Post-match: USA @ Costa Rica 3/30

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by EXALIFTIN, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    FC Dallas
    #201 Clint Eastwood, Mar 31, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
    Richards situation isn't a reflection of his standing. Post-COVID reopening, Berhalter involved him immediately. Called him up to both Euro-based camps, and played him in the 3/4ths of those games.

    He had a hamstring injury that kept him out all summer for those tournaments.
    After returning from injury, he was in a bit of a transfer window limbo. After not playing in the summer, he didn't start a game in Germany until weeks after the squad announcement for the September window. We didn't expect him to be called up, and he wasn't. He was, however, then called up for the October window. And Berhalter subsequently played him in 5 of 6 games in the middle of the qualification cycle. That included his first ever start for the USMNT, which was the home qualifier against Costa Rica! That was one helluva vote of confidence. Then he got hurt again, so missed the end of the qualifying cycle.

    What I'm trying to say is that when Richards has been available, Berhalter has called him up and used him.

    Brooks is a different matter.
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  2. roadkit

    roadkit Greetings from the Fringe of Obscurity

    Jul 2, 2003
    Fornax Cluster
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This has been my takeaway from this entire cycle. We shouldn't waste a spot on the plane to Qatar with him. Call up Guzan to be #3 GK, FFS.
  3. Bluecat82

    Bluecat82 Member+

    Feb 24, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN
    Minnesota United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For all the angst-ridden, here's the bottom line:

    We're going to the World Cup.

    Italy isn't.

    Sweden isn't.

    Colombia isn't.

    Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Paraguay, Chile and a whole bunch of others...they all aren't.

    The United States is.

    Enjoy the draw tomorrow.
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  4. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm definitely hoping for a 2002 repeat where we had a pretty meh qualifying round and then made the quarterfinals. As I posted in the Ocho Grades thread, I give the US a B- in this cycle. They achieved the qualifying goal and had some good moments, but it still feels like they left a lot on the table. Goalkeeper and striker remain major question marks.

    Hopefully the lack of stress from already qualifying can allow the team to get into the right position for the World Cup. Lots to work on, particularly on how to break down a compact, organized defense. That was, by far, my biggest takeaway of concern of the Ocho.
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  5. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    Well, we qualified and it wasn't stressful since we took care of business in the last couple games. But, still disappointing to see the team look so flat. Also seemed a shame we didn't try more options in basically a free game. Would have been a good opportunity to see Gio in midfield or a different front three formation for a couple examples. First half was lethargic but decent enough. Second half was marred with mistakes, several by Steffan, poor defense and a lot of lazy play moving forward.

    Not going to dwell on the game, but it was a missed opportunity to try anything new and the same ol', same ol' wasn't effective with the lack of enthusiasm. One of the least engaging national team games I've seen in a long time. Nothing was really at stake and it looked like it. I expected some ugly soccer this window and we got it. Now that we're qualified, I just hope we use the time from now to the cup getting this team playing better because if we play in the Cup like we have through the vast majority of qualifying, it isn't going to be good. Not enough ideas, not enough urgency, just not enough in a number of ways and far too often too slow and plodding with the ball. Hopefully we can come out with some decent performances between now and the end of the year and hopefully we get some decent luck with injuries and can actually see the full squad get on the field for a change because this team has the potential to be so much better than we have mostly seen. Fingers crossed we get there in time.
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  6. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1. From his first days with the USMNT, Steffen has been just one brain fart away from a disaster. At times, they have been real disasters. He is not trustworthy, regardless of his skill set. Who wants to play in front of an untrustworthy keeper?

    2. Yedlin has not improved on any of his deficiencies. He once-advantageous speed is largely gone and his technical skill set is not sufficient to make up for that fact.

    3. Right now, Ferreira is the 9 for me. He's the only one who has shown glimmers of a higher level.

    4. The team really needs a replacement for Acosta. He is insufficient as a backup for Adams, losing the ball too often and not contributing enough to the attack. I had hopes for Busio, as he is a good passer, but right now he is too weak defensively.

    5. The F'ing ref. If CR had known the ref would be so lenient re yellow card fouls, they'd have played all their best guys. No problem.

    6. Pulisic must have been the victim of 2 or 3 YC fouls by min 30 of the game. The fouling tactic seriously damaged the left sided attack and placed all the defensive focus on AR who was effectively shut down as the game progressed in the second half.

    7. It would have helped to have had Gio Reyna with 200-300 consistent minutes of play with Dortmund prior to his return.

    8. A LOT can happen during the next 7 mo. You can be certain there will be roster changes, some probably major.
  7. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Happy we qualified, but man - the Berhalter victory laps and the celebrations from Sunday night against Panama - who stinks...was entirely premature.

    We need to figure out a way to get a creative #10 on the field. We can't keep playing with Acosta and Adams.
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  8. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    I liked our first half a lot. Other than that, same old result against Costa Rica, although fatigue and goalkeeping were factors, so at least it wasn’t as bad as the total meltdown last time. Navas vs. Steffen isn’t a fair fight, talk about the latter being outclassed.

    But we qualified in a relatively comfortable manner, and the World Cup is eight months away, so onward to a future with a keeper who can hopefully steal a point every now and then.
    RecLeague Super Sub repped this.
  9. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Underlying stats from the game

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  10. Cynical US fan

    United States
    Mar 30, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #210 Cynical US fan, Mar 31, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
    One can talk on and on about the players’ limitations, their difficulties with injury and illness, but Berhalter should be replaced NOW. He is too arrogant and limited to have this USMNT play well at the World Cup. We may lose every game in the first round.
    I would have liked to see how Horvath did vs Costa Rica in a qualifier before using him in the WC if Turner wasn’t ready.
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  11. Calling BS

    Calling BS Member+

    Orlando City
    United States
    Jan 25, 2020
    Yeah I think just the opposite. What we saw tonight was the effect of playing our starters in Mexico and Panama and the proof that they couldn’t go to CR tired. The way GB strategized certainly worked out, but the “Doyle” strategy may also have worked. Many times there’s more than one way to get from A to Z.
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  12. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    FC Dallas
    I give the USMNT an A on the qualifying cycle.
    The only thing that matters is qualification and we qualified.

    And we did so with a very young group.
    I'd love to see a table on average ages amongst the Ocho participants.
    For many of these windows we weren't just calling up the youngest team in CONCACAF. We were one of the youngest in the World. Only a small percentage of this group had played in challenging road WCQers in particular (Pulisic, etc.). Berhalter was literally giving debuts to players in WCQers. Pepi on the road against Honduras is an example. Giving players first starts in WCQers. It was ridiculous. We forget that Musah, Richards, de la Torre, Busio and plenty of others had played very little with the USMNT prior to qualifying. We were in this Ocho against seasoned teams like Costa Rica, and finished ahead of them in the table. A good Costa Rica group.

    I get people think we should have done better. But at the end of the day the only mission is to qualify, and we qualified. So now we enjoy it!!! Sports teams are going to lose games. We only had what I'd consider one "bad loss." That was on the road in Panama. The other losses were on the road in Canada and a relatively meaningless Costa Rica match. We were arguably the best team in the Ocho at home. This team will grow and get better in road contests with experience.
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  13. no exit

    no exit Member

    DC United
    United States
    Nov 20, 2019
    OK, but in exchange will you pay me back $10 every time the team with better chances won?
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  14. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    I’ve seen two or three references to ‘02 and I always find that approach wrong. The ‘02 team lost 4 of their top 5 attacking players (and at the time they did not have remotely the depth we had this cycle to handle such a catastrophe) to injury in the spring and summer of ‘01. No Reyna, no Mathis, no McBride and no Wolff, only Earnie Stewart dodged the injury reaper. The attack that had been so thrilling in crushing Mexico and shocking Honduras at home in the late winter and spring was completely neutered and that and that alone was why we went from dominant in qualifying to nearly missing the Cup. There’s no fair analogy to this or other cycles, the ‘01 cycle was a weird one (see semifinal round), and the hex itself was 1000% about injuries in the 2nd part of the round robin home/away games. Honduras did puke all over themselves that cycle too though (and ‘04 as well).
  15. H-TownTiger

    H-TownTiger Member

    Liverpool FC
    Jun 3, 2009
    Liverpool FC
    Looking back throughout the qualifying process this cycle, the player pool is way better than 4 years ago. Unfortunately, Gregg is such a liability. I believe we qualified despite him, which is a compliment to the young talent.

    Making this WC is so important for the young guys to experience. I will enjoy this WC and hope we can do well despite our tactical limitations.

    I hope moving forward (After WC) the federation will hire a competent manager but I'm not holding my breath.
  16. Strikerdad10

    Strikerdad10 Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    How does a different keeper score us 3 goals?
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  17. DCU1984

    DCU1984 Member+

    Jan 15, 2009
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agreed, it's too soon to bury Steffen but he needs to get the message that he needs to find a place to start next year if he wants a shot at being the #1 goalie. His rust showed.
  18. Cannons

    Cannons Member+

    May 16, 2005
    He has not played a game in MLS yet this year due to an "injury" I dont see him being loaned back. Everybody has always sold Turner short. He started as the NE #3 goalie and worked his way to #1. He was goalie of the year in MLS and yes, he would have stopped goal #2 last night. I fault Steffen on that. Beyond that, Steffen just plain scares me. I think Turner will rise to the occasion and be successful at Arsenal. We will see
  19. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    we have to figure things like that out, though, no one is going to be able to play every match.

    im not a fan of a false 9 system- but i think panama showed that that could be a viable option specifically without mckennie. im not convinced ferreira is good enough, though. im not sure we need to bother with half-measures, so maybe go with 9 no at all (again- situationally, not close to regularly).

    i still think our best option A is using pepi/dike primarily, but if/when wes in particular has to sit then im coming around to having 3 of puli/reyna/weah/aaronson buzzing around up top with adams/acosta behind musah and luca.

    and on a semi-related note i want reyna central period. interchanging, drifting wide at times is fine but i really didnt miss that complete abdication of a player in rw spaces we had in the second half last night. 3 or 4 times a jedi cross or navas deflection went across to that side and reyna was nowhere to be found. playing him as a "wide" attacker makes sense when hes on the ball attacking from that area, but otherwise it just leaves a huge area of the final third empty.

    point being, if wes is out for the third group stage match vs cameroon after slide tackling phil foden into the uae id go puli/reyna/weah above two shuttlers/ball carriers and just run wild.
  20. DCU1984

    DCU1984 Member+

    Jan 15, 2009
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  21. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Octagonal Performance

    On the Road
    Goal: Lletget Aaronson Pepi Jedi, Weah
    Assist: Yedlin, Pepi, Pepi, Pepi

    Against the Top-4(Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica)
    Goal: Aaronson Dest McKennie Pulisic
    Assist: Jedi Musah Weah
    jnielsen repped this.
  22. truefan420

    truefan420 Member+

    May 30, 2010
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He’s not beating out Ramsdale
  23. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is confirmation bias. We didn't need the points in Costa Rica because we got them in the first two matches that were more committed to. And that Mexico game played out like it would be a win more often than a draw, so we'd have officially, not just effectively qualified, if that had happened. That was foreseeable because we'd drawn the previous 2 competitive matches in Mexico and won the friendly.

    Then in the Costa Rica match, at the house of horrors, the lineup that was trotted out in the first half out-played the Ticos if anything. It was a super professional performance. Then Gregg decided to go for it and experiment a little by bringing on LDLT. That broke our shape, lost us physical battles, took unnecessary risks, and afforded Costa Rica more chances.

    Those chances were against a keeper who is a virtual gaffe machine, even when 100%. They made us pay. Steffen's issue wasn't over-exertion in the 1st two matches. Neither was LDLT's. Those were the main team breakdown personnel mistakes. Others who logged too many minutes played fine overall. The only one who was lackluster was ARob. The 3 other lowest rated starters per Sofascore - Acosta, Steffen, Weah - had fresh enough legs.

    Doyle and the hyper rotation boys early were proven wrong. Doubling down against the facts makes it worse.
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  24. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    you think the answer is no. i dont think its that simple.

    the first thing- to put this is context- is we are talking about a backup rb, not a starter. weve got that. second, add in that hes one of two options we have (with brooks) who has actually been in a world cup.

    it was eight years ago, he was only useful as a speed threat, blah, blah- i get that. i totally do. but as you say throughout qualifying he was a soldier, a worker bee, it wasnt pretty- but he got the job done more than not. his experience came through for us more than once, most recently vs mexico- which we can now look at as the point that qualified us.

    i think the case for him as experienced vet backup rb is pretty strong. and after that is when i move on to cannon/scally/anyone else. i think everyone has yedlin and cannon as roughly even, with cannon seen as pretty limited in contribution to the attack...which is a little weird to me cause i think thats where deandre most shows his "past his prime"ness. scally isnt known for that either (as an outstanding factor), so it seems like a pretty even playing field, so to speak.

    so we have to determine who is the best player right now. not potentially, but now (well, now being in 6 and a half months). potential and/or youth dont get special consideration anymore- experience does.

    for me cannon isnt clearly better than yedlin today, so its yedlin. scally we dont know, at least in terms of with the nats.

    so you can say that bolded line but i dont agree we know. cause we cant say yedlin isnt up to playing france or spain without saying cannon isnt either. we cant say scally has a half season of play vs bund comp without saying yedlin has 6 years vs even better.

    scally would have to clearly beat out yedlin, the burden of proof is on him. and honestly unless gregg flips an on/off switch (and i mean at the next possible minute of camp/intl play) hes not even going to have a chance to do that.

    and a final factor is how much can you afford to gamble on a wc roster (even w/26)? we have so few sources of experience that is even currently at a comparable level to our impossibly young core players. its really hard to justify ream, or lletget- especially in positions where you use every ounce of depth. but a backup rb?

    i think yedlin is as close to a sure thing as...well, our sure things (puli, wes, etc). its not sexy, but if any of the guys we were talking about were sexy wed be talking about them as starters.
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  25. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    is that an eyewitness account, meaning zim was facing epb? cause at least he did that post-game...

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