Berhalter expects USMNT to win Gold Cup

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Patrick McDermott
Two poor friendly results have left a bitter taste in the mouths of U.S. fans but the coach says he working to improve the results

United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter says he expects his squad to win the Gold Cup, despite a pair of poor performances in the run up to the regional tournament.

The USMNT open the 2019 Gold Cup on Tuesday when they face Guyana in St. Paul, MN, looking to snap a two-match losing streak while also aiming to repeat as champions.

A 1-0 friendly defeat to regional rivals Jamaica earlier this month was followed by a surprise, heavy 3-0 loss to Venezuela, sparking criticism of the side.

And Berhalter, who will lead the USMNT in a tournament for the first time at the Gold Cup, says he gets the fan frustration over the defeats but still believes and expects victory for his squad this summer.

"There's a lot that we can't control,” Berhalter told MLSsoccer.com. “We can't control reactions. And I understand fans being upset with losing in a friendly game, I do.

“We also have expectations on ourselves to get results. So when we're entering this Gold Cup, we want to win this Gold Cup. That's what we want to do and that's what we expect to do.”

Berhalter also explained what he is trying to work to create with the USMNT, who are attempting to rebound after a disastrous 2018 World Cup qualification cycle saw them miss out on the main event in Russia last summer.

“The other part of it is we just have a process of how we work,” Berhalter said. “We work everyday, we work hard. We try to create an environment that the players love to be in, that we're creating a strong team culture and a clear identity on the field.

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“And that's all we can control and we work hard every day to ensure that.”

After facing Guyana in the opener, the USMNT will look to secure some measure of revenge for their 2018 disappointment when they face Trinidad and Tobago in Cleveland, as the defeat to the Soca Warriors in October 2017 led to their elimination from the World Cup.

The USMNT then close out their Gold Cup group stage when they battle Panama on June 26 in Kansas City.

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