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Luca De La Torre continues to make the most of his USMNT opportunities

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Luca De La Torre may have only started in one of the U.S. men’s national team’s four matches this month, but the American midfielder made sure to leave his mark in a major way as he now heads into an important summer at club level.

De La Torre came off of the bench on Tuesday in El Salvador, delivering the game-tying assist in the USMNT’s 1-1 draw in Concacaf Nations League action. The Heracles midfielder played only nine minutes at Estadio Cuscatlan, but earned his spot on the stat sheet for the second consecutive match, capping off an impactful month for the 24-year-old.

“He’s a guy that is really fitting in with what we are doing and is really carving out his role, whether that is as a starter or a guy that can come off of the bench and impact the game,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said postmatch about De La Torre. “I think Luca had an excellent camp, a good carry over from a disappointing end to his league season. He really picked it up and performed well.”

De La Torre arrived at camp off of the back of a strong individual campaign for Dutch club Heracles Almelo, totaling a career-high 36 appearances, one goal, two assists, and over 3,000 minutes of action in the Eredivisie. Although Heracles Almelo suffered relegation in a two-legged playoff defeat to Excelsior, De La Torre took major strides in his overall development, earning a new opportunity in the USMNT midfield corps.

De La Torre assisted once in Friday’s 5-0 Nations League opening win over Grenada and followed that up with Tuesday’s showing, with the Americans avoiding a first loss to El Salvador since 1992. Whether it’s starting a match or appearing off of the bench, De La Torre has made the most of his chances in Berhalter’s squad, which has increased his chances of making the USMNT World Cup roster.

“Luca got the ball and I just tried to make a run in the box and he delivered a perfect cross that I was fortunate to be there for,” USMNT goalscorer Jordan Morris said about the goal. “All of the credit goes to Luca because it was a great ball in the box.”

Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

De La Torre now enters a key period of his club career following Heracles’ relegation to the second division. The in-form attacking midfielder reportedly admitted that he has an agreement with Heracles to be transferred later this summer following relegation, which could provide a new opportunity for De La Torre to test himself against stronger competition in one of Europe’s top-five leagues.

Whatever happens with his club situation this summer, De La Torre has done enough with the USMNT to remain part of Berhalter’s plans when the the national team returns to action for its final pre-World Cup tuneup matches in September, and if he can continue to make an impact like he has throughout 2022, De La Torre will only increase his chances of making the World Cup squad.

Comments

  1. “It’s hard to know exactly how he will fare when challenged defensively or facing stronger, more athletic midfields.”

    That’s true of the team in general. Since Berhalter took over, in competitive games, they have always been better, talent wise, than everyone they have faced.

    They are the most untested USMNT going into a WC that I have ever seen.

    Wales will be the first real test of this team.

    Reply
  2. LDT has played really well in every appearance I have seen him in. Berhalter’s mistake with him is he has never allowed him to be tested. The large majority of his minutes have come against very weak opposition. It’s hard to know exactly how he will fare when challenged defensively or facing stronger, more athletic midfields.

    Reply
    • “It’s hard to know exactly how he will fare when challenged defensively or facing stronger, more athletic midfields.”

      That’s true of the team in general. Since Berhalter took over, in competitive games, they have always been better, talent wise, than everyone they have faced.

      They are the most untested USMNT going into a WC that I have ever seen.

      Wales will be the first real test of this team.

      Reply
      • Not sure thats the case, but he has not played quality minutes in 7 games vs Mexico Canada or Costa Rica in the last year.

  3. If Adams and LDLT could somehow combine…

    Adams is still not as good as Bradley at his height. Bradley was a beast defensively (i’d say Adams is close to his level there) but was also a great quarterback with his distribution, switch up play or delivering the incisive pass. Adams ability to start the offensive move is clearly his weak point and it shows by how often that job is left to the central defense.

    Back to LDLT…he’s as cool a player with the ball at his feet as there is in the pool. He hardly turns the ball over and is always looking to create – usually with his pass already picked out before he receives the ball. Reminds me of Claudio Reyna or Darlington Nagbe at his MLS best. He is miles ahead of Busio at this point. I have him and Aaronson as midfield locks (along with MMA and Acosta) for Qatar.

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    • Good points! Bradley was excellent box to box and Adams is nowhere near the offensive player Bradley was.
      I think Musah’s game is more Nagbe like while with the Timbers. Especially both lacking finishing touch around the 18. Shame Nagbe was limited by lack of citizenship
      Torre’s market value is interesting in contrast to someone like Alan Soñora. Torre is an obvious bargain, especially already working in the EU.

      Reply
    • “Adams is still not as good as Bradley at his height.”

      Tyler is 5’9″.
      Michael is 6’1″.
      Tyler will never get to Michael’s height as he’s stopped growing so that comparison will never happen.

      “Bradley was a beast defensively”

      You’re joking right? You’re the first person to ever say that , as best as I can tell.

      Michael never saw a tackle he didn’t want to jump out of. Early in his USMNT career he was big on wild slide tackles that often put him at red card risk and often put him out of position.

      Tyler is twice the defensive player Michael ever was.
      Michael benefited from being surrounded by more settled and coherent defenders than even the current USMNT has. As a regular #6 Michael was just mediocre to pathetic.

      Offensively , Michael was better but he also had a more coherent attack partners what with the Jozy, Clint, Fabian and Landon as his regular partners.

      A lot of being a great “quarterback” is having good “receivers” to run good routes and actually catch your passes.

      Michael had much more of that than Tyler does.

      “Adams ability to start the offensive move is clearly his weak point”

      It’s not his job. This is an unfair comparison.

      At his best Tyler is a standout orthodox #6. Offence is not his game and never has been. No one has ever claimed he was good at it either.

      At his best Michael was a good box to box MF and best of all was good at arriving late in the box to score. He was on the team for his offense not his defense where he always has been below average.

      Michael had a great USMNT career because his managers, by and large, asked him to do what he was good at and did not ask him to do what he was bad at.

      That’s what they should do with Tyler.

      Ask him to do what he does best.

      Reply
  4. My issue with Adams is he still over commits defensively at bad spots, doesn’t generally move the ball forward and is prone to bad giveaways. I think he just needs more playing time at club level.

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      • i didn’t see the point to keeping the first choice players for 4 games. pulisic and others have looked shabby when they keep playing this long in their “year.” game or two either end of the window would have sufficed. if we looked fairly ordinary vs uruguay or ES hmmm perhaps that’s why. and yeah i did agree adams didn’t look great but against his oeuvre i am going to hope it’s a tired spell and not start headhunting our best DM until he keeps playing like it. we follow the form roller coaster waaaay too much.

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