USMNT: Hold My Beer

Jimy Hendrix

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Thinking that everything about that match was good except for only having three shots on target is a very "how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" kind of response, but I think it's true. If Josh Sargent was released by his club then this would have been a completely different ballgame.
Or even if they played one of the actual strikers on the roster up top. Lleget as the striker was perplexing before the game and looked like the wrong choice in hindsight. Sargent would've been ideal but I'd have preferred to see Soto or Gioacchini or Weah over what we got.
 

tims4wins

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This is neither here nor there and has probably already been suggested, but I've thought for a while this thread should be called "Beauty is in the eye of the Berhalter"
 

InstaFace

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So if you're Berhalter, and you want to use the game against Panama to both (A) learn about your roster and (B) give your likely starters some more time together, who among this roster do you rotate, and who do you start again?

I think starting Adams again but giving him another 60 minutes is probably reasonable unless he's agreed otherwise with Leipzig.

You can't take Reyna or McKennie off the field unless you've agreed otherwise.

You already know Steffen is your #1 but maybe you give Horvath a chance. Likewise, I'd put Richards out there instead of Miazga, but you need Brooks for organizational presence. Likewise, I rotate Cannon on, but not sure which of Robinson vs Dest you give the night off.
 

Titans Bastard

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I thought this game was mostly positive. It would have been nice to generate more danger and final product, but the reality is that the team is really young and the players have spent very little time together. I also think the lack of a real FW played a big role in the low number of shots generated by the team, and there's not much point on fixating on that. Obviously, Lletget is not going to get a lot of time as a false 9 and the big story is that we have a lot of young, talented players who looked good but who aren't quite in sync yet.

I didn't think Reyna and Konrad had very good games relative to their standards, but this was a rainy international debut and they were attackers working without a forward.

The group just needs time and reps. Oh, and adding one Christian Pulisic to the mix will be nice, too.


This is neither here nor there and has probably already been suggested, but I've thought for a while this thread should be called "Beauty is in the eye of the Berhalter"
I gave it its current name because Berhalter was often called Beerholder by fans when he played for the USMNT back in the day, but I don't think it's my best work and am open to changing it.
 

Kliq

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I thought this game was mostly positive. It would have been nice to generate more danger and final product, but the reality is that the team is really young and the players have spent very little time together. I also think the lack of a real FW played a big role in the low number of shots generated by the team, and there's not much point on fixating on that. Obviously, Lletget is not going to get a lot of time as a false 9 and the big story is that we have a lot of young, talented players who looked good but who aren't quite in sync yet.

I didn't think Reyna and Konrad had very good games relative to their standards, but this was a rainy international debut and they were attackers working without a forward.

The group just needs time and reps. Oh, and adding one Christian Pulisic to the mix will be nice, too.




I gave it its current name because Berhalter was often called Beerholder by fans when he played for the USMNT back in the day, but I don't think it's my best work and am open to changing it.
This really needs to be pointed out to anyone who was disappointed. These guys have basically never played together, and where that is going to become the most apparent is in the final third where familiarity and understanding of tactics are going to come into play. Earlier in the thread someone suggested Lletget dummying the pull-back ball from McKennie to let the ball fall to Konrad, but Lletget and Konrad have NEVER played with each other before, and they are all learning a new system. They aren't going to have a brilliant connection with each other during Game #1.

What I got from the game was that the USMNT looked very talented, especially at the midfield and fullback positions. Wales didn't roll out the A-Team today, but the US was clearly the more talented side and only really gave up a few chances for Wales on the counter attack. They consistently won the ball in the middle of the field and got their fullbacks working into space. Dest, Robinson, McKennie and Adams all looked great today and they are going to be the core of this team. Reyna to me felt like he was trying to do too much to make up for the awkward parts at forward, but he still had some really quality moments and the guy is still 17.
 

InstaFace

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The group just needs time and reps. Oh, and adding one Christian Pulisic to the mix will be nice, too.
Yeah, you know, thinking back to where our attacks stalled, our lineup out there was trying to pass the ball around a whole lot and there were very few instances where a forward or even Musah had the stones to just take on a defender and try to beat them in space. If we had someone trying that and drawing more defenders in to him, it'd have opened a lot of things up - and of course that's CP's specialty.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, you know, thinking back to where our attacks stalled, our lineup out there was trying to pass the ball around a whole lot and there were very few instances where a forward or even Musah had the stones to just take on a defender and try to beat them in space. If we had someone trying that and drawing more defenders in to him, it'd have opened a lot of things up - and of course that's CP's specialty.
Yup. The other thing to keep in mind is that Wales sat deep in a low block and tried to absorb pressure. In order to score on a well-organized defense, you need to break them down with movement, passing, and technique. This squad has the ability to do that, but it's harder when players aren't 100% on the same page because they haven't had time to develop chemistry and get a feel for each other's movement. In a more open game where it's easier to find space in behind the defense, attacking is a lot simpler and there's less of a penalty for teams that don't have good chemistry yet.
 

rguilmar

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I don't think we learned too much beyond what most already knew from this game. They're young and talented. McKennie is the heart and soul of this team for the next decade. Adams is the "coach on the field" for the next decade. I liked the Twellman "Barcelona Swag" quote (plus the "Oh my goodness") regarding Dest. Add Pulisic and any actual striker and this score is not anywhere close to 0-0. That being said, a more seasoned team finds a way to score.

Reyna could have been better, but hard to criticize a 17 year old (for today) getting his first cap following in the footsteps of his parents.

RE: Musah- does Greggg just promise a WC 22 spot now to get him in the fold? If we assume that he left Arsenal for Valencia to get a quicker path to prominence, would this do the trick?
 

Section30

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I liked most of what I saw except for the tendency by players to turn into two defenders on the dribble instead of passing. This team would get run over by a very physical opponent.

The possession game is very nice to see. The after game discussion by Stu and Alexi highlighted the team construction. They both posted their best currrent squads for the US and both listed 4-5 strikers not on last nights team
 

67YAZ

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Finally caught up on the match. Was surprised that Wales played so deep, but their manager just got arrested and this was the first of 3 matches this window...so being conservative makes some sense.

That said, the Brooks-Adams combo was totally boss. Both broke up play, got stuck in, and moved the ball wonderfully. They also seemed to coordinate nicely. Having a rock-solid CB-DM-CB triangle can carry a team a long way. Now to find that second CB and keep Adams and Brooks healthy.

McKennie is already showing so much more confidence and awareness, which was necessary because some of these young'uns were getting pulled way upfield or way out wide. There were some real gaps that a quicker, more aggressive opponent would have exploited. But for such a young squad coming together for the first time in 10 months, I can't kill them for that. Gives Berhalter some great video to use the rest of this window.
 

Titans Bastard

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More thoughts:

1. Musah was really impressive in so many ways. I particularly liked his ability to duck and weave out of trouble in traffic. He has enough burst to beat guys 1v1 and his ability to ride challenges and be physical in midfield battles was advanced for a 17 year old.

2. The Adams + McKennie era is going to be such a relief. Our CM has been relatively soft and slow for so long, and it's going to be so nice to actually win the midfield battle most of the time. When Aaronson and (fingers crossed) Pomykal get chances to compete with Musah and/or be backups at McKennie's position and the Musah position, they'll fit in well defensively, too — both are little guys, but real scrappers.

3. Steffen seems to have a scary possession hiccup more often that I'd like. I hope he irons that out.

4. Reyna didn't have a great game, but his role is going to be a somewhat position-less all purpose attacker (a souped up Clint Dempsey, if you will) and I think a player with that sort of role needs time to get on the same page with his teammates. He's developed a bit of telepathy with Haaland and needs to do it with the USMNT teammates too.
 

67YAZ

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Watching the replay on FS2 and man, we are so blessed to have Dest. (Blessed by Dest, trademark pending).
 

InstaFace

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McKennie postgame interview:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBvsyuFyXpQ


He's absolutely right about the forwards not making a lot of runs to open up the defense, and also about everyone wanting to be closer to the ball (because they're so confident with the ball at their feet) and just wrecking the team's spacing. I guess he's mostly talking about Konrad and Musah, but also to a certain extent Robinson.

The guy who surprised me positively because I had low expectations for him was Miazga. He still got beat / had a mis-read on a couple of runs that created the more dangerous chances that Wales had, but in general he looked like he had a clue what to do out there, was able to make his challenges and not get called for a million fouls. Thank god we've got a healthy John Brooks ordering people around, though, because he was a rock.

I hope we get a Richards - Brooks pairing tomorrow, so we can directly compare how that looks. Richards is 20, while Miazga is 25 of course, so it's not entirely a fair contest, but I'd really like to see how noticeable the speed difference is, what his passing looks like in this context, etc. (also, RIP to CCV's national-team career, huh? 8 friendlies, mostly in 2018)
 

Titans Bastard

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USMNT news from a Berhalter presser:

- against Panama, a forward will start at forward. Huzzah!
- Cannon will start. Not sure whether that means Robinson or Dest at LB
- Berhalter wants to set up a December camp + game for mostly MLS players. Unclear whether this would replace or supplement the traditional January camp. Also unclear whether the spiraling COVID situation in the US will preclude any of this happening.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Finally watched the game...man, we need to do what it takes to snatch Musah- he fit so well in that midfield with Adams and McKennie. That didn't look like a midfield with an average age of 20 playing together for the first time. I know Wales is Wales, they were without their manager, etc, but that was a sight.
 

cromulence

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Ream in for Brooks (hmm), Cannon in for Robinson, Gioacchini for Lletget, and Llanez for Konrad.

 

ninjacornelius

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Ream in for Brooks (hmm), Cannon in for Robinson, Gioacchini for Lletget, and Llanez for Konrad.
Surprised and a little disappointed not to see Richards in for Brooks, but Ream is the only player in the XI over the age of 25, so I guess it couldn't hurt to have a veteran out there captaining the squad.
 

cromulence

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Surprised and a little disappointed not to see Richards in for Brooks, but Ream is the only player in the XI over the age of 25, so I guess it couldn't hurt to have a veteran out there captaining the squad.
My guess/hope is that Berhalter saw enough that he knows Brooks is the #1 CB and wants to keep him fresh for Wolfsburg, and he'll use this game to try out both Ream and Richards. It'd be nice to try them out next to Brooks, though.
 

DJnVa

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Surprised and a little disappointed not to see Richards in for Brooks, but Ream is the only player in the XI over the age of 25, so I guess it couldn't hurt to have a veteran out there captaining the squad.
Brooks has his spot, might as well see what else we have, especially against a CONCACAF!!! squad.
 

InstaFace

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Surprised and a little disappointed not to see Richards in for Brooks, but Ream is the only player in the XI over the age of 25, so I guess it couldn't hurt to have a veteran out there captaining the squad.
No surprise about rotating Brooks out for Ream, Ream ticks the boxes on reliable veteran leadership in the back (he captains a premier league team, after all). But I'm a little surprised Miazga is getting a 2nd game as opposed to running Ream / Richards. Would that combo have had footed-ness problems?
 

DJnVa

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Reyna with a little free kick goal. Can't tell if it was cheeky or mishit.

EDIT: Guess he meant it. Gotta think the keeper should have been closer to that post and challenged Reyna to go up and down in about 18.3 yards.
 

DJnVa

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And another!

Llanez with shot that keeper bumbles out to Gioachinni to knocks it in.
 

DJnVa

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Holy crap. Another. I can't describe it.

Gioachinni with diving header after McKennie keeps it in (maybe) with chip over goal to Miazga who heads it back across to diving Gioachinni.
 

67YAZ

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Dest shaking & baking away from 3 defenders, getting the whistle, and then chuckling. That’s the swagger.
 

DJnVa

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Dest shaking & baking away from 3 defenders, getting the whistle, and then chuckling. That’s the swagger.
Previous US squads seemed to get by on attitude, some swagger (unearned in many cases), even though the talent wasn't there all across the squad (obviously there was some individual talent--Dempsey, Donovan, etc.). Now they seem to have that swagger AND a lot of talent.

That makes it fun.

Imagine guys all across the squad playing with attitude like Dempsey used to bring.
 

67YAZ

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Previous US squads seemed to get by on attitude, some swagger (unearned in many cases), even though the talent wasn't there all across the squad (obviously there was some individual talent--Dempsey, Donovan, etc.). Now they seem to have that swagger AND a lot of talent.

That makes it fun.

Imagine guys all across the squad playing with attitude like Dempsey used to bring.
Loving the clever flicks and casual trust among Reyna, Dest, & McKennie. They’re feeling it right now, which is a nice way to build chemistry.

But no way the right footed Reyna should be taking that free kick. That was a waste.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Two games in and they have already started to figure out tendencies and when and where the runs will be.