Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More U.S-Mexico thoughts

The San Diego Union-Tribune's Mark Zeigler takes another look at the U.S.-Mexico match in his weekly soccer column.

One thing he points out here is Landon Donovan's role on the right side of the field. Now, I don't think Bob Bradley has Landon tied down to the right flank. Donovan has the freedom to roam around the center of the field - at least that's what we've heard from Bradley before.

But this game and the many before this one that have had Landon out right just prove that he is ineffective out there. He needs to be in the middle with the freedom to roam to the flanks, not the other way around.

I know using a 3-5-2 isn't realistic for the U.S. but it's always intrigued me nonetheless. With a three-man backling, you could get away with playing Landon in the center of the midfield along with Michael Bradley and Ricardo Clark or Maurice Edu or Benny Feilhaber. It just seems the options in the center are strong and in certain spots on the back are weak. With a three-man backline, you eliminate the need for a left back and the possibility of Ramiro Corrales ever playing a meaningful match for the U.S. again. Jonathan Bornstein can play wide left as a midfielder and is fast enough to drop back and help the backline.

It's going to be a long World Cup qualifying cycle and those will utlimately be the important games, but it's these sort of details that will make a huge difference down the line.

No comments: