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  1. #31
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    The ultimate problem with Bradley is not that he's not good enough or overrated. And not being coached properly is a weak point, but not the end-all for a player of his calibre. Therefore is it as misguided to call for his dismissal as to stubbornly stick with him no matter what.
    I'm really hoping Manning will make a final decision as to what the team's long-term vision will entail. Unfortunately that may mean next year will be another 'lost' season.
    Personally I think the team is trying to be too dynamic for its own good. The team should be built around one player and that player is Giovinco. If that means Bradley and/or Altidore has to go, so be it. If it can be made to work, great. The reality is that it hasn't worked yet. I just hope a lot more isn't wasted on a wild goose chase and the right people (Manning, I assume), takes the reigns and forces some reality on the organization before too much more time is wasted.
    Just to clarify, I really like Bradley as a player, but I think it is delusional to believe that he is the one to build this team around.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamp Berg View Post
    The ultimate problem with Bradley is not that he's not good enough or overrated. And not being coached properly is a weak point, but not the end-all for a player of his calibre. Therefore is it as misguided to call for his dismissal as to stubbornly stick with him no matter what.
    I'm really hoping Manning will make a final decision as to what the team's long-term vision will entail. Unfortunately that may mean next year will be another 'lost' season.
    Personally I think the team is trying to be too dynamic for its own good. The team should be built around one player and that player is Giovinco. If that means Bradley and/or Altidore has to go, so be it. If it can be made to work, great. The reality is that it hasn't worked yet. I just hope a lot more isn't wasted on a wild goose chase and the right people (Manning, I assume), takes the reigns and forces some reality on the organization before too much more time is wasted.
    Just to clarify, I really like Bradley as a player, but I think it is delusional to believe that he is the one to build this team around.
    i wouldn't build the team around Seba either. That's generally a mistake for two reasons; first, if he wants to go back to Europe then you are back to square one and second, you build the team around a strong domestic core and sprinkle DPs around that core. That's how others have consistent success but it involves things we aren't good at, namely drafting good & sticking with and developing players.

    Perfect example is is how half the board wants Hagglund and Zavaleta dumped. With a good manager and coaching team these players could develop into good MLSers. Since Vanney took over no defender other than Morgan for a short spell, improved. Now Nelsen wasn't a good manager but I could see our young defenders developing under him. We need a guy like that to work with the defence. But basically the blueprint for lasting MLS success is a having a younger, affordable, domestic core and you build around that.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra & Proud View Post
    i wouldn't build the team around Seba either. That's generally a mistake for two reasons; first, if he wants to go back to Europe then you are back to square one and second, you build the team around a strong domestic core and sprinkle DPs around that core. That's how others have consistent success but it involves things we aren't good at, namely drafting good & sticking with and developing players.

    Perfect example is is how half the board wants Hagglund and Zavaleta dumped. With a good manager and coaching team these players could develop into good MLSers. Since Vanney took over no defender other than Morgan for a short spell, improved. Now Nelsen wasn't a good manager but I could see our young defenders developing under him. We need a guy like that to work with the defence. But basically the blueprint for lasting MLS success is a having a younger, affordable, domestic core and you build around that.
    I absolutely agree with what your saying but it seems like MLSE is determined to move in the other direction. I was trying to address the reality of the Toronto FC way, not what I think is the ultimate best way to build a good MLS team. In that vein, Dallas is providing an excellent example that I would be more than happy to support. I would be okay with even watching a few more seasons of losing if it lead to a strong team built out of the academy and draft picks. Unfortunately I think that will never happen with MLSE at the helm.

  4. #34
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    I'll give Nelsen some credit for bringing young guys along and generally giving Canadian players a chance but I'll hold the thought of those players actually "developing" at any great pace.

    Adrian Cann / Nana Attakora looked good under Preki too. Unfortunately their "looking good" was at the expense of sending players forward to attack. Nelsen's systems made defenders look better than they were; similarly Vanney's should be favourable to attack minded fullbacks and some other players in attacking positions. The defenders look good at the expense of the attackers or vice versa.

    It blows my mind how bad the RB spot was throughout the season. Even at LB... How many assists did those guys get through the course of the season? Every damn team stuffs the middle on us and the flanks are wide open. Our guys should be destroying the opposing team's fullbacks with regularity.
    Last edited by ag futbol; 11-20-2015 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    Michael Bradley needs a coach and system that can make use of his talents.
    And by the way he could sit back in front of the back four and make a hundred passes a game, and still come forward at opportune times to help us score. This is his weakness his enthusiasm to come forward and help out even when it hurts our defensive shape. I can tell you I have seen him with Udinese and Roma, and he was not so undisciplined. He was a very efficient tactically solid CM, but on our team he is trying to be an Am/CM/Dm all in one.
    Excellent analysis. We need a coach respected widely in soccer for that to happen.

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    Im sorry but Hagglund and Zavaleta are never going to be "good" defenders in this league, or likely any other. They have no idea what to do with the ball when they have it, no vision, or passing ability, and generally are caught a step behind opposing players with any skill whatsoever. They are a big reason why Bradley is running all over the field, and not sticking within any type of formation/system. He has no confidence in them, and feels that he needs to cover for their mistakes. 5 Years ago, maybe they would have survived in this league, but that ship has sailed. Bring in a proper DM, CB's that are competent, and Bradley will dominate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMAN80 View Post
    Im sorry but Hagglund and Zavaleta are never going to be "good" defenders in this league, or likely any other. They have no idea what to do with the ball when they have it, no vision, or passing ability, and generally are caught a step behind opposing players with any skill whatsoever. They are a big reason why Bradley is ...

    After game 11. Hagglund was no longer a starter and after game 18 he was rarely on the bench. His last game played was the 3-0 loss in Jersey.

    Zaveletta had 300 more minutes but he too didn't play much past that loss to SKC at home.

    They are no big reason behind anything Bradley did last season, baring being part of a lacklustre defence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMAN80 View Post
    Im sorry but Hagglund and Zavaleta are never going to be "good" defenders in this league, or likely any other. They have no idea what to do with the ball when they have it, no vision, or passing ability, and generally are caught a step behind opposing players with any skill whatsoever. They are a big reason why Bradley is running all over the field, and not sticking within any type of formation/system. He has no confidence in them, and feels that he needs to cover for their mistakes. 5 Years ago, maybe they would have survived in this league, but that ship has sailed. Bring in a proper DM, CB's that are competent, and Bradley will dominate.
    Well this pairing never did happen (baring mop up in SKC) so I think that's a better reason why they didn't make Bradley worse. Yeah, Bradley overdid and will overdo it but that's him.
    Last edited by Ultra & Proud; 11-20-2015 at 11:32 PM.

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    Ok, so then to be more relevant for this past season, Kantari and Williams are both in the same class as Hagglund/Zavaleta. Both are terrible positionally, make poor decisions, and are generally caught a step behind any sort of decent player on the opposing team. My argument is that with any of these four(they are interchangeable as far as I'm concerned in terms of skill/talent), Bradley is forced to work too hard in too much of the pitch. His quality suffers. I feel with the upgrade on our defensive line, Bradley will not feel like he has to do everything. He will have confidence in his defenders, and a new DM, and actually receive passes out of the back, rather than having to track back, and make those passes himself.

    We really need to stop looking at the options on defence that we currently have, and have used for the last couple years and consider them first team starters on a contending team(except Morrow, and perhaps Perquis), the key word being CONTENDING. On the bottom teams, sure, play any of those four, and that is why they will be at the bottom. Even with the best offence, look where we ended up. It is clearly not working. The results speak for themselves.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    Michael Bradley needs a coach and system that can make use of his talents.
    And by the way he could sit back in front of the back four and make a hundred passes a game, and still come forward at opportune times to help us score. This is his weakness his enthusiasm to come forward and help out even when it hurts our defensive shape. I can tell you I have seen him with Udinese and Roma, and he was not so undisciplined. He was a very efficient tactically solid CM, but on our team he is trying to be an Am/CM/Dm all in one.
    THIS! This, this, this. Bradley is a potentially MLS-leading player. But he needs a SINGULAR role to keep him disciplined, or he tries to do too much and the midfield breaks down. We generally looked better in the games when he wasn't with us for this reason.

    He can be great in the hole; as long as we keep him as an effectively one-way offensive player. He can be great as a central or anchor midfielder, as long as he doesn't really come forward, except to pick up loose stuff from set pieces. If we had a defensive midfielder who was a dedicated anchor, Bradley could be a good two-way mid, but would make the def midfielder's life difficult, because he doesn't cover back with the same enthusiasm and speed with which he bursts forward.

    He's best in a singular role per game. But that's also part of his appeal: as long as we keep him in that singular role, the reponsibilities and position can change from formation to formation. I suspect the best way to get chemistry with players who are of, undoubtedly, lower pedigree, is to limit him to perhaps two positions, as long as they're one-dimensional.

  11. #41
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    =Ultra & Proud;1773356

    Perfect example is is how half the board wants Hagglund and Zavaleta dumped. With a good manager and coaching team these players could develop into good MLSers.
    I agree in these cases, they both have potential. It could take awhile, as they're both very green, but waiting until age 28 or 29 to blossom from backup to starter isn't uncommon in MLS. It's part-and-parcel of the U.S.' weird development system.

    I will say, however, that these guys aren't the problem. They cost us next to nothing. The problem is that we can't scout and recognize talent that can immediately contribute. We sign players based on history and rep, not what they've done lately. I have a hard time believing there was any real investigation of either Perquis or Kantari, just as I have a hard time believing Steven Caldwell really had a career-ending injury, and not a huge bust up over being dumped for Bradley.

    This team takes two steps back, one step forward. They still run it like a corporate venture, not a club, and it's still being done in by "smartest guy in the room" syndrome when it comes to signing players, because you can see from the general background of their various flops that they had "hunches" they could "reclaim" guys who'd been at a higher level: Perquis, Findley, Kantari, Moore, Altidore.... all guys who have absolutely flopped at the top level. And that to me suggests a pattern fo looking for "experienced diamonds in the rough". They generally don't exist in football. By the time a guy has pissed the bed with 90% of the various club supporters he's played in front of, the pattern is set. Robbie Findley is not going to become a six-goal, ten assist winger for us. So why was he even here, let alone starting, at that money? Smartest guy in the room syndrome, ignoring the common practise in favor of "magic" with his former U.S. teammates. Just because a guy might once have had the potential or even the talent (see: ROBERT, Laurent), does not mean he still has the heart, fight or speed of decision making.

    It's myopic. I half think Bez is just insulating himself by leaving these decisions to Vanney, as he has personal connections from his PLAYING days with ALL of our flops. But what does that say about either of the? ANd why did either man (they were both professional defenders, for fuck's sake) think either Bendik or Konopka was starting material?

    I mean, these aren't difficult calls. THese aren't even 20/20 hindsight calls, as pretty much all of these issues were raised before the season started. Even when Gomez was signed, to sit on the bench for considerable wage, people immediately noted the defensive priority.

    If the obivous decisions are being ignored, then we are being run by tinkerers who are relying on their own egos, and that means we're not going to see a real improvement until we have an experienced GM and coach.

    Time will tell, as usual.
    Last edited by jloome; 11-21-2015 at 01:28 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jloome View Post
    I agree in these cases, they both have potential. It could take awhile, as they're both very green, but waiting until age 28 or 29 to blossom from backup to starter isn't uncommon in MLS. It's part-and-parcel of the U.S.' weird development system.

    I will say, however, that these guys aren't the problem. They cost us next to nothing. The problem is that we can't scout and recognize talent that can immediately contribute. We sign players based on history and rep, not what they've done lately. I have a hard time believing there was any real investigation of either Perquis or Kantari, just as I have a hard time believing Steven Caldwell really had a career-ending injury, and not a huge bust up over being dumped for Bradley.

    This team takes two steps back, one step forward. They still run it like a corporate venture, not a club, and it's still being done in by "smartest guy in the room" syndrome when it comes to signing players, because you can see from the general background of their various flops that they had "hunches" they could "reclaim" guys who'd been at a higher level: Perquis, Findley, Kantari, Moore, Altidore.... all guys who have absolutely flopped at the top level. And that to me suggests a pattern fo looking for "experienced diamonds in the rough". They generally don't exist in football. By the time a guy has pissed the bed with 90% of the various club supporters he's played in front of, the pattern is set. Robbie Findley is not going to become a six-goal, ten assist winger for us. So why was he even here, let alone starting, at that money? Smartest guy in the room syndrome, ignoring the common practise in favor of "magic" with his former U.S. teammates. Just because a guy might once have had the potential or even the talent (see: ROBERT, Laurent), does not mean he still has the heart, fight or speed of decision making.

    It's myopic. I half think Bez is just insulating himself by leaving these decisions to Vanney, as he has personal connections from his PLAYING days with ALL of our flops. But what does that say about either of the? ANd why did either man (they were both professional defenders, for fuck's sake) think either Bendik or Konopka was starting material?

    I mean, these aren't difficult calls. THese aren't even 20/20 hindsight calls, as pretty much all of these issues were raised before the season started. Even when Gomez was signed, to sit on the bench for considerable wage, people immediately noted the defensive priority.

    If the obivous decisions are being ignored, then we are being run by tinkerers who are relying on their own egos, and that means we're not going to see a real improvement until we have an experienced GM and coach.

    Time will tell, as usual.
    Interesting thoughts as usual, jeremy.

    My 2 cents.

    This TFC model will not survive, if Manning and Bez don't come up with a concrete plan to execute. We have a partial plan, which is to build a team using 3 DPs and surround them with bunch of role players who can do the job.

    The problem is, TFC scouting has always sucked. And we have far too much reliance on personal connections rather than systematic scouting. TFC's history of talent identifying has been terrible, and I don't think it's any better now.

    Part of the problem is signing players to keep Bradley happy. But the bigger part of the problem is that Bez and Vanney has signed players without a plan, hence why this roster is so disjointed.

    I don't like the reliance on 3 DPs. It's too much of all the eggs in one basket. TFC is one Giovinco long term injury away from being a disaster again.
    Some others will point to teams like LA and Seattle who have used 3 DP model and consistently put out a strong team. Except they have 2 of the best talent identifiers in Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid. TFC does not.

    Sigi Schmid has been able to cobble together a team by signing mostly foreign talent and somehow most of them work out. TFC has far more misses than hits. What Schmid also has is a core of MLS hardened role players who play key roles within a system. Dempsey and Martins will score goals, but Seattle sucks without Alonso and Evans. These guys are just as important as the DPs in Schmid's system. TFC misuses its role players and don't get the max out of them.

    Arena works handicapped because of too many high wage players and even some starters are basically scrubs. He basically squeezes blood out of stone with scrubs and somehow manage to get results, partially aided by a superb youth academy. TFC doesn't give youth academy players enough of a chance, because there is a win now mentality and think going with veteran players is going to win now. Giving youth a chance is far riskier option, but if you want good depth for cheap, then you have to give the youth a chance. Otherwise you rely far too much on your foreign signings. I'd be ok with not winning the Supporter's Shield, but play a team that is willing to give youth a chance, like FC Dallas does. (and still make playoffs)

    What kills me the most about TFC now is that I don't see much of a system from Vanney. He's stuck with a bunch of players that don't fit, and he's forced to play them and try to come up with something on the fly. You can't do that and expect to win consistently. TFC needs to find a system that gets the most out of the 3 DPs, then find role players that fits the system. I'd rather have a bottom up approach, but since we're stuck with the 3 DPs...

    Players like Findley, Jackson, Collen Warner, etc, are good MLS players, but only within certain system. The lack of identity is killing TFC's development.
    Come up with the system, and stick with it.

    "
    Hell is always loose here. It can't break loose again
    ."
    -Fort York Redcoat, on the state of TFC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Agree 100% with all of this. Bradley is an exceptional player, who needs a coach that can actually put him to work efficiently, instead of having him running all over the pitch trying to do everything.

    Begging someone to "take him off our hands" is the epitome of fan-think.
    Yep. He is a midfielder that could play in any top league in the world, he is as good as it gets in this league. The take him of our hands talk is silly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jloome View Post
    THIS! This, this, this. Bradley is a potentially MLS-leading player. But he needs a SINGULAR role to keep him disciplined, or he tries to do too much and the midfield breaks down. We generally looked better in the games when he wasn't with us for this reason.

    He can be great in the hole; as long as we keep him as an effectively one-way offensive player. He can be great as a central or anchor midfielder, as long as he doesn't really come forward, except to pick up loose stuff from set pieces. If we had a defensive midfielder who was a dedicated anchor, Bradley could be a good two-way mid, but would make the def midfielder's life difficult, because he doesn't cover back with the same enthusiasm and speed with which he bursts forward.

    He's best in a singular role per game. But that's also part of his appeal: as long as we keep him in that singular role, the reponsibilities and position can change from formation to formation. I suspect the best way to get chemistry with players who are of, undoubtedly, lower pedigree, is to limit him to perhaps two positions, as long as they're one-dimensional.
    Totally agreed. Speaks to coaching, and the need for a Laba type player. Both would be transformative. I love Bradley's work rate, his eye for a pass, his competitive streak, but we are easy to exploit when he is over aggressive. The big challenge I see is, are we setting up the team around him, or Giovinco?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    Yep. He is a midfielder that could play in any top league in the world, he is as good as it gets in this league. The take him of our hands talk is silly.
    I am beginning them to use him properly.

    if we assume Givinco is here, he must play on the left in an advanced role, with a striker who can hold up the ball (of our current players, Altidore, Moore, and Gomez can all perform this role). That means our formations have to have two up front, and therefore be variants of the 4-4-2. To use Bradley properly, he needs to be free to make his great runs, so 4-1-3-2 seems a likely choice. To protect against being dominated in the midfield, the two others will need to play narrow (Oso and Delgado, likely) and the role of the RB and LB become crucial. Recruiting a new RB to complement Morrow should therefore be the first priority, or return to Morrow as RB and Morgan.

    i may not have the details all correct but this should be the thinking. It also says to me that Jozy is expendable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yohan View Post
    Interesting thoughts as usual, jeremy.

    My 2 cents.

    This TFC model will not survive, if Manning and Bez don't come up with a concrete plan to execute. We have a partial plan, which is to build a team using 3 DPs and surround them with bunch of role players who can do the job.

    The problem is, TFC scouting has always sucked. And we have far too much reliance on personal connections rather than systematic scouting. TFC's history of talent identifying has been terrible, and I don't think it's any better now.

    Part of the problem is signing players to keep Bradley happy. But the bigger part of the problem is that Bez and Vanney has signed players without a plan, hence why this roster is so disjointed.

    I don't like the reliance on 3 DPs. It's too much of all the eggs in one basket. TFC is one Giovinco long term injury away from being a disaster again.
    Some others will point to teams like LA and Seattle who have used 3 DP model and consistently put out a strong team. Except they have 2 of the best talent identifiers in Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid. TFC does not.

    Sigi Schmid has been able to cobble together a team by signing mostly foreign talent and somehow most of them work out. TFC has far more misses than hits. What Schmid also has is a core of MLS hardened role players who play key roles within a system. Dempsey and Martins will score goals, but Seattle sucks without Alonso and Evans. These guys are just as important as the DPs in Schmid's system. TFC misuses its role players and don't get the max out of them.

    Arena works handicapped because of too many high wage players and even some starters are basically scrubs. He basically squeezes blood out of stone with scrubs and somehow manage to get results, partially aided by a superb youth academy. TFC doesn't give youth academy players enough of a chance, because there is a win now mentality and think going with veteran players is going to win now. Giving youth a chance is far riskier option, but if you want good depth for cheap, then you have to give the youth a chance. Otherwise you rely far too much on your foreign signings. I'd be ok with not winning the Supporter's Shield, but play a team that is willing to give youth a chance, like FC Dallas does. (and still make playoffs)

    What kills me the most about TFC now is that I don't see much of a system from Vanney. He's stuck with a bunch of players that don't fit, and he's forced to play them and try to come up with something on the fly. You can't do that and expect to win consistently. TFC needs to find a system that gets the most out of the 3 DPs, then find role players that fits the system. I'd rather have a bottom up approach, but since we're stuck with the 3 DPs...

    Players like Findley, Jackson, Collen Warner, etc, are good MLS players, but only within certain system. The lack of identity is killing TFC's development.
    Come up with the system, and stick with it.
    Exactly, and what I tried to do in my last post. Maximize your strengths and hide your weaknesses.

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    http://www.gazzetta.it/Calcio/Estero...48322007.shtml

    It seems that he is looking to play for a Serie A team in the off season. Roma would be his preference. We could use him at Milan.

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    Bradley will never be used correctly and put into a specific strict role as long as Vanney is manager. No one has specific strict roles on the whole team so either Vanney is good with everyone freelancing or else they don't listen to him. Either way, no hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    http://www.gazzetta.it/Calcio/Estero...48322007.shtml

    It seems that he is looking to play for a Serie A team in the off season. Roma would be his preference. We could use him at Milan.
    Ugh. Have him exhausted before he plays a single game for us next season and then leaves us for the USMNT every other week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shwade View Post
    Ugh. Have him exhausted before he plays a single game for us next season and then leaves us for the USMNT every other week.
    besides being exhausted, im okay with this

    let his test himself and see if can still do well there.

    I think in his head he has lost some confidence being over here

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    I've come to the point where any Italian based speculation on TFC is not worth considering.

    Has there been one right Italian based rumour since Seba came?

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    Id rather he have a really good season with us before he goes off to Europe on loan. Hes good but he hasnt been great and I dont doubt that he can be, needs to focus here.

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    He needs some time in Europe to get his game back on track.
    He had a bad season. Going there hopefully gets him back into MLS elite game shape - physically and mentally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    I've come to the point where any Italian based speculation on TFC is not worth considering.

    Has there been one right Italian based rumour since Seba came?
    Well Gallopa was training with us, wouldn't surprise me if some of the player rumors are true but its very difficult to get signatures on certain players especially with our cap.

    Everything we hear from Italy has a grain of truth (if it comes from Dimarizo or Amoyal) but i think much of it is the itilians being pushed towards us and not us actually searching them out.

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    And this Bradley loan stuff isnt speculation. It's an interview with him where he says he'd be open to a loan move. The complete opposite of speculation.

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    Normally I'd say fuck no to an offseason loan of a DP (why risk the guy) but in this one particular case it might be useful. IMO the deepening chaos surrounding the USMNT has rattled MB's confidence and it spilled over to his performance with TFC. Spending 2-3 months in Italy might get him back on track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbronies View Post
    He needs some time in Europe to get his game back on track.
    He had a bad season. Going there hopefully gets him back into MLS elite game shape - physically and mentally.

    If he wasn't "MLS elite game shape" last season, I doubt he ever will be. If anything, I think he needs to focus on TFC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroit_TFC View Post
    Normally I'd say fuck no to an offseason loan of a DP (why risk the guy) but in this one particular case it might be useful. IMO the deepening chaos surrounding the USMNT has rattled MB's confidence and it spilled over to his performance with TFC. Spending 2-3 months in Italy might get him back on track.
    agreed. Klinsman is Fn with his head, vanney is making him scratch it

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    I've come to the point where any Italian based speculation on TFC is not worth considering.

    Has there been one right Italian based rumour since Seba came?
    This is not really a rumour, it is Bradley saying that he would not mind playing for an Italian side in the off season, and suggesting that there are some possible places to play. The only Giovinco rumour that I am aware of is about Barca, and his agent keeps on saying that Barca have been following for some time but that there have been no offers. It does not suprise me that Barca which is billed around small skill guys is following a very small very skilled guy.

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    Just got back yesterday from Spain. Got to attend two Champions League games and two La Liga games.

    One of the former was Barcelona-Roma. Early in the afternoon on game day -- nowhere near the stadium -- we're having a beer at a random bar and there are about six dudes in there with Roma scarves. I go talk to them ... they're from Italy and barely speak a lick of English. I relate to them that we're from Canada, Toronto area etc.

    The conversation was a difficult one cuz I know next to no Italian, and same with them with regards to English. Well then I name dropped "Michael Bradley" and the dudes went nuts, singing his name, buying beers, wanting photos taken. Was a fun little moment. They also brought up Giovinco but, again, what they exactly said I wasn't sure.

 

 

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