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Canadians topple USMNT in Nations League

Alphonso Davies spent much of Tuesday night terrorizing the U.S. Men’s National Team’s defense, but it took him a while to find the goal to put away the Americans.

That goal came in the 63rd minute, when Davies redirected a Scott Arfield cross on goal that Zack Steffen was unable to keep out. Lucas Cavallini provided an insurance goal in the 90th minute to post a 2-0 victory over the USMNT in Concacaf Nations League action.

The victory, Canada’s first against the Americans since 1985, was a convincing one against a USMNT side that struggled to generate any sort of consistent attack, while also looking vulnerable defensively against Canada’s speedy attack.

The Canadians entered the match with more riding on the outcome, knowing a victory could provide a significant boost to their chances of qualifying for the Hexagonal round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

Conversely, the Americans entered with a chance to grab first place in their Nations League group, but played like a team with little sense of urgency, one that looked nothing like the team that dominated an overmatched Cuba team just four days earlier.

The tandem of Davies and Jonathan David gave the Americans fits all night, while the Canada midfield overcame the early loss of star midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, who was forced out of the match after just eight minutes with a hamstring injury.

Canada was nearly gifted an early goal in the 16th minute When a poor Cristian Roldan pass was intercepted, sparking a Canadian break that produced a dangerous shot by Jonathan David. Zack Steffen made an excellent save to deny David, who then missed just wide on a follow-up shot.

The Americans simply couldn’t generate much of an attack against a lively Canadian side that kept constant pressure on the USMNT with its speed and organized defending. Canadian midfielders Scott Arfield and Sam Piette outplayed the American playmakers across the board, while limiting the offensive chances for Gregg Berhalter’s side.

Christian Pulisic has the best chance for the USMNT after being set up by Jordan Morris, but could not beat Milan Borjan in goal. With the likes of an unhappy Pulisic off the pitch, Canada did not have to fear late in Toronto against the USMNT attack.

Cavallini came off the bench to smash home Canada’s insurance goal in stoppage time to ice the historic win for John Herdman’s bunch. With the win, Canada remain atop Group A with nine points, while the USMNT are second with three.

These sides will meet in November in Orlando, with the USMNT needing a win for any chance of winning the group.


  1. There needs to be a decision is it style or selection. We have players that can play possession style soccer and open up teams. Some of those guys are hurt, but the guys who filled in are not possession style players. So if you want to play that way you call in Ledesma or Mendez. Are they finished products not even close might they get out physicaled yes but so did our experienced pros. I guarantee they wouldn’t have constantly passed the ball directly to an MLS level defender. When I saw the roster I said don’t worry about Lovitz and Roldan they won’t play. Yet there they were for 90 minutes contributing more to the Canadian attack than the American. Roldan has played 2 MLS Cup matches on that pitch much more hostile environments against Osorio, he plays Piete twice a year, Liam Fraser is a part timer who has shown some promise but he hasn’t played an MLS match since July. Why on earth was a player named to the Opta Best XI just bossed by those three?

    • Johnnyrazor you touched on something important right there:
      “Why on earth was a player named to the Opta Best XI just bossed by those three?”

      Because that’s exactly what the issue was…..he was left stranded and bossed by all three. Who do you know to ever play well with Michael Bradley?? Bradley + Jermaine Jones sucked, Bradley + Nagbe sucked and now Bradley + Roldan sucks.

      USSoccer tries to validate Bradley and more so Trapp, and the team’s progression is in a downward spiral. GB is trying to create a partnership with MB, the same way JK and Arena did. They got fired.

      • No Roldan many times had the ball had time wasn’t under pressure had open teammates and just hit balls right to stationary defenders. Bradley needs to be replaced and supposedly will be when Adams returns probably in March but you can’t blame Bradley for his play. He’s not a possession player, he doesn’t fit how the team is trying to play. If we were pressing or sitting and countering he might make sense. You could say the same about Weston, “I love his late runs into the box@. Then why the heck is he playing as the 10 standing stationary at the top of the box. “It’s still a mystery as to Christian’s best position.” No it’s not 10g 7a as a AM to 4g 3a as a wing and he’s played I believe 4 more matches on the wing.
        I’m also less concerned about the #6 Adams will play there said Gregg this week, Yueill has moved in front of Trapp so Bradley is a place holder. The #10 #8 are a bigger questions to me. If you aren’t going to play a Pulisic there then please bring in an actual 10 like Green, Holmes, Mendez or Ledesma. Then let McKennie play as the 8. If McKennie is playing the 10 then Pomykal or Holmes need to be there instead of Roldan. We had our best Hex qualifying ever with Beckerman as our 6 so you might be over hyping the importance of the 6 position.

      • Johnnyrazor
        i hear you about Roldan but it was a $hit show for everyone. Apart from long and Steffen who was not to blame? USMNT has sucked from time in memorial with MB orchestrating the team’s tempo and like you said he cannot handle the #6 or #8 position!!! He is not the person that can help his team maintain possession or move dynamically forward, so please tell me why is he constantly given that role? Name one midfielder that has played well with him or developed a solid partnership with him in the DM/CM role? NONE

        “Bradley needs to be replaced and supposedly will be when Adams returns probably in March….”,
        Supposedly replaced? lol, he shouldn’t even be on the national team anymore

        “………but you can’t blame Bradley for his play. He’s not a possession player, he doesn’t fit how the team is trying to play.”
        lol Johnnyrazor who’s fault is it that he sucks? Who’s fault is it that he cannot hold on to the ball or do anything progressive with the ball? who?

        Everybody knows he sucks, even the Canadian national team, who’s game plan was to exploit him. If he was worth a damn they would plan to play around him….but he is the weakness link (and its only getting worst with age!!!!) and as long as he is on the team the USMNT will continue to lack cohesiveness.


  3. Everyone who has followed USMNT knows of Ream’s weaknesses. He is flat out slow when tracking a running player. Cavalini is not even considered fast yet he looked like Usain Bolt when Ream is covering him. His weakness is evident going back to a particular friendly against Spain at Foxboro (?) a long time ago. After seeing that and many more down the road, it doesn’t take a PhD to figure out you don’t play him if going against a quick, fast and strong player like Davies.

    But he was recalled and all the coaches involved with his selection deemed he was now good enough after playing in the EPL/Championship. LOL do they need a review of all the goals he let in after a player beats him by strength or speed?

  4. i hope we have gotten all the arrogant bs about being too good for the region, too good for nations league, too good for canada, out of our system. bluntly, losing to mexico twice should have been enough. that alone should have triggered a “not good enough” response except for the first time in our recent history, it’s become somehow proper to concede Mexico. well, now we see we’re the worst in North America at the moment.

  5. Pulisic scores that sitter, alone in the area, nobody near him, and this is a different result, even with all the poor play. Wow, kicked it right to the goalie at half speed, hand high, not slotted on the ground…wow. we NEVER should have gone away from our style of play that produced results all those years ago when ding dong threw the baby out with the bathwater, and as long as we continue to pretend we can play other ways, we’ll stink. we don’t have the horses to try and play this way against any decent competition, proven again. Of course, the fans will need to applaud those efforts and the players who can play that way and win with defensive/physical/counter attacking tactics instead of b!tch and moan about it, like before

    • it’s two things, one is changing how you are playing, abandoning successful if cruder ways of playing, more results oriented tactics. and two is whether anyone considered how a changed team would set up for concacaf. canada is the tip of the aggression iceberg. this dutch style stuff seems to assume dutch defenses. concacaf is not usually going to sit back and let you pass the ball all day. it’s naive from the start and no matter what the snobs think FIFA isn’t going to let us qualify in Europe or South America or anywhere but WHERE WE LIVE. that reality must be taken for granted in creating tactics and selecting players.

      • @Imperative we’re on the same page. re. tactics, another key is the officiating; we get disrespected on the road big time, fouled from behind on the ball with no whistles, have to take that into account and play a style that overcomes that BS, not succumbs to it. Think Gooch staring down Borgetti

    • i also think people ignore how tiki taka teams like spain and the dutch have historically fared at world cups. spain had the one great generation but that’s the only world cup between the two. as TT said, it smacks of style over substance. there are plenty of german and italian and french teams that don’t see attacking virtuosity and defensive organization as opposed. it’s bull that we get proposed a choice between one or the other.

    • With his last two U-20 teams Tab Ramos has managed to get his teams to play in what is now the preferred style.And in their last youth WC, they pretty much held their own with almost every other team, including France.

      • @Gary I look forward to those players transferring that style to the national team successfully. Reinstalling dos a cero as a true expectation is the bar. I respect very much what Tab has done both as player and coach and have nothing but respect for him and his accomplishments. I also stand by my previous comments

      • come on Johnny, you mean trying to return to a style that had proven effective after 5+ years of internal deconstruction into a dumpster fire? Tough ask that failed, that’s being fair

    • Yes but we don’t really have the players to play that style right now either. Pulisic and Morris can’t/don’t track back and get stuck in like LD or Dempsey used to not routinely anyway. We don’t have any true wide midfielders, Arriola maybe. Everyone else are either wingers or forwards. It’s hard to drop back and defend and counter if those guys can’t win a ball to play forward. We tried the diamond for 4 years under two managers but we have no #10 so that just isolates us further.

  6. Berhalter out !!!

    Pulisic made bad decisions with the ball, that is typical of young players. He doesn’t need to try to take on 3 to 4 players every time he touches the ball in his own half of the field. While he does have the individual skill required to beat players with the ball, it doesn’t need to be the only way to move the ball forward.Those 3 or 4 players are leaving their space so there should be 3 or 4 places to pass the ball quickly like a give and go.

    Also being substituted was a dumb decision by Berhalter; he should have moved forward since he is our best player instead of Arriola coming in.

    Still don’t get why Lovitz, Roldan, and Bradley are still on the team. Bradley had his time and still turns over the ball during crucial moments.

    Nations League should be used to look at younger players, not rely on past failures.

    • He was flat out-coached…again. It happened against Mexico in the GC final when Mexico adjusted w/ a tactic switch. OTOH, 3G did nothing tactically to slow down or contain Davies. We also barely threatened Canada’s weak and inexperienced backline. GB made some questionable substitutions, especially the last one which made you ask why he didn’t start Lima in the first place?

      • i would also ask the basic question of what did he do well?? i think berhalter sycophants paint critics as unnecessarily harsh about failures. ditto some of the players he picks. but it’s not like there are endless positives. what “went right” last night??

  7. I think the problems last night can be traced back to the Klinnsman era. That was when we moved away from our previous identity as defensive minded counterattacking team. Once we started to prioritize possession, our whole approach slowed down. Players became tentative. (Think Bradley and all his back passes.) Things have never been the same.

  8. One thing I love about these losses is that WE ALL get to suffer….together. Where did the wheels fall off? We are all looking down stream but what area is the catalyst that lead to an atrocious game like that?? Our midfield. You can’t take positions that are arguably the most important positions on any team and give them to players that don’t have the skill, talent or abilities for that position. There is not one area in MLS lead by an American player, especially forward and midfield…..and the players on the field are not the best American MLS, so it’s like you are getting half or half.

    6 – Defensive Midfielder – High work rate, Ability to keep the ball (vision and technical passing), Tactically astute, Strong in air, Strong tackler, quick to the ball
    8 – Center Midfielder – Endless work rate – speed and endurance, Good leadership and organization, Creative playmaker, Good in air, Long range finishing ability, Ability to provide defensive pressure

    This team lacks a defensive midfielder, a.k.a “the clean-up guy” and is arguably the most important position in football. For most coaches around the world it’s the ‘number 6’ role to link the team together and without one, even the HIGH QUALITY TEAMS STRUGGLE to control a game (let alone the USMNT). He is the player who does the dirty work. He sits in front of the defense, almost always in his own half, intercepting passes and breaking up opposition attacks with his tough tackling ways, supreme reading of the game, positional awareness and ball control. This player can sometimes go under-appreciated by fans because he is rarely the one who scores the crucial goal or makes the last-ditch tackle. (-Tyler Adams)

    We do not play the right player in the #8, a more dynamic position. Often considered the most hardworking role, as this player has to be ready for action and can play both defensively and offensively, depending on where the ball is. They are responsible for distributing the ball to other players, so it’s vital that they have exceptional ball handling and passing skills. When on the attack, they often take long shots on goal to help the offense. To fit a team’s strategy, they will sometimes line up with the 6 in a more defensive position or with the 10 in a more offensive formation. The #8 is given the license to roam, hassle opponents, make runs into the opposition box, work the ball up from defense and link up play. The #8 is what you now call a box-to-box midfielder found in 2-man as well as 3-man midfields (- Darlington Nagbe)

    Sorry, like I told Johnny and OK2, you just can’t build a structure (Team) of any kind on a weak foundation of midfielders particularly your CM/DM. Even Canada singled “him” out for exploitation yet we still refuse to get the memo. Jk didn’t get it, Arena didn’t get it…..and now GB is going to eat dirt until he gets this one right or loses his job. We all are going to continue to act surprised and accept the “L” until certain players (and probably coach) are not on the roster for the USMNT anymore. GO USA!!!!!!!

    • Bizzy, I like this take on the center midfield and I have been saying for years it is our weakest link and that we get bossed there constantly. I agree with all the responsibilities of the positions you mentioned, but unfortunately your solutions won’t work, and worse, I can’t really think of any alternatives. Adams should be the 6, but he’s injured, and we don’t have a real backup. You mentioned Nagbe, but he is not accepting call-ups (and can’t defend well enough anyway) so that’s that. McKennie can maybe grow into the 8, but when he’s off like last night it really kills us, and again, no backup. That is not the manager or anyone’s fault, just the reality of the current talent pool.

      • IMO, I think Lletget or Green have the ability to be decent #8’s. Also, having Morales available, along with Adams would cure a lot of our ills. In his last (among too few) appearance, Morales showed the grit and toughness that could make him an effective 6. I think before his injury Adams was the best American player and he can make a difference wherever he plays in midfield (please no RB).

      • It seems like the top MF are Pulisic and McKinnie. So build around them. If we have to take some lumps because they are young and inconsistent, then fine. Go with what you have and provide support where weak. If we don’t have the MF to play 5 b/c we don’t trust arriola, Llegett, etc. then play 3 MF and add a D and a FW.

        Sadly the tactical thinking/ability in the US is lacking, and I just don’t understand it. It was how everyone freaked out on JK when he changed formations and y’all were like,”our players were confused” Seriously? WTF. If our PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE players cant figure out different formations, and the spaces, opportunities, and vulnerabilities they entail, then we need different players.

        As applied to this US Team, it boggles my mind that 1 yr. later, Berhalter still seems to be teaching these guys how to play in a 3-5-2. Like seriously, whip out some film of Italy… and say, go do that. then move on.

        It also boggles my mind how people would prefer a 0-0 draw against Canada where we play bunker Bob style kick-ball, to a 2-0 loss where we are actually trying to play soccer. The theme in these comments seems to be, fuck playing good soccer and trying to get to the next level, what we need to do is regress, lose our technically skilled players, and go bunker up… because we won some games that way historically. I just shake my head to that.

        Also, can we finally say that JK over-achieved with what he had and that US performance failures were not B/C he didn’t know what he was doing?

      • JB,
        Appreciate the compliment and I agree that Adam and Nagbe currently not feasible but those two players are the best #6 and #8 we have

        Before he was injured Tyler Adams was a starting DM for RB Leipzig……absolutely nothing more needs to be said
        From the time he arrived in Atlanta till now, Darlington Nagbe has been a force in MLS and the heart beat for ATL. A coach like Tata put his hope and trust in Nagbe to control the pace of the game, to streamline the transition of the ball from Offense to Defense, and ended up dominating MLS in the process and winning an MLS cup. He is one of the few American players to make OPTA BEST XI this season, has excellent ball control, ability to keep the ball, dribbling skills, key passing percentage and necessary abilities to change a game on a tilt (if he has a solid #6 by his side). You cannot call in a player like that as an injury replacement, as it shows he was never part of the ORIGINAL plan going forward….and to be a sub for Bradley and Trapp?????? No thanks

        So yes, due to current circumstances we are where are but it could have been better. Certain players should never be an intricate part of the USMNT. They are selected based on pure favoritism and not skill, ability and talent, and it doesn’t take much to see it on the field

  9. We believe in you Christian your form will come back soon and you will light Chelsea and USMNT up??✌⚽?!!! Once Beerholder is fired???‍♂️?!

  10. It’s not a crime to think, but damn, I thought this manager would use the Cuba match as a warm up to Canada. I should be locked up for thinking that! Roldan & McKennie play the same position. No Lletget, cool, cool, smart move. Lovitz “GB likes what he brings in the attack!” Yedlin played only 1 match, let’s give him a start, but not against Cuba. Miazga & Long, with Ream & Cannon, hindsight 20/20. Half the starting XI plays in Europe. GB seems to have lost his locker room quicker than JK. This is a precursor like the lost to Guatemala for JK. We’re focusing on playing the Italy’s, England’s, Brasil’s, and getting beat by countries in our region. What is more important- Getting beat by perennial futbol powerhouses?, or not qualifying for a WC? I can hear the American Outlaws now, (chanting), “Hit the road Greg, & don’t cha come back, no more! -(4x)”. I’m looking forward to Olympic qualifying in March!

  11. A day will come, hopefully sooner rather than later, but the day will come when the whole of the US federation recognizes and identifies with a style, and a “system”. It won’t be based on the whims of some coach, whose proclivities might lean towards a Dutch style. Or a Germany style, or whatever, but it will be organic, and it will be borne out of our culture. Every other national team in the world has a style, and it is based on the country and the culture, and it is recognizable. We don’t need to see the 5 stars on the crest to know we are playing Brazil, and we don’t need to see the green jersey to know Its Mexico.

    I think a lot of blame goes on the fans. Fans have longed for a possession game, without thinking that maybe a nicer style doesn’t translate to better results. People like to come up with tricky names for defending and countering, like calling it the high press. Jesus it kills me! When was the last time we saw two American defender take on one attacker and disposes that attackers of the ball, without fouling, and of course keeping possession? It’s a damn rarity

    • Good comment, but would you also agree that forcing a way of playing on a national team -because you want to “have a system” — is probably naive? We just don’t have the depth of talent to do that right now (or likely for decades). Rather than worrying about having a “national style” (and really, it’s less than 10 teams globally who really can say that over the years), I feel like we are better off accepting that we are still a mid-tier team– we are best off recognizing what we pieces we have to work with are, and tailoring a solution that suits our strengths. No need to worry about if we will play like that in five years. Even a 3 year World Cup cycle is a long time to expect a team to play with a hallmark style. Teams have won World Cups without really having a tactical blueprint for how it would happen at the Finals.

    • we had a basic way of playing but it was deemed not pretty enough, or not successful enough, by the snobs. the problem is the sales pitch is we need to change how we PLAY but the players look the same; we have instead changed TACTICS and that’s premature without having developed the players to suit.

    • Interesting. Here’s a thought analogy to that and possible explanation for why a natural organic style hasn’t yet solidified for our NT.

      The US is a far more heterogeneous culture than most nations because of our nations history. So many languages and so many regional cultural differences exist here that maybe a closer analogy would if the EU had its own FIFA membership and NT made up of all the EU member nations. I’d imagine it would be difficult under those circumstances to also find an organic style given the differences in culture between the individual EU nations.

      A counter point to the EU analogy could be Brazil. A heterogeneous nation of immigrants similar to ours in many ways with similar history. Yet they definitely have a style. But Soccer is like literally religion there, for instance it’s not PC to discuss your club at work because of the fierce rivalries.

      The lack of a pro league of any significance for so long here probably plays a part in my opinion. Maybe as MLS continues to grow even as mediocre as it is it could develop that style fort within the clubs.

      • you’re overthinking it. historically we began learning from what in my experience were primarily english and german coaches. i felt like we began from pre-2000 english kickball style before the cosmo coaches and players came in so much. that is still in the dna because if coaches played that’s how they were taught. they are trying to bring new stuff in to change how we play but it hasn’t really taken hold in this generation. this team just looks sloppy. we have therefore changed tactics instead. but the players aren’t ready for the tactics.

      • short version: you can’t snap your tactical fingers and make a passing team out of sloppy players, and only an idiot or a zealot would perseverate and not adapt to the tools at hand. it’s what klinsi did after trying the same darned thing.

    • A little history lesson might be in order here. A defensive approach with counter attacking is what you do when the other team has better players. Scoring goals is often very difficult. A counter attack, when you have speedy players is successful because you strike when the opponent has his defenders forward and you attack before he gets set. Bob Bradley lost his job after losing to Mexico in a GC final. He was fired specifically to hire Klinsmann. It was almost universally applauded at the time. At that time Bradley’s US team was noted for it’s strong defense (now at LAFC he promotes more of an attacking style). The USSF publicly stated, as I recall, that they wanted US soccer to go beyond getting out of its group and to join the elite of the word by 2022 or so. That’s why Klinsmann was hired. One thing Klinsmann stated near the very beginning was that he wanted to adopt a style suited to our country. That meant that we should be an attacking, high scoring team because
      Americans like to see offense/goals. As for what that meant practically, I think Klinsmann was greatly influenced by Arsene Wenger, whom he had played for in France. I think he wanted to have a team that played in a style similar to the great Arsenal teams. He also favored the physical, attacking style of the German team. In all the Klinsmann hate that is so prevalent, the positives he brought get overlooked–like winning the Hex with the most points in US history and then getting out of the Group of Death and taking Belgium to extra time. However, the goals and the reality clashed and the US never achieved what USSF or Klinsmann wanted. However, as I keep pointing out, the US under Ramos is the only team to have made the quarterfinals of the past two U-20 World Cups. Ramos has adopted and implemented the style Klinsmann promoted and has done so with some considerable success. Those youngsters are starting to come into the fold. If Ramos can do it with youth teams, then I don’t see why the full National team can’t do it. If the USMNT can’t do it, then the problem, IMHO, is the coaching.

      • i recall the history. my point is JK’s ideas didn’t work and were abandoned for defensive soccer by brazil. you can tell the US to become more technical and go to bigger clubs, but you can’t make it happen by fiat. you get the players you have to do it. he tried gringo kljestan bradley etc. and figured out our technical guys couldn’t create enough yet to compete. we swapped out for defense like jones. the personnel he relied on to execute defensive soccer then aged out. he couldn’t find replacements or shift gears to something else. i remember well we wanted to try to advance deeper. but we have tried things since then and only gone in reverse. that is in part because the PLAYER to execute new tactics, doesn’t exist. we instead try TACTICS to reach the same end. but those tactics require the players to execute. if you want to advance deeper by changing tactics and players you need to go back to U10, and if anything these players look a notch below 2002 or 2010 type teams technically. and yet this is the bunch to continue klinsi’s dream?? no. this is time to go back to the historical well until the troops arrive to carry out your mission.

      • I’d argue we do have a first 11 that could play that style imagine if you will Adams as a 6, CP RW, McKennie 8, Weah on one wing, Holmes 10, Yedlin/Cannon and Dest at FBs and Brooks and Miazga at CB. Unfortunately 3 are hurt 1 wasn’t called 1 unsure. But to instead replace those 5 with players that aren’t suited to the style is the issue.

  12. I agree with many of the comments critical of GB, but I also want to add his in game decision making as an issue. I don’t understand why you sub off Pulisic so early when you are struggling to create chances. He wasn’t playing well (who was?) but he didn’t seem gassed. Was it to send a message? We still needed a goal so keep the more dangerous players we have on the field. Why wasn’t Roldan, who was probably the most awful, not subbed sooner? Most of you know what I think about Bradley and it’s clear that a center midfield made up of Roldan and Bradley is mediocre even for MLS. I have higher hopes for Jackson Yeuill, so lets get him some more reps. I think a Mckennie/Yeuill combo would have worked better or could have at least been tried when Roldan/Bradley was not working. Also, would have rather seen Lima/Cannon as the outside backs. If you are holding a sub back because you think Yedlin isn’t a 100% game fit, then that is a dumb move. If not, then why are you subbing a defender, like for like, when you need goals?

    • Gregg said afterward that CP had suffered flu like symptoms this week. Why Roldan even played at all is beyond me. He was the 10th best player against Cuba.

      • We are living in the Michael Bradley Generation. This is a direct result of his so called leadership. How can the team move past what happened two years ago when you have the prime example of failure still on the field? This team played just as hard as Michael Bradley played as he is still the tacit leader of the team. Get rid of him and you get rid of the main problem.

      • Big Red: Bradley at least showed urgency tonight. Time to move on but if guys were really following his lead they weren’t paying attention tonight.

  13. I have a lot of frustration. One question I’m wondering is if Berhalter and his system are fools good on the National Team level. He doesn’t get to build a team and train with them 200 plus times a year to implement his system as he would in a club situation. Maybe his system is really good at the club level, but impractical at the National Team level.

    • Certainly seems like it’s part of it. The whole idea of “having a system” that the national team plays at all times just feels naive. Maybe if you are Spain or Germany (where 50%+ of your NT has played together at the club level for significant periods of time) it works. But even Klinsmann (who often spoke of this) usually relented and played to the strengths of his best available selection. I mean, if you want to do this at a World Cup, and spend a 3-4 week camp preparing a style that suits your specific strengths, it makes sense. But I think it just doesn’t work the way GB is trying.

    • While I have certainly been skeptical at best about his approach, that is not what troubles me the most.The US played like they were spectating. Canada played harder, not just better. The US often looked lost out there like they didn’t even know what to do. No intensity, sometimes players didn’t even look interested. Certainly there was a serious lack of concentration when players make stupid giveaways in their own half. No matter what formation or style the US played tonight I am pretty sure that they would have lost with this level of effort. There is absolutely no excuse for that and the coach and his staff need to take responsibility for failing to get the team up for the game.

      • We played like we were a mediocre CONCACAF team and Canada was ranked 23rd. I swear I was watching one of those awful MNTs from the 80s, which not coincidentally was the last time we lost to Canada.

  14. anyone care to revise their statements about how people criticizing the largely absent cuba midfield didn’t understand the system?? we got bossed by canada’s midfield and they didn’t let us go up the right wing all night, which meant we needed plan B and there wasn’t one.

  15. anyone care to revise their statements about whether we need to bring in different players?? i suggested it and people had fun with that one. i see some of them now saying berhalter should be called on the carpet and asked for a list of…….new players. neat pivot. don’t think i didn’t notice.

  16. anyone care to revise their statements about yedlin over cannon?? people had a chuckle about that one too, at my expense. still seem funny??

    • I don’t always agree with IV, but when I do… someone was pissed that Cannon wasn’t included in the GC roster. (That person was right!) Since he was added, I think he has proven himself- time and time again. I’m in favor of him starting every match @ RB and Lima, Shaq Moore, Yedlin, and yes, Arriola compete to take the starting spot.

      • Yeah I’m pretty sold on Cannon for the moment too. He’s been aggressive and seems to be trying to earn it. Not writing off Yedlin (or anyone else), but for me Cannon is the one I want to see most right now.

    • Don’t hurt yourself trying to pat yourself on the back. We didn’t lose because of Yedlin. We lost because our midfielders pretty much stunk and Ream was pretty bad, too. Only Long and Steffen looked decent in defense. While Yedlin wasn’t good, so many were as bad or worse. Roldan especially.

      • What were you watching Yedlin and Long were sleeping on the first goal and didnt pick up the man Davies who scored. SMH ??‍♂️?

      • “We lost because our midfielders pretty much stunk “….lol, yup I can smell ’em from here. yuk lol ???

      • yedlin has given up the same goal at least 3 times now in recent years. and his supporters always blame someone else.

  17. anyone care to revise their statements about how we didn’t need to rest more players and show up fresh for a canada team only playing one game this time?? i remember being called ridiculous. seem ridiculous now???

    • The move to make at half would have been Miazga for a Lovitz, Ream could deal with Laryea and Miazga would have been better against Davies. Arriola for Roldan slide CP inside allows McKennie to drop into the dual 6 role to also aid on Davies.
      I don’t care where CP plays for his club or where he wants to play 60% winning percentage as a AM 10g 7a, 40% winning percentage 4g 3a in 3 more games as a Wing.
      He’s better the teams better. Why on earth was Lovitz brought in as our #1 LB. I’d take Villafana over that at least he’s better at offense.
      I don’t care what the system is there is no reason as a professional that you pass the ball directly to the defender who is three yards in front of you, repeatedly! That’s firmly on the player.
      If McKennie can’t get open against Piete and Sargent can’t get open against those CBs they can’t start at those positions.
      The only thing that is going to allow me to sleep tonight is that I will not have internet or cable during the next window.

    • Finally, Imperative Voice! I agreed with your post about starting the same players in two consecutive matches, with the second match being of more importance! The squad is fatigued in the 2nd match. ‘17 WCQ- Panama – T&T. ‘14 Copa America – Ecuador? – Argentina. ‘09- Confederation Cup – Spain- Brasil. There hasn’t been any articles, books, or posts that I’m familiar with, so if you say something about it, people will say, ‘that’s a theory’. “It’s only your opinion!”, and/or my favorite one, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” (…and I’m like, I know what I’m seeing!) With that being said, ‘You were right!’ I didn’t want to jinx it, the other day. That’s 3 different managers in three different eras, with that same outcome. Ramos’ U20s have been thru the same dilemma 3 consecutive tournaments. (In case, you haven’t seen it.)

      • JR- you’re very well informed! You know as well as I know, Tatam is dipping into Mexico‘s player depth and using younger players. Generational shift, for a lack of a better word. We all know, Mexico is the class of CONCACAF! Almyeda, San Jose manager in interview said, “American players don’t have as much passion as the Mexican players”. Evidence that showed itself tonight vs Canada.

      • Mexico had a home second game. We had a road second game. We also arguably started a better lineup for the first game before reverting to Fed Picks for the second one.

  18. This US team was clearly NOT told to press Canada and it showed. Many strong teams in the world right now are playing high pressure, The Red Bull franchise has made an art of it and have had good results in Germany, Austria and MLS. RB Leipzig nearly tied Liverpool at Liverpool. LAFC plays that way much of the time. If nothing else, it is a way to get the most out of a group of players who may not have the talent to play like Barcelona. When that high pressure is working, it looks like the AC Milan teams of the early 90s when it seemed that they out-numbered their opponents all over the field.

    I’ve tried very hard to be patient with GB’s approach, but it is not working.

    This a case of necessity dictating that the system should be something that allows the players to do what they do best and puts them in positions to succeed, not a system that exists in some grand plan in which players are selected according to that plan, or worse, forced into roles to which they are ill-suited and forced to struggle unnecessarily. I think GB’s system does not reward players for what they do well and the team would be better served changing to something that would; I think a high pressure style would fit most of the players much better.

    • patience should be earned. you earn it when the team looks better, the team gets some results. if the team routinely looks bad and can’t beat good teams then you’re not being patient, you’re failing to act. in normal circumstances if you lost 3 of your last 5, tied 1, and beat poor and defection depleted cuba, you’d be in the unemployment line. that he isn’t there speaks to him being artificially protected by the Fed.

    • I was very surprised when we didn’t start by pressing them all over. I just assumed that would be a given. Conversely, we haven’t seemed to learn hardly anything since Mexico about how to deal with a high press. There were a few times when we used quick one touch passes and looked good for a minute or two, but mostly a player would get the ball and, too often, hold it up, either looking for someone or trying to decide what to do, allowing Canada to close in on him. And, of course, too many bad passes and Canada won almost every 50/50 ball. The US played right into Canada’s hands.

      • Dealing with the High press is something that requires movement and stringing 5-7 passes together. Tell me a time in American soccer history where our D and MF were able to do that under pressure.

        I think we are finally trying to teach it at the youth level, and I think we have some young kids that are learning it at the club level (but only in Europe), so I think we will someday be able to overcome the press. But it’s not easy… look at what Chile did to the entire Latin American region for 7 years. And those players on Argentina and Brazil are most definitely not Bradley and Long.

  19. Realistically Bob Bradley is the only guy possible. None of those sexy names are coming to this dumpster fire. And I’m not sure Bob would want the job. So that leaves Vanney, Vermes, and Ramos.

    • And that goes back to USSF handling of the hire in the first place.Many of us were calling for action half a year or more before they did anything. We probably would have had a lot more options then, if the process had been truly open, which it probably wasn’t. It’s the old boys network looking out for its own interests, not the interests of the US team or its fans.

  20. Does anyone see a trend here? Not just the awful performances but a group that has zero sense of urgency… And it appears very little heart-the way we just fade away as the match goes on.
    Remember during the JK era people were saying there were times when we weren’t playing as hard as the USMNT days of old?? (Hold my beer2019)

    • they have basically been instructed to dial down the aggressive energy which is an incredibly naive change in light of concacaf reality.

      • Yea didn’t Twellman say something like GB got testy in an interview yesterday when asked about the intensity? I can’t remember exactly what he said – but it didn’t sound good

    • Exactly. I have watched every game of the Berhalter era (and pretty much every other era) and it’s actually breathtaking how little we improve over the course of a game. Steady decline EVERY TIME. I can’t even think of one game of a time we’ve grown or even had a “second wind” in a game. It’s actually quite remarkable. The message (whatever it may be) simply isn’t resonating. At all. Guys just look defeated and confused every time we do so much as concede a goal. It ain’t working.

  21. I was willing to give GGG the benefit of the doubt until now, but I’m done. As many of you have already mentioned the confusing player selections, the tactics and all are awful.

    What bothered me most was how flat the team was. As Twellman said, there was no urgency, no direction and that is all coaching. The while team looks confused out there with no cohesion. Yes, we have more talent than in the past, but if it doesn’t play together it’s ?. The U.S. used to be better than the sum of its parts, but now there’s a whole lot of subtraction going on.

    By the way, if it weren’t for Steffen tonight it would have been 4 or 5 goals. He didn’t have a great game, but was solid at least.

  22. Abject awful. Something is fundamentally wrong w the approach here. Perhaps the biggest indictment I’ve observed of the USMNT under Berhalter is the total absence of improvement over the course of the game. Literally just a slow deterioration over 90 minutes. Every time. Can’t persist.

  23. I’m going to add another log to the fire under Berhaulter’s corps.
    This loss is not going to help convince duel nationals to choose the US over other perspective choices. I’m not even referring to players who have the ability to play for the US but haven’t to date. I’m talking about players who’ve progressed through the US Youth teams and are now getting interest from other nations that they qualify for.
    Was tonight’s performance likely to help convince Dest to choose the US over the Netherlands? How about Ledezma who’s been approached by Mexico?
    We’ve already lost Johnathan Gonzalez….can we afford to lose any others?

    • Meh. While there are plenty of good reasons to go after Berhalter right now, I’m not sure this is all that urgent of a concern. If you believe the media rumblings about Dest, for example, his primary concern involves playing time and first team opportunities (seems like that’s the only thing even keeping his interest in the USA alive at this point). Surely he’d look at Lovitz etc and say “ok that job is mine”. But yeah, I’d think a lot of these guys are probably wondering who the next guy will be after seeing these results. Can’t blame them…. gb would probably be fired in most countries at this point.

    • If we’d played ok and loss 1-0 we could have stomached it but to be completely outplayed by a team of MLS role players and two Euro players under age 20 is nauseating.

      • Disagree. We were embarrassed at 1-0. That was not okay. We looked lost. All the 2nd goal did was add salt in the proverbial wound.

        HAD we played simply average like the game we lost against Ireland a year ago with a late goal that was a mistake that MIGHT have been a bitter pill to swallow but you could say at least we didn’t look impotent (like we really did last night) and outcoached.

  24. Stewart needs to call Berhalter to a meeting and ask him to bring a list of roster changes he’s planning on making. If that list isn’t 8 to 10 names long he should be let go. You can’t even blame SUM the MLS players who are all role players (except Kaye who barely played) for Canada equated themselves well. Our European players were responsible for the goals as well. Long was the only one to have a decent game with the exception maybe of Steffen. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point because the roster that was there today will not qualify and by likely allowing Canada into the Hex made it even harder. I understand we are missing four dynamic players but when those are replaced with players that are so dull I no longer have sympathy for that.
    My list
    1. Holmes-Roldan
    2. Robinson-Lovitz (I don’t care if his defense stinks)
    3. Ledesma-Baird
    4. CCV-Ream
    5. Mendez-Trapp
    6. Green- Lletget
    Guys who are needed when healthy Adams, Brooks, Pomykal, Weah, Parks, Altidore

    • Dang, JR, no Boyd, no Morris, huh?! I thought, Boyd was a better “positional defender?” Aww! My bad! You like Morris as much as Bizzy likes Altidore. One day, I hope you will eventually see some of our points of view. Morris hustles every match, he has worked on his left foot (scoring), and his runs & passing in the final 1/3, this year have improved. I know you will disagree, but Morris, Long, & Steffen showed up tonight. Steffen & Long didn’t play v Cuba. Thanks again for your futbol podcast suggestion. #Scuffed player pool, earlier in the year, had Miles Robinson starting @ CB (U23) before anyone outside of Atl, knew who he was. Wish he would’ve been available!

      • Sorry apparently my list was unclear the now 7 guys listed are guys I want replaced. Morris was good for at least the first 25-30 minutes really most of our offense. I thought his cross that got to Sargent on the back post should have been finished. Morris still can’t defend and is a danger against clubs like a Mexico who are going to out possess us. Against opponents like Canada it’s generally not an issue. Once Canada sat back more it cut out Morris’s space and Roldan just kept passing to Osorio, Morris didn’t do much after that but that was not his fault. I was tempted to replace Boyd but I think he’s better than anyone behind him at least until Weah is healthy and Pomykal gets more experience.

      • @ IT’S OK 2 THINK What game were you watchin?g! Long and Yedlin were sleeping and made us concede the first goal.

      • There’s no point using place holder players that don’t fit the chair. If you want to change your system when your missing 4 or 5 of your best players and defend and counter this roster is fine, but if refuse to do that call in someone who can play the way you want.

    • I don’t see how you replace Lletget, who never got a chance. When I saw the opening lineup I winced when I saw Roldan in there instead of Lletget. Lletget should have replaced Roldan shortly after the half. Yes, bring in Green, but not at the expense of Lletget who is starting to get his old form back (he has been injured a lot).

  25. Totally agree. Here is also a bit more of a breakdown to add to my personal breakdown: As Twellman pointed out, we kept the back line restrained in order to deal with the Canadian forwards. We were thus unable to go fwd quickly because when we won the ball we didn’t have numbers, but even more troubling is that during these times we somehow thought we were still in buildup mode. One phase of the game is transition and the quick counter, and that didn’t happen much tonight. One reason is that even when we could play forward, Bradley checked to the ball when it was better to receive a layoff further up the pitch. That left McKinnie and Roldan chasing too much. And Sargent did not run the channels, and the wings were static, and I nearly threw up my late dinner. The whole team needed to commit to getting up the field in transition. But this buildup style seems to be stuck in the players’ heads at inappropriate times. It’s like every action is about buildup. Building is great when the other team has conceded space, but Canada was pressing and when they lost the ball they should have paid the price for that. What a rudderless, lost team. So many issues.


    • BMO field is TFCs home, biggest but not the only reason. Ream started, when US played in StL. Ben Sweat started, when US played in Tampa. Hometown or home field! It’s a tradition, that needs to disappear.

  27. If you still think GB is the right guy and want him managing and using this system and tactics with ‘his’ personnel/roster selections and subs then I got nothing more to say to you.

    • If any of y’all want GB managing us thru the Hex you aren’t seeing things right. Canada may barely make the Hex as the sixth team just as TnT was last time. They had their WC on the line tonight just like every team in the Hex will each game and we laid the exact same egg away to the last placed team in the Hex. Congrats USSF, now grow a pair and fire this guy and his brother and tell Don to F Off

  28. Haha ? ? ?, I said it. Let’s recap

    “The current group for the USMNT is hosed…plain and simple, no matter how you look at it. They don’t have good numbers in MLS this season, they are not dominating in any MLS category (among American player!!!!) and yet they are starting over players that play in better more structured leagues, players that know what it means to struggle, claw and fight for their current positions /minutes overseas. And the beauty of this game is those stats are going to translate into their game on the field and it will look like $hit as usually….to be displayed for the world to see. There is no way around it…..”

    …..and guess what happened?? we looked like ?! STATS ARE GOING TO TRANSLATE INTO PERFORMANCE ON THE FIELD!!!! What do we expect when you select players for the National team that didn’t make any impact or lead any category in an inferior league like MLS? Miracles?? And of course, everyone acts surprise that we looked like $hit ?. What makes you think you can under perform in MLS and be a Rockstar for the National team?

    the USMNT has an arrogance that doesn’t match our performance and our progression has been stagnant for too long, and now once inferior teams in CONCACAF have caught up to us.”….and Canada showed that tonight!!! To all the people defending GB and certain players on the national team…….we are all going to feel miserable together, for a while (key word together ?).

    • Canada’s MLS players have worse numbers but yet they tried. They didn’t consistently pass the ball directly to defenders. Weren’t consistently over dribbling. That was so epically bad because we made it to half 0-0 and came out even flatter. Our Euro players were awful Sargent couldn’t get open against bad MLS defenders Pulisic just kept dribbling into triple teams and was McKennie even out there.

    • Ream, CP, McKennie, Yedlin, Sargent and now, Steffen were on the pitch tonight. Why does the MLS solely, get your wrath?
      We are def on the same page, when it comes to the MLS players of the year, etc., not getting called in. Let’s face it, 6 of the starting XI play in Europe, they deserve blame, also. Canada had more players playing, in the MLS than US tonight. Win or lose, I always appreciate your posts Bizzy Bone! ?✌️ We need to harness that energy and sell it to the National team.

    • Johnny razor, It’s Ok 2 Think
      you all are right. Yes Canada had MLS players too, Yes our euros played like shit too, Yes Pulisic was trying to dribble his way out of everything…….so as a whole EVERYONE is to blame. From the coaching staff down to the last player they all need to take responsibility for this loss, because from the starting whistle they just didn’t seem focused, motivated or cohesive in any way shape or form.

      But where did the wheels fall off?? Which player on the field has the most responsibility to connect the offense and defense? Which player if his positioning, movement, decision making and passing are not all of high quality this becomes extremely difficult for the team?

      Now find that player look at his stats this season
      High work rate, Ability to keep the ball (vision and technical passing), Tactically astute, Strong in air, Strong tackler, interceptions per game, Blocks per game……and you will understand why the USMNT never had a chance.

      You just can’t build a structure (Team) of any kind on a weak foundation (midfielders particularly your CM/DM). Jk didn’t learn, Arena didn’t learn…..and now GB is going to eat dirt until he gets this one right or loses his job

  29. I’m hoping that Ives and the rest of the Soccer Media/community will hold USSF, Ernie, & Greg accountable for this disaster. We waited a year to hire Berhaulter and what has he done with this team….A lack-luster Gold Cup, A statement loss to what was our biggest rival (Mexico), and now a demoralizing loss to a team we’ve not lost to since 1985.
    It’s time to hold these people accountable….the same way BB & JK were finally held accountable. Fire the GM & Coach….Retire Bradley, Ream, Lovitz, Roldan, etc….
    and start building a real team & culture.

  30. Horrible performance by US coach and players. Team was not prepared. Heartless and clueless. Canada won every ball in midfield.


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