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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Disappointed with Weston. Apparently not his first go-round with Covid isolation violations, either. Ugh!
Yeah, Juve suspended him last year for breaking protocol. Apparently, he's the team social director but he has to be smarter about it.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Well ... the US is trying their hardest to bring back all the old ghosts of past struggles, and after ALMOST securing my confidence with recent tournament results Gregg Berhalter is doing his absolute best to remind me of just how little I trust his ability to set up a team to succeed. Honduras is NOT a must win, but it is absolutely a BETTER WIN.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Davies is out tonight for Canada. Unfortunately for us, that’s one match too late.

Let’s see what kind of lineup Berhalter rolls out tonight. I do think it’s a must win though. The next window should be a bit easier, with home matches against Jamaica and Costa Rica surrounding a trip to Panama. But going into that window with only 2 or 3 points is going to make a fragile team that much more fragile.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
You know how I feel about must wins ... I only use the phrase if it's literally true because I feel like people throw it around way too freely. Emotionally? Yeah, pretty close. Literally? A point would be fine. The issue with just getting 3 points out of this round of games is that the schedule was basically handing you 4 or 5. That, and the fact that the entire community is going to want Berhalter fired even thought that probably just makes matters worse. If only he had a GM that could break a few plates and get him to be more pragmatic in his approach ... and yes, I think Earnie sucks at his job so far.
 

Tryamw

Well-known member
Honduras up 27' Giveaway and sloppy American play.
US Responds by playing dead...
 
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Tryamw

Well-known member
Pepi Breaks the tie!. 2-1

Pepi sets up the 3-1 goal.
Pepi fail but Lletget 4-1
What an ending.. that first half was horror show after the first bit we put it together in the second..
 
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andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Pepi Breaks the tie!. 2-1

Pepi sets up the 3-1 goal.
Pepi fail but Lletget 4-1
What an ending.. that first half was horror show after the first bit we put it together in the second..
I watched the first half on my iPad with the volume off. It was such a revolting display, I turned it off. Turned it back on just before Pepi scored his goal. You’re welcome.

I‘m done with Brooks, he’s been brutal. Yedline had the nice cross to Pepi and thst was his first positive contribution in 3 matches. And WTF was Berhalter thinking starting with a back 5 with Adams on the wing? He belongs in the center of the pitch.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Brooks has never been any good in a back 3. Not under Jurgen and certainly not now. I know it's been a trend to play a back 3 lately, but not so much in Germany where Brooks plies his trade. Not excusing him making stupid decisions, since at his age and level of experience he really doesn't have an excuse ... but consistently putting guys in positions where they CLEARLY aren't comfortable is a freaking option. An option it seems US coaches are somehow obligated to select for unknowable reasons. Seems like accepting the US job automatically makes it more likely that you'll immediately start messing around with 11s that feature no less than 3 guys playing out of position and 2 playing in positions they clearly hate.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Bottom line on last night ... Berhalter once again got his 11 wrong and got his tactics Titanically wrong, but at least this time he sacked up and made the embarrassing corrections to give his squad a chance to figure something out. Clearly this is an ongoing problem and I'll repeat myself from the other day here ... Berhalter BADLY needs somebody to edit his prep work. Somebody who will talk through his tactical ideas and let him know when he's asking too much of his team on a given night. Be that a boss or a decent 1st team coach kind of guy ... I don't care. Berhalter is a really good club coach but even after almost 3 years in the National team job he STILL doesn't seem to understand that you can't be as tricky and technical with the National team as you can with a club that drills with the same players week in and week out for a whole season. And at this point, I question whether he will ever learn that lesson ... or whether anybody in Soccer House even seems to think that's a problem.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Adams has apparently played wingback for Leipzig, and Berhalter was probably forced to make a move because of injury, illness or lack of match fitness, but if he had enough healthy bodies to deploy the 4-4-3 he finished in, that’s how he should have started. It’s one thing to play wingback on a club team where adequate training can take place over a period of weeks. It’s completely different to deploy not only a new tactical formation but put players in unfamiliar positions within the formation on that squad. It was one my big complaints about Klinsmann, at the end he was deploying formations in games that he never practiced.

But the win shoves everything else aside, at least for a few weeks until the next window. We’ll have to wait for Chelsea to assess the severity of Pulisic’s injury and see if McKennie’s promised return to the squad happens in October or later.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have no problem with Adams playing wing back, so long as somebody is covering the job he normally does in midfield. Last night that was NOT the case in the first half. I'm less concerned about him that two thirds of the rest of them. It's one thing to ask Sands to play defensive midfield in freaking MLS and something else entirely to toss him out there in freaking qualifying ... on the road. And you have a million wingers on the team but you decide to play Sargent on the wing even though he always looks lost in that role. That's dumber than dirt. Klinsmann level dumb.

Here's the other thing ... when has Berhalter tried using wingbacks with the US when it actually looked good? Like ... when? Normally they just end up playing like they've got 5 in the back anyway when he does that crap, so why keep pounding a square peg in a round hole? They clearly haven't had the training time to get those weird hybrid formations right and we're in YEAR THREE, Gregg. Knock it the F off and play a shape that lets the guys have half a chance to be comfortable and play freaking football ... instead of pussy-footing around wondering if they're in the right place half the time. He acts like it's some sort of insult to just play a regular shape, when 90% of the other national teams are doing just that ... for good reason. You have a week of camp at best, and you don't have time to drill all this pastry chef nonsense. I get it. The Germans have a system and you want to have a system too. They also spent a decade rebuilding their development program from the ground up and from the youth level up building that structure. Did the US do any of that? No. You spent 2 weeks at Camp Cupcake with guys who aren't even on the senior squad. Grow up and get real, man.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
On the USMNT ... I'm just so, so sick and tired of everything having to be so stupidly difficult. It absolutely shouts of just how screwed up Soccer House is, but even when the US stumbles into a decent generation of talent, they still don't have their mess together enough to capitalize. I can only hope that once Berhalter does whatever he's going to do with this young team, they'll hire somebody with some danged common sense for the next WC cycle when this crop of kids should be pretty much in their primes.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Chelsea says Pulisic is out 10 days, so he should be OK for the next round of qualifying that starts on 10/7
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Chelsea says Pulisic is out 10 days, so he should be OK for the next round of qualifying that starts on 10/7
Except for the fact that he got behind on conditioning during his Covid quarantine and now has to rehab an ankle injury. He'll be available but there's no way he's going to be on top form or anything. This is a big segment of the qualification schedule with two home games (Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a tough trip to Panama. They really need those 6 home points. Probably helps that Jamaica seems totally lost right now and Costa Rica got off to an even uglier start than the US.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Except for the fact that he got behind on conditioning during his Covid quarantine and now has to rehab an ankle injury. He'll be available but there's no way he's going to be on top form or anything. This is a big segment of the qualification schedule with two home games (Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a tough trip to Panama. They really need those 6 home points. Probably helps that Jamaica seems totally lost right now and Costa Rica got off to an even uglier start than the US.
Yep, if he’s back in 10 days, that gives him about a week of training before camp. Berhalter has attacking options, especially if Sargent can extricate his head from his ass. Pepi, Aaronsen and Lletget all played well and Konrad de la Fuente gave the Salvadorans fits down the left side.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Reyna is supposedly going to be back for October, but if he doesn't see the field for Dortmund before then I doubt they'll release him ... nor should they. Not sure on Weah. French clubs that aren't PSG keep things much closer to the chest. That one didn't sound like a long term issue though, so he might be available to play wing as well. Plus, that is absolutely the deepest position for the US anyway. It's striker where we have problems. I've always liked Pepi's game but he's just a kid. Sargent seems determined to suck for the National team and after that you either lean on old guys who aren't all that or even less proven guys. I was always worried about the 9 for this cycle.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Just wondering what you all thought about giving Jordan Pefok (Siebatcheu) a greater role? Seems to have meshed in nicely with Young Boys.
Why not? With Pulisic injured and Sargent ineffective, why wouldn’t you give him an expanded role?
 
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