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Tag Archives: United States men’s national soccer team
August 8, 2012Posted by on
Jurgen hasn’t announced his rosters, and neither has de la Torre. It’s expected that much of the Mexican roster will come from the Olympic squad which is currently making a run at the Gold Medal. Unfortunately Jurgen doesn’t have that luxury and will not be able to call in new names who have shown well in a high level international competition. Instead it seems he will have to call in as many regulars as possible for a match at Azteca stadium, one of the most notoriously difficult stadiums for any team to play in. It’s well noted that the USMNT has never won a game at Azteca and it seems odd that the FMF would give them any more opportunities to do so, and shake a bit of the lore off of it, in something as unimportant as an August friendly. Then again these decisions always seem to come down to many anyway.
Any expected roster for a match of this level will surely involve every piece of the central core of the team who is available. As it is a FIFA date, that should be everyone, but I wouldn’t count on recent transfers coming in. Jurgen has shown a preference to let players settle in with clubs. That would likely mean Michael Bradley will be staying in Italy and Terrence Boyd will be staying in Vienna, along with any of the other USMNT regulars who may be looking for transfers (Dempsey, Bocanegra and Edu.) So that throws a bit of a wrench into the plan of calling in all the regulars.
GK: Howard, Guzan, (I expect Guzan to actually get substantial minutes as he’s the back-up for the rest of WCQ and could use a little just-in-case time with the team) Hamid (Many are calling for NYRB Meara, but if he’s losing his starting spot for club I don’t see why you call him in for this. Johnson and Rimando both make more sense with more sustained succcess)
D: Goodson(surprising he’s the first name in but I had CBs on the mind and he’s the only one we can really count on at all) Cherundolo, Lichaj(shocked he wasn’t called for WCQ), Johnson, Bocanegra (Because he’s about the only player who hasn’t commited to leaving Rangers yet), Parkhurst, (cause I don’t want Onyewu in camp again, he showed poorly since he came back from injury) Chandler (Yes I think he’s one of the best player’s in the pool so I will give him a call until he says no firmly. Many suggest waiting till qualifying, and I’m sure Jurgen knows the situation and will handle it in an appropriate way)
M:Jones, Beckerman, Edu, (I see these three starting with Bradley left in Rome.) Kljestan(although if he couldn’t get a call for WCQ why would he get one now that he’s not starting. He is scoring in UCL), Torres, Dempsey (unless of course he gets his transfer), D.Williams, Corona,(almost entirely because the space left by Bradley is gaping. I’m not sure Corona gets a call for a full strength game. He didn’t get any minutes in WCQ, but that’s not exactly unexpected. I think he sticks around like Jurgen has shown he likes to do with newly integrated players.)
F:Gomez, Altidore(even though Alkmaar may not be willing to give him up), Donovan, Young MLS Player To Be Named Later (Probably one of the younger players in the pool, I expect this to go to an MLS standout,not an Eddie Johnson or Kenny Cooper. Wondo is the only older MLS player whos really earned a look and I’m reluctant to even give him that.), Wondolowski (I hate giving it to him, I already feel like he’s to old to be playing for the USMNT, but his pace in MLS is so high that you have to call him in and see if you can make it work. Gomez did and has almost cemented the starting spot, so give him a bit more time. I don’t want him to take time from a younger player, but there’s not a clear player he’s taking time from.)
and for those who don’t want to read my ramblings
GK: Howard, Guzan Hamid
D: Goodson, Cherundolo, Lichaj, Johnson, Bocanegra, Parkhurst, Chandler
M: Jones, Beckerman, Edu, Kljestan, Torres, Dempsey, D. Williams, Corona,
F: Gomez, Altidore, Donovan, Young MLS PTBNL, Wondolowski
November 14, 2011Posted by on
Carlos Bocanegra, presuming he gets a cap against Slovenia will join the USMNT century club. He’s sitting at 99 now and will be the 11th player to reach 100 caps for the team, which is (according to wikipedia) more than any other national team. The other USMNT players with a hundred caps or more are…
Presumably by tomorrow night Captain Carlos will have his name etched onto that list.
To celebrate, here’s Carlo’s Bocanegra summing up his perfect dinner party for anyone interested in throwing him one for reaching the honor.
October 29, 2011Posted by on
The Right-Back spot is one of the deeper spots on the roster and one of the most talented. New players are coming in to break through old players and we could feasibly have three players who play right back for club being forced into other positions because they’re too talented to leave on the bench. A position of strength and a position of promise. The Left Back spot has been a troubling one, but that’s exactly why I decided to list this as one spot. I highly doubt that Jurgen will call in a worse LB instead of just switching a young RB over. Even if he would, a lot of these players are so versatile its not even an issue. Bob had switched players back and forth between both sides and Jurgen has continued to do so. These positions aren’t different enough to count separately.
Steve Cherundolo-32 Hannover
Obviously Dolo’s the incumbent. He’s got the spot until somebody steps up and grabs it out of his hands. Of course another right back playing in Germany has had a few attempts to do so. The biggest concern about Dolo going forward is his age. He’s 32 now. He’ll be 35 by 2014. I haven’t seen a single thing to show me that Steve’s going downhill by any meas. He’s still one of the best and probably the most under-appreciated American soccer players of this generation.
Timothy Chandler-21 Nurmberg
One of the key points of interest in the recent “Germerican” movement. Johnson and Williams haven’t looked bad in their time with the team. Jermaine Jones was a nice addition. Even counting Klinsmann leads to a bit of an up and down view of it. Chandler is why people are excited about the sudden influx of German players. At least for me its more about the sudden influx of players who can play like Timmy Chandler. As young as he is, as versatile as he is, and as talented as he is I honestly expect Timmy Chandler to not only be starring in the 2014 World Cup. I expect him to be the best player on the field in most matches by the time 2018 comes around.
Eric Lichaj-22 Aston Villa
A lot of us have pegged Lichaj as most likely to fill the Left Back spot, and he really doesn’t have much of a shot behind the two players above. When he gets back from injury he should be competing more for the left back spot which puts more pressure on both of the players above him. A good player whos got a spot on the team for sure.
Zach Loyd-24 FC Dallas
Also a natural Right back having a very sucessfull season with FC Dallas, and building report with Brek Shea(which may make him a good option on the left), Loyd has been one of the many players who are considered to have a shot at stepping into the hole at Left Back. Although Timmy Chandler has filled that well I can’t imagine Klinsi wants to keep him there long term. Loyd should definitely get a serious look.
Jonathan Spector-25 Birmingham City
Specs has had his high points and his low points but I really do love having a player like him as a 12th man. Need a CB? He could fill in. Need a RB or LB? He could fill in. CDM? CAM? Anywhere along the back line and up the core of the middle of the field Spector could play. I expect most of his time to come at the outside back position but he could just as easily vie for a role farther up the field.
Sheannon Williams-21 Philadelphia Union
Sheannon has really come on this year with the club. He showed a few flashes last year but nothing as good or consistent as he’s done this year. If you want offense from the back he can give you a ton of that. There’s been many times this season that Sheannon has led the attack and even gone on breakaways all by himself. He, along with Loyd got a lot of talk when Dolo went down in the Gold Cup and the hole at Left Back opened even wider.
Danny Williams-22 Hoffenheim
He just joined the team and is expected to fill in the central midfield, but he was also considered an option at Left Back by many. I had assumed he’d fill one of the holding Midfield spots, but when Jurgen used him along the right flank it brought that question back to my mind. Danny could play RB if we needed him to. I don’t think we need him to but he looked good enough to earn another look somewhere on the field in his little playing time with the team.
Fabian Johnson-23 Hoffenheim
We’ve seen very little of Johnson too, but as with Williams I believe from what I have seen and read that he’ll earn a spot on the team easily and quickly compete for a starting spot somewhere. The influx of talent to this team is exciting. Bob saw a lot of these players so I’m by no means blaming him, but we are still at a point where the USMNT is growing rapidly. As for Johnson, he’s been mentioned mostly at LB, but thats where the hole is. I’m very interested in seeing where he ends up being played.
Bobby Convey-28 Earthquakes
I’m not saying Bobby Convey has no chance of ever making the team, but as with many of the names mentioned in BigSoccer Left Back threads, it seems pretty hopeless. He’s pretty old to bring in. Convey’s a relatively good defender in MLS now and had a small place on the USMNT roster for a short time, but he’ll be 33 by 2014 and there’s so much depth at right back that there’s no need for him. Or most other players on BigSoccer threads whether too old, too young or just not good enough.
So here’s my suggestions. I’m going to give one depth chart for this spot assuming that the top two will be the starters and everyone from there on will be depth. Very few of these players can only play one side so there’s no reason to draw a line between them. They’re almost all better on the right side anyway.
WCQ: basically the team I would play in a game tommorow
3.Lichaj (I know he’s injured but he still has a spot pretty comfortably).
4.D. Williams and Johnson (I haven’t seen either enough to choose but if I had to I’d go with Williams purely because he’s played with the team already).
WC2014: the team as I project after a few years of settling, for whatever that’s worth.
2. Cherundolo (unless he voluntarily retires he’s not going anywhere).
A few other notes, I expect Danny Williams to be on the team but I’d still probably peg him as a midfielder which is the only reason I left him out of the top ranks here. Chandler could do the same thing of course and slide up to RW. Also I expect Spector to be on the team because of his versatility. He’ll show up on about every list I do except Keeper. Sheannon will definitely get a chance to prove himself and I wouldn’t put it past him to step farther up in to the battle but I just don’t see it as of yet at least. Any one else you think might get a shot? Or should?
June 6, 2011Posted by on
So as we all know the Gold Cup has officially started and the USA’s first game is tomorrow night against Canada. Bob Bradley has officially locked in his roster with Ale Bedoya replacing Benny Feilhaber. The next question of course is who in that lineup gets meaningful time on the field? Well here’s my answer based on my view of what Bob believes.
Deuce Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra and Timmy Howard all get the obvious starts. These have been the most important players for the US through the last cycle and will all likely be huge players when it comes to the next World Cup. As far as formation this doesn’t really decide anything but it will matter later so here is what I see Bob doing with these four and what I would like him to do with them (in parentheses.)
We know that our three defensive mids are three of the top eleven players on the team. We also know, and hope that Bob does too, that all three of them can’t be on the field at the same time. We all assume that Bob will go with Michael because he has the most experience with the team and has shown that he can play with them at a higher level than either of the other two. Personally I believe that Jones and Edu are both slightly better than Bradley but also slightly more defensive than Bradley. For me putting Bradley on the field is more about tactics than saying he is better than whoever sits. I hope to see Edu start alongside him but I have a suspicion Bob might go with Jones although I imagine they’ll split time pretty evenly.
The next question about these guys is where they go. I hated seeing the team in a 4-4-2. It simply doesn’t suit getting our best players on the field and doesn’t allow for the best team to take the field. My biggest problem with it is that, with the lineup we currently have, there is no player creating things from the middle of the field. The closest we would have is Bradley who has done so before for us, but we have players who are much more capable of this obviously the best option here is Stuart Holden but he’s out with an injury. After missing the World Cup and the Gold Cup I can’t wait to see Holden play to his potential in a big-time tournament. I, along with many others like Dempsey in the middle to fill his spot rather then going back to a 4-4-2. Although I still think Bob will go back to the 4-4-2 for the Gold Cup and count on Michael to create the attack.
Filling out the D
One would assume that neither Ream or Lichaj would start given the minutes they got against Spain but I’m not taking that into account as this is more of a “first team” for the Gold Cup rather than starters for Tuesday. I still doubt Bob starts either of them although I think they both could play their way onto the roster. I also fully expect Cherundolo to start at RB although the only reason I’d say he’s not a lock is because of his age and the fact that we really need some new faces along the back line. I expect him to start this Gold Cup but he’s not really the best option for four years from now so I’d rather start looking too soon than too late.
I fully expect Bradley to pick Onyewu for the start even though he hasn’t played well for club or country recently. I’d be much more interested in Onyewu taking a spot on the outside than seeing him in the center. I’d just rather see younger faces back there. The guys we had proved they couldn’t cut it in their primes. What makes us think they’ll be better four years later? That’s why I have Clarence Goodson. I think he’s better now and definitely better for the future.
I doubt Bradley puts Lichaj in despite the fact that he was one of the best players we put on the field in the first half against Spain. He earned it for me but I still think Bob is too invested in his guys to give up the spot. Spector gets it although I think Lichaj earns it sooner rather then later.
Filling out the O
Here are the questions I’m personally more interested in. I think Bob probably sticks with Jozy Altidore and Juan Agudelo up top. If he’s sticking with a 4-4-2 its the only real option he’s got, but if he were to try out the 4-2-3-1 formation they’ve used recently he might get a more interesting team. Obviously Juan or Jozy has to stay in as a striker. I probably have them split time pretty evenly, with Juan being a bit of a second but coming in to nearly every game. The kid is talented and really the game against Spain was the best all-around game I’ve seen from him in the Red, White and Blue. No he didn’t score and didn’t create any particularly enticing chances, but he was there with Pique and Ramos and whoever else was on him every minute he was in and kept with them. He held his own and looked very confident on the ball. Spain was better and the ball rarely got to him and he lost it too often (of course taking into account it was Spain makes this whole loss look a lot better.) I’ll say Jozy for now but I also acknowledge he may be on his last legs for now. Juan’s making a run and unless he starts lighting things up its Juans job to grab.
I’d probably put Bedoya on the wing out of the players that Bradley called up. Then again this is my blog so I can do whatever I want. If I were running the USMNT I would send Robbie Rogers home and bring in Timmy Chandler. Bedoya’s not a bad choice, considering the circumstances but I really can’t explain how much I want to see Timmy Chandler on the field.
Sidenote:Although I totally understand the idea of Chandler staying home for rest. This has been a very active season for him. It makes sense, but I still wanted to see him play. If he can play as well as he did in the Paraguay and Argentina friendlies he may be the most exciting addition to this team in a long while. I grew up playing a position like his so I have a bit of a bias (hooray transparency!), but I’ve always thought defenders who can attack are the most exciting players in the game. I’d love to have him playing at fullback, but the way he played in front of Lichaj against Paraguay makes me more interested to see what they can do together when he’s on that wing. Ultimately I’d like to see him play at left back with Dempsey in front of him and Stuart Holden in the middle, but with injuries that’s not possible just yet.
June 2, 2011Posted by on
Forward Chris Agorsor was released by the Union today. This opening of a roster spot, combined with the lack of interest in Benny Feilhaber has led some to believe that the Union have plans for a new addition this summer. Whether that be a DP, a homebound USMNT player or even just a young player they want to get a better look at, Agorsor’s spot will not likely sit open for long. From his statistical record, scoring multiple goals in preseason in Greece, it is not likely that he was cut purely for being bad, he was doing well enough but it seems to me at least that the Union have interest in filling his spot.
March 29, 2011Posted by on
So two nights ago my computer fell on the floor and the entire screen went black and has yet to return. I’m writing this from a library and it is a very sad day. Basically from now until I get a new computer, or at least a new monitor updates from here will be much less frequent, maybe about once a week. It’s quite disappointing seeing as the season just barely started, but I’m a college student and don’t have nearly enough money to go out and repair the screen. So from now until probably mid-May my updates will be much less frequent.
Of course I don’t want to skip over the Union, but at least for this week and any other that the USMNT plays, I will probably be focusing primarily on the national team. The Union played great, it was real nice to see Ruiz get his first goal in Chester and especially nice to see the defense continue playing as well as they had in the first game. Of course this was a brand-new Vancouver team without some of their best players, due to national team duty, but it was a win and a good game nonetheless.
What I want to focus on is obviously the US-Argentina game this past Saturday and the US-Paraguay game tonight. I’ve read and heard a lot of talk about how great Juan Agudelo could be and also a lot of talk the other way. That Agudelo is just a kid and we have no idea how good he could be. That Jozy Altidore played pretty much this well when he was coming up to. Personally watching him play I got the impression that Agudelo was confident at times, but very much balancing on the verge of overconfident. I watched Agudelo take on three Argentinian defenders, and naturally fail to get through them. That’s hardly a negative that he couldn’t get through three defenders, only one player can do that consistently and he only faces Argentina in practices. The problem is that Juan did this at least twice with open players by his side. He made a few solid passes, but it was also glaringly obvious that his on-field vision was lacking and that his ball-skills, while very good, where not exactly what he thinks they are. Agudelo is a kid and should be looked at that way. If he plays well tonight, I think it’s much more likely Bob keeps him off the field entirely than that he starts as many are calling for but I deexpect another second-half substitution, and starts making smarter passes I could see him getting starts in the latter stages of the Gold Cup. I think the kid is far from a star, but Jozy Altidore is not all that far ahead of him so he could easily compete for a starting spot on the team. He played as we expected, confident but sometimes cocky, well but sometimes fool-hardy. In short he played like you’d expect a young player to.
My biggest issue with the praise being laid upon Juan is that he was far from single-handedly the reason that the US turned their game around in the second half. Jonathan Spector was being torn apart by Angel Di Maria, again as we should expect. Spector has never played particularly well against speedy attackers. Chandler came in and played very well, again he may not have locked down Di Maria entirely, but few do. There’s a reason he plays where he does.
The most important change made at half-time was the substitution of Jermaine Jones for Juan Agudelo, but I believe this for different reasons. From what I saw Juan didn’t light things up from the front. Rather adding another attacking player lit things up. Jones, Edu and Bradley should never be on the field at the same time. If this game teaches us anything it is that. Spain only plays Iniesta and Xavi, and Fabregas sits. No matter how good he is, he does not help to form the best starting 11. Bradley would be a very solid super sub, for Holden if we need defense, or for Jones or Edu if we need offense. Maurice Edu plays Center Back for Rangers, he played attacking mid on Saturday.
Bob Bradley basically replaced Stuart Holden with Maurice Edu because he was the next mid on the chart. Agudelo is not better than Edu or Jones or Bradley, but his position is more along the lines of what the US needs. Can you imagine what they could have done if they’d had Stuart Holden playing behind Jozy all game, rather than a combination of Edu and Agudelo? Obviously not much considering Holden barely has one leg, so he probably can’t run well at the moment, but if he were healthy he makes this entire discussion moot. The conversation is about whether it is more important to have your best 11 players on the field or your best team. This game showed me that it is more about having your best team. I don’t believe Juan Agudelo is part of the best team. I personally believe that Mixx or even Jose Torres would do better there maybe bringing in Clint Dempsey and using Chandler out on the wing if he continues to play well with his club.
Ultimately I believe Bradley’s starting lineup looks like this with everyone healthy
———Donovan –Holden ——Dempsey———-
With everyone healthy, the only substantial change I would make is to try Edu in the defense, I think that is the best way to combine the ideals of getting both your best 11 and your best team on the field. Edu has played in central defense at the club level and I’d like to see if he can do it on the international level.
The lineup I expect to see tonight looks significantly different from the lineup we saw Saturday, as many of the players are in the middle of seasons and their clubs likely wouldn’t approve of two games in four days.
Ultimately, if we can get the same kind of play tonight that we got in the second half of the Argentina game we’ll beat Paraguay and look good doing it. The bigger concern is getting a look at more players, a bit deeper on the roster and seeing how they play with at least a semblance of the top-team. I expect more substitution in this game, and definitely less familiar faces, but the starters will hold the key. The biggest problem is that this team has started so weakly in so many games recently. I think a part of this can be credited to Bob Bradley adjusting well at half, but at the same time why is he not making those adjustments before the game?
March 25, 2011Posted by on
Most of the news this week is about the upcoming games, Union and USMNT. In case you somehow missed it the Union home-opener is this weekend against Vancouver and the USMNT is taking on Argentina on Saturday (and Paraguay next week.)
For starters here is a video put together by USSoccer of past games against Argentina, including goals from names like Wynalda, Lalas and Johnson, and big saves by Keller Of course there’s the same from Messi, Riquelme and Crespo.
And of course Tim Howard’s absolutely dominating performance against Argentina in the Meadowlands in 2008.
For starters a few links on US players you might not know too much about who got called up for this game
Chandler and fellow German-American David Yelldell
A few articles on other players you may know a bit more about, or just other things related to the USMNT-Argentina game in any way.
Jay Demerit on the game and a few other things, along with an article on Lionel Messi
Brad Guzan, who won’t be playing at all for the US this summer
A look at how Bob Bradley makes these selections
Tim Howard talks about the 2008 game he played against Argentina in Jersey (highlights up top)
Maurice Edu: The Last Action Hero
Jozy’s from Jersey in case you forgot
The go-to Soccer By Ives piece (and comments) on who should start
A little eye into Cary Camp
A look at German-American soccer players, in light of Yelldell and Chandler
And a look at the Union Vancouver Game,
Nowak says the lineup is still changing
A “keys to the game” style preview of the game. I think these things are almost worthless but I know someone will want to read it.
Valdes is eager to please
A little bit of DOOP-troversy the Union have trademarked the word DOOP and its causing quite a scare around the supporter base. They’re very anxious to see how it turns out and what it means in practice.
Video of Chad Ochocinco’s practice with Sporting Kansas Cityhttp://www.nfl.com/videos/cincinnati-bengals/09000d5d81eea388/Kickin-it-with-Ochocinco
March 25, 2011Posted by on
The USMNT will take on Spain at Gillette on June 4th. Anyone interested in buying me tickets should do so because I want to be there.
More importantly the US has lined up a very legitimate list of teams to play against this summer. Obviously having all these teams in the US is a perk, but its also worth pointing out that the US is facing these teams. Between the end of the World Cup and this match up, the US will have faced Brazil, Argentina and Spain all in under a year. Of course they only played a handful of other matches but Chile and Paraguay are far from the bottom of the barrel. Both would compete and do well with the top teams in CONCACAF and dominate the bottom in the same ways that the US and Mexico do.
March 24, 2011Posted by on
Here it is. The Red USMNT Jersey’s are officially out. The new motto which is yet to be decided will presumably be on the back, but here is what the kit will look like for this week. Pretty much what we expected, a red version of the World Cup kit, but I’m a big fan of the look.
More images here at US Soccer’s Facebook Page
March 22, 2011Posted by on
Everyone knew that Jay Demerit would be called up to the USMNT for this weeks friendlies. Everyone knew the Whitecaps would be missing their captain and starting central defender against the Union on Saturday. What we did not know until more recently is that Michael Boxall would be called up to play for New Zealand, replacing star-defender Ryan Nelsen.
Boxall, the Whitecaps other starting central defender, was called up as an injury replacement over the weekend. This hole right in the middle of the defense could be just what Sebastian Le Toux, Danny Mwanga and Carlos Ruiz need to start getting their attack in rhythm.
It seems that the pair will be replaced by Greg Janicki USSF D-2 2010 Defender of the Year who will be returning from injury, so the holes may not be all that big, but injuries to the back-line have been a problem for the expansion side and that can only benefit the Union in this game.
Along with losing both starting center-backs, the Whitecaps will be without both of their starting wingers from last weekends 4-2 win over Toronto. Davide Chiumiento and Russell Tiebert will both miss the game with leg injuries, although Tiebert would have missed the game anyway as he was called up to the Canadian U-20 team which he plans to join as soon as he’s healed up.