OT: We may win the World Cup in 2026

Roy_Faulker

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Oh boy that sucks… Will be curious to see how they manage the Ukraine situation there. Since they are keeping every male from leaving the country at the border I can’t imagine they would allow a soccer team to leave under the current circumstances.
 

RUHotTrumpetMonkeyLove

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What about Australia-UAE and Scotland-Ukraine? Been trying to find dates for those and haven't been able to. Obviously, the Ukraine circumstances make me wonder if that game will ever be played and they'll eventually have to forfeit which would be unfortunate.
 

Doctor Worm

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What about Australia-UAE and Scotland-Ukraine? Been trying to find dates for those and haven't been able to. Obviously, the Ukraine circumstances make me wonder if that game will ever be played and they'll eventually have to forfeit which would be unfortunate.
June 7/8.

I share your skepticism about the Ukraine game. I think it will be Wales/Scotland for the last bid.
 
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for those who know much more then me how would you rate our draw?..I know England is always tough..I've been to 2 Super Bowls, A Final 4, 4 World Series games, NBA Finals and my favorite sporting event ever was attending Italy vs Ireland in 1994 at Giants Stadium in the World Cup.

* Not counting the 20+ NCAA Wrestling Championships
 

Doctor Worm

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for those who know much more then me how would you rate our draw?..I know England is always tough..I've been to 2 Super Bowls, A Final 4, 4 World Series games, NBA Finals and my favorite sporting event ever was attending Italy vs Ireland in 1994 at Giants Stadium in the World Cup.

* Not counting the 20+ NCAA Wrestling Tournaments
I think the draw is manageable. A lot depends on who wins the Euro playoff. If it's Scotland, then I think the draw is favorable.
 

RC1978

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for those who know much more then me how would you rate our draw?..I know England is always tough..I've been to 2 Super Bowls, A Final 4, 4 World Series games, NBA Finals and my favorite sporting event ever was attending Italy vs Ireland in 1994 at Giants Stadium in the World Cup.

* Not counting the 20+ NCAA Wrestling Championships
I was at that Italy vs Ireland game, what a blast!
 
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Scangg

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I like this group. When it was down to the last 4 draws I thought for sure we were getting stuck with Ghana again. We are MUCH better suited to play European sides and Iran than be in a group with say Argentina, Ghana/Japan/South Korea type side and only 1 Euro.
I'd much much rather play Ghana than Wales. It's not the same Ghana team these days and they are more beatable in counters which is our strength. Wales also has a world class goal scorer in Bale

Ghana is ranked 60th, Wales 18th
 

RUevolution36

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Oh boy that sucks… Will be curious to see how they manage the Ukraine situation there. Since they are keeping every male from leaving the country at the border I can’t imagine they would allow a soccer team to leave under the current circumstances.
A number of ukranian players play for club teams throughout Europe. Not sure how many.
 

RUevolution36

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I'd much much rather play Ghana than Wales. It's not the same Ghana team these days and they are more beatable in counters which is our strength. Wales also has a world class goal scorer in Bale

Ghana is ranked 60th, Wales 18th
Wales could suffer for 85 minutes, but, for as old and washed up as he is...Bale still has magic in that left foot. All it takes is one foul from our foul happy CBs inside 30 yards, and that could turn into a 1-0 loss.
 
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dvb91

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Sorry that was my AutoCorrect – meant the play in games for the last qualifying spots. Are they home and away or are they single games?
I believe all are single elimination. Possible UAE v Australia is 2 legged since that an intra-Asia bout but not even sure they will be home & home.
 

Erial_Lion

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I believe all are single elimination. Possible UAE v Australia is 2 legged since that an intra-Asia bout but not even sure they will be home & home.
It's just one leg...UAE plays Australia on June 7th, and the winner plays Peru on June 13th.

Costa Rica plays New Zealand on June 14th.

The Euro dates are still up in the air.
 

Doctor Worm

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It's just one leg...UAE plays Australia on June 7th, and the winner plays Peru on June 13th.

Costa Rica plays New Zealand on June 14th.

The Euro dates are still up in the air.
While the Euro dates are not firm, they will be in that international window which extends from May 30 to June 14. Probably Scotland/Ukraine (IF that game is played) somewhere around June 7, with the winner to play Wales on or before June 14.

During that window, the US plans to play FOUR matches. Two of them are actually competitive matches - the opening round of the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League. One of the opponents will come from a four team pot of Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Honduras. The other opponent will come from a pot of Martinique, Curacao, Suriname, and Grenada. Not the type of competition you'd ideally like to face in World Cup prep, but it is what it is. The draw is Monday, so we'll know more then.

The other two matches will be friendlies yet to be scheduled, hopefully against stiffer competition.
 

WhichReligionIsRight

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Single games in Qatar in June. Yuck!

The stadiums are air conditioned.

theworldathl.jpg


 

RUevolution36

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On paper that is correct. Of the eight teams in Pot 2, USA was ranked seventh.

We'll see how it plays out on the pitch.

England could have drawn Germany or Netherlands. You can't blame them for feeling delighted that they didn't.
This is correct. That said, if we can find some sort of answer at striker, we can get slabhead turned around and bag a goal or two.
 

Doctor Worm

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This is correct. That said, if we can find some sort of answer at striker, we can get slabhead turned around and bag a goal or two.
Not only do we lack a clear #1 striker, we don't even have a striker who is a lock to make the team! Scary. I think Berhalter will put a lot of weight on who's in the best current form with their club. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

So many names out there: Pepi, Ferreira, Pefok, Sargent, Dike, Hoppe, Goacchinni, Zardes, maybe even Altidore?

Or does Berhalter just say F-it? (In this context, F stands for FALSE 9.) If the objective is to get the best 11 players on the pitch, that would be how to do it.
 

dvb91

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Not only do we lack a clear #1 striker, we don't even have a striker who is a lock to make the team! Scary. I think Berhalter will put a lot of weight on who's in the best current form with their club. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

So many names out there: Pepi, Ferreira, Pefok, Sargent, Dike, Hoppe, Goacchinni, Zardes, maybe even Altidore?

Or does Berhalter just say F-it? (In this context, F stands for FALSE 9.) If the objective is to get the best 11 players on the pitch, that would be how to do it.
I liked what they suggested on FS1, using Weah as a false 9. It would allow Berhalter to get full use of Gio & Pulisic. I'd hate to have to sit either of those 3, but unless you start one of them as a #10 or even further back in the midfield, it's very likely to happen.
 

bitnez

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While the Euro dates are not firm, they will be in that international window which extends from May 30 to June 14. Probably Scotland/Ukraine (IF that game is played) somewhere around June 7, with the winner to play Wales on or before June 14.

During that window, the US plans to play FOUR matches. Two of them are actually competitive matches - the opening round of the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League. One of the opponents will come from a four team pot of Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Honduras. The other opponent will come from a pot of Martinique, Curacao, Suriname, and Grenada. Not the type of competition you'd ideally like to face in World Cup prep, but it is what it is. The draw is Monday, so we'll know more then.

The other two matches will be friendlies yet to be scheduled, hopefully against stiffer competition.

We’ll try to get at least one Euro team in there or potentially someone like Saudi Arabia.
 

Caliknight

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Not only do we lack a clear #1 striker, we don't even have a striker who is a lock to make the team! Scary. I think Berhalter will put a lot of weight on who's in the best current form with their club. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

So many names out there: Pepi, Ferreira, Pefok, Sargent, Dike, Hoppe, Goacchinni, Zardes, maybe even Altidore?

Or does Berhalter just say F-it? (In this context, F stands for FALSE 9.) If the objective is to get the best 11 players on the pitch, that would be how to do it.
It’s what the US always has lacked. We are athletic in the back, usually have great goaltending, midfielders that run all day, but have never had a clinical goal scorer like other nations do. We miss so many chances because of it.

Pulisic is the one guy I’ve seen in an American jersey who has that type of ability.
 

RUevolution36

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It’s what the US always has lacked. We are athletic in the back, usually have great goaltending, midfielders that run all day, but have never had a clinical goal scorer like other nations do. We miss so many chances because of it.

Pulisic is the one guy I’ve seen in an American jersey who has that type of ability.
Deuce was the closest.
 

MadRU

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It’s what the US always has lacked. We are athletic in the back, usually have great goaltending, midfielders that run all day, but have never had a clinical goal scorer like other nations do. We miss so many chances because of it.

Pulisic is the one guy I’ve seen in an American jersey who has that type of ability.
We also never had a super star number 10 or passer even from the 8 or 6. Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna were the closest we have had. For me Pulisic is no assassin either. He is good at making runs but not a world class 9.
 
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Caliknight

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Agreed. But he’s the closest we’ve seen to a high level goal scorer. We just don’t produce those guys.
 
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Scangg

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I liked what they suggested on FS1, using Weah as a false 9. It would allow Berhalter to get full use of Gio & Pulisic. I'd hate to have to sit either of those 3, but unless you start one of them as a #10 or even further back in the midfield, it's very likely to happen.
Weah has traits to play as a striker even without a false 9. If it's a false 9 I actually think that Reyna makes more sense. I really want to see Reyna play more centrally as it is with his ability to break down the D and make slick passes. Keep pulisic and weah on the wings.

Either way, pulisic weah and Reyna all should start if we don't have a true 9 in form scoring goals. Might as well get our best players on the field
 

dvb91

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Weah has traits to play as a striker even without a false 9. If it's a false 9 I actually think that Reyna makes more sense. I really want to see Reyna play more centrally as it is with his ability to break down the D and make slick passes. Keep pulisic and weah on the wings.

Either way, pulisic weah and Reyna all should start if we don't have a true 9 in form scoring goals. Might as well get our best players on the field
Wouldn't mind that either. Allow Gio to play an almost #10 with Pulisic & Weah pinching in or pull wide as needed. Hope GB experiments, even in Nations League
 
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RUevolution36

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Wouldn't mind that either. Allow Gio to play an almost #10 with Pulisic & Weah pinching in or pull wide as needed. Hope GB experiments, even in Nations League
Only works if you have CBs that can cover a ton of ground and anticipate well, cuz the FBs will be required to provide the width when the wide fwds pinch in. See: Liverpool, Manchester city when Foden or KDB is the false 9.
 

RU848789

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England was the last team I wanted to be paired with, from a rooting perspective, as I always root for them in the WC (since we generally haven't been much of a factor). But the groups look pretty balanced and we'd have to play well to get to the next stage no matter what group we were in.
 

MadRU

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England was the last team I wanted to be paired with, from a rooting perspective, as I always root for them in the WC (since we generally haven't been much of a factor). But the groups look pretty balanced and we'd have to play well to get to the next stage no matter what group we were in.
Same here, along with Poland, and Ireland if they are in any tournament. And since Gareth Bale is my favorite all time player it will be hard to root against Wales.
 
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mildone

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Weah has traits to play as a striker even without a false 9. If it's a false 9 I actually think that Reyna makes more sense. I really want to see Reyna play more centrally as it is with his ability to break down the D and make slick passes. Keep pulisic and weah on the wings.

Either way, pulisic weah and Reyna all should start if we don't have a true 9 in form scoring goals. Might as well get our best players on the field

Wouldn't mind that either. Allow Gio to play an almost #10 with Pulisic & Weah pinching in or pull wide as needed. Hope GB experiments, even in Nations League

I don't really see any of the US players as pure strikers, in the sense that they can be fed the ball and then everyone gets out of the way to let them score on their own. So, hopefully, GB will focus hard on small group attacking in the final third, basically scoring by committee.

I agree w/both of you that Weah, Puli, and Reyna would be my choice to start at the top, with Weah wide right, Puli wide left, and Reyna playing the middle in a hybrid attacking mid, holding forward type role.

However, I would emphasize a lot of shifting between the forwards. Especially in the first half. All three should rotate around pretty continuously. Always gravitating back to their starting points and spending the majority of their time there, but not remaining static in any one place, relative to the other two, either.

And, sometimes, when A. Robinson makes his runs up the left, I'd have the 3 forward shift a bit to overload the right. Robinson's forever sending crosses wide of the goal anyway. Might as well adapt the system to the player a little bit. And by keeping Reyna centered and behind the ball a little, Robinson can drive crosses wide to the Puli/Weah combo, or drop a short pass into Reyna who can distribute to the other forwards, slot it forward to a cutting Robinson, or break the D down on the dribble.

Combining all that off-the-ball movement up front with rapid combination play passing could prove to be pretty disruptive to opposing defenders, really test their shape discipline and communication.

Weah has elite speed and other teams may opt to place an elite speed defender to their left. But it's problematic for a defender, used to one side, to switch to playing the other. Often harder, and certainly more risky, than shifting a forward away from their preferred side now and then. So I think moving them around gets Weah lined up against the slower wing defender at times, with an also quick Robinson coming up behind which loads up the left side with speed.

From what I've seen, GB is organizing a pretty symmetrical attack, balancing the two sides of the field, somewhat. I'd experiment with making it much more asymmetrical. Create horizontally derived numbers up situations, or vertically derived speedsters up situations. To date I've only seen vertical numbers up - not much horizontal. Doing it horizontally can expose one side to counter-attacks, but I think we finally have a midfield and defense that can cope with that.
 

NorthernKnight

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I don't really see any of the US players as pure strikers, in the sense that they can be fed the ball and then everyone gets out of the way to let them score on their own. So, hopefully, GB will focus hard on small group attacking in the final third, basically scoring by committee.

I agree w/both of you that Weah, Puli, and Reyna would be my choice to start at the top, with Weah wide right, Puli wide left, and Reyna playing the middle in a hybrid attacking mid, holding forward type role.

However, I would emphasize a lot of shifting between the forwards. Especially in the first half. All three should rotate around pretty continuously. Always gravitating back to their starting points and spending the majority of their time there, but not remaining static in any one place, relative to the other two, either.

And, sometimes, when A. Robinson makes his runs up the left, I'd have the 3 forward shift a bit to overload the right. Robinson's forever sending crosses wide of the goal anyway. Might as well adapt the system to the player a little bit. And by keeping Reyna centered and behind the ball a little, Robinson can drive crosses wide to the Puli/Weah combo, or drop a short pass into Reyna who can distribute to the other forwards, slot it forward to a cutting Robinson, or break the D down on the dribble.

Combining all that off-the-ball movement up front with rapid combination play passing could prove to be pretty disruptive to opposing defenders, really test their shape discipline and communication.

Weah has elite speed and other teams may opt to place an elite speed defender to their left. But it's problematic for a defender, used to one side, to switch to playing the other. Often harder, and certainly more risky, than shifting a forward away from their preferred side now and then. So I think moving them around gets Weah lined up against the slower wing defender at times, with an also quick Robinson coming up behind which loads up the left side with speed.

From what I've seen, GB is organizing a pretty symmetrical attack, balancing the two sides of the field, somewhat. I'd experiment with making it much more asymmetrical. Create horizontally derived numbers up situations, or vertically derived speedsters up situations. To date I've only seen vertical numbers up - not much horizontal. Doing it horizontally can expose one side to counter-attacks, but I think we finally have a midfield and defense that can cope with that.
Your comment on overloading is dead balls on. I was screaming for that in the last two matches. We have the talent to attack from that perspective
 

RUevolution36

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I don't really see any of the US players as pure strikers, in the sense that they can be fed the ball and then everyone gets out of the way to let them score on their own. So, hopefully, GB will focus hard on small group attacking in the final third, basically scoring by committee.

I agree w/both of you that Weah, Puli, and Reyna would be my choice to start at the top, with Weah wide right, Puli wide left, and Reyna playing the middle in a hybrid attacking mid, holding forward type role.

However, I would emphasize a lot of shifting between the forwards. Especially in the first half. All three should rotate around pretty continuously. Always gravitating back to their starting points and spending the majority of their time there, but not remaining static in any one place, relative to the other two, either.

And, sometimes, when A. Robinson makes his runs up the left, I'd have the 3 forward shift a bit to overload the right. Robinson's forever sending crosses wide of the goal anyway. Might as well adapt the system to the player a little bit. And by keeping Reyna centered and behind the ball a little, Robinson can drive crosses wide to the Puli/Weah combo, or drop a short pass into Reyna who can distribute to the other forwards, slot it forward to a cutting Robinson, or break the D down on the dribble.

Combining all that off-the-ball movement up front with rapid combination play passing could prove to be pretty disruptive to opposing defenders, really test their shape discipline and communication.

Weah has elite speed and other teams may opt to place an elite speed defender to their left. But it's problematic for a defender, used to one side, to switch to playing the other. Often harder, and certainly more risky, than shifting a forward away from their preferred side now and then. So I think moving them around gets Weah lined up against the slower wing defender at times, with an also quick Robinson coming up behind which loads up the left side with speed.

From what I've seen, GB is organizing a pretty symmetrical attack, balancing the two sides of the field, somewhat. I'd experiment with making it much more asymmetrical. Create horizontally derived numbers up situations, or vertically derived speedsters up situations. To date I've only seen vertical numbers up - not much horizontal. Doing it horizontally can expose one side to counter-attacks, but I think we finally have a midfield and defense that can cope with that.
You can accomplish this with either weston or musah attacking the near post/ penalty spot from midfield and the two fwds going far post. Or have the Antonio Conte/Thomas Tuchel strategy of the wingbacks/fullbacks attacking the far post when the ball is on the other flank. Works best with early crosses in rather than taking it to the endline. We could also consider the overlapping center backs... but that might be too much to ask considering the short prep time at the national team level.
 
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mildone

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Your comment on overloading is dead balls on. I was screaming for that in the last two matches. We have the talent to attack from that perspective
We kind of do it, but only vertically using overlapping runs, you know? And those sorts of overlapping runs are really pretty simple to prepare for and defend, because they're really common in soccer.

It can be difficult, I suppose, to organize and practice that sort of thing with a national team. But I wish GB would at least work on it a little bit in practices and walk it through some with the players in film review; maybe trial it during a friendly or an otherwise inconsequential game. Because doing some of these things with some success can create even more opportunities for others within the attack.

For example, one of the things I've noticed other team's right wing defenders doing is stepping off Robinson some when he's made his (now very predictable) overlapping runs forward and receives the ball. It's pretty clear other teams don't perceive him as a significant threat so the first defender closes on Robinson, but not very tightly. They channel Robinson to the corner or encourage him to cross from too far out. Probably because they can see what we can all see - Robinson's entry passes are very often pretty benign.

But, if Puli joins Weah on the right wing for a bit, and if Robinson drives some long crosses over to them, that has a good chance of causing the first defender to start closing in tighter on Robinson. That, in turn, opens up a wall pass or one-two combo (using Reyna as the wall or the one) back to Robinson who now has enough space to dribble to the box. Which forces the opponent's second defender to commit to Robinson and now you have a 2 v 2 w/Puli and Weah against the left side of the opponent's D, plus Reyna in a position to slide up the center.

Scripting it out this way obviously doesn't often work out that neatly in games when opponent's defenders don't cooperate . But it doesn't have to be precise to a script. It's the concepts of more purposeful movement off the ball by all three forwards that are important. I think it could leverage Robinson's runs to make him more productive.