Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"There is no spoon."

Photo: Tumbler user Fandom406

All hail the World Cup record-holder. Nuff said.

- Greg Seltzer


downintexas said...

Just another day at the office for Timmy.

I have to say it, but Germany held the ball more than Belgium. Yet Germany was not able to break us down and they didn't attack that often up the middle. So is Belgium just a better team than Germany? Or were the roster changes the cause of this. I thought Beckerman should have started but maybe he was gassed or pick up a knock.

I think Klinsman did a great job this world cup, still questions to be asked and I think his Wondo Davis picks showed what we all knew. But his Green and Brooks were good choices. Would have like to see Mix and Aron coming off the bench more in the late stages of the games.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well, for starters, you must separate an already-advanced Germany side in the group phase and Belgium in a knockout - not the same animal at all. And even if all things were equal, the teams do not play the same way. Belgium basically plays like typical Oranje.

But more to the direct point, so many of the Belgium rushes came because of a) a bad turnover or pass upfield that put those behind the ball in bad situations & b) the fact that until nearer the end, the US was heavily relying on defenders and central midfielders to drive the attack.

The team actually defended many, many times and pressure valved quite well... they were just asked to do it so damn often.

downintexas said...

I agree there was not that much intensity on both sides of the US Germany game however the winner gets to play Algeria that is something to play for.

In regards to the bad turnovers that was happening in all 4 games.

Oh well, still not sold on JK but he did more than expected, so I'm proud and happy. I just hate how we play so much better when we are down a goal. Maybe that was Bob's game plan in 2010, let the other team score a goal and we will come back and win or tie. LOL

Thanks for this blog, I have always enjoyed it

Carl said...

I feel like everyone is giving JK a pass because he made some good choices on lineup and the substitutions were overall good.

But, we should evaluate his entire performance and his performance started with squad selection. He for months and months and months stated how important Altidore was to the setup. But, then provides no cover for him if he gets injured (or suspended and Altidore does pick up yellow cards). He should be made to account for that decision, because it had as big of an impact (if not bigger) as every starting line up and substitution he made on the way the US could play.

I think that decision was glossed over (and ignored because of the Donovan snub) throughout the selection process and through the world cup.

justinwkoehn said...

Boyd may have been a decent back-fill for Altidore as a target forward, but they are still different players. I wouldn't have taken EJ in his current form either. Some guys just aren't so easily replaced.

I think the biggest criticism I'd lob toward JK was his insistence of putting Bradley in too forward of a position. We saw a masterful showing in 45' vs Mexico, but that was the only time it really worked. Also playing with 3 DM's didn't give Bradley as many options moving forward, especially after Jozy went down.

All in all, I give JK a B+. He will learn from this and hopefully won't make some of the same mistakes. I'm glad he's in charge 'til 2018.

mschwigg13 said...

Regarding the Boyd/EJ omission: it appears I'm in a small boat here, but the way I see it is that JK judged that putting Dempsey up top would be a better option than Boyd or EJ being called upon to play a full 90 in the World Cup.

I don't think there's any chance that the thought of a Jozy injury just didn't cross Jurgen's mind. I think that when looking at the relative quality of players on the team, he just figured that playing Beckerman/Cameron/Jones with Bradley in a more forward position (which he had played well against Mexico pre-roster decision) and Dempsey up top just seemed to him to offer the team the most overall quality. Not saying this was the right or wrong call, but definitely the way I see it played out in Jurgen's mind.

Greg Seltzer said...

That may well be the case, but if so, he did not adhere to his own system by replacing the shifted Dempsey with another proper attacker. I mean, Bradley had two gorgeous assists in four games and a lot of people are ripping him to shreds. Either Beckerman or Jones had to sit for say Mix (or Bedoya in his natural/club position), but he instead replaced an attacker with a DM.

Of course, if Donovan had been around (or Yedlin used more to get FabJo in attack, or Green used more), none of it may have ever been an issue.

Matt said...

So what's your overall grade on Klinsi's performance around the WC, Greg? B? C?

This is the third or fourth time I've come to the site today (like most days) and I think I'm hoping to see some words of reassurance that we're going to be alright.

Tom said...

"Bradley had two gorgeous assists in four games and a lot of people are ripping him to shreds"

No joke. And he really didn't play all that badly. Just not what people expected, I guess? I'm trying to understand the vituperation, but failing.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Matt:

I have spent most of this day sleeping, was up til after dawn. Tomorrow is the day I will have what you are looking for.

Matt said...

Good. Thanks, Greg.

My personal opinion is that it was a step forward, and I appreciated Klinsi's willingness to shake things up. For awhile there I thought he was being contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian, but there does seem to be a method. And it does seem like the team bought into it, which to me is a good sign.

But there were certainly several moments in this tournament where Donovan could have been useful.

soccer boy said...

I say we made this far inspite of jk.

Sean said...

I hate the arguments that I've been hearing and reading that say we dont have technical players who know how to possess the ball. I don't buy that argument. We have a lot of players who play and succeed in top European leagues. If they weren't technical enough they wouldn't make it there. I know that MLS players like Davis were brought up in clubs that preach possession.

I think our problem is the team's mentality in big games. We show up to defend, counter, play for free kicks, etc. We dont come out to attack, to try and dictate the play, etc. Our mentality is all wrong. I would say from top to bottom we're better than Switzerland, Algeria, and Costa Rica but they all played better attacking soccer than us.

Tom said...

Not top-to-bottom for Switzerland or Algeria--but on balance. Though it is closer for Algeria.

Costa Rica has a very good keeper, a bastard of a good poacher, a fast forward, and some mean and a couple of decent defenders. Basically 3 players I would take, but even then I believe TH & BG are as good or better than Navas.