USMNT focused on Copa America berth, Nations League three-peat

It’s been four months since the U.S. men’s national team played a competitive match and after back-to-back windows of international friendlies, Gregg Berhalter’s squad is focused on getting back to what matters most.

The USMNT hosts Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday night at Q2 Stadium in the first leg of a two-legged CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal matchup. Despite not having star attackers Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah, and midfielder Johnny Cardoso, the USMNT still has plenty of top talent including Folarin Balogun, Gio Reyna, and Sergino Dest.

Advancing past the Soca Warriors will not only propel the Americans into next year’s Final Four of the Nations League, but also guarantee them a spot into the 2024 Copa America on home soil. Berhalter has led the USMNT to a 3-1 record since his re-hiring as head coach and knows the importance of what the Nations League schedule brings to the group.

“November turns the page and now it’s about competing,” Berhalter said on Wednesday via a press conference. “We want to win the Nations League again. This will set us up to do this. We want to play in the Copa America. This will set us up to do that. So the guys are focused.”

The USMNT has enjoyed recent success against Trinidad & Tobago, winning their last three head-to-head matches by a combined score of 19-0. However, Monday’s return trip to Port of Spain will mark the first for the group since a 2-1 World Cup Qualifying loss in 2017, a result which resulted in the Americans failing to qualify for Russia 2018.

With Pulisic out of the squad due to injury, Tim Ream is the only member of the current group that was part of the 2017 roster that lost at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Berhalter wasn’t part of the USMNT coaching staff during that failure in 2017, but knows the importance of having his team learn from it.

“Just like we can embrace the good stuff, we also have to embrace the bad stuff and it was a great learning moment for us…

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Author : Larry Henry Jr

Publish date : 2023-11-15 22:34:48

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