Expectations for the Hex

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by DHC1, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I'll just say it - we should absolutely win the Hex if injuries or our coach doesn't derail us. Here's our primary competition

    Elite Major Leaguer
    Jimenez (Wolves)
    Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid)

    Major Leagues
    Nestor Araujo (Celta Vigo)
    Andres Guardado (Real Betis)
    Diego Lainez (struggling at Real Betis)
    Erick Gutierrez (irregular at PSV)
    Edson Alvarez (irregular at Ajax)
    Chucky Lozano (irregular at Napoli)

    Minor Leagues
    Carlos Vela (LAFC) - may not play
    Chicharito (Galaxy) - may not play
    Tecatito Corona (Porto)
    Omar Govea (Zulte Waregem)
    Miguel Layun (Monterrey) - may not play
    Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey)
    Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey)
    Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul)
    Jose Juan Macias (Chivas)

    There's been a lot of posts here recently about how its ok to lose to Mexico as it's expected (some of these posters even advocate for not being defeatest at the same time as saying this!) but this squad just doesn't scare me when compared to the talent coming through the USMNT (see below).

    If we play suffocating defense and not the junk that Gregg is advocating, we're beating them Dos a cero.

    Even better, this ESPN article says that Mexican players may not even want to play at the highest level of the game!
    https://www.espn.com/soccer/la-gala...means-to-the-future-of-mls-and-mexican-soccer

    But for Mexican soccer in general, Hernandez's move away from Europe is part of a trend of players returning to North America. There's been a drop from 17 Mexican players in the Old Continent only a couple of years ago to just 10 today. For anyone who subscribes to the theory that Mexico will challenge at the later stages of World Cups when it has more players playing at the highest level, Hernandez's move is the latest cause for concern.

    The reality is that the big-name Mexican player can often command a higher salary and transfer value in MLS.

    Given all that, would it be any real surprise if Monterrey duo Rodolfo Pizarro and Carlos Rodriguez or Cruz Azul's Roberto Alvarado were in MLS in two years time? Or if Corona was attracted to the league from Porto? And if Gutierrez continues to struggle with PSV Eindhoven that MLS clubs looking for a cultured midfielder or a Liga MX clubs with money to splash (read Tigres, Monterrey, Club America, Cruz Azul or Chivas) bring him back to North America?

    It raises a question about the future of Mexico's men's national team



     
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  2. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Porto is not minor league. It is a better squad that many of the "major league" squads you list.
     
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  3. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Ok. Point remains the same...
     
  4. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    Yeah, I made a similar point before the Mexico friendly in September. Just going by club pedigree, there's not much difference between these sides. The US might even have a slight edge now.

    I think there are, though, several points in Mexico's favor (at least in the short term):

    1) Their best players are mostly in their primes, while most of our best players are still quite young. Often times, an older, but still in his prime, player is going to get the better of a younger, more talented player just by virtue of the advantages conferred by experience.

    2) Maybe this is related to 1), but Mexico has some guys who, regardless of their club situation, look great in CONCACAF games. Even if guys like Lozano and Corona are struggling for minutes at the club level, they dominate in CONCACAF.

    3) Tata >>> Berhalter. I don't hate Berhalter as much as many people on here, but there's no denying that Tata comprehensively out-coached him in the GC Final and the September friendly. And Tata generally has Mexico looking cohesive and dynamic, and thus, unlikely to drop points in the Hex against weaker foes. Whereas the US seems, charitably, quite inconsistent and very capable of dropping points against anyone in the Hex.

    All that said, I'm optimistic and think we'll finish comfortably in the top 3 on the basis of talent alone, even if said talent has to overcome the coaching a bit.
     
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  5. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Mexico has real strikers but we don’t. That alone puts us behind the 8 ball. They are also much deeper. If a few more players develop things might change but we are still a year or two away from being competitive.
     
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  6. TrueCrew

    TrueCrew Member+

    Dec 22, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're nuts. Mexico is the clear favorite.

    My expectation is we finish 2nd or 3rd. With our performance closer to 4th than 1st.

    Costa Rica is transitioning as well.
     
  7. Dylan Fisher

    Dylan Fisher Member

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Apr 12, 2019
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Mexico has curb stomped us recently.
     
  8. russ

    russ Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Canton,NY
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Berhalters are running the show.Zero expectations.Zero.
     
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  9. yurch10

    yurch10 Member+

    Feb 13, 2004
    Not much needs to be said, and most of it already has been.

    Similarly to largegarlic, I think there really is no difference in talent. I'd argue the US has slightly better talent, while Mexico has older/more experienced players. I remember looking at the transfer values of all the Hex teams some time back. Mexico and the US are similar and I think CR, the 3rd placed team, wasn't close. Sure, many will argue for the sake of arguing, but it's a relatively decent proxy to gauge team quality.

    That said, unless Egg has changed completely (as some have predicted), or Bradley remains injured keeping Egg from building around a poor #6, the deficiency in coaching will keep us from succeeding. Still, the lack of talent in CONCACAF right now means we'll finish in 2nd, 6-9 points behind Mexico.

    Remember, for all the talent we have, this is still a team that got curb stomped by a variety of average to below-average teams in the last 12 months.
     
  10. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    Mexican MLS players have scored on us in victories for three games running now I believe so we should probably prepare for the game on the field rather than a resume contest. And given the weight of history Costa Rica will still have the confidence and expectation to stomp us when they’re at home.

    I expect a second place finish.
     
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  11. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    pain.
     
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  12. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    that’s defeatist.

    The losses can be explained by the fact that we were building around a fast declining MLS player and a higher than usual level of minor league players in addition to an insistence on playing possession ball.
     
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  13. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    We had major leaguers in those games too and they were ineffective. CP’s next great game against Mexico will be his first great game against Mexico, so here’s to hoping.

    And I wouldn’t classify Liga MX or Porto as minor league.
     
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  14. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    agreed on Porto - my bad. Strongly disagree on Liga MX- it’s not Big 4 level - probably championship is about right.

    we need a coach who is focused on putting our best players in situations that play to their strengths and away from their developmental areas. I think the top end of our players is now above Mexico’s although they have more depth.

    Gregg has show the desire to do the exact opposite of building around our best players strengths. As I mentioned, we built the team around Bradley/trapp and that has been a disaster.
     
  15. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Mexico has players that are overall more experienced and also more experienced in CONCACAF. That last one is overlooked a lot but shouldn't. CONCACAF games and especially those on the road are different than any other games our players play. The games by fans before games, the crowds, the refs and the gamesmanship during games can catch even the best players off guard. We'll just have to take our lumps as our players gain that experience and hope they don't lose too many games or points because of it. By the next WC cycle we won't have that problem anymore.
     
  16. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    CP played quite well against them in 2016 before we had coaches who wasted his talent out wide without anyone to get him the ball and a system limits his ability to impact the game.
     
  17. TOAzer

    TOAzer Member+

    The Man With No Club
    May 29, 2016
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Probably referencing the league it plays in? Porto, like Benfica [and sometimes Sporting] play each week against other teams that range in quality from lower level EPL to mid level League One in England. There is great disparity, even though it is a small league in terms of number of teams. In any year it is basically not possible to judge the quality of one of the big 2-3 until you see them play internationally.
    It is extremely uncommon to have a league with a very high middle class [at best, three such in the world]. Far ,more common is a league where one or two "Greats" fight boredom throughout most of the year as a group of minnows nibbles around them. Most of these leagues are in fact "Minor", with a couple of outliers, if we are comparing them to the top three. In this sense, Porto does play in the Minors.
    [Personally, I am for a more liberal interpretation of "Major" than the poster you were responding to. But I think what I wrote above gives fuller expression to his perspective].
     
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  18. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    We have more than enough talent to win the Hex. We will lack experience but will be much more talented than the teams that played mexico fairly even in 2016/17. There is no reason we cant pick 3 or 4 points vs them. The reality is that the winner will likely be based on how we do against the other 4 teams and especially on the road. If we can get rid of the idea of playing for ties on the road, we should have a pretty good shot (that assumes the coach selects our best players).
     
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  19. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I’ve taken the L on Porto already - no need to dogpile.....

    I actually do think that the teams in many minor leagues are major league teams but it’s not fascile to write that each time....
     
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  20. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    you’re welcome to your opinion. I think the ceiling for our best players are far above Mexico’s. If we get a coach who puts them in spots that allows them to hit their ceiling, we are the best team in the Hex. That assumes de minimus injuries to our core as we have no depth in many positions.

    I also remember when we consistently played better than the sum of our parts - if we do that, Mexico isn’t beating us.
     
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  21. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    couva should have informed us that experience doesn’t really help that much. Get talent on the field, put them in situations that accentuate their strengths and minimize their developmental areas and we’re in business.

    @tomásbernal has been making the point in another thread that transfermarkt systematically undervalues rising players so I’d argue that the USMNT is undervalued compared to Mexico.

    ceiling to ceiling, I think ours is higher. I do agree that their coach has shown himself to be multiple better than ours so far. If we switched them, we’d absolutely stomp Mexico.
     
  22. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’m going to be overly optimistic...

    I’ll say that 2020 will be a resurgent year for the US with Pulisic, McKennie, Adams, Weah, Sargent, Dest, Antonee, and Reyna all coming into their own, and really putting their stamp on this program.

    I don’t believe we’ll have our best year. But we’ll begin to believe in our boys again!

    That’s at least my hope.
     
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  23. tomásbernal

    tomásbernal Member+

    Sep 4, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's not the point I've been making. The point I've been making is that transfermarkt has a strong bias towards European leagues and anyone who plays in them and that it isn't a good indicator of player quality if you're comparing, as the examples have been, Championship players to MLS players.

    On topic in this thread, though, I expect a 3rd place finish in the Hex, 2nd if Berhalter changes his approach of using mediocre at best MLS players (instead of, at the very least, the best MLS players instead of Lovitz/Baird types), and possibly 1st if a high percentage of the current under-20 crop makes good and Berhalter changes his approach.
     
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  24. RalleeMonkey

    RalleeMonkey Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    here
    We will struggle to qualify. Berhalter is horrible. We have tons of talent by our standards, Jay's Brother is an anchor. Horrible tactics, horrible player selection.

    We're fortunate that our competition (other than Mex, who will curb stomp us, home and away), is down.

    I don't know why anyone thinks a Berhalter coached team will go into Costa Rica, Jamaica, Hondo, or Canada/El Salvador and get points.
     
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  25. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    soccer is not played 1v1 nor by the club teams you're signed with so comparing affiliations of individuals does little. i think in the aggregate, if they play for their clubs, it hints at relative talent. but before people get too arrogant i must remind what a largely domestic/USL TnT team did. it's a team game and not a resume competition.

    also, the affiliation heuristic is a lagging indicator. 2 years later Alvin Jones is in MLS. so we chuckled at domestic league, and he drove us nuts. he didn't belong in his domestic league.

    you're also ignoring that even if we play the resume game your coach has to call the right people and then use them in an effective tactical manner.

    i think on resumes we should be 2nd in the region which is where we just finished in gold cup. and we beat mexico in 2018, and it's not a resume contest, so i agree with those who say it makes me sick to concede first place. we should play 2 competitive games and what happens, happens.

    however home and away reality is more complicated and i think coaching is hugely important in that process. our home and away disparity in 2018 cycle was telling. GB's 2 losses to Mexico, road loss to Canada, home loss to Jamaica, leave me questioning whether he can effectively hack the hex. it's not a hit and miss gold cup where you won't see half the other good teams. it's a hex where you have to play everyone twice and win enough to get out. for all the snobby crap talking about how we need to qualify from some other continent, it was more than we could handle last time, and in terms of the top to bottom competition we face, harder than anything other world cup qualifiers face short of conmebol. even uefa groups mix tough games with trash.

    since GB seems to have been handed the team with impunity for the cycle and perhaps beyond, and is using silly formation and tactics, and i have little faith, what should be a 2nd place team will be marginal to advance, 3rd-5th. you can't go on the road with aspirational tactics and the idea the region will let you pass them to death at home, is laugh inducing. it's punch down tactics for a team that needs to punch up.
     
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