USA vs. Russia Live: Who Will Break Who?

* We will be back to publishing shortly at The Shin Guardian

Gatt’a give the fans what they want Jurgy!

It’s the final game of the USMNT’s 2012. The word friendly has been synonymous with “excel” for the States as they’ve dropped somewhat historic wins on Italy and Mexico this year when the chips are set aside.

Today (10am EST, 7am PST on ESPN) the US will introduce some new and old faces into the fold in the hope of finding a little more attacking verve deeper in the US pool. New names like Gyau and Gatt will challenge “veterans” like Altidore and Kljestan for playing time.

Starting line-ups shortly.

19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KMac on 2012/11/14 at 4:34 AM

    No orange slices ….hope everybody is ok at the shin…


  2. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/14 at 7:48 AM

    Am I the only one that is irrationally excited to see Gatt today?


  3. Posted by Jay Bell on 2012/11/14 at 8:03 AM

    No, Gatt is an intriguing prospect and it’s only his first cap because the guy has had so many untimely injuries. The USMNT has struggled to fine pace and solid wing play for the last several years. If successful, Gatt could be the answer.


  4. Posted by Union on 2012/11/14 at 8:29 AM

    Goodson. Eek. Get some other guys in the mix.


  5. Posted by dth on 2012/11/14 at 8:43 AM

    How many times have we switched formation today? We definitely didn’t start out in 4-4-2 diamond. Let them develop a rhythm, geez Klinsi.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/14 at 12:39 PM

      Have we ever played a 4-3-3 that has worked well? Honest question.

      Feel like we need either a 4-1-3-2 or a 4-4-2 (diamond since we don’t have the width at the current time).


  6. Posted by dth on 2012/11/14 at 9:12 AM

    Tim Howard sonning that Russian player after he dived…oh man, the best. Love you Timmy.


  7. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/11/14 at 10:38 AM

    Very very disappointing….moustache… on Lalas’ face….

    Other than than that pretty much what I expected: A disjointed, defensively shaky side that struggles to put together a coherent attack.
    Bradley has grown into “that guy” on this side who can pick them up, put them on his back and carry them. And did it today. The 20 yd difference in where he picks the ball up and distributes it from makes them such a more dangerous team.

    Still don’t like what Jones brings in the central midfield. Too much noise and diving and spinning in circles and kicking people for me. It just seems like those around him are never sure what to expect.

    Chandler looked lost quite a bit but first time back with a shaky CB pairing will do that for you. Goodson just does not look ready for prime time after a solid handful of runouts. Too many giveaways and just naive defending on the penalty and elsewhere.

    Howard is just beyond words. If we are honest, this team is probably ranked in the lower 50 without his 3-5 gamesavers every freaking game. Unreal.

    Edu looked better but we’ve seen enough of him to not really trust that IMO.

    Jozy….ohhh Jozy Jozy Jozy…validating Klinsi’s claim on the quality of Eredivisie comp with each outing…

    Separated at birth….Klejstan…Vernon T Waldrup…Holly Hunters “bona fide” fiancee in O Brother Where Art Thou…Sacha…1930’s Berlin is calling looking for its stache…


    • Posted by SamT on 2012/11/14 at 11:42 AM

      You may already know, KN, but my money would be on both Lalas and Sacha doing it up big for Movember. And good on them for it.


  8. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/14 at 1:41 PM

    My quick takes:

    – Not that we didn’t know this before but we really need to figure out a CB pairing. Goodson seems to be pulling a Gooch and playing his way out of the rotation.

    – Jones needs to be phased out. He just doesn’t bring enough to the table. I have him as third on the depth chart after Bradley and Williams (who was bad today). Absolutely can’t play all 3 at once.

    – Jozy looked much better. Creates an interesting dynamic because it seems like we can really afford to play 2 of Dempsey, Herc, Jozy.

    – Gatt was nothing special but would be a nice player to bring off the bench, competing with Shea for the supersub role.

    – In the Bradley era, I was very unhappy with the overall style but I at least understood how everyone fit into the strategy. In the JK era we seem to have a bunch guys that have a role but none of the roles seem to fit together.


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/11/14 at 2:28 PM

      Jurgen was watching the same game you and I were: “I think you saw Jozy Altidore today was a handful. He gets a big, big compliment for his performance.”


  9. Posted by dth on 2012/11/14 at 2:09 PM

    Was there an issue with the pitch/ball? Seemed like a lot of guys had some poor touches out there.


  10. Posted by Eric on 2012/11/14 at 5:04 PM

    I finally got home and got a chance to see the game on replay. Just a few of my thoughts on one viewing.

    – Better effort from Jozy. The goal wasn’t there but he was working harder on defense and his hold up play was better than past games. The goals will come.

    – Williams had trouble with the speed of Russia’s midfielders. They managed to pull him out of his central holding position far too often and then play a guy right in front of the back four with time to turn and face up.

    – CBs continue to be concerning. Cameron looked okay, solid but not great. He gave away more passes than I’m used to seeing from him. Usually Geoff is pretty good with his distribution. Goodson’s distribution was atrocious today. He was far too casual with his passes and too many times he simply hoofed up a hopeful ball than playing a simple ball to keep possession. He was also responsible for the second goal. No excuse not to be goalside there.

    – The second goal: Why was there nobody stalling the free-kick? Someone should have stepped in front of it immediately to hold up the play of the ball by Russia until the backline got organized.

    – Fabian in particular stuck out to me for having a rough passing day but then again so did the whole back line.

    – Jones was very uneven fore me. Some good plays but there were several times he was ahead of the forwards. Was that by design or was he just getting sucked up that far?

    – For the most part, the whole team just looked out of sync. Nobody really looked like they were on the same page today. Was that because they only had a couple training sessions together before the game?


  11. To point out something often left out, while Goodson is partially to blame for the second goal it’s more because of poor foul than losing his mark. From the looks of it, and I’ll have to get another look, but my first impression was that they were going to hold that line and try to play some attackers off, but unfortunately somebody way off to the left.side of the team wasn’t on the same page. It looked to me more like Goodson was recovering from a failed offside trap than he lost his mark. That said he needs to be disciplined enough to not foul when coming in to pressure from behind there. Howard also could have prevented the goal by coming off his line sooner, but it’s hard to blame the Keeper for not bailing out an unorganized backline (unless that falls into one of his responsibilities).

    Overall not a bad performance, at the end of the day, if the team doesn’t suffer from poor mental errors, we get a 2-0 win. However without Howard’s heroics it could have been much worse. I don’t see where the logic lies to play 3 defensive midfielders. If Klinnsmann is intent on improving the defense, why does he continue to trot out a midfield that is incapable of keeping pressure off the defense. My only conclusion is that he’s not confident we can play with the best in the world so he anticipates the need for many defensive midfielders. The most disappointing part of this team by far isn’t the backline, its the midfield. As much as I want Williams to play DM and Bradley to play slightly more advanced I feel like Bradley will always see himself as a DM. Who can step up to control the flow of the game in midfield? I thought a high pressure system was to put lots of pressure on the opponent, not our own backline after giveaways from midfielders who make their living off of when they don’t have the ball.

    Keep in mind that even a good backline will look bad with a struggling midfield. Conversely, even a bad backline can be made to look good by a powerful midfield.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/11/14 at 9:49 PM

      I think the three man DM role just confuses the hell out of the guy who is supposed to be “stopping” at the back of that 3. Jones’ complete helter skelter approach to the game is more of a detriment to the squad than a plus at this stage. If he doesn’t even know what he’s going to do next how can the guys responsible for reading and reacting to cover for him? Bradley is embracing the CMF role more now that he’s been cast in that role and succeeded in Roma.
      Add Demps and Donovan to his steel and drive and we have the makings of a strong MF. I think Williams will be fine with Mike and agreed that without MF water carriers out wide as options you just invite pressure all day. And the knock on Klinsi is his grasp of in game tactics….


      • Dempsey in midfield? Dempsey would benefit more from being put somewhere near goal. If Altidore can step his game up consistently, then assign him LW, but in reality if you’re Klinnsmann you just tell him to get in the box and score. Fabian provides plenty up the left attacking wise so just have Dempsey turn and face goal so he can be Dempsey. I’m still not too sure where Donovan fits into this team but for the time being he can occupy the third CM spot.


  12. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/11/18 at 8:32 PM

    as a dc united fan, my support is now clearly behind the sounders and my boy, ej, the riddle wrapped in a mystery.


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