Denzel Dumfries, who assisted Depay on goal, provided an almost identical ball for the Netherlands’ second goal just before half-time. Once again the USA defense was caught off guard as a cross swept across the penalty area from the right wing. This time it was Daley Blind, the Dutch winger, who broke away from a defender to respond to the pass and score.
USA’s only goal came in the 76th minute and seemed to defy the laws of physics. Christian Pulisic drilled a cross into the box, and Haji Wright was only able to brush past it by stepping back with the outside of his right foot, which was facing the goal. The ball jumped from Wright’s foot, made a parabolic loop in the air and somehow curled inside the left post.
Wright had given the Americans a lifeline at 2-1, but Dumfries pulled it back five minutes later when he finished at close range after being left unmarked, again, by the American defence.
“Over the last three games I would say we defended very, very well,” said midfielder Tyler Adams. “And today the three goals come from times when we were probably sleeping a bit.”
In the general American consciousness, which seems to only adjust to the actions of its national soccer team once every four years, the team may now be entering a period of suspended animation. Other games and competitions will once again return to the forefront of the country’s sports landscape.
But behind the scenes, the gears will keep turning. Berhalter is nearing the end of a four-year contract, and a decision will soon have to be made, by coach and team, as to whether he should stay on for another four-year term to nurture and shape the team before the 2026 World Cup. Cup.
“In the next two weeks, I’m going to clear my head, sit down and think about what’s next,” Berhalter said.
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