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MSantoine
Post #31
Wednesday September 21, 2016 11:22am

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

I think people that don't like Torres don't like him because they've only seen him play for the NT.

He is one of the most talented players we've ever had (this is someone who was a regular starter on probably the best Liga MX team in history, and had he not been injured probably would have been bought by Valencia). Anyone that watches him play in Liga MX sees that he has more skill on the ball and better passing abilities than anyone in our pool since Claudio Reyna (not saying much though).

The problem is that he has been extremely poorly used. He was hardly given a chance under Coach Bob, because during that time any of Michael's competitors at CM were frozen out or played out of position. I'll never forget when he finally got the start in that infamous away WCQ in San Jose. Coach Bob had just watched Barcelona the night before and decided to go with a 4-3-3. We got spanked so badly it was embarrassing. One of the goals was slightly Torres' fault but mostly Mastroeni's. Torres though was literally our only field player that didn't suck completely but he got subbed off at half time while Mastroeni stayed on. Pablo was completely gassed by the 70th minute and was a big liability at the end of the game. Torres pretty much never saw the field after that until he was thrown into the starting lineup against Slovenia as a #6 with all of the defensive responsibilities (Michael's role was to run around the field wherever he wanted). It was a bad fit for him and he played poorly, although he was inches away from scoring on a free kick (he's also pretty much the only player in our pool since Claudio Reyna that actually knows how to take set pieces).

Klinsmann recognized his technical abilities and since we have desperately needed attacking midfielders, tried him out as a left mid and a #10, giving him the "keys to the team" (his words). Part of this was out of necessity but part of this was one of Klinsmann's mind games: put a player in a situation that makes him uncomfortable and see how well he responds. The idea is that players that wilt under the pressure won't play well come World Cup time and should be kicked out.

Klinsmann's philosophy worked out great last cycle but I think he was wrong in this case. Torres didn't do well because he's a deep-lying playmaker rather than an attacking mid. He's a poor man's Xabi Alonso, not an Ozil as Klinsmann hoped. He ended up adjusting though and actually played really well as a LM during the 2013 Gold Cup, during which we played the best quality soccer we have in our history (I remember the British commentators I listened to were shocked that he didn't play in the final as they said he had been one of the players of the tournament). He only played for a total of 45 minutes at CM under Klinsmann, in a match against Guatemala where he got an assist (no, he didn't play particularly well, but it was one half).

But he still could have a very useful role in this team. Bradley has been poor since he moved back to the MLS and Torres, if paired with a #6 (like Beckerman, who probably still is the best pure #6 in our pool), would be extremely effective. We would be much better at maintaining possession with him in the midfield. Kljestan and Gooch, for example, are box-to-box midfielders in the same mold as Bradley. Torres, on the other hand, is a different type of player entirely, and gives us something totally different. He can help us pass the ball around.


Thats great analysis but Im sorry. If your article ends with having Beckerman and Torres as our starting CMs Im disagreeing with you. Yes Torres didnt get a fair shake from Bradley (didnt want Torres to make his son look bad) and really when he was on the fringe of getting his chance with Jurgen he kept getting hurt. Like Bornstein, Lichaj, Ream, Wondo he can continue to have a nice, successful, club soccer career but his time with US is over.

db707
Post #32
Wednesday September 21, 2016 12:06pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 461
I remember Klinsmann trying Torres out at left back for some reason against A&B. I also remember that 2009 game in Costa Rica when Torres was the only player with any confidence on the ball, so Bob yanked him at halftime.

Rey Regicide
Post #33
Wednesday September 21, 2016 1:53pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 1,995
Torres went into the corner and won a tackle against a bigger player in the dying moments that led to the fast break and subsequent bornstein for the win header that gave us the hex, and honduras tickets ot 2010

Silva... style...

Know Nothing
Post #34
Wednesday September 21, 2016 2:42pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,292
We all thought SK was in the wilderness until recently. On current form why not give Torres an invite in October?

This fits in nicely with the Siva and DeBruyne thread as Torres is a player capable of holding on to the ball and linking well with others.

goods
Post #35
Wednesday September 21, 2016 3:21pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 547
In that A&B game I think the left backs were hurt and one on suspension. So he went with him out of desperation

db707
Post #36
Wednesday September 21, 2016 9:37pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 461
Original post from goods

In that A&B game I think the left backs were hurt and one on suspension. So he went with him out of desperation


I looked back at the lineup, Parkhurst, Cameron and Onyewu were all on the bench, and Onyewu subbed in for Torres. U.S. Soccer also claimed Torres was cap-tied at outside back against Cuba in 2008, which I don't recall even though I was at the game (it's Cuba, I am sure he wasn't doing much defending)!

dolcem
Post #37
Thursday September 22, 2016 5:35pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,785
Original post from MSantoine

Thats great analysis but Im sorry. If your article ends with having Beckerman and Torres as our starting CMs Im disagreeing with you. Yes Torres didnt get a fair shake from Bradley (didnt want Torres to make his son look bad) and really when he was on the fringe of getting his chance with Jurgen he kept getting hurt. Like Bornstein, Lichaj, Ream, Wondo he can continue to have a nice, successful, club soccer career but his time with US is over.


Sorry I should've specified that the Torres/Beckerman combo would be for CONCACAF only. Against European teams I'd think Kitchen or Bradley would be the appropriate #6 to pair with him.

Torres is only 29 and I think given what happened with Kljestan, anything is possible. He'll still be just in his prime for the WC (and he's not the type of player who will suffer much from being a little slower). But Klinsmann prefers big, physical players (understandable, because for the foreseeable future, our athleticism will be our strength and our technical/tactical abilities our weakness). So unfortunately, I doubt he'll suit up for us again, but I hope to be proven wrong. Talent definitely isn't the issue.
GET A CLUB TEAM
Rey Regicide
Post #38
Thursday September 22, 2016 6:20pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 1,995
But technically speaking, you think Torres is better than Nagbe and Nguyen?

dolcem
Post #39
Thursday September 22, 2016 9:49pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,785
Original post from Rey Regicide

But technically speaking, you think Torres is better than Nagbe and Nguyen?


By far. To be fair, they're different types of players. Nagbe and Nguyen are #8s and would probably be better at moving the ball forward on their own and of course attacking in the final third. But I don't think they have the skill and poise on the ball that Torres does, and they certainly don't have the passing ability.
GET A CLUB TEAM
skangles
DC
Post #40
Friday September 23, 2016 2:47am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,323
Original post from dolcem

I think people that don't like Torres don't like him because they've only seen him play for the NT.

He is one of the most talented players we've ever had (this is someone who was a regular starter on probably the best Liga MX team in history, and had he not been injured probably would have been bought by Valencia). Anyone that watches him play in Liga MX sees that he has more skill on the ball and better passing abilities than anyone in our pool since Claudio Reyna (not saying much though).

The problem is that he has been extremely poorly used. He was hardly given a chance under Coach Bob, because during that time any of Michael's competitors at CM were frozen out or played out of position. I'll never forget when he finally got the start in that infamous away WCQ in San Jose. Coach Bob had just watched Barcelona the night before and decided to go with a 4-3-3. We got spanked so badly it was embarrassing. One of the goals was slightly Torres' fault but mostly Mastroeni's. Torres though was literally our only field player that didn't suck completely but he got subbed off at half time while Mastroeni stayed on. Pablo was completely gassed by the 70th minute and was a big liability at the end of the game. Torres pretty much never saw the field after that until he was thrown into the starting lineup against Slovenia as a #6 with all of the defensive responsibilities (Michael's role was to run around the field wherever he wanted). It was a bad fit for him and he played poorly, although he was inches away from scoring on a free kick (he's also pretty much the only player in our pool since Claudio Reyna that actually knows how to take set pieces).

Klinsmann recognized his technical abilities and since we have desperately needed attacking midfielders, tried him out as a left mid and a #10, giving him the "keys to the team" (his words). Part of this was out of necessity but part of this was one of Klinsmann's mind games: put a player in a situation that makes him uncomfortable and see how well he responds. The idea is that players that wilt under the pressure won't play well come World Cup time and should be kicked out.

Klinsmann's philosophy worked out great last cycle but I think he was wrong in this case. Torres didn't do well because he's a deep-lying playmaker rather than an attacking mid. He's a poor man's Xabi Alonso, not an Ozil as Klinsmann hoped. He ended up adjusting though and actually played really well as a LM during the 2013 Gold Cup, during which we played the best quality soccer we have in our history (I remember the British commentators I listened to were shocked that he didn't play in the final as they said he had been one of the players of the tournament). He only played for a total of 45 minutes at CM under Klinsmann, in a match against Guatemala where he got an assist (no, he didn't play particularly well, but it was one half).

But he still could have a very useful role in this team. Bradley has been poor since he moved back to the MLS and Torres, if paired with a #6 (like Beckerman, who probably still is the best pure #6 in our pool), would be extremely effective. We would be much better at maintaining possession with him in the midfield. Kljestan and Gooch, for example, are box-to-box midfielders in the same mold as Bradley. Torres, on the other hand, is a different type of player entirely, and gives us something totally different. He can help us pass the ball around.


Good post. Tigres have been an elite team the past few years and Torres has been an instrumental part of their success.

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