The October international break has come to an end with the United States beating Costa Rica 2-1 in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in Columbus. Gregg Berhalter‘s side currently sit second in the standings behind Mexico, who they will face in November.
Of the three games the USMNT played in October, they grabbed two victories at home, a 2-0 win against Jamaica and a 2-1 with Costa Rica, but they suffered their first loss, a 1-0 defeat to Panama.
Here are five takeaways from the October international break
Rotation is an issue
Against Panama, Berhalter made seven changes to the team that beat Jamaica and his decision proved wrong as the USMNT consists of young players who don’t have the experience to handle playoff games.
The most logical thing would have been to continue with the majority of the starters that beat Jamaica, but this can become a valuable lesson for Berhalter ahead of the next handful of games.
No undisputed starter in goal
Matt Turner played first five games of the qualifiers, but last Wednesday Berhalter opted for Zack Steffen against Costa Rica and the Manchester City shot-stopper showed his quality.
Despite being unable to do anything for Costa Rica’s goal and lacking consistency at the Sky Blues, Steffen is better than Turner with the ball at his feet.
Tyler Adams and 10 more
When Adams is on the pitch, the United States are a much stronger team. The RB Leipzig defensive midfielder is the undisputed leader of this side and it was not a coincidence that when Adams did not start against Panama, the team had their worst game of the Berhalter era.
There are times when Sergino Dest does things that drive you crazy with frustration, like trying a trick on his own half or not tracking back to defend. But what the Barcelona full back contributes to the attacking phase is priceless.
Dest was a fundamental piece in both victories, first assisting Ricardo Pepi‘s first goal against Jamaica, and then against Costa Rica as he scored the goal which tied the game. Although Dest lacks discipline in his defensive work, he has the ability to throw any defence off balance.
Pulisic was missed
There are times when a team has difficulties on the pitch and need their star to make a difference. In that sense, Christian Pulisic was missed in the loss to Panama.
Pulisic is a player capable of making a difference with a quick action or move, and against Panama, the USMNT didn’t have such a player. It’s very important that Pulisic recovers from his injury and is available for the game against Mexico.
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)