USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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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.
Yes, the central problem seems to be that Berhalter is too much of an ideologue right now. He has repeatedly said he likes a DM who can spray long diagonals as a sort of QB-type midfielder. The problem is that we don't have anyone who can do this, and also be good at the defensive part of the job. And against good opponents who press our DM, guys like Trapp and Bradley struggle to even make those progressive forward passes.

I'm not sure when Berhalter will be willing to abandon certain aspects of his system if he clearly doesn't have the players for it. I mean, maybe he sees Adams as that DM when he's healthy, but I'm not sure he does based on the fact that Adams doesn't quite have the long passing game that Trapp & Bradley do, and that Adams has been used as an RB in the past.

A lot hinges on Berhalter accepting reality and making adjustments now. His post-game comments aren't encouraging in that regard. I'm pretty patient compared to most fans and am perfectly willing to accept that there will stinkers as our player pool slowly recovers from its nadir, but it's always concerning when the manager won't just acknowledge that we sucked once in a while. Berhalter isn't quite at Klinsmann levels of arrogance and denial of responsibility, but that's not a level you even want to approach.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I wonder whether we’d be better or worse with one of those totally average international managers who’ve managed 3 different national teams.

I suspect yes, because those guys at least know how to parachute in and play to a pool’s strengths.
 

67YAZ

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I want to be optimistic. I feel what TB has to say, but I also read what the players said post-game. If there’s ever a time to stick to your guns, damn the consequences...then a dead period friendly is the time to do it. This team does need to learn how to play out from the back against quality opponents if they want to progress. I’m just hoping (against hope?) that Adams at DM, Brooks at CB, and some in-game tactical flexibility will make things much better when the matches count for something.
 

Titans Bastard

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I want to be optimistic. I feel what TB has to say, but I also read what the players said post-game. If there’s ever a time to stick to your guns, damn the consequences...then a dead period friendly is the time to do it. This team does need to learn how to play out from the back against quality opponents if they want to progress. I’m just hoping (against hope?) that Adams at DM, Brooks at CB, and some in-game tactical flexibility will make things much better when the matches count for something.
I don't enjoy being relentlessly negative and I don't feel relentless negative about Berhalter and the USMNT — certainly not compared to the typical discourse in the usual online places for US soccer.

I'm okay with a rough period if there's a clear goal and progression. I do think that there are legitimate concerns that Berhalter is too married to certain tactical features/roles that don't and won't fit the player pool. I'm not convinced that's true by any stretch, but it's something I'm increasingly looking for as time progresses.

As is always the theme in US soccer, some of this negativity could be mitigated with proper communication. Berhalter acting all surprised that the media and fans are negative about the game is not helpful. Instead, anticipate that a dispiriting loss against Mexico amid a dispiriting half-decade will generate frustration and acknowledge it. This isn't rocket science.

I agree about Brooks and especially Adams. Brooks would have been so helpful against the press; I think we can live with Long's or Zimmerman's distribution as long as they are paired with a superior partner, but together there isn't enough on-the-ball ability as a team. We need Chris Richards to pan out, I guess, as some of our other young guys like Robinson and CCV are not going to help in this regard.

Zardes gets the most heat and clearly should be replaced, but I actually think Trapp is more detrimental to how the team plays. So many cascading problems come from a DM who is below average on both sides of the ball at this level.

Now that Cannon has established himself as a decent option at RB, I really hope DM is handed to Adams when he is healthy. If Berhalter thinks that Adams' distribution doesn't have the "QB"-style stuff he wants, then switch up the midfield roles. Keep Adams as a destroyer, and throw in someone else as a deep-lying playmaker or something like that.
 

67YAZ

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The “stay optimistic” was directed at myself, really. Last night was depressing and undercut the patience Berhalter earned himself following a good Gold Cup showing.

We do need to see more pragmatism, both in the big picture and the in-match adjustments. There’s never going to be enough camp time to mold the team like club squad. To @Jimy Hendrix point, that’s a lesson a national team manager triple retread wouldn’t have to learn.

Edit: Trapp’s comments in the Wahl piece are the most damning. If you’re confused and panicked by Mexico’s press - a system only recently installed into a national team side - then you’re way over your head.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Departing camp:

Steffen
Johnson
Brooks
Morales
McKennie
Pulisic

Left on the squad:

GKs: Guzan, Gonzalez
Fullbacks: Cannon, Dest, Lima, Lovitz, Ream
CBs: Long, Robinson, Zimmerman
CMs: Trapp, Roldan, Yueill, Lletget, Pomykal
Wingers: Baird, Boyd, Morris
FWs: Sargent, Zardes
 

Titans Bastard

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Some news:

  • On the CEO front, Dan Flynn is officially stepping down on September 16. Chief Stakeholder Officer Brian Remedi will take over on an interim basis until a new CEO is hired by the board. Jay Berhalter, Gregg's brother, is the USSF COO and has widely been expected to be the hire. However, it seems that the NYT article about the USSF Glassdoor revolt against Jay was sufficiently damaging and had an effect. I've seen some reporters suggest that Remedi might ultimately be the hire, though no decision is imminent. I had never heard of Remedi until the last month or so, when someone suggested to me that he might be a darkhorse candidate. I don't know much about him, but apparently he is more well-liked among the rank-and-file than Berhalter.

  • Gregg Berhalter has confimed that Jackson Yueill will start tomorrow against Uruguay.
 

InstaFace

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Some discussion of the depth chart in advance of tonight's 8pm ET friendly with Uruguay.

Not a lot of discussion about which FBs could go to either side, and I think they should give more thought to CCV.

I know nothing of Duane Holmes - should I?

TB should avoid the "DM" section of the article.
 

Titans Bastard

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Some discussion of the depth chart in advance of tonight's 8pm ET friendly with Uruguay.

Not a lot of discussion about which FBs could go to either side, and I think they should give more thought to CCV.

I know nothing of Duane Holmes - should I?

TB should avoid the "DM" section of the article.
No, give me Adams!!! The unfortunate thing is that Bradley and Trapp are still very much on the depth chart because we just don't have the depth. Maybe Brandon Servania at FC Dallas can move up the rankings soon, but he's not there yet. Morales is an option, but I don't think he's a good enough passer for Berhalter to ever use him as a single pivot.

I admittedly haven't checked in on CCV in a while as he plays a bajillion Championship games, but his passing ability is a liability for his USMNT chances, if it hasn't improved.

Holmes is one of those players in Europe at an okay level who people latch onto perhaps more than they should. He has good qualities, though, and has looked bright in limited USMNT minutes. I don't see him as a long-term starter or anything, but he could be a useful piece for the time being.
 

Titans Bastard

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The lineup tonight appears to be:

Boyd — Sargent — Morris
Yueill — Lletget
Roldan
Dest — Ream — Long — Cannon
Guzan​

The local guys (Ream, Sargent) get the start in St. Louis. No Zardes, no Trapp should keep the wolves at bay, at least until the game starts!
 

Mr. Wednesday

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The wolves won't be very happy with Roldan getting the start, I don't think, but there's not much else to be up in arms about. Maybe Guzan in goal instead of a younger guy.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, the US even won the xG stats by a decent margin.

Not a great performance, but the US was missing many (by our standards) top players, and Uruguay wasn't highly motivated, so there's only so much that can be gleaned from it all.

Onto four games of the CONCACAF Nations League.
 

thehitcat

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We're bringing Dest in for that right? Tie him to US?
They made a good point about this on Sirius FC this morning (I know I know but...) That if they were Dest and his representation that they would decline the offer to "sign" for the US for the Nations League while continuing to play and get minutes at Ajax. The rubber doesn't really meet the road until World Cup qualifiers start next September so he can try to build his resume with the Dutch for the entire season and then make the call based on their interest for the camps leading into qualification. Made sense to me that unless he feels totally frozen out by the Dutch that he'd probably wait the year and only play Friendlies.
 

DrewDawg

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They made a good point about this on Sirius FC this morning (I know I know but...) That if they were Dest and his representation that they would decline the offer to "sign" for the US for the Nations League while continuing to play and get minutes at Ajax. The rubber doesn't really meet the road until World Cup qualifiers start next September so he can try to build his resume with the Dutch for the entire season and then make the call based on their interest for the camps leading into qualification. Made sense to me that unless he feels totally frozen out by the Dutch that he'd probably wait the year and only play Friendlies.
So he's deciding between 2 countries that didn't make the last World Cup.
 

67YAZ

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So he's deciding between 2 countries that didn't make the last World Cup.
Play alongside Frankie de Jong or Wil Trapp? Tough call...

The Dutch are lining up their future at left back. Recently, they have been starting Van Aanholt (age 29) with Daley Blind and Nathan Ake serving as back ups at both CB and LB. (They also do with at RB with Veltman serving as Dumfries backup.) Jetro Willems has been in and out of the squad, but has earned 22 caps and is only age 25. I'm having a hard time seeing Dest break through as the starting LB this cycle, though it's possible given his quick rise at Ajax. And unless the Dutch change up their roster construction, there won't be a dedicated LB back up. Maybe they see Dest as able to cover between RB & LB?

The USMNT offers a very direct path to the starting job. And given our crappy track record of developing LBs, the only real long term competition is likely to be Gloster (who just started with PSV's reserve squad).

The USMNT offers the longterm likelihood of being the starting LB. The Dutch team seems a lot more iffy, though they are probably going to play a lot more high profile matches (UEFA Nations League, Euro Cup).

It would really suck to lose Dest.
 

tmracht

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If I'm Dest and his camp I probably turn down a call up next month. If he has a flat year, its unlike the US freezes him out. If he has a good/promising year for Ajax he basically has a spot for the Oranje as a pretty nice possibility. Yes would definitely suck to lose Dest.