Friday, July 26, 2019

The Problem Area (Still)

Yes, it has been routinely trying to solidify the USMNT left back spot, but the funny thing is we've actually had decent success with it when sticking with somebody in big tournaments (from Frankie Hejduk in 2002 to Jonathan Bornstein in 2010 to DaMarcus Beasley in 2014). I know I say this every year, but gosh maybe it's time to have a plan and suffer through some growing pains to get to a place where this position isn't such a sore spot.

Antonee Robinson
Aaron Herrera
Daniel Lovitz

Worth a shot: Ryan Hollingshead
Future watch: Chris Gloster

I'm fully aware that Robinson has experienced some sizable struggles in many of his seven caps - duncare. Let the kid grow already, he has the defensive footwork and crossing skills to develop into a solid pick here. I also think it's past time we have a gander at Herrera, a natural right-sider that has grown into arguably RSL's most consistent back liner. To my mind, he gets up and down better than Lovitz and is five years younger.

And yes, Lovitz should not be cast aside even if he as thus far been rather timid in US appearances. He's probably no more than a depth option, but depth options are nothing to sneeze at with US left backs. That brings us to Hollingshead. As with Herrera, he probably should have had a shot to show his wares already, at least in camp. For my money, he has been FC Dallas' second most integral performer this season. He battles in his end and he causes mayhem getting forward. He's not so young, but we aren't in a place to be super picky with left backs these days.

As for Gloster, I'd like to assume he will see plenty of action in the 2. Bundesliga this season. If he fares well, that much-discussed move to PSV may actually come off. And if that happens, the tactical tutoring could allow him to rocket up this list. 

Long story short, things may not be quite so bad here as people tend to complain about. There are pieces to work with... we just have to actually work with them.

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

how big of a development is Dest getting the start at LB against PSV in whatever dutch cup this was?

DaMa said...

and for the record, 100% agree on Robinson. Outside backs can take a little bit to flip the switch defensively.... clearly has potential. I would have been giving him repeated reps this summer instead of Ream.

Unknown said...

Digging the Hollingshead shoutout.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ DaMa: He only got that start because Tagliafico was enjoying R&R following his Copa America adventure. Unless he gets sold before the deadline, Dest will either fight for the RB spot or be a depth option.

DaMa said...

Oh. Thought maybe he was injured or something. Yeah he has no shot at being the regular with a player of that stature there. Was the first time I'd seen him play there. Same issues defensively, obviously... but didn't look less viable than on the right, against better competition than I had previously seen him against. If he gets say... 10 starts there this season in various competitions how far up the depth chart at LB does he go? First? ;)