Wednesday, August 12, 2015

West-Side

Between mainstays Eddie Lewis, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and stray cameos from guys like Earnie Stewart and Landon Donovan, the USMNT went a long time with no need to look for left wing impact. Things have changed, with our current rotating cast of characters.  And, of course, the choice of my starter Johnson has been perhaps the #1 topic of discussion at NSC since he joined the pool.

Wood says he is a striker, but I am not entirely sure at the international level. Basically, it came down to picking which hybrid forward(s) would help populate the wing stables. Young guys like Morris and Wood moved wide, partially because, put quite simply, they can ruuuuuuuuun. This scares defenders and annoys opposing wingers. It stretches the field in all directions and gives them more room to maneuver. And they can get other involved. Many will want Shea playing left back, but to me this remains nothing more than a fairly decent emergency option. Yeah, it could work eventually, but it is already working at taking away the most special thing he does for the team.

A few days back, I mentioned in the comments that I had almost been ready to include Lletget on the #10 list. I did not reveal then that he was actually landing on this one. Nguyen just seems too un-physical for central park duties. Remember when PSV bought him to play left wing? No? Well, he has barely played it since leaving Eindhoven, and I would not mind seeing him out there on the flank a time or two. With Gyau, it is just a waiting game. Hopefully, but this time next year, the injuries are just a faded memory.

Fabian Johnson
Bobby Wood
Brek Shea

Almost ready: Sebastian Lletget

Might still like another look: Lee Nguyen

Please get fit: Joseph Gyau





- Greg Seltzer

28 comments:

Tom said...

Interesting. If you're putting Wood here, I'd probably switch him and Shea for order.

dikranovich said...

This is probably a good time to explain how deuce is going to be part of a three man midfield? Is this really even plausible? In reality, can Clint Dempsey provide the defense required as a midfielder? Ahh, oh, it's really a 4-2-4, but I guess Bradley and Cameron can cover all the space, and jones is a player of impact, on the bench, but he can defend, he just can't be a six or a central defender.

Greg, Is Clint Dempsey really a midfielder in your formation?

Andy Palmer said...

I was going to suggest Seb Lletget if you didn't. He's impressed me this year; I'd love to see him get some time in USMNT camps.

Dikranovich. Clint's played midfielder for much of his career. I watched about 90% of his games for Fulham and, while he's no Stu Holden (who led the EPL in tackles before his injury), he can handle the defensive responsibilities of the #10 role in this formation.

UnitedDemon said...

I agree that FJ is a brilliant left sided midfielder. If he ends up there, I won't be complaining.

Nikolas said...

At the moment you're completely correct. We are much better off with a world-class left mid playing in his best position with an average or above-average left back than a great left back but sub-par left mid. Maybe we can rethink this if someone like Julian Green or Joe Gyau reaches their full potential on the wing, but until then - you've got it right, Greg.

dikranovich said...

Andy, the stu Holden stat was and has been over played. I mean, when you play for a team that defends, your center midfielder is going to get a lot of tackles, and you add to that the fact that Holden's midfield partner was playing with a heart condition, and it might make more sense why Holden himself was injured. The Dutch destroyer de Jong said it best when he explained that players need to know how to protect themselves. Of course he had just helped to injure our boy, but he was also speaking the truth.

It's like the Jamaica debate. Jamaica got outshot by the USA by about the same margin as they got outshot by Mexico. They won one of those games, lost the other, and playing games under this circumstance is akin to chasing inside straights in poker. Of course panama outshot the USA in the third place game by an even larger margin and I believe Fabian Johnson was less of a factor during this game, playing in the midfield.

Is it really people's consideration to go into Octobers games against Mexico with Tim ream at left back? Over DMB, over Fabian Johnson?

Andy Palmer said...

:sigh: Holden's midfield partner was playing with an undiagnosed heart condition; no one would've known it by watching him play. Bolton was also hardly a team that "just defended" given they were a solid mid-table team at the time. His tackling stat was serious and he was drawing a lot of interest in the English press before his injury.

dikranovich said...

andy, do you really believe deuce can be part of a three man midfield, with three attackers playing above him?

Greg Seltzer said...

You just recently mentioned the 1-0 win in Italy, so I know you remember Deuce played that very role in that very game and very scored the winner - one of many times he has played there and delivered. If you insist on being exclusively contrarian, at least try harder.

dikranovich said...

greg, lets refresh everyones memory. there were four defenders on the field. FJ and lil stevie on the wings, goodson and boca in the middle. Bradley, edu, and williAMS also started this game. howard in goal, with shea, altidore, and deuce rounding out the eleven.

you were saying deuce played what role again???

dikranovich said...

oh, im sorry, this must have been one of the games where danny Williams played right wing.....;)-

Greg Seltzer said...

Yuuuuup.

yankee said...

Wood over Shea? I think Greg is trying to kick up some conversation. And Morris is better on the left than on the right. So if anything I'd go with

Fabian
Morris
Shea

dikranovich said...

Now, if we are playing in the 3-5-2, then, Fabian Johnson should defiantly be on the wing.

If Barcelona did see something in Fabian Johnson, I think we should all be able to admit that it was for a wingback spot, not the position Neymar plays in. I mean, come on people.....

Nikolas said...

@Dik A Ream-Brooks-Cameron or Alvarado back three with FJ on the left and DeAndre on the right would be interesting to see, huh?

dikranovich said...

Niko, you switch in besler for ream and we might have something. We had a three man backline V chile and it was a guy two years removed from Cal, and a converted d mid back there. Dany, before you chime in, I do consider Cameron to be a true center half, whereas jones is converted. If a guy feels he is a center half you have to listen to that opinion.

besler-------Brooks--------Cameron

Give me a midfield triangle of Dax, Bradley, and Benny, and we will have some of our highest soccer IQ on the pitch.

UnitedDemon said...

@Greg, are you calling me a contrarian? Because the way I see it, I just like one player a lot at three positions. But I agree that he was amazing as a left mid, when he played there.

Frankly, trying to bully me into silence is a little offensive, and not at all the type of attitude I want from a f#cking editor of a blog. You dislike my opinions so much, block me. Otherwise, keep a civil tongue in your head.

Yes, your comment insulted and angered me. Get over it.

dikranovich said...

If Cameron was playing d-mid in this formation, we would need Alvarado on the right of the three man backline over Gonzales, because gonzo and Brooks and Cameron is just to much height for this space.

dikranovich said...

UD, maybe you should go back and read the post a little closer.

UnitedDemon said...

Perhaps. I'm something of a hothead when I think someone is insulting me.

UnitedDemon said...

OK, he was talking about Dempsey, not FJ. That was my confusion.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ United Demon:

Ummmmmm, quite obviously I was talking to the bane of my existence, dikranovich. Not even slightly sure how you figured I was talking to you. And even if I was, I certainly said nothing like any of that bullshit you were ranting against. Where exactly do you think you saw any bullying anyone into silence?

Maybe you can back on up and try again, and I will leave my tongue as it is.

UnitedDemon said...

@dik Dempsey is best as a withdrawn striker. He likes to move through space, beat defenders on the dribble, or surprise them with a smart run. So if it was a 4-2-3-1, he Would be part of the three, in the middle.

That's just my take, anyway.

dikranovich said...

UD, I'm not sure anyone is debating you on this issue

dikranovich said...

But maybe more enticing would be two see deuce as one of two strikers, with Benny feilhaber, a real number ten, playing behind the two strikers.

dikranovich said...

What formation and players would Marcelo Bielsa employ?

UnitedDemon said...

He would probably have 3 defenders, and start Birnbaum. The rest, I have no idea.

Sorry, Greg. I skimmed, and my hot head got the better of me. I could explain, but I'm too embarrassed.

UnitedDemon said...

Alright, I will explain. I was skimming through for any responses to My response, and I saw you calling someone a contrarian. Naturally, I presumed you meant me from a few posts ago when it came to playing FJ at fullback.

But if we can develop fullbacks better than FJ and Chandler, we should certainly use them.