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The Goche
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I don't even know where you have gotten half of that stuff. 1. Nowhere have I ever suggested the Copa was more important than the Confed Cup. I would say without reservation the Confed Cup was more important. But I also don't know why it has to be one or the other. It doesn't. I'm in no way complaining about favoring the Gold Cup over the Copa America. All I said is it was an opportunity that was missed and we should take every opportunity we get. 2. That little diatribe at the end has absolutely nothing to do with me. I understand injuries. I also understand that our competition will be tough and not just England. If we are just outmatched talentwise at the Cup, I will not hold Bob responsible for that, as long as we play good soccer. For major portions of qualifying we got by playing mediocrely and we were downright terrible in the first two games of the Confed Cup. If we come out with shape and confidence like we did against Spain and Brazil the second time, I will be fine with that. I don't know that it makes sense to completely dismiss anything in the current world cup cycle as "an era ago." But fine, you like Bob. I didn't like him at first, now think he's fine, but he still needs to prove something. I don't see the big deal. So chill out.
I think you are remembering wrong. The only difference to the Egypt team from the previous rounds was that he added Davies and Guzan. I'll admit I'm pretty sure I was surprised by Davies, but I don't think anyone was mad at him for trying, even before CD scored. What he had done in the previous games was go 4-5-1, and no one wanted that. So I was just happy to have 2 forwards, especially since neither one was Ching. The only definite first team player missing was Bocanegra and he was injured I believe. Certainly the two squads have little in common. But, my main problem with Bob has always been our big game strategy as evidenced in the first two Confed Cup games. I.e., we're outmatched, let's sit back. But we were doing that without any defensive structure and with few legit attempts to hold possession or really do anything but kick it out. We learned from that and did better afterwards. But what scares me is that we've only done that for two games against non-CONCACAF opponents in real competition. I've said already several times that I believe the team may have learned from that and Bob could have us ready to go. That said, if we come out and show the same kind of showing we did against Brazil and Italy I'm going to hold Bob responsible. This is as much me acknowledging that if we do well in the Cup, that I was wrong about Bob all along. But what I'm also saying is that you cannot blame people for being frustrated with him basically right up until the Confederations Cup. And I'm not totally convinced by one good tournament that Bob has it all together. The Copa America is one example of one of the things that frustrated fans, particularly after the World Cup had us all wanting to prove that we could compete against legit teams. I guess it didn't frustrate you guys because you apparently always knew he would figure it out. So, I defer to all of you in your infinite hindsight wisdom.
You are right in a lot of points. (Particularly when you aren't comparing the Copa America to the Carling Cup or 3rd Round FA Cup matches. Also, really? EJ and Olson? Not exactly core players.) And I don't mean to put the whole blame on Bob for the Copa team. That would certainly be unfair. What I put on Bob is a lack of growth through large parts of the cycle. We finally did show some improvement in the Confed Cup, and I hope we can bring that to the World Cup. But it is going to be hard not to remember all of the wasted chances if we show up looking listless in the World Cup. True. Several of the players that did better at the Copa America did end up become serious contenders on the team. So yes, there was some measure of scouting there. But, what the USMNT needs more than anything is competition, and you cannot tell me that in 2007 you weren't sick to miss out on the chance for that. I realize Bob really didn't have the opportunity to send his top team. But I think that we could have managed to send along a couple of veteran guys, with some international experience who were actually in the mix for 2010. A mixture of those guys and the prospects might have given the young guys a chance to show their stuff in the pressure of a good game. And you can't tell me that the experience wouldn't have been more beneficial if we were actually capable of putting up a fight. I just believe that any chance we have to play competitive matches against good competition, we should send the best team possible. Despite the roadblocks Bob faced, I don't think you can suggest that was anything close to the best team possible, and you can't suggest we didn't miss out on an opportunity. Like I said at the top, if we come out in the World Cup and perform as we are capable, I'll give Bob credit. But what I am saying is Bob put a lot of people against him early on. And really as of the early parts of the Confed Cup, we hadn't shown much growth at all after the 06 Cup. I'm glad we improved at the Confed, and I hope it carries over to the World Cup. But 2 good games and another qualification from an easy confederation is not a ton to hang your hat on, and I hope that in the end, we don't look back on missed chances.
There is no reason we couldn't send a legitimate team to the Copa America. I realize it was two days after the Gold Cup ended, and it probably would not be possible to send a full squad, but we sent not one regular national team player. You make it sound like he was saving our players for the Confederations Cup or something, but that was 2 years later and qualifiers didn't start for a year after the Copa. It makes no sense to not send a legitimate team to a major international competition, particularly one that is a better competition than any CONCACAF competition.
That was a joke of a team. That was a perfect opportunity to raise our level of play against good opponents. I understand taking some young guys, but taking a side with almost no international experience and no chance whatsoever of succeeding was a terrible decision and I put that on Bob.
Bob deserves all the flack he's gotten, as he's gotten it all on his own. 1. Copa America 2007 2. Confederations Cup, first 2 games. We got lucky to get out of the group stage in that tournament. Yes, they did much much better and I give him credit. But the true story is, if we come out in the Cup like we did against Brazil and Italy in the first two games of the Confed Cup, we will almost certainly not be so lucky again. That said, if Bob gets results in the Cup, I will give Bob credit as a pretty good coach for the US in the grand scheme of things, presuming he leaves before he ruins it all, a la Bruce.
Vizcaino had better be good, because Cabrera is worthless. Career slugging under .400, but at least he's only got a .331 OBP. It would suck to be stuck with a weak hitter who actually gets on base. I don't totally get this deal for either side.
Braves need someone to play OF, not DH. Bradley in the last 5 years has averaged 96.4 games played, his median is 96. His career high is 141 games played. We already have one frail power hitter (Chipper), and another who's time on the field is limited because he's a catcher. [Here include obligatory baggage discussion, accompanied by discussion about how the Braves don't go for attitudes]. Plus with his salary it's not like we are dumping that much. The whole point of moving Lowe or Vazquez is to open up money to get an answer for the lineup, theoretically one that can be in the lineup every day. 125 games (his average over the last 2 years) is not enough for 9 and 12 million over the next 2 years. I mean, we all consider someone like Josh Willingham to be injury prone, but in the last 4 years since he's been full-time, Willingham has played 114 games more than Bradley over the same span. So if you eat 5 mill per year for the course of Lowe's contract do you think the Nats don't at least consider that and boom, right handed hitter for less than Bradley would have cost who is on the field more than Bradley.