30 May U.S. proceed to point out progress vs. Switzerland however key areas of enchancment stay
Heading into this week’s CONCACAF Nations League Finals in Denver and, extra importantly, World Cup qualifying within the fall, what the USA males’s nationwide team wanted greater than something was a step up in competitors. Its nine-match unbeaten streak over the previous 18 months was at the least partially a product of the standard of the opposition, which made Sunday’s match on the street towards Switzerland, the No. 13-ranked team on the planet, a beneficial barometer for coach Gregg Berhalter.
The outcomes had been blended. After a robust first-half efficiency wherein Sebastian Lletget scored the opening aim, the Individuals light after halftime whereas enjoying at altitude in a 2-1 loss.
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Berhalter has mentioned all week a part of the aim for this match — from its location to the day of the week — was to imitate the timeline for what the team will face within the uncommon upcoming three-game World Cup qualifying home windows. Taking part in in Switzerland primarily replicates the ultimate membership sport the European-based gamers could have earlier than flying throughout the Atlantic Ocean to take on CONCACAF opposition.
Any advantages from the scheduling train will not repay till the autumn, however enjoying towards a robust Switzerland supplied a good snapshot of the place the team stands, albeit with out three key gamers: Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen, on account of their involvement in Saturday’s Champions League closing, and midfielder Tyler Adams, who’s rehabbing a again damage.
Within the first half, the U.S. was the higher team on steadiness. They created the extra harmful scoring probabilities, had been affected person and performed successfully out of the again and pressed Switzerland into some errors within the closing third. Sergino Dest was efficient pushing ahead on the left aspect, the place Brenden Aaronson — who impressed final window and since his transfer to Austrian champion FC Salzburg in January — was additionally an lively presence.
With out Adams, Berhalter handed a begin to Jackson Yueill, and he largely acquitted himself nicely, dropping deep to function an choice for middle backs John Brooks and Mark McKenzie.
“I believe it was it was an attention-grabbing sport for Jackson, it appeared that he gave [Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri] a troublesome time with this motion and he opened up and received the ball in some good positions,” Berhalter mentioned. “There are a pair occasions that he misplaced the ball, however he was feeling the sport out. I believe his diagonal passing might have been slightly bit sharper, however total happy along with his effort.”
Yueill was changed by Kellyn Acosta within the second half, and each gamers determine to be within the combine to see enjoying time within the Nations League with Adams’ standing nonetheless unsure. Berhalter mentioned he would obtain an replace on Adams’ standing on Monday, after the team travels to the USA.
It was a troublesome sport for striker Josh Sargent, who wasn’t capable of make a lot of an affect earlier than being subbed off for Jordan Siebatcheu within the 72nd minute. Sargent has at all times had a repute for being a gifted participant anticipated to come back good with time, however as different choices at his place have emerged over the previous 12 months, it is truthful to query what the depth chart ought to seem like at his place. Daryl Dike completed the season on hearth with Barnsley, whereas Siebatcheu scored 15 objectives in all competitions for Swiss champion Younger Boys. Siebatcheu did not essentially enhance his standing, both, on Sunday, however the concept Sargent deserves the good thing about the doubt has change into much less convincing the longer he goes with out being a constant scoring menace.
Regardless of Sargent’s minimal affect in entrance of aim, Berhalter praised the job he did in different points of the sport.
“I believe that he had a sport the place he gave every little thing he received. He battled,” Berhalter mentioned. “I believe he performed sport save for scoring a aim, as a result of that is what we wish our ahead to do. However aside from that, very lively, very dedicated.”
Darryl Dike is not on the Nations League roster, however he’s with the team on this camp and is anticipated to play towards Costa Rica on June 9. Timothy Weah has been coaching primarily as a winger with the team however is an alternative choice Berhalter might experiment with on the No. 9 spot, having performed there some with French champion Lille.
The U.S. had some respectable moments to start out the second half, however it did not take lengthy for Switzerland to tip the scales in its favor after switching from a 3-4-1-2 to a 5-3-2 formation. By utilizing a central midfielder behind the American’s urgent No. 9, Switzerland performed by way of the press extra simply, and it led to a number of good probabilities — with goalkeeper Ethan Horvath arising large on just a few events to maintain the rating inside attain.
Switzerland’s game-winner got here nearly instantly after the U.S. took off center-back John Brooks, Lletget and Yueill, with Tim Ream and Yunus Musah coming on along with the aforementioned Acosta. A stray contact by Dest and a few subsequent defending within the field, allowed the ball to bounce round earlier than Steven Zuber beat Horvath.
“It is an important measuring stick,” Berhalter mentioned. “This can be a team that has been enjoying collectively for a extremely very long time. It is the identical group that Switzerland has had for the final 4 years, 5 years. It is a mature group, it is older than us and our guys can take a look at that as what this team may very well be sooner or later.”
Berhalter did not utterly tip his hand at what to anticipate within the beginning lineup towards Honduras within the Nations League semifinals on Thursday however indicated that Pulisic was firmly within the plans.
“Attempt to inform Christian that he is not enjoying on Thursday,” he mentioned. “It is gonna be a really troublesome one coming off of successful the Champions League, coming within the sport making an affect in that sport. He is able to go.”