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Old 07-02-2014, 03:40 PM   #61
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Default Re: USA vs Belgium

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Originally Posted by uscjeremynca View Post
Agreed. Howard saved us but our defense wasn't that big of an issue. Teams have so many shots against us because we aren't able to control the ball (Look at Spain. During their glory years, they didn't give up many goals because they always possessed the ball - 70 to 80% of possession during matches so the other team hardly touched it).

I will use a college football analogy. We killed Clemson the last few years because we wore them down on offense -we held onto the ball, ground it out, punished them, dominated time of possession and eventually scored. In that case, you blame the defense. In the case of soccer, we were like "we don't want the ball. You keep it and just see if you can score on us." Most of the time they couldn't. After being battered relentlessly, we finally gave up a couple of goals. We sat back and played defense because we didn't have the players to possess the ball and attack.

Against Ghana, Germany, and Belgium, we sat back and defended nearly the entire game. The attack on us was relentless. Yet we gave up a total of 4 goals in those matches. That is OUTSTANDING - especially considering how many shots and possession teams had against us. Do we need to get better on defense? Yes but it's not our most glaring weakness.

In the game against Ghana, we had 45 clearances - the most in a World Cup match since 1966 (a clearance is when the defense kicks the ball out of danger by relieving the pressure from the attacking team). Against Belgium, we had 61 clearances. Howard did a great job but the defense did well also considering how often they were under pressure. Being under constant pressure isn't the fault of the defense.
I guess what I'm getting at was the overall ease the better teams we faced seemed to have in getting shots off, dribbling around defenders, or the amount of times we got abused with one-touch passes that led to open shots all around the goal...regardless of how many defenders we had back. The reason we had so many clearances is because they were on our end so much of the match. The same reason Howard had SO many saves. I admittedly do not know a lot about soccer, played growing up but that was 5-12 years old...and no real strategy was ever used. I do realize our inability to control the ball caused a lot of our troubles. I guess I agree with C2 somewhat in that when we played all out we looked to be more cohesive as a team...rest of the time it was more like hope to get a stop or hope to get a shot.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:43 PM   #62
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Default Re: USA vs Belgium

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Most soccer players are phenomenal athletes. There's no such thing as a fat soccer player. That may not translate to other sports but some of their legs are about as big as many people's bodies.
Oh yea, no doubt about it. Endurance and cardio is crucial in soccer. And I get the whole transitive property idea of athletes playing different sports doesn't really mean a lot. But that dudes size and speed was crazy impressive
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:44 PM   #63
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Default Re: USA vs Belgium

And that is why we need Silva in the middle, he has that ball control we are missing.
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