USA 2 – Mexico 2: Odes & String Music To Beckerman

Walk in the park....

Walk in the park….

(The return of Will Parchman. That escalated quickly.)

I can’t do it you guys.

I know Jeff Agoos is staring at me from the bar over there.

I told him about this whole thing a couple weeks ago and I think he hates me now. I’m not trying to make enemies. I just wanted him to know I liked Julian Green. I mean, he’s young, but he’s pretty great. I told Jeff I thought he should be in Brazil the other day over our customary Thursday dinner of Grilled Cheese Martinis and Olestra Pancakes, and he just started yelling something about David Regis. How life is unfair and I think he said something about ponytails but I couldn’t make it out over all the carnage. I was running away by then.

Apologies to Jeff, but this is the first day on the new USMNT Julian Calendar. Whether or not he ends up in Brazil – which he should, as I’ve written about before and will defend – this is something like a recruiting coup during the last hour of signing day. I won’t get too deeply into the specifics or detail of my opinion because it’s all been thrown at you by verbal gymnasts more adept than I over the past couple weeks.

But I will say this – don’t hate me Jeff. I like you. But I like Julian Green too. And he doesn’t throw my Grilled Cheese Martini in my face.

Anyway, hier kommt die Mericaschaft. TO THE XI MY GREENIACS (I’m already so sorry for everything).

U.S. Soccer ‏@ussoccer 18m

#USMNT lineup (plain text version): Rimando; Beltran, Gonzalez, Besler, Parkhurst; Beckerman, Zusi, Davis, Bradley; Wondolowski, Dempsey

First reaction is FULLBACKS ARE DEAD. I don’t know what it’s like to feel confident about a fullbacking corps, but I DO know how it feels like to feel confidence in a corpse of a fullback. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED. IS THIS NOT WHY YOU ARE HERE. Anyway. We’ll see. Beltran’s started the MLS season well, as has Parkhurst, who’s splayed out a bit wider in the Crew’s scheme even as a central defender. Also, I’m not particularly fond of Gonzo, and if that makes you upset feel free to send your hate mail to my coworkers. Thanks.

Brad Davis starts on the left to give us all a stark reminder of why America needs Julian Green in its player pool. Yes? Yes. This is Klinsmann just saying SCREW ALL OF YOU I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. I don’t know why else that happens. Davis has some utility, but internationally I’ve had enough of his plaintive grunts and frustrated ears. Clint drops in behind Wondo, Graham Zusi does some shuttling on the right and hot damn am I excited to see Beckerman next to Bradley. Just a couple lovely midfielders.

This is supposedly a diamond. No way it ends up that way. No chance. Don’t care what Klinsmann wants, Bradley won’t reliably stack on Beckerman the way a diamond demands, and Dempsey won’t stay high. It’ll rearrange itself into a 4-2-3-1. Send me all of your anthrax if I’m wrong. Promise.

The rollout for the damned polo (The Damned Polo?) was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen. Time for The American Dream-sicle’s turn. You can use that. You should use that. Tell your friends.

Ian Darke’s voice fades in and immediately millions of multi-lingual babies with an encyclopedic knowledge of rich aged whiskeys are spontaneously born across the nation. Game time. Leggo.

‘1 – It’s too early to say anything, so I’m going to say something. Bradley is high. Maybe this will end up being a diamond. Should you listen to thinks I say? Hold on I’m making a Buzzfeed list about it.

‘2 – Tony Beltran already looks bad. More jokes about fullback corpses. More wine, stewards!

‘6 – Early thoughts: Parkhurst is so high. I mean the Colorado way. I also mean the tactical way. Mexico looks horribly disorganized. Beckerman and Bradley will make this look a lot more comfortable than it seems. And it probably won’t seem comfortable because Tony Beltran hates everything you hold dear.
‘9 – Wondo just gave Rafa a shove off the ball which, I mean, he plays for the Quakes but you’ve still got to root for that. Also, let’s talk about how much better Bradley is than everyone in the building tonight. My word. There’s calm, and then there’s Bill Murray, and then there’s Michael Bradley.

’13 – Odes and string music to Kyle Beckerman here. Have you seen his engagement photos? See his engagement photos.

’15 – THE DOOOOOMEEEEEEE GOOOOOALLLLLLSZZZZZ. Such marking. Many bad. Feels. Jesus Zavala just decided, you know, what the hell, who needs this bullcrap? Halfway to dos-a-cero, you know.

’20 – FIRST JULIAN GREEN SIGHTING ON THE BENCH. He sits next to DeAndre Yedlin, who was laughing because Tony Beltran is actually playing cricket right now. Drunk.

’24 – Besler flubs a header and Ian says, “Make mistakes like that against Cristiano Ronaldo and YOU’LL DIE YOU MISERABLE MAGGOTMAN.” OK. So not exactly. But I think if you wrote him, I mean, that was the gist. Are you scared? You should be scared. Omar isn’t very good.

’26 – Dempsey drops deeper than Bradley sometimes, which is not good. A sign he’s trying to prod the game open instead of letting it breathe. Bradley is settling atop Beckerman, but this is no 4-4-2. Dempsey is dropping back but needs to stay stacked on

’28 – GOAL WONDOFACEEEEE. Beltran did a thing! What! What! What! Beltran’s cross hits Bradley’s beautiful STATE CAPITAL DOME, which heads on for Wondo, who Wondo’d it Wondo tip you Wondo’d yourself. #DosACero

’30 – You’re happy about this if you’re the USMNT. I mean, you can’t be upset. Tony Beltran just did a thing. But Mexico is just John Tesh trying to sing you to sleep through a megaphone made of hypodermic needles right now. It’s sad and I can’t be apart of it.

’37 – No chance Klinsmann takes four forwards to Brazil, right? ArJo and Jozy are there. Which in my mind, with so many spots needed in midfield/defense, you either take EJ or Wondo. I know Wondo scored tonight. But he’s Wondo. Sorry, blacked out, were we talking about a third forward? I’m sad. What’s Julian Green doing right now?

’40 – Brad Davis just tried a back heel. It ended with Davis waking up in a Tijuana side street wondering why he’s covered in purple crepe paper.

’45 – Ian Darke: “THIS IS A RAZOR SHARP DISPLAY FROM THE UNITED STATES.” Yeah. What’s Clint done tonight? Why is he so high.

HALFTIME – US to win the World Cup? US to win the World Cup. Steward! More wine!

’46 – Michael Bradley led all players with 54 first-half touches. At this point you wonder how many staples it takes to make him Pirlo? No subs at half, but Julian Green comes on soon

’48 – Roger Bennett tweets Julian Green running around on the sideline. We all start jumping around like schoolchildren at this point, yes? OK?

’50 – Mexico goal off a set piece. Omar Gonzalez got picked, yeah, but he’s so shaky. Do you trust him for Brazil? I don’t know. 2-1. I’m going to go ahead and say Omar Gonzalez is not an international level center back and then #CameronOverEverything. Just going to leave that here.

’54 – Another set piece and this time Besler ball watches, only luck that leaves the header begging. Scaaaary.

’58 – MOTHER OF GOD THAT’S JULIAN GREEN’S MUSIC. ALSO LANDON DONOVAN WHO IS A HUMAN ALSO. You are free to officially start your Julian Calendars. Flip over to 1 AJ. Again, I’m very sorry for all of this.

 

"Luke, I am your father."

“Luke, I am your father.”

’59 – Green on for Brad Davis. Light some candles. Put on some Barry White LPs. We’re getting real.

’61 – Mexico looks ascendent. Goodson looks terrible already. Omar is drunk. What do we do? Oh yeah Julian Green. NM.

’66 – Bradley’s deployment higher means Dempsey pushes higher himself, running channels almost like a runner on the final leg of a 4×200 snagging the baton from his relay partner. It at times leaves Dempsey left out of the attack, but he’s more effective than he’s been in recent games. Which admittedly isn’t saying much but you know. Deuce.

’67 – Yeah, Mexico goal. Deserved. Good cut-back pass there, and Goodson/Omar are terrible together so it all makes sense. Goodson is a giraffe on marbles. Always.

’70 – BUCK UP IDIOTS.

’74 – Donovan came on for Zusi in the 58th, which I didn’t mention because Donovan’s been invisible, and this is just the fifth time Donovan/Dempsey/Bradley have played together under Jurgen Klinsmann (which goes back to August 2011). They have a 1-2-1 record together. Their only win together is 3-1 over Antigua & Barbuda. It does not look like No. 2 is on the way tonight. This is crumbling.

’76 – DEMPSEY JUST DID A THING WITH A TOUCH AND MAN DO YOU REMEMBER THAT GUY TREADING ON PEOPLE I’M KIND OF SAD NOW WHERE’S MY WINE STEWARD

’78 – Yedlin is on at RB for Beltran and already he’s combined with Dempsey for good times, great music. The best player to ever have worn the No. 2 for the USMNT is Frankie Hejduk. I’m not lying.

’80 – Julian Green injures his shoulder falling to the ground trying to trap a ball with nobody around. Suddenly a lot of people feel really stupid. Not me. Definitely not me.

’85 – EJ GOAL BUT THE FLAG IS UP BECAUSE COMMUNISTS. I’m sure EJ scored. Bradley started that whole thing. Let me see the replay, ESPN. OK. ONSIDE. Not close. I told you guys. Communists.

’87 – JULIAN GREEN PENNO BUT NO CALL BECAUSE COMMUNISTS. Guys. Punch something. Punch anything. Punch everything.

’89 – Both wrong calls. If this was the World Cup, I mean, I’m not saying this is all about Slovenia 2010, but it’s about Slovenia 2010 and I think somebody needs to be punched in their secret spaces.

’92 – This back line is like Uwe Boll’s directorial career. Gaping holes, sadness and trash fires.

FINAL. 2-2.

Ok. So the diamond kind of held more than I figured, though Dempsey dropped somewhat deep as we all figured. I was (somewhat) wrong. I owe all of you beers or something.

Good and bad things. The defense should scare you witless for Brazil. It’s bordering on DUKES OF HAZARD BROS JUMPIN’ OVER STUFF. Bradley is a mangod. Julian Green looked young but, I mean, I’d take him. Yedlin should start at RB (I SAID IT YOU WANNA FIGHT BRAH). Dempsey is still kind of scary but he looked better. Ian Darke can sire my children. The end. Thanks for joining. I’m going to find my wine steward. I think he’s drunk.

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37 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Crow on 2014/04/03 at 1:14 AM

    Man I wish DeAndre Yedlin was ready for international defense because its great having a guy like him out wide in the attack. I like how much more confident he looked than in his cameo vs South Korea but is it too late? A real shame he didn’t get the start.

    Reply

    • Posted by D on 2014/04/03 at 3:58 PM

      Agreed, I really hope he is on the plane, I think you have to give the RB spot to Cameron, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Geoff play CDM and Yedlin be our starting RB.

      Reply

  2. Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/04/03 at 5:48 AM

    Just renamed the next three family pets either Will or Parchman…Will Parchman is what you’d have if Hemingway and Hunter S Thompson had a love child who was raised on Toby Charles “Soccer Madein Germany” reruns and psilocybin biscuits. I am deeply man crushed…welcome back.

    Defending in general is CONCAF bottom feeder at best. Dicey would be a kind descriptor…
    Gonzalez is naïve in ways that a 4 yr “intl” cannot be in big spots. a one man pick on a set piece and you can’t work that puzzle out? ugh..unfortunately its April and Klinsi is still running him out there first team so let’s get accustomed to that embarrassed look….
    Goodson…giraffe on roller skates is straight off The Wordsmiths anvil…artisan craft brew word gold…
    Clint looked much more alive…but Bradley needs the armband…he IS the armband..

    Wow. How could you call EJ offside when the linesman couldn’t possibly see him? He was BEHIND the defender and obscured by his body…that was absurd. The Green “penal” was outside the box but has to be a foul.Pretty absurdist from the man in Yellow.
    Green- not as quick or fast as I’d anticipated. Nice move on the noncall but his foolish header keeping the ball in bounds led to the first goal.
    Donovan looks a step slower but is willing to push the ball up high which they need desperately…
    Zusi just makes them a better squad overall IMO…does a lot of good stuff and brings confidence in the mid and final thirds…he’s Earnie Stewart to this group….

    Agreed with many that Cameron would seem to be a better gamble than the Gonzo experience next to Besler…

    Reply

    • Posted by JW on 2014/04/03 at 6:27 AM

      Maybe if we switch our away uniforms to digital camouflage we’ll blend in a little better. Some kid was probably eating ice cream on the other sideline and the ref thought it was EJ. Either that or the linesman is Coulibaly’s protege.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Arthur on 2014/04/03 at 6:49 AM

    Was the initial title of this post “Julian Green’s B*tches”? If so, thanks Matt for exercising editorial control over Will’s excessive bluster. US soccer fans should reject needless uses of that word.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 8:45 AM

      That was my fault. I’ll come clean. Had a late work night last night and the beers were flowing. That’s all on me.

      Reply

      • Posted by Arthur on 2014/04/03 at 9:08 AM

        Hey, thanks for coming clean. This is a great site and your reputation as a class act, as well as a keen soccer mind, just improved in my eyes.

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 9:23 AM

          Thank you. I care that we do things with quality and have a great community. So yup, messed up last night and thanks for saying something.

          Reply

          • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/04/03 at 10:32 AM

            Did I miss some hubbub here? What was the offending item? After this column I’ll defend Will’s honor with my life…or at least a few electrons..

            Reply

  4. Posted by JGD on 2014/04/03 at 7:30 AM

    Getting nervous about this defense. Gonzalez has looked shaky far too often over the past year. And if we play Cameron at CB, what happens at RB? Is that Parkhurst’s job to lose now? I don’t relish the thought of Cristiano Ronaldo running down that flank against the likes of Parkhurst, Beltran, or Evans. Oh Dolo, how we miss ye.

    Reply

  5. Posted by FellainisFro on 2014/04/03 at 8:24 AM

    Bradley’s ability to dictate and create up field is a direct result of not having to cover for Snowfro Jone’s rampaging across the pitch and gumming up the attack with his dispossessed ball’s, bad passes and needless fouls.

    Regarding the Gonzo pick. I concur that he is not a good partner for Besler. But watching the replay of that pick, I clearly saw him about to get picked and screamed and pointed to Beckerman to slide over and cover the devil, I mean Marquez, as he swung around and Beckerman just stood there. In basketball when you get picked, the defender next to you slides over to cover and Beckerman just stood there wondering what just happened. Could Gonzo have just fought through it? Yes, but that still leaves time for Marquez to find an opening, though probably much smaller than he had for his header into the net.

    I thought Besler had somewhat of a off night, but his smarts and positioning often got him out of trouble. Kind of like Boca a cycle ago when he was outmatched physically but was able to do make up for it in soccer smarts.

    Yedlin impressed with his recovery speed, good touch on the ball and getting up the field for the attack. Though there was a few times he was open down the sideline and Deuce refused to pass it off to him. I saw more of the El Tri attack move away from his side and more towards the center or opposite side after he came on.

    As soon as I saw Davis in the starting 11, I screamed “Why” in my car as drove home. After watching the game I still wonder why.

    I have come 180 degrees regarding Beckerman. He still occasionally loses the ball in bad places, lacks vision in making the pass up field and does the safe square or back pass more often than not and lacks true international speed. But the rest of the time he is in good places to stop the oppositions counter attack and makes himself available for the safe pass and more importantly STAYS home so that Bradley can do that thing that he does so well.

    Lastly, Is Donavon not fit? Is he fighting an injury he’s not sharing? Did he age 3 years since last summer? His speed, touch and effectiveness were almost none existent. How do you let old man Marquez pick your pocket as you try to crossover dribble past him? Right now Saint Zusi is the starter over Donavon in Brazil.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jim on 2014/04/03 at 8:42 AM

      Just read a quote from Klinsi off of MLSsoccer.com. He said Donovan was not sharp in training and that he has been nursing a knee injury… I would have kept him off the pitch…

      Reply

  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 8:49 AM

    Think for last night you have to remember that the formation allowed the US to dominate — that’s good on Klinsmann and that the US will not be able to possess the ball nearly as much in Brazil.

    The key takeaways I saw were:
    – The single holder, less the diamond. I think you’ll see more of the former.
    – Dempsey thankfully moved out of the CAM role. Thought the partnership between he and Wondo was good.


    Obvious concerns as there has been since August 2011 about Gonzalez.

    I wondering if you’ll see this next time out. (I think you will): Parkhurst, Cameron, Besler, DMB.

    Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/03 at 10:10 AM

      Do you think we will see Johnson at Right Back given his increased playing time there at the club level? I like Parkhurst too, but feel Johnson might offer more.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2014/04/03 at 10:17 AM

        I would consider Johnson on the Right and Parkhurst on the left.

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 10:38 AM

          Beasley is probably–gulp–your most proven defender right now — amazing to say that — then Besler, then Cameron and then nobody.

          Reply

          • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/03 at 12:08 PM

            With how the world game is proceeding with false 9’s and also in our group where the danger will likely come from outside mids/forwards coming inside, would a Besler-Parkhurst pairing at centerback make sense? Do we need to be “dominant” in the air? Are we really dominant even with Gonzalez? Would better distribution and some solid agility be better?
            See back 5 lined up below:
            ———-Beckerman/Cameron?——–
            Beasley–Besler–Parkhurst–Johnson

            Cameron has shown poorly at centerback in the times he has been out there, I think mainly because he spends so much time at right back. I see a transition from RB to CDM easier to make then RB to CB. I know Parkhurst hasn’t played but CB for the US, but he is doing it right now in MLS.

            Reply

            • Posted by WatertownMA on 2014/04/04 at 4:51 AM

              “would a Besler-Parkhurst pairing at centerback make sense?”

              Maybe, but two concerns worry me about this type of pairing: strength and pace.

              This is particularly a concern for the Ghana game. I remember that last goal scored in 2010 when Boca tried to shoulder Asamoah Gyan off the ball – Boca bounced. He didn’t have the pace or strength to stop or deter the goal scoring opportunity.

              Do you think either Besler or Parkhurst can shoulder a guy off the bar or have the pace to deter a run toward goal? Gonzo due to his size I think has the strength, certainly not the pace. Goodson I think lacks both. Gooch has strength. Orozco, pace? Brooks? I think Edu has both, but has questionable CB awareness-is 2012 Mexico enough to judge.
              Cameron, perhaps?

              “Do we need to be “dominant” in the air?”

              We need to compete in the air. If that means we can’t win the ball, we need to nudge the opponent so that there isn’t a clean touch. Or, if we have the tallest player out there win the ball nearly every time.

              Are we really dominant even with Gonzalez?

              Not at all dominant from my perspective. I’m curious how the stats answer that question.

              Would better distribution and some solid agility be better?

              Most definitely, unless it exposes a new vulnerability in which to attack.

              On an unrelated topic, does Bradley’s performance in the attack, raise questions on bringing Diskerud?

            • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/04 at 6:15 AM

              To answer your question, you still bring Diskerud, but his chances of seeing the field just went down. He was a late sub for Jones for more offense, but that just pushes Bradley deeper, which has shown to be a mistake. The roster needs to have one true creative center mid as back up to Bradley. For me its Diskerud, but if Feilhabor has a superior season I could see him taking that spot. Kljestan isn’t that player so I don’t think he makes it.

              As for the Centerbacks winning balls in the air: No one on our team “wins” a contested ball in the air. Oh sure, they head the ball instead of the opposition, but they don’t “win” it, as much as the prevent the intended outcome. “Winning” a header, to me, means that the ball goes where you want it to, either completely out of danger or to a teammate who can manage possession. The stats will simply say if a player got his head to the ball over someone else.

              I think your point about speed and strength is accurate. Good positioning can make up for only so much. However, good positioning can cover lower level speed better than higher athleticism can cover poor positioning for a centerback or a CDM. Fullbacks and wingers were the players that are athletes first can thrive.

              Another point. While a lot of people talk about passing completion percentage lately I feel like there needs to be some refinement to the statistic. I saw quite a few “completed” passes that put the receiver in no position to keep the ball. In general Beckerman is pretty good at making a pass that enables the receiver to make a play, but I think his 93% was a bit inflated. Its a scouting term in the NFL, QBs that throw the receiver open: putting the ball in a place where only your teammate can get it and once he does he is already turning up-field.

              One last point specifically about this game. Mexico is a slow team. Intentionally. I think they will get overrun in Brazil, just like we overran them. I don’t think we can base too much of our team’s performance on this one game.

              One more Brazil point. Its going to be HOT and the travel is going to be killer. I feel like Brad Davis might be a good option to bring simply because of his experience in Houston he will know how play in those conditions. I feel like the MLS players will have a bit of an advantage over the Europeans in this regard. Its a big deal for teams to fly from Manchester to Munich (3 hour flight).

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 10:37 AM

        The hardest of decisions I think and it all is down to tactics really.

        You have to think about this in the broader context of two things.
        1) How will the US elect to play against an opponent (thinking WC)
        2) Where will they want to set the zone of confrontation.

        Real world example:

        If the US think it will be very direct against Portugal and will want to sit back and defend, then there is some thought you could put Parkhurst back there on Ronaldo’s side and send some help in the channel (Mo Edu in CM)….the comp here is when Rafael (a more athletic player admittedly) played Ronaldo for MUFC against Real Madrid in the CCL last year and Phil Jones sat almost like a RCB/RCDM to prevent Ronaldo’s incutting.

        However, if you think you’re going to push up the field and defend in a high block (probably not a great idea, but still possible) then you most certainly need a RB who can run with Ronaldo 1-v-1 (you maybe choose Fabian.)

        Then you’ve got the situation with Cameron. He’s your best RB right now but he’s not really a RB and he may be asked to play inside.


        From what I’ve seen of Fab J (and especially in a USMNT uniform) his defending has been questionable at best.

        I never see why he would be a better option than Beasley at LFB (at least right now) although RB is another story.

        The way Ghana plays (with Asomoah Gyan coming short) I think it’s be doable with Parkhurst or even an Evans. The way that Portugal plays and their combinations on the flanks I think Fab J is probably a pretty good shout….as might be a Danny Williams.

        Reply

        • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/03 at 11:40 AM

          I think our team needs to line more proactively against these teams. I don’t feel that we have the defensive focus for 90 minutes of being besieged like we used to have, no matter who is centerback.

          However we line up I feel like if we trying to line up our best defensive against our opponents best offense, we will lose. Our defense is not as strong as Portugal or Germany’s attack, and potentially not even Ghana’s. But our attack has the potential to be better than their defense. I think we need to focus on creating more real attacking chances, not on limiting theirs. Basically I don’t see us pulling a Chelsea 2012 rope a dope. Or even a 2009 US one.

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/03 at 11:43 AM

            Your sentiments were Bob Bradley’s also.

            Reply

            • Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/04/04 at 12:55 PM

              Trick is, Bradley had the personnel to play that counter attacking style that Bradley used to counter our issues on defense. He had Charlie Davies and a younger Landon/Dempsey. If you played a high line, Charlie Davies made you pay. And Landon, as we all know, has always been killer on the counter given his pace and ability to pick the right pass/make the right run.

              Jurgen doesn’t really have that in his player pool right now (outside of the young guys like Shea, Green, Yedlin).

            • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/04/04 at 2:40 PM

              Quite disagree there. The US *could* pair Aron Jo, Jozy up top, Landon/Deuce, Zusi (who plays just as fast as Landon once did) or Green, and then have DMB – Yedlin (though nowhere near ready) on the corners.

            • Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/04/04 at 4:13 PM

              Respectfully disagree about Zusi. Landon was one of the fastest players in the player pool when he was younger. Zusi doesn’t really compare. But the rest I agree with and mentioned in my post. I don’t have a problem with Green getting serious minutes, but I have a hard time believing he’ll be a starter. And same with Yedlin. But outside of Yedlin, Green, Shea, Aron who are the players the US has to spring the counter? Landon is a shadow of his former self.

              I guess, my point is, the personnel that is best equipped for a defend and counter style are the young inexperienced guys. Thats all.

  7. Posted by SamT on 2014/04/03 at 8:55 AM

    One silver lining for the second half… Berti has some excellent tape to dissect now.

    Reply

  8. […] 2-2 draw with Mexico on Wednesday (you can read my retro diary over at The Shin Guardian here) was Eddie Johnson’s improperly disallowed goal for offside in the waning minutes. EJ was […]

    Reply

  9. […] Will Parchman (The Shin Guardian) – “USA 2 – Mexico 2: Odes & String Music To Beckerman” […]

    Reply

  10. Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/04/03 at 10:43 AM

    My biggest take away is that the biggest thing lacking on this squad right now is pace and width.

    With Donovan in (very fast) decline. And ‘Dolo retired. Who is going to extend the field for the states? That is why I think Yedlin, Shea and Green will be on the WC roster. Hell, I think Yedlin should be starting. I know his defending is iffy at times, but unless Johnson plays FB, he’s the only FB that can keep the opposing team honest. Otherwise the pace of our WC opponents is going to murder us.

    I (admittedly) have been a big proponent of Green. And I agree he looked like an 18 year old tonight. But I do think the kid will be in Brazil and I do think he’ll be a candidate for minutes. He made a beautiful run into the box and behind the Mexican line, that few US wingers make (his mistake was not to take the shot). And he drew a penalty (or a dangerous free kick). I’m reading a lot of journalists saying he doesn’t look like he’ll get serious WC minutes bc of his issues with tracking back and his few nervous hiccups on the ball. Thats fair. But he provides something going forward that no one else in the player pool has currently – the ability to beat players 1v1. I saw way more positive than negatives. And the more games he gets, the better he’ll be.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/04/03 at 10:47 AM

  12. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/03 at 11:04 AM

    Anyway this game really made me update my 23 and 30. I feel that Green just took away Brek Shea’s spot… in my 30.

    So I am feeling the following:
    GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando
    DEFENDERS-
    CB: Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler — Clarence Goodson, (Oguchi Onyewu)
    FB: DaMarcus Beasley, Fabian Johnson — Michael Parkhurst, DeAndre Yedlin, (Edgar Castillo)
    MIDFIELDERS-
    Center: Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron — Kyle Beckerman, Jermainie Jones, Mikkel Diskerud, Maurice Edu (Danny Williams)
    Wide: Graham Zusi — Alejandro Bedoya, (Brad Davis)
    FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan — (Julian Green)
    STRIKERS: Jozy Altidore — Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson, (Chris Wondolowski, Juan Agudelo)

    Bubble (Tough Cuts): Terrance Boyd, Brek Shea, Brad Evans, Sasha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber

    The contriversional:
    1. Cameron at center mid. I feel he has the ability to hold (unlike Jones/Edu) and good athleticism (unlike Beckerman). If Bradley is out I feel that you start Jones in his spot.
    2. No Brad Evans – If we are going to be adventerous at Left back (beasley) we need more solidity on the right. I see Parkhurst as johnson and beasley’s back ups. Cameron can play at right back too. So overall flexibility there. Yedlin is there for pace as a defensive wide midfielder or extreme emergency backup.
    3. No true Left Midfielder: Do I need to explain that?

    Formation: 4-3-1-2
    ———Altidore—–Donovan————-
    —-Dempsey——————————–
    ———-Bradley—Cameron——Zusi–
    Beasley–Besler–Gonzalez—-Johnson
    —————–Howard———————-
    Subs: Guzan, Parkhurst, Bedoya, Jones, Beckerman, Johannsson, Johnson

    Alternative: 4-4-1-1
    ————-Altidore——————————–
    ———————Dempsey———————
    –Bedoya—Bradley—Cameron——-Zusi—
    Beasley—–Besler—Gonzalez——Johnson
    ——————–Howard————————-

    Super Alternative: 3-5-2
    ————-Altidore—–Dempsey—————-
    ————-Bradley——Zusi———————
    Beasley———Beckerman————Johnson
    ——–Besler—-Gonzalez—–Cameron——-
    ——————–Howard————————–

    Now I’ve just lost all the sense I ever had: 3-6-1
    ———————Dempsey————————–
    ————-Donovan——–Zusi———————
    Beasley—–Bradley—-Beckerman——-Johnson
    ——–Besler—-Gonzalez—–Cameron——-
    ——————–Howard————————–

    Reply

    • Posted by CAPITAN MACPATTON on 2014/04/11 at 1:24 PM

      I feel that Green just took away Brek Shea’s spot… WHERE? in the hospital!! I haven’t seen anyone do so bad and get so applauded. You and every other greeniac should go to a hospital and have your mancrushes cured too. its obscene how most of you hate on other players and are blind to the fact he didn’t do …NOTHING!

      Reply

  13. Posted by Crow on 2014/04/03 at 11:34 AM

    I have already stated but I am done with Omar Gonzalez for now. His performance last night was just as bad as the inexcusable game in San Pedro Sula. He has learned nothing it seems over the last 4 years as he keeps making the same mistakes. He doesn’t even dominate in the air anymore and his club form has been just as clueless and poor. This is a pattern and a very frightening one. Klinsmann said he wanted the fans to hold the players accountable and I am. I don’t want to watch that kind of ridiculous defending in person in Brazil this summer.

    Just go with Cameron and Besler. That is as good as it can be. Either play Fabian Johnson on the right and Beasley on the left or go with Fabian on the left and Parkhurst on the right.

    I was very impressed with how Beckerman and Bradley played together. I think Edu- although I was critical of him last night; I think he was just rusty playing with the national team but has been playing great with the Union- could fill that role as well allowing Bradley to go forward. Jermaine Jones is the same Jermaine Jones we’ve known- he hampers Bradley who is our best player instead of complementing him. Not only that but he is barely playing in Turkey. Its time to make the hard decisions and Jones and Gonzalez out of the lineup are two of them.

    Finally, I was a little underwhelmed by Julian Green but he looked very nervous and improved as the game went on. He really needs a longer run out vs Azerbaijan and Turkey. Brad Davis brings ‘nothing’ to the table at this point/level and since Brek Shea won’t be in Brazil I’m up for at least having a variable like Green to bring off the bench.

    His headed “clearance” to the center of the pitch which led to the goal was unacceptable as was Zusi’s (a shame because he had a nice game) which led to the goal scoring corner.

    I really wanted Agudelo to sneak in and grab the final forward spot as he is the most complete forward of the bunch but after his fantastic goal shortly after his debut in the Netherlands, he has been quiet. I’ve never wanted Wondo on the team, even though he is a guy you want to cheer for, but if he keeps it up for club and country he will take the spot that Herc won in 2010. I wouldn’t write EJ off yet but he needs to bring it the next two months.

    Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/04/03 at 12:00 PM

      Bradley, Jones and Edu all play the same position for their clubs. They have throughout the whole cycle. All three play that box to box destroyer-creator role. Each has worked best when another more “defensive” midfielder was beside them. Bradley is the most talented, then Jones, then Edu. Bradley also is the most able to change his game to match his partner. Unless Edu can make a jump in his holding play I just don’t think he should start unless we can formation to something that uses two Central Midfield shuttlers.
      Maybe something like a 4-3-3
      LF————–Altidore—————–Zusi
      ——Bradley————-Edu/Jones———
      ——————–CDM————————-

      But I can’t even finish it because we don’t have an elite CDM or LF. Maybe Dempsey at LF but really? we are totally exposed in Midfield width. We have tried this before to little positive effect. Maybe Beckerman at CDM, but it seems so conservative.

      So, drop Edu/Jones and Add Zusi to the midfield

      Dempsey——–Altidore————-Donovan
      ——–Bradley—————Zusi—————-
      ——————–CDM—————————

      Maybe?

      Reply

  14. Posted by Berniebernier on 2014/04/05 at 8:31 PM

    Do people here think that Jones would/can play a straight #6 if asked/directed by JK? Isn’t a #6 his real calling? I thought that was more of what he played for Shalke.

    I don’t think we need to play a 4-4-2 diamond from the get go. I think it would be good to get JJ as a #6 and give the reigns to Bradley versus both playing box to box.

    BTW I was very hyped for Yedlin after the Mexico game only to see Nagbe own him today.

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/04/08 at 7:57 AM

      He doesn’t seem to be capable of a disciplined #6 role based on my watching of his 3 or 4 dozen MNT appearances. Using the original #6 Claude Makelele standard as your ideal his tendencies to freelance, overdribble and lose possession in the middle third make him more of a box to box MF than a 6 in my and I think most observers. I think Bradley is a much better B2B MF at this stage in their careers and more integral to the success of the squad. Jones’ tends to unfocus Mikey IMO and they end up playing a shuttling B2B tandem which uncovers your back four when Jones turns it over which he does frequently.

      Reply

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