USMNT begins 2026 World Cup cycle with Serbia friendly


LOS ANGELES – The U.S. World Cup adventure in Qatar ended nearly eight weeks ago. Since then, there have been enough opinions and controversies for eight years.

However, nothing will stand still in the new four-year cycle. Therefore, on Wednesday night, an assistant coach; No general manager; No one knows for sure how the program will fare with new recruits in uniform. The U.S. men’s soccer team kicked off its 2023 slate with a friendly against Serbia.

In Europe, when top players are locked into club duties, these winter gatherings are a low-key affair, as is almost always the case, and the main purpose of the week-long camp is to combine prospects. However, With the events of the past two months, as well as some intriguing new stories, it’s almost impossible to look away.

To recap: Gregg Berhalter’s head coaching contract is up, even though the U.S. Soccer Federation says it’s still working on a new contract. That seems unlikely after leading the Americans to the round of 16 at the World Cup.

There was Berhalter’s rift with the Reyna clan, a highly publicized American football family. Berhalter further aggravated the reasons why the very talented Gio Reyna didn’t play at the World Cup in a speech that was supposed to be on record (without naming the player). Reyna’s parents thought she should stay on the team, and her mother, Danielle, kicked out Berhalter’s USSF while his future wife was a student at the University of North Carolina.

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“It’s a shame and a shame because when all of this happens, it’s a senseless one,” he said. [the World Cup]All the good work has gone in another direction,” assistant coach Anthony Hudson said Tuesday at this week’s World Cup.

An ugly rift between two American soccer families has become public.

Meanwhile, the oft-injured 20-year-old Reyna has returned to team duty in exciting fashion for German club Dortmund. He came off the bench to score the winning goals in the final two games before Wednesday’s start against Team USA.

The American soap opera didn’t end here: Hall of Famer Brian McBride, who was named general manager three years ago, was cut. The incident happened about a week ago, although the USSF remains mum. McBride, USSF athletic director Earnie Stewart; Earnie Stewart, a World Cup teammate of Berhalter and Gio’s father Claudio Reyna, made the decision. Stewart, a person close to the situation, said he can handle team matters himself.

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The players in camp have been going about their business this week. Most are new to the program to feel the effects of off-field turbulence. Although these problems have not yet been resolved, The roster is much more interesting than a typical winter camp with most players in MLS preseason mode.

Paul Arreola is a World Cup snub. This is why he returned to the USMNT.

Hudson, 18-year-old goalkeeper Gaga Slonina (Chelsea); 19-year-old midfielders Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Alejandro Zendejas (Mexico’s Club América) have received approval from overseas clubs. United States or Mexico.

Hudson said it was surprising that Club América allowed Zendejas to leave between league games. (He will be available for the U.S. team on Wednesday, but will not play against Colombia on Saturday.)

As with most things about US men’s soccer these days, Zendejas’ situation is complicated, not because the USSF has done anything wrong. He has represented both the United States and Mexico, but Zendejas’ association with the U.S. program by participating in the 2015 International Youth Championship led to FIFA fining the Mexican federation and voiding several tournaments.

Zendejas, who turns 25 on Feb. 7, could still change his affiliation with Mexico, but that bodes well for the U.S. program. Nevertheless, He was non-committal in answering repeated questions about his future on Tuesday.

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The USMNT opportunity is the last for German-born Julian Gressel.

Whoever ends up coaching the United States until the 2026 World Cup at home, the red, I’m sure you’ll love Zendejas in white and blue. Since the summer of 2020, he has scored 24 goals in Liga MX for Necaxa, one of Mexico’s biggest clubs, Club América.

In Wednesday’s match, Zendejas was among 13 players trying to make their US senior debut. Among them are FC Cincinnati’s Brandon Vazquez, whose scoring exploits in MLS came too late to be considered for the World Cup, and Argentine-American forward Alan Soñora.

Bahrain new Zealand, It’s also a first for Hudson, a 41-year-old British-American who has coached the Colorado Raptors and the U.S. U-20 national team. If Berhalter doesn’t re-sign, Hudson could move on.

“I was forced to do this work [and] very strange circumstances; It came in very difficult circumstances,” he said. “Players employees Shame on Gregg and everyone involved. Everyone is affected by it. It’s not a good situation.”

A small earthquake struck Southern California early Wednesday. It seems appropriate given the presence of the American team.


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