Friday, September 23, 2011

It's MY clipboard. I have a receipt.

Yes, starting my personal USMNT depth chart reveal in goal is not flashy - but it's Friday, I'm sure you'll all persevere somehow. Naturally, the explanations will expand once we hit the field positions, as will your opportunities to question my sanity.

Looking forward in the proper uniform number/4-3-3 role order, I will drop my right back list tomorrow and then hold off with the right center back reveal until Tuesday. Basically, we're gonna be going Tuesday-Saturday on this. And after it's done, there will be a few more specified Top 5'ers to follow covering various aspects of our pool skills and system directives.

For now, let's skip the ceremony and get to the goalies. Remember: these ranking will be made as current, but with the start of World Cup qualifying next June clearly in view...

#5 - Bill Hamid

Yes, I realize he's getting call-ups now. I realize he's at times monstrous. I also realize that his rate of howler frequency is too high for my liking. To me, this qualifying cycle is just one too soon for Hamid. He may, of course, feel free to prove me wrong over the next nine months.

#4 - Kevin Hartman

Several MLS keepers were considered for this list and it was a tough call. As much as certain traits from guys like Pickens and Rimando tempt, I might have felt silly advocating for anyone but the FC Dallas wall from that group. Hartman and his clubhouse intangibles take the grizzled veteran cake here.

#3 - Sean Johnson

Yep. I just feel the Chicago Fire keeper is more fully developed than Hamid at this time. He's also a nasty shot-stopper and spot kick swatter, two attributes that are highly welcome at the international level. His area command needs work, but then, Johnson is only 23. Flaws weighed, he's still my favored young MLS-based netminder.

#2 - Brad Guzan

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's a back-up. Now name one other American keeper not named Brad that has faced an equal level of opponent with success. Just imagine how good Guzan could be if he actually played... it seems likely we will find this out before qualifying starts.

#1 - Tim Howard

"Duh," replied Captain Obvious.

- Greg Seltzer


strago said...

Yawn! ;)

Jay said...

I can't think of a guy in the pool who needs a move more than Brad Guzan. He waited his turn and got spurned for it.

Darius said...

I'm surprised you rate Sean Johnson so far ahead of Hamid, Greg. Johnson is an absurd natural shot-stopper, but Hamid is so much more well-rounded at a younger age that I see him as the better player now and in the future. That's not a diss on Johnson at all, just the breaks when you're competing to be the number one American goalkeeper.

Greg Seltzer said...

I can see why someone might prefer Hamid, but I prefer Johnson at this time.

Besides... they aren't competing to be the #1 keeper for the US now or later. On my chart, they are competing to be the #3 keeper for World Cup qualifying. And in reality, at absolute best, they are competing to be Klinsi's #2.

SPA2TACU5 said...

So why these five goalkeepers in terms of 4-3-3?

Greg Seltzer said...

Obviously, the keepers have the fewest directives particular to a 4-3-3, especially when making an abrupt system switch at the senior level. There isn't going to be any great shuffle in goalie ranks because of the change.

Perhaps the most important variable is ability to direct and communicate with the defense (which I'd say everyone but Hamid does at a fairly high level). Quick and accurate distribution is also a hallmark to expect (I'd tab Hamid ahead of Johnson there).

Looking forward, we will definitely want keepers who are comfortable with the ball at their feet. Other than that, there won't be a great deal of additional 4-3-3 specific training instituted.

It's just the keeper. He's mostly on his own planet tactically, no matter what system you're running. To be frank, I am greatly annoyed by soft goals - it's a huge no-no in my book. I can't have it. And that's the primary reason I prefer Johnson to Hamid at this time.