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USMNT plays Uruguay to goal-less stalemate


The U.S. men’s national team experienced the challenge of taking on a strong World Cup opponent on Sunday, and was left with a clear reminder of just how demanding the competition will be in Qatar starting in November.

Sean Johnson made three saves in a solid shift in goal, while Walker Zimmerman re-asserted his place as the USMNT’s first-choice centerback, but Gregg Berhalter’s attack failed to convert chances in a 0-0 draw against Uruguay at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday.

The Americans started slow, with Uruguay’s defensive pressure frustrating the Americans, but eventually the USMNT settled into the match and created some good chances, only to see the opportunities wasted.

Jesus Ferreira forced Fernando Muslera into a tough save after collecting a pass from Christian Pulisic and firing from 15 yards out. Ferreira also had a clear chance one minute later, but he failed to get his header on frame after DeAndre Yedlin picked out his back-post run with a dangerous cross.

Sean Johnson was tested once in the first half as Manuel Ugarte’s high effort in the box was pushed over the crossbar by the NYCFC veteran.

Johnson remained busy in the second half and delivered his best save in the 63rd minute. Mathias Olivera looked destined to score the opening goal after a great cross from Matias Vecino, but the Getafe fullback was left frustrated as Johnson kicked out the effort.

Uruguay came close to grabbing a late victory in stoppage time, but substitute Edinson Cavani missed wide of Johnson’s goal after Nunez stole possession and set up a late chance.

The USMNT finished with a 54-46 edge in possession, though Uruguay finished with a 12-9 edge in shots.

The USMNT returns to action on Friday as it begins defense of the Concacaf Nations League title. The Americans begin group-stage play against Grenada at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.


  1. First 25 minutes fairly open play with both sides controlling portions in both matches. Uruguay finding space with diagonal switches just like Morocco. If Yedlin takes a fraction off that cross and Ferreira nods it home the game changes. That play started I believe with line breaking pass from Zimmerman. Second half really changed EPB and Arriola were downgrades, Uruguay subbed in better players.
    As for Morocco they’re better than they showed flying in two days before and then flying right back for matches in Africa. If they can get Ziyech back that would go a long way! I don’t see them getting past Croatia, Belgium, and Canada though. I’d love to see a Ziyech vs Davies match up though.

    • Well, Canada’s busy self-destructing right now. The players are in a war with their Federation over pay…and their Federation is busy denying reality and taking to what looks like utterly nonsensical negotiating positions that are leaving everybody watching going “wut?”

      Like Iran – with whom they just cancelled a friendly – they’re busy losing their World Cup prep. Basically what happened to Ghana in Brazil, just earlier.

      Wow, Canada. THIS is how you handle your best-ever team in soccer history?

      • I have some confidence that Canada will figure it out. Even if Morocco gets by Canada, finishing ahead of Belgium and Croatia is a pretty tough task.

      • canada has a more difficult NL group and may see curacao and honduras games as sufficient prep where they can blow the rest up. personally i worry if we are dumb enough to play first choice 3-4 games this window.

        that being said, Canada in general is not used to qualifying and used to running their fed on a small budget with limited friendly scheduling. they have left their CBA to the eve of the tournament which is silly. i think they have gone “sierra madre” on each other knowing the summer money is coming. they have a hard group — with maybe morocco they can obviously beat — and i’ll be curious if they’ve messed themselves up.

        that and if they keep blowing up games and threatening long term marketing agreements they just signed, who is going to schedule them after this? and they are about to face a host’s schedule for the next cycle, which is a lot of friendlies…….

  2. JR,

    “If Ferreira or Weah finishes one of those half chances in the first 30 minutes, the guys relax and maybe get another.”

    Or Maybe Uruguay wake up, put in the big guns and rip the USMNT a new one. Uruguay are notorious for their dirty, violent play and we saw little of that if any. This was not Uruguay, all guns blazing.
    “Ferreira, I think he’ll start putting some of those chances away.”

    That’s what everyone says about all of these #9 hopefuls.

    Ferreira is pressing but he’s also too un-quick, in mind and body, and too weak. His shots are weak and “physical play”? Forget it.
    He’ll get a hat trick vs these next two crap teams and everyone will proclaim the problem solved.

    “Really hope Puki moves on and Josh gets a good run as the guy for Norwich in the Championship.”

    Not happening unless someone throws crazy money around. Norwich want to get back ASAP and keeping Pukki around is the best way to expedite that.

      • A team gets 23 players. Who ever starts from your 23 is your 1st team. This narrative is silly. Matias Vina is their starting LB. Geminez is their starting CB. We had our 4 GK, and started/played our 7 string RB and 5 string RB. Uruguay’s XI vs El Tri wouldn’t hold up against USA’s 1st team.

      • Yet still a very good lineup. The back 3 and GK have over 200 CL appearances, 450 NT caps. Godin is going to captain his 4th WC squad. Nunez is one of the top prospects in Europe scoring 6 CL goals this season, the teams he scored against Bayern, Barca, Liverpool, and Ajax. Maxi Gomez may not be Cavanni or Suarez but he does have 52 LaLiga goals in 5 seasons. xG was 1.36 – 1.24 Uruguay which means the US was probably leading in that category before Cavanni’s miss. Far better place than the friendlies in the summer of 2019.

  3. Glad 2 c the community live, again! If Morocco & Uruguay were in a group/stage with us, we would have 4 points with 3 gs F, 0 gs A. 3 + goal difference, w/ 2 clean sheets. Going into the 3rd match against a pot 1 country for a chance to advance to the round of 16. Hypothetical speaking, of course. Grenada nor ES will not mimic this scenario. We know this. We also know Uruguay’s squad vs El Tri would’ve been looking like Gimenez, who started against El Tri. Grabbing his hammy screaming “No Mas!”, begging to come off the pitch. Our players would walk thru ‘em like a hotel lobby. I’ve watched the match 3 times already. There’s no doubt in my heart or mind. If the right pieces are in place, Weah @ LW, no right foot dominant players @ LB, better set pieces, for examples, we can do some real damage in the WC. (Collateral damage- GB keeps his job next cycle). Since the middle of May, I’ve started watching all 14 WCQ matches starting with losses, draws, then the wins. I even went back and watched ‘18 friendly’s vs Bolivia & France. I suggest you do the same! I’m really feeling that mantra “We don’t match up well, with CONCACAF but we do with the rest of the world!”

    • very cool you’re rewatching the videos, I ove doing that. it’s fun to me! and you I guess

      On CONCACAF and the rest of the world, there’s a reason we play the way we do in region, blasting up the wings and serving it in; playing through the middle is one non-called foul away from creating a counter and goal. In our region, those non calls happen all the flippin time so strategies and tactics MUST account for it to qualify.


      We don’t suffer the same ref bias on the world stage, but then again there was Koulibaly…….

      And just for fun, Putin…it’s not like he sits around and watches sports, he knows it’s political and cheats accordingly

  4. I hesitate to reach conclusions like Long is better than EPB without seeing them compete in practice. EPB, for example, has had very few minutes on the team. Here is what is the most important thing for me. The team needs more games before the WC. I went to the FIFA website and it looks like there is another window from 9/19 to 9/27. The US really needs to have 2 more games against quality opponents to check out more players to flesh out the squad. Hopefully by then Chris Richards and Reyna will be healthy.

    • Gregg has said 2 WC Teams from Asia. Rumor is Japan and Qatar likely played in Europe. Other options would South Korea and Saudi Arabia since we won’t friendly Iran since they are in our group.
      BvB posted a video of Gio in individual training over the weekend so that’s a good sign.

  5. Wasn’t all that different from the Morocco game. Both team had some chances early. If Ferreira or Weah finishes one of those half chances in the first 30 minutes, the guys relax and maybe get another.
    I’m torn on Ferreira, I think he’ll start putting some of those chances away. Feels like he’s put a lot of pressure on himself he wants to move to Europe and these 2 friendlies could have gone a long way to that. That said if we just want a pressing merchant with good movement why didn’t we just stick with Sargent. Really hope Puki moves on and Josh gets a good run as the guy for Norwich in the Championship.

    • on what planet was that similar to morocco? that was a well organized, physical defense which meant even if we got around the flank they’d clear the cross. i thought it was a great game for us as it exposed scally and jedi, tested johnson and long, and otherwise gave a more realistic sense of how we rate against good teams, which hopefully leads to further evolution of tactics and personnel. morocco i expect little from this fall. hakimi was excellent and not much else.

      ferreira is out there to play false 9 combining with his teammates. i thought wright should have started because uruguay’s stoutness turned it into more of a back to goal kind of day. personally i would have called in 3-4 9s for this period and had them fight it out since we have struggled for production and consistency, and people should be earning time. GB has a had habit of rewarding new shiny objects for what i would term “one game hot streaks.” scoring in a single game should get you invited back. getting to be first choice should be based more on doing it over and over.

      honestly at this point i’d be considering pulisic as the 9 with at least one bigger frame guy in the final roster for back to goal and headers when tactically appropriate. personally i think we should pay more attention to talent than form. like a longer term sense of who is better than whom as opposed to betting on streaks.

    • JR,

      “If Ferreira or Weah finishes one of those half chances in the first 30 minutes, the guys relax and maybe get another.”

      Or Maybe Uruguay wake up, put in the big guns and rip the USMNT a new one. Uruguay are notorious for their dirty, violent play and we saw little of that if any. This was not Uruguay, all guns blazing.
      “Ferreira, I think he’ll start putting some of those chances away.”

      That’s what everyone says about all of these #9 hopefuls.

      Ferreira is pressing but he’s also too un-quick, in mind and body, and too weak. His shots are weak and “physical play”? Forget it.
      He’ll get a hat trick vs these next two crap teams and everyone will proclaim the problem solved.

      “Really hope Puki moves on and Josh gets a good run as the guy for Norwich in the Championship.”

      Not happening unless someone throws crazy money around. Norwich want to get back ASAP and keeping Pukki around is the best way to expedite that.

      • Maybe Uruguay wakes up maybe they have to take more chances and we catch them on a second. Their First team guys played most of the second half and weren’t able to put one in. Uruguay is known for being physical but I’m not sure if we’d see that in a friendly, the St Louis friendly last time wasnt. I also wonder with Tabarez gone if some of that changes.

  6. If you care about the kind of soccer we play, you have to be happy with this performance against a top team. We didn’t get the tie by “concacafing”, we got it by controlling the ball, owning the midfield, and taking the game to them. The first half after 10 minutes was very very good. It’s what we’ve been wanting. We’re not just popping up long balls and midfield headers anymore – it looked like real soccer.

    Aaronson, Moose, and Weah just keep getting better, and there’s still so much upside. Zimmerman is really solid. What’s Scally, 19?
    Yes we’ve rotated 6 strikers and none have worked, but people are too focused on goals. Ferreira was making good runs. Stuff’ll happen.

    • In the past the US often obtained results by having better athletes in a number of positions. Especially against Latin teams. there was an obvious skills gap. I think that skills gap has been pretty much erased and we still have some good athletes. The future is looking bright.

  7. the USMNT remains imperfect but not a bad showing at all. some impressed, others did not. GB trying things with different shapes, different tactics, different players. It does not all work but it’s not all bad. the left side of the defense was new together and it showed. Adams got moved over there for a while because Yusah and CP weren’t closing down space. CP is a great player, but whenever he decides not to close space and allows time for a cross, it’s not good. At this level, anyone given time can serve a sweet ball and this happens in every game I watch him play. I’m not picking on him, but he’s the leader, so if he does these little things others will follow, my opinion, and it’s these little things that make the biggest difference

  8. Not sure I saw the same game as some of yall. The game was uninspiring, final third was atrocious and our goalie and Zimmerman kept us in the game. When two players are making saves and none are really challenging the goal, I would say we were lucky to get a draw, but we most certainly did not compete. There is too much caution bred into this team, ergo why we see pretty good scores against weak teams and we sometimes even get a surprise defeat. Berhalter is not the right coach for this team. The skill set these players have is better than we have ever had so, yes we should win some games, but a truly great coach would be getting us the games we dont normally win. Lets be honest. You are telling me that the teams we had in the 90s and 2000s were better? Hell no. They were great because they attacked and attacked and took risks. This team is too safe with zero team creativity and has a coach that is ok with keeping it that way. I keep trying to come back and watch the national team and I just keep getting dissappointed. This team wont even make it out of the group round IMO.

    • Josh – your depressing me, man. It was a friendly and I think he was trying out players because he knows what we saw in qualifting isn’t good enough. Unfortunately, most of the new players he gave opportunities and the ones he played where he is looking for improvement didn’t show well. While you may not have been overwhelmed with the offensive display, it certainly was better than what we saw in qualifyimg where the whole attack was based on wingbacks banging aimless crosses to one forward in the box with 6 defenders and a goalie.

      • Watching the team is depressing. I mean, I don’t like saying it and I get that it’s a friendly, but this was not an a team Uruguay either. Berhalter just isn’t the coach that is going to win us a world cup and yes, I believe that the level of the American player can win a world cup. I think maybe that is what makes it worse saying that because we are wasting talent. This generation should dominate. It should have flair and creativeness. Look at the players in their club games vs National team duty. They play entirely different. I love the game, but just get so pissed watching these games and seeing bland soccer. We had an identity in the 90s and 2000s just not the skill level. Now we have the skill level and no identity.

      • Sorry but your delusional if you think our talent is good enough to win the WC this year.
        Pulisic: squad rotation player for Chelsea
        McKennie: regular for the worst Juventus team in a decade
        Adams: sub for a 4th place Bundesliga team
        Weah: 3g 5a for mid table team in France
        Aaronson: 4g 5a in Austria
        Musah: 2g 0a in 2700 minutes over 2 seasons in LaLiga
        Now let’s look at top 6 starters for Uruguay yesterday
        Darwin Nunez 26g in Portugal 6 CL goals rumored 60-80 million dollar move this summer
        Gomez: Twice as many starts the last two years for Valencia (same as Musah) 52 LaLiga goals in 5 years.
        Godin: 64 CL matches, 35 EL matches 368 LaLiga matches, 156 Int. Caps , three WC. LaLiga CL and WC first team
        Gimenez: 175 LaLiga appearances, regular starter for Atletico
        Muslera: 130 Int Caps 16 WC caps, 5 Turkish SuperLiga titles, 39 CL appearances
        Caceras: 96 LaLiga matches, SerieA 180 app, 15 CL app 21 EL app.
        And these are guys that aren’t first choice starters. We may have more talent than previous years but we are not even close on talent, depth, and experience of top 8 teams.

      • Totally with Johnnyrazor here.

        We’re building. Big-time. I love the potential of some of our guys…and I do think we have about half the roster we’d have to have if we want to be in that Top-5-or-so of truly elite squads in the world that have an actual chance of winning a World Cup. I think we’re definitely knocking on the edge of the Top-10…and that’s genuinely exciting. Owing to a bad FIFA formula some of Bruce Arena’s squads were rated that high but we weren’t close to that in reality. Now we’re #15 in the world, probably right at that good…and we’re definitely looking for that next step up.

        But we need more players. We need 15+ guys playing at the level the top five of our guys are to really be in that rarified air, and our top 5-6 guys need to emerge as genuine world-class talents. I do think most of our core guys have the ability to get there. Pulisic has another level he can get to. McKennie does. Musah assuredly does. I think Aaronson may be our best player before too much longer. Tim Weah seems to get better on a near-monthly basis. If Jedi can generate better product with his crosses he’s close to awesome. A defensively solid and wiser Sergino Dest is probably close to world class.

        Then we need to find another AT LEAST half-dozen guys on that level. I definitely think Malik Tillman can be. But one of those guys needs to be a money striker. We need a CB capable of starting for a Champions League squad. We don’t have that guy. I love Zimmerman and I think he could play for, say, Leeds…he is not good enough for Man City or Barca. He just isn’t. And I know the guy personally. He used to train my son at Furman.

        And we have nothing resembling a true-blue iconic player. We’ve never had a Messi, a Ronaldo, a Zlatan…or a George Weah. We find THAT guy and it’s a different ball game for us. It could be Tim Weah (I’d have said no way on that before this window, but he’s flashed some stuff and durn if the guy doesn’t keep improving bigly almost every time out…and his dad George didn’t really hit his stride at all until he joined Monaco in 1988, when he was 22 years old. George also didn’t win the Ballon d’Or until 1995…when he was 29.) It could be Gio Reyna, he’s got miles of upside we haven’t yet seen. But the likelihood is it’s neither and those guys will just cap out at being really, really good, too.

        I like where we’re at. But there’s still a ton of work to put in before we can legit aspire to actually WIN a World Cup.

      • What stats show competing. With the players they had vs the players we put on the field, no we did not compete. We owned the ball 54% of the time and yet never really threatened the goal. We passed the ball around ALOT, but did not engage the final third with credibility. We had equal amount of shots on goal and yet Uruguay had waaaayyy better looks and I would argue, should have scored at least twice if not for poor touch at the end or great defensive work. Again, this is NOT their first team and it was close to ours.

    • I don’t disagree, in my comment to Johnny R. I said I thought we gathered a lot of information.. Meaning I don’t think the game went to waste like some friendlies, but I also don’t disagree with what you’re saying. A few additional thoughts:
      – Scally looked like it was his first start. He’s not ready but he’s still got a shot at Jedis backup. Other than Dest on the left I don’t think Bello is ready either. (Also shows that maybe GB erred by not bringing in Scally earlier during qualifying to get more time with the team)
      – I don’t think Long is ready.. The trickle down effect of that spot is crucial the way Jedi & Dest like to attack..
      – If Musah gets to that point where he doesn’t take that one extra dribble he can be scary good.. Can’t believe he’s only 19. But he’s getting better at not holding on top long.
      – Weah is putting together more consistent performances similar to how Aaronson showed earlier in qualifying – His growth is noticeable.
      So all in all I think we gathered a lot of good info so the game wasn’t few waste.. Uninspiring in the final third and gotta get Zimmermans partner figured out because it’s gonna affect how we want to be able to play & keep our shape. As I see it that could be the difference between being able to press higher up the field against teams outside of concacrap

    • We will make it out of the Group stage. I think we have a chance of beating England. If I was going to call it I’d say we tie England and beat Wales and Iran – I’d like to say handily, but this is a young group and I think one of those will be nervier than they should be, and there are few easy games in the World Cup, like, ever – but on balance the talent between the US and Wales/Iran is not close. We absolutely overwhelmed Morocco and I think we’ll overwhelm at least one of those two the same way, and I have a notion the England game will remind us strongly of what we just saw with Uruguay.

    • yup, definitely didn’t see the same game you did bc your view diminishes too much of the good stuff that happened. We had a lot of creative play in midfield, that led to the attack with shots of goal, I know I didn’t dream that, and Uruguay didn’t get a clean look on goal until the second half. We dominated possession and aside from 2 or 3 gaffes in the back, I’m satisfied with this display and result. Ppl like to keep bringing up who our players play for overseas like that’s supposed to guarantee us something, but it doesn’t and when you consider how difficult playing time has been for several of them and the lack of impact being made on the field when they do play its no secret that we are not humming like many “think” we should be

  9. Q – I think people are forgetting that it was a friendly. A lot of questions were answered, just not how most of us hoped. While most people would say they didn’t need to see Arriolla against WC level competition to know that answer, maybe GGG has it now also. My takeaways – Long is better than EPB which probably dissapoints most posters, Ferriera is not a goal scorer at this level, right now Scally doesn’t belong on the team, and Adams is a better 6 than LDT agianst WC level competition (probably not against weaker competition). IMO, hard to evaluate Wright since he didn’t get to play when Weah was on the field and as you said, that substitution was like jumping off a cliff. A few positives I took are that GGG changed the tactics with wingbacks when it wasn’t working and was creating defensive nightmares ( although a little disappointed he thought it could work) and the US created some really good scoring opportunities and weren’t just banging in aimless crosses. I don’t care who they play in Qatar, Weah is going to be a handful for any opponenet. There are still spots to be had for Qatar, just not sure if there are players to take them. It is easy for us all to spot the players we don’t think are at that level, but it doesn’t actually mean that there are better options available and unfortunately, it looks some of the players I was hopeful for probably aren’t at the level needed. I might be the last holdout for Brooks, but I think he is still going to Qatar. I think GGG sees centerbacks as fast and slow so I think Long and Richards (and EPB) are the fast and Zimm, CCV, and Brooks the slow.

    • – I wouldn’t be ready to shut the door on either EPB or Scally yet. In both cases, they are reserves for the WC, and right now, there likely are not better options to bring in the June games. Uruguay is a quality opponent, so that was a good test. Here’s hoping they both get time for Granada and El Salvador.
      – Long on a few occasions had to provide cover for Scally, and did well. That reflects positively on him. It likely between him and Richards for the starting spot.
      – LDLT in my eyes is not a 6. He’s not physical enough. It’ll be Acosta as backup for Adams. In fact, I think Ledezma may have a chance in the next window to compete for a spot as a reserve against LDLT.

    • Definitely agree with a lot of that. The slow/fast thing is pretty obvious, he definitely plays with a sweeper and a stopper. I think the backup stopper is probably CCV’s to lose now – he’s not as good in the air as Zimmerman, even close – but he’s a big stout (if a little shorter than you’d like) defender with good ball skills and very good vision and awareness.

      I personally think you pretty much pencil in Richards as the sweeper starter alongside Zimmerman, with Long as his backup. I do not agree with anybody who thinks Long’s an automatic starter…Richards is better, and he’s really good with his left foot to boot.

      Still don’t think Brooks makes the squad. I think the #5 guy – who provides cover at both inside and outside back – is probably Reggie Cannon, with Dest/Yedlin at RB and Jedi and…well, SOMEBODY TDB, at left back. We seem to be zeroing in on that. Dunno why Gregg’s dead-set against Brooks but he seems to be and that’s probably that.

      • I would love for a reporter to just straight out ask GGG, “do you actually think x,y,z are better defenders than Brooks? and If not, why haven’t you brought brooks to a camp in 12 months

  10. It will be interesting if the USA plays down to Grenada’s level. Looked at another way, when the USA is faced with opponents who don’t want to play, but just defend deep and hope for a counter attack goal, how will the US perform? Will the US be able to find its way through 10 defenders in the penalty area and score?

    Despite the 0-0 scoreline, both the US and Uruguay played soccer with the clear intent to score goals. It was an entertaining match with lots of action. I was impressed with the US midfield no matter who was in I thought they more than held their own against Uruguay.

    • Dennis after these two matches do you understand Weah better?
      US last 4 matches against Caribbean minnows
      Martinique 7-0 2021
      Cuba 7-0 2019
      Cuba 4-0 2019
      Guyana 4-0 2019
      There’s usually a difference between a well organized bunkered defense like Panama and a disorganized bunker like Cuba or Grenada. Since the Covid pause Grenada is 1-1-8 wins over Virgin Islands (208 Fifa ranking) and a draw with Gibraltar (203 Fifa ranking). They were outscored 11-1 in last years GC.

  11. Missed the match, seems from
    the lack of comments that it must have been as meh as the 0-0 score line indicates.

    • JR – I wouldn’t say that. I posted a response to Q about the game. I think people are disappointed, me included, that people they thought could step in and be upgrades probably aren’t upgrades right now but I saw some positives against a team that is better than Wales and Iran, and would give England a good game.

    • Not really Johnny, there was a lot of information that came out of this game. It was well worth it until the hydration break in the 2nd half.. Then it kinda went squirrelly for both teams

      • Did watch the replay last night. I might even say the whole second half was kind of a waste. It did kind of remind of a preseason friendly and a 2nd division team is hanging around for a half and then sub in their reserves and the first division side started their reserves subs on their stars.

  12. Great Googly Moogly is the difference at the higher International levels between Weah and Arriola like falling off a cliff. Please no more Arriola against top opponents…ever again. He’s just not cut out for it. The second he got in all forays down the right hand side ceased and desisted. Like, instantly. And he literally turned the ball over his first half-dozen touches. It was kind of embarrassing.

    Palmer-Brown was a train wreck. You could see his passing ability and athleticism but he basically got turned and burned repeatedly and finally caught fire and exploded somewhere around the 60th minute defensively. How he didn’t give up a goal is beyond me. Disappointing. I kind of liked what I saw of CCV against Morocco but I think EPB played his way off the roster today. It’s Chris Richards and probably CCV behind Zimmerman and Long.

    Scally isn’t ready either. Again, like Palmer-Brown, he has ability, but he looks more like a 2026 guy than 2022. Then again, if it isn’t Scally to back up Jedi, I dunno who, since Bello wasn’t nearly ready when last we laid eyeballs upon him either.

    Still looking for a striker who can actually score goals. Ferreira’s movement and soccer IQ are obvious. His holdup play is wretched and he just isn’t taking his moments as a scorer.

    Hard to be UPSET with this result against a super-veteran team with Uruguay’s talent but I definitely walked away with the definite idea this is a solid team still missing a couple things to be a true contender, and no new answers have yet appeared.

    • Shouldn’t we kind of blame Arriola on Llanez and Konrad for not taking a spot and Reyna’s injuries. I do think we needed to see Arriola in this one the same way we needed to see Yueill against Switzerland. Both good in MLS good enough against Concacaf but just not level for top 20 teams. I can name 4 or 5 guys that should be able to get ahead of Arriola but the either can’t stay healthy or have made epically bad club decisions.
      Last season (2021) I’d watch a lot of EPB highlights I be impressed and then I’d watch his all touches videos and you’d see him got caught in possession a couple times a match. Maybe just nerves but seemed to have similar problem in the highlights I saw.

      • Agree across the board with Arriola. He’s a Gold Cup guy. He is not a World Cup guy. Love the attitude and hustle and as a coach would probably love the player…do not love the talent. Arriola has a shockingly heavy – and unintelligent – touch for such a small guy, no ability whatsoever on the ball. No vision whatsoever.

        In regards to EPB, I definitely don’t wanna summarily write off a guy after one bad showing but it’s still kind of hard to forget the way EPB was flopping around out there, and he left Zimmerman hanging out to dry on numerous occasions. That spoke to a lack of decision-making ability and understanding I don’t think is going to magically resolve itself by November.

        Scally, I can maybe attribute to youthfulness and the desire to impress. Where he tended to get caught, too, was up the field, trying too hard to make something happen, and a wily veteran Uruguayan would make him pay. Those struck me as learning experiences. EPB’s errors often struck me as: “dude, what were you THINKING there?” And those I like a lot less. Could still see EPB in the shirt at some point because the talent is obvious but he needs a good club coach to sort him out.

    • Couldn’t agree more about the gap between Weah and Arriola. I was shocked that Holden completely overlooked Weah as someone who has a lock as a starter.

      Also, no one else on our roster controls the game in the way that Musah does. He reminds me of Claudio Reyna.

      I was extremely impressed with the USMNT during the last 35 minutes of the first half. I thought the last 30 minutes of the game told no one anything about either team, as all continuity was lost given the 13 (haha) subs collectively introduced.

      • I think why people are hesitant to label Weah is if Gio is healthy then what happens because a healthy Gio starts. So then is Gio moved to a different position is Tim moved?

      • Given the Problems at striker… I might consider Aaronson, Pulisic, Weah as the top three, with Renya, Adams, McKinnie in MF (Renya advanced, the other two wide and behind)… Seen what Pulisic is up to at Chelsea a bit this season, and I think he may be our best option for Striker/CF right now.


      • Turk: I don’t really like CP as a #9. He’s so much better facing goes up and running at them, a lot easier to double him with the 2 Cbs as well. That being said if none of the 9s can figure it out. I’d probably go Weah as the 9 before though.

    • Q,
      I think it’s Zimmerman and Richards first choice. Is say Zimmerman has become indispensable & Long does not seem to be near his pre injury self. Once Dest returns we’ve gotta have center backs who can defend in space the way Dest and Jedi go forward… If Richards gets healthy and back to his best quickly I’m cautiously optimistic all of a sudden .. And very nervous if he doesn’t.. I think we’re on a razors edge of being able to keep our shape, defend and counter all based on that spot we lost when Miles Robinson sent down…
      I agree about Arriola too.. man Weah has improved so much and his speed is fun to have…
      As of now I don’t see a clear cut backup to Jedi (unless u count Dest)

    • Arriola is where attacks go to die. Good enough for MLS and CONCACAF minnows, but his speed and decision-making just aren’t there. Love his energy and hustle but that’s good enough to get on the field in Qatar.

  13. Considering Uruguay trounced Mexico earlier this week, it was impressive to see the US men play evenly with a quality opponent.
    – Scally got the start and considering the quality of the opponent, did OK. Uruguay is not a CONCAFAF minnow.
    – With a bit more discipline and tactical awareness, Musah can take his game to another level
    – Got to put Long above EPB at this juncture
    – Auditions still open for #9

    • I wouldn’t compare the Mex Vs. Uruguay the other day too closely. Uruguay rotated their roster (starters) considerably between the 2 games. We still faced a well organized and talented team….we just didn’t face their 1st teamers.
      – Scally’s play was a little disjointed, but I attribute that more to his being unfamiliar with his USMNT Teammates more than to his lack of ability. Hopefully he’ll build more chemistry with them over the next 2 games and in the next window. He’d still be a back-up if everyone is healthy….but I’m more confident in his skills than Bello or Moore.
      -Musah is a talent, but I wonder if he’s too similar in style to McKennie…making the midfield too predictable. Inserting Reyna (when healthy) or Aaronson provides a bit more creativity and changes the type of attack the US can use.
      – Wasn’t impressed with Long or EPB, which is a disappointment. Long still seems to be too clumsy while EPB gets caught out of position to frequently. I hope one (or both) can get into better form before the WC starts or we could be in trouble.
      – IMO the # 9 is going to be a rotation unless something drastically changes when the new European season starts. Pepi & Sargent are in the best positions to get into a good run of form. If they get into a scoring streak I’d expect them to be at the top of the list. They have the skill but have been lacking confidence. Ferreira is the safety net….

      • I see Dike putting himself back into the convo. Sargent at this juncture hasn’t proven to be a reliable goal scorer for awhile. Pepi will need to unseat someone in preseason. I still see Pepi as a squad player at the start of the next Bundesliga season with Augsburg. Ferreira has the quality just needs to get going. It’s going to be two strikers and the possibility of Weah at the 9. Which he might seem any minutes next season next to David.

      • Safety net?

        Ferreira does not seem strong enough or physical enough when marked closely. And these were not Uruguay’s top line defenders. He’s second best in physical encounters and his shots are weak. He may have skill and talent but his body isn’t helping him.

        He’s wasted a number of decent chances in these last two games. If he starts to score the next two games that would be great but it would also be vs. very, very weak teams and would be of questionable worth.

        FIFA need to finalize whether it is 23 or 26 players but if it is 23 no way Ferreira should go to Qatar.

        Scally is 19 and it’s his first game. It’s was also probably the toughest opponent this team has faced in 3 years. Maybe it was not the best time to intro Scally, who looked like he needed a lot of direction and wasn’t getting it.

        Scally is a good defender but he’s not good on the ball and it seemed like even if he won the ball he wasn’t sure of what to do with it. He’s better than he looked and if he can get more practice with the USMNT, he may yet be a decent backup but it may be too late for Qatar.

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