The conversation cannot be postponed. Procrastination on specific personal decisions that will reveal Greg Berhalter’s future at the helm of the US men’s national team is now detrimental to delays beyond this weekend. Myles Robinson has moved from the World Cup squad to off the 23-man squad brought to Qatar in one very unfortunate move. This is a big dilemma for Berhalter.
After being a rock in the Americans’ defense during the octagonal World Cup qualifiers, Miles Robinson will play zero minute in Qatar due to a non-contact injury he sustained while playing for his Major League Soccer side Atlanta United last Saturday. Robinson suffered an Achilles tendon rupture and is out for the rest of the year. The shortest diagnosis for Robinson is eight months. The United States plays its first match in the 2022 World Cup in just over six matches.
No long-term injury would have revealed Berhalter’s ability to modify the formations that lead Yanke’s side more than Robinson. Any football fan with a mind would start Christian Pulisic, Weston McKinney and Tyler Adams. Robinson’s omission to even crown a champion in Qatar created a crossroads for Berhalter, with he and Walker Zimmermann Everything but the pencils To be the main center-back duo in the World Cup.
Berhalter’s confusing menu options Well documented, as is the random rotation of teams. Those errors were small enough that the US took third place in the octagon, the weakest plateau for an automated dock from CONCACAF to Qatar. Due to the World Cup finals in late fall unlike the traditional summer event, Berhalter has six months to prepare to replace Robinson. It will go one of two ways.
The wrong direction might be to rely only on premium players in recent WCQ games or entirely new selections. Berhalter is committed to pairing Zimmermann with Aaron Long who Appeared in the center of the defense In the last trio of USMNT games, you will do well. Since when is mediocrity preferred? The Yanks head coach was hinting that Cameron Carter Vickers, 24, who played in the zero octagon, was called up for friendlies in June. I’m all in favor of broadening horizons, but going with someone completely new is risky if you’re not planning on sticking with it throughout 2022. And Berhalter has shown no ability to stop messing with lineups.
Who will take Robinson’s place?
The group of players that Berhalter needs to dip into on the rise with Robinson vacant are those who have played in the team’s big matches since their Nations League victory but may not have featured in the final round of octagon matches. Is this an eclectic way to make the best choice in John Brooks? Probably. But where else will you find a real goalkeeper who has finally scored a World Cup goal before? Of the players truly vying to represent America in Qatar, only he and Andrej Yedlin were in the squad for the last time the country played in a World Cup finals eight years ago. remember him goal against Ghana? Brooks’ header was unlikely to hit the net at the time.
Why Brooks isn’t the obvious choice is unfathomable. I guess he still has to “earn” her at anything Berhalter’s moving goal road throws in front of him. When combining experience, potential, national team pedigree, and chemistry with Zimmermann, the ideal choice is Brooks. And it’s not particularly close to second place.
If Brooks’ unbelievable isolation from Yanke continues, then Chris Richards, Mark McKenzie and Tim Ream should be under consideration, as Richards has the upper hand for this trio due to his failure to provide the red flag in the national team shirt for the past 12 months. Ream is the oldest and most experienced among that group but has shown a slow stride internationally in Final Years Against CONCACAF, not to mention better than the rest of the world. Go back to the Nations League final and watch the opening 90s and you’ll get my thoughts on McKinsey. Yes, it is one mistake. But he must stay with him.
Richards got the proper training, rising through the ranks of FC Dallas and Bayern Munich. He finds himself at Hoffenheim, a mid-level club in the Bundesliga that gives him consistent playing time, something many of the USMNT players have struggled with. With no options tested in the center of defence, Berhalter may need to adjust who he calls Qatar, with James Sands now more valuable as a defensive midfielder for extra help. Perhaps this leaves one option for the attack from the plane to Qatar.
Converting an unorthodox center back to center has had mixed results for USMNT’s previous World Cup Finals. Look at Jeff Cameron in 2014, who was solid overall but had a huge slip against Portugal. Either way, Berhalter’s handling of this situation and how it plays in Qatar will ensure that he is the right man to lead the Americans as co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup, or prove that he is not and someone else will get the opportunity. My money is on the latter.