Gregg Berhalter praises 'relentless' USMNT after Gold Cup final win over Mexico

Chris Smith
Gregg Berhalter celebrates winning the Gold Cup
Gregg Berhalter celebrates winning the Gold Cup / Omar Vega/Getty Images

United States Men's National Team manager Gregg Berhalter has heaped praise upon his players following their Gold Cup final win over Mexico on Sunday.

Leaving the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams at home to rest, Berhalter took an experimental squad into the tournament full of emerging MLS talent.

Few expected them to lift the trophy, but the young side defied the odds, reaching the final and beating fierce rivals Mexico 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a Miles Robinson header in extra-time.

It was the U.S' second final win over Mexico in a matter of months after they beat El Tri in the Concacaf Nations League, but their first against their fierce rivals in a Gold Cup final since 2007.

Celebrating his birthday during Sunday's final, Berhalter hailed his "relentless" group of young players for their "resilience".

"We were together for a month, and we just saw them growing," he said. "We saw the team growing, we saw individuals growing and improving, we saw the team chemistry growing. Before the final today, there was a feeling inside of me that I just wanted it so bad for them so they can taste this and they can win a trophy together.

"I'm really proud of the group, really proud of their resiliency, and, when you look at the game today, we did not stop. It was relentless from us, and that was a mark of a good team."

Berhalter added: "I'm so excited for them, so proud of them. I really wanted it badly for this group and we had a fantastic group in the Nations League that was able to win a trophy and to turn around and do it again with this group is a big accomplishment. 

"I can't say enough about their spirit and their hard work and their dedication."

The Stars and Stripes conceded just one goal throughout the entire tournament - a 64th-minute Emmanuel Riviere penalty during a 6-1 group-stage win over Martinique. After the final, match-winner Robinson highlighted his side's ability to "grind out" results thanks to a close bond between the players.

"I think we really put our head down and grinded out results throughout the tournament," Robinson said. "It's just a matter of this group being so confident with the ball, without the ball and how we really stuck together like a family, and I'm really excited for this group."

After missing out on Russia 2018, the U.S' attention now turns to qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with a first-round match against El Salvador to come at the start of September.