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New-Look U.S. Team Gathers to Clean Up a Mess It Didn’t Make

“Everyone has to take responsibility,” said Miazga, 22, who along with several other young players should have the chance now to showcase his talents over the next few years. “Everyone has to look in the mirror and focus on what they can do to represent the country and the badge the right way.”

Late Tuesday night, in a hotel conference room in Lisbon, the team’s caretaker coach Dave Sarachan gathered the arriving players for an introductory meeting. Sarachan, the longtime assistant to the former national team coach Bruce Arena, spoke openly about the feeling of shock that lingered from the team’s train-wreck defeat last month.

“The elephant in the room was there,” Sarachan said. “I felt it was important to at least address the fact that, for myself and others involved, we were gutted by what happened. That’s not going to go away for a while.”

Sarachan acknowledged, too, that things could be unsettled for a while. The federation will hold its presidential election in February, and several candidates already have announced their intention to challenge the incumbent, Sunil Gulati. Only then will the federation focus fully on the task of hiring a new…

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