“The 30″: The Battles For The Boarding Passes

The Shin Guardian wanted to focus on the Europa League Final and the appearance of one Clint “Deuce” Dempsey in it for Fulham Wednesday

Today, we look back at the roster selections and group the players into where they’ll be fighting it out for boarding passes.

Camp, folks, starts in just two days at Princeton University, perhaps the only college campus where high school students are frequent guests at the college parties and the collegiates seem to be fine with it.

Already Ticketed (17)

Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Benny Feilhaber, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Stu Holden, Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching

The skinny:

Six spots are, as yet, unclaimed. The list of players above represent those that Bob Bradley trusts. They might be playing for a starting role or 1st substitute role, but they can rest assured that they’ll be taking to Rustenburg, in some capacity on June 12th.

The only surprise you may have up there is Brian Ching, however consider this: None of the other forwards has played in a meaningful game for Bob Bradley.

Robbie Findley, sure, he played in a friendly against The Netherlands and, yes, Eddie Johnson played here and there through qualifying. Ask yourself this follow-up, and I know you are cringing: If Jozy Altidore gets injured, who’s your next starter at striker (beyond Deuce)?

Note: Bob Bradley–as we discussed in our game review March 3rd–employed an effective 4-2-3-1 formation–using Landon (of all players) in the middle hub for about 15 minutes of the Netherlands friendly. With the popular choice of moving Clint Dempsey up top, we’ll roll in formation talk to the discussions below. We’ll talk two: the tried-and-true 4-4-2 (or 4-2-2-2 if you prefer) and the possible 4-2-3-1

The Battles

LB Back-up: Jonathan Bornstein vs. Heath Pearce

Can Pearce win the race?

The skinny:

The decision to bring along a Chad Marshall instead of, say, a Frankie Hedjuk or Frank Simek signals that, with Bradley comfortable with Onyewu’s “progress”, Captain Carlos Bocanegra likely slides out to the left, as the primary wingback on that flank. Whether that’s the right decision or not is the topic for another time.

TSG has reviewed this situation quite a bit. As it stands right now, there is likely a slight advantage to Jonathan Bornstein on Bradley’s mental clipboard. When the two have been in the 18 together, JB has consistently been the starter. While Pearce has great straight away speed, Bornstein has the ability to stay in front of the fleetest of wingers–valuable when you consider wing opponents for the USMNT including Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott or deceptively quick Thomas Muller, perhaps, in the next round.

Current Leader: Bornstein

—————

CB Back-up: Chad Marshall vs. Clarence Goodson

The skinny:

This is an argument that seemed to be decided earlier this year after a lackluster Honduras game for the still-ailing Chad Marshall and with Clarence Goodson scoring the loan goal in that affair.

Goodson continued to impress and earned some quality minutes in the US friendly up in the Netherlands.

We keep seeing a re-occuring theme here with Bob Bradley and that is, in most cases he favors bigger or more solid players that can’t be knocked off the ball. That’s Marshall’s singular advantage going into camp. He’s got a lot of ground to make up on Goodson at this point.

Current Leader: Goodson

Note: In response to comments below.  Eight defenders will make the trip and I don’t see Edu as this option. That would auger that one, in my mind, Pearce makes the trip over Marshall as numeral eight even if he falls to Bornstein as back-up number one at leftback. Wanted to clear that up.

—————

Ready to battle...

Flanker: Alejandro Bedoya, Robbie Rogers, DaMarcus Beasley

The skinny: You’re looking at maybe two spots here for three people in our eyes. You either have Donovan and Dempsey as the “starters” right now or Donovan and Holden if Clint is deployed up top. Here’s where Bradley’s dabbles in a 4-2-3-1 formation work to this group’s benefit.

DaMarcus Beasley is basically going to have to play himself off “the 23.” He’s got two World Cups under his belt. He’s got the hard knocks of the Scottish Premier League notched on his shinguards and he’s got the–gulp–in a pinch ability to play outside wingback if necessary. Beasley is not going to be fazed with the World Cup lead-up walks in the park.

Now you’ve got the battle between Bedoya and Rogers. Bedoya, as we discussed when we interviewed him last week, is silky smooth with decent-enough size and a presence on the field that is exponentially higher than the two USMNT caps to his name. He’s played nearly every minute of every game for his club Orebro this season–with the exception of a one-match expulsion for yellow card collection–and been a catalyst for their attack.

Rogers has had a much more uneven 2010 to date, battling injuries and inconsistent play for the entire year thus far.

Our take? If Beasley can stay committed, you’re really asking Bradley to choose between two somewhat similar players. Bedoya arguably is more creative with better one-on-one ability. Rogers has a sneaky shot and uses his frame well to make the cross. Our money is on Bedoya right now merely because he hasn’t disappointed yet and the US has–to date–been “invigorated” when he does take the pitch.

Current Leader(s): Beasley, Bedoya

—————

CAM Back-up: Jose Francisco Torres, Sacha Kljestan

The skinny: Perhaps the most even battle going into camp.

Beyond the exclusion of Charlie Davies when Coach Sweats announced his roster Tuesday, the biggest vitriol was levied on the selections of Rogers and Sacha Kljestan.

Kljestan: 23?

For Kljestan, it’s understandable. After a brilliant opening to the 2009 USMNT campaign, Kljestan’s play has been up-and-down. It appears that his national team call-ups far outstrip his performance on that same national team team to date.

It also appears the California native has yet to fully recover from a failed transfer to Celtic. A key player for the USMNT at the Confederation Cup last year, Kljestan found himself off the list for the critical qualifiers that took place thereafter.

Kljestan, however, is one of the few Yanks who you can honestly say has vertical creativity in possession going forward in the midfield. He can make a move or pinpoint a pass that didn’t look like it was there. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do it often enough.

Jose Torres is the Phoenix from the ashes of Saprissa. You’ll hear this game invoked often in Torres’ USMNT tenure. In June 2009, the States got shellacked at the notorious Costa Rican stronghold. Torres was technically proficient in owning and moving the ball, however he was benched at half time, likely in response to shoddy defending on the first two Costa Rican goals. Since that time, Torres has slowly earned Bradley’s trust and was a starter for the Yanks in their March 3rd Amsterdam friendly.

Foremostly, Bradley will select here based upon negative defensive impact. If either of these hopefuls get beat or fall out of formation in camp or the friendlies, they’ll be behind the “Better luck in 2014″ eight ball.

Technically speaking, Torres has a slight advantage of here. Can he hold his own on defense? Can he take the hits in the friendlies that he could see against the brute force defenses of Algeria, Slovenia, and possibly Serbia, Germany and Ghana?

Then again, Kljestan has always been known to be a Bradley favorite….and that counts the most on this one.

Current Leader(s): Kljestan, by a millimeter

—————

Striker: Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Robbie Findley

The skinny: You’re likely looking at two out of the four above, but it may be only a single selection of these candidates.

Going...in our mind

First, an aside on Conor Casey (I haven’t found a good column to make this point previously). I have no problem with Conor Casey not making the 30. I did think he should have–though I don’t hold his game in high esteem.

The question that I have is: What exactly was Bob Bradley evaluating with Conor Casey over the past five friendlies? He already knew what he had. If you suggest that Casey didn’t make this roster because he’s off to an average MLS start, then the question becomes….well it remains the precise same. What about a cup of coffee for a Mike Grella, Kenny Cooper or Chris Rolfe? Seriously.

Back to the task at hand.

What a hodgepodge of talent here. From current MLS firestarter in Buddle–he of the 5 goals last year, but 17 the year before….to the banished MLS “winger” Herculez Gomez who suddenly found the zone…in Mexico. Then there is the former World Cup 2006 prodigy, ending with the RSL “elder youngster” who plans to head to Europe in ’10-’11 without a body of work accompanying him at this point.

In our mind, the fulcrum point is Buddle. No striker in the list above commands the size, speed, and striking ability that he does. Skillset and physique have never been what has held Buddle back. It’s been personal problems, team commitment and injuries.

Buddle will have to answer two magnanimous questions in camp that are not directly related to his fellow competitors: Can he buy into Bob Bradley’s defensive assignments (Buddle has played for Bradley before by the way) and can he co-exist on the pitch with Jozy Altidore. On Altidore, both players like to roam and display somewhat similar games.

More so, Buddle seems to thrive in a single striker role and has trouble with an equal accomplice up top. To his resume’s credit, the Galaxy frontman seems to do well with a withdrawn Donovan. That might just be his ticket.

The final three candidates are competing for the “stretch-the-defense” role. It would appear to us the fallback is Eddie Johnson; he is certainly the most known commodity; he has also failed to consistently impress. At this point, he’s our outside-looking-in-guy.

That drops us to Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez and they are nearly inverse. Gomez is slight, but a crafty runner. All season, the Puebla forward found seams in opponent defenses, finishing with authority using surprising precision and power.

Findley has above-average streaking speed and a solid frame, only, after an end-of-2009 blitz, he doesn’t punch the scorecard with any regularity.

As we saw with Jeff Cunningham  and Kenny Cooper, merely scoring though is not what Bob Bradley looks for up top. It’s almost he’ll settle from two chances a game from Landon, one from Clint and some scrums in the box.

As we head into camp on Saturday, ask yourself this question: Robbie Findley hasn’t scored for the national team yet (Conor Casey did), but he started against the Netherlands and is back in camp now despite an injury…..he’s got the lead for that final spot, by a nose.

Current Leader(s): Buddle, (Findley)

——

Note: Many of you have pointed out that, yes, I have 24 players above. These are more the battles. To appease my most ardent criticals, here is how I reduce to the coveted 23.

I think you’ll see Bradley go with three strikers and push Deuce up top if he needs another into the withdrawn striker/forward role. Thus Findley is dropped.


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49 responses to this post.

  1. I think Bornstein is a lock. I honestly think that Bradley could bring both Pearce and Bornstein though because both are very versatile defenders. I also think that Heath Pearce has been great in the last 6 months that I have seen him play. I would be surprised if he didn’t make the team.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/13 at 11:13 AM

      I would agree Evan. I think there is a good chance that both go…I should have made that clear above.

      Bob Bradley is very Phil Jackson-esque in that he’s got a lot of moving parts that are interchangeable. I am not believing this Spector at left back thing….maybe I should, but I don’t see it.

      And of course, you know I’m excited to see Bornstein make the trip — yup, said it again.

      Reply

      • Posted by John on 2010/05/13 at 11:46 AM

        Bornstein was the best player on the field for the Dutch against the US.

        That said, he is probably my pick over Pearce. Provided he doesn’t have any major bad luck/screw ups in the friendlies.

        Reply

        • Best player against the Dutch, including giving up the terrible penalty?

          Reply

        • Posted by Jennifer on 2010/05/13 at 1:05 PM

          cfig- read the sentence again. John was saying Bornstein was the Dutch’s best player that game, not the US’s.

          Reply

        • Doh…that’s is what I get for skimming posts while I’m at work :)

          John, carry on.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/13 at 2:22 PM

          If Onyewu is still short of fitness for 12th June, and Bocanegra plays centre back, I would be very happy if Bornstein was in the starting XI at left back. I can see England really attacking down the right anyway, but seeing JB there will have me clicking my heels in the air with joy. Seriously. I will be shouting at whoever to give the ball to Lennon / Walcott and for them to run at him and jink one way then the other. He is a booking waiting to happen.

          Reply

  2. Posted by dude on 2010/05/13 at 11:21 AM

    I agree about Bornstein being a lock, but Strongly hope that Findley isn’t really being considered for the 23. Against Holland, he showed he had the speed and ability to run down the ball… but not enough skill to keep it for even two seconds. Gomez has shown good bursts of speed combined with almost super-human finishing, and I think he’ll earn his spot.

    As for the Kljestan vs Torres arguement, no way Kljestan comes out ahead without Bob’s delusion. There is nothing he possesses that isn’t doubled by Holden and Feilhaber; Torres has qualities that no one else in the midfield can boast, he’s a secret weapon, far more subtle and interesting. Moreover, Kljestan is inconsistent, and though in decent form for Him, this is the best he’s ever going to get.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/13 at 2:03 PM

      So that’s a Brazilian and a Scotsman on the US roster? Interesting!

      Reply

      • Posted by Nick on 2010/05/15 at 10:19 AM

        Do’nt forget our Latinos – JFT and Cpt. Bocanegra, then there’s our Nigerian – Onyewu’s parents are Nigerian and I think he was born there…could be wrong on that.

        Reply

    • Posted by JonGibbs on 2010/05/13 at 2:21 PM

      If Kjlestan goes over Torres, I will be sick to my stomach. That’s the bottom line. Torres has played a lot of important games for his club lately, has performed better in recent opportunities with the USMNT, and is just a flat out better player. It is embarassing enough that Kjlestan even got invited to camp. Let’s not waste a roster spot on him.

      Reply

  3. I agree that Torres has the advantage over Kljestan, solid performance in the Costa Rica qualifier and his play v Holland along with strong form for his club gives him the edge at this point.

    Reply

    • Posted by Fireball on 2010/05/13 at 3:51 PM

      Am I wrong in remembering that Torres couldn’t hold the ball all that well against Holland? And for the same reasons Kljestan can’t: he has less time and space internationally.

      I’m not a Kljestan fanboy, but BB knows more than me, so I’ve been trying to figure out why SK (and Robbie Rogers for that matter) is in camp. My guess it that Kljestan is trying out as cover for Baby Bradley. BB likes him because he’s “hard to play against” big-ish guy and gets in the way….more so than Feilhaber and Torres. He’s expected to use some offensive ball skills so he’s not cover for Edu/Clark, but if we expect him to create offensively as much as he does in MLS, well we will always be disappointed. Besides, he’s not really our number 10, is he? Donovan is.

      That said, I like Torres over SK. Better form, and I like when we push it forward just a little bit. We didn’t have MB against Spain right? Let’s attack more, and just tell our back line to gird their loins.

      Reply

      • Posted by Dave on 2010/05/13 at 9:47 PM

        Torres was also pretty bad defensively against the Netherlands. I believe Wesley Sneijder went around JFT like he wasn’t there, leaving Bornstein to give up an unnecessary penalty.
        Torres is probably a little calmer on the ball, better shot from outside, better free kick taker, more accurate passer, probably reads the game a bit better. But, both try to make difficult passes that won’t work against international competition(contrast Donovan who seems to mostly do the simple and correct thing with the ball). José is slight and a bit slow, and may not be physical enough for England and Slovenia. From what I’ve seen of his play with Pachuca he’s trying to defend better, but needs a lot of work in that department. In that vein he gets a lot of yellows for bad tackles but neither he nor his teammates seem to understand the value of giving up a card fouling to prevent danger(professional foul).
        Klejstan can defend if he puts the effort to it, doesn’t always do so. If he keeps things simple and works hard to defend, the fact that he is stronger and faster would give him the edge.
        Both have made some contributions somewhere in qualifying, El Salvador away for Torres being very important, but are being pushed down the list by the emergence of Holden and reemergence of Edu.
        Disclaimer: I’m probably the least sophisticated observer of the game to post on this board. Never played, basketball guy, but have grown to really enjoy the game as a spectator.

        Reply

  4. Posted by Colin on 2010/05/13 at 11:57 AM

    I would like to see

    Bornstein, Pearce, Goodson, Bedoya, Torres, Buddle go

    Last spot would be whoever looks the best between Findley, Gomez, and Johnson. Which one of them will be the best to start June 23 when the US has 6 points and is already guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage? haha

    Reply

  5. This suggests 7-9-4, bringing only 1 true LB with Edu as emergency CB cover. I can see it happening but still feel it would be more Bob-like to stick with the traditional 8-8-4. However, Matt is better than anyone these days at channeling Bob Bradley.

    RE: Bornstein – By “stay in front of the fleetest of wingers” you must mean, letting them get across you as they run into the box then grabbing them to concede a penalty. Bornstein probably has a negative VORP. How sure are you that Bob is only bringing one of he and Pearce and not both?

    I’m really not really sold on Beasley having a spot to lose, and I could see only 1 of the three wide players on the train. My money is heavily on Break-out Bedoya.

    Kljestan: Jared Montz asked me about this on Twitter today, probably because I slagged Sacha off quite thoroughly after the rosters where announced. He’s a good MLS player, he’s just not technical enough to create the time and space needed to do what he does in MLS with more limited time and space than at the international level. His movement isn’t great which means he isn’t able to find the game when there’s limited space. Am I right in thinking his best position is as a traditional number 10?

    I don’t see him fitting into a system where creativity comes from the wide areas and width comes from midfield players rather than fullbacks. You stick him out wide and our attack is too narrow to offer him penetrative passing. Maybe could fit as the central advanced MF in a 4-2-3-1. He’s only 24 so he’s got time to improve but I think he also needs to improve his tactical awareness and movement. Torres participation in camp could be complicated by his club, putting him at a further disadvantage. I feel that if we go with 8 midfielders, both he and Torres could be out.

    I am seriously considering the possibility that Buddle is a potential starter over Jozy – I think Buddle’s emergence is without a doubt what put the axe to Casey, despite Ching’s fitness questions. They can play similar roles, Buddle just does it using far superior physical gifts. If Gomez can prove himself at this level, I would be reasonably pleased with our striking options but I may just be hoping that the new options are better than the options we’ve already tried.

    Jozy is Jozy. Buddle is a Zamora type player, physically imposing and capable of effectively leading the line on his own. Ching is the backboard. Gomez is the poacher who can nick a goal late in the game on a mistake or half-chance.

    Reply

    • Posted by Colin on 2010/05/13 at 12:03 PM

      Im on the same page…pearce AND bornstein…no beasley

      Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/13 at 12:13 PM

      Oh, I’m just speaking camp battles here.
      Let’s assume that 8 defenders go — I’ll add a piece in for “best of the rest”

      This is more about the battles for a role.

      I’ll phrase it this way.

      If Bornstein wins back-up, Goodson wins back-up, Beasley wins back-up, Kljestan wins back-up and hmm Buddle wins back-up.

      Now you’re talking about 3 roles from the likes of: Pearce, Marshall, Bedoya, Rogers, Torres, Gomez, Findley & Johnson.

      You need an eighth defender–something I was not discrediting above–so that’s most likely Pearce over Marshall.

      That leaves two from the rest (Bedoya, Rogers, Torres, Gomez, Findley & Johnson)

      From this I believe that Bradley goes with Bedoya and Findley at this time.

      My final two–at this time–would be Bedoya and…I…have…no…idea…I’ll sleep on #23 for now.

      Now you’ve got

      Reply

      • Well, I’ve got no quibbles that you’ve defined the camp battles…

        It’s kind of funny to have a “back-up CAM” when we haven’t played a system under Bob Bradley that utilizes that role. I suppose Feilhaber is thought of as the CAM but he’s proven capable of being effective from the base of midfield. That’s why we so often find players like Torres and Kljestan shuffled out to the wings with varying degrees of success. For this reason, I’d be inclined to take wide players over central players with Clark, Edu, Bradley, Feilhaber (from most defensive to most attacking) all proven to be capable of playing CM in our system, and Holden capable of playing CM though he’s played wide for the US thus far.

        The last few spaces on the plane will be decided by whether Bob feels confident enough to go with 7 defenders or not. I think he’ll go the safe route and stick with 8, especially if he’s got designs on getting in the knockout rounds.

        Reply

        • My first cut would be down to 26 from the 30 and would look like this:

          CB: Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Goodson
          WB: Cherundolo, Spector, Bornstein, Pearce
          CM: Clark, Edu, Bradley, Feilhaber, Torres
          WM: Holden, Bedoya, Beasley
          WM/F Dempsey, Donovan
          ST: Altidore, Ching, Buddle, Gomez, Findley

          EJ is out a couple weeks with a Hamstring, so I think he’s pretty much out of the running. Bob had mucho compliments about Gomez, whom he had selected for Copa America a couple years ago and seemed to be excited by the return to form of a “natural” goalscorer. The tea leaves make me think he’s actually got at least as good a shot than Findley.

          To get to 23, it all comes down to two decisions:
          1. Gomez or Findley (a personnel decision)
          2. One of Torres, Beasley and Pearce (a tactical decision)

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/13 at 2:13 PM

          What would you First XI look like to face England, and what formation / tactics would you employ?

          Reply

        • Yes, now that we know more, it is just about time that we revisit that…

          Reply

        • i’d be really surprised to see Findley make the 23, He’s just not been sharp in his appearances for club or country recently. His pace is about all he has going for him at this point. My money is on Buddle and Gomez to go with Ching and Jozy.

          Reply

        • Posted by Fireball on 2010/05/13 at 3:58 PM

          I didn’t read this before posting above. I agree with Tuesday about the CAM irony.

          Oh, and disregard my comment about Bradley not playing v Spain. Bad memory.

          Reply

  6. Posted by Matt B on 2010/05/13 at 12:11 PM

    Regarding the striker options, I don’t think the importance of Buddle’s chemistry with Donovan can be overstated. I know Matthew mentioned it in the article, and the idea of playing well with Donovan came up in several articles on this site right after Davies’ accident. I know that if it is even close between Buddle, Gomez, and Johnson, I want the guy who plays the best with our (arguably) best player.

    Reply

    • Posted by itally on 2010/05/13 at 3:20 PM

      As much as I used to be anti-Buddle, I’m leaning this way as well — his relationship with Donovan is definitely worth something.

      Reply

  7. I would definitely say that I am on board with Matthew’s reasoning in this article, and I’m actually even more excited about that roster than I thought I would be. You have a nice mix of proven commodity with exciting possibility. I would not be surprised to see Edson Buddle in our “super-sub” role, and I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him actually net a goal in the World Cup group stage. I think I’d be most in favor of an Altidore/Ching pairing to start the game, but only if Ching is 100% healthy. Nobody else is quite as good at holding the ball up and winning fouls in that group of strikers. This is assuming Dempsey plays midfield/wing, of course.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Jeff on 2010/05/13 at 12:25 PM

    I could be doing my math wrong, but I count 24 selections in the original post.

    Reply

  9. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/13 at 12:29 PM

    For clarities sake…I’ll clean up the post — this is more just position battles.

    Thanks — hate being confusing — apologies..

    Reply

  10. Posted by Sam on 2010/05/13 at 1:04 PM

    Well, I’d say that anyone that went to Bradenton’s going to make it. Fill in the blanks after that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMG_Soccer_Academy

    Project 2010 is still in effect right?

    Reply

  11. Posted by M.Ricci on 2010/05/13 at 3:00 PM

    So news just came down about EJ picking up an injury in his game in Greece. If it is bad and he cannot attended camp can Bradley change the 30 man roster or is that set????

    Reply

    • Posted by Ben! on 2010/05/13 at 4:26 PM

      I was just about to post this:

      I dont know why, but I have some feeling that EJ is going to come out with some motivation and do something good for us this summer, nothing extreme, but maybe a tiebreaking goal or something…just pulling this one out of thin air people…

      then i saw the update about the injury. oh well.

      Reply

  12. Posted by ETJ on 2010/05/13 at 3:14 PM

    hey excellent content as always, I’ve started visiting this site at least twice a day… just so you know high school students in princeton don’t hang out with the college students… I promise next time I’ll comment on the actual content of the article lol

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/13 at 3:22 PM

      Welcome ETJ … and beg to differ.

      When I was in high school, we had friends near the area and that’s about all they did.
      Might have changed.

      Threw that one in there for fun.

      Reply

  13. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/13 at 6:14 PM

    Goal Findley at 3:00 into the first half! Finally some positive news for the USMNT today. He should of had two already.

    Reply

    • Depends on your perspective. Not so positive as a Dynamo supporter :)

      Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/15 at 7:47 AM

        I agree. Very strange game though. For one, how many times have you seen that many defensive miscues by the Dynamo? How many times did you see a pass sent to no one in particular by the Dynamo? How many times have you seen better performances and hearing Kinnear yelling at players? It seemed an awful lot like we didn’t care until the end, which was frustrating. I can’t explain things like when Boswell missing the slide tackle on findley, Serioux handing the ball to saborio for the second goal, or when whomever it was chasing the ball at midfield tripped. But the single thing that frustrated me the most on the night was the shoving. The ref didn’t call it on either side. Somebody ran out and practically flattened Davis and Bruce said to play on. I think Houston deserved a second goal, but I don’t think we deserved to win due to our defense alone. Strange game.

        Reply

  14. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/13 at 9:53 PM

    Honestly, I hope Bradley stays on as coach through the next World Cup at the least. He’s lead us to great achievements and with this young group of talent we have at the moment we can do really big things in future.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/14 at 12:50 AM

    Ching is not locked in, IMO.

    Reply

    • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/14 at 5:09 AM

      I know he is coming off an injury, but he did not make a good case last night. Also, Findley seemed to disappear after he scored his goal. He is fast for sure, but does little with his speed. Gomez and Buddle seemed to move closer to SA without even playing.

      Reply

      • Didn’t get a chance to watch last night but I feel like Findley has looked a bit lost with the Nats in his appearances. More power to the guy if he wants to move abroad though, I’d love to see him go to Holland and get better technically.

        Reply

        • I didn’t watch the whole match but I saw Findley’s early goal. It’s the sort of goal that happens in MLS but would just never happen at the international level. The ball is out on the wing, Findley is standing in the 6 yard box waiting for the delivery with the defender gifting him 2 or 3 yards of space. You think that’s what John Terry would do?

          Much more promising than his goal, he made quite a good curving run between the central defenders shortly before that to get behind the defense on a ball over the top. However, in that moment, finishing seemed like a foreign language to the guy.

          Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/15 at 11:04 AM

        Ching was didn’t start in the first place, and when he got in it was like desperation from Kinnear. The Houston attack never got going and I don’t think anyone should expect a target man to do that. He did help however. Good pass on the should have been Davis goal. Now who was it who said he can’t pass?

        Reply

  16. [...] TSG doesn’t look like we’re jumping an any bandwagon, we’ll refer you here where we mentioned that Findley had the lead for a spot going into camp. Since we just [...]

    Reply

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