USMNT

Discussion in 'Men's Gator Sports!' started by gtj31, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. AzCatFan
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    Howard is world class. Made two great saves on CR's two best chances. Dempsey is the best American player and the two goals came off a great pass and his free kick. Altidore also played very well.

    The rest? A few moments and good enough to beat CR. But the back line was caught out of position again a few times and made some very poor decisions.

    Overall, can't complain about 2-0 again.
  2. demosthenes
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    I'm afraid for when Howard retires. Haven't heard of any world class talent in pipeline like we've had with Keller, Friedel, and Howard. Guzan is far from matching that mark.
  3. AzCatFan
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    Gonzalez, I believe is his name, was born in the US to Mexican parents. Played for Mexico all the way up to U23, but filed for a transfer to play for the US. He's on the Gold Cup roster. Jonathan Klinnsman played very well in the U20 World Cup and just signed to play 2nd division in Germany. And these two will have to beat out S. Johnson, who will likely be the 3rd goalie in Russia.

    We have had great goalies since Tony Meola. I'm confident we'll find an heir apparent to Howard that is not Guzan. Now a back line that can defend? Not much help coming from the Gold Cup roster.
  4. demosthenes
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    I hope you're right because they seem to like going back to Guzan again and again. Hopefully it's just a little scratching the back of a team player.

    I just don't understand how we've made such strides with soccer in the US and yet our two traditional strengths, GK and our back line, are such question marks. You're generally optimistic but I find it disheartening.
  5. AzCatFan
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    Guzan isn't a bad keeper. We've just been spoiled with Meola, Keller, Friedl, and Howard. Guzan would probably be the #1 for a lot of countries, but as you say, GK has been a traditional strength for the US. I think it has to do with two things. One, playing GK in the US has no stigma, whereas in other countries, everyone wants to score goals. And the guys who score the goals always get the praise, and GK only gets the blame. And #2, kids in the US also grow up playing football, and the skills needed to play WR or CB translate well into GK in my opinion.

    Yes, we'll miss Howard, but I'm hopeful that we give the reigns over to Johnson or Hamid (a good article on both). Both are in their 20s which mean for GK, their best is likely yet to come. Gonzalez and Klinnsman are both younger. I am confident that we have decent depth at GK for the years to come. Will any of these four be world-class like Howard and Keller? I hope so, but even if they only ever reach Guzan levels, again, that's not that bad.

    As for the back line, the current Gold Cup roster is missing Yedlin and Brooks. Brooks would solidify the middle and Yedlin would give us the speed we need that is currently lacking on the roster. What's disappointing is the guys on the GC roster have the chance to shine and not just earn a roster spot for Russia, but also play. And apart from a few moments, nobody has stood out. And Brooks and Yedlin make up only 1/2 of a back line.

    Last, with Mexico losing to Jamaica yesterday, we absolutely have to be the favorites. Jamaica has been playing hunker and counter, and they have speed up front that we'll have to contend with. But unlike Mexico, we have some players like Altidore and Dempsey that can create and finish, and we should be able to get a goal or two and win the cup.
  6. demosthenes
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    I understand Guzan is serviceable and may be at a level to start for many countries but my point is related to our team. We've gotten to where we are based on having more GK talent than the rest of the world, save possibly Germany. We've literally been saved by elite goalkeeping which Guzan can't provide. Goals are so critical that allowing only a couple extra in the net can be devastating.

    I don't know anything about the young up and comers (I'll read the article, thanks) but you're right on their ages. They should only get better.
  7. gtj31
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    Let's not overinflate Tim Howard. Tim, in his prime, was very good but I think you would struggle to say he was better than Casillas, Buffon, Cech, and a few others. Today, he obviously isn't as good as Lloris, Neuer, Courtois, de Gea, etc.

    Howard was probably a top 6-10 keeper at his peak. Obviously very good and "world class" but I wouldn't put the US in a category of "having more GK talent than the rest of the world, save possibly Germany."
  8. demosthenes
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    Wow, couldn't disagree more. Who even compares to the run we've had over the past 20 years other than Germany with Neuer, Kahn and Lehmann? I'm open to suggestions as im sure there are keepers I'm forgetting.

    Howard was absolutely a top five keeper and Keller and Friedel were top ten during shorter periods. On the other hand Meola gets more credit than he's due imo. Obviously Howard isn't as good as he used to be (he'd still be in the Premiere league if he were regardless of his stated motivations) but that's part of our National team's problem. Howard isn't even in the top 20 GKs anymore and we only survive on defense backed by a stellar GK. You can figuratively ride the back of great keeper like Germany did with Kahn. You can't with an aged Howard or above average Guzan.
  9. gtj31
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    No chance Howard was better than Buffon or Casillas. I personally like Cech better as well than Howard given Cech's Champions League pedigree unlike Howard. Victor Valdes was also better than Howard and he couldn't even start for Spain. Throw in Pepe Reina who was an exceptional 3rd string goalkeeper for Spain and now de Gea, pretty spectacular run there.

    I would have to do research to compare other countries. I don't know who played for Denmark between Schemeichel and Lingard/Clissen today. Buffon has been with Italy for about 15 years so I would need to look them up too. They were pretty spectacular in 1990 and 1994 and of course won it with Buffon in 2006 so the question is likely the late 90s.
  10. gtj31
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    Not sure what to say about that game. Jordan Morris went from goat to hero. The US dominated play but didn't have that many great chances. Overall, Gold Cup champs.
  11. AzCatFan
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    Jamaica did a great job of hunkering and countering. They were built to play this style with some large defenders and speedy guys up front. Jamaica gave up 4 goals the entire tournament over 6 games, and 2 of them came last night. We had some great chances but the two Jamaica goalies made some great saves. But overall, the 2-1 result was fair.

    Overall, not sure how much Arena learned about the guys on the B-team. Morris deserves to be on the roster as a sub as he has a great combination of speed and size. He also finishes well, though he needs to work on the nuances of the game like first touch and positioning. Besler looked good last night, as did Acosta, but both these guys have been very inconsistent. Would be nice if they could play at their best.

    Still, nice to win the Gold Cup, even in an off year. Means we're 1/2 to the Confederations Cup (assuming it's played in 4 years). Also helps wash any lingering Klinnsman flavor from the program.
  12. demosthenes
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    So by your estimation there may be three or possibly four countries with matching keepers over that run? I think you're illustrating my point. We have been elite in a single position. Lose that advantage and what are we hanging our hat on? It certainly isn't our ability to finish, control the middle, or field a dominant back line.
  13. oragator1
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    Halfway to the next confed cup.
  14. gtj31
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    No question the US is a top 5-7 goalie country. I don't think that is overly debatable but I wouldn't say number 2 especially considering the lack of high, high end talent. Always good and always deep though.

    Spain hasn't always been good but they have definitely had a spectacular run of form for the last 10-15 years.

    Look at Argentina. Their keeper tradition is terrible. England, remember Robert Green. Joe Hart has struggled lately but he was a top keeper for a few years. Lloris is superb and France has had a couple keepers but again not their traditional forte.
  15. AzCatFan
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    Any thoughts on the upcoming qualifiers? Roster opinions other than WTF is Wondo still being called up?
  16. gtj31
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    Well that sucked...

    Hope El Tri rips Panama because the US is definitely not in a great position after tonight.
  17. gtj31
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    Not technically do or die tonight but IF the US gets a W, their odds are significantly improved. Badly need a result in a non-friendly locale.
  18. AzCatFan
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    Read somewhere that a win today and our chances of advancing is over 90%. Lose, and it's 50/50. That's how big this game is.
  19. gtj31
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    And so far, it isn't going the US' way. Brutal to think the US might be in 5th place in just a handful of hours.

    What does it say about the US that the announcers just said that Pulisic could break at any moment. A mediocre Honduran team and the US' only real hope is a great moment by a not yet 19 year old. Dark days indeed.
  20. AzCatFan
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    Listless is the nicest way I can call the way we played in the first half. Like a pile of cow dung would be more appropriate. Lucky to be only down 1-0. Should be 3 or 4, and against better countries, it would be. If we continue to play like this, I don't want to go to Russia.

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