USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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I find myself having little patience for Berhalter. Less than I expected.
I've been patient but I am rapidly losing steam.

Berhalter came in with what is from all accounts a complex plan and vision. That's fine and well, but the plan is proving difficult to implement. We need to see that Berhalter can make adjustments to the realities of the situation. We've seen nothing on that front so far.

Berhalter seems to be a petty determined and stubborn guy. If this result isn't a come-to-Jesus moment for him, we're going to be in real trouble.

Another thing that irks me about Berhalter is his refusal to publicly acknowledge and grapple with the struggles of the team. He'll vaguely discuss progress, without citing evidence, and he'll wave away clear issues. That's one way to lose the fans and media faster.
 

67YAZ

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Moving from club management to a national team is a tough transition. It's a distinctly different job. Unfortunately...and extremely shortsightedly...US Soccer wasted a year. So if Berhalter is learning more about the unique features of managing the USMNT and starting to adjust his strategy and tactics (please?), then these adjustments that could have been done a year ago. Or they could have made a run at Tata Martino...

Anyway, the book is out on this incarnation of the USMNT - press the CBs and create traffic in the middle of the pitch, the manager won't adjust. The Hex, even with it's new built in advantages for the top teams, is going to be brutal unless things change. And as hopeful as I am about Tyler Adams at the 6, we should not be relying on the health of one player to make a system work. We're not a minor footballing country who happened to birth a star player.
 

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If your tactics requires months of training sessions so that everyone knows where they need to be at all times, that's fine for club football, but is tough to implement at the international level. I have a bad feeling that this side is not going to have enough time together to make this work, to say nothing of whether we have the right mix of players with the skill level for this way of playing.
 

Titans Bastard

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The Bruce has spoken. (This interview almost certainly took place before the Canada game.)

SS: The national team is going through a bit of a strange moment right now. As you look at it from the outside, what’s your sense of how things are going?

BA: I don’t think things are going great. I think there’s an inexperienced staff and it’s going to take them a little bit of time to get more experience and understand the international game, understand the profile of a player who can contribute at that level. They’re learning that. And then how do you create a national team environment? I still think that they’re a little, they’re not certain about that. They’re coaching a national team like it’s a club team.

SS: When you say that, do you mean that in terms of system they’re trying to play?

BA: System, daily routine, on and off the field, all of it.

SS: How different is it on the club and international? You’ve done both, obviously.

BA: It’s very different. You don’t have those players the 300 days a year they’re with their club teams. They’re coming to you, you’re not changing their habits, you’re not changing how they play. You’ve got to have a system of play, of course, but they are who they are, and coming into a five-day camp, a two-week camp isn’t going to change them a whole lot.

SS: Do you think in general it’s good to simplify a bit on the national level, for those reasons you just lined out?

BA: What do you mean by simplify?

SS: Well I guess how I would put the way the national team is going right now, is that they’re trying to fit a lot of square pegs into round holes.

BA: I just think you have inexperienced people there kind of getting a little confused. It’s like you’re watching Manchester City play or whatever and think that that is the equivalent of how you play with a national team. You have a collection of, in theory, a collection of talented individuals, and you’ve got to make them into a team in a short period of time. You can’t reinvent the wheel.
 

McBride11

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The Bruce has spoken. (This interview almost certainly took place before the Canada game.)



aint that the truth. Growing up in club and HS you had a lot of practices and could work on systems. As you got old and played more pickup / simple adult leagues, you’d work with what you had. Im a CB and love playing possession out to my Cm or wings. However, in pickup today I got terrible skill mids, but have some big strong fast forwards. So, Ill start spraying a lot more long balls or whatever because I still want to win and Im going to maximize what chance I have. May not be my favorite style but we won the game so whatever

Not a perfect analogy, and probably less so at An international level, but sometimes you gotta understand what you have for options and maximize that to win. Adhering to one system dogmatically isnt going to maximize the skill set you currently have, and 2 weeks of training isnt either.

Would Bruce have rather played an elegant possession game in 2002? Maybe. But he recognized he had some crafty and speedy young kids, vet D, and a solid hold up forward that was good in the air. So he used them to maximal skills with a lot of countering against stronger nations.
 

Titans Bastard

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It makes sense for Tab. He has reached the U20 QF twice now and I think he's gone about as far as he can in this job. While nominally the Youth Technical Director, it never seemed like he had broad power in the federation or really much in his portfolio at all. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure he was not in Stewart's plans for any real role. He had the U20 contract through the next WC in 2021, but I think that was going to be it.

Ramos' name has popped up in connection with other MLS jobs (Dallas in particular), but he's never gotten an offer until now.

I strongly disliked Ramos at first, but came to mostly like him by the end. I think from a tactical perspective, he improved from dismal to merely below average. However, he's great with young players. Despite his lack of tactical nuance, it seems that just about all the kids who came through the U20s loved him and were willing to work very hard for him. I think he could play a useful role in the US coaching ecosystem if he's in a niche that is heavily involved with working with youth. Houston has a bad academy now, so we'll see.
 

Titans Bastard

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Reports in the Dutch press indicate that Sergino Dest will announce his decision tomorrow.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Never seen Dest play—where is he on the dual national scale of 1-10, 1 being Teal Bunbury, 9.9999 being Jermaine Jones, and 10 being some unknown footballing god?
 

Titans Bastard

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Never seen Dest play—where is he on the dual national scale of 1-10, 1 being Teal Bunbury, 9.9999 being Jermaine Jones, and 10 being some unknown footballing god?
It's hard to compare a developing prospect to a past finished product. Smooth on the ball, good going forward, still a bit rough defensively. If he doesn't improve his defense, let's say he's a 5. If he does, let's say he could be an 8.

He's a RB, but given his flexibility and our paucity of options he slots in as our LB right away, I think.
 

Titans Bastard

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Pulisic, Sargent, Dest, and a bunch of real U-20 potential... maybe things are looking up.
Yes, as grim as things currently are, I do think there's real reason for optimism over the medium term. The player pool is still weak, although I think early signs of improvement have been masked by Berhalter's tactical failures.

It will just take time for the good players coming through to grow into roles as players who really push the NT forward. Some guys are there already (Pulisic), but more are still uneven in their performances (McKennie, Sargent, et al).

By 2022, I think we'll be okay and by 2026 I think we have a chance of actually being pretty good, depending on how development continues.
 

wonderland

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I think McKennie will look a lot better/more consistent with Adams in there. McKennie, to me, seems like he wants to surge forward often. Against Cuba that’s fine but against better competition and a weak midfield partner he would get caught in no man’s land.
 

Titans Bastard

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I think McKennie will look a lot better/more consistent with Adams in there. McKennie, to me, seems like he wants to surge forward often. Against Cuba that’s fine but against better competition and a weak midfield partner he would get caught in no man’s land.
Maybe I'm putting too many eggs in this basket, but I think everyone will look better with Adams in there. It's been so long since we've had a good ball-winning DM that I think we've all forgotten how much more functional a team is with one in there.
 

tmracht

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I mean even the corpse of of Kyle Beckerman had an impact, we really thrive when we have someone that can protect the center backs.
 

Titans Bastard

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I mean even the corpse of of Kyle Beckerman had an impact, we really thrive when we have someone that can protect the center backs.
Beckerman was the Mark Bellhorn of the USMNT. Criminally underrated for what he was.
 

Titans Bastard

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The USSF has announced a "pre-camp" that will be held prior to the full NT camp for the November CONCACAF Nations League games against Canada and Cuba. It's an entirely MLS-based crew because it's outside the FIFA window. Some portion of this squad will get cut before the full NT camp is announced.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 62/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 9/0), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United FC; 0/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 14/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 12/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 12/2), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 5/1), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 4/0)

FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 30/5), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4/0), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; 1/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 5/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 54/10)


First call ups for Matt Turner and Chase Gasper. Turner had an epic 2/3 of a season for New England once he regained his starting spot post-Friedel. Gasper was a rookie who did well at LB for Minnesota. I'm not sure that he's super high upside, but neither is Dan Lovitz.
 

Titans Bastard

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Here's the final squad for the November CONCACAF Nations League games:


GK Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
GK Sean Johnson (NYCFC)
GK Matt Turner (New England Revolution)

RB Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)
RB/LB Sergiño Dest (Ajax)
RB/LB Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes)
RB DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
CB John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
CB Aaron Long (NYRB)
CB Tim Ream (Fulham)
CB Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
LB Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact)

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

WG Paul Arriola (D.C. United)
WG Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
WG Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)

FW Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
FW Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)


So....

Injuries:

1. Pulisic suffered a minor hip injury against Crystal Palace and may or may not join up with the group.
2. Bradley hurt his ankle in MLS Cup and is out for this window.
3. Steffen has a minor injury and will be rested over the beak.
4. Altidore was able to come on as a sub in MLS Cup but is probably still banged up.
5. Adams & Weah are still out but both should be back for their clubs soon.
6. Other youngsters who are injured: Pomykal, M. Robinson

Matt Miazga was a healthy scratch, as was Duane Holmes — a player for whom some in the twitterverse have been calling based on his performances in the Championship.


Between the injuries, the overall quality, and Berhalter's myopia, it's easy to see the US not getting the W they need against Canada.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Whoof.

Pulisic ruled out almost immediately after the roster release, which officially makes this an extremely depressing roster.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It’s not a roster devoid of talent, but it seems pretty thin when it comes to creativity without Pulisic. We’re not getting any opportunities by doing anything gauche like forcing turnovers, so we have to rely on these Berhalter patterns of play to generate chances, which they’ve been pretty bad at doing against non-Cubans.
 

Cellar-Door

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So the conference call with Stewart was today. He said that Berhalter's job is safe even if they lose to Cuba and Canada. Not surprising since it's not really going to be Earnie's call, Jay will decide when Gregg leaves. However, just the facrs that:
1. He was asked about it
2. There is a real belief we could lose to one or both of Canada and Cuba

says a lot about where the program is
 

67YAZ

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It’s not a roster devoid of talent, but it seems pretty thin when it comes to creativity without Pulisic. We’re not getting any opportunities by doing anything gauche like forcing turnovers, so we have to rely on these Berhalter patterns of play to generate chances, which they’ve been pretty bad at doing against non-Cubans.
With the fullback group suddenly looking pretty good, I’d like to see Berhalter be more pragmatic this window. There isn’t much creativity in the center, so play wide to Dest & Yedlin/Canon, let them pull defenders all the way outside. Bang in crosses and use their speed on overlaps to force some defensive shuffling. These aren’t efficient attacks, but these aren’t strong opponents. Plus it helps get the ball out of the middle where we’re just too vulnerable to being pressed.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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With the fullback group suddenly looking pretty good, I’d like to see Berhalter be more pragmatic this window. There isn’t much creativity in the center, so play wide to Dest & Yedlin/Canon, let them pull defenders all the way outside. Bang in crosses and use their speed on overlaps to force some defensive shuffling. These aren’t efficient attacks, but these aren’t strong opponents. Plus it helps get the ball out of the middle where we’re just too vulnerable to being pressed.
That's basically what his vaunted patterns of play want to happen also, but you're not allowed to kick it out wide until there have been 6 chuggy passes between defenders ending in a hospital pass to our number 6, who is authorized to play that ball if his face doesn't get pressed off.
 

67YAZ

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That's basically what his vaunted patterns of play want to happen also, but you're not allowed to kick it out wide until there have been 6 chuggy passes between defenders ending in a hospital pass to our number 6, who is authorized to play that ball if his face doesn't get pressed off.
My bad. I guess I've never seen one of these patterns actually play out successfully...
 

Titans Bastard

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So the conference call with Stewart was today. He said that Berhalter's job is safe even if they lose to Cuba and Canada. Not surprising since it's not really going to be Earnie's call, Jay will decide when Gregg leaves. However, just the facrs that:
1. He was asked about it
2. There is a real belief we could lose to one or both of Canada and Cuba

says a lot about where the program is
The sad thing is that in most situations you'd say, "well, there's the dreaded 'vote of confidence'" but with the USSF you know that they actually mean it.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The sad thing is that in most situations you'd say, "well, there's the dreaded 'vote of confidence'" but with the USSF you know that they actually mean it.
My expectations are sufficiently low that I can say "fine" for when we blow the Canada game again and he doesn't get fired, but there's no way any US manager who lost to Cuba could possibly keep his job, right?

It's a moot point because they won't lose to Cuba (he said, only 95% believing it), but that should be a capital offense for a USMNT coach.
 

Cellar-Door

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View: https://twitter.com/GrantWahl/status/1194412614371045376


This is brutal. So the question is... why don't we play the style that best fits our best young talents, who will likely be the best players in the pool for the next 6-10 years?
The answer.... look the manager's strategy worked decently for 25 scoreless minutes in a game we later went on to lose, so really we just need to work on getting the results we did for those 25 minutes (which was btw just basic competence), and not the way we have in every other minute basically that we've played.

BURN IT TO THE GROUND.

If the USMNT wants to be good everyone needs to be replaced (Earnie, both Berhalters, probably Cordeiro). It's kind of awesome that in other countries the model is... develop players well, win matches and you can steal some of the money. Here since we don't look the other way on embezelment and bribes, instead the focus shifts to self-preservation and legal self-enrichment, at the expense of performance.
 

Quintanariffic

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View: https://twitter.com/GrantWahl/status/1194412614371045376


This is brutal. So the question is... why don't we play the style that best fits our best young talents, who will likely be the best players in the pool for the next 6-10 years?
The answer.... look the manager's strategy worked decently for 25 scoreless minutes in a game we later went on to lose, so really we just need to work on getting the results we did for those 25 minutes (which was btw just basic competence), and not the way we have in every other minute basically that we've played.

BURN IT TO THE GROUND.

If the USMNT wants to be good everyone needs to be replaced (Earnie, both Berhalters, probably Cordeiro). It's kind of awesome that in other countries the model is... develop players well, win matches and you can steal some of the money. Here since we don't look the other way on embezelment and bribes, instead the focus shifts to self-preservation and legal self-enrichment, at the expense of performance.
Even more enraging, the chances from those 25 minutes were created by going direct, in contravention to the style Berhalter wanted and in a manner he openly criticized in the post-game interviews. It was only when Greggg brow beat the team into his useless possession style that we were able to display the level of complete inferiority we saw vs Mexico in the final 75 mins, and particularly the 2nd half. They are so bad and I’m glad Orlando will be a sea of misty empty seats on Friday.
 

tmracht

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ninjacornelius

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Berhalter is quadrupling down on all the things that make us fans mad. If it's just to prove a point that his system "works," then he's way too intransigent to ever succeed. If he really thinks that this is the best possible XI, then he's an idiot. Either way, my patience is now nonexistent. Anything less than a win tonight and I would fire him on the spot.