Berhalter: USMNT undone by defensive issues in Germany loss

Berhalter: USMNT undone by defensive issues in Germany loss

In the recent international friendly match between the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and Germany, the American squad faced a 3-0 defeat, a result that exposed some glaring defensive issues. Head coach Gregg Berhalter had to confront several challenges,

and while the loss was disappointing, it provided valuable insights for the team’s growth and development.

The match, played on a neutral ground, was a part of the USMNT’s preparation for upcoming tournaments and competitions. Germany, a perennial football powerhouse, fielded a formidable team that tested the USA’s mettle in every aspect of the game. Berhalter, who has been at the helm since 2019, recognized the significance of this match as an opportunity for his team to assess their strengths and weaknesses.

The defensive frailties of the USMNT were particularly evident throughout the game. The team’s backline, which featured some promising young talents alongside experienced campaigners, struggled to contain the fluid and dynamic German attack. It became apparent that there were several key issues that need addressing for the USMNT to achieve their long-term goals.

One of the primary concerns was the lack of organization and communication among the defenders. Germany’s attackers exploited gaps and spaces in the American defense, often capitalizing on miscommunications and poor positioning. This exposed a need for greater cohesion in the defensive unit and highlighted the importance of developing a shared understanding of defensive principles.

The absence of a natural leader in the defense was palpable. In this match, the USMNT lacked a commanding presence who could organize the backline, provide guidance to younger players, and make critical decisions under pressure. Berhalter might consider nurturing such leadership qualities within the squad or exploring the possibility of incorporating a more experienced defender into the lineup.

Another issue was the susceptibility to quick, incisive passes and through-balls. Germany’s midfield was able to exploit the space between the American defense and midfield, threading passes that often led to dangerous situations. This vulnerability highlighted the need for the USMNT to improve their ability to press and regain possession higher up the field,

reducing the burden on the defense.

Set-piece defending was another area of concern. Germany capitalized on their set-piece opportunities, scoring from a corner and a free-kick. The USMNT must invest time and effort in refining their set-piece defending strategies,

ensuring that they can better defend against aerial threats and maintain their concentration in crucial moments.

On a positive note, the match presented an opportunity for some of the younger players to gain invaluable experience at the international level. The exposure to high-quality opposition like Germany can serve as a valuable learning experience and help these talents mature as footballers. Berhalter can build on this, encouraging these players to learn from their mistakes and continue to develop their skills.

Berhalter and his coaching staff have an important role to play in addressing these defensive issues. They need to implement a structured and consistent approach to defense, which includes improving individual and collective skills, communication,

and tactical understanding. Additionally, identifying and nurturing defensive talent should be a priority to ensure a strong and stable backline for the future.

While the 3-0 loss to Germany was undoubtedly disappointing,

it should be viewed as a stepping stone in the USMNT’s

journey towards becoming a more competitive and formidable team on the global stage. Mistakes made in this match should serve as valuable lessons that the team can learn from and use to grow. It is essential for the USMNT to continue developing their defense,

aiming to become more resolute and organized at the back while maintaining their attacking prowess.

Looking ahead, the USMNT must use this experience to make improvements and build a more cohesive and resilient team. With the right approach to addressing defensive issues and nurturing emerging talent,

there’s potential for the United States to establish itself as a

significant force in international football in the years to come. The defeat against Germany, while disappointing, can be a pivotal moment in their journey towards success.

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