USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter praised his young side for finding a way past Honduras to reach the CONCACAF Nations League final on Sunday.
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It wasn’t pretty but they got it done.
Jordan Siebatcheu’s 89th-minute winner gave the USMNT a 1-0 win which sets up a final with Mexico in Denver, Colorado on Sunday.
After huffing and puffing throughout the game and relying on an incredible goal-line clearance and a couple of fine saves from Zack Steffen, the USMNT squeezed past Honduras.
Speaking to reporters after the game, via MLSSoccer.com, Berhalter loved the fact his side were able to edge past a CONCACAF foe who they will face in World Cup qualifying over the next year.
“We’re happy, and this game is exactly what we needed when you think about the level of competition, the competitiveness of the game. Some of these guys have never seen that before,” Berhalter said. “So, really happy with how they dealt with it. I think the mental side of it to just keep grinding and wearing them down was really important.
“It wasn’t an easy game at all. We had chances in the first half that we didn’t finish. I think we got too open in the second half at times, not enough balance. But again, for the guys to have to compete and dig like that at altitude, in heat, they did a fantastic job.”
What did we learn about the USMNT?
Not a lot that we didn’t already know.
The USMNT has a lot of tidy midfielders and attacking midfielders, but lack a cutting edge up top. Plus, defensively they have one good center back in John Brooks (who was brilliant) and the other pieces around him are better going forward than they are defending.
This is a work in progress, and it wasn’t a positive display for the entire 90 minutes as Honduras had multiple big chances to score.
But the USMNT found a way to get it done and this young group will learn from this experience.
Berhalter will be hoping that when they play at Honduras in September in World Cup qualifying, his talented young squad can make a much easier job of this.