Live Commentary: USA vs. Slovenia

Retribution? Probably not.

Improvement? Needed.

One overwhelming positive. Captain Carlos Bocanegra with his 100th cap as the United States tangles with Slovenia today.

Starting line-ups shortly.

Funny, still looks young...

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243 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:06 AM

    Timeless (and ageless) Black Mouth…

    Reply

  2. If we win today is it:
    Option A – Finally, a victory on European soil and well needed victory for Herr Coach. Some of the pressure to produce comes off him and the team.
    ….or…..
    Option B – Meh, a win over a second tier European team, that doesn’t really make any difference, and pressure continues to grow on this team and Herr Coach.

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:10 AM

      I think its a win-win for us no mater the result, although that’s just me being me(optimistic). 0-0 IMO

      Reply

    • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/15 at 9:32 AM

      I’m not really sure there’s that much pressure on Klinsmann right now. He’s garnered my interest and although we are losing I like the changes that have taken place. He’s played the 5 or so games without the true “A” team and come away without conceding more than one goal. Holden, Torres, Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Edu, Jones have yet to all be on the pitch in one game. His hiring is a long term approach and he’s still laying down the foundation right? Why should he be judged on what I’d consider basically pre-season games of International play. If a team in the NFL loses all 4 preseason games the media jumps all over them but should they make the playoffs hardly anyone remembers that. Or how about the team that wins all 4 preseason games and then ends up with a losing record? So to equate back to soccer, until I see a USMNT side coached by Klinsmann in tournament impacting play, there’s no pressure. He’s tinkering, and it’s okay, now is when he should be.

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:43 AM

        Interesting analogy, but almost 99% of the time the preseason is for deciding on who are your 3rd/4th string players. The starting lineups have usually been established for the past 3 years. In Klinssman’s case we’re still deciding on a CB and a few CMs, positions most comparable to the QB. Right now it’s like we’re playing the Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman game…Is all we really need a Tim Tebow? :?

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        • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 9:45 AM

          NO.

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          • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:50 AM

            I’m a Charger’s fan, but come on…the man is winning games. It’s actually quite scary. Now that I think about it more I’m starting to see the parallels between MB and Tebow…lacking and skills, but has the heart?

            Reply

            • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 9:57 AM

              No.

              Bradley is poor in skills if you compare him to people like Xabi Alonso.

              Tim Tebow is poor in skills if you compare him to Danny Wuerffel.

            • Not gonna lie, that made me laugh pretty hard.

        • Posted by GeorgeCross [@BhasViswanathan] on 2011/11/15 at 6:46 PM

          So, you settle on your First XI now, in November. Then a couple of players get injured just before WCQ. You’d be p1ssed off that Klinsmann didn’t experiment with these friendlies, right?

          Reply

  3. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 9:14 AM

    Early Lineup is out!

    Kasey KELLER (GK)
    [3] Carlos BOCANEGRA
    [6] Steve CHERUNDOLO (-61′)
    [7] Eddie LEWIS (-74′)
    [8] Clint DEMPSEY
    [10] Claudio REYNA (C) (-40′)
    [13] Jimmy CONRAD
    [17] DaMarcus BEASLEY
    [20] Brian McBRIDE
    [21] Landon DONOVAN
    [22] Oguchi ONYEWU

    oh… no wait… that is the 2006 world cup.

    Reply

  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/15 at 9:28 AM

    I have just found the only bar open in the Financial District that has a breakfast special at Smithwick’s — ecstatic? Yes.

    Reply

    • Posted by jwrandolph on 2011/11/15 at 2:13 PM

      Pretty sure that stroke of fortune is what got our boys over the line today. Nice work!

      Reply

  5. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/11/15 at 9:30 AM

    The U.S. MNT lineup vs. Slovenia: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Steve Cherundolo, 4-Clarence Goodson, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 3-Timmy Chandler; 6-Kyle Beckerman, 7-Michael Bradley, 8-Fabian Johnson, 10-Clint Dempsey; 9-Jozy Altidore, 11-Edson Buddle

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:35 AM

      Looks like a diamond to me. Same exact shape that was moaning, groaning, begging for a goal against France in the last 15 minutes.

      Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:38 AM

      Or possibly Deuce in his Sweatpants/Fulham role on the left…

      Reply

    • Based on Jurgi’s numbering system it looks like a 4-3-3 with the 6,7, and 8 playing a tight triangle and Deuce, Jozy, and Buddle trying to provide width…this should be interesting to watch.

      Reply

  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/15 at 9:46 AM

    Fascinating line-up from the States.

    I think they go unbalanced and play up the right flank more

    Reply

    • Posted by Shawn on 2011/11/15 at 2:35 PM

      The exact opposite was true. I now understand the tactics of the “DM” playing on the right wing. My observation is that Klinsmann wants to push forward through the left side. The attack is designed to push up into the void left by the opponent. It became apparent after watching, but Bradley pinched in so far and distributed the ball almost entirely back into traffic on the left side of the field by design. Maybe this was only the game plan for Slovenia, but there was virtually no offensive focus on the right side of the field. This is/was not a balanced attack by design. I think this is intentional by Klinsmann also to cover for the lack of form/speed of Cherundolo. In past games, William’s play was just so poor this offensive tactic was not evident.
      I think we also learned that Edu is not suited for the role he previously played. His absence was not missed. I think it is also confirmed that Beckerman -who positions himself well- is truly not international caliber.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/11/16 at 6:02 AM

        Shawn-nailed it on all counts. I think Beckerman was/is a placeholder for a disciplined single holder CDM role in his system and not intended for long term stay.
        I thought Bradley very interesting last night. It’s almost like being forced out to the right at least controlled some of his restless roaming tendencies where he was central but couldn’t roam left (although he did chase the ball across there once last night). I stiil think JK left him out the last few months to help “reset” his soccer brain. Mike will be a force on this squad IMO if he can buy into the role that klinsi set him up in last night.
        To all those who call those who have been frustrated with how MB has played w(aka The haters) over the last yr especially this was like an early xmas presenhe was deployed last night to take advantage of ihis talents and limit his liabilities and I wam happy to have finally seen it.

        Reply

  7. Posted by Union on 2011/11/15 at 9:47 AM

    Happy to see that Klinsmann saw what everyone else saw with Edu. Would prefer D. Williams in Beckerman’s role, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    I obviously think that if Edson Buddle is the best you can do alongside Altidore, that says a lot about your striker pool. If Boyd keeps performing he might be integrated as soon as the Olympics are over.

    Would much prefer Dempsey playing an advanced role inside and Shea out wide (with Beckerman not playing), but I get the feeling Klinsmann is giving Shea a breather.

    I’d love to eat my words, but I have a hard time thinking this team can score with 0 creativity in central midfield.

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 9:53 AM

      I disagree, Buddle diserves more credit. He was a spark against France. What’s wrong with him?

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    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/15 at 9:58 AM

      I had feeling that Shea wouldn’t play and tried to figure out who would go instead. It wasn’t easy. Go do the exercise. We really don’t have another player like Brek. It might have been a good time for Adu to show us something but he’s not on the team. It’s basically Edson Buddle, isn’t it?

      Makes you think. Time to look into college players like, um…..Billy Schuler?

      http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/article/2011/11/injured_schuler_makes_presence_known

      Reply

      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/15 at 10:09 AM

        M Bradley on the right wing in the diamond. I think that is similar to the role he is playing at Chievo, right?

        Buddle deserves 0 credit, I’m sorry. He’s not an international caliber striker. If what he did against France was considered a spark, we have low standards right now. I’d prefer Gomez.

        And agree that this is the perfect game for giving Adu some time. Don’t understand that.

        Reply

      • Posted by Dinho on 2011/11/15 at 10:09 AM

        You’re kidding right? Schuler?

        Reply

        • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/15 at 4:01 PM

          Cudda put him in when Buddle and Altidore were lugging around the field posing no threat late in the 2nd half. The guy has a motor.

          Reply

    • I don’t agree that Edu is problematic, he’s simply being utilized extremely poorly by Klinsmann. He’s not attack-minded and is being pushed into a role normally occupied by guys like Holden or Torres. He plays the defensive midfield role quite well for Rangers and I’d prefer him to Beckerman (though Bradley over both of them) due to Edu’s superior athleticism and passing ability (though this is only marginally better). Beckerman falls apart when he’s asked to push-up, Edu can at least do this from time to time.

      Reply

  8. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/15 at 9:51 AM

    Did Klinsman play a diamond 4-4-2 with Germany?

    Reply

  9. Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 10:02 AM

    Wow lets hope MB45 does well with a start for all the calling he has been getting

    Reply

  10. Posted by KK on 2011/11/15 at 10:04 AM

    Any streams available for those of us abroad?

    Reply

  11. Anyone name that starting line-up? It looks like Jurgen’s been checking blog comments for ideas.

    That said, I’ve always liked Bradley in the shuttling role of a narrower midfield 3. I think it could be his best position. So let’s see if he can play it right and make this work.

    Reply

  12. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 10:08 AM

    Very hazy in Slovenia…. Unless the Ultras set off smoke bombs.

    Reply

  13. Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 10:08 AM

    Is there some way we can get people to stop saying a second striker up top will automatically give help versus a single striker? (Or that two strikers = more positive?) We’ve seen two strikers isolated often enough in the Bradley regime.

    Maybe if Klinsmann started fewer than three defensive midfielders, we might’ve seen some better play.

    Reply

    • Wait until next season when he turns the tables on everyone by signing Aguero, Nasri and Silva.

      Oh wait.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 10:22 AM

        Thanks for the strawman. I’m thinking more Kljestan (with respect to TSG’s argument that that might lead to the midfield being overrun). Also, I’m thinking don’t start a defensive midfielder on the wing.

        Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:23 AM

      All that yoga is gonna help those Dmids be more flexible. duhh

      Reply

  14. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 10:16 AM

    Lalas, the voice of reason.
    I’m really not crazy about Twellman.

    Reply

  15. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 10:17 AM

    Is Bradley the shortest American on the field?

    Reply

  16. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 10:19 AM

    What’s with Buddle and the Ammonia?

    Reply

  17. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:20 AM

    Well hello there Fabian Johnson

    Reply

  18. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 10:22 AM

    MB90 with a nice ball to Buddle. Already providing more offense than Edu.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 10:23 AM

      Bradley appears to be thinking a bit faster. I haven’t really gotten the chance to see him in Serie A–has this been a trend (a la Kljestan after moving to Anderlecht?) or am I just making things up?

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 10:25 AM

        The one thing I’ve always disliked about Bradley’s game is his tendency to freelance when applying pressure and press well higher than his teammates.

        Reply

  19. Is it just my feed or is the fog making it incredibly difficult to see?

    Reply

  20. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/11/15 at 10:23 AM

    Fog sucks.

    Reply

  21. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 10:23 AM

    Someone just got it to someone and that person just gave it up.

    Reply

  22. Posted by Union on 2011/11/15 at 10:28 AM

    Alright. I’ll eat my words. Fair enough. Buddle shut me up.

    Reply

  23. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:28 AM

    Edson Buddle WOW! What a hit

    Reply

  24. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/11/15 at 10:28 AM

    EDSON!!! Picking up the garbage.

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  25. High pressure caused that, Altidore on the keeper and Dempsey on the defender, great strike!!!

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  26. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:30 AM

    Jozy Jozy Jozy, shoulda put that away. Nice play by F. Johnson

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  27. Well, looks like Fabian Johnson might be the savior of US soccer after all.

    Reply

  28. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 10:30 AM

    Buddle looking very lively, seems to be in better shape than the last time I watched him.

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  29. Didn’t see that one coming, nice strike Buddle :)

    Johnson is looking very good early on, unfortunately that looked like the usual not quite there Jozy finish.

    Reply

  30. Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 10:36 AM

    Probably premature to broach this question but: where does Donovan fit in with this formation?

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  31. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 10:36 AM

    Why aren’t they playing with a yellow or orange ball? Doesn’t even seem like the players can see it.

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  32. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:44 AM

    Man Steve Cherundolo and Michael Bradley have been really really invisible…

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  33. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 10:46 AM

    That was awful defending. Wouldn’t Beckerman be the guy to press the passer and Boca should’ve stayed home?

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    • That’s what I’ve been seeing both there and v. France, but Goodson got the blame on both of them.

      Reply

    • Posted by Cory on 2011/11/15 at 10:57 AM

      No I think Bocanegra’s decision was fine but didn’t close quickly enough and allowed the Slovenian to turn and play around him. Chandler didn’t drop into the middle to provide cover and made it far too easy for them to score.

      Reply

  34. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 10:46 AM

    Has Timmy Chandler ever played the offside trap before? He’s a good 3 yards behind the other defenders a lot this game.

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  35. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 10:47 AM

    That was bound to happen. The fog just gives the game an unfortunate garbage-y feel to it. The U.S. still doesn’t feel like they know where to expect to find a teammate.

    Reply

  36. Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 10:49 AM

    I would say a ball switch and and a jersey switch for the home side

    Reply

  37. Lots of long balls to the strikers. Not a lot of possession. Not that I can see anything.

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  38. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 10:52 AM

    Beckerman sucks. He needs to be done on this team.

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    • Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 10:55 AM

      How does Beckerman suck?

      Reply

      • Posted by jesran on 2011/11/15 at 11:00 AM

        has no place in a possession game because he can’t make a pass… watch him… also the hand ball?! his age?!

        Reply

    • Posted by jesran on 2011/11/15 at 10:55 AM

      agreed. possession ends with him today. kudos to JK for ditching Edu who can’t make a pass either.

      Reply

      • Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 11:04 AM

        Really?? are you guys seeing how he is disrupting the passing lanes? And his passing has not been that bad at all.

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  39. Posted by Cory on 2011/11/15 at 10:52 AM

    Chandler has been the worst player on the field defensively. Second goal in 2 games that comes from Bocanegra stepping up to pressure and the back line not squeezing. Carlos shouldn’t allow the ball that way, but why Chandler doesn’t immediately tuck in when he sees Bocanegra go is beyond me. His positioning has been atrocious all game, and it is telling that the goal came down his side.

    Reply

    • Posted by jesran on 2011/11/15 at 10:57 AM

      their goal started with a Beckerman giveaway. At least Chandler proposes an offensive threat.

      Reply

      • Posted by Cory on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

        Surely nearly every goal begins with a giveaway of possession. If you think Chandler’s defensive effort tonight has been acceptable then we have different ideas about what good defending looks like.

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  40. Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 10:54 AM

    Can someone tell me is there no right mid?

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  41. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 10:55 AM

    Buddle should be ashamed for being offside there. How could he not tell that he was 2 yards ahead of the central defenders?

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  42. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 10:59 AM

    YES!

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  43. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:00 AM

    Dempsey yes!

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  44. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:01 AM

    F. Johnson draws a penalty!!

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  45. Posted by jesran on 2011/11/15 at 11:01 AM

    great pass from Chandler!

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  46. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

    JOZY!!!!!!!!!!!

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  47. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

    And Altidore tucks it away YES!

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  48. Posted by Steve NJ on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

    That was quick! one and then another! Loving it!

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  49. F. Johnson, I don’t even think he embellished that at all. Legit trip.

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  50. Posted by dth on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

    Ian Darke–what a pro.

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  51. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 11:02 AM

    I thought Slovenia were supposed to be a stingy defensive team?

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  52. Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:04 AM

    Time to get Rasta Kyle of the field. Jermaine Jones please

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  53. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:04 AM

    And John Harkes keeps saying odd things… And Darke shoots him down again.

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  54. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 11:05 AM

    Funny how I had to stop watching the game after the Slovenia free kick. AGH1!!

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  55. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:07 AM

    Time to check in on the 24 hours of college basketball real quick

    Reply

  56. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:09 AM

    Bradley’s set pieces have been very good.

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    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 11:13 AM

      That’s why I thought he should have been playing for the US over Edu. It’s always nice when a guy makes you look smart.

      Reply

    • Posted by Mike on 2011/11/15 at 11:17 AM

      Anyone had a chance to see Bradley in his club matches? I hear he is getting playing time, not sure if he is just keeping his head above water or thriving or other….

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 11:20 AM

        I’ve seen him play a handful of times now and would say he’s thriving at this point. He’s been solid in midfield and created several goals from set pieces which is especially impressive because Chievo are not a high scoring team.

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        • Posted by Mike on 2011/11/15 at 11:29 AM

          Excellent, better than sitting bench at Aston Villa. Glad to see he is getting regular playing time and gaining valuable experience.

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      • Posted by KMac on 2011/11/15 at 7:09 PM

        Bradley is playing quite well for Chievo. I’ve watched 2 games on ESPN3. If you don’t believe me, read Ives Galarcep’s columns

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  57. Posted by Union on 2011/11/15 at 11:13 AM

    F. Johnson is great. He’s going to give Jurgen a tough decision (that I’m sure Jurgen will love to have). Shea or Fabian out left?

    Personally, and this might sound crazy, but I wouldn’t mind pushing Shea up top and seeing what he can do with Jozy. Keep F. Johnson on the left wing and see how two guys with good ball skills and great left feet can cause havoc.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:17 AM

      F. Johnson should be, right wing. At least RW if Donovan isn’t playing. Otherwise you’re right, its a dogfight between Shea and Johnson at LW

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    • Posted by Charlie G on 2011/11/15 at 7:40 PM

      Union…no, you’re not crazy, well maybe, then there are two of us – after the France game I was thinking about Shea up top playing off of Jozy – it’s something I would love to see. Perhaps in the not too distant future of Gyau could take the left wing.

      Reply

  58. Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/11/15 at 11:17 AM

    If I listen to harkes any more with the 4-4-2 holy grail I am going to lose it. Its about the players DAMN IT!!!

    I would argue they are playing a 4-3-3.

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  59. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 11:20 AM

    Awww. Robbie. You still lookin good, sweetie. Just not on the field, m’kay?

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  60. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:22 AM

    Honestly our defense has been atrocious today. We’re lucky we’re not down more.

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  61. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:26 AM

    Beckerman has such a tame shot haha

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  62. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:33 AM

    “He’s off the Christmas Party list isn’t he?”-Darke and after that foul on Goodson. I want to buy that man a beer.

    Reply

    • Let’s be fair…Darke probably has a case cracked open during the game. And Harkes has such a low tolerance that after two he starts speaking gibberish.

      Reply

  63. Posted by Eric on 2011/11/15 at 11:34 AM

    At work so I can’t watch the game. Really looking forward to seeing the analysis of this game since I can’t quite imagine how this formation works based on the players in the game, at least in the sense of a traditional balanced formation. I have to imagine that it’s an unbalanced 4-3-3? The personel out there doesn’t seem right for a 4-4-2 like i’m being old on Ives’ commentary.

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  64. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 11:34 AM

    There is a good example of what Beckerman does that doesn’t get enough credit. Cherundolo gets beaten and Beckerman gets to the shot and blocks it.

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  65. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:35 AM

    Man, we are not looking good on defense…

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  66. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:36 AM

    WOW Slovenia is just unlucky until though. What the hell are our defenders doing??

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    • I want Gooch back. Goodson is meh, but that big physical presence, and I think he keeps them very organized back there as well.

      Reply

      • Agreed. Goodson’s strengths (of which his strength is not one) aren’t that different from Gooch’s – he’s faster, but not exceedingly so, and he isn’t that much better with the ball at his feet. Meanwhile, Gooch is literally impossible to knock over without using a blackjack or a taser.

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  67. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 11:36 AM

    Defense is looking awful in this game. Beckerman doing some ball watching in the box.

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  68. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 11:38 AM

    Why does every sub Klins makes have to be like for like? Johnson didn’t look tired did he need to be subbed off?

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  69. Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:40 AM

    I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, Beckerman is not fast or athletic enough to be the lone defensive midfielder/destroyer. His passing has been mediocre and he just got caught ball watching on that goal.

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  70. Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:40 AM

    Nice dreads, but GOD HE SUCKS.

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  71. Posted by Josh on 2011/11/15 at 11:41 AM

    What is the love affair with Beckerman? I frankly don’t see what solid upside he provides.

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    • Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:42 AM

      TSG has an uber hard on for Beckerman, not sure why.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/15 at 11:47 AM

        He doesn’t over-commit to plays and he plays angles well. He pushes the ball forward instead of going back.

        He, like Torres and DeMerit in South Africa, was a little stunned by the strength of the Slovenian players.

        He’s not the long term solution, but he’s very good at being a holder.

        Reply

        • Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:56 AM

          Please…you don’t think Jones could do this? The only thing I like about Kyle is he is disciplined in staying back and sure…he’s alright at playing small, short passes but you act like he’s whipping passes out left and right and springing guys forward all the time. My main problem is he’s not quick enough or athletic enough to cover all the space necessary for being a lone defensive mid/destroyer.

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          • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 12:01 PM

            Somehow it seems that everyone has forgotten the USA with Jones in the Gold Cup. Also, Jones is older than Beckerman.

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            • Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 12:05 PM

              He had a bad game against Mexico. Who didn’t?

              I just think Jones is overall better than Beckerman. He’s faster, stronger, can cover more space and his passing is a lot sharper.

            • In all reality, the argument for Jones is about as strong as the argument for Beckerman. Neither are great options and both have major flaws and really poor performances. It all comes down to personal preference.

        • Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 12:15 PM

          He overcommitted on the first goal. His touch and passing is off the pace. He played a terrible angle on the second goal and got caught ball watching. I just can’t agree with you on that point Matthewsf.

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    • Posted by Andy on 2011/11/15 at 11:44 AM

      That’s my problem. He’s average at BEST, and he’s old. What’s the point?

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    • Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 11:46 AM

      Love affair? i would say most people on here have him as the lone guilty party

      Reply

  72. Posted by Josh on 2011/11/15 at 11:42 AM

    Further Beckerman plays in MLS aka a crappy pro league. Yes I know Landon and other US internationals are there but …

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    • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 11:44 AM

      I am going to take complete exception to “MLS aka a crappy pro league”

      Really? Please try to frame your discussion in the realm of reality.

      IS the MLS the premier league? No. But it is far from a crappy pro league.

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    • Since we have so many players overflowing in the EPL, Seria A, La Liga, etc that we can leave players out of our line up because they play in the crappy MLS.

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    • Posted by Eric on 2011/11/15 at 11:47 AM

      I have to agree with John. MLS is far from a crappy pro league. Get over yourself Josh. It’s not a top ten league but it’s far from crappy. Robbie Keane would still get call-ups from Ireland playing in a crappy league.

      Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/15 at 11:48 AM

      Josh hard to say crappy.

      Consider this, the SPL is dying to get US players in that are fringe MLSers at best.

      Their best team (the SPL) employs Boca, Edu and Bedoya and they are worlds ahead of all the other teams but Celtic.

      In the heirarchy of leagues MLS is not there yet, but it’s on the come-up. It’s as good or better than the SPL, it’s as good as the Championship and the Scandinavian leagues.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 11:58 AM

        It’s not a good sign when you’re comparing it to the SPL. That is one crappy league.

        Reply

        • Posted by Kevin O' on 2011/11/15 at 1:44 PM

          Then consider this, the EPL highly regards the elite MLS players.

          Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 2:10 PM

            Which elite MLS players would that be? Dempsey and Donovan? How many Premier League clubs have actually put their money where their mouth is when it comes to MLS players? It’s just tabloid talk for the most part.

            Reply

            • Posted by Scweeb on 2011/11/15 at 3:17 PM

              Well according new a news source everton is looking at shea

            • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/15 at 3:32 PM

              Hard for me to see Everton having the cash for a Shea purchase. Maybe a short term loan like Donovan, but not sure that will happen either if he’s training at Arsenal.

              But, we’ll see.

      • Posted by Josh on 2011/11/19 at 12:41 AM

        See the next guy’s reply. I like to deal in reality. The MLS has nothing – as of now – on even the Mexican first league.

        Let’s deal reality folks.

        This isn’t to say – as the Netherlands national playing for Milan Seerdorf said – that football in our home market isn’t exploding. Not in miniscule part due to great blogs like this.

        But, yes, the MLS remains a second-rate league across the board. That doesn’t mean the MLS and football writ large in our nation isn’t exploding.

        And I DO agree with Don Garber’s long-term vision: 10-20 years from now MLS may be the biggest football league in the world. Americans love their money, and football is a gold mine state-side.

        Reply

  73. Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:43 AM

    Also, there is a CLEAR difference in quality between Goodson and Gooch. Goodson makes as many mistakes as Ream

    Reply

    • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 11:55 AM

      “Also, there is a CLEAR difference in quality between Goodson and Gooch.”

      Gooch is injured and Goodson can play?

      Since the World Cup, Gooch has played a game and a half. At best one could say that he had a good game in which the US lost.

      Reply

      • Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 12:03 PM

        The Gooch I saw against Ecuador and Honduras looked like the Gooch of old. Yeah it was only a game and a half, but he’s looked more solid than Goodson has against France and Slovenia today. Sure the opponents for Goodson have been tougher, but I’ve always had kind of a mehh feeling towards Goodson. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Ream or Orozco, but he does leave a lot to be desired sometimes.

        Reply

        • Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 12:07 PM

          Right but this is the same thing that I see all the time on Holden. Is he better than say Beckerman? Probably. Is he currently hurt? Yes.

          The able bodied and available to play are always currently better than those getting injured, and Gooch currently has had a bit of a history of being injured/unavailable.

          Reply

          • Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 12:13 PM

            It’s a minor groin injury. He’ll be fine. He returned to full training in practice the other day. Just not worth risking it today.

            Reply

  74. Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 11:47 AM

    WTF ARE YOU DOING BECKERMAN?!!

    Reply

  75. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 12:01 PM

    All I’m seeing on Soccernet’s feed is Chandler replaced due to injury. Details?

    Reply

    • He was on the short end of a nasty slide tackle. He wasn’t carted off, and even played a bit afterwards. So I’m not sure what exactly the injury would be.

      Reply

    • Posted by Mitch on 2011/11/15 at 12:13 PM

      Well, if it was an injury, it would have been from a rather poorly executed tackle he took. A defender went in with two feet and scissored his legs and another Slovenian tripped and fell on his head/shoulder area. It looked painful, but I’m not entirely sure if it was injury that he was removed for.

      Reply

  76. Posted by Brian on 2011/11/15 at 12:05 PM

    About 90 mins too late with that sub Klinsi…

    Reply

  77. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 12:09 PM

    Does this give Rogers enough time to hurt the team? It’s probably close.

    Reply

  78. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 12:10 PM

    Well that 2nd half was crap. But good win good result.

    Reply

  79. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 12:12 PM

    God, someone put the red meat pacifier back in Taylor’s mouth so we don’t have to listen to him anymore.

    Reply

  80. Posted by John on 2011/11/15 at 12:14 PM

    Headline for Today:

    USA beats Slovenia: Everyone still upset with almost all choices.

    Reply

  81. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 12:17 PM

    Clarence Goodson: meet squats. Squats, meet Clarence Goodson.
    Please become well-acquainted during your winter break.

    Reply

  82. My “favorite” Darke/Harkes moment of the night was Darke talking about the team doing sight-seeing in Paris and quipping that no one tried to steal the Mona Lisa. Then Harkes replies, “there’s lots of security, you know that, Ian.”

    Reply

    • Yes, that moment was excellent!

      Reply

    • Posted by Justin on 2011/11/15 at 1:43 PM

      Harks was pretty bad…He makes me uncomfortable just hearing trying to communicate with another human being… And as much as I love TT, he’s not the guy to lead the half time and post-game discussion, he can do some analyzing, but he’s no Chris Fowler or Bob Levy, that’s for sure.

      Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/15 at 1:58 PM

      I have to say Darke/Harkes awkward interaction is starting to become one of my favorite parts of the game.

      Reply

  83. Posted by JW on 2011/11/15 at 1:39 PM

    Same scoreline, but this time we scored first and early. Let’s keep it that way.

    Reply

  84. Posted by Union on 2011/11/15 at 1:51 PM

    I was actually really impressed today. And also forced to eat my choice words about Edson Buddle. Which is fine by me. The US really slowed down in the second half, which was frustrating, but typical.

    F. Johnson was promising and after Brek Shea’s sub par showing, you have to think he pushing himself into the starting lineup.

    Bradley had an excellent game, showed he is in top form. The passing was okay, but the set pieces were terrific. I understand Jurgen wanted to give everyone a shot, but its hard to see why Bradley hasn’t started every single friendly.

    Beckerman experiment has to be done with, I’m sorry. Danny Williams is a better fit for the role. Hell, I’d even go with Jones, who is sometimes a liability on defense, but has better technique and forward passing than Beckerman. Kyle just looks lost out there. Bad touches, bad passes, bad positioning. They needed more from him today.

    The defense was shaky at best. I don’t agree with those calling for Chandler’s head. I think Chandler was out of position once or twice, but…well…he isn’t a left back! He still managed to get up the field and make some great crosses. I really want to see him at right back. ‘Dolo was, IMO, pretty bad today.

    Reply

    • Posted by Justin on 2011/11/15 at 6:06 PM

      I like your points. Especially about F. Johnson. I’ve watched a couple hoffenheim games. I can see him getting the winger spot opposite Donovan, once he returns. I don’t mind having the problem of who is going to play between Shea and Johnson. That is nice to have…. bye bye Rogers

      I would like to see what else we can see at DM too. But I wouldn’t crown Danny boy as starter before we’ve seen him try out at the position on an international level. He plays a similar role for hoffenheim that bradley plays for Chievo… and between the two, right now I’ll take bradley.

      I think I’m excited to see who out of Gonzo, Ream, John, and Cameroon come out on top in Klinsi’s eyes during camp cupcake. I can see one of those guys sliding infront of Goodson as #3 on the CB depth chart after Onyewu and Boca. Apparently Morales did not warrant any time during these friendlies.

      I think RB, LB will be a little clearer when Lichaj is better in a couple months. If he comes back and chandler doesn’t slide over to RB, that will be very interesting. If anything, this time for Chandler at LB will make him more versatile WHEN he slides over to RB… because it’s only a matter of time before he does.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/15 at 8:00 PM

        Justin,

        Chandler is still learning the left back position; but he has been far more impressive at it than Lichaj ever was.

        Lichaj was good but Chandler is a superior soccer player and a better athlete. Chandler is also a regular in the Bundesliga while Lichaj was/will be struggling to get first team minutes ( though I’m sure Leeds would love to solve that issue for him).

        JK stated that left back was Chandler’s position to lose. As for Chandler being right footed; he sent over an excellent left footed cross today. JK once managed another right footed right back who converted to left back; a guy named Phillip Lahm (spelling?). So JK obviously doesn’t worry about “natural positions”. So assuming Chandler continues to improve, and there is no reason to assume he won’t, he is well on his way to solving our long national nightmare at left back.

        Why would you want to mess with that?

        Lichaj is a nice player but it’s hard to see how he would be an upgrade to Chandler. People keep bringing up that he once did a fine job on Bale; to that I say Jonny Bornstien once marked Leo Messi just about out of the game in a Copa America match. Anyone can have one great game.

        I’m not convinced Dolo’s slight dip in form is that serious or permanent. However, if it is there is a much better pool of candidates to replace him than we have to replace Chandler.
        Lichaj is one but there are others such as Williams and perhaps Morales. Lichaj’s problem is he wasn’t getting minutes at Aston villa and who knows how this hip injury will affect his form. So if he doesn’t get regular PT he is toast under the JK rules.

        Reply

        • Posted by Justin on 2011/11/15 at 8:40 PM

          I agree with you in what you’re saying. I think you might have misunderstood what I was trying to say…

          I believe Chandler is better than Lichaj was on the left. However, I believe that we might be a better team in the back with Chandler on the right and Lichaj on the left than we are now with Dolo on the right and Chandler on the left. I think Dolo might have about a year left to be able to play on the international level and there have already been rumors of him retiring from the international stage.

          So, i definantly think Chandler is a better RB or LB than Lichaj, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the dynamics of the team when he gets better.

          Reply

          • Posted by Justin on 2011/11/15 at 8:46 PM

            ps
            Lichaj started alot games at RB and some at LB for Leeds in the championship last year, and they wanted him on loan again this year. He was the only American in any league last year ranked higher than MLS (which I consider the championship to be) to play games at LB… at least that I’m aware of.

            Reply

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/15 at 11:58 PM

              And I guess I did not get through to you either.

              Chandler looks to me and apparently to JK , like the real deal at LB.

              He would be the real deal at RB as well.

              Let’s leave Dolo out of the question for a second. So the question is, which side, right back or left back will it be easier to find a good replacement for Chandler?

              I vote right side.

              Lichaj has a hip injury which sounds serious. There is no guarantee he comes back as good as he was.

              Lichaj is not a proven commodity at left back for the USMNT. I was not impressed by the few games I saw him play there.

              In fact, I thought Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce might have been a better idea going forward than Lichaj. After that it gets a little sketchy. Williams can play there but that is wasting him. Johnson supposedly can play there too but that is an even bigger waste.

              I don’t have as much faith as you do that Lichaj will have a large role going forward with the USMNT unless he can win the right back spot.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/16 at 9:26 AM

              With 7 caps, and less at LB, Chandler is hardly a proven commodity at LB for the US. Just because Klinsmann says the position is his to lose does not confirm this. Just concludes he’s the best option for the US.

              Re. Lahm, big difference is that he plays at LB for club and country, rather than just country for X caps per season.
              Nobody ever mentions Denis Irwin as a right-footed LB. Got to be one of the most under-rated players in PL era.

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/16 at 10:15 AM

              GeorgeCross,

              The US can’t buy someone like Fábio Coentrão so the baseline for the left back position is Jonathan Bornstein. GIven that I’m perfectly happy to hand the LB position permanently over to Chandler until he loses it to someone else.

              Lahm was mentioned simply because he is a well known example of a succesful right footed left back. No one is saying Chandler is that good, yet.

              Irwin was a wonderful player, plus he kept Phil Neville from a regular starting job. SAF always said he was his best signing but he is not as well known to Americans as Lahm is.

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/15 at 6:13 PM

      Union,

      What I find fascinating about these blogs is the implication that if the manager does not start a preferred player he is somehow stupid. Bradley hurt himself by being so opaque on his decisions. JK on the other hand, is a comparative open book.

      From the USSF website:

      On the decision to start Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson and Edson Buddle:
      “It’s really what we observe on a daily basis. We try to understand better and better every individual player that we have, and their qualities and strengths. We want to build a team over time based on their strengths. We know that Michael has tremendous qualities in terms of his commitment; he covers so much ground, stays calm and is very experienced. Fabian Johnson is now coming through the ranks and his big potential in terms of how he sees the game. He reads the game well, sees gaps and can play killer balls. For the last couple months we have been working on our strikers to get them fitter and fitter. At this point we see Edson at his best again. He’s healthy, sharp and hungry. It’s the same with Jozy. Now it’s easier to say we can go 90 minutes with both. Before we didn’t have that option. We had to sub one with the other. We thought about that before playing France, that this could be an option to play two strikers, and it worked out well.”

      Reply

  85. Posted by VWall on 2011/11/15 at 1:54 PM

    It wasn’t necessarily the player selection that won this game but rather the formation, in my mind. These players grew up playing a 4-4-2. Altidore is much more effective being a set up man than being on an island.

    Goodson and Beckerman are out of their ability level but the system helped keep the team in the game. Dempsey is the workhorse of the team and keeps them very competitive.

    Something I’ve noticed the last few games is that the US team hardly wins any balls in the air. They seem to be out of position or do not know how to time their jumps. Has anyone else recognised this?

    Regardless, at least they placed some balls in the back of the net!

    Reply

    • Slovenia are really strong in the air – The back four did not deal well with all those knock downs and flick-ons. Goodson is decent in the air, but I’m not sure he always reads the ball well. Bocanegra suffers a bit of the same problem to a lesser degree.

      Notice all the balls that the two of them let bounce in these two matches? That’s rule number 1 for a center back. Don’t let the fricking ball bounce – who knows what a quicker attacking player can do to you.

      A dominant Aerial presence, like John Terry for instance, would simply not let that happen.

      Reply

  86. Posted by arisrules on 2011/11/15 at 2:00 PM

    Who would have thought that not playing with three defensive midfielders would have exposed our backline!? I am shocked.

    Beckerman (a player for whom I have a ton of respect) just is not good enough to play as a sole d-mid. What we also discovered today is that having two d-mids masquerading as attacking midfielders pressing farther upfield hid many of his deficiencies.

    Also, how does Michael Bradley not start every game? He consistently serves the best balls from free kicks on this team. That alone should make him a starter.

    Reply

    • Posted by arisrules on 2011/11/15 at 2:03 PM

      Which again leads to my biggest gripe about Klinsmann. What was the point of these friendlies? What were his ultimate goals? Why call up whom he did? I still don’t know, and that, more than the results or goals scored from these two games, is what worries me a lot.

      I have come away knowing the same thing I knew before we played these two games.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/15 at 7:28 PM

        arisrules

        “Also, how does Michael Bradley not start every game? He consistently serves the best balls from free kicks on this team. That alone should make him a starter.”

        The last time Bradley played for Klinsman he did not look this good, this focused. It is possible that maybe MB, after a pretty turbulent year, needed his time at Chieveo to get focused and also the USMNT needed up till now to get a little more organized, before he could have this kind of game?

        As far dead ball service, earlier this year Donovan was doing it great for a while then he tailed off. Then Cherundolo was doing it great for a while before he tailed off . Sooner or later Bradley will tail off. Unless you have a Beckham or a Pirlo that duty is usually rotated.

        “Which again leads to my biggest gripe about Klinsmann. What was the point of these friendlies? What were his ultimate goals? Why call up whom he did? I still don’t know, and that, more than the results or goals scored from these two games, is what worries me a lot”

        If that is your biggest gripe about Klinsmann you must have absolutely hated Bradley.

        Google Klinsmann and then click on news. If you still have those questions you obviously have not been reading JK’s quotes. The man can’t shut up about what he is trying to do.

        Reply

        • Posted by arisrules on 2011/11/15 at 9:27 PM

          He speaks in platitudes that have nothing to do with his team management and strategies. Is he trying out new young players? Is he trying to perfect a certain formation? Is he changing the culture? I just don’t see it.

          As for BB, he threw everybody out there, and tried them out. He came up with several serviceable formations that executed when it mattered most (his success at tournaments in general was great). Should he have iced out Torres? Probably not, but Torres is soft as charmin. And he didn’t necessarily fit into the team BB wanted to roll out there. Having said that, I don’t think he should have been re-hired. The NT gig is a hard one to do for two cycles, and I think both sides should have parted ways.

          Donovan has been inconsistent his whole career on FKs and CKs. Anybody who has followed that knows this about Donovan. MB serves the consistently best balls I’ve seen from an American in a while. It also puts another dagger into the usual BS about him being completely unskilled and merely a guy who runs around the field.

          Reply

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/15 at 11:28 PM

            All managers speak in “manager speak”. JK just gives you more material for you to read between the lines.

            Whether they had kept BB or hired JK there was going to be a significant change in the USMNT player pool and the culture in the next few years given all the new young players coming in and the aging of the older ones.

            If anyone thinks a player can have the kind of career that MB has had and be “unskilled” (whatever that means)then they are delusional.

            MB has plenty of skill. He is just not a particularly flashy player and the US has not always had the kind of players or organization to best take advantage of what he can do. In the Slovenia game he was given a role perfectly suited to what he does best and his teamates were up for it. His time at Chievo ( or maybe his time in exile from the US team) seems to have disciplined his game and toned down his normal tendency to try to do too much. That has not always been the case.

            If you want a musical analogy JK has gotten his guitarist to tone it down and play within the song and not solo all over the place; no small feat for such a headstrong guy.

            We do not know and probably never will know what sort of relationship JK has with MB. My guess is there is a lot of potential for combustion however both parties now seem willing to work together for the greater good.

            Reply

            • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/16 at 5:51 AM

              What happens when you have 11 “toned down” players?

              Stay toned, you may see it eventually.

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/16 at 9:57 AM

              Excellency,

              Ever see those performances, usually tribute concerts, where you have a band and about 15 lead guitar plays on the same stage?

              That’s what 11 “toned down” players would be like. Every team needs a little variety.

  87. Posted by Kevin O' on 2011/11/15 at 2:06 PM

    Great way to end the year for the National team!

    Let’s hope more tinkering is coming, I’d love to see Gonzalez and Cameron as the central defenders on January 25.

    Reply

  88. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/15 at 2:07 PM

    Sadly I still think we haven’t played a good 90 minutes. First half was excelent, in the second half we had defensive issues and resorted to just booting the ball around. I can’t remember one lengthy stretch of possession which wasn’t a counter.

    Reply

  89. Posted by crow on 2011/11/15 at 2:17 PM

    I had one of my most interesting soccer experiences ever. I watched the game in a sportsbar beside an 80 year old man who had some idea of what was going on with the team. He thought the US was playing Croatia instead of Slovenia though.

    Why didn’t Onyewu get any playing time the last two games?

    Also the sequence that led to the 2nd Slovenian goal reminded me of the last minute of a hockey game when the opposing team has an extra attacker. Just clear the ball guys, my word!

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/15 at 2:20 PM

      Onyewu is recovering from a groin injury. From what I read he resumed training with the team but it probably wasn’t worth it to bring him back for one game then send him back to his club injured again since groins can be tricky.

      Reply

  90. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 2:44 PM

    Alright post game thoughts of mine.

    The Good:
    Fabian Johnson
    Scoring goals, finishing our chances
    Spells of good possession in the attacking half
    Michael Bradley
    Set piece deliveries
    Tim Howard

    The Bad:
    Timmy Chandler (on the defensive side)
    Our 2nd half
    Our Defense
    Our defensive shape

    The Ugly:
    Kyle Beckerman’s hair

    I noticed something re Bradley or Edu in the 8 role. A few times a game both players will be caught in possession in our midfield. The biggest difference is Bradley feels this and then positions himself to hold off the man and keeps the ball to pass off. Edu loses it 9 times out of 10.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 2:50 PM

      Actually toss our defense in the ugly category. That was awful awful awful

      Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/15 at 2:50 PM

      And our goalposts should be in the good category. I bet Tim Howard saved a piece of one to take home and frame haha

      Reply

  91. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 3:08 PM

    O/T but I hope I’m not the only one that watched Germany’s clinucal disection of Holland. Masterful to say the least.

    Reply

    • Posted by kaya on 2011/11/15 at 4:10 PM

      Not the first half, anyway. The Klose header was so clinical, Oranje were clearly DOA to locker room at halftime.

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 5:35 PM

        The third goal was just.. wow, cake. Sometimes I wish Deuce would be as generous as Klose was there.

        Reply

        • Posted by bmullis on 2011/11/16 at 6:51 AM

          Sometimes I wish we had midfielders the caliber of Ozil. I’m not sure any of our mids would have followed the pass to Klose to be in position to get the ball back from him on that short pass. Ozil had a fantastic game especially after he looked so-so in the Ukraine game last week.

          Reply

          • If they’re on a run, Bradley would have (remember, he loves to crash the box late) and Donovan would have as well. When they’re laying that pass…maybe Deuce (though he’s not a mid) follows it, but I can’t think of another guy beyond that.

            I do know that Jozy would’ve tripped and skied it, though.

            Reply

  92. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/15 at 3:44 PM

    Matt I’d be interested in seeing a stat for the last match the U.S. Had two different strikers score in a single match

    Reply

  93. Posted by CJ on 2011/11/15 at 6:53 PM

    Okay so I just watched the highlights. It’s hard to judge a game by only clips of course but, holy cow (!) the scoreline from that reel should have been something like 8-5, Slovenia the victor. Both sides defenses, especially ours, looked like sieves! They had our D and Howard beat at least 4 times and had they sent the ball 6 inches left, down, or right would’ve all been goals. Wow. Must’ve been a fun game to see.

    Reply

  94. Posted by crow on 2011/11/15 at 7:29 PM

    Any reason Jozy took the PK instead of Deuce?

    Reply

  95. Just tossing this out there…I would’ve loved to see Fabian take the penalty. I’m glad to see Jozy getting a goal, and maybe he needed it more, but in some ways it seems like it would’ve been a real good thing to try and get Johnson on the score sheet in his first start.

    I dunno, just a thought.

    Reply

  96. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/11/15 at 9:30 PM

    The time seems right to thank the brave men and women who serve our country so well, both in and out ( ! ) of uniform.

    Reply

  97. Brek Shea has looked much different in these last two games than in his first 4 under Klinnsman. I’m hoping it’s just fatigue and that the MLS off-season helps. Hopefully they don’t work him too hard at Arsenal over the summer, because he looks hosed.

    Agree that Chandler’s positioning looked off this game, which I haven’t really noticed with him before. He seemed to be sticking too much to the outside instead of coming inside to help Boca, consistently finding himself on the wrong side of an opposing player making a break at goal. I think I saw that against France as well. Poor positioning for the offsides trap as well. I haven’t seen any of his games in the Bundesliga – does anyone know if he has similar issues with his club as well? Based on what we’ve seen from him, I’m thinking it’s just a few bad decisions here, but would be interested if anyone knew…

    Reply

  98. Posted by scipio on 2011/11/15 at 11:22 PM

    Unfortunate truth about evaluating players like Williams or Shea is that we do not have anything close to an adequate sample size of their performances with adequate midfield distribution.

    Again, finding our core is the entire point of these friendlies judging from Klinsi coachspeak. Establish the core of your team with quality players as the constant, and start swapping in the “non-core” players at the positions without an established quality vet to see what works.

    I guess we now have that elusive “core”. Are we better off now than we were at Ecuador? God yes. Could he have found it more quickly without all the pain and castillo? Yes. Are we going to see some more youth and high-upside players now? Probably (not a very risky prediction). WOULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER TO FIND OUR CORE BEFORE THE LAST FRIENDLY OF THE YEAR? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Reply

  99. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/11/16 at 7:42 AM

    Here’s my mondaymorning Quarterbacking ( maybe ala Tebow)
    The game went well for the USMNT in many parts, and I feel like a teen aged kid who wants recongnition for following a band tghat now everyone notices (my comments on Buddle in a previous post, sorry Mr. Tuesday)or should I say more like someone who says they were in the french resistance after the war(Probably should’ve used that during the France game posts)
    I wonder how much of the US success has to do with going a familar 4-4-2,I’mot buying JK’s comments that they couldn’t do it before because of conditioning. I think the US is adopting the changing formations rotation that many teams folow going to 4-5-1 on away soil or when facing strong offensive teams. The hard part is seeing that we don’t have the personnel to do it properly, at lease not yet

    Reply

    • Yes, I was not convinced on Buddle but he definitely did well. Still, it’s strange how little interplay there is between Buddle and Jozy Altidore.

      They each connected with their team-mates seperately, but not often with each other. Edson definitely took a lot of pressure of Jozy, who had a more subdued, but quietly more effective performance against Slovenia than he did against France.

      Edson’s tendancy to needlessly drift a few yards offside while waiting for a cross was very frustrating. Still, not a bad player – hopefully a better side will rescue him from the sinking ship Ingolstadt.

      Reply

      • There was an astounding lack of connection between our two strikers. Did they attempt a single pass to each other?

        Reply

        • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/11/16 at 10:54 AM

          I didn’t see much (pun on fog) but as long as they both stretch the field on opposite sides and use the support players they do well as they did with Fabian, Deuce & MB getting more involved although I did use my familar Jozy Groan when he skied over the bar with Fabian’s nice set up in the box. (Yeah, Yeah, he was off balance… all strikers have misses…but pfeh, I find myself so frustrated with him sometimes, its like getting the hot chick home and she throws up on your sofa, yeah she cuddles, kisses wll,looks good naked, she’s young, potential, insert_____ tasteless objectifying adjective here, but the bottom line is no one scored)

          Reply

  100. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/11/16 at 8:21 AM

    A good sign that we all had much to think about last night is that no one has mentioned the rather odd and creepy substitution with seconds left in the match…WTF was Robbie freaking Rogers doing on that field?
    it’s like Klnsi was saying ” Ok now that you guys are starting to see my long term strategy and get comfortable that I know what I’m doing here……Boom! Ladies and gentlemen, start getting confused again.

    Reply

    • Posted by Shawn on 2011/11/16 at 9:48 AM

      I think it was just for time wasting purposes. Bradley was on the other side of the field. I think it would have been a slap in the face to a more experienced player, but Rogers isn’t going to be upset for a few seconds of playing time.

      Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/16 at 9:50 AM

      The clock continues to run during substitutions.

      Subbing in a player with about a minute or two to go is a very common time wasting strategy.

      If you notice, Bradley took his sweet time shuffling off the pitch instead of running like he might normally do.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/11/16 at 10:13 AM

        I get the strategy point fellas. The fact that it was Rogers who we all were hoping would just go away was the jokey point

        Reply

        • Not to beat a dead horse, but I’m pretty sure Gooch comes on instead if he was healthy. Robbie isn’t exactly renowned for his set piece defending.

          Reply

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