Pre-Copa Training Camp Roster

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by rgli13, May 20, 2024.

  1. Calling BS

    Calling BS Member+

    Orlando City
    United States
    Jan 25, 2020
    You spent the whole pre Germany match thread telling us how much Germany sucked.
  2. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    They did. But their talent is undeniable.
  3. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    That's not what me or Ghost are saying, you are a master of straw manning at times. We've been watching him for four years at Valencia and now Milan.
    7849 minutes at Valencia and Milan, nearly 150 matches played (I think 148). He's got 4 goals and 5 assists, 9 total goal contributions while playing centrally and on the wing in 7800+ minutes, or basically a goal contribution every 950 minutes or so. He's never produced more than 2 goals in a single season, he's never produced more than 2 assists in a single system.

    That's the point, the only point. Nobody is saying he sucks, nobody is saying he should sit for some schlub on Heidenheim, nobody's saying he's not damn good at what he does well. What we're saying is that for whatever reason, his offensive game has never "appeared". It just hasn't. I don't know why. I've said before that I've seen him unleash beautiful shots from distance only for them to hit the crossbar, or be saved spectacularly etc. I've seen elements that might suggest he's got the potential BUT, we're closer to 8000 minutes then 5000, we're closer to 150 matches played than 125. More than enough caps to even out the back and forth of randomness. And he's still not scoring and he's still not assisting for anyone, not Valencia, not for Milan, not in Spain, not in Italy and not for the US.

    In my view, Musah's a b all carrier with tremendous press resistance that adds some defensive bite. It's a trait few guys on the team have. It's a HUGE asset to be able to field two different CM's as press resistant as Musah and Reyna even if we end up not playing them so much together. I'm not sure what his position will be, he's played on the wing, as an 8 and as a 6. I like the versatility.

    But the complaints I think it was Jond had in the past about MMA are valid. If you are fielding Adams AND Musah, you are not getting a lot of offense, period, regardless of Tyler's wonder goal against Mexico (I think that was the first time he scored in the shirt since he played against Mexico like 6 years ago). So what Berhalter is saddled with here is a collection of CM's that he probably should design multiple templates with:

    Reyna: Our old school 10+
    Tillman: Our 10/Striker/False 9/Winger/Wannabe Pogba
    McKennie: Our Talisman when he's on, and silly pass machine when he isn't.
    Musah: Our Press Resistant 6/8
    Adams: Our elite 6 w/limited offensive game.

    Other guys too.

    But when you look at the group, Berhalter's decision is going to be when to go with MMA (Brazil maybe?), and when to go with MRA, and when Tillman makes sense etc....

    Interesting choices, the progress Tillman has made the past two years has to make its mark in the shirt by now right? He can't just be the anti-Tim Weah? Right?
  4. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    And those guys are always awfully overrated as they look so beautiful advancing the ball unlike of some lousy passer, as, of course, we all were able to pass on U-12 team. Case in point Darlington Nagbe.
  5. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    thats it in a nutshell. he has a ton of positives, brings so much to the team- which is why valencia and now milan are giving him minutes. if he never gets an inch better hes still likely top 6ish for the nats, but no one is bashing him in a truly negative way- we are looking for growth/improvement in a couple of key areas that will amplify all the tools he naturally has.

    but hes at a crossroads. when he makes those runs forward he has to be able to make the right decision and pass- either to the wing, an advanced cm partner or a forward (and if he sees daylight i have no problem with taking a crack). it doesnt have to be the decisive pass/assist but it does have to result in a chance at a chance. hes got the strength to carry "his" defender 40 yards but more often hes taking 2 or 3 guys out of play and hes simply not taking advantage of that (or providing the right pass to a teammate to take advantage of). as often as not the possession completely flames out with a poor pass wide, or he gives away possession at a time hes caught far upfield in addition to his teammates moving in the wrong direction.

    and as simple as it is to say he could/should be converted to a defensive mid his passing would need to improve just as much there. its a lower bar and "simpler" ask but even more vital relative to position.
    grandinquisitor28 repped this.
  6. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Im pretty convinced at this point there isn't an end product, and he's going to become a 3rd/4th midfielder who will start when we're going to be defending against a top 10 team, and sit when we're trying to pile in goals. After four years and countless matches, more than 7000 minutes, all that, Musah still isn't generating assists or goals period. He may suddenly blossom, he's still young, but it will be a blossoming that NOTHING he's done so far suggested was possible other than his relative youth.
  7. NietzscheIsDead

    NietzscheIsDead BigSoccer Yellow Card

    NO WAR
    United States
    May 31, 2019
    NO WAR
    Shaq never really needed to hit free throws to be the most dominant force in his sport.

    Musah doesn't need to do much. He's already better than every US midfielder not named Weston or Tyler.
  8. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    No he isn't. But I think his "plus" abilities make him a "game model" dependent starter, and a top 4 guy for now, but if Tillman breaks out in '24-'25 like he did this past season (jjust another jump up), then you could see multiple CM's seemingly locked in rolls circa 2022 come into question. Tillman is probably in a lot of ways, one of the most interesting guys here. Still hasn't looked the part in the shirt, ever, just some bang average starts, mixed with invisible and craptacular performances, but all very low sample size. He was very good in Scotland as a 20 year old, and he was spectacular this past year w/PSV as a 21 year old, if he blows up another level as a 22 year old (happy birthday on Wednesday to him) and manages to finally spread those performances to our shirt, a lot of things change heading into the final year before WC '26. It will be super interesting to watch. Berhalter's quotes about him after the switch two springs ago continue to sit in my head (saw him as amid, pocket winger, and CM depending upon formation).
  9. NietzscheIsDead

    NietzscheIsDead BigSoccer Yellow Card

    NO WAR
    United States
    May 31, 2019
    NO WAR
    Musah already has an excellent track record with the USMNT. Tillman has a long way to go to compete with Musah.
    ifsteve repped this.
  10. TrueCrew

    TrueCrew Member+

    Dec 22, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nagbe has won 4 titles in league. That is not overrated. Playing him on the wing or looking for him to score goals & provide assists is gonna leave you disappointed.

    As a press resistant 6/8 who always keeps the ball he can become the backbone of a terrific team. He's a Xavi, not Iniesta or De Brunye or Zidane.

    Now, starting 2 Xavi's instead of Xavi & Iniesta is somewhat of a problem.
  11. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Xavi actually made more mid/long range creative passes and Iniesta did more rhythm passing and dribbling.
    Boysinblue repped this.
  12. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    For me, the only real "mistake" on this callup list is including Mark McKenzie, simply because my preference would be to pair him and Walker Zimmerman for the Olympics as the overage center backs. If the plan is to send Auston Trusty instead, then I'll note that I'm still a Trusty-skeptic, and my plan would be to send Trusty to the Copa America as the last center back, and McKenzie to Paris.

    I sort of get it though due to how competitive the US squad is becoming. Because while the Top 6-ish in the center back position is relatively stable right now with Richards, Ream, M. Robinson, Zimmerman, Carter-Vickers, and McKenzie, and Trusty in the background, few of these players can feel completely content right now. Richards and Robinson both missed the one major tournament that they could have played with the US so far. Ream has done phenomenally over the last few years for the US, but has to have a voice in his head telling him that the first major tournament that he skips for the US could be his last possible one. Other than the Iran match at the World Cup, CCV has gotten few meaningful minutes for the US. McKenzie has never quite cemented a spot after 2021 and was left out of the World Cup team. And Trusty only has 2 caps.

    So in my opinion, Zimmerman is best-positioned out of any of these to miss the Copa America for the Olympics without endangering his spot. But it's tough to see any of the other top US center backs being that complacent, so perhaps the US team management thinking is to simply to send the best remaining center back alongside Zimmerman.

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