World Cup Qualifying

Tu Geo

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US men's national team looked amazing against Mexico in the second half.

Do I dare say world class???

GO TU!!!!
 
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quincy101

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Maybe not now, but I expect them to be rollin by the end of qualification. For me, making the knockout round will do wonders to erase the stain of failure last cycle. However, I'll still be a happy camper just to make it to the WC Finals.
 

quincy101

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Looks like Zach Steffen will start tonight. CP will likely start but no one knows but Beer?halter how many minutes he'll play. And Chris Richards will likely start in place of the red-carded M. Robinson. Fine with me. I also expect Acosta to start in place of McKinnie-yipes!
 

TU_BLA

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Looks like Zach Steffen will start tonight. CP will likely start but no one knows but Beer?halter how many minutes he'll play. And Chris Richards will likely start in place of the red-carded M. Robinson. Fine with me. I also expect Acosta to start in place of McKinnie-yipes!
They don't play the same position. I'd like to see Aaronson drop into McKennie's role and push Pulisic out left, with Pepi and Weah. You could also see Lletget in that spot in place of McKennie, alongside Musah or Busio. Would like to see Cannon at the RB position in place of Yedlin for this one (it's nice to have quality options for a change). I'd like to see Richards as well but fear we will get a Zimmerman/McKenzie combo at CB for this one.
 

Gold*

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Not good. Not a lot of effort or energy. I don’t like Steffen. Turner just creates more energy. We need five or six guys back. Dear, Reyna, McKinnie, Brooks, and Robinson.

We may have been bailed out by officials.

I like Pepi, but why does he play so much? I think Sargent, Dike, or even Zardes would have shown something.

There is an issue with all these international players coming back, jet lagged, sucking one of the games, and then all the

I always think Bobbie Reid is the Bobbie Reid.

I like the Paramount + broadcast most, but it’s sure damn hard to find the game on that platform.
 

drboobay

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We looked like world beaters the first 15 minutes but that Jamaica goal changed the game completely. Sub pattern was weird.
 

TU_BLA

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Not good. Not a lot of effort or energy. I don’t like Steffen. Turner just creates more energy. We need five or six guys back. Dear, Reyna, McKinnie, Brooks, and Robinson.

We may have been bailed out by officials.

I like Pepi, but why does he play so much? I think Sargent, Dike, or even Zardes would have shown something.

There is an issue with all these international players coming back, jet lagged, sucking one of the games, and then all the

I always think Bobbie Reid is the Bobbie Reid.

I like the Paramount + broadcast most, but it’s sure damn hard to find the game on that platform.
Exactly what I was thinking on the energy and urgency. It's like this game was a throw away for the US. And same in Turner vs Steffen. Steffen, IMO, gets caught unaware and flat footed way too many times in situations like that. And we played the way we played in the Gold Cup...always taking the easy way out and playing back without even looming to see if there is a way forward. It happened a lot last night.

Canada may win the group. Mexico's glaring weakness and vulnerability reared its head all night last night. They simply aren't good defenders on the outside and Canada's (and the US') outside speed exposed and took advantage of that weakness.

Panama fought out a win. I think the top 4 will stay the top 4. Who stays out of the 4th spot will be the big question. US must now win its games vs Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica (CRC is a hot mess right now). A draw in Canada or in Mexico is a bonus. Win at home vs Panama. Hopefully by then Dest is back.
 

quincy101

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Both CP & Weston McKennie start in a group stage match yesterday but unfortunately for Juventus & Wes M., they get thumped by the reigning European champs: 4-0. Neither got a point (CP played 70 mins. & WM the full 90) but they both did very well. Chelsea should win the group with Juve in 2nd place & both advancing to the knockout round of the Champions League.
 

TU_BLA

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Not CONCACAF related but either Portugal or Italy will miss the World Cup next year as they were both drawn into the same playoff group for one of the last 3 UEFA spots.
 

Gmoney4WW

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Not CONCACAF related but either Portugal or Italy will miss the World Cup next year as they were both drawn into the same playoff group for one of the last 3 UEFA spots.
That sucks for them. Was there a weak group that let's somebody in less deserving?
 

TU_BLA

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That sucks for them. Was there a weak group that let's somebody in less deserving?
Portugal lost to Serbia on the last match day which bumped them to second in the group. They also had a questionable draw in the group stage. Italy had some questionable group stage results after they won Euro 2020. I don't think the playoff draws had any seeding to it and was blind. There will be some other traditional WC participants who miss out like Russia or Sweden.
 

TU_BLA

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While no part of the current pool, Bobby Wood scored a winner vs Seattle last Tuesday night coming on as a sub, and today vs Sporting KC, he scored a fantastic goal in stoppage time to send Real Salt Lake to the conference finals. Real Salt Lake needed a stoppage time goal in their final regular season game to get into the playoffs.

Another interesting stat, Real Salt Lake has scored 8 stoppage time goals this season. That's unheard of. Wood can still score.
 

quincy101

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Add one more feather in CP's cap. Chelsea, for which he plays(sometimes), wins the Club of the Year award at the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony last night in Paris. Kind of a big deal in world futbol, although this particular award is new.

Anyway, add this to CP's Champion League win & his resume continues to grow. I think he will get lots of minutes in the next couple of weeks since Chelsea is busy, has some injury issues and CP is getting match fit.
 

TU_BLA

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These awards are fishy. Messi wins the Ballon d'Or because Argentina won Copa America but really Messi hasn't been all that great in the past year. Lewandoski was the best player in the world last year and it wasn't really close. Guys like Kante, Ronaldo, Jorginho were all really good but Lewandoski was out of this world last year. The other person who didn't seem to get much attention but may be the hottest goal scorer in the world right now is Erling Haaland. Messi seems to have been a sentimental choice but he just wasn't the best player last year.
 

HuffyCane

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I've been following Jesse Marsch's career since Huffy turned me on to him. He has RB Leipzig in the Ch Lg but unfortunately in a group with Man City & PSG. City might beat them up but PSG (with M'Bappe & Neymar-no Messi today) gets all they want from Leipzig. Today's match in Leipzig had them up 1-0 after 8 mins & missing a PK after 10.

PSG tied it up & then took the lead when a linesman was too slow to see a pass that was offsides in their build-up. Late on, Leipzig wins a penalty & converts this time for a 2-2 final. As noted above, Leipzig had a lead on PSG after 60 or so minutes in the first leg but lost on 2 PKs from Messi.

Leipzig will not advance to the knock-out round but I really like Marsch's attacking style. He even got a yellow card for protesting a foul call. I can't imagine Beer?halter with that much fire in the belly. PSG knows how tough his guys are to play.

While 8th in the Bundesliga, they are only 3 points out of 4th place. I hope they start moving up the table for Jesse Marsch's & Tyler Adams sake. Adams is a fixture in Marsch's central midfield. Can a guy dream that one day Jesse Marsch will replace Beer?halter and coach the USMNT?
Marsch out at RB. It will be interesting to see what happens if he doesn’t immediately take another club job. Somebody with the lack of club experience like Berhalter might buckle under the upward pressure to perform or give Jesse the reins. Berhalter has reason to be comfortable. He’s got us on track to qualify and his bosses all played with him and were all better than Jesse who also played during that era. That too could be an interesting story line.
 

HuffyCane

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I like the Paramount + broadcast most, but it’s sure damn hard to find the game on that platform.
I was listening to an interview the other day of a tech guy who made his billions rebuilding and redesigning successful apps to enhance user experience and hold off competing apps.

He said the drive by ESPN and other providers to lock up as much content as possible is not only because live programming is in demand, but that ESPN and others view the app as a funnel to drive viewers to repeated promos of high profit events to increase their likelihood they will purchase those events. Basically that the app is INTENTIONALLY a disorganized mess and that you can’t find the Indian cricket or Tulsa soccer you want and the SEC championship game isn’t on the cover page but Austin Peay vs Colgate is, because the app knows from repeated use what it is you are probably looking for and it wants you to have to X out of a promo for the UFC fight tonight twice, plus view a banner about it twice before you finally find your game through the not readily accessible search function.

We live in dangerous times. We spend more time with machines than people and now they are built to trick or exploit you for other people’s profit.
 

quincy101

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Berhalter has reason to be comfortable. He’s got us on track to qualify and his bosses
Sure, Beer?halter will get canned if we fail to qualify, but he has to feel comfy due to the players he has, with more int'l experience than ever before, and, IMO, players who will be successful despite his system and coaching. And helping him to be comfy is the bizarre, if not simply rigged manner in which he was hired in the first place.

As a reminder, 20 applicants applied, 3 were interviewed including Beer?halter and Tata (although even I prefer Beer?halter to Tata Martinez). Among others, David Moyes, current coach of West Ham-a solid 4th in the EPL after knocking off Chelsea & CP, never got an interview. Also, we were without a head coach for 13 months which it took them to officially name Beer?halter the man. Also, one of the guys making the decision was another guy named Beer?halter-Greg's brother- a highly placed official in the USSF at the time.

Yes, I believe that a great coach can make a poor team more successful ( and vice versa). But it will be, in the USMNT situation, not because they have a great coach, but rather the players-if he chooses to use them-to make him successful.
 

TU_BLA

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Sure, Beer?halter will get canned if we fail to qualify, but he has to feel comfy due to the players he has, with more int'l experience than ever before, and, IMO, players who will be successful despite his system and coaching. And helping him to be comfy is the bizarre, if not simply rigged manner in which he was hired in the first place.

As a reminder, 20 applicants applied, 3 were interviewed including Beer?halter and Tata (although even I prefer Beer?halter to Tata Martinez). Among others, David Moyes, current coach of West Ham-a solid 4th in the EPL after knocking off Chelsea & CP, never got an interview. Also, we were without a head coach for 13 months which it took them to officially name Beer?halter the man. Also, one of the guys making the decision was another guy named Beer?halter-Greg's brother- a highly placed official in the USSF at the time.

Yes, I believe that a great coach can make a poor team more successful ( and vice versa). But it will be, in the USMNT situation, not because they have a great coach, but rather the players-if he chooses to use them-to make him successful.
Berhalter has a stable of players that could win without a head coach. Just hire a technical coach, a tactical coach, and a GK coach and go from there. This is sort of like the 2001 TU basketball team that didn't need a coach and only an ego driven guy like Buzz Peterson could have possibly screwed it up.

The US is running guys out there who are playing in Champions League while Mexico is running a bunch of guys out there who are playing in no tap death matches behind chain link fences. And Canada is quickly approaching that level of talent as well and might surpass Mexico soon (if they already haven't). Davies is starting for one of the best clubs in the world, Tajon Buchanan will be on one of those clubs soon.

As for Jesse Marsch. I can see him in EPL soon. I know Leipzig bit him but it's a losing prop without going and getting great players. He finished 3rd in his UCL group...behind PSG and City...and let's be fair...those are 2 of the top 5 clubs in the world right now. Finishing in the top 2 of that group would have been a giant shock the world surprise.
 

TU_BLA

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Steffen between the pipes for Man City today in their UCL match vs RB Leipzig. Red Bull currently have a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. Pretty sure he's in there because City have already clinched their knockout round spot and there's nothing to gain or lose with this game.
 

quincy101

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I just wonder how Jesse Marsch feels after his temporary replacement beats Man City 2-1. A late red card helped Leipzig preserve the win. T. Adams came off the bench for 28 minutes and never much got into the attack-mostly played D.

McKennie, Weah, Pulisic, - and maybe more of our guys play Thursday in the final group stage games. I don't think Reyna played in Dortmund's big win today but surely he's getting healthy by now.
 

TU_BLA

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I just wonder how Jesse Marsch feels after his temporary replacement beats Man City 2-1. A late red card helped Leipzig preserve the win. T. Adams came off the bench for 28 minutes and never much got into the attack-mostly played D.

McKennie, Weah, Pulisic, - and maybe more of our guys play Thursday in the final group stage games. I don't think Reyna played in Dortmund's big win today but surely he's getting healthy by now.
Reyna hasn't been named to the Dortmund side yet. He was not involved in Der Klassiker over the weekend either. My guess is he is getting healthier but is not game fit yet.
 

quincy101

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Steffen, Adams, Pulisic, Dest, Aaronson, McKinnie (DNP), John Brooks (DNP), Weah (DNP) and Reyna (DNP) all play for teams that are in the Champions League. Well, Dest & Barca got knocked out. So did Brooks & Wolfsburg today. It just makes a person proud that all these Yanks play for such great teams in Europe. And will soon have a chance to make some noise in the world's biggest sporting event.
 
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TU_BLA

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Steffen, Adams, Pulisic, Dest, Aaronson, McKinnie (DNP), John Brooks (DNP), Weah (DNP) and Reyna (DNP) all play for teams that are in the Champions League. Well, Dest & Barca got knocked out. So did Brooks & Wolfsburg today. It just makes a person proud that all these Yanks play for such great teams in Europe. And will soon have a chance to make some noise in the world's biggest sporting event.
Barca is a train wreck right now. My son follows things a lot more closely in terms of transfer windows and such for all teams around the world and apparently Barca has got some real money issues which is why they've been selling players left and right. I guess there has been some serious mismanagement there as well as some cooking the books to stay within FIFA's Financial Fair Play guidelines. They will be lucky to finish top 4 of the La Liga this year. Their wage contracts as of January 1, 2020 were $450M. As of April, it was $238M....so they've shed nearly $200M off the books in just over a year and they're still deep in the hole. Roughly $50M of that $200M shed was Messi's contract.

By contrast, Liverpool was listed at #8 $139M, City at #9 $147M. Man United was at $188M so you can imagine how pissed the Glazers must be at not being able to crack the top 4 of England right now and some of their highest paid players like Pogba riding the bench.
 

quincy101

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I think Herr Tuchel at Chelsea is suffering from the Beer?halter disease. That is, some of his personnel selections to start a match are to the detriment of the team...and to the better players who don't get minutes, or very few as subs at the end. I'm referring to CP, among others, who started a match 3 weeks ago, has come off the bench the last two and never got off the bench today vs Leeds. Meanwhile, Chelsea gets bailed out with 2 PKs converted to win 3-2 at home.

They are 3rd, formerly 1st in the EPL for 9 weeks, and Liverpool & Man City will be tough to pass to regain that top spot with Tuchel starting guys like Hudson-Odoi, Loftus Cheek and Timo Werner, in place of Pulisic, Lukaku and Mason Mount.
 
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quincy101

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He's come off the bench a couple times lately but surely not match fit yet. CP is ready to start if Tuchel gives him the chance.
 

PNTrough

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Rumor has it that Dest is in the Barca dog house and has been made to take private technical training in addition to team activities to bring his technical awareness up. You wonder if his transfer really is going to happen.
 

quincy101

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That prolly explains his absence from a recent ChLg and LaLiga match. Any extra training won't hurt his game, but missing minutes with Barcelona will. Still, one hopes Beer?halter keeps him in the MNT squad for very important qualification games in Jan., '22.
 

quincy101

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Covid is raging in the UK with many games cancelled & all EPL teams affected, including Chelsea. With so many out, CP gets the start yesterday vs Everton. A 1-1 tie does not reflect on CP's performance. He was all over the pitch, playing out of his ideal position in the forward, central midfield. Pulisic drew several fouls (ouch) including a yellow card. But the thing that never ceases to amaze me, for all of his career, is his never failure to charge the net looking for a rebound when a shot comes in.

CP rarely gets the opportunity, you have to be lucky, but after a shot you will always see #10 around the net. Always! With the problems with Covid in England & Europe, I'm worried about all our MNT guys staying healthy and getting to travel to the US for our qualification matches later in January. It could be very bad news for Beer?halter & us if many of our guys are unable to cross the pond.
 

TU_BLA

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Covid is raging in the UK with many games cancelled & all EPL teams affected, including Chelsea. With so many out, CP gets the start yesterday vs Everton. A 1-1 tie does not reflect on CP's performance. He was all over the pitch, playing out of his ideal position in the forward, central midfield. Pulisic drew several fouls (ouch) including a yellow card. But the thing that never ceases to amaze me, for all of his career, is his never failure to charge the net looking for a rebound when a shot comes in.

CP rarely gets the opportunity, you have to be lucky, but after a shot you will always see #10 around the net. Always! With the problems with Covid in England & Europe, I'm worried about all our MNT guys staying healthy and getting to travel to the US for our qualification matches later in January. It could be very bad news for Beer?halter & us if many of our guys are unable to cross the pond.
I haven't followed the politics in the UK or other places in Europe, but is the UK Conservatives led by Boris as anti-vax as the extreme right wing in the US? Is this a trend in other countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, France? It seems that France and Germany might be a little more progressive with their approach towards COVID. Spain and its politics always puzzles me. I'm not sure where Italy is either. I only ask these questions, not to start debate, but as a matter of information to understand why COVID may be gripping some countries a little more than others.
 

nevadanatural

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Is this the C team or the D team tonight against Bosnia? A bunch of new kids and old non-qualifiers.
 

quincy101

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Is this the C team or the D team tonight against Bosnia
Who knows what Beer?halter has in mind, but this all-MLS side did not distinguish itself vs a mediocre European team which lost 10 of 12 WC qualifiers. And for 49 minutes with a man advantage it takes a 1st cap guy to score the game winner late, 1-0. Zardes, Roldan & Acosta, the usual suspects, did very little.

Everyone knows which guys it will take to qualify & make the Finals. I'm still very worried that there may be problems getting these guys to the US around the 3rd week of Jan for camp. We win the 3 games coming up & we're a virtual lock to make the WC Finals. If it happens that there's a loss, tie & a win-we'll all have to sweat out the final half-dozen qualifiers to make the really big dance.

Finally, Cap'n America gets his 2nd consecutive start & 90+ vs Wolverhampton this morning. Plays very well, very Pulisic like, but Chelsea drops points again in a 0-0 tie. There is no doubt that CP will be fit & ready to rock for these upcoming qualifiers.
 

quincy101

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Did anyone else notice Beer?halter carrying around a little plastic peg board thingy on the sideline last night? He's seen moving little plastic colored pieces around that board and I guess it helps him get his strategy figured out in real time. Or maybe he's playing himself in a game of Chinese Checkers. Anyway, lose the little peg board Beer?halter, it didn't help much last night.
 

TU_BLA

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Is this the C team or the D team tonight against Bosnia? A bunch of new kids and old non-qualifiers.
C+. + only because Roldan, Zimmerman, Zardes, Acosta and Turner are regulars on the A team. It was a good strategy to give some kids a look and get them a taste of int'l soccer. Shocked there is a kids good enough for a call up who is stuck in USL although it sounds like he might be moving to Real Sociedad in Spain for their reserve team. And the kid who scored for the US had an opportunity for a transfer to Benfica (the best & most popular team in Portugal) and he chose to stay with Colorado in MLS for this season. The game was a little ho hum and boring but I'm glad the subs helped create the goal in their 1st minutes.

In other news, some publication released their Best XI for the top Euro leagues (EPL, Ligue 1, Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga). Dest was named part of the Best XI for La Liga and my son says Barca will likely try to move him because Dest is not favored by the new coach, Xavi Hernandez, and the speculation is Xavi thinks he can't play because he's an American.

In more news...CP got a 2nd consecutive start for Chelsea vs Wolves yesterday. Game ended in a 0-0 draw. I didn't see much of it because I was driving to Barnsdall. Apparently a good chunk of Chelsea's depth is out right now because of COVID (as is the entire UK and EPL). Over half of the weekend's EPL games were PPD this weekend due to COVID.
 

quincy101

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CP gets another 90 today vs Aston Villa in a 3-1 win. Herr Tuchel admits he has CP out of position in the central midfield but is very happy with his play. Lukaku is back but not fully fit & takes CP's place up front after half-time while Pulisic continues as a wing back on the right side. I wish he could score but he's proving his worth to Tommy T. Beer?halter also has to be happy about his versatility for the upcoming qualifiers.
 

quincy101

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Yunus Musah has been scoring for Valencia in La Liga lately, but my goodness, Jordon Pefok (Siebecheu) has been tearing it up in the Swiss League for Young Boys. On 12/20, he scored 4 in a game, including one PK. They are now on their winter break & Beer?halter has no excuse not to name him to the MNT squad, if he's healthy, in Jan., 2022.
 

quincy101

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To anyone that gives a flyin' "bleep", Chelsea drops points again but shouldn't have. CP gets tripped in the box & the ref ignores it.....doesn't even call for a VAR review. It was obvious to everyone one but him. Unbelievable! Chelsea & CP's hope for an EPL title are sinking slowly in the west. On the other hand, the MNT will get a hungry, fit Pulisic for those qualifiers late next month.
 

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