The Weekend: NY vs. LA, Still A Headline?

[TSG will be publishing on an abbreviated scheduled for the next week. We on holiday!]

At least these two guys will be there.

2 of the known 22….


23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dude on 2012/05/05 at 10:20 AM

    At the very least, it’s a match to see who will sink further into the abyss.


  2. Posted by dth on 2012/05/05 at 5:31 PM

    Man, Galaxy really are bad.

    Connor Lade is an interesting player at left back. Tiny, but someone to keep an eye on, I think.


  3. Posted by dth on 2012/05/05 at 8:22 PM

    Is there a valid explanation as to why the Crew are taking their lumps with Marosevic as opposed to taking their lumps with Dilly Duka? (see: “Youth Development in MLS and Theories of Why Subpar”)


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/05/05 at 8:30 PM

      I think Duka’s still out injured.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/05/05 at 9:29 PM

        You’re right.

        Still, it’s the principle of the thing.


        • Posted by mbw on 2012/05/06 at 6:00 AM

          The funny thing about it is that the teams that have given young guys big minutes — RSL, Vancouver, DC, NYRB, New England — are by and large doing well. It’s the Philadelphias who are the main culprits.


          • Posted by dth on 2012/05/06 at 6:47 AM

            Yeah, what really kills me is teams that continue to use mediocre veterans instead of giving the kids a chance. Like Bruce Arena trotting out the immortal Cristman and Barrett against Seattle, w/o Beckham. It’s clear you’re not going to win that game once you decide to do that. Why not give your homegrown players a chance to see what they can do? Because your two veterans are mediocre and they’ll always be mediocre. Too many MLS coaches are too comfortable with the certainty of a certain kind of mediocrity.


            • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/06 at 7:56 AM

              The fact that Cristman and Barrett continue to get paychecks in MLS let alone start games is ridiculous. They would have been out of place 10 years ago let alone now.

              Does Cristman have any soccer ability? I remember watching him come through with New England and thinking that he would be out of the league soon. I also knew that it was the beginning of the end of the Revs being a good team.

  4. Posted by Kay20 on 2012/05/06 at 11:50 AM

    Barrett and Cristman are terrible – I say that as an LA fan.

    This season is going to test Bruce’s attacking chops. The problem isn’t our defense right now – it’s our offense. You have the tools, how do you put them together?

    Lobbing countless balls into the box to midgets is just stupid. Buddle + Keane still isn’t working. The one guy who looks dangerous is stranded out right.

    Stop with the longballs. Consider moving LD. Consider dropping Buddle and Magee. Trying the same thing for weeks on end, lobbing Becks balls into the box and praying is not the answer.

    Change it.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/06 at 2:49 PM

      Aren’t we just seeing exactly what happens with Keane at every club? He starts out decent then drops off after a season or so. There’s a reason he’s played for 10 clubs in his career. He’s just not consistent at all. They should ship him out to Villa and spend whatever it takes to bring in Drogba. He would be the perfect striker for LA.


      • Posted by Bode on 2012/05/06 at 3:15 PM

        Drogba would never score in MLS because he would spend the entire game rolling around on the ground!

        In all seriousness, if they had a motivated Drogba, he would be a terror for MLS defenses.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/05/06 at 3:42 PM

      What really gets me about the Cristman/Barrett situation is how much oxygen they’re taking from the two young homegrown players, McBean and Villarreal. There’s the first team minutes, of course, but then if you extend the analysis over reserve games, here’s the picture.

      Galaxy have played (I believe) three reserve league games, two official and one unofficial. Here’s the minutes breakdown:
      Barrett: 2 gms, 157 minutes
      Cristman: 3 gms, 166 minutes
      McBean: 1 gm, 23 minutes
      Villarreal: 3 games, 85 minutes.

      McBean hasn’t been on the injury report, as far as we know. McBean can definitely play on the reserve league level–he led the Galaxy in reserve league assists last year. Villarreal has at least played all three games, but he really should be playing the majority of all possible minutes at a minimum. To be fair, Villarreal did undergo surgery in preseason, so perhaps that explains it. But still, it’s one thing to not get your guys pro minutes in fear of veterans. It’s quite another to fail to do reserve league minutes, which is sheer insanity. Even FC Dallas gets its homegrown players substantial reserve league minutes, and they’re maybe the only team that compares to Arena’s inability to develop the vast majority of players not named Omar Gonzalez (and judging by Berhalter’s success so far with Hammarby and the Galaxy’s current implosion, I’m going to guess the credit there belongs to Gregg.) Arena doesn’t many things well, but is an abysmal failure in many other ways.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/05/06 at 3:44 PM

        Changed thoughts in the middle of the sentence about FC Dallas–FC Dallas is maybe the best MLS club at developing players from 12 to 18; if every MLS club were as good as they the U.S. would be in fantastic shape. Unfortunately, Schellas Hyndman then takes the gift and decides to play guys like Scott Sealy. Which, all things considered, is probably worse than playing Barrett/Cristman though I’m sure there’s a fun debate there.


      • Posted by Alex on 2012/05/06 at 7:39 PM

        That’s an awful statistic. Its the reserve league, isn’t that the perfect place to give younger guys minutes? Instead they are giving the majority of the time to two forwards that are pretty damn useless at this point.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/05/06 at 8:01 PM

          Yeah, really bizarre. I mean, all McBean did was net a goal in his only first-team appearance, and he can’t sniff the field for the reserves.

          Well, I suppose he could be injured as well.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/05/09 at 1:14 PM

        Just to update: in Galaxy’s most recent reserve game against Earthquakes, Barrett went the full 90; Villarreal went around 20; McBean was subbed in but their box score doesn’t say which time.


  5. What LA needs is speed…either at striker or on the wing to stretch opposing defenses and give them another approach on offense. Right now they lack a player that can do that. Donovan drifts centrally and neither Buddle nor Keane have that kind of pace. So you end up with what they currently have, a team that is terrible at stringing together enough passes to have long stretches of possession, but have no speed up top so they have to play a “half court” style offense in order to score. But in order to build from the back and get players forward and then swing balls into the box you have to be able to do what I previously stated the Galaxy suck at, long stretches of possession.

    It’s a pretty consistent theme. They don’t have speed so they try to keep the ball and play a high line in the opposing team’s half. They inevitably lose the ball because they stink at stringing together more than 3-4 passes and get caught out on the counter because of playing a “half court” game.

    But I could be wrong, lol. Just my opinion.


    • Posted by Kay20 on 2012/05/06 at 10:55 PM

      Have you watched the Galaxy this season? We’re great at stringing together more than 3-4 passes. We’ve out possessed a fair number of our opponents this season. We’ve built out of the back. The game against NY illustrated exactly what you’re talking about – we have possession, we build, we get the ball out to Becks – who swings a ball into the box that NY easily heads out.

      We did this over and over and over and over…. Simple direct offense that got us absolutely nowhere. We didn’t keep the ball on the ground and rely on creativity. Instead it was Beckham cross after Beckham cross to our group of forwards of which only one is over 6′. Recipe for not scoring. But stringing together passes (unless you are named Cristman or Barrett) has not been our issue.

      Creativity in the final third has. Your conclusion is right – a speedy winger would help that. Fans have been clamoring for that for awhile. We are slow. A pacey winger would definitely help stretch the defense and give our midfield more room in which to operate.

      But we didn’t have a problem with creativity when LD and Keane were paired together – those two have shown flashes of a very good partnership. But right when they do, Bruce pulls them back apart to play a 4-4-2.

      Tactics need to be changed in LA. Wondering if Arena has the chops to do it.


  6. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/05/06 at 3:45 PM

    Anyone know why Shea’s not in the 18 for Dallas?


    • Posted by Alex on 2012/05/06 at 4:29 PM

      Read somewhere that he’s had a toe problem, something like turf toe, that has been bothering him for a while now


    • Posted by dth on 2012/05/06 at 6:50 PM

      I feel like this season is a perverse experiment to see what, exactly, it would take for Hyndman to give his young players a real shot to contribute. Dallas should’ve made a much more substantial run in 2011, but Hyndman chose to run his team into the ground instead (maybe if he gave his homegrowns a shot?).


  7. Posted by Rodrigo on 2012/05/09 at 11:40 AM

    Barrett and espcially Cristman are physical specimens. Just what the USA likes! Kenny Cooper and Marvelle Wynne are equally as bad. No skill, but big! Partly why MLS not worth watching and USMNT far away from being top team. It all starts at youth ages where size and power rule the day. Skill and speed typically reside in smaller players, but they need not apply . . . even at youth level.


    • Posted by Kay20 on 2012/05/09 at 11:40 PM

      You do realize they are not representative of MLS anymore, and are role players for LA right? This meme you have is ancient.


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