Tuesday Morning Bullets: Donovan, Rivas, More

We’ll be back to programming shortly. Internet connectivity issues at TSG’s new locale as well as some corporate announcements shortly.

Donovan, out of action for the Nats...

• Banged up World Cup alums: Landon Donovan, Jonathan Spector

Landon Donovan out for the latest USMNT camp kicking off this week.

Donovan sees former Galaxy mate Edson Buddle step in for him.

Buddle is an interesting selection in that it’s a fourth target striker (Altidore, Agudelo, Bunbury) that will be in camp with manager Jurgen Klinsmann presumably using a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1… or will he try something else now that he has four strikers in camp. Might Altidore be split out wide or Bunbury in a true a 4-3-3 taking the place of Donovan.

Meanwhile Jonathan Spector’s injury is just minor and he’s headed in to camp shortly.

• More Colombia Impact

Ok, yet another Colombian player to MLS as former Inter man Rivas joins next year’s entrants, the Montreal Impact. Rivas hopes to join ColombiansDavid Ferreira, Jamison Olave, Diego Chara and TSG fave Jorge Perlaza as an impact player in MLS.

Maybe this exists already, but I couldn’t find it, but…with the Colombian league in disarray and inordinate and long-standing influx of players from the nation, why doesn’t an MLS team just situate its academy there? It would build a fanbase and give it first dibs on players.

Bad idea?

Olympics are too far away....

• Let’s see the “other” German already…

Just a wealth of German-leaguers and German-Americans to pluck for the US roster. Jurgen Klinsmann has already called in two new faces, Fabian Johnson (who has completed his one-time switch to the US) and Danny Williams (now eligible).

I don’t care that he’s 18 and plays more centrally, if you’re going to call in the sketchy Edgar Castillo doesn’t John Anthony Brooks (on Hertha’s first team) deserve a shot this camp or next at worse? He’s not going to make it in for Camp Cupcake, so by the time you see him he’s going to be halfway to 20 and probably has some first team reps.

Yes, he’ll get the Olympic call, but what are you losing by at least bringing him in to get a sense of the senior team now?

• Oh, Irene: Los Angeles Galaxy at New York Red Bulls

Everyone surmised that the Red Bulls dodged a bullet last time when they were off-form and had to play the Galaxy at home as Los Angeles streaked to the Supporter’s Shield.

Now? The Galaxy can make a serious dent in New York’s playoff hopes.

Of course all eyes will be on Rafa Marquez–who typically plays well versus David Beckham and company.

Question. If Marquez doesn’t improve (or perform) this match, and coming off his lackluster effort in Toronto, how do you not sit him in the wake of a poor effort Tuesday.

Really, if I’m a veteran like Henry or Dane Richards or whoever, don’t I just pack it in if Marquez can loaf on the job and not be held accountable?

Meanwhile, nice to see Beckham still fired up. Seriously.

26 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/04 at 1:47 AM

    I really hate that these friendlies really lack more than 2 wingers in a system that really requires wingers. And also a general lack of Attacking Mid depth. Wouldn’t Mixx, Sacha, Gatt, Adu, be a better option than another CF. I mean, why call someone like Bunbury, and than call in someone like Buddle just to compete for a spot on the bench. I mean, in a 433 there is 1 CF. And barring injuries, at most 2 of these players are going to play. And this is nothing against Buddle, he’s hitting a vein of good form which is good to hear. I just really question Klinsy’s decision about player selection.

    Also, purely hypothetical, but what do you guys think the ramifications will be if we lose both of these friendlies. I’m ever the optimist, but I think that’s a good talking point regarding our near future under Klinsmann.


    • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/10/04 at 5:45 AM

      Even if donavon was going to be at this camp I was hoping to see a 4-3-3 with three strikers. Altidore wide left, Bunbury Center, Agudelo wide right. Now maybe Buddle Center. Honestly if you look at the players called in I think Klinnsman may be thinking of running a three man backline at some point.

      I would like to see a test formation 3-4-3, even if its for the last 15 minutes of a game:

      or a 3-5-2

      For something more “conservative” a 4-3-3:


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/04 at 6:41 AM

        I’m not sure we see a 4-3-3 this time around. I think we might see more of a 4-2-3-1 based on the call up of Bunbury and Buddle now. We also might see 4-4-2 or some other formation. I’m not sure that 4-3-3 is definitely going to be what Klinsmann uses as his base formation.

        If you’re going 3-5-2, you wouldn’t normally have Dolo in the backline. The 3 is usually made up of 3 central defenders who are responsible for marking the 2 forwards of the opposition which is why you rarely see it anymore as 2 forwards is becoming more rare.

        One thing to remember regarding Klinsmann and his view of friendlies is that it’s not so much win or lose but what you learn. If you look at his time with Germany they were not good in the pre World Cup friendlies and then were unleashed at the World Cup. It’s different with the US though because he has to actually qualify for the World Cup but the idea could be the same. Train and learn in friendlies then put it all together when it matters. The chances of the US not qualifying are pretty slim. All he’d really haev to do if it’s not working is just go back to the counterattacking bucket.


        • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/10/04 at 7:53 AM

          Three central defenders in a three man backline is a waste in the modern game, which why I am not advocating for that. If teams are going to play with a withdrawn striker/attacking mid/etc then I would task a faster, more mobile midfielder to track him and remove a central defender. The outside defenders would still act like fullbacks, but just not getting forward. Hence boca out left, as he can play left back as well as centerback. I would still potentially deploy him central depending on my left back options. By removing the fullbacks from the offense I think we strengthen our defense, with killing the offense because our use of fullbacks has been so inconsistent anyway. This is mainly focused on our talent. US defenders aren’t really great at attacking, while our wide attackers aren’t great at defending.

          In at 3-5-2 against a 4-2-3-1 you would have the central defender cover their central striker and use the outside defenders to cover their attacking wings. Your central midfielders would cover their center attacker and the two defensive mids. The outside midfielders would cover their fullbacks. Your strikers would then try to take on the two center defenders, also one could track back to confuse the central defensive mids. They will attack with as many as 8 while we defend with 8. Then we would attack with at least 7 while they defend with as little as 6.

          Potentially, or it could just be a cluster, which is why I just want to see it for a bit.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/04 at 8:48 AM

            If you’re going to advocate for something along those lines, I think the better option would be to copy the way Barca defends (when healthy it works for them). So you would essentially line up with 2 central defenders, 2 wing backs and a defensive mid who would drop back into central defense essentially when the wing backs bomb forward. I think MB90 could fill the Busquets role but the issue I see is with the speed that we have in central defense. I can’t see Boca/Gooch or whoever else being able to fill in gaps.

            This doesn’t seem like it would be a problem in Concacaf where the teams all bunker in against the US and play for 0-0.


            • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/10/04 at 10:55 AM

              I do like the Barca 2-3-2-3 (or 4-3-3). But it presents a fewof problems for the US personell available
              -Slow Central defenders
              -No super fast fullbacks, that can cover the whole sideline vertically
              -No great central striker (true or false 9)

              Basically I would Flip it to 3-2-3-2 (3-5-2). I think this maximizes a few things:
              -Two strikers to do the work in front of goal given our lack of a True or False 9
              -The US has full backs who are really great players defensively, but might not be good going forward. This stops us from playing defensive liabilities on the wing.
              -Maximize our deepest position, Defensive Midfielder.

              Even if we just used this in friendlies as a way to break out of our current rut of people being too static in their position.

    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/04 at 8:27 AM

      “hypothetical” what if we lose these two –

      I’m still in favor of seeing everybody play in different combos so we know where we stand. Who knew how Adu would fit in until he was brought in at the end of Bradley’s reign as head coach?

      Better to lose now while trying out everybody than field a team next year with defects and wonder what cudda been.


  2. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/04 at 6:14 AM

    Completely agree on the Colombia idea. Obviously, alot of the top talent in MLS is from the country- heck the difference between the Union last year and this year has alot to do with their three Colombian players.


    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/04 at 6:37 AM

      i know im just a little wacked, but isnt freddie montero columbian also?


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/04 at 6:41 AM

        oh, thats all columbians on one team. columbians in mls on a french canadian team, that should be fun to watch.


  3. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/04 at 6:43 AM

    I seem to remember that Henry was criticized for his leadership skills while captain of Arsenal and it seems that it’s popping up again with NY. Shouldn’t he be stepping in to try to straighten this stuff out? I know that it’s not easy to handle Marquez who is definitely a big personality but Henry doesn’t seem to be very vocal in response to those comments.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/04 at 7:12 AM

      I completely agree Jared. That’s part of that DP contract in my mind.


      • Posted by mbw on 2011/10/04 at 10:56 AM

        And to make things worse, NYRB doesn’t look to have many other well-established veteran MLS guys to fill that role. Compare to LA, which had some of the same problems with Beckham a few years ago, but which also had strong veteran leadership and an experienced and respected coach.


  4. […] notes from The Shin Guardian, including the video of baby Becks and Jason Kreis getting heated after the RSL/LA match. Careful, you too. I know you both spent a lot of time on […]


  5. Posted by RTisch on 2011/10/04 at 9:44 AM

    There’s also a Cup Final Today…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/04 at 9:52 AM

      I know on the Cup Final but I just can’t get into that. I can’t get in to the Carling Cup or anything overseas which is a little bit more integrated with their culture.

      Anyone else?


      • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/04 at 10:35 AM

        I really only follow the US Open Cup when my childhood love, the Richmond Kickers, make a run.


  6. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/04 at 11:49 AM

    So what happened between Beckham and Kreis? Was the game especially dirty or targeting him?
    Do I really care? I’m so confused…can’t somebody start a Michael Bradley thread here so we can get some focus back?…


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/04 at 12:30 PM

      Bob was at the game, and it just put everybody into bad moods. Egypt should fire BB!!!


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/10/04 at 1:27 PM

      Apparently Kreis had been jawing at the ref/asst ref, some of it pertaining to Beckham taking cheap shots at RSL players, and Beckham thought this was out of line.

      Not Kreis’s finest moment, that game.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/10/04 at 3:41 PM

        Kreis for HC of the USMT!! Oh wait. NO! That was embarrassing for the league, I’m sorry. It plays into the many unfair stereotypes about American soccer.


  7. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/04 at 12:57 PM

    Will Egyptian fans mistake BB’s sweaptpants as a modified robe?


  8. Posted by Union on 2011/10/04 at 4:38 PM

    As stated above, the Buddle call-up is mystifying. I really thought he Robbie Rogers’d himself out of any future camps after that performance against Mexico. As a few people (Martin), might remember, I’m a proponent of taking a risk and inviting a few of these young guys into camp. Especially with Holden and Torres being out and the attacking MF options being slim. Out of the options of who to call in, the fact that we added yet ANOTHER CF, doesn’t make sense.

    I think I’ve given up on trying to predict what Jurgen’s thought process is. I’ll just trust in it. I love his plan to bring in guys in all of these German-American guys, so I won’t worry about him bringing in the WC squad from 2006 (kidding..kidding). But even so, having Buddle, who essentially is the same type of player (only way worse) as Agudelo, Bunbury and Altidore, come into camp instead of Sacha, Diskerud, Gatt, Gomez, Adu…..just doesn’t make sense to me. Its not a huge deal necessarily, but I never expected to see him bringing so many outdated players back into the mix.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/05 at 8:29 AM

      The USA is not deep on the national team level. That is the case for most countries. For example, Uruguay can play and score against the best with Suarez and Forlan healthy and playing but who steps in when either is out?

      The issue of who can play at CF is important, for sure. And it isn’t always the best player who plays best in World Cup games.

      I don’t have a problem so far with Klinsmann’s management of the players but I hope he isn’t deluded into thinking that we will be satisfied with Germany 02 and 06 at
      Brazil `14. The game is evolving and we have to add new elements to our game and modernize it.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/05 at 9:42 AM


      Buddle’s recall is curious to me because among other things, he is an ex Galaxy player.

      One gets the feeling that, as with Rogers, JK seems to have some kind of long standing relationship with Edson. In Bradleyspeak, if Rogers is Jonny B, then I guess Edson is Conor Casey or Brian Ching.( there was a time when those two were almost in Jonny B’s class in terms of fan abuse and hatred).

      If everything I’ve read about JK the last few years is accurate then he probably knows the Galaxy players of the last couple of years as well or better than anyone.

      This makes me wonder what JK really thinks about Gonzalez.

      Maybe he’s already decided that Omar isn’t up to standard because he knows him so well and is sending a message along the lines of “improve or else”?

      Or maybe he knows Omar so well that he is waiting to see what the others have got before he brings him in. After all he is always taking Donovan so maybe he is trying to cut the Galaxy a break until it really matters.

      As I’ve often said, I see Omar as a younger, less experienced, and slower. clumsier, inferior version of Gooch. Now that it appears the real Gooch may, and I stress “may”, be back in form, then it makes including Omar a little tougher.

      The fun part is we’ll have a bunch of matches before qualifying to see.


  9. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/10/04 at 8:53 PM

    Raul Mendiola possibly to City. Good or bad?


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