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Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by gogorath, Jan 18, 2020.
Good information with the correct caveats noted.
Good stuff! Thanks for posting.
I too think that Gio is best centrally-focused. To begin with, I think that he starts on the wing and tucks in until he gets some experience with the Nats. Another place we could see him play (unexpectedly, and at a low probability) is as the withdrawn forward in a 4-4-2.
Its all about what works on the field with the key players. Key players: Dest, Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, Reyna, Brooks, Steffen...the rest of the roster should be built to maximize the strengths of those players and to cover for their weaknesses. That is a mix of rising talent like we have never seen before...it's also a dearth of leadership and experience like we have never seen before. There are two to three high-caliber young leadership personalities in this mix (Adams, McKennie, Weah), but I think that they need some guys who have been in the wars. Altidore and Bradley are still in the mix for me. They both need to work on fitness like never before.
Guys I expect to work their way into the mix before Qatar: Weah, Ledesma, Llanez, and maybe Vassilev. Weah can either play behind Pulisic and provide defensive support on the wing, or he can play center forward and open up space. Ledesma is your offensive spark super sub when you need a central chance creator. Llanez is the guy you sub up top on the left either exploit a team while you're ahead and need to sub Pulisic, or you play him opposite Pulisic and tell him to exploit the space that the tilted field will open up...he could be lethal in that role.
I think that Gio is probably best as a winger that has free reign to roll around the field at all and comes centrally quite a bit. That's what he does at Dortmund and he seems sneaky good at losing marking and find the play.
I think if we had two really effective offensive fullbacks (and we don't, but maybe we will at some point), that the bombing fullbacks with Pulisic and Reyna being 4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1 wings that slide in on attack is a very good option.
The three mids could then be something like Adams-McKennie-Pomykal, all of whom can attack when needed, but also become a very strong defensive core. Not having Reyna or Pulisic in the central midfield defensively takes away an inherent weakness.
The downsides of that are pretty clear: while I hope Robinson could be that left back, he's not clearly there and the backup situation is pretty dire; while Pulisic and Reyna are ideal for this, players like Morris, Boyd, Arriola are not necessarily; if Dest is not at RB, Cannon has been good but unspectacular and Yedlin frankly awful with the ball.
Every formation comes with downsides, though, so I think this should be one of the core options.
The other obvious one is Reyna in the middle and Pulisic on the wing. Both in the middle is tough for me as I think the CM defense is pretty terrible -- maybe at home versus minnows but I think we'd get ripped to shreds by the better teams or on the road.
I think that your overall outlook is sensible, though I'm afraid that including Brooks amongst the core is a bit optimistic.
Giovanni “Gio” Reyna at Borussia Dortmund
(moved from YA thread)
Let's get you started on a constructive Saturday:
It seems to me that in Gio we can see, through the mist of youth, a 10 who can transmit a ball from various positions on the pitch with a variety of vectors.
For me this goes in the direction of a 4231 of the type Berhalter liked at Columbus where the game went thru Higuaín.
The question arises, who would Gio play best with? What type of cf?
Zardes: Typical berhalter cf. Tall, rangy, runs onto long crosses from wings after wings have been fed by the 10. At one point it was Kei Kamara whose last great outing was under Berhalter, playing with Ethan Finlay and Higuaín.
Jozy: He wants the ball at this feet. Likes to set up at the 18. Doesn't dribble thru midfield. Aerial game has improved a lot and is more likely to head in a cross than using his feet.
Morris: Is most effective making his move in midfield getting behind the cb's. Plays most like Haaland of our three choices but is less likely to finish and more likely to use his move to set up for transitioning teammates. That is why RuiDiaz is the 9 in Seattle and Morris is the wing.
Sargent: Jury still out on his role while he develops at club. However he seems a combo type 442 forward more than somebody fitting in a 4231 of Berhalter type.
I'd pick Morris but I'd expect to see him run a lot and come off late for Jozy or Zardes. Alternatively, I could see Morris and Zardes starting under Berhalter and Jozy, whose conditioning and age and form have to taken into account, coming on late.
What I like about Gio is that he has an excellent airball from deep (has to refuse to do Berhalter's diagonal baloney to wings and go straight to Morris like he does for Haaland).