April 2019 friendlies

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by lil_one, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Layman

    Layman Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Congratulations. What a wonderful game. But we'll need to look at our defense. Ertz is needed to beef it up. I think Sanuderbrunn should be replaced as I cannot see what she has done in defense. Moving the ball up and then passing it backward to another defender is her signature move and what a stupid move it is. Dunn is a mid-fielder. Putting her in defense is making her play in an uncomfortable position and there is an apparent loophole there for the opponent to expose. We need a proper defender and not one who is used to beef up the attack which should be largely left to the forwards and mid. We have a good team now but there is always some finetuning that can make it better.
     
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  2. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    I noticed that too. Terrible form and probably is a sign of a lack of confidence.
     
  3. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    I was surprised how bad Australia was. Two of the goals came from long balls that just bounced over Australian defenders to land at the feet of US forwards. The Australian GK is a horror show. DeVanna is aged out. She looked out of shape and was only effective for about 10 minutes (in which she scored when Sonnet went on a walkabout and Naeher was napping). Kerr is good and their midfielders can turn under pressure, but they have serious problems in the back.

    But Australia was good enough to show the problems that continue to show themselves with the USWNT: a confused and befuddled midfield is incapable of controlling a game. When Ertz first moved into midfield it really solidified things. Like Brian at the WC, she was a DM that glued everything together and protected the middle of the defense. Maybe because the team was in poor form, they were playing more simply. Maybe because Ertz was new, she played more simply. However, last night she was all over the place, rotating with other MFs and Fs and the whole midfield was chaotic. The Australian 1st had two MFs on one touchline and Ertz covering a 40 yd diameter circle in the middle of the field. She does terribly with that job because I don't think she was suppose to be a DM and she was supposed to be a counter-pressing 8. It was like we play with three 8s that primarily are looking to press individually.

    Horan seemed lost. Lavelle barely gets on the ball. Like all the women's YNTs in the past 4 years, it is long balls from defense to the channels and hope someone runs on to it. It worked quite a bit in this game, maybe because the altitude had the Australians confused. But we will not be playing at 5000' in France. If any of the forwards can just stay onside or Heath didn't take heavy touches to limit her angle, it could have been 8 or 9 goals, but mostly from just poor defending by Australia, not any great team play by the USA.

    I can't remember one sequence where we had a defender pass to Ertz, who passed to Horan, who found Lavelle, who passed through the lines to a forward. I think we have one such sequence all year (goal against Spain maybe). Not saying you have to be so methodical all game, but it is useful to establish you can do it as it creates space for your wingers. The USA doesn't even try to use the midfield to do offense. I wonder if two MFs had a pass to each other all game.

    As we have seen with the YNTs lately, if you can't control the midfield you can't control the game. This opens you up for poor results against any level of team on an off day; especially in a tournament. The USWNT has a clear talent advantage on the field and coming off the bench. But that is what will carry them to victory, not any synergy between those talented players.

    It is hard to believe that after 5 years with the same coach with a pretty consistent player pool, it just seems like the team is not organized in any facet of the game.

    Oh, and Dunn is not great on defense and has become a complete non-factor on offense as the year has gone on.
     
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  4. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    The Equalizer commented that Ertz was having to cover too much territory and that she needed to be reinforced. That means to me that Mewis has to get back in the starting midfield and Lavelle out. Nor that Lavelle is bad, just that she doesn't have much defensive presence --- and the U.S. needs to bolster its defense.

    After we lose the WC because speedy teams like France blow by our fullbacks (sans O'Hara) we'll need to work on that position. Dunn is not doing great -- and seems to have lost a step. Sonnet was good on offense -- but an aging Devanna with a little luck could have scored twice on her instead of only once.

    Sauerbrunn doesn't seemed to be doing much at center back. Over the hill? Give Davidson another try at center back-- and also like her better than Sonnet at right back.

    We're putting too much on our three forwards: Rapinoe, Morgan, and Heath. And I'd make a small bet that at least one of them will be injured and miss the World Cup.
     
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  5. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    I agree with all that. I also don't know why a clearly lost a step Sauerbrunn's competition is a kid without any professional experience. There is no professional American CB in the entire NWSL that could be given a look? There was a loose ball by Australia that Brunn went to recover. With a 10 yd head start, she barely got there ahead of Kerr. That Kerr even went for it tells you what Sam thinks of Becky.

    I'm not even sure Ertz is supposed to be covering all that space. I think that is the logical way to look at a soccer team in action, but I don't know if Jill thinks like that. For most of that game, it didn't seem like Ertz was dedicated to any role, much less as a holding #6. Heck, I saw Heath rotate there for a good amount of time in last night's game and the previous.

    I just can't figure out what Ellis and the only thing I can think of is the games don't matter.
     
  6. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just looking at the stats from the game, and one stuck out to me. The US had 0 saves; all 3 of Australia's shots on goal (10 total shots) went in. Obviously not all three goals were Naeher's fault, but I've already said enough about the defensive line. And a winning WC team needs a goalkeeper who, at some point in the tournament, will put in an all-star performance. This was not that.
     
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  7. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't see Krieger having two assists, as Sonnett did. But ... give me O'Hara if she can get herself reliably fit, which seems to be a big ???
     
  8. jnielsen

    jnielsen Member

    May 12, 2012
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Agree, lil one. It has become more apparent thru the years how really excellent Solo was. In past tournaments, our goalie has been a key part of our defense - not this year.
     
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  9. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pretty good comments overall, but it hasn't been 5 years with a "pretty consistent player pool." There's been a lot of change over the last 5 years.
     
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  10. taosjohn

    taosjohn Member+

    Dec 23, 2004
    taos,nm
    That was the really strange thing to me; Sonnet played fantastically well, well enough that I might have thought her the star of the game-- except for three or four really really strange choices/indecisions; only one of which she got away with.

    Strange enough that I wondered what her instructions were-- it almost seemed like she didn't think deVanna her problem at all, but was really worried about Foord.
     
  11. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ....to respond to a question, above, of the American center backs not on the Nats, Emily Menges and Lauren Barnes are the best. Like several posters, I think a lot of the problem is giving Ertz too much to do and not playing her as a traditional 6 and, aside from KO, playing two fullbacks who are not fullbacks by trade. I think Dunn is OK, to get her on the field, but the other side needs to be a true defender. (KO is an exception ).
    Ellis overthinks everything. It is a simple game, really.
     
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  12. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    “Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.” – Johan Cruyff
     
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  13. PlaySimple

    PlaySimple Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Chicagoland
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    It's the story behind my moniker and my signature but I always thought this was Cruyff's quote:

    "Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is"

    Perhaps I have it wrong?

    Point taken but when I made the comment I was thinking of Sonnett being grossly out of position on more than one occasion. I hope O'Hara is back. The team needs her.
     
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  14. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    This site of Cruyff's quotes does not have that quote at all.
    https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/johan_cruyff
    But this one has it the way I quoted it:
    https://www.azquotes.com/author/3455-Johan_Cruijff
    And this one has it your way:
    https://quotefancy.com/quote/115081...le-but-playing-simple-football-is-the-hardest

    I once met him and had a conversation with him (Actually he talked and I listened) and it would not surprise me if he said it both ways and several other ways as well. ;)

    I also particularly like the one that goes, “Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate.” – Johan Cruyff
     
  15. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am thinking that 50% of the blame for De Vanna's goal falls on Naeher. She should have been screaming at Sonnet to cover the outside. The keeper can and should see the entire field in front of her.
    The defenders and keepers need to lock themselves a room and decide on how they are going to play together .
     
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  16. Layman

    Layman Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Before we criticize our goal keeper, we should look at the Australian goals. The first one was the fault of Sonnett who left the Australian left wing forward unmarked. I don't think any of the Australian goals can easily be saved by any goal keeper. My thinking is that the US defense is not up to the best and needs to be beefed up by placing Ertz in defense to replace possibly Sauerbrunn. Heath can played well in the mid in Ertz's place, letting Pugh to step in on the wing.
     
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  17. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    She cheated to the near post on the first goal, too, instead of stepping a bit to cut down the angle.
     
  18. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  19. Layman

    Layman Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    From your posting, I can detect that you have never played the game. Da Venna was not alone. Stepping out would expose the goal more to Venna's team mate who could have received a pass from her. She moved to cover the more vulnerable side hoping Sonnet should be able to cover more the side nearer to her. I don't think any move suggested by you or anybody can save the goal. It was too far gone when Da Venna received the pass.
     
  20. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually I've played at the collegiate level (although not at the goalkeeper position), and coached, and refereed. But you're entitled to your opinion; no reason to go for an ad hominem argument.

    I wasn't saying a huge step out early. I'm talking about her position from where she set her feet to dive when De Vanna shot. Even one step away from the post at an angle (as the ball was being passed to De Vanna) instead of moving too close to the near post, which was covered, would have cut the angle and possibly given her a chance to get her hands on it. Unlike others, I'm only giving her about a 25% of the blame on that goal though; most of its on Sonnett.

    I'm also not alone here, unless you want to also say that Anthony DiCicco knows nothing about the game:

     
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  21. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    There is a basic principal in goalkeeping that you never ever give up the near post. A corollary to that is that if you must cheat or over commit it should always be to the near post. As a further point on that is a near post goal is always the goal keeper's fault and a far post goal is often the fault of the defenders.

    I fault Naeher for a lot of things and I find her footwork quite questionable in many cases and we won't, at this time, even go into her very poor catching of high balls but, in this case, she is totally not at fault for the goals to the far post. The fault lies on the defense allowing the wide open shot and failing to properly mark in the box.

    That is not saying that it is not possible that some brilliant move/save by the keeper might not have made the save, we have seen many saves off similar situations by the legacy goalkeepers, but Naeher simply lacks the ability and footwork to make that brilliant save. She is a good keeper and maybe the best of the current pool but she is not at the level we have had in the past.

    I have seen improvement over the last year or two but she still has areas that are truly weak and she may never reach the level of her predecessors. However it is our defense that REALLY needs work. Some of that may fall back on the keeper for lack of communication but we, or at least I, do not know what is actually being said (yelled) by the keeper.

    The keeper is the only player that can, or at least should, see everything and she must direct the defense in coverage but, for that to work, the defense must listen and execute and, from what I have seen, this defense is not moving and defending as a unit and I would need to actually sit behind the goal for a couple of matches to determine what the communication/listening/reaction situation really is but I strongly suspect that the keeper and the defense and even the coach are all to "blame" for the holes in the defense.

    In a lot of ways the keeper/defense relationship is like a marriage where the keeper is the wife and the defenders are the husband(s) and for that marriage to work the wife must communicate and the husband(s) must NOT exercise their selective inattention.
     
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  22. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is the a lack of team leadership?
    Rampone displayed and communicated exemplary confidence. She was Captain America. Wambach was in your face. Broon is Rampone-light; Lloyd has always marched to her own drummer; Morgan does not naturally gravitate to leadership; Heath is someone I’d go to soccer war with, but comes from a long time being from Planet Tobin.
    I think Pinoe has the temperament and respect to be the leader. At this point Ertz does too.
    (If Ellis had started bringing f***ing McCall Zerboni in when she should have, there would be no leadership gap.)
     
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  23. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    The "problem" with most of those you mention is that they are in forward playing positions and so do not see much of the defensive play and are rarely in position to correct defensive problems during play.

    Players playing in the front can, and often do, make good/great team captains but leadership during play should come from someone in the defense or from the keeper.

    But, you are correct, we do not currently really have anyone, or any group of people, that act to strongly lead during match play. Thinking back, way back, to the '99 team; one of the things that made them strong was communication. I do not think there were any of the "top" players that were not leaders, when needed, on the field. I do not exactly remember who was on the field at the time except for Brandi Chastain. Brandi had one of her lapses of concentration and a player was about to break free and four different voices yelled instructions to her and they all said, almost in unison, exactly the same thing and she recovered and prevented a dangerous attack. That is what we need: All players understanding the system, all players being willing to help the rest of the team and all players being willing to act on corrections when needed. We do not need one leader on the field, we need 11 or at least 5 or 6.
     
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  24. Layman

    Layman Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Excellent analysis of the team's problem in defense. At this time, I think the players are afraid to upset each other by shouting instructions to another player. Look at Horan, she seems to be playing to please her team mates rather than for the whole team. Usually it was the central defender that commands respect and can direct the defense. But nowadays we have two central defenders. Sauerbrunn does not command enough respect in her play from her team mates. Dalhkemper is too new to the team to take command. But Ellis can change that and give the authority to Dalhkemper. I hope she will listen to your advise and act without hesitation.
     
  25. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    I do not believe players or coaches or staff from the US teams read these boards at all. So anything I, or anyone else, says here will never be heard to act on or not. I do not really think that is a bad thing as we could really get players/coaches confused quite quickly if they tried to pay attention to what we babble on here.

    Their internet activities are limited to antisocial media like Twitter or the like.
     
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