Greg Berhalter received the best possible gift on his 48th birthday, Sunday, since he became head coach of Team USA. His team awarded him the 2021 Gold Cup title, which in turn was doubly satisfying as they defeated their arch-rival in the region, Mexico.
Since taking the helm in the stars and stripes, Berhalter has not been consistent with a team on the field and has chosen to use youth in search of new items that would serve him in future tournaments such as the World Cup.
The United States played the Gold Cup with the B team, which they repeated in the Grand Final held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
“It was the best birthday present I could get,” Berhalter told the media after his team’s coronation. “When I see what they have done, I am proud of them. We were only together for a month. I saw their growth, and I felt the desire to win. If I watched today’s match, we did not stop, we kept insisting and we succeeded, we were a persistent team.”
Berhalter highlighted the little time his team spent in preparation for the tournament, noting that he won several matches in the final stages, in addition to the fact that “Uncle Sam” did not have time to rest before the final against Mexico.
“The mentality was to keep fighting, and we only had two days off,” the coach explained. “We try to keep our legs cool and show that during the match with the youngsters. You really have no idea how things are going to be, but you have to develop the plan. Every opponent we had was different… Mexico were one of the best teams in the tournament, along with With us and we had to adapt to that.”
Berhalter said his priority is to give young people space.
“I think I was consistent in saying that I wanted to win the Gold Cup and sometimes we had to change the team, without much consistency. This tournament tested young players who showed the ability to understand the goal.”
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