USMNT: Jordan Pefok admits he’s to blame for his USA World Cup omission

Jordan Pefok admits he’s to blame for his USA World Cup omission after not ‘doing enough’… as he reveals even his mom would have left him at home like Gregg Berhalter!

USA striker Jordan Pefok has spoken out on his omission from the World Cup squad last winter, admitting he’s the only one responsible for his absence in Qatar.

The 26-year-old center forward started the season on the front foot, scoring three goals in his opening six league games for Union Berlin in the Bundesliga. His early season form led to calls for him to be considered for the USMNT in Qatar.

But as former USA head coach Gregg Berhalter was weighing up his options before the roster announcement in November, goals started to dry up and he was having less of an impact in Germany. 

As a result, he wasn’t included in the squad for the showpiece tournament. 

‘I would not put the blame on anyone like the coach or a player, but [on myself]. I was responsible for not being called up. It was my fault. I should have scored more,’ he told ESPN

USA head coach in Qatar Gregg Berhalter did not select the Union Berlin forward

USA striker Jordan Pefok has admitted he’s to blame for missing World Cup and no one else

‘I should have been the player that the coach would have put first in his squad. If that was not the case, I was the only one to blame. Because whether you are loved or not, if you score and you play well, you get picked.

‘At the end of the day, other players played in my position, who scored. I told myself that I could not put the blame on someone. 

‘I had my chance. I played for the national team and I didn’t do enough. So that’s it. I have no time to cry or fault someone else. It is on me. Now I am working hard to perform and get another chance.’

Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Giovanni Reyna, Josh Sargent, Timothy Weah, Haji Wright were selected as the attacking options.

USA fans were left divided over Berhalter’s final 26-man squad but Pefok revealed that even his mom told him she would have left him out of the traveling party if she was in charge.

‘She added: “I know nothing about football but I know that you went with the national team and you only scored one goal. Even if I was the national team head coach, I would not have called you up! A goal scorer has to score goals, that’s all.” She was brutal.’

The USMNT largely impressed with Berhalter opting for youth as they progressed as Group B runners-up behind England, before eventually exiting the competition at the last-16 stage after a 3-1 defeat by Holland. 

Pefok last played for his country a year ago but he will be hoping to get back into contention as the USA prepares for the 2026 World Cup on home soil. 

Victory over El Salvador in Orlando on Monday night guaranteed a spot in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals for the United States.

The international break has been a successful one for interim coach Anthony Hudson as it kickstarted with a 7-1 thrashing of Granada last Friday. 

Pefok's last appearance for his nation was a year ago but he's hoping to get back in contention

Pefok’s last appearance for his nation was a year ago but he’s hoping to get back in contention