Gregg Berhalter facing renewed pressure to keep his spot after USMNT’s dismal Copa showing

The U.S. men’s soccer team just endured a dismal performance in Copa América. With a chance to play at least three group games at home against some top-flight competition, and with a favorable draw in the group stage, this was a chance for the USMNT to advance to the knockout round in what is their only major tuneup before hosting the 2026 World Cup, along with Canada and Mexico

It went worse than you might have imagined.

Their run of group play got off to a positive start, with a 2-0 win over Bolivia that could have easily seen the USMNT add another goal or two. But then everything went downhill in the 18th minute against Panama when Tim Weah punched an opponent and earned himself a red card and a quick trip to the showers.

While the US rebounded from that to take a 1-0 lead, Panama countered with two goals to hand the Americans a brutal 2-1 loss.

Needing a win against Uruguay to somehow keep their chances of advancing alive, the USMNT fought hard, only to come up short 1-0. Yes, there were some calls and non-calls that went against them, but having put themselves in a difficult position with the loss to Panama, it was an uphill fight from the start.

Now the American soccer world is wondering what comes next, and the American Outlaws — the biggest group of supporters of American soccer — have made their feelings known.

It is time for Gregg Berhalter to go.

In a post on social media to over 180,000 followers, the group called for a new head coach in the run-up to the 2026 World Cup. “There needs to be accountability and a plan to move forward for the USMNT. It’s time to make a change in the head coaching position,” read the statement in part.

You can view the full statement here:

The Outlaws are not the only ones calling for a change, but in truth, American soccer might not have many great options at the moment. It was something of a surprise that Berhalter was brought back following the 2022 World Cup, not for the team’s performance but a combination of history, and scandal. While the USMNT put in a solid performance in Qatar — advancing out of Group B before being eliminated by The Netherlands — second go-rounds have not usually been kind to USMNT coaches following a first run at the World Cup.

For example, after a solid showing in 2002 when Bruce Arena’s squad advanced to the quarter-finals, the 2006 squad under his leadership was bounced in the group stages after two losses and a draw. Both Bob Bradley and Jürgen Klinsmann were not around for a second run.

Add in the scandal that emerged following the World Cup involving Berhalter and Claudio Reyna which was kicked off due to questions about the coach’s usage of Gio Reyna, and there were legitimate questions at the time whether Berhalter would be given another opportunity. As our friends at Stars and Stripes FC wrote at the time:

While Berhalter has had some success, the biggest victories the team can claim are wins against Mexico in the Gold Cup and Nations League and draws against Mexico at the Azteca and England in the World Cup. This was far from Berhalter’s goal to “change the way the world looks at American soccer.” The players may like him, but the team needs a manager who can reach a higher level.

The federation must not waste this scandal by once again enabling mediocrity and ignoring toxic behavior by having decision-makers who base their actions on allegiances to an old boy network. Sadly, if history gives any indication to what the future may hold, it’s more likely that choices that favor networks and mediocrity rather than merit will continue to guide the US Soccer Federation.

However, the US Soccer Federation went in a different direction, bringing Berhalter back for this run. And other options were passed over such as Jesse Marsch, who was viewed as perhaps the “obvious” candidate to take over. Marsch then took the reins at Canada … and promptly guided that squad to the knockout round at Copa.

While American soccer wonders what happens form here.

At least one group of supporters — and an influential one at that — has made their feelings quite clear.

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