Venezuela vs. US Friendly: Live Commentary

And away we go.

The armband...

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/01/21 at 7:01 PM

    Stream for those of us without ESPN3?


  2. Posted by Adkins on 2012/01/21 at 7:58 PM

    Are these officials a joke?


  3. Posted by Gregorio on 2012/01/21 at 8:04 PM

    Bleh, not impressed so far, Boonbooree too slow on the ball I think, or to react, take the knock and move on. AJ reminds me a right footed Castillo. I know we’re trying to maintain possession and carry out of the back but a few times we were caught in possession. Benny getting groped like scantily clad female at a packed karoke bar.
    And atlhough he looks non-chalant I still think Jones exudes class (Sure to leave me open for more criticism than Mark Walberg stating he could kill terrorists and land planes!)
    Lets go Nats


  4. Posted by Union on 2012/01/21 at 8:38 PM

    Have a hard time understanding why Larentowicz makes more sense than a second striker, given that the defense is rarely under pressure and Larentowicz is like a 3rd center back with his inability to get forward and his negative passing.

    Other than that, its just pretty bleh skill on the field honestly. Jones and Shea are class, though I’d like to see Brek run at people more often. I actually like Bunbury, but its clear he’s way more accustomed to playing w/ another striker. The wing backs have been pretty disappointing in terms of service, especially disappointed in Pearce. The worst part, for me, has been the classic American style of just bombing the ball 20-30 yards upfield and hoping it takes a good bounce.


    • Posted by justin on 2012/01/22 at 12:43 AM

      Just got done watching the game on espn3.
      I don’t think I ever saw Larentowicz turn toward the goal when getting the ball in the opposition’s half. Majority of his passes were negative

      J.Jones looked better that any two players on the field put together.

      Zusi is not a right winger. I think he is more comfortable in the middle of the pitch.

      Bunbury was good. He held the ball up well, most of the time the person who got the pass from him just didn’t make a good decision or the defense was all over them by then.


  5. Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/21 at 8:42 PM

    Re: Cammeron’s hairdo. His cut would be out of regs. It is tapered but it’s a tad too long and too fadish. He is playing great tonight though. Parkhurst as well.


    • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/22 at 9:05 AM

      Should he move to Europe, I might be advisable for Cameron to shave his head. Shaved heads are so 2011 but growing it longer seems like it would give him the dreaded comb-over look.


  6. Posted by Union on 2012/01/21 at 8:42 PM

    Also. Zusi had a good 20 minutes and then just flat out sucked.


  7. Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/21 at 8:54 PM

    Sorry to say but Rico looks like a baffoon on the ball


  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/21 at 9:07 PM



  9. Posted by Union on 2012/01/21 at 9:11 PM

    L-o-l. Good for Ricardo, hope he doesn’t play substantial minutes in a meaningful game, but good for him. Love the irony there after Venezuela tried to fake injury and wind down the clock.


  10. Posted by Tyler on 2012/01/21 at 9:13 PM

    VZA…communist thug pigs…jk…actually, the fouls in the box…man…justice i agree


    • Yeah, these guys are probably not looking forward to going home to Hugo Chavez..

      On the constructive side, I was suprised by how much better the USMN C-Team looked than the VZA team. We definitely deserved the win and I’m glad the boys got it done.


  11. Posted by Crow on 2012/01/21 at 9:24 PM

    I was impressed and encouraged by Cameron and Parkhurst although I would like to see them vs. tougher competition. I really like Zach Loyd. I think he can certainly be the backup LB with the lack of depth there. Brek Shea had a poor game, but looked more comfortable when Loyd came in.

    Benny Feilhaber’s immaturity was unbelievable considering he is one of the more experienced players. I don’t care to see him much more although I doubt we will have to worry about that. Also, I don’t care to see AJ Delagarza again. And Zusi was bad other than a nice delivery here or there.

    Even though he made some mistakes I thought Bunbury held the ball up fairly well and that’s what we are looking for the target forward to do.


    • Posted by Tyler on 2012/01/21 at 9:33 PM

      Shea did have one near goal that he created with a brilliant run and a sweet feilhaber pass, and another near goal that was amazingly saved by morales on a free kick header. 4-2-3-1 wingers are more terminal players rather than creators like in a 4-3-3. Shea is better suited as an inside forward/defensive winger role that can run at the fullbacks rather than backup against them.


      • Posted by Crow on 2012/01/22 at 9:50 AM

        Shea had two good chances, but other than that for the first 80 minutes he was otherwise terrible. He was constantly turning the ball over. Against the level of competition he was facing he should have played much better (like J. Jones). With that being said, he looked much better once Loyd came on.


  12. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/01/21 at 9:25 PM

    If Dempsey had been on the field, we would have won by at least five goals.


  13. Posted by Union on 2012/01/21 at 9:29 PM

    Good win, but you’d like to see the US generate chances that don’t come solely off of counters or set pieces. This, again, is the B (maybe C) team and they haven’t played together often, nor have played internationally football often. Furthermore, its most of the player’s first camp under Klinsmann. That being said, if it ended in a draw, people wouldn’t be feeling so hot. And if not for 9 minutes of stoppage time, it would have.

    The good: Cameron, Parkhurst, Jones,

    The okay: Shea (dude has a lot of skill on the ball, but for whatever reason, he has a really tough time creating shots for himself), Bunbury (despite the poor finishing, I’d take him over Wondo any day), Benny.

    The bad: Our De La Garza is like, as someone said above, a right footed Castillo. Dribbles well, distributes pretty terribly. Same for Pearce, you just can’t win international football games with that kind of service from your backs. I also though that while Zusi had flashes in the early going, he was pretty poor from that point on.

    Also, I loved the athleticism Sapong showed in his short time on the field. I’d love to see him and Bunbury start up top in a 2-4-4 against Panama.


    • Posted by Tyler on 2012/01/21 at 9:39 PM

      Poor finishing on the chances they did create in the run of play makes you think they didn’t have any. VZA was playing for a nil-nil draw after the first 20 minutes saw them have the ball for like 5 minutes. Guerro was the only player make any positive passes for them, and those were like 40 yard bombs to Moreno. Everyone, else including subs like Renteria were completely focused on dragging players to the ground when the ref wasn’t looking. The takedown of wondolowski on the corner before his shot in the 86′ was unreal. Straight Red all the way…and yes I am full on homer for the NATS! Seriously though, VZA fouled every chance they got.


  14. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/01/21 at 9:54 PM

    nice win from team usa. thats what you call playing the full 90. this is the kind of result that can be a launchpad for more favorable results. benny feilhaber is the linchpin for team usa, all traffic should run through him, because he makes passes that cut open defenses. how about jones as a peacemaker, nice job with the armband from big man.


  15. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/01/21 at 10:39 PM

    First off I have been drinking so take this with a grain of salt.

    This was the first time I really saw the “Klinsi system” work. We controlled possession. We pressed and got the ball back quickly. I didn’t see the stat but the ball must have been in the opponents half 75% of the time. Some good opportunities created. A number of missed opportunities. Nos real chances by the opponents.

    Yes it was not there A team but it wasn’t ours either.

    On another note the Shea Fabian Johnson competition makes me think better days are to come. 4 years ago either of them would have been one of our best players now they are fighting for a spot.


  16. Posted by zippersnstuffandy on 2012/01/22 at 7:20 AM

    Honestly, this game struck me as pretty typical for what we’ve seen under JK so far – The boys seem capable of getting to the pressing game, and Venezuela never had the ball enough to create chances themselves.That sort of validates the approach in terms of defense.

    But that still didn’t mean the game wasn’t horribly boring – We had all of the ball, but didn’t do anything with it. It might just be a matter of getting more quality into the side (Dempsey for Benny, especially), but there was about zero penetration. A guy in the preview comments made a good point – If the issue was that we were missing sitters, then that’d put us in a better place than we are now


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/01/22 at 7:49 AM

      IMO we saw more chance taking and attempts at “great” passes bay the B team in this game then we see from the A team over multiple games. Yes a lot of those ended up being turnovers but they were at least trying for that tricky killer pass. The A team tends to IMO play the safe obvious pass in the final third which is never going to cut it. I am guessing OPTA will show Brek, Zusi, Feilhaber, and Jones with an unattractive passing rate but I think there was a higher degree of difficulty attempted then we have seen out of players like Jozy and Bradley/Danny Williams in prior games.

      We created a game where our goalie didn’t make a save and there goalie was arguably MOTM. I also feel like if Shea puts one of those early opportunities away fans feel different about the game.

      Under Bradley I felt like each team would get 4 or 5 good chances and it was left up to who took advantage or who made a mistake. Think last years camp cupcake against a South Africa team that was very comparable to last nights opponent I felt like we a win/loss/draw were all reasonable outcomes. Last night a win seemed like the only fair outcome and a loss wasn’t even creeping into my mind (in that hope they don’t get a late goal and steal this against the run of play type way).


      • Posted by zippersnstuffandy on 2012/01/22 at 8:05 AM

        You could be right – Taking better risks might be the result of having had a longer camp moreso that something about the actual quality of those players, though.


      • Posted by TD on 2012/01/22 at 12:56 PM

        I also liked the up tempo of last night’s game compared to the A Team’s. Maybe the A Team has too much to lose or something? Last night’s attacking energy was great . As noted, a loss was never on my radar either. I thought last night’s game was the best yet of the Klinesman era.

        I liked Parhurst in the back. There is great steadiness to his game.


  17. Quick hits:

    -I’ve never seen a US midfielder completely dictate the game in the middle third like that. Jones looked like a kid on a U-12 team who hit puberty at 10 and is faster and stronger than everyone else out there. He and Larentowicz did a very good job of shagging any loose ball that bounced out of the attacking third and restarting the attack, though Larentowicz, like previously mentioned, didn’t seem too interested in linchpinning anything on offense.
    -That said, I’m not sure I like what Jones was doing in the long run. This seemed like what would have happened with Mikey Bradley circa 2009 – just go wherever you want and positioning be damned. You can do that against teams that are both less skilled and sitting back; it doesn’t work against legitimate WC competition.
    -Brek Shea, for the love of all that is holy, please find the back of the net. You’re too talented not to.
    -Benny spent more time on the ground in the box than he did standing upright. And then he spent more time crying to the ref than contributing in attack once the 30th minute rolled around. He got tackled a few times in the last third of the first half and wound up lying down every time. Gotta be able to ride out a tackle to get time, Benny. And then you acted like the most spoiled brat out there when you get nicked.
    -The counterattack that led to Bunbury missing just wide must’ve been incredibly frightening for the Venezuelan keeper. There were at least seven and possibly 8 US shirts that broke out of that and they got down the field QUICK. I wouldn’t have ripped that ball if I was Teal, though, he had the edge and could’ve carried into the 18 to try to find an open trailer; the Venezuelan midfield was, IIRC, three steps behind Jones and Shea on the run.
    -Zusi had a few good moments. I’d like to see more of him but not out wide. Doesn’t seem to have the pace to play on the wing. Did a nice job with a few crosses, though.
    -If Jones had put that volley on net, I would’ve run outside with my jersey over my head.
    -de la Garza tried to dictate play down his side. Fast and athletic enough but the passing was suspect most of the time. Never put the ball in position for someone to make a play with it.
    -Was pleased with the CB pairing, who did an excellent job of marshalling possession, controlling the box, and going to get the ball when it had to be gotten. A major part of this is the bunkering and the weak competition, but I’m encouraged by what I saw.
    -Teal Bunbury can’t buy a shot on frame.
    -We didn’t find any new starters this game, but there are probably five new guys I’d like to see get trotted out with a better side eventually – Zusi, Cameron, Loyd, Sapong, and Hamid.
    -If this results in Rico Clark getting more playing time leading up to 2014, I’m gonna walk in front of a bus.
    -The vision was there early in the game, but the passes were not on target and the first touches were less than feathery.
    -A fair result, though 2-0 would’ve been more indicative of the game.
    -We need more scorers. Not forwards, not midfielders – just more guys who put the ball in the net. Too many talented players in our senior side pool who can’t find the net.


    • Posted by zippersnstuffandy on 2012/01/22 at 8:18 AM

      On your last note, it might be nice to see Herc Gomez get a run-out sometime again


    • Posted by Crow on 2012/01/22 at 9:54 AM

      Wow, nice post. I literally agree with every single point. LOL Amazing


  18. Posted by Tyler on 2012/01/22 at 1:18 PM

    One thing missing from the entire player pool at the senior level is a player who can run at the defense with the ball and get teammates chances. Dempsey can run at the defense, but he does better shooting at the end of a run dribbling. Bunbury played some nice flicks and one-touches, but he left me missing what Altidore does holding the ball under his foot and allowing support to make attacking runs. That kind of skill was needed versus a turtle-style, 10 men back defense after the first 20 min.


  19. One of those matches where every player is trying to make an impression by doing a little bit too much. So many chances died when attacking players decided to take 4 or 5 touches instead of 1 or 2 and moving off the ball.

    Venezuela didn’t do enough to give us a real idea about Cameron and Parkhurst but they looked promising. Parkhurst seems to have raised his level a couple knotches since I last saw him play, but again, the opposition must be considered. DeLaGarza is a small, quick CB accustomed to sweeping up behind a big, ball-winning CB – you could see the cognitive dissonance as he was asked to get up the wing and put deliveries into the box.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/22 at 9:00 PM

      I feel like we could have scored a couple more if Benny wasn’t busy back heeling and complaining.


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