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USMNT Escaped Some JV Soccer Bullshit With Late Game Heroics, Now We Need To Talk About The World Cup

I don't even necessarily care about the result in El Salvador. We're getting out of the group in Nations League, even if we lost. The goal from last night was a few things, 1) get out healthy 2) try to figure out the main questions heading into the World Cup. That's what this blog is about. You can't take away too much from last night's game. The field was a disaster and El Salvador played legit JV soccer. It was atrocious all the way around because you could see the weird bounces and just trying to get out healthy. That said, here are my quick takeaways:

1. Yunus Musah is going to be a star. He did a TON of good shit yesterday and just couldn't find a goal (more on that later). 

Musah is 19 years old and solidified himself as a starter for the World Cup. I love everything about his game, he just needs to finish one of these. 

2) Jordan Morris is a Nations League star

3) There is something special about this group. This wasn't our 'A' team and it was a draw. But these guys are willing to fight. Tyler Adams picked up a yellow for going at a dude. Weston McKennie isn't afraid to fight. Give me guys like that every day of the week. Speaking of fighting, I trust my guys in this situation: 

But now let's get into the main stuff as we head to the World Cup. That's what I want to talk more about. We won't see the group together until September when we have a couple friendlies before the World Cup. I hate it. I wish we had our send off and were playing this month. Fucking FIFA. We don't know who we're playing yet, but we know there will be 2 friendlies in September. 

The June window was a success in the sense of going 2-0-2 with wins over Morocco (a World Cup team) and Grenada. Tying Uruguay (World Cup team) and at El Salvador. We only gave up 1 goal in those 4 matches. All positives there. However, here's my main takeaways, questions, thoughts as we go forward:

1. The goalie situation - Ethan Horvath is GK3

One of the biggest debates is who is the starting goalie for us? We have three heading to Qatar in Matt Turner, Zach Steffen and Ethan Horvath. Three Premier League players albeit not starters. To me Horvath is the odd man out here. He had a chance last night gave up a real BAD goal. That can't happen, not when you're in the middle of a race like this. I'd have Turner as GK1 heading into club play. I'm fine if Steffen is our GK1, but to me it should be Turner. We won't have this debate in 4 years when Gaga Slonina is around. 

2. What do we do at the 9 spot? 

This to me is a way bigger debate because of the options and how it can change the lineup. At one point it looked like Pepi was the answer, not so much now. Haji Wright got a chance to start last night, had 1 decent look and couldn't put it on target. Jesus Ferreira scored 4 against Grenada in this window but is he really the answer? It's also way different with Wright and Ferreira because of size. Wright can hold up the ball, play more in the air, etc. Me personally? Let's get a little weird with it. Play Weah up top there and in our 4-3-3 (more on the back 4 later) run McKennie-Musah-Adams in the 3 with Weah, Pulisic and Reyna (I like Aaronson as our super sub guy). Give me our most talent even if a player is out of position.

3. Who takes the Miles Robinson spot? 

We lost Miles Robinson to injury: 

That really fucked up our back 4. We had a solid, consistent group of Robinson-Robinson-Zimmerman-Dest. Now we are trying to figure out who can play in Miles Robinson's spot inside there. We saw a lot of Aaron Long in this window. I don't love that if we're being honest. I do like what Cameron Carter-Vickers brings. He played about 80 yesterday and has a little bit of physicality to go with some size. I'd like to see him get run with our normal 3 back there. Chris Richards is still an option. Joe Scally is an option. John Brooks is still out there but hasn't been in camp forever. Let me see CCV get some run. 

4. Jordan Morris won a spot over Paul Arriola 

Now it's time to start building depth and getting to 26 for the World Cup. It sounds like it's official they are adding 3 spots for the World Cup from the 23. Last night almost felt like a tiebreaker that went to Morris for me. Arriola came on and got a bullshit red card 8 minutes on the field: 

Morris go the game-winner. I think you have to bring Morris over Arriola pending injury, etc. 

5. Projected roster

This is how I'd make the roster assuming no injuries and if it does move to 26

Goalies: Matt Turner, Zach Steffen, Ethan Horvath

Defense: Sergino Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Antonee Robinson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Chris Richards, DeAndre Yedlin, Reggie Cannon, Aaron Long, Joe Scally

Central Midfield: Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Luca del Torre, Kellyn Acosta

Attacking Midfield/Wings: Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Brendan Aaronson, Jordan Morris, Malik Tilman

Up front: Haji Wright, Jesus Ferreria, Ricardo Pepi

Get ready for the World Cup with a bunch of USA gear here.

I can't wait for November. We have a bunch of stuff planned so stay posted.