‘We CAN win this!’ US coach Gregg Berhalter insists his under-strength team can triumph in Sunday’s Gold Cup after reaching the final despite their Europe-based big names missing the tournament
- Berhalter believes his squad has enough to win Sunday’s Gold Cup final
- The US coach is impressed with the squad’s companionship and accountability
- The USMNT have battled their way into the final with three 1-0 wins in a row
- The long-standing CONCACAAF US-Mexico rivalry is this years Gold Cup final
US head coach Gregg Berhalter believes his Gold Cup squad has what it takes to go go on and win the tournament on Sunday.
Following the U.S. men’s national team’s 1-0 win over Qatar, Berhalter stressed that his team will be ready against reigning champions Mexico in the Gold Cup final on Sunday.
A depleted US team, without its notable European stars, battled against Qatar to book their spot in the final thanks to a late Gyasi Zardes goal in the 86th minute.
Before the start of the tournament, Berhalter submitted a 23-man roster that lacked big-name players. Chelsea star and USMNT poster boy Christian Pulisic, Juventus’s midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Dortmund’s winger Gio Reyna were the most noticeable names missing in the squad.
All three players weren’t selected for this year’s Gold Cup so that they could rest over the summer after demanding seasons for their respective clubs, especially for Pulisic who played a part in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in May.
Moreover, Berhalter explained that he saw this tournament as an opportunity to try new players with his sights set on the final round of the World Cup qualification for Qatar 2022 and to see ‘where everyone stands.’
Gregg Berhalter is adamant that this US team can go on and win the Gold Cup
But, despite putting together a team that isn’t at full strength, Berhalter says this group of players can truly believe it can win the tournament after enduring several battles along the way.
‘We’re not done, and that’s what the message to the team is,’ Berhalter said. ‘It’s nice to make the final but we want to win the final, and our number one goal is to win the Gold Cup. We said that before the Gold Cup and we’ll say it again.’
‘I’ve been impressed with how close this group is together. It’s guys that are just acknowledging each other’s performances, calling each other out for good plays, saying they need to pick it up when it’s not good enough.’
‘There’s a lot of accountability in this team, and I think anytime you have that you have a group that’s going to dig and is going to fight.’
Berhalter said the team’s companionship and accountability has impressed him throughout the tournament
‘It’s not always going to be pretty. This game had similarities to the Canada game at times and then maybe not with the possession but, when things just weren’t going our way, we battled back and I think that’s impressive.’
The Stars and Stripes only had one truly comfortable game on their path to the Gold Cup final: a 6-1 win over Martinique in their second game of the group stage.
They’ve battle their way to the tournament’s final by winning three out of their four games with a 1-0 scoreline although they’ve kept a clean sheet in every game except against Martinique.
The US will now look to make amends for their 1-0 loss in the 2019 Gold Cup final against long-time rivals Mexico on Sunday.