DOHA, Qatar – United States men’s national team coach Greg Berhalter dialed up the fighting talk and urged his young team to seize the moment during Monday’s World Cup opener against Wales.
Berhalter sought to project an image of fierceness and urgency, yet stability, explaining his belief that the biggest determining factor in the outcome of the Group B clash (at 2 p.m. ET on Fox and the Fox Sports app) would be Can his players get. He is in a brutal mindset himself and uses it to dominate the game.
Analysts on “FIFA World Cup Live” are optimistic about the United States’ World Cup opener against Wales on Monday (2 p.m. ET on Fox).
“We want to be an offensive team in this game,” he said at Sunday’s press conference. “We want to be able to hurt them.
“You have this game plan that you hope the group can execute, and you have moments that are unwritten. Moments where you’re forced to compete in doubles and win doubles and win other balls. “
For all consideration of strategy and formations and a precise gameplay blueprint, Berhalter is adamant that his team should not lose a mental battle against a team of equal strength, even if it has reached that position in a different way.
The United States have far more depth than Wales, but the Welsh have Gareth Bale as captain and talisman, with former real madrid Superstar guarantees to be the most reliable player on the field.
How America bounced back from the disappointment of 2018
Missing the World Cup in 2018 serves as fuel for the young US squad.
If Berhalter had any personal jitters ahead of the Americans’ first World Cup game since the summer of 2014, he might have been less enthusiastic. Not so. As exclusively reported by Fox Sports the previous day, they announced Tyler Adams as their captain for the tournament, a decision voted on by the squad of players.
And he refused to make concessions to the fact that his team is the second youngest team in Qatar, saying his charges must rise to the challenge before them without warning.
“We can speculate on whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage (being young), but the truth will come out when we play the game. What I will say is that we are not just making excuses for ourselves. … We want to go out and compete,” he said.
“I see tremendous focus in the team, and that focus is going to allow us to go on to success. Time will tell if we are capable of playing with the best teams in the world. This is a talented group.” A young group, but also a group full of character.”
A warm start can be crucial in building momentum.
In 2010, the team fell flat in their first match against England and went behind within four minutes, only to recover from a 1–1 result when rival goalkeeper Robert Green made a disastrous error.
Is America Ready for Wales?
Rob Stone chats with USA legends Clint Dempsey, Stu Holden and Alexis Lalas about the opening match against Wales.
In 2014, Clint Dempsey, whose shot had led to Green’s mistake four years earlier, scored just 30 seconds into the first game against Ghana, which the Americans later won 2–1.
A repeat of the run from either of those tournaments, which both ended in the round of 16 exit, would be considered broadly acceptable for Berhalter’s inexperienced squad.
Part of Remit is to play with an effort level that appeals to an audience back home. It’s not hard to envisage a scenario where the American public falls in love with Berhalter’s daring team, especially with the big results in the first two games.
“Most importantly, I want to represent this team the right way,” Adams said. “You’re playing for something much bigger than yourself. You’re playing against all the people in America who are watching and supporting you.”
Martin Rogers is a columnist for Fox Sports and author of the Fox Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX And Subscribe to the Daily NewsletterR.
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