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USMNT attack disappoints in loss to Brazil


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Young side or not, the attacking performance on Friday simply did not cut it.

The U.S. Men’s National Team was on the wrong end of a 2-0 result against Brazil at MetLife Stadium on Friday night, but what may have been the most disappointing part of the game is the way in which the Americans played when they had the ball. The U.S. not only failed to create many quality chances in the friendly, ending up with just two on the night, but finished the match with a measly 35 percent possession.

Brazil, much more experienced and loaded with many of its world-class players, was widely expected to win the possession battle. The Americans, however, expected to have more time on the ball and more looks on frame than they wound up with.

“That’s not good enough for any team, two shots on goal,” said Tim Weah. “You need to score to win and if you look at Brazil and the amount of shots that Brazil had and the amount of shots that we had, we didn’t have a lot of that and Brazil beat us 2-0. It’s something that we have to work on.”

One of the reasons why the U.S. may have struggled so much to keep possession – aside from the fact that the most creative attacker in the pool, Christian Pulisic, was absent through injury – could be the formation. Head coach Dave Sarachan deployed the Americans in what has become his preferred 4-1-4-1 set-up, seemingly with the primary focus being on staying organized and defending with numbers in order to try to win the ball back and then attack.

The defense-first mentality invited the talented Brazilians into the U.S. half from the onset, and that, combined with the Americans’ imprecision with their own passes, was one of the reasons why the South American side bossed the match essentially from start to finish.

“The 4-1-4-1, we’re familiar with that system,” said Sarachan when asked what the plan was to break down Brazil in that formation. “The hope is that we would have the ball a lot more because in previous games where we had more possession in that system, not to get too technical, but our wide guys can be more tucked inside [and] we can release more guys from the center part of the field to go at goal.

“On a night like tonight where you’re doing a lot of defending, it’s tough job for one lone striker without a lot of support. I don’t think the system was the issue tonight. I think it was a little bit of lack of quality, I think it was a little bit of lack of patience and playing against a team that’s pretty darn good.”

The technical and savvy Brazilians, of course, merit acknowledgement for the dominant display they put forth. They moved the ball well, were efficient in converting their chances with goals in the 11th and 43rd minutes, quickly put out fires defensively, and even demonstrated a wide array of their trademark flicks, tricks, and crowd-pleasing flair.

The U.S., however, did not have many numbers in the attack to try to trouble the opposition. Lone striker Bobby Wood found himself starved of service and largely disconnected from the rest of his teammates, and the midfield did not have enough accuracy or ideas the few times the U.S. did try to attack.

“He just wanted us to try and be confident as we are,” said midfielder Weston McKennie when asked about what Sarachan wanted from the team tactically. “We’re a young group and young players tend to have swagger, have a little bit of confidence going into games like this and he just wanted us to be ourselves and express ourselves in the field.

“Also what he wanted was to get the ball and turn and go forward and instead of playing the diagonal pass back to find the space, play the diagonal pass forward and be confident and take the risk and if it doesn’t work out then try it again next time until it does.”

The U.S. has now scored just seven goals in as many games under Sarachan’s watch, with three of them coming against Bolivia in May, and the attacking side of the game is clearly in need of some improvement ahead of the remaining fall friendlies.

As a result, more experienced reinforcements could be on the way in the near future.

“Scoring goals is hard,” said Sarachan. “We don’t have a plethora of forwards in our pool. That’s an area – we still need to improve that position. When we start adding in some other players as we move along that maybe can help, whether it’s Christian, whether’s it a guy like Jozy (Altidore) down the line. I think it’s still an area that we need some more depth for sure.”

Some fans and observers will argue in the coming days that the U.S. should have played a more attack-minded formation given that there was absolutely nothing at stake in the game. After all, Sarachan talked about not wanting to see his players play with fear in the lead-up to the game, only to then take a more conservative approach with his lineup.

“[In the second half] we found a better game plan and we found a way to approach the game better,” said McKennie. “I think we got more confident on the ball and realized, ‘Hey, we have nothing to lose. We can play against teams like this,’ and we showed it against France this summer.”

Certainly, having more numbers in the attack would not have guaranteed the U.S. more success from the run of play, let alone change the result into a more favorable one. Regardless, what was clear after the defeat was the young Americans could have played a lot better, even against mighty Brazil.

“I feel like we came out the gate a little timid and that played a toll, because the Brazilians once you give them a chance they’re going to take it,” said Weah. “I feel like we have to work on that.”


  1. While Brazil was the better team, overhead replays on line showed neither of the 2 goals were legit. On the first, the scorer was in an offside position when the pass to him was initiated. Only the fact the U. S. defender put him back on-side after the pass made it confusing. On the PK, the overhead camera view showed the Brazil Player took a dive. I’m surprised neither of the commentators made a case for either of the goals being allowed. I guess Political Correctness is invoked when you’re doing friendlies.

  2. Heard a rumor that on Spanish speaking media they are talking that Schelotto will be the next USMNT manager. I think I believe this one as much as Wynalda saying it is down to three Dutchman, but I do like that the silly rumor season seems to be beginning. I know nothing about his managing ability or style, but he is my second favorite member of the Crew of all-time.

  3. I enjoyed the formation debate, it is fun to speculate. But I really think this match is hard to analyze too deeply because of the difference in quality. For me, it’s really as simple as our u23 team + a couple MLS standouts can’t yet hang with one of the best teams in the world fielding a full-strength squad. No shame in that, and still a good experience. We will learn much more about our young team against Mexico’s B team.

    • The problem is we couldn’t control or even sustain Brazil attack from the midfield. Your chances to win decreases when you put 3 DMs. To me, this line up wasn’t to win but rather keep it close to make it respectable for the coaching staff. I suppose they wanted to continue with their jobs.
      In my opinion, you needed Green to play the 10 and start Weah at LW. I thought Ariola wasn’t the right call, I would put Zardes as a RW although not his best position but at least he is a very good defender with a good engine that can hurt you in the counter IF he can do a clean ball control trap.

    • Theoson Siebatcheu, SArgent was missing, Emmanuel Sabbi, Romain Gall is not a forward but is a great up and coming attacking midfielder.

      • Sabbi left his last match with an injury. Siebatcheu hasn’t shown any public interest in the US since one sentence in an interview with his agent a few years ago, he had a slight muscle injury in August so he may have been ruled out just in case it flared back up (or might not be ready to join up yet), Sargent stayed with Bremen to play in two club friendlies with the first team hoping to earn minutes in the Bundesliga soon. Gall has played as a wing in Sweden.

  4. The 4-1-4-1 doesn’t give us the ability to score goals or even position us to be an offensive threat against top teams. It is formulated around a defensive mindset instead of an offensive one

    4-1-4-1 against :
    Against Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0, DRAW, 51% POSSESSION
    Against Paraguay 1 – 0, WIN, 52% POSSESSION
    Against Bolivia 3 – 0, WIN, 48% POSSESSION
    Against Ireland 2-1, LOSS, 44% POSSESSION
    Against Brazil 2-0 (not like another formation would have helped LOL), LOSS, 35% POSSESSION
    (France we used a 5-3-2 with our wingers taking advantage of the flanks….and got a point)

    So, from pass results the 4-1-4-1 doesn’t give us the advantage of holding on to the ball and doesn’t work against TOP OPPOSITION. And guess who we have next:
    Mexico ?? / Columbia ?? / England ??????? / Italy ??

    We cannot stop an attack for 90 mins, cannot dominate possession for 90 mins and shouldn’t be in the mindset of ending the game with a draw or low-score defeat. There is a reason the BIG GUNS in the game of soccer use 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 (like we did against France as a modified 5-3-2 with the wingers moving forward)….and not the 4-1-4-1.

    Lets see what happens against Mexico

    • You forgot Portugal 1-1. We also had 28% possession against France in our 3-5-2 so against a comparative squad we actually were worse using the 3-5-2, we just happened to get luckier playing a long ball that was misplayed by one of the world’s top defenders and Green hit a great ball that took a deflection that sent it in. We didn’t score on France because we had a better formation, we scored because the ball bounced right. Also when you play forwards like Green/Weah and Arriola as the outside its really just a 4-3-3.
      We’ve had more possession using the 4-1-4-1 against Bolivia, Paraguay, and Bosinia 2-1-0 with a 4-0 aggregate score. Using it against Ireland, Brazil, Portugal, and France its 0-1-2 with a 2-5 aggregate score. Bottom line its worked against teams that are our level or below and we haven’t scored against teams that are better than us (I know Ireland is ranked slightly below us but on the road its at least even if not favor Ireland). Overall 6-5 goals and 2-2-2 record against those six opponents that’s about what the US could expect historically from any formation especially considering we are playing our Olympic squad.
      We’ve never had our two best scorers in any of these matches and only had Pulisic for one in which he was either exhausted or disinterested depending on your take.
      Dortmund played the 4-1-4-1 almost exclusively during Tuchel’s era, and they rarely had trouble scoring.
      It really doesn’t matter Sarachan won’t be the next manager.

      • “….28% possession against France in our 3-5-2 so against a comparative squad we actually were worse “…..not really. The possession was 70% – 30% against France, the strongest team in the world yet they only got 8 shots on target. If we held the strongest team to a draw then it only gets better. They had 19 shots and only 8 of those were on target (Portugal with no Ronaldo- 13 shots 6 on target, Brazil – 11 shots 2 on target)

        “We didn’t score on France because we had a better formation, we scored because the ball bounced right.”…….. that’s like saying “Brazil didn’t beat us 2 – 0 because their penalty was not just”. Having the right player in the right position at the right time is what soccer is all about (and in that moment it was Julian Green playing as a striker)

        “We’ve never had our two best scorers in any of these matches and only had Pulisic for one in which he was either exhausted or disinterested depending on your take” …..that I agree with, and if we can find the right person up top in the right formation things will be different

        “Dortmund played the 4-1-4-1 almost exclusively during Tuchel’s era, and they rarely had trouble scoring.”…True, but we are not Dortmund, and we surely don’t have the right players like them to successfully play the positions. Also they have changed again to 4-3-3

        Dortmund played Hoffenheim with 3-4-3 = LOST 3-1
        Dortmund against Manchester City used 4-1-4-1 = WON 1-0
        Dortmund against Liverpool used 4-1-4-1 = WON 3-1
        Dortmund against Benfica used 4-1-4-1 DRAW 2-2 (LOST ON PEN.)
        Dortmund against Furth used 4-3-3 WON 2-1
        Dortmund against Liepzig used 4-3-3 WON 4-1
        Dortmund against Hannover 96 used 4-3-3 DRAW 0-0

        But I guess you are right, as it really doesn’t matter as Sarachan won’t be the next manager and we are going to go over this all over again

  5. Crazy expectations from fans. what did you expect? Drinking the Klinsmann kool-aid from the summer of 2011 was pure poison for the USMNT, POISON. Filled naive heads with Wizard of Oz type ideas. Instead of developing a team during this decade that can compete, he tried to develop an EA Sports fake team that was NEVER going to materialize but sure sounded good to a naive population, and got that guy PAID. And we are paying a nasty price ever since. We should defend, counter with authority, and foul in the middle third to stop attacks and chop up games. No, it’s not pretty, but very effective. Or, we can sit around here and talk endlessly and pretend the USMNT is something it ain’t or, more to the point, something it will not be any time soon.

    • Beachbum good to see you back. I’m going to disagree though, you seem to be saying we can never really compete so let’s just not try. Klinsman, Gulati, Garber have all fed that line of we’re almost there that we know is false, but if we never try to play a style that will actually allow us to do that we will never get there. More attractive soccer is working its way through the ranks from MLS to Academies to local clubs, we are still a long ways away but look at the technical ability of our 16-20-year-olds, its no longer hit it long and hope the fast guy can run into it and get fouled so we can bring up the tall guys from CB to score on a set piece. We need to be able to play, defend and counter against teams like Brazil and France but we also need to dictate the game against Costa Rica and Jamaica.

      • hey johnnyrazor, thanks for your thoughtful reply. we do disagree on some but not all. no problem playing a style that suits the opposition, depending on the opposition. that’s really the point. Trying to beat Mexico by playing like Mexico is just plain stupid. the way you beat them is defend, suck them forward, then counter hard and physically dominate, especially in the air. No, it’s not the prettiest style bur VERY effective against Mexico. Same for ideas against teams like Brazil. BUT the big issue remains; the midfield can’t control things. Trying to play out through a midfield that has fears showing for the ball won’t work at any level, including against Costa Rica, who absolutely devour teams like that. Also, in our region, the fouling from behind is vicious and often uncalled, so playing possession out of the back, especially on the road in CONCACAF, leaks goals becasue fouls aren’t called. That fact has to be included in any true game plan

  6. Brazil is going to dominate most teams. But you cant complain about being deficient in attack when you roll out a midfield consisiting of a 6 (Trapp) with a 6 and an 8 in front of him (McKennie and Adams) and expect them to suddenly become offense generating 10’s. The advantage of youth, and the strengths of both Adams and McKennie is their motors, which run for days. Sarachan demonstrated why hes not (or shouldnt be) in contention for the full time gig with his first substitutions. Down 2-0, instead of swapping a defender for an offense generator (weah for Trapp) and moving Green centrally into an CAM, he removed Green and left Trapp and moved Adams into a wide role which felt out of place. The most offensive line-up this team can run out while still playing the youth is a 4-2-3-1 with McKennie and Adams as the 2 and using a CAM or a 10. Granted, that number 10 hasnt stepped forward but if you dont play someone in that role you will never know if one is out there or not. That first sub ( trapp and arriolla for weah and acosta said we’d rather not lose 3-0 than try to get back in this game. Let Adams and McKennie join the attack when they can and use their engines and energy to support defensively rather than sitting back with Trapp. Besides id much rather see one of those 2 (or both) joining the attack as the bonus offensive player than Trapp. He had too many sideways or back passes and bad give aways trying to move the ball forward to be the least bit surprised by the final score or lack of shots on goal. I also dont quite understand how 7 international CAPS makes him qualified to be a captain, repeatedly. The best line-up we have in our pool right now is robinson, brooks, miazga, yedlin (4) mckennie, adams (2) weah, green, pulisic (3) and altidore/wood/novakovich (1). Or start seriously working on a 3-5-2 as the preferred formation. This team had exactly 0 players capable of beating someone 1 v 1 until weah came on. I also thought it was pretty cruel not to start weah given he was playing against 3 teammates and all the articles about him playing in this game and then start arriola instead. Im not yet convinced weah is up to the hype yet, but his type of confodence is what this game was sorely missing. BTW 2 plays in this game showed he (arriola) is not up to par. The attempted cross from the right with 5 yards of space that ended up 10 yards over goal and 20 yards into the stands. (That was bad) and his attempted foul on Douglas Costa on the break in the 2nd half that left him on the ground and 20 yards behind the play. If you want more offense, let the 2 kids run around the park and cover defensively and support the offense when they can rather than playing with 3 defensive midfielders.

    • At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the US has played Brazil 18 times and won once, lost 17. That win was due to what many have called one of the greatest GK performances in history. Mexico is better than we are and Brazil beat them by the same scoreline in the WC and Mexico had only one shot on goal in that game. We played a young and inexperienced team that was missing its best player. Fans need to be more realistic in their expectations and analyses. Sad to say, but Rob has it right.

      • imo, the best we ever played them was the Confed Cup final first half, playing a defend/counter style that at least gave us a chance, altho this forum absolutely HATED the way that USA team played, while making its first international final ever no less.

  7. And now, a dose of Reality: switching coaches with Brazil wouldn’t have made this US team look any better. Zinedine Zidane can’t make this team look any better. As always, it comes down to the quality of the players and the gap between the two groups is immense. Good coaching can’t compensate for that fact.
    Dave Siracha is damaged goods as a coach but they don’t get much better than him. Not with this level of player quality at this point of their careers.
    Blaming the coaching for these results is disrespectful to the other team not to mention delusional and ignorant.

    • But its so much easier to blame one person, than to admit that its a combined effort. Like the Trinidad game was all Altidore and Bradley’s fault, or all crime in America is committed by illegal immigrants. Thinking is hard, scapegoating is easy. Of course, I’m being silly the Trinidad game wasn’t Altidore and Bradley’s fault it was Gulati’s duh.

    • I think you got it wrong.
      Most of these players, specially the euro guys play at a higher level for club than they do for the National team. Why is that? did they just get bad by switching jerseys? No, is the formation and instructions from the coaching staff.

      • They are mostly young so yes McKinnie can look better and then look worse, same with Robinson (who was one of the worse statistical LB in the Championship last year). With the exception of Brooks, McKinnie, Weah, and Wood, they don’t play against this type of competition so yes they look better for their club, and honestly, Brazil is better than almost any club those 4 play against on a weekly basis. Arriola has looked really good playing with Wayne Rooney, guess what we don’t have a Wayne Rooney.

  8. I’m about to say some unpopular things.
    The 4-1-4-1 is our best possible formation at least until Carleton, Reyna, or Alvarez (everyone should be watching Los Dos because he is special, and often they don’t play defense so there’s usually a lot of scoring) are playing regularly above the USL. Here’s why.
    1. It does not require a #10 which we don’t have.
    2. It is adaptable, against weaker CONCACAF opponents the outside midfielders push forward into a 4-3-3, against top opponents like Brazil they stay deeper and organized. Brazil scored off a positioning mistake from Robinson and an imaginary penalty. Do I think they get something else if they had too, probably but we were rarely scrambling.
    3. It fits Weah and Pulisic, because they can play on the wing tucking inside to provide space for Yedlin and Robinson to get forward. By next Summer I think Adams will be offensively ready to fit into the CM spot (his offense gets better every week and should only continue in Germany).
    4. Trapp is as perfect as a #6 in this formation as we have. He keeps the lines organized, he moves the ball quickly and worked well with Brooks despite not having played together before. He’s not a destroyer but we don’t need a destroyer that picks up free kicks inside 30 yards. I understand he may have been called for the penalty or was it Brooks impossible to tell since there actually was no contact, but he’s not going to make silly challenges.
    5. It is well suited to press out of when needed. Our press actually caused Brazil a little bit of trouble (perhaps they weren’t expecting it) in the end they have the talent to not turn the ball over and eventually pick the long pass to put Neymar one on one with a CB so we couldn’t use it too much Friday. Against CONCACAF it would cause a lot of turnovers.
    Whatever formation the next manager chooses it will depend a lot on how players grow and depreciate over the next four years and how healthy people stay. A year ago in September McKennie had just become a regular bench player, Weah was with PSG U19s, Wood had scored in half of his Bundesliga matches to start the season, and no one had heard of Jonathan Amon and very few had heard of Sabbi or Keaton Parks.

  9. The formation is weak but right now our attacking options are weak. Once Sargent and Pulisic begin to make true impacts this year, then the formation would really need to change in my view. Something more like a 4 2 3 1, a 4 4 2 diamond midfield setup, or a 3 5 2 (but our back four is looking good, so the first two options are probably better).

  10. When a player days “coach wanted us to express ourselves”it tells you he had no plan tactically. Then when said coach tells us “Scoring goald is hard, we have no forwards in our pool” while calling up only 3 forwards to try out in friendlies, then you know he really has no clue. We’ve been down the Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes road before. Let’s call up some other kids.

  11. The problem is more Dave Sarachan than any lack of players. Dave picks the guys to call in and Dave makes the line up/formation. Some of the players Dave is using are not the best choices but like his mentor, Arena, he will keep trying to push that square peg in the round hole, no matter how it doesnt work.

    So now we get spanked by Mexico. After that, Dave will start to panic and I predict we’ll see him go older. Bradley, Jozy….. Dave thinks he has a shot at this job and knows if he starts losing, that dream will evaporate. He’ll think going older could save his chances and to Hell with the youth movement. Thats what we’ll get by keeping Sarachan around for months… Wasted time, anything to get a win in hopes of his hanging on.

    We did well against France before the WC and didnt have the sorry favs he’s now playing. Lets get back to that and lets send Dave packing

  12. Exactly why Sarachan is a giant mistake. He sticks with a system that produces nothing then says we dont have many forwards. We have them Dave, you are stuck on Wood and a system that isn’t producing squat and not calling in forwards that can score. Im also getting frustrated with Ernie as he’s let this drag on too long. The answer is NOT Bradley or Jozy. Thats what Arena thought and he failed. Time to move on from Dave too

      • That was two years ago Beach, we’ve moved on. Klinsmann messed up. Arena had a year to fix things and messed up too. As this article makes passing reference to and the full report on ringer more so, the captain under both men also contributed to the morale issue, and that was supported recently by Jimmy Conrad. What five guys on the roster ever even played for JK and of them Green and Miazga barely played. Blaming Klinsmann for anything going forward this cycle is non-sensical.

    • hey johnny, in all fairness, if any discussion of what’s wrong is to be relevant, the almost 6 years of insanity must be considered. it put the USMNT back a generation and the hard lessons should be required learning. I’m not sure that’s happened but we’ll see

      • Do we have 23 players who missed out on the WC experience in part to JK yes? How many of those 23 that Arena would have taken would be likely to be playing in 2022? Maybe 10, so yes for those 10 that loss is big, but it shouldn’t be debilitating. The US has a record number of youth players signing with Big 5 clubs in Europe so it hasn’t affected the evaluation of US talent. It has hurt the national team’s popularity domestically, but I don’t know how important that is, MLS has at least a decade probably several before it can compete with other MLB, NBA, and the NFL no matter how good or not good the national team is.

      • it’s the continuity from one to the next that was broken, and it matters to team culture, something that used to be a huge strength and now instead is a rebuilding work in progress after such abject failure

  13. This whole argument is silly. Dominant teams do this to lesser teams. The US missed some passes when pressed, probably because they saw so little of the ball they felt rushed when they did get it. Even though the US pressed as much as they could, about the only time Brazil turned it over was when one of their attacks broke down, in which case the US took over deep in its own territory. The US came close on some corner kicks and that was about the only way they were going to score. Get real. Another reminder, when Mexico lost to Brazil in the WC, Mexico had only one shot on goal, or less than the US did in the game last night. Also, we need Pulisic and this was the type of game where Nagbe could have helped move the ball.

    • Nagbe can move the ball but is completely unable to connect with anyone once he gets it moved. The rest of the team ends up standing around and watching because they just end up offside whenever the make a run because he is too indecisive to make a pass.

      • If you check an archive of my posts, which everyone should have, of course, (just joking for those who don’t catch on to my weird sense of humor), you will find that I have called Nagbe overrated since some began touting him for the national team a couple of years ago. However, he does have his uses. I compared him to Dembele of Tottenham/Belgium in that he can take the ball from one box to another and make good passes to get out of trouble, but lacks the ability to make the assist and goal. So, if we had had him and Pulisic, we could have handled their press better.

  14. USMNT ??

    M Kellyn Acosta Colorado Rapids
    M Tyler Adams New York Red Bulls
    M Paul Arriola D.C. United
    M Marky Delgado Toronto FC
    M Julian Green Greuther Furth
    M Sebastian Lletget LA Galaxy – INJURED??
    M Weston McKennie Schalke 04
    M Cristian Roldan Seattle Sounders FC
    M Wil Trapp Columbus Crew SC
    M Tim Weah Paris Saint-Germain
    F Andrija Novakovich Fortuna Sittard
    F Bobby Wood Hannover 96
    F Gyasi Zardes Columbus Crew SC

    hmmmmmm ?
    1. For starters bringing 3 forwards and 10 midfielders shows a defensive mindset on the field compared to Brazil’s 6 forwards and 6 midfielders
    2. How many central attacking midfielders do we have on the team that played in position?
    3. Weston McKinnie is not an attacking midfielder or responsible for offense at Schalke 04

    So of course the Young side / the attacking performance on Friday simply did not cut it

    • If we are honest Weah and Green (at least a false #9) are forwards so not exactly as drastic as the US depiction of the roster. Arriola played forward for the early part of his career at Tijuana as well and plays as a wing forward in DCs 4-3-3.
      For me I’d play Green centrally and Adams in Arriola’s spot and start Weah on the left. Perhaps the idea was that Lletget would be able to play that creative CM role, but he was injured.
      I think a better question than how many attacking midfielders do we have on the roster is how many are even in the pool? We’ve got a lot of 8s and 6s but how many American #10s can you name who didn’t play for Bob Bradley 2009? There’s some promise in the youth ranks but none of them are playing professionally yet or at least above USL level.

    • A pair of excellent posts here good job guys. Love the data focus. And I think you both highlight a serious concern, which is the absence of a true primary creator in the pool. Many had high hopes for hyndman in this role but time seems to be slipping away from him. Pulisic could become this guy perhaps, but it hasn’t been his role for club or country to date. Obviously this sort of talent is elusive, even for countries w far more established talent pools than us (Probably this was England’s most glaring need at the WC)

  15. Problem is there are very few players in the pool that are good enough on the ball in tight spaces that can hold it and distribute from the the middle. Would love to a 4-2-3-1 with Adams and Mckennie as the 2 dm and either a true 10 which in my eyes would be emo but see how he works out with Hibs. Trapp should be a back up at this level so with him play the 6 role and pushing the other two higher it makes for a bad night.

    • Trapp is far more important than you are giving him credit for. He’s not a bruising enforcer DM in the model of DeJong or Gattuso, but he keeps the squad well organized, he moves the ball quickly and reads the game defensively well. The ball is never at his feet for long. Of the few chances, we had most started with Trapp or Brooks finding guys on the wing on diagonal balls. Watch him during the match he is in constant communication with the rest of the squad.
      What in Hyndman’s career leads you to believe he can be that 10? His years at Fulham where he played on the wing, his strong month at Rangers in a league rated behind Cyprus and Belarus, or the fact he can’t even start for Hibs as a #8. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarachan calls him at some point this fall given he’s spreading a wide net.

      • I’ve seen him at Fulham and rangers in a 10 role and watched him at the u20 WC and in his few appearances for the US team. I see something he has that many dont in this pool. Not saying he is elite world class player but he is something the US lacks which is someone who can play in the middle and distribute.

  16. I just don’t get this article: “Brazil, much more experienced and loaded with many of its world-class players, was widely expected to win the possession battle. The Americans, however, expected to have more time on the ball and more looks on frame than they wound up with.” So what is it? Was Brazil expected to dominate possession, or was the US expected to have more time on the ball?

    I honestly think this was about the performance we could expect from our young team. And if that soft PK is not awarded and the game ends 1-0, all these articles would be proclaiming the courageous game our boys played. It’s brazil and we didn’t get crushed.

    • Well everyone expected Brazil to win the possession battle, and the US team and manager gave the party line that they thought they could keep the possession battle more even. Or at least that’s what Sarachan and some of the players said they believed.

    • Yeah while the article could perhaps have made the argument more clearly, I do understand and agree with the basic point I think the observation is that while the US expected to (and did) lose the possession battle, we did expect to have more moments of quality possession in attack. Only a few times did we establish ourselves in the attacking third for any sort of prolonged time, which is why our forwards were so anonymous on the balance of play.


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