Hey, thanks for the question Alex! It’s a really good one.
With a camp and four games coming up in June, the United States has the chance to check a number of items off of their to-do list. That, for me, is how we should define the USMNT’s success next month. Not necessarily by wins and losses (although this team should be getting results to help them build towards success at the World Cup in November), but by which questions the U.S. successfully answers.
If the U.S. win all four of their games but don’t identify a center back who can at least partially fill Miles Robinson’s place in the backline, would the June window really be a success? I don’t think so. They need to find someone to eat up Robinson’s minutes, be that Chris Richards (if he’s healthy), Aaron Long, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown, or someone else entirely.
Outside of an injury-prone Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, and Luca de la Torre, there are question marks about depth in central midfield, too. So if the U.S. win all four games but we don’t get an extended look at some additional options in that part of the field, would June be a success? Probably not.
And if the U.S. win all four games but fail to show any sort of improved attacking cohesion, would June be a success? No, not really. This team can create chances, but there were too many stretches of World Cup qualifying where they failed to do so.
I think that’s how those of us on the outside should be looking at this upcoming international window – and I think it’s how Berhalter should be looking at it as well.
It’s the longest of only two chances that the United States has to get together before the World Cup kicks off in November. With two friendlies and two Nations League games, there should be enough time for Gregg Berhalter to gather the last few pieces of data that he needs to properly prepare this team for Qatar.
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