The United States men’s national team (USMNT) ended their World Cup run on Saturday. Gregg Berhalter’s side were beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in the first match of the day.

While the final scoreline is less than flattering for the USMNT, it does not exactly tell the complete story of the match.

Berhalter’s men actually managed more shots and had more possession against the Netherlands. The Americans registered 17 total shots against a very solid Dutch backline.

Coach realized mistake with halftime sub

Despite this statistic, starting center forward Jesus Ferreira failed to take a shot during his time up front. He also did not record a key pass while on the pitch as well.

Berhalter clearly noticed the lack of creativity up front and substituted the FC Dallas forward at halftime.

Rising star Gio Reyna ultimately replaced Ferreira and helped create more opportunities for the team.

In fact, Reyna had two shots and two key passes in just 45 minutes on the field. The Borussia Dortmund playmaker would normally be receiving more playing time if not dealing with minor injury issues.

Wright looked promising in cameo

Nevertheless, Berhalter could have also started Haji Wright up front as well. The 24-year-old towering center forward averaged the most shots per 90 minutes of any player in the team at the World Cup.

He also showed to be a good matchup against the 6’5″ Virgil van Dijk as well.

Wright ended up entering the fray in the 67th minute on Saturday. The center forward also had two shots during his cameo and even scored the lone U.S. goal of the night.

Tim Weah was also another option for Berhalter up front. While the Lille forward did start for Berhalter, the talented striker was once again pushed out to the right flank.

The UMSNT clearly had more than one issue against the Dutch.

After all, the defending was extremely poor for all three of goals allowed and they failed to capitalize on two different one versus one opportunities with the opposing goalkeeper.

However, a different starting XI selection could have made a huge difference as well.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Matthias Koch

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final