USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter admits USA lacked respect for 'opponent and the game of soccer' in loss


LANDOVER, Md. — On Saturday, The United States men’s national team suffered their worst loss under Gregg Berhalter as they fell to Colombia 5-1 at FedEx Field. This was the USMNT’s first time allowing five goals since the 2009 Gold Cup final that they lost to Mexico and it couldn’t have come at a worse time with the red, white, and blue kicking off the Copa America group stage against Bolivia on June 21. The USMNT made numerous simple mistakes and Colombia made them pay for each of them as the result could’ve been worse if not for Luis Diaz smashing a shot off the post after dispossessing Antonee Robinson and Matt Turner coming up with a big save.

All that being said, the USMNT weren’t good enough when they needed to be and they paid for it which led to Berhalter not mincing his words following the match.

“Really disappointed with the result. We’re not framing it as a lesson learned. We’re actually referring to it as a wake-up call. Really poor performance against a top team. I know if you give a team like that the opportunities that we gave them, you’re going to have no chance to win and that’s what is really disappointing about the game,” Berhalter said. “I think the first half, if you look at the two goals they had, maybe two and a half chances in the first half and scored two goals and then from the 75th minute on it was, I think, a lack of respect for our opponent and the game of soccer, what we were doing.”

Berhalter couldn’t have put it clearer when talking about how his team fell apart late after Tim Ream was taken off and even reliable players like Antonee Robinson had trouble dealing with Colombia’s pressure. Following the game, plenty of members of the team reflected on those same thoughts, that this kind of result is unacceptable, but they have quite a challenge coming up on the horizon. 

“It was a wake-up call for us and we expressed that to the group and we play Brazil on Wednesday,” Berhalter said.

Now it’s on Berhalter and the players to heed and respond to that wake-up call. They weren’t the only Concacaf nation to receive one as Canada and Mexico both also lost friendlies by four goals during this international window but improvement needs to come quickly or U.S. Soccer may need to rethink things ahead of the 2026 World Cup.





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