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USMNT: Watching From Outside The Arena

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Titans Bastard, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Titans Bastard

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

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    There are a few US media types who have written articles in which the author masochistically put together a hypothetical US roster for the World Cup. (One of them even cut Weston McKennie, a decision that at this point is so veteran-oriented even Bruce Arena is shaking his head.)

    I tried making one myself, but got discouraged for multiple reasons.
     
  2. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    for one, I assume there was a point beyond which you'd drank too much to continue to type accurately.
     
  3. dirtynine

    dirtynine Member SoSH Member

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    Who’d you have in the goalkeeping spots, @Titans Bastard? If it’s not too painful to ask.
     
  4. Titans Bastard

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

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    Guzan, Steffen, and....who cares about the third GK, really. Hamid? Bono? Melia?

    I'd have given the vast majority of starts in the post-WCQ friendlies to Steffen, with Guzan as a fallback if Steffen didn't look up to the job.

    It's attacking midfield and forward where the pain really sets in. Pulisic and....

    We had a generational lull at most positions, but there's signs of life in some of the deeper-on-the-field areas. Miazga at CB, plus a whole bunch of slightly younger players pushing through. Adams and McKennie bring a lot at CM.

    The 95/96/97 generation doesn't seem to have as many high-end attackers, though. Among younger players, Pulisic is good, I'm enthusiastic about Sargent, hopeful about Weah, Carleton and a bunch of others but outside of CP that crop isn't quite ready for prime time.

    Given that Altidore and Saief would miss the WC with injuries, it would be very threadbare. Johannsson and Morris are injured, too. Even Agudelo is injured for at the moment. Wood is coming off a terrible, no-good, very bad season, but he'd definitely be there. Dwyer, maybe? The return of ZARDES? Dempsey is pretty much past it.

    At attacking midfield, Fabian Johnson hasn't done anything in a while. Paul Arriola, Kelyn Rowe?

    It's very weak.
     
  5. dirtynine

    dirtynine Member SoSH Member

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    4,521
    To be quite honest, this post made me feel better. As in, it sounds like a winless 3-and-out might have been on the board at the WC even if we snuck in. I had forgotten about all the injuries on top of what was already a fairly weak roster.
     
  6. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    That we wouldn’t have been able to rely on the usual heroic goalkeeping efforts that have bailed us out in the past is another point in favor of this idea. Guzan inspired far less confidence than any keeper I can remember well in my lifetime. Certainly recent history.
     
  7. Titans Bastard

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

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    I forgot about Jonathan Amon. He's not that experienced but given the state of things, I'd absolutely put him on the WC roster. He'd give the team badly needed pace and 1v1 ability and take some pressure off of Pulisic.

    I think there'd also be a significant chunk of people arguing about taking Josh Sargent even though he's never played a pro game. I'm not sure they'd have been wrong about it, either...

    The Guzan Era, as well as all the more recent guys who weren't good enough to even overtake Guzan, certainly should give us a lot of appreciation for the very long Friedel/Keller/Howard stretch of goalkeeping excellence.
     
  8. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    There was never really a Guzan era, though, was there? Because the Howard era only ended in September in Port-au-Prince. Tim Howard was either #1, or injured, up until then.
     
  9. Titans Bastard

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

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    Fair enough!

    The "Tim Howard Is Bad Now So Guzan Sometimes Starts" Era of the last few years would be more accurate.
     
  10. Infield Infidel

    Infield Infidel teaching korea american SoSH Member

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    Howard had his sabbatical, during which Guzan got called for handling outside the box in the Gold Cup and gave up a goal on the subsequent free kick
     
  11. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Yeah, we're essentially 5-6 weeks from likely not advancing and starting the 2022 run up anyway.

    Still like to have watched Pulisic play though...
     
  12. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    3,456
    OTOH, we avoided the potential Pulisic sports media backlash after the US inevitably got eliminated in the group stage. I could easily see Kornheiser and Wilbon types blaming Pulisic for not carrying the team to victory after being hyped as the next big star.
     
  13. moly99

    moly99 Member SoSH Member

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    939
    EDIT: double post. Not sure what happened.
     
  14. Titans Bastard

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

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    Two part bump....

    Two goals today:






    Also this:




    US Soccer, redeem yourself and cleanse yourself of the stain of the Jonathan Gonzalez Ordeal. I'd take Alvarez over Gonzalez for sure if forced to choose - US soccer can be relied on to produce a reasonable number of solid DM/CMs. Not so with attacking midfielders.
     
  15. Titans Bastard

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

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    The Athletic announced they are launching soccer coverage yesterday and have put out some solid stuff so far. This is one of the most balanced takes on Michael Bradley I've read.

    I am really curious to see what happens with Bradley in the next cycle. He's clearly good enough to be part of our best 23 for a good while, but some of the players from the next generation who are most ready are players who are DMs or CMs (Adams, McKennie). They are both good enough that the next manager should invest a lot of playing time in them as they develop. So how does Bradley fit in? Does he have it in him to be a stately veteran who mentors the youth from a bench role? Is it better to drop him cold turkey and move on? He's been such a central figure that at some point in the future, US Soccer will probably give him a send-off testimonial that could be...awkward.
     
  16. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    “Nobody from the United States Federation has contacted him.”

    For a perennial middling soccer power it never ceases to amaze that we have a federation that won’t put in the work because damn it everybody should be begging at OUR doorstep.
     
  17. Titans Bastard

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

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    8,707
    It makes me think of this again:

    Ramos opens up about Gonzalez's decision: 'If you feel Mexican, play for Mexico'

    Maybe he's approaching the issue with the zeal of the converted or something, but that's such a disappointing attitude coming from a foreign-born dual national like Tab Ramos.

    Any attitude towards dual nationals that refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of feeling attachments to multiple countries is just not going to be good.
     
  18. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    Roster for Bolivia friendly. Average age is 22 and change:

    GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0)
    DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG; 2/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 14/1), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 5/1), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City/ENG; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Everton/ENG; 0/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 16/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 2/0)
    MIDFIELDERS (9): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 20/3), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 3/0), Julian Green (Stuttgart/GER; 8/3), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana/MEX; 0/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 1/1), Keaton Parks (Benfica/POR; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 20/9), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 5/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 1/0)
    FORWARDS (2): Andrija Novakovich (Reading/ENG; 1/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 0/0)
     
  19. Titans Bastard

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

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    8,707
    Significant changes expected for the games after Bolivia:



    The Bolivia match is not during a FIFA window, so the only in-season MLS players are Bono and Zimmerman. There are some marginal players on this squad and a few reaches; they'll probably be dismissed for a few MLS players and others like Yedlin and Wood.

    AFAIK this is the first time Pulisic and McKennie will play together since maybe a few U17 friendly camps.

    There are no DMs in this team. Sarachan will find a way to get at least a couple of guys play as DMs, though, no doubt!
     
  20. Titans Bastard

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

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    8,707
  21. Titans Bastard

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

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    Latest GM rumor:

     
  22. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

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    13,199
    https://www.lagalaxy.com/post/2018/05/23/east-la-la-galaxy-story-rise-efrain-alvarez
    well his club team sure thinks he's done with the USYNT and locked in with Mexico.
    Nice to see our incompetence in youth development remains unchallenged.
     
  23. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    5,540
    Thanks for the link.

    I still have yet to hear a coherent explanation of how Bradley ended up back in the MLS. It seemed so antithetical to Michael Bradley, and I'm stuck feeling like it was a pivotal decision for him and thus US soccer.
     
  24. Titans Bastard

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

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    US vs. Bolivia tonight. It's a meaningless friendly with a lame duck interim manager, but at least there's an interesting pool of young players available. This would be an enjoyable XI from this roster:


    Novakovich
    Rubin -- Pulisic -- Weah
    McKennie -- Parks
    Robinson -- CCV -- Miazga -- Lichaj
    Hamid​
     
  25. dirtynine

    dirtynine Member SoSH Member

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    4,521
    I'll be there. Not to cross-polinate from the kit thread, but I think this might be the on-field debut of the new white/home jersey as well.
     
  26. Titans Bastard

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

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    The game isn't until 6:30 ET, but Goff has the lineup already.

    Sargent
    Rubin -- Pulisic -- Corona -- Weah
    McKennie
    Robinson -- Palmer-Brown -- Zimmerman -- Lichaj
    Bono​

    Bench: Hamid (GK), Olosunde (RB), Miazga (CB), Carter-Vickers (CB), Villafaña (LB), Parks (CM), Green (AM), Gooch (AM), Novakovich (FW). Guido (CM) is out with a groin strain and Horvath (GK) didn't dress.

    USMNT debuts for Bono, EPB, Robinson, and Sargent. Four teenagers are in the lineup (Sargent, Weah, Pulisic, McKennie) and some other young guys too (EPB, Robinson, Rubin, Bono).

    Things I'll be looking for:

    1) Zack Steffen is the horse I'm betting on at GK, but can Bono work his way into the depth chart? Hamid and Horvath have been shaky at best for their clubs in Europe lately and Guzan isn't that good, so it's wide open.

    2) I haven't seen EPB play in a while. He's been a monster for our youth national teams, but his club career has been weird and I want to see signs of continued development.

    3) Robinson: the LB scene is weak as usual. Robinson had some good moments on loan at Bolton this year, though he wasn't consistent. Interested to see how he fares at this level.

    4) I'm confident that McKennie will be a central piece of the team next cycle. He mostly plays box-to-box, though, so how will he hold up at #6?

    5) Pulisic: first USMNT action since T&T. Welcome back, kid. This game will be another data point in what I expect to be a long-running debate about whether CP should play centrally or on the wing.

    6) Weah & Sargent: highly inexperienced, but these are our twin hopes at forward (Weah also plays out wide sometimes, like in this game). I don't expect too much production just yet, but I wouldn't mind seeing a few moments of quality....

    7) Rubin: he's a bit of an also-ran at this point, but he's young enough to turn it around and be a contributor. Lord knows we don't have much depth at most attacking positions. A versatile attacker would be useful if he can show the quality.
     
  27. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    Should be a fun game with so many prospects in the lineup; excited to see Weah and Sargent on the attack, and how Pulisic plays with what is likely going to be the supporting cast during his prime.

    Lichaj is what he is at this point; but he scored that stunner against Arsenal in the FA Cup and suddenly he’s found his way back into the NT picture. CCV had a nice season on loan and could end up contributing for Spurs next season.
     
  28. Titans Bastard

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

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    Yeah, Lichaj is a total placeholder. He's serviceable, but at his age he's not part of the future; even now he's not been a lock starter for a not-very-good Championship club. But Yedlin's been given a rest after a long season and there are hardly any MLS guys called in for the Bolivia game, so it really has to be Lichaj.

    RB behind Yedlin is wide open. There are a handful of young guys in MLS who might become useful, but it's too soon to tell. Reggie Cannon in Dallas has done well lately, and Brooks Lennon at RSL is undergoing a winger-to-RB conversion this year. There are several guys in Europe, too, though nobody has been able to make a strong case yet.

    I would have loved to see Paul Arriola converted to RB or RWB a few years ago. Not sure it'll happen now.
     
  29. Titans Bastard

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

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    Nice little hold up play and pass from Josh Sargent there. It's not surprising to see him and Weah have a little chemistry - they were together with the U17s not long ago at all.
     
  30. Titans Bastard

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

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    Ooh, first big chance. Rubin springs Weah, but it's saved by the keeper. Too soon to draw conclusions, but based on limited minutes at PSG it seems that Weah does a solid job of finding scoring chances but needs to be more clinical.
     
  31. lostjumper

    lostjumper Member SoSH Member

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    1,123
    Fun first 10 minutes. Some creative play from Rubin to start a couple of runs. Weah has looked good on the win. Certainly enjoyable to watch.
     
  32. SoxFanInCali

    SoxFanInCali has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Weah done 15 minutes in, that sucks.

    Julian Green sighting!

    EDIT: or not? Weah's going to try to carry on.
     
  33. lostjumper

    lostjumper Member SoSH Member

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    Or not? Why not pull him right away? Why is he still out there?
     
  34. teddykgb

    teddykgb Member SoSH Member

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    This is actually decent football. I don’t know he’s a strong this Bolivia team is but this side looks capable
     
  35. SoxFanInCali

    SoxFanInCali has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Guess it was just a knock of knees. Thought it was a pulled muscle at first, but it seems like he was able to shake it off.
     
  36. Titans Bastard

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

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    I don't know anything about Bolivia's player pool, but there are a ton of uncapped players in their squad for this friendly.

    The important thing is that there is some creativity going forward and organized, collective defending on the other end. And there's plenty of growth potential for most US players on the field.
     
  37. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    As an Everton fan that run by Robinson gave me double excitement.

    He did cough the ball up in a dangerous spot on the edge of the box earlier in the half, but gained it back.
     
  38. Titans Bastard

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

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    From what I can tell, this post was Robinson's season in a nutshell. His crossing was all over Bolton's highlights, but he needs to tighten things up at the back.
     
  39. Titans Bastard

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

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    Really pleased with what I have seen from Sargent. He's physical, he has good technique, and he shows that he can think the game at a fast pace. And because he's ineligible until summer, he hasn't even been able to sharpen his game in U19 or Bundesliga games for Werder yet.

    I think we're going to see an awful lot of him over the next 10+ years.
     
  40. speedracer

    speedracer Member SoSH Member

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    2,136
    Yeah, really like Sargent's quick decision-making and inventiveness. Has had some lousy first touches though, hopefully that's not a persistent thing.
     
  41. Titans Bastard

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

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    That dribble by Rubin was so good that I thought it was Pulisic for a second.
     
  42. SoxFanInCali

    SoxFanInCali has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Nice header from Zimmerman for the opener.
     
  43. speedracer

    speedracer Member SoSH Member

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    Nice job by #17 to abandon the post.
     
  44. Titans Bastard

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

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    Let's just call him Miguel Burns.
     
  45. SoxFanInCali

    SoxFanInCali has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I have to say, after watching us get CONCACAF'd for years, it's nice to see the kids playing physically and with a bit of an edge.
     
  46. teddykgb

    teddykgb Member SoSH Member

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    There’s always so much space in Concacaf matches but it’s nice to see us flashing speed and agility to quickly press
     
  47. Tangled Up In Red

    Tangled Up In Red Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    2,435
    Weah +
    Sargeant +
    Rubin +
    Robinson +

    But it is Bolivia...
     
  48. Titans Bastard

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

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    I stepped away during HT, but I'm hearing that the USSF basically confirmed that the GM responsibilities are a joke?
     
  49. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Wow.

    You'd think Karius was the keeper.
     
  50. SoxFanInCali

    SoxFanInCali has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Awesome moment for Sargent.
     

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