Mr. Tuesday will be along with a full re-cap tomorrow of the United States 2-0 win over Canada in Gold Cup Group Stage Game 1.
• Bradley goes two traditional attack schemas and both work.
The first half saw the US deploy the “speed flank” of Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan and Juan Agudelo (with Jozy dragging across) on the right. The pair of Donovan and Cherundolo flummoxed Canada’s main attack pairing of Josh Simpson and Simeon Jackson.
The second half saw the Yanks slowly morph to a one striker set-up and push Clint Dempsey up in the attack. Klejstan came in and the Yanks methodically attacked the same flank.
Both tactics by Bob Bradley worked because Canada continually found themselves out numbered in the midfield, four to three in the first and five to four (when Dempsey came back to receive) in the second.
Steve Cherundolo–a candidate for player of the game–was instrumental in both shutting down the rear and making himself available up the field.
Note: The tactics did seem to frustrate Dempsey in the early going, who without a left back providing service or support was left to keep the field wide in the first rather than participate on the attack.
• The ghosts of–or heirs to–Robbie Findley and Benny Feilhaber.
As we mentioned nothing extraordinary from Bob Bradley in gaming tonight. Juan Agudelo is now playing “the Robbie Findley” role.
Similar to Findley, Agudelo was tasked this evening to hold up the ball on the right or make a fundamental corner flag run. He’s everything Bradley wanted in Findley at World Cup 2010 and much more, or will be at least.
Congratulations US fan base, Bob Bradley showed off his shiny new Benny Feilhaber. His name is Sacha Kljestan. Kljestan came in in what we’ll call the Joe Dumars role in the 2nd half. Wait, that reference might be too old. How about the James Harden role?
Able to provide an outlet or a link or carry the attack, Kljestan looks to be Bob’s weakside-come-central 2nd half spark this tournament.
But TSG, you haven’t mentioned Tim Ream and Clarence Goodson in the back!
We just did. We’ll respond in the comments section.
• Michael Bradley looked…fresh
Can only imagine that the US’s notorious effort hound Bradley is just raring to go this tournament after playing little in 2011 to the lead-up.
Though Canada conceded quite a bit of space, Bradley was–to his father’s teachings–extremely quick in distribution. He still has some challenges moving back instead of forward, but on the day he was aggressive, on mark with his distribution, and all that fans can ask from him.
And Jermaine Jones looked good with space and more time to work today rather than Sunday. He’ll be put to the test against teams later in the tournament, but he helped himself today.
• Jozy Altidore moved well–he must build on today.
A goal from Altidore and some nice offball running. Had the assist on the 2nd goal as well. What I liked about Altidore is that he actively looked to use his body against physically inferior players. Altidore must show the stamina and will through the group stage.
• Clint, but not the plays you think
A little perturbed at his lack of opportunities in the first half. The man known as “Deuce” came alive in the second.
Fans and media folks will point to one of two plays in heralding Dempsey’s play on the evening, either the improvised scorpion kick mean to redirect a cross or the Fulham man’s slide-and-deposit job that finally cooked Canada’s bacon.
However, a play in the 85th minute is the one that bears the most coverage. Having seen a lead bass in the center of the box meant for him go astray and get nearly picked up by a Canada defender, Dempsey continued to pursue and win a ball that he had less rights to.
Dempsey dogmatically gained the marble and stutter stepped, looking to buy time and win a penalty as he got nudged and hit the deck.
That Dempsey, a forward player, attacked defensively like he did and tried to work a penalty, and that it happened near the close of the 80th decade of time speaks volumes as to how much Dempsey’s game has improved over the past year.