Berhalter return to USMNT: Here’s what to watch for

Manager Greg Berhalter and midfielderYunus Musah 2022 World Cup: berhalter set to make USMNT return
Stefan Matzke Getty Images

It has been quite an interesting couple of months following the 2022 World Cup for the United States Men’s National Team(USMNT). After an extended manager search, the USMNT has decided for Greg a Berhalter return. On Dec. 31 2022 Greg Berhalter’s contract with the team expired and was not renewed due to physical abuse accusations from 1992. These accusations were due to an incident where he kicked his then-girlfriend and now wife. The couple had already handled and moved on from this incident but Claudio Reyna, father of current USMNT midfielder Gio Reyna, witnessed the event in 1992 and made it public due to Berhalter not playing his son enough in the World Cup.

Why Berhalter is a good option

Since taking on the manager role in 2018, Berhalter has become one of the most successful coaches in USMNT history. Under Berhalter, the team had 37 wins, 11 losses, and 12 draws. The team had a solid performance in the 2022 World Cup exiting in the round of 16 a talented Dutch team. Among the World Cup performance Berhalter has led the team to numerous trophies with the Gold Cup and Nations league being a couple of them. Berhalter has built a strong culture among the USMNT and seems to be backed by his players. Captain Christian Pulisic was in support of the manager even during the time the allegations came out. With the USMNT not even qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, it is safe to say Berhalter has helped create a big turnaround. Berhalter has shown he can be successful and hopefully can continue that in the future.

Why Berhalter might not be the answer

Many USMNT fans have issues with Berhalter’s play style. Berhalter often chooses to lean on “his favorites” and not necessarily his most talented players. This is shown as he relied so heavily on Walker Zimmerman in the World Cup even with his 33% passing percentage against Iran. More reliable options such as Cameron Carter-Vickers, a very reliable defender for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. This can be a problem. Many fans see the Berhalter return as an avenue for mediocrity. Berhalter’s team seems to have an overly defensive play style and has not effectively learned how to use his forwards. Hopefully, Berhalter can set a strong attack with the new addition of forward Folarin Balogun. Berhalter needs to mend his relationship with Gio Reyna in order to put the best 11 on the field.

It will definitely be an interesting summer for the USMNT.

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