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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Why not? With Pulisic injured and Sargent ineffective, why wouldn’t you give him an expanded role?
At striker, yes. On the wing, no. Hopefully Hoppe can start getting some games for Mallorca and wiggle his way into the mix. He's more versatile and has already proven himself to be an effective international player. IMO the US needs to figure out the striker situation and quit mucking things up by playing those guys on the wing. In Berhalter's system those are wildly differing roles. Some guys (Hoppe, Weah) can do both and some guys (Sargent, Zardes, Morris) can't.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Zhardes is back too. Glad to see Hoppe though.
Prefok is the biggest surprise to me, he’s playing regularly for Young Boys in Switzerland and started their UCL match against Atalanta today.

There are home matches in Austin and Columbus around a trip to Panama. The 3 England-based players, Steffen, Antonee Robinson and Ream, won’t travel to Panama, the country is still on the UK red list so they’d have to quarantine for 10 days upon return.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Zardes should be back. They missed him last time. He isn't graceful or popular but he plays the role he's asked to play without a lot of messing around looking lost. Dude's flawed but reliable
He’s also been on fire recently. Play the guys on a hot streak, all the more reason to sit Sargent. And like the other England-based guys, he wouldn’t be able to play in Panama anyway.
 

Ed H in Pasadena

Active member
They just interviewed Berhalter on the post-match show on Paramount. He was asked about Jordan, and said something about he scores better in tight, compact areas and that this time around, they're looking for players who can stretch the field more (give them more verticality). But he said he spoke to Jordan to assure him that this was more about giving other guys a look (I'm guessing Hoppe in particular?), and told him to keep doing the work he's been doing for Young Boys. He also didn't commit to a #1 in goal, saying he wants to see how things play out in camp. But surely he has an idea which way he's leaning. The camp won't give him much time to learn that.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
They just interviewed Berhalter on the post-match show on Paramount. He was asked about Jordan, and said something about he scores better in tight, compact areas and that this time around, they're looking for players who can stretch the field more (give them more verticality). But he said he spoke to Jordan to assure him that this was more about giving other guys a look (I'm guessing Hoppe in particular?), and told him to keep doing the work he's been doing for Young Boys. He also didn't commit to a #1 in goal, saying he wants to see how things play out in camp. But surely he has an idea which way he's leaning. The camp won't give him much time to learn that.
I suspect we’ll see Steffen in Austin and Turner in Panama, since Steffen won’t travel, and whoever performs better gets the start in Columbus.
 

Ed H in Pasadena

Active member
Well we've reached another international break. For me, I'm torn because while I like watching the international game, the disruption it causes to the domestic season is super annoying, and I hate losing my players to injury incurred while on international duty. This is true whether it's WC qualifying, Euros/Conmebol/Concacaf/AFC, etc. qualifying or tournaments, etc. And Covid has thrown all this into additional disarray with the quarantines in place, etc. Hard to get as excited about international matches when you know your players could be unavailable going forward beyond the international break.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
John Brooks has a back problem and did not leave Germany. He won’t be replaced on the US roster.
No reason to replace him. With two games in the US, they've got a couple of quick options for emergency call ups should somebody get hurt ... and Miles Robinson was completely out-playing him anyway.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Michail Antonio will not join the Reggae Boyz for this round of qualifiers, he’s staying in London. They have 2 road games this cycle, opening against the US, home for Canada and at Honduras.
 

Ed H in Pasadena

Active member
Michail Antonio will not join the Reggae Boyz for this round of qualifiers, he’s staying in London. They have 2 road games this cycle, opening against the US, home for Canada and at Honduras.
That's really too bad for them. He's been in such fine form for the Hammers this season. Big loss.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Pretty sure Villa's Leon Bailey won't be available for Jamaica either. He's close to recovering from injury but has the same issue as Antonio with the road games.
 

Ed H in Pasadena

Active member
Pretty sure Villa's Leon Bailey won't be available for Jamaica either. He's close to recovering from injury but has the same issue as Antonio with the road games.
I would hope not for his sake, but that's more about recovering from an injury than the travel ban he could face. I like Bailey as a player. Young man has some skills.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I would hope not for his sake, but that's more about recovering from an injury than the travel ban he could face. I like Bailey as a player. Young man has some skills.
The travel ban was modified. Players still have to quarantine but they can do so at the club’s facility and can train and play. They just can’t go home.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
The travel ban was modified. Players still have to quarantine but they can do so at the club’s facility and can train and play. They just can’t go home.
And apparently, those travel restrictions are still not finalized. And they're trending in the right direction in terms of allowing players to actually do their jobs.
 

Ed H in Pasadena

Active member
USMNT took care of business vs Jamaica tonight, 2-0. Listless first half, but then 18 year-old Ricardo Pepi stepped forward and knocked home both goals. 2 caps, 3 goals. Helluva start to his international career. Way to go, kid!
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Canada took a point off Mexico at the Azteca last night. It’s the first time since 1980 they’ve gotten a point in Mexico and they’re the first team in CONCACAF to get road points against the US and Mexico in the same cycle.

Honduras and Costa Rica played a scoreless draw, El Salvador beat Panama 1-0.

The US tops the table with 8 points, tied with Mexico but ahead on goal differential. Canada is 3rd with 6 points. Panama and El Salvador are tied for the playoff spot on points, but Panama is ahead on goal differential.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think listless is over-stating it a bit when describing the US's first half. I'd go with ineffective. The US had periods of pressure and generally moved the ball very well in possession. When they're dead in the water, it looks different than that. Really solid second half though. They sharpened up the angles on their runs and started to get better penetration ... and that lovely little chipped cross by Dest shows you why coaches are willing to put up with his utter inability to defend. Lovely stuff. Then that second goal came off one of those multi-pass setups that Berhalter is really looking for. Of course, it was against Jamaica and they're a mess ... banged up and not playing anything like their best ... but you need to show out at home against teams that aren't really any good. This tournament doesn't give you many of those so you have to cash them in.

Individually ... I liked that midfield of Musah and McKennie playing double pivots while Adams held down the middle. All three make sharp, snappy passes and they can all move and play the positional game as well. I thought both Robinsons played well in the back, but Zimmerman continues to check out and lose his mark at odd times. You can't be doing that when you're going with backs on both sides who are better bombing forward. Pepe shows no signs of slowing down, and Zardes looked sharp in his stint off the bench. Aaronson had another really strong game too, and then Weah looked frisky off the bench. Everything you could ask from that game, you got ... barring maybe another goal.
 
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