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Klinsmann's Men: The ÜSMNT Thread - Just get us to Brazil


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#301 Billy R Ford


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:30 AM

The lack of a natural right winger is interesting. Michael Bradley started on the right against Slovenia, and Daniel Williams the three matches before that, neither of whom is a natural wide midfielder. It'll be interesting to see who he sticks there this time.

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:06 AM

The lack of a natural right winger is interesting. Michael Bradley started on the right against Slovenia, and Daniel Williams the three matches before that, neither of whom is a natural wide midfielder. It'll be interesting to see who he sticks there this time.



Given the roster, I'd hope that Klinsmann goes with some sort of 4-3-3 formation -- i.e. width provided by wide forwards and fullbacks. I'd rather just not play a wide midfielder rather than force a CM out wide like Danny Williams.....Bradley was assigned a role that was pinched-in enough for him to be effective. He's played a similar RCM type role in Chievo's Italian "width, what's that?" 4-3-1-2 -- which was actually quite similar to the formation we used against Slovenia.


I'd like to see something like this:

Posted Image

#303 ossie schreckengost

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:06 AM

jermaine jones. i wish he would never have become infatuated with his wahnsystem he´d be an americaan, one day.

an dem tag als ihr dieses tier in eurer amerikanischen fußball nationalmannschaft aufgenommen habt, da habt ihr eure würde aufgegeben.

ist euer ding, al amerikaner.

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:42 PM

The first full U-20 camp of the cycle is underway. It's a big 36-man roster as there's still a long way to qualifying and the WC in 2013. Player identification time -- MLS, college, development academy, Mexico, Europe, etc...

GK
Jesus Guzman -- Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Daniel Medina -- Tigres (Mexico)
Tyler Miller -- Northwestern
Andrew Wolverton -- Penn State

DF
Bolu Akinyode -- Seton Hall
Michael Ambrose -- FC Dallas academy
A.J. Cochran -- Wisconsin
Sean Cunningham -- Molde FK (Norway)
Phanuel Kavita -- Clemson
Eric Miller -- Creighton
Juan Pablo Ocegueda -- Tigres (Mexico)
Boyd Okwuonu -- North Carolina
Jalen Robinson -- DC United academy
Matt Wendelken -- Marist
DeAndre Yedlin -- Akron
Walker Zimmerman -- Furman

MF
Seth Casiple -- California
Daniel Cuevas -- Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Hector Delgado -- Club America (Mexico)
Christian Duarte -- Texans SC Houston
Daniel Garcia -- FC Dallas academy
Luis Gil -- Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Flavio Guzman -- FC Dallas academy
Collin Martin -- DC United academy
Tyrone McCargo -- FC Nürnberg (Germany)
Caleb Stanko -- SC Freiburg (Germany)
Wil Trapp -- Akron
Jose Villarreal -- Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)

FW
Villyan Bijev -- Fortuna Düsseldorf (Germany) (on loan from Liverpool)
Amadou Dia -- Clemson
Alfred Koroma -- Solar Chelsea SC
Duke Lacroix -- Penn
Uvaldo Luna -- Tigres (Mexico)
Jack McBean -- Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Sean Okoli -- Wake Forest
Omar Salgado -- Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS)


I'm totally unfamiliar with about half the roster. We'll see who does well and who is invited back to future camps. Hopefully Tab Ramos keeps a close eye on new talent stepping up rather than falling into the typical "once in the system, always in the system" USSF youth team rut.

A lot of top players are injured or staying with their clubs.

#305 nvalvo


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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:05 AM

Friendly tomorrow night against Venezuela. So, uhh... bump.

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:49 PM

1-Hamid
2-DeLaGarza, 4-Parkhurst, 5-Cameron, 3-Pearce
6-Larentowicz, 8-Jones ©
7-Zusi, 10-Feilhaber, 11-Shea
9-Bunbury


First caps for Hamid, DeLaGarza, and Zusi.

I see a lot of quickness and agility on the backline.

I will be watching to see how Larentowicz and Jones interact. If Klinsmann's choice of numbers holds true, Jones should be playing ahead of Larentowicz. However, if Jones drifts deep and acts as a second DM, it will be a problem for our offense. The four attackers need support.

Bunbury has struggled as a target striker in the past, but he starts ahead of KC teammate C.J. Sapong, whose attributes are better suited to a center forward role. Bunbury is more experienced and I guess he just beat out the competition in camp. Like any other US forward, he will need the three attacking midfielders to act like attacking midfielders, or he will be left on an island.

#307 Tangled Up In Red

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:12 PM

Exciting finish. Strong performance by Jones (from what I was able to catch). I'm still liking Shea, too.

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:14 AM

Exciting finish. Strong performance by Jones (from what I was able to catch). I'm still liking Shea, too.


Yes, it was a deserving win. If not for some questionable PK decisions and an outstanding performance by Venezuela's GK, it could have been 3-0 or 4-0.

Our defense was quite good, although they were not tested strongly. DeLaGarza was poor going forward, though. He moved well off the ball, but lacked ideas and execution with it. I'd like to see Parkhurst and especially Cameron get chances with the senior national team. Onyewu and Bocanegra are solid, but Goodson and Orozco really aren't. There's room.

Shea and Bunbury still need a lot of work. They are young, but they aren't ready for prime time yet. I wonder if Bunbury ever will be, actually. His technical abilities aren't the strongest and, most worrisome to me, he just doesn't seem to have much vision or ideas with the ball. Shea, at least, can be a useful weapon off the bench for now -- a real handful for tired defenders. He is inconsistent, though, and too full of turnovers. This Venezuela team was not very good and his limited/occasional effectiveness does not bode well for matches against tougher opponents. Of course, I also expect Shea to improve.

Jones had an unbelievable motor today. His workrate was tremendous and he was a big part of pushing our attack forward. Venezuela's midfield play was weak and Jones tore them apart. His reckless style can be dangerous against more skilled and disciplined opponents -- which is why he's by no means a lock starter for the USMNT -- but he was a tornado today.

I also thought that Wondolowski played the role of poacher well in his short stint. He forced Morales to make two tremendous saves. He's a great pure finisher. I just worry with him that at higher levels he'll be marked out of the game -- and he won't create much either. It's the Taylor Twellman problem.

#309 soxfan121


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:47 AM

Omar Gonzalez's knee injury is a big blow; thought he was the best of the MLS defender/prospects and the injury also scuttled any chance he moved to Europe (and higher competition).

#310 nvalvo


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

Just watched the game. I agree that Shea and Jones had great games, and Feilhaber and Delagarza contributed a lot to the good possession play in the first half, although TB is correct that DLG showed little vision. If we're trying to move to a possession style, he could have a role.

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

Just watched the game. I agree that Shea and Jones had great games, and Feilhaber and Delagarza contributed a lot to the good possession play in the first half, although TB is correct that DLG showed little vision. If we're trying to move to a possession style, he could have a role.


I also wanted to note that I thought our team showed very good movement and ideas relative to what I have come to expect from our B-team. Venezuela was poor and that contributed to how we looked, but we were tidier and more fluid than in past January camps against other weak-ish opponents. There were many players making good runs and the speed of thought was a pleasant surprise. The execution was not always there, but Shea and Wondo could have easily scored headers had Morales not been great. Positive signs.

I have not excoriated Klinsmann like the way some have on BigSoccer and other places, but I have definitely been a real skeptic. Although it's too soon to say that the ship has been turned around after the putrid early performances, I am oddly optimistic. Maybe it's just the euphoria of a last minute win on the back of a decent win in Slovenia.

#312 Statman

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:30 PM

I am also optimistic after the win against Venezuela.

We basically controlled the tempo for the entire game and but for some bad refereeing and some unbelievable saves by the Venezuelan GK, we could have easily won this game by a few goals.

The Panama game will be a real test for us as they beat us 2-1 during the Gold Cup for our first loss on US soil and the fact they will be playing a few guys from their Gold Cup team. I'll be estatic if we win this game.

#313 Titans Bastard


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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:09 PM

Lineup vs. Panama

----------------Bunbury-----Wondolowski------------
---Shea---------Jones-----Clark---------Zusi--------
----Loyd---Cameron---Parkhurst--DeLaGarza---
-----------------------Rimando-------------------------

Bench: S. Johnson, Parke, Pearce, Evans, Larentowicz, Feilhaber, Sapong


We move from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2. Wondolowski comes in at forward, basically replacing Feilhaber. Clark comes in for Larentowicz (there's an exciting transaction!), Loyd in for Pearce, and Rimando in for Hamid.

#314 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:17 PM

The announcers on my feed are discussing the Super Bowl, en español. They like the Patriots.

edit: Although one is a Redskins fan, so that would explain it.

Edited by Jed Zeppelin, 25 January 2012 - 09:17 PM.


#315 nvalvo


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Posted 28 January 2012 - 03:10 AM

Strange game. The US had only two good chances, but they were really good. Zusi's goal on the inadvertent (I think?) back heel from Bunbury, and the rebound off of Jones' lightning bolt of a shot that I have no idea how the Panamanian keeper kept out. Panama had good chances all day, but only a few great ones. Given the chances, I felt like it should have been 2-2.

#316 Hosey and Housie

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:28 PM

Thought I would mention the USMNT team is playing team Canada in Toronto on Sunday June 3rd 7pm...and the Red Sox are in Toronto as well that weekend June 1st - 3rd. Could make for a nice weekend for soccer / baseball fans.

Also, the match vs Brazil has been announced, Weds May 30th 8pm at FedEx field in Landover, MD

#317 Hosey and Housie

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:29 AM

Klinsmann is being mentioned as a replacement at Tottenham if/when Harry Redknapp manages England. Obviously the English newspapers exaggerate everything but thought it was worth a mention in the thread...


http://www.mirrorfoo...icle864337.html

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

Thought I would mention the USMNT team is playing team Canada in Toronto on Sunday June 3rd 7pm...and the Red Sox are in Toronto as well that weekend June 1st - 3rd. Could make for a nice weekend for soccer / baseball fans.

Also, the match vs Brazil has been announced, Weds May 30th 8pm at FedEx field in Landover, MD



Full schedule for late spring / early summer:


5/26 vs. Scotland in Jacksonville, FL
5/30 vs. Brazil in Washington, DC
6/3 @ Canada in Toronto
6/8 vs. Antigua & Barbuda in Tampa, FL [WCQ]
6/12 @ Guatemala in TBD [WCQ]

A good group of tuneup friendlies, I'd say. And you can't ease into WCQ more than with a home match against Antigua & Barbuda.


Meanwhile, the friendly against Italy is in exactly two weeks. I'd expect the roster to come out in a week or so. I'm very much looking forward to the roster for this one. Dempsey and Donovan together for the first time in what seems like forever.

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

The USSF came out with the roster for the 10-day U-23 camp, which culminates with a match against Mexico's U23 team on 2/29. It's the last camp before qualifying and Porter has managed to bring in a lot of the big guns, even some of those with European clubs.

GK
Bill Hamid (DC United)
Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DF
Greg Garza (Club Tijuana/MEX)
Perry Kitchen (DC United)
Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin/GER)
Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes)
Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo)
Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact)
Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)

MF
Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX)
Mix Diskerud (Gent/BEL)
Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew)
Jared Jeffrey (Mainz/GER)
Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union)
Michael Stephens (Los Angeles Galaxy)

FW
Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union)
Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls)
Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City)
Joseph Gyau (Hoffenheim/GER)
Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union)
Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Tony Taylor (Estoril-Praia/POR)


The only key U23s that are missing are Altidore, Chandler, and Danny Williams, but they are very unlikely to be released for qualifying by their clubs. Given the roster, it looks very much like a 4-3-3 is in the works, especially if you classify guys like Shea and Gyau as forwards.

I'm surprised that Sheanon Williams didn't make this roster. He was a reliable starter for Philly last year, while Kofi Sarkodie was buried on Houston's bench. As it happens, Sarkodie was Caleb Porter's main man at RB at Akron. I hope Porter is thinking about this subjectively.

Josh Gatt wasn't released for this camp because he's coming back from a knock, but he'll be available for qualifying. With him, Shea, and Gyau, I'm very excited about our wingers.

The concern is the defense. Morales has gotten a few starts at RB at Hertha recently, but it's not his natural position. Sarkodie is inexperienced and has a reputation for being much better offensively than defensively. At LB, Garza and Villafaña are serviceable but nothing special and could be abused by quality attackers. At CB, we have Valentin (who is a solid player but is really a CB), Opara (who is a super athletic CB prospect who is coming off a very long injury layoff) and Kitchen (who is a very good prospect, but is a natural DM). Sadly, these three are probably our best options at CB right now.

#320 Titans Bastard


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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:15 PM

There's a U-20 camp about to start in Florida.


GK
Jesus Guzman (Santos Laguna/MEX)
Tomas Gomez (Georgetown)
Kamil Kaminski (Legia Warsaw/POL)

DF
A.J. Cochran (Wisconsin)
Sean Cunningham (Molde/NOR)
Christian Dean (California)
Mobi Fehr (unattached)
Eric Miller (Creighton)
Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres/MEX)
Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina)
Walker Zimmerman (Furman)

MF
Seth Casiple (California)
Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna/MEX)
Matt Dunn (OFK Beograd/SRB)
Daniel Garcia (FC Dallas academy)
Alejandro Guido (unattached)
Benji Joya (Santos Laguna/MEX)
Mike Lopez (North Carolina)
Collin Martin (DC United academy)
Daniel Metzger (Maryland)
Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire)

FW
Villyan Bijev (Liverpool/ENG on loan to Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER)
Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC)
Sean Okoli (Wake Forest)
Andrew Oliver (Chicago Fire academy)
Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps)




Tab Ramos is still feeling out the player pool because it is early in the cycle. This isn't our best group by any stretch, but it will be useful to hear who stands out and see who gets called back to future camps.

#321 Dummy Hoy


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

Grant Wahl claiming (via twitter) that Gooch will have knee surgery and will be out for 2 months.

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:21 AM

Grant Wahl claiming (via twitter) that Gooch will have knee surgery and will be out for 2 months.


This sucks. Omar Gonzalez and Zak Whitbread are out, too. With a few injuries, we'll see how Klinsmann views the depth chart.




U-23 scrimmage against FC Dallas today.



Posted Image


Bench:
Sean Johnson, Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen, Michael Stephens, Dilly Duka, Jack McInerney, Tony Taylor


I like the look of this team. The defense is a question mark, but there's good talent elsewhere. And we're still waiting on Alfredo Morales, Mix Diskerud, Joseph Gyau, Terrence Boyd, Sebastian Lletget, and Joe Corona to arrive from abroad.

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:08 PM

USA U23 beats Dallas 2-1, despite finishing with 9 men after red cards to Kofi Sarkodie and Brek Shea.

Ike Opara scored on a header off an Adu corner. Freddy also set up Shea for the second goal. Shea was also responsible for drawing a PK, which Adu took and was saved.

Second half subs were:
Johnson for Hamid
Kitchen for Opara
Garza for Villafana
Stephens for Jeffrey
Duka for Agudelo
Taylor for Bunbury


There's another scrimmage in two games against a new D2 team, the San Antonio Scorpions. The big event is on 2/29 against the Mexican U23 team. I think we will be able to read a lot into Porter's lineup choices against Mexico. For now, there are only so many tea leaves to read because six players haven't arrived in camp yet.

Agudelo, Shea, Bunbury, Boyd, and Gyau (and at qualifying, Gatt) are a really exciting group of attackers. And we seem to have some guys who actually play CAM coming up -- Adu, Duka, and a few others.

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

The roster for Italy is out.

GK
Tim Howard (Everton)
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DF
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover)
Timothy Chandler (Nürnberg)
Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers)
Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo)
Clarence Goodson (Brøndby)
Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjælland)
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)

MF
Michael Bradley (Chievo)
Jermaine Jones (Schalke)
Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
Maurice Edu (Rangers)
Jose Torres (Pachuca)

FW
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar)
Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund)


Away with the U23s -- Brek Shea, Bill Hamid, Juan Agudelo
Injured -- Oguchi Onyewu, Zak Whitbread, Omar Gonzalez, Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers
Recovering from injury/unfit -- Kyle Beckerman, Eric Lichaj


Notes

* The first Klinsmann roster with both Donovan and Dempsey available. And not a moment too soon!

* Cameron and Parkhurst get a call to join the big boys after having a decent January camp. With Onyewu out for two months, there are opportunities to be had. Boca will start, obviously, but Goodson is soft and is very much a player who can be overtaken.

* Beckerman isn't fully fit, so I'm sure many will be glad to see him off the roster. I like Beckerman to a certain extent, but it will be nice to see other midfield combinations. I'd like to see something that doesn't involve Maurice Edu in the starting lineup. Klinsmann's love affair with Jose Torres has the potential to continue.

* Sacha Kljestan's great form at Anderlecht continues to go overlooked.

* The group of attackers is expected, with the exception of Terrence Boyd who is a big surprise. He has been killing it with Borussia Dortmund's reserves and has done very well in U23 camps, but he has never played for the first team. I'm guessing that he's along for the ride, but won't dress -- much like Alfredo Morales last fall.

#325 Titans Bastard


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:31 PM

Jermaine Jones is out of the Italy friendly with a calf injury.


No Jones or Beckerman. It will be interesting to see who Klinsmann uses as a defensive midfielder. The options are Williams, Edu, and Bradley.

#326 Tangled Up In Red

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:09 PM

At least one position where we have some reasonable quality depth...

#327 Titans Bastard


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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

At least one position where we have some reasonable quality depth...


And now Torres is potentially out, too. He picked up an injury in last night's match against Tigres.

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:23 AM

http://www.ussoccer....-US-Roster.aspx

Jones (calf), Torres (right hamstring), Chandler (left hamstring), and Donovan (bronchitis) out

Shea and Kljestan in.


Gahhhh! Once again, events conspire to leave us with a roster without one of Donovan and Dempsey. This is getting frustrating.

#329 Statman

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

http://www.ussoccer....-US-Roster.aspx

Jones (calf), Torres (right hamstring), Chandler (left hamstring), and Donovan (bronchitis) out

Shea and Kljestan in.


Gahhhh! Once again, events conspire to leave us with a roster without one of Donovan and Dempsey. This is getting frustrating.


I'm actually curious to see what Kljestan can do with this team.

I have bashed him in the past for his inconsistency, but he has been playing really well in Belgium and is one of the reasons his club in in first place in his league. See how Torres is out, I would like to him get atleast a half, perhaps paired with Bradley?

#330 Billy R Ford


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

Does anyone know how long it takes ESPN3 to replay matches? I won't be able to watch the match live at 3, but would like to finish it before the Olympic team plays at 10.

As for the match, the thing I'm most interested in seeing is if Fabian Johnson plays left back. I was not a believer in the Johnson-at-left-back hype last fall-- his only Bundesliga appearances at the positions had been three years before, and I assume if Klinnsman thought it was even a possibility he could play the position, he'd try him out there. But now in the last few weeks he's played a half-dozen games in a row there for his club, and I'm curious to see if they take a look.

#331 ElUno20

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

Usually up by days end

#332 Titans Bastard


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

I'm actually curious to see what Kljestan can do with this team.

I have bashed him in the past for his inconsistency, but he has been playing really well in Belgium and is one of the reasons his club in in first place in his league. See how Torres is out, I would like to him get atleast a half, perhaps paired with Bradley?


I think Kljestan hasn't benefited from being often deployed as a wide midfielder. It's not his best position. He was versatile at Chivas USA, but he's not going to cut it on the flanks for the USMNT. It's center midfield or bust, I think.

Does anyone know how long it takes ESPN3 to replay matches? I won't be able to watch the match live at 3, but would like to finish it before the Olympic team plays at 10.


Hopefully soon, because that's my plan too!

As for the match, the thing I'm most interested in seeing is if Fabian Johnson plays left back. I was not a believer in the Johnson-at-left-back hype last fall-- his only Bundesliga appearances at the positions had been three years before, and I assume if Klinnsman thought it was even a possibility he could play the position, he'd try him out there. But now in the last few weeks he's played a half-dozen games in a row there for his club, and I'm curious to see if they take a look.


I'm not especially optimistic about Johnson's long-term viability at LB for this team, but it can't hurt to take a look in a meaningless friendly, especially one in which we're lacking for available fullbacks.

#333 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

Grant Wahl @ SI.com with an excellent interview of Clint Dempsey, the USA's best and most important player.




SI.com: The last two times you played with Donovan for the U.S., in the Gold Cup, you connected for goals. Is that connection something you can get back quickly, or do you need that time together?



Dempsey: You don't need that time together. When someone has a ball in a dangerous area and you make the right run they'll find you, because they want to win as much as you do. Over time as a player you get that understanding: If I make the good run he has the quality that he can find me, and vice versa.





SI.com: You're about to turn 29, Donovan is about to turn 30. Is there any concern the U.S. doesn't have a real idea yet who are the next Dempsey and Donovan?



Dempsey: I think people will step up. They'll have to. Hopefully there's years left in me and Landon. You look around the world, some players are able to keep it going a long time. Look at Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, players like that. Hopefully we can go as long as we can and make an impact. But yeah, there will be people who will have to step up. By playing more games, getting more experience, it's only going to help you. As you start to grow as a player, you start to find yourself. If I could go back and know what I know now, I could have been better. But that's part of growing and learning. That's what it'll take for these younger guys, having experiences to get to where they're making an impact week in and week out.






I thought referencing Giggs & Scholes was interesting, as both have (arguably - and take it to the other thread if you want to argue it) benefited from reduced international workloads to prolong their club careers.


In any case, given the age of Dempsey & Donovan there's little doubt in my mind that both will fade completely from the USMNT scene after 2014, so the "need" to find replacements is becoming quite desperate. Frankly, if I were Klinsmann I'd be desperate to find at least one player who can compliment/replace the big two - Donovan at 33 might be more effective in the WC as a super-sub. Then again, I've always been a Dempsey Guy; plays better, at a higher level, is younger and has the personality I want as a team leader. YRMV.



#334 Titans Bastard


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

I thought referencing Giggs & Scholes was interesting, as both have (arguably - and take it to the other thread if you want to argue it) benefited from reduced international workloads to prolong their club careers.

In any case, given the age of Dempsey & Donovan there's little doubt in my mind that both will fade completely from the USMNT scene after 2014, so the "need" to find replacements is becoming quite desperate. Frankly, if I were Klinsmann I'd be desperate to find at least one player who can compliment/replace the big two - Donovan at 33 might be more effective in the WC as a super-sub. Then again, I've always been a Dempsey Guy; plays better, at a higher level, is younger and has the personality I want as a team leader. YRMV.


You have to admire the way Dempsey has improved every season at Fulham:

2006-07 -- 10 games, 1 goal
2007-08 -- 40 games, 6 goals
2008-09 -- 41 games, 8 goals
2009-10 -- 44 games, 9 goals
2010-11 -- 42 games, 13 goals
2011-12 -- 34 games, 16 goals (and counting)

Martin Jol is also the first Fulham manager who hasn't initially benched Clint. Coleman was canned not long after Dempsey arrived in the middle of the 06-07 season and then he fought his way into the lineup under Sanchez, Hodgson, and Hughes. Clint plays and speaks with a chip on his shoulder that he can harness as a motivational tool, but he doesn't have a rash sense of resentment that he can't control.


I think in the end I might prefer Donovan slightly, but it's a tough call. I don't ding him as much for staying with LA, especially because he's shown that he has the ability to step off the plane in to Everton's starting lineup and dish out 6 assists in 9 games. I think after his Bayer Leverkusen failure(s), he had something to prove whether or not people wanted to admit it and I think his Everton experiences have laid that to rest.

What's clear is that it's a lot tougher for the US team to generate offense when either one of Dempsey and Donovan are missing. The prospect of that pair declining and falling off the radar is a chilling thought.




We're still looking for the fourth attacker to add to Dempsey, Donovan, and Altidore. Before his accident, Davies really looked like that fourth attacker -- a forward with speed and strength who could finish as well as stretch the defense to create space for others. Davies isn't going to be that player again and the search goes on.

I like Fabian Johnson and Brek Shea, but can they be realistically expected to fill the shoes of the Big Two? Probably not. But we've often had little production from attackers #3 and #4 (Jozy and the schlubs), so the good news is that we can make up some ground on that end. Jozy is finally producing in Europe and we have some prospects on the way: forwards, wingers, central attacking midfielders. When it comes to prospects, there's safety in numbers. This U23 group gives me hope.

#335 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:32 PM

Well, I think Clint's gonna play till Jurgen (or his successor...or his successor's successor) stops calling him up - and probably not even then. Dempsey making the 2018 USMNT World Cup team would not surprise me. I don't think that Dempsey has worn as much tread off his tires as Landon has (and Landon's older) and I think Clint's game is not as dependent on physical skills. Clint strikes me as one of those ageless Central European veterans who loses speed but gains mental ability at a higher rate. Clint's production has ramped up each year and he relies on his physical gifts less and less each year - his positioning, movement, anticipation, etc.have all improved as a result of his club experiences. The reference to Giggs & Scholes reinforces it to me - Clint plans to play that long and (because he's American/Texan in his soul) will lace up the boots for Team USA whenever they call.

As for Donovan, I can't help myself - I see him as a "what if?" guy. What if he hadn't bombed out at Leverkuesen? What if MLS weren't the equivalent of the Chinese Basketball Association and hadn't held his professional career hostage all these years? The Everton experience only intensifies this feeling - Donovan is good enough to play at that level. Is he good enough to IMPROVE at that level? Would he, like Dempsey, have gained so much through experience that his game evolved as much? Donovan plays professionally in a league that is a glorified retirement community / nPowerOne feeder school. You simply cannot convince me that Donovan's game has been refined, shaped, tested and improved the way Dempsey's has in the EPL (or Altidore's in Spain/Holland, etc.) Donovan plays with guys who aren't good enough to make an EPL roster OR guys who aren't physically gifted enough for the EPL anymore. He's the ultimate big fish in a little pond and not getting the same education/experience as those who play abroad in "real" leagues.

Ultimately, they are both necessary to the USMNT's future. Donovan's MLS hostage crisis might be influencing some talented kids to take up the sport and that might prove to be THE key to the advancement of the USMNT of the future. Donovan, in 2014, will be the best creative force the USMNT will have and his experience/ability is essential. If he were a half-time sub to save his legs it wouldn't surprise me but he'll need to play lots of key minutes (and play well) for team success. And Dempsey needs to be the rock upon which Klinsmann can build the 2014 team. Altidore needs to learn how to play off Clint; the midfield needs to learn to connect with Clint; whomever ends up on the wings needs to know how to find Clint.

If you told me that one was going to miss the 2014 WC qualifying games, I would pray Landon was the missing guy. IMO, the USMNT starts with the guy playing the best at the highest level - Dempsey.

Edited by soxfan121, 29 February 2012 - 02:35 PM.


#336 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

These unis are terrible.

#337 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

They look terrific outside the defensive third at least.

#338 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

Jozy having a pretty rough go of it so far. The attack looks very good though.

#339 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

Italy rolled out some BIG names for this, huh? Buffon, Marchisio and Pirlo are an unexpected treat.

Bradley looks very comfortable with the style of play - he's seen a lot of these guys across the pitch before.

#340 Titans Bastard


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:20 PM

As for Donovan, I can't help myself - I see him as a "what if?" guy. What if he hadn't bombed out at Leverkuesen? What if MLS weren't the equivalent of the Chinese Basketball Association and hadn't held his professional career hostage all these years? The Everton experience only intensifies this feeling - Donovan is good enough to play at that level. Is he good enough to IMPROVE at that level? Would he, like Dempsey, have gained so much through experience that his game evolved as much? Donovan plays professionally in a league that is a glorified retirement community / nPowerOne feeder school. You simply cannot convince me that Donovan's game has been refined, shaped, tested and improved the way Dempsey's has in the EPL (or Altidore's in Spain/Holland, etc.) Donovan plays with guys who aren't good enough to make an EPL roster OR guys who aren't physically gifted enough for the EPL anymore. He's the ultimate big fish in a little pond and not getting the same education/experience as those who play abroad in "real" leagues.

Ultimately, they are both necessary to the USMNT's future. Donovan's MLS hostage crisis might be influencing some talented kids to take up the sport and that might prove to be THE key to the advancement of the USMNT of the future. Donovan, in 2014, will be the best creative force the USMNT will have and his experience/ability is essential. If he were a half-time sub to save his legs it wouldn't surprise me but he'll need to play lots of key minutes (and play well) for team success. And Dempsey needs to be the rock upon which Klinsmann can build the 2014 team. Altidore needs to learn how to play off Clint; the midfield needs to learn to connect with Clint; whomever ends up on the wings needs to know how to find Clint.

If you told me that one was going to miss the 2014 WC qualifying games, I would pray Landon was the missing guy. IMO, the USMNT starts with the guy playing the best at the highest level - Dempsey.




1. I wish Donovan hadn't bombed at Leverkusen (twice), but he did and he's admitted that he was too immature at the time to handle it. He's clearly comfortable on personal level in LA in ways that he was never comfortable when he was abroad. Don't underestimate that factor when it comes to development.

2. MLS hasn't "held his professional career hostage". He's signed one or two contract extensions; Luca Brazzi was not present. In fact, I think that if Donovan really wanted to leave he could have pressured the Galaxy to sell him via backchannels at some point.

3. Donovan can step off a plane into an EPL starting lineup and instantly be a star for his club and you don't give MLS any credit for his sharpness or development?

4. If you think that MLS is a retirement league or a "League One feeder school" or isn't a "real league", you simply haven't been paying attention.

5. I do agree that down the line, Dempsey's value might hold up more. He's a year younger and, more importantly, less dependent on speed. If Donovan can transition to a more central role and still play at a high level, he could extend his international career by a year or two, I think.

#341 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

Jozy having a pretty rough go of it so far. The attack looks very good though.


He had a pretty shameless flop after Dempsey's free kick.

#342 SocrManiac

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

What is the goal of Tim Howard's clearances? The US is having difficulties sustaining possession, why boot it back to Italy every time he gets his hands on it?

#343 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:40 PM

What does Buffon use in his hair? Motor oil and whale blubber? SHEEN!

Altidore falls down too often. Good lord man, stop trying to buy a foul and play the ball.
~~~~~~~~~~~

As for the Dempsey/Donovan conversation:

1. I think Donovan would be better had he spent his career playing against better competition - he's unquestionably the best player in a minor league. Donovan obviously CAN play in the EPL and the competition in MLS isn't close to the EPL. Were Donovan to be sharpening his skills against better competition, it would be better IMO for the USMNT. When you compare the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Brazil's First Division and maybe some of the 2nd tier leagues (Turkey, Russia, SPL, etc) to MLS, it's fair to say MLS comes in close to the bottom. The quality of play in MLS does not match any of those listed.

2. Donovan's lack of ambition factors into my analysis - he's quite comfortable in Stockholm, I mean LA. Were he serious about playing against the best, he'd have moved. Instead, he has passively allowed MLS to control his career because he's "the man" in LA. At Everton, he'd be one of the top players but he wouldn't be "the man" and he'd be one of ~100 players in England with his talent/skills. That he doesn't want to compete with those guys - that he's happy to collect his pay, kick it around with EPL washouts like Beckham & Blake...well, it tells you something, doesn't it? Beckham and Blake were top players in the EPL, once upon a time, and now they're soaking in the sunshine and not slogging it out in the rain in an away tilt with Stoke. Retirement community for aged footballers.

Which brings me back to my point - Donovan, to me, is a "what if?" player. He's very good. Could he have been great? If the Leverkeusen situation doesn't bomb, if he doesn't lose confidence in himself, if he doesn't get "comfortable" being the big fish in MLS's little pond, if he HAD pushed himself to fight for EPL playing time (the way Clint did)...has Donovan "wasted" some of his promise/talent/potential? Feels like it to me. Which is not to say he's not very good or that he's not important to the USMNT - he is. But I can't root for Donovan in the same way I can for Dempsey. Clint fought for playing time, fought to get better, fought to stave off relegation...all that experience made him a better, smarter, sharper football player than the guy who kicks it around with Becks in La-la land.

#344 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

And my man crush, Giorgio Chiellini takes the pitch for Italy at half (along with Montolivio -they must have club instructions).

ETA: Giovinco either has the worst timing of any player in the sport OR the USA got away with at least one or two generous decisions by the linesman. Bocanegra is almost toying with him but Johnson almost played him on by mistake.

Edited by soxfan121, 29 February 2012 - 03:55 PM.


#345 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

Italy having its way right now. Team USA's lucky that the officials have been generous with the offside calls.

#346 tims4wins


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

JOZY DEMPSEY GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

#347 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

Just the way they drew it up. Fabian Johnson, a left footed LB with the right footed chip; Altidore with the touch; Dempsey with the finish.

Do THAT a few times and defend like demons and you can go a long way tournaments.

Brav-fucking-O.

ETA: Borini making his Italy debut.

ETA2: And here comes DeRossi...unbelievable. Had he just left the big guns on the bench and got beat, it would not be a national tragedy. But Italy's coach is making himself a mess with how he's managed this game. Un fricking believeable

Edited by soxfan121, 29 February 2012 - 04:13 PM.


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

Bradley looking very good right now. He's made some excellent defensive stops and looks very composed on the ball (unlike some people...Maurice..I'm looking in your direction)

#349 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

Bradley looking very good right now. He's made some excellent defensive stops and looks very composed on the ball (unlike some people...Maurice..I'm looking in your direction)


And excellent game from Bradley thus far. Looks really composed. The move to Chievo seems to be agreeing with him.

Spector on for Fabian...and promptly gets beat and then takes one off the face.

And Boyd to make his debut? OK, let's see...

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

This is an excellent learning experience / test for the US team. How to hold a close leaded against a strong opponent. Hint: maintain possession.



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