“Berhalter’s Blunder Thrilling: How Defensive Frailties Cost the USMNT 3-1 Against Germany”

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. Gregg Berhalter, the manager of the United States men’s national soccer team, analyzed the 3-1 defeat against Germany on Saturday, attributing it to “critical junctures” and asserting that defensively, the team’s structure “fell short.”

The U.S. took the lead in the 27th minute with an astonishing 25-yard strike by Christian Pulisic. However, Germany remained a strong contender, hitting the post in the 11th minute through Pascal Gross and later fashioning clear opportunities for Niclas Füllkrug, all denied by the vigilant U.S. keeper, Matt Turner.

The four-time World Cup champion soon displayed his prowess, leveling the score through Ilkay Gündogan in the 39th minute, capitalizing on a rebound from Turner’s attempt to thwart Leroy Sané’s advance. Subsequently, Germany widened the gap in the second half, with Füllkrug and Jamal Musiala finding the net within a three-minute burst, commencing in the 58th minute.


Berhalter remarked, “It comes down to these pivotal moments, these fleeting seconds where precise positioning is paramount, without exposing any chinks in your defensive lineup. That’s where we faltered.”

Berhalter commented, “Handling the advancing runners, keeping the structure of the backline and the three layers in front intact, posed a formidable barrier to break through.”

Hence, we lacked that precision during those moments. However, Germany is a formidable adversary with a propensity to dismantle opposing defenses. Their field presence creates fruitful scoring opportunities due to the exceptional quality they possess.”

The U.S. offensive displayed perilous moments in the first half, especially with Tim Weah’s incursions down the right wing, while Pulisic had another goal disallowed for offside, alongside a denied penalty appeal.

“Primarily in the initial half, our performance was commendable,” Berhalter added. “However, it came down to specific moments. The goals, I believe, were conceded a tad too easily, but I am content with the team’s effort, their mindset, and their objectives.”

Gregg Berhalter tasted defeat for the first time in his second stint as the USMNT coach against Germany on Saturday. Howard Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

Berhalter also expressed overall satisfaction with the educational value of the match for the team, emphasizing the imperative for improvement if they aspire to triumph.

The match also witnessed the return of attacker Gio Reyna under Berhalter since the U.S. manager’s reinstatement in June, following a public fallout after the 2022 World Cup.

The discord arose from Berhalter’s management of Reyna during the tournament, coupled with Reyna’s adverse reaction to a diminished role, almost leading to his expulsion, Berhalter’s role in disclosing the incident, and the subsequent revelation of a longstanding accusation of domestic violence to the U.S. Soccer Federation by Reyna’s mother, Danielle.


Berhalter was reinstated by U.S. Soccer in June after an investigation. However, with Reyna nursing an injury from the Concacaf Nations League final against Canada in June, Saturday’s match provided the initial opportunity for the player and coach to mend their professional relationship.

Reyna featured in the first half and was substituted at halftime, a planned decision given the player’s limited official playing time with his club, Borussia Dortmund, this season, totaling a mere 26 minutes. “We believed that 45 minutes was an optimal duration for him, and we sought to provide him with that from the outset,” Berhalter stated.

“I believe he demonstrated an admirable display of skill,” he added. I believe everyone performed admirably in the first half, so it was gratifying to witness and have him on the field.”

The American team will now endeavor to regroup ahead of the friendly against Ghana in Nashville, Tennessee, scheduled for Tuesday.
“It also revolves around dictating the tempo of the game, and that’s what we genuinely need to comprehend,” Berhalter emphasized.

“We expended so much energy, particularly in our counterattacks, that it became challenging to maintain consistency in all our actions and our defensive formation.” “And so, once again, in my view, it’s a learning experience. Matches against formidable opponents like this can’t afford to be so porous. It needs to be a more tightly contested affair.”

Berhalter: Defensive Flaws Unravel USMNT Effort Against Germany


The recent match between the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and Germany left fans and pundits alike dissecting the game’s dynamics and outcomes. Gregg Berhalter, the head coach of the USMNT, faced a tough challenge as defensive issues became a critical factor in their loss against Germany. In this article, we’ll delve into the game’s nuances and explore how defensive frailties impacted the team’s performance.

1. Introduction: A Challenging Encounter

The match against Germany was an eagerly anticipated contest, pitting two renowned footballing nations against each other. The USMNT, under the guidance of Gregg Berhalter, had prepared rigorously for this encounter. However, as the game unfolded, it became evident that their defense would be tested.

2. Defensive Structure: A Closer Look

The defensive structure of any team is paramount in modern football. It forms the foundation upon which the team’s success is built. Unfortunately, in this match, the USMNT seemed to struggle in maintaining a compact and organized defense, giving the German attack opportunities to exploit.

3. Communication Breakdown: A Crucial Factor

Effective communication among defenders is a key element in a solid defense. However, during the match, communication seemed to falter at times within the USMNT’s defensive lineup. This breakdown in coordination allowed the German attackers to exploit the gaps and create scoring opportunities.

4. Individual Defensive Mistakes: Costly Errors

In high-stakes matches, individual defensive errors can prove to be fatal. The USMNT experienced moments where individual players made critical mistakes in marking, tackling, or positioning. These mistakes were capitalized on by the German team, leading to goals.

5. Pressure and Defensive Resilience: A Balancing Act

Maintaining the right balance between applying pressure on the opposition and maintaining defensive resilience is crucial. The USMNT struggled to strike this balance, at times leaving themselves vulnerable to counterattacks due to an overly aggressive approach.

6. Coach’s Role: Gregg Berhalter’s Strategies

Gregg Berhalter’s strategies and instructions play a pivotal role in shaping the team’s defensive performance. The tactics employed and substitutions made during the match were intended to shore up the defense. However, adapting to the German attack proved to be a formidable challenge.

7. Learning from the Experience: Moving Forward

Every match, win or lose, offers valuable lessons. The USMNT can learn from this experience, particularly in the context of defensive play. Identifying the weaknesses and addressing them in training will be instrumental in ensuring a more robust defense in future matches.

8. The Resilience of the USMNT: A Silver Lining

Despite the defensive struggles, the resilience displayed by the USMNT was commendable. The team fought hard and showcased their determination, which is a testament to their character and potential for growth.

9. Fan Reactions and Optimism: Looking Ahead

Fans play a crucial role in motivating the team. The reactions and support of the fans after this match are vital in keeping the team’s spirit high. With the right adjustments and improvements, the USMNT can look forward to better performances in the future.

10. Conclusion: Addressing the Defensive Puzzle

In conclusion, defensive issues indeed played a significant role in the USMNT’s loss to Germany. Acknowledging these challenges, learning from them, and implementing corrective measures will be essential for the team to enhance their defensive capabilities and achieve better outcomes in upcoming matches. The road to success is paved with challenges, and it’s in overcoming them that true growth and triumph are achieved.

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