USA vs. Guatemala: Live Commentary

Back at it after 2008. Michael Bradley had hair. The US played on the counterattack. They had Heath Pearce at left back and Pablo Mastroeni getting stuck-in centrally.

Big test game for the States.

Line-ups for this one shortly.

Boca circa 2008.

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185 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 5:14 PM

    OT, but someone’s going to have to get the Canada coach to put Dwayne DeRosario central. I feel like he and Klinsmann have been swapping tips on how to play players out of their natural positions.

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  2. Posted by Nelson on 2012/06/12 at 5:20 PM

    is kickoff at 10EST?

    Reply

  3. Posted by scweeb on 2012/06/12 at 5:53 PM

    Any streams??

    Reply

  4. Posted by JW on 2012/06/12 at 5:56 PM

    Jamaica ties at A&B in the early game.

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  5. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 6:07 PM

    #usmnt starting XI: Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra (c), Johnson; Edu, 4-Bradley, Jones; Donovan, Dempsey, Gomez

    Fabian!!!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 6:25 PM

    What is the over/under on a Jones red card?

    A few people are saying this is the US “A Team”. I’m not a Jozy guy, but he is better than Gomez as target striker.

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    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 6:29 PM

      Yeah, this is in no way the US “A” team. I have a strong suspicion D. Williams > Edu…and that the best CB to pair with Bocanegra is unknown.

      Reply

      • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 6:44 PM

        I think this is probably a very plausible US “A-team” at this moment. Probably not where we will be in 2 years, or with all our guys healthy, but for now I don’t think Coach K is holding back.

        Reply

        • Posted by Izzy on 2012/06/12 at 6:47 PM

          I agree that this is pretty close to the U.S.’s first team. Altidore, when healthy, takes Gomez’s place for me, but I think that’s about the only gripe I have with this squad. I also don’t really think Danny Williams is any better than Edu, but we’d have to see him tested I think.

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          • Just for arguments sake:

            Jozy Altidore – 48 games – 13 goals – 2011 stats…. 11 games – 3 goals
            Herculez Gomez – 10 games – 4 goals – 2012 stats….. 3 games – 2 goals

            Herculez has almost as many goals as Jozy did in 2011 in 8 fewer games. I don’t have a favorite in this race, but I want the guy putting the ball in the back of the net. Jozy (other than fitness) needs to do that more consistently for club and country, while remaining focused and fit.

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            • Posted by Izzy on 2012/06/12 at 7:09 PM

              To be fair, Gomez hasn’t been scoring amazing goals… Both were fairly simple tap ins. He got into a good position against Brazil, but they weren’t spectacular efforts. I also don’t think that the U.S. really was giving Jozy the kind of service that Gomez has been getting in recent matches. Early on, it was pretty rough. Some people are going to inevitably point at Altidore and say that it’s his fault, but there were clear problems in the midfield, such as having Maurice Edu and Kyle BEckerman as our central midfielders, and Robbie Rogers also getting a few looks himself.

              I do like Gomez though. He’s not as good in his hold-up play, but his general link-up play and movement are good. He’s constantly probing that backline, which is something Jozy struggled with.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:19 PM

              Goals are overrated.

            • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 8:04 PM

              I like Gomez a lot just for the spirit of the team. He works so hard, and I feel like he just plays in a way that I’m proud of. Altidore is a good player and I like rooting for him, but I’m really happy that – whoever is our go-to in 2014 – someone is challenging him up-top and we’re adding depth and versatility to our attack.

              In comparing games for Gomez / Altidore, you might also consider looking at minutes. I haven’t seen any of Gomez’ club games, but my understanding is that he is usually used as a late sub.

              Props to both of these guys, IMO. Happy to see them do well and happy to see Gomez get his oppurtunities early in qualifying to see what we can do with him up top.

  7. Posted by twewlife on 2012/06/12 at 6:32 PM

    For those of you not blessed with thirty dollars and/or a local bar that has good taste, this stream should work:

    http://atdhenet.tv/

    Reply

  8. The first foul of the game was ON Jones and not BY Jones? I would have lost money on that…

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  9. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:20 PM

    Fabian Johnson has been very good. By my unofficial count 2/2 on defensive duels plus nice running for width.

    Game much too stretched though. Large spaces.

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  10. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:22 PM

    Jermaine Jones is playing as a central winger. Probably helps account for increased width, but he’s not particularly threatening.

    Not a huge fan of the “pump in crosses” strategy if the forward is Gomez.

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  11. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 7:26 PM

    Gomez and a defender just went down in a pile and the defender literally held him back by the neck. They are playing dirty. Crazy atmosphere. Feel like we need to settle a bit.

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  12. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:26 PM

    The team’s defensive shape is very ragged. Roy Hodgson is probably having a heart attack just being in the same universe as that.

    Because of the ragged defensive shape and stretched-out game, it’s really imperative Maurice Edu have a good, precise game. He’s had a couple of bad mistakes but largely has been good. Still, I’m uncomfortable with that.

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    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:32 PM

      Not sure what you mean by ragged, mind explaining?

      What I’m seeing is that the US is going to get caught since both outside backs are pressing forward at the same time, as opposed to Steve staying when Fabian goes and vice versa. As you said though, this means that Edu is going to have to play very well and try and force things wide away from Goodson and Boca.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:45 PM

        Well, obviously this is on a continuum, but you look at Roy Hodgson teams as the extreme of shape. It’s always two perfect banks of four, moving forward and back in unison, as if connected by tether, and so on and so forth.

        By comparison, there’s not that same tether between midfield and defenders, and the shape of the midfield isn’t quite as tight in this game. That’s not totally bad, but I think more bad than good in this game.

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        • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:53 PM

          Very true about the England team. The US, as you’ve indicated, is playing three central players with the intention of allowing space for the outside backs to get forward easier as well as try and force things into those three central players who are all strong ball-winners.

          It’s a much looser shape I’ll agree.

          Reply

  13. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 7:32 PM

    This stream is god damn awful. Really a tragedy this is how games like this are broadcast. Even more tragic I decided to pay 30 bucks for it,

    Reply

  14. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:34 PM

    I’m still of the opinion that Jozy should have started and been used to wear down this very young and inexperienced back line (draw his usual fouls and hopefully get one or two of them on a yellow) and then use Gomez to come in late and poach like he tends to do.

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  15. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:36 PM

    The ref looks like he’s afraid of the crowd. Not good for us if that’s true…

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  16. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 7:37 PM

    Another great run by Fabian. Gomez’s touch fails him. Gomez is not our number 1 striker give me a break.

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  17. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 7:40 PM

    What the hell was that back and forth between Landon and Bradley?

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  18. This announcer is pretty bad. That was the weakest GOOOOAAALLLL call I can remember.

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  19. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:43 PM

    DEMPSEY!!!!!

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  20. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:46 PM

    BTW we’ve shifted to a 4-2-3-1 with Jones on the wing.

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  21. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 7:48 PM

    Egads, Gomez, that was a bad touch off the chest.

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  22. Posted by fellaini'sFro on 2012/06/12 at 7:55 PM

    Try this for internet feed. Decent quality.

    http://www.usagoals.com/

    Reply

  23. Posted by scweeb on 2012/06/12 at 7:55 PM

    Still like gomez more then jozy. you at least know that gomez is going to be trying harder for everything.

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    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 7:57 PM

      I really don’t quite get the Jozy=Lazy stuff all time times. He’s not running all over the pitch like Gomez might but I don’t think that’s Jozy’s job. His job is usually to stay central and play with his back to the goal and help link up with the rest of the attack. Besides that, Jozy’s size is never going to allow him to zip around the field like Rooney does.

      Reply

  24. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:01 PM

    Edu has done his job well tonight I think. He’s helped shield a back line that needs it with both our outside backs pressing up at the same time so much.

    Is it just me or is Bradley intentionally slowing the game down a lot? There just seems to be a lot of times he’ll sit on the ball or just scan the entire field rather than keep the ball moving with a simple pass.

    Also, I think you sub Altidore for Gomez at some point. Jozy’s going to be a handful for couple of tired and drained centerbacks.

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  25. Meanwhile… really nice goal by El Salvador on a free kick from outside the top of box to tie it up at home against Mexico. Place went absolutely nuts. 1-1 with about 20 to go.

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  26. The anti-Jozy coalition can’t’ve watched him over the last nine or so months.

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    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 8:10 PM

      No need to set up factions. Most of us are pro-herc and pro-jozy, happy to see something different tried up top.

      Reply

  27. JFT in for Jones around the 65th minute, if he’s actually healthy? Jones is awkward as a right winger. Not that JFT has been great, but Jürgen really likes him.

    (oh, and JFT and Lando switch sides in that scenario)

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 8:27 PM

      I like Jones here better than Torres.

      That said, if I could have my choice of any American currently playing to sub in, it’d probably be Gatt. The amount of space here would make him ridiculous on counters.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/13 at 6:50 AM

        But I thought all along you kept saying we shouldn’t jump on the Gatt bandwagon? Is it safe to do so now?

        Reply

  28. Posted by Nelson on 2012/06/12 at 8:07 PM

    How about Gomez as a winger and Altidore as a target man at the same time? Take out Edu. Not sure how to rearrange the D, but seems worth a shot…

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    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 10:19 PM

      Gomez – Altidore – Donovan
      ——–Dempsey————–
      ——–Bradley —Jones—-
      Fab-Boca-Goodson-Dolo
      ———–Howard————

      Something like this?

      Pretty similar to the 4-2-2-2 that Bob Bradley played. That keeps us awfully narrow and means that we either lose an Edu-style destroyer or have to stick Jones/Bradley in front of the back four and keep one of them from going forward. On the other hand, also gives us a very solid attacking 5/6.

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  29. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:08 PM

    Cameron on for Goodson. I like Cameron being in but I assume it’s because Goodson was sitting on a yellow.

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  30. 3 subs at the half for Guatemala? Is that right?

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  31. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:23 PM

    The ref gives Mikey a ridiculous card for ‘time-wasting’ but no cards for Guatemala whose players are playing hack-a-Clint?

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  32. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:31 PM

    I’d play hurt after missing that too

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  33. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 8:41 PM

    So where was advantage there? Terrible call.

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  34. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 8:41 PM

    CONCACAF’s finest at work.

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  35. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:44 PM

    Ruiz is such a little…. yeah…

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  36. Perhaps it’s because I’m listening with headphones, but very cool to be able to hear Howard directing the backline, telling them to get higher, and then constantly giving complements for good headers…

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  37. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:44 PM

    Well… crap…

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  38. Look at the foul disparity, then look at the yellow cards. Pretty incredible.

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  39. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 8:47 PM

    That goal is our own fault. We’ve played way too loosey-goosey.

    Ugh, Altidore. Make your freaking run and don’t check that.

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  40. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/12 at 8:47 PM

    Jozy just missed a Gomez tap in

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  41. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 8:48 PM

    GET JOZY OFF THE FIELD JESUS CHRIST! THATS A RUN YOU LEARN IN MIDDLE SCHOOL! Beautiful pass by Bradley.

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    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/13 at 7:56 AM

      Haha, I know it was reactionary but that made me laugh. There was a guy at the bar last night that clearly had never seen a soccer game before and he apparently decided that he would make very loud commentary throughout. He thought Bradley was the worst player out there and kept screaming, “WHY IS BALDY STILL ON THE DAMN FIELD!?”.

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  42. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 8:50 PM

    Good and bad of Jozy today. That pass that led to Dempsey foul (and should-have-been advantage) was delightfully good. That checked run…ugh.

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  43. Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:52 PM

    Welcome to CONCACAF reffing Jurgen

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  44. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 8:56 PM

    Guatemla players are patheic. This is like playing against 11 juvenile Marcelos without the talent. Their play-acting was a touch better than the refereeing though. Holy smokes. I imagine Jurgen will learn a lot from this.

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    • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 9:02 PM

      exactly. can’t stand the way they play. cynical and petty. and it’s the same shit in the rec leagues here in LA.

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  45. Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 8:57 PM

    Completely worthless performance from Jozy. He can stay on the bench for all I care.

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    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 8:59 PM

      Good and measured response. I’m sure that Jozy will not see the pitch ever again for the Nats after such an atrocious showing. He should just retire from international play right now.

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      • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:01 PM

        Thanks for the hyperbole. None of that is what I said or at all relevant to what I said.

        Based on this performance, in which he showed virtually nothing for 30 minutes, Jozy has not earned the right to start. He’s the #3 striker at this point in time.

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        • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:06 PM

          Who’s number 2 then, might I ask?

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          • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 9:07 PM

            You dude!

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          • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:09 PM

            Boyd is still on the roster, is he not?

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            • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:18 PM

              Jozy is much better than Boyd. It’s one of the goofier things–not quite up there with the Torres obsession–that Klinsmann has Boyd on the roster at all. Agudelo, for example, is better than Boyd. Wondolowski is better than Boyd. Sapong is better than Boyd.

              Boyd is a nice prospect, but in no way a national team quality player.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:23 PM

              100% agree with your conclusion on Boyd dth with one caveat. Isn’t he the type of person that would make a much better sub than Jozy for the last 20 minutes?

            • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:32 PM

              I completely agree that Altidore is a better forward than Boyd (for now). But Boyd has shown himself to be in better form than Altidore and the former is quite good at holding-up play (that’s what they teach best at Dortmund…see Conor Casey) while Altidore struggles with the hold-up consistently.

        • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 9:08 PM

          oh please. he had no support and barely any decent balls sent his way. and sure if he’d made that run he could;ve scored but i’m think he thought bradley was going to cut that ball back to him. games like this against guatelmala on their shitty field are never pretty and make everyone look like crap.

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          • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:17 PM

            I’m more disappointed that the equalizer came so late in the game than the fact that Guatemala equalized at all. Sneaky goal by Pappa there. Tough environment in which to play but we’re obviously not in trouble in the group. A point on the road is a point on the road and I’ll take it. I just think Jozy needs to be the point man on any attack and save for the one poor call, there was really nothing of value offered from our striker for the last 30 minutes. It’s frustrating and it’s problematic.

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      • Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 9:13 PM

        Come on DTH. The point is, there comes a time when its worth calling a spade a spade. How many times are we going to watch Jozy make those mistakes? Not only that, but he throws his arms up afterwards in disgust at Bradley’s pass! Give me a break.

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        • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:14 PM

          Jozy stunk. Not disputing that. Probably like a 3.5 or 4. But, again, it’s pretty silly to assert he did nothing of value in the game, as that’s demonstrably false.

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          • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:19 PM

            We can likely debate this all night. Even if Jozy had finished the run and sunk the goal, I still think it would have been a pretty worthless performance from him overall. Would I be complaining about him now? Probably not. But he didn’t finish it, regardless of where the fault lies.

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    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:01 PM

      Untrue. If ref plays advantage, it’s Jozy’s pass and run that sets up a very nice one-on-one opportunity. Jozy drew a fair number of fouls, and had some good passing. It was a typical up-and-down performance. That bad moment sticks out, and justly so, but let’s not forget that there was some good with the (mostly) bad.

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      • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:02 PM

        But the ref didn’t play the advantage and that play doesn’t make up for the 2 or 3 runs Jozy didn’t make, particularly on that brilliant run and cross from Bradley.

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        • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:06 PM

          Jozy can’t control the refs; he can only control his performance. So you make the run there. That was good. Anyway, not saying it makes up for it. I’m saying “worthless” is clearly wrong, as Jozy created a goalscoring opportunity.

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      • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:04 PM

        I agree dth. JGD, the hyperbole was there to show you what I think of your comment: a very emotional response to the game. In fact, I would argue your calling Jozy’s performance worthless was hyperbole.

        That said, Jozy is clearly out of shape and needs to do more on his own when he isn’t able to train with his club team.

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        • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 9:07 PM

          Jozy played like crap, but he also was called for fouling a guy after he got elbowed in the face, so…

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        • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:09 PM

          What of value did Altidore offer? Certainly not tracking back to help through midfield (as Gomez has been want to do) and certainly not making the runs he should have. Gomez didn’t have his best game, but he wasn’t standing around with his hands in his pockets either.

          Pretty worthless performance from Altidore. He deserves to be derided for his lazy play. The primary reason he was continually dropped from the starting line-up at AZ, despite his goal record this past season.

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          • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:13 PM

            Like I said, he created a goalscoring opportunity and was fouled several times. That is value, whether you like it or not.

            Tracking back to help out through midfield is pretty overrated. It’s a classic of confusing activity with achievement. I wish Gomez didn’t do that so much. Playing defense as a forward should be mostly about cutting off passing lanes and pressuring defenders.

            Anyway, I’m highly negative on Jozy’s performance too. Calling it “worthless” is just going way over the top.

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          • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:15 PM

            Tracking back into the midfield when you’re the lone striker is not always helpful and in many cases hurts your team. When playing a lone forward, he has to stay high most of the time and keep the back line stretched and honest as well as serve as an outlet for long balls out of the back. Jozy stays high. Gomez doesn’t always do that and often times we end up without someone high to keep the back line stretched or honest.

            That said, I’m not advocating Jozy starting you’ll notice. Just pointing out that what you call lazy isn’t always lazy in my opinion. Running around for the sake of running around isn’t always useful. I agree with you that he should have made that one run and he would have gotten a tap in goal, but I also recognize that he was looking for the cut back play at the top of the box. A mistake on his part? Yes. But it does not make his entire performance tonight worthless.

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            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:20 PM

              His performance was 20 or so minutes. If that is the performance against a tired defense you need to show me something. Yes he had the opportunity that we didn’t get advantage on but not sure he did anything to create that. I can’t remember one play that he made that had me think, I am glad we took Herc out.

            • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:28 PM

              I see what you’re saying. The problem with Gomez staying high is that Guatemala is consistently parking the bus and Gomez isn’t that tall or aggressive to begin with. I think he needs to drop to find the ball to be effective. So maybe it’s best that Altidore, supposedly being a ‘stronger’ forward, stay high where he can receive it rather than drop.

              Though I’m still not sure why Klinsmann refuses play a second striker. Altidore has the size to play alone up top, but he still has yet to prove he’s strong enough. Gomez could also do with a nice foil (although he’s best playing the right in a 4-3-3).

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:09 PM

          Jozy did nothing to make me think he needs to start and get Herc to the bench. It wasn’t a horrible performance but I have to say that I am more convinced that Herc is top on the depth chart.

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      • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 9:10 PM

        did anyone else scream “No!!!” at their lousy stolen internet feed when they realized jones was going to take that free kick?

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        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 9:20 PM

          Yeah, that was just bizarre. No idea why we let Herc and Jones each waste a free kick.

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          • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 11:16 PM

            ah i forgot about gomez. it’s criminal behavior to have anyone but our best take free kicks. especially a kick on the edge of the box which requires someone with skills who can dip the ball over the wall and under the crossbar (a la pappa). jones has anything but a delicate touch.

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  46. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 8:57 PM

    Thank Sweet Heavenly Jebus for Tim Howard. Switch keepers and we lose 3-0.

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  47. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 8:59 PM

    Draw not terrible in results-oriented frame. Jamaica dropping points to A&B is a huge gift–I would’ve loved to get some distance between them and us, but, you know. THIS IS CONCACAF.

    Still, I wasn’t a huge fan of the performance. The high pace of the game reflected a lack of control and loosey-goosey play. With the amount of space Guatemalan players were given, we were somewhat lucky to escape with one goal conceded.

    Going forward there was some good/decent stuff, but it’s really disappointing how poor the offense has produced under Klinsmann. Bradley teams scored more, with worse players. Did Bradley ever get a set of strikers as good as Gomez/Altidore/Boyd? Doubt it.

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    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 9:03 PM

      Somewhat lucky? Howard had at least two brilliant saves, and Ruiz skied a tap-in.

      Also, why can’t Pappa play like this for the Fire?!?

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      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:04 PM

        Because the Fire are deeply mediocre.

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        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 9:05 PM

          And Guatemala aren’t?

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          • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:08 PM

            MLS teams are better about closing out space and staying organized than we were tonight, meaning Pappa has less space. The amount of space the U.S. left everyone was pretty amazing.

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            • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/12 at 9:19 PM

              True, but it looked to me like Pappa was good even when not given space tonight. As in, he was creating something dangerous or at least positive with nearly every touch.

              Could just be the psychological factor of rooting against him instead of for him, though.

            • Posted by d-bar on 2012/06/13 at 2:58 PM

              This may be the first time I remember the “club vs. country” quality of play argument in favor of an MLS club. I tend to agree with this statement, but for me it was just something that I hadn’t read before. Thanks, dth.

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:06 PM

      Landon sucked tonight. He had at least three opportunities where he had open space on the left in the second half. Ran at the guy who continually backed off and I don’t think we got a shot out of any of those.

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      • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 9:11 PM

        agreed.

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      • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 9:11 PM

        Agreed, it was weird, but Landon definitely seemed like a weak-spot. Even though he got the ball in some very good situations I’m not sure we ever got a shot on goal in any of them.

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        • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 9:41 PM

          agreed. Landy needs to be on the bench. he has lost the fire in his belly, by his own admission; Somebody needs to light a huge wildfire under Jozy’s couch potato rump.

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          • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 11:19 PM

            he never did learn a cut back move did he? he gets the ball and drives straight for the endline. did it a couple time tonight with nothing to show for it.

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  48. Jozy didn’t play well, but if the ref plays advantage when he probably should have, Altidore almost certainly scores.

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  49. Posted by Mark on 2012/06/12 at 8:59 PM

    Jozy’s incomprehensible decision to check his run aside, it felt like we lacked aggressiveness around the box a lot of times. Lots of surveying followed by back passing. I don’t know if we were being cautious about opening up a counter or what.

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  50. These Concacaf games are tough to analyze. US got loose late on, but in that environment its certainly not easy to be disciplined for the full 90. The refereeing is sickening though, that much I’m certain about.

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  51. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:03 PM

    1 – 1 not that bad…

    Ref bad.
    Jozy unbelievably lazy
    Fabian, glad to have you back
    Donovan got free on the left wing a couple times in space (should be his specialty) yet he looked like he had no idea what to do
    Cameron not that good either
    Edu looked fine

    BTW odds that Bradley and Edu got yellow cards and Jones didn’t had to be astronomical

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    • Posted by JGD on 2012/06/12 at 9:05 PM

      If this were the English playing, they’d probably have offered those odds. Those fellas bet more on sports than anyone I know.

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    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:08 PM

      Donovan didn’t look comfortable on the left in my opinion. He’s more dangerous on the right where he can swing the ball in with his dominant foot. On the left he seems too hesitant to cut inside onto his shooting foot.

      Reply

      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/12 at 9:13 PM

        Thats a problem. If we are relying on Donovan and he is switching with Dempsey as our formation dictates we can’t have him not able to play on one side. Towards the end we were in a 4-2-3-1 (assuming Jones wasn’t playing wing for the fun of it) and Donovan was on the left. Really bad strategy.

        Reply

  52. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:03 PM

    Disappointed we saw almost no Corona. He had the one brief appearance against Scotland but nothing thereafter. Missed a chance to cap-tie him and to see what he can do. Given we often seemed to lack creativity and verticality, Corona’s abilities might have served us well.

    Reply

  53. Posted by Nelson on 2012/06/12 at 9:06 PM

    ugh…

    Reply

  54. Corona can run out on the wing right? Jurgen is trying to put square pegs in round holes at this point, so why not go with a player that actually fits into the position.

    Donovan got more aggressive later on, but he wasn’t pushing the ball forward enough for large parts of the game. Granted that the Dutch lost their first Euro game, but what really impressed me about their play was their constant aggressiveness in pushing the ball forward when they got into the final third. Jurgen has the US trying to play like Spain when I feel like we should be playing like the Orange. You can still play possession on the ground ticky tack passing and be ruthlessly aggressive in the process—US needs to push the tempo offensively more often.

    I don’t think we can continue to get away with starting Bradley, Edu, and Jones at the same time. Not enough variety. Edu has always impressed me in terms of his ability to cover lots of space and tackle effectively, but his offensive game is very conservative, so he either is the backfield shield or Jones is, but with both on the field we lack creative play in the midfield.

    Not a terrible result when all is said and done, and on par with historic performance in Guatemala. Big game against Jamaica, and really need to create distance with a win to take hold of the group.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:16 PM

      Corona can play out on the wing, but he’s more of a #10.

      Don’t think you want Jones as your backline shield guy. Jones wants to roam and drive forward.

      Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:20 PM

      Not sure Edu was the problem tonight. I think he did well in the role assigned to him.

      One problem is that you can’t give up fouls in areas like johnson did. It was a soft foul and Ruiz made a meal of it, but you still can’t give those up. On the other side of the spectrum, you have to make the most of your own set piece opportunities and the US skied three or four kicks I believe? You can’t waste those opportunities in shooting areas.

      Also, the US continues to lack a consistent goalscorer up top. Gomez had a quiet game and Jozy did as well (as well as look very unfit). Boyd has yet to play a professional game and it seems harsh to send him into that kind of environment.

      Reply

      • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 11:22 PM

        exactly – i posted same thing earlier. why is jones taking that free kick??? dempsey or donovan should step in and just claim that shit

        Reply

  55. Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 9:17 PM

    Jozy “Couch Potato” Altidore showed his true colors today again; looked like he was on vacation on the pitch, all he needed was a lawn chair and his flip-flops. His play for club is clearly different than his play for the USMNT. Please go back on vacation Jozy and leave a spot for some who wants to be there.

    Klinsi, welcome to CONCACAF. This is how bad games are in the CONCACAF and you need to come away with 3 points at any cost, not look pretty. No room for pretty futbol here, just results. The ref for this match was better than the ref for MEX-ES. And that is not saying much at all.

    Reply

    • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/06/13 at 6:22 AM

      I like the new moniker ” Couch Potato Altidore” I used to like Jozy Heskey but at least Heskey busts his ass out there. although I give Jozy credit for the pass he set up that I think Dempsey skied over the bar. Its still unforgiveable for him to not to continue his run on Bradley’s cross, shows his mindset, guys withh lesser talents would have scored just by being in the right place (Herc). Thats why he gets the start, because even if he played lousy at hold up, etc he would’ve shown up for that one. Wherre is Gio Savarese when you need him to show how you profit on garbage!

      Reply

  56. Posted by dth on 2012/06/12 at 9:21 PM

    We could have used more effective counters tonight. I want to stress that Gatt is in no way a savior or even likely to make people proclaim he’s the greatest ever–I think a really good result for him is if he becomes Kevin Grosskreutz–but he would fill a very helpful role for this team.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/13 at 6:54 AM

      Disregard my comment on your previous Gatt comment. There’s the dth that keeps us from firing up the Gatt bandwagon.

      Reply

  57. I agree regarding Jones, which is why I think he’s left out if I had it my way despite the fact that I think he’s a more complete player then Edu. I’m just a big believer in playing the parts that give you the most complete coherent final product, and Jones doesn’t ultimately have a role within this team unless US plays a very coordinated 4-2-3-1 with Jones and Bradley interchanging in advanced positions.

    Reply

  58. Posted by Nelson on 2012/06/12 at 9:22 PM

    I like Jozy outwide (on the bench) so he doesn’t miss tap ins…

    really looking forward to the progression of Boyd. I think he will have a better soccer IQ than Jozy and offer some physical attributes Gomez does not have. Herc is still my boy. but i could see him playing wide in a role similar to his club team.

    And what happened to Donovan rounding defenders going for the shot? I understand he may not enjoy the game as much, but please enjoy shooting/scoring…

    Also, I had no idea Marco Pappa was that good…does he play well for the Fire?..

    The real loser was the ref for allowing their atrocious hacks from behind and then punishing our lesser fouls with cards.

    Loved watching Jurgen getting innervated on the sidelines.Was hoping he was going to get nasty on the refs…Definitely a baptism into the CONCAF

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 7:47 AM

      Pappa almost never looks that good for a stretch of 45 minutes for the Fire.

      As dth noted above, he did get a lot more space than he usually does in the MLS, but I’m not sure that completely explains the discrepancy.

      Reply

  59. I think the Jozy bashing is at an unnecessary “11” right now. When your performance is compressed into 30 minutes, mistakes are amplified, and he certainly made a mistake on that play. However, if the ref plays advantage we would be singing his praises. I thought we actually looked more dangerous going forward with Jozy out there than with Gomez.

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:32 PM

      Not sure I would say we were more dangerous but Jozy and Herc offer such differing styles up top that it of course changes the way we attack.

      I think the issue for the US is that both Jozy and Herc would probably play better partnering each other rather than alone. That obviously means that Jurgen would have to change the formation he’s playing a little and I’m not sure I see that happening.

      Reply

    • Posted by mbw on 2012/06/13 at 6:46 AM

      And let’s not totally forget that given decent officiating he would have scored a goal and might have drawn a penalty in those 30 minutes.

      Reply

    • i just dont understand why jozy was complaining about not getting the pass as he was getting the pass. i dont get it…

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 11:22 AM

        I really don’t get why players ever do that, even if it is the passer’s fault.

        Seems like a tantrum to me.

        Reply

  60. Posted by Union on 2012/06/12 at 9:30 PM

    So I’ve held back on a few of these thoughts previously, thinking that I was being too much of a sensationalist, but here it goes.

    -The US will likely make the WC. But make no mistake, this team as currently constructed is wildly average.

    -Again, the age showed tonight. This team is old, they are slower, less athletic and get tired easier.

    -I’ll say it. I prefer Boyd/Agudelo to any of the current striker options being employed. Gomez is a fan favorite, but he is nowhere near as good as he is being made out to be. He is like a David Eckstein. He does everything right, but he just isn’t good enough to start on a WC side. Would he have put in that ball Bradley played to Jozy? Maybe. But he lacks the ball skill, speed, and strength that the US needs. There is a reason he has been passed over for awhile. He is 30 years old after all. And Jozy. As stated above, I understand that he has flashes. And while I’m higher on Boyd bc of the intangibles, Jozy likely has the better ball skill at this point (especially in small spaces). But his inconsistency, combined with his inability to make the necessary runs…enough is enough.

    -Bradley had a great game and deserved the game winning assist, but the other CMs were pretty bad. There is no one in that group who is even close to being a 10 (and as we all know, there isn’t really anyone in our player pool that can play a 10). Bradley is capable of playing a capable role but are Jones and Edu? Most definitely not. Edu has had a pretty atrocious camp in my opinion. His passing has been terrible and his touches have been even worse. Defensively he is generally solid and can still tackle as well as anyone on the team, but I look forward to Danny Williams and Stu Holden replacing Jones/Edu.

    -I really hope Jurgen decides to call in some young guys like Shea, Lichaj and Gatt for future camps. And I maintain that Freddy Adu and his skill could be asset at the 60 minute mark. He is a better player than Torres in ever facade. I don’t care if he is terrible for the Union, he plays well for the USMT and that is enough for me.

    People should be frustrated by this performance and a tiny bit worried.

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2012/06/12 at 9:41 PM

      I’ll try to go through the things you mentioned in the order you did because I think you made some interesting points.

      – Yes, agreed that the US will make it through the WC. We’ll see how good we are as we get closer. Two years is a long time for players to develop and change.

      – Age showed a little but I’m not sure it was really a big factor tonight. I think we made some stupid fouls around our box and the Guatemalans punished us (yes, maybe soft fouls but you have to know how the ref is calling the game by that point).

      – I agree about Gomez. I like him but I think he’s suited to a poacher/sub role rather than starter. I disagree about Boyd. Boyd is a nice project but he needs at least a year or two before he’s ready to be tossed in as a starter in my opinion. I think down the road he could be the starter we’re looking for but let’s focus on the current. Agudelo is interesting but I’m not sure he’s the answer either. Jozy is the best choice but he had a rough game and there are clearly issues about how well he can keep himself fit when not training daily with a club team.

      – Bradley had a pretty good game tonight. Edu was fine in my opinion. He did what he was asked to do in protecting the back line for the most part tonight.

      – I agree youth needs to be injected but we have to see how they develop. Shea is the closest but he’s been in rough form for Dallas lately and he needs to sort that out first. Gatt is extremely raw from all indications and needs this season to develop more which I think he will. Gatt will become a factor. Lichaj will come in soon I have no doubt. As for Adu… I’m torn. The ability is there but I think there is a lot more to his story that we’ll ever know. There has to be some reason that we don’t see that he has constantly be questioned at every club situation he’s entered to. I’m not there for his training sessions so I can’t speculate but it’s strange that he can’t replicate the flashes at the international level at the lower club level.

      Reply

    • Posted by JohnnyF on 2012/06/12 at 11:46 PM

      interesting comments and appreciate the vent ;) i agree with you about gomez. he’s not the longtime answer. I don’t agree with you and all the others about mr altidore though. he didn’t set the field alight tonight but who did? the guatemalans play pesky, rough, cynical soccer on a hard, dry pitch. you aren’t going to see silky play from any team under these conditions. i agree altidore isn’t best suited for this type of game, but in brazil ’14? against that type of competition? his hold up play and ability to strike the ball from distance will be hugely valuable.

      and boyd? well he’s only one year younger than altidore and you know how many first team goals he has in his career?: 0 Altidore has 33. how many first team international goals does boyd have?: 0. altidore has 13. boyd might be good or even great- but he’s a long way from where jozy is yet only a year younger.

      torres vs adu? I like what adu offers but torres is class and I’m ecstatic klintzi feels the same. torres has incredible vision and touch in tight spaces- I guess reyna was the last one we had with these qualities.

      Reply

  61. Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 9:36 PM

    I’ll say it. Landy should be on the bench, too, along with Jozy. What has Landy done for the USMNT lately? Both should be in Beach Chairs right now.

    Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/12 at 9:41 PM

      I think this is a question that needs serious consideration, because – on the one hand – he scored a hat-trick less than three weeks ago. BUT, he was decidedly poor today and in the other games since the hat-trick. How could our team change for the better w/o Landon? I still don’t know.

      Reply

      • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 9:44 PM

        agreed. Landy has lost the fire in his belly, by his own admission. no leadership out there from him. For 4 of the 5 games Landy was as invisible as Casper the Friendly Ghost. Like we were playing with 10 men out there. For a player of Landy’s caliber and potential, this is completely unacceptable. Landy might as well be wearing a Galaxy jersey out there.

        Reply

        • Posted by CJ on 2012/06/12 at 10:03 PM

          Even 2 years ago Donovan played like that. Him and Dempsey are very BiPolar players in that they can go from a terrible game to a hat trick back to a terrible game. I think one of the USMNT’s weaknesses is its lack of consistency in its most talented players. Altidore, Donovan, Dempsey are perfect examples of that. Looking at how the team is playing under JK and how the team played under BB I’d say that it’s actually much harder to piece together a cohesive national team than I thought. Like I was reminded by a comment in another post the other day, these guys don’t play together much. This being a game of rhythm and feel as much as it is, rather than just hustle. I think whether or not Klinsmann succeeds as a Coach should not be measured by whether or not we win but whether or not he can get the group to play effective cohesive ball together. Under Bob he had them doing that, it was just in a bunker/counter way. Something none of us enjoyed watching. I think Bob was successful with that while having to deal with the roller coaster games our players played during his tenure.

          Now Jurgen is implementing a new style that requires more interaction on the ball and it’s rough so far. Hopefully we are on a railroad track of progress (this is his second game in this style that this group played that mattered, right?). A+B showed us that our style may in the long run improve our chances against top quality opponents (Bob’s style clearly wouldn’t have worked repeatedly… Spain and Brazil of Confed Cup being a clear indicator [we put it on them to not show up or make mistakes rather than "driving the lane" and forcing them to deal with us]) but, we aren’t close yet. It’s going to take time. I am done lambasting and now will begin to show patience as transition can be uncomfortable.

          When people say “this is Concacaf” what do they mean entirely? A loud yelling fan shouldn’t have as much effect (i.e. WC) as the team’s strategy/skill that you’re playing right? I mean I understand they can make it harder but, they shouldn’t be considered the sole factor… so what is it, specifically, about Concacaf that makes it so hard? The unity of the teams we play? Their skill level is clearly not on par with ours considering the leagues their players are in. So, why are they a better team than us? What can we learn from them?

          Reply

          • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 10:27 PM

            CJ, great points. I concur. I think USMNT plays down to the level of competition in CONCACAF.

            I will add that SET PIECES under Kaiser Klinsmann have been horrible. USA used to be able to score on set pieces pretty easily in the past. Now, that is all that is left, the past.

            Reply

            • Posted by CJ on 2012/06/12 at 10:58 PM

              Hmm, I really don’t know what it takes to train to become good at set pieces other than reps. To me there’s only 2 situations. 1. You shoot. 2. You cross. Are there more? In the 1st these guys only need to fine tune/tweak on a weekly base like free throws, the idea never changes. Player A runs up and kicks/oversteps, Player B distracts/kicks. 10 yr olds execute this all the time. It comes down to the quality of the shot taken.

              In the 2nd I could see how important practicing those would be but, again. Shouldn’t this just require a few reps to get in sync? Seems like the easiest of all the things a soccer team has to execute in a game.

              Now, with offensive kicks being covered. I would say defensive set pieces require far more skill. The opponent is trying for mismatches, distractions, screens, men-in-the-wall, pick-n-rolls, I could easily see a more forward-oriented player struggling so more reps in practice would be crucial here. But, in practice by doing one you get the other, no?

              What I’m getting at is either the guys are rusty and just need a couple more reps or we’ve just had bad executions no matter who was coaching practice.

        • Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/12 at 10:06 PM

          I can’t tell if you’re trolling and pretending to be married to Herc or genuinely concerned about Lando. Either way: brilliant.

          Got to wonder if Landon had transferred to Everton…

          Reply

          • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 10:10 PM

            Landy can’t make it in England, Germany, Mexico, or any other foreign league. His ego is too fragile. Like a petulant toddler, if he is not the center of attention he picks up his toys and goes home. Notice how in LA the lockeroom is not big enough for Landy and David.

            Reply

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/13 at 6:58 AM

              I think he’s made it in England twice now. He’s been unable to complete a full transfer because Everton have no money and MLS wants big money for him.

  62. Posted by KG on 2012/06/12 at 9:49 PM

    some thoughts:
    Howard: Guess you decided to show up today, thank god.
    Fabian Johnson: good assist, bone headed foul
    Lando: Landycakes has returned, deserves to be benched for that performance.
    Jermaine Jones: the goal is not on the moon
    Bradley: rare off night, still almost won the game with some good runs late on.
    Dempsey: marked out of match and still scored, still not fully up to speed though
    Gomez: alot of effort, no goal. Tracked back a bit too much.
    goodson: actually quite good even the yellow card was a professional foul to prevent a dangerous counter
    dolo: ok
    Jozy: lazy Altidore costs us the match. Don’t complain about the ref decision thats concacaf road qualies and should be expected.
    Edu: way to be (as in he was normal Edu, a speedy clogger with piss poor passing)
    cameron: also ok
    Klinsmann: F: I give this grade for a couple of reasons 1. the apparent lack of motivation especially in the second half which is critical for these road qualifiers 2. lack of any aggressive tactical moves to win the game when the initial plan obviously wasn’t working very well 3. Bob got the job done last time and you didn’t. Complaining about the ref in concacaf is for eurosissydiverwhiners (like you used to be) You are getting paid way more money than he was and you failed.
    ref: could have been much worse: gave us many 50-50 fouls that we normally don’t get.
    Matt: Jermaine Jones played centerback for Schalke in their last game against Wolfsburg. He did quite well although they conceded two goals late on. If Huub Stevens choses to play him at cb season for schalke and he learns to control his temper he could be a center back in a 442 diamond for us. he certainly has the distribution skills needed.

    Reply

  63. Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 9:58 PM

    Jozy Altidore = Eddie Johnson. Both of them remind me of COMATOSE SLOTHS SLEEPWALKING out there on the pitch wearing USA jerseys. Sorry but that is the TRUTH.

    Reply

    • Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/12 at 10:11 PM

      Eddie was more likeable

      Reply

      • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/12 at 10:14 PM

        touché; however, Eddie never had twitter. Jozy is already twittering faster than he was sleepwalking out there tonight vs Guatemala.

        Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/13 at 7:01 AM

      That is highly unfair on Jozy. He’s already scored more goals in Europe and for the US than Eddie Johnson. He’s also proven that it’s possible to light a fire under him where it never was with Johnson.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/13 at 8:20 AM

        Comparing Eddie Johnson to Jozy is accurate, in that they are both human beings who earn money playing soccer.

        Reply

  64. Posted by wook # 6 on 2012/06/12 at 11:13 PM

    Alright, since I haven’t seen his name mentioned, I think the US were a better team last fall with Beckerman in the lineup than they are now. They seemed more patient & composed working it out of the back and moving the ball around in possesion. With Bradley in better form now, I’d like to see a Edu/Jones/Williams-Beckerman-Bradley midfield again.

    Reply

  65. Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/13 at 12:15 AM

    Kaiser Klinsman said he wanted to treat these five games as tournament. If so, then the USMNT is still very much a work in progress. The team was 2-1-2. It should have easily been 4-1.

    Scotland W – the best match of this tournament. Landy had the fire in the belly for this match and I discovered Fabian Johnson can play. Bradley’s light shone bright.

    Brazil L – the second best match of this tournament, even if we lost. At times, USMNT went toe to toe with Brazil and we saw glimpes of what the USMNT can be offensively. I discovered that 2012 Gooch has lost a step and it cost us the match. I remember the pre-injury Gooch and wish him well, but I think he should be left off the roster. Landy is invisible for this match. Bradley’s light shone bright again. Brazil goes on to lose to Mexico and Argentina. Me thinks we could have beaten Brazil, too, had Gooch stayed on the bench. I think this was Klinsmann’s biggest error.

    Canada T – zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I took a well deserved Sunday afternoon nap during this match. I discovered the USMNT did as well. Klinsmann was caught napping, too, and didn’t do his homework. A “scoreless tie” is as bad as it sounds. Gooch’s terrible present form is confirmed. Klinsmann again proves that he is still experimenting with the lineup and with tactics. And the experiment is not going well. Team looks unfocused and with no fire – at least 8 of them do. Bradley, Howard, and Castillo are the only ones that played the full 90 in my opinion.

    A&B W – this should always be a W even if the team is coached by Homer Simpson.

    GUA T – Who the hell is our starting 11? I still haven’t figured it out. Neither has Klinsmann. Is GUA thet good? Or are we that bad?

    My initial thoughts: We started out going 100mph, then the wheels started falling off. By the end of the -game tournament our weakness were exposed, and those weaknesses seem to be bigger than our strengths. There are still way more questions than answers at this point.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/06/13 at 4:22 AM

      You’re implying that [if everybody is fit], the USA’s starting XI should be fixed, no matter who the opponent. You tweak the team depending on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, no?

      Howard seemed the busier keeper…

      Reply

    • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/06/13 at 6:38 AM

      I think an important factor to be considered was fatigue, yes it was a 5 game tournament, but why shoot your load for the 1st 3 games that don’t count? 2-a-days, and having players go the full 90 in friendlies, is not too bright. The US players looked gassed yesterday hence poor form/technique on free kicks which soared high into the night like a Billy Kilmer lame duck.
      But a crappy field, crappy ref, pumped up adrenaline players who crash after while, combined with faitgue, lead to mediocre or poor results. At least the players didn’t have bags of piss thrown at them.

      Reply

  66. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 4:37 AM

    So it looks like Altidore has been settled upon as the scapegoat. I guess it distracts from the fact that the team as a whole was awful, and managed two(!) shots on goal all night against frigging Guatemala.

    Thankfully we have eight months until the Hex. If it started tomorrow with a group of Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada, Jamaica and the US, who would be confident of qualification?

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/13 at 5:25 AM

      I don’t think people are making Altidore the scapegoat, I think Altidore is the newest problem. To me Landon was the problem with the offense last night. That said, we learned a lot of things this set of games. A number of weaknesses were identified. I want to stew on what I saw but I will post my takeaways from the 5 game series.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 7:44 AM

        Yeah, “scapegoat” is probably too strong. But it’s was just weird coming here and seeing post after post about Altidore, who was in the game for 26 minutes. His truncated run was pretty awful, but on the balance I thought Donovan, Cherundolo, Jones etc. were at least as bad, and they were all in the game much longer.

        Reply

  67. Posted by Crow on 2012/06/13 at 6:02 AM

    Just got back in the country- got to watch the game from the 35th minute on. This is the first action I’ve seen since the Scotland game. What happened in between? I was not impressed- and I’ve heard I didn’t miss much during the last 3 games.

    BTW- I was repping my Clint Dempsey jersey in Arusha, Tanzania and got several thumbs-ups/shoutouts. Maybe Dempsey is starting to become close to a recognizable international “star”.

    Reply

  68. I’d just like to remind everyone that there is a way to go about commenting, discussing and even arguing about topics that does not result in blatant trolling and “big soccer”-esque petulant fights.

    Please attempt to be civilized, level-headed, and interesting despite the inflamed passion that less-than-desired results might bring.

    Everybody posting is a real person behind their name with the exception of Matt, who is actually a dalek overlord.

    Thanks.

    (also, you know… try to look on the bright side of life from time to time)

    5 wins 1 loss and 2 draws in 2012!

    Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/06/13 at 7:08 AM

      The 5-1-2 is a nice way to put this in prospective. If you had told me in January that we would be 5-1-2 with our one loss to Brazil and a win over Italy I would have been on cloud 9. Thanks for the silver lining in the dark cloud.

      Reply

    • Posted by EFG on 2012/06/13 at 7:37 AM

      Thank you for this.

      The formula for qualification has always been get 3 points at home and 1 on the road. The sky isn’t falling. Everyone’s come off a full season in Europe and a pretty grueling past couple of weeks with friendlies and qualifiers. If we lose in September in Kingston to Jamaica, then maybe there’s the time for some concern but not after a draw away to Guatemala which keeps us in first place.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 7:52 AM

        We’re fine in this round; getting to the Hex will not be a problem. But I think it’s clear that we have some serious issues to fix before then. I wouldn’t take finishing ahead of any of Panama, Costa Rica or Canada as granted.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2012/06/13 at 8:07 AM

          I wouldn’t either, but I doubt Canada will be a threat. They’re led by a guy who thinks it’s a great idea to put Dwayne De Rosario on the wing. I just can’t take a team like that seriously.

          Anyway, if Canada were able to get its wayward Canadians–Jonathan de Guzman and Junior Hoilett–in the fold they’d really be something. But de Guzman has delusions that he’ll be a player for the Netherlands…and Hoilett might choose Jamaica over Canada. Ouch.

          Reply

        • Posted by EFG on 2012/06/13 at 9:02 AM

          Definitely issues that need fixing and I’m not blind to that. However, it’s hard for me to get worked up over something that doesn’t occur until 2013. Still time to work out kinks and get things situated so I’m saving the panic button until later.

          Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/13 at 7:49 AM

      Unless there are some comments I missed, I really think we’re all being quite civilized to one another here.

      Reply

      • There is some very minor trolling and some very hyperbolic/blanket statements being thrown about here (as well as other places). I’m just trying to get people to think about what they are trying to say before they post.

        Reply

        • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/06/13 at 10:39 AM

          At least we’re not throwing bag of piss at one another! Thats such a great visual I had to birng it up again. Think a ziploc is better for quicker tosses and no spillage?

          Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2012/06/13 at 7:57 AM

      This comment has been deemed offensive and has been removed.

      Reply

  69. Posted by Union on 2012/06/13 at 10:22 AM

    My last thought. After ranting my face off last night.

    I still think this game is a warning. Its not that score that I’m worried about. Its the performance. Maybe its just me, but it seems the CONCACAF teams have begun to catch up to the US. This goes back to the Gold Cup, the loss to Panama, the 1-0 against Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe!), the struggles to score against Canada and extends to the difficulties our U-23s, U-20s have had against the likes of Guatemala and El Salvador.

    I’m not sure if there is a short term solution to this. I’d love to see the US transition some of its younger players into the squad, but in fairness, the ones that I’d like to see get minutes (Morales, Boyd, Agudelo, Shea, Adu, Gyau) have yet to distinguish themselves on the first team for their respective clubs. The only ones that deserve a look if you go by first team minutes are probably D. Williams, Gatt and Lichaj. I’d also like to see Seb Hines get the call, but I don’t know if there is any movement on the US to get him on the squad. The problem with integrating in WC qualifying is obviously that their inexperience can be a kiss of death against CONACAF teams/refereeing.

    So point being, I’m a little shakey on the US. Guatemala isn’t an easy place to play in, but no one can claim the US deserved the win yesterday. And Guatemala is NOT one of the better teams the US will play against. They are nowhere close to Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, El Salvador, etc.

    I know, I know, only two games in. But none of the recent performances against CONCACAF have been particularly encouraging.

    Reply

    • Posted by Union on 2012/06/13 at 12:41 PM

      Sorry for the typos. I meant to say, its not the score that I’m worried about. As in, tying Guatemala in Guatemala isn’t entirely awful and the US is still in a good position to qualify. My point is that the US is still playing at an even level without of teams with far less talent.

      Reply

      • “Maybe its just me, but it seems the CONCACAF teams have begun to catch up to the US. This goes back to the Gold Cup, the loss to Panama, the 1-0 against Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe!), the struggles to score against Canada and extends to the difficulties our U-23s, U-20s have had against the likes of Guatemala and El Salvador.”
        Gold Cup Final Lineup:
        USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 11), 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Juan Agudelo, 63), 20-Freddy Adu (16-Sacha Kljestan, 86), 8-Clint Dempsey; 10-Landon Donovan
        Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 7-Maurice Edu, 15-Tim Ream, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
        Head Coach: Bob Bradley
        Guatemala 2012 Lineup:
        USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson (20-Geoff Cameron, 46), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson; 7-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 10-Landon Donovan (14-Kyle Beckerman, 90+3), 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 64)
        Subs not used: 2-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 11-Joe Corona, 12-Brad Guzan, 16-Jose Torres, 19-Chris Wondolowski
        Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

        Union,

        I guess I’m wondering why the fact that CONCACAF teams are catching up to the US and Mexico is such a surprising revelation to you.

        For a few years now, everything I’ve been reading in the US soccer media and, more to the point, the results of tournaments such as the Gold Cup, as you pointed out, have been telling us this for a long time. Donovan himself in a recent interview pointed out that a lot of these Central American teams now have quite a few players who play abroad whereas before they would have all been playing for the local league. And even then they were not easy to beat.
        Yes I know, the Guatemalan lineup last night were still technically far inferior to the US but is it really so hard to accept that “inferior” teams often get amped up when faced with a David vs. Goliath scenario, particularly when Goliath is the US? This is the Super Bowl to them. Maybe you don’t understand just how big a deal it is to a country like Guatemala to be able to take something off of the mighty US. You would not get the same performance from Guatemala if they were facing Japan, or Australia, two teams roughly in our class (Japan has better players, we’re probably a bit better than Oz), for example.

        USMNT fans, with their disproportionate expectations are beginning to remind me just a bit of the delusional “Golden Generation “England fans who used rip their team to shreds if they did not beat everyone 6-0 and stylishly at that.
        I pasted in the lineups from the Gold Cup final and last night’s games because I want you to tell me what has changed since that Gold Cup final embarrassment to Mexico and last night’s Guatemala game?

        Obviously, there is a new manager and we have a few players who are upgrades but overall, the only major change has been JK’s more aggressive attitude. However, it will take him a while before the players can translate that into actual on the field results.

        When Klinsmann took over Germany he had the same positive outlook but he also had the freaking Bundesliga along with a few other top leagues in Europe to provide him with four star players to back up that attitude. Six years later JK isn’t in a four star restaurant anymore. It’s more like In and Out Burger or Taco Hell.

        Forget about tactics, formations, attitude and everything else. Just look at the lineup and bench that Jogi Lowe has at Euro 2012 and tell me who in the US pool is a lock, a mortal lock, to make that squad? Maybe Dempsey if he is healthy.

        I cite Germany because make no mistake, that is JK’s model.

        Klinsmann was a good hire and he is heading in the right direction but I do think that you and most USMNT fans have unrealistic expectations and an unrealistic timeline.

        I’m pretty sure we will qualify and I’m pretty sure that if we qualify, it will tell you very little about how we will play in the 2014 World Cup. This team was in transition before JK got here and it remains that way. It is working out it’s “identity” on the fly. The squad that goes to Brazil will be very different from the qualifying team and that is probably a good thing because it is obvious there are issues that need to be addressed.

        One more thing, a lot of people look down their nose at JK because he had never coached a World Cup qualifier in CONCACAF before as if that makes him some kind of idiot rookie unused to adversity.

        They forget or maybe never knew, he went through three qualifying campaigns as a player with Germany. In fact, when they won the World Cup in 1990 West Germany just barely qualified beating out Denmark by a point.

        So it’s not as if he doesn’t get how this goes. And Gamesmanship? For God’s sake he played striker for Inter Milan and when he played for Spurs he re-invented diving. I doubt there is a trick in the book he is not familiar with.

        Reply

        • Posted by Union on 2012/06/13 at 6:56 PM

          Respect your points and agree with many. Obviously I am aware that central american countries are catching up. My post was phrased in somewhat of a revelatory way, but I’m aware that this has been a long time coming. What has been most surprising to me, isnt that the central american countries are getting better, its that the US’s growth hasn’t kept pace. And obviously countries like Guatemala get pumped for these games.

          Reply

          • “What has been most surprising to me, isn’t that the central american countries are getting better, its that the US’s growth hasn’t kept pace.”

            I would say that we have kept pace with them. Some of the Central American countries have an individual or two or three who are more accomplished than their American counterparts but in terms of the overall player pool none of them are better off than the US. I really don’t think Ruiz and Pappa make the USMNT roster for example.

            Mexico is a different story and a big part of that is their clubs are very strong and the bigger clubs are much better off financially than MLS teams. And they certainly have a lot of really good players and they found a style that suits them and play together very well (they play a lot of games). However, their biggest edge right now, and JK seems well aware of this, is the mental one.

            Remember when Mexico could not buy a win against us no matter what? It was because we were in their head. I think it all changed when they beat us 5-0 in the 2009 Gold Cup final. That was a “B” team tournament and they pounded our second string but I remember thinking this was bad because their players did not seem to care about that minor detail. We’ve played them three times since losing two and drawing one and more to the point their team has just looked better, more confident and flashier than us.

            This is one reason why JK spends so much time on the “mentality” of the US. They are still better than us but we will soon have a friendly and there are the qualifiers. I think, behind the scenes, JK is really focused on beating Mexico. We could, of course lose to them along the way and still qualify but I think JK sees them as our bogey team and sees more than just points being on the line when facing them.

            So those are the games I’m really looking forward to.

            Reply

            • Posted by Mrs. Gomez on 2012/06/15 at 2:20 PM

              Good points Union and Shmutzdeck. I follow USMNT first, then Mexico. With respect to Mexico, I can tell you the advantage is on multiple fronts.

              First, the Mexico Head Coach, Chepo De La Torre, is excellent. Perhaps their best coach in a few cycles. He knows how to use his players, where to put them, and when and whom to sub. Plus, its seems the players love to play for him. The second major advantage is that Chepo was hired immediately after the last World Cup. I think that is were US Soccer really messed up. By leaving Bob Bradley on, we are months behind in the cycle.

              Second – YOUTH MOVEMENT. Mexico has a TON of quality young players coming up. Mexico has won the Sub-20 World Cup and I believe the Sub-17 World Cup a few years ago. Those teams had great young players, so good that even Chicharrito was not on the team. This makes their bench deep with quality players and the future looks very bright. I cant say the same thing for the USA. Our under 23 team couldn’t even qualify for the Olympics. Its like this is a lost generation and it shows with all the old timers on the USMNT.

              THIRD – The Mexican youngsters have not really lost to the USA – so the fear is gone.

              To sum up, I think the future is looking brighter for Mexico than the USMNT because of all the young players they have in the pipeline. I hate to say it, but its true.

  70. Posted by JGD on 2012/06/13 at 1:20 PM

    After sleeping on it, here are some (revised) thoughts on the game:

    1. Tough environment in which to get a point. Will a draw kill our chances of qualifying? Of course not. We should still make the 2014 WC with relative ease. But this is a game we need to win. I don’t buy the crowd being that much of a factor, especially when most of our guys have to play away games in hostile European environments all the time with their club teams. I only hope we step-up against stronger teams; the last few games against mediocre opponents, we’ve been far from a team capable of sticking it to anyone. We’d have lost if this game had been away against Costa Rica or Panama.

    2. This experiment with 3 CMs/DMs/HMs/whatever you want to call them/ needs to be refined. Seems Klinsmann is relying on Johnson and Cherundolo for much of the wing play…which is all well and good except neither of them pushed up the wing much last night. Which forced the play to come through the middle…which is difficult when only 1 of your 3 central midfielders is truly an offensive CM. Despite playing there the past series, Torres is not a winger. But he’s proven to be quite good in the center of the pitch. Playing him next to Bradley and dropping either Jones or Edu should offer more offense. This is also where someone like Freddy Adu or Joe Corona could be useful (though they’d both play further up the pitch than Torres…he’s a pure CM and they’re both CAMs).

    3. Goodson has put in 2 strong performances in a row now. Bocanegra even looks more comfortable with Goodson than he did next to Onyewu. Cameron I also thought looked good over the second half. Good to have stability on the left side with Johnson back in the line-up.

    4. I’ve decided to change my original statement that “Altidore was ‘completely’ worthless” to “Altidore was ‘fairly’ worthless.” That should satisfy everyone. We’ve been over this time and again with Jozy, his lazy play is a detriment. It’s why, despite scoring 19 goals, he was routinely benched by AZ this past season. Sure, he had one run that should’ve resulted in a goal only to be called back. He’s still not strong enough playing as a lone striker and his hold-up play still needs a lot of work. Gomez plays tougher than Altidore despite being outsized considerably by the latter. Unless Klinsmann decides to play double strikers (something he hasn’t been want to do recently), I’m not sold on Altidore starting. I understand those saying the lone striker should stay high and not drop into the midfield. But when we’re not getting any strong play off the wing and difficulty moving the ball forward, him standing up there with his hands in his pockets doesn’t really help us at all.

    Reply

    • Posted by Union on 2012/06/13 at 4:00 PM

      Good points. I especially agree with 2 and 4. Having no width has really hurt the US. On your point about Jozy, I still can’t figure it out entirely. Lazyness is such a strange term to use for an athlete, bc I at least feel like being lazy is a concious decision that one makes. And for that to apply to Jozy, it would mean he would have had to say “man, I don’t really want to finish my run” or “you know, I don’t want to track back to that ball”. To me, this is a subconcious issue whereupon Jozy just hasn’t developed the soccer IQ/instincts that are a prerequisite for a succesful striker. I also think that endurance is a huge issue. As anyone who plays the game knows, when you are out of shape and playing striker…there comes a point where you just stop moving out of exhaustion. Now, the problem with Jozy is, on top of the fact that he appears out of shape and thus doesn’t move well off the ball, he is also pretty stubborn. I still cannot get the image out of my head of Bradley slotting that perfect ball in front of the goal for Jozy, and instead of continuing the run, Jozy stops and puts his heads up as if to say ‘what are you doing’? The fact that he didn’t realize his error is troublesome. Boyd is raw and right now he isn’t as skilled on the ball as Jozy, but he seems to possess everything that Jozy lacks. A tireless work rate, moves well off the ball, and reads the game much better.

      Anyways. I’ll continue to beat this dead horse until the next camp, so I’ll stop for now.

      Reply

      • Posted by Union on 2012/06/13 at 4:00 PM

        Okay one last thing. Jurgen needs to integrate center backs who can pass out of the back. Ream and Hines deserve looks.

        Reply

      • Posted by SKV on 2012/06/14 at 4:17 PM

        Jozy is too busy on twitter, he has to comment on pretty much every single event in the world.

        Reply

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