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Monthly Archives: August 2011
August 17, 2011Posted by on
So now for a bit more sorting, before I get to the really off the wall stuff.
GK Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann, Hamid, Johnson …
I’m not gonna be too concerned about keeper primarily because it doesn’t really affect the formation all that much. maybe Tim Howard wouldn’t be nearly as good behind a 3 man backfield, but I’m not too concerned with things like that.
First I realize this roster is heavy on center backs, but thats just because there happens to be a roster on which center backs are most likely to be on the team in 2014. There were more names mentioned that I found intriguing at that position, not that were necessarily deeper there by any means.
Gonzalez, Ream, John, Kitchen,Spector, Whitbread, Opara, Marshall, Pearce, Clark, Ihemelu, Agbossumunde,
My basic opinions on the back line are
-Timmy Chandler and Eric Lichaj have jobs locked up unless someone comes and forces them out.(I do have an idea)
-Tim Ream is someone Klinsmann will probably love, but isn’t good enough to play center back at an international level, yet. Will he be? We’ll see.
-I would much rather see Ricardo Clark and Jonathan Spector brought back in as CB than in the Midfield. We’re too deep there for them to ever be useful, and they’ve both proved that they aren’t particularly useful there for us anyway.
-I know its not where he’s having a breakout season with Dallas, but I would love to see Brek Shea fill the LB hole
-I also don’t really see either Bocanegra or Cherundolo staying with the team through a full cycle. Cherundolo might be out by qualifying if Timmy Chandler shows up and plays. Bocanegra will probably take a bit longer but I can’t see him holding on through the young backs behind him.
One idea I had for the Tim Ream issue is to try playing him in a position similar to the position Brian Carroll plays for the Union. Carroll is a DM in name, but he’s a very versatile player and this would be a different position for Ream so who knows if it’ll work out for him. I’d like to see his distribution from the back instead of the combination of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones breaking everything up in that spot. Ream’s a good enough defender to play there for sure. I think it might be the best place for him. I’d actually like to see NYRB try it out with him after Rafa retires but that might be a while. Also if he can hold this down Ream, Chandler and Shea(theoretically) on the back line could do a lot of damage when they get the ball back.
Midfielders and Forwards
Bradley, Jones, Edu(who I’d rather see at CB too actually), Beckerman(Ream)
Torres, Adu, Donovan, Dempsey, Diskerud, Shea, Holden
Box to Box
Bradley, Holden, Beckerman
Donovan, Adu, Dempsey, Shea, Bedoya, Klejstan, Gatt
Donovan, Agudelo, Altidore, Bunbury, Braun, Sapong, Doyle, Salgado, McInerney, Dempsey, Gyau
-I can’t see Klinsmann continuing the multiple holding mids with no skill on the field together. As I said previously I’d like to see Ream fill that hole on his own.
-I could very easily see both Gatt and Gyau on the wings by 2014, but I won’t put that down at least until they get a first team start. Even this far out I wouldn’t bet on anyway who has yet to be capped starting for us. I’m sure it will happen but maybe two or three and I’m not trying to guess which ones make it, but they’re my favorites to do so at the moment. Plus I’m already assuming it’ll happen on the back line because of age and need. We don’t need these two to rush up and get on the team.
-Will Donovan and Dempsey still be playing? Will they still be starting? Will they still be key for this team? Its so hard to know. I’d say that if either Landon or Clint are the most important offensive weapons on this team in 3 years we haven’t developed much at all. I’d be disappointed and I think they’re both very good players.
-I would bank on Freddy Adu staying around here a bit longer. He may not be on a top team again, but I don’t expect him to sit on many benches. I doubt he goes to Europe again unless he’s expecting real competition to start. Playing time can be nothing but good for this kid.
-I believe the same kinds of things for Jozy Altidore. He’s been a good player for us and, while Juan is younger, he’s still young. Given that I expect Agudelo to come in to either change our shape or for Jozzy pretty often. He’d be a very good 1st sub in most matches.
As far as I’ve explained so far, I imagine a ton of the offense coming from the back, so the top side of the field would probably be key for holding apossession and being able to knock balls to overlapping runners. Also finishing the crosses that players like Shea and Chandler put in right in front of the net. If Robbie Rogers can do it…
I’d bet on one of the two big D’s being in the starting lineup with the other playing a key role off the bench, but again no idea who might replace them so they’re both in for now
So here’s what I’ve got in mind at the moment. It’s a bit of an unorthodox use of a few players, but I think they’re positions they could succeed at. Shea and Chandler would be key to our offensive movement. Honestly this is a lineup I’d like to see Jurgen toy with a bit, with Bocanegra or anyone else in Gales spot as he’s not quite there yet. It’d be an interesting look at our team and what it could be. I can’t really see him playing players (Shea and Ream) out of position like this unless they have started to play there with their clubs with some consistency. Especially Shea, Ream could transition easier, but Shea didn’t look bad at all as a center back earlier in the year. i figure split the difference between LM and CB and we have a future LB (or a CM but I wouldn’t bet on that one.) Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far. Maybe I’ll try again next year.
I guess you could call it a 5-4-1 if you wanna call Ream a defender and Dempsey a mid. Or a 5-3-2 if you call Adu or Dempsey a forward. Or just a 4-4-2 if you call Ream a defensive mid and and Adu a mid and Dempsey a forward. Or a 4-4-3 if Dempsey and Adu are both forwards and Reams a defender. Or maybe a 5-2-3 if Adu and Dempsey are forwards and Reams a fullback?
The basic idea is that one striker would allow Omar and Gale to take control. Two would allow Ream to drop back, a third or fourth high attacker and we can bring Shea and Chandler in too. Of course three of these players would be absolute keys to our offense too. Shea and Chandler’s speed, endurance and skill along with Ream’s adept passing from the back would be a very interesting addition to an attack that wasn’t horrible without them. Bringing players from wierd angles and odd positions like these three would be able to do would only help us. Ream, Holden and Adu would allow us to control the pace of the game against the CONCACAF teams we haven’t dominated as well as we should recently. Those fullbacks allow us to counterattack against the Euro and South American teams(and Mexico if necessary) who we can’t get the ball off of. Maybe it needs work and I’m definitely picking from a made-up pool that probably will be completely different by then, but a few shifts in position could make for a very formidable and versatile team.
August 17, 2011Posted by on
So I’m just finishing up an internship in the city and getting ready to head back to school and have basically finished up all of my assignments there so I have a ton more time to write and waste time thinking about completely meaningless things that would fit right in place for this blog. I’ve started posting on the bigsoccer forums I’ve been lurking in for months. I’ve started looking through U-17 rosters and reading up on the progress of 11 year olds (hint: we’ve got one in La Masia). It’s great to have this kind of time back. This internship is the primary reason I haven’t been writing much at all this summer. Hopefully during the school year I can get back to writing a piece for every game from either team, and maybe a bit more. We’ll see. Anyway…
I’ve been thinking a lot about formations and how exactly we can best use our best players (and those we expect to be our best players by 2014). I can’t really imagine seeing many of these things happen in reality because some of them are very odd shapes and involve players playing experimental positions that would be extremely hard to adapt to unless they were doing it more often than they are able for the national team(read:doing it for their clubs). A few of the key issues I’ve seen, is how to get all of our best midfielders on the field in a formation that makes sense and isn’t uber-defensive; where exactly to play Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan who have defied position for club but been stuck on the wings by Bob; what to do to cover some of the flaws of our younger players, Paco Torres and Tim Ream’s relative defensive inability and our entire backlines relative offensive inability. I wanted to see if I could come to an optimal lineup in my head and an optimal formation for that team.
First I wanted to start by gathering a very loose 23(turned into closer to 45 but i’ll still be shocked if I have half the 2014 WC roster on this list). The numbers are loose as I took anyone who currently has a spot on the team or I expect to be in serious play for the team, as it currently stands, in four years. Presumably players will come out of the woodwork and force they’re way into the starting lineup consistently, the way Stuart Holden had before his injuries and other players will fall of the map entirely. Players will also be totally unavailable due to on the field injuries and possibly even crazier things, again Holden and Charlie Davies, but I can’t do much to take those into account yet for obvious reasons.
My roster of options looks something like this at the moment. I’m sure it will change again a million times before the Belgium match in two weeks, not to mention the World Cup 3 years away.
FW Donovan, Agudelo, Altidore, Davies, Bunbury, Braun, Sapong, Doyle, Salgado, Mcinerney…
M Bradley, Jones, Edu, Torres, Adu, Dempsey, Holden, Diskerud, Beckerman, Shea, Bedoya, Klejstan, Gatt, Gyau,Lletget…
D Lichaj, Gonzalez, Ream, Chandler, John, Kitchen,Spector, Whitbread, Opara, Marshall, Pearce, Clark, Ihemelu, Agbossumunde,Franklin Castillo…
GK Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann, Hamid, Johnson …
Thats not quite everyone that could possibly end up on the team, but after a bit of skimming through a few BigSoccer forums these are the names that I decided would be the most likely to end up on the team. So anyway this is the roster of 45 that I decided on, maybe I’ll trim it down and add a few names to it over the next few years. Also my lineup ideas are going to heavily favor players who are already playing with the team. I figure the odds of picking which of the U23 players who arent already playing with the senior team will be starting for them within four years is too low for me to mess with.
August 13, 2011Posted by on
I planned on attending two games this week a while ago and didn’t realize how significant they would be. The first game was the recent USA vs Mexico game, which was obviously a big deal in itself, but pumped up a lot more due to Jurgen Klinsmann joining the team. Of course Sunil and the gang still managed to screw things up by setting the game for a Wednesday night at 9 o clock; a bit off of prime time as far as most people are concerned. The support was fairly weak from both sides. Presumably a game on the weekend would have seen crowds coming in from out-of-town to attend. Even a 7 or 8 o’clock start would have made the game a ton more accessible. Never the less the game was played and players looked good and players looked bad. WE’ll start with the bad.
It was fairly obvious that Edgar Castillo was not the best player on the field; especially after he got hit in the back of the head surrendering a corner. If we had any kind of depth at the left back position he would be out of the team for a while. Although looking at who else we have available, I wouldn’t be shocked if he shows up pretty soon again unless things fall apart for him at his club. Also he looks like an alien.
Jermaine Jones absolutely disappeared from the game and we totally forgot he was on the field. We saw Brek Shea and another light-skinned player warming up on the sideline. Everyone in my group assumed it was Jermaine until they announced that he was being subbed out and Juan Agudelo was being subbed in. He was that unnoticeable.
The good side of it, as has been reported everywhere was from a bunch of MLS players. Brek Shea, Robbie Rogers, and Juan Agudelo all put in pretty solid performances. I was personally very impressed with Brek Shea, and not quite as impressed with the other two. Neither did anything much wrong, but they both put in good games at a time when they are midseason and most of the other players competing were in preseason. It is a factor for sure. So while they looked good, they should have looked good considering that fact. Shea looked great though. He looked better than almost everyone on the field in the entire second half. I understand Mexico’s team had been a bit depleted by pulling subs, but Dos Santos didn’t make quite the quality or quantity of plays that Shea made in the time he was in. Again consider his form a factor, but Shea impressed a lot of people and earned more of a look.
That’s only part of why this is Brek Shea week here in Philadelphia. The other game I was supposed to be attending that also became a much more prominent one than I had first expected was Saturdays game against Brek Shea and FC Dallas. Dallas has looked nothing short of spectacular for most of the season, in no small part thanks to Shea. On second thought, imagine what this team will be able to do if David Ferraira comes back the way he was last year. As we have seen first hand an MVP season can be hard to replicate but it would be very interesting to see that teams attack.
After impressing for country Shea is back to impressing for club; who will be facing off with the Philadelphia Union tomorrow night. Obviously the Union saw how many headlines Shea was grabbing and felt a need to grab a few of their own from their next competitor. Those headlines all came in the form of very bad puns. “Much Adu About Nothing”,”Just Adu It” “Adoop.” Freddy Adu was welcomed back to MLS as Chivas was no longer an option. As all the headlines told you, he was reunited with his former coach and mortal enemy Piotr Nowak. Apparently things were exaggerated a bit and Adu actually came back, in large part, for the opportunity to play with Nowak again. Interesting, but what I find more interesting is what this means tactically.
Presumably (read:hopefully) this means that Justin Mapp will be pushed to the sideline, while it also likely means that Roger Torres has lost a few rungs on the ladder of this team. As much as I would love to see Freddy and Roger creating in the middle of the field, I can’t imagine Nowak doing it and not having the two of them get beat up on every single ball in the air. We can’t have two players in one midfield standing under 5 foot. There’s a rule against that somewhere I’m sure. I don’t expect Adu to come in and start tomorrow, although I would assume he gets his first appearance this weekend as the team is on the road after that, but I would say I do expect him to be a pretty significant player for the Union by the end of the season. If we don’t get any one else added to this team (the only name I’ve heard is Juan Pablo Angel, who doesn’t really piqué my interest anymore and definitely not for his price tag. Maybe short-term till Nowak decides Mwanga can go 90, we’ll see), this is the lineup I would expect to see come out from here on out, with a few notes on key subs.
Williams Valdes Callif GFarfan
Le Toux Daniel
Obviously Mwanga playing the same super-sub role he has lately. Torres or Mapp coming in for Paunovic or Daniel, with Le Toux filling in any adjustments necessary.
What I’d really like to see happen by the end of the season, at least at some point, purely for excitement. I do think it could realistically be an occasional lineup for the coming seasons as Jack, Danny and Roger grow up a bit, although the odds of this are pretty low seeing what it would do to our ability to win the ball back in the midfield. Of course if you don’t ever give it up in the first place…
Williams Valdes Calliff G Farfan
Torres Adu Le Toux
We’ll see what Piotr does this week.