Saturday, November 3, 2012

I love when they do that.

A couple weeks back, my Postcard From Europe included a mention that we've seen an unprecedented assist rate for Americans playing in Europe early this season. Today, they notched another four, with three of them coming from wingbacks (Chandler, Johnson & new Superliga assist co-leader Parkhurst).

For me, this trend may actually be more exciting than the goal avalanche of 2011/12. And that's in no way because it's making my column look good, I promise. At a time when everyone is thinking and talking (oh so much) about what may happen to the attack in a Donovan-less USMNT, well gosh... one could almost hear the answer if they listened. 

- Greg Seltzer


Paul Poenicke said...

Greg, great point. I think this is important for a variety of reasons, but it kills so many popular memes and US soccer journalism themes. If US players are gaining technical ability, passing the ball with increased accuracy from all positions, well, that might mean that we don't need a true #10 to succeed in a technically-orientated system. If we are passing better, that is a sign of increased skill--and that might mean that the US isn't simply a "group of journeymen" who rely on set pieces, speed, and "athleticism" for victory. This could, by God, even signify the increasing talent of US players, making Klinsmann's hire appropriate and his (seeming) lack of success a product of poor coaching, not a lack of talent.

Keep on slaying the golden cows, brother, and feed your thankful readers a barbeque of truth neglected by many who write on the sport in the states, tired imports and sycophant natives who spew tired clichés instead of analyzing the actual status of US soccer.

Greg Seltzer said...

Thanks for the poetically put props. I am not against a true #10, I think we definitely need one of this type in gameday squads. But regardless of what type of playmaker spearheads the midfield, the team definitely needs to behave like a technically-proficient team in order to get to the next level. American coaching is far too safe and it takes time/effort to peel that away.