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US Soccer thread.


Kilmer17
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Yes, Mexico didn't have Lozano, Jimenez, Ochoa or Lainez.  But for this USMNT to put a performance on like that, it was heartening.   I completly expected 3-nil from El Tri. 

 

It wasn't luck... they stood well in defense and both teams fumbled chances (US had good ones).  

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Heck of a game - really happy for these young guys.  GB is going to have some tough decisions to make IMO, and that’s a great problem to have. 

 

I like Miles Robinson (Ream’s lack of pace scared the crap out of me, particularly in the Nation’s League final) and maybe Matthew Hoppe possibly moving to the ‘A’ team.  Turner was on fire through the tourney.  Zardes has surprised me a bit, in a good way.  Pretty solid hold up play. 

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Berhalter is the first coach I have felt added a lot to the team since Arenas.  He seems to be consistently getting the most out of the players with the line ups and the subs. 

 

Turner played amazing throughout the tournament.  I will be surprised if he doesn't get called on some for the qualifiers.  I don't know how you sit a player who performs like that at the national level.  I think our midfield has no good way to control the ball through the middle of the field.  We are forced to go wide to string together passes and lack the ability for quick strings of passes through the middle.  I don't know if that is the result of who we played recently our a failing on our part.  Either our legs seem to get tired or our fail, but it seemed like we just kept giving the ball back to Mexico and Qatar every time we didn't go wide.

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4 hours ago, gbear said:

Berhalter is the first coach I have felt added a lot to the team since Arenas.  He seems to be consistently getting the most out of the players with the line ups and the subs. 

 

Turner played amazing throughout the tournament.  I will be surprised if he doesn't get called on some for the qualifiers.  I don't know how you sit a player who performs like that at the national level.  I think our midfield has no good way to control the ball through the middle of the field.  We are forced to go wide to string together passes and lack the ability for quick strings of passes through the middle.  I don't know if that is the result of who we played recently our a failing on our part.  Either our legs seem to get tired or our fail, but it seemed like we just kept giving the ball back to Mexico and Qatar every time we didn't go wide.

Not that I know much of anything, but…

 

playing with 3 forwards and 4 on defense is going to weaken middle of the pitch play.  On the flip side, 3 forwards allowed more high press and made a difference on our counters.  Calculated gamble, IMO, and one of the reasons we saw Mexico with more possession and chances.  
I have to imagine a part of this decision stemmed from a general lack of creativity and technique out of our midfielders.  I think we started to see our midfielders more involved on the attack as they got a bit more space later in the game (as Mexico’s midfielders started to tire a bit).  
To me, this made the defensive performance that much more impressive.  On the other hand, the pressure it put them under had me pretty darn anxious.  Mexico had some finishing problems thankfully (and Turner was brilliant), which is a part of that calculated gamble.  

If it were me, I’d probably have played a 4-4-2… and that likely would have lost us the game.  

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Fabulous win by the USMNT! Two for two over our biggest rival for hardware both times. Last night even more special in that it was essentially the US “B” team playing, against a Mexico with many first team starters.

 

Ive been a Berhalter critic since his appointment, but about a year and a half ago, he finally went all in on the youth movement, where the best US talent was. This team should continue to be fun to watch, as these young “second stringers” proved that there is a good bit of talent in the US pipeline. Acosta (my choice for player of the tournament), Robinson, and Turner are locks for WC qualifying, IMO, and Busio, Vines, and Gioachini should get a look as well. Biggest disappointment was Dike, who had a chance to lay claim to the striker position, but he’s still young, and has been playing continuously, with no break, for well over a year now.

 

Big contrast between the men’s and women’s teams these past couple weeks. USMNT looks young and hungry, while the USWNT has looked old and slow. Almost all of the men’s top talent is under 25, many under 23. Outside of Davidson, Rose Lavalle is the only player on the women’s team at the olympics under 28, and she is 26. Heath, Lloyd, Rapinoe, Press, Morgan, Sauerbrunn, O’Hara are all in their 30’s, and Ertz, Williams, Mewis, Dunn, Dahlkamper, and Horan are knocking on the door. I don’t think US Soccer has done nearly a good enough job of cycling the talent on the women’s team. They are now staring a full rebuild square on.

Edited by Long n Left
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I see what you mean on the 4-3-3 we were playing causing our mid field to be almost non existent as theirs were able to pass around ours in small triangles.  I liked how our forwards came back for D, but I wonder if it didn't cost us on our ability to finish at the other end.  Now that you mention it, our forwards like Hoppe were running the length of the field a lot tracking back on D and still being a part of the rush.  Tired legs often lead to sloppy passing/shooting.  To some extent, I think that became the story of the game as it went on.  I thought our conditioning was better, and we started winning more and more of the 50/50 balls.  That may be in part because we started a younger team.  

 

Overall, I was shocked how well our D stood up to being run at for most of the first half and a few times in the 2nd.  Playing stopper like I used to (primarily 4-4-2), one of the hardest things to do was slow down an offense running at you in space with numbers.  We gave up shots, but not too many great scoring opportunities.  Then we did a great job cleaning up the crosses.  Then we got lucky they couldn't finish the decent opportunities they had.

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4 minutes ago, gbear said:

I see what you mean on the 4-3-3 we were playing causing our mid field to be almost non existent as theirs were able to pass around ours in small triangles.  I liked how our forwards came back for D, but I wonder if it didn't cost us on our ability to finish at the other end.  Now that you mention it, our forwards like Hoppe were running the length of the field a lot tracking back on D and still being a part of the rush.  Tired legs often lead to sloppy passing/shooting.  To some extent, I think that became the story of the game as it went on.  I thought our conditioning was better, and we started winning more and more of the 50/50 balls.  That may be in part because we started a younger team.  

 

Overall, I was shocked how well our D stood up to being run at for most of the first half and a few times in the 2nd.  Playing stopper like I used to (primarily 4-4-2), one of the hardest things to do was slow down an offense running at you in space with numbers.  We gave up shots, but not too many great scoring opportunities.  Then we did a great job cleaning up the crosses.  Then we got lucky they couldn't finish the decent opportunities they had.

That is where Acosta showed out all tournament. He broke up plenty of action against Canada, Qatar, and Mexico while the other mids were struggling. Lletget is a defensive liability, and Williamson was non existent for large stretches. Things changed for the better last night when Roldan came on for Lletget, and finally Busio for Williamson.

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I agree on Acosta being the player of the tournament if not Turner.  I thought Robinson played exceptionally well too. 

 

I noticed Busio around the ball more in previous games than I did last night.  Wasn't he a late sub?  I remember thinking, "Oh good, he should help provide some pressure."  Of course if I am right and he was one of the late subs, we did put a lot more pressure on Mexico after the subs, so some of the credit should go to all the players who denied options for outlet passes.  Those are the types of improvements most noticed on film afterwards.  I was very impressed with him in the previous game.   I thought Lletget had his worst game and Williamson was invisible for far too long until the Mexican midfield got too tired to make the changes in direction he seems to favor as a way of ball control (often this is very pretty when it works, but frustrating when there is no space and he turns into another opponent). 

 

I wonder if any European scouts look at the players from our team last night and decide they could patch a hole or two in their rosters.  Might we get more players in the over seas pipeline from a tournament of good play like this one was?

Edited by gbear
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2 hours ago, gbear said:

I see what you mean on the 4-3-3 we were playing causing our mid field to be almost non existent as theirs were able to pass around ours in small triangles.  I liked how our forwards came back for D, but I wonder if it didn't cost us on our ability to finish at the other end.  Now that you mention it, our forwards like Hoppe were running the length of the field a lot tracking back on D and still being a part of the rush.  Tired legs often lead to sloppy passing/shooting.  To some extent, I think that became the story of the game as it went on.  I thought our conditioning was better, and we started winning more and more of the 50/50 balls.  That may be in part because we started a younger team.  

 

Overall, I was shocked how well our D stood up to being run at for most of the first half and a few times in the 2nd.  Playing stopper like I used to (primarily 4-4-2), one of the hardest things to do was slow down an offense running at you in space with numbers.  We gave up shots, but not too many great scoring opportunities.  Then we did a great job cleaning up the crosses.  Then we got lucky they couldn't finish the decent opportunities they had.

Yeah, props to Hoppe for coming back on D and still involving himself on the attacks - that dude put on a show wrt fitness.  
I was not happy we left the wings open like we did, but playing more compact with the back 4 did the job as you say.  
 

Great point about maybe some of our young guys get calls from overseas clubs after this showing.  

2 hours ago, Long n Left said:

That is where Acosta showed out all tournament. He broke up plenty of action against Canada, Qatar, and Mexico while the other mids were struggling. Lletget is a defensive liability, and Williamson was non existent for large stretches. Things changed for the better last night when Roldan came on for Lletget, and finally Busio for Williamson.

IMO, our midfielders were given an unenviable task and that was a primary reason they didn’t look so hot.  That seemed to change for a couple reasons - we started being a bit more aggressive when the long balls were played out of the back over our high press, and Mexico’s mids started to tire a bit (and we switched to fresh legs).  I could be wrong though.  
 

I did like Williamson acting as a bit of a bully out there.  Not sure he has the same savvy as some of the others though.  I was a little disappointed in Busio this game - he lost the ball too often for my liking.  My impression could be wrong on both counts though.  
 

Agree with both of you that Acosta was big all tournament.  Speaking of him, he sure does like to chat with the ref, lol.  

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Forgot to add Hoppe to my list of guys that’ll get a good, long look for the WC qualifying. He has some of that swag that Dempsey had. He also played more centrally for Shalke, and could become the answer to the striker problem. Acosta is a gamer. He keeps in the refs ear, niggles the opponents every chance he gets, and just generally makes a nuisance of himself. He’s the guy you hate on the other team, LOVE on yours. He and McKennie will give the national team some real backbone. Also, I kept wondering why he wasn’t taking corners and free kicks. I feel vindicated, as his service, after Lletget left, was yards better.

 

As for Europe, Dike was on loan, and Hoppe is becoming a regular, but I’d imagine a few others might get a look. It’s great for development, but it’s not for everyone. Like my mate told me once, “Italian lads don’t like to get too far from Mama’s kitchen.” Same may be true for some of these kids too. America does hold an allure.
 

If one does go, id love it to be Vines. LB has been a black hole in US men’s soccer for decades now, and I think he’s got some ability. Playing in one of the top 5 leagues could do him wonders possibly.

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  • 2 months later...

Last night's game was a gem.  I was impressed such a young team had that much poise after losing the game before and then going down 1-0 in the first min.  The passing and attack looked creative, and the one touch passing in small spaces was beautiful.  The first goal was a beautiful shot where I almost felt bad for the keeper.  It was the type of goal that as a defender, I would find myself shrugging and saying, "I bet he won't do that again."  The second goal reminded me of a hockey goal, beautiful passing allowing a player with the ball to get close to the goal even if from a poor angle.  Then hit it hard with little space for the keeper to react.  Finally, just smile as the ball crosses the goal line off the deflection. 

 

Again, there were times I thought the back end got a bit cavalier with the ball, and one of those times lead to a one on one with the keeper.  Thankfully, the play was around mid field and their forward looked like he was waiting for an egg timer.  So our defenders caught up before he could do much, but those plays can be killers against a team with a good striker.

 

I thought it was telling that the average age of players on our squad was 21, and theirs was 30.  This was a great showing by a young squad, and it speaks well to the promise of a brighter future for the USMNT.  

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Thanks for bringing this thread back up gbear, almost did so myself after the Sunday night fiasco.

 

Agreed they looked good last night, but they looked just as bad on Sunday in Panama. The most positive thing about last night’s performance was, imo, that they did it without, arguably, their two best attackers, Pulisic and Reyna. This shows just how much young talent there is in the US pipeline right now, and how they are maturing much quicker by going overseas. I thought that Busio, when he came on last night, looked like a much more confident and mature player than he did just a couple months ago. I attribute that to his move to the Italian league.

 

For me, the jury is still out on Berhalter. Sunday was a disaster, and I put that on Gregg for the side he put out there. IMO, Lletget and Zardes should not get another call up. They add nothing to this team, but they are Gregg’s pet players. Lletget and Acosta should never be in a midfield together. When they are, that’s where the ball goes to die. And, Zardes was invisible, again. For me, Zardes is no better than 5th choice #9 for the US right now. My depth chart there would be, Pepi, Dike, Pefok, and Sargent. 
 

Arriola is another Berhalter favorite. He is a try hard guy, but, like Zardes, should be well down the pecking order for US wingers, imo. He was slated to start a third straight game last night, before tweaking his groin in pregame warmups, leading to Weah getting the start, and the game winner.

 

Great win by the kids last night, and much needed after losing at Panama. I’m interested in seeing what happens with Jesse Marsch. He’s the guy I’d love to have leading this young, talented US roster. He’s struggling now at Leipzig, but was dominant at Salzburg, where he worked with lots of talented, yet very young sides. 
 

The future of US soccer is certainly bright, but the question is if Berhalter is the one to lead them to fulfilling their promise.

Edited by Long n Left
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