After a more objective second viewing of USA vs. Belgium...

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by USASOCCERREVOLUTION+, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. USASOCCERREVOLUTION+

    Dec 17, 2013
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    I realized how much we were outplayed in the midfield. We played valiantly, and we exceeded the sum of our parts again, but we still are lacking some key pieces. Honestly, against Germany and Belgium (Ghana as well to a certain extant) we relied on heroic goalkeeping, defensive tenacity, and a bit of luck to stay in the game as much as we did. I view this WC as a huge success, but we are still yet to truly play on level terms with the world powers. To me, the two most glaring weaknesses, and most pressing needs are:

    1. A Midfield boss. A player technically sound enough to never lose the ball in the midfield. A confident and accurate passer who not only supplies dangerous outlet passes, but rarely has a bad pass. We needed this type of player to "eat up space" in the midfield, and impose their will against Belgium/Germany. We had all hoped/expected Bradley would be this player, but that did not work out. I still believe he can play at that level, but he was put on an island without the target of Altidore, and...

    2. A truly dynamic attacking player. Watching Hazard and DeBruyne really made our lack of attacking talent stand out. The speed, ball control, and inventiveness they displayed was electric. Every time they were on the ball, it was clear they could create a goal at any given time. Not only did they create chances, but they were an additional outlet from the midfield that we did not have. They looked impossible to dispossess when compared to Zusi and Davis, who are embarrassingly limited in comparison. As long as we have players comparable to them, I cannot honestly envision us getting past the round of 16. Can Green or Gil blossom into this type of player? Can we acquire Zelalem's services? Maybe a less heralded player can step up?

    Considering all of the concern about our defense pre-WC, ironically enough, I believe our defensive core to be our team's strong point. FJ, Chandler, JAB, Besler, Gonzales, Cam all ostensibly will return, and of course our GK situation is set with Howard or Guzan. On the other side of things, I think Altidore is still our striker for the future. His physical talents make him an ideal target striker, and in addition, Johansson will at the very least be an exciting super sub. To me, that makes the aforementioned postions paramount for our future success. I know we are a long way from rivaling the top nations' overall talent pool, but I honestly believe that if we can develop 2-3 more technically skilled/dangerous midfielders, we can take our team to the next level, and push further into the tournament. Your thoughts? All of that being said, group of death vanquished :)
     
  2. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    So far in the first half it looks like we played more of a 4-2-3-1 than in past games.
     
  3. huckleberry123333

    Jul 17, 2013
    Julian Green and Gedion Zelalem will play those rolls in Russia and will be the 2 best players on the team. All will be great and the failure/incompetence of the homeland to produce these kind of players will continue to be minimized. As for USSF to develope one of these players through the academies/MLS, it's yet to be determined if we are capable. Adu should have been the play maker on this team and Brek Shea the winger, but ultimately the system here failed them both(and they are both to blame as well). Now they would not have been world beaters like Hazard, but as it was we didn't have a single player of those positions qualified to start in Brazil.

    Been going off about this like a broken record in The Lost Generation thread.
     
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  4. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A lot of it comes down to a personnel choice on the field. Playing 3 DM's with Bedoya tracking really deep and Dempsey as your lone striker is always going to be a hold on for dear life type of situation. We never saw this type of lineup in the games leading up to the tournament.
     
  5. beerslinger23

    beerslinger23 Member+

    Jun 26, 2010
    We could have been given a special line-up picked by the gods of soccer themselves and it would not have mattered. Our players do not possess the skill to play with the likes of Mertens, De Bruyne, Witsel and Hazard. We do not have any Origi's coming down the pike and Altidore is no Lukkaku. My point is , we simply do not possess the talent to compete in the middle or final third with the class that these next generation football powers are producing. In a cycle or two we will have a midfield but how much depth? 2 wins and a draw to win the group but then flaming out in R16 is pointless. To become a seeded nation AND win our group guaranteeing us a weak opponent is going to require a pipeline that not only produces talent but real depth. I can't even bear to watch another replay because the talent gap is so enormous. Our guys looked like a joke out there compared to the creativity, speed of thought, touch and technical skill that Belgiums midfield had. The difference is truly insane.
     
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  6. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #6 Soccergodlss, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    We very well could have had the same outcome had we come out and played more attacking, but when you sit back so much you make the opposition look even better than they are. We made Belgium look better than they are, although they are a solid side. I don't think the difference in talent is as much as US fans negatively believe.

    Question to ponder: Is Mexico so much more talented than us that they can come out and take on the likes of Brazil, Croatia, and Netherlands? Is Costa Rica that much more talented than us that they can thoroughly beat up on Uruguay and then handle Italy? These are teams that we play all the time and some of the time we out-possess them. And even more often, we outplay them. I don't see us back down from those teams like we have backed down from many of the teams in this tournament. At the very least, we can play with more belief than we played with in this WC. Mexico and Costa Rica have shown more faith in their approach than our lineups have. I'd say congrats on the results, and its always easier to second guess, but I want the proactive version that Klinsmann promised over what we were shown.
     
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  7. bibotelli12

    bibotelli12 Member

    May 13, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I hope your right about Green and Zelalem. You really cant predict what they will be at their age. However, I have watched games where Zelalem plays, and if he fullfils his potential and plays for us, we will have a Cesc Fabregas type player controlling our midfield for years. I heard people make the comparison, and I thought it was just because they were both Arsenal players, but the kid literally plays the exact way Fabregas played when he was younger.
     
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  8. FlipsLikeAPancake

    Jul 6, 2010
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The system failed them? The system failed them?

    Please explain how "the system" failed either Shea or Adu. Both got signed as teenagers to MLS. Both were active members of numerous youth national teams. Both were given chances to impress on the full national team. Both got plenty of playing time in MLS. Both were thus given the exposure to secure transfers abroad.

    And both have seen their club careers sputter.

    With Adu, it has been at countless teams. With Shea, it's largely been the result of a couple injury plagued years.

    So, I call complete BULLSHIT on your argument. The system didn't fail these guys. No, the system actually afforded these two guys every opportunity. It just didn't work out.

    The reason why it seems like such a failure to you is because you pinned a silly degree of high hopes on them.

    And I see that you've learned nothing, because you're already pinning your hopes on Green and Zelalem not just to make the 2018 team, but to be our best players.

    Look, I'm as hopeful as the next guy about Green and Zelalem. Who doesn't hope that they become stars for us?

    But it is downright stupid to assume any youth player is going to be a star. We've hyped guys too many times and been disappointed not to have learned otherwise by now.
     
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  9. Shaster

    Shaster Member

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Speed kills. In the game, Beasley broke down the defense, but he has no skill to dribble over the guys and goes for goals. Same as Yedlin who can only pass (without ability go for the goal).

    People don't like Donovan here, but you have to admit, without Donovan, our counter attacking in the front, are easily messed up by stupid passes. I still believe if you take Donovan/Agudelo instead of Davis/Yedlin, things may different.
     
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  10. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    You don't have to drop Yedlin to take Donovan&Agudelo.
     
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  11. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    When we play Mexico and Costa Rica away, we look a lot more defensive and certainly don't control play, iirc.

    And to answer our question, this generation of Mexico is much more skilled than we are (look at their success at the junior level). We still own them, of course, but that's because they are missing what we have - grit, determination and a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. I believe it will be easier for the us to gain skill than it will be for Mexico to gain grit.

    Trying to go toe-to-toe with better skilled teams may appease those care about our style (proactive, attacking, etc) but Mexico always crashes out in R16 while looking great. It does nothing for me. Tactically, if the other team is more skilled (as will often be the case in the WC but not so in qualification), we should defend well, pick our spots and if the game is close at the end, rely on our endurance and grit to squeeze out a result.
     
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  12. bltleo

    bltleo Member+

    Jan 5, 2003
    GERMANY
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    second viewing on the game...I liked to first viewing, it was super game, the best game of the world cup, very amazing..both have deserved to advance: Belgium and USA...You was really closely to win...it did not work for oyu this time...as it did not work for us Germany in the world cup 2006 or 2010 when we lost with Italy..this is soccer...despite this I will never forget this USMNT game...great one...typical US victory mentality...I like USMNT..it is pity you did not advance..I would have enjoyed to see German coach in the next round:)
    stay positive..and support your team and Klinsi....you have good team
    greetings from Germany
    and cheer for Germany today against FRANCE..o.k???
     
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  13. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    So when you don't defend well, you've done a poor job?
     
  14. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    German coach not good coach. German coach hate the Landon. German coach make USA lose to small country. No cheer today for Germany. Booooo!! :thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
     
  15. bltleo

    bltleo Member+

    Jan 5, 2003
    GERMANY
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    uh:)
    German coach good coach. German coach do not hat Landon only has preferred other players, maybe german-based players:). Belgium is small country, but their soccer was not that so bad, but your was also good.
    Huh..you must cheer for Germany:)...you should:)..o.k?
    or I take klinsi back to Germany and send you another coach:)...
    :)
    greetings
     
  16. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    :):):):):):):):):):):):):)
     
  17. bltleo

    bltleo Member+

    Jan 5, 2003
    GERMANY
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    O.K:)...I take him back:)...and send you another German coach:)..
    I think without Klinsi US soccer would have been not so popular as it is now...
     
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  18. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    And why would I have to do that?
     
  19. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    Raleigh
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're a bit off wrt Gedion's background.
     
  20. jeffmefun

    jeffmefun Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Quakeland, CA
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    OT, but bltleo, please don't spread that myth! Klinsi's surfing a wave that started looooong before he arrived.

    That said, please feel free to send over a different German coach any time. ;)
     
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  21. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did you watch us play Mexico in the last friendly? The first half of that game, we played the most beautiful soccer I've probably ever seen from the US team. The ability is there, the confidence at the World Cup stage isn't.

    Results are more important to me and you can argue that the results improved this tournament because of the defensive approach, but from my experience playing the game that style isn't a great recipe for sustained success.
     
  22. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

    Jul 27, 2001
    ATX
    The same goes for our 0-1 @ Italy, and our 4-3 win v Germany.
     
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  23. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with what you're saying, but we had a different approach to that game as well. Different players and a different system. The passing game was really on form that day, players were thinking two steps ahead.
     
  24. Spursfan1

    Spursfan1 Member+

    Sep 7, 2010
    Atlanta
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Doesn't matter. The rest of the soccer world is impressed.

    I'm glad we have the naysayers though. Jurgen desperately wants them to rip the coaching and the team. So keep it up... #playingintohishands
     
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  25. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Green, Zelalem, Hyndman, Flores are potential answers in 2018. But until they develop we can partially compensate for the lack of attacking mids by playing 2 forwards. You have to make do with what you have. The issue in this WC was our failure/inability to adapt once Altidore went down. With two decent forwards we have a slugger's chance against a team like Belgium.

    Mistake #1 was not having an understudy for Altidore on the roster. Either Boyd, Agudelo or EJ.

    Mistake #2 was not having Donovan on the team as another option at forward. Donovan & Dempsey is not an ideal forward pairing, but certaintly better than Wondolowski & Dempsey.

    Having made mistakes #1 and #2, we still had the option of starting a second forward against Belgium. AJ would have been preferable in the starting 11 to Zusi.

    Avoiding mistakes #1, #2 and #3 would not have made us favorites against Belgium but it would have given us a better chance.
     
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