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USMNT stock up, stock down after World Cup exit: Future is bright, defending dipped

The USMNT is out of the World Cup. We're looking at which U.S. stocks are up and which ones are down after the loss to the Netherlands.

4 min read

Quick Hit

  • The United States men’s national team is officially out of the World Cup after losing to the Netherland by a 3-1 scoreline on Saturday
  • Today, we’re looking at which U.S. stocks are up and which ones are down after the Round of 16 defeat

Because of a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Dutch, the United States men’s national team were sent home from the World Cup on Saturday. Although the U.S. looked strong at times, their performance in the polar thirds of the field let them down.

Let’s see which USMNT stocks went up and which ones went down after the defeat.

STOCK UP: THE FUTURE

I know this is going to be difficult, but try to forget about the result for a second. Just try. Okay, are you there? Good. Let’s add some context to this U.S. performance. Gregg Berhalter’s team controlled possession and created a few good looks against a European super power in a World Cup knockout stage game. We’ve never been able to say that until today. The U.S. looked like they belonged in the latter stages of a World Cup.

This team, and this country, has some incredible young talent at its disposal. This group has plenty of potential and although this loss leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, the future of the USMNT is bright. That’s undeniable.

STOCK UP: MATT TURNER

Although the U.S. conceded three goals to the Dutch, Turner can’t be blamed for any of them. The goals were virtually unsavable and three would’ve probably turned into more if Turner wasn’t between the sticks.

He reacted well to an almost own-goal by Walker Zimmerman in this game and had a highlight-reel double save in the second half. His distribution didn’t look bad, either. It’s easy to forget that Turner is only 28, which means he still has plenty of time in his prime. I suspect he’ll be the United States’ number one for a while.

STOCK DOWN: DECISIONS IN THE FINAL THIRD

The lack of finishing quality chances – and some spotty decision-making on passes in the final third – has been a thorn in the USMNT’s side for a long time now, and man, did it hurt them against the Netherlands. Pulisic latched onto a ball in behind only three minutes into the game and fluffed a golden opportunity to put his team up early. The finishing didn’t get better from there. Tim Ream, Haji Wright, and Sergiño Dest all had chances to score or create a goal, but no one seemed to have a cutting edge.

The U.S.’s one and only goal came from a fluke shot from Haji Wright. Going forward, finding a goal-dangerous striker and ironing out some of the decision making in the last 30 yards of the field would go a long way.

STOCK DOWN: MARKING IN THE BOX

The United States’ performance in the final third looks commendable compared to the way they performed in the defensive third. All three of the Netherlands’ goals came from moments of miscommunication and poor marking.

Although Tyler Adams had a fantastic couple of weeks in Qatar, his one mistake in the tournament came in the first Dutch goal. As the Netherlands broke into space, Adams failed to follow Memphis Depay in the box; Depay was left unmanned as he stuck the ball into the corner. The second goal came from a similar mistake from Dest — he didn’t recognize the inside run by Daley Blind and was caught flat-footed as Blind hit the ball into the back of the net. The Netherlands’ third goal came from a mistake from a semi-injured Antonee Robinson, who didn’t check his shoulder for Denzel Dumfries who was left unmarked at the back post.

The goals were preventable and you can’t afford to make mistakes against a top-class team.

STOCK DOWN: CENTER BACK PAIR

Zimmerman and Ream have largely looked great all tournament, but they seemed off the pace today. Ream, particularly, had been able to split lines with his passing throughout the group stage, but he struggled with his passing today and the same goes with his partner. Both had under a 55% long ball passing accuracy.

Now, there was a reason for that: the Netherland’s man-marking in midfield made it difficult for the American center backs to find forward passing options. Still, there was room for improvement.

Ream’s lack of pace also was exposed by the Dutch. When the Netherlands got the ball in transition, they’d almost always try to target the United States’ left side. With Robinson up in the attack, Ream was left on an island at times, and Cody Gakpo and Dumfries took advantage of it.

STOCK DOWN: JESUS FERREIRA

It was a bold move by Berhalter to start Ferreira at striker since he hadn’t played a competitive minute since October. As it turned out, the decision was the wrong one. Ferreira’s 45 minute appearance featured some poor touches – one of which sprung a Dutch counterattack — and he couldn’t get involved in buildup.

Granted, Haji Wright wasn’t much better in his second half cameo, but at least his frame gave the wingers and fullbacks something to aim at.

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