Gregg Berhalter explains key USMNT World Cup roster decisions


One other essential level: the much-discussed quantity 9, the place Ricardo Pepi (Groningen) and Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin) are out and Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Josh Sargent (Norwich Metropolis) and Haji Wright – whose 9 targets with Antalyaspor is on the high of the USMNT-qualified attackers based mostly in Europe – they’re in.

“As coaches, we have been evaluating Haji in opposition to Jordan Pefok, and that is what occurred,” Berhalter stated. “And on this specific case, we really feel that Haji is in nice form to attain targets. Each are bodily attackers, Jordan, possibly a bit of extra, however Haji has tempo, he has the power to do one on one, he finishes along with his head, each ft and he is doing very well on the Turk. activates.

“Had we made the choice in mid-September, Jordan Pefok would probably have been a block, based mostly on his kind at Union Berlin. However since then, it has been a special story,” he later added. “Now Haji has come over. In order that was the difficult factor about it. And once more, you recognize, we hope these selections are right. They is probably not. However we’re making the most effective selections doable with the data we have now.”

Pepi’s absence is stunning in gentle of his intensive play in the course of the qualifiers, the place he burst onto the scene with shows of key wins in Honduras and in opposition to Jamaica. After a brutal introduction to the German Bundesliga following a report transfer from FC Dallas to Augsburg, his current good run on mortgage at FC Groningen within the Netherlands was not sufficient to maintain him within the squad.

“With Ricardo gone, we’re judging him in opposition to Josh and Jesus, and we felt it was precious that Josh was enjoying that [English Championship] competitors the place two of our three opponents [Wales and England] are coming,” Berhalter stated. “We expect that brings worth, the physicality of the league. The Dutch league I feel is a superb league, however it doesn’t deliver the identical physicality that the Premier League does and the Championship does, and that was one thing that went into our resolution.”