US men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter talked what drew him to soccer growing up in northern New Jersey, how he’s working with his staff and his thoughts on some valuable family time with son Sebastian during the worldwide soccer stoppage on Jim Rome’s show Monday.
Berhalter said its important to take a positive from the forced break that comes with the coronavirus pandemic
“We’re bunkered down in Chicago, everyone’s doing well,” Berhalter said. “It’s really nice to be able to spend time with the whole family in this concentrated amount of time where we’re all just together. We’re trying to turn it into a positive and spend a lot of quality family time together.”
“It’s great, taking the coaching hat off and just being a parent, you’re proud seeing someone work so hard in a sport his whole life and become a professional,” Berhalter said. “It’s really a special feeling, a good example for other kids to know that you put a lot of hard work in, stay focused, stay disciplined, you can start achieving some of your dreams.”
Berhalter played with Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna at national powerhouse St. Benedicts Prep in New Jersey. He said the melting of the sport, especially growing up in northern New Jersey, is what drew him to soccer.
“Growing up in New Jersey and playing with all different ethnicities and seeing how the game was played on different parts of the world and coming in contact with so many unique people because of the game of soccer, that’s what really drew me to it,” he said.
Like others, Berhalter is trying to keep busy during a break that saw a pair of international friendlies against the Netherlands and Wales canceled because of COVID-19.
Berhalter is staying in touch with his players and their training regimens with their individual clubs and having conference calls with his staff twice a week.
“Now is a good time to do things you don’t normally work on,” Berhalter said. “Take a look at some detail of parts of the game and really break it down really thoroughly.”
Listen to the entire interview here.