Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

USMNT: Hold My Beer

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Titans Bastard, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    Let's start a new thread now that the long interregnum between WCQ and a permanent managerial hire has ended. After much irritation and angst, it's officially Gregg Berhalter.

    His background:

    Berhalter played HS soccer in the late 80s in north NJ. His HS classmate was Claudio Reyna, so they must have had a really sick team. He played for four years at UNC, then went on to play for three Dutch clubs (Zwolle, Sparta, Cambuur), Crystal Palace, and two German clubs (Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich). He ended his playing career with three seasons at LA Galaxy; in his final season, he was a player/coach under Bruce Arena.

    He coached Hammarby in Sweden from 2012 to mid-2013, but was fired after 1.5 seasons. He got the Columbus Crew job at the end of 2013. During his five seasons there, the Crew made the playoffs four times and reached MLS Cup in 2015.

    The "process":

    Personally, I think Berhalter is fairly solid coach who has done well with limited resources in Columbus both in terms of results and in playing attractive soccer with a possession-based scheme. He still has plenty to prove, however.

    The process through which the USSF hired him was painful — the USSF GM Earnie Stewart always seemed to want him despite an epically long "search" that dragged on forever despite nothing much seemingly happening. Regardless of his qualities as a manager, Berhalter will undoubtedly be required to deal with absorbing the frustrations of fans who are unhappy with the USSF sham "search". His brother is also a prominent executive within the USSF, which will surely bring us back to the spirit of 2007 when the online US soccer community spent the year having a pissing match over Bob Bradley, Michael Bradley, and accusations of nepotism.

    Looking ahead:

    Process aside, Tuesday was Berhalter's big media day, so there have been lots of articles and interviews floating around. The most extensive one I've seen so far is this ~20 minute audio (IMO this is a worthwhile interview with good questions and good answers). It's clear from the outset that Berhalter likes to talk tactics in a somewhat more specific way than what we have heard in recent times. Jurgen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena, and Dave Sarachan all were incapable of or unwilling to discuss tactics in anything but the most general and cursory terms.

    It's still too soon to have any idea which players Berhalter will favor or what tactical scheme he will employ. However, what is clear is that he is required to hit the ground running. After wasting all of the 2018 friendlies with Dave Sarachan's "Harry Redknapp but with no personality" tactical mindset, Berhalter will have just a handful of games to knit his team together before competitive games begin in the form of the Gold Cup.

    Next up for the USMNT:

    January camp: (MLS + Scandinavia-based players only)
    1/27 vs. Panama (Glendale, AZ)
    2/2 vs. Costa Rica (San Jose, CA)

    March friendlies
    (both TBD, but rumored in the foreign press to be Chile and Ecuador)

    June friendlies
    (TBD)

    Gold Cup
    6/18 vs. TBD (Saint Paul, MN)
    6/22 vs. TBD (Cleveland, OH)
    6/26 vs. TBD (Kansas City, KS)
     
  2. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,330
    An important process note that you forgot. One of the members of the committee who selected Stewart was Jay Berhalter, so always nice when you let an executive hire a guy who then tailors the requirements for a coveted position carefully to fit the executive's brother, refuses to consider a wide array of qualified candidates, then interviews 1 or 2 other people before giving the job to the brother of the man who helped hire him.
     
  3. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,228
    The Gold Cup is a tricky one given how few matches & camps there will be to prep under Berhalter. Will he skew to the young side of the pool and use this as prep for qualifying? Will he skew to the veteran side and try to rebuild momentum & positivity? Will he use it as a tactics sandbox or will he install an approach that he feels will give the best chance of winning the tournament? Or will he try to split the difference in both these areas?
     
  4. teddykgb

    teddykgb Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,706
    It's the USMNT so i'm sure he'll choose to do the worst option out of all of these. Probably play a vet team in an unfamiliar formation, thereby developing neither players or an identity.

    Aside from pride, is there any consequence to winning the gold cup? Confederations Cup qualification? At this point there's so much to do here that I'd prefer they focus on WCQ by figuring out which players are going to be relevant in that time period and finding a formation and style for them. There will be misses along the way, new players will arise, but i'm comfortable losing gold cup and confed cup matches in exchange for moving into the next set of players
     
  5. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,228
    I agree - qualification is most important - but I think that with so many new guys in the USMNT power structure, from Berhalter to Stewart to Cordeiro...that these guys will feel or create pressure to show results at the Gold Cup. "Look, we've righted the ship, all is good, aren't we great?" That's what makes this tricky for Berhalter. He has to resist those pressures and implement a plan that pays off in qualification.
     
  6. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    I actually think the pressure to show to fans that the USMNT is invested in the younger generation and in trying to play decent soccer is greater than the pressure to win Gold Cup.

    There is a desperate need to show the fans that there is something to be excited about and using conservative player selection and tactics to win games in CONCACAF won't solve that problem. I expect there to be a few more veterans in the mix than what we saw in the Sarachan friendlies, but I think we'll see a lot of the youth movement. I don't think it's even much of a tradeoff on quality to play youth.

    The CONCACAF representative for 2021 Confederations Cup is determined by the 2017 and 2019 Gold Cups. Because the US won in 2017, the USMNT can qualify either by winning in 2019 or by winning the playoff against whoever else wins in 2019. There's a not a ton at stake.
     
  7. Jimy Hendrix

    Jimy Hendrix Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    I actually think the Gold Cup is a little bit important now. Not because the Gold Cup is important per se, but because the program has already wasted a year experimenting aimlessly and getting the shit kicked out of it.

    In terms of building to the World Cup, I agree that the best thing to do would be to continue experimenting, but now with a specific purpose. If the players were robots, I would be advocating that approach.

    They're people though, who already had a year of international duty seeming pointless and arbitrary, I don't think they can have another year of pure tinkering, even if it goes from rudderless tinkering to tinkering with a purpose. I think if they don't start to cohere and have an eye towards actually winning things before qualification kicks off in earnest, there's a real danger to starting qualification flat and getting punched in the face early in the process again.

    Berhalter still has to turn most of the squad over, it would be dumb to bring the whole band of 30somethings back together to try and take the Gold Cup. I think the two things that need to happen are:

    1. Figure out who the right older depth pieces are and bring them back into the fold.
    2. Figure out which members of the 18 - 22 YO group are your consistent core to build on and which ones need more time in the oven or need to fight to get back into the team.

    I agree with TB above that it's critical to start developing the team style and the player pool that'll take us to 2020, but I think actually winning things is more important than the consensus here seems to be, for the players if not the fans.
     
  8. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,603
    Will Trapp had some interesting quotes about system and players in Tenorio's Athletic article:

     
  9. Jimy Hendrix

    Jimy Hendrix Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    If he really just goes for his Columbus system, I wonder who in the pool can step up into the Will Trapp midfielder role at the international level? I don't think Trapp has the physicality to do it and I'm not sure if any of our midfielders who do have the passing range yet.
     
  10. Joe D Reid

    Joe D Reid Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,060
    Is there even a 2021 Confederations Cup? Infantino has already floated two different ways to kill or reboot it (Club World Cup and some kind of Nations League-generated 8-team event). I also don't know when they'd hold the thing given that you can't play soccer in Qatar in the summer and I can't imagine clubs letting players go mid-year in 2021 for the CC and again in 2022 for the WC.
     
  11. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,330
    I think it's adorable that you think anyone in USSF will feel pressure. They had an embarrassing worst case scenario situation and 1 guy lost his job(and a temp) everyone failed up a seat, no changes were made and 2 insiders/yes men were added. They just proved that there is no real consequences for failure why would they feel pressure?
     
  12. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    I think Trapp is actually being modest about CP. I'd take LD over Pulisic in a system largely based on counterattacking and creating opportunities in transition, but if we're talking about slashing wingers cutting inside, Pulisic is a far superior 1v1 player.

    Based on what I've heard from Berhalter so far, my sense is that he is smart enough to know that simply regurgitating the Columbus system won't work. Beyond the DM issue, the "Federico Higuain role" is an even bigger problem. We don't have a #10 in the pool who can provide to the US what Higuain does to the Crew.

    The fundamental challenge for Berhalter right now is that we just don't have many good attacking midfielders, central or wide, other than Pulisic. (fwiw: I view Weah as primarily a forward.)
     
  13. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    Right, I forgot about that. If it's held at all, it definitely won't be in Qatar.
     
  14. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,603
    I'd agree with this- I was just more referring to the mentioning of ball playing CB and CB getting upfield wide as well. Gives a bit of a clue as to who could fill those slots.


    I know less than most people, but I don't see him anywhere other than the front line realistically...I guess I din't even think it was an option.
     
  15. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,228
    Corporate sponsors & advertisers. They can sell the 2018 failure as an unfortunate bump in the road to soccer dominance in the US if and only if they can follow up with better results.

    US Soccer already took a hit by losing out on World Cup prize money (~$10m) plus the revenue bump that comes with a World Cup appearance. The pressure comes from needing assuage sponsors and position USSF for the next round of deals.
     
  16. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    30,291
  17. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    Hmm:



    Mooney had joint oversight with Nico Romeijn over many key areas: youth national teams, the Development Academy, coaching education, and talent identification.

    Mooney doesn't have much of a resume and has kept a very low profile. That low profile, along with the muddled nature of joint oversight, has created a particularly frustrating accountability gap given the importance of the job's portfolio.

    I would really like to see Stewart absorb much of the Mooney/Romeijn functions at this point. Tab Ramos is still around as youth TD, but like Klinsmann as the full TD, it's not clear to me what he actually does beyond coach the U20s and coordinate the other YNTs. Certainly, the role of Mooney/Romeijn has undercut whatever authority the "Youth TD" title implies.

    The situation bears monitoring.
     
  18. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    We haven't heard the USSF's side of the story, but so far this is an awful look:

    U.S. Soccer Foundation Sues U.S. Soccer Federation Over Naming, Logo Dispute

     
  19. Quintanariffic

    Quintanariffic Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,730
    I'm not shedding any tears on this one. That article Mooney and Romeijn did with Mike Woitalla was utterly embarrassing. And I can't take anyone seriously who takes their corporate glamour shot wearing a black shirt with a tie. Would be interesting to see if whether, with the 2026 WC, GM and USMNT coaching decisions out of the way, this is a sign that Cordeiro is beginning to put his imprint on the organization from the inside out. Flynn leaving just a coincidence? Probably wishcasting, but a guy can hope.
     
  20. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    Yeah, I am similarly unimpressed with Mooney.

    Flynn's departure isn't related to Cordeiro. He's getting older and recently had a heart transplant, so retirement has been in the cards for a while.
     
  21. Quintanariffic

    Quintanariffic Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,730
    I think that's probably right. Whatever the case, it does represent another oppty for Cordeiro to put his stamp on the organization.
     
  22. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,330
    It does not. CEO is the more powerful position as is the board, they used the opportunity of missing the WC to consolidate more power with board and CEO and pulled a decent amount from the president. CEO isn't a position Cordeiro will have any pull in the selection of.
     
  23. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,228
    One thing I took from the interview you reference is the whole Mooneh has a frustratingly hands off view of youth programs, Romeijin just doesn’t have the grasp of American society to expand youth development in this country. He’s Dutch, so I don’t blame him for not grasping how Mexican Americans in SoCal and Texas require a different approach than white suburban kids around Chicago than African immigrant kids in NYC. But the person in that jobs needs to have that understanding along with the technical know how and management/leadership skills.
     
  24. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,982
    Berhalter talks tactics: (non-twitter link)



    Nothing earth-shattering, but I enjoy it when coaches get into the weeds and talk shop.
     
  25. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,603
    That sums it up. Thanks for sharing.
     

Share This Page