USA vs. Mexico Preview: Will The Kaiser Roll?

Thomas Dooley, chosen as an assistant coach by Jurgen Klinsmann, for USA-Mexico this Wednesday. Here, getting ahead of Mexico in the 1995 Copa America...

Slapped on the schedule right after the Gold Cup, the US-Mexico clash looked like nothing more than a money grab by US Soccer.

With the outstanding ratings of the Gold Cup final, Sunil Gulati and chums eyes surely widened at the vats of creamcheesy cash that they figured could be made in Philadelphia.

Assuming the throne...

With the sudden termination of stoic Bob Bradley and the insertion of media darling and tabbed savior Jurgen Klinsmann the match’s importance changes for USSF.

Wednesday, the USMNT takes on Mexico’s El Tri at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

It’s new beginnings for the US under the guise of a dig-the-trench rivalry. In fact none other than Freddy Adu coined it best when he tweeted this week, “Should I rent Avatar or Dark Knight.”…oops wrong tweet, when he tweeted “Did you guys see Mexico’s roster? Like I said there is no such thing as a friendly against Mexico.”

But at the end of the day Wednesday–and leading into the game–it’s all about perceptions and messaging as one game does not a coronation define, for the good or the bad.

Consider some of the following:

» With a roster so laden with Mexican leaguers, USSF appears to be firing a shot across the border at Mexico with the pronouncement, “Miguel Ponce and Joe Corona may go your way, but we’re taking this ‘game’ seriously now.”

Will we see a radical infusion of “Latinos” in the starting line-up? Probably not.

» One “Primerican” that isn’t there? Jonathan Bornstein. Add in the absence of Sacha Kljestan–admittedly in action already this campaign–…or even Benny Feilhaber and Jurgen Klinsmann’s first camp clears out some of Bob Bradley’s entrenched regime or pet projects. Note: Robbie Rogers was brought in to replace Maurice Edu on the roster however Klinsmann actually played with Rogers on a semi-pro team in California upon a time.

An asterisk no longer....

» Yes, Michael Bradley is there, but so are now five other central midfielders who will seemingly vie for two or three spots max. That means that Junior Bradley–considered a “core” member of his father’s regime (beyond the genetic ties) is likely no longer core and in a fight for his position for the first time since he manicured a bushel of hair on his dome back in 2006.

With little time to install too much new, expect to see a somewhat similar game plan to that used by the States in the Gold Cup final with two exceptions.

First, by both by design and because the Gold Cup performance was so sub-standard, expect the States backline to both perform better and for the fullbacks to get ahead in the attack much more than that demoralizing day in July.

And second, the US got overrun in the central midfield by their elder El Tri counterparts that day. The US will certainly maintain better shape and the new manager may install a third central midfielder to control the critical part of the field.

On to our customary TSG preview, it goes:

TSG What Are We Looking For/At

The Opponent*

11 At The Whistle

Disclaimers

(Note, we’ll eschew the bulk of our “The Opponent” section and refer primarily to the write-up from July.)

TSG What Are We Looking For/At

• Fighting fire with fire.

It took nearly all of Bob Bradley’s tenure to finally push an off-footed Eric Lichaj to rightback. Bradley had only three players at leftback during his tenure who played consecutive games there.

Once upon a time--2008--Heath Pearce was the heir apparent at leftback.

There was of course Carlos Bocaengra, a Bradley “ol’ reliable” so to speak. Heath Pearce, who rentedthe spot in 2007-2008. Jonathan Bornstein, who sublet in 2009.

With all three of, the tendency to get up the flank was muted. For Bocanegra it was ability, for Bornstein it was no-how and being unassure of his ability and with Pearce, it was a tendency to let little miscues ruin entire sections of games. (Looking for a reason Pearce didn’t go to South Africa? That’s it.)

You can guarantee one thing in the Klinsmann era. The German maestro will do everything in his power to push the fullbacks up the flanks. No more tethering which was so pronounced on the US’s left side with Bocanegra patrolling.

What will be interesting on Wednesday is if Heath Pearce gets a runout there or Edgar Castillo–who has bounced around a home for the most part in the Primera.

If Castillo is printed on the starting team sheet and performs–his past two club seasons hardly point to this as a given–you can imagine fans will express frustation that he didn’t get more of a chance during the 2010 cycle.

• Dual quarterbacks, new quarterbacks, no quarterbacks?

Under Bob Bradley, trust, specifically in his son’s abilities, dictated that Michael Bradley would come back and be the bearer of the ball out of the backfield when the other team sat back or the US built after a dead ball. His play was uneven at best. Bradley had the highest pass completion percentage at the Gold Cup–his number hovering around 90%, but that stat doesn’t tell the story.

Though somewhat shackled by a lack of movement ahead of him, Bradley typically did not threaten with the ball and struggled to initiate the offense. A careful look at both the penultimate game against Panama and the final shows two well-schooled teams that actually invited Bradley’s attempt to incise then shut him off when he dribbled into traffic. (Go ahead, watch the tape.)

Under Klinsmann it is expected that he will not use two defensive midfielders. However,  it was Klinsmann when he was in his German national team stewardship who moved star Michael Ballack back in pairing with Torsten Frings to support the backline and provide more linking from the back.

I expect Klinsmann to use two central midfielders in this one to cover the rear of fullback advances. I also expect that Michael Bradley won’t be the lone quarterback any longer.

A note on the opponent

Out for this one.

With the United States certainly more organized than a month ago when a Cherundolo injury through the final 80-odd minutes of the Gold Cup final into defensive chaos, it will be a welcome sight–friendly or not–to not see the name “Chicharito” on the team sheet.

Expect much of the same–The Dos Santos Swivel–as we described here from El Tri though.

11 At The Whistle

The skinny: Um, hard to predict, no? This mini-camp is about competition as Klinsmann stated, I would expect some line-up changes, but not massive ones.

It’s as good a bet as any that Klinsmann will go with some hybrid of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 as he looks to press the opposition up the pitch perhaps a little more in this game than his predecessor did in the last one.

Upon even a cursory inspection of the roster, it shows almost a spot-on manu-et-manu “competition” (I’m using that word lightly) at nearly every spot, especially if it’s 4-3-3ish.

Howard and Hamid. Cherundolo and now Loyd. Orozco and Goodson. Bocanegra and Ream. Pearce and Castillo.

And in the midfield….let’s assume a narrow 4-3-3. Jones and Beckerman. Clark and Bradley. Edu and Torres.

At forward. Adu and Donovan versus Shea and Beasley.

And striker. Agudelo and Buddle.

That said, Maurice Edu has been dropped and with the late notice Robbie Rogers has been dropped in. Probably doesn’t impact anything, but worth noting.

We move on to a shot at the starters.

A possible US deployment....here on the attack.

G: Tim Howard 

The skinny: This one isn’t….though I’d like to see Hamid run out later in the game if there is a lead to see how he copes with the fastest game he’s seen yet.

DEF: Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Heath Pearce 

The skinny: I just can’t see Castillo starting outright on the left. I think the backline is status quo with Pearce getting the nod on the left, because of both his offensive chops that cater to the flank, and he’ll likely be the main foil for Gio Dos Santos.

CDM: Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones

The skinny: You could just as easily put  Jose Torres in the Beckerman role. I think Klinsmann goes with Beckerman here if only because….well can you see Jose Torres covering over a flank if Pearce or Dolo is up the pitch and Gio Dos Santos is bearing down?

Nope, neither can I.

CM: Michael Bradley

The skinny: If this is the case and Bradley’s pushed higher up the pitch and relieved of ball distribution, color me a happy fellow.

Bradley’s still needed–with little time to prepare–to direct and funnel traffic on defense. On offense he gets to pressure higher and perhaps run on to a shot or too.

Oh and with three central midfielders the US won’t get overrun in the center of the pitch like they did a month ago.

FW: Freddy Adu, Landon Donovan.

The skinny: Much like Clint Dempsey and Donovan do in many a US game, expect Freddy Adu and Landon Donovan to switch if the situation dictates.

However, if Klinsmann and company push the wings up, having Adu and Donovan inverted–that is cutting in from a wide position on their stronger foot–makes a lot of sense.

STR: Edson Buddle

The skinny: Neither forward is an automatic starter for their club team; Agudelo less so. Buddle’s more seasoned, a better target forward at this juncture and better in the air against what will be an aerially-deficient Mexican central defense.

Disclaimers

What fans want to see...

Jose Torres mans the pivot and pushes Bradley to a defensive role. Beckerman to the pine.

» This will be your popular deployment in the media this week if only because of Bob Bradley’s seemingly freeze-out of Torres from time to time. It’s possible; however I think Klinsmann wants to see more of Torres and is probably less inclined to start him here with little time with the team–actually zero time–since the World Cup.

Column contributor Jay Bell adds, “Klinsmann could be looking at how Torres does in the advanced position as a gauge to see how Holden could do in that role.”

Odds: 49%

Klinsmann gets offensive and goes 4-2-3-1 putting out a forward line of Adu, Donovan and either Beasley or Shea.

» Seems a little too much change here.

Odds: 20%

Castillo for Pearce.

» Nearly a toss-up

Odds: 40%

Agudelo for Buddle.

» Same, slightly better odds

Odds: 42%

—-

Housekeeping note: Our “Bradley’s Clipboard” series will now become either Klinsmann’s Klipboard or Klinsman’s Kindle. Your call.


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64 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KMac on 2011/08/08 at 1:52 AM

    Klipboard or Kindle might also be the “Kli-Pad”

    Reply

  2. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/08 at 2:03 AM

    Great preview as always Matt. Very excited to watch this game and learn some things about Klinsi’s view for the team.

    Reply

  3. Posted by biff on 2011/08/08 at 2:57 AM

    Excellent preview. Thanks. But I see MB being more valuable as a DCM. Plus, he has not played at all in Germany since the Gold Cup and might be a bit rusty on ball control. I can’t wait for this match…but why would Klinsmann waste a slot on Ricardo Clark. I hope Ricardo proves me wrong, but I just don’t see it.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/08 at 5:42 AM

    MB90 linked with a move to Bologna. Let me rephrase. Bologna are rumored to be interested in MB90

    Reply

    • Posted by scipio on 2011/08/08 at 9:52 AM

      you’re full of bologna!

      …I apologize. That sounded a lot better in my head. My firm works us to death and it takes a toll on your wits

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/08 at 1:01 PM

        At least you don’t have to get up at 4 every morning. And I speak the truth in that it’s a rumor. I’ll do my tsg rumor calculations later…

        Reply

  5. Posted by Crow on 2011/08/08 at 5:48 AM

    Being the Amazon fan that I am, I’ll go with Kindle.

    Reply

  6. Posted by ruben p on 2011/08/08 at 6:22 AM

    USA is beginning a new chapter, with a new team…I can’t see USNT beating Mexico..They still lack depth, no forwards..Torres and Castillo are not in their prime and have been sauce as of lately..Defense still looks penetrable..I will be in Philly to root for Mexico…With Mexico taking advantage of FIFA date to play with A team, expect US to be chasing the ball for most of the game…Tim Howard will be owned by Gio again..

    Reply

    • Let’s not get carried away Ruben. US chases game against Mexico quite a bit- hadn’t really affected results A team vs A team until this summer– and the US with Cherundolo is a different animal up dos a cero than without him. Throw in the fact that El Tri without Chicharito is a different animal as well, and you get the general idea.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/08 at 6:27 AM

    Coach Sweats to Egypt? That’ll be good for US Soccer if it happens, good move for him too, they can create but need some defensive stability.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Charlie G. on 2011/08/08 at 7:16 AM

    Dawn of a new era – MB70 ?

    …..maybe “Jürgen’s Jottings” ?

    (my first umlaut ever!)

    Reply

  9. Idea for a column. This is probably already in the works but a “Crib Notes” type column on who the USMNT fan community would like Klinsmann to call-in in the near term and over the next year would be perfect post Mexico dos.

    Klinsy admits that he doesn’t know all the player pool yet and had to call MLS coaches to get ideas on who to bring in. Yes he will be starting to watch more matches and evaluate himself, but why not jump start that transition?

    Thinking of a ranking by position of possible players to call up to the senior team who have not significantly appeared before. Let the community debate and send it to Klinsy.
    Should George John, Brad Davis, or Zak Whitbread be called in for Sept?….

    Reply

  10. Better title: Krib notes for Klinsmann

    Reply

  11. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/08 at 9:51 AM

    KlinsMail!

    Reply

  12. Klin’s Men

    Reply

  13. Would be interested to see Donovan in the hole behind Buddle with Torres as a holding-mid and Bradley/Jones for the defensive mid. Shea and Adu on the wings.

    Reply

  14. Posted by kaya on 2011/08/08 at 10:23 AM

    Not sure how I feel about crowd sourcing our roster, but looking at that pic of Klinsi at the podium, I suddenly realize how badly the US Soccer logo needs to be updated.
    Maybe this has already been discussed, but how likely is it that MB will actually be amenable to a guy’s game plan that “took his dad’s job”? I knew Junior had a bit of a temper, but was really surprised to read about his run-in with Wynalda (which I read only after coach sweats was laid off.) I seldom feel compelled to agree with Wynalda, but it sounds to me like MB really does need to “grow the f_ up.”

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 11:32 AM

      You don’t get to Klinsmann’s achievements without having a large ego or dealing with large egos. Not worried at all about his ability to put Bradley firmly in his place.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/08 at 11:46 AM

        I’m not worried about Klinsmann’s ability but in MB90’s inability to take criticism from anyone and seeming inability to get along with coaches other than his father (see Gladbach situation). He fell out with Frontzeck and now is apparently making it clear to Favre that he doesn’t want to be there. All Wynalda said was that he shouldn’t be starting over guys that are getting playing time and MB90 nearly fought him. He definitely does need to grow up.

        You would think that he and Wynalda would commiserate together if the recent story about MB90’s relationship is true.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 11:54 AM

          This isn’t quite accurate.

          Media reports have Bradley showing up in training and working hard, as his wont; however, the issue is more club management (= technical director) who want to cash in on him. Favre doesn’t seem particularly pro- or anti-Bradley, which makes sense as he arrived after Bradley left.

          The Frontzeck issue had little to do with Bradley being able to accept criticism or not; it had to do with Frontzeck benching Bradley for no other reason than to try to shake things up. By and large, Bradley was popular with his teammates–he was elected before last season to the player’s council–and with fans (he and Reus were the only consistent performers in ‘gladbach’s disastrous first half-season.) There’s been some odd historical revisionism with the Bradley record.

          Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 12:39 PM

            I read on goal.com that Bradley was benched due to his poor attitude and reaction to the manager’s criticism.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 12:53 PM

              Goal.com is generally self-refuting, isn’t it?

              Direct quote from Frontzeck was something like: “I wanted to try everything so I couldn’t be accused of not having tried everything.”

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 1:09 PM

              Frontzek quote from SI: “It’s really less about the error, as the way he handles it. As a young player, you have to realize mistake”.

              IMO, he got too cocky and arrogant as an untouchable on the US team. I don’t subscribe to benching somebody just to “stamp your authority” though.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 1:37 PM

              Oh yeah, I remember that latter quote from Frontzeck. That was an after-the-fact one, wasn’t it (in the Wynalda-Bradley thing?). At the time he claimed he benched Bradley for the reasons I stated above. To be fair, the team were massively underachieving and it makes sense he’d want to throw feces against the wall to see what stuck. Still, if I were Bradley I’d be pissed off too.

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/08 at 1:49 PM

              I remember that quote now too but couldn’t remember where it was from.

              If Bradley was benched for no reason then he does have a right to be pissed. That doesn’t mean you demand a transfer immediately. If that was the case then Dempsey would have been gone from Fulham a long time ago. You combine the quote from Frontzeck, the altercation with Wynalda and previous comments he’s made when people questioned his father and he clearly doesn’t deal well with criticism. That’s going to be an issue until he learns to deal with it.

              I’m not sure how the team is cashing in on him considering I’ve seen rumors that state he’s up for sale at 5 million euros. That’s a small amount for most European transfers these day and yet nobody seems to want him.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 2:16 PM

              Regardless, this is not good for the USA. One of your better players is at a club where he doesn’t feature in the team’s plans. If he cannot secure a transfer or loan, does that mean he trains with the reserves and gets zero playing time? Talk about definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/08 at 2:27 PM

              Definitely not a good thing. We routinely have some of our better players in Europe on the bench for long stretches. MB90 needs to do whatever it takes to get out of there.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/08/08 at 2:53 PM

              Here’s a quote from a Goff post today on the USMNT training camp:

              Speaking of Bradley, he will move to a new club soon after a split with Moenchengladbach.

              Does Goff have some dirt, or did he carelessly leave out a modifier like “hopefully” or “presumably”.

              On one hand it’s unlike him to be careless, on the other if you have some goods why bury them in a throwaway line at the end of a post on another subject?

      • Posted by kaya on 2011/08/08 at 2:22 PM

        To be sure, I’m not really worried about Klinsmann when it comes to ego management, but if a player wants to sulk, there’s only so much even the best personality management can muster.
        I remember watching the Studio 90 in South Africa with Michael Bradley and thinking “wow, this guy is intense”, but I also figured he had jedi compartmentalization skills like his dad appears to. Either MB takes after his mom or he’s an example of youth being wasted on the young.
        Regardless, while I’m beyond happy to see the end of the father-son Axis of Midfield Era, I hope Junior can bring his strengths to a different role for the USMNT going forward but also wonder if he’s got the fortitude.

        Reply

    • Posted by kaya on 2011/08/08 at 2:28 PM

      I still think Klinsmann looks photoshopped onto a 1980s podium.

      Reply

  15. Posted by Russell on 2011/08/08 at 10:45 AM

    As a fan I agree with your “what the fans want”.
    However I would shift the personnel Counter clockwise one notch.

    This puts Jones as the deep destroyer. Torres as the floater playing a little deeper coming back to receive passes and setting tempo. Bradley the more forward role making late runs and in good position to be a link during quick counters.

    Reply

  16. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 11:13 AM

    Will Mr. Klinsmann be wearing a tracksuit Wednesday night?

    Reply

  17. Posted by dude on 2011/08/08 at 11:32 AM

    Yeah, wouldn’t be surprised if Adu started in the central playmaking role. For me, it’s Buddle with Donovan and Shea on the wings and Adu playing in behind.

    Reply

  18. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2011/08/08 at 12:57 PM

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is a fantastically exciting time. We have a chance to remake ourselves before the next World Cup. Let’s see what ideas JK brings to the table. I’m encouraged by the things he’s said so far and by the players he’s brought in on short notice.

    I don’t REALLY care about what happens vs. Mexico (I do care a bit) but I’m excited to see some little-used players get a shot.

    Reply

    • Posted by mbw on 2011/08/08 at 1:55 PM

      I agree, though it’s also tempting to look ahead to ca. 2013, when the current 17-21 year-olds are ready to play a bigger part in the senior team. If things go well for guys like Lichaj, Chandler, Jozy, et al., if a few of the older players remain productive, if Stu reestablishes himself, and if a few of the promising young guys break out, the picture could look very different from what we’ve been discussing here post-Gold Cup. But who knows?

      Reply

  19. Posted by John Henry on 2011/08/08 at 1:22 PM

    So many people elsewhere are calling for someone to become our “traditional number 10″, forgetting apparently, that almost no one plays like that anymore. Of course not here at TSG; that’s a nice lineup!

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 1:35 PM

      You know, you hear this a lot…but I think this is very much incorrect. I can’t speak to the history of world soccer, etc., but it seems to me that the good European teams either play with a number 10 or someone (or multiple someones) who can play like a number 10.

      England:
      Arsenal, of course, play with a number 10 (Fabregas). They actually play two players with #10 characteristics (Nasri, Fabregas).

      Tottenham play van der Vaart.

      Chelsea wants Luka Modric so they can play him as a #10.

      Manchester United often play Rooney as a #10 and seem to want Wesley Sneijder.

      Manchester City don’t really play #10; instead, they acquire #10s and leave them on the bench so crucial players like Gareth Barry can get a run-out.

      Spain:
      Real Madrid play Ozil.
      Barca don’t really play with a singular central creative hub (though Thiago, whenever he’s on the field, tries to be one), though of course Xavi, Messi and Iniesta are themselves.
      Valencia play with Mata.

      Germany:
      Bayern interchange Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller in the role.
      Bayer use Renato Augusto.
      Dortmund interchange Mario Goetze and Shinji Kagawa.

      Italy:
      AC Milan don’t use them.
      Inter uses Sneijder.
      Udinese used Sanchez that way; obviously he’s gone now.
      Palermo used Pastore that way; obviously he’s gone now.

      Anyway, it’s difficult for me to detect unpopularity on the part of #10s, unless the declinists are claiming virtually every team played a trequartista back in the day, which seems unlikely.

      Reply

      • Good stuff. Wrong about Milan though- who utilized Seedorf as one for a long, long while.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 2:14 PM

          Yeah, but I meant right now–Seedorf is more of a shuttler and Prince-Boateng plays the most advanced role (and he’s not exactly a #10).

          Reply

          • Posted by Neil W. Blackmon on 2011/08/08 at 2:33 PM

            Fair enough- just pointing out that it read as if the suggestion was Milan doesn’t– and they did for years with Seedorf. Correct re: Boateng now. Great stuff anyway.

            Reply

      • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/08 at 2:20 PM

        I’d argue that City does use a #10 in David Silva. Just my opinion though, but he does fit the 10 mold.
        Ligue 1 is another place with #10s a plenty like Marvin Martens and Younn Gourcuff.

        Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/08 at 3:12 PM

        Fair points as always DTH. Agree with Silva being used more this year as a #10 as Tevez (the former #10) will check out.

        For Barca, when they need a #10, that’s obviously played by either Messi or Iniesta depending on the situation. I can’t believe I just wrote that last line. That should be criminal.

        Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/08 at 3:15 PM

      On the #10 for the States, I’d have to give that role to Dempsey now the way he was used at the Gold Cup. He can now take people on or drop off a nice pass (he didn’t always have the nice pass in the past.)

      I’m really interested to see how the US goes about morphing in the Klinsmann error.

      My hunch, the US will press up more creating a need more for a Xavi role (Torres in consideration, as will be Holden or Bradley) with two CDMs (like Busquest and Alonso) behind them.

      The US gets overrun in the midfield on the return counter because Bradley has pushed up leaving an aging Jones and a defensive line that never came up far enough in the Gold Cup. That–at least–in my opinion changes.

      Reply

  20. Posted by Darth Yoda on 2011/08/08 at 3:37 PM

    i’m not sure the author understands how the 451 and its variants work. in the 4231, as depicted in the picture, you do not expect the position at the top of midfield triangle to be the defensive traffic police. this is the position to be the final link in the attack. bradley does not posses the necessary qualities for this position. his role is a box-to-box CM.

    a poster above mentioned a few #10 type players. again, mike bradley has no resemblance to any of these players’ qualities.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/08 at 3:46 PM

      Thanks for the feedback Darth and valid points.

      That said, a game where Bradley looked great in the very role you are witnessing there is pushed up against the Netherlands in the friendly where he in fact did inhabit the role you see there.

      He’s certainly not ideal for that role, but he did play the hub for the US (admittedly) in a 4-2-3-1 quite a bit in the Gold Cup.

      I think Klinsmann goes with him in that role maybe just this time–it could very well be Torres (who has only started 2 of the games this session down in Mexico) if only because of the defense in the Gold Cup was predicated on Michael Bradley directing traffic.

      Again, not traditional here whatsoever. And Bradley didn’t possess the abilities to the be the initiator last cycle but that didn’t stop the elder from using him there quite a bit.

      Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/10 at 5:11 PM

      What do you think about that starting line-up?

      Reply

  21. Posted by mbw on 2011/08/08 at 3:46 PM

    Funny and telling quote from Tim Howard on ussoccer.com: “Some ideas will be different of course because it’s a different coach, but hopefully we’ll get very similar results.”

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/08 at 3:56 PM

      That’s good; thanks for sharing.

      Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/08 at 4:39 PM

      I’d hope you’d want to get better results Timmy and that attitude is part of the problem with US Soccer. How about you strive to get better results not settle for getting out of the group in the World Cup or making the final of a tournament only to blow a 2 goal lead?

      Reply

  22. Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/08/08 at 4:07 PM

    Will Americans be welcome at the game?

    Reply

  23. Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 6:25 PM

    By the way–a tangential note. Bob Bradley critics would always grouse about the importance Bradley allegedly put on forwards who could play defense (I never saw a Bob Bradley quote on the subject, which means it could be–like so much Bob Bradley criticism–an invention of their imagination), with assorted harrumphs about the forward’s job is to score, and this is the exact thing silly Americans believe and if Bob Bradley had his way he’d play eleven defensive midfielders like a discount Roberto Mancini.

    I found this point in Grant Wahl’s interview of Klinsmann to be interesting, in that light:
    …11 guys defend the moment they lose the ball. We can’t afford having two players after they lose the ball just standing there and waiting for the next attacking moment. If those players aren’t defending right away, we have a problem on the international level.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/grant_wahl/08/08/klinsmann.mexico/index.html#ixzz1UUU86xLw

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/08 at 6:44 PM

      That’s hardly a revelation, is it [at least it shouldn't be]? Just think about it for a second. How often have we heard about the importance of pressing, and pressing high up the field? Or defending from the front? Or attackers being the first defenders? Or talking about formation with the ball and without the ball?

      I strongly encourage you to watch the 1994 Champion’s League final [Capello's Milan vs Cruyff's Barcelona], a masterclass of how to press intelligently and effectively.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/08 at 6:52 PM

        No, hardly a revelation–you can’t have players loafing about the field these days; e.g. the Berbatov Chronicles.

        But Grant Wahl did another interview, with Bob Bradley, in which Bradley talked at some length about Barcelona’s pressing–which is really good, as he mentioned–and a lot of people reacted as if Bradley had suggested the key to winning soccer was to beat your opponents to death with a tire iron.

        Reply

        • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/09 at 2:59 PM

          “…11 guys defend the moment they lose the ball. We can’t afford having two players after they lose the ball just standing there and waiting for the next attacking moment. ”

          Almost every coach I ever had used to beat that axiom into us, along with, “the offense starts as soon as your defender/keeper takes control of the ball”.

          Of course, getting your players to actually do it consistently is another thing.

          I’ll be very, very curious to see if Bradley gets the Egypt job. I wonder if most US fans realize what a big deal that would be.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tux on 2011/08/09 at 11:10 PM

          “The Berbatov Chronicles” could be dubbed with American voice actors and retitled “The Altidore Chronicles.” Jozy’s got a tendency to loaf a bit on D.

          Reply

  24. [...] US – Mexico Preview via The Shin Guardian [...]

    Reply

  25. Posted by Matthew on 2011/08/09 at 10:31 PM

    “….Joe Corona may go your way…”

    When has Joe Corona been called up by either USA or Mexico (or even El Salvador)?

    MIgual Ponce is a Chiva and has played two games for Mexico, although he is not locked into Mexico, him being a Chiva makes him out of reach and not likely to ever switch to the US side.

    But Corona? Are US writers and columnists already casting him as an outcast? The only thing I have heard of him is that he is open to who ever calls him first.

    This is why i am glad Klinsmann is the new coach. Him being an immigrant and having played in different countries gives him a different point of view from Bradley and others. Plus the fact that he lives in southern California, he has been exposed to the love of “futbol” by the many Latinos we have in the US. Can we put rivalry asides for one minute and accept that clubs are clubs and national teams are national teams. I am glad Klinsmann is open to look south of the border for players to give them a chance. Fact is we already look overseas. And why? Simply because most better players compete in better leagues than the MLS (without offense to MLS fans, the Mexican Primera Division is better and one of the top three leagues of the Americas [see results from CONCACAF Champions League and CONMEBOL's Copa Libertadores]). I don’t expect players from the Mexican league to dominate the USMNT roster, but I just hate how some are so blinded by the rivalry that it hurts our own opportunities for talent.

    “US soccer should reflect the culture of the country”

    Reply

  26. [...] TSG’s Official Preview: Will The Kaiser Roll? [...]

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