Part IV: Davies In Play? Maybe, But Who Else Is?

Hard decisions afoot...

And we’re back….with Part IV of our “With Davies in Repair, Who Strikes?” series. We’ll call this part the interlude though as the 2010 shakeout is still forthcoming and much is as yet in focus. It’s an in-between piece, not a full installment.

This has been a fun series to work on here at TSG and one that has garnered quite a bit of great user feedback and commentary. If you haven’t checked out the previous ones, it’s worth a gander before this one: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Those previous features in this series focused on who the candidates were, what the possible formations were without a pacier striker option, and finally given the current personnel what offense should be employed.

What have we observed since our our last column?

I...just...happened...

• Jozy Altidore is being developed as and is thriving in the hold-up striker role at Hull City.

While Big Jeezy has gotten his fair share of scoring opportunities and somewhat oscillates on the over-the-top ball with Jan VofH in the most recent pairing, it is his the threat of reception-and-run at the top of the offensive third that has made Hull City a more dangerous offensive team.

It is interesting to note here that Phil Brown is going with the “twin towers” up top and having success, most recently against both the lead central defender of the Ivory Coast (Kolo Toure, Manchester City) and the lead central defender of England (John Terry, Chelsea).

Might that add some validity to the value of a Conor Casey pairing? Speaking of Casey….

• Conor Casey has not trended positively since his Honduras wonder game.

The Colorado Rapids bang-‘em up guy had a rough run to end Friendlyville 2009 (not to mention his stinker against Costa Rice to finish qualifying) and began 2010 with a less-than-awe-inspiring cameo off the bench against the junior varsity Honduran squad. Not exactly confidence instilling for the USMNT coaching staff.

TSG asked the question last week during our roundtable if Brian Ching was in camp to challenge for Conor Casey’s role. That’s a mighty statement given that Ching is arguably always been a fringe USMNTer and is getting long in the tooth.

Where to from here Mr. Casey?

• The Great Striker Battle of Jan Camp appears to have been nothing more than a quiet skirmish thus far.

It is hard to say that Robbie Findley or Jeff Cunningham didn’t establish themselves in the USMNT January Camp because TSG was only there for two practics, maybe in the 15 or so other ones either Findley or Cunningham stood out.

Here’s what we do know.

That Cunningham continues to get knocked off the ball and hasn’t put in but a single US goal of a poor turnover in his recent national team action. That Findley looks rough around the edges and, though he battled aggressively, was continually out-done by the Honduran defenders just a scant few weeks ago in Home Depot Center. Not the recipe from either for a roster bid.

However, Coach USA between Jan Camp and Feb Camp is getting about a month’s worth of time out of these guys…..we’ll follow-up on this in a bit.

Lots to do...very little time...

• One striker comes West, another goes East in the search for playing time.

Kenny Cooper’s move to Plymouth (with a veteran of the MLS as the coach at the club) trumps Eddie Johnson’s Greek league attempt. While EJ is looking like he’ll get consistent playing time the Greek league is not a Tier 1 or maybe even Tier 2 league. If EJ starts putting up some gaudy numbers, well that’s a different story.

As for Cooper, should he perform at Plymouth, two questions still remain about the ex-FC Dallas enigma. Can he use his frame better? and…Is he fast enough?

Should he perform, then it’s certainly worth a shot at one more Friendly…..

• Landon Donovan has settled any niggling thought that he is, in fact, a striker.

We’ll humor you and repeat two statement that we have repeatedly made on Lanverton over the past 6 months:

1) It’s the threat of the pass and the clearing of the striker that makes Donovan as effective as he is.

2) Landon’s game improved dramatically with a strong striker in front of him.

Have you watched Landon play of Luis Saha? Brilliant. By the way, Saha is really turning in to the striker everyone thought he would be when he arrived on the scene at Old Trafford a few short years ago. Let’s just sleep on those kicks from the spot for now.

Still a candidate?

• Until proven, Charlie Davies journey towards recovery does not make him dependable come South Africa.

A tough one to swallow here if your a States’ fan. The question is not really, “Will Charlie Davies make it back for the World Cup?” The question is “Will there be enough observations of Charlie in competitive play that show he can contribute at the World Cup?”

Davies might be back near his old self, but he’s going to have to prove it before then in some capacity. Does he have the time?

Ok, great, so where does all of this leave Coach USA?

With a little over four months until truth, USMNT Coach Bob Bradley likely has nearly 85% of his roster set. We also likely have seen since November 2009 all the candidates were going to have for that striker role minus some amazing displays from either Kenny Cooper or, and we mean he needs to play like a bat-out-of-hell, Chris Rolfe. (In this article, we’re not counting the impressive forward or winger displays of such players as an Alejandro Bedoya or a Chris Pontius.)

On the positive side, Jozy Altidore is coming on like gangbusters, able to demand one defender and a shadow from someone else on that backline. Don’t kid yourself, as the US ambled through the November friendly set and struggled to score beyond Cunningham’s turnover collection and deposit, the glaring need for anything up front never beckoned so much. So this is good….

The problem?

Sadly, yes, we could use one of these...

The USMNT still has no Inzaghi, no Defoe, no man to stretch the backline and to go, go, go when on a counter attack. Take a look if you can at Charlie Davies in either the Spain game or the Brazil game from the Confederation’s Cup….heck, take a look at him against Trinidad & Tobago. He was pushing the play at all possible moments. Not always the right or best decision, but it certainly bothered the defense. Gone was the pressing of Donovan as Davies could threaten behind them.

The USMNT needs that player–heck every team needs (and most have) that player. France has Anelka. England, Defoe. Mexico, Vela. Spain, Torres of course.

So let’s take a look into Bob Bradley’s head here on February 12th, a scant four months from d-day so to speak.

“Okay, can I put Mikey B up there?” Oops, sorry how did that creep in there.

In all serious, Coach USA has essentially two options to choose from here. Gone is the Dempsey Hub (Part III) as Coach USA won’t be able to test out Clint a forward role for some time. Gone is the Landonator, as Donovan has proven his mettle yet again resides with him on the wing.

So Coach Sweatpants two options:

1) Make Jozy’s barreling runs available over Donovan and slot Mr. Clean in on the other side.

Easier said than done here, but highly likely. With Altidore coming into his own and able to draw defenders, it makes the trailing Landon a threat. The challenge here? Jozy does his best bulldozing when he’s going right at the goal or when he was working on a direct line with it. So in essence and rather unfortunatley, he might get in Landon’s way.

Davies, due to his strong left foot, created oh-so-much space owning the flank that it really stretched the width of the defense.

Altidore for his part is a bowling bowl to CD9’s pinball. He’s going through the pins and in their wake would come Donovan and have to avoid getting hit by them so to speak.

Could work, will need practice. Bradley is a reps and “experience counts” guy so this is a very real possibility.

2) The Obvious: Deploy the a pacy guy up front in the starting eleven, but which one? And continually, who’s backing him up?

Yikes! This is where it gets dicey.

Real dicey.

Here’s what TSG would suggest “the facts” are:

» Coach USA has at max two strike options open up top. Casey–unless Ching plays like it’s 2006 and then some–and Altidore are near locks.

Big B might very well think or know he’s employing Clint up there as well. So we’re looking at max 2, but maybe 1. Our best bet right now.

» Sweatpants, as we mentioned above, has both Cunningham and Findley for over a month’s time. It’s not unreasonable to think with that much schooling one or both are now locked in. Bradley’s been able to mold them into who and what he wants. Also, if you’re Bob Bradley, are you really inviting the mid-30-year-old Jeff Cunningham to camp if he doesn’t have a shot.

Case closed? Not quite….

» The wild cards are Eddie Johnson and Charlie Davies. The former with Cup under his belt, some time in the EPL (albeit unproductive for the most part) and the latter trying desperately to merely match his physical abilities of a year ago.

If you take the group stage games apart, heck if you even suggest that a Serbia or Germany are the US opponents if it gets passed that group stage, there is one commonality among all of those teams. Big, strong, tough defenders for the most. Sure England might go Ashley Cole or Glen Johnson on the outside, but then you need to contend with Terry, Lescott or Upson in the middle. Heck outside, you might even have Wes Brown at this point.

Algeria’s got a tactically deficient back line, but their interior guys play in the SPL, Madjid Bougherra, and EPL, Nadir Belhadj, respectively. You look at Slovenia and they’re a little lighter inside, but certainly play a tough middle.

So enough of the competitor evaluation…

….what’s the logic?

If you’re Bob Bradley, you may be thinking this: “A good balancing act is playing it safe with one player and taking a risk with another.”

So in that vain, I think you’re going to see Bradley’s think tank splitting the road with the following couplings:

Will the wayward son make good?

Cunningham vs. Eddie Johnson.

Robbie Findley vs. Charlie Davies.

Let’s JC vs. EJ, first. Well, we actually did a write-up on this a few months ago and 77% of you said you were more excited to see EJ. Our thinking a few months later?

If EJ performs in Greeceland, combine that with his lightening speed, his Cup experience, and his stronger physique and, gulp, EJ is taking down the “safe” spot on the roster. Mind you, though, this is far from a matter of fact.

Now, we’re on to Findley v. Davies…and we’re going to punt here for now.  If you’re Bob Bradley, you’re basically saying to yourself, “Unless Davies proves to me without a doubt….I go with the youngster.”

So our best bet for the top four up front come June 12th at this very moment and this very moment? With qualifiers, we go Casey, EJ, Findley/Davies (punting!), Altidore…..

…but let’s end this one with a wrench in the works.

Possible that Bradley thinks he can go with three guys since he tried out the 4-5-1 (albeit unsuccessfully) in the Confed Cup? Well if Altidore is really coming on…it’s possible.

Possible that Bradley thinks we can morph a little to a 4-3-3 and run Dempsey, Donovan…and oh-well-why-not a fun wild card in Bedoya (yes, we’re bandwagon fans) off Altidore at select times…it’s possible.

So a lot left to ponder…getting kind of close to that June 12th date though, huh?

Guus Hiddink ain’t solving this one any better…sorry thought I’d toss that on in there.

—-

From the community:

“Ryan R” wrote this below and it’s worth including this above:

“I still think that we’ll see Dempsey up top versus England so long as Holden can get a modicum of time for Bolton and play on the right for the Nats.”

Agreed Ryan — I didn’t focus on Dempsey in this feature and I probably should have. To me, if Altidore and Holden continue development it makes a point forward in Dempsey all the more possible.

Thanks for the contribution.

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36 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/11 at 11:17 PM

    Will you guys be covering the Feb. camp? Please let us know if you do.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 11:21 PM

      Mark and I need to pay the rent this month, I think…

      As a note, we’ll mention that we got invited to a Nike World Cup event in London and we’re trying to figure that one out.

      On Feb Camp we can send some emails or get some info…anything specific besides how many balls Kljestan hits into the parking lot? :>

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 11:22 PM

        Actually, you know what? I’ll try and get there if enough folks want a report….

        Reply

        • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/12 at 7:53 AM

          Well only if it is not a hardship. I guess with Bedoya back in Sweden there is no real surprise this camp … unless we give a hard look to Orozco. Again, I was just wondering if you guys would be there … no pressure if you can’t make it.

          Reply

  2. Posted by Ryan R. on 2010/02/11 at 11:33 PM

    I still think that we’ll see Dempsey up top versus England so long as Holden can get a modicum of time for Bolton and play on the right for the Nats. Dempsey won’t be healthy enough to play up top versus Netherlands, but he played up top at the end of most Confederations Cup matches and he was getting some time up there for Fulham. Both he and the rest of the team should be fine with him up there, especially when Deuce gets pre-Cup camp to play up top and in the send-off friendlies.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 11:34 PM

      Agreed there for sure — I didn’t really focus on Demps in this column.

      That being said, I should have added Stu Holden in here. A lot of what Stu Holden does creates the possibility for Dempsey up top. I think Holden is an excellent candidate for the right wing, but he does need to re-affirm it.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ryan R. on 2010/02/12 at 12:02 AM

        Another possibility is Beasley. While health is a definite concern and his Confed Cup was vomit inducing, he did show good form for Rangers at the end of 2009. If he can play consistently, you put Landon on the right (where I’m sure a still recovering Ashley Cole would love to see him) and that allows Deuce to stay up top. I don’t think Beas makes enough of a comeback to let that happen, but it’s possible.

        Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/12 at 7:31 AM

      Well well well. Look who hopped on board. It’s Broson Mandela

      Reply

  3. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/02/11 at 11:44 PM

    I must say, a 4-3-3 is intriguing. If you have Donovan on the Left Wing and Dempsey on the Right, how would you set up the midfield? I think to me you would put Bradley, Rico, and Benny in the Midfield. I rather like this line-up, but its key is Rico in my opinion. You want to give Bradley and Benny the chance to get forward, so you really will need a bulldog defensively to allow the US to mount the offensive attack it would like. If we don’t see any strikers really emerge alongside Jozy, I would love to see Donovan and Dempsey given the freedom to run at the net the whole game.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 11:53 PM

      B-Mac…I should be clear…I’m in the corner of “there is 4 months left…experiment time is over….

      When I talk about the 4-3-3…I’m really more talking about a 4-2-1-3….kind of..merely a 4-5-1 where Donovan and Dempsey go further up the pitch.

      I think no matter what the USMNT is built and needs to rely on wing cover through the central midfielder position…that’s just how the team has been schooled.

      In that formation a Benny! or Paco in the middle is more important in being disciplined to know how far to push up in the attack and where to support it…Mike B and Rico need to stay at home a bit more…

      …that being said…for some reason, Coach Bradley loves to move Rico up the pitch….so…anyway…

      Reply

      • The 4-3-3 was actually working against Italy until the Rico Red card. Although it basically failed in the group game vs Brazil. This was actually one of the things I was looking for when I re-watched all the Confederations Cup games this year. Both Bradley and Altidore had good chances in the box early in the game that should have at least merited one goal overall.

        Another point that I want to bring up is that Dempsey wasn’t as bad as everyone said he was in the first two games and the first half of the Egypt game. He created a lot of chances and didn’t give the ball up much. He often looked like the only player on the field who was creating. I feel like he got unnecessary criticism despite this though.

        Reply

      • Posted by B-Mac on 2010/02/12 at 12:16 AM

        I must say I really much prefer a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-1-3. The main reason why is why is I don’t really think we have anyone that suits the CAM/CF role. You really don’t want Dempsey in a role where he has to focus more on distribution than just attacking the net. Donovan’s time at Everton has really proved that he’s a winger. And even if you were to put him in that role, now you get a major issue of service from the left side. Neither Dempsey or Holden are really suited for it. The only guy who’d make me want to go with those formations would be an in-form Beasley, so that you could have Jozy up top with Beasley/Donovan/Dempsey.

        Also, I really like giving Bradley the ability to go forward, so putting him as a defensive midfielder really hamstrings him from doing so. What I really like about the 4-3-3 is that it removes Dempsey from having to worry that much about backtracking (something he has always done half-heartedly) and just lets him think about putting one in the back of the net. It would be perfect formation if we could only have a certain German to pair with Bradley and Clark in the midfield…

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/13 at 4:17 PM

          Adopting narrow formation, means that full-backs are crucial to provide the width. IMO, I don’t think Bocanegra and Spector are good enough to do this at international level without them being exposed defensively. Taking the defender with them will be important to help Dempsey and Donovan create space and cut inside.

          Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/02/13 at 5:52 PM

      First of all, I am against any formation tweaking at this point, but if we had to go to the 4-3-3 I would think of it more as a 4-1-2-3 that leaves Benny out of the mix. A Rico or Bradley in center mid as the defensive leader. Then a dynamic wing play with Holden and Torres on right and left. The front line is a little tricky though because either the outside strikers tuck into the middle allowing more room for the outside wingers or the central striker withdraws a bit and the outside moves diagonally towards goal. It doesn’t seem like a bad option to me, but like Matt is quick to point out, we only have 4 months left, and time for experimenting is over.

      Reply

  4. Is it not painfully obvious that Casey had one fluke game? I am in no way a Ching fan or a supporter but he has to have the upper hand in the holding striker battle. Casey just doesn’t have it. Just look at the game after his fluke game, that was pathetic. If Casey makes the 23 over Ching, Findley, Cunningham, or Cooper I’m going to be thoroughly disappointed.

    Reply

    • 723 – I think your next film project should by a Mr. Clean USMNT goals compilation!

      Reply

    • While I think most would agree that Casey isn’t the player anyone would like to see manning the Hold-up/Knock-around striker role. He’s consistently gotten pitch time in 2009 at the Confed Cup and all Qualifiers after the Mexico game in August. Not coincidentally this is when Ching utterly failed in the hold-up striker role. It’s true that the whole team had a fairly bad game/game plan that day but Ching didn’t give the defense any respite when the ball came near him. In fact, I think he played about as well as I would’ve played in the role against Mexico, and I can’t judge a ball in the air for shit.

      Whether we like Casey or not, it’s pretty apparent that Sweatpants is looking at him above Ching in the pecking order right now, if only to have that tank of a forward to throw on to create some different opportunities. If only we could get him to Finishing school, those chances he fluffed in the CR game were deplorable, I could’ve scored the one in the 9th minute.

      Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/02/13 at 5:59 PM

        Ching never utterly failed at the hold-up striker though. Every one seems to remember that, and I remember him having a bad game at Azteca when the D and midfield was just launching up field for him. I’ll agree he utterly failed at Azteca, but that’s not the right way to use the hold-up striker. If Casey had started that game, I think we would all be in the Ching boat right now. Ching also played in the Gold Cup where I wouldn’t say he utterly failed either. As a team, we utterly failed in the finals, but Ching, not individually. Honestly Ching hasn’t gotten a chance since his injury before the Confed cup. Right now, I’m not in either’s bandwagon, but if I had to choose, Ching or…Coops. Still calling for him, and still no showing. BB is going to regret it if we fail at the Cup.

        Reply

    • 723 – Speaking of the 9th minute, maybe your next film should focus on that salute, it’s not a happy moment like Deuce & ‘Cakes 59 goals between them but it’s a hell of a story with tons of raw emotion in its content.

      Reply

  5. Matt, Mark

    Found this awesomeness today. It would make an excellent opener for whatever you decide to run on Valentines day.

    haha

    Cheers

    Reply

  6. Posted by Swa on 2010/02/12 at 12:19 PM

    If Ching and Casey are legitimate considerations, there is no reason whatsoever for Bobbo and Sunil to not pull a Rex Ryan and show up outside Brian McBride’s house at 4am and beg him to play. He’s may be “retired from international play” and pretty damn old, but he’s not out of the game. He played more minutes in MLS than the Big Pineapple this past season (and scored one fewer goal but I’d like to attribute that to Ching getting service from Davis and Holden), so he is clearly still in great shape and he ALWAYS rises to the occasion. There is no better embodiment of American grit and determination and that alone should be enough to bring Charlie all the way back in time. There’s a reason he was made captain of the Olympic team.

    His cap total is in dispute between his personal wikipedia page and the all time USMNT cap leaders page but either way it’s in shouting distance of 100 and an appearance against the Netherlands combined with some group stage action and a game-winner against Germany in the round of 16 should get him to the century club, a mark that a player that has meant as much as Bake has to the USMNT richly deserves.

    Yeah it seems like a pipe dream, but if Bobbo’s already looking at 4 MLS forwards and coming up with nothing then where’s the harm in experimenting?

    Reply

    • Posted by Swa on 2010/02/12 at 12:30 PM

      Made the post, THEN watched the video and now I really believe in the idea. I know it’s crazy but is it crazier than Conor Casey or Jeff Cunningham in the starting XI in Rustenberg? I’m snagging a McBride jersey on ebay as soon as I hit submit comment.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/12 at 1:50 PM

      I, for one, is happy that McBride is pushing 40 and not 30. Not only does he have the “grit and determination”, but he has the intelligence and physical ability to hold up the ball. And he can regularly find the net.

      Reply

    • Posted by stevedubyapdx on 2010/02/12 at 11:53 PM

      Ah yes, older guys in the World Cup! That reminds me of Roger Milla of Cameroon, who came out of international retirement at age 38 specifically for the 1990 World Cup, and scored 4 goals.

      Brian McBride turns 38 next June, and let’s face it, has scored more goals against English guys than any other American alive.

      Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/02/13 at 6:04 PM

      Sorry to rain on your parade, but as a Houston fan, I can honestly say Ching did not get the best service out of Davis and Holden this year. The wing play wasn’t great this year and Ching worked really hard for just about all of his goals. Also what does playing time have to do with anything. In MLS McBride might have played more, but if you totaled time from all games last year Ching wins. McBride is not the answer.

      Reply

      • Posted by Swa on 2010/02/13 at 11:54 PM

        Pointing out his minutes was just to show that he’s still in shape, and comparing it to Ching’s PT was just a handy reference point.

        Like I said, pipe dream…BUT WHO ELSE IS THERE??

        Reply

        • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/14 at 6:22 AM

          Well there is a kid named Michael Hoyos who is starting for Argentine side Eustiandes. I think his game is on today at 7 on FSC. He is 18 and can play either for USA or Argentina. And he is scoring goals….

          Reply

        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/02/14 at 12:11 PM

          I’m not trying to bash McBride, but I was just trying to point out he is not the best option.

          I guess I could check out this Argentina guy, but either way I’m not Bradley and he probably has no clue who that is. At this point, the only people Bradley will probably take into consideration are people he knows and can decently trust. An 18 year old from Argentina probably isn’t the answer either.

          Reply

  7. Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/12 at 7:21 PM

    I know everyone always compares Jozy to Drogba, but there is another player who reminds me more of Jozy, and that is Adebayor. I also know that I’m new to the sport and very new to players outside the U.S. but am I crazy or does anyone think they player very similar?

    Reply

  8. Posted by Gino on 2010/02/12 at 11:51 PM

    I’m not of the belief that we need two defined target forwards on the roster. This seems to me like more cookie-cutter thinking: “We need one big forward and one speed guy” or “Let’s scout the biggest and best athletes then try to make soccer players out of them”. Now I could be way off, but why not go with guys who are the most likely to put the ball into the net? Jozy and Clint have scored a few goals for the Nats and seem like they’d be the most effective strike partnership. Why not pair them up top, then have subs who bring a little something different when introduced into the match? I’m talking about someone like Cooper, who is a natural goal scorer and is a good passer but is also big enough to “crash around”. Yeah, it’s nice to have that quick forward who keeps defenders honest but he shouldn’t be starting if he’s one-dimensional. Better to bring him on as a 2nd half substitute against tiring defenders. It’d be different if Casey and EJ were as good as we’d all like them to be but clearly they are not. I just hope Bradley breaks form and selects the best performing forwards instead of the “best” types of forwards.

    Reply

  9. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/02/13 at 10:36 AM

    if jeff cunningham is on the world cup roster ahead of ej, i will vomit. for me, one of the nice things about playing dempsey in the midfield, aside from the fact that he plays there with his club, is that he and donovan can switch up during play and that will cause other teams problems. one minute dempsey is going at slovenias left back, then when donovan switches over, he kills it with the extra burst of speed.

    Reply

  10. Posted by KMac on 2010/02/13 at 2:08 PM

    latest tweet from Chuck D! Encouraging attitude!

    http://twitter.com/CharlieDavies9

    CharlieDavies9@JozyAltidore17 @StuHolden22 @MauriceEdu! Your boy is coming back to Europe real soon!!! Making strides. Everybody have a good day. Bless!

    Reply

  11. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/02/13 at 2:39 PM

    i dont buy the 4-3-3 for a second for the us team. it just does not make sense. we played the formation in costa rica and sure dempsey was further up the field in a right wing spot, but the team got torched. even with jermaine jones you end up pushing bradley out wide and he is not as effective and rico is out of position. its like trying to force feilhaber to play on the wing, it is just not in his makeup. the answer is to work with the 4-5-1 and it is good that jozy is getting this time and has already played the 4-5-1 with hull city. the 4-5-1 keeps our central midfielders in the center of the pitch, not out on the wings, plus the 4-5-1 gives us a very strong defensive formation, with the ability to counter attack. the really nice thing about the 4-5-1 is that it allows wing backs to make runs up the pitch. wingbacks make runs up the pitch out of a 4-3-3 and the team will get hit on the counter attack. i would like to see the 4-3-3 removed from the lexicon of american soccer. 3-5-2, 4-4-2, and 4-5-1, those are the three formations we should be working with.

    Reply

  12. [...] • Deal him in!: A goal and assist for Chris Rolfe as Aalborg took on the Feilhabers Saturday in a friendly. Did Rolfe just dealt himself back into the USMNT striker discussion? [...]

    Reply

  13. [...] Bob Bradley is still searching for players, formations, and options among realizations in CD9’s [...]

    Reply

  14. [...] for those new to TSG, here is Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV — they are worth meandering through if you’re just catching up on the national [...]

    Reply

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