USMNT: Hold My Beer

DrewDawg

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But hey, his english is great and he has that wildly valuable MLS experience
He's gonna be judged on Gold Cup though, games with Pulisic, etc. They win or make finals, then all good.

And when the last manager had an accent and hated the MLS, then of course they'll go opposite.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It's like I had too much fun this morning and early afternoon watching all the WWC games and this is my punishment.
 

67YAZ

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There’s moments where you can see Berhalter’s vision realized, but those few instants are separated by long stretches where it looks like 11 random dudes playing in the park.

McKennie does not look consistently engaged. That’s concerning.
 

Titans Bastard

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It's pretty clear that Berhalter has adopted a philosophy and a system that doesn't work given the skillset and talent available to him.

Will he stick to his ideological guns or will he become more pragmatic?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It's pretty clear that Berhalter has adopted a philosophy and a system that doesn't work given the skillset and talent available to him.

Will he stick to his ideological guns or will he become more pragmatic?
In retrospect, a "two 10s!" system was perhaps overambitious for a country that doesn't really have one 10.
 

Titans Bastard

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In retrospect, a "two 10s!" system was perhaps overambitious for a country that doesn't really have one 10.
Hah, true.

The biggest sin for me, though, is going with a luxury player at DM like Trapp. You need a ball-winner. You can play a defense-light DM if he has amazing secondary attributes and you surround him with a top supporting cast.

It doesn't make sense to build a system around a position that will be filled by a destitute, double-amputeed man's version of Andrea Pirlo.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It's a great plan if the goal is to shift my frame of reference such that I'm not as mad anymore when Bradly shows up to take that position. We don't have any passers good enough to make that position exist in the first place though, for sure.
 

Titans Bastard

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Playing Tyler Adams at the 6 will stabilize the situation at DM. Just having a ball-winning animal will help so much. The defense will be more protected, the US will win more of the midfield battle, and the team will be able to launch more counterattackers from more favorable positions on the field.

Trapp is not international caliber. And this is a longer conversation, but Bradley's career has largely been wasted as a #10 and now #6 when he should have been a box-to-box guy all along. He's not a useful first XI USMNT player anymore.


BTW, this Gold Cup promo in Fox is rough to watch at the moment.
 

Cellar-Door

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I worry that Berhalter is not only running a system that doesn't suit the talent pool, but also one that is really hard to implement on the international level where you have short camps, long layoffs, and constant player rotation.
 

Cellar-Door

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So, if the USMNT plays like this in the actual Gold cup and doesn't get out of the group stage, do they still keep Berhalter for his contract? I'd assume yes, since they don't really care about embarrassment, and his brother went through a lot of trouble to get him hired.
 

McBride11

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I'm just really happy I got to see Zardes and Altidore instead of Sargent!

edit - I haven't been able to watch much recently, what happened to Wood? Injured? off form?
 

Titans Bastard

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I'm just really happy I got to see Zardes and Altidore instead of Sargent!

edit - I haven't been able to watch much recently, what happened to Wood? Injured? off form?
Wood had an awful year for Hannover and wasn't on the 40-man provisional roster.

You could reasonably argue that he should be on the team anyway given alternatives, but I don't think he'd be a difference maker.
 

Titans Bastard

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I also think that Jozy is our best forward right now, and it's not close.

It would be nice if Sargent takes a big step forward next season. He is still figuring out how to influence games consistently at the int'l and Bundesliga levels.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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If you're going to be as awful as Wood's been for two years, you're not going to make this team unless you play in MLS.
 

Titans Bastard

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If you're going to be as awful as Wood's been for two years, you're not going to make this team unless you play in MLS.
Honestly, I think it's wishful thinking to argue that there is a well of talent based overseas that's being overlooked. We're just not that good and we aren't going to be that good until more of the current youth cohort matriculates. The team could be better in the short term through better tactical/personnel choices, but there's a clear ceiling.

Fabian Johnson is old and rickety, the Alfredo Morales is surprisingly not good for a Bundesliga player, Wood is in awful form, etc.
 

McBride11

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Wood had an awful year for Hannover and wasn't on the 40-man provisional roster.

You could reasonably argue that he should be on the team anyway given alternatives, but I don't think he'd be a difference maker.
Ya, I thought I heard him having a down year, I just wasn't sure exactly.

IS Jozy really the top forward right now?? oof.

To me, all these friendlies and Gold Cup should be building the team with the eye towards WCQ starting next year. I get Sargent isn't ready but there seems to be enough consideration around to him to give him a shot. Might as well get those reps to see if he can learn / prove he can show up on bigger stages.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Honestly, I think it's wishful thinking to argue that there is a well of talent based overseas that's being overlooked. We're just not that good and we aren't going to be that good until more of the current youth cohort matriculates. The team could be better in the short term through better tactical/personnel choices, but there's a clear ceiling.

Fabian Johnson is old and rickety, the Alfredo Morales is surprisingly not good for a Bundesliga player, Wood is in awful form, etc.
Full agreement there. Honestly, Tim Ream is also a counterexample to the glib claim I made with regards to Wood, in a decent player pool, he wouldn't be here anymore.
 

Cellar-Door

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What is ridiculous about the Sargent thing isn't just that he isn't on the Gold Cup roster... it's that he brought him in for a friendly at the expense of the U-20 WC. If you aren't putting him on the Gold Cup roster, send him to Ramos (who has actually been doing well, I admit despite my past reservations about him) and get him meaningful action.

The whole thing reeks of a lack of a concrete plan, and wild flailing panic after bad results
 

Titans Bastard

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FWIW, I've heard that Sargent was a big prima donna when called into a U23 camp in March instead of being called into the senior team. Sending him to the U20 WC was probably off the table if he thought he was too good for the U23s.
 

Titans Bastard

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We're about to find out how flexible a manager Berhalter is. I think his system has thought and intent behind it, but it simply isn't fitting the player pool available to him. Will he adjust?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I might just be in a cynical mood, but my hunch is he doesn't change much of anything, we limp to a 2nd or 3rd place in the GC, and then go onwards from there.

More optimistic scenario maybe is that we start to gel having a few weeks of games with the actual first choice team, and maybe a higher percentage of this malaise than feared is due to bad backups playing starting roles.
 

Titans Bastard

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Pulisic — Altidore — RW
McKennie — Holmes
Adams
LB — Zimmerman — Miazga — Lima
Steffen​


Let's run with this for the Gold Cup.

I'd take Long at CB, but he's not at full fitness. I don't especially care about Lovitz/Ream or Arriola/Boyd right now.

We need Pulisic on the wing, we need Adams at DM, and Holmes in the midfield isn't a game-changing #10 but he offers more going forward than Roldan.

I think Adams/McKennie/Zimmerman/Miazga would give us a quartet up the spine with some fire, which we need badly at the moment.
 

McBride11

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Pulisic — Altidore — RW
McKennie — Holmes
Adams
LB — Zimmerman — Miazga — Lima
Steffen​


Let's run with this for the Gold Cup.

I'd take Long at CB, but he's not at full fitness. I don't especially care about Lovitz/Ream or Arriola/Boyd right now.

We need Pulisic on the wing, we need Adams at DM, and Holmes in the midfield isn't a game-changing #10 but he offers more going forward than Roldan.

I think Adams/McKennie/Zimmerman/Miazga would give us a quartet up the spine with some fire, which we need badly at the moment.
Ahhh the classic USMNT generic LB!

Who do you think has the inside track for RW? I've always liked Morris but not sure if he fully back to form after all the injuries.

And does CP slide more in behind Jozy / RW or stay on the left?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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We need just one more of our Bundesliga guys to pull out with an injury and then the comment threads will achieve full conspiracy madness.
 

Titans Bastard

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We need just one more of our Bundesliga guys to pull out with an injury and then the comment threads will achieve full conspiracy madness.
McKennie is the only Bundesliga guy left now that Pulisic is moving to Chelsea!

How does the conspiracy theory go, or do I even want to know?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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If there’s a full on coherent conspiracy theory, I have not been able to make it out.

The latest wrinkle I’ve noticed is people fantasizing about each player injury as a secret sign of insurrection rather than an injury.

Beyond that, it’s mostly taking long-standing standard complaints about the USSF but dressing them up in a very 2019 outfit of stupid nicknames, assuming hyper-malevolent intent rather than dull incompetence, and a general heated froth.
 

Titans Bastard

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Duane Holmes has aggravated a quad injury and has been replaced by Djordje Mihailovic.



Blerg. Seeing if Holmes could integrate into the CM and even be a halfway decent placeholder at the #10 was one of the things I was thinking forward to seeing in what could be an otherwise fairly bleak Gold Cup. Mihailovic just doesn't seem ready, and I'm not sure he'll ever be.
 

Titans Bastard

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Ah, the annual "but this time it's going to be different!" media piece.

It won't be different.
 

InstaFace

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it's not a "this time it's different" piece, it's a requiem.

The Lights play in a minor league baseball park a few miles from the Strip. Pitcher's mounds remain along the sidelines. It's Las Vegas but feels more like Albuquerque. Under the guidance of Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, the former Mexican League manager known as "Chelis," last year's team employed a pressing, high-energy style. Adu was at least 10 pounds overweight when he signed, and that's being gracious. He was supposed to use the prolonged scrimmages during practice sessions to work himself into game fitness. Instead, he'd wait to receive passes that almost never came. Still, he showed flashes of brilliance, enough of them so that a one-month trial became a full season.

"A normal player might touch the ball 50 times during one of those scrimmages," said Isidro Sanchez, Chelis' son, who coached the club when his father was suspended for eight games after an altercation with a fan, and then again after Chelis gave up and returned to Mexico. "Freddy would take the ball two times. Literally two times. But those two times!"

By the end, Sanchez believed that Adu was finished as a player. "He was a body without a soul," Sanchez said. "Without spirit, without hunger. You'd see him walking, he had no energy. He said, 'I want to return to MLS. I want to do it.' But he walked like an old man. Like an ancient body."
 

DrewDawg

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Questions about why Guyana is in CONCACAF aside---tonight is game 1 for the USMNT in the Gold Cup, 10 pm on FS1.

Guyana is ranked #177, and shouldn't be a test for even a struggling US team, but, well, yeah...

Lineups when announced.
 

67YAZ

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Questions about why Guyana is in CONCACAF aside---tonight is game 1 for the USMNT in the Gold Cup, 10 pm on FS1.

Guyana is ranked #177, and shouldn't be a test for even a struggling US team, but, well, yeah...

Lineups when announced.
Good question. A friend & colleague of mine is a political scientist from Guyana who studies Caribbean national & regional governance. So I asked the same. The basic answer all points back to history - Guyana was colonized first by the Dutch. The interior of the country - crisscrossed by various rivers flowing from the Amazon and mountains in the southwest - is rugged and dense; the Dutch used their position to trade throughout the Caribbean, not settle inland. When the Brits took over in the 18th Century, they continued to use Guyana as a trading post for the Caribbean but developed a plantation economy along the coast and imported labor (including slaves) from around the Caribbean. All of this created much closer political, economic, and cultural ties to the Caribbean than the rest of S. America. For instance, Guyana is the only country on the continent where English is a national language.

Edit: Clarified language example, thanks Lose.
 
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