USA Face Must-Win Match Vs. Iran To Keep World Cup Dreams Alive
Today at 1pm I will continue to cheer on our Men's National Soccer Team on their quest for world cup glory. The biggest sporting event and tournament in the entire world, last week's England vs USA match garnered nearly 20 million viewers on a 0-0 stalemate. That match showed just how dangerous the US attack can be, and just how desperate we are as a nation for an out-and-out goal scorer. A true #9 or striker. Although, we did catch a glimpse of hope for the future in Haji Wright, who did well in his starting role against England.
The match today against Iran is much different from the England match. This is a must win affair if the USA hopes to keep their World Cup Dreams a float. Less important but possible, if the US can get a BIG win, finishing top of the group could provide a better next round opponent. And that's why I believe the USA would do better starting its highly offensive weapons today.
But a good team starts with a solid defense, and we have that in the assured hands of Matt Turner at goalkeeper. He was outstanding in the England game and his experience playing for Arsenal in the Premier league has done a great deal for his confidence on the ball and while starting attacks from the back.
My suggested defense for today keeps a good combination of pace, skill, and defensive balance. I'd like to see Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson continue to alternate on marauding runs down the flanks. I feel like our in-field players are most dangerous when we spread the ball and play from wide areas looking for small cut back passes from the baseline or crosses to the penalty area. Center backs Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman have look assured and cover for each other well in defense; I look for that to continue today.
My midfield looks similar to the England set-up, but I'd like to get some more lively ball winners on the field early. My 3 midfielders today would be Weston Mckennie, Captain Tyler Adams, and (the change here) Brenden Aaronson to start over Musah. I feel like Brenden provides a more aggressive and disruptive presence off the ball. I believe that the disruptive style of play that a pairing of Brenden and Adams would be extremely beneficial against Iran. It would also allow us to pressure higher up the field to focus our attacks out wide when recycling opponent attacks/possession.
My forward line changes would involve moving Timothey Weah to a center position with Christian Pulisic on the left wing and Giovanni Reyna on the right wing. Technical skills between 3 individuals that can interchange positioning; but allowing Pulisic a free roaming role to inter-connect play. This group is also full of technical dribbling ability, and I feel like, in this game, we need to be driving at the opponent and forcing them back into their own box. That's a skill that both Pulisic and Gio excels at.