Post-match: Russia vs. USA: the midfield

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Scotty, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. MI-Soccerfan

    MI-Soccerfan Member+

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    That midfield was not a diamond... It was a 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, 4-2-2-2

    Zusi and Torres were wide mids/wingers

    Williams and Jones played by side in the middle as a 6 and 8

    Dempsey was an attacking mid/withdrawn forward


    ----------------------Dempey-------------------
    Torres--------------------------------------Zusi
    --------------Jones-----------Williams--------

    Torres-----------Demps--------------Zusi
    -----------Jones--------------Williams

    ----------------Herc-------------------------
    -------------------------Demps-------------
    Torres------------------------------------Zusi
    ---------------Jones-----------Williams------


    It was a variation of any of those but in no way at all was it a diamond 4-4-2. In all honestly with the possession in that match Williams and Jones almost played as dual 8's or box to box mids. but i think in reality Williams was a 6 who was suppose to sit deeper while Jones pressed in to the attack as the 8
    Real Corona and TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.


  2. soccerusa517

    soccerusa517 Member+

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    I see no signs of it getting better. Jones tries to do too much, pulled out of position and our shape goes to hell.
  3. fingersave

    fingersave Member

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    That's not just Jones' fault, and it's just not that simple.

    If you have played before, you know that when a player pushes out of the bounds of the formation, that its up to the rest of the players to understand and fill in the gaps as best as possible. This happens with every team everywhere in every game. Soccer is a bit like jazz, there is always some improvisation going on for it to be effective. Look at Spain...you have guys moving all over the field. But the difference with Spain is that many of them have come through the same system and have that system drilled into their minds. They understand the relative amount that each of them should venture freely, and who will be covering for them when they do. The triangles they form come together like micelles...they are that fluent in tactics that they just automatically default to proper arrangements, regardless of position. That, IMO, is what makes Spain who they are. It comes from the Barcelona system, and most everyone playing in Spain understands it. It allows their players to shine because they don't have to over-think everything...they're free to play jazz.

    The US team doesn't have that systemic consistency. Even the domestic players do not have a deeply ingrained sense of what to expect in a classic US formation, because there is none. There is no 'LA' formation from which a huge chunk of the player pool is exposed to.

    Our players come from many different soccer worlds. There is no uniform mode of tactical instruction amongst any of them. It should be no surprise that there is sometimes confusion and that it takes time for players to understand the other players around them, and its not predictable who will be able to step in and integrate immediately.
    Mr Martin and TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  4. Grogtank

    Grogtank Member

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    I agree this is a problem. After watching a second time I noticed many clear moments when we needed someone between the lines and niether Jones nor Bradley were in position or attempting to provide that. Having another Bradley or a strong playmaker that can defend to pair with Bradley would help but I don't see one in our pool. That said, I think the real problem yesterdsay was in our wing play. We mostly struggled to get the ball forward down the wings. A 4-3-3 relies on this. If we were better at moving the ball down the wings this helps to open up space in the center for Bradley and/or Jones to get forward safely and find space. Instead, we often had frantic runs forward or ambitious forward passes resulting in a loss of possession.

    People talk about the importance of chemistry or understanding between CM and CB pairings. Equally important, especially in a 4-3-3, is the understanding between wing forward and wingback. Our right side was a first time pairing involving a young winger in his debut! On top of this we were playing away against a very tough Russia side! Now imagine lastnight but with Donovan playing on the right and Dempsey playing on the left. Both of these players are quite capable of cutting inside and finding space between the lines. Dempsey cutting inside on the left allows Fabian to be Fabian. Donovan can play wide or inside so we will have chances for Chandler/Dolo to get forward and cross. Everything seems to fall into place hypothetically.

    In summary (sorry this post is so long!) we have an experience gap between our veteran and younger players capable of playing as a wide forward in a 4-3-3. That's my take anyway.


  5. soccerusa517

    soccerusa517 Member+

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    So this excuses a Jones-Bradley midfield from not working for the 100th time? We have players everywhere that's true, and unlike club you don't have nearly the same amount of time to work on things but it's very obvious Jones and Bradley do not compliment each other. One needs to sit for the good of the team.
  6. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    I thought the Jones-on-the-left scenario was the most positive development coming out of this match. What JK/MV tried to do with JFT - and failed - seemed to work fairly well with JJ, despite it being a top 10 Elo squad. JJ is quicker and more aggressive than JFT and seems to operate better on the flank where there's less traffic as opposed to the middle of the pitch. This versatility brings the number of adequate attacking players up one and allows the US to keep the less proven players on the bench, pending their further development.
  7. fingersave

    fingersave Member

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    I disagree 100%.

    Jones and Bradley were successful against Russia. The team scored 2 more goals than anyone else has in Russia, and both of them developed through the run of play. Bradley and Jones were directly involved in creating several opportunities.

    So let's take a breath and look back at what happened in Russia. It was not bad. It was good. Let's repeat that and let it sink in a little. Nobody else has scored 2 goals in Russia of late. Nobody else scored a single goal in Russia over that period at all. The US accomplished something that other teams, including Portugal, have not been able to accomplish. But yet the midfield didn't work? I'm sorry, but that's just not a reasonable position to hold on to.

    Both Jones and Bradley had good games, especially Bradley who was the best player on the field not named Tim Howard.
    ChrisSSBB and TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  8. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

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    That 20 minute stretch was the best Jones had looked for us in a while
  9. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

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    JFT was never an answer there. With Shea imploding, Beasley aged, and .....

    WTF not. Bring it. Jones LW.
  10. fingersave

    fingersave Member

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    Shea did not 'implode'.

    He played the entirety of last year with a piece of bone swimming around in his toe. He just had surgery to remove it.
  11. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    I'm on thin ice. :D But this time I watched the entire match and a couple of reruns of bits and pieces of the match. The way the shape played out was as:

    ------------------------Herc
    -------------------------------Dempsey
    ------------Torres------Jones------Zusi
    ------------------------Williams

    Herc played up top and floated to the flanks. Dempsey played more withdrawn and central. Torres and Zusi stayed fairly tight. Zusi was much effective here where he played more centrally than in the previous matches where he played closer to the touchlines. Jones pressed ahead of Williams. I've variously used tight triangle/tight diamond, but yeah, he wasn't an attacking mid per se.
  12. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    JFT looked pretty quick played and got off some attacking passes against the Jamaicans. Oddly enough Jones didn't look so good playing up high on the right against Guatemala away.

    But Jones looked at his most effective under Klinsmann in that stretch you mentioned.
  13. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    Brazil didn't kill us. They killed Gooch.

    I'm looking at Scotlands results on the elo. From '10 to the present they've given up more than 2 goals just 4 times: Sweden, Spain, Spain again, and the US. They just took a beat down against quality.
  14. swedust

    swedust Member

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    Though I have been highly critical of Jones (and Klinsmann) in this context, I felt like in this match he and Bradley kept greater width between them, and that their movement on and off the ball was mostly away from the center of the pitch, widening that space. To my eyes that seemed to fix a lot of the bad stuff we'd seen.

    (the exception was about 65' : Bradley was carrying the ball on a counter and Jones made an amateurish, dead-center, train track run into the heart of the defense to completely clog the passing lanes. That was the sh!t that drives me crazy about that guy....)

    I still very much want to see others tried in a pairing with MB, but I thought both players and coaching made a subtle but vital adjustment in this match from what we have seen in the previous 4-5 matches featuring this pairing.

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