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Projecting the USMNT November World Cup qualifying roster (Take Two)

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The roster for the U.S. men’s national team’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica will drop later this week, and there has been movement in recent weeks that could impact Gregg Berhalter’s final decisions.

For starters, Christian Pulisic is on the verge of returning to action for Chelsea, making him a good bet to be included in the squad. Secondly, Daryl Dike’s continued goal-scoring success in MLS has pushed him front and center into the striker conversation as Josh Sargent and Jordan Pefok continue to struggle finding the net.

Then you have Joe Scally, who has only served to strengthen his claim for a place on the roster. The 18-year-old Borussia Moenchengladbach fullback has started 12 consecutive matches in all competitions for Gladbach, and is coming off one of his best weeks.

These developments have led to some tweaking our projected roster from the one we projected two weeks ago.

Here is the 26-player roster we could see Berhalter calling up for the November World Cup qualifiers:


Projected USMNT World Cup Qualifying Roster


Goalkeepers


Photo by John Todd/ISI Photos

Matt Turner, Zack Steffen, Sean Johnson

Gregg Berhalter’s decision to start Zack Steffen against Costa Rica will have some wondering whether the competition for the number one spot has reopened, but Matt Turner should remain the top option heading into November’s qualifiers.

Turner is continuing to play regularly, whereas Steffen is not, and while you could imagine a scenario where Berhalter splits the November matches, you have to think Turner will get another chance against Mexico after he shut out El Tri in the Gold Cup final.

Ethan Horvath’s lack of playing time with Nottingham Forest has dropped him out of the top three for the time being.

Missed the Cut: Ethan Horvath, Bill Hamid, Brad Guzan


Defenders


Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sergiño Dest, John Brooks, Miles Robinson, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, Mark McKenzie, Tim Ream, Chris Richards, DeAndre Yedlin, Sam Vines

It will be interesting to see how many defenders Berhalter brings to camp. Will he go with a standard eight, or bring one or two more for cover? Sam Vines is back in action after having been sidelined by injury and should slide into the backup left back spot behind Antonee Robinson.

At centerback, Mark McKenzie could be the odd man out given his lack of consistent playing time for Genk and the fact Chris Richards has finally broken through and made his first World Cup qualifying start. Tim Ream has been in excellent form for Fulham and should also make the cut as a Berhalter favorite.

Will Scally finally get the call? He absolutely should, though right back currently has Dest and DeAndre Yedlin both playing well for their clubs. Scally’s ability to play either fullback spot should earn him a look, but again, it will depend on how many defenders Berhalter decides to call for a pair of qualifiers.

Missed the Cut: Reggie Cannon (injured), Bryan Reynolds, Matt Miazga, Walker Zimmerman, James Sands, Shaq Moore, Cameron Carter-Vickers, George Bello, Henry Wingo


Midfielders


Photo by John Todd/ISI Photos

Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Sebastian Lletget, Gianluca Busio, Cristian Roldan, Kellyn Acosta

There isn’t likely to be much change in this group, even though the team’s terrible showing against Panama raised some real questions about Lletget and Acosta. It is difficult to see Berhalter suddenly dropping either of them given how important they have been to Berhalter’s plans this year.

Gianluca Busio has returned to form after suffering a knock that threatened to sideline him,

Luca De La Torre has continued to play well for Dutch side Heracles, but he is a candidate to miss the cut if Berhalter goes with a smaller squad.

Missed the Cut: Luca De La Torre, Djordje Mihailovic, Tanner Tessmann,  Christian Cappis, Jackson Yueill


Forwards


Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Ricardo Pepi, Tim Weah, Paul Arriola, Daryl Dike

The continued injury issues faced by Pulisic and Reyna have created opportunities for others to shine, and Aaronson has made the most of it, and should be seen as a safe bet to start against Mexico.

Arriola showed well against Jamaica, but struggled against Panama, leaving Berhalter with a decision to make between Arriola and Weah. Arriola has faced Mexico in big matches on multiple occasions, so he likely has the edge for now.

Both Matthew Hoppe and Konrad De La Fuente have struggled for consistent minutes with their clubs, which could lead Berhalter to look elsewhere for some wing depth in November. Tyler Boyd is a name to consider. He has been earning regular time in Turkey. In this roster projection, Sargent operates as a striker/winger option, having seen

As far as striker goes, the Gyasi Zardes injury will open the door for another striker, and while Josh Sargent and Jordan Pefok are both candidates to fill that spot, we’re giving it to Daryl Dike, who is in outstanding form, scoring goals on a regular basis for Orlando City while Sargent and Pefok have struggled to find the net.

Our previous projection gave Sargent the nod, in part because of his ability to play on the wing if needed, but if Pulisic is indeed back in the mix, then Berhalter can turn to a pure striker like Dike.

Missed the Cut: Gio Reyna (injured), Gyasi Zardes (injured), Josh Sargent, Jordan Pefok, Matthew Hoppe, Konrad De La Fuente, Tyler Boyd, Haji Wright, Nicholas Gioacchini, Emmanuel Sabbi


What do you think of this group? Who made the cut that you were happy to see included? Who missed out that you feel should have made the team?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I wonder why USMNT are set on only certain MLS based players on the team. Do they go off style of play? Do they go off placement based on what they want to execute? Is this beautiful game MORE than just goals, assists, accurate passing and tackles? Lets look at stats of some players:
    MLS considerations (also look where they stood last year 2020 for consistency:
    Ricardo Pepi,(13 goals 3 assists 79% pass Percentage)
    Daryl Dike (9 goals 3 assists 72% pass Percentage)
    Paul Arriola (6 goals 3 assists 68.5% pass Percentage)
    Sebastian Lletget, (2 goals 5 assists 92% pass Percentage)
    Gianluca Busio, (2 goals 3 assists 89% pass Percentage) *Before leaving*
    Cristian Roldan, (1 goals 3 assists 79% pass Percentage 17 tackles)
    Kellyn Acosta (1 goals 1 assists 86% pass Percentage 31 tackles)
    ……and
    Jesús Ferreira (8 goals 8 assists 79% key pass Percentage⚽️) NOT CALLED
    Chris Mueller (3 goals 6 assists 82% pass Percentage⚽️) NOT CALLED
    Djordje Mihailovic (4 goals 16 assists 80% pass Percentage 12 tackle⚽️s) NOT CALLED
    Keaton Parks (4 goals 3 assists 86% pass Percentage 42 tackles ⚽️) NOT CALLED
    Sean Davis (0 goals 4 assists 77% pass Percentage 53 tackles⚽️) NOT CALLED
    Brooks Lennon (0 goals 6 assists 86% pass Percentage 32 tackles⚽️) NOT CALLED

    ……..I wonder if passing accuracy, ball possession, ability to tackle and break up plays and the willingness to assist in setting up teammates to score is not a requirement considering all players are inform. It would be interesting to know why and how GB, and the USMNT coaching staff, keep picking some players while ghosting others.

    Reply
    • “It would be interesting to know why and how GB, and the USMNT coaching staff, keep picking some players while ghosting others.”

      It would. I doubt we ever will unless down the line, someone writes a tell all book.

      This manager’s public utterances are sometimes contradictory, sometimes outright BS. It doesn’t seem like anyone in the media asks penetrating follow ups or if they do are either belittled or ignored.

      One thing I would point out is that the stats you cited for those players were compiled while playing for a variety of teams under a variety of circumstances and require a LOT of translation if you want expect them to be relevant.

      I think fans underestimate that playing for the USMNT is just like the player getting transferred an playing for a new team.

      And we have seen that new signings take time to settle and sometimes never do.

      That’s why many of the best international team managers try to simplify their tactics and tailor them to the players they have available.

      This manager seems to alternate between doing that and then trying to install his “system”, and letting them play.

      That may be one reason why this team is so inconsistent.

      Reply
  2. If we take Dike over Pefok we have basically unlearned what the games earlier this year taught us. They got called into the same camp and one out played the other. The one that played in NL banged in a winner on Honduras. The other guy struggled all GC against second rate opposition. We’re then gonna flip that one back because club form? Are you kidding me? At some point the Pepi/Pefok vs Dike/Zardes differentiation needs to click in people’s heads. They all presented attractive club numbers at the door. Once in the club some did something with it and others didn’t. Are we really going to go back to club numbers some more? I thought we settled who were the better forwards this summer.

    For that matter, there are basic numeracy issues when people negatively compare “form” of 5 goals in 10 games early in the season to 9 goals in 19 games near the season end with double the minutes played. Which is actually a “push.”

    I also think there is a mile wide blind spot when scoring on Honduras and ManU doesn’t factor into form analysis vs scoring on SJ or DC.

    Reply
    • OMG, you can’t possibly think that if two players play for 5 games for the same team and Player A does better than Player B over that stretch, than the debate is settled forever in that Player A is definitively a better player regardless of form and other circumstances

      Reply
      • Actually, one does not tend to get endless mulligans with the National Team. You get a few games. You do something with it, or not. This summer, Pefok looked good and produced. Dike struggled. Just like Pepi has produced in the fall games, and Zardes and Arriola struggled. Sane people picking for a team look at that team’s stats and say, ok, A and B have been productive when chosen. They make the team first. Only after we run out of productive sharp looking National Team guys with track records should I be going back to scouting arguments about guys I wished played better for the National Team — but didn’t. So Pepi and Pefok. Like I said below, Landon and Dempsey didn’t have to worry about Wondo’s club form. One set got the job done in red white blue, other guy didn’t. Theories of how record goal hauls (or streaks) might translate stop when they get called and don’t actually translate. QED.

    • The comparisons (EPL bench vs MLS starter) you talk about are complicated and difficult. There just isn’t a one-size fit-all solution, and it should be evaluated case by case. You can’t say that the EPL bench guy is always better, or that the in-form MLS guy is always better. You have to consider all the context, and yes form. My personal opinion is that a players club form should be taken into more account than it currently is, not less. To use your example, I definitely think Pefok should have been called in last window, right after scoring that winner against ManU. He has cooled off since, however, and I would probably go with Dike for this window, since he is in form and scoring right now, even if it MLS. You also have to consider the club situation of a player: take Sargent, he is starting in the EPL but on a team that is overmatched every single week. I watched his last game and thought he did just about all he could, but after pressing all game and winning the ball back a few times, his teammates just could not find him in dangerous spots. I have to think he would be scoring more if on a more competitive team, and his workrate has always been consistent.

      Reply
      • Dude, do y’all understand he is playing for a team called the National Team, independent of club, and that in picking for the National Team I might consider who has recently played better for the National Team? That is called apples to apples and in the context he will be playing. Y’all are saying in choosing a National Team player, ignore how the National Team experience went, and go with the club hot hand. Even if the club hot hand was also the club hot hand last time he got called to the National Team and couldn’t do anything with it. Looked worse than the other guy.

        Also, while I myself have expressed your very “sometimes it’s MLS, sometimes it isn’t” argument, that is kind of a scouting, before the fact argument. Once they play for the National Team, the scouting argument should give way to the National Team track record. Dempsey didn’t have to fend off Wondo for the rest of his career because one was a better league goal scorer than the other. It rapidly clicked which one could do the National Team job, and Wondo the rest of his career was fighting for end of roster spots. If Dike wants National Team instead of just club ball, club performance is not how to fix it. It’s look sharp and score goals for the National Team if and when we call again. Geez.

    • You’re oversimplifying the matter.

      In that specific example, Dike came into it , we can now see, probably burnt out, overused and somewhat injured, an injury which got exacerbated. Timing is everything in life.

      While Pepi has taken over from Daryl as the greatest young American striker whoever lived, I wouldn’t rule out Dike from making a comeback. Or someone else coming along in a few minutes.

      “I thought we settled who were the better forwards this summer.”

      Not exactly, life and team makeup is not static. The USMNT settled who were better for that summer and hopefully the “near” future. Things change and with a national team, that can happen almost overnight.

      “I also think there is a mile wide blind spot when scoring on Honduras and ManU doesn’t factor into form analysis vs scoring on SJ or DC.”

      That’s less important that the fact that a your club may be set up to take advantage of your scoring skills . But then when you get to the National team, you find they aren’t set up to to take advantage of whatever it is you do best. That’s the “blind spot”.

      This is not true anymore but for a long time Messi scored at almost exactly half the rate for Argentina that he did for Barca. And it’s not because Argentina didn’t have good players. If even he can be affected by the transitioning from is club to his national team then anyone can be affected.

      Reply
  3. CF- Pepi, Dike,
    Wingers- LW- CP, Weah, RW- BA, Nico
    8-Green, LDT, McKennie, Musah
    6-Adams, Acosta (prefer Durkin),
    LB-Jedi, Vines, RB-Dest, Scally
    CBs-Brooks, M. Robinson, Richards, Miazga
    GK- Turner, Steffen, Horvath

    Reply
  4. As long as Berhalter is in charge Miazga will not be called up to play. Miazga insulted a short Mexican player, acted impulsively in a tense situation, so to spare the US team future embarrassment he will not get to play under this coach.

    Fortunately, we have other options.

    Reply
    • That assumption is just fiction.
      After post match red card started 3 of the next 4 NT matches he was available for (league in season for Dec. and Jan. camps).
      —————-
      Taunted Lainez in fall 2018. Invited to Berhalter’s first three camps he was available for including 2019 GC in which he went full 90 in both semis and final. Half of Miazga’s 22 caps are under Berhalter.

      Reply
    • Miazga’s not getting called in on merit. To me if you leave off Ream Brooks Miazga depending who you call instead you have fixed the center of the backline right there. If you need particular examples for him, FA Ireland, Panama. It’s a shame because c. 2017 I saw him like Zimmermann now. I don’t think his endless club loans have helped and as I understood it he was extending his Chelsea-asset silliness on into his late 20s. Who needs a stable career?

      Reply
  5. I wouldn’t start them but I’d still bring Konrad, Hoppe, and Sargent. Of coarse MLS players are in better form and playing regularly, it’s a much lower level. When Jozy couldn’t score for a terrible Sunderland team he still got called in. As he should, he was our best striker and it was not Wondo.

    Reply
    • I think you’re almost there. Talent is talent no matter where it plays and we continue to confuse club statistics with talent. Talent to me you have to put down the spreadsheets and watch with your eyeballs. I also think we continue to struggle with how to handle a NT which by its nature at this point has most of its players overlapping on a Venn. We have very few dominant elite league players. What we have in bulk is productive MLS players and European roster guys, or players at smaller European teams. We continue to struggle with how to compare a sitting Sargent in the EPL with a playing Zardes in MLS. When we figure out it’s about talent and not form, we will get out of the tangle. Some of the MLS players at certain positions are excellent and the club arguments are silly. At other positions the best players we have may be sitting European benches. Those arguments should be settled on NT track records and perceived talent. The only people making the team on “form” should be noobs with no track record. Because we have no other metrics or choice. Otherwise, once you play NT games, that’s what you offer the NT. We shouldn’t have to reargue that every time you go on a club streak. A guy who looked worse than most of the recent strikers on the team shouldn’t vault back head of the list because he gets some MLS goals again. The point is with the NT he never got his crap together and when we have a game next week you need people who will produce.

      Reply
  6. De la Tore, Busio,. De la Fuente please. I’d also like to see more Hoppe. Leave legget Roldan and Acosta home. MLS players are sub par.

    Reply
    • Possibly for December friendly but not for qualifying. I’m a Crew fan so I’ve seen most of Berry’s matches this season and he doesn’t seem international quality. I haven’t seen much of White this season but again I think an effective club scorer but not sure it would translate.

      Reply
  7. Appreciate these lists Ives. Always fun to look and compare from what we see. Having Boyd & Wingo creeping their way in is nice. Depth at midfield is a bit light in the pool at the moment, but we are top heavy at that position (plus Reyna, Aaronson in a pinch). Busio is impressive but I’m not sure we keep Musah off the field.

    Reply
  8. Ream, Roldan, & Arriola are the 3 players from Ives’ projected roster that are the biggest wastes of roster spots. These 3 are horrid and we should move on from them.
    Luca > Roldan by a country mile.
    Hoppe > Arriola, a more technical hustle option.
    Konrad > Arriola, a more impactful attacking sub.
    Zimmerman, Miazga, & CCV > better options right now than McKenzie
    Traffic Cone > Ream….honestly Zimmerman, Miazga, & CCV
    Sargent = Dike = Pefok….all on equal footing.

    Reply
    • I agree with your assessment 100%. No way Roldan or Arriola, or McKenzie are better than Hoppe, De La Fuente or Zimmerman, i also like to see LDT brought in.

      Reply
  9. While I think that getting minutes for your club is important, SBI gives it too much emphasis. We pay good money for GB to pick his own roster, not outsource it to a bunch of foreign coaches. If a player has shown good performance for the national team but for whatever reason is not rated by his club coach (and this can occur for very stupid and petty reasons) that shouldn’t put the players national team future in doubt.

    BTW. No way in hell should GB bring in Pulisic or Vines unless GB is 100% sure that these guys are 100% healthy.

    Reply
    • Vines is fully back with his club
      Oct. 21 90 mins
      Oct. 24 90 mins
      Oct. 28 45 mins
      Oct. 31 90 mins
      He’s also expected to start Europa League Thurs. and league match Sun.

      Reply
  10. Please please please no Arriola. However, it will happen.i would much rather see KDF than him.

    As for the strikers, Dike is ok. He may not have taken the most of his opportunities thus far, but who really has? Pefok, Gioacchini, Sargent? They haven’t been lighting it up either, so he’s another dart we hope sticks. At least that’s the way I see it.

    Defenders, I would rather see CCV or Miagza than Mckenzie right now.

    Reply
    • I understand the negativity about Arriolla, but my only chance to see Konrad was against El Salvador and he wasn’t too impressive IMO. Are you watching him play in France where you are seeing him play at a higher level? I don’t really get much opportunity to watch anything but US National team so that is my only point of reference.

      Reply
      • Tele, he’s doing OK in France off the bench. Yes, he was not good in the one match, but he has a lot more upside. I would prefer to use him one more time to see what he brings, preferably against Jamaica. I would rather see Aaronson and Dest (if healthy)/Weah as the wings for Mexico.

    • I don’t understand why ppl want so much turnover with our CB’s, the defense isn’t and has never been the problem, it’s scoring goals consistently. Now, I get wanting to see the older cats moved on from like Ream, but we need continuity to remain high in the back, and bringing in different sets of CB’s every camp can be unsettling

      Reply
  11. Thia is a 2 game window with 5 days between games. Each time should essentially be able to play their A team in both games with few exceptions. I don’t expect him to bring more than 23 and I think Pulisic’s employer will be successful in convincing Pulisic and US that not in his best interest to partake. This is who I think he will be on the roster:
    Turner, Steffen, Johnson
    Brooks, Zimmerman, Ream, MRob
    ARob, Dest, Scally, Yedlin
    Adams, Acosta, Wes, Musah, Busio, Roldan
    Pepi, Hoppe, Aaronson, Weah, Arriolla, and Pefok.
    Very light on MLS which is why I have Roldan and Arriolla which I am sure people dont want to see. No Lletget after Panama performamce. Since he didn’t even dress against CR, I am guessing GGG was pretty disappointed in his speed of play and killing counter chances against Panama.

    Reply
  12. For those who haven’t had a chance to watch today’s CL coverage, Pulisic came in during the 73rd minutes, didn’t get involved a lot, had a breakaway for a goal, but his shot was wide. Didn’t matter much since it was the last play of the game and Chelsea won anyway,1-0. Dest reportedly injured in pre-game warm-up for Barcelona. How badly wasn’t said. We may be without him. McKennie started for Juventus and they are leading as I write this 1-0 on a Dybala goal. McKennie hasn’t done a lot yet. Weah has started for Lille, alongside Canadian David, who just scored on a PK.
    As for the projected line-up, I would much prefer Zimmerman and either Miazga or CCV over McKenzie and Ream.

    Reply
    • Agree about Zimmerman. It would be crazy to call Ream ahead of him. Similarly, it would be idiotic to not call up Scally since he can play BOTH fullback positions. But, but, but he’s “inexperienced.” If you can start every week in the Bundeslega that’s quite an accomplishment. I’d have to take Dike, over Pefok, on form. Dike is in form, Pefok is in a slump.

      Reply
  13. I guess we’ve forgotten Green and Holmes for good?? I mean, the starting 3 (including Musah, though I think he should be a wing) is solid. But that whole set of backups is an underperforming mess basically keeping their jobs for having them last time……Busio Lletget Roldan Acosta. Acosta was the one of the bunch to have at one time looked good, but the setup play and deadballs disappeared. And with how many last minute or OT Mexico games we have, we should have actually dangerous people on the bench. You will likely have to beat Mexico late with subs. You think any of them is playing a game-changing role? Roll the dice on some upside players.

    Reply
  14. Zimmermann and CCV over Brooks and McKenzie. Moore and Scally over Dest and Yedlin, push Dest up to forward. I am fine with the LBs, Robinson has played his way out of the doghouse — now keep it consistent on defense — and when given time Vines is more productive, effective, and less error prone than Bello, who basically played his way off the team.

    Reply
  15. If we move Dest to RW like Barca played him lately then that gives you a healthy danger duo of Weah and Dest with the ability to mirror Aaronson across to the right side opposite Pulisic as well. If you roster Moore I think he could also play RW. That also would let you replenish the left instead of the right. At which point Pulisic Aaronson LF and maybe Konrad as a third option, I think he was the least frightening wing prospect. Hoppe’s urge to dribble people is a potential turnover machine in quali ball. He has to mature his game, he reverts to the worst of his GC arsenal under pressure. When what he needs to do is hit those crosses and crash the back post.

    Reply
  16. I’d take about three strikers from the “miss” list before I’d consider Dike. This is where the “form” stuff gets silly. He was the hot hand when he couldn’t do a thing in Gold Cup. It hasn’t translated. Pefok Sargent Nico Ferreira and maybe even Soto before Dike. Some of them even offer the virtue of being multipositional for bench players.

    Reply
      • What exactly is “ridiculous” about he got his NT chance and flunked it? And when you got your last chance based on “club form” doling out further new chances on “club form” is perseverating. In short: Twellman, Wondo. Plenty of history of god-like MLS forwards whose work didn’t translate to USMNT play.
        You’re also neglecting that to make this choice we then bypass the list of guys who have gotten the NT job done. Sargent, the starter for a couple years. Pefok, with the huge Honduras goal. Others with big goals or assists. To bring in the supposed form guy who hasn’t translated.
        And you call my argument ridiculous?

  17. Y’all are still sleeping on Zimmerman. He has performed consistently for the USMNT for the last year, while guys like Ream have been been pretty much garbage. I know European players are preferred, but Zimmerman should be in this roster.

    Reply
  18. The one who doesn’t deserve to be called due to poor form is Sargent, please no Sargent. His playing has been horrendous. CCV in Celtic has been playing very well. Is Johnson the next best goalkeeper in MLS after Turner? I don’t think so.

    Reply
    • This is another place where veteran bias (“club form’s” half brother) just gets silly. Horvath halted Mexico late in the NL Final with no club playing time. Are we seriously suggesting he’s not up to doing that again? I’d rather trust that game this summer as the template for a rematch than get silly about “experience” and bring back Johnson “just because he’s got caps before.” Which verges on circular. And if we’re stepping beyond that there are MLS keepers with better numbers than Johnson, and given how little serious NT games Johnson has gotten, roughly as proven in combat. I think we way overrate experience and the pecking order, self-reinforcing risk-averse nonsense that gets you Ream back.

      Reply
      • “Are we seriously suggesting he’s not up to doing that again?”

        Yeah. You don’t want to go to the well once too often.

        Horvath is a dyed in the wool backup keeper at this point. Whatever criticisms apply to Steffen for his limited PT apply 2,3, or 4 times as strongly to Ethan.

        Backup keepers are paid to go into the game at a moments notice and play at least as well as the starter. There are many examples of this in history.
        However, it is an Emergency measure, not the sort of thing that should do unless you’re forced to.

        Neither Turner nor Zack has done anything particularly wrong in their recent appearances. There is zero compelling reason to start Horvath over either of them.

        And calling him in now to be the third wheel and not play, well maybe he’s better off staying in Nottingham and doing what he can to beat out Samba.

      • Vacqui:
        I think it says everything about the form arguments when you assume he will repeat a particular club game for us but dismiss that he could just as easily repeat his NT games against the literal same opponent just a few months ago. Which he did sitting the bench in Belgium. Worse, it’s like we can only use analytical proxies and not direct comparisons. Like we can only use apples vs oranges and not try to find some apples to apples players. I would be purposefully calling anyone I thought showed well vs Mexico either final. Regardless of supposed form. Unless hurt or looked gassed on recent tape.

      • Mr. Voice:
        Re: Horvath and form

        “I would be purposefully calling anyone I thought showed well vs Mexico either final.”

        Really? Why? That Mexico game was a real long time ago and was against a Mexico B team. I’m pretty sure El Tri either don’t care or have even more motivation to kick our butt. The USMNT will not be facing the same team this time around and the stakes will be a lot higher.

        For one thing Mexico now have Chucky and Jimenez.

        That’s a huge difference.

        Do I think Horvath could come here now stonewall Mexico and Jamaica?
        Sure he could.
        Do I think his form in that final vs. Mexico matters?
        Months later? Not really. For example, Hoppe was hot shit in the Gold Cup. Not so much these days.
        Picking Horvath would be basically about knowing that he has the talent. And sentimentality and nostalgia.

        Back in the real world, if it ain’t broke………..during WC qualifying, neither Matt nor Steffen has done anything to indicate that there is a need to play Horvath anytime soon. As for bringing him along as a bullpen alternative sure, but maybe he’d better off staying in Nottingham and doing every little thing he can to beat out Samba. Winning a regular place with his club is more important than the USMNT to Horvath at this point. And the USMNT doesn’t need him at this point.

        Steffen or Matt are just as good if not better than Horvath at this point. Anyone who tells you otherwise is being overly partisan.
        For any given two game run, assuming all three are healthy, and they seem to be , the only difference between them is that Turner is probably a little bit more capable of insane howlers involving his feet and distribution. That forces the USMNT to play differently. Even the manager has admitted that.

        It’s far more relevant to think about what a keeper is doing lately and how they would match up with Mexico and Jamaica. For example would Matt’s lousy foot skills be something Mexico of Jamaica feast on? Panama made a point of crowding Turner on corners. Is that something Mexico and Jamaica could use? Horvath and Steffen look to me like they could stand up to a “physical” game more than Matt.

        Otherwise, I doubt that it matters who plays in goal. The USMNT has much bigger concerns.

      • I have seen zero benefit to the “sweeper keeper” or “backs making short passes” approaches. We have routine giveaways and goals allowed. And the team looks better playing more direct. I think Turner over Steffen actually fixes things, because he half the time doesn’t bother to follow the script. The script doesn’t flatter us anyway. I’m not into aspirational tactics. Teams generally don’t play a style on a wish, they play it because it works and optimizes their success. You either have the personnel to play a way, or not. If your best keeper isn’t a sweeper keeper then it’s not the time for sweeper keeper tactics. We don’t seem very good at what GB wants to try. Move on. Play in ways that leverage what we do have. Quit pushing missionary ideas of how we should imitate a particular European stereotype. Which, btw, we now see Barca can’t play well without a pile of expensive star players…..maybe it was the talent and not the system….

  19. Dest as a MF. Drop Llegett. Include Scally. Drop Arriola and bring Sargent to help him try and get some confidence back against Jamaica.

    Those are my thoughts.

    Reply
    • Turk, I’m confused you want Dest to learn a 3rd position because he plays RW and RB/LB for Barca you want him to play Lleget’s CM position?
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      If you watch Dest as a RW for Barca he is in the same spaces in possession as he is for the US as a RB. He defends in the same space too but with the added cover of the additional extra back.

      Reply
    • Why? This is qualifiers not friendlies, Sargent is just in horrible form. Bring the best at the moment, no need to expirement or boost someone’s confidence.

      Reply
    • Scally is already on Ives’ list, as he should be. Arriola will be there if he’s healthy, and he just scored a sceamer of a goal(although I don’t rate him like our other euro wingers), I’m not felling Lleget this window especially if reports are true that he was being pouty after the Panama game.

      Reply

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