World Cup 2022: US attack is cause for concern, but it’s not time to try new things in the crucial showdown with Iran

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On the way to the World Cup There were three main questions Gregg Berhalter had to answer if the United States wanted to leave Group B and live up to expectations by reaching the Round of 16. Matt Turner was excellent in goal, making it easy to drop Zack Steffen from the World Cup squad, while Tim Ream also stabilized defence. These two line-up shifts were major reasons the team conceded just one goal in the World Cup game despite facing one of the best attacks in the world England.

But the team has only scored one goal as there is still a big question as to who is the team’s top scorer. Tim Weah scored the only goal of the tournament for the USMNT, but a traditional forward has yet to score at this World Cup. In fact, only Yunus Musah and Weah registered any shots on goal in the 180 minutes that the USMNT played. Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic both hit the woodwork but only Pulisic shows the ability to drive on goal and consistently test the defense.

Weston McKennie showed flashes of ability to do it against England and Haji Wright I took three shots but most were ill advised as none made it Jordan Pickford. Versus IranThe team needs to come forward and hopefully score an early goal or there may be disappointment.

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Jesus Ferreira scored a goal and set up another in World Cup qualifiers while Sargent remained goalless and logged just 116 minutes but was against Wales, it was Sargent who started it. Given his performance, I was surprised that Sargent couldn’t continue things with a back-to-back start against England because he was effective at turning defenders around even when not firing a shot.

With the USMNT attack struggling, the goal must be to maximize Pulisic and McKennie’s chances in a win-or-go home game against Iran. If he launches Sargent, he can get the ball airborne for them to run on and potentially create chances. Pulisic already has an assist from a similar situation, while McKennie was lively against England as he recovers to full health. With outside crosses being a tenacious part of attack building, a forward like Sargent can put them in good positions for his teammate.

The attack may be worrying, but this is not the time to reinvent the wheel by attempting something the team has never done before. The defense is trustworthy as picking up Ream ahead of Turner gives them room to work, but they need to score or Iran, not the United States, will be the team going to the knockout stages.

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