has sunil gulati in his sights
- Dec 15, 2002
This has felt inevitable for a while.
Doyle explained his statement, and it's still a pretty lukewarm take.To assert that Matt Turner has been better in MLS than Zack Steffen was when he was in MLS is debatable, but not a wild hot take IMO. If you put stock in analytics like GK performance compared to xG against, Turner's numbers are off the charts. He'd already have more hype if he weren't playing for a team with a small fanbase and that's never on featured on the national TV broadcasts.
For me, Steffen is the undisputed starter for the USMNT right now. I expect Turner will get some looks and we'll see how it goes. Turner's prospects for moving to a big league improved recently with the revelation that he has acquired a Lithuanian passport.
TB pointed out why GA90 isn’t a great way to evaluate goalkeepers, so it’s worth pointing out Turner was first in GA-xGA in 2019 and fourth in 2018. Now that stat presents its own issues (for one, it’s a counting stat and Turner was a part time player in 2018), but it’s clear to me that Turner’s 2020 is not an anomaly.But then again, you look at those MLS stats, and Steffen was doing better on a GA90 basis, at a younger age, right up until Turner took a leap this year. Turner's had an extraordinary start to the 2020 season, but maybe we should wait more than 11 games before we decide that 0.90 GA90 is Turner's new talent level and he's gonna make us all forget Tim Howard.
Yeah I'm mostly discussing it for the sake of being glad we have something to discuss about USMNT goalkeeping. If Turner has made himself into the clear #2 right now, that's great - as TB said, Steffen has an injury history, and the bench is not deep there.I'm worried that this whole convo will poison a segment of fans against a guy who has as good a shot at anyone as being the number 2 in the pool, but I guess fortunately that doesn't actually really matter at all.
To be fair, in a normal cycle, 2018 would have been the last hurrah for most of that group, providing depth and some veteran leadership and hopefully not playing too many key roles. The problem is that the generation after them, that should have been the key guys coming into their own in 2018, was non-existent outside of Pulisic. So while they certainly deserve some blame for crashing out of qualifying, I put a lot more blame on the development and coaching than the players. They did what what they were asked to do, but were put in a position to fail.Starting center-backs: Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler. Good god almighty. And while Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream sat on the bench, no less.
Aside from Yedlin and obviously Pulisic, not one of them on the roster that night is remotely close to the USMNT picture today. There is no need to slowly carry along the last generation as they rotate out and cease being international-quality - they've all been just shot out of a cannon (or retired). Okay, Tim Ream and Altidore might occasionally get checked in on, you can't take for granted someone playing in the EPL, but by and large we've thrown out that whole batch.
He joined Barca to play WITH the best, not against the best. La Liga is a farmer's league.
I’m all for youth, but Wales and Panama are both veteran sides with plenty of guile. We’re going to have to watch for good individual performances in, hopefully, a simple 4-3-3 to keep the tactical demands light.Sure is. Pulisic, McKennie, and Adams are the only players among all MFs/FWs who were born before 2000.
Well, Wales will be without their manager after Giggsy got himself arrested.I’m all for youth, but Wales and Panama are both veteran sides with plenty of guile. We’re going to have to watch for good individual performances in, hopefully, a simple 4-3-3 to keep the tactical demands light.
Who are those 3-4 MLS players? I guess Aaronson, sure, but after him?Amazing to see that roster in print. This feels like a watershed to me. There are only 3-4 MLS players I’d want to see on the roster instead of the names here. Pretty incredible that 8 of the 23 were first choice (or at least started a game - I’m assuming Ledezma was first choice if fully fit) on that 2019 U-20 team. That’s got to be some sort of record for the USMNT and a real signal that the changing of the guard has arrived.
Isn't Llanez primarily a striker? I don't know how he's been doing for Heerenveen but... okay, actually Transfermarkt lists him as a RW. Am I just imagining that he was a CF for a while?FW — Sargent, Soto, and Gioacchini. I'd expect Sargent to get the nod, but the other two have done well at lower levels. Chile, which apparently has a really dire forward situation, has been recruiting Soto but obviously have not had any luck yet.
Okay so first of all, Aaron Ramsey withdrew with a thigh injury. That's too bad, the only person who was looking forward to seeing McKennie vs Ramsey in the midfield more than I was is Andrea Pirlo.Bale is in the Wales squad for that matchup.
Aaronson - yesWho are those 3-4 MLS players? I guess Aaronson, sure, but after him?
I agree that our depth at various positions is uneven, but I feel mostly good that we'll be in a better place in a year or two, once there's been more time for youth to develop. The player pool has improved at such a dramatic rate that we're getting a little greedy! I predicted ~2-3 years ago that the USMNT wouldn't start to get especially interesting until 2021 and I've been pleased that we are well ahead of the schedule I expected.You're damn right haterz are gonna hate, I was nodding along with your post until I saw "Zardes" and then I think I blacked out.
As for depth, I feel like our MF starters are great (Adams, McKennie, Reyna), but the depth behind them isn't (maybe excepting Pomykal except he's still so young, and won't be back till spring). By comparison, I feel like we've got decent depth at FB, somehow - Dest, Cannon and A. Robinson are all credible internationals and two of them can play either side - and we've also got some exciting young attacking talent with more in the pipeline (Konrad, etc)... but we're one midfield injury away from getting run off the field by a NT with good technique. Am I imagining that? Maybe if Aaronson is right on the cusp, that eases considerably. Maybe I'm underrating Ledezma. I dunno.
I likewise don't have a problem with MLS continuing to provide possible MNT opportunities. As you say, part of it is getting to a professional level where Europe comes calling, and another part will be US Soccer's desire to help MLS continue to grow in quality and reputation. All the players you named are routinely mentioned in MNT discussions, even if Lletget and a few others are old. But the ones I haven't heard much about include:
- Miles Robinson
- Jackson Yueill
- If we're including Aaron Long on the list, here, must we include Walker Zimmerman?
- Cristian Roldan
- Didn't Nick Lima impress us for a hot second when inserted in an attacking wing-back kind of formation?
- *winces* Wil Trapp?
I basically don't know what they're up to, if they're in-form, as I don't watch much MLS.
At the risk of sounding like a huge homer, keep an eye on Mo Pineda. Not that he’s world class, but he plays CB the way Gregg wants, he’s entering his prime years, and he’s a well known quantity after MLS academy years, college, and now a regular starting gig in Chicago. Maybe camp filler or maybe a couple caps, but he could push other guys on the practice pitch by executing the role well.I think Berhalter is going to want his CBs to be able to pass the ball and press high at times. That's bad news for players like Zimmerman and Miazga, IMO, who are good aerially, but aren't speedsters or particularly good passers. Long is fast, but not a good passer. Brooks is a good passer, but not especially fast. Mark McKenzie is the young MLS CB with the most buzz right now because he's one of the best passers in our CB pool and is solid defensively too.
“Christian is in camp and is listed as day-to-day. It really says a lot about Christian that he wasn’t playing for Chelsea but he wanted to come into this camp and be around the team and his status is day-to-day,” Berhalter said.