Gregg Berhalter: “People are worried about being on the roster. It’s a difficult moment.” (Photo courtesy of MLS)

Gregg Berhalter didn’t sound like a head coach who was confident in his team prior to the World Cup.

The U.S. men’s national team played Saudi Arabia, a team never to be confused with defending world champion France or international powerhouse Germany, after his team played Saudi Arabia to a scoreless draw in Murcia, Spain on Tuesday.

“It was improved, but we’re not as confident as I’d like,” Berhalter said.

“We’re playing tentative. You see the connections were just not there like we want. The effort was great, the intensity was great, especially towards the end of the game. We kept pushing, kept trying to score.

“I can’t fault the effort but we need to keep improving.”

If this is what the U.S. will play in Qatar in less than two months time, then the team will be hard pressed to reach the knockout round of the World Cup.

The team has a seven-game winless streak on foreign soil.

Berhalter felt his players had anxiety about securing a spot on the squad for Qatar.

“I think in general it’s nervy times,” he said. “People are worried about being on the roster. It’s a difficult moment.

“But having said that we need to go out there together and play.”

Added Berhalter: “Everyone’s fighting for roster spots and instead of coming out and really performing like the team we know we are, we lacked a little confidence in that. I think that hurt the performance. There were certainly spaces to take advantage of today and we didn’t do that enough.”

At the moment, that is easier said than done.