Sunday, November 16, 2014


DaMarcus Beasley, Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen and DeAndre Yedlin have been returned to their MLS clubs, the last three appropriately for playoff duty. No supplements to the squad at this time, leaving us with...
G - Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

D - Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

M - Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

F - Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

- Greg Seltzer


dikranovich said...

Chandler Cameron Besler garza
Ale. kB. Mix
Rubin. Jozy. Wood

Unknown said...

Fabian Cameron Brooks Garza
Morales Diskerud
Wood Rubin Green

id like to see 4-3-3, but we'll probably still see 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1/4-4-2/5-3-2/5-4-1/"diamond"/etc
its all the same formation. numbers are numbers.

dikranovich said...

so if coach klinsmann wasn't coach anymore, who would we hire?

Tony M said...

dik: Bob Bradley

I wanted Moyes, but too late now. I wanted Perkeman three years ago - could have had him too. Right now I'd go with Ramos as interim coach

dikranovich said...

how about marcelo bielsa? ramos in the meanwhile would work.

Unknown said...

Ah, if we are throwing around mere hypotheticals, without any real reason to believe or justify firing Klinsmann as coach, I don't think Bob Bradley would be a good fit as a full time coach of the USMNT. The team is trying to develop the various tactical parts of the game--passing, positioning, moving with the ball in the final third, possession in the midfield and the final third--that Bradley did not forward as coach.

Bielsa would be a great choice, though one would have to pry him from Marseille. Ramos might work on an interim basis; he doesn't have the experience to really lead the team and craft players to improve their skills as individuals and as a team.

In short, if the US did need to hire a new coach--which it clearly does not require at this stage--I would hope we focus on a candidate that has experience and a vision for the USMNT development. Being familiar with the US player pool and MLS is, to my mind, becoming far less of a criteria for coach than what was for hiring Bradley, for example. The program needs to grow, and growth comes from individuals with a vision for advancement.

Unknown said...

I am fundamentally opposed to changing coaches mid-cycle. Bielsa would be a fantastic future choice. Any soccer fan who's spanish is good enough should read "Las razones del loco"
I think there is upside to someone from the outside because they won't have preconceptions about players which may be false. In a perfect world we could have klinsi or someone good as TechDirec and an outsider as NT manager

Unknown said...

@Dany: Exactly right about preconceptions concerning players and player pool, views on director and manager. Do you think it would be a requirement for the next hire of either position to be a Spanish-speaking coach (one whose first language was Spanish, perhaps) to reach out to US players from Mexican and other Latin American backgrounds? If so, I could see another choice: Roberto Martínez. Great mind, knows the US system (in a limited fashion, after being commentator for ESPN), communicates well with players and fans.

Tony M said...

We are not mid-cycle. Qualifying doesn’t start until 2016.

In all seriousness, what would get him fired? We have had a run of 10 games in which we have given up goals in the 80th minute or later, and six games where blew leads and settled for a tie or loss. (Hat tip to Matt Doyle’s Armchair Analyst – the one column every American soccer fan should read.) Bob Bradley, whose name I tossed out just to annoy people, had the Confed Cup, the same result in the World Cup and was essentially fired for one game collapse in the Gold Cup (following the injury of his best defender.)

Really, what on earth has JK done to not only earn a pass, but to apparently be free of questioning. His three a days for the month before the WC are being cited as one of the reason so many WC vets are flat, the ridiculousness of the Donovan decision looks worse every passing day, the tactics have not only NOT evolved, they have taken a step back.

So what does he have to do to at least feel the pressure of losing his job. I’d say that if he doesn’t win the Gold Cup and at least make the quarters at COPA America, we need a change to prepare for the World Cup. If he doesn’t meet these standards, what is the argument for keeping him?

Unknown said...

as a zenit fan, one of the best moves AVB made was giving the armband to Danny partly because he speaks portuguese, russian, and spanish fluently.

i think having a spanish-speaking coach would help. the talent pool we have that speaks spanish is much wider than the pool that speaks german.

10% of the population of the US speaks spanish at home, thats 30 million people and a lot of darn good soccer players. furthermore, a lot of people dont realize how poor a lot of these kids english is. at my high school we had kids off of pontoons from cuba and buses from honduras who spoke better english than some who had lived in san jose their whole lives. a good example is sebastian padua, a mexican-american out of south chicago in the Fire academy:

roberto martinez... he got wba relegated, but is doing well with everton. he says some smart things, but he also said edison cavani is one of the elite players in the world. id much prefer bielsa, who is tbh arguably the best manager in the world.

a cycle is 4 years, FIFA says. there is no such thing as in between cycles. it takes 4 years to forge a winning world cup side, i say.

the tactics have gotten better. we dont play 4-4-2 bunker anymore (well sometimes the players do, but its not klinsi).

the run of 10 games giving up goals 80+ minute... thats not true. we have done that 8 of our last 10 games. we've blown a lead and settled in 4 of 7.

lets look at the matchups we went through, bob's wc vs jurgen's
england - - - germany (barring flukes, lost 0-1)
algeria - - - ghana (won by 1 with a miraculous last second goal)
slovenia - - - portugal (super dramatic back-and-forth 2-2)
ghana - - - belgium (lost 1-2 in ET)

every opponent on the right side there is stronger, and the results in those games are all almost identical.

and landon donovan was in terrible form before the world cup. he was playing very badly for LA. regardless, klinsi gave him an opportunity against Mexico in Phoenix and he was one of the worst players on the pitch. donovan played himself off the team.

Tony M said...

"landon donovan was in terrible form before the world cup. he was playing very badly for LA."

This gets repeated all the time. Still doesn't make it true.

Did you watch the LA games? He was playing deeper in the midfield as Arena squeezed more players forward. He wasn't scoring, but that's not what he was being asked to do. Go back to the LA Portland game before the break, for one example. He was easily the best player in the game. After the world cup, he was moved back up closer to the goal an he tore apart the league. But if Donovan played his way off the team, what did Brad Davis or Julien Greene do to play there way on? And why bring an injuried Joanansen or not replace the injured Altidore?

"the tactics have gotten better. we dont play 4-4-2 bunker anymore (well sometimes the players do, but its not klinsi)."
I don't know what to make of this comment. Tell me any time in the Bradley era when we used three deep mids? Our alleged 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 looks like a 4-5-1 most of the time. No less a tactical expert than Jonathan Wilson said that the midfield and the ability to hold onto the ball took a step back in 2014 from its level in 2010. I have no idea what "the players sometimes do but that's not klinsi" could possibly mean.

" cycle is 4 years, FIFA says. there is no such thing as in between cycles"

So you were against the firing of Bob Bradley in 2011 because that was in a cycle?

Nonetheless, you didn't answer my question. what would have to happen to for you to support firing him?

Tony M said...

As for Donovan's form, take a look at the argument Matt Doyle made when the cut happened:

Greg Seltzer said...

I keep saying it... form is temporary, class and experience are permanent. Form is not the end-all be-all of roster selection.

Unknown said...

i did watch the LA games. he was playing CM in a 4-4-2. he wasn't bad at it, but he wasnt good enough to play CM for us and he had been poor on the wing up to that point in the season.

brad davis probably shouldnt have been there, but he was in the same ballpark as donovan. green was there to give him experience for the future, not to mention green worked his ass off in camp and played great. donovan did not work hard or perform well in the preliminary camp. not sure what you mean by replace an injured altidore, you cant swap a player whos been injured once the world cup starts.

when we start getting outplayed, players start bunkering. jonathan wilson saw us play in two world cups. 2014 we played much tougher teams than in 2010. jk's team against the group we faced in 2010 would have looked wonderful. the 4-2-3-1 only looks like 3 deep CMs when we go into bunker-mode, which rarely happens.

i was *hugely* opposed to the firing of bradley for that reason. i was absolutely livid at USSF. if they axed klinsmann right now i would be livid.

at this point, i would support the axing of a boss if we had an unfathomable collapse in GC and/or CA and were in jeopardy of missing out on the WC.

form is not the end-all but i don't think donovan's omission was an unjustified decision by klinsmann. i didnt see them all in training but donovan probably shouldve been on the team. that said, i don't think it wouldve made a very big difference. theres 22 other guys on the team and a lot of other considerations to make.

Greg Seltzer said...

How much difference would be enough? If he creates or scores just one goal in that tourney, it can make a huge difference. We have seen it from him before.

Unknown said...

and if wondo sees where courtois is a half-second earlier we're into the quarterfinal. if kwarasey parries brooks's header we're out of the tournament. those are just two examples of split-second things that couldve made a huge difference, there were many many others. with donovan, our result is probably about the same, r16 and maybe we go quarterfinals and maybe we go out at the group stage

Greg Seltzer said...

Okaaay, but you have just moved the goalposts right off the field of play.

The more proper question would be to ask if Donovan pots that one against Belgium if out there instead of Wondo. I think we all know the answer.

Unknown said...

i dont think he does but okay

dikranovich said...

It's ironic, so many things. The Emerson hyndman article is nice, and the main takeaway is his professional attitude. His grandfather calls him, and the seventeen year old grand son tells his grand father he needs to go to work. That's what being a professional is all about.

Not for nothing, but if you read this article, you will see the Fulham academy wall picture and it goes way back to 02 and the top names on the wall are zat knight and Liam rosinor. It doesn't mean the Fulham academy is bad, and Emerson might end up being the top player ever to come out of the Fulham academy. That would be impressive, and that is what the USA national team needs.

It shouldn't be lost on anyone that Donovan went to Europe on loan, he played in MLS and he was on the national team. this workload caught up to him and maybe he should have given this greater consideration at an earlier date, so as not to be in this Cambodia situation leading up to what was suppose to be his swan song. If he had it to do over, I think he would have taken a different course.

I blame Donovan, and I blame coach Klinsmann. Neither man was able to take the high road. I do blame Donovan more though, because we all wanted him on the team, at his best.

Tony M said...

Greg, I sucked you into the fray, did I not?

dikranovich said...

It was three years ago this week, the win against Slovenia, 3-2 USA. It's basically the game all the Fabian Johnson in attack supports point to. Two years ago this week was the 2-2 draw in Russia. Last year at this time was a 1-0 loss to Austria, in Austria.

These were all friendlies and coach klinsmann did navigate us through qualifying, and he was able to rebound from the Strauss article and a tough first game in the hex.

It would be nice to clarify a style with which the team is trying to play, and brand it. My vote is for yo yo ball. And every little American child and pro should be thinking about how that applies to their game. Either through a first touch, or some passing scheme, or just how you use your energy during a game.

Yo yo ball can catch on, and it should. Coach klinsmann can fight through these tough times, and his record indicates that steps backwards are usually followed by leaps forward. The U.S. team will definitely fight through any tough times. Why not have an identity that relates to a great American pastime. One that requires some finesse and perscission. You walk the dog and shot the moon and this make sense to me, and so does a positive score line tomorrow, with multiple goals.

Bobby wood is going to net one tomorrow!

dikranovich said...

It looks like it would not be to hard to "pry" Bielsa away from his club team now, besides, the records show he stays with a club for two years, then moves on. This is his second year in France.