Why are people talking like Gooch is one of our best players?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Honore de Ballsac, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    Is it Eddie Johnsonitis?

    I've been a fan of Gooch since his Bradenton days - so don't take this the wrong way. But his play for the US has really run the gamut. He still plays for a second or third tier Euro club, right? And he seems to be a red card risk for club and country.

    He's big and fast: check. Aside from that are we confident that he's getting better and better? Is he considered a lock in our central defense because he's so good, or because our options aren't great?

    Look forward to the discussion. Not really looking for photos of Gooch looking down at Borgetti, but posts those if you must.
  2. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Young, talented, and built like a tank. Standard are top of the table in Belgium, definitely one of the top 50 teams in Europe.
  3. dmike

    dmike Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Perhaps..but he has vastly improved from his performances earlier in the year. Compared to other players which have been given the same chance and failed to rise in the NT level. It shall be interesting if anyone else in the international scene will view Gooch as a valuable asset for the future. Transfer window will open soon and I would like for him to get some exposure in a higher level.
  4. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    He definately better be on the starting line up in Germany. He's one of the few tough players that we have.
  5. Galaxian

    Galaxian Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    Newport Beach, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Before Gooch came along , we werent quite sure on who could fill out central defense roll. It could be Pope , but he might be getting past his years. Bocanegra? He's a good players , but a little shaky back there . Gibbs is a fast player and strong , but is going through injury right now. Gooch is a revelation for the USMNT. Hes fast , strong , doesnt back down from strong opposition , and will be the anchor of our defense in Germany . We need someone big to be able to stand up to Jon Koller , and I think weve found our man.
  6. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To say Gooch's performances have "run the gamut" is a little unfair to him. He's shown steady improvement throughout his time with the national team... every single one of his poor performances was very early on in his USMNT career.

    Let's not forget: even though he "only" plays in Belgium, he was named to the league's Best XI last season. That's got to count for something too.
  7. Asprilla9

    Asprilla9 Member

    Dec 15, 2000
    Beaverton, OR
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Honore de Ballsac?? that's great. one of the best screen names on here. not many lit majors on here though.

    i have a theory on this Gooch topic:

    basically, what's happening here is something called the Pope Principle. we watched Eddie grow up from a standout at North Carolina to a regular with DC United. then when given a shot with the USMNT, after a relatively short transition, he became a regular for the nats. after that, Eddie was an absolute rock back there, always marking the other team's best striker. he made nearly every game and played extraordinarily consistently for a 5 year period from 97-02. he started every US game in 2 world cups, and every year was 1-2-3 in total minutes played, an amazing statistic for someone of his size that takes the amount of contact he did. a consistent, lock down CB that can lock down the opposing team's best attacker, available for every match in a 5 year period??? this is the type of talent that comes along only once or twice in a generation.

    most people just ASSUME Gooch's international career will take a similar path to Pope's. as you point out, that's a pretty F'in big leap of faith to make. deep down I hope he is another Pope for us. and I think he can be. FTR I think he can be better than Pope, and his lack of aversion to playing club football in Europe will only help Gooch's technical ability ..... something Eddie missed out on b/c he never wanted to live in Europe.

    so i would just wait before we engrave Gooch's name in our first XI for the next 2 WCs. that's still a bit premature ... doesn't mean he won't be. i'm just saying, let's write it in pencil, not pen.
  8. carpediem175

    carpediem175 New Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Pompton Plains , NJ
    He has been showing steady improvment. And although I will not post the pic of Gooch staring down Borgetti. I will bring up that he did take him totally out of that game. Borgetti arguably one of the best fowards in CONCACAF failed to make any kind of impression in that game. That has got to count as a big positive for Gooch and his improvment. Considering a few months earlier Mexico beat us in Azteca shows me that Gooch has the will and the desire to learn from past mistakes and train to eliminate them.
  9. I. Tristeza

    I. Tristeza Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    Have you ever read The Frenchman and the Tiger by Claude Ballsac?
  10. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    1) he has a bobble head.

    2) He can chuck a throw in 50 metres!

    3) His nickname is Gucci.

    What more do you want?

    Oh, and he's basically been on a steady upward trajectory. Hunted by, then rejected by Metz, he ended up at La Louviere, where he did very well, which predicated his move to Standard, who have been bouncing around top of table most of this season. He is comparing well in press reports with other Belgian defenders and has been rumoured as going to all sorts of places, including Fulham who have said they would like to sign him but know he is courted elsewhere. So basically, you have buzz, good performances, a big, strong, athletic CD, a Big Soccer press agent (omniworld) and a bobble head. I ask again, what more do you want? Oh, and Gibbs is hurt.
  11. special_k

    special_k Red Card

    Aug 5, 2004
    Brunswick/Cle, OH
    I think he CAN be one of our best players, he isnt at the moment. However he is our best bet at the moment to start at CB. Id usually have Gibbs as #1 but hes out at the moment. And our CB pool is deep imo.

    I think his progression has been amazing. Just compare his first game against Mexico to the clincher. Borghetti wtfpwned him in the first go around, but we all know how the second time went.
  12. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax
    gooch is a starter because he has, on any given day, the highest performance ceiling of any of our CBs - if he plays poorly, arena won't hesitate to start someone else in the next game
  13. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

    Sep 10, 1999
    I like him, worry about his fouls.
  14. Golazo

    Golazo Member+

    Apr 15, 1999
    Decatur, GA USA
    I'll tell you why I'm crazy about him (in order of importance):

    1 The practical ending of World Cups for the U.S are as predictable as that horrible movie on Lifetime that your wife/girlfriend insists on watching. We get all the mojo sucked out of us by physical beatdowns from huge German dudes. Gooch has shown that he can help in a big way to end this tradition.

    2 Made Borgghetti (sp?) his biatch in Cbus. Future WC seedings, and all that these seedings implies, rest on similar thumpings of Mexico... next time IN Mexico.

    3 The optimistic hope of an upward trajectory that comes with youth.
  15. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    as for pope never going to europe- you dont think that had a little something to do with tearing his knee up on more than one occasion?

    but on topic- gooch is easily our most physically imposing player, he is an absolute beast, an ideal center back. he hasnt quite earned a "rock solid stopper" rep just yet- but think of all our players we see vast potential in, i think hes shown more than (probably) anyone that he can live up to it.

    has every game hes played benn at a bending-borghetti-over level? no. but he has done it. so its not an empty hope that he can become the world class defender some already claim he is, its just a matter of growing into that, finding that form consistently.

    more mexico-in colombus performances than mexico-in-azteca performaces is what we need, but hes still young and definitely is showing signs in the right direction.

    right now i think our best central defense is gooch and berhalter. physically you think gooch and gibbs, and boca has more top level experience than either- but berhalter, imo, is clearly the best organizer of our back line and is a much more reliable and effective back than given credit for. coupling him and gooch i feel confident against any team in the world.
  16. nowherenova

    nowherenova Member+

    Jul 20, 2003
    Formerly Terminus
    I don't think it matters what league he plays in. This is an international tournament not a professional one. The final manifestation of each team at this particular level is NOT simply a sum of its professional players and their talent level compared to an opponent. Look at Euro '04. What kind of team won that tourney? One with marginal players overall (compared to other "name" sides), great organization, and clever coaching.

    I also remember a guy named Tony Sanneh who dominated at the WC and was never much of a pro at the highest level.

    Yes, it is true that the relative professional level of players is a worthy comparison point, but it is far from the only consideration at this level.

    Go Gooch!
  17. Kevin Etzel

    Kevin Etzel Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    New York
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not to mention that the Azteca game was Gooch's first bigtime start. He is cool under pressure.
  18. forza inter

    forza inter Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Middletown, ct
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    you left out the fact that, when traslated, his full name(oguchialoo i believe) means "god fights for me"

    now THAT is a reason to jump on the gooch bandwagon.

    forza inter
  19. chessplayer

    chessplayer Member

    Sep 12, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Exactly! Especially if 'Dolo and his 5-6 frame are holding down one of the flanks, we will need a big central defense to control the Germans and anyone else. Gooch will keep getting better, and his physical gifts and skills now I think put him ahead of Pope on the depth chart. A Gooch-Bocanegra or Gooch-Berhalter backline would be sweet. In 2002, the lack of size in the middle cost us vs Germany and I think vs South Korea too, as their goal was on a header that someone taller than Agoos may have been able to intercept (just a thought).
    With Michael Parkhurst, Bobby Boswell, Chad Barrett all coming along and all over 6 feet, we may have a golden age of central defense in place for 2010..
  20. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    He's had only one clunker since the Azteca game and more than a few MOTM performances.Which to me would indicate he's one of our best players. I mean, DMB has off games here and there, but nobody questions him (And not that they should). Also,why the doubt about Ed Johnson? Is he supposed to score goals while injured?
  21. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Not sure how play against Borghetti, and play in Azteca will effect much. Seedings don't take into account us breaking the schnide in Azteca, and appeared to not place huge importance on us winning our qualification group (all be it via GD, and a flukey T&T win in Mexico). With Mexico's booking in the Round of 16 appearing a foregone conclusion barring total collapse (though imminent death appears likely if the winner and runner up of C are as expected, Holland, and Argentina) and our advancement out of one of the twin Groups of Death looking tenuous at best, his play at Azteca won't mean 1/50th as much to seeding as his play against the Czech's, Italians, and Ghana in June. One interesting sidelight, the two best teams in Concacaf got the likely most difficult round of 16 draw if they were to advance (assuming US wouldn't win E, but would take runner up). Matching Mexico with the Dutch or Argentina, and US with Brazil is rather odd, may be payback for getting the same number of teams in the world cup as CONMEBOL? Too conspiracy theoryish obviously, still interesting though.

    Interesting Pope analysis, I don't think they compare in anyway beyond the hopes for them though. Pope was lithe, strong, athletic, quick, reminscent of a center fielder in baseball, Gooch is a tank with athleticism, but a limited quickness. Just my 2 cents.
  22. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    More than a few MOTM's? Which games?

    I'm hearing a lot of "He pwned Borgetti." Yes in one match he did, but Mexico shjt the bed in that match. Borgetti had no service to speak of. And of course Borgetti pwned him in Azteca. So as fun as the Columbus game was...

    Keep in mind John Doyle shut out Schilacci, in Rome, with likes of Baggio and Vialli running at him too, and a bunch of college boys for support. How much do people want to make of one performance?

    As for Ed Johnson, he lived up to his promise with a scoring spree against mostly lesser teams. Frank Klopas had an astonishing run before World Cup '94, when we were underdogs packing the back. And didn't Joe Max Moore get six goals in one game? Unlike Joe Max, EJ has a history of being unable to connect with his A game.

    Gooch, like EJ, provides us with reason for optimism, but I wouldn't consider either a certain starter just yet, let alone one of our best.
  23. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    Pope was all those things and elegant w/out the ball. IMO he was seriously overhyped overall and his best years are long past.
  24. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    Here is Gooch's sam's army ratings, which should help jog our collective memory.


    Technically, his worst match rating is actually in his most recent game. But then, that 3.98 is the actually best rating any defensive player got.

    He was pretty consistantly solid the last 7 matches before that.
  25. Galaxian

    Galaxian Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    Newport Beach, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hmm that stuff isnt right though , I just dont think it has been updated recently . He doesnt play at anderlecht , and I thought he was like 240 pounds or something ? Either way , he is a strong player and he's great to have in our defense.

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