Your Weekly USMNT Update — February 4, 2019

It’s been a busy week for many of our top prospects with the Premier League in action twice, one Bundesliga match day, and the USMNT wins against Panama and Costa Rica.

First things first — the US clinched back-to-back victories this week, defeating Panama 3–0 and then beating Costa Rica 2–0.

However, what leaves us most excited was the noticeable shift in playing style that Coach Berhalter was able to implement after just a few weeks with his new team. Organized pressing at the back, dominant in possession, fullbacks joining the attack and disrupting the opponent in the final third — all hallmarks of Gregg Berhalter’s time at the Columbus Crew — were already recognizable in both US games. Even with several starters not playing given their commitments in Europe, the early progress we saw this week should leave fans excited that a new era of US soccer could finally be here.

STAR OF THE WEEK

Nick Lima (24, Castro Valley, CA) — San Jose Earthquakes, MLS

Minutes Played: 180

Results: USA defeats Panama 3–0 and USA defeats Costa Rica 2–0

1 Assist

While fullbacks aren’t usually big headline grabbers, our star of the week goes to Nick Lima, who was pivotal in executing Berhalter’s new system during both wins this week. Lima played a dual role, as he often pushed up from the back into the midfield and also operated as an extra winger at times to create a positional advantage for the USMNT in the attacking third. This strategy allowed Lima to not only showcase his more well-known defensive abilities but also let him thrive in building the play from the back (before the first goal against Panama), whip in crosses (clinching the assist for Zimmerman’s goal against Panama) and take his own shots (when he hit the post against Costa Rica). We already had Lima in our top 23 for 2022, but these two performances surely cement him as a lock in our minds as he and Yedlin look to compete for the starting spot at right back.

OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

Ethan Horvath (23, Highlands Ranch, CO) — Club Brugge, Belgian First Division

Minutes Played: 90

Result: Club Bruegge draws AA Gent 1–1

While we think Zack Steffen is the frontrunner for the starting spot in the goal, Ethan Hovarth could give him a real run for his money. He was one of the standout performers in Belgium’s turbulent top game (1st against 2nd) over the weekend. Two huge saves early kept Brugge in the game and he remained very composed for the remainder of the game. There was absolutely nothing Horvath could do to prevent Gent’s only goal.

Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL) — Chicago Fire, MLS

Minutes Played: 125

Results: USA defeats Panama 3–0 and USA defeats Costa Rica 2–0

1 Goal

Mihalovic started both USMNT games this week and immediately proved why he was rightfully selected to make his debut for the team. A technically very gifted center midfielder, we see him as a logical addition to a midfield that is often dominated by physically strong, defensive minded players such as Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie; Mihalovic could serve as the link between defensive mids, the wingers and forwards. His strengths: a solid one-touch passer, strong on the ball, and clearly not afraid to pull the trigger in front of goal, as seen by his one touch finish to clinch the go-ahead goal against Panama. We continue to think he’s at the beginning of his development, but an injury-free season with the Chicago Fire where he can learn from Bastian Schweinsteiger could prove invaluable to his career and possibly the USMNT.

Jonathan Lewis (21, Plantation, FL) — New York City FC, MLS

Minutes Played: 44

Results: USA defeats Panama 3–0 and USA defeats Costa Rica 2–0

2 Assists

Lewis came off the bench in both USMNT games this week and was able to provide two assists in under 45 minutes of combined playing time! He thrives in one-on-one situations on the wing given his remarkable speed and technical abilities, a skill he once again showcased this week numerous times against Panama and Costa Rica. Further, while we believe he has everything to become a consistent threat in front of goal, we’d like to see more standout moments such as his stellar cross to Lletget for the USMNT’s first goal against Costa Rica. If he can show the same consistency in finding his teammates in front of goal during this year’s MLS season (something that was lacking from his game last season, despite seven points), Berhalter could have a tough time deciding between him, Holmes, Amon, Arriola and Gall to fill some of the spots on the wing as we approach 2022.

Timothy Weah (18, New York, NY) — Celtic Glasgow, Scotland

Minutes Played: 16

Result: Celtic defeats St. Johnstone 2–0

1 Goal and 1 Assist

Weah just can’t stop scoring! Coming off the bench for the last 15+ minutes at a score of 0–0, Weah was instrumental in securing Celtic’s win over St. Johnstone, as he was involved in both goals. The move to Celtic is clearly paying off.

ONEGOAL.US 2022 WORLD CUP TEAM AS OF TODAY

Goalkeepers:

Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in both USA games versus Panama and Costa Rica.

Ethan Horvath — (23, Highlands Ranch, CO)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Bruegge’s 2–2 draw against Cercle.

Alex Bono — (24, Baldwinsville, NY)

  • Not in action this weekend with the MLS in off-season.

Defenders:

John Anthony Brooks — (26, Chicago, IL)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Wolfsburg 1–0 win against Hertha Berlin.

DeAndre Yedlin- (25, Seattle, WA)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Swansea’s 1–0 loss to Tottenham.

Antonee Robinson — (21, White Plains, NY)

  • Did not see action this week as he continues to work on his comeback following injury.

Matt Miazga — (23, Clifton, NJ)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Reading’s ties in the Championship against Bolton Wanderers (1–1) and Aston Villa (0–0).

Cameron Carter-Vickers — (21, Louisiana)

  • Played a full 90 minute in Swansea’s 2–0 loss against Bristol City. Also played 90 minutes in a 3–3 draw vs. Birmingham City.

George Bello (17, Douglasville, GA)

  • Not in action this weekend with the MLS in off-season.

Aaron Long — (26, Oak Hills, CA)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in both USA games versus Panama and Costa Rica. Captained the team for both games.

Walker Zimmerman — (25, Lawrenceville, GA)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in both USA games versus Panama and Costa Rica. Scored a header in the win over Panama.

Nick Lima — (24, Castro Valley, CA)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in both USA games versus Panama and Costa Rica. Clinched an assist in the win over Panama.

Midfield/Forward:

Christian Pulisic — (20, Hershey, PA)

  • Came off the bench to play 25 minutes in Dortmund’s 1–1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Tyler Adams — (19, Wappingers Falls, NY)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Leipzig’s 3–0 win over Hannover 96.

Weston McKennie — (20, Little Elm, TX)

  • Played a full 90 minutes in Schalke’s 2–0 defeat to Monchengladbach.

Wil Trapp — (26, Columbus, OH)

  • Came off the bench for 6 minutes in the US game versus Panama. Played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica.

Duane Holmes — (24, Columbus, GA)

  • Played 90 minutes in Derby’s 0–0 draw versus Preston North End.

Kellyn Acosta — (23, Plano, TX)

  • Not in action this weekend with the MLS in off-season.

Djordje Mihailovic — (20, Lemont, IL)

  • Played 62 minutes in his USA debut vs. Panama. Also started the game against Costa Rica (64 minutes). Scored 1–0 against Panama.

Jonathan Amon — (19 Summerville, SC)

  • Not in action this weekend with the Danish Superliga on winter break.

Josh Sargent — (18, O’Fallon, MO)

  • Played 45 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 1–1 draw against 1. FC Nuernberg.

Timothy Weah — (18, New York, NY)

  • Came off the bench in both Celtic games this week. Had 1 goal and 1 assist in just 16 minutes in Celtic’s 2–0 victory over St Johnstone.

Paul Arriola — (23, Chula Vista, CA)

  • Came off the bench to play 15 minutes versus Panama. Played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica and scored the 2–0 in the 88th minute.

ON THE RISE / IN THE HUNT

  • Taylor Booth (17, Eden, UT), Midfield, Bayern Munich

  • Andrew Carleton (18, Powder Springs, GA), Midfield

  • Sean Davis (25, Long Branch, NJ), Midfield, NY Red Bulls

  • Jeremy Ebobisse (21, Bethesda, MD), Forward, Portland Timbers

  • Romain Gall (24, Herndon, VA), Midfield/Forward, Malmo FF

  • Jonathan Lewis (21, Plantation, FL), Midfield/Forward, NYCFC

  • Matt Polster (25, Milwaukee, WI), Defense/Midfield, Glasgow Rangers

  • Chris Richards (18, Hoover, AL), Defense, Bayern Munich

  • Danny Williams (29, North Carolina), Defense, Huddersfield Town

  • Haji Wright (20, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, Schalke 04

NEWS AND TRANSFERS

Following the recent signing of Chris Richards, Bayern Munich secured their second U.S. wonderkid in Taylor Booth, a youth product out of the Real Salt Lake Academy. A very talented midfielder who can build the play from a holding position, we think he will be an interesting man to keep an eye out and wish him all the best at Bayern.

Matt Polster’s long awaited transfer to the Glasgow Rangers has finally been completed. He joins the Rangers in the middle of a heavily contested title race with their local rivals, Timothy Weah’s Celtic Glasgow.

George Bello seems to be making the most out of his pre-season with Atlanta United as the 17-year old found himself in what appears to be a first choice starting eleven during Atlanta’s most recent friendly against the Sounders.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT