The Young Yanks invited Bolivia over for a nice Memorial Day barbecue but didn’t tell Bolivia that we had been drinking all day, blacked out and forgot what holiday it was, and instead of a grill we used a FLAMETHROWER ON THEIR ASSES BECAUSE IT WAS F#$KING CHRISTMAS IN MAY!!!
The boys went through some growing pains, as is to be expected when a new team comes together, but they eventually impressed in all facets of the game. Their speed was great, their passing and vision were strong, the ball movement was on point, and the finishing started off slow but then it was put on expert level after half time.
Walker Zimmerman, Josh Sargent, and Tim Weah all scored their first international goals. 6 players made their USMNT debut (Josh Sargent, Antonee Robinson, Erik Palmer-Brown, Alex Bono, Keaton Parks, and Matt Olosunde). Seven players that appeared against Bolivia have represented the US at a Youth World Cup, and Sargent and Weah (only born two days apart) became the first players born in/after the year 2000 to earn a start for the USMNT. It is a new era, we should all be excited, and also feel really old.
This was an exciting and enjoyable match to watch with the US clearly being the dominant side. We got to see our players really exhibit what they can do and try and make a name for themselves. Some certainly put their names at the forefront of peoples minds moving forward by TURNING UP THE HYPE LEVEL TO 11 AND RIPPING THE F#$KING KNOB OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave Sarachan – 7/10 – While this was a bit of a throwaway match for Sarachan, all he really had to do was start the young players and use all six subs (luckily he did), but he did a few good things as well: 1. He did not jump the gun and pull Tim Weah out when he took a knock to his knee early on; 2. He had this team playing out of the back more; and 3. He let the kids be kids. He let them have more freedom to take chances and push forward because he understood the poor quality of the side we were facing.
What he needs to do moving forward with the Ireland and France matches is continue testing these young players and do not simply play for an ugly win. While this was a match against a Bolivia C squad, our kids did what they were supposed to do: win in a dominating fashion. This needs to be the mindset of the USMNT. It is no longer acceptable to simply win in ugly ways. When we play lesser opposition, which should be most of our opposition in CONCACAF (AKA: CUCKACAF), we need to win in a big way. If we want to FLOAT up the FIFA rankings, then we need to bury those we leave behind us.
Alex Bono – 6 – Didn’t have much to do because the Bolivian attack was more lost than Amelia Earhart, but he passed well and dropped some long balls on a dime.
Eric Lichaj – 6.5 – Solid performance for Lichaj. He fought for loose balls and he didn’t leave much room for attack down his flank. Didn’t get forward much though.
Walker Zimmerman – 7.5 – Solid at the back, great goal off of the corner. No real mistakes, and made some good challenges and passes in the central channels of the pitch.
Erik Palmer-Brown – 7 – Solid clearances, didn’t let much near the goal, and didn’t make any real mistakes. Good movement and coverage when others are caught out of position.
Antonee Robinson – 8.5 – My Man-of-the-Match (MOTM). Antonee really showed off his Jedi skills with his speed down the left, great crosses, and an assist. He also covered well when he had to get back from the attack to stop Bolivian attacks. Made some key interventions in the box as well. He’s physical, fast, and clinical. He could be the answer to our left-back woes that have plagued us for years.
Weston McKennie – 8 – Showed how a strong number 6 should play. Played physically, passed well, stopped many of the Bolivian attacks in midfield, and got forward when he could. The man has some serious moxie, and that is something we need more of.
Rubio Rubin – 6.5 – His passing was solid, he pushed the ball forward whenever he touched it, and he tried to play runners in as much as possible. He just needs to clean up his footwork a bit and be more confident in his final touches. Not a bad performance though.
Christian Pulisic – 5 – The man needed a vacation. Enough said.
Joe Corona – 5.5 – He was quiet for most of the game. He played more of a possession game, didn’t find open spaces well, and seemed to pass into tough situations a lot. The bad challenges also need to stop.
Tim Weah – 8 – Wow, the pace, the attack-mindedness, and the skill this young man has is pretty incredible. He is still raw, but he is honing it all in. The connection he and Josh Sargent have is pretty special, and it could be a thing of beauty for years to come for the USMNT. His goal, which came from the run-of-play, was the best of the match. Can’t wait to see more from him.
Josh Sargent – 7.5 – The striker showed great pressing ability, created many opportunities for himself and his teammates to score, had the great individual effort goal, and showed exceptional vision going forward. Once he shook off the nerves his touches were good, his shots on goal were strong, and he sustained a physical presence up front. He will grow into that role more and assert himself physically as he settles in, just give him time. A year in the Bundesliga will certainly teach that. Hope he and Weah get chances against Ireland and/or France to see how they handle better opposition.
Julian Green – 5 – He saw the most of the ball out of the subs, but he just didn’t do much with it. He flailed a few shots and didn’t create any good linkup play.
Keaton Parks – 6.5 – The Benfica Beauty showed good skill with the ball at his feet. Such soft touches for a tall guy, and his passing was direct, quick, and had great pace. He put a few shots on goal and he could be a dangerous asset in the midfield. Hope he gets more of a chance against Ireland.
Andrija Novakovich – 6 – The big man up front saw his best opportunity stripped away on an incorrect offside call, but he was hungry up top. He was calling for the ball, making good darting runs, and placed himself in open areas to create chances. He got up and put a header just over the bar off of a corner. He’s searching for his first US goal, and I have a feeling it’s coming.
Matt Olosunde – 5.5 – He showed his speed and athletic ability on the right flank at times, but he found himself out of position and ball watching a bit. He is an interesting prospect, but he will need more polishing that will come from getting professional minutes.
Lynden Gooch – 5 – Gooch looked hungry, but that made him a bit sporadic and uncomposed. He hustled a lot, but he did not seem to be smooth on the ball or with his passes. I think this was a case of just trying too hard after his dreary season at Sunderland.
Jorge Villafana – N/A – not enough minutes.
THE TAKEAWAY FROM BOLIVIA
The future of the USMNT is bright with these talented youngsters we have. They have grown up through the youth system together, and now they are growing on their own at some of the biggest clubs in the world. One thing that really brings hope is to see how much fun these kids are having playing with each other. The USMNT teams of the past always seemed frightened or nervous, and many seemed to simply be on the same team as opposed to being true teammates. These kids are teammates. They want to see each other succeed because they know that if they do, then the team will succeed. Some of the biggest countries in soccer excel so much because their players, and the youth they cultivate, truly love the game. You can see that these players have that love of the game. I hope, and honestly believe, that is also attributable to this country embracing the beautiful game more. Here is to the continuance of that growth and love.
IRELAND UP NEXT
The “NIT World Cup” tour continues as the USMNT’s next match is in Dublin, Ireland this Saturday, June 2, at 3 pm ET on FS1. Be ready, becuase the Irish have arguably the most LIT fans in the world who will takeover an underpass and dance in the cops’ faces…
The USMNT makes 10 roster changes as they head across the pond to face The Boys In Green (Republic of Ireland). Now included in the squad is Zack Steffen, William Yarbrough, Shaq Moore, Tim Parker, DeAndre Yedlin, Tyler Admas, Luca de la Torre, Kenny Saief, Wil Trapp, and Bobby Wood. Being left stateside are Pulisic, Gooch, Aeljandro Guido, Ethan Horvath, Olosunde, and Zimmerman. With better opposition coming, this injection of players serves to bring in veteran talent and experience. Like any good American team, certain injections allow those teams to step their game up to the ULTIMATE LEVEL AND BRING THE PAIN!
I think we’ll see a similar game plan from Sarachan against Ireland. Expect to see a 4-1-4-1, playing out of the back, and hopefully we keep up the high press. The USMNT needs to bring back their physical play, bring the quick attacks that stem from good one-touch passing and movement centrally, and show no fear to take chances from inside and outside the box. Results don’t matter at this point, so fire away boys. #golazosgalore
Ireland is coming off a 2-0 loss to Les Bleus (France) in a match that was played in a monsoon. The conditions were awful, so it was hard to judge the squad, but they did bring some of their top talent with the likes of Shane Long, James McClean, Shane Duffy, and Seamus Coleman being included in their squad. One of the goals was a bit of a fluke as it popped straight up and the goalkeeper couldn’t find it, and the other was put in by Olivier Giroud off of a rebound stemming from Giroud’s header from a corner kick. France brought the fire power, so it certainly says something that Ireland was able to stay in that match the whole way through in those conditions and with Giroud and Kylian Mbappe using them as target practice.
I expect Ireland to be a good challenge for our youthful squad. We will likely see a more veteran squad to come out against the Boys in Green, but they will still be young. The starting XI I expect to see versus Ireland is as follows:
4-1-4-1 with: Steffen (GK), Robinson (LB), Miazga (CB), Carter-Vickers (CB), Yedlin (RB), Trapp (DM), Saief (LM), Adams (CM), McKennie (CM), Weah (RM), Wood (F).
The starting XI I would like to see put out there, given that we still have to play France on June 9, would be a more experimental one that can still drop the hammer, the “USS PANTS HAMMER“:
4-4-2 with: Steffen (GK), Robinson (LB), Miazga (CB), Carter-Vickers (CB), Moore (RB), Saief (LM), McKennie (CM), Parks (CM), Weah (RM), Sargent (F), Novakovich (F). BOOM.
I think we can expect Ireland to bring pace, strong challenges, and play a pretty sound and cagey game. Ireland is more of a defensive squad and they can be tough to break down, but they can also hit you with their quick passes and strong strikers. They tend to be good on set pieces as well with strong crosses and their ability to win duels, and they will come up with messy goals. This will certainly be more of a test for our defense.
We need to keep the support up for our team. The way this team gets better is with a better atmosphere in this country that builds them up. We need to create an atmosphere that they want to play in, an atmosphere that makes other teams hate coming to play us at home, and shows the world that we are behind our team to the bitter cold end and back. We’ve been there before, but that won’t stop us.
The rebuild continues and the Hype Train is rolling into Dublin on Saturday. Are you ready? WELL YOU F#$KING BETTER BE! TAKE AS MANY INSULIN SHOTS AS YOU NEED AFTER MEMORIAL DAY WHERE YOU ATE AND DRANK DOUBLE YOUR WEIGHT IN BBQ, BEER, AND YOU BETTER HAVE WASHED IT DOWN LIKE A TRUE AMERICAN WITH APPLE PIE AND TWO SCOOPS OF FREEDOM!!!!!!!
If you didn’t, then…
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Your humble servant,
Mr. Silence Dogood