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USMNT road to 2022 thread

dylanphan

Well-Known Member
I'm not a huge fan/follower of the USMNT (as I pretty much detest international soccer outside of die mannschaft) but this change had to happen and I fully agree with going with a mercenary coach, guy like Fabio Capello, guy with tons of international experience but no care for the long term. Then make a detailed search for a guy to take over long term.

It seems that the U.S has quite a few guys with high ceilings, but this is a team in flux. Younger guys with high ceilings, older guys past their prime, but not many guys on this team I can think of that are studs in their prime.

Goal #1 for this team is right the ship here. Seems like they are going adrift.
Goal #2 is qualify strong for 2018


I don't love Arena as the coach tbh.

IMO Klinsmann getting run here pretty hard, but he had a good stint as the coach. Sometimes managers wear out their welcome, especially with national teams where you really only train with guys a few weeks out of the year. I am obviously a huge Klinsmann fan, but time for a change was probably a bit past. Maybe Klose would like to throw his hat in the ring :prayer
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
that sounds like an interim title to me, unless that's how all the federations do it? Do they actually have to negotiate then re-sign managers after the WC or do the managers hold that position until they're fired?
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
that sounds like an interim title to me, unless that's how all the federations do it? Do they actually have to negotiate then re-sign managers after the WC or do the managers hold that position until they're fired?
yeah most run through a WC cycle, in Europe they may run every 2 years( Euros and WC)
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
big game on next Friday. Looks like the keys to what we will be doing attacking wise will run through an 18 year old.

Kim Klement/USA Today Sports​

<header>[h=1]Armchair Analyst: Dempsey & Howard return, but questions still for US[/h]March 15, 20173:31PM EDT
Matthew DoyleSenior Writer​
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</header>For the last five years the USMNT was largely defined by their inability to string together coherent attacking sequences, and thus an inability to consistently create danger from the central midfield. It was frustrating because 1) who wants to watch soccer like that?, and 2) in Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber and Lee Nguyen, the US player pool included three "in-their-prime" playmaker types who were all doing the job to one extent or another.
When Bruce Arena took over for Jurgen Klinsmann in late autumn, one of the first things he said was that the US needs more passing in midfield. I took that – I think most of the fanbase took that – as evidence that at least one of those guys would get their shot, and to Bruce's credit he called in both Kljestan and Feilhaber for this winter's two friendlies, with each getting a start. Feilhaber was instrumental in the only goal the US scored in those two games when he set up Jordan Morris against Jamaica.
Neither guy is on the US roster for the upcoming qualifiers against Honduras at home and then on the road at Panama, the first of which I'd call a "must-win" and the second a "must-result." I am frustrated by this, though I will admit there are a few things about how this roster is constructed that suggest a true No. 10 wasn't going to see the field much regardless.
1. Clint Dempsey's back, and won't be playing as a lone target forward
Deuce isn't a No. 10, but he's the most creative forward and best finisher in the pool, and now suddenly the US are deep at forward. Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood are all proven quantities in CONCACAF, and Jordan Morris is getting there.
That means the US will be playing something with two forwards – we all know it's going to be a 4-4-2, right? You can fudge it and say "oh it's a 4-4-1-1" or "it's a 4-2-3-1" with Dempsey in the middle of the "3" line, but at this point in his career he's a second forward. He does second forward things like dropping into midfield to help in possession, but when he does so he doesn't do playmaker things like cracking open the defense with a through-ball or a long-ball to the back-post winger, etc etc etc. He helps you combine, gets himself into the box to score. He's a forward.
And it's hard to play a 4-4-2 with a true, central playmaker in the modern game. Doing so risks stranding the one defensive midfielder, or asking the wide midfielders to pinch in tight and cede the wings.
That's not a smart play against Honduras especially. And while Panama's not quite at that level, they will still exploit isolation opportunities for all they're worth.
2. The No. 8s on this particular roster are creative
Kellyn Acosta already has three goals for FC Dallas this year, and Sebastian Lletget was a two-way central midfield force for the Galaxy last year (please move him back to that spot full-time, guys). Alejandro Bedoya has never produced a ton of box-score stats, but he played a good chunk of his career as a No. 10 in France and here in MLS, and has a knack for being part of long build-ups.
One of those three guys is likely to start alongside Michael Bradley, who will almost certainly be deployed as a true d-mid for these games. This will provide some extra defensive steel in the most crucial part of the field without giving up the ghost in the way of creativity.
Rather, it just shifts the creative burden to Dempsey (who will try $&!% in combination with his forward partner, likely Wood) and to the wingers. Which is where this roster gets interesting...
3. Is Christian Pulisic made for the empty bucket?
Pulisic has been devastating over the last six weeks for Borussia Dortmund, particularly when he cuts inside from the wing in transition. I think it's his best spot, and his ability to eviscerate defenders 1v1 opens up the field for the rest of the attack. Putting him on one side offers the type of individual flair and penetration, both on-the-ball and off-the-ball, the US has largely lacked in recent years.
He's also no stranger to playing as a No. 10, and has been doing it a lot lately:
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Paul Carr
✔@PCarrESPN


Re: @GrantWahl's report on Arena possibly playing Pulisic centrally, here are Pulisic's touches his last four Dortmund games:
12:28 PM - 14 Mar 2017









</twitterwidget>I will say this: Pulisic is not a two-way No. 10. If he's going to be used as a central playmaker it means the US will be playing a 4-2-3-1, and I don't think Pulisic's finishing is yet good enough to justify such a big switch. The 4-4-2 with him on one wing makes more sense because it keeps two of Dempsey, Wood and Altidore on the field in their best spots.
Either way, though, it feels like the keys are being handed to Pulisic at least a little bit. There's not much of a Plan B in terms of offering creative verticality.
4. Wing and right back are riddles
The other wing is more of a mystery. If Arena had his full complement of players I think the job would go to Fabian Johnson. But "DeAndre Yedlin and Eric Lichaj are both injured – otherwise they were slated to be on the roster" throws a wrench into the works. And neither Graham Zusi nor Timmy Chandler (who's suspended for the Honduras game anyway) were called in, and now suddenly we're looking at a squad where there's really only three guys we can be comfortable with at right back

  • Geoff Cameron, who was an integral part of the US's central defense at last summer's Copa América
  • Michael Orozco, who is doing a nice job on the right side in a 3-man look for Xolos but has had his, um, ups and downs for the US
  • Johnson, who played right back at the most recent World Cup
I'm more comfortable with Johnson at that spot for the obvious reason, but also because I don't want to break up the Cameron/John Brooks pairing in central defense.
The other reason I'm more comfortable with Johnson is Darlington Nagbe, who is apparently a full-time left midfielder/winger for club and country. The great weakness of the 4-4-2 is that you're playing numbers down by default in central midfield, and that means one of the wide players has to pinch in to help in possession and at times defensively.
Nagbe does that naturally. It's always his inclination to come inside and try to combine, and with Pulisic playing direct-to-goal on the other wing, it would offer the US structure a good balance.
5. DaMarcus Beasley Forever
There are three guys on this roster who can play left back, and it wouldn't shock me if Jorge Villafaña got the first crack at it. Down in Panama, though? Beas.
[HR][/HR]So in general I'm not in love with this roster but at least I get it. There is some pattern to divine, and the only really new additions (Lletget, Villfaña, Walker Zimmerman, and Dax McCarty, who is clearly the backup d-mid) fill obvious needs. Each pick makes sense in a vacuum and in the overall structure of the thing.
Let's hope that "the overall structure of the thing" makes as much sense when the US take the field against the Catrachos in nine days. At this point, there's no room for do-overs.
[h=2]USMNT Roster[/h]
Goalkeepers (3)
GKBrad Guzan (Middlesbrough/Atlanta United)
GKTim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
GKNick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders (8)
DJohn Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
DDaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
DGeoff Cameron (Stoke City)
DOmar Gonzalez (Pachuca)
DMichael Orozco (Tijuana)
DTim Ream (Fulham)
DJorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna)
DWalker Zimmerman (FC Dallas)
Midfielders (9)
MKellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
MAlejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
MMichael Bradley (Toronto FC)
MJermaine Jones (LA Galaxy)
MFabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
MSebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)
MDarlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
MDax McCarty (Chicago Fire)
MChristian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Forwards (4)
FJozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
FClint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
FJordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
FBobby Wood (Hamburg)

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braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
34, he has been around forever, he played in 2002 world cup..

yeah, guzan is coming to Atlanta in July.
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Current pecking order right now , and this is taking into account that Clint just came back from his heart issue so he has only played 2 games in 6 months

Wood
Jozy
Dempsey
Morris

And I think Arena will go with wood/Jozy ,

Bradley, Cameroon, Brooks, Fabian and pulisic are the other automatics . Lb and rb up in the air ( yedlin injury hurts ), 4th midfield spot is up in the air

Arena has said f Johnson is going be in the midfield as a winger
 
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braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Nice start to the arena era

Nice to know the chosen 1 will be running the show for USA until about 2030 or so
 

KJ

Banned
That didn't suck

Just saw that Phoenix Rising are planning to announce signing of 39 yr old Drogba tonight at the game :rofl:
 

KJ

Banned
USA need to get a point at Panama, obviously 3 would be wonderful but after that last night just need to avoid the letdown and get nothing
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
USA need to get a point at Panama, obviously 3 would be wonderful but after that last night just need to avoid the letdown and get nothing

Yep, I think Arena will obviously be much more conservative on tuesday
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
this is a good article shooting down the narrative that it could be good for Us to miss world cup


Armchair Analyst: Yes, missing the World Cup would be awful for US soccer
September 7, 20172:46PM EDT
Matthew DoyleSenior Writer





"Would it be good, in the long term, for the US to miss the 2018 World Cup?" is a question that – to my astonishment – has gained a certain amount of traction on social media in the days following a pair of disappointingly-played qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras.

It is a dumb question because it has such an easy answer: No. No, of course it would not be good for the US to miss the World Cup. It would be borderline catastrophic to the growth of and interest in the sport in this country, it would be an embarrassment for the men's national team, and it wouldn't fix any of the problems that persist with the sport we love in this country(*).

(*)Ask our Canadian friends how much it "helps" to miss out on the World Cup, you ninnies.

The genesis of this spasm of nihilistic ideation is that by missing next summer's big dance in Russia, US Soccer would be better able to confront the problems at all levels that are holding the USMNT back, and as a result we'd see the Yanks turn into a superteam that would regularly contend for, presumably, the World Cup title. Or at least make regular runs to the semifinals. Failure ipso facto begets greater future success.

All of that is built upon a faulty assumption and a counterfactual.

The faulty assumption: Somehow it's easy to go from a team that consistently makes the knockout rounds of the the World Cup to a team that competes semi-regularly as one of the 10 best in the world. In the modern history of the game, only the Netherlands has really made that jump and stuck the landing across more than a single generation.

The counterfactual: That the USMNT has not grown in quality over the past 30 years. As someone who can remember the 1980s and the 1990s, this astounds me. Here is the journey of the USMNT since then:

In the 1980s, the US were a true minnow. They were eliminated in the semifinals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cup qualifying cycles and won no regional tournaments. The whole futile exercise was redeemed, finally, by Paul Caligiuri's still-the-most-important-goal-in-US-soccer-history in 1989.

That goal, by the way, helped the US make the World Cup, not miss it.

In the 1990s, the US rose to the level of "can consistently make the World Cup." We all remember 1994 fondly, and the 1995 run to the Copa America semifinals. But the US still finished last or next-to-last in two of their three World Cup appearances, and mostly got housed by Mexico (who won three of the first four Gold Cups) in regional play.

Then, in 1999, there was a ray of hope as a bunch of mostly US B-teamers went down to Mexico for the 1999 Confederations Cup and finished in third place, beating Germany 2-0 along the way. Things started looking up.

In the 2000s, the US became a team that could be a threat to anyone on the day. They made it to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup and lost in the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup. They dominated the 2006 and 2010 Hexagonals, winning both. They won three out of six Gold Cups (Mexico won two, and Canada (!!!) won one).

There were still disappointments in the middle of the decade. The 2006 World Cup was a gut-punch (despite being the only team to take points off of Italy, which shows how much the US underachieved that summer), and the 2007 Copa America was, with a B-team, an opportunity wasted.

But just as the 1990s were better than the 1980s, so too were the 2000s better than the 1990s.

In the 2010s thus far, the US have become a team that always gets out of its group. They did so in dramatic fashion in 2010, and in less dramatic fashion in 2014. Then they exited in excruciating fashion both times, which leads to understandable disappointment. Still, the US are now staring at a quarter-century of consistent improvement that leaves them in pretty good company:

Jan 11, 2015
Matthew Doyle

✔@MattDoyle76

People who say USMNT isn't top 20 amuse me. Two straight World Cup Rd of 16, 3 of 4 & 4 of 6. How many countries in the world match that?


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✔@PCarrESPN

@MLSAnalyst 9 countries have made 4 of last 6 WC KO rounds (incl. U.S.). 8 have made 3 of last 4 (incl. U.S.).

1:49 PM - Jan 11, 2015
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The US also won a third straight Hexagonal in 2013, made it to the semifinals of the 2016 Copa America, and have won two of four Gold Cups (Mexico took the other two).

While this has been happening at the senior level, US U-20 team has pulled itself out of an eight-year funk. They've now made it to the World Cup quarterfinals twice in a row, and already there are players from both cohorts – Christian Pulisic, Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, hopefully Matt Miazga and Weston McKennie soon enough – playing crucial roles for the US.

But suddenly, because the US have struggled and been uninspiring during this Hexagonal, there is a loud contingent of folks on social media who think it would be best for this team to fail to make it to Russia. Because somehow it would be better for the US as a whole if there was no surge of interest around the program, creating a new generation of fans and a new generation of youth players; because somehow it would be better for the US as a whole if the past decade's investment in youth development (four of the five guys mentioned in the previous paragraph come from MLS academies, and Pulisic's is a MLS-affiliated academy) didn't start to show tangible results on the world stage; because somehow it would be better for the US as a whole if Pulisic and Acosta and Bobby Wood etc. etc. were denied a chance to test themselves under the brightest spotlight the sport can offer.

We know there are structural inefficiencies in US soccer that making the World Cup and doing well won't automatically fix. There need to be more free-to-play academies, and better talent ID in underserved communities, and better Latino outreach and inner-city outreach and rural outreach, and (especially) better coaching at the youth level. Again: Making the World Cup doesn't fix all of that, but over the last 20 years it sure as hell has seemed to help at least a bit.

We also know that improvement tends to be incremental and non-linear. That's not just soccer, that's life.

What would missing the World Cup do? How would it help in any of the above areas? I've yet to see someone make a coherent argument, one that doesn't involve some warlock waving a magic wand and the US – *poof* – having the equivalent of Brazil or Spain or Germany's youth development structure.

And even if that was the case... we get to watch Pulisic for maaaaybe four World Cups, if we're lucky. Are you willing to punt on one of them for a theory? Do you so desperately need to be right on Twitter?

"In need of improvement" is not the same as "irreparably broken," and if the US system was irreparably broken, we wouldn't have had the last 30 years. There wouldn't be wins over Argentina and Germany and Portugal and Spain. There wouldn't be teenagers like Pulisic and McKennie, like Tyler Adams and Jonathan Gonzalez. There wouldn't be knockout round appearances at three of the last four and four of the last six World Cups, or semifinal appearances in the Copa America, or titles in the Gold Cup. There wouldn't be the first ever CONCACAF U-20 title this past spring.

"Would it be good, in the long term, for the US to miss the 2018 World Cup?"

No. It wouldn't. There's no need to even ask the question.
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Will close this thread down soon, never in a million years would I have thought they wouldn’t have qualified

But interesting nugget

Eric Wynalda is running for USSF President. By far the biggest name to challenge Gulati
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Donovan”s name has been rumored

My guess is that there are some very influential people in US Soccer who are pushing for a viable replacement behind closed doors . That person could be Wynalda could be Donovan I don’t know. But up until Wynalda the candidates who have entered the rings are no name hacks .

Wynalda is pretty polarizing , so again another guess is he isn’t the one who the decision makers in the background want who are angling to push Gulati out

Here is his platform

- equal pay for men and woman, said he would tear up the current deal- I couldnt care less about this , but I understand running on it , it’s smart

-solve soccer problems- doesn’t think fed can currently do it — pretty broad but sounds good


- improve MLS to make it a better functioning league— gigantic task good luck
 

KJ

Banned
Please Wynalda over Landon, I don't know why he's polarizing...because he actually voices his opinion and doesn't give a fuck?

He's brilliant and grounded at the same time. It's needed, he has a business sense that I appreciate.
 

twinkie13

Over 1 Trillion Questions Served
So No Italy
No Ireland

No USA?


This is wild

Amy other countries on the brink of missing the Cup?
 

KJ

Banned
Well Italy, Netherlands and Chile are the big ones, USA of course too and Ghana a bit of surprise

Irish weren't supposed to make it

Australia and Honduras play tomorrow, first leg was 0-0 so Aussie need to play it tight w/o the away goal, also tomorrow Peru host NZ in leg 2 when first was 0-0, if Peru fail that would be a bit of a dagger. Interesting matches there
 

twinkie13

Over 1 Trillion Questions Served
Well Italy, Netherlands and Chile are the big ones, USA of course too and Ghana a bit of surprise

Irish weren't supposed to make it

Australia and Honduras play tomorrow, first leg was 0-0 so Aussie need to play it tight w/o the away goal, also tomorrow Peru host NZ in leg 2 when first was 0-0, if Peru fail that would be a bit of a dagger. Interesting matches there

Lotta big names
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Thanks

Some young guys getting some playing time at some good clubs

McKennie- full time starter for 2nd place Schalke

J Gonzales- 18 yr old starting CM for 1st place Monterey in Liga MX. Mexico going hard after him but sounds like he wants to play for US

Shaq Moore- 21 year old just started for Levante today

Weah - rumor is he is going get called up to 1st team PSG and feature in some Cup games rest of year

Future looking much better
 

guaranteeed

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Wonder if pulisic becomes an arsenal target this summer

Mislintat left Dortmund to become arsenal head of recruitment
 

Alan Tongue

Well-Known Member
nearly as bad - players love the coach, coach wins the Asia Cup, same coach qualifies the country to the World Cup. First locally born coach to qualify the team to the WC. A week later the coach walks away. Why? Because the administration think their role in the role in the team is more important then the players and coach.
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Lost 18year dual national Jonathan Gonzalez to Mexico.

Big prospect , that had played on US youth teams

Can’t fathom that this would have happened had we made the World Cup
 

~Utah

Graphs. Designer.
Lost 18year dual national Jonathan Gonzalez to Mexico.

Big prospect , that had played on US youth teams

Can’t fathom that this would have happened had we made the World Cup
That may have not been a problem...these guys are a fucking joke

According to ESPN FC

Gonzalez has long stated his desire to play for the U.S., but after the Americans' failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the FMF said it remained hopeful that Gonzalez would consider switching allegiances, which the player can do once under a FIFA rule for players who have yet to make a senior national team appearance in a competitive game.

Ahead of November's friendly in Portugal, U.S. Soccer made a decision to allow Gonzalez to stay with his club as it entered the Liga MX playoffs, as playing in the exhibition game would not have tied him to the U.S. anyway.

But Gonzalez told Soccer America last week that no one in the U.S. Soccer Federation called him to explain the omission -- something the player reportedly was not happy about.

"I wasn't called in, in November," Gonzalez said. "Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn't called in."
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Yeah not calling him in last month for the most meaningless friendly ever is just ridiculous .
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
This isn’t a Pulisic level prospect, but he is right below

It he is a starting CM for the best team in Mexico , made best 11 last season for the league , and will probably be sold to Some team in Europe this summer in the 20 million dollar range
 

~Utah

Graphs. Designer.
Yeah not calling him in last month for the most meaningless friendly ever is just ridiculous .
I think you are being sarcastic, but if they could have capped him in that meaningless friendly, its no longer meaningless
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
I think you are being sarcastic, but if they could have capped him in that meaningless friendly, its no longer meaningless
I’m not being sarcastic , even if you don’t think he is ready( which lol) it’s a meaningless friendly the whole point was to bring in inexperienced players. We called in a 17 year old for a friendly and you can’t even call in Gonzalez??

A friendly can’t cap tie you

I don’t think that’s the reason he switched , but it certainly didn’t help
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
I’m not even sure how much Mexico was in the picture until US failed to qualify then they put on the full court press

We had no coach, a lame duck president and a mess of a federation.There are huge consequences to missing a World Cup, this is a big one

I would have enlisted Pulisic, Brooks Yedlin, any young player who is the future of this team to reach out to him.

This is just the start of the battle with Mexico for dual nationalis, many more of these battles to come , hopefully we learned a lesson
 

braves

CTG Moderator
Staff member
Being reported that the TEchnical director job offered isn’t very attractive at all for the top candidates . Doesn’t even have control over youth programs , and the candidates believe it was only done by the federation to show they are making “changes”

Nothing will change
 
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