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Thread: Back to the important stuff....

  1. #301
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    3rd Place game, Belgium v. England

    Belgium is the better team, but in such games motivation matters.

    From experience when I played for Tech's soccer club team we lost in the semifinals in the Mobile tourney, 4-3 to Florida on a golden goal (OT). 1 1/2 hours later we were back on the field to face Tulane in the 3rd place game. It would be our 5th game in just over 24 hours, and it was late April and kind of hot. Too many of our guys didn't want to play and we got drilled 6-1.

    In practice the next week that loss, to an inferior Tulane, team lingered. Several of us were pissed that the team "phoned it in," and we made a vow, never again. A month later we were in Pensacola for the Univ of West Florida-hosted tourney. Again, we fell in the semis, this time to Florida State and faced the host school, West Florida, in the 3rd place game. WFU, kind of like Russia in the WC, greatly over-achieved advancing to the semis. We were a lot better and knew it. They soon knew it too....we smoked 'em 8-0 in that 3rd place consolation match. The long drive home to Ruston that evening was a whole lot more pleasant than after Mobile.

    Some say, don't play 3rd place consolation games....and I understand the sentiment. But, the worst thing that happens to a team is to LOSE that game! That really sucks! Ending a great tourney run, into the Final Four, with back to back losses. That sucks!

  2. #302
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Well...Belgium looks motivated....1-0 just 3 mins in.

    Belgium 2 England 0 Final

  3. #303
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    France 2 Croatia 1 Halftime

    Croatia has enjoyed the run of play, with 60%+ TOP and generating the most chances. But, they have been very unlucky so far. An own goal and an unfortunate hand ball in the box has given France its two goals. Now, either their luck will change and Croatia goes on to pull this out, or France makes "halftime adjustments" and owns the 2nd half and gets the WC title.

    45 mins to go...we shall see. Regardless, I really like this Croatia side.

    France 4 Croatia 2 Final

    Great match, worthy ending of an awesome tourney.

    As always it comes down to midfield play, and France had the best of that.

    Until we, the USA, develop a stable of midfielders of world class caliber, it'll never happen here. Our USWNT has the best midfield in the world, and no surprise are defending WC Champions. For our MNT, it just ain't there. We've had a few over the decades: Reyna, Ramos, Donovan....maybe McBride....I had high hopes for Michael Bradley, and he showed some flashes of greatness, but alas.... To win a WC requires having 6 world class MFers. A starting 4 plus a couple of quality subs you can count on to deliver.

    Keep on keeping on....


    Actually, McBride was a striker.

  4. #304
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    USA vs. Brazil

    Clint Dempsey has officially retired. Altidore is gone. So, the youth movement is on for the USA. Christian Pulisic is out injured.

    Brazil has brought its real team tonite, 10/11 starters from the recent World Cup, including Neymar.

    U-S-A !!!

  5. #305
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Talk about a trial by fire.

  6. #306
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Brazil 2 USA 0

    2nd goal was total BS, horrible call by ref. But really, after Brazil scored in the 11th min, it was effectively game over. They possessed the ball 70-30% and except for a couple of scrambles in front of their goal, we never threatened to score.

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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    Brazil 2 USA 0

    2nd goal was total BS, horrible call by ref. But really, after Brazil scored in the 11th min, it was effectively game over. They possessed the ball 70-30% and except for a couple of scrambles in front of their goal, we never threatened to score.
    I thought it was interesting that Brazil played their A team in friendly. I mean they started Neymar.

    The call was BS. I love the kid asking the ref if he watched the WC. Instant classic. Neymar is a good player, but he flops.

    We played B and C youth. They did pretty well all things considered. For the most part they marked well, held their formation, and limited their mistakes.

    Mexico will be a better match to judge on Tuesday.

  8. #308
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Antonee Robinson got smoked in his left back position, all night long. Our single biggest weakness. First goal was a direct result of Robinson getting burned, and the build up that led to the BS call in the box, came thru Robinson too.

    But we also had no midfield play. Brazil dominated midfield, and held the ball 70% possession. We mostly chased the ball all night.

    As you said, we had a minor league team vs. The NY Yankees, with Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, (yes, I threw Mickey in there too). It's what we need to do. Our goal should be to build a team/program for the 2026 WC when we host. Use the 2022 WC as a training event.

  9. #309
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    Antonee Robinson got smoked in his left back position, all night long. Our single biggest weakness. First goal was a direct result of Robinson getting burned, and the build up that led to the BS call in the box, came thru Robinson too.

    But we also had no midfield play. Brazil dominated midfield, and held the ball 70% possession. We mostly chased the ball all night.

    As you said, we had a minor league team vs. The NY Yankees, with Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, (yes, I threw Mickey in there too). It's what we need to do. Our goal should be to build a team/program for the 2026 WC when we host. Use the 2022 WC as a training event.
    Yep.

    The next manager should look at a two WC cycle instead of a one. We should only start/play players who will be with the team in 2026.

    So no Bradley. Altidore is a probable (but only because he is the best/only real striker we have right now).

    We need to focus on development: Weah, Pulisic, Yedlin, Acosta, Sargent, Morris. Build a core midfield around Pulisic. This gets us two cycles of a solid team.

    I would love to see a Weah, Pulisic, McKennie, and Green midfield develop together. That could be a core of something special.

  10. #310
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Of the roster vs. Brazil, Yedlin was the veteran guy with 50 caps. I think the rest of the team combined doesn't have 50.

    Midfield play. That's it. Until we have a good midfield we'll always be just another "also ran." We have 8 years until we host the WC Finals. The focus needs to be on developing a WORLD CLASS midfield. Can we do it? Will we do it? I dunno. But we have to try, because without it, we are doomed to fall short.

    In the short run, I'd like to see these young bucks play solid soccer. Smart soccer. At least be in the right place....all the time. No excuse for being caught out of position. That's a mental issue.

  11. #311
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    USA 1 Mexico 0

    Yeah, baby!

    Robinson clearly showed why he might make a pretty good left midfielder, and is the absolute worst marking back I've seen in years. Pretty run to set up US goal, and then nearly gave it back because he is clueless what "marking" a player is. When asked about, Robinson held up a Sharpie and muttered, "would I use this...or what?" And Twellman tried to blame Miaga on that play! Ah...no.

    Do want to point out that the entire US team, all 23 players, stood and sung the National Anthem. Hands on hearts. Great Americans, each one.

  12. #312
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Seemed pretty disjointed in the first half. The youth showing. But we settled down and hit it when it counted.

  13. #313
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Yeah. Disjointed first half. Very youthful.

    Second half was much more composed. Again most of these youngsters are playing for a potential starter spot right now. Robison is up and down. I think the problem is we do a poor job of developing defensive soccer players at every level. Too much emphasis on strikers and midfielders. I want to see core back lines that hold their shape and don’t get out of position. That is key. Too many coaches are bringing up defenders into striking formations including Klinsman using Yedlin this way.

    You may not have numbers going forward, but you won’t have backlines that are beat either.

  14. #314
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Nothing wrong with marking backs making runs up the touch line. In fact, without it, you're stuck in a regimented box formation, easy to defend. Score would have been 0-0 last night save for Robinson's run. It was perfect.

    But! the primary role of the back line is to defend, and the outside backers have to "mark up." Miaga glanced to his left, on that late, nearly game-tying attack by Mexico. He saw Robinson over there and assumed, as he should, he had the attacker covered. Meanwhile, to his right, Miaga and one other US defender, Trapp, I think, were dealing with 3 attacking Mexicans. From behind him, Miaga did not know Robinson had been burned again (he could have guessed though). He was incensed and "shot daggers" with his look at Robinson.

    Antonee Robinson shows enormous potential to be a left midfielder. I see incredible talent in that youngster. Speed, ball skills, understanding how to stretch the field out to the touch line...The USMNT needs a stable of midfielders. Robinson can be one.

    But....our back line woes. One of the first things I would teach kids, even U12, is how to recognize what was happening, and how to be in the right place. Even without good ball skills, or even good athleticism, if a defender is where they should be...they can disrupt an offensive attack. To see players...on the frickin' USMNT!!! get caught out time and time again....I am screaming at the TV...."watch your right! shift right!!!" or whatever the defensive play calls for. It's frustrating.

    US Soccer has all these development programs, like Olympic Development camps, etc.. I even had some players who were invited to such camps when they were youngsters, usually, in my case, U14. They would come back from such a camp, say in Dallas, and I'd ask 'em what they learned... "ball skills." Was the usual answer. Nothing about "team soccer." Perhaps that's why our youngsters look lost out there. They have not ever been properly coached.

  15. #315
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Talk is, of course, that Michael Bradley and Altidore and maybe a couple of other "older players" will be on the 23-man roster next year when WC qualifying starts for Qatar 2022. Altidore is what, 27? Should be in the prime of his athletic career, but he stays hurt. Christian Pulisic is hurt a lot too. Has missed 7 of the last 8 MNT's games due to nagging injuries.

    Dempsey, the ole "bulldog," as he is referred to, has retired. Someone(s) need to step up and be that go-to guy up top.

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