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Berhalter: USMNT lacked ‘some composure’ that Mexico ‘certainly had’

Gregg Berhalter

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter, right, talks to his team during the second half of the CONCACAF Gold Cup final soccer match against Mexico in Chicago, Sunday, July 7, 2019. Mexico won 1-0. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Gregg Berhalter’s United States men’s national team showed plenty of progress over the 2019 Gold Cup, but ultimately fell short in a 1-0 final loss to rivals Mexico on Monday.

“What we lacked was some of the calmness, some of the composure,” Berhalter said. “We knew it was going to be a big event and a semi-hostile crowd. The calmness is what we lacked. Mexico certainly had it, and they played particularly well in the second half.”

The Yanks failed in their bid to match Mexico on seven Gold Cup trophies, and a lot of the social media sphere was focused on Berhalter’s uninspiring substitutions of Cristian Roldan, Gyasi Zardes, and Daniel Lovitz.

[ WWC: Three things we learned: USWNT v. Netherlands | Player ratings ]

Berhalter is proving quite adept at explaining his moves in a sensible, rational way (even if we doubt they will sway too many people that the approach was a good one).

“It became a very vertical game and it opened up a lot of space. We needed to avoid that by being able to keep the ball, move the ball side-to-side, get them moving more horizontally than vertically. We were rushing attacks in the second half, much too direct, and it cost us energy. We didn’t give up many good chances.

“When we brought on Cristian, the idea was the help us keep possession. We had a difficult time in the center of the field tonight and we thought he was going to give us help. With Gyasi, it was just a case of fresh legs. Jozy put in a good shift. In Daniel’s case, now we wanted width. We wanted to move our wingers inside and get our crosses into the penalty box. We were willing to risk more.”

CONCACAF posted the full post-match interview:

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