• The KillerFrogs

2024-2025 European Football Thread

HF-EOC

Active Member
I'd love to see him get some UCL goals. He's starting to look like the player we thought he'd be. PSV has been a great move for him and Dest. Hopefully Tillman becomes an impact player there quickly also.
Apparently Malik got left off the sheet today for sleeping in. The backup ten is not great for us, especially with Gio injuries. He’s so good… but we gotta get some more at the
10 behind him.
 

HF-EOC

Active Member
I saw that. Both saved too. The manager spoke highly of him after still.

I went to Germany in 2006 and was in Kaiserslautern for the U.S. vs. Italy. Backed then my plan to travel the world was to go where the World Cup went every 4 years. My wife and I got married in 2010. The original plan was to spend 2 weeks in South Africa for our honeymoon, but Army scheduling forced an earlier nuptial in February. Lost $1,000 on the deposit for that trip. Still pissed at Uncle Sugar for that one. Tried to go to Brazil in 2014, but the young kid problem precluded it. I gave up traveling the globe with the WC when Russia and Qatar were announced. Screw that.

I've been to Bundesliga games in Cologne and Stuttgart. Need to get the England and Italy. Not very interested in French soccer, but wouldn't mind going to Spain for a game.
No loss of faith in Flo here either, but he had a bad day. Really pumped for our fellow Texan, Pepi, and the future with Balogun. Nice depth after it felt like none.

That’s awesome! I want to do Germany. French soccer sucks but I’m invested with the US. Not really about the league. I just want to see Flo in a league match. Also, we can see him cheaper there than the USMNT, which is stupid. Paid less for Real Madrid at home than fc Dallas.

Ready for the WC 26.If any of y’all roll to a match, holler. Maybe TCU will be practice site, who knows…
 

Purp

Active Member
Apparently Malik got left off the sheet today for sleeping in. The backup ten is not great for us, especially with Gio injuries. He’s so good… but we gotta get some more at the
10 behind him.
I agree, but I also feel like we have guys who can play the 10 better than LdlT behind Musah whose back-ups aren't as far behind at their positions. For example, if Adams is out we have a huge gap between starter and back-up at the #6. But Musah has shown he's an excellent #6 too so we don't have to always go with Acosta or LdlT. But that creates a void at #10 behind Musah.

In that situation I think you can move Puli, Gio, or even McKennie to the #10. I think LdlT is best suited as the box-to-box #8 McKennie typically plays and the step down from McKennie to LdlT at #8 is much smaller than the step down from Musah to LdlT at #10. And the step down from Musah to McKennie at #10 plus the step down from McKennie to LdlT at #8 aggregates to less than the step down from Musah to LdlT at #10.

I'm with you, though, that the opportunity for Tillman is there for the taking. Adams' injury history is as bad as Puli and Gio. We've got to develop depth at all 3 midfield spots. Even McKennie has had some broken bones recently.
 

Purp

Active Member
I think we all knew this would happen. Still very disappointing that it took so long.

I noticed this also mentioned a lower leg fracture for Gio. So weird that this injury has been so bizarrely reported. Ankle, calf, lower leg fracture... Maybe it's all of thee above? But why not have some clarity with it?
 
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HF-EOC

Active Member
I agree, but I also feel like we have guys who can play the 10 better than LdlT behind Musah whose back-ups aren't as far behind at their positions. For example, if Adams is out we have a huge gap between starter and back-up at the #6. But Musah has shown he's an excellent #6 too so we don't have to always go with Acosta or LdlT. But that creates a void at #10 behind Musah.

In that situation I think you can move Puli, Gio, or even McKennie to the #10. I think LdlT is best suited as the box-to-box #8 McKennie typically plays and the step down from McKennie to LdlT at #8 is much smaller than the step down from Musah to LdlT at #10. And the step down from Musah to McKennie at #10 plus the step down from McKennie to LdlT at #8 aggregates to less than the step down from Musah to LdlT at #10.

I'm with you, though, that the opportunity for Tillman is there for the taking. Adams' injury history is as bad as Puli and Gio. We've got to develop depth at all 3 midfield spots. Even McKennie has had some broken bones recently.
I agree with literally everything you said! But that is my issue. I think Gio is the only true 10. Musah is not a 10. LDT is not a 10. Weston gets closer, but exactly what you mentioned... he really is better suited at the 8. Puli may be best suited to go CAM after Gio but then who is playing left? and I love Pulisic but he is selfish. He is always feeling himself above all options. He’s Kobe Bryant mentality, we need Jason Kidd. I love him, but he is what he is. Balogun needs a point guard and Gio is the only guy who fits the role. Finding a backup for both Gio and Puli need to be high priority before WC and I’d say even before COPA. Even the young guys, Cremaschi is better passing Mckinnie at best. Buck is better scoring Mckinnie at his best. There’s nothing coming up that is like Gio until you squint at Malik or pray for Maximo Carrizo to become a grown man fast. We have 1,000 8’s and no 10’s. Biggest hole in our depth IMO, but GGG hates to play a real 10 anyhow so…
 

Purp

Active Member
I agree with literally everything you said! But that is my issue. I think Gio is the only true 10. Musah is not a 10. LDT is not a 10. Weston gets closer, but exactly what you mentioned... he really is better suited at the 8. Puli may be best suited to go CAM after Gio but then who is playing left? and I love Pulisic but he is selfish. He is always feeling himself above all options. He’s Kobe Bryant mentality, we need Jason Kidd. I love him, but he is what he is. Balogun needs a point guard and Gio is the only guy who fits the role. Finding a backup for both Gio and Puli need to be high priority before WC and I’d say even before COPA. Even the young guys, Cremaschi is better passing Mckinnie at best. Buck is better scoring Mckinnie at his best. There’s nothing coming up that is like Gio until you squint at Malik or pray for Maximo Carrizo to become a grown man fast. We have 1,000 8’s and no 10’s. Biggest hole in our depth IMO, but GGG hates to play a real 10 anyhow so…
I agree to an extent on Puli. I think he could be less selfish with more options to distribute to, but it's far from a sure thing. We've never seen him play the 10 with this much talent. GB has always featured him on the wing. I love your analogy to Kobe vs. Kidd. It's so true. I still think the lack of a true PG/QB type midfielder isn't a huge weakness bc the front 6 has so much talent they can all be individually dangerous, which has a similar effect as a field general midfielder of backing the defense off and creating space for them to work off of each other.

We just need an elite finisher who gets in the most dangerous areas consistently. We possessed a lot in the attacking 3rd in Qatar, but we generated very few dangerous chances from all that possession. That's a lack of quality service and a lack of a lethal striker finding the right gaps.

Striker notwithstanding, I think our biggest depth hole is still #6 and maybe left back. Tyler Adams is our single most indispensable player. Losing him for 2 months is why Leeds were relegated. He's a phenomenal 6. The gap behind Jedi and the next best option is pretty wide too. I'm comfortable with Dest over there, but he's not the same player on the left as he is the right. Maybe Scally can be that guy. I haven't been impressed yet with anyone behind him.
 

Chongo94

Active Member
I’m not as high on Pepi as everyone else seems to be. I’m more of a wait and see. I mean, it’s the Eredivisie….even Altidore lit that league up. And most of the supposed great players to come out of it the last few years have looked like junk once they landed.

I’m glad he’s scoring but he needs to do it somewhere other than MLS or Holland for me to buy in right now.
 

Purp

Active Member
I’m not as high on Pepi as everyone else seems to be. I’m more of a wait and see. I mean, it’s the Eredivisie….even Altidore lit that league up. And most of the supposed great players to come out of it the last few years have looked like junk once they landed.

I’m glad he’s scoring but he needs to do it somewhere other than MLS or Holland for me to buy in right now.
I'm still there too. I'm still there on Balogun too, though. Flo has enough skins on the wall at club level, but he's not been impressive in international duty yet. I'm worried GB will waste Flo's potential bc he's a different type of striker than GB likes. Balogun may not be the high press guy who will put pressure on the defense for 90 minutes like Jesus, Sarge, and Pepi. Asking that of him may result in a decline in his production. And GB isn't sophisticated enough to recognize that and adjust to a system that suits the whole of the talent on the roster better.
 

HF-EOC

Active Member
I agree to an extent on Puli. I think he could be less selfish with more options to distribute to, but it's far from a sure thing. We've never seen him play the 10 with this much talent. GB has always featured him on the wing. I love your analogy to Kobe vs. Kidd. It's so true. I still think the lack of a true PG/QB type midfielder isn't a huge weakness bc the front 6 has so much talent they can all be individually dangerous, which has a similar effect as a field general midfielder of backing the defense off and creating space for them to work off of each other.

We just need an elite finisher who gets in the most dangerous areas consistently. We possessed a lot in the attacking 3rd in Qatar, but we generated very few dangerous chances from all that possession. That's a lack of quality service and a lack of a lethal striker finding the right gaps.

Striker notwithstanding, I think our biggest depth hole is still #6 and maybe left back. Tyler Adams is our single most indispensable player. Losing him for 2 months is why Leeds were relegated. He's a phenomenal 6. The gap behind Jedi and the next best option is pretty wide too. I'm comfortable with Dest over there, but he's not the same player on the left as he is the right. Maybe Scally can be that guy. I haven't been impressed yet with anyone behind him.
Man, I disagree. I love Tyler. He’s shut it down great on the D. But I like to score, so I want to see Musa, Gio, Wes. It sucks but I think Tyler is odd man out if we want goals. I want a 10 so bad I am ready to sacrifice Tyler. I know… sorry. I’d rather have him situational if it means Gio is feeding Flo.
 

HF-EOC

Active Member
I’m not as high on Pepi as everyone else seems to be. I’m more of a wait and see. I mean, it’s the Eredivisie….even Altidore lit that league up. And most of the supposed great players to come out of it the last few years have looked like junk once they landed.

I’m glad he’s scoring but he needs to do it somewhere other than MLS or Holland for me to buy in right now.
Pepi just finishes with so much power. It’s fun. He is not great at anything in particular but the ball is going in raw.
 

Chongo94

Active Member
I'm still there too. I'm still there on Balogun too, though. Flo has enough skins on the wall at club level, but he's not been impressive in international duty yet. I'm worried GB will waste Flo's potential bc he's a different type of striker than GB likes. Balogun may not be the high press guy who will put pressure on the defense for 90 minutes like Jesus, Sarge, and Pepi. Asking that of him may result in a decline in his production. And GB isn't sophisticated enough to recognize that and adjust to a system that suits the whole of the talent on the roster better.
So much this. It makes my body physically tremble when I think back to how our Federation just ran around like a dog chasing it’s tail just to get back to Berhalter. Such a scheiss show.
 

Purp

Active Member
Man, I disagree. I love Tyler. He’s shut it down great on the D. But I like to score, so I want to see Musa, Gio, Wes. It sucks but I think Tyler is odd man out if we want goals. I want a 10 so bad I am ready to sacrifice Tyler. I know… sorry. I’d rather have him situational if it means Gio is feeding Flo.
I want goals too. You may not have read far enough back in this thread, but my proposal to generate more offense isn't to sacrifice a true #6. I propose we take advantage of a great #6 and go with a 3 man back line. Instead, I'd sacrifice a center back and run with Jedi - Richards/MRob/CCV - Dest across the back.

Then I go 5 in the midfield with Puli - Musah - Adams - McKennie - Weah where Adams is recessed and Musah is more advanced.

Then it gets fun depending on the opponent and who is in top form up front. In a perfect world with everyone healthy and in top form I'd run Gio out in front of the center mids as a #10 with Flo in front. But I also like the idea of utilizing Sarge's hold-up play in front of Gio depending on who we're playing and how they defend. Sarge collecting the ball in the attacking third from Jedi, Dest, Musah, McKennie, and/or wingers creating opportiunities for Puli, Gio, and Weah to run in behind the defense is crazy fun to think about. And with their pace Jedi and Dest could make those runs too. I could also see Ferreira really working well off of Flo in that formation if Gio were injured. Jesus isn't an ideal #10, but his work rate is excellent and he really puts pressure on center backs with his runs and spaces he occupies. That could really free Flo up to blow up.

But you can't afford for your wing backs to be that involved in the attack without Adams at #6 and a really athletic center back. IMO, the possibilities are endless with the amount of young talent we're accumulating, but all of our best options include Tyler Adams in the formation. I want goals as much as you, but I want them without surrendering too much territory in front of Turner to elite strikers from around the world. IMO, we can have both.

Also my opinion, but we won't get both because Berhalter has the tactical awareness of a plastic Army figurine.
 

HF-EOC

Active Member
I want goals too. You may not have read far enough back in this thread, but my proposal to generate more offense isn't to sacrifice a true #6. I propose we take advantage of a great #6 and go with a 3 man back line. Instead, I'd sacrifice a center back and run with Jedi - Richards/MRob/CCV - Dest across the back.

Then I go 5 in the midfield with Puli - Musah - Adams - McKennie - Weah where Adams is recessed and Musah is more advanced.

Then it gets fun depending on the opponent and who is in top form up front. In a perfect world with everyone healthy and in top form I'd run Gio out in front of the center mids as a #10 with Flo in front. But I also like the idea of utilizing Sarge's hold-up play in front of Gio depending on who we're playing and how they defend. Sarge collecting the ball in the attacking third from Jedi, Dest, Musah, McKennie, and/or wingers creating opportiunities for Puli, Gio, and Weah to run in behind the defense is crazy fun to think about. And with their pace Jedi and Dest could make those runs too. I could also see Ferreira really working well off of Flo in that formation if Gio were injured. Jesus isn't an ideal #10, but his work rate is excellent and he really puts pressure on center backs with his runs and spaces he occupies. That could really free Flo up to blow up.

But you can't afford for your wing backs to be that involved in the attack without Adams at #6 and a really athletic center back. IMO, the possibilities are endless with the amount of young talent we're accumulating, but all of our best options include Tyler Adams in the formation. I want goals as much as you, but I want them without surrendering too much territory in front of Turner to elite strikers from around the world. IMO, we can have both.

Also my opinion, but we won't get both because Berhalter has the tactical awareness of a plastic Army figurine.
Makes sense, especially with all of our midfielders doubling as a RWB in Europe.
 

Purp

Active Member
Makes sense, especially with all of our midfielders doubling as a RWB in Europe.
Pardon the magnum opus here, but I figured I'd further explain the tactics of this formation.

I want to control the center of the park from the center of Turner's goal to the center of the other goal. You have to control the center of the park because that's the most dangerous area of the pitch for the opponent. It's also the place from which we can be most dangerous. They can launch attacks from the middle and both wings from the center of the pitch if they control the midfield. I want to limit their attacks to one easily predictable space (the wing the ball is on). I'd have a straight line of 6 players in the formation on that line from the center of one goal to the center of the other. It starts with Turner in back and the center back in front of him and Adams in front of him and McKennie in front of him and Musah in front of him and Gio in front of him. Instead of a straight line I might make it a zigzag pattern where the players on that line are 2-3 yards left/right of that line.

Flo could be positioned as a 7th player on that line in front of Gio, but I'd really like him positioned to the right or left of Gio fairly close. If it's a zig-zag line he could be the 7th slightly more advanced than Gio on the opposite side of that center line, but only 6-8 yards away in the shape. I want my #9 and #10 to play like traditional 4-4-2 forwards who always run together as a pair, never more than 10-15 yards apart. It prevents them from ever being double teamed by center backs, gives them an outlet to pass to at all times, and gives them a little more space to operate as the other forward pulls a defender to him.

I want Puli and Weah in a little tighter to McKennie and Musah rather than out wide near the sidelines. They'd be positioned about 10 yards outside the center circle moving up and down the field and they'd also be positioned more advanced than McKennie, but recessed behind Musah forming a lateral diamond. Musah would be about 10 yards in front of McKennie and the wings would be about 15-20 yards outside of McKennie and Musah. I want them closer together for 3 reasons.

1) Whoever controls the center of the park usually wins. Even if we face a more talented central midfield we'll own the center of the park based solely on the number of guys we have occupying that space. We'll force opponents to beat us on the flanks and that's where the speed of Dest and Jedi paired with the instincts and work rate of Adams give us the flexibility to play this way.

2) For the same reason you want your #9 and #10 to always be close, I think it's important for your central midfielders to have lots of passing options without having to make long passes that are more easily intercepted. I think the biggest weakness of the traditional 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 is that it leaves too much space for the central midfielders to manage. Sometimes they win that space and other times they don't. They can't consistently dominate that territory b/c it's a huge space, sometimes other teams have better players there, and other times the pairing central midfielder gets pulled out of position leaving a vacuum easily filled by an opponent. So to combat this issue we widen the center of the park an extra 10 yards on each side and populate it with 5-6 guys who all have 3-4 close passing options within the shape and a possible streaking wing back if enough space exists to play that long ball over top. This formation will create a ton of quick 1-touch passing and movement. It'll be a fairly compact group, but the wingers will have space to dribble out and drive at defenders and it'll create more dangerous channels for the #9 and #10 to receive the ball in.

3) This creates space down the flanks for Jedi and Dest to operate. With a 5 man umbrella midfield in GB's 4-5-1 it crowds space on the flanks and even pulls center mids that direction reducing the options a player like Dest has to advance the ball with his offensive abilities. One of the things I hate the most about GB's tactics is that our most skilled dribbler and creative player seldom has opportunities to display his talent. Let's take advantage of his abilities and give them space to flourish. That's a huge reason why I want the wings to operate more centrally.

This is coming from an outside midfielder who always played/plays very wide so don't read this and think I don't understand the value of width. I've just never played in front of wing backs with the speed and talent of Dest (and Jedi to a less extent with foot skill) with the ability to operate like outside midfielders and still defend. I had to be the corner flag to corner flag player and that reduced available options for my central midfielders in attack and forced them to make longer passes that were harder to make accurately and easier for opponents to intercept. I want width to come from the wing backs in this formation because I'm building a formation around the personnel on the team sheet. I don't want to fit square pegs in round holes.

It's also why I require an fast and athletic center back. With as much personnel as we'll have in the midfield and the quality at #6 I think the threat of attacks up the middle are minimal. The center back has to be like a sideline to sideline LB. It's a similar concept to JG's defense at TCU. Clog the run gaps up the middle and force runs to the outside. CGP did the same thing. He forced the opposing offense to be one dimensional and made them easier to defend because they had fewer options available to threaten us with. In this formation we'll force opponents to attack from the outside and have resources devoted to those areas ready for those attacks.

Like GB I want to defend high. I want Dest and Jedi higher up the pitch. When you defend high you turn the ball over more in the middle and attacking third and you shrink the spaces within which opponents can operate. Unlike GB, I think the press can be more effective with a #9 and #10 pressing as a pair instead of a lone #9 wearing himself out for 90 minutes chasing the ball around. That forces more turnovers in dangerous areas. It also means we're able to attack with 8 legitimate weapons coming from all sides because a high defense is already in an attacking posture when we turn the opponent over.

I want my center back to play like a sweeper in a traditional 4-4-2 with a sweeper and stopper. In this case Adams functions like my stopper, which leaves the center back free to support on whichever wing the threat comes from (we all know Dest will need it) and slow attacks enough for the midfield help to arrive. In the sweeper/stopper center back pairing the sweeper should never have a man to mark. I envision the same thing here so I want the center back to be a great distributor as well. He's going to recover a lot of balls because defenders funnel attackers into spaces where he can win tackles/duels. From there, we want to attack quickly up the middle because of our strength in numbers so a quick, accurate outlet pass from the moment of the recovery is vital.

I think I've discussed this in fits and starts over the course of the last year or two, but I figured you'd benefit from understanding my tactical mentality with this group as you read my thoughts. Basically trying to get you caught up without having to read a few hundred pages of history. Hope this helps fill in those gaps for you.

You make a great point about Weah, Puli, and McKennie doubling as wing backs in Europe. I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but that experience they're getting in those positions would benefit the formation I just laid out by creating a natural interchange on each flank for the wing back to have the wing midfielder drop into his space if he chases the play too deep into the box and a counter attack ensues.
 

kaiser soze

Active Member
I want goals too. You may not have read far enough back in this thread, but my proposal to generate more offense isn't to sacrifice a true #6. I propose we take advantage of a great #6 and go with a 3 man back line. Instead, I'd sacrifice a center back and run with Jedi - Richards/MRob/CCV - Dest across the back.

Then I go 5 in the midfield with Puli - Musah - Adams - McKennie - Weah where Adams is recessed and Musah is more advanced.

Then it gets fun depending on the opponent and who is in top form up front. In a perfect world with everyone healthy and in top form I'd run Gio out in front of the center mids as a #10 with Flo in front. But I also like the idea of utilizing Sarge's hold-up play in front of Gio depending on who we're playing and how they defend. Sarge collecting the ball in the attacking third from Jedi, Dest, Musah, McKennie, and/or wingers creating opportiunities for Puli, Gio, and Weah to run in behind the defense is crazy fun to think about. And with their pace Jedi and Dest could make those runs too. I could also see Ferreira really working well off of Flo in that formation if Gio were injured. Jesus isn't an ideal #10, but his work rate is excellent and he really puts pressure on center backs with his runs and spaces he occupies. That could really free Flo up to blow up.

But you can't afford for your wing backs to be that involved in the attack without Adams at #6 and a really athletic center back. IMO, the possibilities are endless with the amount of young talent we're accumulating, but all of our best options include Tyler Adams in the formation. I want goals as much as you, but I want them without surrendering too much territory in front of Turner to elite strikers from around the world. IMO, we can have both.

Also my opinion, but we won't get both because Berhalter has the tactical awareness of a plastic Army figurine.
Agree with so much here:
1) A potato has more tactical awareness than GGG.
2) Need a formation with Musah, Adams, McKennie + Gio, Puli and Weah on the pitch at same time.
3) Let Dest + Jedi push up from the back out wide.
4) Flo and Pepi (or Sargent) knife fight for tip of the spear.
 
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