FIFA 20

TEAM USA WEEKEND LEAGUE RECAP CONSIDERS DEFINITION OF AMERICAN

Welcome back to another Team USA RTG Weekend League Recap. It has been many moons since the stars and stripes of Betsy Ross SC has shone down on this subreddit. I’ve played a variety of weekend leagues, but rarely finish them – my best was a 14-5 from last season before the format change while still using Mark McKenzie at centerback. If the star-spangled studs hit 16, that would meet our objective for the year.

AMERICA’S TEAM

This most recent weekend, the red white n blue boys I went 11-6 before shutting it down (while giving away the last 3 to get the next rank up). We scored 38, conceded 27 with 7 clean sheets and 5 rage quits. Our team has had a bit of an overhaul – here’s what it looks like in game. I open with 4231, then switch to 442 against better players and will throw in some 4321 if I’m struggling offensively. Working on bringing a 352 into this mix, but when your team’s best centerback is Aaron Long, 3 at the back is a challenge.

In terms of tactics, we use more wing play than Top Gun. Keeping the ball out of the middle of the park makes keeping possession easier and prevents deadly counters. Once we get in the final third, 1-2s between Pulisic and Dempsey, sweat, and short chipped balls to the head of McKennie are the three main ways we get goals. Defensively, I press pretty frequently and do give up some goals due to CDMs being out of position. There’s two player types I struggle with – elite counter attackers and great skillers. If the opponent can play there way out of pressure, the talent gap between Yedlin and Neymar shows up real quick.

PATRIOTIC PLAYER PERFORMANCES

American Hero Clint “Deuce” Dempsey – 19G/5A/5MOTM. He’s not fast. He’s not strong. He’s not particularly agile. But the man just gets the job done. Blue collar, hard-nosed, possibly stoned.

FIRE Christian “Pragmatist” Pulisic – 10G/7A/2MOTM. Choosing between his special SBC was hard. 5* skills is really useful and unprecedented in Betsy Ross SC history, but 5* weakfoot allows a lot more flexibility in scoring. It’s creating vs converting changes.

Wes “Ranch Pizza” McKennie – 2G/6A/0MOTM. Wes is the player that plays most similarly to how he does IRL. He works hard, makes runs all over the pitch, and creates space for others to shine. Score a few headers with him every weekend. My only regret is that his Harry Potter celebration isn’t in the game. And that he somehow only scores during the week so he can’t get TOTWs. Wes's only regret is that he can't convince Chiellini to put ranch on pizza.

Storyline Reggie “Donnie Osmond” Cannon – 0G/0A/5CS. Like Donnie Osmond’s character in Mulan, he is the last Cannon protecting Americhina from the hordes of Mongol Mbappes, Ginolas, and Fekirs. He gets out of position often, but makes up for it with pace and ability to dribble out of pressure. One or two more defenders and you’ve got a stew going.

Lev “Joe Manchin” Yashin – 5CS. An obstructionist who doesn’t let anything get by him. Actual American-ness is debatable.

TAKEAWAYS AND LESSONS FOR NEXT TIME

Out of position centerbacks are fine. Unless you’re facing 3 attackers on stay forward get in behind, where you will give up bullshit 60 yard through balls that you had no chance of defending, manual defending is more than enough to make up for any positioning problems. A different poster played with all attackers at CB and he’s right – pace is everything in defense.

L1 sprint is god tier. I am not good at this combo, but the best players I face tend to use it often. Working this into my game is my next big point of emphasis.

Subs matter and The Great American Debate. 4 of my 6 losses were by one goal. 3 of those were late or in extra time. I brought in Siebatcheu a few times for lols and Musah gets play late as an attacking CDM/McKennie sub. But then I realized – why are we doing this by FIFA (European) rules? There are several players who are American but represent other NTs. But in the land of the free, we believe in dual citizenship. So I’m debating bringing TAA, Johnathan David, and Delaney (who are all US eligible) as bench options until MLS milestones or Future Stars provides reinforcements. Now some may say this diminishes the integrity of this American mission, but there wouldn’t be an American without Lafayette and Polaski. Hell, even George Washington was a dual national.

That’s all for now. Hoping to get a foundation Miles Robison and Kellyn Acosta in the next week or so. Thanks for reading, god bless you, and god bless the united states of America.

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