• All Hail The Hypnotoad

2022-2023 European Football Thread

dawg

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD
freedom GIF
Happy World Cup GIF by FIFA
 

Purp

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This ref has been pretty bad tonight. Started out trying to keep control, but his inconsistency and persistent bad positioning has led to a lot of stuff missed that has unnecessarily escalated things.
 

Moose Stuff

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5-1 final. Will take a monumental ass whipping by CR for us not to finish top 3. As a side note, credit to Panama for playing hard for 90 minutes under the circumstances.
 

Purp

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I hope we see some friendlies over the summer against some high caliber competition. Since there will only be 7 days between the release from club obligations and the start of the WC we'll need to have as much coalescing of talent as possible this summer before the club seasons start. There are still several spots up for grabs and a couple without locked in or high probability starters. We need to figure those things out this summer and really hammer out all the details we might need to deploy from a system standpoint. Almost no time for that in the fall before the WC. Darning FIFA and this idiotic Qatar winter WC.
 

kaiser soze

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Interesting article ... usmnt midfield better off without weston mckennie? Argues McKennie and Musah are similarish players.

So, assuming 4 in the back plus either Pepi or Ferreira at striker, is there a clear best starting next 5?
-- Pulisic, Adams, Musah, McKennie, Weah, | Reyna, Aronson, DelaTorre?

I cant imagine not starting #10. Though the only one I fall on my sword for lineup inclusion and a full 90 is Adams.
I like Weah's athleticism and service in from the right side. Reyna is a playmaker. Aronson for super energy.

Are musah and mckennie redundant enough to sit one? Do we need some level of passmaking creativity in MF from a Reyna or Delatorre? Does opponent matter?
Will be interesting seeing how lineups shake out if all are healthy come November.
 

Purp

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD
Interesting article ... usmnt midfield better off without weston mckennie? Argues McKennie and Musah are similarish players.

So, assuming 4 in the back plus either Pepi or Ferreira at striker, is there a clear best starting next 5?
-- Pulisic, Adams, Musah, McKennie, Weah, | Reyna, Aronson, DelaTorre?

I cant imagine not starting #10. Though the only one I fall on my sword for lineup inclusion and a full 90 is Adams.
I like Weah's athleticism and service in from the right side. Reyna is a playmaker. Aronson for super energy.

Are musah and mckennie redundant enough to sit one? Do we need some level of passmaking creativity in MF from a Reyna or Delatorre? Does opponent matter?
Will be interesting seeing how lineups shake out if all are healthy come November.
We certainly have an embarrassment of riches in midfield, but this evaluation of McKennie seems a little myopic. So he's an elite finisher for a central midfielder, but a less prolific passer. Even the author admitted there were reasons for that. If you stop the analysis there you miss all the other tangible and intangible benefits he brings. His work rate is elite. So is his toughness. Maybe there isn't a sabermetric stat for that, but it certainly has an effect the opponent's midfield and creates space and opportunity for others. Defensively he doesn't stand out, but when Adams is at the #6 in front of our back 4 we don't need him in a defensive posture very often. Again, a small sample size. So much of this game is about movement without the ball and creating space and lanes for those with the ball. It's stuff that's very difficult, if not impossible, to measure. McKennie is terrific at this also. And he's a consistent leader. He doesn't show up big one game and disappear the next like Pulisic does sometimes. He's always one of our best and most impactful players when he's on the pitch.

The question of using him and Musah together isn't without merit, though. I think de la Torre has been impressive for me so far. I really like what I see of him. He's a lot like Michael Bradley from a tactical positioning and quarterbacking standpoint. He's instinctively cerebral offensively just like Adams is defensively. The things Tyler Adams does that most people don't notice are amazing to me. He's almost never in the wrong spot and almost never misses a tackle/interception. Luca so far has looked very similar on the offensive side. Another central midfielder I think is worth a look is Busio. He's more of an Acosta clone in some ways (Acosta has an added abrasiveness to him like Pulisic against Panama, McKennie every time out, and Hoppe [why is he not getting looks at striker?]), but as he gets more experience he is becoming really impressive himself. That's a ton of options for 3 spots.

Then you get to the wings. I agree that Weah, CP10, Aaronson, and Reyna are all obvious options. For me you have to run with Reyna and Pulisic on the wings against your best opponent regardless of match-up. At that position defensive attributes are less important to the equation than their ability to stress a defense. That's the foremost match-up consideration you make for your striker, wings, and forward central midfielder (why McKennie is always an obvious selection).

I love Aaronson and Weah, but they just aren't as brilliant as Pulisic and Reyna so you run Brendan and Timmy against lesser opponents to keep the top 2 fresh for the big dogs. McKennie and Adams play every minute for me unless it's a blowout in one direction or the other. We just don't have anybody else who is as elite at what they do. Their contributions elevate everyone else on the pitch with them even if the other positions aren't first choice guys. That leaves striker (obvious question mark where the selection should be dictated by match-ups) and one central midfield spot (where the selection should also be dictated by match-ups).

I'm not sure I'm as set on the back line as most people, but I don't worry much about it as the drop off from the #1 to the #2 option isn't very steep except for maybe left back. But I feel like Dest is our back-up left back and starting right back and Reggie Cannon/Deandre Yedlin are probably defensive upgrades at right back over Dest so we really have a solid 4 man rotation at outside back that I'm comfortable with all options. I also want to see Scally get some run with the Nats in the left back role b/c he could be another option there. He's been solid in what I've seen of him at Gladbach.

For me the only center back I'm penciling in every time out is Miles Robinson. Zimm has been spectacular of late, but I'm still not allowing myself to expect that from him long term. He wasn't amazing when he got looks in early 2021; it's since he got his 2nd chance that he's been terrific so I just want to keep seeing it for a longer period of time. Miles Robinson has proven himself for over 12 months in a lot of huge moments and I'm officially sold on him. But Chris Richards is another one I'm very high on. I don't see the gap between him and Zimm as very large at all. Similarly, I think John Brooks is much better than he's been talked about recently. He definitely had a bad stretch for both club and country, but he seems to have straightened it out at the club level and looks menacing again. He's out to prove something to Berhalter and I still think he's one of our best 4. Behind them are Mark McKenzie and Erik Palmer-Brown who have shown well in limited opportunities. I want to see more of those guys, but it's tough right now with so much outstanding depth at the position. Matt Miazga is another who seems to be performing well at the club level and is still pretty young. I'd be fine to never see Aaron Long again; not because I don't think he's solid, but because he's not as good as the other guys I mentioned before him and because he's older than all of them with less upside. It's a waste to give him minutes in such a crowded position group.

To answer your question more directly about the starting front 5 behind the enigmatic striker selection, I'd say 4 are very clear for me. Pulisic on the left and Gio on the right with McKennie in front of Adams in the center of the park. There's only one spot that's debatable for me and we could go with match-ups to dictate, but I still think Musah has the most upside of all the options for that last spot. I agree that he and McKennie are similar in a lot of ways, but I think we need that type of offensive dynamic and unpredictability from the center of midfield given the dearth of production we get from our strikers.

Not knowing the opponent I'd run
 

kaiser soze

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD
We certainly have an embarrassment of riches in midfield, ....
great feedback and i probably agree with pretty much all of it.

Adams is by far my favorite and deserve the captain band. Hope he stays healthy, as we need his steadying presence.
McKennie brings toughness and spine to the midfield along with his finishing and workrate.
I really like Musah and his pace, though some games he does fades away. M&M a solid 1-2 combo, though pushes creative role onto wings.
While I've liked Weah's push down the flanks, I concede I'd rather see Reyna creating. And Aronson can be a super sub all day long.

Good problems to have.
 

JogginFrog

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You guys follow the African cup qualifiers? I'm no big soccer fan but crazy stuff happens (lasers lighting up the Egyptian keeper in Senegal) that sometimes involves loss of life, so I keep an eye on days like today.

Amazing finish between Algeria and Cameroon. Home side Algeria take the advantage in the 118th minute on an unmarked header from a corner. Followed by a fantastic goal by Cameroon in the 124th to advance.
 

Chongo94

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You guys follow the African cup qualifiers? I'm no big soccer fan but crazy stuff happens (lasers lighting up the Egyptian keeper in Senegal) that sometimes involves loss of life, so I keep an eye on days like today.

Amazing finish between Algeria and Cameroon. Home side Algeria take the advantage in the 118th minute on an unmarked header from a corner. Followed by a fantastic goal by Cameroon in the 124th to advance.
You should see the amount of laser pointers in Salah’s face when taking a recent penalty for Egypt. Crazy.
 
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