The United States manager reflected on an unexpected Gold Cup run by a young team that was not likely to win the title, "I really wanted it badly for this group".
, the United States men's national team coach, stated that he hoped to see his squad recognized by winning the
Gold Cup on Sunday, praising his "relentless" youthful squad for defeating Mexico.
The 1-0 triumph came thanks to a late goal from
in extra time, giving the USMNT its second statement win against its primary opponents this summer.
The USMNT wasn't anticipated to go toe-to-toe with El Tri, having brought in a roster that lacked many of the program's European stars, but Berhalter claimed he always felt his youthful squad had what it takes to win.
"We were together for a month, and we just saw them growing," Berhalter said. "We saw the team growing, we saw individuals growing and improving, we saw the team chemistry growing. Before the final today, there was a feeling inside of me that I just wanted it so bad for them so they can taste this and they can win a trophy together.
"I'm really proud of the group, really proud of their resiliency, and, when you look at the game today, we did not stop. It was relentless from us, and that was a mark of a good team."
Berhalter, who turned 48 on Sunday, helped the United States defeat Mexico once more, following up on a
victory over El Tri in June.
As an outcome, the United States will enter World Cup qualification on a high, knowing that two separate sides had defeated their main opponents.
"It was the best birthday gift I could have gotten. I'm really proud of the guys but it wasn't for me; it was more for the players.
"I'm so excited for them so proud of them. I really wanted it badly for this group and we had a fantastic group in the Nations League that was able to win a trophy and to turn around and do it again with this group is a big accomplishment.
"I can't say enough about their spirit and their hard work and their dedication."
The United States will only have approximately a month to celebrate their Gold Cup victory before World Cup qualifying begins.
On September 2, Berhalter and company will travel to El Salvador before facing
three days later in Nashville.
On Sept. 8, the team will play
in San Pedro Sula to round off the first round.