'You can't express yourself' - USMNT star Joe Scally makes pointed comments about Gregg Berhalter's World Cup tactics
- U.S. headed to Qatar in confident mood
- Crashed out in the round of 16
- Now searching for new permanent coach
WHAT HAPPENED? The United States made their way to the knockout stages in Qatar, but suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the round of 16. Berhalter’s contract expired the moment that campaign in the Middle East came to a close, with Anthony Hudson having been in interim charge since then. Scally believes the United States men's national team squad was left confused and overthinking things at FIFA’s flagship event, with the methods of their coach resulting in “silly mistakes” being made.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Scally, who plies his club trade at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, has told Futbol Americas on ESPN+ of what he would like to see in the USMNT’s next permanent manager: “I think a coach that definitely understands we're not a club team. We need to just understand simple tactics, simple system that we can all apply that brings out the best in all the players. Not something to where it's too complicated and you're overthinking on the field. Because you see videos of other teams - a national team brings the joy out of the game. You're playing for your country, you're just there and that extra fight knowing you have the crest on your chest should bring out everything you need in the game, not confusing tactics and all this.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pressed on whether Berhalter’s regime had been too far removed from what is now required, Scally – who failed to see a single minute of game time at Qatar 2022 – added: “I think Gregg definitely brought his ideas. I think his ideas were good, we definitely played well in the World Cup. But I think, yeah, as a player when you're on the field and you're overthinking things it leads to silly mistakes and silly things where you're not yourself and you can't express yourself. I think that was one of the things that didn't work out.”
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WHAT NEXT? The USMNT has a potentially exciting summer ahead, as they build towards co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, with a CONCACAF Nations League semi-final with Mexico to come in mid-June before another shot at CONCACAF Gold Cup glory then gets underway.
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