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US 'not chasing result' v Brazil after Colombia rout: Berhalter

By AFP

June 11, 2024 09:37 PM


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United States coach Gregg Berhalter says he will be prioritizing player performance rather than the result when his team faces mighty Brazil on Wednesday just days after a 5-1 thrashing by Colombia.

Furious US fans have deluged social media platforms with calls for Berhalter to resign or be fired in the wake of Saturday's mauling against Colombia, which has reawakened skepticism about the ability of the USA to be competitive against top sides.

Another heavy defeat against Brazil in Orlando on Wednesday will undoubtedly pile more pressure on Berhalter as he prepares the US for this month's Copa America campaign.

Berhalter however is adamant that winning or losing against the five-time world champions was not his main concern.

Instead, Berhalter wants to see an improved performance from players he accused of "lacking respect" for Colombia following their defeat at the weekend.

"The message to the team after the Colombia game is that we're not chasing a result, we're chasing a performance," Berhalter said Tuesday.

"If we look after the game and see 11 or 16 guys performing at an eight out of 10 level, that will be enough."

Berhalter said Wednesday's friendly offered another opportunity to prove that the US was capable of competing effectively against the top-ranked teams in international football.

Under Berhalter, the US has won only five of 18 games against teams ranked in FIFA's top 20. Four of those five wins came against regional rivals Mexico.

"We know Brazil's a very good team, but for us it's about how do we perform at our highest level against teams like this," Berhalter said.

"Looking back at the Colombia game, the first 60 minutes were okay and then I think the last 30 minutes we went to pieces. That's something we want to avoid.

"Normally our solutions are very impactful and help us get the result in a game; in this game it wasn't the case. So for us it's about really focusing on the performance rather than the result."

Berhalter emphasized that Wednesday's game was only a staging post towards the Copa America, where his team could well end up facing either Brazil or Colombia in the quarter-finals.

"The natural tendency would be to say okay, now it's only about the result, but the reality is, it is a friendly game," Berhalter said.

"We are preparing for a tournament, we want to gain information, both on Brazil and our own players. So we have to be brave and we have to continue with our plan."

Berhalter meanwhile brushed off questions that his future as US coach could hinge on how well the team performs at the Copa America.

"I don't think I'm the right person to answer that question," he said. "But what I would say is that we do see this as a building block.

"We see this group as a talented group that's able to do good things, and we want to use Copa America to show that we're focused on going as far as we can."


AFP


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