AO Talking Points 5/29

The youth movement is here. After the USMNT laid down a 3-0 drubbing on Bolivia Monday, we’re diving into this week’s headlines to see what the talking points are surrounding U.S. Soccer. Let’s get to talking.



The fans have been screaming for a youth movement, and on Monday, it was finally delivered. The starting XI facing Bolivia featured young talents like Josh Sargent, Tim Weah, Erik Palmer-Brown, Antonee Robinson, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic. Yes, even though it feels like he’s been around decades, HE IS STILL ONLY 19.

Goals came from 25 year-old, and grizzled veteran (relatively speaking) Walker Zimmerman, Sargent and Weah all opened their USMNT accounts, while the new-look back line and Alex Bono kept a clean sheet. The kids showed plenty of moments of brilliance, and provided an injection of much-needed optimism as an American-less World Cup lingers.

Check out our match wrap up here, and check out the changes made to the lineup ahead of friendlies in Ireland and France below.



Speaking of that pesky issue of missing the World Cup, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes is asking the question a lot of us are. What’s the plan?

Vermes told Soccer in America he hasn’t see a great deal of detail coming out from U.S. Soccer in the months following the failure. Here’s what he had to say regarding the Federation’s plan to create a General Manager position to oversee the team.

“They want a coach and a GM but I don’t know what their plans are beyond that. I really don’t know…We can talk about what happened but to me it’s irrelevant at this point. I want to see what the plan is going forward. If our only objective is to qualify for the World Cup, I don’t even know why we’re in this. We should be doing so much more. We need to create a complete system from the grassroots up, and I think the responsibility for the leadership should be U.S. Soccer.”

A clearer picture

Well, the plan began to take some shape last week. Sort of.

Multiple reports say USSF has pegged Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart for the GM position. He will apparently have hiring and firing power when it comes to the MNT coach and will “drive culture of team’s day-to-day environment.” A lot of questions still are to be answered, including the big one: What’s the plan?

You can read Stewart’s thoughts on the U.S. missing the World Cup in his SB Nation interview directly following the loss in Trinidad here.

Have a nice trip

See you next fall? On the heels of an announcement that the USMNT will take on Mexico in Nashville in September, the rumor mill is swirling about more games after the summer. A whole slew of reports say the U.S. will fill up a busy schedule featuring Brazil along with Mexico in September, Colombia and Argentina in October, and England and Italy in November.


We back and we back

Ahead of next month’s friendlies against China in Utah and Cleveland, Jill Ellis announced the 23-woman roster with plenty of highlights. Some big names return to the squad, with Tobin Heath with coming back into the setup following surgery earlier this year and Christen Press featuring the squad again after settling her club situation.

Check out the full squad below.



Alex in Action

Alex Morgan showed off her quality yet again with a glancing header against Chicago in NWSL action, en route to a 5-2 victory. Never one to be selfish, she added an assist as well. Check out the highlights below!



“Finding one more”

FourFourTwo took a fantastic deep dive look into the USWNT scouting system. Check it out to find out how the entire staff works to unearth hidden talents and identify whose form merits a call up here.

Thanks for talking, AO Family. We’ll see you next week when the USMNT take on Ireland in Dublin!