Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Your USMNT Line-Up v. Ecuador

You know I like the formation, but I spy some old ideas of varying success creeping back in. One in particular, one you can surely spot.

- Greg Seltzer


Kirk Diggler said...

Zusi is a forward now? 3 holding mids? Redonkulous. Fire Klinsman already. Dumpster fire.

JJO said...

swap the front 3 for pulisic-wood-nagbe and play a christmas tree?

JJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaM said...

@Kirk I hate zusi there too, but in fairness to the awful choices of Klinsi, Zusi at least plays there for KC.

Beckerman still getting starts makes me sad.

No surprise that switching Nagbe in for him made a big difference for our coherence with the ball.

Dr.Jon said...

Given ages/talent/etcc....I am thinking the US Best XI going forward is something like this (with holes)

Pulisic ---- Wood ----- ???

Johnson ---- Nagbe


??? ----- Brooks ----Birnbaum ---- Yedlin


It might be Horvath who steps up and takes the crown from BG and TH. Will Villfana be the LB savior? Who plays RW?

With just really 2 questions, and like TT said last night it is a question we haven't had to ask for a very long time (early 90s) who is the #1 GK? Who is going to fix our LB hole? Who is best option for RW

ZackL said...

@Dr. Jon
I agree with you on that line up (though I think Jozy still has a role for another WC cycle, especially if we use a 4-4-2 at some point). I'm still, like most people here, a little confused as to why Klinsmann has decided to snub any of the specialist leftbacks that are available to him. Obviously Fabian can play there, and play well at that, but I'm definitely in agreement with a lot of people here in thinking that he is much more effective on the wing. I wonder if LB is going to be his position with the USMNT for the foreseeable future; with Klinsmann, who knows?

Also, how much better did the US look after Nagbe entered the game and Bradley shifted back to a deeper midfield role? That's the central midfield pairing I'd like to see starting against Colombia on June 3rd. Fingers crossed...

reanalyst said...

Yes, bringing Nagbe in and moving Bradley back made a tremendous difference.
@Dr. Jon,
The change I would make in your lineup would be Cameron instead Birnbaum.

DaM said...


I have to disagree on a couple of those picks. Birnbaum had a decent game last night and I thnk he has a bright future, but Geoff Cameron is the starter there. Cameron had a good season in the Premier League and a fair amount of it was at his best position, centerback.

On the left, the best player is clearly FabJo. If this were a year ago, I would be saying he is way too valuable to our offense to not be playing further forward. However, I think he has recently become our 2nd best offensive player from the left wing. Now I see you agree and that's why we see him appear in that #8ish role instead of Jones, but I am not sure Fabjo works in the middle of the field. I admit I can't recall seeing that happen so maybe he does, but I suspect he desn't have that kind of motor/instinct.

That being said, I know the popular view is to have Jones be that third player with Bradley and Nagbe (and let's hope Klinsi finally realizes that's our best 6/10 combo) but I think that may not be the case for long. Not sure who belongs thee. Bedoya? I know he flopped in the middle before, but that's his actual position. He's not really a winger. Will Trap eventually makes a great fit there with his kind of 2 way play. So does Emerson Hyndman but those two are probably a year away at least (hopefully enough time to supplant JJ for the world cup).

Alternatively we could play Pulisic on right wing (he is actually a right footed player I believe) but he's pretty 2 footed. Then you could play Fabjo on the left wing and find your preferred lb. Lichaj makes a ton of sense there but... meh. Maybe if Chandler would become a consistent player he could be the answer that Klinsi would be willing to use (notorozconotorozconotorozco)

DaM said...

(Though I fear they will continue to try to push acosta out to LB. That is an awful idea and I hope Klinsi is gone before it does lasting damage to Acosta's development).

Patrick said...

If I was a potential USMNT midfielder not named Michael, Christian, Darlington, or Fabian; I would learn to play LB. Beasley did it.

For now, if FabJo playing LB gets Pulisic and Nagbe on the field then that is the way to go over all the LB names typically thrown around. Further, FabJo can probably play 90 minutes in every Copa game at LB but probably would have to be rotated at LP M.

Patrick said...

If I was a potential USMNT midfielder not named Michael, Christian, Darlington, or Fabian; I would learn to play LB. Beasley did it.

For now, if FabJo playing LB gets Pulisic and Nagbe on the field then that is the way to go over all the LB names typically thrown around. Further, FabJo can probably play 90 minutes in every Copa game at LB but probably would have to be rotated at LP M.

Unknown said...

beasley didn't transition to fullback at the national team level. while he was at pachuca they switched to a 3 CB formation. it was learn wingback or lose his job. from there the transition to fullback was more natural. suffice it to say players generally dont select their positions. it's almost unprecedented for a player to play a totally unfamiliar position with a national team (dirk kuyt and stephan schrock come to mind as exceptions, im sure there are a few others). moreover you generally can't just walk into your club managers office and say "hey boss i'd like to play position (x) which ive never played before". club managers have jobs to do, too.

Unknown said...

but i agree that fabian at LB is muted a bit by the other options we have on the wings which are better than usual. id like to have nagbe in the middle of the field but i think he can be good on the wings as well. i trust pulisic. i like bedoya out there, he's got some experience as a winger with nantes. heck, even zusi had his moments against ecuador. yedlin looked good for his 10 minutes as a winger the other day, but if he will play there for substantial time who is our RB? orozco or chandler? color me hesitant. i didn't think wood was effective as a winger and i dont think he will be, and zardes.... leaves me at a loss for words at times: can't finish and can't defend... sooooo??? if we're really playing a 4-3-3 with dempsey as a striker, does having zardes (ineffective), wood (ineffective as a winger), and wondolowski all on the roster make any sense at all???

dikranovich said...

Sorry Dany, but DMB never played for pachuga. He did play for Puebla, which I'm sure you meant, but he also played left back under bobo, which was before his time in Mexico. So he did in fact transition to left back at the national team.

Dr.Jon said...

@ZackL Klinsmann said this, essentially - "there are more good MF in the USMNT pool than there are good LB. So FJ would play LB."

Like @Patrick says if that means Nagbe and Pulisic play in front of MB, awesome. IF that means JJ, MB and Beckerman in the MF then :(

In terms of Cameron vs. Birnbaum I think it questions play for now vs. future. The experience and showcase for Birnbaum would be immense. He is 25 and should make a move to a big club to continue learning and playing CB in a top league. Cameron is 30 (July 11, 1985, so almost 31). He doesn't have many USMNT days left.

That's my take.

DaM said...

@Dr. Jon that's a fair point regarding getting birnbaum experience over cameron, however I think Cameron still has a good chance to be your world cup centerback. He'll be 33ish. Not quite in his athletic prime but for a centerback, not over the hill either. It's a delicate balance between winning now and preparing for the future. I agree with the sentiment that Morris should have been taken over Wondo for that reason. However, I think there's 0 chance that wondo is a meaningful player at the next world cup. Or at least there SHOULD be. One never knows with Klinsi.

Not saying I wouldn't give Birnbaum some a game against Costa Rica to give Cameron a rest between Colombia and Paraguay... but I think Cameron's the guy in an elimination match.

Unknown said...

yeah puebla my bad
beasley played there a few games in the 2010 qualifiers, and then not again for several years

dikranovich said...

I think maybe slowly, but surely, people are starting to come around to the idea of Fabian Johnson at left back. It just makes to much sense, and lord knows, and nobody wanna see Edgar Castillo playing left back for USA in copa America. Yes pushing and tugging aside, USA has found her left back for the next three to four years.

I can't speak for the rest of the clowns, but I want a high IQ guy playing right behind my prodigy, thank you very much.