USA-Panama Gold Cup Player Ratings

July 8 in Nashville, Tenn.
USA 1 Panama 1. Goals: Dwyer 50; Camargo 60.
Att.: 47,622.

A second goal in as many U.S. games for striker Dom Dwyer opened up a 1-0 lead early in the second half but a pesky Panamanian team soon got a deserved equalizer to come away with a point from their 1-1 tie to open Group B play at the Gold Cup.

Only in short spurts did the Americans dictate tempo and they conceded a lot of possession and space after Dwyer first-timed a Kelyn Rowe pass along the turf just inside the far post. Keeper Brad Guzan rescued his team a few times with saves and the Americans also escaped punishment when Ismael Diaz shot over the bar from point-blank range.

No players on either team were cautioned but even with a clean disciplinary slate the U.S lineup will probably change considerably because of fatigue on a hot day and several tepid displays.

USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) Caps/Goals
7 Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), 56/0.
Pulled off seven saves, including a pair of beauties, during a rather busy day. Did his best to marshal a defense that was opened up and pulled apart much too often.

5 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 50/5.
Sent balls into the channel and up the sideline for Bedoya and came in behind him a few times to loft balls from near the corner flag or midfield. Got a shoulder into Gabriel Torres but couldn’t block the shot that rebounded to Miguel Camargo for Panama goal.

4 Matt Besler (Sporting KC) 41/1.
Mistimed midfield challenge on a Panamanian counter opened space for a good shot that went wide. Caught in two minds often when confronted by Ismael Diaz and Edgar Barcenas. Broke up a few plays but didn’t pass efficiently enough. Lucky not to be penalized when ball hit his arm as he slid to stop Diaz.

4 Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX) 41/1.
Charged into Diaz as the Panamanian reached for a rebound he boomed over the crossbar. Stopped Torres a couple of times but also stepped up too slowly to contest shots and passes around the edge of the penalty area. Beaten a couple of times in the air, where he usually dominates, and misplayed a bouncing ball Panama nearly turned into a goal.

5 Jorge Villafana (Santos, MEX) 8/0.
Got forward to create chances for Rowe and Dwyer. Endured some rough moments when isolated against Diaz and Barcenas.

4 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) 10/1.
Very much exposed by central mids Anibal Godoy and Gabriel Gomez. A step slow to break up passes or get into the tackle, passing was inconsistent, hit only one good set piece. Scuffed a shot set up nicely by Dwyer.

5 Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) 8/0.
Did a good job passing through the middle and hitting balls wide, but could not close down spaces and shut down serves when Panama pushed numbers into the middle third. Set up early chance that Rowe fired on frame.

4 Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union) 62/2.
A crossfield pass that looped over his desperate leap led to an excellent scoring chance. He labored up the wing to limited effect though one good flick and dribble might have been halted illegally but still it was a solid challenge he needed to withstand. Came off grimacing and a bit hobbled.

3 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX) 19/2.
Searched in vain for the time and space and lanes he needed to be effective, caught on the ball by questionable touches and decisions. Combined on a sequence that provided a shot for Rowe.

6 Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), 2/0.
Fired two shots on frame the keeper fisted to safety, set up the U.S. goal by sombrero-ing two opponents to cut back an excellent pass for Dwyer to finish, failed to contain Barcenas near the byline in the lead-up to Panama’s goal. Cramped up and eventually departed.

6 Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC) 2/2.
Turned sharply on a ball to hit a first-half shot that was blocked, polished off Rowe’s excellent work by slotting a wonderful shot across the keeper and inside the far post. Wasn’t as mobile and energetic as in debut against Ghana yet showed sharpness and smarts in the attacking third.
TRIVIA. The scoreline was the same as in the teams' last three competitive meetings. They tied 1-1 twice during the 2015 Gold Cup -- Panama prevailed on penalty kicks, 3-2, in the third-place game -- and did so last March in the fourth Hexagonal match.
5 Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), 24/3.
Added some spark in his first few minutes and connected on one good pass before fading.
5 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 33/7.
Livened up the left flank and played a cross that set up a scoring chance.

NR Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 17/2.
Returned a ball to Zusi that yielded a decent cross.
July 8 in Nashville, Tenn.
USA 1 Panama 1. Goals: Dwyer 50; Camargo 60.
USA – Guzan; Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafana, McCarty, Acosta; Bedoya (Morris, 85), Corona (Agudelo, 61), Rowe (Zardes, 69); Dwyer.
Panama – Calderon; Murillo, Vargas, Chen, Ovalle; Godoy, Gomez (Nunez, 79), Camargo (Cooper, 71) Barcenas; Torres, Diaz (Arroyo, 57).
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico).
Att.: 47,622.

40 comments about "USA-Panama Gold Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Wooden Ships, July 8, 2017 at 10:37 p.m.

    Well, I enjoyed the Ghana match. Didn't look so hot this afternoon. Arriolas speed was missed, Bedoya was outpaced. Liked Rowe except for leaving his feet at the end line. KA and DM and ultimately Corona looked like different players. Hope to see Roldan in the next match. Not a Guzan fan, but was today. Could Morris or Altidore made the shot Dwyer did? Don't think so, Wood yes. Out played in the mid today.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, July 8, 2017 at 11:09 p.m.

    Not so bad when you remember this side had some new faces and some young faces. Hopefully we will see some improvement (not merely attributable to the difference in opponents). Guzan isn't young or new, but he had a pretty good game.

  3. Thomas Brannan, July 8, 2017 at 11:34 p.m.

    Dwyer is better than Altidore. PERIOD.
    Seems like I've said that before.

  4. Nick Prodanovich, July 9, 2017 at 4:19 a.m.

    Typical comments that swing too far in each direction depending on a win or loss. We praised the win over Ghana too much and we are overreacting with the tie to Panama.

    Having said that this was not a good performance particularly with the spine of the team which is a concern. Our 2 centerbacks were not as cohesive and dominant as you would hope or expect.

    The biggest weakness compared to their last game were the three central players, Corona, Dax and Acosta. Corona was absent for the whole game and seemed out of touch with the players around him. Dax and Acosta were also disconnected and really struggled. They did not combine well and were caught in possession several times. Also, the passing was off.

    For me this midfield trio lost control of the game and allowed Panama to set the tempo for too much of the game.

    I wonder if the heat had much more to do with the poor play, since the US off the ball movement which was so good in giving options to players was absent in this game. In addition, the press was missing.

    Finally, I think the US team did not react well to the physical play of Panama. Our midfield kept looking for the Ref to call fouls that he waived off. We spent way too much time complaining.

  5. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.

    We were lucky to get away with 1-1 tie, when you look at the chances Panama had in 2nd half. It doesn't matter who wins these stupid games, we have to look at the quality, and style US soccer plays which I'm not impressed with for it looks like glorified college soccer, "a la garbage". Simple things we do wrong you would likewise find in a U14 game, today. Lets start with the backfield, first. The #3 right center back Gonzalez gets the ball, then he passes to Suzi "Q"( Iike the song better) to his feet, obviously standing still, next to the sideline.This play happens so often during the game. It is one of the WORST, I mean, WORST passes one can make.
    But you don't hear a "peep" or comment from even the color commentators former players or a display of anger from the coach along the sideline. This is why Cruyff states that today's quality of soccer has gone down a lot due to these types of plays and much more. And what is scary, that today nobody even knows how bad this play is. For in Cruyff's days he would have gotten benched for this. That particular pass reduces the passing options greatly, ALSO it leaves the whole left flank out of the game meaning your playing 7v10, it allows the opponents to tighten up on defense and therefore making it for us difficult to attack on the right side. You guys that possess coaching licenses, that went the USSF coaching school for a license hasn't this ever been stressed or taught or told that you to not make a pass like that when building up an attack. Obviously
    not for you see it done, all the time at the highest level of play,USMNT. Next Suzi,seeing no options, DUH I wonder why, passes the ball back to #3 Gonzalez, who then passes square to the left center back ,to his feet. Meanwhile the 2 Panamanian strikers are waiting for us a few yards on our half by the midfield line. As our center back has the ball, unaccosted, looks downfield to pass, McCarty our midfielder drops back to collect the ball from the center half. WHY, I ask, WHY? In other words it is taken 5 players(now minus one midfielder Mc Carty) to take this ball up to midfield. You mean our center backs lack the skill to take the ball up, even though the Panamanian strikers are sort of posted around the midfield line. WHAT A WASTE OF MANPOWER!! But again this play occurs throughout the game. Again, isn't this taught to you at the USSF coaching school going for a license about what is efficient and what isn't. I really question the braintrust of the coaches here for allowing this to happen for it happens so often...likewise you see this at U14 games as well. Don't forget you also see Accosta coming back ,so you'll 6 US players involved trying to take the ball up. OBVIOUSLY ,one of our the weaknesses of US soccer is the lack knowing of how to build up an attack from the back. Lets look at the next stage, Dax receives the ball from the center back with his back facing downfield therefore slowing down any tempo of attack. SEE NEXT POST.

  6. R2 Dad replied, July 9, 2017 at 2:38 p.m.

    Frank this is the low soccer IQ we keep mentioning. US Soccer doesn't insist licenses reflect this stuff, which is why you never see it. The licenses are agnostic about style of play, as a sop to all the unrepentant kickball coaches out there. Even at the US NT level (eg michelle french, bob bradley, bruce arena, and now apparently jill ellis), we've got coaches who are happy to play longball as a strategy not a tactic.

  7. frank schoon replied, July 9, 2017 at 4:06 p.m.

    R2, you hit the nail right on the head. It is just amazing what these poor coaches spend getting these licenses and they are not even getting the real stuff. And they are entertaining the thought of winning the WC 2026...try 2126.....

  8. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 10, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    Same comments after every single game from Frankie. Only the names of the players/teams change.

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, July 10, 2017 at 10:55 a.m.

    Frank, the system in the back while in possession troubles me too. Both FBs were pushed very high, which used all the space in front of them. Arena also uses another system where the CBs are spread with a CM dropping in between, which is more like a Dutch shape. The really serious problem with the first shape and the passes to the FB along the touch line is that it is widely taught and practiced on developmental teams. Conventional wisdom is that a pass wide to a FB (standing in an assigned spot with few options) is preferred. I suspect on the chalkboard that the CBs and 2 CMs were expected to dominate the center and move the ball forward through the center with the support of the FBs. When that failed, we had left the poor flank positioning and resultant play.

  10. frank schoon replied, July 10, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    Bob. The outside backs should never be employed in the build up of an attack for the reasons I had explained. The only reason for a back to receive the ball is when he is making a run on attack downfield. The CM dropping back between the two centerback is also totally wrong, for it creates to big of a gap between him and 2 midfielders, thus losing midfield control. You can't have 2 midfielders you need 3. The Dutch don't play with CM between the centerbacks. The CM has his own line behind the two outside halfbacks, inverted triangle. The 2CM in front of the centerback,is the problem ,for creates big blockage for offensive going up to midfield; furthermore this set up ruins the system as far as spacing goes between back, halfback and wing. In other words , in this case between Bedoya and Zusi, and with 2 CM you automatically reduce offensive passing options as compared to when you play with an inverted triangle. Also realize that with the inverted triangle you also defenders behind the but also more attackers/attacking options, all way round.

  11. frank schoon replied, July 10, 2017 at 12:32 p.m.

    Bob, meant to ,say with inverted triangle you also more players behind the ball as well more attacking passing options

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, July 10, 2017 at 1:05 p.m.

    I understand Frank. The similarity was in having 3 back instead of just 2 back. The big difference in tactics is that the US conventional wisdom is to stretch the team out vertically and horizontally rather than keep the shape more compact to promote support. Then (as you noted elsewhere) most of the movement (ball and players) is north-south. I have seen this north-south movement repeated in non-Hispanic teams since the 1980s. There are exceptions, but the exceptions need to become the convention. We won't get there if we don't re-educate our coaches.

  13. frank schoon replied, July 10, 2017 at 1:31 p.m.

    Bob, I'm currently at camp right now, but I will answer you later today.

  14. frank schoon replied, July 10, 2017 at 6:08 p.m.

    Bob, you seem to be more up on the US conventional wisdom, for I don't have a clue, you're obviously are so much more involved. I'm basically an outsider who reports on what I see going on. You mentioned the US conventional wisdom is that of stretching the team vertically-horizontally. I've never heard of that terminology but what I follow is if you have ball possession you spread out and if ball loss you collapse inward thus denying space to your opponent. Next, the midfield is the barometer, for without it you lose. The first thing I look when a team goes on attack is their midfield presence for I want to see at least 5 players around the midfield line. The Barcelona dream team of Cruyff made sure that Guardiola DM was the vertex of inverted triangle and the 2 outside midfielders were no more than 15 meters apart. One of the problems I see in the North to South movement in american soccer ,USMNT, is so many passes upward on attack goes to players with their backs facing downfield. The solution to this is technical. The vertical pass let us say from Dax or MB involves the skipping of one station or line to a station further up followed with run of the third men facing downfield. For example Dax passes to Dwyer let us say than he one-touches to an open player on the run facing downfield , that could be Acosta, or another behind Dwyer. This is you how solve the problem of consistently seeing passes from the back going forward to midfield to a player coming to the ball with his back facing downfield , receives it ,turns and looks to pass, which so often happens. We do not stress third man off the ball. And this case the third man is facing downfield able to see other options right away. This requires good passing ability which we don't have at the highest level. To be able to pass a ball over the heads of defenders and possible your own nearest teammate to a teammate further up who touches to a running 3rd man facing downfield is just not done. Furthermore we need to have wingers for they allow our midfield more space and time to operate in, through positioning as deep as possible. We have no wingers for wingers are the key to not only create space for the midfield but create space by beating the defender and forcing the opponent defenders to adjust. Winger as a whole are space creators. Furthermore the wingers force the backs from attacking for they have to guard the winger... The US needs to change their thinking, they need to establish a certain style of game that suits are nature. We by nature are not a defending but an attacking nation just like Holland. It is not in our genes to play a defense oriented soccer just like the Dutch. By following an attacking style, technique has to conform with the tactical aspects. Right now we take a shotgun approach to things ,throw it against the wall and see what sticks...This is why these coaching courses as see it do little for their is no direction as to what you want to achieve

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, July 10, 2017 at 8:32 p.m.

    Frank, I am familiar with the bottom of the pyramid and what I know about the top I get from reading and watching. I have respect for the A and B licensed coaches, but somehow ideas get lost or mangled on their way down the pyramid. 30 years ago coaches had a better understanding of and appreciation for Dutch style principles and diagonal passing from the Latin style, but I don't think the younger coaches have as much today. Pretty much everybody understands the need to be numbers up around the ball while defending. What they don't see is the need to be numbers up around the ball while in possession as well. Often what I see is teams in possession forming a big 75-yard circle with 2 players in the middle surrounded by defenders. Except for the 2 in the middle, the team is very static. There seems to be a complete disconnect to bringing the near-ball play experience from SSGs to the full game. What we need more of is thinking about forming small groups around the ball and about making breakout passes to switch the point of attack. And stop think in terms of huge static circles with 1 or 2 CMs running around outnumbered in the middle.

  16. frank schoon replied, July 11, 2017 at 10:06 a.m.

    Bob,>" 30 years ago coaches had a better understanding of and appreciation for Dutch style principles and diagonal passing....but I don't think the younger coaches have as much today."< That may be true Bob, but ,so what. Where was the USSF coaching Academy 30 years ago when it was mostly made up of coaches who were very familiar with Dutch soccer did not employ the Dutch precepts, if they were so familiar with it. The only Dutch influence, I'm aware of on US soccer was Wiel Coerver skill techniques which really has nothing to do with Dutch soccer. I find it strange that young coaches are not familiar with the Dutch principles of soccer, for what do you think they have been watching for the past decade,( Barcelona, Bayern, Spanish and German National Team) ,all of which base their play on the Dutch philosophy of soccer. The most famous coach in the world, Guardiola ,a Cruyff adept, often mentions his Dutch preference of soccer. It doesn't matter if the young coaches are not familiar with Dutch soccer, for all they have been watching in the past decade is Dutch soccer but under a different name of Barcelona, Bayern, Spanish and German national team. If you follow their soccer you are in fact watching the Dutch philosophy of play. > "There seems to be a complete disconnect to bringing the near-ball play experience from SSGs to the full game."< You may be right on that, I don't know, you are obviously more familiar with the American situation than I. All of this just makes me question the USSF Coaching Academy in what they are teaching, which does not impress me.
    The idea whether it is dutch or not is to always create numbers around the ball. The simplest is the TRIO which is A passes to B and C could be anyone, depending on the situation, as third man moving off the ball on the run before B receives the ball.( preferably C makes a blind side run) This is difficult to defend.
    The other aspect in creating numbers is for a player to move to the next line and create numbers. And third is to have up front a player (Laudrup, Neymar, Ronaldinho,etc) type who can beat his man and thus draw a defender away thereby creating space for another attacker. Neither of these 3 examples the US employs, talks or mentions ). It is frustrating to watch US soccer play such a Neanderthal type of soccer. Yes, they have now everyone with a license,but so what ,for that has to do with quality. I do find that the flat back defense philosophy has hurt soccer in many ways but in our discussion specifically relates to creating numbers on offense around the ball. The flatback defense stifles creating numbers on offense, for it begins in the back and it moves upwards. Also when you play with 2 DM in front of the backline it makes it even doubly worse.......

  17. Dan Eckert, July 9, 2017 at 11:17 a.m.

    Let me summarize. There's a lot of passing and running in the backfield and no forward momentum. This is a big waste of energy and easy for their forwards to defend.

  18. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 11:40 a.m.

    Dax turns and passes the ball straight downfield to a player who comes to the ball and receives it to his feet with his back facing downfield (ANOTHER GREAT PASS THAT SLOWS THE TEMPO OF ATTACK). Most passes that begin an offense go to players who have their back facing downfield, which is great for the opponents defense. Also you don't see a third man running off the ball downfield as another player runs upfield to the ball to receive a pass from DAX .Very rarely do I see US players make a short diagonal passes to a teammate who make a diagonal run behind an opponent..(my mistake ,didn't see one). What I also find so juvenile is how players at this level of play always dribble in the directions of the pass...TALK ABOUT PREDICTABILITY. Another aspect of the game is when one of our defenders or midfielders dribbles the ball towards the midfield line directly to one of the opponents , WHY? Look when you are the "freeman" or the "open man" coming up with the ball don't dribble towards your opponent but away thus drawing your opponent and creating an open space right up the middle for the weak side player to fill, DUH,. Another problem I see that when taking the ball up from the back and coming towards midfield, with the nearest defender about 15yards away, WHY PASS? Draw the opponent closer to you ,then pass, for the opponent is completely beaten, but not when he is 15 yards away....
    Technically, I have yet to see one player able to receive the ball with one foot and quickly take it with the other. Shielding the ball on the dribble is also a major problem with American players. I think Bedoya should play Suzi's position for he is much better one on one , more comfortable with the ball on his feet , he's taller and better in the air and he can play as a back. Suzi has no crossing ability or rather kicking ability, offensively.
    The passes are also very slow in the backfield, and of course we are unable to pass a hard instep pass on the ground. Considering the heat, even against Ghana
    Dwyer needs to play a lot smarter, for so often ,defensively, he runs after opponents with the ball like a dog chasing a frisby. He needs to learn to play better defensive in a positional sense. We need to have someone in the backfield, center back, who used to play as an attacker type, who has the technical ability, like in the days of the sweeper to take the ball up instead of having a midfielder come back...This is why I'm not a fan of the flat back defense for it stifles the creativity of the defenders thereby reducing the chances midfield dominance by bringing up an extra defender with the ball 'a la Beckenbauer. Again on the build up of attack the back should not be receiving the ball standing still but on attack while running downfield; not the way Suzi or how currently the teams are doing it. I hope the USSF will begin to teach how to build up an attack from the back PROPERLY, for they haven't done a good job of it this far.

  19. Anthony Petgrave, July 9, 2017 at 11:54 a.m.

    ...from back to front, a shameful display.

    Why is there this insistence in playing Zusi @ right back? I don't understand the end game. Eric Lichaj deserves a look, at least (minimum).

    Gonzales and Besler are too aggressive to the ball, and too timid when facing up to runners, consistently backing up when they should hold, and dropping when they should step up. If as a defender, you spend too much time facing your goal that's a BIG problem.

    Villafana, consistently getting beat in one-on-ones, also faced with facing his goal too often, NOT GOOD!

    The entire midfield was chite. McCarty was McCarty, like Bradley, wasteful when put under pressure, and a liability defensively when forced to chase, and this is a reality for him, which puts the team under pressure at times, because in that position loosing the ball leads to counters... see the reason for his exit from NYRB and the elevation of Tyler Adams.

    Acosta was a bit better, only because he attacked panama.

    Bedoya looked as though he had 2-left feet. He hasn't look good for a while now, but keeps gettin' looks, WHY?

    Rowe, without the assist was a non factor especially on defense. The game is played in both directions, which required players to be turned on when they don't have the ball; he was not, IMHO.

    Joe Benny was too deep... may not have been his fault, but he needed to be closer to Dwyer. His lack of foot speed is telling under such conditions, but he has quality with the ball at his feet.

    The team shape was all wrong, IMHO. Team shape was awful; the lines were collapsed, mids too close to defenders, thus leavin' Dwyer to fend 1-v-3 at times.

    In this situation we needed ball playing defenders; Ream would have been a better option than Besler, in order to facilitate the play from the back, IMHO, hence the reason to play Zusi. (Ream not in the squad)

    From what's on the bench, I don't know who could have helped, sad! A midfielder with speed, strength and quality on the ball; from this squad, I can't see anyone that stands out. They have lots of destroyers, with few if any ball players.

    Dwyer needs help (period).

  20. Anthony Petgrave, July 9, 2017 at 12:02 p.m.

    ... also, WHY WAS THE GAME PLAYED IN THE MIDDAY HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:25 p.m.


  22. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:29 p.m.


  23. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:36 p.m.


  24. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:38 p.m.


  25. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:42 p.m.


  26. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:44 p.m.


  27. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.


  28. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:51 p.m.


  29. frank schoon, July 9, 2017 at 12:53 p.m.


  30. Jay Wall, July 9, 2017 at 1:46 p.m.

    Frank's analysis, as always, covers the players in the game well and continues to reveal weaknesses in the development of our players. I agree with Frank's analysis and would like to add an observation by Kevin Smulin, head Football Coach at Texas A & M that "Most coaches fail to realize that it takes absolutely no talent to give effort; effort is the great equalizer". When a player doesn't make maximum effort it gives the opposing team opportunity. And while watching USMNT games maximum effort by all 11 players often appears to be missing. Even a rookie kids coach can keep a list of players in a game and give a player a "0" every time they don't try and a "1" every time they do try and fail, and a "2" every time they try and are successful. When players don't do everything they can to play well in a game it helps their opponents. > Consider the moments in a game: > INSTANTLY BREAKOUT - As your teammate wins the ball one defender instantly moves forward at speed because they will almost never be marked and will almost always be open for a pass. > INSTANT ATTACKING SUPPORT - As your teammate is receiving the ball, all teammates must be moving to support by creating space for themselves, their teammates or behind square support for the attack. > PASS TO TEAMMATE IN THE BEST POSITION TO HELP - Pass the ball in front of your teammate who is running into the best position to help your team. If a teammate is too lazy to get open find someone else. > NUMBERS BEHIND THE BALL - Put as many of your teammates behind the ball as possible with a solid pass forward to your teammate in the best position to help your team. > PASS AWAY FROM PRESSURE - When passing to a teammate pass to the side away from pressure (opponents) in your Midfield and your Defense, so they have the maximum chance to keep possession while looking for teammates in a better position to work with. If they are close to your opponent's goal pass to the side that gives them the best chance to help your team score. > INSTANT RESTARTS - When there is a game restart run as fast as you can and be ready to restart the game instantly. Don't give your opponents all the time in the world to setup. If they have setup a good defense take your time and work with your teammates. If they have not set their defense restart quickly to gain an advantage. > PRESS TO CAUSE MISTAKES - When your opponent has the ball apply instant pressure so they do not have the time and space to look up and to find their teammates to work with. > LET THE BALL DO THE RUNNING - A passed ball is faster than anyone running, so receive, control and find a teammate in a better position instantly. The more you touch the ball the more time your opponents have to recover and to win the ball back from your team. > ELIMINATE ERRORS IN GAMES - "see next post"

  31. Bob Ashpole replied, July 10, 2017 at 11:12 a.m.

    Jay, after you said "effort" I almost stopped reading. I associate "effort" with coaches wanting "hustle." But, I read on and see you are calling for players to (my phrase) "play smarter." Knowing when and where to move, knowing who to pass to and where to put the ball, etc. Coaching is all about getting better decision making and more tactical speed out of players. We have to keep in mind that Area is not trying to build a side out of these players; he is evaluating them.

  32. Jay Wall, July 9, 2017 at 1:51 p.m.

    ELIMINATE ERRORS IN GAMES - The best role for a coach in games is to score all players. List all players by uniform number. When a player has a chance to do something that would help their team and does nothing give them a "0" score. For each chance they have and do move but fail, give them a one "1" for trying. For each time they try and succeed but don't do things perfectly give them a "2". And for each time they try and succeed and do things perfectly give them a "4". > The only evaluation of players that realkly counts is performance under match pressure in real games that count for something. > Go back and look at the UNMNT video and score all players by this standard. What is the average score? How many players have no "0" scores? You'll never get perfection but an average score per player between a "2" and a "4" with no "0" should be the goal for our higher level teams and players.

  33. beautiful game, July 9, 2017 at 2:41 p.m.

    Like your idea of scoring JW. Score each player for making things happen, for himself and the team. No player deserved a 5 rating inn this yawner except for Guzan. IMHO, team rating was a 3. Even with a defensive tactical approach, individual players need to take on the opponents; and that hardly ever happened....SNOOZE.

  34. Goal Goal, July 9, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

    Our first touch on the ball is pitiful. If you can't receive a pass and control the ball from the start it limits your ability to make things happen. it has always been a problem with the US Team forever.

  35. Charles Stamos, July 10, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    I agree with almost all the above comments - a weak attacking strategy - little pressure on offense, no off the ball movement, no creativity - defensive weaknesses exposed both individually and team wise - factors include heat, inexperience, weak gameplan, and the biggest - very little time for these 14 to have played together. Calling out individuals would be mean and that's Arena's role, most hopefully feel they didn't play well - there's time to improve in the next two then important to bring in 6 regulars and kill it in the knockout stage.

  36. Ric Fonseca, July 10, 2017 at 11:18 p.m.


  37. Goal Goal, July 11, 2017 at 9:15 a.m.

    I W Nowozeniuk, I like your comment about our players going one on one. I will tell you I have seen players on the younger boys national teams that have been dismissed from the team because they try to get creative and go one on one instead of one touching it all the time for a pass. The coaches at the younger age groups want to move the ball as fast as they can up the field. Our younger players are criticized for being creative.

  38. frank schoon replied, July 11, 2017 at 12:43 p.m.

    IW , I would tell these young players , take them one one on one as much as you want and don't worry about mistakes ...if you lose the ball, the minimum I would expect from you is for you to chase him down. These young players in the beginning need to become so confident with the ball that they would laugh at an opponent coming at them. I admire ball hogs when they are young for it tells me he/she is not afraid with the ball when facing an opponent. All the Greats were ball hogs at one time for it is a stage that allows a player
    to become psychologically strong with the ball. I tell my players, the first time you get the ball , nutmeg your opponent, and if doesn't work , do it again but at your time of choosing. The word "coach" is a misnomer when it applies to youth coaches. Coaching comes when the player has developed about 70% of their game. Youth coaches should be called "trainer or developer of youth guide" for your dealing with developing. A youth "coach' stifles the development of the youth for they apply theoretical apart of the game when the need to grow technical. When you grow technical ,rules don't apply for it involves extremes, first , in order to grow technical.

  39. frank schoon replied, July 11, 2017 at 12:47 p.m.

    Fan, this was meant for you, although I posted it to IW

  40. Goal Goal, July 11, 2017 at 2:54 p.m.

    Frank all I can say is AMEN!!!

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