USMNT: Hold My Beer

Jimy Hendrix

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either way, it killed my interest in the game.

I thought Bello and Morris looked pretty good.
It’s more like a 10.5 vs 10, because Roldan’s been a passenger, but yeah, not a lot to learn anymore.

Not that there was too much to learn earlier really. It seems a lot more about keeping the guys we’ve already seen fit than about looking at the ones we haven’t.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Reynolds made a lot of difference later in the second half just by trying more stuff. Even whipping in lots of not that great crosses sparked more than the “don’t do much at all” strategy.
 

Titans Bastard

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Real snoozer of a second half. Roldan has been desperately disappointing.
I thought Roldan was mostly fine. I mean, he’s Roldan, he’s not going to be a world beater. The biggest problem was that the midfield balance was off. Acosta is always bad as an 8. Just play Acosta, Roldan, and then Clark or Bassett or maybe Booth instead. The midfield trio in this game was too conservative.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I thought Roldan was mostly fine. I mean, he’s Roldan, he’s not going to be a world beater. The biggest problem was that the midfield balance was off. Acosta is always bad as an 8. Just play Acosta, Roldan, and then Clark or Bassett or maybe Booth instead. The midfield trio in this game was too conservative.
On morning’s sober reflection I was probably putting too much on him. Some of the nicer moments of combination had him in the mix at least.

Think I got tricked in the moment because a meh Acosta looks at least a lot busier than a meh Roldan.

The whole midfield was less than the sum of its parts because only Acosta even tried to drive forwards with urgency and that generally came in the form of a decent dribble followed by a poor pass.
 

Dan Murfman

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With the three games coming up if they were being played today the warmest temp would be the game in Hamilton at 26°. Columbus is checking in at 21° and St Paul is a balmy -2°.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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With the three games coming up if they were being played today the warmest temp would be the game in Hamilton at 26°. Columbus is checking in at 21° and St Paul is a balmy -2°.
The closer we get to it, the more this St. Paul thing feels like an absolutely psycho decision.
 

ekim colorwaterpit

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The closer we get to it, the more this St. Paul thing feels like an absolutely psycho decision.
Well I will be at the game so I might have made my own psycho decision. But I agree, this seems like a horrible idea. I definitely went outside this weekend (temp around 0) with the specific purpose of figuring out what I would wear to the game if the worst happened.
 

rguilmar

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The closer we get to it, the more this St. Paul thing feels like an absolutely psycho decision.
I understand wanting to play in Ohio against Mexico. That's one thing, but these sites can have a great equalizing effect in the wrong direction. The USMNT is too good to worry about a few thousand El Salvadoran or Honduran fans making a difference. The talent gap is big enough. The cold can minimize this gap.

Beyond that, both coasts have been completely ignored in qualifying. Nashville, Austin, Columbus, Cincinnati, St. Paul. I get that more immigrants live on the coasts, but so do more Americans. Is anyone from, say, LA (a huge soccer hotbed) going to see a qualifier in person? I also dislike the message it sends about who US Soccer considers "American". Clearly these locations are picked as a way of preventing certain parts of the population from attending. With this squad of players, we should be seeking to broaden the tent, not minimize it. This is a young, fun, and likeable group pf players. Let them win people over.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Well I will be at the game so I might have made my own psycho decision. But I agree, this seems like a horrible idea. I definitely went outside this weekend (temp around 0) with the specific purpose of figuring out what I would wear to the game if the worst happened.
Going to the game seems potentially fun, albeit in a perverse way. I totally get that. Scheduling it, there’s just no excuse.
 

67YAZ

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Wow. I hope Davies recovers quickly. They qualified it as slight, but this is serious stuff.
 

dirtynine

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Yeah - I want Davies around making Canada a strong Concacaf side for a long time. Hope he recovers quickly and without long-term effect. I imagine the Eriksson situation has everyone keeping a very close eye on heart health.
 

67YAZ

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The Gaga Slonina content (Fire) fans have been demanding! Slonina is Poland eligible through his parents, but he hasn’t shown any indication of interest there. There’s increasing rumors of European clubs scouting Gaga, but that seems like due diligence for a keeper so young. I’m just glad Gregg has brought him into camp and Is letting the kid experience what the next level is like.

 

rguilmar

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Any news on when the roster for the next three qualifiers will be released? I was expecting early this week but that obviously hasn’t happened. Usually it’s 5-7 days before the beginning of the break, at least from my recollection. Perhaps waiting till the MLS camp wraps up tomorrow?
 

Titans Bastard

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Any news on when the roster for the next three qualifiers will be released? I was expecting early this week but that obviously hasn’t happened. Usually it’s 5-7 days before the beginning of the break, at least from my recollection. Perhaps waiting till the MLS camp wraps up tomorrow?
Goff said a few days ago that we'll probably have to wait until Saturday.
 

rguilmar

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Lots of buzz that the roster will drop later today.
Canada are reducing the capacity of the game in Hamilton by 50%. Canada have a tougher window with 2 trips to Central America and a home game against the US.
 

rguilmar

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If they add Morris, who will they drop? And does he fill Arriola's role?
Maybe nobody. It depends on how many players are on the roster and the status of Weah. I expect/hope for at least five wingers:

Pulisic
Weah
Aaronson
Morris
Arriola and/or Roldan (who they will say is a MF then use as a winger)
 

rguilmar

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Somehow overlooked Busio not being there. I know his form has dipped but at least he’s getting consistent competitive minutes.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Somehow overlooked Busio not being there. I know his form has dipped but at least he’s getting consistent competitive minutes.
Venezia has a Covid outbreak, which might explain it.

I dunno about offseason Zardes & offseason Ferreria over all European-based strikers bar Pepi, but I'm not that mad about it either, they'll do the job fine.

EDIT: Turns out Sargent's the hot hand, if you believe in that being a good determinant for callups, but we didn't know that until 5min after the roster drop so hard for Berhalter to take it into account really :)
 
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67YAZ

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EDIT: Turns out Sargent's the hot hand, if you believe in that being a good determinant for callups, but we didn't know that until 5min after the roster drop so hard for Berhalter to take it into account really :)
One of the 4 keepers needs a hamstring tweak so Sargent can get the call up right now.

Looks like Gregg has gone gaga over Slonina. This is definitely agreasive - he should be 4th on this depth chart. But with Ochoa defecting, getting an extended look at and building a strong bond with another young keeper for the future makes sense.
 

ragnarok725

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Venezia has a Covid outbreak, which might explain it.

I dunno about offseason Zardes & offseason Ferreria over all European-based strikers bar Pepi, but I'm not that mad about it either, they'll do the job fine.

EDIT: Turns out Sargent's the hot hand, if you believe in that being a good determinant for callups, but we didn't know that until 5min after the roster drop so hard for Berhalter to take it into account really :)
Berhalter confirms that Busio was on the squad and dropped for COVID reasons.

View: https://twitter.com/JeffreyCarlisle/status/1484640312622387205?t=iABwtBCHO_H_lQa-OGFUHA&s=19


Gregg Berhalter says one player already had to drop off the roster due to #COVID19 and that they'd have to be "cautious".

And yes, that player is Busio.
 

rguilmar

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Having a few days to think over the roster, these are my thoughts:

Brooks is Out- And I mean off the squad. I know Gregg said it was 100% form, but that was a very weak claim even back in November and even weaker now. My best guess is that he does not rate Brooks as a good fit for the way he envisions this team playing now. It looks like he prefers a high press and that the emphasis is on athletic CBs who can defend in space where Brooks is pretty poor. I would like Gregg say "I picked the players who are the best fit for what we are trying to do as a team" and left it at that. Brooks is in the middle of a contract negotiation (at least last time I checked) and his national team coach indicating he is playing worse than the benched Mark McKenzie at Genk can't help him with what will likely be his last decent contract. I know there are plenty of rumors about a rift between Gregg and Brooks, but Gregg has a decent record of smoothing things over (McKennie and Hoppe) and seems to have a good rapport with the players.
Only 1 LB- I am concerned about Jedi being the only true left back, and Gregg's assertion that several players (including Acosta) can play there. I'm not super high on Bello or Vines, but I would have liked to see one of them here. Scally is probably the most glaring snub and is not a true LB, but I am just accepting that Gregg doesn't rate him as highly as most fans for whatever reason.
Lots of MLS guys- I know this has been a point of contention among most of the USMNT fanbase, but I have no problem with it given the roster size and the fact that these players were more or less in quarantine during Camp Cupcake 2.0. I'm on record as having seen too much of Lletget, Zardes, Roldan, and Arriola, but I am ok with this depending on how he uses them. A lot will come down to rotation and how Gregg uses players, but there is a huge difference between giving Zimmerman and Miles minutes versus starting Lletget and Acosta as the dual 8s. Man, I do hope de la Torre gets a decent amount of run this window.

Overall this is a squad who can take home the elusive 9 points and cement a spot in Qatar. I imagine most of us would say 6 points are a requirement, 7 points is a decent result, and 9 is the dream. Oh, and no major injuries. This squad has had their fair share of those and the conditions are likely going to be brutal (even more reason to criticize the federation for the selection of stadiums).
 

cromulence

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You're kidding yourself if you think LDLT is getting a decent run. It sounds like he's only here because Busio got Covid, so I'm guessing he gets very minimal time, if any.

In general, I am way more frustrated with the roster than you are, I think. The Brooks omission is just absurd. There's no legitimate rationale - he's way better than Mark McKenzie, and we should be calling in our best players. It feels like a personal thing, because if it's not, Gregg is just a fucking idiot.

I fully expect way too much Lletget, Arriola, and Roldan, because that's what Gregg does.
 

Titans Bastard

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I heard second-hand a few months ago that from a man-management perspective, Brooks is either someone you start or someone you drop.
 

Titans Bastard

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You're kidding yourself if you think LDLT is getting a decent run. It sounds like he's only here because Busio got Covid, so I'm guessing he gets very minimal time, if any.

In general, I am way more frustrated with the roster than you are, I think. The Brooks omission is just absurd. There's no legitimate rationale - he's way better than Mark McKenzie, and we should be calling in our best players. It feels like a personal thing, because if it's not, Gregg is just a fucking idiot.

I fully expect way too much Lletget, Arriola, and Roldan, because that's what Gregg does.
It does seem like Berhalter is cool towards LDLT and is almost begrudging in how he's brought into camp. Hopefully over the course of these three games and the training sessions scattered among them, he can elevated his profile in Berhalter's eyes.

I think the "Berhalter's guys" narrative has spun a bit of control, though. Cristian Roldan has played 69 minutes in the Ocho, and Arriola has played 147 minutes, out of a possible 720. If other other wingers were healthier, it would probably be less. I think picking him over Konrad is 100% defensible, too.

Lletget was really solid for the USMNT for a long time, and his form dipped in 2021. I don't fault Berhalter for sticking with him to see if it was a blip or not. Lletget was unused in the two Ocho games since the Panama stinker.
 

rguilmar

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You're kidding yourself if you think LDLT is getting a decent run. It sounds like he's only here because Busio got Covid, so I'm guessing he gets very minimal time, if any.

In general, I am way more frustrated with the roster than you are, I think. The Brooks omission is just absurd. There's no legitimate rationale - he's way better than Mark McKenzie, and we should be calling in our best players. It feels like a personal thing, because if it's not, Gregg is just a fucking idiot.

I fully expect way too much Lletget, Arriola, and Roldan, because that's what Gregg does.
I’ve heard several times that Brooks is a bit of a pain and has crossed more than one manager in his career. That being said, I think that Gregg just wants guys who fit better into his system. Thinking back as far as the Switzerland friendly, Brooks’ lack of pace was pretty clearly exposed. If you combine this with his rep as being a bit of a malcontent when not starting (at least from what I’ve heard), I guess I am saying I understand where the decision is coming from. I definitely don’t agree with it, but to me Brooks is out of the team because he isn’t a system fit for Gregg.

My issue is that Gregg seems to just want to play one way tactically which makes the US easier to predict (despite his roster tinkering). Obviously each player has different strengths and weaknesses, but they seem to have common enough traits across position groups so Gregg can just plug and play (at least in his mind). I’d rather have players on the roster who can bring a real change to the game. To me, you bring Brooks precisely because he brings something different to the table (also why I don’t see
Konrad or Dike on this team). His ability to pass the ball could definitely be useful against low block bunkered in teams like we will probably see this window.

As far as LDLT goes, probably wishful thinking on my part, but face-to-face time with Gregg matters. I heard an interview with de la Torre recently and he at least seemed appreciative of his communication with Gregg.The MF construction is such that LDLT could very well be in the mix. As TB mentioned, Gregg hasn’t really used Lletget as much lately and Roldan has been used more as a late game winger sub. Ultimately, these are just my guesses after a few days of drinking and pondering things.

Whatever the case, I still think 9 points are a legit possibility in this window
 

Zososoxfan

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I’ve heard several times that Brooks is a bit of a pain and has crossed more than one manager in his career. That being said, I think that Gregg just wants guys who fit better into his system. Thinking back as far as the Switzerland friendly, Brooks’ lack of pace was pretty clearly exposed. If you combine this with his rep as being a bit of a malcontent when not starting (at least from what I’ve heard), I guess I am saying I understand where the decision is coming from. I definitely don’t agree with it, but to me Brooks is out of the team because he isn’t a system fit for Gregg.

My issue is that Gregg seems to just want to play one way tactically which makes the US easier to predict (despite his roster tinkering). Obviously each player has different strengths and weaknesses, but they seem to have common enough traits across position groups so Gregg can just plug and play (at least in his mind). I’d rather have players on the roster who can bring a real change to the game. To me, you bring Brooks precisely because he brings something different to the table (also why I don’t see Konrad or Dike on this team). His ability to pass the ball could definitely be useful against low block bunkered in teams like we will probably see this window.

As far as LDLT goes, probably wishful thinking on my part, but face-to-face time with Gregg matters. I heard an interview with de la Torre recently and he at least seemed appreciative of his communication with Gregg.The MF construction is such that LDLT could very well be in the mix. As TB mentioned, Gregg hasn’t really used Lletget as much lately and Roldan has been used more as a late game winger sub. Ultimately, these are just my guesses after a few days of drinking and pondering things.

Whatever the case, I still think 9 points are a legit possibility in this window
Bolded QFT. You can reasonably say Brooks doesn't fit the system, but if this team is trying to advance in the WC, it would be helpful to play a deeper line at times and have someone who's good at it at CB. Even if just as a late sub to hold a lead or throw a changeup. Then again, if Brooks isn't game for that, then it's fair to leave him off for chemistry reasons I guess.
 

67YAZ

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Brooks is easily the best passing CB, which is a key quality for Berhalter’s desired style. His relationship with Brooks must be bad - and given how positive Gregg’s bond is with the majority of the squad, it suggest to be me Brooks is a PITA.