Is USA Soccer Good, or Faking it?

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

  1. gtj31
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    gtj31 Well-Known Member

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    By July of 2014, maybe Holden gets minutes. Today, I don't think so. I like Stuart and I hope for the best for him but he isn't displacing anyone in today's A-team midfield and I don't know that he even gets off the bench right now. I think he only sees the pitch as a sub if someone (Jermaine Jones I am looking at you) collects too many yellows and can't start. Then I think Holden and someone like Beckerman tag-team for a game. Holden isn't replacing Bradley or Donovan. I don't think he replaces Jermaine Jones. He isn't a striker so he has no chance to replace Altidore unless the US is trying to hold a lead and Juergen wants to go defensive. So where does he fit? In place of Zusi or Eddie Johnson on the wing? I guess it is possible but I don't see it happening.

    Also to AzCatFan's comment:
    I think this is highly unfair (true but unfair). The knock-out round is the top 16 teams in the world. In 1994, we lost to Brazil in an excellent game. They won the whole tournament. Hardly anything to complain about. Ask most Brazilians and they will even compliment the US on that game.

    In 2002, we lost in the Quarterfinals (top 8) to Germany in a very well played game that had me hold a grudge against Landon Donovan until the Algeria game in 2010. Landon had numerous chances to put one away against Kahn and he blew every one. It took 8 years for me to let that go (I have let it go, sort of, trust me :)).

    In 2010, we lost to a Ghanian side that should have finished 4th. Luis Suarez's spectacularly timed handball and then Ghana's inability to convert a penalty resulted in Uruguay advancing. Ghana was the better team that day. No shame in losing to the best African squad in history though admittedly the US could have or even should have beaten Ghana. I thought Bob Bradley's worst coaching performance of note was against Ghana in 2010 (not to mention Ghana in 2006!), not Mexico in the Gold Cup in 2011.

    Then you can look at the years where the US did not advance out of the group stages. 1998 was atrocious. Complete failure, no ifs, ands, or buts. 2006 was disappointing but the group was brutal. Czech, Italy, and Ghana and we were supposed to finish ahead of 2 of those teams? Unlikely though a win against Ghana in the last group round might have put the US through (I don't recall Czech's last game against Italy).

    Then, add in the fact that Mexico, the theoretical bastion of quality in our region, has not advanced anywhere in the WC ever, why is the US' theoretical lackluster knockout round record a problem? Mexico always makes it out of the group stages. Good for them. They are a top 16 team in the world. They however are almost never a top 8 team in the world so I don't see why they are not criticized equally or even more so than the US. I think our best days (the 1930 World Cup being the exception) are ahead. I don't see the same for Mexico.
  2. PIMking
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    PIMking New Member

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    The "give and go" is an effective play that doesn't get used a lot in hockey and soccer. It's all about catching that defenseman flat footed.
  3. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    gtj31: Look at how far USA Soccer has come in the past 25 years and true, we have nothing to be ashamed at. We are now top of CONCACAF along with Mexico. 30 years ago, we weren't on top of anything. 20 years ago, and we had no top domestic league and no American playing in Europe. Today, we have earned some respect and we are a top 20 country.

    The big question is, can we take that next step? Mexico had yet to, and their euphoria over Olympic gold has quickly dissipated with a Confederations Cup thud, qualifying problems, and an early Gold Cup exit. In short, I'm ecstatic we have reached Mexico's status, but I want us to go further.

    Sorry if I sounded a bit to much like a Debbie Downer before on the USMNT. I remember the days of not even qualifying for the World Cup, praying I could find a game on Spanish t.v., and having commercials interrupt broadcasts in English. We have come a long way, no doubt. But I want more.
  4. MiamiGator79
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    MiamiGator79 Active Member

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    I see a huge improvement in the national team, we are actually able to possess the ball in the midfield as opposed to getting a lucky goal and going into full defensive mode. Might take another 10 yrs though to reach that next level...we're starting to build the infrastructure needed to train young talent through the club system similar to s America and Europe. It's just going to take time.
  5. tilly
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    tilly Superhero Moderator VIP Member

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    I love that we have gotten so deep into a soccer thread with so few soccer bashing morons telling us all why we are stupid for loving the game. I understand some dont care for it, but the childish bashing by Americans of soccer is very silly to me.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tablet using Gator Country
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  6. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. It's like a utopian thread. We're several pages in and no trolls, no pissing matches, and we're still on topic from the op. Could you imagine any football thread going that way?
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  7. Bradass
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    Bradass Well-Known Member

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    Agreed...its a sport that if you dont understand at all can be downright torturous and frustrating to watch. I used to hate it. Then I lived with a soccer aficionado for a year and now I cant miss a big match. A little education goes a long way towards appreciating the game.

    As for the USMNT, yep, were dominating weak competition right now, but were also doing it with a B team that will have only have a few players end up on the WC roster, and only a couple of them starters. That makes me hopeful for a nice WC run. Cant wait to see the A team...hopefully they can develop the same level of chemistry the gold cup squad has had. Its been fun to watch.
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  8. gtj31
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    gtj31 Well-Known Member

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    The A-Team has been on a roll since the Belgium loss. However, their competition has been pretty weak too aside from a mostly B level team from Germany (Germany without all BVB and Bayern players). That said, I think their chemistry has been equal to or greater than the Gold Cup squad. The defense in particular. This Gold Cup squad has generated more chances than the average American squad but they have also conceded goals to Belize, Cuba, and El Salvador (admittedly a penalty but El Salvador had some real chances in the game). Hardly the stuff of legend.

    I think the USMNT has shown real progress under Klinnsman. I have been very hesitant to negative on Klinnsman until May. He has been shuffling lineups like I shuffle cards. There has been zero consistency at all. They have won at Azteca (admittedly a weak Mexican side). They have won at Italy (again, mediocre Italian side). They also had real issues in the WC qualifying 2nd round especially the loss to Jamaica. That said, they seem to be improving now. Perhaps it is coming together.

    My biggest concern for the US is our younger teams. The US has been terrible for the last 3-5 years for all the U-something teams as far as I can recall. U-17, we lose in the quarters to Honduras. We don't qualify for the Olympics (basically U-23). We didn't perform overly well in the U-20 WC (admittedly a very tough draw). The immediate future (2-5 years) looks bright. The 10 year plan, I am not sure about.
  9. demosthenes
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    demosthenes Well-Known Member

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    Should have also beat Germany in 02. We were definitely the better team that day (though clearly not nearly as talented). It was a magical run ended early by a suspect back line (to this day I can't mention a certain player's name), LD choking, and officiating.
  10. demosthenes
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    demosthenes Well-Known Member

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    I'd hope that Klinnsman's contact requires him to give numerous coaching clinics to lower coaches. We definitely need an infusion of soccer strategy within our youth system.
  11. swampspring
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    swampspring Active Member

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    Didn't Klinsmann say he was going to emphasize bringing in more talent from American kids of hispanic/haitian/african backgrounds? I seemed to recall that his main gripe with the talent pool was that most players came from privileged backgrounds, as you kind of had to have money to play on the select traveling teams and/or ODP teams.

    I played soccer a lot as a kid, and I'd like to think I was pretty decent. I played against a few guys who played on traveling teams and even a few who made it on to ODP teams and I'll admit, they were good, but not as good as some of the Mexican and South American kids whose parents were here for graduate school, etc. Maybe because they were exposed to real soccer growing up, but they were on a different level.
  12. gator07
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    gator07 Well-Known Member

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    Well one thing he's definitely doing is bringing in the German nationals.
  13. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    The big delta for us, is that most American kids don't play much outside of their structured club environments. For us to reach potential, we need kids playing pick up games several hours a day like kids in other countries, or like kids here play hoops.

    That's what you see in those Latino kids you mentioned.
  14. tec68
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    tec68 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, we played backyard football in Belle Glade all the time. Not touch either. We played tackle on concrete and that made you not want to be tackled even more lol. That is what we need kids to do to reach the next level of soccer.

    I am just extremely pleased with our ball-handling and Jozy Altidore's striking confidence. Those have been huge improvements.
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  15. akaijenkins1
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    akaijenkins1 Active Member

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    Watching the U-20 WC team against Ghana was depressing. They looked... they looked just hopeless, I can't sugar coat it.

    Watching them made me very afraid for the future. Haven't watched any of the other "Under" squads, are all are guys between 20 and 23 or something???
  16. corpgator
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    corpgator Well-Known Member

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    To me, Soccer is fun to play, but not to watch. My problem with it is the randomness of it. The lower the amount of scores in any sport, the more random a game becomes. Since soccer has every few scores, most games are random. It's simply too hard to score. Basketball is the least random game and it combines that with the high amount of ball movement that Soccer has and that makes it the best sport to watch. Nothing can match basketball's back and forth.

    I think soccer could go a long way by eliminating an arbitrary rule such as offsides especially since it is so subjective and crooked refs can call it either way and not really be questioned because of how fast players are moving. Being able to play defense by simply moving past someone is kind of silly to me.

    Either way, I still enjoy watching the World Cup.
  17. co_gator89
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    co_gator89 Premium Member

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    Touchdown!!
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  18. gatorca14
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    gatorca14 Premium Member

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    Totally deserved championship for the US. It's amazing how much more composed we look in possession now. It's great to have a team that doesn't just hoof the ball down the field and hope something good happens. Instead, we're able to control the ball and pass it around and try to create chances. I legitimately don't know what our best lineup is at this point. Obviously, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Altidore, and Howard are in it. But there's a lot of spots up for grabs moving forward.

    Certainly there is still so much room for improvement but it's great to see signs of true progress. The key though is to develop this style in our youth teams. We need our younger players to be comfortable in possession and able to attack with pace. The CONCACAF region will be a US/Mexico battle for many years to come. Even with some bad results recently, Mexico still has a lot of talented players. However, the US now has a lot of players playing in the best leagues in Europe. We have players playing key roles for clubs in the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, etc. As a result, our players are able to develop and play against the best competition. Just look at how much Michael Bradley has improved by playing in Italy. It is very important that our players are in good leagues, but even more importantly, that they are actually playing games rather than riding the bench.

    Klinsmann has gotten a lot of criticism from soccer analysts in the US who say that we don't have the personnel to play a possession and attacking based style. I think slowly but surely, he is proving them wrong. I've seen improvement in almost every game. This type of attractive soccer is also important to help convince some of the dual nationality players to come play for the US. Guys like Shawn Parker and Julian Green. http://mrjbsoccer.tumblr.com/post/56324522362/will-shawn-parker-be-the-newest-german-american-to and http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club...ospects:-german-star-open-to-us-call_aid24441
  19. SmootyGator
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    The need to increase the width and height of the goals by a foot or two...
  20. gatorca14
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    gatorca14 Premium Member

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    To add to my previous post, it looks like the positive momentum for the US is continuing. Aron Johannsson, the AZ Alkmaar striker, and John Anthony Brooks, the Hertha Berlin defender, have reportedly chosing to play for the US men's national team. These would be huge additions if true. Both of these guys are highly touted. This will continue to happen if we can play attractive soccer with Klinsmann in charge.

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