It was definitely a tale of two haves, for Greg Berhalter and the US Men’s National Team as the kids went down to Central America for the second time in this international window and found a way to outrun & out gun Honduras as they blitzed them and won the match by a final score of four-goals to one on a comeback victory.
The start of the match till the end of the first half looked absolutely atrocious as the USA Came out in a 5-3-2 with two fullbacks, and three center backs that hampered how this team played to start the game. At the same time, Berhalter put Tyler Adams as a fullback and put James Sands who is a central defender, up in midfield behind the attacking players.
Even though Honduras did convert an opening chance from Brayan Moya who was all alone, got an easy chance to convert. You saw from the US Men’s National Team poor play, no energy, easily shoved off the ball, easily stripped off the ball, passes weren’t sharp and they were getting run off the park. But Berhalter did something he had to do because his back was against the wall.
He made instant impact subs by bringing in Antonee Robinson, Brendan Aaronson & Sebastian Lletget to start the second half taking off a lethargic John Brooks, Josh Sargent, and George Bello as these three players made an instant impact on the pitch down in San Pedro Sula. Antonee Robinson scored the equalizer two minutes after the restart on a beautiful short bender inside the far post.
Brendan Aaronson got his goal in the 82nd minute as he got a smasher inside the middle of the net and then Sebastian Lletget converted inside second-half stoppage time, but the start of the second half started and ended the full match for FC Dallas, new superstar, Ricardo Pepi as he earned man of the match He assisted on Robinson’s goal after the cross from Lletget, came over with a quick backheel. His goal was to take the lead in the 75th minute with a beautiful header of the cross from De’Andre Yedlin to beat the keeper inside the far post. and then he was challenged by two defenders down the far side and he found Aaronson all alone in the middle of the park.
This new superstar of the US Men’s National team as the El Paso, Texas native came in and showed no fear whatsoever. Pepi in one game has done more than a handful of players since this 2021 calendar year began. It’s not to say that the others aren’t matching his work rate or his intensity, but maybe they need to work on their technical abilities a bit longer so they can improve for the next international window.
But at the end of the day, this wasn’t a good start to these September games, but the finish was joyful and impactful. But as Berhalter gets a reprieve right now, the truth is he can’t allow another poor start when October comes up next. These games are too important and while we have an extra four games to qualify for the World Cup, the more points that are dropped, the worst it will get. So right now Berhalter should celebrate, but he has a month to sit back, think of what he needs to do to get this situation righted, and at least earn six points in the two home games he will have next month.