23 Tickets to Germany update

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by shooter6065, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. shooter6065

    shooter6065 Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Chicago Fire

    The folks over at yanks-abroad have continued the monthly analysis of the spots for Germany.

    A few things:

    1. Apparently Berhalter has not been lighting it up in the German second division.

    2. I just don't see Ralston (a slow, average 30-year old winger) making the roster.........don't be shocked to see Cobi make it.

    3. Only one destroyer on the roster..........look for Dempsey (the Lets Find a Position for this Guy) to get dumped and in place of Armas, Carroll or possibly Olsen.

    4. With Bocanegra they have finally moved to a lock. I have watched every Fulham game I could this year and Coleman finally figured out he is not a left back..........that was more like by necessity. He has settled in and now has no problem whatsoever being the rock of an average Fulham defense despite constantly having to cover the lousy left back.

    5. No Eddie Pope? They have to be kidding if they don't even think he is in the picture. Probably will depend on his early season form and the form of his competitors.......of course, injuries can make a picture much clearer at this position for USMNT.
  2. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Real Madrid
    I find fault with a number of things in that article. Josh Wolff is a lock. He's the best dribbling forward we have. He won't start, but he'll definitely go.

    Jimmy Conrad is closer than they think. Move him to "In A Battle". Berhalter is definitely on the bubble ("In A Battle"). Gibbs, GAM, and Howard are locks. JOB is an eternal question mark. You have to make a special category for him. Spector is a lock, imo. And I think Albright is a safe bet.

    And they left out Pope completely, who is "In A Battle".
  3. joehill

    joehill Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    DC United
    quaranta has looked way better than ralston in the last few friendlies, I'm surprised he is so far down the list.
  4. davez

    davez Member+

    Aug 10, 2000
    Mountain View, CA
    I'd have to agree with that... he looked good the last few matches, though Bruce has shown a tendency to go with experience in the past...

    I'd like to see him get in about four quality matches before the cup and see how he does...

    The other guy I'd like to see get some minutes in the next few American based matches is Ricardo Clark - great work rate, tremendous tackling, and he can come forward with authority to provide a nice additional offensive weapon.
  5. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Said before and I'll say it again

    Locks: Keller, Hahnemann, Howard, Cherundolo, Gooch, Gibbs, Bocanegra, Lewis, Donovan, Beasley, Reyna, O'Brien, Mastroeni, McBride, Johnson

    Near lock: Convey

    Last 7:
    1. Pope vs. Berhalter vs. Marshall vs. Conrad
    2-3. Hejduk vs. Spector vs. Albright (pick 2)
    4. Dempsey vs. Clark vs. Carroll vs. Olsen vs. Martino
    5. Quaranta vs. Mapp vs. Ralston
    6. Ching vs. Twellman vs. Jaqua
    7. Wolff vs. Rolfe vs. Gomez vs. Cunningham
  6. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    you would have to think there are a handful of other players who have just as a legitimate shot of making the roster as, if not a better chance than, Martino, Gomez, or Cunningham.

    in fact i'd venture to say Arena could take any of Pearce, Noonan, Jones, Adu before he'd use a roster spot for Martino, Gomez, or Cunningham. although, all of them should be examined as fighting an uphill battle for anything beyond an alternatives list, at this point.
  7. NBlue

    NBlue Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How is it possible that Armas will be considered with his injury -- I don't see how it will be possible, let alone likely, especially at his stage in his career. Apparently you missed the Fulham match last week when Boca played out on the left (and not particularly well). He does play okay in the center for Fulham and think he is our third best center back if Gibbs is healthy. He is a lock and will get minutes in Germany. Agree with you on Pope though obviously Cobi is no longer in the picture with his failure to be called into the January camp.
  8. Galaxian

    Galaxian Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    Newport Beach, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah I love Boca as a player , but his performances on the left havent been great. If Gibbs is hurt , I think we can rely on Boca in the center.
  9. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax

    that was my error, he was in the bubble group - props to shooter for pointing it out, it is now fixed

    unfortunately, pope played so shaky last year that most people want to see him come back strong this MLS season before they count him in - it is hard to say what bruce thinks about eddie, perhaps arena thinks he has to lose a spot in 2006 - things could certainly get interesting if he shows one last hurrah form in the friendlies

    i, for one, am rooting for him to bring it up to the pope standard for one last summer... hehe he could be the hong myung bo of 2006 :D
  10. Autogolazo

    Autogolazo BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 19, 2000
    Bombay Beach, CA
    I only disagree with one thing--Clint Dempsey should be a lot further down the chart, either in "Slipping..." or "Bubble Battlers".

    1. His MLS play went from great to so-so through the year.

    2. He's not an Arena "system" guy. He doesn't really fit anywhere.

    3. He holds onto the ball and dribbles far too much for the kind of competition he's going to face.

    I agree that he's proven he's dangerous poaching in the box at the MLS level, but hasn't Twellman, also?

    Then play the injury game in midfield:

    If Donovan goes down, Reyna moves centrally and we put a Ralston or Tino out wide (unfortunately) for a true RM.

    If Reyna goes down, see above.

    If Beasley goes down, Lewis/Convey.

    If Mastro goes down, it's gotta be Carroll/Clark as a true d-mid over Dempsey.

    Dempsey is not even first-choice cover at any of these positions.

    I would be stunned to see him in Germany.
  11. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not a particularily good list for a lot of reasons. The only interesting note was Berhalter's supposed poor play. For another view, Kicker rates Berhalter as a 4.5 for the season. In the last month, his rating has improved to a 4 (with a 2 in Spieltag 15 balanced by a shocking 5.5 [only Jovan Kirovski gets worse] in the last week's game). It does appear that Greg is not lighting it up this year -- I wonder if he truly is playing left back and if that is why.
  12. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

    Feb 1, 2005
    Time's Arrow
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree that Dempsey suffers from being a bit of a square peg in all of Bruce's round holes, but there are some other factors to consider. The WCF occure in the middle of the MLS season, so if his falling play was a result of wear and tear (he still is a young kid adjusting to a professional schedule), he would likely be in much better form in June. Bruce could be considering bringing a supersub to the finals, and I would put Dempsey in the boat of people competing for that slot. He has the versitility to play up top or in the midfield. Finally, we are so poor at RM that Dempsey could still be seen as a better option than any other right-footed player we might put out there, assuming that Bruce gives up on the idea of playing DMB far out right.
  13. shooter6065

    shooter6065 Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Chicago Fire
    Isn't Berhalter a center back? He is 6'1" or something.......
  14. swedust

    swedust Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    That list seems to assume LD as the fourth forward. Maybe, but somehow I doubt it. Ching and Twellman are at least on the same level as Dempsey (the former to low and the latter too high).

    No back-up for Maestro? Again, I have my doubts.

    Harsh comments for Timmy Howard; why then Reis and others so far down?

    Spector and Albright and Hejduk? Two at the most, me thinks.

    Still, I enjoy the column every month.
  15. shooter6065

    shooter6065 Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Chicago Fire
    I agree...........it's a nice read
  16. dcole

    dcole Member+

    May 27, 2005
    Technically, I've said it before and you've now taken my idea twice without giving me credit for it either in the form of acknowledgement or rep. Frankly, it's starting to bug me a bit.
  17. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    leibnitz and newton independently derived calculus..

    although there's a more aesthetic appeal to leibnitz version...

    so, perhaps great minds independently derived the camp battles...!!
  18. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Sorry man, don't worry I repped you, didn't realize you'd copyrighted the idea of a depth chart with specific battles for certain positions. :rolleyes:
  19. Tigerpunk

    Tigerpunk Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    23 as of now:

    Keller, Hahnaman, Howard, Gibbs, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Spector, Lewis, Cherundolo, Hejduk, Clark, Mastroeni, O'Brien, Reyna, Donovan, Beasley, Convey, Dempsey, Quaranta, Adu, McBride, Johnson, Wolff.

    Comments on the Yanks-abroad listing

    Hejduuuude is not as safe as people think. He's there by default. If another wingback emerges, he's first off. When it comes down to it, Arena goes with talent, and the athletic opponents we're facing is going to require him to knock out liabilities, which Hejduk is at the back.

    Wolff is also the "first one out" at forward. As they mentioned, he's on the team by default. Thanks to our lack of depth, that still makes him close to a lock.

    Given what I said above, Berhalter's "spot" can go three ways. One, it can go to him. Two, it can go to Pope, whose experience and talent could make him more of a role player than Berhalter is. Or three, it could just be used in the midfield. With Bocanegra now a central back option, that gives us Gibbs, Bocanegra, Onyewu as primary center backs, and Mastroeni and Spector can play the position as well. Berhalter's aging fast, and summer is too far away.

    "Being able to play four different positions at a comparable level is going to get you on a lot of tournament squads. (GS)" - Not being able to play them well enough at an international stage against the top teams makes this a skill only useful for 18 man CONCACAF qualifying rosters. Here's my surprise call: Albright's not even in the picture by the last friendly.


    John O'Brien - Yeah, yeah, if he's not healthy, he's not going. If Donovan's leg is broken, he's not going either. If he's ready to go when the plane's boarding, JOB is on the team. Him being on the field not only gives us talent and experience, it frees up Reyna and Donovan to play the games they're most comfortable with.

    Tim Howard - Howard's a lock for two reasons. One, the third keeper never plays. Two, Howard's career would be over if he wasn't picked. Given the lack of depth in 2006, Arena would never do that for a guy whose not going to play anyway.

    Eddie Johnson - We simply don't have the talent to not take an Eddie Johnson that's healthy enough to get on the damn plane. If his health is up and down in the spring, Arena would cross his fingers and say his prayers, but he'd still bring EJ, who is our only gamebreaking forward.

    Jonathan Spector - That Heath Pearce is getting a serious look is in part because Pearce has some raw talent. But it's mostly because we're weak at natural left backs. Spector might not be as natural as Pearce, but he's the ONLY American now that JOB is at Den Haag whose playing against top-calibur European teams at the position...and what MLS has to offer is even more disturbing.

    Freddy Adu isn't overrated or underrated, but he makes my 23 for three reasons. One, he's going to be a key player in 2006, and it's good to give him a feel of what the WC is like, even if he doesn't see a minute. Two, if the media focus is on him, its off some of the rest of the team, allowing them to focus on the game. Three, 2010 is our year, and giving him both something to aspire to and some pause to realize he's not "there" yet can only help.

    Oh, and

    Ricardo Clark: In the end, Arena will bring a second natural destroyer. Armas is injured, and right now Clark is playing better than Zav.
  20. Tigerpunk

    Tigerpunk Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    I don't agree with this. I don't know if a fourth back is really needed, if none of them are up to par. I've discussed above. Though at least one more wingback is needed from your list, it's also plausible to forgo a fourth here. However, you'll have at least 7 defenders, so From the 7 you mention plus Peace, pick 2-3.

    As for 4, I ALSO don't agree. The two central midfielders play different roles. The "destroyer" role will be filled by JOB, Mastroeni, and perhaps Clark or even Conrad. The "central" role will be filled by JOB, Reyna, Dempsey (if he's chosen), Convey, and perhaps Donovan if necessary. Olsen and Clark are competing for the "destroyer" role, and Dempsey, Carroll, and Martino for the "central" role. I think TWO of those go in the end, not one. If only one goes, it'll probably be at the destroyer role.

    As for 5 - Mapp is competition on the left, not the right. It'll be Quaranta v. Ralstan (v. Gaven, whose got almost no shot). If Mapp makes it, it's either bc of injury or bc Bruce needs another left midfielder (right now its Beasley with Convey and JOB able to back up, and perhaps Adu).

    As for 6 - I don't see why any of these go. Ching's the only one of them whose talented enough to play at a WC level, and Arena won't take people just to fill roster slots. He doesn't have to.

    7 - Agree - one of these will go. That plus McBride and Johnson will just have to be our forwards, with Donovan and perhaps Adu or Ching filling in as well when needed.

    Also, does anyone know when Arena hasn't gone with a destroyer? If not, and given that this isn't JOB's natural position (tho he can play it), what does Arena do if he's got JOB, Mastroeni, Donovan, Reyna, and Beasley all healthy? I can't seem him going with 3 backs, though I can with only 1 striker.
  21. hoboken16

    hoboken16 Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ USA
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pope will regain his form and make the squad. I don't think Adu should be on the squad yet........ Hopefully O'Brien and Johnson can stay healthy
  22. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    my line-up

    Backup- Hahneman

    Alternates-Reis, Hartman, Cannon, and hell if we get desperate enough bring Guzan for the experience

    Battles-none really. unless someone gets hurt. Keller is obvious. Hahneman has been doing great at Reading. and Howard still is young and it will be good experience for him

    RB(whoever plays rb should be the most tireless player on the team so that will free Reyna to play more central)
    Backup-Spector and Hejduk

    Start-Onyewu and Gibbs (if healthy our best combo because they know how to play against top level strikers)
    Sub-Bocanegra and Pope

    LB (question mark)
    Start-Pearce(if he is as talented as everyone is saying)
    Sub-Lewis, Bocanegra(i wanted to start him here but if he's going to be a weak link don't start him), O' Brien, Hejduk, Spector

    Alternates-Berhalter, Marshall, Conrad, and Albright

    Battles-Pope vs Berhalter but if they keep sucking. make it Marshall vs Conrad

    RM-the big question mark!
    Start-Reyna(he played RM in 02 and did well. also frees Mastro and Donovan to run the middle. he would not be a flanking RM but if Cherundolo can keep his runs coming this will allow us to have more presence in the middle)
    Sub-Quaranta (i pick him to make the roster because he's probably our best right winger, he's going to be our key RM in 2010 and 2014 and it'll be good experience, plus he is fast and does have a decent cross). also Convey(learn to play RM please) or O' Brien

    Start-Mastro(he's our destroyer)
    Sub-O' Brien, move Reyna over and sub Quaranta or Convey in.

    Start-Donovan(the playmaker)
    Sub-O' Brien should switch it back to more of a dual CM role and him and Reyna control the middle. or sub in Convey

    LM-(probably our safest covered position)
    Sub-Lewis, Convey, O' Brien, or Pearce

    Alternates-Clark, Dempsey, Carroll, Martino, Ralston, Mapp, Noonan, and Olsen

    Battles-all are battles to knockout Quaranta or an injured player. this one will have a lot to do with the upcoming friendlies. too soon to tell.

    Start-Johnson and McBride
    Sub-Wolff(underrated big time. his only problem is his health. to say he sucks is bizarre! he's fast, experienced, has lots of flair on the dribble, and he can shoot) and Twellman(also underrated on the international level. yeah one goal in 13 games is not impressive but he's got talent. you can't take that away from him. he can be a target forward and a speed forward and that is needed to free up room on the roster)

    Alternates-Rolfe, Ching, Cunningham, and Adu

    Battles-Rolfe vs. Wolff and i know it will be Ching vs. Twellman but hope for Cunningham or Adu will beat out this liability in the making.

    ***the reason why i didn't start O' Brien is to save him as a super sub. which we will need in the World Cup.
    ***also a question how many subs are you allowed to have on the bench in the World Cup? isn't it 7?
    ***hopefully the old Clint Mathis will jump back into form and regain his goalscoring form. i remember everyone thought Ronaldo was done for the longest time and then he tears up the 2002 world cup. but for now, i'm going to bet on Mathis not being in Germany.
  23. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    I think we take 4 "pure" CBs, 3 "pure" WBs, and 1 guy who can play anywhere in the back line (either Albright or Spector). Don't think Bruce is going to forget how injuries and cards piled up for our back line in Korea--if we'd beaten Germany, we would've had to play the semi-final with Regis, Llamosa, and Sanneh in the back, not exactly comfort-inducing (Sanneh aside) against the ultra-athletic Koreans.

    As for Pearce, I don't see him making the squad unless he clearly wins the starting LB job. He's simply not versatile enough to bring along as a reserve--unless Pearce wins the job, Lewis will be the starting LB and 2 out of Hejduk/Albright/Spector will back him up, with Boca, Gibbs, JOB, and Convey able to fill in in an emergency.

    You're right on some level, but we only have so many spots on the team, and Bruce is going to look to fill them with guys who are versatile. In any event, this question is probably a bit of a non-starter since JOB likely won't be healthy, so in the end I'd say you're probably right that 2 guys will go from that list.

    If JOB is healthy, however, I think we go with extra flexibility on the wings--unless we decide to use the 4-man box as our base midfield, which is a distinct possibility--and only go with 1 guy from that list. In which case I'd agree with you that the destroyer is more likely, unless Dempsey proves himself too versatile and too valuable as a late-game sub to leave out.

    Mapp can play on either side from what I've seen, and his opportunity for the US is clearly on the right. There's no room at this point for someone to make the squad as a LM, with DMB, Lewis, JOB (if healthy), and Convey all locks. Whereas the RM spot is wide open.

    95% chance one of those guys will go because Arena's system uses a target striker, and there needs to be a backup for McBride. The only way no-one from that list goes is if we decide to go with Johnson as the backup target forward (sliding him over from the "speedy forward" role when McBride's not in the lineup), OR if someone (possibly Dempsey) comes out of nowhere to claim the backup target forward role.

    Disagree, I think we take 4 dedicated forwards not including Donovan and whoever else (Dempsey, Quaranta) is listed as a MF.

    Tactical matchups notwithstanding, my guess in that situation is that we play a box midfield with Donovan and DMB in front of Reyna and JOB.
  24. dcole

    dcole Member+

    May 27, 2005
    Good point. I hadn't thought of it this way before, but it makes sense.
  25. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Jun 21, 2002
    Libertyville, Ill.
    I suspect that Bruce is looking very closely at the individual match ups in group play. This will likely have an impact on which bubble players are chosen.

    I don't know why, but I have a gut feeling Rolfe will be on the team.

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