A special night for Williams for multiple reasons

DannyWilliamsJAM (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


COLUMBUS, Ohio– On the 11-year anniversary of Sept. 11th, every American at Crew Stadium had their own story for how they remember that fateful day. For Danny Williams, the tragedy was burned into his memory as a young boy in Germany watching his American father cry as they watched the images on television. Williams couldn’t really understand why the images on the TV brought his father to tears and left his mother frozen, but he knew something devastating and tragic had happened.  

 “My father was shocked because he grew up in New York and New Jersey,” Williams said, remembering 9/11. “My mom was also frozen, watching the TV. I saw these pictures on the TV and all these people in New York were running because of the dust. I had to keep on thinking and go to training that night even though I didn’t want to go.”

Eleven years later, Williams was in a U.S. national team uniform, representing the United States on the anniversary of 9/11 and that fact, as well as the energy from an inspired crowd at Crew Stadium, helped give Williams and his U.S. teammates the push they needed to secure a vital victory.

Williams was a key figure in Tuesday’s victory, flourishing in the defensive midfield role he has been begging to play since joining the national team a year ago. Having been deployed mostly as a right winger in past national team appearances, Williams never quite had the impact for the U.S. he had on Tuesday night, when he anchored the midfield as the deep-lying midfielder in a 4-1-3-2.

The role suited Williams perfectly as he enjoyed a Man of the Match-caliber performance. He distributed the ball well, broke up Jamaican attacks and also sparked American attacks with his passing out of the back.

“I said I will play wherever the coach wants me to play but I had a couple of talks with the coaches and assistant coaches and I said I think I can help the team the most when I play in this position because I’m used to playing this position,” Williams said. “I grew up there in the midfield, and I think the people who saw me today saw why I feel so comfortable in this situation.”

Williams has grown accustomed to being tried at positions other than his preferred role, including a prolonged stint at right back with Freiburg, but he has recently found consistent time at Hoffenheim in defensive midfield, and after Tuesday’s showing for the U.S., he can expect to play more there for the Americans.

“The funny thing is every coach I tell them I’m a defensive midfielder but they say ‘yeah, yeah, we know’,” said Williams. “In Freiburg it was my age. They said ‘oh, you’re only 19 years old. It’s too young’ and I’d say no, it’s not too young. Give me a chance at least, because on the outside, right back or right wing, it’s not my position and I don’t feel comfortable there. 

“I think when a player doesn’t feel comfortable in a position you can see it,” Williams said. When I feel comfortable on the pitch, in my position, then the people can also see it and I can help the team.”

Williams was effective both in the attack, and in helping support a U.S. defense that had little trouble with Jamaica on Tuesday.

“He’s been talking about how much he’s a No. 6 and a lot of people have been saying he has those qualities and he showed it tonight,” Tim Howard said of Williams. “He was really good on the ball and, more than anything, he kept the ball moving, he kept the rhythm. He didn’t take too many touches. He didn’t get stuck with the ball, didn’t spin himself into circles. 

 “He got it and moved it and that’s what you need to do.”

Klinsmann praised Williams performance, and also defended his decision to wait this long to play him in defensive midfield, citing the depth the U.S. has at the position.

“It has also to do with the competition,” Klinsmann said. “I know from his club coach is that his preferred role is the No. 6 role, but we have players who are really good there too. We can play Jermaine (Jones) there. We have Kyle (Beckerman) and Mo (Edu), and all are doing well. It’s not that there’s a big difference so we have to consult with the other elements.

“I’m sure that wasn’t the last time you’ll see Danny playing the No. 6 for us.”

Klinsmann also pointed out the fact that Williams was excited about being cap-tied for the United States, which he was after last Friday’s appearance in the qualifying loss to Jamaica in Kingston. Williams pointed out that his excitement had more to do with finally playing in a match that mattered for the United States.

“Friendly matches are not the same, not like (qualifiers),” Williams said. “In friendly matches of course you want to win, but if you lose you still keep on going. This game on Friday I knew it was my first real match, and at my position also. I think the more and more I play with the team I have more confidence in myself and I think they also trust me more. When I play in this position I think I can help the team a lot.”

Williams also made it clear that he was committed to sticking with the U.S. national team even before being cap-tied last week. Though he was born in Germany, his connection to his father and his love for the United States has endured for years, and was only galvanized on Tuesday night, as a stadium full of Americans cheered him on.

“I already said when I played my first game in Miami against Honduras, I was sure already that I would play for this team because I’m proud to play for this national team and I’m proud to represent this country, especially on this day,” Williams said. “I know it’s big for all the American people and I know it’s big for my dad also because on that day I was 12 years old and he was crying in front of the TV.

“I’m happy for the team because I think we played a great game and the crowd was fantastic tonight.” 

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82 Responses to A special night for Williams for multiple reasons

  1. Ted in MN says:

    Good, good. Now just don’t move him to the right wing again for the last 20 minutes.

  2. Fred Clause says:

    Really like this guy. He put in work tonight. Don’t want to make too many assumptions about his performance based on just one game but he’s my pick going forward.

    Beckerman is slow and methodical. He’s a limited player who up until Jamaica played well-ish for the nats. His lack of speed hurts.

    Jones is too hot headed. He also has a tendency to go forward and try too many things on the ball.

    Edu gives the ball away too much. He holds the ball too long and it’s worrisome to see him 1 on 1 in the midfield and having to dribble out of pressure.

  3. Rosie says:

    Williams was my MOTM. Zusi impressed as well.

    Altidore had a wtf game.

  4. marcus says:

    Love Williams attitude. I’m glad he’s playing with the USA. Great game tonight… and he had a good deal to do with it.

  5. Goalscorer24 says:

    Klinsmann made the changes, Thank you! Danny Williams in the middle, Yes! Edu and Beckerman just don’t cut it. As stated above, Beckerman is too slow, and Edu gives the ball away.

    Klinsi listen to the fans! Bring in Lichaj, bring in a couple of young guys like Gatt for the bench, and you are looking at a good team.

    Imagine Bradley and Williams in the middle.

  6. Mingjai says:

    Good to know I’m not the only one who holds his breath whenever Edu gets the ball in traffic. It’s time to consider a permanent mode to the central defense next to his clubmate Cameron.

    While Bocanegra’s leadership made a huge difference next to Cameron tonight, it’s time to start grooming a replacement, and I can’t think of one with more upside than Edu.

    Edu and Cameron in defense with Williams and Bradley right in front of them would be an interesting central combination that I’d like to see tried out.

  7. PD says:

    I think Torres is being a little under-sung. Tonite was perhaps his best performance for the US thus far. He seemed to be everywhere.

  8. USMNT Fan says:

    “I think when a player doesn’t feel comfortable in a position you can see it,” Williams said.

    -Jones RCM (Not DM). Why? He has a tendency to join the attack too often, but he has the stamina to play on both sides of the ball.

    -Torres LCM (Not LW). Why? He links the defenders and the midfield, not the midfield and the forwards.

    -Edu CB (Not DM/CM). Why? He has poor control of the ball, but does well defending head on attacks.

    -Beckerman …

  9. somedude says:

    “It has also to do with the competition,” Klinsmann said. but we have players who are really good there too. We have Kyle (Beckerman) and Mo (Edu), and all are doing well.”


  10. louis z says:

    you wonder what JK sees in training, there is a reason why Williams plays in the budesliga and Edu and Kyle don’t.

    I hope we get to see soon the combo of Williams-Bradley

  11. John says:

    If he plays like that every game keep Williams in the CDM spot with Bradley just ahead of him.

  12. Good Jeremy says:

    With MB and Jones playing similar roles well and Jurgy’s previous insistence with playing him on the wing, might we see him at fullback? Cherundolo isn’t getting any younger, Beitashour looks good but not at international level yet, and Lichaj for some reason isn’t getting minutes. Why not try?

  13. Shaggy says:

    +100 for Williams

  14. biff says:

    Agree with that completely. Torres was great holding the ball, made nifty and smart passes, and defended very well. It was a mistake — almost a fatal mistake — for Klinsmann to sit Torres in favor of Shea, as U.S. possession suffered considerably and Jamaica started getting chances.

    If Klinsmann can finally quit being stupid stubborn and play Williams in his club position–defensive mid, as we fans have been begging for months to do, then he also could put Torres where Jones was playing last night to direct the show in a 4-1-3-2, the formation thta was played last night. Or Klnsi could put Torres back but just a few steps ahead of Williams or MB or Jones as a dual defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1, which is my preferred formation. I guess a 4-1-4-1 also would work. I think we would have more offensive firepower with five midfielders and one striker than with 4 mids and two strikers. Last night Dempsey and Gomez were not getting many touches, almost a waste of manpower, while the shots that rattled the goal posts coming from Zusi, Williams and Dolo.

  15. biff says:

    agree, time to turn Edu into a full-time USMNT defender. And, actually, the roster, he is listed as a defender.

  16. elmo says:

    Actually we need to give Ricardo bocanegra a look and if he does well, replace him for torres

  17. biff says:

    Yea, Williams put in a great performance. Just want to note that at Hoffenheim Williams has not been starting thus far this season. Coach Markus Babbe’s favorite DM is a guy named Sebastian Rudy, and the press loves this guy also and I don’t get. I think Williams is better and should be starting. Don’t understand why he is not. But I do know that Hoffenheim has started the season very poorly and Babbel will be in danger of getting fired if Hoffenheim does not start posting wins soon. Hopefully Babbel will be aware of Danny’s performance last night and start utilizing him better at Hoffenheim.

  18. Andrew says:

    I see I’m not the only one exasperated with the Edu substitution and how it moved Williams back out to the wing. You could see that he wasn’t sure what runs to make. Over and over again I saw Cherundolo holding on to the ball and getting visibly frustrated that Williams was hanging back instead of trying to get free of a defender. And quite a few of the times that Dempsey, Altidore, Jones, and Edu gave the ball away were balls that they played into space on the right wing, where Williams either had already stopped his run or never started it. His caution actually hurt our possession game and probably gave Jamaica a few more chances to get the ball into the box.

  19. Ryan Nanez says:

    this. exactly

  20. biff says:

    Agree with that, Andrew. When I saw Brek Shea on the sideline getting ready to enter, I was certain that he would replace an exhausted Clint Dempsey. But no, he came in for Torres, who along with Johnson, is one of the two best ball-handlers. And then Edu for Zusi and Jozy for Gomez, I started getting really nervous that the Jamaica was going to get the equalizer. This is two games in row that Klinsmann’s substitutions sukked big-time.

  21. Jaileer says:

    ” I can’t think of one with more upside than Edu.”

    I respectfully disagree. More polished currently? Sure. More upside than Gonzalez or ream – actual defenders – no.

    I like Edu in the middle on the defense, I really do. But Stoke is going to use him as a midfielder, so clearly Klinnsman isn’t the only one who thinks Edu’s best/natural position is defensive mid.

  22. Patrick says:

    It’s looking great, if Stu Holden can come back, with MB and Danny Williams, solid Midfield, Brek, Zusi, Gatt, solid.

  23. biff says:

    Good point, I think I will slightly revise my statement (hey, if Klinsmann can revise his game plan, so can I). I have been a solid Edu supporter in the past, but I was all shook up after Friday’s mess of a game. But as the dust begins to settle, other than the Mexico friendly in August, Edu had not appeared in a competitive game since June so not surprising that he was not 100%, and with playing time in coming weeks I think we would see a better Maurice Edu than we saw this past week. You are right, if he is regularly playing midfield at Stoke, then that would have to be his primary position on the USMNT and Klinsmann does have bona fide CBs like Gonzalez and John at his disposal.

  24. elgringorico says:

    edu plays in the premiership, a league most would agree better than the bundesliga.

  25. Best game he has ever played for the US. He looked far more comfortable and effective in that role.

  26. Brad says:

    Williams just torpedoed Beckermanns usmnt life. Best thing Becks can do for us now is come on late to save some people card troubles, and run out clocks.

    And I would think this will put the J Jones issues to rest. He and Bradley are some of our most dangerous players when given the ability (and possession) to get forward.

  27. Byrdman says:

    See to me, it wasn’t about Danny’s runs on the outside. It wasn’t important. What was important was locking down the outside. Dolo played great! But he is 33. His most recent efforts haven’t been great, so I think JK was trying to provide additional cover now that Jamaica was attacking hard. EDU is a wonderful defender on the ball. In my opinion, his tackling is second to none on the team(although Cameron looks better every night out). So I didn’t dislike the move……until Edu made his first pass… to Jamaica. UUUGGGGHH! I have always liked Edu, but now I see him for what he is a very good defender that is a turnover machine. He just can’t stop giving the ball away. So I agree with JK and disagree.

    All that said, while JK has failed to take away my doubts about the US coaching staff since taking over. I am hopeful that the changes he is trying to make will take hold eventually. I know what we had in Bob, and while he was effective for a time. That time has come and gone.

    Most of all, I am relieved after last night

  28. walterpayton2.0 says:

    well he did try to bring in GATT, just to put that out there

  29. Shane says:

    Epic crowd at Crew stadium. Even the expensive seats were standing the entire 90 minutes. Never seen anything like that.

  30. hogatroge says:

    Fortunately, Parkhurst had a solid outing on Friday at RB (one of the better, relatively among the team). He’s also been tearing it up at the club level, so we have a little bit of cover for Dolo.

  31. RNG says:

    There are several posts here about Cherundolo getting old, but judging by last night’s game, he is playing great. He locked down the right side, and combined well with Zusi in the attack. He intends to make it to Brazil, and I wouldn’t bet against him.

    And the idea of replacing him with Williams is nuts. He finally played well in his correct position.

  32. Dan says:

    I think Williams played very well, but with Jamaica sitting back for most of the game it wasn’t a great test for a defensive midfielder. I look forward to seeing how he does in tougher situations.

  33. hogatroge says:

    Edu may be out of form, but he has been in club limbo all summer. The Mexico game shows he is worth keeping around.

    That doesn’t make Klinsmann’s subs any less baffling, however.

    While I am in favor of bringing in Lichaj for LB backup, I don’t see how that addresses any of this team’s concerns. Dolo and Parkhurst both played well at RB. Fabian had a rare off night on Friday, but tore it up on Tuesday.

    Final point, JK obviously did try to bring in Gatt, but that didn’t pan out. Let’s let Joe Gyau get some more 1st team minutes, too.

  34. hogatroge says:

    *in regards to Gyau, I meant get more 1st team minutes for his club BEFORE a call up.

  35. Vic says:

    There is no logical reason that Lichaj isn’t the backup for Cherundolo. He’s a better defender than Parkhurst playing in a better league, he can attack and has a good cross.

  36. Soccertes says:

    I have to reply to the many comments suggesting Edu would be better as a backline defender. I couldn’t disagree more. We all agree that he is not very good on the ball, is a lousy distributor, and lately has been a turnover machine. Why on Earth would we want to move those qualities closer to goal? That’s not only dangerous, it’s antithetical to the new “system” Klinsi is trying to impose, which emphasizes calmness on the ball with careful distribution from the back. Edu would be more of a aerial destroyer/kickballer. That’s not to say there isn’t value in those attributes, but we don’t need them in the team with the backline we currently have.

  37. catfish9 says:

    Columbus did it Big. Full 90+ Min of killer support. AO in one corner and Crew Supporters in the other. Flags waving the entire game all around the stadium. Singing, chanting, Red White and Blue everywhere. Being 9/11 made it even that much more special. What a blast! My kids woke up talking about it this morning. Shoot I even got a close up on the Jumbotron. The play on the pitch was outstanding and we won. EPIC is the definitely the word.

  38. M says:

    I didn’t mind seeing EDU, his speed and fresh legs were useful. However i would have had him replace Zusi and let D Williams stay put.

    Williams could become solid back-up for Bradley when he returns.

    Our depth chart is getting deeper since 2012

  39. M says:

    Edu gave the ball away a couple of times, but so did everyone else. But Edu’s was a solid defender once entering the game. A good move by JK

  40. Vic says:

    I have dream that one day we will play with a full team of skilled players, dominate possession against mediocre teams and keep even possession with top teams. We’re capable of doing so now. However, coaches insist on playing unskilled players(Edu, Beckerman, Altidore). I’m NOT saying these are BAD players. Nor am I saying they shouldn’t play for good team. However, when you put too many of them together it shifts possession to the other team. You see Mexico plays away at Costa Rica and dominates possession. Thats what we should have done away at Jamaica and Guatemala. The argument that Jamaica only scored on set pieces doesn’t hold. Jamaica had possession and alot of chances, that forced us to foul and give away free kicks.

  41. M says:

    I thought he played better. A few times he had the ball on his right foot and looked awkward. He’s definitely better playing deeper in the mid field

  42. M says:

    just throwing this out there but I think Chandler will commit to the US and will be our RB ..Lichaj will be the back-up at LB and RB

  43. g-dub says:

    Excellent writing Ives, thank you.

    I love Williams commitment to the USA.

    Contrast it with Timmy – who should never be invited anywhere near the USMNT again. Make an example of him. You want to play for the USMNT, commit to your US citizenship 100% with no wavering. It means something more than playing soccer.

  44. Nate Dollars says:

    hey, it only took Klinsmann a year to play Williams in his natural position, so i’m still holding out hope that Torres will eventually play in his.

    I don’t actually think Torres is good enough to play against the top teams in the world, but games against concacaf are ideal for him to be our regulator in central midfield.

  45. mike says:

    keep Lichaj on the left. he is looking good there for villa.

  46. Mig22 says:

    I think that’s a fair assessment. Gotta watch some more club games and see what he shows too.

  47. THomas says:

    Altidore played 10 minutes. Let’s not start this.

  48. THomas says:

    Good luck Antigua and Barbuda and Guatamala and Mehico and Jamaica and Canada and Honduras and Cost Ricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!






  49. Raymon says:

    LOVED THE COLUMBUS SPIRIT LAST NIGHT. Way to go Ohio, AO, Sam’s Army, and everyone else. GREAT show of support.

  50. b says:

    Actually Edu has not played a single minute in the Premier League…

  51. Rlw2020 says:

    Johnson at LB but ya that should be a great line up. With Shea off the bench too i cant wait

  52. Rlw2020 says:

    Really wish williams’ goalazo went in, would have been a great goal. All in all good game but after hitting the post 3 times and dominating the first 60 min we kinda fell apart. A better team would have given us problems in the last 30 min.

    The crowd lastest 90! Wish i could have been there

  53. jones says:

    ugh, I know! Removing Torres and then bringing on Edu for Zusi (thus bumping Williams over to the side) really F-ed up the rhythm of the team and made us much more vulnerable.

    Sure, Jamaica started taking it to the US more, but the US also became sloppier and gave it away in dangerous areas (EDU!!!). I was worried we would let one in, but I think having Boca and Dolo in the back was helpful. I liked the part where they showed a replay of Boca telling Cameron to calm down. A player with his experience brings this important stabilizing trait to the field.

    In the future I’d like to see Williams tried with Bradley in the midfield, or if it’s 3 men in the middle, with these two and Jones.

  54. Brett says:

    First time I’ve been pleased with Williams… Not coincidentally, the first time he’s been used in his proper position. He’s not a winger, and neither is Torres. Stop asking them to be what they aren’t

    The attack was noticeably stagnant after Zusi was subbed out. He had a very good game.

    Dempsey, I thought, had one of the worst performances I can recall from him at the MNT level. I really hope he gets his form back when he gets into the squad at Spurs.

  55. RNG says:

    To me, it’s more a question of attitude. We have the skill to possess the ball (up to a point), but it seems as if our attitude after we score a goal is to sit back and stop attacking, rather than to push forward and finish the other team off. And that’s when things start looking dangerous. Plus, goal differential matters.

    In fact, the US women’s team has done a much better job of this–attacking through the end of the game.

  56. philmatt24 says:


    Jozy didn’t look great, but hardly had time to get settled, and as pointed out in previous comments, the whole team was a bit out of sorts after the subs.

  57. jones says:

    Based on what I’ve seen from him in the past, the problem is that Altidore does not make a great super-sub type player – he needs time to acclimate (and this is not a trait you want in someone you expect to make an immediate impact with 10 minutes left). Not saying he should start, but if he doesn’t, put him in with at least 15-20 left if you want something out of him.

    He spent the first 7 minutes trying to be cute with the ball and losing it (probably a misguided way of trying to make a case for his starting spot back) and then realized he was supposed to be holding up the ball to keep the team in possession.

    I have been watching him evolve at his club, and while there are still annoying stretches where he is not involved/is inactive, he has better focus and makes better decisions with the ball – creating space for himself or playing the right pass.

  58. Steve says:

    Klinsman needs to accept that this team has the most depth at DM or the #6 and come to terms that means a a player who is better than other players is going to be left out. Its just a fact.

    In my opinion it goes like this: Bradley, Jones, then a step down to Williams (a little higher on upside), and then a step down to Edu and Beckerman. They can all play the #6 any night for us. But some of them cannot play other positions. Edu can cover CB in a pinch. So leave Beckerman at home.

    Its a luxury, not a tactical philosophy for this team.

  59. biff says:

    Agree with that. Klinsmann should let Gyau get settled at St. Pauli and win a starting spot and not touch him in October or November, but maybe Camp Cupcake. I think the 2. Bundesliga shuts down shortly before Xmas and does not resume until first weekend in February, so Camp Cupcake would be a perfect time to bring in Gyau, assuming he does well this autumn at St. Pauli.

  60. Matt says:

    It’s really refreshing seeing someone who absolutely wants to play for the US national team. cough cough

  61. Hiho says:

    Danny did a good job last night, but- this could be fun..





  62. BUD says:


    link to lineupbuilder.com

  63. SBI Troll says:

    Please don’t mention Holden, he hasn’t played in years. If he begins to play well for club, then we can talk

  64. Soccertes says:

    Has Johnson played left MF for his club team? If he has/does and with good results, then fine. If not, he should play left back. Moving players out of their natural positions has never worked out well (see Williams at MF, DMB at left back, and IMO, Edu at CB) and should be used only in emergency gap-filling situations, which also never work out well. Plus, we’ve spent the better part of the last decade grappling with the Left Back Problem and have finally been gifted a top-class player at that position in Fabian Johnson. Let us not question the Soccer Gods in the face of that gift, but humbly bow our heads in reverence and carry on.

    That said, my starting XI for Oct would look more like this:






    —————-D. Yeldell**—————-

    *=Reluctant on this; Shea has yet to prove to me he belongs
    **=Just kidding! Howard, of course. Couldn’t resist.

  65. Soccertes says:

    Sorry, I know my 4-4-3, while innovative, will not work. :) That’s supposed to be Bradley where Williams is. Williams would be a good sub, although Bradley’s engine would likely not require it much. I also think Williams could play in front of Bradley, but not sure how to configure other personnel to make that happen.

  66. Soccertes says:

    On further thought:






    …where Dempsey cuts in and links up with strikers and overlapping Johnson, who also provides the width on that side. Donovan could play out wide on the right for added width there, and provide service to Gomes and others. Williams sits behind Bradley or the two take turns holding and marauding forward depending on the situation.

  67. Dimidri says:

    This. Excess of dms doesn’t mean we should play 4 dms

  68. steve-o says:

    +1… this is the perfect balanced line-up. Zusi & Dolo combined well. Now let’s get Donovan working with Fabian. Depending on the game and opponent, sub in Boyd for more hold up play, Jones for more defense, Shea for width, Altidore for offense… maybe Adu for some flair?!!?!

  69. THomas says:

    Right…my bad, must have been looking at the wrong passport.

  70. THomas says:

    I would love to be able to start 12 guys…don’t think FIFA will allow it though.

  71. TomG says:

    Agree with everything here. I’m done with Torres out wide. He’s not good there, neither is Williams. Dolo and Zusi combined so well on the right. We need someone on the left who can do that with Fabian. I’d like to see Torres at CM some time, though I’d also like to see Mixx, Sacha and Corona get looks there too

  72. #10 poser says:

    Hey all, my first post, but with all the talk of the win last night, here is a future lineup I would like to see. Feel free to tear into it!

  73. Mike says:

    Actually, I think I’d prefer something closer to this:

    link to lineupbuilder.com

    Let Bradley and Jones combine like they did so well against Scotland, and give them Wiliams at DM to grant them the cover to get forward freely.

    Let Dempsey roam free underneath the strikers, and put Donovan and Gomez up top to stretch the field, make runs in behind defenders, and just generally look dangerous.

    Sensible subs out of this formation would be Shea on for Dempsey if he tires…in the process, sliding Shea out wider to utilize his pace and bringing off Gomez for Altidore or Boyd to be a bigger target.

    Another option would be to go more defensive, swapping Gomez off for Edu or Beckerman, leaving Dempsey alone up top, with Landon underneath. And inserting that 2nd DM alongside Williams in front of the back 4.

    Or could always go more offensive out of this base formation. Sub off Jones for Zusi, slide Dempsey out a bit wider Left, and bring on Boyd or Altidore up top for Gomez or Landon, depending on who needs the rest worse.

  74. Brooklyn D says:

    Williams has a European passport, Edu and Beckerman don’t.

    If Beckerman had a German passport, he would have toiled in the Bundesliga 2 and eventually gotten a Bundesliga shot.

    Ditto Edu. Edu is good enough to play in the premiership, I don’t think there is a question there.

    Having said all that, I really like Williams, and judging on what we’ve seen so far, I’d say he could fit as the starting defensive mid with Bradley and Jones, alongside or in front of him. Actually my ideal USMNT midfield would be five-man: Bradley and Williams behind Donovan Holden Dempsey. But of course we have no idea if Holden ever gets healthy or returns to peak form. Sadly unlikely I guess.

  75. Leo says:

    Can the guy put his bag down?


  76. Boise says:

    Agree; I’d love to see Bradley at attacking CM and Williams sweeping up behind him. I believe Jones can contribute on the flanks. Pleased to see Zusi’s vision and creativity in the game as well–

  77. Boise says:

    If I were constructing the lineup and needed to put Edu in there somewhere, I’d put him out on the flanks. I agree with above and earlier comments that his distributions are all too often turnovers to the opponent. I’d much prefer to have CMs who are good distributors, and that’s what I think you have in Bradley, Williams–and even Jones to a certain extent.

  78. Andrew says:

    Making the runs IS important, even if you’re just trying to lock down the game. Possession is the best defense, and against any half-decent national team, you’re not going to keep possession by standing around. Williams didn’t necessarily have to run forward, but no matter what, he still needed to find enough space to not lose the ball.

    There were giant spaces for Williams to run into after he moved to RM, and we saw teammates either 1) playing the ball into it expecting him to get there and keep possession (Altidore, Dempsey, Edu, and Jones), or 2) standing on the ball because they had no passing options (Cherundolo).