The USMNT finished third in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the USMNT is back on the grand stage as they qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Despite losing 2-0 to Costa Rica, the US exorcized their demons stemming from the 2017 loss in Trinidad and Tobago. With the results in the previous matches, the US had a six goal cushion against Los Ticos. While some supporters may have gotten a bit antsy, the USMNT ultimately booked their ticket.
"“It’s amazing what this group of guys have been able to do over these last seven months,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said after clinching the spot on Wednesday. “I’ve really seen the team grow and this is a great accomplishment. We are looking forward to the World Cup.”Source: ESPN"
The much-maligned Gregg Berhalter did what he was brought in to do. He led the national team to another World Cup and, in the end, ended up molding the team and having them play the he wanted them to. It was a rocky start to his tenure but he managed to right the ship.
"“I don’t think that has sunk in yet,” he said, when asked about leading the team to the World Cup as a coach. “Just being at a World Cup as a player is one of the most special things you can do. Now to be doing it as a coach with this group of players is something special.”Source: ESPN"
While some may point out they finished behind Canada and Mexico, where one finishes isn’t too important in the grand scheme of things. The thing that matters is qualifying and in that sense, it was mission accomplished.
The qualification is also a significant moment for those players who were part of the last cycle. Many might have moved on but Christian Pulisic is one of the few that remain and he knows how tough this process can be.
"“It’s definitely been a roller coaster,” Christian Pulisic told CBS Sports after the match. “It’s never easy to come down and play in these Concacaf countries. We know that. We battled through most of it, and at the end of the day we are in the top three and we are going to the World Cup. We should be proud.”Source: CBS Sports"
The players and everyone involved with the national team are certainly going to enjoy the moment. After that comes the preparation. It will be interesting to see the squad selection for Berhalter. There were a couple of players missing during this international break that should be all but a lock for the final World Cup squad.
In the meantime, the USMNT, along with the rest of qualified national teams, await their group and opponents. The draw for the 2022 World Cup is set to take place on Friday with the US in Pot 2.