The triumphant return of the Blues Brothers.
- Sep 12, 2011
Cannon was able to use his speed to blast past defenders in the first-half on long switches, which also happens to be one area that Bradley is still good at. But, in the second half, Mexico went with a high-press on the USMNT DB's and I think switched who was marking Cannon. He is not gifted enough to be able to dribble past a defender or two in the defensive half. Pulisic, who has both the speed and technical ability to get by defenders, had to go deep in the second half due to the press to get the ball. Mexico (and Berhalter) pinched him towards the middle of the field and he was simply overwhelmed. Pulisic needs to be on the outside where has the space to roam to create. Berhalter had no answers for this ad
While Bradley is still serviceable from a long-range distribution standpoint, he is slow, worrisome on defense and does not handle the short-passing game well, which is what is needed to break a high pass. Unfortunately, the Gold Cup roster did not really have a viable replacement for him, which is also on Berhalter.
With respect to Altidore, he is good as a holding striker where he can use his strength to create space and win balls and his above average passing to get the ball to the guy with the best shot. You are correct in that he is not a clinical finisher. I would have liked to see him paired with a guy like Bobby Wood or, better yet, Josh Sargent as both of hem can finish. I have no idea outside of foolish club and MLS loyalty while Zardes was even on the team and the same for Morris. I would have replaced them with Sargent and Wood respectively
Taking the current (poorly selected) roster with the two changes noted above (would have loved to have Adams available), I would have gone with a more centrally compact 2-4 (diamond)-4 with Pulisic and Boyd out wide to run and create with Sarget (finish), Altidore (possesion), and Mckennie (creativity & his ability to link with Pulisic) in the middle. I could not do much with the back-line, which actually played better than expcted against Mexico. Bradley is in as the best available long-range distributor on this roster; but, get replaced should a team go to a high-press. That is called an adjustment, Mr. Berhalter.
1) Stiker: Sargent (sub would be Bobby Wood as needed)
2) CF: Altidore (to be replaced an additional defensive midfielder or an additional striker at 75' depending on the score)
3) CAM: McKennie
4) LW: Pulisic
5) RW: Boyd
6) CDM: Bradley (should a team go into a high-press, he would be replaced by Arriola/Roldan/Mihailović ) for better defensive coverage and short-range play)
7) LB: Ream
8) LCB: Long
9) RCB: Miazga
10) RB: Cannon
11) Keeper: Steffen
Nice summary and update. I missed the game (Rolling Stones concert), and don't know enough about the young guys out there. I agree with your assessment of Altidore. He's not useless or a negative, just not a great finisher. I prefer Woods. Have not seen enough of Sargent.
As for Bradley, he's a negative in most situations and I think teams know they can press us when he's in and he won't hurt them. When he's playing, somebody younger is missing out on international experience. I'd prefer he has played his last match.
That said, we've never been very good at the precision short passing game that I can recall. We lose too much possession in the midifeld and I'm not sure how to solve that unless we bring in players who are skilled in that style of play. Do we even have any?