Live Commentary: USA – Antigua & Barbuda

The starting line-up looks to be out with:

Updated.

G: Howard, DEF: Dolo, Goodson, Cameron, Boca, CDM: Williams, MF: Dempsey, Bradley, Zusi, FW: EJ, Gomez

Get.

It.

On.

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128 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 3:04 PM

    Can’t argue with that line-up.

    Reply

  2. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 3:10 PM

    Gonna be a nasty, brutish, and short affair tonight. Grind it out, come home with 3.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 3:14 PM

    Watch EJ get a brace. He seems to get it on in the Hex vs Caribbean and Latin American countries.

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 5:57 PM

      Going to pat myself on the back for that one.

      Reply

      • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2012/10/12 at 10:47 PM

        Wow, that was a creepy, supernatural, Eric Draven, voodoo-like prediction Crow. I like it!

        Reply

    • Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/12 at 6:00 PM

      nice call.

      Reply

    • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2012/10/12 at 6:48 PM

      Nostradamus, ladies and gentlemen…

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 7:52 PM

        Ansel Adams, ladies and gentlemen. :)

        Reply

        • Posted by mbw on 2012/10/12 at 7:53 PM

          +1.

          Reply

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

            Better description of Crow’s guess features something about blind squirrels finding nuts. It wasn’t really a call, more of a hunch. Nice hunch, without a real reason behind it.

            Reply

            • Posted by ppoenicke on 2012/10/13 at 10:41 AM

              In other words, pure epistemic luck. Meet Smith, ladies and gentlemen.

              http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/rarneson/Courses/gettierphilreading.pdf

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 8:55 PM

              I understand what you’re saying but the point I guess I was trying to make with my prediction was that although I criticized the Alan Gordon call-up (which he put in a nice shift at the end), I was pleased with the EJ call-up as I’ve always been an EJ fan and apolgist from his hot streak with the national team through his vagabond bench warming years in London, Cardiff and beyond.

              He has always done will in the hexagonal round- EJ’s mantra is I don’t always score goals, but when I do I score them in Hex WCQ’s. The guy is what- 3rd all time now in WCQ goals and he has barely played any games. With Jozy MIA and Herc seemingly mentally AWOL, I’d like EJ to get another runout on Tuesday. He has the hot hand and seems just to step up against the Caribbean and Central American teams.

              Watch him score 1 goal on Tuesday night. ;) My luck has to run out sometime right?

  4. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 3:15 PM

    Anyone finds a good stream please post, and I’ll do the same.

    Reply

  5. Posted by dude on 2012/10/12 at 3:35 PM

    USA lineup: Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Cameron, Bocanegra; Zusi, Williams, Bradley, E. Johnson; Dempsey, Gomez.

    Reply

    • Posted by dude on 2012/10/12 at 3:35 PM

      USA subs: Guzan, Rimando, Parkhurst, Edu, Beckerman, Corona, Kljestan, Jones, Gordon.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 3:37 PM

        Guzan and Rimando both on the bench? I didn’t realize there were THAT many injuries/exclusions

        Reply

    • Posted by leftcoastmetro on 2012/10/12 at 3:37 PM

      Is that really to be read as EJ in mid and Dempsey further forward?

      Reply

  6. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 4:09 PM

    man cant find a stream anywhere.

    Reply

  7. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 4:12 PM

    This pitch looks terrible. Clint’s sandlot skills might come in handy.

    Reply

  8. Posted by union on 2012/10/12 at 4:20 PM

    Holy shit. How is this even a game? Can’t they regulate fields to ensure they don’t put a playground pitch out there?

    Reply

  9. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 4:23 PM

    Fast Eddie!

    Reply

  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/10/12 at 4:24 PM

    Have you actually created a chance yet?

    Reply

  11. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 4:50 PM

    Clint’s gotta step it up. Largely invisible that half.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 4:55 PM

    BeIN Sport production should hire the BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE guy

    Does anyone else think of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, or the Half-Life series when you hear that PA?

    Reply

  13. Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/12 at 4:56 PM

    a few. bradley and dempsey combining will be crucial in second half.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/12 at 5:04 PM

    also, I didn’t know it was beIN sport. i thought it was like a last name bein. can’t wait for them to step up their quality and become a cable name. “beIn sport your heart beats sport?”

    Reply

  15. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 5:16 PM

    Yes, this is definitely a game that screams for Jermaine Jones.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/12 at 5:22 PM

    bahahah yellow for jones

    Reply

  17. Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/12 at 5:24 PM

    c’mon herc! turn and shoot. that surface is crap

    Reply

  18. Posted by mbw on 2012/10/12 at 5:27 PM

    This is not football.

    Reply

  19. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 5:35 PM

    Jones has been unbelievably poor since coming on.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Nate on 2012/10/12 at 5:35 PM

    This is so painful to watch.

    Reply

  21. Posted by union on 2012/10/12 at 5:48 PM

    I just want to clarify that JK has put its WCQ hopes on the shoulders of Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson. Just want to make sure we’re all aware of that.

    Reply

    • Posted by mbw on 2012/10/12 at 5:50 PM

      :)

      Reply

    • Posted by JC on 2012/10/12 at 5:51 PM

      @union yeah that Eddie Johnson bet is looking pretty good tonight!!! One of the few bright spots (E Johnson, Bradley, Howard, and uh yeah…that’s about it?)

      Reply

    • Posted by Andrew M. on 2012/10/12 at 6:08 PM

      Hahahahaha I can’t criticize the comment, but glad they proved us all wrong. The 2 of the most criticized players on the roster get us the 3 points. Who would have thought?

      Reply

  22. Posted by union on 2012/10/12 at 5:50 PM

    AND I TAKE IT ALL BACK

    Reply

  23. Posted by Nate on 2012/10/12 at 5:50 PM

    UNBELIEVEABLE

    Reply

  24. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 5:50 PM

    OK, ref. Don’t award A and B’s time-wasting now.

    Reply

  25. Posted by union on 2012/10/12 at 5:50 PM

    I’m just going to keep on saying bad things about players bc they usually make me eat crow immediately.

    Reply

  26. Posted by Jared on 2012/10/12 at 5:52 PM

    Is this 2007? 2 goals for Eddie Johnson?

    Reply

  27. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 5:56 PM

    I think the big winner here is Marcelo Balboa. He was surprisingly tolerable tonight.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 5:58 PM

      Loser was “Clempsey”. The champions of “Deuce as the indisputable best US international” were given some food for thought tonight.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/12 at 6:01 PM

        Loser was Jozy. Guy brought in as his replacement scores 2 goals.

        Reply

        • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 6:04 PM

          +2 for Jared.

          Though Clint didn’t have a good game by any measure, it’s still only a toss-up between he and Bradley for best U.S. player.

          Reply

        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 6:07 PM

          Dunno about that. The guy that was playing Jozy’s position didn’t do much but other than taking 20-foot first touches in the box.

          Reply

          • Posted by Andrew M. on 2012/10/12 at 6:10 PM

            Exactly, Herc didn’t look good at all.

            Reply

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 6:17 PM

              Herc hasn’t looked that good for awhile in my eyes. Or I should say I think his play has been overrated. Yes he scored against Jamaica with a decent free kick but he took alot of poor touches in both Jamaica games and should have passed to a wide open Demspey in the away Jamaica game.

              He’s a nice guy but he hasn’t even been starting for Santos much lately. I don’t think he should be an automatic starter for the USA>

            • Posted by Alex on 2012/10/12 at 6:20 PM

              Agreed, and I don’t understand why Herc is central and Eddie Johnson is trying to pump crosses in?

            • Posted by Standard_Deviance on 2012/10/12 at 7:19 PM

              +1 for Herc not impressing tonight or in recent games.

              I like Herc fine enough and I get the sense others root for him because he makes a good underdog, but he’s not nearly as talented a player as Jozy. In making him his number 1 striker in the last half year, Klinsmann is basically rewarding Herc’s wilingness to run his ass off at the cost of overlooking that he’s at best hum drum as an international forward. Sure, once or twice a game his hustle and pressing leads to a turnover, but that doesn’t make up for the talent gap between him and Jozy. Too often in sports, when someone is praised for his hustle, that praise conceals his mediocre talent.

              Herc hustles: hooray for the underdog! This is Klinsi’s idea of what is supposed to move us forward as a footballing nation? The US has been praised for its hustle and athleticism ever since I started following the Nats in the 90s. As with Gomez, that praise mostly meant that we didn’t have many other qualities to praise.

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 6:04 AM

              Alex, I think we saw why Johnson was out wide. I’m hoping that was a tactical move by JK in that he saw something from A&B that made him think if he could get a guy making back posts runs there would be headers available. It’s probably giving him too much credit after what’s he has shown in the past month or so but for now I’ll give it to him.

            • Posted by cornet76 on 2012/10/14 at 7:07 AM

              Deviance,

              Gomez is not as talented as Jozy. However he keeps working it and if you do that eventually you can force an opportunity. As limited as Gomez may be he’s good enough to score if his hard work does create something. Strikers like Gomez, like Chicharito and so on are often not as all around talented as other players.

              The whole point of JK dropping Jozy was to point out that all the skill in the world is great only if it is allied with the requisite sweat equity. AZ has more talented attackers than the US, who give Jozy opportunities he does not get with the US. So Jozy needs to make up for that and so far he has not.

            • Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/14 at 7:52 AM

              maybe you guys could also be reminded that it was herc gomez who got the game winner against jamaica, and that was a pretty recent game. it is not just about hustling, gomez has a very dominate shot and if anyone has ever been to a us mens team practice, you might have seen that herculez is far superior to jozy in several catigories, shooting skills, being top of the list, along with the hustle factor.

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/14 at 8:29 PM

              The Herc Gomez “game winner” would have been stopped 9 out of 10 games. Herc has blown alot of quality chances the last few games. Give EJ his spot on Tuesday.

          • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/12 at 6:28 PM

            Herc wasn’t Jozy’s replacement in the squad. Johnson/Gordon were. Either way both provided more than Jozy has in a long time.

            Reply

            • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 8:13 PM

              Yup. Gomez was always going to be in the line-up, regardless of whether or not Jozy was in.

      • Posted by Dirk on 2012/10/12 at 6:08 PM

        Dempsey was not the problem. That pitch was so clogged Roto Rooter couldn’t help. Dempsey played a beautiful ball to Herc that was mangled by him. Dempsey was often in the box waiting for a cross that never came. Several times Clint barked at Gomez and Zusi for playing just awful balls. I’m not saying Clint was good, but it takes more than 2 to tango in the beautiful game.

        Reply

        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 6:13 PM

          Sure, he had a couple of good moments, but he was mostly absent or awful. Not the standard your best player is supposed to set. Bradley managed to put his stamp on the game despite the small bad pitch and weather.

          Reply

          • Posted by Eric on 2012/10/12 at 6:16 PM

            Agree that Clint had a subpar game but Dirk has a point. Bradley put a stamp on the game because his role was different. He was starting deeper so he had the chance to receive the ball and turn with it consistently. Dempsey often found himself receiving the ball surrounded by three players. That’s not an easy situation to get the ball in when the field is crap.

            That said, Dempsey still should have found a way to get more involved.

            Reply

          • ufficio.

            “best player” ? That changes from game to game. But as Eric pointed out MB90 and Dempsey had different roles.

            MB90 was supposed to make opportunities happen and Clint was supposed to finish them off. Clint has never been a creator. And it’s hard for your scorer to score if you can’t get him the ball.

            And in this game they gave that scorer role to EJ.

            It’s really lame but before this game all of the USMNT fans would have been thankful if they had been told a 2-1 win was guaranteed. Now that it’s done , everyone is back to bitching and pissing and moaning. Got to love it.

            I’m waiting for the posts from those of you who will be hoping for failure in the HEX so that the US can fire JK and get the manager they truly deserve.

            Reply

  28. Posted by Eddie Johnson on 2012/10/12 at 5:56 PM

    I don’t always score goals, but when I do, I score in World Cup Hex Qualifiers

    Reply

  29. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/12 at 6:14 PM

    Thoughts:

    1) Jones getting a yellow card was the best moment of the night. Why Klinsmann thought he would be worth anything in this game is beyond me. Glad he isn’t available next match.

    2) That pitch was atrocious. Barely wider than the 18 yard box and it looked like a sandlot was better maintained than that field. Look how many times the US players slipped or how many times the ball just died in a crappy part of the field. On top of that, the weather was also horrible. Looked like strong wind and rain which doesn’t help as well.

    3) Credit to Klinsmann for picking EJ and Gordon since they stepped up when we needed them and got us the result. That said, I’m still thinking Klinsy needs to count his lucky stars he still has a job. I’m still annoyed over the game but at the moment, I don’t think he deserves to coach the next game in KC. Get Kreis or someone in there.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 6:39 PM

      I don’t see the point in immediately changing coaches. Even Klinsmann should be able to comfortably get the 1 point in Livestrong.

      But the higher-ups at USSF really should start vetting possible candidates to take over before the Hex.

      Reply

      • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 6:58 PM

        USSF won’t even begin to think about vetting candidates unless the U.S. fails to qualify for the WC. Klinsmann is not going to be dropped if the U.S. qualifies for the Hex.

        Reply

        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 7:04 PM

          I fully expect them not to. But they should.

          Reply

          • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 8:15 PM

            No, they really shouldn’t.

            The important thing is winning soccer games and qualifying for the World Cup, not playing beautiful soccer. Klinsmann has not yet failed to either win games or qualify.

            Reply

            • Posted by Eric on 2012/10/12 at 9:30 PM

              I’m not even talking about beautiful soccer here. If they had gone out and won comfortably tonight I wouldn’t be thinking this, even if it had been ugly as hell. The thing that worries me is that this team, as it currently stands, looks like the hexagonal is going to be very worrisome.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 9:33 PM

              I’d like to think our standard is a little higher than “hasn’t failed to qualify yet”, especially in the CONCACAF third round.

              As you said, this has nothing to do with esthetics and everything to do with qualifying. Seeing Klinsmann’s poor managing and barely-the-minimum-acceptable results gives no confidence in his ability to coach us out the Hex. USSF would be derelict if they didn’t at least test the waters to see if there’s someone more fit for the job.

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 6:05 AM

              I would agree that qualifying is the most important thing but Klinsmann has always claimed that he could do both. He has completely failed in the beautiful aspect and has come dangerously close to failing to qualify.

            • Posted by cornet76 on 2012/10/13 at 3:34 PM

              Jared,

              “Klinsmann has always claimed that he could do both. He has completely failed in the beautiful aspect and has come dangerously close to failing to qualify.”

              Yes, he has Jared but he also claimed it would be a long term project. He never said he could get this bunch to perform like Barca tomorrow. He always talks about it all being part of a process.

              You are taking him out of context.

              As for dangerously close, JK is fond of pointing out that when Germany won the World Cup in 1990 that team surivived the qualifying rounds only because Wales missed a sitter from like three yards out in the 88th minute.

              Close does not count.

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 4:48 PM

              I understand that it is a long term process. I’d just like to know when the process starts. The current style isn’t much different from Bradley and I would argue that there are better players involved currently than Bradley had with the exception of Donovan’s absence.

              Thank you for making a straw man argument about Barca. There is beautiful soccer that doesn’t require playing like Barca.

            • Jared,

              The process started as soon as JK did. But it won’t be over until he has all “his players” in place.

              That realistically won’t be until at least the World Cup if not after it, assuming the US makes it.

              As for the straw man argument, you are welcome. I should have said Spain. JK always cites them as the standard.

              As for JK having better players than Bradley, maybe, but the fact remains that he does not have the right, better players. He does not have a replacement for Donovan and he doesn’t have Donovan. Those pushing for Adu and Benny to replace him forget that both of those guys have successfully convinced quite a few managers over a sustained period of time that they are definitely not the answer to their creative attacking woes. Those managers weren’t all idiots and they have the advantage of a lot more relevant information on those guys than most USMNT bloggers have.

              JK tried Clint at the Donovan role and it hasn’t taken yet. Bradley had the dynamic duo intact for most of his biggest challenges. Injuries are never an excuse but the fact remains injuries have severely impacted JK’s team identity altering efforts. Bradley had them as well but not so early in his tenure.
              As I said JK talks too much but he does say all the right things and in the short term the very best thing JK can do to better the team is get a healthy, motivated Donovan back.

          • Posted by cornet76 on 2012/10/13 at 3:28 PM

            Ufficio,

            Keeping an eye out for likely successors to their manager is always a good idea for any team.

            However, you are assuming that the Sunil and his gang of 14 are willing to give up on their 2 million dollar investment so soon.

            If he gets the US into the Hex, and that seems like it would be harder to not do than to do at this point, then the only way I can see them firing him is if the US does not make it out of the Hex.

            Citing the Sven example, as some have done, is not really relevant. Sven was more of a one night stand for Mexico whereas, JK’s courtship was far longer and more involved.

            Remember, there must be a majority from the 15 votes in the USSF to fire JK and I doubt you will get that based on what has happened so far.

            Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/12 at 7:56 PM

          They will not even think about changing him. Do you really think Gulati would admit that the guy he chased for 3 years isn’t up to the job?

          The people that need to be vetted are the ones running US Soccer. They all need to go.

          Reply

  30. Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/12 at 6:59 PM

    eddie johnson still does not hustle enough. there are times when he just does not go for a ball at full pace, and he should be. i think injuries early in his career have stunted his growth. he hit his ceiling, then he raised the roof. blogger please, go figure.

    Reply

    • Posted by JC on 2012/10/12 at 7:15 PM

      Well that’s no worse than Jozy who never hustles at all… At least Johnson goes for the ball at full pace some of them time (your comment). Jozy goes at full pace 1% of the time.

      Reply

    • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 8:18 PM

      Have to disagree, I think he was one of the few who showed a willingness to actually attack the Antiguan defense.

      And compared to the known quantity we left at home (Jozy), Johnson was hustling like his life depended on it.

      Reply

  31. Posted by mbw on 2012/10/12 at 7:11 PM

    On to the second game — rooting for anything but a draw, with the best result being a big Jamaica win.

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/12 at 7:54 PM

      Exactly- either team winning is great… a draw would make things very nervous on Tuesday.

      Reply

    • Posted by BW on 2012/10/12 at 9:36 PM

      correct me if I’m wrong….but i think the 3 points for guatemala is the best outcome for the US. that means both the US and guat can advance with a tie against each other. if jamaica had won, guat would show up tuesday fighting for their lives. again, I may have the wrong tie-break, but i think the US and Guat can advance even with a loss on Tuesday, as long as Jamaica only beats A&B by less than 3 goals.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/12 at 9:43 PM

        Yeah, it should be an incredibly boring game in KC on Tuesday.

        Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 6:07 AM

        I can’t picture Guatemala coming to the US and playing any other way than their usual bs. They will try to win and it will be ugly. Fortunately, we won’t have Jones in there to react poorly to their style.

        Reply

        • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 8:50 PM

          I am very glad Jones will not be available on Tuesday. You don’t want him drawing a red.

          Reply

  32. Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/12 at 7:23 PM

    the bigger, the better

    Reply

  33. Posted by Rafael on 2012/10/12 at 9:02 PM

    I thought Klinsmann said once that he was never going to play Bocanegra out wide at LB after the Bradley era. This game once again proves that Bocanegra has no business playing LB ever again. Bocanegra is just too old. He’s starting to get too old for the CB position, but without any depth, he’s a realiable backup. Goodson was not good tonight. Klinsmann is going to have too look at other options and find a CB partner for Cameron, who is our CB for the future, but is still going through growing pains.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 6:10 AM

      I would hope that Omar Gonzalez would get opportunities as he seems to be back to his old level. Either that or a guy like John Anthony Brooks make a big leap quickly. There is a big gap in the younger side of the national teams as we saw in Olympic qualifying.

      Reply

    • Rafael,

      The exact quote is:

      “I don’t like to see Bocanegra play [as he occasionally has been forced to do] as a left back. I want Bocanegra to be a left centerback, because that’s where he is 100%. As a left back he might be only 90%, but I’m losing 10%. Can I afford that on the international level? No.”

      Obviously, last night was an emergency situation.

      Reply

  34. Posted by steve-0 on 2012/10/12 at 9:59 PM

    Eddie Johnson says: Why always me?

    Reply

  35. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2012/10/12 at 10:50 PM

    They could have played that match in my backyard and had better field conditions and more space. Keep in mind I live in AZ, have a tiny ass backyard, and it is landscaped with gravel.

    Reply

  36. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/13 at 7:39 AM

    Wow. Just now watching with breakfast. Very nice by EJ. Fantastic cross by Zusi. He’s looking more and more like he belongs as a right side wide option.
    To be slightly redundant but do they seriously not have pitch standards that must be adhered to? You can see where they left 20-30 yds and they moved the lines in.
    Boca out wide is just not acceptable even on a small pitch. Embarrasingly slow and Cameron was turned way too easily. Ugly ugly defending.
    I thought Bradley was impressive in how he kept working until he began to put his stamp on the game. He and Clint combined nicely towards the end of 1st half.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/13 at 7:49 AM

      On Twitter there were responses from different writers who were there and all said that US Soccer had measured the field before the start. It was exactly the measurements of the narrowest allowed by FIFA. For me the bigger issue was the quality of the field.

      Reply

  37. Posted by tremendous on 2012/10/13 at 12:11 PM

    If I am not mistaken, here is the math if we had lost, prior to the Guatemala/Jamaica game

    Guatemala 7 points +2 GD
    USA 7 points +1 GD
    Jamaica 7 points +1 GD

    —-

    So, let’s say Guatemala beats Jamaica by one goal. Not an impossible scenario by any stretch (it just happened).

    That would mean the standings would look like this:

    Guatemala 10 points at +3
    USA 7 points at +1
    Jamaica 7 points at 0

    ———

    Now, it’s back against the wall time! So we go out there and play our hearts out and beat Guatemala in KC, but we hit the woodwork a few times and the little fish sneaks one and we only win by 1. Now let’s also say that A&B are so worn out from their high of beating us that they kind of phone it in against Jamaica at the Office. And Jamaica wins by three. Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t make the Hex. Even if Jamaica only wins by two there’s a pretty good chance it comes down to drawing straws to advance.

    —-

    So here is my concern. In the first half A&B were defending corners with 8 field players. We were attacking with 7. Fine. But then, in the second half, specifically with the game tied and 5 minutes to play, A&B is defending corners with only 7… But we keep sending 7. And from that corner A&B launches a counter attack that could have (should have) resulted in a goal. Blackstock was totally unmarked at Howard’s far post. So. It seems to me that ours was a team that had not prepared for or thought through the potential of such a scenario (tied late in the game). It certainly seems to me that a throw caution to the wind, attack-with-all-possible-numbers mentality should NOT have been the approach to close out this game. Not at all. Because a tie would have kept us in the driver’s seat, points wise, going into the final game. Having laid out a game plan for such a scenario before hand would have done much to avoid the late game scares.

    What bothers me about this is it speaks to what appears to be Klinsmann’s overall approach to coaching, that it is less about tactics, or player selection or even skillsets, and more about “attitude” “belief” and “suffering”. It is somehow less about preparing your team tactically and more about preparing them mentally. Hey stunad! You know how we’ve gotten by the last 20 years? Our mentality! Ask Jay DeMerit about it, that is, if you ever call him in. Dempsey, Mathis, Ramos, McBride, hell, Frankie Hejduk were beating teams with their mentality long before you started spreading your pop psychology around US Soccer like so much manure. Just because Landon Donovan couldn’t cut it Germany does not define the mentality of our player pool. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had copies of “The Secret” waiting for them in the locker room prior to the start of his tenure. Yes, sometimes coaching is about mental preparation… Other times it’s just preparation!!! X’s and O’s. If this, than that. If this happens, we do this. Here are the opponents tendencies, this is how we counter/exploit them. My biggest problem with the Klinsmann era is that we always seem so damn unprepared.

    Chicarito has a crap day, the Italians forget how offsides works and Clark scores in the 90th minute against that South American powerhouse Venezuela. Take those three events away and the only teams Klinsmann has beaten this year are Scotland, Panama (barely), Jamaica at home (barely) and a nation smaller than Andorra. If our federation had any spine they would drop Klinsmann after Guatemala and hire a coach who doesn’t look down on is players. I’ve made my living working in soccer for over fifteen years in this country. I have no problem with a foreign coach. I have a big problem with any coach who says the reason why we are not getting better results is because our players lac mental toughness.

    Well I shouldn’t complain. At least he was able to succeed where Bob Bradley failed. It’s great to have Chandler as a mainstay of the national team.

    Reply

  38. Posted by Wixson on 2012/10/13 at 12:17 PM

    Any know who played that nice one touch to gordon, it was off the throw in.

    Reply

    • Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/13 at 2:07 PM

      sacha kljestan

      Reply

    • Posted by cornet76 on 2012/10/13 at 3:05 PM

      If you think about it Gordon’s cross was very similar to Zusi’s. They will have to patent it for future games.

      Either Ej has gotten very smart about losing his man and ghosting in unmarked or his A & B marker is not so good.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 8:49 PM

        The goal reminded me very much of a goal from FIFA (video game). You see those short crosses turning into headed goals all of the time while playing (seems like the AI has a weakness for marking players- in this case the AI was Antigua)

        I think some credit should be given to EJ as a strength of his seems to be getting in the right place for crosses- he should have had a hat trick with all three coming on headers.

        Reply

        • Posted by cornet76 on 2012/10/13 at 9:20 PM

          Of course EJ gets the credit. It is a testament to his athleticism and his smarts that he can get on top of those crosses and power them down. A lot of players would have popped those crosses over the bar.

          I’m sure both he and Gordon will play at KC.

          Reply

  39. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/13 at 9:06 PM

    Okay, I’ve gone back through the game and took a closer look at the conditions. As much as I think Klinsmann still made some bad calls here, I think credit has to be given to the US for digging out the result. On such a narrow field along with the field conditions, it’s amazing either team scored really. There are quite literally times during the game where you cannot see the players’ feet because they are underwater in the mud and water. Combine the horrible field with no width and 20 mph winds and you have situation that will ruin any ability to play no matter how good you are.

    I played in similar situations in college sometimes and you can see the effects it was having on the US team. They were clearly unsure of how to weigh their passes throughout the game. Sometimes the ball would die within five feet because of the standing water and then other times it would skip ahead twenty. There was no consistency along the field and it was impossible to make that kind of judgement during he run of play. The field and conditions didn’t bother A&B as much because their game plan was to play it forward quickly and let their fast players run on to it. In fact, the conditions helped that strategy because the ball would immediately die in the water no matter how far up you kicked it, allowing Blackstock to latch on to it. This was the opposite of the US strategy which seemed to be trying to keep it on the ground and pass for the most part, albeit very poorly in this game.

    That being said, and I’m not sure if Klinsmann was to blame here, the US just seemed stubborn. As awful as the conditions are, you have to be able to adjust your gameplan accordingly. When you can’t pass along the ground because of the field you have to take to the air, even if there is no width. That means taking long range shots (like Sacha did at the end) to force a team sitting back to step up and try and pressure you before you shoot. This also is effective because in wet conditions like that, a long shot has a very good chance of taking an unexpected bounce or skip towards the keeper. Klinsmann also should have been looking to get more set pieces rather than trying to break AB down with combination play. Two banks of four, that were very organized for the most part, are tough to break down no matter who is playing. As such, the US needed to do better with set pieces.

    Sorry for this being so long. Please feel free to tell me I’m just over-thinking things or wrong on something. I’m just trying to make sense of stuff right now.

    Reply

  40. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/10/13 at 9:14 PM

    Can I ask a favor? Can somebody who has spent some time with the CONCACAF qualifying tables run through the scenarios for Tuesday on what the US needs to qualify under different scenarios?

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 9:27 PM

      I was just thinking about this. I

      I think if Jamaica wins 3-0 and the US loses 1-0 Jamaica would advance.

      Basically for Jamaica to advance- they need to score at least three goals and need to beat the US on GD. I think goals scored is the 2nd tiebreaker.

      This reminds me of the Confed Cup in 2009 when the USA advanced by a miracle of beating Egypt by a large margin and Brazil blasting Italy.

      I have no idea what happens if Jamaica wins 4-2 and the US loses 2-1. Both teams would be tied on GD and goals scored.

      I think the US/Guatemala game will be very boring. Both teams will be parking the bus as a draw advances both teams. The Jamaica game should be exciting with them trying to rack up the goals and Antigua counterattacking like they do. The thing is Jamaica has only scored 5 goals so far total.

      Reply

      • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/10/14 at 7:37 PM

        Much obliged Crow. Obviously, the priority is on geting a W. But wanted to make sure that I had the proper assessment before choosing to either relax or freak out. As is, I’m feeling pretty comfortable as a USMNT fan. If only because recent years have left me with a severely calloused cardiac system. Go, fight, win!

        Reply

        • Posted by ezbills7 on 2012/10/15 at 10:10 AM

          Don’t let any USMNT players read this . . . but the US’s chances of moving on to the next round are very high. The US needs: 1) to gain 1 point, 2) have A&B gain 1 point, or 3) not have Jamaica make up 4 goals in goal difference tomorrow.

          The most plausible scenario in which the US does not advance would be something like a Guatemala 1-0 win and a Jamaica 3-0 win, or Guatemala and Jamaica getting 2-0 wins.

          If Jamaica ties the US in goal difference (for example, Jamaica wins by 2, US loses by 1), the US would win the next tiebreaker, total goals scored (assuming that Jamaica does not outscore the US by 5 goals). If the teams finished with the same goal difference and goals scored totals, the US would advance based on away goals.

          http://www.ussoccer.com/Tournaments/FIFA-World-Cup-Qualifying/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Qualifying/Tie-Breakers.aspx

          Reply

  41. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 9:18 PM

    I saw some feedback from the game including some tweets from TSG that I interpreted as very critical of tactics/game-plan.

    These are the only three things that I came away with- (1) Almost nothing should be taken away from this game. That wasn’t soccer. I live in rural PA in a county without a single traffic light, where only a handful of people would recognize Lio Messi. The one middle school has this ratty field that is better than the one used on Friday night. There is no way that field was regulation length. It seemed very narrow as well. The wind was absolutely ridiculous. A throw from a keeper goes over the endline on a couple bounces??? There are excuses about pitches and conditions and then there is Antigua. Period. Nobody or nothing (player or coach) can be fairly assessed. I’d like to see a diva like Cristiano Ronaldo play on that field.

    (2) With that being said, I’m ready to see Herc stop being an automatic starter. Maybe the field was to blame but his touch in the 18 made Conor Casey look like Messi. Herc has made some extremely poor touches and decisions in the 18 over the last few WCQ’s. If it was Jozy he’d be getting crucified. Herc hasn’t been effective and he’s not starting at Santos lately anyway. Let’s give EJ the start on Tuesday.

    (3) How big was that winning goal from EJ? I always felt a 2nd goal was coming but many they left it late. The USA was a few minutes from being in the same position as the Olympic team- a must win in the final game at home (assuming of course that Jamaica wins the final game which isn’t a gimme of course but still). That was a very scary thought and I’m glad I didn’t think of it until after the game or I wouldn’t have been as calm.

    BTW- what is the tiebreaker scenario with Jamaica and the USA? After GD does it come down to goals scored?

    Huge result with Honduras getting a point vs Panama. That makes it very tough for Canada now- they must get a point in San Pedro Sula. I’m kind of pulling for Canada. I’d love for Mexico to have to go up there for a WCQ (they should schedule it in Edmonton in February :) and Canada has a nice version of their own ‘American Outlaws’.

    Just thinking how if the US advances- either Guatemala or Jamaica will probably be the easiest opponent in the final group- Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Canada/Honduras are all stronger. The USMNT needs to pick it up in 2013.

    Reply

  42. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/13 at 9:29 PM

    Did I hear correctly that Greg Garza scored tonight? What position is he playing now for Tijuana? I know some expressed hope he would be the future LB for the USMNT.

    Reply

  43. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/14 at 9:26 AM

    Fabian Johnson ruled out of the Guatemala game. No call-ups (yet).

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/14 at 11:30 AM

      Beyond stupid that replacements weren’t brought in when the injuries for the whole squad started. No reason to be short handed during qualification when players were available.

      Reply

      • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/10/15 at 5:36 AM

        I wholeheartedly agree, not matter what the result, we can’t forget the stupidity being displayed here. Is JK trying to develop a siege mentality? great if it works but why chance with so much on the line, even if thats his thought, its sheer idiocy on his part and the USSF for not forcing his hand and calling in replacements for him. To be short-handed at this juncture for no logical resaon demonstrates a serious character flaw. its like going on a long road trip without a spare tire or only having a can of fix-a-flat. just plain stupidity.
        I know there will be his supporters who will give some rationale for his actions, I like JK but this is just plain dumb and being unprepared; its unacceptable no matter the result, yes we shall forget this lapse in judgment if we win but this fatal flaw left unabated will show up again unfortunately and our boys will being playing golf come the summer of June 2014

        Reply

        • Posted by Freegle on 2012/10/15 at 6:30 AM

          completely agree. Coach has 2 major jobs… Utilize your resources to the fullest extent they can be and control what you can control (player preparedness, motivation, etc.) Klinsmann has done neither of those in the most important matches in over a year. That makes me worry about his competence.

          Reply

          • Freegle, Gregorio and Jared,

            Your reactions to this situation strike me as less than reasonable, measured or sensible.

            You have accused JK of being stupid or arrogant. I have no idea why JK is not calling in replacements but my take is it seems pretty logical to me. My take on what he is saying is:

            “If I didn’t call player XX in before, why would I call him in now? You might have noticed I still have more players, 19 field and 3 keepers than I can play now. I called this batch in for a reason and I have confidence in them.”

            I also have no idea how involved or practical it is to call in anyone at this point. Unless there is an alternate list (is there?) my guess is, with time off pretty sparse, most players are committed to other things if they have not been called in. Do you guys know how that works?

            Here is one potential game day lineup:

            Howard
            Dolo, Cameron, Boca, Parkhurst
            Zusi, Williams, Mikey, Sacha
            Deuce, EJ

            Subs:
            Gordon, Gomez, Corona, Edu, Goodson, Beckerman, Guzan

            That’s 18 guys.

            Should Parkhurst be abducted by aliens between now and Tuesday you can pick his replacement at left back from Williams, Cameron, Boca, or Corona.
            If it’s Williams, he gets replaced by Beckerman or Edu, if it’s Cameron or Boca they get replaced by Edu, Goodson or Williams. And if it’s Corona, you don’t have to shift anything.

            Yes, Joe Benny has been exclusively a midfielder for JK but the Germans ( see Bendtner (sp?) Euro 2012) have a long tradition of shifting midfielders to fullback for emergencies and I see nothing different here.

            If JK calls in a left back replacement, based on the many suggestions I’ve read, that player, whoever it is, would probably not play. Why call in a guy you aren’t going to play? The scenario I just described is more or less what would probably happen regardless if someone was called in or not.

            Is this ideal? No, but the roster was not ideal from the get go and whoever might be called in would not make it so.

            The bottom line is it is one game. The team has to hold Guatemala to a draw or risk not going to the World Cup. This is a team the US drew 1-1 with AT Guatemala, when they had home field advantage.

            If they can’t hold Guatemala to a draw in KC then they really do not deserve to go to the World Cup.

            I see no reason why the 18 man roster I just put out can’t do that especially with what should be a substantial home field advantage and with the players smarting from the criticism and dying to prove you all wrong about them.

            Reply

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/10/15 at 12:16 PM

              Schmutz, we will have to disagree here, I still think that its foolish not to be prepared for the worst case scenario, especially as in the 1st game some 5 players were carrying yellows (we only lost Jones, who I rate highly, so I have my quirks too!) But your reasoning or take on JK’s reasoning seems less than sensible perhaps. JK has called in people that he has not seen before, so that argument goes on the window, as does the assumption (Feel free to use the Odd couple “you make an ass of u and me bit here”), that why call someone in if you don’t intend to play them, ( 3 keepers) and imagine the honor and prestige of being called in, even if its to sit on the bench, ” Hey I’m not sure if you will get on the field but I and your country might need you, so be ready”, I’m sure there are some natural LBs who take that seat.
              The issue is really do you take someone who is really a LB over someone who has played at a high level but just not at that position? Maybe Williams might be the only one who can offer anything going forward, I like Parkhurst at RB at LB I’m not too sure, Boca can’t go forward, Cameron? shoot, why not bring in someone from the MLS or even Frank Simek who’s a natural left footer & LB?
              Anyway I guess I digress and I think we will remain in disagreement on this.
              Anyhow now that I’ve gotten a reaction with my harsh assessment, lets go it one furher!
              Would anyone take JB (can’t bring myself to type his name), if he was getting proper reps with his team as cover in this scenario? wow did just type that???
              sorry guys its been along day.

            • Gregorio,

              By the way, Frankie Simek is a right back and, while I’m not certain, when I saw him play he looked quite clearly right footed. He was making a run at the right back spot for the US back in 2008 when he messed up his ankle and it seems, never really recovered. For some time it was thought that he might have to retire.

              He now plays for, I believe, Oldham which is either in League One or Two, I don’t know. What ever he brings to the table a guy like Spector can do better. Now if you tell me Spector should have been brought in that might have merit.
              But then again Spector is slow and all anyone is concerned with is how fast a player is, not whether they actually know how to play.

              Your 3 keeper example is not relevant. It is one thing to ask a forward to play at left back quite another thing to ask that forward to play keeper in a game. Unless that forward was Rooney or Pele. Both were very good keepers.

              Your assumption is that JK is going into this game shorthanded. He isn’t. He has 19 outfield players and 3 keepers available. That is more players than he can possibly get on the field.

              Some NBA teams have 12 men on the bench but “shorten” their bench and just go with 8,9 or 10 men for a playoff series. The coach is not handcapping himself, he’s just telling you these are the guys he believes in.

  44. Posted by GH on 2012/10/15 at 9:36 AM

    Does the outcome of the US-Guatemala game have any baring on playing Mexico in the next round? Obviously, if it does, both US and Guat will be playing to avoid that. How are the next round opponents selected?

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2012/10/15 at 9:46 AM

      It doesn’t. What happens is that the top two teams from each group are dumped into the fourth round, known as the Hexagonal (Hex for short). The Hex consists of each team playing a home and away series with the other five teams in the round. The top three automatically qualify for the world cup while the fourth place team goes into a home-away series with the winner of Oceania (which is new I believe. It used to be the South American runner up if I’m not mistaken).

      Reply

    • No, the top 2 teams in each of the current 3 groups advances to the next round, where everyone plays everyone else home and away. Whether you finish 1st or 2nd in this round has no bearing on who/where you play other teams in the next round.

      Reply

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