Soccer: Copa America-USA vs Bolivia
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

American soccer still just isn’t “there” yet on the men’s side.

The U.S. men’s national team proved it yet again on a stage much smaller than that of the World Cup, which just adds to the embarrassment.

Now, the calls are growing for the head of coach Gregg Berhalter.

Berhalter On the Hot Seat

Team USA met disaster at the hands of Uruguay yesterday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. But the trouble started long before that.

The team over at Fox put together some stats you can see here, but I’ll briefly describe the sorry state of Team USA:

  • They just can’t beat Uruguay – they’re on a 2-3-4 record, being outscored 10-7.
  • Previously, Team USA was undefeated in KC
  • Team USA can’t pass
  • Team USA can’t score
  • Gregg Berhalter is incapable of beating top teams

On top of that, the Copa America host nation has never been knocked out before the knockout stage. These aren’t the kinds of records America should be chasing!

There are some out there who will tell you that things might be too complex for an easy fix, but that isn’t any solace to Berhalter, who is getting the business from every which way.

Matt Crocker, who is the sporting director for USA, had some hard words for what went down in KC:

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

Filed under “Things you never want to hear from your boss.”

Soccer: Copa America-USA vs Bolivia
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What Comes Next?

The World Cup – that’s what comes next.

And do you know where it’s being played? Right here in the fruited plains. (And Canada and Mexico.)

The question is, can Gregg Berhalter possibly be the coach for the Copa Mundial? He was actually asked that question.

He was asked bluntly, and he answered bluntly: “Yes.”

We will see. So far, the internet is riddled with calls for Berhalter to be shown the door. Like this:

Why Is It Like This?

Why is Team USA such a disappointment all the time? And why only the men, while the women dominate?

Here’s my best uneducated guess as a former international soccer player.

In Europe (and I’m guessing pretty much everywhere else except here) young players with talent or potential are identified extremely early. They’re put into a club-style system, where they eat, sleep, and play soccer from a very young age.

Think here like how an American Olympian trains from a young age, with an almost fanatical focus on training above all else. That’s soccer abroad.

This was the case when I traveled to Sweden for the Gothia Cup and Denmark for the Dana Cup in 2000. Our team played U-18 (meaning all players had to be under 18). Our first game in Sweden was a local club of U-13 boys.

We lost by double digits to little kids. Why? Because while we were at school or playing video games, they were playing soccer.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

So how does this apply to the women? Well, the situation is the exact opposite for the women. Here, rah-rah Girl Power is much more of a thing than elsewhere – so the resources for the USWNT are much greater than elsewhere. Similar to how the (non-monetary) resources for the men’s side are much greater elsewhere.

Here’s another poor comparison: Youth soccer in Uruguay is like youth football in Texas.

Get it?

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