U.S. women’s national team: What are they doing?

I figured it out. The USA is playing a 4-3-3 formation with fluid interchanges in midfield. No, wait — it’s a 4-5-1, with one target forward and two traditional wingers. Or maybe it’s a 4-2-4, with Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holiday as the only actual midfielders. No, no. I’ve got it. It was Col. Mustard with the lead pipe in the conservatory. In some senses, the Jill Ellis Way isn’t all that complicated. At least, it wasn’t in Monday night’s rather routine 6-0 rout over Haiti that clinched first place in their World Cup qualifying group and moved the team … Continue reading U.S. women’s national team: What are they doing?

Does the USA need a “No. 10”?

David Hirshey critiques the U.S. MNT with a lament for the bygone days, which never really existed in the USA’s case, of a “No. 10” playmaker directing the team. From Ives Galarcep, we get a very different reading — the USA fared well in the 4-2-3-1 set-up that seems so common worldwide these days. The 4-2-3-1 doesn’t rule out a “No. 10” — the midfielder at the center of the “3” line could be that guy. But all three of those midfielders are likely to see a fair amount of the ball, and the best playmaker need not be in … Continue reading Does the USA need a “No. 10”?