Sunday, August 9, 2015

Yeah, I am tardy.

We will get over it, as we are still set up to roll into attack tomorrow, as scheduled. So Deuce is obviously still the man here, and Mix has repeatedly shown he can get up to late playmaking heroics in a USMNT shirt. Not to sound like a broken record, but why Feilhaber is an outsider all this time is beyond me.

Shipp gets a position change from me, because I have liked how he looked the 3-4 times Chicago has fielded him as the #10... aaaand a quick check shows two helpers from four starts at the position. Really though, he probably lacks the separation gear for a guy his size to play wing at this level. Powers is running uphill here, but has time and will probably move up in the world for seasoning at some point. Zelalem, of course, could break through with Arsenal this season... enough said.

Clint Dempsey
Mikkel Diskerud
Benny Feilhaber

Not ready yet, but perhaps soon: Dillon Powers, Harrison Shipp, Gedion Zelalem





- Greg Seltzer

22 comments:

justinwkoehn said...

I agree with this if you're building a 4-2-3-1. I like Dempsey as a second striker in most other formations though.

MSA said...

J-Spec with MOM award in Birmingham's win over Reading.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-2-reading-1-9823210

Cathal said...

Greg - can we expect a Lletget appearance? For me, he's been far more impressive for Galaxy than his teammate, Zardes.

Dr.Jon said...

I hope Lletget gets a call-up definitely more of what we need in the MF - very technically gifted.

Greg Seltzer said...

I was incredibly tempted to put him here, but there are six other guys listed and we have to remember Lletget is really just 12 games into his first team career and playing on a team with several guys who eat up attention from the defense. I would like to let him continue as he goes with the Galaxy for a little longer.

Chris said...

I hope Lleget gets the call up so we can see how Jurgen thinks he does at defensive mid.

Greg Seltzer said...

Heh, good one!!! A comment of the year candidate!!

UnitedDemon said...

@Chris. Mix playing DM is the joke, I'm assuming? Yeah, JK is weird.

Chris said...

Yeah, that's the joke. Maybe we can try Danny Williams at left wing again or keep pretending Michael Bradley is a number ten. It's worked great so far, right you guys? Right?!?

UnitedDemon said...

I posted this in another comment, but it's pretty obvious the diamond should stay, and Mix and Bradley should switch. Bradley can pull the strings from deep, use his passing game and long balls, and he's very strong position-ally and defensively, too. Mix should ALWAYS start, IMO. He makes us so much better when he's on the field, and his tenacity is actually excellent, but not his tackling.

So yeah, starting them at opposite polls is just weird.

UnitedDemon said...

Poles, dammit.

DaM said...

@uniteddemon Well, Bradley is no more a 6 than he is a 10. That's really why the diamond doesn't work or make sense. There are a ton of roles Bradley CAN play but the diamond doesn't really utilize him in his best as the #8 where he can lie deep and orchestrate but also have those great secondary runs of his as well as running other midfields into the ground with his fitness.

@Greg Do you really think Zelalem may break through this year? Other than 1 really good match he seemed to still have some issues to work through as far as getting the ball of his foot and toughening up a bit when I saw him this summer.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ United Demon: Do not take this the wrong way, but I am not even slightly sure how you arrived at the notion that the diamond should stay. It clearly only works on C+ teams in January. It barely worked on CONCACAF minnows. And every time we switch out of it, the match vastly improves for us. The diamond has been exposed time and again. This is a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 side that still can play well in the empty bucket against certain opponents. The diamond is possibly the worst counter formation possible, so I think we should not be anywhere near it.

@ DaM: It is a looooong season. Lots of things happen. I feel like he will get a look at some point. Of course, I am not always right. :)



UnitedDemon said...

@Greg. Who says we need to counterattack?

Yes, it's been part of our identity since the dawn of a half way decent program, but the diamond means we can score MORE GOALS than the other team. It's effective with Zardes and Bedoya on the wings.

My conclusion was we played a tough defensive Jamaican side that negated all of our strengths, including hustle and speed. We simply didn't over power them that way. The way forward is possession, and that's where the diamond formation shines. JK's only mistake, IMHO, is making Bradley the point of the triangle. He clearly should be the base.

You can disagree, but I'm not going to argue with you. I respectfully disagree that counter attacking is where we should focus on.

Greg Seltzer said...

I think we all should accept that the counter is in our soccer DNA more than any other aspect of the game. And now, we are far better at applying pressure upfield and forcing turnovers. We also have more speed to burn people, guys like Bradley and Mix to pick out runners, and more technical skill than at almost any time on our history. If the US has a soccer identity it starts with the counter. We have even become a negative gains set piece team, so it is the clear choice in my view.

That all aside, when do you feel the diamond has seen us excel exactly? It was fairly wretched in the Gold Cup against everyone but a depleted Cuba side, it was abysmal before we switched out of it in Germany. They played it until Jamaica in the semis, then finally out-shot someone (20-10) but had a couple of disjointed moments at the back and not enough finishing. At this point, fooling around with the diamond has not only hurt us in games we actually used it.

And I am not sure why the diamond formation is special for possession. We reverted to long ball in it because the spacing is bad for link play.

dikranovich said...

Greg, after years of trying to pump some bourgeoisie Dutch philosophy, you are coming around. Wow!!! A breakthrough

Greg Seltzer said...

What makes you think Dutch philosophy does not include counters? The main reasons they take that shape are to a) win the center of the park and thus possession & b) to turn defense into offense all over the field. Possession and working counters are not opposing ideas. One does not need to bunker to counter. In fact, that just leaves you further to travel.

UnitedDemon said...

I agree with the Dutch talk, but I think setting us up deliberately for the counter attack actually lessons the counterattack capabilities. It's counter intuitive, but true.

I'm not denying that the 4-2-3-1 that you favor is a good thing, it can be. And for the positions for that formation, I think your picks are spot on. But I still like Zardes coming from that position. when he comes from wide, suddenly there's a 3 on 4, and it can be deadly.

Dany Tzvi said...

greg is 100% correct, counter-attacking is still an important part of a possession-oriented philosophy. people forget the strategic value of possession: it is largely a defensive tool. when you have the ball, the other team cant score, quite simply. by keeping possession you limit your opponent's chances.

consider barcelona. in the UCL semis and final, they scored 7 goals (im discounting neymar's essential ENG in the final), 5 of them coming on pretty bog-standard counter attacks. if you count the passes before the finish on each of these barça goals, you get a set [1,6,2,4,4,16,5] with the exception of the rakitic goal (16) all of these goals were either barca pushing the ball up from defence at breakneck pace or knicking it in the attacking third and applying a finish.

do barca also keep possession? yes, but they score on counters. we also need to incorporate both elements.

Jay said...

Casually delighted that you decided to move Shipp to the middle. Maybe send Frank Yallop a few notes, okay?

I gave you shit for putting Harry on the right wing last year when you made this list, so I feel the need to reiterate those points. 1) Shipp can't cross to save his life; putting him there mutes the attacking threat of a winger 2) his dribble is great, but he will never win a race; his stride is too short for that 3) everyone knows he cuts to the middle when he plays wide; it's predictable and putting him there takes away a lot of his creativity.

It's well known here in Chicago that Harry just plain loathes playing on the wing. We've seen his enthusiasm for the game drop with each successive match, but Yallop (for a sad variety of reasons) keeps lining him up there. Shipp is a boutique player; he's clearly at his most threatening at center attacking mid, but needs a remarkably solid midfield behind him to make up for his lack of defensive commitment.

UnitedDemon said...

Dany, I don't disagree with any of your points. However, any formation and lineup that is capable of winning by a six goal margin, regardless of opponent, is one worth exploring before you move on to, say, Greg's 4-2-3-1. Barcelona play something of a 4-3-3/4-1-2-3 formation that we cannot hope to make work with the skill levels at our disposal.

Bottom line, I think JK's onto something, he just needs to make Bradley the guy who covers the diamond, and we'd be in great shape. Mix is NOT a DM, he's tenacious, but he doesn't have Bradley's tackling ability. Whoever plays that DM position has to be a able to pass ANd score And deliver pinpoint long balls. Gee, who does that sound like?

:)

Greg Seltzer said...

If Bradley is at the base of a diamond, who is left cover when he goes forward?