Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Your USMNT line-up v. Paraguay

Okaaaay. I can honestly say that, beyond the obvious that is a four-man back line, I have no clue what the rest of the USMNT shape will be tonight. Oh, I can somewhat viably (for some minds) stretch this collection into several various shapes, but who knows which one will actually appear? Not this guy.

I do know I feel it's already a big opportunity missed to ignore drilling the 3-5-2 with Pulisic away. It will be interesting to see who stays in touch with Trapp when we want to advance from our end with the ball, and whether he can translate his club form. And, sweet Moses, can we get Bobby a goal or two tonight? If a guy ever needed one, it's him and now.

Catch ya on the other side with ratings at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

really disappointed in shape and starters. This is the problem with just letting Sarachan ride. He is a product of the same system that had Arena picking teams staler than month old bread.

DaMa said...

Well.... free goal aside, that was a really bad performance by Bobby Wood. Not many surprises tonight.

JJO said...

Did anyone get a definitive view of the actual foul for the penalty? It looked like Adams misplayed his final two touches and vaulted over the keeper. I can't say there was a foul or contact from the TV view that I saw. Would have liked to see a closer view of it. Nevertheless the buildup and breakthrough were excellent.

I liked Saief's creativity even though he was often on a different page than everyone else. I'm looking forward to him getting more time with the group.

Lastly I would have liked more subs, particularly getting Robinson on the field.

Dr.Jon said...

Too bad Dave didn't get us some more subs. Like you guys said - Wood, Nagbe, Villafana, Delgado, Villafana, Yedlin all could have left at half and I would have been happier.

ZackL said...

I’d agree with just about everything here. I don’t know that I’d call this line-up stale, but it wasn’t as progressive as I would have liked. It would have been great to see Robinson and Novakovich get starts as they’re both unknown quantities at this level, so it would have been worthwhile to see what they could have offered with at least an hour’s worth of playing time. Especially when you consider that the guys who played in their steads are (relative) veterans. Not to mention that Wood looked exactly like a guy struggling for minutes on a team that’s fighting relegation.

I suppose the PT was good for his confidence but I’m not sure how that benefits the program as we rebuild in the run up to 2022, which should be the focus going forward. I will say I was pleased with the central midfield trio, they seemed pretty effective overall, Adams in particular.

On the whole I’d say I’m happy with the performance, but Sarachan’s line-ups and tactics are still kind of frustrating.

@JJO: from my perspective, it looked like Adams took a heavy touch that brought the ball to close to the keeper. Adams then compensated for that by pushing the ball ahead of him and then leaping, with his trailing leg dangling, over the keeper and got contact from that. So to me it looked as though he was angling for the penalty, which is a pretty savvy move for a 19 year old.

Unknown said...

Hats off to the coach for his courageous use of four subs in this do-or-die friendly.

DaMa said...

Maybe stale was a bit overstated.... but 3 defensive/holding midfielders, one box to box midfielder playing on the wing out of position plus villafana and Wood and no subs until like the 65th minute (no to mention, as previously pointed out, 4 of 6 subs). Now that I say it out loud, maybe stale was a bit understated. Managed like a man desperate to keep his job in the final qualifying match instead of what it actually was, a chance to get some young guys some valuable experience.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'll say this for Wood: he made a few really great first half runs that either didn't get the right pass or didn't get one at all. So there were times when he did his job, and others didn't. That said, I'm never of big fan of him as the primary hold-up guy.

As for the PK call, it really doesn't matter if the keeper actually touched him. You can derail someone's line of progress without contact and still be whistled for a foul. In the end, though, the way his body reacted sold me enough on the idea that there was some contact. Adams sorta suddenly flipped over, as if hitting a barrier.

As for playing four subs, and only two for more than eight minutes? No excuse.

DaMa said...

I am not going to disagree with the runs point and, of course, freeing up space for others matters, but he also had a ton of bad first half touches and passes. I would argue that if he had gotten the passes some of his unrewarded runs merited, he would not have done anything with the ball other than dribble into three people and turn it over. Perhaps he wasnt getting the right balls because when he did get the right ones he just turned the ball over.

I also would like us to be past the point where all we ask of Wood is that he work hard and make good runs. There needs to be an actual contribution to creating chances (or getting shots because we all know Wood doesn't actually create chances with the pass). Compare that with how guys like Rubin and Novakovich (and even Weah) actually created chances in far less time. Maybe they weren't the bundle of try hard that Wood always is, but there were actually dangerous attacks created or shots on goal resulting from their brief work. Wood was where the attack went to die.

I agree, that was a clear PK, and I would point out that I actually think yellow was the right color because that last touch past the keeper probably took him out of sure goal scoring position.

ZackL said...

Guessing at Sarachan’s decision-making process when setting the line-up; maybe he was trying to find a balance between youth and experience in order to prevent a morale denting thrashing? Or perhaps he was trying to build towards some kind of roster continuity?

But he’s not getting the job on a permanent basis and the team won’t play another competitive game until the 2019 Gold Cup—there’s no real need to be conservative. Might as well play the kids. Or, you know, use all your available subs in a friendly.

As I said, I thought the team played well on the whole. But to my mind, seeing new and/or youthful faces playing for the USMNT ahead of schedule was the only real consolation we were supposed to get after missing out on the WC. So far, Sarachan hasn’t really delivered on that.