It's the year 2022. Jozy Altidore is way past his prime and not a USMNT striker at this point, something that I did not expect to say at this time (I'm done talking about this out of respect for Jozy). Gyasi Zardes has nearly 70 caps and he is one of the only players with 10 goals and 10 assists for the USMNT. That said, all he really does is work hard and find space. He misses sitters for days and his touch is inconsistent. I'm thankful for him but I don't feel comfortable with him being in the Qatar roster unless he really kills it this year (same thing for Jozy, ok the ticks have to stop). Brian White looks like he's a legit mls goalscorer but how does that translate to the international level of play? Daryl Dike is a bully, and he gets goals, but he's injured at the moment and did not impress in the Gold Cup last year (granted, it looked like his shoulder was gonna fall off half of the games). Pepi has potential but he's in a rut at the moment. Same thing for Hoppe. Jesus Ferreira isn't a 9, more like a 10, but maybe he'll pan out to be a decent to great false 9 in world football in a few years from now. Josh Sargent is NOT A 9 and this will be a topic further elaborated on in future articles. Jordan Pefok is on fire right now in the Swiss league, but does not fit the USMNT style of play (whatever it is lmao).
Our system really is the culprit. The 4-3-3 with Gregg is so predictable and I'm confounded we're even in a position to qualify (let's not fuck this last WCQ round up) and that we won two international titles last year. Gregg isn't usually able to make good in game adjustments whatsoever and just seems too stubborn to make them before the game. It's literally the definition of insanity. I honestly think we should just be playing the old style of USMNT soccer (Gregg really needs to empty his bucket of shit). The Bradley days were definitely taken for granted.
Honestly, that old style that helped us pull upsets over Spain, make deep runs in the World Cup (I can't believe the round of 16 of the WC is now considered a deep run for USMNT standards but it is lol), we would actually have a good chance of going to the round of 16 or quarterfinals (v unlikely, how did Big Gut Bruce do it) in Qatar. Could we just not win games by kicking in a bunch of set pieces to the likes of PEFOK, Weston, Zim, and Brooks (Gregg please mend this) and playing good defense (something we're already good at)?
All considered, I'm team Pefok at the moment. Just give him service on a set piece and he'll go up and get it. Hopefully he gets another shot and comes good for the rest of the cycle.