Breaking the Bunkers in MLS

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Shopping Cart Man, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Shopping Cart Man

    Sep 21, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Some of our top teams, the ones that love attacking soccer (SKC, Seattle, RSL, etc) have been unable to overcome bunkering methods by teams looking to steal a point or three. Examples of this phenomenon this season include:

    (ironically) RSL's 1-0 win @ Seattle,
    Montreal's 1-0 win @ RSL,
    Chicago's 1-0 win @ SKC,
    & Columbus's 2-1 win @ SKC just this past weekend.

    Now teams bunker all the time everywhere, but it feels like they're much more successful than they should be within MLS. Are there any tactical tweaks these teams are missing that could break the bunkers?
     
  2. Hans Backe...in a way

    Aug 1, 2012
    New Orleans
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS teams aren't consistently good enough to break down a parking the bus defense. Plain and simple.
     
  3. vividox

    vividox Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2005
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I can't speak as much for RSL and Seattle, but SKC's problem lately has simply been a lack of finishing prowess. That technique and skill in the final third is not there, even when the goal smiles wide. In CLB @ SKC, Bunbury and Kamara both missed wide open nets while just a few yards away from the goal mouth. Everyone keeps talking about the stats from that game, we absolutely pelted Columbus with shots (19 in the second half alone), but they were all over the place and even the sitters went begging.

    SKC needs a dedicated finisher to break down the bunker. We've got the pressure, the crosses, the long throw ins, and the midfield (when it is healthy) to get it done, but Bunbury is becoming a bigger and bigger disappointment with each passing week and Sapong, though very talented, is better at holding the ball with his back towards goal than turning and finishing. That one piece is pretty much everything against a bunkered down defense, and it's the one piece we don't have.
     
    Shopping Cart Man repped this.
  4. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

    Jun 21, 2004
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is the key word. There are players/teams in this league who are very very good, just not often enough. Teams like Barcelona, Man. United, etc have trouble breaking down bunkers as well, but they can do it because of the consistency they possess game in and game out.
     
  5. holly nichole music

    May 3, 2012
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    This is MLS 2.0 still. Not enough money yet to pay for talent that can break down defenses. regularly. In a way MLSs better defenses are more evolved than MLSs better attacks.
    The SKC example is excellent. Kamara has always been a bad finisher and Bunbury will never be more than middling at best.
    RSL has the forwards and good center mids but is hurt very very much by lack of speed and crossing from the wings and outside backs. ( That Kreis had to bring in Mansally is telling--desperation perhaps).
    LAG has excellent attacking players, but if even one of them is having a bad day, they are rendered an average team.
    VAN, is playing 100% direct. If all an opposing coach has to do is prepare for this one type of attack, the oppopsing team is already ahead of the game before it has started. Simply a matter of execution.
    HOU can be shut down if you shut down its wing play.

    The list goes on and included teams like SEA and NYRB, but I do like the moves SEA and NYRB have made. They seem like they are gearing up to defeat teams that bunker AND teams that want to get into a track meet. Time will tell.
     
    Shopping Cart Man repped this.
  6. Shopping Cart Man

    Sep 21, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So at the surface it's an extension of our problem with finishing.

    San Jose is an interesting case. From what I've seen, teams don't implement bus-parking game plans against them as often as the other top teams (but then again, they don't embrace the domination game plan quite as often either). But they are damn good at finishing chances when they need them.

    I wish MLSSoccer had a more comprehensive stats section, but what they have does show that SJ leads the league in shots on target (129 out of a total of 350 shots, ~37% accuracy). Oddly enough, New England has the highest shot accuracy (122 out of 277 = 44%) but they've had quite a few episodes of late-game drama go against them.
     
  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    MidAtlantic
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Next season, only watch games featuring two teams from the bottom of any Euro league. Then let's decide if MLS has more bunkering than usual.
     
  8. Shopping Cart Man

    Sep 21, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1) I never said that bunkering was more common here; I just said that it's more effective than it should be. As holly nichole music pointed out a lot of our best teams have weaknesses that are too easy to exploit.

    2) If both teams are bottom feeders, then how can there be bunkering?
     
  9. Cowtown Felipe

    Cowtown Felipe Member+

    Mar 12, 2012
    Fort Worth, TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    FC Dallas, one of the worst teams in the league, played San Jose, best team in the league, twice in the last few weeks. FCD had more of the possession in both games and won neither of them. It takes FCD about 30 shots to generate a goal. It takes San Jose about 3 shots (my biased estimates, not from actual stats). I'll agree that poor finishing is the biggest contributor to not breaking down a defense, bunkered-in or not.
     
  10. DaminadaPt2

    DaminadaPt2 Member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    To be honest I can't understand why everybody is so negative when it comes to bunkering and I think their use of the term bunkering is probably a bit overused. You look at some of the Greek teams where they may put 1 person forward and everybody back.. now that is bunkering. I don't really see any team in the MLS doing that. Now maybe counter attacking while playing strong D.. that's a different story.

    This concept of attacking, exciting soccer though I think is a load of horse shit. Ya, some of the major teams in the world use it and it's fun to watch but guess what, when you have those kinds of players any style of soccer is fun to watch.

    I can tell you what is not fun to watch though, that is my Rapids. The Rapids FO (Bravo) destroyed the team this year to play this "attacking exciting" soccer and this is by far the most boring pitiful soccer I have ever watched. And not just because they are loosing every game, it's just boring boring boring boring. I've actually fallen asleep 3 times this year watching them, it's like watching a pass fest that never ********ing ends.

    Our big game against RSL.. you know the team you are supposed to step up for we managed to kick the ball 3 times somewhere near the goal.. that's not on goal, just 3 times somewhere near it.. how in the hell is that exciting?

    Yes, I know the Rapids are more terrible than usual.. but it's frustrating because we are only 2 years removed from winning the MLS cup, the FO fired the coach who many fans like and ripped the team apart, all we have now is a stinking pile of shit and a donkey (Bravo) in our front office that preaches how exciting we are playing attacking soccer. As far as I'm concerned Bravo and that attacking exciting soccer style can go f themselves.
     
  11. Cowtown Felipe

    Cowtown Felipe Member+

    Mar 12, 2012
    Fort Worth, TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    "but it's frustrating because we are only 2 years removed from winning the MLS cup"
    I hear ya, my brother. Amazing how my FC Dallas and your Rapids can go so bad so fast. Like your Rapids, we can pass and possess quite well, but we have no clue how to create a scoring chance. "Attacking soccer" means creating scoring chances and goals, not just meandering aimlessly around midfield. Of course I'm biased because I loved him as a Dallas Burn player, but I wouldn't give up on Oscar Pareja yet.
     
  12. holly nichole music

    May 3, 2012
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    As a fan of the Quakes , pre and post incarnation, I think I am familar with bad teams and good teams. The Rapids are bad today but they were never that good when they won. They got hot and were fairly healthy. That's the beauty( or curse) of MLS playoffs. Their problems go up to the front office. No vision, no willingness to spend real money. If they want to play attacker soccer import an expensive CAM and Olave/Bernardez grade central defender and two other wingers who are both fast and can possess and cross. People better than the likes of Fabian Castillo. Will Colorado do that? No.

    Dallas has a better front office I think but the coach has regressed. Almost like his prime acclerated past him within 12 months. Yes they have had injuries, but a good coach employs the same system injuries or not. That way averyone knows what their job is. Dallas players look like they have no idea what to do. Shea has been completely mismanaged. It's one thing to ask a guy to fill in a game here or there. But right now I cannot say what position Shea plays, much less has mastered. And I hear a lot about Dallas youth system. What good is it if the coach can't bring them in, not even slowly. Look at what has happend with Philly's young player after Nowak left. I think the same thing would transpire in Dallas.

    None of these bad teams are going to break a bunker. They will just bunker against each other.
     
    Jasonma repped this.
  13. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Whereas Barcelona is good enough that when a team bunkers against them, Barca usually hangs 5 goals on them.

    That's my way of saying that it has nothing to do with MLS. It's ingrained in the nature of the sport.
     

Share This Page