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What is best USMNT lineup for 2019 Gold Cup?

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There is a lot of negativity swirling around the U.S. men’s national team right now.

[ MORE: Big questions for USMNT

After a 3-0 shellacking at the hands of Venezuela in their final tune-up before the 2019 Gold Cup begins, new head coach Gregg Berhalter insist he is staying calm and isn’t about to ditch his famed possession-based tactics following two disappointing defeats in friendly games last week.

But the USMNT fanbase is already wondering one thing: do we have the players to play the way Berhalter wants us to?

Right now, the answer is no and with Berhalter unlikely to change his philosophy at all, it will be intriguing to see how this group of players adapt to these tactics throughout the tournament.

Below is the team and formation I would play for the Gold Cup, but I understand that Berhalter’s philosophy means it is very unlikely he will move away from playing four at the back.

Still, with the current group of players he has, I’d go with a 3-4-3 formation to give the USMNT extra defensive solidity.


JPW’s best possible USMNT XI for 2019 Gold Cup (3-4-3)

—– Steffen —–

—- Zimmerman —- Miazga —- Ream —-

—– McKennie —- Adams —– Bradley —- Lovitz —-

—- Pulisic —- Altidore —- Holmes —-


Explanation

The team above gives the USMNT stability in defense, while solves some of their problems in the full back areas. Not having DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks and Greg Garza available due to injuries is a blow and shouldn’t be overlooked, but the fact of the matter is that there isn’t enough depth in the full back position for the USMNT. Lovtiz should probably start at left back, but there is not decent option at right back, hence the system change to 3-4-3 from 4-1-4-1.

Look, Berhalter loves to build up play from the back and having three center backs splitting wide and a midfield dropping deeper to pick up the ball should still work in this system. If anything, it will work better with the three ball-playing center backs in this lineup.

McKennie has played on the right a lot for Schalke, and in Berhalter’s system he isn’t as comfortable on the ball in midfield as he should be. Having him tuck in from the right flank makes sense, while the experiment regarding Tyler Adams at right back should end right now. He’s the best high-pressing midfielder the U.S. has so he should be played in his best position which is central midfield. Having the experience of Michael Bradley in midfield is a must, and he should be allowed to create and join the attack whenever he can.

Up top Jozy Altidore‘s presence is badly needed as a focal point and Christian Pulisic should play off the right wing and be allowed to surge forward and link up with Altidore. Duane Holmes has looked very good in his appearances for the USMNT and should start out left then drift in to support the attack.

Haiti stuns Costa Rica to claim Group B at Gold Cup

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Poetic justice, put it in a Song.

Haiti’s Djimy Alexis made up for his early own goal by scoring a deserved winner as Haiti won Group B of the Gold Cup with an upset of Costa Rica on Monday.

[ ROUNDUPS: AFCON | Copa America ]

Los Ticos got everything they could handle from the upstart Gombey Warriors, who are now 3-0 on the tournament, and the World Cup mainstays tossed aside their early lead to meet Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Haiti will challenge Canada in the quarters, guaranteeing the semifinals an intriguing participant.

An early own goal had Costa Rica in control, but Duckens Nason’ 16th international goal was a part of a hard charge from the Haitians in the second half.

The other match saw Bermuda earn a 2-0 win over Nicaragua via goals from Lejuan Simmons and QPR’s Nakhi Wells. That gives the Gombey Warriors a 1-2 record while dropping Nicaragua to 0-3.

Bermuda was ranked 174th by FIFA to Nicaragua’s 129, but that will certainly change next month.

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

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The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]


Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7
Final

Norwich City adds Switzerland international Drmic on free transfer

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Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.

Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.

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Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.

Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.

Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:

“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.

“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.