USA vs. Belgium: Live Commentary

US line-up: G: Howard, D: Chandler, Goodson, Boca, Dolo, DM: Edu, M: Torres, Dempsey, FW: Rogers, Shea, STR: Altidore

"I'm going to score on you baldy." Fellaini and Howard: Opponents today, teammates again tomorrow...

The United States set to kickoff against the Belgium Red Devils today in Brussels.

Coverage on ESPN (supposedly) set for at 2:30pm 2:45pm EST however a certain NASCAR car thingy could pose another tricky situation for the sports mouse network.

After a somewhat juvenile match against the Ticos of Costa Rica Friday, the US will look to build on their attacking chops against a Belgium team that is coming off a poor draw against Azerbaijan team in the Euro Qualifiers on Friday as well.

Starting line-ups shortly. All US eyes on whether Castillo gets another runout against Eden Hazard and where does Fulham star Clint Dempsey get deployed.

Enjoy the match.

141 responses to this post.

  1. It should be an interesting match. Nice to have Goodson and Dempsey in the line-up though to add some experience. Can’t help but think we’re going to lose the midfield battle though…and tough for our CBs to keep up with their pace, but hope to see Chandler cover well. If we can get a result vs Belgium AWAY then it’d be huge. The movement that Klinsmann has brought to the side has been tremendous, but until there are results to take away from the pitch, people (that don’t do their homework) will continue to think this experiment has failed.


  2. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 10:44 AM


    Thought it was premature to call Rogers Klinsmann’s Bornstein, but man….(well, actually, if Rogers is a Klinsmann favorite, it’s worse than Bornstein: we have actual decent alternatives at that spot.)


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/09/06 at 10:44 AM

    Looks like Dempsey replaces Donovan in the advanced CM role. Much better suited to it than Donovan.


  4. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/09/06 at 10:54 AM

    Why can’t Mr. Rogers get lost in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe?


  5. Huh, TSG called Chandler at LB, but I didn’t see it what with JK’s calls for players at 100% at their positions. But then again, others have pointed out about Castillo playing MF for club not LB. But anyway, interesting to see Chandler at LB.

    But I do question the move as simply a stopgap measure. It does appear to me that Chandler is Dolo’s heir apparent and Lichaj playing LB for nats this summer and for club seems much more likely to fill that role in some regularity for the Nats going forward. Perhaps a signal that JK is done with the Castillo experiment?



    • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2011/09/06 at 2:27 PM

      I think Castillo moves into consideration for the U-23s. (Er, he is under 23, isn’t he?) I don’t think he’s quite equipped for the senior team yet. He’s shown some flashes of good play, but he loses the ball too often. That’s sort of OK as a midfielder, but not at all OK as LB.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 2:31 PM

        Nope–1986. He’d have to be an overage player.


        • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2011/09/06 at 4:29 PM

          Don’t think there’s any chance of him being selected for one of those slots.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 4:44 PM

            I don’t know, backline is looking shaky in the u-23 group. The only good bets–your Chandlers, Williamses, Valentins–are right backs. Other than that, it’s pretty much a wasteland. I could see the Olympic coach using the three overage picks solely on backline players, to create a lineup looking something like this: Hamid; Lichaj, Ream, John/Gonzalez, Chandler; Okugo, Diskerud, Adu; Shea, Altidore, Gatt


            • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2011/09/06 at 4:48 PM

              Interesting. I haven’t been paying attention to the U-23 setup. Might have to. Thanks.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 6:14 PM

              It’s a promising group, generally….just that pesky backline. That’s one reason qualifying (where you can’t use overage players0 might be iffy–as of right now, I think the U.S.’s best centerback pairing is Ethan White and Perry Kitchen…which you, as a DC United fan, should know the weaknesses there better than most.

            • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 7:07 PM

              I am really looking forward to the Olympics. I’ve been saying that for awhile. I like the talent in the U-23’s.

  6. Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 11:05 AM

    It’s obvious that Jurgen doesn’t see Sacha a fit for the wing (which is probably an accurate assessment) b/c otherwise, there is no way in hell Rogers should be getting the start over Kljestan. I think Rogers is going to be exposed big time.

    Other thoughts, so Dolo is playing left back? Anyone talking about that?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/09/06 at 11:07 AM

      I believe Dolo will be at rightback, Chandler on the left. CHandler has a better left foot. More about defense on Hazard I would think.


    • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/09/06 at 11:07 AM

      Pretty sure it will be Chandler at LB.


    • Posted by BK on 2011/09/06 at 11:19 AM

      I think Chandler is at LB, actually.

      Agreed on Rogers/Kljestan. I hope Klinsi is just starting him in the absence of other speedy winger types in camp. Donovan seems like the obvious choice to slot in there for the time being, but I’ll be interested to see what happens when Landon and Clint are in a camp together, especially given Klinsmann’s comments about wanting to keep Landon in a more central role.


  7. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/09/06 at 11:06 AM

    NASCAR race still has 115 laps to go. Hopefully ESPN doesn’t screw the pooch this time. Get the soccer match on ESPN News.


    • Great, the DVR is set for EScrewPN. Which means when I get home tonight I will have a race of left turns recorded.



    • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/09/06 at 11:10 AM

      Scroll on ESPN says match will be broadcast on ESPN2.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 11:13 AM

        Yeah we all lucked out and the tennis is rained out.


        • They should have moved NASCAR to ESPN2 and kept USMNT on ESPN. Ticked.


          • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/09/06 at 7:59 PM

            Just got home late, I have been in a media balckout since this afternoon refusing to talk to anyone who remotely tell me of the US game, even the fat old blue haired store clerk at the Gas station where I get my cup of coffee before I got home. All for what? To sit down to watch my DVR which I had scheduled for 2 epsn channels including the one stating the game would be on, only to see nasacr. tennnis, baseball/football highlights. GODDAMN YOU ESPN!!!
            No wonder gets no support in the US with Mickey Mouse operations like this, time and time again, hell remeber the WC qualifier that was even telecasted in the US, hell Hannah Montana, tractor pulling live in Bowling Green Ohio are more inportant!!! DAMN!!!!!! DAMMNN!


    • carlisle said in his chat room a few minutes ago that espn was planning to show the entirity of the soccer match live “so no worries”
      thats what he said anyway…


  8. Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 11:07 AM

    People are going to love the idea of Chandler at LB. I think he’ll be just as strong defensively, but I wonder how well his left foot is on crosses (his right footed cross is his bread and butter…just not against costa rica).


  9. Posted by mbw on 2011/09/06 at 11:08 AM

    Props for calling Chandler at LB. I think it makes more sense long-term to send ‘Dolo over there (since he might still be the best option at LB after Chandler has claimed the RB spot), but for today this would seem to be a good move.


  10. Anybody got a stream for those of us without ESPN and ESPN3?


  11. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/09/06 at 11:24 AM

    Based on the available roster the Rogers selection makes sense. Agudelo has shown to be an effective sub for the USMNT, but I don’t think he’s quite there just yet to go the full 90–more tactical options with him either spelling Altidore late, or coming on for Rogers or Shea.


  12. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 11:35 AM

    Interesting given Klinsmann’s stated preferences re: numbers that Dempsey stuck with his favored #8. I hope he’s playing the #10 position.


  13. Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 11:37 AM

    Also, is there anything worse than Taylor Twellman’s commentary? All it sounds like is a guy who is still bitter he was left left off of the USMT for most of his career.


    • Yes, the commentary of Harkes.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 11:55 AM

        Nailed it. Harkes is far worse.


        • Posted by GJD on 2011/09/06 at 12:42 PM

          I don’t know, Taylor Twellman is becoming infinitely more intolerable. I thought one of the reasons I loved soccer was that I was able to avoid idiotic ex-player analysis (a la the NFL), but this is about as bad as it gets. He needs to get fired.


          • Just watch it in a bar with other fans….its hard to find one that also lets you put on the volume especially when there is Nascar, Women’s Volley Ball, Little League, or sometimes World Series of Poker … no worries on having to listen to the game as well.


  14. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 12:05 PM

    Torres has not played well under heavy pressure today.


    • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 12:34 PM

      well, you may not care much for him, but he’s been the only one able to do anything under pressure.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 1:49 PM

        Nah, no one was able to much of anything under pressure. Not a good day at the office.


        • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 1:53 PM

          I didn’t think Torres was spectacular but I didn’t think he was bad either. I was impressed at his commitment to regain possession and put pressure on the ball.


          • Full game against Costa Rica….then travel over to Europe and try another long match. I just got back from a trip to Sweden and I was pretty sluggish for 2-3 days just because of the time change….and all I had to do was un-fold my shirts and drink some soda and maybe do a boat tour. He played well both matches. I am curious to see what happens when Stu doesnt have someone try to break his legs right before some big international matches and gets into the mix. Are they both on the field at once or does Torres become a good of the bench option, etc. Either way…very happy to have him on the pitch and in the mix now. We dont have depth in all spots …but any depth is good depth at this point.


            • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/06 at 9:05 PM

              Baed on this game, Holden and Torres will not be playing the same position.

            • Posted by Brian on 2011/09/06 at 9:35 PM

              I want to see both Torres and Stu on the field at the same time. We need players in the midfield who are good with the ball at their feet because they will enhance the team’s possession. If Klinsmann is going to implement a possession-attacking style of play, then he should, at the very least, try Torres and Stu together in the midfield. I really think it would work out.

  15. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 12:06 PM

    too bad the weather sucks so much. it’s a pretty messy game to make much evaluation beyond the USMNT hasn’t met a backpass they don’t love tonight!


  16. Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 12:07 PM

    Good to see Rogers ….look completely out of place again.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 12:18 PM

      Rogers is quickly moving into Bornstein territory with Klinsi.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 12:23 PM

      What makes it worse is…not only is he inadequate going forward, but he’s been poor defensively. Absolute disaster.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 1:55 PM

      It’s nice to know everyone agrees on something! NO MORE ROGERS! Please! It was funny- when he scored the tap-in goal vs. Mexico he looked as surprised as anyone that he was scoring.


  17. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 12:10 PM

    Too soon for Brek Shea in Jan. 2012 transfer window. Thinking waiting until Jan. 2013 is better.


  18. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 12:13 PM

    I just don’t understand how Rogers can have so little clue where he could be useful.


    • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 12:19 PM

      Its 11 v 10. He has no place on this team. It’s really embarrassing. Watch ‘Dolo yell at him for being useless on the right side.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/09/06 at 12:47 PM

        I think they are actually taking turns yelling at him now to keep from getting tired out. This team has enough challenges without having a turd as an option out wide.


        • Rogers is there for speed….and potential…but his speed is there. We have what seems to be some great wingers coming up in the age groups, so nothing wrong with a speedy plug-in…although he might do better as an off the bench sub so his speed can be even more effective against tired legs. Coach K has had a few weeks or so to really get into our depth. Pulling from someone you have experience with and has speed while looking at all the other options is fine…lets see what happens going forward. If he can improve then great, if he becomes a sub then great, if we find better options then great….but its not currently where everything is perfect but Rogers on the wing so I am sure Coach K has a few things for homework.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 2:52 PM

            It’s time to stop talking about Rogers as having great potential. He’s 24 and been a pro since 2006. Not too many guys improve enough at that age to make it seem like he’s going to be effective going forward.

            With the way he’s playing it doesn’t seem like it should be hard to find better options.


          • Posted by Gino on 2011/09/06 at 7:46 PM

            Sorry but there’s only ONE Coach K and Klinsmann’s not him.


  19. Posted by David on 2011/09/06 at 12:16 PM

    I have to admit we looked composed even in the slick conditions. We’re still desperate for some creativity in the middle 3rd of the pitch. We await you, Stu. Anxiously.


  20. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 12:24 PM

    Chandler’s crossing…enhhhhhhhhhhhh Liked Lichaj at LB more than Chandler.


  21. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 12:28 PM

    ummm. Can we not throw the ball into Belgium? Then I’d like to request we make 1 attempt at goal. Doesn’t even have to be on goal at this point.


  22. Posted by Alex on 2011/09/06 at 12:29 PM

    Well, we certainly are weathering the storm right now.


  23. Posted by Alex on 2011/09/06 at 12:31 PM

    Oh Edu…


  24. Posted by cornelius on 2011/09/06 at 12:31 PM

    Can we sub out Robbie Rogers already, please?


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/09/06 at 12:35 PM

      I agree, put Dempsey on the wing and put in Kljestan or Beckerman


      • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 12:46 PM

        I mean, most analysis on these games is subjective and given to certain biases. But can we all agree that objectively speaking, Rogers is far and away the weakest link? I feel for the guy, but he needs to be taken out. It’s not that the will isn’t there, he just doesn’t have the talent. I don’t know if anyone else caught this, but both Howard and ‘Dolo have been yelling at him. Reading lips they are essentially saying “you need to get back”.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 12:48 PM

          Oh, no, definitely other way around for Rogers: talent is there but will/mind isn’t. If you put Dempsey’s mind in Rogers’s body, Rogers would be the best American player and playing for a big club.


  25. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/09/06 at 12:45 PM

    Chandler will do for now as the Not J Bornstein. Much more competent defender.

    Comment above on Torres is odd. He’s been composed and forward looking with the ball in my watching.
    Altidore is shite in holdup and distribution. Running is spotty as usual which is why Torres is having a hard time in distribution.

    Rogers is so ridiculously out of his league that Im getting concerned about Klinsi’s blind spots already. Get a blind spot for Clint or somebody with some quality. If he’s not subbed at half I’m concerned. This is where leaving a Bedoya or other pure winger off the roster bites you in the arse.

    Excellent switch to Goodson BTW. He looks more and more composed.

    Would go Beckerman for Edu at this point as Mo just looks like he doesn’t give a shit.

    Did I mention that Robbie Rogers looks like he’s completely out of his league…


    • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 12:49 PM

      Agree 100%. Especially on Torres, who far and away (IMO) has looked like the most competent US player outside of Howard, Goodson and Dolo.

      Altidore might be my biggest goat outside of Rogers. The guy just doesn’t move. I know its 1 v 7. I know he is going into the box alone against 4 guys, but he just doesn’t make runs. He’s really frustrating to watch. He might be a better player than Agudelo, but at least Juan makes things happen.


  26. Is it just me or did we look really disorganized as the half progressed? It seemed that a lot of our guys didn’t know where to be or where to move to.


    • But I love the fire that Deuce brings. Don’t think “friendly” is in his vocabulary.


    • Posted by David on 2011/09/06 at 12:52 PM

      I agree. The first 20 were promising, I thought. As the half progressed though we developed a sort of speed wobble. Fortunately the wheels held on in time for the half.

      I agree with the above comment to sub Rogers for Beckerman and slide Clint out wide. I thought Chandler did reasonably well as the LB.


  27. Posted by jwrandolph on 2011/09/06 at 12:48 PM

    A few things at the half…
    – Tim Howard rules.

    – Nice to see Shea and Chandler comfortable fluidly switching LB and LM for fairly extended periods of time. I also like what I’ve seen of Edu in this role.

    – Torres has looked lively, but not much has come from it. He’s hustling at the back, but you can see clearly that he’s not a natural DMF.

    -To give him some help, at halftime I’d want to see Sascha for Rogers and Beckerman come on, maybe for place of Shea (who has GOT to be gassed), stacking Clint behind Altidore to help link the midfield and the attack and keeping us a bit more compact.

    — -Dempsy–Torres–Sascha—-

    – We need to be stringing passes together in the middle to build sustained pressure and to keep fairly compact shape. I don’t think the USMNT is used to having wingers stay so wide up the pitch, and there is waaaay too much space up top and there is too much space in the middle.

    – We got NOTHIN up in the final third and need numbers to get forward better. A few changes in midfield, better sustained pressure, and a change or two up top could give us some better energy.

    GO USA!


  28. Posted by mthwhite on 2011/09/06 at 12:54 PM

    Thoughts for the first half
    1) Chandler seems to really prefer his right foot, even for short passes. There were a number of times I saw him step over the ball with his left so he could try a harder pass with his right. I guess this is temporary for the game (there is really no one else) but I would guess he sticks with RB in the future.
    2) I am fine with giving Rodgers another run out. As long as it is now decided that the USMNT won’t call him back, I am fine giving a player enough time to show that they belong or not.


  29. Posted by jwrandolph on 2011/09/06 at 12:58 PM

    Beckerman on for Rogers
    Agudelo on for Altidore

    Lookin better already


  30. Posted by Thomas on 2011/09/06 at 1:05 PM

    Does Dempsey need Donovan?


    • Posted by jwrandolph on 2011/09/06 at 1:07 PM

      Not at all, see Dempsey’s EPL 2010-2011 season.

      Does the USMNT need Donovan? Thats a better question.


      • Posted by Steve NJ on 2011/09/06 at 1:29 PM

        All these anti-Donovan people are really baffling to me. He is undeniably one of the most important players of our team, and a valuable leader in our world cup. The moment the united states begins to struggle suddenly it is Donovan that is up for review? We’re not nearly deep as these people think, or imagine. Who is this miracle player that Donovan should stop aside for?


        • Posted by jwrandolph on 2011/09/06 at 1:46 PM

          Steve, I definitely didn’t mean to imply a negative opinion of Donovan. I am of the opinion that he’s one of our best players, and I think thats pretty undeniable. I agree with most folks that he is on a fairly poor run of form for the USMNT, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take it up a few notches in big games.

          Thomas asked “does dempsey need donovan?” and I think that dempsey has proven that he can be successful w/o Donovan. The USMNT hasn’t proven they can work without him in the last few years.


        • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 2:12 PM

          Donovan isn’t as quick as he used to be, and he disappears the moment he moves to the middle. When his speed doesn’t make it for him, he loses motivation, and that’s not the sign of a player who will age gracefully.
          He was noticeably poor against Costa Rica and in general since the WC. The whole team looked bizarrely lethargic on Friday, but Donovan is building a reservoir of question marks over a player that’s supposed to lead. I really wonder what is up with him.


          • ive watched all these games, and i havent really seen a weak donovan. weve been losing a bunch lately so i can see why everyone is looking for a scape-goat, but i think donovan-dempsey-shea-agudelo/altidore are a great force to be reckoned with in the near future.


            • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 3:06 PM

              I’m not looking for a scapegoat. I’m just unsure where the long run of poor form is coming from. Obviously I’m not the only one who’s noted this since Bradley had him coming off the bench for most of the GC. In the CR game, he had that shot scream outside the post followed by a number of very poor touches and lazy approaches. Of course, he still made a couple of nice passes. He’s Donovan. We expect that to be the rule, not the exception. So again, I wonder what is up with him.

    • Posted by mbw on 2011/09/06 at 6:42 PM

      The larger point here is that Dempsey is at his most creative off the ball (or finding a quick shot). If he doesnt need Donovan, he needs someone else. . . .


  31. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 1:32 PM

    Altidore really presents a problem. It’s hard not to say Agudelo is looking more useful than him.


    • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 1:54 PM

      100% agree. Don’t think Jurgen didn’t notice that.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 2:00 PM

      I’m not ready to write Altidore off yet, and I’m still not ready to annoint Agudelo. I still think they are adjusting to Jurgen’s system.

      It’s strange- the US (in my opinion) has been much better in possession these first few games under Jurgen, but my goodness, they can’t get a shot on goal for anything. I think some sort of “4-1-4-1/4-3-3/4-5-1/4-2-3-1/4-3-2-1” works best with what the National Team has but its like the offense produces more scoring chances when it was in a 4-4-2. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. We need to see more games, and hopefully the players get more comfortable in the system. I feel positive for the future, its refreshing seeing the USA dictate play now and then for once, but I am anxious to see “results” as well. I guess thats the American way.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 2:04 PM

      Altidore was good against Costa Rica; today he was isolated somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. Tough to be critical of him, IMO. The U.S. just wasn’t keeping enough possession to integrate him.


      • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 2:24 PM

        Idk if Altidore was better against CR or CR makes him look better. I concede it’s hard to judge because the defenders are more worn out in the 2nd half when Agudelo comes on, but Juan still manages to cause problems when isolated that Jozy doesn’t.


  32. Posted by Alex on 2011/09/06 at 2:06 PM

    Thought Sacha could’ve made a difference in the 2nd half instead of Edu.

    Well, at least there is BIG change from the Bradley era to the Klinsi era. We used to suck in the 1st quarter, amp it up 2nd quarter in both halves. Now we look good in the 1st quarter, and are pretty pitiful for the rest of the half.

    And does anyone else see a little Gareth Bale in Brek Shea>


  33. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 2:06 PM

    Well, we’re going to need to see a Donovan-Kljestan-Dempsey attacking band at some point soon, I think.


  34. Posted by Charlie G. on 2011/09/06 at 2:10 PM

    Isn’t it funny how you think that certain players aren’t necessarily that good,,,but, I’ve changed my opinion of Beckerman, who I think works well in Klinsmanns system. I found myself wishing for him to come on to replace Edu in the 2nd half, with Torres staying on, but maybe Torres was gassed. I wanted those two playing together.
    Edu doesn’t really seem to look forward/be able to link up, and lacks the possession skills. Also, am wondering if its not time to give Agudelo a start. Overall a good showing for a quick overseas trip with losy weather.


    • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 2:20 PM

      The funny thing I’ve noticed about Beckerman in the last 2 games is that he no longer tries to turn the ball forward (a personal moment of exasperation with him every time I witnessed it.) If he faces goal and receives a pass, he pings it back and moves forward.
      I think he must have terrible hip flexors, or something, but at least the weakness seems to have been noted and heretofore avoided.
      Edu is definitely a possession black hole. Hopefully Stu is done with the injury followed by injury part of his career.


  35. my thoughts:
    -back line looked much better without the castillo and orozco, lichaj should be icing on the cake.
    -im not convinced chandler is playing better than dolo. cherundolo looks GREAT everytime he plays. i think this gives time for chandler and it means we are set for a while at RB
    -rogers has played his way out IMO of any match that matters should have been replaced in the 15th minute
    -i still feel beckerman>edu
    -in the last few games the attck has looked like only half the team was there. which has been the case. (holden yet to play, LD but no demps the first two, and dempey but no LD today) JK is setting up an exciting new system for a relatively deep team when all are present and accounted for.
    -also most of the goals that have been scored on JK’s team have been relatively flukey, i know that’s part of the game, but this new style seems to be presenting a better team game, and the chances i think will come when all the peices are there.
    -lastly, altidore is playing well, making good runs, playing a good hold up and taking the brunt of the backline before they get tired. and agudelo is doing well taking advantage of a bit more tired backline when he comes on. we may be seeing this 1 for 1 swap for a long time.

    sucks to watch the team lose, but they are playing well IMO (minus a few exceptions)


  36. Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 2:26 PM

    My random thoughts for whatever its worth:

    1) Overall, its tough to expect much more out of the squad Jurgen put together for the past 2 games. It’s just a strange mix of talent. Not a great balance. A lot of the top guys in terms of talent also happen to play the same position. Plus, very few on the roster could be called “creative”. This is especially true when you had certain guys not making the trip to LA and vice versa, certain guys not heading to Belgium. So it’s not a huge surprise that they struggled to create.

    2) I hope this is the nail in the coffin of the Robbie Rogers experiment. I just don’t see how he makes it on the US roster much less makes it into a game before the 60th minute. His decision making is too slow and his pace seems to have dropped off. That combined with his poor technique is really just a huge wrench in any offensive game plan. I’m really surprised Jurgen stuck with him.

    3) I know this guy always splits US fans. Many think that he is a young guy with a lot of potential. Others think he lacks a creative instinct and is far too lazy with his runs. I tend to agree with the latter. Regardless of the fact that Jozy was far too often the only guy in the box, he is just never a threat. He is unable to create off the dribble and thats a bad thing if you’re a lone striker playing up top. He also is strangely complacent with his runs. I don’t get it, I watched him closely today and it was like watching a statue. No matter how you swing it, Agudelo was the bigger threat and the better player today.

    4) Really amazed that Jurgen didn’t put Sacha in the game given the fact that he is a high profile starter in the Belgian Pro League. This was his city and he was playing against some of his teammates. And aside from that, he is a more talented player than Larentowicz. Flabbergasted.

    5) Edu, despite having a goal taken away, still looked bad in the attacking role. He lacks that final touch. Though I guess most of the US players do at this point. He held up fine in the holding role, but he’s going to have tough competition. That being said, I thought Torres looked great. He had class with his touches today, despite the rain. It’s going to be interesting to see who gets that MF position when Holden/Adu come back into the mix.

    6) Shea looks terrific. For those that have said he should wait one more year before leaving the MLS, I think you’re crazy. If he gets a solid loan and can continue playing during the MLS’s off-months, it is nothing but productive for him. What else does he have to prove in the MLS?

    7) I’ll make this the last one. I was bummed by the result, mainly bc as has been said cynically all along “you can change the coach, but you can’t change the talent”. Our system is still in a lull in terms of producing high caliber players. That being said, I’m excited by the type of pace Jurgen is implementing. I’m excited by Shea, Torres and Agudelo. And you have to imagine a full strength squad could have really pressed the Belgians (a squad that included Donovan, Holden, Adu, Bradley and even Fabian Johnson). Crossing my fingers, but I still think there are good things to come.


    • hate to see the jozy bashing,
      the guy wears out the defenders by himself for a half and then everyone talks about how juans play is so much better and shoudl be starting..
      i respectfully disagree
      i like the josy-juan 1 2 punch


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 2:46 PM

        I don’t think Jozy wears out defenders nearly as much as you think he does. He stands around a lot and isn’t nearly as strong in possession as he should be. I still think though that he should start over Agudelo. I hope that Jozy can continue to progress while playing at AZ.

        I think it’s time for Shea to go as well. If he’s already doing as well as he is in MLS at 21 then there is nothing left but stagnation. Just hope MLS doesn’t try to turn him into the next Donovan.


        • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 4:07 PM

          I was listening to the soccer podcast from either the Times or the Guardian last week. Not trying to add to the pile on, but I think they said that “every 10 goals in the Eredivisie counts for 1 goal in the Premier League”. Sure, typical English comment. But, point is, while I think AZ is a great place for Jozy to get consistent minutes and find his confidence, I care less about the goals he scores and more about his ability to make solid runs and anticipate the ball. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for the standards of the Dutch league, Jozy is a monster of a human being in terms of size. He’s going to score off of set pieces. I want to see him score off the dribble, or by making a Chicharito-esque run on goal.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 4:46 PM

            Well, unless only the small people in the Netherlands play soccer he’s not that big. The average male height in the Netherlands is 6 ft and they are the tallest country in the world. Jozy’s only 6’1.


            • Posted by Union on 2011/09/06 at 5:08 PM

              Just what the commentators alluded to in regards to the competition in the league. Maybe its BS.

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/06 at 9:26 PM

      “Regardless of the fact that Jozy was far too often the only guy in the box, he is just never a threat. ”

      First of all, apparently Jozy is not 100% fit.

      Second of all name me a forward who is a threat when he always has two,three,five defenders on him?

      I’ve seen most of Jozy’s games with AZ lately and he does well because he plays in a 4-3-3 that really supports him and gives him real chances.

      The US 4-3-3 is, to be kind, a work in progress.

      Agudelo, reminds me of McManaman at his worst when he was at Liverpool, lots of long mazy runs leading nowhere in particular. A team like Belgium will let him run around all day and produce nothing.

      Once Klinsmann has they guys more organized, then you wil see more productivity from both Jozy and Juan. Klinsmann sees this as a team game while most of the posters here seem to see it as 11 guys going one on one.


  37. Posted by Fellianis_Fro on 2011/09/06 at 2:59 PM

    Flipping piece of sh+t evil four letter network. Screwed up my DVR with their neck car race and now I can’t review what everyone was talking about on here. I absolutely hate soccer on ESPN with their idiotic broadcasting decisions and commentators. Ughh!!!


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 7:11 PM

      ESPN THE SOURCE for soccer coverage! 🙂 ESPN2 would like to know how you thought Felliani’s Fro held up in the rain today. I’m glad ESPN puts such a high priority on our National Team.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/06 at 9:33 PM


        ESPN represents a perversion of American values and will eventually be partly responsible for downfall of the country and anything worthwhile about the USA but, on the other hand, would soccer in America be better off without their massive, if flawed, committment to the game?

        You tell me.


        • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/07 at 6:37 AM

          That is a good question. I have thought about it. I actually thought the coverage of the World Cup was solid and appreciate their efforts to broadcast an EPL game to a National audience, etc. However, their coverage of the National Team has been pathetic over the last few years- it shows how little esteem the Team is held in when the only World Cup game shown to a true national audience was the England game (ABC). And now we have had several occasions where Little League Baseball, NASCAR, Tennis, etc. etc. has taken priority over the National Team. I laugh when I think about the one WCQ- US/El Salvador being broadcast on ESPNU or ESPN Classic (I can’t remember which one). Also, all of the writers other than Jeff Carlisle are poor, in my opinion, on America takes whatever ESPN says about anything as canon. So yes, I hold them to a higher standard than Fox Soccer Channel or Gol TV, etc.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/07 at 4:05 PM


            “it shows how little esteem the Team is held in when the only World Cup game shown to a true national audience was the England game (ABC). And now we have had several occasions where Little League Baseball, NASCAR, Tennis, etc. etc. has taken priority over the National Team. I laugh when I think about the one WCQ- US/El Salvador being broadcast on ESPNU or ESPN Classic (I can’t remember which one).”

            Esteem has nothing to do with it.

            ESPN are a business, they are motivated by only one thing, money and how to make as much of it as possible.

            NASCAR has a much greater following in ESPN’s demographic than soccer. The other sports , well I don’t know how they rank but I’m sure they are part of ESPN’s overall business plan.

            The point is , if there were more demand or more outrage over preempting soccer games with Little league baseball , then ESPN would react to it.

            Obviously there has not been much outrage over the Little League thing.

            I dislike ESPN but the fact remains soccer is in no postion to be turning its nose up at what they have to offer. If you don’t like how they broadcast the game where are you going to turn?

            Follow the money, Crow.


      • Posted by Fellianis_Fro on 2011/09/07 at 3:54 PM

        True about ESPN providing an outlet for the game we love. It is either them, FSC, Gol TV, FSC+ and the odd MLS game on FSN. But goodness gracious, how can they dismiss the national team three straight times as the event to bump.

        Crow – Thank you for the update on Fellaini’s_Fro. I was worried how the weather would affect that magnificent hair of his. Besides Howard, he was one of the reasons I became and Everton fan. Ever see the way it bounces up and down as he runs. Spectacular!!


  38. Posted by Shawn on 2011/09/06 at 3:31 PM

    I was only able to listen to the audio for the game while at work. If I recorded the program on ESPN, will I actually be able to watch it when I get home? If not, or is probably what I’ll have to do to watch the game.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/09/06 at 3:50 PM

      Whats the diff between the 2 espns? And why did they remove it from espn3?


      • Posted by Shawn on 2011/09/06 at 4:32 PM now goes by (I think because of the new iphone app by the same name). Sometimes they have the replay – looks like they do for this one, so if the DVR recording of it isn’t there when I get home I’ll have to watch it online. Really want to see how we passed the ball around and where on the field Belgium was causing us problems. I have a feeling this experimental period is going to be tough to go through when just looking at the results. I believe Bob Bradley was really good at getting the results for the most part (record speaks for itself), but changing the way the team is going to play, is going to be a painful process


  39. Posted by KMac on 2011/09/06 at 3:44 PM

    Belgium vs US 2011 09 06

    Player Ratings: 1st Half 2nd Half Game
    Howard 7.5 7 7.5 Great saves- nuff said

    Chandler 6 6 6 Good first effort at LB
    Boca 6 6 6 Solid performance
    Goodson 6 6 6 Beats Orozco by a mile
    Dolo 6.5 6.5 6.5 Solid D, Nice Offensive push

    Shea 6 6.5 6 Good effort, gassed
    Dempsey 5 6 6 Expect better, but no support
    Edu 5 5 5 Average both ways at best
    Torres 6 6 6 Solid but not a game changer
    (Laurentowicz) n/a Inc Inc Incomplete
    Rogers 4 4 4 Poor both sides of the ball
    (Beckerman) n/a 6 6 Solid both ways

    Altidore 4 n/a 4 Better, but work in progress
    (Agudelo) 6 6 6 Hustled, better first touch than Jozy

    Klinsmann 5 6 5 Good sub at start with Chandler/Goodson. Decent subs tactically after half. Is it coaching or player pool – I respect his optimistic goal, but haven’t seen it yet. I see the attacking style he is promising, but troubling few goals and chances created yet. It may not be the coach. To put things in context, Bob Bradley had a 3-0-1 record early in his tenure – This included wins over Ecuador, Denmark, and heated rivals Mexico.

    Back Forward commentary.

    Goal keeping:
    Tim Howard shows again why he is one of the best in the business. Shot conceded was due to too much time and space given and a decent strike from Lombaerts on a wet ground – wasn’t his fault (weather didn’t help).

    Solid effort from the back four (especially seeing how Mexico carved up a line with Bornstein’s introduction. – solid 6 – above average, decent support going forward and played calmer out of the back. No gaping exposure due to bad offisides lines or blown coverage/out of position play (first time in a while).

    Better wing back play (especially from Chandler and good defensive coverage between he and Shea). Castillo should not see a call up again without a catastrophic injury issue to others. Orozco is faded deeper into the depth charts as well.

    I was glad to see Chandler get a try at left back – don’t want to criticize him too much for a new a role – he was head and shoulders better than anyone I have seen since Eddie Lewis! Still Chandler’s crossing was off target despite some good movement forward. Dolo the same. In fairness, not enough targets in the box/final third to cross the ball to from a target /support perspective.

    In my opinion this is where the game was won/lost. Decent opening 15 min or so, but the pressure slowly moved toward the Belgian’s favor toward the first half hour. Torres did better than I imagined, but was not a game changer. Again, coordination/support was weak all around, confounded with giving up the football.

    This is where the game was lost after 15-20 minutes. Defense was ok in the first half with some flashes of penetrating passing. But a “b” side Costa Rica isn’t the same as a mid table / top table Euro side. There were many safe back and neutral passes, but not many good passes forward moving to space positively and QUICKLY. Shea had some nice ideas, but looked gassed and unsupported cutting inside and thwarted solo many times.

    Rogers rated a “4” on offense (while abdicating his defensive responsibilities). Torres looked better than expected against larger Euro opponents (passing well neutrally, moves to space neat and competent). He was not a true “Euro-class” #9, unlocking the Belgian defense with through balls or deft changes of field. Again, poor supporting movement off the ball did nothing to help him. Dempsey seemed again frustrated by the slow vision, execution, and support of his team mates relative to what he is used to at Fulham.

    Firsst, Jozy is improving. His hustle/fitness was better – not great – but better. Still needs to work on a first touch to space and reading the flow of the game to proactively get involved in creating/using space. Neither will be easy at this stage – hoping Jurgen and Veerbeck can make inroads here. Agudelo showed better hustle, first touch, and overall initiative. Shame we can’t see Agudelo with Altidore (in a CD9ish role) to give Jozy a chance to do what he does best. They both suffered from being 1 or 2 v many too many times.. Face it, we don’t have a Brian McBride target strike anymore.

    Not much to comment on here. See midfield et al for lack of control of the lack of tempo, accurate passes, and adequate support getting forward.

    I have flown around the world and understand the effects of jetlag better than most. These guys were probably on the whole out of sorts with the flying to CA and then back to Europe (a few players being exceptions). Still, the transition play / support moving from offense to defense was lacking and too, too slow. Support off the ball did not challenge Belgium and little chances of numeric advantage was created. Belgium defended with numbers behind the ball due to this lack of speed in the middle third.


  40. Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/09/06 at 3:57 PM

    Fuck ESPN in the neck.


  41. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/09/06 at 4:14 PM

    1) The Jozy/Juan debate is an interesting one, especially because I don’t see this team playing with two starting strikers as most of the attacking talent is coming from the wing or mid-field (Shea, Dempsey, Donovan, perhaps Adu). Not sure if Jozy is fully fit, but one thing that goes unnoticed often is the number of free kicks that Jozy wins in the attacking half. He’s getting pretty good at posting up defenders, which has resulted in better hold-up play generally. It will be interesting to follow him during his full season at AZ. Ultimately, I think today the US was a little lacking in play during the first half and that reflects a little harsly on Jozy’s play. Rogers, as has been mentioned, is lost, and Edu does not offer any incisive play out of the midfield, leaving a lot of responsibility to Torres and Dempsey who were consistently suffocated in the MF.

    I like Juan a lot though and think he could be something special. He appears much more technically advanced than Jozy at this stage in his career, and is pretty effective as a lone striker. However, his decision making on the break, particularly when he is far from goal, seems to be a bit slow at times. He doesn’t find that releasing pass quite fast enough, and often dribbles the advantage away–but I think that will improve overtime.

    For now, I like the current platoon effort being used because it allows Juan to be aggressive for his full stint, as I don’t think he can play at that pressing pace for a full game just yet. I think he needs more full game action at NY before he starts at the international level on a consistent basis.

    I never thought I would say this, but seeing Robbie Findley again would be interesting as a bench option. His play at Forest has been decent and I think as an attacking substitue he would give the US more space in the latter stages of the game if it was needed.

    2) I agree with an above commentator who said the backline looked more organized and solid as a whole. There weren’t as many panic moments as I’m used to coping with while watching the US play, and for the first time in awhile I had no worries about our FBs. Really solid, and am impressed with Chandler making the switch after previously playing on the right in the previous game (and for much of his pro-career). Where Fabian and Lichaj fit into the overall scheme is something to watch, but whenever Dolo decides to hang em up internationally, I feel comfortable with what we have now at the fullback positions.

    Going forward, the question is not so much about Goodson, but Bocanegra. I just don’t see Boca making it to the next WC with enough pace and skill to do the job. He’s a wiley veteren, but he looks like he is so close to dropping off physically that I don’t see him around at the necessary level in 2014. Goodson, though not young himself, is still at an age where he’ll be at his physical peak for a few more years, including the WC (though certainly someone could supplant him in the meantime).

    3) Beckerman is giving me fits because from what I see, I tend to like, but I don’t think he has a place once Bradley and Holden are in camp, particularly because I think Bradley fulfills the same role but is younger. Yet, I think he has held his own and adds quality depth and insurance. And I also agree that at this point he is better than Edu. Edu covers ground well, and is a fine tackler, but is too lethargic on the ball and doesn’t link play very well. Beckerman has looked more decisive with his passes IMO.

    4) Very interested to see how we get the best 11 on the pitch when Donovan and Dempsey are both in camp, along with Bradley, Holden, and if his form is good, Adu. Torres is looking hard to ignore, but I’m not sure he makes the starting 11 when Holden returns. But there is certainly depth now at the CAM position in a 4-2-3-1, or the advanced midfield position in a 4-3-3, or even diamond 4-4-2. Also, does Shea fit into the picture, possibly with Donovan central and Dempsey and Shea on the wings, with Bradley/Torres and Holden as CMFs. These are good problems to have overall, but another question that stems from this, is can the US create enough attacking chances with only one true striker. I think they can under Jurgen, but that will be something to watch in the upcoming months.

    5) Lastly, one reason I think I’ve had less panic moments when watching the team under Jurgen is that the possession game has made the US far less vulnerable against the wide-open moments of play that seemed to appear so often under Bradley. To me, it keeps the defensive shape of the team much better and makes it easier to, as a team, defend against the counter and not overexpose the backline. Now they just need to score some goals and eliminate the flukey stuff. I’m very pleased with the overall direction of the team and think at this point it is a matter of getting the absolute best players on the field together–I think we’ve seen how quickly play can drop-off when there is someone on the field who shouldn’t be there, and how we are, with our overall depth, an injury away from having that occur more than anyone would like. But still, good stuff all around, and I’m expecting a win next time around–as winning is definitely part of the process : )


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/06 at 4:48 PM

      Bradley is going to have to do some work to move the ball to get into this team on a regular basis unless he plays as the anchor man in midfield. He’s too slow in distribution to play further forward in the Klinsi system.


      • Posted by Charlie G. on 2011/09/06 at 5:17 PM

        Very true… was just wondering the same as he doesn’t seem to fit this DM position that seems so critical to Klinsmanns idea. With Holdens tackling ability, ball handing, and offensive sense, he seems well suited. Beckerman offers similar traits for now, but Edu does not appear to work as well in this role.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 6:23 PM

          Since Klinsmann seems fond of the old-school numbering schema (amusingly, in the Dutch version), here’s my breakdown:

          Edu: #6–though his problem is that Rangers insists on making him a #8.
          Beckerman: #6
          Holden: #8
          Torres: #8
          Bradley: in a tough position. If you read this article by Jonathan Wilson and substitute “Bradley” where appropriate– –then you’ve got the Bradley problem in a nutshell. (Oddly, Wilson was impressed by Bradley in the World Cup.)


          • Posted by mbw on 2011/09/06 at 6:52 PM

            You don’t think Edu is in the same position as Bradley?

            Another midfield question: where does Johnson go?


            • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 7:25 PM

              Johnson’s a winger. Might help allow Donovan or Dempsey to take that #10 spot.

              I think Bradley is genuinely in that sort of in-between position–managers, generally, just can’t seem to figure out where to play him. Even his dad seemed to vacillate about his best position.

              Edu, on the other hand, has always, always, always looked like a #6 to me except for those geniuses at Rangers. Of course, I’m not sure Edu will be of starter material at either position, but he’s got a better chance as a pure holder than a box-to-box guy.

  42. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/06 at 4:26 PM

    Well, I hate Fox Soccer more.


  43. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/09/06 at 7:20 PM

    i tell you one thing, junior bradley is going to come out of this thing smelling like roses. you dont start in serie a and not start for the us mens team. usa also need benny feilhaber to be playing on this team, because he is the one player that can really make nice penetrating passes and put his teamates into dangerous positions.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/07 at 4:08 AM

      Let’s see if he starts in Serie A first and then let’s see if he’s playing well or starting due to lack of options at a smaller club. I’d love for him to get back to where he was a couple of years ago but it’s going to take a lot more than just a few starts in Serie A.


  44. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 7:21 PM

    Here’s my summary of thoughts after meditating on the day’s events:

    1. Deuce is the best player on the team, by far. Even when he doesn’t have his best game, he acts like he is the best player on the pitch. He takes charge and is confident- something still lacking from most of the players on the team. And I love how he gets nearly every shot “on frame” (a favorite expression here I know) even if that requires taking some velocity off the shot. Good things happen when you get the ball to the net- deflections, rebounds, Robert Green allowing the ball to roll in. And of course I love the fire which Deuce plays every game with. I seriously don’t know how I will cope once he is gone.

    2. I can’t wait for Holden to be back. It seems like I’ve been saying that (and I have) since before the World Cup!

    3. Brek Shea is coming of age. I like how he improved as the game went on, how he beat his man going up the wing, cutting in, and going right through him. What a difference from last October in Philadelphia! Hopefully Brek can find a nice European home come wintertime.

    4. I was a fan of Maurice Edu, but his game has stagnated at best. I think he seriously needs to get out of Rangers. Or maybe he hit his ceiling. He’s still a decent player, but not a starter.

    5. I wish Kyle Beckerman was younger. I just really like his style.

    6. Don’t give up on Jozy everyone. I think he is improving. He can be very inconsistent but he has had strong games this year.

    7. I’m glad Timmy Chandler is on the team.

    8. No more Rogers or Castillo. And there is no need for Orozco Fiscal.

    9. Torres can at the least offer depth off the bench in midfield. His commitment to regaining possession and defensive pressure impressed me. I’d like to see him and Holden together if the US does a 4-2-3-1.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 8:10 PM

      oh okay LOL.. US Soccer. yes. That is where I originally went for discussions but now I just usually come here because the quality seems better. I wanted to respond to some of the topics brought up in some of the topics there, since I hadn’t posted in awhile, but didn’t feel like typing something completely new up.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/07 at 6:26 AM

        I’m confused what you are trying to get at.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/09/07 at 7:24 AM

        And there is a good bet you will remain confused. I think he likes it that way. Keeps people from focusing on the nonsensical Keyboard Tourette’s-like content of his own postings. (Holdens Overrated!/Michael Bradley is The Man…THE MAN!/Benny Feilhaber will save this team…)Take it with a grain…


  45. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 7:29 PM

    Just heard that Peter Nowak TWEETED “What would the reaction be if Bob Bradley was the coach?” (after the Costa Rica game). Nowak is really getting on my nerves!


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/07 at 4:11 AM

      Somebody should tell Nowak that it was his fault that Bradley’s tenure ended. The US didn’t concede the soft early goals when Nowak was assistant. So take a look in the mirror a bit.

      Also if it was Bob’s 2nd game in charge my reaction would be the same. If it was another game in the 5th year of Bob’s tenure that was boring and the result was the same then I’d want him gone.


  46. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/06 at 7:53 PM

    I think the only grade of Leander’s I agree with is his grade of Robbie Rogers. I also don’t agree the USA was ‘resoundingly outplayed.’

    ESPN continues to be an absolute joke. And what a shame because whatever ESPN tells the US about soccer is what they will believe.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 7:56 PM

      His ratings are really weird if the US were resoundingly outplayed–only one player, Rogers, had a below-average rating. Are we to believe Rogers was the sole person holding the U.S. back from a win? Because the rest of the ratings are the ratings you’d expect from a narrow win or unfortunate draw.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/07 at 4:15 AM

      His rating for Bocanegra is odd when you read the explanation. He criticizes two defenders other than Boca in Cherundolo and Goodson then says that the defense was well organized. If they’re getting torn apart I’m not sure how it can be well organized.

      I don’t like giving ratings to a guy who plays 15 minutes in Larentowicz. Doesn’t seem fair with that short time on the pitch.


  47. Posted by dth on 2011/09/06 at 7:54 PM

    One last issue–I think Klinsmann’s tactics (so far) might lead to too much of a broken team: you have guys who are attackers and guys who are defenders but aren’t fluid enough. Fullbacks….Chandler and Cherundolo are each theoretically aggressive fullbacks (and Bradley would’ve let such a combination tear up and down the pitch)…and then in center midfield, Torres is maybe a bit too comfortable being the deep-lying playmaker and doesn’t help add to attacking numbers when appropriate. In this respect, a healthy Holden may represent an upgrade relative to Torres. I’m not quite sure what to do with the fullbacks–Klinsmann’s apparent attitude represents a regression from Bradley (who never really had the LB to balance out the RB).


  48. Posted by soccernst on 2011/09/06 at 10:03 PM

    Two observations:
    1. Timmy Chandler carries himself very awkwardly. His posture is really aged looking, almost stooped but at the same time and floppy and loose. Surprises me how well he motors.

    2. I was surprised in the central midfield how deep dempsey played early on vs torres. Very often torres was well forward. This served the team well IMO, contributing to the good first 20 of possession building. Torres back, ball hoofed. Dempsey back, played forward. Makes me wish Deuce could play both positions as torres doesn’t have the chops for me in the attacking 3rd.


  49. Posted by Chris on 2011/09/06 at 10:24 PM

    Feilhaber remains, for me anyway, the only forward driving playmaker. (Besides the obvious Dempsey/Donovan) But if you play Feilhaber, where does he play in a 4 3 3? And with whom?


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/09/07 at 9:34 AM

      Meet Benny Feilhaber the new savior of the midfield! Feilhaber, while a capable player, has had lots of run out and we seem to forget that he defends horribly, turns the ball over a bit too easily and has not demonstrated that he can run a midfield productively for long stretches. I don’t see him as The Answer and would look to an Adu for his upside first.
      What I like about Klinsi so far is that I could see him “inventing” roles and formations that play to the strengths of the team. TBH the 4-3-3 seems to be just that. The weakness is in defense right now so bunkering in a 4-4-2 and countering just invites goals and chances. His approach seems to be geared towards attacking the wings and maintaining possession longer to limit chances at the back 4. I see him building that mindset first and then addressing the goals side going forward.


  50. Posted by KHrizzy on 2011/09/07 at 9:04 AM

    I’m sorry, but honestly I’m a bit worried where this team is going. I would love to see a 4-4-2. Backline: cherundolo/chandler RB, Lichaj LB, Boca CB. Midfield: Donovan/Holden/Bedoya RW, Adu/Shea LW, Feilhaber/Torres(a poor man’s benny) CAM, Bradley DMF. Strikers: Dempsey matched w/ adu or altidore. Honestly how is feilhaber left of the squad show me a game were he doesn’t bring creativity, calmness, and stability to the center of the pitch. This team is in dire need of his ability in threading thru balls along the ground…how can coaches not see this.


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