Daniel Lovitz

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by sXeWesley, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member+

    Jun 18, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s past time that we add an official thread for this foundational linch pin of “The Group”. Somehow other less capped, flashy, Johnny-come-lately types have their own threads, whilst this heroic workhorse continues showing up to camp on time, time after time and doing those intangibles he does so well. Providing that glue that glues things to stuff so well. Holding down that spot on the 23 with the tenacity of a honey badger.

    So... who is this dude and why is he a core player for the USMNT?
     
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  2. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Worst player to ever play in the US uniform.

    and yes, I remember Mike Burns, Jeff Agoos, Jay Heaps, and Jonathan Bornstein.
     
  3. TheRightPants

    TheRightPants Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Los Angeles, Etc.
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Can we also bulk into that group Chris Albright and Greg Vanney? I really couldn’t stand either of those guys. I also assume we're talking modern era players who seemed to earn consistent callups...
     
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  4. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    I don't like it when he starts because then who can we turn to 70 minutes in when we're chasing a goal?
     
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  5. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #5 xbhaskarx, Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    There are legendary MLS players who were not good enough at the national team level, from Ralston to Wondo.

    Meanwhile Lovitz now has 13 caps already, despite rightly being out of the national team picture until the Berhalter era started.... 13 caps all in 2019! That's more caps than Sargent, Yueill, Cannon, Dest, Lima, Zimmerman, Adams, Sean Johnson... and only 3 less than Aaron Long. Meanwhile Antonee Robinson (whether he's the current answer at left back or not, he's only 22 and was just on the Championship team of the month) only has 7 caps.

    Lovitz is not even above average in MLS, he's a subpar player on a subpar team, and even in Montreal he lost his starting job this season, was left unprotected in the expansion draft, and will now be with Nashville in 2020... and don't be shocked if they're not much better than Cincy in 2019.

    Oh yeah and he was crap against Cuba, and post-defections they're about the level of college soccer at best...

    The dude is 28, he is not going to magically get better with just a little more experience in Berhalter's vaunted "system"...

    Berhalter should have been fired the day after he brought on Daniel Lovitz as the final substitute in the Gold Cup final when the US needed a goal against Mexico!
     
  6. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Great idea for a thread!!! Rep for everyone. One of my least favorite world cup moments was watching Robbie Findlay dribble out of bounds while under limited pressure.

    There is a weirdly high level of consensus in this thread. Going to be interesting when someone disagrees.
     
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  7. um_chili

    um_chili Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    Losanjealous
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I disagree that all of the other folks named belong in the same discussion as Lovitz. Agoos was a rock in defense until he had a sudden and conspicuously terrible WC02. Unfortunately that's what most people remember him for. Ralston had some moments, not least of which was one of the two goals in the 2005 edition of dos a cero that clinched WCQ that year (after *seven games*, ah those were the days).

    Lovitz may be the worst player to ever wear the MNT colors. The true puzzle for me is why Gagg loves him so much. Is it just loyalty/intertia? Are we really that thin at left back? I ask this question sincerely, since it's easy to join the "wow he sucks" consensus. I'd be super interested to hear even a theory for why he's in the MNT mix.
     
  8. 007Spartan

    007Spartan Member+

    Mar 1, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you are starting Lovitz consistently at LB, you definitely have problems in your player pool and right now, we have massive problems at LB in our player pool.

    Domestically, unfortunately there really isn’t a better option who has been healthy enough for Berhalter to rely on who is a better option than Lovitz. Garza and Villafana are probably better, but Garza can’t stay healthy and Villafana is 30. That’s really it in MLS. I mean maybe Bello develops and grabs some playing time this year with ATL, but he couldn’t even beat out Brek Shea this season. Who else right now? Aaron Herrera? There ain’t a lot there in MLS in terms of domestic talent.

    In Europe, the only natural LB getting consistent playing time is Robinson. He’s definitely preferable to Lovitz for me, even if he’s been somewhat inconsistent in a US shirt. However, I wonder how often a team in the Championship really wants to release a starter for some of these camps.

    In the future you really hope a player like Gloster or Bello grabs ahold of the postion, but right now those players probably need to be with their respective teams as much as possible.

    That said, I think I’d rather play a guy whose more natural position is on the right than a guy like Lovitz who, to me, is clearly not good enough for the Int’l level.
     
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  9. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We have plenty of fullbacks, even leaving out Ream.

    DeAndre Yedlin, Sergino Dest, Reggie Cannon, Antonee Robinson, Nick Lima, Ryan Hollingshead... that's before considering future additions to the pool like Gloster and Bello.

    It's not rocket science. If left back is a position of weakness, just put whoever is our best left back out of that group at left back, and then start the best remaining right back (those might not even be the same player in which case what's the issue), boom problem solved.
     
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  10. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The player that comes to mind for me is Brad Evans. Similar age and position and "pretty decent in MLS I guess" mediocreness. Remember when Evans was a Klinsmann regular in 2013 (with 10 caps in that year) and it looked like he might make the 2014 World Cup roster despite being terrible for the national team. Klinsmann was a lot more fickle than Berhalter (for better or worse), and fortunately he stopped calling in Evans in 2014.

    Brad Evans caps by year
    2009-2012: 6 total in 4 years
    2013: 10
    2014: 1 - WC year, we dodged a bullet
    2015: 8
    2016: 1
     
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  11. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Can we leave Agoos alone? Before 2002 WC he was one of the best USA players who contributed a lot to getting us there. He was also 5 times MLS Cup winner.
     
  12. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's true that the domestic LB pool is mostly quite old. But Lovitz is 28 himself. If we're playing him at this stage, we might as well play Villafana. Hollingshead is the same age as Lovitz and quite a bit better. Sam Vines, while raw, seems like an interesting prospect.

    Also don't forget that Dest says he prefers to play on the left, and Lima has played more LB than RB this season.
     
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  13. 007Spartan

    007Spartan Member+

    Mar 1, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I happen to agree with you. Right back is definitely a position of greater strength/depth right now. I’d rather play a better player slightly out of position than continue to role a player like Lovitz out there. Another option might be to push a winger back, we have some interesting options there as well. You might take some lumps as they learn the position, but the natural LB we’re running out there now is getting turned by teams like Cuba, so who cares.
     
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  14. 007Spartan

    007Spartan Member+

    Mar 1, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not as big a believer that Hollingshead is a significant upgrade and he’s 28 as well. Villafana to me is pretty much a push as well and again he’s 30. I’d much prefer to give the minutes at this point in the cycle and to a younger guy like Dest, Cannon, Robinson, or even Lima.
     
  15. neems

    neems Member+

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Apr 14, 2009
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hollinshead was the highest rated American player in MLS based on orgs that actually track player ratings. You issue with age is limiting your ability to actually evaluate performance. I don’t believe metrics are everything but Hollingshead absolutely crush it this year and should be there over Lovitz.

    I can’t find Lovitz performing well in any category...
     
  16. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    sam vines was deemed better than ARobinson for the U23s but he’s not someone who can compete with Lovitz?
     
  17. Konut

    Konut Member

    May 31, 2010
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Add in Fabian Johnson. When healthy, he’s a spot starter for the current #1 team in the bundesliga, and has been one of our best players the past 5 years. Transfer market lists him recovering from injury on November 11th. It will be interesting to see if he makes the bench in their next game.

    Lovitz needs to stop being called in, really end of story. It’s clear that Gregg looks for a stay at home left back with a left foot, but prioritizing that above all else is pretty nuts.
     
  18. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Based on player ratings, is Lovitz even **above average** in MLS?
     
  19. 007Spartan

    007Spartan Member+

    Mar 1, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You might be right about Hollingshead. The only rating site I really follow somewhat regularly is whoscored and they were incredibly high on him this season. If you are gonna give Lovitz a crack basically based on one breakout season, might as well give Hollingshead a crack at a camp. I still worry a bit about his age and injury history, but he was really durable and productive this year.

    As for Sam Vines, thanks for bringing him up. I definitely think he’s a guy to watch down the road. I didn’t see a ton of him or the Rapids this year, but it’s nice to see any 19-20 year old getting 2,000+ minutes. I think he’s probably needs another year or two of seasoning in MLS and the U-23s. I would not hate to see a kid like him really break through even if he’s been a bit under the radar.

    I guess my larger point is we’re still 3 years out from the next cup. Would be nice to see if some of these younger guys in the pool can offer anything in this cycle and beyond. I just don’t see much point in continuing to run Lovitz out there.
     
  20. 007Spartan

    007Spartan Member+

    Mar 1, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He was rated a top five left back by a lot of people during the 18 season. This past year he was pretty middle of the road.
     
  21. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've solved this one.

    Daniel Lovitz is Ben Sweat.

    But instead of 2 cameo appearances a la Mr. Sweat, Lovitz is our 2nd string LB, he's often a starter, and he's our last attacker off the bench when we're down a goal in crunch time.
     
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  22. GoBigBlue88

    GoBigBlue88 Member+

    Feb 11, 2009
    Club:
    AC Milan
    To Evans' credit, at least he was a set piece specialist and could serve a nice cross. Feels like at least the worst players on USMNT (like Zusi once he was past his expiration date) used to at least be able to claim they were useful on set pieces, or had some hyper-specialist role.

    I struggle to think of ANYTHING Lovitz does well.
     
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  23. Mario Balotelli

    Mario Balotelli Member+

    Feb 28, 2012
    Club:
    Manchester City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Berhalter's insistence on bringing Lovitz into camp, let alone regularly featuring in games, is baffling. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that the delivery for Roldan's bullet header against Cuba is the only positive thing he's done in a NT shirt. He regularly miscontrols simple balls under zero pressure just when the team is starting to get into rhythm in possession. Also, he can't defend, he's limited technically and lacks the speed, one on one ability, or positioning to actually get off a cross (his "strength"). If he's getting games by the time WCQ comes around, we're in serious trouble. Surely Dest, Ream, Robinson, heck even Hollingshead or Gloster are enough to keep Lovitz out of the squad.

    Even Brad Evans was consistently better than what Lovitz has shown.
     
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  24. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    The list of people whom I'd rather see getting a look at left back than Lovitz is long enough to make a full squad. And some of them aren't even particularly good ideas.

    Dest, Cannon, Lima, Yedlin, Ream, Robinson, Sweat, Johnson, Chandler, Toljan, Adams, McKennie, Gloster, Hollingshead, Bye, Toia, Castillo, Garza, Boyd, Arriola, Pulisic, and at least three kids from the U-14s I coach.

    I'm aware some of those are awful ideas and/or out of position. That's the point.
     
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  25. UncagedGorilla

    Sep 22, 2009
    Tulsa
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    I've absolutely hammered the inclusion of Lovitz on here and I believe it was @Eleven Bravo that first brought up Hollingshead specifically to me. I knew him but hadn't carefully watched him play so I did just that with FC Dallas this season since they're my local market team. He is absolutely one of the many answers to the question of who is better than Lovitz. The weird thing about it is that he actually provides a lot more of the qualities that Gregg is supposedly looking for in a player. He's very good going forward, skilled on the ball, and his vision is good enough that Dallas has even used him as a 6 at times. Plus, I wouldn't call him a plus defender but compared to Lovitz, he may as well be Sergio Ramos.

    I thought that going into the Berhalter era, the thing that made the most sense was to have your two LB's be Lichaj and Robinson. Sort of a split the baby approach where you have one guy who is a plus defender and one guy who is a plus attacker and play them situationally. Both had put in some good USMNT shifts in 2018 and Robinson obviously had a few misses as well. I still maintain that both are better LB's than Lovitz and frankly, Ream as well (though I do agree with Ream's inclusion at CB). However, Lichaj is even older than Hollingshead/Lovitz and at this point, I think he's best used as a pull in case of emergency option.

    The long-term answer for me is Gloster. He's the only guy I see in our LB pool who has the potential to be both a plus defender and plus attacker though his attacking looks a bit different than someone like Dest. He's not ready yet and I'm not someone to rush guys in but I think if by 2022 we can have starting PSV LB Gloster and Dest at RB, that has the potential to be our best set of fullbacks ever.

    tl;dr - Lovitz should not have been seen after January and we have many better players than him who have been ignored.
     
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