USA 2 – Russia 2: Michael Bradley On Fire; Tim Howard Strong Desire

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/11/14 at 2:19 PM

    it is nice to see some younger talent step up. gatt had some questionable touches, but he is not shy about attacking and he gets after it on defense. for a first outting at the international level, he is ready to make an impact on the hex. and mix should be there also.

    jermaine jones is just such a hot head and maybe it is just not worth the trouble, but coach klinsmann is going to have to show more faith in some younger players and they will have to reward with a good effort.

    there are slots up for grabs going into the next qualifier and the more options, the better. as long as they pick the right one!!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/11/14 at 2:33 PM

    Twellman makes me long for the days of Harkes. At least he had something of an unintentional comedy factor.

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  3. Posted by Alex on 2012/11/14 at 5:00 PM

    If we go with a 3 man midfield again we cannot have Bradley Jones Williams again. We need a “metronome” passer in our midfield. Someone like Torres, Kljestan, Diskerud etc. Someone who will keep the ball moving while we still keep possession. I think we’re really lacking what LD brings because he can go at a defense but he can also make the team play more patiently.

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  4. Posted by Alex on 2012/11/14 at 5:02 PM

    And is it just me, or do Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones just play bad together? Both are trying to play the same role and were mostly getting in each other’s way in that first half.

    Reply

  5. Posted by dude on 2012/11/14 at 5:58 PM

    We should always play an offensive midfielder in the system. Three destroyers just doesn’t work for us. If Dempsey isn’t called in, we need Klejstan, Diskerud, someone.

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  6. Another positive: it’s not as if Low is going to be calling Chandler up based on that performance – looks like he’s all yours!

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/11/14 at 9:14 PM

      Agree. He and Cameron we’re excellent and muscling folks off the ball, but the rest of Chandler’s game left a lot to be desired today.

      Reply

    • George, FoxSoccer has a nice video up for the holidays that’s right up your alley.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Dirk on 2012/11/14 at 6:50 PM

    I thought Altidore was kinda dreadful. Terrible first touch, inaccurate passing save for the set up to Jermaine Jones and hardly one quality shot on goal. Strange praise I keep hearing for him.

    Herc Gomez did very little. Hasn’t done much for quite a few games now. I’m kinda tired of hearing about his great work rate. Gatt was by more more dangerous just with his movement alone.

    Now compare the impact that Agudelo and Boyd had on the game in just scant minutes, both players played back headers to set up the goals. Jozy doesn’t seem to think outside the box.

    Where would the U.S. be without Bradley? Up a tree without a paddle. And Howard too.

    Pick either Jones or Williams. Not both. I’d much rather see Sascha in the midfield at this point. He’s been given limited time as a sub but I like what I see. Let’s see what he can do paired with Bradley over a full game.

    I wonder if anyone thinks Jones can play the role of a single D-mid or is he too much of a liability with his tackling? He certainly has the hustle to track back, and he seems better suited for playing long thru balls than Williams. I just don’t like Williams and Jones paired with Bradley, it never seems to get going creatively.

    Goodson just ain’t getting it done. He was poor against Antigua. We aren’t giving up a lot of goals but when we do he often seems involved. He’s not terrible, but he should just be cover at this point. (like today)

    Bocanegra is getting old. It’s time to face it. I know he is a great leader, but his legs just aren’t as quick as his mind a this point.

    Johnson and Chandler will both continue to get better. Hard to judge them off of this friendly, but they offer so many positives, in two years they will be downright dangerous if they continue to play with Cameron and Carlo…….. Omar Gonzales. I hope we see him on the squad in February. Can’t have Edu listed as a CB for the Hex if he isn’t playing there for Stoke City. Edu did lob a nice ball in to Boyd at the end there to set up Mix. He does just BARELY enough to justify getting recalled. But boy is he bad with the ball when he actually has to decide what to do with it at the defensive end, almost giving Russia a breakaway. Yeesh.

    Not a great game technically, but in the 2nd half it was at least fun to watch. A draw in Russia is good any day of the week.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/14 at 6:53 PM

    Congrats on the ESPN article Matt

    Reply

  9. Posted by Dan on 2012/11/14 at 8:50 PM

    Forget the game, you win the Internet for the clever Rocky 4 reference.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Union on 2012/11/14 at 9:46 PM

    For all those saying Jermaine needs to sit in favor of a passer like Torres, Diskerud or Sacha – for all of Jones’ faults….he is one of the best passers in the player pool. His turnovers happen when he takes people on and his fouls happen after he turns the ball over. He makes ill advised decisions for sure. But he can pass the ball on a dime. He deserves credit for that. He is starting on one of the best teams in Germany for a reason.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2012/11/15 at 12:25 AM

      Sure but he doesn’t play the ball fast enough. 4-5 touches when we should be moving it around 1-2 touches. It looks like he tries to do too much when he should be keeping it simple. Plus the whining and laying around does not endear him to us fans at all.

      Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/15 at 7:51 AM

      Sorry Union I have to disagree. I can’t remember the last time Jones hit a pass and I thought great pass. Not even looking for super highlight reel stuff.

      He is playing for one of the best teams in Germany but he isn’t playing the same role for the US as he is for Germany. If you want to take out Danny Williams and place Jones in his place I would get that. To make a 4-3-3 work we need one “destroyer” and right now that is Williams (who is probably not quite as good but is younger and more in control then Jones), one attacker (which is the role Jones is playing) and one hybrid (the role Bradley is playing). Or we can do what we have done which is play two destroyers (and tell Jones to get forward) and a hybrid, and then wonder why our forwards aren’t getting any service.

      Reply

  11. Posted by twewlife on 2012/11/16 at 8:32 PM

    Hey guys,

    So given what we’ve seen of the U.S. national team this year, what’s your ideal line up, keeping in mind that this is not against any specific opponent?

    Here’s mine:

    ————–Howard————–

    Dolo — Boca — Cam — FJ

    Donovan – Bradley – ? (Shea / ?)

    Dempsey
    Altidore

    Reply

  12. Posted by twewlife on 2012/11/16 at 8:36 PM

    Sorry – bit out of it

    here’s my pick:

    ————–Howard————–
    Dolo — Boca — Cam — FJ

    Donovan – Bradley – ? (really not sure here)

    Dempsey – Altidore – Shea / EJ

    Reply

  13. Posted by Shiney on 2012/11/18 at 8:32 AM

    The beauty of the growing US player pool is that there is no one formation that the team is tied to. Gone are the days where everyone knew exactly who would be playing in what formation two months before match. Multiple players can play multiple positions – be it EJ, or CD, or LD, or Gomez, or even Agudelo being able to play up top or on the wing or Edu, Cameron, FJ, or Chandler’s ability to play either as a back or midfield.
    Of course, this greater flexibility has also required a greater level of experimentation in an attempt to find out which combinations work and which don’t. But after a year and a half hopefully Klinsmann now has a variety of different lineups that can be used against different opponents.
    In the next round of qualifying I would like to see the team use at least three different formations, from defensive to aggressively offensive, with changing personnel, depending upon the team they’re playing and the venue. Though I agree that the Bradley-Williams-Jones triumvirate is not a formation we should see again.

    Reply

  14. Posted by justin on 2012/11/19 at 8:06 PM

    Matt,
    Over the next month or so it would be great to see another depth chart write up. Over the past couple friendlies I think my mind has changed about a few players and needs. With the emergence of different players and decline of others I think it be a good way to see who can still help and where the needs are.

    Reply

    • Second this. I’d do it myself but I’m pretty sure that my opinions and observations aren’t going to be quite as insightful as Matt’s or any of the other usual suspects.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/11/29 at 9:22 AM

        Sorry for the delay guys — I’ll have more time to write in December and actually want to do this as well.

        Reply

  15. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/11/20 at 10:50 AM

    Mikey started in the DeRossi role for Roma against Torino and really looks solid. Villa has to be kicking themselves a bit.

    Reply

  16. Posted by CJ on 2012/11/22 at 7:02 PM

    Anyone pick up on Gooch getting Champions League reps?

    Reply

    • muscled hulk off the ball but unfortunately a clearance of his landed to a Russian who scored. should’ve been offsides IMO as one of the zenit players was standing behind the keeper, but Malaga is through and he’ll probably play again in their last group game.

      Reply

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