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USMNT Soccer. Let’s Talk About It

No one REALLY wants to talk about what we saw from the USMNT Soccer. But we have to. We really do. Especially since we’re heading into the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Will they right the ship? Is Berhalter way above his head? What can we expect starting next week? Just so many concerning unknowns. It’s scary!

So lets diving in head first into the state of USMNT soccer.

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USMNT vs Jamaica

Woof! The Jamaica match was, in a word U-G-L-Y. These matches were supposed to be the tune up games for the 2019 Gold Cup, so it’s not really a surprise that there were some less than usual strategies and lineup moves.

Let’s look a bit at the Jamaica match:

  • The lineup – No surprise that this was more of an experimental lineup. The fact that it didn’t include the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, John Brooks, yadda, yadda, yadda; tells you that this wasn’t the USMNT’s “A Squad”. Actually, it probably wasn’t even their B Squad. Solid C squad in my opinion.
  • Zach Steffen. So our presumed #1 goalkeeper is going to Manchester City. Yeah, this guy isn’t at that level of quality. Probably why Man City will immediately send him out on loan. BUT his absolute blunder with the ball at his feet, which almost resulted in a Jamaican goal. He occasionally flashes brilliance, but I’m wondering if his mental game has matured.
  • So apparently Berhalter’s strength as a head coach is that he is supposedly a great soccer mind when it comes to tactics. Well, I haven’t seen any tactics that impress me. There was no flow to this game from the US. No impressive ball possession, no aggressiveness on the offensive end. Just blah, meh and maybe even gross! Maybe it’s just that Berhalter hasn’t found the right players for his system. Obviously, this will not be the line up of choice. What say you? Comment below!

Line Up Bombshell!

I had a bad taste in my mouth even before the USA vs Venezuela match. Reason being head coach Gregg Berhalter was forced to submit his 23 man roster for the 2019 Gold Cup before midnight on June 5th, 2019. The day of the Jamaican match. Surprising everyone, he leaves off 19 year old Josh Sargent. His reason, he wasn’t’ “sharp”. Ugh! 

So the player that you played 90 minutes vs Jamaica wasn’t “sharp”? What is the USMNT ultimate goal? I’ll give you one guess………. Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. So that’s 3 years away. You drop Sargent and leave 29 year old Jozy Altidore on the roster? Altidore will be 33 when the 2022 World Cup arrives. Why aren’t we using these competitions to develop our young talent such as Josh Sargent? Annnnnnnnd Berhalter did Sargent a huge disservice by cutting him. If Berhalter knew that Sargent didn’t have a cemented spot on the roster why bring him into camp? He could have been with the u23s at the World Cup playing vs Ecuador in the quarterfinal.

Okay. I vented. I sort of feel better. But then Venezuela happened.

It Got Worse!

Here’s the final tune up match for the Gold Cup. Venezuela is much more of a formidable opponent than Jamaica and we have what Berhalter believes are the USMNT’s best available players for his system and the Gold Cup (minus Pulisic and Tyler Adams).

YIKES! This performance by the USMNT was worse than what they showed vs Jamaica. Here are my main issues that USMNT showed in this match

  • Defense wins championships – Too bad the USMNT’s defense didn’t show up. I’ve never seen a more unorganized group. They were lackadaisical, lazy and pathetic. That might seem harsh, but go back and watch the Venezuela’s goals. Just terrible defending and marking
  • HE DID IT AGAIN! For the second consecutive match, Zach Steffen made an absolute blunder with his feet. Just as in the match vs Jamaica, he was WAY too casual with the ball at his feet and made an error and played a balld directly to a Venezuelan player. Only this time it resulted in a goal for Venezuela. These mental mistakes are making me believe he’s not the USMNT clear #1 goalkeeper. Want to talk more Zach Steffen? Here’s more.
  • So the USMNT starting line up consisted of three Columbus Crew players. Zach Steffen (even though he’s on his way to Man City only to be loaned to somewhere in Siberia or somewhere similar), Gyasi Zardes (don’t get me started on his first touch. I’ve seen better on my son’s u7 team) and Will Trapp. None showed me anything. If Will Trapp is the USA’s captain, then they’re in BIG, BIG trouble. Trapp disappeared for this entire game. Not something you expect from your captain and center midfielder. Oh and did you know head coach Gregg Berhalter’s last job was head coach of the Columbus Crew? Yeah, let that settle in while thinking about this roster choices.

Here….. WE….. Go

The USMNT opens the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday, June 18th at 10pm vs Guyana. FIFA ranks them as 172 in the world. USA should roll, right? Well, I don’t know how anyone can feel confident right now. The past two matches haven’t given the US fans anything to get excited about. They’ve left off some their youngest stars, they’re not playing with any passion or urgency and I’m not seeing the tactics that everyone talks about when they think of Gregg Berhalter.

 

Predictions

Do I have too? Ughhhhhhh!! USA 2 Guyana 0

Cheers!

Bryan

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