The United States must be proud of their efforts at the World Cup in Qatar, but Christian Pulisic insisted the team “don’t want to feel like this again.”
A 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha saw the USA knocked out of the competition on Saturday.
While the Dutch had a quarter-final against either Australia or Argentina to look forward to, the USA’s focus will now turn to developing their young squad further ahead of the 2026 edition.
That tournament will be co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, and feature 48 countries, and Pulisic wants to see a team with title-winning quality.
“Right now, it’s just tough, you know? It hurts, after a tough loss like that, we feel like we could have had more,” he said.
“It’s another experience for all these guys, moments that we can be proud of. We don’t want to feel like this again. We want to put ourselves in a position to win tournaments like this.”
Pulisic missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring three minutes into the game, seeing a close-range attempt saved by Andries Noppert.
In contrast, Memphis Depay slotted away the Netherlands’ first big opportunity, with Daley Blind making it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.
The USA are out of the 2022, but they had the youngest average starting XI of all teams at this tournament.
Solid experienced gained ahead of the 2026 World Cup, where they are co-hosts.
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst)
“It happened so early in the game, and he made a good save,” said Pulisic, who assisted Haji Wright for the USA’s goal, which was swiftly cancelled out by Denzel Dumfries at the other end.
“They defended well for the most part, but I think when their first kind of two real chances went down, they just cut back, execute it, finish.
“We were down 2-0, but it didn’t feel like it should be that way. But that’s what good teams do.”
USA coach Gregg Berhalter is approaching the end of his contract, and did not give much clarity over what his future holds.
Antonee Robinson, however, hopes Berhalter continues in the role as the USA look to build towards 2026.
“I hope so,” said the Fulham full-back. “He’s given a lot of boys a chance to develop with this group, and I feel like this whole time we’ve shown the type football we can play.”