Player ratings

Analysis & player ratings: Union 0-1 Revolution

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union have suffered stinging defeats this season. Late game shame against Kansas City, the blowouts against Columbus and LA.

But rarely has the team simply played itself out of a game.

In their big losses this season, Philly was often poor, but the other side was also very good. On Saturday, New England was far from poor, but they were also much further from very good than the Union made them seem. Looking back at the video, Jay Heaps will be able to pick out numerous instances where his team was able to run freely at the Union defense, and he will wonder how they only scored one goal.

Here is a partial list of oft-cited tactical and systemic problems the Union have had this season:

  • Trouble passing out of the back under any pressure
  • Poor passing/slow play from the fullbacks
  • Overaggression from the fullbacks breaking the back line
  • Central defenders retreating deep even when the ball carrier is under pressure
  • Huge gap between defense and midfield
  • Empty space between deep midfielders and the offensive foursome
  • Finishing
  • Depth
  • Substitution choices/timing/tactics

All of these were prevalent on Saturday. As such, the impressive combination play and improved counterattack were not enough to earn the Union a home point in front of a disappointed crowd at PPL Park.

Good early pressure on the ball from Philly.

Good early pressure on the ball from Philly, but even now look at the lack of compactness.

Start with the positives

In the first half, Philly showed flashes of the technical skill it boasts up front. Tranquillo Barnetta, Sebastien Le Toux, Cristian Maidana, and Vincent Nogueira combined — mostly up the right — to create opportunities that largely went wanting with an empty box to aim at.

And, notably, Ray Gaddis made some fine passes to initiate and maintain that pressure up the right side. This is notable, unfortunately, because Gaddis struggled immensely on the night in both his passing game and his positioning. The hard-working defender was often at sea, caught in between stepping to Fagundez or holding with the retreating defensive line. The right back’s night was summed up by Nogueira’s frustrated scream in his direction after Fagundez’s run and goal.

The boys up top were far from perfect, but they did provide the sort of tight connections that have been absent from a Union offense built largely on the long outlet and the artistic throughball. Reliance on the counterattack is not a criticism, it is highlighted merely to note how the current roster finally gives Philly an alternative, albeit one that looks far from its potential.

Sebastien Le Toux deserves particular praise for his first half performance. The Frenchman left his wing and checked back, leaving the wing for Maidana then zipping through the defense for a throughball. This movement pulled the Revs midfield out of alignment and Barnetta was able to sneak into central gaps and get involved. The benefits of having a winger who involves himself in the buildup play were obvious, as Barnetta made many of the short passes that an attacking midfielder would normally make, however Chaco Maidana’s preference for the wing means the Union often lack that dimension.

The defense is too deep, there's too much space behind the midfield.

The defense is too deep, there’s too much space behind the midfield.

Let’s get dirty

Passing out of the back. It’s not easy. And the teams that do it well share two traits: They pass quickly, and they stay compact.

Philadelphia Union do neither.

To pass out of the back, a team must work their way around or through the opposing team’s lines. One way to do this is to simply pass around the opposition, passing and moving quickly to take advantage of aggressive pressing. Another effective system is to pull a midfielder deep, draw the rest of the team in tight, then pass until a player has enough time to pick out a crossfield ball that relieves pressure and creates enough chaotic movement and retreating to attack the defense.

Seriously, the defense is too deep.

Seriously, the defense is too deep.

The Union move the ball slowly and remain spread out as they do it.

The most predictable play in MLS may be the pass from the central defender to Ray Gaddis, with the defender slow to receive and turn and often pressed into a clearance or a pass to a tightly covered wing player.

The Union need to fix this or stop trying. Teams target Gaddis for immediate pressure, and it works. Gaddis’ passing game improves markedly when he has time, and he has begun to combine well and support attacks up the right with more ease. But under any duress, the right back still struggles with decision-making.

I'm not kidding, the defense is too deep.

I’m not kidding, the defense is too deep.

Fullback aggression/central defense depth

This chicken-and-egg problem is a fascinating one. The Union fullbacks are aggressive. They know it, the opposition knows it, Jim Curtin says so, it’s not changing.

But to protect the fullback on the ball, the rest of the back line retreats, leaving far too much grass between themselves and the midfield. Teams gameplan to create this space, and Philly continues to hand it to them even this late in the season.

Guess what the problem is...

Guess what the problem is…

Certainly, the fullback must be protected if he is going to play tight, but currently the gap is consistently too large. Instead of protecting the fullback, they are setting him up for failure. The central defender cannot get over in time if the fullback is beat, nor can he step up quick enough to prevent a ball being played inside and in front of him. He is just too deep.

Now, yes. A defensive line must be wary of balls over the top. But remember that this is not a video game where you set the tactics and the players somewhat mindlessly execute them. Players in MLS are intelligent, and they know that when you play the modern pressing game, a defense must close space unless the ball carrier has time to really look up and pick out a runner. If the ball carrier has that space, pick up runners and drop. Otherwise, stay tight. Because playing deep is not working.

Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe found so much room at the top of the final third that they must have thought they forgot to put on deodorant. As good as Nguyen’s movement was, Rowe deserves equal praise for smartly turning the Union’s aggression against them with quick moves away from defenders and a willingness to attack with his first touch. He was extremely good on the night.

The other space issue is in front of the midfield, where Chaco Maidana’s love for the channels leaves acres of space and nobody to fill it.

As good as Maidana is at facilitating the break, he costs Philadelphia possession by committing to the wide areas and taking away the simple outlet that can let the entire team get forward. Maidana is a master at functioning in a chaotic transition, but simply facilitating possession remains off his list of interests.

Nogueira and Carroll did not rotate as efficiently as Carroll and Lahoud, allowing the Revs to break behind the midfield line.

Nogueira and Carroll did not rotate as efficiently as Carroll and Lahoud, allowing the Revs to break behind the midfield line.


In the in-game interview, Mike Sorber responded to a question about the team’s deep bench by saying that since they were behind, some combination of the team’s three attacking players would come on. Sure enough, Eric Ayuk, Fernando Aristeguieta, and Andrew Wenger were introduced.

The intuitiveness of sending on attacking players when trailing is hard to deny. But it can become equivalent to adding sauce to give flavor to a bad meal. Sure, it tastes a bit better than before. But you might like dinner more if you just switched meals.

For the Union, switching meals would have meant introducing Michael Lahoud and pushing Vincent Nogueira into an attacking midfield role. Alternatively, it could have been moving Barnetta inside and playing an inverted triangle with Carroll supporting Barnetta and Nogueira. Both changes add a body to the middle of the park. Coincidentally, that is the area of the pitch the Union did not strengthen as they sought an equalizer.

Once again, New England took advantage of slow defensive rotation from Nogueira, who was clearly fatigued.

Once again, New England took advantage of slow defensive rotation from Nogueira, who was clearly fatigued.

Without control of the center of the pitch, Philly struggled to exert regular pressure as the match wore down. Certainly, the usual slew of half-chances came up. But the type of sustained pressure that wears down a defense was once again absent. Adding Eric Ayuk continues to bring, if nothing else, a different dimension and energy to the attack. Adding a second striker does little when there is nobody in the middle to recover the balls he knocks down. Adding Andrew Wenger is unnecessary and strange when behind. An out-of-form player working his way back to fitness after a head injury at the tail end of a must-win game?

That sort of loyalty is admirable, until it isn’t.


The Union needed a win. They played poorly individually and as a team. And it brings me no joy to write those words once again.

Ray Gaddis gets caught in no-man's-land.

Ray Gaddis gets caught in no-man’s-land.

Losing is rough, but it can be framed as a learning experience. The big problem in 2015 is the the Union don’t appear to be learning. Poor decisions in the front office begat a goalkeeping fiasco, the chaotic ripple effects of which are still being felt by an unorganized defense. The number-one-in-waiting is finally getting his chance in net, and the hope is that he brings some sort of stability to a position that requires it.

Going forward, Philly remains a hedgehog with one big idea: Counter fast and hard. The fox has many smaller ideas, and though Cristian Maidana has plenty of fox in him (you know what I mean), he subscribes to the big idea of getting into a channel and countering. No alternative methods of attack have been developed.

Six months into the season and the Union are right where they started: A team with some good players who have to play really well every game if the club is going to compete. Any system or tactical plan to turn these players into something greater than the sum of their parts is absent or failing. Depth? Speak of it not.

Perhaps all of this is a prelude to a 2016 in which these players, stung by hardship, band together to form a cohesive unit that performs the ugly march up the Eastern Conference’s ugly table. It happened in DC.

But something else happened in DC: A roster was built with a vision toward having interchangeable parts on the edges and solidity through the middle. The attack would be veteran-driven and the young studs would get to fight through the learning curve. It worked.

Does Philly have such a vision? Let’s hope so.

Player ratings

Andre Blake – 4

Blake did everything well, except that one time when he didn’t. I’ll let the man speak for himself: “I feel like, and a lot of guys feel like, I could’ve saved it. The past is the past.”

Ray Gaddis – 3

The pressure-less passing choices are improving, but it is worrying that Gaddis’ lack of confidence on the ball seems to be affecting his defense. His altheticism is a quality, but it can also be a crutch.

Steven Vitoria – 5

There is only so many times you can give a low rating for poor passing. At this point, it’s clear that Vitoria can make the simple plays but anything beyond that is a mixed bag. Hey, at least he’s not Dejan Lovren.

Richie Marquez – 4

Not an ideal outing for the young centerback, as he played too far off Fagundez on the goal and stayed too deep most of the match, allowing Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe to run at him and Vitoria. Again, the players don’t need me pointing out mistakes (and if any players are reading this, apologies if this seems like rubbing salt in the wound): “Too much space, shot went by me, through me, whatever you want to call it. It was unfortunate, but it happened.”

Fabinho – 3

What Fabi has brought in his best games is solid, unspectacular defense, careful aggression that clogs passing lanes without taking too many risks, and the well-timed run forward for a cross or shot. What he brought Saturday was an aggressive stance laden with tired legs, tuck-your-head-afterwards crosses, and a good first outlet for the center backs. Unfortunately, he rarely had the options he needed to make the Union left side dangerous.

Brian Carroll – 4

Carroll gets the plaudits when the center of the pitch is a clogged mess, and he shoulders the burden when it’s an empty field in which Lee Nguyen plays. Was this all Carroll’s fault? Hardly. Philly’s midfield and defense were on different pages, and New England kept three players in the center at all times, meaning someone was going to get open (hint: it was usually Nguyen).

Tranquillo Barnetta – 5

The thinking is there, the runs are there, the movement is there… the finishing is not. Barnetta continues to give Philly’s offense a much-needed extra dimension with his intelligence, but man would it be nice to see him get that final pass right or finish a move.

Vincent Nogueira – 3

One of the Frenchman’s worst games, though in fairness he was returning from injury. Nogueira never should have gone the full ninety. He looked gassed midway through the second half, and New England’s penchant for sending runners through the midfield was something he just wasn’t ready to handle for ninety minutes. Mike Sorber was adamant that the Union would send on attacking players to chase the game in the second half. A better tactical decision would have been to rest Nogueira.

Sebastien Le Toux – 6

Le Toux was involved in many of the team’s good first half moves, though he faded in the second half before being subbed off for Andrew Wenger. Just when you think Le Toux’s game is too simplistic and vertical to mesh with the technicality of Nogueira, Maidana, and Barnetta, he is at the heart of a move that pulls the team out of a tight space. It’s a credit to the Frenchman that he always finds a way to fit the system, even if he drifts in and out of that fit during a match.

Cristian Maidana – 2

Frustrating game, frustrating conclusion. Not much else to say.

CJ Sapong – 4

It is fun and fascinating to watch Sapong post up defenders in the box. You just don’t see straight up post moves that often in soccer, but Philly’s oft-static offense requires the striker to get open even when he’s covered. Sapong’s solution is to turn opposing defenders into backpacks and just carry them around for a while. Unfortunately, the big man disappeared for a long stretch in the second half before popping up once again when Aristeguieta came in to win balls alongside him. Strange that Curtin waited so long to make the move despite the fact that the Union were punting the ball long from the word “go” in the second half.

Look at all those shots from good positions! Why aren't they on frame?

Look at all those shots from good positions! Why aren’t they on frame?


Eric Ayuk – 4

The energetic teenager was oddly anonymous in an extended cameo off the bench.

Fernando Aristeguieta – 4

Three shots, none on frame. Let’s break this pattern.

Andrew Wenger – 4

Wenger struggled to make an impact but, in fairness, he should not have been the sub. Bringing a player back from a head injury for his first minutes in a must-win situation when you are being overrun up the middle? That’s not the right move. Coaching decisions, especially subs, are rarely simply right or wrong. Curtin got this one wrong.

Geiger counter – 4

Three New England players with three fouls apiece and only one (Jermaine Jones) received a caution? Come on, Chris Penso.


  1. Off with their Heads!
    The lot of em.

  2. I dont even know why I watch this team. I really dont.

    This team is so good at doing the wrong thing, ever since we traded Williams Gaddis has looked fucking terrible.

    Its a goddamn joke.

    Its like

    I dont even want to thnk about it anymore.

    Goddman joke.

    WE CHOSE GADDIS. THIS TEAM SAID “HE IS OUR RB”. And hes ben fuckign shredded since then.

    What a joke.

    WE went from actual depth and quality at RB to … possibly needing a new RB if Gaddis keeps this up.

    • I am willing to give Gaddis a break. He has player more or less nonstop all season. He needs a break.

      • If only we had a guy who could there. Maybe not quite as fast as Ray, but somebody who’s extremely aggressive, so teams get a different look when he’s out there. Maybe this guy would be really good at long throw-ins, which would bring another dimension to the offense when he played. This guy, of course, would also need to be somebody who could play on the left side. And hey, since we’re making up shit, let’s also make this guy be able to function as a backup CB in a pinch, and even play a little bit of wing when you’re trying to see a match out to conclusion.
        We could assign this guy the #25 jersey, because I’m pretty sure that number is currently unused…

      • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

        Williams was lazy, that stupid throw never worked, and everyone is overrating him right now because he’s the guy that got traded away.

      • I think Curtin disliked him because he didn’t have the blood and guts attitude (aka ‘lazy’ above). What he does have is strength, speed and the ability to add something to the attack.

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        Yeah – Williams, a RB who led the league in assists over the last two seasons. A RB who coincidentally appeared on the top plays from this past weekend. Oh, his appearance was also about 4 slots before Gaddis appeared. Gaddis’ appearance was him getting utterly destroyed though. Williams’ was on there for an excellent cross.

      • Thank actually know what you’re talking about..I appreciate that…

      • Can you lay off the hot takes there Gonzo Dave and the Morning Zoo Crew. (Fart Sound) Williams wasn’t perfect but he added a offensive dimension that Gaddis doesn’t have. His thorow in never worked for the same reason out corner kicks never work. (Hint it’s not always his fault.) He was never garbage and he is finding a nice little niche in Houston playing on his less favored side ironically

      • Besides that, it did work. He had (as I recall) 4 assists last year directly off throw-ins.

      • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

        His throw never worked because it barely reached the edge of the box the majority of the time, teams realized this, and they started putting players in that general area to clear it.

        It worked for a brief while in 2013, but it hasn’t done anything since then except waste a possession and set up a counter for the other team.
        All 3 fullbacks in the discussion are weak. That’s how it is in MLS. Everyone has bad fullbacks. Its a salary cap league. Teams spend on attacking players.

      • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

        Blake did better than 4. Nobody else did, though. A terrible team game.

      • @Phil – Yeah, I thought about going higher with Blake because he was great off his line and made one outstanding save. It was hard to weigh that against giving up a goal even he said he should’ve at least made an attempt at.

      • Agreed. That’s what really stood out to me about Blake – how quick and decisive he is coming off his line. He seems to anticipate very well. I thought that goal was mostly on Marquez (with an assist from a bad Gaddis turnover) for continuing to retreat inside of the 18yd line.

      • I concur. Blake looked in control for most of the match, and the one shot that got past him was mainly the result of poor defending by his teammates.

      • I gotta say, I love a player who stands up and owns mistakes. That said, we’ll need to see if he learns from it or not.

      • +1 Williams deal still makes no sense. None. ps -I’m still bitter about Jordan Harvey being dealt too.

      • me too – I hope Jordan Harvey reads this – he is still missed

      • The Williams deal makes sense in the fact that either Gaddis or Williams had to go eventually, sooner preferably than later and sooner had passed a long time ago. The problem was they had no cover so they had to scramble and Creaville was the only player available.

      • Bingo.
        The other problem with the Williams trade was that we gave up an international slot along with him, and received “nothing” in return. Allocation Money isn’t well-understood, and the league insists on using the Cone of Silence whenever it comes to discussing specifics.
        I really think the league would be wise to start disclosing information: how much each team has, how much changes hands in trades, etc. But that’s a rant for a different day.

      • DarthLos117 says:

        Wrong attitude to have.
        We are the worst team in the league.
        Our players should not be coddled in any way.
        Gaddis has gotten worse.
        If he or anybody else can’t perform week in/week out, than goodbye!
        We cannot be apologist because that player or this player is a good dude. Who cares?! Rather have ahole winners than good guy losers.

      • Off with their heads!
        Professional athlete.

      • WestmontUnion says:

        So true re: Gaddis has gotten worse. We have to find a way to either sign or trade for appropriate cover at these positions. My hunch is that we’re sitting on a ton of Allocation money, but then again it’s league money so why wouldn’t be spend it…

        My only concern is in our inability to attract good young USL/NASL and South American talent to the team, which I realize is a direct correlation to the fact we have no scouting network, but in order for us to be competitive in the future we need to unearth and sign the Castillo’s, Grella’s and Ibson’s of the world.

        Just looking at the NASL,USL we should be making bids to bring in these players for USL/First team cover. All are seeing significant playing time (something I value highly because they come in match fit and in form), and are leading in individual stat areas important for their positions:

        Gale Agbossoumonde (CB,Tampa Bay. Big defender, whose mobile and has played lots of minutes this season. MLS experience)

        Matt Fondy (Striker,Louisville City – l8 goals in USL. Most shots per game. Mobile striker, with MLS experience)

        Kevin Kerr (Midfielder, Pittsburg. Great assist/goal ratio. Scored a hat trick against Harrisburg. If he can get a greencard, def worth signing.)

  3. “Mike Sorber responded to a question about the team’s deep bench ”

    Does “deep bench” mean something different? Is this that irony you kids are always going on about?

    • @mcscott – Ha! I should’ve said that Dellacamera asked him about having a deep bench to make clear that wasn’t my term.

  4. Can we get rating on best Pro Wrestling styled foul of the year? Nogs Rock Bottom yellow card take down ranks up there with Pfeffers flying elbow.

  5. MikeRSoccer says:

    It’s hard to watch Gaddis play right now and identify an area that is actually working for him.

    Positioning? Awful.
    Footwork? Horrendous.
    Passing? Watch the lead up to the goal where he passes the ball out of bounds, no where near his intended target.
    Speed? He’s fast, but isn’t sprinting back to recover like in the past.

    Gaddis’ strength has always been his pure athleticism and in MLS 3.0, a RB that lacks basic fundamentals, despite being an excellent athlete, cannot be a starter.

    Curtin made a mistake when he benched Williams. He doubled down on it when he traded Williams away. He needs to cut his losses and move on after the season.

    • WestmontUnion says:

      1000 times agreee

    • I wonder about his health/fitness/focus. He logged a lot of minutes except for an injury and Curtin himself admitted in a presser that the teams tactics leave the outside backs somewhat on an island.
      Gaddis has certainly not been at his best, but at the same time I still firmly believe that he is/can be a solid right back.

    • he cannot pass the ball. teams allow him to get it then apply modest pressure and get it back. its been that way for a few seasons, which means everyone knows and ray will not get better. he is not a viable long term option as a starting RB.

      • The fact R3er that you say ray can not get better passing the ball is a joke. Ok he has had bad games, but Gaddis’s value has always been in the effort he puts in. He will try to correct his mistakes and while he hasn’t had the best games he certainly can practice passing and being on the ball. I’d also like to point out to all that his drop in form seems to coincide with Vittoria being put on his side. I don’t think he trusts Vittoria on the ball or his lack of speed to pass him the ball. Thus giving him one option to pass the ball down the line to a running Le Toux who barely checks back and there is often no show in the center of the field to pass to. So saying he gets put on an island and can’t pass the ball well ultimately not always just his fault. But yes he does need to improve, but I think we’ve seen before that he can do that.

  6. How goes it? I have moved away from the region and haven’t been able to see a match for the past month. Are we the ‘same old U’? Is Barretta making a difference? Blake finally got the call? So many questions…

  7. “Maidana is a master at functioning in a chaotic transition, but simply facilitating possession remains off his list of interests.”

    That’s a great observation and description.

    While Vittoria’s lack of mobility is not a surprise to me, his inability to move Davies when Davies was “posting him up” was. He made Davies look like Conor Casey circa 2009-2010.

  8. Really enjoy the analysis, @Adam. When looking at the images I sometimes have trouble picking out the player you’re discussing. Is there a way you could highlight the specific player?

    • @Alex – So my circa 2010 computer, which travels over unfriendly terrain with me every day, finally received a bit of an upgrade (a hard drive that spins faster than a 78rpm record). This should mean I can start editing and playing with photos and gifs a bit more without turning the computer into an oven burner. I’ll start working on the best way to do that and present it. You’re right, I need to do more to clarify those images.

    • Improved pics would help, but knowing the haircuts or a few numbers lets you figure it out as well. Gaddis at RB and Nguyen for DC helps me orient.

  9. Would have liked it much more if Lahoud had started with Carroll and brought Nogs off the bench. Yes I want to see the Bar-Nog-Ana triumvirate but not at the expense of something that’s worked pretty well…

  10. How many times this season have we seen the Union walk into the locker room at halftime either even or ahead and them come out totally flat in the second half? Even worse, once the other team scores the whole thing falls apart, consistently. I can’t remember any game where the U started the 2nd half strong, with fire in their eyes. This is a motivation/leadership/coaching issue. How about making one, or even 2 subs, to start the 2nd half? Instead we just watch and react.

    • @JMac – This doesn’t totally answer your question, but the Union are 2-3-2 when leading at the half and 5-5-4 when tied at the half. Also, they have scored 6 and given up 9 in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

      • Thanks. That first figure is the real shocker; of the seven games when the U were leading at halftime they gave up the lead in 5 of them. Yikes!

      • So, the Union have won only 2 of 7 games when leading at halftime… that’s a depressing statistic.

  11. Adam, Jim Curtin should be reading your analysis. Well done once again.
    I simply don’t understand the lack of compactness. How/why would a coach that was a former CB let this happen over and over again? Do these guys watch any European football? It’s mind-numbing.

    • It is THE problem.
      I am a broken record….skip skip skip.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I come to the commenting too late for you to see my thought, mighty elephant, but as the self-described elephant in the room are you not already pointing out the repetitive nature of your core observations? We could coin the abbreviation PPV In tribute to them were it not for the phrase “Pay Per View.”
        Plan, Philosophy, Vision! Long may it reign! An abbreviation symbolizing the seeking of a solution rather than the pure distilled despair of WSSM.

  12. I believe the team has talent, but certainly no cohesion. Keeper, defense, mid, offense has been a rotating door this year, either due to injuries, trades, etc. It’d be an interesting analysis to see the U’s starting 11’s variation vs. the league average. Indicting the front office(nothing new), more than Curtin. Stability and familiarity with one another as players is a key to any successful team. Still a fan, Go the U!

  13. I thought it was a matter of time before people started to really see that Gaddis wasn’t the best right back. Curtin just didn’t know how to retract his statement that Gaddis was the better right back on the team. I have one word to describe Curtin but I’ll save that for later. Glad to hear Williams is doing good things in Houston….can’t wait to see him play the Union…maybe he should play left back for Houston in that game. Such a bad trade that I still can’t think about it. Right now I have one word for Gaddis (TRADE)!!

  14. Mike Latyn says:

    That there is no on-field leadership on this team was never more evident than it was Saturday night, watching Germaine Jones orchestrate for one team while the Union has nobody step up to take charge. Edu may or may not provide leadership when he is on the pitch so just because he is absent is no excuse. One of their worst games by far! Brian May clog the middle on D but he acts like the ball is radioactive when it comes to his feet.

  15. For as much as I agree with everyone lambasting this latest performance, I saw what looked like hope in the first half. There were chances, we were still level going into half time, and Barnetta in particular had given me a reason to believe that, WITH A FEW TWEAKS, we could win that game. Heck, in the first 10-15 minutes, I’m not sure Nguyen received a ball in the attacking 3rd. BC forced all his possession wide and deep (same thing that worked on Benny Feilhaber in the KC game). 2nd half? Nobody within miles. This of course leads to a goal, and our offense really struggles to play from behind (or at all at times). FIX THE CENTER BACKS. FIX THE SPACING. You have till the USOC final to do it.

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