Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Situation Room

Looking forward into the next cycle, there were some of these jobs I want handed to short crews and other to have plenty of options. That may make some of these look lean, and a couple of those actually are. But some of the youth stars should come bearing restart skills when they eventually enter the frame.

After all, there's plenty of time to settle on these important responsibilities. It wasn't that long ago that the USMNT was a set piece beast at both ends. Over the last cycle, performance in that area really cratered, especially at the back. Regaining solidity on restarts at the back will take time, but scoring on more of your dead ball chances can start right away. 

There are a handful of guys listed below that may not see much time in the nearest future, but if/when they do get called up we should put them in situations to succeed and contribute.

And a quick note, "L" refers to the attack's left side, and not as if you are looking out from the goal.

PK

Wood
Altidore
Pulisic
McKennie*
Jóhannsson
Gooch*
Sargent*
Dwyer*


It might almost look as if I've ranked these solely by career conversion percentage - and, gosh, it almost does - but it's actually not. Then again, Wood has yet to miss in his pro career and Altidore has never missed a US spot kick in competitive games. I see a time in the future when a platoon of McKennie and Sargent will be carrying out this duty.

FK SERVE

Acosta*
Pulisic
Gooch*
Rowe*


One of the reasons we get back to scoring plenty of set piece of goals right away is there are some highly capable free kick takers in the Portugal squad. And, for real though, if Acosta can get his all-around game tuned to the international level, he could stand over the lion's share of our takes into the next cycle.

FK L

Altidore
Acosta*


We've seen what Altidore can do from a free kick, but he does have a particular spot. Acosta hasn't buried as many yet, but he can go from anywhere...

FK R
Gooch*
Acosta*


... which is why he also shows up on this other side's shortlist.

CK L

Acosta*
Rowe*
Pulisic
Diskerud
Lennon


Of all the restarts, this is one I bring a bigger crowd for, and not just because we have more options. No, it's that above all others this is the one we should kill. It's the highest percentage chance for us, we have plenty of good targets and plenty of able servers.

CK R

Gooch*
Pulisic


Related side note time: Sunderland needs to quit BS-ing and play Gooch. Every time they use him, he does well, and jeez, that team could certainly use more of that. But, no, they put him back to the bench and lose a bunch. I honestly don't get it.






- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

FiveTwo said...

Understand why you didn't include him yet, but in a few years Andrew Carleton will be on this list.