Berhalter, the team’s Sporting Director and General Manager said he felt it would have been better to bring in a younger player. The club ultimately decided not to do so because of their current financial situation.
Following a 1-0 loss to Panama in World Cup qualification, United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter accepted full responsibility for his lineup selections.
Berhalter made seven changes from Thursday’s 2-0 victory over Jamaica at home, leaving a squad that already without Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, and Weston McKennie without Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams in the first half. Furthermore, Antonee Robinson stayed in the United States because to British COVID limitations, which would have affected him if he had returned to the United Kingdom.
Turner, Walker Zimmerman, Yunus Musah, and Paul Arriola joined four holdovers: Gyasi Zardes, Kellyn Acosta, Sebastian Lletget, Tim Weah, Shaq Moore, Mark McKenzie, and George Bello.
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Berhalter considered which players he wanted to be fresh for the qualifier against Costa Rica on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio, the third of seven games played under a new schedule due to the epidemic.
After Anibal Godoy scored the game-winning goal in the 54th minute, Berhalter was questioned about his starting lineup.
“Now it doesn’t seem to be the greatest option,” he added. “We are aware that we will be playing in severe heat and humidity, that we will be traveling for 4 1/2 hours, and that we will have another game on Wednesday, so we wanted to rotate players. If it doesn’t work, it’s on me, and it’s my duty, or our collective responsibility as a team.”
The game was disrupted twice during the last frantic minutes when supporters rushed onto the field. After a ball went out of bounds, ball boys would sometimes throw several balls into the pitch.
Matt Turner stated, “I had like two or three.” “I was just trying to get them off the field as soon as possible. I didn’t want the game to come to a halt any longer. People were sprinting across the field, and the ball boys were tossing and kicking the balls as high as they could. And all I was trying to do was keep the pandemonium off the field as much as possible and maintain our momentum.”
The match took place on the fourth anniversary of the United States’ 2-1 loss in Trinidad, which halted a run of seven World Cup participation for the Americans and allowed Panama to qualify for the tournament for the first time. On Sunday, Panama outshot the United States 8-5, including a 4-0 edge in shots on target, snapping the Americans’ 13-game winning run. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a country that had just one victory and 16 losses in 23 prior games against the United States, including no victories and six losses in eight qualifiers.
Following a 3-0 victory against Honduras, Mexico leads the group with 11 points, while the United States is second with eight, ahead of Panama on goal difference. After a 0-0 tie with Jamaica, Canada has seven points, while Costa Rica has six after a 2-1 win over El Salvador, which has five. Honduras is second with three, while Jamaica is third with two.
The top three countries qualify for the tournament, while the fourth-placed team proceeds to the playoffs.
“The good news is that we’re still in second position,” Berhalter remarked.