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USMNT blanks Oman to close September window


The U.S. men’s national team made it back-to-back victories on Tuesday night to close out its September schedule on a positive note in Gregg Berhalter’s return.

Folarin Balogun, Brenden Aaronson, and Ricardo Pepi all found the back of the net while an own goal from Oman’s Khalid Al-Braiki capped off a 4-0 home victory at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kristoffer Lund earned his first USMNT start at left back while Ben Cremaschi and Kevin Paredes made their senior debuts.

Balogun needed only 14 minutes to break the deadlock, slamming home a rebound in the center of the box. Weston McKennie picked up possession on the left wing before sending a cross towards the back post for Tim Weah.

Weah’s layoff pass allowed Sergino Dest to rifle a powerful shot at Oman goalkeeper Ibrahim Al-Mukhaini. Al-Mukhaini punched away Dest’s right-footed effort, but Balogun was on the doorstep to net his second international goal.

Tim Weah thought he had given the USMNT a 2-0 lead in the 16th minute but the winger directed Christian Pulisic’s cross into the back of the net via his right arm.

Aaronson extended the USMNT’s lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute after sneaking a right-footed free kick past the Oman wall and into the back of the net. The halftime substitute’s shot snuck through the Oman wall and left Al-Mukhaini flatfooted in between the posts.

Pepi made it 3-0 to the USMNT in the 79th minute after receiving a cut back pass from DeJuan Jones before drilling a low shot off the left post and in. It was Pepi’s second goal of the September window.

Paredes made an instant impact off the bench in the 79th minute, sending a cross into the box from the right wing. Khalid Al-Braiki was unable to clear Paredes’ cross, deflecting it backwards and into an empty net for a 4-0 USMNT lead.

Ethan Horvath finished with a one-save clean sheet in his first international appearance since June 2022.

The U.S. men’s national team will return to action in October with home friendlies against Germany and Ghana.


  1. According to Bob Morocco we had Argentina and Brazil for this window lined up but Conmebol moved up its schedule to begin qualifying this window. By the time it fell through many opponents were no longer available. I believe Doug McIntyre was the original reporter to say this.

    • that would then explain why we had october games announced before september ones. which was odd. i still wonder why it was oman and not oz, who had no second game after playing here in dallas against mexico. uzbekistan was an interesting, well-coached opponent. oman was a mess (the uzbeks beat them 3-0 recently). we have plenty of regional messes.
      i generally think it’s more important how we use the games than who we schedule. my beef is we ran personnel and tactics like that was still brazil and argentina. i think there was only so much of these games, eg, jones to pepi to goal, that would actually work in that kind of game. (i mean, ball to dempsey’s feet, turn and finish, propped up that 2018 cycle team for years.). i don’t think we get balogun’s ricochet goal from a good team. i think better opponent neither the wall fails nor the keeper lets aaronson’s free kick go in. soft. sometimes paredes’ cross gets own-goaled but you can’t plan on it. soft. i just think only so much of that translates and i don’t think a lot of what we were doing does.

      to me dest’s shot that got stopped says he should be playing higher up. we’re grinding and grinding without payoff then a fullback i think is played out of position bashes a shot off the keeper which we finally finish.

      • I’m not sure about Australia maybe they had something fall thru too or they wanted to get guys home to prep for their domestic league starting in October. As for the against a better team argument, you could play that all day. You could say some of those passing sequences don’t go off against a good team. Good teams also make mistakes. Good keepers aren’t going to catch that shot from Dest so maybe they’ll parry away better but not always. We’ve seen Balo do that to defenders in Ligue 1 so maybe he does score it. Let’s be honest it would be harder to have a luckier goal than Green’s vs France. There were certainly other sequences that should have worked that we didn’t score or plays where guys shot because the score was a blowout that they could have played someone in.

      • i don’t think all “could bat it around” are made equal. we score 4 CLINICAL goals after smoother build play i am on the boat. we had “a” good-looking goal and 3 halves of too much default crossing. it’s kind of like you are going to play like you practice. if this is how we practice, so to speak……i don’t believe magical switches flip. players might try harder. our problem isn’t effort. it’s silk. silk i would be seeing the precursors of. bunch of pretty passes and maybe we miss the shot. this is ugly-ball and then we scramble it in. to me that plays out different when you level up. ugly-ball on a better opponent is cleared way out and cleaned up. it also puts way more pressure on the defense which i thought showed signs of cracking game 1. i mean, we just went through this in qatar. we milked 5 points out of group and squeaked through last night. we then got whooped first serious team we met that was playing to win (i think england was content to shadow box, take a tie, and prepare for wales).

        i also thought the “sim” aspect to this was just silly. if my concern is getting out of group, the last place game is the least necessary thing to prepare for. it might even be a rotational affair that depends on who makes the bench in 3 years. without saying too loudly “can we look past that game” — because it has to be taken seriously — the games we will “need” to sim and be prepared to win are the top dog group game and the knockouts. that’s what we need to figure out, is how to beat them,

        i mean my argument is the “we don’t need to prepare for concacaf” folks were just a decade early. we were and are not that much better than everyone else, when 3 advance. but in 2026 and beyond, if it’s 48 teams going forward, qualification becomes more of a sure thing and your focus should shift to playing personnel and a style that will work against the elite. even if it makes it slightly harder in concacaf. (this GB stuff is not that. )

  2. I love how everyone has been fairly measured and calm about last nights win. Yet, people are still complaining about overreaction. No one’s shouting for Lund or Tillman to break into the regular line up or for Aaronson to replace Pulisic. Yeah, we could have scheduled someone tougher but none of us know anything about that scheduling process, or who was available and who wasn’t. Just like the “we should cap this dual nat” crowd, both sides have to agree. It seems like a good idea to play more matches in Europe but I wonder if TV or sponsors have a say in that because a 1:30 Tuesday kickoff might not be good for ratings. The World Cup isn’t going to be won 3 years out so I’m not going to lose sleep over our strength of schedule.

    • not sure why SOS or rank matters when you’re host. we are already qualified, and we go in pot 1 anyway, right? so you don’t need to game the system. i think gaming the system is overrated anyways. when the US plays a good team it tends to T or L. that is not that much of a result benefit for a rank, no more than when our ambitious college coach lined up elite ranked teams for non-conference games. conversely, i believe playing weaksauce gets you Ws that can mislead on whether you are prepared for the real deal. it is the latter concern where i feel quite ok to say, i liked how a few played, but i don’t think this is the endgame unit or tactics, not if we want to beat the elite. next month isn’t even quite that yet but it will be a more serious approximation.

      i believe in repeat performance so to me the whole deal is can lund do it again — and against that level. my whole point all along is not just hand the job to the next shiny object. just like pepi and balogun should fight it out and a sincere winner should emerge naturally, not be forced. my issue is how often this coach tries to force whiteboard ideas for several games at a time. let it organically sort. you say we have 3 years. we don’t need the final lineup next month then. we should test our ideas rather than assume them.

      what we just played were one soft non-conference game and one decent one. i did feel like at times in the oman game, first few minutes, second half, they would play like i think they can. but too often the “next-to-last ball” remained a lofted cross. i want to see more like the quick-strike plays i mentioned, or the ground service to pepi which he turned and put in the corner. i do not believe we have the players or the execution level to be an effective air-crossing team like say holland. it is a waste of chances. when we play a more serious opponent they aren’t going to let us do the plodding stuff. they might get beat by a quick strike. they might get beat if pepi snap turns and puts in a net-corner like dempsey used to. there are ideas that scale up. there are ideas that oman is about what they are useful for. and i really hope we aren’t setting defaults on oman.

    • i also find it giggle inducing we’re pretending like the last game was some “4th place group game” simulation. that felt like strained motivation-speak. like we have to give fake meaning to what was just a couple friendlies on a long 3 year schedule.
      a lot of our opponents are that level. we have played a few better than that this year. and to get punchy with the fanboys, we have looked better than this weekend, too. just this june. where is the collective memory.

      as i said before, i don’t see our problem as punching down. it’s putting together something that wins the big ones. we need to learn to compartmentalize “result” and “performance.” like, we nearly beat brazil in confed cup 2009, but in doing so figured out spector couldn’t hack it. the way we run things now the whole unit would get a sort of package deal immunity, instead of looking at why didn’t we win that game. which is how the really good teams work. they can say, ok, we got results, right track, but X Y Z were dragging it down. we seem so desperate for success we latch on to anything and thus plateau at that first point. you have to be able to be self-honest enough it’s like, passing 6 didn’t work, dest and ream were vulnerable, balogun looks productive but disconnected, etc. you then try to fix it.

      for example, to me we weren’t playing in a way which meaningfully leveraged weah and balogun which is nuts.

      • A lot easier to play that way against Oman because of there defensive setup. For the first half especially Uzbekistan didn’t have their backline off the 18 yd box. Luca would break the midfield with relative ease pass to the MFs and then there wasn’t space to pass into. That allowed the MF to recover and it’s really hard to pass around 8 or 9 well organized defenders in the box. Oman even when they got back didn’t exude that level of ability. What do we do when teams don’t give us space to run in behind?

  3. Disagree! McKennie was the MVP: free-roaming allowed improvement in connecting passes from the midfield to forwards, McKennie’s leadership and focus was key for much improvement in the attack and control of Oman.

  4. the people saying “but the results” miss that the issue hasn’t been punching down, it’s been playing up. that we can’t beat the sort of top 10-15 teams we aspire to join to advance deeper. people get on my tookus about selection and style but those players need to be effective at the “holland level and above,” as do the tactics.

    my select coach’s comment one time was that what happened in a rout didn’t really matter so much as whether selection and tactics choices worked against team x, our league and state rival. the rest, “so what.” you pick the wrong people from the laughers that rivalry game may very well tell you so. to me the US goes about it backwards, proof of concept in laughers, confused why we can’t level up in the big games. well, maybe plan the tactics like the goal is to beat holland, france, or argentina and not grenada or oman.

    i see stuff in the second half you could make into a workable offense that might surprise or beat a great team. most of the three other halves an elite team will see that keepaway or cross coming a mile away. in fact, a lot of them have worked up defensive strategies to thwart these styles, as they are derivative of what worked c. 2010.

    likewise i wouldn’t trust until we beat germany or someone else decent that we have arrived at the personnel endgame. the whole point in recent years has been some Fs who struggle to produce in big games but can on weak teams, some wingbacks who hold up against mediocrity but not the elite, a MF that bosses the weak then struggles with the serious.

    last, i think that some of GB’s mentality is borne of older cycles’ approaches with more of a proven squad. yeah, when you have a core in its mid 20s who have been to war and proven themselves, there is some justification for stasis, for favoring the regulars and making it harder to break in. but i also think that’s part of why we plateau. you get to the round of 16, you lock them in, ummm, that’s probably still a round of 16 side then. when we understand we should be looking for every edge that wins us the big games, this will progress deeper. in the past if someone like dempsey became a fixture it’s because you could lean on him for the only goal in a hard opponent qualifier in a freaking snowstorm. because they had earned it over and over. not because we took for granted a knockout team was sorted.

    • there was a play early in the game where we had a nice long-short-long down the sideline (but then stood a foot on the ball with about 35 yards to go and let them get back). likewise i loved the long pass-flick-throughball aaronson tried about 5 minutes into the second half. it reminded me of the CR friendly last cycle, the desperation honduras qualifier second half, or nations league this summer. fast combination ball down the wing, ideally played out to a rapid, direct to goal, conclusion.

      there is neither reason nor excuse to nibble around the edges like we do. no reason to attempt 30 passes when 5 would do. and like i am saying above, you might catch a good team pushed high with a 5 pass transition effort. you let them sit back and watch 30 passes and nada will happen at the end.

      this team needs to be dangerous and like it’s ever played together before, and that’s this wide combo/counter play. to me it said everything when we would fly down a wing only to sit on the ball and wait for the team to catch up. teams, really, because the other side gets back too.

      to me speedy combinations and transitions can beat anyone. i think only weak sloppy teams are going to fall asleep or get caught worrying about the wrong attacker. the good teams will have top notch defense who pay attention and enough quality defense where they can walk and chew gum same time ie mark weah, pulisic, and balogun.

      • i mean, do you see us beating — say — the french with whacked crosses? or even the “volley a diagonal back across” derivative?

      • What you say here certainly applies to the Uzbekistan game, but not the Oman game. The Omanis were constantly on their heels and the US kept attacking with only a few pauses. The Omanis really didn’t threaten much at all until some of the US subs came in and were sloppy. I certainly agree with your prescription for fast combination play.

    • You obviously didn’t see the game Germany played against Japan. Germany’s defense was AWFUL. They fired the German coach the next day, and with good reason. It will be interesting to see if they correct their problems when they play the US next month. They certainly have the personnel, maybe not as good as in the past, but good nevertheless if they are organized and intense.
      They were neither against Japan. I wouldn’t count on the game US vs. Germany as being a good test. BTW, the US has had decent success against Germany in the past. I think in general your analysis is not objective because of your bias against GB. The US played well.

      • you’re aware germany beat france after they fired their coach, right? i am not sure who will show up next month but i wouldn’t assume it’s a cupcake.

        even if you want to quibble precisely who the the good teams really are, so what, does that really undermine my point? my point is we can’t beat the good ones.

        we won “a” world cup game. we got run off the field by holland. who’s the subjective one here? several others on here agree with me about how this looks. i am willing to admit we had some chances but i don’t think most of them were good high percentage looks. the problem with GB has never been beating “qatar” or “oman,” it’s the good teams. you can think what you want and i will believe what i do. what i think isn’t crazy or biased, it’s an explanation of the guy’s shortcomings.

      • I must admit that I didn’t see the France vs. Germany result. Iam quite surprised given Germany’s play vs. Japan.

      • Was a lot of backups in for France vs mostly full strength Germany but certainly still very very good France team. Of course we’ve seen first hand that France doesn’t mind taking a friendly off.

  5. The last two games for the USMNT vs Uzbekistan and Oman were an exercise in futility, a waste of an official FIFA international window, against subpar competition, and it has revealed nothing of value for US Soccer, the USMNT, or us, as fans. Additionally, as someone has already mentioned, it is very unlikely that we would face either of those two teams, or “similar competition” from the Asian Confederation, as neither team has ever qualified for a World Cup.

    It is important to note, that Saudi Arabia and South Korea both played friendlies at St. James Park during this window. One of the games for Saudi Arabia was against Costa Rica, so that alone beckons the following questions:

    – Why didn’t US Soccer get in the mix for friendlies against those teams?
    – Aren’t those teams that we could face in a World Cup?
    – Aren’t 19 out of the 24 players initially named to the roster for this window based in Europe?
    – Wouldn’t that reduce travel and fatigue on the majority of our player pool?
    – Why not work towards a group of four teams agreeing to play two friendlies in this window at stadiums in northern England?
    – Wouldn’t all of the above be a lot more beneficial to the USMNT from a sporting perspective?

    For those that don’t recognize it, the aforementioned are loaded questions and an indictment of US Soccer. US Soccer continues to show that it is a Mickey Mouse operation, no matter who is at the helm as Sporting Director.

    Lastly, the topic of Balogun vs Pepi. It is great to see a serious competition unfolding between these two. Before we can ever win a World Cup, we need that at every position on the field, with a third player competing, as well. Go back and look at history, that is the case for all past winners of the World Cup. Going forward, who starts between these two players should be determined by the following:

    – Playing time with their club
    – Production at their club within the time they play
    – Form with the USMNT

    Given the above, and at the close of this window, Pepi is ahead by the hair on his chinny chin chin. It will be interesting to see how this continues to unfold and evolve. Before closing, it is important to state, that before anyone goes on a rant about the USMNT needing a set starting 11 so as to build cohesion, it is important to recognize that the USMNT roster is fluid and constantly changing / updating / evolving. In short, it is plug and play, and for any player in the player pool that can’t adjust on the fly, the question beckons, should that players / those players be in camp?

    That’s it for now…as you were. 🙂

    • i did think oman and the uzbeks would be fine to test out evolved ideas as i expected the coach would. we then basically played like we usually did (save the second half against oman when we emptied the bench). in which case if we’re running out the starters playing the usual tactics then it should have been serious opposition. so in practice i kind of agree.
      mexico played australia the other day then the uzbeks. if we never planned on trying stuff not sure why it wasn’t the more serious oz as a more sincere test. my beef would be more with oman than the uzbeks. they seem well coached and worked hard.
      last thought, but didn’t oman play in asia vs. palestine during the same window? i thought there was a rule on traveling regions within a window. or is it you can’t do 2 different regions on a road trip?

      • I thought that used to be the rule but I couldn’t find anything in Fifa official documents. Perhaps that they played Wednesday gave them an appropriate number of days off. That’s just a guess though.

    • re “cohesion,” the style played by the starters looks like a mess. has for years. it tends to look to me like the less indoctrinated bench and noobs are the ones who play freer and look more dangerous.

      i also think there would be some arrogance in pretending this is sorted. who are the second and third keepers? reyna was out as were some others. the second game defense seemed more leakproof than the first game, particularly lund. while balogun scored, pepi looked lively and scored a goal that was more Run of Play. which one of the mids did you prefer, and playing where? to me the whole thing begs the question of whether we are starting with the right 20-30 guys to cohere. that and we have enough injuries all the darned time that investing so heavily in about 15 guys isn’t sensible.

      personally i see it as the same xerox mentality as when GB apparently said as long as ream is starting in EPL he will make 2026. that’s fanboy stuff. do we care how he plays the next 3 years? people wonder why i moan about game performance. he was the worst of the CBs all week. what does EPL matter, then?

    • With the expanded field in the next world cup the US will likely face at least one opponent similar to Uz or Oman. So it was not a totally lost window. Some of the higher quality teams were involved in qualifying games for
      WC or Africa Cup. You can look at the friendly list to see who might have been available, but of course, they had scheduled games while the USMNT was essentially headless on at least 3 levels.

      • the land of oz played 1 friendly this window — mexico — and was already IN DALLAS TO DO IT. australia unlike canada isn’t broke so surely they could have played a normal window doubleheader. we could have swapped our oz and uzbek with mexico. i grant scheduling is now broadly generally speaking harder but it’s kind of like the folks who are like ok call jones i can’t think of another wingback when if they really sat down and thought, we have say ACM’s wingback playing upfield, or richards in the middle who played there in germany, or a handful others people forgot about.

        also to me we have an attractive destination to play in and team to play against and yet i feel like we’re one of the last to sort out a schedule. i think we had the october games sorted and announced before the september ones.

      • The Asian team that just missed out on the ’22 WC was UAE, who lost to Australia in a playoff. Presumably, UAE, or a comparable team, will be in the ’26 WC, when the field expands.
        UAE is currently ranked 72. Oman is 73. UZB is 74.
        So yes, there will be teams like UZB and Oman in the next WC, and we can anticipate that we will face a team like UZB or Oman in the group stage.

    • sorry, but no window is a wasted opportunity, especially it being Greg’s first set of games back with the team The issue is they couldn’t schedule better games than what they got because they had games locked in with better opponents and those opponents had to back out because their respective federations moved up those teams time lines to play more important games within the federation, meaning the US was left to play who they did. Other “bigger’ nations were playing WCQ and NL matches.

  6. Much better performance in this one. Yes the opponent wasn’t as defensive or organized, but we still attacked more fluidly and kept the foot on the gas the entire way. Looking pretty clear that the MMA midfield needs shuffling, as good as those three are, none are true attacking players and we just plain look more dangerous with an attacking player in there somewhere. Musah looks at his best when playing as a 6. If McKennie is on like he was last night, he simply has to be on the field. Might leave Adams as a rotational starter with those two, which during a congested tournament could help with fresh legs. Lund looks like he could settle in as ARobs backup, Tillman looks really close, and Pepi and Balogun are looking like the best strike force we have had in years.

  7. We got the job done with convincing scorelines vs the type of opponent we will surely have in our WC group with the expanded number of teams. 3-0 and 4-0 can’t ask for much more – I know people here will nitpick and still find issues but at the end of the day these are scores of we’d signup for before kickoff any day. So that’s quite positive.

    The next window with a “chip on their shoulder” Germany that just beat France and one of the better African teams in Ghana will however provide a much better barometer of what this team can do and/or still has to work on, as these are the type of teams we would meet come knockout rounds – games in which we never do too well with big “brain fart” moments.

    • UZB and Oman are definitely NOT the type of opponent we will surely have in our world cup as evidenced by the fact that neither team has ever qualified for the world cup. That being said I was satisfied by the game yesterday because the USA did achieve a result that you would expect against an inferior team, and I am sure that the reason we had such weak teams on our schedule had more to do with number of official games on the international calendar rather than a desire to schedule tomato cans.

      • Diasgree. With more slots per region for the next WC with more teams overall, this us definitely the type of teams we will see.

      • with the expanded field we will absolutely see one of thee types of teams in our group at the WC, and that’s the gripe many are having about expanding the field for 2026 because it waters down the product in a sense, but it also creates storylines and potential upsets that you would never hear or see otherwise

    • Mat, you could be right but they are only expanding to 48 so 12 additional trams
      The allocation of teams to confederations will depend on how many trams of that caliber make it. I would say any addirional teams from S.A, Africa and Europe would be much better. Trams from Asia and CONCACAF at that level but they won’t get a CONCACAF team in their group so percentage wise it is probably less likely that they will get a team of that low caliber but it does seem like there will be a few teams of that level making the final 48.

  8. Overall the 2 matches played this window provided us very little about our players or Gregg’s tactics. The first match was very under whelming with players being stiff, played passively, and just seemed to at a loss for ideas against a disciplined bunkered team. Second game was better with players being more fluid and able to find space & time. Partly due to the opponent being more open and less disciplined.
    The few things we learned (confirmed) is that we play better with an attacking midfielder (Reyna during NL or Tillman tonight). That likely means that one of the MMA will become a sub when everyone is healthy. Pepi & Balogun both seem to be finding some success, regardless of their club minutes. It looks like this is going to be a tight race between these 2….and will hopefully insure we have 2 reliable goal scorers going forwards.
    Nothing else was really learned. The new players were (Lund, Tessmann, Paredes, etc…) aren’t overtaking anyone (yet). Hopefully they’ll get time with the Olympic squad to develop/prove themselves more.

    • Lost, games against Uzbeckistahn and Oman were never going to reveal anything other than provide a measuring stick against weak non-CONCACAF opponents. Drawing conclusions about them playing better in certain formations was only potentially validated against weak non-CONCACAF teams. I would add Tillman to the list of players not ready for good competition yet as he was disposed probably 20 times.

      • Tillman was hot and cold. I would be inclined to agree he’s probably not ready to start against, say, Germany, but he’s clearly progressed significantly from his initial caps and his upside is tantalizing. If past (and present!) are prologue, Gio’s going to be hurt more than half the time, so we badly need another two 10’s and Tillman very much looks like he could be one of them. If he can get significant PT for PSV – and I think he will this season, the dude has massive potential – I think he will be ready to contribute significant minutes.

        Tillman and Tessmann were the two high-upside guys I really wanted to gauge this window. Tillman got an “almost ready”, Tessmann got a “not there yet”, but both continued to flash massively high ceilings, too.

        Pepi is the young guy who looks like he’s already breaking through. I always thought his upside was immense once he filled out his frame and adjusted to a higher pace-of-play than MLS, and it’s literally happening in front of our eyes. Once he starts getting on the field for PSV, I think it’s going to be harder and harder for them to take him off again.

        I also liked Lund a fair bit – I do think he’s going to lock down the #2 LB spot, and fairly soon, and he’s a Top-5 left back all the way – and I’d roll him into that aforementioned “high upside youngster” group along with Cremaschi and Parades…Cremaschi in particular made my eyes narrow. Yes, he made some mistakes. He also showed remarkable aplomb for an 18-year-old and showed skill, vision, and sophistication and I think he’ll be in Europe maybe as soon as January though I hope he gets the the rest of the season to play with Messi & Co,…and I think he’ll excel in Europe. What that kid is going to look like when he’s 20 or 21…well. Parades looked like he was the rawest of the bunch…but wow, he’s explosive, too. He’s a couple years off but he could be a real player too.

        We don’t have a “golden generation” with Pulisic and company. American soccer is just that improved. The generation under that group looks every bit as talented. Maybe more.

      • Q, I too thought Lund was good. He struggled in the attack but looked like a good defender and against better competition he won’t be terribly involved in attacking. However, his looking like a good defender could have been impacted by the quality of who he was defending but he certainly showed he is worthy of more callups based o n his performance IMO of course. I thought he showed the best of all the new prospects.

    • i thought lund looked like a potential starter — and played as one yesterday. i thought aaronson looked like himself again off the bench. a lot of the others, yeah, fun to see them but not fully cooked yet. but to me that is the idea on experiments. who looks good. who gels with the others. who gets a little wild or sloppy. or, neal earlier in the year, who looks out of their depth. to me one of the issues with US soccer is in these friendlies we should really be looking at who “stars” and not just plays “ok.” if you really want to win things it needs to be more of the ones who dominate. not just x started and then played “ok.” we have other options if you’re just “ok.”

      along those lines i thought richards, pepi, and lund of the outsiders actually shined. a lot of the others being lauded it’s like i can think of someone else who has played same spot recently either better or as well. on a NT everyone — or close to it — is pretty good. we’re looking for excellent. and before we annoint people it should really be a track record and not just that one game.

      • “Kind of like he’s 20 I guess.”


        How about hasn’t played much if at all with these guys?

        Trying to decide on a guy’s future based on one game, especially a friendly this early in a cycle can be a fool’s errand.

        Reasons for not looking good:
        Has not had a lot of PT at his club
        Has not played with these guys before
        Plays better with better players
        Plays better against tougher opponents
        Reasons for looking good:
        Opponent sucks
        Is playing with better players than are at his club.

        You really need a run of games, playing as close to 90 minutes as possible, so you can see a player in a variety of circumstances and things even out a bit.
        How are they with a lead?
        How are they when down by a goal or more?
        How are they when they are tired?
        How are they playing through minor injuries?
        How well do they react to a loss or a win?
        How do the other players react to them?

        I didn’t see anyone over these two games who did horribly.
        Lund was did nothing great and did nothing bad either. He didn’t have to lock down an Arjen Robben or an MBappe so with no one pushing him, it is hard to say just how good he is.

        On the other hand, international football is all about faking it until you make it. I don’t think Lund is actually a top 5 league class left back but if he plays like he is one for the USMNT then who cares? I don’t.

        Guys like Cremaschi, ran around a lot and didn’t do anything stupid but that was about it. He’s certainly big and everyone loves that. I thought he looked like a huge Puppy. He was obviously nervous but settled well.

        Then again by the time he came in he knew we had the game won and that the opponents were crap. So he had little to worry about. I like to think Leo told him ” You got this!”.

        He and Tanner are our new big strong run all day American type players so we should see more of them. Anyone remember 6′ 4″ Marouane Fellaini?

        Most of the good performances were from people we already knew could be that good. The only guy who really showed much new stuff that I wanted to see more of was Luca. And even that was cut short.

        I think people forgot about Weston’s versatility and quality. He used to do the business for Schalke in every position except keeper and he could probably play well there if need be.

        Gregg will give some new guys minutes here and there but , barring injuries( and recovery from injuries) and unexpected developments, the roster for these two games is probably the Copa America one.

  9. Looked like a completely different team. Looked even like a top international team. I saw everything I wanted to see in their performance.

    • I think Oman played a large role in that or maybe Uzbekistan did Saturday. Uzbekistan with a lot of backups tied Mexico 3-3. But yes overall a little faster and more fluid. Defense was solid but Oman didn’t have a Serie A level striker either.

      • Mexico are not what they were, especially when they aren’t playing us.
        We make each other play better.
        Otherwise they haven’t been worth watching lately.

        U and O are typical low to mid level teams that are hard to get a read on. Seemingly well managed and drilled, that’s enough to make them problematical for “bigger” teams especially in friendlies where the “bigger” teams may not be as focused.

        They are good practice nothing more.

        Next we get a Germany at what seems like their lowest point ever and good old Ghana. I can’t remember the last time I looked at Germany and thought “these guys suck.”

    • Really? You said if it weren’t for Turner, Uzbeckistan would have won. By that logic, if Oman had a vaguely professional goalie, this game would have been 0-0 as every goal relied on horrible goal keeping, except Pepi’s but he was lucky because he shot it through a defenders leg.

    • Striker, if you are going to keep wearing your Miles getup we need to choose your seat in camera view. Glad you finally got to see the big boys in person!

      • I was on jumbo tonight screen tonight you have to come to game. I also sit higher up I don’t like sitting low because people be in the way in the rows blocking the view. I need to sit on right side of field.

      • Yeah, I should have driven up last night but it didn’t workout with work. Had they played in St. Paul over the weekend I could have made it.

  10. – Tillman did well on his first full start. Plenty of upside.
    – Tessman, on the other hand, did not impress in the first match and not see the field tonight. Hope he got some good feedback from the coaches and works on the gaps. Always room for tall, strong #6.
    – Who made the better impression over 2 games: Balogun or Pepi. It’s a good problem to have! But 2 great strikes by Pepi….yep


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