Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Playing With Fuego

What did I say about tinkering and toying so much during a US-Mexico battle? I hope Jurgen Klinsmann knows what he is doing.










- Greg Seltzer

31 comments:

DaM said...

Soooooo.... 4 central midfielders, 1 forward and a college kid. oooookaaaaay.....

Freegle said...

started every Mexican American field player available... treating this game like the farce/money grab it is.

justinwkoehn said...

Considering the player pool is basically MLS and La Liga, it's not a huge surprise that you'd see some mexican americans.

matthew konsa said...

I'd say so...this time.
...never really sure if JK is an idiot or a genius.

justinwkoehn said...

One thing that diamond formation did do was put Yedlin and Mix close together. That partnership looked awesome last night.

The team didn't look as tired after 75 min. Think they finally said enough to the late goals, or do you think the short camp didn't wear them out?

DaM said...

@justin agreed re: Mix and Yedlin. Mix is a good enough player (i.e. not Joe Corona) that if you are okay with him cutting in a lot (and of course you are with Yedlin making the runs wide) he can work there. I also though we saw his continuing defensive development actually made that a pretty tough side to attack down.

The left side was a bit of a mess until Shea and Ibarra came in (Garza is too limited offensively for my tastes and Corona continues to have no clue how to affect the game from out wide).

Greg Seltzer said...

Short camp and the lesser opposition cannot hurt. But they also seemed more in control at the back in general.

Tom said...

Perhaps I was overly impressed with Mix's unusually high level of defensive firmness, but I thought he was more *effective* than Bradley this time out.

A bad tendency that US has yet to break is to pass into a pinching trap on the sideline with nobody making the second run. You can compare that to the Mexican team, where it appeared to always be there.

Adrian said...

Where the hell was Lee Nguyen?

JJO said...

Does anyone think Julian Green enjoyed his trip to Texas?

brian said...

OH MY GOD. the coach is tinkering with the lineup during a friendly on a non FIFA date. OH NO!!!

Adrian said...

@brian from a Revs fan perspective, I'm a little pissed that Nguyen was flown around the country and subjected to a hamstring-terrifying USMNT training camp, for no actual purpose.

justinwkoehn said...

Getting closer to his USMNT teammates and buliding chemistry isn't worth it? Minutes in the actual game is only part of it, but that pitch looked to be the bigger injury inducer over camp.

DaM said...

I would actually agree Mix outplayed Bradley. Assists aside, I think the stats back me up. I think we played a lot more like a 4-1-3-2 last night (when we could)and Mix seemed to really work well on both sides of the ball with a fullback that likes to get forward. Maybe a way to put up with the inevitable JK Bradley #10 role without buring mix at DM.

brian said...

@ adrian - you think Nguyen was pissed he was called in - despite not playing in the game? and same could be said about green - who was flown around the world, not country.

justinwkoehn said...

I think it's a little different for Green, since he's not getting any time with Hamburg. USMNT call-ups can only help his position this summer to find a better loan target.

JJO said...

I don't see how being flown from Europe to Texas for a midweek friendly (kickoff at 4am Central European Time) on a non-FIFA date and then not seeing the field helps Green now or in the future.

Adrian said...

I'm sure Green's pissed as well, but I don't really care as much about him...

downintexas said...

JJO

Everyone except Santa Anna enjoyed their trip to Texas. What a great cultural experience going to the Alamo a symbol of no matter what, no matter the odds we don't surrender.

downintexas said...

I hope Green told his coach in Hamburg

"Sie können alle in die Hölle und ich gehe zu Texas"

Translation

"You may all go to hell and i will go to texas."

Pragmatic Idealist said...

I don't think the diamond was tinkering. I think the diamond is there system of choice when the matches get important.

And this one was important for many reasons.

Greg Seltzer said...

Since when? Based on what?

justinwkoehn said...

The last time the diamond worked well was against mexico pre-WC, and only for the first half.

Paul Poenicke said...

@ Greg: 90 minutes against a middling Mexico squad demonstrated that a diamond with Bradley at the apex, Beckerman at the base, and Mix cutting in from a corner, can keep possession, improve passing accuracy, and create chances in the attacking third.

But that's about it. What Jurgen got right was a formula to combine Bradley, Mix, and a defensive mid. This combination seemed so fluid and correct that it should have been tried earlier. The problem with Jurgen isn't just that the experimentation phase, post-Brazil, has gone on longer than expected; rather, it is that he should have seen some of these combinations in training and tested out a better set of functioning midfield (and backfield) possibilities. As good as the Mexico game was, we have at best one possible midfield set-up that works--we need others to play against different teams or to utilize other talents.

Danny Boy said...

I love the Klinsmann bashing. Please do continue. I laugh everytime Klinsmann makes you guys look like idiots and haters.

Can't wait to see all of the crow being eaten after he and the USMNT win the Gold Cup.

Disagreeing with Klinsmann once an awhile is understandable, but nit picking everything he does constantly just looks like sour grapes.

Dany Tzvi said...

winning the gold cup will not shut up anybody because its kind of expected. the gold cup is a trap competition, its possible to come up short but impossible to exceed expectations.

DaM said...

@danny 1) I think the things JK gets questioned most on (such as, say, Wondo over donovan) have proved that as a coach Klinsi gets way too enamored with his own cleverness and winds up making some pretty fundamental mistakes; 2) I am not sure winning the gold cup, something the US does about 25% of the times it has been played counts as proving anything about Klinsi; 3) doesn't nit picking a coach mean we are soccer fans? isnt that what soccer fans do? Is it really nit picking to point out that MB is out of position as a attacking mid even if he can occasionally be great there? what would it be sour grapes over? most of us thought JK was a good hire. Heck half of us pointed out that Mix on the right was a good call... and had equally pointed out that mix as a d mid wasnt (for a team that doesn't really have many a-mids).

Apologists are at least as bad as nitpickers.

Dany Tzvi said...

i hated the jk hiring and thought he was gonna drive us into the ground

now, i think he's done a pretty good job but i really wish we would stop playing 4-4-2 because its never gonna work at a high level. we're not going back to the QF with a 4-4-2, so i really don't care about what formation is gonna give us the best shot at winning the gold cup.

jk does a lot of good things and a lot of stupid things.

Pragmatic Idealist said...

The US went to the diamond right before the World Cup last year and had to abandon it when Jozy went out. That coincided with the timing of bringing in Vogts.

That coincided with bringing in Vogts. Then when the games got hard with the Swiss, the US went to a diamond with Williams as the #6.

Then most recently when the US faced Mexico where results were going to matter- they go with the diamond midfield.

It leads me to the educated guess that this is their base system for now. That is what I expect them to play in the upcoming matches where they they likely want to experiment less.

It also is what I think best fits the US personnel. The US does do better with 2 forwards and have a plethera of Center mids and a dirth of wingers. The diamond also puts a #6 in the middle to protect the backline. The US best wingers right now are outside backs... which fits the narrow diamond to increase the opportunities to overlap.

For me, that all comes together to say the diamond is likely their system of choice going forward.

We'll see if that is correct.



Greg Seltzer said...

First, I would say the US opened WC14 in a 4231 *with* Jozy, but that was an old cycle anyway.

I also often see and hear people claim the US fares better in a two-striker set (and that Altidore fares better in the same, for that matter), but no one has ever offered any actual evidence to support the position. I really do not know where this idea came from. I feel we certainly have lower possession and fewer shots per game in two-striker sets.

In my mind, any good midfield will exploit a diamond.

Pragmatic Idealist said...


I think all systems have strengths and weaknesses. The diamond is no different. There is no perfect system. It's more about the sytstem and personnel fit. Then adapting tactics based on the opposition.

It's not about whether the diamond is better than the bucket but which best fits the player pool.

As to two forward vs one forward analysis - pretty useless as there are too many changing factors with a rather limited sample size.... Opponents, players called in, etc

Have to go with eye test for that one