USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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Big Earnie Stewart news:

U.S. Soccer has appointed three-time FIFA World Cup veteran Earnie Stewart to be the first Sporting Director of U.S. Soccer and Kate Markgraf, who played in six world championships for the USA, winning the 1999 Women's World Cup and two Olympic gold medals, as the first General Manager of the Women’s National Team.

As the Sporting Director, Stewart will oversee U.S. Soccer’s entire Sports Performance Department, including the men’s and women’s senior and youth National Team programs, to create a more streamlined structure, align the overall technical approach and ensure greater communication and sharing of best practices within Federation programs. Reporting directly to the CEO, Stewart will also oversee all other Sports Performance departments, including Talent Identification, High Performance and Analytics.
He's now a full-blown technical ("sporting") director with a broad portfolio and no longer has the GM job that was curiously limited in scope.
 

67YAZ

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The WNT gets a GM but not the MNT? Presumably Stewart keeps this responsibility?

Organizationally, this makes sense. There’s someone actually empowered now to create a coherent player development structure.
 

Titans Bastard

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The WNT gets a GM but not the MNT? Presumably Stewart keeps this responsibility?

Organizationally, this makes sense. There’s someone actually empowered now to create a coherent player development structure.
No, the press release says the MNT will get a GM to replace Stewart as well.

The cynical take is that Stewart as Sporting Director is an attempt to head off nepotism concerns when Jay Berhalter is installed as CEO. But I think that even if that's true, having a clear and coherent structure on the sporting side makes sense. Even if Stewart's relationship as G. Berhalter's boss is compromised due to Stewart's boss being J. Berhalter, having a central figure overseeing the technical side is still a positive.

For too long, it is been impossible to discern where the buck stops with YNTs, the Development Academy, scouting, etc. Trying to divine who was doing a good job while also trying to divine what each person's role actually entailed was a special form of Kremlinology.
 

DJnVa

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Berhalter said there are two main areas he’s looking at when judging when the time is right to call up some of U.S. soccer’s top young prospects: the players’ performance with their club team, and the strength of the national team’s depth chart at that position. The latter could end up benefiting players like Dest and Sargent, who have lighter depth charts to overcome, while making it more of an uphill challenge for Pomykal, Morales and Robinson, all of whom will step into the competition at the U.S.’s deeper positions.
 

67YAZ

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Looking forward to seeing Canon keep up his momentum. He was so good in the Gold Cup. In the final, Mexico flipped their wingers to get Pizarro away from Canon, and that made all the difference.
 

Titans Bastard

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The full roster + some commentary:

GK
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Sean Johnson (NYCFC)
Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)

This should be good for more spicy tweets from Bill Hamid, even if no one else is particularly bothered by his exclusion. Ethan Horvath's club situation bodes poorly for his short-term prospects on the GK depth chart.

DF
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Tim Ream (Fulham)
Aaron Long (NYRB)
Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Dan Lovitz (Montreal Impact)
Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes)
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)
Sergiño Dest (Ajax)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)

Injured: DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Matt Miazga (Reading)

Among the CBs, Omar Gonzalez is out and Miles Robinson is in. This is good — Robinson is young, amid a breakout season, and has been a top-notch 1v1 defender in MLS. His future with the USMNT rests on the development of his passing game, which isn't great. With the demise of Geoff Cameron (Attleboro), Robinson (Arlington) is our only hope for a Massachusetts NTer on the men's side.

It's great to see Dest here after some (likely needless) Twitter freakout about his dual national status. I strongly agree with @67YAZ that I'd like to see Cannon get a chance to consolidate the RB position. Consequently, I'd like to see Lima and/or Dest get looks at LB in camp. While both are natural RBs, Lima has been playing LB all season and Dest is also versatile.

MF
Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)
Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas)

Injured: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Declined: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)

Bradley is staying with TFC, who have some key games for the playoff stretch run. As a result, who plays the #6? The obvious options are Trapp or Morales, but I guess it's possible to have McKennie back there, or maybe even switch up the midfield structure entirely. I'd probably suck it up with Trapp/Morales, to give the group reps in a system that should eventually feature Adams in that spot.

Pomykal is just a class player, but Yueill has been having a great season too. Both of them are guys who have done really well as proactive #8s, and added value to their games by raising their defensive ability. I think either would complement McKennie as his slightly-more-offensive-minded dual-8 partner. I'd hope that their emergence quickly (a) pushes Pulisic to the wing full time and (b) pushes Roldan to a useful, but very limited role as a gritty late-game sub (and eventually off the roster).

FW
Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş)
Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake)

Injured: Tim Weah (Lille)
Declined: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Paul Arriola (DC United)

Like Bradley, Altidore is sticking around for TFC games. That likely means more Zardes, though Sargent is on the roster, so we'll see.

Notably, Pulisic is listed as a forward for IIRC the first time under Berhalter. Maybe it's reading too much into it, but hopefully that means he'll be on the wing.

Baird is uninspiring, but I think he's here only because Weah is hurt and Arriola has to skip camp for family reasons.
 

tmracht

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Please no Wil Trapp at the 6. He just doesn't cover enough ground at this level currently without bringing the deep lying play making to offset the lack of range. Hopefully the Pulisic to the wing is the way, that would open up so much more going forward and hopefully this isn't just because Arriola is out. Definitely like this roster though! Shame about the injury to Weah, he would have been interesting in a Weah-Sargeant-Pulisic front 3.
 

InstaFace

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what the hell happened to Bobby Wood? Still only 26, he leads the 2.Bundesliga in goals as a 23yo for Union Berlin, but then has two rough seasons in the real Bundesliga, doesn't score a lot despite fairly regular playing time, gets relegated at the end of it, gets loaned out to a fellow 2nd-division side, and has been in USMNT limbo for like two years now.

He may not have been as good as we thought he was in 2016, but I'd rather give national team time to him over fuckin' Zardes, whose limitations are well-known, obvious, and not changing.
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
Berhalter said that Dest is going to start the Mexico match.

it's a friendly that won't cap-tie him, but clearly the US wants to give him something to think about when the Dutch make their pitch.
 

tmracht

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Yeah starting vs Mexico has to be a huge signal to Dest 3G is serious about him. Hopefully it's enough. I can understand him choosing either side I wouldn't feel like he Rossi'd us. But do hope he commits and plays in Nations League.
 

DJnVa

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Pulisic and Brooks and a few others leaving after the Mexico game.
 

Titans Bastard

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What jumps out:
  • Pulisic on the wing
  • Dest at LB, Cannon at RB, presumably
  • Zimmerman over Brooks?
  • Trapp-Morales-McKennie is a very conservative CM trio...
  • Zardes!
 

Titans Bastard

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Bench:
Johnson, Robinson, Ream, Lovitz, Roldan, Yueill, Lletget, Pomykal, Morris, Sargent

Not dressed:
Guzan, Gonzalez, Lima, Brooks, Baird

Seems like Brooks is hurt.
 

Kliq

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Midfield looks good right now; winning the ball and moving Mexico side-to-side.
 

Kliq

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The Mexican press is causing a lot of problems. We should have known this after they stole Brady’s jersey.
 

Cellar-Door

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I feel like if you are a CONCACAF team you'd know to maybe put a body on Chicharito? I mean he's only the most prolific goal scorer in the history of the Federation
 

67YAZ

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Can we let the Netherlands have Dest? I joke. But he is being picked on.

I understand that 3G Berhalter has a way he wants to play, but this US squad cannot consistently break through a high press. Maybe (probably) Adams changes that, but right now they need to either work up the wings or over the top.
 

Kliq

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I played club soccer with Miles Robinson. He was a heck of a basketball player too at Arlington High.
 

thehitcat

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So I haven't been watching the whole thing but when the Mexican player ran over from 30 yards away and grabbed Morales by the throat or slapped his neck or whatever is that not a yellow anymore or even a red?
 

Titans Bastard

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So I haven't been watching the whole thing but when the Mexican player ran over from 30 yards away and grabbed Morales by the throat or slapped his neck or whatever is that not a yellow anymore or even a red?
It was a yellow....for Morales. :eyeroll:

Classic refereeing.
 

Titans Bastard

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Morris has been pretty lively. Better than Boyd.
TBH, Boyd has been pretty bad in a US shirt so far, outside of his debut against the likes of Guyana. Hope that turns around. He had some nice moments in Turkey.
 

Cellar-Door

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Mexico is really good. Really good, they are better than us at basically every position, they have a better coach by a mile as well. Why are people surprised we're getting stomped. I mean would anyone in our player pool make their 1st XI (maybe Pulisic, even then not clear since his best position is filled by Lozano who I'd say is better right now).
 

Dummy Hoy

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I don’t care that Mexico is better than the US and that Gregg is trying to play a certain style- the complete lack of adjustments in tactics and/or team selection is embarrassing and frankly feels pretty damning.