MLS Flavors of the week: 2019 Edition

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Sombrerito, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Long is a fine USMNT pool player. Zimmerman is a fine USMNT pool player.
    And frankly, these guys are good enough to aid the USMNT qualifying for the World Cup. We saw that at the Gold Cup.

    We all know that if we want to compete at the elite international level, players of a higher standard are required. This isn't breaking news. Heck..............he might be a Bundesliga player, but I go back and forth about John Anthony Brooks. He's pretty darn streaky. He'll look like bambi on roller skates one week in club football, and then look like an elite player the next week. I go back and forth on Miazga. I mean, Matt Miazga did well down the stretch in the Championship. But he's still done his best work at a Championship/MLS type of level. And we have younger guys like Erik Palmer-Brown that are yet to take the "next step." We hope he will, but who knows.................

    I have high, high hopes for Chris Richards. He really impressed me at the U20 World Cup. I'm hoping that he develops into an elite international centerback. Its possible. He's starting the season with Bayern II, and Bayern reportedly didn't go out and sign a whole new crew of CBs because they have Chris and others they want to evaluate.

    I think that to some degree folks really underestimated the quality of a player like Carlos Bocanegra. And the pre-injury Oguchi Onyewu. He faded down the stretch. In his prime, the prime that got him a move to AC Milan, he was really good. Then he got hurt playing for the US, was marginalized at Milan, and it all went downhill.
     
    adam tash repped this.
  2. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maybe you are right. But that's not what I read in multiple places. It was that he refused to sign at the last hurdle.
     
  3. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    good post.

    I'm not so sure "we all know" competing at the international standard requires better performances/improved players...

    I think people genuinely just look at how players perform in CONCACAF and use that as the standard...as if that is enough....(which boggles my mind)...even then, those performances still leave a lot to be desired....but people are anointing players like Long and Arriola etc.....
     
  4. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Gooch was an outstanding Belgian League player. He got exposed during his loan stint with Newcastle. Bocanegra was a journeyman player on a relegation threatened EPL club. Unlike Fulhamite, Dempsey, he subsequently moved down. But Gooch and Boca did well for National Team: defeating Spain is the NT's biggest accomplishment to date.

    Meanwhile, our current players 'of a higher standard' failed to score against the Mexican 'B' team. We have a coach who won no major trophies in MLS. And that was after having been fired from the Swedish second division for underperforming with 1st div mainstays Hammarby.

    CB is just not high up on the list elements that need to be improved within the team.
     
  5. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Gotta qualify.
     
    50/50 Ball repped this.
  6. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Defeating Spain in the Confederations came off the back of winning an 'A Team' Gold Cup---the last such victory.

    Whinging about competing at higher levels makes little sense when the team can't defeat Costa Rica and Mexico, neverminding the team's inability to win on the road at places like Honduras.

    Gotta be dominant in your own space.
     
    Namdynamo, xbhaskarx, Winoman and 5 others repped this.
  7. truefan420

    truefan420 Member+

    May 30, 2010
    oakland
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Some of that was how we were set up. Boca and Gooch were part of a backline that defended deep and we played on the counter. You ask them to defend higher up the field and in space, while also passing out of the back against better sides and they’d get exposed too.
     
  8. gogorath

    gogorath Member

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Who's anointing Long? I said he played the best of our CBs in the Gold Cup, which is my view. I didn't certainly saw he's got a starting job locked down permanently, but if I had to pick a Best XI, he's next to Brooks.

    For that matter, while I want Weah to take Arriola's job, who is anointing him? People have really just pointed out that he does the dirty work so CP doesn't have to. Personally, I don't think that's enough, but I haven't seen anyone say that he's locked in as well.

    There's a constant communication disconnect between people who are holding players (in that moment) to some intangible standard (for example, good enough to compete with the best teams in the world) and people using a more pragmatic comparison -- is the player better than the rest of the pool.

    I'm not saying one view is better than the other -- both are in their own ways valid -- but confusing one for the other is something that happens constantly and isn't productive.
     
    jaykoz3 repped this.
  9. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    It depends what we mean by "international standard." The majority of international fixtures we play that are meaningful FIFA games.....................are against CONCACAF opponents (Gold Cup, League of Nations, WCQers, etc.) So if we have players we're comfortable at that level with, then its at least something to build on.

    I do feel that Aaron Long or Walker Zimmerman or MLS defenders like that can play in Europe at a decent level. MLS is paying guys like that to stay. Walker Zimmerman makes $600k for Pete's sake. that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

    MLS versus Europe doesn't mean much to me. You have to get the players into camps and have them compete side by side. I expect John Anthony Brooks to beat out a player like Aaron Long, but you never know. That's for the USMNT coach to decide.
     
  10. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    separate issues.

    i'm talking about the narratives around players. how they are assessed relative to their performance....especially in COnCACAF...(cuz thats basically all we get now that FIFA has brought segregation to world soccer)....

    people are anointing players who are mediocre in CONCACAF like they have nailed down their spots in the team.....

    even players who are effective in concacaf play aren't necesarily going to be good enough for higher levels....

    my point isn't that what happens in concacaf doesnt matter at all (I presonally don't think Gold Cup is THAT important but not meaningless, either)....or that the team shouldnt try to win everything in the region....just that what happens in CONCACAF can never be definitive i.e. players and their place in the team.
     
  11. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Brooks has been inconsistent with the NT. He also lacks Long's pace. At his best, Brooks is probably the best US CB. But he has been injury prone and inconsistent.
     
  12. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Do you know what 'anoint' means? Your usage of the term is out of whack with any of the common definitions.

    The US qualifies for the WC, through Concacaf. That makes the Federation pretty important to the the team.
    You seem to be arguing with strawmen.
     
    jaykoz3 repped this.
  13. mattjo

    mattjo Member+

    Feb 3, 2001
    Washington DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I agree with you. If people tend to anoint folks, it tends to be young players with very limited professional minutes (basing it on youth tournament appearances and reputation of their club). I have seen enough of that in the past to be wary about anointing the next great player based on youth performances and club pedigree..

    I think it can be noted that Long has been the top performer of the CBs brought in over the past six months. I would agree that he and Brooks are our pairing at the moment, but that does not mean other CBs can't beat him out. What we want is competition. Long has thrown down the gauntlet and outperformed his counterparts in head to head competition so far, but that doesn't mean he has it locked down.

    I think the Arriola/Weah conversation is similar. Arriola does a ton of the little work that Weah needs to develop to become a complete player. Right now, I see Weah as a player who is inconstant but shows individual moments of brilliance, typically in the offensive end. This year at Lille should be a great opportunity for him to take the next step and develop as a player that coaches will depend on for a full match.

    Arriola seems to have a pretty good understanding on how to play with Pulisic in a a sort of interchanging midfield. He has a tireless engine, plays with passion, makes great runs (with both McKennie and Pulisic) and decent touch. That said, his crosses can leave a lot to be desired and his shooting is inconsistent. I have been pleasantly surprised by Arriola. 2 goals an assist and contributing to several other attacking opportunities is a solid contribution. That said, I do want Weah to elevate his game to push him and have a real competition there. (and I do think Weah will get the chance to do so this year... so super excited about that).
     
    tomásbernal and Winoman repped this.
  14. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    okay....well Long is basically a lock from here on out until the WC for callups and I don't think he should be.
     
  15. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Long is the in form CB of the moment. No CB currently in the pool has the sort of track record that demands he be a lock.
     
  16. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    according to whom?

    i havent seen anything from him that is exceptional. not saying he definitely shouldnt play.....just that i havent seen anything from him that if he werent called up to the next roster that I would care.

    that's my point.....

    consensus on these boards coagulates in strange ways.......
     
    bsky22 repped this.
  17. mattjo

    mattjo Member+

    Feb 3, 2001
    Washington DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, he was voted team of the tournament. He played better statistically than the other three CBs who received appearances. he has better speed than the other three, his passing was generally superior, he didn't lose his man on goals. the US gave up 2 goals in the entire tournament.

    If you want this to be a meritocracy, who would you start over him and why?
     
  18. FoxBoro 143

    FoxBoro 143 Member+

    Jan 18, 2004
    MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    NYCFC defeated FCD in the u-18/19 DA title game for their 2nd straight title. Watch out for this academy system, it's going to start producing big time. Hopefully we launch a USL team to bridge the gap.
     
  19. 50/50 Ball

    50/50 Ball Member+

    Sep 6, 2006
    USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't know why people worry so much about building a team for beating Germany or France. Nobody has a good roster for beating them.

    I want to get back to bullying concacaf, making the second round at the World Cup and rolling the dice.
     
    TxEx, Baysider, twoolley and 4 others repped this.
  20. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Fair enough.

    Trying a build-out-of-the-back possession system built around aging players while moving our best-albeit-young players out of their comfort zones probably isn't the path.
     
    Namdynamo, Baysider, adam tash and 2 others repped this.
  21. 50/50 Ball

    50/50 Ball Member+

    Sep 6, 2006
    USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agreed. I would really prefer a coach that is tactility flexible and plays to his pool. I liked how Bruce was willing to go 5 in the back to get a road result. I didn't like his failure to treat T&T with proper seriousness.
     
    RalleeMonkey and IndividualEleven repped this.
  22. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I personally think the same style and general plan (excellent structural defense while attacking with speed, mismatches and set pieces) works best both against minnows and very good teams.

    Against the minnows, we can and will be more attack oriented because we will be more skilled and as long as we don't have a poor defender in our back five (including the appropriately name Defensive Midfielder), it allows us to have more aggression in attack.
     
    50/50 Ball repped this.
  23. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    More to the point, get back to doing that and then we can focus on being able to go toe-to-toe with Germany and France.

    It can be done--Belgium was a thoroughly mediocre national team program not all that long ago. If we'd played them in the 2010 WC (which they didn't qualify for) instead of 2014 we likely would've been slight favorites.
     
    50/50 Ball repped this.
  24. wixson7

    wixson7 Member+

    May 12, 2009
    boulder
    Zelalem vs LAFC:

    Came in at 65’ down 3-0. Looked great on the ball, tons of his patented spin mis-direction stuff (I’m such a sucker for those). Played CM 8 type role. But I have to bang on this drum again... he never ever makes late runs into the box and he should’ve had the fresh legs to be doing so. Also, without the ball, he doesn’t move at all. Sorta shadows the play or just sits in space somewhere. He covers so little ground offensively without the ball. Uggh.

    Defensively did his normal activity which isn’t much. Made one nice hard slide tackle but otherwise is a traffic cone. Can’t tell if it’s a lack of skill or will on the D effort.

    With that said, I can see why he got the start the next game. What he does well is with the ball, he thrives on playing 1-2s in the middle of the opponents half.
     
  25. FeedhimtothepigsArold

    Apr 7, 2014
    Club:
    Oxford United FC
    Josh Perez put in a shift today. Played a role in 2 goals.
     

Share This Page