Culver City, CA
Post #76
Tuesday December 13, 2016 7:37am

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
Original post from hamsamwich

@mmee- I'm sorry was what I said not clear?

Yeah I couldn't quite tell what your actual opinions was the first time.

West Palm Beach
Post #77
Tuesday December 13, 2016 10:36pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
ok suckers I'm back.

Took a little bit of time off, self exile to reflect on things. Also happened to be the busy time at work and I got Pharyngitis (pretty nasty case). Anyways I'm back now.

Here is my time.

I was always a supporter of JK. But I was not surprised to see him go, nor was I too sad. The last few months had been brutal and for PR reasons alone it was time. I have no doubt that JK would have gotten us to the World Cup in 2018, just as I have no doubt that Arena will do that as well. The Hex is very forgiving. Those 2 loses are barely even a speed bump. They just look awful. They look way worse than they are. Despite being ok with the JK firing at the time, I still think our best chance in Russia was with him at the helm.

At first I was upset about the Arena hiring. BUT I am ok with it IF it is just a temporary hiring to get us through this cycle and make sure we qualify. Really the only thing that will be bad for us is not qualifying. If we qualify and stink it up in Russia, it'll stink, but it won't hurt the program. Not qualifying, would be very harmful. It will take away valuable experience for the young guys like Pulisic, Horvath, etc who can lead this team in 2022. BUT if this is a permanent hiring AKA beyond 2018. Then I'm not a fan.

Ideally we get through 2018, look half decent in the group stages but fail to advance to the knockout rounds. Then after the World Cup Arena's contract is over and we do an extensive search for someone for the 2022 cycle.

Really the only wrong move Gulati could make was to hire someone who may be a great coach but has no knowledge of the Concacaf or playing at Panama or Honduras, etc, and lacked knowledge of our player pool and used the March Qualifiers as a test to see what we had. Despite the Hex being forgiving, we have to win those games in March and at least come away with 4 points. Necessity. So pretty much the only way we don't qualify is by having someone come in with no knowledge of the USMNT/CONCACAF and using the first year/hex to feel his way around and throwing it away. That is something that Gulati couldn't risk. So he went safe and hired Arena. I get that. I'm ok with that...IF it stays THAT.

So what does Arena need to do?
He needs to quickly identify where Pulisic is at his best for the USMNT (should be's playing on the left), and integrate him as PART of the team, not the CENTER POINT of the team. As good as he is, he isn't ready for that yet, and we don't frankly need him to be.
He needs to firmly make Bradley's role as a #6 and find a suitable partner for him (not Jones). We have seen enough of Bradley/Jones combo to know that it just really doesn't work in any formation. They have played probably 20-30 games together, and have had a good working pairing in ONE game. That doesn't cut it.
He needs to stop tinkering with Yedlin and just leave him at RB. He is clearly our best a long shot and needs to be given time there to grow and become steady. Stop with moving him back and forth to RB and RM. He's young, let him grow in one spot. He's not Fabian who is versatile enough to do that without missing a beat or stunting his growth.
He needs to call in every available Left Back in our pool especially Villafana and see what they can do. FIND a permanent LB that allows Fabian to function in the midfield. Personally my biggest gripe with JK was not giving Villafana a look. I'm not saying Villafana is special, or he would have completely changed things, but you don't even call him up ONCE?
Call in Lichaj, Villafana, Ream, Acosta. Find one that is serviceable and can do their role there. We don't need 11 Superstars. If we can just have a few guys that can change the game and the rest just perform their roles, we'll have a very successful team.

If we can have a Johnson, Pulisic in the midfield with Bradley, that's a great start. Bradley would be able to do what he does best: Play defense, chase balls down, then pick out guys making runs on the counter with long passes to the side (which Johnson and Pulisic and Yedlin can do as well as Morris/Wood/Altidore. Then either have a 4-3-3 with Morris/Altidore/Wood or find a more box to box midfielder with a little more attacking flair.

We have the right pieces to win a lot RIGHT now. Really if we can just find a competent LB, and a #8 Midfielder to pair with:
Yedlin - Cameron - Brooks - ?????
Pulisic/Johnson - Bradley - ????? - Pulisic/Johnson
Wood - Altidore

Then have Morris, Bedoya, Besler, Birnbaum, Dempsey on the bench. That gives us some pretty good cover.

Of course the biggest issue we may face is finding a GK. Something that is rare territory for us.
Culver City, CA
Post #78
Tuesday December 13, 2016 10:44pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
Despite my many disagreements with you, welcome back and I hope your health issue resolved well.

That said, you were totally wrong about JK and you still are.

West Palm Beach
Post #79
Tuesday December 13, 2016 10:44pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
What I would like to see in the January Camp:
GK - Horvath, Hamid, Yarbrough, Bingham, Steffen, Johnson, Robles
YES BRING THEM ALL IN. See where they are in relation to each other. Then in March bring in the best 2 with Guzan and Howard (if healthy) and see where they are in relation to each other.
Horvath will be in the off-season as will Yarbrough and the MLS'ers.

Acosta, Villafana, Parker, Castillo, Vincent. Bring them all in and see if any of them can do the job at LB. Pick out the best 1 and bring them in March and see how they do with Ream/Lichaj.

Arriola, Bradley, Nagbe, Trapp, Alashe, Kljestan. See how those guys pair with Bradley. the best 1-2 pairings bring them in March with Kitchen and Williams. See who stands out.

Other than that who cares. No one else that can be called up either has a chance or is already knows their role and what they can do.
Post #80
Tuesday December 13, 2016 11:46pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,449
Why would Brugge let Horvath attend Camp cupcake? Even if they allowed him to go, I'd rather see him stay in Brugge and try to earn some playing time.

Post #81
Wednesday December 14, 2016 4:46am

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 1,151
Agreed. Even though it is unlikely that he takes over the starting role next season, acclimatizing oneself to the new club environment is important, and it's hard to see him being able to get in there and get settled if he's away with USMNT

Post #82
Wednesday December 14, 2016 3:13pm

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
Original post from Rey Regicide

Well, we didn't play scared, we didn't play "well" especially against Belgium, but I mean those games are tough.

I mean an honest assessment, and I know this is a privileged biased reasoning, but from my perspective, is that we were on a good path, but he like everyone agrees to, made some head scratchers, but me personally I don't think any of them were tactical. I think the 5 3 2 made sense, I don't think Jones was going to be starting CB in Russia, but if he were to have made an impact, we needed to get younger in MF, and having him mold the position for the CB to come (CCV, or even Brooks really as he wasn't a permanent starter).

I just don't understand why he kept making certain selections, he's done being judged, he's paid his price, he's over with as a manager. I just want to hear from his mouth, why he thought Beckerman and Bradley were a good idea against Argentina. Or against the Paraguay game when in the dying moments we were down goals, down a man, needed someone to cover space, needed someone with speed, someone like Nagbe who's athletic but not careless, why he choose Beckerman instead. Wondo, is fine it was imderstandable, but it was clearly wrong. It didn't wind up working out.

Def don't understand the SK snub for so long, rain was right, and then when Nagbe got on board, choose SK out of nowhere over Nagbe and put him in the STARTING lineup, lol. I mean these are gripes that are consistent where we were.. where we are. We had good displays good performances, but then some bad ones.

....And Arena will do the same... I remember Wynalda complaining that he was in love with McBride, instead of calling up Twellman/putting Dempsey in the forwards spot/ etc. If we don't win the world cup, the gold cup, everyone is going to have gripes. It's just how it is.

Twellman over McBride? Bwahahaha.

Rey Regicide
Post #83
Wednesday December 14, 2016 5:07pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
not in announcing, but at the time... 22 year old who wanted to run around... in Arena's words

World cups are a young man's game...See everyone does stuff like that..

Post #84
Thursday December 15, 2016 4:48am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,449
The MNT will play Serbia on Jan 29 in San Diego at the end of Camp Cupcake. I wish they would have scheduled a second Friendly against Canada just to give more players a look.

EDIT: I spoke too soon. From ESPN "The Americans will play another exhibition on Feb. 3, sources said, with location and opponent to be announced at a later date."

Rey Regicide
Post #85
Thursday December 15, 2016 11:14am

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
not bad

West Palm Beach
Post #86
Friday December 16, 2016 5:47pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
At the time of writing that I was not aware of the Horvath move to Brugge. With that move I would rather him NOT be in the January Camp.
Rey Regicide
Post #87
Friday December 16, 2016 8:49pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
From what I'm hearing with Arena


I'm in agreement with all these.

I heard something like Beasley too? that wouldn't be so bad.

Post #88
Saturday December 17, 2016 1:17am

Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts: 1,175
How do Hedges and Zimmerman compare to our CBs? From someone who has followed them.

Post #89
Saturday December 17, 2016 2:50am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 1,118
Original post from Live490

How do Hedges and Zimmerman compare to our CBs? From someone who has followed them.

Matt Hedges played very well last year. In terms of his position he is used as a left center back. He isnt the quickest cb which could hurt him in international play but he is one of the strongest in terms of strength CB in mls and he does well in marking players. The pace of play is much quicker and my concern would be going against elite talent. He would do best in a deep defensive line and would fit a counterattacking style well. He wouldnt do well playing in a defensive line that plays high and the offside trap. Hedges has had injury issues in the past which complicates things in terms of building rythym especially important at national team level. He had a much better year then Besler and I think he could be backup lcb in the new 23 if given the chance.

Zimmerman is a liitle bit more raw he isnt as quick as hedges. The big question is does hedges make him look better then he actually is. I think so Hedges reads the game pretty well and has the attackers hesitate for a half second. With Zimmerman he gambles a lot more so there have been times he can make an excellent challenge followed by a sequence where he is out of position. Zimmerman is an excellent header of the ball and scores a number of goals for club on set pieces. He isnt that good at slide and is average at standing tackling so if attackers get wide of him or past him he cant recover the ball as well as hedges. I rate hedges higher then zimmerman when they are out and playing together. Zimmerman like hedges isnt quick enough to be in a highline at international level both are best suited for counterattacking styles.

I think hedges is the one with the international future. He reminds me a lot of Cameron not the quickest but is strong and reads the game pretty well. Zimmerman remind me a lot of Gonzalez he has some of the right tools. I like his ability dealing with and scoring on set pieces. He probably will have good games from time to time he just will have problems dealing with the pace of the international game.

Post #90
Saturday December 17, 2016 2:52am

Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts: 1,181
Original post from Live490

How do Hedges and Zimmerman compare to our CBs? From someone who has followed them.

In a traditional 4 man back-line I'd rate them as follows:

Hedges is basically = to Gonzalez IMO. He just lacks the international experience. If he were available I'd rather have Miazga in camp to give him the experience. Birnbaum is a better passer....but doesn't have the same size/physicality. So it really depends on what Bruce wants out of his CBs.

Zimmerman is a decent/good LCB in MLS, but talent wise I'd have to put him behind a healthy Besler and well behind Brooks. I place him slightly ahead of CCV strictly from the standpoint that he gets more competitive games right now than CCV does. In the long run (2 yrs) CCV & EPB will both overtake him.

Dark horse for me remains Alvarado. If he is a starter w/ his new club he'll have a chance to work his way back into consideration for the National Team. He has the versatility to play ANYWHERE across the backline in a 3 or 4 back formation.

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