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  1. #241
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    Dest

    One really interesting development is how Sergino Dest is being utilized at Barcelona. Previously a right back at Ajax and his early days at Barcelona, Koeman (coach at Barca) is utilizing Dest as a midfielder and, wait for it, an attacking wing (in Barcelona's last game, Dest joined Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati upfront). The theory here is Dest is a fantastic shooter, good playmaker, and arguably one of the fastest players on the pitch. His comp is Marc Overmars (a Dutch speedster who played on the right wing. Coincidentally, also grew up at Ajax and played for Barcelona. Just like Dest).

    But here's the kicker. Even with the modern day full backs being more offensive minded then ever, Dest is a terrible, terrible defender.

    I'm not suggesting the US move Dest to a forward position. But if the US is utilizing a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, they may want to consider moving him permanently to the midfield, where his offensive prowess will be more effective.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  2. #242
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    Feb 2007
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    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    One really interesting development is how Sergino Dest is being utilized at Barcelona. Previously a right back at Ajax and his early days at Barcelona, Koeman (coach at Barca) is utilizing Dest as a midfielder and, wait for it, an attacking wing (in Barcelona's last game, Dest joined Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati upfront). The theory here is Dest is a fantastic shooter, good playmaker, and arguably one of the fastest players on the pitch. His comp is Marc Overmars (a Dutch speedster who played on the right wing. Coincidentally, also grew up at Ajax and played for Barcelona. Just like Dest).

    But here's the kicker. Even with the modern day full backs being more offensive minded then ever, Dest is a terrible, terrible defender.

    I'm not suggesting the US move Dest to a forward position. But if the US is utilizing a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, they may want to consider moving him permanently to the midfield, where his offensive prowess will be more effective.
    Don’t forget that Overmars also played for my Gunners. 100 appearances.

  3. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    Don’t forget that Overmars also played for my Gunners. 100 appearances.
    Those were the glory days, huh? My brother was a Gunners fan; I was a Man U fan. We had an epic decade/decade and a half.

    Now I just follow Ajax closely. Between them, Oranje, and Duke basketball, I can't follow any team closely anymore.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  4. #244
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    One really interesting development is how Sergino Dest is being utilized at Barcelona. Previously a right back at Ajax and his early days at Barcelona, Koeman (coach at Barca) is utilizing Dest as a midfielder and, wait for it, an attacking wing (in Barcelona's last game, Dest joined Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati upfront). The theory here is Dest is a fantastic shooter, good playmaker, and arguably one of the fastest players on the pitch. His comp is Marc Overmars (a Dutch speedster who played on the right wing. Coincidentally, also grew up at Ajax and played for Barcelona. Just like Dest).

    But here's the kicker. Even with the modern day full backs being more offensive minded then ever, Dest is a terrible, terrible defender.

    I'm not suggesting the US move Dest to a forward position. But if the US is utilizing a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, they may want to consider moving him permanently to the midfield, where his offensive prowess will be more effective.
    Dest as attacking wing makes a lot of sense to me. Problem is our lack of good right backs, correct? Guess Yedlin fits the bill but how reliable is he these days?

  5. #245
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    Jan 2009
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    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
    Dest as attacking wing makes a lot of sense to me. Problem is our lack of good right backs, correct? Guess Yedlin fits the bill but how reliable is he these days?
    The full back positions aren't deep. But the US arguably has a bigger 'scoring' issue. Their best scorer, Pulisic - is perpetually injured and has only scored 7 goals in 45 games over the last 1.5 years. This is primarily because he is pretty far down the pecking order at Chelsea.

    Dest isn't Messi by any means, but he is a good scorer. He also has a 'European' mentality, which means a little more selfish and prone to shooting from beyond the box. This is a very good thing.

    My opinion: start Dest higher up on the right and figure out the defense later.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  6. #246
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    The full back positions aren't deep. But the US arguably has a bigger 'scoring' issue. Their best scorer, Pulisic - is perpetually injured and has only scored 7 goals in 45 games over the last 1.5 years. This is primarily because he is pretty far down the pecking order at Chelsea.
    I mean, being "pretty far down the pecking order at Chelsea" isn't exactly a damning statement. Chelsea is LOADED with scorers.

    The US's issue with scoring isn't because Pulisic isn't starting for Chelsea. It's because they are missing both of their two best attacking players at the same time, and haven't had their full squad together in a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Dest isn't Messi by any means, but he is a good scorer. He also has a 'European' mentality, which means a little more selfish and prone to shooting from beyond the box. This is a very good thing.

    My opinion: start Dest higher up on the right and figure out the defense later.
    See, I feel like playing Dest as a right back accentuates his value offensively, and allows for the US to be more dangerous in the attack. If you move him to midfield or right wing, that means you have to take off one of our other attack-minded players. That seems counterintuitive to me.

    Moving Dest forward feels like a more defensive move than offensive. Because while he's most certainly an offense-first/second/third player, moving him up takes a more offensive minded player off the pitch in favor of a more defensive right back.

  7. #247
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    Feb 2007
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    Lynchburg, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    See, I feel like playing Dest as a right back accentuates his value offensively, and allows for the US to be more dangerous in the attack. If you move him to midfield or right wing, that means you have to take off one of our other attack-minded players. That seems counterintuitive to me.

    Moving Dest forward feels like a more defensive move than offensive. Because while he's most certainly an offense-first/second/third player, moving him up takes a more offensive minded player off the pitch in favor of a more defensive right back.
    This was also my first thought. I can see some situations where Dest on the wing helps us deal with injuries to our usual wing starters, but I’d much rather see Dest pushing forward from the back line to add an additional attacker. I wouldn’t start Dest on the wing ahead of Pulisic, Aaronson, Weah or Reyna (who might play more CAM), but might if the choice was Arriola.

  8. #248
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    This was also my first thought. I can see some situations where Dest on the wing helps us deal with injuries to our usual wing starters, but I’d much rather see Dest pushing forward from the back line to add an additional attacker. I wouldn’t start Dest on the wing ahead of Pulisic, Aaronson, Weah or Reyna (who might play more CAM), but might if the choice was Arriola.
    Yeah exactly. Because then you are effectively replacing an attacking player for a right back. I might be willing to swap Arriola out for Yedlin or Cannon or Moore. I would not be interested in swapping Musah/Weah/Aaronson/Reyna out for Yedlin/Cannon/Moore.

    Moving Dest forward is a defensive move. You do that if you have concerns about the defense, because Dest is a better defender than most wings, and then you can add a defender behind him. But the US needs offense, not defense. So you want to get more attacking players, not less.

    I really like the idea of Dest, Musah, and Reyna teaming up on the right flanks. I don’t fancy Reyna, Dest, Yedlin/Cannon/Moore nearly as much. Having that option is nice, but I like it only as an “in a pinch” situation.

  9. #249
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    Jan 2009
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    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I mean, being "pretty far down the pecking order at Chelsea" isn't exactly a damning statement. Chelsea is LOADED with scorers.
    Actually, it really is. Across Europe and South America, if a player does not play for his club, he rarely plays for his national team. This is because a) of rust/potential fitness issues and b) with any sport, continuous repetition helps. You see this all the time with players who have high potential and move from an average club to a big club; they get stuck on the bench and dropped from the national team. Now, if the US feels that an "unfit" Pulisic makes the team better, so be it. But that's a highly risky strategy. In the time that Pulisic has joined, Ziyech, Werner, Havartz, and Lukaku have joined (with existing players Mount and Hudson-Odoi). With the exception of Hudson-Odoi, you can make the argument that Pulisic is behind all those players. Furthermore, Frank Lampard loved Pulisic. Frank Lampard is no longer the Chelsea coach. Tuchel isn't as warm to Pulisic as Lampard. To me, the lack of playing time is and should be a concern for USMNT. Also, I'll call it here: Pulisic will not be at Chelsea in 12 months. There is no way he plays more than Lukaku, Havartz, or Mount. It will be a battle between Ziyech, Werner, Hudson-Odoi, and Pulisic. And Tuchel has favored Ziyech and Werner over the last 10 months or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    The US's issue with scoring isn't because Pulisic isn't starting for Chelsea. It's because they are missing both of their two best attacking players at the same time, and haven't had their full squad together in a long time.
    Again, I'd argue that Pulisic's lack of playing time (due to depth and injury) is absolutely part of the reason why the US attack wouldn't be as potent if Pulisic comes back. You cannot make the argument that a lack of Chelsea playing time and fitness issues do not impact Pulisic's effectiveness on the national team.


    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    See, I feel like playing Dest as a right back accentuates his value offensively, and allows for the US to be more dangerous in the attack. If you move him to midfield or right wing, that means you have to take off one of our other attack-minded players. That seems counterintuitive to me.

    Moving Dest forward feels like a more defensive move than offensive. Because while he's most certainly an offense-first/second/third player, moving him up takes a more offensive minded player off the pitch in favor of a more defensive right back.
    Dest, to me, is a more effective offensive player than virtually everyone on the USMNT outside of a healthy and playing Pulisic and Reyna. Here's why:

    -Musah has scored 2 goals in 42 games for Valencia. As a winger/central midfielder, that's not good. As for assists, he had zero last year and zero this year.
    -Weah has scored 3 goals in 39 appearances for Lille. Last year, Weah barely started for Lille. Great genes, poor production.
    -Aaronson is productive, especially for a central midfielder. He isn't great as a winger. But his production comes in the Austrian League, is ranked worse than the Portugal and the Netherlands. I'd love to see this player go to Germany/France. He also isn't a great assister.
    -Yedlin is finished. The Turkish League is where washed up players go to. His 3 goals in 112 games for Newcastle is also a horrible sign, even if he did primarily play full back.

    In full transparency, Dest hasn't been much better in terms of scoring. But this year, in a more forward role, he's played 8 games with 2 assists, 5 shots (3 on target), and has a 92% pass completion. His passing and assists are much better than any other US option not named Reyna (Pulisic isn't a good passer). The US teammates can certainly benefit from a forward thinking player with excellent passing skills. He also plays for Barcelona and starts in the midfield/forward positions. And I'd hope we can fully align that Barcelona is generally more skilled than 98% of clubs at nearly every position.

    And lastly, full backs come forward in the modern game. But they do not always do this. Just like wingers do not always drop back to help defend. Soccer players run ~7 miles a game, with midfielders and full backs eclipsing that number. You cannot expect Dest to always join the offense. If he does, he exposes the defense too much (and, truth be told, he did do that at Barcelona a lot last year). As a result, full backs aren't always involved. Midfielders and wingers absolutely can do. And that's why I'd put Dest up front.

    The best comp I can come up with is Alfonso Davies. Davies, at Bayern, plays left back. This is because he's a great defender and the offensive players are just that much better. On Canada, he plays midfield/winger exclusively. He doesn't touch left back. This is because Davies is just that much more potent as an offensive player. And I'd argue that Dest is absolutely much more potent on the right side than a lot of the other options.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  10. #250
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Actually, it really is. Across Europe and South America, if a player does not play for his club, he rarely plays for his national team.
    World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF is different from Europe and South America.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    This is because a) of rust/potential fitness issues and b) with any sport, continuous repetition helps. You see this all the time with players who have high potential and move from an average club to a big club; they get stuck on the bench and dropped from the national team. Now, if the US feels that an "unfit" Pulisic makes the team better, so be it. But that's a highly risky strategy. In the time that Pulisic has joined, Ziyech, Werner, Havartz, and Lukaku have joined (with existing players Mount and Hudson-Odoi). With the exception of Hudson-Odoi, you can make the argument that Pulisic is behind all those players. Furthermore, Frank Lampard loved Pulisic. Frank Lampard is no longer the Chelsea coach. Tuchel isn't as warm to Pulisic as Lampard. To me, the lack of playing time is and should be a concern for USMNT. Also, I'll call it here: Pulisic will not be at Chelsea in 12 months. There is no way he plays more than Lukaku, Havartz, or Mount. It will be a battle between Ziyech, Werner, Hudson-Odoi, and Pulisic. And Tuchel has favored Ziyech and Werner over the last 10 months or so.
    I completely agree that Pulisic is behind all those guys. I don't think it's necessarily a huge concern, certainly not in terms of qualifying. And I agree that he's not likely to be with Chelsea for much longer. Which is even MORE reason why I don't think it's a major concern. It doesn't benefit Chelsea to keep him buried on their bench.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Dest, to me, is a more effective offensive player than virtually everyone on the USMNT outside of a healthy and playing Pulisic and Reyna. Here's why:

    -Musah has scored 2 goals in 42 games for Valencia. As a winger/central midfielder, that's not good. As for assists, he had zero last year and zero this year.
    -Weah has scored 3 goals in 39 appearances for Lille. Last year, Weah barely started for Lille. Great genes, poor production.
    -Aaronson is productive, especially for a central midfielder. He isn't great as a winger. But his production comes in the Austrian League, is ranked worse than the Portugal and the Netherlands. I'd love to see this player go to Germany/France. He also isn't a great assister.
    -Yedlin is finished. The Turkish League is where washed up players go to. His 3 goals in 112 games for Newcastle is also a horrible sign, even if he did primarily play full back.
    But I think you are continuing to miss the point. Yes, Dest is more talented than Musah/Weah/Aaronson. No question. But moving Dest forward takes one of those guys off in favor of another defender. And our other options at right back are a big step down (see your point about Yedlin, who is currently the next best option). So you get a bit of a bump in value on the wing (unless he replaces Reyna) ,but a HUGE dropoff in offensive quality at right back. As you mentioned, Yedlin is washed. And he's the best option after Dest at right back. So, yeah, back to my point that moving Dest forward actually makes our offense worse overall despite maximizing Dest's offensive value.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    His passing and assists are much better than any other US option not named Reyna (Pulisic isn't a good passer). The US teammates can certainly benefit from a forward thinking player with excellent passing skills. He also plays for Barcelona and starts in the midfield/forward positions. And I'd hope we can fully align that Barcelona is generally more skilled than 98% of clubs at nearly every position.
    And Reyna is one of the guys that would potentially get pushed to another spot (or the bench) if Dest is moved forward. I would absolutely rather have Reyna on the right wing than Dest. And I'd absolutely rather have Dest at right back than Yedlin/Cannon/Moore. Hence my point: the US is better off with Dest at right back because they have solid-to-good options at the wing but they DON'T have good options at right back.

    And they would still benefit from Dest's passing when he's playing right back, just to a somewhat lesser degree than if he was on the wing. The difference is that he's playing alongside more other talented attackers when he plays right back than he would on the wing.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    And lastly, full backs come forward in the modern game. But they do not always do this. Just like wingers do not always drop back to help defend. Soccer players run ~7 miles a game, with midfielders and full backs eclipsing that number. You cannot expect Dest to always join the offense. If he does, he exposes the defense too much (and, truth be told, he did do that at Barcelona a lot last year). As a result, full backs aren't always involved. Midfielders and wingers absolutely can do. And that's why I'd put Dest up front.
    Again, playing Dest at right back certainly reduces his offensive impact. But I think it improves the team's overall offense because it allows you to play someone like Reyna or Weah or Aaronson instead of someone like Yedlin or Cannon or Moore.

    In other words, Reyna+Dest on the right flanks is much better than Dest+Yedlin/Moore/Cannon.

    Maybe if we generate another high-quality right back then we can discuss pushing Dest forward in the lineup. But as long as the right back position is brutal while the right wing position has quality options, it makes no sense offensively to push Dest forward in favor of another right back.

  11. #251
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    I am catching up on this thread. When are we going to get comfortable that none of Arriola, Roldan, Lletget, Yueill will see a minute of playing time at WC (and hopefully not be on squad)? I am not thrilled with our current coaching situation.

    I am hopeful that unless someone materializes in the next year that the only current MLS players that make roster are Zimmerman, Pepi, and Turner, and maybe Acosta and Zardes (who I like more than Sargent right now as a sub only given Pepi’s emergence).

  12. #252
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    I am catching up on this thread. When are we going to get comfortable that none of Arriola, Roldan, Lletget, Yueill will see a minute of playing time at WC (and hopefully not be on squad)? I am not thrilled with our current coaching situation.

    I am hopeful that unless someone materializes in the next year that the only current MLS players that make roster are Zimmerman, Pepi, and Turner, and maybe Acosta and Zardes (who I like more than Sargent right now as a sub only given Pepi’s emergence).
    First, let's get through qualifying .

    But assuming we get through qualifying, and assuming we have access to the full list of players, I'd venture the World Cup squad would look something like:

    Keeper:
    Steffen
    Turner (MLS)
    Horvath

    Defense:
    Dest
    Brooks
    Zimmerman
    Antonee Robinson
    Miles Robinson (MLS)
    Richards
    Vines
    Another right back

    Midfield:
    Adams
    McKennie
    Musah
    Acosta (MLS)

    Attacking midfield/wing:
    Reyna
    Aaronson
    Weah

    Striker:
    Pepi
    Zardes (MLS)
    Sargent

    That leaves 2 spots available. I doubt it would be another MLS guy beyond that foursome above.

  13. #253
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    First, let's get through qualifying .

    But assuming we get through qualifying, and assuming we have access to the full list of players, I'd venture the World Cup squad would look something like:

    Keeper:
    Steffen
    Turner (MLS)
    Horvath

    Defense:
    Dest
    Brooks
    Zimmerman
    Antonee Robinson
    Miles Robinson (MLS)
    Richards
    Vines
    Another right back

    Midfield:
    Adams
    McKennie
    Musah
    Acosta (MLS)

    Attacking midfield/wing:
    Reyna
    Aaronson
    Weah

    Striker:
    Pepi
    Zardes (MLS)
    Sargent

    That leaves 2 spots available. I doubt it would be another MLS guy beyond that foursome above.
    Presumably Pulisic takes one of those two spots. I realize he's had some injury setbacks, but I would hope his recovery doesn't take THAT long.

    But yes, let's make sure we are actually IN the World Cup this time around, before we worry about which players we name to the squad.

  14. #254
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Presumably Pulisic takes one of those two spots. I realize he's had some injury setbacks, but I would hope his recovery doesn't take THAT long.

    But yes, let's make sure we are actually IN the World Cup this time around, before we worry about which players we name to the squad.
    Oh yes absolutely Pulisic is on the squad if healthy. Perhaps someone like Busio gets the last spot.

  15. #255
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    Jan 2009
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    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Oh yes absolutely Pulisic is on the squad if healthy. Perhaps someone like Busio gets the last spot.
    Yeah. For the record, I do not think that Pulisic should not play nor should not start if he's not playing consistently at Chelsea. He is still a top 3 talent on USMNT (but I'd argue Dest is catching up to him and Reyna may have already surpassed him). I do not think I reinforced that point above.

    With a rusty Pulisic, you need even more help up front.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  16. #256
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Our own Donald Wine (BlazinDW) bringing some strong dance moves to the USWNT pregame party: https://twitter.com/AOKCdoesnotstop/...27185567076353
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  17. #257
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Our own Donald Wine (BlazinDW) bringing some strong dance moves to the USWNT pregame party: https://twitter.com/AOKCdoesnotstop/...27185567076353
    James Brown himself would be impressed.
    “Fútbol is life!” — Dani Rojas, Richmond Greyhounds

  18. #258
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    The roster for the November window was announced today. I was pleasantly surprised to see Pulisic named. Yesterday was his first game for Chelsea since his injury in early September and I thought he might take this window off to protect himself and continue training. Dest and Reyna are out due to injury.

    The full roster is as follows:

    GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 24/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 12/0)

    DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 22/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 8/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 4/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 17/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 14/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 0/0), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL; 8/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 69/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 20/2)

    MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 42/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 20/1), Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; 7/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 33/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 27/7), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 9/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 29/0)

    FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 13/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 41/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 2/2), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 4/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 40/16), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 16/1)

  19. #259
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    The roster for the November window was announced today. I was pleasantly surprised to see Pulisic named. Yesterday was his first game for Chelsea since his injury in early September and I thought he might take this window off to protect himself and continue training. Dest and Reyna are out due to injury.

    The full roster is as follows:
    I think Christian needs to get some game time and hope to prove himself for his next job. He’s good, but not starting-striker-for-hopeful-repeat-UCL-champ good.
    Carolina delenda est

  20. #260
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    Dest and Reyna are out due to injury.
    Glad to see Pulisic back in the roster. But this is a tough time to be without two of our three best players. Hosting Mexico without Dest and Reyna will be a tough challenge. Hopefully the squad can overcome it.

    The trip to Jamaica should hopefully be a bit easier.

    Would be great if we can get 4 points in this segment of qualifying and stay clear of 4th.

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