USMNT Bullets: Goodson, Shea, More…

Some quick Tuesday bullets:

• First, a training video from US Soccer:


» Why do I have this sneaking suspicion that Brek Shea might get a look at leftback?

» Clarence Goodson rules out for Wednesday with a hammy strain. Could Michael Orozco make the start or will it be Bocanegra and Tim Ream? Our two cents? Hate having off-footed centerbacks, Heath Pearce has got two stumps. Maybe a runout for Pearce-Boca?

» Still no club for Michael Bradley per Steve Goff at the Washington Post. Junior will continue to train with Bo’Munchen.

42 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/08/09 at 2:30 PM

    My prediction for tomorrow’s lineup, based on that video:



    • Posted by Sean on 2011/08/09 at 4:07 PM

      Dolo–Ream–Boca (C)–Castillo

      Could easily see Pearce or Orozco a CB spot. Also, could see a 4-2-3-1 with Adu taking Torres’ spot. Up front its a toss up for me, as I could easily see Agudelo there.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/09 at 2:36 PM

    Beasley arrived in camp Tuesday afternoon. I would imagine that rules him out as a starter for tomorrow.


  3. Posted by justin on 2011/08/09 at 2:48 PM

    Here’s something. Just got done watching nottingham forest and notts county derby. Findley went 120 mins with 1 goal, 1 assist and a make in the penalty shootout win. He looked like one of the better players in a poor forest side. I think we can expect him to get alot of starts in the championship this year. At only 26 robbie still has some time to develop that touch a little more and be one of the bigger beans that is the 15 bean soup of usmnt fowards.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/09 at 2:55 PM

      Come back to me in two months when there’s more observations–though I would say I more optimistic about a Findley USMNT return to glory than another one-hit wonder–Chris Rolfe–up in Denmark.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/09 at 3:02 PM

        Is Rolfe back to playing? I thought he was injured.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/08/09 at 3:35 PM

          He’s started all four games for Aalborg this season. I haven’t seen him play, but reviews have been generally positive.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/09 at 6:30 PM

        “At only 26 robbie still has some time to develop that touch a little more”

        Erm. Don’t know where to start with that comment.


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/09 at 7:27 PM

          George you know Americans are notorious late bloomers. Our 26 is everyone else’s 20-22 because of this wonderful 4 years of our lives called “insert debt here”


        • Posted by justin on 2011/08/09 at 8:13 PM

          we all know robbie has practically no touch
          just trying to say at least he’s in a league where he has to develop some other skill other than being able to run past people like he did for RSL, where they would just kick the ball to the corner flag and he would go chase it. His situation forces him to develop something else to still get playing time. And at 26 he is still is not to old to be tossed off the usmnt radar, that’s all


          • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/10 at 6:05 AM

            I’d love to see highlights of how he scored. What if it involved some skill? Will klinnsy take a look?


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/10 at 10:12 AM

            He is? English teams love to boot the ball down the field and have players chase it. Route 1 football all the way even more so at that level. It’s not exactly La Liga or Serie A.


  4. Posted by kaya on 2011/08/09 at 4:47 PM

    Re: the video. I think I saw junior complete a forward pass.
    I’m not feeling very optimistic about tomorrow. Seeing Rob Zombie/Zoolander DJ in midfield NT training makes me sad. Sigh.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/09 at 5:14 PM

      The problem with Bradley isn’t completing the pass–in any direction–it’s the tempo with which he passes, the weight he puts on each pass, and the correctness of his decision to select one pass over another.


  5. Turkey redux?

    I have this sneaking suspicion that Torres starts. Think Klinsmann is focused on possession and attack. I think he has a hankering for latin spice (not that Torres completely fits that bill). Should be interesting.

    Does Shea start as well?

    The 1st Jürgen’s Jötting?


    Torres and Bradley would float/ switch fluidly?
    Not the most prudent lineup but just a hunch. Who knows. We may even see a 4-3-3. It will be interesting regardless.
    Just also realized how many predominant lefties could feature.

    (P.S. love the Jürgen’s Jötting name whomever suggested it).


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/09 at 6:43 PM

      A 4-2-3-1 can play very much like a 4-3-3 especially when you look at someone like Donovan or Dempsey.

      I see a lot of Bradley in the hole and I don’t get that. Given his play recently I would say that Bradley in the hole would be a very defensive formation.

      I do have a gut feeling that we will see Torres as a CDM making it a more attacking formation.


      • Posted by Jake on 2011/08/09 at 6:58 PM

        Except that Bradley is at his best when he is late going forward and trailing defensively. His work rate is well suited for that. Bradley sitting in front of the CB pairing is a waste of his best attributes, and he is not a great positional defender.

        I think Matthew mentioned earlier that MB can be very effective steering opponents attack in a certain direction, and I would follow that up with…because he then tracks them hard.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/09 at 7:38 PM

          The person in the hole should be the “QB” of the offense. That is the spot for your traditional play maker.

          We can disagree because to me Bradley is not a playmaker. Late going forward is not a playmaker (late forward should be someone from the 2 band). Bradley isn’t a great pass to open up a defense or run at someone and create something. His great work rate allows him to come forward late and get back to avoid being caught on the counter.

          I would also say that a good CDM’s job is to disrupt the attack. He can do one of two things, 1) break up the attack with a tackle, or 2) steer the attack to an area that is less threatening due to support.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/08/09 at 7:57 PM

            That’s not necessarily true. You could put a second forward in there (say, a Michael Owen type).

            Furthermore, just because you’re in the middle of a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 doesn’t make you a playmaker or in the hole. Frank Lampard is one example; Manchester City’s Fighting Defensive Midfielders are another. Bradley in the middle of a 4-2-3-1 would play like an adulterated combination of those two.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/10 at 4:09 AM

              When has Owen ever played as the second / withdrawn striker? Bad example.

              But your midfield isn’t blessed with a Zidane or a Bergkamp. So somebody not so obvious has to play the fulcrum of attack. Klinsmann is experimenting, it is his first game. He might decide after tonight that X doesn’t have the speed of thought, touch, vision, feet or ABC to play there.

    • Formation above suppose to be closer 4-3-3 ish like this…. of course fluid.



  6. Posted by dth on 2011/08/09 at 6:58 PM

    Dooley has some interesting comments here:

    Both he and Klinsmann have argued that MLS has a too-long offseason in the past week. Interesting.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/09 at 7:07 PM

      It’s not just MLS – look at youth football. Couple that with lack of hours doing the basics…


      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/09 at 7:13 PM

        Well then you’ll love the direction youth soccer is going. The MLS clubs in Texas are going to a ten-month season and demanding their kids not play high school soccer…and Southern California is not far behind.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/09 at 7:14 PM

          I should note that while the MLS clubs are the instigators, the amateur clubs are happy to draft in the pro team’s wake on this issue.


        • Posted by LarryMontanez on 2011/08/10 at 6:56 AM

          By next year, all Academy teams will be going to 10-month seasons. Although I think this is good for youth development, I’m just glad they are waiting in the NE until after my son graduates HS.


  7. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/09 at 7:29 PM

    Heath Pearce was playing lb btw… Not shea


  8. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/09 at 7:29 PM

    I wanted to add my 2 cents here, MB passes too slowly or thinks too slowly, he like many others(witness the GC group stage vs Panama) That game like others, show that when pressed in the mid with overwhelming numbers or pressure, MB holds or passes back to maintain possesion but this allows the other team to close down the space(s) that were open.
    Too too often,(me screaming at TV,” ONE TOUCH YOU STUPID MOFOs!!)
    Its simple, hell practice one touch passing & possesion will force team mates to move off the ball to recieve and redirect. How as professional players they can’t do this is beyond me, I think its the mentality of not making a mistake that makes (insert name here)afraid to take a chance (Insert costly turnover here, ex Rico at WC). Make them work 5 vs 2 box 1 touch passing everyday until thats the 1st thought, only a few take on people when situation warrants it.
    God I hate the hold and retreat, and then maybe the Onyewu.Bocanegra Hoof. Give me Jermaine Jones anyday, he’ll try or (force) but he’s starting in Bundesliga even with his BA.
    Maybe Klins can change this defensive mindset.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/09 at 8:44 PM

      “Too too often,(me screaming at TV,” ONE TOUCH YOU STUPID MOFOs!!)
      Its simple, hell practice one touch passing & possesion will force team mates to move off the ball to recieve and redirect.”

      My guess would be that every single player in the USMNT player pool knows that as well as,if not better than,you.

      It’s just a bit different when you are actually on the field.

      Passing the ball is a two man game, the sender and the receiver. If the sender sees no one open (or does not see the man you see open on TV, again it’s a bit different on the field) then they will probably do something different from what you think they should do.

      I’ve seen M. Bradley make enough passes in the Bundesliga and for the USMNT to know he is no Xavi but he also isn’t as bad as you all seem to think he is. My suspicion is that with the US team the movement of the preferred passing targets isn’t what it could be. Also, you have to give credit to the opposition for closing down passing lanes.

      When you watch Barca, their guys have played together so much that they do not need to look, they know what their guy is going to do and where their guy is going to be.

      And Villa knows, when he turns around, most times the ball is going to be where it needs to be. This sort of thing does not develop overnight.

      Teams like the US, mostly thrown together at the last minute by comparison, will always have difficulty approaching that kind of understanding.

      “Make them work 5 vs 2 box 1 touch passing everyday until thats the 1st thought, only a few take on people when situation warrants ”

      When does the USMNT have time to do that?
      How much time do you think these guys have to spend together?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/10 at 5:59 AM

        This drill should be practiced to death when they’re kids. Didn’t your coach ever make you play one-touch piggy-in-the-middle, within a small painted box? Or play one/two touch 5-a-side with your weaker foot? Hated it at the time because all I wanted to do was to play, but it makes you pass and move by definition.

        Thinking that this can be or should be “coached” when they meet up with the NT is ridiculous.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/10 at 6:06 AM

          Of course, being able to do this in the faster pace of international football is not easy, even though the top pros make it look easy. Far from it. But my point is that it is a balance between nature and nurture. And I am “guessing” the earlier the nurturing the better… nature is only going to take you so far.


          • Posted by LarryMontanez on 2011/08/10 at 7:02 AM

            Very true. I see too many coaches tell young kids to trap first, then pass. they should be teaching them at a young age to move the ball quickly, so what if they lose the ball, they’re only 8-9-10 yrs old! and because of that, i see a lot of players even at the academy level have to slow the play down once they receive the ball, before they speed it back up again. i’m confident that will improve, but like you say, it should coached a lot earlier than when they are already men. because then it’s learned behavior rather than natural


  9. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/09 at 10:20 PM

    I’ll give you some credit for pointing out that it always looks easier on TV and that you also get the whole field perspective. My point is that if they get into the mindset of looking for it, moving off the ball to recieve and quickly dish or take on someone, they would be better off. My thought is that they seem tentative in this area but then again this is my perspective, I happen to like MB and want him to succeed. He can be the main guy for the US. But I feel that the collective mindset has been to not to risk too much, or being slow to open for the pass. Yes, I’m not on the field, and they do have a very limited time together but I think its a collective mindset. I guess I’m projecting my experiences, But I think MB is not Xavi but he’s good enough to play that way, as are other US players. Its like dancing


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/10 at 5:31 PM

      Well Gregorio if you want to talk dancing then you know about muscle memory. Do a move often enough and it becomes instinct. The point being when you are at say, Paula Abdul’s, level, you don’t think “heel-ball change” you just dance.

      I read a recent article that said that many of the best MLB hitters don’t actualy see the ball, rather, and I’m simplifying here, they react to the pitcher’s motion which tells them that the ball is going to be “there” and they swing at “there”.

      Bob Latchford, a fairly decent English center forward once said the difference between the highest level and the rest was the speed of thought. What he really meant was the Barca guys have worked together so much they that they don’t really think, they just do.

      If you are seeing USMNT guys hesitate it tells you they are don’t really know what is going to happen next and the only cure for that is repetition with each other.

      It’s no coincidence that, like Spain, the great Dutch and German teams of the 70’s were built on a spine pulled from great club sides; Bayern and Borussia MGladbach (yes that Gladbach) for Germany and Ajax and Feyenoord for the Dutch. It makes this kind of “telepathy” a lot easier.


  10. Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/08/09 at 11:15 PM

    Can you explain the off-footed centerbacks comment? As a southpaw I am offended and cannot think of a scenario where it would really matter. I would argue that most lefty’s are better with both feet since they have had to deal with things such as right-handed desks, right-handed scissors, and dogleg right golf holes. My experiences tell me that the as long as your teammates are aware of your footedness, it isn’t an issue in the center of the pitch, park, oval, field. This may be an issue since new players have been called in but surely at this level that can’t be a real concern, can it? To me, that observation came off as an old nun slapping the hand of a child with a ruler who favors his left hand.

    To be fair all southpaws meet in the California desert to discuss our global takeover every other May Day so I understand the comment and the nuns.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/10 at 12:28 AM

      Chasing down an attacker in the correct position (on the inside of them relative to goal) and attempting a clearance. An off-footed centerback would put that pull into traffic instead of out into the flank.

      Defenders in general are conditioned to make plays on balls on the ground with their stronger foot. When an attacker is correctly pushed to the outside by a centerback, they typically then tackle with their stronger foot.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/10 at 7:06 AM

        Matt is right, in a perfect world – you would have perfect balance with your CB pair, one more of a ball winner / stopper and the other more of a ball player; one left footed, and one right footed. But statistically how likely is this a reality given most people are righties? If I were to choose, I would much rather have the balance of a stopper and ball player than balance of left and right footed CB. But maybe that’s just me.


        • Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/08/10 at 8:19 AM



        • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/10 at 5:41 PM

          GC is correct. The idea is to keep yourself at all times between the attacker and the goal.

          If an attacker were particularly one footed you would try to keep him “off” that foot but if he is as good as Arjen Robben, he learned a long time ago how to deal with that, so the strong left footedness eventually becomes irrelevant.

          You go with your best players regardless of their “preferred” foot.


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