USMNT: Identity Lost

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Sam Hamwich, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Recently, after a major night out, I found myself in front of the ATM having inputed 2 incorrect PIN's and with only one left spent near 10 minutes thinking of the last. I got it wrong. It is now lost forever.

    After the loss to Ghana, our own collective major night out, the USMNT has also lost its personal identification style and we have not recovered it. Towards the end, Bob to his credit was experimenting, but as a man looking for answers not finalizing a theory. The gold cup final saw the best of what we can be and what we had become. Lost.

    JK enters as a relative outsider. He is noticeably light on tactics, experience, and formation and yet is challenging the players to forge their own. Thus far the failure of the players to manufacture this identity is likely ripping at the fabric of our team.

    I can't say I have the answers. In theory I like what JK is doing. I agree with what he is saying, but I also see that we need leadership: on the pitch, in the locker room, in the coaches room and in the board room.

    Personally, I would like to see a successful US MLS coach placed as a #1 assistant under JK. I would like to see a style developed, practiced and honed over the next 2 years and I would like to see the US play attacking, but not naive football. You forge an identity. You hammer it over time. You earn it. Thus far all we have been doing is talking about it.
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  2. Foolishness

    Foolishness Member+

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    I don't get why everyone pretends like the disappearance of Donovan isn't as big of a deal as it really is.

    No one has been creative, hell, Donovan wasn't even that creative, but he could force it.

    Watch a highlight reel of Jozy's national team goals, they almost all come from Donovan - I'm sure that could be said for quite a few other players. We have no identity because we have some big guns but no gun powder.

    There's two things that I feel are important to our progress.
    1. The locker room talk and communication in Honduras after the game. I hold shit got addressed that needed to be.
    2. We get Donovan back.

    Neither one is going to change anything from night to day but it'll be a step in the right direction.
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  3. MPNumber9

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    As I posted elsewhere, I think Bob knew how to be pragmatic and get the most of what we had. Sometimes you have to play a Findley. That's just the nature of our pool.

    It would've made more sense to start Zusi, a real winger, and leave a better player like Williams on the bench. I think Klinsmann is in a little bit of denial about these realities.
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  4. Excellency

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    Jk's serious misjudgments eclipse the theme of Sam's op which seems to be "identity".

    Before the hex began, some weeks ago, I suggested JK had failed to build a team and asked if anybody could tell me who the back line were for the USMNT since the hex was about to begin. Now that is an identity problem but I am not sure it was what Sam had in mind. Next question: did we really have anybody at the 6? Next question: Who would play wide?

    Sorry, but I just think Jurgen's obsessive side has created a Frankenstein's monster.
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  5. Excellency

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    I said last year that Donovan would not play in Honduras. He would be at Everton or on the beach. He will be back for the CR and Mexico games if he is healthy.

    Hwvr, we cant go on like this. It is JK's job to build a team that can do without a particular player. That is the whole point of building a team.
  6. Mr. Warmth

    Mr. Warmth Red Card

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    It would seem we have some revisionist history here.

    Klinsman wasn't sold to us as an outsider. He was sold to the lemmings as the Outside the Box Thinker that could see the global view, the holistic view, the solution that couldn't be seen from anyone on the inside.

    What? You're just as vacuous as he is?

    If you asked me, and you did by starting this topic, Klinsman should have been hired to fix what he said was wrong and groom the next generation and be the Heir-In-Waiting to Bob Bradley. Bob Bradley could get what's left of our "Golden Generation" to continue to overachieve as we transition into a different style. But no, Bradley was sold out for 30 pieces of silver and the belief that Klinsman had developed a new generation of German player (he didn't, the DFB already had that well under way) and that he was a master tactician (no, that was Jogi), and this is what we have. Trying to make a shit load of changes right before we start qualifications, a process that he never had to go through with Die Mannschaft because they were the host country.

    Well here we are folks. We'll have to see if the old soldiers can get the young kids through qualification, because most of them probably won't make it to Brazil and if they remnants of Donovan's cohort can get us to Brazil, it'll be up to the younger group to keep us from getting rolled out of the first round.

    Those of you that were so tickled to have Klinsy, well, I spit in your faces now, fools.
  7. realUSpride

    realUSpride Member

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    The U.S. backline plays like Rosie O'donnell and now we have an identity crisis? Now we need Donovan back?
    Cadswallop, Bocanegra and Cherundolo have been awesome for the team. We don't need Donovan. But this was the first test for Gonzales OR Cameron to step it up, or Johnson OR Chandler to step it up. And they all came up short.(Normally Johnson plays way better and Gonzales had his first true outing.)

    Because it isn't. Not having Boca or Cherundolo was a much bigger deal. They both have attitude and 'grit.'

    People need to stop acting surprised, kissing Donovan' backside, or blaming JK. The backline played a stinker.
  8. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    The trick is to determine a style of play and play it. Over and over and over again. Be brutally consistent.

    I wont pretend to have read most of this. My only focus was on determining a style of play and playing it.

    If we are going to go narrow, then let's own it. Let's play those quick internal, fast paced vertical, penetrating passes you see at Dortmund. If we are going with 3 dmids, then lets play back pass heaven, wait for minute 75 winger sub to push the pace and counter.

    Find the style and play it until it creates the identity.

    Thus far JK's massive and foolish misstep is to simply not make a decision and forge ahead with it.

    The point of this thread is to highlight the fact that since our loss to Ghana the USMNT has been adrift. I am willing to bet every player in our locker room is looking to the coach and begging him to focus on one style of play for 16 players and hammer it home. Instead 'coach' is telling them to find their inner yoda and run faster. And even then I can see JK's point: if the players reach the point where they mold and build the team it will be much stronger than if he dictates it. What JK fails to realize is the players need direction then can add their voice, not the other way around.
  9. Foolishness

    Foolishness Member+

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    The backline definitely had issues and are the reason we lost instead of drew level. But lets be honest, it's something that looks like has room for improvement and is the personnel that we want. The offense isn't progressing, isn't clicking, isn't working.

    To think our offense is capable of winning games regularly is something I don't believe to be true. We're missing something (width/a CAM) and without it we're going to be fighting to get 1 point instead of fighting for 3.
  10. Grogtank

    Grogtank Member

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    You want to talk revisionism? Really? Ok lets go.

    Are you talking about that awesome record in 2011 including the Gold Cup final of 4 wins 4 losses and 2 draws? The finale being the "dear in headlights" failure to even recognize that we were in trouble and adjust after being up 2-0 against our arch rivals? The proverbial straw that broke the camels back in Bob's tenure. I believe your conclusion was that "this isn't fifa 11 and there was nothing he could have done". See my sig for details. Yeah, let's talk about revisionism...
  11. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Early on, we played with 3dms and while it board me to tears, it was a decision. It was not dissimilar to France in '98. He threw that away and went 4-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1 so that at every point on the field we were not only narrow but isolated.

    The knock on the 2006 team was the high defensive line and isolation between defense and offense. At BM his team was leaking more goals than in any other season in their history. While the defense was a problem in Hondy, the experienced, holding mids were terrible. I honestly think the team was very upset with no Bocanegra on the pitch and played like it.
  12. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    Our identity started to die when Jones stepped immediately into central midfield for Bradley. Klinsmann has exacerbated the problem. Mercenaries kill an army's esprit de corps.
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  13. TheNearPost

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    Did anyone honestly see the lineup and think: "We got this"?

    That's my issue. No, the player pool is not ideal. It's been that way for quite some time now.

    Bob knew how to deal with that. He was fantastic at getting the best out of just about any player. Bob sucked it up when he had to and called up Adu, or Feilhaber, or Casey, or Robbie Findley, or even Robbie Rogers, or Torres. He found uses for different players.

    The quality in the player pool is not amazing, but the VARIETY is not bad enough that we need to EVER act like Maurice Edu should be played as the highest central midfielder up the pitch, or Danny Williams should be played on the right, or any other strange decisions like that.
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  14. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    Benny at LM or RM. Holden at RM. Beasley at LB...Bob definitely threw players in positions that did not help them, but he always had the team playing the same style.

    I dont think our midfield has any idea what it is doing.
  15. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    Just said something like this is another thread. It's not a ...a like better thanks thing, etc...


    ....BB clearly knew the US pool better, evaluated better and used then so much better than anything JK has done. Not even close.

    Not opinion. Fact.


    Adrift is a good word. it started after 2010, and it's continued.

    We are an organizational mess of a company.
  16. tbonepat11

    tbonepat11 Member+

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    We play to narrow and have no width. Simple as that.

    Jurgen seems to insist width can only come from our outside backs. We have not really seen it....at all. Honduras was embarrassing. He wants us to be Barcelona and we can not with our player pool. Some very very rich clubs are trying to do it and can not do it with their pick of all-stars and year around training.

    The only reason Spain and Barcelona can do what they do is because they happen to be in a golden era of Spanish soccer where they have 6-7 World Class #10s and they play them all at once. Jurgen is trying to do it with zero #10s.

    Lacking midfield creativity means you have to use speed, width, strength, good defense and set pieces to win games. There is nothing wrong with counter-attacking. Greece won the Euro's doing that and Chelsea won the Champion's League doing that. The key of course is good defense which of course is our main problem right now.
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  17. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    I think the Barca, Spain ship has sailed. We most resemble, or at least he wants us to resemble the '98 french team. 3dmids, zidane/dempsey, Djorkaeff/Donovan, inspirational defensive slaloms, and work horse striker.
  18. Aduesque

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    I missed the old hard working, super athletic teams we had in the past. The only thing those teams was missing was Carlos V type. These teams are missing a lot more.
  19. TheNearPost

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    Benny didn't look bad at left midfield though. If anything, it helped him when he played there, particularly off the bench. He came all the way from the left flank against Spain, rounded Pique, and layed off to Donovan in a great sequence that led to the goal. Seems like Benny likes the left flank if you ask me.

    Holden at right midfield... Well can you blame Bob? Holden crosses... ahem...crossed the ball better than just about about anybody in the whole pool... Not sure if that's true anymore, but the dude could whip it in.

    Beasley at left back was ill-timed. Beez was in pretty crappy form in general, and had finally fallen apart due to months and months of inactivity at Rangers, if I'm not mistaken. He started to sharpen up in the months before the World Cup though, which might have been a good time to test him had Heath Pearce not had a random masterclass against El Salvador that gave Bob just enough reason to try him in Holland.

    I'm not saying all of Bob's decisions were spot on, but he knew how to use certain players differently. Moving Donovan to the left flank was where the cycle really started to turn.
  20. Aduesque

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    BB biggest issue was we played boring soccer and we were limited to how far can we go. When we hired JK, we assumed he can get the most out of our players and turn us into a champion but he doesn't have the talent to do so. He would need to swallow his pride and make decisions that will help the team. I never liked JK as a coach much. But I remember the talk around here was positive on him for the most part.
  21. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    This has nothing about "knowing the pool".

    He knows what Graham Zusi is. We all know what Graham Zusi is. And what he isn't. But Klinsmann still selects him. Then Graham Zusi plays like Graham Zusi plays. And no one should be surprised. Except this coaching staff.
  22. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

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    That is not what he was saying at all, but way to go steering it way off course. You can go back and look at 2011 and see what happened. The then coach was given a new 4 year contract, and presumably job security to begin experimenting and making changes. You saw new defenders (Ream, Goodson, Lichaj, etc) start remaking the back line. He was trying to adjust to a 5-man midfield with a very in-form Holden in the middle that he lost just before the poor stretch from March-July. He was playing two other players who were in bad situations with Mike and Jones. Nobody was saying he was doing a great job, but he assessed that the 'hangover' was a time to build for the future.

    The current guy has assessed what there is, is ignoring what there is and trying to make the players adapt to a style of play that is not working for the group. Andy Reid can go to the KC Chiefs and start getting rid of players that will play his style of football. Sam Allerdyce can go out and get players that will fit his style of play. Same to for Harry Redknapp. As a national team manager you need to adapt to what your player pool can do.
  23. Sam Hamwich

    Sam Hamwich Member+

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    no need to rehash it, benny did play well...when he pushed centrally. I dont mind 3 dmids, I dont mind 5 dmids, just settle on a style and get the team organized.
  24. TheNearPost

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    That was nowhere near the main issue with Bob. It may not have always been tiki-taka, but we at least knew what we were going to get. The main issue was that even though he squeezed the best out of his players, the worst would also eek out. He knew his players limitations. He gambled that he could score enough goals that it wouldn't matter. The Ghana game and the Mexico game and the Brazil Confederations Cup final were clear examples that he couldn't always do so.

    Michael Cox, a brilliant soccer analyst who writes for ESPN sometimes and runs the excellent site Zonal Marking, put it well in a piece he wrote on the U.S. in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.

    "...The key is bringing the best out of Dempsey and Donovan. This side can’t rely on a great defence, so goals will be needed, and those two players will be the best players on the pitch for the Algeria and Slovenia games..."

    Can't say it much better than that. Going into the World Cup, Bob wasn't fooling himself into thinking he could escape without conceding a few goals. He knew that he was going to have to rig his offense to make up for some defensive issues.

    Thinking about it like that, it explains why Bob was almost lackadaisical in dealing with Mexico's offense in the Gold Cup final. His offensive tactics were actually very good - turning to Donovan as a false nine and using Freddy Adu in the hole was quite an inspired move. However, Mexico still ran rampant, and Bob had no real plan for dealing with being 2-0 up. He didn't press high up the field because he knew Chicharito would eat up the space in behind, but he didn't sit back because he knew Chicarito's poaching abilities would have also been a danger. He sure as hell wasn't going to keep possession, especially with Mexico applying such heavy pressure once they went down. It's almost as if he was more prepared for Mexico to go ahead first, which, in a way, is kind of genius. It seems asinine to bet against your own defense, but you can't honestly say the odds weren't in his favor if he did. The fact that the U.S. went jumped out to a fairly early lead was, in the end, somewhat unlucky for Bob.

    The guy was a deeper tactician than people give him credit for. A very, "ends justify the means" kind of guy, thinking out the course of the game, wondering how to win it ( of course), and knowing that trying to neutralize every opposition threat would leave him with no offensive punch.
  25. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    Great analysis, amigo.

    It's not just about knowing the pool. It's about knowing exactly what different ways you can use a player. Bob showed great knowledge, and was able to get the best out of his players as a result. Klinsmann has not, as of yet.

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