Post #1
Sunday September 3, 2017 12:11am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 3,315
Before it was a counter attacking with Donovan's speed etc. Those team would get us results. From 2002 QFs to Confed Cup Finals. Its what started and continued the dos a cero and dominance (vs Mexico) for years. I know many think bad of it because it wasnt attacking or pretty soccer but it got big results at times. I know one big thing is the fight the team had and thats something concerning this team has lacked at times in this cycle. Not too long ago I heard Mexican commentators calling those teams " scary " in contrast to this one.

So what exactly is this team known for? What are we trying to play because its clear that last night and for the past years Costa Rica has a system in place. Players know what to do. If one player goes down they have another to continue the job. In addition with less talent. The biggest name is navas but apart from that the players they have in Europe are not big stars. Similar to our players in Europe apart from Pulisic. Obviously Jurgen failed to create any kind of system and Bruce wont create one either with the little time he has. So we are pretty much doomed in this world cup?

Post #2
Sunday September 3, 2017 11:19pm

Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts: 3
Folding like a cheap hooker that got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face?

[HT to Joey Tribbiani, circa 1995]

Culver City, CA
Post #3
Sunday September 3, 2017 11:40pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
What is the playstyle now that Arena has been in charge for 5 games plus the GC?
Man, I really don't know, and I think your implied statement that that's too long to not know is right. I just wrote a way-too-long answer, but I'm going to cut it down to a few points:

• Morale is better but we don't have enough bite or determination.
• Shallow bench and positional vulnerabilities are making Arena's decisions tough
• Tactics are better on the per-game level, but nothing is building up across the games
• Some of the situational tactics are not good, such as Pulisic getting swarmed last game without one of the obvious responses: a) two-touch like Twellman said (or at least giving Puli the ball until he pulls players to him, and having him dish it), or b) quick-switch like MSAntoine said.
• Related to 'a' above, our off-the-ball movement is not great.
• When empty-bucket 4-4-2 fails, we don't always adjust (or like last game it's the wrong adjustment, and we start seeing Nagbe running like an AM and MB at DM which was not good).
• Roster and XI errors. If you look back at our big games in the last 9 months, Arriola and Acosta were in.

Looking forward:
• I want Arena removed before the WC, if we even make it. Playing out-of-form JV and FJ is not forgivable. Empty-bucket vs 5-4-1 is really dumb. This home loss is more bad than the road point in Mexico is good, and he got away from what worked in our toughest games up to this point. Why? Why did he get away from Acosta and Arriola?
• Our FB problem is far worse than our CB problem. We have to switch to 3 CBs. We have to. We have 7 good candidates and 4 candidates who might over-achieve between now and WC 2018, and earn one of 6 spots on a 23 man roster:
7: Besler, Brooks, Cameron, CCV, Miazga, Ream, Zimmerman
4: Alvarado, Birnbaum, Gonzalez, Hedges
• Futhermore, we do not have the quality to do anything but defend-first in WC2018, so we may as well put 3 CBs out there. If we're not putting 3, we're putting 4, or we're doing something dumb like a defensive 4-3-3, even though we don't have the FBs
• The system is 3-4-____ with 3 CBs, 2 WBs and 2 CMs in a tandem that you stick with all game.
In front of that is where all of our game-by-game tactics happen.
.....BUT it would be worth exploring the 3-1-4-2 to see if that DM role can be filled by:
Cameron (if we have enough CB quality to be able to afford him there.
Roldan (if he can settle in)
anybody else, and not MB
I don't think we have the people for this, because A: I don't think we have enough true DMs (like if either Roldan or McCarty doesn't cut it, we don't have the depth), and B: I don't think we have the right CM/AMs for that.
But I could be wrong.
• Jozy is going to be odd man out for a lot of this. He's too lop-sided in his strengths and weaknesses, and he's too slow. Maybe in the 3-4-2-1 he's out there as one of the 2.
Goodbye to Johnson and Chandler for good. As has happened in many a NT, sacrifice a few of the best players to define your style. Too bad they couldn't bring what they got to the USNT. (Johnson did, yes, but judge him by who he is for us now)
• The style is pretty obvious from here, no? Counter-attacking, organization, tenacity.
Old-school USMNT qualities, but with the technical skills that our players have today. Mix pressing with packing in, depending on who we're playing and the score. If other teams aren't afraid of our counter with Pulisic, Wood, Morris, etc then that's good for us. There will probably be a few role-players that aren't going to be all-time players but are necessary on the 23. I'm thinking that players like Agudelo, Nguyen etc could be necessary as backups to our other counter-attackers. They're not going to be legends, but we'll need someone like that in the 23.
(and obviously, obviously get a good look at any of those overdue players, as long as they're playing matches)

Post #4
Monday September 4, 2017 9:09pm

Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts: 33
That's great and all mmee...but we don't have the speed to counter attack. None of our CB's are pacey, our FB's are slow. Our CM are slow. Jozy is slow, Clint is slow.

The midfielders, Bradley, Bedoya, Nagbe, Dax, Cameron if he's there, don't have the speed for a counter set up. Maybe Acosta does, but he doesn't play that style for FC D and hasn't played that style before....besides the fact that he hasn't been very good lately.

Of the players in Bruce's squad that have pace, Morris, Zardes, Arriola, none of them have the ball control or finishing required to be effective on the counter. Sure, Pulisic in the center of the pitch can get from point a to point b, but unless he's doing the countering, attacking, and finishing, it's not going to happen with this group of players.

Bruce has opted to not integrate youth and to go with what he knows (MLS veterans). He made his bed, he can lay in it. This squad, if it qualifies, will do so based on one or two moments of brilliance from Clint or Christian. It's how they've been winning up to this point.... a great goal, a great bit of individual play that gets them through. The rest of the games are slog fests, with minimal chances on goal, and even less inspired play.

Post #5
Monday September 4, 2017 10:01pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 565
INHO the best thing for this team is to qualify first and foremost. Thankfully our last three games are against the bottom 1/3 of the hex, and we should be able to get in.

But after qualification they need to go young. November, hope it is not a playoff week, needs to be pure Europeean based players. Make it a camp Cupcake for them. We have yet to be able to have that kind of camp for them under Bruce. (I question wether he cares about that) Bring in 40 guys for the week and half and see who is hungry.

For the January camp be youthful. We know what the vets bring but let's see what the youth of MLS can do. Bring in Bundesliga 2 players their break runs longer than the first division.

In both camps find a system that works for the majority of our better players. If a talented played cannot fit in move on. I think the biggest issue with the USMNT is being married to a player and not a system.

Then for the WC go very young. Maybe bring Howard, Dempsey, Cameron, and Bradley. But they come with the understanding this is not their WC, it is about development. They are their as on field coaches, and or to be the calming influence on the pitch. In Demspey's case he is only going to see the pitch for a needed late goal, and Howard you will be the third goalie. If we get run out of the WC with a team of 24 and under players I am good with that vs sneaking through and getting knocked out in the first second stage game.

We are seeing the failure of the 2010 to 2015 youth system. Not sure if that is Bradley or Klinnsman's issue. But the need to have youth developed kids in a consistent system is so vital to USMNT soccer.

Culver City, CA
Post #6
Monday September 4, 2017 10:21pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
One point of clarification: I wasn't talking about this big change coming in the last 3 WCQs. I thought that was clear...?

San Jose
Post #7
Tuesday September 5, 2017 1:21am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 1,552
Not super exciting, but for this cycle with Arena driving the bus, hopefully through the WC, the most stable style would be a 4-2-3-1...we're still an absorb and counter team.

I think the roster will go through a mini shake up soon...still need a more quality and a lot more grit.

Rey Regicide
Post #8
Tuesday September 5, 2017 6:19pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
We don't have a style.

I think very few teams have predicated their whole identity on it.

I honestly feel that any sophistication was brought on the 90s, (first foreign coach) and even then, by all accounts Bora was less a tacticianer and more of a "I'm going to break you down mentally, psychologically... funny how JK has been illustrated the same way... Not to say they are or not, but if the language thing might be more than a barrier. Yea I know JK has been here for the longest. But his soccer vernacular is rooted in German. There are things I KNOW aren't translated properly.

I think Arena's play has been to try and maximize whatever is given to us.

Last game, haven't been on boards of late, I thought we played well side from errors from the centre backs.

Two dudes who should be said, think very confidently of themselves as passing CB's

They got eaten up because of lack of positioning (Reams case being more concerned with spreading out and receiving the ball than worrying about how quick he can get into position)

(Cameron's case thinking he can hit the nail on the head from like 34 yards out)

Again, you remember me saying the mode has been shifted, internationally towards making the CB's make the mistake. The opposition regardless of how good they are WANT you to have the ball. MORE SO if you are inferior (even if it's just on the ball). Because they're betting you can't handle the ball in your own area.

Germany Chile final 2017 confed

Rey Regicide
Post #9
Tuesday September 5, 2017 6:27pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
Yoiu COULD make the case

I have several times

That Bradley isn't a CDM he's a CM and he would be caught out of position. But you give and take with any option in MF.

You get less wiht Bradley wiht regards to holding, but you get some spates of him almost picking the CR's MF's pocket and putting a shot on target or that steal he took control of and giving it to Altidore for the nerf shot/cross.

If those plays resulted in a goal... no worries.

But Bradley wasn't the main person at fault there.

Know Nothing
Post #10
Tuesday September 5, 2017 7:41pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,892
Nice thread. No playing style to speak of, which can be good and bad, mostly bad though since it is easy for players to get confused.

I agree with mmee...three at the back is the way to go as that is where our strength truly is. I am biased, but a back three of Cameron, Brooks, and Miazga might work.

This is where I will get weird...moving forward I see Yedlin or Arriola as our RWB and either Acosta or Rowe as LWB. They don't need to be staunch defenders...just harassing without fouling. They also will act as wingers.

The CM midfield pair would change depending upon opponent, but in a more defensive posture I would like to see EPB or CCV paired with Nagbe or Bradley. In a game where we should be dominant Nagbe and Bradley can work in tandem.

Bobby Wood would be the main stiker. I have not seen enough of Josh Sargent to make an informed opinion, but since I am playing mad scientist I will play him on the right and Pulisic on the left.

Post #11
Wednesday September 6, 2017 2:32am

Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts: 1,184
The USMNT has lacked an identity this entire cycle. From 2002 through 2010 we were a hard working counter attacking team that punched above it's weight. In 2014 JK tried to morph us into more of a possession team, but we still had the hard working, gritty back-bone. Since 2014 this team has been lost....the players no longer seem to work hard, we're not a possession team, we basically don't have a formation.

IMO, If Bruce was smart he'd mimic the formation of Costa Rica for the balance of this our player pool lends itself best to this formation.


Bench: Jozy, Dempsey, Williams, Acosta, Gooch, Chandler, Villafana/Garza, Ream, Gonzalez, Howard, Guzan, Horvath/Hamid/Gonzalez/....Flyer (Arriola, Saief, McKennie)

In attack it plays like a 3-1-4-2 but provides enough defensive stability to clog the lanes and limit the oppositions ability to get into dangerous positions.

Culver City, CA
Post #12
Wednesday September 6, 2017 2:36am

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
Well, I think you are right that if we try 3-1-4-2, Cameron is one of the very, very few we have who could be the #6. And I think you are right that 3 CBs is mandatory now.

But I don't think that FJ has any place on this team, and if Nagbe wasn't hurt today v Honduras but had just shut down mentally, he can take off, too.
Also, Pulisic should not play F in a 2 forward system.

Post #13
Friday September 8, 2017 5:38am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 3,315
Its become crystal clear that this team has not been good enough to take teams for granted. You see it in games where players don't fight at times because now that we aren't the underdogs we take thing for granted. That's got to change or we'll make fools out of ourselves if we even qualify to the world cup. Its also clear this team should be a 5 man back line and so this would be mine line up for the next qualifier.


Imo this is a hard working team that can show some kind of grit and pressure and fight for all the 50/50 balls battle which we keep freaking losing. Panama come Oct will come and play and use every trick in the room and we better be ready. AKA diving, hard tackles, time wasting etc.

Jozy - Can Bully defender once they are tired
Deuce- not a starter because doesnt track back as much, can be back up to pulisic
Williams - we need different option aside from same old
Howard - Guzan better at ball distribution to control game.
Villafana - back up to FJ
Ream - back up to Besler
Miazga - back up to Cameron/Omar
Arriola - back up to Yedlin, with Zusi not being good enough and Chandler done with the NT
Nagbe - back up CM another player that can be brought when players are tired.
Horvath - can we stop calling a 38 yr Rimando?

Post #14
Friday September 8, 2017 6:22am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 6,060
Altidore s girlfriend is a Super Star and she cute to... Hope she wins it all... Maybe Jozy can get some motivation from her!!!

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