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2019 Gold Cup


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#21 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:47 AM

Post game thoughts.

 

Good - The goal was clearly to rest the starters (mostly, although Pulisic and Boyd did come on in the second half) and to win the group. Mission accomplished. No cards were received and no injuries occurred as well. Plus we got to see some of the lesser players (Miholavic, Cannon, Lewis) and see how they'd handle it. So overall pleased with what they accomplished last night and I am warming up to Berhalter more and more. Now lets see how he works the team the rest of the way. Don't expect much trouble on Sunday with Curacao. We should be able to handle them with whatever lineup we send out.

 

Now as to the players last night here's how I rate their performances.

 

Stock up:

 

Cannon, Miazga, Johnson  Those three played well and did their jobs with no major mistakes. I believer Miazga is a #1 team player and have lobbied that the back line should be Miazga, Zimmerman, and Long. I think we are actually in good shape here going into qualifying with several additional choices in Brooks, Carter-Vickers, Brown.

 

Stock the same:

 

Mihavolic - made some errors but showed some flashes and hes' young. I believe he has potential just needs more exposure and training

Gonzalez - Omar is Omar. Good for a big mistake every game. While he didn't go anything really awful last night I think age has gotten to him and he really doesn't have a role going forward except for depth against weaker teams.

Lewis - Good energy but not the best touch. Ok bench/role player going forward.

Trapp - Just not that good but not that bad. But has to be behind Bradley, McKennie, and Adams.

 

Stock down:

Roldan - enough of him. He has had plenty of callups and he just isn't at the needed level. Rather see them bring in Pomykal from the U20 team going forward.

Altidore - Yes he scored a nice goal and had some nice holdups. But he is out of shape and looked to have low energy. Maybe he is still getting in to shape but he didn't look to take over the #1 striker spot in this tourney over Zardes. Jozy is better technically but Zardes has shown way more energy.

 

On to the quarterfinal on Sunday. Be interesting to see what lineup Berhalter sends out. Will he put the starters back out, the second XI, like last night, or a mix? I lean toward most if not all the first team to build the cohesion they need for presumably the follow on match with Jamaica.



#22 DuffMan

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:29 PM

Mihavolic did show some flashes, but he was terrible on set pieces.  There were 2 or 3 free kicks and a corner that he took in the  1st half that were no good.

 

I also thought there were too many stoppages in the 1st half, that official was whistle happy!  I went to bed at the 60th minute so I missed the goal.



#23 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:45 PM

Duff

 

The Ref was not good for a game at this level. He's from Qatar and no doubt FIFA is trying to get some Qatari ref's beefed up for use in WC 2022. But this guy was just awful.

 

1. Got many calls backwards. Called a foul on one player when it should have been the other.

2. Spent WAY too much time talking to the players when he wanted to caution them. Dude, they aren't paying attention to you one bit. Once you call them over they get the message. Stop babbling on.

3. Do you know what advantage even is and when to apply it? He blew the whistle for fouls when it was a clear advantage to let play continue then he went the other way when there was no advantage and calling the foul was correct.

 

Now the positive I will give the guy is that he tried to call things evenly and he was pretty fair about that. And he seemed very interested in the match and trying to do a good job so there is hope for him down the road.



#24 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 12:01 PM

A surprise yesterday and an almost surprise.

 

Haiti beat Canada.

 

Mexico had to go to extra time, penalties, and even extended penalties to beat Costa Rica.

 

US should handle Curacao tonight but don't look past them. They have a number of players who play in the Dutch first division. Still should be able to rest some players again tonight prepping for what should be Jamaica on Wednesday.



#25 glenn__davis

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 06:27 AM

A win is a win, but what an underwhelming performance.  If it hadn't been for Pulisic they would have had absolutely nothing in terms of creating offense.  Back line actually played OK.  The midfield was awful.  If they play like that against Jamaica they'll be going home.



#26 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:05 PM

Curacao is better than most people realize. They see the size of the country then believe that they must be tiny when it comes to soccer. But the don't realize that most of the guys on the team weren't born in Curacao and most play in Europe.

 

Still not an acceptable performance. They just can't find the right ball in the final third. If they could finish better than they would kill the other teams spirit. But every bad cross, every bad finish, just gives the other side more adrenaline since they have a chance.

 

Unfortunately not sure what Berhalter is going to do about this with the players on the roster. None of the guys not starting are any better finishers than the guys on the bench except for Altidore. He may get the nod on Wednesday over Zardes now.



#27 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 05:54 AM

ESPN: 



#28 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 06:25 PM

Semi-final against Jamaica coming up shortly. I think we will see the same lineup used the last game except that Altidore starts over Zardes and I think we play a 4-1-4-1 formation tonight. Keep our stronger players in the midfield to mitigate Jamaica's speed in the counter attack. Will likely still try and play wide in the attack but if Altidore is in there then I think we will see him post up with his back to goal as a target forward. Zardes just doesn't have the first touch needed to play that way. Then when Bradley or McKennie hit a pass to Altidore he can look to lay off to a running Pulisic/Boyd/Arriola.

 

Should look something like this:

 

1761336_USA.jpg



#29 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:05 PM

Well the part I got right first:

They are going with a 4-1-4-1 and Altidore is starting in place of Zardes.

 

Now the part I got wrong:

 

Cannon at RB for Lima, Miazga at CB for Zimmerman, and Morris at LW for Boyd.

 

Not a bad lineup at all!



#30 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:18 AM

SI: After Handling Jamaica, Weather Delay, USMNT Gets Gold Cup Final vs. Mexico



#31 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

Always two worries when a significant delay occurs like last night. First and foremost of course is injuries. Thankfully the guys stayed loose in the dressing room then got well stretched out before they started play again.

 

The second is a change in the flow of the game and that is almost impossible to stop. Its sounds so easy to just say come back out and keep playing the same way. Oh if sports really worked like that. The first 15 minutes is as well as I have seen this team play on a long long time. No doubt that had that weather delay not happened it was just a matter of minutes before we scored another goal or two and it would have been game over. Jamaica would have had their spirit crushed. But the weather delay was exactly what the Reggae Boys needed to regroup. 

 

But even that wasn't enough to deny the Stars and Stripes. It took a while for them to get going again but they did and got the second goal early in the second half. Even though Jamaica was pressing they just didn't have a way to break us down in the final third. Until Zardes with a horrible giveaway just outside out own 18 and all of a sudden its 2-1. But not to worry because on this night Pulisic was not going to let his team lose. There I said it...."his team."   After last night I don't think anybody can question that he is clearly the leader of this team. He can't do it all but boy did he raise his and the teams level of play last night. Excited to see a decade of a midfield of Pulisic, McKennie, and Adams.

 

Sunday to the final and what a day for soccer fans. Both US national teams in a final on the same day!!!!



#32 glenn__davis

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:40 AM

We're going to be on the road during the WWC final and will be at a place without a TV for the Gold Cup final.  Poor planning on my part lol.  Hope both teams can bring home the hardware - it's been a great Summer of Soccer!


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#33 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:22 AM

There are actually three major finals on Sunday! Of course, we are in the final for the WWC and the Gold Cup. But Sunday is also the final for Copa America with Brazil taking on Peru.



#34 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

ESPN: Can the U.S. limit chances for Jimenez, Mexico's talented side in Gold Cup final?
https://www.espn.com...-gold-cup-final



#35 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 07:46 PM

The lineup is in and its the same starting XI as against Jamaica. No surprise given that was the best the team had looked so far in the tournament.

 

Big game - bragging rights for the region until WC 2022 qualifying starts.


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#36 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:31 PM

15th minute... Mexico up on possession 59/41....  US with 4 fouls.



#37 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:57 PM

42nd minute... still no score, possession now 51/49 Mexico.



#38 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:59 AM

Well I had to sleep on the game to gather my thoughts on the tournament as a whole and last night specifically.

 

The Good: 

 

1. Overall successful tournament especially how bad we looked in the two friendlies leading up to GC.

2. Several players earned future callups. Cannon and Boyd. And in Cannon's case he may push Yedlin for the starting RB role assuming Berhalter moves Adams to DMid where he belongs.

3. The back four look plenty ok and they played better as the tournament progressed. Given that John Brooks wasn't available to injury and other young guys (Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards) we look to be pretty strong in central defense.

4. The players got to spend a long time together learning to play how Berhalter wants them to.

5. Now my most important good takeaway from the tournament. The team played liked they cared and wanted it. Good to see.

 

The Bad:

1. Interesting, to say it politely, approach to subs used by Berhalter. Not sure he is up to making needed half time adjustments, especially showed up last night. Down a goal and you make two subs (Roldan and Lovitz) that seem to be more defensive in nature when Boyd was sitting on the bench.

2. Its sort of the good news bad news. The guys actually fairly well and created a good number of chances from the run of play. But we STILL don't have a consistent striker that can put away the final ball. Altidores disaster in the 5th minute last night was classic. Receives a tremendous pass from Ream. Collects the ball and makes a move and leaves his defender in the dust. Then is dead center on the field. Ball on his left foot. And he tries to shoot left footed to the right post? WT Jozy just open up your left foot and slide it to the left post. EASY goal. Maybe Josh Sargent develops that finishing ability we clearly need.

3. Several players keep getting called in that just don't have it at this level anymore. I love Michael Bradley. He has heart, is a smart player, and can still hit that amazing long diagonal pass. But his age and lack of speed has caught up to him. He's too slow and he got cleaned on the Mexican goal last night. Let the player run right by him with. Just awful. Time for Berhalter to drop Bradley (and Trapp) and bring Adams back to Dmid where he belongs and not some crazy hybrid RB position.

 

Now last night. Oh what could have been. The first 45 there was no question who the better team was. And had Jozy finished his chance and if one other chance could have been finished I think the outcome is different. Then we have the fiasco at the 48th minute. A bad foul. Called but no card. McKennie pushes Guardardo but no card. But then the ultimate Ref fail. Guardardo grabs McKennie around the throat. That is an auto direct red card ejection. In any match. In any place on earth. But not even a yellow. That was as close a game as I have seen in a long time that was ripe for an all out brawl. Frankly, I was amazed punches weren't thrown. That Ref has no business every seeing a FIFA match again. At that point the game was still 0-0. Mexico should have played the rest of the way down a man. But nope this is CONCACAF.  If anybody doesn't think there is anti US bias among referees in the region then just go watch this again. 

 

Now in fairness to Mexico they made adjustments at the half and were clearly the better team the second half and deserved the result. Now as to their beer throwing fans. Disgusting.






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