Gregg Berhalter wins in debut as USMNT defeats Panama

Connor Grott

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. men's national team, led by Gregg Berhalter in his managerial debut with the squad, defeated Panama 3-0 in a friendly match on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Berhalter was the former coach of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew. He took over as coach of the U.S. national team on Dec. 4, replacing interim coach Dave Sarachan.


Sarachan took over in November 2017 after former coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena failed to qualify the U.S. for the 2018 World Cup.

Midfielder Djordje Mihailovic, who made his debut with the team, scored the game's first goal in the 40th minute. Defender Walker Zimmerman scored his second goal in five matches with a header in the 80th minute.

Forward Christian Ramirez (89th minute), also making his debut, tallied the team's third goal with a strike late in the match.

Berhalter, who was a U.S. defender, is challenged with resurrecting the U.S. team. Many players on the roster made their debuts, including midfielders Corey Baird and Jeremy Ebobisse and defender Daniel Lovitz.


Berhalter's starting lineup consisted of five new players, which tied the record for most starters to debut in a men's national team game. The previous record of five came on Sept. 3, 1992, against Canada.

The U.S. plays Costa Rica in another friendly on Saturday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

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