West Palm Beach
Post #1
Wednesday October 11, 2017 5:43pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,322
So I was there Friday night in Orlando. The atmosphere was awesome. At least until after the 2nd goal. It kind of quieted down after that, but Panama never really posed a threat. Panama also played a very dirty game (at one point behind the ref Yedlin took a fist to the face...on purpose). It was bad. But the USA came prepared and fed off of the crowd. It was great.

Which leads me to the first thing that is wrong...In trying to spread the wealth in regards to where we play our games it really hurts the team and the atmosphere. Many national teams play at 1 or 2 locations. WE have like 10+ places we play games at. We had 5 World Cup Qualifying Home matches in the Hex and played all 5 in a different location. Mexico had 2 different locations (4 at the Azteca), Honduras 2 (4 at one), Trinidad 2, Costa Rica/Panama 1.

Big time countries like Brazil, where their fans are soccer crazy...Can do that. USA can't. We need a good home atmosphere and we don't get that everywhere. We need to look at what places have been good to the USA and play there. Arena said Orlando was one of the best. So play in Orlando, Columbus, etc. places where you know there is a good soccer atmosphere and people will show up and cheer for the USA (not another team).

I do think that JK would have taken this team to the World Cup. Arenas was the WRONG coach, many of us said it then. He took us 2 steps back. The best decision would have been to just keep JK (even though I'll admit he had run his course) through the end of qualifying or even the end of the World Cup in 2018, then move on. We don't have the talent to think we can just change managers in the middle and expect great results. Despite liking JK, I think the decision to move on was the right one, but the timing was the wrong decision.

Managers had a part in it. But the main problem was this:

Only 21% of our best players are in their prime. Something like 40% are 30+ and like 30% are young. That's almost 80% of our players are not in their prime this cycle. To make it worse it's not so much that those 30+ guys are world class players still playing at a high level (same with the young guys) it's that the guys who should be in their prime...SUCK. It's a lost generation.

I looked at the top teams in World Cup Qualifying from around the world, as well as several other top European teams. The makeup they have? 25% old, 50% prime, 25% young. That's the exact averages for the 8 teams I looked at (all who qualified for WC18). NO team had anything less than 1/3 of their players in their prime years (Portugal which has 2-3 World Class players that are old). NONE of them had anything more than 35% old or young players (we were higher in both).

We really just have a missing generation. ASN just had an article on it. I'll do further research and look at all the players for every team still alive for WC qualifying and see what the break down is. But that is not good for the USA, and the major reason we didn't qualify for 2018.

Some of it is the youth program, we need to continue to make positive change and adapt, but the changes we have made the last few years is making a big difference and we are seeing more and more talent come through. Just have to continue on that road. It doesn't change anything quickly.

Lets remember that a CORE of our best players right now are all young and have not hit their prime yet. Pulisic, Wood, Brooks, Yedlin, Arriola, and Morris. All are good, but haven't hit their best yet. Ideally they will over the next 4 years. To add you have guys like Weston, Horvath, Acosta, CCV, Miazga, and EPB who are making great strides and playing major minutes for club. All of them are in the same boat. That is a MUCH better generation than the 2018 WC Cycle has. Many of them will continue to get good matches from here. We need Howard, Guzan, Rimando, Dempsey, Jones, Beasley, Cameron, Wondo, and a few others to retire from international play and/or be phased out. At this point none of them will help us for 2022. Lets get a first rate coach in here and get Brooks, Miazga, CCV, EPB in there at CB getting major minutes. Lets find Bradley's successor. Lets work on a Wood/Morris combination. Lets get Pulisic and Arriola partnering more with Weston and others.

We have 5 years before 2022, 90% of the playing time between now and WCQ starts should go to those 4 at CB. Find which 2 work the best together and start pairing them together in big matches. So when 2022 WCQ comes around they are ready to go. Find another RB to be ready to go for when Yedlin needs a rest and/or is injured.

Tell Yedlin, Miazga, CCV, EPB, Pulisic, Wood, Weston, Green, Brooks, Horvath, etc Guys who are playing in Europe right now to find a good home. One that is challenging (and forces them to get better), but not too challenging to where they aren't playing. A place where they will get regular minutes AND have to still compete for their playing time. Don't get too comfortable in one place (unless you are dominating for a good team and continuing to get better). Don't get lax, continue to push yourselves. DON'T Go back to MLS unless you can't find a good spot in Europe. Don't do a Bradley/Altidore/Bedoya etc.
Post #2
Wednesday October 11, 2017 5:57pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 1,204
I quibble some with your last point re: don't do a Bradley/Altidore/Bedoya: when MLS is willing to significantly overpay relative to available contracts in Europe, I think it unfair to expect players to turn that money down just to stay in Europe. Particularly for somewhat older players where the likelihood of getting another big deal in Europe is lower. Now, if you are 22, it's a different story.

Another issue being faced is the difficulty of getting to Europe for younger players. Absent dual citizenship, they can't move over until they are 18. Kids in Europe are already in academies well before that. Meanwhile, the best option for US only citizens like a Carleton, for example, is to sign some on with the MLS. At that point, they are part of the system and it becomes more difficult to get out of your MLS deal in order to get to Europe. Which then begs the question: would it be better for a 15-17 year old to continue in club ball with the idea of getting to Europe more easily at 18 or to get better coaching through an MLS contract? For some, their talent is such that waiting works. For others, they probably start to lag in their development and European interest falls off.

I'm not sure what the right answer is, but there are clearly some systemic problems that will slow progress for a number of talented kids in the US until such time that MLS can approach Eresdivisie or even Jupiler levels of skill, coaching, etc.

Know Nothing
Post #3
Wednesday October 11, 2017 6:04pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,892
I agree...nice post

I have been going through Joe Gyau's tweets this morning and I think he exemplifies Gunner's last sentence as well as his statements about JK. Here is a tweet regarding JK and Joe's rehab:

and he retweeted this, perhaps as motivation

Rey Regicide
Post #4
Wednesday October 11, 2017 6:56pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
I hold steadfast to the numbers that we used to get shot at like

____insert funny thing here____

... you're right ____ there's nothing funny about getting shot at...

before Arena took over. Yes Arena was with a more direct style of play, but at the same time we had our backline protected. And alot of that had to do with Nagbe's inclusion. (wait you have to let me finish!!! Nagbe also neutered us in places where we could have bagged more goals... not solidifying those points on the road, the dropped points in Panama, the dropped points in Mexico, when we HAD the lead in retrospect is friday the 13th ish)

The problems changed. During Jk's time. WE gave up too many shots and got blown out, like vs mexico part 1, vs costa rica part 1, to giving up REAAAAAAAALLLY easy goals due to INCREDIBLY SHOCKINGLY POOR DEFENDING INDIVIDUALLY. Am I the only one who sees this? Please tell me that we got better with opponents peppering our goalies.

I don't know if Klinsmann would have taken us to the promised land of volvostok. But I do know if he had, it would have have to come with Brooks and Cameron on the bench because they both got hurt. And the Gonzo, Besler tandem was one that he extolled and at times relied on. At various times OVER Brooks, believe it or not. Again, I'm no JK hater, nor lover, just a guy who saw these things. Our situation was bad when Agudelo went to Utretch after catching heat with NE and didn't get his contract. I hope he flipped that crib in Cyprus though.

Our situation was bad when Luis Gil who was valued and tested by the JK administration couldn't get consistent playing time. In RSL, in Queretaro, in Colorado. Or wherever he ended up, ORlando right?

Our situation got bad when 2 years removed form the U20, a considerable amount of time in a footballers career, NOT that short of a turnaround, Zelalem and Hyndman DIDN'T matriculate fully to the MNT.!!!! FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAck

Our situation was bad when Shea philosophically committed suicide and embraced the absurdity of his existence, Camus style. With a shotgun meme.

Our situation was bad, YES YES I'M GOING THERE, I'M GOING THERE YOU CAN'T STOP ME I'M GOING I'M GOIN.....WHEN ADU DIDN'T PAN OUT. Adu didn't have to be pele. He just had to be the next guy to wear the 10 shirt before Pulisic paid for it in a camp years later and Adu went back to wearing 20. While playing next to Pulisic. Feeding him dimes.

Honestly, 10 years ago, I was in Queens boning some chic who I haven't thought about in years watching the US first beat Mexico on a failhabit volleybomb... then... watching Altidore, Bradley, McCarty, Szetela, Wallace (the good non Costa Rican one, although having the CR leftback would have probably done wonders for us), Sorkodie, or Koffie, whatever his name was.. Zissou(who's fam changed surnames to honor Zidane), and Robbie Rogers (ROBBIE FREAKING ROGERS WHO WAS A PROPER WINGER!!!!!!!!!).... we beat brazil. 3 years later, with roughly a good number of players from that squad matriculated to brazil's first team, and jozy, bradley, gonzo to ours, they tactically mauled us, and shut us out completely in the friendly.

For the next ten years, all we got was Altidore and Bradley. McCarty and family (Nguyen included I think!!!) never made it. And not "MADE IT", just hey, make it to the national team. Be a bit player. Even if to sit on the bench. Even if to carry Beckerman's boots when he goes to the lockeroom and hopefully sneak in an opportunity.

Who's fault is that?

Post #5
Wednesday October 11, 2017 11:09pm

Joined May 2017
Total Posts: 198
I don't get why we rarely play in Kansas City, I see KC as one of the very top cities for soccer here and it seems we are down the line for venues for USMNT games. No KC games since May of last year, a friendly with Bolivia. The last meaningful game in KC was in the 2015 Gold Cup. In between then and now (I'll include the couple Gold Cup games before KC too), we've had big games (friendlies against big teams and rivals included) in Frisco, TX; Foxborough, MA; Baltimore; Atlanta; Chester, PA; Foxborough, MA #2; Pasadena, CA; Harrison, NJ; St. Louis; Carson, CA 2x (one vs a rival in Canada, other vs Iceland); Columbus; then the Copa America Centenario with Santa Clara, CA, Chicago, Philly, Seattle, Houston, and Glendale; Jacksonville; Columbus #2; Chattanooga; San Jose; Commerce City, CO; East Hartford, CT; Gold Cup with Nashville, Tampa, Cleveland, Philly #2, Arlington, and Santa Clara #2; and then to close out with WCQ, Harrison, NJ #2 and Orlando. I will put KC over every single place I listed besides Seattle and maybe a Columbus. Also, where is Portland at, too? There should be somewhere here as well without a doubt.

Post #6
Wednesday October 11, 2017 11:29pm

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 3,428
Its money. Panamanian Americans in Orlando and Costa Rican Americans in NYC was an easy sell for the USSF.

Remember the Seattle crowd at the qualifier vs Panama. 50000 strong just screaming for the US. An unbelievable eveny and Gulati and all the rich assholes were like nahhh we're just trying to collect this money for all the people who are gonna be in NYC for this.

It should be: Columbus, KC, Seattle, Orlando, and Denver

Easy as that. The Snow game vs Costa Rica made them uncomfortable from the first whistle.

I know this is yelling into the void just tired of Gulati and the USSF's bullshit.

Post #7
Wednesday October 11, 2017 11:45pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 6,060
Garbage Period!!!!!

Post #8
Thursday October 12, 2017 4:11am

Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts: 10,652
Thoughts? Hopefully what happened last night has the same effect to what happened to Brazil in 1950.

I hope there were young boys watching their fathers cry last night which fuels a special few to turn into soccer gods. That they have the skill and the deep down burning fire to make the USMNT a world beater for their fathers.

I hope everyone that loves the USMNT and soccer in this country turns this anger, hurt, and sorrow into a positive burning desire to make soccer better in this country.

We need scouts everywhere. We need scouts in the inner cities, we need scouts in the rural mid west, we need scouts in the rural south, we need scouts in the mountain west, we need scouts in rural Texas, we need scouts in the great northwest, we need scouts in places where we don't think we need scouts. The scouting search for top talent should leave no area unscouted. There could be a kid right now on a farm with the heart, desire, and skill that our youth national team needs, but doesn't have access to play organized soccer. There could be kids in the inner cities who don't leave with out their ball who have the desire, heart and skill to make the US better. Kids in rural areas in the south, etc..... The biggest issue, which I have said for a long time, is the lack and utter incompetence of USSF to scout this country. Put money into scouting.

San Jose
Post #9
Thursday October 12, 2017 7:25am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 1,552
We can always use more scouting, but Imo, that area has noticeably improved. We have a lot more quality players coming through and it will get even better. Unfortunately, we had a big gap in the pipeline that just killed us...great piece from BShred.

Imo, the biggest problem is a lack of true quality coaches through out the entire developmental ranks...from the kids up to and including the nats. Some of the pundits were trumpeting Ramos as a solution for the current meltdown...made me want to barf. It is classic USSF mentality...completely inbred with no sense of enlightened thought. Same treadmill of low level names bouncing around from team to team in the youth ranks.

USSF rarely will give up control to an outsider. They did with JK, but he didn't have the tactical goods, and was, Imo, a poor man manager. He had the grand vision but not the details to get there. USSF thinks they can do it themselves...their way, but they need to go outside again....and this time actually get a quality tactician as a coach.

Our program should be built on the U17s and the players that come after them...those players will have the skill level to succeed...We just need to prioritize getting them some proper coaches.

Culver City, CA
Post #10
Thursday October 12, 2017 9:46am

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147

Post #11
Thursday October 12, 2017 12:05pm

Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts: 1,175
Any one else think many duals will change sides? Like, if i was Gonzalez from Mty, i would take the call from Mexico now. Or Acosta from RSL, from Honduras. Five years is a lot for meaningless games. Or there years, give or take.

Post #12
Thursday October 12, 2017 12:52pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 1,204
Original post from Live490

Any one else think many duals will change sides? Like, if i was Gonzalez from Mty, i would take the call from Mexico now. Or Acosta from RSL, from Honduras. Five years is a lot for meaningless games. Or there years, give or take.

I suppose if they were called in for this WC (if it's me, I'm not taking a call up for the playoff), maybe. But if that option isn't on the table, then they have the same amount of meaningless games regardless of which set-up they join.

Rey Regicide
Post #13
Thursday October 12, 2017 1:47pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
Original post from Live490

Any one else think many duals will change sides? Like, if i was Gonzalez from Mty, i would take the call from Mexico now. Or Acosta from RSL, from Honduras. Five years is a lot for meaningless games. Or there years, give or take.

How is the gold cup meaningless?

That's all Honduras and MExico would have to offer them as well.

those players are NOT going to the World cup

Rey Regicide
Post #14
Thursday October 12, 2017 1:52pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
Just, as with all our societal ills at the moment...

Just stop going to bat for corporate interest. Be libertarian for jeebus sake.

No, I'm not going to allow you to monopolize this.

No, you are not the sole exclusive professional league in this country. Highest level. If you don't want to incorporate or open your market up, fine, but you do not own exclusive privileges like you do.

I feel like that solves alot.

Rey Regicide
Post #15
Thursday October 12, 2017 2:35pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
or in laymens' terms


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