USMNT: Hold My Beer

Jimy Hendrix

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Also, if/when the US gets automatic qualificaton for 2026, the lead up is going to be tricky. The USMNT is going to scrounging around for qaulity friendly opponents while the rest of the world is tied up in qualitying and Nations Leagues.
We simply must finagle one of those off-continent Copa America invites if we can.
 

Titans Bastard

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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'm sure it's a good living, trading on that rep. Definitely works well in the DC metro area, which if EPL viewership is any guide might be America's most soccer-mad area.

It is pretty cool to have a coach who's actually played and scored in the World Cup. Like, I'm still beaming from the time he took me aside and told me my son had a rocket of a shot, and that was months ago
If you feel comfortable, can you let me know what DC club the guy works for? Just curious.

If not, just ignore this. No worries!
 

DJnVa

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I know some teams didn't have supremely important 3rd games, but only 5 teams finished the group stage with 0 losses and the US was one of them.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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What are the lineup guesses for up top tomorrow? I saw one writer I follow suggest Morris because he is more physical than Ferreira. As much of a Morris fan as I am, I really hope he doesn't start if only because I don't want it to be his career defining moment if we lose and all the mouthbreathers blame him.

Anyway, I really hope it isn't Wright after how poorly he played Tuesday.
 

Titans Bastard

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John Muller of The Athletic tried to analogize the last 16 teams in the World Cup. The US:

The United States are… Brighton & Hove Albion

They pass. They press. They never score quite as much as they probably should.

They’re not one of the best teams, but they play enough like an elite team for stretches that it’s kind of cool to talk about how you admire their football.

Yup, the United States are Brighton.

Gregg Berhalter’s mission to “change the way the world views American soccer” has transformed a traditional counter-attacking underdog into a team on the rise thanks to a tactically flexible positional game. Sound familiar? The process has looked a lot like Brighton’s evolution under Graham Potter and now Roberto De Zerbi.


The US definitely aren’t afraid to dip into Jesse Marsch’s transition playbook (they’ve got Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson, after all), but their ideal form is as a well-coached passing side that makes up for its relative lack of talent with an adjustable possession structure that helps them win the ball back when they lose it.

Bald eagles are really just overgrown seagulls anyway, right?
https://theathletic.com/3960841/2022/12/03/world-cup-nations-club-play-like/
 

dirtynine

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My worlds are colliding.

Honestly the US doesn’t really play like Brighton or have the talent. But if you were scratching out a pecking order of the R16 countries and were restricted to just PL teams, sure. (Although: Leeds?)

Man would I kill for a Yank version of Lewis Dunk.
 

67YAZ

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Proud of this team. They balled out. They were never intimidated. They took the action to their opponents. They laid it all on the lien (Pulisic quite literally).

This is a great platform to build from for 2026. They made mistakes along the way - like abhorrent marking on Dutch counters today - but they’ll learn. The kids got a taste of the big time against a world class side today. This will fuel them.

also…LVG for USMNT manager? Please?
 

ragnarok725

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Proud of this team. They balled out. They were never intimidated. They took the action to their opponents. They laid it all on the lien (Pulisic quite literally).

This is a great platform to build from for 2026. They made mistakes along the way - like abhorrent marking on Dutch counters today - but they’ll learn. The kids got a taste of the big time against a world class side today. This will fuel them.

also…LVG for USMNT manager? Please?
TB has beat the drum, but this team badly needs to find its way into some big tournament between now and '26. They won't need to qualify as hosts and the team could really benefit from more big games like this to build experience and chemistry together.
 

Cellar-Door

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They played well, probably deserved to lose by 1 or 2 though, we just don't have the quality in attack, and we're vulnerable to teams like the Dutch who have both skill and athleticism in attack from multiple players.

Looking forward to 2026....
I would guess there will be a new manager? Hard to say, but most nations regret not switching after a cycle, and while Berhalter was okay, I didn't think he was great, tactically too inflexible in qualifying which meant no real plan B to go to in the Cup.

Players it's tough to say, usually you have a bunch who will age out but for the USMNT it's just Ream, maybe Yedlin? They need to find finishers in the pool, even with a different formation/tactics, we really have no quality finishers. A lot of skilled wingers but a lot more of them are ball-carriers and passers than finishers.

Still, at home, expectations for the cycle should be round of 8 at least.
 

DJnVa

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LVG will be too old. But who else could fit the bill?

Pochettino? Give Gregg 6-8 months for a send off then empty the bank.

Honestly, just picked him since I'm a Spurs fan. Who else?
 

DJnVa

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Think maybe a new thread pointing to 2026 is best? This thread was started in 2018 and has run it's course...and tomorrow will be 4 years to the day this thread started.
 
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InstaFace

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LVG will be too old. But who else could fit the bill?

Pochettino? Give Gregg 6-8 months for a send off then empty the bank.

Honestly, just picked him since I'm a Spurs fan. Who else?
Bielsa? Pellegrino Matarazzo?

Pep has spoken of being interested in international management once he's done with Man City. If he wins the UCL this coming spring, who knows what he might be receptive to.

A lot of Spanish or German coaches might have trouble really connecting with this team, but I think a French, Dutch or Italian coach could do very well.
 

InstaFace

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As for the game, I posted this elsewhere but it's downright strange to see the team undone by something that was their strength (defense, in breaking up counters / not giving up easy chances). Our defense might've been the best the USMNT has ever had, so for it to fall apart like that suddenly is really not on the coaching. Ferreira not being up for the role that we needed from him (and Sargent being injured) is unfortunate, but again, not really on the manager, unless you think Pefok would've done better, or Pepi would be ready for this level. I'll listen to the idea that we should've gone Gio Reyna false 9 from the start, but I was pretty supportive of the Ferreira selection before kickoff, so it'd be hypocritical to slam it now. And Gio was clearly not 100% out there, whether it's injury or just being out-of-form from injuries this year.

Overall, Gregg met expectations and maybe even exceeded them a little bit, and did so with a very, very young team who really enjoys playing together and has shown moments of tremendous ability as a group. He outcoached Gareth Southgate, which might not be a feat by "world cup contender" standards, but is certainly a feat by American coach standards. And that's the same England team who romped to the Euro final. That and the Mexico home WCQ match were his crowning achievements and is a very good resume for whatever his next thing is.

I don't expect either USSF or Berhalter to be interested in another cycle of him in charge.
 

teddykgb

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There’s no way that was the best defense the USA has ever had. That’s a crazy take imo. They have had some good results but there isn’t even a single stand out defender in the group
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Some names that come to mind for me, particularly taking USSF’s predilections into account (and assuming Berhalter doesn’t get the second cycle).

If Marsch gets fired from Leeds in the next three (maybe six) months, it’s almost definitely him.

Pellegrino Matarazzo is available, coaches solid soccer in a German style that suits a lot of our players and is from New Jersey (a weirdly determinative criterion in the past 20 years of the USMNT).

If they go with an MLS guy again, I think it’s either Cherundolo or Curtin. I prefer Cherundolo of the two I think, he has more global experience and national team experience and his setups are more pragmatic and flexible than Curtin’s. Curtain has way more actual managerial experience, of course.

For non-American managers, it’s a weird needle to thread of who is good enough to be exciting but doesn’t just want a club job instead. Bielsa could conceivably fit, not sure who else jumps out at me.
 

teddykgb

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You can’t really name club managers unless there’s some indication they’re wanting to jump to NT management. It’s just not lucrative and high profile enough. Berhalter was a bit of an outlier
 

Zomp

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Marsch isn’t going to get fired baring a huge collapse.

if he does there will be a lot of more desirable jobs out there for him.

I’m not sure who is available. I think Poch is a pipe dream. Bielsa I could see but I think USSF needs more of a yes man and I don’t think he’s the type.
 

speedracer

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There’s no way that was the best defense the USA has ever had. That’s a crazy take imo. They have had some good results but there isn’t even a single stand out defender in the group
Were Berhalter-Pope-Sanneh or Bocanegra-Onyewu-Demerit-Cherundolo better?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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You can’t really name club managers unless there’s some indication they’re wanting to jump to NT management. It’s just not lucrative and high profile enough. Berhalter was a bit of an outlier
MLS club managers will take this job most likely. Others, really depends on the time in their career and what they’re up to.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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This team can hold its head up high. The biggest hump to get over as a collective is having the technical and tactical acumen to really fight to control matches between the two boxes against very good teams who want to do the same thing. I think the Netherlands is a bit overrated, specifically in their ability to control games, but they still have many good players and a savvy manager and the US showed that they could go toe-to-toe and impose their will on the game.

But matches are still won or lost in the box during decisive moments. We were undone defensively by some sloppy marking and mental lapses in key moments and just not having enough quality in the final ball or finish against a defense that was organized enough that only a great final ball or a top class finish was going to undo them. The next challenge for the program is to find more players with the quality to do that. As much as they have played important roles in getting the team where it is, guys like Zimmerman, Dest, Weah, Sargent, and Ferreira just aren't good enough in those decisive moments.

In an ideal world, I think the US probably should move on from Berhalter. But you could do a lot worse than him so I wouldn't want to move on without a very clear plan for who the next guy was going to be and how that specific guy was suited to build on the foundation that Berhalter created.
 

Titans Bastard

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There’s no way that was the best defense the USA has ever had. That’s a crazy take imo. They have had some good results but there isn’t even a single stand out defender in the group
I agree that we don't have the best defenders we've ever had (in terms of defending ability), yet this team was so defensively sound for the most part.

I guess we can marry these two statements by writing an ode to Tyler Adams.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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As much as they have played important roles in getting the team where it is, guys like Zimmerman, Dest, Weah, Sargent, and Ferreira just aren't good enough in those decisive moments..
All of these guys are young enough (Zimmerman excepted unless he really surprises over the next four years) that “this guy plus four years experience” is a valid option for surpassing them next tournament. I’m more bullish on some of them doing that than some others, but we shall see.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There’s no way that was the best defense the USA has ever had. That’s a crazy take imo. They have had some good results but there isn’t even a single stand out defender in the group
Yeah they have had far better defenses who had to defend behind much worse midfields and teams that yielded the majority of possession in most high level matches.
 

Titans Bastard

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Think maybe a new thread pointing to 2026 is best? This thread was started in 2018 and has run it's course...and tomorrow will be 4 years to the day this thread started.
I'll try to start a new thread tonight!
 

Titans Bastard

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All of these guys are young enough (Zimmerman excepted unless he really surprises over the next four years) that “this guy plus four years experience” is a valid option for surpassing them next tournament. I’m more bullish on some of them doing that than some others, but we shall see.
All this Dest slander from @Morgan's Magic Snowplow! I just can't believe we've only now discovered that Xavi has been posting under the MMS handle here for years.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Dest was absolutely critical for our ability to link to the midfield rather than just play our usual hoofball. We saw today what happened when the center backs tried to make direct passes upfield against a team with good positioning and discipline. And the left side was extremely troublesome anytime Robinson needed to make a finesse touch or quick decision.

Maybe better CBs will mitigate the need for Dest or someone like him going forward but at the moment he is pretty firmly entrenched for me.
 

McBride11

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This team can hold its head up high. The biggest hump to get over as a collective is having the technical and tactical acumen to really fight to control matches between the two boxes against very good teams who want to do the same thing. I think the Netherlands is a bit overrated, specifically in their ability to control games, but they still have many good players and a savvy manager and the US showed that they could go toe-to-toe and impose their will on the game.

But matches are still won or lost in the box during decisive moments. We were undone defensively by some sloppy marking and mental lapses in key moments and just not having enough quality in the final ball or finish against a defense that was organized enough that only a great final ball or a top class finish was going to undo them. The next challenge for the program is to find more players with the quality to do that. As much as they have played important roles in getting the team where it is, guys like Zimmerman, Dest, Weah, Sargent, and Ferreira just aren't good enough in those decisive moments.

In an ideal world, I think the US probably should move on from Berhalter. But you could do a lot worse than him so I wouldn't want to move on without a very clear plan for who the next guy was going to be and how that specific guy was suited to build on the foundation that Berhalter created.
Dest? No way. He dropped Blind on the goal for sure today. But overall his aggressiveness, overlapping, and skill on the ball is a welcome sight at the RB. He was clearly giving Blind fits going up the right side, US just couldn't do anything in the final 1/3. Not sure that is the RB fault. And besides the Blind goal, I cannot recall any other egregious issues for Dest. Barring injury or being off-form, he will be the starting RB in 2026.

Weah, yes and no. He has pace, he has a good touch. He scored 1 of 3 US's only goals. He is not as dynamic as CP. I think he would really benefit from a strong presence in the middle, his speed / ability to get down the line is sort of wasted.. He will make the squad in 2026 (injury / form exceptions again) but may not start, agree there.

Sargent nice backup, but need a real 9 (or move to false 9 given the talent distribution, but c'mon Pefok or Pepi!)

Ferreira and Morris were complete head scratchers imo
 

67YAZ

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How safe is Mancini’s position with Italy?
He’s on solid ground. The FA president gave him a public vote of confidence despite not qualifying and Mancini has been saying that one of his career goals has been to win the Euros and World Cup.

Mancini also started turning over the squad with youth this summer - Raspadori, Gnoto, Pafundi (only 16!), Ricci, Gatti, and a few more. They’re his babies and he seems happy to nurture them for the next World Cup.

If Italy fail to qualify for the Euros or if 2026 qualification looks endangered again, then they’d probably fire Mancini. But that would be mid-cycle & we’d already have someone.
 

Cellar-Door

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For future managers they usually fall into one of these categories:
1. Career International manager mercenaries
2. Lower league managers who don't think they will be able to get a top 8 league job.
3. Top league managers who are getting old or have health issues and want to slow down.
4. Rarely, managers who are fairly young but in a non-premium league who think a deep WC run is their ticket to a top league (most commonly S. A. leagues.

So a Marsch is likely a no go, he's in a top league and young, even if fired at Leeds he'll have top league options.

Names that come to mind...
Bielsa (profile fit, think no chance he comes here)
Ferreira (rumors he's on the Brazil shortlist)
Pellegrini? (does he want to slow down and leave Betis?)
Low? (not quite cat 1 since he did all 15 years with one national side)
Gallardo (former rising star, didn't take the top 5 league job when he could, sacked by River)
Koller?
 

Saints Rest

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I agree that we don't have the best defenders we've ever had (in terms of defending ability), yet this team was so defensively sound for the most part.

I guess we can marry these two statements by writing an ode to Tyler Adams.
The Bruin fan in me deperately wants Tyler Adams to wear 37 for the USMNT, because that is who he reminds me of.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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With a couple of hours to think about it, here is my analysis. It is not super insightful or tactical and kind of obvious but it is what it is. They needed some experienced leadership.

They played too aggressively behind. There was no need to panic.. You need to continue to play solid and sound and not think that the need to get a goal means you can lose your shape or that you need to dominate possession. There was plenty of time at 1-0 and 2-1 to let the game come to them. You can allow some possession, even drop back a little and let them make mistakes. Goals are hard to score but easy to concede. When losing you have to balance both.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Dest? No way. He dropped Blind on the goal for sure today. But overall his aggressiveness, overlapping, and skill on the ball is a welcome sight at the RB. He was clearly giving Blind fits going up the right side, US just couldn't do anything in the final 1/3. Not sure that is the RB fault. And besides the Blind goal, I cannot recall any other egregious issues for Dest. Barring injury or being off-form, he will be the starting RB in 2026.

Weah, yes and no. He has pace, he has a good touch. He scored 1 of 3 US's only goals. He is not as dynamic as CP. I think he would really benefit from a strong presence in the middle, his speed / ability to get down the line is sort of wasted.. He will make the squad in 2026 (injury / form exceptions again) but may not start, agree there.

Sargent nice backup, but need a real 9 (or move to false 9 given the talent distribution, but c'mon Pefok or Pepi!)

Ferreira and Morris were complete head scratchers imo
Whether we have better options is unknown but if I'm being really honest then Dest just isn't good enough if the team wants to go to the next level. That he can play like a homeless man's Dani Alves is great in terms of facilitating the current playing style but he doesn't actually produce the goods enough in the final third to make up for being such a tragic defender.

IMO, Weah is a broadly similar story. He works hard, is pacey, and has enough skill to help the team play its current style, which is not to be dismissed. But you're going to have only a handful of moments in a big match when you need your attackers to show real quality in terms of the final ball or finishing and I just haven't seen anything from him to suggest that he's the guy you want in that decisive split second that makes the difference.

iMO, it wouldn't be a disaster if either of these guys was starting in 2026 but to really get better they're the types of players that need to become depth rather than starters.
 

McBride11

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Whether we have better options is unknown but if I'm being really honest then Dest just isn't good enough if the team wants to go to the next level. That he can play like a homeless man's Dani Alves is great in terms of facilitating the current playing style but he doesn't actually produce the goods enough in the final third to make up for being such a tragic defender.

IMO, Weah is a broadly similar story. He works hard, is pacey, and has enough skill to help the team play its current style, which is not to be dismissed. But you're going to have only a handful of moments in a big match when you need your attackers to show real quality in terms of the final ball or finishing and I just haven't seen anything from him to suggest that he's the guy you want in that decisive split second that makes the difference.

iMO, it wouldn't be a disaster if either of these guys was starting in 2026 but to really get better they're the types of players that need to become depth rather than starters.
Is Dest's inability to create in the final 1/3 a mark on him or the strikers we have?

If we find someone to oust Dest and Weah I would be ecstatic. Means only improvement for the team.
Conversely both are 22 and playing at top clubs and have room to grow / develop.

Of course when @Titans Bastard starts his thread tonite we will learn about the 14 yo kid playing in rural Oklahoma that will surpass them all
 

teddykgb

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I wonder whether Domènec Torrent would be a name in the mix. Peps former assistant did Ok at NYCFC but has struggled a lot elsewhere. Could use some of that structure.
 

OCST

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GGG had a very good group stage. I can’t make up my mind about today. Most xG models have it even. If Pulisic buries that early chance it’s a different game. Ferreira was useless, Gio or Aaronson would have done more….. but with no true 9 to deal with the redwoods in the Dutch defense…. We were not deep enough and ran our horses into the ground….

I don’t know. Those defensive lapses were brutal. The focus that we had in the group was gone. I’m not sure what tactical adjustment I would have made. Maybe both Gio and Aaronson to start, and then… McK sitting?

A better manager gets more out of that group in that game but it might just be a matter of maturity, both players and coach. Donovan called out our naïveté. He’s right.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Whether we have better options is unknown but if I'm being really honest then Dest just isn't good enough if the team wants to go to the next level. That he can play like a homeless man's Dani Alves is great in terms of facilitating the current playing style but he doesn't actually produce the goods enough in the final third to make up for being such a tragic defender.
What more does Dest need to do in the final 3rd? He scored a couple of critical goals for us in qualifying and had the first assist on the lone goal vs. Iran. Dest is way down my list of concerns with the U.S. roster.
 

Titans Bastard

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GGG had a very good group stage. I can’t make up my mind about today. Most xG models have it even. If Pulisic buries that early chance it’s a different game. Ferreira was useless, Gio or Aaronson would have done more….. but with no true 9 to deal with the redwoods in the Dutch defense…. We were not deep enough and ran our horses into the ground….

I don’t know. Those defensive lapses were brutal. The focus that we had in the group was gone. I’m not sure what tactical adjustment I would have made. Maybe both Gio and Aaronson to start, and then… McK sitting?

A better manager gets more out of that group in that game but it might just be a matter of maturity, both players and coach. Donovan called out our naïveté. He’s right.
I think a big problem is our lack of depth. Most of the bench players in this team are relatively good soccer players, but they are clear downgrades from the starters. So in many cases, it's basically impossible to rotate.

The USMNT today just seemed a bit physically and psychologically worn out in ways that get exposed when you go up against a team like the Netherlands.

I'm not sure how much could be done. I think the USMNT played at a pretty good level today. If the team played this well in ten consecutive matches against the Netherlands, they'd win a few of them. The breaks didn't go our way today with the finishing and a few catastrophic lapses in off the ball defending. That's the way it goes sometimes. The USMNT isn't good enough to have a margin for error with this stuff.
 

AB in DC

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I agree that we don't have the best defenders we've ever had (in terms of defending ability), yet this team was so defensively sound for the most part.
I don't know what to make of the defense. they were solid in the group stage, but those were two awful lapses against the Dutch. The last minute of stoppage time in the first half, seemed like five players were just standing around doing nothing. why aren't they clogging the box like the Dutch were doing all game? It's not like there was any time left for a counterattack. Then leaving Dumfries of all people completely unmarked.
 

Cellar-Door

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GGG had a very good group stage. I can’t make up my mind about today. Most xG models have it even. If Pulisic buries that early chance it’s a different game. Ferreira was useless, Gio or Aaronson would have done more….. but with no true 9 to deal with the redwoods in the Dutch defense…. We were not deep enough and ran our horses into the ground….

I don’t know. Those defensive lapses were brutal. The focus that we had in the group was gone. I’m not sure what tactical adjustment I would have made. Maybe both Gio and Aaronson to start, and then… McK sitting?

A better manager gets more out of that group in that game but it might just be a matter of maturity, both players and coach. Donovan called out our naïveté. He’s right.
Not sure if I agree on group stage, he had an inconsistent group stage seems more accurate. We came out on fire against Wales which he should get credit for. But... Wales made half time adjustments and dominated the second, Gregg had no answers there, almost threw it away. England he came out strong, again we faded, but England made no adjustments either and seemed content to draw rather than risk a loss for a win.
Iran.. Started strong again... Struggled after Iran adjusted in the second half... Spent the last 25 minutes praying as Iran got a bunch of good chances.

Gregg made good starting choices but he has really disappointed as a manager once the opening whistle blows. Also we got helped a lot by sequencing, with only Iran(weakest team in the group on paper) feeling that they needed a win against us. If we played England last not sure we advance.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Wrote too much because dunno where to put the energy right now, basic summary of what to watch for the next few years as I see it.

Development of Current Squad

The baseline we're hoping for here is exactly what you think when we see those lists of the current squad's ages in 2026. These players, with four more years of experience and in some cases, where needed, physical development. That's an exciting baseline and a great place to start. How many of our players hit that baseline, how many exceed it, and how many Dele Alli themselves well below that bar. Can any of our top tier guys take the step from "top five league player" to "undeniable global superstar"? Who if anyone really develops some cutting edge to finish moves?

Aging Out

Relatively little concern here given the generally young squad. Biggest concern here is probably the CBs, where Ream will definitely age out and Zimmerman will probably age out (33 not too old for an excellent CB which who knows, he might become, but if a 33yo Zimmerman is our best RCB option that is more likely to be a real problem). Turner will also be 32, which is usually fine in GK years.

Filling Holes and Adding Depth

This team needs more depth basically everywhere but winger/attacking midfielder (and I frankly wouldn't turn depth down there either, we did bring Jordan Morris to the World Cup). Striker and CB are the glaring spots where we need significant upgrades in the starting 11. CM and FB depth are also real needs, as subs for us in those areas were real awful dropoffs in quality.

Manager

We're likely to have a different manager. Who and how will they play? I'd like somebody more tactically flexible than Berhalter ideally. My heart kind of wants one of those wily "been around the block" international manager types, but damned if I know who the guy is. Ideally someone who can maintain the vibes and the excellent dual nat recruitment.

Where Do Good Games Come From?

The US is likely to not need to qualify for 2026 as a host nation. This leaves the US with a shortage of meaningful prep matches, and those that are on the docket are all CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup games, which are not against sufficient competition to really improve this team. Friendlies against European teams are tough to come by because UEFA wants nothing but Nations League. What can we schedule that will meaningfully test the team? Can we be one of the guest teams in Copa America 2024?