Since practically being handed the job by the USSF and his brother, Gregg Berhalter has done nothing but disappoint. Winning the Nations League and Gold Cup means absolutely nothing when you fail to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. That is the very thing the USMNT is on the verge of doing for the second cycle in a row. The United States has not gone without a World Cup berth for more than four years since 1990, where they broke a 40-year drought.
Facing a problematic November window which includes Mexico and Jamacia away, leaves them with no room for error. However, anyone who saw the previous two windows know that error-free soccer was not the case. Opening up with two straight draws back in September and barely surviving and stealing a win from Honduras, following November up with a win vs. Jamacia, then an absolute disaster-class performance vs. Panama.
Regardless of tonight’s outcome vs. Costa Rica, failing to beat the basement of CONCACAF should be unacceptable. Without Ricardo Pepis’ constant heroics, the USA would be even deeper in the mud than they already are. This is why I firmly believe that Gregg needs to be fired before he ruins this generation of great talent.
Gregg Berhalter Is The Result Of A Year Long Coaching Search
Following Klinsmann’s dismissal, the USSF conducted a coaching search that is fishy at best. After several high-profile candidates were “passed over,” Berhalter somehow got the job. The only reason he was given the job was that his brother held a high-profile position within the USSF. He is a failed European coach who has proven he was not ready for the big time.
Greg Berhalter’s Firing
Firing Berhalter has to happen following the October international window. It allows the USFF enough time to find a replacement before the November window. If they allow him to stick around too long, it could significantly affect future qualifying games. Allowing him to stick around will only make a bad situation worse for the USMNT. The potential cost of allowing him to remain as coach could be missing out on yet another World Cup. While this move is a high risk, I think the reward outweighs the risk any day of the week.
Where Do You Go From Here
After firing Gregg Berhalter, the only option is to call Bob Bradley or Bruce Arena to finish qualifying. After the final qualifiers in March, the USSF should be on the phone with Jesse Marsch, doing whatever it takes to get him from RB Leipzig. You cannot pair an MLS coach with a generation, making waves in the top-five European leagues and expect results. Gregg Berhalter lacks the technical coaching ability that they have grown accustomed to. His constant shifting of line-ups and favoritism of mid-level MLS guys will only get this team so far. If the USA ever wants to become a global soccer power truly, the journey starts with getting the correct man for the job. Guys like Mathew Hoppe and Tim Weah should not be on the bench in favor of Paul Arriola.