Greg Berhalter Should be Fired

USMNT Coach Greg Berhalter
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Every competitive footballing country in the world disposes of poor management. The United States Men’s National Team would like to think of themselves as part of that group. We cannot be a nation that is willing to accept just qualifying for the World Cup. With roughly a month left until the World Cup, a decision must be made. This decision must be to fire Greg Berhalter.

Since 2018 the USMNT has done a lot of winning under Berhalter going 36-10-9 in fifty-five matches. This is good for the highest result percentage in USMNT history. They have also won two trophies, the gold cup, and the nations league. But they are winless in their last three matches. Offensive performances against Japan and Saudi Arabia have their poor run of form ill-timed. Those are not gimme wins, but they are opponents that we should compete much better with. He has proven that he knows how to win in CONCACAF. This should be the bare minimum to coach the USMNT. He has not demonstrated that he can make the appropriate adjustments against equal and greater opposition.

Berhalter is a fan of the beautiful game. He wants the US to try and match traditional powers with a taste of their own medicine. A free-flowing, pass-and-move style of champagne football. This works at the club level where you can execute an intricate system and drill it. This requires time, which is not as available for National teams. Instead of choosing the best players available Berhalter has limited his team selection to players that he feels fit his system and not the best USMNT players. Leaving out inform Union Berlin star Jordan Pefok is puzzling at best with his side top of the Bundesliga. Not choosing defensive stalwart John Brooks has been ridiculous.

The US’s most significant attribute has always been our physicality. We have always had bigger, faster, and stronger footballers albeit less skilled ones. If you look at our greatest successes at the World Cup our physicality shone through. Whether it was Bruce Arena in 2002, deploying the speedy Demarcus Beasley on the flank. Or in 2004, Jurgen Klinsmann unleashed Jermain Jones down the center. Both managers understood the US player’s strengths.

These coaching decisions translated to a quarter-final and a round of sixteen appearances respectfully. As much as we dream of playing “Tiki Taka” like Spain or ultra-disciplined like Germany, we cannot. Not yet at least. We are still at our best parking the bus, counter-attacking, and letting our world-class athletes shine. We need a new manager that understands and implement our strengths. The verdict is clear: Greg Berhalter Should be Fired.

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