Thursday, March 20, 2014

What I Really Did Not Want To Do - Part One

What can ya do when 43 injuries have hit the USMNT wingback stable? When times are lean, you stretch the meat. Thinking about group match-ups makes me set a minimum acceptable level at most defensive positions, pushing the risks that get taken into attack. Even if Timothy Chandler is back to fitness come May camp time, I am not sure he could freshen up in time for the left wingers we will face in Brazil.

And so, as bummed as it makes me, I probably cannot at this time say this one is subject to change. In fact, it seems a fairly safe bet this will be my right back clipboard on roster deadline day.

Geoff Cameron
Michael Parkhurst
Brad Evans

Gotta do what ya gotta do, man. And you're not always going to like it, but you do it anyway. Seems to me low scoring games are out best bet to advance past the group stage. Hence, Cambo is the new call here. And I'm okay with it.




- Greg Seltzer

22 comments:

Matt said...

Y'all are sleepin' on DeAndre Yedlin. He's raw but brings too much to the table. Remember the words of Bruce the Great; WC is a young man's tournament.

Greg Seltzer said...

I have no clue how or anyone else could get that idea. What was the last team with a lot of youth that made a final? Anyone ever?

I would say 98 winners France were as close as I can ever remember for relying on players around the age of Yedlin, and they were still a team dominated by veterans.

Yedlin has tremendous promise, but only one cap, which did not give much hope that he is ready now to face a level of competition a lot higher than anything he has ever seen.

Matt said...

Where is all this youth of which you speak? If Yedlin starts the only other 'young player' on the field might be Fabian Johnson, 26 (and I expect Beasley to start at least 2 of the group games at LB). Unless because of inexperience you're considering Besler to be a 'young player' at 27.

I also expect Gil and Greene to make a run for the roster but only for a dynamic option off the bench.

Matt said...

Aside from the question of youth, why Yedlin instead of Evans? I have a lot of respect for Evans because he's maximized his talent, but on the field against Ghana, Germany and with Christiano Ronaldo running at him, his athletic limitations are just too great. With his speed Yedlin at least has a chance to compete. In my opinion Evans was the biggest loser in the WC draw.

Greg Seltzer said...

There are two speeds at play: speed of movement and speed of thought. As we saw against a B-side South Korea, the latter is not ready.

Jon said...

As we saw against B-side Korea, the majority of our NTers in MLS don't have the speed of thought to compete beyond MLS and middling CONCACAF nations.

Saw it again in CCL this week where Omar/Besler/Zusi looked completely out of their depth.

One thing seems apparent and that is that playing in MLS does NOT improve speed of thought. Tempo is too slow. Quick touches are absent for the most part too.

dikranovich said...

isn't it funny, but they talk of lack of speed from MLSer, yet two of them are backups for a wingback spot on the world cup team, meanwhile we have a bundas league starting wingback. these backups are not even natural fullbacks.

I mean Bolivia beats argentina 7-1 at 7000 feet. BOLIVIA!!! El diablo!!!

Greg Seltzer said...

I have news for you: the starters will not be natural wingbacks, either.

dikranovich said...

maybe not, but they will be starters at that position for their club teams.

we can all hold our breathe in the hopes that greg can at least see fit to place Fabian Johnson as the first backup to the left back spot. he'll probably be forth, behind Castillo and pearce. on gregs list i mean.

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

The obvious choice is Cameron, he is our most important player after Bradley given that he gives Jurgen squad flexibility because he can cover RB, CB, and DM.

Evans has just done really well at RB and seems to stay within himself, even though he does often have scary moments early, he seems to come on strong late which will be an asset.

I agree with the others on Parkhurst. I just see it as a wasted spot. Does anyone think Parkhurst is ever going to actually feature for the team?

The obvious answer is no. Yedlin on the other hand is potentially the future at the position and offers more positives than Parkhurst even brings to the table (not trying to dismiss Parkhurst, he is a good player, but he's not an international class player and likely never will be). I just think if this is the case why not bring Yedlin or some other young RB to Brazil?

Zach said...

I would start Parkhurst at RB over Evans, if that was necessary. I think Evans is staying home, he is a redundancy w/ Parkhurst ahead of him. Rather bring Yedlin, adds another dimension to the team in the few minutes he would get, and the experience would be very valuable for him.

dikranovich said...

mr updike, you have twice now commented that you think coach klinsmann believes that Cameron is the second piece behind Bradley.

maybe Cameron has his tony sanneh moment this summer and does it at right back, or maybe Cameron drops to a super sub role, that will be needed if we hope to advance, and Fabian Johnson takes the right flank with DMB on the left. that seems very plausible to me.

this 23 man squad is going to be full of players that can and do play multiple positions. its the nature of the beast that is American soccer.

Greg Seltzer said...

Cameron is NOT going to be a sub. Write that in ink.

As for Parkhurst, folks, he is the only defender in the pool to have made a Champions League Team of the Week. Nearly did it twice. He is also the defender pool's career leader in cross assists from the wingback position. I think many are underestimating him.

justinwkoehn said...

I agree that most people are forgetting about Parkhurst, but he has to prove that he's still relevant. He hasn't gotten any meaningful playing time since leaving Nordsjælland at the end of 2012. That was a LONG time ago.

Zach said...

Greg, I agree with everything you have said about Parkhurst. I think he is even a legitimate candidate at CB. So why bring Evans? Cameron and Parkhurst are surely enough veteran presence at that position, Evans offers nothing different. Yedlin does.

Greg Seltzer said...

Don't forget Gold Cup.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Zach: I am not bringing Evans. Only an average of two from each position would be on the 23-man squad. The third guy is listed as an alternate/fighting for a place.

dikranovich said...

it really is a shame, this should be marvell wynnes time to shine. he was the best player on a stacked 2008 Olympic team, which is almost ages ago. aint that something? the hungry beast is in his prime though.

John said...

@dikranovich: A lot of it had to do with Maradona's team selection and tactics but playing in Bolivia is like 5x harder than playing at the Azteca.

John said...

@Greg: He also couldn't make the bench for Augsburg most of the time but I rather see him play than Evans tbh.

dikranovich said...

john, you got the five number right, because that is the number of losses mexico has suffered in Azteca since 2000. let me know how many L's does Bolivia have in LA paz over the same time span? and the seating capacity of their stadium as well? plus the smog index....

John said...

@dikranovich: I pretty much agreed that La Paz is a tougher place to play than at the Azteca. Both of them are one of the toughest places to play in the world.