Monday night’s 1-0 loss to Uruguay may have been the last game Gregg Berhalter manages for US Soccer. The defeat eliminated the United States men’s national team from the Copa America, a tournament it is hosting. It was an unequivocal disappointment and embarrassment. The USMNT, with several young playmakers across top European clubs, won just two games in a group of Uruguay, Panama and Bolivia. Much of the criticism has thus been put on Gregg Berhalter, the side’s coach.

US Soccer, the governing body for soccer in the United States, oversees the men’s national team. It faces the decision of whether to ride with Berhalter or sack him after the Copa America showing. Following the loss to Uruguay, the governing body released a statement that sheds some light on the future of the coach.

“Our tournament performance fell short of our expectations. We must do better. We will be conducting a comprehensive review of our performance in Copa America and how best to improve the team and results as we look towards the 2026 World Cup.”

Although not explicitly naming Berhalter, the onus remains on the coach. Conducting a review of the performance would mean identifying whether Berhalter was at fault. Berhalter’s supporters would point to the red card Tim Weah picked up against Panama. Yet, overall performances fell short of expectations, as US Soccer mentioned. This is the first time a host country for the Copa America has failed to make it out of the group since the competition started rotating hosts. That started in 1987.

US Soccer must decide fast on Gregg Berhalter

There are any number of coaches US Soccer can turn to. Traditionally, it is easier to target a coach who is out of a contract, which does not apply to many of the targets US Soccer may consider. Regardless, US Soccer must express urgency in making a decision. If it is staying with Berhalter, allow him the time to continue and make the necessary changes to the squad. That would instill some confidence in the squad with limited competitive games on the horizon for the USMNT.

Likewise, if US Soccer decides to move on from Berhalter, that decision must happen promptly. The World Cup in 2026 is less than two years away. Juggling coaches is certainly risky, as there would be limited time to develop an identity that the USMNT has been lacking under Berhalter. Those two years will fly by, especially considering the United States does not have to go through World Cup qualifying. Competitive games for the USMNT are few and far between.

The USMNT needs someone to push this talented group of players. That starts with the coach who picks the right team for each game instead of depending on the same people every time. Following the game, Christian Pulisic said the players need to rest after their busy club seasons and a brief stint in the Copa America. The pressure is, therefore, on US Soccer to make the right decisions in the immediate timeline.


Copa América 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Copa!
Copa América Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Copa games live in 2024
Key Dates: Learn All the important dates to mark on your calendar
Copa (United States of) América: South America's biggest tournament comes back to the USA
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer