Here comes the score so if you TiVO’ed the game don’t continue reading if you don’t want to know the score. Of course if you are on a sports site looking for this sort of thing you are a moron for looking at it as you should expect to see a score, right?
Well the US began it’s World Cup qualifying campaign by blitzing Barbados 8-0..yeah, 8-0.
Reading that it probably sounds like everything is fine in Whoville but it’s not. Here is the line up we started with and tell me what is wrong with it:
Have you spotted the errors yet? I have. I’ll give you a few more minutes with that and also give you this article from Yanks-Abroad, a site I often disagree with but am finding myself agreeing with a whole lot more in THIS CASE.
I have been a Bob Bradley supporter. I think he is great at motivating people and getting the most out of them. However, watching this game it is clear he is a bit tactically retarded, or simply gun shy.
There is NO EXCUSE for playing a 4-4-2 (with 2 FUCKING d-mids AGAIN!!!) against Barbados. I’m sorry there isn’t.
Even if you want to start out this way and wait til you have a few goals to experiment I guess I’ll accept that, but it never happened.
A game like this is PRIME real estate for trying out new formations that you MIGHT need to use if you find yourself a goal down or understaffed etc. Basically what I’m saying is this game was BEGGING for a 3 back formation and yet, you are still sitting 5 behind the ball…against fucking Barbados…a team that had a website begging for players.
The only saving grace was Junior Bradley taking it upon himself to venture up in the attack more than he is usually allowed (or perhaps allows himself?) normally. Other than that, this kind of unimaginative shit if for the birds. Perhaps it is time to look in a new direction before it’s too late in terms of national team manager. This team has too much talent to have another 3 and out World Cup.
Another black mark on this game was the complete lack of passing. It was virtually 100% long ball automatico. It was heinous to watch if we want to be perfectly honest. A team like Barbados offers you a perfect opportunity to work on your possession game which only occurred in fits and starts and only after Adu was introduced for an injured Mastroeni 30 minutes into the match.
Also, let’s face it, there are a few people (Eddie Johnson) who could use the extra work on their first touch. Playing route one bullshit Brit-ball isn’t going to hep that in the slightest.
I know some people may be saying “but Barbados were playing a 5-4-1 bunker ball formation; we HAD to play my beloved Brit-ball!!!” (I put that because only diehard EPL fans and wannabe Englishman love the long ball style)
To that I say: BULLSHIT. Watch the game again. Barbados had no discipline in the back and breaking them down without resorting to the long ball would be totally possible. A team like Guatemala who have perfected the bunker ball is a bit tougher, but it is MUCH easier and more demoralizing to beat them without resorting to launching hopeful long balls all day. All you do with that is set them up for counters all day long.
Lastly, the finishing. How many of those goals actually looked like great finishes? I do subscribe to the old adage of ‘no matter how they go in, so long as they go in’ mind you, however, there has to be more quality ball striking. It looked like and AYSO team scoring goals most of the time. Balls bungled over the line. Wild shots ricocheting off people’s asses and other glorious finishes like that.
Sorry for expecting something that didn’t resemble a wild jailbreak and a team that would attempt to execute using skill rather than dumb wild luck, but perhaps I have to wait til the current U-17’s/U-20’s are ready to completely take over.
I won’t bother ranking the players, how can anyone realistically do it for a hodge podge match like this? I know I liked Donovan’s quick kick, free kick goal and Adu once again showed creativity and flair while trying to actually play football in a football match. How novel. Of course, I was a bit disturbed by his gun shy foot. He just looked like he wasn’t comfortable shooting yesterday.
I dunno. 8-0 looks great, but there was a lot not to like about it. Anyone who says otherwise should really take a second look and tell me how much actual football they see being played.