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Still Waiting for the Rise

Posted By Stephen Gonzalez On Oct 5 2011 @ 2:53 pm In Soccer,United States | 3 Comments

Jurgen Klinsmann’s recent arrival here in the states has revamped viewers and fans to believe that the U.S national team is just on the brink of glory. Despite his record, I myself have been generally pleased with the style he has tried to establish on the team. The idea of trying to generate a lot shots and becoming a more attacking team by bringing more creative players to the pitch. Though this may take time, I am afraid that with the players that are currently playing on the team that the U.S could potentially reach a plateau in their playing. There are a few players that need to go, and a few players that the gaffer needs to consider giving another shot.

We’ll start from the back. Of course Tim Howard is hands down our best keeper, that’s the obvious. However, the idea that coaches are trying to bring back Onyewu is a very poor decision. That man should be playing middle linebacker in the NFL, he is no center back. He often gets beat, and despite his enormous size he still manages to get beat in the air. Instead, the guy Coach Klinsmann should be looking at is L.A Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez. He is a regular starter for them and has proven to not only be a rock in the back, but also a threat in the air on set pieces. Put him next to our captain Carlos Bocanegra. Steve Cherundolo is a fantastic outside back full of experience and ability. On the left side, I hope to never see Jonathan Bornstein, or Timothy Chandler ever again. Bornstein blew his opportunity in the Mexico game, and showed the world that he cannot keep up with the pace of the game once again. I would put Eric Lichaj on the left. Lichaj has blazing speed, and does a great job of getting up the flanks. Guys like Tim Ream, Edgar Castillo, and Jonathan Spector are decent back-ups.

In the midfield, the biggest problem is finding that playmaker who wants the ball at his feet. Edu, Jones, and even Bradley are good holding midfielders, but all are severely inconsistent and sometimes make poor decisions on the ball. If you play a 4-2-3-1, put Bradley, and Jose Fransisco Torres next to each other. Torres is one of the better distributors and works very hard getting back. If Stuart Holden can get healthy he needs to take Bradley’s spot. Holden proved himself all last season in the EPL as a ball winner and another great distributor out of the middle.

In front of him is the diamond in the rough. A guy who is rarely talking about, but is truly a playmaker and very confident on the ball. Benny Feilhaber. He is a true playmaker for any team he plays for, and he has proven that. I don’t understand why he keeps getting looked over when players continue to get called up. Donovan and Dempsey have to be in the starting lineup, but the question is where. Donovan is strong on the outsides and does well to put balls in. Dempsey on the other hand is a little tricky because sometimes on the outside he becomes invisible because he doesn’t see the ball enough. I personally like him up top. Fast, good skill, and solid in the air. If you play with one forward he is the guy that has the ability to hold the ball and allow the rest of the players to get up the field. That sets things up perfectly for Brek Shea on the left. His deceiving speed and willingness to run with the ball is something that many US players lack. When I watched the MLS all-stars play Manchester United, besides Beckerman and Feilhaber, it seems that everyone else is generally scared to have the ball at their feet for more than two touches before they kick the ball 40 yards down the field to nobody. A few other players that seem to impress with out any recognition are Kyle Beckerman, (even though as of late Klinsmann has taken a liking to him) Houston Dynamo Brad Davis, (leading MLS in assist) Bobby Boswell, Freddy Adu, Alejandro Bedoya and Sacha Kljestan.

Before this ends, a few guys that should never be seen in a U.S.A jersey again…Hercules Gomez, DeMarcus Beasley, Robbie Rogers, Clarence Goodson, Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle, Ricardo Clark, and Jermaine Jones can go back to Germany for all I care.

Cheers.

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