USMNT: Hold My Beer

Titans Bastard

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Yeah the hamstring injury for Zardes is a little worrisome. Those are tough to overcome.
Dike has also been missing from Orlando for a bit. There's no word on whether he's still carrying an injury from the Gold Cup, is about to get a transfer, or something else.

We still have Sargent and Pefok (who also was subbed out but I think is fine). Hoppe may get a shot at CF. Of course, we could always call up Ricardo Pepi for depth...
 

rguilmar

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Dike has also been missing from Orlando for a bit. There's no word on whether he's still carrying an injury from the Gold Cup, is about to get a transfer, or something else.

We still have Sargent and Pefok (who also was subbed out but I think is fine). Hoppe may get a shot at CF. Of course, we could always call up Ricardo Pepi for depth...
My understanding is that teams will be able to select a larger squad for each camp (28 or 30 players depending on the source), then name the 23 player squad 24 hours before each game. So the US is likely to name 3-4 CF to the camp. That said, I would LOVE for GGG to give Hoppe his shot in one of the first three qualifiers. I'm not super high on Pefok as I just don't see him have the quality or the fit style-wise for this team, but if injuries are forcing him in, that's fine.

I'm not one for wasting spots for qualifiers on players who haven't proven themselves yet, and I am definitely not big on cap tying dual nationals just to cap tie them. However, if Gregg thinks Pepi has shown enough where he is in the short term future (as opposed to the now), then I would be ok with that.
 

ninjacornelius

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So I guess this makes Josh Sargent the first choice striker this window. But with three matches in eight days, we’ll need another one to absorb minutes. Pefok apparently isn’t fit. Neither is Dike. Do we roll with Hoppe or bring in a known MLS commodity? As shocked as I am to say this, I wouldn’t hate Bobby Wood.
 

cromulence

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So I guess this makes Josh Sargent the first choice striker this window. But with three matches in eight days, we’ll need another one to absorb minutes. Pefok apparently isn’t fit. Neither is Dike. Do we roll with Hoppe or bring in a known MLS commodity? As shocked as I am to say this, I wouldn’t hate Bobby Wood.
Hoppe a million times over Bobby Wood.
 

rguilmar

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Hoppe a million times over Bobby Wood.
Definitely. If a bunch of strikers are unavailable I also wonder if Tim Weah might got some minutes there. He’s been playing up top quite a bit at Lille.

I have no clue how much weight Gregg gives to where players play for their club, especially in the short term. Reyna has been playing CM for Dortmund which is something I’d love to see for the USMNT. Konrad has played some LW”B” at Marseille. In practice it’s been pretty for upfield not very defensive.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Where would Pepi rank amongst our current crop of forwards by talent/potential? And where would he rank amongst the recent players who left for El Tri?

Without knowing much it seems like Pepi for the other would be a “trade” we’d be more than happy with? Have read he is a big fish of the US/Mex duals.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, this “periodista”’with 5K Twitter followers is saying that Pepi is choosing the US. I don’t want to traffic in idle speculation, but… actually that’s a lie, I want Pepi to commit to the USMNT so I will absolutely traffic in idle speculation.

View: https://twitter.com/jaimeor96/status/1430659570851094529?s=20
It's a regurgitation of a report from a Univision radio host, fwiw, so it's Gabriel Sainz whose reputation you want to inspect. I've got nothing for you on that front, however.

Where would Pepi rank amongst our current crop of forwards by talent/potential? And where would he rank amongst the recent players who left for El Tri?

Without knowing much it seems like Pepi for the other would be a “trade” we’d be more than happy with? Have read he is a big fish of the US/Mex duals.
I'd rank him #1 in both categories.

And we haven't lost Araujo yet (though it seems quite possible that we will).
 

cromulence

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There have been reports that he's chosen both sides, so it's hard to get too comfy until he makes it official. Seems like US is more likely, though.

Should Turner be our #1?
 

cromulence

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He just played it cool when directly asked about being on the roster - said the official announcement will be tomorrow. Feels pretty promising, though.
 

Pxer

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Assuming a 28-man camp squad, here are my preferred call-ups. Bolded names are those I would select but think Berhalter will leave off, while italicized names are ones I think Berhalter will call-up despite my disagreement.

GK
1. Matt Turner - He is the clear top choice and in incredible form right now.
2. Zack Steffen - I think there's a chance GGG starts him in one of the matches, particularly if the early results are good.
3. Brad Guzan - While Horvath is clearly better than Guzan (and probably Steffen), I think keeping Horvath at Nottingham is best for USMNT and Horvath long term.
-- Ethan Horvath - He's my top backup for the team, and he probably gets the call.

FB
4. Sergino Dest - Slam dunk. I'd like him starting at RB, although he may feature on the less deep left side.
5. Antonee Robinson - If Dest isn't starting at LB, it's Robinson. With a Dest/Robinson combo, that's a lot of attacking at FB.
6. Reggie Cannon - Cannon didn't get to showcase as much as we would've liked at the Gold Cup as he was recovering from injury. He's a decent bet to be on the roster.
7. Shaq Moore - He had some real bright spots in the Gold Cup and just might have worked his way into a permanent fixture in WCQ. There's a contingent of US fans think that the best starting combo is Dest/Moore.
8. Bryan Reynolds - Yeah, he hasn't played a lot for club, but I think his future is bright. I would love to see him in camp and get a shot at a half or two in the lineup. I don't think Berhalter will agree.
-- George Bello - My choices lack a pure LB backup, so I'm guessing Gregg will opt for Bello. I don't see it as a problem given Dest's flexibility on the left.
-- DeAndre Yedlin - He's still got something left, and still has blazing speed, but I think he's a depth piece given his limited upside. I think Berhalter brings him in as a veteran presence.
Just missed the cut: Sam Vines, Joe Scally - These guys will be a part of qualifying, but are better off with their clubs currently. I think Araujo sees the writing on the wall at RB and is gone to Mexico.

CB
9. John Anthony Brooks - Any questions?
10. Miles Robinson - He was so solid at the Gold Cup and should compete with Zimmerman as the top choice at RCB.
11. Walker Zimmerman - He is fit again after his Gold Cup injury, and it is sure nice to have 2 capable CB in addition to JAB. He'll get a lot of run over the 3 qualifiers.
12. James Sands - I think he's a lock given his mostly good showing at the Gold Cup. His flexibility to backup the DM position goes a long way. If the US go with a 3-4-3 in any of these games (Canada?), Sands may even get a starting nod.
13. Chris Richards - He's not going to be playing for Bayern, obviously, so I think that might seal the deal on his inclusion. I think his potential is massive, but even if he makes the squad, he unlikely to get much run.
-- Mark McKenzie - I think he's an albatross defensively, but the fact is, he will almost assuredly be playing a part in qualifying, and he does have plenty of time to turn it around. I think Berhalter will call him in, and I can hear the collective groan from US fans when he gets subbed on protecting a 1-goal lead. Maybe I'm a little too harsh.
Just missed: Tim Ream, Matt Miazga - Ream picked up an injury, so Berhalter won't be tempted to call him in. I think he's toast at the international level. Miazga could work his way in as well, but he has been shaky, at best, for the US.

MF
14. Tyler Adams - He is the most important player on this squad. If he's out of the lineup due to fatigue or injury, his absence will be felt on the pitch. The dropoff to Acosta or someone else is massive in the 4-3-3 Berhalter employs.
15. Kellyn Acosta - Acosta killed it against Mexico in the Gold Cup final and is a slam dunk to back up Adams. He'll also get some run in a more box-to-box role. Although he has shaky moments, he is also capable of amazing efforts.
16. Weston McKennie - McKennie is a tireless worker and will be a fixture on this squad for the next two cycles.
17. Eryk Williamson - Williamson acquitted himself well in the Gold Cup. He's not a sexy pick, but we could do a lot worse, especially given Musah's injury.
18. Gianluca Busio - There's a chance Berhalter leaves him off the squad to get settled in with Venezia, but I hope he gets the call because his potential is massive. I like him in a more attacking role than he was dispatched in this summer at the Gold Cup. He is shaky in defense.
19. Sebastian Lletget - I tried to find a way to not include him on the roster, but that sounds like a "me" problem. His play is just not at the speed you'd like at the international level, but he's one of Gregg's trusted vets, and he knows the system at multiple positions.
20. Julian Green - It was a tough call for me between Green and Roldan, but I think Green just offers enough upside to earn the shot. I think Berhalter will opt for a safer choice.
-- Cristian Roldan - Roldan is definitely on the bubble, but he's been playing decently and is a no-nonsense depth piece.
Just missed - Yunus Musah, Paul Arriola, Tanner Tessman, Owen Otasowie - Musah probably won't be fit, but when he is, he's starting next to McKennie, while Tessman is on the rise with his move to Serie A. I like Otasowie a lot, but he's not quite ready for primetime. Arriola probably would've gotten the nod if he wasn't injured.

AM/Wingers
21. Christian Pulisic - Captain America is recovering from COVID, but it looks like the timeline will work out. There's a chance we may not see him until the Canada game depending on quarantine rules, but LW is his for a long time.
22. Gio Reyna - We may see Reyna deployed in the midfield, as he is with his club, but he is just so far ahead of everyone else as the RW on this team. His style doesn't really fit in the 4-3-3 we play, so maybe we see Berhalter change the formation to fit the players better somewhere down the line.
23. Brendan Aaronson - If Pulisic comes off the pitch, we're going to see Aaronson. He can be electric in the attack.
24. Timothy Weah - There's a chance Berhalter has Weah play center forward more than on the wing given the lack of options there. I'd prefer more natural options there if given the choice.
Just missed: Konrad de la Fuente - If we need some late pace, Konrad is a great guy to have on the bench to press for an equalizer or go-ahead goal. I can't believe I'm leaving him off the roster.

Forwards
25. Josh Sargent - He hasn't had massive success with the national team yet, but he scored a brace with his club this week. Hopefully the transfer gives him some top-flight success in England, cementing his role on the US team.
26. Jordan Pefok - He's on fire for Young Boys. It would be great to see him bury some chances for the national team.
27. Matthew Hoppe - He was really impressive at the Gold Cup, mostly playing out of position on the wing. I can't wait to see what he does in this camp. He's not a lock, but he has a real swagger that could translate to a lot of goals over the next year.
28. Ricardo Pepi - Bringing Pepi into camp and capping him wouldn't be predatory at all. He's performing in MLS and the US desperately need some forward options. Hopefully, he's made up his mind to represent the US.
Just missed: Daryl Dike, Gyasi Zardes Nicholas Gioacchini - Dike is still banged up and he needs to go on the mend and regain his blazing form that he enjoyed in early 2021. Gioacchini has an outside shot at making the team, but I think we need to see more from him before trusting him with any qualifying minutes. Zardes is banged up, but would have surely made the team.
 
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Titans Bastard

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He also said that Pepi could play for us and NOT be permanently cap-tied to the US because of his age. Is this right? If it is, I assume this is a recent change?
Yes, there is a new FIFA rule that is a bit arcane.

Normally, official competitive games (World Cup, WCQ, continental championships & their qualifiers, and Nations Leagues) are permanently cap-tying.

FIFA recently changed a rule such that a player who

(a) plays in WCQ or continental qualifiers
(b) is under 21 when he does so
(c) has three or fewer total caps
(d) checks the pre-existing boxes like having eligibility for a second country at the time he was provisionally cap-tied to the first

can still switch, provided three years have elapsed since his last cap.

So if Pepi played in a WCQ, he wouldn't be permanently cap-tied until he accumulated four total USMNT caps or played in the World Cup or Gold Cup (not sure about Nations League here).

That being said, if Pepi plays in WCQ for us, the chances of him switching to Mexico are extremely slim.


It's a stupidly complicated rule because it applies to basically nobody. If you are good enough to be playing in WCQ before the age of 21, you are very likely to get more than three caps in your career. It almost felt designed specifically to create a loophole for Munir El Haddadi to switch from Spain to Morocco. (Hilariously even this rule change wasn't enough for his switch to be initially approved because he had played for Spain U21 after he turned 21 [since UEFA U21 teams are actually u23 teams]). It went through after an appeal, though.
 

Zososoxfan

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Yes, there is a new FIFA rule that is a bit arcane.

Normally, official competitive games (World Cup, WCQ, continental championships & their qualifiers, and Nations Leagues) are permanently cap-tying.

FIFA recently changed a rule such that a player who

(a) plays in WCQ or continental qualifiers
(b) is under 21 when he does so
(c) has three or fewer total caps
(d) checks the pre-existing boxes like having eligibility for a second country at the time he was provisionally cap-tied to the first

can still switch, provided three years have elapsed since his last cap.

So if Pepi played in a WCQ, he wouldn't be permanently cap-tied until he accumulated four total USMNT caps or played in the World Cup or Gold Cup (not sure about Nations League here).

That being said, if Pepi plays in WCQ for us, the chances of him switching to Mexico are extremely slim.


It's a stupidly complicated rule because it applies to basically nobody. If you are good enough to be playing in WCQ before the age of 21, you are very likely to get more than three caps in your career. It almost felt designed specifically to create a loophole for Munir El Haddadi to switch from Spain to Morocco. (Hilariously even this rule change wasn't enough for his switch to be initially approved because he had played for Spain U21 after he turned 21 [since UEFA U21 teams are actually u23 teams]). It went through after an appeal, though.
It would seem to serve the purpose of preventing the practice capping young players once or twice to permanently cap-tie them, no?
 

Titans Bastard

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It would seem to serve the purpose of preventing the practice capping young players once or twice to permanently cap-tie them, no?
Seemingly, but I tried to find a list of players who this would make eligible for a one-time switch and the list was basically "Munir El Haddadi". I'd love to know if there are more players to whom this applies, but there just doesn't seem like much.
 

Senator Donut

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Seemingly, but I tried to find a list of players who this would make eligible for a one-time switch and the list was basically "Munir El Haddadi". I'd love to know if there are more players to whom this applies, but there just doesn't seem like much.
As the number of international friendlies dwindle, there will be more players whose first callup will be a nations league match, which cap ties a player without any of the importance of a World Cup or continental championship. This rule doesn’t apply to many current players looking to switch, but will likely be a more frequent occurrence going forward.
 

Senator Donut

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FIFA recently changed a rule such that a player who

(a) plays in WCQ or continental qualifiers
(b) is under 21 when he does so
(c) has three or fewer total caps
(d) checks the pre-existing boxes like having eligibility for a second country at the time he was provisionally cap-tied to the first

can still switch, provided three years have elapsed since his last cap.
Are you sure about (d)? That seems to be holdup that stoped Rogelio Funes Mori from playing for El Tri, but now that the barrier has been removed, he represented Mexico this summer.
 

Zososoxfan

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Seemingly, but I tried to find a list of players who this would make eligible for a one-time switch and the list was basically "Munir El Haddadi". I'd love to know if there are more players to whom this applies, but there just doesn't seem like much.
Good on you for doing the digging. Did you look at players that were capped at age 21 or younger, then had a significant gap (e.g. 1-2 calendar years) before their next cap?

Just looking around on Transfermarkt, some names worth thinking about:

Eduardo Camavinga. Capped 3 times by France since September 2020, but also has Congolese citizenship.

Tammy Abraham. Capped 6 times by England since November 2017. Not sure when he hit his third cap, but he also didn't make the England squad for Euros. Also has Nigerian citizenship.

Moise Kean. Capped 9 times by Italy since November 2018. Also has Ivorian citizenship, didn't make Euro squad this summer.

Callum Hudson Odoi. Capped 3x by England since March 2019. Didn't make the Euros squad. Also has Ghanaian citizenship.

Jonathan Ikone. Capped 4x by France since September 2019. Didn't make Euros squad. Also eligible for DR Congo.

Ryan Gravenberch. Capped by the Dutch but likely playing enough to not look into more. Played some real minutes at the Euros.

Relatedly, it's amazing how much young talent France and to a lesser extent England have in the wings. Also somewhat surprising how many of these good young players have connections to the DR Congo.
 

Titans Bastard

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Titans Bastard

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Good on you for doing the digging. Did you look at players that were capped at age 21 or younger, then had a significant gap (e.g. 1-2 calendar years) before their next cap?

Just looking around on Transfermarkt, some names worth thinking about:

Eduardo Camavinga. Capped 3 times by France since September 2020, but also has Congolese citizenship.

Tammy Abraham. Capped 6 times by England since November 2017. Not sure when he hit his third cap, but he also didn't make the England squad for Euros. Also has Nigerian citizenship.

Moise Kean. Capped 9 times by Italy since November 2018. Also has Ivorian citizenship, didn't make Euro squad this summer.

Callum Hudson Odoi. Capped 3x by England since March 2019. Didn't make the Euros squad. Also has Ghanaian citizenship.

Jonathan Ikone. Capped 4x by France since September 2019. Didn't make Euros squad. Also eligible for DR Congo.

Ryan Gravenberch. Capped by the Dutch but likely playing enough to not look into more. Played some real minutes at the Euros.

Relatedly, it's amazing how much young talent France and to a lesser extent England have in the wings. Also somewhat surprising how many of these good young players have connections to the DR Congo.
Keep in mind:

Anybody who played in a WCQ or ECQ and has more than three caps is cap-tied.

Anybody who has only played in friendlies has always been eligible to switch.
 

cromulence

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I'm pretty surprised by Yedlin. Happy for Roldan.
He's been playing and Cannon hasn't, might be as simple as that. Also, apparently US Soccer hasn't had any contact with Scally yet, so I guess he was never a realistic option this time. I'm assuming they'll be calling him up pretty soon though.
 

Titans Bastard

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Titans Bastard

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That's not a lot of mids.
First thing I noticed, too.

Combined with six CBs (including Sands) and five AMs (including Reyna and Aaronson) it suggests one or both of the following:

- Gregg is thinking about rolling out a three-man backline formation at some point.
- Reyna or, less likely, Aaronson, will get a shot in the middle at some point.
 

cromulence

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I think Gio will definitely do that since he's been doing it at Dortmund lately. I think he belongs in the middle versus out on the wing anyway.
 

cromulence

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Love it. Knowing more about where and how he grew up makes me appreciate his decision even more. Hopefully he ends up being a great player and inspires some future Mexican-Americans to choose the US.
 

67YAZ

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Super excited about Pepi.

Super confused about Tim Ream. I don't see what he brings to the pitch that isn't already performed better by the others. I can only imagine that Berhalter loves what he brings to training and the locker room, which has value when we're looking at such a young squad going into their first qualifiers. Would much rather have another mid (Williamson or Busio).

Will be interested to hear why Hoppe didn't get the call. I really think his ability to play as a second striker provides the US with a tactical wrinkle/change-up that can be very useful.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Super excited about Pepi.

Super confused about Tim Ream. I don't see what he brings to the pitch that isn't already performed better by the others. I can only imagine that Berhalter loves what he brings to training and the locker room, which has value when we're looking at such a young squad going into their first qualifiers. Would much rather have another mid (Williamson or Busio).

Will be interested to hear why Hoppe didn't get the call. I really think his ability to play as a second striker provides the US with a tactical wrinkle/change-up that can be very useful.
Hoppe's not been playing for Schalke since he got back from the Gold Cup. The one thing I was able to find said "Gastric problems". Could be injured, or could be a case of transfer tummy.

As for Ream, I assume Berhalter specifically wants a backup Brooks and Ream's the guy he currently trusts for that role. Not sure how much I agree with that thinking, but pretty sure that's the thinking.
 

Titans Bastard

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Nothing stopping Berhalter from calling in Ream and another mid to WCQ camp.

The midfield situation:

View: https://twitter.com/soccerbyives/status/1430943221245427714?s=21


Williamson has been out for a bit and has only just returned to the field and looked rusty. Busio hasn't convinced IMO. Some will argue for Julian Green or Luca de la Torre, but *shrug*. I can see relying on Sands and Reyna to step in at times if needed.
 

ninjacornelius

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Williamson has been out for a bit and has only just returned to the field and looked rusty.
I think Portland might have rushed him back tbh. He only played 45 minutes last weekend and he looked half a step slow against a lousy Austin FC team. I'm not taking his exclusion to mean that he's on the outs with Berhalter (yet) and hopefully he'll get some run in October.