Newsletter: Christian Pulisic arrives in Milan; USMNT needs more than Matt Turner to beat Panama at the Gold Cup

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone! Ahead of us is the Gold Cup semifinals, which sees the US men’s national team take on Panama in San Diego before Jamaica and Mexico meet in Las Vegas before Sunday’s final in Inglewood. There is more important Stars and Stripes news as Christian Pulisic puts the finishing touches to his move to Milan from Chelsea with the transfer window rolling. As pre-season gathers momentum in Europe, the Women’s World Championship draws ever closer. I’m Jonathan Johnson, bringing you your midweek check-up with our Golazo Starting XI newsletter.

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πŸ“Ί Footy fix

All times US/East

Wednesday July 12th
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί UCL Qualifier: Farul vs Sheriff, 1:30 p.m. ➑️ Paramount+
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί UCL Qualifier: Slovan Bratislava vs Swift Hesperange, 2:30 p.m. ➑️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🌎 Gold Cup: USMNT vs. Panama, 7:30 p.m. ➑️ FS1
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ MLS: Nashville SC vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30 p.m. ➑️ AppleTV+
🌎 Gold Cup: Jamaica vs. Mexico, 10 p.m. ➑️ FS1

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί UECL Qualifier: Bruno’s Magpies vs Dundalk, 12pm ➑️ Paramount+
πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ Mexico: Santos Laguna vs Atlas, 9:05 p.m. ➑️ FOX Sports

⚽ The forward line

USMNT can’t count on Turner to save them against Panama

Getty Images

Matt Turner’s penalty shootout heroics helped the USMNT advance to the Gold Cup semifinals on Wednesday, but BJ Callaghan and his players know it will take more if they want to get past Panama and potentially win the whole thing later this week. However, the Arsenal goalkeeper could look forward to another busy spell this midweek if it boosts his chances of more minutes next season. The Gunners are gearing up for their first preseason test game this week, but Turner won’t go on vacation until the America’s Gold Cup run is over. With two games potentially remaining, this could be a chance for the 29-year-old to steal the spotlight. Here’s more of Pardeep referenced by Cattry in one of her first tracks as part of the CBS Soccer team.

  • Breed: “Turner’s reliability comes as no surprise given he’s one of the few first-team regulars to represent the U.S. at this year’s Gold Cup, but his importance to the USMNT is a stark reminder of what’s to come for so many American goalies next.” Season: A club situation that could affect his – and the team’s – potential. Turner is a USMNT standout despite his lack of playing time at Arsenal and his second season in England seems to be similar to his first. Only in cup competitions has he been preferred to first-choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who started just seven times last season. He could play even fewer games as the team trade last season’s Europa League spot for a Champions League spot.”

But the likes of Brandon Vazquez have plenty to offer too, having given the caretaker US coach plenty to think about ahead of the game against Panama, while the Stars and Stripes seek greater firepower against one of the tricky remaining teams. Gone are the uncomplicated group games where players like Jesus Ferreira scored the goals. Now, the USMNT will need more stamina going forward if they are realistically going to reach a possible final against Jamaica or Mexico. Our own Chuck Booth said so while watching it How Vazquez’s Stock Soared After Defeating Canada.

  • Sales stand: “Having scored his third goal in the Gold Cup game after coming on as a substitute, there’s a dangerous feeling that something is going to happen every time Vazquez comes into play. Always floating in the air, Vazquez alongside Jesus Ferreira seems like the optimal way to break up teams.” . With Ferreira starting every game so far and also playing 120 minutes against Canada, this could be an opportunity to end the game against Panama rather than start it so Callaghan can give his striker a break. The duo have a good understanding of playing together, something that can help create a real attacking rotation.”

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πŸ”— Midfield link game

Pulisic is looking for a fresh start in Italy

Elsewhere in the world of American football, USMNT captain Christian Pulisic will soon be unveiled as a Milan player as the 24-year-old prepares to leave Chelsea and the Premier League behind. The former Borussia Dortmund player hasn’t always reached the heights he’d hoped for since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2019, but he’s making the move to San Siro, where his best years are still far ahead, as part of a rebuilding of those Rossoneri- Team. Pulisic may not join Milan to be his immediate talisman alongside Rafael Leao in the squad, but the US international is a significant coup for the Serie A giants and will feature in a European top-five for the third time. As James Benge writes: Pulisic leaves Chelsea with good but not spectacular numbers while preparing for the next challenge.

  • bene: β€œHis expected goals (xG) per 90 was 0.34 per 90 minutes, a very solid number for a winger. When you factor his expected assists into the mix, it comes out to an xG contribution of 0.48 per 90. That’s good, as are they.” He offered a lot of attacks. The problem is that Chelsea want and can afford more than just a solid performance in front of goal and not much else (that’s the difference between the American and, say, Mason Mount).”

Pulisic has needed this move for some time and while it might have come a little sooner, it has not yet stagnated and remains a key component for the USMNT when they are at full strength. A fresh start in Italy after the sweeping changes made by new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will allow Pulisic to better fulfill his great potential and ultimately develop into one of Milan’s leading figures. Leao could fill his preferred spot on the left wing for now, but the Portuguese superstar could eventually move on despite his recent contract extension that would open the door for Pulisic’s long-term commitment.

Don’t miss out on more information on how Pulisic could fit into this AC Milan squad Matteo Bonetti talks all the details with the Morning Footy crew.

Now it’s time for some links:

πŸ”— Pardeep Cattry with Three questions facing the USMNT before the Gold Cup semifinals.
πŸ”— Chuck Booth on Inter Miami plan to announce superstar signing Lionel Messi this weekend.
πŸ”— James Benge next Al Hilal is preparing a mega money offer for Bernardo Silva of Manchester City.
πŸ”— And they have Aleksander Mitrovic has already made one but Fulham have rejected itreports Benge.
πŸ”— An update from me on the PSG summer transfer window Leonardo says Kylian Mbappe should leave.
πŸ”—Sandra Herrera with yours USWNT stock clock on the way to WWC.
πŸ”— Booth offers you Guide to Watch USMNT vs Panama.
πŸ”— Trinity Rodman advocates starting for the USWNT at the World Championshipswrites Cattry.
πŸ”— Are promotions and relegations coming to the US? The USL is considering this.
πŸ”— Is the United States Ready for the Lionel Messi experience?
πŸ”— A friendly reminder that Morning Footy is now available as a podcast.
πŸ”— In Soccer We Trust: Get your preview between USMNT and Canada.
πŸ”— Attacking Third: Impressions of beating Wales ahead of the upcoming World Cup.

πŸ’° The backline

πŸ’΅ Best bets

All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all US/Eastern times. SportsLine has everything you need for football betting right here.

  • Gold Cup: USMNT vs. Panama, Wednesday 7:30 p.m
    πŸ’° THE SELECTION: USMNT wins and both score (+300) – USA should be able to get this game over the finish line and secure a place in the finals, but Matt Turner could be busy again if BJ Callaghan’s side don’t improve after their leaky last game against Canada. Keeping the USMNT in the lead should be a safe bet, but it could also prove wise and the best way to score here if you’re betting on Panama to score.
  • Gold Cup: Jamaica vs. Mexico, Wednesday, 10 p.m
    πŸ’° THE SELECTION: Tie (+260) — The Reggae Boyz have had a decent Gold Cup season so far, narrowly beating USA in their opening game. Being unbeaten and conceding just two goals in the entire tournament, there’s a good chance they’ll be close against El Tri here. Don’t be surprised if this game goes past 90 – Mexico are far from unbeatable after losing to Qatar in the ups and downs until the semifinals.

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