Is USA Soccer Good, or Faking it?

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by gatorchamps0607, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Were ranked #22 in the world until the new rankings come out in August... I thought we got much higher in the rankings last year though.

    http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/index.html
  2. gatorchamps0607
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    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta

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    Looks like Panama beat Mexico and we will play them for the Gold Cup, I was hoping to play Mexico to give our guys a better test. Anyone know anything about Panama?
  3. gtj31
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    gtj31 Active Member

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    Panama was better than Mexico. They beat them twice. Yesterday's game was not a surprise. Mexico hasn't played well since last summer's olympics but that isn't a full squad. Mexico is currently in 4th in CONCACAF WC Qualifiying and only 1 point above Panama. They have 7 points in 6 games, an atrocious number for Mexico.
  4. theologator
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    theologator New Member

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    I'm happy for the USMNT, but this does feel like they are in the ACC championship game. Hopefully they will draw a better crowd.

    And the USA has such enormous advantages in population and $$$ in this tournament. We just beat a country (Honduras) of less than 10 million that is second only to Haiti in poverty and wracked by drug & gang violence.

    Panama beating Mexico is huge for them.

    Still, it seems the USMNT is making progress & I hope it continues. Winning a championship is always good.
  5. theologator
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    theologator New Member

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    Does the Gold Cup affect World Cup qualifying?
  6. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    No.
    But it is a good showing against the other CONCACAF teams in our region
    We're better than Mexico right now...now doubt and we beat Costa Rica
    Its not a super strong region but we are the best team in it right now


    The US men are improving under Klinsmann
    (as I expected, he was one of my favorite players)

    The coaching has mattered &the younger players meshing with the proven talents in Donovan, Altidore, etc are making the US a legitimate threat to do some damage in Brazil next year

    I wouldn't get carried away but they are certainly getting better
  7. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Good post.

    The US side has made major improvements under Klinsmann. He has brought an up-tempo, creative, attacking style of play the US has never had. He has brought up a lot of young up-and-coming players and mixed them well with the veterans, whereas under previous coaches the lineup seemed very stagnant and lacked depth and competition.

    Winning the Gold Cup doesnt help you qualify for the World Cup, but it helps get you into the Confederations Cup in 2017, which is a great opportunity to go up against the big boys.

    And no, we aren't beating great teams, but we aren't even fielding our best roster either as many (5 or so) of our best players have been given the time off. And not too long ago, the USA would eek out wins against the dregs of CONCACAF 1-0 or 2-1. Now we are crushing them. Definite progress.
  8. gtj31
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    gtj31 Active Member

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    To expound on Gator07's post, the Gold Cup is the North American championship. It is played every 2 years (always an odd year). Historically, the champion of the Gold Cup the year after the World Cup (in this case, 2011) was CONCACAF's (North America) representative in the Confederations Cup held the year before the World Cup in the World Cup hosting country (Brazil this year and Mexico was the CONCACAF representative because they beat the US 4-2 in LA in 2011). The Confederation's Cup has not always been like this but it has been for the last few tournaments and should continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

    The non-Confederations Cup related Gold Cup (like this year and 2009) usually fields B teams. This year's Gold Cup does not have the major stars of North America playing. CONCACAF has changed their approach to the Gold Cup beginning this year. From now on, the winner of each of the Gold Cup's in a given cycle will be entered into a playoff to play to go to the Confederations Cup. In other words, if the US wins on Sunday, they will be part of a 2 team playoff (with the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup) to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

    So no the Gold Cup has nothing to do with World Cup Qualifying, it is only related to the Confederations Cup. It is identical to the European Championships held every four years (last summer in Poland/Ukraine with Spain beating Italy) and Copa America (South American championship held 2 years ago in Argentina where Uruguay beat Paraguay in the final).

    World Cup qualifying is different in every region. The final round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF, currently underway, is a group of 6 teams where each team plays the other teams twice meaning 10 total games. The top 3 teams advance to the World Cup with the 4th going to a playoff. The playoff rotates continents and this World Cup cycle CONCACAF is matched with Oceania meaning the 4th place team will play New Zealand (the last world cup cycle was with South America so Honduras, might have been Costa Rica, had to play Uruguay).

    In the current World Cup qualifying, there have been 6 games played out of the 10. The US has 13 points and is in 1st place. Costa Rica has 11, Honduras has 8, Mexico 7, and Panama 6. Jamaica is basically done.
  9. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    The USMNT has been on a roll lately, but it is a bit of fools gold. The competition has been b-teams in friendlies or b-teams in the Gold Cup. Still, this is not an unusual schedule for an odd year right before a World Cup, and we have never been on a roll like this before.

    What does it all mean? Either CONCACAF teams are down, we are improving, or a little of both. I think it is a little of both, and we are arguably the best we have ever been, while our competition has taken a step back. It explains our domination recently.

    The real test, of course, comes next year in Brazil. I love the direction Klinnsman has the team going and we have the ability to make some real noise next year. But I have thought that way before, and every time it has been proven the US is a dangerous team on any given pitch, but not capable of putting enough wins together to matter. Hopefully Klinnsman is a real difference maker this time around.
  10. MadduxFanII
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    MadduxFanII Well-Known Member

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    From my thoroughly, thoroughly non-expert perspective, it seems like the biggest way the national team has advanced is largely in being consistently competent and putting together a reasonable account of itself just about every time out. Qualifying for the World Cup isn't an issue. You can reasonably expect them to advance out of the group stage in the WC, though obviously there's a lot that goes into that. A 1998-level disaster is a distant memory.

    Now, there's obviously a massive gulf between advancing out of the group stage of the World Cup and actually challenging for the whole thing. But the sense that the US has reached a stage of consistent respectability, where the program can be expected to perform at a solid level over the long-term, is fairly significant.
  11. Neptune
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    It's all about chemistry. The US (B team) is clicking on all cylinders right now; and under Klinsmann's watchful eye and a year to prepare, I like our chances to advance out of the group stage and, depending on the matchup, through the second round, too.

    I love it when baseball fans and hockey fans call soccer boring. It all comes down to preference I guess, but it's so typical - you don't understand it, so you mock it.
    Get some new material.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  12. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Its almost a lock at this point that we will qualify for the World Cup next year. After all teams have qualified by this fall, there will be a drawing in December to determine the groups. It will be very interesting to see with whom the US gets grouped. It can make all the difference. So that is one respect that these Gold Cup games can affect the World Cup, as FIFA uses their world rankings in part to determine the "seeds" for the draw, so winning could only help improve our standing.

    Honestly, I've been following US soccer for a while now and I haven't been this high on them since 2002 probably.
  13. gator996
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    gator996 New Member

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    I agree 100%

    I've long admired the offensive production Germany generates from a controlled but attacking style. Klinsmann has brought that philosophy at almost the perfect time in the development of the national team.

    Your final point is an important one....

    Our A-squad vs B-squads were a challenge to generate goals

    Its fair to say Klinsmann's style has changed that after a 10 game win streak w/ a lot goals from a majority of our B-roster

    The World Cup roster for 2014 will put:

    Altidore (Boca Raton, FL)
    Donovan
    Dempsey
    Bradley
    Eddie Johnson (Palm Coast, FL)
    Beasley
    Edu
    Jermaine Jones
    Cherundolo
    Beckermann
    Bedoya (Weston, FL)
    Diskerud
    Corona
    Wondo



    That's a fair amount of talent from the midfield forward


    The ability for Donovan/Bradley/Beckermann to feed Altidore/Dempsey/Johnson will determine just how potent the US offense will be in Brazil

    Ironically, the back line is where we're suspect the most now but it helps to have Howard in net.
  14. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you can see how Klinsmann has pushed them offensively to move (and think) faster and not go into a shell after getting a 1 goal lead.

    If I had to decide today, here's the starting 11 I would go with:

    ***********Howard*************

    Beasley***Gonzalez***Besler***F. Johnson******

    **E. Johnson**Bradley***Beckerman********

    ********Donovan****Dempsey*************

    ************Altidore*********************


    First Subs:

    D: Cameron, Goodson, Evans
    M: J. Jones, Zusi, Torres, Corona
    F: Wondolowski

    What do you think?
  15. gtj31
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    gtj31 Active Member

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    I would definitely have Geoff Cameron starting. I like Geoff. I guess I would have him replace Beasley but I wouldn't have Cameron playing right fullback. You would have to move someone else out there, I guess Besler. Beasley had a hat trick against my school in the State Finals back in 1998. Dude was unfair at the high school level.

    I would take out Beckerman, move Donovan to the wing, add J Jones to the midfield and move Dempsey up top to have a traditional 4-4-2.

    As for the subs, I agree on the D just substitute Beasley and Cameron though Cameron has lately been used to replace Jermaine Jones in midfield.

    I am not a Wondo fan. Sure he had a nice game against Belize but he has squandered some real chances against better sides. I would go with someone else up top. I think Brek Shea is out of his league at the international level. He needs to play in Holland for a while like Jozy. Jozy use to have a first touch that made stone look soft. He has improved dramatically. Brek needs a similar workover in my opinion.

    Torres has underwhelmed in this Gold Cup. I don't think I would include him in the WC roster at this point. Gomez likewise has been underwhelming. I like Hercules and he does very well in the Mexican league with Santos (and against my Houston Dynamo) but he hasn't clicked with the USMNT.
  16. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    I like Beckerman, but see no reason to have him and Bradley on the pitch at the same time. They have similar skill sets and Bradley is option 1. Beckerman deserves to be on the squad, no doubt, and would fill in quite nicely for Bradley if needed. But I'd rather have someone like Corona or J. Jones on the wing over Beckerman.

    I too like a 4-4-2 with Dempsey up front, and Donovan on the wing. Replace Beckerman with J. Jones/Corona (after Jones accumulates his 2 yellows), and that's the squad I go with.
  17. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    LoL!
  18. interrygator
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    interrygator VIP Member

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    Based on prior world cups, Donovan and Beasley are not the answer. They get knocked off the ball too easily because they are too small, too slight, too light, too weak to withstand the physical play of bigger stronger players in world cup. But, it appears that the US is playing better.
  19. Killer_Rabbits
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    Zusi and Jermaine Jones start over Beckerman and EJ. Hopefully a healthy Dolo returns to right back and can relieve Beasley from the starting 11. USMNT back line is questionable.

    The MF and up top is stronger than ever. Finally we have multiple guys that can finish. Donovan coming back and in shape is HUGE, thankfully he still has those wheels, because the other big question mark is world class speed -- there is none outside of LD.
  20. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I was thinking Beckerman and J. Jones could be interchangeable there. And I always though of Eddie Johnson as a sub until these last couple of games. He has really impressed me by adding another dimension to his game - the ability to win balls in the air in the midfield and play them through to the forwards - on top of just being a goal scorer. Hard to keep him off the field. Zusi provides excellent service, but is not much of a scoring threat.

    And you're right about the speed issue. I've been surprised how fit Donovan has been after his break. Im also pretty surprised that the wheels that Beasley still has after all these years.

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