Ukraine vs Wales June 5th

loca2874

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Ukraine and Wales meet at 10:30 central time this Sunday. Whoever wins will face the USMNT at 1 p.m. Central on November 21st. The game between Ukraine and Wales will be televised on ESPN2.
 

Li'l Eric Coley

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Who would you rather face? A war-torn country playing balls-out? Or Gareth Bale with his last chance at glory? Both will be extremely motivated.
 
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loca2874

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Who would you rather face? A war-torn country playing balls-out? Or Gareth Bale with his last chance at glory? Both will be extremely motivated.
That is a tough one. Wales is Ranked 18th and Ukraine is ranked 27th in the world. You're right they are both motivated. Wales is a tough opponent, but I believe Ukraine is playing better ball. I would say Wales is who I would rather play but I will be pulling for Ukraine.
 

mcane

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I’m excited for the WC but it falls at the end of football and start of basketball.
 
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quincy101

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Either one will be a tough opponent in Group Stage, although I, too, would rather see Wales. A nice win vs Morocco but Uruguay is a whole different thing. With Beer?halter continuing to "experiment" with line-ups even at this late date (3 guys with 1st caps), it's still all about line-ups.

Sean Johnson in goal? I expect him to get bombed and give up at least 3, particularly with Yedlin on the right. Would rather see Palmer-Brown. It would be nice to score but it's doubtful vs Uruguay. Final score: Ur-3 USA-0 is my prediction. Hope I'm wrong. A win would be more encouraging than Morocco.
 

quincy101

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Well, I was wrong about the score, and Sean Johnson played well. I'm always concerned about our back-line and yesterday didn't ease my concern. Long & Palmer-Brown looked shaky. Carter-Vickers looked OK, but Scally(age 19 w/ few caps) didn't. At least we'll have A. Robinson start on the left, Zimmerman in the middle and either Dest or Chris Richards on the right.

Then there's our strikers. Ferreira drives me crazy. He's caught the Timo Werner disease: always close but rarely the cigar. Haji Wright: apparently not! Beer?halter has given Jordan Pefok two 15 minute chances in the last 1 1/2 years. Maybe it's time for a longer look. If we get Reyna, Dest & McKennie match fit & back to start in Nov., it will ease my worried mind.
 

loca2874

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Two things bothered me during that game.

1. Our inability to finish in the box
2. Allowing Uruguay to control the second half

We are playing people like Scally that will not be on the final roster. I am sure that some of this is so that we dont get players injured before November. The warmup games that they will schedule in October and November are going to be the games that catch my eye. All focus right now is on Wales.
 

TU_BLA

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I thought the back line played fairly well. Uruguay did open up Scally quite a bit in that he was getting caught too central and Uruguay had 2-3 acres of space on that wide side. Zimmerman and Long are fine in the middle and I'm actually shocked Zimmerman is not getting more talk to move overseas. Hell, Manchester United plays 2 freaking statues in the center back spots and Zimmerman can outplay both of them (when they play Maguire and Lindhelof back there...not Varane). I thought Yedlin was effective. I expect Dest and Robinson to be the 2 full backs that start but Cannon and Yedlin and maybe Richards will provide some quality depth behind them. Once Berhalter figures out who the 9 is and who's going to be in the best form, this team will click. The creativity, speed, athleticism are all superior to most teams. Mexico couldn't slow this group of Uruguayans down at all and the US looked like the better team for long stretches of the game.

Let's talk Pulisic. Teams absolutely fear him on the ball which is why their strategy is to bite at his ankles every chance they get to slow him down just a bit. His quality and vision on the ball is astounding. Weah's speed gives teams fits. Ferreira was really good in finding space and getting into the space you want your 9 to find. He needs to be more clinical in his finishes.

I full on expect the US to play a B side in the game against Grenada.
 
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nevadanatural

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I thought the back line played fairly well. Uruguay did open up Scally quite a bit in that he was getting caught too central and Uruguay had 2-3 acres of space on that wide side. Zimmerman and Long are fine in the middle and I'm actually shocked Zimmerman is not getting more talk to move overseas. Hell, Manchester United plays 2 freaking statues in the center back spots and Zimmerman can outplay both of them (when they play Maguire and Lindhelof back there...not Varane). I thought Yedlin was effective. I expect Dest and Robinson to be the 2 full backs that start but Cannon and Yedlin and maybe Richards will provide some quality depth behind them. Once Berhalter figures out who the 9 is and who's going to be in the best form, this team will click. The creativity, speed, athleticism are all superior to most teams. Mexico couldn't slow this group of Uruguayans down at all and the US looked like the better team for long stretches of the game.

Let's talk Pulisic. Teams absolutely fear him on the ball which is why their strategy is to bite at his ankles every chance they get to slow him down just a bit. His quality and vision on the ball is astounding. Weah's speed gives teams fits. Ferreira was really good in finding space and getting into the space you want your 9 to find. He needs to be more clinical in his finishes.

I full on expect the US to play a B side in the game against Grenada.
Are you talking about Miles Robinson at fullback? My understanding is he tore an Achilles and those don’t rehab quickly. I don’t expect him to be available in November.
 

TU_BLA

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Are you talking about Miles Robinson at fullback? My understanding is he tore an Achilles and those don’t rehab quickly. I don’t expect him to be available in November.
You're right. He'd be my preferred choice but he won't be available. I forgot he tore his achilles in an MLS game.
 

HuffyCane

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Who plays on the back line doesn’t come down to individual performance at this point.

This is essentially a farewell tour. Its been decided. These late editions are just courtesy subs, subs to avoid injury, depth for meaningless tournaments, and contingency subs so if the real players get hurt replacements aren’t shocked coming into camp cold.

Whether it’s 1992, 2002, or 2022 this lockerroom is worse than high school. Bruce Arena famously cut Heath Pearce for sitting down alone at an empty lunch table knowing that players he wanted to get to know better would be sitting there in a few minutes. You don’t have a good season at Ajax and go to the World Cup. You have to fit the program and then survive the pledge to the fraternity. It’s too late for that now. This was one of the things that JK was talking about when it came to upsetting the culture.

Guys like Haji Wright that getting invited in are usually one of two things and he is probably both. He’s there because Weston McKinnie wants him there and CP wants him because he has the speed to draw 2 or 3 and give CP room to maneuver. And he used to be part of the development program. It makes the soccercrats and youth coaching machine look bad when the 9 is stinking it up and you’ve got a guy that used to be part of the pool in his teens having a serviceable year somewhere. They start putting internal pressure on for courtesy caps to make themselves look good after the fact. Brian Ching, Will Bruin, CJ Sapong and other fringe strikers are good examples of this.

Pefok and Brooks missing is apparently tied to past vocal dissent in practice regarding US tactics being employed in training that they feel to be primitive or ineffective.

So who and how the backline plays started years ago. The process of learning how to communicate and play together doesn’t start in a couple of camps unless you have no other choice. A lot of the pros will tell you the back line communication is better at the international level because the guys have known each other since their teens. Compared to a club where guys come and go.

Thats why I think things are way too disjointed at this point for us to have a deep run iyam.

We have no idea who the keeper is and we have no idea whether Gio can play at this point. And that causes all kinds of havoc to the back line. You aren’t going to decide on a starter on the line unless the keeper is cool with it. And we don’t know who that is. You dont play anyone behind Weston that he doesn’t approve of. And you don’t play anyone there that doesn’t fit in support of Weston’s best role no matter how influential the player is who wants input on teammates and lineups. See generally Donovan, L.

Playing Weston as a sitter makes no sense, but we are faced with that if you’ve got Gio, Aaronson, CP and Weah on the field at the same time. Playing Weston as a true 8 with that lineup and forward means there’s acres of space behind on the counter. So Aaronson is either on the bench or playing 70/20 minutes in support of CP if you think the physicality of Weston is what you need in a game. So you can’t be playing statues at the center back. They are going to have be able to man mark Jamie Vardy and Gareth Bale. I’m sorry but that’s a nut punching job for Zimmerman and we have nobody else who can hang. So that means Weston’s deep probably and wants someone whose been in camp that’s a proven communicator for the switches. So that means who can do that, but also has the foot pairing with Zimmerman. That likely Steffen and maybe Turner trusts. That tells me it’s Long. Not any of these scrubs.

We also need to talk about Musah’s decision making, his over confidence and missed opportunities to pass more effectively in favor of breaking down one or two defenders then getting stranded into closed space and a turnover. Somebody needs to tell him that the ball moves faster than him. Or run the prima donna in passing drills until he gets the message. The game is easy watching on TV, but TV also shows his teammates expressions when the are calling for through play down a seam and he decides to angle on the dribble away from space. CP most notably.
 
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HuffyCane

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Two things bothered me during that game.

1. Our inability to finish in the box
2. Allowing Uruguay to control the second half

We are playing people like Scally that will not be on the final roster. I am sure that some of this is so that we dont get players injured before November. The warmup games that they will schedule in October and November are going to be the games that catch my eye. All focus right now is on Wales.
It’s shocking how poor we break down teams. Wales sees this and that’s why they’ve openly told the media, both coaches and players, that the game is winnable and they expect to win. If that happens, we would need to beat England to go through. Not sure that’s happening unless they bring Robert Green in goal again.

We got some athletic guys that can run to space with the ball and play off the volley. That’s not enough. Dont be fooled. Ferreira seems to have vision and a knack and that helps, but won’t get you a goal at the next level. Ask Wondo. And we’ve got nobody that can play back to goal as a 9 except Weah as an emergency striker. And don’t be surprised if that happens in the Fall for at least part of one game.
 

loca2874

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It’s shocking how poor we break down teams. Wales sees this and that’s why they’ve openly told the media, both coaches and players, that the game is winnable and they expect to win. If that happens, we would need to beat England to go through. Not sure that’s happening unless they bring Robert Green in goal again.

We got some athletic guys that can run to space with the ball and play off the volley. That’s not enough. Dont be fooled. Ferreira seems to have vision and a knack and that helps, but won’t get you a goal at the next level. Ask Wondo. And we’ve got nobody that can play back to goal as a 9 except Weah as an emergency striker. And don’t be surprised if that happens in the Fall for at least part of one game.
Well what is he going to say to the press? “We are going to get molly whopped by all three teams? No absolutely not. He just said that the team that shares the same island will be a tough contest and the ones that aren’t on that island that can’t just run over and admonish him are winnable. Wales needs to consider themselves lucky that they won that game as Ukraine played a better game. If we go 1-1-1 on the group then we will advance, depending on goal differential. Wales is a tough team, I just don’t see them advancing. As long as we beat Iran, we should be in good shape.
All of this depends on the team we take.
 
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