Tinkering and a desire to experiment is a good thing as another World Cup cycle commences, especially when it comes from a noted anti-tinkerer. United States coach
There were two important, positive take-aways from Saturday's contest: First, everyone can feel just fine about
Holden's night wasn't perfect, as his flubbed clearance was a big factor in the visitor's first goal. Later, the Americans were lucky not to be punished on Holden's careless giveaway 20 yards from goal. Still, he did so much to be happy about, and his general appetite to stir the pot and make things happen that can inspire more from players around him.
The Bolton man, who started with Houston in Major League Soccer, was also standing over most U.S. free kicks and corner kicks (like the one that supplied
On the less-positive side, young striker
The tactical tweak does represent a better way forward for the talent available. Short on effective forwards but relatively well-stocked in men who can play centrally in midfield, this looks like a better way to utilize the U.S. talent available.
So many eyes were on Jones, who really didn't disappoint. He may not have exactly wowed anyone, but that's not the kind of player who fell into the U.S. lap. What fans saw Saturday as he partnered with lineup linchpin
On the other hand, the United States looks stocked in young center back talent, with MLS standouts
While a 4-2-3-1 may suit players like Jones and perhaps even Michael Bradley, the lack of a creator in the advanced central midfield spot could be an issue.
No matter what formation Bradley chooses, there is still no hiding the limitations in certain areas.