Top Stories

Ream, Lichaj deliver equalizing assists for Bolton, Notttingham

Andy Johnson of QPR and Tim Ream of Bolton Wanderers


Losing was not an option on Tuesday for Tim Ream and Eric Lichaj.

The pair of Americans helped set up equalizing assists in their respective club’s Championship matches on Tuesday, with Ream delivering the pass that Chris Eagles hit into the back of the net in the first half of Bolton Wanderers’ 2-2 draw with Derby County and Lichaj finding Darius Henderson in Nottingham Forest’s 2-2 tie with Middlesbrough.

Ream and Lichaj both started and went the distance on Tuesday. Ream was deployed in central midfield for the Trotters while Lichaj manned his usual right back spot for the Reds. Lichaj also earned a late yellow card in a game that saw former Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara open his scoring account for Middlesbrough.

The American duo could return to action as soon as Saturday. Bolton have a road game against Brighton & Hove Albion, and Nottingham are set to pay a visit to Doncaster Rovers.

Here are the assists:






What do you think of Ream and Lichaj setting up equalizing assists? Think either could earn a call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team before the end of the year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. A review of the past is not so kind to Lichaj. He did ok in his first 3 games in the 2011 Gold Cup earning two 7s and one 6 in randomly chosen set of player ratings. The 6 was the lowest rating for a defender and the 7s were just below average for the US defenders. In the final he was given a 3, below everyone except JB. Since then he has not been called in to the USMNT. He did not play regularly at AV, but now in the 2nd tier of English football is finally getting routine starts (as are Ream and Spector). I’m not sure how any of that makes him a must have for the USMNT. Evans, at least, played very well against better competition than the GC teams and Parkhurst, despite his lack of club playing time, has steadfastly refused to embarrass himself despite so many commentators predicting he would.

    • Yes, but of course, calling him up now isn’t based on reviews of the past. He’s playing well now. Doesn’t make sense not to give him a look.

    • ‘I’m not sure how any of that makes him a must have for the USMNT.’

      people keep saying this, but i don’t see anyone saying lichaj’s a ‘must have’; they simply want him to get a look in case we need depth. i know, that’s crazy talk.

  2. This is directed at FW, have you seen Lichaj play at Forest?

    “I believe the reason you don’t call in Lichaj for just a look is that if he isn’t attacking down the wing and holding the ball and distributing it well for Forest”

    “That you would consider LIchaj as a possible answer for the attacking RB void is ironic since in his time at Villa he was seen as a reliable one vs one defender but was considered rather shaky going forward often turning the ball over. My guess is that “shakiness” is probably why he is no longer there.”

    You seem to make a lot of assumptions about him. Have you seen him play recently? Or are you going exclusively off of last season at AV?

    • yeah, it’s obvious that gw hasn’t seen lichaj play lately.

      lichaj’s actually quite good going forward (which is why the situation is more confusing, since klinsmann likes attacking fullbacks); he has shown that at forest, and at aston villa, he more often than not had his hands full with getting stranded, rather than any opportunities for attacking.

      of course, if gw admitted that lichaj might be good enough, he couldn’t keep assuming that klinsmann simply doesn’t make mistakes.

  3. The Lichaj conspiracy theorists seem to be struck by a hint paranoia and dementia. The whole JK not liking Poles would be funny if it weren’t borderline racist, because it is well known that all Germans hate Poles. These peoples should wear a t-shirt saying “stereotypes save time”.
    Fact is JK is the coach, and as a coach he has to make calls on players. He thought Lichaj wasn’t the right fit since he took command, and well, people here can play armchair coach all they want, but the US has had remarkable results, setting all kinds of firsts and records, while qualifying brilliantly for the WC. His choices of Evans and Parkhurst as RB have been pretty spot on for the most part. Evans has been solid, and Parkurst was excellent in the GC and then when he had to fill in vs. Mexico.
    This said, just because until now JK hasn’t taken Lichaj does not mean we won’t see the player at some point between now and Brazil. If he continues to play well, he’ll make a case for a look and then the coach will make a decision.
    But really, putting so much passion and spewing out trash like “JK hates Poles” is head scratching for a decision on what is at this point a fringe player (backup RB possibility) who is playing in the second division. Now have JK not call in Deuce or Jozy or Landon or MB, and then I think it becomes a legitimate issue. But the Lichaj debate has become a bit ridiculous. He’s a good kid, a decent player. But don’t forget Ream is playing as much as he is, but we don’t see so much debate about him….

    • The point is, Mat, a lot of us simply want to see Lichaj given a chance, just one eensie weenie little chance, to show what he can do in a US shirt at the present time. He did well in 2011 under Bob Bradley and we think he is much better now two years later than then. We find it odd, to say the least, that Klinsmann has given chances to a an MLS midfielder who does not play RB for his club and a guy who since February has only played twice for his club since February with only two times on the bench and the rest not even suiting up for his club.

      I can admit that Evans and Parkhurst have been able so far this year to put in decent performances, but certainly nothing inspiring like we have seen from Geoff Cameron at right back for Stoke playing 90 minutes a game against world class attackers. Cameron has been awesome.

      But although Evans and Parkhurst have not yet screwed up big-time, we all know, as Klinsmann said this week: “the World Cup is another two levels up.” Quite frankly, I don’t trust Evans or Parkhurst to play right back for the USMNT in Brazil next summer. IMO Cameron is currently without a doubt the best right back in the pool. Dolo is a question mark. We need a back-up to Cameron and Klinsmann would be foolish not to give Lichaj a look in October.

      • I won’t argue with you that Lichaj merits a call up. But, and maybe it’s my age and the fact I’ve seen this so many times in other federations, I’m not going to go crazy because the coach has made a decision concerning a replacement RB. I know all things all relative, but from the posts it seems like this snub is an outrage… Remembering France snubbing Cantona, Anelka, and Ginola before the 98 WC (which France won) makes me just shrug at the Lichaj snub as not that big a deal.
        As for is Lichaj “2 levels up”? I really can’t say. I’m still convinced that Chandler is probably the stronger choice in the long run for our RB, from what I’ve seen with the Nats and his club play (though he struggled recently), but he may have burned his last bridge a while back. Cameron would be a nice one to test moving forward at RB, I agree with you, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him tested out there before the WC, especially if he continues to play there with his club.

      • The France comparison doesn’t make much sense. Look at the alternatives France had at those positions. Look at the US’s depth chart at RB. There’s no comparison. It’s a snub. And it’s not an outrage so much as mystifying and frustrating. We all just want him to get a look.

    • Just to add, it’s clear that Klinsmann likes Timothy Chandler a lot. I have always suspected that one reason Klinsmann did not invite Lichaj was he was afraid Lichaj would show well, surpassing Timothy on the depth chart. If Chandler is called in October and Lichaj not, I will interpret that as confirmation of my hunch.

      In other words, Klinsmann would be making sure that Timothy is not having to compete against fellow right back Lichaj for a spot on the team, but against an MLS midfielder and a player who does not even suit up for his club, while at the same time Klinsmann either sits Cameron on the bench, as was his original plan against Costa Rica until MB was hurt, or plays Cameron out-of-position as d-mid while playing Orozco at right back. Can someone please explain the logic of those two Costa Rica rosters?

      You can bet that October is going to be an interesting roster.

      • To be fair though, Chandler is playing at a much more competitive level than Lichaj is, and has done so for a much longer time with more consistency. So Chandler over Lichaj is really just a logical choice. You can’t compare 2nd division England with Bundesliga. For my 2 cents, Chandler offers our best chance at a modern RB, though he’s still a bit green on the international level and would need to accept to be integrated asap in the US team. From what I’ve seen, Chandler has much more upside than Lichaj, and is my top RB choice after a healthy Dolo (despite his age, I still think he’s our best RB if 100%)

      • Sorry Mat, but I think Biff is right on this one. I’ve watched both play over the last four years and Lichaj was the more impressive IMO. His issue was a bad injury at a bad time, which took him from being in an excellent place (EPL) to having to work his way back up. The only upside I saw in Chandler was great speed. There is no clear reason for JK not to call him in, he addressed it in a weird way saying that Lichaj was on the radar but it was the wrong time to bring in a new player, which just doesn’t fit with everything else JK has done over the years. If he doesn’t get a shot and doesn’t make the roster, I will be disappointed but will still support JK fully.

      • Agree to disagree then. Maybe there is a reason why no EPL team picked up Lichaj while Chandler is still playing in what has probably become the strongest league in Europe?
        Lichaj deserves a call up as much as Ream or Spector, based on division and PT… I don’t see people going nuts over getting Ream & Spector a call up these days…

      • Lichaj has been starting every game. Chandler sometimes starts and sometimes comes off the bench.

        Ream and Spector both play a different position from Lichaj, so I don’t know why you would look to them in comparison. RB is a bigger trouble spot for us right now than CB. Also, Ream and Spector haven’t been playing as consistently as Lichaj, and both have been playing more midfield than defense anyway.

      • ” I have always suspected that one reason Klinsmann did not invite Lichaj was he was afraid Lichaj would show well, surpassing Timothy on the depth chart.”

        Seriously? You think JK is protecting a player from being surpassed by another player because he LIKES him better? Clearly, there is something going on, but I highly doubt JK is susceptible to sorority house politics. Whatever mysterious motive he has, I GUARANTEE he’s above something that petty.

    • Good comments from Biff. I don’t know that I need to see Lichaj start for the USMNT. But the lack of call up to camp doesn’t make much sense to me. This is not the same situation as say – Klejstan – who while playing well for his club, plays the same position as many others, and is low in the pecking order.

      Maybe Lichaj (and Spector) are at the right level at the Championship. They were good utility defenders for their EPL teams, but just lacked something to take the game by the horns. But from what I saw last year at AV in the EPL, I don’t understand the lack of a call up for Lichaj for a difficult and relatively weak position for the USMNT.

      • My compliments for Biff were for his original post, not the pro-Chandler conspiracy. Although I enjoy the intrigue of the Germanic-American subplot.

      • Lichaj, Ream and Spector are all playing well enough in the Championship. None of them managed to be the preferred starter when they were on EPL teams. They may have improved a lot, or the weaker competitive level may match their skills and athleticism better. In the case of Ream and Spector, when I saw them play, I always thought that their decision-making was suspect. I am not sure that strong performances in the Championship is enough to merit a look in a camp unless the player can fill a role only 1 or 2 players in the pool can fill. From 2 year-old observations, Ream can pass well, but he has a tendency to pull a bone-headed play from time-to-time, Spector can too often get caught ball-watching, but he can serve very good long balls, Lichaj, well, I’ve not seen him enough to really say very much; he seems to have OK speed, but nothing special, he seemed to play pretty cautiously at AV which I interpret to mean he was not that confident in himself at that level. With the USMNT, he looked OK in the 2011 Gold Cup, but he did not impress like Chandler did against Argentina, in fact Lichaj was the lowest rated player, barring JB, in the US 4-2 loss in the final..

      • I watched Villa a couple times last year both with and without Lichaj in the lineup. The back line was woeful, regardless of who was in the line up. When Lichaj did play, he was forced to play conservatively because he was often isolated against a speedy forward or overlapping midfielder or back. When a defender plays alone, he is going to get beat sometimes.

    • Lichaj and Ream are both playing regularly in a league that sits above the MLS in overall quality so your argument in favor of MLS players fails. Lichaj and Ream see better competition match too match and train with better players so why not give them a call up and a shot to see if they can help evenif as only back-ups. What we know about the US is that due to yellow cards or even red ones, some of our back-ups will need to play,especially with our backline.

      • At the end of the day it’s all about what players do when they get called in. Evans responded brilliantly, Parkurst has also been strong. They took advantage of opportunities and now it closes the door a bit of others like Lichaj. Now is it fair Parkurst was called before Lichaj? Probably not, but life isn’t fair, and coaches make choices. The one and only question that matters and on which people should focus more is: is the team achieving success? It has, undeniably. So the coach has done his job. He called players and sometimes his choices were controversial, but at the end of the day, he got the results and the rest is pretty irrelevant.

      • And for the record, I really couldn’t care less if we go with Lichaj or Parhurst or Evans or whoever, as long as the team continues to perform I’ll trust JK’s instincts. Obviously, as others on this board I have my person preferences for our team (for RB I strongly believe Chandler is the most complete player with the highest ceiling), but I won’t go making a big deal out a no call when the team is performing. Now I could get this whole debate if Parkhurst would have cost us the game vs. Mexico or if Evans (who I was quite frankly skeptical of) would have stunk it up big time. Then yes, results would warrant a fiercer debate. But right now, when all of JK’s RB picks seem to have produced as planned, it just seems like the timing for this type of discussion isn’t right.

  4. Can some one please explain why everyone thinks that Lichaj is not a good right back because he has not proven himself? I hear time and time again about how he wasnt great at AV, but that just leaves me more confused. Parkhurst isnt even making the bench… Lichaj at least made the bench, if not started on the field. And its not like Americans haven’t struggled for club and have that affect their national play. Michael Bradley had a spell at AV where he did not play and still showed up for the national team. Landon Donovan did not have a great time in Germany, yet no one would question his value to the USMNT. Guzan rode pine for a long time at AV, yet played well when ever we called upon him. LIchaj has played for the USA before, and faired very well (imo). He was never as good as say Cherundolo, however, he definitely held his own against very good competition (Mexico in the 2011 Gold CUp when Mexico was on fire). He may not of proved himself last year at AV, but for the USA and now Nottingham Forrest, he has proven quite a bit.

    I am not saying he is a god sent (ok maybe I do like him A LOT and want his Nottingham Jersey), but he has definitely deserved a call. He has done considerably better than any of the other right backs in the pool club wise (excluding Fabian Johnson and possibly Chandler) and not one USMNT RB has come close to putting a lock on the position. I see the 2 RB positions in Brazil being a fight between Chandler, Lichaj, and Parkhurst (Cherundolo, I am sorry but I dont see you healing in time). I am not ruling out any of these three, and think that all of them have a chance to impove (Parkhurst, move your butt from Germany). But of these three options, Lichaj has probably proven himself the most over the last few months. So that is why I believe we should call him in.

    But please, all you who disagree, please explain your reasoning on why a man who plays RM in the MLS and a man who cannot even dress for his club team have made it so that a RB who plays every week for his team in the Championship has no possible worth to the USMNT.

    • It’s hard to equate Bradley’s experience at Villa with Lichaj’s. Bradley came to Villa an established professional who had proved himself in two other European countries, not to mention the national team. Bradley’s previous two seasons demonstrated his class and that the Villa failure could be justifiably rationalized as aberation. Lichaj joined Villa as an amateur and never put a run of first team performances together of any note. When given a chance, and he had a few, he never established himself as anything more than a reliable utility defender.

      In what way has Lichaj proved himself the most over the past 3 months? His domestic season started a few weeks ago, and he was primarily an unused squad player at the end of Villa’s previous season.

      If I had to give two reasons as to why Jürgen routinely ignores its that Lichaj looks below-average to average in possession and while fast, has poor defensive positioning. I’m not saying Lichaj is some terrible donkey, and I hope he makes a great living playing the sport we all love, but his first touch in the EPL regularly took positive passing angles away and at the international level the ability to read the game is crucial.

      Say what you will about Parkhurst, and I think he is very limited, but since his New England stint it was always clear he reads the game at a high level. Ill admit he looks awkward to terrible with the ball at his feet, but Parkhurst showed a few times this summer he can pick the right pass. As for Evans, the fact he can play multiple positions -including different roles in the midfield and defense- shows he has the brains and is an added benefit in tournament style competitions.

    • “But of these three options, Lichaj has probably proven himself the most over the last few months.”

      So you value experience with Forest over experience with the USMNT?

      I answered your question about Lichaj elsewhere on this thread in my reply to bryan but I have to ask you something.

      Parkhurst , Evans and some of the other RB candidates have just spent the last two years or so actually playing for the USMNT. Parkhurst and Fabian just put in a good half at right back for the US vs. Mexico. Parkhurst helped win the corner from which Donovan assisted on EJ’s goal and then laid off the ball to MIxx for his assist on Donovan’s goal. With the win they just helped the US qualify for the World Cup.

      You make it sound like Lichaj is a stalwart for Forest but for the last two years Lichaj has mostly sat at Villa. He went to Forest and has now started seven games for them this season. That is not exactly stalwart status.

      My question is have you watched them play? How is Eric going forward? Is he as turnover prone as he was with Villa?

      Eric has proven he can do well with Forest for seven games . It’s good he is playing but he has a lot to prove in terms of the USMNT.

      Parkhurst et. al, have proven they can help the team get qualified for a World Cup.

      Eric’s run is great if you are a Forest fan but it has less relevance to the USMNT than Parkhurst’s and the others ACTUAL contributions to the USMNT’s effort.

      Whitbread and Hines are, I think starting for their Championship teams and no one is outraged that they have not been called in. Spector is starting for Birmingham City and I consider him at 27 years old a superior, more experienced player than Lichaj yet I hear no outrage from any US fans about the fact that he hasn’t been called in for some time.

      • Spector and Whitbread both have been very injury prone. Spector has just became healthy and finally gettting some playing time. I haven’t been following Whitbread but I am pretty sure he just found a new club and hasnt been playing reguarly

      • Whitbread has been with the same club for some time now. He hasn’t been receiving regular minutes like he used to, but in large part due to frequent injuries.

      • Lichaj has been playing well, I have followed him as closely as I can so that I can justify what I am saying (only seen two games but read game reports and such and they usually have good things to say about Lichaj or nothing at all). He does get forward quite a bit, putting in crosses a few times a game. Now that he is playing week in and week out his defense has improved (as you would assume would happen for someone who gets playing time).

        I have problems people justifying Parkhurst as proving himself with the USMNT. He played in a Gold Cup that was kind of a joke. None of the teams were that impressive. Either a B team was brought in or the A team was a minnow. Parkhurt did have a good tournament, but I think it would have been rather scary had he not. Parkhurst did have a good half at Mexico, but is one half really all that much better than consistent playing time in second tier England and a run at play (although maybe not successful) in the Premier League? I would argue that a good half and playing a bunch of minnows and B teams in the Gold Cup does not exactly prove oneself.

        Can’t argue with Johnson playing a good right back, however, I don’t think he should be there for the USMNT. I want him at leftback because Beasly has not been great (has been good, but Johnson imo is better used on the left).

        Evans deserves credit for stepping up. I just do not see him as a solution. He could prove me wrong, no doubt about it the guy steps up when needed, but by no means has he stamped his name on the starting 11 and thats why I think we should give Lichaj a chance to play.

        I want Spector in too!! I have always liked his play and he was doing well in the 2nd tier. A good hybrid player that can play RB and CDM. Unfortunately he has some facial issues and had to sit out for quite awhile. He had started out the season well too. But now I think he is back so fingers crossed he gets a look soon.

        You say “Parkhurst et. al, have proven they can help the team get qualified for a World Cup” as if Lichaj has failed the USMNT. He has not. Lichaj had proven that he can help the team compete in the competitive Gold Cup of 2011 vs. Mexico. Lichaj has not failed for the USMNT yet people act as if his failure at AV was a failure for the USA. If Lichaj failing at AV was a failure for the USMNT, why isnt Parkhurst’s failure at his club a failure for the USMNT? Because Klinsmann has called him in at the right time for people to forget. If Lichaj had been called in earlier this year and was putting in consistent games for the USMNT no one would be harping on him for his failed AV. I just think its unfair how he is held to this double standard.

      • HE is going to buy Lichaj’s Forrest Jersey! He must watch him all the time! Right… I mean championship is on the TV all the time……

        Seriously some people have serious “Grass Green other side” issues.
        I agree he deserves a try out but honestly…. people are was too serious about him even when he was just at Villa.

      • I disagree on PArkhurst as it overlooks the assistance Lichaj gave when on the roster prior to JK. HArd to say that he hasn’t improved with age and experience but why not give him a try. Especially over Orozco who couldn’t seem to figure out where he was even with a map and GPS. BTW, on other sites, including the defunct to me ESPNFC you would have seen me arguing for Spector and his teammate Packwood who just can’t stay healthy unfortunately. Still think Cameron is our best RB option if Spector (Who was hurt towards end of season and over summer ) isn’t being given a sniff due to being away too long.

    • The 2011 Gold Cup final is not the game to make your argument for Lichaj. He was burnt repeatedly to the tune of 4 unanswered goals in that one. Granted he had little support. Obviously Klinsman, who I’m sure watches him more than us, doesn’t rate him as highly as the guys called in. I think Lichaj’s biggest problem was that he didn’t get club playing time during the last couple of years while JK was building the team. And, for me, its a bit late now to try to incorporate someone who’s not ever been called in during this regime, especially since he’s not definitely better than the 3 or 4 options ahead of him. If he keeps playing well and improving, he is certainly young enough to make an impact in the 2018 cycle.

      • Watch every goal… It was unfortunetly Bornstein who was broken down. I was watching the game with some non soccer friends and even they realized that MExico was only attack Bornstein because he was having such an awful game. Lichaj may of had his fair share of “burns” that game. The goal that was Lichaj’s fault was a terrible clearence that led to the second one. I guess you could blame him on the fourth goal for not having hops too, but thats aggressive. But every goal started on the left side. Lichaj was not burnt repeatedly. I am interested, who are the three or four (who are not injured) ahead of him?

      • Lichaj did have the lowest rating,bar JB, in that US-Mexico game. That is not the kind of performance that leaves any coach with the thought that I simply must call him in. Not playing a lot for AV and the early season in the Championship is not going to change that much or soon.

      • Evans, Parkhurst, Cameron, F Johnson, Orozco.

        This is obviously JK list not mine, but he is the manager for a reason. I hope we can agree ‘Dolo is the best option but I left him out since he’s injured. Spector has played right back and been called by JK before. Unfortunately for Lichaj, his time will have to be next cycle.

  5. Most of the arguments for Parkhurst and Evans hinge on the (relatively few) games they’ve played at RB under the Klinsmann regime. In fact, they must, because who in the right mind would call up a player who doesn’t dress for his team or plays RM in MLS? These players, rightfully or wrongfully, have support (and seemingly Klinsmann’s trust) due to these performances.

    If national team performance is the criterion, why would you not try an option like Lichaj? That is the point of all this. If the guy who doesn’t play and the guy who doesn’t play that position (or in a decent league) get their shots, why would you not give a shot (not asking for a golden ticket) to a consistent starter in a very good league? If some team like Ghana or Colombia torches our flanks in the World Cup, fans inevitably will wonder why Klinsmann didn’t try all of our options when he had the chance(s).

      • i know the guy has gone through a recent rough patch, but how can you argue Chandler isn’t a better RB than Evans? not belittling Evans at all. but Chandler has been a starting RB in the Bundesliga since 2011.

      • Chandler has looked awful and disinterested whenever he plays for the US since the first couple of games when he was a revelation. All I am saying is that right now if we had one game to win I would rather have Evans in the lineup than Chandler

      • yeah, he hasn’t looked great with us or for his club recently (until this past weekend anyway). but in 2011 and 2012 he wasn’t having those issues. we’ve seen him play at a higher level than Evans. even with his slump right now, he’s still a better RB than Evans. his form may be off, but i’d rate him over Evans at RB 10 times out of 10.

      • I think a lot of people like Chandler and Lichaj because of the lack of speed in the US side. Personally I would rather have a dependable, safe player that makes the odd run forward rather than an attacking fullback that creates defensive liabilities.

        Having said that, I can definitely see some people’s attraction to the style of soccer that backs like Chandler and Lichaj play, because when it’s done well it’s beautiful and wreaks havoc on the opposition.

  6. While I would love it for JK to call in Lichaj for the next 2 qualifiers, I seriously doubt he will do it now. As Costa Rica showed, those are the weak spots in terms of depth. The other spots all look like there is depth.

    My guess is that JK will try to nail down his depth chart so I expect to see Castillo and Parkhurst (assuming DMB and B.Evans are the starters as left and right back).

    I also expect G.Cameron and Mixx as the Mids to see if they can control a game.

  7. like someone mentioned on another thread, this likely changes nothing for Klinsmann and Lichaj. but come on, how long are we going to ignore him?

  8. Looks like this site is on the decline. Haven’t seen Ives post an article in a while, he’s not tweeting from the SBI handle very much either. Sad.

    • The ridiculous moderating system I would bet took its toll on Ives site as well. He doesn’t typically break news so it more a place for commentary and users comments. Take away half that equation and its bound to hurt.

    • I agree that the site suffers when Ives isn’t a strong presence. I was particularly disappointed in the terrible commentary for the Costa Rica game that so many of us didn’t have access to. We could always rely on Ives to tell it like it is, provide analysis of player performance and have a good drinking game or two. The guys doing the commentary didn’t do any of that and were pretty useless. Hope he plays a bigger part going forward.

      • I agree. That’s was the second commentary that I was very disappointed with. If Ives isn’t going to do them himself, at least get someone with a little personality and experience to do it. I have started to only follow the twitter feed for in game updates now.

    • Jurgen has said that getting regular playing time is critical, Lichaj has started like 7 straight games for Nottingham. USMNT clearly has some issues at RB, why shouldn’t he get a call in?

      • sounds like JK’s reasoning is that it just hasn’t been the right time to integrate him. which is starting to become a ridiculous statement.

      • It’s never the right time, because there are always better options. Guy is fast, but he gets burned. Only explination for a fast guy getting routinely burned is poor understanding, poor positioning, and all of that being the result of some poor or lacking mental focus. Nothing against the kid, he’s still fairly young, but he’s behind both Chandler and (apparently) Bedoya, certainly behind a healthy Dolo or even Cameron against certain opponents. He may have a shot some day, but certainly not this WC.

      • i guess some of us disagree there are better options when we continue to use Evans and Parkhurst at RB. no offense to either of them, they have done a decent job. it’s not 100% certain Lichaj would even do better than them. but why not call him in? IMO, JK is out of excuses.

        clearly Lichaj isn’t this God-send that a lot want him to be. he obviously has issues like the ones you pointed out. but every RB in our pool has issues of some kind.

      • How like slowleftbrain to be presumptious.

        Highly doubt you know anything about Lichaj’s game that’s not hearsay.

      • Why would you say that? Weren’t Aston Villa games available on US TV last year? I also saw him a couple of times live while in England. He’s ok but we have better options in my opinion. The hysteria over this guy is silly.

        Let me guess, you’ve been watching him regularly for Nottingham Forest this season right?

      • Our fullback situation will kill us next summer. I see no reason he doesn’t get a shot at making a case. We can’t keep trying to get by with converted mids.

      • That position is a major problem, but why “try” someone with the same issues we already have? Especially when that same person has zero experienc or chemistry with the team? In the end, while there’s no reason to keep him off, there’s also no reason to bring him on: he gives us nothing new, solves zero problems, and may take time/spots away from more established people who could at least build some chemistry along the back line. If we are going to call in anyone who’s fast just because our back line stinks, then I nominate Robbie Findley. He’s better in the attack too, even had an assist last WC.

      • playing Evans and Parkhurst at RB is absolutely reason enough to bring him in. that screams we are having issues at RB…

        JK won’t play Cameron there, Dolo is hurt, and Chandler is MIA. Evans isn’t a RB and Parkhurst can’t even make the bench for his club team.

        i’d like to see Yedlin too. either one. someone, anyone, who actually plays RB and looks promising enough.

      • either way, your argument is totally fair. but i think he addresses an issue we are facing. which is lacking a RB who can get forward well.

      • bryan,

        Are you saying the issue is the lack of a RB who can get forward?

        If so my guess is JK would prefer to work that out with the present group

        • Parkhurst is very good at that as you would know if you saw him against Chelsea in the Champion’s league for his Danish club. In the Mexico game he helped get the US the corner that led to EJ’s goal and he laid off the ball to MIxx for his assist to Donovan. He has done well with minimum club time so if he can get some regular PT soon he’ll be in.
        • Evans is better going forward than defending which is what you would expect.
        • Fabian remains an option.
        • Cameron was not great going forward at first but Stoke is apparently opening up and he seems destined to start at right back for them all season so he could well improve substantially in that area this season.
        • Chandler remains an option if he can get his form back, which he seems to be doing, and if he can sort out his commitment issues.
        • The last I heard, Hannover were confident that Dolo would be back soon.
        • Orozco’s last outing was not great but he has done well at right back before.
        • Using one of Bedoya, Zusi or Donovan as a right wingback in some sort of 3-5-2 remains an option. All three would be capable right backs and I maintain Donovan is one of the team’s best tacklers
        The thing to remember about the World Cup is that it is at most a seven game tournament, 3 group games and 4 knockout games including the final. So makeshift position shifts are hardly disastrous or unusual.

        I don’t think the US has a crisis at right back. I’m more concerned that the core players, Jozy, LD, Dempsey, Mikey, Jones, BeGonz, Fabian, DMB and Howard, etc. could use a few more games together.

        That you would consider LIchaj as a possible answer for the attacking RB void is ironic since in his time at Villa he was seen as a reliable one vs one defender but was considered rather shaky going forward often turning the ball over. My guess is that “shakiness” is probably why he is no longer there.

        This was underlined in the 2011 Gold Cup final when he took over in the 11th minute for Dolo at right back, Eric’s favored position.

        That brought on everyone’s favorite whipping boy Jonny Boy at left back and naturally you all blamed him for the loss.

        But, while JB did his usual thing, Mexico’s second and tying goal came from a botched penalty area clearance from Lichaj, directly to Guardado.

        More to the point, after the US got their two goals, Mexico dominated possession and went on to slaughter the US.
        Most blame Bornstein for that but the US won a lot of games with Dolo and JB at fullback. In fact, since about 2008 the US had a winning record with Bornstein at left back, in both friendlies and competitive games. Dolo’s calmness on the ball and good judgment contributed to that. So I was more curious about how well Eric could fill Dolo’s role.
        And as we saw, the US was unable to hold possession, something Dolo was usually an integral part of.

        In the Final instead of just JB giving up possession, you now had two turnover prone fullbacks.

        In JK’s system along with going forward, keeping possesion is something JK wants from his backs and in that game Eric, under pressure, came up short. And it was the same criticism at Villa, losing the ball going forward.

        I believe that is why JK has never called Lichaj in;because Eric does not do what JK wants his outside backs to do.

        Have you seen him play for Forest? Does he get forward for them. If not then I don’t see him getting a call up but if he does and he does well then I see JK letting him build up his confidence some more and then maybe calling him in a bit later. I’ve noticed JK is not worried about giving players trials by fire.

      • Correct, I’m saying that is one of the issues we have at RB according to the sources I read (SBI, SI, MLS, NYT, USSF, etc.). it seems to me that most people agree like fullbacks who are good at getting forward and Parkhurst/Evans aren’t providing that ability like JK may want. i’ll go through your points and explain my position on each.

        1. He did good there, absolutely. But like we saw in the Gold Cup, he generally lacks when he gets forward. Sure, he occasionally makes good plays, but it’s not consistent at all. It’s well established Parkhurst is not known for his offensive for-lays. I have no problem him building off the Mexico game, but as a whole, he leaves too much to be desired, for me, and many others, getting forward.
        2. Agreed, but still not great at it.
        3. That is true. But I’d also like to get Beasley out of LB and have Johnson at LB.
        4. Cameron is pretty awful getting forward, i agree 100%. and i do agree that Cameron has the chance to really up that part of his game. but I’m talking present tense, and right now, Cameron is not good getting forward. He’s not awful, just not ideal. That is the main reason JK stopped using him at RB for the USMNT. He just wasn’t getting forward well.
        5. Agreed. That is exactly what I said and why I want to see Lichaj or Yedlin. In case Chandler can’t get it together.
        6. Correct, they specifically said it wasn’t nearly as bad as originally thought.
        7. Agreed. I should have mentioned Orozco. He got burned against CR but he’s played consistently there for Puebla and continues to do so.
        8. I think the whole 3-5-2 idea is insane. I doubt we drastically change our formation at this point. And aside from playing ONE game at that position, has anyone of those players other than Bedoya played RWB before?

        I’m not sure I challenged that point. I just questioned why it was bad to bring in Lichaj or Yedlin for the October qualifiers.

        I don’t think so either and I don’t believe I alluded to that. I just don’t understand why we wouldn’t take a look at Lichaj or Yedlin when we are having some issues at RB. not a crisis, but clearly it’s a talking point.

        I never used the words possible answer, but fair enough. You could argue that is the hidden implication in what i said. I do not think Lichaj should or will start. He’s still only playing in the Championship. Cameron, Dolo, and Chandler all play at a higher level. But I do think his form at his new club is reason to consider him. and despite receiving bad reviews about his offensive ability during some games, there were plenty that praised him for his assists and contribution to the attack. i think it was a consistency issue for him rather than a lack of ability. similar to Parkhurst. although i think since Parkhurst started out as a CB, he has less offensive abilities.

        I think blaming anything about the 2011 Gold Cup on him is a little much. the guy was thrust into a situation with a team he had just met and was playing in the Gold Cup final, against Mexico, at the Rose Bowl. to me, that game was clearly a direct result of Bornstein’s inability. And I don’t think Bornstein was made to be the scapegoat in that game. but, Lichaj can’t escape all blame and you are correct in that he did not stand out in that game. like you said, he had a bad clearance. but you are ignoring that Mexico deliberately targeted JB in that game and he was beat repeatedly…something Lichaj was not. mostly due to them hardly attacking that side.

        Agreed that Dolo was never going to be replaced by Lichaj. I’ve never alluded to that or held that belief. He’s always been a depth option in my mind. And I’m sorry, but JB deserved the criticism he got. Him riding the bench in Mexico proves he just wasn’t all that great.

        Yes, in that game he did. And in some AV games he did too. But if you are going to use those examples, you have to also talk about the time he DID do well. And there were a decent number of those as well. Including the 3 other 2011 Gold Cup games he played! Truth is, the guy didn’t have a huge sample size to argue one way or the other.

        Fair enough, but if we stopped calling up people because of one bad game, I’m not sure who would be left on the USMNT. Jozy, LD, and Dempsey would be long gone. Bradley? An after thought. So forgive me if I think that’s a dumb a$$ reason to ignore someone. Repeated, terrible mistakes are one thing (ask JB), but one bad game is another. Lichaj had 3 solid enough games in the 2011 Gold Cup to show the Final may have been an off-day.

        Yes, yes I have. Does he get forward with them? No, he just continues to provide assists from his defensive third…

        Are you just overlooking that he’s had multiple assists now, implying he must be getting forward? otherwise, why would you ask? i’ve also noticed you repeatedly ask people if they watch their games. i figured you did and just weren’t impress. but you’re not even watching them either. so why even ask people of they are?

        enjoy the discussion, GW, per usual.

      • bryan,

        On the one hand there are like seven months and most of a European and MLS season left to see about many players.
        So it is not necessarily over for the long shots like Lichaj, Yedlin, Morales, Gatt , Benny, Holden, etc. and so on. But they will have to make their case at their clubs.

        On the other hand there are only two qualifiers and a few exhibition games left. And Camp Cupcake in January.

        So maybe JK has what 6-8 games before he has to file his roster?

        My guess is he tries to get one or two A roster games in. Which means probably not the qualifiers because he has to wait for Mikey to heal.

        So the USMNT staff time with the players is limited and at this point very precious.

        I believe the reason you don’t call in Lichaj for just a look is that if he isn’t attacking down the wing and holding the ball and distributing it well for Forest , then he isn’t likely to suddenly do it in a game for the US. The ship has sailed on experiments.

        I think you should get called up for your country because you did something exceptional for your club worth getting the attention of the national team manager. Being a scrub for a crap team, even one in the EPL isn’t the way to do it.

        And what he is doing now for Forest is good but he needs to do more.

        If he isn’t exceptional for Forest, if he does not look like a younger, bigger, faster version of Dolo, then I would not call him in.

        From what I remember of him he is a fullback version of Robbie Findley, speed without subtlety and skill. If Eric is any indication I hope the US does not send any more young prospects to Villa.

      • yeah, i mean, you make strong points. i can see both ways on this, but i just happen to lean towards calling in Lichaj; assuming he keeps it up going into the October qualifiers. Even the November friendlies is fine with me. But I think he’s shown very well at Forest so far and if he continues to do so, I think he brings good depth at RB to the USMNT.

        clearly Klinsmann agrees with you, so I understand the person in charge does not share my opinion. and Klinsmann clearly knows what he is doing…but i still want to see him.

      • I’m a big fan of that guy who repeatedly argues that it’s down to Klinsi not liking Pollacks. I imagine he’ll be along shortly.

      • That would be Andy from Atlanta.

        JK prominently featured Podolski and Klose two Germans of Polish extraction and it is alleged that JK has issues with them.

        Whether that is because they are of Polish extraction or whether they owe him money I don’t know.

        All I know is I saw JK make a point of putting his arm around Klose after the Germany game at RFK and speaking with him at length. They looked pretty friendly to me but then maybe JK was threatening Klose.

Leave a Comment