Sunday’s game is only the second of the 14 matches of the US Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers, but there is a feeling that this game can define the situation from now on.
With the victory over Canada in Nashville on Sunday, following Thursday’s draw with El Salvador, the United States will score four points in two games, with their hands firmly on the steering wheel, entering Honduras’ difficult third game. However, in the case of a loss or a tie, for a team that is so young and constantly learning, a little bit of suspicion will begin to spread.
So it is not necessary to win the game on Sunday, but definitely please win.
Before that, USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter had some decisions. One has been prepared for him, Matt Turner will restart before the injured Zach Steffen, but with the American team struggling against El Salvador, this conflict in Canada may have some Variety.
Having said that, let’s see how Berhalt and USMNT approached Sunday’s game.
The first decision will follow the formation. The US team used a three-person logistics system to defeat the Canadian team 1-0 in the Gold Cup. The system will definitely appear again, James Sands will be the central defender, but it feels like Berhalt is more likely to stick to his preferred 4-3-3.
John Brooks has a 99.9% chance of starting after being eliminated in the first game. As we all know, Brooks struggled in Central America after a long transcontinental flight, so it made sense to keep him in Canada. Now, he will fight side by side with Miles Robinson, which may be the best center-back partner of USMNT, even if we haven’t seen it yet.
At the same time, Sergino Dest may return to the right after encountering some difficulties on the left. The last time he faced Canada, Durst locked Alfonso Davis in a game, which may be his best performance with the US team so far. He should be motivated by the challenge again on Sunday, and Anthony Robinson will be left back.
The most important issue is Christian Pulisic, whose health is still up in the air before kick-off. However, Pulisic received training with the team on Saturday, so he has hope to go, even if he can’t play 90 years old.
Put on top
One of Berhalter’s major decisions was made in advance because the battle to become USMNT 9 is still ongoing.
Josh Sargent (Josh Sargent) started the game against El Salvador and showed signs of his effectiveness. He runs very well, can control the ball, and his pressure is also very good, which will be an asset against Canada. But the fact is that Sargent, neither for the club nor the country, has scored enough goals. In general, the United States has been struggling to score, and changing the top level may help solve this problem.
If Berhalter chooses something different, Jordan Pefok may become a replacement. The young boy forward didn’t have much playing time in the United States. He made his debut in March, but he already had a big goal in the National League semifinals against Honduras.
Wild card? Ricardo Pepi. The young man from FC Dallas was drafted into the army not only because of his dual citizenship, but because he became one of the best scorers in MLS this season.
The World Cup qualifiers are never the best time to learn about a player, but even if he has not played an advanced level internationally, Pepi is likely to be the best shooter in USMNT. He is unlikely to start, but Pepi may be the one needed to launch an American offensive.
It is assumed that Pulisic can play, but Berhalt does not want him to play more than 30 minutes. Pulisic will be a super-substitute hell. Conrad De La Fuente or Brendan Aaronson are both players responsible for starting and weakening the Canadian defense.
There are only two rest days, one of which is a travel day, and several players can rotate between matches. One is Tyler Adams, a player whose well-known injuries have affected the usability of his USMNT.
There is no doubt that the US team performed better when Adams was on the court, but Kailin Acosta proved to be a very capable substitute throughout the Gold Cup. If Adams starts, Acosta is likely to be the first midfielder to come off the bench, but if Berhalt wants to reduce the burden on the Leipzig star, and vice versa.