The USA had the youngest squad at the Qatar World Cup, and for all of the talent, in the end, it showed. Expectations across the rest of the world were never high, but in the US, they might have been too high. The USA is used to dominating whatever sport they compete in – yet football has remained an elusive one.
American fans are starting to come to terms with the beautiful game, understanding the nuances and why the USA national side isn’t at the same level as some of the major European teams. Despite this, the USA has a young, strong squad and plenty to be hopeful for.
After bowing out in the knockout stages, there is still a lot of positivise we can take from this World Cup and it should give fans a lot of hope for 2026. Sportsbooks never had the US down as favorites which is understandable, but after the encouraging performances in Qatar, all that could change when we host the World Cup in 2026. If you’re looking to place a bet on any of the teams left in the tournament, take a look at these Colorado sports betting promo codes.
Could They Have Gone Further?
The USA managed to squeeze through in the last group game to finish second, setting themselves up against the Netherlands – one of the greatest footballing nations on earth. It was never going to be an easy game, and for such a young squad, the USA performed admirably.
In the end, experience showed. After failing to qualify, this young team exceeded the football world’s expectations and performed well. Yet, you get the impression they fell short of what they perhaps expected of themselves. Pulisic really stepped up to the starring role that he has shied away from at times in the past. He was a vocal leader in both his attitude and his on-field play. This team will be back and will be stronger.
A Blunted Attacking Edge
This USA team could go head-to-head with any team, but when it comes to playing the more experienced sides, they can come undone. The possession game against Holland was broken down, and the side didn’t really have any other options in attack – they looked out of ideas.
The USA will learn from this, they have another tournament’s worth of experience, and you can only imagine they will improve by the time 2026 comes around. This young side needs to learn how to be more streetwise, but they made it much further than last time around, and that was without an elite striker with very little bench depth.
Tyler Adams had an excellent tournament and was one of the standout performers in the squad. His only mistake ended up costing them. He failed to track back with Memphis Depay, who went on to open the scoring. The Leeds midfielder and newly appointed US captain lived up to the expectation.
Christian Pulisic was involved in every one of the USA’s goals, all the while taking a beating from every defender he came up against. Every defender he came up against was doing anything and everything to keep the star man quiet. He suffered a horrible injury against Iran but still showed up every time he stepped on the pitch.
The team played excellent attacking football but were crying out for a world-class finisher, with excellent chances being missed in every game. Wright missing a perfect chance and then scoring accidentally summarized the team’s problems in front of goal pretty well.
Should Gregg Berhalter Stay as Coach?
Berhalter’s role in reviving a program that had hit a low, regardless of what happens next, has left this US team better than the position he found it in. It sounds harsh, but it may be his time to move on. The US outplayed every side they played in the first half. They then proceeded to sit back in most second halves, allowing teams to attack them.
They struggled to find a route to goal, and some questionable decisions were made by coach Berhalter – some responsibility had to fall on his shoulders. There is a belief that this team could have gone further.
The USA can’t afford to waste the potential of this squad, which could go even further in 2026. A new manager with international experience and tactical knowledge could be what this side needs.