Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The #7 Domino

Ya see, when Fabian Johnson gets moved to the back line, it does not just affect Fabian Johnson. One of the by-products of my moving him to left back for this edition of the USMNT clipboard is that Zusi gains a starting role. Would it be a good or bad by-product at World Cup? I do not actually know. Could be either or even both.

What I do know is he takes the top spot here because the man can serve a cross, which would not only bring scoring chances, but a balance to the attack. Zusi could send two bad crosses in a row and it will still have an effect on how the rest of the opposition plays and moves, potentially giving a certain now-left wing choice an extra yard here or there. Sometimes, even bad things are actually good things.

Graham Zusi
Alejandro Bedoya
Julian Green

A good thing is that we would still have a perfectly suitable back-up in Bedoya, and one that could also box-raid behind the striker if needed. And despite all that thought process zippity-do, the questions will probably be about how Green got over here.

Truthfully, I would normally refrain from even naming him on this clipboard. Yeah. I know he's a wunderkind. He also has yet to play a senior international and it will be April in a World Cup year before he does. If you ask me next Thursday, I may have a different answer for him. For now, he is sight unseen at this level and should not be expected to play a key cog role in Brazil by any stretch of the fevered imagination. Sorry, but it's true.

And yet, here we are with a wingback crisis and perhaps two wingers sliding back to help. Naturally, that takes from the wing areas, opening holes for someone to fire through a la Beasley in 2002. I will freely admit young legs with no fear can do a little sumpin-sumpin at a World Cup and it's a great story when it happens. It's just not the kind of thing you want to rely on as habit. 

- Greg Seltzer


Jon said...


Ov vey.

One of the most overrated players in our pool. He's never even shown he can get crosses off against the level of opponent we'll face in Brasil and he hasn't done a damn thing beyond the MLS/CONCACAF level, outside a friendly against the German B team.

I seriously question his ability to create space with higher pressure on the ball when pace, speed and 1v1 ability is needed.

Greg, where does Brek fit in as a LW sub? Does your ranking here only include your three choices to start or is it overall depth at LW too? Because if we need a sub going into the 75th min, even though his club form sucks, I'm bringing Shea on and he's proven to be more an impact sub and has more game changing ability due to his pace and ability to separate from the defender and whip in crosses than either Zusi or Bedoya. I think Bedoya is better as a starter than a sub.

Our width will be atrocious if Zusi starts. I just don't see the love affair with Zusi and he's not playing all that well right now either. Looks even slower than last yr.

Jon said...

Oy vey.

Wish we could edit posts here.

Greg Seltzer said...

Heh. I usually copy, delete and repost edited.

Regarding Zusi, we do not agree on him. For starters, he was MOTM last week and the season is three games old, so I am not sure how his club form sucks. But either way, he hustles on defense and has shown fairly well against teams like Belgium and Germany, whose C team would make a run at winning the Gold Cup.

As for Shea, we will cover that in four days. :D

Jon said...

I said Shea's club form sucks, not Zusi's.

I said Zusi's not playing all that well right now. He had a good MLS match, a poor MLS match and was invisible against Cruz Azul.

John said...

@Jon: Bedoya & Zusi >> Shea

J.G. Updike (@FixtureWire) said...


I would agree that Zusi and Bedoya are superior to Shea, but they would not occupy the same part of the field so it is a moot point anyways.

We have consistently seen, and I think he is a good player; Zusi is not effective on the left of the pitch unless it is a temporary inversion to flummox opposing defenses. When he is forced to be the LW/LM he can't do the job. However, as bad as he is in the position, Bedoya was much worse on the left.

So again, it is a moot point.

John said...

@J.G. Updike: Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley can play the LM position very well but one of them will be playing LB. Also Julian Green who can play either side wide, as a centre forward and in the hole behind another striker.