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Pre-match: Hex Match 1: Feb 6 USA @ Honduras

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Big Chil in Denver, Nov 15, 2012.

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  1. TrueCrew

    TrueCrew Member+

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    With Shea out and Donovan uncertain:

    -------------Howard------------
    Dolo--Cameron--Boca--F. Johnson
    -------------Williams-----------
    --------Bradley----Jones-------
    EJ---------Gomez------Dempsey

    The smart thing to do would be to put Jones as the 6, which would allow Jozy to play up top next to Herc, but I think we'll start defensive on the road.
     


  2. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    It seems clear as day to me that we need to start F. Johnson, Chandler and Cherundolo. Particularly when we don't have Donovan.

    Fabian Johnson is our most creative attacking player lately and I would feel a lot better with him closer to goal than the likes of Eddie Johnson, Zusi, Sacha and the like. Something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    I hope to see Parkhurst at RB, if not as a starter, at least as a sub. He helps a lot wih wing attacks, and that's a weakness of the Honduras team. Dolo is more solid, but his passes once he is going up front, and his crossing, are quite subpar to play wingback.

    I don't think Bocanegra would be too out of it for this game. The attack through the middle won't be fast, but precise. Boca is better to control those. And he should be playing by then, since I don't see Rochela keeping his place.
     
  4. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    does Chandler have any real experience at LB? The one time the US played him in that spot he struggled dramatically.

    It is frustrating to me as a long time fan that has been waiting literally decades for a LB and when we finally get one in Fab who plays every week at that position in a top league, everyone's first thought is to move him some where else.
     


  5. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    Boca is out for 6 weeks and was not starting regularly for Santander before the injury. He only has 6 appearances for them anyway, He may be our best option come February but I highly doubt it, I don't see them playing him much coming off an injury.

    Regardless, from a risk/reward perspective the only positive for Boca was that he offered less risk than some of the newer guys, with little to no reward, at this point he is just as risky with no real upside.

    We need to have a January camp Strudel of some kind and the #1 priority for that camp imo would be having an open audition and battle royal at CB between Bessler, Gonzalez, John, etc. and any Euro guys we can bring in to find someone worthy of a shot at Hondurus. Then in addition to those player(s), at the Hondurus camp we need to bring Brooks, Hines, Ream or Edu if either are playing well, (or at all), someone(s) like that, to compete in camp for the starting CB slot next to Cameron.

    If Boca is available then bring him along, but start one of the new guys against Hondurus and if they suck, sub Boca in as a last resort, that is my opinion anyway. We went too far along without addressing the CB problem and the worst thing we could do is keep putting it off at this point, someone new has got to step up for us at CB.
     
  6. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    Chandler has played more games (4), for us at left back than he has (3) at right back for us. He earned MOTM against Ecuador playing at LB for example. Imo he is a better defender than FJ at LB, but his offense, particularly his really good crosses, are almost non existent from that spot.

    You have a point though, in that Fabian Johnson is playing LB consistently and well at his club, whereas Chandler is exclusively playing RB and is actually out of form a bit right now. I get it, that is a very valid point.

    My viewpoint however is that I have certainty that TC can hold down the LB spot because I have seen him do it before and I have seen Fabian play very well as an attacker on the left as well. Moreover, Fabian has been one of, if not our most consistent creators on offense and that imo, is where we really need help and where we have less quality depth.

    If we are going to say that Fabian should stay at LB, then I would propose this starting squad:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. MLSFan123

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    I like this lineup except Chandler at such an advanced slot. I have seen nothing from his game that shows me he would be anywhere near as affective as EJ. EJ is a better dribbler, equal in speed, and significantly better in the air than Chandler. That position is crucial to the US scoring which EJ proved in the last round of qualifying that he was affective at (both scoring and assists).

    Chandler IMO would be ideal in a 5-3-2 as wing back who gets up and down, but he does not have offensive skill set to be up front like that IMO.
     
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  8. MLSFan123

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    It is really sad to think that it is possible that the MLS guys will actually have had more recent league play than Edu will in January :(.

    The poor guy is rotting over there and can't even sniff the subs bench. Hopefully he can start to see the light of day soon.

    I noticed you did not mention Gooch as an outside possibility who is slowly making his way into the Malaga lineup. He has played a couple of games now and regularly makes the bench.
     
  9. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Frankly, I'd avoid including Chandler in any projected line-up until he finally compromises. I'd hate thinking he's going to be there, just to have him cancel at the last minute.
     
  10. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    Yes indeed, and it would suit Fabian as well, but then we'd have yet another issue: the need for THREE starting quality CBs.

    Plus, tactically, 3 CB formations tend to not do well against the lone-striker formations that are all the rage. There's one player in the back who is essentially going to waste.
     
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  11. Peter Bonetti

    Peter Bonetti Member+

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  12. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    I would agree that Chandler is not ideal for that spot, but I would argue with your assertion that EJ is. Chandler > EJ all day every day at RW or any other spot on the field imo. I would put Gomez ahead of EJ for that matter.

    People seem to have completely forgotten how dynamic a player Chandler is, probably due to their antipathy towards him for refusing call ups. Chandler is an awesome player by USMNT standards, if he is available for this match he has to start imo.

    Like I said earlier, my preference would be to play FJ up top and Chandler at LB, that is a flawed lineup for sure, but it is a better line up and less flawed than any other option imo.
     
  13. MLSFan123

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    Strange since we have good evidence of EJ at that spot and zero evidence of how Chandler would perform.

    It is pretty obvious you have a bias against EJ for what ever reason. Hopefully you at least recognize that with out him, we may have not have even made the hex.
     
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  14. COMtnGuy

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    Wow Portland, lets take the rivarly aspect out of this. Your statement is pure nonsense.
     
  15. Konut

    Konut Member

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    --------------Altidore-------------
    ---Dempsey-----------Johnson--
    -----------Bradley-Jones---------
    ---------------Williams------------
    Johnson-Gonzalez-Cameron-Dolo
    --------------Howard---------------

    Is what I would go with providing Gonzalez puts on a strong performance tomorrow and assuming Donovan will be out.

    I think the top 3 would have pretty good chemistry. A line up like this, with preferably Donovan on the RW would bring out the best in Jozy.
     
  16. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Gosh pleave leave hypothetical-Chandler in the backline. Move forward Fabian if needed, but not Chandler. Next you guys are going to start putting Bradley as a striker and then all heck is going to break loose.
     
  17. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    I'm quite against the idea of Chandler so far up the field. I also prefer Fabian Johnson to stay at LB, and I really like the potential of Johnson and Chandler as US wing backs. But if you put a gun to my head and said, "one of FJ or TC has to move to midfield, pick one now," I would choose Fabian.

    FJ has some creativity and ball handling skills. He is 2-footed. He can slip in some intelligent passes, too. I love the idea of such a player as a LB for the US -- what a luxury! But I can see why some folks want to try him at LM, even though Klinsi seems set on FJ in the back.

    On the other hand, Chandler seems very one-dimensional as a midfielder. Run the wings and send in crosses with his right foot. Does he have a left foot? He doesn't seem to be a nice ball handler. His passing seems pedestrian. I've not seen him duck inside and make runs into the box the way Fabian Johnson does, and certainly not like Donovan or Dempsey can as outside attacking mids.

    Chandler is a sideline runner. Solid on defense and good for some overlapping runs up the wing from time to time. A better, bigger version of Hejduk. As a RB he actually has 2 dimensions: defend and wing runs. As a mifielder he just become a one-dimensional winger with no inside game and no danger in the box.
     
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  18. MLSFan123

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    Wow. We see the game and these players almost indentically.

    I think Fab is one our two most flexible players (Cameron's jack of all trades at Stoke this season is highly impressive), but unless we find another very good (better than Castillo level) LB, I think US would be nuts to move him out of that spot.

    LB has been our biggest issue for 20 years. Put super glue on Fab and stick him there and then get Shea in contact with the therapist that helped EJ and we are good to go in the future (only half joking here :) )
     
  19. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    I don't think I have a bias against EJ, I have simply formed an opinion over years of watching him. I agree he gave us a valuable contribution recently and he could certainly provide more. I have also seen him absolutely suck in a US kit. I view him as a useful sub and pinch hitter when circumstances dictate.

    Form is temporary and class is permanent. We have good evidence of EJ not being an international caliber player, it's not like the last game was his first cap. He is having a good run of form right now and when that is the case he can be useful from time to time.

    Imo, (and I am certainly fallible), Chandler is a cut above and one of our better players, whereas EJ is a utility part on par with the likes of Edu, Kleijstan, Feilhaber, etc. Moreover, Chandler has played LB for us quite well and Fabian has played LW both for us and for his club, so there is nothing radical about my suggested lineup, it gets our best players on the pitch, in positions they have proven themselves in.

    Chandler at RW is more of a reach, but might I remind you and anyone else, that we tried Dannny Williams and Jermaine Jones there recently? Chandler is a better fit than either of them and as for Eddie Johnson and his like, the only reason I can imagine JK tried guys like JJ and DW there is the same feeling I have, that our other options are inferior players from an international standpoint.
     
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  20. MLSFan123

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    I think you are confusing playing an outside half back with an outside forward.

    Neither Jones nor Williams has ever played forward in either a 2 or 3 forward set from what I can remember. What games do you remember them playing a forward and not a midfield position? I may have just forgotten.
     
  21. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Castillo is seriously under-rated here. Did anyone watch the first leg of the Mexican Liguilla final?

    He did a solid job on his side. And Toluca (their rivals) are a good team, I'd say about top Championship quality. You folks need to watch him in action once in a while. He's good at closing his side and keeping discipline at the back.
     
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  22. sXeWesley

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    It has nothing to do with rivalry and everything to do with my own objective observations.

    Opinions around here sway with the breeze on every uptick or downtick in form and most particularly, with the last good or bad performance in a USMNT kit by a player.

    A few months ago Chandler was the next big thing and we all felt great that HE was locking down the LB spot before FJ started playing there, now all of a sudden it is anathema to suggest he can play there. Every hypothetical line up at that time had him penciled in to replace 'Dolo, play LB or to play RM. Nearly everyone agreed he had to be on the pitch.

    At that same time Eddie Johnson was a laughing stock and a failure at the likes of Cardiff and Aris, while his erstwhile wife was using his car as a driving range, now he is the answer at LW.

    In that intervening time EJ is playing well in the MLS and Chandler pissed everyone off refusing call ups. That certainly changes things and makes EJ a useful piece, but it does not change my observation that Chandler is a dynamic, starting caliber player that needs to be on the pitch for us, who is capable of playing RM/RW/RB/LB and that EJ is a player prone to wild fluctuations in form that make him at best a complimentary role player and at worst a guy that doesn't get a sniff.
     
  23. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member

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    They both played RW/RM in a one forward formation, the same role we are hypothesizing for Chandler/Johnson/Johnson. Fabian played this role quite competently for his club before moving to LB and did the same for us as well. Chandler played RM well for his club, but that was quite a while ago and was not at forward specifically.
     
  24. MLSFan123

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    Can you point to the game where Danny Williams played as a forward in a 3 forward set? RM and RW are two very different spots tactically. I remember Danny playing a right half in a 4 man midfield but that is much different than your formation.

    I honestly can't remember it and have dug through a bunch of lineups trying to figure which one he played up front but could not find any. I am obviously missing it.
     
  25. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    I think folks had hopes for Chandler at LB, and testing him there in 2011 wasn't a bad idea at all. But I don't think he played particularly well there. Indeed, one game he was quite poor, the Slovenia match I think, where he was part of some breakdowns in the back and had trouble staying goal-side of his opposing players. And he really doesn't have much of a left foot, while FJ does fine with his left.

    I don't think Cherundolo will make it to 2014 as starter. Chandler at RB and FJ at LB is Bundesliga tough, athletic, and at times dynamic. 'Dolo and Lichaj as outside back depth, with Parkurst and Castillo 3d at each spot.

    Now I do have the same skepticism as you about Eddie Johnson as a quality international contributor. I was drinking that koolade many years ago and the taste got pretty bad. But I never give up on a player and EJ is a prime-age forward with some proven finishing skills. A backup role player competing for a bench spot is what I see, too.
     
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