Dave Sarachan: “My first game against Portugal was a very challenging exercise just coming off the disappointment of not qualifying.” (FrontRowSoccer.com photo)
By Michael Lewis
With Dave Sarachan meeting the North Carolina meeting in his first official day as North Carolina FC head coach Thursday, we recently asked the former U.S. national team head coach what his most memorable match or matches during his 14 months in charge.
So, Sarachan picked three games while guiding the team to a 3-4-5 record.
Here are his responses:
U.S. 1, Portugal 1; Leiria, Portugal, Nov. 14, 2017
“My first game against Portugal was a very challenging exercise just coming off the disappointment of not qualifying, and having to assemble a group of guys in the midst of a lot of anger and people being very upset and putting together a roster that competed against Portugal away and scoring first and tying that game was very memorable because of the response of the group, which had some guys during qualifying, was excellent.”
U.S. 1, France 1; Lyon, France, June 9, 2018
“France. It’s a memory I won’t forget. The environment — 55,000 in Lyon, it was their sendoff game, the place was just buzzing. For our young guys to weather a storm, get the first goal, we conceded late. I remember vividly standing on the sideline in the 80th minute thinking I’m really proud of this group to be able to do what they’ve done in a such a tough environment against a team that I did believe could win the World Cup and was very memorable. And sure enough they did.”
U.S. 1, Mexico 0; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 11, 2018
“And obviously, to beat Mexico was the other game. Two young teams, but the Concacaf rivalry. I knew the importance of that result. The whole exercise for the year was to continue to give opportunities to young players. But when you play Mexico, that’s the game you have to win, and we did.”