Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My USMNT Clipboard - Part Trois

We move along to the right center back position, which is sure to start more debates.

Clarence Goodson
Omar Gonzalez
Michael Orozco Fiscal


Even the vehement Goodson detractors must admit he's played rather well in a US shirt since helping them win in Italy for the first time last February. His confidence on the ball is at an all-time high and it shows. He's also an absolute nightmare to defend on set pieces. If we can get "vs. Mexico" Gonzalez every time out, he can take the starting role - but I'm still concerned that he hasn't really faced anything like one would encounter at a World Cup. And say what you want about including Orozco Fiscal after his last outing at right back, but I quite enjoyed his stealthy central performances working off a monster-sized partner during Gold Cup. I'd like to see that again, actually.

And frankly, unless George John finally gets a look or Oguchi Onyewu starts capably working a day job, I'm not sure there are any players close to splintering this RCB trio. It is what it is, but what it is might not be so bad.




- Greg Seltzer

20 comments:

UnitedDemon said...

I would be fine with this except that Goodson has shown in the past that he's very much a beatable player. He'd need to get more minutes and continue to play well, right now I'm still saying Gonzalez, who's more talented and seems to be growing into the role.

Greg Seltzer said...

This is confusing for me. You say Goodson was previously beatable. I'm not sure what to do with that, since I'm against basing things on current form alone - let alone on past form. Then you say you prefer Gonzalez, who has shown to be more beatable than Goodson, and more recently.

Remember, I am not looking into the future to rate how they'll stack up for game one in Brazil. This is a "right now" ladder.

jon said...

Now hold on a minute, sonny, yer tellin me there's right versus left centerbacks...

In all seriousness, I'm very curious to see your take on the lefties. And I wonder in what circumstances Klinsmann would eschew left versus right in building a lineup.

Greg Seltzer said...

On that note, I do think Goodson and Gonzalez are the two most capable of shifting to the off side. At the same time, I don't think they make the best partnership unless we're playing a team that's just going to pump crosses into the box all day. For me, an ideal pairing won't have players quite so similar in defensive style.

UnitedDemon said...

Fair enough. Goodson has been solid, but he's never been a #1 talent. I still rate a learning Gonzalez against a man who's ceiling was reached, and proven to be secondary.

Jolazo said...

Greg, if we are playing a high line, do you still rank Goodson over Omar? Which one do you consider to have better recovery speed?

I feel like Omar turns smoother than Goodson, but I'm not sure which of the two actually has better recovery speed.

Totally agree on the MOF inclusion too. He was arguably our best defender during the Gold Cup (with Goodson being the other option).

Alex said...

I'm perfectly fine with this pick. Omar, no matter how high his ceiling is, tends to have (set-piece) moments that leave me asking: "wtf are you doing?" I watched him in person last weekend against DC United and there was more evidence of a breakdown. I like him a lot and think he could be great in the future, but until then, I'll take Goodson.

AWF08 said...

Is Brooks an LCB? I honestly don't know--haven't seen him play. Greg, can you tell us what the deal was with him leaving camp early after CR? Injury? Bad form? Club call? Thanks.

Bernardinho said...

@AWF08 - it was solely a club thing, my memory claims.

Greg Seltzer said...

Yes, Brooks is a left CB. Some denied it, but the obvious take is that his coach wanted him back early to get ready for their Friday Bundesliga game (as opposed to arriving Wednesday night).

bellerophon30 said...

Seems like it will be a toss-up between Goodson and Gonzo, and since MLS starts in March and goes right up to camp, Jurgen can see who's really on form the most. Either way both have punched their tickets to Brazil, health pending.....and either way, at least a couple of everyone's projected 23 is going to be hurt in some way.

dikranovich said...

I'm sorry, but if you are playing well, doesn't that mean you are in-form, rather than on it?

Justin said...

I know what you are doing, but under Klinnsman's system there isn't a right center back and a left center back. There is a "large center back" and a "quick center back," for lack of a better term. Ideally, Klinnsman would pair one of Besler, Fiscal, or Cameron with one of Brooks, Goodson, or Gonzalez.

Jacob Klinger said...

Prepositions are pretty interchangeable in most Latin-based languages. And while English is also Germanic, that nuance remains.

Linguistics out.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Justin:

Well, that's just not true. Guys like Besler/Brooks/Bocanegra typically play on the left side and guys like Gooch/Goodson/Gonzo typically play on the right. But we've often seen a pairing like Goodson/Gonzo when need arose and I would definitely put Besler/Cameron in the big defender category. Brooks plays like much more of a "quick defender" than either of those guys.

I fear that unless Brooks wins the lefty job, we will be starting two big defenders at World Cup. It's not necessarily the end of the world, but it can make a big difference at such a level if you allow it to.

AWF08 said...

Does surrounding leadership and experience effect CB selection? Meaning, if vets like MB, Howard and Dolo are healthy and playing, does that give more leeway to start a less experienced CB pairing like Beisler and Brooks/Gonzo and Beisler? Seems like Gonzalez has played better when matched with the more experienced Goodsen than he has when paired with Beisler.
Team often choose experience over form/talent in big tournaments because of it's overall effect on the rest of the team. Which, goes back to your point of best team vs. best players.

Greg Seltzer said...

Sure. For me, anything that can affect the quality of team play is a factor. And that goes on a game-by-game basis, really.

Justin said...

I think you are allowing "when need arose" to do most of your work for you.

Bernardinho said...

^ Oh misguided comment, how do I dismantle thee? Let Greg count the ways...

Greg Seltzer said...

Actually, I'm not sure I follow what he's saying.