The US Men’s National Team is set to take on Germany in a highly anticipated friendly match, marking a significant moment in Gregg Berhalter’s managerial tenure. This encounter holds particular intrigue due to the reunion between Berhalter and attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna. It’s the first time they’ll be working together since a tumultuous period following the USMNT’s elimination from the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
For the US team, the primary narrative revolves around the reunion with Giovanni Reyna, who will be playing under Berhalter for the first time since a challenging episode involving both families, which unfolded after the USMNT’s World Cup exit.
On the other hand, Germany has faced some criticism from its domestic clubs for undertaking a trans-Atlantic journey during the October international window. However, this journey serves as an opportunity for the DFB (German Football Association) to make logistical preparations ahead of the 2026 World Cup, set to take place in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
This friendly marks the teams’ first meeting since a 2015 encounter, ending the longest hiatus between the sides since their initial meeting in the 1993 U.S. Cup.
The US team’s performance in 2023 has been impressive, with no losses thus far, despite being eliminated from the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals by Panama in a penalty shootout. This match against Germany represents their sternest test since the last World Cup, with only Colombia and Mexico coming close to Germany in terms of pedigree. Colombia played the US in January when many of each team’s European-based players were unavailable, while Mexico was at a low point during a 3-0 loss to the US in the CONCACAF Nations League final in June.
Surprisingly, there might be more pressure on the United States in this friendly due to the Berhalter-Reyna angle. The saga began after the 2022 World Cup when Berhalter made off-the-record remarks about an unnamed player who nearly got sent home from Qatar due to his reaction to his role in the tournament.
Reyna was quickly identified as the player in question, and it was reported that his parents, including former USMNT great Claudio Reyna, expressed frustration to U.S. Soccer officials. They felt their son was publicly called out while they had remained silent about a past domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his now-wife Rosalind.
The USSF investigated as Berhalter’s contract was expiring, and interim coaches Anthony Hudson and B.J. Callaghan led the team. Berhalter was re-hired in the spring but allowed Callaghan to guide the side through the end of the Gold Cup.
Reyna has not played since Berhalter’s return to the full-time managerial role, but he played a vital role in the Americans’ successful run in the Nations League under Callaghan in June. Despite being unavailable in September due to an injury, Reyna has played just 27 minutes in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund this season. Berhalter hopes to improve Reyna’s fitness so he can become closer to being a 90-minute player when he returns to Germany.
Julian Nagelsmann will make his debut as the national team manager for Germany. Nagelsmann, despite his youth, has already gained recognition in the coaching world through his successful stints at various clubs, including Bayern Munich. His tactical acumen and attention to detail are expected to bring a fresh approach to the German national team.
Friendly matches like these often involve more unknowns for bettors, especially when there’s limited history of how the teams will approach the game. However, the historical meetings between the U.S. and Germany suggest a likelihood of both teams scoring, especially when playing on American soil.
While Berhalter’s U.S. teams have exhibited a more conservative approach to attack, Nagelsmann’s high-press tactics may provide balance in favor of both teams finding the net. Therefore, betting on both teams to score in a game that doesn’t end in a draw is a promising option.
Given the game’s unpredictable nature, bettors may find better odds by exploring separate bets on the United States and Germany to win while both teams score. Furthermore, Christian Pulisic, who began his professional career in Germany, presents an attractive option for goal-scoring bets. His odds of scoring against his former nation may not properly reflect his goal-scoring ability in international play.