United States men’s national team Gregg Berhalter is set to become the 10th man to lead the USMNT into a World Cup when the Yanks take on Wales, England, and Iran for a knockout round spot in this winter’s Qatar-hosted tournament.
It’s a terrific honor and an earned one, as we learned when Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena butchered a tricky but very forgiving route to qualifying out of CONCACAF.
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Rating a USMNT coach is only going to become more difficult in the future given the rocketship-up trajectory of the sport in our country in both investment and development, but also because the Nations League format introduced into Europe and North America limits opportunity for cross-confederation tests.
Berhalter’s USMNT will enter the World Cup having played 56 times across all competitions assuming Tuesday’s Saudi Arabia friendly goes ahead as scheduled in Spain.
Forty-three of those matches will have come against CONCACAF foes. And several of the remaining 13 matches — Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela — came very early in his tenure.
Every one of those non-CONCACAF foes except Qatar, from the 2021 Gold Cup came in friendly competition. A few, like a win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, came outside of FIFA’s international window.
This makes it even harder to evaluate Berhalter’s tenure, especially because he’s succeeded in many of the brighest spots. Most notably, Berhalter led the Yanks to one of the most memorable wins in program history when the USMNT outlasted Mexico to win the first CONCACAF Nations League and soon after won the Gold Cup Final over Mexico with an almost totally different team.
And injury woes for Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams mean two of the side’s most important players leave a smaller sample sizes for scouts.
So what do we really know about Berhalter’s USMNT from on the pitch? Unfortunately for those scouting from Wales, England, and Iran… not a terrible amount. But let’s look at a pretty wild cycle.
Gregg Berhalter record as USMNT coach
Overall: 36W-9D-10L — 115 GF, 36 GA — 2.13 ppm
Friendlies: 12W-4D-5L — 43 GF, 17 GA — 1.90 ppm
World Cup qualifiers: 7W-4D-3L — 21 GF, 10 GA — 1.79 ppm
Nations League: 6W-1D-1L — 25 GF, 6 GA —
Gold Cup: 11W-0D-1L — 26 GF, 3 FA — 2.17 ppm (2019, 2021)
Gregg Berhalter record vs CONCACAF
Berhalter’s record against CONCACAF is pretty exceptional, even if it should be somewhat expected for a USMNT (or Mexico) tenure to include gaudy numbers against the confederation.
The Yanks having a winning record against every CONCACAF foe except for Canada, which is .500 at two wins, a draw, and two losses. Along the way, Berhalter’s men have punked essentially every nation that failed to qualify for the final round of World Cup qualifying.
That’s why Berhalter’s overall (all comps) goal differential is an almost silly +79. The USMNT under Berhalter is a combined 9-0 against Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, Cuba, Haiti, and Martinique, rolling up 41 goals and allowing — checks proverbial notes — a single goal.
The U.S. has only lost to five CONCACAF rivals and only Mexico and Canada can boast multiple wins against the Americans (Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Panama have also beaten the U.S.).
Gregg Berhalter record vs everyone else
Qatar 1-0 win
Japan 2-0 loss
Saudi Arabia — 2pm ET Tuesday
CONMEBOL (South America)
Uruguay 0-0 draw
Uruguay 1-1 draw
Venezuela 3-0 loss
Chile 1-1 draw
Ecuador 1-0 win
Morocco 3-0 win
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 win
Switzerland 2-1 loss
Northern Ireland 2-1 win
Wales 0-0 draw