What can be said about the US vs. Spain other than it was a tale of 2 halves (kinda)?
The teams were pretty evenly matched in the first half, though if we are going to be fair, Spain was likely keeping the foot slightly off the gas so as to avoid injuries prior to the Euros this weekend.
Still, there weren’t a ton of embarrassing performances. Even Eddie Johnson looked almost like a professional footballer (in the first half). The back line held together fairly well also stifling most attacks, though no one is going to convince me that Onyewu is the best option. He is still very SLOW. He is a nice target to have on set pieces, but do we REALLY want a centerback who’s best quality is his height on set pieces? Because in all honesty we have two of them in Bocanegra and Onyewu. (though I think Boca beings a bit more to the table defensively)
Time to give Orrozco some run, Chief
However, the true story for the US was the emergence and the brilliance of Freddy Adu. He was dangerous all half. Causing havoc for the Spanish backline and even gave defenders as vaunted (and rightfully so) as Carlos Puyol all they could handle with artful passes and runs into the heart of the Spanish defense.
Unfortunately for Freddy, his passes went for naught as they were still being sent to EJ who squandered them basically at every chance he got.
Of course it all came crashing to a halt when Puyol was beaten and lunged at Freddy stepping on his foot.
The second half, while not a disaster, was not pretty. Negative play. Returning to the dreaded ’empty bucket’ formation. Lack of possession. Michael Bradley playing the full 90 when he clearly didn’t have enough gas to go more than 60 and it showed when he was one of the people torched on Xavi’s brilliant goal scoring run. (P.S. can we stop playing Michael Bradley as a d-mid, Bob? He is playing out of position and it shows)
The forward play became non-existent and the introduction of Josh Wolff showed us that these last 2 matches should be his farewell to the national set up.
Another troubling performer is Clint Dempsey. He has absolutely sucked the last 4 months or so for club and country. It’s time to sit him. I’m seriously getting sick of Bradley picking much less playing, players based on past reputation. It’s a shit way to select a side and an even more shit way to get the most out of players when they know they can go out and go through the motions, do shit and still get picked.
One other thing that needs to be addressed is the style of play. We have REALLY regressed hard into a shit, route 1, Brit-ball cunt style of playing. A year ago around the Gold Cup we looked like a team more interested in keeping the ball on the ground and holding onto it more. No longer.
Maybe missing Donovan and some others has meant that much, but it’s disturbing nonetheless.
Hopefully this weekend when we play Argentina we get Donovan back. Kenny Cooper is expected to play which is a LONG overdue call up as he has been RIPPING it up and the new Villareal man, Jozy Altidore is expected to figure into the scene as well. If Adu is healthy all 3 of those players prefer a possession ground attack to the shit long ball automatico stuff.
The big positive to take away is we played more positively than we did against England and Spain is a light years better team than England is.
There are still things to address (Bradley’s negative tactics, playing players out of position, poor substitutions, his sudden loss of touch when making halftime adjustments, players developing worse and worse first touches among other things) However, nothing that should stop us in the first couple rounds of World Cup qualifying…I hope. I’m sure Bradley hopes as well as there are already a ton of people calling for his head and I gotta say…I’m starting to agree with it a bit.