Discussion: USA 0, France 1

For TSG’s USA vs. France preview, go here.

The USA goes up against France today for the first time in international football in more than 30 years. That’s amazing. The work of Jurgen Klinsmann…or?

Media coverage begins at 11:55 with the kickoff five minutes later. Starting line-ups in about an hour or so.

Enjoy the game.

These two are quite familiar with each other and will like go one-v-one often today.


169 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/11 at 10:44 AM

    Cannot wait to see both the US and France deployment.

    Been following the French team quite a bit and Blanc has been just as ruthless as Klinsmann in trying new players in new roles. No sensitivity to anything.

    Another interesting note. Neither the US coach or the French coach as compromising their “you must be playing” disposition. Blanc didn’t call in his favorite son Gourcuff because he just wasn’t ready to play internationally after an injury.

    Klinsmann made it a point to say the following about Brad Guzan in an interview yesterday, “Brad Guzan is not on the international team because he’s not playing.”

    No mincing.

    Should be a good friendly.


  2. Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 11:12 AM


    Let me first preface my curiosity with the statement that I don’t follow the National Player Eligibility like most others. I usually will hear of up and coming guys who play overseas from sites like this one well after they were first discovered. We’ve had a huge boom of German-American players on the team since Coach Klinsmann took over. Were these players who would have been coming over to participate in camps anyways or is he the draw? I’m curious to know if there’s “7” untapped African-Americans, French-Americans, English-Americans playing football elsewhere that are eligible as well. Or, was this just a freak occurrence that Coach K was able to take advantage of (whether it be for his own accolades or his dual-nationality). Do you have any more insight?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 11:18 AM

      It all comes down to the fact that the US had a lot of military presence in Germany during the Cold War. These players are all for the most part sons of US servicemen and German mothers. So there won’t be a huge amount of hyphenated Americans from one country like there has been with Germany. I think it’s likely that most of them would have played for the US anyways because they just aren’t good enough for the German team.


      • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 12:56 PM

        That makes good sense.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/11 at 9:57 PM

        Give me a fucking break. It’s like saying Kevin Pietersen *is* English.


        • Posted by Soccernst on 2011/11/11 at 11:53 PM

          Not at all. It’s like saying Kevin Pietersen is *half* English. Which in fact he is. And apparently half english is enough english to flunk the captaincy, which could be considered just dessert.

          I pity the children born in airplanes over international waters. They should be ineligible to play for any country.

          Ok now I’m trolling.


  3. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 11:21 AM

    With the caveat that I might regret making this call. I honestly think that Morales is going to start over Dolo today.


  4. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 11:43 AM

    4 things:

    1) Morales is an impressive player and Jurgen falls hard, no matter the age, for guys with strong technical skills.

    2) ‘Dolo has been off form and out of the starting lineup at his club

    3) Klinsmann didn’t call Morales in so that he could sit him on the bench. He was called in to demonstrate that he is very much in the USMT’s plans. You show that by putting him in right away, just like Danny Williams.

    4) My gut.

    The caveat is, with Gooch out, Jurgen might want the veteran experience that ‘Dolo brings.


  5. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 12:07 PM

    Pretty surprising lineup to see today with Beckerman and Edu continuing in midfield. Not sure what Klinsmann sees with the two of them together. Don’t provide enough attacking momentum and Edu isn’t going to create anything with his passing.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 12:09 PM

      In continuance to the statement above…. full lineup below.

      Howard, Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra, Chandler, Beckerman, Edu, Williams, Dempsey, Shea, Altidore


  6. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 12:08 PM

    Man. I was way wrong. Morales wasn’t a surprise, though I thought it was going to happen. F Johnson is a surprise.

    Edu and Beckerman is gross. Fabian will be on by halftime.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 12:11 PM

      Johnson is a big surprise for me. I thought it would be some mix of him and Williams in midfield (one on the right and one in the middle) with Beckerman.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:10 PM

      Yes, agreed. I think Beckerman gives the US basically everything you’d want from Edu, except better.


  7. Posted by KMac on 2011/11/11 at 12:10 PM

    USA lineup: Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra, Chandler; Beckerman; Williams, Edu, Shea; Dempsey, Altidore


  8. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 12:12 PM

    France Lineup: Lloris, debuchy, rami, koscielny, mathieu, menez, m’vila, martin, ribery – benzema, gameiro


  9. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 12:12 PM

    Welp, Morales wasn’t even on the bench. So I was way off. I eat my words.


  10. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 12:13 PM

    I get the idea that Klinsi is always talking about a system and a process but right now I am not seeing it at all. I disagree with Beckerman as the holder but I can see the reasons for him playing there. Using both him and Edu though seems like something that pretty obviously didn’t work and isn’t going to work. I’m getting a little concerned with how long the process is taking when the same lineups that didn’t work are being used again.


    • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 1:02 PM

      I feel like it’s too soon to overly critique it. Beckerman is a player who can one touch equal to or above most of the guys on our team. He’s a solid distributor. He may have deficiencies but his on ball poise is a specialty almost uniquely found in the 18 chosen. Not to mention the guy just played in a SemiFinal game of a major tournament, which to me would say he’s likely in top form.

      As for the combinations, I’ve always liked Edu’s potential, I think Klinsmann has the ability to unlock our players and open them up to creative playmaking. He sees so much more inside the camp than we do from 90 minutes from a TV. Maybe the two consistently connect against the other guys? I’m excited to see this unfold =)


  11. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 12:15 PM

    I really don’t get the Edu Beckerman thing. Really bizarre to me. What does Jurgen like about that combination? Finally starting to feel a little jittery about what his plans are. I get some of the other omissions. The diplomatic side of him is probably a little wary of tossing in a lot of foreign born players immediately, and as a result, displacing a lot of Americans. Maybe that is why Morales is not suiting up and Fabian is on the bench.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 12:17 PM

      Perhaps the Edu/Beckerman pairing is an attempt to force the action through the wings instead through the middle of the field, and the pairing of the two is to cover the CB position moreso than pushing up through the middle?



    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/11 at 12:24 PM

      Easily seen on Beckerman is his positioning–hard to teach–and his ability to pass upfield under duress.

      Edu, I’m not so sure. I would imagine his initiative to get forward. That said Edu has always been better deeper in the field. Wondering if that spot goes elsewhere eventually.


      • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/11 at 12:57 PM

        Edu has always been reliable as a complement to the two center backs on defence playing against good center forwards.

        That is an important quality even if the rest of his game isn’t ideal. The question is what you do to make up for Edu’s lack of punch at the offensive end (other than set plays where he is not bad). The answer to that question is not Williams at right mid. I can live with 6 defending and 4 attacking. I can’t live with 3 attacking. It’s not enough.


      • Posted by scipio on 2011/11/11 at 2:26 PM

        What do y’all think of Edu’s play in the attack today? I’m no expert, but it he’s looked extremely poor. What really gets me is not his passing (which is poor), but his positioning when teammates are in possession. He always either too close to the ball, or too far away to be a viable passing option. I can live with the mediocre passing, ball control and decision making, but I feel like his positioning is what is absolutely killing our attack and midfield’s effectiveness.

        Again, this is just an amateur observation. Wish some people with more experience with the game could comment here.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 2:30 PM

          I think you’ve hit it on the head. Edu is not the guy for that position in most people’s mind. Unfortunately, Klinsmann is the one making the decisions and leaving Edu there.


  12. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/11 at 12:18 PM

    As a defender of the MOF experiment I can not defend the Edu Beckerman combo.


  13. Posted by mbw on 2011/11/11 at 12:20 PM

    Don’t see Edu as an #8 in a 4-3-3 . . . just don’t, and I think the Ecuador game bears me out. Williams wide is a bit odd, but maybe it’s the best option (if Johnson isn’t well integrated, still not back to form after his month out, whatever).

    Union, stop knocking my guy ‘Dolo!


    • Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 12:22 PM

      Hahaha. I love ‘Dolo. I just think he’s 32 and slowly (and understandably) losing a step. I want to see what Morales can do.

      I’m more ticked that Jurgen hasn’t moved Williams centrally and started F. Johnson on the outside.

      What’s funny about Jurgen is that he is likely going to frustrate US fans with roster decisions way more than Bradley. Oh well.


      • Posted by mbw on 2011/11/11 at 12:49 PM

        Man, I totally agree about Johnson and Williams. You’ll understand that I’ve been particularly defensive of ‘Dolo since Landon “Benched during the Gold Cup” Donovan beat him out for #3 in the US Soccer Player of the Year polling a few weeks back. His recent form has me worried. Hopefully he won’t get sent off for pulling Ribery down again today.


  14. Posted by BK on 2011/11/11 at 12:23 PM

    At least Rogers is not in the 18…


  15. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/11 at 12:23 PM

    Isn’t insanity the act of doing the same thing over and over and over and over again??? Christ….


    • Posted by SamT on 2011/11/11 at 12:41 PM

      I’ve also heard that called “practice.” It’s all sort of in the eye of the beholder at this stage.


  16. Posted by Luke S on 2011/11/11 at 12:27 PM

    shocking that klinsmann likes this totally skewed system. even if he thinks it’s good, it simply will not be the formation they play when donovan is available. why not use the formation you would use with donovan in the lineup, but have a different player there… one who is actually a winger! (…. FABIAN JOHNSON). the danny williams as RM test failed against two opponents much worse than france. hopefully he will try hard and do well, even though he is being played out of position.

    also, that jermaine jones guy is a starter for SCHALKE (currently 2nd in bundesliga, last year – champion’s league semifinalist)…


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 12:36 PM

      I’m good on Jermaine Jones for a while. He was pretty poor for the US in the Gold Cup.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/11 at 12:40 PM

      Any chance we see Edu on the wing and Williams in the middle? I thought I read somewhere that Edu was playing outside MF for Rangers (particularly the way the much shown tactical diagram shows the R-wing pinching in and helping on D).


  17. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/11 at 12:29 PM

    Ditto the thoughts on Edu Beckerman. That’s just puzzling. And so much for Fiscal.
    To me this smells a lot more like damage control than ball control.


  18. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 12:39 PM

    Time to make “shea” while the sun shines….


  19. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/11 at 12:44 PM

    France’s deployment with their announced starting line-up:


  20. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 1:06 PM

    The cast I am watching this just called Cherundolo “Chair un dooo low”



  21. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 1:09 PM

    Great play by Edu there to break up the break.


  22. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:11 PM

    Like the blue shorts look for the US.

    Great clash of uniforms, at the very least–France’s new duds are spectacular. Hope they don’t bother to change for the Euros.


  23. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 1:20 PM

    Terrible touch by Beckerman to give that one away. Lucky that Diarra ran offside.


  24. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:22 PM

    Drink for the “Harkes Praising Clint Dempsey’s Creativity” Watch.

    Always amusingly ironic when he does this–in 2009 if you listened to Harkes you’d think Dempsey was a prancing nancy boy.


  25. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 1:25 PM

    There was a lot more contact on Jozy’s legs on the replay than it looked in real time. Tough to fault the ref on that based on his vantage point.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 1:26 PM

      Also the touch that Jozy had before turning wasn’t great making it much easier to not call something as it didn’t quite look like he would get back to it.


  26. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:30 PM

    We’re going to have to do something about the laser pointer menace. Ban ’em.


  27. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:31 PM

    This new style implemented by new coach Bob Bradley is pretty spectacular.


  28. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 1:32 PM

    Nice to see the american flags in the crowd on the Corner Kick.


  29. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:43 PM

    Usual Edu problem in possession: too slow to pass, gets caught in possession….gahhhhh


    • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 1:58 PM

      Other than Dempsey, Donovan, and Adu I can’t think of another guy able to hold the ball against players of Diarra’s caliber. Our guys, especially in the first 15 minutes, look overwhelmed by the speed of the game. Small windows of hope but huge gaps of playing timid, where’s the confidence?


      • Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 1:59 PM

        Adu…is not the droid you’re looking for.

        Physicality is his bane–something that the French excel at, of course.


        • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 2:10 PM

          Yea, I’m not asking for a call up, I just admire that one trait of being able to make defenders guess. Jozy’s been doing it in the box but not in the run of play. And since the whole world knows Dempsey can do it, they’ve typically shut him down before he can ever get started, there’s almost no one else to respect without Donovan on the pitch.


        • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 2:13 PM

          I’m curious to know if he could bulk up his legs to be able to hold guys off like Messi (referring to Messi’s size)? Why not send him to a Football trainer to increase his power and stability?


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 2:18 PM

            Or start injecting him with HGH, Messi style?


          • Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 4:28 PM

            I don’t necessarily think it’s size. Look at David Silva–he and Adu have basically the same body type. And yet Adu responds to hip checking the way you’d expect; Silva, on the other hand, practically needs to be concussed to get the ball off of him.

            Or compare to Luis Gil. Gil and Adu are the same size; Gil is maybe slightly above average at riding a hip check (what he’s best at is avoiding them altogether, in a good way). It’s like a running back: the most important quality is balance, and you can’t necessarily tell who’s best just by looking at him.


  30. Anyone have a copy or can they describe what Klinsmann said about Donovan staying for the MLS Cup? And does anyone else think Lloris looks like he’s wearing grown-up pajamas? lol… Was almost expecting it to have booties sewn into em.


  31. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/11/11 at 1:45 PM

    Jozy looks strong and willing. Clint has a little too much clint-love so far. Tight in the back which is good. Edu just can’t seem to make the next pass in the midfield.
    Shea looks great defensively but with no service…
    Overall not a bad performance on the road. so far


  32. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 1:50 PM

    I pretty much hate the touch of Edu and Beckerman, though I respect their defending. They just are NOT attacking minded players! We have 4 attacking minded players on the field, maybe 3 since Danny Williams is not traditionally a RW. I don’t get it.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/11 at 1:57 PM

      It reads like shades of Mr Bradley all over again with his 4-2-2-2 and 6 defensive players. Please tell me this is not what I have to look forward to after I get home from work.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 2:00 PM

        It’s been pretty bad. Only real difference is that Dempsey isn’t on the wing the way he was under Bob. Also, needs more MB90 to be a true Bunker Bob 4-2-2-2.


        • Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 2:01 PM

          Only offensively has it been poor. Defensively the USA is playing much better, cutting out the passing lanes and generally keeping France quiet.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 2:05 PM

            I just meant in terms of the 4-2-2-2 boredom style that Bernie referred to. The defense has been very solid so far with only really one good chance I can think of that Menez put over the bar.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/11 at 2:59 PM

          I find it depressing. At least so far under Klinsman we were attacking with 5. I really think we don’t have enough strength to play with 4 and score. Its not like we have a Messi/Agureo/Tevez/Rooney up top that are going to make something out of nothing.


  33. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 1:52 PM

    I will say this… for most of the first half that was much better defense than we have seen from the USA recently.


  34. Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 2:00 PM

    I’d like to see Shea and Dempsey interlinking with Altidore within 30 yards of Lloris. Until that triple threat is tapped, I feel like our game plan isn’t being executed properly.


  35. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 2:04 PM

    Ian Darke “This isn’t Costa Rica away… this is France”

    Very good point for people to realize.


  36. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 2:05 PM

    How does Steve Davis have the ability to comment on soccer? Jesus.


  37. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 2:24 PM

    Great game from Jozy. Too bad no one else is on the same wavelength.


  38. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/11 at 2:33 PM

    A little tangential, but, glad that someone at Nike realized that blue shorts *contrast* is a good thing and actually helps to highlight the sash. Much better.

    Terrible connection at the airport right now. Killing me.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 4:23 PM

      Don’t think that’s on Nike–France was wearing white shorts; hence, we needed to wear blue ones.


  39. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 2:34 PM

    Where the hell was Bocanegra on that goal?


  40. Very displeased with how we’ve played so far. Great, we’re holding France scoreless – but we’ve got what, four shots so far? One from 40 yards by Becks and another by Edu that got stuffed off his foot. Possession has been weak so far.

    Fabian Johnson coming on for Williams – very good. DMB coming on for Brek – ummm…yeah, not so much.

    …and Remy just ruined our backline. FRICK. Stay on your feet, Goodson!


  41. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 2:37 PM

    I’m off the Jurgen band wagon. Edson Buddle? Give me a break.


    • Posted by CJ on 2011/11/11 at 2:40 PM

      First thing that happened after the change? Best offensive chance of the game. Double striker’s now, which will drop Clint further back. Can’t be all bad…


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/11 at 7:36 PM

      What are you talking about, Union? Buddle was goodnin his cameo. Sounds like a personalnproblem?


  42. Pass the rock, Clint!!


  43. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/11 at 2:41 PM

    Somethin tells me were gonna score


  44. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/11 at 2:43 PM

    That was hilarious. Harkes was saying that it should be a red card and Darke just shut him down. The tone of his voice just made it sound like he can’t believe how bad Harkes is at the job.


    • In Harkes defense (I can’t believe I just typed that)…that looked a lot like the challenge that got Pepe a red card against Barca last year.


  45. For once in my life, I agree with Harkes. That challenge deserved a red. Spikes up into a jumping player? C’mon, ref.


  46. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/11 at 2:44 PM

    The diamond!


  47. Posted by Eric on 2011/11/11 at 2:46 PM

    Is it just me or is what really seems to be killing the US attack today, besides the lack of a true passing center mid, is our outside backs passing? Chandler and Cherundolo have been horrible passing forward today. They’re either playing it right to France or severely misplaying the weight of passes and killing any chance fora break.

    Also, Looks like Jozy has no help up top. Clint is up there for support more than most but he’s seemed more interested in dribbling laterally across the field all day.


    • He’s been completely abandoned for the most part, yeah. Dempsey hasn’t had his greatest game (too selfish on the break – Buddle had a completely open lane; too unselfish at other times), Danny Williams looks far better tracking back than going forward, and Brek didn’t have as much combination play with Timmy C as I’d like.

      And yes, the outside backs have not had their greatest games. Part of that appears to be blamable on the pitch; it seems to be incredibly slick out there. Players are losing their footing left and right when trying to cut.


      • Posted by Eric on 2011/11/11 at 2:57 PM

        It almost looks like Dempsey didn’t trust passing the ball to anyone but Jozy today. He’d have Williams and Shea open, or Edu making a run forward and decided to ignore them all in favor of dribbling aimlessly. I don’t question Clint’s effort, just his decision making today.


  48. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/11 at 2:47 PM

    Lol Jermaine Jones. Priceless


  49. Posted by Eric on 2011/11/11 at 2:50 PM

    Anyone else tell me their opinion on how high the US is pressing today? With all the talk about Orozco-Fiscal leading up to the game and how he allows the US to press higher with his speed, I’m just curious to see what they’ve tried to do without him today.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/11 at 3:06 PM

      Probably have to wait for Opta to come out. How high people are pressing is hard to assess unless you can see the whole field (which isn’t a TV view).


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/11 at 3:31 PM

      Think the US strategy was to open midfield by playing the ball deep into their end only France were faster.

      The US pressed up after that and just mustered what they could.

      It wasn’t a high line. It more deep, but since the US lacked possession it never really set itself either.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/12 at 9:25 AM

      After rewatch it looks like the US had a mid depth line. That said it was clear that part of France’s game plan was to attack that space between the CBs and and Howard with balls over the top and long diagonal passes on the ground.


  50. Oh man, that’s embarrassing. Howard is rightfully pissed off at the moment.


  51. Posted by Eric on 2011/11/11 at 2:54 PM

    I just have to say, I think Altidore deserves a goal today. He’s worked his butt off today and his passing and hold-up play has been excellent. One of the best games I’ve seen out of Jozy in a while. He just needs help up there.


  52. Posted by scipio on 2011/11/11 at 2:56 PM

    Damn that was a miserable game.

    -How much more Edu-Beckerman do we have to endure?

    -Is Cherundolo definitively past his prime?

    Don’t Williams and Johnson play together on the same team? Why can’t you have both on the field at the same time?

    -Who the hell is #9 and where did he get such good touch? Seriously, can we pay AZ to develop all of our forwards?


  53. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 3:00 PM

    Cherundolo and Bocanegra did not look good out there, in my opinion.


  54. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 3:05 PM

    Thoughts right off the bat:

    I’m entirely off of the Jurgen bandwagon. I literally have no idea what his gameplan is. There is 0 coherence to his strategy. And he seems to be overrating players by wide margins.

    Edu and Beckerman, while not being the primary goats for the loss, do absolutely nothing to help an attack. Edu will never be a player capable of creating out of the midfield. He has no vision, holds for too long and is easily dispossessed. Beckerman tackles well, but he is just so incredibly out of league at the international level. All he does is chase, and while he is good at chasing, that isn’t going to help the US squad.

    Danny Williams had a really bad game. I still believe he can be an answer in the MF, but this was a bad showing. He seems to be very uncomfortable on the right side. Shea was fairly invisible, but he didn’t have many opportunities. After he got cracked on the head in the first 10 minutes, he seemed to lose a lot of his confidence.

    Dempsey, I’m sorry, worked his ass off but had one of those awful Clint games where he gets frustrated with his teammates, starts flopping and dribbles FAR too much. Jozy had a strong game, though he got selfish on one ball that he should have really laid off to Shea.

    Jones was typical Jones, which means he has a few good moments and few cringeworthy moments. I don’t understand why he was subbed in over Bradley. I’m not as big of a Bradley guy as others, but I don’t understand why he is 4th on the depth chart behind Edu, Beckerman, and Jones.

    Didn’t see much from Fabian, which is too bad. He had very few opportunities to show something.

    Lastly, the defense. Chandler needs to learn some patience and skill when dribbling forward, but he also is playing out of position, so I think that needs to be taken into consideration. Goodson had a decent game, but that goal is on him. My biggest issue is that Boca and ‘Dolo, are getting old and getting old quick. ‘Dolo gets beat by every quick winger that takes him on and at some point, that isn’t sustainable.

    Jurgen needs to explain what strategy the US is trying to implement, bc right now, it is all over the place. For a guy that claims to have a vision, I just don’t see it. There is a reason why Beasley and Buddle have been out of the national team picture for years. There is also a reason why Freddy Adu was starting in the Gold Cup final and why Sacha Kljestan is dominating at Anderlecht. These are two very creative, offensive minded players that have been left off the squad in favor of lesser talents. As a fan, its incredibly frustrating to watch games like this. The US looks, IMO, like a 40-50 ranked FIFA country.


    • Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 3:08 PM

      “Goodson had a decent game, but that goal is on him”

      That was Boca’s man, he fell down and Goodson had to run over to cover.

      Boca was LCB, Goodson was RCB.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 3:15 PM

        Sorry, missed that. I thought it was the other way around. Take it back. Goodson did have a good game. Just kind of furthers my point that Boca and ‘Dolo are going to be liabilities at some point. I understand there aren’t many alternatives.

        I probably should have waited to post until after I had some time to think about the game. I’m just incredibly frustrated by the US performances since Jurgen took over. The first few games, I totally understood. The last few, specifically this game, have been really frustrating. It honestly looks like the US has taken a step back. I’m not ready to jump or anything, and I’m well aware of the talent on France, but the US is looking like a team that is lost in the woods. Maybe it will change the more these guys play with each other, who knows.


        • Posted by mbw on 2011/11/11 at 3:42 PM

          Dammit, I picked the wrong day to start jawing at you about ‘Dolo. . . .


          • Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 3:52 PM

            Haha. All good. I picked the wrong day to continue propping up all of these German-Americans.

            Jurgen will put a positive spin on this somehow, but there has been 0 game to game improvement of his squad. In fact, I’d argue the best US showing so far was Jurgen’s first game against Mexico.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/12 at 11:19 AM

        Either way, it really was a bread and butter ball over the top that should have been dealt with, with zero fuss. Why do these simple long balls cause your CBs so much trouble? Not like you were losing andchasing the game and were leaving gaps etc.

        Circling back to Tuesdays artice re. MOF and high-lines etc., surely if you cannot defend the long ball over the top you’d think twice about implementing this strategy…


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/11/12 at 1:15 PM

          Wasn’t Tuesday’s argument that you need MOF in order to play the high line and playing a high line is beneficial?

          We can’t play the high line with two slow CBs….


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/13 at 5:52 AM

            A high line helps you to implement a certain strategy / playing style. But obviously you need the right type of players to do this – and quick CBs are pretty integral.

            My point is that long balls / ball over the top caused too many problems – far too many problems.


  55. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 3:07 PM

    Sorry, a bit of hyperbole saying that Buddle has been out of the national team picture for years. I’m just saying, I’m not even sure if he would be on Guadaloupe’s squad.


  56. Posted by John on 2011/11/11 at 3:16 PM

    Just as an FYI:

    Hey KIDS! did you know that there is a good chance when the FIFA rankings come out at the end of November that we will be ranked lower than at any other time in the US Soccer history (while FIFA has been keeping rankings that is)?

    (Currently 34, and our lowest was 35 October 1997)

    Then again… FIFA rankings don’t really mean that much…


  57. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/11/11 at 4:30 PM

    I also just don’t get what he was trying to accomplish out there today. Edu in the advance holder role is just terribly ill-suited. Slow on the ball and not incisive or decisive at all. Combining him and Beckerman just puts your forwards on a starvation diet.
    This was a good Jozy/bad Clint outing which means nothing of course. Next time out could just as likely see lazy Jozy/good Deuce.
    We do miss the quality that Donovan can bring on the counter. And if Klinsi thinks that we are anything but a countering team at this juncture than I’m worried for his mental health.
    Notice that France’s only approach after half was just launching balls over the top for their F;s to chase. That has Boca exposure written all over it.
    Oh well on to Slovenia.


  58. Posted by DMN on 2011/11/11 at 4:36 PM

    I’m definitely disappointed with the result. However, as Ian Darke mentioned…the Stars n Stripes played against France…Not Costa Rica. Nor Ecuador or Belgium, for that matter.

    For better or worse, I believe Team USA shifted tactics to match the skill set of France (Note: Shades of BB? Fine, I’ll take it as part of the learning curve). USA seemed to bunker down and tried to counter attack and/or failed to sustain any sort of flowing (mid-field) build up. The skinny from the match? Team USA continues to demonstrate a relatively successful defensive strategy against talented teams whom clearly possess more tactical and technical skill sets than the current Stars and Stripes. The challenge for Klinsmann is to improve his team’s ability to create, engage, and sustain a meaningful attack against the FIFA’s “Top 20.”

    I’ll go out on a limb and predict that we will see a far more aggressive and attacking style from Team USA against Serbia by contrast to France. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t. While I’d like to see a victory against Serbia, I’m much more fixated on the evolution of Team USA’s attack against a team that we are better able to match up against vis-a-vis skill set and talent.

    The payoff (or piper) will be at World Cup Qualifying next year. GO STARS n STRIPES!!!


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/12 at 4:59 AM

      Yeah but we already lost to Costa Rica under Klinsmann.

      At this point Klinsmann needs to show that his team can create chances against anyone. We haven’t seen a game where they’ve really been creating a ton.


  59. Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/11 at 4:37 PM

    I think Klinsi is like the person who sees the Titanic 7 times and cries each time in the same parts.

    My suggestion for lineup was the usual defensive line with

    Johnson Edu

    Bradley Shea

    Altidore Dempsey

    The problem with the game against France was that there was no link between the defensive midfield and the attack.

    Johnson looked good on the ball in attacking mode, very comfortable with defender close on him, I’d suggest he start next to Edu and concentrate on getting the ball up the field. I have no personal knowledge of his defending capabilities but we may as well find out. As he brings the ball up, Bradley can fill in behind him and defend or help get the back pass, and cross, etc.

    b.t.w., don’t we have a guy on the team who starts and takes corners for his Serie A team in Italy? Oh, yeah, that guy. What did you think of our corner kicks?


    • Posted by Eric on 2011/11/11 at 5:25 PM

      So you’re suggesting a very narrow with only one person manning the flanks? Bradley isn’t going to stay wide. His natural inclination is to drift inside. Besides, I’m not even sure Edu has done enough to merit the start.


      • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/11 at 5:39 PM

        It’s ok if he drifts inside – we want him to do that as long as Johnson drifts outside, which I think he will.

        Bradley takes too long to figure out what to do with the ball and has a better long pass than a short pass. Thfore he sits on the mid wing, a la Beckham, distributes and follows his play into the empty spots.

        Johnson is comfortable in traffic and can dribble the ball out of trouble in the back and goes forward with Bradley covering/helping his advance. If the right wing is open, Bradley is capable of advancing there and crossing into the box.

        Edu: He is essentially a third center back. When Donovan comes back, maybe Bradley goes there?


  60. Posted by DMN on 2011/11/11 at 4:37 PM

    Sorry, Slovenia.


  61. Posted by bh on 2011/11/11 at 4:45 PM

    I dont like the unbalanced formation Klinsman is using. It has williams tucked in next to edu with dempsey ahead of them. it leaves a big hole on the right wing when dolo cant get forward and it leaves dempsey fewer options to pass to encouraging him to dwell on the ball. asking williams to play midfield and wing is not working.

    i really dont like how the only things we are learning are the obvious things like a midfield of edu, beckerman and williams isnt good enough to compete with a midfield like france.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/11 at 6:23 PM

      I think you just hit the nail on the head.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/12 at 5:02 AM

      It seems like Klinsi requires more proof than most that using Edu and Beckerman in central midfield isn’t going to work. If you’re relying on Edu to be the more advanced of the two and provide support to the attack it’s just not going to work.


  62. Posted by Union on 2011/11/11 at 5:36 PM

    Very good comment about Bradley and his corner kicks. The set pieces were terrible today and that part of the game has ALWAYS been the US’s chief method of scoring. I think Bradley gets the start against Slovenia, but we’ll see.

    I’ve decided that my chief complaint against Jurgen is that he believes the US has the luxury of choosing players to fit a “scheme” or “style of play” that Klinsmann wants to put forward. My opinion is, Jurgen needs to put the most talented players on the field, and then fit the scheme around those players. What I mean by that is, if the most talented players on the field require a defend and counter attack type of style, so be it. Or if the most talented players perform best with a 4-4-2, use it! This is a slight change in my attitude, as I’ve long hated the defend and counter attack style, but its starting to dawn on me that this style might be the one our team is best equipped to play. But to start Beckerman and Edu bc they are a better fit for this 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 (whatever Jurgen was using), that just doesn’t make sense to me.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/11 at 5:52 PM

      He says he wants to build the team “from the back up”.

      I think most of us can today name 4 defenders and 4 attackers and come up with Alzheimer’s when we try to remember who is supposed to link the two. Shea, Dempsey, Donovan +1 on attack and Dolo-Boca-Gooch-Chandler. And who are the two midfielders on either side to link the two?

      Even against better teams our defence can stop the opponent but it is absolutely necessary to begin the attack in your own end and BUILD the attack. We need midfielders who can defend and move the ball up the field in a threatening manner.

      b.t.w., congratulations to France’s back line which was super good. All the more reason to build the attack and create rather than trying to dump the ball in and beat their great players one-on-one which didn’t work.


      • Posted by jb on 2011/11/11 at 7:00 PM

        This is really the crux of the current problem in attack. Its funny that most thought that we were “loaded” with centermidfielders, but its turned out to be our biggest weakness. This is because all of our centermids are defensive destroyer types, which worked fine in the boot-and-run, defend and counter style, but is a major problem when trying to establish a possession based game. It’s admirable of Klinsmann to try and add some sophistication to the US style, but so far we have not seen any players capable of linking the defense and offense. HOnestly I’m starting to wonder if there is any one in the pool that can. We haven’t really had anyone like that since Reyna. Not to sound too pessimistic but maybe Bob Bradley had it right, at least with the current players.


        • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/12 at 9:24 AM

          It’s a funny thing about Bradley. He never could figure out that Altidore needed somebody to play with. Robbie Findley was the wrong guy in WC 2010.

          Just before BB was replaced a year later, he went to Freddy Adu and presto he had his guy but it was too late because he had lost the team. b.t.w., Bradley also was the guy who brought Shea up.

          Now, I’m sure that Klinsi will bring Adu up eventually, and I hope he uses him in sub role. It seems as Klinsi’s only progress so far is bringing Chandler on board. Owise he’s right back to where Bradley was.

          Against Slovenia he can start the same team but put MBradley at RAM and FJohnson at RDM/LDM next to Edu or Beckerman.

          Let’s not forget to congratulate Klinsi for going the hard way against top rank opponents which is the real reason that we all have the luxury to sit here and criticize so easily.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/12 at 5:08 AM

      I agree especially because I don’t even agree that the combo of Edu and Beckerman is the best pairing for the 4-3-3 system that Klinsmann wants. The way his formation has shown up on his own whiteboard only one of those guys is supposed to stay back as a holder. Since they are both more holder than supporter it ends up with 2 holders and zero support for Dempsey further forward.

      I think we have the central midfielders that can do the linking unfortunately 2 of them are injured (Holden and Torres) and another in Klejstan isn’t getting a shot. I am not a fan but from all reports he’s playing essentially this role and playing it well in Belgium. I’d rather see him there with Beckerman than continue with what obviously isn’t working. Good thing Klinsmann called up Robbie Rogers though instead of Klejstan because we all know that Rogers has grown more in the past couple of months in MLS than Klejstan has in Europe (heavy sarcasm).


  63. Posted by kaya on 2011/11/11 at 7:33 PM

    For all the buildup France had in the first 60 minutes, it wasn’t until Martin and Remy came on that the US defense looked particularly troubled. Yes, they had to work their tails off the whole game, but I thought Ribery and Menez were as well contained as could be hoped. Unfortunately, Shea rarely was able to move from defense to offense and Dempsey was left to go back in search of the ball with nary an outlet on the wing available.
    It’s easy to criticize Klinsmann’s call on Edu and Beckerman, but our options have serious drawbacks given the offense they were up against. Does Jones really deserve to be above Bradley on the depth chart? I wonder why he didn’t at least give MOF a chance at CB in the 2nd half, though.
    If Holden ever comes back to fitness and Benny ever recovers from whatever ailment he caught in 2008, maybe we could have a chance, but Edu and Beckerman in the middle are far too slow for top tier play.


  64. Posted by Izzy on 2011/11/11 at 7:38 PM

    Interesting/Damning stat – Danny Williams has not completed a single forward pass in the final third in any of his games in a U.S. jersey. Maurice Edu has not completed a forward pass in the final third in his last two games.

    I’m a big, BIG advocate of tactics, but it’s really no wonder the U.S. aren’t just not scoring goals, but not even creating CHANCES. We didn’t have a SINGLE clear-cut chance against France today.


  65. Posted by USMNT Sucks on 2011/11/11 at 8:07 PM

    USMNT sucks. Just face it! Klinsmann can’t revive a cancerous patient in a few months. We can’t play attacking style because passing isn’t crisp, speed of play slow, and thinking way too slow. If USA played attacking style, versus bunker style, it would have been 3-0.


  66. Posted by dth on 2011/11/11 at 9:13 PM

    I’d like to disagree with this TSG tweet:


    The problem isn’t that, say, Sacha Kljestan is so much better than, say, Maurice Edu–it’s that if you subbed Kljestan in for Edu, he’d be better suited for the role.

    Hell, Klinsmann explained it himself when he talked about why he preferred Orozco-Fiscal to Gonzalez–he’s looking for guys who suit a role rather than the most talented 11 per se. It’s a nice philosophy to articulate, but there’s little evidence he’s either:
    a) putting out a team with a distinct philosophy (see Danny Williams forlornly running about in a rightish region)
    b) taking the opposite tack and putting out the most talented 11 available.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/12 at 7:14 AM

      The problem with saying that Kljestan helps in the attack is that he gets overrun in the midfield. So maybe he doesn’t even see the ball in possession.


  67. Posted by Wixson on 2011/11/11 at 9:26 PM

    Only comment is how good jozys hold up play was, best I’ve seen out of him, maybe ever. Oh, and Danny Williams was brutal.

    Also pretty crazy that Antigua moves on past Haiti, I bet a fun party down there tonite.


  68. Posted by 4now on 2011/11/11 at 9:38 PM

    This is out of nowhere. And I am being playful But would love to see a uniquely “American” (whatever that means – but in my mind it is frenetic and very diverse in playing styles and over-ambitious) line-up with a big-man at striker who holds a high-line and torments and distracts center backs and who is there to offer Altidore, Shea & Dempsey some space. Just someone you can ping the ball off-of now and again, and who has the strength to hold it up no matter what and who bruises the central defenders. I’m thinking of Cooper or even Onyewu here. The innovation here is that it is Onyewu shifts between center-back and striker throughout the match, confusing and confounding. Very stupid, also, probably… but fun.



    I think, as Americans, we should not try to play through the central midfield. We should recognize our limits. We should run and gun on counterattacks and overlapping runs, and play big long-balls over the top and scrap for second-balls and be exciting.


  69. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/11 at 9:48 PM

    How has Bradley fallen so far in the depth chart. You can’t seriously tell me Edu is better than Bradley in the 8 role. Example

    I remember exactly how much better our midfield was after those changes and was especially impressed with Bradley’s quick thinking. Edu just takes too long and he loses the ball way too much.

    As a Beckerman hater, I thought he had a very solid above average game today, so there is that.

    Williams isn’t a winger I have no idea what Klinsmann is thinking. He’s been so poor in the final 3rd. I dunno if F. Johnson is the answer there, but Klinsy didn’t give me a chance to make any sort of judgement because he brought him on too late (in my opinion).

    And I agree with a tweet that Matt had earlier, that Dempsey just got so frustrated with the way we were playing that he just decided to try too much sh*t. Including diving.

    Altidore was a beast today. That was some gritty CF work. Its a shame he had so little service.

    And, based on Klins’s whiteboard, if you need a RB to motor up and down the field a la Dani Alves, wouldn’t Chandler be a better option there? I hope swapping Cherundolo and Chandler is an idea.

    Also, Cherundolo’s set piece deliveries aren’t very good.

    I’m just so extremely frustrated after this match. So much for tactical change, at least we had a chance to win when BB was coaching. I hope the Slovenia friendly can show me… Something.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/12 at 5:11 AM

      I think Cherundolo is done at the top level in terms of providing attacking support. He can still provide decent defense but the motor just isn’t there anymore. He’s not even starting regularly for Hannover.


  70. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/11 at 9:50 PM

    Sacha Kljestan
    Benny Feilhaber
    Mikkel Diskerud
    Just a few names I think people should mull over after the showing our midfield had today.


  71. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/11 at 11:41 PM

    Eh. I’m done with this match. Anything I could possibly add to the commentary has already been said 100 times. Fortunately for this matcj I set my expectations lower than usual, so I really wasnt dissappointed. Will we ever be at full strength?

    On to the next one. 0-0 draw against the Mountain


  72. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/11/12 at 6:35 AM

    Wow, the ship ne sinking. the more things change the more they stay the same.Playing players out of position, scratch yer head selections, possible favoristism. OMG will this mean a clamoring of “Bring Back Bob ” chants? Call me unpatriotic but a sinister cynical part of me would love it, How surreal would that be!
    Anyway, I think there is problems in this new marriage that are starting to show, JK will win against Slovenia but it will probably delay the inevitable. His philosohy and ethusasiasm just cant do it on the field, Its called Magical Thinking, unless he starts to integrete more creative players like Sacha, feilhaber but that would be a sign of weakness that his plan is not working. I think to blame the player pool of the US is a cop out, it wasn’t like we didn;t know what was under the veil. Plus its a disservice to the US players. I think we do have the talent to play attacking football with some good passing but we need the system to be built around players first then tinkered with as opposed to imposing the system and asking players to adapt. Its a classic conudrum for any coach. The good ones realize it quick and adjust, not stcik to it, Its admirable but rarely works.
    But I must disclaim that I would’ve taken Robbie Rogers instead of Danny Williams at RM now I’m off to play pirate in the indoor waterpark with my kid. Maybe some waterboarding will change my thoughts on the USMNT.


  73. Posted by atx on 2011/11/12 at 6:36 AM

    Interesting commentary from the France perspective: http://france.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/enjoyable-friendly-at-stade-de-france-france-1-usa-0.html

    Notable points: highly positive review of Jozy and reflections on difficulties for Clint in getting the ball


  74. Posted by jb on 2011/11/12 at 7:51 AM

    Since everyone is feeling pessimistic (including me) after the France match, I’m going to take a brief contrarion view. Yes I’m going to stick up for the new manager who has one win and two goals after 5-6 matches.

    1. We still havent had Donovan and Dempsey together yet under Klinsmann. And we obviously dont have enough depth yet to overcome their absence.

    2. We have played some serious competition in the last few matches. I dont have time to look at the rankings but France and Mexico are heavyweights and Ecuador and Belgium not far below that.

    3. Takes time to learn a new system. Anyone who thinks we can change from long-ball and counter to possession based game without some serious hiccups isnt being realistic.

    The Klinsman bashing is seriously premature. Dont know if it will work with our player pool, but I admire his vision and conviction.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/12 at 8:28 AM

      My concerns with Klinsmann are regarding who he selected to replace Donovan on the right (which is where we all assume he will be playing) and the midfield selections who are supposed to maintain possession. It seems that either Donovan mans the right side or we shut up shop with a central midfielder making do over there. Edu and Beckerman are not a good enough combo to both provide the necessary cover and support the attack so the US is left with Dempsey trying to do everything or Jozy all alone (a job that Jozy did very well against France) with support at least 20 yards away.


  75. Posted by Freegle on 2011/11/12 at 9:30 AM

    I find that our most glaring deficit right now is with our central midfielders. They do not create offense well (I know that Beckerman’s forward passing has been lauded here but when have you seen him truly unlock an international caliber defense with a killer pass?). Nor do they take up great supporting positions in attack. Jozy played one of his best hold-up matches ever yesterday and had too few outlets coming from Edu and Beckerman. Lastly, every once in a while, you need your CM to simply beat someone with the ball at his feet and this pairing is simply unable to do that.

    This creates a host of other problems… Danny Williams drifting into the center because of the lack of MF presence there and destroying the right -sided width (then again, maybe its because he’s being played out of position and is more comfortable there). Brek Shea didn’t have a great match tonight, but how many times did he receive a well times ball and have the proper support? Clint Dempsey gets frusterated by his isolation and tries to do everything by himself. All this created by a lack of CMF offensive ability.

    One of the “positives” about his resumes was the familiarity he had with the US talent pool. It seems that knowing the players names is not enough, because he is not maximizing they talent in that pool right now. Klinsmann’s primary job as coach is to find the best system to fit his players. Right now he’s trying to find the best players to fit his system. It creates a two-fold problem: First, our best players are not on the field which means that we are wasting talent. Second, the players to fit the system may simply not be available. It’s his job to adjust to the players, not the other way around. Right now we have square pegs trying to fit into round holes.


  76. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/12 at 10:14 AM

    I’m also surprised that noone on here mentioned Jozy’s little fdke pull back to free up some space for a shot. Shows just how easy it is to be critical. Honestly, did anyone ecpect us to create much against France? Maybe the bigger problem with US Soccer lies with the expectations of the fans. Considering our previous performances I took just as many positives as negatives from yesterday.


  77. Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/12 at 10:22 AM

    Finally was able to watch the replay of the game. After reading comments here, I was expecting a disaster, but this was not the impression I left with after actually seeing the game.

    I’ll preface by saying that I’m a pretty patient person. I supported BB’s removal, but I wasn’t aggressively calling for his firing. So, I generally agree with the perspective Jurgen is trying to implement and have actually been happy with the direction of the team thus far.

    A lot of people here are harping on selections, but I just don’t agree–context is important here. For instance, Williams is not a winger, that much is clear after his two appearances. Yet, Jurgen has been able to get him onto the field and integrated into his camps–things that wouldn’t have happened under the previous regime. Also, he didn’t have Landon, who would likely slot there, and Fabian just got back from injury. I expect to see Fabian where Williams was vs Slovenia–he looked much more dangerous, stretching the space on the wing, and seems ideal for the role.

    Yeah, the Edu Beckerman pairing is not very forward looking, but again, Jurgen doesn’t have Holden at this point, or Torres who he seems high on. The nature of the gameplan changes considerably when these two players become available. Given that the team was playing France away–a tall order–I don’t have serious qualms over the fact that there were two DMs slotted centrally. Is this something I want to see again and again, no, but its no reason to panic and it actually was effective for much of the game.

    The French team was literally being booed at halftime. They looked stagnent, and that was because the US was organized and under control. Two things that rarely happened with BB. France had more chances for sure, but in terms of quality, I thought the overall game was balanced, with neither side looking particularly dangerous in attack.

    I just don’t know what people were expecting to see vs a powerhouse team–away–and one that has not lost in 16 straight games for that matter or conceded a goal at home for a number of straight games as well.

    My point here is that we shouldn’t expect Jurgen at this point to have all the pieces in place, and that by emphasizing shape and better distribution, the offensive side of things will come as the pieces start falling into place.

    As for players, Altidore was very good. Much more composed and intelligent in his play–regarding when to challenge when to hold-up. And his hold-up play was the best I’ve seen from him. He was creating great separation and was much more under control with his back to the goal. The back-heel to Deuce was pretty, and he had a nice creative drawback fake and shot in the box at one point that was good to see.

    Williams was reckless with the ball, and was drifting centrally far too much–which is where he clearly wants to be. I’d like to see him as the DM destroyer, paired with a more advanced linking CM–diamond perhaps.

    Edu/Beckerman were okay, but together they don’t complement each others skill set, and so we had too much redundancy in the middle of the park. Jermaine Jones actually looked quite good. He has better vision passing the ball upfield than either Edu/Beckerman, and from comments he made under BB, he may actually be better suited for the more possession oriented Jurgen–while patrolling the backline in the 6 role.

    Stevie C was pretty bad distributing the ball. A lot of errant passes that were disheartening to see from him. I think the RB position is ripe for the taking–does Lichaj get a shot when healthy, and what of Morales? interesting spot moving forward.

    One thing I noticed in the first half was that the middle was very flat and deep when defending in the final third, so there was no outlet when we regained possession and consequently little opportunity for counter play. Jozy and Deuce just didn’t have the number needed to really generate dangerous play in transition. With that being said, I liked how we were pressing very high up the field when France was moving the ball through the back. At times it exposed the midfield centrally, but it made the French work very hard to get the ball forward, and disrupted their rhythm noticeably. This is where Shea gets a lot of credit, because not only did he track back well, but he pressed high with success as well.

    Okay, so I’m patient, but I want a win against Slovenia and based on the play against France, I’m expecting a win against Slovenia–an expectation that Jurgen has now built and needs to follow through on. I would be frustrated and surprised if Williams was rolled on the wing again. The US will be much better in attack if that wing position has someone who can keep attacking width–which Fabian was doing in his limited time on the field. I don’t know what the central pairing should be–I don’t think Jurgen exactly knows–which is why I’m not sold by those who are claiming they have the answer.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/12 at 10:29 AM

      By far the best and most levele-headed comment on here. Totally agree with you re:did we really expect to get a result? See my comment above. Although I’m expecting a 0-0 draw against Slovenia….too cynical?


    • Posted by scweeb on 2011/11/12 at 11:35 AM

      Can’t agree more. If bob was in we still wouldn’t be think a win was going to happen.


  78. For sale: French goalkeeping gloves, as good as new / zero wear and tear.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/12 at 2:00 PM

      For sale: Movie about English fanaticism and disellusionment after recent win over spain.


    • Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/12 at 3:42 PM


      I love your comments, I really do–there’s a wit there that could only Britain could produce. Yet, there is this wonderful irony that reflects Englands overall predicament–in football, and perhaps historically as a nation. A hyperbolic confidence that leads to a distorted reality, and eventual disappointment in sporting affairs and imperial adventures : ). See World Cup, and American Revolution.

      Congratulations, btw, against Spain. I’d take Welbeck in our squad any day–if he stays healthy he’ll be a force up front for many years.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/12 at 6:56 PM

        I will enjoy the result *today*, but I am under no illusion that England are world beaters – we were chasing shadows for most of the game. And we had a huge slice of luck with the goal. But, it was only a friendly. Must. Remember. That.

        Spain’s passing, movement, their one/two touch stuff was great at times. But, they didn’t create much, did they?


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/12 at 7:27 PM

          Do spain ever create much? I mean look at the world cup. Arent they the lowest scoring winners in history?


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/13 at 4:49 AM

            It speaks volumes when your CB (Lescott) and DM (Parker) were your best players and you nick a (lucky) goal on a set-piece. Spain’s couple of chances came after Parker went off, and one from a weak defensive header. But in 90 mins, they created 3 chances.

            Personally, thought we should have had Adam Johnson on earlier. Pace to get behind Ramos, and another wide man for them to have to double up on.

            Now watch William Hill install us as favourites.


  79. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/12 at 6:41 PM

    Am I the only one that think Donovan in for Williams and someone (Kljestian, Felihaber, Torres, Holden,etc) for Edu and we have a very good team? Those were our two weaknesses against France and easily fixable. We make those changes and we get more possession and let our defense rest a little. I thought we were even for 60 minutes (neither team with any real opportunities).


    • Posted by Jake Claro on 2011/11/12 at 7:17 PM

      Completely agree bernie. You said what I tried to say in a much shorter space.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/13 at 5:26 AM

      I think it could even be Donovan for Edu with Williams moving into the middle. I really think the combo of Edu and Beckerman is a killer with neither being able to provide enough support.


  80. Posted by deucez on 2011/11/12 at 7:10 PM

    Agreed Berniebernier, this team is a few pieces away from being complete. People that are already jumping off the Klinsmann bandwagon are jumping the gun. This team does not have the top-level talent quite yet, but they are capable of being a cohesive unit. We gave France a good game.


  81. Definitely believe that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the web the easiest factor to have in mind of. I say to you, I definitely get irked at the same time as people consider issues that they just don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks


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