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USMNT 2022


Napoleon

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Posted (edited)

It's 2022! 

Just like that, the US men’s national team's marathon 2021 is over.

The final act for head coach Gregg Berhalter’s team was a 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy, courtesy of a late Cole Bassett winner.

That gave the USMNT a record-setting 17th win in a calendar year (), vaulting them forward with the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup only 11 months away and more qualifiers looming.

A new year, a FIFA World Cup year at that.
 

USA-Beat-Mexico-in-Extra-Time-to-Win-7th

The USMNT celebrates the CONCACAF Nations League Title with a since dropped Josh Sargent (formerly #9)

 

In 2021, the USMNT did the following:

-17-2-3 overall record

-Beat El Tri THREE TIMES!!! (TRES VECES!!)

-Won the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League Trophy

-Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup

-Beat México Dos a Cero in Ohio, just like old times! (This time Cincinnati rather than Columbus.)

-Nailed down Ricardo Pepi & Yunus Musah

-Wet the appetite of LB Jonathan Gómez to pledge to play for the USA over El Tri

-Saw Daryl Dike go off in England's Championship in the spring
 

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A bunch o' Mexicans chasing Chelsea's & the USMNT's Christian Pulisic

 

Looking forward to 2022:

-We have World Cup qualifiers in January, February, & March

- - January 27th vs El Salvador

- - January 30th @ Canada (near Buffalo)

- - February 2nd vs Honduras

- - March 24th @ Mexico (Azteca in the thin air & smog)

- - March 27th vs Panama

- - March 30th @ Costa Rica

 

The Americans in Europe aren't shining quite as brightly as they were in May, but...

Christian Pulisic won a Champions League Title last year and just scored for Chelsea to start 2022... but is also seeing time at wing back as Tuchel continues to tinker with Puli.

Sergiño Dest, Matthew Hoppe, Bryan Reynolds, and others need to figure out their team situation... but Gianluca Busio & Tanner Tessmann are looking good at Venezia and that Weston McKinnie continues to prove that he's the straw that currently stirs the drink for Juventus.

Tyler Adams hopefully gets back in the groove in Germany, but speaking of Germany...

Ricardo Pepi just went to Bundesliga 2 team Augsberg for $20M + add-ons. Daryl Dike is returning to England to play in the Championship for West Brom(wich Albion) and his old manager from Burnley for nearly $10M + add-ons and basically...

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And lastly, FC Dallas' old coach, Luchi Gonzalez was replaced with Gregg Berhalter's assistant, Nico Estévez and now Luchi has taken Nico's old spot on Gregg's staff, so expect the FC Dallas <=> USMNT connection to be as strong as ever... at least for this cycle.


WE'RE READY FOR 2022!!

 

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Edited by Napoleon
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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, dieucla98 said:

Great write up. One small correction, your boy Pepi isn't playing in the 2. Bundesliga - Augsburg are in the Bundesliga proper, though fighting for their life.

You are correct!

I read so many things about Sargent & Hoppe being better off if they had just gone down with their clubs... AND... about Augsburg possibly going down, but it would be fine for Pepi to just stay there, that I had Bundesliga 2 in my head. I wonder if it can be changed by a moderator.

 

Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 9.30.01 AM.jpeg

Edited by Napoleon
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I too wonder if it would be better for Pepi to be in fighting for promotion situation in 2. Bundesliga (like Dike in England) vs what Sargent is enduring at Norwich.

Side note, there are some big names fighting for their lives in the Bundesliga - both Wolfsburg and BM recently were playing European level futbol. 

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Posted (edited)

 

Interview starts at 4:00 (they interview him in German and translate).

tl;dw version:

1. never heard of Pepi until this transfer (not shocking - says that Germans don't really pay attention to American soccer). also didn't know how big of a deal Pepi is in the US soccer community 

2. they have forwards, but have had issues with injuries and COVID. need a goal scorer

3. better fit at Ausburg as at a place like Bayern he wouldn't play much

4. Closer to the bottom than the top, so potential for Pepi to make a big impact

5. Schnitzel dudes explained Pepi's strength as being a guy who can finish but needs good service. That excited Stromann who said that's exactly what Augsburg needs as they have plenty of guys who can get the ball into the box. Need someone who can finish and put the ball in goal. 

6. Augsburg is famous for puppet shows

Edited by The Dog
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Sargent is his own problem in Norwich. He isn't struggling there because they are struggling. He's struggling because he can't score goals though his own fault. At Werder he scored 15 goals in 83 games. That showed he was going to struggle elsewhere too.

How will Pepe play? That's realy up to him. He could turn it on or might cool down. We will see.

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On 12/29/2021 at 11:55 AM, Braff Zacklin said:

With the year drawing to a close, why not relive some of the USMNT's best moments?

 

One thing this video reminded me of: I want to see more Daryl Dike in the Nats lineup.

 

I want to see him or Pepe as the primary targets of passes into the box. Frankly I think he will be great with West Brom and hopefully get them back up this year.

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If Dike can get his form back and become a US version of Lukaku - a big bully that can hold the ball up - with Pepi playing off him, that would be electric.

Dike - Pepi

Puli - Adams - McKennie - Reyna

LB - CB - CB - Dest

That's probably too many offensive minded players but against the dregs of CONCACAF, that's what you need. Scale it back against Mexico and Canada but otherwise, go balls out.

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Honestly, that is exactly what we should run out against the dregs. They are going to park it and clog up lanes, we need something that can break it down - that could do it.

 

But doing that would also involve Berhalter to also come up with a strategy beyond "bring it up on the wings." Like actually attacking in the middle.

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Have you been watching Chelsea of late? Puli is really a wing back. Or a false 9. But definitely not a winger. Anything but a winger.

I don't think that MF would get overrun by any team in the Octagonal... Mexico, Canada - sure. Panama, Costa Rica - maybe. But El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica? Come on, now.

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1 hour ago, alincoln said:

That's really a 4-2-4 and the MF would get overrun by any team in the Octagonal 

Would it? I'm not saying run this against Mexico or Canada or the speedier and more talented teams.

But against teams like Honduras and El Salvador are more than willing to give up possession, park the defense and play the counter against the top table teams (US and Mexico). With a talent laden team like what we are talking abour running out there or this, I think might leave ourselves open, but could use our talent to contain them. I think a team like Costa Rica, where they are sending out teams that are older than dirt out there, this could also succeed.

Along with having a better attacking philosophy (see attacks up the middle), Berhalter would also need to make this team more disciplined on their assignments. But get that right and I think it could work.

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2 hours ago, alincoln said:

That's really a 4-2-4 and the MF would get overrun by any team in the Octagonal 

It really isn't. Pulisic can play as far back as you need him to short of being a FB. Reyna is basically a true mid at this point. 

I think it's an interesting look but against better sides I'd rather Aaronson be on the pitch than 2 strikers.

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2 hours ago, dieucla98 said:

Have you been watching Chelsea of late? Puli is really a wing back. Or a false 9. But definitely not a winger. Anything but a winger.

I don't think that MF would get overrun by any team in the Octagonal... Mexico, Canada - sure. Panama, Costa Rica - maybe. But El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica? Come on, now.

The outside midfielders in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-4 are by definition wingers (see Ryan Giggs).  Wingbacks don't play in front of fullbacks.  They replace fullbacks in a 3-4-3, 3-5-2 or 5-3-2.  Any team with a pulse that plays 3 CMs against a 4-4-2 is going to overrun CM.  There is too much room both in front of them and behind them.  That is the primary reason no one plays a 4-4-2 any more.  You can still play only two CMs in a 3-4-3 because one of the CBs effectively serves as a CDM while in attack and the wingbacks can pinch in defense if the wingers track back.

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1 hour ago, Captain Ron said:

Would it? I'm not saying run this against Mexico or Canada or the speedier and more talented teams.

But against teams like Honduras and El Salvador are more than willing to give up possession, park the defense and play the counter against the top table teams (US and Mexico). With a talent laden team like what we are talking abour running out there or this, I think might leave ourselves open, but could use our talent to contain them. I think a team like Costa Rica, where they are sending out teams that are older than dirt out there, this could also succeed.

Along with having a better attacking philosophy (see attacks up the middle), Berhalter would also need to make this team more disciplined on their assignments. But get that right and I think it could work.

Contemporary possession-based soccer is predicated on 3 CMs (ask Pep Guardiola).  As is Klopp's pressing system, which is actually the best fit the USMNT in Concacaf but would get us killed in the World Cup.  

We frequently struggle to maintain possession against CONCACAF teams with 3 CMs much less 2.  Adams' passing and ball control is nowhere near good enough to play in a MF 2.  Imagine Acosta there.   

4-2-4/4-4-2 is also a system no one plays and international soccer with a middling coach is not the place to effectively implement an unfamiliar system with unfamiliar roles.  

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36 minutes ago, alincoln said:

The outside midfielders in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-4 are by definition wingers (see Ryan Giggs).  Wingbacks don't play in front of fullbacks. 

The winger quip was tongue in cheek - Pulisic has been asked to play a variety of roles for Chelsea of late, none of which being a winger (his natural fit). 

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1 hour ago, The Dog said:

I wonder what Barca's ask will be. Tmkt has him at $19M but that seems really low given his age and all of the smoke around multiple teams wanting him. I'd have to imagine he's closer to $50M than $20M. 

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Posted (edited)

i'd like to see Pepi, Pefok, and Dike as the three 9s we bring to Qatar (yes, we will qualify).  play the guy in the best form.  hopefully Pepi.  but they each bring something a little different.

fuck.  World Cup is this year.

Edited by Jive Turkey
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i'd like to see Pepi, Pefok, and Dike as the three 9s we bring to Qatar (yes, we will qualify).  play the guy in the best form.  hopefully Pepi.  but they each bring something a little different.
fuck.  World Cup is this year.

Fuck it’s in November and December and even worse in Fucking Qatar!
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i'd like to see Pepi, Pefok, and Dike as the three 9s we bring to Qatar (yes, we will qualify).  play the guy in the best form.  hopefully Pepi.  but they each bring something a little different.
fuck.  World Cup is this year.

This is what I think happens. I don’t see scenarios where Aaronson starts on the bench assuming everyone is healthy and I don’t think he should.
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Jive Turkey said:

i'd like to see Pepi, Pefok, and Dike as the three 9s we bring to Qatar (yes, we will qualify).  play the guy in the best form.  hopefully Pepi.  but they each bring something a little different.

fuck.  World Cup is this year.

Assuming they're close enough in form, Pepi is who I'd trot out when we're favored and being aggressive and Dike when we're an underdog and having to hunker down. 

Off the ball runs, finishing: Pepi > Dike

Hold up play: Dike > Pepi

And then Pefok off the bench to poach some goals.

I also haven't given up on Sargent quite yet. Getting close though...

Edited by dieucla98
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2 hours ago, dieucla98 said:

Assuming they're close enough in form, Pepi is who I'd trot out when we're favored and being aggressive and Dike when we're an underdog and having to hunker down. 

Off the ball runs, finishing: Pepi > Dike

Hold up play: Dike > Pepi

And then Pefok off the bench to poach some goals.

I also haven't given up on Sargent quite yet. Getting close though...

1) Pepi is a little faster than Dike and can get his shot off a little quicker.

2) Pepi doesn't "hold up" so much as he lays off a perfect one-touch pass that teammates are either ready for or they aren't. He doesn't usually hand out 20+ yards from the nearest teammate, so I guess that you can say that if we are going to play our #9 20+ yards away from his nearest teammate, then we will need hold-up play, but I prefer Pepi's one-touch lay-offs.

3) Pefok is just a large human being.

4) ...Sargent... 🤣

...maybe if we get invited to the Copa America in 2024. We'll just have to see what position he's playing by then and whether we need support at that position.

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3 hours ago, Captain Ron said:

The Sport app gives him a chance 

 

image.thumb.png.6bf6f2d15737638d276b8c698cc8c1e5.png

Not just “US teammate”, but “fellow FC Dallas Academy graduate, Chris Richards”…

The Hunt family has their fingerprints all over the Bundesliga!

 

😎

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1 hour ago, Captain Ron said:

Bench. I would not be shocked to see him get 20’ or so. 
 

 

I'm watching it.  They just showed him on the bench.  I'm trying to figure out what the best score would be for him to see time.  Right now his team is up 1-0.

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32 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

I'm watching it.  They just showed him on the bench.  I'm trying to figure out what the best score would be for him to see time.  Right now his team is up 1-0.


With Hoffenheim bossing the match after that early goal, Pepi will likely see the field in the second half, I just don’t know if he’ll see the ball. 

 

B2D572AE-BCF2-4422-A4DC-786D22946ED3.png

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, shnsajax said:

I don’t recall ever seeing this before.

94d464a6c62dd680e518f54b8fe58cd4.jpg

Is that “The Double Dong” formation?

Or the Vagina formation that taunts the opposition to get that sperm ball ⚽️ into the uterus?

”Park The Diaphragm” defense can be highly effective, but is not impenetrable. (FYI)

Edited by Napoleon
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Is that “The Double Dong” formation?
Or the Vagina formation that taunts the opposition to get that sperm ball ️ into the uterus?
”Park The Diaphragm” defense can be highly effective, but is not impenetrable. (FYI)

Double Dong is literally what I called it too!
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21 hours ago, Captain Ron said:

 

Time for Dest fo find a new club.

What a stupid tweet without context. Barca is playing a club legend over a player that they are going to almost assuredly sell in this window. 

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14 hours ago, ztejas said:

What a stupid tweet without context. Barca is playing a club legend over a player that they are going to almost assuredly sell in this window. 

 

Grant Wahl is a bit of a pansy-assed douche.

Not a fan.

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I wouldn't pay much attention to the formation that Google claims teams are running. They've put up some weird ones in the past, a la the double dong 4-2-2-2 above or the time they put Adams at CB and Arriola at CM (about had a heart attack...). ESPN has been suspect at times too.

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13 minutes ago, The Dog said:

The problem is that Xavi and Alves are friends (the point of my tweets a few posts up), and that is always going to put Alves ahead in the race, even though Dest is better. Dest needs to move on.

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