Olympic U-23: USA vs. Cuba Recap

Single word review: Heinous.

The final score was 1-1 but should have been a much more convincing win for the US.

The list of players that really showed up to play are:

Freddy Adu

Dax McCarty


The result: 1-1

Seriously, the effort was piss poor. I would like to bag on Altidore but Nowak did him no favors by playing a MORONIC 4-5-1 (4-2-3-1 depending on how you look at it-same shit result)

Note to Piotr Nowak: a formation with a lone striker only works if you have people who can actually play on the wings. Putting people who are strikers by trade on the wings only works if your team’s name is Barcelona and the people you ‘toss out there’ are named Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry.

Altidore was left on an island and was beaten to death because there was positively no danger coming from wide positions. Terrible.

Cuba took Nowak’s tactical blunder and maximized their chances with a gift goal that looked like it should have cleared by Ianni; but I digress.

The first 15 minutes looked great for the US. Then we dove into long ball city and gave up the midfield dominance we built up and the game tying goal went in minutes after a wonderful strike by Adu found twine.

Seriously, we need to stop letting the players watch English football. The route one long ball dump fest that happened simply reminded me of 90% of the English Premier League. When we play like that nothing but bad things happen and it happened again.

The second half looked a little better once they decided to, ya know, play some possession football instead of dumping long balls deep all day. (oh and Nowak pulled his head out of his ass and dumped the failed 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 bullshit he employed in the first half)

Alas, it was too late by that point. People like Charlie Davies were more concerned with honing their diving skills than trying to finish chances.

On that note, Davies should be torn a new asshole for his despicable play. Every chance he got he dove. If we are going to be realistic, he should have been shown yellow twice and ejected. He’s pathetic. Normally players with great pace are accused of diving because it takes a lot less to take down someone moving quickly and it can look like a dive even when it isn’t. That wasn’t the case with Davies. He’d get the ball to his feet in good positions and just fall as soon as possible.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Davies but this sealed it. He has shown me so far that he has no faith in his finishing ability and just prays for fouls as a result of his dives all day. It pains me to say this, even being a Chicago Fire fan, but Chad Barrett outplayed him by a mile and should start next game and I’m not a big fan of Barrett as some of you may know.

The good was Adu. He played brilliantly and frankly, should have had the ball at his feet a lot more. Of course, Nowak’s long standing thought that Adu belong wide dating back to their DC United days is still in effect and still just as daft as it’s always been. Adu is a #10 player and should be employed as one at this level. Nowak prefers to put the play with the best handle on the ball and best distribution skills out wide in the nether regions instead and it will cost us again in the future if it continues.

McCarty was solid in the central midfield but was another player who was taken out of the game when we inexplicably switched to ‘Brit-ball’ and lost our way.

A horrendous result to say the least. This was a winnable game and should have had far more than 1 goal. The US is going to be in trouble if this shit keeps up. The USSF should really reconsider Bradley’s move of letting his #2 take the reigns. The U-23 is the team of the near future and really should be managed by Bradley as well in qualifying so he gets a better idea of what he can do with this.

So we need to win out the rest of these games or it’s not going to end well.


The red card to Linares wasn’t as harsh as the announcers made it seem. He did kick the ball into the net well after the whistle and that is an automatic yellow according to the rules. Sorry. It’s a soft red, but it was deserved none the less.

The ref had a horrible match. He missed at least 3 handballs and was generally terrible. (not just towards the US he missed plenty of calls in favor of Cuba as well)

Yanks Abroad wrote and article defending their World Cup 2010 roster and took a dig at me after some e-mails were exchanged for saying they were retarded for suggesting Bornstein is far on the outside looking in. (despite being a Bradley favorite and a better than he gets credit for left back)

And yet they championed Spector as a sure thing. Uh guys….he didn’t get any time in the game today in favor of strikers/midfielders playing fullback(a U-23 roster) and barely dresses for a midtable club in England. Ya wanna reconsider that position a bit more, fellas?

I swear, that site is a good encyclopedia of who is playing abroad but they know dick about football. They see a player is on a European team and instantly assume he’s the best (like Spector) even when it’s pretty clear they aren’t. Sorry when Kamani Hill is getting time at fullback ahead of Spector, it’s pretty clear the directive from the top is ‘we need to find more depth at fullback even if it means converting some players’


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