Haji Wright has chance to find himself as starting striker

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Scotty, May 30, 2022.

  1. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Yeah.............because comments on a fan message board are reality.

    The reality is that a lot of players that Williams coached full-time at Bradenton, including Haji Wright, are on this World Cup roster.
     
  2. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I don't know. Fanbases usually just love youth coaches. ;)
     
  3. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The big one was whatever was the reason behind why he kicked the LAG player off the team. Never found out the reason. He switched to MX after that.
     
  4. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

    Sep 10, 1999
  5. harttbeat

    harttbeat Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    New York
    Netherland picked wout weghorst for WC team. He's 4th leading goal scorer in Turkish league. So Haji in is not that surprising.
     
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  6. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    It's terrible when the pundits don't even follow the players.

    Lalas reaction to Wright's convocation to the team tells me he's got no idea who he is.
     
  7. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    Anatalya's game at Besiktas yesterday afternoon was cancelled due to the bombing in Istanbul. So on the upside I suppose it means less chance of Haji getting injured and him being able to join up with the USA camp even sooner.
     
  8. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
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  9. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Glad Haji could get a World Cup goal on what probably should be his last cap for the USMNT. Gyasi Zardes 2.0
     
  10. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

    Fulham Football Club
    Feb 1, 2005
    Time's Arrow
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Came here to note that he Zardes’d the ball into the net. Damn. Good for him, but he’s not the answer at this level.
     
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  11. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    That was an absolute GOLAZOOOOOOOOOOOO from Wright today. What a strike!!!

    As for the Question, "Haji Wright has a chance to find himself as starting stiker?" Yes, at a mid-table Turkish side.
     
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  12. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I said made the same comparison after the goal... funny both Haji Wright and Gyasi Zardes are products of the LA Galaxy academy, which has produced quite a few overhyped prospects with glaring flaws in their game who fail to reach expectations.

    I think we've seen enough of Haji Wright for a year or two, if he can ever get back to a top five league and regularly score goals there, sure take another look, but until then...
     
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  13. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly. Off hand, we’ve got Josh Sargent, Ricardo Pepi, Daryl Dike, Jordan Pefok, Folarin Balogun, Brandon Vazquez, and some others to keep us busy to see who is the right guy up there.
     
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  14. Reccossu

    Reccossu Member+

    Jan 31, 2005
    Birmingham
    Wright’s elephant touch on his 1v1 was enough for me.
     
  15. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Shots fired :devilish:
     
  16. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    He'll be a trivia question in 40 years
    What U.S. striker who featured for a Turkish club scored in a round of 16 match?
     
  17. LouisianaViking07/09

    Aug 15, 2009
    Wasn't it stated his relationship with McKennie and Pulisic really helped Berhalter decide on him vs a few other options?
     
  18. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    No. A lot of people said that on the internet. But I don't think Berhalter ever referenced this.
     
  19. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah let's not blame McKennie and Pulisic for Gregg's poor decision-making and bad talent evaluation, please!

    Gregg recognized Wright was not very good in June... it's too bad November Gregg didn't listen to June Gregg, and instead did a complete 180 on Wright at the worst possible time!
     
  20. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Yep. Bringing Wright was a mistake, IMO. I can guess why he did it, but Wright played pretty predictably, aside from the goal.

    That said, the Pulisic-Wright relationship is one of the perfect examples of internet hype. Yes, they were on youth teams together. Yes, there was an article where Pulisic was happy to see Haji make it after years of struggles.

    But somehow USMNT twitter turned that into weird levels of friendship -- like, that they are lifelong friends. Are they? Does anyone know? That Pulisic actively lobbied for him to be there. Do we know that? Somehow McKennie got pulled in -- he was on some of those youth teams but not nearly as many as Wright and Pulisic.
     
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  21. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    Men in Blazers guys did mention that Pefok's English is highly limited, and that his temperament and personality is very French, using the word "aloof" to describe him. If that's true, then its not a surprise why a guy who didn't perform after NL in a handful of performances wouldn't make the final cut considering the relevance of "fit" and "chemistry". If that angle is true, then he definitely wouldn't fit w/the group if there were other guys producing.

    I'm fine w/Wright, nice goal, he's immediately looking back as he falls to see what comes of it, telling me he knew what he was doing even if it was a hope and a prayer, but regardless, he's solid, a good enough striker but a bad fit for Berhalter's not very effective at all attacking set up (and maybe not a good fit for any set up considering the talent distribution, who knows). For me he's in the second tier of a grab bag of guys after Pepi and Sargent w/Dike, Pefok, Vasquez, Balogun if we can get him etc.
     
  22. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I should note, if we did get Balogun, I'd expect him to get a debut camp where he doesn't play a lot, and then get locked in role as a top 2-3 striker in the program and most likely the starter within 1-2 camps of arriving. Only Pepi strikes me as legit competition to stop him.
     
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  23. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I don't really think the lack of English hurt him much unless it was a real communication barrier.

    Personally, having watched Pefok and Wright, they have size and some experience, but neither has the skillset to sustainably score at a higher level if you watch them.

    Perhaps Berhalter disagrees, or perhaps Berhalter hated all his options and said that Wright was big and a little better fit than Pefok, I dunno.

    Pepi probably would have been bullied, but given the alternative performance, he'd at least have shot the ball. But even his performance in the Eredivisie isn't really consistently generating chances.

    Vazquez certainly has the size but there's little doubt in my mind his ball skills would have been exposed a bit. But he's fast, makes run, can bag. Eh, would he have been worse than Wright? Hard to say.

    I know people like what they saw from Sargent, but I think we should all note that all we got out of Sargent was some pretty good hold up play. That's not a lot and that's not enough.

    Berhalter didn't have a lot of quality raw material there, but failure to generate any real offensive value from the striker position is his biggest failure of the cycle. It's not all on him, but by the end it is pretty clear we were asking very, very little from the role. It's tough to criticize him for the player selections on the whole -- we actually tried a decent amount and generally rode the players I think have the most potential. It was a short cycle because of COVID and the late hire, and there was so much turnover. And while not seeing Vazquez was probably a mistake, there's a better chance than not that he wasn't going to be an upgrade.

    But, all that said, shifting to a support striker over a more radical / tactical shift is probably the biggest mistake. In slow motion, all the decisions seem reasonable. But the real move would have been realizing back in 2021 that none of these guys were ready and relying on Ricardo Pepi to take a step forward unambigiously was a huge mistake. Instead we tried 4-5 options that just never clicked and started to pull back the role as a consequence.

    But that has a domino effect. It's simply hard to hide a weak link at striker and still be effective. Especially when your set pieces suck and your transition decision making is abysmal.
     
  24. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Wussconsin
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pefok does interviews with American outlets totally in French, and during one he made it a point to say him and/or his mom weren't keen on American culture. lol Anyway, his nat'l team performances were poor in a significant but not big sample, and he proceeded to lose his starting spot in the Bundesliga like many others could/have. So at that point, it's like, who cares, in a vacuum. Though I'd prefer him over Wright as a target since he's actually good in the air. But Pepi and maybe Vazquez were better than all of them.

    If chemistry wasn't a deciding factor in that roster decision, then I guess the other explanation is Berhalter just has a bad eye for talent. He was leaving Scally on the bench for Moore and Scally. So either way, that's an issue.

    As far as the goal goes, the most Wright possibly meant it was like when a basketball player saves the ball from going out of bounds and tries to throw it in the generally area of the hoop because only good things can happen there. It's a 1 in a thousand, predominantly luck job still, because there's little to no control. But since the ball's going out of bounds the vast majority of the time in soccer if he does it there, I think it was more even trying to get a part of his body on it and hope it fortunately found a teammate in the box, unlike if the ball just went thru the Dutch would have inevitably cleared it. It fortuitously went toward and into goal. Zimmerman had more to do with the goal coming back to win the ball, laying it off, and then diving to the box to put off Dutchmen trying to scramble to clear it off the line. The aforementioned maligned Yedlin also uncharacteristically plays a deft 1-time thru ball to put us in space. The rest was a smash & grab.
     
  25. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I hardly think it's certain that Wright over Pefok was definitively a bad talent choice. It could have been, but we're not talking something certain here. I think he was a bad talent choice, but I have far less information and I have far less experience. Could I bet right? Sure. But like, there's a really good chance I'm wrong.

    Even if it was so, there's no coach in the world that bats anywhere near 1.000. Sometimes people just make a wrong call; it doesn't mean a bad eye for talent.

    It's clear to me that Berhalter values verteran experience, chemistry, defensive ability, ability to execute specific role instructions, work rate and off ball work all far more than the average fan. I'd for this group, physical sturdiness and size.

    And that those things become far more important the further you get down the roster.

    Are Berhalter's sliders right? I dunno. But I would say that most coaches all favor those aspects.
     

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