Small Consolation [WYC R]

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by dark knight, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    What do Egypt, Germany, Colombia, Spain, Brazil and Nigeria have in common?

    BTW - it's too bad that Nigeria's defense had 2 moments of madness because they put on a very entertaining display of dribbling and attacking in the Final.
     
  2. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    More than "small consolation." The US team needs to look at the good side of this. They defeated the eventual winner! Moreover, they deserved the win. They are every bit as good as Argentina, although perhaps not in tournament play where more depth and consistency are required. Interesting to see Messi in this game. Nice dribbler, but I like Adu's smoothness better. Love to see the two of them on the same team!! Adu's passing seems better than Messi's, Messi sure likes to go at the goal and positions himself really well. Hope the two of them get to play together at some point. And, Adu needs to come up to Messi's level of coolness taking PKs.
     
  3. chad

    chad Member+

    Jun 24, 1999
    Manhattan Beach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What I take from this is not consolation, but more disappointment that somehow our talented squad failed to live up to what it was capable. It is agravating to have so much talent, to put yourselves in positions to win, and then fail to.

    Our kids ARE good -- that's why we get so upset. It isn't that we don't support them or are hoping they fail to make ourselves feel better about ourselves in some twisted anti-hero worship. We expect things from them because they CAN do it.

    One thing from this WYC is that we know we have good players, so it is not the old US story that our skill that let us down, but that our preparations, coaching, and attitude did. And that is more worrisome.
     
  4. USvsIRELAND

    USvsIRELAND Member+

    Jul 19, 2004
    ATL
    So so true.
     
  5. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    I just look at it as a tournament which was very tight after the elimination stage was over because there were several teams that could have won it, not just the two finalists.

    But this is what separates wheat from chaff. Tough squads battle through, weaker teams fade away.

    Now the US knows what East Germany'74 team felt like.
     
  6. russ

    russ Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Canton,NY
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well,not the first time that ths has happened to an African team in a FIFA competition.

    Do they just not call penalties for tripping in Africa?I mean,hell the Argies didn't even have to dive :) .

    In the 3/4 game,the Moroccan keeper threatened to make the deciding blunder all game,but waited till the last five minutes to mispunch and let Brazil tie and go on to win two minutes later.

    I think either African team would have been very hard for us to beat.But we could have been on the field when they beat themselves.
     
  7. purojogo

    purojogo Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    US/Peru home
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let's give Argentina credit too.... They bounced back and won this thing...
    And Messi showed great poise in the FRIGGING FINAL on the two PKs... the kind of poise that Adu did not show on his......

    As to how talented we were... yeah, we beat Argentina.... I'm just still not convinced as to how offensive our team actually was or could have been...seeing we were unable to score with any regularity throughout the whole tourney..... And with no goals scored regularly, i'm not that convinced if we really could have gotten very, very far.... Although our D might have helped us accomplish this, had they kept playing solid.....
     
  8. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Before we get too carried away with ourselves here, a few corrections are in order. Argentina are a better team than the US. So what happened in that game? Well, the biggest factor was that the US defense played a fantastic game as did Westburg. Full credit to them. Second, Messi only played the 2nd half, but was very dangerous. Third, the US were lucky to get a victory instead of a draw, because Gustavo Oberman hit the post in minute 20, beating Westburg in the process. Also, losing Spector in the first half may have been a blessing.

    On balance, a draw would have been a fair result. It was Argentina's first and worst game of the tournament, and our best.

    Against Italy, our attack was completely inept, our defensive mids were non-existent, and our defense got flooded with Italian attackers. Add to this that we looked tired in the 2nd half and failed to adjust tactically to Italy's changes in midfield.

    I think US fitness was questionable. I wonder if they had a strong aerobic base for this tournament. Our player selection and tactics were dreadful. I blame Sigi. :mad:
     
  9. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    For me, Nigeria and Argentina were clearly the 2 best teams in the tournament. Nigeria may have been the best team overall, but a lack of discipline in the final doomed them.
     
  10. DutchFootballRulez

    Jul 15, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nigeria like Argentina, Italy, Morocco and Holland, got better as the tournament went along. That just wasn't true with the US, and that's Sigi's fault in the end. But its not inherently his fault alone.

    Obi Mikel did a great job linking defense to midfield to the final third but the Nigerian strikers weren't efficient enough.
     
  11. USvsIRELAND

    USvsIRELAND Member+

    Jul 19, 2004
    ATL
    Agreed.
     
  12. jri

    jri Red Card

    Sep 28, 2000
    boca
    Stunning that fitness and Sigi would not fit in the same sentence.. :)
     
  13. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Many U-20 squads came into the tournament with nary a practice time and had to get used to one another during the tournament itself. Thus, they couldn't help but improve as they went along.

    But this lack of disciple is fairly endemic to Nigeria. Look how many times their players took wild shots even though one more pass would have set up their team mate for a far greater opportunity.

    I'd agree with some of that but the US did have their chances, fewer than the Italians had but a sufficient number to stay in the game.

    I'd compare that match with the senior squad vs. Costa Rica that took place at Utah last month. Both sides had great opportunities to score but the US converted three of its chances while Kasey Keller made 3-4 great saves.

    In this game, the US could only convert a PK after a retry while Gaven's, Ochoa's and Barett's (twice) attempts were stoned. Now, none of these chances was as clinically taken as Donovan's or McBride's goals for the senior team but Viviano did make great saves on them also. In this sense, he became their Keller. From four excellent run-of-play opportunities, he didn't allow a goal.

    On the other end, the US luck just ran out in the 2nd half. This happens from time to time. Sometimes a better team loses. This was not the case per se vs. Italy as the US was not the best team on the pitch that day but with a few different bounces, it could have come away with the victory.

    And I would still say, Sigi's failing notwithstanding, that the US still comes up short player wise compared to the others countries, whose U-20s are already established pros. If someone like Sigi makes a mistake of not selecting a top available young MLS regular like Alvarez or Bradley - and we have given no mention to Jay Denny, who just may have been another capable ballhandler in the middle of the field that the US was missing - then the bench is just not there to cover up for other deficiencies.
     
  14. DutchFootballRulez

    Jul 15, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eventhough Nigeria and Argentina appeared to be the best teams, they still had failings. Argentina's defense was definitely not as good as Nigeria's, or probably Germany's, hell, even our was better.

    After the US victory and problems versus Germany, the Argentina coach made a tweak or adjustment. Playing Messi closer to Oberman as a support striker instead of behind 2 strikers. We appeared the take the "Well, we didn't allow any goals, so why change" approach, instead of the "one goal isn't good enough" approach. Which is aptly-termed 'Sigiball'
     
  15. s0ccerguy

    s0ccerguy Member

    Mar 25, 2004

    Since you blame Sigi and his player selection, are there any players who were on the roster who should not have been considering the enormous group of talent at the u20 level that was left off the world cup roster? Any players who you thought should have been there?
     
  16. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Player selection is only one element of his failings. And player selection is not just about who you take to Holland, but who you play and where you play them.

    Playing Spector after his injury and destroying the chemistry between Sturgis, Ianni, Wynne, and Freeman was a major, major blunder. USA gave up no goals in the first round. Starting Spector was the logical choice for the first match, but when he went down, and after 2 2/3 games w/o him, he had to take a backseat to Sturgis. This is not hindsight. This was obvious before the Italy match. It is one of the golden rules of sport. At the very least I would have brought in Sturgis in the 2nd half.

    Then there was the midfield. We had a midfield with only 1 defender - Feilhaber. We needed to control the midfield against Italy, and a 4-5-1 was called for after the first half. Dalby was a liability at D-Mid. We needed a different player. Obviously the exclusion of Alvarez and Bradley were questionable. I'm not sure what happened with Jay Denny, but maybe he had committments with Shrewsbury.
     
  17. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I am thinking Sigi may have just not had enough experience. But guess what? NO American coach does. Bruce stumbled onto a system in 2002 that worked. Maybe all the USMNTs should use it.

    I just watched Arg/Spain Quarterfinal. 2 clear first choice players (Oberman, Gago) watched the first half. Biglia DNP. Against SPAIN! In the Quarterfinal! It is clear the Arg coach came in knowing what needed to be done in terms of man-management to win the tournament.

    Seems like Sigi selected a normal roster based upon his previous experience - first 11 + supersub + 2 (1 Def/1 Attack) game management reserves. He didn't want star quality players festering on his bench creating problems for his team chemistry. I remember reading the bit on MLSnet where Sigi said as much.

    Having this experience now - and seeing how Arg won and BA did so well to have a fresh team against Ger in '02 - it seems you have got to show up with at least 17 starting field players. And you have to have a plan that utilizes (read starts)them all. Basically speaking you have to plan to play through the final with a FRESH team.

    Thoughts?
     
  18. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Mexico and Argentina were fried for their last game at the Confed Cup. Germany wasn't, as Klinsi played about 17 players, rotating his forwards most of all.

    Brazil didn't look tired but they didn't expand that much energy in their group games but IMO, their short rotation on the offensive end (Kaka, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Robinho and a late Juninho P. sub) will end up hurting them at about quarters time, if they get challenged in the early games.

    The U-20s were harder to judge because a lot of those squads were just coming together prior to the tournament and the rotation was due simply to some players being in in better shape or just gelling better with the rest of the teammates.

    Of course, the US U-20 was bound to get tired because Eddie Gaven just finished playing with a cast on his hand - the world according to Sigi. :rolleyes:

    To look on the other side of the issue, Nigeria did not look gased at all. Go figure.
     
  19. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Nigeria started about 15-16 players during the tournament and got the advantage of a yawner semi-final.

    So our theory still holds up!
     
  20. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    MK, no disrespect intended, but I think you need to go back and rewatch the game. We had at least as many near-misses as Argentina, and we completely outplayed them. Maybe Argentina is a better team than the US, but they weren't when they played us. We outplayed them and deserved the win.

    The consolation I take from this tournament is that it looks like we have at least 2 players who are going to be huge for the US team in the coming years - Feilhaber and Wynne - that weren't even part of the picture before the tournament began. My hope for each youth national team is that we develop 4-5 players who can go on to make an impact at the senior level. With this U20 team, there's little doubt that Eddie Gaven, Freddy Adu, Jonathan Spector, Feilhaber and Wynne will go on to do good things with the senior team. I think Barrett will as well. And a kid like Sturgis might surprise us, too. Let's not forget about Tim Ward, who was hands down the best player not on the field for the US.

    So from this team we see about 5-6 players who at some point will probably have roles to play with the US team, probably starting right after 2006. Not too shabby.
     
  21. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member+

    Jul 6, 2000
    add michael bradley to that list. most people think that he is our best dmid in this age group, and should have been on that team. he probably would have made a difference, and very likely will be on the senior team sometime in the future.
     
  22. The Big Ticket

    The Big Ticket New Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    MN -> UIUC
    Westberg was terrible in that game. He looked lost on every set piece. The Argentines just couldn't hit the target.
     
  23. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, that was it. The Argentina game was much like the Italy game, only the Argentines couldn't shoot and the Italians had Pelle + two U.S. own goals.

    I thought that we were an extremely consistent team, with the same strengths (good starts to each game, Marvel & Benny, well disclinplined) and the same weaknesses (faded in 2nd half, couldn't adjust to other teams' tactcial changes, struggled against high pressure) throughout the tournament. To an extent, the actual scores were accidents. The Argentine and Italy games were far more similar than their very dissimilar scores would suggest.
     

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