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Berhalter: USMNT progressed towards international respectability at World Cup despite Netherlands loss

5:45 PM GMT 03/12/2022
Gregg Berhalter USMNT 2022
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter highlighted the positives after his side bowed out of the World Cup with a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday.

WHAT HAPPENED? Goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries cancelled out an unusual strike from Haji Wright as the USMNT was eliminated from the last 16 of the tournament. Berhalter was quick to point towards the bigger picture for his side, highlighting the role of the team's identity, commitment and togetherness in its progress on the world stage.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We made some progress [in proving the United States can compete on world stage]," Berhalter said to FOX. "When people look at our team, they see a clear identity, players who fight for each other on the field. It's really special to see, you don't often get a bond like that."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While the USMNT failed to reach what would have been its first quarter-final since 2002, Berhalter's quotes reflect a more rounded focus on the national team's long-term plan. Many of his players were featuring in their first ever World Cup in Qatar, meaning Saturday's exit will provide them with valuable experience moving forward to the 2026 finals hosted by the U.S. alongside Canada and Mexico.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? At 25 years and 77 days, Berhalter fielded the youngest average starting XI of all teams in the tournament, with Ecuador (25y, 364d) and Spain (26y, 64d) the next youngest.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? Berhalter's side will have time to regroup and reflect before its next competitive fixture on March 24 against Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League.