Americans Abroad 2022-23

rguilmar

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De la Torre with a very, very nice assist to set up Vega at Betis. Really classy pass.
 

InstaFace

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De la Torre with a very, very nice assist to set up Vega at Betis. Really classy pass.
Good thing we ran MMA into the ground in the group stage and gave all of 10 minutes in 3 matches to anyone else.

Minor regrets aside, DLT emerging as a legit 3rd 8 for us is huge news. And he's more used to a double pivot, so if we want a 4231 at some point, he (or Musah) can pair Adams in a way that even McKennie admits would be a poor role fit for himself. Just gives us a lot more options. And lets us put Brenden or Gio into the CAM role that suits them best.
 

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You say that like we had realistic options.
Realistic options included "play that awesome ball-secure La Liga starting CM who has an eye for through balls and featured a lot for us during qualifying, especially in the Musah role".

Wales:
- 66' Aaronson for McKennie
- 74' Acosta for Musah

England:
- 77' Aaronson for McKennie
- game ends with 1 unused sub

Iran:
- 65' Acosta for McKennie ( :oops: )

Netherlands:
- 67' Aaronson for McKennie

We rode Adams and Musah like rented mules, and De La Torre couldn't see the field, but somehow Jordan Morris made it into two games.
 

67YAZ

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LDT had played a total of 50 minutes across 6 appearances for Celta before the WC. He strained his hamstring about 3 weeks before the WC break, to boot. He was a “break glass in case of emergency” depth option, which just underscores how thin we have been at the 8.

But LDT is getting great run here in 2023. Here’s hoping it’s the start of something.
 

Titans Bastard

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We rode Adams and Musah like rented mules, and De La Torre couldn't see the field, but somehow Jordan Morris made it into two games.
De la Torre was barely healthy enough to even be on the roster and what does Jordan Morris have to do with the CM depth chart?
 

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De la Torre was barely healthy enough to even be on the roster and what does Jordan Morris have to do with the CM depth chart?
Jordan Morris appearances suggest that subs were wasted on a guy who should've been the last man on the roster. DLT was healthy enough to be on the roster, he was probably healthy enough for some 10-20' sub appearances, he could've relieved a gassed Musah. Deserved to, imo.

Hopefully our next coach will see more in him than Berhalter did.
 

DJnVa

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Jordan Morris appearances suggest that subs were wasted on a guy who should've been the last man on the roster. DLT was healthy enough to be on the roster, he was probably healthy enough for some 10-20' sub appearances, he could've relieved a gassed Musah. Deserved to, imo.

Hopefully our next coach will see more in him than Berhalter did.
We didn't need a guy that hadn't played many minutes in a month jumping into the midfield against England or frankly, the other teams in what were all do or die games. We rode MMA into the ground to get to the knockouts because it was the only way to get to the knockouts.

LDT was not, despite you posting that he was, a "La Liga starting CM" when the WC started. He hadn't played more than 21 minutes in a game BEFORE he was injured. He never started a La Liga game until after the WC.
 
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67YAZ

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Zendejas went down today in the 17th minute. Had to be carried off the pitch, appears to be a hamstring issue. Hope it’s a quick recovery.

 

Titans Bastard

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Jordan Morris appearances suggest that subs were wasted on a guy who should've been the last man on the roster. DLT was healthy enough to be on the roster, he was probably healthy enough for some 10-20' sub appearances, he could've relieved a gassed Musah. Deserved to, imo.

Hopefully our next coach will see more in him than Berhalter did.
Luca de la Torre suffered a "three week" injury almost exactly three weeks before the USMNT's first game at the World Cup.

https://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2022/10/28/23429411/usmnt-midfielder-luca-de-la-torre-to-be-out-for-three-weeks-with-muscle-injury

I think the most likely explanation is that Berhalter took a chance that LDLT would be healthy and fit enough for prime time, but the timing didn't quite work out. Normally it would be questionable to take a banged-up player like LDLT as a backup, but we know our CM depth is weak. Lletget was a useful backup until he cratered in 2021, Williamson doesn't play enough D, etc.

I mean, it's unquestionable that Berhalter ran MMA into the ground and that hurt us in the Netherlands. But it's also questionable as to how many alternatives he had given health issues (LDLT, Gio) and behavior issues (Gio). I guess he could have run a 4-2-3-1 with an MA double pivot (choose your M) and Aaronson as the 10, or he could have used Roldan as a sub.
 

67YAZ

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Interest in Bryan Reynolds from the Championship. Get every attacking fullback away from Jose ASAP!

 

67YAZ

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An ESPN piece suggests Pulisic will move on this summer. I don't think this is any surprise, but it is the first time I've seen in writing that Pulisic was open to a move this January...until his injury derailed things.
 

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He makes ~$9M / yr, so there's not too many clubs who can take him at those numbers *and* pay a transfer fee. And any acquiring club willing to meet Chelsea's price would want him to sign an extension for substantially lowered salary. He may be better off in terms of long-run earnings by running down his contract and signing a free in summer 2024.
 

67YAZ

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He makes ~$9M / yr, so there's not too many clubs who can take him at those numbers *and* pay a transfer fee. And any acquiring club willing to meet Chelsea's price would want him to sign an extension for substantially lowered salary. He may be better off in terms of long-run earnings by running down his contract and signing a free in summer 2024.
The risks to this plan include picking up more and/or worse injuries, getting banished to the reserves for the season, or going on an unsuccessful loan.

In general, I agree with your point, but Pulisic has a lot to weigh. The Chelsea brass could make things really crappy for him if he doesn’t move on.
 

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On the one hand, yeah, either a bad misread of the situation or bad sportsmanship by Tillman.

On the other hand, I gotta appreciate a bit of killer instinct and aggression - plus it was a nice finish around like 4 defenders who all wanted to kill him.
 

67YAZ

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Not so fast for Jesse Marsch. The Athletic reporting that Soton offered a short term contract with a team option, but Marsch rejected this.

The club's assistant manager will be in charge for the next match. Gerrard and Lampard also being mentioned as targets.
 

candylandriots

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American Malick Sanogo is on the bench for Union Berlin tonight in the UEL against Ajax. I don't recall him being with the big club this year. Anyone know much about him?
 

rguilmar

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American Malick Sanogo is on the bench for Union Berlin tonight in the UEL against Ajax. I don't recall him being with the big club this year. Anyone know much about him?
I think the most we probably saw him, if at all, was at the Revelations Cup which was a massive clusterf*ck, so it’s hard to draw any conclusions. Plus he was pretty young for that team. Reviews have been pretty good from the camps but that’s about all I know.
 

Titans Bastard

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American Malick Sanogo is on the bench for Union Berlin tonight in the UEL against Ajax. I don't recall him being with the big club this year. Anyone know much about him?
He has put up big numbers for Union's youth teams but reports from USYNT camps have been poor and hardcore prospect watchers don't seem that impressed with him. He was with the US U20s for the first camp of the cycle and did poorly enough that he's never been back even though the U20s desperately need a center forward. He was brought back recently for a U19 camp.

A bit of an enigma.
 

rguilmar

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He has put up big numbers for Union's youth teams but reports from USYNT camps have been poor and hardcore prospect watchers don't seem that impressed with him. He was with the US U20s for the first camp of the cycle and did poorly enough that he's never been back even though the U20s desperately need a center forward. He was brought back recently for a U19 camp.

A bit of an enigma.
Wait, there is a striker at Union Berlin putting up goals but left out of a US squad despite a lack of a true center forward? Shocking!

Seriously though, when it comes to Sanogo, he didn’t look good at the Revelations Cup, but that can be said for a lot of players. I don’t think that the current U-20 staff was in place when he was called in so they might not have rated him in the first place. IIRC the players were in camp prior to Mikey Varas being named as head coach. It could be more of a player profile preference than actual talent. The USMNT, and by extension the YNTs, prioritize certain skills over others, especially at striker, and Sanogo might just lack those skills while having others that fit Union’s system better. Or the good people at Union might be looking at player development differently. Or he could just not be that good. Whatever the case, if he’s highly rated by the people in Berlin who’s very survival in the Bundesliga rests on their ability to identify and develop talent, then I say keep bringing him in.
 

Titans Bastard

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Wait, there is a striker at Union Berlin putting up goals but left out of a US squad despite a lack of a true center forward? Shocking!

Seriously though, when it comes to Sanogo, he didn’t look good at the Revelations Cup, but that can be said for a lot of players. I don’t think that the current U-20 staff was in place when he was called in so they might not have rated him in the first place. IIRC the players were in camp prior to Mikey Varas being named as head coach. It could be more of a player profile preference than actual talent. The USMNT, and by extension the YNTs, prioritize certain skills over others, especially at striker, and Sanogo might just lack those skills while having others that fit Union’s system better. Or the good people at Union might be looking at player development differently. Or he could just not be that good. Whatever the case, if he’s highly rated by the people in Berlin who’s very survival in the Bundesliga rests on their ability to identify and develop talent, then I say keep bringing him in.
It would be great if he hits because the center forward talent pool for the 2003 & 2004s is weak outside of Pepi. We had Paxten Aaronson up there playing the false 9 in qualifiers.
 

candylandriots

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He was never going to get into the game last night, barring a Brock Purdy/Josh Johnson situation. I had to look up his stats at the U19s this year, and they're insanely good: 13 goals and 3 assists in 11 games. I assume putting him on the bench in Amsterdam last night was a reward for that (when there were a few regulars suspended for yellow accumulation), but it's nice to see.
 

DJnVa

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He's also eligible for Germany (no way, although he played a youth game for them) and Ivory Coast.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Jed Zeppelin

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Certainly interesting from a “get the most talent on the field at all costs” pov.

I like Jedi but Pulisic constantly looked like he could use better support on that side and Robinson just isn’t quite the guy to provide the kind of combination play and precision passing that can help free up playmaking space the way that pairings like Weah/Pulisic, Dest/Weah, or Dest/Gio can.

Not that we have a roster crunch per se but this would be a solution to a theoretical problem. Of course, we don’t even know what kind of formation we’ll be using, but I am intrigued.

I feel like we did a similar dance with Fab Johnson bouncing between LB and LW but my memory could be failing me there.
 

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we definitely had Fabian Johnson playing LM or LW rather than the LB he played for club. Just like how we had 2002 John O'Brien playing midfield rather than the LB he played for Ajax - he was just too valuable to not play him farther forward. Both of them might've been our overall best player at various junctures, so it made a certain amount of sense.

But I think our pool has evolved beyond the point at which we need to necessarily focus on that - Weah has played RW for us, and we don't have a Crystal Dunn type situation where we have a desperate need and Timo is the only person who can play LB at a credible international level. Maybe he trains as a 3rd-choice LB for us just so that if we need a back-up for Jedi, we're not obligated to run a Sam Vines or George Bello out there.
 

67YAZ

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Certainly interesting from a “get the most talent on the field at all costs” pov.

I like Jedi but Pulisic constantly looked like he could use better support on that side and Robinson just isn’t quite the guy to provide the kind of combination play and precision passing that can help free up playmaking space the way that pairings like Weah/Pulisic, Dest/Weah, or Dest/Gio can.

Not that we have a roster crunch per se but this would be a solution to a theoretical problem. Of course, we don’t even know what kind of formation we’ll be using, but I am intrigued.

I feel like we did a similar dance with Fab Johnson bouncing between LB and LW but my memory could be failing me there.
I love his size and physical skills for the position - 6', broad-shouldered, and fast as hell means he can really scrap with the bigger wingers/inside forwards. You don't realize how valuable that is until Cody Gakpo is shrugging off Dest again and again.

But the hard part isn't Weah going forward as he mentions in that tweeted quote, it's developing the instincts and habits of a defender. Smart teams are going to overload his side and force him to tough spots until he shows that he can anticipate and proactively disrupt. Some guys can pick that up quickly, some guys never do. Having veteran support around him will be a huge help.

It's worth a shot if Weah is game!
 

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USL once again ably serving its role / proposition to top American talent: "come here to go straight to Europe at 18 without us trying to hold the UEFA team over a barrel like MLS does".

It's harder to avoid MLS for those lacking a European passport, right, because you can't graduate from an MLS academy (and by 18 you'd probably be well last time for a HG deal, if you're Europe-grade). But for USL, playing a teenager for a year and then collecting a million or so is a deal the USL clubs will fall all over themselves in their rush to accept. And the end result is to moderate MLS's worst impulses, isn't it, by USL being a credible alternative. I kinda love it, from a sports economics perspective.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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USL once again ably serving its role / proposition to top American talent: "come here to go straight to Europe at 18 without us trying to hold the UEFA team over a barrel like MLS does".

It's harder to avoid MLS for those lacking a European passport, right, because you can't graduate from an MLS academy (and by 18 you'd probably be well last time for a HG deal, if you're Europe-grade). But for USL, playing a teenager for a year and then collecting a million or so is a deal the USL clubs will fall all over themselves in their rush to accept. And the end result is to moderate MLS's worst impulses, isn't it, by USL being a credible alternative. I kinda love it, from a sports economics perspective.
Anything that reduces the chances of the previous worst case scenario where a MLS academy kid won't sign, gets shut out of a crucial development year by his club, then limps off to Europe to struggle is a big plus in my book.

MLS has done a lot for that itself with its new attitude towards homegrowns and the dollar signs in their eyes, but USL keeping them honest is also great.
 

Titans Bastard

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I think MLS has fully put concerns about holding out for unreasonable transfer fees to bed. There have been enough sales over the last few years, and very few examples of players who missed out on a move due to MLS club obstinance.

Where the USL comes in most useful is about homegrown territory rules. If you are stuck in the territory of a bad developmental club, or the club just isn't a good fit for some reason, it's good to have non-MLS opportunities, because switching to another MLS academy can be a hassle. Clubs need to trade for your rights, eventually, and some clubs don't like to play ball.

Wynder himself doesn't have anything to do with MLS. He's a local kid from the Louisville area, and that's another positive: a pathway for kids who don't live in MLS markets. Most USL clubs do not really try with youth development and many have limited potential (due to being in a small market), but it's nice for there to be some options out there.
 

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I think MLS has fully put concerns about holding out for unreasonable transfer fees to bed. There have been enough sales over the last few years, and very few examples of players who missed out on a move due to MLS club obstinance.
Only Miles Robinson really comes to mind, in the latter category of late.

Definitely held back by MLS: Miles Robinson
Stayed in MLS because they made it worth his while: Jesus Ferreira
What the hell happened? Whatever it was, it was years ago now: Aaron Long, and Kellyn Acosta, maybe?
Nobody ever came calling: Zim, Roldan, Eryk Williamson, Sean Johnson, Pomykal? (+ various disaster for Jordan Morris and Arriola, arguably Lletget at West Ham's academy too)
Re-entry after adventures abroad: Yedlin, Moore, Sands
Young enough to still be a candidate: Aidan Morris, Tolkin, Jalen Neal (arguably late bloomers Vazquez and DeJuan Jones, too)

Orlando also did Daryl Dike a solid by not selling him to Barnsley for whatever they could afford, I think he's much better off at WBA, as they have more resources to contend for years (and were in a playoff position a few weeks ago, though that looks unlikely - probably less likely than him being sold to a newly-promoted EPL club).

That's a pretty solid picture, historically speaking.
 

rguilmar

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I think MLS has fully put concerns about holding out for unreasonable transfer fees to bed. There have been enough sales over the last few years, and very few examples of players who missed out on a move due to MLS club obstinance.

Where the USL comes in most useful is about homegrown territory rules. If you are stuck in the territory of a bad developmental club, or the club just isn't a good fit for some reason, it's good to have non-MLS opportunities, because switching to another MLS academy can be a hassle. Clubs need to trade for your rights, eventually, and some clubs don't like to play ball.

Wynder himself doesn't have anything to do with MLS. He's a local kid from the Louisville area, and that's another positive: a pathway for kids who don't live in MLS markets. Most USL clubs do not really try with youth development and many have limited potential (due to being in a small market), but it's nice for there to be some options out there.
Probably my biggest complaint with MLS is the homegrown territories rule. Did I read or hear that they were going to be moving away from that? I could be wrong. It would be a massive step for MLS youth player scouting and development IMO.
 

Titans Bastard

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Probably my biggest complaint with MLS is the homegrown territories rule. Did I read or hear that they were going to be moving away from that? I could be wrong. It would be a massive step for MLS youth player scouting and development IMO.
There have been rumors that MLS is getting rid of the territories for many years, but it has yet to happen.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Balogun withdrew from England U21 side due to “injury” after playing 90 on Sunday. USMNT Twitterati is buzzing.