Our attack (R)

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by superdave, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eddie Johnson is the man.

    Brian McBride played like he did with the Crew...did a fine job of making his striker partner look good. Got Eddie into good position a number of times.

    Landon was not impressive. My sense from the first viewing is that Jamaica made containing him a key priority, so in a sense, Landon contributed by making sure Eddie Johnson had alot of space.

    Corrales was not good, as anyone could have predicted. Horrible tackle for the PK.

    Dempsey showed some nice flashes in his time.

    Ralston looked like he belonged for about 15 minutes. After that, feh.

  2. DutchFootballRulez

    Jul 15, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Donovan should've been on the right. I wanted Dempsey to start. McBride played very well, but I sorta wished he wasn't called in, so we could see a completely experimental USMNT Lineup.
  3. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    Our attack stalled because we had no width to the left. Ralston looked good early, until it was abvious we had nothing to threaten the left side of the field and the right got too crowded, making him worthless.

    Corales was playing mostly centrally close to Pablo, with Ralston on the right and Landon a bit forward. The only thing coming up the left was Gibbs, who I like defensively, but doesn't add more than a body that can fill open space and provide for an outlet, coming forward.

    Donovan didn't do enough to try to spread things out and just ran around the edge of the jumble most of the game, his usual assortment of nice touches, bhut rarely looking like a threat.

    Johnson was good and McBride played the best first half I've seen him play for a while. He was able to hold the ball better than he has lately rather than just knocking balls off and hoping for someone to run onto them.

    The midfield was the problem tonight for a change, not the forwards.

    The game was kinda like the Holland game where Bruce left the right sde open. Instead, this time, he exposed the left. Fortunately, Jamaica had no serious attack and Gibbs is a better defender than Frankie. It just killed our offensive width. I think Bruce is a very good coach, but I'm absolutely no fan of just giving up half the field in the middle. Find me one top international team that does so successfuly.
  4. DCFAN96

    DCFAN96 Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    Donovan did have a pretty quiet game but what did you expect? Do you really think JAM was worried about Ralston or Corrales? They were all over Landon, Corrales was just standing there like a deer in headlights. As long as Beasley and Landon are on the field togther ANY defense is going to have trouble marking both and spaces will be created for them and every other player on the field for the US.
  5. ZiggyGalaxy

    ZiggyGalaxy New Member

    Sep 22, 2004
    Seems like a good result overall. Kind of odd to see Panama in the Hex...but hey, they put up the results and deserved it...
  6. jkl;

    jkl; New Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Total Voetbal or whatever it's called.
    I liked that all the US players were getting back on defense, and liked seeing most of the defenders (especially Gibbs) push up.
    Corrales? Is Bruce getting desperate in his search for an Armas replacement? Dempsey was definitely an improvement.
    Albright didn't do much of anything.
  7. sokol

    sokol Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    Donovan got harrased and didn't do much, but as has been pointed outhe opened it up for others, especially Mastroeni who played great both in attack and defense. And once Dempsey came in the game LD did seem to get more opportunities.

    EJ, not much needs to be said, he's on fire.
    Corrales, not much needs to be said, he sucks.
    Ralston played about as good as anyone besides LD at that position. But that's not saying too much.
    Corey Gibbs got into the attack a couple times and didn't embarass himself.
    McBride did his thing, he worked and helped through hustle and winning the ball in the air, but he does slow the attack down IMO.

    I was surprised by Albright who was solid, with good defense and some good crosses and runs forward.

    Dempsey and Spector both came in showed some promise. It seems to me that Spector is an ideal outside back for Bruce Arena's style.

    Overall, the US still needs one more playmaker somewhere on the field. It can't come all through LD. With Beasley they get that so nothing to really worry about, but this game does make it more clear how much he adds to the team.
  8. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Between the rain and the fact that the games vs Jamaica are always choppy, you can't really say too much. Yeah, Corrales stunk, and Dempsey has reall promise. Ralson wasn't that bad either IMO. Mastroeni showed that the d-mid job is still up for grabs AND that we have a couple of good choices there.

    But I sort of agree with what sokol said- that the team needed another playmaker out there besides LD. Ralson didn't quite do that. He was the living embodiment of what a playmaker at The Ralston Line would be like. Surprise surprise. So in the overall picture we have LD, Beasley, Reyna, and maybe JOB as playmakers. It would be good to see a young un or two developing. To me it seems like we have two possibly: Martino and Convey, and we've had them for a couple of years. However Arena hasn't exactly given them many opportunities to fit into the team. (I'm talking Convey in the midfield not left back here.) This nags at the back of my head since two of the four playmakers are highly injury prone. For the 02 cycle Stewart filled the other playmaker role.

    Hmmm.. I guess when you think of it, all the mids who aren't primarily d-mids like Mastro or Zavagnin or Armas, should be playmakers. If the whole team is healthy then fine. But it's not and odds are they won't be in 06.
  9. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Beasley was missing, remember.
  10. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Yeah I know- and so were Reyna and JOB. I'd just like to have one more playmaker type, someone who can effecdt a change in an international game. I mentioned Convey and Martino. Maybe I was hasty as Dempsey could be that one extra guy. In fact I'd love that.
  11. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I think Donovan can be that guy, but he needs more than EJ making those runs. Put Donovan out there with EJ, DMB, and Dempsey and things would look much better.
  12. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    I'm going to whole-heartedly 2nd this motion and add my two cents that this strategy - if that's what you want to call it - sucks. There is no sense in Arena's teams conceding at least 1/3 of the width of the field. And if Bruce thought Cory Gibbs was ever going to be an effective player at left back/mid, then boo on him.

    The good news is DaMarcus, Eddie Lewis, and Eddie Gaven can all play wide left, so in the Hex we are in pretty good shape.

    But what about right?

    Before I get to that, I'll share my thoughts on central midfield. Pablo's play today was extremely important. That was the 2002 version of Pablo, and the 2002 version of Pablo was critical to our success in the World Cup. This version of Pablo gives us options going forward. But who to partner him with in the middle?

    I think the wrong answer is Landon. The right answer is a better defensive midfielder than Ramiro Corrales. I felt badly for Ramiro today, but taking emotions out of the equation, he's not up to task. But Zavagnin is. Dempsey looks like he could be soon. I think Clark will get there some day.

    So out right, we play either Donovan or Gaven.

    And then we end up with an Arsenal-esque midfield of:


    But in modern soccer, the attack isn't about midfielders and forwards. It's just as much about outside defenders who can get forward into the attack. And that's a whole different thread.

    Summary - play the entire width of the field, Bruce.
  13. UncleSam527

    UncleSam527 Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    Does anyone know why Gaven wasn't called in? Certainly he would have been a better choice than Corrales. I think Gaven, when fully developed, could play A role (not necessarily THE role) of playmaker.

    Unfortunately, as long as Kyle Martino plays under Greg Andrulis, he will not reach his full potential; he will be wasted and I believe he won't get much farther than the Ralston Line. This is just my opinion, and it's obvious I'm a bitter Crew fan too.
  14. forza inter

    forza inter Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Middletown, ct
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    id like to say ralston did cross well all night. that was very consistant which is great to see from someone on the flank. his service is really great. i think he can help us through this last round of qualifying. landon was invisible for most of the game, and as was mentioned i think it contributed to everyone else on the field getting more space. corrales looked a bit nervous out there, and the field didnt help either. i like him with san jose and hes very underrated to me. surprised mullen wasnt in the final roster, speaking of san jose wingers. all in all i think our attack was on tonight, even with a less than A caliber lineup out there. good to see were building chemistry in camps.

    forza inter
  15. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Gaven certainly fits that mold as well.
  16. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Right. Could be Gaven. Could be Dempsey, like in Nutmeg's midfield above. Or Dempsey could be a forward, taking McBride's spot. (I do like Dempsey as a forward, I'll admit.) Could even be Adu in 06. But it seems like Arena has passed on both Convey and Martino and...I'm not sure why. (Convey again as a midfielder here.)

    I'm trying to give Arena the benefit of the doubt about using Ralston and Carrales. Trying really hard. I see Nutmeg faulting Arena for using this game like the Holland game. You have a point there, Nut, but I think Arena thinks that this game and the Holland game were fairly expendable and that he'd try a risk in the midfield even if it ebnded in failure. I can see playing Ralston and Corrales for the purpose of seeing if they can play at this level these days and so I'm okay with their failure (Corrales) and their faint success (Ralston). Still Ralston and Corrales will never be more than just role players for the Nats. So I'm ready to move on from this game to the winter and really look at Gaven and Dempsey.
  17. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The biggest problem with the lineup as I see it -- was using both Corrales and Gibbs on the left. That gives you -- as pointed out above -- zero width on the left. Maybe BA was planning to use Convey at left back or left mid and just didn't have a Plan B? Or I guess the more likely explanation was that Arena wanted to knock out Jamaica and thought a draw would do it and so went for defense first.

    A little strange.
  18. russ

    russ Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As I think about it,one of the things our attack did was make Jamaica nervous enough in prospect that they didn't commit numbers forward often,even late,when they really needed it.

    Or they were all high,take your pick. :)
  19. mclip_66

    mclip_66 Member

    Mar 5, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Eddie scored again - Wow! Though he should have had at least one if not two more the way he was being setup.

    McBride played the target/holding forward to perfection winning many balls and setuping up those around him. Might have scored one himself if that pass in the box would have been in front of him instead right into him.

    Good to have McBride and Eddie on the field for almost a whole game together though it looks like they need more time as several times one would make one pass(with the head mostly) when the other was making a different run.

    LD played a good game considering the "wing" midfielders were mostly a waste. Cor-cluess seemed lost and made few if any good runs and was a liability on defense. Ralston played ok but is not the answer. Good news is that these are not the guys who will be playing during the HEX.

    Backline played well overall.

    Albright - I was impressed with the number of balls that they tried to put over his head that he got to out of the air and headed to a teammate.

    Tony and Gooch played well in the middle but I'm not sure this is the best pair going forward. (BTW the second yellow on Gooch was so bogus.)

    Gibbs played well in the back considering there was no midfielder in front of him.

    Keller was Steller in goal two good saves and under control back there.

    Overall not a bad performance and I could be wrong here but have we ever gone unbeaten in our first 8 qualifying games of any campaign before?
  20. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This game was about Corrales. With him occupying a midfield slot, but performing badly, several things happened. There was too much pressure on Gibbs who then could not get forward adequately (not that I expect a lot of runs out of him).

    More important, however, was what Corrales did to Donovan. LD had no successful quick-ball movement partner in the midfield. For all of Ralston's nice wing play and ball holding capability, he did not work quickly with LD. International plays requires rapid action, one touch and go full blast. Didn't come from Corrales or Ralston.

    The best attacking play was in the first half. And, Albright made some good long ball contributions, well targeted and useful, at least at one level of analysis. However, any ball played over the top, if not specifically to Donovan, by definition bypasses Donovan and he is out of the loop. That happened quite a few times, representing a fairly high percentage of the actually attacking thrusts. We need concerted focus on rapid, shorter passing play out of the back with a willingness to switch fields (something else that didn't happen last night).
  21. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    From what we saw last night, I don't think Donovan can play alone at the top of a diamond midfield. He's not the 19 year old kid that'll surprise Portugal anymore...he's the player that'll be man marked -- if not double-teamed -- for every meaningful US match for next couple of years in this type of formation.

    If our #10 gets marked out of the match (and last night, Donovan rarely had space or time on the ball), we need excellent attacking wingplay from both sides and a two-way defensive midfielder that can at least provide service. We had the latter in Mastroeni, but the type of outside play necessary for success from either the midfield or fullback position is in flux. Corrales obviously isn't the answer, and Ralston didn't push forward enough.

    Beasley and Donovan as the dual attacking mids in a box midfield provides an answer to this problem. Both have the ability to get outside as well as cut in the middle and shoot on goal. Marking one means the other one runs wild.

    I like the proposed midfield with Dempsey and Mastroeni in the middle anchoring Beasley and Donovan. And should a miracle occur and we have all these player available, I think Reyna and O'Brien would rule as the two center mids behind DMB and LD.

    Up top, I liked the McBride and Johnson combo. McBride's become a savvy player in the later stages of his career. He plays the target striker role to perfection -- winning headers, making runs off the ball to open up space for other strikers, and can distribute well after he wins the ball (and what great service on the EJ breakaway in the second half.)

    However, here's a combo I'd like to see at some point in time: Johnson and Twellman. If McBride loses a step from now until the World Cup, I think Twellman could fill in admirably as his replacement: he's also strong in the air, there's no real difference between the two in pace, and Twellmans's a solid worker off the ball like McBride. And though he had an off-season, Twellman's proven he can finish.

    The friendlies before February should be interesting :)
  22. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    I definitely agree on the width of the field concept. Then again, I am not sure that with this line up Bruce felt he had the manpower to play the left side effectively. Without even Convery available, who does he play on the left side? With his little juke move toward the end of the game to get into the Jamaican box the only answer might have been Spector :p

    As far as your midfield... I am afraid I don't get it. I thought Pablo was fantastic last night and the first thing I definitely thought was this is World Cup Pablo. Not particularly a surprise to me since he was finally playing his position. I also agree that LD and DMB are locks to be in the game. What I dont get is the Dempsey call. Did you think he showed well enough last night to earn a start over such other players as Reyna and Gaven? I thought Dempsey worked hard and hustled while he was in there and provided some nice plays in our half of the field, but looked unpolished in Jamaica's half. His double step over run into a defender and loss of the ball seemed to indicate that he needs to work on his 1v1 aspect a bit more, and some of his passes were way off the mark (in particular thinking of the one that he attempted to square to Ralston that was 5 yards behind him to turn the ball back over to Jamaica).

    To me the ideal midfield for 2006 is either a box with LD and DMB up front and Reyna and Pablo in back or have Reyna in back of DMB. LD and Gaven (I assume for the purposes of that statement that JOB will never play again). I think Pablo and Claudio right now are similar midfielders except Pablo has a bit more speed and fits a bit more of Bruce's destroyer defensive midfielder model and Claudio is more of a holding player that just wins balls with better touch. You could also hypothetically get both Pablo and Gaven in the match by moving Landon to a withdrawn forward spot behind EJ.
  23. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    In addition I'd like to point out that I don't think our offensive problem was solely the midfield last night. The distribution from the backline was atrocious at times. How many passes did Onyewu send right in on the keeper? We got into a serious long ball funk at times.
  24. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yes, but it works both ways. This kid's off-the-ball movement is relentless and flawless. Run after run after run into open space at the correct moment. All the while tracking back so vigorously that he cleared two balls from the box during open play, and stuffed a Jamaican attacker in a 1 vs. 1 situation while (temporarily) playing right back.

    And I remember when they called Eddie Johnson lazy! It's good news for Freddy Adu's future -- because Freddy is lazy. Fourteen year old dog with arthritis on a 97 degree July afternoon in Muscle Shoals, Alabama lazy. The best player in MLS with the ball, the worst without it. If Eddie could turn his situation around and become this valuable, then why not Freddy?
  25. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I disagree. You made the assertion that LD couldn't be the a-mid from a diamond, but then you expressed the exact argument as to why it was easy for him to be marked out of this game. The 2 wingers didn't provide any wing play. If Beasley and another decent winger are in this game, LD would have been slicing through this team. However, with Corrales and Ralston not providing either a ton of speed OR great width, the entire defense of Jamaica was able to collapse on the middle. With even just Beasley on the field for this game, they would have gotten destroyed if they had done the same thing. LD is fine.

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