Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Your USMNT Line-Up v Martinique

As promised by Da Bruce, we have seven field player changes, most of which I'm cool with. Christian Roldan gets his debut and Justin Morrow his first cap in four-and-a-half years, while Eric Lichaj gets his first USMNT start in over six years (how that's possible, I'll never understand). And it looks like we'll switch to the empty bucket, which kinda bums me out, but oh well.

Catch ya later at MLSS for Player Ratings. First place or bust!

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

Well, if there is any game that has a chance to get Zardes back on track, this will be it. Do we think Morris needs a good game to keep himself in the world cup mix? If he performs poorly, he probably doesn't play in the 3rd group match and then newcomers join the team making it even less likely. If that happens, then I imagine he's not making the top 4 for the qualifiers and that's about that.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well, a lot can happen in a year. And I don't think this is the ideal match-up for him, as Martinique should back into their end and have us running half-court. Morris may actually be more valuable against top teams that look to possess the ball more.

DaMa said...

Morris's left foot is so bad he can't weight a 3 yard pass with it. Seems like several guys are playing their last minutes of this cycle today, Morris included. As you say, a lot can happen in a year and Arena clearly likes Zardes abd Roldan enough to try then again, but just poor play. I know Zardes has gotten himself in good positions but he has mishit virtually every ball in the final third. Arriola seems to be Benjamin Buttoning from match to match.

DaMa said...

Morris definitely answered the half time whistle. Two goals is two goals. I guess. Still plenty of guys did not show well at all.

Greg Seltzer said...

Zardes and Morris were our best two players tonight, quite easily. If you want to talk about a guy who wrecked his standing, it's Hedges.

UnitedDemon said...

Thought Gonzalez was OK.

But, yeah, flagellation by either the training staff or by the players upon themselves seems warranted. Got to send a message that *%^&ing up against MARTINIQUE!!! is a criminal offense. I mean, really. Most of these players are amateurs!

DaMa said...

Agreed on Hedges. Unfortunately not the first time I've thought his game doesn't quite translate to the next level. It's not just the fact that he got beaten for pace, is it? To me, it looks like when he is defending guys 1 on 1, he just seems a different player. Maybe it's a confidence thing?

I felt like Hedges and Arriola hurt themselves the most tonight and Morris and Lichaj helped themselves the most.

I get liking what Zardes did, and he was a bit more clinical in the second half for sure, but he still wasted a lot of chances with his clubfoot. Not saying I have given up on him, but there's a lot of work to do there. Probably more good than bad for him. I do wonder if his best slot is as a wing in a 4-3-3 with a 9 that comes short and lets Zardes stretch his legs. We haven't played that often with him, though the 4-4-2 Y can have a similar effect when he is inverted on the left and the US have a ton of possession. Are we any closer to knowing what Zardes's best position is? I think we at least now know where Arena sees him. I guess not surprising given his time at LA.

Dr.Jon said...

Morrow, Roldan, Hedges weren't as dominant against a weak team as they should have been

Acosta was better.

Agueldo tried like hell......but is still behind Dwyer and Wood and Jozy and Clint

Still think Arriola has the pace and technical ability to help
Lichaj is leaps and bounds better than Zusi
Zardes is an athletic super-sub (not a winger)
Bedoya doesn't bring much to a very talented CM pool
Omar is down the pecking order for CB.

Guess we see Besler/Miazga for Nicaragua?

Tom said...

Aguedlo was trying too hard.
Acosta was better, but there were a ton of times he should have delayed a run by 1s or so and would have had the world on a platter.
Arriola was fine, fell alseep.
Alejandro was a lot better.
Morrow was decent.
Licaj was better than decent, failures notwithstanding.
Hedges... boy, I don't know.

Patrick said...

Seems contradictory to ding Arriola for poor finishing but laud Zardes for getting into dangerous positions. Arriola got behind the defense in space several times. Martinique clogged the middle and Zardes, especially, was given lots of room. I actually think his first touch was good all game (John Stone constantly referenced it and Lalas couldn't not mention it). But he is the same. Gets the ball in great spots, and does little. Unlike Nagbe, he doesn't look great doing it either haha. I think it isn't anything athletic or technical, his brain is just slow. He just doesn't make decisions fast enough. Not even fast enough for MLS level really. He always makes his best plays (see Ecuador in Centenario), when dribbling to the touch line. Maybe it gives him extra time to think about the pass...or maybe he just gets on the ball so much in good spots, one or two have to work out. Fascinating player, as you might take 1-2 great chances in soccer.

Gonzales seems to be focused only on himself and is constantly dropping off and sending the defense into disarray. He has been a huge disappointment.

Hedges has been oversold by the MLS hype train and is just not good.

Did Hedges or Gonzales win one aerial challenge in either box? MQE had at least 5 open headers in our box. That was probably the most unacceptable thing in the game.

Why are we playing an empty bucket at all and why against a team like MQE? The first half was a clinic in all the limitations of the approach.

How can we play two defensive midfielders and give up 2 goals to Martinique?

Hedges got beat by the same move the MQE player used to score against Nicaragua. Did they even watch highlights of that game?

Arena and the US media keep expecting these teams to bunker. But they are pressing us high and killing us. They can use 3 vs 6 in a press and all we can do is hoof it long. It is ridiculous.

Patrick said...

That team last night was not a B team. It was our mostly domestic B team. MLS players just don't seem to play well outside their club teams without many repetitions. Mostly MLS teams were underwhelming and mostly outplayed, in the last 12 months, by Argentina (a ghastly performance), a domestic Serbia team, a domestic Jamaica team (a win with a late goal), Panama, and now Martinique. The only good showing was against Ghana's B team last week.

Maybe our B team really includes these people that Arena has shown no interest in (no particular order):


Dr.Jon said...

@Patrick is Bruce really isn't building for the future why would he care to "get players settled at their new club" like some have mentioned. I agree with you, I don't necessarily think Bruce is that good at evaluating new talent and surely no one on his staff is (at the international level).... IMO