USA Men's Soccer Thread

Lost a good thread when DWS, well, you know.
For men’s and women’s teams plus age-limit teams.
November Friendlies in Europe this time around.
Looks to be a good, young team, minus Sargent, unless more clubs decide not to release their players due to COVID.
Need to see if they can play well together.
Matching up first with Wales (away), who placed second in the Euro 2021 qualifying and will play in Group A of the Euro 2021. Wales are also leading their Group UEFA Nations League (B4), one point ahead of Finland, who they will play on Nov 18.
After that, it’s Panama, in Austria (home). Panama lost three straight matches at the 2018 World Cup, but had won at the right times during CONCACAF qualifying to make it there. Panama did not advance to the CONCACAF Nations’ League semi’s.

Both matches on FS1.

Pulisic might also miss these friendlies.

This guy seems good:

Would have been nice to have those Nations League matches taking place during this International Break, but the Euro players might not have made it due to COVID.
Needs to be capped, if only so other countries don’t have him.

Musah starts, so he’s capped. Scoreless tie. Sounds like we looked fairly decent for basically playing a U-23 team - could have looked better in the 2nd half, but with non Pulisic and no Sergeant it was basically a 90-minute “go get some playing time under your belt” experience. We didn’t have a backbreaking goal against in the first 10 minutes or the last 10 minutes, so that’s a plus.

It was a friendly, so getting the cap doesn’t tie him to the team. We can hope he liked the experience to tie in the Nations League in June.
Hard to tell who on this team will be sent to the Olympics, or even in the qualifying tournament.

Team was much more composed than Wales. Played pretty well for such a young team. Dest is brilliant and I see why he is starting at RB for Barcelona right now. McKennie was great too.

For such a young team I think the game was encouraging, definitely missing something up top.

Some of these players play on a team with a killer scorer.
We were missing a killer scorer. I hope that’s Pulisic or Sargent when they are able to play.

Yeah I think Pulisic is key. It would be huge if Sargent develops into a legit top striker.

Man I really wish Pulisic can stay healthy

Well, that was fun to watch.
Not sure how good a Panama team this was, but a good confidence builder for the young guns.

Yeah, I don’t know how much you take out of that game but a win is a win, and a 6-2 win - even with 3 goals late - is even better.

For 2022, goal should be to make semi-finals, as that hasn’t happened in “modern times” yet.
Currently #22 in the world, but the last year of matches have continents’ teams playing each other in tournaments/leagues instead of in intercontinental friendlies. USA is gauged mainly on its results v MEX (#11). Beating JAM (t#48) and CRA (#50) is expected. (Losing becomes a lot worse.)

Good story on what it takes to go from “crappy” to Number 1:

I feel like there’s a lot of lessons to be learned out of that article. Of course, I also feel like none of it is a surprise and it’s been repeated too many times to count and the approach in the U.S. still seems to be … well, not that. Nothing close to that.

At least we’re not Germany staring at yesterday’s 0-6 vs. Spain, trying to figure out what the hell. That one is … does anyone know what Germany’s style of play is now? Does Germany know?

As has always been the case, USA Soccer has three issues:

  1. It has a hard time identifying elite players at early ages.
  2. It has had to compete with other sports for the elite athletes.
  3. Our geography makes it hard for elite players that are found to compete against each other, so that objective analyses can be performed.

USA Soccer has done a lot of workaround on this. It simply lets parents do the hard work of sending their kids off to Europe, or finds USA-eligible players trained elsewhere.

I’m not sure #2 is a big issue though. I don’t think that’s a problem we can ever solve, plus we still have a huge population even if our best athletes play other sports.

It is a big issue, and it’s one we won’t solve, until enough parents figure out that #murican foobaw is bad for their kids’ brains and bodies. Baseball and basketball don’t have the brain/body issues, so they’re even harder to compete against (mainly the money).
It is an issue because the top countries we compete against in soccer don’t have this issue.

Not USA, might not even be soccer, but the Norge player not playing for Norge National team got my attention, and not just because she’s a blonde bombshell:

Her federation is still shitting on the women’s team.

I don’t agree with the 3 issues. Too much excuse in there and not enough accountability. Leadership is awful.

The USMNT will not play young players when it is clear the older players are to going to get the job done. It’s weird since sacrificing right now for 3-4 years is now generally accepted in sports. US fans love watching kids develop. Failure for kids is acceptable, failure from 7-10 year bets is not. We wait way too long to cap players. By 2014, it was clear Bradley couldn’t compete in MF. We were still playing Guzan and Howard in qualifying.

We play guys out of position moving MFs to backs.

Soccer doesn’t compete to any great degree w basketball for the most part. All skills aren’t transferable. The Dutch might say same thing with limited population. They have to compete with speed skating. Belgium played their guys early on. We have 300M people. We should be able to find 25-30 that can play.

Our elite guys emerge early. We choose not to play them so we can play Bradley, Howard and Altidore one more time. Reyna is the son of a player, at NY and playing at Dortmund. Pulisic was playing at Dortmund before we capped him. Adams and McKennie all got better time with great clubs. Do better scouting. Our approach to evaluating talent is poor (and likely out of date).

Dest scores in CL today for Barca. Is he our best player? He looked top class in our friendlies last week

For back, he plays a lot up front.