Seems like this should have its own thread. Kudos to Paul Gardner for getting Ramos to open up a bit. There is some good stuff here. In the interest of driving traffic to a soccer publication, I will link it and let people respond and/or post excerpts as they see fit. http://www.socceramerica.com/article/54150/tab-ramos-the-making-of-a-coach-part-2.html My thoughts are these... If you believe Ramos when he says his plan was always to have a specific style of play/approach to the game with this team, then it's fair to say he largely succeeded in putting together a team that, especially by modern American YNT standards, was damn good with the ball. In terms of the average level of quality in collecting passes, looking up and making purposeful passes and touches, this team (in my opinion) looked better than some senior squads we have put on the field. I would have liked a follow-up exchange in search of more detail about why Ramos chose to assemble the team in this fashion. I do think he just plain missed on some player picks. He also made some damaging strategic errors, guessing very wrongly that we could run with Spain in the first match. With that said, the squad did try to play them straight up as instructed, looking pretty good (despite, perhaps, their own limitations) for long periods of the game; they also gutted out a needed result against France, for which he and the team deserve credit. Against Ghana, nobody looked particularly good. The other error Ramos made, in my estimation, was building an inflexible roster. While he would presumably argue that he picked the best players available given what he wanted to accomplish, certain qualities (a big body to throw at crosses late in games while down, at least one potentially game-breaking sprinter to threaten the back line) were completely absent and it showed. Not discussed in this article, was whether Ramos felt he had an on-field leader with this bunch. In my opinion, this job was given to Joya. He is feisty, but I don't know if he's a coach-on-the-field type. Cuevas is an inspirational player, but he was (probably rightly) a bench option with this squad. This might have been Pelosi, who played this role with the U17s, but he was not available. In any case, enough from me. Bottom line -- in this piece, Ramos gives his explanations for several decisions that obviously had major effects on how this team played and looked on the field. Whether you agree, it's nice to read them and know he was being asked them. Postscript: Gardner to some degree asks and then backs off the "Latino question" -- he starts by couching it as "the accusation," being careful not to say "I am accusing you of..." and then, after getting an obvious answer, immediately shifts focus to the college game, for which Ramos is not responsible. For my part, I don't buy that Ramos consciously and intentionally favored Latino players over better available non-Latinos. Never have. I know some of you do.