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BSL: USMNT 3


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#41 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

Well my second thought turned out correct. It is Gonzalez in the middle with Brooks and Lleget attacking mid in place of Klejstan. I like it fine. Look for Pulisic to have the freedom to roam the field. They have him slotted behind Deuce and Altidore in the middle.

 

I am calling it here. Altidore will get a hold up pass and feed off to a running Pulisic. He'll score or make one of his incredible slotted passes through the box for a score.



#42 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:52 PM

Great first half and its 3-0 for the good guys.

Lleget, Bradley, and Dempsey scored. Pulisic with two assists. Altidore playing very well. A couple of minor lapses in the back but all and all a great first game under Arena.

 

Lets hope they can keep it up. The only negative is that Lleget had to come out with an injury. Limits our ability to make second half subs for injury and card protection.

 

Honduras should have several more cards. Continually taking US players down from behind with no chance to play the ball. The ref is being very nice to them.



#43 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:40 AM

Pretty sweet...hope Brooks is okay...

#44 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:22 AM

Brooks should be fine. The field report was he was dehyrdated. Man he looked bad, no really bad, trying to come off the field. His presence in the middle is important especially a road game like Panama.

 

I would be tempted to give three MOTM awards for that match. Pulisic, Dempsey, and Altidore.  What a combination they proved to be. Altidore technically didn't factor in the score sheet but don't let that fool you. He was a beast. Great vision and the passes to use that vision. And his touches were really good, especially for him.

 

And speaking of vision, holy cow Pulisic is just something special. Hard to fathom that he is only 18 years old. That pass to Dempsey was world class. First you have to recognize that run. Second you have to see the correct pass to make (only the chip would get the ball in a playable and dangerous position), and lastly you have to make that pass. And that was as difficult a pass as there is to make. The touch has to be literally perfect.

 

Bradley had one of his better games in a long time. But he still gives away possession too often and mishits too many passes.

 

Gonzalez was fair at best. He lost a couple of marks and we got lucky to keep a clean sheet.

 

Ngabe was quietly successful. He maintained possession well and was able to beat Honduras on the dribble frequently. While he didn't factor in any of the goals (and yes when you score 6 thats a bit hard to do), but don't underestimate how hard he was on the Honduran defense. He made them work really really hard.

 

Have to mull if over for the next couple of days on how I think they will go at Panama, but out the gate I believe not much will change pending how everybody came out of the match. Clearly Lleget won't be playing. So I think we go with the same starting XI with Jermaine Jones in for Lleget and perhaps we may see a different look with the back four. Gonzo wasn't as good as we need him to be and Panama will make some of those mistakes pay.

 

All in all couldn't have asked for a better result. We went from dead last up to fourth with the three points and improving our goal differential to the + side. Huge match and results. Now lets go get at least one down in Panama.


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#45 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

Well this poor team just can't catch a break.

 

Brooks, Orozco, and Lleget have all been dropped for injuries or illness and not making the trip to Panama. Paul Arriolo has been called in for another defender.



#46 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

SI: Dempsey, Pulisic display prolific combination for USA



#47 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:12 PM

SI: Arena's relaxed, sarcastic approach benefiting USMNT so far



#48 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:20 PM

NBC Sports / PST: USMNT-Panama preview: World Cup calm at stake

 

NBC Sports / PST: Three keys for USMNT against Panama

 

NBC Sports / PST: Arena speaks about USMNT turnaround, says “no secret formulas”



#49 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:02 PM

SI: Dempsey, Pulisic enjoy a mutual admiration



#50 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:10 PM

NBC Sports / PST: How will USMNT line up vs. Panama?



#51 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:17 PM

The lineup is out and no real shocker. Arena liked what he saw on Friday night so he is starting the same way they finished except Jones is in for Bedoya.

 

Keeper - Howard

Defenders - Zusi Gonzalez Ream Villafana

Midfield - Ngabe Bradley Jones Pulisic

Forwards - Dempsey Altidore


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#52 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:25 PM

The lineup is out and no real shocker. Arena liked what he saw on Friday night so he is starting the same way they finished except Jones is in for Bedoya.

 

Keeper - Howard

Defenders - Zusi Gonzalez Ream Villafana

Midfield - Ngabe Bradley Jones Pulisic

Forwards - Dempsey Altidore

 

Feels like the US has some firepower with Ngabe, Bradley, Pulisic as the mids, and Dempsey (or Wood, or Morris when their healthy), and Jozy at forward..... combine that group with the US's 4 best defenders (when healthy) and Howard.... and think that's a roster which can have some success.



#53 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:21 AM

Well the best news from last night is that we did what we needed to do and got the road point. Unfortunately away is Panama is one of the road CONCACAF games where you feel like you can get three. BUT as poorly as we played we should be happy as we could have just as easily come away with zero.

 

Here's my take on our players from last night:

 

Bradley - Great work rate. Plays his guts out. Just sucks on free kicks and turns the ball over way to often for you DCM.

Jones - I hate to say this but he looks done as a starter. And for sure he should never be paired with Bradley. When those two play together they just kill any forward movement.

Zusi - Graham I love you but you are not a RB. Your first touch is as bad as I have seen for a midfielder or defender. Every single first touch the ball bounces 6" to a foot. That is death for a back. You recovered well after getting beat several times and that is good. But I much prefer a back who doesn't get beat so often. Probably fine as a late game sub but should not start.

Gonzo - Actually thought he played pretty well last night. Was positioned well and had to make several covers for Ream. Nice job Omar.

Ream - Get back to work. I preferred Besler and nothing you did last night made me rethink that. Beat way too often. Out of position and your supposed quality passing was nowhere to be seen. And your play on that long throw in that lead to the goal was junior high. Close your eyes and turn your back. SMH.

Villafana - Solid and safe. Might have a good LB option now so we really can move Johnson to wing.

Ngabe - His ability to keep the ball at his feet and beat defenders was really important to give us some possession. His first half was outstanding but he faded a bit in the second half. However, dude you need to learn after you beat several players to look for your runner. You had two chances last night to feed a very dangerous runner and missed them both.

Pulisic - Another solid game and the work on the goal was pure magic. Stole the ball. Beat his man. Pulled it back and fed Deuce for an easy goal. But please stop going after the Ref. Yes they were hacking you but you will get carded if you keep this up.

Dempsey - Mostly a no show but he did finish his one chance and he made a superb thru ball to Pulisic who hesitated just a second too long to shoot

Altidore - Jozy what the heck? Where was the energy, hold up play, and passing you showed Friday night. To be fair a lot of that was due to the very limited passes he even got from Jones/Bradley.

Howard - Timmy you are still the man.

 

Referee - Please visit your optometrist! You missed a number of blatant fouls. You called numerous ticky tacky fouls on the US. But worst of all is your refusal to card Panama. Ngabe and Pulisic were fouled 5 times in the first half. Have you ever heard of persistent infringement? That was unacceptable but unfortunately entirely predictable for a road CONCACAF match.

 

All in all not a bad set of matches. Would have liked 6 points but 4 is putting us in much better shape than we had coming in and three of the next four are at home. One other note though. Just to show how corrupt soccer Federations can be. For the June matches the US plays at home on June 8 then have to travel to Mexico for a game on June 11. So instead of the normal three days between matches there are only two days. And yes both teams have this short turnaround. HOWEVER, freaking Mexico has both of their matches at home. So they have a huge benefit. No way they should be playing short turnaround against a team that doesn't have any travel.


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#54 DuffMan

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:12 AM

Wanted six but agree that four is still really good.  The big takeaway is our much improved goal differential.  I don't think it will come to that, but it's nice to know that we have that in our back pocket.


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You can bet on the numbers, or you can bet on Buck Showalter.

#55 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 02:34 PM

SI: USMNT's Arena: USA can win 2026 World Cup

 

SI: Mailbag: USMNT's current best XI; World Cups 2018, 2022, 2026



#56 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 06:39 PM

CBS Sports: Yedlin back from injury: Let's look at the best USA squad for World Cup Qualifiers
http://www.cbssports...cup-qualifiers/



#57 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:23 PM

NBC Sports / PST: Mexico coach expects ‘very different’ US in June qualifier



#58 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:31 AM

If Bradley starts then he must be at the D mid position. And he should not be taking free kicks anymore. Let him play in front of the defense where he still has some value.

 

Jones is not my choice to start anymore. I think there are better options and I would go with Ngabe.

 

Tough call for me between Dempsey and Woods.

 

I will do a more in depth analysis prior to the upcoming qualifiers in June. Here's a tidbit to get you thinking. The lineups and game plan will be quite different between the TNT and Mexico matches.


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#59 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:59 PM

SI: The advice, book and club move that put DeAndre Yedlin's career back on track
https://www.si.com/p...afa-benitez-epl

 




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