United States Gold Cup win – what does it mean for Gregg Berhalter?
Consecutive wins over Mexico, both in cup finals no less, are legitimate signs of progress for the United States national team under head coach Gregg Berhalter. But could the success and ensuing hype be a bad thing for the Americans? And what is the fallout for Gregg Berhalter and his squad?
It is a point worth exploring for the United States, fresh off a 1-0 extra time win over Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on Sunday night. With World Cup qualifying looming this fall, there is the concern that the United States might buy into their own hype.
And with the memories Couva fresh in everyone’s mind, any lackadaisical mentality from the United States could be disastrous for the national team. There was also the validation factor that back-to-back wins over El Tri – especially in cup finals – brings for Berhalter and his rebuilding effort.
It is a point that Charlie Davies made on Tuesday when he co-hosted on ‘Counter Attack’ on Sirius XM. Davies and Brian Dunseth discussed at length the impact of the Gold Cup had on the national team just weeks before World Cup qualifying kicks off.
“You need to have, I guess validation, because everyone knew Gregg Berhalter who didn’t have any experience coaching, a national team and a lot of people might say he didn’t have the requirements to coach internationally.
“Yet, he came in, he brought the squad together you throw in COVID, you throw in the lack of opportunities to get this group together and it’s a young, inexperienced group on top of it, and you go out you beat the top dogs of CONCACAF in Nations League Final. And then you go out and you stun them because of that Nations League final – you also have, I think, this added pressure on Tata Martino to bring the A-team again to Gold Cup, because they failed to secure that trophy.”
Davies is a former United States international.
‘Counter Attack’ features a rotating set of hosts who discuss American soccer including MLS, the national teams as well as the international game. The Sirius XM show, which airs weekday afternoons, is produced by Andrew Williams (not the former Jamaican international).
What Gregg Berhalter gained from the Gold Cup
Davies was also pragmatic enough to say that the United States didn’t bring their full roster to this tournament and that many of the starters and contributors on Sunday night may not necessarily start come qualifying for Gregg Berhalter.
But, he says it is valuable for the national team given the grind that is World Cup qualifying where injuries and suspension as well as fatigue can play a cruel role in determining results.
“But now you have given this group, not only you brought them together but you’ve given them that experience needed to compete in World Cup qualifying, so because sometimes you’re not gonna be able to get hold of those players, maybe there’s injuries, suspensions, you know, you can count on this next group of players, and so it just makes them I think, overall, that much more compelling,” Davies said.
“There are obviously going to be players in this current B/C group that are going to make a move to Europe, and you’ve kind of, you feel really good for Gregg Berhalter, because you have depth, you have experience, And it’s a young group so you’re building into it and you’re just getting started. So me coming from my standpoint, my view as a former player, a huge fan of this team…I am completely confident that they’re on the right path, and they understand that they haven’t done anything yet, it’s good to have this foundation and have these memories because that’s something you can rely on as you move forward, but man, what a what a squad.”