The United States men’s national team may be in a bubble during their Orlando training camp, but there is no escaping what is happening around the country. The events of last week, when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump invaded the Capitol, demanding elected officials overturn the results of the 2020 election were certainly a topic of discussion around the camp.
The men’s and women’s national teams occupy a unique space in the sports landscape as the official representatives of the sport of soccer for the United States. So it was hardly surprising that coach Gregg Berhalter and winger Jordan Morris had something to say about the attack.
And they didn’t mince words.
“The way I see this is, this is a low point for us — there’s a lot of room to improve as a country,” Berhalter said. “And it’s something where we can all be better examples, we can all be better citizens. And when you’re watching [Wednesday’s violence], it doesn’t jive at all with what we know as America to be. It’s not who we are as a country, and it’s disappointing to see.”
Berhalter said there haven’t been any formal discussions on a response or statement on the field as a team, but that those talks would occur going forward. The men’s national team had previously worn jackets before the November friendly against Wales with the message “Be the Change” on the front and different phrases of the players’ choosing on the back.
“All we can do is be good examples and continue our efforts in trying to make change. I think that’s important message to the team,” Berhalter said. “Like with anything, our efforts don’t stop when the year ticks over,”
Seattle Sounders winger Jordan Morris said he watched the events unfold in Washington D.C., and called the scene “horrific.” Morris said the team will continue to set an example for change, and hope to be a positive influence for social justice causes.
“We all realize how horrific those events were, and we all understand that there’s a need for change in this country in a lot of ways,” Morris said. “I think the big thing for us, and what I’ve talked to guys about a little bit — our goal as a national team is to be a positive representation of what that change can be, and how we need to move forward in these hard times. We hope as a team to be a positive light.”