USA-Costa Rica Men's World Cup Qualifying Player Ratings

Oct. 13 in Columbus, Ohio
USA 2 Costa Rica 1. Goals: Dest 25, own goal (Moreira) 66; Fuller 1.
Att.: 20,165.
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The USA reacted to Costa Rica's early goal with waves of attack from all angles that kept the Ticos pinned down in their own half and produced Sergino Dest's golazo equalizer. Tim Weah's powerful narrow-angle shot reached the net via the post and goalkeeper Leonel Moreira for the deserved gamewinner. The high-paced, exciting U.S. performance, following its dour effort in Sunday's 1-0 loss at Panama, marked its most impressive over 90 minutes of the qualifying campaign so far.

USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)


Within the first minute of play, Zack Steffen questionably came six yards out of his penalty area to head a ball and conceded a goal when the Ticos recovered it. Trying to reach Keysher Fuller's volley from 10 yards with both his foot and hand limited his reach as it bounced past him and into the net. He tipped a Celso Borges shot down the middle over the bar and on the ensuing corner kick did well to punch clear amid a crowd.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG) 24/0 (26)


The backline lost track of Fuller and looked confused on the first goal, but suffered no shell shock. Miles Robinson won air battles, and made up for his own mistake after he gifted Bryan Ruiz a breakaway by chasing him down and tackling cleanly. Chris Richards' precise tackling prevented a first-half Tico chance. Left back Antonee Robinson could have done better with a couple crosses -- overhitting despite little pressure and blasting the ball into a defender -- but he surged constantly, and nearly created an own goal with one of his good deliveries. Antonee Robinson and Richards combined with Tyler Adams to play the ball out of the back under pressure in the sequence that led to the first goal. Right back Sergino Dest's skillful touches and well-timed forays become USA's sharpest weapon and he topped it off with a beautiful 18-yard strike. He also relayed the ball to Tim Weah on the second goal. Dest's delightful play included nifty back-heel and robana passes.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP) 15/2 (20)

Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER) 4/0 (21)

Miles Robinson (Atlanta United) 14/2 (24)

Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG) 17/1 (24)


The ever-present Weston McKennie fined-tuned his passing after early inconsistency and motored many of the USA's attacks. One his second-half cross-field passes didn't reach a teammate but bounced off a Costa Rican to Dest ahead of the second goal. Yunus Musah complemented Dest's right flank play and served him on the goal. Tyler Adams' defensive midfield work created freedom for the outside backs to attack while covering for McKennie, who also took part in the 1-0 buildup.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP) 9/0 (18)

Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER) 20/1 (22)

Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA) 27/7 (23)


The unpredictable positioning of Brenden Aaronson and Tim Weah no doubt befuddled the Ticos. Aaronson often moved into the midfield and they were both on the same side when Aaronson received McKennie's pass, stormed down the left flank and fed Weah ahead of the first goal. Weah sent the ball all the way to the other sideline, where Musah controlled it before passing to Dest. Ricardo Pepi fell short on three half-chances, but he got some positive touches in, such as setting up McKennie for a chance in the 14th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT) 13/5 (20)

Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) 4/3 (18)

Tim Weah (Lille/FRA) 16/2 (21)


All the subs arrived with the USA leading 2-1, and continued pressuring the waning Ticos, especially  DeAndre Yedlin and Gianluca Busio on the right flank.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Matthew Hoppe (Real Mallorca/ESP) 6/1 (20)

DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR) 69/0 (28)

Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA) 7/0 (19)

Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew) 65/14 (30)

Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 20/2 (28)

TRIVIA: The U.S. starting lineup (average age: 22 years, 199 days) was the youngest ever for a game in official competition.

NOTABLE: The USA broke an eight-game streak of not scoring in the first half.

Oct. 13 in Columbus, Ohio
USA 2 Costa Rica 1. Goals: Dest 25, own goal (Moreira) 66; Fuller 1.
USA -- Steffen; Dest (Yedlin, 73), Richards, M.Robinson, A.Robinson; Musah (Busio, 77), Adams, McKennie; Weah (Hoppe, 73), Pepi (Zardes, 86), Aaronson (Zimmerman, 86).
Costa Rica -- Navas (Moreira, 46); Blanco, Duarte (Waston 84), Calvo, Matarrita; Borges, Tejeda; Fuller (Bolanos 84), Ruiz, Venegas (Saborio 84); Moya (Leal, 67).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; Costa Rica -- none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Daneon Parchment (Jamaica)
Att.: 20,165.

USA/Costa Rica
Shots: 12/4
Shots on target: 5/3
Saves: 2/5
Corner Kicks: 3/3
Fouls: 10/11
Offside: 4/1
Possession: 64%/36%
53 comments about "USA-Costa Rica Men's World Cup Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 14, 2021 at 12:29 a.m.

    Just WIN, BABY WIN.!!!  And Don't TRUST(Start) anyone over 25... Helps a lot when you are playing the Team from T.O.R.S.O (Thirty and Over Rec Soccer Organization)... 10s for Everyone (Not Really)... But, I will get into the Nit Picking Mañana.!!!

  2. Ben Myers, October 14, 2021 at 12:36 a.m.

    Not the B team tonight.  Not at all.  Is it a coincidence that 12 of the 17 US players on the pitch tonight were based in Europe?  They attacked with speed and panache and took over the middle third.  Dest's shot was a clinic on lateral movement followed by a shot with his "wrong" foot, as the Costa Rican defender might have seen. He is very much a two-footed player, and one can understand why he has played on the left side on occasion.

    It will interesting and edifying to see what this collection of starters plus healthy Pulisic and Reyna can do against stiffer competition starting with the Mexico and then the Canada rematch.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:03 a.m.

    What happens to Aaronson and Weah, When CP and Reyna come back to the Wing Positions.???

  4. Sam Bellin replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:16 a.m.

    My hope is that CP plays attacking mid in front of McKennie and Adams, Reyna and Aaronson start on the wings, and we bring in Musah and Weah as game changers off the bench.

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:56 a.m.

    Sam, I have Yet to see CP play a "Good" game, when he is in the Midfield.... It also takes away is Ability to 1v1 Breakdown on a Wingback....Switch Reyna and CP, Reyna is starting to play more Central for Dortmund... CP is NEVER going to play Central for Chelsea... maybe if he Switches to Farça.!?!?!?

  6. Kent James, October 14, 2021 at 12:52 a.m.

    While Dest had a great game, he made 3 mistakes in the first minute on the Ticos' goal; he missed the header, couldn't block the cross, and then kept the Ticos' player onside. But with that goal, all is forgiven. He really is an offensive force.

     The CR goal was tough on Steffen; maybe could've/should've stayed home instead of heading the ball out, but the player who would've been offside clearly kept him unable to commit on the goal.  Good call by the AR in a choatic (and important) situation in the first minute.  But if you're going to go down a goal against a weaker team, the first minute is the time to do it (or from CR's perspective, they scored too early).  

    McKinnie was (as usual) all over the field, mostly causing problems for CR (on Dest's goal, his run pulled the defender to Dest's right, allowing him to go left and be open to unleash the rocket). He and Adams played well, often in understated roles.  A. Robinson did a tremendous job getting forward (and often behind the defense), but he really needs to practice his crosses...

    I thought Musa was good carrying the ball forward in traffic, but seemed to fade in the 2nd half.  Pepi didn't have a great game, but gained more experience at this level, which is key.

    GB made some gutsy moves (replacing his GK), but I think his approach of using everybody on the team has paid off. Earlier versions of the USMNT it was pretty easy to figure out who should start, because the quality declined pretty quickly when you went down the roster.  Now there are a lot of quality players that may be as good as the starters, but have different qualities.  GB, by putting many untested players into important situations he shows he has faith in his players and is building a team with good chemistry. I'm glad he got Hoppe and Busio on at the end.   I also think by not yanking players if they make a mistake, he gives them the confidence to take more chances.  This young team is gaining valuable experience, and that experience comes more from being on the field than on the bench.  And while we were clearly the better team, none of these games are easy, and victory was not assured until the ref blew the final whistle.   

  7. Kevin Sims replied, October 14, 2021 at 7:40 a.m.

    Agree 100%. Praise of Antonee Robinson too flattering. Crossing opportunities squandered at a very high rate.

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:28 a.m.

    On A.Rob; I Repost... From Jamaica game...

    • "Santiago 1314 replied, October 8, 2021 at 4:31 p.m.

      The one Techical Problem that Jumps Out on A.Rob is that he Has "Ballerina" Feet... He runs on his Toes and Contacts the Ball with the Smallest Part of his Foot; The Laces and his Toe is Pointed Down...So when he goes to Cross, he Does No get a Good "Wrap" around the Ball... Why is a Ronaldo Free Kick so Dangerous.???... Because he Strikes it with the Laces and therefore creates No Spin... A "KnuckleBall" for all who know Baseball pitches.... It is Good for Baffling Goalkeepers,  but Not for Crossing... Similar issue for him when he Dribbles; Ball "Jumps" Away from him on 1st Touch, Because Toe is Down... and he has to work Harder to Clean Up his own Mess... His Speed has Helped him to "Hide" this Tecnical Deficiency.... But, if you want the Team to play Out Of The Back, it is Just a Matter of Time before he Turns The Ball Over, to a Good Team that can Punish USA....Same thing happened to McKenZIE vs Mexico, They set Up the "Trap" Play and got a Goal on us...That is why I see Vines as the Eventual #1 Left Back... Scally might be the "Happy Medium" ... Not a Big Problem at the Moment, but we Shall See.!!!"

  9. Bob Ashpole, October 14, 2021 at 12:55 a.m.

    No coaching complaints, and this was the best performance I have seen from McKennie. Finally, I see his positive side.

    Finally, an effective midfield.

    This game is something to build on. So nice to watch a US match that had me smiling instead of screaming.

    As for Dest's goal, it wasn't all that special. The US desparately needed a goal, so fans get overly excited when it comes.

    His technique was perfect, I cheerfully concede that. But shouldn't that be expected?

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 7:04 a.m.

    Bob, mi Thinks thou aren't too Under Appreciative of our Surinamese-Dutch/Americans EXCEPTIONAL GOOOOOO00000oooooLazo.!!!...
    It was VERY Special
    We're Talking about a Right Footed DEFENDER, Cutting In and shooting on an Angle, Under Pressure with his Weak Foot and "ScrewBalling" It Into the Far Post Upper 90 against One of the Best Keepers in the World.
    NO, that Shouldn't be Expected...It should be Applauded, Not Poo-Pooed, ya Grumpy Old Man...  (Jajaja, Just Trolling you a Little)

  11. Kevin Sims replied, October 14, 2021 at 7:37 a.m.

    Tough crowd. Dest lashes an inch-perfect screamer with his weaker foot and it is deemed to meet minimum standard of competency. Wow!

  12. John Sabala replied, October 14, 2021 at 8:13 a.m.

    I agree Santi, an absoluter amazing goal.  Not easy to do in practice let alone in match play.

  13. humble 1 replied, October 14, 2021 at 9:12 a.m.

    On that goal, it was a golazooooo, for sure, it is fair to say also, the defense in that moment is weak. Credit to Dest for recogonizing and taking what is is given.  This says a lot of Dest.  It shows his talent.  A shot like this with no pressure, a player with tequnique will make 9 of 10.  It is like watching Larry Bird or Stephen Curry rain threes from a basket of balls in practice.  That is technique.  Technique that few can do, even in practice.  Doing it in a game, that is skill, that is talent.  That is what Dest showed.  In a big moment, down a goal, in a full stadium, seeing the opening, executing perfectly, that was a statement. Sure, has some work to do on defense, but, seriously, have any of you ever played fullback in modern soccer, it is one of the most difficult positions to learn, because of the defense factor.  I watched Alexander-Arnold learn at Liverpool, so many defensive mistakes along the way, but over time, he locked it all down, still today, teams go at him, but his passing, that is world class.  So hat's off to Dest on that golazo, and keep working it mate!  

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2021 at 9:56 a.m.

    Santi, I don't see Dest as right footed. I see him as 2-footed. I see defenders pushing right fullbacks inside (thinking that they are right-footed) as an advantage of being 2-footed. The habit of unbalanced marking is so deeply ingrained markers assume every opponent is 1-footed until they are beaten badly. Then comes the lovely part when the keeper screams at his defense. The opposing keeper screaming at his own players always motivates and energizes your team.

    There is no reason that everyone can't be 2-footed. It is simply a matter of training discipline and confidence. You might be surprised at the degree in which 1-footed play is due to a lack of confidence in the weaker foot rather than a lack of skill.  

  15. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 10:35 a.m.

    Bob, Dest is rightfooted. He's trained in Holland at Ajax employing his left. Also when he plays on the leftflank, you can notice right away that he's right footed by how he positions ,begins his dribble and how he passes....Watch Glenn Hoddle, he is the type you can't tell he's right or left..Glenn Hoddle vs Man City 1980/81 ● Amazing Performance - YouTube

  16. John McGinty replied, October 14, 2021 at 10:54 a.m.

    I thunk Dest made a classic Messi move. He has learned something at Barcelona. Or as Salah or DeBruyne so often do. In other words "world class."

  17. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:07 a.m.

    AND, Dest did all that Goal with his SHOELACE Untied.!!!... That must have been why it had that Wicked Swerve on It.!!!!(sarc)

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:22 a.m.

    Bob, I will make sure to Tell; Maradona, Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruijff, Messi, that they Have to be "Two Footed" Players if they want to make "Something of Themselves"... Being 2 Footed is WAY overrated... Being Perfect with One Foot gets you into: "The ALL Time Greatest" Category.!!!... Prove me Wrong... Name Better Players that are "Two Footed".???

  19. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:22 p.m.

    Santi, being 2-footed makes even great players better. Overall it makes a player 1-step faster. (If the play is to the strong foot, no advantage occurs, but if the play is to the weak foot 2 extra steps are used.)

    Especially inside the penalty box, power and accuracy are not nearly as important as speed of play--finishing or clearing. Playing the ball first is everything. 

    Frank, I think of 2-footed as being effective with both feet, not ambidextrous. I suspect also that my technical standards and expectations being based on US experience are much lower than yours.

  20. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:47 p.m.

    Hey, Santi, are you trying hog all the comment space, give us peasants some space :) The way I see it,it's good to be able to use your left foot. Aaronson was at one time 3meters away from the goal on the right side of the goal and he all he had to do was cut to the left with his quickness and shoot. Instead he elected to go by the defender first and shoot with his right....with 3meters is rediculous, he flubbed.
    Don't forget when you're not a Maradona and not a Messi, then you need all the weapons as much as possible

    You know it is good to have left foot capability, Positionally speaking, this makes the opponent guess...Hey watch Glenn Hoddle,

    Glenn Hoddle vs Man City 1980/81 ● Amazing Performance - YouTube

  21. R2 Dad, October 14, 2021 at 1:47 a.m.

    I can't quibble with the ratings, though wish DLT could have gotten some minutes. There weren't a lot of turnovers, people were calm on the ball, no one got injured and we weren't CONCACAF'd. GB escapes with his job. Were the Panama lessons learned or ignored?

  22. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.

    I would have liked to see LucaDLT in earlier for Musah, I did not think Musah played very well... Lots of Sideways and Back Passing. NOT why he is on the Field... I don't imagine that Ggg told him; "Moose, we want you to go out there and be a Decoy, Just kinda Stand out there on the Right Midfield, and when you get the Ball; just Pass It Sideways and Backward. Kill the Momentum Every Time you get the Ball and WHATEVER YOU DO; DONT RUN AT THE DEFENSE WITH YOUR SPEED.!!!"

  23. John Sabala, October 14, 2021 at 5:15 a.m.

      European Based Player Show Their Class
    Anyone that ever doubted the playing class and ability of the European based players saw there is an enormous gap in skill, knowlede, movement (on ball and off ball) and the execution of a game plan with a sqaud full of mosly MLS players.

    The opening goal was a fluke, and happened due to the back 4 line not holding shape and marking players, basic defending soccer.  This has happended in almost every WC match with different defenders.  Dest following the player out of bounds was going to happen since he was at a dead sprint to try and prevent the cross.  It was a wake up play that we are fortunate happened as early as possible.

    I agree with most of the ratings with a few exceptions.  A. Robinson gets a 5.  Getting up the field to bring in mediocre crosses at best, and give up possession when trying to pass back centrally to open players shows his one dimensional play. You see the difference with Dest's abilities to dribble, pass and espescially move off the ball to create space.  M. Robinson should get a 4 because of so many mistakes that will be punished by better teams.  I don't agree with GB leaving him in since he did not recover or play well this match that had to be won.    That being said, I hope many of you will now agree with me to get the US to change to a 3 CB line.  This should minimize counterattack mistakes and allow more creative players to play wingback to help in the attack and press in the attacking third.

    We won the midfield battle once again and our best chances were created from center midfield penentrating with passes or dribbling and playing back wide to the wings or fullbacks.  I think we need to groom Busio to be our second #6 as Adams cannot be on the pitch every single minute of every match.  

    Got the needed three points.  The next two matches will be telling with Mexico and Canada.  Looking forward to responding to other posts.  Will need to catch up on my sleep after staying to 3am to watch the match.

  24. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:02 a.m.

    Js.. I still don't like 3 in the back for USA... 
    You Talking 3-5-2. or 3-4-3.???
    Either way: it seems to me we Sacrifice either a Forward or Central Midfielders (Because the Outside Two in 3-4-3 are Dest and Robinson)
    Put down some Line-ups for me.

  25. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:02 a.m.

    Js.. I still don't like 3 in the back for USA... 
    You Talking 3-5-2. or 3-4-3.???
    Either way: it seems to me we Sacrifice either a Forward or Central Midfielders (Because the Outside Two in 3-4-3 are Dest and Robinson)
    Put down some Line-ups for me.

  26. R2 Dad replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:41 a.m.

    John, Busio plays in side and outside in Venezia's 4-4-2--I see him as a different option to McKennie or Adams linking play. He's not the same physical presence and not a track star the Nats seem to want in a 6, but has good intelligence on and off the ball from what I've seen and I like him as a sub or starter against more technical opponents--eg Mexico. Do we need both Adams and McKennie performing similar roles? I'd like to see a 4-2-3-1 with Busio alongside either, playing the advanced of the 2.

  27. John Sabala replied, October 14, 2021 at 3:37 p.m.

      Santi and Bob,
    I think we can go with a 3-4-2-1 if we don't use a classic #9. Like Sargeant or Hoppe.  A 3-4-3 with a classic striker like Pefolk or Pepi.  In the 3-4-2-1 the top line is completely interchangable based on the flow of play.  If you watch how TT does this with Chelsea before Lukaku arrive it was very effective. Both of these allow for the US to press high up the field to create turnovers in the attacking third.  Having watched the USMNT play with GB the weakest part of our defense are the outside backs and holding shape.  In this line up you will not see A. Robinson, S. Moore, or Yedlin play much.  As stated in earlier posts we have only one modern FB....Dest.  We exchange A. Robinson for a Busio, Musah, Scally for the left wingback, possibly Vines later.  The right side is Dest, McKennie, or Musah. Lots of options to mix in the midfield.  With three center backs it is hard to get beat on the wing counter attack.  The outside centerback is able to immediately step to the ball that breaks the press and allows the two remaining CBs to cover the keeper.  The danger area is the press being broken centrally.  On top there are now so many players to choose from.....CP, Reyna, Aaronson, Sargeant, Hoppe, Weah, Pepi, Pefolk.  This puts more of our best talent on the pitch.  So my 3-4-2-1  which can easily move to a 3-4-3 with Pefolk or Pepi.  We are deepest at CBs and it is actually one of our strengths.  They are strong, fast and athletic. So I believe can cover the ground. I know it is a huge shift from our traditional playing, but I think would give us the best chance when (if) we move into the WC.  


        Aaronson                    Weah

                Aaronson       Busio            Musah

        Richards          Sands             Carter/Vickers


  28. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2021 at 12:03 a.m.

    John, I find your view of "formations" too inflexible even for a low level rec team. All systems will defend with 4 backs in their own half. In a 3-back system an important coaching decision is which midfielder drops back, when and where. Commonly a weakside midfielder drops into a weak side FB position when there is a threat to switch the attack to the open space on the weak side.

    All 4-back systems commonly push one back into the midfield immediately on transitioning to the attack. The decision is again who pushes, when and where.

  29. John Sabala replied, October 15, 2021 at 2:54 a.m.

      Bob, I agree. Once we transition to playing defense (preventing the counterattack) there will be 4 in the back as the weakside outside Mid drops to right or left back.  In full defense it looks like a 4-4-2, with the intention to still double team near the touchlines.  The overall system of play is that it is an attacking formation with quick play out from the back. From the CB to either a central mid or an outside mid to quickly link with a forward. It allows for movement by the front three to get behind the defense's backline.  There is less aerial service into the box as players attack more centrally. When things get clogged in the middle our offense tends to just stay way wide which is what the defense wants. There is more upside to this on the defense as we tend to give up goals in transition.  This helps stop transitional goals with our backline.  Our backline has been the worst part for each of our games as this group makes the most mistakes in each of our WC qualifying matches.  I was not a fan of a three back line for a long time, until I have seen it used with the correct players and tactical plan.  I think the US has this ability now with the young core of European players.

  30. frank schoon, October 14, 2021 at 9:31 a.m.

    LET ME FIRST SAY WE MUST PLAY IN WHITE WHEN WE'RE AT HOME!!!!@!   I like the kit but I kept mistaken CR for the US. We are the good guys and we wear WHITE  at home, PERIOD!!!!!

    Let me first say, Phew, we won. I quit watching the game at 66min. and turned on "Lone Star Law" for I would see more action and excitement watching game wardens sneak up up on illegall fishermen and illegal hunters. I couldn't take or stomach watching Costa Rica a PUB team made up of 6players over 30...this isn't volleyball!

    Did you see that breakaway of the Costa Rican player, all alone, running until he ran out of gas at the penalty box, stopped and was caught by our defenders. He was so tired he couldn't even shoot ,he had to stop to catch his breath.....This was totally pathetic.....And what is more pathetic about this game, it could have been 2-2 game if the ref had called the penalty on us in the first half...

    I don't exhibit the climatic reactions, after we win , as so many do and right away judge how great and promising we look. I tend to look more at the details of the game and I wasn't impressed. Yeah, we looked good because Costa Rica, was so bad ,didn't give us a fight,  gave us plenty of space and time....In sum, to me, this was the worst Hispanic team thus far we played. Obviously, this team is not representative of the Concacrap teams....They were a joke....

    CR scored on a goal because of the following. We all BALL WATCHED, a hallmark of youth soccer. 8 US defenders plus a goalie were directly involved and ALL  BALL WATCHED. Adams who supposedly plays the center lane ,completely left the centerlane and committed totally towards the right flank, and never, but never attempted to look even behind him to see who is filling it, for his man scored and McKennie was no help either for he should have taken the space left by Adams. 

                                                           NEXT POST...

  31. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:16 a.m.

    No Frank... RED, WHITE and Blue.!!!
    Does Holland Wear White when they are the Home Team.???

  32. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:21 a.m.

    Orange has always been their color , orange and white.... USA need a predominant White backround..

  33. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:36 a.m.

    Sounds Racist to me Frank... Jajaja

    Clockwork "White".????... Naah.!!!
    When Military talks about Defending "The Colors" or "These Colors Don't RUN"... We Ain't Talking about "WHITE"

    Only Team that should Wear White as their Home Color is "Los Meringues" de REAL MADRID.!!!
    #1 Club IN THE WORLD OF ALL TIME, as we will Prove to Farça again, On OCT 24th.!!!

  34. R2 Dad replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:49 a.m.

    Santi, don't worry about barca. It's el cholo that has your number!

  35. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:02 p.m.

    R2... He's got Everybody's Number.!!!!... The Ball Boy, the Grounds Keeper, The Stretcher Bearers, The Bocadillo Vendors....That is One INTENSE DUDE.!!!... Scares the H3LL outta me just watching him on TV.!!!!

  36. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2021 at 12:05 a.m.

    I agree with Frank. The most popular MNT shirt of all time was white with shoulder accents of red and blue.

  37. frank schoon, October 14, 2021 at 9:52 a.m.

    I look at this situation and think about all the wrong things at that moment we exhibited, and ask why that occurred and think about the next time we play a much stronger team. Realize this will and can occur again because is the state of development our players are in. WE DON'T HAVE THINKERS OR  LEADERS ON OUR TEAM TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS IN THE RUN OF PLAY....Yeah, a lot of us will be happy we won but we haven't solved or found a solution to this problem, so it will occur again.

    Because we all ball watched tells me NOBODY on the team has a brain that thinks ahead about the next be situation or show an awareness of where the next weak spot is..NOTHING, NADA!!!!
    When you play the center lane like Adams, is too reactionary, he is too quick to react, instead thinking first what happens behind me if I move away...He's not a thinker, he reacts to the situation and in the middle you need more of a brainier type. We say we have little depth at the #6 spot and that's why Adams fills that slot, but he's no #6.....

    The problem with Adams is that he needs to learn better the LATERAL positional game, he overcommits which has the effect of giving more time and space to the opponents. Time , in the sense that his pass switching the field takes too long, furthermore he does  positions directly at the passer which is also wrong, it should always be between the receiver and the next station.

    Realize that on the leftflank we have the SPEEDY GONZALEZES, Aaronson and Robertson. The problem is that they are too similar in make up...No balance, especially with McKennie as leftmidfielder. All 3 are not thinkers , you need at least one , who can send Aaronson and Robertson, but McKennie a player can't send balls ,he likewise would prefer would to be on the end of a pass. 

    Although Robertson can penetrate down the flank ,pushing the opponents further backwards, he CAN'T cross the ball on the run or even stationary for that takes too long. Can you imagine playing pro and can't cross the ball.
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  38. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:51 a.m.

    Frank, as for THINKERS, I would like to see LucaDLT on that Left Midfield... I was Pleased with what I saw of him... Imagine; Luca and Busio in there at the End of the Game... it would have been SMART Soccer Instead of Jamming the Ball all Over the Field and giving it "Un-Forced" back to Costa Rica... Busio was the Only ONE, trying to "Take The Piss" out of the Game... He's Slowing the Play Down with Attempts at "Rondo" and NOBODY GETS IT.!!!( Same thing happens to him at Venezia)....Did you hear any "Olé" Sequences from the USA fans.???... NO, Because We don't have a Soccer Brain on the Field, to keep Possession and Make the other Tired Teams QUIT.!!!.. And Most of the Time when we do... We play Right Past them.!!!!... You were Correct to change the Channel... I was Screaming at the TV those Last 20 minutes as we Kept Turning the Ball over to a Team with NO Subs and 2 Players that were Visibly CRAMPING... It was 11 vs 9... And we kept Turning it into 3 vs 5.!?!?!?

  39. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:39 p.m.

    Santi, OMG! that happened when I turned channel. Too bad ,that missed Busio and Luca ...Next time. Unbelievable we turned the ball over so many times in the last 20min., as you say....I'm surprised I didn't players from CR using walkers out there.... We could have played against these guys......

    'Ole' from our fans...You know that drum sections as great as it is misses the Brazilian beat,LOL. I'm glad I wasn't sitting in front of them...Do they actually watch the game?????

  40. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:39 p.m.

    Frank I think it is a mistake to assume that the players are to blame for their inflexible tactics on the field. If it were one or two individuals, okay, but not when it is the team. I suspect it is the coach micromanaging everything.

  41. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:49 p.m.

    Bob, what did you mean by inflexible tactics....

  42. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2021 at 6:46 p.m.

    Sorry Frank, maybe I got you Conflated.,. Luca played versus Jamaica... Busio played versus Costa Rica... Maybe one of these days they can be on the Field together.!!!!

  43. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2021 at 11:54 p.m.

    Frank, I meant sticking with the same game plan even when it isn't working.

  44. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2021 at 9:09 a.m.

    Bob, I didn't blame players for sticking to an inflexible....where did I say that or assume or for that matter where did I mention anything about inflexibility.

    Since we're on the subject, I don't think GB is inflexible, for even at times he has switched duing the games the system to accommodate. All coaches do.  Now there two ways to change things around. You keep the system you have and substitute a player or two you think can improve the situation. Or you change the concept of play but keep the system. These two aspects are controlled by the coach. The Third, I think is the most important one for that has to do with leadership on the field. A good example ,althought are many, in the WC'74 Holland was having difficulty at midfield against Bulgaria with Bonev a great player with Johan Neeskens covering him. There van Hanegem suggested to Wim Jansen and Johan Neeskens to switch their opponent and as a result it worked out....In other ,to me the most important coaching that goes on is on the field not from the bench.  

    That is why Cruyff(the players) ran the show on the field, and the coach Michels basically gave the outline of what he wanted. In other words Rinus Michels gave the framework. Cruyff explains it metaphorically as a couch, the framework is what holds the couch up. But outerworks of the couch ,how it looks , what you see as a couch can change. You can switch the pillows, the padding,the color,etc. You can totally overhaul the couch but the framework within stays the same....A very simple example would be a player overlapping, which means there is a change,but the framework remains the same for his teammate will cover his position 

    Cruyff states that if you're having a lousy game than don't attempt anything extra but play as the framework that supports the couch within, than at least doing the minimum requirement to support the system.
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  45. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2021 at 9:27 a.m.

    BOB,Rinus Michels was the man of the big picture, but Cruyff was the man for the details....As Cruyff states, 'it is all about details' when it comes to playing high level soccer.  He is considered a genius in soccer for he 'sees' the game in all its details that others don't see.  Unless you are aware of those details how can you possibly be a good coach at a high level. This is why Cruyff stated his opinion to me saying, 'these coaches don't know anything'. Meaning most coaches don't see other than a few details and this is why Cruyff stated that he thought that only about 4 coaches in the world besides himself knew the game. Realize the average  coach makes his decisions without really knowing the real WHY's based only on their limited vision and limited details. This is why even I as coach would hold a certain amount of doubt about own self when I suggest something to a player during a game to do with my limited insight of the game.  I always asked myself whether my decisions is based on the right facts, with my limited vision...

    Sofar what I'm saying is that there is no inflexibility by the players for THEY decide on the field what needs to happen, making the changes to keep the system going. HERE IS THE PROBLEM. Today's players are stupid. My generation who grew up playing soccer in the streets were responsible for all the tactical decisions. You learned your skills and learned how to and when to apply them. Kids didn't have licensed coaches telling them what to do, they became 'streetwise,street smart' in soccer. Can you imagine a youth coaches in my days at Ajax  as compared to today's youth coach,how much easier it was for them for the kids in my days had 'street smarts' and the skills in soccer. They knew all the tricks and a lot of insights about the game having learned from older players.
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  46. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2021 at 9:45 a.m.

    Bob,The pro players in my days were not as influenced by coaches from the sidelines as today. Notice today when bringing in a substitute the coach shows on his computer what you should be doing on the field....ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!  That is how stupid todays players are, they lack the thinking ,the street wise or smarts. This game is fluid ,it changes, how can you suggest to a player ,do this ,do that. These coaches likewise are as dumb as a rock to think you can instruct players. Last week, I watched Man.Utd., Ronaldo was brought in as a sub, the assistant coach came to him with this diagram of what to do out there. Ronaldo didn't even look ,he continued to tie his shoes. Here is a coach telling Ronaldo how to play.....LOL....

    This is why I say, that players of yesteryear were much smarter and intune about the game and not to mention how better skilled they were because of their street soccer backround.

    There was an incident at the WC'74 in Dutch locker room. Rinus Michels wanted to make a substitution at halftime. He wanted to sub the left back. Cruyff immediately stated that this particular sub would effect and change the pattern and the concept of how they played. He went on to describe how EACH player would be effected in his game out there. All the players were dumbfounded listening to Cruyff's in depth explanation. As one of the players later stated, " now we knew who the real brains was"...  In other words, the players should be making the decisions and changes during the game on the field. As one Wim Jansen once stated ,as coach you can make all the plans you want, but you can't control the events that particular day. For example a player might off, he's not on his biorythm, the weather....there so many other aspect ,unforeseen that only players can deal with not the coach..

  47. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2021 at 10:09 a.m.

    Bob, one more thing. As I read about what tactical system we should, it is just meaningless drivel.
    You first have to figure out the CONCEPT you want to play.  It's The CONCEPT separates the team who all play the exact same system. All we read about here is play 343,433,334, 532, 352,etc. This is all meaningless unless you follow a CONCEPT  and thus far there is no mention of that.

    It's like going to a bank asking for an investment loan for a business. The bank is going to ask for a proposal, details. You're not going to get a loan by saying it is a business loan. Similar, in soccer ,stating these are the guys who are going to play in my system, doesn't work. First the CONCEPT of how you want to play, then comes the players you have available for this CONCEPT,  then comes how each player can best benefit and be most productive ,according to each particular strength, by where he plays in relation to his nearest teammate , where will the be emphasis placed. There is so much that needs to go into playing system. 

    The problem is that we in the states are very superficial ,we don't talk about details in sports. We are great at selling something, no matter how bad it is. This is the land of 'Madison Avenue". For Example you read an interview in SA, which are fine, but its "People" magazing or "Sport Illustrated " level ,something you can pick up and the dentists office. Taylor Twillwell stated that Adams makes other players play better....but never states HOW....The HOW'S are left out in our discussions of soccer...

  48. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2021 at 10:05 p.m.

    Frank, I understand and agree with your points. I can read a rec match, but the experience doesn't carry over to the professional game. I am really lost trying to analyse a professional match. So I very much appreciate a impact of a superior ability to read the game.

    I also am well aware of how simply subbing a player can have a huge impact on play. I never could figure out why, but I knew what worked well from past experience with the players. I think it is a personality thing. I know you can put in any three midfield players and they will sort themselves out into an effective line if you allow it to happen naturally. (I am talking about good adult amateurs.) Or on the flank, who playing in front of who makes for the stronger team.

  49. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2021 at 10:54 p.m.

    Bob, being able to read the game is so intriguing to me.  CRUYFF stated sometimes it is just a gut feeling.
    Let's say all the teams play 433, but each play it differently due to the concept and type players you have.
    For example , you substitute a midfielder for another. That could have an effect on the #9 ability to score because of  how this midfielder adds or detracts to the attack.  

    The Dutch team '74WC, relied on the a concept the Rensenbrink , the left wing was not allowed to ever lose the ball. This Van Hanegem the left halfback who is slow and was the most player on the team he was the control center, he determined the tempo of attack. This way it obviates van Hanegem to have to play defense. It also saved CRUYFF having to play defense. The other concept was in order for Cruyff use 100% of his ability ,he should get the ball more than Rensenbrink, who many say was just as good as Cruyff.

    Another concept was the left flank was the creative side the playful side and right flank is the straight forward side, no fancy stuff flank. Because the team was based on attacking  going forwards, that meant that there would be a lot of space between goalie and backline. Therefore they had to get a goalie who was also a former player who could get out on the field.  Another concept was to never allow the centerhalf Wim Jansen with the ball 1v1 in the corners for that is not his strength....There are so many details and concepts that had to fit the qualities of the you can see how a substitute can effect a well thought out machine like the Dutch team. Also it is so intriguing to me how the each of the players technical abilities can effect another teammate style of .  

    At Ajax, Muhren the left halfback was not allowed to lose the ball. That meant when he had the ball everyone could go on attack. He was so good, known on the team as the best technical player. But he was only allowed to play 60% of his capability in order to allow Cruyff to use 100% of his capability....

  50. frank schoon, October 14, 2021 at 10:12 a.m.

    Did you guys notice, how we set up the triangle, inside ,along the flank. We constantly passed circles around CR because they allowed our 3rd man, the vertex of the triangle, to be stupid....

    The diamond in the rough obviously was Dest, who grew up playing Ajax ball. You can tell he was a former wing who just didn't cut it but has good wing qualities. The big picture is that our leftside is our TURBO, running, speedy side, 'less brainy' and our right flank more 'footballing' side whereby there is combinational play and 'thinking'. Dest is not TURBO, he looks, he thinks, when not to make or make a run...I think coaches need to tell their players that TURBO is not necessary but only instances. Note the goal he scored it was a direct shot employing the instep. I can't believe CR was not prepared for this eventuality of such a dribble by DEST. Note also that DEST is rightfooted and shot with his leftfoot, beautiful shot.... I wish we had some Dest's types who have been trained similarly, our team would then finally begin to play 'football'. 

    I also thought that Sargent should have played. To me Pepi is just a poacher, waiting for that cross but Sargent could have added more to the game up front. But lets face it CR lost the ball after the second pass, they had no outlet pass. They didn't have anything , they were unorganized, their front line was a joke. I have no idea why they called it a team... But I would very carefull to take this win to show how good we are......

    Aaronson if he's going to improve needs to seriously work on his left foot for it would give him more scoring opportunities....

  51. Sam Bellin, October 14, 2021 at 11:24 a.m.

    What a difference a good midfield makes!  We moved the ball forward quickly on the ground, held the ball well enough to allow Dest and A Rob to get forward frequently, created plenty of good chances, and tired out an already old and tired team to the point that it was a tilted field almost all night.  And it all started with 3 quality midfielders, confident on the ball and quick enough to pressure and win it back right away.  Please GB take the lesson and play only our top European-based midfielders in the Qualifiers!

  52. Philip Carragher, October 14, 2021 at 12:45 p.m.

    I just finished watching the first half and my main observation is that CR didn't pressure the ball at all. We kind of played that way as well. It looked more like a scrimmage-with-50%-pressure than a WC qualifier. I'm not sure what the accolades refer to other than Dest's strike. Musah had some good moments.

  53. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2021 at 12:50 p.m.

    YUP! we could have suited up 

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