The wool over our eyes. Center Defensive Midfield.

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Eleven Bravo, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

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    Our midfield is the position that most fans brag about having the most talent and by far being the most crowded. But we are fooling ourselves if we think we are set at center defensive midfield. For the record, Klinsy refuses to deploy Jones as a center defensive midfielder and Bradley is best utilized further up the field as well. Then, Zusi, Kljestan, Torres, Corona, Diskerud, Feilhaber, and Bedoya...none are defensive midfielders.

    So, look at who we have. Williams is our best bet, but he's still questionable and has not done that great this year in the Bundesliga. Edu is our second best bet, but he can't even make the bench for Stoke City. Edu is an excellent stopper, but he offers nothing as far as creating the attack. Then things get a whole lot more desperate. Kyle Beckerman is next in line. There's no nice way to say, but that Beckerman is poor, and he's only going to continue to be poorer. He's better than Edu as far as passing, but he's very clumsy, slow, and loses his mark. Who's next? Alfredo Morales. The guy who cannot even crack a Bundesliga2 squad. Not much hope there. And in MLS, we have Sam Cronin, Ricardo Clark, Jeff Larentowicz, and Perry Kitchen who are most natural center defensive midfielders, and Dax McCarty (who is more of a two-way midfielder too). None of these options were considered good enough for Klinsy to even take a look at.

    The good news is that Jones could be a good defensive midfielder if we needed him to be. Also, a midfield of Jones, Bradley, and the return of an in-form Holden would make most teams across the world afraid. Furthermore, Williams and Morales are both very young, and we can hold hope that they develop more. Also, Edu could be a good veteran presence if he can figure out his club situation. Finally, while chances are very bleak, there might still be an ember (a very small ember) that Osvaldo Alonso could make the switch too.


  2. Excellency

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    I agree with the theme of your post, if not every little detail.

    I dont think Klinsi is to blame so much on this one and I have the feeling that he is actually worried about the situation. Another reason to worry, even for Williams fans: Hoffenheim may very well be relegated and I doubt Williams moves into a starting position in a top tier league with another team the way, say, Johnson could.

    Put Alonso out of your mind as long as Fidel is alive. Jones is a vet and does not want to play the dmid, as I understand it, and one senses JK is not going to force that issue on him this late in his career with everything Jones can give us in the position he prefers. I was actually wondering if any of our cb's had the talent to play there, like Besler? Maybe somebody who knows him better could opine.
  3. Inca Roads

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    I've never seen Besler take up a d-mid position. He's not great on the attack either, and I'm not certain he's pacey enough to handle that slot. However, if I had to recommend someone from the SKC squad, Myers is fast, smart, big and doing quite well--good going forward, excellent chasing back, clever with his passing, etc. Too bad he didn't get a callup to Camp Cupcake, where I think he could have showcased a bit of ability and possibly vied for that d-mid slot.

    Aside from that, I have no idea. None of SKC's d-mids are yanks.
  4. TheHoustonHoyaFan

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    This is so silly that for a moment I thought this was a joke and was looking for the punch line.:eek: We have Jones, Bradley, Williams, Edu, Beckerman, and Sacha as part of the first 23 as well as Clark and Larentowicz in the extended 29 who have been on JK's roster and got starts at CC2012. Jones, Bradley and Williams are starters in the top 4 leagues on the planet. Edu is rostered on a top 4 league. Beckerman is consensus top 2 CDM in MLS and a MLS All Star. Kljestan starts as a #8 in a 4-2-3-1 for a CL-level Belgium champion.

    The only other spot where we have such quality depth is at FB where Dolo, Chandler, and Fab are starters in the #3 league on the planet, Parkhurst who was just was just transferred to the BLs is a starter on a CL-level Denmark champion , and Castillo is a starter on the LigaMx champion while Lichaj is a frequent starter in the EPL.


  5. Marko72

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    Well we could play Geoff Cameron there. Except that CB is in much more dire straights...
    sXeWesley repped this.
  6. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

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    I'm not sure what league/team a player plays for exactly points out whether or not they fill the position for the national side.
  7. TrueCrew

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    Cameron can most definitely play some DM. We'd then have an issue at CB, however.

    Still, I think you if put 2 of Bradley, Jones, and Holden in CM, we should be able to do OK.
  8. olephill2

    olephill2 Member

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    I'm not nearly as pessimistic about this position as you. Several of the players you discounted above have already proven to be capable contributors for the US, including Ricardo Clark and Maurice Edu. Clark is not suddenly a worse player than the guy who covered tons of ground and helped key our confederations cup run in 2009. But he has hardly been able to sniff the squad this cycle with the emergence of guys like Danny Williams and Jermaine Jones.

    I believe our goals against average is much better under Klinsmann than it was under Bob Bradley, despite the fact that our center back situation is much less settled.

    Williams is a young central midfielder starting in the Bundesliga, and he is only going to get better. I'm hopeful that Edu will get his club situation sorted out, and if he does, he's a solid bench player in our 18. Clark could make a comeback on this team as he stabilizes in MLS. If Jones moves into the #6 role, even better, since I don't like him as a #8 on our squad.

    Plus, if a guy like Stuart Holden returns to form, I'm not convinced that we need to play with a dedicated #6. I'd be interested to see how an in-form Bradley/Holden central midfield pairing looks.
  9. LouisZ

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    IF you want the best...the you need concider Cameron, great passing, tough as nails, the problem is you are plugging a small hole and creating a bigger one. Maybe Gonzalez may come to the rescue with the bigger hole issue.
  10. LouisZ

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    We have to play with a dedicated "6" as long as Jones/Bradley continue to go up in the attack, there is too much room open when they do that.
  11. Excellency

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    but is Williams capable in that formation or does he need to share the mid as a right dmid with a left dmid on the other side? Williams is not Arteta, Song, Yaya Toure, Fellaini. He might look like it against Antigua but we will not be playing Antigua next year in Brazil. We will be playing Argentina or somebody on that level, right?
  12. LouisZ

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    Is bad enough we are only playing with 3 attackers and either/or JJ/MB when they can. taking one of them away will make our offense even more anemic. It would be ok to play with 2 DM if we had a very good AM to help the front line but right now we don't.
  13. Excellency

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    We could play a 4231 with Bradley sitting behind Dempsey, EJ on left wing and find a good right wing who can score the ball - somebody would need to step up and claim the spot.
  14. TheHoustonHoyaFan

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    Of course Williams is more than capable. Williams is a starting #6 for a BL1 team. As a pure defensive #6 he is likely behind Jones and Edu. As a defensive #6 I would put Jones and Edu equal to any on your list and Jones, Edu, and Williams better than Arteta who is not a defensive #6 but more of a pivot who needs to play next to a more robust #6.
  15. Lascho

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    I'd like to put some light on Jones' development as a player.
    Believe it or not, he was a forward at U19 level. However, he couldn't score and lost balls at pro level; but his effort was great, he was great in pressing, and never shy to go into physical duels. His club coach moved him back to DM, and he became a pretty good physical, purely defensive midfielder with very good ratings. His then-NT coach Jogi Löw told him that he was good, but Löw's Germany didn't want or need a physical, purely defensive midfielder, and he had to add an attacking facet to his game. Jones worked hard to become more involved in the offensive side of the game, started to make penetrating runs, and looked for shots. Löw still dismissed him, probably because he hadn't been honest, and never wanted a guy like Jones on his team.
    Jones understood that he'd never get a chance under Löw, reflagged, and probably thought he'd be a key player for his new NT soon. He still had these new facets, he liked to roam around, and get involved in goals, instead of just staying at home and hacking players. He's still a dynamic player, in spite of his injury history, he can make important runs for 90 minutes (if he doesn't get subbed for card trouble), he came to like it, and he's playing this role at his club now.
    He could be a good stay-at-home-DM. However, it probably feels like he had to limit himself to a more simple role that he left behind earlier in his career to him.
    deuteronomy, Mr Martin and sXeWesley repped this.
  16. yankeeRoyal

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    No surprise Jones started in attack and was then moved back. Regarding why Loew didn't want him.....probably the same reason I don't rate him......Jones can't put the ball in the net......neither for club nor country.
  17. Lascho

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    I think Löw dislikes him for different reasons; probably rather he dislikes his personal style on the field, and as a person. Jones could have been similar to Khedira for Germany as a physical, dynamic two-way player (though Khedira to Jones is probably like Real to Schalke), but Khedira is a well-educated, nice guy with 37 cards in 323 games, and Jones is Jones; a shepherd to a pit bull. Löw just doesn't like the pit bull guys.
  18. TheHoustonHoyaFan

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    Chandler also started his career as an attacking player at Eintracht Frankfurt before finding success after moving to the backline for Nuremberg!
  19. TheHoustonHoyaFan

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    What did Klinsmann say very recently: "Germany could really use a player like Jermaine Jones" :D
  20. yankeeRoyal

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    Blackburn thought that too.
  21. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    And they were right.
  22. bmo180

    bmo180 Member+

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    Khedira has been a disapointment at Madrid though imo, pretty average player, I wouldnt be surprised if they buy an upgrade soon
  23. Lascho

    Lascho Member+

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    That's still different from "playing at Schalke". Pretty much everybody is a disappointment at Madrid after 2 or 3 years. However, I don't get the level where Khedira is a "pretty average player". Are you sure that you understood my posting and Khedira's game?
  24. sidefootsitter

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    Khedira is only average is you're comparing him to Xabi Alonso and Luca Modric.

    In other words, Sami is your typical $35M rated midfielder playing next to a $50M rated midfielder.

    As to the US, the central midfield is a numerical area of strength. Qualitatively, of course, there's no Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso or Luca Modric amongst them.
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  25. Spursfan1

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    This is correct. it is unfair to put our CMs against those. At least our can COMPETE in that class and not be completely ruined.

    we have positions on our squad that cant even compete. this is where we have problems. places where we could be without a player and we wouldnt notice the difference...this is the real issue. Center defensive mid is not one of those positions.

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