For the U.S. Men’s National Team not every moment is going to be great. Not every moment is going to be an all-time best, but the hope is to continue fighting towards the positives as they prepare for another busy few years of World Cup Qualifying.
Tuesday night’s 1-0 friendly win over Concacaf rivals Mexico was not the best performance by the Stars and Stripes, but it was a win nonetheless. Tyler Adams played the hero for Dave Sarachan’s squad, scoring the winning goal in the second-half.
However, defender Antonee Robinson registered the assist on the winner by Adams which highlighted a huge bounce back performance by the 21-year-old. It was an improvement for Robinson who starred in the second-half following a disappointing showing four days prior against Brazil.
“I didn’t really have the Brazil game on my mind too much too much,” Robinson said. “I thought I have to be ready to go out and do my best whenever I’m needed. I came on and did my part and that’s really all you can ask for.”
“It felt really well. The coach told us before the game the whole team needs to be ready. It’s such an important game for us, especially on a day like this. It was really meaningful to come on and have an impact on the game.”
Robinson replaced Eric Lichaj in the 56th minute and played a huge role on the eventual winner in the 72nd. The Wigan defender made one of his dashing runs down the left wing, and cut a ball back inside the box. Adams was fortunate to get to it before the Mexican backline did, and slotted in his first senior goal for the USMNT.
It was a sigh of relief for Robinson, who was able to have an impact in what turned out to be a heated affair between these two rivals. Despite several regulars missing from the squad, El Tri had numerous chances to equalize but was unable to avoid their second consecutive friendly defeat.
“I just seen the defenders all close to the goal so I cut it back and hopefully someone gets on the end of it and thankfully Tyler did and it was a great finish,” Robinson said.
“It was definitely feisty. There was a few things going on. A few instances with Matt [Miazga], a few dirty tackles, and the tackle on Wil [Trapp] was disgusting. I felt the team kept their head and was really together and we just showed we had it better mentally over our rivals.”
Every player is going to face times where their talent is questioned, and be able to prove they belong with the rest of the team. Robinson is one player who has not guaranteed a spot on the team long-term, but has impressed Sarachan and his staff both domestically in England and internationally.
“I think with Antonee, I was quick to pull him aside after that game against Brazil because everybody was pretty harsh on him,” Sarachan said. “He had some pretty good moments in that game, but people remember the moment that wasn’t so good. I think that’s going to happen with every player.”
“With him, he still has an inner confidence and you can see it and he even made a couple mistakes tonight, but generally he was really good. As an athlete, you want to get back on the horse when you get knocked off it and I thought he did great.”
As Robinson now heads back to Wigan, the goal will be to continue soaking up first-team minutes with the Latics as they fight for a top place in the English second-tier.
One game he went against one of the best players in the word at that position and the next against an 18 year old with almost no top flight experience.
Almost as if there’s’ a correlation between the quality of the opposition and his performances.
Yea, pretty much this exactly. One game he was playing the Brazil “A” team and the next he was playing the Mexico “B” team… no wonder he looked better.
Moore gave a very competent and mature interview in Spanish on Univisión before the game, which for me is a modest point in his favor, though he could stand to pronounce his D’s. The wild passing to nobody was a point in the other direction, but emotions were evidently high. Tyler Adams was also cool and collected in interviews, not unlike on the field.
I’m glad they all at least got a run-out together before they go back to their clubs for another several weeks of hard slog. I would like them to keep hearing some encouragement, even if they don’t all end up getting called back.
It was also good to see Julian Green doing well and being appreciated again. Players who have won some maturity through struggle and persistence are a welcome contrast to the childish antics of … that thug who was born tall through no merit of his own. (Or took HGH.)
On a side angle, it seems worth a try to keep asking about the SBI website, until someone notices what the emperor has on.
Why are there still four separate tags
• U.S. Men’s National Team
• U.S. Men’s Nationa [sic] Team?
which all seem to cover the same content, except when someone forgets to manually include all the tags for a given article, which is fairly often?
Why are key pages like “soccer on TV” not set to show up permanently on the homepage, by default?
In the Brazil game Robinson took a bad angle on Costa, leading to the goal. But he wasn’t all that bad apart from that. So often in sports fans will disregard the opponent in rating their team’s performance. A 20 year old getting beat by a world class winger is nothing for one to hang one’s head over. Just as he wasn’t so bad against Brazil, I think he is being overpraised here. He had some good runs and made a good cross. But he wasn’t on the pitch all that long to say he had a breakout performance. He has speed and you can’t teach that. With seasoning and effort, he could be a worthy bookend to Yedlin and that would be good enough for the US to match up well with the great majority of wingers. The fact is, when you consider the backline of Robinson, Brooks, Miazga, and Yedlin and the clubs they play for, especially when Robinson gets another year or two of experience, our backline should be as talented as any in CONCACAF. And with Pulisic, McKennie and Adams (especially if he transfers to Leipzig as rumored), we have the basis for an excellent midfield. The key is effort and playing as a team and we should be ahead of every CONCACAF team, except maybe for Mexico. Now if only a couple of strikers would step up.
A lot of that has to do with the midfield not being able to connect. Yes forwards need good movement but it’s not like Zardes and Wood had many chances anywhere near goal.
Miazga looked great. Carter-Vickers is even starting to win me over. Lichaj and Moore do not belong, in my opinion. Look at other International full-backs like Shaw, Rose, & Walker (England), Marcelo (Brazil), Andrew Robertson (Scotland), and Mendy (France), and what do they have in common? Blazing speed and offensive prowess. Yedlin and Robertson are speedy and offer an offensive threat which is why they are head and shoulders above our other fullback options regardless of defensive deficiencies.
I’ll give Moore a little bit of pass since he hasn’t been able to play this season because his club apparently messed up their transfer paperwork. He played some preseason in which he scored a couple goals, but I don’t know the level of competition. But he did look very much like a guy who has played primarily 4th division.
The back 4 and goalkeeper should be set for the next cycle, and I think Moore looked decent and with more playing for his club will make him a good backup for Yedlin. Just find another left back to backup Robinson and it seems like a solid defense.
This crop of players looks like it has the highest ceiling of any back four we’ve previously had. Will be very interesting to see how the young CBs develop in the next 24 months. A return to the Olympics would be great for this group. Brooks and Miazga seem to have the holeshot now, but that could easily change whenever the new regime comes in. Good to see that we have 3-4 other young guys nipping at their heels too. Robinson has the highest potential at left back that I can ever remember us having. I am really hopeful over his development and the rest of the back line.