Quick Hitters @ The Half: Talk Is Cheap



For all the talk of “playing to win” and of this match being a “desperation game”, it was just a dreadful first half for the US. Sadly, their uninspired play is becoming more the rule than the exception. Face it folks, this is the team — inconsistent, sloppy and frustrating with increasingly smaller stretches of quality play.

The First 45:

  • Bradley trotted out a line-up designed for a one-goal win or tie. And they’re making T&T look like the team fighting for a WC spot
  • Howard has played well, though a better ball would have beaten him on the Glenn chip off the woodwork
  • Bornstein and Spector are acting like this game is a continuation from Saturday. [EDIT: Upon re-watching the first half they played better, but still had a number of individual lapses.] Meanwhile Boca is having a bad game and Gooch looks sluggish…and is making up for it by committing fouls
  • Bradley and Clark (save for his nice long-ball to Davies) are non-existent and more than a few times Howard and the back-four have bypassed them entirely to start the attack with a hopeful boomer to T&T’s 18
  • Dempsey should actually get on a plane back to England at half…he’s playing like he is on it already
  • Donovan needs to improve his set pieces
  • Davies and Altidore are playing okay, but aside from a few exchanges they haven’t been a factor…perhaps because they haven’t gotten great srevice

Looking Ahead to the 2nd Half:

  • Hopefully some changes at half-time. Feilhaber for Clark is a possibility…I’d like that and Holden for Dempsey
  • T&T’s wingbacks look a little unsure of themselves in possession…US should provide a bit more pressure.
  • Not sure Bradley can scream “TAKE CARE OF THE BALL” loud enough at half.
  • Gooch seems vulnerable to the mammoth Kenwyne Jones and needs to put forth a better effort if the crosses keep raining it

One goal still wins it, but unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the second half, the US will not walk away with the result they were talking about going in.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/09 at 5:14 PM

    Wow — I’m not looking at the same game as you.

    I think Bornstein is playing a very strong game….He’s been left on an island multiple times and given up not one clear threat that I can see — completely disagree there. He’s gotten up the pitch even though he needs to hustle back to cover Edwards.

    I think Gooch is playing a strong game, he’s just playing on the right side instead of the left right now.

    Bradley and Clark can’t get reception in the middle of the field from Howard. The problem with Clark, Bradley and front 6 is none of them are on the same page with where the other is going — that’s a coaching problem.

    I think Altidore and Davies are not inspired, but are playing fine. They’re doing the best with what they have.

    Wow….my game review is going to look a little different :>


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/09 at 5:16 PM

      The US team rating right now is very low and it appears they are 11 players, not 1 team. It took 35 minutes for them to say — hey, let’s settle down and possess the ball.

      The main issue I see is the US is not controlling the tempo or possession and they are not focused on one game plan (I assume there was one). For example Davies must have dumped the ball back to a non-existent Clark about 4 times already when Clark had decided to make an overlap cut.

      And what the hell (pardon my language) is Clark doing as the option all the way up the pitch? If anyone it should be Bradley who has better on the ball skills.

      The pairing in the middle and their lack of linking is really throwing everything out of whack.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/09/09 at 5:16 PM

      I hope you have this on DVR.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/09/09 at 5:18 PM

      Remember what you said about Mexico…Howard and the back-four were bypassing the midfield because they had no confidence the ball wouldn’t becoming right back.


  2. […] to the defense…perhaps I was a little harsh on the defense in the first half. Regardless, they did play better in the 2nd. Gooch seemed to play his way into the flow, was strong […]


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