—- United States head coach Gregg Berhalter has insisted he is the right person to lead the team to the 2026 World Cup despite his side being knocked out of the Copa America at the group stage.

The US, who are tournament hosts, were beaten 1-0 by Uruguay as they finished third in Group C with only the top two advancing.

Uruguay claimed top spot to secure their quarter-final place, while Panama beat Bolivia 3-1 to progress to the last eight as Group C runners-up.

“We’re bitterly disappointed in the results,” said Berhalter, whose side beat Bolivia in their opening match before suffering defeats by Panama and Uruguay.

“We know that we’re capable of more and at this tournament we didn’t show it. It’s as simple as that.”

Asked if he thought he was the right person to lead the team up to the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico, Berhalter said: “Yes.”

Uruguay won each of their three group games, with Mathias Olivera scoring the decisive goal against the US in Kansas City.

“You have to keep moving forward,” said Berhalter, who was re-appointed US men’s team coach in June 2023 after an internal investigation into his conduct in the wake of allegations made during the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s not where you say OK, this program is doomed. That’s not the case at all. It was a poor performance, we didn’t get the results that we expected and we need to get better.”

However, US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker has said the performance of the national team at Copa America “fell short of our expectations” and they “must do better”.

“We will be conducting a comprehensive review of our performance in Copa America and how best to improve the team and results as we look towards the 2026 World Cup,” he added in a US Soccer statement.

Uruguay will play the second placed team in Group D in their quarter-final, while Panama are to play the winners of that group.

Colombia lead Group D on six points, with Brazil second on four points. They play each other in their final group match at on Wednesday.

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