USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
Trusty & Glad have earned their spot, so it’s not fair to bump them. Young guys who earn a call up need to get it.

Wicky has been rolling Pineda out as the more defensive of the double pivot with Medran in most matches, so it’s hard to say Pineda has earned a spot at CB. He’s kind of a tweener now - CB/DM - but needs to settle into a permanent role in order to continue developing.

I might have called him in over CCV or EPB given that both those guys will be back to Europe during the tournament and will likely been searching out new loan destinations, too.

Mostly, just disappointed that Pineda got a long look in camps this winter and spring, but Berhalter passed him over this time. I’m being a homer.
Justen Glad didn't make the provisional roster!

(It's funny that you made this mistake, because 30 mins ago I did the exact same thing. That Glad is uncapped is my personal Mandela Effect. I feel like I've seen him play in a January camp friendly.)

I'm rather surprised that Luca de la Torre didn't make the roster, though perhaps that decision was due to club considerations.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
6,240
Justen Glad didn't make the provisional roster!

(It's funny that you made this mistake, because 30 mins ago I did the exact same thing. That Glad is uncapped is my personal Mandela Effect. I feel like I've seen him play in a January camp friendly.)

I'm rather surprised that Luca de la Torre didn't make the roster, though perhaps that decision was due to club considerations.
I didn’t review the lost again before posting and his name was inked into the roster in my memory. He’s earned a camp look at the very least.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
One thing about this absurdly large provisional roster is that it gives us a bit of insight as to certain young players who Berhalter & his staff rate at this juncture.

RB: Julian Araujo (2001) — already has had some USMNT involvement in January camp

CB: Justin Che (2003) — his stock has quickly risen since a loan stint with Bayern II that went well. Bayern were interested in signing him permanently, but no deal with FC Dallas has been reached. It seems like FCD would prefer to start him in MLS soon and jack up his value à la Bryan Reynolds rather than sell him for cheap and hope for a big sell-on like Chris Richards.

LB: George Bello (2002), Jonathan Gomez (2003) — Bello is a starter in MLS and recently got his first cap. He's getting there, but won't be a serious A-team option until he irons out his ball-watching problems defensively. Gomez is a starter for Louisville City in USL, where he signed after leaving FC Dallas a couple of years ago. Ostensibly he did so because he felt he'd have a more direct route to Europe (FC Dallas has significantly burnished its credentials as a pathway to Europe since). I haven't seen too much of him yet, but lots of people rave about him. He was in camp with El Tri to train relatively recently, so it's good to see him on this list. IMO, a bigger priority than Efra Alvarez, who is on Mexico's provisional roster.

DM: Johnny Cardoso (2001), Leon Flach (2001) — Johnny really underwhelmed in Olympic qualifiers. Hopefully it was just a product of Jason Kreis' bumbling. Leon Flach is a German-American who Philly acquired on the cheap from St. Pauli. He's done unexpectedly well in MLS this season and is more of a traditional DM than all of the Trapp/Yueill/Johnny types we've seen in US shirts in recent years.

CM: Tanner Tessmann (2001), Cole Bassett (2001), Gianluca Busio (2002) — FC Dallas' first team is a mess right now and I think that's slowing Tessmann down. He still needs to learn how to use his body; he's not as assertive as you'd think for a big guy. But he's much more skilled than you'd think for a big guy, so the potential is there. Bassett puts up a lot of numbers in MLS and his coaches seem to really like him. I'm not really sure what his position is — #8? a #10 who is more of a finisher than a creator? maybe even a second striker? Busio is having a big breakout in MLS this year, though it's still not clear what his long-term position will be. He's even been used as a #6, which is interesting, but he still needs to prove he has the defensive chops and isn't another destitute man's Andrea Pirlo.

EDIT: whoops I missed Moses Nyeman (2003) who just got his US citizenship. Very interesting CM prospect but I don't think he's ready for this Gold Cup. The 2003 class is looking very, very strong.

AM: Caden Clark (2003), Kevin Paredes (2003) — I think Clark stands a solid chance of making the roster. He has 7 goals and an assist in 1000 MLS minutes out of the midfield and is widely believed to be heading to RB Leipzig in the winter. Smart, skilled player who isn't exactly a 10 or a winger...but modern attacking soccer is built on these types of players anyway. Paredes always jumps out to me when I watch DC. I don't think he's ready for USMNT prime time but could be a big player for the next U20s.

FW: Cade Cowell (2003), Ricardo Pepi (2003) — Cowell is an athletic freak of a man-child who had a hot start to the season, though he has since cooled off a bit. I haven't fully bought into the hype until my concerns about technical limitations are assuaged, but his stock is rising. I like Pepi as a classic CF prospect and rate him highly. He's stuck in the aforementioned dysfunctional FC Dallas team, where he's behind an underperforming but highly paid DP forward who has been given an endlessly long leash.


Players I think have a chance at making this roster: Araujo, Bello, Busio, Clark....maaaaybe Gomez or Flach. But this roster will be highly unpredictable.
 
Last edited:

ninjacornelius

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2005
583
Austin, TX
Busio is having a big breakout in MLS this year, though it's still not clear what his long-term position will be. He's even been used as a #6, which is interesting, but he still needs to prove he has the defensive chops and isn't another destitute man's Andrea Pirlo.
How worried should I be that Busio would get scooped up by Italy? I haven't found any concrete reporting on where he's leaning, other than the fact that he could theoretically play for the Azzurri. Please tell me this isn't Rossi redux.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
How worried should I be that Busio would get scooped up by Italy? I haven't found any concrete reporting on where he's leaning, other than the fact that he could theoretically play for the Azzurri. Please tell me this isn't Rossi redux.
You should not be worried at all, IMO.

BTW, as annoying as the Rossi situation was, he was clear and consistent from day one. He never once pulled on a US shirt even for youth national teams. He also moved to Italy age 12 to join Parma's academy. In contrast, Busio has spent his entire life in the US, was a key player for the U17s, would have played with the U20s had the cycle not been canceled because of COVID, and has never expressed any particular interest in playing for Italy.
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
2,866
Yeah the revisionist history about how Rossi went full NWO and burned a USMNT jersey on Raw or something was bizarre. Kid always wanted to play for the Azzurri. Would he have been a better off chosing the US is a separate debate but this wasn't like squandering Neven Subotic.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
4,961
02148
This is probably paranoia, but it would ease my mind to get Dike cap tied this summer. He’s shown no indication of wavering, but the fact that he had two siblings represent Nigeria worries. It was odd for him to be in the Nations League roster but not make it on the field at all.

On the topic of Rossi, I’ve always been impressed by how well Italy recruits dual nationals. Part of it is passing out citizenship like candy, but they have been really successful at getting talent out of South America.
 

ddeveau

lurker
Apr 5, 2006
29
Speaking of paranoia about dual or multi-nationals, is Yunus Musah somehow officially tied to the US? He also did not make it into any of the Nations League games. I know he put out a video committing to the US and has appeared in friendlies, but is there anything currently stopping him from changing his mind?
 

rguilmar

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
772
Speaking of paranoia about dual or multi-nationals, is Yunus Musah somehow officially tied to the US? He also did not make it into any of the Nations League games. I know he put out a video committing to the US and has appeared in friendlies, but is there anything currently stopping him from changing his mind?
I know that there is some confusion about this, but until YM plays an official (non-friendly) match for the US he is not cap tied. He just announced his commitment to the US but can still change his mind. I'm not stressed about it yet, but if we somehow blow the chance a player with his technical ability just for Sebastian Lletget to prove once again that he is a fine player for friendlies and overmatched in competitive games, that would be epically bad.

Rumor was that both Valencia and Gregg were unhappy with his fitness level but he looked plenty fit against CR.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
5,151
Roster here for those who hate links

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; 64/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 1/0)

DEFENDERS (8): George Bello (Atlanta United; 1/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 18/1), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 5/0), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 3/1), James Sands (New York City FC; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 3/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 14/2)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 31/2), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 20/0), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 12/0)

FORWARDS: (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 35/8), Daryl Dike (Orlando City; 3/1), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 3/2), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 7/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 56/12)
Some intriguing players to watch, but also some expected conservativism in having a core of Berhalter guys to embed the kids in with.

I'm super confused about the forwards, seems strange to go 2 wingers given how many of each get on the field at once in the formations Berhalter plays. I guess Roldan is the backup there, it's more like what he's playing this year than CM from my understanding.

Then to pile on the confusion one of those two spots is Lewis, who would not even be my first choice of "wide guys who were super disappointing failing to qualify for the Olympics" even if we skip past the fact that I'm not that interested in bringing any of those guys. I am kinda appalled that Lewis keeps getting these opportunities, he's not even that good in MLS. It's the one thing that almost makes me one of these awful frothing conspiracy theorist USMNT guys you see on twitter. He's 24 now even, not particularly young. Thankfully the wing options in Europe have improves so that it's honestly not that big a deal, but I don't even understand what puts him in contention for 5th - 7th on that depth chart.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
Some intriguing players to watch, but also some expected conservativism in having a core of Berhalter guys to embed the kids in with.
I ran the numbers and the last five Gold Cups only had four squads (out of 64) with a younger average age. The squad is conservative compared to what you could put together with the preliminary roster, but it isn't that conservative.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
6,240
Roster here for those who hate links



Some intriguing players to watch, but also some expected conservativism in having a core of Berhalter guys to embed the kids in with.

I'm super confused about the forwards, seems strange to go 2 wingers given how many of each get on the field at once in the formations Berhalter plays. I guess Roldan is the backup there, it's more like what he's playing this year than CM from my understanding.

Then to pile on the confusion one of those two spots is Lewis, who would not even be my first choice of "wide guys who were super disappointing failing to qualify for the Olympics" even if we skip past the fact that I'm not that interested in bringing any of those guys. I am kinda appalled that Lewis keeps getting these opportunities, he's not even that good in MLS. It's the one thing that almost makes me one of these awful frothing conspiracy theorist USMNT guys you see on twitter. He's 24 now even, not particularly young. Thankfully the wing options in Europe have improves so that it's honestly not that big a deal, but I don't even understand what puts him in contention for 5th - 7th on that depth chart.
Agreed on the wings. Maybe they'll play a 4-4-2 base shape with the fullbacks overlapping a whole lot to provide attacking width?

But there's a lot of guys I'm really excited to see in action: Turner (he has to be the starter, right?), basically the whole defensive group other than Zimmerman (no slight to Walker, but we know his game very well by now), Busio, Williamson, Dike, and Hoppe. They could be great, they could frustrate, but at least it will be something.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
I see the purpose of this Gold Cup as a way to give players on the fringe of a WCQ travel roster the chance to push into the roster or, in Dike's case, the chance to make a case to be the outright starter. The players that I think fit best this description are Turner, Vines, Robinson, Williamson, Busio, and Dike. If things get too experimental and inexperienced, the ability to effectively evaluate performance starts to degrade.

The wing situation:

View: https://twitter.com/tombogert/status/1410609830692212738


I'm not especially excited about these players out wide, but frankly there aren't any especially exciting wing options on the table. Arriola is solid and unspectacular. Lewis is mercurial and frustrating. Mueller easily could have been chosen ahead of Lewis, but I don't see him as part of the 26-27 players in the "WCQ travel squad" either.

The biggest "WTF" for me when I saw the roster was Donovan Pines, though upon closer inspection we don't have too many options if we assume that CCV and EPB are out of the running, which I understand is the case. I'm not as worked up about Lewis, though I probably would have taken Mueller instead. He has the stink of Olympic qualifiers on him, but he is capable of creating something out of nothing on his day, too. He's hard to figure out. He can't even regularly start for Colorado despite often putting up great G+A/90 numbers. This has happened across multiple managers over his career.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
5,151
That kinda makes sense for Hoppe thinking about the Schalke games I put myself through watching him. He's not stretching a defense by going towards the corner, but a lot of the danger he created came from outside-in runs behind.

Lewis doesn't really matter, but he just perturbs me. When you get that far down the depth chart, you at least want a steady if unspectacular presence. That's why I have no problem with Arriola, he'll at least consistently do grindy defensive work while he's inconsistent on offense. Lewis won't it seems, so all you're left with is the inconsistency up and down the board.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
47,145
Dike and Busio are the two duals on the roster who will be cap-tied as soon as they step on the field, correct?

Not that there are fears of either jumping ship but always good to lock it in.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
6,240
Worth following - Bello just got subbed off after running into the advertising boards. He didn’t make it back on to the pitch, but was able to walk off.
 

Dduncan6er

lurker
Apr 16, 2020
327
Springfield, MA
I didn't realize Davies was even on the roster for Canada. I know the US and Mexico basically send their prospects and B-teams to the Gold Cup. Is that not common place with other countries who also have WCQ's coming up as well?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
I didn't realize Davies was even on the roster for Canada. I know the US and Mexico basically send their prospects and B-teams to the Gold Cup. Is that not common place with other countries who also have WCQ's coming up as well?
The thing is that most Gold Cup teams didn't just play Nations League, so they don't face the same tradeoffs. Canada's Euro-based players got a rest when the Nations League was happening. The USMNT A-team is getting a rest with Gold Cup — and they won't be starting behind the eight ball with their clubs for next season, either.

That being said, Mexico's Gold Cup team is much closer to their A team than this USMNT squad. Eight of their starters vs. the USMNT last month are in this Gold Cup squad. Honduras and Costa Rica are probably even closer to their best available 23. Whether they pay for this in terms of fatigue heading into WCQ is an interesting question.

Berhalter veered strongly toward "rest" in the "rest vs. reps" tradeoff. I'm okay with that, but there's probably going to be a good deal of angst when the USMNT crashes out at some point before the final.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
34,791
AZ
CONCACAF needs a more proper championship. This all sucks. I loved the Confederation Cup and it sucks that it no longer exists mostly because of the fact that it was inconsistent with holding a world cup in Qatar.

I get that the pandemic would have made the Confederation Cup impossible even if there weren't the problem that Qatar stadiums aren't ready and it's 150 degrees there in the summer, but the Confederation Cup was lots of fun and a neat way to get excited about the world cup. The Confederation Cup at least made the Gold Cup interesting.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
CONCACAF needs a more proper championship. This all sucks. I loved the Confederation Cup and it sucks that it no longer exists mostly because of the fact that it was inconsistent with holding a world cup in Qatar.

I get that the pandemic would have made the Confederation Cup impossible even if there weren't the problem that Qatar stadiums aren't ready and it's 150 degrees there in the summer, but the Confederation Cup was lots of fun and a neat way to get excited about the world cup. The Confederation Cup at least made the Gold Cup interesting.
For me, the future is a regular CONMEBOL+CONCACAF tournament.

There's only so much you can do with the Gold Cup. There's never going to be more than a handful of solid teams at any given time.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
4,961
02148
For me, the future is a regular CONMEBOL+CONCACAF tournament.

There's only so much you can do with the Gold Cup. There's never going to be more than a handful of solid teams at any given time.
One thing you can do is play it every four years so that it actually carries some rarity. They also ought to move it an month earlier so that it doesn’t interfere with European preseasons, so fewer marquee players will want to skip. I don’t recall seeing Keylor Navas at this tournament for many years. Even Mexico who is bringing close to an A team is prioritizing the Olympics. (France by contrast is prioritizing its continental trophy and is bringing two Tigres players to Tokyo.)

A combined trophy with Conmebol is the best hope going forward. Hopefully, UEFA is greedy/crooked enough to host "Euro Centennario" in the United States, but I’m not too optimistic.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
El Salvador's ministry of health has banned public gatherings for 90 days, so that would obviously mean no crowds for home WCQs.

As a result, they are trying to play their September "home" games in DC (including the Octagonal opener vs. USMNT). If this plan is approved, the air quotes around "home" would be barely necessary. At least the travel would be easier for the USMNT!

View: https://twitter.com/MlinaresDC/status/1415440085814763527
 

Mr. Wednesday

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 27, 2007
1,498
Eastern MA
Even with the hostile crowd, I think it would be a huge advantage for the U.S. to be in their home country and home climate, on a theoretically well-maintained field.
 

speedracer

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,196
El Salvador's ministry of health has banned public gatherings for 90 days, so that would obviously mean no crowds for home WCQs.

As a result, they are trying to play their September "home" games in DC (including the Octagonal opener vs. USMNT). If this plan is approved, the air quotes around "home" would be barely necessary. At least the travel would be easier for the USMNT!

View: https://twitter.com/MlinaresDC/status/1415440085814763527
El Salvador v. Panama Gold Cup match in RFK in 2011 (?) was the loudest crowd I've ever seen, and I've been to NFL playoff games.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
22,517
The 718
CONCACAF needs a more proper championship. This all sucks. I loved the Confederation Cup and it sucks that it no longer exists mostly because of the fact that it was inconsistent with holding a world cup in Qatar.

I get that the pandemic would have made the Confederation Cup impossible even if there weren't the problem that Qatar stadiums aren't ready and it's 150 degrees there in the summer, but the Confederation Cup was lots of fun and a neat way to get excited about the world cup. The Confederation Cup at least made the Gold Cup interesting.
For competitive balance, and also to lessen the influence of these tiny countries in FIFA, I would favor combining the Carribean islands into a single competitor, a la the "West Indies" team in world cricket, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Indies_cricket_team, with players from fifteen different island nations. They are a middle-to-lower-tier competitor lately, but still respectable and at one time were a top side. These smaller nations would be cannon fodder on their own.

An international side with the best players from the 28 Carribean island nations might not ever be a regional or world power would be decently competitive. It would also create a reasonably balanced competition in CONCACAF - you'd have the three North American nations, seven Central American nations, the three South American countries that for whatever reason play in CONCACAF and not CONMEBOL (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname), and the Caribbean team (West Indies probably is too colonialistic for 2021). That's 14 competitors. It's still top heavy, but much less so than now. The problem with the Gold Cup IMO is that too many of the competitors in even a round of 16 are tiny, so it's difficult to take the competition seriously.

If need be, you could subdivide the Caribbean, into sides of English-, French-, Spanish- and Dutch- speaking islands, so that there's some cultural affinity, that helps the West Indies cricket side, it's all English-speaking.

Of course since each of the little islands gets a FIFA vote that they can pimp out for corruption cash, it'll never happen.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
6,240
…the three South American countries that for whatever reason play in CONCACAF and not CONMEBOL (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname)…
A close colleague of mine is a political scientist from Guyana, so I have bugged him about this a bunch of times before. In short, these 3 countries are historically, culturally, economically, and politically a part of the Caribbean. They are societies based around the coasts with well over 75% of the total population (and nearly 95% of Guyana’s) living within 100 miles of the coast. These countries participate in the Caribbean regional governance bodies, the trade bloc, and all the rest because their interests are the most aligned and, frankly, they are better of as mid-to-big Caribbean nations as opposed to minnows on the margins of South America. Being part of CONCACAF is an extension of all their other regional alignments. None of those nations really fancy themselves as having a better chance at sporting glory here than CONMEBOL.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
13,559
A close colleague of mine is a political scientist from Guyana, so I have bugged him about this a bunch of times before. In short, these 3 countries are historically, culturally, economically, and politically a part of the Caribbean. They are societies based around the coasts with well over 75% of the total population (and nearly 95% of Guyana’s) living within 100 miles of the coast. These countries participate in the Caribbean regional governance bodies, the trade bloc, and all the rest because their interests are the most aligned and, frankly, they are better of as mid-to-big Caribbean nations as opposed to minnows on the margins of South America. Being part of CONCACAF is an extension of all their other regional alignments. None of those nations really fancy themselves as having a better chance at sporting glory here than CONMEBOL.
Suriname could be halfway decent now that they lifted their ban on dual citizenship. It opens the floodgates to a lot of recruiting of decent Eredivisie players.
 

ninjacornelius

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2005
583
Austin, TX
Honestly, you could do a lot worse than Austin to host a qualifier against a non-Latinx nation. The stadium is lovely and the roof creates an echo chamber that makes things loud. They made the announcement right before tonight’s Austin FC match and the whole place went nuts.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
49,105
My son and I are likely going to the USMNT game in Nashville in early September versus Canada. Got enough points for free plane tix, hotels aren't bad, and ticket prices aren't too bad.
 

ekim colorwaterpit

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
1,161
Minneapolis, MN
I really wish they would announce more locations. I would totally be interested in flying to Nashville with my son for the game, but also hear there is the potential for a game in Minnesota which is where I am at. That would be much more cost effective.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
49,105
I lucked out. I told my kid that the game tickets were on him. He splurged on nice ones. Then I had enough airline points for the trip and a buddy and his girlfriend are going and she works for Hilton, so I got a room for $80 for 2 nights--at a Hilton Garden Inn. And, since they're driving, we don't have to Uber everywhere.

So, right now my total out of pocket is $100--fees on the flight and the $80 for hotel.