Sidebar from YA: US players got skillz?

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by sidefootsitter, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    MOD NOTE: This is a thread jack from a YA thread that has been moved to a more appropriate forum.

    My "rule" is that a job that requires high work rate and athleticism - especially in the high paced EPL - can feature a top tier MLS guy.

    It's in the skills department where many US players are found lacking. (Ossie is actually pretty good with the ball at his feet anyway).
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  2. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

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    So out of Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride, Geoff Cameron and Stuart Holden which one is lacking in the "skills department"?
  3. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    It depends on whether your standard is Gerd Müller or Chris Wondolowski.
  4. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

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    Here's your opportunity to support your original theory regarding MLS players in the BPL. Don't miss your chance.
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  5. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    Gerd? He was a star before disco was invented. Not really relevant.
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  6. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

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    we are right back to SFS thread-jacking every topic. How long before another long timeout looms?
  7. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Well, it's not like it's a difficult case to make.

    Donovan is a poor dribbler and shooter.

    McBride was mostly a McHead.

    Geoff Cameron has average EPL skills for his position - not a good dribbler, a less than average crosser, not very good in combination play - but he is extremely athletic, which serves him well as a fullback but takes away his chances to play in midfield.

    Holden is an all-motor type - a less-than-average dribbler, an OK shooter and crosser, covers ton of ground and gets stuck in the tackle.

    Dempsey has the best skills of all YA's but lacks athleticism.

    But this shows why there are so few MLS produced Americans in the skilled positions in Top 6-8 global leagues ... and his name is Clint Dempsey. It's not a record worthy of praise.

    The Yanks do much better when they are tasked with "dirty jobs", as it were, that requires heart and a hard work rate. Ergo facto, a hard-working holding mid has a better chance of impressing than an MLS produced striker.

    Actually, I am talking about Ossie Alonso.

    You are the one talking about me.
  8. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

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    for some reason, when you came off your last suspension from BS, you also came off my ignore list.
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  9. wsmaugham

    wsmaugham Member

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    Huh?
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  10. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

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    That Landon Donovan comment is an instant classic.
  11. comoesa

    comoesa Member+

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    Donovan really isn't a great dribbler, though.

    I can't really find any faults in sfs's observations.

    And it's true that most our guys are used in the workhorse department in the BPL(Besides our two best players). The majority of MLS attackers that aren't as dominant as Dempsey or Donovan were/are will probably need some seasoning in lower leagues before they make the jump to a top 10 league.

    Work rate does transition well from the MLS to the BPL.
  12. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

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    I think the "Donovan is a poor ... shooter" is just hilarious. I'm glad that SFS hasn't stopped telling that joke. It's like Henny Youngman and his tired arms.
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  13. Jacques Strappe

    Jacques Strappe Member

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    This is such nonsense. Landon Donovan is one of the fastest players with the ball at his feet that the USMNT has ever had. Just because he doesn't do 17 step overs every time he touches the ball does not mean he is a poor dribbler. He isn't trying to win a freestyle competition, he's trying to advance the ball and play it to a teammate. Also, multiple teammates at Everton have lauded his 1 v 1 ability. Would a "poor shooter" do this?

    I'm pretty sure you have to have some shooting ability to have over 150 senior goals to his name.

    Brian McBride scored plenty of goals with his feet. Also, is heading the ball not a skill?

    The reason that everyone has been excited about Geoff Cameron for the past few years is because he is very good with the ball at his feet and he had a great ability to get the pay started from the back to go along with his great size. Go back and look at any Geoff Cameron thread in YA or USMNT and show us where anyone says he is a poor dribbler. Your assertion is ridiculous.

    Unsurprisingly, you are also dead wrong about Holden's (pre injury) skills. He was reknowned fro his crossing ability for both club and country. How would someone who was a poor crosser be selected to take all set pieces for his club and country? I'd say this is a pretty good shot...
  14. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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  15. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    When Donovan was with Everton last season, had fewer shots on goal than matches he has played in - 6 shots in 7 matches with only 2 on goal with a .333 shots on goal per match.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/team/squad/_/id/368/season/2011/league/eng.1/everton?cc=5901

    Osman, another attacking midfielder, had 62 shots with 25 on goal in 28 matches or ~ .95 shots on goal per match and, while Osman is good, he is not that good. And Donovan was basically only one third as good as Leon.

    And, besides, the argument that a US player is of a global quality - or, as the Kicker says, Weltklasse - is self-defeating. Should the US be filled with such greatness, it'd be a Top 5-10 squad when compared with similar powers. Yet, when Bob was fired, it was Elo's 33rd, which either makes its players overrated or its coaching staff.

    The economic value as expressed by the transfer prices and wages of Yanks suggest that the players en masse are somewhere below the Top 15 and that includes the kids who were raised and developed in Germany.

    Donovan himself, it needs to be pointed out, was only rated as the 19th best player in MLS by Castrol, considerably below other attackers like Chris Wondolowski (2nd), Kenny Cooper (9th) and Eddie Johnson (14th). And, whatever you say about Castrol, at least, there's sufficient statistical evidence to support the notion that the guy ain't all that.

    So save me the vitriol.

    Happy Holidays to y'all.
  16. chalaron

    chalaron Member+

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    I don't think it's as simple as either you or SFS make it out to be. You cherry-picked strengths to support your point, SFS cherry-picked weaknesses to aid his. All of those players are skilled (I would never put McBride on a list of skilled players, regardless of how much I liked him as a player) but none of them outside Donovan really display anything that you could say is in the top few % of pro players. Meh it's an argument that could go on for days though, ultimately who cares as long as they get the job done.
  17. chalaron

    chalaron Member+

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    7 games is no where near a large enough sample to compare. A couple of hot games and his numbers become closer. You're also failing to consider the 2 different roles those players had. Wingers not named Bale don't tend to have lots of shots on goal as they aren't shooting as much and are out wide so I'd imagine their angles tend to not be as good as someone playing in the center of the park.
    Plus 25 SOG in 28 games is .89 not .95. I'd rather look at success of shots rather than the total number. Osman has a 40% rate of getting shots on goal, Donovan has a 33% rate. However, if Donovan were to get one more shot on goal his rate jumps to 43%. This shows me that there's not much difference between them other than Osman shoots the ball more...not necessarily any better. It also illustrates why his sample is too small to really parse.
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  18. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

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    It's not vitriol to point out that saying that Donovan is a "poor shooter" is silly. It's stating the obvious. There's a lot of room between "poor" and "world-class." I'm not going to pursue it because this isn't the thread for it, but if you're going to use hyperbole like that, don't be surprised when people challenge you on it.
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  19. DIMITAR BERBATOV!

    DIMITAR BERBATOV! Member+

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    Dribbling is definitely a weakness for our player pool. We also don't really have any #10 types.

    Clint Dempsey, Freddy Adu, Lee Nguyen, and Michael Farfan are the only USA players with 4* skills in FIFA 13. Foolproof science.

    Purely for the entertainment value, I would love to see an American with the skill of Berbatov or Ronaldo. Dempsey isn't too shabby, but not really amazing either. Maybe the next generation will bring a little more flair...
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  20. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively Let us soccer

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    Well if Americans aren't going to separate themselves from their peers by ball skillz then work rate seems the next option, naturally.

    Obviously these are the few Americans who have the complete package of adequate skills + work rate + athleticism.
  21. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Well, I think he has an accurate shot but he rarely gets any power behind it. When he tries to muscle up, he loses accuracy.

    His free kicks, whether with the Galz or the US, are mostly, if not always, crosses. He rarely manages to hit the ball with the required power and precision to even bother a GK. Compare it to his ex-teammate Mr. Beckham, who has both the power and the accuracy with either a hard shot or a bender.

    Now, is Donovan poor by MLS standards? I guess, with me valuing MLS standards as low, perhaps not but, even there, he is below someone like Brad Davis.

    But, at the international/Top 6-8 League level, Donovan's ball striker and dribbling ability in general are rather poor.*

    *I will note, he was more successful with his dribbling at Everton, where he was often played into space and thus could get a lot of steam going before even taking a first touch. With the US, where he was often being depended on to be a playmaker rather than a recipient of a playmaker's largesse, he usually struggled to take his marker off the dribble. At Bayern, where wide players basically have wide areas of the pitch cleared for them for the sole purpose of them dribbling toward the penalty box, Donovan's skills were woefully inadequate. With Everton where it's sufficient to serve cross into the box with Fellaini, Osman and Jelavic crushing into the penalty area, his skills were sufficient.
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  22. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

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    I disagree with much of what you say, but let's stipulate for the moment that it's all true. In which case, Donovan's skills are sufficient to make him a valued first-team player for a mid-table Premiership team. But he doesn't take free kicks as well as David Beckham.

    Yeah, "poor" is still hyperbole.
  23. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    I have no idea why stepovers are even considered dribbling. I never had a problem taking the ball from a step over schmuck..... watch his steps and when he plants and steps, the ball is yours..... It accomplishes ZERO. What I do not see is subtle feints and the change of gears and holding the ball close.......Often just weight shifts and body angles and the ball would roll virtually untouched as opponents would be fooled by these feints. There are ways of dribbling that do not just mean touching the ball and veer left and right. Body shifts to cover the ball and on and on. I do not see hat in the MLS. Watch Messi.. when he shifts gears and feints he has his body on the ball and the opponent is already behind....so many different ways to handle the ball......Shooting as well has subtle differences and I do not think kids are taught the vagaries of foot to ball contact.......
  24. nobody

    nobody Member+

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    I do think the typical US players are lacking in skill compared to players from the bigger countries. I don't really see how this is in doubt, frankly. And yes, this is demonstrated in how we are able to produce a number of hard running midfielders, but a much smaller number of creative players. For creative players, we basically have Dempsey, Donovan and Altidore able to perform at top level in Europe. And only Dempsey has done this over time.

    I think Donovan is absolutely good enough to have done so if he had made that choice. I don't think he is a particularly good dribbler, especially in taking his man one-on-one without a lot of space to run. But, the idea that dribbling is the be all end all of determining how skilled a player is makes little to no sense. Also, his shooting ability is excellent. You don't judge who is the best shooter just by how much power they put on the ball. Say Donovan isn't a powerful shooter and fine, I'll tend to agree. But, he has excellent timing and placement which are far more important. And while his dribbling isn't anything special, he has excellent touch and control and excellent passing abilities, both in terms of accuracy and pace. Couple this with his speed, endurance and field awareness and he's very skilled and dangerous, even if he isn't a great dribbler.

    Players have different attributes and bring different thing to the table. To pick out one or two very specific things and extrapolate that to a player's overall skill level isn't really very accurate. It's like if I looked at Messi as a forward and said, well... he's really not much with his head and he doesn't win much in the air so he's really quite a poor player up front.
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  25. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    I agree in concept. For me it has to be the entire package. It is sad how many feel that dribbling is confused with technical ability. Technical ability transcends dribbling by many factors. For me close holding of the ball and accurate passing and movement off the ball and continuing a run into space for advantageous close holding ball reception (positioning). These skills are not being stressed at lower levels in the USA.
    I remember taking my ball to school in a net bag and juggling, kicking it ever step on the way home and to school. That breeds close control. That does not happen here, too many other sports to love.....

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