It’s been so far so good for the USMNT under Gregg Berhalter. Under his guidance, the US is 3-0-0 (W-L-D) and has yet to concede a goal: beating Panama 3-0, Costa Rica 2-0, and Ecuador 1-0 this past Thursday on a goal from Gyasi Zardes that took a mile-high deflection before going in. But we’re still only three games into his tenure and the opposition has not been the best of the best. The next game should provide the stiffest test thus far as the US gets set to take on the team that has won the last two editions of the Copa America and was the runner-up at the 2017 Confederations Cup: Chile.
One of the tasks for Berhalter when he took the US job was to establish a culture and mentality of consistently winning. Right now, fans can’t ask for much more because the US has won every single game he’s been the manager for. Winning is contagious and cures all. If the US keeps winning in these friendlies, it may just bring the fans back around and get them on board believing the US can do well going into the Gold Cup. That’s not to say that there aren’t things that can be improved upon. Thursday’s game against Ecuador is a prime example. The US massively out-possessed the Ecuadorians but still only managed two shots on goal. This is not a huge surprise for several reasons: some Berhalter’s teams in Columbus also struggled to get clear cut chances despite a massive edge in possession, and Ecuador was quite content to put 10 men behind the ball and just absorb the US attacks and commit a number of hard fouls. It was frustrating at times but it’s a good sign that the US found a way to win a game against that type of opposition because that’s what they will need to do when World Cup Qualifying rolls around. Yes the lone goal was a goofy one that took a crazy deflection, but winning is winning and the US players and fans will take it.
Chile will be the best team that Gregg Berhalter has faced so far in his tenure. They won the 2015 Copa America on home soil (defeating Argentina on penalties in the final) and then won the 2016 Copa America Centenario in the US (again defeating Argentina on penalties in the final). For winning the 2015 Copa America they earned a berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. They got all the way to the final where they lost to Germany. However, that was where the good results ended as they lost three of their last four World Cup Qualifiers and failed to make it to the World Cup. Their new manager, Reinaldo Rueda, has plenty of international managerial experience with stops at Colombia, Honduras, and Ecuador. 2018 for Chile saw them go 4-3-3 with wins against Sweden, Serbia, Mexico, Honduras; losses to Romania, Peru, and Costa Rica; and draws against Denmark, Poland, and South Korea (they also had a game against Japan cancelled). In 2019 they are 0-1-0 having lost to Mexico on Friday night in San Diego. Their roster for these two March friendlies is an interesting mix of veterans and youth. Four players have over 100 caps: Mauricia Isla with 106, Gary Medel with 117, Gonzalo Jara with 111, and Arturo Vidal with 106. On the flip side, a total of thirteen players have fewer than 10 caps, including all three goalkeepers. The clubs these players come from are varied: five come from Chilean clubs, four come from clubs in Mexico, two come from clubs in Turkey, one plays at Barcelona and one even plays on MLS (Diego Rubio of the Colorado Rapids).
1. Tyler Adams was released from camp and sent back to his club in Germany.
2. Jesse Gonzalez was sent back to FC Dallas for their game this weekend but will rejoin the team in Houston.
3. The game against Chile will only be the USMNT’s second appearance at BBVA Compass Stadium. Their first was in 2013 against Canada.
When and where to find the game on US TV
USA trails 3-5-2
January 28, 2015
Estadio El Teniente
USA 2-3 Chile
Current FIFA Ranking
To be announced
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