Watch: Gregg Berhalter explain his tactical approach

The new U.S. men's national team coach takes to the tactics board, accompanied my clips from his Columbus Crew teams, to show how he likes his teams to play. "Being a defender myself I always had a hard time processing teams that had a lot of movement, that wanted to disorganize us," says Gregg Berhalter. "When teams were straight forward, that's what was the easiest for me to play against." Berhalter is joined by's Matt Doyle and Bobby Warshaw.

9 comments about "Watch: Gregg Berhalter explain his tactical approach".
  1. Bob Ashpole, December 14, 2018 at 2 a.m.

    The clips don't show a possession style attack. It featured a 3-pass attack (2 long passes and a short). So now I am wondering where is the beef in this hamburger?

  2. frank schoon, December 14, 2018 at 10:41 a.m.

    The Youtube "Sneak peak at US soccer style" is a misnomer, this has nothing to do about style.
    I wouldn't call this tactics but rather a system of play . Tactics is something totally different, it is what's needed and applied at the moment. Therefore the efficiency and functioning of tactics depends upon the intelligence of the player(s). Tactics is an ever-changing flow which is a function of the situation and moment at hand. For example, an opponent breaks away with the ball , running downfield,  coming right me while being chased from behind by one of my teammates. This is where tactics comes in to play. We both notice he's a right footed player dribbling the ball, therefore we both know his weak spot which is moving diagonally to his right. Why is moving to his right  his weak spot? Well, get your lazy butt up from your computer chair and take a step forwards with your right (dribble-leg) leg and try to look behind over your right shoulder. You will notice it is very difficult , it's a blind spot. So as this attacker approaches me on the run ,I will force him or direct him to his right diagonally, thus slowing him down a little and at the same time he can't see my teammate ,in his blind spot, catching him from behind....
    So TACTICS, is something you do in tandum with another teammate(s), working in unison ,all able to read what is required at the moment as called for in a particular situation.
    Anyway, as I look at Berhalter's system of play, one of his weak spots is the space the opponent is able to employ between the lines, defensive and midline...a guy like David Villa would have a field day....

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, December 14, 2018 at 1:06 p.m.

    I noticed two things about his "system" as described in the clip.

    1. The formation he used is superficially similar to the 5 channel theory that Guardiola uses.

    2. Unlike Guardiola's approach, there was no player movement. Although Berhalter said he believed that teams that moved a lot in the attack were harder to defend, the attacking presentation by Berhalter was static.

    I thought Berhalter did a better job presenting his defensive system, but then that should be expected from a coach who was a back. He even his attributed his attacking views to his defending experience as a back. 

    My conclusion is that this presentation was intended to dazzle fans who never played.

  4. frank schoon replied, December 14, 2018 at 1:16 p.m.

    BOB, I think so too, it will definitely dazzle some...
    Talking systems is cheap ,lets see when the teams play, how it looks....Chalk board talk is always easy...

  5. lemuel galvao, December 14, 2018 at 12:17 p.m.

    There is no perfect system and every system of play has weak spots. What is important is that you recognize your weak spots and have a plan to deal with them. 

  6. frank schoon replied, December 14, 2018 at 12:38 p.m.

    Exactly, for every advantage there is disadvantage.....The question is , can you take advantage of the disadvantage with the players you have....

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, December 14, 2018 at 1:28 p.m.

    Another way of seeing it is that every system can be perfect, because how the players play is what is important, not the "system". For 50 years the better teams shift their organization by plan during the run of play to fit the circumstances. Before that players typically made the adjustments on the fly.

    At this level coaches and players focus on game plans and cues, not general statements about "style". 

    The way the WNT team plays with Dunn at LB is a good illustration that conventinal concepts about "formations" and "systems" are outdated. 

  8. frank schoon replied, December 14, 2018 at 1:38 p.m.

    THe bottom line is regardless of systems, it all comes down to being able to handle a ball under pressure. Win Jansen, Cruyff's teammate once stated, it all comes down to winning the one on one battles for that is where it all begins and ends..Systems don't mean a thing if the players lose those battles...
    Jansen also stated the system relies on how the player  will feels or act will be on game day ,for that is something a coach can't control if the player has an off day.

  9. Goal Goal, December 17, 2018 at 3:59 p.m.

    Frank I say Bingo for you.

    Its like having the best car in the world.  If you can't get it started where you gonna go.  Until we get talent that can handle the ball number 1 and then be able to create things number 2 you ain't gonna get the card started.  When you don't have a good first touch on the ball you can't even get the key in the ignition.  Call Triple A for help.

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