Something is wrong with Team USA

jokrswylde

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am not a chicken little guy, and the sky is not falling, and there is a chance, albeit a slim one, that the US can fight their way back into this match tomorrow.

BUT

The way they are playing seems very out of character. First, I realize that losing JB so close to match time hurt. But after watching Cory the last 2 days, you cant convince me that he was our best option. Steyer, Eberle, Dechaine, heck I like Josh Robert's over the way Cory is playing.

Second, I also get that we have lost a few hill-hill matches, but we have lost a few in which we had big leads, where poor position play or poor decisions cost us.

And finally I get that it is a strange year surrounded by unusual circumstances, but as far as I know, the Euros are dealing with the same conditions.

Taking all that into account, the team just looks "off".

Several times yesterday or today there have been maybe 2 guys watching the matches, a couple times the camera panned over and only Billy and Joey were in the arena. That has not been the case over the last two years that I can remember, and very rarely did they show the Euros where there wasn't 4-5 players there cheering and high firing.

I find it hard to believe the US could have come in overconfident. One look at the opposing roster of killers should take care of that.

Is it complacency from winning the last 2 years? Maybe lost that drive and desire to win?

I don't know. I am not a pool insider and I am no Mosconi expert...but I have spent a career around teams and athletes from Olympic to high school levels. One thing I have learned is "attitude reflects leadership"

Maybe Johan is a true genius and the missing element for this year. I understand that JJ is very well respected, a great ambassador, world class commentator, and all the other well deserved accolades, but that doesn't necessarily translate into a good coach (in this format).

When a team (any sport) underperforms, plays sloppy, looks apathetic, etc. Then that falls directly on the coach. Throw in the decision to bring on Cory and the first timer CRob ( who has played well), and this is definitely JJ's team.

I just can't imagine, with his track record, a Johan coached team looking this out of sorts.

Maybe I am wrong and way off base? I hope so. Is there another explanation or something I am missing?
 

racetoday

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
They are having difficulty.. but its a culmination of problems in my opinion.


- They are not in normal stroke due to limited play this year thanks to covid
- The toughest table to re-find your stroke and touch is a very slick/fast tight table
- Fact is, the European team is just more talented. I believe that to be true.
- They truly haven't gotten very many lucky rolls.... Euro will miss a sloppy shot, but somehow blocks the shot or we get that extra turn of the ball on the break to block off the lead ball.

It is what it is.... and it can be turned around. I doubt it is, but it certainly can be. one great day like they just had and boom......we have a competition.
 

pab

Center ball can do it all
Silver Member
I believe it is a lack of discipline. Kudos to JJ whom I have a world of respect for, but when I see players showing up with mullets and shorts, or spending more time on their phones than paying attention to what is going on at the table, it says to me they aren't taking this seriously. There's definitely something wrong.
 

surlytempo

Member
I believe it is a lack of discipline. Kudos to JJ whom I have a world of respect for, but when I see players showing up with mullets and shorts, or spending more time on their phones than paying attention to what is going on at the table, it says to me they aren't taking this seriously. There's definitely something wrong.
Agreed. JJ should have never let that shit fly. I have tremendous respect for the guy, but I don't think he's cut out for leadership, esp. in a team comprised of very strong personalities.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
This won't be popular, but I think the tough conditions are a big part of the story. These conditions don't suit Team USA.

I recall day one of the 2018 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace. After about fifteen minutes of watching the first match, I could see that the table was set up loose. I commented to Pat Fleming that this would help Team USA's chances a lot. Team Europe had better cueists, and this would a) reduce their pocketing edge and b) reduce the cost of poorly played position. Sure enough, Team USA prevailed on the loose equipment, which tended to hide some of its deficiencies in pocketing and pattern play, and which made safety play, an area in which the US had struggled during its eight year losing streak, less critical.

This year, you didn't have to watch for long to see that the table was set up tight, and surely this greatly favors Europe, the team with the better cueists. Sure enough, through two days, the Americans have missed so many shots that it's mind-blowing, and no runout has seemed safe no matter how easy some of the layouts were. By comparison, Europe, after a slow start in the first half of Session 1, found it's game and dominated in a way that shouldn't have surprised too many. Starting to look like my prediction of Europe 11 USA 7 was far too optimistic, but if I'd known the equipment was going to be this tough, I think I'd have guessed Europe 11 USA 5.

Incidentally, the table SHOULD be set up tough in any event hosting ten of the game's most elite players.

I'm not prepared to chalk it all up to poor teamwork. It's just a case of lower pedigree. Other than its 2013 Dream Team (Souquet, Immonen, Feijen, Boyes, Appleton), which was strong enough to beat Team USA (Archer, Strickland, Hatch, Morris, SVB) by 11-2, this is the strongest Mosconi team Europe has ever fielded. Three WPA World 9-ball Champions (Filler, Gorst, Ouschan), a US Open 9-ball Champion (Jayson Shaw), and a former WPA World #1 ranked player (Kaci) offer a very tall order indeed and the Americans are just a bit overmatched here. The Americans played decent pool on day two, but didn't shine when they had opportunities to close out matches.

The Deuel pick was terrible, not because Corey is a slouch (on the contrary, he'll be a hall of famer one of these days), but his form in the 2018 Mosconi was terrible and he hasn't done much in competition of late, but also because we failed to give either a new face or a rising youngster an opportunity to build for the future. I'd have gone with one of Tyler Styer, Donny Mills or Josh Roberts. Going with experience here was a poor choice by the captain, but it's not why Team USA has fallen so far behind that this Mosconi Cup is all but signed and sealed.

On the other hand, the Robinson pick looks wise at this point. Chris has played some solid pool in this Mosconi Cup and can be an important cog in the wheel of Team USA going forward. He has made Jeremy look smart.

I agree that the Europeans look more focused than the Americans, having a more businesslike approach to the matches. It is part of why they win tournaments all over the world while Americans haven't done so in recent years, but the bigger difference is that they are better cueists.

Best is to give credit to these fine European players rather than to bemoan the inadequacies of the American players.
 
Last edited:

jokrswylde

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This won't be popular, but I think the tough conditions are a big part of the story. These conditions don't suit Team USA.

I recall day one of the 2018 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace. After about fifteen minutes of watching the first match, I could see that the table was set up loose. I commented to Pat Fleming that this would help Team USA's chances a lot. Team Europe had better cueists, and this would a) reduce their pocketing edge and b) reduce the cost of poorly played position. Sure enough, Team USA prevailed on the loose equipment, which tended to hide some of its deficiencies in pocketing and pattern play, and which made safety play, an area in which the US had struggled during its eight year losing streak, less critical.

This year, you didn't have to watch for long to see that the table was set up tight, and surely this greatly favors Europe, the team with the better cueists. Sure enough, through two days, the Americans have missed so many shots that it's mind-blowing, and no runout has seemed safe no matter how easy some of the layouts were. By comparison, Europe, after a slow start in the first half of Session 1, found it's game and dominated in a way that shouldn't have surprised too many. Starting to look like my prediction of Europe 11 USA 7 was far too optimistic, but if I'd known the equipment was going to be this tough, I think I'd have guessed Europe 11 USA 5.

Incidentally, the table SHOUD be set up tough in any event hosting ten of the game's most elite players.

I'm not prepared to chalk it all up to poor teamwork. It's just a case of lower pedigree. Other than its 2013 Dream Team (Souquet, Immonen, Feijen, Boyes, Appleton), which was strong enough to beat Team USA (Archer, Strickland, Hatch, Morris, SVB) by 11-2, this is the strongest Mosconi team Europe has ever fielded. Three WPA World 9-ball Champions (Filler, Gorst, Ouschan), a US Open 9-ball Champion (Jayson Shaw), and a former WPA World #1 ranked player (Kaci) offer a very tall order indeed and the Americans are just a bit overmatched here. The Americans played decent pool on day two, but didn't shine when they had opportunities to close out matches.

The Deuel pick was terrible, not because Corey is a slouch (on the contrary, he'll be a hall of famer one of these days), but his form in the 2018 Mosconi was terrible and he hasn't done much in competition of late, but also because we failed to give either a new face or a rising youngster an opportunity to build for the future. I'd have gone with one of Tyler Styer, Donny Mills or Josh Roberts. Going with experience here was a poor choice by the captain, but it's not why Team USA has fallen so far behind that this Mosconi Cup is all but signed and sealed.

On the other hand, the Robinson pick looks wise at this point. Chris has played some solid pool in this Mosconi Cup and can be an important cog in the whell of Team USA going forward. He has made Jeremy look smart.

I agree that the Europeans look more focused than the Americans, having a more businesslike approach to the matches. It part of why they win tournaments all over the world while Americans haven't done so in recent years, but the bigger difference is that they are better cueists.

Best is to give credit to these fine European players rather than to bemoan the inadequacies of the American players.
Fair points all, and thanks for the insight. In your honest opinion, do you think this team, coached by Johan, us down 11-2 after day 2?

I truly don't know how big a role the coach plays in a format such as this, but am simply going on how the team looks compared to recent teams.

It just seems like Johan brought some of the killer instinct and confidence to the team.
 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This won't be popular, but I think the tough conditions are a big part of the story. These conditions don't suit Team USA.

I recall day one of the 2018 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace. After about fifteen minutes of watching the first match, I could see that the table was set up loose. I commented to Pat Fleming that this would help Team USA's chances a lot. Team Europe had better cueists, and this would a) reduce their pocketing edge and b) reduce the cost of poorly played position. Sure enough, Team USA prevailed on the loose equipment, which tended to hide some of its deficiencies in pocketing and pattern play, and which made safety play, an area in which the US had struggled during its eight year losing streak, less critical.

This year, you didn't have to watch for long to see that the table was set up tight, and surely this greatly favors Europe, the team with the better cueists. Sure enough, through two days, the Americans have missed so many shots that it's mind-blowing, and no runout has seemed safe no matter how easy some of the layouts were. By comparison, Europe, after a slow start in the first half of Session 1, found it's game and dominated in a way that shouldn't have surprised too many. Starting to look like my prediction of Europe 11 USA 7 was far too optimistic, but if I'd known the equipment was going to be this tough, I think I'd have guessed Europe 11 USA 5.

Incidentally, the table SHOUD be set up tough in any event hosting ten of the game's most elite players.

I'm not prepared to chalk it all up to poor teamwork. It's just a case of lower pedigree. Other than its 2013 Dream Team (Souquet, Immonen, Feijen, Boyes, Appleton), which was strong enough to beat Team USA (Archer, Strickland, Hatch, Morris, SVB) by 11-2, this is the strongest Mosconi team Europe has ever fielded. Three WPA World 9-ball Champions (Filler, Gorst, Ouschan), a US Open 9-ball Champion (Jayson Shaw), and a former WPA World #1 ranked player (Kaci) offer a very tall order indeed and the Americans are just a bit overmatched here. The Americans played decent pool on day two, but didn't shine when they had opportunities to close out matches.

The Deuel pick was terrible, not because Corey is a slouch (on the contrary, he'll be a hall of famer one of these days), but his form in the 2018 Mosconi was terrible and he hasn't done much in competition of late, but also because we failed to give either a new face or a rising youngster an opportunity to build for the future. I'd have gone with one of Tyler Styer, Donny Mills or Josh Roberts. Going with experience here was a poor choice by the captain, but it's not why Team USA has fallen so far behind that this Mosconi Cup is all but signed and sealed.

On the other hand, the Robinson pick looks wise at this point. Chris has played some solid pool in this Mosconi Cup and can be an important cog in the wheel of Team USA going forward. He has made Jeremy look smart.

I agree that the Europeans look more focused than the Americans, having a more businesslike approach to the matches. It is part of why they win tournaments all over the world while Americans haven't done so in recent years, but the bigger difference is that they are better cueists.

Best is to give credit to these fine European players rather than to bemoan the inadequacies of the American players.
Cory missed balls so badly...just get an APA 5 to step in.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Fair points all, and thanks for the insight. In your honest opinion, do you think this team, coached by Johan, us down 11-2 after day 2?

I truly don't know how big a role the coach plays in a format such as this, but am simply going on how the team looks compared to recent teams.

It just seems like Johan brought some of the killer instinct and confidence to the team.
I'm not of the opinion that a coach makes any difference at the Mosconi. The matchups make little to no difference and the fist pumps don't much matter to players that have all succeeded as individuals in top level competition. These players don't need the game explained to them on the day of a match, especially not during a match, and strategy needs to be in place before arrival at the Mosconi.

It's the period leading up to the Mosconi in which the coach makes the difference. Preparing his team to succeed was what Johann did best. I believe that Team USA might still be way behind if Johan were there coaching them, but less so if he'd been the one that prepared them.

I really don't believe that Team USA lacks either teamwork or killer instinct here and if I might quote the legendary Irving Crane [the only confidence that's worth a damn is the confidence that comes from knowing you're fully prepared to succeed]. Manufactured confidence makes little to no difference. Talent, preparation and focus are the ingredients for success.

Let's cut Jeremy Jones some slack because the pandemic denied him the opportunity to prepare his team with the thoroughness that would have been possible had the pandemic not come. Yes, it's true that Europe was, similarly, denied the chance to thoroughly prepare, but I'd suggest they don't need it as much.

In short, Johan wouldn't have made much difference given that he'd not have had a fair chance to prepare his team.
 

MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think with the pandemic that no coach would have been able to demonstrate their effect on the team.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

tableroll

Rolling Thunder
Silver Member
I am not a chicken little guy, and the sky is not falling, and there is a chance, albeit a slim one, that the US can fight their way back into this match tomorrow.

BUT

The way they are playing seems very out of character. First, I realize that losing JB so close to match time hurt. But after watching Cory the last 2 days, you cant convince me that he was our best option. Steyer, Eberle, Dechaine, heck I like Josh Robert's over the way Cory is playing.

Second, I also get that we have lost a few hill-hill matches, but we have lost a few in which we had big leads, where poor position play or poor decisions cost us.

And finally I get that it is a strange year surrounded by unusual circumstances, but as far as I know, the Euros are dealing with the same conditions.

Taking all that into account, the team just looks "off".

Several times yesterday or today there have been maybe 2 guys watching the matches, a couple times the camera panned over and only Billy and Joey were in the arena. That has not been the case over the last two years that I can remember, and very rarely did they show the Euros where there wasn't 4-5 players there cheering and high firing.

I find it hard to believe the US could have come in overconfident. One look at the opposing roster of killers should take care of that.

Is it complacency from winning the last 2 years? Maybe lost that drive and desire to win?

I don't know. I am not a pool insider and I am no Mosconi expert...but I have spent a career around teams and athletes from Olympic to high school levels. One thing I have learned is "attitude reflects leadership"

Maybe Johan is a true genius and the missing element for this year. I understand that JJ is very well respected, a great ambassador, world class commentator, and all the other well deserved accolades, but that doesn't necessarily translate into a good coach (in this format).

When a team (any sport) underperforms, plays sloppy, looks apathetic, etc. Then that falls directly on the coach. Throw in the decision to bring on Cory and the first timer CRob ( who has played well), and this is definitely JJ's team.

I just can't imagine, with his track record, a Johan coached team looking this out of sorts.

Maybe I am wrong and way off base? I hope so. Is there another explanation or something I am missing?
I think the sloppiness in appearance, the overweight of some players, and non seriousness is a consideration. The tables are the same for everyone. Too much B.S. and joking around.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I will agree that Corey may not have been the best pick and the loss of Bergman has really hurt Team USA. He was primed and ready to go, with more actual playing time than anybody else going in. That said I saw tremendous effort on the part of the U.S. side and in the eight matches they've lost, half of them have gone hill-hill. If they had only won two of those matches the score would be 6-4 and still within reach. In the matches I watched today the rolls definitely fell Euro's way. That can happen at 9-Ball, as we all know.

I think the smart handicappers on here were correct in giving up four games on the wire going to eleven. This is just too strong a Euro team for an overmatched USA team. It would take a team with three or four Shane's (or Berg's) to defeat this Euro side imo. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control this has been a lost year in Pool and particularly bad in the USA.

I take my hat off to ALL these players for getting in the arena and playing their hearts out. With all the stress of the last eight or nine months it took a lot of courage to endure and wait for this opportunity. It's unfortunate there is bad blood here (almost zero hand shakes). These guys have a lot more in common than they have differences. And they should realize that. Hopefully they will show some mutual respect when it's all over.
 

Scrunge19

Registered
I think the sloppiness in appearance, the overweight of some players, and non seriousness is a consideration. The tables are the same for everyone. Too much B.S. and joking around.
Yeah the US is losing because they’re fat and a couple guys wore shorts to the press conference. What a hilariously bad take on the situation.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not of the opinion that a coach makes any difference at the Mosconi. The matchups make little to no difference and the fist pumps don't much matter to players that have all succeeded as individuals in top level competition. These players don't need the game explained to them on the day of a match, especially not during a match, and strategy needs to be in place before arrival at the Mosconi.

It's the period leading up to the Mosconi in which the coach makes the difference. Preparing his team to succeed was what Johann did best. I believe that Team USA might still be way behind if Johan were there coaching them, but less so if he'd been the one that prepared them.

I really don't believe that Team USA lacks either teamwork or killer instinct here and if I might quote the legendary Irving Crane [the only confidence that's worth a damn is the confidence that comes from knowing you're fully prepared to succeed]. Manufactured confidence makes little to no difference. Talent, preparation and focus are the ingredients for success.

Let's cut Jeremy Jones some slack because the pandemic denied him the opportunity to prepare his team with the thoroughness that would have been possible had the pandemic not come. Yes, it's true that Europe was, similarly, denied the chance to thoroughly prepare, but I'd suggest they don't need it as much.

In short, Johan wouldn't have made much difference given that he'd not have had a fair chance to prepare his team.
I’m still completing my watching of the matches for today, but at least for the first two matches, the level of play, even for the US team, was significantly better. I was impressed by Chris in the second match, even though they fell short to the Euro’s hill-hill break and run. It appears the table has slowed down just a touch, even after just one day.

What Shane did in the second game of match #1 in a routine runout, failing to get any kind of decent shape from the 8 to the 9 for no apparent reason is hard to understand and ended up costing him the match.

As for all the teammates (on both teams) not being on the sidelines observing, it seems like the players getting ready to play the next match are spending that time on the practice table getting ready for their upcoming match, which is understandable.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I take my hat off to ALL these players for getting in the arena and playing their hearts out. With all the stress of the last eight or nine months it took a lot of courage to endure and wait for this opportunity. It's unfortunate there is bad blood here (almost zero hand shakes). These guys have a lot more in common than they have differences. And they should realize that. Hopefully they will show some mutual respect when it's all over.
Well said, Jay. We should all feel this way. This Mosconi Cup, unrecognizable as a Mosconi Cup in so many ways, is remarkable in that it happened at all. These ten players and Matchroom combined to do the impossible and give us some entertaining top level pool at a time when we really needed it. In a year in which they've all been denied a chance to earn an income in their chosen profession, I'm delighted that these ten fine players will walk away with a combined $225,000. They deserve it, and hopefully, it will lighten the financial sting of this lost year.
 

Bp021986

New member
This won't be popular, but I think the tough conditions are a big part of the story. These conditions don't suit Team USA.

I recall day one of the 2018 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace. After about fifteen minutes of watching the first match, I could see that the table was set up loose. I commented to Pat Fleming that this would help Team USA's chances a lot. Team Europe had better cueists, and this would a) reduce their pocketing edge and b) reduce the cost of poorly played position. Sure enough, Team USA prevailed on the loose equipment, which tended to hide some of its deficiencies in pocketing and pattern play, and which made safety play, an area in which the US had struggled during its eight year losing streak, less critical.

This year, you didn't have to watch for long to see that the table was set up tight, and surely this greatly favors Europe, the team with the better cueists. Sure enough, through two days, the Americans have missed so many shots that it's mind-blowing, and no runout has seemed safe no matter how easy some of the layouts were. By comparison, Europe, after a slow start in the first half of Session 1, found it's game and dominated in a way that shouldn't have surprised too many. Starting to look like my prediction of Europe 11 USA 7 was far too optimistic, but if I'd known the equipment was going to be this tough, I think I'd have guessed Europe 11 USA 5.

Incidentally, the table SHOUD be set up tough in any event hosting ten of the game's most elite players.

I'm not prepared to chalk it all up to poor teamwork. It's just a case of lower pedigree. Other than its 2013 Dream Team (Souquet, Immonen, Feijen, Boyes, Appleton), which was strong enough to beat Team USA (Archer, Strickland, Hatch, Morris, SVB) by 11-2, this is the strongest Mosconi team Europe has ever fielded. Three WPA World 9-ball Champions (Filler, Gorst, Ouschan), a US Open 9-ball Champion (Jayson Shaw), and a former WPA World #1 ranked player (Kaci) offer a very tall order indeed and the Americans are just a bit overmatched here. The Americans played decent pool on day two, but didn't shine when they had opportunities to close out matches.

The Deuel pick was terrible, not because Corey is a slouch (on the contrary, he'll be a hall of famer one of these days), but his form in the 2018 Mosconi was terrible and he hasn't done much in competition of late, but also because we failed to give either a new face or a rising youngster an opportunity to build for the future. I'd have gone with one of Tyler Styer, Donny Mills or Josh Roberts. Going with experience here was a poor choice by the captain, but it's not why Team USA has fallen so far behind that this Mosconi Cup is all but signed and sealed.

On the other hand, the Robinson pick looks wise at this point. Chris has played some solid pool in this Mosconi Cup and can be an important cog in the wheel of Team USA going forward. He has made Jeremy look smart.

I agree that the Europeans look more focused than the Americans, having a more businesslike approach to the matches. It is part of why they win tournaments all over the world while Americans haven't done so in recent years, but the bigger difference is that they are better cueists.

Best is to give credit to these fine European players rather than to bemoan the inadequacies of the American players.
I still believe Chris and Cory was a poor choice. Give me Tyler all day and the other guys you mentioned. The score would've been 3-2 USA after day one if Chris got out. He overrun his next shot (8 ball) by 3-4 feet; you can't blame that on the table. JJ is very knowledgeable and well respected in the game but he can't do it all by himself. He needs somebody like Johan to physically and mentally prep'd the team. I felt like Johan brings the positive vibe/energy to the team too. Yes Europe is loaded with talent but it's race to 5 and at that skill level the match could go either way.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I still believe Chris and Cory was a poor choice. Give me Tyler all day and the other guys you mentioned. The score would've been 3-2 USA after day one if Chris got out. He overrun his next shot (8 ball) by 3-4 feet; you can't blame that on the table. JJ is very knowledgeable and well respected in the game but he can't do it all by himself. He needs somebody like Johan to physically and mentally prep'd the team. I felt like Johan brings the positive vibe/energy to the team too. Yes Europe is loaded with talent but it's race to 5 and at that skill level the match could go either way.
Yes, but we could, and should, have had Chris and Tyler, which would have been nice. You need to build for the future. Europe has 23 year old Filler, 21 year old Kaci and 20 year old Gorst. As Mosconi players, they're all relatively inexperienced, but they are getting their time in the frying pan and will have to be reckoned with for years. FYI, Chris' play in the 2020 Mosconi is superior to what we got from Tyler at the 2019 Mosconi. Chris' long bank won the five on five match, and he came within a ball of beating Kaci, who crushed Styer twice in the 2019 Mosconi. Chris also played well today in a match where he and Skyler took Shaw/Filler to the double hill in Match 7.
 
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