2020. Here are the top three.
3. Learning the system
As mentioned earlier, the US had a tough time adapting to life under Gregg Berhalter. He tried to drastically change how the team played, but it was too much too soon at the beginning. The players couldn’t figure out their role in the system, which left holes all over the pitch.
However, as time has gone on, the team has adjusted. It is still far from perfect, of course, but fans can now see some of Berhalter’s tactics taking effect. For instance, his convoluted right-back-that-also-plays-central-midfield may not make much sense on paper, but it somehow works on occasion.
This year could be the year when everything clicks. Berhalter was given somewhat of a free pass earlier on due to supporters trusting the process, but now it’s time for his team to deliver results. Playing pretty soccer doesn’t matter if the USMNT aren’t winning games, and they really need to start getting the job done out on the field. The future has to be now for Berhalter. His system can’t afford to fail after all this time.