Game Commentary: USA vs. Chile

Halftime thoughts:

McCarty's got the armband this eve...

Mix Diskerud clearly the best Yank on the evening. Great ball control save one play. Consistently opening up run for others.

The States need more off the ball movement for certain. Too many times a player had a single option.

Zach Lloyd played nearly too aggressive for the first 20 minutes, but he stood up every attacker and his confidence grew. Was fun to watch him on the flank from the press box.

Dax had a little bit of a tough time adjusting to the pace, once he settled down you could see why he was this camp’s Benny Feilhaber.

Sean Franklin thankfully had the speed of recovery twice on getting juked, a ho-hum half for TSG’s man.

Wondolowski, very tough ask from Bob Bradley this evening, and he just doesn’t have the speed to do it.


Game time:

Checking in now as Nick Rimando and Sean Johnson start warming up.

Sean Franklin: Starting in his club proud...

You’re starting line-up…sorry we’re late:

GK: Nick Rimando

DEF: Zach Lloyd, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Sean Franklin

D MID: GINGER NATION (Dax, Larentowicz)

MID: Brek Shea, Mix Diskerud, Ale Bedoya

STR: Chris Wondolowski

Bench: GK Sean Johnson; Ds A.J. DeLaGarza, Anthony Wallace, Marvell Wynne; MF Eric Alexander; F Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury

Bobby B goes with speed on the flanks in Franklin and Lloyd anticipation of Chile’s chaotic come-at-you offense.

Chris Wondolowski up top as Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo deputize. This is big for Wondo and Coach Sweats likely sat Bunbury (age: 20) and Agudelo (18) out of sheer youth. Don’t want to damage the youngsters and put to much pressure on them the first time out in front of a home crowd.

76 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2011/01/22 at 7:34 PM

    Remains to see how they play on the field (remember the 4-3-3 v. Colombia?), but Diskerud being given the #10 keys to the car is very interesting, methinks.


  2. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 8:16 PM

    Holy Ginger love….. i don’t always know what the telefutura announcers are saying but it is still better than john harkes……


  3. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 8:18 PM

    Nice save Nick rimando


  4. Posted by dth on 2011/01/22 at 8:34 PM

    I was wondering for a while: where is Larentowicz? Then I realized: he’s dropping in between Gonzalez and Ream. A very modern look, that. Nice one, Bob!


  5. Posted by Steve DC on 2011/01/22 at 8:44 PM

    I’m not exactly a soccer expert, but WOW this passing is bad.


  6. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 8:44 PM

    Bahahahahahah… announcement of the night so far…. solo esquirda…..solo ESQUIRDA…SOLO ESQUIRDA. Ahhhhhh ….


  7. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 8:46 PM

    Solo izquierda Zack Loyd!!! Zack Loyd all alone on the left side! I took it that they were getting a kick out of his aggressive challenges despite playing with a yellow. Maybe I was wrong.


  8. Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/22 at 8:48 PM

    this is putrid.


  9. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 8:48 PM

    By the way, my thanks to some European p2p service for making it possible for me to observe the future of American soccer. Thanks again!!


  10. Posted by phlub on 2011/01/22 at 8:49 PM

    Proudly predicted the Wondo start. Wishing the prediction of a Teal or Juan pairing was up their with him. Having Wondo as a loan striker doesn’t seem right. Even with San Jose he’s rarely if ever in that role. Put Teal or Juan up front, Wondo back with Mix. Shea and Bedoya on the flanks. 4-2-2-2

    In the mean time this match is unsurprisingly SCRAPPY.


  11. Posted by Jake on 2011/01/22 at 8:58 PM

    have not been a fan of the redheaded pairing in the center. not really on the same page (although i guess that can be said of everyone so far…)


  12. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 8:58 PM

    Mejor estados unidos y Chile???? Dax McCarty shot?


  13. Posted by Kevin on 2011/01/22 at 9:00 PM

    It’s a good thing Brek Shea is out there, or the U.S. would have no attacking momentum


  14. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 9:00 PM

    A good start at least. Dax was great; Mix and Brek had their moments. I would like to see Wondo substituted. Agreed he shouldn’t be a lone striker, but he looked anxious with his chances anyway. I would like to see more of the Teal and Juan combo.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/01/22 at 9:04 PM

      Dax was active; Mix had more good than bad moments; Brek was up-and-down in a bad way. Both Brek and Mix could stand to tighten up their first touches–Mix, in particular, got himself in good positions but couldn’t capitalize on two occasions because he popped the ball up for a bad touch. Thought Gonzalez was pretty bad–some nervy defensive moments, some awful directionless passing, and then two bad giveaways in the first third. Ream, on the other hand, was the Gallant to Gonzalez’s Goofus: composed defensively, good passing–when he gave it away it was with a purpose (and wasn’t in his part of the field).

      Bedoya regressed a bit after the nice South Africa game. Franklin and Loyd were solid.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/01/22 at 9:07 PM

      Also, subs:

      Wallace for Loyd (would like to get a look at Wallace); Agudelo for Shea; Bunbury for Wondo; Johnson for Rimando (remember there are six subs in this friendly).


  15. Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/22 at 9:02 PM

    Wondo, based on what I’ve seen of him in San Jose, actually really loves to track back – both in defense, and in coming into the midfield to demand the ball – NOT the guy you want as a lone striker.

    Shea really has no right playing for the full national time on the flank.

    Mix needs to settle down already.

    Love the energy that Loyd brings, but I’m just waiting for the red to come.

    Jeff L. really doesn’t need to be anywhere other than an MLS squad.

    Nicky Rimando needs to yell, “keeper” once and a while and be heard.

    Hearing the Chilean fans singing ‘ole’ makes me want to puke – good god, I hope we see some changes. I’d rather be watching a cooking show.


    • Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:05 PM

      Unless you speak of the goddess Giada….well then.. i disagree with you sir. That said I think Shea needs to realize he can hold onto the ball every once in awhile


  16. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:09 PM

    Btw: I challenge anyone to flip between telefutura and ABC and see that mix diskerud is Jon heder


  17. Posted by Jake on 2011/01/22 at 9:16 PM

    GK and wynne?


  18. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:16 PM

    We have a Marvell Wynne sighting….


  19. Posted by 4now on 2011/01/22 at 9:29 PM



  20. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:31 PM

    THATS how you wynne a ball?


  21. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 9:35 PM

    Is Wynne playing Central D????!! And I think the coaches and FC Dallas may want to listen to Atletico about playing Brek somewhere else like the backline.


  22. Posted by BW on 2011/01/22 at 9:43 PM

    time for some chilean bs time wasting….


  23. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:46 PM



  24. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:47 PM

    “I like the bun..bury…I like the bun..bury…..”


  25. Posted by Fitz on 2011/01/22 at 9:47 PM

    And… Agudelo and Bunbery teach a couple thousand people to dougie!


  26. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 9:48 PM

    I like to Bun-bur-y! I like to Bun-bur-y!!!


  27. CRAMP! Sorry, just tightened up right here on the couch.


  28. By far the best Spanish call of the night:
    “I like the BUN-BUN-ry! I like the BUN-BUN-ry!”

    I lol-ed.

    And Bedoya looks gassed.


  29. Posted by John on 2011/01/22 at 9:55 PM

    Someone get that man a swimsuit and some water cause he was diving….


  30. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 10:08 PM

    Was hoping for more but that might be too much to ask for considering the inexperience of the team. Can’t wait to see more of Teal, Juan, Mix, and Ream in the future. Hopefully Bedoya, Gonzalez, Franklin, and Shea (a change of position may be necessary)can live up to their potential. Dax was good although there isn’t much room for him. I wouldn’t write Loyd or Wallace off considering the dearth of options at LB. Please no more Wondo or Larentowicz.


  31. Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 10:10 PM

    apparently john harkes was hating on mix on the english broadcast saying he only plays for himself. Is there anyway we can exile John Harkes from this country?


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/01/22 at 10:14 PM

      I thankfully didn’t have to listen to John this time because the only way I could watch the game (thanks for dropping the ball USSF and ESPN) was through a EUROPEAN P2P service. I know alot of people, including me, were impressed by Mix’s game, and ALOT of people hate John Harkes as a color man. Remember him constantly hating on Clint Dempsey during the Confed Cup? Can we please get Kyle Martino as the color guy for ESPN?


  32. So. Post-match ratings:

    Rimando: N/A
    Johnson: N/A, though distribution needs work. Not at fault for goal.

    Franklin: 5.5. Some solid defending, good sense of when to get forward, but had some wayward crossing once there.

    Wynne: 3. Little explanation needed there, I hope.
    Gonzalez: 4. The only difference between Wynne and Gonzalez was luck–Gonzalez was trying so hard to be Wynne, with some bad giveaways and dodgy defending.

    Ream: 7.5. MOTM. Great distribution all night, composed defending, and even showed flashes of closing speed and aerial prowess defensively. Only one poor giveaway marks him down from an 8.

    Loyd: 5. Got forward well, with good composure on the ball; perhaps a bit too physical in defense. Partially at fault for the goal, though not as egregiously as Wynne and Bedoya were.
    Wallace: 6. Some good passing; not really tested defensively. Would like to see more of Loyd and Wallace.


    Shea: 5. Up-and-down, in a bad way. Got got out-of-position on the Chile goal.
    McCarty: 5.5. Some good, some bad. Loved the long-range shot, loved the activity, and had some creative passing. Perhaps not as steadying as he should have been given his role and position.
    Larentowicz: 4.5. Bad passing, bad first touch, not really destroying.
    Diskerud: 7. Needs to tighten first touch, but some great off-the-ball movement, through balls, and showed nice tenacity in midfield. Future #10?
    Bedoya: 5. Up-and-down game; invisible in the first half and partially at fault for the goal; recovered with activity and had a hand in the goal, as well as generating a half-chance from nothing.
    Alexander: N/A.

    Wondolowski: 4.5. Tough to dock him–he’s not suited for the role he was asked to play, and with the midfield looking frazzled in the first half, he didn’t get much chance to shine.
    Agudelo: 6.5. Good job generating the chance for the penalty, took on players, got active with a nice tackle in the opposition’s territory. Perhaps a slight docking for the no-finish on his chance.
    Bunbury: 6.5. Scrappy, active, mobile, some good combinations with Diskerud and Agudelo. Definitely one for the future as much as Agudelo.

    Bradley: 6. Would’ve been 7, but come on: we all know what Wynne is at this point.


    • Posted by BW on 2011/01/22 at 10:36 PM

      i’ve yet to understand why everyone hates on wynne so much. is he the new default bornstein? can’t do anything right? you think he’s to blame for the goal where a guy scissors a ball bouncing above his head? what about the multiple times he tracks back and shuts down attacks coming down the left side? sorry, i don’t get it.


      • Because he was drifting crazily out of position as the cross went to the striker? Because he constantly played poor passes?

        To be fair he had some nice tracking down of wayward strikers and he’s an unreal athlete. But he was pretty awful out there tonight.


      • Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/23 at 12:52 AM

        He’s awkward and lacks any reasonable sense and will only get slower. He makes people that want to watch inventive, creative, thoughtful sublime football cringe. Look, Ream & Mix made a their good share of mistakes out there tonight, but when they did you at least had a sense that they understood what it was they were trying to do, and that what they were trying to do was pretty reasonable, and sometimes productive. With Wynne, its often just reactive, and usually pretty ugly. At this point, I think we have a pool deep enough to eliminate player like him. I actually think that Carlos Mendes would have been a better option – just your average Joe who doesn’t take risk, and can’t really do all that much, but doesn’t really make many mistakes either.


        • Posted by Freegle on 2011/01/23 at 10:19 AM

          Its funny how everyone talks about Wynne’s “tracking back” and speed. The reason we see them so much is because he is not a good soccer player.

          He constantly gets skinned on basic give and go’s and he takes up poor positions and lets people get behind him. That’s why we see his speed so much.

          If we are having a track meet and need an anchor for the 4×100 team, I’ll take Wynne. But, in an international soccer match, he’s WAY over his head.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/23 at 10:43 AM

          How old is this kid? And is he really that bad? [I have only seen him a couple of times, and he wasn’t as bad as I thought he would be, given my preconceived idea because of the commentary I had read].

          You can teach positioning, but you can’t really teach speed… Maybe that’s what Bradley thinks?


        • Wynne is 24. The thing is, he recently switched from RB to CB, and I’m guessing Bradley figured it was worth a look-see. After that gaffe–probably not.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2011/01/23 at 11:35 AM

          George the problem with that is how great it’s worked out with bornstein. You can only teach positional sense to a certain extent.


    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/01/23 at 6:47 AM

      yo buddy, reem gave up the goal, what the heck are you talking about. you wrote that long winded piece and could not come up with this.


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/01/23 at 7:53 AM

      I think you’re too hard on Rimando, McCarty, Loyd, and Shea (who was definitely up and down but at least was a physical presence). Loved your characterization of Gonzalez and Ream. If he gets stronger on defense, I think Ream will become a real first-team option.

      Re “future #10″: does this mean Mix’s first touch is usually a lot better than it was last night?


      • I mean, I don’t remember his touch being bad in South Africa, but I don’t think it was especially good either. So what’s the average performance there? I don’t know–but I’m pretty sure Mix will get consistent looks as an attacker and might well make it on the Gold Cup squad.


  33. Posted by nelson on 2011/01/23 at 1:45 AM

    Yeah, I watched a stream of what I think was the Telefutura broadcast and they just kept saying Wynne equivocando otra vez. Wynne messing up again. It was pretty obvious he was like a Findley at RB, tons of raw potential but not much skill.

    The announcers were fairly impressed by the US, but they though Agudelo got tired which surprised them since he had just come on. I also got a huge crack out of them pronouncing all the Scandanavian teams STAEBEK!!!!

    ps did anyone else here them say shut up after someone complained to the ref and the ref responded?


    • Posted by phlub on 2011/01/23 at 9:49 AM

      I did hear that! Ha. I think it was when Wondo lost possession and the ball was knocked out clearly off the Chilean defender. Throw went to Chile. The officials were pretty poor, but not really a factor besides the penalty call. Perhaps they frustrated some of the US team which our young dudes need to get used to. FIFA officiating is noticeably different than MLS. And sometimes it feels like particularly hard on the USMNT though that’s probably biased. Don’t get frustrated… just move on.


  34. Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/23 at 3:57 AM

    Rimando (6) – good hands, weak presence.
    Franklin (4) – iffy.
    Gonzalez (4) – blah.
    Ream (5.5) – composed, erratic.
    Loyd (4.5) – hejduk, the sequal.
    Larentowicz (4.5) – zzz
    McCarty (5) – wiley.
    Bedoya (4.5) – absent.
    Shea (3.5) – don’t believe the hype.
    Diskerud (4.5) – settle down there.
    Wondolowski (4.5) – victim.

    Johnson (5) – whatever.
    Wynne (2) – or lose.
    Aguedelo (6.5) – upside
    Bunbury (6.5) – see Aguedelo.
    Wallace (4) – iffy.

    BB (4) – 30th minute, case in point.


    • Posted by euroman on 2011/01/23 at 4:11 PM

      Saw it the same way…lots of guys took steps backwards tonight including Ream.


  35. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/23 at 8:41 AM

    So, what is a take-away from this game**? Who do you think has a genuine chance [read: is good enough] to make the squad when Bradley has access to his ‘regulars’/ or squads in the not-too-distant-future?

    **I understand it’s ‘only one game’ etc.


    • Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/23 at 9:50 AM



      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/23 at 10:47 AM

        Cool. I am looking forward to this season so I can watch more of Ream & Agudelo on a regular basis.

        BTW, is Hamid injured? Would have thought his name would have been all over this…


      • Agree with this list, but also intrigued by Loyd and Wallace.


        • Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/23 at 12:15 PM

          Great energy from Loyd, but the guys close to 24 – how much can you develop technically at that age, really?
          W/his energy I seem him much more valuable in a Seamus Coleman mode.
          I would also like to add Johnson to that list.
          Though I’m of the cast of mind that goalkeepers do not become real options until their late 20s.

          I think most of the guys are useful for qualifying, but as far as real USMNT first XI potential I’d say those 5: Ream, Agudelo, Bunbury, Diskerud, & Johnson.

          Curious to see Starikov…


    • Posted by phlub on 2011/01/23 at 10:45 AM

      I think all of these guys will continue to get some sort of look… tough to say with the keepers. But this is still the Guzan/Howard era. Third option could include Rimando/Johnson/Perkins.


      Fence: Franklin, Wallace


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/23 at 10:54 AM

        You think these midfielders are good enough to dislodge the European-based ones + Donovan? Interesting times ahead.


        • Posted by Tux on 2011/01/23 at 11:33 AM

          Not yet…but Landon and Deuce will both be on the wrong side of 30 by the time the next WC rolls around. Mix will be 28 at Russia 2018. If he continues to progress, he should be a regular starter for the A-team at the beginning of the next cycle.


        • Posted by phlub on 2011/01/23 at 5:06 PM

          some sort of look… meaning these upcoming friendlies and possible gold cup bench. certainly no dislodging of donovan/dempsey/holden/bradley/edu. i think ream will compete with goodson to partner with onyewu. otherwise, bedoya, dax, and agudelo should get the most serious looks at making the gold cup roster.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2011/01/23 at 11:54 AM

        I think reasonable options now or sooner rather than later are, ream, mix, bedoya, and the dougie twins. I would still like to see more of dax, loyd, Wallace, shea,


  36. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/01/23 at 10:47 AM

    reading a lot of the comments, it almost sounds like the usa lost last night. to me, the usa really controlled this game and they did not give to many chances to chile, even though chile has this great coach, who is suppose to be a tactician.

    lets chalk up the chile goal to the fact that our center halfs had just been switched up. there is some talent on this squad and some people think this player was good and some think that player was good. dax was the best player for the usa on the night, no doubt about it. dax will be in the mix for 2014, for sure.


    • Posted by Jake on 2011/01/23 at 10:56 AM

      I felt that Dax was continually grabbing guys as they ran past him. defensively on the ball he would stand upright and jut use hands to play defense…could have been carded a few times.


    • Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/01/23 at 12:21 PM

      Nothing to do with winning or losing – all about playing the game. And until we switched to a 4-4-2 and brought on Bunbury & Agudelo, it was pretty ugly. Dax looked lively against a Chilean reserve side at the Home Depot Center. We’ll see how he competes against an Egyptian side in Cairo, if he is afforded the chance. Good pool player, good guy to have in qualifying. But with Jones, Bradley, Holden, Edu, Spector, and even Torres & Feilhaber (and perhaps even Klejstan?) out there, I don’t rate his chances very highly for competing for a central spot.


  37. Posted by Isaac on 2011/01/23 at 1:13 PM

    I was most eager to see Diskerud and he didn’t disappoint for the most part. He showed great creativity, skill, composure, and movement. I actually thought he faded a from the game a bit when we moved him wide left after Agudelo and Bunbury came into the fray – almost as if he’s more comfortable channeling the attacking from central spots, hence his positioning in his involvement in Agudelo’s goal against South Africa. Bedoya had a bit of a rough first fourty-five, but he eventually showed what we know he’s got: Genuine skill and creativity combined with pace, stamina, and a high work rate. Agudelo and Bunbury definitely brought the spark, but they did ruin a few plays that looked to be getting places. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget Bunbury knocking back out that throw-in in the last few minutes.

    In general, I think the quartet of Agudelo, Bunbury, Diskerud and Bedoya definitely could go to, and get serious minutes at the Gold Cup. The issue is that if they all do end up making the roster, it’s going to take a spot from someone like Torres or even Feilhaber. 5 months is a long time, though, and any combination of those guys, or even someone else like Sacha Kljestan, could end up getting into or out of form.

    For my money, Diskerud and Agudelo are two more talented out of that four, and Bunbury would probably end up making the Gold Cup out of lack of good forwards, leaving Bedoya on the outside. Then again, Torres isn’t getting good minutes with Pachuca if I’m not mistaken, so Bedoya could very well take his spot.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/01/23 at 1:25 PM

      Torres hasn’t been playing at all–to my mind, he’s off of the depth chart. DeMerit, I think, is also in trouble and Onyewu has to find his form with Twente–Ream gets one of their spots. Lichaj takes Spector’s spot. Clark is replaced by Jones; Bedoya replaces Beasley; Diskerud replaces Feilhaber. Besides Altidore, the last three forward spots are whomever’s on form–my guess is either Wondo or Gomez in the fox-in-the-box role, Bunbury or Buddle for the big guy role, and Agudelo, Findley or (dark horse if citizenship!) Mwanga for speed guy role.


      • Posted by Isaac on 2011/01/23 at 2:59 PM

        I don’t know that Feilhaber should lose his spot. Feilhaber has been playing regularly, and playing well from what I’ve seen, even if it is just the Denmark 2nd division. I actually think we should completely forget about a “fox-in-the-box” guy, because they don’t really add anything to our tactic and we’ve never functioned well with one. I’d say the four forwards are Altidore, Bunbury, Buddle, and Agudelo. Altidore can be the big guy or the speed guy, Bunbury and Buddle are the big guys, and Agudelo is the speed guy.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/01/23 at 3:17 PM

          Feilhaber may have been playing well, and it’s not a knock on him or anything, but I just don’t know if the Danish 2nd division is enough to keep you as sharp as you need to be. I’m sure Feilhaber would be up to the task if called and I won’t complain or anything if he is, I just think with the depth and quality of the U.S. midfield, you have to be excelling against quality competition. So I give the edge to Diskerud as of this moment, though the transfer market could boost either one of them–the rumor I’ve heard a lot is Feilhaber to Cruz Azul, and Diskerud apparently has been challenging his contract in court and may get it invalidated, leaving him a free agent. I’d imagine a twenty-year-old international with an E.U. passport would be very appealing.


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