Photo by ISIphotos.com
The U.S. men’s national team has called in Chicago Fire striker Chris Rolfe and Columbus Crew midfielder Brian Carroll for Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago.They have replaced Robbie Rogers and Pablo Mastroeni, who both suffered injuries with their club teams on Sunday.
Mastroeni’s absence should leave Bob Bradley with an interesting decision to make with regard to the starting lineup against T&T. If Danny Szetela is healthy he could get the nod. Rolfe has replaced Rogers, who didn’t look likely to start.
What do you think of the new call-ups? Share your thoughts below.
“Huh. I never noticed before, but Chris Rolfe looks sort of like a 16 year old lesbian.”
that’s one of the funniest comments I’ve seen here in a long time.
If we continued the current system, a fairly defensive 4-5-1 (with an extremely deep striker), Beasley would be lost offensively back at the back.
One reason that he could be useful back there, though, is that we employ two deep-lying, holding midfielders (Bradley+whoever). The first team to implement that was Brazil, who use two holding, distributing mids to spring forward their deadly wingbacks – basically the birth of Roberto Carlos and Cafu. While Beasley is nowhere near that talented, he can certainly be deployed effectively in much the same way.
While I say that I have been “advocating Beasley for left back”, I’ve been saying that with the understanding that it would have to be deployed in a more narrow setup. With two quality attacking midfielders (Adu and Torres, who aren’t wings) and two holding midfielders, the left flank could be solely left to Beasley (and subsequently, the right side to Cherundolo or, even better, Spector). He’d have to take on a much more defensive role, but he would definitely be given the green light to maraud down the left all game long. The benefit of having two holding midfielders is that there is cover for a long Beasley run down a flank.
The problem I have with our current coaching setup is that the staff (namely Bradley himself) is attempting to fit square pegs in round holes. Bradley has a rigid system – i.e. he has to have 2 holding mids, 1 target forward, 2 wings, 1 withdrawn forward – and is trying to put his best players on the field (with the exception of Ching) and place them where they just aren’t suited.
For example, we’ve been trying to find Donovan a spot everywhere but the one spot he’s most effective – striker. Why? Because Bradley wants to have 1 target forward, and only 1. Donovan isn’t a target forward, but he’s a quality striker. Unfortunately for the US team, he’s not a quality attacking midsecond striker or a quality winger. He’s average (outside of MLS) at both. He has 2 brilliant assets – speed and finishing – which are largely lost by leaving him in the hole behind the lumbering Ching, instead of employing Donovan (and another striker like Altidore) high and letting the midfield work the ball to him or even getting him behind the defense to take advantage of his speed. Bradley chooses to employ Donovan as a “playmaker” or even as “trequartista” (think Francesco Totti), a role he’s not suited too. He doesn’t possess the passing range or vision to set his teammates up in the way we would need him too. If he had two elite strikers ahead of him, or even an elite winger, he could make it work, but not because of his abilities. He also has no ability to take on a defender (much like Beasley) in a 1v1 situation and beat him to create space for himself – something a playmaking forward desperately needs.
Anyways…I’m off my soapbox. I really enjoy these discussions though, so feel free to drop me a line at rnoel21286(AT)gmail.
Huh. I never noticed before, but Chris Rolfe looks sort of like a 16 year old lesbian.
Ryan – didn’t mean to say that Beasley has aerial prowess – he doesn’t. I was referring to the amount of free kicks he wins -which isn’t running onto through balls as you say – its when he’s running at defenders with the ball at his feet. That’s where we disagree.
My only point is that by playing left back, he won’t get the opportunity to win as many free kicks with getting fouled – part of the reason I don’t want him playing out of the back.
Man, I love this blog. Its some of the only soccer conversation I get!
Chris Rolfe is a natural striker who deserves this call up. He should be a regular on the national team. He does have a hard time finding the goal at times but if you ever watch him you can tell how good of a player he is. He can push the ball up the field pretty well and can hold on to it well. He also has a skill for scoring some pretty amazing goals especially from long distances. Definately a good move on Bradley’s part.
He is not the end all be all answer for us, but watching Kandji in ATL was amazing. The last interview he gave with ESPN he stated he would see who comes calling Senegal or US, I will have both options once my paperwork is done. How about a little interest shown by the US is all. Dont let another potential slip bye-bye.
You miss a few points here and there. First off, I’m not advocating Torres to start over Beasley as a left winger. Torres is a central player, who is (or at least seems to be) ill-suited to the wing.
You used the term fearless in regards to him “taking defenders on”, which as nothing to do with aerial prowess. What does his aerial ability (or the team’s) have to do with moving him left back?
Beasley does manage to get fouled, but it’s usually when he’s already past a defender moving onto a through ball. He has very little ability to actually separate himself from a defender in a 1v1 situation with the ball at his feet. That’s where his issues with “taking defenders on” comes into play.
For what it’s worth, I’ve thought Beasley was a prototypical attacking left back since he first burst onto the American scene. People don’t realize that his best contribution to the US squad has been his ability to shore up a weak left side of defense by tracking back.
All that being said, the left side of midfield isn’t deep in our current setup, so using Pearce as a left back and Beasley as a left mid will usually make the most sense. That doesn’t change the fact that Beasley is best suited to an attacking left back role
It’s a game to play with right? Try some new things. I’d bring in Gabriel Ferrari and Johann Smith. See the how the speed along the left side could work with Beasley to Smith.
Who wears the captain’s armband Wednesday night? Hejduk? Beasley? Pearce?
Hey Drew – I did see DMB’s finishes this weekend – I just think its the exception most of the time – echoing your comments about his lack of consistency – which I think is on the finishing – not on being a two way player.
Ryan – When Beasley runs at a defender he gets fouled and draws a free ball. Always taking a knock. The US is pretty good in the air – and Beasley wins more than his fair share of those opportunities for this team. Which is why I use the term fearless.
Look, I’m not trying to sleep with the guy – I just think he adds enough of a component offensively to stay the starter on the left in the mid-field, where I think his talents are most effectively utilized.
Most people are advocating for DMB to go to left back because of the 17 minutes they saw of Torres against Cuba.
I gave Torres a standing O when he was capped – and am excited about what he can bring – but to move DMB for 17 minutes of time is a little bit much, don’t you think?
I love the idea of Beasley at L back .. As an option although borstein is promising too. Too bad about mastro being out cause he’s still one of my all time favorite for the nats
No one from an MLS team that has a game that matters significantly this week was getting a call so no Beckerman, no Holden, no Clark, etc……