Ricardo Pepe, Haji, Tim Reid discussed on ESPN FC
So again, I think the focus is on how Matt has improved. And the job Matt's done over the course of the period. Let's talk forwards, not just because I got one on set with me. And we'll start here, I guess with the guys that were left out too, because there was a lot of choices for you. In the end, it's Ricardo Pepe and Jordan peacock who were kind of the odd men out. What went into those choices? Ricardo was another tough one based on his body of work and qualifying, scoring three goals for us, some big goals, two against Jamaica, one in Honduras. And watching watching him every week and grown again, thinking about the opponents that we have, we think that the other guys will be better suited. And it is a type of a scenario where we don't have time. We have a week before our first game and we're playing against very physical opponents and we chose the other ones. Let's talk about a guy who did make a list. Right. Back in June, he played for you in the concatenations league and you said publicly that he didn't do enough to take advantage of that opportunity. What has he shown you to prove that he's done enough gold baby? Exactly. I think that was a case where we were hoping Haji was going to play in that game and crush it and have a hat trick. He didn't do it. The message to him after that camp was, listen, now it's going to be about what you're doing with your club. And he's in a good league. He's second leading goal scorer in that league, and he's scoring goals weekly. Here's one of them right now. And Talia spore in turkey where he's lighting up. I think he's second only though who enter Valencia in terms of the Golden Boot there in turkey. You spoke about Azure by scoring goals, Ricardo Pepe. He's another man who's scoring goals. I mean, what was it about Ricardo Pepe, who had a built in equity with you that you said, you know what? He's the man right now. Again, I don't think in our eyes we weren't we weren't comparing Haji to Ricardo. We were comparing Haji to Jordan. Physically. Joining people. Yeah, more physical. We wanted one profile to be a physical presence. Okay. And with peppy, it was coming down to we were comparing him more to Jesus and we thought that Jesus, which one of them can fit more into what we do. And that's what it came down to. Do you have three different profiles of the forwards you need? We think we do. The physical striker, goal scorer, counterattack, in hajji and being underscore on crosses. Josh is kind of a hybrid between Jesus and Haji. And he plays in England, he's very familiar with the opponents there. And we think that's going to be an advantage for us. And then with Jesus, we have the playmaker, the defender, he does a bit of everything. So in goalie, you got you started, that's not going to be a position that you do by committee. With striker, I feel like it could be. Is it this guy is my number one at the number 9? Or is it a rotation? Is it hot hand? Yeah, I think it could be something like that. We have in mind, but I don't think anything cemented there. We're going to have to see what they do with their game time and how effective they are given the game plan. What's the profile of the striker you're looking for against wells? Yeah. So we have a clear idea of what we're looking for against wells and you have to wait until the 21st. Everybody watching from Wales turn it off right now. Garrett bell. Let's talk defense. Kind of last in our rundown here. Tim Reid, man, it is a name that surprised a lot of people just one appearance in World Cup qualifying. It was way back at the beginning, September of 2000 and 21. What pushed him over the line for you? Yeah. I hate to do this now, but every time, you know, we got to bring something back, right? So Tim ream just played against man city. Right. And after the game, Gordon walks up to him and says, if you were 24, you'd be playing for me. If you were 24 instead of 34. 35. So why don't you say why don't people see Tim ream like that? What Tim said is it's too bad. He goes, I'm not 34. I'm 35. But it reminds me of a conversation that we had her years ago. And when I was telling you about how good of a passer Tim Reid is on the ball. And what I'm really happy is is that this is a player that got another opportunity to play in the Premier League. Right. Because you never know when that's going to come again. And he's really taken advantage of that. You know, speaking to the coaching staff, watching his games, you know, he's one of the most important defenders for Fulham, and he's having a great season. Over the summer, you came on our show, football Americas, and I asked you about the absence to John Anthony Brooks, and you said one of the biggest reasons John Anthony Brooks isn't with us or hasn't been with us is 'cause he can't play in a high line, a defensive high line. Tim reem necessarily, that's not as strong suit. So are we changing the approach of how the U.S. national team will defend? I don't think so. Just watching Fulham. Tim's doing it. He's defending with a lot of space behind him. His positioning while attacking has been really good. And listen, there's no hiding that he has some weaknesses as well. But it's how do we how do we put him in position to succeed? And I think with Anthony Robinson, they are playing with him every week. You're not decent position to cover. You know, I don't think we can talk about center backs without acknowledging the injuries and probably the whole roster really without acknowledging injuries. A guy that I think a lot of U.S. fans probably were holding your breath for was a guy like Chris Richards. When you looked at the injuries and this World Cup happening in the middle of this season, how much of a factor that play into your roster decisions and specifically with a guy like Richard. You're waiting, right? You almost desperately waiting trying to give him an extra day, extra hours just to get fit. You know, I talked to Chris almost every week. And we got updates daily from crystal palace on how he was progressing. And at the end of the day, when I called him and we had the conversation, you know, we both came to the same conclusion that it was just the time was running out and he just wasn't going to get there. And with him being out with miles Robinson being out, you know, it is true very physical center backs that we're going to be missing at this World Cup. And that's just part of it. It is next man up and Timmy's back in the picture now. The walker Zimmerman cam Carter Vickers was playing Champions League and then Aaron long should be able to get the job done. Miles Robinson Chris Richards, Luca de la Torres on the mend, obviously big players that have been injured western McKinney. There's a question political playing earlier. You must have been praying and putting them in bubble wrap. You know, there's that part of it, but there's also, you want the guys to go on the field and commit to playing because when you don't commit, that's when injuries happen. Right. And if it is in your back of the mind that you're going to get an injury, guess what? You'll probably get an injury. So I just want them to commit, do what they do what they're supposed to be doing with their clubs. And then we'll see what happens. All right, coach, we've taken up enough of your time. Thanks so much for joining us here on football. America's and we'll see you in katara, okay? Thank you guys. There he is. Greg, we're halter, U.S. men's national team manager. He gets around to applause from the fans here in Brooklyn.