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How to win without Donovan, THow, 'Dolo, Dempsey and Boca

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Sam Hamwich, Oct 8, 2012.

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  1. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Most people on these boards include some combination of these players in their squads and yet in some important matches some have been injured or out of form. So how do we win assuming these 5 are injured or unavailable?

    Going into the WC we will need a new group of young veterans to hold the line and show leadership. Assuming the above 5 are lost, here is my starting lineup:

    --------------------------------------Guzan-----------------------------
    Lichaj (Chandler)---------Edu------------Gonzo----------FJ---------
    ---------------------------Cameron (Williams)-------------------------------
    ----------Zusi (Gatt)-----------Bradley-(Spector)------------Castillo (Brek)----------------
    ---------------------------------Gatt-(Adu)------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------Jozy (Boyd)----------------------
     


  2. Ghosting

    Ghosting Member+

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    This is an interesting thought. At this point, the odds of us losing five of our top nine players is probably pretty slim... maybe two or three if we have really bad luck, but all five? In addition, I think Boca is not necessarily a lock to be on the WC team. He will be 35, and unlikely to start and play a full tournament. However, we seem to have some decent alternatives at this point (Edu, Goodson, Cameron... etc), so losing him doesn't worry me much.

    Dolo will also be 35, and that worries me more than Boca. If Chandler commits to play with us, he seems to be a great option (and I'm willing to bet that a chance to go to Brazil would entice him to commit), but other than that, there is a huge drop-off at right back, and I really can't see Dolo being in Brazil.

    Howard will also be 35, which is the absolute prime of his career for a GK. Even if he can't make it, Guzan has come on strong of late. If he continues to get playing time, at 29, he may even beat out Howard if both are in top form... so no worries there.

    Dempsey and Donovan are a different kettle of fish. The will be 31 and 32 (respectively), which is not that old. They currently bring a level of attacking quality that no other players in our pool can rival. However, Klinsman will need to manage them wisely so they will have the legs to be effective. We can probably get by if one of these guys go down, but if we lose both of them, our attack will not be as creative, dynamic, and dangerous.

    Of the potential replacements you list, I don't see Adu getting into the picture unless he changes his attitude and his work ethic. Frankly, I don't like any of those guys that much, but maybe they will emerge in the next couple of years. The other possibility is Joe Corona, although he hasn't looked like a world beater either.

    All-in-all, I would go with something like this:
    -----------------------------------Guzan-----------------------------------
    -Chandler-------------Cameron------Edu (Goodson)---Johnson--------
    -----------------------Williams------Jones---------------------------------
    --------------------------------Bradley--------------------------------------
    ---Zusi (Gomez, Altidore)---------------------Carona (Shea, Castillo)---
    ---------------------------Gomez (Altidore)--------------------------------

    EJ, Beckerman, and Kljestan might get into the mix as well.

    Note that this is based on the lineups that JK has been trotting out of late. If he changes his approach (which wouldn't surprise me) and tries a different tactic, that could mix things up.

    Bottom line... the only thing that scares me about this lineup are the outside mids. You get back one of either Donovan or Dempsey, and I think that's a decent team. You lose both, and I think we're looking at a team that plays Bora ball.
     
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  3. braun

    braun Red Card

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    Without those 5 players we will be lucky to draw, not win.
    Chandler's not coming, I assume.
    So defenders Lichaj, Parkhurst, Fiscal, and Goodson, would be considered by JK if he's still the coach. Torres wasn't included in MF's. Boyd will figure in the roster but I'm not sure about EJ.
    Gatt and Corona are hardly vets.
    Adu? Not likely.
    I could see Friedel coming out of retirement if Howard goes down and Guzan is struggling at Villa.
     
  4. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

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    I thought for sure when I went into this thread there would be something about a stadium collapse or tainted lasagna.
     
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  5. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Just pointing out that we lose one player, 'Dolo in the gold cup final and the team falls apart. Now without Donovan, we have to learn how to win. Dempsey was sloppy both times out but found a result. We were without Boca in jamaica. Just throw all those together along with the loss of THow to something and you have a realistic chance of missing all five.

    I've been watching a fair amount of Stoke City lately and the best match they played was Geoff's first, as CM. He was a human eraser on defense and a massive force on offense. He is now wasted on the right, but for USMNT team his passing and awareness are superior to Edu's, so I would throw Edu back. I might even consider playing WIlliams at CB for Boca. If we are going to pass out of the back might as well put two of our 16thousand CM's there.

    So it could look like this:

    --------------------------Guzano----------------------
    -------------------Edu-----------Williams----------------
    Lichaj-------------------Cameron--------------FJ-------------
    --------Suzi---------------Bradley-----------Castillo----------------
    ---------------------------Gatt-----------------------------
    ---------------------------------Jozy-------------------------------


    For those of you who don't know it, Gatt is not only the real deal, he is getting excellent coaching. He is the only USMNT players at any age I have ever seen that can legitimately play for ManUnited. You need at least one youthful player out there who will attack and bring energy to the side. He would be my choice.
     
  6. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    -----------------------------Altidore----------------------------
    ------------------------------Adu-------------------------------
    ------Pontius----------------------------------------Zusi-----
    ----------------------------Bradley----------------------------
    ---------------------------Williams---------------------------
    Johnson-----------------------------------------------Lichaj
    -------------------Cameron----Gonzo-----------------------
    ---------------------------Guzan------------------------------
     
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  7. az2004

    az2004 Member

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    thats a winner
     
  8. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    That's pretty much where I started, but I can't really explain just how important a guy like Geoff is in the middle of the park. Cazorla, Podolski, and Grioud just couldnt get around him. He ran STerling off the pitch last week. The guy had to switch sides. Against Chelsea they literally had to bring the entire team forward to break his side down and on the goal, you can easily blame it on DM/CB's.

    Williams is not as clean a tackler nor does he have that leggy speed Cameron possesses. It was pretty funny watching Joe Cole try to run past him. Joe cole starts running, keeps running, Cam turns around and in 3 steps has over taken him.

    I like Castillo because he has world class quickness in any direction, he just hasnt put the maturity on it yet. Like DMB, he can get after that back line, shoot or cross.
     
  9. Ghosting

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    Quite honestly, I think you're over-rating Cameron. He's not as good as Bradley, Jones, Williams, or Edu as a CM. I'm not saying he's not good... it's just that we are so deep at that position with guys who have much better track records than Cameron that it's hard to believe that he would be a difference-maker. On the other hand, we're very thin at CB, and I believe he IS a difference-maker there.
     
  10. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    I will just say you need to watch him play. Edu needs an extra second on the ball these days. That extra second is the difference between attacking football and getting pounded on the counter. Bradley can play above cameron, absolutely no need for him at DM. Jones I dont trust as DM. WIlliams has a shot, but after watching him for Huffandpuffheim, I would be happy to see him at CB shadowing their quick attacker.

    gCam doesnt wear it like the other guys, but underneath is a deeply competitive guy who keeps the game simple by playing disciplined clean football. I'm just sorry he didnt move to the EPL two or three years ago.
     
  11. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Goodson and Jones are just as old as Donovan and older than Dempsey, so if you're taking those two out, you should also remove JJ and CG.
     
  12. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    I did. I dont trust Jones. I would bring him off the bench. I would also keep Goodheader on the bench because he can close out a match. I only worry about his footspeed going into the 80th minutes. But for 45minutes, I trust him.
     
  13. Ghosting

    Ghosting Member+

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    I'll agree to disagree. I've seen Cameron play. You yourself said that you've only seen him play one match at CM for Stoke. I think you're reaching. :)
     
  14. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    No, I've watched all his stoke matches and regularly with Houston, but I admit I never paid that much attention to him with Houston. Which is a credit to him. If a guy is DM or defense, the less you see them the better. Their job is measured purely on the scoreline.
     
  15. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    Sam, it comes down to which combo is more likely to play well:

    a) Edu at CB and Cameron at DM; or
    b) Cameron at CB and Williams at DM.

    Until I see a lot more of Edu regularly playing CB, I will favor Cameron there as an experienced CB, and favor Williams as an experienced Bundesliga DM. Option b) has guys in normal roles. Option a) has Edu as a gamble. An interesting gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.
     
  16. Ghosting

    Ghosting Member+

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    This is the post I was refering to.
    You say he's not even playing CM for Stoke
     
  17. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Pulis is a stubborn guy. At some point he will realize N'Zonzi is a terrible player and will begin some rotation at CM/DM.

    Well, Donovan is out. I feel for JK, he has never had his team at 100%, but that is the point of this thread. Assume the worst and our older veterans all bow out. What do we do? How do we play? I think most people are overly optimistic with our player selection.

    I would like to see Castillo play in between the defenders more and use his quickness off the line to slip into the box. That requires Bradley or Jozy to release him early. He is not a very good defender but as a left winger I think we have a real find. FJ/Castillo , Gatt/Lichaj on the wings gives us real speed and poise with speed. At any rate, people should start looking to find solutions because we're not ever going to be full strength.
     
  18. honest trade

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    ------Altidore--------Boyd---------
    --------------Adu-----------------
    ------Mix------------Bradley-----
    ------------Williams----------------
    Johnson--------------------Chandler
    -------Cameron--Gonzalez---------
    -------------Guzan-----------------
     
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  19. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Hmm, Mr. Boned, if I may call you that, prefer less formal, so let's just go with boned.

    Well, boned, you pose an interesting theory. Rather than choose players who have challenged themselves at an early age to tackle in many cases a new language, a new culture, and the most competitive football environments in the world, lets grab a team composed probably entirely of 4 year college veterans playing in relatively isolated conditions across American.

    I mean it largely worked in 90' - 94' right? Those cornfed midwest juggernauts. I am in favor of taking from MLS. They bring an individualism to the game that is sometimes lacking in the international game, but to use all players would likely leave us with such things as 5-0 losses to Mexico.

    I like what you're thinking, boned, in order to move forward as a footballing country, we need to go back to our roots! Boned you're a bloody genius.
     
  20. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Alright, now we're getting somewhere. No Fabian Johnson, Castillo, Shea, or Donovan. Dempsey with a thigh strain, Thow with a cornea scrape, Boca with a chicken bone incident, and 'Dolo getting caught with 3 high priced call girls...then the winds of destiny will be upon us.
     
  21. progrocks

    progrocks Member

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    As a Houston fan, the idea of Cam in the midfield for the US national team scares the hell out of me. I really like him as a player, I thought he should've gotten a try with the team a long time ago, but that is absolutely the wrong position for him at this level. He needs to be on the back line. He was not good enough as a midfielder.

    That said, the last game he played for Houston in the midfield he was absolutely amazing, possibly the best game I saw him play in the position. I missed the first game at Stoke, so maybe he turned a leaf?
     
  22. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    That's what I saw at Stoke. He was a one man wrecking crew on defense. No one could get by him. If he had the ball, he instantly had his head up and was moving, get this, I know it is revolutionary, moving the ball UP THE PITCH! I know we're taught to backpass into oblivion, but he was hitting wingers and CM's in nice spots. It was stoke so teh first touch and the next pass was usually into the stands or at Crouch's head, but he was spot on.
     
  23. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    Please go throw some salt over your shoulder.
     
  24. TrueCrew

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    Interesting premise, and it isn't that hard. Donovan has hardly played since the last WC.

    Though I'd quibble and say Jones is a must if those guys are out. Anyway, I'd go like this against teams that are better than we are: 4-5-1/4-3-3.

    -----------------Guzan---------------
    Chandler--Edu--Cameron--F. Johnson
    -----------------Jones---------------
    -----------Bradley-----Holden---------
    Gatt----------Altidore---------Gyau

    Depending on Gatt and Gyau making big leaps forward, of course. And smaller one for Jozy, and a return to health for Stu. If Shea doesn't develop, we have a LM problem. Torres/Pontius/Feilhaber/Adu/Beasley are the next best. And three of those guys are better inside.
     
  25. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    For some reason I am wanting to place either Gatt or Gyau just underneath Altidore. Then say we get a turnover in our half, ball goes central to Altidore, holds off man and releases Gatt/Gyau for midfield run. Pretty much identical to what Ching does so well for Donovan or Donovan did for Davies. The lighting quick counter serves us well. Work within the possession game with quick counters.

    I kind of feel bad for Gyau. It's as if 99% of his time was put into making him the fastest, most explosive footballer in history and 1% was spent teaching him the game. Gatt is different. He's the real deal.
     
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