See you Saturday when the US play Turkey. The Turks are a stronger opponent but also not going the World Cup. This is fodder for another column but the US will also have a much stronger side out there. Recap from Matt coming soon.
Well overall not a good performance by the USMNT. There were some bright moments. Goodson was excellent save for his mistake that led to the third goal. There was some nice one two passing here and there. Ching and Gomez looked sharp as did Buddle. Holden needs another match but looked good.
90:00 – GOOOOAL Necid. Recent substitute latches onto a poorly cleared header by Edu who is playing out of his customary position as CB. Guzan is wrong footed and cannot do anything. That is pretty much the last play of the game. Czech Republic 4 – US 2
89:00 – Game going through th emotions now. This would be a great time to show BB what you can do. Bedoya making things happen and Ching is playing a good set up striker role.
85:00 - US regrouping but they are not maintaining possession like they were in the first part of the second half. Senior like Capello will not be pleased with this performance but I think he has had some questions answered for him. Against Turkey this Saturday we will see a much more definitive US team as the Donovan, Dempsey, Bocanegra etc… should all factor
81:00 – US defense a little shaken now as they fail to clear a corner properly. Luckily they block well and the two subsequent CR shots are dealt with and danger is averted.
80:00 – Goodson should still start. That was unlucky as he has been immense this game. A huge bright spot for the US.
78:00 – GOOOOAL – Fenin. TERRIBLE defending by the US as they get around Pearce too easily and then cross goes under Goodson’s foot when he should have cleared. Ball bounces out to Fenin who blasts it home. The goal was initially Pearce’s fault and then Goodsons. Shame as they both were playing very well. Czech 3 – US 2
76:00 - From a headed clearance by Goodson, Gomez counters but is slow and tries and gets around a CR defender and then takes a shot when a pass to Ching would have been the smarter and better option. He does a win a corner though but Cech clears easily
71:00 – US attacking again as Bedoya scampers outside the box but it is well blocked by a CR defender. Ball comes back out to Dolo who sets up Holden but his shot is wide. Even though they gave up an easy goal the US are looking much better this second half.
70:00 – That goal was all about Goodson. Right now he’s had a much better game than Gooch. Who keeps Goodson out of the starting 11?
67:00 – Bedoya on Gooch off.
66:00 – GOOOOOOAL GOMEZ – From a deep corner, Goodson gets up high and sends a header across the goal that Gomez easily heads in. That was a a nice of goal of another set piece. Czech Republic 2 – US 2
64:00 - Great ball movement from the US as they ping the ball around with some one touch passing. Ball comes to Holden whose shot is poor but that was nice. Moments later more nice passing with a beautiful back pass from Ching sets up Gomez but Cech is equal to the task and saves low. Much better from the US but the final shot needs to be better.
61:00 – Robbie Rogers tests Cech with a great shot from out far. He has been the brightest US player this half. Clearly trying to impress and so far is! He is doing things that the USMNT typically don’t do and is giving Senior a different look.
59:00 – GOOOOOALLL. Polak scores. This time it was not offside as he runs between Pearce and Goodson and a beautiful ball is sent in and he one times it past Guzan. Poor defending by the US but that was a pretty attack by CR. Czech Republic 2 – US 1
58:00 - Rogers doing well down the left side wing as he takes on the Czech defenders.
56:00 -Offside goal by CR as it starts out with CR playing a great 1 – 2 to get around Holden who should have done better. CR cross the ball and Gooch heads clear but the ball goes to a CR forward and a shot is sent to a man in the offside position who heads it in the goal. Lucky for the US as they should have done better.
53:00 - US looking much sharper in the second half as they win a corner. Nothing comes off it and some slow reactions lead to a CR counter. Plasil, though, sends his shot way over the bar.
48:00 – Pearce in 2 minutes has already been streets better than Bornstein. He defended well and then sent in a lovely cross. Unfortunately no one was there to meet it. US starting this half off brightly.
Ching on for Johnson, Pearce on for Bornstein (thank god), Kljestan for Torres, Rogers on for Beasley and Gomez for Buddle.
TWEET and the second half is underway
AWESOME ESPN AD with Donovan. That made me incredibly happy!
Positives – Holden started off sharp but is lacking match fitness. His deliveries have been very good and is moving quickly. Gooch up until being out jumped looked good too. He was controlling the center of defense well. Buddle was causing problems as was Beasley and all in all the US were maintaining good possession.
PEEP – Half time. Mixed results for the US as they play well. Their goal was lucky but well taken and they got completely beat in the goal they gave up. Gooch should have done better and Holden just watched the ball go in when he should have been marking the near post.
45:00 – CR attack immediately and again Bornstein gets beat Kusnir. Bocanegra is being missed!
44:00 – GOOOOOOAL – SIVOK. From the free kick, Gooch gets out jumped and heads the ball home. Not good by the Milan defender but what i think was worse is that from the free kick no one was guarding the near post. If someone was there that goal is not scored as it wasn’t a powerful header. 1 – 1
43:00 – Goodson gives away a free kick but he did a great job of playing out of position to cover for Bornstein.
41:00 – Buddle gets the ball and passes to Johnson as he is fouled but EJ controls poorly and the ref blows the whistle. A better controlled pass and the ref waves play on and the US have a good look.
40:00 – US win a corner. Beasley playing well as is Buddle. Enough to go on the plane. Holden takes the corner and Cech does a lot better and catches the ball.
33:00 – The CR are playing with half their minds on the beach. Dolo runs in the CR half with the ball but can’t pass it off cause Johnson is chilling out in an offside position. Bad there Johnson but Dolo is fouled. CR do better this time from the free kick and clear it easily.
30:00 - Bornstein getting skinned again as the ball goes one way and a lanky defender the other way but he commits a professional foul and CR get a free kick. From the free kick Guzan shows Cech how to come out and palms it away for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner as Buddle clears it away.
26:00 – Harkes is saying some smart things. My dog just asked me for some Grey Poupon. What’s the world coming to? Meanwhile in the game, CR get behind the US defense with ease and send a lovely cross to an unmarked Fenin who sent the ball wide. He should have done better and at least tested Guzan.
23:00 - Gooch showing good intent but lacking match sharpness as he commits another foul. He’s been a split second late each time. That will get better with more PT.
21:00 – Fenin gets the ball from deep and dribbles around a defender and shoots but the ball goes out for a corner.
17:00 – GOOOOAL EDU. and Holden with a shout out to Davies. Terrible defending by CR and Cech who completely misses it as the ball falls to a surprised Edu who hammers it into the back of the net from a yard out. Nice delivery by Holden. US 1 – Czech Republic 0
13:00 - CR beginning to find gaps in the US midfield though their own poor ball control fails them and the US clear easily.
12:00 - Nothing really of note happening in the game. US controlling the ball well as are CR. Gooch and Holden looking smooth though haven’t done anything special. Crowd though is great!
10:00 – The US bench looks stoned.
6:00 - Polak gets fouled by Edu and sets up a free kick for CR but it goes into the wall and the Czech get a throw in.
3:00 - US enjoying the majority of possession in the first three minutes. They’re pressing down the wings. Beasley scampers down the right wing and sends in an inviting cross but no one is there to meet it. Harkes is painful.
TWEEEEEET! and the US kicks things off.
So aside from Cech, I haven’t heard of any of these Czech players. Is this just me?
Stadium seems packed. Good for the US. Atmosphere is exciting. People have their banners and scarves and this is only a friendly. Said it before and will say it again but my how far we have come!
ESPN – Please keep Klinsman. He knows his stuff. He’s class…please.
Coverage on ESPN has begun…and they’re gong all out with a booth right behind the goal. Someone shoot a ball at Lalas’s head!
I like that they are leading with Gooch’s fitness and going into Edson Buddle. They have the top stories prioritized. So far so good ESPN.
A good ol 4-4-2 with Steve Cherundolo, the pride of Rockford Illinois and the longest tenured USMNT outfield player wearing the armband.
Lines up are out for the USMNT (unofficially)
Guzan – Cherundolo, Goodson, Onyewu, Bornstein – Holden, Edu, Torres, Beasley – Buddle, Johnson
This is a perfection opportunity for Bradley senior to try a few of the fringe players, test out some potential formations and partnerships to see what does work and what does not. Win or lose, its about what you learn. A lot was made yesterday of how poorly England played against a full strength Mexican side and poorly they did play. Missing a third of their starters, Capello learned that Baines probably won’t make the flight and neither should Carrick. He also realized that a 4-4-2 is better etc… and yet England still won by 2 goals albeit one was offside and a handball.
The US should use this game to experiment and then against Turkey clarify what they learned from this one with a stronger side. Let the games begin!
Last time these two countries met, the US were down 3-0 in 15 minutes. I remember the US pundits stating this game would be a cake walk and my were they made to eat their words.
This time around though, its the US with the upper hand or foot as they are preparing to go to South Africa and the Czech players are preparing for a long summer holiday.