Friday, March 30, 2012

Great. You've all turned Alexi Lalas into the sage voice of reason. Please stop encouraging him in this regard.

Joking aside, I link to this Grant Wahl SI podcast with the ABC commentator specifically to give my full endorsement to every last thing he says from the question halfway through on, about criticisms hurled at the US Under-23 team and the fed that, yes, failed at Olympic qualifying. Alexi Lalas is absolutely right, with every point offered.

And as for Caleb Porter, I think everybody should stop pretending this wasn't also intended as a learning experience for him. We shovel over the players that don't soar right away, so why not add young coaches? Why not tear everything down every time we fail at some thing, even if we just put this structure up for the first time ever?

Soccer is not microwave popcorn. It's complicated cookery and the best teams learn the most from when they mess up. And in the end of it all, the Olympics still fell a stoppage time gaffe away. That's real.

The key is to now become a team that plays beyond scenarios where one flub or bad call or magic rally squirrel can suddenly turn everything dark a minute from time. That, in a nutshell, is the whole idea of 4-3-3 tactics. If you don't stick to the manual, don't blame the manual.

It's certainly true with the players and coaches, but to be fair, it's also taking time for USMNT observers to get up to speed with that particular part of the program. We all must stop being afraid to fail out there.

- Greg Seltzer


Matt said...

Your boy Simon Borg went a lot further in his criticism of the 4-3-3: his comment was basically that the 4-3-3 won't work in any meaningful Concacaf game.

This seems so obvious to me, but how can anyone draw any meaningful conclusions about the 4-3-3, Caleb Porter, or anything else with such a small sample size of results to work with?

Actually -- it would be good to hear you and Borg debate the merits of the 4-3-3 in an upcoming podcast.

susan said...

I don't think Lalas was correct about this bunch lacking potential C.D. from a "grit" perspective: Boyd.

dikranovich said...

the 4-3-3 bites the big one. the reyna manifesto does not even call for a 4-3-3 really, it calls for a 4-5-1 and it calls for a 4-4-2 diamond.

in reality, why would we push a formation that uses the least number of midfielders. it makes zero sense. let alone a formation that uses the most forwards. its an fing double wammy.

dikranovich said...

dc united rules. what the heck is martino talking about? hernandez is the one walking off the field.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Matt: If we do not man and run it correctly, then no, it very well may not work. Of course, you could say that about most anything. I will need to catch up on what Simon said about the 4-3-3, have not heard the last Extra Time yet.

@ susan: I don't know if folks have a proper read on Boyd yet. He certainly needs some first team games.

@ dikranovich: (sigh)

Tom said...

Greg: oops, was logged in on my wife's side last night! I'm not sure if Boyd ever will amount to much, but it is hard to argue that he hasn't got grit--that was my point.

UnitedDemon said...

I was surprised how easily the US lost their defensive shape, as I've always appreciated Porter's ability to strike that balance.

Unfortunately, I don't think the core of Corona, Mix, and especially Jeffrey knew how to switch to plan B.

dikranovich said...

did jeffrey even play in the el salvador game?

Greg Seltzer said...

You're right, Jeffrey didn't play in that game and he probably should have come on for a very tired Mix about midway through the second half.

@ United Denom: The team lost its defensive shape so easily because they were being so careless with the ball and then several were out of gas struggling to get back. I will continue to believe the failure was in failing to control the ball, and not anything else.