Best 11 Right Now

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by LuckofLichaj, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    getting beat on counters is not a particular weakness (and id argue both brooks and miazga have far better mobility than they get credit for), but breakdowns in the box are- and long is a part of those breakdowns. frequently.

    speed is the only area id say he has a slight edge, though im not sure that means all that much in practice. miazga has shown countless times he can cover the right when (usually yedlin vacates that space) and on the left in open space.

    lainez might disagree that miazgas a turnstile once hes out of the box....
    bsky22, btlove, Eighteen Alpha and 2 others repped this.
  2. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I think you are underestimating the speed gap by quite a bit. And defending in transition is a vital skill in all soccer these days. It hasn't been a weakness for the US because we're almost always putting Long or Robinson out there versus talented, fast opponents.

    I also think that Miazga isn't exempt from breakdowns and poor decisions in the box. He didn't step to Dos Santos on Mexico's goal in the Gold Cup final and he had at least one key mental mistake against Venezuela.

    He's great in the air, aggressive with the ball at his feet. But he's below average at getting back, and he's not quick once he's on his heels. He's not a bad player, but you asked for the reason that Long so many people, including Berhalter, generally play Long or Robinson next to the Brooks/Ream/Miazga option and it has to do a lot with footspeed.
  3. RalleeMonkey

    RalleeMonkey Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    Call me a Dest fanboy, but I think there's a good chance he's the best CAM we (hopefully) have in the pool


    LB: take your pick of Cannon, Antonee Robinson, Lima, Lichaj
    dams and sXeWesley repped this.
  4. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    Altidore - Sargent

    Pulisic - McKennie


    Dest - Brooks - Miazga - Long - Yedlin


    5-3-2 with Dest and Yedlin bombing up the wings, Pulisic the most advanced of the CMs.
    bostonsoccermdl repped this.
  5. kickin365

    kickin365 Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    I think this is it. Hopefully GGG comes to his senses and tries something similar. Could put in Fredo or Pomykal if Adams isn’t fit, shifting Wes back.
    RalleeMonkey repped this.
  6. TrueCrew

    TrueCrew Member+

    Dec 22, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Getting Dest helps.


    Would love for Robinson/Miazga to develop at CB, and Robinson at LB.

    We need someone at CAM (or switch to 442 with Sargent up top).

    And I am not sure Adams/McKennie are good enough with the ball to play possession/initiate offense. Not yet at least. And Pulisic is better wide.

    Thus we look for answers. Pulisic central with another player wide (Arriola, Boyd, Baird, Weah). Those options are weak/injured. McKennie as CAM. Mihailovic as CAM. Bradley/Trapp as #6.
    Those options all have issues.

    We have holes. But Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, Steffen, & Brooks should be a decent start. Jozy, Sargent, Yedlin, Morris, Weah, & the CB pool is decent. LB & CAM are problems.
    Konut repped this.
  7. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    #1107 IndividualEleven, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    First XI if everyone were fit.


    KP/JF/RL/PP = Parks, Ferreira, Ledezma, or Pomykal

    Pulisic would be playing as a wing-forward. Dest would have more of a two-way role.

    The attack would work best with a tempo-setting a-mid, imo.
  8. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Stoke City FC
    I haven't done one of these in a while. Seems like the news on Dest has everyone thinking about it.

    subs: GK, Long, Yedlin (for Weah), Cannon, Morales, Green, Ledesma
  9. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    I think we should only have two players who aren’t strong defensively when we play good teams.

    if we assume that Pulisic is one of them, who’s the other and what’s the formation?

    Thinking about gregg’s strategy, poster have opined that he wants to have four midfielders. I think he really wanted to have only seven defenders/midfielders and three mostly attacking players. We cannot have only seven D/MF if one of them is trapp/Bradley.

    maybe we can only have seven in back with adams, Weston and a third highly defensively capable and rangy midfielder. I’m not sure that’ll be good enough and we may need to have only two primarily offensively minded.

  10. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Stoke City FC
    Not posting my XI for some reason. It is Sargent, Weah, Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, FabJo, Dest, Ream, JAB, Miazga, Steffen in a 5 - 4 -1.
    manfromgallifrey91 repped this.
  11. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    It's a 541 in name but it has three attackers who aren't reliable defenders. I'm not sure that works for the USMNT against decent opponents. If we did do this, I hope we institute a high press to take advantage of Sargent's, Weah's and Pulisic's speed, range and athleticism. I don't want them dropping deep.
  12. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like the idea of changing up the midfield based on the opponent. Soon there will be more attacking mids available like you mention above so one or two could start games against lesser opponents while one or none start against the best teams in the world where defense is more important but one or two could be subs if the team is behind. Hurry and grow up kids.
  13. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If I was the coach I would change the lineups based on opponent strength. Dest is a left back against minnows to get more attacking into the team while he'd be a good defensive winger against better teams. Pulisic as a #10 against weaker teams and a winger or forward against better teams. If there's ever an opponent where a very little defense but an occasional long switch defensive mid is useful we've got a couple that fit the bill.
    DHC1 repped this.
  14. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    Couldn't agree more. I'd start with the concept that we're not going to give up any goals: against lesser teams on a decent field/conditions, we can do that with a strong back 7 as long as there aren't any obvious weak links (ahem). As the level of opponent increases, we have to consider adding one or two players strong defensive players to help out.

    Case in point, what should we do vs. Canada? They are going to have two fast and rangy attackers coupled with an unproven defense/midfield - what's the best way to counter-attack that?

    The one thing I know - it's not by have a slow, limited range weak one-on-one defender as the center of our defense.
    largegarlic and Pegasus repped this.
  15. mannycoon

    mannycoon Member

    May 13, 2009
    I like the idea of Dest further up the field for now.

    For now I'd like to see something like this:


    McKennie as more of high presser and aerial presence than playmaker. If another AM establishes themselves, he could move back and replace Morales, but I don't think we are there yet.

    Obviously this lineup would be more about pressing and counterattacking than the build from the back nonsense we've been trying and failing at.

    Miazga could better than Long depending on opponents, but I think Brooks/Miazga would be lacking in mobility against some opponents.

    I'm open to Fabian Johnson at LB, but have concerns about his durability and reliability.
    IndividualEleven repped this.
  16. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    #1116 ArsenalMetro, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    Why people insist that it's a good idea to play fullbacks as wingers is truly beyond me. It didn't work when Klinsmann did it with Yedlin, and it won't work if Berhalter does it with Dest.

    It's like playing a cornerback at wide receiver. Yeah, the skillsets are similar, but there's a reason a guy is on defense rather than offense.

    Dest is a very good attacker...for a fullback. He'd be a mediocre winger, at best, for now. If Ajax decides to convert him to a winger and he gets regular reps there at club level, sure, make the switch, but to do that at the international level exclusively is asking for failure.

    This, however, is 100% true and should be chiseled in stone. Miazga/Brooks gets torched by any attack with any sort of pace or nuance.
    largegarlic and manfromgallifrey91 repped this.
  17. mannycoon

    mannycoon Member

    May 13, 2009
    It's not at all unprecedented for attack minded fullback to play in more attacking roles at times. Alaba does it for Austria now. O'Brien was more central for us, but was further up the field.
  18. Konut

    Konut Member

    May 31, 2010
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the final option would be to play Dest at LW, Pulisic as the withdrawn forward, and Yedlin or Cannon at RB. I think this option might work, partly because Altidore's skill set allows Pulisic to actually play as a 10. I wouldn't play Pulisic there with any other #9 in our pool. My best 11 might look like:


    With Weah and Sargent as possible attacking options as well, but we really don't know what to expect of Weah yet, and Sargent looked like a huge step down from Altidore the last round of NT matches. I realize he's young and this can change, but for the purpose of this thread this would be my 11 if everyone was healthy and we needed to win a game tomorrow.

    The more I look at this thread though, all of this is purely hypothetical because there's close to a 0% chance we'll have our entire player pool healthy at any point in time.
    largegarlic repped this.
  19. manfromgallifrey91

    Swansea City
    United States
    Jul 24, 2015
    Wyoming, USA
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To me the key is to have players playing in positions they are familiar with, understand each other and the ability to work as a team. With that said I dont think these are the best 11 players, but I do think they are the best team with the current pool based on my observations:


    Subs Horvath Gloster Miazga Alvarado Ledezma Pomykal Holmes Robinson Weah Morris Soto Altidore Llegtet

    Press high and use the hard tackling of Morales to shield on counters and Dest when he goes forward. Clearing out the CAM position lets Pulisic and Sabbi float and Pulisic with fewer defensive responsibilities as Wes can play b2b. Sabbi I think is the creator with dribbling and a really solid defensive winger, which will help Yedlin who I would like to replace with Dest if Gloster can come along, and use Yedlin as a late sub ala Lovitz to try and help hold possession with his speed.
    Just my opinion but a 433 fits the roster the best unless you want to go to a 3 man CB.
  20. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    My best 11, somewhat keeping with the formation and players that Berhalter seems to like:


    Some explanations:

    1) I worry about Pulisic getting too isolated on the wing sometimes (as he was against Canada). By starting Arriola out there, it allows them to interchange depending on how the game's going. If we need a bit more energy and ball winning at CM, Arriola can come in, and Pulisic can go wide. Or if the other team is clogging the middle and leaving more space wide, we can swap them and try to get Pulisic on the ball in space wide. However, I'd be open to seeing Lletget, Pomykal, Holmes, or Aaronson in Arriola's spot to see if it works better.

    2) I share the concerns about Dest's defensive abilities, but I'd be willing to take the gamble that his other attributes would make him better overall than any other LB option, and he can improve his defense on the job.

    3) I also share the concerns about a Brooks/Miazga pairing getting beat for pace, but I'm just not sure what a better alternative is. Brooks is our best passer out of the back. Long was supposed to be the more athletic CB option, but frankly, he hasn't looked very good for most of this year. We need to hope he rebounds and/or Robinson keeps progressing. Barring that, I think Miazga is the steadiest option for now. Hopefully, having 3 quick players in Adams, Dest, and Yedlin around them can help.
    Patrick167 repped this.
  21. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    I simply can't see Pulisic as one of the back 7 - they will all have significant defensive responsibilities against a decent team and that's not one of his strengths.

    If we're going with a 433, all of the back seven and probably one of the front line have to be very good defenders.

    Where would we put Christian if we were a 442?
  22. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    Well, that's why I kind of like the idea of having someone like Arriola on the wing. If CM is getting overrun, those two can swap, and we get a more defensive presence centrally.

    If you want a 4-4-2, I'd say Pulisic should play as the 2nd forward with significant license to drift wider if that's needed to find the game.
    DHC1 repped this.
  23. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    makes sense to me. I’m guessing that arriola would end up moving back if it’s a good opponent.

    trying to figure out the most effective spots for Pulisic, Adams and Weston is the key to this cycle IMO.
    largegarlic repped this.
  24. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    Putting ariola ahead of Pulisic is foolish. Very MLS like.
  25. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We need to figure out if we are a 433, 352, 442 diamond, or 442 flat team.

    *Counting no one is injured and everyone accepts a call up*

    *Some selections (especially B team) are subject to change*

    at the 433
    A team:

    B team:

    At the 442, diamond
    A team:

    B team:

    Bring back the 442, flat
    Option A:

    Option B:

    Lastly, the 352
    Option A:

    Option B:

    Key Points:
    #1 Which formation puts our best players in the best position? Pulisic, McKennie, Adams
    #2. Which formation has the least amount of weaknesses?
    #3 Which formation gets the best players on the field?
    #4 Which formation is the most tailored towards the depth of our player pool?
    Eighteen Alpha and Winoman repped this.

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