All I know about soccer I've learned from FIFA video games. I have not played them in many years. So my opinions aren't worth much here, but I didn't like the decision to leave Landon off the World Cup roster. Honestly, I don't think it will really matter in our end result in Rio. I don't see us getting out of group play.
Julian Green should have been left off for Donovan.
I would probably agree with that. He's raw and you can tell on the pitch...but he sure is quick
I'd rather have 20 minutes of a washed up Donovan than 20 minutes of any Brad Davis.
Julian Green can't play this World Cup but at least he's a future talent.
"I had to take her down like Chris Brown."
I think in this case you're picking between a pile of dog crap and a dirty litter box so I'm leaving one of the poop piles at home and taking someone with some proven international class.
I think Julian Green going is wise all things considered. The kid has talent oozing from his ears, might as well let him see some cup experience.
I agree on Brad Davis as well with BWD.
Just mark my words, if we're tied with like 15 minutes to go in any of our group games you'll be thinking to yourself, man I wish we had a pacey winger with a proven track record of finishing in the world cup.
Look Donovan is a very polarizing figure, I get that, but he's a world class talent, you take your chances with guys like that. Especially if you only need them for 15-20 minutes of magic late in a game. The guy does have more world cup goals than Ronaldo, Messi, and Rooney combined. (I'm not saying he's anywhere near those guys levels but it is an impressive stat, Donovan has always delivered in the Cup) If you remember going into the last cup, there were questions about his form too, and then boom only arguably the most memorable goal in the history of the USMNT, GOAL, GOAL USA, DEFINITELY THROUGH NOW.
Brad Davis from set pieces is enough to get him on the squad for me. If we have a crucial free kick that could send us through, Brad Davis could be a hero. Do no van doesn't have his speed anymore, so he doesn't have an elite skill now.
I agree on all counts. Brad Davis has looked good so far but I wouldn't have picked him over Donovan. He's good at set pieces but so is Donovan and Donovan provides much more.
But it doesn't matter. It'll be dependent on how we do that determines whether Klinsmann was right. If we struggle to score/create chances then not get out of the group everyone will 2nd guess him. If we do well offensively and possibly get out then maybe he'll be vindicated.
My feeling is that it won't matter, because it's going to be dependent on the back line, and that's what is going to determine whether or not we get out. I actually like Besler/Cameron/Johnson, but Besler hasn't been playing great the past 2 games, and using a diamond like we have exposes Jones as the lone defensive midfielder.
Klinsmann has been pretty adamant that Donovan is a forward. Which in my opinion, even regardless of their current forms, makes the decision to take Wondo over him even more strange. Donovan is a proven World Cup caliber scorer. Wondo has pretty much proven that he is good against the bottom barrel CONCACAF teams, and average at best against everybody else.
If we were getting ready to play Belize, Cuba, and Guatemala; sure whatever, take Wondolowski. Let him poach a couple garbage goals against inferior competition. Germany, Portugal, and Ghana demand Donovan.
I don't think it truly matters in the long run (or unfortunately, what is probably going to be a pretty short run) but not taking Donovan just seems like Klinsmann trying to put his personal stamp on things to an unnecessary degree. There are simply just not 23 better American players than Landon Donovan.
Last edited by Mackey_Rose; 06-05-2014 at 01:19 PM.
Re: Davis & Zusi, I don't like their games either. But look at this roster: Zusi, Davis, Gonzalez inclusions are screaming. Klinsy built a roster whose design is to score off set pieces, because really, that's probably the USMNT's best (only?) chance to put the ball in the net. I'll grant that their run of play looks good at times, because Bradley is a maestro, but Jermaine Jones is terrible at spraying, and collective first touch for USMNT is awful.
Klinsy is hedging on this team scoring off set pieces. Hence the roster.
(And that just drives it even further home that it's 100% personal with Landon, because Landon is the exact type of player you bring on with a set piece emphasis.)
also that this is the last World cup donavon would be able to play in realistically.. Just makes it super ******.
There's no way it isn't personal with Donovan. All of the excuses he's giving just ring hollow and feel like justifications to his decision. I don't think it'll particularly hurt us honestly.
In order to beat Portugal/Germany it can't be through possession, because they will destroy us. It has to be set pieces and counter attacking. Maybe having Zusi/Davis will help with that. But they are going to have trouble with Ghana on the wings without the athleticism and experience. If we continue to play Bradley up top then we will definitely get chances, he's become better than I ever thought he could.
Michael Bradley is a god right now. I don't know how good he *actually* is but just in terms of form it's not a total stretch to say that he's carrying the best form of any midfielder outside of Spain or Germany into the Cup. He's just playing really heady, strong soccer.
RE: Donovan's impact on set pieces, I agree, Donovan's mind would have been incredibly valuable in terms of finding space to spray home a second chance opportunity in that situation. Basically exactly how he found that amazing goal four years ago. Donovan has always delivered when he puts on the red, white, and blue. Regardless of what he's been doing for clubs Donovan has ALWAYS performed for the USMNT. The team had the EXACT same questions about him heading into 2010 and he delivered then and I think eh would have now. Also Donovan has a proven track record of playing better against better competition as he has age. His time at Everton proved that as he became a beloved player there in no time at all.
I know it's 100% a dead horse at this point and I know that the only way he's going is if somebody gets hurt in the next week but it sucks pretty hard IMO. This is the last cup he'll even be available for and he's the greatest player to ever don the colors. Yeah maybe he's not the guy he used to be, but he only needs to be able to tap into that magic for 15 or 20 minutes to make an impact on this World Cup. The Ghana and Portugal games in particular feel like games where Landon could find a seam out of nowhere late in the game after the 80th and put home a winner. Maybe Dempsey is ready to be that guy now, but maybe Dempsey just continues his World Cup tradition of ball stopping and shooting quesionable looks from just outside the box.
Either way I'll miss Landon Donovan this year. Who was also the troll god of American soccer, from openly pissing on the field to Azteca to putting on someone's sunglasses that were thrown at him as he prepared to take a corner kick, the dude ****ing rules.
If anyone has insider...
It's an interesting question. I think this team is definitely better, even without Landon
I should clarify that while I disagree with the Landon move (especially for set piece emphasis), I do like Klinsy a lot. I think Gulati finally installed someone who gets the BIGGER picture of US soccer. You can really see it at the youth level these days, too. US is finally, finally installing academy systems and organizing youth development. Now -- is there still room to grow? Yes. Cutting out the MLS Super Draft and figuring out a MLS youth system would do wonders. But they've at least taken the first steps of better developing players even at the 10-14 year old level, and I can see the results from training kids at a re-tooled club myself...there are more kids who are just ridiculously good and technically sound these days, than ever before.
2014 is better. 2010 was given a free pass to the quarters and blew it. If Gooch and Davies never got hurt, then I'd say 2010.
I think people are making a bigger deal about leaving off Donovan than it really should be. Not that he didn't deserve to make the team, but I think we will be fine without him. I am more worried about getting Altidore playing up to his potential, he always seems to be right on the cusp of being a great player, but never quite crosses the line.
I see your friendly today is in Jacksonville against Nigeria. Did your federation choose the right location in terms of people showing up? Won't be like the Jaguars' attendance, right?
Do they split up the locations during the friendly matches before the WC (and not only then) or are there standard few venues?
PS: Loved Bradley's chip pass against Turkey. Excellent pass, lovely finish.