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hendersonshands
LA-Lafayette Fan
Univ. of Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
Member since Oct 2007
150627 posts

How to build a national team
1. A clearly defined, SIMPLE system. Establish your keeper and your center backs early and then your midfield. Are you going to play a high or low block? Single pivot or double? This has to be determined by your player pool. If Wil Trapp is one of your best center mids, you need to give him help because he cannot handle the defensive and offensive responsibilities alone.

2. Tempo - build it in early. Are you pressing high up the field? If so, you damn well better have cohesion through all levels of the field. If your striker and center mids press but your wingers slack off, you’re begging for an opposing player to find space behind your midfield and getting to that space within two passes.

3. Identify your best attacking players and then figure out a way to get them in space and utilize their strengths. If you’re playing Christian Pulisic underneath the striker, you need a striker who can hold up possession like Jozy Altidore. Gyasi Zardes has the touch of a 30 year old virgin.

— personally I think Pulisic needs to be on the wing. You don’t need a 10 in modern soccer. Stick him on the left and allow him room to cut inside. Putting him at the 10 is just begging for centerbacks and defensive midfielders to rough him up.

4. You have to play guys where they’re comfortable. You do not have time in the international game to teach new positions and intricate tactical nuances. You don’t need to put Adams as an inverted right back center mid hybrid. Play him as a 6 or an 8 with McKennie and let them play without thinking.

5. Current form should be top priority. Call in your best performing players and play them regardless of where they’re currently getting playing time.


We are currently failing at most of these things. I think Berhalter is smart and capable but I don’t think he’s a flexible enough national team manager. Tata is a great example of a good national team manager. His teams aren’t overly complicated but they play hard, apply constant pressure as a Unit, and they always seem comfortable.


DByrd2
LSU Fan
Lancaster/Palmdale, CA
Member since Jun 2008
5105 posts

re: How to build a national team
Goes much deeper than this, but from a managing/coaching standpoint you're spot on until #5.

As written, that point would leave out Pulisic, Sargent, etc. despite them being premier talents.

IMO, If we waited to hire someone like Greg, why not make it a full-on youth revolution rather than tinkering constantly and refusing to build any kind of chemistry?

I'd have rather watched all youth players grow together while losing like this to mixing in random call-ups and axing any team cohesion you may have.

Last night looked like the players gave up.


crazy4lsu
USA Fan
Member since May 2005
24042 posts

re: How to build a national team
I think this is true broadly, but I would argue that with the way CONCACAF is structured, you essentially need two identities. One has to be the attacking identity that you use against teams in your confederation over whom you have a talent advantage. The second identity is how to set up your team for international tournaments where your talent will be mid to lower tier, but the right set-up can send your team deep into the tournament. The problem for me is that the identity that we best suit tournament play, the low-block counter attack, would not suit CONCACAF all that much. Maybe I'm wrong though.

This makes setting up a cogent identity extremely difficult, in my view, but this also amplifies the need for simplicity. I don't think Berhalter is the man to teach that sort of game. Or at least I've seen no evidence that he can implement a clearly defined, simple system.


RollTide4Ever
Alabama Fan
Nashville
Member since Nov 2006
12722 posts

re: How to build a national team
Jose Pekerman needs to be a apart of ussf.


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hendersonshands
LA-Lafayette Fan
Univ. of Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
Member since Oct 2007
150627 posts

re: How to build a national team
You’re right about changing when playing the shitty teams but I think it’s much easier to make alterations to a defined simple identity than to create complex tactical systems for each opponent


Broski
USA Fan
Member since Jun 2011
34184 posts

re: How to build a national team
quote:

why not make it a full-on youth revolution rather than tinkering constantly and refusing to build any kind of chemistry?



You can't do that... sure you can have some youth-focused friendlies, but for competitive matches, you should always call up your best 23 available. You have to make the young guys push their way onto the team, not just give them a call up because they are under 25.


crazy4lsu
USA Fan
Member since May 2005
24042 posts

re: How to build a national team
I don't trust Berhalter to install any sort of simple framework that can be adaptable to the situation on hand.


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CelticDog
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2015
28447 posts

re: How to build a national team
quote:

for competitive matches, you should always call up your best 23 available. 


sho nuff


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