Can’t help but think of the parallels between Bob Bradley and Tom Coughlin this morning as the roster is unveiled.
After the 2007 season, the Giants head coach was bashed both by player (Tiki Barber) and the media as being too strict in his coaching and failing to change with the times (most specifically, a hard core displine-focused game and practice methodolgy and an inability to connect with his players).
Much like Coughlin, Bradley has gotten another shot this year after seemingly being passed over (before re-signed) for the national team role.
While I’m not sure Bradley has “changed” all the appreciably much in his first few months under his new contract (just like Coughlin only moved a little bit, I think with today’s roster there is an acknowledgement that fresh game planning and player selection is important to having success in his second term.
In the October friendlies, you got a look at a 4-3-3 with new players deployed in new roles.
With today’s annoucement you’re seeing a departure from Bradley’s reliance exclusively on veterans and his long standing notion of introducing younger players during a longer camp as oppose to one off friendly. Most specifically, you’re seeing Bradley change his thinking on the striker role.
Whereas 2006-2010 saw Bradley continue to focus on veterans in the role that would adhere to the system and only play a “youngster” (Charlie Davies, Robbie Findley) when their ability hits him over the head–yes I just used Findley and ability in the same sentence.
Today’s perhaps most exciting call-up is that of New York Red Bulls tyke Juan Agudelo who had only flashed ability during the MLS regular season before issuing some fine technical ability in the Red Bulls playoff series loss to San Jose.
But not only Agudelo, Bradley went for youth with KC forward Teal Bunbury who one time was considered all but lost to his Canadian heritage.
Kudos to Bradley for taking a shot on a youngsters up top.
G: Brad Guzan, Dominic Cervi
DEF: Tim Ream, Clarence Goodson, Gale Agbossoumonde, Jonathan Bornstein, Nat Borchers, Eric Lichaj, Jonathan Spector
MID: Mix Diskerud, Ale Bedoya, Robbie Rogers, Logan Pause, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll
STR: Robbie Findley, Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo
• Look all I’m saying is that Tim Ream played leftback in college and Bob Bradley has a history of playing defenders in positions other than the ones they play for their clubs.
• Can’t wait to see where Mix Diskerud fits in and plays. I’ve watched him a play a handful of game on the interior for his club team Stabæk and I think he’s got the ability to play both inside and out.
• Interestingly selection of Agbossumunde here, if only because Bob Bradley insistence on using more veteran types (Jimmy Conrad) at centerback. Where will the ‘Boss play?
• Your captain for the clash? Either Jonathan Bornstein or Jonathan Spector in our mind. Likely Bornstein who sported the armband last January during the Honduras friendly.
• You can count on Teal Bunbury getting in the game. In fact with just 18 named you can count on all players getting some run. One, the friendly doesn’t matter. Two, you don’t take a player all the way to South Africa and then not play them.
• Interesting that there is no Justin Braun on this list. Don’t understand that one.