TSG’s Official USA vs. Guatemala Mini-Preview: Who’s Your Pappa?

Stewarding through CONCACAF….

The preview for this one almost wrote itself at the press conference following the Brazil friendly.

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann charged his squad with being more “nasty” next time they laced up their cleats after their 4-1 Marcelo-led beatdown. According to the manager, the US players needed to get stuck in more and practice the lost black arts of the beautiful game.

It’s a double-edged sword asking a team to dirty up a game, especially in World Cup qualifying where one wrong “statement” can lead to a red card, then in turn initiative for a weaker US opponent and then perhaps points going the wrong way in the match.

It’s an even worse disposition to take when a team is on the road where regrouping in the face of slanted calls or being put on edge by a fervent crowd can cause focus to slip just the necessary tad.

So the common wisdom would be for the US players to take the comments in stride and go to the office with at most a small change in character.

That’s where history comes in though.

—-

August 2008.

USA vs. Guatemala, same Estadio Mateo Flores as Tuesday night at 7:30.

The US battling in Guatemala City against a feisty La Bicolor side. Steve Cherundolo misses a tackles and swipes at the leg of an attacker with his arm as he lies prone after getting beaten.

Red card.

It’s always McBride and the “DeRossi job,” what about Lewis and the “Gustavo Cabrera job?” Yeah doesn’t sound as good….

Eddie Lewis does airborne and gets DeRossi’d, woozified, bleeding profusely.

The 80th stanza then sees Carlos Ruiz swim his way through the US central defense and drag his leg enough to hit Tim Howard–purposely–in the head after Howard has scooped up the marble.

The moment here for USMNT fans?

Howard having to protect himself while none of his teammates readily interceded.

Maybe they didn’t know what happened or maybe it took a minute to set in. Maybe it was weariness. Maybe they were holding their character. The 1-0 result would prove that they in fact did.

Still it is off-putting to see the keeper have to fend for himself in the face of a blatant attempt to injure.

There are two sides to everything and this is where CONCACAF rookie Jurgen Klinsmann’s commentary about “being nasty” may come to bear.

How will the US play Tuesday’s match in Guatemala? Will it get “appropriately” nasty and keep an even keel as a barrage of who-knows-what rains down on them on the pitch and from the stands? Will the States be to demur? Will Jermaine Jones…or rather the entire US be too aggressive and risk dropping a man down?

There is one change in that match–broached later here–that is. Guatemala is a counterattacking side and the US are looking for possession. Will that retard the vitriol as up-down affairs tend to get chippier faster.

Without further Freddy Adu, on to our (mini) preview.

As usual it goes:

About The Opponent

TSG What We’re Looking For?

11 At the Whistle

Guatemala’s Pappa….will he be the Yanks’ too? (photo credit: MLSSoccer.com)

About The Opponent:

First stop is not TSG’s preview on this one. Blasphemy!

Brent Latham is a freelance writer who typically writes for ESPN and MLSSoccer. He’s based in Guatemala and TSG tried to get him to write this section. No deal.

His preview here really cannot be duplicated. So check it out.

Our skinny:

Guatemala come in to the game wounded and in need of points. They jaunted over to Jamaica and came back on the wrong side of 2-1. They’re at home and they need a victory.

With that comes urgency.

However  it is yet to be determined whether a young Guatemala side can bottle that urgency, that energy appropriately while maintaining shape and doing what they do best. Will Guatemala beat itself or will it be a reckoning of strictly American consequence?

Almeida’s playing days…

Against Jamaica, the worst happened for Guatemala, the blue & whites fell behind. Coach Ever Almeida prefers for his troops to maintain discipline in a 5-4-1, remaining defensively stout (Almeida was a keeper in his day) breaking on the counter after sucking the opponent in.

Once Jamaica got up on Guatemala, La Bicolor was rearranged into a more attacking 3-4-3, hoping to create turnover advantages in midfield and have less space to navigate on the way to pay dirt.

Expect a 5-4-1 (much like Antigua & Barbuda regressed into Friday night) from Guatemala and for them to be counseled in the wake of the Jamaican loss.

They’ll likely deploy a backline of Carlos Gallardo, Jonathan Lopez, Luiz Rodriguez, Elias Vasquez and Erwin Moran. Defender Rafa Morales might enter that fray against the States, but across the board it’s a very youthful backline. Gallardo is the cap leader with 35, with no other player having more 15. So the question becomes–of the three wingback options (Jonathan Lopez, Rafa Morales, or Erwin Morales)–can they snookered into losing shape and joining the attack. Just how composed can they be against the US attack?

Ahead of the back five, are players more familiar in the States, names like Marco Pappa–the MLS version of Jamal Crawford–and Carlos Ruiz spearhead the attack.

While you’ve seen Pappa on MLS’s Chicago Fire, probably the best game to watch how well Pappa and his opposite winger counterpart Jairo Arreloa play in tandem is last year’s quarterfinal Gold Cup loss to Mexico, 2-1.

It was by all accounts a thrilling match and one that the La Bicolor should probably have nabbed if not for several missed chances. Guatemala of course sat deep and sprung to life on a deep change of possession and shredded Mexico’s defense up with Arreloa, Pappa and Ruiz going on mazey runs sometimes all the way from the half-line. Unlike many teams that wilt in track meets, Guatemala seemed stronger than Mexico as the game wore on (though it was Mexico who overcame a goal deficit and won going away.)

For Guatemala, it’s defend deep and counter. That’s their plan.

TSG What Are We Looking For:

• Can Jermaine Jones–and US centerbacks for that matter–avoid being tossed?

You’d knew we pick on Jones and he alone may deserve his own bullet point. It was Cherundolo whose mug was brandished a red last time at Estadio Matteo Flores.

However, Carlos Bocanegra–who has twice had “I’m sending a message fouls” this series–needs to be calm in environs where he is all too familiar.

• The contrarian view on Klinsmann and “Can the US win 1-0 the right way?”

Against Antigua & Barbuda, US media and fans (TSG included) were quick to burn Klinsmann for his team’s inability to score from the run of play and what appeared an overall sloppy or lethargic match.

In truth, the US was always going to beat Antigua & Barbuda.

The US had 89% pass efficiency and 75% of the ball–those are astounding number for the States.

Klinsmann has been magnificent in ironing out a wrinkles in his tenure, foremostly keeping US defensive integrity and especially in the first half.

Bob Bradley’s Egypt was trumpeted Monday because of its exhilarating 3-2 come-from-behind victory. Yet no team wants to find itself two down. Klinsmann has managed to avoid that, specifically by mandating cohesion in field position for the unit as a whole over the US’s favored counterattack, um, attack. As has been mentioned numerous times, the US has been defensively better (via the goals conceded stat) under Klinsmann.

The match in Guatemala–specifically one against a quick strike opponent–will be a test of Klinsmann’s squad’s mental acuity and focus on the game plan.

A 1-0 victory where the US controls the run of play and possession and takes its necessary–and maybe–few chances well, will be a massive result for Klinsmann’s process and system.

Should the US–much like a young talented team with holes–think New England Revolution–get into a game of “I see your counterattack, and I raise you mine”–and especially if it loses–then questions over fitness training and player selection and deployment will persist.

The Jozy Altidore conspiracy?

Okay, something is going on here.

Or it just Jozy being Jozy again?

Altidore has yet to truly take flight this series….

11 At The Whistle:

The skinny: About ready to give up on this section, tongue-in-cheek.

With Bob Bradley the line-up was more or less the same, for better or worse. Bradley had his favorites and whether they were in form or not (Onyewu, Bornstein, Kljestan) they typically played.

With Klinsmann, it appears he is driving at the best eleven–regardless of position despite his commentary that there was a set depth chart per said position.

Is Jose Torres–much like Kyle Beckerman early in Klinsmann’s tenure–executing the game plan–even if not dominating or succeeding his role–so well that he earns a spot every time? It’s possible.

G: Tim Howard

DEF: Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Fabian Johnson

The skinny: Unless a player (like a Ream or Cameron) makes the proverbial leap, you’re likely looking at the US’s starting backline in World Cup 2014 here. There is virtually no depth behind Cherundolo (a scary thought actually) and Clarence Goodson looks to have sewn up the RCB spot–for now. (Let’s pronounce Lichaj a contender when he’s called in.)

If Johnson can’t go, one would, could expect either Torres back at LB if fit himself or Michael Parkhurst inserted with Bocanegra slotted wide–incredulous as that make seem.

By the way, Johnson is listed as “questionable” while Torres is listed as “might play.” Is Klinsmann the type of coach who would slap the questionable label on a player and then play through them as they take the pitch in the opening half?

“Look at what my barber did to me?!” – Maurice Edu…

CDM: Maurice Edu

The skinny: Edu’s speed of defending will come in to play here and in this role he’ll be used just like Ricardo Clark was used against teams like Costa Rica and Honduras for Bob Bradley. Seal off the counter and bide time until his teammates get back behind the ball.

Edu must–MUST–reduce the simple giveaways that leave the US exposed like last World Cup cycle. (Over 13 times the US went down in the 1st half between 2008 and 2010 to turnovers in the attack.)

MID: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones

The skinny: Need to be tidy on the ball. Give aways deep in the attacking zone, especially in the center could spell drop. But they also need to be able to play through balls. The most difficult challenge of the evening may be how Bradley and Jones weight risk versus reward on their incising passes.

FW: Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan

The skinny: Does Dempsey stay up the pitch in this one? One has to wonder–as we did in the last review–if he is dropping deep by design. You’re needed closer to goal Mr. Nagodelicious.

FW: Herculez Gomez

The skinny: Just call him War Horse.

Miscellaneous

» Why does it feel like a late 2nd half test game for Joe Corona? Speaking of, any chance that Geoff Cameron starts–he should.

» Whose the Jay DeMerit, Frankie Hedjuk of this group?

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63 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/11 at 9:37 PM

    I’d like to see some fluidity and change of positions in game from Herc, Demps, and Lando. and goals!

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/11 at 11:54 PM

      Actually if you watched the A&B match closely, Lando, Duece, and Herc were constantly interchanging for the most part.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/11 at 11:56 PM

        Concur — it was about time for that. Now I agree — let’s see it against a team where this is a little more on the line.

        Reply

  2. Posted by dth on 2012/06/11 at 10:10 PM

    re: Altidore. I think Klinsmann is borrowing from the “Mind Games To Play On Your Own Team, by Phil Jackson (Foreward by Jose Mourinho; Introduction by Alex Ferguson)” book. There’s the initial “he’s unfit,” and then feints back to “but he had a really great season and learned a lot” which must have Altidore thoroughly confused.

    Just a guess.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/11 at 10:44 PM

      I have to believe it’s one of two things:

      1) Altidore is out of shape (most probably) — even at AZ this year Verbeek said publicly early in the year that Jozy didn’t go hard. Funny, because you can also see it in Altidore’s weight. When he’s not playing he gains weight. Terrible fact but true

      or

      2a) There is enough animosity between AZ and USSF that Klinsmann is trying to make a statement. Much less probable

      So much talent with Altidore. He reminds me a little bit of Vince Carter. Things come easy and when they don’t…..

      Reply

      • Posted by KMac on 2012/06/12 at 5:51 AM

        I wonder also, in addition to the excellent points above, if there is a little of rewarding those who play the way Klinsmann wants and deliver results. Gomez certainly deserves a little credit for that. Side by side, Jozy on form presents a different magnitude of skill and is definitely more of a handful for defenders. If we could just splice some of Frankie Hedudes drive DNA into Jozy’s! I would be Jozy get’s in tonight one way or another, especially if, God forbid we go down a goal early.

        On another note, with Fabian Johnson recovering, I am a) hoping is well enought to fit to give some width and vertical speed threat against the back 5 of Guatamala, and b) if he is fit, that he is fit enough to employ his remarkable skills.

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/12 at 7:01 AM

          We don’t even need Frankie’s DNA. If only Jozy would learn from a guy like Herc. Have there ever been two guys on the USMNT that have had such an opposite rise to where they are? Jozy was anointed the next big thing in US Soccer and moves to Europe for big money at 19. Herc has had to prove himself over and over again with both club and country.

          Reply

      • Posted by mathmatics on 2012/06/12 at 6:57 AM

        Are we completely discounting the notion that Gomez is simply the more dangerous striker right now?

        I like Jozy and he’s obviously in the discussion for a starting role, but it’s not like we’re talking about a world class goal scorer being snubbed here.

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/12 at 9:14 AM

          It just seems strange that Herc would go from not being in the squads previously to all of a sudden replacing Jozy as the starter when Jozy was the starter in most games under Klinsmann. It’s not as if either really had a huge change in form between the last set of friendlies and this set of games.

          Reply

          • Posted by mathmatics on 2012/06/12 at 9:53 AM

            I think Gomez is the kind of player who has to be ‘discovered’ by every new manager he plays for.

            Altidore has always been competent, but he’s held on to the starting spot by default. We’ll see if he’s ever able to stake a real claim to it.

            Reply

        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/06/12 at 2:08 PM

          If it was simply Herc is the inform striker why go out of your way to throw Jozy under the bus for not being fit. Clearly being behind a “hot” player is better than losing your job to someone because you are out of shape.

          Reply

          • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 2:30 PM

            Agreed. I think we can apply Occam’s Razor here: the most likely explanation is that Jozy did in fact show up to camp out of shape.

            Reply

  3. Posted by RigoDM on 2012/06/12 at 12:18 AM

    please no parkhurst at left back… he’s the bornstein of this group and cant be trusted yet. Cameron at LB is the safer gamble as he can at least recover or out-muscle the opposing winger if he gets caught on the wrong foot. And with Gooch riding into the sunset (sad times) does George John finally get a call?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Kay20 on 2012/06/12 at 12:55 AM

    Matt, just so you know since I saw it on your twitter, I’ve called (today), and they’ve posted on their facebook page – Danny Coyle’s is NOT showing this game. Neither is Kezar, Mad Dog, or O’Reilly’s. Basically, I can’t find a bar in SF showing the game. FYI. Didn’t want you to show up at Danny’s to be denied. PPV it is!

    Reply

  5. Posted by EFG on 2012/06/12 at 4:42 AM

    I was going to forgo spending the money and sleep on tonight’s match, but I can’t. The lure of an old-school fuzzy reception watch party was just too much.

    Reply

  6. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 4:42 AM

    I will happily take another A&B game. US dominate possession, lots of chances even if most of them are squandered, limited counter attack chances for the opponent, limited set piece opportunity for the opponent. What I don’t want to see is the Bob Bradley, two teams countering against each other and creating 3 chances a piece coin flip.

    Reply

  7. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/06/12 at 5:06 AM

    Here’s a sign that the Socopalypse is nearly upon us…local Philly paper listing the bars where the US-Guat game is televised on PPV. The worm has turned….

    Philadelphia

    Fado: 1500 Locust Street (215-893-7900)
    Brauhaus Schmitz: 718 South Street (267-909-8814) – no cover charge
    Tir Na Nog: 1600 Arch Street (267-514-1700)

    Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/soccer/157065305.html#ixzz1xa0XTDQg

    Reply

    • Posted by KMac on 2012/06/12 at 5:55 AM

      I’ve been to Tir Na Nog last cycle for the PPV….great bar and great atmosphere. We sat among the Hondurans who were outnumbered by the US/Outlaws fans. I never thought I would love Connor Casey so much and eat crow after I saw that starting line up…THAT’s CONCACAF qualification…expect the unexpected!

      Reply

      • Posted by KMac on 2012/06/12 at 5:57 AM

        We were also considering the Buffalo Wild WIngs franchise on the east coast, until I saw their hours looked like they close at midnight e.s.t. – a recipe for missing the second half’s end!
        Check their hours and call before going!

        Reply

  8. Posted by narkid on 2012/06/12 at 5:50 AM

    what a huge game this is for usa. talk about setting a tone for the summer, it would be nice to have six points in the back pocket going into two september games against jam rock. this is really the first test for coach klinsmann, and hopefully usa has been playing possum since the scotland game. fabian johnson with a huge game tonight, on top of a dempsey master stroke, and some more than solid play from the central defensive pairing, and a dominant midfield triangle. summers restaurant. arlington, virginia. $10.00 entry fee

    Reply

  9. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 6:40 AM

    I really just hope Fab is truly read to go. Such a game changer, and it would strengthen two positions by virtue of not having to pull Boca out of the center.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 6:40 AM

    Any chance Boyd gets the start? He could really give the Guatemalans fits.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 6:52 AM

      I think we’ll learn a lot about Klinsmann’s risk-v-reward spectrum.

      I would say Boyd may be a better shot because he plays further up the field than say Cameron. Based on JK’s subs I don’t see it, but Jk has certainly thrown lineup curve balls.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Damon on 2012/06/12 at 7:11 AM

    Does anyone know what it costs a bar to show the USA/Guatemala game? I’m pretty surprised at how few places seem to be showing it

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 7:58 AM

      This is from 2009 but they explain it very well:

      http://theshinguardian.com/2009/10/01/usa-honduras-the-media-math-of-it-all/

      http://theshinguardian.com/2009/10/01/usa-honduras-the-media-math-of-it-all/

      It’s just unfortunately risk reward. The Guatemalan rights holder know they can do just about as well in PPV so they use the TV networks to be their golden goose.

      If they can get it great! If they can’t, so be it.

      It’s a really big risk for a bartender. What’s different about the risk from last time to this time is that last time it was on a Saturday with more on the line, this time it’s a Tuesday.

      So if you’re own bar keeper isn’t gouging you, tell him thanks…

      *And one more note, expect the stream to go down multiple times. The infrastructure in most cases is terrible–it’s passable and that’s it.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 8:20 AM

        My guess from those numbers above is that the numbers — both revenue and asking for media are a little higher.

        There are a lot more bars that likely had the match and online streams payment.

        Willing to bet it was somewhere around $1M for games rights for this match, maybe $2M.

        It just a gambit because PPV is also less hassle and payment. Meaning, if the feed is crappy, we still got your money. If the feed is crappy to Fox, ESPN then you know they’re withholding payment.

        Reply

        • Posted by Chazcar on 2012/06/12 at 1:11 PM

          Our bar was saying it is $900 to purchase the game. That is an large amount to try to recover.

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 1:15 PM

            Especially on a Tuesday. That sounds about right. Last time I believe it was around $2K on a Saturday.

            Reply

  12. I think the game is actually at 7:30pm PT, is it not? USsoccer.com lists the game as 10pm ET (assuming 30 minutes of pre-game coverage?).

    Reply

  13. Posted by user on 2012/06/12 at 8:20 AM

    IMO Dempsey dropped so deep last game because he wanted a face-up strike from distance against A&B’s suspect keeper. He drifted more from the 50th minute until he got the shot sometime in the 70-ish. Bradley liked the idea and hit one shortly after, too.

    Reply

  14. I’m up for anything. Almost.

    More goals from Gomez.
    More stomped toes from Jones.
    More Torres as wingback.
    (75% possession you say?)
    Even if Pay-per-view gets up one’s nose.

    More depressed Donovan.
    More Dempsey drifting deep.
    More passes. More smiles.
    More of anything. Please.

    Just please, Jurgen, please,
    A lot less Onyewu.

    Reply

  15. Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 11:52 AM

    Okay, so he’s my lineup. And this is crazy. But here’s my numb… lol, sorry.

    I’d actually like to see a curveball thrown at Guatemala. They want to park the bus? Fine. Let’s ram it down their throats:

    ———-Boyd——Gomez———-
    Dempsey——————-Donovan
    —————Bradley—————–
    ——-Jones————Edu———-
    Bocanegra–Cameron–Goodson
    —————Howard—————–

    A 3-5-2 (or 3-2-3-2) that can also play almost as a 5-3-2 when Guatemala is on the counter.

    It’ll never happen in a million years. But it’s still fun to draw-up mock lineups.

    Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar on 2012/06/12 at 1:21 PM

      Join the three man back line craziness.

      If johnson or castillo can’t go I would do the following

      ______Gomez____Altidore_____
      __________Dempsey_________
      Donavon___Bradley_______Dolo
      ___________Edu_____________
      __Boca__Goodson__Parkhurst__

      Reply

    • Posted by SmiLeZ on 2012/06/12 at 4:04 PM

      If you’re going to play a 3-5-2 you need wingbacks that can get up the field and overlap, while also being able to drop back and be effective in defense. Who are your wingbacks? Jones and Edu? They are no where near being labeled as potential wingbacks. Furthermore, you wouldn’t want Donovan and Dempsey out wide. The midfield players should play infield allowing the wingbacks the room to get up the sideline.

      But I do think its possible with our player pool. It would be interesting if we really developed this system because playing CONCACAF opponents we could potentially dominate possession with 5 players in the midfield and 2 forwards. Also, against stronger teams. the wingbacks would be more defensive minded and we would have a 5 man back line. Its an interesting formation, one that Italy just played against Spain in the Euros.

      This is how I would line up using a 3-5-2 with US players. I know Lichaj wasn’t called up for these games, but him and Johnson would be perfect wingbacks. Both are fast and attacked minded, but also have shown they are capable defenders.

      ————–Altidore————–Gomez————–

      ————-Donovan————-Dempsey————

      ————————–Bradley————————-

      F. Johnson—————————————Lichaj

      ——–Bocanegra—-Goodson—-Cameron——–

      Reply

  16. Posted by Alex on 2012/06/12 at 1:30 PM

    Question, any possibility of seeing a replay of the match? I would scrounge for streams, or even pay for one but sadly I’m in class during the game.

    Reply

    • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 1:41 PM

      Try 1channel.ch sometime tomorrow, they might have it. ESPN3 as well.

      Reply

      • Posted by Fitz on 2012/06/12 at 2:05 PM

        According to my directv guide, ESPN Deportes is showing the game (taped, obviously) on Thursday night. Here’s the listing:

        Fútbol : Clasificatoria Copa Mundial 2014: Guatemala vs. Estados Unidos

        NR (Not Rated) | Genre: Soccer | Format: SD
        Next on: Thu, Jun 14, 10:00 PM EDT | 432
        Desde el Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

        Reply

  17. Posted by Alex on 2012/06/12 at 1:57 PM

    Oh ESPN3 is gonna have the replay? Usually don’t see that unless they show the live broadcast

    Reply

  18. Posted by dude on 2012/06/12 at 2:20 PM

    To go against a team that’s going to bunker without a strong target up front is infuriating. Boyd needs to play if Jozy can’t go. Gomez has played winger for Santos Laguna anyway, don’t see what the problem is.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2012/06/12 at 2:24 PM

      I think Spain vs Italy showed that vertical Center Forwards really help against a bunker no?

      Reply

      • No. Who scored for Spain?

        It was not their vertical center forward.

        Reply

        • Posted by Alex on 2012/06/12 at 4:54 PM

          True, but in the few minutes that Torres was on Spain looked to be more dangerous. Obviously other factors go into this as well, but imho I thought Spain was a bit toothless with Fabregas and/or Silva playing a “false 9″

          Reply

          • Well, Barca has been more or less doing that since Villa went down.
            Spain looked the same to me. When playing a top flight team, which Italy is, while they can still dominate, they don’t score a lot. In the World Cup they had a whole run of wins by one goal margins.
            I’d rather have Fabregas or Iniesta, who are fabulous all around soccer players, playing striker than an out of sorts Torres.

            I’d be happy if the USMNT looked that “toothless”.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 5:34 PM

              Torres v. Fabregas is a false choice. There are other strikers on the team. Someone like Llorente would’ve been an interesting choice.

              Spain needed a striker who could exploit all the space behind Italy’s defense. That’s why Torres had so many opportunities to screw up. If Italy had bunkered Torres would, indeed, have been useless. Perhaps del Bosque expected bunkering Italy.

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/06/12 at 2:56 PM

        Alex,
        Good point and Torres did open up the game for them as an outlet. His inability to finish a few chances doesn’t change the fact that tactically it worked.

        Reply

        • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/06/12 at 5:32 PM

          K Names,

          What good is an attacking tactic if you don’t actually score?
          Del Bosque’s “wrong “ tactic resulted in a goal.
          His “right” tactic resulted in a bunch of misses.
          If Lorente had been there rather than Torres maybe he does score but maybe if Cesc stays in he scores again. So I would stay away from all the hypothetical stuff, it’s just horse manure.

          The answer is it’s the player not the tactic that matters.

          Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 3:27 PM

        I think there is less of a need for target forwards in this one if Guatemala is going to sit back as far as expected. The US should be able to work the ball up on the floor.

        I think if Guatemala goes down 1 and moves to a 3-4-3 and the US has to bypass the middle then you’ll see Boyd probably more likely than Altidore (can’t believe I wrote that) because Boyd is a better hold-up player.

        As for Spain they were about to put a true forward (Torres) on but they had been playing Cesc effectively as a striker (I know, odd….I didn’t understand it either.).

        Given what the US offered versus A&B and given a bunker approach by Guatemala and given that Herculez Gomez has a high work rate in helping out in defense I think you’ll see the same line-up as against A&B depending on LB.

        Reply

  19. Posted by KG on 2012/06/12 at 3:26 PM

    Matt, what are you crazy “starting back line for the world cup” and “no depth” is total bs. Let me quickly run down some names for you . As cb options we have zak whitbread, Danny Williams, Jermaine Jones, Gonzalez, and Ream. All of these players have started in central defense in the EPL or bundesliga (with the exception of Gonzalez who would have started for Nurnburg) and are better than the cb’s currently on the roster. As for fullbacks, Lichaj is right footed and will be a massive upgrade over Cherundolo. At some point I expect Timmy Chandler to come to his senses as Jogi ain’t gonna bite on him. Again, all of these defenders (except for Ream) are an upgrade over all the defenders on the roster not named Fabian Johnson.

    Reply

    • Posted by KG on 2012/06/12 at 3:32 PM

      some of you guys are probably thinking “what? Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams, those guys are d-mids”. Normally they are, but they have played cb on a couple of occaisions in bundesliga play and looked pretty good doing it.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 3:38 PM

        I do not recall Jones playing CB, but I’ll believe you. Given his penchant for fouls and his off-mark skill set, I don’t see him as an option.

        Williams I believe played one game there. US fans haven’t seen Williams anywhere near the positions he normally plays.

        Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/12 at 3:37 PM

      All done there KG? :>

      I’m going to slightly temper your enthusiasm. First, Lichaj needs to prove he can remain fit and avoid fouls. He has the goods but he’s been injured all but one year of being a pro.

      If Klinsmann deals him in that, that’s correct. That’s depth. But he’s not there yet.

      Let’s skip over Zak Whitbread for now. He’s just been released and he’s consistently injured. You just can’t have that in a CB.

      Tim Ream needs to prove his defense…he’ll do that now in the Championship and it takes two years to come back from a knee surgery effectively (ask Onyewu). So you’re looking at the end of 2013 for Gonzalez.

      Neither Jermaine Jones or Danny Williams play centerback nor is Klinsmann likely to play either there.

      There is probably about what, 30 games, until World Cup 2014. You have to set your defenders at some point. Not yet, but still.

      I think you’re centerback pecking order is currently: 1) Boca, 2) Goodson 3) Cameron 4) Onyewu 5) Ream 6) George John.

      For now…lots of questions still there.

      Outside Fabian seems like a lock and I’m very happy that JK has elected to make him a LB. Dolo will be a challenge to keep fit and elite on the right so hopefully Lichaj can perform.

      Chandler, I’ll believe it when I see it.

      So merely tempering. The backline, specifically CB, has always been the States achilles heal. The other players need to show to displace the ones christened above.

      Reply

      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 6:04 PM

        Not sure Gooch should be on that list at 4. I know this is probably an overreaction but I would much rather have Ream then Gooch at starting center in an upcoming game.

        Reply

  20. Posted by scweeb on 2012/06/12 at 5:51 PM

    Is there any streams of this?

    Reply

  21. Posted by MJ on 2012/06/12 at 6:30 PM

    Wait, so will ESPN3 have it on replay or is that just hearsay? I thought they could only show it if they also aired it live.

    Reply

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