Forward of Saturday afternoon’s pleasant towards Germany, U.S. males’s nationwide group coach Gregg Berhalter stated video games like this had been “not about being afraid of the end result (or) being afraid of competing, it’s about embracing these moments.”
His hope: that within the subsequent three years earlier than the 2026 World Cup, video games like this might function alternatives to be taught what it can take to compete — and beat — the perfect in worldwide soccer.
The three-1 loss to Germany in entrance of a sold-out crowd of 37,743 in East Hartford, Connecticut, nevertheless, confirmed the U.S. nonetheless has to evolve – from the group that was eradicated by the Netherlands within the knockout spherical of the 2022 World Cup to 1 that may make a deep run on residence soil.
“We nonetheless have a variety of work to do,” middle again Tim Ream stated bluntly when requested what the large takeaway from the sport was.
The U.S. began the sport effectively, however within the second half Germany seized management of the competition and the Individuals by no means actually discovered their approach again into it. The U.S. was at instances too stretched in defensive transition after dangerous turnovers, and in different moments Germany was given an excessive amount of time and house close to the highest of the field.
“We do have to not give the ball away so rapidly in dangerous areas,” Ream stated. “You give the ball away across the 18? OK, fantastic. Within the attacking half? I get it, that’s no downside, you’re attempting issues. However if you give the ball away too rapidly in midfield as we’re attempting to get our attacking and build-up form then it’s going to look A) disjointed, and B) guys are going to look out of place. And if you try this towards good gamers, they punish you.”
A few of the defensive issues highlighted the absence of captain Tyler Adams, who has been a stalwart for the U.S. at defensive midfield and helps to interrupt up passing lanes, make key tackles and set the tone in midfield. The World Cup captain has been out with a hamstring harm since March, and after struggling a setback earlier this month is now anticipated to overlook a major period of time extra. Berhalter stated going into this window that Adams’ absence gave the U.S. an opportunity to check out some “Plan B” choices for enjoying with out him. The Germany recreation confirmed that the “Plan B” nonetheless isn’t fairly clear.
However it wasn’t concerning the absence of 1 participant. There have been disconnects that each allowed Germany to get on the ball greater up the sphere, after which discover the small lanes across the field that their world-class gamers exploited.
“While you watch them and what they do and it’s a type of the place you break a line and also you get right down to their field and abruptly they’re behind the ball,” Ream stated. “And I believe that’s type of the place we have to be taught, is to get guys behind the ball, get compact, particularly in and round our defensive 18. And that’s one thing that once more, it’s a studying course of, and it’s one thing that we have to have a look at and ensure we do higher.”
A number of gamers stated the U.S. wants to search out methods to place collectively extra full performances over the entire 90 minutes. The primary half gave the group confidence that they may match Germany — they had been in a position to get in behind Germany’s again line on a number of events and appeared to only lack that remaining motion — however there was a drop-off within the second half efficiency.
Yunus Musah began because the deeper midfielder on Saturday, with Weston McKennie forward of him and Gio Reyna in a No. 10 function.
Reyna, who performed solely as a winger within the final World Cup cycle, seemed harmful and efficient centrally beneath interim managers earlier this yr. His return to the group with Berhalter on the sideline was among the many headlines of this camp, and the way Berhalter would make the most of him was the most important query. Reyna had a stable 45-minute outing on Saturday, and enjoying him in that central function confirmed promise. Reyna needed to come out at halftime, nevertheless, as he ramps up his type and health.
Within the first half, although, the U.S. seemed harmful in assault at instances and obtained behind Germany on a number of events. Early within the recreation, Pulisic was referred to as offside on what would have been a breakaway; Berhalter felt it mustn’t have been whistled lifeless. On one other assault, Reyna discovered Balogun to arrange Pulisic in alone on Marc-André ter Stegen, however Pulisic went down after taking a contact across the goalkeeper.
“I went round him and there’s for positive contact,” Pulisic stated.
The referee didn’t blow the whistle, however a couple of minutes later Pulisic scored a incredible purpose, beating 4 German defenders and blistering a ball into the higher nook.
“That’s a world-class purpose,” Berhalter stated.
Christian Pulisic with an absolute banger 🚀
Watch USA vs. Germany stay on TNT or Max 📺 pic.twitter.com/G7t6KxLjFO
— B/R Soccer (@brfootball) October 14, 2023
After Pulisic gave the U.S. an early lead, nevertheless, Germany pulled again even. Leroy Sané used a intelligent double-touch to separate Musah and Reyna within the thirty ninth minute on the prime of the field, and Ilkay Gündogan performed an ideal via ball to Sané to place him via on purpose. Goalkeeper Matt Turner made the preliminary save, however Gündogan was there to tuck residence the rebound for the equalizer.
Within the second half, Germany took additional management.
Within the 58th minute, Germany as soon as once more loved an excessive amount of time and house on the ball of their attacking third, and Jamal Musiala discovered Robin Gosens, whose trendy one-touch move performed Niclas Füllkrug in on purpose. Left again Sergiño Dest was late to step, holding Füllkrug onside, and Germany had the lead. Three minutes later, Germany as soon as once more attacked the house proper on the highest of the field. The U.S. was a bit unlucky in that Ream’s sort out on Musiala deflected proper to Füllkrug, who discovered Musiala within the field to make it 3-1. However whereas the fortunate bounce could have helped, the purpose felt reflective of the areas Germany attacked usually.
“It’s these cut up seconds the place you should be well-positioned,” Berhalter stated.
In the long run, as Ream stated, the end result confirmed how way more the U.S. has to do to catch the world powers. However the group additionally felt that, like on the World Cup final yr, they’re not far off.
“It’s irritating as a result of it’s simply little moments,” Turner stated. “I form of alluded to this just lately about how little moments may have made an enormous distinction for us within the World Cup. And it’s type of like the identical story.”
(Picture: Adam Glanzman/USSF/Getty Pictures for USSF)
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- In loss to Germany, USMNT exhibits it has to evolve in Berhalter’s second cycle
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