USMNT: Hold My Beer

ragnarok725

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
5,435
Somerville MA
If Mexico had capitalized on one of the couple mistakes in the first half, the game would have felt a lot different. Steffen and Zimmerman in the back were both excellent.

Berhalter seemed to push all the right buttons tonight. They made Mexico uncomfortable in their own end relentlessly. Mexico had only a couple solid build ups all game long. They were prepared with the right personnel and the right game plan. They looked like a team with a plan.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
One thing that is so different about this squad is when something is working, they actually have the talent and purpose to keep pushing it. Kept finding Weah, for example.

It’s nice having a midfield. How often in the past have we been the team with nervy touches losing possession to pressure? Now we have layers of skill, speed, and awareness that we’ve just never had before.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,880
One thing that is so different about this squad is when something is working, they actually have the talent and purpose to keep pushing it. Kept finding Weah, for example.

It’s nice having a midfield.
What jumped out about the team tonight to me, more than anything else, was the ease and comfort with which they were able to turn and progress the ball forward either by passing or by dribbling (esp Musah and Weah with the latter).
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,880
I’d give Busio the start. You can always move to Acosta later in the game, but good opportunity to see how he reacts to that role and gain some experience.
110%. I like Acosta well enough for his role as a backup 6, but I never want to see him start at the 8. I'm not entirely sure what Berhalter will do, although I'm optimistic, as he was talking up Busio a bit before this window.
 

koufax32

He'll cry if he wants to...
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2006
8,122
Duval
One thing that is so different about this squad is when something is working, they actually have the talent and purpose to keep pushing it. Kept finding Weah, for example.

It’s nice having a midfield. How often in the past have we been the team with nervy touches losing possession to pressure? Now we have layers of skill, speed, and awareness that we’ve just never had before.
Weah was a monster on that sideline all match.
 

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
169
I can’t ever remember the US possessing the ball this much against EL Tri. Unreal performance.
 

McBride11

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
17,544
Charleston, SC
I don't know that CP can play 70, but he's not the replacement. It'll be Acosta or Busio for McKennie.
I think we might get 35 - 45 from him, but I think we’re hearing Busio’s music and given his recent play in Italy I am kinda into it.
Not as a direct replacement, but maybe move Musah inside more?
But also as top tier talent if Acosta covered McKennie

Busio would be a good option too obviously. It is nice to have depth
 

koufax32

He'll cry if he wants to...
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2006
8,122
Duval
This team is going to be so fun to watch in the 2026 WC.

Imagine if Dest was making overlapping runs down the sideline too tonight. And if Reyna played. And if CP played a full match.
 

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
169
The US will be flat as a pancake going to Kingston on Tuesday. The Jamaicans gave up a 90th minute goal tonight to draw with the El Salvador. The reggae boys are all but cooked. Is needs to hang in there for the first 20 and then hopefully find their footing.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
32,415
AZ
The qualification final round has always been one of my favorite sporting events in the world. I am really used to it rhythms and it’s twists and turns.

This felt much like 7th match day. That has usually been the point where intensity starts to peak and teams are dealing with accumulations of cautions and everything that comes with trying to use your depth in a grueling tournament.

But this new format is really messing with me. It’s only the halfway point and what should feel like the nearing of redline intensity going into a make or break match day 8 is now just another bend in a much longer road.

I am not really sure I like this as much. There is still a ton to play for. The draw at home to Canada still looms large and Panama is probably not going to just fade into the background. The U.S. has a very tough schedule on the back end and if they don’t get a result in a Jamaica there are still some unpleasant scenarios.

But, on the other hand, it really feels as though this was sort of the defining night for the teams in the sense that the top four are very close to set now. There is still some mystery about who gets the playoff. But by and large this tournament after tonight may no longer have that incredible feeling you used to get in CONCACAF qualification when it got this point. Where every card, every set piece, every call, felt as though it could change the whole group.

I suppose who finishes top and stuff like that will still be in play, but I always loved that it was never really about that. It was always this in or out feeling that built and built and built in intensity until the last minute of stoppage time on match day 10. There still could be a ton of drama and the U.S. has shown that it is capable of following good performances with clunkers, but with respect to the entire field this feels way way different to me. Not sure yet that I think it is worse but I kind of miss the old way right now.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
21,132
The 718
One thing that is so different about this squad is when something is working, they actually have the talent and purpose to keep pushing it. Kept finding Weah, for example.

It’s nice having a midfield. How often in the past have we been the team with nervy touches losing possession to pressure? Now we have layers of skill, speed, and awareness that we’ve just never had before.
The passing in the middle of the park to get through them was beautiful.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
4,563
Well, this thread is quite the roller coaster. Has to tape the match last night and was really disciplined about not checking the score to watch this morning. And we’ll holy fuck. That’s 3-0 against Mexico in 2021.
 

rguilmar

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
434
This was a “changing of the guard” game in CONCACAF for me. Sure the US beat Mexico twice over the summer, but this is different. Mexico could claim that they had the better performances over the summer. The USMNT was unequivocally the better team this time. WC Qualifier pressure too. Someone should make an image of Mexico in the rearview mirror.

Props to GGG. Starting lineup was great, tactics were spot on, even the subs worked out well. My only question was starting Zim but he was great. If the US keeps playing like that I’ll have to shut up with my criticism of Gregg. Just don’t get cute in Jamaica.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
What jumped out about the team tonight to me, more than anything else, was the ease and comfort with which they were able to turn and progress the ball forward either by passing or by dribbling (esp Musah and Weah with the latter).
*Wakes up in cold sweat thinking about Michael Bradley delivering a 60 yard back pass rather than move the ball toward goal simply because his body was facing that general direction*
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
4,257
It’s a real gift with Robinson to have a CB who can get isolated 1v1 on Tecatito and I only get somewhat scared.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
701
Brooklyn by way of Orono
This team is going to be so fun to watch in the 2026 WC.

Imagine if Dest was making overlapping runs down the sideline too tonight. And if Reyna played. And if CP played a full match.
Yes, I like imagining that very much.

Not only in terms of quality but physically too. That was a roller derby out there and we battered them.
Interesting, an impressive showing but I didn’t really see it that way. (edit) Mexico were the more physical team in the first half, with harder challenges to my eye. By the second half the physicality was more balanced but I didn’t see battering…yellow card count notwithstanding
 
Last edited:

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
23,229
The day after analysis. This might have been one of the best USMNT matches* I ever watched against a real team. I’ve been watching most matches since the 90s.

* I only watched the second half, so best half I have ever seen.
 

tmracht

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
2,609
This team is going to be so fun to watch in the 2026 WC.

Imagine if Dest was making overlapping runs down the sideline too tonight. And if Reyna played. And if CP played a full match.
If Weah keeps playing like this, you really have some tough choices to make in attack.

Good problem to have for sure but who do you sit?
Pulisic
Reyna
Weah
Breakup MMA and move one of those three into MF?
Pepi doesn't really get replaced by any of those 3.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,880
If Weah keeps playing like this, you really have some tough choices to make in attack.

Good problem to have for sure but who do you sit?
Pulisic
Reyna
Weah
Breakup MMA and move one of those three into MF?
Pepi doesn't really get replaced by any of those 3.
It's a good problem.

I won't do the math, but I wonder how many days in the last two years all three of Pulisic, Reyna, and Weah have been healthy at the same time.
 

dirtynine

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
6,343
Philly
An underrated aspect to the depth emerging for the US is that it’s completely taken the sting out of losing potential contributors (dual nationals committing elsewhere; promising players with big injuries). A goalie wants to play for Mexico? No problem, we have at least 3. We lose somebody like Reyna for significant time during qualifying? We’ll be ok.

If that existential stress goes away, and qualifying gets easier in future cycles (almost certain), what will we worry about?
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
If Weah keeps playing like this, you really have some tough choices to make in attack.

Good problem to have for sure but who do you sit?
Pulisic
Reyna
Weah
Breakup MMA and move one of those three into MF?
Pepi doesn't really get replaced by any of those 3.
Of the 7 players referenced above, Reyna clearly has the most to prove imo, at least at the international level. I don’t think he’s ever had a game for USMNT as impressive as Weah’s last night.
 

Gunfighter 09

wants to be caribou ken
Staff member
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2005
8,278
KPWT
The struggle to play worthwhile games between 2022 and 2026, and to a lesser extent, beyond 2026.

With this in mind, is there any movement toward the US / Mexico / Canada trying to get into the Copa America during the next cycle? Or at the least get someone higher profile than Qatar (a top 10-15 team or two) to join the Gold Cup next cycle.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
19,939
Philadelphia
Of the 7 players referenced above, Reyna clearly has the most to prove imo, at least at the international level. I don’t think he’s ever had a game for USMNT as impressive as Weah’s last night.
Maybe. But Reyna is easily ahead of Weah in his development at club level, with greater productivity against better competition, despite being two years younger.

Ultimately, while Berhalter needs to find the right mix for his team, he also needs to recognize that club football tells you far more about a player and his talent level than a handful of national team performances.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,880
I don't know that CP can play 70, but he's not the replacement. It'll be Acosta or Busio for McKennie.
Somehow, the existence of Sebastian Lletget slipped my mind.

Busio or Lletget will be an interesting pick from Berhalter.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
Maybe. But Reyna is easily ahead of Weah in his development at club level, with greater productivity against better competition, despite being two years younger.

Ultimately, while Berhalter needs to find the right mix for his team, he also needs to recognize that club football tells you far more about a player and his talent level than a handful of national team performances.
That’s fair, but we need to see it outside the context of feeding one of the best strikers in the world.

I’m a tough critic now that we have actual talent.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
19,939
Philadelphia
That’s fair, but we need to see it outside the context of feeding one of the best strikers in the world.

I’m a tough critic now that we have actual talent.
Also fair.

IMO, Reyna is really a monster prospect when you consider age, competition, and the skills he has showed. It remains to be seen how he develops but what he is doing is very unusual and is quite similar to Pulisic’s trajectory. In contrast, Weah is a guy with a famous father who has promise and time but hasn’t really done much as a professional.

Ultimately a good problem to have though!
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
Also fair.

IMO, Reyna is really a monster prospect when you consider age, competition, and the skills he has showed. It remains to be seen how he develops but what he is doing is very unusual and compares favorably to Pulisic’s trajectory. In contrast, Weah is a guy with a famous father who has promise and time but hasn’t really done much as a professional.
Easy to forget Gio just turned 19…today. Crazy we aren’t so far removed from the days of watching grainy videos of like Gedion Zelalem tooling on under qualified teenagers and hoping he was the great hope of American soccer.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
4,563
Weah is a guy with a famous father…
That’s putting it lightly.

Edit: I was looking over the list of Balon d’Or winners, and Tim Weah might already be the best son of a winner?

Easy to forget Gio just turned 19…today. Crazy we aren’t so far removed from the days of watching grainy videos of like Gedion Zelalem tooling on under qualified teenagers and hoping he was the great hope of American soccer.
Recovering from your first big injury and extended rehab is a major development milestone. It really is. Rehab takes a different mindset and it can be derailing for young prospects who haven’t had to grind through it before. Look at Mal Pugh, who spent 5 very frustrating months this season trying to get her mojo back after her first major injury. I don’t doubt Gio will get through this and be better for it, but it’s all part of the development process.
 
Last edited:

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
169
I don’t think the USA gets to wear the crown of the King in Concacaf. Not until they do something they have yet to accomplish. Go into Azteca and get 3 points. They were awesome last night and buried El Tri in the last 45. However winning at home is expected. The US has yet to go into Azteca and bear their main rival on their turf. They pull that off and this is their region.