Moving Forward From the Gold Cup

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Maximum Optimal, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    A tournament like this will always produce a mix of positives and negatives. Even the negatives can be plusses in the sense you learn that you need to move on from a certain player.

    Main positives for me were finding two players who are keepers: Cannon and Boyd. They can hang at a high level. We also found out that Jozy is still our best option at forward. Maybe that's not such a positive, but we're going to have to count on him for a stretch.

    Position by position here is how I see things unfolding:

    Forward: Jozy still the best option. Zardes unlikely to surpass him this cycle. Sargent and Weah COULD surpass him and I think it is important to bring them in a much as possible and integrate them into the senior team.

    Wings: Boyd should be in the mix along with Arriola and Weah. I can see the case for occasionally deploying Pulisic in a wide role.

    Central mids: Moving forward it should be some combination of Adams, McKennie, Pulisic and Pomykal. Four to cover 3 positions. Not a yuge amount of depth, so hopefully they stay healthy. Everyone else is a stopgap.

    Right back: Cannon, Yedlin, Lima are all acceptable options. I think there is clearly more need for Adams at the 6.

    Left back: This is the main worry. I would give Lima a look there.

    Center back: Brooks and Long, backed up by Miazga and Zimmerman, with Richards looming on the horizon.
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  2. harttbeat

    harttbeat Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    New York
    yeah positive is clearly the right side. Lima, Cannon and Boyd all did well so hopefully no need to mess with Tyler Adams (rb) and Yedlin (rw) roles.
  3. KALM

    KALM Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Hard to argue too much with anything in the OP. I'd like to see more of Holmes in case he can help plug one of our weak spots on the wing right now, but otherwise I can't think of a lot to add there.
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  4. kokoplus10

    kokoplus10 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree on most of this.

    Throw the potential of Gloster, Robinson, and Soto in there and I think we’re shaping up pretty nicely for qualifying.

    Miazga brooks long Zimmerman Richards

    Cannon Lima Robinson gloster yedlin

    Adams McKennie pulisic pomykal Arriola Weah Boyd

    Altidore Sargent Soto

    If we carry 3 keepers that’s already 23.

    Also, there’s always a couple guys that come out of nowhere and make the roster. So yeah...I think we’re pretty solid.

    Gregg needs to get all the guys above on the same page, and they all need to keep starting roles at their clubs.
  5. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    Cannon was likely the best news out of the Gold Cup. He has stepped up at each level and never looked out of place. Boyd I'm less sold on. He lights a fire in the attack at times, but last time out he was so incredibly poor in possession the became a serious liability.

    We learned that we rely far too much on Pulisic in attack and will frankly be dependent on Jozy's hamstring keeping him on the field or one of the kids (Sargent, Weah) needs to step up. Otherwise, our attack will be predictable and anemic.

    We learned that our midfield defense is poor and in any rational world we learned that Adams is a necessity in the middle of the park. Also, we learned McKennie has a lot of ability but doesn't always seem to know his role, which makes sense considering he's rarely played the same position twice at club level.

    We learned we have decent quality and depth at center back and right back but left back is a gaping black hole. Our continued inability to have any decent left back over decades now makes me wonder why we so adamantly stick with a four man back-line. I guess we have young options that may pan out, but hoping for a good left back to come out of the US is hopeful at best.

    We learned that Steffan is a good shot stopper but if we really want to play out of the back, his foot skills are substandard.

    Still, we did learn in the Jamaica game that against most of CONCACAF, Pulisic, McKennie and Jozy will likely be enough. We learned that the team has some fight in it. And we know we have some decent young players that are hopefully going to help out sooner rather than later. I don't see the current squad as much better than mediocre, but I have hopes that with 2-3 key additions and other players returning to health, we should start to have something decent moving forward. I think in another 12-18 months, this is a much better team.
  6. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    I agree with the measured optimistic takes. We fell just short of the ultimate goal, but there are definite positives to take away, and we can see a style of play and core group of players emerging.

    I think I said this after the Panama game, but I think I still agree with my thoughts then. There are some pretty obvious tweaks to the roster for the fall games, and then problem areas that are a bit trickier to address.

    Obvious changes:

    --Brooks for Gonzalez
    --Adams for Trapp. I'd start Adams at DM and keep Bradley as back up for now, but it's unclear what Berhalter is thinking in that regard.
    --Horvath for Miller. Horvath should be the #2, but Johnson did enough to hang around as the #3.
    --Holmes for Mihailovic
    --Weah for Lewis
    --Pomykal or Lletget for Roldan. I do think Roldan redeemed himself a bit in the final two games and showed he could be useful as a sort of defensive winger, but I'd still want to see if those other guys could offer more.

    Trickier situations:
    --Yedlin/Lima. I still think it's clear that Yedlin should be on the roster and is probably the starter at RB, though Cannon is really giving us something to think about. My question is whether we drop Lima for Yedlin, or try Lima at LB for Lovitz. Lima wasn't terrible, but is now clearly behind Cannon.
    --LB. I think Ream has done enough to be a placeholder, and Lovitz clearly doesn't belong on the team. We could try Lima there, or go for one of the younger options like A. Robinson or Gloster. I'd also be open to trying to a CB there, if that outside back is always staying home. Maybe M. Robinson or CCV?
    --Forward. Altidore proved he's the best option when fit, but even then, he doesn't seem capable of going 90. Zardes works hard and has good movement, but is pretty inept. That said, it's not clear what the other options are. Hopefully, Sargent and Soto are at least on the bench for their respective first teams to start the season and get some minutes, but it's not clear they will. Do we roll the dice with a younger guy who might not be playing much, try another likely to be mediocre MLS option (Dwyer, Ramirez, Sapong?), or stick with Zardes?
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  7. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    I think Weah might end up being the guy you bring in for Altidore after 70 minutes. And maybe the guy who displaces eventually.
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  8. dougtee

    dougtee Member+

    Feb 7, 2007
    in happier news, think what a low bar other attacking players have to clear now that the mihailovic standard has been set
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  9. CyphaPSU

    CyphaPSU Member+

    Mar 16, 2003
    Not Far
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm all for the idea that what we saw from Tyler Boyd should propel him into serious consideration going forward. I just do not know if Berhalter thinks the same way given how he essentially dropped him from the lineup for reasons I do not understand.
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  10. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    Novakovich has got to get a look in the next camp.
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  11. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    So, what types of situations are best suited to get the most out of our highest ceiling players as well as limit their developmental areas?

    - Pulisic
    - Adams
    - Weston
    - Brooks

    The nice part is that I think they all fit well together but each of them is put in a poor spot if we add a DM who can't defend into the mix as

    - Pulisic is forced farther back
    - Adams is put as RB
    - Weston is forced to cover for a bad defender and then become more tentative
    - Brooks is more likely to have to defend shifty dribblers and tiki-taka plays as they move through the midfield. his elite distribution is also limited by having a regista who sits about 5 yards away from him.
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  12. kba4life1

    kba4life1 Member+

    Jul 14, 2010
    Irvine, CA
    Pieces are lining up, we’re just in a weird spot where any of our midfielders and attackers over 24 just aren’t good enough, minus Jozy. Seriously, all of them.

    A midfield trio of Adam, Mckennie and Pomykal would give us a very interesting mix of ground covering with actual skill...Will we actually see it though? Can’t imagine Pulisic covering the amount of ground that Arriola has in Gregg’s “system”.
  13. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I guess I am more pessimistic after the game. I had thought that the mere availability of Adams would send the US on a different trajectory, but I was disheartened by how easily Mex changed its game and took new tactics against the US. They isolated Bradley and nobody stepped up to play the quick, short passing game with him. I'm really not sure anyone fits the bill needed to implement that at the senior level. I hope I am wrong. The second half was played at an altogether different level tactical and physical effort by Mex. I applaud them, but the ease with which they managed to do so is a very big instructional lesson for the US.
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  14. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    Well, players and coaches have stated that they decided to play possession out of the back rather than direct attacks to effectively make a statement even though that’s exactly what Mexico was hoping for.
  15. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    The bottom line is there is nothing Arriola can do that CP can't. Because his club coaches don't ask him to isn't a sign of deficiency.
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  16. shnaggletooth

    shnaggletooth Member+

    Jun 23, 2002
    The main worry is that we still don't know is our GK for the future. Is it really Steffen? Because this tourney provided no answer to that question.
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  17. Jumbalaya

    Jumbalaya Member+

    Apr 27, 2010
    Sunderland AFC
    I'm with you on this. How many times in the last couple of years have we heard "we're building towards something here". Enough of the platitudes and actually get some damn results for a change. I saw very little positives from the game last night or the GC in general outside of Cannon/Pulisic/Boyd. Everything else was same old predictable USMNT. I am not optimistic going forward with Berhalter at the helm.
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  18. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    for me, I put very little stock into the early games. Mexico was the only one that was a true test. For this reason I see Boyd as a player that looks to be one of our best 11 right now but hasn't actually been tested.

    For me, some of the positives were:
    Cannon. Huge revelation in my opinion. He needs to be starting in Europe next year. By far the main player revelation of the tournament for the US.

    Overall play we showed that we are one of the better teams in CONCACAF and, given the age of our current players and players that are not quite in the team that is a huge positive going forward. I'm fine with being one of the top 3 teams in COCACAF but a strong underdog to Mexico now if we can project to being one of the two best teams in the region and back to the Mexico game being more of a tossup by the end of the cycle.

    I think that our strengths and weaknesses are much better defined now after that test against Mexico. We can play possession against Mexico much better than in the past but a few areas hurt us. Finishing. Central midfield area. Left back. Zardes and Morris.

    Adams will make a difference. I believe he needs to be in the center of the field. Even more important now because playing him at right back would take Cannon off the field. I think Bradley played well offensively but he is still a liability defensively. If he stays, Berhalter still needs to find a way to play Adams centrally. He and McKennie can control that midfield. I'm not really sure how he can keep Bradley centrally, play Pulisic in a free role and play Adams centrally as well. Perhaps

    Pulisic Boyd

    McKennie Adams

    LB Long Brooks Cannon

    or something similar?
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  19. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    I’m actually shocked that you still want to keep Bradley after watching the Mexico game.

    For what purpose? Forget about his defense, he wasn’t really effective as a distributor during the game.
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  20. JohhnyCaps

    JohhnyCaps Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    Sunderland AFC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I mean Gergs did him no favors in the set-up or subs when Mexico adjusted, but it was plain as day for all to see that he simply doesn't have the pace to be that mobile holding and distributing mid anymore.

    I have significant worries with Gergs that between his favorites and his round hole/square peg system, that he'll struggle to not only get our best 11 on the firld but also get the best out of them.
  21. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member+

    Jun 18, 2007
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am coming away from this GC fairly pessimistic. I was at one point hopeful that 3G had this "system" and that regardless of anything else we might look organized and play with some synchronization. I now think this "system" is just the same old nonsense.

    Don't know how anyone feels positive after watching us display the same stupidity that cost us in qualifying after the hiring of a GM that is supposed to keep shitty roster decisions like the one from this Gold Cup from happening and then a lengthy, if not exactly exhaustive, search for a head coach that is just the right guy to lead us forward...

    This GC didn't feel like going forward and it didn't feel like an unmitigated disaster either, it feels to me like drifting aimlessly in circles.
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  22. comoesa

    comoesa Member+

    Aug 13, 2010
    Christen Press's armpit
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sargent, Novakovich, Weah, Adams, Pomykal, Servania(he's a sleeper at DM). I hope they continue to progress with their clubs and that Egg calls them in immediately if they are available. Guys like Richards, Mendez, Ledezma, Gloster, Llanez, and Dest need to bake in the oven a bit more. I think Llanez is the only attacker in that bunch that can mirror how direct Pulisic is. Look out for him to make a big jump this upcoming season.

    Moving forward Arriola, Zardes, Bradley, Ream, Morris, and Roldan need to be on the periphery of the national team at this moment.
  23. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    I come away understanding how a coach has less than a 50% career winning percentage. And I now expect nothing from captain nepotism. And that was before Jamaica but the Lovitz for Ream thing is beyond stupidity and has zero reasonable explanation other than Doh!
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  24. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    #24 dlokteff, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    I'm actually getting more more optimistic as the day goes on.

    First we did not play that bad, at all. We were 1.62 xG to Mexico's 1.13. We should have scored, and quite possibly should have won the game last night. Venture to say that in some of those dos-a-cero games we weren't better than this game.

    That said, my optimism does predicate on Gregg making a few changes and culling some of the chaff from this roster.
    • Bradley must be benched, or retired, now. I like Bradley, thus I say benched, as I think, depending on form, he still could contribute. It's just patently obvious that he can't be a key CM cog right now. And no, I'm not calling for Trapp, LOL. The CM pairing going forward is really pretty god damn obvious.
    • Zardes, Trapp, Lovitz, Lewis, Mihailovic (for now) need to go the way of Corey Baird. Morris, Arriola, Roldan, Lima should be bench players and others need to be allowed to challenge to knock them out entirely.
    We'll see what happens the rest of 2019 in the Friendlies and NL games. If it's the same guys as the Gold Cup, then it's pitchforks. I'm willing to give GGG the year.

    Lastly, rather than get cute with RB/CM hybrids or central wingers, we can just put the best guys in positions to succeed.

    I'll humor Gregg and put out a 3-2-2-3:


    I actually like this a lot, TBH. And you certainly have options. Weah for Boyd, Sargent for Jozy. Holmes (or longer term Ledezma and/or Mendez) for Lletget. If you think McKennie needs to go closer to goal it's not great, but we have Roldan or Morales (a few others) that can work ok in that other spot.

    Our CB depth is great, but we have no LB (and prospects aren't super great, we'll see). Solved with just playing a 3 man backline. Those 3 can handle it. We have 22 year old Miles Robinson doing very well in MLS, 21 year old CCV is like forgotten already or something. 19 year old Chris Richards is on the books at Bayern and was just one of the best players in the entire U-20 WC. Zimmerman actually did nothing wrong.

    If we're worried about opposing wings in that setup, or just need to go defensive I see some good squads there too. Just go 3-4-3 with wingbacks instead of the "dual 10's".


    We've added in a Premier League Player and a guy who just showed a lot of strengths, just not at finishing. WB depth in A.Robinson, Cannon & Lima is not horrible at all.

    I just named 25 field players there. I feel pretty good about "Moving forward from the Gold Cup".
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  25. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    I think we should start with the premise that a large majority of the roster and probably the starting 11 be from MLS.

    This roster doesn’t cut it, unfortunately
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