USA-Uzbekistan Men's Friendly Player Ratings

Sept. 9 in St. Louis
USA 3 Uzbekistan 0. Goals: Weah 4, Pepi 90+1, Pulisic 90+5 pen.
Att.: 15,569.
* * * * * * * * * *

In Gregg Berhalter's first game at the helm since the 2022 World Cup, the USA took an early lead and scored two late goals for a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan. The USA struggled to carve out clear chances after Tim Weah's fourth minute goal but thanks to its late surge handed Uzbekistan its biggest defeat in 15 games — a run in which it conceded more than one goal only twice.

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


Matt Turner prevented Uzbekistan from equalizing at the stroke of halftime when he stopped Eldor Shomurodov's close-range shot on a breakaway. He had earlier been well-positioned to save a longer-range and weaker shot from Shomurodov. Turner made his third save when he dived to prevent a sneaky, well-struck attempt by Khojiakbar Alidzhanov to score at the near post instead of crossing.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG) 33/0 (29)


Central defender Tim Ream  failed to intervene with Khojiakbar Alidzhanov as he unleashed his 21st minute shot that hit the crossbar, was out-run by Shomurodov on Uzbekistan's second big chance, and was robbed by Shomurodov before Turner made his biggest save of the day. Ream's partner Chris Richards made some clean tackles and committed two fouls, both among the five the USA inflicted on playmaker Jaloliddin Masharipov, the second of which earned Richards a caution. Right back Sergino Dest sent in the cross that led to the USA's best first-half chance after Weah's goal but until he had his 7-yard shot blocked in the 73rd minute after juking past two defenders didn't help find a way through the crowded defense. Then Dest popped up to retrieve a loose ball and made some nice moves to help set up the second goal. Left back Antonee Robinson struggled at times with Alidzhanov but also stifled him in the second half to make an Uzbekistan surge short-lived. His attacking contributions, crucial for the USA's strategy, fell short of getting the best out of Christian Pulisic.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sergino Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED) 27/2 (22)

Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG) 11/1 (23)

Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 52/1 (35)

Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG) 37/2 (26)


Weston McKennie settled a cross, from Pulisic, that arrived behind him and with six touches amid four defenders dished the ball to Weah on the first goal. He also set up Folarin Balogun's header against the post. Yunus Musah allowed McKennie to roam, helped the USA rule the midfield for most of the game, and supported Robinson's defensive efforts on the left side. Luca de la Torre passed crisply in midfield, hit a long-range shot that was saved by Utkir Yusupov, and made a clean tackle in the U.S. penalty area before being subbed in the 35th minute after suffering a broken nose in a head clash with Oston Urunov.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA) 45/11 (25)

Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP) 17/0 (25)

Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA) 28/0 (20)


Tim Weah's excellent finish provided the USA's early lead and his right-wing dribbling helped keep Uzbekistan's defense on its heels. Folarin Balogun  hit the post with a header but his center-forward performance otherwise posed no problems for the opponent. Christian Pulisic wasn't a consistent attacking threat. But he sent in the cross on the first goal; set up a chance that Weah headed wide in the 60th minute; by darting into the middle sparked the buildup to the second goal; and he buried the penalty kick to make it 3-0.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Tim Weah (Juventus/ITA) 32/5 (23)

Folarin Balogun (Monaco/FRA) 3/1 (22)

Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/ITA) 61/26 (24)


Tanner Tessman gifted Uzbekistan a big chance when from center circle he passed back into the U.S. half a ball that Shomurodov turned into a breakaway. The rest of his performance made de la Torre's absence all the more severe. Brenden Aaronson assisted on Ricardo Pepi's excellent 18-yard strike for the second goal. Aaronson also passed the ball to Malik Tillman during the foray in which Tiillman was fouled for the Pulisic penalty kick.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Tanner Tessman (Venezia/ITA) 2/0 (21)

Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED) 17/8 (20)

Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER) 33/7 (22

Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL) 12/0 (24)

Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED) 6/0 (21)

Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA) 1/0 (21)

TRIVIA: Juventus teammates Tim Weah and Weston McKennie combining for the opening goal marked the first time that European club teammates combined for a USMNT goal since Carlos Bocanegra set up his Fulham teammate Clint Dempsey in an 8-0 win against Barbados in World Cup qualifying on June 15, 2008.

UP NEXT: The USA hosts Oman on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota (TNT, Universo, Peacock, FDP Radio).

Sept. 9 in St. Louis
USA 3 Uzbekistan 0. Goals: Weah 4, Pepi 90+1, Pulisic 90+5 pen.
USA — Turner; Dest, Richards (McKenzie, 64), Ream, A.Robinson (Lund, 81); McKennie (Tillman, 81), de la Torre (Tessmann, 35), Musah; Weah (Aaronson, 64), Balogun (Pepi, 46), Pulisic.
Uzbekistan — Yusupov; Aliqulov, Eshmurodov, Ashurmatov (Ganiev, 68), Alijonov, Xamrobekov, Shukurov (Iskanderov, 82), Sayfiev (Turgunboev, 68); Urunov (Nasrullaev, 68), Masharipov (Ismoilov, 86); Shomurodov (Abdikholikov, 82).
Yellow cards: USA — Richards 49; Uzbekistan — Alijonov 63. Red cards: none.
Referee: Nelson Salgado (Honduras). ARs: Limanuel Sola (Puerto Rico), Jairo Morales (USA). Fourth official: Melvin Matamoros (Honduras).
Att.: 15,569.

Shots: 13/15
Shots on target: 6/3
Saves: 3/3
Corner Kicks: 5/3
Fouls: 10/11
Offside: 2/2
Possession: 65%/35%
55 comments about "USA-Uzbekistan Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 10, 2023 at 12:48 a.m.

    The US looked good for about 15 minutes. Then they started playing stupid. I quit watching at the stoppage at about 35 minutes.

    Ream impressed me as not being good enough.

    Richards impressed me as a one-way player. That is not good enough. Before the passback was prohibited, teams could use CBs that weren't comfortable on the ball. That was 2 generations ago. 

    I was disappointed to see Pulisic on the left again. Same old, same old. Has Pulisic ever played on the right for the US? I can't remember. Why doesn't the coach identify and select some left side players?

    Balogun, on his failed attempt to finish a header, impressed me as not being a striker. He was also consistently poorly positioned when the wingers were looking for him. He showed me nothing. Maybe he will get another chance. Contrast him to Weah who is consistently dangerous around the box.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, September 10, 2023 at 12:51 a.m.

    You would think that a national team would have someone that could show Balogun how to play striker, but that isn't the case today.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, September 10, 2023 at 5:02 a.m.

    Bob, you stole ALL my Thunder... You are Spot on with the Starting Line-Up (I still think Richards can "Do It", but Years of NOT Playing Consistently is Starting to show)

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, September 10, 2023 at 7:07 a.m.

    Santi, that wasn't my intent. I was simply venting out of frustration over thinking about another four years of this. I feel like a Mets fan. (The younger generations here won't understand the reference from baseball prior to the 1969 season.)

  5. Santiago 1314, September 10, 2023 at 5:27 a.m.

    We have seen this "Methodical"... "Trust The Process" Ggg SYSTEM Approach to playing against a "Amateur" Team in a 5-4-1 Bunker...
    Force the Ball into a "Regista" in the Center Circle Area and Hope to draw out a Defender, in order to Open some Channels for a Split pass to Someone Else inbetween the Lines, then Rinse-Lather-Repeat into the Next Line of Defenders...
    A Clearly "Out of Position" LDLT as a "Regista" is Not the Solution (Busio is the Solution there)
    It was like watching Paint Dry, and then it was like watching Kids throw Rocks at the House Windows as everything else BROKE.
    Some "Metronomic" Tiki-Taka Wing Play from Dest-Weah-MckenNIE on the Right Side over to CP-LDLT-Jedi on the Left Side would have been Much more Attractive and much more Effective.
    (of course we know that CP-and Jedi can't "Play in the same Sandbox", So in this kind of Game you needed CP supported with either Vines or Paredes, Defensive "Prowess" was Not Needed)

  6. frank schoon, September 10, 2023 at 8:39 a.m.

    Let me first congratulate SA on their pregame coverage on Uzbekistan giving us a little inside info on the coach, the players and a little bit of the 'goings on' of their soccer situation.<sac> It seems there is always zero coverage of our opponents ,perhaps, at least little update, of some sorts. We talk alot about improving soccer but I think the journalistic side of soccer needs to be also seriously looked at for improving their 'game' as well. 

    I watched the first half, and their seems to be no change in how they play and it won't until the discussion begins to center around how to build up from the back, how best to receive the ball at midfield, the positioning and ball movements. 

    Oh, I forgot , maybe there is hope, for B.J. Callaghan is doing research on how to score and play better. Well, we know at least our classroom soccer professors are on the job. I know GB is probably right now downloading all the 'super secret info from our 'beep beep' bras to obtain additional information, perhaps telling us we scored 3 goals.

    We have got to realize our centerbacks have 'lousy' ball skills and that is because player development and the current thinking of how centerbacks play is part of the problem. We used to have a libero who was good with a ball, usually someone who was a former attacker like a Beckenbauer or an attacking midfielder. Instead now we have 2 Bozos standing square to each other in the middle. REMEMBER the centerbacks play in the MOST crucial part of the field, the centerlane and are closest to our goal. This should tell one, the implications of why we need at least one good ballhandler back there with a brain.

    It is only logical that we need someone with intelligence ,skill and talent, one with leadership quality to handle operations with or without the ball. A good ,ballhandling centerback can create havoc by  being capable move up to midfield ,creating midfield superiority, drawing opponents, creating an open man by forcing a midfield opponent to make a choice of who to cover...

    But instead, the centerbacks today are not developed for that capability and therefore why should the opponents even bother with a centerback having the ball for he can't do much with it anyway, other kick it long or make a useless. DON'T waste a man on him. This is one of the reasons we can't create numerical superiority.

                                                        NEXT POST.

  7. frank schoon, September 10, 2023 at 9:25 a.m.

    Note, our centerbacks and the centermidfielder #6 is a perfect triangle, and those three will outnumber the opponent coming at them, but somehow this particular advantage is never applied and it should be the first option. Unfortunately we tend to look more toward the outlet pass to the back or a centerback, neither of which is a good pass.  Neither Reams nor Richards are good with a  ball. Reams HAS NO CLUE and should not even touch the ball. 

    The initial pass from the goalie to one of our centerbacks or backs, SHOULD BE OUTLAWED!!! First of all you don't pass to a back unless he is going on attack on with plenty of running room ahead of him. You don't  employ a back for building up, NEVER!!!  The first pass out of the backfield from the goalie should always skip the backline and go up towards midfield, for that is not only where the BETTER players are but also you create in that one pass more players behind the ball for defensive support, which you don't have when passing to a back or a centerback...Or worse a #6 coming back standing right in front of the penalty box with his back facing downfield ,asking for the ball.  The STUPID stuff that I see these coaches teach the players is unreal and they are licensed....they have should have their licensed taken away for bad coaching but that means also instructors at the coaching do likewise.

    The most important pass from the goalie going up to midfield is to skip the backline thus the creating the possibility of the THIRD MAN. The player further upfield receives the ball will lay it off to the open man running forwards, who has totally field view. You notice also all our midfielders when they receive the ball have their back facing downfield. They either have to turn or lay it off to one of our less skilled backline...It's a horror show out there.  You build up by applying the third man not using your backfield players who have no back support....

    I wasn't impressed with De la Torre, nor Tessman. Their passes were basically square , or backwards or very,very few downfield.  They position themselves to receive the ball without really thinking where is the best or better option, but instead are happy to move the ball as long as it doesn't creat ball loss and therefore let someone else deal with the problem...

                                              NEXT POST....

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, September 11, 2023 at 7:36 p.m.

    The Player Passed to and by Whom, is INCONSEQUENTIAL...
    The Key is to Find the 1v0 Open Player....
    A player who is 1v0 can the Bring the Ball UpField until Confrontation Occurs with an Opponent....
    That Opponent had TO JUMP from Defending another Player, Now my Teammate is Open, so I Need to get HIM the Ball, before I am Tackled...
    Once my Teammate gets it; He is NOW the 1v0(Unless Someone else on the Defense has JUMPED HIS MARK, and then I Find HIM Instead)
    It's "THE DOMINOE" PRINCIPLE; Once you get a DOMINOE Collapsing , then the Next one falls, and the Next One, until you are Shooting on Goal.!!!
    But, it must be done in METRONOMIC FASHION....
    One-One Thousand, Two-One Thousand...  PLAY (Play can either be a Pass or a Change of Direction Dribble , or a Change of SPEED Dribble ( Like Cruijff in '74 Final to draw the Penalty)

  9. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2023 at 9:34 p.m.

    Santi, The player passed to is consequential especially if it is a back for then you leave the opposite side flank useless and totally out of the play. But building up from the back starting with the goalie, the initial pass has got to go upfield towards the midfield for there are your better ball handlers, and at the same time you create more players behind the ball to support on defense which you don't have when passing to a back or centerback or to anyone else in the backline and in case of ball loss the risk is less for you're much further from your own goal with plenty of defensive back support.

    Your 1v0 is called finding the 'free man' and yes it is like a domino effect but that is limited up to the second third of the field for when your in the opponent's half that advantage ends  for the opponents will always outnumber defensively the attackers and vice versa in your own half.... This is why it is so important to have midfield control and keep at least 5midfielder around the midfield line, as you attack.

    But most importantly and you rarely see it is employing the 3rd man when you skip the initial backline to pass further upfield. There is simply no way to build up when the initial pass from the goalie goes to a back or centerback, it's useless.

    The best way to employ a right back and gain numerical superiority is to quickly throw the ball to the back who is wide open right after the  opponent's attack is stopped by the goalie. In this way the back can run upfield with the ball unaccosted forcing the opponent at midfield to make defensive choice.  But passing to a back in the build up is worthless for by the time the ball is passed to him the opponents have shifted to his side defensively and block his forward movement...

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, September 12, 2023 at 9:57 a.m.

    Frank; there is NO Way to Play, the 1st Ball, nto the Midfield, when the other Team is Playing a 5-4-1... It's a Trap, Turn-Over and the Off to the Races .. which is Exactly what happened... Got to be Somewhat Patient; but Dictate where YOU Want to Break the other Team Down; Versus having the Opponent Sucker You into their Central Midfield Trap 

  11. frank schoon replied, September 14, 2023 at 11:31 a.m.

    Santi, it's called the 3rdman. You outnumber your opponents always in your own half, that's why use employ the third man and that is done by skipping the first line or even the second line.
    And as far as the opponents in a 541 sucking you into midfield, that depends on where their backline move up to....It all depends where and how they play 541. You're not going to build up if the opponents in a 541 leave a lot of space behind their backline....You don't build up to just build up it all depend where the opponents' weaknesses are. 

  12. frank schoon, September 10, 2023 at 9:58 a.m.

    I'm disappointed in Pulisic for his lack of personal development. He's been playing, how long now?, pro-soccer on the left wing and he's yet to develop a left footed cross. He's become so predictable
    in his movements. Notice how the right back ate Pulisic's lunch, he couldn't get past this back one on one. The back ended up a couple of times stealing the ball from him. CP gave up and moved to the right wing and didn't do anything out there. You know CP won't go to the endline to cross the ball or even attempt a diagonal shot with his left foot. He always cuts in about 15-20 meters from the endline. This cuts down CP's option leaving the defender having to prepare and guess less as to CPs actions....Like Bob, stated it's the same old, same old. 

    I know many were excited earlier this week with CP scoring for AC Milan. The problem is to not rely on how well one of our players does in Europe by scoring a goal which is totally meaningless. Any idiot on the field can score a goal, and that goal he scored could have been scored by anyone in his position. Watching him play against Uzbekistan tells one the real story about CP...

    Weah took a nice shot and scored, but other than that, I wasn't impressed ,and especially with his little dancing ,tippy toe moves ,showing off which accomplished nothing but it look good in the year book of soccer... It is Dest that gave the space to Weah, for Dest drew the opponents to him...

    I think youth coaches need to start thinking about not having square centerbacks, but one playing behind the other. You don't post 2 defenders on a 2v1 advantage, but one behind the other, BUT NEVER SQUARE. Somehow we post 2 defenders square at the most vulnerable position in closest to our goal, GO FIGURE???  Fortunately for the defense today most attacking players are not capable of making an outside of the foot pass that curves behind the centerbacks and going away from the goalie. 

    Our current coaching philosophy is not helping improve our MNT, nor our youth development. Our players look to predictable and play predictable...

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, September 10, 2023 at 8:56 p.m.

    I wonder, How Long, Before CP "Turns " on Ggg.???

  14. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 9:50 p.m.

    GB is CPs mealticket...he doesn't have with him and besides he supported GB in the Reyna battle

  15. Ben Myers replied, September 11, 2023 at 8:37 a.m.

    Don't confuse the Pulisic playing on the left side for Berhalter with the Pulisic playing on the right side for Pioli.  A player's performance is often (always?) influenced by the team and coach.  People can downplay Pulisic's performance with AC Milan, but he is playing with two one-time Chelsea teammates, Giroud and Loftus-Cheek, and Musah, his American compatriot, making the Italian world more comfortable for him. 

    Pioli is at least 100 times the coach that Berhalter is.  Pioli stated that he had great confidence in Pulisic when AC Milan signed him, and he has shown the confidence by starting Pulisic on the RIGHT side.  Pulisic has produced goals, assists, and passes leading up to the assist.  

    We all have to hope that Pulisic has overcome his history of injuries, does not get injured again, and continues to produce for AC Milan and Pioli.

    When Pulisic was at Chelsea, Tuchel and Lampard (second time around) showed zero confidence in Pulisic, played him sparingly, and Pulisic met their expectations too well.

    As others have stated, Berhalter continues to be an unmitigated disaster for the USMNT, backed by the disaster that calls itself the United States Soccer Federation.  Whatever the USMNT accomplishes will be done in spite of Berhalter.

    Why is the USMNT playing friendlies with Uzbekistan (FIFA ranking 74) and Oman (73), instead of opponents ranked higher?

  16. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2023 at 11:09 a.m.

    Ben , you bring up some good points. But how CP was handled by the right back of Uzbek. is very telling. It shows his weakness as a player one on one whether it is on the leftside or right side. He gets his lunch stolen from a back because he doesn't know how shield the ball properly and twice this happened; furthermore after not being able to go around the rightback ,he switched to the right side. In Holland ,he would have been taken out for that should never happen and I can only imagine what the Dutch press would have said the next day....Obviously ,he is lucky here for soccer press is asleep.....

  17. R2 Dad, September 10, 2023 at 11:16 a.m.

    I thought one of the main benefits of hiring a coach that was a defender was that our defense would be solid. But from what we see the play in the defending half is poor, we keep executing the same way and players aren't getting training to improve their positioning, ball handling, and especially how to think about the game. On top of this GGG wants to stick with this 4-3-3 regardless of the opponent. So now we know nothing will change between now and 2026. GGG hasn't considered change unless he has been on the verge of losing tournaments, and then it's only been the obvious changes people have been requesting for ages.  Is USSF really going to let GGG muddle through 2 world cup cycles, when our golden generation is at their peak?

  18. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 11:22 a.m.

    R2, it's not the 433 system for if you play with wingers, if you want to call them that, then you need 3mids not 4 or 5. You're right on about everything else you mentioned...
    Actually no matter what system we play, we can't play under tight pressure or in tight spaces....lets first get that ironed out....

  19. R2 Dad replied, September 10, 2023 at 2:54 p.m.

    Frank, we don't really have wingers--everyone wants to come inside and it just compacts the center of the pitch. No one sees the inside run and goes wide to drag defenders out of position, which is what we need when CP goes onto his right foot. Or when Dest drives at goal in the 72nd minute he draws 5 players and there is no one for him to play with. GGG has to figure out how to stoke the attack, but I don't think he know how. BJ figured it out in a couple of games, where at least the attack was more balanced. We don't need hero-ball, we need the squad to play better as a team.

  20. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 3:05 p.m.

    R2, true but we need players on the flank for if you don't everything is going into a funnel towards the goal and blocking up things. I hope this winger thing will change sooner or later to the way they are suppose to play....Great teams always had wingers for it keeps the defense spread....

  21. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 3:14 p.m.

    R2, Furthermore the problem is that when we don't have the wings and we all try to go inside, the bottling up and reducing the space makes it difficult to move around for we are not good in small spaces, ball handling wise(technically) nor tactically(mentally)

  22. Kent James, September 10, 2023 at 1:22 p.m.

    The 3-0 scoreline was flattering to the US, though the US was the generally the better team (the best breaks for Uzbekistan happened when we gifted them opportunities, which fortunately for us, they couldn't finish, or rather, Turner was up to stop).  I thought LDT played well; we certainly missed him when he was gone.  It was nice that  both Musa and LDT were able to take the ball up the center of the field from the back; we don't generally do that.  Pulisic had a lot of trouble beating their right back (#3, who played not only great defense, but brought the ball up the field quite well and had a great shot that hit the post; he was their best player).  

    A couple egregious errors almost hurt us; Tessman (who generally did not impress, though it was the first time I've seen him) I think was unlucky; I think the ball took a bad bound just as it came to him, so I think that was the cause of his horrific back pass.  With Ream, it looked like his toe caught the ground as he was trying to pass (or did he stumble?). I like Ream, but the only reason I can think of to keep him in the line-up now is to mentor younger players, since 3 years to go until the WC is a long time when you're 35...

  23. Santiago 1314 replied, September 10, 2023 at 1:52 p.m.

    Tessman is 4th String "Pure" #6... Adams, Cardoso, Acosta, Tessman...
    Why Ggg forced a Square Peg, LDLT(Left mid) into a Round Hole, #6
    Instead of Going with B.J. Double Pivot/#10 system is why GGG SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN RE-HIRED, AND SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY.!!!
    Ggg is putting HIMSELF and HIS SYSTEM AHEAD OF THE TEAM.!!!

  24. John Sabala, September 10, 2023 at 3:40 p.m.

    Same Old Greg,

    First I will lay half of this at the player’s feet playing the #74 team in the world and thinking they were just going to cruise to an easy win. What makes this game worse is the Uzbekistan team only arrived in Saint Louis that morning. Talk about jetlag!! And yet we should have given up a couple of goals.

    Back to the match from the coach’s side.  The lack of intensity could suggest many of the players are not happy with the coaching selection.  They did not come out and want it to start on a high note. Instead, we saw the same anemic offense. The only bright spot for me was the play of Luca until he got his nose broken. He has good vision and possesses some skill sets our other midfielders lack, but should be playing the #8 and not the #6. Again the coach is responsible for the play of the team. Back line was terrible and a better quality team would have punished us severely. I watch Japan do it to Germany in their 4-1 win. And now the DFB fired Flick.  Did not wait any longer after Qatar exit and lack luster play from a talented squad.

    I remain having no confidence in GB to take this team to where it needs to go. Based on how the players performed I would say their effort seems to show their lack of confidence in his ability to lead and create effective gameplans or make on the field adjustments.. I am sorry I stayed up until 0130am to watch the entire match.

    Dont really care much for the player ratings at this point. I don't plan to get up and watch the 0130am game against Oman just to be sorely disappointed again.

  25. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 4:01 p.m.

    'Oh, man' were playing Oman....I can't wait to run to the store and get my popcorn to see this game....I thought the idea now is to begin to play teams that were high caliber for us in order to  learn from...

    If other countries like Germany can fire coaches so easily, why can't we...The problem ,I think, is that we lack good qualified pool of American coaches...

  26. humble 1, September 10, 2023 at 4:45 p.m.

    Very tough crowd this - almost a peanut gallery.  Berhalter just coming back after being away all year.  Almost the entire squad changed club teams - moved cities - countries - now training in new language - and travel back 'cross pond - and play one of the 'stan coutries, notoriously hard rough crowd.  I have yet to watch the game - but I expect improvement - only up front with introduction of Balogun and Pepe settling in a normal learning and growing environment and working with/learning from De Jong at PSV - so we should see more goals - given the same style - which we know they will play - which is conservative - I am ok with this - and we get a 3--0 win - and everyone moaning.  Good moans though.  Probably there is a a silver lining in this - not black all clouds.  I will have to find it myself when I watch the replay.  Meanwhile - Uruguay suddenly with Bielsa - a great watch.  

  27. humble 1 replied, September 10, 2023 at 4:53 p.m.

    I for one - with Uruguay - used to the conservative style - this SA forum crowd - would groan with every win in the past and all the world cups - since 2010 - as they always rely on guile of Suarez, Cavani and before them Forlan, to work the magic to score - while playing behind the ball the whole time - and if they get a lead - fugetaboutit - sittin' back to protect it and kick and then the last 10 minutes, camelo, and if you don't know what is camelo, it is just whatever to kill the game, lay on the ground, drive up the left, turn around, switch drive up the right turn around switch back.  So for this style which sorry - is our style - you need attacking flair / speed to score.  Pulisic, Robinson, Weah, and then a #9.  I like the competition between Balogun and Pepi - I think it has possibilities.  Goal counts the same at 1m or 90+ - Pepi got one - good for him and those that served him - as he for sure is a player that can make goals - but needs the ball in his spots - service.  So well done to Pepi.  Now pressure is on Balogun.  C'mon boys!    

  28. John Sabala replied, September 10, 2023 at 5:02 p.m.

    If and when you watch the game you will see what we are talking about. GB does not get a pass on this one. He was out for 6 months, but his assistant was on the job playing the same damn system. Don't give me different clubs and so is soccer....from a playing standpoint.  Everyone is saying we are seeing the exact same issues that existed before with GB.....and yet you keep the same guy thinking he is going to fix the problems?  As I stated earlier....I watched the Germany match against Japan....the cameras kept going to the DFB heads in the stands. I told my wife he is fired after this match.  Today in the news it is a reality. Germany last 6 games...4 losses,1 win and 1 draw. Not good enough.  You could see the utter disgust on their faces. Germany has a high quality team that is not performing.  It is the coach's job to get players to perform. If not they are fired. We have the talent, but lack the coaching talent to lead the group. That is as clear as day ever since GB has been in charge. Hell fire Hansi Flick. Still has a better resume than GB.

  29. humble 1 replied, September 10, 2023 at 6:33 p.m.

    Not in agreement.  GB is GB.  I am ok with his playing style.  Conservative as it is.  There are not problems when you take over a team that did not get to the world cup - further - the prior coach and staff failed to cultivate a generation of players - only Yedlin stands from 2014 - they did not even select Ream. Germany issues are not coach - it is players - where is the next Scheinsteiger, Muller's and Kruse's replacements and yes, what about the replacement for the sweeper keeper Neuer?  They have a development problem - not a coach problem.  Anyway back to USA.  What were above folks watching?  Did you see Weston pick that ball out of the air - dribble four players - draw all defenders on his side then pass back to Weah, and the ball from Pulisic was one of several good dangerous crosses.  Pepi's strike was another well worked ball - and a struck in a way that showed he is developing.  Powerful, purposeful, technically sound.  Ream had a few issues - know what - Van Dyke has issues now and then too - we don't debunk him for them - esp. when they turn a clean sheet.  I am not with all the naysayers.  I did not expect anything different from GB. I would not give Ream - a 3 - when they get a clean sheet - and esp when they play a relatively high line - so you are gonna get stung - Ream had decent recoveries on both his give aways - and if that shot was scored - that was a golazo.  Balogun almost scored a couple of times - Dest broke some ankles - so did Pulisic.  I could not watch the whole game - fubo hosed me - watched Spanish highlights - they were marveling over Weston's magic feet in the box.  This is my take.  I am not a lover or a hater - pragmatic football - I am ok with this.  GB - very underrated.  People get out the can of whip-cream after a 3-0 win - this is not the same as losing to Japan 4-1.  Germany has issues - much bigger issues than their coaches.  Good day!  

  30. Santiago 1314 replied, September 10, 2023 at 8:45 p.m.

    Humble; your making out Point for Us ...
    Lots of Talent, that is being "Constrained" , Restricted , Mis-Used...
    That is THE COACH...
    All you have to do is see the Difference, "Looseness" that the Team Displayed in the "Interim" period and Even the First 5 Minutes of this game .. to be Followed by a "THROTTLING" of the "Flow" by Stilted Tactics of Trying to Forcre the Ball thru LDLT via Ream and Richards.

  31. Kent James replied, September 10, 2023 at 11:48 p.m.

    Humble, I'm with you.  I didn't see players restricted in what they could do (okay, Ream and Richards didn't come forward, except on set pieces); Pulisic and Weah each ended up on the other wing, Robinson and Dest came forward with abandon, DLT was all over the place, McKinnie doesn't even seem to play a set position.  I fear that we are going to endure another 3 years of lengthy posts about how GB gets old. 

  32. Santiago 1314 replied, September 11, 2023 at 6:31 a.m.

    Don't Believe Me; Believe REAM.(from ESPN article-Carlise)
    "[We] started well and then lost our way a bit at times," Ream said. "Too slow, not aggressive enough. I mean, there are things that we're trying to do in terms of pulling players out and keeping tight connections and trying to get a team to jump when you're trying to break them down. And if they don't jump, we need to make better, quicker decisions and not put each other into tight, troubled situations."

  33. humble 1 replied, September 11, 2023 at 11:14 a.m.

    I only saw the highlights.  Comments from Ream are normal.  Expected.  Of course they could do better.  They properly used the friendly.  I am just not in allignment with the coach Berhalter is no good thread.  I do not see him as perfect, but he is our first ever coach, American, that actually had career as professional player and coach. First.  He, Stewart, and McBride, for me, did good work.  I see things thru my own lense.  But, also, results.  Players are getting chances.  The team is winning, getting in Olympics, WC.  After missing the WC, we progressed out of group.  This is good progress.  Ask Italy.  Yeah, far more difficult, from EURO context, but, still, from our context, progress.  The Dutch, yeah, they took us out, but what about their traditions, they are a soccer nation, we are building still.  Anyway, puttting it in context, watched the full Argentina match, Scaloni, look at all the starters and the subs, insane talent, did Scaloni develop those players?  No.  Watched the full Uruguay match, entire new generation on show, no Cavani, Suarez, did Bielsa develop those players?  No.  So there.  I see coach Berhalter as having overseen a rebuild, having delivered tangible results and having earned the chance to carry on.  Was his appointment opaque?  Yes.  Are his tactics a bit stiff?  Yes.  We don't have the perfect situation, but sky is not falling.  Please.  Good day.  

  34. Kevin Leahy, September 10, 2023 at 4:49 p.m.

    To all the commenters on here we, are in for a long three years! How is it that these professionals are so incapable of making dead balls dangerous? That includes the staff and players. I will always pull for this team no matter what but, have zero faith that there is much to get excited about under the present circumstances.

  35. John Sabala replied, September 10, 2023 at 5:08 p.m.

    I concur as it will be with GB the whole time. 

  36. Sam Bellin, September 10, 2023 at 8:24 p.m.

    Very disappointing performance by the USA.  Individual technical skills are simply terrible -- so many misplaced passes, poor first touches, passes that should easily be stroked on the ground for a teammate to control quickly instead come in at the players knees or shins and prevents us from gettting any rythym even if we get lucky and don't lose the ball right away.  Even worse, practically the whole starting X1 receives the ball and immediately puts their head down to dribble regardless of where other players are -- no field vision whatsoever.  The USA does not choose to stay behind the ball (like Uruguay, as mentioned above) -- we are unable to move the ball forward with quick passes so we frequently CAN'T get players in front of the ball.  And this against the 74th best team in the world that traveled halfway around the world to play us.  Truly a dispiriting performance.  And yes, GGG should be out immediately -- never should have been rehired in the first place. 

  37. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 8:33 p.m.

    Sam, everything you mentioned about our player's poor  technical capabilities is right on, which says more about poor player development which any NT coach has to face and deal with......

  38. Santiago 1314 replied, September 10, 2023 at 8:53 p.m.

    And Yet Frank;
    When we see these SAME players play with AC Milan, Juventus, Fulham, PSV, Celta de Vigo, Rennes/Monaco, WE DON'T SEE THE SAME TECHNICAL ISSUES.!?!?!?
    It's Not the Players, it's The System that HOLDS THEM BACK.!!!
    A System that WAS BAD, WAS GONE, And is Now Back;
    Thanks to BETTY Crocker and C-P-C....
    They should both be Fired Immediately, for Re-Hiring this BOZO.!!!

  39. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 9:40 p.m.

    Santi, that's easy to answer.  you play better with better players, the tactical system or whatever has nothing to do with it. A good player can play any system. We don't have good players and that is why when they play together they make each other look worse, even. When you play with better players , who see and read the game better will likewise give you better passes, and place you in better situations that will help your game and thus make you look better. They are not going to put you in a position where you're weak at, or need more time to handle the ball or need more space. Messi will play a lot better with Alba and Busquets at InterMiami than without them, because better players will make you look better.

  40. Sam Bellin, September 10, 2023 at 9:41 p.m.

    Frank you're right about our player development system, and it has to be addressed asap, but I also think we need a new coach right now.  GGG was not a terrible coach (that I know of) during the last cycle.  The team qualified for the Cup and played respectably in Qatar, but we struggled a lot to qualify and never looked like a threat to beat any Top 10 team on a neutral field.  That alone should be enough to start with a fresh coach for the new cycle.  But then came the Gio Reyna situation.  Yes Gio needs to grow up and his parents were caricatures of entitled American sports parents, but GGG's behavior was atrocious.  He leaked team information that happened behind closed doors to the media; he publicly blamed and humiliated a player (who's barely even old enough to qualify as an adult).  Those are the two biggest "no-nos" a coach at any level can commit -- how does he command respect from his players after that?  And the nail in the coffin:  The US team that was mediocre in Qatar and woeful yesterday looked like world-beaters in the Nations League Semis and Finals, when they finally got to play without him.  The time for a new Coach is right now.  

  41. frank schoon replied, September 10, 2023 at 9:59 p.m.

    You're right Sam we do need a new coach. Picking this guy only shows how bankrupt in ideas the USSF is

  42. Philip Carragher, September 10, 2023 at 11:22 p.m.

    I'm never sure how to evaluate players and teams when I can't be sure whether they're trying hard or not. This game was a friendly, so was this how friendlies are supposed to play out? U played with somewhere between 60-75% pressure on the ball, so what can we learn from this? They had some good players out there, and we did too, but the intensity wasn't there so they all seemed to spend most of their time just drifting around the pitch. Positioning was relaxed to the point of being sleepy. It seemed more like the game used to be before the hyperactive game of today, but it lacked effort. Players weren't presenting themselves for the ball, and, to Bob's point about Balugon, he just seemed to be drifting listlessly and didn't appear to really want the ball. He may have wanted it, but his body language isn't saying that. McKennie's control and pass was remarkable and now we need to see if he can do stuff like that with any consistency. Weah looks as if he's developed some new abilities with the ball and that's exciting. He even got a complement out of Frank!!

  43. Bob Ashpole replied, September 10, 2023 at 11:36 p.m.

    Philip, these are professionals. International friendlies are not friendlies. Players are trying to impress the national team staff and the clubs. They don't go easy because it is a "friendly". Their play directly influences their worth.

    On top of that professional athletes are competitive people. Players who don't "try hard" don't become internationals.

  44. Ben Myers, September 11, 2023 at 8:15 a.m.

    Why didn't the US schedule Australia (ranking 39) or a similar side for its friendlies instead of Uzbekistan (77) and Oman (75)?  Mexico did and got a better test.

  45. Philip Carragher, September 11, 2023 at 9:56 a.m.

    Bob, John Sabala points to "lack of intensity". Kind of the same thing as just not trying very hard, or giving your best, or locked-in. It amazes me that any highly competitive player can find themselves playing for their country and not appear fired up about it. Carly Lloyd's point about the WNT's WC performances spoke to this as well. There is an issue being communicated through body language and I'm not sure what it is.

  46. frank schoon, September 11, 2023 at 10:57 a.m.

    Looking at Ben's numbers as far as rankings go, shows how low in the barrel we go to play competition. We need to play teams that can beat our butts big time for that will show what our weaknesses are. So we beat Uzbekistan 3-0 which tells me nothing other than how weak CP is when trying to beat right back one one on one who took him to lunch, on team that is ranked 77.

    If I ran the USSF, I would have provided funds to bring over former greats from Europe and South America, 5 or 6 of them to come and brutally analyze our players on the NT,as well as on the 2nd and 3rd teams and see what they are weak at and need to seriously work on. This would be a start or rather program for our guys to follow including other US players in the MLS. Don't forget this will have spill over effects reaching college players as well.

    If this had happened in earlier stages, players like CP would have been much better off as footballers. This game with Uzbek. really shows his weaknesses and I don't see any improvement in his play whatsoever...Showing goals scored by our boys in Europe doesn't do anything or tell anything about the quality of play of our player, which we will see more of when playing against a team like Uzbek. ranked in bottom of the barrel....

  47. humble 1 replied, September 11, 2023 at 11:18 a.m.

    I am not in allignment that we always need hard opponents.  Sometimes a team needs a win - or to try things - in a softer context before going into the real world.  This is ok.  This is how you develop.  This why we have practices.  Practice game too.  Calm down.  Have a nice day and try try to find something positive from this 3-0 friendly practice game win.  

  48. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2023 at 12:43 p.m.

    Humble ,you are absolutely right. Ajax when they worked on Total Soccer a totally new concept they played amateur team everyday ,first. But this is not the case with our National Team, we have no new concepts, GB is playing the same soccer as he had before, employing the same guys, nothing new there. 

  49. Bob Ashpole replied, September 11, 2023 at 12:51 p.m.

    Humble 1, I agree the problem is in playing only low ranked teams. Now was the time to get the higher ranked teams for friendlies. Once qualification starts the better teams will be less available.

    Going back to the 1960s our high school football coach would always scedule the first game with an out of conference big city AAA team whose players were far bigger, stronger, and talented than any team we would face locally. He won some state championships and was inducted into the state Hall of Fame. So starting a cycle with creamepuffs is not a good idea in my view.

  50. Philip Carragher replied, September 11, 2023 at 2:11 p.m.

    Were we up a man for our last two goals? I believe so.

  51. Santiago 1314 replied, September 11, 2023 at 2:40 p.m.

    Yes Phillip, you are Correct;
    One of the Uzi's Cramped Up and they played the last 20 minutes, Down a Player...
    Ever See a World Cup Level Team; Play a Man Down because of Lack of Proper Subbing by the Coach.???
    Amateur Team.!!!!
    AND THEY GOT 6 Subs for a Friendly.!!!
    And we probably wouldn't have Scored the 2 "Last" Minute Goals if they had been Full Strength.

  52. frank schoon replied, September 12, 2023 at 8:15 a.m.

    Santi, I can't believe we played against 10men while the opponents had enough players to sub for...what a sh*t show...Lets hope Oman is better...<SARC>

  53. humble 1 replied, September 13, 2023 at 11:57 a.m.

    I think the next round is harder teams - Germany and Ghana.  Clear cycle here.  Normal.  Good planning. They are friendlies - with purpose.  Some see it - some do not.  Bottom line - using this international break context to cultivate players whose primary job is club ball - while growing the national team - the first serves the second.  Like Frank writes above. I don't necessarily like the tactics in the games - but these games are not ones that count in any way - except - in how they contribute to building your team, capabilities, options, and in the end results, in the games that do count.  Berhalter and his staff know this very well.  That's why they were given another term.

  54. Montele Graves, September 11, 2023 at 10:36 p.m.

    I can't believe how many times CP loses the ball, mostly leading to counters... even on free kicks... SMH

  55. Ted Morehouse, September 12, 2023 at 4:06 p.m.

    This is just another rag tag team with a few of our best players ( Weah : Jedi,  Turner, Mckinnie, Musah and Pulisic) and a " cereal bowl" of others.  What impressed me most about the game was the quality of the Uzbekistan team.  I didn't even know they had one ( kidding ).  But I thought this was one of those money games ( like in US football where Kent State plays Oklahoma on opening day ), but Ezebekistan looked pretty dangerous. Our team is simply the same as always.  Not so great on the techniques of soccer, but pretty athletic. There is no reason to believe we are any better than "fodder" in a real tournament.  Fun to watch.  Usually make it to knock out round.  Then lose and go home.  Coaching not going to change: predictable, uninventive, and not able to adjust to in field tactics.  Hard to get excited about 

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications