World Cup Thread

drboobay

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Need to find a way to use Reyna productively assuming he can stay healthy.

As to the younger guys Aaronson's brother looks pretty good.
 

HuffyCane

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Really no different than 2002 except we are much less threatening in possession compared to that team which could score multiple ways.

So much for spending over $1 million for a set piece specialist coach.

We are still a 9-7 wild card team with 4 Pro bowlers, a guy injured, two guys who shouldn’t be in the league and no QB.
 

ctt8410

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Like most things these days, that quote was taken out of context.

 

lawpoke87

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Sounds like he’s saying the elite teams don’t have to adjust what they do because they’re elite. Teams like the USA do in fact need to adjust when they’re playing superior teams to have a chance to win. He is planning to adapt to what teams like France, Spain, etc are doing which will give them chances of success. Is that not accurate ?
 
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HuffyCane

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Sounds like he is saying that the game was lost before it began due to coaching and coaching did nothing to react to their poor decisions. They predicted what we would do, they knew they had the advantage and we were incapable of disrupting that. Basically, some of their players I don’t rate, some I do, but it didn’t matter because their coaches are naive amateurs.

Maybe the single worst performance by the team in a competitive match since 1998, if you ignore the 4-0 loss in Costa Rica with JK.

Bad player selection. Forced into formation changes where we didn’t have the players to compete because we left them home. Poor substitutions. Team chemistry issues. Lack of execution on set pieces - the one aspect of our game that gets international respect. The list is endless.

If this guy is employed next week, I’m not sure I’m going to a game again ever even if they drop the price from $100 to $10. That’s not a melt due to today. There’s real systemic issues at USSF that makes this not fun anymore after 50+ caps for me in more than 10 countries and three continents over 35 years.
 
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drboobay

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Lots of thoughts and probably a few questions to put out there when I have a real keyboard.
 
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Gmoney4WW

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Sounds like he’s saying the elite teams don’t have to adjust what they do because they’re elite. Teams like the USA do in fact need to adjust when they’re playing superior teams to have a chance to win. He is planning to adapt to what teams like France, Spain, etc are doing which will give them chances of success. Is that not accurate ?
Until it doesn't. Huge ego. Doesn't mean he's incorrect about us though.
 

drboobay

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Lots of thoughts and probably a few questions to put out there when I have a real keyboard.
OK, let me start with some transparency. Soccer was my sport as a teenager in the late 70s and early 80s and I was fortunate enough to play on some very good teams for that period. But I am not an expert. Never been a coach. My daughters had no interest in team sports so I was not a hovering dad. I don't follow any of the club sides or leagues around the world - only the USMNT, the World Cup, and a few other national competitions. I'm not an expert in tactics - back when I played it was always 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 and off you go. In other words there is a lot I don't know.

With all that said I watched all our qualifiers and many friendlies leading up to this WC and it sure felt to me like we had some player deficits in the central defense and, especially, up top. And all the guys we tried from Pepi to Deke to Sargent to Pefok didn't impress me. So I'm not sure from that perspective what other guys we could have brought into the roster would have made a material difference up front. But I freely admit that there could be other players I don't know who were never brought into the team and who might have made a difference. if so i would be curious who they are.

As to coaching deficits, I have heard a lot of criticism and certainly saw some of the weird lineup tinkering in qualifying and other run up matches. But what specifically would a different coach have done that would have made a tangible difference in this tournament tactically or otherwise, given our few but critical player gaps? That's a real question. I don't have the expertise to know that.

Or looking forward, what would a new, accomplished coach provide to take this group to the next level that the current staff cannot provide? Again, I am not baiting anyone. Rather wanting to learn.
 

quincy101

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If this guy is employed next week, I’m not sure I’m going to a game again ever even if they drop the price from $100 to $10. That’s not a melt due to today. There’s real systemic issues at USSF that makes this not fun anymore after 50+ caps for me in more than 10 countries and three continents over 35 years.
Amen! First, the USSF has gone "woke". Seem more concerned about social justice and MNT vs WMT equality ($). This includes Beer?halter who has stated: we've been talking to the guys every day they are together for the last 18 months about social justice. Then there was the rainbow crest on the practice jerseys (not red, white & blue) at the WC. To be fair, some other countries did related things that got quickly shut down by the Qataris. Not excusing horrible treatment by certain middle eastern countries, but the world's largest SPORTING event was not the place for it, IMO. That's for the governments of our respective countries & others.

As regards Beer?halter, we all know the story on his hire. Totally bogus. Then, over the first couple years, he called up over 60 people for tryouts, mostly from MLS. All he had to do was look to our best players in GB and Europe. Get these guys together and play them in quals repeatedly to mold a team even tougher than what we saw.

He finally figured out that our best chance was from our players overseas...2 weeks before the WC start. I gave him props for that on more than one occasion on here. But, we all saw from his substitution patterns, he still hadn't quite figured it out.

He might stick as MNT coach. But if he's looking for a job, please don't let it be...Tulsa FC.
 

Gmoney4WW

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OK, let me start with some transparency. Soccer was my sport as a teenager in the late 70s and early 80s and I was fortunate enough to play on some very good teams for that period. But I am not an expert. Never been a coach. My daughters had no interest in team sports so I was not a hovering dad. I don't follow any of the club sides or leagues around the world - only the USMNT, the World Cup, and a few other national competitions. I'm not an expert in tactics - back when I played it was always 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 and off you go. In other words there is a lot I don't know.

With all that said I watched all our qualifiers and many friendlies leading up to this WC and it sure felt to me like we had some player deficits in the central defense and, especially, up top. And all the guys we tried from Pepi to Deke to Sargent to Pefok didn't impress me. So I'm not sure from that perspective what other guys we could have brought into the roster would have made a material difference up front. But I freely admit that there could be other players I don't know who were never brought into the team and who might have made a difference. if so i would be curious who they are.

As to coaching deficits, I have heard a lot of criticism and certainly saw some of the weird lineup tinkering in qualifying and other run up matches. But what specifically would a different coach have done that would have made a tangible difference in this tournament tactically or otherwise, given our few but critical player gaps? That's a real question. I don't have the expertise to know that.

Or looking forward, what would a new, accomplished coach provide to take this group to the next level that the current staff cannot provide? Again, I am not baiting anyone. Rather wanting to learn.
Then, over the first couple years, he called up over 60 people for tryouts, mostly from MLS. All he had to do was look to our best players in GB and Europe. Get these guys together and play them in quals repeatedly to mold a team even tougher than what we saw.
One overarching thing would have been to prepare for this cup, not the next one. Which would have meant settling on a roster a lot earlier than Berhalter did. That way the unit can gain cohesiveness. I don't really think all the guys he called up helped in the next World Cup anyway.
 

TU_BLA

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One overarching thing would have been to prepare for this cup, not the next one. Which would have meant settling on a roster a lot earlier than Berhalter did. That way the unit can gain cohesiveness. I don't really think all the guys he called up helped in the next World Cup anyway.
I think this is an important point. Haji Wright hadn't been part of this squad in any meaningful matches up until now (that I can recall anyway). Ream either and the Ream played in this WC seems to indicate that was a HUGE mistake by Berhalter in qualifying. I understand tinkering with the 9 position since we didn't have anyone truly stand out. I saw things from Sargent and Wright that give me hope but they need to be part of the squad more to build with Weah and Pulisic and Aaronson. Not having Reyna play seems to be a clash of egos between Berhalter and Reyna....maybe the same with PeFok. Also, Berhalter's seeming love affair with Zimmerman at a CB spot when CCV seemed to be a clear better option as shown in the game vs Iran is troubling.

I do think the core is built for 2026 and we have the horses to compete for a deep deep run that year. I do think we need a change at the top and my choice would be Tab Ramos (he should have been the choice this cycle). The majority of these players played for Ramos and his YNT system and were extremely successful in international competitions. I hate the fact that Ream probably won't be around in 4 years as, IMO, he should have been the team captain this go around (no offense to Adams who has been one of the best players from any country in this WC) due to his experience and seeming leadership on the field. Likely looking at a Miles Robinson and CCV CB pairing when the next cycle starts up unless there is another player I'm not aware of (maybe Chris Richards?). Maybe a Daryl Dike can stay healthy enough to actually get some significant playing time in England soon and begin developing into the 9 we have all seen the brief flashes of from him. GK should be solidified with Turner 4 years from now. And hopefully we're done with Jordan Morris and Kellyn Acosta...they have shown me nothing with regards to them raising the level of the team when they come on and play. We need a new coach though...that's a priority. One who finds a way to get the very best players on the field at the same time.

So, I only started having any interest in watching soccer in 1990 when the US qualified for the World Cup in Italy. From then I only really cared about international soccer matches when the US played...up until my son started playing soccer competitively at age 9...which coincided with NBC getting the rights to EPL and broadcasting games every Saturday AM. I pretty much only watch EPL and MLS but will watch an occasional La Liga, Bundesliga, or Serie A match when they're on and of course UCL which is one of the more fun club comps out there.
 
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nevadanatural

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Well Japan didn’t make the quarters but it would do well for the US to watch how they played. They were quick, they were going to get that loose ball before you, they are always looking for ways to get forward and if you’re playing Japan and your teammate passes the ball you better move to it because the guy marking you is moving to the ball. Just a super fun team to watch.
 

TU_BLA

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Well Japan didn’t make the quarters but it would do well for the US to watch how they played. They were quick, they were going to get that loose ball before you, they are always looking for ways to get forward and if you’re playing Japan and your teammate passes the ball you better move to it because the guy marking you is moving to the ball. Just a super fun team to watch.
They were disastrous in the PK shootout. 2 poor shots that were saved and the Croatian GK made an absolute stunning save on the 2nd PK by Japan. The 1st shot was awful and was something you see from someone who was afraid of missing the goal. Granted, the Croatian GK went the right direction on 3 of 4 shots but the 1st and 4th shots were not well placed by the Japanese.
 

TU_BLA

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I really liked the old NASL shootout way better than PKs.
They were interesting. MLS had a similar shootout format when the league first started. It was basically the same as an NHL penalty shot where the player started from center and the GK could come out and close once the puck/ball was touched.
 

nevadanatural

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España se ha ido! Morocco held them off until penalty kicks and won 3-0. I was amazed that Spain made no PKs.
 

TU_BLA

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España se ha ido! Morocco held them off until penalty kicks and won 3-0. I was amazed that Spain made no PKs.
Moroccan keeper was living rent free in Spain's head. Dude was amazing. At least 2 of the PKs Spain took were altered before they even touched them trying to react to what the keeper was "showing".

The last kick by Morocco to seal it was, as Brits would say, "cheeky"
 

TulsaBandit

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Why do these players not drill it in the top corner. They are the best players in the world and should be able to do it greater than 90% of the time. These guys are so mentally weak, its pathetic.
 

Gmoney4WW

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España se ha ido! Morocco held them off until penalty kicks and won 3-0. I was amazed that Spain made no PKs.
I was hoping for Morocco or Senegal to make it through. I always like to have an African underdog to root for. So far it had been the higher seeds winning every time. I didn't like that Croatia would have to suffice for an underdog.
 

TU_BLA

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Why do these players not drill it in the top corner. They are the best players in the world and should be able to do it greater than 90% of the time. These guys are so mentally weak, its pathetic.
So yeah, not as easy as you want to make it sound. Missing high is a whole lot easier than missing low. Also, it is way easier for GKs to get to high shots than low shots. If players started going top corner every time, the GK would likely save more shots. If you look at the best players who have taken a good number of shots, they vary it. They'll go top left one time, bottom right next, then high middle after. This is why GKs need to guess on PKs and it they're not guessing they're picking up on something the shooter keys them to. My son says he instantly looks at the players eyes when he knows who the shooter is going to be even before the shooter has the ball in his hand and places the ball on the spot. He says 75% of the time they shoot in the spot they look to first. He's even noticed players who try to misdirect a keeper stare at a spot for too long and he knows they're going opposite direction. He says the toughest PKs are the ones that go down the middle with authority.

And for 2 of Spain's shots today, they were poorly placed and too easy for the GK to reach. This is typical of a player who is worried about missing the goal.
 

Gmoney4WW

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So yeah, not as easy as you want to make it sound. Missing high is a whole lot easier than missing low. Also, it is way easier for GKs to get to high shots than low shots. If players started going top corner every time, the GK would likely save more shots. If you look at the best players who have taken a good number of shots, they vary it. They'll go top left one time, bottom right next, then high middle after. This is why GKs need to guess on PKs and it they're not guessing they're picking up on something the shooter keys them to. My son says he instantly looks at the players eyes when he knows who the shooter is going to be even before the shooter has the ball in his hand and places the ball on the spot. He says 75% of the time they shoot in the spot they look to first. He's even noticed players who try to misdirect a keeper stare at a spot for too long and he knows they're going opposite direction. He says the toughest PKs are the ones that go down the middle with authority.

And for 2 of Spain's shots today, they were poorly placed and too easy for the GK to reach. This is typical of a player who is worried about missing the goal.
Asking that is like asking why pro all star basketball players don't hit all of their free throws.
 
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TU_BLA

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Interesting analysis of US play.

I can't read the actual article, but reading the byline and the few lines it lets me read, they're not wrong. It's more reminiscent of the style Liverpool wants to play with the high fullbacks and a possessive 6 and high pressing front 3. If you have the right players to play it, you'll do well. It also demands 2 CBs who can flat out play and this will be the piece the US will need to work on moving forward. Plus a way to make sure we've got the right (and best) players on the field. Not sure why Reyna got no time in this WC. He's way too good on the ball, maybe only 2nd behind Pulisic on this roster. And even in the vein of Liverpool, maybe we need to look at Weah as the 9 in order to get Reyna on the field and you can still run Aaronson at the 8/10 alongside McKennie.

And if you look at Liverpool and Man City who run this high press system with the best of them, their front 3 are quick and skilled. They don't really have a true 9 in that regard, a big physical holdup type of forward, but smaller, quicker players who are absolutely lethal with just the smallest amount of space. We keep trying to force the "9" issue. Put the best players out there and go.
 
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HuffyCane

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I can't read the actual article, but reading the byline and the few lines it lets me read, they're not wrong. It's more reminiscent of the style Liverpool wants to play with the high fullbacks and a possessive 6 and high pressing front 3. If you have the right players to play it, you'll do well. It also demands 2 CBs who can flat out play and this will be the piece the US will need to work on moving forward. Plus a way to make sure we've got the right (and best) players on the field. Not sure why Reyna got no time in this WC. He's way too good on the ball, maybe only 2nd behind Pulisic on this roster. And even in the vein of Liverpool, maybe we need to look at Weah as the 9 in order to get Reyna on the field and you can still run Aaronson at the 8/10 alongside McKennie.

And if you look at Liverpool and Man City who run this high press system with the best of them, their front 3 are quick and skilled. They don't really have a true 9 in that regard, a big physical holdup type of forward, but smaller, quicker players who are absolutely lethal with just the smallest amount of space. We keep trying to force the "9" issue. Put the best players out there and go.
I’ve haven’t read the article but Gregg is trying to run a modified version of what Jesse does, he just can’t write checks to do it and has to play some players who don’t fit it.
 

nevadanatural

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Wow! I thought the Croatia/Brazil match would end in storybook fashion with a Brazilian legend winning the game in extra time but Croatia ties it up and win in penalty kicks. I really thought we would be seeing a Brazil/France final but it wasn’t to be.
 
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TU_BLA

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Wow! I thought the Croatia/Brazil match would end in storybook fashion with a Brazilian legend winning the game in extra time but Croatia ties it up and win in penalty kicks. I really thought we would be seeing a Brazil/France final but it wasn’t to be.
Croatia played a match precisely to get to PKs knowing they have one of the best GKs in the world in PK situations. When Brazil brought Fred on to start the 2nd ET period, I texted my son that Fred was going to have a costly turnover and Croatia would score the equalizer....I'm not sure if he had the TO or contributed in the breakdown of the Brazilian defense, but Fred is never the answer if you need solid defending and ball control. Tite would have been way better suited bringing Fabinho on to help see this out.
And the difference between Croatia and Brazil in the shootout was night and day. The 1st 2 Croatian shooters were cold blooded by going down the middle and it opened up the next 2 shooters to go to the posts because Allison just had to hold a beat before guessing. The 1st Brazilian player shot not to miss the goal and hit the GK. Marqinhos was trying to be too fine.

I bet Fox is pissed as the anticipated Brazil-Argentina semi matchup could have had a worldwide live audience of 1.5 billion viewers. Croatia Argentina could see a good audience but likely will be < 1B. If Netherlands finds a way through Argentina, that audience drops to maybe 500M
 

lawpoke87

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Croatia played a match precisely to get to PKs knowing they have one of the best GKs in the world in PK situations. When Brazil brought Fred on to start the 2nd ET period, I texted my son that Fred was going to have a costly turnover and Croatia would score the equalizer....I'm not sure if he had the TO or contributed in the breakdown of the Brazilian defense, but Fred is never the answer if you need solid defending and ball control. Tite would have been way better suited bringing Fabinho on to help see this out.
And the difference between Croatia and Brazil in the shootout was night and day. The 1st 2 Croatian shooters were cold blooded by going down the middle and it opened up the next 2 shooters to go to the posts because Allison just had to hold a beat before guessing. The 1st Brazilian player shot not to miss the goal and hit the GK. Marqinhos was trying to be too fine.

I bet Fox is pissed as the anticipated Brazil-Argentina semi matchup could have had a worldwide live audience of 1.5 billion viewers. Croatia Argentina could see a good audience but likely will be < 1B. If Netherlands finds a way through Argentina, that audience drops to maybe 500M
Does Fox have worldwide broadcast rights ?
 

TUcandoit

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I was really pulling for the Netherlands. I wanted to be knocked out by the eventual champs...
 

HuffyCane

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Strange and sad to see him go. From 2007 through 2018, he and I would frequently cross paths in the hotel lobby bars of WCQ away games. Neither of us was interested in the security risks of nightlife in Honduras, Trinidad etc. So we would sit and drink beer and tell stories and lies for a few hours. Usually people would recognize him and sit down with us. Especially in later years when he started doing TV and social media. Once AO was created the road games started to be filled with a few recurring female fans and our one on one conversations became shorter. Funny how that works.

I didn’t think he was a very effective journalist/writer. He was one of the more self obsessed people I’ve ever met — see the press coverage of his firing from SI. But the players and USSF tolerated him because they basically got no coverage in those years. He does get points for not hiding the fact that he thought ultra fans were good sources of info and he might need one of us for a story one day. A lot of people around the program started out as fans — including Sunil Gulati — and he saw that.

He does get points for using his platform to advocate what was important to him and he did add a little to raising the awareness of soccer as a sport in this country. So I’ll toast him in my own way the next qualifier in Costa Rica.
 

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