USA-Portugal: Live Commentary

Getting the J-O-B done!

Getting the J-O-B done!

The fulcrum match. Win and you get play cat-and-mouse with Germany. Lose and hold on to your seats.

Starting line-ups shortly.

May St. John O’Brien be with us.

 

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50 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda Sheridan on 2014/06/22 at 1:46 PM

    Go USA !! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    Reply

  2. Posted by twewlife on 2014/06/22 at 2:09 PM

    Time to shine. MB90 is going to blow up this game!

    Reply

  3. Posted by twewlife on 2014/06/22 at 2:10 PM

    Line up:

    Johnson Cam Besler Beasley

    Jones Beckerman

    Bedoya Bradley Zusi

    Dempsey

    Reply

    • Posted by twewlife on 2014/06/22 at 2:11 PM

      Matt – would love to hear your thoughts on the line-up

      you called Dempsey up top, but no Ice man…..thoughts?

      Reply

      • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/22 at 2:25 PM

        Looks to me like a more conservative call. Bedoya for extra defense. Could be a bad gamble. Johánsson would be a great pressure relief. And a threat.

        Unfortunately this lineup looks like we’re playing for the draw.

        We need to put our foot on their throats.

        Reply

    • Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/22 at 2:51 PM

      Not TSG’s Preferred LineUp But I Like it. No Need To Make It Easy For Them By Giving them Lots Of Space. Hit Them On The Counter. (Stupid Droid Phone CapitaliZes EveryWord).

      Reply

  4. The general feeling of confidence around this game is making me nervous.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Brian on 2014/06/22 at 2:23 PM

    My only surprise is that this team does not seem suited for the counter attack and if we struggle to gain a fair share of possession we will struggle to create chances. I think we will pressure early to make sure their make shift back line stays deep and allows u to establish possession in their half and ultimately in the attacking third, where this lineup will be very successful.

    Reply

  6. Posted by aquatoad on 2014/06/22 at 2:37 PM

    If i’m Portugal i’m moving on the floor down the right and serving Ronaldo’s off the ball movement coming centrally between Beckerman and the back line. Need to be VERY careful bringing the ball down the right. I think Zusi, Beasley and Jones hold the keys to the game.

    Reply

  7. Posted by lakaya on 2014/06/22 at 5:06 PM

    Well, not much in the comment section these days… I was wondering if anyone else besides me saw the obvious liability that Bradley was. I don’t know if it’s an injury or he was just tired, but he was unable to run onto balls all night he was closer to on several occasions. And of course he made the turnover that led to the 2nd goal, but that was only one of several.
    His off-form was really glaring to me and the commentators didn’t say a word about it.
    It’s really a shame, whatever the issue is: I too was expecting him to put his stamp on the game.

    Reply

    • Posted by americanjon on 2014/06/22 at 5:49 PM

      he just looked spent on that turnover at the end. i really think the subs, like varela, were the only ones with any legs left

      Reply

  8. Posted by Nate on 2014/06/22 at 5:39 PM

    Fantastic game by the guys overall. Bummer is I knew when Ronaldo got that ball at the end we were in trouble. Defense fell asleep and BAM. It was Ronaldo’s *only* contribution to the game, but boy was it clutch for Portugal.

    Reply

  9. That was just incredibly deflating. Klinsmann has one hell of a job to do to get them amped for Germany, because they’ve gotta be in the gutter right now. That was our 3 points and they all knew it.

    Reply

  10. If you need me…I’ll be drunk under a table. Freaking turnovers in the last minute.

    Reply

  11. Posted by kurtosis on 2014/06/22 at 6:37 PM

    I thought Fabian and Jermaine were brilliant. The whole team was good and outplayed Portugal. Felt like a 2-0 game to me. Too bad about Cameron’s one in a thousand early mistake. Thought the subs were great at what they were asked to do. But maybe Klinsy could have provided some relief to Jones and Bradley who were completely gassed?? Question: Why was Omar not even in the box on the cross that tied it for Portugal? If he’s not going to defend crosses he doesn’t need to be in the game.

    Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/22 at 6:44 PM

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Omar one of several folks at fault, but just get anything in the air the hell away from our goal.

      Then again, Turkey was the proxy for Portugal, so we had to give up a late goal after Omar came in. Next comes Germany/Azerbaijan (moohahaha/MIX!!)

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/06/23 at 4:47 AM

        No mention of the needless turnover in midfield (90+4)?

        Blaming the CBS is tough, because it was just a great ball into the space between Howard and CBS, curling away from Howard. So difficult to defend.

        Even in the first half, I didn’t like the balance of the team at times. Yes, the US were losing 1-0, but they did not need to over-commit like that when there was 60-70 minutes to play. I know they didn’t get punished but that was more about Portugal not finishing / finding the final ball.

        Really thought you were going to close that game out once Dempsey scored.

        Reply

        • Posted by Ufficio on 2014/06/23 at 6:43 AM

          There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Varela’s the only Portuguese runner in the box when Ronaldo lets the shot go. All Cameron has to do is get goal-side of him, and it’s three points to the US.

          Reply

          • Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/23 at 7:19 AM

            Looked to me like Cameron had his eye on the central runner (Bruno Alves?). You can see him glance over his right shoulder just before Ronaldo let go of the cross. He was completely caught off guard, in my opinion, by the runner behind him and over his left shoulder. Obviously I was not there and have no complete knowledge of the situation, but with FJ being three steps behind Varela you have to wonder if Cameron did not hear FJ identify the runner, or if FJ even did identify the runner. Cameron was put in a tough position there.

            Regardless, you can not get beaten behind your defense in the last 30 seconds on a cross. It is the only way the US could get beaten in that situation, and you can not be worried about whether someone is offside, not, or trying to cause an offside call. No chances can be taken.

            Yet, it took a perfect ball with the perfect weight/placement there, and a clinical finish. Sometimes you must tip your cap.

            Reply

    • Posted by Nate on 2014/06/22 at 7:05 PM

      When I saw Gonzo checking in, I immediately got worried about the defensive cohesion. I think the entire defense was in “wait for the whistle” mode though on that last play.

      The real bummer is instead of talking about how massive a game we played to come back from 1-0 to go ahead 2-1 and really own many parts of that match we’re stuck talking about the last 20s of the match. Agree w/JGD – Klinsy is going to need to pull out all the motivational magic he has after this one.

      As for Germany in the next match – like my wife said – every match for these guys has been like a championship since they have all been “must-win”. Now lets start thinking about how we can possibly stun Germany w/a draw or win. I am not liking the odds if we lose.

      Reply

      • Posted by John Mosby on 2014/06/23 at 2:34 AM

        Nate, what makes you think Ghana and Portugal will not end up in a draw? Both teams need the win to have any chance of advancing, right?

        Reply

        • Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/23 at 6:00 AM

          The one concern is what happens to Portugal if they get behind by a goal and it is late in the match? Their chances of advancing go down with each passing minute, and the chances of Ghana pouring it on them go up.

          I fully expect Ghana to win, and win convincingly, over Portugal based on each side’s form to date. The US have unbelievable pressure on them, along with a German side looking to make a statement.

          Reply

          • Posted by John Mosby on 2014/06/23 at 11:33 AM

            Atroy, you have to think that a team with multiple stars on their jersey is not really interested in making a statement in the group stages of a World Cup. What they are interested in is advancement, and in a comfortable position, such as first place in the group stages. A tie for Germany guarantees them first place in the group stage.

            A Germany win over Ghana would have made the situation more tenable, but my guess is Portugal is going to come out looking for a win, and having pepe will be helpful for Portugal.

            USA needs to be relaxed and play with confidence, but not over confidence, and not to relaxed.

            History suggest that Germany will play for the tie. Eg: Germany v Austria third game of the group stages in 1982. Then there is the Portuguese players begging South Korea to play for the draw in 2002. Maintain an even keel and USA is in the knockout stage of this tournament.

            Reply

            • Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/23 at 11:53 AM

              Perhaps “looking to make a statement” was too strong of verbiage. I feel like this is a German side that truly want to be looked at as dominant. I could be wrong on that, but they do have a slight arrogance about them where they look as though they want to “show off” to the world. I’m not saying that in a negative way at all, either. It is a young side, comparatively speaking, with many great players. Pounding a Portugal squad down a man and losing several to injury, and then drawing Ghana when Ghana looked more dangerous, is not exactly showing off that quality.

              Just my personal opinion, but I do not believe this German team will be playing for a draw. 1982 was a long time ago, obviously, and I’m sure they know the Americans will not come out looking for a draw, either.

            • If you’re refering to the “Disgrace of Gijon, that West Germany-Austria game did not end in a draw…

            • Posted by John Mosby on 2014/06/23 at 12:39 PM

              George, it is ok, you don’t want USA to advance, and there is nothing wrong with having that opinion. Nothing at all!!!

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/06/23 at 1:32 PM

              Of course I want the US to advance, don’t be silly. Why wouldn’t I?

              I follow 2 teams, obviously England first, but there’s no reason why I cannot follow US especially since there was little chance of us meeting.

            • Posted by John Mosby on 2014/06/23 at 2:05 PM

              You do have long standing positions regarding the level at which you see US soccer at. It is well documented. I mean golly gee, you are rooting for a bunch of German Americans? I don’t think so. You might be able to full some of the people some of the time, but we don’t get fooled again.

              Soccer fans do have many perversions

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/06/24 at 11:33 AM

              Yes, you’re correct Mosby — US soccer is SO beneath me, that’s why I shelled out to become a season ticket holder at NYRBs…

              All this because you tried to give it the Billy Big Nuts and I corrected you? Ha!

  12. Hindsight is 20/20 but maybe Brooks would of been good for Matty B, might of been a bit further up to block or clear that last cross…….also is Klinsmann thinking Yedlin is the American Gareth Bale? A young defender with tons of pace not so great one on one in defense? In four years I’ll bet he won’t be a defender…..

    Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/22 at 7:12 PM

      I mean, why take out Besler when we could have just left out Omar Gonzalez at the end? Or even put in Brooks in his place. We saw what happened against Turkey after Omar came in.

      Hope to agree with you about Yedlin (and Fabian) as attackers in the years to come, but get sick to my stomach about the next generation *also* having perennial problems at outside back.

      Reply

    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/06/24 at 3:23 PM

      If the US had scored a goal like Portugal’s last one and Zusi had made that cross with Clint heading it in everyone would be screaming , not about the defensive blunders, which did happen, but rather about what a world class perfect ball Zusi had served up and what a perfect, brave header Clint had put in.

      As they say, Portugal gets paid a lot of money to play this game too. Actually, a lot more money.

      Reply

  13. The Gonzalez-for-Zusi switch was genuinely mystifying. Yeah, I get it: he’s tall. It makes absolutely no sense to bunker when your greatest defensive weapon ’til that point had been keeping possession and pushing forward.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/22 at 8:12 PM

    Had three optimistic thoughts for a bummer punch of a night…

    1) USA hasn’t lost in regulation in 6 World Cup games (Eng,Slo,Alg,Gha,Gha,Por)

    2) Ghana (7) and USA (8) have gone a combined 15 consecutive games where they tied or won/lost by +-1 goal.

    3) Our team’s freaking broke-nosed captain just scored a go-ahead goal with his 17th ab against the #3 ranked team in the world.

    Still half empty for me, until we go through. But the boys will get back on their feet. Nothing in any of their USMNT soccer lifetimes has ever come easily.

    Reply

  15. Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/23 at 6:16 AM

    What a letdown at the end, but a tremendous performance otherwise for the US. They took it to a Portugal side that, admittedly, is not what they’re made out to be.

    Now, it will be interesting again to see what tactical change, if any, Klinsmann decides upon. I realize it was a year ago with two very different sides now (more so for Germany), but the US really pressured Germany high up the pitch the last time they met at RFK. Specifically, I remember the own-goal gaffe by Germany when pressured off the short goal kick. Jozy Altidore would have been a real menace against this German defense, but expecting him not to be available, does Klinsmann go with two strikers this time, or does he flood the midfield once again?

    JK’s decisions have been mostly golden thus far – hopefully it continues and the US can pull off a stunner.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Ufficio on 2014/06/23 at 9:16 AM

    I’m glad this board is free of the vitriol for Bradley that’s filled nearly every other corner of the internet that I frequent. Dude played well for 94 minutes; we don’t outplay Portugal for long stretches if MB is as terrible as many say he was.

    Time to move on and take the point for Germany. They’ve shown vulnerability, and if we can’t get the draw against them, we don’t deserve to move on. That’s the reality.

    Reply

    • Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/23 at 9:45 AM

      I agree. The venom being spewed his way is almost comedic. He lost the ball 65 yards away from goal with five (5!!!) defenders behind him. What else he did wrong according to others…? Can’t say I understand.

      After Ghana – yes, I understand to a degree (although it is hard to be an attacking midfielder without the ball). I don’t necessarily agree with those thoughts as I believe Bradley may be tasked with more responsibility for his side than any other player in this WC. But he put in a tremendous performance last night with his overall game, and did well when pulling the strings with the ball. One “mistake” and all is forgotten.

      Reply

    • Posted by Jon on 2014/06/23 at 10:48 AM

      Totally agree. I am truly hoping that Bradley can play at the top of his game against Germany and silence all of the ridiculous fans claiming that he should have just “kicked the ball into the stands,” because somehow that would have ended the match right then and there.

      Full support for Cameron and Bradley!

      Reply

      • Posted by WatertownMA on 2014/06/23 at 3:16 PM

        I am in full support of Cameron and Bradley, and think it’s ridicule not to start either against Germany unless Klinnsmann is resting them.

        At the same time I recognize that had Bradley shot the ball into the stands the game would have ended differently. He made a mistake-a rather big and unfortunate one. It happened. The team moves forward as should the supporters.

        Reply

        • Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/06/23 at 5:01 PM

          Listen, that game was the single most gut wrenching sport moment of my life (including the Aaron Boone home run off of Tim Wakefield in the 2003 ALCS). It was both what is terrible and amazing about the World Cup and about soccer in general. We’ve been on the other side of that type of goal many times before (Algeria Ghana, etc.), so I can’t complain too much.. And yes, I buy the optimism that “if you had told this squad and US fans they’d have 4 points after 2 games, they’d be incredibly happy”. Very true. And also, in fairness, if you combine the performances of the Ghana game and the Portugal game, 4 points is probably a fair outcome.

          That said, you just can’t lose possession in that moment. And if you DO lose possession, you foul immediately. Everyone on Earth knows Ronaldo is the best counter attacking player in the world. That was his ONE opportunity to counter the entire game. I know the team was gassed, but part of me thinks they didn’t really understand there were 30 seconds left. In their minds 5 minutes was probably up and the whistle was about to blow. They called it a night too early. And the US paid the price.

          Is it the end of the world? No. I know they still have a 70% chance to move on. But Germany is going to go for the kill. They are deeper and well rested. And they are precisely the team that gives the US trouble (6 MFers interchanging and trying to confuse a tired defensive unit that still hasn’t played a ton of games together). Its a big ask of the US to take them on. But hey, they’ve risen to the occasion before. Fingers crossed.

          Reply

        • Posted by Jon on 2014/06/24 at 12:39 PM

          Watertown, it is a truism to say that if a player did something different, the match would have ended differently. If you mean kicking the ball into touch would have led to a different scoreline, that is not really fair because Portugal still had enough time to throw the ball in and attack. In 2010, USA took only 10 seconds to move the ball from Tim Howard’s hands to the back of Algeria’s net.

          Reply

  17. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/23 at 1:10 PM

    On rewatch I felt even worse about Cameron’s overall performance then I did the first time through. Several of his clearance attempts were horrible miscues. Beyond the goal, there was also a first half (I Think?) clearance that he kicked directly into Besler and dropped to Edler, who luckily put it over the bar. Both of those were when he wasn’t under pressure.

    Mistakes like that are due to Heavy legs in my opinion. I am very concerned heading into Germany. I also wonder how his understanding with Fabian is going. Beasley/Besler seem to have a solid understanding on that side. But I feel that how much Johnson is pressing is putting Cameron under a lot of pressure.

    Johnson is clearly our most dangerous player. Having him come forward from defense is giving him time and space, but I wonder about putting him into the midfield. I was pretty bullish on Bedoya after Ghana, but felt his level was much lower here. It was pretty telling how his last cross was so horrible. That right mid position is interesting when playing with Fabian at fullback. Fabian comes inside more often than normal and covers less. Zusi worked ok there, but Bedoya worked better with Johnson, however his final ball was usually so bad. I also felt Zusi was individually better when operating more central.

    Finally, Bradley looked very drained. He has looked off the pace quite a bit in these games. I am not sure how to get him operating closer to 100%, but I feel like letting him sit deeper will help.

    So all that said: Formation for Germany
    ——-Dempsey———-Wondo———
    ——————Zusi———————–
    —–Jones—————–Bradley——-
    —————-Beckerman—————-
    Beasley–Besler–Cameron–Johnson

    or
    ——Dempsey——-Johannson——–
    —Jones——Bradley——–Johnson–
    —————Beckerman——————
    Beasley–Besler—-Cameron—-Yedlin

    or
    —————Dempsey—————-
    Green—-Jones—-Bradley——Yedlin
    —————Beckerman—————-
    Beasley–Besler–Cameron–Johnson

    Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/23 at 1:17 PM

      Oops that last formation should have Yedlin and Johnson Switched.

      As a note. Germany’s fullbacks are clearly their weakest link. Running at them with pace will yield the best result for us. I highly doubt we will win headers vs Mertersacker/Hummels. But I can see Dempsey pulling them out of shape for in-cutting runners to take shots after the beat the fullback. I like my last one best for that. But the big question marks are Green and Yedlin.

      Reply

      • Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/06/23 at 5:15 PM

        Good posts. I just don’t know how we challenge Germany in the air at all without Jozy.

        Personally, I think the US will play super conservative and just overload the midfield. Depending on the legs and who needs a break, I think Diskerud may come in. He’s a liability defensively, but he is very good in possession and makes quicker reads than Bedoya or Zusi. Zusi, to me, had a sub par game until that goal w/ Dempsey. Diskerud also can get in the box and make something happen.

        Agreed the US needs pace to exploit the Germans. I just don’t think we see Yedlin or Green unless we’re in dire circumstances (i.e., Germany is up by 2 goals and Ghana is trouncing Portugal).

        Terrified of this game. Will be honest. Germany is fresh and even if they need to rest a starter or two, they can just put Draxler, Schurrle, Podolski on. Who are arguably more dangerous.

        Reply

  18. Let’s talk Yedlin for a moment. He was burning stripes up and down the field. In the post match, you could tell Klinsman had pride of ownership of his inclusion in the squad and in this game for exactly the skill and outcome on display. It seemed like Yedlin was a card held close to the vest. Klinsman also hinted that other role players were poised for action. I wonder under what circumstances we see Chandler, Mix, Green and if they are being similarly reserved for a crucial tactical moment like Yedlin. If so, in what situations could they contribute similarly devastating results. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2014/06/24 at 8:33 AM

      I speculated when the roster first came out that players like Yedlin and Green were being brought as specialists. Brad Davis could be thrown in there as well. They clearly weren’t going to be starters or playing heavy heavy minutes (if everything went according to plan) but they were likely picked with very specific scenarios in mind. It appears Yedlin was picked to partner Fabian on the right side and provide extra speed/athleticism as well as defensive cover for Johnson when he bombs forward. No idea what Green’s specific scenario is (I have to believe he has one and it wasn’t just a pure recruiting for the future move…).

      Reply

    • When Donovan was cut remember how everyone said “The US needs a goal with 10 minutes to go, now what??”?

      I never thought the answer would be John A Brooks.

      In spite of the technology available to them I have to think some of the starters will have to be rested at least for the first half so perhaps Mix or Davis for Bedoya and Chandler for DMB?

      I would love to sit Besler (hammy), Clint (beat up), and JJ (soft yellow) but I can’t see doing that in this game. Unless you slide Mikey into JJ’s role and play Mix in Mikey’s role but JJ is just too important and besides I would not want to be the guy telling him he isn’t playing against Germany.

      Realistically, Mix or Davis for Bedoya is the only change I see barring injury or exhaustion. Italy and England had definite hangovers from Manaus but I think the US players are in better shape than those teams.

      I wonder if Germany sits Lahm and Kehdira for their below standard play. Right now I like our Germans better than their Germans.

      Reply

  19. Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/24 at 6:41 PM

    I don’t see Germany playing for the tie. I think they’ll go for the jugular because:

    (a) They’re Die Nationalmannschaft. They, the media and their fans expect more because in their eyes, they’ve underachieved since Euro 2008.
    (b) I believe they’ll want to punish our naturalized Germans. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a lot of scheisse talk directed at our “Germans”. Our guys either play or have recently played in the Bundesliga so they know each other very well. I think they’ll receive extra verbal and physical abuse because the guys with the DFB on their shirts will tell them that they weren’t good enough to wear it.

    Maybe I’m being a little overdramatic but I think this could be the game that really makes the Nats a Band of Brothers. If there is still any sort of resentment in the locker room about there being so many German-American recruits on the squad, I hope this game squelches it. Not saying they’ll win but I believe it will be a tight, hard fought affair with everything left on the field.

    Reply

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