Underdog Soccer Podcast on Olympic Qualifying and March USMNT Roster

Underdog Soccer Podcast was back talking through the first two Olympic Qualifying games which saw the US through the group stage to the knock stage. They have one more game tonight at 9:30pm EST against Mexico. Both teams are through so the game offers little meaningful to the tournament, but certainly means a lot to these rivals. They will play Sunday night in the semi-final, both finalists will be through to the Olympics. 

Game 1 Olympic Qualifying US 1 vs Costa Rica 0 | March 18, 2021

My notes

David Ochoa had a monster game with 9 saves, he was fantastic and active. Jesus Ferreira was very active at the other end, putting away the game winner in the 35th minute. He also hit the post in the 2nd minute and had a heavy touched what could have been a breakaway to put the game away in the second half.

We lacked creativity and that was obvious from the on-set of the match, tons of sloppy turn overs out the back. Hasani Dotson had some nice moments in the first half and looked solid. Bofo Saucedo brought some good energy when he came on, looked like a solid addition

Game 2 Olympic Qualifying US 4 vs Dominican Republic 0 |  March 21, 2021

First half was tough to watch, no one really looked good. The defense seemed to make less obvious mistakes, but also less tested. No issues for JT Marcinkowski, which made it tough on how to rate him.

Johnny Cardoso and three 6s in the middle didn’t seem to have a plan or a rhythm to what they were doing. There was little activity moving forward early, Andrés Perea was very active defensively and looked like a strong future #6 candidate to watch.

Bofo Saucedo was the only positive spark in the first half – he missed two good chances when he took on defenders (the only one to do so) dribbled past and sailed two crosses. Johnny Cardoso missed a header from inside the box on a nice cross from Sam Vines. Vines looked to have  set piece opportunity which would have been a fantastic goal – sail wide left of the net.

Second half adjustments – something we haven’t really seen much of for the US in a few years seemed to work. Bofo was active once again and put across in after Johnny Cardoso hit the cross bar. Jackson Yueill got on the end of it in running through. Interesting goal, but we take it.

That goal seemed to take the pressure valve off. Hasani Dotson and Djordge Mihailovic came on for Bofo and Johnny, which while they were somewhat ineffective seemed like an odd sub as they had been the most active. That worked magically though as Djordge, admittedly someone I’ve not been high on really changed the energy of the game.

Dotson was also fantastic, two solid cool finishes, before Djordje got to capture the end of one himself from Benji Michel who up to that point had looked awful.

USMNT March Roster

Matty Knips, Chris Kerr and Marcus O’Malley were all really excited about the March roster, only snubs called out were: DeAndre Yedlin, Mark McKenzie, Julian Greene, and Konrad de la Fuente. Listen to the pod to hear more!

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