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Who Should Start for the USMNT vs. Bolivia?

The U.S. men’s national team’s run at a Copa America title begins on Sunday against Bolivia.

Gregg Berhalter’s squad heads into their first group stage match with confidence after drawing Brazil 1-1 back on June 12. Christian Pulisic found the back of the net through a clever free kick finish while goalkeeper Matt Turner made 11 saves in the match.

Joe Scally, Tim Ream, and Antonee Robinson were also among the positive performers for the USMNT.

Bolivia, who will be expected to finish last in Group C, has three players on its roster with 50 international caps or more. Carlos Lampe will be tough to get past in net while defender Jose Sagredo and midfielder Leonel Justiniano will anchor the rest of the squad.

Here is the starting lineup we could see the USMNT deploy against Bolivia on Sunday, as well as the lineup we would deploy if we were making the final lineup decisions:


GOALKEEPER


Who should start: Matt Turner

Matt Turner entered the Brazil friendly with a lot of questions to answer, but did so in fine fashion.

Turner made 11 saves against the Brazilians, overcoming an early error to deliver a strong performance. He not only denied Vinicius Junior in the latter stages of the match but also Rodrygo, who had scored past him in the first half.

Turner remains the No. 1 for the USMNT heading into the tournament.


DEFENDERS


Who should start: Joe Scally, Chris Richards, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson

Gregg Berhalter used the same backline in both friendlies and I expect him to stay with them against Bolivia.

Joe Scally did plenty to boost his stock and confidence, limiting both Luis Diaz and Vinicius Junior in the friendly matches. Scally was strong defensively and also showed some glimpses of linking up in the attacking third.

Scally remains the USMNT’s No. 1 right back unless something drastically changes.

Tim Ream and Chris Richards did not impress against Colombia, but did well to bounce back against Brazil. Ream’s veteran presence paired with Richards’ physical abilities provide a nice 1-2 punch in the backline and both will be expected to excel against Bolivia.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Miles Robinson, and Mark McKenzie remain options if Berhalter wants to go with a different look.

Antonee Robinson also delivered a bounce-back performance against Brazil, doing well defensively to limit the Brazilian wingers. Robinson, Fulham’s Player of the 2023-24 season, is one of the best left backs in the competition.


MIDFIELDERS


Who should start: Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie

Tyler Adams featured off the bench against Brazil and should be ready to go against Bolivia.

It marks the perfect opportunity for Adams to get some confidence back as the USMNT will be favored to win their opening group match. Even if Adams can’t go the distance, 45 minutes would be good enough.

Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah are a strong duo and would be good options to set the tone against Bolivia. Both provide range and a great work ethic in midfield, something the USMNT would like to deliver throughout the tournament.

Gio Reyna and Malik Tillman did little to improve their stock heading into the group stage and could feature off the bench. Brenden Aaronson was solid against Brazil while Johnny Cardoso and Luca De La Torre are also options for Berhalter in the match.

However, I expect the dominant trio of Adams, Musah, and McKennie to be back together once again.


FORWARDS


Who should start: Tim Weah, Folarin Balogun, Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic was all over the place against Brazil and his playmaking abilities will certainly be needed against Bolivia.

Pulisic scored a clever free kick goal against Alisson and also was a thorn in the Brazilian backline’s sides for the entire match. He remains a confident attacker and will seek a strong start to his summer.

Folarin Balogun assisted once against Colombia, but did not start against Brazil. The Monaco man remains the most talented No. 9 in the player pool and could use a strong showing against Bolivia to get back on track.

Josh Sargent is fighting to get back to full fitness and might be an option off the bench. Ricardo Pepi, who was quiet against Brazil, is also a substitute threat for the USMNT.

Tim Weah’s dynamic running and willingness to take on defenders makes him a lock to start at right wing. Weah provides a strong work rate and also tracked back heavily against Brazil.

I don’t see any surpassing him for the starting role on Sunday night.

Haji Wright could also feature at the No. 9 or out wide, and might be used to wear down a tired Bolivia backline in the second half. Wright enjoyed a stellar season for Coventry City and is worthy of a roster spot.


What do you think of our projected lineups? Which would you start? Who are you most excited to see play? Are there any doubts you have?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I counted 2 starters – GK , SaUcedo & 3 backups on Bolivia from the 2018 friendly who played vs US. Correct me if I’m wrong.

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  2. One thing that I’ve noticed with use of the NFL stadiums is that the high sideline camera views makes it very obvious the formations teams are using in each phase of the game.

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  3. This team has a great chance to win this tournament. Whoever starts this match vs Bolivia will have a great chance to make the first steps to doing that. We were 4th in 2016. When CP the best player now, was integrating into the USMNT & pro futbol life. We will be playing on a home field w/ an away vibe. USA fans will be outnumbered most matches. A uniquely different situation. None of these SA countries show up in the world of track, nor in the world of swimming. Low end athleticism. Vs a low block ; tall players up front, w/ great passers to feed them. Preferably, aerial passes and have Bolivia jump with us. Vs Panama have your best players as sub roles and allow them to win the match at the end if needed. Closest lineup to knockout stage vs Uruguay. We match up well with other Concacaf countries. Have a methodical squad vs Argentina. Have athleticism for the Colombia’s , Peruvian, & Ecuador’s. Have a mixture squad VS Brasil like the friendly and overwhelming athleticism against Uruguay & Chile.

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  4. Anxious to see Sargent get sometime. Gio really start to grab the game getting on the ball with plenty of chance creation

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  5. bzzy
    “Not at all Vacqui….. just saying make sure your house is in order first before you make a valiant effort to start critiquing someone else’s. Otherwise you just look silly.”

    My house is in order.

    Reply
  6. IV: you must have missed it on the other thread. You meant to say Colombia played just like Ecuador at the 2019 U20 World Cup because we lost to Ecuador not Colombia. We beat Colombia in 2015 U20 WC, behind a Rubio Rubin goal.

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  7. IV,

    “what are you talking about, “unknown?” we are very predictable. the whole point is we win what we should and upset nobody.”

    If you knew exactly what was going to happen in a game, the word “predictable” would not be in the conversation .

    I knew they were going to play a lot better vs Brazil and wrote as much before the game.

    But no one knew how much better they would be.

    In part that’s because no one knew how good, bad or indifferent Brazil would be and that’s 50% of your game time equation. As it turns out Brazil are insanely talented, insanely deep and look like a team whose manager has been in place since January. They are good enough to beat teams by accident but they are not the best team in this tournament.

    The USMNT will not beat adult teams until they learn how to. COPA America would be a good time and place to finally figure it out because they aren’t going to get a better dress rehearsal before 2026.

    Reply
    • first, peak USA (2000s-2015) we made a world cup quarter, got where in qualifying we would run the table at home, only lose away games to MX and CR, and could beat good teams in friendlies half the time. we have beaten argentina in a copa america (1995). we’ve beaten germany and holland before — and at their place — which it’s now taken for granted is a mismatch. in short, we have regressed and developed deliberate amnesia about where this once fit in the grander scheme. we are not even caught up to the best version of our past product. which to me should be high up the list of why the coach sucks and his scheme isn’t worth it. this isn’t making us our best NT, it isn’t even caught up to landon/beasley 2002 or the 2009-10 bradleyball teams.

      second, teams should get some upsets if they are nearing optimal on scheme and personnel. just days that the lineup and scheme click or we match up well with someone. and i mean Ws and not draws. i’m sorry but anyone who played soccer at any level should know it’s not always “best team wins.” sometimes you grind out a game plan and knock one in and win it 1-0 even though to the snobs you shouldn’t have. my college team beat some ranked teams, or won conference games against teams who finished above us that year. my deal is that LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENS FOR US.

      if your coach is any good and you have some sort of a working concept, it shouldn’t be so predictable. the scheme should work well some days. or reyna does something special. or turner stands on his head. we used to occasionally win games back in the day just because keller had a great night.

      no, it’s a little too much of, we’ll win that one, this one will work, we will lose that one. you can look at the schedule and see it coming. and i could see within a few minutes we could play with brazil. but we couldn’t beat them. again.

      good teams figure out how to win those games, and don’t have to wait until they are 30 to figure it out, eg, the landon/beasley 2002 team when they were about 20. good teams have a scheme that steals them games, or helps put the key players in positions to win them. we cannot pitch a shutout to save our lives — a key element in sneaking wins against tough oppo — don’t seem interested in identifying the defenders who could do that (we prefer risky attacking backs), and our offense, even compared to say “feed dempsey at the spot” (of the mid 2010s), hasn’t figured out a repeatable formula for goals.

      i put this on the coach as i feel like sufficient talent is there for this to be a semis/quarters type team. it’s not the best talent in the world but winning games is a mix of a variety of things and talent is just one element. the tv watching snobs have obviously not played at a high level or even learned the moral of their viewing habits — which is even the best rarely go undefeated, someone figures it out on some days (and it can be you), and you can win plenty of games on game plan that maybe on paper shouldn’t have been. since i can’t believe anyone thinks GB is the best in the world, the whole attitude is about settling, and thus no surprise they concede too many games as unwinnable. i mean, i played on a pretty good select team, won state twice, but the key thing is i never thought we were losing at the opening whistle, and some days we surprised ourselves. i want a regime where this team surprises us and the oppo some days. this is garbage that one can predict off a fixture list — and that includes brazil who “aren’t exactly brazil now” — ask ronaldinho who doesn’t want to watch.

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      • IV,

        “first, peak USA (2000s-2015) we made a world cup quarter, got where in qualifying we would run the table at home, only lose away games to MX and CR, and could beat good teams in friendlies half the time. we have beaten argentina in a copa america (1995). we’ve beaten germany and holland before — and at their place — which it’s now taken for granted is a mismatch”

        Revisionist history. That is a very shallow, looking through rose colored glasses kind of bullshit narrative. You’re throwing slime up on the wall to see what sticks. More of your “ IV is the only one with vision” propaganda.

        The victories vs Germany and the Netherlands were friendlies. Even then they were taken as mismatches. And neither team lost one second of sleep over them. And if they happened today they would be mismatches.

        I was at RFK in 2013 when we beat Jogi. We were much more intense. I saw Clint try to kill Terrance Williams for half assing it.
        For the Germans it was more about a chance for Jogi to hang out with JK on the German federation’s dime. Absolutely no one in world soccer takes friendly results anywhere near as seriously as American fans.

        Beating Argentina nearly 30 years ago is irrelevant to 2024 because the USMNT DID NOT GROW from that and become a more consistent contender. I know that because Steve Sampson followed that up with the 1998 World Cup embarrassment, arguably the lowest point of the program pre -Couva.
        So people took 1995 for what it was, an outlier. Steve is consistently reviled in many quarters.

        All of the USMNT’s big upsets, Portugal, Spain, pre Couva were shockers but happened in large part because the USMNT played out of their minds and the opposition forgot to show up. Because they did not take the USMNT seriously. No one did then. Except for the USMNT players and their coaches.

        The more realistic view the 2002 team was shown when they lost to Poland 3-1 and should have gone out but South Korea did us a solid and beat Portugal 1-0 in a game where all Korea needed was a draw. So we went through and the rest is history.

        “in short, we have regressed and developed deliberate amnesia about where this once fit in the grander scheme. we are not even caught up to the best version of our past product. “

        Regressed? More bullshit.
        We are in a different era now. Teams take us more seriously now than they did then, even in friendlies.

        And we were never as good as you say you think we were. It was more fun then because being the spunky underdog is always more fun. See Argentina vs Canada the other day. Canada have one great- for- a- little- while player and a couple of decent sidekicks and an ex-UCONN striker. A decent little core. With a little luck who knows what might have happened vs. Argentina. It was opening day. Openers can be tough on the favored teams. I notice Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia at Qatar. That didn’t bother them a lot did it?

        Canada is a second tier team, meaning on their day, with a little luck, they might beat an adult team.
        The USMNT is also second tier but quite a bit higher up in the tier. And they are trying to break into the first tier, serious major trophy contenders.

        In the Uncle Gregg era the USSF are just as arrogant and fucked up as ever but MLS has shifted the USSF focus to following the NFL model. There’s a lot of money to be made here and every time I look at MLS and the USSF I see the invasion of NFL philosophy.

        Does that mean the USMNT will eventually dominate and win every World Cup coming up?
        I doubt it. The NFL is not about winning per se, neither is the USSF.
        They are about creating the illusion of parity so that everyone thinks their team has a shot. That way interest is always high everywhere. Which means a more consistent revenue stream. No sense in having addicts only in a few places when you can addict the entire country.

        The USSF variation of this is that they would not mind winning the World Cup but they figure that is going to happen eventually anyway so why spend too much money and effort?

        Let MLS academies that are already going to be built initially develop our players and then send them off to other countries to finish off their development. Which is mostly what is happening now.

        As it stands we already might have a shot at making some noise in Copa America and that is with an on the job trained bargain priced manager in place.
        Fuck your amnesia. The true difference between the Gregg Era and the other eras, is that Gregg built this team on very much a blank slate.
        The manager was a virgin and so were the majority of the players. And it shows.
        The player pool is likely to only get much better for a little while. At some point, it may be good enough to get funding for a Klopp or Ancellotti level type manager to pull it all together. Otherwise who needs some smarty pants foreigner get paid our money to tell us real Americans what to do?

        Until then they could, maybe, with a little luck get somewhat close with Uncle Gregg.

        And for 2026 that is what the powers that be want. The team just has to be good enough and interesting enough to generate a buzz. Get out of group. Win as many knockout games as possible. Provide the media with a lot of copy.
        Nothing is more American in 2024 than trying to DIY on the cheap.
        There’s probably a video on YouTube somewhere on how to build a national soccer team on the cheap.

  8. quozzel,

    “Teams that bunker have already conceded that; they know they’re not going to out-possess you.”

    Your logic there seems to indicate that possession is key to winning games.

    In recent World Cup qualifiers Uruguay were outpossessed by both teams but beat both Argentina and Brazil 2-0. They also tied 2-2 with Colombia yet outpossessed them 52%-48%. Uruguay has traditionally conceded possession going back a long way.

    Possession means nothing if you do not outscore the other guys.

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    • see i was taught the opposite of this nonsense. the idea was create good chances. feed balls in danger areas to key players. over and over. ideally in practiced ways.

      no, i see what we are doing as not offensive possession — this isn’t city — so much as trying to milk clock and almost play defense by the offense. you can’t score on a team without the ball. negative tiki-taka.

      thing being, my team back in the day might play keepaway, BUT SITTING ON A LEAD. you get up 2-0 or 3-0, you start playing keepaway and take the air out of the ball. you have already taken your chances and done the attacking bit. you no longer need to take risks. but we play like that 0-0. we haven’t earned that right, and it’s not an effective 1st minute offensive strategy. it’s a way to see out games and run the legs off tired opponents.

      but it’s backwards to try and milk 0-0 and hope you can steal 1-0 late somehow. and you’re doing it against fresh legs. who perhaps have their own game plan set up to counter your bodies-forward risks, or that you are trying to play possession with sloppy mids.

      i think 433 is a horrible formation for results. we played it one year in select and it was fun to play in, numbers forward, but a defensive sieve in transition. i was trained up in defensive soccer but that’s a lot of midfield room to cover with 3 guys, and personally our choices seem to reflect more of an effort to “defend” than like we want to boss the midfield and possess in an attacking manner. no surprise then the whole offense seems to be take it up the wings to the flag and whack it in.

      at which point, if we were trying for “offense” i’d just whack balls forward. skip all the build. why emphasize possession first two thirds then get to the final third and hit some hopeful cross in? it’s a wasteful conclusion to all that effort to keep the ball. which is why i say it suggests this is really a defensive ploy to play keepaway and take the air from the ball — and an ineffective one, since we can’t hold opponents scoreless with the wingbacks and CBs we like.

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      • i mean if your offense is going to be whack hopeful balls in, you need someone like vazquez in the middle to finish them, and you want HIGH VOLUME of chances to offset the low probability of any given cross.

        along those lines, you would also perhaps want more direct and even crude play, get it downfield in a hurry, then cross it in a bunch. it makes little sense to do slow careful builds punctuated by careless final balls. and few of them. if you’re a crossing team you want to pepper the box.

        i mean if you watched spain yesterday, they kept putting balls in until italy scored one for them.

    • No, that was sort of my point. IV mentioned below that possession is your best defense and he’s right – if they can’t get the ball from you, obviously, they’re not going to get many chances to score – but we’ve seen a distressing pattern of Berhalter teams being unable to score even against CONCACAF opposition despite often hogging the ball. And the reason is very simple: we’re one-dimensional, and pretty much go roaring up the flanks and then send in cross after cross. And that’s predictable and very easy to deal with.

      We don’t work the middle well at all – especially without Gio in there – and we don’t have enough big bodies in there to go find those incoming headers anyhow. Our “MMA” midfield was a big reason for that.

      We need better passing through the middle in tight areas – which obviously means Gio, and in the 10 spot, not as a deep-lying playmaker – and Cardoso’s passing is far better than Tyler’s…though against a team that outguns us, obviously, I’d take Tyler’s defensive abilities and ability to shield the backline over Cardoso’s anyday. But use the right tool for the job, and Cardoso is the right tool against a team that bunkers. And we need bigger, stronger guys in the box, as well as better finishers. Haji Wright is both. He’s tailor-made for overpowering a low block physically (especially against a team like Bolivia that lacks size and strength anyhow), and he’s an absolutely lethal finisher. Give him a look and he can bury it with either foot, and his strides are so long he can create his own space for a shot and there’s often just not much a defender – especially a small defender with shorter legs – can do to prevent that. So put him in at LW where he’s facing the goal, switch Pulisic to the right where he played all year, start Pepi at the 9 because he’s a big poacher – again, the right tool for the job. Save Balogun and Weah for when the game has opened up later and they can wreak havoc against an athletically limited team like Bolivia with their speed.

      I’ve also seen a couple guys suggest that against Bolivia you might also put Musah in at right back in place of Scally, and then play Musah higher up the field when we’ve got the ball. Apparently Musah was used several times this past year like that with AC Milan…it’s definitely an interesting idea. Scally’s unquestionably the best defender we have for RB at the moment, but is that really all that important against Bolivia?

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      • quozzel,

        “Musah in at right back in place of Scally, and then play Musah higher up the field when we’ve got the ball.”

        Don’t see much to gain from that.

        Scally is, arguably, as good an offensive threat at Musah. Yunus is great but he has a touch of Nagbe disease.

        Joe has been used in the midfield a fair amount at BMG.

  9. bzzy

    “Vacqui,
    Again, it’s bizzy not bzzy, ”

    Not getting your name spelled right bother you? Kettle , pot , black.

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    • Ok Vacquisha,
      First post under the right comment, I think that is a simple thing to do. secondly….. just saying make sure your house is in order first before you make a valiant but silly effort to start critiquing someone else.

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  10. Breaking down a bunkered team has different requirements than getting out in the open field and playing straight-up with somebody and fighting to control the tempo and the game. Teams that bunker have already conceded that; they know they’re not going to out-possess you.

    Bolivia is almost without question going to play a low block.

    That means the fast guys who can get in behind and stretch defenders aren’t going to have much room to use their jets. You need guys who are either big, strong, and capable of bullying, outleaping, and overpowering guys in the box, or you need technicians and clever string-pullers…and in an ideal world, you’d have both. So, sorry Balo, Weah…I wouldn’t start you against Bolivia. Musah’s ability to break lines is less useful when the other team has eleven guys piled behind the ball. Adams is an elite defensive mid; he is an average-at-best passer and technician. And Haji Wright absolutely has to be on the field.

    H. Wright – Pepi – Pulisic
    McKennie – Reyna – Cardoso
    Jedi – Ream – Richards – Scally
    Turner

    Reply
    • quozzel,

      “Teams that bunker have already conceded that; they know they’re not going to out-possess you.”

      Your logic there seems to indicate that possession is key to winning games.

      In recent World Cup qualifiers Uruguay were outpossessed by both teams but beat both Argentina and Brazil 2-0. They also tied 2-2 with Colombia yet outpossessed them 52%-48%. Uruguay has traditionally conceded possession going back a long way.

      Possession means nothing if you do not outscore the other guys.

      Reply
  11. We haven’t discussed, Obed Vargas just switched to Mexico, Luna can’t get called into U23s, now Esmir to Bosnia being rumored? Is this the price of a young generation of regulars? Mismanagement by the youth system? Or a sign of how far our youth development system has come?

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    • I like Obed Vargas but I do wonder how much of a system guy he is there at Seattle…we’ve seen it make smart-but-limited players like the Roldan brothers look better than they are because their style of play is so defined.

      Luna I don’t get beyond the fact that Mitrovic just doesn’t seem sold on him for whatever reason. The guy’s at a crowded position but I personally look at him and think he’s special. He’s already up to 3 goals and 9 assists on the year and so much of what RSL does now goes through him. He just collects the ball and drives, blowing past or bouncing off defenders, and then when too many guys mob him he’ll somehow, at the very last possible second, send out the perfectly-weighted killer ball that comes out of seemingly nowhere that springs somebody. I know there were some quibbles early about his work rate tracking back and his defending, but he’s improved a ton in that area this year as well.

      Isn’t Esmir Bajraktarevic headed for the Olympic team? Be weird for him to represent the US and then head to…Bosnia, who are currently ranked #75 in the world and aren’t even Euros-caliber, much less World Cup caliber.

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      • It’s all speculation with Esmir from what I can tell. Mitrovic said he would be picking the team this week and then this week Esmir changes the flag on his Instagram from the Stars and Stripes to the Bosnian flag. That doesn’t sound like someone who is headed to Paris. Bosnia doesn’t play again until September and I don’t believe Esmir would have to file a switch because he hasn’t played any official tournaments. Transfermkt ranks him at 2 million pounds which is higher than their other attacking midfielders for Bosnia so maybe he’d step right in there. I’d say best case development wise he’s a couple years away from challenging for time with USMNT. If I remember correctly there was some grumbling around Esmir’s camp when he wasn’t picked for U20s last year now if he’s been cut from Olympics too?

    • JR, dude, do you get that when i am saying “call some of these people” — and i mean senior team and not age group ball — including koleosho, kochen, pukstas, and others, that the sole goal is not evaluation, but also staking a claim? we have this discussion every time we lose someone and ironically you are usually on the other side making excuses for calling the usual suspects. if you routinely call only a short list of usual suspects a kid coming up may be “blocked” and not see a “path” upwards. they then start taking emails and calls they didn’t originally intend to.

      we have had this conversation more than once. if you want some of these dual nationals included, you need to be more aggressive in general. this usually derails into you lot defending the man with balogun, musah, and the like. but the man’s general problem is he has said in the press he’s not going to prematurely cap people and will even encourage them to try both teams.

      you do this, narrow pool, usual suspects, only performanced based call sheets, you are going to lose a fair amount of dual national kids who aren’t the biggest names. pulisic, dest, they will get rushed up. IMO dest got rushed up too fast. it’s the less fashionable ones you will lose.

      i am going to repeat myself. this was done better before. they would spend x% of the roster on regulars to get time together and chase results. they would spend y% of the roster on trialists — and i am talking a few. they would then spend z% every so often cap-tying people like nguyen. you have previously disapproved of this practice as unethically over-aggressive and removing NT choice at younger ages. you now are arguing my stance, which is be aggressive in integrating these players in the pool, committing them here, and only then sort out their long term role with the team. i do not consider this to be some ethically fraught enterprise as GB does, because every soccer kid’s dream is even 1 cap for a world cup level team like we usually are.

      personally i think it reflects the man’s inherent conservatism and arrogance. he’s only sticking his neck out for the most obvious prospects dest was a US YNT player for years.

      for comparison, he struggles to deal with where serie B lund fits in, where every game he played was like 3-0, 4-0. why? you’re not competing for a job, you’re holding a place for someone else he already knows.

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      • You have to play someone what 5 times though and they have to play not just dress. What message does that send to guys that have earned caps through their play and you are giving all their minutes to a teenager who came into the year with 0 professional goals? Because your “morally cap tied” isn’t worth a thing. I don’t know these two very well maybe this was always going to happen if Mexico and Bosnia came calling, both certainly have a better chance to be regulars sooner with those countries. With Julian Araujo I heard him give an interview when he was with US U20s you could tell then it didn’t really matter if Mexico asked he was going. If they wait one more summer they get called to Gold Cup play 5 or 6 matches and are tied, Daryl Dike and Busio happened that way. But because of when they were born and how they developed they weren’t ready last summer.
        ——————————
        If this is just the new normal because we’re producing more guys than we can play than it is what it is. If it’s Mitrovic is doing his best Thomas Rongen impersonation and running off players then it’s an issue.

      • Lund had to file a one time switch he was cap tied before he even played. The same for Cole Campbell.
        ———————
        Lee Nguyen was national player of the year in high school, national freshman of the year in college, and had played a match with DeMarcus Beasley at PSV before his first cap. Those things today wouldn’t get you a cap but in 2006 that was a pretty good resume. I also don’t think we were too worried about him jumping ship to Vietnam.

    • Nothing new in all reality. As more kids are developed the talent will continue to rise and other nations will profit. Just as the US has profited from dual nationals.

      Reply
    • JR

      You can’t keep them all.

      Do you really think Vargas, Esmir or Luna were going to play more if they stayed with the USMNT?

      Who does Luna replace in the pecking order? If CP and Reyna are on the field what does Luna do?

      The only question is are the ones that get away better than those who stay?

      If so, it’s a problem.
      If not, no problem.

      Thee are a lot of Argentinian attacking midfield players whose national team careers came to little because of Leo. Does anyone care? No

      The USMNT also loses out because it is on a four year cycle and not a two year cycle. Brazil and England, for example, are two year cycle teams, i.e. a major trophy every two years. All the adult teams are on the two year cycle.

      If the USMNT begins to now play Copa America on a regular basis then it becomes a two year cycle team but that has yet to be determined.

      The cycle matters because two year cycle teams have more shots at silverware.
      In theory then guys like Vargas and Luna would have more of a shot to play in meaningful games.

      Reply
      • this is very simple. i don’t buy selling USA over the next thing — or even demanding loyalty to get caps — is some ethical evil. i don’t believe preemptively capping folks is some ethical evil, as most people dream of one cap for anybody, and they can make a choice. and last i don’t believe playing some kid for 10 minutes at the end of friendlies or these tournament games is risking the results in some harmful way. pulisic started out playing like 10 minutes. we were hopeful but not sure. you give out 10 here, 30 there, that’s moral capping and 2/3 of the way to locking them down. and if you call and play someone that’s sending a message this is a place you might be used.

        i think this is true of the dual nationals i propose. i think this is true of the experiments i propose. i wholeheartedly disagree that 15 minute cameos at the end of friendlies are unethical, destroy meritocracy, and will result in a team can’t win friendlies. garbage. garbage. garbage.

        no, to me, the deal is one man has the wheel, that man has an arrogant idea about how his system and regular personnel are going to play out, he’s not interested in a lot of change, and he’s not going to give a kid 15 minutes to keep them in the tent, unless he thinks they have earned his roster.

        that inherently risks the dual national walks down the street and plays for the team that will take the risk.

        i see half the problem as we should be finalizing a lineup later in the cycle after more consideration and experimentation, not early in the cycle off spreadsheets. and i would trust that my “picker” isn’t going to bring in a bunch of junk, and that well-chosen, and spaced out over time, giving some new people a chance for a few minutes here or there isn’t going to result in a string of Ls.

        personally the way we operate these days is like some insecure midtable team scared if it so much as substitutes or rotates it might lose. unwilling to consider whether it has pipeline guys who could push it up the table out of fear it might slip down. and willing to risk that unhappy prospects turn in transfer requests to other countries because it’s that sure the results are what they could possibly be.

        sorry but i wasn’t trained up to accept mediocrity or be scared of my own shadow.

      • IV: but you’re not talking about just one guy for 15 minutes. Your talking giving Esmir 15+ minutes 5 times including in a non-friendly. Ok that’s one guy no biggy right? But that also means maybe a guy like Haji doesn’t get called in because you need that roster spot for Esmir, Johnny doesn’t get called in because Obed did even though Haji and Johnny are clearly better today. Now all of a sudden Malick isn’t getting minutes because we’ve got to lock in someone. Now you’ve got to throw in Pukstas 5 times, and we still had to play Paredes, and Luna, and McGlynn has Irish eligibility, and the Sullivan boys and Wolfe boys have dual national eligibility. Do you try to cap Figueroa 5 times, Kochen? 16 of the 21 players at the U20 WC last summer have at least duel eligibility. There’s at least 7-10 guys in addition to that that have played with the U23s in the last 8 months. Throw another 12 from the team that went to Pan Am games. What about Berchimas, Medina, Habroune, Harangi, Soma all starters at the last U17 World Cup. There is not enough caps to give to protect all these guys. When Pulisic got his ten minute cameos he was already playing well at Dortmund. Esmir didn’t score his first MLS goal until two weeks ago but still got a cap, and if his insta is an indication feels no loyalty to that. The pool is just so big and the requirements now are broader than before because FIFA has said predatory capping is unethical and purposely made it more difficult to lock in teenagers.

  12. Sargent was training with the team yesterday. There’s video of him cooking Richards in one on one drills. So it looks like he’ll definitely stay on the roster, not sure if he’s game fit yet though.

    Reply
  13. bzzy,

    “PeterP you must be COLOMBIAN……Hahaha. I’ll edit after using the speaker option just for you”

    Columbia is an Ivy League school that gave us Pellegrino Matarazzo our best German speaking head coach unless Fabian Hurzeler proves other wise.
    Columbia is a city in Maryland that actor Edward Norton grew up
    Columbia is a sporting apparel company
    Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and gave us noted racist, segregationist , suspected KKK member and US president, Woodrow Wilson.

    What Columbia is not, is a country with a national football team that is arguably playing as well as anyone in the world at the moment.

    That would be Colombia.

    You’re welcome.

    Reply
    • “What Columbia is not, is a country with a national football team that is arguably playing as well as anyone in the world at the moment.”

      Haha…..you must not have the speaker feature on your phone (as stated below)……but I can see you are indeed a fierce google warrior. Good job Vacqui…..lol

      Reply
    • and btw colombia isn’t stuck in some snob bind about whether it’s playing in a way of which europe would approve. and memory serves this was roughly how colombia was playing mid-2010s when we saw them last copa america, and roughly how they were playing when their U20s beat our U20s in 2019.

      Reply
  14. Seriously, I would not count on Adams, he has been too consistently injured. He would have to look really good in training to even get 45 minute.

    He could prove me wrong, but Musah, McKennie and Reyna with Cardosa getting serious consideration as the sub if one of those 3 get tired or injured during the game.

    Reply
  15. Bolivia will be Gregg’s 71st game. He was hired In Dec, 2018. He’s been on the job approximately 6 years , minus his “sabbatical” .

    Y’all are having hissy fit catfights over minor shit. Or re-shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

    We all know, more or less, who he is going to start and it does not really matter, as long as Turner is the starting keeper. Gregg is trying to juggle Josh and Tyler injuries plus he remembers how he burned up the team in Qatar. He did not bring Shaq along just for shits and giggles.

    The USMNT is the least surprising team in world football. We all know how they will come out and how they will look and play.

    The only unknown is how WELL will they play.

    The only real difference for this team, in this game, is that Gio might be more free to work a little more of his magic. The overall roster is a bit more accomplished. Otherwise, it is same old, same old.

    Bolivia is weaker than us ( shocking) but not so weak that they couldn’t pull an upset.

    I hope the USMNT come out like they did vs. Brazil, with that kind of focus. If so they should prevail. They don’t NEED 3 points but it would be a very good idea. Lose or tie and then Panama starts to get all kinds of great ideas. And those of you who think that Brenden can replace Gio because he can run harder and faster and longer than who ever was marking Gio? That’s laughable.

    Has it ever occurred to you all that the other team can substitute for tired players? Really, they can do that. And that Brenden may be better than the crap he was at Leeds and for most of his time in Germany but that doesn’t mean he’s doing well.

    This team has two players who can, on their own, make things happen in a positive way affecting the score, the Dortmund duet.

    Get rid of both and you have, I don’t know what, but it won’t be very pretty or effective. You could replace Gio and CP with Green and Holmes, IV’s difference makers. But then those two are faux difference makers and you’d be just as impotent but a bit older.

    “The one uncertainty is if Adams is ready to start and go 75-90 minutes.”

    Tyler played like 3 games and very few minutes this season. The answer is no, he’s not ready to go 75-90 minutes.

    But he might anyway.

    I’m sure the idea is to give him 45 or so and hope that by then we would have the game well in hand. Or maybe bring him in with 25-30 to go. But what if we only have a one goal lead? Or are tied and Bolivia are coming on strong?

    Gregg has to walk a fine line there.

    Reply
    • you say a lot of good stuff Vac, but your BA take sucks…no way you watched his form in Germany this year…I did.

      that said, Gio is improving on the things so many here INSISTED he did NOT need to improve on…that is the laugh out loud crap!!
      as if somehow he didn’t need to defend, what a joke. hopefully you laughed at that too.

      AND, very fun to report, he’s addressing that very shortcoming, specifically his poor work rate, in his game NOW for country. Like good young players do, he’s growing, and the USMNT will benefit. Work rate is a controllable, if you don’t do it, all teammates and coaches notice and judge, oh yes. I think you know this fact.

      Anyway, I’m very impressed with Gio’s maturing game. it needed to happen, good for him for taking it on. I think he’s going to have a wonderful Copa America

      Reply
      • beachbum,

        At Forest I did not get to see as much of Gio I would have liked.
        But as best as I could tell he handled his defensive assignments very well. I didn’t read a lot of their fans pissing and moaning about it and Nuno praised him.

        I don’t know why they did not use him more but I doubt it was due to any so called defensive issues. Nuno was a new guy himself and under enormous pressure. Gio had no option to buy clause so really Nuno had very little incentive to play him unless Gio showed instantly that he was head and shoulders above anyone else.

        And he wasn’t. For the most part, the guys Gio was mostly competing with played very, very well.

        I don’t see the loan as the failure that most do however, He did not look out of place at all in the EPL and I think any reasonably informed neutral party can see why Nuno went for team continuity and “his guys” as the relegation pressure ratcheted up. And BVB made Gio add an extra year onto his contract in exchange for the loan.

        “but your BA take sucks…no way you watched his form in Germany this year…I did.”

        You’ve accused me of criticizing BA in a backhanded way. That’s not true. Since he moved to England I’ve been very open about saying BA sucks. To clarify my BA take:

        1) What he did in Germany was good for his confidence and may help him slow down the rot.

        But I never rated him even when he was at his best before he went to Leeds and started his downward spiral. He did not impress in Qatar and those are the USMNT games, under Gregg, that are most relevant.

        2. In terms of attacking players, I don’t rate him as a better soccer player than Gio, CP, Weston, Timo, Yunus, Pepi, Flo, Josh, Malik or Wright.
        Brenden strikes me as almost entirely self made, in the sense that he’s where he is because of an insane amount of work , dedication, resolve and relentlessness and just plain old grit. That’s very admirable.

        But it doesn’t mean that he is a better soccer player than any of the guys I listed. I think he lacks skills and presence.

        3. There is only so much you can do to cover that up, especially if, as happened in Leeds, your confidence gets shaken a bit. And all of the Marsch era Leeds players have had their cages rattled.

        That’s why I hoped he could stay in Berlin because it sounded like they liked him and things were working out with what sounded like a good coaching staff. Brenden needs to develop some more and Berlin sounds like a place where he could learn. He left Salzburg with some holes in his game. And I don’t know about Leeds. More than a few people on SBI seem to think Brenden is too soft. I don’t agree but the Championship is arguably the physically toughest league around and if he became a regular with Leeds, he would certainly toughen up but it won’t address what I see as his flaws.

        I’ll be happy if he proves me wrong but right now the USMNT has better players with higher ceilings and more potential productivity that I personally would rather see more in the picture. Gregg probably disagrees with me but then Gregg is hard to shake off his favorites.

        I don’t care how many tired opponents he can run at, I see BA as a system player and not good enough for what I see as the best 2026 team barring unforeseen improvement.

    • “Or maybe bring him in with 25-30 to go. But what if we only have a one goal lead? Or are tied and Bolivia are coming on strong?”

      Those scenarios are exactly when I want to bring Adams on.

      Reply
      • malkin,

        And that is probably when Gregg will use him. If we get three points off of Bolivia, and I think that is critical, it allows them to maybe rest some guys vs Panama, even though Panama are not to be trifled with.

        If we then beat Panama, that probably clinches advancement and, vs Uruguay, allows us to save guys for the knockout game. Gregg certainly wants Tyler available for that game.

    • what are you talking about, “unknown?” we are very predictable. the whole point is we win what we should and upset nobody. it wasn’t even this predictable in the 90s or the 2014-2018 teams when we were more overmatched.

      Reply
      • IV,

        “what are you talking about, “unknown?” we are very predictable. the whole point is we win what we should and upset nobody.”

        If you knew exactly what was going to happen in a game, the word “predictable” would not be in the conversation .

        I knew they were going to play a lot better vs Brazil and wrote as much before the game.

        But no one knew how much better they would be.

        In part that’s because no one knew how good, bad or indifferent Brazil would be and that’s 50% of your game time equation. As it turns out Brazil are insanely talented, insanely deep and look like a team whose manager has been in place since January. They are good enough to beat teams by accident but they are not the best team in this tournament.

        The USMNT will not beat adult teams until they learn how to. COPA America would be a good time and place to finally figure it out because they aren’t going to get a better dress rehearsal before 2026.

  16. neither Adams nor Gio can go 90, so could start Gio with Yunus and Wes, then Adams in for Gio and Wes moves higher. BA comes for whoever most tired

    or start Adams and Gio enters around 60th minute or so unless something wrong with Adams, and Gio goes against a tired D down the stretch for 30-35 minutes

    I could see GB going with either but I’m guessing Gio starts altho if he doesn’t and it’s MMA that’s hardly something so terrible, with BA also in the mix

    comparing stats in soccer, idk…Impact is what matters and all four can do it, BA too. not like we have to tear down one guy to build another up…barf

    Reply
  17. Not a fan of Balogun right now. He really has shown next to nothing for quite a while. I’d rather see Wright start instead of Balogun. I think Adams should be brought along slowly and come on in the 70th minute or so, to replace Musah or McKennie. I’d start Reyna instead of Adams and bring on Aronson in the second half since his high energy could make a difference in the late stages. So, my starting midfield would be McKennie, Musah, and Reyna with Adams and Aronson to be subs. Aronson would replace Reyna and Adams would replace either Musah or McKennie, depending on which looks more tired or is having a worse game.

    Reply
    • Yes this is how I would run the midfield also. I’ve fallen out of love with the MMA, just too defensive against most teams. MMA for Argentina/Colombia. For the group stage games you use 2 of the 3 and rest the other, rotate so each gets a game (mostly) off, then (hopefully) come knockouts we are fresher there than what happened against Netherlands at the World cup. Reyna at the 10, Aaronson his sub, also could play Pulisic here at some point and get Sargent/Wright out wide. I would expect Pepi and Balogun both get a start in a group game unless one really catches fire.

      Reply
      • When I’ve watched Wright play recently, he seems to scare the opposition, His speed, size and aggressive attacking are a combo that none of the other possible forwards have. You can argue that Balogen has better skill, but Wright seems be to hit the net for both club and country more often.

  18. how many times does reyna have to do it in a tournament before we stop the teardown nonsense? and if we’re gonna do this, can we do this on something other than the complete rubbish that is talking about how supposedly “bad” he is against good teams? (1) he’s the guy showing up at recent big games, not the others. (2) be honest, at the truly serious stuff like the world cup NONE OF THE DARNED MIDFIELD SHOWED UP ON OFFENSE. i mean, i take some of these arguments to be implying mckennie is better in big games, which is goofy lately. and musah HAS NEVER SCORED FOR THE US and has 2 ASSISTS IN NEARLY 40 CAPS. but by all means let’s tear down reyna for 8G 5A in fewer caps than musah has played. utter. utter. nonsense. and it’s horrifying to witness this same stupidity take a new form every tournament. if it’s not practice effort or club form i guess it’s gonna be incompletely applied heuristics. cause if we’re gonna really compare, no one shows up well in big games for this MF and reyna has at least done “something.” there is a reason all the productivity is up top.

    it’s like the folks who talk about sargent’s supposed superior form. he had the same amount of goals and fewer assists than wright in the EXACT SAME LEAGUE. which is a second division. the guys in first divisions, while not setting the world afire, managed high single digits. and they have historically outplayed sargent in NT duty.

    it’s like we are out to sabotage ourselves.

    Reply
    • Well, there it is! Just about every word I wanted to type. EXCEPT on Flo … I don’t blame the guy. This team is NOT set up to play to his strengths.

      The first goal he scored for us was due to BJ’s 4-2-3-1 that centered Gio as a playmaker/penultimate passer. Go back and watch the tape, he has not gotten service like that since that game. It looked reminiscent of Gio to Erling from the BvB days. 😔 I am sore afraid we may never see that type of movement and final ball again. Too much playing around the middle (as opposed to through) and feeding the wing to send in useless crosses that are ineffective as a tactic and unsuitable for our personnel. 😡

      Reply
      • this is going to sound contradictory, but (a) some people don’t fit some schemes but yet (b) you can fiddle with scheme if you see the scheme seems to fit the team poorly and fit too few individuals well. at a point of having pretty good 9s run through the scheme and most do nothing, maybe reconsider the concept.

        that and develop overall talent comparisons and quit retooling the pecking order every time one of the pool makes a career move and scores more goals that season. unless you can explain how their game actually changed, the coaching staff is just being club form fanboys. used to be you didn’t do much you disappeared a few years and came back either for a fresh shot or because you’d actually grown as a player. not because you made a good transfer someplace and we got snookered into a third chance 6 months later.

        to me it’s analytics over scouting. we are reading box scores not watching players.

  19. You are seriously saying they should leave the player best equipped to break down the low block that Bolivia will employ in the bench? Gio should not only start but should be moved farther forward instead of the deeper position Gregg has had him play in recent fixtures.

    Reply
      • I would absolutely start Gio, because of what JL mentioned, but also because we need to build up his minutes/fitness. And, I would also start Johnny in place of Tyler so we can continue to bring him along slowly while he continues to rehab, so by the time we get to the Uruguay game he’s ready to go

      • why does musah have to give way?? reyna plays 10 and then we need 1-2 guys at 6. reyna has outplayed weston and tillman, as recently as march musah was playing a fair amount at our 6, adams isn’t fit and i didn’t feel like johnny played very well in his chance. and LDLT doesn’t even belong on the roster.

        so it’s weston vs. johnny for the 3rd slot, until adams is healthy and fit. reyna is the best attacker and while seemingly forgotten, musah is the next best 6 option after adams.

        this team has the worst historical amnesia, it’s like people want to hurry up and forget anything that worked last week, so to speak. and the fanboys acting like weston (or even musah, given the tone of your response) can’t be benched because of where they play. it’s getting to the point everyone on this team has an impressive club location. IT CANCELS OUT. play the performers. the normal way soccer works is we identify a formation and the best guys filling the formation roles see the field. if weston is an athletic guy and decent box crasher who has hit and miss defense, and nonetheless lacks a positional role in the scheme, them’s the breaks.

        i dunno, what is the idea, even if reyna performs in the shirt over and over, he gets treated like the vulnerable one who loses out on the numbers game, because, what, he goofed off once?

      • IV: not sure what your ranting about here. JL, Ronnie, and I are all saying Gio should start. Larry’s defense was he thinks Gregg will do something different. There was no tone meant in my question to Ronniet. Apparently I should have said “Are you sitting Yunus or Wes?” Since Ronnie had said he’d start Johnny and Gio, but I figured they could say “yes” or “no Wes”

      • JR: I know the question wasn’t to me (coming late to the convo) BUT I would sit Yunus and start Johnny for sure. This game is made for him.

        Put JC in the “Halfback” role (6) to shield the back line … he has a decent range of passing to connect back line to midfield AND he finds solutions to hold possession when under pressure. I like what I’ve seen from him at Sociedad. Let Wes (8) and Gio (10-ish) push up into and past the center circle as they wish

        Even though I prefer Wes to stay home in his role (box to box) and show up to the attacking party late. He’s incredibly dangerous as the last guy (3rd or 4th) into the box. His physical presence and aerial ability just blew up defenses in Serie A last year. Plus his willingness to crash the box, take a 20 yard shot or recycle the ball when he didn’t have a direct attacking opportunity, kept the defenses on edge in a second phase of attacking play.

        Gio is special! His passing and pace in an advanced area would greatly benefit this team. This may be the only game (possibly Panama) where he gets the opportunity to play more advanced and have less defensive responsibilities. I would love to see him combining his quick 1-2 ability and wall passes with Flo and Christian and Tim. This could be a moment for him if he’s not tasked with “back pressing” the opposing attacking/center midfielders.

        I doubt any of this happens because all of it depends on Greg showing some tactical creativity, flexibility and a willingness to adapt his system to actually play to the strength of how the players play for 38 weeks of the year. 😆

    • Tx: my concern with Johnny with NT team is he seems to have moments where he just turns off and gives the ball away in bad spots or doesn’t cover someone. I know if he doesn’t play more minutes it’s hard to get past that. I’m best case we get an early lead and can sub the MF out to keep them fresh going forward.

      Reply
  20. Usually the first game takes care of mistakes and the nervous butterflies that usually force player errors…..a team like Bolivia is a decent team for that. Field the same team that played Brazil. Fine tune somethings, maybe change A PLAYER here or there, work on mistakes made and opportunities missed, plan approach on the different COPA formations out there etc., but start the same team.

    ——–PULISIC———-PEPI*———-WEAH————

    ——-REYNA——-MUSAH———MCKENNIE—–

    A. ROBINSON—–REAM—–RICHARDS—-SCALLY

    ——————————TURNER—————————


    “CONSISTENCY IS WHAT TRANSFORMS AVERAGE INTO EXCELLENCE”

    Reply
      • lol …. Musah (CM/RM/ACM) and Reyna (ACM/RW/LW) are both in the line-up, with Musah being better aligned for the central role in a 4-3-3 system.

        Maybe you mean Flo instead of Pepi?

  21. Balogun and Malick Tillman have been lackluster for the USMNT. I don’t know about starting him. I just need for them to step up and have a good Copa. I would rest some starters imo.

    Reply
  22. I think against Bolivia and Panama those two games should still feature Gio at CAM with Adams gettimg more minuyes to build towards latter stage games. Against Uruguay and knockout rounds it’s back to the MMA midfield.

    Reply
  23. I think you’ve got to find a spot for Gio on the field somewhere. Bolivia are likely to try to stay compact and sit deep. Gio seems the guy that could break down that type of defense. I know he hasn’t contributed a lot offensively in the friendlies but that’s partly due to the defensive work he’s had to do. Bolivia isn’t probably going to have a lot of the ball so Gio should have plenty of time to devour to unlocking their defense.

    Reply
    • lol….if the USMNT is relying on Gio Reyna, this COPA is going to end very bad for us. This team needs consistency…..not an “occasional spark”

      Reply
      • Lol, if you think with Reyna starting things will end up bad, why do you have him in your starting Iine up?

      • Starting Reyna and RELYING on Reyna to unlock defenses or for the USMNT success is two different things. Every team has “The Playmaker / Best player” and Reyna is not it for the USMNT. Big difference

      • Gio last 10 NT games 5g 4a
        Yunus last 10 NT games 0g 0a
        Wes last 10 NT games 0g 2a
        Malick last 10 NT games 0g 0a
        Brendo last 10 NT games 1g 1a
        Weah last 10 NT games 2g 2a
        Pulisic last 10 NT games 6g 1a
        Pepi last 10 NT games 3g 0a
        Balo last 10 NT games 2g 3a
        Wright last 10 NT games 4g 0a.
        The math on this is pretty simple.

      • Ok you want to go there…….When was the last time Gio Reyna scored against a non-CONCACAF opponent (let’s not even include a Top 10 country)? I’ll wait…….

      • Mexico and Canada are ranked higher than Ghana…….so when has he scored against a top non-Concacaf opponents that makes him so valuable………

      • You asked when Gio last scored against non concacaf opposition, and @Johhnyrazor answered your question, then you proceed to move the goal post with a “top” non concacaf nation, and I will ask you what “top non concacaf” nation have we played recently period? If you’re counting Germany and Brazil that’s just 2, so not a big sample size to pull from brother

      • Bizzy: you asked when he was the last time he had scored against non-Concacaf opponents. The answer was Ghana in October. So now you want a non-Concacaf opponent ranked higher than Mexico. So by that we’d have Haji against Netherlands and Morocco (not ranked above at the time) Pulisic against Brazil and Germany (even though ranked below Mexico), Tim vs Colombia and Morocco, Aaronson vs Morocco. Gio was injured against Morocco. So four guys meet your criteria. Only Pulisic, Balo, and Reggie Cannon have assists that meet your criteria. If you want to strictly go by ranked above Mexico at time of match it’s Pulisic, Weah, and Balo who have scored or assisted. (By the way I’m enjoying this back and forth haven’t had a good one of these since Jozy retired)

      • Hmmm……let’s see Brazil / Columbia / Germany / Netherlands / England / Japan / Uruguay / Switzerland.
        Who has he “unlocked” when talking about those countries ……..which one of these teams did he have an impact on more than let’s say Pulisic or Weah for example. The kid has talent, but he is not the next coming of Christ…….he can’t even secure a team.
        When taking about impact players that can carry the USMNT on their back, there are other players…….and Reyna is not one of them

      • “By the way I’m enjoying this back and forth haven’t had a good one of these since Jozy retired”…….Amen to that, lol

      • Lleget scored against Switzerland would you like to bring him back?
        Switzerland is ranked below Mexico as are Uruguay and Japan (I know that’s silly.) We’ll throw in #20 Iran
        Let’s just say current top 20 goals or assists since Covid.
        Pulisic 3g 2a
        Weah 2g 0a
        Wright 2g 0a
        Aaronson 1g 1a
        Balo 0g 2a
        Lleget 1g 0a
        Do you noticed others not on that list? Weston, Tyler Yunus, Malick, Johnny, Luca, Dest, Jedi, Pepi, Sargent.

      • as i discussed above, this is a fake, inconsistently applied argument. reyna carried them last summer and this march. reyna was doing the setup work deep in march so he has ASSISTS instead of GOALS. reyna was not the only one playing mid, and as suggested by the list, people aren’t applying their argument across the line to the other mids. it’s a “talking point” argued to kneecap one person rhetorically, not a “analytics point” used objectively to compare all choices to see which one is actually superior.

        i personally think sentimentality is badly creeping in. i guess people are all excited musah banged a crossbar. except it didn’t go in and he’s still never scored in the shirt. if one scores all the time a post is tough luck. if you never score a post is work on your shot some more. we had 1 goal and we tied the game. can we act like it? like maybe that’s not the MF endgame.

      • IV: to be fair to my guy Bizzy, he also said Gio should start, he just disagreed with my statement “ Gio seems the guy that could break down that type of defense. I know he hasn’t contributed a lot offensively in the friendlies but that’s partly due to the defensive work he’s had to do.” Literally every poster with the exception of our author Larry Henry has said to start Reyna.

      • ” inconsistently applied argument. reyna carried them last summer and this march”……….put down the pipe, lol.
        Gio is not carrying anything when it comes to the USMNT. They CAN do just fine without him starting. Examples
        USMNT VS ENGLAND
        USMNT VS WALES (with Bale)
        USMNT VS URUGUAY
        (Pulisic, Weah, Dest, Musa, Mckennie, Adams) There is a reason GB didn’t start him at the world cup, there is a reason he fell out of form with Dortmund (they moved on), there is a reason he got only a few minutes in the EPL and there is a reason his club situation is in limbo.
        When it comes to soccer THE BEST PLAYERS PLAYS. You don’t bench or get rid of your top players. A player with no consistency is a bench player…….as you have to deliver, especially at the highest level, day in day out.
        Gio has talent, age on his side and tons of potential. He even deserves to start on the national team…….but he is not the go-too-guy for the USMNT. Captain American is taken

      • Bizzy: I know I shouldn’t get into this disagreement between you and IV, but we scored 1g in those 3 games you mentioned. We had 25 total shots in those 3 matches and only 5 were on target. No xG for the friendly but our xG for the two WC games .69 and .73.

      • PeterP you must be COLOMBIAN……Hahaha. I’ll edit after using the speaker option just for you

      • bzzy,

        “PeterP you must be COLOMBIAN……Hahaha. I’ll edit after using the speaker option just for you”

        Columbia is an Ivy League school that gave us Pellegrino Matarazzo our best German speaking head coach unless Fabian Hurzeler proves other wise.
        Columbia is a city in Maryland that actor Edward Norton grew up
        Columbia is a sporting apparel company
        Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and gave us noted racist, segregationist , suspected KKK member and US president, Woodrow Wilson.

        What Columbia is not, is a country with a national football team that is arguably playing as well as anyone in the world at the moment.

        That would be Colombia.

        You’re welcome.

      • Vacqui,
        Again, it’s bizzy not bzzy, and your double post is absolutely unnecessary (like we didn’t hear you the first time). Know where the conversation is before you try and interject. lol

      • bizzy: dude, i find a bunch of TIE GAMES without reyna unconvincing. kind of like i came off that brazil game like “meh.” we needed a result for morale, and it will look ok out of context, but are we trying to win, or what?
        i mean at some point can we be honest that england game was a tactical affair played by both teams with the parking brake on. take your 0-0 and go to the next one. that doesn’t help you win the ones it takes to progress.
        and i keep taking crud for it but maybe identify someone else in this whole pool who can sub for reyna and play a similar type game.
        i think weston would be an interesting player if we were playing some “chances over possession” counter soccer dominated by wide speed and less emphasis on build. win it mid, knock it wide, throw some people in the box, finish the counter. i don’t think he or musah fit what we are trying to do on offense. i think they fit some sort of defensive scheme and we’re fibbing what the priorities are.

      • bzzy

        “Vacqui,
        Again, it’s bizzy not bzzy, ”

        Not getting your name spelled right bother you? Kettle , pot , black.

      • Not at all Vacqui….. just saying make sure your house is in order first before you make a valiant effort to start critiquing someone else’s. Otherwise you just look silly.

      • bzzy
        “Not at all Vacqui….. just saying make sure your house is in order first before you make a valiant effort to start critiquing someone else’s. Otherwise you just look silly.”

        My house is in perfect order.

    • Has Gio evolved and been humbled in the EPL? His work rate against Brazil was outstanding. Super keen to see him become more box to box and not be a negative defending.
      Where can you fit Gio? He does offer more with the ball than Adams, Musah, and Wes but doesn’t defend or cover space like those three. Could play Wes and Musah in front of the back four and Gio just go to the ball under Pumit, Weah, Balo?

      Reply
      • +1 box to box part and on his excellent workmate vs. Brazil, made a difference. Goals saved and opportunities thwarted just as important as goals scored imo

  24. The one uncertainty is if Adams is ready to start and go 75-90 minutes. Musah has shown he can fill in his spot if needed. Reyna will likely get the nod if Adams isn’t ready. Bolivia is a step down from Colombia and Brazil, so I’d expect Reyna to find more space to work with.

    Reply
    • agree on the minutes thing with Adams tho Gio isn’t 90 minute fit either. But re. space, there was a TON of it vs. Brazil, more than I expect the USMNT to see agin this month. we’ll see

      Reply

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