Chandler’s comfort level rises after another strong performance at left back

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

HARRISON, N.J. — The more U.S. national team defender Timmy Chandler plays at left back, the more it looks like the long search for a dependable option at the position has come to an end.

Never mind the fact that Chandler's performance at the position against Ecuador Tuesday night was just his third with the national team after primarily playing on the right side for both club and country.

Building off a strong showing against Honduras on Saturday, the 21-year-old Chandler neutralized Ecuador's main attacking threat, Antonio Valencia, as part of his 90-minute showing in a 1-0 U.S. loss at Red Bull Arena, earning indivdual accolades from U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.  

"He didn't allow Valencia not even one thing, and you're talking about a player that plays for Man. United and is a very, very good player," Klinsmann said. "But you couldn't see him at all, because Timmy Chandler closed him completely down."

Chandler's comfort level on the left appears to be increasing, as does his long-term grip on the position, which has arguably been the biggest spot of uncertainty for the national team program over the last few years. 

"To play against (Valencia), he didn't have so many chances or do anything. The whole team from Ecuador didn't do much in the first half," Chandler said. "It's two games now we play good, and I'm getting comfortable."

Chandler's trademark attacking qualities are emerging from his station on the left as he continues to get a feel for his bearings. His forays forward on the right were what made him such an intriguing prospect when he first started playing for the United States, and he is starting to get more and more forward as he banks minutes at his new position.

"I'm very happy with how he presents himself on the left side," Klinsman said. "His job was taking out Valencia. He did that job, and then he went into the attack. He did two jobs, actually. It seems like he's just enjoying himself. He's a very curious player that wants to know 'How can I improve? What do I have to do?'

"Obviously he can play both sides. We can shift him over to the right side and he'll be exactly the same." 

Even though it's clear that he's more comfortable crossing with his favored right foot, Chandler is making strides in transitioning to his left foot. There was a point early in the loss to Ecuador during which Chandler delivered a teasing left-footed cross to the center of the box that nearly led to a U.S. chance. 

His ability to maintain a high work rate throughout also showed, as evidenced by his 74th-minute strip-and-run down the left flank that eventually ended in him drawing a foul and leading to a U.S. free kick in dangerous territory with the game still scoreless.

"I think he did very well getting forward," U.S. centerback Carlos Bocanegra said. "He took some good positions defensively tonight, especially on the some of the long balls covering inside. He's got good energy. He's got a good tank in him."

Chandler's emergence on the left has been helped by his partnership with Brek Shea on that side. The two have developed a strong chemistry and have a sense of timing each other's runs and covering for each other despite playing very few matches together.

"He has what I like in a left back, and I have what he likes in the guys that play in front of him," said Shea, who roomed with Chandler during the September U.S. camp. "We're good friends off the field, so it definitely translates onto the field. We're kind of similar people. We like to have fun and we joke a lot. The off-the-field stuff has helped our relationship grow."

Klinsmann has taken notice of that relationship as well, and his praise for both players along with pronouncing that Shea has "secured his spot in the starting lineup" should lead to a consistent pairing of the two in future matches.

"They start to develop an instinct for each other," Klinsmann said. "Timmy's doing a good job reading (Shea). These types of partnerships … those take time." 

Like Chandler's transition to left back, though, perhaps it doesn't take that much time after all.   

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67 Responses to Chandler’s comfort level rises after another strong performance at left back

  1. JC says:

    I still wish we could get a chance to see him running up the right flank. I think he would be much more dangerous.

  2. Hush says:

    Chandler & Shea the BASH BROTHERS!

    Team America, F YEAH!

    It’s great that their building some chemistry on the left. Now if we can only build chemistry in scoring.

  3. malkin says:

    First game the communication between chandler and shea was terrible. Last two games it’s been great…definitely good to see.

  4. grades says:

    Chandler 8.5
    Shea 8.5
    Dempsey 7.5
    Beckerman 5
    Edu 5
    Williams 6
    Cherundolo 5.5
    Gooch 9
    Boca 8.5
    Altidore 7.5
    Howard 8.5

    Bradley 8
    Spector 3
    Agudelo 7
    Beasley 7.5
    Ream 2
    Buddle 4

  5. Second City says:

    With Cherundolo being gassed last night and heavily out paced, made me wonder what things will look like going towards Brazil 2014 & perhaps beyond.

    Lichaj at LB and Chandler at RB are promising prospects for the Nats in the near/distant future.

    The few crosses with his weak foot went surprisingly well for Chandler, too. Also, I agree that the chemistry with Shea is really developing. Additionally, the chemistry with Shea/Dempsey & Shea/Alitdore look to be growing, too.

  6. maka says:

    Which one is Portman and which one is Fulton?

  7. Sir Nigel Aghaincourt says:

    yeah yeah Chandler did great playing out of position but —-

    GOOCH IS BACK!

    and I don’t mean Big Awkward Gooch from WC06, I mean Gooch who had started to move like a Futboller not a Footballer. More fluid in the hips, more composure on the ball – Gooch from ConFed Cup 09.

    Great to see him look like he belonged. Keep it up big man.

    as for the the rest – The top 1/3 is still a muddle. not enough possession – Shea and Williams showed their youth and promise at the same time.

    Set pieces were a weak C. should do better than that.

    Bradley is looking much better than he has, and ultimately will unset EDU or Beckermann. Beckerman works hard, but the US needs more from that position, ie they need Jones to get into playing sharpness.

    Agudelo needs time on the pitch. If NY isn’t going to play him they should loan him to DC.

  8. Alex says:

    I think we should still see what Lichaj or this Fabian Johnson character can do at left back. Cherundolo’s not getting any younger and I think we’ll end up needing Chandler on the right. The great thing is, Brek can play that side as well. Imagine that speed! I see our eventual line up shaping up like this:

    ————Altidore————
    ————Dempsey———–
    Donovan——————–Shea
    ———Holden—-Bradley——
    Lichaj/Johnson————-Chandler

    And then whoever can solve our CB conundrum. My crystal ball’s not giving me anything on that, unfortunately. On that note, it is time to see John and Gonzo in camp. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that we’ve had to suffer through Orozco this long and neither player has gotten so much as a sniff.

  9. Sad US fan says:

    Cherundolo barely plays for Hannover anymore too. And he’s the captain, lol.

  10. mouf says:

    Interesting ratings for a team who barely created a chance… Drop everyone 1 – 2.5 pts

  11. Second City says:

    Given Holden will be out for the next 6 months, here’s a line-up I think we will see in November:

    ——————Altidore
    ————-Dempsey
    Shea—————————-Donovan
    —————–Williams
    —————–
    —————–Beckerman
    —————–
    Chandler————————Cherundolo
    ———Boconegra—–Onyewu
    —————–Howard
    =======||||=======

    Williams has gone on record of saying he prefers/feels more comfortable playing centrally for club & country. When Donovan returns, I think that’s a logical place for Williams to play and oust the struggling Edu in the central role.

    Beckerman looked tired last night but I havent seen anything from Bradley to displace him. I think we’re hanging on his name recognition alone in that debate and not observing the actual play. Too many negative/lateral passing.

    Additionally, the experiment of Beckerman/Edu or Beckerman/Bradley should be over. The former due to Edu’s poor form and the latter due to both players withdrawing too much. Bradley nearly plays another CB for the majority of his time on the pitch. We need someone that can play the pulley system better with Beckerman. Williams is that person for me, once Donovan returns.

    While generally favoring a two forward system, Altidore and Dempsey are looking more and more like a potent combination, with more playing time in that system.

    I wasn’t a fan of the two forward system and having Dempsey playing the central attacking midfielder, last night. I didn’t see players finding him as much, nor did I see him near goal as often as I’d like. When he has the freedom and space to roam by himself underneath the forward, he’s a beast.

  12. pd says:

    or philly so he can get some experience in the playoffs…

  13. Angel FAN of USA says:

    For me players that should be in the USMNT:
    Chandler
    Shea
    Dempsey
    Williams
    Gooch
    Altidore
    Howard
    Bradley
    Agudelo
    Beasley

    Player that deserve a second chance to prove themself in the USNMT
    Beckerman
    Edu
    Buddle.

    Players that should be left out for the next call up
    Boca
    Cherundolo – Boca and Dolo not because they are bad players but they are getting older.

    Spector
    Ream

    Hope to see this lineup next time

    Fowards:
    Altidore(Agudelo/Boyde(germany/Teal)
    Dempsey(Gyau/Adu/Davis/Starikov)

    Midfields:
    LM – Shea(Beasley/Donovan/Garza)
    RM – Donovan(Williams/Josh/Bedoya)
    Holding Mid – Torres(Diskerud/Holden)
    Defend Mid – Bradley(Jones/Williams)

    Defends:
    LD – Lichaj (F.Johnson/Lleget/Boyde-mls)
    CLD – Gooch(Gonzalez/Amobi/Kitchen)
    CRD – Goodson(whitebread/Gale/John)
    RD – Chandler (Lichaj)
    Goalkeepers:
    Howard(Yelldell/Hamid/Johnson)

  14. jlm says:

    there is absolutely no question that Bradley is better than Beckerman and Edu in the midfield. I would like to see Dempsey up top with Altidore coming off the bench and someone like Adu who can create more in the attacking midfield spot. Not because Altidore is a bum, but just to see it — we should not be playing the same players in the same position over and over at this point (the same argument for Bob giving Michael a break every now and again). The exceptions are people like Shea and Chandler who are getting comfortable in the squad.

  15. jlm says:

    If you replace Williams with Donovan, Beckerman with Bradley (in the first half), and Adu with Edu, this team would scored goals. Just because the central midfield was not good and did not put others in good positions or because Williams didn’t take advantage of his chances does not mean that others did not play really well.

  16. DC Josh says:

    Can’t say how excited I am to see two enticing 21 year old prospects on the left side of our starting lineup. They will only get better.

  17. nyjer1 says:

    I’m startled by the heavy anti-bradley sentiment that I continue to see on this sight and I’m left wondering if we where watching the same game. I think Bradley played very well last night. I don’t recall a single errant pass. Can’t say the same about Beckerman who I continue to not be sold on. With Bradley playing regularly for his club team (which is top flight in one of the top four leagues in the world) and showing himself well with USMNT I would say pair him with Williams. Give Williams the freedom of an attacking MD while Bradley can play the DMF.

    I’m glad that folks remember Lichel or who I agree has a lot of promise and could very well end up taking over a starting spot. Also, lets not forget Holden and Torres who I think will be in the mix. Holden, when healthy is a solid player that was establishing himself as a regular starter in the top league in the world. Not sure though if he is as good inside as he is on the wing. Bedoya is talented. With regards to Adu, he is a bit of an enigma. While I love to see Beasley resurgence and am excited to see him get 100 caps, not sure if his form will continue through the next world cup. Truth be told, I’d trade our over abundance of midfielders for another solid defender.

  18. Marco says:

    Yes, the left side was great with Chandler and Shea dominating. Overlooked, the defense allowed only one shot on goal. Ecuador is very good side, that easily beat Venezuela, who just beat Argentina, so the defense was excellent. The USA had 5 on target, but not enough quality, with no threat down the middle.

  19. Second City says:

    I don’t agree there’s “absolutely no question” sentiments. Vehemently disagree, actually.

  20. Kevin_Amold says:

    So who do you rate higher than Bradley? Edu or Beckerman? Or both? And why?

  21. allouez86 says:

    I thought Lichaj was out til the new year. And not sure I agree on the Starikov addition. Yes he gets some minutes in Russia, but he’s not at a power team and isn’t a consistent starter there either. Plus Holden is also out another six months so he won’t be in for the Nov camp either.

  22. Second City says:

    I think there is absolute competition right now between Beckerman and Bradley.

    As for why: my reasoning has been splattered around the board on various stories/threads, if you seek descriptive justification, as I’ve typed out countless times.

  23. Emmanuel says:

    Edu played horrible….

  24. TomG says:

    “not observing the actual play. Too many negative/lateral passing.”

    Either you mixed up your names or YOU are the one who didn’t “observe the actual play.” Beckerman was an absolute turnover machine last night. If he was a turnover drinking game, I would have passed out. I think you are not seeing what’s actually happening on the pitch. The international game seems pretty clearly too fast for Becks. Defensively, he holds up very well and even covers more ground than MB, but he has had several games now where he just turns the ball over on almost every touch. We can’t have that on our team, especially in a system that relies on stringing together passes. Maybe he will eventually adjust, as Sacha seemed to do, but Sacha was 22 when he was turning the ball over like that, Becks is in his prime, maybe his late prime. I’m not sure he should how many more chances he gets. Guys like him are the reason why we have 2 goals in 5 games under Klinsi.

  25. TomG says:

    Agreed. I don’t think the MB haters even watched the game or else maybe they watched it through “hater shades”.

    Disagree about Williams. I’m not sure he is ready yet. His reactions are slow and he plays with the ball far too much instead of moving it quickly or shooting. Twice in 2 games he had good looks at goal but instead of one-timing it, he settled and let the keeper back into position. Depending on who’s available, I would send him back and tell him to work on making quicker decisions.

  26. TomG says:

    Yes, very bad. He actually put himself in some good spots, but was very, very wasteful.

  27. TomG says:

    Chandler legitimately deserves his grade but the rest should be dropped, yes.

  28. TomG says:

    Yeah, I’m going to go searching the net for some random dude’s opinions. That’ll happen. Some people drastically overestimate how much people care what anyone says on these threads. I love it when some noobs crow that Bradley made a sub or called in a guy because of the traffic on the boards. Really??

  29. Stephen says:

    As per usual…just not sold on him. We need Jones to get some playing time or give Williams some time in the center.

  30. swoopy says:

    Edu and Beckerman were equally useless. I don’t hate either one, but when central parts of your team are giving away possession, why are people so confused as to why we’re not scoring?

  31. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Nyjer1 I like your comment, I think klismann should give a try to see Bedoya what he can bring to this team he has creativity and control as the same Adu too. Adu might be a European bust but he is getting fit but somehow when ever he wear the USA jersey he play well see the last Gold Cup against Mexico and Panama. He is like Geo doSanto from Mexico. He wasn’t playing a lot in his team but everytime he came to play for Mexico, he played well. Geo and Adu have that in common. well that what I think not sure if u agree with that.

  32. Bryan says:

    Every time I see him winding up to shoot I close my eyes because I know he’s going to make himself look like a fool.

    In reguards to MB; I thought he looked good enough to show he should be a starter but it was fustrating how many backpasses or lateral passes him and Becks were doing in the final 5 or so minutes. Ruined any chance of scoring because neither of them pushed the ball forward.

  33. TomG says:

    Good point about Fabian – would like to see a natural lefty out there if possible, but Timmy proved that he can handle some of the best players in the world out there and Dolo is still a good player even if he’s lost a step. Ideally, either Lichaj or Johnson stay healthy and step up their games to the point where they are even better than Dolo, but you have to like the status of the wing back situation at present, especially compared to past years when there was simply no one able to play the left in an adequate fashion.

  34. Dennis says:

    I thought that Second City was the one-man hate show with regards to Bradley. He seems to get in early on every comment thread to espouse his mistaken opinions. Most others either parrot what he said or disagree with 2nd City.

    I am with you. on the USMNT, Bradley has performed better that Edu, Beckerman, Jones (though from his history that is surprising, I expected more from Jones), Williams, Bedoya or Torres (but this is comparing apples to oranges since Torres and Bradley perform different tactical purposes on a team), or Holden who is the lone player I think might match up with Bradley, but he has been injured so much in the last year and a half that it is really hard to tell.

  35. Second City says:

    I don’t recall asking you personally to. Knock yourself out, though.

  36. john says:

    he’s been battling injuries numb nuts. You don’t keep the arm band if you aren’t performing

  37. Redneck says:

    Beckerman just looked tired last night. He’s normally pretty solid. Even so, Bradley is the better player. Has better vision.

  38. biff says:

    I don’t think it is fair to be calling someone an MB hater simply because they think Beckerman is a better holding midfielder. If that is the case, then one would have to call Klinsman an MB hater. From a story on MLS Soccer:

    **As far as Beckerman is concerned, Klinsmann was unequivocal: “We discovered a player in Kyle Beckerman that is just doing a fantastic job for this team. … We don’t want to have him out of the team.”**

    In the same story: **Klinsmann singled out Oguchi Onyewu, Timothy Chandler, Brek Shea, Danny Williams and Kyle Beckerman as the best performers in the 1-0 loss to Ecuador with a clear indication that they will figure prominently in his team moving forward.**

    Klinsmann did not mention MB. But Beckerman has already won a spot on the team.

    link to mlssoccer.com

  39. Cairo says:

    Put me in the camp that thinks Beckerman is as good or better than Bradley IN THE ROLE that Klinsmann has assigned to that spot. He stays home, tends to get in good defensive positions, disrupts plays, and gets the ball off of his feet quickly. I like Bradley, and think he’s the more versatile player, but in that role I don’t see Bradley doing any more than Beckerman, and maybe a little less, given how slowly he tends to get the ball off of his feet. The main reason to give Bradley the nod is because he’s so much younger, and therefore has a longer future with the Nats. But Beckerman’s game is not based on speed, but rather positioning and decision-making. He should be ok for the next couple of years. I totally get why Klinsmann favors him IN THAT ROLE. Now we can argue whether that formation is right, but that’s a different question.

    On a different note, I wonder if Bedoya can play that attacking center mid role that Torres and Holden were in line for. He played centrally in Sweden and scored a fair number of goals there. He can’t be a worse fit than Edu or Bradley. Williams seems like yet another defensive mid–good player but not a great passer. It’s getting hard not to call for Adu, who is getting in game shape and always seems to perform for the Nats, even when he’s mediocre with his club(s).

  40. Louis Z says:

    Gooch was a very pleasant surprise for me. It puzzles me BB put Gooch in the 2010 WC games when he looked nothing like he did last night.

  41. hugo says:

    what exactly do we want from our LB, to absolutely stop the rw of the opposing team? dont get me wrong, timmys done fine, but i havent seen edgar castillo do THAT bad.

    jonathan bornstien gave up the most crucial goals in the GC final…, edgar castillo faced the same player(barrera) in the next month and shut him out completely(if u guys remember bradley messed up that goal).

    With that said, i still have Chandler>Castillo but idealy castillo didnt do THAT bad when he got his chance.

    interested to see what klinsey does when and if J.Jones gets back to playing because that DM role is for him bradley or beckerman.

    oh and we need goals from our forwards.

  42. Jason says:

    Gooch looked fantastic last night, and it pisses me off that he was more aggressive in the attack than much of our midfield. Bradley is great on the defense, but almost never seems to want to play the ball forward. Beckerman is like his hair- sloppy, and Edu’s touch is failing him.

  43. Jason says:

    I’m not completely sold on Beckerman either and I’d be interested to see how much of a role he’ll play when Fabian Johnson jumps in the mix. I think Beckerman might just be keeping the spot warm for Johnson.

  44. ACS says:

    You are probably going to have to add Johnson to that list in my opinion having watched both in the Bundesliga Johnson>Williams but not by much, Johnson plays more of the attacking role compared to Williams, if Johnson was in last night it would have been in Williams role while Williams would have knocked out either Edu or Beckerman.

  45. Couzin It says:

    +1 on Mighty Ducks reference. Hopefully Klinsi never eats ice cream with the enemy.

  46. ACS says:

    Johnson plays in what Williams role was last night for his team, while Williams plays Beckerman’s role for Hoffenheim so in November don’t be surprised if Williams is where Beckerman was and Johnson is where Williams was in the lineup.

  47. Kevin_amold says:

    I figured since you so “vehemently” disagree with the sentiment, you’d be willing to peck out a reason or two.

    Guess not.

  48. Jason says:

    You’re right on the money. I don’t know what it is with Bradley, but my problem with him is that he isn’t a playmaker. He never pushes the ball forward. The biggest problem for the team on the pitch in the past couple games is the giant hole in the midfield where a playmaker like Donovan or even Adu or Torres should be; setting up the attack. Bradley, Edu, and Beckerman don’t have it, and it shows.

  49. Poo says:

    Castillo had a handful of extremely lucky plays, where he got away with blunders that could have easily turned into goals for the opposition. he is so far below where chandler is. The only thing he has going for him is that he is quick and left footed.

  50. Second City says:

    It’s amusing that everyone is responding to a statement I made towards jlm & he alone has yet to respond.

    If it was your statement I was responding to, then I’d type out a lengthy/appropriate response. Otherwise, not feeding the Bradley-love-fest trolls.

    As I mentioned, there’s plenty of that on this very board already if you’re that concerned with my thoughts directed towards a specific person on a specific topic.

    Ah, the internet. Land of magic, mystery and entitlement.

  51. go usa says:

    “I think Bradley played very well last night. I don’t recall a single errant pass.”

    ———

    It’s a good thing too, an errant pass from Bradley would cause an own goal…

    ba dah (cymbal crashhhh)

  52. SwerveZ says:

    I actually see these two as totally different players on the field. The competition comes from what do you want more? Good passing out of the back or not? Beckerman can’t pass out of the back to save his life. Bradley also has the ability to take over the midfield and I haven’t seen Beckerrman do that yet. I’m not giving up on the dude and maybe he’s just had some bad games, but I counted over and over again when he turned the ball over right after getting it. That can’t happen at this level. With that, what’s up with Jones??? I respect everyone’s opinion though. We all see things we like and don’t like.

  53. Ken says:

    I say keep Chandler in the LB. When we get LD back, let him play Right Mid and he’ll help Dolo on D against opponent with fast winger. Dolo might be too old by 2014 but he certainly can help in the qualifications.

  54. Dennis says:

    I do not think it is unfair. He has consistently gone out of his way to disparage MB and is the first to do so in the comments on articles that had little or nothing to say with regards to MB.

    In that sense 2nd City is clearly all about getting in digs about MB not about paying any attention to what is actually going on.

    I have no problem with those who are willing to provide something to the discussion, but he has routinely managed to get the facts wrong to support what I believe is his incorrect opinion. Examples: “MB made poor passes in the Honduras gam”e when in fact he connected on 100%, that “he only passed back or laterallly” , another clear falsehood, that he “lost possession repeatedly” again a falsehood.

  55. Dennis says:

    I like Beckerman, he plays with the kind of grit that I like to see in defensive mids. However, I am not sure he has the athleticism to excel against international competition. That was one of the reasons Honduras was able to play so many un-pressured passes behind the US back line. (Edu does share some of the blame for that, and the back line could have been better prepared when they saw there was no pressure.)
    I think Bradley has more upside, he is a better passer (he did take every free kick for the US when he came on against Ecuador), he is stronger and harder to knock off the ball and as tactically aware as Beckerman.

  56. rana says:

    From what we have seen this fall, our defense is actually looking pretty good. Part of the story is probably Beckerman’s play, even if he sucks when trying to distribute.
    My guess is taht the four back guys are:

    Chandler, Gooch and Bocanegra, Dolo

    with Lichaj and Specter in reserve on the wings and Orozco and Goodson in reserve in the middle. Ream gives up a goal a game, at least, and Castillo is to often out of position. For the defensive mid position it seems like Beckerman and Edu in reserve. Bradley makes too many mistakes back there, which more than offsets his better offensive skills.

    Our offense is putrid.

  57. Jackal says:

    My problem with beckerman is he doesn’t pass well and just doesn’t have the speed to cover for our already slow CB.

  58. Excellency says:

    Actually, what I saw of him playing on the right was somebody who wasn’t really faster than, say, Cherundolo, and did not scream past the opposition but, instead, used his ambidexterous feet to stop, turn, and cross with his left instead of his right. He doesn’t really cross from range any better than Cherundolo.

    But, sure, if a great left back comes along we can shift him to right. Right now we still have Cherundolo at right and nobody at left so it makes sense to play Chandler at left back. Chandler is the single best thing Klinsmann has done todate to take us a step forward.

  59. Jackal says:

    Just because they didn’t score doesn’t mean the offense was bad, they held possession, pass well and created a lot of opportunity. The problem is no one seems to want to slip a pass through the middle everything was done from the wings. Neither Edu or beckerman really got up into the attacking third fast enough when we are on the break and neither guys were really adept at passing forward as you can see from the game.

  60. Tim says:

    O…Timmy is definitely Fulton, and Shea is Portman

  61. Tim says:

    I think that in the future, with everyone healthy *knocks on wood*, that for me, the preferred wing backs would be Chandler on the left, Lichaj on the right.

    I think Lichaj is better suited to be playing the right side, and Chandler has that ability to cut in on his right foot, as he showed last night early. I also like the chemistry forming between Shea and Chandler, and for me, Shea is a lot stronger on the left than on the right.

  62. Jack says:

    Amazing Klinsman has managed to find a fairly decent solution to the US left back problem after being in charge for just a few months. I thought Bradley was ok but Jurgen is a Godsend for American soccer. The way he handles the camps and the roster i.e. bringing in the best options available everytime so the players can develop a good chemistry, the change in philosophy of controlling the ball and moving forward and hustling back when the ball is turned over versus kick the ball deep from the back and hope somebody comes down with it, and the changes with youth development (the new development manual found here: link to ussoccer.com is very good).

  63. TimN says:

    I’m glad to see that Klinsmann is bringing in lots of different looks at multiple positions…this team is a work in progress that’s only going to get better, although the W-L results don’t show it right now. I’m convinced that by next summer, the MNT will be pretty carefully “dialed in” to the best available talent at each position that also works cohesively. The main trouble spot for us at the moment is finishing. I think ultimately the starting line-up that we will see is Dempsey up top, with Donovan, Jones, Bradley, Torres/Kljestan, and Holden if healthy in the midfield, and Oneywu, Chandler, Lichaj, and Goodson in the back. Howard is a lock at keeper.

  64. dan says:

    is everyone ignoring the fact that when donovan is played as our creative attacking central mid with freedom to roam he is absolutely insane? i say donovan and altidore with dempsey on the right

  65. biff says:

    I am not 100% sure, maybe someone else knows , but I don’t think BB ever used a lone holding mid position, the one Beckerman is now playing. Didn’t BB always use two DMs? Playing as a single DM is a highly difficult role and a key to the overall defense in an attacking system. I agree, Beckerman did not always look pretty against Honduras and Ecuador. But with Beckerman in that key role for a total of 180 minutes against one decent team and against one very good team from Ecuador, the USMNT gave up only one goal. USMNT defense in the first half against Ecuador was overpowering, and Beckerman certainly played an important part in that.

    As for passing, please don’t forgot Beckerman’s performances against Mexico and Belgium. His passing was excellent against Mexico and solid against Belgium. But I agree, passing did not look as good against Honduras and Ecuador. Not sure why that would be, but hope he bounces back in that department in the Europe friendlies in November.

    As for speed, is MB really truly than Beckerman?

  66. committed1 says:

    is Chandler being groomed for the US or German team?

  67. mangut says:

    This is yet another example of how dillusional and distorted the coverage of the newly minted Americans is. How can you have a left back who cannot dribble with his left foot? He was sprinting down the line dribbling with his right foot? He ran into the corner without ever looking up. He displayed very little creativity. I imagine his athleticism and youth helped him negate Valencia but Valencia is much overrated to begin with. This kid is not that good but he is being blown up for absolutely the wrong reasons.