Orange Slices: USA vs. South Africa

Our “Orange Slice” post is back.

Orange Slices is back!

Update…1pm ET

It’s nearly go time! and here’s your starting line-up for the States…guessing a 4-2-3-1:

G: Guzan

DEF: Lichaj, Goodson, Ream, Bornstein

CDM: Pause, Carroll

MID: Bedoya, Gaven, Rogers

STR: Findley


Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update throughout the day and also serves as the place for you to drop comments like, “I can’t believe Bob Bradley started five centerbacks….what was he thinking?”.

Everything goes in here (links, photo, video) that seems interesting and pertinent.

The Yanks face Bafana, Bafana today in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.

The USA’s final match of 2010 kicks off at 11:30 p.m. PT  live on ESPN2 and Galavision. ESPN2’s coverage will begin with a 2 p.m. pregame show.

For TSG’s full preview see: Preview: Bafana, Bafana vs. The Kids, The Kids

Another good preview from our friends over at Yanks Are Coming here. (Especially liked the section on Robbie Rogers)

Now more bullets:

9:00am PST: New Jersey’s Giuseppi Rossi sporting the armband today for Italy. He’s actually the most capped player in their line-up as well. Surprising. What did Lippi have against him?

Weather: As Capetown typically is, expectations for a clear evening. As US Soccer tweeted on Tuesday, the wind was distinctly noticeable in the venue yesterday. Uh, guys at US Soccer, you’re on a CAPE (body of land that juts out into an ocean), hence the name Cape Town.

• Surf: Plenty of options in Capetown which is a surfers and kite surfers paradise. The best thing about Capetown is that it has the warm Indian Ocean (warm, rolling, more friendly waves) on the eastern shore near the cape and the Atlantic Ocean (clean, cold, at-times-devastating waves) on the western shore. Muizenberg is a great spot for beginners.

But the left coast has just pristine spots like Misty Cliffs (a personal favorite), Nordhoek (for the rippers) and Dungeons (if you want to go too big…as Ian Armstrong once found out).

• From the Archives: Learn more about the culture and progressions of South Africa here.

• Well, it’s about time: I’d be willing to bet Landon Donovan’s Gatorade contract that Jonathan Spector and Clarence Goodson start. Can you imagine one of them not starting and then sitting on the aluminum internally mumbling, “Um, I didn’t get come all this way not to play again, did I?”

• More Nelson, More Nelson: This is the 2nd time the States are playing in the Nelson Mandela Challenge. The last time, November 2007, saw the States defeat Bafana, Bafana on Steve Cherundolo volley. Freddy Adu actually played in that affair.

The King of Honduras, Captain of the States: Expect cap leader Jonathan Bornstein to sport the armband in this one. Only other logical choice is Spector which is possible, but not probable.

Lich-jit: Look for the former roommate of our good friend Preston Zimmerman, Eric Lichaj, to get his first start in this one.

Who are your starters for this one? Who’s your breakout player….we’ll leave you with some video from the vaults of recent trips to South Africa.

The Counterattack Heard ‘Round The World

• “The Counter”: Timmy, Landon, Jozy and Clint trump the Counterattack Heard ‘Round The World

41 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by JasonPrice on 2010/11/17 at 8:26 AM


    The USA takes on The √ Republic today at Renstchler Field in Hartford, CT. Coverage begins at 4:30PM PST. Game time is 5pm PST.

    Also, I could see Goodson with the armband.

    p.s. watching the US soccer training video, the backline in one clip was Bornstein-Ream-Goodson-Spector


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/11/17 at 8:31 AM

      Already fixed my man…struggling after date night here at TSG Central. Don’t even know how the Black Sox fared last night yet.

      No way Goodson gets the armband.



    • Nice call on the backline, although I like the spector out for Lichaj


  2. When are we going to get an announced lineup? Do we have one already & I missed it?


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/11/17 at 11:10 AM







      • Posted by Hercules on 2010/11/17 at 11:11 AM

        Ok, so it is up top too, oops.

        It should be interesting…Bedoya in the middle. Lichaj with the start. But Findley again? This should be fun…


        • Posted by Jake on 2010/11/17 at 11:38 AM

          I think it’s Bedoya out wide on the right, with Gaven tucked under Findley. Rogers and Bedoya with freedom to attack the endline.


  3. Posted by John on 2010/11/17 at 11:03 AM

    Interesting blog post at the USMNT blog.

    “That’s right. Eight players on the 18-man roster for Wednesday night have dual citizenship. Talk about a melting pot. Here’s the list of the U.S. players and their other passport:

    Gale Agbossoumonde Togo
    Juan Agudelo Colombia
    Jonathan Bornstein Mexico
    Teal Bunbury Canada
    Dominic Cervi Italy
    Mikkel Diskerud Norway
    Eric Lichaj Poland
    Jonathan Spector Germany

    Of this group, only Bornstein and Spector are officially tied to the United States.”


  4. donovan goal still gives me chills. still can’t believe i was in the stands for that one. so amazing.


  5. Posted by Jimmy S. on 2010/11/17 at 11:53 AM

    Does anyone know if a radio broadcast will be available on-line? I am at work but would love to listen to the game. Thanks


  6. Posted by kaya on 2010/11/17 at 12:14 PM

    Looks like ESPN decided to run an expose inspired by your article on the Cape Town stadium😉


  7. Posted by JasonPrice on 2010/11/17 at 12:29 PM

    Looks like we were both wrong, Matt, with Guzano getting the armband.

    Saw this posted on another blog. I think it’s hysterical:
    Thank heavens Findley is in the lineup. That way we can have someone on the field that can run REAL fast. Because that is what’s most important…running really fast.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 12:43 PM

      Robbie FIndley, like Jonathan Bornstein, is terrible but suffers from too much vitriol to appreciate exactly how and why he sucks. There’s a lot of focus on his finishing and poor first touch, and justly so, but Findley is a pretty decent passer, a very good presser and works himself into good positions (that’s how we know he’s a bad finisher) He’s not completely without quality, is my point. Should he be getting as many minutes as he has for the U.S.? Heavens no. But don’t let your hatred blind you to the stuff Findley can do.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 12:44 PM

      And just as I write it, Robbie Findley has two awful giveaways. God he sucks.


  8. Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 12:48 PM

    Looks like it’s playing as a 4-4-2 when not in possession.

    Findley has another awful giveaway. Can we sub in Bunbury/Agudelo already?


  9. Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 12:58 PM

    Our holding midfielders/robbie rogers have been giving the ball away in terribly dangerous positions.

    Bedoya looks good. Ream has had some wonderful moments in possession but some oopsies in defense. Gaven has been playing subtly.


  10. Posted by kaya on 2010/11/17 at 1:15 PM

    Ben Foster almost pulled a Green =)
    Our left side looking pretty sad, but the right side is looking pretty stable.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 1:21 PM

      Rogers has just been awful.

      Bornstein has been wasteful. Defensively, he’s been fine.

      Lichaj is great going forward, has been a bit iffy at times in back. to be fair, South Africa is very strong up that side.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/11/17 at 1:35 PM

        I think the last 15-20 minutes of the half, Rogers settled in a bit… or at least had fewer opportunities to screw up. Both Lichaj and Bornstein have made me nervous running up the ball in less than confident looking situations and leaving their posts. Bedoya looking the primary danger for most of the first half.


  11. Posted by scweeb on 2010/11/17 at 1:16 PM

    Eric Lichaj one of the best new faces i think we have!


  12. Posted by JasonPrice on 2010/11/17 at 1:32 PM

    Findley regrettable, though he is alone.
    Gaven looks active.
    Rogers did well to get that shot off, but my lord, he’s been Brek Shea-like otherwise.
    Pause provides the muscle, but he looks like Mastroeni with all the late tackles.
    Carroll is a blank.
    Bedoya looks lively.
    Bornstein will never not have that rabbit in the headlights look, will he
    Ream does not look like a guy in his first cap.
    Goodson solid.
    Lichaj exciting, but a bit rough around the edges
    Guzan did well, but suspect on that very banal cross.
    (and what’s he doing distributing it to Findley out on the left back!)

    As for commentary, Lalas makes me want to puke. Seriously.

    And Harkes did make one good point (regarding the distribution decision to Findley), but otherwise… here are some of my favorite Harkesisms:

    Eric Lichaj: Great with his feet.
    On Pienaar not scoring: Maybe he’s too far away from the goal.
    On Pause and Caroll getting called up: It’s probably a welcomed phone call by Bob Bradley.
    Brad Guzan playing his first competitive match in 4 months.
    (Guzan played for Villa on Sept 22nd vs. Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup)
    You can’t look at stats, they don’t really tell the big picture.
    The interesting thing is that the game has become so globalized.


    • Posted by Jake C. on 2010/11/17 at 3:15 PM

      Agree, but with Findley we’re not learning anything new–the first half formation seemed designed to highlight his deficiencies. Makes the Agudelo moment that much sweeter (Bunbury did well on the night also).

      Harkes also managed to squeeze in a “screaming for the ball” line. With GOODSON. Well done, John–well done.


  13. Posted by John on 2010/11/17 at 2:23 PM

    JUAN AGUDELO and Mix Diskerud!

    When did US players start being able to play with their feet like that?


  14. Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 2:24 PM

    Since this friendly is about about identification. Keepers = interested in seeing again; Maybes (would like to see better form);

    Keepers: Lichaj, Ream, Bedoya, Bunbury, Agudelo, Diskerud
    Maybes: Gaven (miscast in the supporting striker role; I think he’d do better at the middle guy in a central three),
    No: Rogers, Findley. Both were really dire.


  15. Posted by Alex on 2010/11/17 at 2:24 PM

    hey guys,

    I didn´t see the goal, but from what I read on US Soccer´s Match tracker, it was a golazo.



    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/17 at 2:25 PM

      Not sure if golazo, but certainly very close.

      GREAT sequence leading up to it though.


      • Posted by John on 2010/11/17 at 2:26 PM

        Just a cheeky outside foot chip goal, outstanding work by Diskerud in the box and Agudelo on the finish.

        17 years old.

        Let’s start the bandwagon folks.


  16. Posted by scweeb on 2010/11/17 at 2:30 PM

    Wow what an awesome group of young guys!


  17. Posted by kaya on 2010/11/17 at 2:41 PM

    Come on, that was at least borderline golazo.
    Maybe Robbie Findley made some sort of sense in the carefully orchestrated plans bob made for the WC, but he was useless with this new group of guys. The defense clearly missed the familiarity to get consistently well out of the backfield (though Spector was consistently bad), but they cut out the close passes with a confidence and communication between the backline that was absent in the WC.
    I was just impressed by the confidence and joy with which the guys played in the 2nd half.


    • Posted by faithfull on 2010/11/17 at 2:48 PM

      Confidence and joy. Well said.


    • Posted by scweeb on 2010/11/17 at 2:49 PM

      I agree i love seeing are new group of guys looking good on there first out. There is definite work that needs to be done but good performances out of the young lads


  18. Posted by Tux on 2010/11/17 at 3:22 PM

    Positives to take from the young guys in this game:
    -Lichaj continues to show that he can and should be the right back for visible future – for the first 75 minutes of this game, it seemed that a good two-thirds of our chances were started by Lichaj finding Bedoya. He’s not going to be Sergio Ramos or Philipp Lahm, but that side is not going to be a weakness anytime he’s back there.
    -Bedoya did well, in my eyes. Seems that most of the attack flowed through him (as it should have), and while our chances didn’t come often, I don’t fault the playmaker in this case.
    -Agudelo already has a softer first touch than the majority of our options up front. And he’s fast. And he’s only 17. I’m officially on his bandwagon.
    -Diskerud not only pulled off the cheekiest assist I’ve ever seen a US player make in international competition, but he also got back at the end of the game and contained Tshabalala on the endline when they started to throw the kitchen sink at us. Kid can play at both ends of the field. And you gotta love a guy called “Mix”
    -Tim Ream and Nat Borchers both looked very calm throughout the game. Ream got beaten to the endline at least twice, but for a kid who is in his first year of professional soccer and getting his first cap, he sure didn’t seem to be having any issues with nerves. Experience will come with playing time, and he’s sure to get a boatload of that in NYC. Borchers had, to me, one very telling moment late in the game: Goodson (I think it was Goodson, at least) went down in front of Borchers as he was about to clear the ball out of the box, and instead of panicking and punching the ball out of bounds, he played a soft pass off to his right (which became a turnover right afterwards, but that was no fault of his).
    -We now have guys to take up Gooch’s cape of “Names that are ridiculously hard to pronounce, let alone spell.”

    Things I didn’t like:
    -obligatory comment about Robbie Findley’s horrible first touch (though the guy busted his hump to keep pressure on the Bafana Bafana defenders when they were in possession. He works a lot harder than Big Jeezy) and the fact that Guzan kept sending deep balls to him when he couldn’t body up a WNBA point guard
    -obligatory comment about Spector giving me heartburn with his baffling decision making.
    -the fact that no play really came through the midfield. I didn’t even realize Logan Pause was on the field until he got fouled late in the game. He and Tim Carroll probably touched the ball 15 times between them. This works both ways, because I didn’t notice them getting beat defensively, but there was no build-up play in the middle third – Lichaj to Bedoya was the only way we got stuff going for most of this game.
    -the visible lack of chemistry on the field. This is something to be attributed to the fact that the average number of caps per player was something like 8, and the average age was 24. These guys haven’t played together much, and it shows. This’ll change with time, but it’s still frustrating to watch.

    And hey, Davide Somma – talking smack and then diving to try to draw a penalty? Twice? Even the Italians are blanching at you right now.


  19. Posted by Alex on 2010/11/17 at 3:57 PM

    I didn´t see the game, but for me a lot can be said just by looking at the box score and play-by-play

    17 yr old goalscorer and 20 yr old with the assist. I need not say more
    WIN (with a C/C+ squad to RSA A-, by the way)
    Got everyone besides Cervi an official cap. Now they HAVE to play for yank (I’m right about that aren’t I?)
    We noticably outplayed RSA. They had a lot more corners and more shots but it seems like we had more clear chances, more posession, and dominated the play more.
    Again, we WON
    and again, 17 & 20 yr old PLAYMAKERS! YESSSSS! Future is only getting brighter fellas


    • Posted by Tux on 2010/11/17 at 4:01 PM

      No, this wasn’t an official FIFA date. We haven’t locked up any of our new guys yet.


      • This was an official FIFA date so they are USMNT players UNLESS they file for their one time switch of nationality (for lack of a better term); unlike the camp cupcake friendlies which I don’t believe are FIFA recognized friendlies (at least they didn’t use to be). As long as Bobbo keeps giving these guys some burn, I think they’ll stick around and possibly be serviceable Gold Cup players, at the very least. At which time they would be officially locked up, as the Gold Cup counts as a FIFA “A” competition (I believe).


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