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Wednesday Cannon Fodder: World Cup off day

Netherlands v USA: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

And on the 18th day, they all rested. We’ve had 56 matches in 17 days, and I can confidently say that I’ve watched at least 30 minutes of all of them. That’s a lot of football. Probably too much, but I’ve enjoyed it. How much of this World Cup have you watched?

Since we’re still in international football mode, I’m curious for your thoughts on this:

What do you think of the job that Gregg Berhalter has done with the USMNT? Do you think the USSF should extend his contract?

I’m not a big Berhalter fan. I think he did a good job changing the culture and vibes around the team. He achieved the minimum goal set for him — qualify for this World Cup — and he got the team out of the group stage. That’s a solid accomplishment, and he’s due credit for managing it.

But it’s time for someone else. Many believe that no manager should be in charge of a country for more than one World Cup cycle, that a different voice is necessary regardless. I tend to agree with that, although every four years, there is one manager who has a darn good claim on keeping his job should he want to do so — the guy who won the World Cup.

While Berhalter moved the USMNT forward tactically, and again deserves credit for that, he was inflexible. His need to play a more traditional #9 had him playing lesser players to fit the system rather than adjusting to system to get more of his better players on the pitch. He was also found wanting in terms of in-game adjustments. Multiple times, like against Wales when they started the second half with Kieffer Moore on the pitch, he was too slow to adjust his setup and make substitutions.

So thanks for everything, Gregg. I mean it! But it’s time to move on.