No person will accuse U.S. males’s coach Gregg Berhalter of playing it safe.
Needing a win in Honduras after collecting glowing two points in the main two World Cup qualifiers, Berhalter gave Ricardo Pepi a inaugurate in his first first charge appearance for the USMNT. The 18-twelve months-outdated, who turned into once eligible to play for every the USMNT and Mexico, finest introduced closing week that he had chosen to symbolize the United States.
Pepi is the 2d-youngest U.S. man to seem in a World Cup qualifier. Christian Pulisic, who’s the U.S. captain Wednesday night, turned into once 17 when he appeared in his first World Cup qualifier in March 2016.
Pepi wasn’t the appropriate gamble Berhalter took. George Bello, Mark McKenzie and James Sands all obtained starts in their World Cup qualifying debuts. McKenzie is the oldest, at 22. Sands is 21 and Bello is 19.
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the USMNT went through a total rebuild. The so-called “golden technology” – 10 of the 26 gamers on Berhalter’s initial roster are playing on teams in the Champions League – turned into once expected to cruise through qualifying for subsequent twelve months’s World Cup in Qatar.
Instead, they’ve settled for draws in their first two video games, including one at home.