U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter gave an insight into his attack for the October round of World Cup qualifiers, highlighting Matthew Hoppe, Timothy Weah and Luca de la Torre as players who could greatly impact the upcoming matches.
The American coach announced his roster on Wednesday, bringing back Ricardo Pepi and Weston McKennie while sidelining breakout star Giovanni Reyna.
Berhalter explained his decisions to reporters, claiming that he wants to take an “aggressive” approach against Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica. To do so, he’s named Hoppe, Weah and De la Torre as the most likely to stun opponents with a “vertical” style.
“They speak really highly of him at Mallorca, really impressed with his numbers in training, what he’s been doing. So I think he can help us again in either position,” said the coach of Hoppe. “At the winger position he gives us this goal threat, this versatility of coming inside and staying wide and going behind.
“For Timmy, I like his versatility. He’s another one that plays up front sometimes for his club, plays wide sometimes for his club. He’s a threat vertically, he’s a threat in transition, and he’s in a good run of form right now,” said Berhalter, reeling off the 21-year-old’s recent contributions at his French club Lille. “We think he’s going to help us.”
“With Luca, we really like how he’s performing with his team Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo. We liked what he gave us when we saw him in camp for the March friendlies. He gives us, I think, this directness as a midfielder, a midfielder that can that can break lines dribbling, is good in combination play.”
The USMNT are currently sit in third place, behind their North American rivals Mexico and Canada. The American side managed only five points in their three games during September’s window, leaving them in a dire situation against Jamaica.