What can USA build for 2026?


Al Rayyan, Qatar — First of all, Tyler Adams He bowed down with his hands on his knees. It was in this state of exhaustion, and not a moment ago, that he was forced to face reality. United States of america‘ The World Cup run was over. He dropped to a squat, ran his hands on the grass and sat down.

The entire sequence took only four minutes and as Adams was embraced by several teammates, the victorious Netherlands The squad celebrate their 3–1 victory nearby. Desperation was the first emotion that set Adams off. For Adams, his team had turned in the type of performance that could have secured a win on another day.

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Adams said, “I’m not going to sit here and say Holland was better than us.” “I would say we dominated most of the game. We made them uncomfortable for most of the game. It’s frustrating.”

In those other moments, however, where the Dutch were dominating, he had the poise and ruthlessness to make them count. It is a quality that separates the teams that can actually compete to win the World Cup, with the teams that can only hope in the future.

It was not a surprising exit for America, nor an unjust one. The team didn’t reach its ceiling, but it came close. There were several key moments that broke out in the Netherlands’ favor that would provide a lifetime of regret.

Such is the case with a tournament held once every four years. what if christian pulisic Converted their opening chance to go 1-0? What if Holland doesn’t score just before halftime? But as Adams sat there, processing what had happened, his despair drifted out of perspective.

Adams said of the team’s overall World Cup performance, “I think it’s probably the first time in a long time that people will say, ‘Wow, there’s something special about this team.'” “There have been a lot of ups and downs in the last three years, and then when you put four performances like this on the field, it really gives people something to get excited about. Potential is just potential, but you can see that if we maximize it the right way, that it can be something.”

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Herc Gomez thinks Louis van Gaal cleverly outplayed Greg Berhalter in the United States’ exit from the Qatar World Cup at the last 16 stage.

At a certain point, the United States’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup won’t be worth bringing up. However, there are still times when that text is worth revisiting. This is one. Roughly five years earlier, the team finished fifth out of six in the CONCACAF qualifying process to miss the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

It was an unfathomably low and justifiable travesty. Aside from the emergence of Pulisic, nothing worth being optimistic about in that cycle resulted. It seems so long ago, now. The US took the second youngest team to Qatar, used the youngest starting XI and at times were the better team on the field by a good margin.

other than 35 year old Tim Reamwhose consistency exemplifies the value of experience, each key contributor should be close to their expected peak when the United States co-hosts the tournament Mexico And Canada in four years.

“It shows we are talking about the development of the American player,” the centre-back walker zimmerman Told. “How dynamic this team can be, the individuals we have make it an exciting brand of football to watch.

“I think this World Cup showed that offensive talent, it showed that fight and I think a lot of American fans can see that and the way we played, the way we’re proud of our work.” I think we’ll be back hungrier than ever.”

But, again, potential is just potential. The next four years would be some of the most important for the sport in American history. The same can be said about this national team. More young Americans are sure to break into top European clubs and many of those who are there will see their careers take a positive step forward.

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Frank Leboeuf criticized the United States’ defending as they were knocked out of the Qatar World Cup by the Netherlands in the last 16.

Major League Soccer also has a big role to play. The professionalization and maturity of the league’s development academies may be the single most important factor in expanding the pool of potential national team players.

Of course, these kinds of announcements about football in the United States are not new. During this World Cup we were reminded that in the late 1990s, the current Iran Coach Carlos Queiroz studied the American development model and issued a report with recommendations designed to help the US win the World Cup by 2010.

It was an absurd goal in hindsight – and likely to most rational observers at the time – but the fact remains that the deepest progress the men’s team has made in the modern era was a trip to the quarter-finals in 2002, when it beat rivals Mexico. was defeated go there From a bottom line perspective, the US had not improved.

Success is often measured by expectations. So this year’s performance should be celebrated. Getting out of the group was always meant to be the benchmark measurement, but in 2026, that will change. Part of this is because the format will change – the tournament is expanding to 48 teams – but more because it should be realistically possible depending on the talent and experience of the teams.

And with that comes the obvious question: Will Greg Berhalter still be the coach? What needs to be asked is not an indictment of the work Berhalter has done, it is the natural next step in evaluating what is best for the future of any national team at the end of the World Cup cycle.

Berhalter is very correct. The results speak for themselves: Qualified for the World Cup; dropped out of the group and seemed mostly cool doing so; beat Mexico in the final pair; Established a culture that players want to be a part of and recruited talented dual-citizens.

These are all major achievements. But it’s also hard to know where to give credit. After all, he is coaching the most talented generation of American players ever. This is where most of the criticism he receives stems from.

Of course, they were eligible. Of course, they beat Mexico. Of course, they went ahead. Look who’s on the roster! This is a logical approach. Players are a major factor in success or failure. Nevertheless, Berhalter’s player selection, substitution pattern and lack of in-game tactical adjustments were often suspect.

For all the talent we hear about and talk about, this was never a team that was consistently dangerous to score goals, even against some of the smaller teams in CONCACAF. He had the ball with more comfort, played from the back and did a lot of things that represent progress, but it’s hard to put too much value on those things when they don’t come with an increase in goals. Some coaches are a fit for different stages of team development. And for the past few years, it’s been hard to argue that Berhalter didn’t adequately shepherd the team in the right direction.

Also, nothing about his coaching history indicates that he is the best option to take the team to new heights. Somebody who can do that is ultimately the person who should be coaching the team.

“We talked a lot about legacy and leaving a legacy,” Zimmerman said. “That’s what hurts. We felt like this was a group that could do something that no American team had done before.”

It is one thing for this to happen to a team making their World Cup debut in Qatar. To happen again in four years time on home soil will be completely different.

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