- After the United States’ draw against England in the World Cup, whose stock is up? And whose stock is down? Let’s talk about it
Another game, another draw for the United States.
The United States men’s national team looked excellent against England on Black Friday, but arguably should’ve taken all three points. Let’s see whose stock went up and whose went down after the U.S.’ impressive performance against their rivals from across the pond.
STOCK UP: GREGG BERHALTER
After the questionable coaching from Berhalter against Wales involving a decline in second half pressure, he did virtually everything right against England. He used a 4-4-2 that stifled England’s midfield throughout the 90 minutes. The extra men on the wings also allowed the U.S. to break down the flanks on the counter – it led to some beautiful combination play.
Although he risked Weston McKennie and Sergiño Dest getting suspended for Tuesday by starting them, it ended up being the right decision. Both played admirably and, more importantly, were subbed off the field before either could pick up a yellow card.
This was as close to a Berhalter masterclass as I’ve seen.
STOCK UP: “CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD VIEWS AMERICAN SOCCER”
Although the point is valuable going into Matchday 3, as the U.S. is now mathematically in a win-and-in scenario, the best outcome from this game for the U.S. could be the world’s improved opinion on the team. Early in Berhalter’s tenure, he told the team that his goal was to, “change the way the world views American soccer.” I was one of the skeptics who laughed at this grandiose notion.
However, the showing against England made me eat at least some of my words.
A U.S. men’s team looking better than their billion-dollar opponents on the world’s biggest stage is sure to turn heads both domestically and abroad. American soccer earned some respect with their result against England.
STOCK UP: WESTON MCKENNIE
There are two forms of Weston McKennie: one that gets lost in games and struggles on the ball and one that wins all of his 50/50s and progresses the ball forward with speed and ease.
We got that second version of McKennie on Friday.
McKennie, who was an injury question mark leading into the tournament, was great in his right midfield role. He skipped by English midfielders on the ball and combined well with Tim Weah and Dest. If he continues playing like that, he’s a locked-in starter. It would’ve been nice if he had finished that half-volley chance in the first half, though.
STOCK UP: MATT TURNER
I genuinely think this is the best game I’ve seen Matt Turner play for the USMNT. Sure, he’s had highlight reel saves many times before, but we’ve rarely seen Turner look so comfortable with the ball at his feet before. There were passes he played that I didn’t think he had the ability to hit, like the punt out to Christian Pulisic in the first half. Still, the best part of Turner’s performance was how well he commanded his box. England have some great set piece takers and aerial threats, but Turner looked confident coming off his line to claim crosses.
His high claims have truly come a long way since college.
STOCK UP: ANTONEE ROBINSON
Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling — two of the best wingers in the Premier League — were ghosts against the United States and Robinson should get some credit for that. His recovery speed, athleticism, and stellar defensive positioning shined and he was able to nullify the best England was able to throw at him.
There were a couple of worrying moments down the U.S.’ left defensive flank early on in the first half, but apart from that, Jedi provided the clamps.
STOCK DOWN: CHANCE CREATING AND FINISHING
For everything the USMNT did well against England, they still were unable to exorcize their most pesky demon — an inability to put the ball in the back of the net.
I mentioned the McKennie chance before, but there were other attacking chances that came up empty. There were also ones that perhaps should’ve been created, but never were. Dest’s opportunity in the 42nd minute was wasted, and Pulisic actually had decent service corners that neither Zimmerman nor McKennie could get their head on.
If the US is going to advance from the group on Tuesday, they’re going to need to create more chances and, most importantly, score.