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Ferreira winner, Ochoa heroics lead USMNT U-23’s past Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying opener

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Jesus Ferreira began 2021 by scoring a pair of goals for the U.S. Men’s National Team and followed that up with a winning goal for the Under-23 side in its Concacaf Olympic Qualifying opener.

Ferreira’s first-half finish gave the Americans the lead and David Ochoa’s nine-save masterpiece made that goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in Thursday’s Group A opener in Guadalajara, Mexico.

It was a frantic start by both teams, who had chances denied early by each other’s goalkeeper. Ochoa made a pair of first-half saves on Adrian Martinez to keep the Americans level while Kevin Chamorro was quick to deny Ferreira in the second minute.

Sam Vines unlocked the Costa Rican backline in the 35th minute by sending a cross from the left wing, which an onrushing Ferreira slotted home for the breakthrough goal. It was relief for Ferreira, who had sent a golden opportunity off the post in the third minute.

Ochoa continued to stand tall for the Americans as he repelled efforts from MLS players Luis Diaz and Randall Leal after halftime. The Real Salt Lake goalkeeper bailed out his backline, who started feeling the pressure from the Costa Rican attack.

Ferreira came close to doubling his tally in the 64th minute after Hassani Dotson’s through ball sent him on a one-on-one situation. His first touch was poor which ultimately saw the FC Dallas forward only muster a poked chance which Chamorro blocked.

Jurguens Montenegro almost stole one point for Los Ticos in the 84th minute, but his header off a corner kick deflected out off of the left post.

The Americans hung on for a 1-0 victory, a positive first step towards booking a spot in the knockout round. With three points claimed, Kreis can now look to rotate his roster ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Dominican Republic, with the group finale against Mexico looming large.

Comments

  1. lucky to get the win, yes, etc. But only question for me would be tactics at altitude with pre season legs…which affected what this team could do out there, for sure. Pressing for any extended period is off the table, have to play a way the team at hand can execute, so it did look like some old school USA soccer, which in this instance because of the tactics needed to fit the equation, worked. It’s not always about pretty or how we looked, certainly not in qualis. but grit held out, gave lady luck a chance, GK Ocha came up big. This game was all about resut…I’ll take it and thanks to that group who pulled it off. Hope they play better next time, but mostly, that they get the result

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  2. I noticed Pineda did not use his left foot to pass, at all in 90+ minutes. Troublesome for a center back, playing on the left side. When Herrera threw him the ball. Instead of using his left to get it to Vines (LB), his 1st instinct was keep it on his right and turn back inside, which was/is dangerous! Glad for the win, hope Kessler shows what he has in the next match. I think, he’s a right-footed also.

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  3. Pineda was a mess, yueill non existent with miha. The rest ok, ups were vines and Ochoa and the subs. This team will struggle and I am not confident getting the ticket.

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  4. Costa Rica effectively clogged the middle of the field and prevented any penetration there. Any success the US has came from getting the ball wide, but that wasn’t used enough as the US continued to play through rather than over or around. You can argue the US wings were not good enough for that to be effective, but the goal came from that. The few long balls were not controlled by the US forwards.

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    • The goal was really a ball meant for the first runner that was slightly behind him and managed to squirt through a few defenders to Ferreira, who finished it well.

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    • At both this and the senior level there seems to be more joy to be had wide. I do think at all levels the wings should be looking more to cut in early as opposed to taking it to the endline so predictably. If you sometimes come across top of the box the defender has to honor both paths and not just jockey you towards the endline you have telegraphed. Nor do we have the technique on this team to be emphasizing it so much. At this particular U23 level the ultimate talent we got released was meh and I think there would be more tactical advantage in a 451 where we clogged the midfield more with numbers. Except for the odd play Yeuill anticipated by positioning it was generally end to end uncontrolled stuff. I thought we came out of the locker room outplaying them but were not in a shape to control the game which then instead see sawed.

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  5. I rate Soto above Ferreira, but Soto was a non factor when Ferreira had to be subbed off around 65th min. Agreed about Saucedo and Perea. Also, Johnny is one of the few US players in shape (I believe his season just ended) so I don’t understand why he didn’t get more time.

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      • I think it’s primarily about “types.” The coach simply prefers the “touch 6” type. In practice Yeuill was barely there offensively and only occasionally involved on defense. I think having a 6 who depends so much on positioning is a punch down instead of punch up strategy ie something that works on weaker teams and fades just when you need it against tougher opponents.
        Based on discussion of how some of the starters were decided it might indeed have mattered who was in camp first. Which to me is silly. Within the bounds of fitness you go with talent over practice appearances. That being said, the general impression the staff conveys is — as discussed above — they simply rate a “type” more desirable and value its exponents more. So in a sense that’s their talent eval. I thought they could have used a little more ball winning and got modest offensive value in tradeoff.

      • Like I said, I think it has more to do with types than fitness. If Adams was not a far superior player we would have a touch 6 on the senior team as well. Or did you miss the endless auditioning of Yeuill Bradley Trapp in his absence? The comments at the expense of more physical players like Morales? The attempt to make Adams a RB?

        We went to Colorado three times for select tournaments and you suck wind the first practice. After that first day I think you’re exaggerating. You do have to catch your breath sometimes but you also get pretty fit in a matter of days. Within a week in my experience.

    • It is hard to determine what the 6 will look like beyond Adams. However, Cardoso is a ball playing 6 for his club. We just don’t see much of him since he plays in Brazil. He came up through his teen years as a 9 and a 10. People look at his size and figure he must be some sort of destroyer. I don’t think we can read too much into this one match.

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      • I can’t point to specific articles but my general impression from the press is GB likes 6s who can hit the longball and who play soccer IQ positioning defense, and disdains the historic US penchant for Armas/Mastro/Jones perceived crunchers. However IMO Mastro and Jones could actually hit some passes too, did their job on defense, and could run 40 yards to make an athletic cleanup as well, didn’t have to literally win the intellectual chess match all game just to do their job effectively. Which I think is easier to do against worse teams. No, I think he was looking for a longballing type hence Bradley and then Yeuill. If they didn’t suck and be mediocre relative to Adams — or if he couldn’t sit Adams at RB — I think his knee jerk wishes were different. Re Cardoso, he might have other qualities too but his first memorable US play was a hard high footed clash. Not cutesy positioning, getting stuck in. I think his first team minutes have him on our radar. I think he is fighting the typecasting hence in the kiddie pool roster instead of with the seniors.
        I think under a different, particularly more defensive coach the selection would be dramatically different. IMO an affection for slow, semi-technical, soccer IQ players is the hallmark of a suboptimal coach. This is where Bradley went when he got fired. Let me run out a bunch of defense shy touch players. Athletic Panama runs by you and Mexico then out skills the skill players.

      • IV: the thinking is that we’re moving on from that style though although that is hard to determine with the limited sample. They worked hard to bring in Perea who isn’t that style. Berhalter has talked about the group of Wes, Ty, and Yunus and how all three can cover ground and interchange fluidly. I think if the idea was still to play a resista style Jackson would have simply dropped between the CBs to get the ball. I think the move is to go to CM that can be effective in the counter press over ones that can hit a long diagonal. Unfortunately the counter press is a little hard to do a mile high in 90 degree heat so they’re a little caught between minds.

      • You’re conflating the two teams. Yueill is going to be starter on the U23 and backup on the senior team, which conveys they like that style and it’s the general way of doing business. Adams is the exception.

        When he was being tried at RB:
        “We want to test it,” Berhalter said at the time. “We want to see how it looks. We want to see how he adapts and what he gives our team overall. I think if we have – you know, when you look at a profile of a Michael Bradley or a Will Trapp – a very controlling player and you have the dynamic guy next to him in Tyler, who can come inside and still be influential from that position, we think it’s exciting and we want to take a look at it.

        “It may not work exactly how we have planned, and we’ll have to adapt. But I think, in theory, it’s something worth trying.”

        Even when that idea was squashed:
        “In terms of how we play the game, and how we use a number six, I have no doubt that he can learn it,” Berhalter said. “I’ve no doubt that he has the ability to do it.”

        They clearly want a “type.” They correctly decided Adams’ involvement was more valuable than the type, and hope he bends to their notion of a 6. I do not think they have abandoned the “type” or it would have been shed across the age groups and Cardoso or some other youthful destroyer would be starting.

  6. Nail biter. Let’s hope the team gets stronger as the tournament progresses as what usually happens with teams that haven’t played a lot together. Together with getting their elevation legs underneath them and the confidence of earning a hard fought game against a physical Costa Rican team that was only focused on kicking the US in the shins for the first half of the game. Costa Rica was like a boxer landing body blows vs an obvious out of shape opponent setting him up for a late round flurry to take them down once heavy legged and slowed. This how they always play the US. The games are always ugly physical things against the Ticos. But their game plan was perfect. Tire out the US with a pressing physical game in the first half and go after the US in the 2nd. My only criticism of the US is that players who are in game shape due to their seasons currently being played might have been better suited for the start. I was disappointed in Yuell. And both centerbacks. They had no solution for distribution out of the back versus the high press of Costa Rica which nearly cost the US the game if not for Ochoa’s heroics. Give him the tournament MVP for the US even if he doesn’t get another minute. This win was huge.

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      • At lest in this game the only fault I could see with Ochoa was that he failed to catch some balls and instead parried them. That can be a risky thing as it provides the attack a chance to pounce on the ball. I would really like to see him hang onto the ball more often.

  7. Folks are so silly. We played on preseason legs…at altitude, in the heat, with our second and third choice guys…against CR’s best U23s in mid season form…AND we won. Both teams had chances…Ferreira had three very good chances alone. We’re fine, pool is in best shape it’s ever been in terms of depth and quality… The sky is falling folks really need another hobby

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    • @SHAUN LOPEZ, Agreed, but qualifications at any levels are result-oriented. With the current players who we can get released from their perspective clubs, the US need to perform better than today going forward. If the US can’t qualify at the end, the Olympics Committee won’t offer the US an automatic spot in the Olympics because we had 2nd/3rd choices in the U23 team, while Costa Rica or other countries get their best players.

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      • Bless your heart. The Olympics (sic) Committee has nothing to do with the roster. It’s the USSF working out agreements with the parent club of each player. No release is guaranteed for the Olympics. Clubs are not required to release players — unlike all FIFA qualifiers, and the WC, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup

      • As I said a couple days ago qualification is about roster meeting tactics. I think we routinely have a combination “graduation” (high quality Pulisic and McKennie types who are age eligible are simply gone) and “availability” (Atlanta says no, etc.) problem. So despite the ego idea of all our supposed talent 1/2 of it isn’t there which makes us more average. We then take our less standout side we muster and run it out in some sort of naive 433 like we’re trying to entertain instead of play tournament soccer. Knowing we never get our first choice you’d think we’d dial the tactics back to emphasize more team defense and control, you know, classic tournament soccer. But that is anathema to the mission statement. If you don’t want to fix either what you are is an arrogant team showing up without many of the players that made you so cocky, playing in a vulnerable formation that will give your opponents some chances.
        But for all this talk this is going to come down to one game again in about 9 days. Yesterday’s game got us the semi. DR will be a walk and then Mexico a formality. But I wish we showed up for the semi playing more controlled soccer allowing fewer chances. I also think we might consider identifying some in season shape U20 european age group players who would show up fit and if we are scrapeing the domestic barrel might even be upgrades. You’re really telling me this is as good as we can do?

        To me we are going about this all wrong and we repeat the same conceptual errors on roster composition and style over and over.

    • I thought it was GIGO. We got released what we did, we didn’t take risks on some younger U20 types from Europe, we went with seasoned pros whose teams would let them play.

      I think you could optimize things by picking a less vulnerable formation, playing more team defense, and trying to control the game more, which might reduce opposing chances. I don’t get 433 with this roster. I don’t get 433 in the altitude and heat. What they needed was a tactical ability to bottle up CR higher, and then more possession to take the air out of the ball.

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  8. Yikes. This team has been in camp together?

    Well, lets hope the Mexico game ends up being just a friendly ahead of the knock out.

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    • This game basically decided making the knockouts which are now a formality. Based on Mex 4 DR 1 the next DR game should be a walk at which point I would rest players from Mexico for the crossover semi that decides everything, which is just 4 days after the last group game. I would only deviate from that if you sense that the 2nd place group B team is so much worse than the 1st place team that there is value in the matchup. If the group opponents would be similar tests then you want rest more than 1st place in group A. If the second place group B team will suck then you want that matchup.

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  9. If there has been any significant progress in the quality of US soccer in the last 20 years, it wasn’t apparent from this game. This was like a US game from 20 or 25 years ago. Take advantage of a breakdown in the opponent defense, get outplayed for most of the game and have great goal keeping save the game until the final whistle blows. I remember the last two U-20 teams under Tab Ramos played much better than this U-23 team. One of those only lost the championship at altitude in Mexico in over time. That team went toe to toe with Mexico. So many sloppy unforced turnovers by the US in this game, it was ridiculous. Players with plenty of time and space who passed right to a Tico player. Herrera was especially awful. Don’t we have anyone better than that at his position? The only good thing is that we won even though we certainly didn’t deserve to.

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    • Terrible performance. Clearly they did not have legs and were extremely rusty. Hopefully this will improve or we miss another cycle.

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    • You have to take into account the fact that the players currently competing in this tournament are basically our 3rd stringers for this age bracket. Even 15 years ago our best U-23s would likely have still been in MLS or even College (McKennie, Adams, Pulisic, Richards, Reyna, Sargent, Dest, Reynolds, Cannon, Aaronson, McKenzie, EPB, etc…).
      Yes, it was a disappointing performance, but the fact that we have so many
      U-23s as starters & core members of the Sr USMNT puts the performance in this tournament sheds a different light in comparison to past Olympic Teams.

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      • This is the difference between the US and the world powers of soccer, they have a deeper pool. If our senior team which is basically all age eligible for this tournament except for Brooks and steffen they would probably walk through this qualifying. Not saying there isn’t some talent but not nearly the same as other countries.

      • If you are referring to Right Back, Julian Araujo seems would be the player who could replace the right back. I’m only assuming you were referring to the right back because of the players you were mentioning.

      • Amen, Lost in Space. Half the issue is we have professionalized and matured as a soccer nation. We have benefitted in the high age groups from the professionalization but what is general access at U20 becomes a fraction of availability at U23, as careers progress. Since the goal is feeding the senior team with the age group graduates, as long as the senior team is soaking up age group talent I am fine. I think U20 is more indicative because we tend to have most of the pool to select. U20 was competitive with elite squads. In fact so much so I tend to pimp the players because it’s like why am I watching senior veteran players who can’t beat Canada when the U20s could beat France. The Venn on that strikes me as likely overlapping.

      • I scored three goals — I would be curious if there are age group/II team U20s in Europe better than some of this. I grant we “graduate” out one set and then don’t get “availability” on a second set. I am not sure I buy this is the best 20 of what is left. My inkling is that as with the senior team it probably matters more than it should where your career progression is, as though that replaces sheer talent, and as though in a year or two that gap doesn’t disappear. I think before so much of the team professionalized there was more emphasis on who had been seen as talented at lower age groups moving up the pipeline. It’s now more about first team club stats. Ironically we would favor less astounding players who stay home in MLS and get a career going faster(Aaronson) over much higher esteemed products of MLS academies who go abroad faster and are earlier in their career progression as a result (Richards). At some point in the process it’s getting forgotten that “Richards” types were seen as the better players and don’t suck now so much as they made a harder choice. I say this because the roster here is generally favoring mediocrities who made easy career choices. I can’t buy no one at U20 is better than this. I think you’d have to take your head out of a spreadsheet to know.

    • Yes, Reggie Cannon, Sergino Dest, and Bryan Reynolds are all better than Herrera that’s why they aren’t available. That was Costa Rica’s A U23 against our 3rd and 4th choices at almost every position. Most of CR are regulars for either Sapriss or Alajuelense and are in midseason form and fitness with their teams at the top or near top of the table. Leal and Diaz are good MLS regulars. Luckily as I know we’ll bring a Crew fan Diaz struggles with his finishing.

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      • Johnny — what you’re missing is we double down on the talent drain by playing a naive and vulnerable formation. The historic US response to being more even on talent was to win with organization and defense. We trot out an aggressive formation like they are fielding Pulisic — who is U23 as well — but then by the time we list the roster it’s Lewis and Michel. Maybe adjust the tactics like you’re running out Lewis, Michel, Yeuill, Mihailovic, etc. We used to do so. We apparently think we are above a more organized and defensive approach. The old college teams could drill together for months and showed up organized. We want to show up with pros who haven’t played together and were the second choice and then make some sort of aesthetic point with the tactics. This is nowhere near optimized. You need to decide do you want to make your pretty point or do you want to win games and qualify. If you are so concerned with qualifying and think it is so meaningful maybe acknowledge the talent is complicated at U23 and leverage a more balanced tactics. Cause showing up with the second choice players in vulnerable end to end soccer hasn’t worked in 8 years.

    • All of these US players play in MLS or better. I think most are starters. As a group they have better resumes than the U-20 teams in qualification of the recent past. So, the fact that we can’t play our best players is irrelevant. I’m comparing them to players who were younger and less accomplished. They played pretty poorly and should be called out. They are professional players and shouldn’t be making simple passes right to the opposition.And many of these took place before the altitude or heat could have really affected them. Thinking about this more, you see college players who are 18-21 playing for national championships who are still amateurs and play with much more poise and ability in sports like football and basketball.

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      • No one is saying there shouldn’t be questions asked. Herrera who struggled at times started every group stage match at the 2017 WC. This was Pineda’s first competitive match for the US so hopefully he’ll settle down and he did some in the 2nd half. Yueill is perhaps the biggest disappointment he’s played a ton in MLS and for the NT and he looked poor.

    • LOL. Third string essentially. 90 degree heat at 6000 feet. First match in 4 to 5 mths fo most. Have u ever played in those conditions? I have. Its a joke when people criticize in a scenario like this. No clue. First match against a team made up of players in midseason from, playing in heat and some at 3300 feet, where most of the squad comes from two teams, so they r very familiar w each other. The opponent is always disciplined, physical and compact at all levels. The disrespect constantly shown to CCAF opponents away by US fans can only be described as pure ignorance…..emotional imbalance, and/or pure delusion. The worst fans in the US r US mens Nats only fans…used to be eurosnobs but men Nat team fans now blow them away for their general ignorance, delsuion and cluelessness. The fact they came away w a result in these conditions, against that opponent and circumstances, going that deep in the pool is actually impressive. Our players overseas are now garnering real respect …. our fans are mostly still laughed at. How can’t they be? Oh yeah, the field was a bumpy, dry piece of crap also. Solid result overall if you understand what 2 plus 2 is.

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      • LOL – totally agree. Spent my summers in Mexico City, and Cuernavaca, Morelos growing up. Ctl. Jersey during the school year. “el DF’ is way high up, close to 9,000 ft, Cuerna, a little lower, around the height of Denver, approx 5,000. It takes 6-8 weeks to fully acclimate if you are coming from sea-level. These guys had 17 days. Guadalajara is at 5,000 ft above sea-level like Denver. When you fist get off the plane, just going up a flight of steps makes you feel like you just ran half a dozen 50 yrd sprints. Try playing just for 15 minutes, full tilt, box to box. Your lungs burn, you feel like you are drowning, your legs turn into lead pipes and you feel like you are running in quicksand, AND you want to puke…….2nd half doldrums not necessarily about lack of unit cohesion, or lack of ideas going forward, etc. When you get oxygen deprived, and your body feels as mentioned above, you get anxious and you make bad decisions, you hang on for dear life and just keep trying to make the next right pass, the next blocked cross, and pay attention to your mark. Expect the US to struggle some against the DR who swhoed they have some game vs. Mexico, but overall, easily take care of business. The third game with Mexico will be a sparring match, friendly, or scrimmage as it were. By the time we get to the semi-final the boys will be closer to fully acclimated to the altitude and have better chemistry w/ each other combining play through the midlfield and in the attacking 3rd. In qualifying and in tournaments, a win, is a win, is a win, is 3 points in the bag. Chin up. Eyes on the prize, going forward! We got this!

    • It had an eerie sense of Deja Vu to the Colombia playoff, 1st leg in March, 2016, there when we led 1-0 for like 70 minutes and could have iced the game, but Morris hit the post, then Colombia equalized and it finished 1-1 but felt like a loss.

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      • ….and as other posts oberved, CR’s pro-league is in mid season form, and half of the starters all play at altitude, 3,000 ft above sea level or higher, and on the same two league leading teams Saprissa and Alajuelense. Many of he US are MLS players who are in off season shape, i.e. out of shape, and off their touch. The Mexican commentators who called the Mexico – DR game were wringing their hands in desperation during the first half b/c el Tri only managed 1 goal against an opponent perceived to be vastly inferior. Ramirez and Bermudez where back and forth with Braccamontes over whether or not their muchachos had it in them to rise above, and were making dire comparisons to the Hugo Sanchez led U23 team that wet the bed v. Haiti in qualifying and how that destroyed the budding careers of some stellar young footballers on that Mexican side. Of course, by the time Cordova sank his stoppage time penalty kick in the net to complete a brilliant hat-trick, (after a heart stopping save from the DR keeper on the initial penalty who looked like he had wings and a magic carpet to ride on the whole game, what a keeper!), Ramirez, Bermudez, Braccamonte and Co. were all whistling Dixie, and dancing the Jarabe Tapatio. The Mexican commentators also debated and conjectured over the “what ifs” of what a USA first team, U23 would look like (Reyna, Pulisic, Sergeant, Adams, McKennie, Dest, etc.) and also rued the fact that Mexico has so few players in Serie A, the Premiership or the Bundesliga. One went so far as to imply that one of the reasons there are so many young Americans plying their trade in Europe is marketing, not so much their individual skills. In other words, b/c the European teams see more money to be made in the USA market, vs in Mexico, they are far more willing to invest in training academies in the USA, joint sponsoring training academnies with MLS teams, etc., over Liga MX teams. US player are therefore “just marketing tools” not necessarily that gifted, or deserving of their spots on European big-league teams like Chelsea, Borrussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Werder Bremmen, RB Leipzig, VfL Wolfsburg, Juventus, etc. The cheek! Someone’s been drinking Mezcal up in the booth!

    • U20 tends to get open access to players in the summer where U23 gets limited availability in the fall. I see U20 as more indicative of our talent because we get 99% of what we want released. They routinely qualify and often make the knockouts. This team is usually short handed relative to the overall set of U23s in the pool, and then foolishly told to go out and play the standard issue formation that creates end to end soccer.

      I think the talent and slickness has improved with time but this is not the test of soccer. Soccer is a 2 team game. Most of the other teams have the same exact formation we find so innovative. Most of the other teams have some decent players and some degree of slickness. I think we are homogenizing to the cliche rather than looking for ways to be uniquely successful. If everyone shows up in a 433 it poses no tactical advantage. People can moan about negative soccer all they want but when we did that we were tactically unique and had a competitive advantage. Not saying we have to go negative but our 433 vs their 433 is not the boon people think it will be. I can watch mediocre Scottish teams line up in a 433. It’s not that special. It’s not a great possession formation and we can’t decide if we want to defend or play wide or possess. Identity used to be a boon and foundational and is now an anvil holding back the talent.

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      • You keep trotting out this idea this week that there is an abundance of U20 talent out there that was ignored.
        From the last U17 group:
        Joe Scally RB: just joined Mochengladbach playing for their U23s had 68 mins for NYCFC
        Kobe Hernandez Foster LB: highly rated by the grassroots media, season suspended in Oct. so hasn’t been playing likely would have been released but not an upgrade over Vines. Playing in German U19 league.
        Bryang Kayo CM: was playing in German 4th Division U23s Wolfsburg also suspended their season in October.
        Not on the U17 team but in Europe
        Leo Supulveda LB: plays in Spain for Salamanca in 3rd div. also floats to their B team. Transfermkt is listing him with Mexico so maybe he changed his allegiance. I don’t believe he’s represented either side in an official competition so he’d be available for either without paperwork. Again not an upgrade over Vines.
        I’m sure I’m forgetting someone but just not a lot of guys out there. Mendez is just coming off injury for Ajax not sure they’d release him, Cappis probably not available he’s Hobro’s best player.

      • You’re pretending that being on the SpVgg Unterhaching first team age 25 is the same thing as being on Bayern Munich II age 18. They are both technically “third division” but only because the II teams are not allowed above 3.Liga. And while a II team Bayern kid is working through a system that ends at the top of B.1, an independent 3.Liga player in fact rates out as 3.Liga. This is why you can’t fathom Green being any good, is you don’t get that the league designations on II team players are misleading or that if he has 15 goals in 3.Liga that’s probably not his real level. II team players are not 3.Liga level, their team is. They cannot get their team promoted.

        It’s a clumsy game you’re playing because the same player in EPL would be treated like an EPL asset even if largely a reservist, because the reserves aren’t a separate team forced to stay below a certain level of the pyramid. But nonetheless same point in their careers. Misleading.

      • Setting aside the silly spreadsheet based theory discussion, where we debate how resume items place players, how about watching them? You could watch Reyna play age group ball and see the amazing skill. If you watch him you can tell in 5 minutes he is first team stuff, and as good or better than senior MNT players. So by your argument don’t watch the players to be surprised, just use a resume proxy and assume they can’t help, when in reality their club team is as impressed as I am and they are B.1 a few minutes later.
        Net result is also you will be constantly lagging the player form and following the club team as opposed to anticipating. We have plenty of good history anticipating eg Donovan, Pulisic, Green, Morris. Why do I have to wait? Risk aversion? Pretending my better chance to win is with lesser players further ahead in their careers? So I can make some misleading argument about the division they play that is changed two months later when they are handed a roster number?
        To me it’s absurd we promote Dest before Richards when Dest was the weaker U20 that went to the weaker club team because he was less prized a talent. But “Dest was in first team Holland” while “Richards is in the third division.” And then this year Richards is on the better team……year later…..so what…..what an arbitrary way to pick players…..how about talent?

    • None of those players are with Bayern Munich II and none of them are the quality or Reyna or playing as well as Green did in 4th division. You couldn’t even come up with a name. You just said there must be some U20 guys in Europe who could have been brought instead. I’ve seen Kobe, Joe, and Bryang play so I can say they aren’t as good as the guy that is in Guadalajara. I haven’t see Sepulveda but Vines was pretty good. Let’s not forget that these U20s you want couldn’t win a game in the U17 WC even with Reyna. Additionally you have no idea if these clubs would even release them. You’ve conveniently forgotten just 4 years ago when Schalke denied the release of Wes, Tataigue, and Haji Wright and Fiorentina denied release of Josh Perez, McKenzie Gaines wasn’t released by Wolfsburg (same club as Kayo and KHF) for the U20 WC and all of those guys were just playing U19 ball. Please stop with your “Only I knew about Reyna” Berhalter literally changed Gio’s diapers Claudio and Gregg have been close friends since they were kids, Gregg learned Spanish spending a Summer in HS with Claudio and his family in Argentina. Choosing to let him play with the U17s at the WC instead bringing him to play NL wasn’t because he didn’t know his talent.

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      • I don’t care if he changed his diapers, he waited a year late to bring him in. Which is even dumber when the kid is almost like family and in no way obscure to you.

        You didn’t ask for player names, don’t play a gotcha game where you act like I failed to provide them. The debate is not do I get 0 or 100% released, it’s can I improve the roster by any? many? players asking around. The idea is improving the roster, not batting 1.000.

        By your argument we shouldn’t call MLS because we no longer will get all of them. Nihilism posing as analysis.

    • Happy for the team to have gotten 3 points today.

      Definitely Ochoa was the Man of the Match and saved us today. Ferreira, Lewis Dotson, Glad, Vines worked hard and did fine for the first match of the qualifications. Pineda was a mixed bag and was scarily shaky in the first half. Andres Perea and Saucedo did much better than their starting counterparts. The US captain, Jackson Yueill was a disappointment. Yueill pretty much left the two center backs hung out to dry in the first half and did not take initiative to get more involved with the ball distribution from the back. I could see Costa Rica did some man marking to try to discourage Yueill from getting the ball, but being the leader in this team he should have done better than becoming a spectator in the build up. When Andres Perea came in at the hour mark, Perea shouldered the responsibility and handled the ball respectfully. The U23-MNT and Kries need to step up and show much better than today in the next game.

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      • Simon – agree with your assessment 100%. I’d add that Costa Rica’s game plan was typical. It’s a game plan a former player coach would employ because it’s been the same always when Costa Rica plays the US. Physical and disruptive. Designed to tire and frustrate. This works EVERY SINGLE TIME when the US plays at Saprissa. But they also showed other teams how disrupting the flow from CBs to the #6 disables the entire US system. Kris better come up with a fix because DR and Mexico and Canada/Honduras certainly took note. Not sure why both Yuell and Dotson didn’t drop back to give Pineda and Glad two options. But what donI know…

    • I do think in tournament soccer terms the 3 points is all that matters and we should learn that. I just have issues with the tactics and selection in that order. I don’t think we play smart tournament soccer anymore. I think with our tactics we are effectively trying to get by on talent and the differences on that are pretty thin by the time we’re running out the B choices.

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