There are enough players to make a team. The official USL website hazards a lineup with the current NSC signings. I make it into graphics:
I’d been planning to do a little of the same sort of exercise, but frankly I didn’t (and don’t) see a way all the players they had before this morning fill out a lineup. I sort of cheated by waiting to put this post up and then having four more players available; I went with a 4-4-2 diamond thanks to the influx of defenders and midfielders making that far more reasonable.
Putting a pure scorer like Shroot (and a striker like Cox) on the wing for the simple matter of “this is who they have now” seems to me to be more like a “wait until they have more players signed” try-again-later sort of deal. Unless you think a seven-foot dude is not the target striker. In which case you’d be wrong. Yes I know Tucker Hume is not seven feet tall in a literal sense.
Speaking of personnel… Nashville Golden Goal looks at the offensive firepower for NSC. They probably need to add more (and there’s kind of a weird concentration of guys with similar attributes). Will we see U-23 standout Martim Galvao on the USL side? That would be popular among the existing fanbase, but reading between the lines, it’s unlikely to happen.
Owner John Ingram is The Tennessean‘s sports person of the year.
The US Youth Summit in Florida this weekend is interesting. You can see the rosters and a bit of analysis from American Soccer Now here.
While I do think there’s value in getting players from multiple age ranges (U-16 to U-20) together at once, it doesn’t feel like something that expands the player pool so much as it works on the already-discovered players in it. Developing those guys is a good thing, as well, but I feel like a wider net might have been a more important priority than multiple age ranges coming together.
Stars and Stripes FC has a few players to watch at the event.
The development of the American footballer. Fifty Five One lays out a case that radical reform isn’t necessarily needed in US Soccer. Some of the arguments are compelling, others elicit little more than a shrug from me. I sort of agree: there’s no need to burn the whole thing down. Radical change because “what we do now doesn’t work” without analyzing whether the new idea will work is unwise. Still, some pretty significant change – with an eye toward making things better, rather than saying “screw the old guys!” (cough cough wynalda cough) – is probably warranted.
Speaking of which, American Soccer Now has some ideas for a bit of reform in MLS. Here’s a big part of the lede:
IN THE RECRIMINATIONS that followed the US national team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, nobody escaped blame.
Major League Soccer certainly did not escape the line of fire. The league has invested heavily in youth development but it cannot be ignored that top American and Canadian teenagers have found minutes in the league extraordinarily hard to come by.
There’s an extremely important distinction that needs to be made: it is not MLS’s job to look out for the US Men’s National Team (insert $UM joke here). It’s MLS’s job to look out for MLS, and specifically for its franchises’ owners. Any change proposed has to first and foremost be for the good of the league. While some seemingly counter-productive changes for the league could help the USMNT and ultimately benefit MLS because of that long-term, unfortunately it’s important to keep in mind that the owners are going to be resistant to anything that’s designed to aid USMNT without simultaneously helping them (and in more obvious ways).
That said, some of the ideas Jamie Hill puts forth are good ones, including some I’ve mentioned in the past. Letting teams keep 100% of the transfer fees for homegrown players – a profit motive and also increasing the incentive to give them first-team minutes while they’re young – is a big one, but he has some others in there that fall under the “good idea for USMNT, no damn way the owners will go for it” category.
It’s gonna suck when he picks Mexico. A little fluff on US starlet Jonathan Gonzalez, whose Monterrey finished runners-up in the Apertura portion of Liga MX this Fall. Mexico is (predictably) now trying to poach him for its national team. Not calling him in for the Portugal game (whether or not he would have actually been able to play) was dumb.
Etc. New Year’s resolutions for the US Soccer fan. I co-sign ’em. … The Nashville Ledger on some Nashville SC stuff. … Two of America’s top-50 most-attended soccer games of 2017 took place in our fair city. … Interesting take on the possession style of Man City and others in the Premier League turning anti-possession into a viable tactical choice (as a counter-attacking philosophy). … Memphis goin’ USL. Announcing it Monday. … Always have to keep tabs on MLS. Goal‘s Ives Galarcep with the top prospects for the SuperDraft (including Michigan Wolverine Francis Atuahene). Soon enough, The Boys in Gold will be picking the the draft.