Live Commentary – USA versus Paraguay

Will the real Bradley please stand up!

The US played a lot better and Sweats made some very positive changes from the last game. A disappointing result, but there are some good take-aways, namely Ream, Chandler and Lichaj. They all shone brightly as did Deuce and Agudelo. The rest of the US squad were pedestrian. If Bradley played like he did in the last quarter the whole game, i think we would have had a different scoreline.

94:00 – Wow… a last ditch shot from Jones as he sends a piledriver, but right at Villar. TWEEEEET TWEET TWEET. Game over.

92:00 - Huge mistake from Jones as he gifts the ball to Barrios who sends a low shot inches wide. Sloppy play from the US defender.

91:00 – US playing with a lot more urgency, but is it too little too late?

89:00 - US ping it around nicely, as Bradley makes great runs off the ball to free space up for his team mates as Agudelo runs the show. Unfortunately, Paraguay are up to the task.

88:00 – US’s set pieces have been poorly taken and none of them have really troubled the Paraguayan defense.

86:00 – Bradley with a wonderful shot that Villar spectacularly saves. That is much better from Bradley. This is what we want from him. To take initiative!

83:00 – Game has slowed down a bit. Prime time for a comeback!

80:00 - Bradley gets turned around off the ball as does Chandler. They both try to make up for their mistake and eventually get the ball back but tee up a Paraguayan in the process. His shot is bravely blocked by Ream.

78:00 – A beautiful strike from the Paraguayan striker (name escapes me) as he strikes in wonderfully and it hits the post and goes out. Lucky for the US as Yelldell was beaten.

76:00 – Donovan with a huge miss. Ball trickles all the way across goal from a thrown in. Donovan from 5 yards away tries to hammer it as hard as he could, when composure was called for. Should have been better from the face of US soccer.

73:00 – Lichaj playing very well as he is making some good attacking runs…isn’t he supposed to be further back than Chandler? He’s brought down and the USMNT get their 200th free kick. None of them have been particularly dangerous.

70:00 – WHO GAVE THESE COMMENTATORS PENS!!! They’re pretty awful.

69:00 – US break nicely with Agudelo at the center of it, as he grabs the ball and sends it to Donovan who is offside. He knows nothing about it and sends a random shot nowhere.

67:00 - Chandler and Lichaj combine wonderfully as the Aston Villa defender (currently on loan at Leeds) charges down the flank and set up Dempsey who skies it high as the is confused by a deflection and leans back. Nice move that, but better finishing would have leveled the game.

66:00 – Not much going on in the last 5 minutes. Yelldell finally gets called into action.

61:00 – Lichaj comes in for Altidore and goes back to the right as Chandler moves up. Interesting as Deuce slots in behind Agudelo.

58:00 - Jones and Bradley have a game of head tennis. It doesn’t end well.

55:00 – Donovan brings the ball up well and lays off to Dempsey who is immediately challenged by 2, then 3 and then 4 players. He gives it up. The commentators seem to praise him for this.

53:00 - Ream and Chandler must be automatics in the next game. Ream has more composure and skill then any other of centerbacks and Chandler is very dangerous going forward.

51:00 – Chandler showing great touch and speed and sends in a  dangerous cross. Another corner for the US.

50:00 – Some nice passing from the US starts with Jones sending a splitting pass to Donovan who one times it into the box. It goes out for a corner.

46:00 - Agudelo starting things off brightly as he runs at the defense. He passes to Altidore who pass back to Jones who sets up Agudelo. He is softly brought down in the box. Ref is correct in no penalty. US get it back and Altidore cause some problems and Villar has to make a quick save of a deflection. Bright start for the USMNY.

PEEEEEEP PEEEP and Paraguay kick it off.

Substitutions – Yelldell on for Hahnemann and Jones on for Edu.

PEEEEP – Half time - The US commentators are saying a lot of positive things, but the one I vehemently disagree with, is saying that the partnership between Edu and Bradley is good. WHAT? They are both non-existent and Bradley has give the ball away more than he has not. He is a MUCH MUCH better player than he is currently showing. Bornstein is making amends for some early mistakes and the attacking four are showing some nice interplay. Hopefully that can translate into some goals in the second half.

46:00 – 2 minutes of extra time. US certainly playing with better possession and more confidence the on Saturday, but haven’t really troubled Paraguay with any of their attacking forays.

43:00 - Hahnemann gets tested twice in 15 seconds by some long range shots and is equal to the task. Tim Ream is playing well, but Bradley is not and seems to be confused as to what his duties are.

41:00 - Another free kick for the US, about 35 yards out. Donovan sends in a ball to the far side of the goal, that Demerit charges in for but heads over. That proves to be his last play as he is clearly hurt and Bocanegra plays him in a straight swap.

38:00 – Bornstein makes a good run and sends in an even better cross. The clearing header bounces to Bradley, but he is immediately closed down (take note US defenders). Junior passes to Dempsey but his shot slices well wide. Good job by Bornstein though who is getting better as the game goes on.

33:00 – Rain coming down. Paraguay are not doing much in terms of moving forward and concede another free kick. Paraguay defend it well, but can’t string any passes together and US get the ball back.

31:00 – US playing intelligently, but their skill is betraying them as Bradley sends a smart ball over Chandlers head and into touch. The US are doing a much better job of keeping the ball then in saturday’s contest. It would be hard not too.

28:00 – US settling down a bit as they are passing the ball around. A lot of slippin’ and sliddin’ going on. US seem most dangerous on set pieces of which they are getting quite a few.

26:00 – Ream sends in a ball down the center of the pitch, that Edu lofts up in the air and Demspey takes it on the volley from about 40 yards out. Its a mean dipping shot that Villar does well to hold onto. Great strike!

23:00 – Chandler shows some great speed and positioning and runs up the wing with the ball. He starts to fall, but luckily the Paraguayan defender fouled him just outside the box. Good opportunity for the US. Donovan sends in a good ball, but Villar, unlike his Argentine counterpart holds onto it firmly.

21:00 – US as is customary come back immediately with some nice passing, but Dempsey’s floaty header goes wide. Back on the attack, Jozy wins a corner. It’s poorly taken and headed out but he first Paraguayan defender.

20:00 – I will say this until i’m blue in the face, but when you constantly give people space it becomes infectious. There was too much room for the smaller Paragyuan players in the US box.

18:00 – GOOOOOOOAALLLL – Cardozo. Off the corner, the US defending is hopeless as Demerit attempts to clear with a diving header, takes out Edu and the ball falls to the Paraguayan striker who roofs it into the back of the net. Nothing Hahnemann could have done. Paraguay 1 – US 0

17:00 – Bradley gives the ball away again and Paraguay quickly attack, but Bornstein to the rescue as he give sup a corner

15:00 – Agudelo shows good ball skill and twists and turns to give himself some room to shoot, but his effort was well blocked.

12:00 - Good to see the USMNT defending up on high. Donovan gathers ball at midfield and brings the ball up with options, but stupidly chooses Bornstein who comically falls/slides and sends the ball ballooning into the stands in an attempt to pass I believe.

7:00 – Clearly Dempsey is already getting frustrated and is coming back deep into his own half to pick up the ball. The US are giving the ball away too easily, by making awful obvious passes.

5:00 – Paraguay get a free kick 35 yards out, but it is poor and hits Altidore in the thigh.

4:00 - Well the US haven’t really learned much as they get burned down the wing and a great cross is headed just wide by the Paragyuan forward. The US are giving the ball up too easily.

2:00 – The US already showing more attacking verve in the first 90 seconds then they did in the first and most of the second half against Argentina. Positive already, though Edu is beautifully tackled by Da Silva.

1:00 – Wow that was an awful way to start the game, as the US kick it immediately out of bounds.

Agudelo put away an opportunistic strike, can he continue his good form?

TWEEEEET - And the US kick it off

So apparently it’s a 4-4-2 with the US employing their two best players out wide and out of the way…smart.

Either Clint Dempsey either is wear eye shadow or hasn’t slept well  in ages!

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Back soon with the kick off!

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Paraguay Line up: Villar; Cáceres, Mareco, Da Silva, Miguel Samudio; Vera, Molinas, Riveros, Estigarribia; Pérez, Cardozo

USA Line up: Hahnemann; Chandler, DeMerit, Ream, Bornstein; Donovan, Bradley, Edu, Dempsey; Altidore, Agudelo. Loosk like a 4 -2 -2- 2
SUBS: Spector, Bocanegra, Jones, Kljestan, Yelldell, Lichaj, Diskerud.

Sweats decides to rest some of his tried and true, which means no Howard in goal or Gooch in the back. Bocanegra on the bench. Bradley obviously likes what he sees (he would be blind if he didn’t) in his second half substitutes against Argentina, Chandler and Agudelo, who both earn a starting nod. Dozy Altidore will partner the young Red Bull striker up top with Deuce and Donovan providing support. Bornstein is out on the left, so at least this should be an entertaining game!

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Hello all fans (and possibly haters) of footie.

Welcome to the second round of international friendlies. USA welcomes Paraguay at home of country music, Nash-Vegas!

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79 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/29 at 4:18 PM

    Wow…track meet, track meet, track meet.

    Paraguay swaps out 75% of their line-up…3 of the 4 on the backline that Mexico killed, nearly every player younger than the one they replaced.

    US goes with their speed team. Not one player on the bench could be the respective starter in their position in 50-yard dash. Should be an open up-down game.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/29 at 4:24 PM

    I like it.

    Reply

  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/29 at 4:38 PM

    Paraguay deploys Cardoza who is a handful in the air…only guy on their team that can be considered a target man. I missed that in the preview. Didn’t think he’d play–thought it would be Barrios and Perez or Benitez.

    Reply

  4. Posted by justin on 2011/03/29 at 4:43 PM

    i would like to see a 4-3-3 with the same line up

    chandler-demerit-ream-bornstein
    bradley-edu
    donovan/dempsey
    altidore-agudelo-dempsey/donovan

    i thought the interesting thing about altidore’s highlights against T&T was that ching played and jozy was able to play off the post-up striker (the anelka role). This is what he plays better. I also think it would be cool to see duece or donovan in the middle. The thing is tho, the usa usually flexes in to this kind of formation out of a 4-2-2-2 on the attack with our wingers sliding inside and the other going forward. So it will be cool to see how we set up with this group of players.

    Reply

  5. Posted by ehg on 2011/03/29 at 5:11 PM

    Need a link to see this intriguing lineup.

    Reply

  6. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 5:14 PM

    Good to see Dempsey moving centrally more–gives the double pivot/backline an option while they’re passing it around.

    Reply

  7. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 5:24 PM

    Two notes:

    1) univision announcer correctly identified “American Outlaws”

    2) With the lateral movement of the Donovan-Dempsey band and the Altidore-Agudelo band, does look like we’re trying a Villarreal look.

    And, uh, the gol.

    Reply

  8. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 5:42 PM

    One of these days Dempsey will get into an in-game fight. He will win.

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  9. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 5:54 PM

    Thought Bradley and Ream looked good. I’d advocate Mix for Edu for halftime.

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  10. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/29 at 5:56 PM

    I thought Bradley looked terrible…but he’s not playing the right role. He’s not a creator. I’d like to see him pushed up for Edu next half and Jones or Kljestan brought in.

    Dempsey has been phenomenal thus far, most because of where he’s moving off ball. As with Agudelo.

    Altidore still things that the ball has to find him.

    Reply

    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/03/29 at 5:58 PM

      I agree with all this, though i think Alitdore is doing a good job as second striker and setting up the spaces for others to run onto.

      Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/29 at 6:03 PM

      Huh. I thought Bradley looked really good as well. Sure, he had a few cheap giveaways, but the balls he was winning and distributing more than made up for that.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 6:24 PM

        Yeah, Bradley and Edu had one really egregious giveaway each. Edu, however, was much less accurate on his passes.

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  11. Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 5:58 PM

    Wow, Matt, you thought Bradley looked bad? Aside from a couple of iffy give-aways in the back (that Edu was more prone to), which is forgivable since they’re trying to play out of the back now, I thought Bradley’s been great. Back to his old self.

    Ream is 1000x better on the ball than Gooch. And I love Demerit.

    Reply

    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/03/29 at 6:02 PM

      John – I have to agree with Matt here (and it isn’t too often the two of us agree). Bradley has not only given many balls away and key breakaway ones too (his was the one that led to the corner), but he is stuck in a no mans land and seems tentative. I think he has been their poorest player so far. The good thing is that he can be their best player. Hopefully we will see him take better care of the ball and be smartly aggressive in the second half.

      Reply

      • Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 6:09 PM

        ha, I feel like we’re watching a different game! Bradley’s made himself available for the kind of distribution from the back that we’re all clamoring for (I wonder how many of Ream’s passes connected Bradley.), and I think you might be over-counting his number of giveaways, at least in their own half. If only foxsoccer was doing a chalkboard of this.

        Edu’s looked lost in my eyes. I must be missing something…

        Reply

        • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/03/29 at 6:11 PM

          I do agree that Edu looks lost as well. It’s funny how we get completely different viewpoints on one player in the same game!

          Reply

          • Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 6:14 PM

            Yeah… this is where stats would come in handy. Because I thought Bradley (and Dempsey) were the most active in that half, exactly the opposite of Joe there below.

            Reply

  12. Posted by joe on 2011/03/29 at 6:05 PM

    I spent most of the first half wondering where junior was and then he showed up around the 28 min and starts making some terrible passes. I am curious if Edu has made a single forward pass?

    Reply

    • Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 6:16 PM

      I was wondering where Donovan was… and what’s happened to his delivery? Seems like 75% of his set-piece balls aren’t even getting past the first defender.

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    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 6:26 PM

      Really? For me Bradley was (in first half) spraying the ball around and making simple, effective passes. They’re invisible but invaluable.

      Reply

      • Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 6:29 PM

        What do Matt and Webb think of Bradley so far this half? No give aways, and a bunch of smart, solid passes. Nothing brilliant, just steady and always open for a bass. Seems like he’s playing his role pretty well.

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  13. Posted by Dennis on 2011/03/29 at 6:21 PM

    50:00 comment

    That is an example of why I believe Jones will be our starting defensive mid in 2014. Great pass.

    Reply

  14. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 6:28 PM

    Finally! Dempsey in the #10 role!

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  15. Posted by justin on 2011/03/29 at 6:31 PM

    was that our last substitution?

    Reply

  16. Posted by John Henry on 2011/03/29 at 6:31 PM

    But I completely agree with you about Ream and Chandler. I love Ream’s composure. And Chandler, although his defense has been a bit spotty, is a monster going forward. That speed is sweet, and his crosses are more telling than a snitch and more teasing than, well, a tease.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 6:33 PM

      I think Chandler looks better as a RB than RM. To me you need more moves as a RM, and I’m not sure Chandler has a move other than running REALLY FAST.

      Reply

  17. Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 6:43 PM

    Donovan….has been bad today.

    Reply

    • Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 6:57 PM

      Totally agree with this, and I think you said this before he missed the wide open equalizer.

      Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 7:04 PM

      A preview, perhaps, of a scary post-Donovan world. Near-term challenge is defense…but longterm is creativity. Who knows whether Donovan will still be as good in 2014?

      Reply

      • Posted by Paul on 2011/03/29 at 7:14 PM

        True, as Donovan goes, so go the Yanks’s attack. Donovan and Dempsey both missed sitters tonight. Don’t see why Bob didn’t try his son as the ACM in the 5 man midfield against Argentina. He seems to be the most natural attacker of the three central mids; that shot reminds why I like him out there as a threat as a good ball striker, who can also score on strange deflections around the box.

        Reply

      • Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 7:15 PM

        Good stuff overall tonight, I felt like, though? Sucks we didn’t convert the chances, but I felt like lots of positives. Chandler, Ream, Agudelo, Lichaj — all encouraging, I felt like.

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        • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 7:22 PM

          Were there clear-cut chances? I don’t remember many. I remember a few half-chances that we made decent efforts at, but few clear-cut chances. Only one–Landon’s side-netting adventure–in my memory. (Bradley’s long-range strike .5, Dempsey’s scuffed volley .5, etc.)

          Reply

          • Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 7:24 PM

            Jones’s last shot, too, which I’d count as a 1. To me, that’s 3 more solid chances than against Argentina, no? I can only recall Dempsey’s doublefooted attempt.

            Plus, how many corners and freekicks in scoring positions did we have tonight?

            Reply

            • Posted by Paul on 2011/03/29 at 8:06 PM

              I’d say Dempsey’s volley was a clear chance; Bradley essentially created his chance through an excellent shot. Deuce’s chance was right in the middle of the box, unlike Donovan’s side angle; further, Deuce had more of an expectation to get the ball than Donovan–an odd throw-in that hopped over everyone’s heads is more unexpected, and, thus, a more difficult chance, than a well-crafted pass from the wing. Still, real chances that went unconverted.

              Yeah, these are more chances than against Argentina. Replay Argentina’s first half against the US, then ask yourself the question: did Argentina get more quality chances than the US did in the second half tonight? A negative answer, which I believe is correct, reveals how well the US played in the first half against a top opponent.

  18. Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 6:53 PM

    Wow. Just saw the replay of Ream getting blatantly pulled down to create the Paraguay goal.

    Reply

  19. Sometimes a loss one day shows more about a team than a tie another…

    Really excited that BB and co. tried some logical personnel trials out. The possession late was incredible.

    Reply

  20. Posted by elizabeth on 2011/03/29 at 7:08 PM

    I’m curious as to what people prefer? playing like we did in the first half against Argentina and managing a draw, or even a win. Or playing like we did tonight, controlling the possession and playing attractive soccer, but resulting in a loss.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 7:11 PM

      The latter. Performance is better than achievement.

      That said, one thing I found curious today was Bradley’s subs. What was the point of Kljestan and Spector? We should know by now that they’re not useful, but Bradley keeps on with them, just in case. Sometimes this pays off (Conor Casey vs. Honduras!) but usually it does not. Meanwhile Mix Diskerud didn’t see a minute of action at all between the two games–what, exactly, was the point of flying him in from Norway?

      Reply

    • Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 7:22 PM

      I much, much, much preferred tonight. I feel like tonight’s brand of soccer plays more to our strengths and does more to spread the game, and on balance, the more we play like this, the more we can win. We missed sitters tonight and blew all of our set pieces, but created so many more chances overall. How many chances did we actually have against Argentina? Two that I recall?

      I’m ok with parking the bus once in awhile, but I’d also like to see us use these opportunities to build the younger players and the team as a whole. I guess looking back over the last 2 games, we know alot more about Agudelo and Chandler, especially.

      After Spain, I guess we’ll see what we do when it counts.

      Reply

      • Posted by EFG on 2011/03/29 at 8:07 PM

        One of my biggest annoyances is the entire “It isn’t the result that matters, it is the performance.” At what point are we as supporters allowed to expect both the result AND the performance? When did they become mutually exclusive?

        Reply

        • Posted by elizabeth on 2011/03/29 at 8:19 PM

          I agree with you on this one. I just wanted to see how others felt. My hope, or guess, as our performance goes up, the goals will come eventually, and now BB knows that finishing is something that needs to be worked on. But I keep forgetting that technically we lost this game. We played well, and in friendlies, if the scoreline doesn’t show that, I’m not to upset. In the world cup, however, totally different story

          Reply

        • Posted by EFG on 2011/03/29 at 8:19 PM

          For clarification: I find this entire notion stated at the end of matches that the USMNT doesn’t win. Let’s not hide the fact that a home loss is a home loss is a home loss. I think I’d rather have the ability to grind out a result when things aren’t going well than be in control and lose.

          Reply

    • The latter. Because more often than not we lose if we play like we did against Argentina; But if we play like we did the second half against Paraguay (read: aggressive and limit unforced giveaways) for an entire match we win more often.

      Really though this is a trick question because it depends on whom we are playing against. We should play defensive and counter against an Argentina, but we should try to maintain possession once we get it and press better.

      Reply

  21. Was looking for this lineup to start:

    —––Agudelo——————
    —————-Demps————-
    Donovan—Jones—MB—Chandler
    Boca—Ream—Demerit—Lichaj
    ————-Howard—————

    BB did not disappoint in going to the 4-4-1-1…just took a half to get there. Positive position tests for the future. Have to give the coaches credit.

    Reply

    • Posted by Mingjai on 2011/03/29 at 10:23 PM

      Assuming Holden out for a while, I think your lineup with Cherundolo instead of Lichaj is probably the US’s best lineup going in to the Gold Cup. I suppose you can play it either as a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 depending on how far up the wing midfielder play or how deep Dempsey drops into the middle.

      Reply

  22. Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 7:13 PM

    Worse result than Saturday, but I feel much better than I did after that one. Lots of bright spots for me, the biggest of which was just the brand of soccer, which was clearly more aggressive, creative, and attacking despite no goals.

    Loved what the younger guys brought — lots of bright spots there and I think Chandler was my favorite — he just brings a completely different energy (not to mention speed) and his crosses seem to always be dangerous.

    Reply

  23. Questions:

    1) Was this the day that Jozy becomes a bench player? Does he see time ahead of Agudelo or Bunbury going forward?

    2) Yes we have no great LM options not named Donovan/Dempsey, but does that warrant Kljestan making the Gold Cup team? Has Chandler proven beyond a doubt that there are way better RM options that we don’t need that traditional left mid off the bench guy.

    3) Spector nickname = utility man?

    Reply

  24. CB depth chart?

    Demerit > Ream > Boca > Goodson/Onyewu > Parkhurst

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 7:33 PM

      Agreeance. DeMerit was underratedly good for the past two games; I’d be very happy to see a DeMerit/Ream Gold Cup combo.

      …scanning the internet, it appears some early reactions are: Bornstein sucks (very much a huh?!? from my perspective–must be reflex at this point. If Bornstein consistently turned in this type of performance, I don’t think we’d have a problem at LB for the foreseeable future) and We Want Jose Francisco Torres (understandable but incorrect).

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 7:35 PM

        Oh yeah, and Bradley MOTM for me. Easily.

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      • Posted by GJD on 2011/03/29 at 7:46 PM

        I don’t think anyone who can play at that level “sucks,” but I do think Bornstein continued to show a penchant for the boneheaded play tonight. It wasn’t as bad as in times past, and he did show some good things, of course, but off the top of my head, 3 things that made me completely wince:

        1. The horrible left-side cross early in the game where he completely miskicked into the stands
        2. Being so out of position and mistiming his jump so poorly defending on goal in the first half that the Paraguyan forward jumped almost completely over him and landed on top of a sprawled-out-on-the-ground Bornstein
        3. Late before the substitution, when tracking back toward goal he attempted a short pass to one of our CBs (Ream?) but fell over the ball which resulted in a deflection to a Paraguyan midstride. Could’ve been a complete disaster, but I think Ream ended up saving the play.

        All of these things can happen, of course, but I just think this kind of thing seems to follow him around. Again, I wish him well, I just feel like he’s a HUGE liability and opposing teams rightly target him.

        Reply

        • Posted by Freegle on 2011/03/29 at 8:07 PM

          I completely agree that other teams target Bornstein and for good reason. I hate that at this point we have a starting left back who we consider to have played a strong match if he doesn’t make an egregious, goal conceding mistake. Even knowing that Spector was a liability against Argentina, I didn’t live in fear of every attack down his flank like I do when Bornstein is in the match. When was the last time anyone heard “Its a good thing we had bornstein out there today.” (unless you know a lot of hondurans)

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2011/03/29 at 8:45 PM

            Maybe YOU don’t live in fear of Spector. I fear Spector far more than I do Bornstein.

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            • Posted by Tux on 2011/03/29 at 10:25 PM

              It’s like the reverse version of The Good Son. Instead of saving one, we have to let one live.

  25. Posted by John on 2011/03/29 at 7:34 PM

    Good Grief Donovan was pretty awful tonight, service and play.

    Reply

  26. Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/29 at 7:47 PM

    Didn’t love Donovan tonight. Sad that on other websites (not this one–love the sane comments section here, btw!), he’s already being dethroned. Good to know the US soccer community doesn’t over-exaggerate or anything. I also don’t think that Bornstein was as bad as people are making him out to be–yes, he gave away the corner, but he clearly has some good pace on him and did make a couple decent plays.

    However, I will say that I thought that the US put in a very good game. Sure, the result kind of sucks. But we had some very bright moments from younger players–Ream, Lichaj, Chandler, Agudelo–and a solid performance from Michael Bradley and both keepers.

    Reply

  27. Posted by Russ on 2011/03/29 at 7:51 PM

    We needed a creative midfielder in the center of the park in the worst way tonight. Really surprised/disappointed Bradley didn’t give Mix some minutes tonight.

    We’re going to miss Stu Holden something awful this summer. The empty bucket and reliance on holding midfielders who simply can’t effectively link play together isn’t going to beat Mexico in the Rose Bowl.

    Great stuff from Ream, Chandler and Lichaj. Encouraging stuff for the back line. Agudelo looked dangerous again. Jozy……..I don’t know.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex Song on 2011/03/29 at 8:54 PM

      I would love to see Bob give this lineup a chance:

      ———Agudelo—-Davies———-
      —————-Adu—————–
      Dempsey——————–Donovan
      —————Bradley—————
      Lichaj—Bocanegra—Ream—Chandler
      —————Howard—————

      Davies and Agudelo are our best strikers. Adu is our most creative central midfielder. They could wreak havoc with Dempsey and Donovan also contributing (Deuce cutting in and shooting, Landon running counter-attacks and hitting crosses).

      Reply

      • Posted by Russ on 2011/03/30 at 12:03 PM

        Yeah, that’s a pretty inventive attack. It’d be cool to see Bob try that out in a B or C level friendly. Won’t hold my breath.

        Reply

  28. Posted by chris on 2011/03/29 at 7:55 PM

    Does anyone else get tired of Dempsey’s tough guy antics? It’s a total distraction. Dear Clint, please stay on your feet, keep playing, don’t argue with the ref and give your opponent the death stare every single time you lose the ball, and preferebly score. I feel like he’s becoming less of an asset every time I see him play for the US.

    Reply

    • Yes, but I don’t mind that as much as I do when he gets the mindset that he is going to score every time he receives the ball near the box. Sometimes he tries to hard to go it alone (not most of the time, but sometimes).

      Reply

    • Posted by Tux on 2011/03/29 at 10:27 PM

      I’d rather have that than timidity. Deuce has a pair of brass ones, and sometimes he feels like he’s gotta show them off.

      Reply

  29. I know Lichaj has said that he “is not a LB” and having inverted backs is not the best bet, but shouldn’t he at least be evaluated in practice/ 1 game at LB?

    If the depth chart there is Boca/Bornstein what if one of them is hurt and the other is playing poorly come Gold Cup time? Who starts? Loyd wasn’t even brought into camp.

    Seems Dolo > Chandler > Lichaj at RB. Some of that speed and positional sense could really be beneficial to have at both backs.

    Not saying Bornstein had a bad match. He played pretty well and deserves continued consideration just seems BB is settling with his known commodities at LB.

    Reply

    • Posted by Russ on 2011/03/29 at 8:03 PM

      Bornstein is serviceable defensively but really killed a lot of our momentum pushing up with some bad touches.

      Really need some width from the back seeing as we’re pretty shallow at winger right now.

      Reply

      • Posted by John on 2011/03/29 at 8:18 PM

        Look folks, the eternal Bornstein conversation has got to end. Let’s focus instead on the complete inability of the midfield to be threatening instead.

        The people who DID play poorly were in the middle of the pitch. Possession without any kind of killer instinct is just as futile as bunkering.

        Lots of positives and negatives to take away here, but Bornstein is a drum that people like to beat over and over and over and over and over. Let it go for once.

        What I want to hear about is why Diskerud didn’t get in the game, and the possibility of moving Jozy to winger/midfield.

        Reply

        • Posted by Russ on 2011/03/29 at 8:27 PM

          Just an observation. Johnny was in no way the worst part of our performance tonight, just wish he had a bit more of a clue going forward but that’s probably getting greedy.

          “Servicable” at LB is better than nothing.

          Very much agreed on Mix – would’ve liked to see if the chemistry he and Agudelo showed in Cape Town was still there.

          Reply

          • Posted by John on 2011/03/29 at 8:32 PM

            I know, It just seems that after every game like this so many fans just chose to ignore the problems (like Donovan not being able to beat the first man on a free kick, Edu’s invisibility act, or Jones giveaways) and just focus their lasers on the two crosses Bornstein couldn’t convert.

            Quite frustrating.

            Side note: I wanted Diskerud for Donovan in the 75th. What else did Landon have to do out there?

            Reply

    • Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/29 at 8:09 PM

      I think that his quote was more along the lines of “I can play LB, but it’s not my preferred position.”

      Reply

  30. Posted by Russ on 2011/03/29 at 8:06 PM

    Bradley had his moments tonight but had his share of poor short passes in very poor positions. One giveaway led to the corner that led to the only goal. Can’t afford that at the international level.

    Reply

  31. giggle…Mexico tied with Venezuela at Azteca. What the hell happened there?

    Reply

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