A Little More USMNT and WCQ Aftermath

Now that the beer has settled and the U.S. victory settled in, here’s a few Monday bullets to consider and reconsider:

• As you know, TSG is a fan of Tim Howard whether he departs his line or not. Some are questioning Howard’s play and

10/12: Will the Guz give Timmy a much needed break on Wednesday?

10/12: Will the Guz give Timmy a much needed break on Wednesday?

positioning on the 2nd Honduran goal Saturday and why Howard didn’t take care of business against Suazo when he came out of net. That’s experience. Going to ground and through Suazo might have found Howard with a yellow or worse red card on the road and U.S. battling a man down to finish of Honduras.

Speaking of cards, the U.S. collection on the night? Zero. Put that feather in Bob Bradley’s cap as well.

• Sunil Gulati’s statement about U.S. player development on Sunday is absolutely on target.

Gulati: “We don’t have a lot of players playing at Man U and Barcelona,”

“We’re getting there. Those are some of the best clubs in the world, and it’s not like we have a lot of players playing there, so for people’s expectations to be that we’re going to go out and play like that, or have a high-level performance every time, it’s not the case.”

Was Gulati speaking perhaps of Sweden who are on oh-so-tenuous ground in their World Cup bid after a 1-0 loss to Denmark on Saturday?

Sweden’s strike pair? Barcelona’s striker extraordinaire Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former Man United target man Henrik Larsson; both failed to net for country. (Not to mention Sweden’s “Mike Bradley +” clone Kim Kallstrom who plays for French side Lyon.)

That being said Gulati remember a little notion called Project 2010?

• Or was Gulati speaking of Argentina where the infamous Diego Maradona needed a late strike from Martin

Palermo celebrates his liberation from Shawshank...or a win that was too close against Peru.

Palermo celebrates his liberation from Shawshank...or a win that was too close against Peru.

Palermo just to notch a victory against “powerhouse” Peru. Maradona celebrated with a 15-yard belly slide (1 min mark) like Argentina captured the World Cup, instead of just winning a game that shouldn’t have been in doubt. Argentina’s starting line-up boasted such questionable club player pedigrees as: Liverpool (Javy Macherano), Real Madrid (Gonzalo Higuain)….not to mention a fellow named Messi from Barcelona.

Oh and for Argentine fans, it seems Maradona finally brain cramped long enough to forget the Boca-Plate rivalry in getting former River Plate player Higuain on the pitch (where he should have been all along). The Los Blancos hitman Higuain rewarded the home side with a goal in his start. (Thanks for that note on Higuain’s history Adrian.)

You think Argentina would take Bob Bradley as head coach? Just asking.

• News now the Ronaldo will be out for up to 4 weeks after his re-injury in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary. CR, stirring trouble again, commented that he was less than fit on Saturday, while Real Madrid was slighlty softer then Mark Cuban would have been in their stance about Ronaldo’s inclusion in the side.

• A little lost nugget in Bob Bradley’s post-game presser was his classy reference to former USMNT captain and assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Mynerick. It was a fitting tribute to the late former U-23 coach who passed away in October 2006 and who’s other coaching gig was with Conor Casey’s Colorado Rapids.

• Interesting video commentary from ESPN’s Tommy Smyth who calls for improvements from the U.S. backline and Charlie Davies in reaction to the USA-Honduras win, but doesn’t acknowledge the midfield. Not sure I’m there with you Tommy.

• Courtesy of Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing, a link to the online distribution success of the Ukraine-England qualifier.

• In our final salvo, don’t forget one last time to send around our link to get Billy Simmons to RFK for Costa Rica. Simmons’s BoSox are out of the playoffs, so the only thing stopping him is his wife. However, given the The Sports Guy ran an article extolling the virtues of October as being a great sports month and didn’t utter one word about soccer and the USMNT pushing for a spot in the WC finals, we aren’t holding are breath on this on. (Seems like soccer was just a distraction from getting him through the less-than-stellar sports months of July and August.)

• Oops, how did this link end up in here?

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chris on 2009/10/12 at 7:47 AM

    Can you please clear something up for me? Does Wednesday’s final WCQ mean anything? How would winning CONCACAF affect the team’s WC grouping? Thanks!


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/10/12 at 7:57 AM

    Mathematically for qualifying the US is there. The US can win the group with an outright victory against Costa Rica. While a group victory would be a good thing to improve the US seeding, I’m not sure CONCACAF is regarded high enough for it to truly matter–that’s subjective on my part.

    US Soccer has a pretty good breakdown here: http://www.ussoccer.com/Tournaments/FIFA-World-Cup-Qualifying/2010-FIFA-World-Cup-Qualifying-Final-Round/Scenario-Generator.aspx

    Personally, I much rather see the USMNT explore players like Torres, Guzan and Cooper on Wednesday and gain value that way with an onus on a victory than play their best team for the group win and learn what we already know.

    I think you’ll see two or three news guys in the line-up on Wednesday from BB. More in our preview.


    • Posted by Dylan on 2009/10/12 at 8:26 AM

      My suggestions for Wed. lineup.

      Hedjuk, Gooch, Boca, Bornstien
      Holden, Torres, Feilhaber, Donovan
      Altidore, Cooper

      Ching for Altidore at 75
      Rogers for Feilhaber at 70
      Bradley for Torres at 80


      • Posted by Dylan on 2009/10/12 at 8:31 AM

        I would change bornstein for goodson and switch spots with Boca but I heard he’s injured?


        • Posted by MattE on 2009/10/12 at 1:38 PM

          I think Heath Pearce deserves to get back in the left back position. Nobody has really filled in well there since his departure.


  3. Posted by Matt B on 2009/10/12 at 9:13 AM

    I would like to see a few new faces in the lineup on Wednesday, but this game still matters to Costa Rica and Honduras. Also, it’s hard to judge the second choice guys when they’re all played together. Throw Torres, for example, out there with the first team and see how he does.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/10/12 at 3:48 PM

      @Matt B, excellent point — we’re going to address how BB plays the line-up in our preview post this evening.

      @MattE, the challenge with Heath Pearce (and with Bornstein now to a lesser degree) is consistency. I think BB knows he’s not going to have a heavyweight LB like Maynor Figueroa (not the best of games ironically on Saturday) or Gael Clichy for example, but what I’m sure he wants is consistency so we can manage the game.

      Pearce in one breath looks like the answer and the next game he’ll kill you. That being said, once he’s playing a little bit more on FC Dallas, I’m sure he’ll have another chance to compete for a spot during a friendly.


  4. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/10/12 at 7:44 PM

    A weird feeling tells me Kenny and Conor might start up top with jozy coming on for either/or. I think Charlie gets a rest as he’s seeing regular time for his club & could use a rest.

    Another weird feeling tells me Big B might give Lil’ B a rest. whether this means subbing in for him early or not playing him at all, i see Benny starting in his place. . .and if not for Lil’ B then for Rico. I smell a BF start though for sure, and maybe Torres as a sub on for him in the later minutes. Remember how i guaranteed Stu’s full 90?(even though he was subbed at the +2). Maybe Bob goes with a diamond midfield wit one CAM and a CDM behind. . who knows. . probably not though. I also see Lando coming off as a sub in exchange for El Pistolero.

    In conclusion, I think the USMNT’s newly secured WC spot will liberate Bob’s conservatism by a good amount. But the lineup all depends on his mindset:

    Does he know that a 1st place in CONCACAF doesnt really say much, and therefore he changes it up?

    Or does he take coming in 2nd place to El Tri(assuming they win @ T&T) to the heart and go with his bread & butter?


  5. […] few weeks ago, Sunil Gulati made an excellent point in the press that we’ll reproduce here as the context present […]


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