Team USA fans have branded Gregg Berhalter “crazy” for leaving star attacking star Gio Reyna on the bench against Wales and accused him of “wasting a win on the biggest stage” following the 1-1 draw. 1 of the team in Doha.
Timothy Weah, son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian president George Weah, scored from a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute to break the tie for the Star and Stripes, considered Qatar’s second-youngest team.
Back at the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the USA looked poised for victory before Walker Zimmerman brought Bale down from behind with the Welsh star with his back to goal in the 82nd minute.
USMNT’s Giovanni Reyna did not appear for Monday’s game against Wales, surprising many fans.
American fans took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with coach Gregg Berhalter after the 1-1 draw.
Referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim of host Qatar signaled the penalty spot with little to no hesitation.
‘It was a very close match. We left everything out there,’ USA coach Gregg Berhalter said in his post-game remarks.
The fans may have agreed with their head coach, but they certainly didn’t think he had done enough off the bench to help his team move closer to victory, as the young Americans looked spent midway through the second half.
Timothy Weah broke the tie for Star & Stripes with a delicious finish to the first half
Gareth Bale celebrates with his teammates after a penalty awarded to Wales in the 82nd minute
Berhalter is crazy to play Jordan Morris over Gio Reyna! CRAZY!’ a fan shared on Twitter after the end of the 90 minutes.
“This is why I extremely dislike Berhalter,” added another. “I’ll constantly park the bus and play 1-0 instead of staying aggressive.”
‘Yedlin still on the list is a laugh. Same with Jordan Morris, another fan tweeted in reaction to Sergino Dest being substituted for the former Newcastle player in the 74th minute and Weah, the goalscorer, coming off for the Seattle Sounders player two minutes before the end of regulation time.
“Berhalter better hope it comes out later that Gio was dealing with a hit or something, because there’s no excuse not to show up,” the fan added.
USMNT fans questioned Berhalter’s substitutions and his reason for omitting Reyna from the game.
“Berhalter got the game he wanted in the first half and followed through with a great plan,” another fan shared. “And then in the second half, when Wales were forced to come out and play offense, there was just no reaction there.”
‘Berhalter is incapable of making adjustments and therefore squandered a victory on the biggest stage. Very disappointing not to come away with a win today,” another person said.
‘I have an idea, let’s sit with a one goal lead and get on the bottom of our bench when Reyna and Scally are there. Berhalter only knows how to play one way and can’t adapt #fuming’ another fan tweeted.
Other fans said that the US head coach lacked a plan in the second half while his team was still on top.
Reyna, who currently plays for Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, has only featured in 10 games this season, scoring twice. The 20-year-old scored four times for the USMNT in 14 appearances.
The son of Claudio Reyna, who played four World Cups with the Stars and Stripes (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006), has recovered his physical shape for the World Cup, playing 10 games with Dortmund in one month, but with minute restrictions.
His high level of play has earned him the nickname ‘The American Dream’ by his former teammate Erling Haaland.
Reyna’s goal during the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Mexico, beating six defenders in a single run before turning the ball over, was compared to Diego Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ at the 1986 World Cup against England in the quarter-finals.
The calls for it to start will only grow further as the US must now pick up at least one win, either against England on Friday or against Iran three days later on November 29.