USA vs. Canada: Live Commentary

Courtesy James Grossi: USA preps to “leave” Canada with a win……

The French and the Indians started this skirmish. Facebook is bigger in Toronto than any other US city.

Is BC bud better than Humboldt bud? Wait, is that two American teams playing for the Stanley Cup trophy?

Hold on, his nickname is now Blue Jay DeMerit? Couldn’t the US use the Wisconsin man in the back?

Hold up again, that’s Michael Bradley’s dog! Wait, this is Clint Dempsey’s….yearbook!

It’s USA vs. Canada, going live. Starting line-ups within the hour or so.

For our preview from last summer’s Gold Cup, check here.


105 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 2:57 PM

    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 3:15 PM

      I’d be down for that, I don’t expect it though. Do you really think Rimando will get the start though?


      • Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 3:21 PM

        I didnt expect it either. I didn’t think Rimando would start, but I would’ve liked to. But he is on the bench…

        Altidore not match fit?


    • Altidore and Gomez to start? With respect, I dont see the balance in that choice.


      • Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 3:58 PM

        just wishful thinking on my part. And I think Jurgen is more about fluidity than balance.


  2. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 3:20 PM

    #usmnt starting lineup: Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Goodson, Johnson, Bradley, Torres, Jones, Dempsey, Donovan, Gomez


    • Posted by Alex on 2012/06/03 at 3:26 PM

      Donovan and Dempsey on the field together FINALLY


      • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 3:37 PM

        I like Gomez and Dempsey up top. Gomez was causing havoc against Brazil and I can see that opening up space for Dempsey. Could be effective.

        Oh, and I like Edu more than most, I think, but it is probably time he got dropped. I just hope Bradley doesn’t have to take on too much defensive duties so he can still get forward and be dangerous like we’ve seen lately.


        • Posted by twewlife on 2012/06/03 at 3:56 PM

          I like the line up, but I wonder what would happen if Clint is swapped up top for Altidore / Boyd and then Torres is replaced by Clint on the left….thoughts?


        • Posted by dude on 2012/06/03 at 3:59 PM

          However, Edu does accept full heartedly the responsibilities of the #6 role, and he has the athleticism to cover the backline. Bradley is more useful when given a freer role, and Jones is a lose cannon.

          I was utterly confused when JK decided to play Bradley at the #6, and play Edu higher. Kind of want to see if Edu helps Bradley and Jones give their best going forward.


          • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 4:21 PM

            Agreed Dude- That is the main reason I’ve been okay with Edu’s play. He hasn’t been flashy but he has fully accepted that role and been good enough most of the time. But if we are going with the 4-4-2 there isn’t a spot for him ahead of Bradley or Jones.


  3. Posted by mbw on 2012/06/03 at 3:47 PM

    Looks like Canada still hasn’t found a first-rate goalkeeper. Wonder what ever happened to that kid who shut out the US U-23s?


  4. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/03 at 3:59 PM

    I’m throwing in a non-sequitur… A professor of mine once talked about a spy in the 50s who played tennis professionally(as a cover) and was ranked 2nd in the world. Which USMNTers can you see as spies?

    I’m thinking a GQ player like Bocanegra. Or maybe Bradleys Jr and Sr…lol


  5. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 3:59 PM

    Bradley/Jones/Torres is an interesting combination. I don’t think I’m fond of the concept. Would seem to have Bradley in the number 6 position, and I’m not the biggest fan. Eliminates Edu, which is good, but Torres is not a huge improvement in speed of play/thought (huge improvement in terms of technical ability though.)

    Not sure why Goodson is playing over Cameron. I think Cameron’s the better player.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:03 PM

      Also disappointed Corona didn’t get to the bench. ALways nice to invest in youth, I think.


  6. Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 4:00 PM

    Johnson just left warm-ups do to an undisclosed injury, Cameron warming up.


  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2012/06/03 at 4:10 PM

    US should be fine and this is excellent to see how prepared that Castillo is. I’m excited for it.


  8. Posted by Ryan on 2012/06/03 at 4:13 PM

    The match is not on Univision…anybody know a good live stream?


  9. Posted by Mark T on 2012/06/03 at 4:13 PM

    Who gave Canada the 1980’s NBA ref jackets?


  10. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/03 at 4:14 PM

    as long as Fabian is healthy for the games that matter (wcq), I’m good…


  11. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:21 PM

    Like Canada’s jerseys. Stylishly simple. Well done by Umbro (for my money, the most consistent soccer jersey designer).


    • That looks like the England WC2010 kit, and our away kit. Also very similar to recent Rangers and Southanption kits. Obviously different colors.


  12. Q: I am guessing that this rivalry means more to Canada than it does for America, right? They’d love to get one over their bigger neighbor. Whereas, America has outgrown this? Or does it still matter?


    • Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/03 at 4:39 PM

      Canada isn’t our biggest concacaf rival. obviously, Mexico has that honor. I’d agree it means more to them, but at the same time it means a lot to USMNT as we’re expected to win.


  13. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:27 PM

    Think either Torres needs to get central or Dempsey to drop deep. The U.S. is comfortable playing in its own third, slighly less in the middle but still ultimately good, but getting no penetration beyond that aside from longballs.


  14. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:39 PM

    Torres desperately needs to move to a league with a higher pace of play. MLS is obviously worse as a league than Mexico, but I think it would do Torres some good, absent a move to Europe.


  15. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:52 PM

    DeRo on the left wing? Gotta be one of the dumber coaching decisions I’ve seen recently. Man is as pure a #10 as there is.


  16. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 4:58 PM

    Torres and Castillo have been awful in the latter part of his half.


    • Posted by Union on 2012/06/03 at 5:09 PM

      And Gomez. Gomez working the channels like a boss? Has he even been on the field? If he is going to go out wide and cross the ball back into the boss like Jozy, he better have a decent cross.


      • Posted by Union on 2012/06/03 at 5:09 PM

        back into the box*


      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:13 PM

        Wouldn’t say Gomez has been awful. Just kind of blah. Not a big problem, not a solution.

        By the way, what happened to that Stevie Cherundolo we knew and loved? Hate to wish obolesence on anyone, but I can’t remember any of those signature moments we knew and loved for a while now. PUT OUT THE LICHAJ SIGNAL.


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 5:10 PM

      Castillo was looking sharp there for the first 25 minutes or so too. You’re right though, he sure ended the half poorly


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 5:11 PM

      Castillo is the David Luiz of left backs. The definition of a drunk person playing FIFA. Challenge a guy in the middle of the attacking third, why not he is left back? Shoot from far away, sure. Make risky passes, try to move to dribble by someone in your own box…why not?


  17. Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:02 PM

    Gomez working the channels like a boss


  18. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 5:07 PM



  19. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:09 PM

    Big winners of first half in U.S.:
    Eric Lichaj, Josh Gatt.

    Need to advance Bradley, get Dempsey more central, remove Torres. Too bad Corona didn’t dress–he’d be the perfect sub for Torres here.


    • Posted by Alex on 2012/06/03 at 5:10 PM

      Yes to all those


    • Posted by Union on 2012/06/03 at 5:14 PM

      With you here DTH. Lichaj and Gatt, not just bc of their ability but bc this US team is in desperate need of some F’ing pace. It looks like a bunch of old men playing tonight (and sadly the offensive threats on the field are all relatively old men). The US has never been the more athletic team, but man do they look sluggish.

      I get that JK doesn’t necessarily trust Jones/Edu to be linking between the defenders, Bradley is way calmer on the ball and less prone to errors, but he needs to be in an advanced roll. Torres is just transparent again. I don’t get the love affair with him. Silky smooth on the ball, but doesn’t do much else. Donovan has also been kinda ehhh.

      But yes. The US needs to find a way to add some width and stretch the field on the wings. Big time.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 5:16 PM

      if Castillo gets called again and Lichaj does not I might go insane


  20. Posted by Mark T on 2012/06/03 at 5:15 PM

    With some better service into the box that half would have looked a lot better – corners and crosses seemed to be off-target most of the first 45


  21. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 5:21 PM

    Torres seems to have caught Bradley circa 2009 back pass-itis.


  22. Posted by Rob on 2012/06/03 at 5:24 PM

    Who has been the. Etter side in the first half? Has it been an open game….. From the UK


  23. Castillo is still very green but I think I understand what Klinsmann sees in him. USA needs to find a consistently quality unit in the back to be a serious contender on the world stage. I’d like to see Dempsey, Gomez, and Donovan playing together as forwards in a bona fide 4-3-3 with Beckerman in for Torres.


    • Posted by cpjuengel on 2012/06/03 at 8:59 PM

      you mean beckerman in for edu? and dempsey in for torres?
      cause i agree with that


  24. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:26 PM

    Not sure whether “lofting crosses towards slight 5’11” man” or “putting most gifted #10 in North America on the left wing” is the dumbest strategic decision of this game.

    It’s looking like “Bradley as #6” is a dud also. Man needs to roam.


  25. Posted by mbw on 2012/06/03 at 5:30 PM

    Someone stole USMNT Donovan and replaced him with MLS Donovan.


  26. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:30 PM

    Bradley recalling falling back into some old bad habits tonight. Very boring play from him. Need more.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:35 PM

      Not sure I agree 100%, but I share your general sentiment. Think the issue is that he needs to be moved up the field–being the deepest midfielder wastes a lot of his skills.


  27. Posted by dude on 2012/06/03 at 5:30 PM

    Something I’ve noticed in the past two matches is that up top we are shapeless. Same thing happened when Bob subbed out Jozy for Gomez against Ghana.

    We need a target forward to give the offense shape and clear passing triangles. JK laughs off Dempsey and his attempt to get on the ball, but he’s trying to create connection where none exists.

    We need Boyd or Jozy now.


  28. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:37 PM

    Onyewu as the first sub? WUT? One thing I miss about Bradley was that at least his bad decisions made sense.


  29. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 5:40 PM

    We’re finally seeing the formation we saw on Memorial Day open practice–Gomez on the left cutting in. Intrigued.


  30. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:47 PM

    Fabian makes a huge difference on offense. Incredible drop off from him to Castillo.

    This is a pretty shoddy display, particularly from Donovan and jones and Bradley, at least offensively.


  31. Posted by scweeb on 2012/06/03 at 5:49 PM

    This 4-4-2 is like watching USA under Bradley.


  32. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:49 PM

    There’s very little of the constant off the ball movement in the midfield that made them so overpowering versus Scotland. It was like a whirlwind of short passes in the midfield. Granted Canada are clogging it, but Bradley and jones are just mostly kind of standing arpund


  33. Posted by Antonio Henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:51 PM

    70th minute switch to a narrow diamond?


  34. Even if you do switch to a 4-3-3, Edu for Donovan is not aggressive change. I thought Klinsmann might be looking forward to qualifying with the earlier changes. Now I’m sure of it.


  35. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 5:57 PM

    This isn’t the attacking soccer we were promised!!!!!!!!!



  36. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:01 PM

    Classic “goddamnit I’m isolated” game from Altidore. Probably daydreaming of times actual passes were played to his feet at AZ.


  37. Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 6:01 PM

    Jozy has not been impressive either, just looks lazy out there.


    • Posted by dude on 2012/06/03 at 6:07 PM

      He’s a left midfielder, you can tell. What is JK thinking?


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:09 PM

      Let me put on my John Harkes cap for a moment. “JOZY IS SCREAMING FOR THE BALL OUT THERE.” Seriously–there was a moment where Jozy has been waving and gesticulating widly to get him the damn ball. Actually impressed by the hunger, even though his teammates seem to be blowing him off.


      • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 6:15 PM

        In the last five minutes or so I did start seeing some of that, but I was hoping he would come on and ignite a spark, that didn’t really happen.


      • I was impressed by his movement actually. However there was no connection between strikers and midfield. Dempsey tried to drop back, but Klinsmann wants him close to goal apparently. I really feel like Dempsey has to be the #10 in a 4-1-2-1-2 or the narrower version (turned copletely new formation) 4-3-1-2. Leave Jones as the defensive midfielder since he likes to make outrageous tackles anyway. Bradley and Donovan on the outside, and Dempsey sitting in the hole just under our strikers: Altidore and Herc. That should provide a good attack, but Jones would be a bit of a liability defensively.


  38. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 6:03 PM

    I am really beginning to question the fact that every game we have a different line-up and formation.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:07 PM

      Especially when Klinsmann announces, “The time for experimentation is over.” Maybe..take your own advice there?


      • Horses for courses?


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 6:21 PM

          To some degree. To me that is one formation but maybe a more passing player, or a more defensive player, etc. Formation and strategy can’t change 100% from game to game. We played a 4-3-2-1, a 4-3-3-1 which converted to a 4-4-2, and a 4-4-1-1 which converted to a 4-3-3 in three games. Thats like a zonal markings final exam not a strategy.


  39. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 6:07 PM

    I’m clogging this comment board with my angst but boy this game is dreary.


  40. Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 6:08 PM

    How do 5 defenders let an attacker just sit in front of goal 2 yards out???


  41. Posted by Matthew on 2012/06/03 at 6:10 PM



  42. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 6:10 PM

    Comically awful.


  43. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 6:13 PM

    How many times did a guy have all the time in the world and play a five-yard pass to a Canadian or out of bounds? Or just hoof it up the field to no one in particular?


  44. Posted by John henry on 2012/06/03 at 6:13 PM



  45. Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:14 PM

    So, anti-MOTM is Klinsmann. Terrible, inexplicable tactics. Even the sensible tactical experiments failed. Things I want:

    1) Stop playing Torres on left wing. He’s just not a left winger. He doesn’t take people on (and shouldn’t), he’s not aggressive, he doesn’t play telling passes…he’s a hub midfielder. He’s not one of the best hub midfielders in the U.S. and has been inexplicably shunted wide. Torres needs to transfer somewhere, anywhere besides Mexico. He’ll never become good enough there.

    2) Bradley needs to be moved up the field as a box-to-box midfielder.

    That’s the stuff that’s correctable immediately. In long term:

    1) Pretty clear we need more speed, and a non-Castillo fullback. As I’ve said elsewhere, get Lichaj and Gatt in here.

    2) Do you think Kljestan is watching this game somewhere in California and rolling his eyes? If Sacha Kljestan is named Sacha Kljestinho or Sacha Kljestez, he’s a starter on the team, right?


    • Posted by Union on 2012/06/03 at 6:20 PM

      Very, very on point. Agree 100%. Also, the amount of negative passing that occurred tonight was frightening.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:22 PM

      One more note: U.S. desperately missed some creativity or aggressiveness or hunger off of the bench. Sadly, Klinsmann didn’t dress Corona…and left Gatt in Molde. Not that having Gatt hang out with Ole Gunnar Skolsjaer is exactly the worst thing in the world.


  46. Posted by Union on 2012/06/03 at 6:15 PM

    That was one of the more unimpressive US performances of recent memory. One thing sticks out immediately, the US are now a lot closer to Canada than they are Mexico.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:19 PM

      Tragedy of errors from both coaches makes that hard to determine. When “putting DeRosario on the wing” isn’t the worst coaching mistake of the night, you’ve witnessed an impressively bad night of coaching.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 6:35 PM

      When a team is trotting out Romanian second division players, unattached 17 year-olds, and Julian de Guzman, it’s hard for me to believe that we wouldn’t take care of them nine times out of ten. The tactics and execution were awful.


  47. US pretty poor offensively, missing that killer pass. Although Canada made it hard by clogging up the middle.
    Thought Canada actually had the better chances, and perhaps should have won.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 6:17 PM

      I don’t think there’s any doubt that Canada was the better team on the night.


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 6:20 PM

      Agree that Canada had better chances. That said, I’m not really in meltdown mode or anything until we start playing that poorly in WCQ. Also, I think it should be mentioned that Canada did execute their game plan well. They aren’t a great side but they also aren’t going to roll over and give us the game and we didn’t play well enough to take it. *shrug*


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 6:40 PM

      Canada was the better team. They absorbed the attack and countered successfully. Klinsman was hired to create a team that can beat 10 guys behind the ball. I am very frustrated by the fact after 1 year I have no idea what formation we are playing or who the starting 11 will be.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 6:45 PM

        Pretty frustrated when it’s clear what works and what doesn’t. Bradley shouldn’t be the deepest midfielder. Torres is a so-so central midfielder and a worse winger. Maybe avoid lofting crosses at a slight 5’11 man. Might be a good idea to have a creative midfielder and/or winger you can call on off the bench. Stuff like that.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 6:56 PM

          Honestly at this point I don’t know who should start against Antigua.

          My best guess is:

          Dolo – Cameron – Boca – Johnson
          ———–Bradley – Jones
          Donovan – Altidore – Dempsey

          That said, I have no idea if that is the best line-up.


  48. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/03 at 6:36 PM

    Goodson was alright.


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/03 at 6:54 PM

      Haha good point. Thanks, now I feel just slightly better.


    • Posted by d-bar on 2012/06/03 at 7:50 PM

      I think the only difference between that match and the U-23 match was that the U-23’s didn’t have Goodson.


  49. USA can’t create space in the middle or attacking thirds in a 4-4-2, even against Canada. At least in a 4-3-3 they look dangerous (although not in this game). That’s better than a chess match with a shaky back 4. Goodson seems to be the best compliment to Bocanegra. Onyewu’s days have to be numbered. I’m sick of saying it, but who’s the clear choice at LB? Dempsey played 90 but was not a major factor. Neither was Altidore for his 28 minutes. Perhaps they’re match-fit but not 100%. Donovan disappointed and deserved to be subbed, just not by Edu. The best I can say for Gomez is he worked hard. Bradley was not much of a presence in the center of park and Jones did not contribute much. I have to believe that Johnson was rested because he will see extensive time in the qualifying matches. This was just a regrettable performance.


  50. Posted by Arisrules on 2012/06/03 at 7:47 PM

    If somebody can explain to me the fixation with Torres, please do. It’s also a shame that DeRo never went abroad. He’s an amazing player.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 8:01 PM

      The fascination is that he is very calm and composed on the ball. They need more players that can be calm and composed on the ball and keep possession. Possession is the next step to moving up a tier. We are dying for a #10. Dempsey isn’t it, Donovan isn’t it.

      The question is what role does Torres really play. If we were a top top level team then you could play MB as a #6 and Jones in the #7 (much like YaYa for Man City) and Torres as the 10. Without a #10 we are doomed for nights like tonight where we can’t break down 10 behind the ball.

      I am a little depressed about today’s game but the AM is the real ??. I think Bradley can be that, but I have many bucket flashbacks that hurt me.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/03 at 8:13 PM

        Torres isn’t a #10. He’s more Xabi Alonso than Mesut Ozil. (Actually, he’s neither, but leave that aside.)

        He doesn’t play telling passes, he doesn’t take people on, he doesn’t score goals. All of which are characteristics of the typical #10.

        The sooner people get the idea that Torres is a #10 out of their head, the sooner the absurd campaigning for him can end.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 8:29 PM

          I know you don’t like Edu and yes he is limited but isn’t he the best #6 with Jones and Bradley playing in the MF in more attacking our best line-up. BTW its insane we are debating this after 11 months and on the even of WCQs.


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/06/03 at 8:24 PM

        OK, apologies to everyone for hijacking the message board and replying to myself but…

        Best options for #10

        1) Dempsey but then we need him to play D and go 4-3-3

        Altidore – Gomez – Donovan
        – Demspey
        – MB
        – Jones

        2) Jones as he is as close to we have a world class player (in the dth sense of the word) except for the propensity to get cards and that he is a long in the tooth world class #6

        3) Bradley and Jones switching off. This has worked well however the US plays 3 DM whenever neither Bradley or Jones play the 6

        4) Bradley by himself. He doesn’t seem to want to. He still has too much D installed in him.

        5) Torres – not even close. Torres game seems more like someone that should play #6 behind Bradley and Jones rather than Edu. Sounds insane but that is what his passing game seems to fit,

        6) Donovan – Yes he had three goals against Scotland but he was disappointing against both Brazil and Canada. Not sure if he is the guy for 2014. Hate to be the bad guy as Donovan is a legend but if you just watched Brazil and Canada he is barely hanging on to his starting spot.


  51. Posted by cpjuengel on 2012/06/03 at 9:07 PM

    cant help but think the dempsey under gomez/altidore could work with shea on the left side and LD on the right. and the 3 man midfield should be bradley-jones-beckerman. edu feels like a waste of space out there. he cant make the pass, and he cant make the defensive stop…


  52. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/03 at 9:14 PM

    that was almost as boring as the Belgium England game.


  53. Posted by Tab on 2012/06/03 at 9:16 PM

    Dunno if there’s a fixation with Torres. More likely just the observation that he can play possession soccer — a quality that’s in short supply for us so far.

    Torres doesn’t quite fit as an advanced quasi-wing (not terribly fast or “vertical”). Would be interested to see him played more centrally for *parts* of the next to games. Alongside Jones. Letting Bradley push forwards.

    I for one would like to see him tried in deeper more central positions.

    When Johnson is in the team he gives the speed and ability to beat people on the wing..


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