After the U.S. men’s national team lost to Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup qualifying two years ago, it seemed like it’d be a while before another loss could rock the U.S. fanbase in the same way. But Tuesday’s surprise defeat to Canada for the first time in 34 years registered as another low point.
On ESPN’s broadcast during the USMNT’s 2-0 loss in Toronto, long-time broadcaster Ian Darke called it “one of the worst performances” he had ever seen from the USMNT, and he called it “disjointed” and “calamitous.” Taylor Twellman, a former U.S. national team player, said it was on his list alongside the U.S. loss to Trinidad & Tobago.
They were hardly alone in their assessment.
The name of USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter briefly trended on Twitter after the game, with #BerhalterOut being one of the associated hashtags.
Another former USMNT player, Stu Holden, who is now an analyst for Fox Sports, lamented on social media “how far we’ve fallen.” A profanity-laced tweet from another former USMNT player, Jimmy Conrad, joked that he went “to bed sobbing.”
Roger Bennett of Men In Blazers said the lackluster American performance deserved to be “a national outcry” but the morale among USMNT fans is too low for that.
US Men's Soccer Team just lost 2-0 to Canada. First Canadian win in 34 years. Should be a National Outcry. Saddest Truth is no one cares. Even US soccer fans are apathetic about Men's National Team. Slid back to periphery of American sporting consciousness. Utterly Insignificant pic.twitter.com/y703rsktA5
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) October 16, 2019
Meanwhile, soccer journalist and author Grant Wahl said that the USMNT’s poor showing raised “serious questions” about whether Berhalter was up to the job, and he noted that the boss of Berhalter’s boss is his brother, Jay Berhalter.
The man who will make the decision on Gregg Berhalter’s future as USMNT coach (Earnie Stewart) is very likely to soon report to … Jay Berhalter, Gregg’s brother. US Soccer, everybody.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 16, 2019
According to the advanced stats of Paul Carr, the final 2-0 result was a fair one based on each team’s performance. Canada registered 2.22 expected goals, which measures the quality of their scoring chances, while the U.S. only had .77 expected goals.
The result means the USMNT sits behind Canada in their Concacaf Nations League group as the inaugural competition continues, which will determine which teams compete in the Gold Cup.
After the loss, Berhalter lamented a lack of fight in his players, according to Yahoo Sports’ Doug McIntyre.
“The biggest disappointment in my eyes was the desire,” Berhalter said.