3-5-2 for the qualifiers?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Scotty, May 28, 2004.

  1. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    Any chance of seeing a 3-5-2 lineup during the qualifiers?

    I was thinking about this lately. It would probably be the only way to field Reyna, Donovan and O'Brien together in the midfield. Of course, this is assuming that O'Brien is fit. (BTW - anyone know his current health status?)

    Under what circumstances would we see it? Home? Away? For weaker or stronger teams?

    Here's how mine would look:

    GK Take your pick

    Def Mastroeni, Pope, Bocanegra

    Mid Cherundolo, Reyna, Donovan, O'Brien, Beasley

    For Mathis, McBride

    (Donovan would be playing in midfield, in front of Reyna and JOB, but behind the strikers)

    Any thoughts? Feel free to post your own 3-5-2 ideas.
     
  2. drew_VT_6

    drew_VT_6 Member

    Feb 22, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why not just put Cherundolo in defense? What's the point of putting him in the game in a position he's not used to?

    Even if healthy JOB probably won't play 'till the hex.
     
  3. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    In a 3-5-2 the wide midfield positions are expected to defend and attack. Cherundolo is already used to it, as it is the position he plays in Germany.
     
  4. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Cherundolo is a good fit for the RM spot in a 3-5-2. Not the most dynamic going forward but obviously can do the defensive work.

    Another option is to have DeMarcus or Bobby play out of position at right mid. Both have shown they'll do the work going both ways. Obviously neither is a righty, but both have spent some time on the right in the past, both with their clubs and the national team.

    And, I'm still not ready to give up on Ben Olsen, a natural right mid who is both good going forward and works his butt off on defense. Obviously, he needs to stay healthy to be considered but he's been playing pretty well for DCU this year.

    Given the US's lack of quality wing backs, I have no qualms switching to a 3-5-2 IF the right mid spot can be adequately addressed, and I think the above options show it can.

    The 3-5-2 allows Pope, Gibbs and Bocanegra, IMO our three best backs, to all be on the field at the same time and doesn't put any of them out of position as a wing back on the left. It also, of course, allows Arena to get someone else of quality into the central MF like O'Brien (when healthy, ha ha!), Reyna and Donovan.
     
  5. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    I posted something similar somewhere. I don't remember exactly how I configured it in the back, but I'd do something like:

    KK
    Sanneh/Boca/Gibbs (Since Pope isn't called up for Grenada, or put Heydude - or even Albright! - there. You could also play Heydude/Sanneh/Gibbs)
    Dolo/Reyna/Mathis/Pablo/RunD
    LD/McHead

    The big problem I see with this line-up is you get the offensive middle clogged up. McHead likes to drop off the last defender. LD likes to play out of the back. Mathis will play a bit forward when left to his own device, Reyna will come forward and Bease will come inside a lot. Simply for tactical reasons, you might want to have Lewis at LM - he is one of the few true touchline players we have. You could play Convey for Mathis as well, although in the couple of Hannover games I've seen Mathis has been ok about playing in the middle of the field. Dolo has played a decent number of games outside in a five, if I recall.
     
  6. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The biggest problem with 3-5-2 is there has to be somebody with more offensive ability than Dolo to play it.

    Reyna has done it before, but that would only work if JOB is available, which I don't see happening this summer.
     
  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    MidAtlantic
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How about Earnie Stewart? He already plays wide RMid in a 3-5-2 for his club team AND he is an offensive powe....

    oh wait

    nevermind
     
  8. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I disagree a bit with respect to Cherundolo. He has made many impressive runs forward for Hannover over the past few seasons. My assessment is that he is still improving and with the right motivation and training can become more consistent in the quality of his forward runs. He can certainly place the ball into dangerous positions and while Hannover had difficulty scoring this season, I saw a lot of upside to Cherundolo's forward play.
     
  9. m vann

    m vann Moderator
    Staff Member

    Colorado Rapids, Celtic FC, & Louisville City
    Sep 10, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Celtic FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've always liked the 3-5-2 formation and the US has been relatively successful the few times they used it. However, I would really like to see Arena use this "box" midfield. I love how it allows our outside backs to move forward like wingers and how the two defensive midfielders are able to slide back and become fullbacks. The two outside backs are so important to the flow of the attack and Convey and Cherundolo are both suited well for this. Unfortunately, I think that this is the only way for Convey the get 90 minutes and we need him out there.
     
  10. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Im with Alberto. Steve has more than enough attacking ability to pull it off.
     
  11. CUS

    CUS New Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    Yes. That's where he plays when Hannover plays a 3-5-2.
     
  12. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Luckily Arena coaches the team.

    Well, OK, Dolo has some skill and maybe he can make himself a nuisance in the box. But I don't think the USMNT can afford not to have a major offensive threat in that position. And I still hope we can do better there than a guy with 0 goals in his last two club seasons.
     
  13. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

    Jun 12, 2002
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 3-5-2 setup has been offered up as a US Nat's option by countless posters for years. The Big Soccer archives must be thick with these threads, in part because it is somewhat logical, and an part because it is fun to discuss. :D

    The reason I think Arena has used it so infrequently has more to do with the depth of the BACKS, than the depth of the US midfielders. We actually have a number of players who may be very well suited for a 5-player midfield -- Reyna, O'Brien, Armas, Mastroeni, Beasley, Lewis, Donovan, Mathis, Stewart, Cherundolo, Klein, etc. It is a nice way to get some of our best players on the field together.

    The problem is defensive depth. Until 2003/2004 we really only had Pope as a reliable central back. Berhalter was/is aging; Agoos peaked in 2001; Lalas and Balboa faded before 2001; Sanneh was used mostly as an outside back, was out of action for a year and like Berhalter isn't getting any younger; Boca was still a young pup; Gibbs was even younger and playing 2nd/3d division German soccer.

    Plus, a 3-player back line isn't suited to other experienced backs we have like Cherundolo, Hejduk, and Vanney, and it doesn't suit our younger outside back experiments like Convey and Albright. So it actually reduces our player pool of defenders.

    Now we finally may have some depth that may be able to handle the responsibilities of a 3-player back line -- Pope, Boca, Gibbs, Mastroeni (switched positions), Sanneh (healthy again), and after he recovers, Berhalter is still an option.

    But it really will depend on if these guys are all available. If Arena can't call up 5 players who he feels can START a match in a 3-player back line, it just isn't going to happen.
     
  14. Monarch Bay Beachbum

    Apr 5, 2004
    The OC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Sandon is my idol, so I will defer to his belief that Gibbs is the third back in this lineup. Alternatively, if you are looking for someone that can go forward periodically you could use Mastroeni or Sanneh at the right back spot.

    I am all for using 5 midfielders since that is our strength. I actually would use both Landon and Clint in an attacking mid role and use Brian as a lone target forward(3-6-1? or 3-4-2-1). I like Linking Beasley and Bobby on the left side with Landon. I see that as a wonderful side to bring the ball up and create opportunities. I would like to have JOB paired with Bobby as a d-mid, but if he is not healthy you could use Mastroeni or even Reyna as more of a holding middie. That leaves right midfielder. What do you want out of that spot? Reyna is our best player currently, but will he still be fit in '06 to run the length of the field effectively? I like Claudio there, or Sanneh, or as Sandon suggests using Bobby or JOB there. I think this would be a beautifully flowing midfield. I can see 6-7-8 players joining in the attack at different times. They can hold the ball, pass the ball, shoot the ball and even defend.
     
  15. HartwickFan

    HartwickFan Member

    Jul 31, 1999
    Climax, MI
    Club:
    VfR Wormatia 08 Worms
    Nat'l Team:
    Tuvalu
    Pope-----Boca------Gibbs

    JOB------Reyna

    Convey------Mathis---------Beasley

    Donovan----McBride

    Beasley and Convey can run all day endline to endline, and are prefectly cut out for a midfield-wing position in a 3-5-2, IMHO. Only problem, of course, is that Convey is playing out of position, and I'm not sure how good he would be out on the right. You could switch Mathis and Donovan, if you wanted to. And, of course, you can never count on JOB being happy, so you might have to slide Pablo or Armas back there for JOB.
     
  16. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    well, reyna plays with his mind far more than he does with athletic ability...

    maradona, valderama, socrates..made the ball do the work, with minimal of physical exertion...

    reyna as holding mid could easily continue through '06...

    with donovan or mathis as attacking mids, and beasley/convey mobility out wide, reyna as grand master isn't a bad idea...

    JOB or NOT JOB, that's a very intriguing question.......hopefully armas is not the answer..so the question is what to do in a couple weeks...I'd bet armas is on the pitch and with a 3-5-2, armas sitting in front of gibbs-bocanegra-pope isn't have bad....


    i'd pair mathis and mcrbride...leaving donovan beasley reyna and 3 of the other mids...

    the question is what to do out wide right, against a physical type presence, cherundolo would be lacking, perhaps klein is the best of all available options??

    convey off the bench to inject a spark would be an option i'd pursue too
     
  17. Pbourgeacq

    Pbourgeacq New Member

    Aug 8, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A lot of people confuse the "non-central" defenders in a 3-5-2 formation with outside backs. They're not outside backs. Playing them as outside backs in a 3-man backline would spread the defensive line way too thin. The three defenders in a 3-5-2 formation are all central defenders (I always liked using them as two man-markers and one sweeper, but that's me). The areas of the field normally defended by the outside backs in a 4-man backline become the responsibility of the outside MIDFIELDERS, not of any of the defenders. This means that whoever end up playing in the three-man backline will almost exclusively be "stay at home" defenders, and would not be making forward runs.
     
  18. Monarch Bay Beachbum

    Apr 5, 2004
    The OC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I concur.

    I also see the DC bacline moving forward PERIODICALLY. Petke will sneak up the sideline and make a cross or sneak down the middle to get a head on a cross.
     
  19. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    ---------------------Keller

    --------Mastroeni----Pope----Bocanegra

    ---Cherundolo----Reyna---O'Brien----Beasley

    -------------------Donovan

    --------------Mathis------McBride
     
  20. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 7, 1999
    Newton, MA USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I'm not sure why you are all pencilling Mathis as a starter at forward. His last few outings with the Nats were putrid.

    He'll get the looks in camp and if shows well Arena will start him but based on 2002 and more recent history, Mathis on the bench with Wolfe, Casey, or even EJ or Twellman starting would not surprise me.
     
  21. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    I don't love the McBride/Mathis pairing. I think McBride works best with a faster forward who likes to run off him and who also knows to put the ball at his feet. LD does this pretty well, as does Wolff.

    I wouldn't say that Dolo is some sort of offensive force and if you play him wide in a 5, you get something a bit unbalanced, but Bruce has never been adverse to pushing one side forward more than the other.

    If you have LD running of McBride, and mostly cheating right, Bease/Lewis is given the task of generating more offense. It's not ideal, as Lewis is the better wide player, and a decent crosser/shooter, but DeBease is over all more unpredicatble. Convey could play there as well. Reyna is better inside right, I think. Depending who he was matched up with, he could play outside, but a very fast winger/middie would be trouble for him.

    Part of how you line this up has to do with who you are playing, but we certainly have enough central/manmarking backs to play it. the wing play on the right is the biggest weakness - and the fact that it keeps one of Convey, Bease, Mathis or LD off the field.
     
  22. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    But considering the way that Donovan played in midfield against Mexico - and how he's been playing there for the Earthquakes this season - I think that he's more likely to keep his place behind two strikers.
     
  23. Monarch Bay Beachbum

    Apr 5, 2004
    The OC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    That is why I like this:


    ------------------------------Friedel-------------------------------------

    ------Sanneh-------------Pope-------------------Boca-------------------

    ---------------JOB---------------Convey--------------------------------

    Reyna---------------------------------------------------------------DMB

    -------------Mathis-----------------------Landon-------------------------

    ---------------------McBride-----------------------------------------
     
  24. DutchFootballRulez

    Jul 15, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How dare you mention the 3-6-1....

    Convey is no Defensive Midfielder.
     
  25. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH
    ----Keeper du jour

    ---sanneh--pope--boca

    ------convey--reyna

    job----landon----dmb

    ----taylor t---mcbride
    I like this 3-5-2
     

Share This Page