So what did we learn from US v Cuba ? [R]

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Dr Jay, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 7, 1999
    Newton, MA USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Enough teeth gnashing, Bruce's head calling, and Casey bashing....

    Mission accomplished...3 points from a weak opponent to open a long tournament while vetting some newbies and resting some vets.

    Here is the main thing I think we learned...

    1. While we have "depth", our A players are better than our C players. (as my 9 year old daughter would say "No...duh") However reading some posts on the board, it seems that this point is lost on some. Come on people, Davis does not equal Donovan, right ? What did you expect ?

    Corollary # 1 to above - our C team would have a hard time qualifying out of Concacaf

    Corollary # 2 to above - We only have a few players who have true creativity in attack. And very few of them were in the starting line up last night. The performance we saw last night prior to the 3 subs was not so much the US being outplayed, but rather a lack of creativity, first touch, penetrating striker's runs and opportunistic finishing by our C players.

    The US wasn't outplayed at all. But we were matched by our opponent's athleticism and our starters struggled to put them away.


    As for some individual's play, no need to repeat the players ratings. Suffice it to say that a player who struggled to excell against Cuba will not help us in Germany.


    2. Dempsey looks more and more like he belongs on the A/B + team.

    3. For reasons that perhpas some else can explain, DMB seems to do much better playing an outside forward role for PSV than for US.



    Overall, it was a frustrating game to watch as a pure fan (until the last 6 minutes) but from an objective view - mission accomplished.
     
  2. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Because he is playing wide receiver for PSV and a point guard for the USMNT.

    And if he hogged the ball with van Bommel, Park and Cocu on the field, he'd have his Coke poisoned in Eindhoven.

    BTW, I think the US would qualify out of the current CONCACAF with a "C" line-up ... just not this "C" line-up.
     
  3. smock7

    smock7 Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    New York City
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?


    At PSV he was a wide forward. That team had such an intact midfield held by Van Bommel that they could afford to send their forward guys Beasley/Farfan and Park) wide so that VofH, their service man was more or less a lone forward in the middle. Beasely would always start his attack wide and come in. I still don't consider him a forward. He belongs on the wing. His crosses have dramatically improved since Europe the space out there allows for his speed to take hold.

    In saying that, why doesn't Bruce do the same thing? We all saw him in the middle of the field last night - he looked lost. Put him on the flank up front and he is a constant menace.
     
  4. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    In regards to the new players (Davis, Conrad, Quaranta), relatively inexperienced players (Dempsey, Casey, Gooch) and the older guys who haven't played much for the team lately (Olsen, Armas, Sanneh) this game set a standard for better or worse. How they respond in future games will be very interesting. Can they raise their games? How much was due to nervousness last night? (Folks here do realize that this tournament will allow us to see all the players multiple times?)
     
  5. ctruppi

    ctruppi Member

    May 7, 1999
    Annandale, NJ
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    What I learned from this is game is:

    -DMB needs to be wide. We saw this in '02, we've seen this at PSV and we've recently seen it in WCQ. Bruce is doing a disservice to DMB and the team if he's not wide (with the obvious freedom to pinch and roam as he sses fit).

    -Armas (and his type of player) is finished. The USMNT has evolved beyond the days of a hard tackling, horrible passing DMF. Just for kicks, I started counting all the bad passes from Armas. I stopped in the 23rd minute and was up to 5. That is too much from that position in an entire game. Please, no more Mike Sorbers or Richie Williams or Chris Armas. Give us a guy that can win some balls and actually complete a pass. There must be some young, unproven guy in that position that has more upside than Armas that could have received a test vs a weak opponent last night.

    -Hedjuk, no matter how often many of us write him off, just keeps coming back. HE WILL BE IN GERMANY NEXT SUMMER (barring an injury). Although each individual part of his game has deficiencies, he does enough good things in all area that make him useful. He tracked back at full speed a few times as a last tackle to stop Cuban opportunities. He overlpped deep on the flank several times. He dribbled into the box and made several dangerous crosses. The one shot Casey took in the box, would have been a much better choice to tap it to a streaking, wide open Frankie flying through the box.

    -Why does Casey keep getting chances? Ever since the Australia Olympics when we were screaming for his removal and the inclusion of LD, this guy keeps getting time and keeps playing horribly. Hell, if he was bad but had a knack for scoring (Italy's Inzaghi comes to mind), you could understand. Like the DMF position, there has to be a young gun whio deserves a shot at this point.

    -Quaranta, while inconsistent, showed enough to get another shot. I wouldn't mind seeing him with the A team!

    -Dempsey was impressive despite some poor finishing. This kid is becoming more of a lock for Germany every game.
     
  6. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    We learned that we should take all the stuff about how the U.S. is soooo much deeper than 5 years ago with a mountain of salt.

    Even Bruce Arena does that, laughing at the lineups that he used to play back in the dark ages of '99.

    Bruce, you played: Conor Casey, Ben Olsen, 34 year old Tony Sanneh, Frankie Heyduk, and 34 year old Chris Armas. Not to mention Conrad & Brad Davis, who also might end up on the international scrap heap. Who are you shitting, man? The time to laugh was last night.
     
  7. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Clive's boy. This is a "who you know" business.
     
  8. regulator

    regulator Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    i liked davis' play last night, he actually showed creativity in a midfield that lacked any (until LD came in).

    i dont know why most people are gushing over quaranta. he had a decent game, but also showed his lack of experience at the international level (bad passes, running at defenders and losing the ball). he has potential, but hopefully the next few games will show us if hes ready for the next level. however, if he improves his play, i think he would be a definite improvement over ralston at that position.

    dempsey had a good game, he should def. make the 06 wc roster.

    conrad and the rest of the D had little to do, except for the one goal, which sanneh F*ed up on.

    speaking of sanneh...please, leave him and armas, AND olsen, off the roster. if u want leadership, bring reyna.
     
  9. Jay510

    Jay510 Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    Gadsden Purchase, AZ
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    We learned:

    1. That Olsen and Sanneh are too slow to play on this level anymore

    2. We learned that Dempsey has a nose for the game and will only get better.

    3. We learned that without all our best players, we may struggle sometimes, so pray for no injuries next summer.

    4. We learned that Arena thinks the Gold Cup is worthless
     
  10. Serie Zed

    Serie Zed Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    Arlington
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Casey does a lot of the same things McBride does, only more forcefully and a bit slower.

    Why people continue to imply that Arena "plays favorites" when he's won every single place he's ever coached and he continues to look at players at the furthest edges of the Nats pool is hard to explain.
     
  11. DonCorleone

    DonCorleone New Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    NY state.
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    i would rather put Felheiber instead of Armas there...
     
  12. DonCorleone

    DonCorleone New Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    NY state.
    You never know what Bruce has in mind right now, maybe he says, why the heck i called Saneh armas and olsen for ?
     
  13. DonCorleone

    DonCorleone New Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    NY state.
    guys remember the team that beat colombia 3-0 in a friendly recently ? i think those are decent second string's players we have....
     
  14. gnatfan

    gnatfan Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    When I was watching this game I remembered one of the videos that was on ussoccer Bruce was working on getting the team to concentrate on one touch passes. It seemed like we did that throughout the game when perhaps some one player ball possession/attacking runs would have been a good tactical plan. This may be nitpickky but I thought we could have done with some more individual ball control as I watched time after time us feed an attempted through ball to the opposing team.
     
  15. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Wouldn't say that Conor Casey is a Bruce favorite so much as a guy helped by being inside the network.

    Very good college player. Career boosted by being selected for Olympic team by his college coach. Assisted by this PR boost, he got a contract in Germany. Has done well enough to hang on in Germany, never looks like much of a star. But because he plays in Germany and is something of a known quantity, he'll periodically get looks by the U.S. coaching staff.

    It's a quietly corrupt little process, this deal where college coaches attract talent in part because of their willingness to use their influence to do favors for their players. Ditto for ODP.

    Such favoritism isn't among the world's great evils, but I'm happy to toss some acid its way when I get the chance.
     
  16. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    McBride wins a much higher percentage of headers than Casey. That may be timing rather than force, but Casey hardly imposed himself physically on Cuba's backline. Cuba's defenders showed good athleticism, and it would have been very impressive if Casey had been winning a ton of longball headers, but he didn't.

    McBride in place of Casey would easily have meant three or four more good opportunities, particularly when we were struggling for offensive rhythm early in the game.
     
  17. surfcam

    surfcam Member

    Sep 8, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    True statements! It was a tough match to watch for the first 85 minutes! There was almost no communication between the players and poor passing.

    And DMB last night, regardless of his best position to play at, was pretty poor on the ball. He started to find his groove at the end though.
     
  18. PSsoccer123

    PSsoccer123 New Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    First of all, this was like our D or F team, except for Beasely and Dempsey. I would have liked to see something more like:
    Burciaga Jr. Gooch Marshall Spector
    O'Brien Dempsey Rico/Feilhaber Quaranta
    Buddle Rolfe
    With Adu coming off the bench. I know many of you will think Adu, Rolfe, Buddle, Rico/Feilhaber aren't ready, but they probably would have played better than the team out there today. Not only that, but we are never going to use most of the team from last night again, so we should have used a team of players with pretty good chances to make 06 (Dempsey, Marshall, Spector, O'Brien) and players for the future (Quaranta, Rico/Feilhaber, Adu, Rolfe, Buddle, Burciaga Jr.) Gooch is a lock if healthy I think, but he needs more experience with the team.

    This game showed the lack of depth the team has, and further highlighted Bruce's stubborness in wanting to play his players from 3, 4 and 5 years ago. The best players out there until the substitutions were Dempsey and Quaranta. They passed and dribbled pretty well, but in front of goal they were awful. Donovan came in and showed them how to do it. This showed how important Donovan is to the team. He's the only one who can make goals for himself and consistently score every game. It's pretty sad though that he's the only one who can do it against the likes of Cuba. Maybe GAM fits in that category too.
     
  19. IamtheShark

    IamtheShark New Member

    Mar 8, 2001
    Springfield, IL
    -Chris Armas is still effective in his role. I watched him closely, knowing full well he'd be the subject of much MMQB-ing, and he won everything, played balls quickly and rarely turned it over.

    -Sanneh can still do it once he wakes up. After the goal, he stepped it up a notch. Don't know if we can afford a defensive sub who takes 20 minutes to get into the game, though. Give me Ugo.

    -Q and Davis are very interesting.

    -Conrad is solid.

    -Wolff's game doesn't get enough respect.
     
  20. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Glad you mentioned him ... this game highlights how damn important Eddie Johnson is to this team. Aside from Donovan, who is needed in the midfield, we have no scoring forwards aside from Eddie. He would have made a big difference in the first half had he been up top, because until Beasley made that 43rd minute pass to Dempsey our forwards were entirely ineffective.
     
  21. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Re: So what did we learn from US v Cuba ?

    Agreed on all points.
     
  22. elbita

    elbita New Member

    May 4, 2005
    London
    i think bruce shows all the traits people mention, sometimes simultaneously.
    he tries lots of new guys; he sticks with old guys.

    he did give caps to three new players last night, and gave another game to another keeper, and got o'brien back in. they might not be the three some people wanted, or in the way people wanted, but there they were. he also played old guys. after this tournament it seems like he'll be able to permanently scratch several names off the list. removing guys from the list could be a positive development. not as exciting as finding a new prospect, but part of the roster selection process.

    anyway, i agree with the 'play the young guys' crowd. sanneh, olsen, and armas can't be anything more than "players who make the roster after a pandemic of injuries". since that's the case, why even look now? i'd rather see the group of "players who might seem unlikely today but could step it up in a big way before next summer".
     
  23. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 7, 1999
    Newton, MA USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But what I really don't get about Bruce playing the oldsters is the situation. I can see and agree with playing Cobi, Sanneh, Armas, and Vanney when we are qualifying in San Salvador in front of a rabidly anti-US crowd and a dubious ref. That is when the experience vs youth argument has legs.

    But come on... the Gold Cup, at home, against Cuba. Sorry Bruce...this is where you trot out the future, not the past.
     
  24. Jay510

    Jay510 Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    Gadsden Purchase, AZ
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    anyone know if JOB will get the start tomorrow?
     
  25. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Speaking of JOB, one thing we learned from his brief appearance is that he's still a prince with the ball at his feet.
     

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