Having watched the US-Iran post game thread, I have to ask, what is the bar for a performance at the World Cup to be considered: a) Unacceptable b) Acceptable c) Great? I will go first: USSF and Berhalter (and Klinsmann) have sold their goal as taking the U.S. to the "next level" and progressing the program. For me, that immediately means that success is something the U.S. has *not* accomplished repeatedly before. Achieving the Round of 16 is something the U.S. has done 5 of the last 7 times we have been at the World Cup (5 of the last 8 tournaments). This is the minimum bar of a successful status quo coach. It is what is expected (1994, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2022). Anything less is failure (1998, 2006, and yes, 2018). It is NOT "next level" When Berhalter or Klinsmann promised next level, what that means is appearances in the quarter finals. The next level of the program is the one where the U.S. achieves this *repeatedly*. If USSF has done what it said it would do, the U.S. should be in the quarterfinals this cup, and in 2026 as well. THAT is the bar now.