Thursday, July 24, 2014

Welcome to the Thunderdome

This position could turn into a real battle royale, folks. For the first time in USMNT history.

Luis Gil
Mikkel Diskerud

Alejandro Bedoya
Kelyn Rowe
Junior Flores


Also being monitored: Sebastian Lletget, Duane Holmes, Emerson Hyndman, Dillon Powers, Alejandro Guido













- Greg Seltzer

41 comments:

WilkersonMclaser said...

Will Feilhaber be too old? I'd like to think that it will be impossible for Klinsi to ignore him if he keeps up his ridiculous form. But, then again, this is why I'm always disappointed.

dikranovich said...

Benny F. "What am I, chop liver". "Hey, I'm kicking butt left and right, and I'm only gonna be thirty three in four years." "wtf happened to experience counting for something"

Greg Seltzer said...

Ya know, I considered him, but he is months short of the 30-year-old cut off point. It is certainly not impossible for Benny, but my gut just says things will move on because of the large and young crowd. Either way, Feilhaber should have been in camp this time.

Greg Seltzer said...

As for experience, this factor weighs more heavily with me in goal, defense and deep midfield spots than it does in attack. But like I said, don't take a four-year forecast too seriously. Especially when there are set to be scads of contestants for the midfield spots.

justinwkoehn said...

Does Bedoya play CAM at club level or does he play on the wings as he did during WC?

Zach said...

No Zelalem?!

I'm not very high on Gil, or Mix for that matter. With 4 years to go, wouldn't be shocked for both to be surpassed by likes of Hyndman and Flores.

How is Lletget still stuck at West Ham? Get out of there, guy

Greg Seltzer said...

@ justin:

Bedoya does move around the formation a fair bit. But his optimum position is as a late-bax running CAM. To me, anyway. Besides, in four years, there will surely be speedier options out wide.

@ Zach:

I am not including anyone currently tied in any way to another NT program or anyone currently ineligible for US duty.

But I am not sure how you can fail to be high on Gil and Mix.

Zach said...

Understand on Zelalem, just had to mention him.

I think that both Mix and Luis are good players, just not the quality I want the USNT to be in 4 years. Gil has never been very effective in MLS, compared to Shipp who has been a force since day 1. (I know, big age difference, but if Gil was as good as the hype, 2 full years as a starter are enough to show something beyond ordinary)

Mix, too, has a lot to prove and I think that with age and experience, he will end up being more of a deep lying play maker.

Tom said...

I wonder if shipp isn't further up the field for greg? I would have expected him on this list given his age and performance.

Phil McCracken said...

Zach - Shipp is off to a great start, but he hasn't even been around the league yet so let's not go crazy projecting him to make a big jump over Gil. He's talented, no doubt, but still has a ton to prove.

Zach said...

You think it would be a big jump for Shipp to surpass Gil? In 98 games, Gil has 10 goals and 7 assists while playing for one of the best teams in the league. He hasn't exactly set the bar high, unless we're measuring based on hype. In 18 games, Shipp has 6 and 5.

Timmy said...

Hey Greg - how about a 12th position at the end of this: ranking dual nationals who could gain eligibility before 2018? Nagbe, Zelalem, the Parkers, etc.

On the Mix front: I've seen exactly zero full Tippeligaen games. How does the level of play compare to the MLS? Liga MX? The Championship?

Tom said...

Some of my boostership on Shipp is based on watching his progress from his highlights and games in college to now: he jumped right in and kept making the incisive passes, and seems to be wiser on the dribble.
Really impressive vision.

Jason Kuenle said...

@Zach You are working with too small of a sample size on Shipp and a skewed sample size on Gil to make a straight goal and assist ratio comparison.

Gil's MLS minutes/match are much lower than Shipp's because he started in MLS as a 17 year old coming primarily off the bench.

Moreover, Shipp has only been excellent in the last two years. In his junior year (when he was 20, the same age Gil is now) he was third-team all Big East.

Comparing the two when they were both 19 (the last full year we have data on both). Shipp had 5 goals and 2 assists in 18 games with Notre Dame. Gil had 5 goals and 3 assists in 30 games for RSL. Gil's ratios are lower, but MLS is much, much better competition than college.

This is not a ranking of who you would take right now, it's a ranking of where players will be in 4 years. If Gil has a Shipp-like jump from age 20-22 which is typical of players at that age, then Gil will likely be at the top of this list.

Micah said...

You could easily move Emerson into the number 8 group and he would be at the top of the heap for me. I think hes better as an 8 as well. Think he gets some spot minutes this year with fulham. Your thoughts?

Zach said...

@Jason - Wasn't trying to compare them stat for stat, that's just what I have available that is close to objective. First thing I acknowledged was the age difference. But plenty of 19-20 year olds have managed to produce in MLS, just see Rowe, Fagundez, Yedlin, MacInerny. Agudelo, Altidore. Heck, even Serna has shown me more than Gil in his relatively few appearences.

What have you seen from Gil that makes you think he will be better than the other 9 players listed by Greg?

Bernardinho said...

I've got to admit to having an aversion to young players in these discussions with dumb last names. All the Shipps and Trapps and Kitchens in these conversations are just auto-correcting to "Derp" in my head.

Tom said...

@Jason not bad points to make at all. What Gil has going for him is a longer time against higher competition--Shipp could well regress to the mean.

Jason Kuenle said...

@Zach In large part, its about filling the role that the team is asking each player to fill. For Rowe and Powers that has been central attacking midfielder and for Shipp, modern playmaking winger and their play and statistics run accordingly.

Gil, when he filled in for Morales in 2011, played that role very admirably for a 17 year old. Since then, he continues to be used in that role when Morales is unavailable, but largely plays shuttler for RSL. This is tactically a very different position in responsibility and statistics. From a goal and assist prospective, Gil is very similar from the production of Will Johnson, when he was at RSL, or Ned Grabavoy. To be putting up those similar numbers at 19 and 20 years old and carry the additional responsibilities of that position requires a diverse skill set that I have not seen from players outside Bedoya on Greg's list, though I have not seen a lot of the young European based players.

This, combined with Gil likely permanently taking over for Morales in the next couple of years, presents Gil the same attacking opportunity at about the same age as when the other discussed MLS players took that responsibility. That responsibility change combined with the performance jump associated with this age and the continued development in that role playing with the U-23s leads me to believe that Gil has every chance to be at or near the top of this list in four years.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Zach:

Gil is played out of position with RSL.

@ Tom :

Yes, he is.

@ Timmy:

The Tippeligaen is below MLS, but of course he also does get Europa league matches.

As for the duals not eligible yet, hmm, dunno. Maybe, but my first inclination is to not.

@ Micah:

I like Hyndman as a #10. Seems Fulham do, too. But it would be a monster stretch to place him ahead of Bradley.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Zach:

Gil is played out of position with RSL.

@ Tom :

Yes, he is.

@ Timmy:

The Tippeligaen is below MLS, but of course he also does get Europa league matches.

As for the duals not eligible yet, hmm, dunno. Maybe, but my first inclination is to not.

@ Micah:

I like Hyndman as a #10. Seems Fulham do, too. But it would be a monster stretch to place him ahead of Bradley.

Danny Boy said...

I am not as high on Luis Gil as everyone else is. Personally he has regressed this year for RSL. And for me hasn't progressed that much in his four years with RSL.

Jason Kuenle said...

@Danny RSL is a tough one to judge for me this year. Kreis left, the heart of the roster is aging quickly, they lost a couple key players to the WC and injury; yet, they are somehow grinding out points. Gil certainly could have regressed this year, but there are a lot of factors that could be influencing that.

RobUsry said...

Agree with everyone who's saying Gil hasn't been impressive. He's been pretty ineffective for the last year or so.

I'd take Shipp over him in a heartbeat (if they're considered for the same spot).

DaM said...

Taking a winger over a 2 way midfielder because he looks more dynamic on attack makes no sense. It's the same as taking Yedlin over Omar Gonzalez cause Yedlin gets more involved in the attack. Okay. yes. RSL runs through the middle and Morrales with the wide guys playing 2 way roles. Shipp attacks. When Gil plays his natural position, middle of the field in attack, I have always been impressed with him.

Zach said...

I think comparing Yedlin to Omar is slightly more dramatic than Shipp v. Gil. And te argument isn't really Shipp v. Gil, it's that Gil hasn't shown very well at any point since joining RSL. Compare him to whoever you like, but neither Ned nor Will Johnson should start for US either.

justinwkoehn said...

Looks like Mix will get even more Europa matches after today. Rosenborg was down 1-2 at home in the first leg, but they are up 3-1 vs N.I.'s Sligo Rovers 90' now, so looks like they wont get knocked out after all.

justinwkoehn said...

And Mix came in at the 27' for an injured teammate.

Greg Seltzer said...

Mix assisted on the goal that evened the tie 3-3, then led the rush that resulted in the tie winner.

justinwkoehn said...

It looked like the cameraman was sitting in the middle of the crowd. People would stand up and block the camera time and time again. Plus the only commentary came from the fans..."fookin this" and "fookin that". Typical Northern Irish banter.

AG said...

Interesting comments. I like what I've seen from Shipp but I'm not ready to say he's moving up just yet. McInerny started great last season and then went to Gold Cup big camp and then went back to team and didn't do anything as good as he did before the Gold Cup. As others noted, lets see more from Shipp. I'd expect at minimum for him to get a look come January camp but before that... not likely.

Gil hasn't but as another noted, he's been playing wide left or right and not in the attacking position due to their star in that role.

I like how you have Bedoya in there as he's played that 2nd forward for Nantes and done well there. I wish we would have moved him their in WC but with not many other options defensively on the flanks (Zusi, Davis, Green,) he had to play wide. I've always felt Bedoya is solid when attacking in the delayed striker with Nantes.

Danny Boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danny Boy said...

I am going to throw a name in the ring: Jordan Morris

The kid has speed, size, is highly technical, and is very versatile. He can play all of the front 4 attacking positions. His game is very similar to Marco Reus, but Morris is much more of a physical specimen.

I thought it was an injustice for Ramos not to include him in the 2013 U-20 WC team.

To bad he hasn't signed an HG contract for Seattle already because I have a feeling people would be raving about him already.

He is going to be a major player for Olympic qualifying. Once he does sign that HG contract with Seattle look for him to be a starter out wide even though his best position is at CAM.

Justin said...

I thought Flores was a wing.

Where do you have Rubin and Hyndman?

Greg Seltzer said...

Flores is a #10. Cannot recall if he has played on the wing or not.

Hyndman is on this list.

Rubin still to come.

@ Danny:

Morris may appear soon. :)

Greg Seltzer said...

By the way, at the end of this, I will go over the magic 8-ball 23, as well as a list of players who could eventually turn up on a different position list.

UnitedDemon said...

On one hand, you have Luis Gil, who has played several seasons, successfully, with RSL. Then you have Junior Flores, who is at the Dortmund academy. Why does it always seem like the players who go the top academy way seem to drift into obscurity? They're always near the top of these lists in terms of talent, but compared to some of the players with a guaranteed playing atmosphere, they don't catch on like most hoped.

It's too early to mark Flores down in that category, obviously he just became old enough to play. But his development does concern me, and he will always make me wonder how he'd have faired starting game in and game out in MLS. Here's hoping he finds playing time.

downintexas said...

@United

I think one of the most important part of a players development is not just training, but getting real games. Meaning Gil learns more playing in MLS than Flores playing in 3rd or 4th division Germany

Justin said...

Wait, so there are the box-to-box guys? I'm a little confused as to your formation if this isn't your #10 list.

- J

DaM said...

@justin not sure what you mean. these are the 10's, thats why flores is listed on the depth chart. i imagine he's going with the 4-3-3 that klinsi says he wants (or the 4-2-3-1 that he really plays).

I assume a lot of the guys (like Morris and Rubin mentioned above) will be the wings.

Deductive reasoning!

Zach said...

Dark Horse for this position: Mukwelle Akale at Villareal.