Burciaga and Mullan

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by andrew, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. andrew

    andrew New Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    I would love to get an idea from some Dynamo fans and KC fans as to why Arena has never really given these 2 guys a shot on the national team? I love Burciaga's left foot, dating back to the MLS final a few years back, and I have always loved Mullan's comfort on the ball, and his great crossing ability. They also happen to play 2 positions the US isn't particularly deep in. As of now, it looks like Lewis and Dempsey will start for the Nats in the World Cup. Do you guys see any reason why Burciaga and Mullan haven't been given a fair shot by Arena? These guys can flat out play with the ball at their feet! I just don't get it. I would take Mullan over Ralston any day! I would also take Burciaga over Heydude and Albright any day as well! Oh well, just wanted to get some people's take on this, especially those that see these guys game in and game out. Thanks.
     
  2. fidlerre

    fidlerre Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    Burciaga isn't good enough for the NT.

    We've hashed this over numerous times. He scores some nice goals from time to time, but his defending isn't very good at all - it could be called terrible. Ask just about any KC fan - they'll chime right in that although he is a good attacking defender, it's the "defending" part that is very suspect.
     
  3. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    The Paul Coffey of MLS.

    I think Burciaga could handle the defensive responsibilities against some CONCACAF teams but against the better countries, like what you see in the World Cup, he'd likely get exposed.

    Still, if you're down a goal in the 60th, I wouldn't mind having him on the field. Not over Lewis, mind you. But if he's getting subbed in for ALbright or Hejduk, then it becomes a reasonable scenario.

    Still, it ain't happening for Germany. He'll only be 28 during South Africa 2010 so it's not impossible he's in the mix for the next cycle if his defending improves a little, which is entirely possible.

    I'm sure he'll name will be in the mix of players we hear folks clamor for in all the "What new blood should the new coach bring in?" threads that will pop-up about three minutes after the US is eliminated in Germany.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew New Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    Even if his defending is for all intents and purposes, mediocre, doesn't his offensive prowess more than make up for it! I mean his left foot has delivered some bombs. I don't remember the last time a US National team defender took a shot from outside the box, and it actually came close to scoring. And come on, if his defending was that bad, would he even be starting for a defensive minded coach like Bob Gansler? And wouldn't he still be an upgrade versus Frankie Heydude and Albright?? Besides the fact that Arena loves his guys to attack down the flanks, and it is the sole reason Eddie Lewis is probably going to be our starting left back. It just doesn't add up as to why he hasn't been given a shot.
     
  5. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've asked myself the same question about Mullan many, many times.
     
  6. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Let's remember, Burciaga is still learning the pro game. If he'd never been injured, then this might be his chance. If he's going to make a World Cup it'll be 2010. The 2 1/2-3 years he missed at the start of his career really set him back.

    All of his natural gifts and talents is the only reason the Wizards waited for him through all those injuries.

    But there's no reason for him to have been considered by Bruce during this cycle.
     
  7. andrew

    andrew New Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    I see your point about him having all those injuries a few years ago, but one could say he has done more as a left back in the past 2 years in the MLS, than anyone else in the player pool. The guy is involved in so many of KC's goals, whether it is his lethal shot, or his crossing ability. Wouldn't you say he has done boatloads more than guys like Gibbs, Hejduk and Albright have in the past few years?? I feel like there is a double standard when judging by merit, and it is very bizarre sometimes. Hejduk gets called up even when he is playing poorly for a horrible Columbus team last year, and Burciaga lights up the scoreboard but gets no love?? Oh well, just some thoughts.
     
  8. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I'm not comparing him to others who have been called in. I'm just analyzing him as I see him. I love having him on the Wizards. He is a dangerous player, unfortunately he's sometimes a danger to his own team. I wouldn't be upset if Bruce had called him in for a look at some point, but then I'm not devastated that he hasn't been called. He has gaps in his game. At the international level, sometimes it's the more consistent player that is better than the special player with holes in his game.
     
  9. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Consistency is particularly important on defense. I think he definitely has talent, but I've had the same thoughts on Burciaga. Sorta like Hejduk, sometimes he's an accident (or red card) waiting to happen! :eek:

    Mullan has always impressed me, but I think he's been injured too often to be in excellent condition at the right time.
     
  10. Bigrose30

    Bigrose30 Member+

    Sep 11, 2004
    Jersey City, NJ
    I watched Mullan and Burciaga very closely in the Wizards-Dynamo game last weekend.

    I've always been curious about Burciaga after seeing his highlight reel goals. So I took a closer look at him. He's definitely an attack-minded player. Which is fine, except his defensive skills (especially man-marking) are glaringly inadequate. Combine attacking attitude with poor marking skills and you've got a gaping hole on your left side big enough for some guy named Gianluca to drive an Italian-made truck through. Plus, his temperment seems rather immature. He picked up his second yellow in injury time for an impetuous celebration, and very clearly had trouble controlling his emotions on the pitch. He's also a wildly inconsistent ball-striker, who launched a free-kick about 30 yards high and wide about 10 minutes before his golaso.

    Sure, he's talented in some areas, but international players should be held to a higher standard, and should close the holes in their game. Maybe a call-up to camp, a view from the bench of a friendly and an nice exit interview with the Bruce (or whoever the coach is then) will do him good in the long run. Look for it this fall.

    Mullan a decent right sided player. However, and maybe this is a result of injury, he has pace comparable to Noonan and Dempsey...athletic, but without that burst to get around the corner. What he lacks is that invention on the ball that those other two have...he seemingly runs out of ideas after a few forays down the wing. He got himself into a bit of a personal battle with Davy Arnaud in the 2nd half, and I think he was less effective because of that. That being said, he does tackle hard, and plays defense, so think he could be a good option out there for all-domestic sides...but with Dempsey starting to thrive out there, and the speedier and more talented Beasely able to play out right, I just don't think he'd bring anything to the table to full NT. And, rip me if you want, but sooner or later when Justin Mapp learns what International match fitness is, and he will, nobody's going to think of Mullan any longer.

    What would really add a new dimension to the NT is a Right Winger who has the all-around game Arena requires but with a burst of pace to get by defenders...right now Beasley can fill that role, Dempsey is learning to get by with strength and cleverness, and Justin Mapp will eventually come around. Mullan just seems surplus to requirements.
     
  11. SoccerMan94043

    SoccerMan94043 Member+

    May 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Mullan is far faster than either Noonan or Dempsey... he plays better D then they do as well (read that works harder). If you need a true winger, Mullan is better than either of them... they are both better in the middle however (mostly due to size).

    Mullan has had many chances in camp and never been selected for a big game. My guess is that will eventually change.
     
  12. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md
    In talking to Curt Onalfo last summer, he said that while Burciaga has some serious weapons, they (US team staff) felt he wasn't up to international speed. Onalfo also noted his weak play during the Olympic qualifiers as another reason why he wasn't given a proper look.

    Bottom line is that did not like what they saw.
     
  13. The Big Ticket

    The Big Ticket New Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    MN -> UIUC
    I've been following Burciaga closely for the last two years and I don't think he's a bad defender at all. Probably not good enough to make the World Cup roster, but has a shot for 2010.

    He's probably our best natural left back if you think about it though. Hejduk usually plays on the right, same for Albright, Spector prefers to play on the right or as a central defender, Lewis is a midfielder.
     
  14. McGinty

    McGinty Member

    Aug 29, 2001
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I don't have any problem with Burciaga's attacking or defending abilities. Last year, his problem was his tendency to make a couple horrendous mental errors. He had way too many "What were you thinking moments" out there.

    There was a game against Columbus last year where he, in effect, decided to chest a ball down in the box for no real reason. He actually set it up perfectly for Simon Elliot, and the Crew scored. Later in the game, he hits this rocket free kick that the keeper had no chance on.

    Before 2005, I thought Arena should have called him in. After last year, I agree that he didn't deserve a call up because of the Regis-like mental mistakes.
     

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