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Thread: Back to the important stuff....

  1. #346
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    The US side can ill-afford injuries, especially season-ending ones.

    Possession... Chile is a good team, but not world-beaters, yet they out-classed us for 90 mins. We mostly chased the ball. Until the US consistently has opponents chasing the ball we'll always be chasing that Final Four appearance in the WC Finals.

    Defense... MARK UP! Goal side! And that doesn't mean staying 5 yards away.
    The MNT has never been good at playing possession soccer. Our best WC years were playing with Donovan in a dual role making runs and defense. Iíve seen arguments that US soccer should be based/built in a rock solid defense and set pieces.

    But from what Iíve seen now we donít have a single decent holding midfielder. Bradley is a turnover machine and Pulisic canít handle the double team that he will regularly face right now. I just donít know how to solve the development piece where the us clearly has money and resources but cannot make it happen.

  2. #347
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    If you can't possess the ball...and that means consistently and with a purpose...you will NEVER win a WC, and probably never reach the Final Four even..

    USWNT in 2015 had the best, BY FAR! midfield in the world. We could do anything we wanted, when we wanted, between the 18s. Oh, and BTW, we won the World Cup too!

    Donovan is the best player in USMNT history. He ran up and down only because he had to to give us a chance. Imagine if he didn't have to, and could have just played the position he was born to play: attacking midfielder.

    Nah! the USMNT has got to get better at possession. Might as well start with youngsters and train 'em right.

  3. #348
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    US 5 Australia 3 (USWNT)

    No defense and a GK who is slow as ice. More than half the goals the US is surrendering now Solo would have gobbled up. Ertz needs to be back at center back, anchoring the back line. Marking backs suck. This is the worst defense, back line and center midfield, in the history of USWNT. Shouldn't have an issue advancing into the knockout round, but from game one of it, this USWNT is at great risk of an early exit this summer. UNLESS of course! the US suddenly finds a defense. But...from where? Who?

    Horan is just back off a long layoff due to injury. So, in two more months, and still 4 or 5 friendlies to play, maybe she'll play herself back into shape. But last night...woe! Lavelle is just a liability. Dunn and Sonnet are total jokes as marking backs. Rapinoe, IMO, the best player in USWNT history, and Heath are solid as outside mids. Morgan, Press, Pugh, and the other strikers are all more than adequate. But central midflield, the back line, and Keeper are all major concerns.

    Defense wins championships. No women's side has ever repeated as WC champions. Both of those will be reinforced this summer.

  4. #349
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Women's World Cup begins June 7 but the US doesn't play our first game until June 11.

    Coming off a "good" three-game run of WC prep, outscoring opponents 11-0. I particularly like the goose egg put up by the defense. Still, we are weak up the middle. We do have strong outside mids in Rapinoe and Heath. And, previously I said Rapinoe is the best player in USWNT history...I wish to revise that, Rapinoe is the best player in the history of women's soccer, period! Best in the world. Midfielders are the heart and soul of any soccer team. Have to control the midfield if you wish to be successful, especially if you want to win the frickin' World Cup!

    Well, unfortunately the US is weak at center midfield. Yes, Carli Lloyd will be a major contributor when she enters the match, but at age 36, she's good for about 30 mins max. Hopefully we'll be in the game...when we reach those tough knock-out rounds...and Lloyd will provide the spark to get us over the hump.

  5. #350
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    BTW...this is just one example of why Rapinoe is the best ever. Watch this pinpoint pass at a critical moment from the 2011 WC quarterfinal. US one minute from elimination.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qq0HsY4ciE

  6. #351
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Meanwhile the U-20 team is playing out of their minds!

    Huge win over France (a legit squad)

  7. #352
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Soto looks legit as a goal scorer. The defense was hit & miss, flashes of brilliance mixed with WTF lapses. And, the same ole same ole with US sides...absence of ball possession by the midfield. Our ball movement for 90 minutes was straight from the back, either through or over the midfield to the strikers up top. Very, very typical of US style of play.

    Tab Ramos is the coach and was a brilliant midfielder. Along with Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna, and Johnny Hawkes, Ramos is one of best in US history. In fact, those four compose my starting midfield on my all-time greatest USMNT. So! Ramos should know the importance of the midfield. What's more, he needs to use the U20 program as a farm system for the MNT and the focus should be on developing midfielders.

    Our U20 play Ecuador Saturday in the quarterfinals, the Elite 8, of the World Cup.

  8. #353
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    MLS is a big part of our problem. The league is crap. The players are crap. The development is crap.

    And itís got such a hold on American soccer right now. They control so much. Monopoly.

    Midfield development is poor at best. The only way the MNT is going to get better is to farm our development back out to international development (Pulisic, Soto, Weah understand this).

  9. #354
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Jamaica 1 US 0

    Yeah, it was largely a "B" team, a friendly....still, most of those players will be counted on as part of the near-future of MNT. Some individual displays of talent and skill, some "good ideas" demonstrated, but ultimately FAILURE!

    Sunday the MNT face Venezuela in what should be a better look at what this team is, and will be heading toward WC 2022.

    Well...the Women's WC and the Gold Cup will provide lots of great viewing for we US soccer fans over the next month!

  10. #355
    Champ dawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond repute dawg80's Avatar
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Factual tidbits ahead of the Women's World Cup...

    this is the 8th edition. There have been 7 WCC's.

    7/7 times the USWNT reached the Final Four.
    3 times we won it all.
    3 times we lost in the semi, but won the consolation match
    1 time we lost in the Final.

    Worst finishes in history, 3rd place.

    This year we are looking at a potential, and more-than-likely matchup with France in the quarterfinals (Elite 8). That's just the way the brackets line up, luck of the draw. If we lose that match...and that is a very real possibility...it'll mark the first time ever we failed to advance to the semifinals.

    In 2011 we faced a similar predicament. We had highly ranked, and one of the tourney favorites, Brazil, in the quarterfinals. The US trailed 2-1 with one minute left...and then Rapinoe hit Wambach with that perfect pass from 40 yards away. We eventually won on PKs.

    France is more than just legit. "Vegas" has them pegged as the odds-on favorite to win it all and they are playing on their home soil.

    The US has to resolve its GK and "down the middle" issues, or...

  11. #356
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    France has a quick team. Good attacks.

    Not saying we should do this, but I would totally take the 2F spot out of the group stage. You get a far easier path to the finals.

  12. #357
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    France's big girl, center back, Renard is a huge defensive liability for them when the ball is played at the feet. Yeah, with her height she's good against balls in the air. But she is slow, slow, slow...I can see ATM blowing right by her. Also, France's defense tends to get caught forward a lot, and again, with slow foot speed, they are susceptible to counter-attacks. That's the only real weakness I see.

    France reminds me of the powerful German teams of the early 2000's. They won two WCs, so that is saying something.

    England is every bit as good, and perhaps even better than France. And Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, and Japan are all legit, and any one of them will be a tough quarterfinal opponent. Point is, ducking France will only land US in another tough quarterfinal match. And our goal is to WIN the WC. If that means we have to go through France to do that, then might as well play them sooner, rather than later.

  13. #358
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Well, after studying the bracket...I say we get our 6 pts then purposely lose to Sweden! The winner of our group is VERY likely looking at: Spain or China, then France, England, and Germany. The US is ranked #1 but the path includes #13, then #3, #4, and #2. If this happens, then to win the Cup either the US or France would have completed the toughest road to the title in WWC history. Brutal!

  14. #359
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Oh wait! try this scenario!! If Germany finishes 2nd in their pool but everything else goes according to form, the US could face:

    #2, #3, #4 and then #5 (Australia) in the final. REALLY BRUTAL!

  15. #360
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    Re: Back to the important stuff....

    Italy 2 Australia 1

    First upset of this year's WWC. Won't be the last...

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