USMNT

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

  1. gtj31
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    It was brutal. Selfishly I want to go to Russia soley because there is a chance I can go.

    Arena had a good run but these last two games have been awful. It has to change ASAP.
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  2. gtj31
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    And by the way, the field is playing like a yard. The grass seems to be 2 inches long. Ridiculous.
  3. oragator1
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    We rescued a point, that point from Azteca may yet turn out to be huge.

    But watching this game was depressing. No attack, scored on just about the only decent chance we had. Our outside backs couldn't keep up with their wings (Yedlin!), pitiful possession, no coherent attack. This was a team we beat 6-0 a few months ago.
    Likely we will be in fourth at the end of the night since Panama hosts Trinidad, but after that Panama has us and Costa Rica, Honduras still has costa rica and Mexico while We host panama and go to Trinidad. If we don't find a way to get there, no one to blame but ourselves.
    The panama game will basically decide it. Win and we are all but guaranteed at worst fourth and a heavily favored playoff...with a ton of ways to third. lose or tie and it's going to be a nervy final game at a team with nothing to lose.
  4. demosthenes
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    MLS hasn't helped us like it was promised. This also wasn't a JK issue. We are simply mediocre right now in almost every aspect. It's terribly frustrating with the amount of athletes we have in this country and our best rising player was trained in a non-existent model in the US.
  5. oragator1
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    From my perspective it isn't that MLS hasn't helped us. We do well when we play European teams and have made it out of pool play the last two world cups, including the group of death las time over Portugal. The previous World Cup,we won our group over England.
    The problem is that it's helped many of our hex rivals far more by giving them a legit quality outlet to play in. Every game you see some of the quality players from their other side with MLS teams. Honduras had four for example I think, including the guy who scored. And both of Costa Rica's goals came form an MLS guy.
    And then tonight it was exacerbated by arenas lineup,with no speed and no possession guys outside of Bradley. We looked slow and soft. Hopefully he learned some lessons, because panama is the ticket.
  6. gtj31
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    Altidore, Morris, Wood, Wondo. The US' striking options are awful.

    The backline constantly gets confused or torched by speed.

    Nagbe did nothing yesterday but he has shown some on ball flashes. Christian tried to dribble past too many Hondurans yesterday.

    Dempsey, my favorite American soccer player ever, is done. He isn't the answer. Use him as a super sub and nothing more.

    The US is just that mediocre right now.
  7. demosthenes
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    Yup, it's disheartening.
  8. AzCatFan
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    We need Yedlin back. It's amazing that we can't find anyone else with speed to play wide on the back line. Zusi has lead feet and he was constantly being beat. If he ball watches for even a 1/4 second, we're in trouble. Yedlin has the speed to at least recover. Zusi is still trying to catch up a day later.

    As for players like Morris and Wood, I'd love to see them playing in Europe. Morris was offered a contract to play in Germany, and while I understand the desire to play in front of home town fans in Seattle, Morris' game isn't going to get better playing in the MLS. I hope he understands this and heads back to Germany soon.

    And I agree that MLS hasn't lifted US play that much, but has brought up the play of our Caribbean neighbors. Which isn't a bad thing if we accept this fact and understand that if we want our best to be a step ahead, they need to play in top Euro leagues. This way, the rising tide will lift all countries. But if we continue to put our young stars in MLS, then we'll never get any better.
  9. gtj31
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    I am watching ATL FC vs Dallas. I have heard/read MLS benefits other CONCACAF more than the US. Maybe.

    But I challenge you to pick a worse US squad over the last 17 years. Maybe some of CONCACAF is improved but I think the US is just down.
  10. demosthenes
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    I'm in full agreement with you.
  11. AzCatFan
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    It's a combination. We're down and the rest of CONCACAF outside of Mexico has improved. Can't really call it a quirk when four years ago, Mexico stumbled and bumbled through qualification, and now, we're doing the same. Yes, it calls into question the quality of the CONCACAF giants, but also goes to show that the region is more than Mexico, US and a bunch of minnows.
  12. AzCatFan
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    Do or die game against Panama, and we get it done! Big time, 4-0 win! We are now 2 points ahead of Panama with one game to go, and a +7 on goal differential. Means we likely get to Russia with a tie at T&T.

    Pulisic really showed up. First goal and an assist on the second. Kid's the real deal.
  13. oragator1
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    If Honduras loses tomorrow night a tie almost certainly gets the US through. If somehow Honduras wins tomorrow we may need a win in Trinidad.

    But tonight was the critical first step.
  14. AzCatFan
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    Thanks to a late Costa Rica goal against Honduras, a tie will almost certainly get us to Russia today. We have a +7 goal differential with a +9 in goals scored, meaning assuming a 0-0 tie against T&T, Panama would have to beat CR by a minimum of 8-0 to get on top of us in the table. And while CR has already advanced, they will likely empty their bench a bit and use players that are fighting for seats on the plane to Russia. Meaning, I don't see CR laying down and letting Panama beat them by 7+ goals.

    One interesting thing about today's game at T&T is it will be played on a wet track. Literally, as the track around the field yesterday was completely flooded, and part of the field had some standing water. I think this is a plus for the US, as it will slow T&T down and make this a more tactical game. It will also mean goals might be harder to come by, and if we keep a clean sheet today, we're 99.99% on our way to Russia.
  15. JerseyGator01
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    I didn't follow this at all lately, but unreal. Didn't see this coming.
  16. demosthenes
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    Terrible, terrible result that people assured me that avoidance of was the reason he was hired. As much as I dislike Arenas as our coach this has its roots in us being terribly inept training young players in this country.

    Worst USMNT since the 1980’s. Unreal.
  17. wgbgator
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    What an abject performance. A total disaster. Maybe the saving grace is that this team would have been thoroughly embarrassed in Russia and maybe in a playoff with Australia. What's even more annoying is that Gulati and Arena all seem to think wholesale changes are unwarranted. We've missed multiple Olympics and now the World Cup. That's not a program that needs only minor tweeks.
  18. AzCatFan
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    This is a huge disaster, and will set back soccer in the US a couple of decades. Every 4 years, MLS sets an attendance record a year after the World Cup. Usually a 10% to 12% boost. Those numbers dwindle by 1-2% the next few years, but never dip below prior years, setting a new attendance baseline. What will happen in 2019?

    Even worse, kids won't see the US players and the players won't become household names. Growing up playing soccer in the late 70's and 80's, I wasn't great, but I was good enough to play on some travelling teams in S. Florida. But I gave up soccer early because I saw no domestic future in the game, especially when the NASL folded (I do remember the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and my father still has a Striker Liker hat somewhere). It won't be that bad as the MLS is on solid footing, but there may be kids out there who would have watched the US game and want to be the next Altidore or Pulisic. But that's not going to happen.

    The problems are many, but I think we can zone in when they happen in the soccer cycle. Our U-17 team is usually very competitive, and right now, they just won their U-17 World Cup group and will play in the elimination rounds. But our U-23 and USMNT teams struggle, as we've missed a couple of Olympics, and now missed the World Cup.

    And the reason, I think, is the game at all levels under 17 is more about athleticism than tactics and skills. Kick the ball into open space and if you are the fastest, you will win battles. Same thing about balls in the air; if you are bigger and stronger, you will win headers and score off of crosses and set pieces.

    But when the game is played by people 17 or older, soccer becomes more about skills and tactics. You may still be faster and get to the ball first, but if your first touch fails you, you won't get a chance to recover, because your opponent will to quick to capitalize on your mistake.

    If you look at other countries, their kids are playing in soccer academies that teach the finer points of the game, tactics, and how to play in a specific system long before they are 17. As a result, the players are ready to play professionally at very early ages in lower division leagues that are as much a teaching league as it is a competitive league. In contrast, our soccer academies are still in the infant stage and our youth play in pay for play leagues that some kids likely can't afford to participate.

    As a result, we produce players like Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris. Incredibly gifted athletes that can have success against MLS players and lesser CONCACAF countries, but struggle when they go against the best in the world. Perhaps if Zardes had gone to Europe 5 years ago, he might have been able to catch up a bit. And there's still time for Morris. But the difference in skill level between Pulisic at 19, who has spent several years in the Dortmund system and Zardes/Morris is striking to say the least.

    We need a complete overhaul of our system. We either need to invest heavily in our youth systems and create a lower division league where 16-19 year olds can play and learn the finer points of the game. Or, we need to encourage more of our best kids to go to Europe before they are 17. With the athletes we produce, there are plenty of Euro squads who will be willing to take a chance on the next Pulisic.

    I also think it's time to revisit the promotion/relegation system. Taylor Twellmen had an interesting point. In the US, we reward athletic failure with top draft picks. But in soccer, around the world, failure is punished with relegation, and success is rewarded with promotion. And perhaps instead of doing football in the American way, we need to adopt to the way the world plays it, especially if we want to compete with the best in the world.

    Regardless, it's time for complete overhaul. Gulati needs to be gone, as does Arena. We can play a friendly on home turf as a goodbye game to players like Dempsey and Howard, but our focus should be on our younger players. Get them ready for the next Gold Cup and go from there. In the meantime, I think I need to cry into another beer.
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  19. demosthenes
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    Heads up, I’m going to be petty and spiteful in this post.









    I told you guys Arena wasn’t the answer.
  20. AzCatFan
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    Playing attacking style soccer at T&T on a bad field when a clean sheet tie gets you to Russia was the absolute wrong tactic. I hate bunker style soccer, but sometimes it's called for. We had too many times when T&T had a free runner or only one guy back. And we were lucky to only give up 2 as a non-call on a PK and a couple of Howard saves prevented the scoreline from being worse. It's one thing to say we are playing to win, but we really should have put 9 guys behind the ball at all times. And that's on Arena.

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