World Cup Qualifying

Crusaders

Moderator
Reyna's out for Dortmund till October, so it's very unlikely he's available for the next window. Looks like an opportunity for Aaronson to continue to shine.

Chelsea has Pulisic out for 10 days. A bit encouraging there.

Dest suffered a minor ankle sprain and isn't expected to miss much time. Should be available for the next window.

Yunus Musah is back playing for Valenica. He's another RW/CAM option with Reyna likely out.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Joe Scally’s stock seems to be on the rise. Plays RB for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga. Been arguably their best player so far this year. With Dest’s injury, he could see some action
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Camp roster announced today:

Detailed Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS
(3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 23/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 10/0)

DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United; 4/0), John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 45/3), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 13/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 7/0), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 11/1), Tim Ream(Fulham/ENG; 46/1), Chris Richards(Hoffenheim/GER; 3/0), Antonee Robinson(Fulham/ENG; 15/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 12/2), DeAndre Yedlin(Galatasaray/TUR; 67/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta(Colorado Rapids; 40/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 17/1), Gianluca Busio(Venezia/ITA; 6/0), Luca de la Torre(Heracles/NED: 3/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 32/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 25/7), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 6/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 28/0)

FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 10/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 8/0), Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca/ESP; 5/1), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 1/1), Timothy Weah (Lille/FRA; 13/1), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 62/14)


Reyna and Pulisic out due to injury as expected. A bit surprised to see Yedlin there over Joe Scally. Maybe next time
 

Auggie

Well-known member
The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica are in Austin tonight to kick off the next group of qualifiers, worried this is a trap game as @ Panama and Costa Rica can command attention. Could be a slow start as this group gets back on its feet after a rough start.

By the way, tickets are still available for the 10/13 game in Columbus against Costa Rica.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
This biggest issues for this window are:

1. Berhalter. He’s the type of coach who gains favorites and sticks with them even when they’re not the best option. Guys like Zardes, Lletget, Ream, and Arriola shouldn’t even be there yet will probably get significant PT this window, possibly even tonight. His tactics are also very MLS, commit too much to defending, and hold the attack back quite a bit.

2. Adjusting the attack with Pulisic and Reyna out. Aaronson will now be “the guy”. Hopefully Musah, Hoppe, and Pepi also get involved.

Luckily they have Jamaica and Panama first this window. They should be able to win those games and in the process figure things out before having to play Costa Rica
 

Chop Stix

Well-known member
Disappointing not to get the red card in the first minute of that match but Pepi delivered 2 huge goals in the 2nd half to put the result to bed for the US.

Very solid all-around performance I'd say.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Solid result against probably the weakest side in the the group, take it and move on. It was great seeing the youngsters contribute too, is Pepi the answer at striker for the next 10 years? A lot of young talent was on the field last night and the play looked more Euro to me than MLS, could be the opponent but bottom line is it is a good thing.

In related news Mexico draws with Canada in Stadium Azteca... with fans in the stands for the first time in over two years due to Covid and punishment for anti-gay chants. But of course the ref had to stop the game because of their a-hole fan's behavior and homophobic chants, they need to do something about the boorish behavior by these "fans". Nonetheless Canada is in a good place with ties on the road at Mexico and US; looking at the table they appear to have an inside lane to one of the three auto qualifiers to Qatar. Panama and Costa Rica, the other teams in the mix for that third spot, have some work to do which makes the next two US matches very interesting.
 

Chop Stix

Well-known member
US suffers a disappointing performance/result last night at Panama.

I know squad rotation is a key component of playing 3 matches in 7 days, but it seems as if Berhalter completely whiffed on last night's team selection.

Costa Rica in Columbus is now a must-win on Wednesday.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Berhalter getting beat up about the lineup, the three matches in 7 days makes for line up juggling but 18 year olds are usually in great shape and can take the physical aspect. Got to win the Costa Rica game, a tie will not be a good result.
 

soccerdad72

Well-known member
Hopefully, it continues tonight - we've got our tickets. Unfortunately, the last WCQ game in Columbus didn't go as well as prior ones (losing to Mexico in 2018).
 

Chop Stix

Well-known member
Far from a flawless performance but still a deserved win for the US tonight.

Still a bit worried about how we'll compete (and particularly defend) against Mexico.
 

cjb5656

Well-known member
Far from a flawless performance but still a deserved win for the US tonight.

Still a bit worried about how we'll compete (and particularly defend) against Mexico.
I get that Mexico is the main rival and historic power in CONCACAF, but that’s setting a pretty low bar for the USA. When was the last time Mexico has done anything in a World Cup? Somehow, some way the USA has to approach the level of the Euro teams if they have any designs on being a true World Cup factor someday.
 

Chop Stix

Well-known member
I get that Mexico is the main rival and historic power in CONCACAF, but that’s setting a pretty low bar for the USA. When was the last time Mexico has done anything in a World Cup? Somehow, some way the USA has to approach the level of the Euro teams if they have any designs on being a true World Cup factor someday.

I agree that the long term goal should be to surpass Mexico's recent WC accomplishments, but it's particularly important that we beat them in our next match because:

1) We didn't beat Mexico in the final round of 2018 WCQ and we missed out on the WC as a result (in addition to several other bad performances).

2) Mexico is the only other "good" team in CONCACAF, hence they are the measuring stick for how we would compete against other "good" teams in meaningful competitions. We need to be consistently beating them on home soil and at least competing with them for 90 minutes when we play in Mexico.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
I get that Mexico is the main rival and historic power in CONCACAF, but that’s setting a pretty low bar for the USA. When was the last time Mexico has done anything in a World Cup? Somehow, some way the USA has to approach the level of the Euro teams if they have any designs on being a true World Cup factor someday.
Mexico is the primary rival; the way they run their national team is very bush league and their fans are the worst. Beating them never sucks. If the US was to not qualify but beat Mexico twice and keep them from qualifying would be just as satisfying.

That being said the match yesterday was key. While Costa Rica is one of the oldest sides in CONCACAF they are much respected and after the poor showing in Panama three points was very important, the US side is the opposite of Costa Rica, the youngest team in CONCACAF and they were missing their best playmaker. Now they get Mexico at home in 4 weeks. I hope they are at full strength and the Cincy crowd is very spirited, I also hope none of the FC Cincinnati season ticket holders sell their tickets on the secondary market as many Mexican fans are trying to buy tickets this way for the game.
 

soccerdad72

Well-known member
Mexico has not been looking great in many of these matches either. They're getting results, but they're not the powerful team that they used to be. I think if the US can be at full strength (it helps that the Mexico match is the first one of the next two matches), combined with a home field advantage and (hopefully) some iffy Ohio weather, they can pull out 3 points from this one.

They're 5 points clear of 5th place right now, so they're in pretty good position to qualify (albeit, they haven't played Mexico so far).
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Convinced the soccer gods were on our side last night with Arriola pulling a groin in warm ups. The dude should be the last choice winger yet likely would’ve played over 200 minutes this window. Completely ridiculous. Why Berhalter is fixated on the guy is a complete mystery.

Dest was a beast last night. Might be his best performance for the US.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind about this team is how insanely young it is. The oldest starter last night was 26, the keeper. The oldest outfield players were 24, Antonee and Miles Robinson. Pepi is 18. Dest is 20. Aaronson is 20. Pulisic is 23. Reyna is 18. They won’t be in their prime this cycle but could still be a real dark horse.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
To me the story of this WC Qualifying is Canada, getting ties at Mexico and US opened some eyes. They too get Mexico at home the next window and taking a page out of the US playbook they are playing in Edmonton in November, hopefully it will be snowing or at the least sub 30 and windy. The Mexicans better pack their parkas for the next window. Don't forget Canada gets to host a group in 2026 so they could be set up for a nice run too.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Convinced the soccer gods were on our side last night with Arriola pulling a groin in warm ups. The dude should be the last choice winger yet likely would’ve played over 200 minutes this window. Completely ridiculous. Why Berhalter is fixated on the guy is a complete mystery.

Dest was a beast last night. Might be his best performance for the US.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind about this team is how insanely young it is. The oldest starter last night was 26, the keeper. The oldest outfield players were 24, Antonee and Miles Robinson. Pepi is 18. Dest is 20. Aaronson is 20. Pulisic is 23. Reyna is 18. They won’t be in their prime this cycle but could still be a real dark horse.
At this time I am most worried about the back line. Would love to see Brooks come back for the next window.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Edmonton in November will be cold. Nights are already freezing. I think the only major city of a similar latitude in the world is Moscow. So yeah. Cold.

The US plays them at the end of January. At that point it just might be too cold to try to play outside. Might get lucky and play in Vancouver.
 
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Crusaders

Moderator
At this time I am most worried about the back line. Would love to see Brooks come back for the next window.

Their best back line right now is
Antonee—Richards—Miles—Dest
which they played for the first time last night. Brooks is good for his club but hasn’t really ever brought the same level of play for the US
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Their best back line right now is
Antonee—Richards—Miles—Dest
which they played for the first time last night. Brooks is good for his club but hasn’t really ever brought the same level of play for the US
Could use his height, especially on set pieces.
 

soccerdad72

Well-known member
I thought Miles was pretty good in the backline last night, keeping in mind at times, he was the only one back there as they pushed up nearly the whole team trying to score on a Costa Rica team that essentially parked the bus from the 2nd minute up to Weah's goal.

I love Brooks and think he's a beast, but I agree, his recent appearances for the USMNT have not been great.
 

Chop Stix

Well-known member
To me the story of this WC Qualifying is Canada, getting ties at Mexico and US opened some eyes. They too get Mexico at home the next window and taking a page out of the US playbook they are playing in Edmonton in November, hopefully it will be snowing or at the least sub 30 and windy. The Mexicans better pack their parkas for the next window. Don't forget Canada gets to host a group in 2026 so they could be set up for a nice run too.

I've become a fan of Canada over the past few months.

They scored some impressive goals last night.

Their best starting XI can beat anyone in CONCACAF but they have a steeper drop in talent than USA and Mexico once they have to go to the bench.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
I do think he needs to go. A guy who can take proper advantage of the skillset available would make this team one of the most entertaining to watch in the world. Gregg being a defensive-minded manager is the wrong guy
 

Auggie

Well-known member
I do think he needs to go. A guy who can take proper advantage of the skillset available would make this team one of the most entertaining to watch in the world. Gregg being a defensive-minded manager is the wrong guy
Who do you recommend? Are there any young guys out there that could fill the bill and be able to stick around for some time? We seem to be running through national coaches quite frequently but then again it seem every country does this too.
 
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