Game Day Huh!: USA v. Netherlands

One last comment…. its QATAR – pronounced Ka – Tar NOT GUTTER!

Well for the first 80 minutes the US were terrible. They showed no desire, no co-hesion in their defense and were plain out atrocious. Then something switched. The Dutch kept playing well but the US decided to just go out and attack and good things happened. The Dutch had to defend and did not have anytime on the ball and the US kept attacking. All told i don’t think the US deserved their goal but they took it very well. They have a lot to think about before their next game. Hopefully Holden will shake off his injury. Full assessment coming soon.


93:00 – Altidores turn as he gathers the ball, takes his time and rifles a shot that is excellently saved by Stecklenberg for a corner. Corner is poorly taken by Beaseley.

91:00 – Wow…what is with the US? they are attacking even harder and win a corner. Edu gets a great chance but his shot in the box goes over the bar. See what happens USMNT when you run and attack instead of playing counter attacking soccer? You put the other team on the back foot and you score goals and create chances…SHEESH

90:00 – Now the US have woken up and are attacking instead of playing back. Bedoya wins a free kick just outside the box. Beasley stands over it but his shot is right at the Dutch keeper.

89:00 – GOAL US – BOCANEGRA – Great delivery by Beasley and a powerful world class header 2-1

88:00 – The US commentators have nothing more to say so are now describing how much they like the new US uniforms. This is a shame as the US are playing their best soccer of the match. Beasley wins a free kick

85:00 – The Dutch now seems to have awoken from whatever “spell” they were under (maybe they spent too much time in the Amsterdam “coffee houses”) and are playing pretty soccer from attacking adventures to masterfully clearing the ball out of their own half. Bornstein’s nightmare has come to an end and Goodson replaces him

82:00 – The Dutch decide its time to show the US how to play offensive soccer and bring the ball beautifully and powerfully. Van de Vaart takes the final shot and it is well saved by Howard.

80:00 – Bradley takes the free kick and it is poor and comes of Altidore. Kuyt is off and his Liverpool teammate Babel is on.

79:00 – US playing even better now and are running at the Dutch defense. Some nice passing leads to a foul on a US player and they win a free kick in a dangerous position. In other games – Crouch has equalized for England and Spain are up 2-0.

75:00 – That was unlucky for Bornstein as he has had an atrocious game, BUT none of the Dutch players were challenged as they played plinko around the US players. Donovan off for Eddie Johnson. On a positive note, the US are running around even harder. Now if only they could maintain possession.

73:00 – GOAL – Huntelaar – Sneijder the architect, as the Dutch pass the ball around with ease within the US defense. The ball comes to Huntelaar who shots the ball which takes an unfortunate deflection of Bornstein which wrong foots Howard…2-0 Holland

69:00 – Much better from the US as Donovan and Spector play a one two and Spector sends in a decent cross that is headed wide by Kuyt (wonder what he is doing back there?) Resulting corner is a good one by Donovan but the Dutch clear. DeMerit is off for Pearce. DeMerit has been head and shoulders US’s best defender this game.

67:00 – GVB comes off for Braafheid. How do the Dutch come up with their names? When someone is born do they dip both their hands in a scrabble bag and pull out as many letters as they can and hey presto…they have a name?

65:00 – As the game was beginning to become a snooze fest, Bradley runs at the Dutch defense and sends a pass to Beasley who sends a dribbling ball across the face of goal, Altidore coming in late shoots the ball into the side netting. Good attacking play by the US…shame the first one had to come 2/3’s into the game.

62:00 – The US showing a little more intent, maybe responding to the Dutch increased interest in the game. Their offensive ball is poor but they are trying. The Dutch are running rampant but the US defense is playing better and are snuffing out any attacks. Findley who has done nothing all game is taken off and Bedoya replaces him.

59:00 – Sloppy play from both teams. Luckily for both nations they are canceling each other out. De Jong is being substituted for Van de Vaart.

56:00 – Elia running rampant. Dances around Bornstein who is having a torrid time and eventually wins a corner. From the corner, Huntelaar sends the out-swinging corner wide. Beasley gets the ball on the wing but easily gets dispossessed. The US are not playing any better.

51:00 – Dutch are showing much more interest in this second half. Luckily so is Tim Howard and he comes out to claim a dangerous cross.

50:00 – Sneijder sends a great ball to Elia who like Jozy moments earlier has all the time in the world. He maintains possession though but Howards comes out well and claims.

47:00 – Altidore nutmegs Vlaar with a backheel but has all the time time in the world to find a teammate in the box but passes poorly. Good initial skill from Jozy but he needs to do better. US wins a free kick but Donovans delivery is horrendous and goes straight to a dutch defender.

TWEET – Second half under way as the Dutch kick it off

Huntellaar on for Robben and Vlaar on for someone else. On the US side Edu on for Torres. I would have hoped that Torres would have a longer run out as he was the most positive part for the US’s first half

Most of the US players have been quiet with the exception of Bornstein and Spector and for the wrong reasons. Both have been skinned by the respective Dutch wide players and Bornstein has given up one and should have been two penalties. On a positive note, Torres is playing well, tracking back when he needs to and providing some offensive punch and possesses the one US highlight – a strong shot that went over the Dutch bar. In the second half, Altidore and Donovan need to start getting in the game more but first and foremost, the US need to shore up the defense. The Dutch who are barely trying are finding holes with too much ease.

Whistle blows for HT. The US can play much better than this. The Dutch are barely interested. The USMNT should be disappointed with this half.

45:00 – US lucky there as Bornstein clearly handles the ball in the penalty area. Accident or not it stopped the ball going to a Dutch player. That should have been a penalty. The US need the half to come so they can regroup. In other games, England are playing poorly and are down 1-0 and Spain is up 1-0 courtesy of a David Villa goal.

41:00 – That was poor from the US defense. Some half hearted, lazy challenges gifted an easy run for Sneijder and Bornstein stupidly pulled him down. A clear penalty. US need to pull themselves together.

39:00 PENALTY – Sneijder gets pulled back by Bornstein. That was stupid by him. GOAL – Kuyt 1-0 Holland

38:00 – Phew HD is back. While the TV was down, DeMarcus Beasley came on for Holden.

35:00 – Clearly its a HD thing – watching on regular tv now and man the difference hurts the eyes. On a good note Dirk Kuyt looks positively handsome.

33:00 – US get some possession and the ball ends up at Torres’s feet who lets one fly from 35 yards out. Great shot, just over the bar…Now my TV has gone crazy…i suspect its the feed and not the TV but this is annoying.

29:00 – De Jong makes a strong tackle on Holden. It was late and Holden seems to be in some pain. Holden limping off…is it time for the magic sponge or will there be a substitution?

23:00 – Findley seems to be giving Heitinga some trouble (who always seems to have the most confused look on his face). Ball pings around the Dutch box but cool under the pressure they clear and immediately attack which eventually leads to a Sneijder shot on goal but Howard easily catches it.

18:00 – GVB (Giovanni Von Bronckhorst) sends a looping ball over the US defense toward an onside Robben who miscontrols it, otherwise he would have  had an easy shot at goal. The Dutch are increasing the pressure.

16:00 – Dutch controlling the game now but not really testing the US. US finally get some possession and Findley traps the long ball well but his shot at Steklenberg is weak…more of a pass. Meanwhile on the other end, Elia continues to torment Spector.

12:00 – Game has slowed down as the two teams are feeling each other out. Lots of small fouls being called. Dutch get one and after a quick restart, a lobbing ball tests Howard who tips it over bar. Holland get a corner but De Jong sends the clearance to Row Z.

6:00 – Elia just abuses Spector on the wing but his cross is poor as the ball comes to dutch midfielder and his shot sails way over Howards bar. Not good from the US defenders.

5:00 – Long ball from Howard is headed down by Altidore to Findley. Altidore’s brief stint with Hull has clearly helped to mature this young player. The Dutch clear but good stuff from the US forwards.

3:00 – Dutch beginning to exert pressure as they get behind the US defensive line…but they clear

1:00 – Elia already wins worst haircut of the game…who knew that coveted prize would be wrestled away from Dirk Kuyt

TWEET! and game on. USMNT promptly kick the ball out for a goal kick

This being a friendly there is none of the exchange of children….sigh. Both teams hugging and huddling…game about to start!

I just recycled 12 plastic bottles! Where’s my shirt? Big ups to the USMNT for taking a green direction

Once again let me say how much soccer broadcasting and viewing  has improved in the past couple years…THERE IS A PREGAME show!!! and aside from Lalas who i think is complete numpty (though is saying reasonably intelligent things right now…just wait for halftime), this is very good and professional…

Shaun here – TSG’s resident live commentator and also responsible for playing devils advocate to the brothers eternal optimism!

Welcome y’all – This is the first meaningful USMNT friendly in a long time. This is much better preparation for the WC this time around. Taking on traditionally stronger opponents can only help the US game and it will also give them the confidence they need that they can play and hang out with the “big boys”. I was a little disappointed to hear that Boca said they wouldn’t divert from their counter attacking ways. Maybe that was just pre-match wordplay but this is a friendly and where experimentation should happen. Take it to the Dutch! scare the be-jozy out of them!


11 at the Whistle:

Your turn to shine...

G: Howard

DEF: Spector, DeMerit, Boca, Bornstein

MID: Holden, Torres, Bradley, Lando

STR: Findley, Big Jeezy


Beasley, E. Johnson, Pearce, Edu, Bedoya, Guzan, Goodson

Left out: Simek, Hahnemann

Dutch 11: Stekelenburg, van der Wiel, Heitenga, Mathijsen, van Bronckhorst, van Bommel, Robben, de Jong, Kuyt, Sneijder, Elia

*Elia — watch that man.



Robben v. .....

Anyone else feel like they’ve come down with a little World Cup fever prematurely? Was that a rhetorical question? Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter”r?”

Is Eddie Johnson’s career goals to appearance record above that 30% line? No (let’s hope that changes)

That’s right Game Day right here at The Shin Guardian.

Contribute your comments here and I’ll be adding some quick feedback throughout, but more likely just at halftime.

Oh, one more note. We’re going it “CoverItLive” next time…just couldn’t set it up and master it fast enough this morning. So apologies on the “refreshing.”

99 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by maxq on 2010/03/03 at 11:32 AM

    There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.


  2. Posted by MichaelN on 2010/03/03 at 11:37 AM

    Seriously….this date has been circled on my calendar since October. A true A-team (minus injured) matchup against the world #3 – cannot wait


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 11:37 AM


    “Leander Schaerlaeckens reports that Brad Evans has been flown in to play striker.”


  4. Posted by MichaelN on 2010/03/03 at 11:39 AM

    torres starting… – kinda like that


  5. Lineup proves I cannot predict the future: 1-Howard; 2-Spector, 15-DeMerit, 3-Bocanegra, 13-Bornstein; 22-Holden, 14-Torres, 4-Bradley, 10-Donovan; 12-Altidore, 19- Findley


    • Posted by MichaelN on 2010/03/03 at 11:44 AM

      first ever altidore-findley pairing up top…..we’ll see how that meshes


      • Posted by brian on 2010/03/03 at 11:55 AM

        I’m also very interested in the Bradley Torres combo in the center of the pitch. Let’s see how they can work together to control the game when the dutch attackers start to give our defense fits.


    • I quite like it though…. Let’s see if Bornstein’s improvement holds up against the world’s best.
      The midfield is exactly what I would have picked. Maybe Ferguson did explain something to Bob Bradley, or Bradley has finally grown a pair.

      Slightly surprised to see Findley start over Eddie Johnson, but I imagine we’ll see them swap at the half. It is really paining me not to be watching this match as it happens! I am going to make due with the England/Egypt minute-by-minute and hope they neglect to mention the progress of this one.

      I wonder if Holden is truly lining up wide right and Donovan left, with Torres in the center or Torres Left, Donovan Right and Holden in the center. Nice to be able to change tactics in the game without a substitution. Remember, tonight is all about performance, not results. Prediction: 1-1.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 11:52 AM

      Your still a TSG Hall of Famer in my book Tuesday — 2:50 mark:


  6. really worried about Findley, he didnt do anything against Honduras and El Salvador, Bod really expects that to change against the Netherlands??

    and Bornstein always worries me. Id rather push Boca out wide and put goodson in the middle.


    • Just imagine for a moment what happens when Robben switches over to the right side to have a go against Boca. I don’t know if my nerves could take it.

      Dutch XI:
      Stekelenburg, van der Wiel, Heitenga, Mathijsen, van Bronckhorst, van Bommel, Robben, de Jong, Kuyt, Sneijder, Elia

      Matthew wins the prediction prize with Elia starting! van der Wiel at RB, no Ouijer so Heitinga moves into the center with Mathijsen. van Bommel over De Zeeuw at DM. I wonder how exactly they’ll line up.


  7. Posted by mgp on 2010/03/03 at 11:53 AM

    Naturally 5 days after guessing and buying a 17-Altidore jersey, he suits up wearing 12!

    Interested to see how Torres does.

    Go Nats.


    • Posted by MichaelN on 2010/03/03 at 11:56 AM

      currently wearing my 17 Altidore jersey…..such is life


    • No worries, you can say that you buoght that number because that’s what he worein the Confed Cup


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:07 PM

        It shows that both of you are not World Cup bandwagon friends — no problems there.


        • Posted by Birdie on 2010/03/03 at 12:13 PM

          Hey matthewsf –

          Quick question regarding jersey purchase: I’m a die-hard sports fan, baseball, basketball, football – the whole deal. Over the last year to 18mos I’ve really ramped up my “fandom” of international soccer (I “support” Fulham – went to a game @ the Cottage and am hooked) and especially the USMT. I want to get a team jersey – leaning towards Altidore or Dempsey (his “music career” being the major con), but is there anyone else that would be a good pick? Davies maybe?



        • Con?????? Don’t you mean PRO?????????? Best song ever


  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/03 at 11:54 AM

    Good luck boys, I won’t get to see the US game until later on tonight. Hopefully, you can give a good account of yourself against the Dutch – and when I come back online, the post match analysis is positive, rather than giving Bradley what for!!

    Time Warner doesn’t have Fox Soccer Plus so I have to pop down the pub to watch the England game. There are also some tasty match ups elsewhere – Spain/France and Germany/Argentina.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 11:59 AM

      George — thanks for the kind words. I wish England well — except on June 12th. :>


  9. couldnt be more excited to see torres paired with bradley and findley paired with altidore. both have their opportunities to shine, and bob bradley again shows that he is willing to experiment. I LIKE VERY NICE HOW MUCH?


  10. Posted by brian on 2010/03/03 at 11:59 AM

    holden will have to come back and help out spector in slowing down the runs from the dutch left side (robben?). I look to see the U.S. counter-attack through landy and findley on the americans left.


  11. Posted by Birdie on 2010/03/03 at 12:02 PM

    Welcome me aboard folks – I think constant work-day TSG “refreshing” constitutes being an official USMNT fan… happy to be here.


  12. thoughts on how to use subs? johnson at 55 for whoever is more tired up top, beasley and bedoya for wings at 60, edu for bradley/torres at 65


    • Posted by Jake on 2010/03/03 at 12:26 PM

      Hopefully Pearce for JB at half to test him too.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:27 PM

        Pearce will be real interesting — is he going to bring his El Sal game or his Honduras game.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:28 PM


      I don’t make many predictions, but I do think you’ll see Bedoya run out there in the 2nd half to show what he’s got.


  13. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:27 PM

    @Birdie — on jersey idea — personally I think Bornstein’s going to be a star over time…safer bets are Holden or DeMerit (DeMerit will get you street cred)….

    …but…you know what…let’s make your jersey question a forthcoming column in the next week, good deal?


    • Posted by Birdie on 2010/03/03 at 12:46 PM

      I’d be honored (that may sound lame – my bad)… wait, you write for TSG? Shows how much I know. But that would be cool.

      I think jersey selection is a serious process. You want to pick a player that’s 1. Not obvious (ie, Donovan) 2. Has upside in both ability and length of career (in other words Altidore yes, Ching no) 3. It should tell other fans, that yes, I am a fan, a good one (Bornsetin fits well here, as would say Torres, but he has to make the team) 4. Not illicit inside jokes that would make me look bad (Dempsey’s rap video kills his chances here). 5. Not be a purchase better made in 2002 (ie, Beasley). 6. It could be a throwback/curveball for humor purposes only (ie Balboa – I hope I have that right, the defender from say 1998-2000 or so with crazy long hair who looked seriously angry all the time).

      I hope the above proves that I may be new – but I’ve put a lot of thought into this… Too much thought.


      • Maybe this should be saved for the column but I always go with who made a huge difference (maybe unsung hero) in my eyes on the squad when they wore the particular shirt:

        – 2002 World Cup Shirt = Sanneh #22 printing – The Big Cat had a great tournament on the right flank
        – 2004 Qualifying Shirt = Onyewu #22 printing – Simply for the stare down on Borgetti
        – 2006 World Cup shirt = McBride #20 printing – He’s a legend for his talents as well as his toughness, especially against Italy in the 06 World Cup
        – 2008 Qualifying Shirt = Davies #9 printing – Has any other player on the team had as profound an affect on the team and their play over the past year?


  14. Posted by Ryan Moseley on 2010/03/03 at 12:28 PM

    ESPN360 has the US Game if you have verizon fios you can watch it online.


  15. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:33 PM

    Welcome Shaun who is now live blogging — good impartial perspective.


  16. Okay, signing off until later this evening. Enjoy the match everyone!


  17. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:38 PM

    Leighton Baines and Wes “EPL” Brown starting on the corners for England; Walcott replaces Lennon’s speed up top….. BOO June 12th


  18. Posted by KL on 2010/03/03 at 12:42 PM

    Is it just me or is Alexi Lalas the biggest dork ever? Anyway, got that off my chest. I feel better.

    More pressing issues, how bout this line up?? Cannot wait to see this squad take the pitch. Also, hoping Bedoya gets some solid time. Happy game watching.


  19. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 12:48 PM

    Ok what’s going on. I cant get 360 here at work. Has the game started?


  20. Posted by brian on 2010/03/03 at 12:49 PM

    The boys look sharp in the new kits! Love ’em!


  21. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 12:50 PM

    Altidore starting above Donovan as oppose to Findley — interesting.


  22. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 12:50 PM

    Are we winning or losing? Help!!!


  23. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 1:04 PM

    Dutch missing Van Persie’s ability to command attention and keep possession up top.


  24. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:20 PM

    Ok I got a pirate feed up … that was a bad hit on Holden … bring on Edu now and get Stu out of there!!


  25. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:21 PM

    Nice shot by Torres. How has he looked?


  26. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 1:23 PM

    Terrible tackle by DeJong — if his name was Conrad and this was HDC it would have earned two red cards…horrible studs up tackle.


  27. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:27 PM

    Did Holden walk off? Beasley looked good just now.


  28. Posted by Joe on 2010/03/03 at 1:32 PM

    Thanks Bornstein….way to F up another game….


  29. Posted by Joe on 2010/03/03 at 1:32 PM

    Thanks Bornstein….way to F up another game….ALMOST TWICE…..playing basketball now are we???


  30. Posted by Ernst on 2010/03/03 at 1:34 PM

    Get Bornstien off the field!! Jesus!


  31. Posted by chris on 2010/03/03 at 1:34 PM

    England down 0-1 to Egypt…


  32. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:40 PM

    What is the halftime assessment? How have we looked? I thought Torres looked good from what I saw. Beasley looked ok. Howard was great as usual.


  33. Posted by KL on 2010/03/03 at 1:42 PM

    wow. I was hoping Johnny B would be a solid left back. but TWO INEXCUSABLE mistakes! Heath Pearce is a better choice at this point.

    On a good note, at least Spector looks good on the right. And can we please get Donovan some touches?


  34. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:44 PM

    How bout Donovan for Findley up top? Or is Findley playing well? How bad do we need Gooch? And Davies and Dempsey???


  35. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/03 at 1:45 PM

    Bornstein has looked ok 1:1, but if you’re going to make a mental mistake every other game that costs a goal, what’s that 1:1 play worth to you? Not much.

    The US has played tentative and a very defensive game on foreign turf.

    Stu Holden before his injury — hopefully it’s not serious — was clearly the best player for the USMNT.

    States suffering from poor angles and inablity to move the ball well in the central midfield. Mike Bradley has been late or just poor on tackles and has difficulty giving good service up the pitch.

    The game has not found Donovan and Donovan has not found the game.


  36. Posted by Timmy on 2010/03/03 at 1:45 PM

    Can we please fire Bornstein! The guy is terrible (“in a Charles Barkley voice”)


  37. I’m watching a Dutch feed and their commercials have some slimmies in them. Other than that, a forgettable ecperience so far.


  38. Posted by Joe on 2010/03/03 at 1:49 PM

    Findley is awful. bring in EJ already. see whats up with that guy.


  39. Posted by CJ on 2010/03/03 at 1:49 PM

    US looks sooo timid in the first half. Almost like Bradley said to them before the game, “Okay everyone, Listen Up! These guys are REALLY good individual players, we should sit back, and watch them play soccer, we’re not good enough to beat them.” Our defensive positioning is awful, Spector’s been beat on the flank at least twice on simple cut backs, Donovan has only 2-3 meaningful touches and his back tracks have been half-hearted. Torres looked just awful until that shot, which it appears gave him some confidence. Bornstein is flopping around like a lost orphan with any pressure. Findley is wow, my only assumption on that one would be that he’s just not used to being challenged on the ball so quickly and it’s flustering him.
    I think the key in the second half is for the team to build on Torres’ confidence, Bradley Jr.’s solid gampeplay, get Donovan to pressure the D more, and include a very confident and loose looking Beasley into the attack. Altidore is begging for a chance up top. The rest of the team, WAKE UP.


  40. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 1:53 PM

    Hopefully LD is still not thinking about that sitter he missed on Sunday. Man the English press really tore him up for that. Funny, he misses a pk in the MLS championship game and no one in America knew or cared. He misses a sitter that would have tied an EPL game and you would think that hell has frozen over.


  41. Posted by KL on 2010/03/03 at 1:56 PM

    And Bornstein just saves one!!


  42. Posted by brian on 2010/03/03 at 1:56 PM

    Good thing Stu had his shin guardians on today


  43. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 2:09 PM

    Yeah Bedoya!!!!!!!


  44. Posted by Timmy on 2010/03/03 at 2:12 PM

    Another one that’s done: Beasley. The guy is laying on his back more than he is standing up.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/03/03 at 4:32 PM

      He played outright horrible on the right, but on the left towards the end of the game, and really the whole half, he looked like a confident leader who knew what he was doing.


  45. Posted by Timmy on 2010/03/03 at 2:19 PM

    Schnieujer is such a pussy and a diver. I have no respect for that. Someone comes within 5 yds of the guy and he takes a dive.


  46. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 2:20 PM

    Ok. That’s it. Bornstein is not making the trip. Gooch we need you!!


  47. Posted by Timmy on 2010/03/03 at 2:21 PM

    Another goal caused by Bornstein…. Can someone please tell coach SP that Bornstein is not good enough to play at this level.


  48. Posted by Brad on 2010/03/03 at 2:23 PM

    Bornstein…. you suck.


  49. Posted by Bob on 2010/03/03 at 2:28 PM

    Man I am pissed … why can’t we get it together?


  50. Posted by KL on 2010/03/03 at 2:43 PM

    Wow. Beasley in the last 10 minutes really found his stride. I’m really excited to see him fit again. What a crack by Jozy… And captain America… What can you say? He’s always there.


  51. I only caught the last 10 minutes or so plus stoppage time.

    In the bit that I saw, I thought Bocanegra’s goal (and the free that set it up) was impressive, and I also felt that Altidore nearly leveled late.

    Perhaps there weren’t many positives in this match, but I prefer to focus on the positive things, rather than dwell on the shortcomings of some of our footballers.

    Perhaps Netherlands are realizing that playing us isn’t as easy as it once was.


    • Posted by brian on 2010/03/03 at 3:06 PM

      Sneijder has such smooth touch and confidence with the ball, and Elia looks like a classy player. First time seeing him play.


  52. Posted by CJ on 2010/03/03 at 3:01 PM

    I liked Bedoya’s play. I liked EJ’s skill and confidence on the ball however, his decision making sucks. Missed several quick lay off or lead passes to do a dance with the ball. Dish it, man, dish it. Speaking of these two, Findley is not ready for Cup play, no way. I just can’t see him gaining the confidence and the in-game reaction speed that is necessary of the role he’ll be in. Findley’s indecisiveness with the ball on that cross over the top said it all; he allowed the defenders to close on him, the goalie to double check his angles, and then took an instep shot at the keeper near-post right into his chest!?


  53. Posted by Shane on 2010/03/03 at 3:02 PM

    Beasley played well.. .

    Last 10 minutes reminded me of the last 3 games in the confed cup…


    • Posted by CJ on 2010/03/03 at 3:06 PM

      His play was impressive, while everyone else’ was flat, Beasley was a lightning rod of energy on the field.


      • Posted by KMac on 2010/03/03 at 3:40 PM

        It is hard for me as an old timer to forget Beasley’s 2002 and good performances, despite his Conf Cup Gaffe. He deserved the look and at least created some positive things.


  54. Posted by Matt on 2010/03/03 at 3:06 PM

    I don’t think the U.S. looked all that bad. We knew going in that the Dutch were going to control possession. Bornstein played poorly and Findley did not show well. Jozy did a great job of holding up the ball. Donovan did not see enough of the ball. It was unfortunate that Stu was hurt because he looked comfortable on the big stage. Boca and DeMerit were solid. Mike Bradley proved once again that he is our best center mid. Without Deuce, Chuck, Benny, Gooch, Rico, and Dolo we lacked some of our punch. I’m optimistic and thought we held our own for the most part.


  55. Posted by CJ on 2010/03/03 at 3:07 PM

    @ matthews

    HAHAHAHA you heard him say “gutter” too? I was shaking my head.


  56. Posted by Timmy on 2010/03/03 at 3:59 PM

    I thought our back line of Specs, Boca, and DeMerit played well. Good organization and positioning on defense and decent distribution. Bornstein has to go. It sucks because I was really routing for the guy, but his performance was horrible and he has had enough chances (way too many). It has to be Spec on the left and Dolo on the right from now on.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/03/03 at 4:36 PM

      I don’t know if I would trust Spector on the left either. If Gooch does recover I think our best bet is with Boca on the left, but I still don’t like it. Only other option is Pearce and I woiuld have to see more. BB waited too long to sub him in.


  57. Posted by JMB on 2010/03/03 at 4:16 PM

    I agree that DeMerit looked good. And Beasley and Edu seemed to be playing their way to South Africa.

    Couldn’t be more annoyed to see Eddie Johnson’s ball holding/poor first touch back on the USMNT. He and Findlay make Altidore look like Maradona.

    Sad to say that Bornstein just isn’t an international. At least not now. Let’s go with the guys who play in Europe, rather than for fake Chivas.

    Michael Bradley–he’d be fine as the defensive midfielder, but having him try to create is a recipe for a first-round exit. Not sure who should play that role, but…I’d rather anyone than MB. (and am getting annoyed that he is untouchable/unsubable)

    The ending shows poorly for the team–if they’d played with that intensity from the start, they may have gotten a result. Yes, they’re professionals, but that speaks poorly on the Bradley Sr. i’d be fascinated to see what a world class manager would do with this roster.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/03/03 at 4:39 PM

      Well, if I would rather he doesn’t play at all, but if BB has to have his son in then I would rather him try to create so that he doesn’t try to get the US a red card.


  58. Posted by Joe on 2010/03/03 at 4:22 PM

    i didnt think we were half bad! surprised at the some of the negativity

    the netherlands are VERY impressive


  59. I thought that the defense played well. Spector os a good player – he plays week in week out with good players in the Premier League so it has to improve him.


  60. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/03/03 at 5:29 PM

    @Joe – I think the Dutch were just being clinical rather than being impressive. For most of the game, they were on autopilot and looked bored. Occasionally they would be sprung into some form of impressiveness but until they very end they were never troubled.

    I think if the USMNT had played the entire game like the did in the last 10 minutes, one could say they really took it to the dutch and played well, but they didn’t. I think that’s where the negativity lies, in that we expected so much more and it wasn’t there


  61. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/03 at 5:32 PM

    What game did everybody watch? Netherlands hardly got out of second gear. A few mm here, cm there and it would have been lights out at half time. Bornstein is a liability – Robben completely sold him a dummy (many times) with a basic step over. Come on! It was a soft penalty to give away, completely the correct decision, but also 100% naive. He was lucky not to give away a second – -it was a stonewall penalty.

    I cannot think of the Dutch keeper having too much to do and you managed to get behind them once – and then the guy (Findley?) got a nose bleed and passed it to their keeper. I thought the Dutch controlled the game from start to finish.

    I was waiting for Bradley to make some tactical changes when you were 2-0 down, but he never did

    You basically scored consolation goal from a set piece, and the 2-1 result suggests you did better than you actually did.


  62. Posted by kaya on 2010/03/03 at 5:57 PM

    Bornstein 2 – US 1
    Bradley surprised me. In a good way. He likes it rough, though.


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/03/03 at 6:01 PM

      Oh yeah, and is it just me, or can Donovan just not hack the physical demands of a real football season? He spent his hour looking for a rest.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/03 at 6:21 PM

        I don’t think Bradley and Torres were particularly effective today and neither picked up Sneijder. Re. Donovan, I think it is a little unfair to judge him in isolation as I feel he didn’t get much service – but maybe that was because the Dutch were a different class today. Findley, Torres and Bornstein are not good enough for this level. They looked completely out of their depth IMO. Surely Bradley has to conclude that too, right?

        The positive news, is that you have players to come in who will improve the team.


  63. Posted by bw on 2010/03/03 at 8:06 PM

    dempsey for torres, put donovan in the middle. gooch for bornstein, slide boca out left. davies for findley. we’re set.


  64. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/03 at 8:18 PM

    I don’t know about Donovan in the middle. I think one of his best assets is his speed and running at defenders, and I feel that this strength is best utilised out wide…


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/03/03 at 8:23 PM

      @George…been arguing this for ages…no one seems to agree..except Moyes off course


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/03 at 9:18 PM

        Not saying that he cannot cut inside with the ball, or make other runs, but primarily, his “starting” position should be out wide *most* of the time (unless he’s coming back to defend a set piece, for example).


  65. Posted by kaya on 2010/03/03 at 10:44 PM

    I don’t know why everyone’s got their panties all bunched up over Beasley. He was put forth some good effort, but I felt like half the time he was running with blinders on.


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