Some overall thoughts on what transpired yesterday.
1. US vs Mexico
a, The US is just way better than Mexico right now. They were a bit off early especially with their passing but their recovery just gave Mexico zero time to mount any real threat.
b. The entire team played well pretty much top to bottom. Pulisic was on another planet last night (his terrible miss aside). Weah and Dest were line breakers. Musah bossed the midfield. The back four was complimentary of each other. Turner was fine except for one HUGE gaffe in the second half. Up 2-0 you never make that pass in the middle to just outside the box. But then he covered that up with a great stop.
c. So typical of Mexico. I really dislike that program and last night just reinforced years of the same crap. No reason for a professional program to act like thugs. It was abundantly clear once the game got to 2-0 that they were only playing to hurt our guys physically or bait them into getting cards. Unfortunately it worked. Missing McKennie and Dest will hurt on Sunday for sure.
d. Inexcusable ref. He was mostly fine in the first half but needed to pull out the yellows sooner. But THE mistake was the excessive force charge against Reyna. You MUST card that. i don't give a crap that it would have been a second yellow, That was a vicious foul disguised as "going for the ball" with way too much force. Get that player off the field and maybe you get in control. Maybe it still goes badly from there anyway but that started the shit.
2. Berhalter returning
a. Totally disagree with those saying that if they were just going to do that then they should have just renewed him in the first place Flat wrong. They needed to do their due dilifence.
b. Players like Pulisic and Weah publicly saying that they wanted him back had to play a role.
c. Perhaps he was just the best candidate after they went through the process and interviews. Maybe we'll ultimately find out who all they interviewed but we'll never know if any of those were better candidates but weren't interested.
d. The whole equal pay for Men vs Women might well have come into play here. The USSF may simply not have had the cash to pay what it would have taken to get some European top dog.
e. But most important. US fans need to shut the hell up whining about Berhalter all the time. Go read what the rest of the world thinks of his coaching acumen. US fans just want something to whine about (not just soccer). Move past it.
3. US vs Canada
a. The biggest problem losing McKennie and Dest is not that you have to replace them its that you only have 2 days of training with whomever are used and to develop your tactics. For example, lets say Scally starts in place of Dest. Maybe a better defender but not near the attacking threat. With Adams out and now McKennie just who is your box to box midfielder and enforcer? De la Torre is perhaps the best ball handler. Aaronson is the best presser. But neither of those are the physical presence of McKennie,
b. Do they stick with a 4-3-3 and if so who starts up top? Balogun or Pepi? Or do they shock all of us and switch to a 3-5-2 and put Pepi and Balogun up top. Something like thisL
Scally /Zimmerman MRob/Richards
Weah Musah Reyna Pulisic ARob
The US is better than Canada. Does that mean we automatically win on Sunday? No but we are the better team. And for those who like to say well Canada was first in the group in final WC qualifying - yes thats true but their Xg was way lower than what they actually scored while the US's was higher. Canada is tough no doubt. But they were quite lucky in qualifying. Panama gave them all they could handle last night. At one point Panama had outshot Canada 5-1 but was losing 1-0.
US wins the trophy.