Saturday, March 10, 2012

My USMNT Clipboard 2.0

As promised, a re-boot of last fall's USMNT depth charts based on a 4-3-3 formation. Of course, that may not actually be used much in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (remember, its start is the time frame I'm thinking for these rankings) or may be run with alteration to a 4-2-3-1 that more closely resembles the Claudio Reyna guidebook version than how I'd run it with a skewed midfield (which I'll explain in more detail soon).

And as promised, we're going to now reduce these to three-man lists instead of five. There are some changes, as can be expected in depth chart #2 of a cycle and with the Olympics only a few months away. To move it along quickly, no commentary, just three guys listed in order. I'm sure the comment questions will elicit plenty of my prattle.

No more ceremony; here's how it would stand if I were boss. Those in blue moved up from last time, those in black held position, the reds slipped down and the three green men switched positions:

1 - GK
Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson
2 - RB
Steve Cherundolo, Timothy Chandler, Jonathan Spector
3 - RCB
Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst
4 - LCB
Carlos Bocanegra, Zak Whitbread, Tim Ream
5 - LB
Heath Pearce, Edgar Castillo, Todd Dunivant
6 - DM
Maurice Edu, Geoff Cameron, Daniel Williams
7 - RW
Landon Donovan, Josh Gatt, Chris Rolfe
8 - CM
Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Stuart Holden
9 - F
Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez
10 - AM
Clint Dempsey, Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber
11 - LW
Fabian Johnson, Brek Shea, Jose Francisco Torres

Those who most narrowly missed the cut: Nick Rimando, Eric Lichaj, George John, Jeff Parke, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Perry Kitchen, Alejandro Bedoya, Mikkel Diskerud, Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, CJ Sapong, Andrew Wooten



And now, let the intense questioning begin...



- Greg Seltzer

34 comments:

Unknown said...

i'm not even gonna question this. i'll just say, i'm very grateful you aren't our coach!

Greg Seltzer said...

Because of my left back stubbornness?

Unknown said...

Please show your work on Johnson over Hamid.

Greg Seltzer said...

Nothing's really changed on the specifics since the first list. And I kinda feel Johnson may also be improving his weakness faster.

Of course, a month from now, my third choice may be different and that person would still be well off the top two.

Jay Eychaner said...

If all you have to argue about is the third string 'keeper, that really ain't much to argue about.

dikranovich said...

ill comment. it is a little odd that cameron is ahead of williams as a defensive mid. maybe because williams got roughed up today, cameron gets the nod. and whats with trying to squeeze torres into a left wing spot? come on greg, get real.

we are not even going to talk about the left back situation. in fairness to greg, this is his opinion, not anything close to reality.

Greg Seltzer said...

"it is a little odd that cameron is ahead of williams as a defensive mid. maybe because williams got roughed up today, cameron gets the nod.

and whats with trying to squeeze torres into a left wing spot? come on greg, get real.

we are not even going to talk about the left back situation. in fairness to greg, this is his opinion, not anything close to reality."


1 - Have you ever seen Cameron play a USMNT game in defense against an A side? Me neither. My comments from the first edition stand, but I'm very open to being convinced he belongs at the back.

As for Williams, he played today as a right back, which was a problem from the idea's inception. That had no factor in his placement.

2 - Go back and read my remarks the first time. They stand firm. Super firm.

3 - Don't be shocked if Pearce starts the first qualifier. Don't be shocked if Castillo gets another look soon, he's had a damn good MFL season so far.

Finally, don't be shocked that I haven't changed my mind about the way we run this position. If we never play left backs, we will never have left backs worth playing - it's as simple as that.

Unknown said...

i promise you that i will be beyond shocked if HEATH PEARCE starts our first wc qualifier. you are dumb to think that's a possibility.

Greg Seltzer said...

Pearce starting against Antigua and Barbuda on June 8 is perhaps unlikely... but dumb? Nah. It could happen.

dikranovich said...

the chances are between slim and nil on pearce playing left back, and slim is on the last space shuttle out of here.

jon said...

I imagine Fab's stint at LB against Italy will have many feeling he is a better option that Pearce. But then again, I bet the anti-Pearce camp would have found someone to put in front of him regardless.

Bernardinho said...

The green color text isn't displaying too clearly on my laptop - I'm supposing those players are Spector, Gomez, and Fabian, aye?

Zach said...

Sub Chandler for Pearce and I wouldn't complain about that starting 11. After that your bringing versatile, most talented subs so some of these guys wont make a roster anytime soon, like Rolfe, Klestjan and Dunivant.

Wideboy said...

I think it may be time to move up Mixx and take out Holden. Holden is now with Charlie Davies - it would be great to have them both on the team IF they can ever return from their injuries.

Jay Eychaner said...

I'd draw a line at calling someone's opinions "dumb", especially on the guy's own blog. That line of debate leaves me largely disinterested in participating.

What does interest me is how Holden stays in the line-up, three months from the first qualifying match, when he's still rehabbing that damn leg of his. That said, when I start thinking who else might slot in there...

Finally, seeing Gatt and Rolfe -- two gentlemen with marginal international experience, at best -- filling RW depth suddenly makes me incredibly nervous about RW depth.

Zach said...

Obviously depth at RW is an issue, hence Williams being played out their recently. Shea could play the right, and Chandler, but Greg has them listed at their natural positions. I would think that at this point Gyau is ahead of Bedoya as well.

dikranovich said...

i always wondered and just recently found out that dummerer is a word. a dummerer was one of the 25 types of vagabonds, a sham deaf mute. think steve martin in dirty rotten scoundrel it kind of makes sense when you think about it.

how can you legitimize putting castillo at left back when he hardly defends. i dont know, what?

jay, i see the opposite, which is a national team with an amount of depth that it has never seen before, and as a bonus, american players are very versitile.

Tony M said...

To ask a more constructive question...why Fabian Johnson at LW rather than LB? Left back is a position of need and we have other options at left wing?

danw said...

For my money, Herculez Gomez continues to improve and perform and now is scoring for Santos, one of Mexico's premier teams. Furthermore, he has heart and attitude and I think he would be a more positive contributor on both ends of the field than Edson. He also has a great personality that, I'm sure, would work well in any locker room. Edson has improved in that regard, but there always seems the chance that he'll cause some dissention if things don't go his away.

Jolazo said...

@danw

When has Buddle ever caused even a hint of dissention with USMNT? He's a backup 9, who always seems grateful and gracious whenever he's interviewed with the team. That's a stupid argument for picking Herc over him. There are plenty of legitimate arguments, including your initial point, but the second part of your post is ridiculous.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Bernardinho: Correct.

@ Wideboy & Jay: What from what I understand, Holden should be back before the season ends. On top of that, he is the type to show form quickly upon return. Perhaps I'm being overly hopeful, but he is listed third, which stands out of the normal camp call size.

@ Jay: I think people underestimate Gatt's capabilities, but then again, his best capabilities are things you cannot teach. He is just plain frightening to wingbacks.

As for Rolfe, I also think people are underestimating what he can do now. His big play capability and good crossing should at least give him a shot.

@ dikranovich: Have you seen Castillo play this season? He's raised his game considerably. If he was worth a look last season, he certainly is now.

@ Tony M: I do not want Johnson as a wingback. He's not good defensively in the Bundesliga, so he's not good enough internationally. And I want his particular skills closer to the area, where he can do real damage. As a winger, he is suitable for either side, mainly because he excels at snaking into the area and not at crossing. And to top it all off, frankly, I don't think Shea is quite ready to be the starter. I expect he will mostly be with the Olympic team until that tourney ends.

@ danw: The concern I have with Gomez as the #9 is his hold-up strength and touches.

Greg Seltzer said...

Also, fellas, I think it is worth noting that, unlike Klinsi, I do not actually get to call in my selections and see them train and give feedback and see what works and what doesn't. At all times, I'm purely guesstimating in my brain. It's certainly reasonable to think I may form different position charts given the chance to call camps and whatnot.

Sadly, they won't let me. I asked. :D

Jay Eychaner said...

Hah. I'd love to hear how the response to that was stated.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well... I said it as a joke. I didn't ask as if they might go for it. Heh.

I'm not THAT crazy.

dikranovich said...

greg, its nice to know our thoughts and ideas have the same marginal to non existent impact on the mens team. my sense is that this team is very adaptable, just like the country which the team represents. this rigidness or stuborness about holding players to one position, it seems like it goes against american values in general.

it seems perfectly logical that fabian johnson could be a great winger for a german club team and still a great lb for the national team, and it is not like the guy isnt playing left back for his club team.

i dont think heath pearce has played many national team games in midfield, but he made a reasonable living in europe, playing midfield for his club teams. so now, he is your top choice at left back, even after johnson did the number on one of the best teams in the world.

Greg Seltzer said...

"greg, its nice to know our thoughts and ideas have the same marginal to non existent impact on the mens team. my sense is that this team is very adaptable, just like the country which the team represents. this rigidness or stuborness about holding players to one position, it seems like it goes against american values in general."


What in the bloody hell are you babbling about? First of all, right off the top, what country isn't stubborn???? Good sweet lord, join reality.

Secondly, what does this "holding them to one position" business even mean? Do you mean like, generally playing players at their optimum positions where we can get the maximum best out of each one? Is that what you mean?

And whatever you may mean, how pray tell does that make me un-American? Apparently, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes being American.

Enough already. Just because you read my blog, it does not give you license to become adversarial in tone and attempt insult every time you don't agree with my opinion, dragging the same exact presentation out ad nauseum. I'm tired of explaining this to you.



"it seems perfectly logical that fabian johnson could be a great winger for a german club team and still a great lb for the national team, and it is not like the guy isnt playing left back for his club team."


In absolutely no way does the first part make sense, at all, and the second part contradicts it while also not being true. Braafheid played left back this week, I told you he's back now.



"i dont think heath pearce has played many national team games in midfield, but he made a reasonable living in europe, playing midfield for his club teams. so now, he is your top choice at left back, even after johnson did the number on one of the best teams in the world."


Pearce played a handful of midfield games for Hertha, none for FC Nordsjaellend, where he was the 2006 Defender of the Year over Daniel Agger. Stop with the pretend "facts" for crying out loud.

And if you actually think Johnson "did" Italy, then I will just be forced to pray for you. He was overrun by Christian Maggio for a half hour straight and eventually pulled for a DEFENSIVE sub. He did take part in the goal play and pushed forward a few times, but never formed any connection with his winger.

So... whose standards are low here? Mine or yours?

Greg Seltzer said...

I love it... not only am I stupid, unprofessional and a liar, but now I'm against American values.

Magnificent. I'll be a senator in no time.

dikranovich said...

greg, come on dude, fabian johnson did not even make the gameday roster this weekend for hoffenheim. what the f? and now what, you can insult and bring the tone you have and im just suppose to admit that it wasnt an ajax fan who ran on the field and tried to kung fu kick the keeper. come off it.

geez, you have hammered home the dempsey own goal point, with your new little in quotations nickname, then with the ajax AZ situation last month, you were kilometers off the mark, and now the fabian johnson situation. not as if it bodes well for your argument if hoffenheim and their dutch left back give up seven in one game

Matt said...

Is Beasley not even on the bubble? Seems like he's resurrecting his career.

Jay Eychaner said...

Tangentially, Gatt is listed as a defender in the U-23 roster that was released today. Uh-oh.

Greg Seltzer said...

Seeing as how there are 2-3 other right backs on the roster, I'm simply going to assume someone is razzing me.

dikranovich said...

there is always the curious case of tony sanneh, converted right back, pretty much all world for the usa in the 2002 world cup. god bless the flexible american player, now just give him a little more skill.

US2014 said...

Fabian Johnson may be the best LB the US has ever had and he isn't in the LB depth chart? SMH!

Greg Seltzer said...

Even if he was the best LB the US ever had (and he's so not), he is still a vastly superior winger, which is why I now have him as left wing starter.