Donovan - Right Mid?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by appoo, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'm seeing a lot of this around BigSoccer these days so we might as well have a discussion about it.

    I say no because I don't like limiting LD, our most influential player, to half of the field. If he is playing RM then he has defensive responsibilities, and because of that won't be able to roam the field like he usually does. Also think of this. In which situation will he be able to combine more often with DMB, as a forward or as a RM?
  2. bigdush

    bigdush New Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Parker, CO
    I voted no. I agree with apoooooooo. LD sees the field and form of play much better than most. Putting him on the right would limit his impact on the game. I still like him most as a withdrawn forward.

    It would have to be a very special situation if he is ever put against the sideline, not sure if I could name a situation (never thought that Reyna should ever play there either, but the time was right against Mexico).
  3. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax
    i'm sorry i think you guys have it backwards - playing upfront limits his influence on a game - sometimes playing as a forward he barely even sees the ball - i just understand this notion...
  4. Blong

    Blong Member+

    Oct 29, 2002
    Midwest, the real one.
    Funny thing--I was thinking about this last night, couldn't fall asleep, and ended up on BS.

    I vote yes, provided that we find an adequate solution at a-mid.

    If you look at it from the other team's POV, we have nobody on the right side that will have them shaking in their boots. The left side, on the other hand, should give them fits, whether we have Lewis, Beasley, or Convey over there.

    Lets assume, for a minute, that the Martino that we saw in the Cameroon game is a glimpse of the future. We have a balanced attack with Martino distributing in the center of the field. In this scenario, Martino is a capable replacement for Donovan at a-mid, although he may not have the chemistry with Beasley that Donovan does.

    How about when Lewis is in at Left wing? There is no need for Donovan to be in the middle just to combine with Beasley. With this lineup, we have Donovan on the right, but often pinching in towards the box. This opens the corner for Cherundolo to overlap and send in those beautiful crosses. When Donovan ends up down the sideline, he can make the deadly crosses as well. I can also envision Martino sliding in through balls as Donovan burns around the corner.

    Although we lose Donovan's holding ability in the center when we move him out wide, we make back what we lose by making better use of his speed outside, not to mention his ability to cross effectively from right(a rare commodity for the US right now).

    My point is, with certain line ups it could work great. Other times, we could just go back to Beasley on the left, LD in the center, and Ralston on the right.
  5. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    I wouldn't mind at least seeing it tried out. It could be a nice solution to waht could be a right mid problem. Of course, as has been said, he would have to be given a roaming role over there to make it worth while.

    If we're stuck in a 4-4-2, I'd also suggest playing with 2 deep lying center mids, which shouldn't be a problem since we don't really have much in the way of more forward natured mids, even Reyna and O'Brien, the 2 guys we have closest to being playmakers, tend to lie deep. With Donovan and Beasley attacking down the wings and cutting to the middle, which they would both do regularly, we wouldn't need much attacking from the center of the field. The occasional central move would be enough.

    I'm not gonna say I'm atb all sure it would work out better than having Donovan up front, but it could be worth a try.

    I do see a good rational for using a forward like Donovan that drifts back for the US. In reality, especially against top countries, we do need to fall back more and commit fewer players to pure attacking roles. Having a guy like Donovan up front who can drop into midfield gives you a fluid transition between 451 and 442 throughout the game. And, of course, if we don't replace him up front with another speedy guy, we lose the ability to pout teams on their heels with speed. I'm not so sure we've found a replacement that brings the threat of running past players from the front that Donovan brings yet. Drop Donovan back, and we let defenses play us tighter up front.

    And remember, big IF, but if O'Brien ever gets healthy, we could slide Claudio out wide right, suddenly, no more hole on the right side.
  6. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You know, nominal positions often don't mean much. As of now, Donovan should play. How BA gets him on the field along with all the others is BA's problem. Who really cares what the label assignment is? Where and how he plays will be determined by how he fits with the rest of the cast.
  7. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    You need top class players at every position, and I believe we have the forwards to score. What we need is great talent at midfield to create and hold possession.

    Donovan at R mid is one answer. He has the freedom to roam and create and will get a lot of touches at that spot. And he can use his pace better there, his chief weapon.

    Yes he has to play some D, but so what. We need talent at every position. We have good forwards, IMO, but we need midfield talent. We can't afford a Ralston there in top level international matches when he rest of the world in that position is playing the likes of Beckham or Luis Figo.

    Up top, we can afford McBride or Buddle with Twellman or Mathis or Wolff or Razov. Leaving one of those guys out to play Landon up front and then having to put Ralston or DMB or Convey on the hurts the team big time, IMHO. Rather than having a major creating/holding weapon at R mid, as Donovan showed against Germany, we concede the position to the adversary. That's not possible.

    If we can't create chances, if we can't possess, we can't win. I've watched Landon at times at forward with the Quakes, getting very few quality touches a game, like against DC last weekend. What a waste. In fact, against DC he was moved to A-mid in the second half and had more of an impact, helping to possess and create chances. Not for nothing did Jamil Walker equalize shortly after that change.

    The Quakes didn't need Landon to put the ball in the net -- Walker managed to do that. What they needed was somebody with quality behind the attack to possess and create (and score at times). That's what the US needs.
  8. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thats a pretty good arguement and the rest have put forth pretty good reasons why Landon could play as a Right Midfielder.

    HEre's my question thought. If we let Landon roam like he wants to, what happens to his defensive responsibilities? As a R-Mid he's going to have to take on the opposing Left Midfielder. You know, Ramon Morales. Plus if he does roam thats means we can't use Cherundolo in the attack at all because he'll have to stay at home for the entire match to play defense.

    So how about this idea. If we play in a 3-5-2, then yes I say we use Landon on the right. Why? because we'd have to holding midfielders as backl stops and our attacking midfielders can do whatever they want and not worry as much about defense. This is exactly what happened vs Germany and it worked out because Sanneh and Pope were playing out of their minds. But in a 442 I want Donovan up top because he would be allowed to go anywhere he wants to (sorry blueDaddy, I know you disagree with this, but just watch our games vs Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela where Landon constantly dropped back into the midfield and started his runs from any where on the field)
  9. Noah Dahl

    Noah Dahl New Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    I don't know if this will still be the case in 2006, but one of the best reasons to play Landon on the wing is his phenomenal range.

    He may be one of the most skilled US players ever, but we got a bigger contribution from his sheer running ability at World Cup '02.
  10. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    These are concerns, I agree. That's part of the reason why I wish we had a stud right back with size who could hold down the fort for Donovan.

    But the thing about Donovan is that he is an intelligent player. He picks his runs well, he doesn't just attack with abandon. I believe he and whoever is at R back, including Dolo, could coordinate their moves well, precisely because Donovan is so smart. But you're right that it would limit the back's forward forays. I just think that's a price you have to pay to have an attacking midfielder of Donovan's talent on the right side.

    I kind of agree, but not with the 352, becuase then Landon would just be turned into a workhorse on the flank, with even more defensive tasks.

    If anything, he should be left to roam up top as you say in a 442, but provided that he comes back to midfield a lot for touches, which I don't see much with the Quakes.

    Personally, against really tough teams, I'd like to see something like a 4-2-3-1, with a target striker up top in front of DMB-Reyna-Donovan, with a destroyer and JOB behind them in support in front of the defense.

    That would give both Donovan and DMB room to roam and hook up in attack, but would also help us defend and possess. The lack of a second forward would be compensated for by DMB and Donovan's attacking.
  11. Ictar

    Ictar Member

    Jun 18, 2002
    The Oklahoma Panhandle
    I've seen numerous people mention how Donovan played so well at R-mid against Germany, but didn't he play striker against Germany? I am pretty sure he did.

    He played R-mid against Korea, I think.

    Anyways, my opinion on the subject is it just depends on what lineup we have available for the game. If Ralston is in camp and there's no Reyna or JOB or Martino - who still has some to prove, of course - then put Donovan in A-mid or striker and put Ralston on the right. If JOB or Reyna are in camp, then move Donovan out to right mid so Reyna can get in the game.
  12. Serie Zed

    Serie Zed Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    Well, it solves a lot of problems if someone emerges to pair with McBride (still think he'll be around for at least the WCQs)...Mathis? Buddle?

    And this is one heck of a midfield...

    Beasley JOB Donovan
    -------d-mid Reyna

    Plus Beasley and Donovan are exactly the sort of players who can run endline to endline in a 3-5-2.
  13. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH

    Agreed, however, that leaves Lewis on the bench, and I just cannot seem to justify that. At least right now, anyway.

    I think I'd do this:

    Lewis Donovan DMB
    ----JOB Reyna

    this allows Donovan, JOB, Reyna to interchange and make runs. plus, having the 2 holding mids allows DMB to make quite a bit of runs as well.

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