US vs. Spain: Live Commentary

Clint Dempsey makes it 2-0 in South Africa two years ago.

Update:  U.S. lineup: Howard; Spector, Onyewu, Ream, Lichaj; Kljestan, Edu, Jones, Rogers; Altidore, Agudelo.

Absolute travesty if Clarence Goodson start against Canada. Perhaps late camp arrival, but still…deserves to start after DNP at World Cup.

Update: The US has the following 18 available for today.

(Confirmed by US Soccer)

G: Tim Howard, Hahnemann
DEF: Lichaj, Ream, Goodson, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Spector
MID: Dempsey, Kljestan, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Rogers, Bedoya
STR: Altidore, Wondolowski, Agudelo

Notable: Landon Donovan ruled out with illness. No Bocanegra and Bornstein means first oft-footed US LB since 2008.

Update: And we get this one up there early today, because Spain has already crimped up the plans with a different-looking line-up:


Spain XI vs USA: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Piqué, Albiol, Capdevila, Bruno, Xabi Alonso, Cazorla, Silva, Villa & Llorente

The US takes on World Cup champions Spain today in Foxborough, MA as they warm-up for the 2011 Gold Cup tournament starting next week against Canada.

Kickoff  today is set for 1:30p.m Best Coast and 4:30 p.m East Coast.

Positioning off, but approximate deployment today...


123 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KMac on 2011/06/04 at 10:46 AM

    Looks like this then maybe:

    Altidore – Agudelo


    • Posted by Alex Song on 2011/06/04 at 11:49 AM

      Think we might see a 442 with Jones/Bradley in the center and Bedoya on the right in Landon’s spot.


  2. Posted by rusry723 on 2011/06/04 at 10:46 AM

    Interesting omissions. I hope it is Lichaj at LB and I hope he has a blinder.


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/04 at 10:53 AM

    Very interesting. I do wonder what is says about LB or does it just say that this game doesn’t really mean that much as all.

    No Iniesta and Busquets for Spain if reports are to be believed.


  4. Posted by Chelsea828 on 2011/06/04 at 10:55 AM

    I hope its Lichaj at LB. Time to see what he’s got. Rather have Specs in the midfield.


  5. Posted by RedLine55 on 2011/06/04 at 10:56 AM

    unfortunately, it’s going to be spector at RB in order to save Dolo for Tuesday’s game. There’s going to be a lot of odd-looking choices with that same idea in mind, and it might get a bit messy!


  6. Posted by deezy on 2011/06/04 at 11:04 AM

    I actually feel like BB is using this game to figure out his defense. Or to field test them sorta. We shall see though.


  7. Posted by KMac on 2011/06/04 at 11:40 AM

    I agree with Deezy, Bradley will want to see some combo’s of players in advance of Canada et al. I wonder if Spain runs a 4-3-3 how we will adjust tactically? I will have to think about that one, given the upcoming games and player choices.


  8. Posted by John on 2011/06/04 at 11:56 AM

    Completely vague prediction:

    Somehow Adu finds his way onto the field.


  9. Posted by syght on 2011/06/04 at 12:37 PM

    lineup is


    Wonder how Spain lines up…


  10. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/06/04 at 12:43 PM

    Very nice lineup. Great reporting syght looks like a formidable lineup with a good strong bAckbone


  11. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/04 at 12:49 PM

    WOW, our pre-game predictions are wronnng. Haha.
    Anyways, hope to see Bedoya work a flank in the 2nd half, Goodson to come in for Gooch (please), and wondo to get some minutes in a 442 instead of by himself.
    Do you think Lichaj or Spector will be the LB though?


  12. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 12:55 PM

    For those who would like a pre-game univision is starting coverage at 2:00. Meanwhile it is still0-0 in the Brazil Holland game.


  13. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/06/04 at 1:02 PM

    Honestly, it looks like the USA is going to play a 3-5-2 formation today, with lichaj moving to a right wing spot and kliestan moving more central. Key might just be how well Rodgers can handle ramos. Coach Bradley has put a hungry team on the pitch for this one, but can they gel.


  14. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 1:06 PM

    That right side: it looks weak. Real weak. Thank god Villa’s not a dribbler. If Spain cares about this game they should think about flipping Villa and Silva.


    • Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 1:08 PM

      Less worried about lichaj than Rogers tracking back there. Meanwhile the crowd shots at Gillette show a very people USA crowd so far.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 1:35 PM

        Well, I’m less worried about Lichaj not because of who he’s got as cover–both Rogers and Kljestan are mediocre defenders–but because I can’t remember the last time Spector had less than a brutal game at fullback.

        People like to make fun of the general public/general sportswriters saying the US needs better athletes, but it’s not so outlandish at the fullback position: it’s the position on the field that, more often than not, demands elite athleticism.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 1:50 PM

      And as is customary when Spector plays on the right, all of the attacks are coming down that side. And looking effective. WHAT IF IT’S A TREND, BOB BRADLEY?


  15. Posted by Alex Song on 2011/06/04 at 1:15 PM

    Rogers :: Donovan
    Findley :: Davies


  16. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 1:21 PM

    Nice univision is presenting David vs Goliath as USA vs Spain. While comparing salaries as well. Now showing confederations cup highlights. Why is univision covering this better than ESPn?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/04 at 1:47 PM

      College softball gets better ratings than soccer probably. That or they are contractually obligated to show it.


  17. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 1:31 PM

    Twellman going for the sharp summer suit option.


  18. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/04 at 1:43 PM

    Just saw a guy in the Outlaws with #49 jersey and Alaska on the back. Rep that 907!


  19. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 1:48 PM

    Interestingly, Agudelo is playing as the striker further forward, with Altidore swinging from side to side.


  20. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 1:56 PM

    Our right side is a sieve.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:02 PM

      Of course it is. Jonathan Spector’s on this side. Sooner or later either Bob Bradley or angry USMNT fans will pick up on this.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:04 PM

        And, to be fair, Kljestan is not much help either. If Bedoya were playing on that side things would be more comfortable.


  21. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 2:12 PM

    Ugh it is never to early to make a change…. at least move lichaj over there so Spain would send their attacks down the left.


  22. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:14 PM

    Well, that goal’s on Jones and Edu. Edu, in particular, has not been good and has really been disappointing me in the wake of the Argentina game, when he performed quite well. Same old Maurice Edu issues–the ones that Edu people typically conveniently ignore.

    (Then again, we’re in the irrational Jose Francisco Torres love cycle at the moment.)

    And, as I write this, Edu with a dumb tackle. Sigh.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:15 PM

      That being the first goal. Second probably mostly on Lichaj, which hopefully makes the Bornstein whiners rethink things a bit.


      • How bout Ream not having his head on a swivel. No way we can tell if Lichaj communicated with him or not, on the second goal

        No way we can compete with Spain with Rogers, klestian, spector. If you don’t want to try to win, why schedule the game?? Was this one scheduled before Gold Cup?


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:35 PM

          Yeah, Ream wasn’t great either.

          Actually, watching it again, I agree with TSG–the forwards need to do better pressing the ball.


    • Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 2:16 PM

      This is awful. Anyone want mb90 now?


  23. Posted by john on 2011/06/04 at 2:15 PM

    Hoooooooo boy gonna get worse before it gets better.


  24. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:21 PM

    Oh, yeah, and Bob Bradley? 4-4-2 sucks.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/04 at 2:26 PM

      Yep, can’t go 4-4-2 against the Tiki Taka just ask Sir Alex. It also doesn’t help when neither of your two forwards pressure the defense allowing them to make easy 40 yard passes.

      Gotta love when a runner goes right through the middle of the box without anyone being within 5 yards. Agudelo tracking back on the right side, where is the midfield on that?


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:27 PM

      Bradley screwed this game with the roster, and he screwed this game with his tactics. Honestly, why would we expect these guys to do well, sat out in this fashion?

      If Bradley’s tactics do not improve, this team will lose early in the Gold Cup and he should be and perhaps will be fired.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/04 at 2:29 PM

        If US gets embarrassed in Gold Cup and doesn’t qualify for the Confed Cup Bob gets fired. Unfortunately, I have no confidence in US Soccer hiring a better coach as replacement. It will be another MLS coach bumped up.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:42 PM

          I have no idea in what direction Gulati would go. I doubt it would be an MLS coach, actually. Here are the people we know Gulati has talked to/hired during his tenure:

          Marcelo Bielsa (interestingly…still without a job. Hm….)

          Anyway, this isn’t the record of a man devoted to domestic coaches.

          If Gulati did go MLS, it would be a tough decision. MLS 1.0 coaches like Schmid and Kinnear are faltering somewhat as a consequence of a tougher, more sophisticated league. MLS 2.0 coaches are mostly too young (Kreis) or too reliant on foreigners to really be convincing (Kreis, Backe). The one redeeming virtue of an MLS coach: Bradley was an average-to-above-average coach in a worse MLS time. The odds would be high a new MLS coach is better at coaching.


  25. I can’t believe the way ESPN covers a game. Can not anyone call BB out for a lousy lineup?


  26. Posted by Hercules on 2011/06/04 at 2:36 PM

    We need some subs, the players on just don’t *get* it. Great shot of Agudelo chasing back to do something. Everyone needs that energy. This is what I want: Bedoya, Dolo, Goodson, Bradley, Dempsey for Rogers, Edu, Onweyu, Jones, Sasha. (Spector to the midfield).


  27. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/04 at 2:38 PM

    Can it be safe to say, Gooch just isn’t there anymore. Also, both of of our wingers are non-existant this game. And Edu just hasn’t been there. And we are playing like 11 guys who were picked at random. There has been no interplay at all, no understanding. This is just a sad sad sad game.


  28. Posted by cfig on 2011/06/04 at 2:42 PM

    I’m slightly nauseous after that Gulati interview.


  29. Here’s the stats up front for the first half: Altidore has been his usual invisible self, but has only screwed up twice out of 4 critical plays. That’s not good, but it’s nowhere near what he usually does, which is often much worse. The big surprise is Agudelo’s coeverage: he’s been in 9 critical circumstances, but only 3 have been positive. He’s too young still, and is not anticipating well. The USA has no threat up front, and Rogers and Klijestan consequently drift too far back, so the Spanish play begins at the midfield line. Nobody tracks their starts on defense other than Agudelo.


  30. In mid-field, Rogers might have speed but he’s slow playing the ball and has been more or less invisible. His weak turn and shoot at the end of the half was minor league all the way. In 7 critical plays, he’s been good for the team on 2. Terrible. I am a Klijestan hater, but I’ve been surprised that he’s recovered a few times and done well: he’s usually much worse statistically than he was here, where 12 plays involving him had 6 bad marks. That probably makes him one of the best players today. Hard for me to write that. Jones is the best player, and he’s had a few boners: 13 critical plays saw him making 8 positives, about the rate you would expect from a good EPL player. His instincts are good, too, he’s generally where he needs to be. Edu I am very surprised by: 9 plays, 5 bad marks. Is it nerves or what? He’s normally much better than that. Most of his good marks came from clear but short passing, and the bad marks seemed to come from his defensive play. Very surprising. Rogers and Klijestan are worthless, basically. Jones and Edu are keepers, but Edu is having a so-so day. That’s the midfield.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 3:07 PM

      I don’t know what surprises you about Edu’s play. He’s had the typical issues you associate with Maurice Edu, chief among them his slow mental speed of play. This tendency isn’t exposed because he plays in the Scottish Premier League, and specifically for Rangers there–he doesn’t need to do much to win there. Edu’s range is a little low and he doesn’t have much variety in his passes.

      I’m not sure whether Edu’s issues are inherent or just related to playing with Rangers, but if he wants to be better he should leave. It seems other clubs are determined his issues are inherent, as I’ve never heard one transfer rumor involving Edu, despite playing in his prime for a club that’s willing to sell for the right price.


  31. Spector has had 10 plays to make, and was positive on 8. The two that he played poorly both led to goals. To my surprise, Onyewu has not been horrible: Only 4 bad marks out of 7. Nightmare for Ream: 13 critical plays, and he performed poorly in 9 of them. He is in over his head, which I am very surprised to see. Lichaj has been the best defender but has been directly fooled on two of the goals. He saved a goal, on the long rebound off the crossbar, but in 12 critical plays, he’s made 5 bad choices. This is poor all around.


  32. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 2:52 PM

    David Silva has an incredible ability to ride a challenge on his hip. That’s one huge thing you don’t see from a lot of USMNT players.


  33. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/04 at 3:01 PM

    Nepotism shouters, what say you now??


    • Hard to say anything when the wingers are absolutely HORRIBLE!! Mo and Jones have looked very bad and slow, but there aren’t a whole lot of options. Rogers and Klestian are Naive in their movements. That being said, MB would have to be an improvement.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/04 at 3:12 PM

      I would say that it’s tough to judge any of the players out there considering a) it’s Spain and b) the US lineup is all over the place. I would have liked to see MB at the middle of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 which the game called for against Spain.


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/06/04 at 3:27 PM

      Bradley has been orders of magnitude better than Jones and Edu today.


      • Posted by mbw on 2011/06/04 at 3:44 PM

        And by the way — good god do I ever wish Stu Holden were healthy to partner with Bradley in midfield. Jones and Edu were so bad that they almost made Kljestan look like the best option.


      • Posted by KMac on 2011/06/04 at 6:18 PM

        That is a true statement.


    • Posted by SteveM11 on 2011/06/05 at 4:17 AM

      See my post on the post-game review. I take it all back. MB90 all the way!!!


  34. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 3:09 PM

    Bradley put in Bedoya, which was good, but didn’t put in Robbie Rogers, which was a bad idea.

    As I’ve said a few times now–and feel all the more certain about after yesterday’s game–if Bradley had to take an ostensibly creative winger from MLS, he should’ve taken Chris Pontius. Robbie Rogers is all potential until he gets a brain transplant.


  35. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/06/04 at 3:13 PM

    Junior Bradley is showing real quality today. Undeniable quality


  36. Posted by Jared on 2011/06/04 at 3:13 PM

    Ugh, Klejstan needed to do something on that play. At least give it Dempsey when he was calling for it. Once again a US player is too slow with decision making.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 3:17 PM

      Great ball from Bradley. As I’ve said before, he can do creative balls in many situations.

      Dempsey for #10!


  37. Posted by amankdr on 2011/06/04 at 3:27 PM

    I hope Timmy Chandler isn’t watching this game… smh


  38. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/04 at 3:42 PM

    When Michael Bradley takes the field against Canada Tuesday, I really hope not a single person on the internets cries nepotism.


    • Posted by SteveM11 on 2011/06/05 at 6:16 AM

      I’m a believer. I have said nepotism before. NEVER AGAIN. happy to eat my words.


  39. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 3:51 PM

    The worst part about this friendly is that for the borderline cases–say, Tim Ream v. Onyewu v. Goodson–it doesn’t really give you much to evaluate on, does it? The guys who stunk are by and large the guys we knew would stink and will get time for rotational reasons.

    BTW, people have sold many of Bradley’s picks as making sense from the “super sub” standpoint, but given the number of games we’ll hopefully play, bringing guys along specifically to sub in for ten, fifteen minutes or whatever is dumb management.


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/06/04 at 4:01 PM

      And additionally, stinking against Spain might not be predictive of stinking against CONCACAF teams. Thinking here especially of Ream, whose weaknesses and lack of high-level experience were brutally exposed against Spain but probably won’t be against the likes of Costa Rica and the Honduras.


  40. Posted by Dougs on 2011/06/04 at 4:14 PM

    I kind of feel sorry for Onyewu. I think some coach along his development told him that if he hits the gym instead of the working on his ball skills, he will be a dynamite defender. I remember when he was at the beginnig of his meteoric rise into starting for the US every game (this was sometime after his famous game against Mexico) he said something about wanting to change the nature of what it means to be a great center-back. I took from that that he believed being a bulky, athletic center-back that won every physical challenge would be the new ideal.

    Looking back, that statement, if his meaning was as I interpreted, was very naive. His ceiling for improvement is just very low due to his limited touch on the ball. Now that is not helped by the fact that his body is just not built to move quickly. But without an ability to distribute calmly and confidently out of the back, you can never become a world-class centerback. I’m afraid he only began to realize this after training with AC Milan, at which point it was too late.

    While I greatly appreciate his contributions to date, I think we need to move on — Ream and Goodson should be our starters now. Who are our future centerbacks that can distribute is very much lost on me. But Ream and Goodson are our present.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 4:33 PM

      Well, among yet-to-be-capped (or minimally capped guys) there’s a sharp division–guys whose distribution is good and guys whose distribution is deplorable. Good (George John, Perry Kitchen, Gale Agbossoumonde). Bad (Opara, Ethan White). On the US u-17 team, the centerbacks are universally decent-to-good distributors. I wouldn’t say the system is doing a terrible job or a great job either with distributional centerbacks.


  41. Posted by Izzy on 2011/06/04 at 4:30 PM

    There shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt that Michael Bradley starts next to Jones. Not only because he played well, but because he played really well in a deep role, which will allow Jermain Jones to play higher up the field and interact with the offense, something he does very well.

    I think the main reason the USA suffered big time against Spain this time was because they had Santi Cazorla completely unmarked. They played narrow to force Spain wide, which is the right idea, but once they did, there was still nobody tracking Santi Cazorla, who was subsequently found twice on the cutback. Of course, it doesn’t help that David Silva was showing great skill in the wide areas. The second goal was pretty simple. The USA were pushing way to high up the field, which I imagine was to get themselves a goal, and Xabi Alonso exploited it with a good ball in behind for Negredo.

    This is different from the USA’s encounter with Spain back in 2009 when they played a 4-1-3-2. Xavi and Xabi Alonso were tracked by Bradley and Clark, and even when Riera and Fabregas drifted inside, Bocanegra and Spector tracked them. Neither Villa or Torres, the strikers that day, looked to drop into the hole to link play.


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/06/04 at 4:48 PM

      Bradley and Jones are the team’s two best central midfielders by miles — but they have yet to show they can play well together. Why Bob Bradley didn’t use today’s friendly to get that tandem more minutes is beyond me.


      • Posted by Izzy on 2011/06/04 at 5:18 PM

        I think the main reason was because he had to check and see what the Edu-Jones tandem would be like should he ever need them to play together.

        Moreover, I think Bradley and Jones played well together against Paraguay. Bradley did really well today as a deeper-lying midfielder who helped spread play and keep the ball a bit more, while Kljestan worked higher up the field the way he likes to. Had it been Jones instead of Kljestan, we might have seen at least a goal( no offense to my main man Sacha). We now know Michael can play deeper, which should allow Jones to play higher up.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/05 at 9:38 AM

        I hope you mean in this current squad because Holden is better than either of them based on his performance in the premier league.


  42. Posted by John on 2011/06/04 at 4:47 PM

    Anyone who calls this anything but a demolition is just deluding themselves…. that said… it WAS a friendly, and most of the damage was done in the first half. All the first half proves is something every US fan knows… our B/C string is far far far far worse than Spain’s B/C string.

    Also, I can’t find it in my heart to blame Spector when Once Again, every US fan (that has watched him) and his coach at West Ham, and the Fans at West Ham know that he belongs in the midfield.

    Good Grief.

    Should have been 6 – 0.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/05 at 9:47 AM

      Yeah, Spector wasn’t done any favors by Bob Bradley who apparently spent too much time watching Adu on his computer to know that Spector isn’t a fullback anymore.


  43. Posted by John on 2011/06/04 at 4:55 PM

    Side Note #1: I would have taken Rico Clark out there instead of Edu.


    • Posted by KMac on 2011/06/04 at 6:27 PM

      I remember a game last summer where I felt the exact opposite of that. Just sayin’.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/06/06 at 7:11 AM

        Memory is a tricky thing. One uneven performance while playing with a C+ MF group (Rogers/Klejstan) and 1.5 forwards doesn’t equate to the pending doom background music that you could hear building just before a big match that Rico would start. Edu’s partner, Jones, didn’t do him any favors yesterday with his effort either.


  44. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/06/04 at 5:08 PM

    It sure would have been nice to see Benny feilhaber out there today, and stu Holden for that matter.


  45. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/04 at 5:27 PM

    I don’t know if it was arrogance or apathy, and I don’t want to overreact and say Bradley should be fired, but that first half lineup and their performance was embarrassing, pathetic, and insulting to the fans at the game.

    Maybe Sunil scheduled Spain and Bradley was against it? Maybe it was an eff you to Sunil? That would explain how awful that first half lineup was.


    • Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/04 at 5:30 PM

      Oh, and as has already been pointed out, the guys from our “A” team, particularly those who came on in the second half (Demspey, Bradley, and Cherundolo), are miles better than their replacements. Bradly was so vastly superior to Edu it was sad almost – for Edu. Dempsey was creative and could actually dribble a bit with the Spaniards.

      Another point (from the stands): I was pleasantly surprised by Wondolowski. I thought he had some good, smart runs, and put himself in far more dangerous positions than Altidore did. Maybe this was exaggerated by Dempsey, Dolo, and Bradley actually making good passes, though.


      • Posted by Steve Trittschuh on 2011/06/04 at 5:36 PM

        Bad comparison, game was already 3-0 and to be fair Spain stopped caring a bit. Was also playing with much better players around him.


  46. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/06/04 at 5:42 PM

    Edu: does not move at all off the ball. He is always standing in space looking for the pass while the defender is waiting to pounce. Not helpful mo.

    MB: can we now dial back the hate?

    Dolo: showed me today how crucial it is to have an offensive minded right back. This also helped Lichaj with more confidence going forward inthe second half. In fact the pressure on the back line was far less in the second half… IMO due to the offensive wing threat and the ball winning energy of MB.

    In general first half for all players. Every single pass was the predictable safe pass. Second saw players giving Spain something to think abt. Will Dolo turn and burn. Will MB put a through ball into space?

    Wondo looked best of the forwards IMO, but benefited from better play generally. The holdup play in the second much better.

    I think the lichaj Lb experiment should continue, and we miss Timmy Chandler @ right mid.

    For a game that mattered I’d play:

    Dolo DeMerit Goodson lichaj
    jones mb90
    Chandler Donovan


    • Posted by Soccernst on 2011/06/04 at 5:49 PM

      Best gold cup line up:

      Dolo Edu Goodson Lichaj
      Jones MB90
      Deuce Donovan
      Agudelo Wondo

      Don’t feel good about edu there, but Ream and Gooch are even more queasy.


  47. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/04 at 5:50 PM

    haha! The nepotists are now claiming Bradley intentionally played a weak team in the first half to make Edu and Jones look bad, then strengthened the squad with Jr. in to make him look better. Kooks and loons will believe anything. Hope they haven’t heard about HAARP yet.

    Now time to focus on the Bruins.


  48. Posted by JohnnyF on 2011/06/04 at 6:30 PM

    I understand not letting dempsey, bradley, cherundolo go 90 but why not start them instead of waiting till the second half to bring them in???!!

    so in trot the “starters” at half time and we’re already down 3-0, the crowd is out of it and probably pissed, and the spainards are waltzing around the field laughing at us like the cinzano f-ing cycling team in “breaking away”!

    that was disgraceful. a team that wants to be taken seriously in world soccer does not lose 4-0 at home especially to Spain’s B- team.

    p.s. this supposed nepotism thing re: MB is idiotic. yeah the guy’s never done anything for the national team except score huge goals in big tournaments (vs…. mexico (2), egypt, slovenia), go box to box for 90min every game, and have the best WC of anyone on the team.


  49. Posted by EFG on 2011/06/04 at 7:18 PM

    Bradley played well but other than that I saw nothing positive. However, I don’t feel any differently about our Gold Cup chances then I did prior to the match. There were some key omissions so it was hard to get a complete picture. That being said, overall we were pretty bad.


  50. Posted by Crow on 2011/06/04 at 7:20 PM

    I don’t feel so bad not being able to make it to the game today now. The 7 hour drive back to PA by myself would have been brutal. What is there to say? Stu Holden is so badly missed. A real winger like Timmy Chandler instead of the horrid Rogers or Klejstan (wing) would have been nice. Gooch’s career looks over. Ream looks over is head (and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a big supporter of Ream).

    Is Goodson the best CB for the USA right now? Possibly.

    Jermaine Jones is one of the most overrated players (never has been the same since his injury) there is. I’m no longer supporting Edu as passionately. A Bradley/Holden central midfield is the answer in the future. As for the backline- I think you have to go Goodson/Ream the rest of the way, even though Ream was exposed.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/04 at 10:23 PM

      “Stu Holden is so badly missed. ”

      Bolton fans can say that but that is a strange thing to say about a player who other than a great game against Haiti in the 2009 Gold Cup has never had a dominant performance in a US shirt.

      I realise the guy is a rock star to US fans but how can you miss someone who never shows up for the big games?


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/05 at 10:22 AM

        He’s never not shown up for big games either. He’s always injured. The idea of Holden is missed because we’ve seen what he can do at the top level.


  51. Posted by Freegle on 2011/06/04 at 7:51 PM

    Watching the game from the stands, I can’t decide if this game was a success because we got a lot of players a run out against a good team or a failure for every other thing that happened. I’ll have to watch the tape in the morning with a clear head.

    my initial observations were that I was disappointed with the approach that BB took to this match. I continue to be shocked/appalled by his player selection, lineups, and tactics. They defy logic.

    There is no excuse for allowing David Silva to receive, turn, and look up in the centre of the field 25-35 yards from goal.

    I also feel bad for Timmy Howard.

    Thats all for now….


  52. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 7:53 PM

    Just watched the 1st half. Wow. Appreciate it wasn’t your strongest XI, but the basics were really poor. I understand that Spain are bloody good, and they ping it around well, but come on – how can you not track runners? or pick up in your own box? if they wanted to be a spectator and admire Spain, they should have bought a ticket!

    And I’m not even counting the incorrectly disallowed goal, or the fact they hit the woodwork twice.

    Clearly Bradley is resting players for the Gold Cup, but why not start with your strongest XI and make changes at HT? I would have been pissed off if I trekked up there and paid good wedge to see a second string get spanked and the game to be effectively over.

    I appreciate this is a good experience for the US player pool overall, but I ask again, how was this good preparation for the GC?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:04 PM

      No “front office” comments please…


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:07 PM

      Theoretically Spain was a good simulation of Mexico. Of course, if you’re going to sandbag it, what’s the point?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:15 PM

        So if that’s the case then why *start* with that XI?

        By the time Bradley, Cherundolo and Dempsey were introduced, the game was over, and Spain took their foot off the gas.

        Not sure I understand your ‘sandbag’ comment.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:21 PM

          Sandbagging–basically, exactly what you said. (not sure if you’re unfamiliar with the word, but if you sandbag you’re playing worse than you normally are. Typically has the connotation of playing deliberately worse for a payoff later–e.g. a pool/chess hustler playing poorly in order to fool his opponent into believing he’s a weak opponent.)


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:30 PM

            For Sale: Pepe Reina’s gloves. In perfect condition. Only worn for 75 minutes. No wear and tear from stinging shots – in fact, never touched a football!!


            • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:32 PM

              Hah. Pepe Reina, kind of underrated, right? He’s definitely a top five goalkeeper in the world, right?

              (Relatedly: like everything else, the Spanish development pipeline for goalkeepers is pretty incredible. Casillas/Reina/Valdes/De Gea is a hell of a foursome.)

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:36 PM

              I wouldn’t say under-rated. Just unlucky he’s in the same generation as Casillas. He’d probably walk into just about every other national team [maybe not Brazil with Cesar].

              But yes, they are spoilt for choice.

  53. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/06/04 at 8:18 PM

    Back from the game with a number of thoughts:

    1) Should have never scheduled Spain if we were going to play the B team. I was all for playing the best team but there was not point for what we saw today

    2) Edu is not as good as I thought. I used to think of Jones/Bradley/Edu as any 2 of the 3 were fine. Now he is definitely third fiddle to Bradley and Jones.

    3) Altidore sucks. There is no other way to put it. Altidore and Agudelo both struggled as a hold up forward but at least Agudelo busted his ass a number of times trying. Can’t say I realized that Altidore was on the field in the first half.

    4) My anger with today is not that we tried the B team against Spain its that we learned nothing. Rogers isn’t an international quality MF…. shocking to anyone that has watched MLS before. Spector is a below average right back… hmmm… watched a number of West Ham games the fact that he never played there leads me to believe that its not his best position….

    5) Lichaj playing left back was fine but he really only got forward once so it seems questionable to play him there. What good is he if he can’t get forward. Might was well have Boca there (assuming we don’t want to move Boca back into the middle)

    6) Gooch is not good anymore

    7) Why did we play a 4-4-2? Regardless of what the team wants to try why not play the formation that we are trying to play.

    8) Other than one pass against Poland haven’t been impressed with Jones. Glad we have him but not sure he is really the player many made him out to be.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:23 PM

      Oh, Spector has played at right back. But even Avram Grant has been able to figure out that Spector shouldn’t play at right back.

      (While Spector isn’t quite as tragically bad in midfield as at fullback, he’s still pretty bad there too. Really, Spector like Rogers, Kljestan and Adu has no business being on the Gold Cup roster.)


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:32 PM

        Now that WHU have been relegated, I wonder if there will be any takers in the PL [other top division] for him?


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:41 PM

          Rumor had it that Bundesliga teams were interested in him. I hope not at fullback, because that would be an awful experience for him–the Bundesliga might have more good wingers than the Premier League.


        • Posted by Freegle on 2011/06/04 at 8:47 PM

          As a WHU fan, I hope not because Id rather he return to the Boleyn… I think the Championship is the right level for him and he could be a valuable contributor for us next season.

          That said.. there were soe rumors of a German team (Hannover if I recall) sniffing around but nothing solid.


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/06/04 at 8:40 PM

        My apologies. You are correct that he had many years at RB which were lets just say questionable at best. This year he was primarily MF. Since I have no idea who the West Ham RB is (and that they were relegated) the fact that he is a sub MF and not a starting RB basically should tell Bradley all he needs to know.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/04 at 8:45 PM

          I must admit, I do wonder what the United scouts saw all those years ago.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:46 PM

          Primarily midfield? Not sure about that–half the year was right back, half was midfielder. But he wasn’t really first choice in either; I think the Hammers just had more injuries in midfield.

          Anyway, if there’s anyone who should have a beef with his development, it’s Spector. He should have been a centerback. He was a centerback with Manchester United–I think he won “reserve player of the year” for them playing at that position, IIRC. Spector made one appearance with United at right fullback and so for some reason the entire universe decided he was a right back. Just think: if Spector makes that substitution appearance at centerback, maybe everyone decides he’s a CB and his career is in a much better place right now.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/06/04 at 8:52 PM

      One last thing…

      I get the rope-a-dope strategy but if we were going to do what we did today at least play the starters for the first half for the fans sake. I would have been much happier if the second half came first and then the we were down 1-0 and put the subs in and they lost control rather than the ass kicking we got today.


  54. Posted by dth on 2011/06/04 at 8:31 PM

    Very quietly Danny Mwanga had an excellent goal today to bring his season total to 4, with 2 assists. He’s gotten that in just over 600 minutes, meaning goal or assist every 100 minutes. Time to start up the hype train for him again? I THINK SO. GET THE MAN HIS CITIZENSHIP…NOW!!! (and bounce Robbie Rogers from the roster.)


  55. This was so disappointing. When they interviewed Bradley before the match and asked about the roster, all I heard was “Robbie Rogers” and the game felt over. For a game meant to build momentum and experience, why then did you pick the flipping #1 team and reigning world champions? That doesn’t bleed your new players with experience, it creates a demoralizing wound that nobody wants to think about again — right before a major tournament. If you are going to be serious but want to rest people, play the starters and sub in new people later. Ironically, I’m almost not angry about it as a fan of the team since I frankly could not expect (spelling I know) Rogers, Klejisten, Ream, Lichaji, Agudelo et al to compete against Spain. In a way, I don’t even feel like the US lost since what the US has to offer wasn’t even on the field. But I am phenomenally pissed at Coach Bradley and Sunil. One of our group bumped into the latter after and said he looked like he was running for cover, reacting to his simple “hello” like he expected an attack. Well no figure! This smacked of being about driving up popularity with a big game and ticket sales, of the USSF more than the team. Phenomenally disappointed in the USSF management of this whole affair. If you want to just get some experience in, don’t schedule the World Cup champions! Doing so felt like a marketing ploy more than anything else if we weren’t going to be halfway serious. And poor Timmy being hammered for 90? Way to create a good team atmosphere in the locker room. UGH!


  56. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/06/04 at 9:46 PM

    So what is the CB pairing for gold cup?
    Goodson who?

    I think your choices are Ream or Edu. Earlier I said Edu, but probably Ream. He’s the guy with a future. And when Dolo came in the whole backline looked better. Tho they did get burn on the Torres goal.


  57. Posted by Dougs on 2011/06/04 at 10:49 PM

    Donovan getting sick put Rogers on the field, but that said, I don’t know why Rogers was picked to begin with. He is not mentally strong enough and quick enough for the international game. I would think Bradley would have picked that up by now instead of continuing to call him in.


  58. Posted by Paul C on 2011/06/04 at 11:47 PM

    Here’s what I don’t get, and to be fair I saw tidbits in this in the comments above but this is my biggest concern:

    For the past what, six months, we have seen some real options in the youth that Bradley has brought through. Chandler, Mixx, shoot even Bedoya has started to show up. Good progress Mr. Bradley, you’re starting to win me back.

    Then the roster comes out and Adu, Rogers, Sacha et al show up.

    Then we start said Rogers and Sacha, and for the umpteenth time we are all reminded that they are nowhere near international quality. As in shouldn’t be on our radar. Credit to Sacha for improving his game, because he has, but he isn’t there.

    Post match, BB makes a comment that Adu was brought in to “assess where he was at”, and that he “wasn’t really going to see much playing time”. Mr. Bradley, you have officially sent me off the deep end. This isn’t camp. This isn’t patting your u-9 kids on the back and telling them ‘you’re playing well son, you’ll get em’ next time’. This is our major tournament. This is where we prove that we are a dominant team. This is where you take those few bright spots that still need to gain playing time in Chandler, Bedoya, and Mix, and put them out against Guadaloupe to do so.

    When else are we going to do it? In meaningless friendlies that are never the same sort of mentally and physically challenging as a tourny? When WC qualifying is on the line? Or in the next WC, when it’s too late?

    Why were Adu, Rogers, and Sacha brought in? When are they going to make an impact? Why do we all know the answers to these questions, but our fearful leader can’t seem to figure them out?

    I’m not mad that we lost, I’m not mad that we scheduled this smash and grab event 3 days prior to the Gold Cup, and I’m not mad that we played our B team. I’m absolutely infuriated that our B team consisted of players that embarrass us every time they put on that National team kit. We’ve seen them do it before, and they have and will continue to do so. Get over it Bob, move on, you gave them a shot and they failed. And in turn you failed. Miserably.


  59. How are we going to find the right players is Bob Bradley keep bringing Bedoya, Kljestan Bornstein into our team…When are other players getting a fair chance..? Germanine Jones have just show how average he is…How many more chances is he getting…? Where are few of our best U 20…Connor Doyle…Why Bedoya was chose over Bunbury…???


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