USMNT: Hold My Beer

SoxFanInCali

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Thought I heard a whistle while the ball was in the air, but couldn't tell if it was a vuvuzela.

Was it a foul or did the kick curl out?
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I'm also watching in Spanish. I know just enough to catch every third word, but I don't understand, it went into the net. Was the flag up?
 

Kliq

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Called a push off on the Jamaica player. He appeared to be holding Zimmerman down near his waist while the ball was in the air.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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That's a really harsh call. I can see it if you're calling by the letter of the rule, but that never gets called. I don't even think it gets called in midfield.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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That's a really harsh call. I can see it if you're calling by the letter of the rule, but that never gets called. I don't even think it gets called in midfield.

Edit: I see what Kliq's talking about now. Still think it's not enough to wave it off.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Well, I'll take the point. Would've been better to get three points. Just a sluggish performance from the Jamaica goal on to the rest of the game.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The point is important but keeping Jamaica from getting two is also fairly significant. At 9 points they creep into the top 4 conversation. At 7 the U.S. has done a good job of ensuring that it is now in very commanding position for at least the federation playoff. I know we have bigger aspirations but CONCACAF is a grind and there are no style points.

The U.S. has a really rough schedule from here on. Three points there would have been huge but since when should we ever expect that CONCACAF qualification would be comfortable?

Through 8 we're still where we were pretty early on. The home draw to Canada still looms large and they are going to need to get a result up there to balance it out. Nothing has changed.
 

tmracht

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Awful performance. If we can’t fire Berhalter, can we at least get him a solid tactician number 2?
I was only able to catch the second half, but it seemed like it subs were just like for like for like when it was really begging for a changing shape. Road games are always tough, it's amazing how much it looks like they miss McKennie.
 

Pesky Pole

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Expert rules official on Paramount saying no foul on Jamaica disallowed goal. Maybe the point feels better after watching it so many times.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It did feel like each substitution actually made the team worse, which was not an ideal feat of coaching.
 

GB5

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US is in good shape. They only reasonable way this could get messy is if they get the donut out of road games in Edmonton and Azteca. Get a point out of both hold at home and you are through comfortably. One combined point out of the two and you are really thin facing do or die at the end. The donut out of both and you must take 3 points at home in all games, and probably find three on the road somewhere else. At the 20 minute mark when they scored, they were probably about 98% odds they were getting through. Now probably high 80's. 3 points tonight and your feet are up coming in the rest of the games.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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I don't care how hard the shot was hit, when you give up a goal from 34 yards and aren't particularly close, I have some questions.

Would love to see the statcast on Steffen's reaction.

(Matt Turner fan club obvs)
 

Jimy Hendrix

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So it’s best for the US if this Mexico / Canada game is a draw, but it’s funniest if Canada win, right?
 

SoxFanInCali

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Even more annoyed with todays result right now. We had a real chance of getting this locked up fairly early
Even with a win today, the top 4 is pretty tight. It's looking like US, Canada, Mexico, and Panama are pulling away, but who ends up in that playoff spot may get decided late.

Just a reminder, qualifying will wrap up in March with 3 games in 6 days. The US ends @ Mexico, Panama, @ Costa Rica. This could get stressful.
 

teddykgb

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Even with a win today, the top 4 is pretty tight. It's looking like US, Canada, Mexico, and Panama are pulling away, but who ends up in that playoff spot may get decided late.

Just a reminder, qualifying will wrap up in March with 3 games in 6 days. The US ends @ Mexico, Panama, @ Costa Rica. This could get stressful.
2 more points today would have set us up with a chance to try to take all 9 in the next set and take a lot of the fireworks out of that last grouping. Of course it’s about finishing top 3 more than anything but we could have been looking at the head to head with Canada as an opportunity to all but complete it
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Why would you start him with Strep?? Galaxy brain in the building.
Who would you have rather played in the spot? Musah with strep was better than Acosta presumably healthy. The other alternatives were Lletget and Roldan. Injuries (Reyna, Williamson) and suspension (McKennie) really hurt us there.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Turner fans gonna have something to say but I don’t think even he gets that.
There's no way to know. Steffen looked a little late reacting on the replay, and whatever his gifts, he's still never been a consistently exceptional shot-stopper, so maybe Turner could have gotten to it? If Turner had been playing, it would have been for that moment.
 

tmracht

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Who would you have rather played in the spot? Musah with strep was better than Acosta presumably healthy. The other alternatives were Lletget and Roldan. Injuries (Reyna, Williamson) and suspension (McKennie) really hurt us there.
I think I'd roll the dice with Acosta. It's not a great situation for sure and maybe it's a mild case but seems like putting him out there when he's fatigued to start isn't optimal. Similar to Pulisic in that regard that I'd rather them sub in knowing they have 30 mins to make their impact rather than trying to pace yourself when you're not yourself. But for sure the injuries and suspensions added up. MMA midfield vs Mexico was such a different animal unfortunately.
 

SocrManiac

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Of course Tuner saves that. He is exceptional! I love MT and think he is > Steffen.. But Buffon or Howard wasnt getting that
Sorry for the late response to this, but Buffon and Howard on the same level? That’d be like saying Tom Brady or Steve Young wouldn’t have finished that drive.
 

Cellar-Door

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Watched a replay.... that was a pretty weak performance to me. I know Antonio makes a big difference to the Jamaica attack, but we put up 0.58 xG against maybe the worst defense in the qualifying field, and were saved from a loss by a bad call.
This is a weird team, sometimes they look great, but far too often they look toothless in attack, confident that the lesser CONCACAF teams can't score.
 

Senator Donut

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There’s a lot of hand-wringing about whether Turner could have made that save, but Steffen’s distribution was the reason he started and he has a miserable 68% pass accuracy, compared to Turner’s 88% in the reverse fixture.
 

rguilmar

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As one of the resident Gregg haters, I actually won't even bash him too much. I thought that he started a strong squad and that there were some poor performances. Jedi and Adams played below their level. Aaronson and Pepi just didn't have it this window. Zimmerman looked strong in the air (though he was beat for what should have been the winning goal for Jamaica) but passed the ball very poorly, and Richards cleaned up after him a few times. Busio got pushed around again but played better than he did in the past, especially in the second half. Poor performances happen, especially with younger players.

Tactically there wasn't much of a high press this game. I don't know if that was by design or if it was the players just being sluggish. I'd like to say it was the tactics so I could rage against Gregg, but I am honestly not sure. Given that the pitch was awful, it was going to be very difficult to create chances by building through the midfield with slick passing, which is why I was hoping to see more intense high pressure to force Jamaica into mistakes. Not having Weston probably played a role here and I imagine the US was worried about Antonio and Bailey getting loose after breaking the press. It would have been worth the risk though. I didn't catch the press conference so I don't know if Gregg got the tactics wrong.

Two criticisms of Gregg though. First the subs seemed to be waiving the "draw flag". Not that bringing CP in is a bad call, but taking out Weah instead of Aaronson showed me that at 60 minutes Gregg was going for 1 point. Same deal with taking off Musah. No high press and the field not really being conducive to passing, the only way to create any chances is with some 1v1 flair (or a set piece resulting from getting by a Jam defender), and the two starters who brought it were gone in the 60th. Second, the squad selection per usual came back to bite the US, specifically not having a second true 9. Even with a poor overall game, Pepi did some nice things, but I still would have liked to have a striker at the end who could have dealt with the physicality of Jamaica and maybe bang one home.

On the positive side, 4 points this window is fine. It's the first window where the US got what I would call the minimum expected amount of points. Jamaica is such a strange matchup because you just never know who will even be allowed to play and how they will line up. That game against Panama is really haunting us now.
 

BaseballJones

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So the top four right now:

1. Canada: 4-4-0, 16 points
2. USA: 4-3-1, 15 points
3. Mexico: 4-2-2, 14 points
4. Panama: 4-2-2, 14 points

Remaining schedules:

Canada
- Jan 27 at Honduras (0-3-5, 3 points)
- Jan 30 vs USA (4-3-1, 15 points)
- Feb 2 at El Salvador (1-3-4, 6 points)
- Mar 24 at Costa Rica (2-3-3, 9 points)
- Mar 27 vs Jamaica (1-4-3, 7 points)
- Mar 30 at Panama (4-2-2, 14 points)

USA
- Jan 27 vs El Salvador (1-3-4, 6 points)
- Jan 30 at Canada (4-4-0, 16 points)
- Feb 2 vs Honduras (0-3-5, 3 points)
- Mar 24 at Mexico (4-2-2, 14 points)
- Mar 27 vs Panama (4-2-2, 14 points)
- Mar 30 at Costa Rica (2-3-3, 9 points)

Mexico
- Jan 27 at Jamaica (1-4-3, 7 points)
- Jan 30 vs Costa Rica (2-3-3, 9 points)
- Feb 2 vs Panama (4-2-2, 14 points)
- Mar 24 vs USA (4-3-1, 15 points)
- Mar 27 at Honduras (0-3-5, 3 points)
- Mar 30 vs El Salvador (1-3-4, 6 points)

Panama
- Jan 27 at Costa Rica (2-3-3, 9 points)
- Jan 30 vs Jamaica (1-4-3, 7 points)
- Feb 2 at Mexico (4-2-2, 14 points)
- Mar 24 vs Honduras (0-3-5, 3 points)
- Mar 27 at USA (4-3-1, 15 points)
- Mar 30 vs Canada (4-4-0, 16 points)

It would be really nice for Jamaica to do a little damage against any of Canada, Mexico, or Panama. I'm not loving the US at Mexico on March 24. That will be a very very difficult game and I am hoping for just one point out of that. The US really must beat Panama at home on March 27.
It's going to be a wild finish among these four teams and we might need one of them to stub their toe against a lesser opponent somewhere along the way.
 

teddykgb

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Jamaica had their fullbacks push really high on Aaronson and Weah and denied the space those two exploited against Mexico. The attack was very narrow and only looked sort of dangerous when Robinson came forward to overlap Aaronson but Robinson played one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen him play and largely overhit and couldn’t dribble anything. They desperately needed Dest overlapping on the right as Yedlin for some reason was very conservative.

I get on Berhalter a bit because these aren’t uncommon problems in playing a 433!where the wingers play very narrow. The US needed to either seek to exploit the space behind the fullbacks, instruct the wingers to hold wide like Pep typically does to open up space centrally, or simply try a different formation. Instead he made like for like downgrades and shifted Aaronson right. I like Aaronson because he’s a really high energy pesky player but I don’t think he’s an effective player for 90 minutes and ideally I think he comes in after 60 against tired legs and annoys defenders for 30 minutes. They don’t have that option with Pulisic recovering but I don’t think taking Weah off made any sense at all.

It’s easy to type words about major formation changes and all that on a forum and I get that it isn’t necessarily that easy on the ground. But the problems the US had were fairly predictable and I think Berhalter needed to have another approach trained and available should the 4-3-3 stutter to create. They are clearly not going to be xG monsters as they treat the ball like a hand grenade which must be transferred to someone else as quickly as possible but it can be legitimately hard to attack 3 against 4-6 and they probably need some sort of 2 striker or more attacking formation they can play. As an example, it can make sense to take off Musah as he was ill and probably shouldn’t have played but could you not shift to a 2 man midfield with Adams there and try to insert another attacker to give Jamaica more men ti mark?