USMNT: Hold My Beer

sodenj5

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They should maybe try playing some of the talented attacking players and see what happens.

This has to be one of the least inspiring USMNT I can remember. They play sound but boring football. Where are the goals coming from?

The midfield has carried the team so far, but they have to do something different because bombing down the wings and crossing it is never going to work with this group of attackers.
 

cromulence

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They should maybe try playing some of the talented attacking players and see what happens.

This has to be one of the least inspiring USMNT I can remember. They play sound but boring football. Where are the goals coming from?

The midfield has carried the team so far, but they have to do something different because bombing down the wings and crossing it is never going to work with this group of attackers.
This take fucking blows. We are the youngest team in the tournament and just outplayed England. Your expectations are way off.
 

Cellar-Door

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England are sneakily a good matchup for us among the favorites.
1. They don't like being run at with pace, and we do.
2. The pattern of the Berhalter era seems to be setting up pretty well, then having the opponent make adjustments and Gregg being baffled.... Southgate never makes adjustments, or at least not until 70+ minutes.
 

67YAZ

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I was so worried about Bellingham, but Adams put him in his pocket. It was a less eye catching but wholly professional performance by Adams. He’s out best player right now.

This was a great all around performance. A touch more finishing composure from McKennie and we win this easily.
 

Cellar-Door

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No way. US should have had at least a goal, probably two. The only England play that really had me concerned was the late header. US deserved 3 today…
See this seems ridiculous to me. They had 1 good chance, one low odds chance and that was about it. I didn't look up xG, but I bet it was below 1 for both sides. The US may have felt more exciting because they made a lot of countering runs, but didn't create good chances. England played boring, controlled posession and created few chances.
 

rguilmar

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xG

US 0.61
England 0.54
I saw another model at .71 US to .32 England. That feels more right to me.

As far as Iran goes, I’m not sure how much they just sit back. They looked so much better on the front foot today. Goal difference is the first tiebreaker (I’m 99% sure) so a tie and Wales win will leave them out.

I saw it mentioned that the US have the youngest team at the World Cup. Ghana is younger due to some changes at backup GK.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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My one concern is goals, much as it has been for a lot of Berhalter's tenure. We should be able to win against Iran, but it requires scoring goals and ideally more than one, which we're not doing so far this tournament.

I wonder how much of Iran looking better was down to not bunkering versus just playing in the form nation they're most used to. My understanding for the England match was that they went 3 at the back and with unusual personnel, which contributed to the poor performance. They might look more comfortable bunkering in their preferred formation.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Also, how do we feel about time in England under a Pep disciple beginning to transform Matt Turner? So far, the improvements with the feet are just nice and the increasing instances of weird sweeper keeping are not yet biting us in the ass so I find them fun after I find them terrifying.

Still stopping shots like a boss though, end of the day.
 

wilked

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xG

US 0.61
England 0.54
I don’t feel this tells the whole story. I’d think you get at least 0.5 xG for hitting a crossbar (yes I know that’s not how it works). And that cross to McKinnie was on his foot right in front of the goal, that’s a high danger chance. Maybe I’m looking through rose colored glasses but I truly think their xG was >1 from my perspective
 

67YAZ

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.

Still stopping shots like a boss though, end of the day.
Turner has that one dribble out deep in the second half where the touch was heavy, the ball got a few paces out ahead of him the whole room I was in went “Noooooooo….phew!”
 

tims4wins

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I don’t feel this tells the whole story. I’d think you get at least 0.5 xG for hitting a crossbar (yes I know that’s not how it works). And that cross to McKinnie was on his foot right in front of the goal, that’s a high danger chance. Maybe I’m looking through rose colored glasses but I truly think their xG was >1 from my perspective
I think both teams should have been above 1. Maybe like 1.5 US - 1.0 England, something like that
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Turner has that one dribble out deep in the second half where the touch was heavy, the ball got a few paces out ahead of him the whole room I was in went “Noooooooo….phew!”
Years of watching Hugo Lloris have given me a decent tolerance for weird sweeper keeper nonsense, although he's less a dribble guy and more a "why are you so far from the penalty box please God get the ball first?" Guy
 

67YAZ

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Years of watching Hugo Lloris have given me a decent tolerance for weird sweeper keeper nonsense, although he's less a dribble guy and more a "why are you so far from the penalty box please God get the ball first?" Guy
I’ve really liked the aggressive & quick distribution. He’s making great choices there.

Playing with his feet still scares me. Years of watching Alison has shown me that even the greatly skilled keepers make the occasional disastrous mistake. And the US is surviving on no margin so far.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don’t feel this tells the whole story. I’d think you get at least 0.5 xG for hitting a crossbar (yes I know that’s not how it works). And that cross to McKinnie was on his foot right in front of the goal, that’s a high danger chance. Maybe I’m looking through rose colored glasses but I truly think their xG was >1 from my perspective
That Pulisic shot was very low probability, yes it hit the crossbar, but that's just how tough that shot is, he hit it almost perfect and still didn't score, because it has to get off fast, get up over the keeper and down. It's like if you hit the rim on a half court shot... it wasn't really high probability, you just got lucky to even get close. The McKinnie one was the only really good chance for USMNT. England had some chances similar... Kane in the 10th minute got a shot from a similar position as McKinnie that just took a deflection, Mount got a clean shot from the top of the 18 (good save made) in the 45th, that might have been the best chance of either side.

I'd say both teams had a few mediocre chances, but neither was exactly getting a high volume of good chances.
Honestly .61 xG with only one on target is pretty good.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Also, Ream has been pretty magnificent. Could not have picked a better time to be in the form of his life.
 

Madmartigan

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The US squad isn’t finishing well, obviously, but otherwise I’ve been really impressed. Their passing has generally been really crisp, they’re maintaining possession well, defending really well, avoiding ridiculous blunders that I’ve watched former US WC squads make for years. They look like they belong in this thing.
 

rguilmar

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That Pulisic shot was very low probability, yes it hit the crossbar, but that's just how tough that shot is, he hit it almost perfect and still didn't score, because it has to get off fast, get up over the keeper and down. It's like if you hit the rim on a half court shot... it wasn't really high probability, you just got lucky to even get close. The McKinnie one was the only really good chance for USMNT. England had some chances similar... Kane in the 10th minute got a shot from a similar position as McKinnie that just took a deflection, Mount got a clean shot from the top of the 18 (good save made) in the 45th, that might have been the best chance of either side.

I'd say both teams had a few mediocre chances, but neither was exactly getting a high volume of good chances.
Honestly .61 xG with only one on target is pretty good.
xG has its uses but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a definitive metric. First, there is no one xG like, say, OPS. There are various models with different levels of sophistication. I imagine most of what people are seeing for free online are less sophisticated models, especially if they give that Kane chance in the first half that was blocked by Zim any significant xG. More advanced models would take Zimmerman’s location into account. Same with McKennie’s chance. Some models will take into account that it was a hard hit pass and off a bounce (if memory serves correctly), some won’t. Beyond that, xG only measures actual shots and does not take into account chances that did not result in a shot, such as the Mexico breakaway against the U.S. where the Mexican player (Tecatito???) took a bad touch and Steffen scooped it up. I don’t think most models take into account a player’s rate of scoring, so it wouldn’t matter if Messi was the shooter or me. The xG would be the same. Also, shots on target don’t matter for xG. It’s location of where the shot was taken and type of shot, and it’s probability of ending up in the back of the net. xG has some uses, like in that first England game against Iran where it felt like the Brits were scoring some difficult goals, and most models confirmed that with an xG of 2.3-2.5. Regression could have been expected. For these lower numbers like todays game, I don’t take much value out of them except to understand that “great chances” really aren’t that great.

For me, the US was the better team and more deserving to win than England. Individual xG models may or may not back that up.
 

Cellar-Door

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xG has its uses but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a definitive metric. First, there is no one xG like, say, OPS. There are various models with different levels of sophistication. I imagine most of what people are seeing for free online are less sophisticated models, especially if they give that Kane chance in the first half that was blocked by Zim any significant xG. More advanced models would take Zimmerman’s location into account. Same with McKennie’s chance. Some models will take into account that it was a hard hit pass and off a bounce (if memory serves correctly), some won’t. Beyond that, xG only measures actual shots and does not take into account chances that did not result in a shot, such as the Mexico breakaway against the U.S. where the Mexican player (Tecatito???) took a bad touch and Steffen scooped it up. I don’t think most models take into account a player’s rate of scoring, so it wouldn’t matter if Messi was the shooter or me. The xG would be the same. Also, shots on target don’t matter for xG. It’s location of where the shot was taken and type of shot, and it’s probability of ending up in the back of the net. xG has some uses, like in that first England game against Iran where it felt like the Brits were scoring some difficult goals, and most models confirmed that with an xG of 2.3-2.5. Regression could have been expected. For these lower numbers like todays game, I don’t take much value out of them except to understand that “great chances” really aren’t that great.

For me, the US was the better team and more deserving to win than England. Individual xG models may or may not back that up.
The model we're using does all the things you mention (i doubt the Kane chance was more than .1 or .2 tops despite being an elite goalscorer). I think the US was marginally better, the point was more that xG or just watching... neither team had many good chances at all, and a scoreless draw was a more than fair result for both sides.
 

rguilmar

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The model we're using does all the things you mention (i doubt the Kane chance was more than .1 or .2 tops despite being an elite goalscorer). I think the US was marginally better, the point was more that xG or just watching... neither team had many good chances at all, and a scoreless draw was a more than fair result for both sides.
Yeah, I’d agree with that. For me, the US was the better team but just marginally so and not so much that the result was unfair.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They should maybe try playing some of the talented attacking players and see what happens.

This has to be one of the least inspiring USMNT I can remember. They play sound but boring football. Where are the goals coming from?

The midfield has carried the team so far, but they have to do something different because bombing down the wings and crossing it is never going to work with this group of attackers.
No USMNT I have ever seen could dream of stringing 4-5 passes together, never mind controlling a good chunk of a game against a top side through the midfield.

It’s obvious they need more finish but this is the first time a U.S. team isn’t scraping by solely on a high workrate and keepers standing on their head.
 

Titans Bastard

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Just catching up on this thread now. I see zero reason for negative takes after this performance, which was great from the US. The World Cup is hard for everyone, even the top teams in the world. The US has fewer losses in this tournament than Argentina and Germany, who have only played one game, and who still have tough games ahead.

The USMNT managed to threaten England and create a bunch of half-chances, but they didn't rack up the xG. The team has some issues to sort out — namely, we are a half-tick too slow in critical moments in the attack and we suck at offensive set pieces right now. But we're also up against an England team that is very talented. Let's calibrate expectations appropriately.

Normally when the USMNT eked out a result against these types of the teams in the past, it was with desperate defending and being great on set pieces. This time, the team went toe-to-toe with England and overall played a bit better than them. That's impressive, especially for a group that is still growing into their peaks.

You'd like to see more offense generation, but again, this is a game against one of the best teams in the world, and we were somewhat more likely to win than to lose.

Iran is not a bad team. Nobody at the World Cup is bad. (Well, maybe Qatar.) That being said, if the situation going into the third match of the group is "beat Iran and you're in", that's a perfectly fine position to be in. Beating Iran is not a cakewalk, but if you can't beat Iran you don't deserve to be in the knockouts anyway.


Anyway, Tyler Adams is a freak. What a machine.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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I don’t think most models take into account a player’s rate of scoring, so it wouldn’t matter if Messi was the shooter or me. The xG would be the same.
To my recollection, the thing that characterizes a Messi isn't his conversion rate on good chances, it's his chance creation rate in the first place. So I think even sophisticated models wouldn't care who the shooter is.
 

tmracht

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What's impressive is all this is basically without our best xA generator in Reyna. If he's out there maybe some of those Man City zone passes are played on time.

If Dest could go a full 90 we wouldn't need to see the hard drop to Yedlin and Moore. This team is both playing well and playing without their top CB pairing guy, their best playmaker and finding a viable no 9 through 2 games they've just drawn Wales and England while outplaying them for large stretches.

This is amazing. Feels a lot like the confederations cup run in 09 where I was like oh...yeah this is progress.

And yes Adams is probably a cyborg. Not quite Makelele or Kante, but so damn good.
 

InstaFace

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They should maybe try playing some of the talented attacking players and see what happens.

This has to be one of the least inspiring USMNT I can remember. They play sound but boring football. Where are the goals coming from?

The midfield has carried the team so far, but they have to do something different because bombing down the wings and crossing it is never going to work with this group of attackers.
This is a terrible take. The team isn't what it perhaps should be, but someone did the math and while we score like 30% less goals than the Bradley / Arena / Klinsmann era teams, we give up something like 70% less goals. We are *really* defensively sound. I have my criticisms of Berhalter, Lord knows, but give him credit where due, this was a tactical masterclass by him.

View: https://twitter.com/espn_billc/status/1596320059684700160?s=46&t=aIQs8GbqVtLEQwEaRfdSXQ


Other than set pieces, there's basically no statistical area where England topped us - and they're a tournament contender coming off making the Euro final, with 10x our squad's TM value.

In soccer, the scoreline often doesn't tell the full story, and today the story on the field is that we were the team who looked the more dangerous, and who controlled things better, despite all of that.

Jedi aside, we are not a "run to the end line and cross" kind of offense. You saw what Dest can do on his run where he almost pantsed Maguire. Our strikers are there for interplay and pressing, not being targets. This is a lot more promising against a world class back line such as England's, than a crossing and headers and pray-for-rebounds offense would be.

And we've played our promising attacking players. Aaronson has gotten into every match. Our starting wingers were tremendous with off-ball movement. Our midfield was MMA both games, young and brilliant since they first played together March 2021. Gio Reyna is the only question, and it's clear the coach doesn't think he's fully fit right now, but nobody is under any illusions about whether he can do the job for us.

Really, if you're not having immaculate vibes after the game today, I question whether you were rooting for the USA. That was a legendary result we got out there and we should feel very proud.
 

teddykgb

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The question in my mind is whether there’s a way to be defensively sound while getting an Aaronson and/or Reyna on from the start. I suspect that Berhalter is right that the answer is no but it would really help to have a little more in attack especially in the third match
 

OCST

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Also, Ream has been pretty magnificent. Could not have picked a better time to be in the form of his life.
Amen, and whatever stick GB gets for other selections he gets a ton of credit for arrange, I thought he was too old even to get on the plane o Qatar
 

luckiestman

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No USMNT I have ever seen could dream of stringing 4-5 passes together, never mind controlling a good chunk of a game against a top side through the midfield.
That’s my take too. I’m a casual soccer fan but have seen most of the USMNT games for at least the last 10 years and this is the most skilled I have seen them look against a good team. I expected to lose and pre match would have been happy with a draw. They played well enough to win.
 

sodenj5

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This is a terrible take. The team isn't what it perhaps should be, but someone did the math and while we score like 30% less goals than the Bradley / Arena / Klinsmann era teams, we give up something like 70% less goals. We are *really* defensively sound. I have my criticisms of Berhalter, Lord knows, but give him credit where due, this was a tactical masterclass by him.

Really, if you're not having immaculate vibes after the game today, I question whether you were rooting for the USA. That was a legendary result we got out there and we should feel very proud.
Legendary result? We’ve scored 1 goal in the last 4 matches. A tie is fine against a better team in the qualifying stage, but you can’t draw yourself to advancement in the knockout stage. What’s the answer for when they have to have a goal?

They look competent on the ball and in defense. At some point, goals have to come. Looking good in the midfield and picking the right keeper won’t mean much if they tie against Iran and go home.

Having immaculate vibes after a draw with England and a draw with a Wales team they should have beat sounds a lot like accepting the status quo of happy-to-be-here.
 

ragnarok725

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What do people think about the striker spot for Tuesday? Neither Sargent or Wright have impressed me so far, although Josh may have been marginally better. Do you try Ferreira?

I honestly wish they had one of Pepi or Pefok as a target man with how anemic the presence in the box on crosses has been, and the likelihood of a bunkered Iran.
 

Titans Bastard

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Having immaculate vibes after a draw with England and a draw with a Wales team they should have beat sounds a lot like accepting the status quo of happy-to-be-here.
It puts the US in position to advance to the knockouts with a win over Iran. That's a good thing. Who among us wouldn't have happily accepted an offer before the tournament of "hey, if you beat Iran, you're in"?

Also, what does enthusiasm about the performance against England have to do with the result against Wales or the September friendlies? You are moving the goalposts. There was disappointment about the Wales result and major negativity about the friendlies.

It's okay for people to be happy about playing well and getting result against one of the tournament favorites.
 

tims4wins

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This is where order of games matters, and having Iran last is actually a good thing.

If Iran was the first game, and the US only managed a draw (or - gasp - a loss), their path to advancement would require a combination of at least a draw plus a win against Wales and England, and even then they'd require some luck on goal differential. That first game seems like the biggest question mark, as you just don't truly know what any side will look like until they get out there.

Now, they have their feet wet, and they know exactly what result they need to advance.'

TL; DR: I'm much happier that their required win to advance is against Iran and not England or Wales.
 

sodenj5

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It puts the US in position to advance to the knockouts with a win over Iran. That's a good thing. Who among us wouldn't have happily accepted an offer before the tournament of "hey, if you beat Iran, you're in"?

Also, what does enthusiasm about the performance against England have to do with the result against Wales or the September friendlies? You are moving the goalposts. There was disappointment about the Wales result and major negativity about the friendlies.

It's okay for people to be happy about playing well and getting result against one of the tournament favorites.
That’s fine. It should also be okay for people to point out that they’ve been underwhelming in attack in the World Cup and even before that.

I think enthusiasm is fine. For me personally, I don’t see anything that they’ve done so far as epic, or legendary, or even awesome. They looked fine against a good opponent. This team is boring to watch and they don’t do anything that excites me or makes me sit up in my seat.

The teams with Dempsey and Donovan would at least get out and run on the counter and Tim Howard had to play out of his mind a few times. That’s at least exciting, if not volatile.
 

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This is where order of games matters, and having Iran last is actually a good thing.

If Iran was the first game, and the US only managed a draw (or - gasp - a loss), their path to advancement would require a combination of at least a draw plus a win against Wales and England, and even then they'd require some luck on goal differential. That first game seems like the biggest question mark, as you just don't truly know what any side will look like until they get out there.

Now, they have their feet wet, and they know exactly what result they need to advance.'

TL; DR: I'm much happier that their required win to advance is against Iran and not England or Wales.
And in a similar vein, I’m much happier that the two games already played, considering how the US performed, was in that order. IOW, after the disappointment of the Wales second half, I’m more optimistic heading into the Iran match, after seeing the strong 90+ against England.
 

Titans Bastard

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wilked

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I agree striking it off the hop is difficult - I thought he could have adjusted and took it clean just before or as it contacted the ground. Once it bounced it was going to be difficult to get it on frame
 

SocrManiac

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He could have scored, but "should" is too strong. Striking the ball cleanly and accurately just off a short-hop is very difficult. This was a difficult chance for McKennie.
These articles often talk about this stuff like the player made a bad decision. I think a truly in-form McKennie (not that he’s been bad, just not up to his fantastic standard) buries that.

If a player tries to tuck something in near post when the keeper has it covered and left his far side flapping, there’s a point of criticism. If a player has no choice but to attempt a high skill, low-percentage shot and misses… I think we need to be easier on them.

In the moment I thought it was a bad miss. Further replays prove otherwise. The best players in the world would have a low percentage conversion rate on that service.
 

InstaFace

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Legendary result? We’ve scored 1 goal in the last 4 matches. A tie is fine against a better team in the qualifying stage, but you can’t draw yourself to advancement in the knockout stage. What’s the answer for when they have to have a goal?
Yeah, legendary result. England consider themselves the stewards and top exponents of the game and their team is eternally top 10, sometimes top 5, in Elo rankings. For all of our meaningful progress in building a national soccer culture and development program, we are a relative small fry. How do you think they're feeling today? Go browse the ThreeLions subreddit if you want a sense. And however they're feeling, we should be feeling the opposite. Do you remember last time we played them in a World Cup?



And this wasn't one of those scoreless draws where we withstood a 90-minute siege, either. We weren't being bombarded and having our goalie stand on his head or getting bailed out by defensive block after block. No, we took the game to them, neutralized their attack with some impressive tactics, and created the better of the chances. So, yeah, be happy. It's OK to give yourself permission to be happy.

"you can't draw yourself to advancement in the knockout stage" -- I'm sure I don't have to tell you how frequent it is that matches go to penalty shootouts, and you know what happens then? One team wins the shootout. Ask Croatia from the last world cup: they beat Denmark in the R16 on penalties, beat Russia in the QF on penalties, and then was tied with England in regulation before beating them in extra time. Not conceding goals is a very important part of the game, and one which we have not been good at at this level.

Having immaculate vibes after a draw with England and a draw with a Wales team they should have beat sounds a lot like accepting the status quo of happy-to-be-here.
The fuck is this? I don't recall seeing you around these parts over the last 5 years as we picked ourselves up from the swamp of Couva, rebuilt the program with a youth movement of talent who ended up being world class in their own right, filled holes in from some brilliant dual-national recruiting, and slowly forged a team together basically out of nothing. You show up at the moment they're really tested having no idea of the team's narrative arc, and think you can write it for them, negatively, after 90 brilliant minutes vs England? Which was collectively probably the best they've ever played? FOH with that nonsense.

This wasn't "let's have the same core ride again" like in 2014. This team has, for years now, been trying to find the right chemistry with each other, been trying to achieve consistency - same with very young players and young teams in any sport the world over. The first time Yunus Musah stepped on a field for the US, in a friendly against Wales in November 2020, everyone's eyes bugged out seeing the MMA midfield for the first time and how they absolutely bossed the game. For the first time, things clicked and we basically had the run of the place against a Welsh team that is - to be clear - very, very good, roughly our peer by ranking and result. And you know what? We didn't score that day either. But the building blocks were there, and that's what's important. We've gotten plenty of empty results, I'd rather have real predictors of future success.

Our progress was measured over the last 5 years mostly by Mexico, our real pacing challenge. The depths of the post-Couva lows were set by our losses to them in the 2019 Gold Cup final and then a subsequent friendly, where we largely got slapped around. That was basically the last time anyone heard from most of the players who played those games. Instead, our future team spent time building up chemistry, which went well enough that when the A-team faced them in the Nations League final in June 2021, we basically stunted on them aside from an early error by Mark McKenzie. Then our B-team did it again a month later in the Gold Cup, with a heroic defensive effort for 120' and a late-in-extra-time winner off a set piece. And the momentum continued into World Cup Qualifying, where we played basically the best match I've ever seen the USMNT play in our home game vs Mexico in Cincinnati - we slapped them around for 90 minutes, and the 2-0 scoreline frankly flattered Mexico. Everything that our talent predicted that we should, someday, be able to do, our guys went out there and did.

But it hasn't all been a bed of roses. We've had collapses, we've had failures to score, we've had boneheaded errors. We're a very, very young team, I think the youngest at the WC by some distance. That means inconsistency, as it always does in any sport. We had a shocking loss to Panama, we had Canada largely dominate two games against us, we had a disappointing showing in our finale in Costa Rica. Oh, and we had a game in the Azteca where Mexico was running scared, Gio Reyna put the fear of god into them with a run where he dribbled the entire team, but they somehow managed to keep us out of the net for 90 minutes and drew 0-0. Sound familiar? Point is, we've seen this team grow. If you've been following them the last few years, you've watched a team coalesce from nothing, from a bunch of raw teenagers, who do things like talk about their fish tank for their 3 minutes of fame. We've watched Antonee Robinson go from "too raw for a call-up" to "too good to leave off the field". Sergino Dest now pays attention at least 80% of the time, a massive improvement. And our entire team is still young, young enough that they'll continue to improve, this isn't the best they'll get individually, nevermind as a team that knows how to play with each other.

So yeah, dude, we're all happy to be here. Happy that we could qualify with a bunch of kids, after the disaster that our over-the-hill veterans wrought last time around. Happy that we could show our potential in a few key games along the way, rise to the occasion more often than not. Happy we could work out the bugs and inevitable setbacks, get through some injuries. And we're damned happy that when really put to the test, going up against a team with absurd talent like England, we could go toe-to-toe and give as good as we got. Because England is a team where their fans can only be happy with a trophy and are fucking miserable on all other occasions, and that's just a no-fun way to go through a sports fandom. Whereas the USMNT has been on a steady, if inconsistent, rise for the last 30+ years, and keeps getting better and better, and anyone who's been following the team for more than a week can measure its progress at times like these. It is rewarding to follow this team, to see where it's going, and where it's going to bring soccer in America to. Stories like those of Matt Turner, Shaq Moore, Ethan Horvath, are the kind of underdog storylines we can all root for, as opposed to the England team full of guys who were anointed as the next-big-thing at age 13. This team is for people who can dream on a squad, dream on a performance, dream on a world where we're a player in world football. If you don't want to dream - if you want to jump straight to "entitled, never-happy fan" - then hop right the fuck off the bandwagon, nobody will miss you.
 
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InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,203
Pittsburgh, PA
Amen, and whatever stick GB gets for other selections he gets a ton of credit for arrange, I thought he was too old even to get on the plane o Qatar
Yeah, Ream has remade himself the last 24 months. It's like the anti-John Brooks, maybe he stole some of Brooks' life force like a Centerback vampire. He couldn't hang with our team 24 months ago, and indeed was hardly played in Fulham's 2020-21 EPL season. Then they got relegated, and he apparently busted his ass, dropped weight, added muscle, and really worked on his defensive reaction time. By the time they ran away with the Championship and came back up to the EPL this year, it was like 5 years was wiped off his odometer, and he's started just about every game for them in the big leagues.

I remember watching him earlier this fall and thinking "damn, where was this guy for the USMNT the last two years?" Looks like Berhalter wondered the same thing. And thank god he allowed his preconceived notions to be updated by new data.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,172
That’s fine. It should also be okay for people to point out that they’ve been underwhelming in attack in the World Cup and even before that.

I think enthusiasm is fine. For me personally, I don’t see anything that they’ve done so far as epic, or legendary, or even awesome. They looked fine against a good opponent. This team is boring to watch and they don’t do anything that excites me or makes me sit up in my seat.

The teams with Dempsey and Donovan would at least get out and run on the counter and Tim Howard had to play out of his mind a few times. That’s at least exciting, if not volatile.
Unfortunately we don't have somewhere like TalkSport where you can dump these dumb takes. You liked when they were unquestionably worse, since at least it was exciting watching them absorb 20 shots from the opponent? Bully for you, the rest of us will have to live with outplaying one of the best teams in the world.
 

teddykgb

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,083
Chelmsford, MA
Unfortunately we don't have somewhere like TalkSport where you can dump these dumb takes. You liked when they were unquestionably worse, since at least it was exciting watching them absorb 20 shots from the opponent? Bully for you, the rest of us will have to live with outplaying one of the best teams in the world.
Let’s take it easy on outplaying. It’s good enough that we went toe to toe
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
8,424
Philly
So yeah, dude, we're all happy to be here. Happy that we could qualify with a bunch of kids, after the disaster that our over-the-hill veterans wrought last time around. Happy that we could show our potential in a few key games along the way, rise to the occasion more often than not. Happy we could work out the bugs and inevitable setbacks, get through some injuries. And we're damned happy that when really put to the test, going up against a team with absurd talent like England, we could go toe-to-toe and give as good as we got. Because England is a team where their fans can only be happy with a trophy and are fucking miserable on all other occasions, and that's just a no-fun way to go through a sports fandom. Whereas the USMNT has been on a steady, if inconsistent, rise for the last 30+ years, and keeps getting better and better, and anyone who's been following the team for more than a week can measure its progress at times like these. It is rewarding to follow this team, to see where it's going, and where it's going to bring soccer in America to. Stories like those of Matt Turner, Shaq Moore, Ethan Horvath, are the kind of underdog storylines we can all root for, as opposed to the England team full of guys who were anointed as the next-big-thing at age 13. This team is for people who can dream on a squad, dream on a performance, dream on a world where we're a player in world football. If you don't want to dream - if you want to jump straight to "entitled, never-happy fan" - then hop right the fuck off the bandwagon, nobody will miss you.
/Orson Welles clap
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,807
View attachment 58139
Fascinating to see how much more freedom Ream has compared to Zimmerman which speaks to your point in the tactics as well.
fantastic charts. When defending, Weah did a really nice job tracking Trippier and Pulisic put in a shift. Neither guy is much for getting stuck in, but they did a really nice job compressing the space where Shaw & Trippier could get on the ball. This allowed Adam, McKennie, Musah to basically bracket Bellingham and take him out of the match.

Those sideline balls down to Saka early where nice moves, but it wasn’t until late in the match where we saw England actually create the kind of overloads on the right side that killed Iran.

This was a really good game plan from Greg and Southgate didn’t start finding responses until far too late. And credit to the players who executed it at such a high level. They choked the England midfield engine of Shaw-Bellingham-Trippier.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
54,073
US has opened as -110 favorites against Iran. A draw is +250, Iran to win is +300.