The state of the USMNT, aka United States Men’s National Team, is an issue that really does need to be addressed. In addition to not qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last year they have also been faced with a series of setbacks both on and off the pitch over the course of the last twelve months. Now, as they look ahead to the future, we do wonder what kind of performances they’ll be able to put forward.
Either way, as reported by CBS Sports and The Guardian, one of the biggest stories right now lies within the fact that they were once again humbled by neighbours Mexico in an international friendly that really didn’t feel all that friendly at all.
Put to the sword
Javier Hernandez, a familiar foil for the Americans, was able to give his side the lead midway through the first half of the game. They were able to ride that out until half time and then in the second 45 minutes, Mexico continued to dictate the pace of the encounter before goals from Erick Gutierrez and Uriel Antuna put USMNT to the sword and completed the decisive win.
Christian Pulisic, widely regarded to be one of the shining lights in this team, made his feelings known after the full time whistle had blown.
“We still play with fear against them, and that is what I can’t really live with,” Pulisic said. “That needs to change.”
“We have to go and play like we’re good enough to be out there, be confident and play without thinking twice about it. That’s how it needs to be, and that’s just not where we’re at right now.”
On the other hand, you had their main man in charge stating the following.
“You guys are going to think I’m crazy, I’m happier about this game than I am about the Gold Cup final,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said. “In the Gold Cup final, I felt like all we did was play the ball long and that was our only solution. And now at least we tried to play in the way that we’re envisioning.”
Ruthless aggression required
The steps that need to be taken in order for the United States to reach the heights they were at a few short years ago aren’t all that obvious yet. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of patience, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup is going to be the end goal for that.
Alongside rivals Mexico and Canada they will be hosting that tournament, and they need to make sure that the next seven years are spent building towards a squad that is capable of doing some damage on their home turf.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will obviously be an aim for a successful finish of some description, too, but everyone is well aware of what they’re good at and what they need to build on.
This isn’t going to happen overnight, and this result was a shining example of that.