Sunday, June 9, 2019

Your USMNT Line-Up v Venezuela

With some key guys still being rested, there's not much room to gripe over starters (I am delighted we'll get our first look at Boyd, and against a team that will try to play). Frankly, the more important issue for this final Gold Cup tune-up is cleaning up final third play. I'll be watching that closely

After the game, my USMNT player ratings will be up at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer


dwc414141 said...

Can't recall a 2 game stretch where the team played this poorly in all phases of the game. Can't possess, pass, defend, attack or goal keep

ZackL said...

Jesus. Christ.

DaMa said...

this has not been a great weekend for US soccer. have to wonder just how long GB can continue to go with certain guys who are clearly not good enough. just because they played for him with the crew.

i guess that isnt entirely fair. ream and arriola never played for him.

is there a reason he doesn't like Morris at LW for this setup? Seems tailor made for him.

ZackL said...


That's a good question; I think people will probably point to the fact that it's still early in his tenure, it's only two games, there were a few guys who are absolutely starters who didn't play today or on Wednesday. Yada yada.


Berhalter is clearly a guy with a capital "S" System and he's going to make the guys on the field play in that System, regardless of who's out there. So I'm guessing that Berhalter's logic is that Trapp (and Zardes/Steffen) knows the System and can help the other guys implement it. But I don't think that matters if most of the guys don't fit the System, or vice versa.

There were a lot of bad performances to pick from over the past two games, but people are really going to focus in on Trapp. As they probably should. He was bad, and he probably isn't good enough at the international level. But I think you've also got to consider that he was asked to do too much out there, with little help. And, why is Roldan being used as an ersatz 10? You can certainly chalk up a lot of today to poor individual efforts, but there appear to be structural issues that either aren't being addressed or exacerbated by Berhalter's lineups/tactics.

DaMa said...

Completely agreed that Roldan is miscast as a 10. And probably isnt good enough as an 8 right now, anyway. I think Trapp, Roldan and Arriola clearly cannot play these roles at this level. Maybe someday. The last two matches have shown that it doesn't really matter who is playing with them. If the only way Trapp can succeed is to be surrounding by all of CP, Weston and Tyler... then there are better choices for us.

I have become increasingly worried that GB, while a good coach, is not the kind of coach who can prepare on a short term basis for a short duration tournament. For my money, favoring system over players does not work with our talent pool. Spain can pick and choose. Not the US.

At least Boyd looks like he is worth a continued look. I think he wasn't as good as it seemed he was... but at least you can see how he fits in the system.

ZackL said...

Yeah, Boyd was the best of a bad bunch I suppose. But I think you're right, Berhalter doesn't have the same amount of time with the players as an international coach as he did in the MLS. And that's a problem when you're trying to work guys into a system.

Plus it seems to me that Berhalter is basically trying to replicate what he had in Columbus, which he needs a true 10 like Higuain to do. But there isn't a player like that in the senior pool right now, so he's basically asked Trapp and Roldan to split the difference and it shows.

To your point, Berhalter is clearly a sharp guy with some really good ideas about how the US should play, along with some dumb ones (Hi Tyler Adams at RB!). But he'll never have as much time as he wants to get his ideas across.

I suppose we'll see. I'm confident they'll make it out of the group. What happens after that is anyone's guess at this point.

Dr.Jon said...

@DaMa ad @ZackL I think you are both right, too and when he says something like "you are going to see more bad performances" it underscores that maybe he doesn't understand the international "stage" its requirements and expectations. That makes me worried. Nat coach and club coach are different gigs.

ZackL said...

I mean, he was definitely right about that at least.

Time will tell I guess. It's possible that over the next eight/nine days the guys will really start to "get" it and the system will click into place.

There's also the distinct possibility that the above scenario doesn't happen but we still roll past Guyana and T&T, thereby giving the illusion of progress. The Gold Cup can be deceptive that way.

I don't think we'll really have a sense of how well the team is playing until the Panama game.

And again, beyond the time constraints, it's a personnel issue as well IMO. To my eyes Berhalter's system NEEDS a 10, a true 10. Which we don't have at the moment. So I do wonder how this setup will work even with Pulisic, et al., back in the lineup.

On the whole, I think I like Berhalter. Or maybe I'm just glad to see that we have a coach with some real ideas/ideals about how we should play beyond "SHOW SOME GRIT!". At any rate, there's clearly an issue with the execution in all of this. And if he had been hired say, a year ago, and given real time to iron it all out that would be one thing.

But that's not what happened.

So now we're staring down the barrel of our first competitive games since the WC debacle on the back of two pretty dispiriting defeats. And on top of all that, the players are trying to learn and implement an intricate tactical system more or less on the fly.

Can't say I feel great about where the men's program is right now.

Dr.Jon said...