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Gold Cup 2021


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#21 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 07:48 AM

BRACKET - QUARTERFINALS

Saturday, July 24
25 - Qatar vs. El Salvador (Glendale, Ariz.; 7:30 p.m. ET)
26 - Mexico vs. Honduras (Glendale; 10 p.m. ET)

Sunday, July 25
27 - Costa Rica vs. Canada (Arlington; 7 p.m. ET)
28 - United States vs. Jamaica (Arlington; 9.30 p.m. ET)

BRACKET - SEMIFINALS

Thursday, July 29
29 - Qatar or El Salvador vs. United States or Jamaica (Austin or Houston; 7:30 p.m. ET)
30 - Mexico or Honduras vs. Costa Rica or Canada (Austin or Houston; 10 p.m. ET)

BRACKET - FINAL

Sunday, Aug. 1
Winner Match 29 vs. Winner Match 30 (Paradise, Nev.; 8:30 p.m. ET)



#22 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 08:31 AM

Quarterfinals start tonight.

 

Qatar vs El Salvador...assuming US beats Jamaica tomorrow they would face the winner of this game in the semi's

 

Mexico vs Honduras....El Tri has been less than stellar so far (somewhat like the US but better showing so far than us)..they need to be careful in this match. Mexico should win but Honduras could pose a problem....or they could totally fold too....lol



#23 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 09:21 AM

Balt SunFormer River Hill, Maryland soccer star Donovan Pines fulfills dream of playing for the U.S. men’s national team



#24 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:35 AM

CBS Sports: USMNT vs. Jamaica score: Hoppe the hero as striker's header goal sends U.S. to Gold Cup semifinals

https://www.cbssport...emifinals/live/



#25 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:53 AM

What an interesting match last night. Jamaica came out pressing full bore and the US had some early jitters. Settled down after about 5 minutes once they saw how tight Jamaica was pressing. Still had some passing issues the first half, mostly not playin quick enough and letting Jamaica use their speed effectively. But they made some adjustments at half time and started playing out of the back quicker and going over the top. This forced Jamaica to do a ton of running and after about the 65th minute they started bunkering and a few counters. The US was all over them but just couldn't quite break them down. Not to mention that Andre Blake was just super good in goal as usual. But it was just a matter of time before they broke through so its on to Qatar.

 

Here are my player thoughts:

 

Turner - Stock up again. One terrific save and getting better with his foot play. And can see his confidence growing every match.

Vines - Stock up. Played well at both ends. A few mistakes in the back but nothing overly bad. High energy match for him.

Sands - Stock neutral. Passing wasn't quite as good last night but he was still sound in the center.

Robinson - Stock up. Did some great 1v1 defending and covering up when someone in front of him messed up. Just a rock last night.

Moore - Stock up. Not quite as effective with his crosses but sound and improved defensively.

Acosta - Stock up. Much more active last night in the middle of the field. Combined well with Busio and Lleget.

Lleget - Stock neutral. Decent match. Nothing outstanding but nothing wrong either.

Busio - Stock up. After a pretty dismal match against Canada he needed to show us something and he did. In spades. High energy and played much more physically. Outstanding match and remember this kid is just 19.

Arriola - Stock neutral. Played fine just no real shining moments or gaffes. Good to see him back from injury and he did play hard.

Hoppe - Stock up. Way up. Played end to end. Solid on the ball, great runs, helped defensively. Got 3 shots on goal including the game winner. MOTM.

Dike - Stock down. I can't figure this guy out. He is big but plays small? Seems to get muscled off the play far too easily. Invisible for much of the match. Never had a real strong presence on set pieces which is where his size should make him a force. Touches were not good. Did make a few runs and one was very good. Except he then dribble until two defenders caught up to him and his shot had no chance. Not sure he starts the next match. 

Zardes -Sock up.  Did more in his 20 minutes than Dike in his 70. One solid  shot but easy save for Blake. Got in  Blakes way on the cross from Roldan that Hoppe headed home. That is what a forward should do there.

Roldan - Good energy and got the winning assist. Stock up. Not going to be anything more than depth but not bad.


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#26 BSLIanQuillen

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 04:40 PM


I think your analysis is about accurate, though I think Sands was a little bit better than you did. For me this was the most encouraging match of the tournament. Jamaica has always been a tough challenge even for a full US squad. To impose its will after halftime with such a provisional -- if still talented -- roster is no small feat.

As for Dike, oddly enough I think some of his struggles are that he's not really an out-and-out CF. A lot of times with Orlando he would play wide right in a 4-3-3. He likes playing face to goal more than his physique would make you expect. In some ways it reminds me of early Altidore ... which is not at all a bad thing ... but Altidore had to learn a lot of the holdup play that went with being a true No. 9 on the international level.

Also, important to remember he is a fairly late bloomer as far as high level soccer goes. He was not signed to a Homegrown Player contract out of an MLS academy, though he did come out of college soccer very early.
 

What an interesting match last night. Jamaica came out pressing full bore and the US had some early jitters. Settled down after about 5 minutes once they saw how tight Jamaica was pressing. Still had some passing issues the first half, mostly not playin quick enough and letting Jamaica use their speed effectively. But they made some adjustments at half time and started playing out of the back quicker and going over the top. This forced Jamaica to do a ton of running and after about the 65th minute they started bunkering and a few counters. The US was all over them but just couldn't quite break them down. Not to mention that Andre Blake was just super good in goal as usual. But it was just a matter of time before they broke through so its on to Qatar.

 

Here are my player thoughts:

 

Turner - Stock up again. One terrific save and getting better with his foot play. And can see his confidence growing every match.

Vines - Stock up. Played well at both ends. A few mistakes in the back but nothing overly bad. High energy match for him.

Sands - Stock neutral. Passing wasn't quite as good last night but he was still sound in the center.

Robinson - Stock up. Did some great 1v1 defending and covering up when someone in front of him messed up. Just a rock last night.

Moore - Stock up. Not quite as effective with his crosses but sound and improved defensively.

Acosta - Stock up. Much more active last night in the middle of the field. Combined well with Busio and Lleget.

Lleget - Stock neutral. Decent match. Nothing outstanding but nothing wrong either.

Busio - Stock up. After a pretty dismal match against Canada he needed to show us something and he did. In spades. High energy and played much more physically. Outstanding match and remember this kid is just 19.

Arriola - Stock neutral. Played fine just no real shining moments or gaffes. Good to see him back from injury and he did play hard.

Hoppe - Stock up. Way up. Played end to end. Solid on the ball, great runs, helped defensively. Got 3 shots on goal including the game winner. MOTM.

Dike - Stock down. I can't figure this guy out. He is big but plays small? Seems to get muscled off the play far too easily. Invisible for much of the match. Never had a real strong presence on set pieces which is where his size should make him a force. Touches were not good. Did make a few runs and one was very good. Except he then dribble until two defenders caught up to him and his shot had no chance. Not sure he starts the next match. 

Zardes -Sock up.  Did more in his 20 minutes than Dike in his 70. One solid  shot but easy save for Blake. Got in  Blakes way on the cross from Roldan that Hoppe headed home. That is what a forward should do there.

Roldan - Good energy and got the winning assist. Stock up. Not going to be anything more than depth but not bad.


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#27 Mashed Potatoes

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 06:28 PM


I think your analysis is about accurate, though I think Sands was a little bit better than you did. For me this was the most encouraging match of the tournament. Jamaica has always been a tough challenge even for a full US squad. To impose its will after halftime with such a provisional -- if still talented -- roster is no small feat.

As for Dike, oddly enough I think some of his struggles are that he's not really an out-and-out CF. A lot of times with Orlando he would play wide right in a 4-3-3. He likes playing face to goal more than his physique would make you expect. In some ways it reminds me of early Altidore ... which is not at all a bad thing ... but Altidore had to learn a lot of the holdup play that went with being a true No. 9 on the international level.

Also, important to remember he is a fairly late bloomer as far as high level soccer goes. He was not signed to a Homegrown Player contract out of an MLS academy, though he did come out of college soccer very early.


Makes sense, even Lukaku with his size and strength didn't develop great hold up play until recently.
@DaKittenz

#28 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 08:35 AM

I think the problem, at this point, is that Dike doesn't have the touch and technical ability you want at the international level in a wide player. He may develop that but he is way down the pecking order when it comes to our wide players. IMO for him to find a role in the Nats its going to have to be as a true #9.

 

Look at this list of wide players:

Pulisic, Reyna (although I like him as a withdrawn forward as well as wide), Weah, Aaronson, Morris (once he's back from injury), Hoppe. Then the second tier of guys like Roldan,  Arriola, Giochinni. And not to even get into younger guys soon to be ready.  But the list at CF is not hear as deep or have the quality that we have wide.

 

Sargent, Zardes, and Prefok are pretty much it right now. I am pulling for Dike. The #9 spot is really open right now. I think Sargent is the guy who you run out there in a qualifying match right now but he is for sure doesn't have a lock on it.


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#29 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 03:32 PM

Big semi-final with Qatar tonight. Going to be interesting to see the lineup Berhalter sends out there. Play what you think is your best chance for tonight and worry about Sunday on Sunday. Or make some changes to rest some guys for Sunday?

 

I'd prefer the rotation approach but both sides have merit.



#30 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:44 PM

Well exact same starting XI that went out Sunday against Jamaica. Pretty surprised actually. Especially starting Dike. I would have preferred to see Zardes start and probably Williamson or Bello. But time will tell.



#31 Hooded Viper

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:22 PM

Yuck!

#32 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:47 PM

Well it wasn't pretty.

 

But here's the bottom line. This very young team playing a way more experienced team found a way to get the W. And we have still not allowed a goal except a PK.

 

On to Sunday and Mexico or Canada. Go Canada, eh!!



#33 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 05:41 AM

Steve, compare / contrast what youve seen from the US in the Gold Cup vs the Nation's League.

#34 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 09:06 AM

Here's my player evaluations from last night. Lets start at the top.

 

Turner - Stock WAY up. Matt stood on his head in the first half last night and kept the US in the game. Has probably earned at least some discussion on being the #1 keeper.

Vines - Stock down then up. Not the best first half but played much better the second half at both ends. 

Sands - Stock down then neutral. Started out flat and made two big errors. The poor touch off a shot was almost deflected in for an OG but Turner stepped up. Much calmer the second  half.

Robinson - Stock up. Can't get any higher for him. Just solid all game. Mainstay of the back line.

Moore - Stock neutral. Ok defensively but didn't get much going down the wing in the attack. Ok match.

Acosta - Stock up. Played ok and was disrupting to the Qatari attack. But his big factor was his gamesmanship in slowing the taking of the penalty. Don't like that? Well get over it. Its just part of the game now and he did a fantastic job. Had they scored that penalty the outcome may well have been different. The miss and the US got juiced and immediately took over the game.

Lleget - Stock neutral at best. Tireless player and did well the last 15 minutes clamping down the midfield but he didn't generate anything going forward. 

Busio - Stock neutral. Had some good defensive moments but like Lleget just didn't do anything in attack to help break down Qatar.

Arriola - Stock neutral. Just didn't find much space to do anything on the wing. 

Dike - Stock down. Ok hes clearly not 100%. But that still doesn't explain his play. He finally did get two good runs. Terrible first touch on one and didn't even get a shot. Then on the semi break from Hoppe he promptly shot right at the keeper. Just has to do better.

Hoppe - Stock up, again. Just does whatever he can at both ends of the field to make things happen. His feed to Dike on the semi break was superb.

Roldan - Stock up. Did what you want a sub to do. Turn up the energy and he finally got things going on the right wing.

Zardes- Stock up. Way up. Has to start Sunday. Has to. Yes he got to go against a tired Qatari back line. But he scored the game winner and was in their face the whole time he was on the field.

Cannon - Stock up. Did what a sub in the back is supposed to do. Shut down that side of the field.

Giocahinni - Stock up. When you sub in for the best player on the field (Hoppe) you better do something. He ate them up and got the winning assist. Plus he drew numerous fouls down the stretch. That is the way to kill off a game. Well done kid!

Williamson - Stock up. Strong effort breaking up Qatari attempts to start any buildup. Some good passing forward and had a hand in the start of the play leading to the winning goal.



#35 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 09:44 AM

Steve, compare / contrast what youve seen from the US in the Gold Cup vs the Nation's League.

 

As I talked about in the article prior to the tournament comparing Nations League and the Gold Cup is a bit of apples and oranges. The approach to the tournaments and objectives were vastly different.

 

Nations League - The approach was to play the best available players (mostly the European based players) and win a trophy. Get them time together in training and several matches and play for the win in front of a home crowd.

 

Gold Cup - Of course they play to win but that was not the going in objective here. The bottom line was to field a team of near first teamers and younger players to give them exposure under pressure to identify, hopefully, several players that could be added to the mix for the upcoming qualifying.

 

Now there are clearly some similarities, as there should be. The same tactical approach has been used in both tournaments. Some have argued that you should fit the system and tactics to your players. And there is some validity to that. However, I am of the opinion that for long term you need to develop a system that you want play and train and train and train to get it ingrained in every player. That is what the top teams do. And yes you tweak things based upon your current players. But you keep a sound fundamental approach. And to me this is where Berhalter and staff have excelled. They want build up out of the back. That want outside backs to play defense and attack down the wings. They want the midfield to keep possession. And they want a strong set piece team. The formations and tactics used have been consistent across the Nations League and Gold Cup.

 

So in a nutshell the objectives were:

Win Nations League - Check

Identify Qualifying Depth in Gold Cup - Check

 

So what the hell. We are playing with house money. 


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#36 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 09:49 AM

As to our opponent on Sunday, well of course its Mexico.

 

All kinds of controversy over last nights game. Bottom line is that once again the Mexican fans and their "chant" got the match extended as the refs instilled the phase I protocol to stop the match. Mexico scored late in extended time to win 2-1.

 

Ref probably should not have given that much extended time and just sent the game to extra time. Mexico probably still wins but they dont get the benefit of what effectively was a golden goal. FIFA needs to step up and fix this once and for all. Beyond idiocy.



#37 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 01:16 PM

ESPN: USMNT, Mexico meet in Gold Cup final with expectations high for differing reasons

https://www.espn.com...ffering-reasons



#38 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 12:44 PM

Going be a fun one tonight. By most estimates Mexico is the better side. BUT they do have pretty much their starting XI with two exceptions. We don't have a single starter on our best XI going tonight (some argument around Hoppe and Turner). But this young team has played with a ton of heart and they have found a way to get it done. And don't discount the fact that they have only allowed one goal in 5 matches and that was a PK.

 

Here's what I'd like to see tonight. With potential subs listed.

 

http://www.footballu...com/1857275/USA



#39 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 07:19 PM

Well pretty close to what I was looking for with one exception. Bello gets the start over Vines. Not a bad look today from Berhalter.



#40 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 07:35 PM

Maryland alum Eryk Williamson starting as I hoped. Lets go dude make the Terps proud!!!


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