Why this summer’s Gold Cup about much more than just winning.
In just over two month’s time, the United States men’s national team will embark on yet another World Cup qualifying attempt. With the pure and utter embarrassment of last cycle’s failure in the rearview, Gregg Berhalter’s resurgent group of talented players face the task of getting the USA back on the world’s biggest soccer stage. This summer’s Gold Cup is likely the last chance for the U.S. coaching staff to evaluate players firsthand and assess how they’ll fill out their roster for the first round of qualifiers in September.
Heading into any major tournament, the natural instinct is to beat your chest and proclaim that first and foremost you want to win. Of course, the USMNT will want to be the last team standing at the end of the Gold Cup. However, this tournament offers Berhalter a unique opportunity to figure a lot of things out when it comes to his player pool. He’s already named a 59-player preliminary roster with tons of new faces we haven’t seen before. So, while it’s natural to want the team to be successful on the field, having this fresh pool of players to evaluate, offers the USMNT a chance to answer several burning questions before the ultimate test begins on September 2nd.
Here are a few questions about the USMNT’s current direction that Berhalter needs to use the Gold Cup to answer.