Gregg Berhalter’s first match in charge of the United States Men’s National Team ended in victory against Panama on Sunday, with Djordje Mihailovic, Walker Zimmerman and Christian Ramirez providing the goals.
The Gregg Berhalter era opened with a 3-0 victory over Panama thanks to United States debutant Djordje Mihailovic, Walker Zimmerman and Christian Ramirez. Berhalter was appointed head coach in December, the former Columbus Crew boss replacing Dave Sarachan, who had temporarily filled the void left by Bruce Arena in October 2017. And USA – in rebuild mode having failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 – got a glimpse into the future in Arizona, where a youthful team defeated regional foes Panama in a friendly on Sunday. Chicago Fire’s Mihailovic opened the scoring in the 40th minute before defender Zimmerman and substitute Ramirez sealed the win during the final 10 minutes at State Farm Stadium. The January camp, which fell amid club fixtures in Europe, meant there were no stars like Borussia Dortmund’s Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic on show. Berhalter’s first line-up included five debutants – Nick Lima, Daniel Lovitz, Corey Baird, Jeremy Ebobisse and Mihailovic, though experienced midfielder Michael Bradley was in the XI. USA were comfortable throughout, Baird coming close to breaking the deadlock in the 25th minute after combining with Gyasi Zardes but his effort flashed agonisingly wide of the post. The hosts were rewarded approaching half-time when Mihailovic capped his first international appearance with a goal. Baird squared the ball back to 20-year-old team-mate Mihailovic, who finished first time from the top of the penalty area.