‘I haven’t seen the blue checkmark’: USA boss Gregg Berhalter reveals England counterpart Gareth Southgate has IGNORED his WhatsApp messages ahead of World Cup showdown
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has disclosed England manager Gareth Southgate has left his recent Whatsapp messages unread with their teams meeting in the World Cup.
The duo were in touch via Whatsapp on a regular basis but the level of communication has waned ahead of the USA’s showdown with the Three Lions in Group B Friday.
‘I’ve been WhatsApp-ing him but I haven’t seen the blue checkmark, so I don’t know what’s going on,’ Berhalter said in his pre-match press conference.
‘We kind of took a hiatus. We’ll pick up our relationship after tomorrow.’
England are considered the favorites to top Group B, among the frontrunners to go all the way, and therefore expected to beat the USMNT at 2pm EST Friday.
USMNT’s Gregg Berhalter (R) reveals Gareth Southgate (L) has ignored his recent messages
Southgate’s side thrashed outsiders Iran 6-2 in their opening match in Qatar earlier this week, while the USA were denied all three points by Gareth Bale as they tied 1-1 with Wales.
USA’s goalscorer from Monday’s game Timothy Weah said being underdog is nothing new to the side, while Berhalter backed his roster to win any game.
‘I believe is that on our best day we can beat anyone in the world, anyone,’ he said.
‘It is a great honor to play in the World Cup, but we don’t want to just be participants. We want to perform.
‘We think the first step is getting out of the group. And the second step is, in the knockout games, playing our best possible game and seeing how far we can go.’
Berhalter spoke ahead of the USA’s Group B showdown with England at 2pm EST Friday
Berhalter opened his World Cup news conference in Doha, Qatar on Thursday by wishing all the Americans a happy Thanksgiving.
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Despite not getting a response to his messages, Berhalter was full of praise for Southgate ahead of their matchup at Al Bayt Stadium.
‘[The US media] give me a hard time every once in a while, but I don’t think it’s of the magnitude that Gareth gets it, but we all know this is a result-orientated business and we’re all held accountable for results on the field,’ he added.
‘I think he’s done a great job. I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that his record at major tournaments has been outstanding.
‘He’s done a great job with his team. They got off to a great start and they’re a formidable opponent. It’s going to be a difficult game for us.’
Berhalter took training session on the eve of the USA’s Group B clash with England