Italy vs. USA 2/29 - the midfield

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by schrutebuck, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

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    Edu - statement game. He had issues both defending and attacking, but he hasn't had this good a match for the US in quite a while.
    Bradley - another excellent performance, only significant error was losing Motta on Italy's early chance.
    Shea - some excellence mixed with really sloppy play.
    Williams - inadequate for his role, but it's easy to see he will be useful when played in a different spot.
    Dempsey - not always involved since the US was pushed back often, but he was lethal when it counted.

    Kljestan - didn't seem into things. I think he suffered a little for the lack of shape the US had in the last 20 minutes, it seemed like a tactical muddle.


  2. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    Just not as lethal as advertised. ;) (Couldn't help myself...)

    BTW I agree with these, particularly the part about Edu, which hasn't really been stated. He didn't attack particularly well and had issues defending, but overall fulfilled his role in the gameplan with relative strength.

    We needed to step up and keep Pirlo from dealing all those dangerous balls over our backs' shoulders. That's a midifield issue that could've undone us. Still... very good all things considered. The youth of Italy's attackers in this match played into our hands well to nullify Pirlo.
  3. tio_sam

    tio_sam Member

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    Edu- I have been a big critic of edu and still feel like he's an enigmatic player but he had a great game today. He won the ball in some great spots and closed down quickly on the italians. He did have one dangerous give away and he usually gives up 1 of those a game but I think he did really well.

    Bradley-[edited by mod.] He is clearly one of the best defensive mids I have ever seen wear the US jersey.

    Danny Williams- kid has a great motor. never stops going but he lacks some vision awareness and tries to go 1v1 alittle to much. He lost the ball quite a bit but made up for it with hustle.

    Shea was dangerous at times. He almost got through on the break from the ball from Edu. Otherwise he played it pretty safe and tried to play off of Fabian Johnson.

    Klesjtan- immediately came in and almost gave up a goal. the times he touched the ball he looked capable but his impact to the game was very small and leaning towards the negative side.
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  4. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    These comments are great. So, if I may restate your positions, he didn't attack or defend well but he had a decent game? How does one achieve that?


  5. suppitty

    suppitty Member

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    Michael Bradley was simply awesome. Best player on the field for either team tonight.

    If anyone still doubts that he deserves to be on the field for us, then they don't know very much about soccer.
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  6. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    Exactly.
  7. lmorin

    lmorin Member

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    It was as if the US played down a man most of the game because Shea was so bad. I'm not sure who was less productive, Shea or Williams. Williams does not seem to understand that the way through 3 defenders includes passing to your teammates. He tried the same thing over and over, counting on the success of a little close quarters nutmeg that never worked. I don't see him anywhere in the midfield. Shea just dribbled into trouble, had iron footed touches or simply passed the ball to Italy. Poor.

    On the other side of things, Bradley and Edu were awesome until late in the game when Italy rather overran the entire midfield.
  8. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

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    Nonsense about Edu. Issues defending? Give me a break. He was our best midfielder today. Period. But for his defending, we most likely lose this game. He was all over the place. Bradley was also very very good today. The problem with our midfield was not in the center of the field ... it was on the outside. Williams was fine in clogging the place up defensively, but offered nothing offensively. Shea ..... well, what can I say. He had a disaster defensively in the 1st half with players getting in behind him and didnt add anything on offense either. At least in the 2nd half he got a couple of decent balls into the box. His touch was just abysmal though.
  9. Aaryque

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    Edu - He provided some range, but that's about it. Didn't distribute well. Didn't defend especially well.

    Bradley - Good all around. It's interesting to see him in the #6 role. Don't get me wrong, I like him there more than other options, but when your other midfielders are Edu and Williams, I think you really need Bradley getting forward more than that role allows.

    Williams - He was poor, but I refuse to put that on him considering he is being played so horrendously out of position.

    Dempsey - Controlled the ball well. Is always best with the US when pushed forward.
  10. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    Perhaps the fact that I forgot about Shea says all I can. Shea needs to play in space. Against a team like Italy that is highly organized and defends in numbers he isn't likely to be effective and he wasn't.
  11. lilking24

    lilking24 Member

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    I don't know how you can say that Edu defended poorly. He cut out a ton of passes and did a great job of intercepting Pirlo on quite a few occasions.
  12. leppercut

    leppercut Member

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    Nope.
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  13. jakepc42

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    Bradley had the best performance of any American i can recall in a quite a while. He was outstanding today. Can't wait to see what the Italian media thought of him if they are at all objective.
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  14. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    Perhaps it's my frustration as constantly seeing an unpressured Pirlo setting up camp directly in Edu's whiteboard space peppering the box with lofted balls.
  15. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    They've always liked him. I would imagine he'll get glowing reviews from them.
  16. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    That's the thing. But he didn't allow himself to get overrun. He did a better job of keeping the ball under pressure than turning it over, and... rarity of rarities, he managed to complete a nice forward, attacking pass into the box once.

    Still, I think the winning margin comes in the young Italian attackers shooting themselves in the foot with the offsides runs. Pirlo's passes were there, but they foiled too many of their own opportunities to be able to count on getting a goal.
  17. dsirias

    dsirias Member

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    Bradly was a true 6 to tonight. Is that his future with this team? Perhaps. Jones will be too old soon. D Wiliams can play there but for some reaosdns JK has not tried him there. Beckerman falls way to his normal place on the depth chart, with props , however, for having shown the others how JK wants the 6 to play

    Edu was ok. Actually tried to pass forward. Other teams don't score when he's playing. But if he is being asked to play an 8, then Holden and others are better. I see Edu as a sub to come in when we need to hold a lead or tie.

    Shea was punished on two occassions by trying to think fast, but his target, Altidore, not moving at all, and ball-watching Brek hustled but missed a fairly good chance. Not even on frame. He showed unwillingness to take the italians on. A recurring problem. Brek needs to go to a better league ASAP. His ceiling is still very high. But at age 22, MLS has done as much as it can for him . Johnson can play wide left course but his future is at LB with this team unless Shea moves abroad and gets converted.


    Danny Williams, is NOT a wide player. Offensive bermuda triangle, yet we still won partly because he defends well. Chandler can be effective there, but his future is at LB

    The best midfield for the USA in qualifying , assuming all get healthy and we use one striker, will be

    Shea Dempsey Donovan
    Holden ( Torres/ Sasha K)
    Bradley (Jones/ Williams/ Beckerman)

    Any comination thereof We actually have a good midfield for concocaf
    Long term ( like WC '14) I dont see Donovan or Demsey playing together all the time. It's more likely that Dempsey starts only against certain opponents, and Donovan comes in supersub against certain opponents. There is definately a spot open for one( and probably two) of the U-23 attacking central mids.
  18. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    Against high-level competition, that's exactly what I see his role as.
  19. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    True. He didn't get overrun. But that's not Pirlo's game. Pirlo was allowed to comfortably do exactly what he does best. Sit 20 yards from the box and drop passes onto on-rushing forwards' feet. Knowing this, and clearly playing more advanced than Bradley, Edu has to step up and take that away.

    Agreed. If not for Howard, a few misplaced shots and some questionable off-side calls we may have seen a very different result.
  20. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    Seconded. Or thirded. Where are we?
  21. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

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    Also, Dempsey shares defensive responsibility with that part of the field. That was one thing I wasn't really keeping an eye on though.
  22. Aaryque

    Aaryque Member

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    True.
  23. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    The old school CM combo came through huge today!

    As I said at the start of the PBP thread General Bradley has his game face on. Spectular performance offensively and defensively. Beckerman's 15 minutes of fame as the US #6 is now over! Chievo must be sweating bullets and ringing up the cash register right about now. MOTM

    Edu had a great game particularly on the defensive side of the ball and was his usual tidy self making the simple straight forward plays. his takeaway and great through ball to Shea in the first half was wasted.

    Williams did no harm on offense but worked on defense. Shea has really lost the confidence he had in his early matches.

    Kljestan looked totally lost out there and will not be back anytime soon. He needed to take a page out of William's book and say I'm not playing my correct position but I know Klinsmann wants great defense so I need to bust my butt defensively.
  24. TheNearPost

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    If anybody should have been covering Pirlo, it was Dempsey, and he did so quite lackadaisically, hence some of our issues with the Milanese Maestro...

    Edu for me played pretty well. I've never had an issue with the guy's defending, to be honest. He's nothing special going forward, hence his uninspiring performances in the #8 role. However, he does great work as the holding midfielder, using his athleticism to cover enormous amounts of ground, but also positioning himself to close passing lanes.

    As for Michael Bradley, the kid was absolute class, and I'm this close to giving him a 10 out of 10. I don't think he lost the ball the whole night, whether it was dribbling or passing. He worked his way out of tight spaces really well with nifty footwork, made some smart passes to calm the game down, get the USA out of jams, and also spread play. Defensively, he was also on the ball, and he seemed to win tackles that weren't actually there to be won, although he almost knocked over Giovinco in the box at one point. Either way, the kid- no, the Man (of the Match, if you ask me) has to be starting.

    I also don't really know if he was a #6, per se. He and Edu seemed to flip-flop, although he definitely had times where he was deeper.

    Shea was a mixed bag. He still seems really off when compared to most of last year, but he still had some good/great moments. He should still beware of DaMarcus Beasley, who can't be that far from a call up.


    Williams didn't really do anything special offensively, and he can't have been expected to by anyone, including Juergen. However, he did do a better job, although that's kind of implied considering the guy didn't complete a forward pass in the final third for all but one game of the Klinsmann era thus far. Still, he didn't do anything disastrous with the ball, and there's no doubting that the guy's defensive wherewithall and energy was useful to the aging Cherundolo. He gives 100%, which is admirable in a guy who has Landon Donovan breathing down his collar.

    I thought the midfield was good overall.
  25. irvine

    irvine Member

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    In other words, if everything had been really different, everything would have been really different.

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