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[USA] The World Cup is over for the USA, so it's time to pick the best American over the four games.
It would be easy to pick a scorer, such as Donovan, but I went with Feilhaber because he showed the world just exactly what the US needs to get to the next level: A creative midfielder who can hold the ball, pass well, see the field well and distribute to our scorers. The game changes in positive ways when he steps onto the pitch.
I agree, Benny Feilhaber stood out for me, I didn't understand why he didn't start the last two games. The inclusion of him and Maurice Edu changed the way USA played when they both got subbed into the games.
Feilhaber was excellent in the cup this year.
I still find it difficult to believe that Bradley decided to start Findley and Clark instead of Feilhaber and Edu, especially after the way the 2 changed the USA's attacking style in the previous game. Findley does not have the touch, passing ability, or finishing skills, and should have been brought on as a replacement for the last 20-30 minutes when the defense is tired and his skills could be maximized. Clark had no chemistry with the other players, and.... well you know the rest. His coaching was the main reason we started behind in each game by starting players that shouldn't have been on the field at that time. His adjustments were pretty good, but why put yourself in that position in the first place?????????
I chose Dempsey in a toss-up with Donovan, they both displayed great playmaking skills at various times during this WC, played with great heart and presented the greatest threat to our opponents. Banal Bob (aka 'MLS Bob') needs to be held accountable for his starting lineup decisions with regard to Clark and Findley in the most important match of WC2010 for Team USA. Clark was a known quantity in terms of his inability to maintain possession and make bone-headed mental mistakes and Findley is a north-south sort of speedster who simply cannot finish. Edu and either Buddle or Gomez should have started.
The USSF that brought us Bradley should also be held accountable for their failures, Sunil Gulati and Dan Flynn need to be gone. Recall it was they who were unwilling to give Klinsmann suffient control of the program so that he run things to bring it to the next level. They also refused to look at bringing on board other similar coaches of quality such as Argentines Pekerman and La Volpe who conducted themselves well for Argentina and Mexico during WC 2006. Why doesn't the men's program deserve a foreign coach who can raise things to a new level? The women's program has benefited greatly since bringing in Sweden's Pia Sundhage to replace the awful Greg 'Long-Ball to Abby' Ryan back in 2007 after the Hope Solo fiasco. Coach Pia has that team playing attractive soccer that uses the full range of technical skills. A seriousa house-cleaning needs to be done at USSF if we are ever to get past having a mediocre men's program. I want to see the US win a WC during my lifetime, do the rest of you feel the same?
I feel at this point in time that the US need to go back to the drawing board and think about developing the up and coming talent in the U-17 and older age groups. There are times when you see a lack of passion and desire in the current players, it could be due in part to all the bad decisions by International Ref's that have lead to their lackluster desire to be able to finish with a win. I don't honestly know, But we do need change and B. Bradley needs to be apart of that change.
I chose Dempsey because, on top of overall excellent play, his draw of the penalty against Ghana is what you expect of a world-class forward.
Ric you are very right. We are not going to have a decent soccer program in this country as long as up to Sunil Gulati and the good old boys mentality. I think he purposely sabotages our soccer program. What other reason we fail constantly on every level. His got the "ostrich syndrome" hides his head in the sand thus does not see the upcoming danger. We have talents at all levels and ages. At senior level most of them blossomed under foreign coaches and off the mailand. Then they have to come back and play under coaches that have no idea of the game.Following US Soccer for ever; Our players are much improved the last 20-30 years, but our coaches stayed there and worst they have stayed at college level. Enough with amateurism and with "good old boy"s especially at the top (USSF). Remember the fish stinks from the head down.
We need to stop hyping up young players and instead force them to make a name for themselves with their play. The authorities are more interested in finding a marketable personality. You are a superstar when you establish yourself in a european league. Maybe Jozy will get there in a couple of years if he stops believing the hype, puts his nose to the ground and works his tail off. This team just was not deep enough to contend, and Coach Bradley did an impressive job with what he had. We have no top-flight strikers. Coaches of youth need to take the shackles off creative players and stop forcing them to conform to any sort of system. And we need to stop valuing mere athleticism without skills. Landon stood out as the best US player. He is still a man among boys.
Not an easy choice. Bradley was a force in midfield, Feilhaber and Dempsey are certainly worthy, but Donovan proved to the world that he is the world class player we have hyped him to be. Virtually never putting a foot wrong, scoring important goals, making others, forcing the opposition to always account for him, is there any question that he has fulfilled all expectations? Not here. Hopefully, he will open the Premiership season with Everton as he has proven his mettle there. It's time for the Galaxy to let him spread his wings on the world stage.
John, if Landon is a "man among boys" then our national team is in trouble. No other team's star player disappears for huge stretches of time like Donovan.
Your comment about earning one's chops in a European league is correct; Everton would not allow Donovan to take time off during a game the way both his MLS and national teams do.
Compare Donovan to Tevez or Rooney for instance. My goodness, it would be funny were it not simply absurd. Donovan has enormous talent, and when his head's in the game he's fantastic. Unfortunately he only plays 30-40 minutes per game.
I'm going with Dempsey this year. Thought he and Donovan were the only constant and creative threat we had on the field. M Bradley (and I am NOT a fan of his) had a pretty good final game against Ghana, but he still trots back to D when there are offensive numbers against us, and he is constantly running into a crowd instead of making runs that will create space. Dempsey worked all the time, and kept showing up at the goal mouth. He forced keepers to make 8 saves, and 5 more of his shots were blocked. And he wasn't even a forward (we really don't have ONE, now do we).
I read the comment regarding Donovan going missing, and frankly I think it is partly due to playing on the outside, and partly due to poor distribution by those in the middle. If it were up to me I'd have Donovan in the attacking mid where he can get the ball more often, be more creative, and be involved more in the attack. Bradley I think would be better as a defensive mid (he was not in as much foul trouble as he was in the past).
Donovan is the obvious pick, but he did tend to return to old habits of disappearing for large swaths of the game. Dempsey was a warrior but did not convert any chances apart from the charity of one English Keeper. You can't pick a forward as none of them scored a single goal. And it's hard to pick any of the back 5 as we let in an early goal in almost every match due to our own lapses, not due to a 30 yard rocket in the upper 90. Even Timmy - as Paul Gardner noted - was little more than pedestrian, particularly on the first (near post) goal in the Ghana game. I hear you on Feilhaber, but not enough time nor enough personal impact on the match. That leaves Bradley, for better or worse he was a typical American workhorse Player in this WC and his goal vs. Slovenia was the best example of what he brings to his game. Champagne football - not really, but absolutely one of the workhorse members as part of a trio of midfielders that desperately require this generation's Claudio Reyna (with a bit more footspeed, thank you very much).
As for the state of the National Team. Good things seem to be happening through the Academy construct and the U-17's and U-20's. But you will know we are really firing on all of the player development cylinders when you have about 40 - 50 players between the ages of 18 - 21 taking their regular position in MLS starting line-ups and double that number in first team training every day. That would be in addition to the dozen or so young players that get picked up by some of the Big Euro Clubs through their Academy system / MLS transfers and loan deals and play in a supporting role until ready to break into first team football or be sold or returned.
How is Altidore on the selection list and Benny is not?! I would rather see Altidore on the list of biggest disappointments of the tournament. Feilhaber should have been starting -- he was a difference maker.
I would have chosen Donovan and Dempsey. So Donovan gets lost for stretches. He doesnt get the ball enough playing outside because we dont pass the ball to him enough. Why? because we cant string 3 passes together. Dempsey is the warrior amongst our team. He fights all time, both offensively and defensively. He is our best poacher. Our 2 best players are midfielders. We have no forwards yet. Honorable mention to Feilhaber and Edu for their efforts. They didnt get to play enough.
Landon does disappear for stretches. And it is ironic that he was celebrated for the goal against Algeria when he had frequently passed off to others in the 2nd half instead of taking some risks and taking people on. Ruud Gullit used to yell at him "They are afraid of you!", and that is what I was thinking. In MLS he disappears for whole matches. But he just sees the game on a level so much higher than any other US player. And when he is playing with others that do too, such as at Everton and with Becks when he was healthy, the results are fantastic. Personally, I see him as a forward. None of our players are as opportunistic as he is. You see great goals at the World Cup. He is the only American who could possibly score like that. Maybe when Coach Bradley was looking for a quick player to replace Davies, he should have put Landon up there instead of Findley. Dempsey fought bravely but looked worn out after a long season of EPL & Europa League.
Donovan is the "Face" of US Soccer,andDempsey is the "Heart" of the team....someone must have been joking when they voted for Altidore.
The 1st comment by ##Ken Morris is brilliant, I would not change a word! I pick Feilhaber because he played more of an "International" style of play than any other USA player. My 2nd choice is Dempsey as he has developed a great ability to draw the attention of the other side and is very opportunistic. ##John Pomelroy - exactly right! The hyping of players and picking winners at younger and younger ages instead of seeing who steps up and delivers is a big problem. MY QUESTION: do we want to play an International style, or a collegiate style? If we want to go further in the cup, there is only one correct answer, but those in charge do not have the skill set to take us there.
donovan. really what a joke. a bunch of people who dont know soccer must have been voting. his cheesey goals. goal against Slovenia he walks it in and kicks it as hard as he can at the goalie (who moves out the way and is a pussy for hiding behind the goal post. really u call urself a goalie). goal against Algeria, goalie and defender on the ground of a rebound and so basically a open net goal(a fricken 12 year old could score that). and against Ghana, a pk, really that is automatically. well not for him(as seen in the mls final). and other than his goals, wtf did he do. not a damn thing. well i guess he ran alot(Mr. Track superstar he is)