USMNT: Hold My Beer

Jed Zeppelin

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Finally, a good problem to have.

I’ve read the rumors that Berhalter will push Yedlin up to the right wing to keep Canon at fullback.
I’m all for it—Yedlin is easy offense with his speed and can at least put some pressure on the D. Much better than the standard worker bee/plugger they often end up with on the wing.
 

Titans Bastard

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Lineup v. Cuba

Arriola — Sargent — Morris
Roldan — McKennie
Yueill
Lovitz — Ream (c) — Long — Yedlin
Guzan​


No injuries since the last game, so all changes are squad rotation against a weak opponent.

Trapp has only started (or played in) one game out of the last nine, so it seems abundantly clear that he's behind Bradley and Yueill, and eventually Tyler Adams as well.

Dest is being rested, but otherwise it appears that Yedlin has the upper hand over Cannon for now.

I'd have liked to see more creativity against the likes of Cuba than a McKennie/Roldan pairing, but on the other hand I'll reserve judgment until I see the quality of the field. Lletget's game could be neutered a bit if it's a cow patch.
 

Titans Bastard

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Announcers are saying Sargent is being credited with the goal, which is generous.
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
I'm pretty sure the field I played on when I was 10 years old was more impressive than this one.

OK, this track looks better quality, ours was just dirt.
 

Titans Bastard

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On the bright side, at least we didn't need a winner in the 3rd minute of stoppage time to beat Bermuda 2-1 at home, like Mexico just did.
 

DJnVa

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This game sucked.
There's literally no way the US can play Cuba and at the end of the game folks say it was a good game. If it's 7-0 then the story is Cuba is bad, which they are. If it's 3-1 the story is it's too close.

Just don't get anyone hurt.
 

Kliq

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The US played two teams they were a lot better than this weekend and beat them both handily. If they continue to do that, we will avoid the embarrassment of missing the WC.
 

Kliq

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...except we need to do that to each of Honduras, Panama, T&T and/or Jamaica, in order to qualify without a playoff.
I don't really understand your post. The US is (recent qualifying results not withstanding) much better than those teams and if they take care of business against those weaker CONCACAF sides, they will qualify for the World Cup. People can lament about the quality of opponents the US beat this week, but the US not being able to beat weaker CONCACAF teams is what stopped them from qualifying last time.
 

InstaFace

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I don't really understand your post. The US is (recent qualifying results not withstanding) much better than those teams and if they take care of business against those weaker CONCACAF sides, they will qualify for the World Cup. People can lament about the quality of opponents the US beat this week, but the US not being able to beat weaker CONCACAF teams is what stopped them from qualifying last time.
I guess I see a qualitative difference between Canada and Cuba, who should never have the firepower to get a result against us, vs Hex teams who absolutely do if we're not up for it on a given night.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It really breaks my heart to say this and I know the format makes it very difficult—but a far-too-large part of me wants them to miss 2022 or at least bomb out spectacularly '98 style. As is, any success the team has will be in spite of these dipshits yet would only reinforce their own inflated sense of themselves and we'd never be rid of them. They needed a cleansing fire and instead we elevated Gulati's VP, hired an uninspiring manager, and made his fucking brother (who is qualified how exactly?) CEO, undermining what at first glance looked like a good enough Director hire in Stewart who will just end up being a scapegoat with no real power. You can talk about the lack of talent on the field in a pivotal age range all you want but the old boys crew will never put football over themselves.
 

DJnVa

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I don't want Pulisic to be 28 before he gets to a World Cup. Part of this needs to be inspiring the next generation. Missing another World Cup would not help.
 
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Cellar-Door

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It really breaks my heart to say this and I know the format makes it very difficult—but a far-too-large part of me wants them to miss 2022 or at least bomb out spectacularly '98 style. As is, any success the team has will be in spite of these dipshits yet would only reinforce their own inflated sense of themselves and we'd never be rid of them. They needed a cleansing fire and instead we elevated Gulati's VP, hired an uninspiring manager, and made his fucking brother (who is qualified how exactly?) CEO, undermining what at first glance looked like a good enough Director hire in Stewart who will just end up being a scapegoat with no real power. You can talk about the lack of talent on the field in a pivotal age range all you want but the old boys crew will never put football over themselves.
Berhalter is actually probably pretty qualified for CEO, he's been a major player in the business side for years.
The problem is more that the business side is the goal of the USSF, rather than a way to support the Sporting side. Your COO shouldn't be involved in Technical Director work, you shouldn't spend time bragging about the surplus that your non-profit has produced in response to questions about why your non-profit is failing to do what it exists to do. You shouldn't be making decisions based on controlling costs that reduce your effectiveness.

Basically what really needs to happen is USSF needs to be stripped of it's non-profit status, de-recognized by FIFA and a new Federation built from the ground up with basically none of the current structures. It won't ever happen though, so expect US Soccer to never really change, except perhaps for the advantages built into the women's game to slowly slip away until the women's side in merely very good instead of dominant and the Men's side in mediocre,. while the youth development remains a money making scheme that excludes poor and minority communities.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Berhalter is actually probably pretty qualified for CEO, he's been a major player in the business side for years.
That's fair.

The problem is more that the business side is the goal of the USSF, rather than a way to support the Sporting side. Your COO shouldn't be involved in Technical Director work, you shouldn't spend time bragging about the surplus that your non-profit has produced in response to questions about why your non-profit is failing to do what it exists to do. You shouldn't be making decisions based on controlling costs that reduce your effectiveness.
Right—whether or not he's qualified, we shouldn't ever be reading about the CEO in the same way you might read about a Snyder/Dolan/insert bad owner.

I don't want Pulisic to be 28 before he gets to a World Cup. Part of this needs to be inspiring the next generation. Missing another World Cup would not help.
I agree; the too-large part of me rooting for failure is, like, 10%.
 

67YAZ

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Basically what really needs to happen is USSF needs to be stripped of it's non-profit status, de-recognized by FIFA and a new Federation built from the ground up with basically none of the current structures.
Yeah, but the problems are structural. Sweep out these idiots and new ones will walk right in. From what I can see, USSF and MLS needs to divorce their financial marriage by eliminating SUM. It may have been a good idea in 2002 to give MLS a major revenue boost by merging its marketing and media rights with US Soccer, but MLS has maneuvered to exert way too much influence in US Soccer. MLS can generate enough revenue on its own now. It should be an affiliated but wholly distinct enterprise.

And then the rest of the field is so goddamn Balkanized. Youth soccer is a series of regional fiefdoms, often run by the same guys (or their hand picked successors) who did the hard work of building these programs 30-40 years ago. That was vitally important work for US Soccer, but it doesn't entitle one to carve out a chunk of the country where you have a monopoly on youth programs. Confoundingly, maybe the best alternative to the regional Balkanization is helping MLS clubs develop superior youth development academies...but this would only further intertwine US Soccer and MLS.

The rise of MLS and the growth of soccer in general has meant money has flooded into a system that was built on the fly with minimal budgets by people who loved the sport but didn't necessarily know how to lay the groundwork for multi-billion dollar industry. We need a visionary kind of leader who can lead US Soccer through a complete rebuild.

What we'll get? Just pray for Pulisic to stay healthy.
 

candylandriots

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What cave have I been living in - not to know that Jürgen Klinsmann is managing Hertha Berlin. I mean, I’m a Union guy, but I’ve watched Hertha play them and somehow didn’t pick up on this until my wife had a bunch of friends over and I was banished tonight and just watched him walk off the field against Frankfurt.
 

DJnVa

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What cave have I been living in - not to know that Jürgen Klinsmann is managing Hertha Berlin. I mean, I’m a Union guy, but I’ve watched Hertha play them and somehow didn’t pick up on this until my wife had a bunch of friends over and I was banished tonight and just watched him walk off the field against Frankfurt.
He's been there like 2 weeks.
 

dirtynine

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I wonder, depending on how CP develops at Chelsea, how much leverage he specifically might have with US Soccer in a few years. If he's an EPL star and our obvious best-ever player by then, with all the marketing and Nike clout that surrounds that, he will have some influence. Not necessarily on the endemic stuff but certainly on the coaching staff at the senior level.
 

Titans Bastard

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The USSF is in a very bad way.

I have spent a lot of time excoriating some of Sunil Gulati's tenure. I don't regret that, but it's likely true that everyone in that train of thought didn't spend enough time focusing on Dan Flynn. He retired back in September, but it's clear that he left a deeply dysfunctional organization behind. The USSF has always had problems, but seemingly they've gotten worse in recent years.

The asinine Chicago residency ruled has decimated our youth national team coaching ranks. It sure seems like they simply can't fill the positions because it turns out that coaches don't want to uproot themselves for a low-profile, short-term gig. Who would have thought?

The outreach to non-white fans and players continues to be quite weak and piecemeal. I'm concerned about what will happen after Tab Ramos' departure. He obviously has faults as a coach, but I know that his personal efforts represented the bulk of outreach to young dual nationals. Meanwhile, Twitter just deactivated the USSF's Spanish-language account due to disuse.

Cordeiro is basically a muppet who doesn't know enough about anything to even know how to empower the right people. He'll delegate key issues to the abyss of "committees", where nothing will get done and there will be minimal accountability for individuals.

It seems that everyone thinks that Jay Berhalter is a huge asshole and over his head on the technical side.

The identity of the next CEO will be a huge sign. There's no real reason for optimism, but it's a positive that they haven't handed Jay Berhalter the position just yet. At the very least, it means the board is feeling the heat for once.
 

Dummy Hoy

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The outreach to non-white fans and players continues to be quite weak and piecemeal. I'm concerned about what will happen after Tab Ramos' departure. He obviously has faults as a coach, but I know that his personal efforts represented the bulk of outreach to young dual nationals. Meanwhile, Twitter just deactivated the USSF's Spanish-language account due to disuse.
Holy shit.
 

McBride11

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Holy shit.
Im sure finding a 20 something who speaks Spanish and loves soccer in the US is extremely difficult..

My question / concern is that even if we get forward thinking leadership, with the amount of money in youth soccer / travel / clubs - how will any significant changes be enacted. Soon as someone like Titans Bastard CEO makes smart decisions and looks to improve the USSF these numerous money making orgs will give significant pushback.
 

Cellar-Door

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Im sure finding a 20 something who speaks Spanish and loves soccer in the US is extremely difficult..

My question / concern is that even if we get forward thinking leadership, with the amount of money in youth soccer / travel / clubs - how will any significant changes be enacted. Soon as someone like Titans Bastard CEO makes smart decisions and looks to improve the USSF these numerous money making orgs will give significant pushback.
The board would never allow a CEO to make real change, other than maybe the athlete's reps, all of them either are personally involved financially in the status quo, or they got their board seat due to their connections with people who have strong incentives not to blow up the system.
 

Titans Bastard

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The sad thing is that, in my opinion, we don't even need a true agent of radical change in the USSF, just basic competence. And we can't even get that.

The federation is not going to be at the cutting edge of player development. In the US, like everywhere else in the world, the clubs will need to lead the charge. However, the USSF could be doing so much more as a facilitator.
  • Have a sensible and effective coaching education program that is affordable and accessible to all communities
  • Build bridges between the disparate groups of the US soccer community (well-to-do suburbanites, Hispanics, immigrant groups, etc.)
  • Employ a competent group of youth national team coaches who are capable of and empowered to effectively scout and build relationships with players
  • Guide the trajectory of top youth leagues to balance the need to limit travel expenses and burnout with the desire to have more competitive games
  • Support the development of an international and domestic transfer ecosystem that starts to shift focus away from fee-based development, at least at more competitive youth clubs. (The federation cannot simply end pay-to-play, which would cost billions and billions of dollars annually.)

All I really ask for is competence and the humility and self-confidence to not immediately circle the wagons anytime there is criticism/feedback.
 

Titans Bastard

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The January camp roster is out and it's NOT business as usual:


GK Bill Hamid '90 (D.C. United)
GK Sean Johnson '89 (NYCFC)
GK J.T. Marcinkowski '97 (San Jose Earthquakes)
GK Matt Turner '94 (New England Revolution)

RB Julian Araujo '01 (LA Galaxy)
RB Reggie Cannon '98 (FC Dallas)
CB Justen Glad '97 (Real Salt Lake)
CB Aaron Long '92 (NYRB)
CB Mark McKenzie '99 (Philadelphia Union)
CB Walker Zimmerman '93 (LAFC)
LB Chase Gasper '96 (Minnesota United)
LB Sam Vines '99 (Colorado Rapids)

CM Christian Cappis '99 (Hobro IK / DEN)
CM Bryang Kayo '02 (unattached)
CM Cristian Roldan '95 (Seattle Sounders)
CM Jackson Yueill '97 (San Jose Earthquakes)
AM Brenden Aaronson '00 (Philadelphia Union)
AM Sebastian Lletget '92 (LA Galaxy)
AM Paxton Pomykal '99 (FC Dallas)

WG Paul Arriola '95 (D.C. United)
WG Jonathan Lewis '97 (Colorado Rapids)
WG Uly Llanez '01 (Wolfsburg / GER)
FW Jesus Ferreira '00 (FC Dallas)
FW Gyasi Zardes '91 (Columbus Crew)


It's a young, inexperienced crowd. Many of these guys aren't really ready for prime time, but it's nice to see them get a taste of USMNT camp rather than an assortment of no-hoper veterans from the lost generation born in the early 90s.

Reportedly Atlanta denied the release of Brad Guzan, Miles Robinson, and Brooks Lennon due to CONCACAF Champions League preparations.

No Trapp, Bradley, or Lovitz.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The January camp was scheduled to be held in Doha, Qatar. Given the recent developments in the region, that plan has been obviously scrapped.
 

Titans Bastard

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FC Dallas midfielder Brandon Servania has been added to the January camp roster. He's another guy who is in the "contending for a U23 spot" category in this mixed camp.
 

Titans Bastard

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Berhalter has 22 guys left in camp for the Costa Rica friendly.

Four guys gone from the initial camp:

J.T. Marcinkowski (#4 GK, really there only for U23 evaluation)
Paxton Pomykal (sent home a week or two to continue his rehab since he was never 100% fit following offseason surgery)
Cristian Roldan
Jordan Morris (both prepping for the Sounders' CCL campaign)


January camp games usually aren't pretty, but this one should be interesting from a new player perspective:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 6/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; 0/0), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 10/0), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United FC; 0/0), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 16/3), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; 0/0), Bryang Kayo (Unattached; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 13/2), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 6/0)

FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 32/5), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 5/0), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 55/12)
 

Quintanariffic

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Berhalter has 22 guys left in camp for the Costa Rica friendly.

Four guys gone from the initial camp:

J.T. Marcinkowski (#4 GK, really there only for U23 evaluation)
Paxton Pomykal (sent home a week or two to continue his rehab since he was never 100% fit following offseason surgery)
Cristian Roldan
Jordan Morris (both prepping for the Sounders' CCL campaign)


January camp games usually aren't pretty, but this one should be interesting from a new player perspective:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 6/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; 0/0), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 10/0), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United FC; 0/0), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 16/3), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; 0/0), Bryang Kayo (Unattached; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 13/2), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 6/0)

FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 32/5), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 5/0), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 55/12)
With only 22 on the roster, and 6 subs to play with, it’s almost certain that we’ll see multiple players get their first cap. How would you rank the chances of the uncapped players getting some minutes vs CRC? My guess is:

Gasper
Aaronson
Llanez (only 3 wingers in the 22)
Ferreira
McKenzie
Glad
Vines
 

Titans Bastard

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Old friend CCV just signed on for a 6 month loan to Luton, the bottom side in the English Championship.
That’s his fifth Championship loan, for those keeping track. Two ended early because he was going to be benched and Spurs recalled him.

Loans can be tough because clubs don’t have a long term stake in your development. If you go through a rough patch, it is very easy to be thrown overboard.

Hopefully CCV gets a permanent move this summer. At this point my beat guess is that he’s a Championship lifer, but maybe he’ll expand past that if he finally ends up in a solid club situation.
 

67YAZ

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That’s his fifth Championship loan, for those keeping track. Two ended early because he was going to be benched and Spurs recalled him.

Loans can be tough because clubs don’t have a long term stake in your development. If you go through a rough patch, it is very easy to be thrown overboard.

Hopefully CCV gets a permanent move this summer. At this point my beat guess is that he’s a Championship lifer, but maybe he’ll expand past that if he finally ends up in a solid club situation.
Luton have allowed 62 goals already this season! This is as a good a chance as ever for CCV to show he's a difference-maker.
 

Titans Bastard

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Gameday tomorrow.

It's January camp, but I'm interested given the young and unorthodox roster. In some ways, this will be a preview of part of the Olympic qualifying squad in March.

From what I've read, Berhalter has confirmed at least three starters: Sean Johnson at GK, Sam Vines at LB and Jesus Ferreira at FW. It's a bit surprising that Vines is starting over Chase Gasper, but IIRC Gasper did have a minor injury recently so perhaps that's why. Ferreira just got his waiver to play for the US (he got citizenship after age 18, so would have to wait five years to play for the US without the waiver) and will start over Zardes.
 

Titans Bastard

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Is Ferreira a prospect worth being excited about?
I wouldn't go totally crazy, but yes. He did well in MLS at age 18, and the next 12-24 months will tell us a lot more about the contours of his career trajectory.

Ferreira has clear talent and has the savvy that you'd expect with his family background. He is versatile, which is both good for obvious reasons, but also tricky because his long-term position is still uncertain. He's played CF, SS, AM, and winger.

I think we have an increasingly large pool of prospects in this position. We don't have a half-dozen teenage prodigy Pulisic-types, but we have well more than a dozen interesting 17/18/19 year olds who could be good USMNT players if things pan out. Obviously it won't for most, but there's safety in numbers and we actually have decent numbers now.
 

tmracht

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I think we have an increasingly large pool of prospects in this position. We don't have a half-dozen teenage prodigy Pulisic-types, but we have well more than a dozen interesting 17/18/19 year olds who could be good USMNT players if things pan out. Obviously it won't for most, but there's safety in numbers and we actually have decent numbers now.
Safety in numbers in huge. I remember the days of waiting for Danny Szetela to save the midfield. It's nice to not have to put all the hope in 1 or 2 players for each position.

Growth is so non-linear at this level that having as many high upside lottery tickets as you can is really the only way to avoid hopeless cycles and counting on passed their prime players.
 

Titans Bastard

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Fun lineup today

GK - Johnson
RB - Cannon
CB - Long
CB - Zimmerman
LB - Vines
DM - Yueill
CM - Lletget
CM - Aaronson
WG - Arriola
WG - Llanez
FW - Ferreira
 

Titans Bastard

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Costa Rica is fielding a fairly strong XI for a January game. We look good, though. There's better interplay than most Jan camp games. Llanez looks dangerous. Aaronson and Yueill look tidy. Costa Rica has had a few dangerous-looking counters that didn't quite amount to a real chance so far.
 

Titans Bastard

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Penalty! Cannon is taken down after being played in behind in the box by Arriola.