- The Copa América is the most important tournament for the United States before the World Cup
- Gregg Berhalter got a second chance when he was rehired in June
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The USMNT faces a big challenge in the Copa América this summer ahead of the 2026 World Cup, but for Gregg Berhalter it represents an even bigger test. However, the coach insisted that he is always under pressure.
Berhalter was given a second chance to take over the United States national team when he was rehired in June after his contract expired after the 2022 World Cup.
With the 2026 World Cup, which the United States will co-host with Canada and Mexico, on the horizon, many have claimed there is pressure on the coach to deliver this summer at the Copa America, which is also being played at home.
Former U.S. defenseman Alexi Lalas asked Berhalter if his job depends on the team’s success in this summer’s tournament during the show’s latest episode. Podcast on the State of the Union this week.
Initially, Berhalter tried to dodge Lalas’ question, joking that he had just gotten off a four-hour flight.
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter (left) told Alexi Lalas (right) that he always feels pressure in his job.
The United States faces a great challenge in the Copa América this summer ahead of the 2026 World Cup
However, he finally responded by saying: “I think that for us to achieve our goals, the Copa América is very important.”
“We have to do two things: we have to learn to beat the best in the world and we have to learn to thrive in a knockout competition. And the Copa América is going to be great because of that.
“As far as me and work is concerned, one thing I have learned from working with the national team is that it is one on one, you are always under pressure, you are always responsible for the results.
‘I think this is part of it, I’m learning to live with the pressure. I don’t think there is any pressure that the outside can put on us or me that I don’t put on myself. So we are very focused on our goals and on the Copa América.”
Lalas continued to press the coach about whether a poor performance in the Copa América, the most important tournament before the 2026 World Cup, would negatively affect Berhalter’s job.
“I think the most important thing is that the team continues to develop,” Berhalter responded, deflecting once again toward his team rather than his work.
Berhalter got a second chance with the U.S. team when he was re-signed in June.
“It’s difficult to determine an exact match or an exact tournament to say that the team is not developing. That’s very difficult to do. Our job is to develop this team so that when we get to 2026 we can make this country proud.”
Berhalter’s position was clouded after the 2022 World Cup due to his relationship with player Gio Reyna during the Qatar tournament.
Berhalter made headlines when Reyna’s former friends and parents, Claudio and Danielle Reyna, shared details about his and his wife Rosalind’s private lives.
However, since being re-signed, Berhalter and Reyna do not seem to have any problems within the national team setup.