USMNT takeaways: Pepi solves striker problem, Berhalter shows he can fix his mistakes, but defense needs work

The US males’s nationwide workforce got here to life within the second half on Wednesday to earn a crucial 4-1 win over Honduras in World Cup qualifying. It wasn’t all that convincing regardless of the inflated scoreline, however Gregg Berhalter’s workforce responded within the second half with 4 targets to place themselves in first rate place shifting ahead with three extra video games in October. 

Antonee Robison, Ricardo Pepi, Brenden Aaronson and Sebastian Lletget bought the targets  within the emphatic U.S. win.

After the win, this is are three takeaways:

1) Pepi makes his case because the No. 9

One recreation will not resolve it, however Pepi did every little thing he wanted to so as to put himself atop the depth chart because the beginning striker. The 18-year-old FC Dallas man, who has been tearing it up in MLS, selected the U.S. over Mexico simply earlier than this cycle. In his first motion, which got here as a starter with the fan base clamoring for him now for a couple of week, he did a lot proper. Apart from scoring the profitable purpose, which was clearly crucial, he additionally confirmed his teamwork by grabbing a few assists, and he additionally confirmed that he may use his massive body to carry up the ball. Now that’s key as a result of it permits him to show and look forward to gamers to affix the assault. It’s a small pattern dimension, however he could not have gotten off to a greater begin.

2) Miles Robinson is shining whereas John Brooks is not

The protection is regarding. Honduras had 18 photographs to the USA’s 12, and a part of that was because of a failure to react and shut down. John Brooks, seen because the workforce’s finest defender by many, was arguably the worst defender on the sector within the final two video games. He is been at fault for getting caught too excessive and never recovering in time to also have a probability to make a cease within the field. On the opposite facet, it simply appears like Miles Robinson might be on the verge of changing into a positive factor at heart again with one other encouraging efficiency. Berhalter wants to search out the best duo (and cease with the trios) shifting ahead, and Robinson deserves to be in a kind of spots.

3) The midfield nonetheless wants loads of work, too

Let’s be frank right here — Berhalter’s gameplan was horrible and he bought it flawed. He deserves credit score for fixing issues, reacting early sufficient and getting his workforce to reply. He isn’t a world beater swiftly and the savior for this program, however this can be a good place to begin in the direction of the highway to Qatar after some bumpy performances. Taking part in Tyler Adams out of place was such a waste of time, and the workforce immediately began to look extra composed when he moved centrally within the second half. Taking part in 5 defenders simply made it really feel like he was scared to go after this recreation, and it allowed Honduras to look actually robust within the first half. In the long run, each sub he put in made a giant distinction other than Cristian Roldan, and he’ll take that any day. However this midfield, like a lot of the workforce, nonetheless has much more questions than solutions forward of subsequent month. | USMNT takeaways: Pepi solves striker drawback, Berhalter reveals he can repair his errors, however protection wants work


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