Pre-match: USA vs Bolivia. COPA AMERICA 2024. Game 1. June 23. Arlington, TX

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Eleven Bravo, Jun 13, 2024.

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  1. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I don't think we're gonna rotate like that on matchday 3. This isn't the covid impacted WCQ schedule with 3 games in 8 day windows, or the WC where matches were played after only 3 days of rest. We've got four days between games if we advance to the knockouts. We play on Monday, July 1st against Uruguay in the Group Stage finale, and then don't play again until Saturday, July 6th. At the WC, our group stage finale against Iran was played on a Tuesday. Then we were up again on Saturday.

    What I think is most likely is the obvious:
    *Guys on card accumulation sat for the match and/or pulled early (correct me if cards are cleared for knockouts)
    *guys with knocks are rested.

    Beyond that? I think we'll play it normally. We have normative rest, 96 hours w/o a game (every once in a while you'd have 5, like we had between the England and Slovenia matches in '10), and as such, Berhalter will be able to decide for himself what works best based upon injuries, knocks, card acumulation etc.

    I suspect that the only changes he makes will be the above two (cards, and knocks), and then in a nod to your point, midfielders, wing forwards and Jedi (due to the running they do in this set up) might have their minutes managed in the match a bit....but I don't see a crazy rotation happening. People are forgetting that rotation was favored in '21 and '22 because covid and the stupid winter cup in Qatar necessitated tighter windows. It's not necessary anymore, the schedule is open, the standard 4 days off between games are in effect, we can manage minutes exclusively based on individual fitness, rather than on a crazy stupid --- schedule like what happened fall '21 through WC '22.
     
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  2. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    We will have to go through a very good team in the quarters no matter what our placement. That's when it starts to matter. The group stage is for finding a rhythm, building some momentum and finding out which our players are in their best form.

    We're a little lucky in that the sequence of group matches goes from easiest to hardest. I think that will work to our benefit. Gradually sharpen up the team for the knockout matches.

    If anyone is sitting on a yellow going into the Uruguay match, it will make sense to sit them (assuming we have clinched advancement).
     
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  3. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    Agreed on #2, and I think they can do that pretty easily by just pointing to decades of results, and the stupid --- FIFA rankings that perpetually lag reality with CAF always, and with Mexico lately, but the reality is, even EL Tri fans know their team is trash right now, and so gifting them a Pot 1 seed for ticket sales, inherently compromises the quality of the competition by rigging it. The funny thing is: Venezuela and Ecuador are better than El Tri right now period, and literally the only way they may lose is because they are playing the equivalent of games at Mexico when they play them, but as we've seen in recent years, even that advantage isn't enough with El Tri consistently. I currently have El tri as the most likely to crash out of the 3 of them, but I have a hard time betting that belief because Mexico is playing at home, and Ecuador is erratic traditionally, and nobody knows for sure if what Venezuela is doing is small sample size randomness, or a sign of growing quality. After their U20 performance in '17, I figured that we'd see an improvement from Venezuela in WCQ and the Copa America: instead, in WCQ they were god awful, finishing dead last, even below Bolivia, and by a lot (they were 5 points behind 9th place Bolivia, admittedly taking advantage of altitude games)...but at the Copa America in '19, they advanced to the knockouts and only lost one game in regulation: to Argentina, but two years later at Copa America '21, they finished in last place in their group (credit to them for tying Ecuador and Colombia but they still finished last). So are they good, or was their run in '23 just randomness? No idea.

    On your first argument, I'd only add that it really was impossible to avoid making lobsided groups because there are 5 teams that are fairly strong or elite, (6 if you add Ecuador) and so it was always gonna be weird, but when they lumped Uruguay, Colombia and the US all one side insured it would be weird.
     
  4. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I fully believe we'll play to win matchday 3 and the only possible tweaks to that will be based on card accumulation, and knocks and possibly subbing guys off earlier than normal.

    The Colombia/Brazil thing is also a genuine problem:

    Colombia is playing better than Brazil, and is tougher to break down than Brazil.

    Brazil is miles and miles more talented, but plays less disciplined, and is more liable to give up clear cut chances.

    Who do we actually want to play? Not sure.
     
  5. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Brazil and Colombia offer different challenges. I don't think it matters which one we face in the quarters. So just focus on Uruguay and getting things right in our own team.
     
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  6. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah but I think if you swapped Columbia and Mexico you could only get Columbia, Uruguay, and the US on the same side of Brazil and Argentina were on the other side of the bracket.

    To me the problem isn’t just US, Columbia, and Uruguay, it’s that Brazil is also on the same side.

    The FIFA rankings are of course imperfect but they’d give us a more balance tournament than we have right now if they just went off those.

    And I agree I’d definitely take Ecuador over Mexico (though I haven’t really watched any of Venezuela so I don’t have strong thoughts on they match up with Mexico).

    The outcome also gives Canada a winnable quarterfinal if they can get out the group. Not to say they will but they can definitely beat Mexico or Ecuador.
     
  7. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I feel like it’s not clear it’d be better to play Columbia or Brazil and we won’t even know what result gives us which team when we play the Uruguay game. So we should definitely play that game in a way where we give players rest.
     
  8. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    That's what T&T did to us in the Nations League. Really frustrate us by bunkering and trying to counter.
    It was a slog for us, but we beat them 3-0 in the end.
    Their plan was not to lose 6-0 and have one of our guys d0 something ridiculously dumb to get red-carded in the T&T leg.
    Which, we willingly obliged.

    [T&T, by the way, is down to 98 in the most recent FIFA rankings. That win against the US in the Nations League is all that's keeping them in the top 100.]

    Bolivia struggled to beat Andorra 1-0 this year on a neutral site.
     
  9. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    I'm assuming 6 points in our first two games.
    Bolivia is awful. They get some decent results in La Paz at altitude. That's about it. The last time our "A" team played Panama at home, we beat the snot out of them 5-1. Pulisic hat-trick.

    I expect us to have the luxury we didn't have at the World Cup. The luxury to rest and rotate liberally in the 3rd group game. The luxury to go into the quarterfinal relatively fresh.
     
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  10. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I think the good news for us is that Bolivia is just incredibly bad, and not as familiar with us as T&T, T&T has played us a giant pile of times, and will need something out of the match knowing they'll get smacked against Uruguay. They need a tie. Will they just try to play it for 0-0? I don't think so, I think they'll play a counter game, not quite a low block, but who knows. I think we'll be safe, we should be, Bolivia only gets results at insane altitude, so its hard for me to see us drawing them. The question for me is if Panama continues its solid form against us in tournaments in the US, or its terrible form away in qualifiers against us (getting absolutely shredded in '13, '17 and '22). Is it 11-1 in our last 3 qualifiers, but like a loss, and 2 ties in our last 3 gold cup matches or something like that?
     
  11. Bajoro

    Bajoro Member+

    Sep 10, 2000
    The Inland Empire
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wouldn't mind if you post this before every game.

     
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  12. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    T&T is miles more athletic than Bolivia and taller also. US "should" have an easy time even with set pieces. A loss here might doom Berhalter after the tournament depending on how they play other games. Would be such a hole to dig out of I don't think they would be able.
     
  13. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Proxima Centauri
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We need to beat the snot out of Bolivia and then beat the snot out of Panama. With a GD advantage over Uruguay, we can play a counter attacking strategy and hope for a draw.
     
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  14. ifsteve

    ifsteve Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jul 7, 2013
    MS and ID
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Its not really that big of a deal whether we win the group or take second. Sure I'd rather play Colombia than Brazil but not by much.
     
  15. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    I kind of get that but for me it makes more sense to help the backline with a better player than a worse one, and force us into system where the depth is poor. I’d keep it as an option but I don’t want to be in the knockouts having to rotate a new CB in because of yellow card accumulation.

    Back to that first point. Jedi and Scally are fairly defensive FBs. Jedi provides attacking value on the overlap and on long bursting runs. Keeping one or even both of those guys tighter to the CBs is an option. In midfield Tyler being on a minutes limit means going double true DM is available to close out games. MMJ is also an option. I don’t see how that’s more detrimental to the attack than 2/3 of them + our 3rd CB.
     
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  16. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

    Feb 11, 2002
    Jupiter, Fl.
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The geniuses at the US soccer website has kickoff listed both at 1 PM ET and 6 PM ET, on separate page.s.

    A soccer TV website says 6 PM ET.

    When is it? And I'm looking for kickoff, I don't watch the endless pre-game…

    Thank you in advance.
     
  17. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Proxima Centauri
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Winning the group gives confidence, and winning the group allow us to play the team that was second best in Group D. One of Colombia/Brazil will be second best maybe because of injuries, because of luck, because of individual talent, because of team play. We will not know who that is nor why, but I'd still rather play the runner up than the team who conquered.
     
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  18. eliwood

    eliwood Member+

    Jul 25, 2016
    USA is a -500 favorite against Bolivia

    Uruguay on the other hand is -320 against Panama

    Thought that was a bit surprising
     
  19. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    That Monday to Saturday schedule for the third group stage game to first knockout is huge. I wasn’t tracking that. With smart subs and some good results we should have no concerns about player fatigue.

    If I was Berhalter I would start with strong attacking teams against the first two opponents and hope to sub Jedi, Pulisic, Gio, and Wes out when up multiple goals in the second half.

    Going into the warmups I would have planned on using Weah at RB against one or both of the first two teams (when Jedi goes off Weah either comes on or drops back and Joe goes to LB). I would have trained this and hope we still did, even if Joe and Shaq got the game time. There are a couple tactical setups where Wes makes a ton of sense as a RB->RCM, but I’m not sure we see it outside of desperation.

    If we don’t have to push for late results, that sets us up to start anyone we want against Uruguay (outside of Josh and Tyler). I would go for a strong showing in that match. I don’t think resting guys without injury concerns in that match is necessary with that Monday to Saturday schedule. Even if winning the group doesn’t provide a big advantage, testing the A-team against a top team in a competitive game should be a priority.

    Against Bolivia:

    HW———RP———CP
    ——GR———WM——
    ————-JC————-
    AR———————TW
    -——TR——CR——-
    ————MT————

    I want to get a little more size and attack into this team and that’s why Haji, Rico, and Tim start where they do. 5 of the front 6 + Richards should provide enough targets for set pieces. Tim and Chris get a chance to build more chemistry. Tactically it plays like a standard 433 with the ball side FB overlapping and the weakside guy holding/picking their spots.

    All goes to plan and we sub:
    Malik->Gio
    Brendo->Puli
    Yunus/Tyler->Wes
    Scally->Jedi
    Other sub is probably Balo or Yunus/Tyler but it could be Lund or Luca.
     
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  20. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    6pm but these games never start on time it seems.
     
  21. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I don't know, honestly, I think we have a better chance of making penalties, or stealing a game versus a Brazil that's been a mess, than a Colombia that's been a well oiled machine lately. I have no idea who we want in the knockouts. The only selling point to me w/Colombia is that if we get our ---- together and play a complete game, we should be able to play with them on our best day and theirs. On Brazil's best day and ours, they'd still kick our ---, w/Colombia we'd have a fighting chance, but what kind of Brazil shows up? They've been all over the place. Honestly the only bet worth making is that if we actually show up, the way we do occasionally, and play a great game, we could beat either of them, but we only do that from time to time for a full 90+injury time under Berhalter. Since the covid restart, I'd argue that was the Jamaica game in Window 2, the Mexico game in Window 3, the Panama and Mexico games of Window 5, the Morocco friendly (aided by their fatigue), the Iran game until the final 10 mins or so, the recent Brazil match and that's about it. It doesn't happen too often.
     
  22. DrunkOffPunch

    DrunkOffPunch Member

    United States
    Jul 14, 2020
    That’s all American sports.
     
  23. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Games kickoff based on the expectation of the TV rights buyer. So in most of the world that means at the top of the hour, right when it is listed. This is a CONMEBOL controlled tournament so it will kickoff according to their customs.
     
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  24. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

    Feb 11, 2002
    Jupiter, Fl.
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is a management test that was failed at the World Cup.

    Hopefully, lessons were learned...
     
  25. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

    Feb 11, 2002
    Jupiter, Fl.
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks!
     

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