The last of the players in Gregg
Berhalter's current pool of U.S. national team players wrapped up his 2019-20 European season when Tyler Adams' RB Leipzig fell to Paris St. Germain, 3-0, in the UEFA Champions League
(Andrija Novakovich -- three caps in 2018 under Dave Sarachan -- and Frosinone play at Spezia in the second leg of the final round of Italy's Serie A promotion playoffs on Thursday.)
It was quite a run for U.S players after European play restarted in May with Christian Pulisic scoring for Chelsea in the English FA Cup final (before exiting with a hamstring injury in the second half) and Adams getting the winner for RB Leipzig against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals. On top of that, at least three U.S. players could be moving to the Premier League next season.
In a media conference call on Wednesday, here is what Berhalter had to say about ...
Pulisic returning from another injury:
“I talked to Christian today. He’s doing well. The leg is doing really well. It’s recovering, it’s healing. He’s in good spirits. The club is focused on getting him back as soon as possible. We have a lot of confidence in Chelsea and we have a lot of confidence in their medical staff and a lot of confidence in Christian. He's a guy who’s exploded on the scene in the Premier League in the last year and it's been great to watch. It's down to his work ethic and his focus on playing well. We’re excited to see how he comes back in his second season."
Adams’ experience in the Champions League:
“He’s going to be an important part of what we do. When you think about playing in pressure games, there aren’t too many games that have more pressure than the Champions League quarterfinal and semifinal, and he got to play in both of those games. He’s had a phenomenal rise this season, coming back from the injury he had, hanging in there and putting himself in a position to have an impact has been great to see. He’s going to be a big part of what we do. If he can handle those games, he can handle World Cup qualifying.”
Possible moves by Antonee Robinson (from Wigan Athletic to Fulham) and Weston McKennie (from Schalke 04 to Southampton) to the Premier League:
“Regarding Antonee, it’s exciting news of a potential transfer to a Premier League team. Especially after the break he came home and was in really good form. He proved to be a real dangerous weapon on the left side. For the national team, it’s great news. When you think about that left back spot being open and being contested, it’s a good opportunity for Antonee to prove he wants to and he’s capable of being the left back for the national team. Weston is very focused on challenging himself and raising his game to the highest level possible. When you think about the Premier League, it’s the best league in the world. It’s exciting. We wish him the best and hope it’s concluded sooner rather than later.”
Zack Steffen, who has not played since December because of a knee injury, returning to Manchester City and being the backup keeper:
"He is in good hands at Man City. They are excited be working with him. The medical team there is excellent. I am comfortable that Zack will return be stronger than ever. For him, it was frustrating having tendinitis. He's feeling better, he's been assessed and he's looking forward to a strong season. We're looking forward to getting him back as well. I’m not sure that he’s definitely going back to Man City and I don’t know that if he went to Man City he wouldn’t be playing. All I can say is that they’ve been working hard with Zack to get him right and he’s looking forward to having a strong year wherever he’s playing.”
On John Brooks, whose season at Wolfsburg ended with a red card in the Europa League round of 16:
“John had a good season. There were ups and downs like every player but especially at the end of the season I thought he came on really well. After the break, he was playing every game, and he had some really good performances. It was really good to see. Getting a red card and those types of things are part of the learning experience. John is still young enough that he is learning. For us, he’s an important part of the team. When know when he is playing his best, he is a very good center back, and he can help us."
A coach praising Pulisic's "work ethic" and counting on a few individuals in a team sport, I am experiencing deja vu. Four matches in June 2021 will tell us alot.
I worked in publications for 20-some years. The editors call it "boilerplate" ... more or less generic phrases that you can access for a report or article for the general public. Change the name of the what, who and why to your specific team and you've got readymade information ready to go.
To talk about Pulisic's work ethic means nothing. If Berhalter, instead, had described Pulisic's sheer will and determination that drove him on to take a shot on goal? ...continuing to run after feeling his hamstring go?... speaks of a determination and bravery that I have never seen before. And I've been watching american football and soccer for over 60 years. I have definitely seen hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hamstring injuries as they occur and have NEVER seen an athlete keep going after pulling his hamstring. That's a work ethic worth discussing.
As it was, Berhalter didn't even even touch on it. Instead, he was just checking in to let us know he's thinking about the team. Yea, hurray?
Well said, Ginger. The boilerplate reveals alot about the coach's view of the game. In this case, the apparent priorities are work ethic over skill and individuals over team.
@Bob; You and I Finally agree on something... Cheers.!!!
Can we just stop all this BS of white vs black? Of course there is racism on both sides. But if we had compassion we all would understand each other better! We are all one! Or, we should be at least all American!
No question about Gio Reyna or question, but no comment?
Good to see Berhalter can enlighten us a bit. Style issues don't really matter--boilerplate is not the same as generic material that always suffers from some vacuosity because ti IG general, and therefor can never apply to individuals completely. Berhalter might watch on TV, might get his information directly--which is presumably why Soccer America calls him. As to "proving" ones determination in a game at a key time (notice that is probably a post-hoc observation) is a dangerous excercise in extremism. Should professinals have to ask the crowd if they should take-em on and continue and injure themselves? We might be excited anticipating that burst, but I don't want payers injuring themselves, or others, playing hard. Yes they happens, but that is not a measuring stick. An aspect worth thinking about in a big mix perhaps. What's great is more players are now having the skill from their backgrounds in training to get to the Premier League. Hopefully their backgrounds will solve these repeated hamstring injuries--there have to be ways to train them out of the game, ad there have to be trainers who can do that. There should be measures of the healing and the recovery training that tall when true reliience has returnd so those bursts can go on at will for the player and the fans, and not result in so much recovery time off through injury. Of course it is going to be work ethic to recover for the individual.
Bob, are you just stirring the pot for Soccer America?
My comments may be controversial, but I am not a shill for SA.