Al Rayyan, Qatar – In case anyone is unfamiliar with the result of the opening match of the World Cup United States of america And wales Had Ahmed Bin Ali been standing in the stadium, it would have been easy for him to believe that the game had a winner.
Players on both teams are required to make their way through a mixed area lined with reporters — think a Hollywood-premiere type setup — and ask questions about the game. And as this process took place, the teams’ conduct was heterogeneous.
There was a strange, positive energy to the Wales players who had come. Without being an attacking threat in front of the national legend they were behind on just 46 minutes Gareth Bale Earned and converted a penalty for the country’s first World Cup goal in 64 years. Wales coach Rob Page was clear in the lead-up to the game that they wanted a point, and they went about with that mission accomplished.
The mood on the American team was decidedly less upbeat. There was no doubt that it was an opportunity missed, and even as many players tried to put the draw in a positive context, they were less genuine than their opponents.
US midfielder Branden AaronsonHis description of the vibe in the locker room probably reflects a broader sentiment from the fan base: “Disappointed,” he said. “Everyone was very disappointed.”
If the US had been offered a point before the start of the game, it would not have been seen as a bad result. In the current format of the competition, since 1998, teams that have drawn their opening match have advanced 59% of the time. This puts the US in a good spot to move forward but will do nothing to ease any concerns about meeting that benchmark objective.
Given how the game played out, the feeling of disappointment after the game was inevitable.
“It’s tough. To get that goal, and then you think you have the game and you’re going to win the game, and it’s tough,” Aaronson said. “It’s a punch in the face and that’s what it is. But we have to move forward and look at the positives and look at the film, what can we do even better. Overall I thought it was a really good performance.”
The weight of World Cup expectations is immense – almost as intense as the expectations the players place on themselves – and this is where the young team’s lack of experience at this level can be most felt. Tyler AdamsThe 23-year-old captain, the wise-beyond-his-years of the team it seems. Ever since he joined the team in 2017, he has always been able to apply the appropriate approach to any situation he faces, and that didn’t change after Monday’s game.
“We have to be disciplined. We have to be calm,” he said. “We have to know it’s a long tournament, at the end of the day. And we have to take it game by game. Going into that next game, we’ll obviously try and come back fast, recover quickly But mentally you just have to watch, stay focused. Also at the end of the day be happy with the performance — better a score than a zero.”
Taking any other stand would not do much good.
tactical shift that changed the game
While exploring America, Page concluded that his team would find success by bypassing the American press and playing through the midfield. It was a colossal miscalculation, and he attributed it in part to the United States striker josh sargent Dropping deeper into midfield than expected, taking passing angles into central midfield. The result was a first half in which the US controlled the pace, had the bulk of the possession and, more importantly, prevented Wales from producing anything resembling a dangerous moment.
“We didn’t get a player on the ball and we were [to defend] Attack wave after attack wave,” Page said. “We couldn’t play 90 minutes like this; it could have been two or three [goals for the US],
Despite better tactical planning from US manager Greg Berhalter, the Americans didn’t take advantage as they probably should have. a beautiful sequence with the goal christian pulisic drive forward and slide in Tim Weah – came at a transitional moment, not out of a US buildup.
At halftime, Page made two key changes. first had to bring in 6-foot-5 kiefer moore to play more direct, and another to press the US backline with three players instead of two. As well as forcing Wales to send more players forward in search of an equaliser, this created more space for the US in their attacking half. More than anything that happened on the defensive end, it was the Americans’ inability to do that that is worrying from a forward-looking perspective.
“We had moments of change and the last pass in the last third just wasn’t enough,” the centre-back Tim Ream Told. “It’s definitely a new experience, but at the same time, we had our opportunities with 5-v-4s and 4-v-3s and we didn’t quite do it. It’s not even about looking the game out. – They had one more shot on target than the penalty, I think. To limit them as much as we did and still get away with only a point, yeah, listen, it’s disappointing.”
Assigning blame or credit can be a tricky game for those unaware of the intricacies of the game plan. It’s hard to argue that Berhalter didn’t get the starting XI right and the team was set up with better tactics for the first 45 minutes. However, once Page made his changes, America was mostly on the back foot and Berhalter’s changes and substitutions for this did not have a positive effect. It’s a failure that Berhalter must own up to.
what changes are expected England
Generally, Berhalter does not inform the players of lineup decisions until the day before the game. That was the process against Wales, which saw the team have a light training session to prepare for the game, and it will likely be the same approach ahead of Friday’s match against England. Adams said he expected some rotation.
One change to expect: Aaronson in the starting lineup. Weston McKenney He started well against Wales, but after several weeks without a competitive match he quickly faded. Aaronson’s energy and skill on the ball is an upgrade over McKennie’s and should he make a straight change, McKennie has the option of coming off the bench, whatever the game situation dictates.
At striker, Sargent hasn’t done enough to guarantee he’ll get a second start, though it’s certainly still a possibility. If Berhalter chooses to make the change, it is expected that it will include Jesus FerreiraBased on how the coach has expressed his thoughts on it FC Dallas designated player and Haji Wright, Berhalter praised Ferreira’s ability to play within the team’s preferred game model and liked the change of style he offered when using the big righty off the bench.
live rayna Don’t feel in line for starters. If he was, it is difficult to explain why he was not used as a sub against Wales. Allowing for the possibility of gamesmanship, Berhalter said, “I can imagine [Reyna] Playing some role against England.” The coach doesn’t usually talk about the player he’s expecting to give more than 60 minutes, but it’s okay for a coach not to be completely upfront when discussing injuries. It’s not an extraordinary thing.
Assuming the dest is fit, there should be no change in the backline. walker zimmermanThe momentary lapse of decision was a bad moment that could have cost the team two points, but it shouldn’t have outweighed the rest of the game, which saw the back four play at a very high level.