Really shocking because we brought, well, nobody. Bunch of kids from MLS. Our elite Euro guys stayed in Europe.
Mexico brought, well, pretty much everybody. They didn't have some of their first-choice strikers, but aside from that they had all their top-choice guys.
I'd say Tata's got some 'splaining to do, but it's not that Mexico played bad. They didn't. Our guys just wanted it more. They weathered an insane storm that first half, another the first ten minutes of the first half, hung in against what frankly was a more skilled and far more veteran team, found a way back into the game, started using their superior size, athleticism, and conditioning to outwork the Mexican team the way our old USMNT teams used to, and found a late extra-time winner.
Irony was it was a guy Tata drafted - and wouldn't play! - at Atlanta United who came back to bury him in Miles Robinson. That had to feel sweet. I'm sure it was like: how you like me now, coach? But Tata had to have been left scratching his head seeing a couple of his former bench kids at Atlanta in George Bello and Miles Robinson bouncing around out there for the USA, while Mexico's Finest couldn't put them away.
And hoo boy our player pool got a whole lot deeper. Our pool already looked really good, we found some guys for qualifying this cycle. Hoppe. Sands. Williamson. Busio. Turner. Vines. Even vets like Acosta and, sorry, Gyasi Zardes really proved once again they can really help us.
Were absolute glue...and Hoppe was a genuine PITA. Turner had quite a match! It was a fun match to watch, regardless the result...although the 'W' makes it all the more gratifying! It's a shame too many folks have no idea how to watch 'the beautiful game'...it's worth learning how.
Re: Turner, Acosta, and Hoppe all looked they are A-team quality
Aug 2, 2021, 8:54 AM
Yeah, D*ke really disappointed. Looked initially like he was going to be the Next Hot Thing. Then he looked like a guy who'd been a pro for less than a year. Feet like wooden paddles, really started tensing up, looked a field out of his depth.
I still think he might get there, but I think he might need a couple of years. Might be a little soon for him. Plus I think he was protecting a shoulder injury and that really limited him too.
Busio just needs some lead in his butt. You could see he was being challenged by the staff to go harder into physical challenges and he was taking it on as the tournament went on. The kid wants it; he just needs to raise his level. Italy will be very good for him. There's time he looks magnificent and very much like a young Pirlo. There's times he very much reminds you he's 19 and got some growin' to do.
Hoppe...not sure what to say about him. That kid was a find. We've never had one of those true-blue thundering, hard-running, swaggering, in-your-face, Bundesliga, German-type strikers before. He is one. Pure bada$$. I see exactly why he was getting hat tricks in the Bundesliga even with a team that got itself relegated. That was not an accident. Not sure if he's best served to just run up goals in the B2 with Schalke or have them sell him up to somebody back up in the B1 but that kid is absolutely legit. I know they were playing him as a winger this tournament but I wonder if he might start up top for us going forwards. He's going to feature, whatever. What he might add with the A-team...wow.
Miles Robinson made himself some money at centerback. His agent is probably fielding some serious calls right now because I think he's probably the USA's #2 CB behind John Brooks and I'm absolutely confident calls are flooding in from top teams from all across Europe. Actually, probably the same is true of Sands as well. His stock didn't just rise. It shot up like a SpaceX rocket. (That didn't explode!)
Actually, several of those guys are probably getting more than passing interest right now. I can certainly imagine Acosta might well be, after the head-turning dominant performances he just put in against Qatar and Mexico. I think a whole lot of them are about to be making better than MLS paychecks here in the next month or so...and that is very good for the USMNT.