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Rey Regicide
Post #1
Wednesday January 27, 2016 2:14pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
It was interesting, playing soccer at work the other day.

I did my best to do my Busquets, the parts without the playacting and rolling on the ground.

Staying in front of my defenders, making passes to ANY available target, preferably a runner or someone who would advance it forward, in order NOT to compromise shape and position, thereby insuring less attacks on our end.

However hard I tried to stay disciplined however I caught myself making forays into the attacking third, sometimes ill advised. It was maybe 2 or 3 times during the game BUT EVERY SINGLE TIME I did we gave up a goal, or a great opportunity for the other team.

......This was indoors, on a basketball court maybe 35~40 feet wide 70 feet long.....

Then I thought to myself, I would NEVER do this on a full field game. It's too much of a risk. I started asking myself, what is the difference?

Of course the first thing is space right? But what does that really mean? I mean space and time are related... not like Einstein, but like if you receive a pass the more space you have the more time you have to collect it, so it becomes a function of technique. So if you don't have technique or awareness your time gets eaten up trying to do basic functions and you never get to piecing a more complex configuration.

Well if that's the case, is that why we have trouble in the US MNT?
They're basically "feeling" like they're in an indoor game and there is NEVER enough time and space on the ball for them against the likes of Brazil, etc, teams that are physically capable of closing in on them like bandits. probably yea duh right?

Well then for the time being, while we have players who are inferior technically, or how about just generally when you feel you are over matched, instead of parking the bus and having two or three outlets at most, is a better tactic not to fully "embrace" the indoor ethos?

The problem with my forward forays weren't that I went there, it's that noone covered for me. So as long as you cover for you kamakasi CB, CDM with even a CF if you have to.. you'll be fine?

So when you get into a game like Netherlands, and they pound you out for a good minute, you can't get the ball, depay is putting the style icing on your skates..

if you turn the game into a track meet where if the CB has a run forward in order to challenge their defensive assignments, you don't say that's a last resort option ... you encourage it as your first. Because our athletes (yedlin, wood, bradley, brooks) will beat theirs... do you? There were plenty of times I saw Gonzalez take the ball up because the opponents forwards (*i remember thsi in the belgium game where they wanted to suffocate us, and in the brazil game alvarado and Gonzalez did this to good effect, just when they passed the ball there weren't options)

I don't know maybe i'm overthinking this... but it seems like when we excelled in games it's when we turned it into fastbreaks

so i wonder if and when we get presented with challenges like that (i'm not advocating it, just wondering) if switching personnel (like forwards who are less talented than Altidore and dempsey, but more willing to run all over the pitch, covering the same area as your CB) to suit that tactic is the way to go

what you guys think?

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #2
Wednesday January 27, 2016 4:12pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
Actually I think that is part of what JK wants to do. He wants two way players everywhere. He wants to pressure everywhere. That's what we were doing in the lead up to the World Cup and in the World Cup Qualifying (when we went on that run). We were pressuring like crazy. The US biggest and best attribute is our athleticism. That's why guys with less athleticism and only play 1 way (attack) don't get many looks from JK at the moment.
Even Altidore when he was in shape prior to the World Cup was pressuring and running all over the place. Stealing the ball, scoring goals off of quick turnovers.
Guys like Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, even Dempsey, Zusi were that. Guys who would run around, pressure the ball and get into attack quick. That is what our players were best suited for.
You saw it in the opening minutes of Ghana. Our strategy was looking great. Then Altidore goes down and someone who isn't the same physical presence as Altidore is (who was a key cog in the strategy) came in. He wasn't pressuring as much, he wasn't aiding in the quick attack like Altidore, he was good off the ball making runs. He wasn't what we needed. People often fault JK (understandably) for not having a proper replacement (like for like) for Altidore. But at that point, there was no like for like replacement for Altidore. Altidore was playing very well and doing exactly what JK was hoping for. He hasn't been able to get back to that level of fitness and/or form since which hurt us over 2015.
That's why it is pretty amazing to me that despite a HUGE wrench being thrown into his plans JK was still able to adjust the style and make it out of the group and almost to the quarterfinals.
That was why he chose to take Yedlin and Green. Guys who he knew were very inexperienced by were good getting forward with pace. They would be able to come on in the 2nd half when the other team had been run ragged through the constant pressure. Even without Altidore you still saw that to an extent with Yedlin and Green. So despite his Plan A going down 12' into the first game, he still had a plan B. Very few teams are getting out of the Group of Death with their plan B.

That's why I laugh when people criticize JK for not playing possession based attacking football. We don't have the players for that. We are getting more players like that, but we aren't there yet. Even still we play much better in that regard than we did pre-JK.

Did people really expect JK in 3 years to be able to take a park the bus, counter-attacking team that used speed on the wings to get behind defenders and make long runs, the only passing we did was long passes that allowed our speed to run on to it and get out into a quick attack into a short accurate, build the attack style team?

It's international football. You play with what you have. And when you don't have a soccer culture that has a clear identity (which the US doesn't have at all), then it's a mis-match of styles and you have to work it as best you can.
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hamsamwich
Post #3
Wednesday January 27, 2016 8:46pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 3,107
I played basketball until age 23 when a shoulder injury forced me to quit and devote my athletic time to soccer.

As a point guard-small forward I had game and could switch what I was doing based on my team mates and the opposition. Let two, even three people come at me and not only would I not turn it over, we were more likely scoring on an easy assist. Let two people guard me in soccer and I have to get rid of the ball very frantically. It's all about technical ability and our lack of it.

But we don't have the confidence to play the "totaal football" that JK wants. It's all in our heads that because we have inferior technical skills, we can't win. That is and will be JKs biggest task.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #4
Wednesday January 27, 2016 9:20pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
Original post from hamsamwich

I played basketball until age 23 when a shoulder injury forced me to quit and devote my athletic time to soccer.

As a point guard-small forward I had game and could switch what I was doing based on my team mates and the opposition. Let two, even three people come at me and not only would I not turn it over, we were more likely scoring on an easy assist. Let two people guard me in soccer and I have to get rid of the ball very frantically. It's all about technical ability and our lack of it.

But we don't have the confidence to play the "totaal football" that JK wants. It's all in our heads that because we have inferior technical skills, we can't win. That is and will be JKs biggest task.


yep
Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Clark, Altidore, and Finley in 2010
severely lack of technical skills as a whole.
to a possible:
Trapp, Green, Pulisic, Nagbe, Morris, and Wood in 2022. That is a huge step forward in terms of technical ability. And really we don't lose much athletically either.

Trapp is the same caliber of athlete as Bradley
Green is the same caliber of athlete as Donovan
Pulisic is the same caliber of athlete as Dempsey
Nagbe is a better athlete than Clark
Morris is a better athlete than Altidore
and Wood is a better athlete than Finley

So all in all they might even be better athletically too. Whatever JK is doing to improve the level of our players from the ground up is already working. It's only going to get better from there.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say if those guys in 2022 or 2026 (U23's, U-20's, and U-17's of now) don't pan out as a whole to what we think they can be. That 2032 will be our year regardless to finally step out. The changes that JK has been overseeing with our youth programs the last 4 years will finally see the youngest of them be 20 in 2032. Others will be older and in their prime. The current group of 17-23 year olds is just the tip of the iceberg.

Although with potential world class players like Pulisic, Green, CCV, Miazga, Brooks, Keisewetter, Acosta, and more, this could be a golden generation for us (a TRUE golden generation).
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Dave
Post #5
Thursday January 28, 2016 4:58pm

Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts: 986
USAGunner - The US may enter into a "Golden Generation" sooner than you may think. "If" they meet their potential the squad for 2022 could be very, very good. For the most part these are players who should be at their peek (or close to it) and are showing significant promise with their clubs....

Keepers: Horvath (27), Steffen (27), Cropper (29)
Defense: Brooks (29), Miazga (27), Yedlin (29), Payne (26), CCV (24), EPB (25), Moore (25), Acosta (27)
Midfield: Green (27), Zelalem (25), Hyndman (26), Pulisic (23), Canouse (27), Trapp (29), Senora (25), Scott (27)
Forward: Morris (27), Rubin (26), Tall (26), Gooch (26)

I've ignored a number of quality players who will be in contention for spots in the squad and there could be any number of players who crop up between then and now, but looking at the 23 players above this could be a team that would be fun to watch and scary to have to face off against.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #6
Thursday January 28, 2016 5:41pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
Dave,
agreed. That's what I was trying to say with my last paragraph.
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MSantoine
Post #7
Thursday January 28, 2016 6:05pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Actually not to be all nit picky but we cant really call this group of players (Stefen, Miazga, CCV, Rubin, Tall, Gooch, etc).

A golden age is a group of players that consistently win gold in youth tournements. These guys didnt even qualify in their U17, didnt make the semis in U20, and may not qualify for olympics.

The Pulisic, Zelalem, Lederman gourp of U17/U18s are really the ones who could become the golden generation. The guys you mentioned are real the ones to hopefully open the door(QF in World Cup, scattered throughout top Euro teams, at least 1 in a UCL semifinal) so our golden generation can come through it.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #8
Thursday January 28, 2016 7:52pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
Original post from MSantoine

Actually not to be all nit picky but we cant really call this group of players (Stefen, Miazga, CCV, Rubin, Tall, Gooch, etc).

A golden age is a group of players that consistently win gold in youth tournements. These guys didnt even qualify in their U17, didnt make the semis in U20, and may not qualify for olympics.

The Pulisic, Zelalem, Lederman gourp of U17/U18s are really the ones who could become the golden generation. The guys you mentioned are real the ones to hopefully open the door(QF in World Cup, scattered throughout top Euro teams, at least 1 in a UCL semifinal) so our golden generation can come through it.


This is not true.

Belgium which has a Golden Generation right now (universally understood) has never finished higher than Semi-finals in UEFA U-21 Championship, Their U-17 didn't even make the U-17 World Cup, and went 1-0-2 in the UEFA championships (in the only year they qualified).

How a team does on the youth level consistently has not shown any correlation to how they do at the Men's level. So a Golden Generation has little to do with having successful youth programs and everything to do with having a bunch of World Class (ish) players that are within the same 4-5 years of each other.

Germany's current golden generation never played in the U-20 World Cup (didn't even make it to many), and the U-17 never placed higher than 3rd.

Spain had similar results with their recent golden generation.
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MSantoine
Post #9
Thursday January 28, 2016 9:42pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Original post from USAGunner

This is not true.

Belgium which has a Golden Generation right now (universally understood) has never finished higher than Semi-finals in UEFA U-21 Championship, Their U-17 didn't even make the U-17 World Cup, and went 1-0-2 in the UEFA championships (in the only year they qualified).

How a team does on the youth level consistently has not shown any correlation to how they do at the Men's level. So a Golden Generation has little to do with having successful youth programs and everything to do with having a bunch of World Class (ish) players that are within the same 4-5 years of each other.

Germany's current golden generation never played in the U-20 World Cup (didn't even make it to many), and the U-17 never placed higher than 3rd.

Spain had similar results with their recent golden generation.


Most of Spain's 2010 champion team either played on a U17, U20, or Olympic team that came in top 3. The Belgian guys at least were mostly on the 4th place 2008 Olympic team.

Its why Argentina is perceived to be on a down slope. They havent made a U20 world cup semi final since 2007. From 2005 until 2013 they didnt make a U17 semi final (those would be the 20-27 year old guys now, the "core").

Thats why Mexico had high hopes as they had a golden generation for awhile, they just didnt pan out.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #10
Thursday January 28, 2016 10:32pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
Original post from MSantoine

Most of Spain's 2010 champion team either played on a U17, U20, or Olympic team that came in top 3. The Belgian guys at least were mostly on the 4th place 2008 Olympic team.

Its why Argentina is perceived to be on a down slope. They havent made a U20 world cup semi final since 2007. From 2005 until 2013 they didnt make a U17 semi final (those would be the 20-27 year old guys now, the "core").

Thats why Mexico had high hopes as they had a golden generation for awhile, they just didnt pan out.


Then it wasn't a golden generation (Mexico).

4th place and top 3 isn't the same as getting "GOLD" (your word).
In a golden generation would you expect to see some decent youth play? Sure, of course you would. But they don't have to win the tournaments. A good showing is more than enough sign that they could be a golden generation. But winning is not a sign of a golden generation. Otherwise every generation for Nigeria would be a golden generation (and a few other African countries that always do very well at the youth tournaments).

This latest Uruguay generation (which is their best generation 40+ years) didn't do anything at the youth championships (Didn't qualify in 2003, or for 2005 U-20 WC, and went 0-0-3 in the U-17 World Cup). But they took 4th in 2010 and got to Round of 16 in 2014.

So making it to the Quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup and losing to the eventual champs on penalty kicks, is a good sign for a possible golden generation. Better sign for that U-20 team? You have 8 guys that are in big Euro leagues (or 2nd division teams), 5 actually playing for MLS teams already, 1 in Argentina (big club), and 2 more seeing time in Liga MX.

The U-17 squad you speak of went 0-1-2 in their World Cup But they do have 4 already oversea's at bigger clubs. a couple in Liga MX and the majority of the rest in MLS academies.

So there is ample evidence that between the 2 that there could potentially be a golden generation. But what will make them a golden generation is turning into very good pro's, not being very good youth players. So how they progress from here will tell if they are a golden generation.
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