Sunday, July 16, 2017

Arena makes his knockouts swaps

So Bruce Arena took advantage of all six roster changes allowed ahead of the quarterfinals.

In: Tim Howard, Jesse Gonzalez, Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey

Out: Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe, Dom Dwyer

There were a few surprises, and they were all in the out group. For starters, I expected a few of the Liga MX guys to head back to their clubs with that season set to start. MY main shock, however, was seeing Rowe released from duty. I'm sure there's a reason for it, but at this moment it's one I can't understand. Here's what remains to chase the Gold Cup crown:

G - Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)

D - Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

M - Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

F - Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)

And here is what I'd like to see line up against a quarterfinal foe one could assume will be Honduras (I can guess the gripes already)...

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

Interesante. I know Bedoya was scheduled to leave for family matters, but does the departure of Dwyer indicate anything on the pecking order for forwards or is it more of a "saw what we need to see" thing?

Dr.Jon said...

Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya all seemed like they were planned from the beginning....

Cristian Roldan didn't fly...

Kelyn Rowe and Dom Dwyer were fine... Should have been Zusi and Pontius on that bus home.

DaMa said...

Agreed for the most part. I think Dwyer did not show as well as knee-jerk reaction seemed to indicate, particularly in light of what Agudelo and Morris bring. Dwyer scores goals and works hard. I think he needs something more at this level to be considered over guys with elite speed or elite touch.

I find the Zusi obliviousness a bit concerning.

Adrian said...

I really don't understand booting Rowe and keeping Pontius.

Patrick said...

I like your lineup, but I have to assume you have Zusi in there just to provoke a comment. So here it is: I don't understand why he is in the team at all. I would expect Acosta to start and play with Bradley as much as possible before CR on 9/1. That would push Nagbe to that wing.

Since it is only El Salvador, I'd like to see Morrow get another shot and especially Miazga.

reanalyst said...

I agree with DaMa on Dwyer. He has potential, but I think his performances in this time with the team have been over-celebrated. Also I'm mystified as well why Zusi is on the team. He was lousy vs Nicaragua defensively. He gave the ball away frequently. Villafana, Arriola and McCarty were bad, Pontius was worse, and outside of his goal, what did Corona do well? Of these, Zusi stands out as a liability.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Patrick: By this point, I'm really not sure why anyone would think I write something simply to provoke a reaction. Unlike many, I'm not yet ready to hand the #8 position over to Acosta, especially after his last two starts. For me, Nagbe still has more value in the middle right now than he does out wide. And playing Zusi as a true crosser on the right offers balance to the more direct speed approach of Zardes or Morris.

I know Arena has placed a high priority on "getting answers" for the foreseeable future, but my main desire is still to win this Gold Cup.

Adrian said...

@Greg - curious, if you see Nagbe playing centrally, do you foresee a situation (unfortunately not in this tournament) where Rowe and Nagbe share the field?

Greg Seltzer said...

It's conceivable, sure. But with a full strength squad, Rowe still has work to do to be a top choice winger.

Jon said...

Greg, it's 2017 and your lineup calls for Zardes and Zusi on the wings.

Know what that means?

Your next article should be on how much MLS sucks ass at player development.

Dr.Jon said...

I think Lichaj, Miazga start in D


Nagbe Dempsey Arriola


Villafana -- Besler -- Miazga -- Lichaj

However, I think Bruce has a man chubby for Omar, and Zardes. So maybe Zardes for Arriola and Omar for Miazga.