With Gregg Berhalter, many fans have felt fear and anger as the USMNT has struggled with minuscule teams like Trinidad and Tobago.
But, since upcoming friendlies for the team are Europe-based, the team’s schedule does not accommodate players in the MLS. Now, Berhalter was forced to look into Europe, where countless Americans thrive.
This has led to him choosing a squad akin to a mirage of water for American fans that have become lost in the desert. The squad is composed of 24 players not based in their homelands and is promising for just that reason.
In addition, the all-European (and one from South America) team exhibits depth and longevity with an average age of a little less than 22 years.
Now, over one-third of the players selected are part of their teams’ respective Champions League squads. This includes Sergino Dest, who gets regular minutes for Barca, Tyler Adams who has scored all-important goals for Leipzig in the CL already, and Weston McKennie, who is a finger-length away from impressing one of the best midfielders of all time for a starting spot in the best team in Italy.
Fans should also be excited because, with the newcomers, there is still some experience in the side. Returning defenders John Brooks, Matt Miazga, and Tim Ream will all likely split minutes. Ream is now an EPL center-back, and Brooks is showing out as one of the best backs in Germany. Miazga has not missed one minute for Anderlecht this season, being coached by legendary Belgian CB, Vincent Kompany.
Berhalter has also shown promise in his eye for talent, drawing in players with measurable talent like the recent Valencia scorer Yunus Musah, and the dual-Chilean Sebastian Soto.
Unlike before, the team is not composed of random German-Americans who were friendly with Jurgen Klinsmann, but real talents who show up for their team. Gio Reyna is an assist leader in the Bundesliga, while Josh Sargent leads Werder Bremen’s strikeforce. Christian Pulisic is one of Chelsea’s top players, and Antonee Robinson the same for newly-promoted side Fulham.
With Gregg Berhalter’s selection of this team, there was one small step into Europe, and one giant leap for the future of American soccer.
Photo: US Soccer