Saturday, February 20, 2016

Moving right along...

My monster MLSS project is in the can and I've caught up on sleep, so let's resume Clipboard activities with a look at my right center back depth chart.

Omar Gonzalez
Matt Hedges
Michael Orozco

Also in the frame: Matt Miazga

Gonzo is excelling with Pachuca, Hedges is overlooked on a Lichaj level and Orozco provides a different element. Now, let's see how long before Miazga sees PT with Chelsea. He looks about one more injury/ban from starting over there, and then things could get quite interesting at this position.

- Greg Seltzer


downintexas said...

Man I really wish Hedges was on the radar.

DaM said...

I really wish Orozco wasn't. Don't get the attraction to him at all. Too much of a ball watcher.

dikranovich said...

Gosh, if Steve birnbaum can't get onto a list that doesn't even include Geoff Cameron, that's got to mean something good right?

Greg, I'm serious, if you name a tall left center half, and then, a tall d mid, I'm going to want a good explanation. You really don't think it matters, do you? Playing against these little Latin teams with quick little players. They certainly will not be winning many headers against the USA, if any, that's for sure.

This is some more of that Dutch perspective, as If the USA are playing teams of the kind of makeup, the Dutch play. We are not!!!

DaM said...


I get you are all anti greg (though for some reason voluntarily read his blog more than anyone else I know, so ... good for greg i guess? I mean does he really get anything out of that?) but more and more you just come of as a tad bit frothing at the jowls.

It's not that hard to see that Geoff Cameron has a good argument as our best d-mid (or rb given the disaster that was rb for camp cupcake) and it has long been asserted that d-mid is hs natural position. So are you really confused as to why he isn't on this CB list? I don't think you are that stupid (cause, really, who is?) so it must be a sadly predictable attempt at "proving your point."

Is Cameron going to be on the dmid or RB list because he is tall... or because he has had a good year playing there a fair proportion of the time in one of the best leagues in the world? Is John Brooks really not our best choice left center half in your mind? Or again is there an obvious and simple point that as one of the best rising left sided CBs in the world right now, he might be our best choice, regardless of the absolutely horrifying fact that he happens to be tall?

Is the goal to only beat "little latin players" in CONCACAF (something we frankly are going to do regardless of how tall or short we are) or to win tournaments by playing the best players making the best team possible? Do the dutch never play spain? Would we be a better team playing Dax McCarty at d-mid just because he is short or would that be just the opposite side of the coin? Tall teams have won the world cup more in the last 20 years than short teams... maybe we should be focusing solely on being tall after all.

You're arguments are almost always specious and full of logical fallacies. You conflate causation and coincidence constantly to the point where I have to assume it is intentional. The crazy thing is, I'm not sure who you are trying to convince. Nobody who reads this blog pays attention to your opinions, Greg certainly isn't altering his views based on your frothings. Why bother?

I guess Greg can ban you if he really cares so obviously he doesn't, but the signal to noise in your comments has become made them something the rest of us just skip over.

So... mission accomplished?

dikranovich said...

Dam, you tossed your salvo my way, and I'll pick and choose what I can respond to, from your detailed commentary.

I do believe Cameron was chosen to play d mid against Belgium because he WAS tall, and matched up well against that team. Thanks to fennel, freegle, and beagle we know that Fabian Johnson did not play in the midfield against Belgium, he played full back.

We are playing in concacaf, and this summer we are playing copa America. This is all of The Americas. I just don't think a triangle of two central defenders and a d mid, 6'5, 6'4, and 6'2 is a recipe for success. Arturo Vidal is 5'11, macherano is 5'9. Yeah, I think these little quick Latin players will move around these taller players like they are traffic cones.

It's pretty common knowledge that central defenders compliment each other. It's A typical to see two central defenders who are both short, or who are both tall. It's not typical!!!

Dam, I'm pretty sure you were one of those people who did not believe that Kyle beckerman could play against the players he faced in Brazil. But as it turned out, he could, pretty well in fact. Sometimes you think you are positive that you know something, but find out you did not know as much as you thought, and maybe, you had it all wrong to begin with.

dikranovich said...

Dam, looking ahead.... Am I going to be allowed to question the possible selection of hometown hero, Tim ream, if he is listed in a top slot, somewhere on the left side? He has done well for the national team recently, but even more recently he has not been finding the starting eleven at a struggling Fulham.

DaM said...

You can question whatever you want. I just don't get why you bother when your goal clearly isn't discussion.

For the record, I wanted Kyle Beckerman to play over Jermaine Jones as I think the latter has been overrated for 2 years, gets confused when playing with Bradley and our team would be better off with a clear defined 6 in front of the back 4.

Of course, Klinsman's inanity of playing 3 d-mids at once (sometimes 4) made it all nonsense anyway.

dikranovich said...

Dam, are you calling coach klinsmann insane for using Kyle beckerman, a d-mid, jermaine jones, a d,mid, and Bradley(a d-mid?)? While you are thinking about your answer, remember, these three started the Ghana game, and Portugal game at the last World Cup.

What say you Dam?

dikranovich said...

Ok dam, before you do say anything, I'd like to say the world might be turning on its head a little today as a 17 year old American is starting a massive bundas league game today, on the wing. Let's see what CP has up his sleeve today.

BB picked up a huge win yesterday at Le Havre. In typical BB fashion.

DaM said...

I said inane not insane. But yes those matches were what I was referring to when I brought up 3 d-mids. If I recall correctly somewhere in there or the build up he also brought on someone like Morrales for the vaunted 4 dmid lineup.

CP10 came off at half. Few good touches (1 should have been an assist but Aubamayeng muffed it) and 1 bad touch. Nobody looked particularly good. Reus didn't have much more involvement other than the somewhat cheesy advanced free kick and getting beat by the Keeper on a breakaway.

Yes good win for Le Havre but it's been somewhat mixed so far for BB. Couple wins in a row but against lower teams. Comes on the heals of losing 2 to teams in the promotion zone. Not sure they're going to make it which I think would have to be something of an indictment of Bob.

dikranovich said...

Dam, sorry about that.

Inane 1.empty, insubstantial. 2 lacking signifigance, meaning, or point. Silly.

What was inane about a 2-1 victory over Ghana, and a 2-2 draw with portugal? I mean, really, not to mention two games where jones was a freaking beast. You got some explaining to do Dam

I'm pretty sure Christian pulisic was a scheduled 45 min shift. He has two things going for him, that will almost guarantee him minutes. He has ridiculous pace, and he has a tenacity that just about every coach loves.

The odds are about 2/1 that bobo gets Le Havre into third or better, so your indictments will have to wait until the season is over.

dikranovich said...

Oh yeah, Christian pulisic, he was playing left wing today, and you know what, stick a seasoned bundas league player behind him at left back, and let's go do some serious damage in Russia.

OZ said...


Le Havre are 8 points behind Nancy for the second promotion spot with 11 games to go.

Promotion is not impossible but it would have been a lot easier if the French had not reduced the number of spots from 2 to 2 this season.

Bob would be only 2 points behind if they had stayed with 3 teams for promotion. When you add that to the fact that he came to the team a little late and it is not "his" team,if he finishes the season on a positive note maybe they don't fire him.

If he doesn't get fired he should be better prepared to make a run next season.

OZ said...


Correction :

"reduced the number of spots from 3 to 2"

dikranovich said...

Oz, I hear what you are saying!!! French league 2 is tight. The second place team just barely beat the last place team, and the 13th placed team, just tied the first place team.

It looks like two French court rulings have favored keeping the promotion at three for this season, but that a change could come in the future. In my mind that means the top French division is going to say. Take two this season, or enjoy one starting next season.

But Le Havre have a very choice schedule from here on out, and third place is almost certain, and second or first are still out there for the taking.

DaM said...

@Oz: I would consider it a bit of an indictment because as I recall they were closer to the top 2 when he took over than they are right now. But, fair enough, let' let the schedule play out.

@dik: Explain? Portugal was terrible. I get it they are portugal, but tying them was not a success (they lost to germany 4-0 and beat Ghana by the same score we did... and, again, they were terrible). We are a better team than Ghana with our best 11 players. Not that I think we used them all tournament but that is my view. Beating Ghana 2-1 was not a success. A mark of a grand success would have been getting an unexpected result. We beat the team we were supposed to beat, tied a team we should have beat and lost to the team we were expected to lose to. More to the point, this is soccer.

Part of soccer is judging the play of the team outside of just the end score. We were poor. We had poor posession, poor movement, poor counter attack, all things you might expect when playing 3 d-mid's. Yes we kept Belgium and Germany to low scores, that is the flip side. We never looked in it to win (which is just how crazy a lucky bounce to Dono... err Wondolowski almost made that Belgium match).

Inane. Silly.

dikranovich said...

And your jermaine jones comment? He crushed it in Brazil. The USA had some tough breaks. Altidore going down was a big loss, and candies and nuts, everyone wanted an available Donovan. USA was really toe to toe with Belgium before the injury of Fabian Johnson, who was playing wingback. Those injuries and absences were a lot to overcome, and our team almost did it.

I'm just not sure that your grasp on this stuff is as strong as it could be. Pepe did pick up an early red card against Germany. You gotta kind of think that affected the score line. Ghana played Germany about as close as any other team in the tournament.

Dam, if we keep up the discussion with you, I think it will eventually click.

Greg Seltzer said...

Funny yiu say that, because you are clearly unable to stop taking personal shots, piling up unanswered posts and repeating the same tired crap over and over, evidence be damned. I am tugging your leash, dikranovich. Reel it in. Now.

dikranovich said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaM said...

Yes Jones crushed a shot in Brazil. I always find that those who don't quite get soccer get impressed by a single instance of brilliance rather than looking at the entire picture. For instance: Jones put in a TON of work... sort of. If you look at the actual stats he was in most matches 3rd or 4thish for distance travelled. Not that impressive when you consider positions mean that's really 3rd or 4th out of 5.

Furthermore, if you look at the position charts for the US matches, you will see in almost every match Jones showed up in someone's way, usually the right side. Poor coaching to play a 3 man dmidfield and then pick wide players that don't play wide. but poor spacing from jones, understandably since he was playing a formation that these guys hadn't really practiced together.

Moving on, you'll see that contrary to popular view, his passing percentages are actually pretty pedestrian.. .or awful, depending on which match you look at. I think he was under 50% in one of the matches. maybe ghana? i forget, it's been a while. Anyway, that's atrocious.

And of course, he had 1 goal. But I get it, it was an amazing goal so the easily fooled were easily fooled. I appreciate you are probably just used to understanding sports in the context of who scored and what the best dunks of the night are but soccer is a bit more granular than that. That being said, but even if that is all you are capable of understanding, I think you can still appreciate soccer. Nothing wrong with loving golazos.

dikranovich said...

Dam, I really think that 50% you came up with, was in reference to the percentage of goals JJ was involved in during those two group stage games. Jones also assisted the Dempsey opener against Ghana. Believe me, I found out last week that eighteen months is in fact a long time ago, especially when just remembering some things from last week can be tricky.

JJ was one of our top performers in Brazil, and that is pretty tough to try and refute.

Dr.Jon said...

Was curious about the discussion, to I looked.....for the record everyone looked terrible against Ghana - Bradley and Beckerman were best at 75% and 77% respectively.

Jones, 4 2014 WC matches, pass complete/pass attempted (Jones 19/39 49%, worst on team for people >10 attempts) (Jones 37/50, 74%, tied for 2nd worst, Zusi again was worse at 68%) (Jones 27/36 75%, much better game for him, but 2nd worst again, yup Zusi.) (Jones 29/48 60%, 2nd worst on team for people >10 attempts, Zusi was 59%)

Overall total: 112/173, 65%

In terms of distribution, pass completion % was worst or near worst of the MF's for US. No doubt he has presence, he also plays more aggressive passes forward, for better or worse.

dikranovich said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaM said...

Nope. Feel free to look it up. I just did. Which is kind of sad, but anyway. 49% for Ghana, 74% for Portugal, 75% for Germany and 60% for Belgium. 60% is awful as well. the 75% are okay. not good but at least around replacement level or a bit above depending where you set it. You see? When you're only real response is "that never happened!" when something did, in fact, happen.... claiming that the opposite is true is just desperate clinging to a self validating narrative. It SHOULD make you think about reassessing your... assessments... but it won't.

(There's a concept that other sports use that hasn't quite caught on for obvious reasons in soccer. It is "wins above replacement player." It's great that JJ got an assist against Ghana. That doesn't mean a hypothetical replacement player (say LD playing amid in front of Kyle and MB) wouldn't have gotten an assist. You look at the whole game. Would a replacement player have had sub 50% passing against Ghana? Considering how god awful that is, probably not. )

I get that plenty of pundits raved about JJ because you are supposed to rave about someone's individual performance and if we beat Ghana 2-1 someone has to score 7s and 7.5s so the assist guy gets one. It's fun to say things that espn say like "oh we almost beat belgium and they were one of the best teams" because the score was close. But if you actually look at the match we were grossly overmatched and without Tim Howard probably lose by 3 in regulation time. We were statistically (and visually) aaaaaaawfuuuuul. Again except for Timmy. It's fun to say JJ was one of the best tourney performers because he had a goal and an assist on our 4 goals over 4 matches. But that doesn't really tell the story either. In 2 of the 4 matches he was downright terrible. Soccer is more complicated than Basketball. Then again even basketball has gone beyond just relying on points assists and rebounds.

Like I said it is sometimes hard for the American fan to get past simplistic stats like goals and assists. It's not that they don't matter, it's that it is a team game and sometimes those things are simple anecdotal moments in time that may tell the story of the team and have nothing to do with an individual's performance. As I recall the assist to Dempsey was a wall pass from the wing to a run by clint who then dribbled past a couple and scored. Not a highly complex bit of individual skill nobody else could achieve (thus, perhaps, excusing a passing percentage lower than what would be excuseable from a U15 player on a bad day) just a player being in a position in the team's attack that led to a goal.

Anyway you obviously have your own view of soccer that you have convinced yourself is more advanced than anyone else's, all evidence to the contrary aside. That's cool but there's no real reason to continue this ad nauseum. I am sure I will see you on some other thread here... for some reason.

Greg Seltzer said...

You and I agree on Jones' Ghana performance.

Dany Tzvi said...

never ceases to amaze me why dik insists on blogging in the comments section rather than starting his own blog. Just using greg's following for attnetion. I vote for banhammer.

dikranovich said...

Dam, you have to admit, it's kind of funny, you use stats to show jones was the poorest midfielder, with the worst passing percentage, and this is your big claim as to why he was a poor choice, yet you marginalized the stats that really count, goals, and assists.

Jones was a monster in Brazil. I mean, for gods sake, he played left mid against Ghana. How many times have people used Danny Williams playing right mid to an ineffectual level as evidence of not playing players out of position, yet here we are, people tying to pounce on 49% passing, from a left mid spot, after getting an early goal, which said party assisted. Everyone knows very well that when you score an early goal and step up defense, to maintain the lead, then have your main striker go down, and still, the team pulled out the win.

The freaking game is not all about the stats, unless you limit it to the stats on the scoreboard, then it is.

dikranovich said...

If you go back and watch the three minutes between the time Ghana scores in the 82nd min. And USA scored her second in the 85th min, what you see in JJ penetrating dribble into the Ghana box, from the right side. On defense, JJ breaks up a Ghana cross, that eventually leads to a corner kick, won by Fabian Johnson, from his right back spot. The guy was a true leader who just knew when to step up, and it is tough to hear people try and conflagrate his body of work.

JJ, from the snow game in Denver on, was indispensable.

Currently he is a luxury.