Japan, one of the most dynamic teams at the 2018 World Cup, where it lost, 3-2, to Belgium after leading 2-0 in the round of 16, provided a sobering test for the USA 58 days ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Coach Gregg Berhalter's team failed to establish any rhythm or put a shot on target during its 2-0 loss on Friday.
USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
Half of Japan's 16 shots were on target: The two goals and six saved by Matt Turner, whose diving efforts on low shots in the 13th and 65th minutes were particularly impressive. Turner also did well with his feet on back passes as the Japanese pressured. When Sam Vines after a bad touch delivered the ball to Turner with Daizen Maeda storming in, Turner's clearance that didn't reach a teammate was about the best he could do.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG) 19/0 (28)
Walker Zimmerman blocked shots in the 5th and 11th minutes, then in the 13th minute he gave the ball away to Takefusa Kubo, who set up the Daichi Kamada shot that Turner saved well. Zimmermann was, as usual, dominant in the air, but the Japanese were savvy enough to play low most of the time. The other starting central defender, Aaron Long, played the first 45 minutes without increasing his stock. Right back Sergino Dest's 7th-minute foray provided the USA's only first-half chance but his cross was inches too high for Jesus Ferreira to connect well with. While Dest, who managed to prevent successful left flank attacks from the Japanese, left at halftime, Sam Vines played the full 90, and struggled against Japan's right wingers. On the other end, he delivered one accurate cross.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
Sergino Dest (AC Milan/ITA) 18/2 (21)
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 32/3 (29)
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls 28/3 (29)
Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL) 9/1 (23)
Against an attack-minded team that kept its outside backs pinned down, the USA could have used an extra man in midfield. Instead, the trio played without cohesion, failing to keep possession long enough to allow the defenders to move upfield or for forwards to free themselves of backline marking. Weston McKennie lost the ball ahead of Japan's first goal and in the 56th minute when Turner's save prevented a déjà vu. Rarely did the USA win balls in midfield and Tyler Adams did more chasing that intervening. His best moment came when he delivered a pass late in the game to Brenden Aaronson. Luca de la Torre's usually adept ball control proved ineffective against the Japanese, who closed in quickly and allowed few options.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA) 36/9 (24)
Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG) 31/1 (23)
Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP) 12/0 (24)
On a frontline that rarely received passes, Gio Reyna and Jesus Ferreira each played the first 45 minutes. Ferreira headed his chance over the crossbar on the Dest delivery that wasn't easy to reach. Reyna, in his first international start in more than a year, showed flashes of clever play, mainly when he moved into the midfield, such as when he delivered the pass to Dest on the Ferreira chance and in the 18th minute. After starting deep in the U.S. half, Reyna orchestrated a rare sustained possession by the the USA, which ended when de la Torre was tackled by Kubo. Brenden Aaronson, who played the whole game, succeeded in getting more of the ball than the others. But his forays ended with some rough play by the Japanese, some clean tackles, the inability to find the right pass, and a shot wide from 18 yards in the 80th minute. (Christian Pulisic was a late scratch "because of a knock he took in training.")
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG) 23/6 (21)
Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas) 14/7 (21)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 13/4 (19)
Reggie Cannon came on as right back for the second half and got overwhelmed by Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma, who scored Japan's second goal. Malik Tillman whiffed on successive attempts to connect with Vines' delivery near the penalty spot. Josh Sargent didn't get service to unleash a shot and couldn't beat Japanese defenders on the dribble.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG) 20/3 (22)
Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL) 9/0 (23)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) 49/11 (27)
Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR) 28/1 (24)
Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA) 4/0 (21)
Malik Tillman (Rangers/SCO) 3/0 (20)
NOTABLE: The USA faces Saudi Arabia, another 2022 World Cup team, on Tuesday in Spain. In 2022 World Cup qualifying, Saudi Arabia beat Japan, 1-0, in Jeddah while Japan beat the Saudis, 2-0, when it hosted them in Saitama.
Sept. 23 in Düsseldorf, Germany
USA 0 Japan 2. Goals: Kamada 24, Mitoma 88.
USA — Turner; Dest (Cannon, 46), Zimmerman, Long (McKenzie, 46), Vines; de la Torre (Cardoso, 67), Adams, McKennie (Tilman, 67); Aaronson, Ferreira (Sargent, 46), Reyna (Morris, 46).
Japan — Gonda (Schmidt, 46); Sakai (H.Ito, 46) Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Nakayama; J.Ito (Doan, 68), Endo, Morita, Kubo (Mitoma, 68); Maeda (Machino, 46), Kamada (Haraguchi, 86).
Yellow cards: USA — de la Torre 60; Japan — none.
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany)
Brad Smith/ISI Photos
Thanks for your work, Mike W.
Sadly, this is about what I expected(and predicted here). The issue is not the absence of a few players due to "injuries"--physical or mental ? --but the inability to play like a team that strings passes together in different areas of the field. Had the USA played Lewandowski as # 9 he might have scored one goal, but I doubt it.(He could not score for Poland yesterday in the Nations League).
The individual players deserved Mike's low marks, but they are not as bad as they showed. They are forced by Ggg into a system that plays to their weakness, not their strength. Pulisic would have made no difference. If you don't see this, then you lack experience of coaching at a high level. Bruce Arena was the one American coach who understood in 2002 how to position players in a way to create connectivity all over the field. Will our squad change for Saudi Arabia ?
Peter, WHAT WAS WITH THAT FIELD...
I don't think I have ever seen a field in Germany, that was SOOoooo Bad.!!!
Come on , excuses like it was the field, the Japanese didn't have a problem. Like it would have raised our game a couple levels if we played on a perfect field...I dont' think so
Frank, i was Seriously worried that one of our Players would get hurt on that Slop.!!!
You think they weren't worried about it.???
Surely had to Affect their "OutPut"... No one wants to get Hurt on Crappy Slipping 6 weeks from WC... Especially if you are one of the 80% that is Already "ON" the Team.!!!
This team will only Play Well, When the Have the "MOJO",,, It's in their DNA.
Santi, I don't know how worried the players were. You got a good search engine to find that out if that was partially the case.....
ESP... Been there, Done That
Help me out here, but I believe our 2002 team had a midfielder that protected the ball better than almost any player anywhere back then: Claudio Reyna. When in trouble, get it to Claudio. This strategic advantage, having a midfielder with his skillset locked-in linkage between the defense and offense. Today, practically no linkage and no Claudio anywhere.
Philip, good point, we really have no midfield leader, like Claudio. We have currently 3midfielder and have what they are suppose to do and they certainly don't work together as a unit...
I am a big Arena fan, but I'd ask you to elaborate on what systemic change would would have so completely nullified Japan's commitment and technical acumen? You have left us with an insult rather than an education. ;-)
Try Playing a 3 front and KICK THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD TO THEM...
We Fell into their Trap Game, Let ZIMM and Long have the Ball all they want,
Then when they try to Dribble or Pass into the Midfield... Steal the Ball .. 54 1st Half Turnovers.!!!
Get the ball down in their End and TRAP THEM.!!!
At its core the USSF conventional wisdom on playing the game and developing players is utterly wrong. To aggravate matters USSF has taken complete, exclusive control over all thinking and teaching on those matters.
The ultimate thinking is that you don't need no stinking skills, tactics, or brains, if your belief is unwavering and your politics true. Sport is completely missing from the picture.
If you played the game, your question should not need an answer.
Santi, I wasn't taking a shot at you. I think you are at a place where "attitude" is all you have left to cling too. I admire you for not wavering in your support of the team. I just can't do it. The players have no power here.
Bob at this Stage, of Development, for this Group of Players... ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
"PERSONALITY" Ggg Called it after the Game...
Well, when you are 6 or 7 "Personality" Players Short; The others don't get the "VIBE"
And they Played like that today.
This Group has ALL the Physical and Technical attributes to Compete at the Highest Level,
BUT... ALL THE STARS HAVE TO BE ALIGNED... Today was NOT THE DAY.
Bad Field, Bad Crowd, Bad Ref, Good Opponenet, Missing Your "Buddies"
I was NOT Shocked with the Result or Play.
I am Glad we Decided to "Lay Back" and Hopefully Not get anyone else Injured.
Hope Aaronson is OK... He Didn't get the Message, to "CHILL'... Took a Beating.
Santi, Aaronson should never use his back to shield the ball but stand sideways, thus keeping the ball even further away from the defender....I wonder if these players ever learned to shield properly...
You are Correct Frank... Tecnique is to turn the Shoulder INTO the Oncoming Defender... And SPIN OFF to the Direction He Pushes you... Like those 5 Silver Balls on the String that "Clack" and the other One Shoots Out the Other Side... I used to bring One of those Contraptions out to Practice, to Teach the Players; HOW TO "STEAL" The Opponents Energy...
Aaronson was getting it "Right Up the A$$"... He No Longer an A. Nail Vir, Gin/Tonic.!!!! Jajajaja :)
Santi, I don't understand 'screwy squirrel's' situation as far shielding, that should have taught to him to him in Philadelphia Soccer Academy....As far as shielding goes, I would have the shielder as he leans into to the defender also place the near elbow into the defender's sterm(chest)or stretch his arm fully out with hands in his chest to further place the ball from him.
I also teach when shielding, to allow the defender come in close ,although staying perpindicular to him, and make him think he can get the ball. For example, if the defender is on my left shoulder, I wait till he makes step trying to reach for the ball with left leg , opening his leg stance and than I nutmeg him..... And if the game is pretty intense, I tell him as I go by him, "you wanna see that again" meaning the next time he'll give me a little more space...and that's what it is all about.....
We at 1.5 Midfielders... Musah was Out and McKenNIE operating at about 1/2 his Normal... Still coming back from that injury
Pretty accurate assessment of a pretty mediocre performance. Credit to the Japanese swarming defense. Our biggest weakness was when we gave away the ball when there was no pressure, which we did too often; giving the ball away under pressure is more understandable. Some of the unpressured passes down the field that were intercepted were due to good downfield coverage by the Japanese. Turner solidified his case to start, though he still makes me nervous with the ball at his feet.
I think GB's lineup was defensible, looking at some new players, accommodating injuries, etc. Less defensible is bringing on Morris, who is a very known quantity. It's more important to evaluate players than win, but playing poorly and losing doesn't help anyone. It's very hard to figure out if the players yours looking at (Sargent, Tilman, Vines, Cardoso) aren't good enough, or just trapped in a bad team performance that they can't change.
I hope the game v Saudi Arabia is better!
I thought the game was played intensely, but mostly cleanly, and the ref did a nice job, with the exception of the studs on the back of Aaronson's leg (which certainly could/should have been a red card, and didn't get a yellow). I also thought the AR was right on the goal; I thought the goalscorer's left shoulder was a hair offiside (it would have been nice to have the line they draw). Of course, even if offside, the goal was certainly deserved.
By definition, the ref who only calls a foul on a possible red card did not have a good day. Gets a 3 or 4 max in my book.
Yup... I Thought we were in CONcacaCrApF.!!!
Bad Field, Bad Refs, Opponent was Good at Least.
They came in TO WIN...
We were Obviously NOT going to FIGHT about it.
And I am Actually OK with that...
With 6 Starter OUT, I am NOT wanting anyone else to get Hurt in a "Practice" Game in front of 3,ooo Fans.!!!
Agreed. I hear a lot of Zimmerman bashing, but here's the hand he was dealt:
1) outside backs GONE up the field.
2) other outside backs freaking out and making silly passes to the middle under pressure
3) center mids not holding possession at all
4) various pairings with different friends next to him
I think he did the best he could in the circumstances.
He is Sorely exposed as Incapable of Playing Out of the Back and as a "High Line" Turn and Chase CB.
He did a Good Job as a Sweeper, When Ggg switched to a 3 Back System and had Canon and McKenZIE on his Sides.
But, if we are going to do that... We need to put ADAMS there...
Double Pivot with McKenNIE and Musah
This match displays the weakness in current FIFA officiating. Japan had 16 fouls and received no cards, vs US 3 fouls and a card on LDT for, I dunno, something. If this wasn't a friendly it would have spooled up and out of control in no time. Japan playing the Barca playbook where you foul in transition to arrest opponent's attack. Professional fouls are cards every day of the week.
That was supposed to be OUR Game Plan...
Ggg has been trying to implement Barca Tiki-Taka Positional Play from the Back Line.
He should be Trying to Implement Direct Play in the Channels...
Then 6 second Counter-Press(then Foul) in THE OPPONENTS END OF THE FIELD.!!!
First of all, before I get more into the nuts and bolts, forget the score, or who played bad or good or should play where. Why does Japan play a much better brand of soccer. Why do the Japanese how so much better skill. If we can't figure this out then we are just going around in circles for the past 50 years. Realize Japan is not a soccer nation they began later than we did- mid 70's. Both nations are basically new at this ,although we probably have a longer history , after all we connected central and South America and not to mention the European influx in the East...Japan had a very isolated culture. They started late with soccer.
The USSF if they had half a brain they would find out what Japan does in how they develop their players who are more skillful and play a better brand of soccer. We should try to copy that. Our Developmental Soccer Academies are a joke, they consistently produce players 'grew mice, sausages types who are not that skillful. We have difficulty stringing 2passes and keeping possession. I do know for example that Japan imported a lot Brazilain players and coaches like Zico and dutch players and coaches. We need to find that PROCESS of how they did.
The American parents spend losts of money on these Academies to develop their kids. Maintaining the status quo of these Academies isn't going to do it and those who run need to go. We have to overhaul the thinking on player development for those who run these academies ARE NOT DOING THE JOB.....
This game could have been a 6-0 if Lewandowski played for Japan. One thing they are weak at is scoring but they do CREATE opportunities that we so sorely lack. Watching this game, I thought maybe we need a WORLD CUP for B- teams, that would be more our speed.
One thing we constantly learn from these games is that our players are not good in small ,tight ,compact spaces, we just simply ball-handling and thinking skills for this....We lack ball possession, good 1v1 dribbling skills and we lack fast ballhandling skills. The only thing we can be a threat on is dead-ball plays in which heading is required....
Why does Japan play better? Go ask the US coach who created their development program. SA already covered that story years ago. USSF just smiled and never listened to him.
Next, forget about systems, the important aspect is to take advantage of player's strengths, FIRST!!! Look at Morris on the right wing, he didn't get one decent ball whereby he could serve Sargent. Morris has speed and is most efficient in opponents' third.PERIOD!! He should NOT receive passes to his feet but ones he can run onto for sprint. Then, he receives cross passes in the air to him, instead of behind the defender, again WHAT GOOD DOES THAT DO!!!! Furthermore why is Morris situated around the midfield line instead of positioning as deep downfield as possible. As a coach, this should have been explained how you want the ATTACK to go on the right flank and point what is most efficient. In sum, the right flank was no help to Sargent and to Morris....
"Screwy Squirrel" , Aaronson, on the left-wing is everywhere but on the leftwing. Realize, we have a left flank problem. This presents a problem for Vine, especially in the second half which forced him to play wing, at times, like Taylor Twellman stated. Well you have to realize one golden rule in soccer, is that if you are in another man's position, you must to be able carry out what that position requires, speed,1v1 ability, crossing capability. Vine lacks that, this is why he was much better off playing like he did in the first half. But again it shows GB doesn't understand the concept of player's strengths. As a result, Sargent wasn't well served from the left....
As a result, due to lack of the flank threat, the Japanese threat weren't forced to come out or give away space , horizontally...thus making it more difficult for Sargent....The only positive thing I saw out there was SARGENT. The year he played wing at Norwich has improved his play. He is the only player who is able to get out of pressure and able to find his outlets...He has a certain smoothness with the ball which you need as a centerforward in the enemy's territory...
I don't know what to make of Reyna...he's not a wing, he misses the 3aspects of what a wing needs. He prefers to go inside which clogs up things,runs and moves at one speed like his father did. If you play with Sargent the play from the flanks have to improve. I think at best he needs to rest for I'm afraid this WC is too soon for him....
Frank... Morris, should only be on the Field in the Last 10 minutes, and ONLY in the Box, to Fight and Poach a Goal...
His Wing Days... Which I never really like... Are Over.!!!
Santi , I didn't say he was a starting wing. My point was if you're going to use him or any other player than use his strength.
Agreed; Form your Team around yours Players Strengths: "AT THE WORLD CUP LEVEL"... This is a WC Team... Not some Theoretical USSF "A" Liscence Coaching Exam... But, Ggg has Been "Hell Bent" on PROVING HIS THEORY, and Not Preparing a Team to "COMPETE AND WIN" in the 2022 WC... The Team would be about 28 years Old, Not 24... BUT, the 28s KNOW HE IS FULL OF UNREALISTIC SHI.. TTE... And that is why they are NOT here.. They know more than he does.!!!!
The Japanese played a simple fundabental game of give and go. accurate passes and running in to open spaces were the ball was waiting for them, thats all it was.
What we miss is linkage from midfield to Sargent...we simple don't have a good midfield whereby one player can be the second attacker behind Sargent. Furthermore there is no give and go set up between Sargent and the 'attacking midfielder' who also must have a shot from the second line...
Adams does not have #6 capabilities, he's simply a defender. McKenny is a cousen to 'Screwy Squirrel' who likewise is found all over the place and de la Torre eversince he's been sitting on the bench in Spain has lost his Mojo. Note, all 3midfielders tend to receive the ball with the backs facing downfield which they are weak at...The Japanese just ate them up showing how slow our 3 mids are with the ball under pressure. McKennie playing in Italy is used to play slower ball around midfield is not used to midfield pressure.
The Japanese were very poised under pressure, waiting to the last second to pass, making even their passing lane to their teammate very difficult but effective. They passed circles around us.
The second goal the Japanese was rather a 1v3 effort in which he beat, Cannon, Zimmerman and Adams...which ,to me, says we have work to do ,defensively. Likewise ,I was not impressed with Dest....
Fereira and Pepi are similar in their style of play and in no way can match Sargent's abilities, even Sargent still needs more improvement.
Matt Turner, needs to work on his kicking/passing techniques, ball distribution, especially with the leftfoot, which is weakness of our American goalies...
Poor Matt Turner... Excellent Shot Stopper, WEAK with his Feet.
Japan were More than Glad to have him with the Ball, and they Squeezed him to Play to LONG and ZIMM... It was so Bizarre, the way BOTH Long and ZIMM ended up on the Same Side of the Field, while Turner had the Ball... I have never seen Both CBs setting up on One Side, with the GK as a 3rd CB on the other side of the Field...
Totally Disjointed the "Build Up" out of the Back...
Spastic Play by those 3 in the Back, just made a BAD Situation, WORSE.
We would have be better to Play the Ball DEEP into Opponents Channels(and Over the Quagmire in the Turf) and then try to Win the Ball Back with our Gegen-Pressing Game.
Santi, I agree, our build up is bad. We probably will beat Saudi Arabia and forget what happened here.... Your right we might have been better playing the deep ball more, but I have to admit the Japanese did well holding the ball and they kept it to the last second. I'm so frustrated at GB and his tactics...They were very confident side. This is the best I've seen them as yet, they just lack a good shot and scorers...
Their left wing made Cannon looks sick....I don't know what happened to Dest in this game...I hope Sargent plays the whole game, next..
Sargent is Only Effective as a "GegenPressing" HIGH Center Forward... "Tip of the Spear" #9... At the World Cup Level; He's NOT Going to do any Better or Worse than Pefok, Jesus, Wright, Dike, Pepi in MISSING THE SAME CHANCES.!!! ... What he WILL Do for THE TEAM is START THE PRESS, AGAINST ALL NORMAL ODDS AND THEORY OF PLAY... So, You NEED a Bunch of "Squirrels" BEHIND him to "GET THERE" ... And NOT be "Late to The Party"...
Who Will JoinIN with Him.!?!?!?…
Aaronson, YES: Rt Forward
McKenNIE, YES: #8
Dest, YES: Rt Wingback
Jedi, YES: Lt Wingback
Adams, YES: #6
Musah, YES: #7.???
Richards, YES: CB#1
McKenZIE, YES: CB#2(or EPB, CCV, M.Rob)
Horvath in the Goal or Steffen or Turner( No "F"ing around with the Ball..Kick it Down-Field)
That leaves you ONE Opening for Lf Wing.!!!
(Remember how we used to Always HIDE our Weakest Player at Lf Wing!?!?!?)
CP would get 1st Crack (He does get "Excitable" and Energetic)
Arriola 2nd (Always UP for a Good or BAD Fight)
Weah 3rd (Athletically Causes Problems for opponent)
Reyna 4th (Too "Important" to Join IN)
Tillman 5th (Ditto)
Morris 6th (Your Kidding me, Right.???)
KICK the Ball into the Channel Formed by the "Sidelines" of the 18 Yard Box( Outside the Box, so the GK can't use their Hands) and 5 yards inside The Touch Line... Not Hard enough for it to Go over the End Lineor Out of Bounds.!!!
What is the Opposing Teams Options.??? IF USA doesn't get to the ball First.???
1. Let you Have it, to Cross
2. Kick the Ball out of Play... Giving us Corners or Long Throws
3. Play it back to their GK... OK by Me
4. Try to "Turn Up" and "Play Out of The Back"... GEGENPRESS for 6 seconds, If you don't get the Ball, Then Foul Them; So you can "Unscramble" and Get Re-Positioned and Re-Organized (Walk Back, Instead of Scramble-back)
K.I.S.S.... Keep It Simple Stupid.!!!!
Frank, you're right about Sargent. He looked good out there. Mike W., a 3 for Sargent? Yowser! Did you do that just to get a rise out of Frank? I think Sargent adds a physicality to the position. He looks strong and fit. He needs to get not just better service, but some service. In fact, all the 9's could use balls in dangerous positions. Aaronson missed a great opportunity when he received a ball from Sargent going diagonally, Sargent ran into the left half of the field totally unoccupied by any defenders, but Aaronson continued to move the ball along that diagonal tact he was on and a simple reverse pass would have put Sargent in on goal. The other clear opportunity was the missed header by Ferreira. I wonder if anyone has taught him to try holding back or even backing up before someone crosses the ball so that you're not standing still as it comes to you or needing to backpedal. So often forwards simply arrive in front of the goal and believe that's all they need to do to be in a good position but why not get in a great position and make sure you're coming in and jumping rather than standing still and jumping or, worse yet, backpedaling and trying to jump and deliver power. So often we miss those little details that demonstrate a more disciplined, refined skill that can provide an advantage. And goals.
Philip, a 3 ???, I don't get it either. Reyna had a 5 and I can't out that he 2points better than Sargent...what did he do, that made him that much better than Sargent...Sargent needs some help out there, he can't do it by himself for he's no Lewandowski. I agree what you're stating....
I just posted how I teach shielding to Santi, you might find it interesting for your kid
I agree with you on Fereira on the heading thing....This is why I'm not a fan of zone defense on corner for the strikers have the advantage of making a run and jumping in the air to head whereas the defender stands flatfooted...
The Proof is in the Pudding,
This is the first time with GB in a match that was going to be contested friendly by a quality opponent, away from home and show if there was a sound plan to attack and defend against a WC level opponent. A big 1 rating for the coach. You play a back 4, but you don't really play a back 4, but a back 3. In the first half Vines was kept back as another CB while Dest moved forward. When Cannon came on, the Cannon sat back and Vines pushed forward. This just plain does not balance the field positioning. The turnovers were horrendous with or without pressure, but it seems as if the gameplan with Japan in a pressing 4-4-2 was too much to overcome and GB could not figure it out in the first half. The midfield was not set for success. Makes subs and new players brought energy, but Japan just waited them out and asserted its control of the game once more. This match showed why Zimmerman is not high enough caliber against better competition. If your one point is his aerial dual winning skills and leaves out passing, vision and playing to the midfield. I don't get it. A Long is just not good enough at this level. Glaringly obvious. Japan knew if they pressed well, they could get the US to play long, turn the ball over and quickly play to their midfielder to transition. GB could not figure this out and put a counter plan into effect. He can only make changes in the locker room. He just forces the gameplan drawn up beforehand despite the obviousness of it not working. The field was horrendous, but both teams play on it so no excuse on this one. The dissappointment from this game has casts an ominous shadow with the WC around the corner.
JS: You got your 3Backs and you still not Happy.!!! ... jajaja ... Just a little Dig atcha ... cheers :)
Santi, there is no way I would let the US play with 3 centerbacks unless the team we're playing is weaker than us or they have advertisement on the back of their jersey of a local Pizza Hut.
We don't have sophisticated players in the backfield and I feel more comfortable with 4 not 3 in the back. With a 3 man backfield, what happens sometimes is the outside back is caught sleeping ,forcing one of the centerbacks to go towards the flank to commit...which can cause problems in the middle as far as back support to either centerback. And besides we don't have great defenders back there. It is much better to play it safe and have 4....
Good one :) Made me laugh. Nothing like getting a back 3 that has no business in that kind of lineup with your two slowest and worst passing CBs on the pitch. I am glad I did not take a day off from work to drive the 5 hours to watch this performace. The post game interviews and such with GB still make no sense. He did not have the correct to players needed for a back 3 on his roster. At least two of them have to be super athletic. At least this way he could have put two wingbacks in midfield to help win possession. Terrible to watch when you know GB has no ability to make corrections and will never make corrections.
Good thing none of you all watched the Iran-Uruguay game or you would be even more worried. Iran played a stingy deep lying 5-4-1, that Uruguay could not break down, and they showed lightening fast counter attacks and got Uruguay on one of them for 1-0 win. The failure of our defense to be aware of threat camped out in the 18 yd box, was concerning. Failure to scan. This is basic. I do not understand why players turn sideways when facting a shooter, had the defender remained facing forward, rather than show the siluete, there is a good chance the ball would have been blocked on the 2nd goal. Defensive fundamentals, again. Frank, as for shielding, it's kind of like the rhondo here, not looked kindly upon. I've never seen shielding taught, and my son was told not to shield with his backside long ago by the director of his then club. Gini Wijnaldum, top shielder of the ball, master of the backside shield, to a fault. There is very little systematic understanding of the need to or how to develop players to play and defend in tight spaces here. When you find it, it is the exception, not the rule, and coaches who emphasise it too much are shuned at clubs, developing players to practice this skill in game context can negative effect outcomes. Lots of lessons from this game, not the end of the world, Japan is good, not great, better on the day is all this time. Good on them. Carry on!
Humble, that's a bummer...Wow...Sh*t happens..
We have also fallen too much in love with possession in the US and it negates any direct play. Japan had 10-12 percent less possession but was still more offensive than us. Our build up is way too slow and we dont take dribbling risk or attack on the dribble. Pretty disappointing and hard to watch.
Let's Face it Sean; USA is MOST Dangerous, when OPPONENTs have the Ball, in their Defensive Third... With the Correct Players; Sargent-Aaronson-CP applying the Counter-Press, We are Much More Likely to Score off a Trap & Steal Turnover, than a 20 pass Build Up Out of the Back. Keep the Ball in THEIR 3rd, just keep Dumping it into the Channels and Play off the Opportunities that arise .... That is; If we want to WIN...
And at this Stage; JUST WIN, BABY WIN.!!!
The midfielder who was the best @ 2002 was John O'Brien. This team will not score goals without the ability to connect between all levels.
Yes, and I believe he plied his trade in Holland.
Bottom line amici sportivi, Japanese squad played with team purpose and efficacy.
Locker room needs to improve eg veterans leadership. I get it that WC 2026 is the penultimate goal but we still need to build up properly.
We will always be a third rate soccer nation as long as we give such little emphasis to technical ability. We see these 'Top Flight' youth teams with all this high tech gear allowing to monitor the play patterns and tactical positioning even at early ages. But these kids couldn't trap a sand bag and are completely unable to connect passes under any pressure or tight angles. Until we emphsize technical ability at the earliest ages are are doomed to be on the wrong end of most scores. I see kids all day shooting at empty full size goals and think they are improving their game. Take down the goals and but up some walls. Poor touch is poor results.
From Zimmerman POST Game Interview;
"I think it's how they were set up, you know, we were being pressed by their front two guys, their wingers were sagging, preventing some balls to the full backs, and sometimes into that pocket, and so we try to force it to one of our sixes to make a balance, IT'S NOT A GREAT FIELD to do that, to be honest with you... Those are moments where maybe we do need to STRETCH THEM, GET IN THE CHANNEL with the Forward making a run and have them go against the center back ... WE STEP UP, AND THEN WE BECOME THE TEAM THAT PRESSES.".!!!
Yes, this game called for a change of tactics mid-game and we were unable to do so. Not a great reflection of our coaching staff. Hopefully they take the lesson. If we get Pulisic, Musah, Jedi, and perhaps Richards (instead of Long) on the field, and the field condition is not terrible by U10 standards, can we play fast enough to escape the pressure of a team like Japan when it counts? I honestly don't know, and I guess we won't find out until Qatar.
Sam, the problem was the Opponents tactics called for change of Tactics after 20 minutes.... I have to think (Hope) that, if the Players can see it; They will Step Up and Take Charge in Qatar... I will give Ggg the Benefit of the Doubt on this one and say he didn't Change Tactics, because he wanted to see how the "B" Team Players handled the "Play out of the Back" Demands of his Style ...
But, Ggg has to be able to Switch Tactics and Formations "On-The-Fly"... We certainly have the Talent to play a Variety of Line-Ups with almost Any 11 we put on the Field... Coach or Captain needs to Sort it out and Get the Adjustments made Quickly.!!!
Tad Harsh on Dest, LDLT and BA (would put all up one notch) and too generous too Turner who was pretty bad with his feet the first half (who I reduce by a point), but pretty accurate ratings. Not good for IS this late in the game.
If this was the era of Keller, Friedel, Meola,.. We would all be saying we have a great goalkeeper no problems there!!... But because we are demanding an "Un-Natural" thing, of a position that shouldn't be setting tempo and switching fields.!!! ... We only have a problem because coaches are demanding that goalkeepers play with their feet.. it's a recipe for DISASTER.!!!!.. If you have Aggressive Talk forwards, and the rest of your team knows you're going to put the ball down in the other teams side of the field from the goalkeeper, it makes your game plan real simple.. WIN the First and 2nd Ball.!!!
Demanding that Turner play with his feet, is going to "F" with his mind,
And will come back negatively on his Confidence to Stop Shots.!!!
Let's PLAY TO WIN THE WORLD CUP.!!!... IT'S TOO LATE FOR DEVELOPMENTAL.!!!
Oh, I forgot Tim Howard and David Vanole... Turner has certainly shown he can STOP shoots as Well as Previous USA GKs... But, we would probably be saying the same about ALL of these Excellent GKs, if we had been "Intrasigent" about changing Teams Style to fit the Talent, and Not Vice-Versa....
Ggg thought he had the "Sweeper Keeper" in Steffen and as that hasn't worked out; he seems UnWilling to go to Plan B, Not to mention, we Don't have CBs that can Build out of the Back.!!!