I.Six months before the U.S. men’s national team kicks off its World Cup campaign at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar with a Group B game against Wales, Scotland or Ukraine. With Concacaf’s time-torn qualifying slogan now in the rearview mirror, here’s a summary of where the U.S. is ahead of four matches next month, starting with Morocco’s friendly visit to Cincinnati on June 1. On Friday, a team of 27 people was named for the summer bout, with a challenge to uncertain Joe Scully, Malik Tillman and Haji Wright and the return of Cameron Carter-Vickers.


I believe we will worry about the rating 4/5

You are calm and confident in your distribution skills. Then in six yards a ship’s possession, when Sadio Mane pounces like a ninja. Zach Steffen’s costly mistake in Liverpool’s England Cup semi-final to Manchester City last month after his tough games against Panama and Costa Rica raises concerns that the 27-year-old Qatari could all go into Rob Green’s form.

Matt Turner, best-thrower, just returned from injury but left New England Revolution at Arsenal. Probably none of them will be the first choice at their club next season, so there is a risk that they will arrive in Qatar without competitiveness.

The tournament will certainly take place too early for 18-year-old Chicago Fire star Gaga Slonina, who traveled to the US via Poland on Friday but was excluded from the June list due to a recent indifference, Berhalter told reporters. An alternative is reserve keeper Nottingham Forest’s Ethan Horvath – but the 26-year-old is likely to face the same worries as Turner and Stephen – or New York City’s steadfast club’s Sean Johnson. Last year he was the MLS Cup MVP, but head coach Greg Berhalter is not provided to him as a starter: the 32-year-old last played for the national team in 2020.

All in all, the position that has traditionally been strong – think Casey Keller, Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan (retired for the season) – is now frowning.


Assessment of concern 3/5

How will a pair of center-backs Walker Zimmerman and Miles Robinson, who were knowledgeable in the final stages of qualifying but without the club’s experience beyond the MLS, work against the world’s best forwards? Unfortunately, we are unlikely to learn that Robinson has long departed from the game for Atlanta United with a ruptured Achilles tendon. That means a summer of auditions for the role of Zimmerman’s new partner.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, who was on loan to Celtic from Tottenham, has his first chance in three years. Perhaps Berhalter lures rogue John Brooks back into the squad, given the decent end of the season to the 29-year-old with Wolfsburg. But he was not elected on Friday, which increased the chances. Eric Palmer-Brown of Troyes was elected instead.

Most likely, Robinson’s misfortune opens the door to Chris Richards of Munich Bayern or Aaron Long of New York’s Red Bulls. The 22-year-old Richards spent the Bundesliga season on loan at Hoffenheim, but this year he suffered injury problems and did not recover in time to enter the June list. The 29-year-old Long was shocked before getting an Achilles tendon rupture last May that has not given him access for eight months.

Provided that now that Fulham are back in the Premier League, he won’t die under a load that is likely to be tougher, his starting left-back losing to Anthony Robinson with a few greenhorns in a fairly open competition that can be won. George Bella of the Army of Bielefeld or Kevin Paredes, a 19-year-old with no limits if he earns enough minutes in Wolfsburg. “The reserve position is still in high demand,” said Berhalter, who called up Scully from Borussia Monchengladbach. As a last resort, Berhalter might prefer to switch to his simple main defender, Sergin Desto of Barcelona. DeAndre Edlin of Inter Miami, a veteran of the 2014 World Cup who is just 28 years old, could replace the 21-year-old prone to injuries, as could Reggie Cannon of Boavista.


Assessment of concern 2/5

Here are a few dilemmas, with the most important player of the Juventus team Weston McKenna – along with Christian Pulisic – and Tyler Adams (Leipzig), Yunus Musa (Valencia) and Kalin Acosta (LAFC) virtual confidence for Qatar. The main intrigue over the next few months will be whether Luca de la Torre of Hercules, Christian Roldan of Seattle and Gheorghe Mikhailovich of Montreal continue to insist on their place on the plane in Doha, while fingers crossed for McKenney to return to full strength after a foot fracture he received in February. And now that attacking midfielder Munich Bayern and Germany under 21 Malik Tillman has moved to the US, he enters the conversation.


Assessment of concern 3.5 / 5

Wings? There are wings. Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Wea (Lille), Paul Oriola (Dallas), Brendan Aoranson (Salzburg), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Gio Reina (Dortmund, if fit). What’s missing: a clear central striker who will lead the 4-3-3 scheme – as noted this week by new Hall of Fame member Clint Dempsey. Ricardo Pepi from Augsburg is holding a series of zero 24 matches and needs a hot start to the 2022/23 season. Jordan Pefok (Young Boys) and Daryl Dyke of West Brom did not take advantage of their moments. Josh Sargent (Norwich) and Gyasi Zardes (Colorado) are not the answer.

Although he is not a regular target, Jesus Ferreira of Dallas is the top scorer in the MLS in 2022 with nine, and the 21-year-old may have an inside track on the starting role. Tillman also played as a striker, while in the form of 24-year-old Haji Wright, who spent the season in the Turkish league with Antalyaspor, will be watching, although he has not yet performed at the top level.


Assessment of concern 2.5 / 5

No one could accuse Greg Berhalter of stinginess on details. Either way, he is prone to excessive strategy. During the uninterrupted qualifying campaign, in which the United States took third place after Canada and Mexico, avoiding only the intercontinental playoffs on the difference of goals, the immortal words of DJ Khaled came to mind: “Congratulations, you played alone.”

But context is important. Since his first game in January 2019, Berhalter has used 88 players, a “blank sheet” philosophy, a philosophy of trial and error that took time to pay off as he swam through a deep pool of young American talent.

In recent matches, there has been a sense that the fog is being cleared, strong team ties are being formed and Berhalter is developing a clearer vision of his ideal tactics and lineup; finally settled on who and how. With only half a dozen matches left before the World Cup, radical revisions are undesirable and impossible, as he told The Washington Post: “Right now it’s not about inventing a wheel. It’s just a fine-tuning. That’s all. ” Encouraging words that show that he will focus on filling a few gaps in the starting lineup – central defender and striker – and evaluating players who can be effective behind the bench. Berhalter said on Friday that he meant the “core group”, but “there is room on the edge”. He stressed that the exclusion from the June list does not condemn anyone’s hopes for the World Cup – it is a relief for Pepi, who, Berhalter said, was stopped to give the teenager “mental and physical rest.”

The 48-year-old junior competed in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as a defender, but this is only his third managerial job after appearances in Hammarby and Columbus. Don’t pay attention to his young team, how does the coach cope with the pressure and novelty? Ultimately, what can dictate the prospects of Americans the most is not controlled: whether elite stars – Pulisic, McKenney, Dest, Adams and Raine – will be able to stay healthy.

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