Continuing Follow-Up: USA v. Turkey

More from looking back:

• On the central midfield:

Jack of all trades, good 2nd half, master of none on Saturday.

I think one thing that needs to be kept in perspective is that the US had a very different approach from half one to half two in the midfield.

Per Bradley’s comments as well as….well…the television, the US pressed two central midfielders up the pitch in the 1st half, hoping to win possession and keep the ball in Turkey’s end. As we know because of poor service, poor possession maintenance, poor positioning and poor tackling, that plan didn’t work out all that well.

In the 2nd half, you have to give credit to Michael Bradley for hawking all over the front of the pitch and allowing Jose Torres just to sit in the middle of the pitch, play positionally, be available for support, see the field and distribute balls.

The MB90 role in the 2nd half was exactly what Maurice Edu played in the 1st half against Czechoslovakia.

Again, it’s important to note that the strategies and tactics for both halves were very different.

Having said that, my guess is that Clark had one last trial for a starting nod against England and he didn’t shine. Similar to Benny. If you read on below as well, you’ll see I think what Bradley was banking on in the 1st half.

To lead with a douzy of a bulletpoint here, I think you’ll have Edu and Bradley starting in the 1st half against England, depending on how the game shakes out you’ll see Torres for offense if necessary, perhaps Rico for defense. All still pending of course…

On the central defense combined with the midfield, I think you’re asking too much of your central defense–or conversely they didn’t follow the game plan or didn’t have one.

My ratings were high for the central defense–perhaps they should be knocked down a tad–however you had Spector beaten inside three times in the first half; and you had Boca or the left side beaten twice.

Turkey kept a player just forward or near the ball to ignite central attacks with the US zone. That’s your central midfielder here who has to recognize. Ricardo was consistently out of position and Michael Bradley whiffed on one tackle and went to the ground twice and left that same central defense vulnerable.

I’m actually not blaming those two–I that’s a huge challenge for the central midfield to undertake.

I think the first half of strategy by Bob Bradley showed a lack of adaptation–despite his forthcoming comments–after the opening whistle.

Either the central “team” didn’t make an adjustment or the game plan wasn’t there.

“Jay DeMerit looks a lot more comfortable with Oguchi Onyewu in the back.”

Agreed. Evan made this his first comment in our last piece and Jere Longman (a solid writer for the New York Times) wrote that in his game review as well.

Exceedingly true. You could visibly see the difference in the JDM-Gooch partnership in the 2nd half. You can probably chalk it up to repititions and less pressure, but it was evident.

• On Oguchi Onyewu’s fitness

Is ready to grin-and-bare it in South Africa? (courtesy, Matt Mathai)

Here’s my thinking on Onyewu and June 12th. He’s not there…yet. Bob Bradley said on Thursday that you were going to see many of his World Cup starters Saturday against Turkey. Onyewu was obviously not in the starting rotation.

I don’t accept that Gooch was tired from playing on Tuesday so he didn’t start on Saturday. You know why?

Because he played the entire 2nd half! If you were giving him 45 minutes and metering him to that, why doesn’t the first 45 minutes work? You can take him out at the half after the “starting unit” has built some cohesiveness. We saw Boca who just had hernia surgery–he played the first half and 30 minutes of the 2nd.

Reason Onyewu was on only in the 2nd? Because he’s not there just yet.

Here’s what Bob Bradley had to say about Onyewu after the match:

“The turnaround from the game against  the Czech game was very quick–given where he is in the whole thing.

We felt that 45 minutes made more sense and choose the 2nd half.

It’s a good half from him.

It’s a differnet type of half. We’re pushing very hard. Jay and Gooch were in good position to collect balls after we put them (Turkey) under pressure.”

I think Bradley and staff are just pushing and pushing and hoping that Onyewu makes it by the 12th.

It will now be interesting to see June 5th against Australia. You certainly can’t play Onyewu as sub in that one if he’s your starter.

By the way, I think Gooch starts against England now given Bradley’s comments and the comfort of the team around him.

On TSG player ratings

» Benny Feilhaber: TSG gets a 7–right?–on it’s player ratings. Benny, decent with some balls in possession, a terrible errant ball in the 1st (I didn’t see it was him) and lackluster defense up the pitch. Poor call by TSG.

» On Goodson and DeMerit: Okay, I’ve reviewed the tape. A lot they had to do. The cameras captured a great job of Howard hollering at them, but they didn’t capture when Goodson covered for Boca on an errant or when DeMerit shut down Spector’s side after he was beaten another time.

On Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore’s performance up top in the first half.

I didn’t like it…and neither did Bob Bradley. First I was following and tweeting about possession in the first half on the over-ball. Dempsey won only 2 out of 8 headers by my count. Yet, he was a target up there.

More so, I think Bradley as well as myself, was disappointed in Altidore’s ability to win possession up top. Jozy is supposed to win, possess, and distribute more than he did.

It looked from my vantage point that Coach USA was attempting to use Altidore as a hold-up player who could lay off the ball to Donovan and Dempsey on the right side up top. If you think about it, the 2nd half had Donovan and Dempsey again being withdrawn, but a speed option up opened up all worlds of potential for them.

Here’s Bob Bradley when asked about Clint Dempsey after the match–pay special attention to the last few lines:

“Again, whenever you start a game, things need to be sorted out on the field. Often times, there is a period of time, when you just need to play through things and then the game starts to open up and you can take advantage.

We understood that.

It’s a hot day; it’s humid. You can’t now push and get stretched all over the place. It can’t be one guy at a time.

Because the whole flow of the game changed at halftime. It worked well we could drop Clint off to the midfield.

(Pause)

(The question thought to be over….Bradley interjected)

“Look, the one thing I would say about the 1st half is we still had some moments when we had advantages and we weren’t sharp enough. And so, some of those plays are better, than maybe were having a little different halftime talk.”

—————

On Jose Torres and his role:

Is Torres inline for a start against England? I don’t think so. Should he be? Not sure about that either.

The Torres start to me really hinges on what Bob Bradley does up the pitch. If Bradley is going to try the lob–as he has now done against both Turkey and the Netherlands–then Torres’ value in the first frame is wasted.

The US did a great job of threatening through the midfield in the second. I think it would be wise for the US to employ that same linking midfield passing game in the second half against the Three Lions after Gareth Barry or Tom Huddlestone has worn down. I just think that England will snuff it out before their tired.

The top 4 conundrum:

I probably should have reserved this for another post, but oh well. Tuesday said, “I’d put Donovan up top with Altidore right now.”

There’s some merit in that, but the bigger question is this:

The US–as we saw in the 2nd half and as we saw with the wing midfielders against the Netherlands–plays better with speed opening things up.

Finding a way to get Holden on the field while keeping the vets on and still threatening the opponent is proving to be a chore.

Can you start Findley? Unsure. But if you start Findley, then effectively you’re leaving Holden–who has usurped Benny’s spot in the pecking order–on the bench when Stu would play the pinched-in halfback (on the left or right) probably better than any other player.

Stu’s fast enough to get back, solid in defense, a threat with his foot on long balls and the most comfortable player the Yanks have in one spot with possession.

If you’re going to play a front “three” of Dempsey, Altidore and Donovan, then I favor the line-up on Saturday with better execution. Dempsey is much better when the ball is laid off and the play is not at a gallop. The question remains, “Can Altidore win, maintain and be a threat in possession?”

Because if not, then you have to get some speed on the field and Holden doesn’t see the pitch until the 2nd half.

• Closing comment:

Since I haven’t upset you enough day, John Harkes–in review–actually called a good game. He questioned Feilhaber’s defensive abilities at the outset and he was consistently pointing out the gap between the backline and the midfield during the 1st half.

• Turkey coach Guus Hiddink weighs in on the U.S. and says they are a notch below England.

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29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jared on 2010/05/31 at 4:41 PM

    Bradley doesn’t usually have the options of making so many changes in a real game. He made 4 subs to start the second half, if even one of those guys doesn’t get on the field then it probably doesn’t work the way it did and you don’t get 4 subs in the World Cup. If he picks such a poor lineup and plan to start a game in the World Cup then we’ll be going home pretty quickly.

    I wouldn’t start the talk that Bradley outcoached Hiddink who isn’t even officially the coach yet and doesn’t know his players well. Give him the amount of time that Bradley has had with the US and they will be contending for titles. Too bad we didn’t try to sign him up when he left Russia. If France can name a replacement before the World Cup even starts then so can the US.

    Reply

    • Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/05/31 at 5:03 PM

      I think that it was based on still some experimentation with that starting lineup. Therefore, I think Dolo is now a starter, and Dempsey is either starting up front, or Holden is in the wing, meaning that Feilhaber wouldn’t be needed to sub, though a forward sub still might be coming, but not at halftime. Also, Onweyu will either be starting, or not playing for that particular game, imo. So, there are 2 subs, CM with Torres or Edu as needed depending on who started, and the forward substitute that comes every game. And 1 to play with.

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    • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/31 at 5:21 PM

      im sorry, but france have not in fact replaced their coach, they have just named a new coach for after the world cup. italy has done the same thing, so that is different than releasing a coach and picking up a new one.

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      • Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/05/31 at 6:33 PM

        That and we can not compare our Coach situation to France’s. No matter how much you hate BB.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/31 at 6:34 PM

        But there was no need to announce a successor prior to the WC / before team was eliminated. That was a very poor management decision IMO.

        Given Hiddink’s relative success with S. Korea and Australia in 2002 and 2006 respectively, I think if the USSF wanted to replace Bradley, then Golden Guus would have been an excellent choice.

        Reply

  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/31 at 5:03 PM

    Oh gosh…thanks for your 2nd comment — I actually didn’t mean to keep that part in there.

    In regards to the first comment — dig a little deeper — Bradley only made really two tactical substitutions…he just made them earlier than normal. Findley and Torres

    We’re accustomed to seeing the 65th minute substitution of Benny Feilhaber for a midfielder and either another midfielder or striker pending on where Bradley moves Dempsey. Sometimes last year it was Stu or sometimes Conor Casey.

    Goodson for Onyewu is personnel as is Cherundolo for Spector….even Bornstein for Boca.

    In a real game situation…Bradley makes the two–typically we’ve seen at the 65th minute.

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  3. Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/31 at 5:03 PM

    I’ll agree with you that Harkes called a good game, but I still felt like he was incredibly biased. I liked the things he pointed out, but I disliked how when he said it he sounded so sure of himself. I don’t really know how to explain it…

    For the Australia friendly I want to see…
    Howard
    Dolo Demerit GOODSON Boca
    Holden Bradley Torres Dempsey
    Donovan Altidore

    This is still a bit experimental, but I think they can be the first team and should be the first team as of now. Donovan will provide the speed. Mostly you saw it work against Turkey in the second half, but you don’t get that many subs in the World Cup. You need to get it right from the beginning. I’d also like to see Beasley come on, for Holden or Torres. If Holden, him and Dempsey switch sides, if Torres, Holden goes inside and yet again Dempsey and Beasley switch sides. I like this now because it also seems like the most capable for an easy fix to a game. If we’re not playing through our midfield and you want Donovan there, bring on Findley for Holden/Torres. Should we have to defend, Bring on Rico/Edu for Torres. If we need more speed in midfield, see above comments about Donovan AND Beasley.I fail to see why TACTICALLY we should ever need to make more than 2 subs, but there’s also the extra one for rest if we’re winning by a couple of goals and controlling possession. I know there may be a lot of people against Donovan uptop, but right now you have to go with your best TEAM not to get the best out of your BEST player. If Donovan is truly our BEST player, he can handle it. He’s no stranger to forward.

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  4. Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/31 at 5:05 PM

    Oh yeah and I don’t recommend it, but imagine the possession we could get with a midfield of Bradley Torres Holden Feilhaber. Torres would be out on the left, but just imagine the possession.

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    • Posted by Braden on 2010/05/31 at 5:46 PM

      It wouldn’t be nearly as good as the possession you’d get from Holden-Torres-Bradley-Donovan which is what many of us, myself included, are hoping for/expection against at least Algeria if not Slovenia and Algeria.

      This Donovan up top business is misguided in my opinion. The idea seems to be premised on the notion that we need speed up top, that Duece and Gomez aren’t fast enough to provide it and that Donovan is. The first problem with this theory is that it’s not a given that Donovan is actually fast enough. He runs a ton and is quick, but is his top end really that high? The second problem is more fundamental: the reason we need speed up top IS TO CREATE SPACE FOR DONOVAN TO WORK. The reason this speed works is that we have someone, CD9 preferably, to run or THREATEN to run the offside trap down. This forces the defenders to stay sucked back and let’s Donovan play the ball in some space in front of them. Inherent in the speed man’s job is to make a whole lot of wind sprints that don’t see the ball necessarily but contribute to our offensive shape. It’s what opens up behind those runs (Donovan overlapping, Bradley coming from deep, balls sqaure to Jozy and crossed to Duece) that we want. To place Donovan up top to be the “speed” option puts the cart before the horse. It takes the ball off of his feet, and raises a HUGE question mark as to who we are creating all this space for (provided he’s even quick enough to make it happen).

      If anything, seeing a marginally effective Robbie Findley should just remind us all how much this team is missing without Charlie Davies. It looks like Findley doesn’t have the coach or team’s confidence that he can play that role as a starter, and his dribbles across the end line against Turkey were concerning. (On one play he dribbled it right out when a drop to Donovan would have put LD on the ball at the corner of the 18 with both Turkey’s LB and L-CB sucked over to Findley on the touch line. We won’t get chances like that many times in the WC and need to capitalize on them. Findley’s lack of maturity there shows why he isn’t ready for prime time. (Despite me being with everyone else who felt he played a startlingly strong half)

      WIthout that option, we’re gonna need to find a different way to score. One way this could happen is with a more patient build up through the midfield relying on the precision passing of a Torres, Holden, or Donovan. To do that, we need to possess the ball for stretches of time. (Even if we give up 60% of possession, we’re gonna HAVE to string more than 2-3 passes together to score on anything other than a counter attack.) What I really wanted to see out of the Turkey game and now feel we MUST see out f the Australia game is Deuce and Altidore working up top without the shit show that was Benny and Rico spraying the ball around the field behind them. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on that striker pairing simply because the midfield played so poorly.

      Let’s hope we see Holden and either Torres or Edu with good passes early on in things against Australia. If we get a goal great. If not, let’s at least hope that we can hold the ball a little better and not have turnovers so easily leading to dangerous chances such that when we do bring on a fresh Findley or Gomez we’re not playing from behind.

      Reply

  5. Posted by dude on 2010/05/31 at 5:47 PM

    I don’t think we should start Torres against England, either. Not because I don’t think he can, but because I think a partnership of Edu and Bradley can keep the British under control in the first half. Perhaps the greatest strength of Torres is his ability to come in in the second half, and make quality opposition lose their minds. It’s like they are playing an entirely different team, and the fitness of the American athlete can really do some damage.

    I also am not really certain why everyone is rushing to put Holden in the starting eleven, as we all know that he isn’t a 90 minute player fitness wise at the moment. He is also a fantastic supersub to allow Donovan to move to a position of need.

    At forward, I think we need to start Buddle against Australia, Gomez in the second half, because we need to know what is under those rocks in game situations. I have a hunch that Buddle and Jozy would be a power partnership that allows Findley or Gomez to take advantage of a beaten, exhausted defense.

    Reply

    • Posted by Braden on 2010/05/31 at 5:54 PM

      Holden played 90 credible minutes against the Czechs. Although he was a little gassed near the end, I think he was only rested against the Turks to see what Benny had and because the games were relatively close back-back. There is no reason not to think that in two more weeks and one more 90 minute start he can’t be ready for 90 against England. Also, if he were to be entirely gassed, I could see Beasley coming on, or he can be subbed off for Findley allowing Deuce to slide back as he did against Turkey.

      Plus he’s our third best outside mid by some ways in terms of confidence on the ball, and passing, and perhaps our second best defensively. He’s also light years more useful than any of the other forwards. (Who he should be rightfully compared against as if Holden is off, Dempsey slides back and a back up forward is on)

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      • Posted by dude on 2010/05/31 at 6:53 PM

        I think people are overlooking the need to bring on as many impact players as possible. So far, we know that Findley might be the stretch the field option, Gomez is our poacher, and Torres is second half against Turkey. Holden, for me, needs to be that option on the right to come in. Donovan is Very solid with his crossing, speed, and industry.

        Perhaps most importantly, we brought 4 forward, and we have to use two of them as starters, especially after Dempsey failed to connect very well with Jozy.

        Again, I think most are overlooking the shared weight that Jozy and Buddle could share, allowing Donovan and Dempsey to come out of the midfield, and none of them are slow.

        Reply

  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/31 at 5:55 PM

    I’d be more comfortable seeing a Gooch start (and a Torres start…who has never started in the middle for the Yanks) if I see what they can handle against Australia.

    Gooch I believe after hearing BB will get the start versus Australia.

    Again and I think I’m with most of the folks here, I need to see more of a resume against A class teams to see what Torres can do as a starter.

    I think he’s a good reliever right now…starter…just haven’t borne witness.

    Reply

    • Posted by Braden on 2010/05/31 at 6:02 PM

      100% agree re: Australia game. If we have any hope Gooch is ready to go against England, we have to see him start against Australia’s best. If he’s good, play him 60-75 minutes ala Boca against Turkey. If he can’t go, bummer, pull him whenever it’s clear, give Goodson the rest of the minutes and don’t look back.

      As for Torres: I love the idea of him starting against Slovenia and Algeria given what we saw against Turkey, but seeing him perform in a starting role, in back to back games, and against a strong squad like Australia would seem to be a prerequisite to that happening.

      Regardless, I’m not convinced on him starting against England. I’m not convinced he’s good ENOUGH on the ball against such a strong team to boss the game. Better to have Edu, that extra hard tackling midfielder to help us shut down Lampard and the most dangerous through balls to Rooney the way we did against Spain.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Freegle on 2010/05/31 at 8:26 PM

    USA has touched down in South Africa! I would have loved to be on the plane for that flight. 17 hours. Oof. I picture scenes like this…

    Bob Bradley is lounging with his feet up at the front of the plane when Michael comes up from the back in a huff…

    MB (whining): Dad! the guys are making fun of me because I can’t spell ‘Heerenveen’ or ‘Monchengladbach.’ Can you make them do extra wind sprints when we get to South Africa?

    BB: I’m sorry Mikey. I guess you’ll just have to get a transfer to Stoke for next year so you have an easier time. Now go back and sit down, or so help me, you’ll be rooming with Conor Casey for the rest of your national team career.

    MB: C’mon! That’s not fair! (kicks Bob Bradley’s foot stool)

    Bornstein: OW!

    BB: Keep still Johnny. I didn’t bring you along for your ability to move.

    Meanwhile, a few rows back…

    JozyAltidore17: @stuholden22: Bro isn’t this sick? We’re goin to SA! You’re gonna love it there!

    Stuholden22: @JozyAltidore17: Jozy, you are sitting right next to me. Why don’t you just talk to me instead of tweeting?

    MauriceEdu: @JozyAltidore: @Stuholden22: Hey fellas! I’m over here on the other side of the aisle! Can you see me? Remember that time I scored a goal against the Czechs?

    JozyAltidore17: @MauriceEdu: Yeah bro that was sweet. And you did the STANKY LEG! Shout out to @CharlieDavies9!

    And, in the back of the plane…

    Gooch: Our IMG class was BY FAR the best!
    Beasley: I know. I wish Bobby Convey was here. He could have been great if he didn’t get hurt.
    Landon: Yeah Bobby could really play. And, what a jokester! Remember that time that Kyle Beckerman passed out and Bobby cut off some of his dreadlocks?
    Beasley: Yeah and if YOU could keep a straight face, Beckerman would have never known who did it! Couldn’t come through in the clutch back then either, huh Landycakes?
    Donovan: Damarcus, you know I HATE that name! I PROVED MYSELF AT EVERTON! I PROVED MYSELF AT EVERTON!
    Gooch: Alright, alright fellas. Calm down. You’re going to wake up Spector. He’s been sleeping since before the Turkey game and we don’t want him to wake up cranky.
    All (Pointing and laughing at Spector): OOOOOHHHH!

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  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/31 at 8:53 PM

    Just started to rewatch the match for the 1st time until I had to leave, and I saw about 4 over the top balls in the 1st 5 minutes. Matt you said Clint won 2 out of 10 headers during his time playing up top. But what you should be looking at is how many of those headers we gained/kept possession of off. The second airball that clint challenged for, he did not win, but the ball came to MB90 and we played on.

    While I’m on the subject of winning headers, I’ll go from my experience as an airball forward when I say that about 60% of winning headers is the players’ judgement of the ball in the air. The other 40% is strength.

    Ever notice how Robbie wins(or gets a head on) a lot of those airballs? Because he has good judgement, as well as some underrated strength.
    With Jozy, either his efort or his strength is fluctuating(funny how he destroys CB’s in the EPL but gets blown up by the Turkish ‘backs), and to top it off, he’s lacking big time in the judgment area(a lot of times you saw him overrun the airball).

    Reply

    • Robbie Findley has a solid first touch and is actually very good at taking the ball down. His running is also very good. A lot of what he did on Saturday was very similar to what he accomplished against the Netherlands. He simply produced much more threat with the final ball that simply wasn’t there in the previous friendly. On the right he couldn’t release before reaching the bye-line a couple times but that happens to the best forwards… Dare I say that if he can perform at a similar level in South Africa we might not miss CD9 that much?

      Jozy is much better with the ball to feet with time to turn and run at a defender. He really needs to work on his ball-winning as it is a real weak point for him, given his size and strength.

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/01 at 11:51 AM

        Who’s faster? Robbie or CD9?

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        • I think an in-form CD9 is faster… at least he looked faster on the field. Here’s a thought… why the heck couldn’t the 2010 World Cup be the coming-out party for Robbie Findley? Let’s not forget that prior to the 2009 Confederations Cup, we used to say the same thinks about Davies that we said about Findley prior to the Turkey match. He’s fast, he has a good strike record for his club team, but he hasn’t been able to produce that same effect for the national team. Davies had several lackluster appearances prior to the 2009 Confed Cup. I’m hopeful that Findley can replicate the same magic in 2010.

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        • The thing is that Charlie Davies running made us better as a team. If Findley can make the same types of runs and the defense respects that he can hurt them, he can do the same thing. It was an important goal for sure, but Davies only scored one goal during our Confederations Cup run – a scrappy one to get things started against Egypt.

          Findley played a “counter-attack heard round the world”-class ball to unlock Turkey on Saturday and his running definitely opened up space for Altidore, Dempsey and Donovan to operate. He wasn’t perfect, certainly, but I’m definitely more convinced that he’s going to be able to make an important contribution at this level. He’s exactly the type of striker that could give England’s CBs fits.

          All this has me converted to an England game plan of keeping it tight first half with the same starting 11 with 3 changes: Edu coming in for Clark, Dolo for Spector (a bit worried about this one but I don’t think Spector has given us a choice) and Holden for Feilhaber and moving Donovan left. I’d like Dono and Dempsey have the freedom to switch as they see fit and the responsibility to cover if one get’s forward out of the left mid slot.

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  9. Posted by Lindy on 2010/05/31 at 9:03 PM

    Not completely sure if this would work because of fitness, but what about Stu Holden being a viable option in the middle? Stu is absolute class and needs to be on the pitch. He is too good on the ball to only see the last 25. He did play centrally in the Czech game at the end after BB made a bunch of changes…now I don’t think he could play a full 90 against a quality opponent like England, but I don’t see how Stu couldn’t do as well as Torres did against the Turks….I think the fact that he did see some game time in the middle indicates that BB is at least thinking about it.

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  10. I just want to say this because I don’t want to take credit for a good observation that I didn’t make. It wasn’t I who pointed out that DeMerit looked more comfortable with Onyewu. It must have been someone else. The only thing I posted on that piece was a question as to why you started one of your posts with Evan: and then explained something to me………even though hadn’t commented. I’m not trying to be mean on this I just think that credit should be given where credit is due and in this case it is not with me, but someone else.

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  11. Matt: Having had a similar perspective on both matches, I can say that Edu (and the US as a whole) was actually quite a lot more conservative against Czech than both Bradley and Clark were in the first half against Turkey. Neither Clark nor Bradley are conservative defenders – they are both all-action tackling destroyers who want to press high up the pitch. Edu is a more refined player who defends positionally and tackles when neccessary, but isn’t as inclined to get into advanced positions early in the attack as both Clark and Bradley.

    I think Edu is a much better option when it comes to slowing down the counterattack and protecting the back four. Also is much better on the ball that Clark and a better organizer than Bradley. Edu is much more efficient with the ball and more capable of helping to control possession. I think you’re probably right that he and Bradley are your starting CM against England.

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  12. Posted by Paul on 2010/06/01 at 2:18 PM

    Appreciate the honest, humble response. Could TSG be the first website to call for a team Stanky Leg after our first goal in the World Cup, hopefully against England, to remember Charlie Davies? It would be a great bookend to our CD9 campaign. Keep up the good work.

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  13. Posted by CJ on 2010/06/01 at 4:04 PM

    I’m watching the Turkey game right now… I’m at the 21st minute and have noticed a few disconcerting things that mustn’t have already been touched on. On three great buildups the final ball at the 18 is played to Dempsey and he gaffs… Thrice!! Rusty? Too many days out of games? Season end fatigue? What’s up with that? My second thing of note is Michael Bradley makes an awful quarterback for our team. In american football the QB’s job when “distributing” is to lead the receiver with the pass so their pace isn’t affected by the throw. How many non-rushed diagonal passes does he make that end up throwing the man making a run off, whether it be the angle or the oomph? I’ve seen several already. To continue my critique (sry Mike), when he runs with the ball his touch is so far he never has the other team concerned with what he’ll do because they got 2 secs to check their spacing before he’ll touch it again… He doesn’t give me that sense of “I’d hate to play against that guy”, if I am England and know that he’ll be distributing, I’m drooling right now! I think Torres will be making a serious 2nd half impact and only pray that Dempsey just had an off night (regardless of the goal).

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  14. Posted by CJ on 2010/06/01 at 4:10 PM

    Donovan and Feilhaber swapped sides late in the 1st half… hmmm.

    Reply

  15. Posted by CJ on 2010/06/01 at 4:35 PM

    Onyewu… He’s flying the missions but, not at top speed. Where’s the hunger? He needs to be tenacious on the ball with that size. Scare men off it. He looks at someone 20 lbs lighter and shrivels back. Topgun anyone? Re-Engage!!

    Reply

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