Roster Makeup and Squad Selection [R]

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by olephill2, Dec 3, 2022.

  1. usfootball20

    usfootball20 Member+

    May 15, 2012
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree, I have other posts today saying we should consider having 1 more defensive FB next cycle (all is subject to system / coach / player development)
     
    Boysinblue and butters59 repped this.
  2. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I almost mentioned that in my original post, but as I remember, if we had beat Germany and advanced to the semifinals, we would have been in a real world of sh*t in terms of defender availability. :) Jeff Agoos was out injured, and I believe we would have been without Eddie Pope, Gregg Berhalter and Pablo Mastroeni due to yellow card accumulation. We likely would have needed to start Llamosa and David Regis at CB in our semifinal game (with Tony Sanneh and Frankie Hejduk as the FBs), or fielded a 3-5-2.
     
  3. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    Completely agree. He's a solid backup 6 (maybe better than solid if you let him take set pieces, especially if Reyna doesn't happen to be on the field), IMO a very underrated LB, and a solid 75th-80th minute defensive sub at the 8. He can also start at the 8 or play RB, but you don't really want him doing either of those things except in an emergency.

    As far as depth in central midfield at both positions, the good news is that we have a few years to see how things play out and lots of bites at the apple in varying stages of their career development--in no particular order LDLT, Johnny, Pomykal, Williamson, McGlynn, Paxten Aaronson, Busio, Tessman, Leyva, Vargas, RBW. If we can get 3-4 legitimate WC caliber players by 2026 from that group (along with others I'm likely forgetting) I think we're in good shape. And Acosta himself will turn 31 likely a few weeks after the next WC ends and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him sticking around in an elder statesman/defensive utility role, especially if we still have 26 man rosters.
     
    Elninho repped this.
  4. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    Yep, we would've been in rough shape....although there was some debate back then as to how injured Agoos really was (as opposed to a face saving way to bench him after he was absolutely brutal in the group stage). Maybe if we beat Germany he has a miraculous recovery for the semis, even if just "he's available off the bench if one of the starters gets hurt".
     
    olephill2 repped this.
  5. JUnionFan

    JUnionFan Member+

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Sep 30, 2020
    Honestly if we continue with the 4-3-3 (and I really hope we don't or at least, I hope we seriously entertain alternative styles and Plan Bs) we need upgrades across most positions.

    We need to continue to develop goal dangerous and direct wingers. Which young players fit that bill? Pulisic is obviously great, but going to be taking a step down in terms of Club carrier soon. Weah is a limited Ligue 1 backup who has only 3 starts this season. Aaronson and Reyna are a round peg in a square hole at these positions.

    Obviously we need a MUCH better striker if we are going to continue with this.

    Our FBs are good ... but they can be better. Either Robinson and Dest learn more defensive awareness or we develop better ones in 4 years.

    And CBs? One CB is going to be 39 and most likely retired in 4 years, and the other is a 28 year old MLS lifer (and nothing against MLS, Zimmerman can possibly still play a role in 2026). We are going to need to reinforce that position with good passers who can ALSO defend in space. Those don't exactly grow on trees.

    And as this thread is already discussing, our 8 options are thin and we only have 1 great 6 who can play in this system.

    Bottom line is that people assume that its going to be nothing but positive, upwards developments over the next 4 years. But in reality things ebb and flow and who knows where these players will be.
     
    adam tash repped this.
  6. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Part of the problem with our depth is that a lot of our players that would have been much better depth or fill ins with a less aggressive tactical plan are much more exposed playing the way we play with starters.

    In other words, it was far easier for Beckerman to fill in with a team that was absorbing and countering than it is for Kellyn Acosta to play possession ball and control the midfield.

    The talent pool is increasing but we're in a weird place where a lot of the useful depth is less useful when we play to our core's strengths.
     
  7. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Of these, LDLT was on the roster and we had high hopes for Busio in this cycle. But LDLT's fitness is uncertain -- he was listed as injured for the Wales game, and although he wasn't on the injury list after that, he might not have been 100% for the rest of the tournament. Busio just wasn't ready when we saw him with the USMNT, and he was inconsistent with Venezia in Serie A. I don't know how he's done in Serie B. But he's only 20.
     
    Mantis Toboggan M.D. repped this.
  8. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The core of the roster should be:

    Turner Slonina
    Dest Scally Jedi
    Zimmerman M. Robinson
    Adams Reyna Musah McKennie
    B Aaronson
    Pulisic Weah

    You urgently need to find more cover at CB, cover at LB and a striker.
     
    Dervos and JUnionFan repped this.
  9. nbarbour

    nbarbour Member+

    Jun 19, 2006
    Washington DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our player pool screams (begs!) for a 4-2-3-1 to be our primary or at least secondary setup.

    But, alas.
     
  10. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    This is true. Not everyone is going to get better, injuries will happen and not all improvement is incremental.

    But let's also not get all negative. Most of our players should improve, and will improve on average. There will be good surprises to offset bad surprises.

    There's not a lot of reason to believe the talent pipeline is stopping, and filling in the depth is going to have added benefit for us because we may get a larger diversity of skillsets.

    It's incorrect to assume every gets much better, but the odds are that both a) our core improves, even if only in terms of tactics, composure, etc and b) as we cycle out the lost generation, we will fill in with better prime age players and supplement with youth stars.

    We're not going to be Brazil and probably not even the Dutch in terms of quality across the board, but we will be deeper for sure and hopefully several of our top players will be more productive.

    As for the 433 ... I wouldn't worry. Earnie does want it as a base, but we played 4231 and 442 in this tourney. That's before we get to the seventeen variations on a 433. There's just way too much focus here compared to impact.

    I mean, here's a 433, rotated to attack that you may like:

    Pulisic ------- CF -------- Weah
    ------Aaronson----Reyna-------
    -------Adams--------Dest--------
    Def LB-----CB--------CB--------

    Lots of attacking 433s out there. BTW -- this is basically a hyper aggressive version of our tactical set up from 2019. A more reasonable one would be this:

    Pulisic ------- CF -------- Weah
    ------Reyna-----McK/Mus-------
    -------Adams--------Dest--------
    ---Def LB-----CB--------CB-----
     
    JUnionFan repped this.
  11. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    I'd add Richards to that.

    I'd also pencil in Sargent and Pepi without writing off anyone else. I'm intrigued by the two speedy striker set up, but I think that takes you down a specific road very early in a cycle. I'd rather that be an option than the solo plan.
     
  12. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is true, but we now have a much wider talent pipeline than before, and an already good young core to build around. In the past, we used to pin our hopes much more on individual prospects because there were so few of them. Now it doesn't feel like we need any single player to pan out, we just need a few from a larger group.
     
    adam tash repped this.
  13. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    It is one of the main questions to be answered in the next couple years. Can we play with mids outside the MMA mold. I'm not advocating we move away from the MMA midfield. But I am curious how the likes of Reyna, Aaronson, Ledezma and Pomykal fit into our setup.

    Obviously you give up some defense. But there might be some compensating gains. In another thread, I alluded to being able to vary our style of play. We obviously want to retain the option of playing the MMA way. But surely we need to see how a midfield with a different mix works.
     
    Mr Martin, nobody and gogorath repped this.
  14. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Wussconsin
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    CF: Pepi, Vazquez/Pefok if you bring Wright as a target, maybe could have taken 1 more. This was a big faux pas.

    W's: These picks and quantities were fine. Morris and Arriola were nitpicking. Morris was barely used. Played fine when he was. I'd argue he should have played longer bench stints to impact.

    CAM's: Mihailovic, dropped in '19 after that Jamaica game ARob sucked in, maybe Sonora; I think we needed to be open to using 1 w/ Gio & BA to keep MMA fresh if nothing else

    CM's: Williamson, Pomykal, Parks deserved a shot; if 1 panned out they could have spelled a member or two of MMA for a game or two in group that have been huge. Locked ourselves into singular, flawed, injured LDLT, over-invested in Roldan, and miscast Acosta. Also contributed to Acosta not being used to spell Adams.

    CDM's: Sands, EPB, both could have doubled as 5th CB, we took neither. And as aforementioned, Acosta was drawn away from here.

    FB's: Tolkin, Paredes (became injured, but GGG never used him), D. Jones, Araujo, Hollingshead, effectively Scally; this position was managed awfully and it hurt us.

    CB's: just needed 1 more, preferably a speed guy, though this didn't pose a problem until v Dutch. Not that I think Zimmerman-Ream wasn't the best we had in the end.

    GK's: this was fine in the end, after all the rightful concern about Steffen's usage

    There was realistic room for improvement in most spots, namely in a couple where the lack of freshness killed us, and another where none were particularly the answer but the alternatives showed more promise.

    Hoping the next manager does better in this regard, though I think he'll have way more margin for error at that stage in our development. Don't have a time machine to know how these changes would have impacted the outcome this time around. All you can do is maximize the resources you have.
     
    xbhaskarx repped this.
  15. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    All legit.

    Another question: can you simultaneously get good with gameplans made to beat lesser foes and much more talented foes?

    I think our talent will be good in 2026, but I don't think it will be Brazil. So do we build entirely for the WC? Or do we build a more diverse set of gameplans knowing that we're not likely to use some at the WC or at least knockouts.
     
  16. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    I think the two questions are related. We need more midfield creativity (even at the cost of some defense) against weaker teams.

    Guys like Ledezma, Paredes, Tillman and Pomykal should greatly improve our depth. Getting Balogun would be big. I like our crop of young fullback prospects. Scally, Reynolds, Gomez, Tolkin and Wiley are likely to make it our most loaded position.

    But we don't have a mega prospect on the way until Nimfasha Berchimas, who will be 18 come the next WC. Probably too young.
     
    gogorath repped this.
  17. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It feels like we have a good core, but we need to get our depth to the level that there isn’t as much as a drop off when they come in. Particularly at fullback and in the midfield.
     
  18. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don’t know if I’d include Zimmerman just because of his age, and we need to see how Miles Robinson recovers from injury.

    Agree with those who say we need to include Richards.

    The hope at left back is Tolkin or Paredes.

    At center back we at least have some options who will hopefully continue to develop (CCV, EPB, McKenzie, and Miazga among others).
     
  19. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If I could pick this roster again I’d probably have done something like this (and some of this is projection as we haven’t seen all these guys with the national team)

    GK:Turner, Horvath, Johnson
    LB: Jedi, Tolkin
    RB: Dest, Yedlin, Scally
    CB: Zimmerman, Ream, CCV, McKenzie
    DM: Adams, Acosta
    CM: McKennie, Musah, Williamson, Pomykal, Tillman
    WF: Pulisic, Weah, Aaronson, Reyna
    FW: Pepi, Sargent, Pefok, Vazquez

    The center mids are a ton of projection, but I’m assuming LDLT wasn’t good to go and I don’t think Berhalter was comfortable throwing Roldan on at any point. Also would have just taken 4 forwards with one of the extra roster spots. I’d also be completely comfortable switching out Booth or Mihailovic for either of Williamson or Pomykal given these are both speculative picks.
     
    xbhaskarx and Kirium repped this.
  20. Winoman

    Winoman Drinkin' Wine Spo-De-O-De!

    Jul 26, 2000
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A lot of folks seem to be forgetting about Sam Vines at left back. He was doing well in Belgium until he was injured before the WC. He should be in the mix, too.
     
  21. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well he was clearly injured for the World Cup. There was no way he was going to be on the roster even if Berhalter wanted to include him.
     
  22. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #47 xbhaskarx, Dec 5, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
    Okay but this is close to the roster some of us had without the benefit of hindsight... mine:

    GOALKEEPERS (3): Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath, Gabriel Slonina

    DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergiño Dest, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, DeAndre Yedlin, Erik Palmer-Brown

    MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Gio Reyna, Djordje Mihailovic

    FORWARDS (8): Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Jordan Morris, Josh Sargent, Brandon Vazquez, Ricardo Pepi, Malik Tillman​

    Yedlin as the sole WC vet is the "vibes guy who doesn't actually play"... didn't consider Tolkin since we never got to see him, so due to Gregg's mismanagement we both have the same number of left backs.

    The only guys I'd swap out now are LDLT (knowing he wasn't going to play) and Morris (wasn't good)... For that forward spot, I'm not a big Pefok guy, so even now with the benefit of hindsight I'm not sure what I would do instead (Ferreira never even in consideration for me as his biggest doubter), probably just stick with Morris and not play him. For the midfield spot, I've been a loud and proud Pomykal and Parks guy for years, but they weren't in the pool (once again I'm hamstrung by Gregg!) so not in consideration, instead I would have gone with Williamson. Booth would be pure hindsight bias (and of course he likely doesn't win Eredivisie player of the month if he's in Qatar) and certainly wasn't on my radar...

    I don't think my roster is unreasonable, I'm no genius and I don't have any special knowledge, Gregg should have been able to get there.
     
  23. 50/50 Ball

    50/50 Ball Member+

    Sep 6, 2006
    USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cristian Roldan outperforms all the other MLS players mentioned. He's played basically every minute of 4 MLS Cup final runs and the CCL. If you offered Seattle Pomykal, Williamson or Acosta they might not even be nice. They might be nice before saying no to Djordge.

    The fact that Gregg has no plan or ability to use isn't Roldan's fault. We couldn't break down the Iran midfield featuring a guy playing in Dubai and a guy playing in Persia but our reigning CCL champ is so bad a player he can't give you 15 minutes in the group stage? That's ridiculous.

    You could have easily dropped him and Acosta into a double pivot and they're probably better and more responsible defenders than exhausted Musah or Weston or Aaronson as an 8.

    It's wild that we've literally never in 2 years seen this look deployed.
     
  24. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    At the end of the day Berhalter doesn't trust Roldan enough to throw him on in a World Cup game. He didn't even really during qualifying either. Roldan might be a better player in MLS for Seattle, but that doesn't always translate internationally for a variety of reasons and he may not be as good a system fit compared to some of the others.

    I don't have a problem bringing a guy at the end of the roster for vibes/culture purposes, but the last guy on the roster appear to have been Scally and we needed minutes from whoever was in Roldan's position.
     
  25. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I don't really know if he's wrong about anything. I really wonder what might have happened if LDLT had stayed in the Netherlands and just moved to a bigger club, and if Williamson had not gotten injured and had said injury basically wipe out qualifying relevance if memory serves.

    Developing CM's behind those guys is HUGE.

    Malik Tillman
    Reyna as a CM
    The Aaronsons
    Caden Clark whose star has fallen badly since his surgery 18 months ago.
    Williamson
    Tessman
    Obed Vargas
    Daniel Edelman, a ton of other guys I'm forgetting.

    Whats frustrating is so much of our talent continues to bubble up in duplicative area's and the handful of guys who tend to fit holes fall off, plateau, or get hurt or all of the above.

    A lot can happen in the next 3 years and needs to. I don't think we find a new striker unless Balogun comes over, so its on the current crop to figure this out (to me, Pepi and Sargent in particular, Wright to a lesser extent).

    CM, CB, LB depth is really big going forward, as is Gaga panning out so we have two legit keepers again for the first time in a decade.
     
    gogorath repped this.

Share This Page