Your Weekly USMNT Update — April 2, 2019
The USMNT remains unbeaten in the Berhalter era after a 1-1 draw against Chile in Houston last Tuesday. Not the game many were hoping for, as some of our most exciting prospects (Pulisic, McKennie, Adams, Brooks, etc.) were unable to feature. Further, the USMNT was unable to dominate possession against a much tougher opponent than Ecuador. Nevertheless, we remain undefeated in four games with Berhalter at the helm and the team continues to get more comfortable in executing his tactical vision.
One thing we can say about the March camp: we remain most impressed with our depth at center back as both Miazga and Long appear solid options next to Brooks and our build up out of the back between Long/Brooks/Trapp/Adams has drastically improved.
One area desperate for improvement is creativity in the final third. Perhaps that’s a problem that the likes of Timo Weah, Josh Sargent, Duane Holmes, Djordje Mihailovic or even FC Dallas’s shooting star, Paxton Pomykal, can solve at the Gold Cup this summer.
OneGoal's Key Performers Against Chile
Christian Pulisic: It took Pulisic just ~36 minutes to clinch a man of the match performance. Quick, always seeking out the ball, virtually unbeatable in 1v1 scenarios and with a fantastic chipped goal for the 1-0, Pulisic sparked danger whenever he got on the ball before being substituted due to a quad injury in the 36th minute.
Michael Bradley: Looks like ol’ Michael’s still got it (ugh). Truthfully, Michael Bradley had a solid game in the center of midfield, with two fantastic passes early in the game. As usual, he worked hard against the ball and organized the team; however, at times, it seemed as though he was caught out of position and simply outclassed against a very strong Chile midfield.
What Was Lacking Against Chile
On the other hand, there were several players who did not show that they were up for high level international competition including Christian Roldan, Corey Baird, Jordan Morris, Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez. Not saying that some of them can’t grow into such a role, but with our player pool perhaps as good as ever, clinching a roster spot on the USMNT will not be easy.
But back to this week’s club action. We have a strong list of performances to comment on!
Star of the Week
Our Star of the Week goes to Duane Holmes, who responded to his exclusion from the March roster with a goal and an assist in Derby County’s 6-1 victory over Rotherham.
Creator for Derby: Holmes once again emerged as the creator in the final third for Derby County this weekend, underpinned by a great cross ahead of the 3-0 by Waghorn. He is one of the most versatile attacking midfielders at our disposal, as he can play on the wing and as the main creative playmaker. Quick, superior dribbling skills, and a technically gifted passer - Holmes is likely to play a critical role in Derby’s promotion battle this year.
He can score too: Holmes crowned his performance by scoring Derby’s fifth of goal of the day with a one-touch redirection on target following a diving header by Mason Mount. An easy finish for a technically gifted player like Holmes, but the awareness and attacking position is what leaves us excited. Before the goal, Holmes was still in the middle of the pitch running toward the edge of the box. As the cross drifted toward the far post near Mount, Holmes had the foresight to redirect his run, approach the near post and knew how to capitalize when the ball came his way. We continue to believe he fills a role for Derby as the creative heartbeat of the team that would translate well into Berhalter’s system.
Other Notable Performances
Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX)—FC Dallas, MLS
Paxton the Prince: Paxton Pomykal, a name on the lips of everyone watching MLS, scored his first two goals in Dallas’s 4-2 victory against RSL. Pomykal has started the season very strongly, pulling the strings in the FC Dallas midfield by sliding in pinpoint through passes and making driving runs with the ball in the final third. His aggressiveness showed on the offensive foot for his first goal. After a botched control by an RSL center back, Pomykal pounced on a loose ball in the box and finessed a shot into the bottom left.
Starting to take shots: Paxton followed up with a second goal, extending the lead. Surrounded by defenders at the edge of the box and his back to goal, Paxton turned away, stutter stepped, and fired across the net. A slight deflection re-directed the shot, but it nestled in the bottom corner nicely, notching a brace for the 19-year-old. FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez knows Pomykal very well from his time in the youth academy, and the Homegrown Player should be thrilled with his fiery start this season. FC Dallas certainly struggled finding goals early on, but with Ferreira hitting a groove and Pomykal looking unstoppable, look for the two to continue to link up. Or, if he feels like it, just let Paxton steal the show again.
Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY) — RB Leipzig, Bundesliga
One of the hottest prospects in Europe: Tyler Adams is quickly becoming one of the most sought after prospects in all over Europe. And over the weekend after Leipzig’s 5-0 win vs. Hertha Berlin, the list of interested clubs most likely became much longer. As usual, the 20-year-old New York native impressed as Leipzig’s midfield engine, with 89% pass accuracy (a personal high for the season), three won tackles, one interception and four long balls, all while running 11.67 kilometers - the most out of any Leipzig player on the pitch. Leipzig remains unbeaten in all nine games that Adams has played since arriving in Winter and Leipzig has won every single game in which Adams played the full 90 minutes.
Starting to play the deadly pass: In one of our very first newsletters, we pointed out that Adams often preferred “safety” passes when he made his Bundesliga debut a few weeks ago. Safe to say (pun intended), that has changed. Adams looks increasingly comfortable playing the final pass in the Bundesliga and often times looks very comfortable maneuvering through tight spaces via one touch passes or technically strong dribbles. Not surprisingly, the best pass throughout the entire game came from Adams, hitting a phenomenal driven pass out of Leipzig’s own half that perfectly fell into the stride of Poulsen who did not miss 1v1 against Berlin’s keeper.
Check out Adams’ assist:
Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey PA) — Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga
Man of the match in just 36 minutes: Christian Pulisic needed just 36 minutes to become our man of the match in the USMNT game against Chile last Tuesday. Hands down the most active USMNT player, Pulisic demanded the ball from his teammates and he popped up virtually everywhere in the final third as he seemingly had a license to drift into open space, no matter the position. As usual, Pulisic looked most dangerous when taking on Chilean defenders 1v1 given his remarkable technique and speed. That said, his biggest moment came in the fourth minute after Zardes was able to redirect a Horvath long ball directly into Pulisic’s path in front of the Chile goal. Pulisic finished with a beautiful one touch chip over the keeper and put the USMNT 1-0 ahead early on.
Youngest USMNT player to reach 10 goals: Pulisic is now the youngest player in USMNT history to reach 10 goals at just 20 years and 189 days old. Hopefully we’ll see him healthy in just a few weeks so he can help Dortmund in the final stages of this year’s Bundesliga title race.
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA)— Columbus Crew, MLS
Zack Steffen came up with another man of the match performance in Columbus’s 2-0 victory over struggling Atlanta. Steffen had five saves, his most in a game this year, fighting through the downpour that soaked the pitch in Ohio. His ever impressive reflexes showed as he parried a low driven header - forcing him to get his glove down to the ground lightning quick. For a 6’3” player, a save like that is a lot harder than it looks. Steffen’s most impressive stop of the night came after a flicked-on cross found Barco with a first time shot in the Crew box. Zack flew to his left hand side, across the opposite way and again showed his super drop down speed and reflexes.
As Steffen continues to perform, Gregg Berhalter has a pretty nice problem on his hands. With two impressive young keepers, both playing in Europe next season, who will start in the Gold Cup this summer? We believe that the US has the best goalkeeping talent it’s seen in some time - maybe ever. Through Zack Steffen and Ethan Horvath, the American goalkeeper streak is continuing.
One of our favorite moments from the Columbus deluge was this splashing save:
Chris Gloster (18, Montclair, NJ)— Hannover 96, Bundesliga
Watching Tim Ream play left back during the recent friendlies left a lot of lingering questions. Why isn’t he fast enough? How’s the team supposed to have offensive support on the left wing? Who else can play that position? Thankfully, yet another American slowly building stock in Germany might just be the answer.
This week’s Youth Spotlight goes to Chris Gloster, who alongside fellow American, Sebastian Soto, has recently been called up to train with Hannover’s senior squad. Another New York Red Bulls Academy success, Gloster has already become a permanent fixture in the USYNT U20 team, appearing in both games this March Camp. Keep an eye on Gloster, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his Bundesliga debut soon...
OneGoal’s 2022 World Cup Roster as of Today
Note: We are excited to add Sergino Dest to our roster prediction. Dest is extremely pacey, strong on the ball, physical, with fantastic passing abilities, and a natural drive to go forward.
Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA): Played 90 minutes in Columbus’ 2-0 win vs. Atlanta United (MLS).
Ethan Horvath (23, Highlands Ranch, CO): Played 90 minutes in Brugge’s 3-0 win vs. Gent (Belgian Pro League) and played 90 minutes in the USA’s 1-1 tie vs. Chile (Intl. Friendly).
Alex Bono (24, Baldwinsville, NY): Played 90 minutes in Toronto’s 4-0 victory vs. NYCFC (MLS).
John Anthony Brooks (26, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes in Wolfsburg’s 0-2 loss to Dortmund (Bundesliga).
DeAndre Yedlin (25, Seattle, WA): Played 90 minutes in the USA’s 1-1 draw to Chile (Intl. Friendly) and played 90 minutes in Newcastle’s 0-2 loss to Arsenal (Premier League).
Antonee Robinson (21, White Plains, NY): Played 90 minutes in Wigan Athletic’s 1-1 tie vs. Brentford (Championship).
Matt Miazga (23, Clifton, NJ): Played 90 minutes in Reading’s 2-1 win vs. Preston (Championship) and played 90 minutes in USA’s 1-1 draw to Chile (Intl. Friendly).
Cameron Carter-Vickers (21, Louisiana): Played 90 minutes in Swansea’s 1-2 loss to Nottingham Forest (Championship).
Sergino Dest (18, New York, NY): Played 90 min in Ajax Amsterdam II’s 2-1 win vs NEC Nijmegen (Premier League).
Aaron Long (26, Oak Hills, CA): Played 90 minutes in the New York Red Bulls 0-1 loss to Chicago Fire (MLS).
Walker Zimmerman (25, Lawrenceville, GA): Played 90 minutes in LAFC’s 5-0 win vs. San Jose (MLS).
Nick Lima (24, Castro Valley, CA): Did not play this week but was in the USA March camp roster.
Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey, PA): Played 36 minutes in the USA’s 1-1 tie vs. Chile (Intl. Friendly).
Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY): Played 90 minutes in Leipzig’s 5-0 win vs. Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga).
Weston McKennie (20, Little Elm, TX): Did not play this week due to injury.
Wil Trapp (26, Columbus, OH): Played 90 minutes in Columbus’ 2-0 win vs. Atlanta United (MLS) and played 23 minutes in the USA’s 1-1 tie vs. Chile (Intl. Friendly).
Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA): Played 90 minutes in Derby County’s 6-1 win vs. Rotherham (Championship).
Kellyn Acosta (23, Plano, TX): Played 34 minutes in Colorado Rapid’s 1-4 loss to the Houston Dynamo (MLS).
Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL): Played 10 minutes in Chicago Fire’s 1-0 win vs. the New York Red Bulls (MLS).
Jonathan Amon (19 Summerville, SC): Did not play this week.
Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO): Played 6 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 3-1 win vs. Mainz (Bundesliga).
Timothy Weah (20, New York, NY): Did not play this week but was in Celtic’s gameday roster.
Paul Arriola (24, Chula Vista, CA): Played 69 minutes in DC United’s 2-1 win vs Orlando (MLS) and played 66 minutes in the USA’s 1-1 tie vs. Chile (Intl Friendly).
ON THE RISE/IN THE HUNT
Corey Baird (23, Escondido, CA), Forward, Real Salt Lake
George Bello (17, Douglasville, GA), Defense, Atlanta United
Taylor Booth (17, Eden, UT), Midfield, Bayern Munich
Andrew Carleton (18, Powder Springs, GA), Midfield
Sean Davis (26, Long Branch, NJ), Midfield, NY Red Bulls
Jeremy Ebobisse (22, 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
Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX), Midfield, FC Dallas
Chris Richards (19, Hoover, AL), Defense, Bayern Munich
Haji Wright (20, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, Schalke 04
News / Transfers
Aron Johannsson returns to Werders squad on the bench after an injury that left him sidelined for almost an entire year.
In Case You Missed It
Check out Julian Green’s stunning goal for German side Greuter Fuerth this weekend.
Though the Timbers are still finding it tough, OneGoal “In the Hunt” pick Jeremy Ebobisse finished off a neat team goal against the Galaxy.