Five To Confront For Sweats II

With the October friendlies just one block over, it’s time to kickoff discussion on what challenges await the U.S.S. Bradley as it commences maneuvers for its 2014 assault on Brazil.

The U.S.S. Bradley commences it's 2014 Brazil voyage...now.

Some of these are specific to Bradley’s style or coaching; others are about getting more out of talented players.

This is by no means a comprehensive list as new issues will begin rearing their heads once friendlies, camps and Gold Cups get going, but it’s where the team left off at the end of June in South Africa.

Go:

5. Once a striker himself, can Bob Bradley cultivate Jozy Altidore or, if not, locate at least one man up top that finishes for the Yanks?

Conor Doyle, Justin Braun, Herculez Gomez. These all may be options up top (along with Charlie Davies or Robbie Finldey). So may those further from seeing the pitch for the Yanks, like a David Estrada or Pippo Inzaghi II (Jack McInerney).

In Altidore, however, the U.S. has a 20-year old striker with a world of physical talent that has only been exhibited in flashes. Let’s repeat that. He’s 20-years-old (with one World Cup as a starter under his belt).

With what is looking like little club time this year, can Coach Sweats wring more effort, more consistency and more importantly more scoring from the talented Jozy in his brief exposure in U.S. camp? A major and daunting task, but doable as well.

A quite note, I’m sick of hearing that U.S. strikers didn’t score for the U.S. in the last two World Cups. In 2006, the hottest striker (Taylor Twellman) was left home. In 2010, the hottest striker Edson Buddle got two sips of coffee on the pitch. Anyway…

Dempsey will be a club force for four more years...but on the Natties?

4. Can Coach Bob get more out of a now-aging Clint Dempsey? Will he even try?

Bob Bradley’s challenge in locating Deuce on the pitch in the first go around was easily apparent. Dempsey’s style didn’t subscribe to Bradley’s frantic pressing and defensive posture, meaning Coach Sweats’ game plan seemed to account for Dempsey as a cog in the system with misunderstood talent, less as a star.

Dempsey will be 32-years-old when Brazil 2014 comes around. He’s already prone to fatigue and disappearing during games (as we’ve mentioned before, 85% of Dempsey’s career club goals have come in the 1st 20 minutes or last 20 minutes of a match).

Further, the nature of his game isn’t what one would call “career-prolonging.”

How does Bradley keep the oft-maligned Dempsey involved over the next four years? Is it as a point forward? Is in his customary wing role? Is it even up top where fewer options are apparent here in 2010?

Deuce is looked upon as a leader on the team and Bob’s treatment of the quiet, but intense ball wizard will speak volumes in the locker room. Aging veterans will take note of the Bradley-Deuce interplay.

3. Developing a centerback partnership that: (a) picks the right pieces, (b) gains valuable repetitions,  and (c) is not often prone to youthful mistakes.

You might suggest that managing the central two of the back four was Bob Bradley’s biggest shortcoming during his first term as president of the USMNT pitch. That’s my belief.

Bradley mismanagement started with Califf...but didn't end there...

Whether it was force-feeding Danny Califf (or Michael Parkhurst or Michael Orozco) into the picture early in qualifying before each player was seasoned or…

That nasty string of giving up set piece aerial strikes to the opponents during the 2009 Gold Cup or…

Failing to develop a capable central defender-in-waiting beyond the elder statesmen of DeMerit, Bocanegra or Onyewu or…

Continually playing and attempting to ready Chad Marshall for the World Cup despite obvious fitness concerns or…

Playing Oguchi Onyewu against England (and Slovenia) when it was clear he was not sharp and helping the team or…

Moving Bocanegra to the interior against Algeria and, worse–Ghana, and being overmatched physically or…

Well how ’bout just: * Allowing a game plan and team selection where all of the goals against the States at World Cup 2010 came from an attack up the middle, never from outside-in.

You get the picture.

This time, Bob Bradley has a wealth of potential players in central defense that should contribute during qualifying and present alternatives options to historical ones.

Omar Gonzalez

Omar will learn from Boca...and then supplant him...(credit: Matt Mathai) (He's got a TSG 2014 boarding pass already)

Omar Gonzalez appears ready to firmly plant himself in the middle for a long time. Onyewu should get fit–and hopefully get club playing time–to present himself as a perennial selection. The more veteran Chad Marshall, Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman present options as do youngsters Ike Opara and Tim Ream.

Even Jonathan Spector might himself be a viable candidate.

Nailing a central pairing–and allowing it to develop a solid and tested chemistry–should be high on Bob Bradley’s clipboard.

2b. Michael Bradley is an excellent player. He’s a leader. He easily deserves to be in the starting 11 and one of the first on the team sheet, but…what is his appropriate role?

Let me make sure I phrase this paragraph correctly.

I think Michael Bradley is a good player. I think he’s got above average technical ability, a serious work rate, and the type of fire any coach wishes nearly every player had.

I also don’t think the role that he has played most recently–midfield quarterback–is one that should not be guaranteed to him outright.

It’s impossible to address this conundrum without invoking different formations, but simplicity in evaluation can still prevail.

In a 4-4-2, as the U.S. played in South Africa, should Michael Bradley be the chief ball handler and distributor? Those that push for a focus on possession in the 2014 cycle would be wise to give pause here.

Junior

Junior plays...well...but where? (credit: Matt Mathai)

For if Bradley was not pushing the ball as hard as possible up the field in the 2010 lead-up then he was often spraying it…somewhere.

In a 4-2-3-1, perhaps a ball handler sit above Bradley, who now sits as one of the two holders, carries the bulk of the distribution.

Then the question becomes can Bradley stay disciplined as a pairing instead of falling prey to his common predisposition to freelance and bomb all over the pitch.

For our part, TSG wants to see Stu Holden as the responsible party doing the linking through midfield. Michael Bradley is less accurate and less patient than Holden who possesses some of the field presence of a young David Beckham.

But if not Stu Bolton, Coach Bradley can also call on Benny Feilhaber, Mix Diskerud, Jose Torres, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan among others to fill the various roles in central midfield. Torres, Kljestan and Feilhaber are quarterback candidates like a Holden or Bradley. That’s five viabilities.

Will Bob Bradley have the audacity to reduce Junior’s role if the formation or situation demands it? That wasn’t apparent in the first go around mind you. (See Confederations Cup, Spain, Mike Bradley earns second yellow.)

2a. And the sister issue: With the wealth of talented central midfielders, how does Bob Bradley partition playing time and build chemistry there as well?

You’ve got that list of central midfielders above.

Here are some micro questions for Bob Bradley to ponder:

• Stu Holden is currently the starting central midfielder for Premiership side Bolton. He’s rarely been subbed, the chief distributor of the ball, precise with his tackles, audacious with his free kicks and consistently tracks back.

Is there any reason that he–and Michael Bradley (he a starter himself on currently relegation-bound Bundesliga side Bo’Munchen)–shouldn’t be your midfield general?

(Sorry, this point was so important, a second reinforcement seemed appropriate.)

• Jermaine Jones will himself be 32-years-old in 2014. Do you give him a fair shot in the middle of the field or do you continue to develop Champion’s League participant Maurice Edu?

• Wait a second! We have Stu Holden and Michael Bradley…how are Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones or even Benny Feilhaber getting on the field?

• Assuming a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 as is the trend and due to the lack of U.S. striking options, that still only allots for three central midfielders at best.

Again assuming Holden, Bradley and Feilhaber where does that leave Maurice Edu, Jose Torres, Sacha Kljestan, Ricardo Clark, Mix Diskerrud, etc.?

We posed a question a year ago about solving the gaping hole at leftback with a candidate from the midfield. Seems like moving some player from the midfield may make sense.

1. Can the U.S. throw off its inconsistent ways and dictate the game tempo to/on an opponent?

To a point, I will concur with commentary in the past from Bob Bradley and Sunil Gulati that bringing a team of players from predominantly overseas together and training for a brief period together is difficult in building cohesion.

I also get that many of the players didn’t necessarily grow up playing on a single youth team together and falling into positions versus their teammates and developing chemistry, a la a Brazil or Spain.

With that said, last September 5th a weak El Salvador team came into Rio Tinto stadium for a World Cup qualifying match and had the Yanks on the ropes for the first 30 minutes of the game.

A few days after that, the States (with a game and group of practices under its belt) went down to Trinidad and Tobago and was a Super Tim Howard performance and Ricardo Clark strike away from coming away with a loss.

Reread the last two paragraphs. If you’re Bob Bradley, it should give you indigestion…and combating those situations, specifically the former one of a qualifier at home against a weaker side, should be the prime focal point of the 2014 campaign.

If you believe that the States (through their World Cup performance) are a top-16 side, then it’s imperative that the States start behaving like a top team especially when facing inferior competition.

If the U.S. face El Salvador and T & T in qualifying, the opponents, not the Yanks, should be on their heels.

Mind you, this isn’t an argument for possession–unless that is the style that the Yanks morph to. This is an argument for the lay fan to watch a game–regardless of score–and think, “Wow, the States are dominating.”

Think Germany against Argentina at the World Cup or even the United States after going down against England or in the second half against Slovenia. The next step is tantalizingly close for the Yanks.

When a team dominates a game and dictates tempo, it:

» relieves pressure on its defense

» can be more creative and develop its attack

» builds confidence that in turn breeds improvement

In short, a team in control learns how to be a good team collectively. That’s the next step for the Yanks. It’s where the USMNT is in its development and it should be an important goal for Sweats II.

US vs. El Sal, Sept 5th, 2009: The US should be applauding its domination at the end of games against weaker opponents, not its survival.

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30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe on 2010/09/28 at 12:22 AM

    Agree completely on the sentiments regarding Jr’s role…
    WE HAVE TO EXPERIMENT. Bradley is good. He had a good world cup.. But could Holden have had a BETTER world cup? I think a Holden and Edu midfield is what we should tinker with. They are both so comfortable and rarely make a bad pass. Edu may take the easier route with his passes, but how many times have we yelled at Sacha or Junior for not making those stupid little passes that give up possession faaaar to easily.
    Holden on the other hand, can see the lanes, and see the creative passes. AND MAKE THEM.

    Also in regards to the mid fielders moving to defenders… Rico to left back. Heard it here first. He’s pretty pacey. Has a good shot on him if needed… and has been playing in a defensive position for years now. I think if all he had to worry about was one side of the field and usually one attacker he could flourish. Midfield is obviously just too much for him. Too much ground… too many players… too much pressure to make the right tackel/pass/ run.
    Call me crazy… but it can’t be any worse than the DMB to left back debacle.

    Reply

    • I like the Rico to LB experiment idea. Worth giving him a run out in a minor friendly.

      As for the Baby Sweats conundrum, I just don’t see him and the USMNT continuing to flourish as one of the holders in the 4-2-3-1. If Jermaine Jones is the real deal, or Edu continues to develop into the American Marco Senna (circa 2007) we could probably switch to a 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-3-2 with Bradley given more of a free roaming role to make his late runs into the box, while also giving other midfielders a chance to prove their worth.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2010/09/28 at 6:12 AM

        What to do with Michael Bradley is going to be a big problem this cycle. Holden is clearly a better fit as the distributor in midfield. Edu is clearly better as an out and out holding mid. Jones is just clearly better. Bradley shouldn’t be put into the position that he has been because it’s not his best position on the field. Unfortunately, his father is the coach and I think that will cause some problems because he happens to play in a position where the US is loaded with talent.

        I’d rather see Bornstein at LB than Clark. I don’t want Clark even in the squad because then he’s available for Bradley to use over Edu.

        Reply

      • Posted by Mud on 2010/09/28 at 8:10 AM

        @the above 4-1-4-1 comment. How does this look?

        ———————–Altidore—————-
        —-Dono——-Holden————-Edu——–Dempsey
        ————————Bradley—————————
        Lichaj———–Goodson/Boca——–Omar——–Spector
        ————————Guzan——————————

        Reply

        • I’d rather see Bradley and Edu switched. Though Baby Sweats is best when running from deep, I don’t see him in the Defensive/Holding Mid Role.

          Reply

  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/09/28 at 5:12 AM

    “Failing to develop a capable central defender-in-waiting beyond the elder statesmen of DeMerit, Bocanegra or Onyewu or….” I agree with this statement. Bradley put all of his eggs in one basket which proved to be risky.

    *And* many TSG commentators were saying how they thought a “80%” fit Onyewu was a better option than a “100% fit XYZ”. Which circles back to Matt’s original statement.

    Reply

    • I thought it was crazy to not give Clarence Goodson a look after he was so effective in the friendlies leading up to the Cup. He seemed to be in great form at the time and you have to take advantage of guys like that… ie Clint Mathis in 2002. I just have a really hard time believing Onyewu at 80% or Bocanegra with his mental lapses was a better option.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Erik the Orange on 2010/09/28 at 5:53 AM

    So, just digesting a few things from this one. For starters, nice work on shoving off and getting the Bradley dinghy offshore and into the vast sea of what is the USMNT talk, good piece.

    I take issue with just one or two statements you make. For starters, and I’m not playing the homer here, I think to point out the El Salvador and T&T games as indicative of how a top 16 team should NOT find itself is a bit rash. While I agree that a team as “good” as the USMNT should dominate a team as “weak” as the two mentioned, you still have to play the game. “Good” teams find ways to win even when they have an off night. That said, yes, “good” teams also should not play down to the level of their opposition, assuming that opposition is “weaker” than them. As you know, WC qualification is a lengthy process, games in horrible conditions, etc etc. We just are not going to see the Nats go into each of these games against weaker teams and dominate every time.

    The best defense is a good offense. Ok, that’s an overused hyperbole, but in my opinion our problems at left back and more notably (well noted) in central defense will go away if someone can find the back of the net. I don’t care if it’s a forward, mid, Timmy, anyone…and I believe that with our glut of mids and lack of many options at fwd that we will be playing in the trendy 4-2-3-1 until someone can pull away and identify themselves as a must play forward.

    Reply

    • Posted by John on 2010/09/28 at 8:01 AM

      We DID find the net during the world cup. Not at a great clip and not with regularity, but our defense coughed it up.

      Spain didn’t win by scoring 9 – 0.
      They were the 6th highest scoring team in the tournament despite playing 2 more games than 2 of the teams above them.

      Their big difference?

      Goals For – 8 Goals against – 2

      Our Record

      Goals For – 5 Goals against – 5

      So, despite playing 3 less games than Spain we almost scored as many, but we let in just as many as we scored.

      Reply

  4. Posted by mbw on 2010/09/28 at 8:03 AM

    This is a really good piece.

    4 & 5: Who knows. How much longer Dempsey will last is anyone’s guess. Altidore looks to be entrenched unless/until someone like Tony Taylor or a naturalized Danny Mwanga emerges. Buddle is a credible option for 2011, but it’s hard to imagine him being the guy for 2014. There’s a lot riding on Jozy’s progress.

    3: I’m not sure how much of the centerback issue was Bradley’s fault. The centerbacks were one of our strengths in the Confederations Cup, and likely would have remained such had Gooch not gotten hurt. And many of the central breakdowns in the World Cup had as much to do with the midfielders as the centerbacks. This seems likely to remain a problem, as I don’t think you can compare the talent level of the current group — Gonzalez, Goodson, Marshall — to where Gooch and Bocanegra were four years ago.

    2B: Amen.

    2A: Isn’t this the most important thing to get out of the October friendlies — a sense of how the different midfield options will work? First look might be a MB-Jones/Edu holding tandem, Holden as a central midfielder, with Feilhaber and Bedoya wide (presuming Donovan’s out on account of MLS). Maybe see how Holden and Bradley play together in a 4-4-2, Holden and Edu, Jones and Bradley, etc.

    Reply

    • Posted by Erik the Orange on 2010/09/28 at 8:45 AM

      Something to add concerning the midfield…

      I think to say that Dempsey is a shoo-in for our starting XI is not a given. Also, many are commenting on Holden’s role in the middle. Remember that he played wing mid for the USMNT, and filled that role quite well. With Dempsey as a possibility, I could see Holden growing into the wing role as he has plenty of speed and great work rate. With the abundance of center mids we have, just because Holden has been playing very well centrally for the Wanderers doesn’t mean he will play central for the USMNT. My opinion.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Mud on 2010/09/28 at 8:04 AM

    I would like to see Lichaj at LB over a MF man

    Reply

  6. Posted by Mud on 2010/09/28 at 8:09 AM

    @the above 4-1-4-1 comment. How does this look?

    ———————–Altidore—————-
    —-Dono——-Holden————-Edu——–Dempsey
    ————————Bradley—————————
    Lichaj———–Goodson/Boca——–Omar——–Spector
    ————————Guzan——————————

    Reply

  7. Posted by jellenp on 2010/09/28 at 8:23 AM

    I’m obsessing on the Altidore question. Why does his management think he will develop while warming a bench overseas – even if it is on the bench of one of the most prestigious clubs? I don’t know enough about behind-the-scenes soccer, but does U.S.S. Bradley et al and Team Altidore have any discussions on this subject?

    I had the pleasure of watching a young Benni McCarthy astound and captivate in Bafana Bafana’s front lines – and now he’s aging and overweight, shuttling amongst a variety of clubs with little impact, not even fit for national team duty when his country hosted the Cup. Of course youthful promise does not always pan out – but don’t we need this guy?

    And, staying on your point #5, do you see Buddle in the picture at all?

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/09/28 at 8:46 AM

      I think Altidore, much like Freddy Adu–and this probably should be its own post–is a victim of frivolous spending when the economy was in good times.

      Thus, two players who were bought with decent transfer fees ($10M and $2M) respectively and command decent salaries are caught in a plight of their clubs looking to get value for them but their talent not yet on par with what is needed to compete.

      In the case of Freddy Adu, he may never get there. In the case of Jozy Altidore as was witnessed at Hull last year, he needs some seasoning against penultimate competition for a year or so.

      (Not sure I answered your question, but Altidore is at the mercy of his club for the most part).

      In terms of Buddle, I was thinking about this again this morning and without going back to my issues with his (and Stu Holden’s) World Cup playing time.

      He easily has better off-the-ball movement and a first touch than Altidore.

      He’s just never really gotten his chance with the 1st team. In the two games he started for Team USA he had a solid 1st half against the Czech Republic in Hartford and scored and was a general menace against Australia notching a brace.

      He’s still in the picture and more so since he had a few years with nagging injuries, he’s not run down yet. His plight should be interesting under Bradley.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2010/09/28 at 1:06 PM

        I disagree: Buddle is terribly overrated by people who want some sort of, any change. He’s a striker who got hot for half of the season (and isn’t hot anymore). He’s sort of mindlessly aggressive (running the ball directly into guys all of the time even though he’s not agile enough to get around them and not a great finisher for Galaxy. There’s a reason he was barely on the radar until his hot streak.

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/09/28 at 1:14 PM

          Completely disagree.

          Buddle was on the radar after he scored 17 goals two years ago in MLS. He battled alcohol problems and fitness.

          Right now for Los Angeles, he’s beyond worn down. The team has no other support for him up top.

          That the Galaxy are playing Jovan Kirovski (who almost retired before this year) as his supporting striker is almost a joke.

          Not only does Buddle work endlessly to make runs all over the field, he often has to hold off more than one defender as he holds up the ball waiting for the Galaxy to get in place.

          The challenge with Buddle is that I think he’ll have a lot of difficulty in a two striker system.

          Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2010/09/28 at 2:19 PM

          Agree: Bowen should be playing instead of Kirovski, think that’s Arena being dumb/crazy.

          Buddle was on the radar as someone who battled those problems, not as someone with an especially high level of play. To me he’s another player who’s good at the MLS level but not an international-caliber play. To put it another way, I have little doubt Jozy would duplicate or exceed Buddle’s feats at the Galaxy were Arena to play him sensibly (and given Arena’s strange affection for certain elderly Galaxy players, I submit that this is not guaranteed.)

          Reply

  8. Posted by Paul on 2010/09/28 at 8:26 AM

    Here’s more to love about Holden:

    Top Tackler in the EPL, according to Sky Sports

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705370,00.html

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/09/28 at 8:46 AM

      Thanks for this Paul.

      Reply

    • That definitely feels right… I’ve had the chance to watch Holden in 3 games for Bolton, and he has been spectacular defensively, not to mention very valuable on the offensive end as well. I’m really excited for what he can bring to the USMNT over the next 4 years.

      Reply

  9. Posted by KickinNames.... on 2010/09/28 at 1:31 PM

    This piece is yet another phenomenal example of what makes this site great.

    re Jozy- we don’t really like to talk about this but whether you’re 20 or 30 there are some things that a intl level striker has to have as native skills and personality traits: 1) first touch that sets up the next move 2) that pure desire to score goals 3) complete lack of conscience when attacking the goal 4) fitness combined with hustle. I don’t see him possessing any of the above at intl level at present and combined with his laziness off the ball it’s difficult to see when the maturation process happens.

    re Demps- I don’t know that Dempsey is that irreplaceable. If Holden can contribute a few goals and defensive work rate for 90 mins that pretty much occupies the wing MF role that Demps has held down. I like him as a player and for his swagga but the facts are the facts.

    re CBs- Let’s not forget how dominating Onyewu/Demerit was at Confeds cup just last summer. A novel pairing as Demerit was fairly unknown that BB has to get credit for. Gooch getting hurt was a major blow to that plan and couldn’t be foreseen. Gooch starting in WC on 1 leg is an entirely different matter and fits right into the “Gameday Bob” concerns that we all have. I think with Goodson/Gonzalez etc he can find a solid combo going forward but that will mean biting the bullet on Boca and Gooch for the next few friendlies and getting the young bucks PT.
    BTW- I really like the Clark at LB idea. Really. Just for the reasons that he fails so miserably at CDM. He’s a phenomenal athlete with great speed going forward that you’d love to have on the field. Give him ONE job in a limited sector of the field and utilize his tackling and speed while limiting the damage he can do with too much responsibility. I like it. Plus it keeps Jonny Hot Potato on the bench at least. ))

    I’ve used up my electron allotment but I can applaud your analysis of the MB conundrum that we’ve been shouting about for yrs now. If for no other reason, this one alone necessitated a coaching change to move the team forward. I will be shocked and publicly apologetic if BB is able to navigate thru his prior blinds spots with Mikey. Shock me Bob!!

    Bob doesn’t do game plans well. Not sure if this requires delegation, greater staff input or what but there is enough evidence to see that both player selection and tactics far too often handicap this team. Their athleticism and grit have saved Bobs bacon a number of times in pulling out results from bad first half game plans.

    Great stuff and thanks for the brain work.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/09/30 at 7:12 AM

      With the way football has evolved, the ‘modern’ full back is a really important player for the team. Just look at Maicon or Ramos and Cole or Lahm.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/09/30 at 7:27 AM

        Or Steve Cherundolo or….Sean Franklin.

        Reply

        • I just caught this in the Guardian:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/oct/26/the-question-barcelona-reinventing-w-w

          It talks about the W-W formation (a variant of the old W-M) which Barca are actually using instead of their documented 4-3-3.

          I think the US could definitely pull this off against the weaker competition of CONCACAF who like to sit back and park the bus, but our centerbacks aren’t quite cultured enough at the highest levels of the game. We have the CDM for it in Edu/Jones and it would definitely open up Donovan and Dempsey to “find the game” in a manner that better suits their skillset.

          My only issues with the formation and its roles & responsibilities is that when the opposition is well drilled and disciplines, like Copenhagen was in last night’s Champs League game, the formation can stutter. Or maybe it’s just Barca’s stubborness to do it their way that caused them to stutter last night (man they could’ve used a player like Ibra in that game).

          Reply

  10. Posted by Seybold on 2010/09/28 at 8:49 PM

    Many thanks for an excellent article, and laying it all out. Well done.

    I think the key question is: what does the USA need to do to succeed at a higher level? Looking at the top teams in the World Cup, you need:

    * a true creator in the center of the pitch, and a formation that accommodates that player well. I think it needs to be 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with Holden in the central creative role.

    * disciplined central mids, generally 2 defensively oriented. Bradley could be one of them, and go forward occasionally, but he needs to be more disciplined. He plays like a traditional box to box English midfielder circa 1985, and is great at that style, but that won’t get you to the quarterfinals of the WC these days, even if it’s enough to steamroll CONCACAF competition.

    I agree the USA needs to move to a one striker formation–or have that as an option at the very least. I wonder if Dempsey is worth a shot all alone up top–that might make it easier to accommodate one of the central midfielders–e.g. Feilhaber on the left drifting central (vs Ghana) or Holden on the right, with Donovan on the other side.

    And I’m not taking the Taylor Twellman bait!

    Reply

  11. Posted by SteveM11 on 2010/11/03 at 6:39 AM

    These are all reasons BB should not have been resigned. But it’s too late for that. He has to put Edu and Holden on the field like they belong no matter where his son wants to play! If not, see you at Chivas USA. Bradley is a good player, but he is a tier below both of them.

    Also, I don’t know Jozy, personally, so I don’t know what his passion and workrate are, but if he doesn’t truly work hard and give his all, than let’s move on.

    Reply

  12. Posted by narkid on 2010/11/04 at 4:10 PM

    you know what is interesting about the picture from the sept 5th el salvador game is that the gme ended with beckerman and torres on the pitch. these are good players, but it seems like this game did not have the full force of the usa power. isnt 15 chad marshall? spector is weak, its time to get off this train because he just does not have it at the moment and has never done anything really special. i think the last time he played central defense in the epl he scored an own goal. maybe spector is now behind the villa defender and that is not saying much.

    Reply

  13. [...] the Archives: September 2010: 5 To Confront for Sweats II: The five issues that Bob Bradley must confront as he steams the boat to World Cup [...]

    Reply

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