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USMNT plays Saudi Arabia to goal-less draw


The last U.S. men’s national team match before the FIFA World Cup was an improvement on Friday’s forgettable loss to Japan, but the Americans didn’t exactly deliver a performance that inspired confidence less than two months before the World Cup kicks off.

Four days after failing to register a shot on goal in a 2-0 loss to Japan, the USMNT tightened up its defense but continued to struggle generating chances in a 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in Murcia, Spain.

Matt Turner played the hero once again for the Americans, making two tough saves in the shutout.

The Americans managed just two shots on goal, an improvement on their showing against Japan, but they didn’t trouble Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Rubaie, who recorded two simple saves.

The USMNT enjoyed a considerable edge in possession, and was clearly the better team in the first half, but the only chance they generated was a 24th-minute look by Tyler Adams, who missed inches wide on a long-range shot.

Gio Reyna left the match in the 30th minute in a substitution that wasn’t planned beforehand. Paul Arriola replaced Reyna, who walked straight to the locker room when he was replaced, leading Berhalter to make a temporary visit to the locker room during the first half. The team announced that Reyna’s departure was precautionary after the Borussia Dortmund winger felt muscle tightness.

The best chance for the Americans in the second half came shortly after Jesus Ferreira entered the match, with the FC Dallas star pouncing on a Saudi turnover and sending a close-range shot right at Al-Rubaie in the 61st minute.

Berhalter will announce the USMNT 26-man World Cup roster on November 9th, with the full team coming together in Qatar by November 13 ahead of their group-stage opener against Wales on November 21st.


  1. Not sure about some of the ‘AmericanVoices’ here: Aaronson just a work rate player? Tyler not living up to things,? this is America’s ‘golden generation’, as if there will be no more while the country becomes more and more dedicated to the sport?! That is LOL stuff. There’s more, and ALL of these things are inaccurate but widely expressed by ‘foreign vices’ re. American soccer in print for a looooooong time because they don’t get it, they don’t get American soccer, just like the Klinsmann love, at the time back then, for that guy who ruined American soccer and our greatest strength, the locker room.

    Biggest Issue: our forwards are not in professional shape but everyone thinks they are the greatest anyway. They’re not…yet. There, I said it. CP always muscle injured, same with Gio? Look in the mirror man, change your habits, figure it out, just like all the other pros who play in pressing systems around the world (which is a gazillion of them).

    • i don’t see any particular value in us either pressing or playing from the back. i don’t care how many other teams jump off those bridges, it doesn’t work with our personnel. nor do we have many examples of the tactics working without having to make counter productive choices like play arriola or start brooks, which costs you on the prime directives for those positions (ie, arriola shanks a lot of finishes and brooks isn’t a good man marker).

      look at the things we (a) have historically done well and (b) currently seem suited to doing. make those into the tactics. play to our strengths, hide our weaknesses. we are foolishly trying to make either non-strengths or weaknesses into the game plan. who does that.

      personally i think this could be a pretty good team based around get back in numbers and then counter with wide speed. like the costa rica friendly and the second half of honduras. to be clear, that is not pulisic and reyna wide. we for reasons unclear have not yet learned that while talented those are not their best positions, and when they play there, we can’t get out of our own end. if we get out and run with wide speed then that creates more space behind the defense, and we can serve more ground balls to feet, and maybe get more joy from the strikers.

      as it stands we like to pretend we’re a press and attack team but i rarely see it happen and sometimes when it does the personnel choices required to win the ball that way mean lackluster finishers on the field eg arriola. what tends to actually happen is we don’t win many balls with the press, and we end up either relying on tyler or having to build from our own end, glacially, then whack a cross in against a waiting defense. “get back and counter” creates the unpredictability and space to create that this needs. and i realize this idea reminds people of 2010 but so what. it fits personnel. and with how lousy “whatever this is” looks, i don’t want to deal with snob arrogance and condescension. you promised it would look better and get better results. pay up. i don’t think you have the “money” on you to pay your debt, so it’s time to play ways that work with our soccer players. and personally i’d rather not have to waste a world cup to learn the point here. that while we should be pushing the skill level and soccer IQ ever higher, we shouldn’t abandon how we got here.

      • on a related note i see part of our problem as how the wings are pinched in to make room for the wingbacks on the “chalk channel.” this takes away the room wings usually have to operate and run at people — as well as the ability to face up your defender — and makes a pass to reyna or pulisic an “interior pass” threading the formation as opposed to a usually open “chalk pass” where all else fails you use the width of the field to get them the ball and operating room.

        i also find the premise beneath this all to be silly. the idea seems to be to have dest and jedi overlapping doing most of the offense, which while occasionally a cut-in and direct run to goal and shot, is usually a hopeful flag cross caught by the keeper, headed out, or bouncing over the opposite sideline.

        last point, only an idiot sets up their offense to drag added defenders to the wing stars, or to favor wingback crosses over your star wings taking people on. taking the ball to the corner for passes among 2-3 players, draws 2-3 defenders and makes it harder for any one of our guys to bust through. and then i have no idea why we seem to want to promote dest and jedi as creators over reyna and pulisic, who are often pinched in and hard to find. normal 101 soccer is put these guys on the chalk, clear the space around them, and let them take on isolated defenses. i do think they have not played to full promise but i think this system is a silly straitjacket for about everyone involved but dest and jedi (but they are then risking being countered — japan’s first goal was dest’s dude — not that people want to notice such things anymore).

      • re. pressing, I wrote a while back that the world has figured it out…just ask Klopp 😉

        much like Wenger’s system worked until it didn’t, Barca’s tiki taka until it didn’t…yes, you need those players, but yes, opponents figure things out and tactically exploit it.

        GB has a gret opportunity to play more simply and compact because all opponents will expect the pressing…we’ll see. Could also be more tactical with it and not ALWAYS use it; Ellis did this to great success vs. England in the World Cu. we’ll see

        re. our flank tactics, I disagree that it’s either/or with the wingbacks getting high or the ‘stars’ in that space taking players on; it’s both, whichever read is on. Dest high or Jedi high isn’t a problem, they are good options…unless the cover/balance isn’t there defensively because all 11 can’t recover when it’s on them to do it defensively, ‘stars’ or whoever. that is a problem

        thoughtful reply from you as usual, thanks

      • He’s playing Reyna and Pulisic where they want to play. It’s exactly where they play for their clubs it’s where they’re comfortable. The difference however is the other players around them for club fit better with those positionings. They either draw defenders away or combine with them more effectively in that space. Neither of them make a ton of runs into space both prefer to drive at defenders rather than run behind them. So now that means you’ve got to get width somewhere else. Playing Pulisic and Reyna in the half space has been dictating EVERYTHING else. It started with the FB having to push far forward. Switzerland, Honduras, and Mexico in NL and Canada in qualifying exploited that by playing into that vacated space. Next came dropping Musah and Wes deeper and wider to cover that wide space. That left Adams to try to distribute by himself out of the middle and forced the FBs to be the only wide option but also somehow clogging Gio and CPs space. Since now there’s no one to distribute Berhalter went full in on pressing basically using the other team to do the distribution into dangerous areas for us. When we’ve looked the most cohesive is when Weah has been available because then we do play early into space “verticality”. Mexico, CR, and Panama games at home examples of how that worked better than what we saw this camp. The manager has to say though “guys this isn’t working we need to get you where your comfortable a different way.”

      • JR

        “The difference however is the other players around them for club fit better with those positionings. They either draw defenders away or combine with them more effectively in that space. Neither of them make a ton of runs into space both prefer to drive at defenders rather than run behind them. So now that means you’ve got to get width somewhere else. Playing Pulisic and Reyna in the half space has been dictating EVERYTHING else. ”

        If your analysis is correct and I don’t disagree with it, then if he can’t get a good return out of them, for whatever reason, then Gregg has to drop those two.

        Gio probably isn’t a problem because chances are he’s not going to be healthy enough to feature much in Qatar. And’s he’s not been around much for a while now. So leaving him out should not have much fan or pundit backlash since such things seem to matter.

        That leaves Pulisic and dropping him would undoubtedly draw flak.

        “It’s exactly where they play for their clubs it’s where they’re comfortable.”

        There was a great Dutch player named Ruud Gullit. In his autobiography he wrote that he often, in his 66 caps, was uncomfortable playing for the Netherlands, something about not being used properly. But he did it anyway because that’s what players did then, sacrifice for their country. Gullit did it well enough that he captained the Netherlands when they won UEFA Euro 1988 the only trophy that country has ever won.

        It is a black mark against both Gregg and Pulisic that they can’t find a more effective solution for Christian and the USMNT.

        Christian wouldn’t be the first big star to be dropped by his country (Zlatan and Sweden a recent example) because he just didn’t fit into what the team wanted to do.

        But, as well protected as Gregg is, even he doesn’t have the weight to drop Pulisic.

  2. Let’s have a little fun. I have a feeling no matter what happens at this WC Berhalter won’t be the coach for the next cycle. What coach would you like to see lead the team in the 2026 cycle?

    Here are a my American/ MLS coaches:


    Here a my foreign coach names:


    • there are a ton of good unemployed foreign names. but generally speaking anyone any good and american is under contract and probably happy. i say this because my houston dynamo are coach shopping already. going domestic likely means settling and this cycle reminds that is a horrible idea for a NT coach, much less the dynamo and their string of YNT/reserve team promotions.

    • It’s hilarious that you think Pep would coach the US. Hiddink would be 79 by 2026. Martinez has won nothing with Belgium’s “golden generation”. Bielsa’s 3-3-3-1 ultra pressing system with strict player movements sounds like a recipe for the same problems. Low is interesting not sure what his interest level would be.
      Curtin: maybe
      Marsch: I don’t see him leaving if the job opens in January
      Matarazzo: has no international experience either as a manager or player.
      Schmetzer: absolutely no
      Savarese: doesn’t play Americans at Portland so not sure he’d even be interested. They win fewest minutes by Americans every year easily.

    • It’s good to have a little fun. My first choice would be a serious World Cup international or club coach and no MLS coach. With respect to Guardiola, he has lived in the US and may be interested only if the money is right, I mean, who knows? I like Conte too. However, I think Low would be a great fit for the US. The problem is that the federation wants to pick one of their boys like a Josh Wolff, Steve Cherundolo, etc. I like Josh and Steve but the US really needs a top tier coach since the US will be hosting the next WC. I rather have Jesse Marsch or Matarazzo than the last two mentioned. There are good ones like Senol Gunes, but they would not be consisted because of language issues.

      • The US doesn’t have Pep money, between missing 2018, paying Bruce, Bob, and Jurgen not to coach, and lawyer fees for women’s lawsuit that kind of money is long gone. Rumor was they didn’t even have Tata money which was why he wasn’t interviewed. I’m not sure Conte is interested in NTs he did his home country but hasn’t managed any others. Like Pep he only goes to big clubs and the US ain’t a sure winner like Juve, Chelsea, or Spurs.
        I think they need a manager for the next window before Wolff or Cherundolo. Long shot would be Hugo Perez. He worked with a lot of our groups as teens. He’s done great with limited players in El Salvador. It won’t happen though. I have a feeling if we go for big name international manager it would Southgate, ughhh!

    • I can’t see any of them either being offered or taking the job. With the possible exception of Curtin( and only say that because I don’t know much about him ) none of them are likely to be slavishly subservient to the USSF cabal.

  3. Stop playing ball to feet, but instead ball to space. You can only play that slow South American style if you have technical players for it. Even Argentina is playing more European because almost all of their players play in Europe.

    They are ball winners for a reason. Have some balance in the midfield, just because they’re athletic and can jump 3 feet off the ground doesn’t mean they’ll win every game for you.

    Stop using Ferreira as a target forward, he needs to play off somebody, like a big and little combination, where a big player like Pefok takes defenders away from spaces and Ferreira fills it. I’d drop Ferreira into central attacking midfield behind the lone forward if they’re going to still play that way.

    Should bring more creative midfielders like Mihailovic on the team, in case Ferreira gets injured. We have way too many ball winners and DLT is just a guy who makes side way passes, he’s not as good as Mihailovic or Ferreiera in creating chances.

    Lastly, Berhalter out!

  4. dolo could get forward. but dolo wouldn’t have made his team if he couldn’t defend his position. it’s like we’ve gone the “spector” direction instead. if anyone remembers the confed cup final that idea didn’t end well.

  5. look, i grew up on team defense, but i also believe in division of labor. to me our down ebb has coincided with this misguided affection for minimally productive “two way mids” and “wingbacks who get forward.” we need more 10s and fewer 8s. we need backs who can defend their position and aren’t constantly caught up too far. the offense is too sloppy. the defense is too porous. how do you deal with that? get rid of the hybrid jack of all trades. bring in technical or speedy attackers. bring in defenders who can mark.

    fwiw i would like to see arriola play wingback because the one thing he can do is chase around all day.

    i mean the team defense select environment i came out of you were picked for playing your position well but you wouldn’t see the field if you wouldn’t defend. this to me is watered down with a bunch of mckennies and arriolas and dests and such picked for supposed hybrid abilities. i don’t think we were any better going down this hybrid too way thing with villafana and nagbe last time. do your job right.

  6. Go to a 4-1-3-2.


    Pulisic drops into that attacking hole and links with Pepi.

    Scally over Dest. Why because Scally is in better form. And I don’t foresee Dest getting many minutes before the WC. Scally showed he can get forward at RB and his defending is better than Dests. Reyna at LAM coming inside which allows Jedi to overlap.

    • That could work, so long as it functions at times with a midfielder alongside Adams to act as the outlet. I also don’t see the difference between this and how the 4-2-3-1 would actually function (with a wing player coming inside to combine with the forward). Whatever “formation” we go with, it should be based on the ease of communicating and practicing the operative principles so that the players can actually execute.

  7. Would have rather seen Austin Trusty get a look. He and Zimmerman knocking those long balls upfield would have been nice to see. Trusty, Sands, Ream, Brooks warming the bench for Benfica, I would take over Long. Quick side thoughts:I am concerned why Berhalter does not rate EPB who playes for Troyes. Maybe GGG thinks he does not fit the system? Also Berhalther needs to give MLS youngsters like Vazquez, Sullivan, Slonina, Tolkin, Gray and Lindsey minutes and team chemistry with the first team .

    • they’re about to play the world cup in november. only serious candidates need apply. the “slonina window” for 2026 timescale prospects opens december. and i say this as mr. pro-experiment. but even i think the cycle should funnel down to this point and now you’re basically committed. to me the error that was made is he had a unit picked out 2019 before he was picking out office chairs in chicago. he ignored the players sarachan identified 2018, he arrived at favorites early on, and he just systematically struggles to have more than one candidate show up, get roughly equal time, and then run with the one who outplays the other. he as a reflex wants to put on a green lampshade and stare at stats and decide it before they arrive and play. takes years for him to sort out who can hack it, and even then brooks sargent steffen etc. are always on speed dial.

      he put so many of our minutes through sargent, zardes, and the dallas boys he wouldn’t know better if we had other strikers worth it. the difference there is unlike keeper his “steffens” didn’t get hurt and force his hand towards better options.

    • I would have liked to see GB bring in a few more players myself. There was nothing in the rules that said GB had to bring only a 26 man roster; he could have brought more: Ream, Brooks, Pefok, Vasquez, etc. These last two friendlies would have been ideal just to see how Brooks (on Greg’s sh*t list), and Ream looked with the team. Since the US wasn’t playing a high line anyway, Brooks and Ream or one of them could have been inserted in the second half; same thing in the Saudi Arabia game. I also would have liked to have seen Pekof as well. By not bringing Brooks, Ream and Pefok, GB is having a lot of second thoughts about a plan B now or in general; his brain must be so scrambled now if it wasn’t before. Now, if everybody is healthy or almost healthy like the personnel that played vs Morocco and Uruguay (minus Long, Pepi and Ferreira (Ferreira should be a 10 if anything not a 9) then the US can get out of this group. I do not want to see Long. He needs to be Long gone. If the US defeats Wales, I’d like to see the US compact with Ream and Robinson working together and Pefok starting or coming off the bench against England. Anyway, I really think the US can get out of this group if they get back their 5 or 6 starters that were missing in these last two friendlies. The US looked decent in the June friendlies so hopefully they can get most of these guys back.

      • That’s been GBs M.O. all along. Throughout qualifying every country called in more players than we did…
        Perfect example is Scally: he could have benefited from a few camps just to get into the “system”

    • I counted up after the GC last year Gregg had played near 100 players at that point. At some point you just have to say enough. Sullivan barely plays in MLS, Gray and Lindsey have not played better than the MLS based NT players in the same league. Vazquez has been below average in MLS until this season, Slonina has had a couple calls just hasn’t played. There just aren’t enough minutes to give every decent starter in MLS NT looks. I think all of those guys if they aren’t in Europe will be in January camp.

      • JR – I agree with you but we are probably in the minority. IMO, there wasn’t really enough minutes for the players he brought in as it was and same for the June window. That is why I am happy with Pefok and Ream not being brought in but I want them both o.ln the final roster. While we were all probably pretty disappointed with the performances, I do think the games were worthwhile for helping select the final squad but mostly from bad performances. However, I think Scally locked in a spot with his performance that I considered to be good and significantly better than both Cannon and Vines (actually Dest also but I still think Dest is better).

      • Striker: I’ve only seen Yedlin once with Inter Miami, my impression was he wasn’t super motivated. When he’s interested IMO he’s better than the two youngsters at least your sure what your going to get. You know it took Scally three matches before he looked secure. I think Shaq who’s been pretty good at Nashville is a better choice if you want Yedlin gone.

  8. Rewatching this first half and in all reality it wasn’t that bad. A few couple of touches had gone better and they may have scored a couple of goals. Two chances by Pulisic where he just a better touch and he has a couple of goals. A lot of those balls over the top were right on the money.

  9. Glove 69

    Let’s not ruin a great movie with a bad team.

    “Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

  10. Still at a loss why these games were not played in the US. Should have given the fans a good send off for this team. Especially considering Mexico is playing there games in the US.

    • air miles. people are asking why players are getting hurt. setting aside some of them seem to pull a quad getting out of bed, the club schedules are speed tempo right now to get some games done before qatar. they will then get a week to train for the games to start. there is no rest time. hence put the games in europe where most of the players are. limit travel time. personally i would also have limited the minutes on the key players. could they have called more people? maybe played the starters one night? did we really need a second reyna game? did pulisic need to be still playing deep into the saudi game? should aaronson and yedlin be out there getting clobbered?

      historically on send off games they might start starters for one of the games but a lot of the emphasis is on fitness work and playing the marginals fighting for the roster. personally i find it flipping absurd to the nth degree to be making decisions among players half of whom aren’t invited, where players might make the team not so much because they got called and played well — better than their competition who is also there — but instead because they got completely omitted then the other guy tripped over the ball for a week.

      • 2014: US final tuneup vs Nigeria: Altidore 80 mins, Dempsey 88 mins, Bradley, Jones, Fabian, Cameron, and Besler 90 mins. Every starter vs Nigeria started vs Ghana
        2010: 9 out of 11 starters in final tuneup started against England in opener. Altidore sat with an ankle injury and Gooch came off the bench as he’d missed the entire season with an Achilles injury and was working into fitness.
        2006: There was some experimenting in matches 1 and 2 but the final match had 8 of 11 starters from the Czech match. The final roster had to be submitted a week before the friendlies so there wasn’t huge rotation or evaluation.
        Once again you have written a false narrative to fit your view.

      • JR,

        “Gooch came off the bench as he’d missed the entire season with an Achilles injury and was working into fitness.”

        In terms of “a false narrative “. Gooch did miss the whole season with for Milan with after hurting his knee, not his Achilles, in a qualifier against Costa Rica in October of 2009. The date is important because it meant he had enough time to “sort of ” recover for the WC but not really. Gooch was “okay” and started in the opener with England . He started and got subbed out late vs. Slovenia.

        Then he didn’t play the remaining two games the rest of the way.

        Not to be nitpicky but I’m thinking if Gooch had destroyed his Achilles in October of 2009 I’m not sure Bob would have risked bringing him along in those days. Medical science has advance greatly in the 12 years since.

        I was a big fan and Gooch was never as good after that. You can make a case that Bob should never have brought him along in the first place.

        And if I’m Gio I’d be worried about a similar narrative playing out. And it’s even worse for Gio because he still has a big season for BVB to go back to right after the WC.

        A lot of people here talk about how they are much tougher than these soft weakling kids. The reality is some of these kids have a ton of pressure them that previous WC players did not have with the way the schedule is set up.

        Gio is expected to give up his body and “get stuck in” for the USMNT at Qatar and then follow that up by leading BVB back to respectability a few weeks later. BVB see him as the heir to Marco Reus and that is not small beer.

        I’m pretty sure Gio is pretty stressed. If I’m BVB I look at these games and think there must be some way to get him medically unfit for Qatar because otherwise I can see him going there and blowing out his hamstrings and ruining the rest of the year for him yet again.

        And if that happens I can see this ruining Gio’s career like it ruined Gooch’s. I guess he’ll always have a job with NYCFC.

      • Vacqui, sorry I knew he’d missed the season and glanced at his stats on transfermkt to confirm. They had it listed as an Achilles injury.

      • “Vacqui, sorry I knew he’d missed the season and glanced at his stats on transfermkt to confirm. They had it listed as an Achilles injury.”

        That’s a serious miss by them. I know about the knee because I remember watching that game, the Charlie Davies game where the crowd held up #9 and all wished Charlie well. I think he was in a coma at the time.

        It was also the game where Jony Bornstein scored a goal with his head off of a corner by Robbie Rogers to tie the game. The draw put Honduras into the 2010 World Cup and made Jony a Honduran hero for life and an honorary citizen I think.

        Gooch got hurt very late in the game and no one knew how bad it was until later.

        Overall it was a pretty memorable game with a bad outcome later on for Gooch.

  11. Wales 2-2-5 in 2022 have not won in last 5 0–1-4 (against much better competition)
    England 2-3-3 in 2022 haven’t won in last 6 (against better competition) hadn’t scored in open play in 5 matches until today.
    Iran 4-1-2 in 2022 1-1-2 against cup bound teams.
    US 5-4-3 in 2022 1-3-3 against cup bound teams.
    The good news is Wales and England are coming in just as weakly (although Englands 3 g against Germany has to give some hope). Iran the only team that had a good window beating Uruguay and drawing the African champs Senegal.
    The only way this team gets out of the group is if Musah gets healthy and just refuses to lose like he did El Salvador swamp game. Latest report last week was he’s expected to play this weekend. Fingers crossed.

    • JR,

      “The good news is Wales and England are coming in just as weakly (although Englands 3 g against Germany has to give some hope). Iran the only team that had a good window beating Uruguay and drawing the African champs Senegal.”

      That’s fine if you’re into what the very short term tells you.

      If you’re not into that then you could say:

      At this point, on paper, England remains vastly superior to everyone else in the group.

      At this point Wales is coached by a very smart manager and is a tournament tested tough team. And they have in Bale a player who has shown that, even today, he can every once in awhile turn back the clock just enough to give Wales what they need.

      At this point, instead of being in chaos, Iran have Queiroz back in charge and seem revitalized by that. Beating Uruguay and drawing with a team like Senegal is an indication of that. The USMNT would have taken those results in a heartbeat friendly or not. That “good” window for Iran is bad news for the USMNT because Iran is the one country that the US is really going to need to take max points from.

      At this point , the USMNT stills looks pretty much like they did before these two games with the exact same unanswered questions. With one exception: Turner is the #1, unless Zack miraculously turns it on in the next few weeks.

      In other words nothing’s changed for the USMNT in terms of their prospects. Except of course, I’m just a bit more pessimistic about Gio’s health and fitness recovering in time for Qatar.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the USMNT win the group and I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose three games.

      • Sorry meant to add “the bad news”. Really only Iran is coming in playing good football. Everything people are saying about the US you can say about England maybe double.
        -benefited for Regional championship at home
        -padded stats on minnows in qualifying
        – bizarre roster selection (no Sancho, McGuire starting)
        -ineffective offense despite big stars (Kane, Sterling, Foden, Mount, Grealish)

      • JR,

        “Everything people are saying about the US you can say about England maybe double.”

        True. The difference is, and it’s HUGE, England start off with a much, much higher level in terms of talent. Much higher

        If the English players wake up, the level they can reach is far higher than what the USMNT players can reach. And frankly, the chances of the English waking up are much higher.

        The English have better players and they have a lot more of them.

        I expect us to beat England and lose to Wales and Iran.

      • “Vacqui but if England wakes up it won’t really matter what we do.”

        I have faith that the English in their heart of hearts think the USMNT is something that you wipe off your boots after walking through a cow pasture.

        The only person on the USMNT side anywhere near as overconfident (seemingly) and arrogant as the English is Gregg.

    • the most relevant data points are england 0-3 (2018) and wales 0-0 (2020), the prior results H2H. the second most relevant data point is our record outside of region, which is abysmal. IMO this was actually a down ebb concacaf. mexico CR panama honduras old. jamaica disorganized. that should have been a cakewalk but canada is the one with their stuff together and our recent results suggest either the system is crippling or the team wants the coach fired. at any rate, my point is making it from our region matters little this cycle as it is weak, and we need to “level up.”

      since roughly 2000 we have been able to compete with the world elite but this has wandered off in some stupid political direction where we can’t even get a single win off a pair of games with fairly average asian sides. i don’t even want to think how that goes if UEFA isn’t doing NL and we’re playing someone from there. probably like switzerland or the 2018 nightmares.

      • That you think a friendly played 4 years ago under an interim manager is more relevant than what both teams have done the last six months tells a lot about your philosophy. Not one player that started that match for England started Tuesday and only handful will be on both rosters. Wayne Rooney played for goodness sake.

  12. The number 1 take away I got from watching this game…Alexi Lalas finally said something intelligent…. “These are nervy times….if you can’t hack it in this sterile environment against OK teams….I don’t want you on the WC Squad”.
    This was another bland, uninspired series of performances by Gregg and his players. At this point if we’re to have any hope of not embarrassing ourselves at the WC drastic changes are needed.
    1) Formation Change. Go to a 4-2-3-1 with the following players….
    Weah can’t get healthy.
    McKennie was one of the most important players during Qualification, but he’s so rusty he’s a liability right now.
    Pray that we don’t have to use anyone else across the 3 games.
    2) Bring Brooks or Ream back ASAP. Hope that CCV’s injury wasn’t anything significant.
    3) Leave Long, Arriola, Morris, Roldan Cannon, Yedlin off the team. They provide NOTHING. If you need players to fill out the 26 man roster pick U-23 players who may move the program forward in the 2026 cycle (Mighten, Gómez, Balogun, Scally, Hoppe, etc…).
    Its clear that so long as Gregg is the coach we’re not going to anywhere. May as well start exposing 2026 players into the program now for the experience.
    4) Start lining up interviews for the Next USMNT Head Coach for Nov. 30th.

    • Not bad. Injuries to Weah and Reyna are the main question with this formation. Johnnyrazor suggested starting Ferreira at the 10. Why not. Maybe that’s the feeling point for GGG.

      • Quaker – IMO, Pulisic, Reyna, and Aaronson can all play the 10 better than Ferriera. Not sure 4th on the depth chart as a 10 should get you a spot on the plane. Where he sits with the 9s is a different story. I fully believe Pefok is already on the WC roster and he wasn’t before this camp he is now. Ferriera, Sargent, and Pepi were in a show who can have the least impact ona game. I think only 2 of the go based on form at the time of final roster selection and Ferriera being a better 10 option won’t impact the decision because I don’t see Reyna as a starter.

      • Tele: Ferreira is coming to Qatar so how do you get the most out of him and those around him. Reyna if he plays will have limited minutes (likely under 30 mins). I don’t mind Pulisic as a 10 but I like Ferreira passing to him more than Pulisic trying to get the ball in the pocket and dribble through everyone. Ferreira has been far more prolific as a 10 in MLS than Aaronson ever was. BA has obviously improved his game but primarily his attacking not his passing.

    • the problem with “if you can’t hack it” is he didn’t call like 30 people where if someone didn’t hack it the other dude fighting for that slot was right there and got the next game to lock it down. that if sargent looked meh that vazquez or pefok was literally right there to be subbed on or see the next game. that is how real competition works. you suck, the alternative gets the next opportunity. i can then in an informed way pick one.

      he also quietly managed to not play a backup keeper one minute despite a running keeper controversy. horvath, who gave up a schoolboy howler last game, was put through no further stress testing.

      last, to me if you want intensity you call intense players. you don’t call dest and LDLT then expect jermaine jones to appear instead.

  13. It appeared to me that none of the players really wanted to take the attack to the other team. Scally did that for about 10 minutes and is being called the bright spot for it. Ferriera did close down the keeper and that almost paid off. Aaronson put in some effort, but seemed to be chasing shadows with no help.

    If I see another US player play backwards again instead of taking a risk to make something happen, I will pull out what little hair I have left.

    • just to slightly riff on what you said, i am amazed that the pretty soccer-adoring snobs haven’t joined the tactical pragmatists in the GB pitchfork brigade. i know his sales pitch is tailored to the snobs. but this is awful attacking soccer. indirect, keepaway style, ball released way too early, no defenders committed with passes, backs doing too much of the important passing and creating. zero danger. i get my affection for atleti-style defense first soccer is an acquired taste but this shouldn’t even be appealing to the snobs who are the constituency for this. this is clearly not “pep soccer.” pep teams are probing and probing and then i mean c’mon eventually they start going after you. we played like a team that needed a scoreless tie to advance in group game 3.

  14. Time to go back to the drawing board. That was really awful stuff. Wtf is going on with this team? Those were probably the two worst games I have seen the USMNT play in recent memory. What was the plan to attack? It looked like direct balls over the top early with McKennie making runs in behind from midfield. Ok…if that was the idea, why not have a real target forward to lump it to, and have Mckennie crash in behind. Why have Pepi/Ferreira drop deep and clog the middle every time. Or if you have those guys, why not play balls to their feet and have them combine, I thought that was the original plan. Centerback is a disaster, only bad finishing and great goalkeeping kept us from being outscored 8-0 over these two games. I’m sorry but Long and McKenzie are not good enough to play for the USMNT. Zimmerman is, if he has someone with speed to pair with. Who can also pass. If I was Berhalter after this, I honestly think I would completely change system and several players. Bring in Brooks and Ream, sit back deep and defend, try to hit on counter with Pulisic, Weah, Aaronson. Double pivot with Adams and McKennie. Play two strikers and one should be Pefok.

  15. Also I think we can all agree that Pulisic is not the player he was for Dortmund or Chelsea under Lampard. He lacks a burst of pace now and rarely takes players on 1v1. That hamstring injury in the fA cup cup final has had a bigger effect on his game then we all haven’t come to realize yet. Tuchel may have been right about him.

    • If any 3 out of Musah, Aaronson, Reyna, and Weah are healthy by November 21, on current form, Puli and Wes should be bench players.

    • I’m not sure about the injury. With the NT I think it’s no one can get him the ball without dropping deep. Dest can get it to him but then they both want the same space. Jedi can get the width and the overlap but he’s not good at making a pass capable of unlocking Pulisic. If he has to drop back anyway why not play him as AM and then that opens space for Wes or Musah.

      • JR,

        “With the NT I think it’s no one can get him the ball without dropping deep.

        What is wrong with Pulisic is that he played for Teuchel and plays for Gregg. Neither man really knows how (or wants to) to get the most out of him .

        Teuchel is the boss who wants to fire you but, for whatever reason, can’t fire you. He wasn’t willing to set Pulisic properly and Gregg hasn’t got the players or maybe the tactical “Noose’ to set him up properly.

        The boss out to get you vs. the clueless boss.

        USMNT fans get all panty twisted bitchy about Christian playing too much “hero” ball, wtf that is . Maybe that’s all he has left to resort to when he plays for Tuchel and Gregg..

        I’d be shocked if Pulisic was not in a deep depression. Like most players, suck away all his confidence and Pulisic has a hard time ” getting stuck in” or playing well. Maybe Harry Potter can help.

        Anyone who wants to get the best out of Pulisic should just watch Frank, the one guy who had the players ( like James, Mount and Giroud ) to help set Pulisic up properly and was willing to do it.

        Maybe everyone should just get off his back send him on vacation in November somewhere far away and then sell him to Leeds in the January window.

        USMNT fans don’t want him in Qatar anyway.

        Years from now some smart person is going to look back at the history of the Berhalter reign and notice how many hyped USMNT soccer saviours played for him and then wound up seeing their careers stained by the association.

        Who is to blame?

        The incredible overrated USMNT soccer saviour hype machine?

        Or the Berhalter “system” ?

        After four years we find out that neither the manager nor the players are up to it.

        New meaning for the old expression, “you get what you pay for”.

        As I have often said, they may or may not get results in Qatar. But whatever the results , they won’t change the fact that the entire process has been like watching sausages made.

        From a soccer standpoint Gregg and his staff and these players have been distasteful and unpleasant to watch as they developed. The players love each other but seem to just tolerate the management and staff simply because there is no choice . The players are like prisoners.

        It wasn’t wonderful watching these bright young men crumble into little piles of whatever.

        But hey, they have one last chance to make it more or less right, at least for them.

      • Vacqui,
        2015 U17 WC group stage exit (CP, Adams, Wright, Vazquez, Trusty, DLT)
        2017 U17 WC Quarters demolished by England (Sargent, Weah, Sands, Dest, Reynolds)
        2019 U17 WC group stage exit 267 straight minutes without a goal, only goal a PK (Busio, Reyna, Scally, Bello, Pepi)
        Although we’ve elevated these guys they weren’t huge youth stars. I used the U17 WC because generally all players are released, when we had our best we were not able to compete with the top age level teams. Yet we’re trying to take those same players and expect them to beat players with more pedigree and 3 to 4 yrs more experience. Berhalter has made mistakes, the players have made some less than ideal moves, but they are also been overhyped by fans and media. However at the end of the day if they can get 4 or 5 of these guys healthy they’ve got as much chance to progress as any other US team. It’s just the current social media driven polarized world doesn’t want to hear measured reasoned assessments. They want insults hyperbole and fake news that fits their beliefs. That may have started in politics but it’s filtered into every aspect of our culture.

      • JR.

        “Yet we’re trying to take those same players and expect them to beat players with more pedigree and 3 to 4 yrs more experience. Berhalter has made mistakes, the players have made some less than ideal moves, but they are also been overhyped by fans and media. However at the end of the day if they can get 4 or 5 of these guys healthy they’ve got as much chance to progress as any other US team. It’s just the current social media driven polarized world doesn’t want to hear measured reasoned assessments. They want insults hyperbole and fake news that fits their beliefs. That may have started in politics but it’s filtered into every aspect of our culture.”

        I disagree.

        Don’t blame this on the current social and political climate.

        USMNT fans have always been easily overly impressed by 5 minutes here and there. I’m old enough to remember when Jonathan Amon was going to solve our attacking problems. USMNR fans have always either overrated or underrated our boys. Always.

        Maybe that’s because the USMNT mostly play in a JV CONCACAF. The chronic superiority to these countries that don’t have two nickels to rub together gets everyone all thinking we’re hot shit.

        Every 4 years we go to the World Cup (usually).

        Tournaments, for a myriad number of reasons too long to go into , can equalize teams and promote upsets. That’s how you get a team like Greece winning the 2004 Euros. And since 1998 the USMNT has always been in that second tier ( not serious contenders but always good enough to theoretically be capable of pulling off a good run or an upset).

        And that’s what we have seen from this motley 2022 crew, although they are probably at the lower end of that.

        With a little luck:

        In 2002 we could realistically have at least made the semis.

        In 2006, it was ugly and brutal, but we could have gotten out of the group.

        In 2010, we should have beaten Ghana in that knockout game. That’s the game that made Sunil decide to axe Bob.

        In 2014, say what you want, but we were that close to knocking off Belgium.

        What those 4 teams had in common was the right combination of manager and players, plus a bit of luck, some good, some bad.

        People like to separate the players from the manager in terms of the credit for a team’s performance but that’s just bullshit.

        The product on the field is an unbreakable combination of the mix of players and manager.

        The 2022 team is can still either get out of the group or lose all three games.

        That’s because that was also true for the previous 4 USMNT World Cup teams I referenced.

        Many of you forget or never knew that for much of his USMNT tenure, Bob Bradley was regarded as a nepotistic village idiot by the fans and the media. I have scathing articles where you could paste in JK’s name in for Bob’s name and not notice the difference in terms of the venom directed towards the manager.

        And of course, everyone was sure that without Landon the USMNT were doomed to humiliation in 2014 in Brazil.

        Gregg may be the worst manager since 2002. And this player pool has maybe the most “talent” and potential but also has maybe the highest level of underachievement since 2002.

        But those judgements will have to wait until Qatar is over. After all these guys could still win the World Cup.

        Any of you who don’t think a young, in form, healthy Clint, Landon, Claudio, Boca, DMB, Jermaine, Dolo, Pope, Gooch, JOB, Cameron or McBride is as good or better in their roles as anyone Gregg can dig up is just not well informed.

        Then again, I’m not sure Gregg would choose any of them over Long, Ferreira, Ariolla, Roldan or Yueill in their roles.

        If I were Gregg I would rue the day they ever scheduled these last two games because they meant almost nothing. except that they got Gio hurt. Otherwise, they were a waste of time and money and have made his life harder.

        At the end of the day the 2022 team remains just as capable as any of those previous USMNT’s of amazing all of us and getting out of the group.

        But they also are perfectly capable of humiliating themselves and this country.

        I expect Gregg to get extended so I’m getting ready for 4 more years of this shit.

  16. I call these two games as rope a dopes. Our group is salivating and then bam we light up the group with fantastic attacking play.

    One can wish that these games were just rope a dope games.

    • Hah I’m hoping that we spent the entire window working on these great attacking patterns but didn’t want to show any of it so we just rolled the ball out during the friendlies so no one will know what to expect. Like Arena rolling out the 3-5-2 against Mexico in 2002. But… sigh … that’s not what happened.

  17. Berhalter’s teams at Columbus were generally pretty good offensively at least until his final season. More importantly his strikers were very good and had their best or 2nd best seasons under Berhalter.
    2014 3rd Finley and Higuain T11 literally no decent strikers on the roster that year.
    2015 2nd K.Kamara T1
    2016 7th O.Kamara T5
    2017 5th O.Kamara T5
    2018 10th G. Zardes T4
    Why have the strikers been so poor? Why has Berhalter largely scrapped the 4-2-3-1 that marked most of his tenure with the Crew? Why do wide players seemingly never pull it back and look for runners at the top of the box?

  18. In 2022 vs World Cup qualifiers we’re 1-3-3, 3 goals scored vs 6 goals allowed.. and didn’t score a goal in 6 of those 7 games.
    Something ain’t right says Captain Obvious

  19. in terms of the players, striker is a black hole. the wing play was nothing to write home about, such that high praise would be arriola tracking back the two times to save goals. adams played well but the midfield was like not even there. scally played more as was originally expected. didn’t look a nervous wreck, though he like the rest seemed content to just whack balls in and watch the clock spin. rest of the defense “effective” though the saudis as with everyone else could beat our wingbacks for speed. turner played well.

    i think reyna should be playing central and running at people instead of playing wide and tentative. i thought that injury was bad news but it may just, as before, force GB to play some wide speed in weah, if healthy. i think we badly need wide speed to get out of this two-layer nibble around the edges crap. you need someone who can serve as an outlet and get past the first layer of “passing around the back” and get us downfield. you also need someone who can simply run by defenders and get into the box to create, which playing him through implicitly takes defenders on — god forbid — then gets us out of the flag cross obsession.

    personally to me striker is what happens when you pick winners before they play. he often seems to know how he wants the lineup to turn out, before they play a minute. he has even done a little of that at keeper but then steffen failed to keep up his end and that has reopened the debate, and in that case turner seized the sucker.

    to me the US is better when players are rewarded for performance. not only is the system bad but the coach has players in mind whose resumes and stats and profiles he likes, and it’s glacial slow to adjust to whether they actually work or produce enough. to me this should start as a competition without thumbs on the scale and only end with winnowing down to the ones who perform. GB has favorites, has FF’d to the point they play all the time, and because he’s fairly wrong about it, just an odd duck, it’s a mess. too late to fix as he’s fairly committed.

    personally i’d fire the dude based on the theory that liberation and even a hint of common sense would make this better than whatever GB has planned. i know his fanboys will be like “they have no time to practice,” but as some underline, i think a very very very mediocre coach who picked more conventionally then just rolled out the ball and liberated them would turn out better than this. so i say even if they only have a week that you’d likely see the team perk up just to be free of this. it wouldn’t be very organized and probably have limited shelf life but i think GB tops out at about 2-4 points from 3 games. this looked awful. there is no reason for this to look this bad. no excuses.

    • He should play Weah wide for some speed. He should play Reyna centrally. Your answer is play guys who are unavailable. Hey should he play Richards at CB too.

      • right, i am sure those are the only available players with the appropriate skill sets. we only have one fast wide player. sure.

    • ” think a very very very mediocre coach who picked more conventionally then just rolled out the ball and liberated them would turn out better than this.”

      So what is Dave Sarachan doing?

      • can you imagine what would happen if a berhalter US team had to play that murderer’s row schedule with france england brazil colombia ireland etc.? fwiw1 the past 2 cycles are a walking talking refutation of the snob obsession/fallacy where “if we schedule good teams, we will become one.” we only seem to get exposed, and i’ve always felt playing above your head is best saved for when you have your stuff together. fwiw2 to learn from such intense scheduling you have to be willing to make changes as players get abused. we stress tested the team and these are the weak links that showed up. some players like jedi disappeared after getting destroyed in that stretch of schedule. most are back. we don’t learn a thing. this is why this is not improving back up to that level. the coach thinks he knows who to play regardless how the games go.

      • IV your idea might work in a U17 club. Where you’ve got tournaments to schedule and Jimmy isn’t going to play this week because he was poor the last two weeks. When your saying Robinson was bad at age 21 after one professional season while playing against world class attackers like Neymar, James, Firmino, and Mbappe four years ago it’s meaningless. Your judging him on 3 or 4 matches years ago. Today he plays week in and week out against top players in the world and holds his own. Is a lockdown defender certainly not and his combination play is ok at best but he’s what we have. Players change in 4 years, starting that night against Brazil Douglas Costa for Brazil and Bobby Wood for the US both had terrible years in MLS this year.
        We could have played Guam and Thailand this window would the team be better for it?

      • Mr Voice.

        “the past 2 cycles are a walking talking refutation of the snob obsession/fallacy where “if we schedule good teams, we will become one.” we only seem to get exposed, and i’ve always felt playing above your head is best saved for when you have your stuff together. ”

        Your comment seems to suggest that playing a regular diet of crap teams is a better idea, something the USMNT has been doing for a very long time anyway.

        Gregg’s team have played mostly crap for the duration of his cycle. There has been improvement but nothing to write home to Don Garber about.

        What you fail to notice is that the USMNT schedules good teams but those are friendlies, where you will not get the full Monty from them.

        It’s like paying for a whole night with a high priced escort and leaving after 5 minutes.
        You’re short changing yourself.

    • “i thought that injury was bad news but it may just, as before, force GB to play some wide speed in weah, if healthy.”

      Force GB to play Weah? What made you think he wouldn’t play Weah if Timo was available?

      ” i think we badly need wide speed to get out of this two-layer nibble around the edges crap.”

      You need more than speed. Ariolla is pretty fast. But he can’t play soccer. Or at least World Cup level soccer. Zardes got crucified for his first touch. Why is everyone silent about Ariolla’s first touch?
      He has a problematic and complicated relationship with the ball.

      You speed combined with skill, Mr. Voice.

    • 4-2-3-1, with best XI healthy:


      -Richards in, though it will be Long, even if GGG does adapt the formation. I would be fine with Ream at LCB, especially given that we are suddenly playing out of the back again.
      –Mckennie or Aaronson starting if Gio just isn’t healthy enough to start. I’d pick Aaronson based on current form, sub Mckennie on if we need a goal.

    • Berhalter preferred a 4-2-3-1 at Columbus and his strikers were usually near the top of the league in goals. Higuain drew attention from defenders allowing Zardes and the Kamaras room to crash. If the defense laid off cut it back to Higuain or blast it on goal. Finley and Meram were their best then too. Afful got forward and was able to drive into box and layoff or shoot. They were fun to watch. The possibility is still there but the wrenches in that system are Pulisic and Weston.
      I’d really prefer Weah over Wes at RW but since we’ve heard nothing as to the injury or timetable I’ve given up on him being available.

      • I love Wes, but he hasn’t played well since the broken foot, also picked up the shoulder injury. I also don’t think Pulisic does well at the 10 spot, plays too much hero ball to be relied on as a distributor. I also think Reyna (if healthy) and Aaronson bring better qualities to the middle than CP. But I’m quibbling, and Reyna may not be healthy enough to start. Here’s hoping GGG realizes the 4-2-3-1 is the answer.

      • I know they said it was precautionary but … given how last year went I don’t think he’s going to be playing in November and if he is it’s for less than 30 minutes a match. Pulisic was more effective as 10 under Arena and Klinsmann, if he’s always dropping in he might as well draw people out of the center instead of wide. Maybe if we try to clear out the middle we might be able to attack thru it instead of always going up the wings. Honestly I’d be good with Ferreira as the 10, CP RW and Wes off the bench. CP on the right has to drive to the endline then he’s going 1-on-1 instead of driving to the middle usually 1-on-3. BA is pretty hero ball too, honestly we need more speed wide, really need Weah.

  20. As much as I agree with some posters that I haven’t seen anything Long start/go to WC, I don’t get the Zimmerman hate. Guy has been our best central defender in basically every game from recent memory, putting in serious shifts each time.
    On the other hand Mckenzie just played his way off the plane I think. I hope CCV gets healthy I think he’s work well with Zimmerman and that should be who starts vs Wales. Would also take Ream in the group.

  21. It boggles my mind that Greggiola thinks that we need to go into our matches against world class players like: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Phil Foden, etc. with Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long as our starting backstops.

  22. What a commonplace, bromidic, dull, uninspired, banal performance.

    If we take any points out of our 3 group games it will be inspire of GGG, not because of him. He is awful.

  23. in 2013 hammarby fired their coach, 2014 they were promoted in first place from the second division and are now a top 5 swedish first division team. in 2019 columbus’ coach left to coach the US, 2020 they were league champions. just hinting at something.

    • so like the system seems to be pass it around the back, hope for a breakthrough, and if we do get the ball to the other end, hold up again, slow it to a crawl, and pass around the perimeter before hitting a cross. zero directness. i mean, even when we do break out, we don’t “pop” and go to net, the wing puts their foot on the ball and we pass it back out and start over. i mean one of my early cycle pulisic critiques has been that unlike aaronson, when the ball comes to him, rather than immediately taking someone on, he pauses a second to “iso” like james harden, allowing the defense to recover a few beats. well, we aren’t even taking anyone on anymore. nobody. so that’s passe.

      occasionally early on we would break out wide — hinting at latent ability to attack with speed or counter — but even then we seemed to be content to hit lazy aimless balls at the 6.

      i do not understand the fetish for playing from the back. we cannot do it effectively. it also encourages the first level of this “play it around the margins” footsie nonsense. like we are scared to take risks. the second level then follows if we do get the ball downfield, when we pass around the edges of the 35 yard danger area before taking the ball to the flag for a hopeful flag cross.

      amusing to see some wanting to blame the players to protect the coach. they have played like this over and over. this is obviously instructed. i don’t believe juve and union berlin and leeds and chelsea and on and on were attracted to a bunch of lily livered tentative sideways passers.

      • I agree an over emphasis on “playing out of the back” is clearly hampering the US attack. There is way too much aimless passing across the back apparently in the vain hope the opponents will be too lazy or too stupid to shift with the slow motion of the ball. There is too little urgency to move the ball upfield so we lose it in the back, something that Japan and the Saudis failed to punished. Better to lose the ball in the attacking end.

    • Being a Crew fan I can firmly tell you the difference between 2018 and 2020 wasn’t Berhalter vs Porter. It was Haslem over Precourt. And the additions of Nagbe and Zelarayan over old F.Higuain and Trapp.

  24. Finally!!!! What a performance!!!! Finally, we see what we know our team is capable of achieving! High-tempo, possessional style of play, getting ball progressing, grit and hustle evident, ability to dribble and create much needed space, possession through the midfield, creating passing lanes and making the Saudis national team work. Finally!!! I knew GB would come through in the cut!!!! I think this team might just reach the semi and have a shot at the World Cup Final!!!!

    Don’t know what are in these brownies I ate but they sure do make you see the positives… matter how bad the situation


  25. Here is what I think came out of window- Scally in, Pefok in even if form dips, Ream in, CCV in, Arriola in (what I think – not advocating). McKenzie out, EPB out, Morris’s out. Pepi, Ferriera, and Sargent depends on form at Nov 9th with only 2 of 3 making team.

      • JR – I think it was a small knock, hoping any way. I think he already was on the roster barring injury but the overall poor centerback performances probably helped cement that. What must EPB have looked like in training to not get a minute?? Although US attack so anemic maybe all the centerbacks looked good in training …

      • Got I thought maybe you hadn’t relieved that was why he was left off since you listed him with Ream and Pefok.

  26. What’s clear is that we greatly overvalued our talent. Pulisic hasn’t played well at Chelsea in 2 years, McKennie has been poor since he got injured, Adams got benched by RBL sold to EPL but to a relegation zone team, Pepi loaned out, Sargent relegated TWICE, Luca can’t get minutes, Dest sold off to AC Milan to be a backup. We like to make excuses and blame their club manager or the NT manager but it seems more and more clear they aren’t as good as we thought. Reyna and Weah can’t stay healthy.
    Man of the match was Pefok. Perhaps Ream, I’d say Brooks but if he can’t get on the field at Benfica then he can prove he’s fit and in form with 1 minute since May.
    Weah, Musah, and Robinson were our most consistently dangerous players in qualifying and their absence was sorely missed.
    There just might be a reason we are the youngest roster at the WC and it probably isn’t that we have better young players than everyone else.

    • you’re clueless. they have been instructed to play in a style more toothless than a truck stop hooker. we have twice the team as the saudis but they have declawed this pet then still made it an outside cat.

      • But their toothless for their clubs too. Even Aaronson doesn’t put up big numbers. BA is the only one that could be considered a star on his team.

      • Tell me does Pulisic look any different for Chelsea? Does McKennie look any different for Juve? Does Adams look any different for Leeds? Is Berhalter telling Aaronson to get easily pushed off the ball? Plenty of blame to go around because we didn’t play an overally highline against Japan nor did we press hard with our 9 and we hit plenty of long diagonals today so why weren’t Ream or Brooks there and if we are just going to hit crosses into the box and not try to combine why not Pefok. We were told they don’t fit the system but then we played a system they’d fit into.

      • If you want to argue Pefok and Ream should be here, that’s a reasonable point or even Wright can’t argue with it. But this BS that we’ve got all this talent. Where? Do we have a ton of potential? Sure do! Is anyone playing to their potential at their club? Aaronson based on his 2g 1a (I’m even counting the own goal EPL), his 4g last year in Austria? Pulisic, Dest, McKennie playing some of their worst football of their careers with their clubs. Weah, Richards, Miles, Jedi, CCV, Musah all hurt. Hoppe not playing, Giaocchini not playing for Orlando, Dike hurt, Busio not playing, Sonora not playing (probably hurt), Ledezma not playing, de la Fuente demoted to Greece.

  27. Both teams played like this was a meaningless friendly.

    So many things I don’t understand about this team, and this window in particular.

    Dest was almost sort of ok. Politic got fouled a few times. Scally tried to breathe some life into the game, looked decent for the first 10 minutes he came on. Turner looks ok. We got a few shots on target. So there’s all that.

    I just booked a trip to Oahu the first week of the World Cup. At least the beach and the bar will be nearby.

    • Two teams missing many important parts (SA according to broadcast team) playing in front of an empty stadium probably shouldn’t have expected much more.

      • I expect that a team training for the World Cup would get up for at least 1 of 2 games. Guess that was too much.

  28. To call this performance uninspired would be an overstatement. I can’t think of a single player who distinguished himself. The best I saw was Scally improved the team after he came on. Man of the Match? Nobody. I have seen better quality in most MLS games. And the Saudis were missing 4 starters and even played some 2nd division Saudi players. The issue is not if we will get out of our group, but will we score a goal or gain a point in the group. We might be best off if we bunker down and play for 0-0 draws. Berhalter has taken a group of players many who have managed to play well in top European teams and created a team that is less than the sum of its parts.

    • I see three more to our windows of wasted time coming up in the next two months.

      About the only thing we have is Hope. We can hope because what I’ve seen says the US most likely won’t make it out of its group but I Hope…..


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