Monday, September 24, 2012

The Dark Clipboard Rises

As promised, it's my updated "if I were boss" depth chart. I'm sure a few of the names will provoke scoffage and snickery, but do remember this listing is tuned to the present and I would want to know exactly what I'd get in these next two World Cup qualifiers. Never underestimate experience in a big match.


Sean Johnson looks in line to crack the top three by Brazil.



The two back-ups have some versatility, always nice in bench players.


This was one of the tougher calls today - but watch out for Gonzo soon.


I know, I know. Where's Cameron? Patience, my friends...



What will the beef be on Pearce now? That's he's become a better defender by playing some center back?



I really want to see this. It's up to some center back(s) gaining form, I think, for that to happen.


Zusi gaining comfort makes it easier to wait until we can get Gatt out of the wrapping.



Mikey returned to Roma training on Monday. We like it, we like it.


While disconcerted about Gomez losing club PT and Boyd cooling off in Austria, I'm not ready to furtively glance over at Wondo/EJ/Cooper just yet. Talk to me in mid-October and we'll see.


I'm tired of only trying new things in the back half of the field. I want Mix on the bench, man.


Say whatever you want, I'm after Johnson's best. And the same goes for our attack.

- Greg Seltzer


Alex said...

Here's my question: Doesn't #3 apply to LBs?

Travis said...

Sean Johnson = meh. Look no further than his gaffe over this weekend as to why he's not int'l quality, imo.

Wideboy said...

If you really want to mix things up in the attack, add Johannsson to the #9 group. I know he has to switch but, if his dream is to play in the WC, I can't see him staying with Iceland if he has a chance to rep the USMNT.

Anonymous said...

Alex, check 'er out:

(if you'd like, the original article is here: (
I haven't read it yet.)

bhamhawker said...

At some point, I just want to see us pick a backline and stick with it.

Cathal said...

In a 4-3-3, I want CBs who are good on the ball and a #6 who understands his role as distributor and midfield anchor - this involves ideally regularly playing there at the club level. I just don't feel comfortable with Goodson as one of our starting center backs, and we know the quality shift Williams put in at DM. Cameron is certainly versatile, but he's by no means a square peg in a round role at CB. Plus, I seem him too much as an Agger/Vermaelen type who can make booming runs forward, and that's an ability that should be leveraged.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Alex: The defense goes in order two through five from right back to left, #3 is the right center back. Left back is #5.

@ bhamhawker: It's hard to keep the same backline when we had so many injuries, transfers and form woes at the same time.

Jamie said...

Travis, you do realize players mature and improve over time, don't you? Especially goalkeepers? Writing off a 'keeper at 23 is like writing off a field player at 17 (or a Jozy Altidore at 19 or a Michael Bradley at 21). He's got plenty of time to learn from his mistakes and hone his craft.

Unknown said...

Not overly high on Feilhaber, Pearce,and Torres. For the most part I agree with this, but for me Pontius needs to be added along with Corona. Other than that it's not bad depth at all. Could be even better depth if Chandler( not optimistic on this one) and Johannsson decide to rep the U.S.

paul said...

hrmmmm.... Pontius....

I finally tried to watch a DC game to learn about the Pontius hype. Truely, my 9month old drug me away from the game and I only saw 20'ish mins in the 50' to 70' range, but I saw 3 silly turnovers (two from head towards a defender and loosing and one from a bad pass) and one reasonable cross.

Small sample to be sure, but I'm not convinced yet.

T. Kloth said...

Whatever gets Lichaj into this team, I support. Eric is a tenacious defender with an ability to get forward. But after watching him at Villa, it's pretty obvious he hasn't developed his left foot and isn't nearly as comfortable attacking from the left side. I'd be a lot more comfortable giving Johnson free reign as an attacking left back, and grooming Eric to take over for Stevie on the right.

My two cents.

Unknown said...

@ M. Glen- I agree. Lichaj is so much better at RB. I understand why people want to move Johnson up to a winger position, but he is pretty damn good at locking down attackers at the LB spot. I would rather see Castillo moved up to Left winger before Johnson. My reasoning because the USMNT finally has a LB in Johnson, and Castillo is still very suspect when it comes to defending. Castillo has the attacking tools to be a very good winger. Thats my two cents worth.

T. Kloth said...

Agreed, AJ. Until (if ever) Lichaj has perfected an attacking touch with his left at the club level, he shouldn't be our go to LB at the national level. That said, I love me some Lichaj at RB. Reminds me of a cross between Hejduk and Simek (<-- in his best Owl days).

I question Spector at RB, too. He's certainly familiar with the position, but he's hardly agile enough to deal with your average WC-caliber speedster. That said, like with Castillo at LM, I'd love to see him get a run out in the middle of the park. Lord knows we don't have enough viable options there...

Speaking of which, Greg, I do appreciate you bringing Cameron into the CM discussion. I prefer him at CB, but his versatility might suit us there in a pinch. Tournaments have a funny way of forcing the USMNT's hand at DM...

Andy said...

Lichaj deserves to be on that list.

Patrick said...

Any update on Stuart Holden? Is he our latest John O'Brien?

Anonymous said...

Benny, Rimando,Sasha, Pearce, Parkhurst and Besler...Now that is how a company man throws bones to the MLS faithfull

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Patrick: Bolton says they expect him back in training in mid-October.

@ Primoone: Erm, two of those players don't play in MLS. And if you think I say anything in my work to appease anyone but myself, you haven't been paying attention. :)

John said...

Williams should be #1 on the #6 spot because Cameron is never going to play there on the USMNT because we need him at CB. Also I hope Gonzalez gets called up now that Onyewu, Fiscal and Ream aren't getting PT with their clubs, Gonzo has deserved a callup since last September.

Greg Seltzer said...

Erm, Gonzo was not playing until two months ago. Can't call up an injured player.

And I'd be careful before saying never with the USMNT. As is, I am sticking with my system whereby everyone is placed at positions by it being their optimum role, not by alleged need. If anyone demonstrates the sanity of this system, it's Williams - a bunch of appearance out wide right and nobody was impressed, but one in his proper position and you;re ready to hand him the full time job. One.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'm telling you, once a team starts shuffling players out of their best role, it never stops.

John said...

Gonzalez wouldn't have returned from injury in July if he was still injured and he now has knocked some rust off, now is the time to call him up with Onyewu, Ream and Fiscal not getting PT with their clubs. Also I'm ready to hand Williams the #6 job because people who watch Hoffenheim play know that Williams is a really good player and the position he plays at his club is the #6, a lot of people were shocked with his performance against Jamaica but I wasn't.