USA failed to qualify from the CONCACAF section for Russia 2018 but are rebuilding under Berhalter ahead of the next cycle.
Days on from a humbling 3-0 defeat to rivals Mexico, USA held Uruguay to a 1-1 draw - equalizing through Jordan Morris after Brian Rodriguez's opener - and Berhalter was impressed by his team's spirit.
#USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter:— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) September 11, 2019
“Tonight was about the tenacity and relentlessness of our guys to keep fighting... Overall I think it was a good step for the group to play a game like this.”#USAvURU pic.twitter.com/gwE79dLp72
The coach suggested the Uruguay match in St Louis, where the hosts bossed 60 per cent of possession, would ultimately prove more useful than the clash with Mexico.
"We just played two different teams with two very important challenges," Berhalter told a news conference.
"Against CONCACAF teams, we will play teams that are very compact [like Uruguay]. We have to understand how to break those teams down. Mexico were a totally different challenge.
"Mexico are a high-pressing, active team in front of a loud, boisterous crowd. Mexico presented us with good challenges but also good learning opportunities.
"We talked about how this opponent [Uruguay] were going to be compact and be physical. I think the team did a great job on set-pieces.
"More importantly, it was about the tenacity of our guys and the relentlessness of our guys to hang in there and keep battling. We did a good job, particularly in the first half, of keeping our structure."