September Friendlies USMNT Standouts

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by TheHoustonHoyaFan, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Brian McBride just did an ESPN segment where he listed his standouts from the Brazil and Mexico friendlies. His choices were; 1) Adams 2) Steffen 3) Green

    I thought it would be interesting to see what the community thought. Here are my choices;

    1 Adams - currently the best player of the new cycle. He has the potential to be this cycle's Jermaine Jones.
    2 Steffen- makes the kind of saves that makes me think young Tim Howard.
    3 Brooks - took his already outstanding passing to a new level. Much improved on offensive set pieces.
    4 Green - an impact offensive player (centrally) if he is allowed to be aggressive and make a few mistakes.
    5 Robinson - young and still learning but huge upside at LB
    6 Miazga - may be our best pure defensive CB

    1 Sarachan - in totally over his head. His scheme and player choices were naive at best.
    2 Trapp - in totally over his head. zero defensive impact, very little offensive impact.
    3 McKennie - a different player than I see for my 04. Hope Tedesco keeps him home until Sarachan leaves.
    neems, Eighteen Alpha, Namdynamo and 5 others repped this.
  2. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    Trapp was reminiscent of last cycles MB - not the worst player on the pitch for us but never near the best.

    It’s not that he shouldn’t play at all but rather that it would repeat a huge mistake not to look at many other options as he’s in no way a player who we build around.
  3. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I w
    Who were your standouts?

    I forgot to add Lichaj to my flops list.
  4. USA-Zebuel

    USA-Zebuel Member+

    Mar 26, 2013
    Colón de Santa Fe
    TBF... Sarachan did not set Lichaj up for success.
  5. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    In general, I thought our CBs were pretty good (but not great) as well as Adams and Steffen over the past two games. I was really disappointed in WM, not as much from an absolute than a relative viewpoint as I was hoping he'd be the best person on the field and he wasn't close.
    TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  6. CU soccer

    CU soccer Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Panama City Beach
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Literally none. Miazga was ok.
    1. McKennie
    2. Moore
    3. Zardes
    4. Acosta

    Green needs to switch to striker. Too lazy to play the midfield, but he’s got a nose for goal at times.

    Lichaj is a RB. Keep him there.

    Adams is Nagbe 2.0. Disappears for long stretches of the game. Maybe play him as the sole DM til someone better comes along.
    laxcoach repped this.
  7. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Followed a different format and included everyone. Only difference in my top 6 is Yedlin (out of necessity) and dropped Green to the next tier (need to see a little more and fewer unsuccesful plays).

    The only other two I'd highlight are CCV and Weah. I thought CCV was solid. Weah was mixed, but some of it due to the system players around him... played like a kid at times and like a kid who is about to break into PSG at others. I'd think he will be be better with better players around him and a more suited role.

    I'm cutting mckennie some slack, but not a good showing.

    I was thinking of starting a Trapp thread as he is dominating the discussions in most threads. Absent a few fans, it seems pretty clear to the rest that he isnt the answer. Moore isnt ready and Arriola struggled quite a bit.

    That should be Lichaj's last parting gift for never being international quality. Dont think I need to say anything about Sarachan. I will never trust Ed Crocker again!!!

    Back 6 (until someone takes it or they blow it)

    In Consideration to Start


    Fighting for Roster Spot

    No Idea, but Skeptical

    Done with for Now
    Trapp (capt.)

    Done with for Ever
    TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  8. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Interesting comment... can you elaborate? I dont agree with a Nagbe comparison but would be interested in hearing more about what you didnt like in case I go back to watch.
  9. SteelyTom

    SteelyTom Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Boston, MA USA
    Pumas UNAM
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Adams (captain's armband in his future)
    Robinson (upside is enormous)
    Steffen (Tim Howard 2.0)

    WM (we all have bad weeks from time to time)
    Zardes (a JAG despite the work rate)
    Wood (he is what he is)

    Lichaj (in his left back incarnation)
    Trapp (not suitable to play at this level)
    Acosta (see Trapp)
    TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  10. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    His potential is much higher than Howard's.
    Dirt McGirt repped this.
  11. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    United States
    May 4, 2017
    #11 Patrick167, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    When you go back and watch these games a second time, especially the Mexico game, McKennie looked much better. He was actually starting to dominate the game minutes 20-30, then got hurt. Then kept playing very well with a great interception.

    Ian Darke is a word salad guy. He picks up on something and keeps repeating it. For instance, Lainez does one decent thing early (draws a very soft foul call in a dangerous spot), and Darke keeps talking him up for the next 40 minutes. He does undress Trapp, but besides that really didn't do much. After the switch to the 4-2-3-1, Adams is clearly man marking him and that is the last you see of Lainez until Miazga makes fun of him. He also gets ahold of Green and talks him up for 40 minutes, his voice rising whenever Green touches the ball. Meanwhile, Green was ok but it is Weah that actually becomes much more interesting during this time.

    So, the standouts:

    Adams: This kid's improvement is starting to become parabolic. MLS has become too slow for him. In the Brazil game you can see him adjust and become one of the Americans that looks like he belongs on the field. After being moved back next to Trapp in Mexico, he locks up the defense (Mexico basically do almost nothing after that) and then really helps out Trapp move the ball forward. Obviously scores. The run Acosta makes to set up the goal play, Adams had just made a minute earlier to set up a good sequence. He is quickly becoming one of our best players.

    Robinson: He stood out in many ways. But he certainly stood out as the best LB option. I'm sure Villafana will continue to get called by Arena's staff, but the difference between Robinson and Lichaj was stark. Lichaj wasn't good, but the 4-1-4-1 Dave was using obviously had a big problem with giving space to opposition wingers. Trapp just couldn't cover that much ground and it exposed Robinson and Lichaj. Robinson was exposed to Douglas Costa, and it showed twice. But Robinson rebounded and got the assist for the winner and it has to all feel good. I'm still not sure Weah deflects his late cross right onto the head of Zardes late in the Brazil game; I think Zardes just bungles it, should have been a goal. The kid is a weapon.

    Miazga: You see him yelling at fullbacks and midfielders; he completely unpants Mexico, he was solid defensively, distributed well. No doubt starter after these two games. Brooks, Miazga, Adams is a dominant defensive triangle that should allow all the rest of the team to get forward.

    Weah: His first touch is not always great and he is raw, but he sees the game and exploits space extremely well. A few times he seemed ahead of most of his team mates and was let down (was four moves ahead but Moore, Green or Acosta only thinking of the next pass). He is a little aggressive with his passing and often goes for the home run than the simple ball (e.g. trying to curl a cross in for Zardes rather than lay it off for Robinson overlapping and unmarked); but he is dangerous and relentless.

    CCV: I've never seen him play composed, mistake free, for 90 minutes. He was really very good against Mexico. I was surprised to hear he signed a 5-yr extension at Tottenham, is that true? That seems like an incredible vote of confidence from Spurs in a player most in American soccer media and around here don't think is more than a slightly moveable wall.

    Steffan: Did nothing wrong really except one slip. Made talk by Holden and Twellman about Guzan seem conspiratorial. His distribution to the fullbacks in the Brazil game was something we had not seen before and was impressive.

    Wash Outs:

    Trapp: Terrible camp for him as he was completely exposed by Brazil. Brazil took like 12 shots, 7 or so of them from directly in front of goal, about 22 yards out...IOTW, where Trapp is playing. A big chunk of their key passes also originating there. It became a big question to everyone why he is an auto-starter, been one of the main media talking points. It was also apparent that everything worked better with Adams back there, alone or with Trapp.
    neems, Eighteen Alpha, Namdynamo and 4 others repped this.
  12. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I was thinking of starting a thread for Trapp as the postgame threads were focusing on him. He has been our captain this year and there are threads for much "less accomplished" players. This should be a good enough spot for now, but probably need to if we have to sit through this nonsense in October.

    One of Trapps few "defenders" made the point that Mexico's kids weren't dangerous centrally while completely ignoring the Brazil match. His 1v1 defending is horrible which means he is useless covering for others. I'd think in this current screwy system, we want our lone dmid to be able to cover for our outside backs when they go forward.

    Time and again when Trapp got pulled out wide to pick up an attacker, he was was completely ineffective. Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 times in the two games. Early in the second half of a Brazil put a cross in from the end line that Steffen intercepted, the Brazil PK and the very embarrassing play from Llainez. In all cases, he provided little in the way of a challenge for the attacker doing what they wanted.
  13. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Green hasn't done enough to impress me. Arguably the best in his position in the camp but that's about it. I'm ready to see Rowe, Amon and Gall.
  14. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Who were your standouts and who were your flops from this camp?
  15. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Standouts are Adams, Steffen, Miazga, Brooks, Robinson.
    When ignoring expectations and just compare to other candidates I would include Weston. For the same reason I could arguably drop Robinson.
    Flops were Arriola and Trapp. With Trapp it's arguable that he did look good in France. I'm done with Arriola.
    Sarachan is also a flop.
  16. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    I will second (or third or fourth ...) Robinson as a standout, on the basis of my limited exposure - the first half of the Brazil game plus his minutes in the Mexico game.

    Likely discussed elsewhere were Robinson's efforts to contain Douglas Costa. I thought Costa put on a master class, particularly in the 10-11 minutes prior to Brazil's first goal. Costa kept cutting the ball back to the middle, back to the middle, back to the middle ... gentling lulling Robinson into a false sense of security. Then, on the goal, Costa cut the ball hard with the left and took off down the wing, and I doubt there have been many times before (in his entire life) that Robinson had that much time to catch up but couldn't.

    The key for me was that Robinson didn't get down on himself, he showed a lot of resilience, and (days later) entered the Mexico game still full of confidence.

    What I hope Robinson takes away from these two games:

    v Brazil - You've got a lot to learn.

    v Mexico - You've got a lot to offer.

    In that sense, I feel these friendlies can be useful for the players, even in the absence of a 'real' coach.
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  17. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Tyler Adams: Get to Europe and RBL soon.

    Julian Green: went from a total non-entity '15-'17 to in the rolodex for now

    Steffen: The #1 after having put together competent to good performances against France, Brazil, and Mexico

    Robinson: I wasn't bothered by the gaffe against Brazil, that'll happen, I've seen enough to suggest that he's miles better than the god awful options we have, and has way more upside than any other guys too.

    Centerback Depth: Been a CCV since the '15 U-20 WC, nothing he's done since has disabused me of that position. We have 3-5 legit options to start at CB right now, and now really, it's just about finding the best combination pairings.

    Absentee Forwards/Attacking Players (think Altidore, Sargent, Amon, Sabbi, Pulisic, potential pipe dream Siebatcheu and even younger kids etc), : Basically any attacking player that wasn't at the camp is probably going to be at a camp soon considering the dearth of any kind of creative attacking flair, or semblance of intelligent interplay for 160 minutes of 11 v 11)

    Strength in depth of Defensive Midfield: We already knew this going in, but it should be doubly understood that we have at least 3-4 quality defensive midfielders we can use right now, and another 2-3 on the way. That position is just locked in, we just have to figure out how many we want to roll out and how to determine what their responsibilities should be to maximize their strengths and camouflage the weaknesses.

    Sarachan: Bad Tactics, poor and at times inexplicable use of bench, iffy starting lineups, etc.

    Trapp: Ready to move on from that before the friendlies, and still ready now.

    Arriola: Not good enough for this level.

    Zardes: I'm not interested in him being anywhere near the team unless we have Pulisic and other creative midfielders around and even then I'm very disinterested. When it's a creativity bereft group like this, he won't be getting the service he needs to be relevant.

    Moore: Needs more time, and I'm skeptical anyway.

    Lichaj: Just Depth

    No idea:
    Roldan: I can't fully write him off till he gets a legit run out with legit options, and not a handful of minutes with a toothless attack.

    Delgado: Same deal

    Final Broad Strokes:
    If nothing else, this confirmed to me that while I may not want Altidore and his 1 goal in 9 hex games around, he needs to be around in the short term and secondly that we really, really, really need to get creative players out there, no matter how young they are. Guys like Sabbi, Amon, Sargent, Weah, and more distant options like Taitague, Wright (if he turns it around), Tillman (if he declares), Siebatcheu (the same), Reyna (grow up and develop fast), even Durkin, Nova, I could go on and on, we desperately need young players to make a name for themselves in '18-'19, to really throw down a marker this year and demand call ups because we are so so so damn back heavy in terms of strength for now.

    We have strength in depth at Central D Mid, CB, and even have multiple options perhaps at fullback. We just have such a lack of top end talent of veteran status in terms of creative midfielder and at forward that we may need to force the issue just by bringing in guys who aren't ready, or are really, really green.

    I will admit that having Pulisic there would have changed things a ton, how many goals did we score in the hex with him not involved after all? But that just double downs the crucial importance of the kids getting a run out, no matter how green because the vets, flat out, aren't good enough to play anyone other than concacaf minnows and anklebiting divers etc.
  18. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    On My Squatty Potty
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sarachan should be put into a cannon and shot into the waters off Montauk, with no life jacket.
  19. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Adams, Miazga, Yedlin
  20. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Also a flop: Novakovich. Couldn't get one minute of game time. Or maybe that's Sarachan's flop. Hard to tell.
  21. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I'll go ahead and give my thoughts in alphabetical order:

    Acosta - Miscast by Sarachan as an outside mid, he didn't resonate. Dead balls were mediocre to poor. Unless club play dictates (and it hasn't, been better in CO, but not there yet) shouldn't really be called. Time still to recover and prove early hype was warranted, but needs to prove it at club level first.

    Adams - While he lacks "wow" impact moments (I guess the goal was close), his overall impression was good. He's all over the field (and versatile) pressuring high, tracking back deep, and filling the box late. I know this is not going to be viewed as a compliment (but it is), he reminds me of 21 year old Bradley a bit. We'll see if he can surpass the hated one.

    Arriola - Dud performance. He's maturing centrally for DC so maybe that's something, but back out wide he failed. I only really remember one moment really, a cross that was U10 level.

    Bono/Horvath - Would have liked to see them split time or one of them get a game, but since they didn't, doesn't indicate upward trajectory.

    Brooks - He played well. Defended fine, passed well, and a set piece threat. If he stays healthy and in form at Wolfsburg, hard not to lock him in.

    CCV - He was excellent. Not really a step wrong, really. Probably not first 11 now, but no problem if he is for me.

    Delgado - No time to judge. Strange to call in late and then play him. Kinda like DS just had a senior moment or something.

    Green - Play in these reinforced what has been seen at club over the past year plus. Not a winger, but has potential as SS or AM. As of now he's not good enough to rely on, but can still mature. Nose for goal and taking players on is strength but will lose most battles. If he adds vision he's great, but probably too late. As a starting SS though, he probably scores quite a few goals for us.

    Lichaj - Career trajectory just didn't work out right. Klinsmann probably should have used him, but current/next coach shouldn't.

    Long/Parker - Calling in both NYRB CBs and don't give either a minute? Kind of a dick move.

    McKennie - Probably the biggest disappointment. He wasn't bad, but just didn't do much. Just turning 20 and playing at the level he is, it's still likely he's a backbone for us, but just hasn't impressed lately. I'm concerned that Shalke homer THHF isn't high on him. Bad sign.

    Miazga - I can see both sides of the "short-guy" incident, but I like it (I'm 5 '5 and I still liked it!) and his overall game. You can see he's a leader, barking at his other defenders and midfielders. He's great in the air, and 1v1 stoning Neymar is...decent right? I know there's concern about 2 tall CBs, but Brooks/Miazga are good, and have earned it. CCV is a great fallback.

    Moore - Too soon. Just because a guy is in a La Liga system doesn't mean he has to come in. Let's see how he develops, but right now leave him alone. Call in the stable of MLS RBs (Lima/Cannon/Rosenberry/Lennon...) for a tryout.

    Novakovich - Disappointed he got no run. Sarachan failed here IMHO.

    Robinson - Perhaps it's too early, but he's the starting LB for now. Sure he got a lesson by Costa, but he appeared to grow from it. Defensively he's raw, but he young, and the other Lb's in the pool are...crickets. His crosses are consistently dangerous.

    Roldan - My biggest gripe from this one is he got virtually nothing to show. He has been leaps and bounds better than Acosta for pretty much his entire career and while it might not be his best spot, has actually played - and well- as a RM for Sounders. Deserves a chance.

    Steffen - Solidified status as a first choice GK. He did well, but I'm a bit concerned he's being given this spot without really earning it. That's not his fault really, but he hasn't been great for Columbus. Problem is, none of our GK are looking great. Pipeline doesn't look great either. Steffen is good and it's o.k., but sure wish the position had multiple guys pushing strong for the spot.

    Trapp - I don't even really want to get into it. He's an o.k. player, with some good attributes. It is not a good sign if he's our starting #6 and Captain for Life.

    Weah - I think he's a CF. These games continued to give me that impression. He is a tireless worker which bodes really well.

    Wood - Really had pretty much no chance to look good vs. Brazil. Not his fault, but meh. Rather have seen Nova in the Mexico game. He's an option that should always be there, but I'd like to see him win a spot at do stuff at Hannover before he becomes a mainstay.

    Yedlin - He's kinda who we think he is at this point. He's our starting RB for sure, that's good. Can he raise his game to new levels at Newcastle, or is this it? I mean, it's fine, but is there more?

    Zardes - He did o.k. TBH. And while I would have liked to see the minutes go elsewhere, it's hard to completely denigrate his inclusion because he's the top US forward in MLS. That's a sad sad statement, but credit to him, and discredit to the pool. He's someone that will probably hang around, but if he's a key player, it means all other options have failed.
  22. Marius Tresor

    Marius Tresor Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    I agree with McBride.
  23. Marius Tresor

    Marius Tresor Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    I am surprised that more people are not talking about how well Green did. And since he is only 23, why would it be too late for him? There are many examples of relatively late bloomers, especially creative AMs.
    RalleeMonkey and TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  24. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    I guess I'll offer what look to be a couple kinda contrarian opinions.

    1.) I'm fine with Trapp. In the Brazil game, he was one of our only players who wanted the ball in tough spots and didn't immediately cough it up. He made plenty of passes under high pressure to keep possession. Now, he's not great defensively for someone in that role, and I wouldn't have him as a locked-in starter (probably not a best 11 starter at all), but I think he'll be a good player to have as a CM option this cycle.

    2.) I didn't think Green was that great. He played pretty much the role he plays for Furth in the same manner (based on my expert knowledge from watching them play that 1 Pokal game against Dortmund). He's more a ball circulating AM/SS, which is fine (it was a pleasant change to have someone who could hold possession in the final third), but he's not as dynamic or creative as you'd ideally want from someone in that spot. Also, as we saw against Brazil, when the speed of play and physicality get ramped up, he can't do much. Now, he might be the best option for that role currently, because we're lacking in options, but I don't see him as a long-term solution.
  25. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    I'm not sure I would tag him as a ball circulator, more of just a SS. Basically a more refined Wondo.

    First tweet of a .gif thread (FYI I disagree that he didn't create separation, he did, but took another touch):

    I'm a little surprised by the tenor of the Robinson comments. I think they're fully based on future projections and not the totality of the two performances. Being high on him long-term is the correct opinion but he's weak on balls played in-behind or over his head. He's shown that in other games. Right now teams with good, fast RW threats are going to try to exploit him. He needs to get better or it's going to cost us points because he's one of our best options at the spot, despite this.

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