Orange Slices: USA vs. Argentina

Orange Slices! USA vs. Argentina

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update during the day before the match

Welcome to game day!

The USA “A” Team led by Bob Bradley and Carlos BocaJuniors headed northward Thursday from their Cary, NC training grounds to take on FIFA and CONMEBOL powerhouse Argentina in a friendly at the New Meadowlands, today, in front of 60,000 fans.

Kickoff  is set for 4p.m Best Coast and 7 p.m. ET.

TSG’s Official USA vs. Argentina Preview

For TSG’s “Playing Mourinho” game planning column click here.


English TV Broadcast: ESPN2

(Note, no ESPN pre- or post-game–being replaced with women’s World Cup promos)

Spanish TV Broadcast: Univision

Al Gore:

Live Commentary: Right here at TSG, courtesy Shaun Webb

If you’re outside of the States, we’ll try and locate a good stream for you.

Weather forecast:


Pleasant…if you live in Novo Scotia in February. Just above freezing at kick-off. I can already hear Angel DiMaria’s teeth chattering.

More here.

Surf forecast:

C’mon…not this time buddy. Asbury Park, your closest break.


Don’t Tread On Red: As we confirmed in January, the men’s team will debut some snazzy new red kits. ‘Bout time.

History 101: The U.S. has played Argentina nine times in their history, holding a lifetime record of 2-6-1 against the Artists Formerly Vice-Gripped by Maradona.

The last time? A 0-0 draw on June 8, 2008 at the same site as today.


Dog Years: Average Caps, USA vs. Chile? 1.1 …. Average Caps, USA vs. Argentina: 30.5

Balboa: This pic not photoshopped...

Bald is beautiful: With a cap in this game, Landon Donovan passes Marcelo Balboa for 3rd place outright on the US caps list.

The Ricardo Clark Butterfly Effect:

In a role reminiscent of one that Rico Clark played during qualifying, Maurice Edu is rumored–via a Grant Wahl tweet–to be pushed up the field as an advanced central midfielder. He would be backended by Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones.

Mistake. Not a Balboa haircut mistake, but not far from it.

Ze Americans:

German Americans David Yelldell and Timothy Chandler got their first camp invites. Chandler should make the 18.




More coming throughout the day–add to the commentary any news and we’ll move it up here in the body of the post…

39 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by steve dc-nj on 2011/03/26 at 8:39 AM

    Hey! Quit givin my home state such a hard time here.
    Nitpicky note: this isn’t the exact same ground they played on last time, previous match was at old meadowlands stadium.

    What do you think the biggest issue with an attacking edu will be? Poor passing? Reluctance to attack?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 9:34 AM

      Nitpicky back: Text was “same site” — that is true. Same site, different stadium. :>

      I just don’t a predominantly defensive player up the pitch. Maybe Edu will have more offensive chops than we think and it will show that his current club and past country role was limiting.

      Put if you’re pushing a player up, I’d rather it be a two-way guy like Sneijder or a Stu Holden.


      • Posted by Jake C on 2011/03/26 at 10:15 AM

        Exactly. Mo’s most impressive ability for me is his closing speed–can’t think of a faster player to close down the ball. Not for his passing, though he’s had some good goals recently. Maybe that’s what Bradley’s been thinking.


  2. Posted by Connor Walsh on 2011/03/26 at 9:48 AM

    Gotta admit, Mo has scored some wonderful goals for rangers when he’s been up the field. I recall at least 3 from outside the 18.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 9:55 AM

      All of those goals were after the defense collapsed. So maybe that’s what Coach Sweats is counting on.
      Look, same role Ricardo played, I just don’t favor that role in general.

      The challenge in the role is that player is *only a trailer.

      Watch Edu score now. :>


      • Posted by phlub on 2011/03/26 at 10:07 AM

        Actually would be more interested in seeing Bradley in that role and have Edu and JJ backing. Going off of examples like his WC goal, as well as his Dutch league days.

        Also… Edu has a good shot from outside the 18 (scored a great one for the Rangers this season), not just as a trailer.


      • Well, to be fair: Frank Lampard (used to) score those kind of goals all of the time from an advanced position. It’s not entirely impossible.

        The real problem with Edu-as-advanced-player is that not only is he incapable of passing creatively at the international level, I’m not sure he can pass at all competently at the international level.

        Honestly, Michael Bradley would have been a better choice if Bob wanted to stuff three box-to-box types in the same midfield. At least then you’d see some Steven Gerrard-esque Hollywood passes.

        I’m almost entirely certain that the advanced Edu gambit is a way to deflect attention from the other terrifying rumor out there: Jonathan Spector, Left Back.


      • Posted by Connor Walsh on 2011/03/26 at 10:27 AM

        True, but this Argentine team is weak in experience in CB these days, so perhaps, like you said, the D will collapse, allowing Mo and possibly Junior to tag some from long distance following clearances. That would be a good trivia question, when was the last time the US scored a goal from outside the 18??


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 10:36 AM

          Not on a set piece.

          Robert Green’s goal at the World Cup. :>
          Before that it was Ricardo against T&T.

          I believe this is correct. Somewhere in the archives I analyzed all goals for the US outside the 18 during the last four year cycle and I believe it was below 5.


        • Posted by Izzy on 2011/03/26 at 10:45 AM

          That DIDN’T go through the hands of Rob Green?


  3. Posted by Jake C on 2011/03/26 at 10:16 AM

    “Kickoff is set for 4p.m Best Coast and 7 p.m. ET.”

    I think you meant to say West Coast…oh, I see what you did there:)


  4. Posted by steve dc-nj on 2011/03/26 at 10:23 AM

    It seems to me that coach sweats already had a gameplan set before going into camp, and when holden got injured, rather than restructure his entire plan, he chose to just plug edu in where holden was supposed to play.


  5. Posted by Izzy on 2011/03/26 at 10:34 AM

    I really don’t think Argentina will be playing anything like a 4-2-4 like you’ve been saying. They’ll be more like a 4-2-1-3. Pastore is something of a linking midfielder that will get the ball into the attacking midfielders/forwards in dangerous positions. He’ll be too deep in the midield for it to really be considered a 4-2-4.

    Check out this graphic from


  6. Posted by Pancho on 2011/03/26 at 11:38 AM

    ” The last time? The infamous Bornstein game, a 0-0 draw on June 8, 2008 at the same site as today.”
    What was infamous about Borstein in this game? That we wasn’t in the 18?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 11:47 AM

      Acknowledged my mistake earlier on Twitter. Thanks for pointing out.

      Anything else to add in the way of the game for your first comment on TSG?


      • Posted by Pancho on 2011/03/26 at 12:19 PM

        Ahh, thanks for the welcome and the site. Good insightful stuff here….(though I believe you denigrate your obvious knowledge and insight of the game with stuff like ‘Coach Sweatpants”, just makes you sound immature)

        I think you are envisioning a Demerit start over Onewyu, which I don’t believe is going to happen based on Bradley’s M.O. I do think we will see Ream in the starting 11 and it’ll be intersting to see him to see if he can truly help us build out of the back…I’m concerned about the speed of play for him, but not his skill. Given time, I think it’s 80-20 that we’ll see him grow into the role. (My guess is following the game Gooch heads back and Jay D takes the Paraguay game teamed with Ream)

        Like most successfull coaches, Bradley builds from the back first. He settled on Howard, Boca and Gooch VERY early last cycle. And I’m going to guess by the end of the Gold Cup he’ll have decided on his penciled in starters for 2014 (pending the unlucky ala Gooch this cycle). For the CB’s in contention, the big ‘fall-off’ for me is the lack of aerial ability. Look at the goals that Boca and Gooch bring to the table on set pieces. We just don’t see that from a Ream (or even a 6-5 Gonzalez). Not that CB’s should be recruited for their offense, but it has been part of the arsenal, and a successful strategy for finding goals when one lacks a true finisher.
        I could see Bradley go with a ‘D’ such as he did against Spain, driving everything toward the wings and betting his CB’s are better than Argentina’s forwards at getting their head on the ball, so I think you are right on with Boca at LB, this will be “Stay at home on the left’ day. Which means the right has to happen if anything is going to happen. Chandler? Lichaj? my money is on Spector. May not be enough.
        Up top, it wouldn’t suprise me to see Buddle instead of Jozy, but I don’t think we’ll see Jozy on the wings as some have predicted. Bob wants a #9, if Jozy can’t fill those shoes, the job will fall to an Aguduelo, (or more likley a Bunbury)
        A BF or Sacha start (in lieu of Holden) also would not be completely out of Bradley’s character. If not, my hope is that it is Jones at the top of the 3 holding mid triangle. He has more vision than the other two, who provide a lot more with their late runs into the area.
        Time will tell. I’ll be following to see your comments.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 12:44 PM

          Actually, there are two previous posts at work.

          The “official preview” has what I think Bob Bradley will do. A back four of Boca, Gooch, DeMerit and Spector (though I could see Ream or Chandler sneaking in there).

          As for the “Mourinho” piece–what TSG or I would do. That’s in the last post with Ream in/Gooch sacrificed.

          On the CB role, while getting forward into the box is always appreciated. I think Bob Bradley (all goals given up through the middle at World Cup 2010) has to look at defense first there.

          I think that’s where “his” key is. Who’s not going to get bossed in the air like Boca did–on D when he was filling in at CB–and who’s going to be positionally strong. His next order of looking at the CB is distribution, queue Ream. If Ream can prove strong enough–defensively–in the air and positionally in defense. He’s your guy because of the distribution skill.

          On the flanks, to me–since we agree that Boca or the LB will stay at home–I think BB has two choices. Trust in a Lichaj or a Chandler to add width on the right and advance when they can. If BB goes this route it’s a 4-2-3-1.

          If he commands the flankers to stay home (which is just a defeatist strategy in my book–see 1st half Turkey) then he’s got to put a speed option on the right to start out like Agudelo in a 4-4-2.

          A few hours will tell us.

          I do see Jozy or Buddle absolutely starting. I projected Buddle in the preview piece. Just as the target over the top if the Yanks can’t get through Banega, Cambiasso and Mascherano. That is a given in my book.


        • Posted by Steve NJ-DC on 2011/03/26 at 12:47 PM

          How dare you blaspheme the nickname “coach sweats”? its the staple the shinguardian!

          also, considering that both gooch and demerit were called into camp, I don’t think he’s quite ready to abandon the pairing even though they may not be the future for the 2014 cup.


        • Posted by Pancho on 2011/03/26 at 3:06 PM

          No Ream in the starting 11…it’ll be Spector in the back with BOCA on the left and the double twin towers of Demerit & Gooch…ala the Spain game.


  7. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/26 at 12:28 PM

    If you’re outside of the States, we’ll try and locate a good stream for you.

    That would be very welcome. I was planning on going with Veetle’s ESPN2 feed, but it doesn’t seem to be up right now. Hopefully by game time.

    The abundance of quality streams has really dried up since the pre-Superbowl crackdown. I couldn’t find anything for my beloved Fire’s season-opener last week.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/26 at 12:44 PM

      Working it on. Can’t do the US proxy as it requires a software download.


    • Posted by mhikaric on 2011/03/26 at 12:52 PM

      I second this. It’s horribly hard to find USA and especially MLS matches overseas. Insult to injury, Matchday Live is restricted outside USA/Canada (huh!?). In fact, Matt, next time you chat with Don Don, suggest to him the wisdom of allowing us overseas to follow the MLS teams we love.

      Quick aside: lovely assist/goal in Georgia’s 1-0 shock win over Croatia in the Euro qualifiers.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/03/26 at 1:23 PM

        Hm, I don’t know. Between I end up finding almost all of the soccer matches I need.

        For American sports, however, the crackdown has considerably weakened streaming.


        • Posted by mhikaric on 2011/03/26 at 2:50 PM

          Wish that were so. I am dying trying to keep a stable feed for the Union game right now. JustinTv stream blocks me after like 10 seconds …


        • Posted by dth on 2011/03/26 at 2:59 PM

          I had a lot of success with the one called “Dysereflex” or something similar.

          But you really don’t want to watch it. Ugly, physical game. Unrelated to the physicality part, I have no idea how Kyle Nakazawa has played so much for the Union so far. Sure, nice on set pieces but….

          Canadians should be pleased with Russell Teibert. Fine player.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/26 at 3:42 PM

          Yeah, you have to pay for outside the US. Atdhe didn’t have the Fire game last week, and myp2p just had links to a bunch of betting sites that supposedly let you stream games if you open an account. Luckily, I managed to find a nice stream today, but it hasn’t been easy.

          I second mhikaric’s sentiment about allowing us outside the US to buy Matchday. I would jump at the chance.


        • Posted by PaulyCT on 2011/03/26 at 5:04 PM

 is pretty good. Not high def, but it isn’t really grainy and doesn’t jump. English commentators.


  8. ussoccer U.S. SOCCER
    Not dressing tonight for the #USMNT: David Yelldell, Eric Lichaj, Benny Feilhaber and Mix Diskerud. We’ll have the lineup in an hour.



  9. ussoccer U.S. SOCCER
    #USMNT Lineup v. ARG: Howard; Spector, DeMerit, Onyewu, Bocanegra (c); Jones, Bradley, Edu; Dempsey, Donovan; Altidore

    Here we goooo


  10. […] Orange Slices: USA vs. Argentina Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update during the day before the match ——— Welcome […] […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 257 other followers

%d bloggers like this: