Keller comments on defense

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by DMullin, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. DMullin

    DMullin New Member

    Sep 14, 2000
    From's post Costa Rica quotes:

    said Keller...."You are going to win a lot of games if you keep it that tight in the back. We've got a good foundation to build on. Jimmy Conrad has stepped in and done a great job and the veterans like Tony Sanneh and Eddie Pope have been solid as well."

    I live in a market where I couldn't watch the games. So I have no information to go on and I am genuinely curious. The group-think on these boards has been extremely tough on Sanneh. It has been almost as hard on Arena for putting him on the field once…let alone a second time during this tournament.

    That said, was Keller being polite? Was he being sarcastic? If he was off the record do you think he would have said the same thing? If he thought Sanneh played poorly, why mention his name at all? Why not just say the defense did a good job? Why mention Sanneh by name?

    One guess I have is that he was simply being modest and not taking all of the credit for his two shutouts. Without knowing more about his personality it is really hard to say.

    But, if he was being sincere how can we reconcile his comments with the flood of anti-Sanneh posts?
  2. Zathras

    Zathras Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Keller didn't play in the first match; Sanneh did.

    Sanneh didn't play in the second match; Keller did.

    In the third match, Sanneh was not as bad.

    I'll also say that while Sanneh was horrible vs. Cuba, he was playing the left side of a three man backline with Hejduk and Conrad--out of position in a formation that is not best suited to him with a pair of not the best defenders with him as well.

    But he has probably played himself out of any minutes after the Gold Cup.
  3. Bigdudeduke

    Bigdudeduke New Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Chicago Suburbs
    My Lord, it was a horrible performance by Sanneh tonight. The most glaring of his bloopers were two totally ill advised headers back to Keller. Both took Casey by surprise, and one even generated an uncharacteristic explosion of anger from the keeper. These are the kind of errors that you would expect from a rookie, not a veteran. It seems clear to me that Sanneh's once adequate recovery speed is a thing of the past. Tony was caught upfield on numerous occasions, and if it wasn't for Cherundelo the score might have been very different. Yes, he did have a couple of decent tackles, but all in all my grade for his performance tonight is a big fat "F" !
  4. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's not the game I was watching. I thought the backpasses (one of which was with the foot, forcing Keller to head it away) were the only glaring errors he made the whole game. He basically made Jafet Soto invisible for the first half (except when he was offside), and the defensive unit as a whole ran a very effective offside trap.

    I'd give Sanneh a C... he loses a lot of points for the hospital balls to Keller, but was pretty solid otherwise.
  5. Northcal19

    Northcal19 New Member

    Feb 18, 2000
    Celtic Tavern LODO (
    I watched it on TV. I thought Sanneh was awful. Plodding, bad decisions, give aways. I think Kasey was being polite.
  6. Bigdudeduke

    Bigdudeduke New Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Chicago Suburbs
    As you please. You are entitled to your opinion - right, wrong or indifferent. This is just one of the reasons why the United States is the greatest country on the face of the earth - hands down.
  7. Sanguine

    Sanguine Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Reston, VA
    yeah it sucks that they don't allow opinions in any other country. :(

    America - F*** yeah!
  8. Liviu

    Liviu New Member

    Jul 12, 2005
    Illinois, USA
    Maybe to avoid hurt feelings between him and Sanneh. He did scream something along the lines of WTF to Sanneh when Sanneh made that brilliant pass that Keller headed out for a corner kick.

    Keller knows Sanneh's done so he doesn't want to be hard on him like the fans, the media, and surely the coaches.

    That's my take on it. Or Keller's delusional.
  9. El Jefecito

    El Jefecito New Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Monroe, LA
    If he is just agree with him and humor him don't get him upset.
  10. IMOX77

    IMOX77 New Member

    Jun 15, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Kasey Keller is not Sigi Schmid and would not sell out his teammates
  11. Heathens '87

    Heathens '87 Member

    United States
    Mar 4, 2004
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not really a wise idea for a keeper to be publicly critical of his defense. His comments are standard professional speak, and Keller is smart enough to let Bruce say anything critical. Players usually offer criticisms in terms of "we" and "I" languauge, but rarely ever it is a "he" comment.

    Bruce ripped into Hejduk, which I thought was interesting.......

    "Frankie needs to be a little bit smarter. He's got to learn from that. I don't know how much he's going to learn at this point in his career, but (it was) not smart to have to take a card there."

    "He knew going into the game that he had a card. We've lost him to, in my opinion, two foolish yellow cards."

    Bruce basically called him not smart, old, unable to learn, and foolish....ouch.
  12. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Well Frankie just put his team in a bind by getting himself kicked out of the next game. That Arena comment showed that he's looking down the road in this tournament, that he does care to win it. But with Pope out the US needs contributions from all the remaining defenders, including Sanneh and Vanney as they can't keep trotting out the same players every game. In that sense Hedjuk had a worse game than Sanneh. Bruce hates mental mistakes.

    In regards to Sannneh, he played okay last night. A couple of poor decisions but they led to zero goals. Otherwise he did a good job shutting down the CR forwards.

    From a couple of Arena's remarks over the past days, it's pretty clear that before the tournament started he thought he had two good central defenders (Onyewu and Pope) and two guys he wasn't sure of (Sanneh and Conrad). So far Gooch and Pope (yes Pope for the little time he was playing) have fulfilled his expectations. Conrad in his opinion has been a pleasant surprise and should be considered in the mix for Germany.

    Sanneh? He struggled vs Cuba, and was better vs CR. He's not nearly as awful as so many folks here are portraying him (and some others on the team), but he is 4th on this pecking order and when you add Boca and Gibbs to the mix that puts him as basically the 6th central defender and on the alternates list for Germany- and that's not counting the likes of Spector. He can't do it now (in the GC) but it will be interesting to see if Arena plays any future games with Sanneh as a full back.
  13. dude8

    dude8 Member

    Apr 2, 2002
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i watched the tape, and i really thought heydude was clipped. now, he appears to have been clipped while on the way down, but, still, a clip is a clip.

    i wonder if he has any ass left with which to sit upon after those comments from warm and fuzzy dabruce?

    MLSNHTOWN Member+

    Oct 27, 1999
    Houston, TX
    Depends on your perspective. Some might argue that our chances improve with the surfer dude on the bench. Dolo on the right, Conrad and Gooch in the Center, Vanny on the left. Should be more than enough to beat whichever third place team we face from Mexico's group. If it is Mexico, then we get to have a hell of a game and we get to see exactly what the rest of the defenders are ready to offer to the team.

    In a pinch, JOB can play left back. In a pinch, Sanneh can play right back or Gooch can move out to the right. In a pinch, Pablo can play CB or right back. So we have ample cover for the surfer dude.

    With regards to the original intent of the thread.....what do you expect him to say?

    "Tony Sanneh was great for the USMNT several years ago, but injuries and age have finally caught up with him internationally."

    He won't ever say that.

    That all being said, Tony Sanneh was absolutely fantastic in the world cup. So, maybe he can turn it on in the later rounds if he is given the chance.
  15. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    True and I was thinking the exact same thing about Vanney for Hedjuk. Vanney was most likely gonna start the next game anyway. Still Arena's post Canada Vanney comment was also tough: along the lines of Vanney's not fit enough to play LB. Let's see how Greg responds.
  16. bing1985

    bing1985 Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Near West ChiSuburbs
    I agree with Keller's assesment of Conrad's play. He wasn't perfect but I was encouraged by what I saw considering his youth and the likelyhood he'll improve. THis experiment should continue, IMO.

    Re: Pope and Sanneh - Both have showed moments of their old form and then just a lot of "old". Time to move on, Bruce.
  17. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    It's always pretty funny to come on these boards after a 0-0 tie and see the defense spanked and the offense stroked. If only it had been 4-4, then it could be the other way around.

    Sanneh is not the player of '02 - that may well have been the best week of his career, but he was not horrible v. CR either.
  18. soccertom

    soccertom New Member

    Jun 2, 1999
  19. Ronaldo's Idol

    Jun 13, 2004
    Two things...Sanneh was awful both against Cuba and against CR. Keller's comments are just him saying that one goal in 3 games is good...but considering the competition and the number of times Keller has been left exposed by his defense, I don't think Kasey is happy with the defense, he is just choosing not to publicly criticize a player like Sanneh who is on the out anyways.

    Sanneh not only was slow and bad with the ball, he made poor choices that almost led to goals in both games. If there is one thing you want from an older player, it is useful wisdom. And Sanneh showed none of it.

    As for Hejduk, in my mind he was fouled. From the replay, it looked like he started to dive just before he was fouled, but he was genuinely clipped as he was going down. The ref was just being a hardass and probably was still happy with himself from the previous yellow he gave for the CR player diving. Too bad for Hejduk, as he needs to save those yellows for his ridiculous two footed tackles. I though Hejduk actually was one of the better players on the field vs. CR. By far Cherudolo was the best defender (again), but Hejduk was second best, maybe tied with Conrad, and Sanneh was absolutely horrible.
  20. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I saw the replay on the Hejduk "dive". That was definitely not a dive. No way. He was tripped just outside the box. A very professional foul. Bruce was off the mark here. Perhaps his comments were made right after the game, and before he had a chance to see the replay.
  21. Liviu

    Liviu New Member

    Jul 12, 2005
    Illinois, USA
    I didin't record the game so I can't watch the replays but damn this doesn't make sense. I clearly saw his leg get clipped. Many here say that it was when he was on his way down but that doesn't make any sense. Why would he pick attempting to draw a free kick over a 1 v 1 with the goalie??? Those of you who have the tape, please view it closely and let us know whether that's a definite dive or not. If it's a dive, Hejduk is an idiot for not attempting to score instead.
  22. DMullin

    DMullin New Member

    Sep 14, 2000
    I agree 100% about his play in 2002. He was a stand out. This has made my reaction to what has been described as poor play on his part one of mourning rather than anger.

    If Keller thought Sanneh played poorly I would expect him to say nothing about Sanneh. Instead he specified that Sanneh was "solid".

    It is possible that I am reading too much into off hand remarks by Keller. But until I get to Chicago this weekend, where I can watch a tape of the game, I have nothing else to go on.

    My question is: Is it likely that Keller actually meant what he said? So far the consensus seems to be: "No he did not, he was being polite."
  23. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Costa Rica managed little offense, getting off just two shots on goal.

    Afterward, Arena was asked to carry the player of the game trophy back to the locker room for goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

    "Really?" Arena asked. "Does he have to make any saves to get these things?"

    I have to admit watching this thing with only one eye as they had the audacity to schedule the game during a conference call, but still, the US backs hold CR to two shots, no goals, KK gets virtually nothing to do - it's not like he bails out a crap D and Sanneh is slagged across the country and back. Yet Dempsey, Noonan, JOB, Ralston can't manage a goal on these guys and ...

    Dunno, it's wierd really. Not that Sanneh was awesome or anything, but he just didn't look that bad to me. Guess he should have held them to no shots...
  24. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    1) It wasn't a dive- he was tripped.

    2) The ref called it the other way.

    3) Arena was/is mad at Hedjuk here because he got himself into a position that the ref could call a yellow on him- a yellow that hurts the team for the next game since Frankie can't play in it.

    Does that make sense? Arena is asking Hedjuk to be aware of the circumstances. Those circumstances included:

    1) It was a tie game, near the end and a tie vs CR was good enough to win the group. In other words, a goal at that time was not so important.

    2) The ref had a few minutes before issued a yellow card to a CR player for diving. Naturally the ref would then look very hard at what he might think of as a dive by a US player. The odds that a borderline dive would get a yellow were pretty high at that point.

    3) Hedjuk getting a yellow card depletes an already depleted and tired (except for Gooch and Vanney) US defense. Conrad's just played 2 1/2 games in 6 days. Pope's out. Dolo's just played 2 games in 4 days. Possible emergency fullbacks? Ralston's just done 2 games in 4 days. JOB would have logged the same but he's not fully fit yet. Hedjuk has had his two games spaced out more (2 games in 7 days) and with his stamina he could have helped.

    So the US is gonna have at least one defender tired for the next game. Hedjuk as a vet has to know this when he goes careening into the CR box.
  25. SgtSchultz

    SgtSchultz Member

    Jul 11, 2001
    Parts Unknown
    Arena is wrong. Heydude was playing attacking soccer. From the previous post, you would think tying CR at home is a good thing. Screw that. Thanks you Frankie for taking a chance. Maybe your coach would be so inclined in the future. I think Arena is a great coach, but there are times his conservative style rankles me.

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