Thursday, September 21, 2023

Berhalter is delighted to see Musah become the USMNT “ connector ”

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Gregg Berhalter praised Yunus Musah as the young midfielder shone in his first appearance since officially commit to the United States Men’s National Team.

Musah started as part of a midfielder three alongside Kellyn Acosta and Sebastian Lletget as the young Valencian continued to play at center after playing mostly on the wing for his club.

But, in that central midfielder role, Musah excelled again, serving as a key connector that proved vital in the 4-1 win over Jamaica.

What did Berhalter say?

“I thought he was solid,” Berhalter said. “Imagine this, he hasn’t played in this position since last November with us and putting on a performance like that is commendable.

“I thought he did a really good job. I agree with what you’re saying: he was a connector. Very, very simple but effective game tonight. He closed the space well.

“He just made it easy, and I think he had a very, very good performance.”

Musah’s international story

The 18-year-old midfielder, who was recently named to Goal’s 2021 NxGn list, was born in New York but joined Arsenal academy at the age of 9, having also lived in Italy.

Musah represented England from U-15 to U-18 level before joining USMNT for the first time in the fall.

He appeared in friendlies against Panama and Wales, although England boss Gareth Southgate admitted soon after that he was interested in bringing in Musah.

However, the Valencia midfielder recently confirmed that he is fully committed to the United States.

The big picture

Musah was a bright spot for the United States in the victory over Jamaica as he flourished once again in that central midfielder role.

He didn’t provide the goals like his midfielder partner Sebastian Lletget, but Musah quietly connected the play and looked confident on the ball throughout his 73 minutes on the pitch.

Musah also got an assist in Sergino Dest’s opener, although the Barcelona winger will get most of the credit for his superb finish from outside the box.

In total, Musah competed for 92% of his passes that day while winning four duels and setting up two key midfield passes.

Now committed to the USMNT, Musah is expected to compete for a starting role in Berhalter’s midfielder, which also includes figures such as Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, both absent from the squad.

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