Gold Cup 2017 - The Young & The Restless

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by appoo, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    So in my mind, the goal of this tournament is to see which of our younger players might be able to contribute in the upcoming qualifiers, and more importantly identify kids you might make an impact in WC 2018. Generally, we have a decent amount of turnover from the end of qualifying to the world cup.

    So who would we like to see on a 23 man roster?

    GK (3) - Ethan Horvath, Bill Hamid, Zach Steffen
    RB (2) - DeAndre Yedlin, Eric Lichaj
    LB (2) - Greg Garza, Desevio Payne??
    CB (4) - Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman
    DM (2) - Kellyn Acosta, Perry Kitchen
    CM (2) - Emo Hyndman, Gedion Zelalam
    AT (5) - Paul Arriola, Kekuta Manneh, Brooks Lennon, Josh Perez, Luis Gil (assuming he does well in Orlando),
    ST (3) - Jordan Morris, Juan Agudelo, Julien Green
  2. Footsatt

    Footsatt Member+

    Apr 8, 2008
    United States
    I assume you mean the qualifiers in the fall, because the qualifiers in June are before the GC.
  3. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Yea, sorry
  4. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States
    - Don't really have a problem with the keeper group, but I think Melia has earned that 3rd spot. He's been good the previous couple of years for SKC and this year has arguably been the best keeper in MLS.

    - Yes to Lichaj but no to Yedlin. We don't really need to see more from Yedlin at this point. He also is not that good of a tactical fit when we're trying to virtually boss opponents, which we should do at this competition. Rosenberry fits tactically against these opponents, realistically could against tougher ones, and it's just time there.

    - You could make a case for Garza the way he's playing for Atlanta right now, and he is a tactical fit for this competition, but at the same time hasn't normally fit the way the U.S. has played against better teams. So it may ultimately be a waste of a spot. As for Payne, he got dropped from a mediocre Eredivisie side, and I thought he was poor with the u-23's. I don't think he warrants selection. Villafana definitely qualifies from an ability, tactics against good or bad teams, and integration standpoint. I would like to see more from him than 2 competitive games from him. Don't know if we need another lb. Could be covered from versatile players normally at other positions.

    - At CB, I think you need more experience to instruct the inexperienced guy next to him, and in general on the roster you need some of that so the team on the field has some leadership, and don't all succumb to pressure, setting each other up for failure. I like Besler here to be reestablished as a viable a-team starter (even though this is a b-team comp). And maybe Spector, the way he's playing for Orlando. He'd also be next to big guys, generally. Possibly only one of the FCD cb's should go because we'd be screwing over Pareja pretty hard. If we're going to screw anybody over hard it should be Vermes the way he's managed his cb's the last couple years and trying to force his hand to play EPB (if he won't be at this comp himself). Opara has been a force next to Besler. Might want to take both of them. CCV is the one that stands out as needing to be dropped because he'll be with u-20's shortly before and hasn't been effective in meaningful games at any respectable senior level, even though he is with Spurs.

    - At dm/cm I see two HUGE oversights. They would be Roldan and McCarty who are two unsung heroes in MLS starting to be sung about more. They're considerably better than Kitchen has ever been, and Perry has had more of a shot w/ the nt, albeit limited. As for Zelalem, don't know how he makes it off being a part-time player in the Dutch 2nd, and being a tweener in the U.S. style and a high majority of them frankly. Pick a vet CAM between Benny and Sacha. They are both still among the best in the league and would help make this team go.

    - That attacker group looks like a youth team corps. Some of them in fact will have just been with the youth team. And I'd say most don't qualify from a merit standpoint. Yes to Arriola. Maybe to Manneh and Perez. They need to play more with their clubs in the next month or two though. Don't need that many attacking mids either. Hyndman and Feilhaber/Kljestan would qualify. I think Danny Williams would have utility on this roster as a cm. He's played as a second striker or CAM for Reading before. I think Acosta should be a 2nd striker. True attacking wing may be the biggest weakness in the pool right now, depth-wise. Maybe you take one more borderline out of necessity.

    - I like the striker rotation. Maybe just 1 light there. It's a long tourney and what if something happens to one of the truer 9's. I'd also like to play Green plenty at attacking wing. As aforementioned, that corps needs help. I think this should be a form striker between a number of guys, i.e.: Sapong, Mullins, Bjorn, Dwyer, Wright, etc.
  5. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    I had forgotten about the U20 Cup, but I couldn't think of all that many talented younger, attacking players. I did forget Roldan, and think he would make it over Kitchen (I liked him with DCU). As for Zelalam, I was considering him based on possible World Cup participation.

    I included Payne because I didn't know who else to play there other than Villafana, whom I consider to be a National Team XI player.

    I'm good with Benny and Sacha for qualifying, but think we need to do better than them for the World Cup.
    thedukeofsoccer repped this.
  6. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

    Jun 12, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    United States

    GK (3) - Ethan Horvath, Bill Hamid, Zach Steffen (alternate/camp Melia)
    RB (2) - Rosenberry, Eric Lichaj
    LB (2) - Greg Garza, Desevio Payne, (alternate/camp Bornstein :) )
    CB (4) - Matt Miazga, Matt Besler, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman (alternate/camp Birnbaum)
    DM (3) - Kellyn Acosta, Roldan (alternate/camp Kitchen)
    CM (3) - Emo Hyndman, Klejstan, Danny Williams
    AT (3) - Paul Arriola, Kekuta Manneh, Brooks Lennon (alternate/camp Zardes)
    ST (3) - Jordan Morris, Juan Agudelo, Julien Green (alternate/camp Dwyer)

    I've included some alternates or camp guys, since often more than 23 are called into a pre-tournament camp.

    An interesting XI (4-3-3ish):

  7. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    FC Dallas
    United States
    I really don't understand those who again want to play Acosta out of position at second striker. He's played an 8 for four years now in MLS on the team who has the most points over that time. Did any call for Bradley to be a second striker when he was scoring lots of goals in Holland?
    Mr Martin repped this.
  8. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dervos repped this.
  9. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

    Apr 5, 2012
    Higher than you
    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    I'm in, MB90 should be our 2nd Striker going forward! ;)
    largegarlic and Winoman repped this.
  10. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    The criticism, as I understand, is that his game is lacking in certain areas for a central midfielder.
  11. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    I would like to see Eric Lichaj get a look in at LB, a position he has solidly played in both the EPL and C'ship.
    rgli13 repped this.
  12. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States
    #12 thedukeofsoccer, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    I think there is a difference between Bradley's and Acosta's touch and technique. Was Bradley even taking fk's where he had a chance to score directly?

    Bradley used to be good in most of the normal areas of an 8 for us. He was comfortable covering long distances on the ball, and had the instincts, speed, and work-rate to hound opponents. I don't see the ability to cover distances on the ball for Acosta, work-rate, and instincts to intercept. Ideally I want my 8's on the nt to be ball-winners and straight-line dribblers with some wiggle, to help us counter effectively and efficiently.

    ACOSTA HAS A WHOPPING 0.4 INTERCEPTS PER GAME, GOOD FOR 191ST IN THE LEAGUE. Roldan by comparison has 2. That puts him in the top 40. In tackles won Roldan is at 3.8 per game, good for 7th in MLS. KELLYN ACOSTA SITS DOWN IN 156TH WITH A MEASLY 1.2 TACKLES WON PER GAME. Roldan is also 24th in the league in beating his man off the dribble, doing that 1.5 times per game. KELLYN ACOSTA IS 189TH WITH A MEAGER 0.2 DRIBBLES PER GAME. To wit I much more project Roldan to be beneficial for us in that spot. I'd project a number of guys to be better for us, given those #'s from Acosta. Bradley, for example, is 38th in tackles won, 82nd in intercepts, and 85th in dribbles. If we're going to employ a more passive guy defensively, it might as well be Nagbe, who is still better than Acosta in those categories, while being possibly the best long-range dribbler in the pool.

    But I haven't ajudged Acosta to be irredeemable for us on account he makes smart runs, has a pretty good touch, can combo play, displays technique, and killer instinct. These are the attributes of a solid ss, something that we lack in our pool right now depth and near future-wise, similar to aw's which is a related problem because many play both. To back up his potential projectibility to this spot, in spite of playing as an 8, he's 47th in key passes per game, and already has a few goals + assists, not counting the CCL where he showed his best stuff in that regard.

    What works with FCD/MLS doesn't necessarily work with the USNT. That's been regularly demonstrated.

    I don't abide by this notion that you have to play guys in the same spots as they do with their club. Their own club managers often don't abide by this, let alone different ones. I use the example of Hughes managing Geoff Cameron. He predominantly played cb and fb out of team need with Stoke. So that partially influenced our usage of him with the national team. But he always claimed his best position was 6/8, that was displayed for club and country the few times he got chances, and he blended better with our alternatives at cm than they did with each other. We always should have primarily been playing him in cm. The club manager was wrong about how he helped his own team let alone did it reflect how we should have been using him.
    IndividualEleven repped this.
  13. iad_22201

    iad_22201 Member+

    Jan 2, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Fulham FC
    United States
    No, he wasn't. Even if you accept that CM is his best position, he isn't a better CM than Steven N'zonzi (who was at Stoke for Geoff's first three seasons) or a younger Glenn Whelan so it absolutely made sense to plug Geoff in at RB or CB depending on need. Today, Stoke have reached a point through aging and poor recruitment (Imbula, cough, cough) where Geoff needs to be plugged in at CM. I imagine that CM will be a position targeted for upgrade this summer as Geoff is clearly not a long term solution for Stoke at that position, as at the PL level, he really is a jack of all trades, master of none...
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  14. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States
    You're so obsessive and obstinate about this it's humorous at this point. It's like there is an alert on your phone every time this issue is discussed, and you can't let it go on 2 minutes without you interjecting and allowing people to see the reality, which is repeatedly backed up statistically, but which you scoff at because it conflicts with your original opinion on the matter. Wouldn't want any objectivity to seep into the discussion so people can go on believing and arguing whatever they want.
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  15. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    In the home match against Pachuca, Acosta had 10 recoveries, 2 tackles, 2 ints, and 2 clearances. So he has shown the ability to play more than a hero-ball game. In MLS Cup, Nagbe demonstrated an ability to be aggressive in central midfield.

    In fact, he played central midfield in his Stoke debut, a tilt against Arsenal. The humans awarded him Man of the Match for his efforts. The machine had him second behind Arsenal's Arteta. But his subsequent move to RB could have simply been a case of the other option there having more downside than the upside of Geoff's being in midfield.
  16. iad_22201

    iad_22201 Member+

    Jan 2, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Fulham FC
    United States
    It's a bit rich of you to complain about others being obsessive on this topic...

    With that being said, my most recent post was merely a response to your demonstrably false statement that Hughes was "wrong about how he (Cameron) helped his own team".
  17. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States
    #17 thedukeofsoccer, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Comparable and pertinent club statistics of cm candidates in the pool:

    Tackles won per game:

    Davis - 3rd
    Roldan - 7th
    CAMERON - 13th (EPL)

    Jones 24th
    Bradley - 38th
    Bedoya - 86th
    Williams - 114th (Championship)
    Nagbe - 128th
    Acosta - 156th

    Interceptions per game:

    Bedoya - 30th
    Roldan - 39th
    Davis - 48th
    CAMERON - 80th (EPL)
    Bradley - 82nd
    Jones - 142nd
    Williams - 146th (Championship)
    Nagbe - 153rd
    Acosta - 191st


    Nagbe - 11th
    Roldan - 24th
    - 40th (EPL)
    Davis - 71st
    Williams - 72nd (Championship)
    Bradley - 85th
    Bedoya - 146th
    Jones - 187th
    Acosta - 189th

    Roldan and Cameron are the class of the pool at cm right now. Bradley and Jones are probably still adequate but have been passed up and using them together instead of at least one alternative would constitute an egregious mistake at this point. Bedoya is solid defensively but hardly a killer, and hurts the build-up. Williams is borderline. Mediocre stats for usnt candidate in a little better league than all but Cameron. Davis is a sneaky candidate that Marsch shouldn't have benched. Hopefully he comes to his senses and realizes McCarty just did the little things and won like Davis. Nagbe is the offensive option against worse teams, otherwise he needs to play higher up. 2 cm's helping out in terms of protecting the back line and winning the ball. Acosta is not very viable at cm for the usnt. So far he grades out last in all these categories. That's hard to do. Try up the field to take advantage of other abilities.
  18. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    How does Davis' replacement Adams compare in these stats so far? Also McCarty
  19. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States

    Davis, 4.3
    Felipe, 3.4
    Adams, 3.3
    Dax, 3.2


    Davis, 2
    Adams, 1.8
    Felipe, 1.1
    Dax, 0.7


    Adams, 0.5
    Davis, 0.3
    Felipe + Dax, 0


    Felipe, 1.6
    Davis, 1
    Adams, 0.8
    Dax, 0.5

    Pass success %:

    Dax, 83.2
    Adams, 78.6
    Felipe, 76.5
    Davis, 74.8

    Dispossessed per game:

    Davis, 0.5
    Adams, 0.8
    Dax, 1
    Felipe, 1.3

    For your defense, Davis is considerably better. Gets his foot on more balls, wins them, and is less prone to being dispossessed. Also helps you link up better with his movement and some dribbling, if that's what you need. But in terms of maintaining possession, McCarty is superior. When it comes to implications on the national team, we aren't possession-based, so Davis may fit what we're trying to do more when playing a decent or better opponent. It's debatable who helps RBNY more. They play a combination style between possession and quick progression. Dax, incidentally, has played a weak schedule with the Fire.

    When it comes to the players currently on the Red Bulls and who they should select, I don't see why Felipe is treated as a made man. Of the 3, he's the hardest on your d by a good margin. Offensively he's the best. But the Red Bulls would be better off if they had someone creating for them from the wings instead of getting bonus production from their 8. That fits a 4231 system better. And Felipe is the worst overall of the 3 this season in terms of rating. Why not try out a Davis-Adams combo for a couple games? We're more apt to see Davis-Felipe more with Adams as the unproven player comparatively, their weakness in creation at a-wing without Grella, and the u-20 WC upcoming. Davis-Felipe has worked out fine though. In fact I think they got a result in something like 12 out of the last 13 games with them together. Maybe we'd see that Davis-Adams could be the best combo later this year or next when Grella returns and they don't have such lackluster creative wingers such a Muyl, Royer, and Veron.

    To clarify, I'm no means advocating for Davis to be at Gold Cup. Just something to keep an eye on when it comes to viable c(d)m options going forward. Dax deserves his shot at the Gold Cup and probably will fit what we're trying to do there. But I think he's less viable at a World Cup level than a guy like Davis. Future will tell.
  20. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    KA: 200 successful tackles, 56 dribbled past, 78.1% success rate.

    CR: 144 successful tackles, 49 dribbled past, 74.6% success rate.
  21. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    United States
    I agree. To me, this is a last tryout since Arena has not been afforded the opportunity to really evaluate his pool.

    (3) GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid, Ethan Horvath, Cody Cropper

    Omit: Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Tim Howard

    Alternates: Zach Steffen, David Bingham

    (2) RIGHT BACKS: Eric Lichaj, Timmy Chandler

    Omit: DeAndre Yedlin

    Alternates: Nick Lima, Desevio Payne, Keegan Rosenberry, Graham Zusi

    (2) LEFT BACKS: Greg Garza, Tim Ream

    Omit: Fabian Johnson, Jorge Villafana

    Alternates: Taylor Kemp, Justin Morrow, Matt Besler

    (4) CENTER BACKS: Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges

    Omit: John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, Chad Marshall

    Alternates: Steve Birnbaum, Tim Parker, Justen Glad

    (4) CENTER/DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta, Alfredo Morales, Danny Williams, Emerson Hyndman

    Omit: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Geoff Cameron

    Alternates: Dax McCarty, Cristian Roldan, Perry Kitchen, Tyler Adams

    (4) ATTACKING MIDS/WINGERS: Darlington Nagbe, Paul Arriola, Kekuta Manneh, Lynden Gooch

    Omit: Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, Chris Pontius, Seb Lletget*, Christian Pulisic, Alejandro Bedoya

    Alternates: Ethan Finlay, Brooks Lennon, Josh Perez, Lee Nguyen

    (4) FORWARDS: Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes, Christian Ramirez, Dom Dwyer

    Omit; Clint Dempsey, Bobby Wood, Jozy Altidore

    Alternates: Juan Agudelo, Aron Johansson, Bjorn Johnson, Haji Wright, Terrence Boyd, CJ Sapong, Julian Green
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  22. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Report, TYT Politics
    AFC Ajax
    United States
    Roldan is not an alternate to anybody right now. You're being incredibly stubborn when it comes to that. Read the prior stats comparing him and other cm's. There is no comparison, especially between him and Acosta. Roldan is superior in terms of passing efficiency (80.8% to 75%) and dispossession rate as well (0.7 to 1.4) . Roldan is better at pretty much everything but scoring goals, which is not a primary responsibility for a dm.
  23. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Stats are useful but are not everything. And whoscored stats leave out recoveries, which are a very important for CMs.

    I would exclude young euros and other euros with unstable club situations. I would also exclude NT regulars.

    Central midfield: Nagbe, Morales, Roldan, McCarty, Acosta, Bedoya

    Some of the CMs can play on the flanks.

    Fullbacks: LB: Lichaj, Morrow, RB: Chandler, Rosenberry

    Neverminding the B1 resume, Chandler needs to shine.

    Forwards/A-mids: Dwyer, Kljestan, Ramirez, Agudelo, Sapong

    Morris hasn't been the same since the injury.
  24. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    The desert
    Seems like Spector should be considered for the GC, if not also the qualifiers. Well on his way to being an MLS all star and potential defender of the year.
  25. Andy_B

    Andy_B Member+

    Feb 2, 1999
    United States
    For everyone including CCV in their lineups, it is worth noting that only one player in US history has played in the Gold Cup and the U20 World Cup in the same summer.

    I am expecting CCV will be a part of the U20 team so it will be interesting to see if Arena goes against the grain and calls him for the Gold Cup.

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