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Jeff Maurer's Soccer Blog
Monday, 7 June 2010
Thoughts on the Australia Match
Topic: US National Team

Can the Robbie Findley expectations please come back to Earth now? The internet is only good at two things: porn and overreaction. So, of course, when Robbie Findley makes one nice play against Turkey, internet message boards called for him to start versus England (and others called for him to start doing porn…but that’s a story for a different blog). Hopefully, the Australia match helped people see Findley for what every MLS fan knows he is: a hard-working, speedy striker who lacks a bit of touch and skill. He might be a top-tier player some day, but not right now. Everybody’s talking about his two horrible misses, but at least as bad was a sequence late in the second half when he was unable to play Landon in. See @ 3:54 on these highlights. I think he might be good as a late sub, but that’s about his ceiling at the moment.

 

Do we have to wait until the England match for the Edson Buddle expectations to come back to Earth? He’s playing well right now. He’s a viable option. But I still feel that the best eleven includes Holden on the wing and either Dempsey or Donovan (I’d prefer Dempsey) up top. Choose the system that fits the players, not vice-versa.

 

That being said: there’s nothing wrong with Altidore & Buddle. One argument I hear against using Buddle is that he and Altidore are too similar. That is moronic. That is some Phil Brown, shit-for-brains thinking right there. Coaches use this “logic” all the time: “we can’t play two big guys or two fast guys!” they think. “We have to do little and large!” Well, if your big guy is slow and your fast guy is small, then yes: you might want to pair that player with a player who offsets his weakness. But if you have two guys who are both big and fast, then there’s nothing wrong with playing them both. If Altidore was slow and Buddle was 5’ 4”, nobody would be saying this.

 

Gooch has to get thrown in the deep end sooner or later. I keep hearing this: “You can’t possibly play Gooch for 90 minutes because he hasn’t played 90 since October!” Well, if that’s true, then you’re either going to waste a sub on a central defender (I can’t remember the last time I saw that happen), or you’re going to commit to not playing Gooch through the entire tournament. He has to make the jump some time; have it be against England.

 

Is Jay Demerit’s vision okay? Several players had trouble judging the flight of the ball. That’s largely a result of the altitude and the new ball, but no-one seemed to have more trouble than Demerit. He says that the vision is 80 percent in his right eye…is he telling the truth? Is his depth perception okay? I guess we have no real way of knowing.

 

Get ready for some horrible refereeing. Much like the NBA finals, the World Cup is usually the site of some inexplicably awful refereeing. Maybe that’s because our expectations for a sport’s marquee event are justifiably high, but it’s still shockingly bad. The referees on Saturday gave us a sneak preview: the Dempsey goal should have stood (Findley was not involved in the play). This serves as a good time for the USMNT to remember the main lesson of the Confederations Cup: if you breathe on anyone, it WILL be a red card.

 

Does Bradley really think that Ricardo Clark is his second best central midfielder? I thought Rico played pretty well this game, but come on, Bob: Edu and Torres are both better.


Posted by jeffmaurer1980 at 5:47 PM EDT
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