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Slightly off topic: you guys should check out the US Soccer team

Discussion in 'College & Pro Sports' started by ilovetheoption, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. ilovetheoption

    ilovetheoption Helluva Engineer

    Hey all, just stopping in to let you guys know why I think your fanbase should pay attention to and enjoy the United States Mens National Soccer Team, and their new coach, Gregg Berhalter. For short, I'll call them Gregg's Team (GT).

    So GT has a new coach, and for some reason I cannot put my finger on, he really appeals to me.

    As a little bit of background, he came up as a defensive guy. While he was thinking about defense, the thing that really stuck in his head was the kind of offenses that he found hardest to defend, and he vowed that if he was ever in a position to coach the offense, he would do the things on offense that he found the hardest to deal with on defense. What this ended up being was an intricate system of ball movement that created a series of numerical advantages (3 on 2, 2 on 1) that allows the offense to aggressively move the ball down the field, forcing the defense to make decisions, and ensuring that they are always wrong, no matter what they choose. Their intricate offense was the talk of the league, as player after player produced far more points than they would likely have elsewhere, year after year.

    He's not the flashiest personality in the world, and the hiring didn't set the world on fire, but he came from a situation where his teams were not the most talented, but consistently produced results far above what you would expect, given how their players were rated.

    Why I think it's interesting for the US is that we are sort of going to get the players we're going to get. We are never going to be able to recruit the elite players to recruit for us (they're all playing for Brazil, or England, or Germany, the futol factories), and I think it would be fun to watch GT use intricacy, and clever movement to maximize it's chances against the powerhouse.

    Watch the following video, and listen to the kind of things he talks about:

    Things like he liked defending simple, and had trouble with complex schemes. Things like creating numbers advantages. Things like forcing the defense to react. Things like controlling the flow of the game through scheme. Things like coming up with counters for counters.

    I don't know, for me, I find it vaguely familiar in a way I enjoy, and for whatever reason thought you guys might, as well.
    GTpdm, CuseJacket, slugboy and 8 others like this.
  2. ilovetheoption

    ilovetheoption Helluva Engineer

    On a separate, and ENTIRELY unrelated note, Berhalter is the first full time head coach since the last US hire, a guy named Georgen Klinsmann (spelling may be off, not a native German speaker).

    Klinsmann was a VERY flashy hire. He came in talking a big game, talking about how the US was going to compete with the powerhouses at their own game, and recruit the very best players. He was great with the media, and the fans, and the fans REALLY bought into what he was selling. He had this theory that he knew how to get the best players to come play for the US in a way that no previous coaches had. He would find kids with American backgrounds (like kids of army dads) who were in European Countries (mainly German) and identify them, and convince them to come play for us.

    These Un-identified German-American (UGA)-type kids would be highly sought after, and getting them to commit would allow us to play a flashy, up-tempo style, and it would build upon itself and make us a powerhouse.

    Unfortunately, that's not how it worked out. He had some successes, signing the occasional UGA-type youngster, but mostly, those kids had grown up rooting for the other guys, and the other guys had more facilities, and were on TV more, and they were surrounded by fans of the other guys, and so they ended up staying with the other guys. They realized that the calculus was that they could either have all the advantages, or try and do it the hard way and play for us. It turned out that the highest rated players weren't buying what we had to sell, and all the salesmanship in the world didn't change the fundamentals, and that really, we're going to get who we're going to get, and it's not going to change all that much no matter who the coach is.

    Georgen, unable to recruit really elite players, was left trying to put just "pretty good" players in a system that had no tactical advantages. He sort of had a "get great players, and let them make plays" scheme, but without the ability to get great players, he was a pretty big flop of a coach.

    Now, for fans like me, who had come to root for the team under the old coach, who was a smart, tactical guy, it was pretty disappointing to see a coach try to do the same thing as everybody else, only with lesser players, and made me not interested to watch.

    But, that said, things change. Up north, there was a guy (berhalter) who was using discipline almost like the Army to win games on a smaller stage, and play thinking man's ball.

    Now that he's the coach, I have come back, and think I'll be as into the team or more than I ever was in the first place.

    Like I said, unrelated, but interesting to me.
  3. Connor

    Connor Jolly Good Fellow

    Oh, the similarities... although hopefully flipped for the other "GT".

    USMNT side though, I hope Berhalter is able to really change things around... in addition to Collins...
  4. ilovetheoption

    ilovetheoption Helluva Engineer

  5. Jim Prather

    Jim Prather Helluva Engineer

    God Bless you ILTO! That was beautiful. :)
  6. whitegoldsphinx

    whitegoldsphinx Helluva Engineer

    When Tata Martinez first came to MLS at Atlanta United, he pointed to Columbus (coached by Berhalter) as an example of a quality coach and system in MLS and why it is a tougher league than the rest of the world thinks.

    Not sure if that equates to our national sport, but an interesting point.
  7. jwsavhGT

    jwsavhGT Moderator Staff Member

  8. MidtownJacket

    MidtownJacket Helluva Engineer

  9. FightWinDrink

    FightWinDrink Helluva Engineer

    Can’t be worse than Bruce Arena retread

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