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The United States returns with marked dominance in Concacaf


Coach Gregg Berhalter at the celebration for winning the Concacaf Gold Cup

After watching the World Cup in Russia from a distance, in what was his first absence since Italy ’90, the United States team will return to the top soccer event in Qatar, strengthened by his marked dominance in the Concacaf arena.

During the last year, the American representative relegated his main rival, Mexico, and kept the two most important competitions in the region: the Gold Cup and the League of Nations.

The Aztec team led by Argentine Gerardo Martino could not overcome him in the direct duels of the Qualifiers either, in which both got their place behind Canada.

The resurgence of the United States occurred at the hands of coach Gregg Berhalter, a former defender of the national team in the World Cups in Korea-Japan and Germany.

The 49-year-old New Jersey native took over the team at the end of 2018 after the frustration of being eliminated from Russia.

After gaining experience at Sweden’s Hammarby and MLS’s Columbus Crew, where he directed five Argentine soccer players, including Federico Higuaín, Berhalter faced a deep replacement, the term of the generation that had placed soccer in the round of 16 expired. South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

The new winds marked the end of historic players like goalkeeper Timothy Howard; defenders Michael Bradley and DaMarcus Beasley or forward Clint Dempsey, for example.

The United States team was refounded from young projection values ​​in the world’s top-level leagues, especially around the greatest local soccer credit, Christian Pulisic, who had already been part of the 2018 World Cup qualifying process at the age of 17.

Of Croatian descent, the Pennsylvania-born midfielder was linked to national teams from the U15 level and his qualities as a powerful and fast attacker mobilized European soccer scouts.

The United States Celebrates Winning The Concacaf Gold Cup Afp
The United States celebrates winning the Concacaf Gold Cup (AFP).

Thus, “Captain America” ​​received a proposal to sign for Borussia Dortmund at just 16 years old, favored by his dual nationality and his status as a community footballer.

After playing 25 games in the lower divisions of the German club, Pulisic joined the first team at the end of 2015 by decision of DT Thomas Tuchel.

He played four seasons, won the German Cup in 2017 and two years later he left for Chelsea in exchange for 53 million pounds, a record amount never before paid by an American player.

At the London club, again under the direction of Tuchel, he shone with the conquest of the Champions League, the European Super Cup and the 2021 Club World Cup.

That year was also unforgettable for his team as he was the decisive scorer for the 3-2 win over Mexico in extra time, which meant the coronation in the first Concacaf Nations League.

Pulisic, currently valued at 42 million euros, will play his first World Cup accompanied by Barcelona winger Sergino Dest (21), Leeds United midfielders Tyler Adams (23) and Brenden Aaronson (21), Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna (19) and of Juventus Weston McKennie, main exponents of the team that will try to make their mark in Qatar.

The United States, number 16 in the FIFA ranking, achieved its best World Cup performance with third place in Uruguay 1930 and in the last three decades reached the eighth three times (1994, 2010 and 2014) and another time in the quarterfinals (2002).

His debut in Qatar 2022 will take place against Wales, on Monday, November 21 at 4:00 p.m. at the Ahmad bin Ali stadium, four days later he will be England’s rival at Al Bayt stadium and will close against Iran at Al Thumama, on Tuesday 29 also at 4:00 p.m.

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