June 25th, 2011, 09:12 PM #51
He's definitely going to get criticized for lineup decisions as well as subbing in Bornstein for the injured Cherundolo. I think he does a pretty good job given the talent that's in the pool. The US is a pretty good team but their depth is atrocious...that's not the coaches fault. Once Cherundolo went down the only options were to sub in Bornstein or put in Ream and move Boca to left back....either choice is scary.
Originally Posted by UnderPressure
The one big positive from the gold cup for the US is Freddy Adu. He absolutely has got to get his club situation under control but he was the best player for the US today...even though he was rusty.
June 25th, 2011, 09:28 PM #52
Coach Bradley sucks. Once Mexico got their first goal it was over, US needed to keep it 2-0 going into the half to have a legit shot.
June 25th, 2011, 09:57 PM #53
Agreed my criticism of Bradley are that sometimes he is too rigid (tendency to only play 4-4-2) and he sometimes shows too much loyalty to certain players, but in this tournament he changed formations and had the guts to bench Donovan. Also playing Adu, Lichaj, and Bedoya were moves I didn't expect that worked out. He should get credit for that. Sometimes he picks the wrong starting 11 but more often than not he gets his subs right (Bornstein was a mistake but like KBA and I have pointed out he didn't have many options due to our lack of depth especially at fullback).
Originally Posted by kba4life2
Everyone is quick to blame Bradley when things go wrong but as I have said many times the United States job is not really a coveted job. What options are out there? Everyone wants like to bring Klingsmann up? Well is he bringing Low with him? Because he was the mastermind behind 2006. Also find it interesting that Bayern fired him and he hasn't gotten a top job since.
There's a few positives to take from this tournament.
Originally Posted by Kbalife2
1. Eric Lichaj
Lichaj had a good tournament and is easily our best option for the left back question that we have never really answered. Lichaj fits that modern fullback's role of making runs forward and providing width. Essential to our team as Dempsey usually occupies the left side of the attacking third but tends to play very narrow. If he continues to develop the US will finally have a first choice LB instead of having to experiment with a variety of options. Between Lichaj and Timothy Chandler (injuried for the Gold Cup) the fullback quandry could be solved.
2. Freddie Adu
Adu's re-emergence into the national team picture is a pleasant surprise, one I thought would never have. He definitely is one of the more skilled players in the pool and has the vision and touch to make a difference in the attacking third. He just needs to get the hell out of Europe. I hope Adu comes back to MLS and plays regularly. MLS is a solid league and is a hell of a lot better than the Turkish second division. Since he has been hyped for so long it's easy to forget he is still only 22.
3. Alejandro Bedoya
Did not have a great game against Mexico but a breakout tournament for Bedoya. The US tends to play very narrow so it's nice to discover a nice wide option in Bedoya. Workrate is good and he definitely has speed. Didn't get to see much of his crossing but an option for the right wing if the US ever decides to play with more width.
June 25th, 2011, 10:19 PM #54
I was gonna say something mexican fans but ill just shut it ..
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June 25th, 2011, 10:32 PM #55
Along with the positives that came from the Gold Cup a number of questions still surround this team. As we go into the next qualfying cycle it will be interesting to see if these issues are resolved or continue to haunt our national team.
Many of us were hoping the Altidore-Agudelo partnership would have flourished and become the first choice strike duo for this cycle. Unfortunately Altidore got hurt early in the Jamacia game and Agudelo never got going. He was unlucky not to score against Panama but overall I thought he struggled. His work rate was good but I can't recall him winning many 1 V 1 battles and he never got the opportunity to create space to shoot.
The partnership didn't really work out as the two didn't play well together. I would have liked to have seen how Altidore would have played as the lone striker, he has not looked good in that role before but the guy just needs more games. Let's all hope he finds a club where he can play regularly.
Missing that sittter early on in the tournament doomed Chris Wondolowski but he should get more opportunities. The good news is Charlie Davies is back playing and should get back into the fold. The Altidore-Davies duo was productive and is still probably out best option going forward.
2. Center Midfield
Overall the first choice CMs - Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones had up and down tournaments. Jones was our best player in the crucial Jamacia game but his play is too inconsistent for me. Bradley had an average tournament, he clearly was not sharp after not playing at all for Aston Villa. Both were completely overrun in the final which I think was due to fatigue and rust.
I like what Jones brings to the table as he is definitley our toughest and most combative CM but he is close to the wrong side of 30. He will be a useful player in qualfiying since he will be needed in those tough away games against the likes of Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. but I'm hoping that we give Edu more time in CM. I like the energy he brings and he plays regularly for Rangers. His athleticism and speed could have helped today especially since Bradley struggles when the game gets to be more hectic.
Bradley will continue to be a first choice CM, he just needs to get back to playing regular club football. He is our best passer out of central midfield and probably the best positionally.
At some point the US will need to find a way to accommodate Stuart Holden into the midfield picture. Up until he got injured he was one of Bolton's best players playing centrally in their attacking 4-4-2. Assuming he recovers fully from his knee surgery his speed, workrate, and passing range will be a welcome addition to the team. Bradley has used him on the right side of midfield in the past but it is clear his best position is a center mid. He also strikes the ball well and could bring more goals from CM which the US lacks.
3. Central Defense
The Bocanegra-Goodson partnership was servicable but will clearly struggle against speed. I think Bocanegra has two more good years in him and will be essential for qualifying because of his experience but we need to probably phase him out by the time the World Cup comes around. I think Goodson is a good squad player but probably not a guy I would pencil in as a first choice CB. Tim Ream struggled this tournament but he should continue to get looks as he has the attributes to succeed.
Gooch is still a viable option but he's another guy that just needs to simply play. He clearly was not fit for this tournament. However even if he is fully fit it does not solve the problem the US has with fast/quick fowards. We need to hope we can develop a fast CB for the next cycle as this will continue to be an Achilles heel for the national team.
June 25th, 2011, 10:42 PM #56
Oh really, like what?
Originally Posted by Bowtothecrown
June 25th, 2011, 10:44 PM #57
Absolutely. The offense looked much better in the tournament after Lichaj took Boca's place at LB. Chandler was a huge loss. The few times I've seen him he's looked dynamic as hell, he definitely could have spelled Cherundolo a bit during the tournament. A bunch of games clustered in a short amount of time after a long european season is a lot to ask of a 32 year old RB.
Originally Posted by ASUcruz
Losing Holden to injury was a big blow too. He hasn't had a chance to play midfield for the US like he does at Bolton but man, he was playing very well in the EPL the first half of the season. He's got Bradley's motor except he is better in just about every aspect of the game. Going forward, with a full/healthy roster (Chandler, Altidore, Holden) and implementing Adu into the starting lineup (depending on his club situation) this team should be trending upward in terms of their level of play.