Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Round Up To #10

We've arrived at the #10 slot. Frankly, I'm just glad the new boss is dedicated to using one. This was a very difficult call between two veteran hands.

Benny Feilhaber
Sacha Kljestan
Lee Nguyen

Under close watch: Clint Dempsey

I'm giving Benny a razor's edge over Inspector Kljouseau™ today, but in all honesty, I could change my mind if asked tomorrow. It's that close. Either way, it's great to see Feilhaber back in the fold and (alternate line-ups spoiler alert) I actually would not be even slightly opposed to a line-up that featured both.

Nguyen is the emergency option... for now. All eyes will be on Dempsey as the MLS season begins. We all know he could flip this depth chart around real quick. I also would have liked to see Rowe get a little look here in January, but oh well, that shipped has passed.

- Greg Seltzer


FiveTwo said...

If these were my 3 best options, I wouldn't use a 10 either.

Luke said...

Might be harsh to say the Rowe "ship has passed" after one Bruce Arena camp. The guy is solid and I wouldn't have minded seeing him in January either, but our midfield was pretty stacked and you could justify calling up every player that was included over him. Which probably means it's not quite his turn yet.

Greg Seltzer said...

I only meant the ship had passed with regards to him playing a part in March - this Clipboard is laser focused on those two games. Perhaps I could have been more clear.

Dr.Jon said...

I agree with FiveTwo, Benny and Sacha have had their chance both at the international level and club level (abroad) and they didn't really shine (in terms of top leagues).
OTOH those 2 are known quantities for the next 2 qualifiers, like Greg says....

Greg Seltzer said...

Well now, Benny did play quite well at WC10 and Kljestan certainly shined in the Champions League. And c'mon, both have been denied far more chances to playmake than they've received in a US shirt. Just off the top of my head, I would wager that their combined total of caps played at the #10 position struggles to reach 10.

Erik said...

I like this list for the next two WCQ. Speaking of #10s, what's up with your boy Mix? When he's used properly, he's been quite effective in a US jersey.

FiveTwo said...

Klestjan "shined" in champions league? He is so stiff physically, can be taken out of the game completely by a competent #6. Might be alright for COCACAF teams not named Mexico or CR, but not any kind of long term solution.

And 2010 was 7 years ago! Benny has the skills, like him better in that spot than Sacha, but overall not a great option for this team.

Unfortunately, Pulisic is our best option at 3 different positions.

What do you think about Lleget as a 10?

Greg Seltzer said...

1 - Yes, Kljestan shined in Champions League play (as well as the Europa League) with Anderlecht. This is not a secret. In all, he logged four goals and 10 assists in 34 European games, most of them coming when he was in the #8 role.

2 - Well, our next two games is the extent of the focus of this list. And we will be playing CONCACAF teams not named Mexico and Costa Rica.

3 - It's a fair point that time has passed since then, but Feilhaber's also arguably a better player now.

4 - Perhaps Lletget can be a box-crashing #10 type one day, but not now.

Justin said...

Wow, glad you aren't the head coach.

To be clear, you would take:




For the NEXT 2 games? You'd add a bunch of guys who never played together, put together a centerback combo that's always failed, and put Altidore as the lone striker when he has literally no history of success as a lone striker? And, to do that, you'd relegate Bedoya and Wood to the bench? Good God.

Justin said...

And you'd focus on a bunch of players who are in out-of-season shape? I mean, just on that alone, I'd be tempted to take out Kljestan, but only to replace him with Hyndman or Morales or Williams, not Nagbe. And maybe that's a good reason to not play Bedoya, but you're playing a Nagbe who was out of form even when it wasn't the offseason.

(If Birnbaum isn't ready due to offseason shape, and we're already assuming Cameron is injured, you have to partner Brooks with Orozco, not Gonzalez).

Greg Seltzer said...

You're kinda all over the place, but let's just clear one thing up. Altidore made an Eredivisie Team of the Year and has scored a great many of his US competitive goals as a so-called lone striker. I have no clue how you got the notion that Altidore "literally has no history of success" in that role. Where does one even get that idea?

As for the line-up, six of them are in season and the other five just came out of a month-long US camp, their club's preseasons and several friendly outings. That does not constitute "out-of-season" shape.

But yes, I would definitely prefer my line-up to the one you offered.

Unknown said...

The one point i would make is that most of sacha kljestan's success with anderlecht came with lucas biglia behind him. We dont have lucas biglia. Other than that i agree with all greg's points. If we learned anything from the last two games, its that the empty bucket isnt gonna function.

Unknown said...

The last two WCQs, i should clarify

Patrick said...

Is there an American playing as a #10 anywhere other than Benny and Sascha? This is my problem with MLS, it is not developing any American attacking talent in the middle of the field. When an opening comes, it is filled with a foreign player.

Guzan had played in more competitive games this month than Rimando.

FC Dallas seems to be the only MLS team ready at this point. Hopefully, they are all ready by March 24. How many Honduras players are in MLS?

Greg Seltzer said...

True, but Rimando will have passed him in a couple weeks. And Guzan didn't exactly look great in that one.

Honduras probably has six MLS players that you can expect to see in the selection. How many will be starters? Could be all of 'em, could be half.