Coaching Philosophies and the Gregg Berhalter System

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Susaeta, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. vexco

    vexco Member+

    Nov 2, 2013
    I disagree. Better passing cb's wouldn't put him in the awful situations he's been put into by Long, Zimmerman, etc. Less back passing when a player like Brooks might be the best passer on the pitch for us. Steffen is our best shot stopper, I don't really care about his distribution if we have capable players in front of him.
    largegarlic repped this.
  2. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Agree with that.

    Even if we were trying to win at all costs, where's the sporting upside to playing Mexico right after the Gold Cup?

    If you win the GC, then this gives Mexico a chance for revenge and potentially kills your momentum.

    If you lose to them, what progress could you have made in 60 days to really change that?

    It was a loser's bet from day one, meant to maximize revenue.

    Only thing I'd say is that while SUM does the marketing ... you folks do know that USSF is doing the selecting? USSF chooses the highest revenue choices. It's not SUM. USSF's focus on generating revenue lies within itself, not MLS or SUM.
    onefineesq repped this.
  3. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    You apparently didn't understand an iota of my argument.
  4. UncagedGorilla

    Sep 22, 2009
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    My overall point was that forcing this system is ultimately going to lead to us either continuing this square peg/round hole approach or using players other than our most talented ones because they fit the system best. I think we agree. The system needs tweaked to suit our pool, not the other way around.

    One bit of disagreement though, Horvath needs a chance to compete for the job. He might be a better shot-stopper than Steffen. I wouldn't bet on it but it's close. Hopefully he gets his club situation sorted out by the time the hex starts so we have two quality keepers.
  5. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    #2255 Marko72, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    This is simply stupid. Stop it. This categorization nonsense has dominated and ruined this analysis board.
  6. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    Re: treating this match as a glorified scrimmage

    I don't want to assume that Berhalter's head is this much in the clouds, but then there's Black Friday...

    He might have thought it would be great to have them play like this in a big a game, in front of a big tough crowd. This is the courage he's citing as progress.

    Couple things:

    When Patrick Viera would play like this in even more ridiculous conditions, and lose 7-0 to his rivals, people still lauded him at length - and he got to walk off mid-season into a Ligue 1 job. People still talk about Viera glowing here. And yeah this was Mexico, but it was a friendly, unlike those NYC derbies. It helps to be Patrick Viera - or Jurgen Klinsmann.

    Two - and this might be critical, depending on your view going into any Berhalter debate I bet. But Klinsmann was arrogant in a super opaque way. Yeah he treated the media like they were dumb, just like Bora and Bruce and sometimes Bradley and even some Sampson in there. Berhalter has been the opposite, I guess till now. He's surprisingly open book about his tactics in what he regards as the development phase.

    Better still with the players. Klinsmann's players clearly didn't know their jobs or how they pieced together a lot of times. Sounds like Berhalter's giving them all the instruction and lectures and emails and friggin DVD's.

    More than that, Berhalter seems to be trying to help turn the program around and the team's confidence by getting buy-in from the players. They're helping him shape the tactics. Maybe they feel like they can't object to the principals, but it sounds like he's putting it to them - maybe even at Friday's halftime:

    "Are you up this? Which team do you want try to be."

    Pretty liberal use of quotes there - because I don't know GB said just that - but it seems this sort of dialogue occurs, and I think that's important.

    Having said all that, coaches aren't supposed to think like 20 year old players. Kinda like David St Hubbins said about the 18" Stonehenge. It's not GB's job to be as naive as, I dunno, Weston McKennie.
    sXeWesley, gogorath and DHC1 repped this.
  7. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Real Madrid
    I disagree that Gregg has not done a good job. We had a good Gold Cup. We made it to the final and played equal to Mexico. If Altidore buries his chance in the back of the net, I think we win the thing. We just had a tough friendly, but Mexico is superior at almost every position. It's too early to have a verdict on Berhalter.
    Honore de Ballsac and gogorath repped this.
  8. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I 100% support GB's stated goal that the USMNT must be able to dictate the match especially against weaker opponents. I believe that the USSf Athletic Council lead by Boca and Stu Holden also continue to stress the importance of us making significant progress on that front. That does require us to be better at keeping the ball and doing something useful with it.

    GB unfortunately is shooting himself in the foot by leading with gimmick tactics ( Adams as a RB/CM and more recent Weston as a SS/CM) and very poor player selection. Enough has been said about building a squad around barely international quality players so i won't beat that dead horse.

    Klinsmann moved the US forward with "proactive" and I believe that we will also level-up our team by "using the ball to unbalance our opponents".

    I do have doubts if GB is the one to actually implement those improvements. He is picking players and playing a S-L-O-W mechanical style that is not likely to unbalance any team of above average quality.

    Love the message, not sure we have the right messenger. Tata would have been a much better messenger.
  9. vexco

    vexco Member+

    Nov 2, 2013
    I'd disagree about Horvath. Steffen has shown he's the superior shot stopper at every level so far. I would consider him elite in that skill category. But agree to disagree!
    UncagedGorilla repped this.
  10. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    France possession vs
    Croatia: 35%
    Belgium: 36%
    Uruguay 60%
    Argentina: 40%

    They didn't try to out possess the possession teams. But they could change things up to deal with physical, counter-attacking teams like Uruguay.

    On the other hand, Mexico were foolish to seek possession(52%) against Brazil. Tata will be wiser with them; they'll probably make quarters this time around.
    RalleeMonkey and onefineesq repped this.
  11. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    In The System, McKennie, at this point in his career, isn't a CM. He needs to be moved to wing. That's the logical place for him, for now--in The System. Adams hasn't had a chance to show.

    I doubt Tata or any other big-time coach would've countenanced having the team's style(and possibly player selection) dictated to him
  12. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    MLS soccer has to quote a Mexican to get a positive comment on Egg's 'system'.
    Honore de Ballsac repped this.
  13. Guinho

    Guinho Member+

    May 27, 2001
    San Francisco, CA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    RalleeMonkey repped this.
  14. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    this argument is simply resolved. kenny cooper, olosunde, and others have been deemed unworthy to receive much or any senior caps as big club signees. they have then had tepid or no subsequent MNT involvement. ergo, big club does not inherently equal big player.

    [there are actually plenty of olosundes and zelalems in USMNT history who get their calls for their resume and then disappear. it predicts nothing.]

    conversely, there are many examples of players like friedel or dempsey or adams who have gone on to success after starting in MLS. ergo, small club does not equal small player.

    you are trying to twist around and escape kenny cooper by painting that as unfair because he didn't get called while at a big club. that may be a legitimate FACTUAL nitpick, but LOGICALLY and SCIENTIFICALLY it only underlines the big club stamp of approval means nothing. you want to wipe that man u off his resume because it doesn't fit your theory. but it's there. it proves the opposite of your own argument. you're just too busy trying to trash me to notice.

    you then try and force it to be about minutes in major leagues, which is already fleeing your original argument that it was big clubs and specifically minutes at them. we're going to fudge the relevant level, and then self select the better ones who get the minutes to cherry pick a result. thus you can sweep under the rug the reality that most americans signing at big clubs don't really play there. they sit. they go on loan. a significant chunk of them end up a la zelalem with a career path indistinguishable from people who got cut by MLS and ended up in USL.

    furthermore, your attempt to distinguish among players with minutes and players who don't get them only underlines the individuality of their career progressions, which only makes my point we should consider them individually.
  15. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    at least one thing to bring up is whether berhalter is essentially impressed by his own reflection here. he picks smart-sounding "soccer IQ" guys like trapp. i think the way they play the game puts in question how bright they are, but you pick future coach types and are then impressed they can talk the talk. a coach who likes players who sound like coaches. hmmm.

    i'd prefer they could play the play, however. for whatever talk he hears the field product looks like a mess. nor does it sound like a la klinsi era the team quietly gets together and sorts out in the tunnel what tactics the coach doesn't supply.

    i see this as one danger of this overriding system and an overempowered coach. the team gets less room to improvise their way out of stupidity. the product then must be closely monitored to ensure the system in fact works and will get sufficient results. because the players have been tied down to play soccer in a way. now, you would give a really good coach this much power but their approach would likely be more effective and they would be held accountable at some point. i don't know why being a more obscure coach gives you more room to be mad scientist without accountability????

    i would say many coaches would sound somewhat optimistic about their enterprise right until they are fired. what concerns me is no apparent recognition or concern about his project overall, or his choices. and then there is radio silence from above in terms of critique. there are no stories other coaches are being chatted up. there is press grumbling but not fed backtalk. when you realize that flynn was talking to klinsi before bradley got canned, and then arena was contacted before klinsi got canned, you see where the GM move may actually insulate coaches from faster decisions. and it also bears noting that for the GM to move, this is his hire, and hiring coaches is his job. stewart has an incentive to back and hope as firing the same guy he took months to select would reflect on him.

    at precisely the time when you would need prompt executive action we have set it up for the GM to want to dress it up nicer than it is.
    UncagedGorilla repped this.
  16. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    trade off. some of those people can't mark to save their lives and were the reasons we didn't qualify last time. you would get better back distribution in exchange for even more GA.

    what needs to happen is instead we keep trying out backs who can defend and then use the ones of them who can pass the best.
  17. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    I didn't take it as a positive comment, I took it as factual. They are changing how they play with this new generation. "That takes time to learn." Obviously we just beat you. That could be implicitly critical. You don't seem to have learned it yet. At minimum it's making excuses for us.
  18. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    The reason we need to play more short passing and possession is not to beat Mexico or to be good at the World Cup. We need to beat Costa Rica at home and T&T away. News flash, most CONCACAF teams won't try to possess against us. They'll hang back, press us and try to counter. We need to be good enough in possession to at least beat those teams in those situations. Maybe playing possession against Mexico will prepare us to then have no problems dominating much stronger countries. I'm not sure that's necessarily so but it seems possible or even probable.
    ardubois3 and Honore de Ballsac repped this.
  19. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    I'm not sure if people realize that where McKennie ends up is an open question. What position does he play? Who knows. Heck, if we want someone who can defend and pass maybe in the back. He like the prior generation is sort of a jack of all trades master of none. To me those players can be displaced to the bench or to any hole we need filled because they have no specialty.

    If we had a coach who was more emphatic on wanting system players it would actually be to his detriment. They would want creatives who possess better. They would want ball winners who are better and more consistent at that job. I think he benefits from the fact Berhalter is mush. He wants to do a style but doesn't have the first clue what personnel to bring in to do so.

    I have more confidence in Pulisic and Adams in career terms because I think they have shown they can play multiple positions well and thus have a "spot." If we have a new coach and some kids come in who can either play a 10 or 6 I am curious where McKennie fits in.
    Excellency repped this.
  20. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    At this point, the big question is how long will Berhalter continue with the type of DM he is playing. My viewpoint so far has been that it will be good enough for qualifying. However, at this point I was expecting to see more players in that position since Bradley is old and Trapp is only (barely) good enough for qualifying. There is still a year left in qualifying and someone could emerge but if no one else does with those characteristics then two players is not enough depth. Even if it is only qualifying.
    Honore de Ballsac repped this.
  21. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    I think this comes and goes. Steffen has nights like France he looks that part. He then has nights like Mexico. I don't see him as yet achieving a Kasey Keller type level where he radiates excellence constantly on the field.

    Personally I feel like this speaks to the incumbency oriented, pecking order thing we have had running for decades, breaking down under more iffy personnel. The 1 keeper historically got immunity because they were so darned good. We are treating him like that but I don't think he's playing at that level. I don't think we've had a keeper at that level since 2014-ish.

    FWIW I feel like in the past one earned their immunity from competing with other good keepers. We kept the best keepers and then they fought for the 1 jersey. To me there was no keeper competition for the 1 jersey, it was handed to Steffen, and he has slacked off like someone who feels entitled. And below him there are people like Johnson where it's like, how does he even keep getting called? He's not my top 3.

    There needs to be more competition and then accountability to performance.

    I mean, I am curious, what were the Mexico saves that screamed, yeah, this is our guy? We used to be the team that could get upsets from keeping alone. None of these guys should be immune because there is no Keller standing on his head against Brazil in this bunch.

    This is my problem in general with the team. We don't bring in a bunch of people and treat them equally and winnow down to the performers. We cherry pick the ones we think will play, give them abstracted entitlement, and then maybe if they don't play well for half a year rethink it somewhat.
  22. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    I actually think that standing around passing the ball side to side not trying to be dangerous, or convincing yourself that maybe some more passing will "imbalance me," is precisely what a bunker team wants. Yeah, pass it around some more, see if I care.

    My experience what you need is speed to catch them when they do move up, or crossing and heading to punish them for sitting back.

    I grant that if a team is bunkering you might need to pass the ball around but that sounds more like basic competence.
    ardubois3, RalleeMonkey and DHC1 repped this.
  23. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    How does playing out of the back help us at couva? The field is crap and they usually play for a counter and attack any mistakes we make. Building out of the back on a soggy bumpy field plays right into what they want us to do.

    I have to think about Costa Rica at home but IIRC, they usually concede possession to us when in the US. The possession as a rule doesn’t seem applicable in this case either.
  24. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    Is it just me or does announcing before the first game of the pair which players will be released afterwards seem unwise? I feel like historically we would do that AFTER the game. It sounds like telegraphing on the coaching decisions. OK, now I know who to expect. I don't know if it sounds the right motivational note to being making a point up front of who goes home at the whistle. Now the player is like, ok, one of these and home. I also feel like it sounds like an open cave-in to the clubs. I am so beholden to you let me announce out of fear who I will let go. Please don't hurt me.

    To me if you announce it afterwards it feels earned and like our own noblesse oblige. I thought you played well or poor enough I have seen what I need to see. I hand you back to your club reminding them I could have kept you both nights.
  25. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    Possession to me is more telling when the game is played in the middle of the park, and I am able to sustain it through, and you are losing balls to my mids and backs. It is not very telling if I have you pinned back or you are in the bunker. In that situation, you are either content to sit back, or forced in that position, and it becomes an execution game. Then it boils down to, do I punish you for field position or do you catch me out. Goals. And that has more to do with precision creativity, passing, shooting.

    My concern would be as with Mexico (74%-26%, I understand) we are both losing possession and losing the games. That is historically true going back to last year. A team in that place should either call more competent attackers to up their possession and chances, so that they have any chance of winning, or tighten up the team defense where they can lose possession and get results but not allow goals.

    But we look like a team that's losing possession but also doesn't have a concept of how to either (a) maintain it, if it meant to or (b) create things against the run of play. It's not like while we are getting out possessed we are waiting to spring some counter trap. We are getting out played at our own attempt to be a possession team.

    I don't think trying to pinball your way upfield one or two touch straight up the middle beginning at keeper is a design strategy for the maintenance of possession. I would think trying to tiki taka up the field with a team not meant to do it would be an exercise in low possession frustration IN PRACTICE.
    DHC1 repped this.

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