The Gold Cup is done and it came home. Along the way Gregg Berhalter hopefully proved that he at the absolute least is a skilled enough manager to coach the national team. At this point he’s beaten Mexico with both a first choice and much less than first choice roster. There’s really no doubt that he’s qualified for the job and has the results to prove it. Of course, World Cup qualification is a new test and one that he will have to show he is up for in a little over a month.
In the meantime, the players from the tournament are back with their squads. Here’s how some did and how others with bright futures that weren’t with the national team fared.
Stats via FBref.com
Just start with the Aaronson goal
It’s just nice, there’s nothing I can say that takes away from this. Upper 90, beating Matt Turner, just a nice goal.
For every Aaronson there’s a Paxton or Paxten or whatever
Paxton Pomykal is healthy now after missing a good bit of time over the last year and a half. He’s started the last six for FC Dallas playing as a right or left winger. In that time he’s got seven shots and seven shot creating actions. This isn’t that eye popping and he has just a goal and assist in about 750 minutes this year. However, he is contributing as Dallas is riding three wins and a draw in their last four games. Pomykal’s leading stat is progressive carries/90 where he’s getting about 7.12 which is in the 83rd percentile of wide midfielders/wingers in MLS. The second half of the MLS season will be critical for Pomykal as he moves from promising prospect to possible established MLS lifer a la Cristian Roldan.
The xG was strong with this one
The Red Bulls played FC Cincinnati to a 0-0 draw at home on Wednesday but did manage to win the moral victory of having a 2.7 xG performance. Caden Clark had somewhat of a quiet night with just one shot creating action, but Frankie Amaya subbed on for him and had four in 20 minutes. A similar situation played out at left back where Andrew Gutman had no SCAs in 61 minutes, but John Tolkin had two in 29. Kyle Duncan was everywhere defensively on the right side with 20 pressures and seven of them successful. All kept a clean sheet though.
On Saturday the Red Bulls lost 2-0 to the Chicago Fire after giving up two goals in the first 10 minutes in a pretty flat game for the New York side. Fire center back Mauricio Pineda did keep the clean sheet for the home side making an interception, three tackles and five clearances.
Inter Miami is terrible but now they have Indiana Vassilev
Take it away Ray Hudson.
Gotta be happy for Indiana Vassilev who made his Premier League debut in 2020 but had a pair of tough loans in England last season. Now he scores the winner for #InterMiamiCF tonight pic.twitter.com/OCXoajYCyM— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 9, 2021
Vassilev came on as a sub in the 54th minute as a right wingback and... I mean you heard Ray Hudson, I can’t compete with that.
Just pure class from George Bello
Now that Sam Vines has gone to Belgium, George Bello should be next up when it comes to American left backs going abroad to play in a tougher league. I’ll lay my cards on the table here, Belgium is a little meh for me. Sure, Vines will get to have the Euro experience and get an idea of a different kind of environment outside of MLS and will have different expectations now that someone paid for him to join their team. That said, Belgium isn’t Spain, Germany, or Italy and I think Bello should set his sights a little higher. Just look at this, it’s beautiful.
Atlanta might need to learn to play defense, but under an interim manager things have been a bit disorganized in the ATL as the team is trying to learn how to enjoy soccer again. They did win and look to be having fun.