USA head coach Gregg Berhalter will be hoping to plot England’s downfall in their Group B clash at the World Cup in Qatar on Friday but we can reveal just how close he came to a move to Norwich City. 

The 49-year-old once enjoyed a week-long trial at Carrow Road during his playing career in 2000 and scored what was described as a “superb strike” during a 4-1 win over Bristol City Reserves. 

The American scored a sweetly-struck free-kick in only the second minute of the game and was given an excellent reception by the crowd after his performance. 

The Pink Un: Gregg Berhalter impressed during a trial game according to a report in the Eastern Daily PressGregg Berhalter impressed during a trial game according to a report in the Eastern Daily Press (Image: Supplied)

Then Norwich boss Bryan Hamilton was on the lookout for further defensive reinforcements at the time having recently completed the signing of Brian McGovern from Arsenal.  

Berhalter, who was already a full USA international, was a free agent having enjoyed stints with a number of Dutch clubs including FC Zwolle, Sparta Rotterdam and Cambuur. 

Hamilton was impressed enough to offer Berhalter a deal to stay at Carrow Road but the defender plumped for a move to Crystal Palace, much to the City boss’ annoyance at the time. 

“I would say that’s dead, that one,” he said. “It’s very simple: he was one we were looking at and we offered him terms. Without getting into messy details, we had agreed terms with him but another agent got involved and he decided to pursue another angle. 

“Unfortunately, that’s the way football is going. Players go away for internationals and hear the sort of wages being thrown about elsewhere. We offered him a good contract, one his agent had indicated would be acceptable, but by the time he came back from playing for the USA another agent had got involved and the deal we were doing was put aside. On the back of that we will most certainly not be making any future approaches for him.” 

Berhalter would go on to make only a handful of appearances for the Eagles before heading to Germany where he played for Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich. 

He finished his playing career in LA Galaxy and this is where he started his coaching journey, which would lead him to take over as boss of the national team and he will be hoping to get one over England with Canaries’ striker Josh Sargent leading the charge up front.