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America vs. Iran was a referendum on Greg Berhalter’s leadership.he won | United States

G.regg Berhalter knows the importance of fine margins in the World Cup. As a defender for the United States, he denied an equalizer in the quarter-finals of his 2002 World Cup, when Germany’s Torsten Frings handed his hand to his line and his ball ended without a penalty. it was done. The United States lost him 1-0.

Had Iran shown more composure in the box on Tuesday, they could have grabbed the points they needed to finish above the United States, and instead of hoping for a round of 16 draw with the Netherlands on Saturday, the United States head coach would have faced. uncertain future.

But in-mouth moments, total time seen through fingers, and bitten nail length tallies don’t count in the official standings. Where their talent level suggested they should be.

As a result, Berhalter’s almost certainly earned some long-term job security. Co-hosts USA will not brush up on potential tripwires for Conca Cafe qualifying campaigns, so many of the rapidly improving current teams should, aside from changes to standard practice. Likely to take charge of the 2026 tournament… will be their peak.

Fair or not, this was Burrhalter’s 59th match and the referendum for his entire tenure. and he won. Faster, stronger, smarter and more skilful than their opponents, a program that always seeks respect, a country that failed to even reach the final four years ago remains in the World Cup best 16. .

That’s what the United States expected and what the coaches needed. The risky business of being in charge of the most talented group of footballers your country has ever produced. It wouldn’t have looked good to finish under Wales and Iran.

They have achieved the bare minimum while realizing Berhalter’s grandiose vision: youth, energy, and seeing one of the better sides of the world without being too disbelieving. A high-pressure, possession-based style that makes you believe.

Admittedly, it is not suitable and some drawbacks are still evident. Most notable is the lack of goalscoring threat with strikers. This is the purple patch and gray area team. Injuries to Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent, as well as the fitness of Weston McKennie, are concerns ahead of their clash with Holland, but America will go all out and be the underdog. it’s incomprehensible.

But when playing “what if”? From an Iranian point of view, we can do that from an American point of view too.What if Tim Weah’s knee was not offside, but he ran clear at the end of the first half and finished triumphantly? would have been much calmer had the USA dominated by two goals.

After a bizarre build-up featuring Gio Reyna conspiracy theories, social media stunts and questions about his influence on American foreign policy, Burhalter dropped center-back credible starter Walker Zimmermann. It almost didn’t register on that weird meter. For over a year in favor of the much less experienced Cameron Carter Vickers.

Greg Verhalter replaced Walker Zimmerman with Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Greg Burhalter replaced Walker Zimmerman with Cameron Carter-Vickers. Photo: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

As hard as his job has been without winning in the last five games against the country with Qatar’s oldest roster, Barhalter, the tournament’s second-youngest team boss, has been forced to drop three. I chose the youngest lineup of the two groups. game.

No one accuses the coach of hidden loyalty to “his men” anymore. It turns out that he wants to freely combine not only sneakers, but also players. The switchover, which came after Zimmermann played well in a very credible goalless draw with England, saw Burhalter cull goalkeeper Zak Steffen and forward Ricardo Pepi to form a 26-man tournament roster. It was another example of the ruthless streak that he displayed at times.

The risk of combining Carter-Vickers and Tim Ream for the first time paid off. Both the 24-year-old’s physical beauty and the lumberjack-like looks and the bearded veteran expecting a chess grandmaster were impressed.

Up front, Sargent, who was reinstated to the starting line-up, was a valuable and busy contributor until injury struck, although he mostly had his back to goal. When it came time to escape the storm in the second half, Verhalter brought in right-back Shaq Moore, who had barely appeared in Concacaf qualifiers. It was a gamble with little payouts.

The general pattern of play resembled the Americans’ first game against Wales. A dominant first half with just one goal resulted in an unsettling second half as cautious and restricted opponents left the bunkers in search of an equalizer. The difference here is that the United States has not made a crucial mistake.

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Still, US goalkeeper Matt Turner didn’t need to save until the last ten minutes. After goal scorer Pulisic was sent off with an injury in the second half, the team showed they could cope without the amulet.

Burhalter entering the tournament had to work out personnel issues, including who to play as striker and centre-back. But the key issue was more basic and perhaps beyond his control. Will pressure deflate or grow this band of World Cup rookies? Now we know.

as another prominent american manager Say it: “It’s a big game, man…they did it, God loves them.” After much doubt and debate, Burhalter isn’t holding back, at least until the weekend. got the right.

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