Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by luvdagame, Sep 4, 2002.
those of you who saw him, how did e.j. play against colorado on sunday?
didn't see it, but I thought he looked reasonable in the Cup match Tuesday night.
You can see he's got skill, can win some balls in the air and hold the ball pretty well. He seems somewhat naive tactically, not always making runs that are meaningful. At least one time there was an attack building on the right, and only when the camera panned out a bit, did you see he was WAY over on the left not in any position to help the play.
Of course, the only way that will get better is if he can get regular playing time, but the Burn understandably like Kreis, Rhine and Cerritos. His next meaningful spell of action might be NOvember with the U20s.
I saw him play last night in the Open Cup game and he was okay. There were at least two opportunities when Johnson was fed a ball where if he takes his defender on and beats him he is alone at goal. Both times he held the ball up and waited for support. Not saying it was the right or wrong decision but I know Quaranta and Donovan would be trying to blow by their man. He did have a nice pass to Martinez to set up the Dallas goal.
he played well last night but his team was horrible.
he was not given the ball in any dangerous situations except one that i can remember, and in that case his first touch was not so great and it went out of the end touch line.
he needs to take on defenders one-v-one a little more. he seemed very tenative in that kind of situation and would usually pull the ball back and wait for his team to catch up with him, and with his speed i would like to see him go at defenses...
being a kid, if he takes someone on and it doesn't work, he probably gets an earful from teammates, coaches. So he may be prone to playing it safe ("so the bad men won't yell at me").
Memo to EJ: Go for it. They will never be what you can become.
If this is true then we should be telling our younger soccer players to watch College Football when not playing soccer. Usually the best teams have a grea mixture of young talent and experienced uppserclassmen. hehe Zach Mills
Hopefully, our younger players are playing without fear
You can probably add Beasley to that list as well. IMHO, the most significant change in the complexion of USMNT's game over the past two years is the appearance of several players, such as Donovan, Beasley, Mathis, and Wolff, who when they get the ball in the attacking third are not afraid to take a defender on 1 v. 1 and often succeed -- you almost never saw this before from US forwards and mids. Reyna almost never beats anyone on the dribble in the attacking third, I can't remember the last time I saw McBride do it. JMM, Razov, Stewart -- forget about it. Waldo was able to take on defenders when he was in his prime, but he was the only one on that team with that ability -- now we've got a handful. Anyway, let's hope that it's just a case of youthful timidity from EJ, and that he develops the same fearless attitude of our best attacking players.
He landed Edgar Davids on his ass on one occasion during the Holland game at CMGI
I recall Reyna beating Davids several times on the dribble, but I thought it was in the middle third of the field. I could be wrong, though. I've seen Reyna fight off opposing players when he's dribbling the ball around midfield, but I don't recall him beating players close to the other team's penalty box, the way wolff, donovan, mathis, and bease do.
Well he isn't supposed to be there. He isn't an attacking midfielder or forward why would he be taking players on 1v1 in the penalty box? His job is is to win balls in the midfield, hold it, beat people upfield and get the ball to his attackers. Really he shouldn't be part of this discussion. If you wanted to talk about players like Ben Olsen, John O'Brien, Chris Armas, Pablo Masteroeni, thats his place. I'm failry sure that he could school defenders up there though.
I think your description of Reyna's "job" more accurate as a description of how he plays than as a description of the job he was asked to do for much of the past four years. For much of the past four years, Arena has asked Reyna to play an a-mid role(until Armas got injured and Reyna started being our official d-mid). Now as an a-mid, Reyna clearly has deficiencies, one of which, IMHO, is his inability to run at defenders in the attacking third and beat them 1 v. 1. on the dribble -- an a-mid (and of course, forwards) should be able to do this. So I disagree with your suggestion that if you had Reyna play further up front, he could run at defenders and beat them 1 v. 1 the way Wolff, LD, Bease, and Mathis do -- and that it's only because he hasn't been asked to play this role that we haven't seen that from him. Reyna can't do it -- he's too slow, and during those games when he was asked to play an a-mid role (most of the games that he played in during the past four years), he failed in that respect. Only within the past year or two have players emerged -- Wolff, Donovan, Beasley, Mathis -- who look can run at defenders in the attacking third and beat them on the dribble. That threat is an element that was sorely lacking from the US game.
I agree that he can't beat players in the upper 1/3 very well. Reyna himself said that he was ALWAYS a holding mid. But you are mistaken that Arena asks him to be an attacking midfielder. One of the best half we have ever played was against Italy before the world cup. Our midfield had Reyna, O'Brien, Stewart, and Armas. Like we always did, we attacked from the wings. In this case JOB had a helluva game. I don't know when we have attacked through the gut of the defense rather than through our wingers. He was never an A-mid. Arena uses his wingers as his A-mids and the two true mid-fielders as holding midfielders.
oh to continue on the Ed Johnson subject. I watched him play tonite against the Metros and I thought that his teamates did a very poor job. I kept track of him and he has an instinct for making good runs to open spots in the penalty box. I was yelling at the TV for his teamates to get him the ball in the air. If he had our national team around him I am fully confident he could of had 2 - 3 great goal scoring oppotunities in the last 20. 1 on the ground 2 in the air.
when he plays on the burn he seems to play in a withdrawn role...always coming back for the ball in the middle of the field then turning and switching directions. i only remember him having once chance going at goal tonight against the metros and he kinda fumbled the ball as he tried to dribble through 2 defenders at the top of the box.
i really wish he could get on a team where he would be playing up top day in and day out, kinda like edson buddle here in columbus. i think if both of these guys got to start regularly they would be stars like twellman in n.e.
I'm a big EJ fan. But, Johnson looked tentative tonight against the Metros. Also, he's the target forward but he seemed a bit intimidated, as he kept drifting back into midfield rather than staying high and waiting for good service. When he got the ball he seemed unsure as he usually tried to play the ball back to someone else rather than attack goal.
I'm pretty sure the reason for his lack of confidence is that he is getting precious little playing time, so he feels he cannot make a mistake. So, he tries to put himself in safer positions where he's less likely to make a mistake. But by doing so, he often takes himself out of dangerous situations and prevents himself from making plays.
If he had been getting regular playing time when healthy I think he'd be showing a lot better right now. To me it looks like he's still bearing a lot of scars from verbal criticisms. It's difficult when coaching a young player. You need to balence teaching by pointing out the errors and the correct way to do them, with teaching by showing confidence in the player and assuring them that they will get chances even if they make mistakes.
It appears to me as if Johnson is afraid to make a mistake. He doesn't look that way with the Junior Nats. In fact, he has a very confident swagger that screams "I defy you to stop me for 90 minutes." That kind of confidence is an absolute necessity for a goal scorer. Hopefully Jeffries can help Johnson regain that confidence at the professional level.
I'm thinking of the times he didn't get the ball. Remembering this thread, I decided to pay extra careful attention to Johnson. About 3 different times EJ was in fabulous position to recieve the ball (1 time off a Give and Go that never got to "Go"). The other 2 times he would have about 5 yard head shots. All 3 times he ended up throwing up his arms in frustration for never recieving the ball. But I think Tron is right aboit the playing time. But that might change with the Cerritos injury.