The USMNT saw much positivity on the surface, as they scored three and conceded none.
Despite utilizing two separate goalkeepers and two different pressuring methods, the youthful USMNT managed to retain two clean sheets. Both Morocco and Uruguay, two of the continents’ sturdiest defensive units, saw opportunities generated by the team’s two distinct offensive formations.
The USMNT claimed 2 results that would be sufficient to go through the WC groups and this alone would fuel optimism for months that are to come.
The results were however deceiving.
The USMNT Showed Major Flaws
The head coach, Gregg Berhalter, is aware of this, and he made a cryptic remark following their 3-0 victory over Morocco and 0-0 tie with Uruguay. On Wednesday, he addressed the security flaw, and on Sunday, he avoided giving his usual plaudits and instead dodged several questions.
He is probably aware that his side had a negative Expected Goal differential (by most measures) during the course of those 180 minutes. Despite his team’s potential, he recognizes that they are still a flawed squad that hasn’t figured out how to hide its flaws as they prepare for the World Cup.
However, there are also positive developments to look forward to. Most ebullient among them is a 19-year-old who has been playing out of position for his club but is now starting to reach his full potential with the U.S. national team.
Deficits at both ends of the field are a cause for concern, as they may obscure any progress made in preparation for November’s tournament in Qatar.
Sunday’s match against Uruguay did not provide any answers to the United States national soccer team’s two biggest problems. Neither Ferreira nor Wright, its two main attackers, appeared like they could handle the pressure from the Uruguayan defense. Its two left-sided central defenders, Aaron Long, and Erik Palmer-Brown, struggled mightily.
Even if they were spared punishment at the hands of Uruguay’s B-plus squad, it doesn’t mean they won’t be in 5.5 months.