Gregg Berhalter says the prospect of facing England at the World Cup is “scary” and thinks the Three Lions could win the tournament.
England have the quality to win the World Cup and represent “scary” opponents for the United States, according to coach Gregg Berhalter.
The USA have been drawn alongside the Three Lions, as well as Wales and Iran, in Group B for this year’s finals in Qatar.
England’s two major tournaments under Gareth Southgate saw them reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 and finish as runners-up at Euro 2020, but the manager has come under scrutiny following a poor UEFA Nations League campaign.
England were relegated from the A-League after picking up just three points from their six games.
But USMNT coach Berhalter remains cautious about England’s quality, saying: “It’s scary to think about how we’re going to beat them. We’ll look at some games, look at some of their vulnerabilities and try to exploit that.
“For us it’s looking at the group as a whole, not just focusing on England because we know that’s one of the games that makes up 33 per cent of the games we have in the opening round.”
“Our job, our goal is to finish in the top two and advance.”
The USA held England to a 1-1 draw in their opening match at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but Berhalter believes the Three Lions will be tougher opponents this time around because they are real contenders.
“What I would say is that I don’t know if the expectations have always been in line with the quality of the team,” Berhalter added.
“In 2010, realistically, I didn’t think they had a team that could win the World Cup, did they? But it’s different now. I think we can all agree that they have a team that can win the World Cup.”
“I think Gareth has done a great job helping the players deal with that pressure, using the jersey as a cloak rather than a straitjacket and really giving them the freedom to play on the pitch.
“It gives them the idea that they can represent their country in a positive way and make them proud.”