World Cup Day 10 11/29: Pulisic ascends!

Jed Zeppelin

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One issue with our depth is that our RB is really critical to the attack/possession game but is a guy you generally pull off if protecting a late lead, which then has the cascading effect of hurting our possession. And if the sub is Shaq Moore it doesn't do much for our defense anyway.

Overall it would be huge if McKennie is working himself closer to full match fitness. Acosta is another guy who just runs around out there. I'm not sure he touched the ball once. When MMA are together the midfield is a minefield for the opponent because they are all so skilled and tough at winning the ball and moving it clear. The subs we have gone with are just a total concession of 2/3rds of the field and a commitment to just getting behind the ball and hoping for the best. Pulisic coming out early obviously exacerbated that today.

So there is definitely a talent issue behind the starting XI + Aaronson/Gio but I don't think the guys in Qatar are necessarily being maximized either. Wright showed me all I will ever need to see today. This is not a World Cup player, period. Slow, plodding, low-effort. Next time bring Arriola or your best Arriola type to run around and at least try to win balls. Wright was pathetic.
 

singaporesoxfan

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Parking the bus is especially nervy to watch in international games when you have a team of players who don’t play together now trying to defend as a unit
 

Cellar-Door

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Parking the bus is especially nervy to watch in international games when you have a team of players who don’t play together now trying to defend as a unit
yep, and a bunch of bodies and limbs sticking out in the penalty area just begging to be hit with a ball or tripped over/
 

Merkle's Boner

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To be fair, I think Pulisic’s injury hurt our sub strategy. Ideally, MMA plus Pulisic are good for 90 and your subs through the wings and fullbacks.
 

Joe D Reid

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So there is definitely a talent issue behind the starting XI + Aaronson/Gio but I don't think the guys in Qatar are necessarily being maximized either. Wright showed me all I will ever need to see today. This is not a World Cup player, period. Slow, plodding, low-effort. Next time bring Arriola or your best Arriola type to run around and at least try to win balls. Wright was pathetic.
Wright looked like someone hit him on the head with a cast-iron skillet right before he came in.

So even though I pretty much wanted to stick my dick in a blender for the last half hour, this is so, so good for this squad. Any hope of making an actual deep--like Final Four deep--run when they host rested in part on '26 not being the first time they play a knockout game.
 

BigSoxFan

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Let’s assume we have a function Pulisic on Saturday. What are our chances against the Dutch? They always seem to be so solid.
 

PedroSpecialK

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@PedroSpecialK - thinking of you. Iran played like madmen the second half, especially the last 20 min. There’s no easy way to go out of the WC, but they should be proud.
Thanks boss. Ultimately going too conservative was their undoing.

Jalali was bright when he came on but he wasn't advanced enough. The Azmoun removal had damn well better be because of injury - Ghoddos had two glorious opportunities fall to him and failed to convert either, and I have to imagine Azmoun converts at least one of those. I hope to never have to watch the Torabi/Amiri regimists in this team, but I assume IFF will clean house on the coaching side for a new cycle anyway. This was a huge opportunity wasted, and with how discombobulated this group looked against England I have to imagine the regime's bullshit played no small part on that.
 

67YAZ

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I would have gone Yedlin over Shaq (based on public info, not sure what more Gregg knows) just based on experience. Yedlin has seen it all at the highest levels. Shaq looked nervy.
 

Zomp

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Let’s assume we have a function Pulisic on Saturday. What are our chances against the Dutch? They always seem to be so solid.
I don’t mind the matchup.

honestly the way our midfield is playing I like our chances to grind out a result against anyone. Just hope Mckennie can rest up to go the full 90.
 

teddykgb

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I think Netherlands is about as good as you can hope for as a second place finisher. They haven’t been dominant and have a general negativity which could snowball them if we were to score early
 

DJnVa

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One issue with our depth is that our RB is really critical to the attack/possession game but is a guy you generally pull off if protecting a late lead, which then has the cascading effect of hurting our possession. And if the sub is Shaq Moore it doesn't do much for our defense anyway.

Acosta is another guy who just runs around out there.
Acosta tackled Bale and saved us against Wales.

But yes, the US still has some depth issues. With a young team, that's gonna happen.
 

Cellar-Door

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Let’s assume we have a function Pulisic on Saturday. What are our chances against the Dutch? They always seem to be so solid.
They're in a down cycle, but also still better than us. I'd say they're better than Wales, probably not as good as England?
 

Merkle's Boner

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I think Netherlands is about as good as you can hope for as a second place finisher. They haven’t been dominant and have a general negativity which could snowball them if we were to score early
Yup, and I don’t think VVD has the speed to hang with us. We need to run all day long.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They outplayed England. They can give the Dutch a game. With or without CP.
Nice run and goal aside, Pulisic has not been great. If Gio is in any kind of fitness I'm not convinced it hurts them as much as people may assume. The midfield is the key anyway. MMA are an absolute wrecking ball together. Fair play to Gregg, getting Musah to commit to USMNT is a crowning achievement, whatever his legacy as manager ends up being.
 

Brand Name

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Let’s assume we have a function Pulisic on Saturday. What are our chances against the Dutch? They always seem to be so solid.
They play a 3-4-1-2, but can often default to a 5-3-2 with Gakpo* and Klaassen. If you watch EPL you know a few of their backs...van Dijk, Ake, Malacia.

Honestly, Liverpool seems like a decent comp in what they want to do. Their high line is neat to try to fool you into an offside play. USA needs to win on the counterattack. Got to have speed. Thankfully we're a bit smaller this go-around, so I think it's a tactically good matchup for the USA. Not easy, won't be favored in the macro. But it's something. Something else notable...they have no Wijnaldum, and won't. Would be so much scarier, and trust me, I see/saw him all the time with PSG. None of this is big breaking stuff but figured it might be of interest to some.

*Gakpo is one of four to Dutch ever score in three straight WC games, alongside Neeskens (1974), Bergkamp (1994), and Sneijder (2010).
 

Merkle's Boner

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Does Gregg go back to Zimmerman or stick with CCV, who I thought held his own? Gakpo is a different brand of striker, although not necessarily better than Englands crew.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Does Gregg go back to Zimmerman or stick with CCV, who I thought held his own? Gakpo is a different brand of striker, although not necessarily better than Englands crew.
Guessing Zim. And we'll see about Sargent's leg but good chance Ferreira gets his first shot on Saturday. It's a shame if he is injured as this was by far the best I have seen Sargent look for USMNT. Nothing dynamic and not clinical in the final 3rd but the hold up play was very good.
 

SoxFanInCali

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My biggest worry going into the knockout stages is depth and conditioning. If you think it's painful to watch 90+ minutes with our starters gassed and subs playing key roles, just imagine having to potentially go 120+ then penalties.
 

DJnVa

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My biggest worry going into the knockout stages is depth and conditioning. If you think it's painful to watch 90+ minutes with our starters gassed and subs playing key roles, just imagine having to potentially go 120+ then penalties.
Too bad it's not like MLB--change it up between rounds.
 

joe dokes

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They play a 3-4-1-2, but can often default to a 5-3-2 with Gakpo* and Klaassen. If you watch EPL you know a few of their backs...van Dijk, Ake, Malacia.
I love me some Virgil, but he does not appear to be quite the same dominant force since his knee injury.
 

67YAZ

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Does Gregg go back to Zimmerman or stick with CCV, who I thought held his own? Gakpo is a different brand of striker, although not necessarily better than Englands crew.
It’s Gakpo in the form of his life (so far) and crafty ol’ Depay, who got his first start today. I prefer Depay vs CCV + Ream because of his movement in the box opens space for Gakpo to cut into. The CBs & Adams are going to have to be on their toes all day.

Plus, Van Gaal ain’t Southgate. He can and will make effective attacking tweaks.

The question for me is what you do about de Jong. Senegal were happy to let Frenkie get on the ball, dribble about, and turn it over. At least until he sent in the perfect cross for Gakpo to head home. That was total class. But we also don’t want to tie up Musah all day chasing around de Jong.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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How devastating would it be if Pulisic misses the match on Saturday?
If Reyna can go and be effective, than maybe less than one might think. Aaronson / Reyna is a non-severe downgrade. The real problem is that is takes one more body out of the 16 starters plus subs out of the "players who are good" bucket, leaving us more likely to dip into the bucket of random so-so guys.
 

dirtynine

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So you guys have pretty much covered everything. That was excruciating. Us, the fans, did the real work, but I'm also stoked about how this defense looks. Also, Aaronson is going to bust out some ridiculous hacky sack move at some point in the next match (or two?), score, and turn a legion of kids into a new golden generation.

Finally, on Reyna - I don't think he works in a game like this. I think he's perfect against the Dutch. Especially with injuries, I'd be very surprised not to see him start and/or get big minutes.
 

cshea

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If Reyna can go and be effective, than maybe less than one might think. Aaronson / Reyna is a non-severe downgrade. The real problem is that is takes one more body out of the 16 starters plus subs out of the "players who are good" bucket, leaving us more likely to dip into the bucket of random so-so guys.
Thanks, that makes sense.

I hope that picture of him in the hospital isn't 'shopped and is acurate to make it moot anyway. Although if he is impacted, maybe hold him off and use him as a sub?
 

InstaFace

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Do you think I was saying Jozy was a finesse player? Dude looked like he was playing in ski boots in his best moments.
Let's call it a shared lament, I don't think we disagree on anything. But yes, Jozy would bristle at being called a brute-force player (whereas I'm not sure Walker Zimmerman would think it anything but a compliment).
 

Cellar-Door

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ESPN showed this, but nobody can seem to find an actual source on it. Looks photoshopped to me, but who knows.
Source is in the tweet, no clue if it's legit but they pulled it from "AreaSportsNet" which looks like it is a small soccer website that is mostly a collection of people in various cities pooling their work together. That place got it from the Pennsylvania HS kid they tagged, looks like he pulled it off Pulisic's snap chat, which... could be, I don't use Snap.