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USMNT Golden Generation shows its potential, but learns harsh lesson in World Cup debut


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  1. I think there should be discussion of the coach, too. I don’t think he is ready for the World Cup level. We still are rather lost when it comes to a team parking the bus. Then, when Wales changed in the 2nd half we weren’t ready for that and when we did get the ball, we played as if we were controlling the ball like in the first half instead of counterattacking quickly. I still haven’t heard any real explanation for why Reyna didn’t get on the pitch, much less a good explanation. Berhalter mumbles something about saving him for England, which is absolute nonsense. We needed to roll the dice on getting the win. If we had beaten Wales, we could have moved on without a result against England. Now, we may have to get a result vs. England to ensure we move on. Finally, I think Zimmerman has been given a pass that is undeserved. His foul against Bale was one of the stupidest fouls I have ever seen a CB make. Bale had his back to the goal and Zimmerman tried to go between Bales’ legs and poke the ball. Given the situation, I don’t think he could have possibly done that without fouling. Chances for success were close to 0. The draw was due to Zimmerman, and he fulfilled the fears of many of us that an MLS CB isn’t up to World Cup play.

    • dude, what foreign CB is supposedly ready? ream? he had a decent game but was mainly just mopping up, not 1on1 stuff. do you watch the EPL games? brooks? CCV didn’t look great in his caps. i like EPB but he disappeared off our radar. if miles and richards were healthy that’s one domestic and one abroad. our captain and solid keeper are recent former MLS. can we quit with the overdrawn nonsense.

    • Gary,

      Forgive me but have been watching this USMNT for the last year or two?

      Why does any of this surprise you? The bad things you talked about? There have been plenty of indications that this is a disorganized, poorly coached, poorly managed and above all else, inconsistent, group. Gregg has done some good things but there’s more stuff on the bad side of that ledger. Mostly he’s not what they call a good game day manager. Which is fatal when you have such a young inexperienced team crying out for leadership and getting none from anywhere.

      That first half was incandescent and give us all hope for the future. But, and I know American fans find this very hard to swallow, soccer is a 90 minutes or more game and you have to play to the whistle.

      Wales, a tournament tough team and a rather ugly one, know that and showed that in this game.

      The USMNT showed their naivete.

      Landon said pretty much the same thing after the loss to Ghana in 2010, and 12 years later it’s still true. And LD’s side were a pretty veteran crew, especially when compared to the 2022 USMNT.

      But not all is lost. Saudi Arabia just beat Argentina so I expect the USMNT to beat England (why not?) and then, in a burst of Couva like overconfidence and with a roster depleted by injury and card issues, lose to Iran.

      Hopefully Gregg learns from this and uses it as he builds the 2026 team.

      But I’m not holding my breath.

    • re “saving him for england,” as in, the potential throwaway game of the 3? like there is an argument if our subs could keep it close that we save the starters for iran and try to run the score up. i get england is the tough game but saving players for the tough game and taking an unneeded tie in the first, more winnable one is a good way to pave your way home on 2 points.

  2. another thing on CP, a coach I respect as much as one can and I were discussing CP’s game yesterday, and sometimes it seems like he just puts too much pressure on himself to be THE MAN in the USMNT jersey instead of just being focused on being the BEST HE CAN BE of the 11 men

    I think that’s on target, and not so new in thought perhaps, but accurate imo.

    and for CP if possible, liberating really to just let that all go (for Belgium too if they could)…the hype, the static, the noise chatter about being this or representing this or having to do that, the heads filling airwaves and bandwidth with the hypiest eye catching whatever possible, click click click whether praise or damnation they don’t care…and just go kick ass.

    vs. England no less

    • Yeah, he tries to do too much. Outside of the assist I thought he had a poor game.
      The media should stop calling him Captain America.

    • i don’t think it helps him that a lot of our offense just feels improvised. like they have practiced how we plan to win the ball but the offense is just keepaway then someone tries to create and we crash the box.

      i do feel like he puts too much pressure on himself and is stuck back in the pre 2018 mentality where he has little help and is going to do it all himself. his job in this context is feed weston, weah, whoever the striker is.

  3. The England Iran game is the outlier right now. No doubt doubt England has talented attackers, but Iran was awful. Every other game has seen roughly 2 goals scored.

    • Pulisic’s bad corners aside, I’ve always wondered why we don’t try the near post flick on. Mexico has done that well for a while… until recently I suppose.

      • “I’ve always wondered why we don’t try the near post flick on. ”

        It requires a consistent taker of corner kicks. They don’t have one or at least haven’t stuck with one.

        It also requires someone who is consistently good at attacking the ball in the air. That would be Weston and, like you I don’t know why they don’t take more advantage of his aerial superiority.

        “Mexico has done that well for a while… until recently I suppose.”

        Raul Jimenez hasn’t been the same since he fractured his skull. And his replacements aren’t as good as he was.

        A Pefok or a Pepi could have helped Weston out on set pieces but Gregg chose to move in another direction.

  4. Wales played 5 3 2, set up specifically to turn over any driblling in the middle channel, set up to dare CP, Yunus, Gio (who obviously didn’t play) among others, to try and do their dribbling thing, looking to turn them over in the middle channel and counter. Fortunately, the US players didn’t go for that. US very smartly out maneuvered all of that in the first half, didn’t take the bait, and remained patient until Wales came out, turned it over in the middle 3rd, and we scored. Total chess match won by GB 1st half.

    2nd half, Wales brought in Moore to matchup speed and strength with Ream, started playing balls in the gaps for Ream and Moore to chase. Great chance for us to set up our own counter opportunities while Wales stretched forward, which we did with the ball at the feet of the players we want it at…and the play from those players in those positions was not good enough. it happens, and the tactical win 2nd half to Wales because of it.

    but the next time CP stays on the floor and whines after some contact, I vomit. So I expect to vomit a half dozen times next game. he’s a good player, yes, but the way he acts in the uni is spoiled like he thinks he’s something more than he is, my opinion. go ahead and tell me how messed up I am for thinking this, fine. But just get up and get back in the flippin play! I root for him but he’s his own worst enemy out there imo. His set piece taking was awful.

    Say what you want about GB but geez, if our ‘golden generation’ stars perform like this when in good position to make the plays…….

    that tag is wrong anyway, ‘golden generation’: the US will continue to produce talent, better and better, year after year now with the country only beginning to get it together with regards to infrastructure, academies, etc.

    • Totally agree with your take. This isn’t a “golden generation” at all, it’s the product of years – decades, really – of hard work by youth coaches (like, cough, me)…we saw what we were building 10+ years ago; we knew the talent was starting to come through. When pro Academies started picking up the tab and we started to see those first youth groups from FC Dallas touring the country in tournaments and those pro Academies began starting to shove aside that godawful pay-for-play system nobody except the predatory clubs that ran those schemes liked, it was obvious the US had turned a corner. I remember watching an Atlanta United game down at Bobby Dodd that first year before the Benz was finished, and Atlanta introduced their first group of Academy players…my teams had literally seen and played against three-quarters of them at some point, and they were just recruiting the top players up and down I-85 from Charlotte to Alabama. It was weird, it was like: hey, I know who all those guys are.

      There’s still too much pay-for-play. But as the pro Academies pop up like mushrooms, there’s going to be less and less of that.

      And we’re barely scratching the surface. I remember around 2018 you’d see maybe a couple dozen names on the “Americans Abroad” tracker, now there’s probably closer to a hundred. Another ten years there’s going to be so many names up on that board Ives is going to need a pack of minions to track them all.

      You do enough of that, you start seeing the truly special players.

      • Also, some top European teams have set up operations here to track and recruit our top youth players. I think that says a whole lot.

    • Wales got stretched in the second half when they pushed forward and we had opportunities. However, too often we were way too slow on the counterattack and I think the decision making was poor on the counter attacks. When you have something like a 3 on 3 in the final third and end up passing backwards, you’re not playing correctly. I kept hoping for someone in those circumstances to try and make a through pass for one of our players to un onto, but it never came.

  5. i remember this golden generation talk starting up in 18-19 when ironically GB had either busted many of them down to U23 (richards, sargent, weah, miles) or not called them yet (reyna). as it was always a potential team and not an actual one this coach hasn’t sorted out how to use the abundant tools at his disposal in an optimal and winning fashion. and then as of 18-19 my response to this golden generation talk was that we had no defense yet. i see that as remaining the massive question mark on does this go anywhere. i think the golden generation talk was berhalter-for-brains 433 folks looking at the offense. i don’t think you compete at the elite level without a defense, as last night again showed. soccer is a 2 team game and you have to stop the other team to get gold. so to me there is golden potential one side but not under this coach, and then the defense is who knows. i think it would be better with richards and miles but even then this coach wants to run out inconsistent attack-first wingbacks. when we sit down and figure out 3-4 guys who can mark maybe this has a shot.

    personally i think we need to run not walk away from the 433 and the way we fart around with the ball and don’t go to goal.

    • I don’t always agree with IV’s pronouncements, but he got this bit right. we need to run away from “the way we fart around with the ball and don’t go to goal.”

      That is on the players not GB. He has talked about the need to have courage to go forward in most of his pressers, the players did not do it, the first half which everyone seems to have liked was filled with too many decisions to pass back to the fullback when the ball was in the attacking third. It is hard to score goals if your attackers keep sending the ball backwards. The Possession the US enjoyed was mostly in the defensive half as Wales refused to chase pointlessly.

    • some of the subs could have taken deadballs but honestly i look at GB’s lineup and start scratching my chin who else he even has to take a set piece. for all the talk of skill and possession he has a bunch of athletes out there at one time, musah, weston, weah. this is one reason i have pushed either a formation/tactics change — like build the team to the jocks — or that if they want to play 433 it needs to be more technical. whose else is taking the kicks? dest? robinson? sargent? it was a team made to run around, not to be precise. pulisic was as precise as that was going to get. which is why i say this can’t be the endgame. it either needs to be built better to suit a run and gun side or we need to find more skill, play reyna central, etc.

      i was gonna say “we have a special teams coach” who does nothing but deadballs but pulisic has a history of being bad at kicks — there was a whole discussion on who would take them in WCQ because we got nothing out of them — and after that you have to supply the team with other technical options. personally i think we don’t need two 8s, could stand a more technical 10, and that then takes some of the weight off christian, gives you a different setup and deadball option. i guarantee you reyna, green, ledezma, mendez could hit you a better kick than that.


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