ST. LOUIS — Gregg Berhalter praised the mindset of his U.S. males’s nationwide staff within the final 10 minutes of the 3-0 win over Uzbekistan, however admitted that there was loads of room for enchancment after his first recreation again as head coach.
The U.S. jumped on high within the fourth minute thanks to Tim Weah’s purpose, however then labored for much of the match, as Uzbekistan’s five-man backline proved tough to break down.
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It took a purpose within the first minute of second-half stoppage time from substitute Ricardo Pepi to make the sport secure, earlier than Christian Pulisic scored from the penalty spot 4 minutes later to full the scoring. Both of the late objectives got here with Uzbekistan decreased to 10 males after Khojiakbar Alidzhanov was pressured to depart the match with an damage, and with the guests out of substitutes.
“I think we use this game as a learning tool,” Berhalter mentioned. “We can improve and we need to improve and we will.”
“I really, really liked the mindset in the last 10 minutes of the game,” he added. “You could see the guys still wanted to push. It wasn’t about holding onto the 1-0. It was about getting aggressive. As they moved to a back four, we had more space and I liked that the guys wanted to attack it.
“I believe that it is a good baseline for us to begin and say that is what worldwide competitors from different areas appears to be like like and in order that we use as we go.”
The U.S. was made to work hard for its victory. Both Alijonov and Eldor Shomurodov had some clear chances to pull Uzbekistan level, but both were undone by the combination of wayward finishing as well as some stellar goalkeeping from Matt Turner.
Berhalter explained that he instituted a tactical wrinkle to try and draw Uzbekistan out of its low block, but that his team didn’t play quickly enough once the first line of pressure was broken.
“We gave the ball away in some robust spots. That was the very first thing,” he said. “The second factor is once we had been constructing, we had been methodical about our buildup attempting to appeal to the opponent. I assumed then we lacked the rushing up the assault as soon as we broke by that entrance 5 and that would have been higher.
“A back five is always difficult to break down. You saw that they just dropped and we wanted to get behind ’em. We didn’t do that often enough.
“And then the opposite factor I’d word is that our press after [losing possession], defensive transition, wants to get higher. I believe we gave them too many alternatives to get behind us once we may have been positioned higher to win the ball instantly after we misplaced it.”
Berhalter added that he didn’t mind his side playing with a slower rhythm as long as it’s accompanied by a change of pace.
“If we had to take our time to draw out their protection, after which discover somebody as soon as we break their high 5, then we want to pace up the assault,” he said. “We want to have numbers getting ahead, we want numbers coming into the penalty field, we want runs behind the backline and I assumed that is what we lacked at instances.”
Saturday’s match was the first for Berhalter since last December’s World Cup in Qatar. Shortly after the tournament, a public feud with the family of midfielder Gio Reyna resulted in the revealing of a domestic violence incident from 1992 that involved Berhalter and his now wife Rosalind. An investigation by an outside law firm largely cleared Berhalter, allowing him to still be a candidate to manage the USMNT. He re-signed with U.S. Soccer in June.
Berhalter said that he only allowed himself a brief moment to reflect on all that transpired over the last nine months.
“At the anthem you mirror on it a bit of bit that you simply’re again, he mentioned. “And then it’s back to work, and you’re on the sidelines and you’re coaching, trying to help the team win a game.”