RAYYAN, Qatar — During a news conference Friday ahead of the U.S. men’s national team’s World Cup round-of-16 match against the Netherlands, a reporter asked Coach Gregg Berhalter whether he would be willing to take a question in Dutch without the use of an earbud provided by FIFA for interpreting purposes.
“Give it a try,” Berhalter said, eagerly.
He understood everything, but to avoid a misstep that could perhaps result in a tabloid headline in Amsterdam or Eindhoven, chose to answer in English.
The U.S. and Dutch national teams, who meet Saturday in Qatar, do not square off regularly and neither team features a player competing in the other country’s pro league. The American delegation, however, has strong Dutch connections, including Berhalter, who, after attending the University of North Carolina, spent six seasons in the Netherlands.