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World Cup: Why can the United States not win on the road?

by Clifford

The United States men’s national team is over halfway through CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, but they continue to struggle when playing outside the U.S. But why?

Four road games, one win.

The United States has had some poor results outside the country, with a loss to Panama, drawing with Jamaica and El Salvador, and beating Honduras after struggling to create anything in the first half.

The U.S. is a far better team than they were four years ago when they missed the World Cup in Russia, but this team is still not up to the quality many fans expect with the plethora of young talent available to manager Gregg Berhalter.

Why does the USMNT struggle on the road?

I get why there is hate for Berhalter, but I don’t think the issues on the road are solely his fault. As the boss, he can only do so much to prepare his team and organize the formation/tactics.

I think the real problem is the inexperience of the players on the field.

This qualifying year, the U.S. has fielded his youngest and second youngest squad in the country’s history! Add in injuries, suspensions, and lineup changes, and the reasoning makes plenty of sense.

The countries that play in CONCACAF might be nothing like the squads that play in UEFA, but the difficult environments, travel, and poorly kept grounds make each and every game difficult.

We would love to win every game in qualifying to go ahead and for sure make it to the World Cup, but there is no need to panic after a 1-1 draw with Jamaica.

Coming off of an emotional and difficult win against Mexico late last week, it was always going to be difficult to win on the road against a desperate squad in Jamaica.

But, looking at the upside, the U.S. has outplayed the entire match, and still managed a point!

Traveling to play both Canada and Mexico in two of the remaining qualifying games will be difficult, of course, but if the U.S. can earn a point on the road (or even sneak a win) and hold their own at home, Qatar is well within reach.

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