Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Mason16, Jun 29, 2005.
Photos only here:
thats on the Nike Campus in Oregon
I'll try to get a peep later today... anyone have a schedule?
Gooch is one HUGE man.
Casey is also pretty damn big. Look at him next to Gooch.
Does everyone else get just basically...nothing from the "official" site?
Ben Olsen must collect those vintage GI Joe figures, you know the ones with the crew cut beard, too? Maybe the guy that came with the white tiger, remember? Of course when I had them, they weren't vintage....
Wesdnesday Morning Practice
Just got back from morning practice.
Nice sunny day; high around 72. I got there a little late and the team was playing six on six with the squad divided into three teams. Uhhh, let's see if I can name the teams:
Yellow- Donovan, Dempsey, Quaranta, Pope, Davis, Conrad?
Red- Olsen, JOB, Casey, Hedjuk, Vanney, Cherundolo, Armas (I know that's 7. Oh dear.)
Blue- Noonan, Ralston, Sanneh, Beasley, Mastroeni, Gooch
The two GK's playing (Hahneman and Reis) stayed in their goals regardless of the teams playing. I didn't see Keller. Wolff was jogging along the field. I know I don't have the teams quite right but, really there's nothing to be ascertained by their makeup. No team dominated in the two games they played. On a fifty? yard field, each team had a guy up top (Casey, Quaranta, Noonan) a couple in the back, a guy in the middle and a couple of wingers. Sort of. Things, naturally were pretty fluid though for such a small field and you would see Gooch, say, dribble upfield (10 yards) and shoot.
I'm sure the coaching staff, more used to seeing most of these players under these conditions, got more out of the session than I. Basically the staff was supportive (Arena once was vocal in praise of Cher after he did a nifty goal-scoring thing) though a couple of times Arena did implore them to play faster with more one-touch. This was particularly true of the blue team but then they sat out the first game and had to get up to speed when they finally got on the field vs. the Reds.
Some of the more veteran players were vocal in telling some of the younger guys where to go (Pablo to Gooch once, Olsen to Casey several times, etc.)
It was also interesting to see the players, while supportive of each other, get more and more intense as the games went along (games were 15 minutes each I think). It kept building through the last game, Yellow vs Blue, as Noonan landed a crunching tackle (really a foul) on Davis, who sprung up and wondered where the call was, realized that no one was calling anything and launched himself into the fray and soon after scored a goal, a grass burner from 18 yards, low and hard to the far post on Hahneman. Nice goal.
The first game (Yellow/Red) had just started when I got there. As I was figuring out all the players, Dempsey hit a nice side volley past Reis from midfield. He scored another 2 minutes later. Dempsey is just a whore for shooting and he played very well. Constantly dangerous in this game. I spent most of that game focusing on JOB as he was near me and of course I wanted to see if he could walk. He appeared to move just as well as the others, I'm happy to report, was very active, and finished the scoring that first game with a scorching low shot that stayed one foot off the grass the whole time from almost precisely where Davis was to score later (see above) and also to the far post on Hahneman. (Does Marcus have a hole there or were the goals just well done? Probably the later...) If anything the yellow team was a bit better. Dolo however was excellent.
The red team had the advantage at first in the second game, Armas did a nice job stoning DMB at one point, and Olsen was very active going from the back all the way forward. Some nice combo play here as good as the yellows in the first game. Gradually the blues got into it. Sanneh was active on the right flank and scored the only weak goal I saw, a pass to the middle that somehow went past friend and foe alike into the net. Anlother thing: you'd be watching the game and all of a sudden you'd see Ralston darting from no whwere to get the ball and advance it. He was like a stealth fighter all the time. He'd dissapear for a stretch then he'd be there out of nowhere with the ball. Also, Armas played very well. JOB was less apparent this game.
Finally the last game, blue vs yellow and it was the most intense. Quaranta was very active in this game. Yeah, I like Tino, blah blah, but what I noticed with him were two things: 1) of the three forwards (Noonan, and Casey) he got the ball the most as he was more active in dropping into midfield (as he does with DCU) and 2) he dribbled the ball less and passed the ball sooner than any other player on any team. He'd get the ball and pass!. Fast. Gooch is big. Donovan was active. Dempsey tried a fancy thing with his feet in the goal maoth that Hahnemann would have nothing of.
Overall, they all seemed to play well. Of I have to say who played the worst- which isn't fair- I'd say Casey. But really, everyone was active, everyone involved. With such a small field, speed of foot was not so important as compared to speed of thought and face it- all these guys are good. I mean we love to say here on BS that so-and-so sucked and so-and-so is so much better, but all of these guys are pretty damn good when you see them all together.
After the games, there was some informal shooting practice from about 18 yards and most of the offensive players participated with Onaflo leading them while Arena went to the side and did a couple of interviews. (One for the Seattle Times I think). All very relaxed yet concentrated. I'm not sure, but Quaranta may have tweeked his knee a bit as he seemed to limp towards the end and the stretching coach focused on him. Eventually he got some ice on his left knee but he appeared to walk okay. A couple of other guys got some ice at the end: Gooch on a knee, Sanneh on his right foot but they all seemed preventative. No injures as far as I could tell.
The defenders just kinda stretched a lot and talked about their lives with each other. You could tell who the new guys were as they were more nervous and didn't naturally hang out with the others (you remember your first day in high school, right?) but the vets patted their backs a lot and encouraged them.
At the end, Hahneman had an interview with the Seattle reporter which I heard. Marcus explained the different divisions in English ball, said he had Berhalter and Lewis over for Thanksgiving once, has a sister in Washington and normally spends his offseason there, noted that Reading was in preseason training. The as everyone was leaving the reporter talked to Davis, which I didn't hear.
That's it. I don't know if I can get back this week. If you have any questions, let me know.
That was some nice info
Nice job Skip, Thanks. Speaking of JOB, can you give any more info on how he looked? Rusty? He probably has a long road to recover his form but at least its a start.
I've stayed out of the Tino thing b/c there's just nothing good that's going to come from the conversation here.
But for what it's worth...he, Moreno and Gomez work really well together for the reason that Ursula mentions above -- they can all three pass the ball fast and it creates holes in the opposing side.
I made the suggestion in another thread that Arena values the ability to pass and move quickly all over the field as much as he does almost anything else.
So if Tino is fitting into the Nats side fluidly it goes a long way to explaining what Arena saw in his previous camp visits.
much appreciated ursula. good stuff.
serie zed: which previous camp visits. q has not been in camp before afaik.
great stuff URsula
JOB looked fine in the first game- just as sharp as the others. Before he scored his goal, he juked LD out of his shorts, and in general he seemed on his game. I noticed him less in his second game and wondered if he was tiring, but honestly I don't know. At the end of practice, he was not one of the players who were iced.
In short, if I hadn't know his history, I'd have thought he was just as sharp as everyone else.
BTW if you look at Marcus Hahnamann in profile he looks a lot like Tom hanks. Same mouth and eyes.
Just wanted to give you folks the whole picture.
Re: Wesdnesday Morning Practice
As a sidenote- there is no definite rule to passing quickly vs. not...it just all depends on the situation. I don't think it is an 'absolute positive' to say 'its great' if a player gets rid of the ball quickly. Just the opposite in fact. There are times in which it definently makes sense to hold, and/or change the tempo, and/or beat people and/or wait until traffic clears. Too often, players get rid of the ball just 'not to lose it' vs. doing something positive with it in the final 1/3.
One of the biggest obstacles US players (and the US Nat team) STILL have to overcome is learning how to play at different paces and when to take 80/20, 70/30 risks. vs safely holding possession.
I do value players who can beat their opposite number 1v1 in the final 1/3, because it usually throws the entire team's D in chaos (everyone rotating). Someone misses a rotation, and then someone is open. Likely too often team's knock the ball around at the top of box, until they make the unforced error, and/or their % play into the box is minimized. Obviously, challenging 1v1 is not a 100% thing- and you just have to get comfortable that it sometimes isn't going to work out. But that's ok- because when it does..its ultra-dangerous.
As much as Quaranta/DC has been lauded for the past 1 1/2 games, that was also the same group that (the 2 1/2 games previous) looked poor in front of goal- they couldn't score!...because guess what (?)..they did a bunch of nice little passes knocking the ball around the top of box (but didn't finish and/or didn't go for it at the proper opportunities). Lots of possession, but no results. So nice little, quick passes didn't add up to much.
If I look at the last game- the goals were scored on (1) a bad defense miss (on header) and (2) Moreno's great solo effort- beating 2 guys off the dribble. Neither had much to do with neat, quick passing.
I'm sure the young man is having the time of his life...that's a good thing. Hopefully his knee is OK.
Re: Wesdnesday Morning Practice
The above explains why Freddy Adu draws so many PKs and why he will be a good player for the US in a few years.
Great report, Ursula, but you must be mistaken about Casey. Everybody knows he does so well in practices.
Really though, maybe Casey did exactly what Arena wanted him to do, I don't know. He did have several shots.
June 29th camp update:
I see the smiley, but if by chance you are referring to this post in another thread with a ounce of seriousness:
I would like to set the record straight and point out that you have misplaced some of what I said.
I stated the following:
I then went on long-winded about how he ruled all drills shooting.
Excelling at "just about" every drill does not mean excelling at all drills. I made NO mention of the 6 v 6 drills, which by the way he was just average at. The reason I left it off was because the context of the thread was about Casey being a power forward and scoring (or lack there of), and that is the role Bruce wants for him as well as the role that appears to be his calling.
GREAT STUFF, ursula! Keep up the good work. I can't give you any more Rep. Been there done that.
The video feed on the website is a really great idea. Gives you a bit of an "insiders'" look and gets you more involved as a result.
I hope someone else can get to camp today as I can't. It will be interesting tomorrow to see how Arena is "gradually escalating" the intensity of the drills as US Soccer puts it.
That video is cool. I was sitting on that stone bench/ low wall thingy. Right on the sidelines. There were also Nike workers looking out of their offices, especially the end "Tiger Woods" building. In the informal shooting towards the end of practice, Dempsey sent a shot that hit the Tiger Woods building about halfway up it. Truly a shot into row zed! Everybody applauded- players and fans alike. Clint has the best smile.
I love ussoccer.com
I'm constantly on it and they give you a ton of insite into men and women and boys and girls that make up US Soccer. they practically feel like family
Someone has a little crush on Clint, it seems.
And if you're lucky enough to get to camp, be sure to watch him on the crossing drills. That will give you an appreciation (as well as to witness an entertaining road show) on one of the reasons Bruce has called him back into camp and perhaps will for time to come.
Dempsey is simply amazing in heading drills.
If any of you saw a post of mine in another thread, where I spoke of first-hand accounts of seeing Conor Casey during shooting drills, Clint Dempsey was the other standout in both 6 v. 6 AND crossing drills where he lined up for headers. He has pin-point control that has "Goal Scorer" written all over it.
In the thread about Casey I spoke about Bruce and these other coaches (two of them) marvelling, even joking, over Casey as he put yet another laser into the upper or lower corner, Dempsey received similar attention whenever he lined up to head in yet another corner.
FYI: Casey Post: