USA 2022 FIFA World Cup Netherlands

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — American football’s World Cup success remains a dream.

The American team looked better at this year’s World Cup, but the results were the same as in 2010 and 2014. The Americans were knocked out in the Round of 16 after a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands Saturday.

“We’ve shown that we can compete with top teams and we just want to change the narrative because we think, obviously, over the last few years we haven’t had enough respect for American football and for the way we play,” said midfielder Weston McKennie. “I think we’ve achieved some of that in this World Cup.”

WAIT VS. PERFORMANCE

Expectations were high for a team with a core of young rising stars who play in some of Europe’s top leagues.

No nation in North America, Central America and the Caribbean has reached the semi-finals since the United States in 1930.

Draws with Wales and England were followed by a 1-0 victory over Iran which secured a place in the round of 16, and the United States reached the minimum to avoid a be called a failure. Going home after the group stage would have been a disappointment given coach Gregg Berhalter’s expectations of the rebuilt team.

WHO IS OUTSIDE?

Berhalter was hired in December 2018 by Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew on the recommendation of Earnie Stewart, now USA sporting director.

Berhalter took over 14 months after the United States lost in Trinidad and Tobago, failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and ending a streak of seven consecutive appearances in the tournament. A segment of fans have repeatedly criticized him for his caps and roster tactics and some would prefer a foreign coach with more European experience.

His contract expires this month – he was paid $1.29 million in the fiscal year ending March 2021, according to the latest financial statements from the U.S. Soccer Federation. Berhalter led the Americans to 37 wins, 11 losses and 12 draws.

After the defeat against the Dutch, Berhalter did not say if he wanted to stay.

“In the next two weeks, I’m going to clear my head, I’m going to sit down and I’m going to think about what’s next,” he said.

Defender Tim Ream, 35, was the oldest player in a 26-man squad that was the second-youngest in the tournament. He stood still at the final whistle and his voice cracked as he spoke of the experience.

“Just thinking about the journey, really, where I’ve really been, where I’m from,” he said. “I’ve been in the program for 12 years and I’ve never guaranteed anything. Obviously a lot of these guys are guaranteed another World Cup and for me that’s not going to happen – and I’m trying to get across that you have to treat every training session as if it’s their last, every game as if it were their last. ”

WHO’S NEXT?

A hard core is led by Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie (both 24), Tyler Adams (23) and Yunus Musah (20), joined by Tim Weah and Brenden Aaronson (both 22) and Gio Reyna (20 year).

“We didn’t qualify for the last World Cup and here we are in the round of 16. We’ve definitely come a long way,” Pulisic said. “There are, of course, moments of which we can be proud. But we don’t want to feel that way anymore and we want to put ourselves in a position to win tournaments like this.

The centre-back and striker have remained unstable for much of the past cycle. Defenders Miles Robinson (25) and Chris Richards (22) missed the World Cup due to injury.

Gabriel Slonina, an 18-year-old goalkeeper who will join Chelsea next month, appears to be America’s best prospect. Midfielder Paxten Aaronson, Brenden’s 19-year-old brother, joins Eintracht Frankfurt. Ricardo Pepi (19) has been overlooked for the USA outfit after leading the team’s forwards with three goals in qualifying.

More than a dozen players eligible for the Under-20 squad are with European clubs, although most do not see first-team playing time. It is difficult to predict whether it will emerge. For every Pulisic and Reyna who become regulars as teenagers, 10 or 20 stalls.

AND AFTER?

The CONCACAF Gold Cup runs from June 26 to July 16 and most European-based players are expected to be available. Given that the United States will automatically have a place for the 2026 World Cup as co-hosts, next year’s Gold Cup will be one of the few opportunities in the cycle to have the core group available for matches. of competition.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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