Klinsmann's Men: The ÜSMNT Thread - Just get us to Brazil

Titans Bastard

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dirtynine said:
ends 1-1.  US not in great shape to advance. 
 
Win and the US is (almost certainly) in.  Don't forget that four of six 3rd place teams move to the round of 16.  Four points should be enough to get through.
 
We just have to beat Ghana in an international tournament.  What could go wrong?
 

dirtynine

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Ah, I forgot about the 3rd place aspect.  That does change the math significantly.  And as you said, with Ghana standing between us and advancing at the WC, you might as well chisel it in stone.  <_<
 

Titans Bastard

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El Salvador beat Australia 2-1 for CONCACAF's first win of the tournament.  Mexico lost again, to Paraguay.
 
Weak showing from the region so far -- 1-1-6 after two rounds.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
El Salvador beat Australia 2-1 for CONCACAF's first win of the tournament.  Mexico lost again, to Paraguay.
 
Weak showing from the region so far -- 1-1-6 after two rounds.
 
That's a pretty poor showing for CONCACAF. Disappointing, to say the least.
 
I was watching Mexico-Paraguay on the treadmill at the gym. That squad looks as clueless and impotent on the attack as the big squad does. It's infuriating.
 

Titans Bastard

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mgoblue2 said:
Re: when can people realistically expect a WC, I'm sure the question is whether the US can just contend but it takes a lot of things to go right to come close to winning a WC. I think that unless there is a dramatic shift in talent distribution across American sports, we won't have the right mix of athletes and development to contend for a while. There are good athletes out there now but the style of play now isn't that close to world class and that will take some time too. Once soccer becomes a top 3 sport here (very possible in the future due to NBC Prem rights and whatnot), it may not be too far away. It will likely take time however.
 
It's really not about the athletes.  We have plenty of athletes.  It's about the coaching.  Here's a great example from last week.
 
 
So now Pete Vagenas is in charge of the LA Galaxy academy.  What exactly qualifies him for this position?  He's a hackish ex-MLS midfielder who retired in 2012 and has almost no experience teaching kids how to play the game.  This is the academy of a team sitting on the most fertile soccer region in the US, and we're just handing the keys to a loyal club servant who has personal ties to the other loyal club servants now staffing the front office (Chris Klein, Jovan Kirovski).
 
I'm happy to see former pros continue to be involved in the game, but academy director is (or at least should be) a serious position and some thought and effort needs to go into finding the right person for that role.  We should take a page from Japan's playbook and hire a bunch of Dutch and Brazilian youth development experts and have them train our players and our coaches.  Instead, we're either too stubborn or unwilling to make the investment.  Give someone like Vagenas a smaller role and see how he does.
 
When you wonder why we're struggling to take the next step, don't worry about all the kids playing football and basketball and whatever.  We have more youth soccer players than the entire population of the Netherlands.  It's about the coaching and development and we're falling short.
 

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To be fair, we did hire a Dutch guy once and all he did was piss off Neven Subotic by picking a bunch of hacky college players, none of whom ever played in MLS, over Neven.
 
But nah, you're spot on. The USSF could do much worse than basically just hang outside Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord's academies waving a checkbook. And hell, they all speak English so it'd be a piece of cake for them integrate here and to get through to our players, unlike Japan where they probably have to go everywhere (including the training field) with interpreters.
 
We have money and people want to come and work here, we need to do a better job of exploiting that.
 

Titans Bastard

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Spacemans Bong said:
To be fair, we did hire a Dutch guy once and all he did was piss off Neven Subotic by picking a bunch of hacky college players, none of whom ever played in MLS, over Neven.
 
But nah, you're spot on. The USSF could do much worse than basically just hang outside Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord's academies waving a checkbook. And hell, they all speak English so it'd be a piece of cake for them integrate here and to get through to our players, unlike Japan where they probably have to go everywhere (including the training field) with interpreters.
 
We have money and people want to come and work here, we need to do a better job of exploiting that.
 
 
Unfortunately LA doesn't have to take youth development all that seriously because they can still do okay without teaching the game well.  They are in SoCal and plenty of good players have come out of SoCal in the last 20 years.  All they have to do is recruit a 16 year old, have him play a year or two in their academy and boom -- it's a "homegrown" prospect.
 
Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto won the Development Academy championship with Pateadores and were promptly poached by LA's U18 team and signed a pro deal not too long after.  Gyasi Zardes spent a couple years in LA's academy as a defender, converted to a forward at CS-Bakersfield, and is now another HG signing.  Jack McBean -- another poach job.
 
Seattle's rookie RB DeAndre Yedlin is touted as a "homegrown" player, but the Sounders recruited him from another Seattle-area club, had him for exactly one season, and then shipped him to Akron for two years.
 
To be clear, these aren't bad things.  Zardes would have been offered a GA deal this winter and gone into the draft had his HG rights not been held by LA, but the rest got pro opportunities sooner than they would have otherwise.  That's good.  But solely feasting off of the general US youth soccer scene -- the same group that's produced all those world class players we've seen in the US shirt -- has a limited upside.
 
Thus far the Homegrown rule has been good for getting more young players into the league (although in the early days a lot of the wrong players were signed, and the league still doesn't have great resources to help young players who aren't ready for the 1st team -- I do think it's improved somewhat on both counts).  It's helped reduce costs to players/families and opened more doors to kids who don't come from much money.  But has it sparked a developmental race to the top?  There's not much evidence.
 
It would be huge if just one MLS club could turn into the local version of Barcelona, where they're able to crank out a higher caliber of player relative to the rest of the league's academies.  Someone needs to set the gold standard for everyone else to follow. (To be clear, the gold standard academy doesn't actually have to be as good as La Masia.  It just needs to be noticeably better than the rest of the league.)  Nobody thought it was worthwhile to place a focus on 20s/30s urban fans until Toronto and Seattle came along and finally the rest of the league was dragged along.  I feel the same sort of pre-Toronto complacency with this issue and I'm waiting for someone to smash through the ice, forcing everyone else to keep up.
 

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Investor 11 said:
Donovan on the Gold Cup Roster.
 
Really hoping Klinsmann gives him some extended time to see what he looks like these days.  I said it earlier in the thread, but getting Donovan back in good form would be a huge missing piece for this team going into next year.  Being able to settle into an attack with Altidore, Bradley, and Dempsey would be big for this team.  Still have enough questions about the central defense, but a team with Donovan in good form should be able to move into the round of 16 in most situations and have a chance to get into the round of 8.
 

Titans Bastard

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Schnerres said:
Who from the current U20 squad has a shot at the senior team? Will there be new Euro boys for Klinsi?
 
What sort of time frame are you talking about?
 
I don't think it's likely that anyone from the U20 team will make the 2014 WC roster.
 

Titans Bastard

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Gold Cup squad announced:
 
 
GK -- Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
 
DF -- Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
 
MF -- Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborg), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Josh Gatt (Molde), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jose Torres (Tigres)
 
FW -- Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Tijuana), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
 
 
Cuts from the 35-man --
 
Matt Besler
Carlos Bocanegra
Brad Davis
Brad Evans
Benny Feilhaber
Omar Gonzalez
Alan Gordon
Tally Hall
Eddie Johnson
Brek Shea
Bobby Wood
Graham Zusi
 
 
 
I like this team.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of the younger guys like Corona, Diskerud, Gatt, Bruin, and McInerney.  Even Bedoya is in good form (which, incidentally, generally happens whenever his manager isn't trying to use him as a winger).  This is a midfield with some technical ability.
 
Three reasonable LB options to look at, which is good.  I'm still holding out the slender hope that Castillo will stop crapping his pants every time he plays for the US.  He's a much better player for his club.
 
I'm not a fan of the CB selection.  It's never a good sign when the best CB on your team is Michael Orozco.
 

soxfan121

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I assume most of those "cuts" are for fatigue/maintenance reasons? As someone pointed out (might have been you), not a lot of "off-time" between now and next summer for most of those guys.
 

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Do you think Wood had any chance of making the team, TB, or do you think he was brought in just to practice for a few weeks before going back to 1860? I know B.2 starts a little early so I doubt his club was into him playing Gold Cup matches. I know the injuries halted his development but he seemed to have a solid enough season in Munich either starting or subbing in for Lauth almost every game and scoring a few goals, too.

I've been hoping for probably too long now that one of Wood, Gyau, or Gatt would start to really gain traction with the USMNT. Here's hoping Gatt gets some minutes, at least.
 

Titans Bastard

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soxfan121 said:
I assume most of those "cuts" are for fatigue/maintenance reasons? As someone pointed out (might have been you), not a lot of "off-time" between now and next summer for most of those guys.
 
 
Yes, players like Besler, Gonzalez, Zusi, et al are on standby if there's an emergency, but I don't think they were ever part of Plan A.  US managers try not to take players away from their clubs for months on end.
 
BigRed07 said:
Do you think Wood had any chance of making the team, TB, or do you think he was brought in just to practice for a few weeks before going back to 1860? I know B.2 starts a little early so I doubt his club was into him playing Gold Cup matches. I know the injuries halted his development but he seemed to have a solid enough season in Munich either starting or subbing in for Lauth almost every game and scoring a few goals, too.

I've been hoping for probably too long now that one of Wood, Gyau, or Gatt would start to really gain traction with the USMNT. Here's hoping Gatt gets some minutes, at least.
 
Wood wasn't brought in at all.  The 35-man roster was just a provisional list on a piece of paper.  Now that it's been whittled down, the 23 players left are the only ones who are going to come in and train.
 
German clubs hate when players have international commitments across the Atlantic and 1860 is particularly defensive because some of Wood's serious injuries have occurred while with the US U-20s.  That being said, if Klinsmann wanted Wood and 1860 were unable to pressure Wood to decline, there's nothing they could do to stop him from going.
 
Lastly, Wood and Gyau won't gain traction with the USMNT until they show something in the 2.Bundesliga.  Wood only played 708 minutes last year and Gyau played even less on loan with St. Pauli.  Wood actually made quite a bit of progress in 2012-13 consider 1860 nearly left his career for dead last summer; he didn't even have a first-team contract at the beginning of the season.  Gyau's loan to St. Pauli was a little disappointing.  Still, perception of these players is somewhat prone to the arbitrariness of the age game.  They are both young 92s, only a few months too old to be part of the current U-20 team, even if it feels like they have been around for a while now.  If we had a biannual tournament like Europe, they would be busy with our U21 team right now.
 

Titans Bastard

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Wait a minute now --
 
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/04/04/concacaf-announces-changes-gold-cup-roster-tiebreaker-rules
 
Just saw this on BS.
 
One of the key changes brought into effect is a rule that allows teams to swap up to four players from their 23-man roster for up to 24 hours after the conclusion of the group stage. The four new players still must come from a 35-man list of players that competing teams are required to submit 45 days prior to the tournament and must draw upon for their final 23-man roster.
 
 
This was news to me.  Perhaps we'll see the Besler/Gonzalez combo come in for the knockout rounds.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
Yes, players like Besler, Gonzalez, Zusi, et al are on standby if there's an emergency, but I don't think they were ever part of Plan A.  US managers try not to take players away from their clubs for months on end.
 
USSF and MLS had an agreement in place where MLS clubs would release their players for non-FIFA dates such as the Belgium and Germany friendlies and to allow them to train early for the WCQs.  In return, the MLS players that did partake in the friendlies and the WCQs would not be called up for the early stages of the Gold Cup (a FIFA event so clubs have to release those players). 
 
The USSF-MLS agreement is designed to benefit the federation and the
league, a league source said, and limits US coach Jurgen Klinsmann from
using the same players for next month's qualifiers and all of the Gold
Cup.

CONCACAF will allow teams to make four changes to their Gold Cup
rosters following the group stage, and Klinsmann said in a
teleconference Monday that “we agreed to let all MLS players play on May
25 and 26 with their clubs in exchange to have the availability of
those players for the last week of the Gold Cup.”
 
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/05/22/change-heart-citing-mls-agreement-us-national-team-bruce-arena-allows-robbie
 

Titans Bastard

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dirtynine said:
Ah, I forgot about the 3rd place aspect.  That does change the math significantly.  And as you said, with Ghana standing between us and advancing at the WC, you might as well chisel it in stone.  <_<
 
Ghana 4-1 USA
 
Consider the stone chiseled.
 
 
Anyway, hopefully Tab Ramos won't be retained.
 

OCST

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Titans Bastard said:
Ghana 4-1 USA
 
Consider the stone chiseled.
 
 
Anyway, hopefully Tab Ramos won't be retained.
 
I saw the highlights.  It wasn't pretty.  Americans looked slow and flat-footed on defense, the Ghanian attackers were going around them like they were standing still (which they often were).
 

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Schnerres said:
Who from the current U20 squad has a shot at the senior team? Will there be new Euro boys for Klinsi?
 
Titans Bastard said:
What sort of time frame are you talking about?
 
I don't think it's likely that anyone from the U20 team will make the 2014 WC roster.
 
 
I meant like who could join the roster and get caps in the next 3-4 years.
I don´t wanna know who will play at WC14 or WC 18. But when i saw Germany U21 a few weeks ago, i could tell you there are many guys who don´t have a chance in the next 3-4 years, because they were not good enough. Sure there will be improvement at that age, and some will improve more than others. But you already have guys who are the leaders and some guys who are really good players.
 

soxfan121

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My unqualified answer on the Euro prospects is that the USA will only get a shot at them after their primary choice of national team makes clear they have no shot. I'm thinking specifically of the Timmy Chandler example who kept his options open for as long as he could and only suited up for the USA officially once Jogi Low & Germany made clear he was not going to be an option for the German national team.
 

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Tonight's lineup:
 
Gomez​
Castillo, Corona, Donovan​
Torres, Beckerman​
Beasley (c), Goodson, Onyewu, Parkhurst​
Rimando​
 
 
Bench: S. Johnson, Hamid, Ashe, Orozco, Beltran, Holden, Diskerud, Bedoya, Bruin, McInerney, Wondolowski.
 
Josh Gatt withdrew from the squad due to injury.  I can't remember if Shea is available tonight or not, but he's heading back to Stoke before the Gold Cup starts.
 
 
 
Three Tijuana players in the starting lineup.  Big opportunity for Joe Corona to make his mark; I believe this is his first start for the US.
 

OCST

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This is Qualcomm, right?  This stadium configuration sucks for soccer.  I'm glad MLS has led to the construction of (some) soccer-only stadiums.
 

Titans Bastard

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OilCanShotTupac said:
I was wondering the same thing.  It looks like the play is awfully congested.
 
A narrow field makes the Guatemalan bunker extra fun!
 
Holden and Mix on for Beckerman and Torres.  Beckerman/Torres struggled to make any forward passes and couldn't maintain possession well in tight spaces.  Hopefully this duo does better.
 

Titans Bastard

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50 goals for Landon Donovan.  That's quite an achievement.
 
Nice flick-on header from Corona to set up the cross that led to the PK.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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I already prefer Mix/Holden to Beckerman/Torres.
Goodson and the keeper need an interpreter.
 
Could Gooch factor in 2014?
 

Titans Bastard

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59th minute
 
Wondolowski for Gomez
Shea for Castillo
Bedoya for Corona
 

Titans Bastard

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Tangled Up In Red said:
I already prefer Mix/Holden to Beckerman/Torres.
Goodson and the keeper need an interpreter.
 
Could Gooch factor in 2014?
 
Yes, Beckerman/Torres were so reluctant or unable to play forward passes that Guatemala always had time to reset the defense when they lost the ball.  Now that Mix/Holden are moving the ball more quickly, we are finding a little more space.
 
Gooch won't factor into 2014.  He's not very exposed tonight because Guatemala sends so few numbers forward and because their lone forward seems more like a bruiser than a speedster.  However, he looks awfully creaky out there.  If a team is able to have speedy attackers run at him in space, he's going to be torched.  If he or Goodson see the field in Brazil, it's a very, very bad sign.
 

Titans Bastard

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Brek Shea is finding space and causing a lot of problems on the left.  Mix has been quite active.
 

Titans Bastard

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Wondolowski with a nice poacher's goal.  Lucky the ball came to him, but he was in the right place.  I don't see him playing much of a role come WCQ time, but happy he was finally able to get off the mark for the US.
 

Titans Bastard

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4-0 Landon
 
Guatemala has pretty much given up now.  Nice give-and-go between Holden and Bedoya to set up Holden's cross.
 

Titans Bastard

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Will Bruin on for Donovan now.  And he gets on the end of a Brek Shea cross with his toe, but it's pushed wide.
 

Titans Bastard

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Guatemala has realized that their only chance of scoring lies in pressuring Rimando, Onyewu, and Goodson when they have the ball.  Both defenders have had an awkward interchange with Rimando coming out and nearly losing the ball due to miscommunication.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tangled Up In Red said:
Mix looks good, but fairly fragile defensively. Is that his rep?
Good to see Holden looking strong and confident.
 
In US circles he's known much more for his offensive abilities than his defensive abilities.  In Norway, he has more defensive responsibilities than people realize, as he's more of a box-to-box guy with some flair who is comfortable going forward than a real out-and-out attacker.  Norway is probably a worse league than MLS, so how he'll stack up at the next level is an open question.  If he can't hack it defensively he'll be limited to being a situational player.
 

Titans Bastard

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Dangerous ball in from the right from Bedoya(?), but Bruin can't get all of the header and it's an easy catch for the GK.
 

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This is getting silly, but fun. Bedoya buries it when it looked like he was the 3rd different guy that could have scored on that ball.
 
And Shea could have just made it 7.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yikes.  Bedoya makes it 6-0.
 
Amazing pass by Holden to spring Shea down the left.  Shea's low cross misses Wondolowski and Bruin, but Bedoya streaks in the box with a late run and buries it.
 
 
Then Mix springs Shea on the left and he unleashes a cannon of a shot across the goal, goes a little wide.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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How far down is Rimando on the depth chart? He wasn't tested, yet still caused worry on a handful of occasions. Yikes.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tangled Up In Red said:
How far down is Rimando on the depth chart? He wasn't tested, yet still caused worry on a handful of occasions. Yikes.
 
He's #3.  I thought he was uncharacteristically shaky, but it's hard to say whether the miscommunications with the defense were his fault or Goodson/Onyewu's fault.
 

Titans Bastard

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The first half wasn't pretty, but there was a lot to like in the second half.  It feels good to smack Guatemala 6-0 with a B team after so many years of watching painful 1-0 games against the Guate's bunker.  That being said, we can only take so many lessons away from a game like this, at home against a weak opponent.
 
Still, it's obvious that the Holden/Diskerud combination offered a lot more than Beckerman/Torres.  We may still need Beckerman when we want a little more defense against a team like Mexico at the Gold Cup, but against the cupcakes in the group stage there's just no reason not to go with the pairing we saw in the second half.  I'm not sure if we're ready to say that Holden is officially back, but tonight was definitely progress.  I'm done with Torres.
 
I'm loving the Beasley renaissance.
 
Brek Shea really offered a lot this game, although I can't quite tell if it was because he was doing particularly well or if Guatemala couldn't be bothered to cover him.  In any case, he was dangerous.  He's going back to Stoke now, which is good; I'd rather have him get off on the right foot in England during preseason than stick around for Gold Cup.  Shea is a weird player with a weird skillset and I don't think he has a super high ceiling but this team could certainly use even another average NT-level attacker in the mix.
 
I hope that we're able to replace Gooch and Goodson when we are allowed to swap four players after the group stage.  Their lack of quickness is going to be a problem in the knockout rounds.