March 2023: Nations League. The Rebuild

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Eleven Bravo, Dec 3, 2022.

  1. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 2022 Cycle is officially over, and even though the January Camp which will be our first games post-World Cup, the Nations League matches vs El Salvador and at Grenada will be our first matches to have all of our players available.

    We still don’t know who will be the coach for this program. But how would you begin to reset this team moving forward for the next four years?
     
  2. TOAzer

    TOAzer Member+

    The Man With No Club
    May 29, 2016
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Too soon for me, Eleven Bravo. I now shall dedicate the rest of the month of December to drinking deep from the pauper's cup of life [More Jim Beam, less Macallan]... kick me awake sometime by the Spring thaw..... :cautious::coffee::sleep:
     
  3. adam tash

    adam tash BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 12, 2013
    Barcelona, Spain
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    the only reason for jan camp moving forward should be to facilitate MLS to europe moves.

    at this point, the (sizable and expanding) euro contingent has lapped the rest of the pool to such an extent that I may even consider scrapping the Jan camp....there needs to be an equivalent version of this for the euro players. otherwise, an MLS only camp just doesnt make any sense any more.
     
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  4. PaulGascoigne

    PaulGascoigne Member+

    Feb 5, 2001
    Aotearoa/NZ
    I don't claim to be the world's greatest expert on this matter. But I am pretty sure it won't be classified as a "rebuild."
     
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  5. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Personally, my first step would be to call in a mix of our World Cup veterans, mainly the main core, but I would bring in many new faces who need to get integrated into this program.

    Tentative Roster
    (3) GOALKEEPERS: Matt Turner, Zack Steffen, Gabriel Slonina

    ....I considered Josh Cohen, but his turn will have to wait. Main thing is I want Slonina in and Steffen back in. But of course, Turner is my number one. That means I can leave Horvath behind on this window; which I still want him part of the program, but he’s been with the team long enough this World Cup that letting him stay with his club isn’t the end of the world.

    (2) RIGHT BACKS: Sergino Dest, Joe Scally

    ....I considered Reggie Cannon. I even considered Bryan Reynolds and Marlon Fossey. But I can wait on them.

    (2, maybe 3) LEFT BACKS: Jedi Robinson, John Tolkin, Jonathan Gomez*

    ....I’m expecting that Vines will still be out. Bello has to sort some things out in his career. But we need some new blood in this team. I really want to see Tolkin get introduced to the team. And I would go ahead and try to lock up Gomez with this team if he’ll accept.

    (5) CENTER BACKS: Chris Richards, Miles Robinson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Auston Trusty, 1-TBD* (EPB, Miazga, McKenzie, Sands)

    ...I don’t see Ream as part of this team anymore. 38 is a little too old to expect anyone to be a reliable contender. Best to go ahead and rip off the band aid. On Zimmerman, he may or may not be part of this team moving forward, but it’s more likely that’s a no than it is a yes, so let’s see what else we have early. Furthermore, I think we can all move away from Long too. He got his World Cup. I don’t see his role in the 2026 cycle.

    This opens the door for CCV to be the one returning center back, and for the two injured center backs to also make their return. Auston Trusty has earned a call up. Then, it’ll be a toss up on that last call up, which I would bring in early. You can’t call in all of them, but I would call in whichever one is in the best form at the time.

    (9) MIDFIELDERS: Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Kelyn Acosta, Brenden Aaronson, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, 2-TBD* (Johnny Cardoso, Taylor Booth, Djodje Mihailovic, Richie Ledezma, Kevin Paredes, Malik Tillman, etc.)

    ...There are quite a few new options that I want to see here, but I’m not going to bring them all. I would bring my core in, because I want them to set the stage for the next group, but I want at least one or two new guys in the mix. This means that someone like Booth who just won Eredivise player of the month might get the honors if he keeps his form going.

    Oh yeah, and I didn’t bring Luca de la Torre, Jordan Morris, and Cristian Roldan on purpose. Maybe they have a future with us, but they’re not so critical that we can try out 2 new guys in their spots (and another guy at forward).


    (6) FORWARDS: Tim Weah, Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargent, Folarin Balogun, Brandon Vazquez, 1-TBD* (Daryl Dike, Jordan Pefok, Jesus Ferreira, Haji Wright)

    ...Going into game, you’ll notice that I want to cast a wide net and I want to try out a 2 forward system.

    Formation Change and Game Flexibility

    Looking at this roster, I think we need to plan to try out a few formations to see what works best with our player pool.

    I’m okay with keeping the 433 in our stable, but I want to add in the diamond 442, the empty bucket 442, and 451 formations.

    Yet, for this camp, I want to try out only 2 forwards to see if we can get a little more dynamism in our attack.


    XI At Grenada

    —————Balogun——Sargent—————-
    Reyna————————————Aaronson
    ———-—(C)Adams———-Musah———
    Tolkin——————————————Scally
    —————Richards———CCV—————-
    —————————Turner———————

    XI Vs El Salvador
    —————Weah———-Pepi——————
    ————————Pulisic————————
    Reyna————————————McKennie
    ———————(C)Adams————————
    Jedi———————————————-Dest
    —————-Trusty———-Miles—————-
    ————————-Turner————————
     
  6. JUnionFan

    JUnionFan Member+

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Sep 30, 2020
    Personally I would want to start with the coach and formation question.

    I am desperate to see us use a 10 from now on, probably just a 4-2-3-1. I think we have two good 10s who I want to see at their natural position.
     
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  7. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    It's really hard to do anything without knowing the coach.

    Formations come and go and should be flexible.
     
  8. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ill think about this somewhere down the line, but if youre going to consider cannon consider him as a cb.

    with dest, scally and a handful of maybes at rb reggie would just be another maybe. hes a vaguely interesting option in the middle, though. and to premptively clarify i mean in a back two, its pretty obvious he would be a decent candidate in a back 3.
     
  9. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So I consider the core guys for next cycle Pulisic, Reyna, Weah, Aaronson, McKennie, Musah, Adams, Richards, Dest, Jedi, Robinson, and Turner. And to the extent any of them need a break in March or this summer I would give them a break. I’d also leave the U20s to their own devices so they can focus on their own World Cup. I’d also generally give the MLS vets (Zimmerman, Long, Moore, Yedlin, Roldan, Morris, Arriola, Acosta)

    But otherwise these are my goals for the March window and this summer:

    1) reintegrate Reyna into the team and figure out where he fits besr
    2) give Scally some good run at right back
    3) tryout backup options at the 8 (Pomykal, Williamson, Parks, Booth, and Cardoso).
    4) find a back up left back (amongst Tolkin, Jones, and others).
    5) see how Miles Robinson has recovered from his injury
    6) look at Pepi, Sargent, and Dike at the 9, while also taking a look at Vazquez
    7) work on center back depth (Trusty, CCV, EPB, McKenzie, Miazga)
    8) Give Chris Richards some good run with the national team.
    9) see how Aidan Morris, Flach, and others look at the 6.
     
  10. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    MY thoughts, almost exactly. But, Grey Goose or Ketel One for me. Wait. Fuuckck Holland. Just Goose.
     
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  11. manfromgallifrey91

    Swansea City
    United States
    Jul 24, 2015
    Wyoming, USA
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First you gotta find a manager. That's number 1. DO NOT SLOW PLAY THE HIRE, DO NOT GIVE GREGG AN EXTENSION. After that it's all about introducing the coach to the players, so the games should be whothat coach considers the core.

    If I were asked to coach this is the list

    Thank Ream, Roldan, and Yedlin and see them off.
    Get my midfield some creative juice with a tactical change to a 442/4222/4132/4312.
    This team needs two strikers, just don't have the lone striker type. Probably Weah and Josh but it's early.
    Get a better set piece coach, that was bad.
    Get thebest 11 on the field, figure the rest out.
    Get a bench built on the ability to alter tactics in a game.
    Hire a great coaching staff who communicate in multiple languages(its important)
    Let the guys have fun.

    Now my best 11 is as follows
    ----------------------Turner
    Robinson------Richards-----CCV------Dest
    ----------------------Adams
    ------Musah---------------------------Aaronson
    -----------------------Reyna
    --------------Pulisic----------Weah
    Bench
    Horvath
    Steffen
    Scally
    Zimmerman
    Robinson/EPB
    Reynolds
    McKennie
    Sands/Acosta
    Gooch
    Sargent
    Vasquez
    Mueller

    Some wildcards there but again my whole thing is to be able to change a game. No idea how long they'll add to 26(hopefully they keep it). Main idea is to get your core and rotate the back endow the roster to see depth and cover. Gotta be better.
     
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  12. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The new coach aspect is where I would say, do not give the core players the window off. If we have a new coach, we want him to meet the new players immediately.

    That means that we need to resolve the coach situation by at least March.
     
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  13. nyjimmy

    nyjimmy Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    Need to win these 2 to qualify for the Nations League Final in June I presume. Think we need to bring the full squad as meaningful matches are going to be tough to come by.
     
  14. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    After this NL in June, I hope we refuse any more CONCACAF NL. The NL has been the worst thing that ever happened to US Soccer.

    I’d rather even see us recreate the USA Cup and invite the best from South America, Asia, and Africa, if Europe wants stay exclusive to all other parties.
     
  15. Neubill

    Neubill Member

    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Jan 26, 2005
    Southern Kelehfornya
    I'd like to see the Nats focus also on two other things for 2024:
    1. Host Copa América (June 14 - July 13)
    2. Make the medal round in the Paris Summer Olympics tournament (July 26 - August 11)
    Here's why we can be the host: it was Ecuador's turn in the rotation of CONMEBOL nations to host the tournament, but their federation announced in November 2022 that they have declined its bid to host.
    The US should not only participate in the tournament, but should lobby hard to host it.
     
  16. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i think i had talked myself into something close to a 4231 over the last however long because its not a drastic change from how we set up now, but im starting to feel a little more open on formation/shape because im convinced we have to make a drastic change in how we attack anyways .

    a 4231 has been a popular alternattive for a ton of people due to our (relative) lack of naturally wide players and strictly defined cms, but the more compelling argument for me is the number of "narrow" (if not central) players on the fringe and (presumably) coming through.

    look at mihailovic, tillman, ledezma, booth, williamson, pomykal vs guys who actually bring width- parades, konrad, cowell maybe?

    that seems like a whole lot of guys/talent/potential who are going to be stuck "behind" mckennie, musah and adams (indivdually), with most shoe-horned into roles that dont fit them.

    i dont think building around a true #10 is the best idea either, as reyna is the only guy that could be developed in that role imo. but "6" and "pressing 8" aint gonna cut it. where do the more attacking mids go, wide attacker? what about the stronger defensive guys that still arent 6s (williamson, pomykal)? do we really want even less creativity in middle?

    a double pivot (which can be a 6 with a holding mid, or even 2 holding mids, a dlp, etc) with 3 attacking mids seems to be the way to maximize the players we actually have. a box 4, a diamond, an empty bucket with nominal width- there are a lot of options that make a lot more sense than the extremely defined two roles we have now (that we just saw leave aaronson and reyna almost completely out of the team in the wc).

    weve got to stop forcing width we barely have with just as little coming through, all for crossing to a target man we dont have.

    so ill say in a 4231 with jan camp under our belts i wouldnt mind seeing something close to this (im designating mids for the 2 and 3 lines liberally)

    gk turner
    gk slonina
    gk mls keeper*
    rb dest
    rb scally
    cb miles
    cb richards
    cb zim
    cb carter-vickers
    cb mckenzie
    lb jedi
    lb tolkin
    2lm adams
    2lm musah
    2lm acosta
    2lm williamson
    2lm pomykal
    3lm pulisic
    3lm mckennie
    3lm reyna
    3lm aaronson
    3lm weah (who i want moved to the fwd pool between now and 26)
    3lm booth
    st pepi
    st dike
    st sargent

    i dont really care about the depth, its only two matches. guys like epb, moore, johnny, flach, ldlt, vazquez over any of their counterparts on this list? fine. hopefully jan camp can give a little clarity. hell, i wouldnt be totally against leaving our lock wc starters out completely to actually see what have to start cooking with.

    one last random thought- i think we have a low key problem simmering at gk. forgive me, @adam tash im not enforcing an mls quota here- but we really do need a domestic gk option because the fact is we play and have camps outside of fifa windows. we can kick the can down the road a little with johnson, or sign up for 10 years of mediocrity with marcinkowski (which i am strongly against), so i think we sould spend a very little amount of effort to sort through celentano, pulskamp and brady, i guess.
     
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  17. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good post. I agree with many of your personnel selections. The main additions/edits I'd make from what you proposed (you did mention some of these guys in your TBDs) is I'd want to call in Djordje Mihailovic, Richie Ledezma, Malik Tillman, Alan Sonora, Paxton Pomykal, and Taylor Booth. I'd also like to look at Gianluca Busio, Keaton Parks and Johan Gomez.

    I agree that we can likely move on from Tim Ream, DeAndre Yedlin and Aaron Long. None are instrumental to the current squad given our depth, and will likely be too old to be strong contenders for the 2026 team. I'd also move on from Roldan.

    If I need to pare down to ~28 guys to call in for March 2023 Nations League, here's who I'd likely take at this point:

    GK:
    Turner, Steffen, Horvath (I'd give Slonina time to settle in with his club)

    DEF:
    Dest, A.Robinson, Cannon, Paredes, Richards, M.Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Trusty

    MID:
    Adams, McKennie, Musah, Acosta, Mihailovic, Ledezma, Pomykal, A.Sonora

    WING:
    Pulisic, Reyna, Weah, Aaronson, Tillman, Booth

    ST:
    Sargent, Pepi, Dike (if on form), Wright/Pefok
     
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  18. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How would this exactly go down??? If the US refuses to participate, Concacaf will punish the USSF and it's teams. ALL of it's teams. Whether fans like it or not, Nations League is here to stay. Improving all of the nations in Concacaf only helps the US, and Mexico and Canada (especially, since they've always had difficulties finding opponents).

    The US suddenly "refusing" to play in Concacaf Nations League isn't going to suddenly free up date for quality opponents either. UEFA has it's own Nations League plus Euro qualifying, and then WC qualifying. UEFA and Conmebol are also going to do a joint nations League. the AFC is likely going to have it's own Nations League. CAF qualifying for AFCON and WC are long.

    Not to mention Mexico and Canada (the other 2026 host nations) need opponents too. Out of the three, Mexico is still the most attractive. Playing Mexico in the US is still the most attractive Concacaf opponent for teams. Owners of US stadiums don't care how the USSF feels about this either. Losing the chance for a USM/WNT friendly???? Boo frickity hoo. They're going to make way more money hosting a Mexico game anyways.
     
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  19. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If it were me, I’d take the initiative to sit Mexico and Canada down at the table and essentially be a collective front to demand something else. Collectively bargain to South America, Africa. Asia. I don’t think anything is here to stay. We just need to demonstrate that there is a superior alternative.

    That’s in their best interest too.
     
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  20. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is there a better alternative though? Conmebol is already OFF the table.....the top 6 nations in Conmebol are joining UEFA Nations League beginning in 2024. Do we really want the bottom 4 Conmebol nations joining Concacaf Nations League? Does that really help? Are we going to force them to play their games in the US?? Would traveling to Caracas and La Paz really help the US?

    Do we want the US traveling to Japan, China, Australia? Honestly, if Concacaf partnered with the AFC they'd play the games in Qatar or Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Those games wouldn't be played here.

    https://www.marca.com/en/football/nations-league/2021/12/17/61bcec43ca4741a9078b45e8.html

    Canada has always struggled to find friendly opponents, let alone quality opponents. Nations League finally gives them that. Why would they come to the table? Mexico doesn't have issues finding opponents because they're Mexico.

    Plus Montagliano is likely sick of meeting with Mexico and the US from his time dealing with them and their respective leagues over the CCL.

    Concacaf is more than just the US and Mexico. Improving the entire confederation helps the US and Mexico.
     
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  21. JUnionFan

    JUnionFan Member+

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Sep 30, 2020
    I agree the issue of finding quality opponents is huge and needs to be thoroughly researched but I also think any solution will be long and painful and I don't think there are any easy or quick solutions. Any possible fix will be a long, drawn out negotiation with massive stakes (though I guess "Stacks" is accurate too bcoz of money lol). It's just a huge problem with near impossible solutions.

    As I type that though, I thought of a half serious solution - how about an international Super League for friendlies?
     
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  22. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sounds like there is opportunity for CONCACAF to join this joint CONMEBOL/UEFA NL. Heck, that should be as easy as bringing all the nations together to file a complaint that the NL doesn’t need to be continental.

    If not, a joint CONCACAF/CAF/AFC Nations League is a better than a straight CONCACAF NL.

    Right now, I’d take a competitive match up against Japan, South Korea, Australia, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, etc. in a heart beat.

    We just need to be able to be creative.
     
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  23. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How many nations are we talking about? There are more Nations than just the top ones....If every Nation gets a vote.....it's not going to go the way fans think it is or want it to.

    CAF is probably a no go. AFON and WC qualifying takes up the majority of their windows. AFC, same thing.

    There's also Club considerations....they afterall actually pay the players involved, and have contracts with them. more and excessively more travel and games at International Level isn't something they want.

    Not to mention FIFA still hasn't settled on a format for the 2026 tournament, nor do any of the confederations know what qualfting will look like. It's going to look different with more countries making it to 2026, yet no one knows exactly how it's going to look yet.
     
  24. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The fact that it is unsettled means to me, now, is the time to bulldoze our ways into making sure we don’t get left out.

    Maybe, I don’t have the right answer for it. I wonder if we could do something differently than a traditional home/away deal at the NL. Maybe we have to think outside that box. Maybe, we rotate, one round in America, one round in Asia, and next in Africa. Maybe that’s not it.

    But just bend over and take it that we’re stuck playing Grenada forever and ever seems like we aren’t trying hard enough to advocate for our program.
     
  25. RossD

    RossD Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    I think whatever happens over the next 4 yeas is not going to meet the fans expectations. Gotta think Stewart and McBride are also worried looking at how to schedule competitive games over the next 4 years. Fans saying "make it happen" doesn't help. I'm sure they will get creative but it's not going to be enough for us.
    CONCACAF is a mess, always has been, always will. There's what, maybe 30+ members who all have a say and most don't have the same interests as us. Just because we'd want to play a top African or Asian team doesn't mean they will also want to play us or that it logistically could happen. I think we all need to be prepared for frustration going forward.
     
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