USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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Gyasinho strikes again!!!

I'm not saying Zardes isn't mostly bad, but am I allowed to kind of like him anyway?
 

67YAZ

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Fantastic start with some good team pressing before the goal.

The defense is getting a little slack now. That pass right down the middle to Vidal is bad.
 

67YAZ

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And again slicing open the middle with an easy pass to Vidal, sitting all alone at the top of the box. The midfielders need to tuck in and form a bloc in the middle, push Chile wide.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'll need to watch that Chile goal about 10 more times to decide the many ways in which defending blame should be allocated.
 

Titans Bastard

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Bradley hits a nasty through ball after going oh-fer on those types of passes earlier. Doesn't come to anything.
 

Titans Bastard

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I thought the US had a bright start, but looked worse as the half progressed.

The team was having trouble playing out of the back. The passing ability of Long+Brooks >> Gonzalez+Miazga.

Bradley has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, some of it fair, some of it excessive. I think one area where he's historically been undercriticized is that his ball-winning ability is poor and teams play through the middle too easily when he is the DM. Roldan has had to drop deeper to account for this. MB has dropped a few dimes though.

Ream does something heart-stoppingly dumb every single game for the US. It's like clockwork.

Overall it feels like the US has a few too many B-listers in this lineup to look especially good against a team the caliber of Chile. I don't think Baird is up to the level.

It feels like Zardes' ability to pass and engage in interplay has improved over the last year.

Horvath's distribution and composure on the ball is worse than Steffen and Johnson.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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If Lletget is the best Pulisic replacement we have, then the crop of younger attacking mids needs to get good fast. His passing’s been all over the map
 

Titans Bastard

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The US looks more defensively sound since switching to a 5-4-1, but they basically have four CMs and one forward on the field now so scoring goals will be hard.
 

Titans Bastard

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1-1 FT. A mediocre performance, but the whole game was an experiment: no Adams, no McKennie, no starting CBs, no Steffen, and Pulisic left early. The US certainly doesn't have the horses to boss a game against Chile without so many of its best players.

I hope Berhalter got the information that he wanted from this. Next up for the USMNT are two tune-up friendlies in June (vs. Venezuela and TBD), then the Gold Cup. It will be great to see what a first-choice squad can do with so much time the gel in the system.
 

67YAZ

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I’m really looking for 2 things:

Can they stay solid in the middle of the park? I want to see our guys stay consistently organized and aware in the middle of the park and force Chile to attack from wide areas.

Will Pulisic be more comfortable and intuitive on the ball? It was always going to be a tough go of it against Chile no matter who was running alongside Pulisic, but I wang to see more fluidity and decisiveness from him at the #10. I want to see some progress as he adapts to the role.
Mixed bag tonight, though a draw against Chile when rolling out the B Team is a good result.

Looks to me like Berhalter changed Pulisic’s role in the perfect way. Pulisic was making timed runs up the middle, pulling left to dribble at defenders...it played to the kid’s strengths and largely avoided those moments of indecision seen against Ecuador. And Pulisic responded with swagger and incisiveness. It was fantastic while it lasted. Will this shape Berhalter’s plans moving forward or was it a game-specific adjustment?

As for staying solid in the middle...yikes. Not until they went into that 5-4-1 did they lock it down. Before that, Roldan & Arriola were getting pulled way too wide, leaving Bradley to try to keep an eye on Vidal to his left and provide cover to his right. It was ugly and got compounded by the inability to handle a high press.

Hopefully everyone is healthy for the next camp. Venezuela should be a nice side to measure progress against. Wouldn’t mind seeing a lesser side in the second match.
 

Cellar-Door

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If Lletget is the best Pulisic replacement we have, then the crop of younger attacking mids needs to get good fast. His passing’s been all over the map
Just a rough night, honestly he's a much better passer than Pulisic, he doesn't have the top end take on ability of Pulisic, but he's a much more consistent distributor and chance creator at this point in their careers.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Yeah, he was not the only one whose passing was slack and low quality last night, but it jumped out at me more because he wasn’t doing much else other than misplacing simple passes.
 

Titans Bastard

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The CONCACAF Nations League draw has been made. In the three-team group within League A, the US has been drawn with Canada and Cuba. That means that four of the six match dates in Sep/Oct/Nov will be devoted to these games, with room for two friendlies on the side.


The semifinals and final of the competition will be played over the March match dates.
 

Titans Bastard

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Is Guatemala really worse than those teams in League B?
No. Their federation was suspended by FIFA for a while and weren't reinstated in time for the qualifying draw, so they have to start at the bottom of the ladder.
 

Kliq

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I challenge anyone to figure out what those countries are just based on the abbreviations and flags.
Based only on the tiny flag images and abbreviations:

League A/Group A

USA
Canada
Cuba

Group B

Mexico
Panama
Bermuda

Group C

Honduras
Trinidad and Tobago
Martinque

Group D

Costa Rica
Haiti
Curaco

Leauge B/Group A

No idea
St. Kitts and Nevis
Belize
Grenada

Group B

El Salvador
Dominican Republic
St. Luica
Marshall Islands

Group C

Jamaica
Guyana
Antigua and Barbuda
Aruba

Group D

Nicaragua
Suriname
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Dominica

League C/Group A

Barbados
Cayman Islands
No Idea
US Virgin Islands

Group B

No idea
Bahamas
British Virgin Islands

Group C

Guatamela
Puerto Rico
No Idea

Group D

Guadalupe
Turks and Cacos
Solomon Islands
 

Cellar-Door

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Based only on the tiny flag images and abbreviations:

League A/Group A

USA
Canada
Cuba

Group B

Mexico
Panama
Bermuda

Group C

Honduras
Trinidad and Tobago
Martinque

Group D

Costa Rica
Haiti
Curaco

Leauge B/Group A

No idea
St. Kitts and Nevis
Belize
Grenada

Group B

El Salvador
Dominican Republic
St. Luica
Marshall Islands

Group C

Jamaica
Guyana
Antigua and Barbuda
Aruba

Group D

Nicaragua
Suriname
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Dominica

League C/Group A

Barbados
Cayman Islands
No Idea
US Virgin Islands

Group B

No idea
Bahamas
British Virgin Islands

Group C

Guatamela
Puerto Rico
No Idea

Group D

Guadalupe
Turks and Cacos
Solomon Islands
My guesses for the ones you didn't know:
B/A- french flag probably French Guiana (of Guiana Francesa, making GUF a decent abbreviation)
C/A- french flag, has to be Saint Martin
C/B- I also have no clue, never seen that flag in my life
C/C- british territory starting with an A..... Anguilla I assume
 

Titans Bastard

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My guesses for the ones you didn't know:
B/A- french flag probably French Guiana (of Guiana Francesa, making GUF a decent abbreviation)
C/A- french flag, has to be Saint Martin
C/B- I also have no clue, never seen that flag in my life
C/C- british territory starting with an A..... Anguilla I assume
The mystery team is Bonaire. Due to an internal political reorganization, the Dutch territory of Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in 2010. Curaçao inherited the Netherlands Antilles' CONCACAF and FIFA memberships. Bonaire now has its own NT and is a CONCACAF member but not a FIFA member.
 

Titans Bastard

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I've never figured out who this guy actually is, but he's a Spaniard who is the Velvet Underground of US soccer twitter - he doesn't have many followers, but everyone who follows him writes a column, etc.

This breakdown definitely feels true to what we've seen. An immediate question facing Berhalter is whether Trapp/Bradley's passing ability is good enough to justify playing them at the #6 against good teams, given that they can't hold their own defensively and need to be protected.

The 3-2-2-3 that we've seen in all but the Chile game (Yedlin didn't come inside like Lima and Adams) seems like a useful tool against bunkering CONCACAF competition. I'm ambivalent about it as a universal solution.

 

Mr. Wednesday

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Eastern MA
That's also a longtime screen name in the BigSoccer USMNT forums (and one of the select group who I've always thought had something interesting to say without seeming to have silly axes to grind).
 

Titans Bastard

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Gold Cup draw:

Group A
Mexico
Canada
Martinique
Cuba

Group B
Costa Rica
Haiti
Nicaragua
Bermuda

Group C
Honduras
Jamaica
El Salvador
Curaçao

Group D
United States

Panama
Trinidad and Tobago
Guyana


USA vs. Guyana in St. Paul (Minnesota United's new stadium)
USA vs. T&T in Cleveland
USA vs. Panama in KC


Storylines: first T&T game since Couva....and we're guaranteed to play Panama at the GC again — last time we didn't play Panama was in the 2003 GC.

The expansion to 16 teams isn't necessarily good, but it does make the knockout phase cleaner. For the US;

D1 vs C2 or D2 vs C1, then the winners play. That means advancement means two more games against some combo of Honduras/Jamaica/Panama and only in the final could the US possibly meet Mexico or Costa Rica.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'd rather have the hardest group, honestly. We should get through regardless and T&T and Panama should be reasonable matches to learn from, as opposed to Nicaragua/Bermuda or Martinique/Cuba.
 

DrewDawg

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Yeah, we can't be scared of T&T no matter what happened in that game. If we're lamenting that draw, WTH happens when we make the WC again?
 

Titans Bastard

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Today, the USSF announced a Gold Cup tuneup friendly against Venezuela, to be played at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Current confirmed schedule:

Friendlies

6/5 vs. Jamaica at Audi Field in DC
6/9 vs. Venezuela at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati

Gold Cup

6/18 vs. Guyana at Allianz Field in St. Paul
6/22 vs. Trinidad & Tobago at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland
6/26 vs. Panama at Children's Mercy Park in KC
6/29 - potential QF at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly
7/3 - potential SF at Nissan Stadium in Nashville
7/7 - potential final at Soldier Field in Chicago

Friendlies / CONCACAF Nations League

Of the six FIFA dates from Sep-Nov, there will be two games against Canada, two games against Cuba, and two friendlies
 

DrewDawg

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USMNT wants game moved from Nippert Stadium due to surface.

The U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association is opposed to playing any game on sod placed atop artificial surfaces. On April 2, 2019, the USNSTPA sent the following email to U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro. On April 8 we received a response from the U.S. Soccer legal counsel that the game would go ahead as scheduled," the players association wrote in the Thursday statement. "In the view of the Players Association, this is just one more example of a serious problem that the United States Soccer Federation is not advancing the interests of the players or the fans, but is solely focused on generating ever-increasing revenues and profits for the Federation, its employees, its sponsors, and the private businesses associated with the Federation.
 

Titans Bastard

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Hmm...



Boyd is a 24 year old winger with dual USA-NZ citizenship. He has played for NZ in the U20 World Cup and in senior team friendlies, but was never permanently cap-tied.

On the club front, he's spent several seasons with Vitória Guimarães in Portugal, but is currently on loan in the Turkish Süper Lig with Ankaragücü. He arrived at the end of January and has done quite well — 5g/4a in 13 games. It appears that he could be something of a late bloomer.

I can't imagine that the USMNT would announce this unless he was at least on the pre-GC roster, which should be released early next week.

Boyd doesn't look like a total game changer, but our winger pool is weak right now and he could conceivably help.
 

Titans Bastard

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Here's the upcoming timeline of events:


There will be three rosters: (a) the 40-man Gold Cup, (b) a somewhat pared down squad for friendlies, and (c) a GC squad pared down to 23.

The 40-man is coming in Monday. Definite injury absences:
  • Yedlin is out after surgery on his groin
Possible injury absences:
  • Altidore has a heel injury and didn't play in Toronto's midweek game in which they set an MLS record by getting 35 shots without scoring.
  • Brooks has a knee injury and hasn't played since late April
  • Long suffered a hamstring injury of unknown severity 10 days ago
  • Steffen is out with a foot injury at the moment
  • Morris left a midweek game with a hamstring injury. The Sounders are making it sound not serious, but the timing is tough.
On the bright side:
  • Adams returned to RB Leipzig's lineup today, so he should be good to go
 

Titans Bastard

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The provisional 40-man Gold Cup roster has been released. Not everyone will actually get called up to the pre-GC friendlies.

GK
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
Sean Johnson (NYCFC)
Tyler Miller (LAFC)
Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)

DF

Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur)
Marlon Fossey (Fulham)
Greg Garza (FC Cincinnati)
Omar Gonzalez (Atlas)
Andrew Gutman (Charlotte Independence)
Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes)
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls)
Dan Lovitz (Montreal Impact)
Matt Miazga (Chelsea)
Tim Ream (Fulham)
Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

MF
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Duane Holmes (Derby County)
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire)
Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)

FW

Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
Jonathan Amon (Nordsjælland)
Paul Arriola (D.C. United)
Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake)
Tyler Boyd (Ankaragücü)
Joe Gyau (Duisburg)
Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
Christian Ramirez (LAFC)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)


No Yedlin or Brooks, who are injured.

Calling Adams a defender and Pulisic a midfielder (when all the other wingers are listed as forwards) is US soccer's notation. I guess the Adams "false 2" role and Pulisic-as-10 experiments could continue.

A 40-deep roster is a nice reminder of how badly we need the current U20 generation to make the most of their abundant talents.

A few new names that could be interesting:
  • Tyler Boyd, having just switched to the US from New Zealand, who is maybe an interesting wing option
  • Duane Holmes, who has done well for a good Championship team at the #10 role.
  • Miles Robinson, a CB having a breakout season for Atlanta

The next pared down roster will be more interesting.