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Who will, and who should start for the USMNT vs. Iran


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  1. Hmmmmm……my math equation looks like:
    England 6 > Iran 2
    USMNT 1 = Wales 1
    England 0 = USMNT 0
    Iran 2 > Wales 0
    therefore USMNT 3 > Iran 1 ????
    …. I am worried as hell as this world Cup has been crazy lol. More worried than the England game as Iran has the “underdog momentum in this match up. WE NEED TO STAY FOCUS, avoid silly mistakes in the back, control the middle of the field and maximize every chance in front of goal. Hell, at this point WE JUST NEED TO WIN!!! Someone needs to step up and establish themselves as our lead goal scorer.
    USA!! USA!! USA!!!

  2. It’s time for the Pulisic the man to make his mark. Time for Pulisic to lead this attack and make the world to sit up and say: yes that is why Pulisic is so highly rated.

  3. I doubt It’s will sat back most of the time. Why would they? All of their success came when playing more openly. The only time they sat back was the time England hung 6 on them.

    • Reyna won’t start. Maybe super sub if we can establish control of the midfield through 60. I think folks are overrating his ability to boss a midfield and underestimating Iran’s ability to play forward. Play like we did against england, similar formation and tactics with maybe a little more emphasis on attack later in each half.

      • Not exactly. Iran will give us the ball, but that doesn’t .want low block bunkering. And as we know, possession stats don’t tell the whole story. England had more possession and that was our game to lose. We need to be prepared to quickly kill Irans attacks, and that means no Reyna to start

      • 2tone, you are correct; they did sit back. They didn’t bunker but they did sit back and hit on the counter. There is no such thing as attacking football when you only have about 27% ball possession for most of the game. The only reason Iran had 38% ball possession is because after the Hennessey red card, Iran had about 13 minutes to attack and go for the win. Seconds before the Hennessey red card, Wales should have scored and that would have changed everything. If Hennessey doesn’t get the red card, the game ends in a tie regardless if Iran had the better chances.

  4. I would like to see Reyna start too, but not sure where you put him. I wouldn’t mess with the Pulisic/Weah combo, they have been by far our most dangerous attackers. I might play Reyna as a false 9 to set those two up but Berhalter has been on record saying he’s not going to do that. Maybe he plans to use Ferreira for that role. Iran is a much different team than the ones we’ve played so I do think we see some tactical changes.

    • I agree with you about the tactical changes. On another note, I really hope Ferreira doesn’t start. He hasn’t played a completive match for a month now and did poorly in the playoffs. He has been poor finishing chamces for the US. He may score only if GB has him hypnotized to believe he is playing against Grenada.

      • I might actually start Ferreira just because he combines well with other players in tight areas, his touch and technicality is very good, and his movement is as good as it gets.

        No, he can’t hold up the ball, and yes, his finishing can occasionally be suspect, but if we’re going to get through Iran’s low block it’s going to be by playing like Mexico or Spain does, 1-2’s in shoebox areas, and crafty movement. Ferreira offers us that, in a way the other forwards do not.

        Again, against a low block, I agree with those who think Reyna’s the guy to cut that up, whereas Weah’s speed may not be of much use with so many defenders playing so far back. I’d also probably start Aaronson in place of McKennie because like Pulisic/Ferreira/Reyna he’s a guy with tight control and a miniscule turning radius who can operate in tight areas, and he wins a lot of balls in the final third.

        I think we’ve got enough technical players we can dissect that low block ,we just need to go technical instead of big or athletic this game. If we get a goal or two up and Iran has to chase…at that point that’s when you bring on McKennie and especially Weah, when the game opens up, and we dust them in transition.

  5. It is hard to argue with this, of course, I do think nearly everyone would like to see more of Reyna.
    It would take real courage and conviction by GB to make any big changes like a 3-4-3 or major lineup changes unless desperation sets in
    The US should not be any more or less tired than Iran, so I don’t think that plays into it at all.

    • I would like for Gio to start. Most likely Iran is going to play a low block, and the best player to unlock it is Gio in my opinion.

      • What Gio does for Dortmund is dissect low blocks. The guy just knows how to create in tight spaces and go after players and fee up other players for scoring opportunities. I can see him freeing up Puli or Puli freeing up Gio. If you have to put in a false 9, you do it. You need your most talented players on the field to score in this game. Because of what Iran will probably present, Gio needs to start if healthy, and he is healthy. His passes, crosses and creativity are essential; plus, he is fresh.

        GB needs to manage this third game properly. Queiroz is one of the best defensive coaches around. He has so much more experience than GB, and he will make changes if necessary and GB has to counter, especially if we are up by a goal late. The experience of Queiroz could make the difference, but I hope not. Good news is that Azmoun has aggravated his calf again and may be out. If not, he will have to grind it out. In one Iranian podcast, the host was concerned about the Iranians’ fitness since they played over 100 minutes in their last game and will probabaly put out the same line-up. Let’s see if this is a factor. Maybe maybe not, but I hope so.

    • Iran played their last match in the heart of the day and against England in late afternoon. US has also played the late match each day. Not sure either of those make a huge difference but it might.


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