USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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This year, January camp is a hybrid USMNT/U23 camp. This makes sense, as trying to assemble a separate full-sized, over-23 USMNT camp would be pretty pointless.



* = Olympic eligible
^ = needs to file a one-time switch to play for the US

GK
Sean Johnson '89 (NYCFC)
Matt Turner '94 (New England)

*J.T. Marcinkowski '97 (San Jose)
*David Ochoa '01 (RSL)
*Brady Scott '99 (Austin)

Makes sense. Hamid is dropped, but mostly because Turner and Johnson were unavailable in December.

Marcinkowski is probably the Olympic front-runner because he's the only U23 GK who is actually starting. Ochoa may have a higher upside, though.

DF
RB/CB Tristan Blackmon '96 (LAFC)
CB Aaron Long '92 (NYRB)
CB Walker Zimmerman '93 (Nashville)

*RB Julian Araujo '01 (LA Galaxy)
*RB Aaron Herrera '97 (RSL)
*RB Bryan Reynolds '01 (Dallas)
*CB Aboubacar Keita '00 (Columbus)
*CB Henry Kessler '98 (New England)
*CB Mauricio Pineda '97 (Chicago)
*CB Miles Robinson '97 (Atlanta)
*LB George Bello '02 (Atlanta)
*LB Chris Gloster '00 (PSV Eindhoven reserves)
*LB Sam Vines '99 (Colorado)

We lose McKenzie from this group because of his impending sale to Genk. Farfan and Duncan (both Olympic eligible) are dropped after the December camp, perhaps because other players are available this time like Bello.

Anyway, I'm not sure if Reynolds will actually make it here depending on his own transfer saga. Araujo acquitted himself well in December.

At CB, I'd expect a Long-Zimmerman pairing. I'm interpreting the U23 callups to be the top domestic quartet in Kreis' eyes, with guys like Justen Glad perhaps slipping down the depth chart.

Blackmon is a player that Bob Bradley has liked at LAFC, who is a bit of a RB/CB tweener, but the USSF release describes him as a RB. Good solid player, not sure I see much of a NT future for him.

CM
Kellyn Acosta '95 (Colorado)
Sebastian Lletget '92 (LA Galaxy)
Cristian Roldan '95 (Seattle)

*Hassani Dotson '97 (Minnesota)
*Bryang Kayo '02 (Wolfsburg II)
*^Andres Perea '00 (Orlando)
*Tanner Tessmann '01 (Dallas)
*Eryk Williamson '97 (Portland)
*Jackson Yueill '97 (San Jose)

Williamson would definitely have been in camp in December if not for a minor injury after a strong season.

Berhalter seems to be particularly interested in Perea (who claims he'll make a decision about a one-time switch soon) and Bryang Kayo, who is a very physical box-to-box mid who is still in the reserves in Germany.

He's not going to be a USMNT contributor right away when the serious games start, but I'm excited about Tessmann's potential.

AM
Paul Arriola '95 (D.C. United)
Jordan Morris '94 (Seattle)
Chris Mueller '96 (Orlando)

*Cade Cowell '03 (San Jose)
*Jonathan Lewis '97 (Colorado)
*Djordje Mihailovic '98 (Montreal)

A solid enough crew, but our best wing options are abroad right now.

Cowell is a 17 year old who literally looks like he's 27. He's already a productive contributor off the bench in MLS and some people like him a lot. He's already established a good floor, but I'm not convinced about his touch and decision making yet.

Lewis' per-90 stats are always great, but year after year managers don't want to give him a consistent starting spot. It's not a great sign.

FW
Jozy Altidore '89 (Toronto)

*Daryl Dike '00 (Orlando)
*Jeremy Ebobisse '97 (Portland)
*Jesus Ferreira '00 (Dallas)
*Benji Michel '97 (Orlando)

Perhaps another chance to get a look at Daryl Dike after an injury knocked him out of the December camp. Ebobisse is a solid player too. Ferreira had a bad 2020 season and Michel looks like a useful MLS player but is fringy even at the YNT level. I think they are competing for bench places at Olympic qualifying.

Of note: Ayo Akinola will be in camp with Canada during this time as he weighs his options.
 
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Titans Bastard

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The Olympic tournament this summer will technically be a U24 tournament instead of the usual U23 tournament, correct? I think they kept the "born on or after 1 January 1997" age requirement even though the Olympics were pushed back a year.
Yes, that's correct.
 

DJnVa

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CONCACAF Olympic qualifying set for Mexico in March.


Group A: Mexico (A1), USA (A2), Costa Rica (A3), and Dominican Republic (A4)
Group B: Honduras (B1), Canada (B2), El Salvador (B3) and Haiti (B4)
 

Quintanariffic

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CONCACAF Olympic qualifying set for Mexico in March.


Group A: Mexico (A1), USA (A2), Costa Rica (A3), and Dominican Republic (A4)
Group B: Honduras (B1), Canada (B2), El Salvador (B3) and Haiti (B4)
So they have to beat Mexico to qualify right? Only the 2 finalists make the tournament IIRC.
 

Joe D Reid

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So they have to beat Mexico to qualify right? Only the 2 finalists make the tournament IIRC.
Correct that only the finalists get in, but the top 2 in each group make the semis where they get cross-matched against the other group. So the draw is actually really favorable for qualification.
 

Titans Bastard

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A Serbian outlet claims that Serbia will play the US on January 31.

Goff reported yesterday that this game fell through at some point. It was never announced by the USSF. The USMNT will face T&T instead.

View: https://twitter.com/USMNT/status/1351650524353990656



Also, some roster changes: Araujo is in and Reynolds is out. In addition to his never-ending transfer saga, 3rd Degree reported that Reynolds has COVID. Tanner Tessmann, his teammate at FC Dallas, missed part of camp because he had to quarantine due to exposure.

View: https://twitter.com/USYNT/status/1351658377403899908
 

Titans Bastard

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The final January camp roster is out.

* = from the U23 camp

GK
*Matt Freese, 98 (Philadephia)
*J.T. Marcinkowski, 97 (San Jose)
Matt Turner, 94 (New England)

RB
*Julian Araujo '01 (LA Galaxy)
*Kyle Duncan '97 (NYRB)
*Aaron Herrera '97 (RSL)

CB
Aaron Long '92 (NYRB)
*Mauricio Pineda '97 (Chicago)
*Miles Robinson '97 (Atlanta)
Walker Zimmerman '93 (Nashville)

LB
*George Bello '02 (Atlanta)
*Sam Vines '99 Colorado)

CM
Kellyn Acosta '95 (Colorado)
Sebastian Lletget '92 (LA Galaxy)
*Andres Perea '00 (Orlando)
Cristian Roldan '95 (Seattle)
*Tanner Tessmann '01 (Dallas)
*Jackson Yueill '97 (San Jose)

Wingers
Paul Arriola '95 (D.C.)
*Jonathan Lewis '97 (Colorado)
*Benji Michel '97 (Orlando)
Chris Mueller '96 (Orlando)

FW
Jozy Altidore '89 (Toronto)
*Daryl Dike '00 (Orlando)
*Jesus Ferreira '00 (Dallas)

Misc Departures
GK Sean Johnson (inj)
*GK David Ochoa (inj)
*RB Bryan Reynolds (COVID)
CB Tristan Blackmon (inj)
WG Jordan Morris (transfer)

U-23 Cuts
GK Brady Scott (Austin)
CB Aboubacar Keita (Columbus)
CB Henry Kessler (New England)
CB Donovan Pines (D.C.)
LB Chris Gloster (PSV)
CM Hassani Dotson (Minnesota)
CM Bryang Kayo (Wolfsburg)
CM Eryk Williamson (Portland)
WG Cade Cowell (San Jose)
WG Djordje Mihailovic (Montreal)
FW Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland)


I think the most noteworthy cuts were:
- Mihailovic, who was beaten out on the wing by a couple of U23s and whose stock has dropped a fair amount since being a darling of Berhalter's first camp
- Williamson, who had a very strong year from Portland. Could be a real endorsement of Tessmann's camp more than anything else
- Ebobisse. Ferreira had a good game last January, but struggled in 2020. Still makes the roster over Ebobisse.
 

Titans Bastard

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Berhalter did a press conference today about tomorrow's game against T&T (FYI: 7pm ET on FS1). A few notes:

- Altidore is out with a minor injury (shocker!) and although it sounds like he's basically fine they are being cautious because there is some "foreign interest" ahead of the transfer deadline
- Araujo returned to camp after an illness but won't play
- starters at CB: Aaron Long and Miles Robinson. Interesting that Robinson beat out Zimmerman here.
- Turner will start at GK. No surprise.
- Someone asked Berhalter if he's seen everyone in the pool yet and he name-dropped Johannsson and Green as players he hasn't seen yet. Kicking the tires on Johannsson seems kind of pointless and...eh, maybe Green can snag a backup role (he is having a nice season with Greuther Fürth), but whatever.
- Both Dike and Ferreira will play, but unclear who will start and who won't.
 

Titans Bastard

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IT'S GAME DAY

Ferreira
Lewis ------------------------ Arriola
Lletget -- Acosta
Yueill
Vines -- Long (c) -- M. Robinson -- Herrera
Turner​

First caps for Turner and Herrera.

It's interesting that Robinson starts over Zimmerman, but we already knew that was going to happen. The biggest surprise is Lewis over Mueller. Also noteworthy that Ferreira gets the nod over Dike. And perhaps that Acosta starts over Roldan.
 

Titans Bastard

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One of T&T's starters is an 18 year old academy kid from Atlanta United who hasn't even signed a pro contract yet.
 

Titans Bastard

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Goal from Lewis! Vines played Ferreira in behind from the left, Ferreira held up the ball, and dished it to a wide open Lewis in the center of the box.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Another nice ball in, followed by one of the easiest redirect headers you could ever miss. I wonder if he lost sight of it for a split second.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Paul Arriola must sit around lamenting that he wasn’t born 20 years earlier. Hard worker, decent player, good guy to have in the pool for matches like this, but just not there with how the pool has improved.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I hope Dike gets some run tonight. I am intrigued by the size given how slight all of our top guys are, McKennie aside.
 

Titans Bastard

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Paul Arriola must sit around lamenting that he wasn’t born 20 years earlier. Hard worker, decent player, good guy to have in the pool for matches like this, but just not there with how the pool has improved.
Arriola is unhappy with this statement, so he scored again.
 

Titans Bastard

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They aren't exactly the same type of player, but I like Bedoya as a comp for Arriola's role in the pool. Wide player who provides a lot of defensive support and will work his ass off in any role.

I actually think Arriola is a bit underrated because he's viewed as "old and boring" compared to many of our prospects and his competitors in the pool. He won't start for the A team but I'd bet on him sticking around as a backup option for longer than most USMNT fans expect.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They aren't exactly the same type of player, but I like Bedoya as a comp for Arriola's role in the pool. Wide player who provides a lot of defensive support and will work his ass off in any role.

I actually think Arriola is a bit underrated because he's viewed as "old and boring" compared to many of our prospects and his competitors in the pool. He won't start for the A team but I'd bet on him sticking around as a backup option for longer than most USMNT fans expect.
Agree 100%. The younger guys are awesome but it’s good to have steady vets like him in the fold.
 

Titans Bastard

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6-0. Lewis with a nice finish from outside the box after a quality switch from Kellyn Acosta.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Trying to imagine myself, a 5’9” defender who had negative muscle definition as a teenager, lining up against someone like Darryl Dike.
 

Titans Bastard

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Dabo Swinney is in the stands wearing a signed Tanner Tessmann FC Dallas shirt.
 

Titans Bastard

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Well, the USMNT has scored 19 goals in the last three games and I think just about everybody is ready to face a better opponent. Nearly everybody in these games looks good, but the level of competition is too low to draw serious conclusions about players.

I think the best USMNT XI hasn't ben firmly established yet. A few questions:

- who starts at FW?
- how do we get the most out of Reyna?
- who is our third CM alongside Adams+McKennie and, relatedly, will Musah commit to the US?
- who starts next to Brooks at RCB?
- does Robinson start at LB or do you move Dest there and use our RB depth?

Reyna's usage strikes me as particularly key, because I think a variety of personnel and tactical decisions flow from there.

Sorting through the backups is an even bigger mess, mostly in a good way. For me, a lot of these players haven't differentiated themselves all that much yet, but nearly all of them are talented and on a growth trajectory so it's all good. We just need to see how it plays out.

We have one more window for friendlies before we get down to business. Nothing has been announced yet, and the March window is shaping up to be another window where it is difficult to schedule opponents.

CONMEBOL, AFC, and most of CONCACAF and UEFA are playing WCQ. A few UEFA teams in the five team groups may be available, but the pickings are slim.

It seems like the best bet would be to try to schedule two games with African countries, as their WCQ doesn't start until May.
 

scottyno

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As someone that's a casual follower of team USA and the revs, does Matt Turner have any chance of playing in meaningful games for team USA?
 

Titans Bastard

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As someone that's a casual follower of team USA and the revs, does Matt Turner have any chance of playing in meaningful games for team USA?
Yes. There’s not much firmly established GK depth for the US right now. This was Turner’s first cap but he stands a solid chance of moving to #2 in the pecking order.

He might even be able to take a run at Steffen. Turner is a better shot stopper, but his distribution isn’t as good. We will see how far he can take his game.

I think Turner will wind up in Europe sooner or later.
 

Quintanariffic

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Well, the USMNT has scored 19 goals in the last three games and I think just about everybody is ready to face a better opponent. Nearly everybody in these games looks good, but the level of competition is too low to draw serious conclusions about players.

I think the best USMNT XI hasn't ben firmly established yet. A few questions:

- who starts at FW?
- how do we get the most out of Reyna?
- who is our third CM alongside Adams+McKennie and, relatedly, will Musah commit to the US?
- who starts next to Brooks at RCB?
- does Robinson start at LB or do you move Dest there and use our RB depth?

Reyna's usage strikes me as particularly key, because I think a variety of personnel and tactical decisions flow from there.

Sorting through the backups is an even bigger mess, mostly in a good way. For me, a lot of these players haven't differentiated themselves all that much yet, but nearly all of them are talented and on a growth trajectory so it's all good. We just need to see how it plays out.

We have one more window for friendlies before we get down to business. Nothing has been announced yet, and the March window is shaping up to be another window where it is difficult to schedule opponents.

CONMEBOL, AFC, and most of CONCACAF and UEFA are playing WCQ. A few UEFA teams in the five team groups may be available, but the pickings are slim.

It seems like the best bet would be to try to schedule two games with African countries, as their WCQ doesn't start until May.
Agree with all of this.

Wouldn’t qualifying for the AFCON Cup be an issue for the March window? It’s only 1 fixture per National team this window so maybe they can make that work based on schedules. USMNT would be a good warm up test for teams with games on 3/30 like Cameroon, Morocco or, dare I say it, Ghana.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, I forgot about AFCON qualifiers. The pickings are really slim.

Asian and European WCQ groups have odd numbers, so sometimes have a "bye week" for half of the window. However, some of the "bye week" teams already have scheduled friendlies. In Europe's case, they are squeezing in three rounds so some teams might just want to rest.

New Zealand and Jamaica may be available, but I'm not 100% sure.
 

Quintanariffic

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Yeah, I forgot about AFCON qualifiers. The pickings are really slim.

Asian and European WCQ groups have odd numbers, so sometimes have a "bye week" for half of the window. However, some of the "bye week" teams already have scheduled friendlies. In Europe's case, they are squeezing in three rounds so some teams might just want to rest.

New Zealand and Jamaica may be available, but I'm not 100% sure.
But man alive, that isn’t the level we need to be facing in order to prep for the harder tests to come. I think we’ll come to find that the Nations League, and its elimination of a large % of opportunities to play strong non-CONCACAF sides in friendlies, will be the single biggest headwind to USMNT improvement in the WC the coming years.
Pretty sure you said this before but it’s absolutely imperative that CONCACAF and COMNEBOL organize a regular hemispheric Copa America going forward. Intl dates cut in half, no Confed Cup - where is the challenge going to come from aside from El Tri 1-2x a year?
 

Domer

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If current travel restrictions remain in place, this could be a limited player pool. Germany, for example is barring all travel from the UK, with no exception for sports. (Check out the Champions League thread for that ongoing saga.) Even if restrictions are eased, there could be a mandatory quarantine which would allow clubs to reject the call up.
 

Titans Bastard

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Doyle did a two-part USMNT depth chart that I mostly agree with:



I'm not so sure about LB. Vines has looked better in his USMNT games than Robinson, but their strength of schedule has been wildly different. It's an open question and I'm open to Vines, but I'd still give the edge to Robinson for now. A few months ago I would have advocated for Dest at LB and Cannon at RB, but right now neither of them are in particularly good form so I don't think it's worth putting Dest out of position just to get Cannon on the field.

(They aren't the only two with form issues right now: Reyna and Musah are struggling too.)
 

ninjacornelius

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In broadcasting news, Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) has landed the English-language rights for the USMNT away qualifiers for 2022 (except for Mexico away, which was negotiated separately).

On the one hand, it will be very nice to have a single rights holder (no more matches on sketchy pay per view!), and I’ve been impressed by the production values that CBS has brought to its soccer broadcasts. On the other, if they could please figure out how to let viewers pause and rewind streams like literally every other streaming service, that’d be rad.

View: http://twitter.com/thegoalkeeper/status/1364703046786306050
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.

Quintanariffic

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In broadcasting news, Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) has landed the English-language rights for the USMNT away qualifiers for 2022 (except for Mexico away, which was negotiated separately).

On the one hand, it will be very nice to have a single rights holder (no more matches on sketchy pay per view!), and I’ve been impressed by the production values that CBS has brought to its soccer broadcasts. On the other, if they could please figure out how to let viewers pause and rewind streams like literally every other streaming service, that’d be rad.

View: http://twitter.com/thegoalkeeper/status/1364703046786306050
Shit. One more streaming platform I need to pay for.