USA Team Roll Call for Hex

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Shaster, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    The reason I created this thread is because all those "xxx should be called up..." threads. Here I try to have a discussion to come up about what new blood we need to bring into the team.


    We are actually have a little bit of problems with our suppose strongest position. Both Keller and Howard are not first chooce in their club, and Friedal is not as strong as 2001 and 2002. In MLS, Bruce Arena only took Walker as his developing candidate. Yes, we still have a lot of great MLS goalkeepers and many of them will have no problem to start for many of National teams, but they don't have the kind of international experience to guard the team. We definately still have a good goalkeeping but may not a great goalkeeping as in 2002.

    Center Defenders:

    First I will discuss Pope. I think Pope's problem is inconsistence and lapse. Forget the MLS games, in Panama game, he lost Valdes for a header that hits the cross bar. We all remembered how he lost his mark on World Cup game against Portugal. He also performed pretty bad on away Panama game. The reason we need Agoos in World Cup because Pope failed to give the kind of veteran leadship in defense organization.

    Second I don't think Bocanegra gives the kind fo role to organize defense. That is the reason why Bruce has to go to Berhalter to get the leadship and pass from back. Even though Berhalter has other problems (speed, etc.), we still have to relay on him because the center backs we have now cannot do the job.

    There are definately a great need to groom some good center defenders--so far only three youngsters are in the pool for this: Onyewu, Marshall, and Spector (also depends on Simak's playing time with English 1st Division). Both Onyewu and Marshall have enough first team experience and Spector still need more. But whoever can fill in the organization need will get the quick shot. But one problem is that in their youth team, it is Akwari not Gooch (at the right back) who organize the defense; It is Cochrane not Marshall who organize the defense.

    3. Outside Back.

    A great news is Robbie Russell emerging as a legimate candidate beside Sanneh, Hedjuk and Cherundolo. There are also some alternative beside Albright. Such as using MLS right side midfielders to play right back for National Team. That will include Mullan and Ralston in the pool. On the left side, beside Vanney, Convey and fill-in Bocanegra, we don't have any option now. Winger may be worth a try. Of course Spector.

    4. Center midfielders.

    It is acutally the stongest position for US now with Reyna, JOB, Zavagnin, Armas, Mastronei, and Mulrooney all claim for same spot. Even a dual center mids are not good enough to contain all of them! Very difficult to bring anyone in but consider the injuries for at least 4 of them recently, it maybe wise to groom one or two for this position. It should be Dempsey to take first shot with Clark and Szetela need to prove the point more in MLS next season. But don't forget both Capano and Gravoboy are both grafty for this position.

    5. Attacking midfielders.

    It is the position belong to one guy--Landon Donovan. Anyone will be his fill-in. Mathis is the backup right now. Convey played many times for this role and proved to be OK. Gaven and Martino will be the main young players to be groomed during the next two years. Adu is still to far away.

    6. Wing midfielders.

    Whatever left and right. Right now are for Beasley and Lewis. Mapp will begin to show up maybe next year. Not much after that. The kid in Greece hasn't prove himself yet.

    7. Forwards.

    This is actually easy. Who scored the most for their clubs will get shot except McBride. McBride supplys the smart veteran leadship. Even he will sit on the bench if no production.

    Right now, there are such order in MLS:

    Ching & EJ 12 goals
    Noonan & Buddle 11 goals
    Wolfe & Eskendarian & Wolyniec 10 goals

    So the first four guys should get call up. Very simple?
  2. Peretz48

    Peretz48 Member+

    Nov 9, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I applaud you, Shaster, for a very courageous thread, but be ready for some heavy ammo comin' at ya. I wish I had more time to dissect each position, but I'll leave that to the posts to follow.

    I'll address GK here. The age factor is not something that anyone has been willing to discuss till now. It's generally assumed that GKs all mature like the finest clarets and peak in their mid to late 30s. Depends. Some do, some don't. To be sure, Keller & Friedel are still fine GKs, but it's time to put some pressure on their comfort zones. KK's not playing for Spur is not helpful. Sure, he'll probably be at ReAL SLC next year, but will he still have that edge? Friedel still plays regularly at Rovers, but can they be on their way down? Also, he's hinted at being through with the Nats.

    And will Timmy ever regain his form? It's not certain at this point. Walker has not had a stellar year, but Arena still has faith in him, so maybe he'll turn it around. As for some of the others, they'll have to really impress to break through the in crowd. Everyone and his grandma has been crying out for a Cannon callup, and frankly I'm troubled that he hasn't been called thus far this year. Despite his possible MVP performance, I wonder if there's some technical flaw in his play that the Nat coaches don't like. Just speculating, and I hope I'm wrong. I don't see anyone else right now that I could characterize as a "we gotta get him into camp" prospect, although some of the younger ones may get a look-see in a friendly in '05. There's also Meola, who may get a cap or two for old times sake, but I don't see him as a legitimate part of long-term plans.
  3. eplkewell

    eplkewell Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Claiming that whoever the top four goalscorers on the MLS are and Brian McBride should recieve call ups to the national team is a bad idea. For one, this system rules out any other European players, and it also fails to take into account forwards who are more versatile players who find themselves providing more passing and other roles on their clubs, injury situations, or the fact that some players simply are having a good/bad day, week, or season.
  4. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    The forwards need to score the goals. It is nice to have Landon scored two goals against Panama, but if Johnson didn't put three more as a forward then we are in trouble. Any European forwards--Casey and Cooper, needs to score before any consideration. We don't need forwards to provide other roles as their major job. Their major job is to put the damn thing in the net. As Bruce Arena told EJ--ready to get into scoring position and stick the ball in the net. You want creative passing? Well, that is Donovan, etc. for.
  5. russ

    russ Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    At Central D ,you left out Gibbs.I think Pope's organizing and positioning has gotten better.He plays well with Berhalter understandably as they played together in college.My hope long term is that we can play with three of the young studs at the back and they're good enough that we can go 3-5-2,but I doubt that will happen till after 2006.

    I've crabbed about Howard before,but he will get another chance either at ManU or somewhere else.He can develop into a top keeper.For this cycle,I hope Brad doesn't step down.I'd rather take the need to man-manage two wannabe number ones than go with Keller and someone else.

    Philipakos (the fellow in Greece) is injured but may be one to watch at wing.
  6. WJMarx

    WJMarx BigSoccer Supporter

    May 5, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Aside from debutante Cooper, who is as much English as USA and an unproven youth player and maybe a never to be, would you mind naming the 2nd USA forward playing in Europe who must be considered for a MNT call-up. For that matter would you mind naming one playing in South America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, etc. Hmmm!!!
  7. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You should at least take into account minutes played and penalties (and previous seasons too). Guys can't score when they're not on the field, and penalties are converted over 75% of the time.

    Here's the Goals per 90 minutes numbers for this year with penalties removed (minimum 1000 minutes)

    1. Edson Buddle = 0.58
    2. Alecko Eskandarian = 0.55
    3. Brian Ching = 0.55
    4. John Wolyniec = 0.44
    5. Eddie Johnson = 0.44
    6. Taylor Twellman = 0.40
    7. Pat Noonan = 0.39
    8. Josh Wolff = 0.32
    9. Jovan Kirovsky = 0.32
    10. Freddy Adu = 0.31

    Here's the top 10 over the last three years:

    1. Taylor Twellman = 0.62
    2. Edson Buddle = 0.60
    3. Brian Ching = 0.51
    4. Alecko Eskandarian = 0.50
    5. Pat Noonan = 0.45
    6. Jeff Cunningham = 0.43
    7. Ante Razov = 0.40
    8. John Wolyniec = 0.40
    9. Jason Kreis = 0.39
    10. Landon Donovan = 0.39

    And here are the last three years, with 2004 weighted by a multiple of 3, 2003 by a multiple of 2 and 2002 unchanged:

    1. Edson Buddle = 0.59
    2. Taylor Twellman = 0.56
    3. Brian Ching = 0.52
    4. Alecko Eskandarian = 0.51
    5. Pat Noonan = 0.44
    6. John Wolyniec = 0.41
    7. Brian McBride = 0.39
    8. Eddie Johnson = 0.38
    9. Landon Donovan = 0.37
    10. Ante Razov = 0.36
  8. ugaaccountant

    ugaaccountant New Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    how is cooper english, he never lived in england until he graduated u.s. high school. And as best i recall he was born here too. his dad's citizenship has nothing to do with his.
  9. Walter3000

    Walter3000 Member+

    Apr 8, 2004
    gainesville, Florida
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    you seem to not be aware of the fact that jonathan spector isnt a left back. its the last of the 3 positions on the backline you would want him at.

    -scoring in england or germany(real leagues) as opposed to the MLS is a little more difficult.the two guys id like to see called up are dempsey and gaven, because of their versatility.
  10. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    I don't believe scoring in England or Germany are more difficult than MLS. Scoring anywhere in the world in a soccer game is difficult and that's why the forwards/strikers who can stick it into the net are so pricy. McBride, Mathis and JMM are proved the kind of striking rate they had in overseas and MLS. If you compare MLS with England/Germany, the MLS goalkeepers are much better and the services the forwards have are worse than England/Germany. Of course, the space defenders to get them are much better in MLS.

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