Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Knowns and Unknowns of USMNT's Lineup Against Ghana

Alright boys and girls, in my brief hiatus from NSC I managed to catch a little documentary about former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.  Regardless of your political thermometer, I thought it'd be fun (i.e. a little grating) to bring Rumsfeld's famous decision-making strata to the big questions surrounding Jurgen Klinsmann's designs for the opener against Ghana.

So, what we have are:

Known Knowns: Things we know we know.

Known Unknowns: Things we know that we don't know.

Unknown Knowns: Things we didn't know that we actually do know.

Unknown Unknowns: Things we don't know that we don't know.

Got it? Kinda? Good. Let's dance.

Known Knowns: Center of the Park

The Yanks will go as far as Michael Bradley will take them.

Building off this, Kyle Beckerman brings out the best of Michael Bradley.  So, Kyle Beckerman should probably play... a lot.

Known Unknown: Center of the Park

Is the Jermaine Jones we saw against Nigeria the Jermaine Jones we'll see against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany?

Unknown Known: Center of the Park

Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones are not mutually exclusive options in midfield.

Unknown Unknown: Center of the Park

Considering the three most suitable holding midfielders are now candidates to start alongside each other, Klinsmann regrets his decision to leave Maurice Edu at home.

Known Known: Center Back

Geoff Cameron has looked shaky in the pre-World Cup friendlies.

Known Unknown: Center Back

Are Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler going to miraculously find their chemistry as a partnership in the opener?

Unknown Known: Center Back

Omar Gonzalez's knee injury has him pretty seriously dinged up.

Unknown Unknown: Center Back

John Anthony Brooks is ready to play in a World Cup.

Known Knowns: Full back

I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to Jurgen Klinsmann's tactical plans.

Building off this, Fabian Johnson is starting at right back.

Known Unknown: Full back

Will the Yanks' be punished by Fabian Johnson getting caught too far upfield?

Unknown Known: Full back

Demarcus Beasley is our starting left back and it's time everyone's happy about it, honestly.

Unknown Unknown: Full back

This man was always destined to become the USMNT's starting left back.

Known Known: Fourth Midfielder

Ale Bedoya, Graham Zusi, Mix Diskerud, and Brad Davis all competed for the same starting eleven spot during the tune-up friendlies.

Known Unknown: Fourth Midfielder

Which one of the aforementioned batch ends up starting?

Unknown Known: Fourth Midfielder

The Yanks need a somewhat unorthodox inside-out wide midfielder to complement the Beckerman-Jones-Bradley trio.

Unknown Unknown: Fourth Midfielder

Landon Donovan would have perfectly suited this role.

So, there it is -- hard science at its finest.  Feel free to disagree while knowing you're wrong.


Desert Rat said...

I agree with most of this. I'd like to see them continue with the Beckerman/Jones/Bradley three-headed monster so long as possible. Beckerman is solid on the defense mostly because he doesn't try to do too much in the way of getting forward. He did a great job of freeing up Jones and Bradley (particularly Bradley) to be a nightmare for Nigeria's central midfielders.

As for Run-DMB, he scared the hell out of me at left back for most of his early outings, but to his credit he's looked more comfortable back there as time has gone on, and he's undoubtedly the best we have at left back right now, both defensively and on the attack. It's good to see that Klinsmann's experiment worked well and Beasley worked his ass off to make it work. He's certainly a better option at LB than we had last cycle.

Still, I think the two most vital cogs on this team are Howard and Bradley. Howard's going to have to come up with some big stops (hopefully not too many), and Bradley has clearly been the engine that made this team go for several years now.

And the biggest question mark to me is the Cameron/Besler chemistry at center back. Boy do they miss having a healthy Omar Gonzalez.

dikranovich said...

My biggest question mark is what team am I gonna fill in first in my panini book. My first duplicate was Andrea pirlo, then Xavi hernandez, if anyone needs a star.

Unknown said...

Although JK had every right to drop LD, I can't help but envision needing a goal at some point with 15 minutes left and the camera shows JK looking over at the bench and wondering "Where the hell is that Landon gone to now?"

Unknown said...

I disagree about Cameron being shaky. I think he's been the most solid CB over the past 3 games. Besler has been hot and cold for me. The 45 min of Brooks I've seen wasn't enough for me to form an opinion, which is why it's still an unknown I guess.

Good analysis though, and creative format.

Unknown said...

Hmmmm..."All I know is that I know nothing".

Matt Browner Hamlin said...

You left out a rundown of forwards :-(

dikranovich said...

First American dup. Michael Bradley Yes, then mix.