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Who should the USMNT start vs. Grenada?

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  1. This talk of not using players to prevent injuries is just silly. Players play and sometimes they get hurt. This bit is just 2 games, most of the guys in question will play around 20 games for their clubs before the WC. They have a much bigger chance of getting injured playing for their clubs or training than they do in these 2 games. If someone is injured, sure. there is no reason to risk aggravating that injury, but not playing a healthy player because you are afraid he will get injured is just wrong.
    Other things like being part of the team and making connections with teammates is mush more important that concerns about injury.

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  2. Who I think, GB will start.
    Tillman, Morris, Arriola
    LDT, Acosta, Roldan,
    Bello, EPB, CCV, Scally
    Horvath
    Corners- LDT
    Penalty- Morris
    In-field set pieces- Acosta
    (There’s way too many players. It’s too late to be having tryouts, IMO. Morocco, Uruguay, Japan, Korea & others brought their WC squads for their respective friendly’s). GB still has his provisional squad going on. September has 2 matches, which is the beginning of most European seasons. Big gap between September and late November. It’ll be difficult to gauge club form, so soon in the season.

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    • OK – Ha!! I am actually glad he is still auditioning players because it gives me a glimmer of hope that he thinks the US generally underperformed in qualifying and it has to be better for WC. In my world of glass half full, it means he thinks he needs to find some better players for his high press 4-3-3 or he needs to change the tactics. My personal opinion is the players don’t exist so I would prefer the latter. It might be Hemlock in the glass, though. Doh!!

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  3. I hear all calls for bubble wrap, but worry more about the knocks coming during the regular club season prior to the WC, with nasty fouls with intention by the mean spiritedness that is soccer. Re. who starts and plays, the roster makeup, what the purpose of these games are, etc., the mix of young and experienced makes sense to me, and it seems to me GB has given opportunity to new and young players across the board and overhauled the roster significantly and continues to evolve it, and the tactics, even with Arriola and Roldan still invited.

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    • Didn’t McKennie get injured during CL against a LaLiga club. Injuries can happen anytime, including training. ES under Perez has tried to play football not hack a forward. Rest some guys against Granada and then play a near top lineup against ES we need practice in road matches (even if we won’t have any meaningful ones before 2028).

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      • for sure johhny, anyone can get injured at anytime. I’m simply pointing out that I expect players not going to the WC to take some hacks at our guys. Soccer players are mean, the game is political, and stuff happens.

  4. This shouldn’t even be a question…..if you are a possibility to start for the USMNT, in other words, YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE ON THE PLANE TO QATAR, then playing Grenada or El Salvador even if they put all 10 men behind the ball shouldn’t be an issue for a win. The MLS players on this roster are supposingly the best in their respective positions (for what GB is looking for in a team) so its time to show what you can do…….especially when there is something to lose. In a World Cup there are knocks and injuries etc., so if you think you should be on the final 23 roster then you better have a “STARTER’S” mentality….and when / if your number is called you better be ready to deliver like a USMNT First Team Player. So a team configuration with any of the following players should not be an issue (and if it is then should they be on a roster that is fit to beat Wales / England / Iran??)

    GOALKEEPERS: Ethan Horvath/Sean Johnson/Matt Turner
    DEFENDERS: George Bello/Reggie Cannon/Cameron Carter-Vickers/Aaron Long / Erik Palmer-Brown/Joe Scally/DeAndre Yedlin,
    MIDFIELDERS: Brenden Aaronson / Kellyn Acosta / Luca de la Torre / Cristian Roldan / Malik Tillman
    FORWARDS: Paul Arriola, Jesús Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Haji Wright

    If we are worried about getting a win with these players then we are going to have MAJOR problems in Qatar as this is more than 50% of the perceived roster. This is also a perfect opportunity to keep our subs in competitive mode and playing in meaningful matches to further evaluate their capabilities / limitations……especially in an environment in which they have just as much to play for as they have to lose.

    “Pressure makes Diamonds” hahaha……LETS GOOOOOO!!!!!!

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  5. re ES, having tied Grenada away last night, they max out at 10 pts. they would likely not get that if you deduct US home. 7 pts max. i think we could take all 12 with a hungry experimental B team with a world cup carrot in front of them. but failing that we should take home and away grenada and home ES in our sleep, 9 pts easy. we could actually afford to send an experiment to the away game, and still advance as group winner by probably 2 points.

    in terms of what i see GB doing, i anticipate rotation for grenada home, which is safer, then fairly first choice again in ES. i think there are risks to sending the best players down there. do you want NL that bad where you risk november players to do it. that and i think the first choice can come in next pair and mop up any glitches or tiebreak needs from this pair. this is not that hard a group. i think we have other fish to fry.

    fwiw personally i think the amount of ES roster guys i see in their 30s or late 20s is nuts for an eliminated team. we can justify first choice, if we want, as world cup prep. they are done and should probably be evaluating players for 2026 cycle qualifying. but i don’t run their team and they have an american coaching staff who probably has our same “win everything” mentality. to me sending out the same “varsity” who just finished 7th in qualifying is a bit silly.

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    • I believe somehow NL results are tied to Gold Cup qualifying so ES does have something to play for. I’d also imagine the drop off is pretty significant so Hugo probably doesn’t have the ability to rotate as much. If your ES you played the US over 2 legs and only lost 1-0 when the US was fully focused so they have to think they have a chance.

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  6. I’m with those of you who think we should be sending the established guys home and taking a look at nothing but reserves and trialists.

    I’m going to be annoyed to see the likes of Arriola and Roldan start against Grenada because it’s a wasted opportunity to look at somebody else, but I’d much rather see that than watch somebody valuable play and get hurt.

    Personally I’d do really similarly to what IV listed, and if you panned over to the bench anyone not on the field would be all wrapped up in bubble wrap so heavily they’d look like that old Michelin Man.

    MORRIS/WRIGHT/ARRIOLA
    TILLMAN/ACOSTA/ROLDAN
    BELLO/PALMER-BROWN/CARTER-VICKERS/SCALLY
    HORVATH

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    • I think some factors weigh into the not calling in a full B Team for Granada and ES.
      1. Some of those prospects will be with U20s starting next week and that would be a lot of physical strain to do both camps one after the other.
      2. Guys coming off Euro seasons needed rest. With seasons starting in early August to accommodate WC training camps will begin very soon. If they spend June with NT they will only get a few weeks of rest. Think about the ground Scally and KDF made last summer being in training the whole time. Guys like Weah, Pulisic, McKennie can afford to ask to come in late and still be in their rotation.
      3. MLS goodwill. Leaving guys like Ebobisse and DeJuan Jones might make their clubs more inclined to release youth players in the future.
      4. Dual nat panic, some guys are just not taking call ups now. They know they aren’t in the 23-26 so they are not locking in with anyone. Made Tillman’s switch even more surprising.

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      • Granada should be a B/C team event. For El Salvador, I would start most of the A team. We shouldn’t act as if away games in El Salvador are throwaway B team events when our A team couldn’t win there in qualifying. It will be good practice against a team that plays hard, and will more than likely keep 9-10 behind the ball. Plus, more reps the better.

      • 1. Personally the purpose of age group teams is to feed the parent team — I mean they call the local feeder system “Olympic Development,” no? — so I’d rather people who might have any chance to be the 23rd guy get their audition for the seniors and they can skip the age group stuff this time. Otherwise maybe I should mention how many current NT starters got dumped in U23 camp just this cycle. It can in fact hint at mis-evaluation. And ironically they were often unavailable or promoted to senior team by the time U23 qualified. I think people also miss how many senior players technically are still U20 but have basically been “graduated.” It’s for a purpose and the seniors should not suffer so U20 has the best team for friendlies. 2. The first choice players would be released for their rest. My whole point was pull in more unknown or marginal players — ideally ones without much track record — to try out. If they lack track record there is a one hand other hand aspect to losing rest. If they get rest they are likely done for this cycle. But maybe “Bryan Reynolds” types should have a choice. I give up some rest but have any chance to make the team. We likely don’t try them otherwise. 3. Most of MLS tends to be generous to a fault — save perhaps Atlanta — this is a break window when few games are being played, and my MLS team has like double digit players in either senior or junior camps at this moment. Are you kidding me that they won’t allow, you know, 1-2 more. 4. That some duals might say no, I am keeping my options open, doesn’t justify leaving off the ones who might say yes, eg, Tillman. Can’t find out if you don’t try. Personally I think the current fetish for not encouraging players to sign up for us is beyond odd. These would be caps in an official competition and most are adults who can decide if they want to take a risk for this cycle or get in on the 2026 ground floor. Personally until this cycle I have seen very very very few players switch back out (Tchani) or otherwise act like putting on a US jersey once was a life mistake. I think that whole ethics argument is a bill of goods to justify laziness or roster inertia. I don’t see a ton of NTs out there scared of their own shadow this way, they seem to pounce on opportunities we give them.

      • IV: Anyone on the U20 roster and not with the first team has 1% chance of making the full team by November and beating up Granada or ES isn’t going to prove anything. Guys that are good to enough to be considered are already there. I’m not sure what you mean by your last line but U20s are qualifying for U20 WC and Olympics not friendlies.
        2. First team guys will rest after NL they have proven their value to clubs. Marginal guys like Reynolds, Vines, McKenzie etc… need rest now to be ready to go at start of club camp.
        3. Rumor is USSF has had a ton of trouble getting MLS players released for U20s as this year it occurs in middle of the season, goodwill never hurts
        4. We rarely know when a dual nat has been called or not. We know Ledezma was contacted and indicated he was not available. We know USSF has been in contact with JGomez and that he has not shown up for Mexican U20 camp as of yet. Unless the player leaks something we never know who was contacted because USSF isn’t going to release that on its own.
        —————————————
        I think we are not too far off in the kind of roster we want to see this week. I’m just explaining why it probably didn’t go as far as say last years GC.

    • I would either have called 30+ or I would have done a mass-reshuffle after the weekend. We have done similar things before, say, mid Gold Cup when they used to allow roster swaps, or after a friendly where the first choice got plenty of time. The team that played Cuba in NL the last game was significantly different from the bunch who faced Canada before that. If people get their feathers mussed call it “rotation” and have them in camp to start with. I just think this is the last rest period before November and people are going to feel stupid if starters get hurt playing Grenada, who may see it as their Super Bowl, when we want them in November. That and I think 2 straight games of the fairly decent level opposition tells you all you need to know on who is “Pulisic” for the fall and who is “Scally,” and other than padding WDL and FIFA rank who cares about how bad we win the next 2. Run out the next level and see if they can make a November case or evaluate them for next cycle.

      Wingback play has been iffy this set and I’m not sure I’d say 9 is all that set. There is a reason to keep auditioning. And having played two first choice games we’ve done enough gel work and competing for the summer.

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  7. ——————Ferreira——————
    Morris————————Arriola
    ————Aaronson———————-
    ——————————LDT—————
    ——————Acosta———————
    Scally——EPB——CCV—-Cannon
    Ferreira over Wright because I think Ferreira technical skill and movement fits better in the right spaces of Granadas parked bus. LDT and Aaronson like wise to break through the wall. I’d be ok with Bello because he is probably better on offense but I don’t see him as an option for Qatar so might as well give Joe minutes from a team that won’t just send wave after wave at him. Really wish we had Djordje to start for Aaronson but he’s out. I think we’ll see a mostly first team 11 at El Salvador.

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    • I like it!!! Didn’t think about De la Torre and probably would have gone with Roldan instead, so we have a Seattle partnership (Roldan / Morris) and a FC Dallas partnership (Ferreira / Arriola) in our ranks…….making it ACOSTA / ROLDAN / AARONSON, which should be more that a handful for most CONCACAF teams, with the exception of Mexico and Canada (if Djordje Mihailovic was not injured I would have had him instead of Aarsonson to keep ALL of our “possible starters” fresh). Scally, EPB, CCV and Cannon is exactly how I pictured the back without our “Starters”. I like it though….

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      • My thought on LDT is he’s the most like for like with Musah. So he could drop deep next to Acosta and shuttle the ball forward, not something Roldan is likely to do. Probably against Granada Roldan could replace Aaronson.

  8. johnson
    scally*** EPB CCV bello
    tillman roldan*** LDLT***
    arriola**** wright morris

    you want to know what you don’t know, not try and prove what we know yet again. pack the starters in bubble wrap, send the starters home, call in about 15 new players, and the guys who are starred are a waste of further time. try someone else. but within our roster, coloring within the existing lines, that’s who i’d play. i wouldn’t risk getting anyone any good hurt over grenada, and i’d have called more marginal or trialist type players to let that happen with some choice and utility.

    i would like to see horvath this window to make sure he can catch a ball but i would save that test for the harder ES game where he might be asked to actually do that. grenada lost to montserrat in WCQ and is likely to be a kickaround with the keeper able to drink a beer while he stands around. personally faced with this then ES i would have a whole second new team to play these games. this is not serious prep stuff. this is not going to tell you who should make the trip. this is save people from getting cleated and missing qatar stuff. starting 15 or so, thanks for your help and here are your return plane tickets. see you in the fall. this should be pointed to 2026 or about the very last people for this roster.

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  9. personally i’d have sent home anyone any good who already proved themselves in 2 contested games and thank my lucky stars we emerged unscathed. i would have called about 30 people and be playing marginal players and trialists auditioning for the end of the roster or for 2026. and re scally though i pushed for him, he didn’t look ready yet, and i would be trying out other people. he kind of had his shot. i don’t see the point to doing it over and over for 3-4 games, that’s kind of trying to fool yourself. you know what you need to know. learn something else. send him back to germany and slot him in the pecking order where he earned, which i think should be behind about everyone i have seen including vines and bello, much less yedlin dest jedi cannon moore etc. i wouldn’t be risking any injuries running out people who already made their case against morocco and uruguay to see if it still works for grenada. if we had a brain grenada would be for accumulating games towards cap-tying, and trialing people to evaluate what they offer.

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