Coaching Philosophies and the Gregg Berhalter System

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Susaeta, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    No, but there are maybe 10 players in the world who fit that description. There are more who could do it well enough to be net positives, especially accounting for other qualities, but they’re not trophy winning passers.

    Do we have a guy who is good enough to do it against most international teams, I lean yes. Can they do it well enough that it makes the system optimal, I lean no when it comes to the top 10-15 teams.
     
    DHC1 and Pragidealist repped this.
  2. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    If Bradley returns to form he is still:

    1. Susceptible to making a dangerous turnover (less than Dax more than Beckerman).
    2. His vision and range are limited. He doesn’t see options as quickly as a true regista and he just flat misses out on recognizing runs, especially away from where he is moving/looking. His ball striking is not elite and is pretty one dimensional.
    3. Susceptible to pressure. Related to his narrow vision I don’t think he reads pressure from say the 120 degrees most directly behind him and he’s not great at turning away from what is coming at him.

    These can be mitigated by:

    1. Having support and shape and training to react well in that moment. Maybe he regains enough sharpness to reduce the level of danger.
    2. Basically by asking him to connect more than playmake and working on the patterns of play so the options are somewhat predictable. Put Pulisic and McKennie in the spots where they have to play the final pass while Mike just circulates.
    3. Limit scenarios where he has to take multiple touches early in buildup. I think the RB sliding inside is meant to provide cover and a quick option after the GK has played forward (the RB is initially providing width for the GK).
     
  3. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    On Pulisic, we have seen him on a possession oriented team. He can clearly thrive running off combination play and into the spaces caused by defenses shifting to stop the ball. He has been very productive for us playing from a central/free position. There is not an American player I want collecting a pass under pressure at the top of the box with runs being made in behind more than him. Maybe it’s better for the team to have Nagbe or Lletget getting the pass into their feet and him making the run but that’s because he’s so much better than the other wide options.
     
    Pragidealist repped this.
  4. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Let’s talk about the shape and counter resistance. It basically comes down to counter pressing and the numbers back.

    We were counter pressing (collectively closing down after we lost possession upfield) pretty consistently. Beyond allowing us to maintain attacking pressure it gives the rest of the team more time to find their shape. Nowadays it’s vital for any team that pushes numbers forward.

    Then think about shape, we are basically leaving 4 guys in a rough diamond shape behind at all times. I suspect we are much tighter than how a typical 4 in the back plays. Especially nowadays both fullbacks go high and wide.





    Think about these goals in our most recent shape. Now instead of two CB’s back with two fullbacks and a DM fighting to recover from behind the play we have 3 defenders back with a DM fighting to recover from a central position and a RB recovering from a more central spot.



    This one is a bit more interesting because I’d need to go back to see exactly when Lima and Lovitz shift.
     
    Pragidealist repped this.
  5. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Visual aid:

     
    Pragidealist repped this.
  6. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    You overestimate WTF's ability to make long passes at the international level. We saw him struggle when pressured by Brazil and had many errant passes. It seems many underestimate how Adams ability to beat people on the dribble and how passes open up as the defenders switch to cover him.

    Interesting that the video you posted started in the second half. Trapp was an absolute mess in the first half. Six of his seven unsuccessful passes came in the first half. His unsuccessful passes came at 1:47, 19:56, 29:36, 35:48, 39:58, 41:37, and 89:52 per MLS website. Some are no big deal but there are examples of over hitting balls with no pressure and the lack of composure when he felt pressure at 39:58 is quite disturbing.

     
  7. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #132 TheHoustonHoyaFan, Mar 16, 2019 at 2:36 PM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 2:44 PM
    Schalke v RBL. 56: Adams off the dribble slips a perfectly weighted 30 M pass on the ground into stride, bypassing the Schalke line for a 3 v 3 in the final 3rd. That is the kind of pass a Busquets or Jorginho makes. Trapp and Bradley almost never.

    Look, we all agree that GB wants to be possession oriented and "use the ball to unbalance opponents and create scoring chances". The vast majority of #6s on the possession teams of the best club and certainly international squads are ball stoppers first. They help possession by making simple, safe, quick, short forward passes.

    It is a bit disingenuous to cite Busquets as an example of how Trapp or Bradley plays. Busquets sits in the pocket 5 to 10 feet in facing an opponent trying to get the ball from Sergio and is comfortable and immune to pressure. Busquets is also an outstanding ball stopper averaging almost 4 tackles in UCL!

     
    Namdynamo, DHC1 and bsky22 repped this.
  8. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    Busquets and Jorginho are ideal/ top examples of the role I think GB wants. I’m not comparing them to any of our players.

    But since you did- Look at Adams pass completion percentage and those type of players.

    Then look at Trapps and Bradley’s. I’m not saying Adams can’t do it but I do think what GB wants in that role is a percentage in the 80’s to 90’s.

    (That’s not me evaluating MB or Trapp but looking to analyze what he might want in the role - to understand what GB is looking for)
     
  9. vexco

    vexco Member+

    Nov 2, 2013
    I don't think you can just look at pass completion percentage. BL is much more difficult than MLS so there has to be some give and take in regards to stats. Whoscored puts Adams pass completion % at 78.8 anyway so it's not like he's far off.
     
    bsky22 repped this.
  10. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    It’s hard to watch today’s B1 matches and not see that it’s a seemingly perfect CM combo to have Adams and WM together with WM more offensive and TA as a 6.

    It was staring everyone right in the face.
     
  11. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    I’m talking about roles, not player eval.

    The role of that 6 requires high comp %. I just looked at Jorginho in his last game, Busquets against Madrid, and Man City’s dmid today.

    All have passing percentage in the 90’s. Adams at 79% doesn’t mean he can’t do it but it does mean he’s playing a different role than that.
     
  12. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 3, 2009
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #137 Susaeta, Mar 18, 2019 at 2:15 AM
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 2:28 AM
    More than playing in a different role, he is playing in a different system. You are comparing the 6 in a RedBull system that looks to quickly break on counters, to 6s in some of the most possession-oriented systems on the planet.

    Your defense of Trapp and Bradley is that you are not sure that Adams can play the 6 the way Berhalter wants it played. Fair enough. He played for a pressing New York, and now for a pressing Leipzig. Adams has a very high completion rate in that type of system. Compare him, for example, to a young Michael Bradley, who routinely completed 70-80% of his passes in his father’s counter-based US system.

    It is true. We do not know how Adams will play in Berhalter’s possession-centered system.

    Here is what we do know. He is 3x the defender Trapp or Bradley will ever be. And here is what we do not know, yet. Whether he will be just as good as either in playing the 6 the way Berhalter wants it played.

    Is Adams Jorginho, Ronaldinho, or Busquets? No. But because he can defend, he is far closer to any of them than Bradley or Trapp.
     
    Namdynamo, bsky22, bharreld and 4 others repped this.
  13. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 3, 2009
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like “concept-first” even better.
     
    Mahtzo1 repped this.
  14. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I wouldn't get too fixated on high % passing for the 6 position. Some 6's dump the ball like a hockey player dumps the puck because his team is a good forechecking team. How good that 6 is at "dumping" becomes important in soccer because the "dump" can be a completed pass or a strategic pass to a certain spot that puts the opponent in a jam. That kind of pass in soccer is more discriminating than your lazy "dump the puck" in hockey.

    Look, that kind of thing doesn't show up on whoscored or kicker or your back page daily cud but it wins games, even if it shows up as an incomplete pass in the stats some of the time.

    Are Adams' incompletions that kind of pass? No. But Trapp's long passing can be like that.
     
    Patrick167 repped this.
  15. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    The high completion percentage is indicative of the role they are playing. I'm not using it as a measure of success at the 6. As Suseata said, what Bradley is being asked to do is very different than what Adams is being asked. I would go as far as they are almost two different positions.

    Bradley is the closest in our pool being asked to play what GB wants. That is not to say he is the best capable. I'm not evaluating ability. We have very few 6's playing that type of role.
     
  16. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Who is this guy in our pool who can do this?
     
  17. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The question is really if Bradley is the best at that is that really the best system? I guess we'll see how this turns out. Could be Berhalter needs to see Bradley and Trap take their lumps or we all need to see that despite what it seems all of think they can pull it off. If it doesn't work he then needs to put some there who doesn't quite fit the possession and passing part but can nail the defensive part or he'll have to tweak the system. I find it kind of odd that the system he used in Columbus fits the national team pool better than what we've seen him use so far. Adams and McKennie behind Pulisic playing a #10 seems pretty logical and the two dmids who have both played outside backs would seem ideal to cover for marauding outside backs. I'm willing to see how this works and not pass a final judgement until I see how it works and if there are corrections.
     
    DHC1 repped this.
  18. honest trade

    honest trade Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #143 honest trade, Mar 18, 2019 at 10:52 AM
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 11:09 AM
    In general I'm not a fan of a system approach for the US team as the overall talent pool is heavily skewed in the direction of just a few players (Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, Brooks, potentially Sargent and Weah) and getting the most out of those guys is going to be the biggest key to success. We don't have the depth and quality at every position to be able to implement a system.
     
    diablodelsol repped this.
  19. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I hope this is correct - there’s positives about what he want to happen stylistically but forcing a regista when we simply don’t have that type of player in the pool is crazy.

    There are other ways to skin this cat.
     
  20. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    He's said that the USMNT doesn't have a #10 like he had at the Crew. Actually, just about every analyst has said that. His adaption is to have dual 10's. With Dual 10's it leaves the 6 isolated, easily overwhelmed, and unable to be the possession outlet that is needed to circulate the ball. So he is asking the RB to pinch in instead of overlap to help make up that space in the midfield as so that lone 6 isn't asked to boss the full midfield by himself as the 8/10 pushes and stays high.

    That has a dual purpose of keeping the US in a back three look, which is better at withstanding the high press. This also fits the USMNT pool well, because we have lots of CB and very, very few decent LBs. So the LB becomes more of a LCB in a 3 man backline. And the RB tucks in rather than overlaps.

    It all make sense. We'll see how it works against better opposition.
     
  21. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not judging until I see more. I can project though. I can also be wrong.
     
    Pragidealist repped this.
  22. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    Me saying that it makes sense, isn't an endorsement either. ;-) I have to admit I really enjoy tactical nuance, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of it but that's not really the same thing as an endorsement.
     
  23. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    What is interesting is this is all to keep a fullback back because Gregg talked to someone who said pushing your FBs up in international football is a bad tactic. I think Gregg is going to learn for himself that the system he has used so far is contingent on the pressing resistance of his "QB". We haven't played anyone remotely good so far and I'm not sure how good Chile or Ecuador are at the moment, but when CR actually had some legs and were pressing as well as they could for their talent level, they gave this system serious problems.

    To his credit, Gregg identified the problem and told the players how to deal with it at half time. But, it wasn't intuitive to the players and it wasn't until CR couldn't press anymore that any sort of possession was maintained and moved up the field.

    I'm pretty sure Bradley and Trapp are not very pressing resistant. I've seen them in games against NYRB not able to turn or maintain possession. TBH, I'm not sure how resistant Adams is outside of the Red Bull system. I am sure he is getting better and must be at a decent level of pressing resistance to have so much success in the BL already.

    I don't know of anyone in the pool who is that pressing resistant, it is a real problem of American development. Our best kids just don't play against concentrated talent to the point they need to learn such skills. Or they play in systems where the midfield is mostly bypassed. Nagbe is possession resistant but he doesn't like to play for the USMNT and he is only resistant in that he will pull off a back pass rather than lose the ball. Green is also hard to dispossess, but rarely moves the ball forward in the most constructive way. Of course, neither of them can play back as far in the formation as the QB is suppose to and not cause defensive problems.

    I would expect the system to be tweaked if necessary to allow Adams to slot into the QB role withing the next 3-6 months. Even if Bradley and Trapp can do it, there is simply no depth in the pool to continue on playing this role this way. An injury or retirement for either would leave everything in shambles. I think GB is smart enough to be able to build around Adams with minimal changes. That might start now, at the Gold Cup, or sometime after. But it seems inevitable.
     
  24. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member+

    Mar 3, 2010
    So when it comes to being "pressing resistant" two things that teams do. One is use 3 in the back. It helps with handling the press, that's why so many teams world wide are suddenly embracing it. So that's part of it.

    The other part is that RB tucking in. It gives the "qb" an outlet to pass around the press. Assuming Adams does beat out Bradley/ Trapp- to maintain the possession focus I think they will still need that tactical wrinkle. As you've said, we don't have many players just able to dribble out of that pressure and definitely not when that pressure is dialed up and that "qb" gets overwhelmed.

    So if Adams moves to the "Qb" who becomes that versatile rb?
     
  25. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What Adams can do that Bradley and Trapp can't is make a quick dribbling move that gives himself space to make an easy pass forward. Trapp and Bradley would make a sideways or backpass if pressured. Adams key is his quickness. he is quick to tackles and to dribbles. Nice to see more US players have that skill (Pulisic + several upcoming players).
     

Share This Page