Posted 2013/03/26 by matthewsf in Uncategorized. 126 Comments
Let the rumble begin. Starting line-ups shortly.
HANDBAGS TIME! Ante up!
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/26 at 3:43 PM
No Goodson on the 23-man team sheet tonight.
Klinsmann being cagey, but a Michael Orozco Fiscal call-in speaks to Cameron perhaps moving to the middle (or not).
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/26 at 6:41 PM
Hamstring injury, eh?
Anyway, it’s Besler time.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/26 at 9:25 PM
Sorry, let me rephrase that.
IT’S BESLER TIME!!!!!1!
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/26 at 4:09 PM
I can’t see another reason that MOF would be brought in other than to back-up Beltran. If it’s Cameron and Beltran on the right then, why bring in MOF
Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/26 at 4:11 PM
Klinsmann is kind of a superstitious guy. Maybe because he scored there, having him in the stadium is good luck?
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/26 at 4:14 PM
Well think about it this way. Kind of dents Beltran’s confidence and statement you made about him if you call in someone a day beforehand and start him.
I think Gonzo and Cameron played under pressure against Honduras (and made mistakes) and they communicated. I can’t see Besler merely because he’s never tracked Chicharito–both Gonzo and Cameron have.
Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/26 at 4:19 PM
I don’t watch Liga MX, Does MOF play RB?
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 4:26 PM
Hope it is not a bad omen, but I opened my fridge and the first thing I saw was a bottle of Dos Equis!
Posted by tmuck on 2013/03/26 at 5:40 PM
Time for a beer run I believe.
Posted by ABodnar on 2013/03/26 at 4:33 PM
Steven Goff reporting Besler in for Goodison and Edu in for Jones.
Posted by Jared on 2013/03/26 at 7:42 PM
Stupid foul by DMB. Way too early for a yellow card.
Posted by Jared on 2013/03/26 at 7:51 PM
I’m starting to miss Harkes in the booth. I always feel like Twellman is yelling at somebody and is unbelievably biased.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 7:56 PM
You think about what you’ve said there. And then take it back.
Posted by Jared on 2013/03/26 at 8:05 PM
Not taking it back. I found it much easier to tune out Harkes and his same phrases over and over again.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/26 at 8:06 PM
I’ll take Harkes over Twellman all day long.
Posted by Fellaini'sFro on 2013/03/26 at 8:36 PM
I know it’s childish. But +1 for your retort. Harkes was much worse with his fake smile and Ian Darke even started to dislike him as a partner. Plus how can you like someone that slept with their teammate’s wife?
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:30 PM
To be fair, I disliked him before I knew anything about Amy Wynalda.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 8:18 PM
Twellman spouts nonsense. Commenting that “you can tell when a keeper has confidence” when he comes for a ball he should come for every time… shut up!
Posted by Nick on 2013/03/27 at 9:20 AM
To be honest most color-commentators (and Varsity assistant coaches) spout nonsense…
I did like Alejandro Moreno in the booth as the straight-man to Twellman’s biased commentator role.
Posted by Alex on 2013/03/27 at 1:35 PM
Ouch, I’m an assistant varsity soccer coach at my old high school….
Posted by Nick on 2013/04/01 at 11:59 AM
Go watch the original American Pie and you’ll see what I mean.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 7:55 PM
Kind of shocked Mexico hasn’t unleashed the “MAXIMUM PRESSING” option.
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/26 at 7:58 PM
Where can I get a sweater just like Klinnsmann’s? I’m digging that sweater.
Posted by Donum Dei on 2013/03/26 at 9:54 PM
US Soccer webstore has ’em.
Posted by Donum Dei on 2013/03/26 at 9:58 PM
Ah excuse me, they appear to be out.
Posted by Gabe on 2013/03/27 at 8:49 AM
Should come up for you here…
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/26 at 8:02 PM
Beasley looking like the old (LB) Beasley.
Posted by twewlife on 2013/03/26 at 8:06 PM
Is it just me or is Twellman and the Mexican announcer (don’t know his name) getting in to it a little?
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/26 at 8:11 PM
Alejandro Moreno is Venezuelan.
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/26 at 8:23 PM
I’m not sure why they brought him in for this game. I guess ESPN just decided “Mexican, Venezualan, what’s the difference?” I thought it sounded like Alejandro Moreno but I wasn’t sure because he doesn’t normally cover the USMNT and we’re not playing Venezuala. Have I just not noticed Moreno regularly covering the USMNT?
Posted by twewlife on 2013/03/26 at 8:32 PM
my bad on The Mexican thing
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 8:37 PM
For some reason Altidore’s dropped to the flanks.
Posted by mark on 2013/03/26 at 8:40 PM
Edu is a turnover machine in the back. I’m afraid one of his giveaways will lead directly to a goal.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/26 at 8:43 PM
He’s trying to be a bigger liability than Beasley this half.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 8:48 PM
I was just beginning to soften on my fanatical anti-Edu position.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/26 at 9:29 PM
Edu thought he was supposed to freelance as wildly as Jones, perhaps…
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 8:45 PM
Uh, Johnson for Altidore is bizarre.
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/26 at 8:47 PM
With Beasley’s hamstring appearing to hurt him, I think now is a good time to reassure everybody that anyone can play left back.
Posted by Sean Tuxill (@thebostinian) on 2013/03/26 at 8:48 PM
I’m a little tipsy atm but at halftime (and this may become typo-ridden, sorry), here’s what I’m seeing:
-Beasley has been caught out multiple times. If we get caught he’ll be involved. Had one great tackle and it’s been downhill since then
-Surprised Besler hasn’t had more pressure on him. He’s been good – the yellow card foul was not a stupid foul
-Gonzo looked shaky early but has settled down
-Cameron hasn’t looked terrible at right back, and his play up the right flank has been helpful
-Mo has given a few balls away that have resulted in me grabbing my face. Needs to be better on the ball.
-Mikey also needs to be better on the ball. Great runs on occasion.
-Zusi has pressed well. I haven’t seen a whole lot of offensive threat but he’s been spaced correctly at least.
-Dempsey needs more of the ball. He’s seen half a chance in the first half.
-Gomez…not negative, but no positive. We need better service.
-Jozy had one horrific touch and otherwise has looked dangerous.
-Guzan has done everything necessary. Not that he was ever not the #2 in my mind, but games like this put pressure on Timmy. I’m okay with that.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 8:50 PM
Mexico have got behind many times but their final ball has been pants tonight.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 8:53 PM
Ordinarily I would call for Kljestan central here, but a bit ambitious in this situation.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 8:55 PM
Mexico’s now doubling Zusi because Cameron’s no threat to overlap. Obviously not like a tactical blunder by Klinsi or anything (the option was…?), but still notable.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 9:00 PM
Does Klinsmann stick or twist?
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 9:03 PM
What happened to Guardado’s delivery?
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/26 at 9:05 PM
A Davis sighting. That sub puzzles me. Part of me wants to think that he’s going for all three points, but that contradicts the fact that Gomez was sacrificed for him.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 9:08 PM
Poor decision. Especially considering ref’s position.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 9:11 PM
Does Shea have a Hindi font style tattoo? What a chav!
Posted by dth on 2013/03/26 at 9:12 PM
He’s a free spirit, as free as the open plains. Don’t you read your Old World class structure on him. (Walt Whitman reference here) AMERICA!
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/03/26 at 9:27 PM
I was saying that as an Indian man rather than an English man…
Posted by jimmie on 2013/03/26 at 9:31 PM
cero a cero!
Posted by FTCLTL on 2013/03/26 at 9:33 PM
Long time reader. First time commenter. Would have been nice to get maybe one shot on goal but they played a great game in Azteca. Surprised they got away with that foul on Edu in the box but I thought that would have been a VERY soft foul…. especially given the circumstances.
Posted by Brad on 2013/03/26 at 9:49 PM
Wish I knew Espanol. Would love tbjoo hear what their papers say about this tomorrow.
Posted by Tyler on 2013/03/27 at 6:59 AM
That’s what Google Translate is for
Posted by Brad on 2013/03/29 at 9:35 AM
Google Translate results make less sense to me than untranslated Spanish.
Posted by FTCLTL on 2013/03/26 at 10:05 PM
Klinsmann is for real. You guys need to stop being so impatient and realize that he’s getting great results. Too often there is criticism. You guys act like the USMNT are the NY Yankees of soccer. Clearly that’s not the case. JK is doing a great job right now given the upheaval he’s also implementing in terms of finding youthful talent. I dig it.
Posted by Jared on 2013/03/27 at 5:57 AM
I think the criticism is fair of Klinsmann when you listen to the goals he’s laid out for the team. He’s stated repeatedly that he wants the US to play a better style of soccer. That certainly hasn’t happened even against the minnows of Concacaf. Last night with the exception of Bornstein or Findley being in the squad most people would have trouble telling the difference between that performance and one under Bradley.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:36 PM
“He’s stated repeatedly that he wants the US to play a better style of soccer. ”
And he has just as repeatedly said that it will take some time to get there.
JK is to blame because he forgets that most people stop listening after the first sentence.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/26 at 10:26 PM
Matt Besler is incredible between the ears — the perfect complement to Omar, who needs a steadying influence next to him. I hope Klinsmann has the balls to stick with that CB pairing.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/27 at 12:05 AM
WOW back at the hotel. That was so awesome. of course a win would have been amazing or a goal, or a shot on goal, but with our weakened roster and supposedly being light years behind mexico that was a very satisfying result.
to be fair, i had a much, much worse experience by far in los angeles in the gold cup final than at azteca. i was expecting worse. the fans booed the national anthem very loudly, and drowned our chants out early on, but by the end of the first half they gave up even doing that. its amazing 100,000 people can make such little noise, the absolute worst fans ive ever seen in any sport. the fans were much louder at the rose bowl. at the end of the game we had several people throwing piss and beer on us but we were taking it all in. one guy tried to climb over the fence like a maniac but got beat down by the riot police, really not too bad though. im sure there will be lots of videos on youtube tomorrow. the kick tv videos are the best.
really impressed with gonzalez and besler. really, really, ridiculously impressed. they were absolutely fantastic.
Posted by KickinNames... on 2013/03/27 at 6:41 AM
Glad to hear you made it out in one piece and props to you for having the balls to go in and support in that mess. Sounds like you’re way ahead on the bucket list on the rest of us.
Just wondering did the fans start to turn fairly early? It seemed like there was no energy there after the first 20 mins wave passed.
Planning to be in DC for the Deutschelanders friendly on 6/2/13.
Posted by SamT on 2013/03/27 at 7:09 AM
Props to you for the travel to both matches.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:39 PM
In the Jamaica -Mexico draw the fans turned on El Tri, booing them and all that..
In this game it did not sound like they turned on El Tri so much as they turned away from El Tri as if they could not believe it.
Is that right? What did you hear and see?.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/29 at 10:05 PM
Thanks for all of your well wishes.
Yes, the Mexican fans were fairly proactive the first 20 minutes or so. Anytime we would start a chant they would immediate whistle loudly drowning it out- you might have heard it on TV I don’t know, I need to watch the match again. From the 20th to 45th minute they gradually stopped doing so or did so with less vigor. They barely bothered in the 2nd half, and we had our way. I think someone said they heard some of our chants in the 2nd half. I was very proud. Despite only being 500 it was loud and organized and continuous.
I was hoping they would start turning on their own team but they never really did. I think once they whistled when they were making negative passes. Most of their angst was directed towards the ref. They seemed to understand what an important game it was and were very nervous in the 2nd half. In the final 10 minutes they started making some noise again but were frustrated at each miss.
I grew up near Beaver Stadium and must say Azteca wasnt nearly as loud. You heard the potential for noise when they sang the national anthem and booed the American anthem (probably loudest the crowd was). Also, the Rose Bowl at the Gold Cup final was much louder despite not having the roof. Some veterans from Azteca said it was much louder in 2009.
After the whistle, some of the fans got very angry. I was down at the bottom of the section directly in front of the fence. It protected us from projectiles, but the fans came right up and and threw liquids through the fence. This one guy (about 20) was screaming and throwing a temper tantrum like a 5 year old. There were a few others including another guy (a father) with young son in hand who mooned us, acted like he was jacking off, etc screaming obscenities. Alot of the crowd nearby did nothing though (although these were the expensive club seats). Part of it was our fault as we were taunting a bit at the end (nothing over the top), a little dance here or there or “You’re not going to brazil” or “esta es nuestra casa” etc. I acted like I enjoyed the fans throwing beer or piss on me which angered them more, it kind of felt like a baptism or rite of passage of an American fan. Really though, there was nothing too over the top and again the Rose Bowl was much, much worse.
Near the top several guys rushed the riot police and got beat up pretty bad apparently. One American fan did get hit with something and needed stitches. One fan tried to climb the fence and get through the barbed wire but got beat back. A huge thanks to the Mexican police who escorted us to the game (still took 2 hrs) and back and saw us safely through. They did an incredible job. I tried to thank as many as possible.
Also, to be clear, there were plenty of fans who did not do any of these things. I was really glad to see this because I had a horrible experience at the Rose Bowl, and it was hard to not find anyone (including young boys and girls or older people) not doing vulgar and racist chants/ throwing objects, etc. I still have problems with my one ear where a guy blew an air horn in it for 30+ minutes. I saw 10+ american fans beat up pretty badly, a girl almost got assaulted, there were racist chants towards Tim Howard, i had people charge my rent a car and i had to drive through a sand trap to get away from them. It sucked. CONCACAF is a joke as there was zero security, getting in or for our section. Anyone could have brought a knife or who knows what else. Like I said before Sunil Gulati personally emailed me and other fans and the president of the Rose Bowl called me.
The point I’m trying to make is I felt much safer at Mexico City. I wouldnt go to a Gold Cup game administered by CONCACAF again. I did hear from veterans that the 2009 experience at Azteca was worse (had to go through parking lot, and alot more projectiles thrown- throughout game), but again it wasnt really that bad, I never felt I was in danger, and it was quite fun. A few rocks were thrown at the bus or people kicked it but nothing ridiculous.
There were plenty of gracious people at the restaurants and bars we crashed the days prior in Mexico City as well.
Posted by Alex on 2013/03/27 at 2:21 AM
Too exhausted/drunk/tired to say anything very intelligent, but the team did their job today. Smart of Klinsmann to say “nearly half of our preferred starters aren’t here so lets not get ahead of ourselves”. That Strauss piece really lit a fire under our boys; great to see. Did we get a bit of officiating luck? Yes. Did we get some luck regarding Mexico’s finishing? Yes. But who cares. A point in the Azteca is a point in the Azteca and we earned it.
Btw, Panama is leading the Hex after three games… June 11th has become that much more interesting.
Posted by Alex on 2013/03/27 at 2:27 AM
Oh, thought I could share this here, around the 80th minute my friends I changed the “I Believe That We Will Win” chant to “I Believe That We Will Tieeee”. We think we’re pretty funny
Posted by Adrian Garza (@agarza34) on 2013/03/27 at 5:38 AM
As much as I want Altidore to work out as the forward/striker up top, he’s a limited striker in that he’s not great in the air, doesn’t hold the ball very well (neither did EJ), and though he hustles much more than he did just last year… he just doesn’t get much done up top.
I sure hope Boyd, Agudelo, and any future strikers have more to offer. This is not a “Altidore sucks” comment, its just more of a “I want more” from my strikers. If Gomez was up top, we know we’d get more (even if just challenging the back line) but with no Donovan or other wingers that can play both forward and drop back to defense, Gomez has to play as a wing player.
Happy we got the draw.
Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/03/27 at 6:45 AM
Klinsmann continuously uses Altidore the wrong way, it would be simple to say hey how is Jozy doing so well for his club, hmmm? How do they use him?
I mean it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out he is not the point man, he doesn’t play with his back to the goal. He is not required to hold the ball up.
He runs of the ball and can get wide, he gets service from the player holding the ball up and creating. Actually quite simple to see if you watch any of their games…
Posted by SamT on 2013/03/27 at 7:22 AM
There is a defensive cost to pushing players forward to provide that service. AZ gives up nearly two goals per game and sits #14 in a table of 18 teams, one point above relegation position.
Thought Jozy had a great Costa Rica match and did exactly what we needed that game.
Posted by jb on 2013/03/27 at 7:26 AM
How else can Klinsi use him? There is this added dimension to playing internationally called DEFENDING. You cant play him on the wing if he won’t drop back when needed. If he can’t hold the ball up as a point man and won’t try to pressure the opposing defense when the ball turns over, then he’s just a waste of space. It’s frustrating because his talent is immense and it always seems like he could give more effort.
Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/03/27 at 7:52 AM
So lets not play to his strengths and use him in a role he’s not accustomed to play effectively…I see great results in our future, go USA!
Posted by dth on 2013/03/27 at 8:06 AM
I think this is a bizarre comment. Altidore’s a very good passer, as he showed when actually getting the ball played to feet against Mexico and Costa Rica. The tactics are failing Altidore, not Altidore.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 10:24 AM
I would say the system doesn’t have a spot for a floating striker (Altidore is best incutting from the left) and that’s more even Deuce’s role. Perhaps if it’s Boyd who can be the target you can move Jozy off him, but then where do you put Deuce and cover the left flank?
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:41 PM
Boyd isn’t really a target player either.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:40 PM
For what you are talking about I wonder why Alan Gordon hasn’t been called back.
Posted by KickinNames... on 2013/03/27 at 7:48 AM
O/T- Has anyone seen Stu Holden for Bolton at all or getting a sense of his progress in recovery? Kind of an eerie silence over the whole thing….
Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/03/27 at 7:58 AM
I’m still waiting to hear word on how he is coming along. Oh where we might be if Holden could have avoided those serious injuries and Davies never got in that car
Posted by jwran on 2013/03/27 at 10:08 AM
Stu has been an unused sub last three games, best I can tell.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 10:15 AM
Posted by KickinNames... on 2013/03/27 at 2:32 PM
do not like all the silence around him the last few months. No run outs and no noise about his progress. Of course with his history no news is probably good news…
Posted by KickinNames... on 2013/03/28 at 2:42 PM
Stu to Sheffield Wednesday beginning this weekend on loan from Bolton. Hope it all goes smooth.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/27 at 8:11 AM
Things on Klinsmann’s to-do list:
1) needs to figure out the offense, specifically how to get Altidore playing at his best. Klinsmann’s preferred Altidore tactic seems to be “give up on him,” which would be nice if we had other options, but instead we’re bringing Eddie Johnson off the bench. Altidore can play better than this, as he has shown at AZ and when the U.S. actually attempts to play with width and/or play the ball to Altidore’s feet.
2) to wit: more width. Some of this will be solved with better fullback options and Landon returning, but playing Zusi out wide is still cause for frustration.
3) Central midfielder partner for Bradley: speaking of not optimizing your best players, Bradley isn’t being optimized either. The perfect partner for him is mostly but not exclusively a defensive anchor and a solid-to-inventive passer. Sadly, Kyle Beckerman is limited athletically, Ozzie Alonso is Cuban, and Stuart Holden is perpetually injured. (Edu and Jones are blegh, though I’m not sure Klinsmann understands that the latter is blegh). In the summer, hopefully we’ll see some experiments with Zusi, Kljestan, Corona and O’Brien in the middle, and/or FIFA decides to approve Alonso’s attempted switch.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 10:21 AM
Wow — DTH, usually agree but I have to disagree with you on most of the points here.
On Jozy — I would guess at about 70% of his goals have come from him profiting off someone else breaking down the defense. That’s the US LFW-LM “swing forward” role, not the target striker.
Agree on more width, but last night I thought Zusi was tremendous. I think it would be good to see Zusi perhaps paired with Bradley in the middle if he can keep his engine up. Zusi is some cross between James Milner-Stu Holden to me. Not as silky on the ball, but indefatigueable (spl).
On Bradley — I think what you can count on with him that he’s going to make good decisions and look to move the ball quickly. I think your complement for him is a more offensive-oriented box-to-box player–the role Klinsmann has been trying to squish Jermaine Jones into (and why fans feel frustrated with Jones).
I don’t know if the US has that player though.
Anyway, the debate is always good.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/27 at 12:03 PM
I agree that Jozy may (unfortunately) be best in the same position as Dempsey. Wonder if JK will roll that out next time Clint is hurt/suspended.
Zusi was great for what he had to do yesterday — be comfortable holding and linking the ball, and that defensive run at the end! — but the prospect of him playing out right in an offense-minded situation is horrifying. Maybe yesterday’s defense gives us the option of running Chandler out there if/when Donovan is out.
I do think Klinsi needs to figure out the team’s offensive identity, though. Bob built it almost perfectly to be Donovan’s team, but I think it’s clear at this point that change can’t mean finding the next single guy who’s going to dictate our offensive play. None of our mids fit, Clint is more decisive on the scoresheet than in the flow of play, and LD doesn’t fit that role as long as we play build-up instead of counter. Sometimes I wonder if Jones doesn’t expect himself to be that guy, though, which doesn’t work either…
Posted by dth on 2013/03/27 at 12:31 PM
In terms of the Bradley partner — I could see a more offensively-oriented partner, if there’s good chemistry. We know Bradley wants to roam (in his heart), though Italy’s made him more disciplined as a stay-at-home guy. Ultimately, unless he has instant chemistry with another #8, I think Bradley as 8 and ? as 6 is most likely. Though I could see a Kljestan/Bradley, Corona/Bradley, O’Brien/Bradley combo working. We need some experimentation there, just to see and just in case. Though I’m sure, with Klinsmann’s love of putting CMs out of position, he’ll keep on persisting with Kljestan out wide. (Corona’s a decent wing player)
I think Jozy is best as a central, lead-the-line striker who gets balls played to feet for combinations — that’s why his best moment was playing Bradley in. In order to take advantage of that, Clint as the supporting striker/#10 makes sense, but then you need wingers/fullbacks who are clever and a better central midfield partnership, which is why I see the Bradley issue as important.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/27 at 9:36 PM
A couple of long-shot chances (if development is really rapid, could see at the end of ’13): Perry Kitchen and Luis Gil.
Kitchen pros: he is uncannily like Bradley in a lot of ways. He started off as the boring, conservative, hustling #6 and this year has started to add the driving runs and surprising switches that Bradley does. Could work as a #8/#8 pairing. Kitchen cons: don’t think he’s got quite as much passing ability/range as Bradley does in Kitchen’s best-case scenario; also the early-season clusterf*** means he’ll have no one to play off of to combine with/learn from. As good a time to enter my I WANT MY BOSKOVIC BACK plea. Anyway, this may end up being solved if the long-term DC acquisitions work out (I like Sanchez and Augusto as bets; I don’t like them as your only bets. But this is tangential).
Gil pros: don’t really need to talk about these, do I? Very solid passer, surprising amount of work defensively. Cons: Kreis keeps on yelling at him to be more assertive, and for good reason. Has talent to take over games but doesn’t do it enough yet. Thought we’d be getting it after impressive u-20 qualifying followed by very good first game against San Jose. Haven’t gotten it. Need to get it — is highly talented (as you’ve heard a time or three).
Posted by Jared on 2013/03/27 at 12:46 PM
It’s not a good sign when you’re comparing to someone playing as a winger to James Milner. He’s not a wide midfielder and neither is Zusi at international level. Comparing someone to Milner means they are a player with no real position because they don’t have the pace/trickery to be a wide player and don’t have the ability to be a central midfielder.
I don’t think I can handle seeing an O’Brien in the US lineup without tearing up a little bit.
Jones is a very good player for Schalke. That skill is apparently left behind once his plane clears European air space.
Definitely feel for Jozy since he’s been brought back in. He’s now working hard but given very little to work with especially for a player who really isn’t a target striker. At this point it seems that a guy like Boyd would be worth a shot as it would appear that he’s better at what the US needs. I guess it doesn’t really matter who we had up there as even Messi or Ronaldo would struggle with the lack of support the striker gets these days.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/27 at 10:26 AM
IMO the issue with Jones isn’t so much that he’s blegh as that he plays (/is utilized) in such a way that he forces Bradley to stay home.
Posted by JGD on 2013/03/27 at 10:39 AM
Jones plays much better as part of a 2-man central midfield, when he’s given license to roam box-to-box and not shoe-horned into either an offense-exclusive role or defense/holding-exclusive role. If Klinsmann keeps the 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 line-up, I think we’ll see Jones perform at a very high level.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 10:47 AM
I’m unsure about that. I think what you saw with Jones last Friday was the snow giving him a little bit more time on the ball. He’s just not at all accurate when he’s pressured. He’s needed to make good passes if Bradley sits deep. Not sure he’s the best for that.
Posted by Union on 2013/03/27 at 11:27 AM
I dunno Matt. I’ve watched his games for Schalke, there is a reason he starts for such a good club. Jones turns the ball over, sure. But I’m consistently amazed at how drastically US fans underrate this guy. Who is a better option to partner with Bradley than Jones in our current player pool? No one.
The guy is one of the most technically gifted players we have. And sure, some passes are off the mark. But he also is one of the few guys who can play a deadly forward pass. He has that vision. Outside of Donovan, Clint and sometimes Bradley…no one else really does.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 12:20 PM
Right! And he plays much better for club than country.
I’m not sure there *is a better option to pair with Bradley, my point was merely that he’s not the right one.
Klinsmann will likely keep him in the role because he wants to keep both he and Bradley on the field and because of the two Jones is more creative in the midfielder in possession and under duress.
When you think about it — that’s why you can see the US falter with 3DMs on the field — maybe not because they are not creative, but because it removes a creative player up top.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/27 at 12:39 PM
Jones needs a role. And good attackers on the wings.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/27 at 12:13 PM
Yesterday’s success notwithstanding, I wouldn’t be surprised to see JK roll out the 6-and-two-8s midfield again in the next tactically cautious situation (Germany friendly? CR away?). Not for home WCQs though.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:48 PM
Do you see the Germany game as a cautious one? It seems like a good time to let it all hang out. But I guess JK won’t want to be embarrassed.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/28 at 5:34 PM
Psychologically, your first instinct is probably right: it’s a nice chance to just go for it.
Tactically, though, how many more chances are we going to play (and try different approaches against) really top-rank opposition before the WC? Maybe we’ll see a half of each formation.
Posted by Union on 2013/03/27 at 11:22 AM
Agree with just about everything. I applaud the US’s effort yesterday. Omar Gonzalez was simply fantastic. I take back every bad thing I said about the guy. Really impressive effort and one has to imagine he is leaving the MLS at the end of this season. Really exciting to think that John Anthony Brooks could partner with him in time for the WC should the US qualify. Also, have Chandler and Johnson been consistently amazing? No. But I’m fairly certain that once JK finally has a first choice team together. Which leads me to my main criticisms.
1- Jozy is being wasted and for the first time, I feel for the guy. Not his fault. Eddie Johnson is nowhere near the player that Jozy is. That substitution made no sense, unless we think that Eddie is better on the defensive side of the ball and he was subbed in to defend set pieces. He offers so little defensively. Boyd should have seen the field at the very least, he is a guy who is relentless and moves well off the ball. And yes, Jozy is way better with the ball played to his feet than he is with the ball launched to him from 40 yards away with no one to play off of. Hopefully the return of Holden, Donovan can help with this. And potentially the emergence of Shea/Gatt. Jozy is most dangerous when he has someone to run with.
2- Gomez is overrated. I know, Matt loves him. He’s a great dude. He is a hustler and I love that. But he was overmatched yesterday. Outside of his set pieces, he just doesn’t bring enough to the field.
3- Zusi isn’t a winger. I think that is clear. He tracks back in a great way, I could definitely see him as more of a deep lying playmaker in the middle. I’m not sure if his defensive chops are good enough for that sort of role, but he made a lot of great tackles.
4- DTH, I agree that Bradley needs a skilled MF to partner with in the middle. I don’t think its Edu, but I think you’re discounting Jones a bit. The guy is erratic, but he is far and away the 2nd best option for central MF after Bradley. There is no one else to play that role in the player pool. And no young kids coming up the ranks.
5- That Brad Davis substitution was another weird move. He, like Johnson, looked outclassed. Especially on defense. I know the goal was to provide service to Johnson and hope for a miracle. But he wasn’t comfortable on the ball, his touch was off (remember that in the MLS he is given much more space than the Mexican team will ever give him), and he committed a few really bad fouls in the last 10 minutes that gave way to some dangerous free kicks.
But generally speaking, good stuff from JK and the guys on the field. His makeshift defensive line had two straight shut outs against some pretty talented attackers, snow or no snow.
Posted by Kirk on 2013/03/27 at 4:48 PM
Agree with your Omar comments. I was never down on the guy because I prefer to see how people play on the International stage before passing judgement. The more experience he gets the more he will improve.
1. Agree with your Jozy comments. He is out there on an island. The U.S. has no width, defenders collapse around him. The U.S. cannot compete trying to force balls down the middle of the field, we just don’t have the vision or overall passing for that (or Donovan, Holden) And Clint does not partner well with Altidore.
2. Agreed yet again. Love Herc’s work rate, but he just does not offer much going forward from the left side. Isn’t quick enough, isn’t creative enough. Shea needs another shot at this position in June when fully healthy (or Beasley)
3. It’s an echo chamber as I agree yet again. I Like Zusi as a squad member, but we need width on both sides of the pitch. Please call in Gatt, a true winger. Although I think Donovan will be playing here in June.
4. There are a lot of options for a Bradley partnership that have not been tried. Sacha is always put out wide where he doesn’t belong, when is the last time him and Bradley were in the midfield together? A healthy Holden works best but I’d love to see Conor O’brien, playing for the 2nd best team in Denmark, at the very least be called in! Enough with Edu and Beckerman. Edu is cover, Beckerman should be watching from the stands. Or, how about GEOFF CAMERON? When Cherundolo and Chandler are ready to go, Cameron is superfluous at RB, and may not be able to reclaim his CB spot. Cameron as a defensive midfielder would work, he is one of the best tacklers in the EPL and would allow Bradley to go forward. As for Jones, just not a fan despite his playing at a top level.
5. Davis has found his level where he is comfortable, it’s the MLS, not the USMNT. Granted we’ve only seen crumbs of him, but he hasn’t impressed. We needs subs who can have an impact, not deliver more of the same. Gatt and Shea running at tiring legs is more threatening/enticing than someone like Brad Davis.
Posted by daveyaward on 2013/03/27 at 7:24 PM
I say “word” to your post. I, too, was wondering about the potential of Cameron as a midfield partner to Bradley and whether that could be his optimal use upon the return of Cherundolo and/or Timmy Hamstring.
One thing is for certain…the versatility of players like Cameron, Edu, and Beasley starts to provide some excellent roster flexibility for next summer.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:50 PM
Cameron is a less skilled version of Bradley.
I thought the idea was to give MB90 a more creative partner.
Posted by patrickhattrick on 2013/03/27 at 8:52 AM
I wouldn’t be shocked if poor José Manuel de la Torre gets the axe after these first three ties. I think that he was unlucky last night not to get a win, and the place that the team was in going into the game at Azteca last August was huge, but I think they have a bit of a Chelsea type atmosphere down there. Coaches could do comparatively well, but expectations are so unrealistically high that a few games of bad form could mean a new manager. Although, at least from our perspective, that almost certainly seems to be a mistake, I could see the Mexican press calling for his firing. That, I think, would bode well for USA.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/28 at 4:52 PM
In Chepo’s defense if Perlata and de Nigris had been around I’m guessing Mexico win.
Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/27 at 10:17 AM
BTW — not tooting TSG’s horn — but did you read the preview. Just how predictable was Mexico last night.
Try left flank crosses — almost worked.
Move to Gio to right flank and incut — they tried that from 15′ to 80′ with no joy.
At 60′ mark Gio stopped trying to drive to the hole and dished to Salcido who had two hits near goal.
Only after the 80th minute did Mexico say — you know what? What if we trying going at Cameron on the right instead.
That combined with Mexico’s awful defensive pressure and I’ve got to think Chepo is hearing it today in the papers down there.
Posted by TWEW on 2013/03/28 at 11:10 AM
Not to toot your own horn further, but alot of the long balls the US played were to Mexico’s right-side corner flag in an attempt to take advantge of their weak right-side. Just buy a crystal ball and change your name to gypsy.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/27 at 12:16 PM
Couple of things no one has mentioned.
(1) Notice the laser pointers on Bradley and Guzan? Uggh.
(2) Darke talked over a hilarious/wonderful late outbreak of the USA chant. Some times you wish an American were in that chair…
Posted by dth on 2013/03/27 at 6:45 PM
A bit of critical punditry from the Press Pass folks: http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1390289/u.s.-mexico-tie-nets-record-tv-rating-for-qualifier?cc=5901
I think they have a bit of a point on the U.S.
Posted by PedroVB13 on 2013/04/01 at 12:08 AM
Neither of those Negative Nancys mentioned ANYTHING of the depleted nature of the US lineup. Donovan, Jones, Castillo, Chandler, Holden. Dempsey was a gamer, but 80% at best.
If they’d spoken about the players that weren’t there, and THEN mentioned how the team underperformed when at full strength, they’d be more credible.
Not impressed with Shaka & Janusz.
Posted by Paul on 2013/03/27 at 9:25 PM
Need evidence, beyond Gomez and Guzan’s testimony, for the laser pen?Watch the highlight reel at ussoccer.com (the reel that is 6:36). At 5:06-5:07, you can see a green dot flash up the ref’s back. It is pretty easy to see, given that the official is wearing yellow and the pen is green. Now we just need to wait for FIFA and/or CONCACAF to do something about this. Given FIFA’s stance on video evidence, I don’t think this will impress our imperial Swiss masters.
Posted by TWEW on 2013/03/28 at 11:08 AM
My only real beef with the team’s performance on tuesday was Edu: The man has a mediocre touch and terrible distribution. I haven’t re-watched the game yet, but I’d bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that Edu played less than five positive balls all night. And let me be clear/ By positive ball I mean forward or lateral passes into space and/or passes that open up space for another player to run into. The absence of good distribution from Edu effectively forces Bradley to drop back even further to provide linking between back line and the middle-thid of the pitch. As a result, Bradley’s ability to move farther forward to influence play in the middle and final thirds is greatly limited.
Posted by s44 on 2013/03/28 at 1:04 PM
C’mon, let’s not pretend the gameplan actually involved trying to create into the final third. As I saw it both were playing defense by design, with Bradley playing positions and Edu doing the chasing.
Now Edu trying to dribble out from deep turnovers instead of passing… that was ugly.
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/29 at 8:34 AM
I didn’t like Cameron in midfield at the MLS level. I can’t get behind him there at the international level. That said, he had worked really hard on his ability on the ball before leaving for Stoke and he did get a couple runs out in midfield where he looked promising. Perhaps he’s improved his ability in midfield in his time at Stoke, although I was under the impression that he was being played at Right Back.
Posted by Kevin S on 2013/03/29 at 8:37 AM
For god knows what reason, my phone just doesn’t want me to reply to other people’s posts.
Posted by Nate on 2013/03/29 at 11:11 AM
Why not explore the Gonzalez/Besler combo in the middle a bit more? They were solid and both mentioned how comfortable the pairing was for them. One game does not a pairing make – but we have a couple friendlies coming up where they could get the run-out again. It was also pretty awesome to see two MLS Defenders of the Year back there. Even if it doesn’t happen again, Besler has brought a bit of extra depth to the center back position.
I’d like to think there are more options at each position than we’ve had in a while (if everyone was healthy!!)
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/29 at 9:45 PM
I like Gonzalez and Besler together. Besler seems to complement Gonzo nicely and raise his game a bit.
Posted by KickinNames... on 2013/03/29 at 12:45 PM
Edu = Rico Clark- lots of energy defending, very mediocre to poor to dangerous receiving and distributing possession out of pressure
Guzan- looked very very strong and solid presence
Gonzalez- looked like a man back there in both defending, organization and possession. Back line responded well during emergency defending without the marking breakdowns we’ve tended to see.
Beasley- looked like an emergency LB a good bi but Edu played very deep and flat last 35 mins which seemed to invite pressure down that left side. Something wasnt right there positionally late.
EJworked hard for the badge in a thankless role holding with little support-
Besler= was very good in recognizing and closing down the channel balls when Aquino cut inside looking for the 2 runners. Made a number of strong mature reads to intercept them.
Demps- very tired loooking and semi interested performance from “The CaptainL Lost possession far too often and in their defensive end a few time 30 yds from goal.
Zusi- like his energy and will. Could maybe benefit from experience and runouts.
BTW- Has anyone seen the Edu tackle in the box from the reverse angle that the ref had? It looks like he clips the ball and the ref was staring right at it from his angle.
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/29 at 10:12 PM
A bunch of random things:
– Grant Wahl stopping by our bar the day before was awesome. Seeing two pretty ladies trying to hit on him even better.
– seeing Kasey Keller and Eddie Johnson walk through the airport was awesome. Standing in the huge security line at Houston with them and running into EJ again was even better. It was funny- a few guys in Honduras kits noticed them and were talking about them, but barely and white Americans did.
– So gracious for the players to come over to our end and applaud.
– So awesome to meet new fans. One guy who is retired is going to EVERY qualifier home and away. Some guys I remember from 4 years ago, others I regularly see, some their first or 2nd game! I can’t wait for the remaining home qualifiers and Brazil next year.
– look for Kick TV’s coverage of the game. Here is their awesome video from the Denver game, which I’m briefly in cheering like an idiot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZIdZSZlhoc
– here’s probably my favorite picture ever taken of me although my face isnt in it. I met Doug Zimmerman at Giordano Bros in San Francisco. Great guy and photographer. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tNkD_THVbQI/UVMMz-gkRpI/AAAAAAAAATU/A-7aGTxQB8g/s1600/USMNTDZ032613141-2.jpg
Posted by Crow on 2013/03/30 at 8:00 PM
I think this Villareal kid is the real deal.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/30 at 8:03 PM
No question. The thing I wonder about is, “what’s his best position?” Can’t really figure it out.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/30 at 8:30 PM
Does it really matter all that much? He’s played well in Ramos’s system as a 9 and pretty well as a 7. He’s looked good with LA playing as a second striker. A little versatility’s a good thing, especially when no one’s going to built the team around you.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/30 at 11:53 PM
For a lot of players that is irrelevant. Left back may be your best natural position but what if they have a better left back?
Villarreal is young , skilled, fast and fearless. And he has a gift for scoring. Put him out there and let him play. Is terminology and semantics that vital to you? Why screw him up by pigeonholing him?
What matters is where he can best serve the team.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/31 at 7:38 AM
To be fair, there’s a legitimate question here: Does one position afford him a greater chance to reach his potential? I’m just not sure there is, that’s all.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/31 at 11:27 AM
Just to If be clear, if Villarreal can keep scoring the question of where his best position is will be irrelevant.
Teams will find a spot for him.
Posted by dth on 2013/03/30 at 8:02 PM
Agudelo had a gorgeous pass to set up an Eric Avila side-netting shot. He seems to be playing quite well. Definitely should be on Gold Cup list (then again, I’d also take him over Boyd)
Posted by dth on 2013/03/30 at 8:08 PM
Not really a USMNT note, but Tristan Bowen looks revitalized under Neuvo Chivas. Chelis is doing something right.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/30 at 8:14 PM
RSL-Seattle was thoroughly entertaining.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/30 at 8:24 PM
Feeling kind of optimistic for the future with the performances of Villareal, Gil, Yedlin, etc. today.
Posted by mbw on 2013/03/30 at 8:32 PM
I thought Gil in particular was really good. Okugo as well, though he somehow managed to lose the league’s most dangerous player for the game-winner.
On the downside, it looks like Agudelo might be on the shelf for a few weeks.
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