Posted 2014/06/26 by matthewsf in Uncategorized. 51 Comments
Might we see this again in the 85′ Thursday?
ALL THE MARBLES.
If you missed our preview … here.
Posted by tmuck on 2014/06/26 at 6:46 AM
Recife and the field is flooded. The refs and a FIFA official are going to walk the field with a ball to see if the game is playable at 11am.
Posted by Sean Tuxill (@thebostinian) on 2014/06/26 at 6:48 AM
My stomach is in knots, and food and I will have a complex relationship for most of today. I haven’t started shaking uncontrollably yet but that’ll happen before kickoff. Completely terrified yet supremely confident and waiting, just waiting, for everything to break one way or the other.
Christ I love this team. Ride or die, gents. Ride or die.
Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/26 at 7:19 AM
Ride or die, indeed.
Posted by ATroy on 2014/06/26 at 7:00 AM
FIFA officials just stated the game will go on as scheduled and on time. The field is soft and soggy, but word from many at the stadium is it has held up surpisingly well (considering the amount of rainfall).
Posted by tmuck on 2014/06/26 at 7:05 AM
I heard the field was soaked and sloppy. I don’t know who to believe!!!! lol
Posted by twewlife on 2014/06/26 at 7:41 AM
Game time boys! Guns out!
Posted by Ufficio on 2014/06/26 at 8:01 AM
Gonzalez and Davis in for Cameron and Bedoya respectively.
Gonna refrain from offering my opinion on that and just leave a hearty GO USA!
Posted by Ufficio on 2014/06/26 at 8:04 AM
Bringing in a set-piece combo, I guess.
Posted by Arthur on 2014/06/26 at 8:16 AM
(Biting tongue, hoping that goal differential against Portugal holds up.)
Posted by Snack Time on 2014/06/26 at 8:26 AM
This reminds me of the Dean Martin quote, “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day”. When we inevitably sub Gonzales out, we’re bound to feel better about whoever else comes on. Having said that, we have had good performances with Omar in the lineup in the past, and I felt he was effective against Azerbaijan.Still, I Believe That We Will Win!
Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/26 at 8:11 AM
OT but a fantastic story on Suarez’ motivation written prior to the latest incident. Doesn’t excuse but puts an interesting spin on what makes him so damn crazy…
Posted by thetruenine on 2014/06/26 at 8:22 AM
Gonzalez in terrifies me. It seems like every time he comes in they concede. Although some of them haven’t been his fault.
Posted by mbw on 2014/06/26 at 8:30 AM
I guess he’s there to mark Hummels on set pieces?
Posted by Jb on 2014/06/26 at 8:44 AM
Fresh legs? Saving Cameron for a sub at centermid? My best guesses.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/26 at 12:17 PM
Interesting idea about saving Cameron for sub at CM. Hadn’t thought about it that way.
Posted by Troy on 2014/06/26 at 8:28 AM
Sigh. I feel nothing but nervous seeing Gonzalez on that starting back line. Maybe the rain will make up for his lack of speed.
Posted by Troy on 2014/06/26 at 8:29 AM
Is Gonzalez’s start a clear sign that Klinsman blames Cameron for both goals versus Portugal?
Posted by Mark on 2014/06/26 at 8:50 AM
Final instructions to Jermaine Jones before leaving the locker room: Don’t get a yellow card.
Posted by Jamie Williams on 2014/06/26 at 9:52 AM
U.S. look more content for the draw. I hope they don’t look at the Ghana-Portugal score at HT and start bunkering.
Posted by leftoff77 on 2014/06/26 at 9:56 AM
Davis inclusion is confusing considering the way he has played when out left. Was thinking he was there to provide width and crossing as a natural lefty, but he was drifting centrally a lot and leaving Beasley exposed. They looked better with Zusi on the left, but if you’re going to play Zusi left then it defeats the purpose of playing Davis in the first place.
Jermaine Jones is sort of playing like Fellaini when Moyes was with Everton. Advancing and sitting behind Dempsey centrally and winning balls in the air with his physicality.
Say what you will about Gonzalez but his size and ability to extend on recovery clearances is impressive. Johnson has done a better job as the half has gone on of recognizing through balls and incutting runs from Podolski. Timmy needs to look left when the ball comes back to him. A few times he’s prematurely booted up field when he could have easily kept the ball cycling to the other side of the field.
A few cleaner touches (Bradley in particular) and our countering may have produced some results.
Somewhat random, but some of the best tactical fouls of the tournament in this first half : )
Posted by Jamie Williams on 2014/06/26 at 11:02 AM
Heavy legs, I think. At least, I hope that’s what it was.
Posted by Seybold on 2014/06/26 at 11:16 AM
Fourth time in a row we’ve reached the 2nd round in World Cups held outside Europe:
1994 USA, 2002 Japan/South Korea, 2010 South Africa, 2014 Brazil.
Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/26 at 11:18 AM
Gonzalez did well, but given the amount of emergency defending we did that was to be expected. His distribution wasn’t bad, but was slow, I felt there were a few balls over the top if he hit earlier would have found Johnson. That said, this will have to be the backline going forward (Maybe with Yedlin in there and fabian forward). Cameron is going to be needed as a midfield reserve the rest of the way with both Jones and Beckerman on cards.
Beckerman continues to look in fine shape, but Both Bradley and Jones were rightfully exhausted. Also, Dempsey looked pretty spent. Its pretty unfortunate that none of them could get a rest before the knockouts.
Sucks that next game will likely be Belgium. Hazard coming in fromm our right is not something I really wanted to see. But, Belgium, like germany, don’t have true fullbacks. Another opportunity there. I really would like to see us attack the wings next game.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/06/28 at 5:45 AM
“Its pretty unfortunate that none of them could get a rest before the knockouts”
The price you pay for drawing with Portugal.
The silver lining in not beating Germany and not winning the Group is that it gets us one more seriously needed day of rest.
I prefer to rest and face Belgium as opposed to facing Algeria with the team on fumes. ..
Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/26 at 11:42 AM
Well well well….Once again Klinsi surprises with tactics and gets most of them rignt…although the Davis point above is spot on.
Gonzalez was good I thought on the whole and didn’t seem as shaky with possession.
Don’t understand how Jones was still on for the last 20-25 mins. I know we made it without a major problem but he could have used the break and obviously risky with him riding a card.
Mikey still with far too much looseness in his possession and distribution but he gutted it out.
Beckerman was a full grown ass man out there today and grows in our eyes in the destroyer/holder role. Very good game a tourney for him…
Demps has surprised and shown real solid leadership in this tournament in how he’s carried himself…
4 days rest and then off we go….
Posted by Brady Mullis (@bmullis) on 2014/06/26 at 12:01 PM
How do you mean on Dempsey? I mostly see a guy who wanders around the center of the field, gets knocked off the ball easily, and sits and sulks at the slightest provocation.
I was sweating Gonzalez as well, especially when he lost track of Mueller on the failed overhead kick in the second minute, but agree with you that he acquitted himself well overall today. Beckerman, Jones, and Beasley have been outstanding this WC versus what everyone would have expected coming in. And Howard has been his normal MOTM self each outing.
Bradley has been frustratingly off (two bad first touches at the top of the box in the first half today could have gone somewhere among others) but he’s got enough grown-ass man capital from the last year to spare. Just wish he wasn’t burning it through it
Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/26 at 12:07 PM
I m one of Dempseys worst “bad Demps” critics but he has curbed a lot of his mopey face tendencies and doing more work for the team. He’ll always have some of that but seems to be making an effort to control himself better. He’s not a great fit for the role he’s been tasked with but has put in a pretty good shift as the lone striker.
I think Bradley has to have foot problems or something as he just doesn’t seem to be able to anything that he brought to his game in the last two years.
Posted by CJ on 2014/06/26 at 7:31 PM
Kickin Names – I concur on Dempsey. He’s like Mexico, when he’s on, he’s on. When he’s off, he switches off. In this past year, you’d have to also give some credit to JK for helping him mature in that regard, and getting a more consistent performance even when he’s not getting his wonder touches like in the opening minutes of the Ghana game.
As for Bradley, do you remember the articles talking about him being the most fit player during the beep test? What if more guys on the team could have continued on, but they tapped to save their legs? What if he’s just whipped from over training in addition to being one of our hardest runners on the field?
Should we be talking about over relying on him to be so active in 100% of our games?
I think the guys will be better rested in the next match, but another fresh pair of legs will benefit the team when we play Belgium. Wise move by JK to rest Bedoya even though Davis wasn’t covering shit down the left flank defensively. Who should be fielded next?
Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2014/06/27 at 12:09 AM
I have to believe MB is dealing with complications from his foot surgery. The accuracy of his mid to long range passing has really taken a drop.
Posted by CJ on 2014/06/27 at 11:52 AM
You don’t run the furthest on your team if you have complications with your for surgery. You back off on your workload. It’s not a choice, your body will just say no unless he’s taking a painkiller/steroid injection, but I just can’t see that being the case.
Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2014/06/27 at 11:01 PM
Maybe it’s not a pain threshold issue but more a numbness or lack of feel. Wasn’t his surgery to remove a nerve. He’s right at the top for ground covered at the WC, playing solid D, but the touch is uncharacteristically off. Maybe half his foot is completely numb. Who knows, I’m grasping for sure, but he’s missing passes that he could make in his sleep.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/06/28 at 10:59 AM
If Mikey’s foot is numb, an interesting thought, then the only cure for that at this point is practice and he may not have enough time for that.
Have you considered that these three games arguably represent the toughest opponents, the biggest games and the most responsibility on a soccer field Mikey has ever faced? So the effects of any injury, minor, major or otherwise would be proportionately magnified.
JJ has faced really big games with Schalke in the Champion’s league and he does not look at all out of place but Mikey never has. Hopefully everyone will have the “game of their lives” vs Belgium and then Argentina and then Costa Rica and then Germany.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/26 at 12:15 PM
Michael Bradley ran 13084 meters today (8.13 miles), farthest of any player in any game in Group G, and almost 1 miles farther than the next player on the field (Lahm.) 26% of that was at a medium/high speed. I don’t think its a fitness thing for him.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/26 at 2:07 PM
Looking at our players with the best “top speed” was a little surprising.
1) Fabian Johnson – 33km/h [*3rd* fastest of any player in the tournament]
2) Ale Bedoya – 32.3 km/h
3) Jermaine Jones – 31.4 km /h
4) Deandre Yedlin – 30.7
5) Beasley – 30.2
6) Zusi – 30.1
7) Besler – 29.1
Go Fabian and Bedoya! Knew Jones had a motor as well, but didn’t know he had that kind of speed.
Posted by counts on 2014/06/26 at 3:48 PM
So now Bradley has 23.6 miles on him this tournament. I don’t like that he has been “overtasked” in my opinion and seems to be plateauing a bit. I hope Jozy gets back or we can go to a 4-4-2 so he can be single minded in attack or defense.
Him getting caught in between and then not sure of where his outlets are has been difficult to watch. I don’t put that all on him though, he has so much asked of him b/c the squad needs it.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/26 at 6:26 PM
I agree. Its going to take a game against a team where we are playing more in the middle of the park and in the offensive third for him to be more…um…efficient I guess?
One or two big errors have painted a negative picture of how well he’s actually doing I think. He’s completed more passes than any other American by a pretty good margin, and has only a few turnovers. But, something about the tactical set-up is leaving him hanging when we are pushed so deep.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/26 at 7:39 PM
Looking at a different stat – “distance covered not in possession,” I think you get to see a better picture of how important tactics fits into the “distance covered” stat. Bradley, Beckerman, Jones, Johnson, Beasley all up there.
All of the top 15 players in “distance covered not in possession” are from 4 teams. Iran, USA, Austrailia and Algeria. Goes for 18 of the top 20.
1 IRN Andranik TIMOTIAN 15.9km
2 USA Michael BRADLEY 15.8km
3 AUS Mile JEDINAK 15.5km
4 IRN Javad NEKOUNAM 15.0km
5 USA Kyle BECKERMAN 14.9km
6 AUS Jason DAVIDSON 14.7km
7 ALG Nabil BENTALEB 14.4km
8 AUS Mathew LECKIE 14.3km
9 ALG Carl MEDJANI 14.1km
10 AUS Matthew SPIRANOVIC 14.0km
11 USA Jermaine JONES 13.9km
12 AUS Alex WILKINSON 13.9km
13 IRN Reza GHOOCHANNEJAD 13.9km
14 IRN Pejman MONTAZERI 13.7km
15 USA Fabian JOHNSON 13.6km
16 USA DaMarcus BEASLEY 13.4km
17 B&H Muhamed BESIC 13.4km
18 IRN Ehsan HAJI SAF 13.3km
19 RUS Victor FAYZULIN 13.3km
20 ALG Sofiane FEGHOUL 13.1km
Run the hell out of the midfield? Gameplan.
Sad thing is, we are second to last in the tournament in “Attacks,” and dead last in “Attacks from the left” and “attacks from the center.” So these guys are just running to defend the hell out of our defensive third. I’m not the first to say it, but we have got to press and possess the ball higher not just to initiate more offense, but to save the legs of our midfield.
Posted by Brady Mullis (@bmullis) on 2014/06/27 at 5:56 AM
This. I’d like more pressing, but I’m not sure we can pull it off without getting pulled out of shape and a high back line against Belgium will kill us. Lack of possession is hurting us though. We’ve had a couple of moments but not much of it as the stats show.
Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/26 at 1:08 PM
Gonzalez played better than most of us expected. Hats off! Jones, Beckerman, Besler, Beasley, all have had an outstanding tournament. I don’t really mind that the Nats lost today because it will buy them an extra days rest and Belgium hasn’t impressed too much after their first two games. I’m not saying it’ll be easy at all but I like our chances if they’re not firing on all cylinders.
BTW, did anybody else see Jozy pop up off the bench at the non-call foul on Beasley by the sideline. Gives hope that he could possibly play on Tuesday.
Posted by aztri81 on 2014/06/26 at 5:58 PM
I sure hope Altidore is healthy for Tuesday. I think it takes a lot of pressure off of Bradley and allows Dempsey to drop back to his more favorable position. I think this would result in better play from Bradley, but he has been running ragged out there and may be worn down.
Also, I have a really odd feeling the Julian Green will make an appearance against Belgium. I have no idea why.
Posted by FellainisFro on 2014/06/26 at 8:20 PM
I have to give you much props and credit regarding your support for Beckerman and to a lesser extent Jones. It’s taken me over two years to come around to appreciating exactly what Beckerman does for the team and his role in keeping our defensive shape. He is not pretty, he is not exciting but he sure plays his role 110f**king percent to a tee. I have not seen or been aware of one counter attack or run of play sequence down the middle in all three games.
As far as Jones is concerned. The man is a beast. For someone who has taken a lot and I do mean a lot of sh*t over the last few years regarding his play. I would have to say he has been the one true indispensable player on the field for all three games. Watching him come flying back and making a perfect tackle to dispossess Ghana in our box more than once was a pleasure to watch and appreciate his all out effort. His incredible goal nay thunderbastard was a thing of beauty and if it wasn’t for the goddamn ref getting in the way he might have scored again today.
It’s been a hell of a ride these last four years and certainly a goddamn pleasure to share in it with the great community here on the shin guardian.
Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/27 at 8:22 AM
Just rewatched first half on the tactical camera. We had a lot of poorly controlled balls on passes from our own team. Passes hit with too much pace and then not really well controlled. I think that is down to tiredness. Overall I thought the shape of the team was good, but we are definitely back to the lack of numbers in the box thing. There were several knock downs that if anyone else had been pressuring their backline would have led to a chance.
Also Brad Davis looked pretty bad. He and Zusi switched back and forth and no matter where he was the German attack looked better there. Its unfortunate because I felt like he would be good. He is better than given credit for in speed and ability, but just doesn’t seem quite right. Zusi also seemed pretty good, but wasn’t putting it all together. I feel like this team is forcing the ball into bradley and jones too often. Not really attempting to take people on 1 v 1.
I feel like this game was about boosting Omar’s confidence too. Now with Cameron on the bench you can feel even better about pushing Johnson into midfield. Cameron can cover three positions. CM, RB and CB. The center mid cover will be important. I feel like if we get to 60 min against Belgium and Beckerman or Jones haven’t been carded Cameron is coming on for one of them if we are up. If down, I feel like an attacker will come on.
So next game for me 4-5-1, hopefully a bit more 4-3-3
I could start Zusi, they are both pretty close in quality but offer different things. If down my subs would be Mix for Beckerman, Zusi for Bedoya, Brooks for Beasley but have him in the box. If up it would be Cameron for Jones, Zusi for Bedoya and Mix for Beckerman (bradley drops deep).
Posted by CJ on 2014/06/27 at 2:15 PM
I agree on Davis… I think he played himself out of the World Cup except for purely offensive situations in which a left footed service is needed to cross in. I couldn’t have told you before what it was that made me question Davis’ ability at the international level, but I now know having watched this game. He just doesn’t have any defensive integrity against top caliber talent. At one point, later in his shift, after being fleeced multiple times and having swapped with Zusi once already, he ended up back at LM and ball watched as Germany came down our right flank. He had started out wide marking whoever was in their RW position and just casually drifted in (without EVER looking back to see what his mark was doing now that he decided to stop playing D), which if caught by the LW would have blind sided Beasley and it’s not like he was going to all of a sudden become a defensive conscious player on a swing play. I’m not a Brad Davis fan when we’re in a defensive position. Donovan would have been the better midfielder in this case to give Bedoya a rest IMO.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/28 at 8:29 AM
The other thing that surprised me about Brad Davis is that he didn’t even take the corners. Zusi was hitting them (and not terribly well)
Posted by Ufficio on 2014/06/28 at 9:55 AM
I think we only had one corner while Davis was on the pitch, and since it was from the left, Zusi took it to hit an in-swinger. I’m sure Davis would’ve taken any corner from the right.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/06/28 at 10:50 AM
The criticism of Davis is a bit much. He barely saw the ball in his time on the field.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/28 at 3:10 PM
Perhaps, but I also think that’s part of the criticism. We need more from all of our outside mids, especially going forward, not just Davis.
Posted by Arthur on 2014/06/28 at 7:09 PM
@ Spiritof76: Exactly. Davis’s lack of pace seemed extreme in muggy, wet Brazil. I would rather see Green or Jóhannsson brought out if we need to attack from the wings. Zusi usually delivers a good ball on set pieces; if Zusi is already on the pitch, I really think Davis’s crossing ability is a limited upgrade over Zusi.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/06/29 at 6:35 AM
Johannsson is not a winger per se. Green is an unknown quantity to us , not the coaching staff at this point. Neither is known for their defense..
I don’t see that any of us know what the coaches asked Davis to do during his shift and the way the game went, it struck me that Davis had little opportunity to do much of anything along the lines of what you are describing.
No one in the US pool is Robben or Ribery.
Traditional wing play and width on this team comes from Fabian and DMB.
At worst Davis gave Bedoya, who is also not a winger per se, a much needed break.
Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/28 at 10:24 PM
Reasons to believe we have a good chance of beating Belgium:
Belgium played two of their three games in the more moderate Brazilian temperatures of Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. Tuesday’s game will be in the hotter and more humid climate of Salvador. All three venues the US played at in the Group Stage were warmer than anything Belgium has played in, including Salvador.
Belgium’s three victories were all by narrow margins against teams who were clearly inferior to the likes of Germany, Ghana and Portugal. Some could argue that Belgium is the easiest opponent the US will have faced in this tournament.
While they’ve allowed only one goal so far, Belgium has only put four in the net. Romelu Lukaku was pulled early in their first two matches and didn’t even play in their last game. Furthermore, Steven Defour is suspended for the US match and three others are carrying yellows. Meanwhile, Kompany and Vermaelen have fitness concerns.
The crowd. The US fans are traveling in force and are likely to shout out the Belgian fans. When you need a boost, there’s no discounting the adrenalin rush of a home crowd.
I believe that we will win.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/29 at 1:04 PM
Watching Belgium’s group games, and watching the US-Belgium friendly from last year actually gave me a lot of hope for Tuesday as well. THIS USA team is much better than that USA team was. We have Fabian Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley playing where a really poor (on the day) Klejstan was playing, a better CB pairing w/ more reps, and Jermaine Jones deployed properly.
All Belgium goals in 2013 come from USA mistakes that are easily cut out and/or in places where we have improved, IMO. Learning experiences.
The first goal is on Gonzalez/Cameron/Goodson for ballwatching and not following up a rebounded save from Tim Howard. MIrallis still has to make a ridiculous chip. A while later Cameron scored off a set-piece at the other end.
Its 1-1 at halftime. Even(ish) game.
The second goal was a HUGE Gonzalez error as he dribbled it backwards, gifting KDB. On the 3rd, a very green Boyd failed to hold posession, and Zusi/Gonzo lost Fellaini who headed near post (Howard saves it, IMO). Belgium’s 4th was a pretty goal, but due to failure to close by our #6 (Jones) and poor communication between Besler/Beasley.
Belgium were the better team on the day. No question. The penalty that gave us our second was dubious. But we can definitely beat this team.
My biggest worry is that we can create chances and bury them. We were 31st in total attacks and 32nd in attacks from the left AND from the center in the group stage. If we can improve on our midfield posession and in our wide play, I think we can take it to these suckers.
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