Post-match: USMNT vs Russia: Second Viewing Analysis

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Ironkick14, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    Because of the emotions of the two goals we let up and the dramatic tying goal at the end, I needed to rewatch the game to form opinions on any of the players' performances. A couple of my observations from the second viewing:

    1) Jermaine Jones did not do nearly as poorly as many people suggested immediately after the game ended yesterday. He actually did a fair amount to aid the attack when not trying to overdo things. And contrary to a lot of what i was reading yesterday, he did not try to do too much for the majority of the game. He did start to do this after numerous substitutions were made for both sides, but for the first half and first 20 or so minutes of the second half, he did fairly well, with a couple bad plays mixed in. Nothing wrong with that, as even General Bradley had moments he did something poorly yesterday. Also, many's definition of Jones doing "too much" seems to be when he makes those 40 yard runs out of the midfield with the ball to try to initiate the attack himself. While at times he did this, it was usually not the run itself that caused the attack to be unsuccessful, but the fact that the wings and Bradley didn't seems to expect it and therefore didn't move into positions on the field that would either open the space further or give a passing option when room inevitably ran out. At least in this game, lack of the chemistry club soccer provides is the reason why Jones is seemingly less talented in our jersey than he is in a Schalke jersey. On Schalke, the other attacking players knows he makes these runs and makes runs themselves to open space and give options. Hopefully, that chemistry can be recreated over time on this US team. If not, it is up to Klinsmann to realize the difference between his team and Schalke in relation to Jones, and make Jones aware of it.

    2) The game was not as one-sided as some (read Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman) would like to have us believe. Even in the first half, when we were apparently dominated, we had a fair amount of possession after the first 10 minutes of Russia's initial attacks. And it wasn't possession for possession's sake either. It did start in with the backs, but was mostly through the midfield and would have been extremely dangerous had Gatt or Gomez not been afraid to go one on one with a Russian back. We moved it well and fairly creatively, but definitely missed Dempsey and Donovan because the two who started on the wings lacked the confidence in those positions to "try sh*t." As the game went on, Gatt started to gain some confidence, but still looked nervous at times and hesitant to play a ball into a dangerous area, instead trying a square pass to keep possession. In the second half, there were times when Russia could barely clear the ball out of it's end. After our goal, Russia started pressuring again, and they took control for about 10 mins, which is the only period of this game they truly dominated. We then took slight control back after their goal on the penalty and had a bit of and edge until we scored the tying goal.


  2. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    My dvr only record the 2nd half, but I also specifically watched Jones in the second half and I also cannot find what he did so horribly wrong. He rarely gives the ball away, when he does it's usually in the final 3rd trying to create something. He rarely was the reason for Russian turning on the US defense and countering. He worked incredibly hard moving all over the field and helped disrupt the play. His passing was fairly accurate. I thought he and Bradley were excellent and keys to the US playing well.

    I'd venture that some people were looking for Jones to do bad and then sought out plays to see it happen.

    The only negative I will say on Jones is that it's a bit of an annoying trend how often he stays on the ground displaying his injuries.
  3. Grogtank

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  4. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    What I noticed about Gatt, did anybody see his face after he came off the field? His mouth was swollen up like a boxer. I think that elbow early in the game did more damage than he let on.


  5. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    I agree with most of what you posted in the other thread and that Gatt shows promise. He looked good for a majority of the time he was out there. Most importantly, even though his nervousness seemed to show in the mechanics of many of the passes or moves he tried, the idea for what he was trying to do was almost always right. There were times that he would run at a Russian defender, and try to make a last second pass only to have it hit the defender's knee. He effectively opened the space for those passes and then he usually made the right pass. It just wasn't always completed. However, i wish that he had been slightly more aggressive at times. But since he has been very aggressive the dozen or so times I've watched him this season at Molde, I'm willing to assume it was nerves or desire to please JK that led to him being more careful.
  6. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

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    Jones was all over the place, not sure if it was good or not. in the last 15 minutes of the game he was playing like if he was another forward, not sure if that was done by design. My take on Jones is that he is not descipline enough for his role (8)
  7. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    You are assuming the coaching staff told him to stick around. I think it's fairly clear Bradley and Jones were given freedom to roam forward all night. I doubt Klinsmann is going to leave a guy in the game for 90 minutes if he is specifically disregarding instructions the entire night.
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  8. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    He looks plenty disciplined enough at Schalke while making all the same runs and generally playing the same position. the problem is that when he makes those runs forward for the US, the players don't create space for him or get into a position where he can pass to one of them when room runs out. Many of his Bundesliga assists and goals have come from the exact plays that US fans lament when he does them in the USMNT jersey.
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  9. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, created a good chance for Kljestan. He had a great open run that Bradley played a ball behind him on a counter. He had a grade A shot from Altidore at 81 minutes. (He botched the shot but credit for getting there.)
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  10. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    I'm talking about the times when he picks up the ball at about midfield and dribbles to the 18. He does create chances for his teammates, but only when they get into the spaces they need to be in to give him options. They don't do that as often on the USMNT as they do on Schalke. I'm not trying to blame him, but he does need to be aware of the differences between the two teams he plays for.
  11. TheNearPost

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    In my mind, my issue with Jermaine Jones isn't necessarily his quality of play. He's a quality player. I just don't think he brings what the U.S. needs from the guy next to Michael Bradley and in front of Maurice Edu/Danny Williams. He's rather redundant.

    In fact, if Michael Bradley were the central man tasked with playing highest up the pitch and Jones the man in a #8 role, we might be actually having the opposite argument here.

    However, if we're playing a 4-3-3, what Jones brings to the table is a bit redundant. We don't really need two #8 style midfielders in front of a #6.

    That's if we play the 4-3-3. I'm not sure we should. We looked good in a 4-2-3-1 agaisnt Guatemala, and we looked pretty good in a narrow 4-4-2 diamond for a little while against Russia. The issue for me was the lack of a player between the midfielders and forwards to receive and for people to move off of.

    That said, I think if we ARE going to play the 4-3-3, we should use someone other than Jones next to Bradley, or at least experiment with it. I would say Kljestan, Diskerud, Donovan and Zusi are all good candidates.

    I personally think that we might want to go with a mix of the two - stick to the diamond, use Donovan and Bradley as the #8's, with Dempsey as the 10 and Edu the #6. Altidore and Gomez/Agudelo/Boyd/Johnson as the forwards. We looked good with two forwards. We could also go with a 4-2-3-1 with Donovan wide left, Dempsey as the second/withdrawn forward, Altidore as center forward and any of the other forwards/wingers as the right winger.
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  12. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Watching the game again it really looks like Jones is assigned a left wing position late in the game. When the US has the ball he is very high and wide. Without the ball he tucks inside a bit but he's clearly not tasked with playing a defensive role. There's a great sequence at 89:00 where he takes the ball and beats his man, puts in a great cross that Agudelo heads over the bar. I've watched the final 45 minutes twice now and I'm thinking two things. One is that I am a little bit crazy for watching the same 45 minutes twice. Two is that Jermaine Jones had a good final 45 minutes. He doesn't turn the ball over and he's actually creating quick a bit as a left winger.
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  13. orcrist

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    He was actually checking his teeth for looseness after the contact :eek: I hope he has that all looked at!
  14. Dervos

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    Well, but he was better than Bradley this game, by a good margin, so isn't the question who should be next to him, not who should be next to Bradley? After re-watching, I'm even more glad Jurgen stuck to his guns and kept them both out there and keeps forcing them to acknowledge the other's existence. Jones was an absolute beast the entire game and Bradley was very, very good in the 2nd half.

    Is there a mod around who can merge this and the thread I started this morning on the same topic?
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  15. TrueCrew

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    That is because you are evaluating his play based on what his position was supposed to be at the beginning of the game, but after 6 subs, it was entirely different. Plus, we were down a goal late. Even if his WAS still the #8 (or one of two), why stay back at that point?

    I haven't re-watched the entire thing, but this was my take. Feel free to disagree, as always, I know BS needs no prompting on that score. :)

    Formation starting the game = 4-3-3/4-5-1
    ------------Timmay-----------
    Chandler--Cam---Boca---Johnson
    ------------Williams-----------
    -------Bradley----Jones-------
    Gatt-----------------------Gomez
    --------------Altidore------------

    1) '18: Goodson for Bocanegra, CB for CB. Same base shape.
    2) Gomez and Gatt switched sides
    3) '63: Agudelo for Gatt; '65: Kjestan for Gomez. At first, I thought this was a straight swap with Kljestan taking the RW/RM spot and Agudelo the same on the left. But I think somehow it morphed into more of a 4-4-2 while we were still behind 1-0, to push for more offense. Here is what I thought it looked like, adding in Edu for Williams at the 6.

    ---------------Timmay------------
    Chandler--Cam--Goodson--Johnson
    ----------------Edu------------------
    Kljestan------Bradley--------Jones
    ---------Altidore-----Agudelo------

    After we scored, I think Jones backed off a bit, and Agudelo took up more of the wide spot again, we were back into a more 4-3-3/4-5-1, with Kljestan, Atldiore, and Agudleo the attacking 3 and Edu + Bradley + Jones in MF. But that didn't last long, as they scored, and we put Mix on for Cameron, and made a straight swap of Boyd for Jozy and went hell bent to try to get an equalizer.

    I haven't watched the end again, so please correct me, but it almost looked 3-5-2/3-1-4-2, with Kljestan and Jones really getting forward a lot, especially Jones. Almost a 4 man front line.

    ------------Timmay----------
    Chandler---Goodson---Johnson
    ---------------Edu----------------
    ---------Bradley----Mix---------
    Kljestan--------------------Jones
    ----------Boyd--Agudelo--------

    =============================

    Anyway, I thought Jones was pretty good from the first time I watched, though far from flawless.

    I'm going to watch again with a more critical eye on Altidore as well. Anyone done that yet?
  16. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Jones better than Bradley by a "good margin?" I think that's a bit of a reach.
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  17. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    Yep. For the most part, his hold up play was actually pretty decent, but he rarely got the ball closer to goal than maybe 30 yards out. When he did get the ball in those positions, he had his back to goal. The main problem I saw with this was that because of the emphasis on width, when a back or Bradley sent an accurate long ball to Jozy, he would bring it down, then be forced to take two or three more touches because no one was close enough to benefit from the hold up play. If someone was there, it was usually one of Jones or Bradley, as the other had just sent the ball in towards Altidore. To play with a one striker system and the current midfield three we have, they need to be more interchangeable once on the field. If Bradley goes back to receive a ball, Williams needs to get into the attack so that there isn't the disconnect we are currently seeing.

    In other words, part of the problem with Altidore is that he's not getting service close enough to the goal to be dangerous. the other part is that when he gets the ball, he's in total isolation due to a lack of fluidity in the midfield. Of course, he did make a few mistakes in the game yesterday, such as when he failed to control the ball Fabian Johnson sent him in with. But usually, a striker will get at least 5 good chances to convert, and if they convert one a game, they are considered very successful. Jozy got 2 good chances yesterday.
  18. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    Sorry, didn't notice your thread until after I started this one.
  19. jond

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    I watched it again last night. I agree on Jones, and aside from getting too advanced on occasion played a very good game. As others have said, did JK give Jones the freedom and was it his role to play more advanced? If so, hard to blame him much for it, but he was strong overall.

    Bradley was even more impressive during my second viewing. Best player out there for either side imo. Absolutely took command of the game and the extra time goal doesn't happen without one of his late inch perfect passes which are becoming regular. Almost had a game tying assist at the end of the Rome derby last weekend from about the same spot on the opposite side and put it at Osvaldo's feet. He did have a game tying assist in that exact same manner his first Serie A game of this season.

    Jozy also looked pretty solid on the second viewing. he was obviously hustling and tracked back pretty deep, dispossessed a Russian player and drew a foul to stop a buildup around the 83rd min I think. Just came flying into the screen, sprinting towards our own box. He was physical throughout and his linkup play did create a few opportunities, although the concentration is on his poor toches which he did have. Had a great holdup than layoff sequence in the first half to Gatt.

    Edu looked pretty solid although getting dispossessed under pressure in our own half towards the end could have cost us.

    Think Goodson was somewhat unlucky on the PK. He obviously could have done better but that was not a clear PK for me.

    Boyd and Agudelo were very active in their minutes. Didn't always execute well, but I like they didn't show they were intimidated and both were aggressive as soon as they stepped out there. Movement was good as well.

    Thought Gatt made some very intelligent runs. Had some good touches keeping position centrally as well.

    Kljestan was disappointing. Gomez ever more so.

    Fabian had a very strong game and was a threat anytime he attacked and made advanced runs. He scared Russia.

    Williams was pretty poor, but I still start him at the 6 in Feb. I won't get too concerned about a single game. I really like his potential.

    SFS brought up a good point in another thread and I thought about it during my second viewing. We possessed and moved pretty well all things considered, but would that have happened with Clint out there? And I ask that as a huge Clint fan, but he does tend to clog the center of the pitch and hold onto the ball too long. Against Russia our movement and quick touches through the center and out wide were a pleasant surprise and I noticed it more viewing it a second time and rewinding our buildups. I'm not sure that happens with Clints habit of facing his defender and taking multiple touches. Especially not if he were to play LW for us as other want to see. While Gomez was poor overall for me, his runs/movement were key to our buildups. Still think we'll be at our best with pacey wingers on either side.Some combo of LD, Gatt and Shea going forward. Have to see Zusi against better competition to see if he has the pace/ball skill to stretch defenses at this level compared to Jamaica or A&B. But our wing play was decent overall, and that was without any crossing coming in from Gatt/Gomez. With crossing, we'd be even more potent. Chandler had our best crosses on the night, and I counted two of them from Timmy.
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  20. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Dempsey simply shouldn't be dropping into the center of midfield. Still I can't possibly see how he'd make our team less cohesive than Gomez or Gatt. Not to be rude but that idea just strikes me initially as ridiculous. Mostly because Gomez and Gatt didn't do much to keep possession to my eyes. They weren't terrible but they weren't driving it. He should be closer to goal, which I would like back out at his left wing spot, but that's me.
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  21. jond

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    I didn't suggest to drop him. Closer to goal of course is where he should play but that's not where JK has played him recently. He's been dropping back deeper, away from goal to get involved. I don't like Clint out wide and think we're better in a 4-4-2 anyway, so I'd play him more under Jozy with true wide play.
  22. Editor In Chimp

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    No, no, no....I've been told on multiple occasions that the problem is that Jozy doesn't care or try or doesn't care to try or something.

    Spacing has been, and continues to be a major problem for us unless we're playing an opponent that's clearly inferior to us. That's where Clint makes a difference; if he's playing off Jozy, Jozy isn't isolated nearly as badly.

    Gomez didn't do anything of note in his time on the field...
  23. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Gomez was out of position.
  24. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

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    Very true. Not exactly used to maximize his strengths.

    But, it's hard to get on JK since the roster was kinda ad hoc and he had approx 44 minutes of practice time before the game.
  25. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    He started just about exactly who I thought he would. It worked out well enough I thought, but assuming everybody is healthy, which they never are, Gomez shouldn't play there again if you ask me.

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