Posts Tagged ‘USA

11
Jun
08

USMNT: USA vs. Barbados roster

The roster for the USA’s ‘monolithic tilt’ against Barbados has been released. It looks like this:

GOALKEEPERS: Dominic Cervi, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard.
DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Califf, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce.
MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Eddie Lewis, Pablo Mastroeni.
FORWARDS: Brian Ching, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson.

Allow me to be the first to say that I should and everyone else should stop making wise cracks about Barbados. Sure we SHOULD win, but Barbados isn’t exactly San Marino, they play defense. Oh!

Beside, we only beat them 7-0 and 4-0 last time. Continue reading ‘USMNT: USA vs. Barbados roster’

05
Jun
08

USA vs. Spain the aftermath

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.

02
Jun
08

USA vs. Spain Roster Set-and it sucks.

Her is the roster for the US vs. Spain via USMNT Blog:

Goalkeepers (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

Midfielders (6): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Lewis (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)

Forwards (4): Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Nate Jaqua (out of contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (out of contract)

Another piece of shit roster. It was nice to see him drop Rico Clark after having a horrible game against England. Which was surprising I must admit.

However, where are the fucking goals going to come from is Donvan is out? Dempsey looked invisible against England, so much so that I even forgot to mention him in the recap. Also, Josh Wolff has no business being on the field for this.

Also, for the love of all that is holy, Bob, do not play Gooch and Boca in the center of defense.  Spain’s attack has TONS more pace than England’s and Gooch has the speed of an oak tree. Orrozco was called up and should be given a look. He played great from a very good Mexican club and looked great in the Olympics.

On a side note: why the fuck hasn’t Jorge Flores been called up into the youth teams yet? He is on FIRE for Chivas USA and if my sources are correct he is eligible for the US and Mexico. Do you wish to lose ANOTHER player to El Tri because of shit scouting, sticking with your old standby players and lack of action? This kid should be capped NOW. Hell, he should have been brought in against Spain. I’m not saying he is the cure all, but he is a tireless worker on the LM with fantastic pace. Let’s not waste that.

With this roster I’m looking at 3-1 Spain. I have a feeling we’ll sneak in a late garbage time goal. However, with what I am sure will be the bullshit empty bucket formation and lack of quality up top, I am pretty sure we are fucked no matter what the score is unless El Nino ruptures both Achilles tendons in warm ups.

30
Mar
08

USMNT: USA vs. Poland Recap

I don’t have time to write a full recap right now but will have one up later once I’m home from work.

logline: a game the US should win.

result: USA 3 Poland 0

Goal Scorers: Bocanegra, Onyewu, Lewis

formation:

—————Ching———-Johnson————-

Donovan—–Clark———Bradley———Dempsey

Pearce——Bocanegra——Onyewu——-Cherundolo

———————-Howard————————-

subs: Feilhaber for Pearce; Wolff for Ching; DeMerit for Onyewu

recap:

Don’t let the pundits (like Ives Galarcep) fool you. Many of them were calling for a massive mountain for the US to climb but that simply wasn’t the case. The US handled Poland pretty easily before the World Cup in ’06 and that was a better squad than the one Poland was trotting out this time around.

Many pointed to the Poles qualifying for the Euro ’08 tourney as proof of their strength but look at the group. Group A was abysmal. Portugal was the only good team in there. If you switched Azerbaijan for Scotland, Poland is sitting home this summer; simple as that.

My player evaluations will come later tonight (needless to say, the forwards will be suitably raped 😉 )

UPDATE: Sorry for the long delay. I fucked up and saved as a draft not as a post whoops.

Ching & Johnson: 2 – they sucked in every way they could suck honestly. I should give Ching 1 more point since he actually managed to put a shot on frame.

Donovan: 7 great service on free kicks. The breakaway can’t really be blamed 100% on him as Boruc played it pretty well.

Bradley: 8 his game was subtle and you really had to be paying attention but he was in passing lanes all day and had some nice thorough balls. (that usually went squandered by the front line)

Clark: 6 he was solid as usual. He’s never flashy. He gets stuck in and pounds on people. That’s his job and he did it.

Dempsey: 3 Did he actually play? I hadn’t noticed. He’s another player who needs to be dropped from the team if he’s not going to play for club. Playing on a reserve team in ANY league will never be as good as playing on the first team in ANY league. Sorry. Deuce needs to move on.

Pearce: 4 he had a pretty shit game honestly. He set up the one free kick but his clearances were utter shit and his defending was rough to say the least. He really shouldn’t be the option at fulback.

Cherundolo: 7 solid game from Cherry. He got forward into attack in the typical German style and defended well. We need to hope he remains healthy. He is too good to be missing out on.

Bocanegra & Gooch: 5 yes, they both had goals, but their defending it simply atrocious. Gooch is still getting burned far too much and looks clumsy more often than not. Boca is showing the rust not playing for club brings and needs to sit. With a player like Orozco waiting in the wings, there is no reason to hold on to those two like they are irreplaceable.

Howard: 9 solid game again from Timmy. Made all the saves he needs to make and distributed the ball well. I wouldn’t give him a 10 because a player needs to have a god like performance in a HUGE match to get a 10 (think: Zidane vs. Brazil in the 2006 World Cup –one of the greatest performances EVER)

Here are some video highlights from German TV:

21
Mar
08

America! FUCK YEAH!: USA U-23’s Down Canada to qualify for the Olympics in Beijing

Logline: America! Fuck yeah!

Formation: 4-2-2-1-1 (similar to Bradley’s occasional foray into a 4-2-2-2, but Adu was more withdrawn and free roaming, but it had the same freedom given to the fullbacks in Bradley’s 4-2-2-2)

—————–Altidore———————

———————-Adu—————-

—————Holden–Kljestan—-

—————-Edu—-McCarty—————

Sturgis—————————Wynne———

————-Spector—Orozco—————–

——————-Seitz———————–

MOTM: Probably the easiest choice all tournament: Freddy Adu. Scored two goals. Had several other chances on goal. Was basically a danger all night. Though pretty much every one was effective, he was the MOTM

Result: USA 3 Canada 0

USA moves on to the Olympic Games in the summer.

Recap:

Not much to say. The US dominated possesion all game. HERE is a blow by blow RECAP from the AP that is pretty spot on.

No one was particularly bad. Kljestan had some unforced turnovers but he did so many other things well REALLY working his ass off and captaining the side well that it’s easy to overlook those in this case. (plus he is in pre-season in all fairness and was out at the beginning of pre-season due to injury if memory serves)

The move to actually allow someone to play further up in the attack with Altidore and to let the fullback REALLY push up into the attack worked wonders as Altidore was able to create dangerous freekicks all day that Adu capitalized on 2 times. It’s amazing what employing a more offensive minded tactical plan gives you isn’t is, Nowak? Still not wild about 2 d-mids, but since they are a strength of ours in the player pool, the decision to allow the fullbacks to bomb forward more made up for it to a greater extent.

The US moves on to play Hondouras in the final that is largely for the coaches to see who they have and who will and won’t make the Olympic squad. I believe it is on Sunday but I’m not even sure I’ll cover that since it’s not all that important of a game.

Notes:

Great-Adu, Altidore, Orozco & Holden. These four should be on the squad barring injury. Adu and Holden in particular has fantastic tournaments. In fact, there is no reason Holden shouldn’t be called up regularly for the Senior team. He can play wide left or right with equal facility and very well looks like he can be the answer wide right for the Nats. Orozco simply looks like the future at center back as he is capable of defending without giving up free kicks in dangerous positions all day a’la Onyewu.

GoodEdu, McCarty, Seitz, Kljestan, Wynne & Sturgis. All of these players had solid games. Kljestan just barely made it here because of the turn overs, but the work rate was exceptional. Edu was a calming force in midfield and broke up anything that resembled a Canadian attack. McCarty was solid as he’s been all tournament. Sturgis got forward in the attack and put himself in dangerous positions and defended well. Seitz basically had nothing to do all game but didn’t fuck up when he did so you can’t complain.
Wynne is someone I’d like to single out. He showed once again why he is so intriguing and infuriating. His crossing is still a bit weak but his positively blazing speed is something to behold. He defended well for the most part. However, he does get caught on the wrong side of the ball still on occasion but his ability to get forward was causing more problems than Canada seemed to want anything to do with. IF, and it’s a big IF, he continues his improvement like he did last year, he could be an absolutely electric tandem at fullback with Bornstein on the Nats. With their speed they will give any team nightmares all night long. I hope Marvell can attain higher awareness.

‘Bad’Spector. He wasn’t ‘bad’ per se but he is the prime example of why I hate seeing so many Americans going to England. Many of them end up at low-mid table teams like Fulham and West Ham where most of their matches are spent holding on for dear life against swarms of attacks and the first instinct is to revert into ‘Brit-ball’ (long balls over the top all day, automatic clearances out of touch even if it’s totally unnecessary) and it never ever works well. Especially when you are sending in long balls to a striker who much prefers balls played into his feet.

I have to give Spector a bit of a pass since he just flew in, but looking at everyone else in the first half the US is clearly turning more and more to a Dutch/German/Spanish hybrid style that is very continental in flavor. The semi-recent hirings of Rongen and Cabrerra in the youth levels are further evidence of this desire to shake the old Brit-ball style we had 18 years ago in Italy and before that. Bocanegra is as guilty of this shit too when he comes in, though unlike Spector, he often readjusts.

I like the added competition they get in England, but the style is simply not a winning style on the international stage. If they played for one of the Prem’s Big 4 it would be different as they all play more continental football, but that simply isn’t the case yet.

Davies: (came on as a sub for Altidore) for the love of fucking god, STOP FUCKING DIVING!!!! It’s one thing to draw fouls as a striker, but diving is being cracked down on, Chuckles and they are on to you. You got one yellow card for that shit and you really aren’t all that great at selling it either.

When you dive, you normally abandon an attack that could still have some promise. Stay on the fucking ball and get a shot on frame. If someone really fouls you, go to ground. If not, get a fucking shot on frame. It’s amazing that a player 5 years younger than you (Altidore) gets it and you don’t. Please stop the bullshit.

IncompleteEddie Gaven. He simply didn’t play enough when he subbed in for Adu. He had a great tournament though.

One other note; Brian Dunseth was great in the color analyst chair. Not a big fan of his beating cliched phrases to death at times, but he is good about not talking about mindless shit and staying on the game. He even seemed to have made Bretos better.

Final note: Kudos to Canada for making a nice go of it. In the end, their youth pool simply isn’t as deep and their Fed basically pays nothing and is in shambles. This team was cobbled together literally a week before the tournament. For them to come in and have two huge wins (one against a tourney favorite) and get to the semis from what was seen as the harder group. They continue to make baby steps but they aren’t going to go anywhere if the Canadian Fed doesn’t get their shit together soon.




MLS ASG in DENVER- by eBatty