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USMNT rolls over Costa Rica for third June victory

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After a week of dramatic late victories, the U.S. Men’s National Team closed out its memorable month of June with a much more comfortable win on Wednesday.

The Americans rolled to a 4-0 triumph over Costa Rica, with Brenden Aaronson, Daryl Dike, Reggie Cannon and Gio Reyna delivering the goals in a comfortable win at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Gregg Berhalter deployed a starting lineup consisting of players who saw little to no playing time in the recent Concacaf Nations League tournament, with goalkeeper Ethan Horvath in the net just three days after playing the hero in Sunday’s Nations League final.

Daryl Dike, who wasn’t an official part of the U.S. Nations League squad, made the most of his first national team start, playing a role in the opening USA goal before scoring his first national team goal.

Aaronson opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he pounced on a loose ball caused by Dike, who had his initial shot blocked after receiving an excellent pass from Antonee Robinson.  Aaronson raced onto the loose ball and lashed a close-range shot into the net.

https://twitter.com/ESPNFC/status/1402766464625561602?s=20

Dike scored his first USMNT goal in the 42nd minute, running onto a perfect long pass from Mark McKenzie, and racing past Costa Rica and LA Galaxy defender Giancarlo Gonzalez before slotting him the second U.S. goal just before halftime.

The second half continued to be dominated by the Americans, with Reggie Cannon being the unlikely scorer of the third USMNT goal. The Boavista fullback collected a turnover forced by Tyler Adams and made an excellent move to switch the ball to his left foot for a low shot that turned into his first USMNT goal.

As if the Americans weren’t already dominating enough, Gio Reyna came off the bench for a late cameo and made an instant impact, drawing a penalty a minute after entering the match. The Borussia Dortmund winger haggled with teammate Jordan Pefok over who would take the penalty, and eventually took the spot kick, converting with a nonchalant finish.

The Americans will now take a break before taking part in the Concacaf Gold Cup, a tournament that is expected to feature a USMNT squad that will consist mostly of MLS players.

Comments

  1. Musah today on Twitter posted pictures from yesterday said “had so much fun with my guys, enjoyed playing in front of our fans. See you next season y’all ✌?.” He’s not going anywhere, everyone relax.

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    • That’s good to see. Was really hard also not to notice how much better we were with him and Tyler Adams in the starting lineup, too.

      Also, I know this is rank heresy, but…is Aaronson better than Pulisic? I am starting to wonder, at least a little.

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      • Tyler does make such a difference. The problem is there is just no one else in our pool like him.
        ————————————
        As for Pulisic vs Aaronson, I think you would have seen a much different Pulisic against the uninspired Costa Ricans and a less effective Aaronson against the more physical Mexican team. At Chelsea and at Dortmund Pulisic doesn’t have to worry about getting the ball. On the NT he doesn’t have enough teammates that can make the right pass at the right time at the right weight. You can see it with both he and Reyna someone misses the pass and they often just stop because they aren’t sure what to do next because at club they get the ball. Aaronson is much more used to if the ball isn’t there just go hard somewhere else something good will happen. CP has to adapt some and the guys need to be better or replaced.

      • Also heard from fans in attendance on Twitter that Yunas was the last player to leave the field last night as he was taking pics with fans and signing autographs.

  2. underlined cannon is as or more productive than robinson in the attack and he actually plays defense. mckenzie settled which suggests that was a blip. an important blip, but a blip.

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    • to me the sheer amount of blips by varying levels of quality of backliners and keepers suggest many gaffes are simply systemic and the tactic is pointless, cannot be executed within this pool, costs too many goals. one mistake might be a brain fart or personal accountability issue. several suggests it’s a “feature” not a “bug.”

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    • Cannon scored a nice one, but Robinson created the first goal with a nice cross into Dike. In terms of offensive production, they were close last night. But I’ve seen Robinson play beautiful crosses in many times, for both the US and for Fulham, and against many different opponents. Not to take anything away from Cannon, but his goal last night was at least in part due to some flat and indifferent play by the Ticos.

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      • you ignored the part where i said one plays defense and the other doesn’t. which is then relevant when we weigh their defense plus their offense. my point is you get as much or more offense from cannon. a goal from cannon = an “assist” (and that is indulgent because it was more complicated than that) from robinson. and if you go past the one game in the past two years cannon has 2 club assists and 1 goal and 3 assists in internationals. robinson, despite his reputation, has a goal and assist one season ago in club, none this year, and no goals or assists since 2018 for the Nats. he did put in a nice cross yesterday but dike flubbed it and aaronson put in the rebound without a recorded assist.

        if you were suggesting dest is more impactful on offense, fine, it shows in the numbers. but cannon quietly outperforms robinson both ends, in terms of getting the job done.

      • I’m actually not disagreeing with you. I just don’t think you can make any judgment based on last night’s game. Last night, they both contributed offensively, and CR never really had a sniff of goal so you can’t say that one was better or worse than the other defensively.

        I like Robinson and think he should start, at least against teams that are weaker than the US. But I like Cannon, and Yedlin, and Dest too. Dest has been a mixed bag on the left, and I don’t know that Dest on the left and Cannon (or Yedlin) on the right is better than Robinson on the left and Dest on the right.

      • actually i can, because robinson was more shaky vs CR — he just got awau with it — and also cannon was a hard tackling breath of fresh air end of mexico. for that matter, that you weren’t punished on the night is not much comfort. i want a team including subs i could trust to play croatia or england or france. not a sub kept around because i think he could cope with el salvador type games.

  3. are ream and zimmermann trying to bring back the lalas and agoos highlander hair? brutal history to invoke and i didn’t like not being able to easily tell the promising zimmermann apart from a complete stiff.

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    • I think Shaq Moore would make a good partnership with Brooks. He’s taller than Yedlin, but has speed. Shorter than Miazga & Zimmerman but a better passer. His short area quickness, turning and running is better than any CB outside of Richards. Is physical but doesn’t draw a bunch of fouls like CCV. He’s more experienced than McKenzie! No, McKenzie doesn’t suck, IMO. He’s earned equity from me, personally because McKenzie is from the ‘00 birth year, and especially after Mexico match. He’s gotta take his growing pains like any young player. (Dest got burnt by Tecatito; Robinson got burnt by Costa). Making mistakes is part of growth. As far as Zim, I think, the best 3 American CBs in the MLS should get a call into the Nats. (1-Long, 2-Zimmerman, 3-Miles Robinson) GC Roster will show us who GB thinks is next.

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      • i forget about moore, he was decent. people act like there are no other wing options but richards can play wide, reynolds can, lima, lichaj, cannon, moore, few people got forgotten along the way.

        he isn’t a CB but maybe you’re saying he could give Brooks cover from wide. i do see double book keeping in people suggesting a defense shy player will cover for another one. if you want to sneak someone in they need someone next to them who can run and mark, not another slacker. that to me is not redundant, it’s dribbling cones. personally i want 4 guys who can mark and think when you’re like how could i cover for someone you’re seeing an issue only to do nothing about it, try to get away with it. to me those are the sort of decisions you squeak past honduras but then that cost you trinidad or send you home early from qatar. someone finds your weak link.

      • Johnny Razor – I know. Let me elaborate. He’s not going to be in rotation at RB. I’ll be glad to be wrong, but RB is pretty deep. Maybe RCB, there’s an open audition, plus he’s played there for Tenerife. Check on it! I didn’t start thinking about it until Long went down. Center back pairings are crucial. We have plenty of tall CBs. What I see is US doesn’t have is any fast, quick twitch shorter CBs. McKenzie will get there, he’s not there yet. Richards-McKenzie will be the CB pairing for years to come. For example- Clarence Goodson, Johnathon Spector, & Michael Parkhurst were playing overseas but Jay DaMerit got the important matches. I think,(Pure Speculation), because he can turn run & cover the other CB out of position. The 2 CBs capable of this are injured (Long, Richards) as you pointed out on another thread. The bonus with Richards is he can make line breaking passes with either foot. Matt Besler is another shorter CB, that isn’t fast at all but seems to know how to cover larger CBs that was called upon. I encourage anyone to watch a Shaq Moore match to see what I mean. Acosta isn’t a LB, or a 6 but he’s filling in the gaps, right? Shaq could do the same.

    • Are you sure what games did he play as a CB? Transfermkt and SofaScore don’t show him playing there and I don’t get Bein Sports 9 or whatever channel they’d show Tenerife on. I admit the only games I’ve seen of him at Tenerife were during Covid last summer when the free Bein Extra channel was showing live Segunda matches and Shaq was playing RW. I think I’d prefer Miles Robinson, who is fast enough to cover for Brooks. It also becomes less of a problem with a healthy Tyler Adams pressuring the ball.

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  4. CR sucks this time. Their track record is a sea of draws and losses dating back to their last win in NL groups in November 2019. The general run of games gives optimism. This particular one says more that CR is slipping back with Curacao, Canada, and Jamaica in a second tier, and without changes will be lucky to make Qatar.

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    • i see it as USA Mexico Honduras first tier, second tier CR Curacao Jamaica Canada. understand CR fired their coach so that could shift.

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    • There players are just past their prime. Oviedo is 31, Gonzalez 33, Borges 33, Ruiz 35, Venegas 32, Campbell and Calvo are 28. Others that weren’t on the roster but were mainstays in the last cycle Waston, Gamboa, and Guzman are 33,31, and 31 respectively. That being said they tied Honduras and Mexico for 90 minutes without Kaylor Navas when they actually tried. Navas is aging too but he will earn them a few points that Moreira won’t. I think Canada’s depth makes them #3, but they haven’t really faced difficult Concacaf road venues yet so they could also lose to Haiti this week and not make it. These Central American and Caribbean teams are going to have a hard time with these 3 match windows IMO.

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  5. conversion rate…finished an early chance, changed the game, and kept finishing. we create a lot of chances. McKenzie slotted Dike for his goal, not bad. thought Weah squandered chances and was least effective striker. With Dike, we have a beast to win long balls and second balls up top to complement the build out game out of the back. Musah is a game changer, no other player like him in the pool. Adams is another like that

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    • Dike’s just DANGEROUS, all the time. What I see from him, every time he sets foot on the field. Menace.

      I don’t see that from Sargent, don’t see that from Pefok except in flashes. Dike’s our persistent best striker, IMHO, and gives all our flashy dribblers somewhere to go with the ball, an end point at which to aim.

      International soccer, in some ways, is a lot more basic than club ball, you need a more basic striker, which is why Belgium has always done so well with Lukaku. Dike’s as close to that as you can get: big: physical, intelligent in his movement, GETS ON THE END OF STUFF. Which is exactly what you want for international ball, where you’ve got of necessity some basic stripped-down tactics and some talented guys who don’t necessarily play together that much. Don’t complicate stuff: put it on the big smart fella, let him hold it up for you or bang it in, and that’s how you win games in International ball.

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      • dike was actually kind of shaky early but settled and got his goal. i think pefok and he — in that order — should be shoving sargent aside based on production. i think this locks them in as likely rosterees for WCQ. whether sargent still starts is in the hands of the goofy coach, who is fairly incumbent biased and takes a year to catch up to what the performance instructs.

    • they were more direct and vertical up the wings which created more chances. i don’t think it has to do with conversion rate. if the starters had these chances they’d win 5-0.

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    • GB’s usage and comments suggested to me that Musah is being groomed to play the easier fixtures in the 3 game windows. the others then play the elite games in rotation. kind of like how we handled cuba and canada before. i didn’t see anything yesterday that changed that. he was not the dominant mid. he was a mixed bag of interesting. i think he showed like weah he is capable when used. which gets him on the WCQ roster.

      personally i wish he got some wing time because i think he’s being miscast. strikes me as unfortunate and counter-productive to play someone out of position and judge their readiness on that. and i am aware he had some central time in his younger days, but the stats suggest it was not that productive, like the coach is correcting back to a better idea.

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  6. All in all great performance. Two things I noticed I would have liked to see differently: McKenzie was too careful distributing up the right side. Weah was chomping at the bit and was beating his man nearly evertime. He kept his width as the team seemed to heavily favor the left side through Robinson and Aaronson but you could see him losing his patience until he finally started coming back to ball or wandering inside to find the game. Im not 100% on him yet but I liked what he contributed and think he could have impressed more given the chance but McKenzie nearly alway sent the ball back to Ream with nearly every touch. The other thing was the Pefok and Reyna Pk tussle. I’d like to hear more about what was going in there from GB, the captain Ream, Pefok and Ream. That shouldn’t happen.

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    • it is better whatever discussion happened stays in house. no one looked furious after. no sense stoking discord.

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    • I actually liked that they both wanted it. It seems like we have been missing that hunger for goal for the last couple years. Between that pk and Pulisic grabbing the ball immediately and just burying the big one against Mexico is huge for the US. Agree with all other points.

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  7. Criminal that lleget was subbed on instead of Musah. Hope it was just a boneheaded decision being made as a result of an unplanned injury sub. Hope he is a solid commit because he will significantly improve the team
    When paired with Adams pulisic rayna and McKinnie

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    • I was thinking maybe he was injured but him playing in this game just throws that out. No clue why he didn’t play in the Mexico game. Outside of BUSTHALTER STRIKES AGAIN!

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    • Musah has never played in a match with more than a couple hundred fans because of the pandemic, he only played 17 mins for his club in the month of May, he’s 18. All reasons why you don’t throw him into a tied match with 10 minutes left in front 40,000 screaming El Tri fans. In Lletget’s nine post pandemic matches prior to the final he had 5 g 1 a. Someone is going to shout back but Reyna played. Gio was playing pre-pandemic and has had CL games, Pokal finals, Valencia was mid to low table all year there wasn’t a lot of pressure. Musah is a better player but he probably wasn’t right for that moment.
      ———————————
      Musah is not going anywhere, he wouldn’t have even made England’s U21 squad, he’s not leaving this stacked team to go play for Cameroon.

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      • What’s the point of having a young player on the squad if you think the moment is to big for him. What does lleget give you against high level competition?
        Ultimately Berhalter had to make an injury sub and had to burn another sub due to cramping in extra time. If that’s not the explanation for why he didn’t get on the field it’s a problem.

      • this is a complete trash argument. i once played in front of 10k people in a warmup game for two elite name brand latin american pro teams. it was invigorating. coolest thing ever when you make a great play and the crowd ooooooohs. i’d never seen anything bigger than a school sports crowd until then. a good player would actually look forward to that. rubbish. rubbish. rubbish. dressing up conservatism in analysis.

        you’re also pretending that he didn’t play an assortment of high level teams in friendlies, or elite teams in la liga. maybe not in front of fans, but on the field nonetheless. i think it’s far more important if they have played a tough game against a hard team — and he has plenty — than the fans.

      • As I pointed out the other day, for me it was a question of match fitness (combined with altitude) and the opposition. He just hasn’t played that many minutes for Valencia. Also, while La Liga is an exceptional league, it is positively gentlemanly when compared to a CONCACAF game. We didn’t need him, he is most likely a big part of our future, no need to rush things, he will be around for a long time and get more and more minutes. That’s what the GC can provide him. Besides, we are overloaded with good players in midfield. Apparently he is n ow cap tied, so I don’t see the big concern about making him a starter now.

      • Yes, I’m sure you playing in an exhibition before a pro match before 10,000 people was just like playing in front of 40,000+ in a final matching two of the biggest rivals in world football.

      • match fitness? dude was probably in peak fitness on the wing and started dozens of games through basically the end of april. got training plus two subs for valencia for that month, i don’t think someone game shape falls apart that fast. then we run him in our camp. he looked fine and unlike adams not like he lacked for fitness. i think this is more of our lame following around club form like a lost puppy. everyone liked him in springtime. he doesn’t suddenly suck because his club team benches him. does being benched hurt weah? horvath?

        for that matter, the argument seems to be that a player has to be starting to be game shape to even sub which is not how weah was treated.

      • i mean, are we suggesting he can’t even sub for 10 minutes after starting all year, because his club team shifted him to subbing? does not compute. even valencia thought he was fit enough to sub.

  8. I haven’t seen the stats, but it felt like possession was about 90% US, 10% Costa Rica. When has that ever happened before?

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  9. Costa Rica tied both Mexico and Honduras and lost only on PKs. They started most of the players from those 2 games, so saying they are weak is a disservice to them. They should have been and looked a bit tired, while the US used almost all fresh players who saw little or no time in the Nations Legue.

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    • Although it was mostly the same lineup their intensity was definitely down from the Mexico match (didn’t watch their math with Hon.). Anytime Lozano got the ball they pretty much just wacked him to the ground. It is a lesson though we finished that early chance and got the goal in the last five minutes of the half. If you do that you’re going to break a lot of teams.

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  10. Costa Rica were bad, but good game from the starters. Glad Horvath got his shutout. Aaronson is a baller, was very impressed. Good goals by Dike and Cannon. The three game schedule for world cup qualifying should benefit the US as the team has more depth than other concacaf teams and if Costa Rica is this weak then that’ll help too.

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  11. While Costa Rica today was kind of a ghost of its former self, still it was nice to see the US play so well. I think we now have a team capable of playing the way Klinsmann wanted the US to play. As to the players, I don’t see why Robinson isn’t playing regularly at LB. Once again he was very good. Aronson really needs to be in a top 5 league, he is a budding star IMO. His play along the end line where he managed to get through about 3 defenders was Ronaldo like. Dike needs to play for most of the Gold Cup. I’m not as enthusiastic about Weah. To me he is a lot like Arriola now in that he runs around, shows some speed and energy, but the final product is lacking. One one of our attacks when he got a pass on the right wing with a fair amount of space, he wasted his opportunity. I don’t think it is a lack of ability, but lack of playing time. I think he had a good shooting opportunity but spurned it to drive further and only got a corner kick. He may become a mainstay for the team, but he’s not there yet.

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    • Just need to have patience with Aaronson. He hasn’t had a full European season yet. If he puts in a season as strong as his half season he will easily be able to make a move into Germany.

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    • Have you ever wondered if we may be better than the sceptics say we are? Costa Rica had just taken Mexico and Honduras to penalties. I think we may be a potentially great team.

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      • rubbish. i have told anyone who would listen i thought we should be first in the region on talent, and this cycle. this is a distortion of the critical argument, which at this point would be closer to, this team should be even better than it is. most of the critics all along have been saying not that we suck per se but that GB drags them down. i don’t think that mexico defense should have been much of a game for this offense — if we got them the ball and then defended the slightest bit.

    • Gary, we’re all wanting the USA to play this way, only difference is many of us understood 5-10 years ago (and many did not clearly, like JK) that we needed to evolve to get here while JK believed he and he alone could revolutionize all those years ago. He was quite wrong, history slapping him back so hard he still can’t get a job (even Hertha said No). There was no Gio, no CP, no McKennie, etc. We had to EVOLVE. Can’t understand how hurt you still are by his failure to understand this obvious miscalculation on his part. At best, his sense of timing was pathetic, at worst, his ego destroyed a locker room and a team. Thank goodness for evolution tho. JK can sit back in his evolved position of irrelevance

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      • “play this way” is vague. i like the second half and OT of mexico and this last game, which were more direct, risk taking, wing speed, run at people, less fart around. i am not convinced that is “his way.” i think his way is the building from the back water torture that doesn’t get downfield fast and sometimes gets intercepted in our own third for routine goals.

      • that might make him money but would also probably lock him as no better than the 3rd forward. i think GB would allow it but i was also hearing stories certain backs would be omitted to pursue their career ambitions, when our backline is a mess and the only thing standing between this and high status. imo taking tournaments off for career stuff should be saved for elite proven players. people with something to prove should let their agent work.

      • Take Pulisic, played in 2019 GC took several months to earn top minutes at Chelsea. Weah skipped GC started first game of Ligue1 for Lille. Being able to spend training camp with your club helps you get minutes with your club. If Dike goes to Bournemouth it’s not going to matter much but if he’s going to a first division somewhere he needs to go otherwise he’s not going to be match fit from playing 10-15 for his club every other week.

      • you’re pretending CP wasn’t already a big deal and that weah was gone all last year, which he wasn’t, and that he was stepping into WCQ not friendlies, which he wasn’t. weah could play wales and such and earn his way in before the real games, and his reward was still bench work for the tournament. dike is third choice striker now and if WCQ started tomorrow and he skips GC, that’s where he stays for months. if he wanted to start the mexico type games he needed to break in now or GC. if he skips GC when else is he going to move up? during WCQ? that would be very slowly done if at all. there will likely be no friendlies until after march. no january camp due to games. when is this happening? because he gets a hat trick on ES or st kitts?

    • In response , I said before that we could be a top 10 team for the next 6 to 8 years minimum . What has been holding us back is the lack of opportunity to build team play. I think on talent alone we are the best by far in CONCACAF, But soccer is a team game where the whole can b e greater than the sum of the parts.About 5 days ago I mentioned the game England vs. Romania where Romania held its own because of their good team play despite England having a lot of very good EPL players. As far as “Play this way”, I thought it was clear, but I guess people forgot what Klinsmann wanted. Possession, quick movement, high press, great fitness so we could wear teams down, and offensive minded. As for Berhalter, I said the other day that we beat Mexico despite Berhalter, not because of him. I based that on some of his personnel decisions. As for Klinsmann, he wanted the US to play the style I described, but while we3 had some players like J Jones, Dempsey, Donovan, etc. who were capab le, we had too many players who might have been capable but had been brought up in the old style of hit and hope. One of the things Klinsmann did was to hire youth coaches, like Tab Ramos, who shared that philosophy and our youth teams for the last decade or so have been playing that style. Now we have both the talent and the tradition or culture where we have much more technical players. It’s a natural evolution once we developed our young talent. BTW, I remember reading a year or two ago ab out an English player complaining that he had been brought through their system relying on hit and hope and complaining about that. Once Southgate came in he changed their style to more like what I’m talking about and England did a lot better in the last WC than expected. They are noticeably improved under southgatew. The first US goal vs. CR was a good example of what we can and should do. Good passing, with a long pass that sliced through the back line followed by an excellent cross and ultimately a goal. Possession, quickness, finding channels, passing and dribbling into open spaces, shooting whenever possible is my mantra.

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  12. Even after beating Mexico i still don’t understand GGG excuse leaving yusah out of the starting XI and then not even playing him. That’s what this team really needs to open up play through the midfield. He holds possession well and can facilitate the offense.

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    • Man, Let it go, we won the game and Musah isn’t going anywhere as he’s already cap tied to us via FiFa’s new cap tying rule change which states that if you play in 4 “A” team friendlies you are tied to that nation, furthermore you can tell that this entire group is really tight knit and love playing together, and will for years to come!

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      • Ronniet although I agree he isn’t going anywhere he isn’t cap tied. See my explanation below under It’s Ok’s original comment about Twellman.

  13. Anyone hear Twellman say that Musah was cap tied? Couldn’t remember what minute a heard him say it. He read the rule : 4 or more friendlies with the a nations A+ squad cap ties a person!! Twellman also mentioned Musah being cap tied since N. Ireland.

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    • It is confusing because there is a rule that says playing in no more than 3 A level games regardless if they are in an official competition or not.

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    • The new rule basically says a player U21 isn’t cap tied by just playing in one competitive match. They must also play in more than three matches now to be cap tied. It is designed to keep teams from just throwing in teenagers as late minute subs to lock them in. So let’s say the US has qualified for the WC and they have one match left in qualifying if they call in 10 year old Christian Ronaldo Jr. (born in San Diego ?) and play him the last 5 minutes he isn’t cap tied until he plays two more matches for the US. Players do have to go 3 years without a cap if they have made an official appearance before they can switch so Christianinho would have to be 14 before he could switch.

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    • the rule literally said that one “A” international cap tied, and though that could be read to include friendlies, it has historically been read as just tournaments and qualifiers. not sure if they changed the letter of the rule.
      in terms of applying it they appear to be doing a 180 and reading “A” more broadly as friendlies — like it seemed to say but was never imposed — but then finessing that the rule explicitly says 1 game. normally something saying 1 does not mean 4. maybe it’s some sort of agreed trade off to make friendlies cap tie. quantity is a goofy decider. i thought the point on “A” was more about quality. that you were capped in an official tournament or first choice friendly, not a B team game.

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      • if twellman was wrong then the theory of that first paragraph holds. historically it was one tournament game or qualifier and then a debate over whether that one game could also be a first choice friendly. i don’t think we have ever pushed that second half because we like to be able to poach or switch more than to force people to stay who want to leave.

    • The rules were changed last September. Musah’s situation falls under 9.2.C. The line people were reading about participating in no more than 3 matches of any kind to be able to file a switch is item 4. However, anyone qualifying for a switch must meet all 6 components in Part C. Line 1 of part C still says “was fielded in an official competition at “A” international level in any kind of football for his current association”. Friendlies are not official competitions so therefore Musah’s 5 caps do not yet count, whenever he makes his first appearance in qualifying he will be cap tied.

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      • you’re not reading it right. way i read it you still commit with the one. but you can switch under certain circumstances. (a) didn’t play an “A” game and had dual nationality when you were capped. (b) didn’t play an “A” game, didn’t have dual nationality at the time, under 21 for your last cap. (c) played an “A” game, dual national at the time, under 21 for your last cap, no more than 3 “A” games, didn’t play in a world cup or regional tournament, 3 years dormant. (d) home country just joined FIFA and you promptly asked to switch. (e) played an “A” game, lost your nationality involuntarily.

        so it’s more complicated than you’re saying. and it does suggest they have broadened out what “A” games mean to include friendlies.

      • to be clear, that actually reads like they have extremely tightened up the rules, not made them easier, if friendlies are now “A” games and you have to sit out 3 years to switch.

      • Sorry IV you are incorrect. It says was fielded in a match in an official competition at “A” international level in any kind of
        football for his current association. The keywording is “an official competition”. Friendlies are not a competition, at that point the rest of the stuff is moot. A level just means that all players are eligible for call-up, for example, Africa has a competition where nations may only use players that play domestically. For example, Kai Kamara wasn’t eligible to participate because he played in MLS not in Sierra Leone.

      • JR, read the rules, some apply to “official competitions,” some apply to “A” internationals, not the same thing. you have different abilities to switch depending if you played an “A” game or if one of the “A” games was a tournament game or qualifier. “A” is not limited to competitions which is why it’s used for british work permits. the Fed then bickers with FIFA about what counts as an “A” game.

    • Going into the match, I thought Musah wasn’t cap tied. This is confusing! Glad to have the help in figuring things out.

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    • I assumed it was modified to make it easier to be cap tied because of COVID. Because of COVID, numerous competitions were canceled last year so there were no official competitions in 2020 for most places. Also, the WC is 5 months later than usual this year, which means a team will have to wait longer to use that to cap tie a player. It’s pretty academic regarding Musah anyway since all we need to do is play him during the Gold Cup in a month.

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      • It was actually to prevent big countries like France putting some 17 yr old Moroccan in for 5 minutes against San Marino in qualifying and then never calling them again because they don’t meet French standard. Now said player when he turns 20 he can still switch and play for Morocco.

    • IV: The Fifa regulations define “A” level as highest level of team football colloquially senior national team.
      -they define official competition as “as a competition organized by FIFA or a confederation” and then states “friendly matches are therefore not matches of an official competition”
      ————————————
      All players are cap tied only through competing in an official competition just as in the past. A player could play 20 friendlies for a country and still switch. Players U21 like Musah under the new rules may file a switch if they have played 3 or less matches even if one or more was a competitive match.

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    • On the other hand Efra from what I’ve read today could play two matches for Mexico at GC and still switch but he would have to wait three years. Of course Mexico has a GC prep friendly before the GC that would count towards his three matches.

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  14. That was certainly a friendly. Aaronson and Weah have some flare. Depth is certainly there going into WCQ except at LCB. Without Navas, Costa Rica probably wouldn’t qualify they are pretty average.

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  15. It wasn’t that long ago the US lacked depth at striker and wings. The US rolled out 3 newcomers and rising stars Aaronson, Dike and Weah to start, and they did impress. Musah as expected acquitted himself, and and will add needed depth at MF. Berhalter will likely use the Gold Cup to look for added depth, probably at center back with Long out for an extended period, and also candidates to back up Adams.

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    • The problem is what we’re really looking for is a LCB and there aren’t a lot of those in MLS. MRobinson is a RCB, Glad plays on the left for RSL but he is right footed, Trusty would be an option he’s starting regularly in Colorado, Kessler is also right footed that plays on left. Keita is left footed but isn’t really NT ready at this point. Can anyone come up with other American CBs in MLS that play on the left?

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      • Might have, the issue is Berhalter prefers a left footed player in that spot. He did play Long there in 2019 so maybe he isn’t that set on it.

      • Mark McKenzie typically plays LCB, so he’s the obvious depth piece there when Aaron Long is available! I think Chris Richards also plays LCB strictly for Hoffenheim, so there are options when we don’t have injuries!

  16. Reggie’s impersonation of the ref the other night was spot on. I’m glad the kids are having fun. The team spirit among the group seems really positive. You can even tell from the body language when players are subbed in for one another that they’re all in this together.

    If you think about the talk from the 2018 cycle about toxic personalities in the locker room and all that, the togetherness of this young group may be one of the most significant developments of the past several years.

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    • I didn’t like Reyna and Pefok fighting for the ball on the PK. Although we only got a quick glimpse of it on TV, maybe they were joking around or something.

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      • Yeah, I was a bit uneasy about that, as well. I only heard what the commentators had to say about it, but I feel like that’s the sort of thing that should be sorted out beforehand. Gio’s penalty was solid, though. On the replay, you could see that he looked to the right and shot to the left and the keeper bought it hook, line, and sinker.

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