Sunday, April 6, 2014

4.6.2014: When You're Declared A Legend 3 Games In..

Overall, I love what Berhalter has done here in Columbus, 3 wins and 1 loss is a great start to a season where expectations were not huge.

But, I wonder if declaring Gregg Berhalter as North America's special one jinxed the Crew this past weekend against Toronto F.C.

TopDrawer Soccer announced Berhalter's work as revolutionary in an article earlier this week, and perhaps deservedly so.
What Berhalter has done to the Crew over the course of the first three games of the season has been nothing short of revolutionary.  
Most young MLS coaches – especially those in their first year because MLS hires unnaturally young – come upon league gates frowning down upon them, and only men like Peter Vermes and Jason Kreis and Bruce Arena stare back from the other side. Most young coaches opt to scale the craggy earthworks to either side, content to play it safe in lieu of attacking ideas. There are few in the league’s history who’ve had the temerity to take the gates head on. Berhalter appears to be one such man.
Geesh, high praise. Berhalter must be saying "thanks guys, but I still have 31 games left in my first MLS season!"

That wasn't all. writer's were lauding Berhalter's new system all week, stating how it has given players like Wil Trapp the freedom to flourish and spread their wings or what have you, according to MLS,
Columbus currently lead MLS in possession, passing accuracy and passing accuracy in the final third. In fact, the Crew lead by a wide margin in both passing accuracy benchmarks, more than 3 and 4 percent, respectively.
They also lead in fancy charts.

But, then you lose to Toronto F.C. at home, and create little attacking chances, and then fans say this:
The game plan in the first half failed miserably. The team created zero chances and struggled to even put two consecutive passes together. In the second half, the only idea was to cross, which was just dumb. The players were poor, and the tactics were poorer.

The media is always looking for that next legendary coach, and Berhalter hopefully is that for us.

But, just like the U.S. needed to realize there is two halves to a game vs. Mexico.  Some commentators might need to realize there are 34 games to a Major League Soccer season.


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