US vs Azerbaijan: Live Commentary

Right here in TSG’s backyard! Game time, 7pm…LOCAL! Here we go…

Tim: "Does this defense line-up right?"

Tim: “Does this defense line-up right?”

Line-up prediction (with some new data points):

G: Howard

DEF: Fab J, Cameron, Besler, Beasley

CM: Bradley, Jones

RM/LM: Zusi, Green

WTFWD: Dempsey

STR: Altidore

Yeah, something tells me Green starts in this one.

In case you missed it, here’s our game preview. Enjoy the match!

 

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82 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by twewlife on 2014/05/27 at 3:27 PM

    Over under Landon Donovan references before the first half ends?

    I think I’m going over 25.

    Also, care to share your thoughts on your Green huntch? Anything in particular, or just a certain ja ne sais quoi?

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/27 at 3:31 PM

      I’ll take the under.

      I know Julian’s been training at least about the top 15. (That’s the best I can offer on record.)

      Reply

      • Posted by twewlife on 2014/05/27 at 3:37 PM

        Thanks Matt.

        BTW, I love the the “A.D.” reference . Best pun by far during this week of fire and brimstone.

        Reply

        • Posted by CAPITAN MACPATTON on 2014/05/29 at 9:11 PM

          *borrowed from Tim Mit

          NYRB 15goals/38apps

          vilareal 1goal/10aps

          Hull City 1goal/30aps

          Bursapur 1goal/14aps

          Az the dutch league 39goal/70aps

          Sunder 1goal/30aps
          WC 2010 0goal/4aps He was horrible and waste of space in 2010 world cup.

          US team 20goals/70aps

          TERRIBLE numbers for a striker!

          I believe the reason why the USMNT is failing to impress or to play consistant at least is the faith and endless patience with Altidore as a target forward. I believe if we fix that first, our other problems will be easier to fix. Jozy fails to be effective in this role in that he neither scores or passes effectively. A striker just doesn’t run, he scores. Wondolowski and Johannsson both are good shooters, why not start them both ? What would they need in order to blast away the opposition, a playmaker creating , wingers crossing:

          Wondo scored off a cross from Beltran that Bradley headed in front of him vs Mexico. Before vs Korea: ( first ) from a cross from Zusi that Davis shoots at goal but deflects off the GK and headed in by Wondo. (second) inside the box pass from Zusi to Donovan who cleverly backheels it and Wondo blasts it in. Against panama Johannsson killed that game with a shot well outside the penalty box, that came from a pass from Boyd. Against Azerbaijan Johannsson scores a header off a cornerkick from Davis.

          *Notice how Altidore has not had a part in any of the goals in the games that he played in above. When will he be benched? When?!!! Dempsey could obviously play next to either Wondo or AJ, but we don’t know if he “really” will recover for the game vs Turkey. I hope he does.

          Against Turkey, I would really like to see the US try that 42 again. This time with the adecuate personnel to support for Bradley. Beckerman instead of Jones, please and Dempsey instead Altidore, pretty please. Zusi-Bedoya & Mix-Davis as wide midfielders were fine thank you. Up front, Wondo-Dempsey or Johannsson-Dempsey would be nice. That said, Johnson on the leftback position and Cameron on rightback. Besler-Omar CB unless Omar is hurt. If not, Johnson-Besler-Cameron-Chandler is most logical.

          …………………Howard

          Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Johnson

          Zusi, Beckerman, Bradley, Davis

          ……..(Wondo, Dempsey) or (AJ, Dempsey) or (Wondo, Johannsson)
          .

          △ ▽

          Reply

      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2014/05/27 at 5:35 PM

        Understand you can’t comment but Top 15 seems like an odd classification. There are 20 non-GKs. You can’t compare Green to guys like Omar that just play D. Take out guys like that and you have 15 or so.

        That said, a Green start would really excite me. Lets see it. For better or worse lets get some film (granted this is a really bad team we are playing).

        Reply

  2. Posted by Paul on 2014/05/27 at 7:11 PM

    Whoa….. Where’s Dempsey?? He was in the pre-game announced lineup, but the TV just showed Wondo in his place. I can’t hear commentary. Everything’s ok, right??

    Reply

  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/05/27 at 7:24 PM

    I know he did not participate in a full warm up, but how on earth did Wondolowski miss that? The ball in from Zusi was excellent. All he had to do was redirect it.

    Reply

  4. Posted by dth on 2014/05/27 at 7:53 PM

    Twellman is reaching Harkesian levels of dumbness. Is there something about ESPN commentating that does it?

    Reply

  5. Posted by KAP on 2014/05/27 at 8:00 PM

    Is anyone else’s volume for the announcers all goofed up? I can’t hardly hear anything….just nt sure. That good or bad

    Reply

  6. Posted by Ufficio on 2014/05/27 at 8:05 PM

    Bradley has to play better than this, and I don’t think you can blame his playing out of position. He’s badly missing passes he usually completes. Wind partly to blame?

    Reply

  7. Posted by mbw on 2014/05/27 at 8:08 PM

    Couldn’t believe he missed that through ball to Zusi toward the end of the half….

    Reply

  8. Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/05/27 at 8:14 PM

    Can we please stop the:

    A) Idea that bc Wondo misses point blank headers he’s awesome? I get that the guy is a great locker room player. That he’s intelligent and gets himself in the right places. But he’s also pretty much useless outside of set pieces and counter attacks. Again, great dude and I root for him bc you can tell he brings it all. But he shouldn’t be getting minutes over Johannsson.

    B) Jozy Altidore just needs a goal to “rediscover his form”. The same thing that is haunting Jozy tonight and through the EPL this past season is what has always haunted him. Playing like Emile Heskey when you’re supposed to be a goal scoring center forward doesn’t give bonus points. Yea, sure. Jozy is good at hold up play. He is good at fighting for aerial balls and distributing from the halfway line. But he is still pretty terrible in all the spots he needs to be dangerous in. His Sunderland form is carrying on and its worrisome.

    C) That somehow Landon Donovan is the solution for all of the problems with this squad that are going to come up should the US not finish the game strong (or struggle in the remaining friendlies). Outside of some better decision making and finishing (looking at you Wondo), Landon wouldn’t have added what is needed for the US in this game. Technical ability and pace. The ability to beat someone 1v1 which is, at the end of the day, one of the most important things when a team sits back and plays 11 behind the ball (cue Julian Green/Aron Johannsson). We miss Demspey but the sluggishness of this team in the first half wouldn’t be fixed by Landon.

    D) That Beasley should be starting at left back over the Chandler (or Fabian should you bring Fabian to the left side). Sorry. Beasley is being pinned back and pushed around by a pretty average (below average lets be honest) national side. Great role player and he’s a valuable bench option. But until Chandler pulls another Honduras, lets keep Beasley on the field.

    E) Jones/Bradley. I like both of these players quite a bit. Just doesn’t feel like they play well together in the diamond. Both are off tonight.

    A little thrown off tonight. Thought I’d see the US jump on them early.

    Reply

    • Posted by CJ on 2014/05/28 at 10:56 AM

      I have to offer some insight based more on everything I’ve read than my own eyes, although I did catch the first half before zonking out.

      A) Wondolowski is a very talented player. Klinsmann is the best german striker of all time, no? How can you question Wondo if he selected Wondo? (that’s just one of ten points to support him, he’s complimented by players around the world that have played against him/watched him at the international level.)

      B) Jozy Altidore is streaky. It’s okay for him to still be just off after a conditioning camp in an exhibition. It’s also okay for him to be off in a game where everyone is struggling to find their touch. I must add that I thought we looked really well and this team under Klinsmann has jumped leaps and bounds in terms of dynamic play. The opponent is less likely to predict what we are going to do on a white board than anytime before I’ve ever watched us play.

      C) I agree Landon isn’t the end all be all, but to carry that into we need a 1v1 player to beat a wall feels like a bit of a stretch to me. Team speed, ball speed, are what make a team dangerous. Willing to cross in, dribble in, and triangle in from different angles and different parts of the pitch as fast as possible. When a team bunkers, you cannot sit and watch, you must put the backline under pressure through movement. 1v1, especially for our guys will get us down the flanks, but shouldn’t put us into the 18 against a bunker.

      D) I personally like Beasley at LB for two reasons. It’s keeping something consistent and he’s also playing with pure desire these days when I watch him. He overruns, misjudges angles, or mishits a pass out maybe 3-4 times a game, but he makes up for it with his willpower to fix the mistake. He’s not perfect and I’m okay with that.

      E) I agree this combo isn’t ideal. The thing is, I think Jones and Bradley are finalllllly learning each other and Jones is finally learning to embody the solo 6. Jones is a hybrid of Edu and Beckerman in my eyes. Edu would run around batshit crazy, beckerman would read the game. Jones has the ability to do both, but maybe not each as well. I prefer the jack of all trades over either master, but look forward to seeing Beckerman on the field. Those dreds!!!

      The US looked sloppy. Not atrocious sloppy, more like tired sloppy. I think we will see a much better team/individual performance in the next match. I also couldn’t help to think that Dempsey would’ve had some unlocking touches around the 18 that others were misplaying.

      Reply

    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/05/29 at 9:21 PM

      U.R.

      “Jozy Altidore just needs a goal to “rediscover his form”. The same thing that is haunting Jozy tonight and through the EPL this past season is what has always haunted him. Playing like Emile Heskey when you’re supposed to be a goal scoring center forward doesn’t give bonus points.”

      Ferguson once said about Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who was in a slump at the time, something to the effect that the best cure for a scoring drought was to score goals.

      Goal scoring is rarely as calculated as everyone seems to think. It is mostly muscle memory honed over the years. When in a slump, score a goal and you get a bit more confident and stop thinking so much.

      Scoring even just one goal would relax Jozy and get him to do it instead of TRYING to do it which is where was with Sunderland.

      As for Emile Heskey, you wish Jozy was as good as him at his best. Heskey was damn fine player. You don’t play 18 seasons in the EPL and earn 62 England caps by being crap.

      Reply

  9. Posted by Paul on 2014/05/27 at 8:18 PM

    Wait wait, how does Davis NOT take that kick??? I thought that was his thing! And by the way, ref, foul was in the box.

    Reply

  10. Posted by dth on 2014/05/27 at 8:19 PM

    Gonzalez is hobbling around out there, lending credence to the idea that Klinsmann badly effed up this camp/selection.

    Reply

  11. What is up with Bradley!?! Fab J is the best player for me right now, this game isn’t filling me with confidence……

    Reply

  12. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2014/05/27 at 8:43 PM

    Mix!

    Reply

  13. Can someone explain why we have to have a hold up striker, I’m not saying we should leave Jozy out but if it did happen why does seem like he is the untouchable? If we are taking Davis for his service and Zusi is great at crossing why do we need a hold up? Is this a dumb question? Lol

    Reply

    • Posted by JGD on 2014/05/28 at 7:43 AM

      No, it’s a completely valid question. Altidore is supposed to be integral to the XI due to his hold-up play, and yet the Jozy I saw last night is the same paper tiger he’s been for the majority of his career. For someone so big, he really isn’t very physical or assertive. At this point, Altidore is adept at drawing fouls. Woot.

      I’d rather go with movement and finishing (Johannsson, Wondolowski) at striker over hold-up play that doesn’t really exist.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 8:07 AM

        Brilliantly put. The Brits have a great term for this:” he flatters to disappoint”….we fall in love with the potential and the physical gifts but it just doesn’t come together into his game on the field.

        Reply

        • Posted by CJ on 2014/05/28 at 11:01 AM

          .300+ batters have hit less streaks. He is very capable. He’s probably played quite well in practice where there’s no pressure to produce. One goal and you just relax. You don’t over think. You don’t get nervous. You stop sinking your head after missed chances. It all goes away with one, decent goal. Sometimes even just a goal off glance from your body is the sign you need for your mentality where you say to yourself, maybe everything isn’t going against me. Maybe I won’t flop this world cup. Maybe I do deserve this starting spot.

          If anyone knows he’s not playing up to par, it’s Jozy Altidore himself.

          Reply

          • Just seems that he takes one extra touch and hesitates before taking a shot in the 18. That strikes me as under-confidence.

            Reply

  14. Well that was a little discouraging…

    Lots of extremely leaden touches leading to lots of playing backward when there were clear opportunities.

    Assuming Ghana, Portugal and Germany actually mark people during set pieces scoring is going to be quite a bit harder.

    If our back four make those kind of giveaways in our final third Ronaldo is going to eat us alive.

    I thought Zusi delivered some nice service from set pieces, but couldn’t deliver the cutting pass on the counter.

    The immortal Brad Davis got into space, but seemed spooked. I’m sure the pressure in Brazil will settle him down.

    Jozy looks like the giant of Sunderland. He did combine a bit with AJ.

    Reply

  15. Posted by FellainisFro on 2014/05/27 at 9:51 PM

    After watching tonight’s game. I only have one question. “Where is the pop and fizzle going to come from?” I was hoping to see a dominant Bradley similar to the Dos Y Dos game. But even he looked pedestrian.

    Reply

  16. So does this mean Green is just along for the ride and is never going to see action in Brazil? Would have thought they would get him on the field tonight of all nights.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Soccertes on 2014/05/28 at 5:50 AM

    Folks, relax. The team just came off 12 straight days of double-session training. They’re bea, and it showed. Even JK said a couple days before the game that he expected to see some “heavy legs” out there. Between the fatigue and ridiculous wind – the ball was at times visibly wobbling and getting held up on aerial passes – the performance was bound to be unspectacular. That they still managed a couple goals and kept a clean sheet on their end are positives, imo.

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 7:15 AM

      Agreed that you could see the fatigue across the board and it limited their trouch as did the wind. That could also explain Jones cement touch in the first half.))

      on rewatch this morning:
      A number of times where you saw Davis with ball at his feet in or near the box (52 min in particular) and the result was predictably unimaginative and couldn’t help but think…boy Donovan in that spot would have…a full level below him in class with BD or Zusi in my watching….

      Jones settled in a bit in 2nd half but IMO still can’t trust him to allow Mike to play with the freedom that a true holder would give him…what was it with the 100mph balls to the forwards in the first half? …..a small thing in first half but he has to compose himself more when things don’t go his way..dumb yellows for arguing or going red mist on the next challenge are part of his bio unfortunately…

      Fab J was the best player on the pitch in my watching…dynamic and confident with the ball running forward…

      Johannson just looks more composed and well rounded as a forward than Wond olowski on the intl level…and works harder/smarter and wants the ball more than Altidore in tigh t spaces.. .header was free but still taken fantastically well in a tight angle…example: Altdore tends to run away from the runner to get to space where AJ will stay tight and work the ball in space with his partner ..
      Altidore much better in 2nd half with ball at his feet challenging defenders…

      Gonzalez looks slower and plodding with the knee and his normal lack of intuitive positiong/lack of distribution ability are moving him closer to Onyewu and further from a starting spot IMO….

      Is it possible to have players respond to instruction re tactics and play that way or do they always revert to tendencies? Both Zusi and Bedoya pinching in offensively took space from Mike all first half. Davis actually seemed to provide more touchline width than both of the others in his time on the field.

      Great to have TSG back on the radar again and thanks to Matt for fantastic insights and commentary on what is nominally a glorified practice game.

      Reply

  18. Julian Green is Klinsi’s secret weapon. When was the last time that a (non-North-Korean) World Cup player essentially unscoutable? Granted, his Bayern teammates on Germany might know him better than anyone else, but Ghana and Portugal won’t know what to expect out of the kid.
    That has real value. To protect that unpredictability, I expect Green to play a whole lot in practice and in the closed-doors friendly with Belgium. And I’m optimistic that he’ll take some Ghanians and fans by surprise on June 16th.

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2014/05/28 at 3:28 PM

      You may be onto something. Green was getting a lot of first team reps in practice and I heard the word was they’ve been working with him a lot behind closed doors.

      Reply

  19. Posted by Sean on 2014/05/28 at 6:37 AM

    I would like to see someone “paired” with Jozy who actually looks to combine. I think he plays his best when doing that. His holdup play is severely lacking IMO, his first touch is not very good under pressure and when the ball is played in the air.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Paul on 2014/05/28 at 7:53 AM

    Can anyone explain to me what’s up with the inverted fullbacks? Why are we seeing Johnson on the right and Chandler on the left?

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 8:16 AM

      Its science….Brazil is below the equator…when they arrive there they’ll automatically be on the opposite sides….boom problem solved…you’re welcome…

      Reply

      • Posted by Paul on 2014/05/28 at 8:21 AM

        much obliged! I forgot about everything reversing course down below.

        Reply

        • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/05/28 at 11:31 AM

          Headline: Shift in Global Centrifugal Force Sees Jones Stay Behind Bradley for 90 minutes (Altidore scores hat-trick)

          Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/28 at 12:56 PM

      So I think the answer here is Johnson is a better right back than Chandler. Johnson is also a better right back than a left back. So from there you have to say is chandler a better left back than beasley. If not is Johnson at left back plus chandler at right back better than beasley at left back and Johnson at right back.

      Reply

      • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/28 at 1:00 PM

        really need some question marks on that to make it more understandable:
        Given: Johnson RB> Chandler RB and Johnson RB > Johnson LB
        Is chandler LB> Beasley LB?
        If not, is Johnson LB + chandler RB > beasley LB + Johnson RB?

        Reply

        • Your two posts gave me flashbacks to 5th Grade Math. I was never any good at word problems, or math in general. Now I’ve got a headache.

          Reply

        • Posted by Arthur on 2014/05/28 at 8:34 PM

          @Chazcar2: To state that chandler LB >Beasley LB, you’ll need some statement that relates Johnson and Beasley in your given section.

          Reply

          • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/29 at 7:08 AM

            That isn’t a statement, but instead a first question is chandler at left back better than beasley? If so, stop and start chandler at left back. If not proceed to the question of is Johnson at LB + Chandler at RB better than Beasley at LB and Johnson at RB.

            I guess I skipped another line of though is Johnson at LB better than Beasley at LB. And also is Johnson at LM better than Bedoya at LM. But things start to get out of hand quickly.

            I think you want definitely want Cameron, Johnson, Bradley, Zusi, Dempsey and Altidore on the field. I think you want to play them where they all absolutely play the best. The rest of the team needs to match that.

            Reply

  21. Posted by Soccertes on 2014/05/28 at 8:13 AM

    @Paul – I believe FabJ finished out his season playing RB at Hoffenheim, but I think (not sure) he is naturally left-footed (although reportedly his right foot is nearly as good). That said, I share your confusion – FJ is a more natural LB and more importantly, he is better than anyone else on the USMNT at that position (at least IMO). Given that fact and that Chandler is a natural RB, this flip-flop does seem curious indeed. Matt, can you lend any insight here?

    Reply

    • Posted by Sean on 2014/05/28 at 10:10 AM

      He’s a righty. You have it backwards.

      Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/05/28 at 11:33 AM

      My guess is that Fabian’s a better 1v1 defender than Chandler, and more disciplined – less likely to get caught out with Ronaldo goalside sprinting at Tim Howard.

      Reply

  22. Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/28 at 8:27 AM

    Best compliment ever?:

    Reply

  23. Posted by Tyler on 2014/05/28 at 8:34 AM

    I vote for AJ and MD to be known as Sven and Olaf…can that catch on? Also, really exciting that TSG is getting some internet/media kudos for all their hard work! Way to go Matt!

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/28 at 8:51 AM

      I loved the comment about y’all. It made me happy. When my brother and I started this publication back in 2009, that was a big driver for him and then us.

      He didn’t want to do this at all unless we a) built a community of people to riff with and b) served as a place where anyone’s comments could be heard as long as they were impersonal.

      While I’ve spent a lot of time researching/writing on the game, there are consistently thoughts–good thoughts–that come up in the comment section that I didn’t think of or didn’t even agree with that are well argued.

      I’m not sure how much content I can personally produce going forward, but I do hope the comment section lives on here. It’s very valuable–imho–for American soccer.

      On to Turkey….


      On the game:

      – Most nervous/unconfident I saw Klinsmann in a presser yet.
      – It sounds to me that he’s bigging Jozy Altidore up. He’s riding him for how far he can take him. I was categorically not impressed with anymore than Altidore’s hold-up play last night.
      – I thought Ale Bedoya was excellent last night as was Graham Zusi. Zusi & Fabian Johnson are consistently looked to by teammates to move the ball.
      – A difficult start for Wondo as he plays within the lines and this was a packed in game. His hold up play and work in small spaces was poor, but his offball movement is as good as it comes.


      I’ll try to post some tactical pictures later.

      Reply

      • Posted by CJ on 2014/05/28 at 11:11 AM

        I think your point on FJ is a clue to Klinsmann’s thought process for playing him there specifically. What was the game where Beasley was trapped in at LB by the pressure, one of the Concacaf teams? Ukraine? I can’t remember. The international opponent challenged us to move the ball from anywhere but LB, and we struggled to do that. FJ going to RB gives us ball movement from the whole field?

        Reply

  24. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/28 at 8:51 AM

    I have a question. I was looking at the fifa rules site and it looked like the teams can choose subs from any of the 12 non-starters on the roster. They don’t need to name 18. Is that a change? or am I confused? see page 24, section 17 here

    Reply

    • Posted by Chamo on 2014/05/28 at 11:03 AM

      Correct, for the World Cup all 12 remaining players not in the starting lineup are available as substitutes. This is true during every World Cup, and most major international tournaments I believe.

      Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/05/28 at 11:37 AM

      Thats correct. All 23 are on the pitch/bench is my understanding.

      Also, way to read the freaking rules. That shit is important.

      Reply

      • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/28 at 12:49 PM

        Yeah I feel completely out of the loop on this. Really changes my view of how the roster should exist. I was building on the idea that the game day squad could only be 18, not the full 23. I was also justifying the young players that way too. IE players that would never be in the 18, but could be useful in training.

        Reply

  25. Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/28 at 9:11 AM

    Really nice meeting Crow last night as well.

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 9:17 AM

      To think we knew him when he was just wet behind the ears and talking in ALL CAPS about the IMPORTANCE of Marvell Wynne to the USMNT….)))
      good on you Crow and it must be cool to see the community you’ve built continue to invest in the Nats..

      Reply

      • Awesome comment… remembering the early days of frequent commenters. Picture of the beautiful TSG community.

        Somewhat off topic, but despite the occasional bile and nonsense, i kind of miss dikranovich.

        Reply

        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 9:57 AM

          JH- F ing Beetlejuice!

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/05/28 at 11:31 AM

          Except when he tried to fool us with ‘Narkid’ after being banned!

          Reply

          • Posted by Soccertes on 2014/05/28 at 12:25 PM

            Wait – dikranovich was a regular here? He’s now terrorizing the boards over at Greg Seltzer’s No Short Corners, where he has established a name for himself mostly as someone whom shiould be ignored 99% of the time.

            Reply

            • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 2:05 PM

              A perfect example of The TSG Community at its best. Matt gets huge props for setting a respectful but clear tone and dealing with the socially disabled from a higher level.

          • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 3:03 PM

            Wow. I stopped in over at NSC earlier and I have an even greater appreciation for what Matt and the TSG community has forged here.

            Reply

            • Posted by Soccertes on 2014/05/29 at 5:07 AM

              Have to agree – nothing against the other notable sites but this one is the singular leader in quality analysis and insight, particularly on tactical issues. In fact, some of it is still a little over my head sometimes, but reading the content here over the years has raised my soccer IQ considerably. And by content I mean both the posts by Matt & Co. and the comments in these forums, which imo have some of the most thoughtful and intelligent observations on the soccer-related interwebs. All right, there’s my endorsement, not that anyone needed it. Carry on…

    • Posted by Crow on 2014/05/28 at 3:11 PM

      Thanks! It was a pleasure meeting you as well- really appreciate your time and insight. I’ve enjoyed becoming a more intelligent and balanced (hopefully) observer of the game over the years due to content from the website and comments from other readers as well.

      Wow, I don’t even remember preaching about Marvell Wynne. I remember ripping him after the disaster in Costa Rica in 2009. Funny how fast 5 years goes by. I think Im a little more rational now.

      That was the worst seating I’ve ever experienced as part of an AO section over the last 5 years, the wind was brutal, the game was uninspiring, but we really tried our best to will a game back to the Bay Area. I thought for the circumstances the atmosphere was fairly good. Ironically, I was holding up the Bedoya face banner, ha.

      It was a shame to not see Dempsey last night because in practice he seemed to have more confidence/form than ever. I think he’s going to have an enormous World Cup. It was good to see Bedoya and Zusi have a fairly strong game after a strong practice as well.

      Fun fact- I haven’t seen the US concede a goal in person since Joel Campbell’s breakaway in Costa Rica. Four straight 2-0 victories since then- Columbus, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Let’s hope for another 2-0 victory when I’m in Natal June 16.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/28 at 3:24 PM

        Crow- I appreciate your energy and honest appreciation and support that puts the rest of our commitment levels to shame. Keep it rolling and give a heads up if you’re headed out to NJ this weekend.

        Reply

        • Posted by Crow on 2014/05/28 at 4:52 PM

          I do my best (still don’t get to all of the games like some- don’t know how they do it) but I’ll probably never be able to get to another World Cup or the majority of the Hex games again. I really hope we get out of the group or at least beat Ghana to make the experience more enjoyable. The last 5 years were a lot of fun and I’m glad I was able to support the team and help- its incredible how much larger the supporter sections are now. Last night, there were several attending their first USMNT or soccer game for the first time- men/women, all ethnicities/ages. Its very exciting to think what the support will be for the National Team in ten years and I’ll try to be at every west coast game and others here and there.

          Its strange not going to a game at Red Bull Arena but I am in California now instead of Pennsylvania so I’m getting ready to go to Brazil. I hope you enjoy the game.

          Reply

      • Crow, you’re comments on Dempsey make me really excited for Sunday! Hopefully we see him at his best – he is playing so well for SSFC and I agree, I think he will have a great cup. I don’t think there could be a better endorsement for the league than if he tears it up this summer.

        Reply

  26. Posted by surfndave on 2014/05/28 at 10:06 AM

    Did anyone notice? After Aron Johannsson scored off of Davis’ corner, cameras panned in on a relaxed Klinnsmann and Hertzog sitting on the bench. I swear Klinnsmann said to Hertzog, “That’s why I brought him (Davis) in.”

    …(Laugh)…Either my lip reading ability enhanced for a moment; or I’m feeding the conspiracy tree….

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2014/05/28 at 3:15 PM

      I have been very vocal in my displeasure about Brad Davis being in the 23. I said he better deliver on set pieces, and well he did last night so that quiets my criticism. Still, he looks just so slow and indecisive in the field.

      Reply

      • Posted by Paul on 2014/05/28 at 8:51 PM

        I didn’t think much of him before either, but now I know two things: 1) he is definitely very fit; JK has no one on this roster who isn’t a monster athlete; and 2) he looked surprisingly good last night. If he shows as good or better in the next two, he may get minutes in Brazil, and I’ll be more than ok with it.

        Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/28 at 11:17 PM

        Davis was fit, but Berti Vogts said his team was tired. They didn’t give a damn towards the end of the game and they tried to chase the game a bit. It was more Johannsson and Chandler–specifically Chandler’s speed of play–that opened up the game, imo.

        Davis just took advantage of the space… well. But his dead ball service was right on for sure.

        Reply

  27. I thought as soon as davis came on we looked so much more creative in attack finally someone with ideas. Now only if donovan joined him then we have an attacking corps able to create. Bradley looked unsure and heavy legged ill chalk it up too a hard camp. Hope for a better game against the turksbwithout donovan he and dempseys roles as creators have become infinitley more important

    Reply

  28. Posted by Alex on 2014/05/29 at 11:40 AM

    Anybody hoping to see Fabian Johnson in our midfield? I was rewatching the match last night and he was easily one of the sharper attacking players going at opponents 1v1. And we can all remember the assists he’s piled up for us. Not to take anything away from how well I thought Zusi and Bedoya were on Tuesday but I feel like FJ is a notch above both

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/29 at 12:31 PM

      Had a good view of FJ on the second half. Nitpick — he overdribbles.

      That said, the team is hardly schooled in the diamond and he had no one to pass to.

      I think Zusi was perhaps the best on the evening. I don’t think people realize just how good he is.

      Reply

      • I think Zusi is pretty underrated for set piece delivery. Perhaps not as consistent as Davis and Donovan, but he offers so much in addition to that, and he might not get enough credit for his set pieces. Put some of those balls on a dime in the first half despite the wind.

        Reply

      • Posted by Alex on 2014/05/29 at 12:52 PM

        Just something I’d like to see. Like I said, I thought Zusi and Bedoya were both pretty bright out there. My preferred starting lineup for our next match would be
        Howard
        Chandler Cameron Besler Beasley
        Jones
        Zusi FJ
        Bradley
        Demps Altidore

        Reply

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