When it comes to the USMNT, this is what inexperience looks like in the World Cup

The USMNT celebrate Tim Weah's goal in their first group stage match at the World Cup in Qatar.

The USMNT celebrate Tim Weah’s goal in their first group stage match at the World Cup in Qatar.
Image: fake images

It has taken some cognitive dissonance for USMNT fans leading up to this World Cup, to ignore the fact that they were showing up with the most inexperienced team possible. Only Deandre Yedlin has ever been on a World Cup team before, and he’s barely anywhere near the top 11. He also has a coach doing this for the first time, so he too will be learning on the job (although he shouldn’t). . He won’t be allowed on the job anymore if he’s going to continue filling in for Jordan Morris in Gio Reyna’s place, but we’ll get back to that while I’m wielding a mace over my head.)

Which means they can look like anything from one minute to the next. They can play a first half where they look balanced, in control and confident. Which they did. While Wales as a rule is It’s always going to give an opponent some space to find their rhythm, because all they want to do is defend and then counterattack, the US found more gears on the engine than Wales probably wanted. They spent a lot of time tinkering with the Welsh defence, moving the ball back and forth, but were able to kick when space opened up. Weston McKennie was moving to the right to support Sergino Dest while also allowing Tim Weah to run behind the baseline (although he should have done it a bit more). Christian Pulisic was finding gaps in front of the wing and behind the Wales midfield. He was connecting with Musah and Antonee Robinson and creating small opportunities for all of them.

What the USA did really well was to launch directly to Gareth Bale and Daniel James on top, and to any of the Wales midfielders, so on the rare occasions that Wales received the ball and looked to counterattack, they were smothered. . The ball spun back to the uS. to try again. Bale can no longer beat a paced defence, and while James can, he’s also…how shall I put it?…talentless. the uS. they didn’t have to fear being beaten on the turn or by long balls, because they could clean it up. And they did. Wales could only clear the ball and set up to defend again.

And they sucked in Wales expertly enough to do this:

Sargent a Pulisic a Weah and pick that. He made you wonder what the U is.S. he might have if they had moved the ball faster more often, but having him under full control wasn’t a bad thing. Sure, they could have played more balls over Weah or tried quicker exchanges, but leading 1-0 at the half without facing a shot on goal or even anything resembling one, with Gareth Bale merely being rumored, is all that you think. d ask.

But then there’s another 45 minutes.

In a vacuum, wanting to counterattack when Wales were looking for an equalizer is an excellent plan. But it’s a great plan for the last 10-15 minutes, not the whole half. And what the US. He lacks, what Musah or Adams or Reyna could become one day but are not now, is that midfielder who decides and forces the tempo that is necessary. In the second half, the U.S. he needed the proverbial guy to “get his foot on the ball” and get air out as the Welsh pressure built. Someone who forces the rest of the team to play with the ball, be the release valve for the growing anxiety and calm things down. Sure, there were openings for the counters, but you should choose them when they’re obvious. The US was in too much of a hurry sometimes to get on the counter when it wasn’t on sale. Just keep the ball. the uS. they don’t have a sitting midfielder at home who can perform this serve, unless they can somehow reduce the age of Michael Bradley or Maurice Edu to 10 years. This is exactly what happens when you bring a team full of kids to this tournament.

That’s not to say there weren’t any windows, and that the US simply picked the wrong pass too many times or missed the right one enough not to kill the game At this level, there isn’t an unlimited supply of good looks in the break you get. You have to choose correctly between shooting a cross into the small box or going for the kick. You have to connect. It only takes one hit to finish a match like this, but a team has to do it with a limited supply.

All that said, the US still had Wales basically at arm’s length. While the Dragons had a lot of the ball, they only created two chances in the same corner, with Matt Turner making a brilliant save from Ben Davies and then Kieffer Moore heading the next corner as Turner also decided to go for a roaming which seems to be contagious among goalkeepers in what’s going on in the tournament That was in the 64th minute. Wales didn’t get another chance… until…

there is no reason to Walker Zimmerman to do this challenge. Bale has his back to the goal and is contained. But this is the biggest game of Zimmerman’s life, in a setting he’s never seen. The chemistry is there to do something rash, and voila. It’s hard to get too mad at him for that, because that’s how players learn, but this is the most frustrating time to have to learn a lesson. the uS. he also fell asleep on the throw-in just before this, which is something an inexperienced and exhausting team just does.

yes, uS. It should have been more for Wales for the second half. They dropped their lines, and the Welsh midfield had more time to send balls to Moore, where in the first half, every time they made their first touch, they had a Yank up their ass. Moore was then able to be a focal point for Wales to come onto the field and attack. The U?S. running out of power? Young players tend to be full of nervous energy, which is the most exhausting. There’s no other reason this rig would run out of gas after an hour.

And now that? It looks like this group will come down to how bad one or both Wales and the U.S. they can beat Iran and have a goal difference. It’s hard to see how the USA can keep England out when under pressure for a full 90 minutes, after they allowed a rather limited Wales team to grow quite a bit in just 45 minutes. England will leave more space for counter-attacks, but you still have to defend first. england has so many weapons from so many angles.

It’s barely over. It’s just going to be a winding road. But the USMNT has never known any other way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.