Holding Midfield: The US take step closer to Brazil but has Klinsmann really changed

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Apr 6, 2011
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Since Jürgen Klinsmann has took charge of the stars and stripes in 2011, they have struggled to look completely comfortable in the way he wants them to play, but they seem to have found a decent compromise lately. In their fourth game in the hexagonal round four against Jamaica they lined up in a basic 4-4-2/4-4-1-1/-4-2-3-1 shape, with Clint Dempsey off Jozy Altidore, Graham Zusi and Fabian Johnson on the flanks and lastly Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley as the double pivot. With Klinsmann in charge a more dominant style of football is expected, however, perhaps because of Jamaica’s pace on the break, it was not the case in that game. Poor defending from Jamaica meant the United States came away with the win, but they rarely looked like creating anything other than crosses for Altidore and knock downs from Altidore for Dempsey. The pivot of Jones and Bradley isn’t particularly creative and even though Bradley would often drop deep close to the centre backs to start passing moves, he isn’t suited to the role – a box-to-box midfielder rather than a deep-lying playmaker. Dempsey is also more of a second striker and not a pure number 10, his game [...]

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