USA vs. Honduras Live Commentary: Will Klinsmann Get His “W”?

The line-ups will be out shortly.

The US should dominate the ball against an inferior Honduran side that is missing many first-team selections.

Enjoy the game; add your analysis.

The Rooster: Brek Shea...

121 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/08 at 2:10 PM

    Howard; Cherundolo, Orozco Fiscal, Bocanegra (capt.), Chandler; Beckerman; Williams, Edu, Shea; Dempsey, Altidore


    • Hopefully they have more movement off the ball with this lineup.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/10/08 at 2:26 PM

      At first I thought this was your hypothetical lineup, in which case I was going to call you crazy.

      Instead, I’ll call Klinsmann crazy. Reports have this as a 4-1-3-2, which makes who the middle of the “3”? Beckerman? Edu? DO NOT LIKE.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 2:41 PM

        Agreed. Anxious for the game, but this starting lineup isn’t exciting at all. Hell, Bradley > Edu in the box to box role… And Orozco Fiscal?? I guess we’ll see


  2. Posted by scweeb on 2011/10/08 at 2:18 PM

    Dang and i am at work today 😦


  3. Posted by John Henry on 2011/10/08 at 2:45 PM

    The Rooster isn’t a bad nickname at all, but I’ve always thought of Brek Shea as zombie Fernando Torres. El nino undead.


  4. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 3:22 PM

    Maurice Edu’s completion rate has to be around 0% right now


  5. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/08 at 3:41 PM

    Golazo! Golaaaaaaaaaaaazooooooo!


  6. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 3:42 PM



  7. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/08 at 3:44 PM

    So who wants to guess the ratio of shots taken in the 1st 3 klinnsy games combined to shots taken in this 1st half alone? The biggest difference i see now is that we’re gettinf bodies in the box.


  8. Posted by CJ on 2011/10/08 at 3:51 PM

    The buildup in the 42nd minute that went from Dempsey to Williams out wide, who stalled, passed back to Dolo, who passed back to Boca under pressure, who turned it over.

    How do we fix that?

    That play felt like we should have charged into the box and instead it just died out and we actually set up a perfect counter for Honduras. Frustrating.


  9. So who else excited about Danny Williams? He has looked really good on and off the ball so far.


  10. Posted by scweeb on 2011/10/08 at 4:02 PM

    Not turn over the pass??


  11. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 4:02 PM

    I give up trying to get a comment posted on the ESPN chat. I guess Leander hates me too much. I even sent a comment before the game complimenting him for his MLS supporters group article which I enjoyed, since I am often criticial of him. I thought I offered some valid observations and asked some good questions. Instead, here are some comments that were posted:

    Comment From CrazyJon85
    of the Defensive middies whos a better fit where beckerman is playing edu larentawicz

    Comment From joe
    No Fredie again?

    Comment From joe
    why hasent lehij hasent been given a look under JK?

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The frog has just tweeted on @SunLifeFrog that he’s been caught in a garbage bag.

    Thank you TSG for existing.

    BTW- I like the USMNT games on FSC more than ESPN. Some of the camera work can be shoddy at times, but the presentation and announcers are always better.


  12. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:03 PM

    Subs I want to see. Michael Bradley for Edu.
    Onyewu for Orozco.
    Beckerman for Beasley (with Daniel Williams shifting central)


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 4:07 PM

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Beasley come in for ‘Dolo. Chandler can move to the right and Beasley at LB. Chandler looked lost early, but improved as the half went on.

      Haven’t been impressed with Beckerman and Edu.

      And I’ll take anyone coming in for Orozco Fiscal.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:09 PM

        I just don’t like Beasley as an LB. Especially with how shaky we’ve been in the back


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 4:10 PM

      Got your wish! Gooch for Orozco! No more Orozco ever, please!!!


  13. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/08 at 4:08 PM

    Unfortunately missed a bunch of the first half with connectivity issues, but I liked what little I saw of D. Williams.


  14. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:09 PM



  15. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:14 PM

    Dempsey is plenty confident today


  16. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:19 PM

    This ref is blind and stupid, how that wasn’t a foul on Dempsey is beyond me


  17. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:29 PM

    Good debut cap for Danny Williams he was very positive today. Would like to see him central though


  18. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 4:50 PM

    Wow what a ridiculous call to take back that goal


    • Posted by Paul on 2011/10/08 at 7:30 PM

      Yeah, Deuce shouldn’t be penalized for out-jumping and beating the defender to the ball. He didn’t really use the defender’s body to gain elevation. If anything, the defender drifted back into Deuce’s body. Clean goal, great goal–a performance I hope further encourages the US attack.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 10:49 PM

        That reminds me of the goal the Czech Republic scored during the send-off friendlies before the World Cup. The one where a Czech player out-jumped Gooch in similar fashion. Definitely not a foul.


  19. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/08 at 5:02 PM

    After the deuce goal was called back i knew in would stay 1-0. It was just that kind of night. I’m very pleased at the amount of chances created. Bend-dont-break d? Or was it bend-at-a-15-degree-angle-and-splinter-but-dont-break?


  20. Posted by Union on 2011/10/08 at 5:06 PM

    Awful officiating, but its becoming more clear each and every game who works on this team. First off, the Germans really impressed. Chandler, despite playing in an uncomfortable position, was great at connecting with Shea. Shea is the real deal, despite that shank, its great to see. Danny Williams is skilled too. It’s so apparent who was developed in Europe as opposed to who was developed here, I’m sorry, but its true. Edu and Beckerman were really unimpressive. Happy that Bradley got in there. I have to think that once F. Johnson comes back from injury, he’s going to push hard to play with Bradley in the center. He is a real good player for Hoffenheim, and might even be the most talented out of the 3 German-Americans on the roster. The central defense needs to be worked out. You can’t depend on Boca and Gooch to be long term solutions.

    Either way, a positive result. A lot of bright spots.


  21. Without Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey, I’m not sure the US wins that game.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/08 at 5:38 PM

      Thats a very bold statement. Yes both played well but tge team was unlucky not to score4. we got numbers in the box and the wide men put in some good service


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/08 at 6:30 PM


        Actually it’s not that bold. John left himself an out because he said he “I’m not sure” which is as good as “maybe”.

        Howard played well but I’m confident Rimando ( was he there?)could have done just a good a job tonight. There is no replacing Dempsey but as you say, we had lots of chances and many times when the big guns are out, others rise to the occasion and find a way.

        I agree with you. The US probably still would have won. They seemed to want it more. But a draw or a Honduras win, they had enough chances, was also quite possible.

        How’s that for covering all the bases?


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/08 at 9:41 PM

          Your bases are covered. As are John’s. Ha. Speaking of people we needed tonight. I think landon is gonna have to take a back seat to Deuce. Klinnsy seems to want to build the team around him and Torres


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 10:54 AM

            Antonio H.

            If you recall one of the first things JK said was we need to have two guys competing for every spot on the team.

            I still don’t really see an obvious competitor for Duece.

            I never thought I’d say this, at least at this time, but, while he is still the first choice, I think this team can now get along easier without Landon than it can without Duece.

            As you say, Duece and Donovan may wind up competing for the same spot. After all, Duece did wear #10 last night.


            • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/09 at 5:30 PM

              Yea i agree. The team didnt look like it was missing landon’s presence(especially of late) at all. About the jersry numbers. When matches start for actual competitions. Do you think klinnsy goes back to each players old number? Or do you think he stays with the positional anf functional numbering ideal of his new regime?

  22. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/08 at 6:26 PM

    the thing that really impressed me tonight, through the bad weather, which did not make things easy, was, the first touch. coach klinsmann, if he is doing anything, he is teaching this team how to use a good first touch to lead to a good second touch, or just a great one touch.

    gooch was an absoulte beast when he came on and the best thing was to see that he is running on all cylanders for the first time in a couple of years. he is going to be valuable going through qualification.

    i know kyle martino is a favorite of some, but i think he is a little green. square balls are a no no in soccer and it was funny when he commented about being extra careful in bad weather when hitting a square ball, and im like dude, maybe you should not be hitting that ball in the first place. first twenty minutes deuce hit two or three “square balls” right to a hondo playa.

    next was the deuce header, you put your hands on a defender and you are rising up over him, then that player is generally going to recieve a penalty, simple as that. all the martino sugar coating was a little over the top, so to speak.

    good game from usa under bad conditions. i still think you get feilhaber into this national team setup and he will really make things open up. beckerman is tough, and dmb showed some nice umph. dmb and bs on the left side tuesday night, that would be nice. get chandler over to the right back and give lil stevie a break.


  23. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/08 at 7:06 PM

    Bleh, thats sums my thoughts on the game. It really could’ve ended up being a loss or a draw if not for bad finishing(for both teams) and Howard coming up with some timely saves. Bleh, bleah, sounds like the bleating of the sheep in a rainy meadow clamoring for slop.
    Now there were some promising notes, like I didn’t expect Chandler to perfom so well at LB (he makes Castillo, or JB look like dogs with nervous tics), Daniel Williams looks like he can help as long as he doesn’t try to impress us too much with his skills, we all ready got one Dempsey(not a jab I love Deuce), Shea continued to look good before he ran out of gas. Jozy despite the pundits rating his game highly, seemed to take too many touches, just shoot the puck Barry! beckerman. Edu, so-so.
    The negatives, were the poor field conditons made for sloppy play and trapping of the ball. The defense ugh, looked real slow, and poorly positioned at times, especially in the 1st half. Got marginally better with Gooch in the 2nd half, at least he won an aerial ball. MB certainly made me feel a tad more confident, DMB looked good. Gooch has regained a step he is now mor nimbler than Kristie Alley on Dancing with the Stars.
    But overall, all I can say is Bleh, ugly win, I’ll take it, now get the flock outta here.


  24. Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/08 at 7:43 PM

    Interesting I don’t see any Altidore posts. I thought he looked really good out there in the first half. His touches were good. He created opportunities for others. He made good decisions on whether to try and turn or lay it off. Most of all he hustled and didn’t pout and complain all night long. He looked like a maturing player who doesn’t try to beat everyone all by himself.

    At times I thought Dempsey looked Iniesta like. More in the sense that when he got in trouble, he got himself out with a turn or twist and found someone to give the ball to.

    A positive result.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 8:33 PM

      Agreed with Altidore and interesting observation on Dempsey.


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/08 at 10:50 PM

      +1 to everything you said. Amazing what having a team and a manager that believes in you can do. Plus the AZ coach who’s also a fitness freak is really really helping Jozy with fitness and it shows


      • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 12:43 PM

        Your right Alex. Jozy does look slimmed down. He always looked muscle bound to me, not Hulk like ( that guys a freak ) but I think his agility and speed suffered from it.


        • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/09 at 5:39 PM

          Maybe, he’s still really broad and big. I just meant in the way he plays, chasing and hounding and moving at a more consistant rate.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 5:16 AM

      Didn’t Jozy get a yellow for complaining to the ref?

      My one complaint about Jozy is that he’s not direct enough once he gets in the box. When compared to Dempsey, Jozy always seems to take an extra touch or two that makes it so that he doesn’t get a shot off. He also doesn’t seem to crash the net the way that Deuce does (as an example on the play where Edu passes to Williams for the shot then Edu cleaned out the keeper, you can see Deuce going hard towards goal while Jozy isn’t even in the camera view).


      • Jozy pulled up inside the box. I think he was looking for a ball at the twelve, though ideally Williams would’ve flipped that ball over the top because Deuce was all alone on the far post.


        • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 9:57 AM

          Thanks guys.

          Jared your right. He did get a yellow card for dissent and he deserved it when he very clearly said “Fudge You” right at him. I believe that was on a defensive foul.

          I was more impressed with the fact he wasn’t sulking all night long or better yet, each time he got knocked down he didn’t look at the Ref asking for a call. Sometimes he got the call and sometimes he didn’t and he seemed alright with it. He was played very physically and felt comfortable with it.

          Your right that a few times he tried to many step overs or other tricks, but the dummy to Deuce when he jumped in the air and let the ball go through was a big boy play that allowed deuce to work his magic.

          I absolutely loved Deuce last night. His play was phenomenal and I don’t think it is hyperbole when I said he looked Iniesta like. Iniesta impresses me with his ability to create space for himself just by turning or moving a few feet in any direction and not looking panicked. Re-watch the game and look at Deuce do the same thing probably a dozen times during the match.

          I think Deuce belongs at that position on the pitch and in that role through the next World Cup.

          Lastly. Danny Williams. Skilled, smart and young. A few times tried to be too fancy, but overall a good first impression.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 10:23 AM

            I’ll take a guy trying to be too fancy in his first time out as Williams was as opposed to a guy that goes out there and plays it safe. We have too many guys that have been drilled in the school of playing it safe and not enough that are willing to try sh*t. Give me a formation of 4-1 (or 2)- trying sh*t and moving all over the place.


            • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 12:46 PM

              +1. I liked the pass when he was trapped on the touchline and flicked it back and around his leg and past the defender to his teammate.

  25. Posted by Paul on 2011/10/08 at 7:46 PM

    13 shots by Honduras was worrisome. None of those shots, save the early one-on-one Timmy smothered, were like the US’s two misses on open nets in the 6 yard box. Deuce scored a goal that should’ve counted, making three of the best chances coming for the Yanks. (TImmy was good, but didn’t deserve a 9 from Carlisle, who days before moaned about low expectations for the Yanks creating a discouraging soccer culture skeptical of US attacking football. ESPN is as to negative US coverage as pot is to being black.) TSG, please provide a shot chart when analyzing this game. According to US soccer federation website, both squads had six shots on goal.

    Most worrisome is the fact that Honduras was able to command so much possession, and, generally, looked to be more comfortable when attacking a set defense. Most of the US attack was generated through speed after playing the ball forward and from quick touches.


  26. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/10/08 at 8:07 PM

    I’d like to see the shot chart as well. Didn’t feel like many of the Honduran chances were too threatening…remember seeing a couple of hail Mary shots from outside the 18. Not saying however that they didn’t have there chances, just don’t think the 13 is very revealing.

    US now has given up, what, two goals in Jurgen’s first four games? They have been much cleaner as a defensive side during these first few games.

    Still don’t think we’ve seen a “full” squad yet. Lots of position battles still taking place, couple of untimely injuries as well, but I think the pieces are there and falling into place. Really want to see Johnson, Lichaj, and Holden in a camp and in a game.

    Can Williams play left back? Keep hearing that he has played on the left side. Reminds me of a young J-Jones–could become a very physically imposing player but also appears to have some pace as well.


  27. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 8:26 PM

    Kinda off topic- but Freddy Adu (who was having a poor game) with a nice goal in Seattle after a nicer effort and assist by Farfan!


  28. Did anyone notice how much deeper the US had to defend in the second half when Onyewu came on for Orozco-Fiscal.

    Did anyone notice how much more difficulty they had retaining possession through central midfield?

    Did Anyone notice how replacing Edu with Bradley removed a lot of the forward drive from central midfield so that our best path forward from central midfield in the last 30 minutes was the ball back to Howard to kick it long?

    The first 45 wasn’t perfect but we maintained possession, created chances and scored. The second 45 was Bob Bradley football where we had very little possession, created chances and scored a disallowed goal.

    All in all the attacking was much better tonight, but it’s time to understand that the repercussions of playing two slower central backs run through the entire team.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/08 at 9:14 PM

      I’m sorry but Orozco Fiscal is such a defensive liability that he simply is just not an option at the International level.

      I don’t think Onyewu is the answer going forward, but did not think that he played particularly poorly- even in his distribution, positioning, etc. Much better than in the Spring.

      Hopefully, Brooks or Geoff Cameron or someone can be paired up with a bigger CB (Boca, Goodson, John, Gonzalez) in the future for a better defensive pairing that does not sacrifice the ability to keep possession.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 7:23 AM


        It’s a good idea to evaluate the defense more like a unit rather than man by man.

        As Mr. Tuesday pointed out,when Gooch came on the US had to defend deeper and, to me, looked shakier. The US in general is a slow team. Chandler is zippy and a sound defender but he focuses a lot on attack and his relationship with Shea, which is very promising. Same thing, more or less, with Dolo.

        I don’t see many people criticising Boca but he had a bad game. Now was that because he was covering for Fiscal or were Fiscal’s challenges because of Boca’s bad day?

        When you have Gooch in there, even though he played well, you have two fairly unmobile CB’s.

        A 4-3-3, which JK appears to ultimately want, needs fairly mobile CB’s.

        Fiscal is no superstar but he is much more mobile than any of the other candidates, save perhaps Cameron. Since it’s approaching Halloween maybe the Edu as CB experiment will rise again from the dead. The popular dynamic duo of Omar & George don’t really address the quickness deficit.

        You’ll probably see Fiscal again since he was removed apparently due to injury.

        JK has a sticky problem in terms of replacing Boca since he has committed so much to him in public. Perhaps that is why Ream is in camp even though he’s not playing, maybe JK wants him to learn as much as possible from him and then ultimately replace Boca.


        • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/09 at 9:17 AM

          I forgot about Edu playing CB. I wouldn’t mind seeing how he would do in the Orozco Fiscal role in one of these exhibitions.

          I think Bocanegra had been very solid the last several games, until last night. He was very poor.

          Also, I’m wondering if it is all downhill now for ‘Dolo. He hasn’t been the same for club or country since that Gold Cup injury.

          My main point is that the smaller, quicker defender that is needed to pair with whoever is chosen as the larger, stronger defender (Boca, Gooch, Goodson, John, Gonzalez) should not be Orozco Fiscal. He is the Robbie Rogers/Bornstein, etc. of the position. He just does not have international level talent and several games have been wasted letting him try out for the position. He showed nothing in MLS, nothing in the Olympics, and nothing in these recent games.

          I want to see Cameron, Parkhurst, Edu (based off suggestions from this site), or anyone else other than Fiscal. Hopefully, Ream can find some form and confidence again and take the spot back.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 11:01 AM

            I see your point about Fiscal but Parkhurst, who I love, is not exactly that mobile quick guy. He and Ream, another not the fastest guy on the planet type, would replace Boca not Fiscal.

            Cameron and Edu are the only mobile speedy guys in the mix that I am aware of.


          • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/09 at 11:02 AM

            If Fiscal had shown nothing in the 1st 3 games, then Klinnsy wouldnt srart hik again. Just like he did with Robbie Rogers and Castillo. Maybe your bias against him is why you think that. But weve given up 3 goals in 4 matches. Thats damn good. He fits the system and although he is a liability i prefer him as the starter right now.


            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/09 at 1:17 PM

              I love shows like american restoration or antiques roadshow, How about a reclaimation project like Ricardo Clark at CB, Last year he was getting minutes there, this year I think I saw his face on a milk carton. Although the thought of him at CB will cause stocks like Rolaids & Tums to rise, he definitely has the speed, agility, and out of the back passing ability. Can’t be any worse than some we trot out there. Just a thought besides it always looks easier restoring a project on tv in an hour.

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 7:30 PM


              That would work but where is Rico?

              I don’t think he’s playing regularly anywhere.

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/09 at 9:01 PM

              Rico is somewhere hiking among the vineyards on the Moselle river in nearby Trier. Its a nice gig, what’s he making? $400K with 2 yrs left?

      • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 12:49 PM

        Agreed on Gooch. The last time he was out there, he looked panicked and booted the ball forward every time. Last night he held possession and simply passed it. I think being healthy and consistient playing time in a technical league like Portugal versus a defensive league like Italy is helping him.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 5:19 AM

      I thought in the first half, the US defense was frequently caught out by playing that high line especially Orozco Fiscal. He’s definitely not the answer and his distribution didn’t seem noticeably better to me than what Gooch was doing out there.


  29. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/08 at 9:40 PM

    Thought Boca was pretty terrible and Kyle M’s remark at one point that THIS is the central def pairing the US needs made me actually laugh out loud. onyewu may be a beast in the air but his marking and turning is suspect and his play with the ball at his feet was the same gooch I remember.

    Edu was very mediocre and I’m confused at to what folks are so so disappointed in Beckerman for. He’s the one guy who brought it throughout the first half on D and consistent wins ball. Otherwise it was OLE and poor offsides trap. Fiscal does have an interesting approach to defending. \\


  30. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/10/08 at 9:48 PM

    “Yeah they come to snuff the rooster, ah yeah
    Yeah here come the rooster, yeah
    You know he ain’t gonna die
    No, no, you know he ain’t gonna die”

    Just cause…

    Shea, btw, is what some would call in other sports–a specimen.


  31. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/10/08 at 9:56 PM

    Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch this game clean, as I was doing a little baby-sitting for my brother, but either way much more difficult to assess player performance as Jurgen dipped into the bench more than he has previously and started a mid-field with some new combos.

    I tend to put a little more weight in the tail end games of the international dates so Tuesday will hopefully be more revealing. I would like to see Gooch start and get a full run to see if he fits into Jurgen’s system. Didn’t think possession was as lacking as Tuesday suggests when he entered. Consider as well that Specs was at LB giving the team even less pace in the back, and defending deeper makes sense for the greater part of the 2nd half.


  32. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/10/08 at 10:20 PM

    One thing is clear from the distribution chart; The majority of Bradley’s passes are square or backwards…pretty startling actually to see how horizontal and negative his play was tonight. Compare to Edu, someone who is not praised for his opportunistic play, and its even more palpable.

    and from the shot charts, you’ll see that there were many Honduran howitzers being launched–also, the angle of attack of the majority of their chances were not square to goal. Also, for what its worth, US outpossessed Honduras 60-40, though I don’t know what the half to half breakdowns are.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 5:24 AM

      I’ve always found Bradley’s distribution to be too safe when up field. He plays the same safe passes in the opposing half as he does when he’s right in front of the defense. He’s been so drilled into not turning over possession that he is unwilling to try a killer ball when there is a simple square ball or backpass to a fullback.


      • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/09 at 8:46 AM

        Bradley needs a break here, he came on to preserve victory.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 8:52 AM

          I disagree. Bradley was brought on to show that he belongs on the team going forward. He wasn’t the most defensive midfielder and should have attempted more going forward than he did. I don’t think Jurgen believes in protecting victory in friendlies. If he did then we would have seen more defensive moves, Bradley was a like for like replacement.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 10:40 AM

            Re:”I don’t think Jurgen believes in protecting victory in friendlies. ”

            It seems Jurgen has gotten more pragmatic.

            From USSF website:

            JK on the goal:

            “When you score that first goal you have to make sure that you close it down. The second came late with Clint Dempsey’s header that was, for whatever reason, disallowed. The important thing was that we got three points because this team is hungry for success. They want to do well and get the results done right.”


        • Between Bradley and Edu as the guy in front of the back line…I’ll take Edu. Heck, I might even take Beckerman, though I could be convinced otherwise. Bradley’s niche has been pressured by other talented players of late, and the fact that he wasn’t getting all that much playing time didn’t help his case. I’d take a bit of a wait-and-see approach on him; he’s never going to be a dynamic player in attack and his abilities as a linker are suspect at best.

          All that said…he’s getting time again, and he’s 24. The next few seasons are make-or-break for him, but he could still take a bit of a leap.


          • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/09 at 3:42 PM

            Edu is more of a centerback supplement. Bradley destroys further upfield. Edu destroys better closer to goal. Bradley has a better head for distro. I think the comparison Klinsi is making is not Bradley v. Edu, it is Bradley v. Beckerman. We need both Bradley and Beckerman on the team.


  33. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 5:36 AM

    One major concern I had in the first half with Orozco-Fiscal/Boca pairing was that the Hondurans seemed to win all the headers against those two. Not a good sign going forward because that resulted in a lot of extra possession and chances in the box. I also thought that they were very lucky not to concede as there seemed to be a lot of guys open in the box who just didn’t finish. No more Orozco-Fiscal for me.

    I think we’re starting to see the end of the line for Cherundolo. The past few games he’s been beaten by his man more than he had in the previous 4 years. I get it against Belgium with the skill they have but it’s scary when it’s by Honduran players.

    Get Shea to Europe ASAP. He’s not going to get better staying in MLS. I just hope that MLS doesn’t ask for stupid fee just to keep him. Jozy’s fee or better and let him go (I do realize that would make it the highest fee in MLS history but seems a fair price for Shea).

    Offensively I was impressed by the way the US attacked and the willingness to get balls into the box. The was more of a willingness in this game for players to get into the box as well with Shea or Williams joining Jozy and Deuce in there. One thing that would help a lot would be for a guy to stand at the top of the box on corners/set pieces. The balls kept getting cleared there by Honduras and the nearest US player was 10 yards back or so which allowed Honduras to start a counterattack or at least clear the ball.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/09 at 3:45 PM

      What happens when some ringer takes out his knee a la Stuart Holden? I say we keep him here a la Donovan.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 4:17 PM

        Did you miss all the terrible tackles in MLS this season? It seemed every week for the first month and a half that there was a guy getting red carded along with the guy he tackled being out for months.


  34. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/09 at 6:15 AM

    i really believe the usa is set up to play two defensive midfielders. whether it is out of a 4-5-1, a 4-4-2. or a 3-5-2. its not a popular observation with coach klinsmann being more offensive minded and on the heals of the former regime. bradley and beckerman did not pair well last night, but this seems like a pairing with some possibility, and you throw in feilhaber or maybe deuce in the central attacking role and this team will start rolling.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 6:26 AM

      Deuce was in the central attacking role and he was a beast there. Involved in pretty much every positive attack either distributing or finishing.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/09 at 3:47 PM

      Why not just call it what it is, 4-2-2-2 – I call it Das Soccer Boot, it looks like a torpedo.


  35. Posted by Wixson on 2011/10/09 at 7:12 AM

    Overall good game and result. Couple Honduras comments:
    -costly is solid, actually enjoy watching him, looks and plays so much like his mentor Pavon. Martinez-14? has been good along with their beast CB. Even without palacios and others they are a good team to have in concacaf.

    Hate to say it but time for ‘dolo to sit, boca also had bad game. Both just a step or two off, and I think it’s becoming more of a trend with them.
    Jozy’s 1st half was best I’ve seen in long time, great 1st touch (did I just say that) in the opening minutes where he checked back at top of box, turned and fed Williams out wide.
    Dempsey owns this team, he’s at the very top of his game.
    Great comments above, MB is so worried about possession that it’s square or back every time. Also found him to be chicken without head on defense, but lots of hustle makes up for it.
    Edu gave it away couple times but is a nice enforcer and got forward a bit.
    Beckerman was serviceable for me.
    Thought Shea took a stepbbackwards for me, I’ll give his shank a pass, still thought he came back to earth a bit.
    Williams has good potential, looking to see more down the road.
    Gooch is gooch, and I can’t say I like him, but good to see him fit and with some muscle in the back.
    Like seeing Chandler getting forward and he played couple great balls to Shea.

    Overall I like what I saw, controlled the tempo for the most part, put together some real nice combo play. Our defensive shape wasnt good and exposed too many times, lots of issues against the counterattack.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 8:55 AM

      The thing about Bradley is you have to take into account when he came in.

      There were about 20 minutes left, the conditions were miserable in terms of all that rain and, with a 1-0 lead , JK clearly asked him to help close it down. Bradley did not play
      as far up as Edu, at times he played right alongside Beckerman. Nothing fancy.

      He was in there to play it safe and was asked to not do anything stupid,even though he got in at least one run forward.


  36. Posted by larnzell on 2011/10/09 at 8:07 AM

    i would just like to say this site has the best insight by fans i’ve seen, espn, soccer by ives and others dont have even have the insight given as this one, from there i’ll give my thoughts

    i def could notice in the 2nd half howard having to kick long balls instead of passing from the back line, fiscal was sub par but not horrible, wouldnt mind seeing him paired with somebody else other than boca just to see what it would look like, not saying it would be better but just to see what would happen,

    people who had good to great games
    jozy — great, very impressed
    shea– very impressed, noticed by the end of the game he was playing and cutting in more centrally even before we got to our half ,
    dmb- great showing he’s still got it, him and jozy keep finding each other
    williams- great showing also , i think it would be even better if he was central and not wide
    cHANDLER- the chemistry with him and shea cant be taken for granted, may he needs to be on the left for a while just because of him and shea’s linkin up
    dempsey- i think he needs to play this position next game too

    decent games
    edu– not bad but nothing outstanding (big edu fan)
    beckerman- also not bad but just not amazign
    bradley–did the job but didnt stand out

    boca- dolo , fiscal – all had sub par games maybe its a fluke or maybe its not

    next dame

    dolo gooch boca- chandler
    dmb williams shea
    dempsey and jozy


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/10/09 at 9:02 AM

      I think Klinsmann is thinking like a doctor: First, do no harm.

      That means, in his style and from previous experience with Belgium, for example, 2 defensive midfielders are used to shore up the centerbacks.

      In your scheme you move dmb next to edu and, otherwise, I think you’ve got it


      Shea gets more central as does your Williams. it’s the wbacks who play wide. That also explains why you need 2 midfielders backto cover.

      I like this kind of play and I think it suits our team, especially with Donovan out.


  37. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/09 at 8:37 AM

    The beauty of this site is the informative opinions and observations. I learn and see things retrospectively that I missed during the course of game. (ok some comments.observations I don’t agree with, and discard but others give me pause)
    Thank you all (Matt TSG Rocks !!!)
    You all will have contributed in some fashion to my son becoming a major soccer icon one day now if I could only get him to stop starring at the sky for jets during the game (he’s 5 1/2) he’ll be a beast or a flight engineer one day.(or Botanist, no stage dad here)

    Anyway I wanted to add one peice that has been touched on here but not looked at too deeply, which contributed greatly to the game. The Weather & Field conditions.
    It can’t be overestimated on how much that factored into play. Many times I found myself frustrated by the passing of the US whereby the space to do a quck pass to a teammate when the angle/spcae was avaliable was lost due to a player appearing to shaky in trapping. But the field & wet ball, etc,, meant that touches from accepting players recieving a pass was cautious & safe, and primarily focused on trying to control the ball in these conditions. The USA historically (last decade) has always played safe when in possession (ex MB last night) but that could be due to lack of creative talent and or coaching philosophy. But that is changing thank god, our player pool is developing the appropriate skill set to take on people, and JK seems to be trying to get players to develop that mentality.
    But last night the weather impeded that progress. So i citicisms are muted.


    • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 1:04 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly Gregorio on this site. I learn something everytime I visit and even if my opinion is different I will re-look at my opinion since I am still a newbie to this site and soccer in general.

      Regarding field conditions and weather. Having played and coached football for over 30 years I know that conditions can affect play. Even the commentators mentioned how they thought a ball would go one way and then it would curl or stop short because of the wind. Passes on the ground would be much slower and skid because of the wet grass. I am sure there were plenty of puddles to play through as well. Players would have to adjust plenty to the conditions.

      By the way I was ecstatic that the game was on FSC and not the evil four letter network. I appreciate that ESPN has given soccer a major stage to shine, but the MNT has been treated like a red-headed step child through the last 3 games with being moved to another channel or starting later because of another event. A big plus there was no motor mouth John Harkes.

      I was watching a Premiere League match some weeks back and didn’t realize until about ten minutes in there was another guy in the booth. He only offered up analysis when he thought he could add something and not like John Harkes who acts like he is paying paid by the word as it comes out of his mouth.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/09 at 4:12 PM

        I think the 4 letter network at least shows some matches. I watched NYC eyewitness news last night and not a mention. Typical coverage. You can find out about tractor pulling in Bowling Green Ohio more than National Team coverage & news. We need to make a twitter flash mob,social media campaign to flood the media with requests for articles, news, coverage. TSG did it for CD9 night. we need to do more of it a systematic way.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/10 at 12:37 AM

          Thanks for everyone’s comments.

          It is the community–more than the writing–that makes this a great place to interact.

          Thanks everyone for coming by.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/09 at 5:06 PM

        I too enjoy this site. It took me awhile to adjust, and I hope I am doing so now. Usually, I was the one who had the greatest amount of soccer knowledge whether it was in my area or on “soccer sites” I was visiting (that is really not saying much, though). So, upon coming here, and realizing I had very little in comparison to everyone else was an adjustment. Also, I was used to constantly having to defend myself or soccer in general, so I can be very defensive. It took me awhile to see that people are just stating their opinions, because I was so used to being criticized for supporting soccer or my views on other sites.

        I am also in the camp of enjoying FOX’s coverage over ESPN. I’ve stated my arguments many times on that, though, so doing so yet again may be nauseating to everyone else.


        • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/09 at 6:19 PM

          I only complaint about FSC is whoever is directing needs to be fired. I don’t care about a stupid replay of a stupid foul when play is already started.


          • Posted by crow on 2011/10/09 at 8:27 PM

            I agree that the camera work and directing for FSC can definitely be shoddy at times. I remember watching the replay of the Gold Cup quarterfinal in DC and the camera work was bad and you definitely didn’t get a feel for the atmosphere. With that said I still prefer FSC over ESPN.


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/09 at 10:23 PM

          I’d love to hear why you prefer FOX over Espn.


  38. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/09 at 9:26 AM

    I was thinking about how the midfield is supposed to be the deepest area on the roster for this team. In my opinion, I think the central midfield has been the weakest area of this team throughout the year. I was a big fan of Edu and Beckerman but both of them have been rather unimpressive. And obviously Michael Bradley has had his struggles. I just can’t help but wonder what this team would look like with a in form Holden in the midfield.

    What position does Danny Williams play for Hoffenheim? Doesn’t he usually play more a more central role? I would like to see him in the middle of the field vs. Ecuador.

    Unrelated- Has Joseph Gyau been receiving any playing time for Hoffenheim yet?

    When will Clint Dempsey be named Captain? It needs to happen.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 10:34 AM

      Williams has played in midfield and defense for Freiberg. He put in time at left back which started to original hoopla over here about him. But why not go to the horse’s mouth?: What role do you play for Hoffenheim?
      DW: “I play in the center of midfield. I grew up playing in this position. I like to get a lot of touches on the ball and make passes. I prefer the middle, but I will play wherever the coach wants.” What were your initial impressions about the level of football with this team?
      DW: “I am very positive about this team. There is a lot of quality and it’s a very high level. Now we have to get to know each other a little bit and learn how each other work. It’s only going to get better.” Were you surprised at the quality?
      DW: Not really surprised because I already know some of the players like Steve Cherundolo, Michael Bradley, and even Tim Howard when he was with Manchester United. When I came here, I was a little bit surprised that the level was so high throughout the team.”


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/09 at 11:26 AM

      Gyau has been getting decent minutes for Hoffenheim II.


  39. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/09 at 12:24 PM

    Not sure Fiscal warranted a place in the starting XI. Was this decision merely because it was a friendly or does Kinsmann have a man-crush on him, in the same way Bradley had one with Bornstein? Having pace as a CB is great, but not the most important attribute.


    • Posted by fellaini's_fro on 2011/10/09 at 1:09 PM

      Could Klinsi have an ulterior motive? Like giving dual citizenship players a few games and camps to prove themselves before cutting them out. Thereby setting him and his team up as a fair option to those players who don’t feel like they are getting a fair shake from their other national teams?

      Or it could be that Fiscal is the new Bornstein. Ughh I hope not.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/10/09 at 2:52 PM

        I don’t know that his dual-citizenship call-ups have been particularly merited by risk of leaving or anything. Orozco Fiscal was far off the radar of Mexico.

        Diskerud and John are very much on the radar of Norway and Greece, respectively. (I don’t think Gonzalez is good enough for Mexico.)


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 4:19 PM

          Is John really on the radar for Greece? They always seem to have about 10 central defenders in top leagues across Europe.

          I’m not particularly concerned about losing either of those guys. If they choose to play for countries that always struggle to qualify for international competitions then good luck to them.


          • Posted by Dave on 2011/10/09 at 6:18 PM

            I too have wondered, like fellaini’s_fro , if Klinsmann might have an extra motive in giving Michael Orozco and Edgar Castillo more chances. Not so much that they were that likely to get anywhere with Mexico’s team, but Michael getting cap tied with that semifinal WCQ match against Trinidad and never getting another look at all and Castillo getting his 15 minutes of fame at the tail end of a friendly and never being called up again in the Bradley era might give other Mexican American dual citizens pause.
            I’m not saying I disagree with Bradley’s decisions about not calling them, just that their cases might be used in a bit of a propaganda war between the two federations.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/10/09 at 6:28 PM

            Yes. They invited him into camp for the game they played in the U.S.

            To be fair he might only be a blip on their radar, but he’s certainly on it.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 7:56 PM


            Greece played two Euro qualifiers in September.

            If they were really hot on George, capping him in one of those games would have tied him to them permanently.

            They did not do that. To be fair this was around the time of the Blackburn stuff so it’s possible they took that into consideration. Or maybe they just hadn’t had time to work him into the team for an important game. But then, if they rate him so highly, why didn’t they do that before September?

            Of course the US can’t permanently tie him until next year’s WC qualifiers anyway.

            Overall neither side seems overly worried about losing him.


  40. Posted by dth on 2011/10/09 at 2:55 PM

    OK, I didn’t see the match, but I could (hypothetically) see a replay. Worth it, in your opinion?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/09 at 4:20 PM

      Not for me. I thought it was similar to what we’ve seen under Klinsmann from the beginning with the usual suspects providing the best moments. Williams was a nice addition but he didn’t do anything that you absolutely have to see.


  41. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/09 at 4:07 PM

    Just leave it on mute!!!


  42. Posted by Alex on 2011/10/09 at 6:25 PM

    Not seeing many comments regarding Shea, but as dangerous and talented as he is, I think one aspect he could really improve is his crossing. He seems to always pick that low cross across the face of goal, much like his assist to Rogers. But this game, a lot of those low crosses were getting blocked, and he traditional crosses aren’t always the best. I think for him to take that next step he really should work on that part of his game. Good game from him, just an observation I’ve noticed.
    I hope he moves to Europe soon, like, this winter transfer season. He really needs a move away to take that next step. I think a league like Germany or Holland would be good. Just some league that mixes physical traits with technical qualities, and with an abundance of tactical thought too. I’d be very happy to see him at a mid-table Bundesliga team.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/10/09 at 10:29 PM

      Ive watched enough FC Dallas matches to say Breks variety and choice of crosses is not what you say it is. Maybe it was just past night. But his service and off ball movement IMO are his best attributes.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/10/10 at 1:17 AM

        Yea, I think I’ve only seen his off nights I guess like that Concacaf Champ League game vs Pumas and the Costa Rica game. I’m sure your right though, its hard to catch FC Dallas games in the Northwest.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/10 at 4:47 AM

      I wonder if they were instructed to play the ball on the ground more due to the slippery conditions. A lot of his low crosses ended up squeaking under or through guys because of how slick the surface was.


  43. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/09 at 6:36 PM

    worth watching for Clint’s goal alone! That was pure unadulterated badass.

    BTW- The fan base has officially taken Timmy Howard for granted. Someone on here actually commented that Rimando could have made the same saves. This guy saves this teams ass 3-5 times in nearly every MNT match and then goes and does it in what is considered the most challenging league in the world. Nick Rimando?…please…


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/09 at 10:40 PM

      Have you seen Rimando play?

      More to the point, did you watch the Honduras game?

      Howard played well but please don’t tell me a guy like Rimando could not have done as well. Honduras does not have a world class attack and Howard’s saves were good solid ones and were ones he should have made.

      In other words, routine. He did what he was supposed to do, no more, no less.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/10 at 6:12 AM

        yes and yes. Tends to be a steady patter from you and others that Tim is just another guy in goal which is pretty disrespesctful when you look at his resume. I know RSL is a rising power in intl soccer but making the MLS All Stars while facing the Jeff Cunninghams/Chad Barretts of the world is a little different than what Timmy’s been doing for a long time at the highest level.
        I guess we disagree and Good luck in your FIFA 12 Fantasy League with Nick Rimando.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/10 at 8:57 AM

        Howard made them look ‘routine’ because he got his positioning spot on, and made himself big / didn’t go down too early – basically made the striker do all of the work. Good solid goalkeeping (but the striker should have scored).

        If I was going to be hyper-critical, I would mention the shot from distance in the first half that he parried back into the goalmouth, rather to the side. Perhaps his decision making in the wet conditions, to try to hold on to the ball vs. parrying to safety.


        • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/10 at 9:18 AM

          I think Howard did an outstanding job but I hear in some posts that the perception that Honduras were weak offensively. I beg to differ, Carlos Costly is a solid forward. Apart from some poor finishing, Honduras could’ve easily been up a few goals. Add the timely saves from Howard as another major contributing factor.
          But a point that struck me was a shot that Costly? shot in the 1st half from far out that Howard parried out for a corner. I think he covered that one good but it was reminiscient of Prince-Boateng’s shot that went in the WC. same scenario, a failure to close down the space, and a quick shot. This time Howard had more time to cover the angle. But if Howard isn’t on, the JK’s kitchen gets hotter.


  44. Posted by crow on 2011/10/09 at 8:22 PM

    Just had to say the Matt Mathai picture that TSG tweeted of Fiscal getting burned is priceless.


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