USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter Thinks MLS Is Down in the “Food Chain” of Leagues

1 month ago 3

The MLS recently pulled off a major coup when Los Angeles FC managed to sign Welsh superstar Gareth Bale. Bale is the latest in a huge list of big names that have made the move across the pond. However, this hasn’t convinced USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter of the league’s status.

Leading the USMNT into the World Cup in Qatar, Berhalter has routinely turned to the MLS to find good players. Currently, the USMNT squad has a lot of MLS players in it, like Jesus Ferreira, Walker Zimmerman and Kellyn Acosta.

Gregg Berhalter talks about the MLS

However, in an interview with ESPN’s Gab Marcotti, Berhalter revealed that the MLS is not up there with most European leagues. According to Berhalter, the MLS is great for young players and they can use it to catapult themselves to the big leagues in Europe.

Berhalter did add that things are very similar in Europe where the Premier League is the place to be for most players.

MLS is an opportunity for young players to be on the field. And that’s valuable. And when they’re dominant, when MLS is no longer a challenge, then they can move on. It’s no different than Europe. If you’re in France and you’re killing the French league, you move to the Premier League. It’s normal, like a food chain,” Berhalter said.

MLS players who haven’t made it in Europe

However, Berhalter addressed a major problem that has plagued most players making the move to Europe from the MLS. Players like Bryan Reynolds, George Bello and most recently Ricardo Pepi transferred to European clubs after having great seasons in the MLS.

However, things didn’t work out for all three stars. Reynolds only made one appearance for AS Roma and is now stuck in limbo while Bello was relegated to Germany’s second tier with Arminia Bielefeld. Pepi suffered a similar fate as he only made 11 appearances for FC Augsburg after his $20 million dollar move from FC Dallas.

Berhalter stated that players have been moving to Europe despite not being ready for it, and that it needs to change.

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