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usmnt only Introduction

usmnt only Two matches told two different stories for this USMNT side during the November WCQ window

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usmnt only USMNT roundtable: After historic win over Mexico and letdown vs. Jamaica, is USA soccer making progress?

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The international break was once again a mixed bag for the United States men's national team. They had an epic 2-0 over heated rivals Mexico and then a drab 1-1 draw away at Jamaica. To break it all down CBS Sports analysts Roger Gonzalez, Chuck Booth and Mike Goodman take a look at the good and the bad from the past two matches.

Michael Goodman: Alright, another international break has come and gone. In some ways it felt like a microcosm of the United States men's national team experience. There was the incredible high of the second half against Mexico followed by the grinding mediocrity of an away draw in Jamaica. So I guess the place to start here is, what should we take away from these two games? Should we focus on beating Mexico for the third time in a calendar year? Is that indicative of a team turning the corner and heading in the right direction? Or is this just another case of two steps forward and one step back?

Chuck Booth: I think this break should be summed up as getting the amount of points expected but in the wrong order. If you told me ahead of time that the USMNT would pick up four points playing Mexico and Jamaica I'd take it and run. But as you'd assume that the draw would have been vs. Mexico, it's fair to feel a little disappointed not collecting six points.

Roger Gonzalez: I'm convinced it was a step forward. How could it not be when you had the team's most convincing performance under Berhalter in the 2-0 win over Mexico? The result at Jamaica isn't a step back as winning on the road, especially in Concacaf, is so challenging. A point on the road anywhere at this stage is something to be excited about, even if the play isn't all that great. I think the results have put this team on a sure path to the 2022 World Cup, and they've handled some massive challenges along the way. They still have to go to Mexico and Costa Rica, but USMNT fans can feel confident in them qualifying.

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MG: I think this kind of gets at the heart of the question here. From a qualification standpoint it's hard to be upset with where this team is right now. It's going to be very hard to mess up enough over the last six matches not to qualify for Qatar. But I think if we're talking about just the performance on the field it's trickier. Like part of what makes the Jamaica match so frustrating is that it comes right after we have that second half against Mexico that shows just how dominant this team can be sometimes.

And I guess part of this then gets down to individual players and tactics. This window the U.S. didn't get much of anything (barring a nice touch to set up Tim Weah's goal against Jamaica) out of Ricardo Pepi, a far cry from earlier this cycle when his clutch goals really rescued this team. He's only 18, so there are ups and downs to be expected. But is part of the inconsistency of the United States right now that they're relying pretty exclusively on him, at such a young age, to lead the attack. Should the side be looking at the broader set of options available?

usmnt only Tags

usmnt only ,Soccer, World Cup,

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