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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Ethan Horvath

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Ethan Horvath made a statement in the U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeping conversation in a familiar setting on Tuesday night.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper made five saves in the USMNT’s 1-0 loss to Italy in Genk, Belgium.

Horvath, who plays his club soccer in Belgium, was the lone bright spot on the field for Dave Sarachan’s side against the European giant that is building itself back up after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Horvath didn’t make many spectacular saves, but he was in the right position at the right time on plenty of instances against an Italian attack that made plenty of advances into the final third.

Unfortunately for Horvath, he was unable to do anything on Matteo Politano’s game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time to keep the clean sheet.

The 90-minute performance out of Horvath added some questions to the alignment of the USMNT’s goalkeeper depth chart, with Zack Steffen and Brad Guzan being the other contenders.

Outside of Horvath, the USMNT didn’t have any standout stars in an underwhelming showing to close out the 2018 schedule.

Comments

  1. Horvath needs to shave his head if he wants the #1 job. He should know by now all starting US keepers have to be bald or have a shaved head.

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  2. I thought he made some big saves in terms of keeping it close but also lacked command of his box on crosses and throughballs, and tended to parry rather than catch balls which didn’t end the pressure.

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  3. Horvath looked stellar. Going to give Zach Steffan good competition for the number one keeper job. But, in part, because his position on the field was one where fouls played little or no part, he shone more brightly than say Sargent, Pulisic or Adams. The US played a version of the old Bob Bradley, bunker and counter style. Had the speed and attacking talent to do so effectively if the team had a few more weeks in camp to develop familiarity and some intuitive feel for each other. Note though, how many times Pulisic (over 6 times) and Sargent (at least 4-5 times), et al, were HAULED DOWN, cynically, with relative impunity, in the middle 3rd of the field, when revving up to a gallop. Clearly Mancini instructed his Azurri to thwart any US counters with direct fouling, shirt tugs, and judo throw / rough tackles, and deliberate tripping. Granted Pulisic could have done better at “hold up” play, and bringing other players into the attack, but the Italians knew that in a friendly the ref would be less forthcoming with cards, and thus they would be able to get away with hauling down US players to slow the attack. And they did.

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    • There are always complaints about a “Bunker Bob” style. Isn’t the real issue that we lack world class players to do anything other than absorb pressure and try to counter at the international level? Pulisic is a 140 lb sopping wet guy. He is a good player, but he cannot be a great hold up player.

      We are in a big talent gap right now, where this age division failed to qualify out of CONCACAF for any major tournaments. And it seems that some traditional powers (England) are coming back into a good generation of players. It is going to be a rough 4 years.

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      • This age division just made the quarterfinals at the past 2 u20 world cups its the lost generation of the older players like trapp and his age group that have hurt the U.S. Look at the roster and these kids have done well. The U.S. Isn’t ever going to be the best team in the world but there is some promise. With the right style and coaching they could compete and I say that with the hope of finding a CM with some attacking and possession based style of play which is truly lacking within these set of players.

  4. We needed this! Always good to have multiple options to keep players pushing as well as back up due to injury etc. Really great to see another young keeper step up. Hopefully he keeps it going for club and country.

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