It was a strange game in a strange field, the second friendly in a week. I am not feeling well when I make final statements following the 1-1 draw by the US national team against Uruguay. So here is a list of simple observations:
- I would call the game a success, a step in the right direction.
- Gregg Berhalter's biggest goal in the Mexican game was to get his players to believe they could harm a good opponent with the ball. this belief was obvious. The USA did not hesitate to play the ball against an elite opponent.
- The US controlled the flow of the game and created more chances than the number 5 in the world (whatever you think of FIFA) placements).
- Was it easier, as Uruguay always leaves rooms and the ball? Yes. These games are the dream of a center-back and a defensive midfielder.
- But the players have mastered the task at hand. The US was confident in using rehearsal patterns to create opportunities …
The Long Diagonal to the Winger:
A break line passes into the attack center, followed by a fissuring pass to the outside: 
- Jackson Yueill, Cristian Roldan and Sebastian Lletget were brave to ask for the ball and quickly make their decisions.
- The entire US team has to improve in fouling. The smallest adjustment that could bring the biggest dividends is simply that the US is making fouls to stop the game if the opponent succeeds. Is it a crappy way to do the sport? Could be. But if you do not, you lose. Mexico has done it to the US, Argentina has done it to Mexico – you MUST do it at the highest level.
- Josh Sargent showed a strong, if not dominant, performance.
- No one came out as clear, "I have more quality than anyone else around me.
- There is still a lack of determination in the last third.
And I would like to talk about this last point.
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Attack is hard! The ability to create chances and seize opportunities distinguishes rich players from poor players. It is the subtlest and most important part of the game. If you have Leo Messi, let him have a ball. If you do not, you need to be more systematic.
Even a Christian Pulisic will thrive if he has a structure to bring out his individual abilities. Then consider: How can we put the ball in a position where we have a high chance of scoring?
Some teams, now many, use transitional moments. ("Turnover is the biggest playmaker in the world!") Berhalter likes to do this by systematically controlling the ball. They go through attack patterns and plan answers that all 11 players know and can execute simultaneously. This will need time.
(I would say they have to switch from position play to rotation ownership against a low block, but I'll pick that up for another day.)
It's the thing on the Everybody contacted Berhalter a thousand times. He is getting big. He inserts a process that he hopes will reach its peak in August 2020 when the hexagonal begins. They may not agree with the specific purpose of the process or the idea of a national team process. But it happens. (Personally, I like it to happen and would do it myself.)
It's up to Berhalter to understand the limitations of the process and the associated growing pain. The US will show some ugly, meandering assaults as the team tries to make it click. In the meantime, he has to find a way to win.
The team has shown that it can use the middle block to slow down teams. Mexico did not have many chances when the United States were defeated (at the first encounter with Mexico, the US felt they were leaking, but after a second encounter, they changed that view). The same applies to Uruguay. The middle block is a dependable option that does not take much training time, and Berhalter clearly knows how to prepare it in the short term.
You need a more adventurous defense option. It is not enough to slow teams down. they have to create opportunities through their defensive play. The attack plan may not be ready for another 10 months. So how can they win games by then? Against Cuba in the October Nations League, this is a great opportunity to try something new.
Change to a 4-3-3 and use the winger to shoot the ball central (Liverpool). Slide the ball aside and use the weak side winger to skip the pass and pick it up (Leipzig). Use a high pressure cord and chase the first slow passage (LAFC). Leave the confrontation behind the midfield and wait for a mistake.
The idea of being a "passing" team does not mean that you can not be a ruthless defense team. The process of the attack plan is in full swing – and he seems to move forward – but they must do the same with the defensive side of the ball. Can the USA be as fearless against the ball as they hope?