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USMNT post-South Africa: In Bob We Trust (four more years!)


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#1 Billy R Ford


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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:41 PM

The road to Brazil 2014 starts with a loss to Brazil.

Final score USA 0-2 Brazil, Neymar header in the 28th minute and Alexandre Pato on a through ball in the 46th. Nothing shocking about this game: Brazil's central midfield overwhelmed Bradley and Edu, who couldn't connect passes to save their lives- neither could Bedoya or Feilhaber, for that matter, both of whom were disappointing. Bornstein and Spector were awful defending the wings. Omar Gonzalez was thrown into the fire for his first international appearance, looking a little slow but very physical marking the Brazilian forwards. Donovan, Edu, and Guzan played well, but that's pretty much it.

It would be a bit of a shame if this were Bradley's last game coaching the nats, but I don't see him coming back and the next game isn't until October 9th (vs Poland in New York). I'd like to see a foreign coach with some experience coaching top flight soccer, but the program won't have the money to pay for someone like that (Klinnsman is not walking through that door). Dominic Kinnear's name will be mentioned a lot


And on a note completely unrelated to the US, Neymar is absolutely filthy. I wouldn't say he dominated, but he showed off some amazing, very creative ball control skills and torched Bornstein in particular all night long. I can see why all of Brazil wanted him selected to the WC2010 roster. Jogo Bonito indeed.

Edited by Billy R Ford, 27 September 2010 - 02:45 PM.


#2 AusTexSoxFan

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:01 AM

Totally agree on Neymar. What a talent.

I thought Mo played well last night but yeah, after the first 10 minutes, Brazil decided to start trying and it was over after that.

Edson Buddle was turrrbull.

If I had to bet, I'd say that was the last game for Bob. I just get the sense from how the players are talking that his mind is made up.

#3 Titans Bastard


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:39 AM

Two friendlies coming up in October. Oct 9 vs. Poland in Chicago @Soldier Field. Oct 12 vs. Colombia in Philadelphia @PPL Park.

There are MLS games during this period, but they are FIFA dates so Bradley has full authority to call up whoever he wants. It'll be the late-season playoff stretch, though, so I think he'll avoid guys on contenders, especially because they'll be available all winter anyway. One notable exception is the LA Galaxy who won't have a game.

Also keep in mind that we are building towards the 2011 Gold Cup. This is an "important" Gold Cup because the winner goes to the 2013 Confederations Cup. So we need to be breaking in new talent, but at the same time we can't totally punt the old guard just yet because they might still be our best players next summer. It's a delicate balance.

So following those guidelines, here's who I'd bring.

GK
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg)

Howard is our undisputed #1 and gets a rest after a long summer. He's getting into his 30s now and doesn't need to be making every trans-Atlantic trip. Guzan has been the heir apparent for a while, but still needs to accomplish more at the club level to lock it down. There isn't a ton of competition, but one guy who I think has earned a look is Yelldell. He's been kicking around the 2.Bundesliga for years as one of the better players on bad teams. Now he's with a promotion contender at Duisburg and is starting.

RB
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Cherundolo remains our best right back, especially since Jonathan Spector has gone in the crapper over the last six months. Stevie is going strong and is finally captaining Hannover in his 13th(!!) season there. Franklin has been playing well for a while now and deserves a look.

Other guys to think about are Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) and Frank Simek (Carlisle United). Lichaj is a young guy who is just breaking into the first team. He's started a couple of games for Villa this season in cup competitions after looking very good on loan in the lower divisions last year. Simek is a bit older and is coming off of serious injury problems. Before he got hurt, he was hailed as the best RB in the Championship and was considered to be Premiership-bound. He's playing well at Carlisle, but it's League One so we'll need to wait to see if he truly has "it" back.

CB
Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-…tienne)
Jay DeMerit (unattached)
Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Onyewu sits this one out. He's just back in training now at Milan and has a mountain to climb if he wants PT there. He's better off completing his convalescence and fighting for a spot in the 18 at his club.

Outside of Onyewu, these are arguably our best defenders, as sad as that may be. Guys like Chad Marshall and Tim Ream will be busy in MLS. They'll get a shot at the January camp.

LB
Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)

Not many options here. Bocanegra can fill in at LB, but he's getting old and his lack of offensive ability isn't what we'll want against many CONCACAF opponents. Heath Pearce is playing well at Dallas, but at RB. Dallas is competing for the Supporters Shield, but I expect Pearce to re-join the fray in January.

Bornstein is moving to Tigres UANL this winter, btw. Should be interesting to see him south of the border.

MF
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04)
Maurice Edu (Rangers)
Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)
Alejandro Bedoya (÷rebro SK)
Benny Feilhaber (AGF)
DaMarcus Beasley (Hannover 96)

I'd like to give Dempsey and Bradley a rest, even though it probably won't happen. Bradley in particular has been playing non-stop soccer for years thanks to the 2007 U-20 World Cup, the 2007 Gold Cup, the 2008 Olympics, the 2009 Confederations Cup, and the 2010 World Cup.

Jermaine Jones is back and healthy and it's time to start integrating him into the team. A healthy Jones and Maurice Edu will push Ricardo Clark out of the picture for the time being. I'd like to see Holden get at least one start. I have high hopes for him.

Feilhaber, who plays LM for his club, has been tearing it up albeit at a low level. Bedoya has also been a standout player in the Swedish league this year and should be transferring to a bigger club soon.

Beasley is called in because we don't have many better options and he still has his uses. Brek Shea could be able to challenge him within a year or two.

FW
Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Herculez Gomez (Pachuca)
Justin Braun (Chivas USA)

There's hope for the future, but we'll have to prepare for stopgap options over the next two years. Our current U20 team is loaded with prospects at forward, but it will take some time for the best of them to reach NT level.

For now, we go with the WC group with Braun in for Findley. Braun is a decent, young MLS forward who is having a good season for a bad team. He doesn't need to be called in, but we don't have a lot of options unless you have a hankering for Eddie Johnson.

------------------Altidore---------------------
---Feilhaber---------Holden--------Donovan----
--------------Jones-------Edu------------------
---Bornstein---Bocanegra---Goodson---Dolo------
--------------------Guzan-----------------------


Bradley will have two big challenges this cycle.

The first is figuring out the future of our defense. A lot of new guys will have to be integrated by 2014 since Cherundolo, DeMerit, and Bocanegra are going to fall off a cliff at some point.

The second is finding the right formation for our personnel, which is long on midfielders and short on forwards. A 4-5-1 is an intriguing option that fits our player pool better than a 4-4-2.

#4 Snakebauer007


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:57 PM

Two friendlies coming up in October. Oct 9 vs. Poland in Chicago @Soldier Field. Oct 12 vs. Colombia in Philadelphia @PPL Park.

There are MLS games during this period, but they are FIFA dates so Bradley has full authority to call up whoever he wants. It'll be the late-season playoff stretch, though, so I think he'll avoid guys on contenders, especially because they'll be available all winter anyway. One notable exception is the LA Galaxy who won't have a game.

Also keep in mind that we are building towards the 2011 Gold Cup. This is an "important" Gold Cup because the winner goes to the 2013 Confederations Cup. So we need to be breaking in new talent, but at the same time we can't totally punt the old guard just yet because they might still be our best players next summer. It's a delicate balance.

So following those guidelines, here's who I'd bring.

GK
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg)

Howard is our undisputed #1 and gets a rest after a long summer. He's getting into his 30s now and doesn't need to be making every trans-Atlantic trip. Guzan has been the heir apparent for a while, but still needs to accomplish more at the club level to lock it down. There isn't a ton of competition, but one guy who I think has earned a look is Yelldell. He's been kicking around the 2.Bundesliga for years as one of the better players on bad teams. Now he's with a promotion contender at Duisburg and is starting.

RB
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Cherundolo remains our best right back, especially since Jonathan Spector has gone in the crapper over the last six months. Stevie is going strong and is finally captaining Hannover in his 13th(!!) season there. Franklin has been playing well for a while now and deserves a look.

Other guys to think about are Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) and Frank Simek (Carlisle United). Lichaj is a young guy who is just breaking into the first team. He's started a couple of games for Villa this season in cup competitions after looking very good on loan in the lower divisions last year. Simek is a bit older and is coming off of serious injury problems. Before he got hurt, he was hailed as the best RB in the Championship and was considered to be Premiership-bound. He's playing well at Carlisle, but it's League One so we'll need to wait to see if he truly has "it" back.

CB
Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-…tienne)
Jay DeMerit (unattached)
Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Onyewu sits this one out. He's just back in training now at Milan and has a mountain to climb if he wants PT there. He's better off completing his convalescence and fighting for a spot in the 18 at his club.

Outside of Onyewu, these are arguably our best defenders, as sad as that may be. Guys like Chad Marshall and Tim Ream will be busy in MLS. They'll get a shot at the January camp.

LB
Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)

Not many options here. Bocanegra can fill in at LB, but he's getting old and his lack of offensive ability isn't what we'll want against many CONCACAF opponents. Heath Pearce is playing well at Dallas, but at RB. Dallas is competing for the Supporters Shield, but I expect Pearce to re-join the fray in January.

Bornstein is moving to Tigres UANL this winter, btw. Should be interesting to see him south of the border.

MF
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04)
Maurice Edu (Rangers)
Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)
Alejandro Bedoya (÷rebro SK)
Benny Feilhaber (AGF)
DaMarcus Beasley (Hannover 96)

I'd like to give Dempsey and Bradley a rest, even though it probably won't happen. Bradley in particular has been playing non-stop soccer for years thanks to the 2007 U-20 World Cup, the 2007 Gold Cup, the 2008 Olympics, the 2009 Confederations Cup, and the 2010 World Cup.

Jermaine Jones is back and healthy and it's time to start integrating him into the team. A healthy Jones and Maurice Edu will push Ricardo Clark out of the picture for the time being. I'd like to see Holden get at least one start. I have high hopes for him.

Feilhaber, who plays LM for his club, has been tearing it up albeit at a low level. Bedoya has also been a standout player in the Swedish league this year and should be transferring to a bigger club soon.

Beasley is called in because we don't have many better options and he still has his uses. Brek Shea could be able to challenge him within a year or two.

FW
Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Herculez Gomez (Pachuca)
Justin Braun (Chivas USA)

There's hope for the future, but we'll have to prepare for stopgap options over the next two years. Our current U20 team is loaded with prospects at forward, but it will take some time for the best of them to reach NT level.

For now, we go with the WC group with Braun in for Findley. Braun is a decent, young MLS forward who is having a good season for a bad team. He doesn't need to be called in, but we don't have a lot of options unless you have a hankering for Eddie Johnson.

------------------Altidore---------------------
---Feilhaber---------Holden--------Donovan----
--------------Jones-------Edu------------------
---Bornstein---Bocanegra---Goodson---Dolo------
--------------------Guzan-----------------------


Bradley will have two big challenges this cycle.

The first is figuring out the future of our defense. A lot of new guys will have to be integrated by 2014 since Cherundolo, DeMerit, and Bocanegra are going to fall off a cliff at some point.

The second is finding the right formation for our personnel, which is long on midfielders and short on forwards. A 4-5-1 is an intriguing option that fits our player pool better than a 4-4-2.


Really in depth post, just like your one about our youth setup improving in the other thread. Not sure how I feel about Jones and Edu together, seem to be like for like, and really defensive, would rather see Feilhaber with one or the other and Holden outside(I'd rather have Donovan in behind a striker than Holden). Not sure what our best formation is, as to me, Dempsey always plays better in a forward role, but for the USMNT he's asked a lot of the time to play out of position. Depends on who is available though, Maybe 3 centermids and 3 forwards, depending on who is available.

#5 Titans Bastard


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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:47 PM

Grant Wahl on the proposed new CONCACAF qualifying format.


Short version which sums up my thoughts entirely:




It blows.

#6 Titans Bastard


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Posted 30 September 2010 - 11:19 PM

Roster for the Poland and Colombia friendlies is up.

GK
Tim Howard (Everton, England)
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England)

DF
Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-…tienne, France)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany)
Clarence Goodson (IK Start, Norway)
Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa, England)
Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan, Italy)
Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjślland, Denmark)
Heath Pearce (FC Dallas)
Jonathan Spector (West Ham United, England)

MF
Alejandro Bedoya (÷rebro SK, Sweden)
Michael Bradley (Borussia MŲnchengladbach, Germany)
Maurice Edu (Rangers, Scotland)
Benny Feilhaber (AGF, Denmark)
Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers, England)
Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04, Germany)
Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

FW
Jozy Altidore (Villarreal, Spain)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England)
Eddie Johnson (Fulham, England)


Interesting roster. I'll looking forward to seeing Jermaine Jones integrate into the team and to see Stuart Holden play a bigger role. Bradley is also potentially giving a first cap to right back Eric Lichaj, who has made a couple of starts for Villa this year, and to Brek Shea, a physically-imposing left-sided midfielder who is one of our better prospects.

Some "old friends" being brought back in the form of Parkhurst, Pearce, and Johnson. Heath Pearce is actually having quite a good season down in Dallas, albeit at RB. Parkhurst is chugging along for a mediocre team in Denmark and I can only imagine he is still as fringy as ever at the NT level. Since Jay DeMerit wasn't called in for whatever reason, we don't have all that many non-MLS options so why not, I suppose. Eddie Johnson is actually getting some playing time for Fulham and now that Bobby Zamora is hurt he's poised to play even more. Go figure.

#7 dwightinright

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 09:17 PM

Charlie Davies can't drive 125....wait, yes he can.

A French newspaper is reporting that American forward Charlie Davies, who nearly died in a car crash last year, was caught speeding at 125 miles per hour last weekend.


Edited by dwightinright, 08 October 2010 - 09:18 PM.


#8 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:34 AM

Charlie Davies can't drive 125....wait, yes he can.

What a dope. If I was one of his parents I would fly to France and kill him.

#9 BigRed07

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 06:34 PM

Lineup per twitter. I like it.

ussoccer #USMNT lineup tonight is a 4-2-3-1: Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Edu, Bocanegra ©; Jones, Bradley; Holden, Dempsey, Feilhaber; Altidore...


EDIT: very nice lob from jones over the Polish defense to altidore

Edited by BigRed07, 09 October 2010 - 07:21 PM.


#10 Billy R Ford


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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:40 PM

I thought they were good going forward (except finishing) against Poland but poor on defense.

Jozy finally scored, but blew a few other chances he could have had. Same old story there. Dempsey was his usual solid self, he occasionally dropped back to make it more of a 4-4-1-1 and brought much creativity.

In the midfield, Jermaine Jones made his much-anticipated debut and played well. He had that great assist BigRed mentioned, and distributed the ball fairly well. Solid on D, and he may have even outworked Bradley, which is tough to do. On Michael Bradley, not his best game. Fine defensively, and the work rate was obviously there, but his passing was poor. Stuart Holden was the opposite- everything moved through him on the attack, great passing, solid corner kicks, the works. But he made a few blunders on defense, one of which led to Poland's first goal. Feilhaber was invisible. Is it just me, or does Feilhaber play like crap every time he starts, and shines coming off the bench? I'm thinking all the way back to last year, when he lost his starting spot during the Confederations Cup, but then became B. Bradley's first choice for an attacking mid off the bench. Then this year he played poorly enough in the pre-World Cup friendlies to lose the starting spot again, only to be one of the best Americans at the Cup itself. He's playing great as a starter in Denmark, but he can't seem to do that for the MNT. Bedoya didn't have much of an impact as a sub.

The defense- Boca and Dolo were mediocre on the outside, neither got up very much (Dolo more so than Bocanegra). Onyewu looked a little better than he did at the WC, but his distribution from the back is still poor. His goal is encouraging because it was on a jumping header, contrast it with June when he could barely jump at all. Edu isn't as good as a CB as he is in the midfield, but played decently.

Finally, what was with the lack of subs? Only one for a friendly was odd.

Edited by Billy R Ford, 09 October 2010 - 09:40 PM.


#11 dwightinright

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:01 PM

What a dope. If I was one of his parents I would fly to France and kill him.


Supposedly now he says, and the other guy says as well, that he wasn't driving, but switched seats to protect a teammate.

He said it would be stupid to drive that fast after what happened to him. But I guess it's cool to drive with a teammate that apparently will do it.

#12 rguilmar

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 06:06 PM

Supposedly now he says, and the other guy says as well, that he wasn't driving, but switched seats to protect a teammate.

He said it would be stupid to drive that fast after what happened to him. But I guess it's cool to drive with a teammate that apparently will do it.


I was horrified when I first read the report, but it does look like he was covering for his buddy Jacques Faty. Faty says that this was the case and plans on going to the police to clear everything up. Still a stupid decision by Charlie though.

As far as the game went, I've been more and more impressed by the attacking play of Holden. I used to be really down on him, but his play with Bolton has been really solid so far. When Holden touches the ball, Bolton look really, really good. When he doesn't, they look much worse. He seemed to bring that to the Nats last night. Admittedly, his defensive blunders hurt though. But I've done a complete 180 on him over the last few months.

The defense looked pretty bad, especially in the first half, but it was nice to see Gooch actually jumping. Not just on the goal, but on other headers as well. His distribution is still poor though.

I assume we get to see Lichaj against Colombia...

#13 BigRed07

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:25 PM

Tonight Bob has put out a 4-3-3 with: Guzan; Spector, Onyewu, Goodson, Pearce; Holden, Bradley, Edu, Jones, Shea; Altidore, though it might be called something else because Shea would need to be fast/skilled to make this a 4-3-3, I think. I think with the Bradley/Jones/Edu combo that he's going for a "get my best players on the field" approach to see how they do, but the middle of the field does seem pretty clogged up. It would be great to see how these guys would operate with Donovan on the field, they don't have much attacking force right now. Oh yeah, 0-0 at the half.

Edited by BigRed07, 14 October 2010 - 09:47 AM.


#14 Billy R Ford


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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:22 PM

Tonight Bob has put out a 4-3-3 with: <span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content">Guzan; Spector, Onyewu, Goodson, Pearce; Holden, Bradley, Edu, Jones, Shea; Altidore, though it might be called something else because Shea would need to be fast/skilled to make this a 4-3-3, I think.&nbsp; I think with the Bradley/Jones/Edu combo that he's going for a "get my best players on the field" approach to see how they do, but the middle of the field does seem pretty clogged up.&nbsp; It would be great to see how these guys would operate with Donovan on the field, they don't have much attacking force right now.<br><br>Oh yeah, 0-0 at the half.<br></span></span>


Couldn't agree more re: the bolded, Edu, Jones, and Bradley all seemed to want to occupy the same space. The shift back to the 4-4-2 at the half helped a lot (as did subbing out Shea, who was dreadful), but the play was still pretty uninspiring.

On the bright side, Lichaj and Pearce both played well at fullback.

#15 Titans Bastard


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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:16 AM

The lineup against Colombia was definitely NOT a 4-3-3. There was never anybody near Jozy. It also hurt that Brek Shea was horrible in his debut -- panicky and nervous, too many backpasses, bad positioning. The kid is a good prospect, he's not ready. Check back after the Olympics, I say.


Agreed that Lichaj looked promising. I hope he continues to progress at Villa. Cherundolo at RB is fine for now, but a 35-year-old version of him is terrifying. As is the current out-of-form Jonathan Spector. Steve will have to be phased out and it's heartening to know that we have options (and not just Lichaj).

#16 twothousandone

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:26 AM

Please forgive a question from complete ignorance, but at 21, can Altidore get better? Can he get a lot better? He seems strong enough that he should be able to stay on the ball. Is his problem getting shots off or putting them in? Can his weakness be corrected?

I'm trying to understand why his skill can't be improved, while at the same time looking at Patrick Kane (same age, different sport) who doesn't have the altheticism, but knows how to score. But Kane is also getting better. His Altidore's likely upside better than what he currently displays, but realisticly not enough to ever be an elite scorer?

#17 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:54 AM

Please forgive a question from complete ignorance, but at 21, can Altidore get better? Can he get a lot better? He seems strong enough that he should be able to stay on the ball. Is his problem getting shots off or putting them in? Can his weakness be corrected?

I'm trying to understand why his skill can't be improved, while at the same time looking at Patrick Kane (same age, different sport) who doesn't have the altheticism, but knows how to score. But Kane is also getting better. His Altidore's likely upside better than what he currently displays, but realisticly not enough to ever be an elite scorer?


Right now when I think of Jozy I think of the England game and his beastly run up the left side, controlling the ball and holding off the defender to get a point blank shot which he failed to convert. I think he will become a very good scorer for the NT. Elite? Probably not, but the team could really use 'very good.' The U.S. haven't had many guys who can create their own scoring opportunities.

Someone that young can always get better. Donovan was 20 when he was named Best Young Player of the '02 Cup, but a lot of people would say he didn't really blossom until 2010.

#18 twothousandone

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:04 PM

Right now when I think of Jozy I think of the England game and his beastly run up the left side, controlling the ball and holding off the defender to get a point blank shot which he failed to convert.

That's exactly what I was thinking of -- additionally, Sid in the Olympics and Kane in the Stanley Cup finals each came in from the goalies right, but they found the net. Do they just have "it" and Altidore doesn't? And to not be on a par with Crosby and Kane is no tragedy.

#19 teddykgb

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 03:47 PM

It's really hard to compare soccer players with players of another sport, probably impossible. But if anything, a striker is probably a lot more like a WR in football than a hockey player. They are so dependent on many factors like the service they get, the defenders positioning, etc, that it's really about converting when you get a chance, which has been Altidore's struggle all along. He's probably not going to get great service, so he has to learn to make the best of what service he gets. Which is why moves like his turn against Spain and a few of the individual efforts displayed in the run up to the World Cup are so tantalizing, because he shows that ability to make something from a little bit more than nothing from time to time, but he'd need to do it consistently to make it truly valuable for us. He just may not have it. Dempsey would be a good example of a guy who seems to be able to have that "something" ability to turns his chances into goals, if Altidore can get on a run like that with his toolset, he'd really be a great player. It's probably just a lot to ask to compare him to a hockey player who can carry the ball/puck through defenders and put one in the net. Altidore is always going to need others to get him the ball in the right spots, and then he's got to be able to bury it.

#20 Snakebauer007


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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:41 PM

It's really hard to compare soccer players with players of another sport, probably impossible. But if anything, a striker is probably a lot more like a WR in football than a hockey player. They are so dependent on many factors like the service they get, the defenders positioning, etc, that it's really about converting when you get a chance, which has been Altidore's struggle all along. He's probably not going to get great service, so he has to learn to make the best of what service he gets. Which is why moves like his turn against Spain and a few of the individual efforts displayed in the run up to the World Cup are so tantalizing, because he shows that ability to make something from a little bit more than nothing from time to time, but he'd need to do it consistently to make it truly valuable for us. He just may not have it. Dempsey would be a good example of a guy who seems to be able to have that "something" ability to turns his chances into goals, if Altidore can get on a run like that with his toolset, he'd really be a great player. It's probably just a lot to ask to compare him to a hockey player who can carry the ball/puck through defenders and put one in the net. Altidore is always going to need others to get him the ball in the right spots, and then he's got to be able to bury it.


If Davies comes back at some point, at full strength, do we consider that the best lineup maybe Davies and Dempsey up top and not Jozy. Big ifs of course.

#21 Titans Bastard


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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:05 PM

We forgot to talk about the last friendly in South Africa where a young & makeshift US team surprisingly won 1-0.

Given the youth of the team and the fact that almost everybody was well down the depth chart, the result was immaterial but it was nice to see the guys acquit themselves well.

The good news to take away from it all is that there are some promising players on the horizon at key positions. Eric Lichaj looked pretty decent at RB and he just made his first EPL start for Aston Villa last weekend. Cherundolo is still solid but he'll be 35 in 2014 and that means that we'll almost certain need a replacement. Lichaj isn't the only candidate, but it's nice to see somebody making a case for himself.

At forward, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo showed well. Bunbury played for Canada's U-20 team but has spent most of his life in the US and recently switched allegiances. He's still 20 and had a decent rookie season in MLS after leaving Akron early. He's still somewhat raw, but it won't take a whole lot to displace Robbie Findley on the depth chart. I'd expect to see a lot of him in the short-term and medium-term given our death of options up top.

Juan Agudelo was one of the most surprising call-ups since he's barely played professionally. He signed with New York before the season as an academy player and spent most of the season on the bench behind Angel and Henry, but at the bitter end of the season emerged as an impact sub, before injuries compelled Bakke to start him in both playoff games. He looked good, he's a former U-17 team player and he's an integral part of the current U-20 team. He ended up scoring the winning goal down in South Africa, which was exciting to see. Given his youth we'll have to rein in immediate expectations a little bit but he has been progressing very quickly and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up skipping the U-20 World Cup next summer to play with the senior team at the Gold Cup.

I thought Mikkel Diskerud looked like a promising attacking midfielder during his brief substitute appearance as well. He's not somebody who is going to immediately be a big player for the NT, but I think we'll see him work his way into the program over this cycle.

Alejandro Bedoya is a solid depth player. I'm not sure that he'll ever be more than that, but it's nice to have guys like him around in a pinch. I'm hoping that he'll kick his game up a notch when he moves to a more challenging league than Sweden.



The January camp roster list should be announced soon. As always, this will consist of about 30 players from MLS and European spring-fall leagues like those in Scandinavia and Russia. This year's camp will probably skew towards the younger side since it is the beginning of the cycle. IMO, the most pressing concern at this camp will be the evaluation of our central defenders. We've got a bunch of decent-looking guys in MLS, but none jump out as can't-miss prospects. We have enough of them -- Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, George John, Ike Opara, et al -- that I hope somebody will step up. But with DeMerit and Bocanegra aging and Onyewu on uncertain ground, we desperately need to find some depth.

#22 Titans Bastard


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Posted 21 December 2010 - 02:36 PM

The Camp Cupcake roster is out. For those who don't know, every year the US national team holds an extended camp in January. Since most European players are busy with their clubs, it is a camp full of MLS players and a handful of players from winter leagues in Scandinavia, generally geared towards younger up-and-coming guys.

This year's camp is especially young and inexperienced, though.

GK: Dominic Cervi (Dundee/SCO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Rimando and Pickens are solid MLS keepers. Kevin Hartman was probably had the best season in 2010, but he has knee troubles and he's ancient. Johnson became the Fire's starter halfway through the season and impressed. He was on the 2009 U-20 team and at 21 is quite young for a starter. At the moment would have to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Olympic team (U-23). Cervi seems to be a favorite son of the USSF. He's on the books at Celtic, where he's the overlooked 3rd keeper, currently on loan with Dundee. He has some physical tools but he's never had a chance to play.

DF: A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Ugo Ihemelu (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Ryan Miller (Halmstads BK/SWE), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids), Marvell Wynne (Colorado Rapids)

Gonzalez, Ihemelu, Ream, and Wynne will be competing for spots in central defense. Ream has unusually good ball skills for an American CB, but isn't the quickest and can get turned a little too easily (though he got better during the year). Gonzalez is a giant, but needs to prove that he can be effective despite lacking speed. Wynne and Ihemelu are athletic freaks who have had their moments -- Wynne has been converted to CB by Colorado where he played better than he did as an RB.

Franklin is an obvious choice at RB. He'll be one of several guys competing with Eric Lichaj to be the heir apparent to Steve Cherundolo. His competition this camp will probably be Zach Loyd, who was a surprising pick. He was a rookie at Dallas who did well as a part-time starter, but nobody expected him to be called in by the NT at this point.

DeLaGarza, Wallace, and Miller all have experience playing LB. Wallace has historically been the most celebrated of the bunch, having made the 2007 U-20 WC team and the 2009 team as well (though he dropped out due to injury). He was buried at Dallas, but became a starter instantly after being traded to Colorado, where he won an MLS Cup. He's still only 21 and given our lack of options at LB he's worth keeping an eye on. DeLaGarza has had his moments in MLS, but I don't think he'll succeed at the international level, but stranger things have happened. Miller is kind of a headscratcher. Nobody has seen him play because he's been with a small Swedish club. Who knows.

George John and Ike Opara (young CBs) definitely deserve to be here, but both have injury issues.

MF: Eric Alexander (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (÷rebro SK/SWE), Sam Cronin (San Jose Earthquakes), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabśk/NOR), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Dax McCarty (DC United), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

Bedoya has more caps than anyone else in camp with....6. Still, it's a solid group considering so many of our top midfielders are in European leagues who are in midseason. McCarty and Larentowicz are two of the league's better central midfielders and Cronin is solid too. Bedoya is shaping up to be a decent fringe player for the Nats and Shea is highly-regarded, though somewhat frustrating prospect. He's a physical specimen who shows flashes but can disappear from games. He actually played CB on a recent friendly tour of Spain and drew interest from Atletico Madrid....so a position change is definitely worth considering. For now, he's a left midfielder.

Diskerud is the second youngest player on the roster. He got his first cap in South Africa in November and had a very nice assist in a short sub appearance. He's got a lot of talent as an attacking midfielder and I think we are going to be very thankful that we somehow lured him away from Norway.

The surprising choice here is Eric Alexander. Like Zach Loyd, he's another Dallas rookie who looked quite good, but who wasn't a regular starter. Now Dallas is a very deep team, but still. I guess Bradley was taken with his performances.

FW: Juan Agudelo, Justin Braun, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski

With Buddle trialing in England and possibly signing soon, these are our best available forwards. Bunbury is young and promising and Agudelo is younger and even more promising. Agudelo has only a handful of pro appearances, but he clearly has "it" and is being fast-tracked. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he skips the U-20 WC to play on the Gold Cup team this summer.

Braun had a good year in MLS and Wondolowski obviously had an epic breakout season, winning the Golden Boot. I'm not sure either guy has the ability to excel at the international level, but they deserve a shot to make their case.

#23 Seen The Light

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

Maybe it's just me, but I'm excited to watch the kids tonight (even if I'm going to have to watch in Spanish). With Davies and Altidore not being able to find the pitch with their respective squads, it's not like we have any true front-line, in form strikers anyway. If Bunbury or Agudelo or Diskerud (as an attacking MF) could show me something, I'd feel a lot better about our prospects moving forward. I know we're playing Chile's young kids too, but that one flash of creativity from Diskerud against S.A. was something I haven't seen from an American in a while (if ever). Plus, if Ream and/or Gonzalez look solid, perhaps we can get Bornstein off the USMNT permanently.

Also - Is there any other country in the world that wouldn't be nationally televising a National Team friendly, even if it's the "B" team playing?

Edited by Seen The Light, 22 January 2011 - 03:30 PM.


#24 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:09 AM

Also - Is there any other country in the world that wouldn't be nationally televising a National Team friendly, even if it's the "B" team playing?

England didn't broadcast one of their World Cup qualifiers in 2009. Granted, it was mostly because of the Setanta collapse and after they had already clinched the top spot in the qualifying group, but it was still surprising they couldn't figure out a way. It ended up being a pay-per-view internet-only broadcast

#25 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:59 PM

England didn't broadcast one of their World Cup qualifiers in 2009. Granted, it was mostly because of the Setanta collapse and after they had already clinched the top spot in the qualifying group, but it was still surprising they couldn't figure out a way. It ended up being a pay-per-view internet-only broadcast

IIRC, it was because the Ukranian rights holder wanted way too much money for the rights.

#26 Titans Bastard


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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:31 PM

Friendly against Egypt in Cairo coming up on February 9th. This one should see mostly A-team players, although I think Bradley will continue to look at some fringier players in preparation for the Gold Cup.

There's a chance that this one will be cancelled due to civil unrest, though.

#27 Billy R Ford


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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:14 PM

Friendly against Egypt in Cairo coming up on February 9th. This one should see mostly A-team players, although I think Bradley will continue to look at some fringier players in preparation for the Gold Cup.

There's a chance that this one will be cancelled due to civil unrest, though.


Sure enough, officially canceled. Next match is March 26th against Argentina.

#28 Pxer

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:04 PM

Sure enough, officially canceled. Next match is March 26th against Argentina.



Give Hoyos the call. [/weeping]

#29 EEIcaller

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:09 PM

Teal Bubury put in his one time FIFA switch per YA. So he should be available for the Gold Cup

#30 EEIcaller

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:17 PM

We forgot to talk about the last friendly in South Africa where a young & makeshift US team surprisingly won 1-0.

Given the youth of the team and the fact that almost everybody was well down the depth chart, the result was immaterial but it was nice to see the guys acquit themselves well.

The good news to take away from it all is that there are some promising players on the horizon at key positions. Eric Lichaj looked pretty decent at RB and he just made his first EPL start for Aston Villa last weekend. Cherundolo is still solid but he'll be 35 in 2014 and that means that we'll almost certain need a replacement. Lichaj isn't the only candidate, but it's nice to see somebody making a case for himself.

At forward, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo showed well. Bunbury played for Canada's U-20 team but has spent most of his life in the US and recently switched allegiances. He's still 20 and had a decent rookie season in MLS after leaving Akron early. He's still somewhat raw, but it won't take a whole lot to displace Robbie Findley on the depth chart. I'd expect to see a lot of him in the short-term and medium-term given our death of options up top.

Juan Agudelo was one of the most surprising call-ups since he's barely played professionally. He signed with New York before the season as an academy player and spent most of the season on the bench behind Angel and Henry, but at the bitter end of the season emerged as an impact sub, before injuries compelled Bakke to start him in both playoff games. He looked good, he's a former U-17 team player and he's an integral part of the current U-20 team. He ended up scoring the winning goal down in South Africa, which was exciting to see. Given his youth we'll have to rein in immediate expectations a little bit but he has been progressing very quickly and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up skipping the U-20 World Cup next summer to play with the senior team at the Gold Cup.

I thought Mikkel Diskerud looked like a promising attacking midfielder during his brief substitute appearance as well. He's not somebody who is going to immediately be a big player for the NT, but I think we'll see him work his way into the program over this cycle.

Alejandro Bedoya is a solid depth player. I'm not sure that he'll ever be more than that, but it's nice to have guys like him around in a pinch. I'm hoping that he'll kick his game up a notch when he moves to a more challenging league than Sweden.



The January camp roster list should be announced soon. As always, this will consist of about 30 players from MLS and European spring-fall leagues like those in Scandinavia and Russia. This year's camp will probably skew towards the younger side since it is the beginning of the cycle. IMO, the most pressing concern at this camp will be the evaluation of our central defenders. We've got a bunch of decent-looking guys in MLS, but none jump out as can't-miss prospects. We have enough of them -- Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, George John, Ike Opara, et al -- that I hope somebody will step up. But with DeMerit and Bocanegra aging and Onyewu on uncertain ground, we desperately need to find some depth.



Speakinf of Licaj it looks like he will have some competetion form Timmothy Chandler a 20 year old Dual Citizen in Germany. He's getting 1st team playing for Nurberg in the BL.

As good as Agudelo has looked so far don't for get Bobby Wood. They are the same age but Wood his turning a lot of heads in Germany and may soon be a starting striker.

Mix is one of my favorites but he is in a difficult situation he has the like's of Holden, Clint and Bradley already ahead of him and has Lletget and Moises Orozco coming up behind him.

#31 Titans Bastard


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:49 AM

Give Hoyos the call. [/weeping]


Hoyos has cast his lot in with Argentina for the time being. He's with their U-20 team right now in the South American U-20 championship.

The only thing we can do at this point is check back in a few years. It's not exactly easy to break into Argentina's senior team and if Hoyos falls a little short, he may consider a US offer. At this point, he is provisionally cap-tied to Argentina, so playing for the US would necessitate a one-time-only permanent switch.

For now, we have plenty of talent on our U-20 team and personally, I don't dwell on Hoyos much at all. We win far more often than we lose.

Speakinf of Licaj it looks like he will have some competetion form Timmothy Chandler a 20 year old Dual Citizen in Germany. He's getting 1st team playing for Nurberg in the BL.

As good as Agudelo has looked so far don't for get Bobby Wood. They are the same age but Wood his turning a lot of heads in Germany and may soon be a starting striker.

Mix is one of my favorites but he is in a difficult situation he has the like's of Holden, Clint and Bradley already ahead of him and has Lletget and Moises Orozco coming up behind him.


Yes, Nuernberg does seem to like Chandler and the club's been giving him substitute minutes since the winter break, which is somewhat unusual for a defender. He's said that he'd play for the US, although, interestingly, he doesn't speak a lick of English. There's a wide-open competition for an RB spot right now behind Cherundolo. And somebody is going to take Cherundolo's spot by 2014.

I agree with you on Wood. I haven't seen him play, but everybody who has raves about him and his career trajectory backs up those reviews. Hopefully with all these young forwards we'll have several options by the end of the cycle.

Diskerud does have a tough play to playing time, but more competition is good. The 2012 Olympics could be his chance to shine and launch his senior NT career in earnest.

#32 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:12 AM

I'm sure he speaks some English, just not enough to be comfortable. The Germans are usually pretty good about teaching languages. That said, it's always kinda funny to hear guys like Chandler, or Jermaine Jones, or early Tom Dooley who have really American names struggle with English.

Also, I freakin' hate people at YA sometimes. Chandler is a native born American citizen, you clowns, stop whining about him being German. If it wasn't for players who grew up outside the US, US soccer would still be in caveman mode.

#33 Titans Bastard


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:26 AM

I'm sure he speaks some English, just not enough to be comfortable. The Germans are usually pretty good about teaching languages. That said, it's always kinda funny to hear guys like Chandler, or Jermaine Jones, or early Tom Dooley who have really American names struggle with English.


No, Chandler actually speaks zero English.

Also, I freakin' hate people at YA sometimes. Chandler is a native born American citizen, you clowns, stop whining about him being German. If it wasn't for players who grew up outside the US, US soccer would still be in caveman mode.


Who is whining about his German-ness? I'm happy to take all comers.

BTW, your last statement isn't true at all. The only players on the 2010 WC roster who weren't born in the US were Stuart Holden and Benny Feilhaber. Holden moved here when he was 10. Feilhaber moved to the US when he was 6.

There have been other ones in the past like Earnie Stewart, Tom Dooley, David Regis, Carlos Llamosa. The vast majority of USMNT players have grown up in the US, though.

If you said, "if it weren't for players who are second-generation immigrants, US soccer would still be in caveman mode", then I'd be inclined to agree with you.

#34 EEIcaller

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

Jermaine Jones speaks English like Manny Rameriz speaks English..really well when he wants to and sometimes he acts as if he doesn't speak a word.

#35 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:16 AM

No, Chandler actually speaks zero English.



Who is whining about his German-ness? I'm happy to take all comers.

BTW, your last statement isn't true at all. The only players on the 2010 WC roster who weren't born in the US were Stuart Holden and Benny Feilhaber. Holden moved here when he was 10. Feilhaber moved to the US when he was 6.

There have been other ones in the past like Earnie Stewart, Tom Dooley, David Regis, Carlos Llamosa. The vast majority of USMNT players have grown up in the US, though.

If you said, "if it weren't for players who are second-generation immigrants, US soccer would still be in caveman mode", then I'd be inclined to agree with you.

Check out the comments section on YA.

Also, if it wasn't for Tom Dooley, Roy Wegerle, Fernando Clavijo and Tab Ramos, we probably would have crashed out in the first round in 94, which would have set us back years.

That's not including Janusz Michalik, Preki, and Hugo Perez among others.

#36 Titans Bastard


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:56 AM

Check out the comments section on YA.

Also, if it wasn't for Tom Dooley, Roy Wegerle, Fernando Clavijo and Tab Ramos, we probably would have crashed out in the first round in 94, which would have set us back years.

That's not including Janusz Michalik, Preki, and Hugo Perez among others.


Certainly, there have been a number of foreign-raised players over the years and some in that group have been key players. Still, in the grand scheme of things they've been a small minority.

Caveman mode? Come on, now.

#37 Snakebauer007


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:03 AM

"Gold Jacket, green Jacket, who gives a shit?"


Is there anyway our strongest lineup right now isn't Bradley, Jones, and Holden on the field together?

#38 Seen The Light

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:08 PM

"Gold Jacket, green Jacket, who gives a shit?"

Is there anyway our strongest lineup right now isn't Bradley, Jones, and Holden on the field together?


Why the love for Jones? I haven't seen enough to lead me to believe he's a necessary piece. I think if anything, Dempsey has proven himself far more indispensible at this point.

#39 Snakebauer007


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:26 PM

Why the love for Jones? I haven't seen enough to lead me to believe he's a necessary piece. I think if anything, Dempsey has proven himself far more indispensible at this point.


They play completely different positions. Jones clearly has the best all around game of the CMs, and is starting regularly/playing well for Blackburn.

#40 Blundatola

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:54 PM

They play completely different positions. Jones clearly has the best all around game of the CMs, and is starting regularly/playing well for Blackburn.


I think saying he's starting regularly/playing well for Blackburn is overstating it a bit given he's only made two appearances so far. I didn't see the WBA or Tottenham matches, but it does seem he acquitted himself well in those matches (moreso against WBA, though that's to be expected). For what it's worth, here's what the goal.com player ratings say about him for those matches:

WBA:

Keen to impress on his debut and was full of energy throughout the match in a holding role in midfield. Won some important tackles and marshalled Morrison well. A good solid home debut from the American without making an outstanding contribution he was comfortable on the ball and kept things simple from his deep role.


Spurs:

Was sloppy in possession from the off and failed to gain a foothold in the game in the face of a high tempo Tottenham midfield. Gave away a number of fouls to break up Spurs' counter attacks but was somewhat effective in limiting the visitors' threat. Messy but he did a job.


I like Jermaine, though. I got to see him in action at the U.S. - Poland friendly and he looked pretty good.

#41 Snakebauer007


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:58 PM

I think saying he's starting regularly/playing well for Blackburn is overstating it a bit given he's only made two appearances so far. I didn't see the WBA or Tottenham matches, but it does seem he acquitted himself well in those matches (moreso against WBA, though that's to be expected). For what it's worth, here's what the goal.com player ratings say about him for those matches:

WBA:


Spurs:


I like Jermaine, though. I got to see him in action at the U.S. - Poland friendly and he looked pretty good.


Goal.com never worth much. he had a chance to play league matches and started both. small sample size, but 100% start rate, lol. I saw the WBA match, he played very well, only saw half of the Spurs one, so can't really comment there. Has Bradley played yet for Villa?

#42 Blundatola

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 02:13 PM

No, Bradley wasn't named to the bench against Fulham. He'll probably get a run against Blackpool this weekend, though.

#43 BigRed07

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:39 PM

I think it's easy to picture an optimal midfield/forward combination for USMNT. For example something like:

Altidore
Donovan - Holden - Dempsey
Jones - Bradley (Edu?)

You could quibble a little with placements, etc. but it's solid enough. Most of those guys are getting, or could get (Donovan), significant EPL minutes.

Defensively, on the other hand, the talent pool are either over the hill or largely unproven - we've relied on guys like Cherundolo and Bocanegra forever. Other than maybe Onyewu, none of the defensive starters from South Africa will be on the roster in Brazil.

One question I've always had is why the US can't develop any pure wingers. My admittedly untrained eye sees the winger position as one that requires speed and athleticism above all else and is a little less reliant on technical ability. Is it because most of the people with that sort of raw athletic potential are playing football? I would just think that we could develop ridiculously fast players that are trained to serve up decent crosses. Maybe I'm totally missing something about our talent pool, though.

#44 Billy R Ford


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:03 PM

One question I've always had is why the US can't develop any pure wingers. My admittedly untrained eye sees the winger position as one that requires speed and athleticism above all else and is a little less reliant on technical ability. Is it because most of the people with that sort of raw athletic potential are playing football? I would just think that we could develop ridiculously fast players that are trained to serve up decent crosses. Maybe I'm totally missing something about our talent pool, though.


Not just wingers, fullbacks too- the US seems to have trouble with wide players in general. They're almost all central players that have been pushed wide, from Donovan/Dempsey/Feilhaber in attack to Bocanegra/Spector in defense. How many naturally wide Americans have been consistent starters in Europe in recent years? You can count them on one hand: Beasley, Convey, Dolo, Lewis, Simek, and...?

But speaking more positively, the defense concerns for the US are a little overblown I think. In the short term Boca and Dolo will still be there for the Gold Cup, and then in the long term there's three years for someone like Lichaj to grow into a replacement for them. The young centerbacks like Ream and Gonzalez are promising and will hopefully be a strength by 2014.

#45 Snakebauer007


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:46 PM

Cobi Jones, ftw! We have had some decent wingers who didn't pan out like Beasley and Convey, and Eddie lewis. Everything is cyclical, for any nation imo. How come the US develops better goalies than England?

#46 Snakebauer007


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:47 PM

There was a good article recenlt on Ream-Gonzalez becoming the CB pairing of the near future and distant future, looking for it now. Anything beats Boca-Demerit at this point.

#47 BigRed07

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

Cobi Jones, ftw! We have had some decent wingers who didn't pan out like Beasley and Convey, and Eddie lewis. Everything is cyclical, for any nation imo. How come the US develops better goalies than England?


I recall reading an interview with Tim Howard a year or two ago where he said one thing that helped his skills was growing up playing basketball and football (e.g. games played with hands). I wonder if that actually plays a factor across the board for US goalkeepers or if it's more about a shallower worldwide talent pool in general.

#48 Titans Bastard


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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:58 PM

One question I've always had is why the US can't develop any pure wingers. My admittedly untrained eye sees the winger position as one that requires speed and athleticism above all else and is a little less reliant on technical ability.


Well, you've just described DaMarcus Beasley...

The lack of quality fullbacks and wingers is frustrating, though. Check out this video of a young Eddie Gaven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJf7_8IXSso

The question is, WTF happened? The Eddie Gaven of today doesn't show nearly that kind of creative spark or aggression. Did it get coached out of him? What's the deal?


Given the heavy emphasis on team play over individual development at the youth level, it seems to me that winger is a position in particular that would suffer. That's why so many of our attacking players excel at one-touch backpassing instead of having the ability to go 1v1 against defenders and the tactical awareness to know when that is appropriate. Youth soccer today is a lot different from the way it was in the 1990s, but it takes a long time to see results from any changes.


For the near-term future at winger, keep an eye on two players on the U-20 team:

Joseph Gyau. A guy with blazing speed and good dribbling skills. He was in residency at Bradenton, but left to join Hoffenheim's academy. He's earned rave reviews from U-20 camps and he was just promoted from Hoffenheim's U-19 squad to the reserve team. He's exciting because he's a guy with physical tools and technical skills and now he's in a place that should help him develop a solid soccer brain, which is often what is lacking in our wingers and forwards.

Joshua Gatt. Gatt signed with a second-division Austrian team last summer to little fanfare. He immediately made the first team and quickly emerged as one of Altach's better attacking players. After just half a season, he was snapped up by Molde FK of Norway after being scouted by Molde's manager, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. He's now in pre-season (Norway is a summer league) and seems poised to be a starter. He's fast and his very upwardly mobile club career speaks well of him.


The US has had more than its share of overhyped nobodies, but there is real reason for optimism about this pair.

#49 soxfan121


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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:31 PM

TB, your posts in this thread continue to be excellent. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

EDIT: Great article by Steve Davis on SI about the switch to a 4-2-3-1 vs. Chile on 19-Feb.

Edited by soxfan121, 21 February 2011 - 06:01 PM.


#50 Titans Bastard


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Posted 08 March 2011 - 05:55 PM

Gold Cup groups were drawn.

Group A: Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Cuba
Group B: Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Grenada
Group C: USA, Canada, Panama, Guadeloupe

Unfortunately, the closest venue to Boston in which the US will likely play is RFK Stadium in DC.


Our group is weak, but all the groups are weak. As with every CONCACAF tournament held on American soil, it will be entertaining to see how many games Cuba can play before suffering crippling defections from their squad.