Gregg Berhalter sack deserved after Copa America flop as Marsch regrets grow

News Desk
UMSNT head coach Gregg Berhalter shakes hands with Matt Turner
Gregg Berhalter has the support of his players but cannot continue with USMNT

Gregg Berhalter has been sacked as USA head coach following their group-stage exit at the Copa America.

The 50-year-old rejoined the national team in 2023 for a second spell, having led USA to the last-16 of the 2022 World Cup, but defeats to Panama and Uruguay on home soil have brought an end to his tenure.

“I want to thank Gregg for his hard work and dedication to US Soccer and our men’s national team,” said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone.

“We are now focused on working with our sporting director Matt Crocker and leveraging his experience at the highest levels of the sport to ensure we find the right person to lead the USMNT into a new era of on-field success.”

We had said after that defeat to Uruguay that Berhalter had to pay with his job, with Ryan Baldi writing:

‘Chants of “Fire Gregg” were heard from the stands of Arrowhead Stadium after the final whistle. The coach insisted he is still the best man to lead this talented group into the next World Cup, and the players backed their manager post-match.

‘“I believe we all have a comfort with Gregg and we all understand him and we’ve had him for a long time,” midfielder Weston McKennie said after the game. “He’s progressed the team very far from where we started off four or five years ago.”

‘The second part of McKennie’s comment is just plain wrong. A couple of CONCACAF Nations League triumphs cannot paper over the cracks evident in a last-16 exit at the 2022 World Cup and a Copa America that saw the USMNT become the first host nation in the competition’s 108-year history to be eliminated in the group stage.

‘The the first line of McKennie’s post-match statement might be part of the problem too: are the US players too comfortable with Berhalter?

‘Unlike previous generations, this crop of USMNT talent, almost to a man, ply their trades at club level with some of the biggest teams in Europe. They are used to elite-level coaching and being challenged physically, mentally and tactically by complex systems at the forefront of modern footballing thought. Under Berhalter, they don’t seem to be pushed, tested and thus maximised in the same way.’

Should they have appointed Jesse Marsch when they had the chance? The performances of Canada at this Copa America suggest perhaps they should have done.