After all the drama of the first two draws of qualification the USMNT are sitting pretty in first place and looking onwards to their match against Panama on Sunday. Gregg Berhalter’s side got another great performance from two of the USMNT best players Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson.
Both players have been subject to transfer rumors to AC Milan and each one’s stock is rising considerably when taking into account that Pepi is a scoring machine and Aaronson has made the USMNT fans not miss Gio Reyna or Christian Pulisic.
Valencia’s Yunus Musah was a handful for a flat Jamaica side and Tyler Adams was more comfortable leading the team from the middle of the park. Weston McKennie returned to the team after the off-field drama and put in a solid performance. All in all, it was a 2-0 victory that left three things to take away.
Ricardo Pepi is the truth
We are all aboard the hype train of Ricardo Pepi, and how can USMNT fans and reporters not get excited? Another great performance and this time with two goals to boot. Pepi has talent, and against Concacaf opposition is a cut above the rest. The question now becomes, what happens next? Pepi will take his ascension into USMNT stardom until the end of the MLS season. After that a huge transfer is in the works, then the real challenge begins. Can Pepi do what he is doing in a top league where the competition will be hugely better and keep it up with the USMNT? This kid has all the skills we dream of, hold up play, speed, heading, and more importantly scores.
A win is a win
Jamaica is by far the worst team in qualification, and that alone made them dangerous, the young USMNT showed no nerves, no sign of needing to adjust, despite some early hiccups in the first half the USMNT had nearly 70% possession and out shot Jamaica considerably. Winning builds confidence, builds calmness, and loosens the boys up. When the team takes a look at the standings, going to Panama will be much easier.
Relying on the boys
USMNT fans on Twitter went crazy when they saw that Gianluca Busio was not even on the bench and Paul Arriola was in the starting lineup. Gyasi Zardes, Sebastian Lletget, Kellyn Acosta, and Walker Zimmerman, the MLS crop, are guys Gregg Berhalter knowns and will rely on. After winning two international cups and being undefeated in qualification, Gregg Berhalter has earned fans to stop with their meltdowns on Twitter, it pretty clear, like it or not, Gregg Berhalter knows what he’s doing. So cut the man some slack.