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Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Susaeta, Mar 14, 2019.
IIRC, we out-possessed Mexico on Saturday. Hurray!!!!!!
I think it was a cash cow choice and I agree in practice what can you change that fast. Let's be real, you have a week of practice tops before this game. Those interim months are spent playing and worrying about club stuff.
Like I said, I don't know if it was on this thread or not, the games we really need are like CR or Honduras, A team stuff. If we lost those games then you would have a clear statement of where we fit in. Then the coach can't hide behind Mexico being #1.
We still schedule like a world cup quarters team and that makes it very hard to put in proper context how we relate to the rest of the region. We have bought "we are losing to teams we are supposed to lose, eg, Mexico, Colombia, England." I think that itself is a drop in expectations. But in scheduling those level games there is no calibration of are we even good enough for 4th place here. All we do is repeatedly prove not #1 which doesn't help us prepare to qualify, fire coaches, evaluate players.
Agree that it would be nice to see better scaling. I'm sure it's harder than we think to get friendlies of just the right caliber.
That's why I was actually fine with trying repeatedly to play out of the back against Mexico. It's not often we get a more talented team interested in pressing us hard. We shouldn't let the players quit trying to beat it 15 minutes in.
I think it was disappointing to see that they didn't really improve over much of the game from what I could see, though. I never saw Zimmerman try to dribble quickly up a seam. Steffen seemed to be static and continue his problems.
Hopefully, if we're sticking with this, we can use the Mexico tape to teach the players how to better handle a really strong press. I know in the Extratime interview, Berhalter talked about working with club coaches in joint development programs -- while he doesn't get to work with them day to day, I'm not sure LAFC doesn't want Zimmerman working extra time on his passing or Man City / Dussledorf with Steffen (in fact, I'd imagine they already were).
Shalke does not believe that Weston is an open question. We just gave him an extension and raise to be our CM cornerstone for he next 5 years.
Wagner has said that he is committed that Weston develops as a #6/#8 and that is where he has played the first 3 matches this season.
The only coach who seems confused is GB who is trying to get McKennie to play a SS and a #6 at the same time. Much like trying to play Adams/Lima as a RB and CM at the same time, that gimmick is doomed to failure.
Yeah... his standing at Schalke is firmly set and he has been alternating within games from #8 to #6. His attacking prowess leaves a lot to be desired IMO... aside from his ability to win balls in the air he has not shown a ton w/ respect to creating goals. I think he can improve there for sure. But he is pretty darn good as a box-to-box defender and facilitator... When healthy, Adams is a more talented option at the #6 position... so I am really hoping Weston grows offensively this year as he is finally being given the chance to do so on a relatively consistent basis.
Schalke also couldn't decide where to play him last season, playing him just about everywhere but keeper.
McKennie is pretty good so not all of the John Brooks argument applies, but even if Schalke is settling into them playing him in certain spots more, that doesn't make him the best option for his NT there.
Lemme put it this way. Is he our best 10? I think we could do better. Pulisic, lletget, a few others. Is he our best 6? At least Adams is better. Is he our best wing on either side. Doubt that. Forward? Haha. Back? Not been tried.
It's not that I don't think he's pretty good. It's that when we get a couple more classes' worth of U20s in where does he fit as a position player, and is he going to be the starter someplace.
Personally I think some of this is we have been bone dry in the canteen so long people get excited by the first drops of water. But when we get the canteen refilled where does he excel better than anyone else? Hmmm.
I also feel like people don't put 2+2 together and see, for example, WHY we can't possess through the midfield. The midfield is constituted of particular players of which he is prominent. I think he can be very creative. I also think he can be wasteful.
That being said, there is now and then there is later. For now, I think he's on the field by default. But in a year or two he needs to specialize or he may slip between the cracks. I could see jack of all trades slipping to the bench. Particularly if there ever is a coaching change.
In contrast, Adams will be starting someplace, because he can play a couple specific spots well. Not just is talented -- they both are -- but plays a position or two.
We did not lose the T&T match because we built out the back. We lost because we could not close down and defend their midfielders and attackers in space.
The building out the back emphasis started with Klinsmann when he started in 2011. 2012 and 2013 is still the best 2 year period for results in the history of the program. There is nothing wrong with trying to keep and move the ball up the field on the ground. That is just par for the course in the modern game. Every team at GC2019, even Jamiaca, built out the back.
The one glaring difference from GB is that JK did not try to turn Howard into a playmaker. Howard had full license to boot the ball at the first sign of pressure. Rimando took a few more risks but also cleared the ball up field.
JK's build-up started with the CBs, the GK was a safety valve. GB's includes the GK in the build-up which is extremely risky unless the GK and defenders are all first class ball handlers.
They are not.
To make a finer point on this, the standing of an 8 right now relates to Berhalter not knowing what he is doing and just putting bodies out there. If we went to, say, a diamond 442, there is no 8. To me this "8" sh*t is fungible to system.
More pointedly, I think our affection for jacks of all trades is half the problem of the last half decade and qualifying failure. You need people more like Reyna or Landon who can tableset productively, or people like Jones who destroy. There has become this odd settling affection for 8s who aren't particularly gifted at either. In a game with Mexico you are either bombing in 40 yard shots, or hitting precision crosses, or tearing down attacks, or you ain't that useful. A guy who gets you a goal or assist once in a while, or maybe once in a game wins a ball, not that useful. To me the team is better when one side or the other of that equation gets stepped up towards world class.
I'll get crap for this, I am sure, but in the first Mexico game it's him and then Bradley beat on the goal.
They spread further out and played with more tempo. Knocked it around.
He also brought in Kljestan/Gringo/those kind of mids, with one DM. Slickness over defense. To me it feels like we are trying to play pre-'14 style ball without the spacing or tempo, and with post-'14 DMs staffing the midfield. Mids right on top of each other are easy to mark. The guys we have in the midfield are not who I would pick to move the ball with tempo (and keep it in the process).
People make fun of me pushing Green Gall Holmes Lletget Weah etc etc but you need some technique and speed for this, not bulldozers. I think you need it, period, because we are in a talent ebb on defense. It's not a strength. To make up for that and be successful you either have to go much more defensive in numbers as a team concept, or you might as well open er up and attack with the offensive talent we have.
He also abandoned it for the world cup.
Right, so paragraph 1 is where Bob Bradley was mid-term in his process, and it was very mechanical grinding. By the time we he was let go we'd actually got not just more dynamic buut more sophisticated and were adding clubs to the bag.
GB likes to think we have a better grade of players now. (I wonder.) Regardless, we can play Honduras or the like without either team wanting the ball or trying to play. They might be more than pleased to walk away 0-0. Or they might easily snatch that 2-0 fluky win. That's the sport. We're trying to be the regional giant and control our own fate better.
So how do you break the bunker? One thing I don't like is getting all excited about crosses. But Berhalter's plans aren't just about that. In the "two spigots" system you're pulling opposing defenders wide hopefully* to cover the wing, and shut down service - and that creates space to attack at the corners of the box. Porter is trying to get to this now with the Crew, right? And if you look at how GB employed these principles with the Crew, you have to remember he had fast wide wingers who could beat you to the corner flag and serve, or take you on the outside, or get on the end of a through ball - and he had the creative inverted winger type to cut in on you. Extrapolating, optimistically, this basic game plan... you could see why GB thought we had the equivalents of Finlay, Afful, Meram coming up in Pulisic, Weah, Adams, McKennie, etc.
If the scrapper teams don't bunker, but try to press instead, we're still better prepared if we can learn to possess better and play through lines against the likes of Tata's Mexico. Otherwise it's just kickball, wrestlemania and pray to the gods.
* One reason I'm skeptical of this is I've mostly watched the US over decades, play the odds and not venture out there, just stay home and block the channels and head away crosses all day.
Paxton Pomykal says; (and I am paraphrasing here), Gregg Berhalter is an idiot for starting Zardes over Sargent:
“We do have youth, but at the same time we have youth that’s playing at a high level,” Pomykal said. “Josh is getting Bundesliga minutes, as opposed to a 28-year-old who might be playing in a league not on that high of a level. Whether you’re 20 or you’re 28, if you do the job, then you deserve the opportunity,”
Precisely what I have been saying over and over. This is where the talent is. He is stating it in club snob terms, but to me what matters is "youth that's playing at a high level."
I thought Pulisic sent a similar message by handing the PK to Sargent. That's "I trust this guy as much as me." And he didn't even start. How Sargent handled that was then unfortunate.
But the point is not a chance in heck Pulisic would hand that to Zardes.
An interesting aspect of this comment is the beefing end of last cycle was the older players getting upset with perceived favoritism. I thought, that's going to die off with the kids coming in. Too busy trying to break in. But it sounds like you're starting to get some grumbles from the kids about the absurdity of watching older players who aren't their equal take all their time. Or maybe it's that as a matter of probability you had to eventually call upon some of the Pomykals of the pool who are ambitious and more mouthy.
Having somebody on a 5 yr contract makes him more marketable, too.
GGG and the continue to build out of the back crowd.
Go take a look at England - Kosovo and the first freaking minute of the match!!!!
Who can't mark tho? Brooks isn't world class but none of our CB's are. We've gotten torched recently without him in the lineup. Alvarado has looked great in Mexico and is an excellent passer. I'd love to see that pairing once again.
not sure what you're talking about "defense got torched." we allowed 2 goals the whole GC tournament:
Jamaica cross for a header
breakdown of the DMs in Mexico game
The Jamaica friendly we lost was a 3 man backline of Omar Ream Miazga. Does that sound like our system or our starters?
The Venezuela friendly we lost was a 4 man backline of Lima Miazga Long Ream. Maybe half the starters and that's indulging that Ream should start.
in terms of this most recent game,
goal 1 is Dest that y'all had to try out getting megged.
goal 2 is the keeper hands the ball to Mexico about 30 out
goal 3 is Mexico on a jailbreak counter, Morales gets juked, 3 men against 2 on defense
that's one goal on the defense and it's not someone i wanted out there
i keep hearing brooks brooks brooks
CR 4 USA 0 (away qualifying)
goal 1 brooks giveaway ("oh but the passing") brooks beat for header
goal 2 cross goal where the man is sitting in between CBs
goal 3 brooks mistrap brooks faked out of jockey strap
goal 4 brooks misclear ball played over his head for breakaway goal
the pretense is The Offense. about 3 of those goals begin with him shanking something to CR.
i can if need be go through and show stuff like this for last year eg Colombia and England goals
required viewing for people getting really dumb ideas
so much of this stuff is like people want things to be true in the abstract -- club snobbery, slickness on the ball, etc. -- that are issues in reality
people wonder why i am like "put the ones on the field who play right," it's watching the presumptive Chosen have nights like this. you do something like this I don't care if you play for Liverpool as their star player. this point forward it's earn your spurs on the field like the rest, and the rest went through GC allowing 2 goals all tournament. any adjustments to that need to be maintaining the defense and just finding someone who can defend but can pass better. you don't go backwards on defense to get more offense, when you're already shipping goals on bad nights.
my 2 cents he is ok in zonal situations marking air where the opposing team lacks a stud who can punish us. "Trinidad."
he is not a marking back. i watched Dortmund burn him for 2 goals in 2 games last season. "Mexico, CR, Honduras."
a running theme to me is building up system and personnel abstractions capable of creaming the dregs of the Hex at home, but not set up to get the hard results in the tough games against the best teams or away from home
Oh look, pointing out Brooks was bad in the CR game much like the rest of the team. Brooks is our best CB right now. That hasn't changed.
Venezuela was Steffen playing a bad ball for goal 1 and Long getting beaten for goal 2.
Dest megged for goal 1 against Mexico but Long doesn't close space on the crosser and just kinda sits there.
Goal 3 against Mexico all long has to do is step up to play them offsides and again, he just kinda sits there and reacts way too late.(debatable, I just think he plays this poorly.)
Long was responsible for the 2nd and 3rd.
Eh England have played much better since Southgate had they make a commitment to playing out the back. One mistake against Kosovo does not change that.
If that is the point of all of this, then why prey tell, are we scheduling friendlies against teams that are not playing like that? What is the point of getting pasted by Mexico? (other than money)
There is another issue here if Paxton Pomykol and Pulisic's recent statements are to be looked at beyond face value, is that Egg could very well lose the young guy in the locker room. It seems like it could be happening. Pomykol absolutely lit Zardes and Egg on fire got in his car and drove over them repeatedly. Not a great sign for team coheasion and faith in the Skipper.
I am hopeful for a good showing but I am also honest about the realities of what will probably happen tonight. I also fully expect Trapp, Zardes, and Lovitz to be subbed on around the 60 minutes mark. But hey, at least Egg thinks we are progressing internally.
So, is the Long Diagonal out?
I didn't watch the Mex match - I knew it was going to be sh*t show in so many ways.
So, is the Long Diagonal out? It is, after all ...... "long."
Interesting; I appreciate the post.
I think I agree with the concept of dictating tempo a LOT more than I agree with a focus on possession. Possession, counterattacking, bunkering...these are just means to an end for a national team, and ideally a NT manager takes the players at his disposal and finds a system that works, as opposed to taking players and forcing them into a system that doesn't.
I think that this last few months really underscores how easy it is to talk about a solution, and how difficult it is to actually implement one. I was pretty meh on the hiring of Berhalter, in that I'd have vastly preferred Martino (and the rationale of him not speaking English well enough might be one of the biggest self-owns in USSF history which is saying something), but I at least expected some competence.
I didn't think Berhalter would be so bad at this that it would make me look back at 2017 and Klinsmann with nostalgia, but here we are. He's been terrible at every aspect of this so far. And it's not really the player pool, either. There's enough talent to work with.
Why do people think Pulisic has any issue with Berhalter?
He said the team played scared. He said nothing of the coaching. You have to stretch pretty far to make that about coaching, not that many of you haven't tried. Much more likely is that he thought the team lacked aggression and were intimidated, which, it looked like to me, was true.
This is the same "wishful thinking" many of you have had since day 1. Remember when his Player's Tribune piece spoke to a giant rift in the locker room, Berhalter's xenophobia of German-Americans and how we'd lose Pulisic if we didn't call in Morales, Chandler and Johnson ASAP? I remember that feat of "logic."
Pulisic has said nothing negative about Berhalter or the coaching so far. Writing it on a message board and pretending there's some kind of revolt doesn't make it close to true.
The groupthink and telephone nature of rumormongering on here is really sometimes worthy of a Russian facebook bot campaign. If someone posted that Berhalter was running a child slavery ring out of a DC pizza place, you'd run with it.