If anything, the USMNT should steal from Atlanta United, a team that is currently sweeping MLS off its feet with excitement, pure offense and goals left and right. How is Atlanta accomplishing such a thing? For one, they have the passing wisdom of Nagbe in the midfield, and he’s surrounded with offensive talent, not defensive, safe-playing, steady, boring players that keep games close.
If anything can be learned from Spain (2008-2012), it’s that offensive players (who would ordinarily be thought of as terrible individual defensive players) are perfect defenders because if they control the game with possession, then theoretically it’s always easy to retain the ball (because the opposing team, once they attain possession of the ball, is so overwhelmed with not previously having it, and they end up acting erratically, trying to do too much, forcing things, eventually turning the ball over).
Atlanta is also a team that is predominately under six feet tall. See my book Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet, as I explain that a tactic like this – using players under six feet tall, as opposed to taller players, over six feet tall – is beneficial for a team’s success in the modern era. As a result, Atlanta is not relying on an aerial attack, instead seeking to swarm its opponent with skillful interplay, which is always more advantageous in soccer (over the course of a season, or in an extended tournament like the World Cup).
I predict good things will be around the corner for the USMNT should they go this route.
From a US perspective, there is plenty of time to literally field a team that can win World Cup 2022. What's certain, many interesting games are soon to follow.