Gregg Berhalter and The Stars and Stripes qualified for the 2024 Copa America by beating Trinidad and Tobago with a 4-2 aggregate. However, the second leg game in Port of Spain left more questions than answers for the USMNT.
The last couple of years have put the US atop CONCACAF’s podium. Save for a Gold Cup win from Mexico, the USMNT have won back-to-back Nations League titles. With their legion of European players, the future of this emerging dynasty is bright.
Which is why this result is as appalling as it is.
What happened with Dest?
Sergiño Dest has proven to be a vital part of the USMNT’s success. His role as a full wing-back with counterpart Antonee Robinson have proven to be vital to the attacking DNA in the past.
That was not on display in Hasely Crawford Stadium. After receiving an initial yellow card for punting the ball into the stands, Dest received an immediate follow up for mocking the referee, blowing the official a kiss. This left with the USMNT with 10 men, with Trinidad and Tobago scoring the equalizer just minutes later.
The Deep Rooted Problem
Despite the red card, the problem with Gregg Berhalter and his boys lies deeper than losing a player.
The USMNT can’t win away games.
In fact, the USMNT have gone 1-4-5 in their away fixtures under Gregg Berhalter. At times, the team struggles from kick off and adjusting has been the squad’s biggest Achilles’ Heel. The substitutions usually come late, and they struggle to adapt to the game.
A Look Ahead to the Copa America
Luckily for the USMNT, the 2024 Copa America will be played on home soil, which gives them the home field advantage. However, the real test will be against heavyweights in CONMEBOL like Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. With those national teams a step ahead of the rest, the ‘golden generation’ has a huge step to take before the 2026 World Cup.
Featured Image Courtesy of USMNT on X.