From the beginning of Gregg Berhalter’s first cycle leading the U.S. men’s national team, the mission was clear: change the way the world views American soccer. At the 2022 World Cup, a draw against powerhouse England and a Round of 16 finish with the youngest team on display in the tournament ensured that failing to reach Russia in 2018 was in the rearview.
The USMNT were back on the world’s stage, and they proved they belonged.
But the dream of a deep run was always reserved for the 2026 World Cup on home soil, when the most promising generation in the history of the program will be in its prime.
So when Berhalter retook the USMNT’s reins during September’s international window, the updated North Star was noticeable. “We set out on a mission four years ago to change the way the world views American soccer, and now our motto is to change soccer in America forever,” Weston McKennie said.
“When we say ‘change soccer in America forever,’ for me, it’s both on the field and off the field,” Berhalter said.
It’s a logical progression of purpose, but what exactly would changing soccer in America forever look like? The U.S. coaches and players have a few ideas.