US needs higher tempo: Jose Torres should start vs Slovenia

Jose Torres can be our qb against Slovenia

The US midfield duo of Michael Bradley and Ricardo Clark held their own against England, restricting the ability of Lampard, Gerrard, and Rooney to boss the center of the park. Defense was their first priority, and it’s a good thing too because they hardly did anything offensively. We didn’t have much of the ball and we didn’t create enough chances when we did. That kind of display isn’t going to cut it on Friday because Slovenia are not England. Overlook them at your peril–just ask Russia–but we can be more aggressive. Bob Bradley should replace Clark with Jose Torres and up the tempo to spark the attack.

The threat posed by England’s attacking players is obvious and it was precisely the correct tactical approach to have our two central midfielders play deep and try and frustrate them. As the game wore on, Rooney kept dropping deeper and deeper in an attempt to get more involved in the play because Bradley and Clark were making it hard for him to find space closer to the goal. But it came at a price, England had much of the possession (57%-43%) and 18 shots while we created few chances – most of our 12 shots came either outside the box (7) or from set pieces, except the Altidore shot that Green pushed onto the post.

Slovenia, on the other hand, struggled to create much of anything against Algeria. The North Africans did set out with five in midfield, but the Slovenian attack was particularly muted regardless of the formation arrayed against them. They created no chances of note, only had seven shots at goal during the whole match and only on one occasion did they make an attempt from inside the box. The game had all the hallmarks of a 0-0 draw before the Algerian keeper’s blunder handed Slovenia all three points. We simply don’t need a defensive formation against Slovenia.

Bob Bradley has options. Michael Bradley is a classic box to box central midfielder (in the mold of a Gerrard but not nearly as good yet). Benny Feilhaber has long been an AF favorite and is probably the best pure passer in the squad. Maurice Edu blends both defense and offense better than Clark. Landon Donovan can certainly play in the middle. But Bradley isn’t a great distributor, Feilhaber and has the disturbing tendency of getting caught ahead ball when paired with Bradley, Edu really is more of a defensive stalwart than an offensive engine, and Donovan is too dangerous in space with the ball at his feet to sacrifice that threat against the Slovenes. Jose Torres is the man for this job.

Torres can play a deep-lying quarterback similar to (but clearly not at his level) Xabi Alonso of Spain. He can sit back and screen the defenders and should be deep enough to pick up the ball from the defense and start the attack. He is a terrific passer – and importantly, he moves the ball with pace and precision. Algeria is not a strong a team as the US and was more oriented towards defense, but it looked its most dangerous when it broke with speed into attack, usually on the flank. Torres can instigate quick counter-attacks but also move the ball around when the Slovenian defense is set.

A more attacking formation from the center will definitely mean that the back line and wide midfielders will need to provide more cover, but a slow and stodgy build up is playing right into Slovenia’s hands. Let’s go out with the mindset that we’re going to win this game and the players to do it.

About these ads

9 Responses

  1. i would start buddle with altidore to add muscle up front against an east european team. replacing clark with torres works if bradley helps hold the middle defensively. edu can be physical where torres or feilhaber might not. slovenia does not seem to possess the defensive wing speed of an a. cole, which might make life more bearable for bocanegra. bradley has options, but asserting itself offensively – and early – will be critical. if slovenia scores first, they will throw numbers behind the ball and that makes the task all the more difficult.

  2. nice website. enjoy the posts.

  3. […] Bob Bradley approach the game. Does put out a more attacking and dynamic midfield that includes the dynamism of Jose Torres or Benny Feilhaber, or does Bradley play it close to the chest and go with a more defensive […]

  4. […] Bob Bradley approach the game. Does put out a more attacking and dynamic midfield that includes the dynamism of Jose Torres or Benny Feilhaber, or does Bradley play it close to the chest and go with a more defensive […]

  5. […] approaches the game. Does he put out a more attacking and dynamic midfield that includes the dynamism of Jose Torres or Benny Feilhaber, or does Bradley play it close to the vest and go with a more defensive midfield […]

  6. Bob Bradley will have to show he’s a capable World Cup Manager. The England draw was a lucky fluke. I have absolute respect for Tim Howard, Cherundolo, Donovan, Dempsey.

    The rest of the team put in a good effort but the world cup isn’t about effort, it’s about every match being do or die.

    Slovenia are going to play defensive counter-attack football. The US have to learn to keep the ball (not whack it forward or kick it off the field when not under pressure … yes, you know who I’m talking about).

    Most importantly, the US lacks a “star forward” (don’t give me statistics of goals in the MLS until the MLS merges with the Primera Division) … a clinical finisher is of top importance – perhaps the best change:

    Move Dempsey further up the field (yes he’s a scoring midfielder) because he’s done it for Fulham, and yes, beef up the midfield with DaMarcus Beasley or another European based midfielder who knows how to pass the ball.

  7. […] approaches the game. Does he put out a more attacking and dynamic midfield that includes the dynamism of Jose Torres or Benny Feilhaber, or does Bradley play it close to the vest and go with a more defensive midfield […]

  8. All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at http://www.WorldCupTV.org 18:39

  9. All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at http://www.WorldCupTV.org 08:15

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: