USMNT: Hold My Beer

sezwho

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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.
Thanks for breaking this down, I’ve fallen back in love with the USMNT and this thread has been fun on a lot of levels.

Definitely getting the agida about the game in Mexico as well, and as you say we may be looking for strong performances from Jamaica or Costa Rica at some point.

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?
I’m not sure where I stand on Berhalter but definitely think some more creativity in his part was needed in the second half. We weren’t generating much in the way of chances and I felt Ferreira would get swallowed up by the physicality.
 

tmracht

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Definitely getting the agida about the game in Mexico as well, and as you say we may be looking for strong performances from Jamaica or Costa Rica at some point.
Save the agida about @Mex and @can and expect 0. They can still get to 25 even if that happens by taking care of the home games and getting a point @CRC.

If Panama gets 11 points with games against vsCan @Mex and @USA tip your hat and move on to the playoffs.

Really just worry about home games from here out cause if you drop points at home to Honduras or El Salvador that pot gets warm quick. Any points vs Canada and Mexico are just bonus.
 

DJnVa

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FIFA announced today that the intercontinental playoffs will be one leg and at a neutral site.
 

cromulence

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Pulisic subbed in as a false nine, almost scores, then does. Would be verrrry interesting if he showed the ability to do this. Then you could sometimes bench Pepi and get Weah, Pulisic, Reyna and MMA on the field at the same time. Also set up a goal and scored another, both ruled out for offside.
 
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speedracer

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Pulisic subbed in as a false nine, almost scores, then does. Would be verrrry interesting if he showed the ability to do this. Then you could sometimes bench Pepi and get Weah, Pulisic, Reyna and MMA on the field at the same time. Also set up a goal and scored another, both ruled out for offside.
Noticed this as well.

Who would we use this strategy/formation against? Presumably teams that are good at playing in a low block? Against Mexico I’d imagine we’d still want Pepi’s abilities since we won’t be able to pass our way out of trouble all the time.
 

tmracht

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Noticed this as well.

Who would we use this strategy/formation against? Presumably teams that are good at playing in a low block? Against Mexico I’d imagine we’d still want Pepi’s abilities since we won’t be able to pass our way out of trouble all the time.
Home games against the bottom of the Octagonal when you will might benefit from fluid football rather than a target would make sense. At least until Pepi matures a bit.

Also why the scuffed podcast cohost thought Ferreira should have played more.
 

Kliq

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Mr. Wednesday

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I believe it was Hamilton. We are definitely taking a page out of their book with these home games; I like it.
That should be by far the easiest travel of any of the windows, and I suspect it's a significant factor in the USSF selections.
 

Titans Bastard

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The rumor is that Canada is going to hold out on announcing the venue to keep the US guessing about how to strategically place their own home games to minimize travel. These games ensure that Canada’s choice won’t matter that much.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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The rumor is that Canada is going to hold out on announcing the venue to keep the US guessing about how to strategically place their own home games to minimize travel. These games ensure that Canada’s choice won’t matter that much.
Per the Globe today, Canada has officially announced Hamilton as the venue (which doesn't seem to be a surprise, I remember Hamilton mentioned early in the week).
 

SocrManiac

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It’s hard for me to believe there aren’t any possible WCQ venues in Alaska… If stadiums are going to become a shithousing staple go all-in.
 

Senator Donut

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Concacaf’s 4th place nation draws the OFC champion in the intercontinental playoff (one-game neutral site). That’s the best possible outcome for the region.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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It’s hard for me to believe there aren’t any possible WCQ venues in Alaska… If stadiums are going to become a shithousing staple go all-in.
I subscribe to the thought that we should be very careful about this when we're the better team. At the extremes (which are reasonably likely even in St. Paul), it seems as likely to hurt by leveling the playing field as help by taking a Central American opponent out of their comfort zone. Aiming for ~freezing with a chance of being in the 20s (which is still much colder than most of those sides are used to) seems a safer bet than aiming for the 20s with a chance of being in the single digits.
 

sezwho

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I subscribe to the thought that we should be very careful about this when we're the better team. At the extremes (which are reasonably likely even in St. Paul), it seems as likely to hurt by leveling the playing field as help by taking a Central American opponent out of their comfort zone. Aiming for ~freezing with a chance of being in the 20s (which is still much colder than most of those sides are used to) seems a safer bet than aiming for the 20s with a chance of being in the single digits.
I grew up in Maine and am typically braver than most about cold weather, but St Paul in February (average hi of 23) is capable of some next level stuff. I’m not sure Alaska would even be necessary…and to your point at what point does it stop being an advantage.
 

Titans Bastard

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That bonus December camp is sneaking up on us. This will be a mostly/entirely domestic camp as it is outside of a FIFA window. Some players still involved in the MLS playoffs may be unavailable too.

Paredes and Gomez would be popular fan picks for sure. Gomez has been flirting with Mexico, but my spidey sense says that he's just playing the game.

View: https://twitter.com/SoccerInsider/status/1465406852972298251
 

Zososoxfan

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I agree. I'd play winter games in the sunbelt and summer games in northern cities. Get the best pitch possible always for our boys since we should almost always be favored and minimize the elements for both gameplay and injury prevention purposes. Also, I'd love to see more matches in FL!
 

rguilmar

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That bonus December camp is sneaking up on us. This will be a mostly/entirely domestic camp as it is outside of a FIFA window. Some players still involved in the MLS playoffs may be unavailable too.

Paredes and Gomez would be popular fan picks for sure. Gomez has been flirting with Mexico, but my spidey sense says that he's just playing the game.

View: https://twitter.com/SoccerInsider/status/1465406852972298251
I'd love to have both Paredes and Gomez there. It would be frustrating if this was the one camp that Gomez went to before making his decision, though. Would have preferred him to be with McKennie, Pulisic, and the rest. I choose to trust your spidey sense though.

I'd add Alan Sonora to the list too as he's been playing great at Independiente. Their last game is December 12, I think. Johnny Soccer at Internacional (Brazil) has had an up and down year, but I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him. I thought he looked really meh for the U-23s, but that could be the Kreis effect.

So will this dumb St. Paul thing, but that's not stopping USSF from being clever instead of smart here.
"Being clever instead of smart" should just be the USMNT and/or USSF slogan.
 

Titans Bastard

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The roster for the December camp is dropping tomorrow morning.

MLS players from the last camp who are available:

GK - Turner
DF - Zimmerman, M. Robinson
MF - Acosta, Lletget, Roldan
FW - Arriola, Pepi, Ferreira

Curious to see how Berhalter fleshes out the roster. Based on Goff's reporting, there will be at least some push for exciting young U20 types.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I'm glad Morris got called in if for no other reason than to get him minutes. Seattle's early exit from the playoffs really hurt him. He did start the playoff game and had a couple of dangerous looks, but didn't have anything all that close to a goal.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Random thoughts

Serie A does have a winter break but it starts well after this camp & match, so this is just nails in the additional boards on top of the already nailed shut coffin of Bryan Reynolds' time with Jose.

Lotta interesting young guys, not as many in the midfield as I'd hoped as that's the spot I am most worried about our depth.

Kinda surprised at no Djordje given the season he had, but I suppose he's in a bit of a middle ground of aging out of "prospect you can pin your dreams on" but not becoming "one of Gregg's ol' reliable MLS hands". Would've also liked to see Pomykal, but he's made of wet tissue paper so I suppose the more of a true offseason he can get, the better.

Is Taylor Booth actually a forward of some sort? I thought he was a CM who sometimes played FB, but I am not on the "watch grainy footage of BL reserve teams" train so I could have missed something here.

Pulskamp wins some sort of "I listen to USMNT podcasts and stuff but still do not recall having heard of the guy" award.
 

JOBU

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I grew up in Maine and am typically braver than most about cold weather, but St Paul in February (average hi of 23) is capable of some next level stuff. I’m not sure Alaska would even be necessary…and to your point at what point does it stop being an advantage.
Yeah this is not a good idea. I lived about a mile from this stadium for about 3 years. And ummm it could be below zero and in the middle of a snow storm. Anybody remember the pats super bowl from a couple years ago? I waited to ride the light rail into the game and if memory serves it was at or near zero. This could be a safety hazard for players and fans alike. Unmitigated disaster. Best case scenario is dry and around freezing.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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In late-2019, Djordje trained with Nurnberg, and they passed on signing him. He certainly had a great season in Montreal (thanks, Heitz!), interested to see if he can get a move this time.
Does he have an EU passport covered, or am I just making assumptions based on his name?
 

67YAZ

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Does he have an EU passport covered, or am I just making assumptions based on his name?
I’ve read that Djordje does have a Serbian passport. I believe his parents are naturalized US citizens. His dad, Aleks, played college soccer at Jacksonville State and then 3 seasons in the NASL. He’s coached ar a variety of levels and now runs the largest youth soccer network in the Chicago area. So Aleks definitely has the savvy to get his kid a passport to propel the career.
 

Titans Bastard

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Does he have an EU passport covered, or am I just making assumptions based on his name?
He does not. His dad is Serbian and he may also have some Macedonian heritage. Neither passport would open any doors in major European countries because they are not in the EU or tied into the common EU labor market like a few non-EU members (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland)
 

Titans Bastard

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Is Taylor Booth actually a forward of some sort? I thought he was a CM who sometimes played FB, but I am not on the "watch grainy footage of BL reserve teams" train so I could have missed something here.
I don't think you've missed anything. I would love to go behind the scenes to see how the position designations in these rosters get made.

Pulskamp wins some sort of "I listen to USMNT podcasts and stuff but still do not recall having heard of the guy" award.
We've progressed enough as a Proper Footballing Nation (tm) that a lot of reasonably okay prospects don't get a lot of attention until and unless they have a breakout. Pulskamp had a string of starts at the beginning of the year for SKC when Tim Melia was injured and wasn't especially good, but he's young, and who knows with GKs.

Slonina is definitely a much spicier flavor at the moment.
 

rguilmar

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I am excited to see some of these younger guys, so hopefully they get some time. Bosnia will bring a very young squad over, so it is a nice chance to get some of these guys in. Really want to see what Jonathan Gomez, Kevin Paredes, Justin Che (pretty please as a CB), Kobi Henry, Gaga, Johnny Soccer, Taylor Booth (please as a MF), and Caden Clark can do. Some of these guys played poorly in Olympic Qualifying and Revelations Cup, but with those being so poorly managed squads it's hard to blame the players (for the record, in my opinion Revelations Cup performances were not on the coaching staff but on the federation for getting the team put together so late). Clark has not been the same since his appendectomy, but hopefully the more he advances from that surgery, the more he returns to form. There are rumblings that Socieded might want JoGo to get to Donostia early so he can start to be integrated into their team-he might be gone by kickoff. I do want to see what Aaron Long and Jordan Morris can do. I worry that their injuries will prevent them from ever regaining form. ACLs and achilles can do that.

I like Cole Bassett more than most, but he's not as exciting as some of the other guys and strikes me more as a "high floor/low ceiling" type of guy. Bryan Reynolds getting the call is nice. We all knew that the situation in Roma was not going to work for him once the Special One took charge. I am pretty sure Roma stated that they will be loaning Reynolds this January, and the only surprise is that it did not happen last summer. Jose is a 2-3 season manager before he blasts himself out of town, so Roma won't want to sell this young talent.

There are a bunch of players rewarded for good seasons in MLS, which I am fine with, but for the life of me I cannot understand why Jackson Yueill is on this roster. There are two other 6s and he did not have a good season at San Jose, at least from the games I saw. Apparently Independiente did not want to let Sonora go early as they are still wrapping up their season, but the coaching staff did want him. I imagine Paxton Aaronson is unavailable because Philly are still playing. Gregg said that Miles is getting a well earned break. I am a little surprised to see no Arriola or Lletget though. I won't allow myself to hope that they are being phased out already, but they will both not play any more games prior to the January camp.