As the team line-up announcement draws near, important unknowns remain in striker, goaltender and defense. While the US men’s team is back for the Football World Cup in Qatar after missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, head coach Gregg Berhalter has a lot of looming questions about the team. From who will lead the line when the match kicks off against Wales on November 21 to defensive concerns, Berhalter will have to find the best solutions if the team wants to advance out of the group stage.
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Prior to the disaster of not qualifying for the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia, the United States reached the round of 16 of the tournament in both 2010 and 2014, raising the expectations Berhalter would face. In Group B with England, Iran and Wales, the USMNT will have a tough time getting out of the group, but if Berhalter can push the right buttons and get a little bit of luck, anything is possible.
Here are three pressing questions for the USMNT as the Football World Cup looms:
1. Who is the striker?
Everything moves in a cycle, and this certainly was the case with the United States. Norwich City’s Josh Sargent was a starter for USA ahead of Qatar Football World Cup qualification in September 2021 before being pulled at half-time during the team’s 4-1 win over Honduras in three qualifying matches.
In that match, Ricardo Pepi scored a goal and provided two more assists, and then scored a double against Jamaica. At that moment, Berhalter’s troubles seemed to be solved, but Pepi did not score for almost a year before falling out of the national team’s radar in the summer and losing his starting role at Augsburg.
Pepi’s former teammate Jesús Ferreira then got a chance to start, but apart from the four goals scored in the Nations League against Granada, Ferreira also struggled to get the ball into the net. despite bringing a lot to the table with his creativity and game delay.
Jordan Pefok and Hadji Wright had coffee with the national team over the summer, but they didn’t get stuck either. While they probably should have received a longer review or been brought in sooner as Berhalter said the system is difficult to understand, the last international window saw a plethora of strikers who started qualifying, return to the team, but that’s the picture. it is not clear who will actually lead the line.
Sargent is in contention for the Championship Golden Boot with eight goals and two assists for Norwich City. On loan to Groningen, Pepi hit the ground running immediately, scoring six goals and one assist in seven appearances in all competitions. Ferreira even won the Major League Soccer Young Player of the Year award with 18 goals and six assists for Dallas.
Paradoxically, elsewhere on the field, USMNT players suffer from a lack of form due to players struggling with their club teams, nine is one of the positions where players score for their clubs but not for the national team, which was one of the biggest red flags around Berhalter’s tactics. Ferreira will most likely be in the lead when the team starts against Wales, but I suspect Sargent will start for the USMNT by the time the Football World Cup ends.
His confidence when things are going well is contagious and he is able to make something out of nothing for the national team as they can get tired in attack. But if Berhalter didn’t deliver an attack that would get his attackers into possession – a situation the team suffered in recent losses to Japan and a draw against Saudi Arabia – it wouldn’t matter if Erling Haaland was in the lead for the win. USMNT, they will still have trouble hitting the net.
2. How is the defense going to play?
You never know the impact of a particular player until they’re available, and that’s what the USMNT is up against in the absence of centre-back Miles Robinson. In May, the Atlanta United defender tore his Achilles, ending USMNT’s central partnership with Walker Zimmerman. Berhalter tried different defenders from his group of centre-backs, but none came up. Mark McKenzie, Eric Palmer-Brown, James Sands and Aaron Long have got most of the minutes available and Long is expected to start at the Football World Cup.
Notably, Berhalter excluded Tim Rome and John Brooks from the controversy, stating that neither matched his system. Cameron Carter-Vickers, the Celtic captain who plays for Zimmerman and Chris Richards, is too injured to contribute to the national team or Crystal Palace. For more know about England Vs Wales Tickets.
But this is a position where Berhalter may have to take risks. Giving Long a start against Wales is fine, but having a quick hook if things go wrong early on will be important. When it comes to ceilings, Richards has the highest number of current central defenders and despite his lack of playing time, he should head to Qatar Football World Cup and play if things go wrong next to Zimmerman.
Rapid changes like this could make a difference in USMNT’s exit from the group stage, so Berhalter and his staff will have to watch and push the right buttons. The centre-back isn’t the only issue, as prospective starting right-back Sergino Dest is also a concern. After being frozen at Barcelona, Dest went on loan to Milan but constantly struggled to break into the first team.
An above-average striker but below-average defender, Dest is a luxury player if the team defends poorly against the other three positions, which could see his stand-in DeAndre Yedlin start more than expected in Qatar World Cup. Yedlin is limited offensively, but he can work defensively if the midfield is balanced enough to keep things simple. When it comes to areas of concern, protection is my biggest concern.
3. Pick a goalkeeper
To say that Zach Steffen felt insecure after the end of Football World Cup qualification could be an understatement, as he found a way to lose club and country matches due to bad decisions, especially with crosses.
A loan move from Manchester City to Middlesbrough should have allowed Steffen to pull himself together when he had more playing time, but he struggled in the league during the season when manager Chris Wilder was sacked and replaced by Michael Carrick. When Steffen was healthy he was Berhalter’s best goalkeeper, but maybe it’s time for a change.
Ethan Horvath appears to be stuck in the team’s third goalkeeper position, keeping young Gabriel Slonina, who is the goalkeeper of the future, out of the picture. So it’s a real two-horse race between Steffen and Arsenal’s Matt Turner. Turner missed Arsenal’s last few games with an injury that saw him lose decisive starting chances in Europa League matches. Turner is expected to be ready for the Football World Cup, but a rusty Turner and an inefficient Steffen don’t inspire confidence.
Gio Reyna is ‘all in’ for USMNT, but roots mean he’s hoping another team also excels in Qatar
The talented Dortmund player spoke to CBS Sports ahead of the Qatar Football World Cup. With the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, USA forward Gio Reyna is back in shape just in time to make his mark on the national team. But when he’s not on the field and training in the United States, there’s another team in Qatar that Reyna will look up to.
Before heading to the United States, Reyna was eligible in a variety of countries as his grandfather was born in Argentina, he was born in England and his grandmother’s background meant he was also eligible in Portugal.
But while Reyna chose the United States out of a desire to play for his country of origin, joining his father Claudio Reyna to become one of the few father-son duos to play for the national team, he will still hope one country does well, as long as it’s not against the United States. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
“I’m still a fan of the game, so when I grew up near the United States, I supported Argentina. So it’s kind of my roots and that side of my family where football is in our blood, said Reyna. In Soccer We Trust podcast. Of course I’m all for us, but if there’s a game against Argentina on another day that we don’t play, I’ll turn it on and I’ll definitely be rooting for [Lionel] Messi and Argentina.”
Argentina’s support means a lot to the young American. His grandfather, Miguel, moved to the United States in the 1960s from Argentina after spending time in Independiente’s youth system and later playing professionally for Los Andes, near Avellaneda in Lomas de Zamora .
As for Reyna himself, he also gets in shape on time. Last week, Reyna started consecutive matches for the first time this season and also ended a goalless streak that had lasted over 400 days. With many members of the USMNT struggling for form or game time.
Reyna will be a key cog for Gregg Berhalter in Qatar World Cup as he is only 19 years old, improving by the day and was able to play his part in qualifying for his Dortmund team. for the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. The Football World Cup officially starts on November 20th.
Wales in high-level discussions to change name of national teams to Cymru after Football World Cup in Qatar
Wales will consider changing their name to Cymru on the international stage after the Football World Cup. Cymru – the Welsh name for Wales – is already used by the Football Association of Wales in their internal and external communications, as well as by staff at the governing body’s headquarters in the Vale of Glamorgan.
FAW plans to speak to various Welsh football stakeholders about the merits of changing the country’s name in international competitions, while PA news agency may report that informal discussions with UEFA have already taken place on the matter.
“The team should always be called Cymru, which is what we call it here, FAW chief executive Noel Mooney said ahead of Wales’ first Football World Cup since 1958. At the moment, we believe that domestically we are clearly called Cymru. That’s what we call our national teams.”
We are a very open democratic organization, and today we do not make a unilateral decision to do something like that. I would say that this is the direction of movement, but there are no firm decisions on it. We are moving towards this almost by osmosis. A possible name change for Wales came under scrutiny earlier this month when Robert Page’s side were drawn into the same Euro 2024 qualifying group as Turkey.
Turks now compete on the international stage as Turkiye after the Ankara government requested that the country be known worldwide by its Turkish name rather than the English version. Muni said: You have seen how countries like Azerbaijan, Turkey and others use their own language.
They are quite strong in that and we talked about it with the Turks at the Euro 2024 draw. We also had informal talks with UEFA over coffee at various events. Ask how Turkey did it, how other countries did it. We asked in which direction they travel, for example, is there a movement towards people who speak their own language?
What I do know is the revival of the Welsh language and a sense of great pride in what we do with culture and heritage. The name change to Cymru will end Wales’ status as the last in alphabetical order of the 55 members of the UEFA national association in various draws and meetings.
“We sit next to the Ukrainians all the time, which is nice because we’ve become good friends with them, said Mooney, an Irishman studying Welsh who has made it his goal to spend next summer at the National Eisteddvod. we would like to sit next to Croatians and Czechs for a little longer.”
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