USA 0 – Canada 0: The Titillating Retro Diary!

Klinsmann's chopper....if you had an expectation of what he piloted after watching tonight's game....

Klinsmann’s chopper….if you had an expectation of what he piloted after watching tonight’s game….

Will Parchman synthesizes through bleeding eyes so that you may be entertained

If you ever wanted to know what a cupcake tastes like after it was shipped to camp, kneaded by a benevolent German for a month and repeatedly sat on by Taylor Twellman, GIRD THY LOINS YE TROUBLEMAKERS. 2013 is here (please refer to the excellent Dr. Sweatpants’ previous TSG starting XI for pointers on what that should look like). First, our XI tonight for the maple syrupy Canadians (who most certainly cannot have our German cupcakes) in a Houston that Eddard Stark would loathe (“WINTER IS… wait, what the hell is this place? Why are my pantaloons sweaty in January?”). Is this like, reverse Mexico? Send the polar bears to Swamp City? Your logic is strange, Sunil Gulati. But I like it.

#USMNT lineup for #USAvCAN: S. Johnson; Beltran, Gonzalez, Besler, Morrow; Beckerman ©, Zusi, Davis, Evans; Wondolowski, E. Johnson

Believe... trademarked. Oh wait, Charlie Davies has that one already. Wait, who is Charlie Davies?

Believe… trademarked. Oh wait, Charlie Davies has that one already. Wait, who is Charlie Davies? (photo: Matt Mathai)

First of all, Kyle Beckerman has apparently trademarked his name. I have no idea what that means. Secondly, Brad Evans. Interesting. Third time in the last four years he was in Camp Cupcake, and we’ll see if a solid year in Seattle carries over. My immediate guesses: Beckerman sitting deep, Zusi on the right, Davis on the left, EJ top left and Wondo top right. Looks kind of like a 4-4-2 diamond depending on where Evans settles. Probably over Beckerman.

"Those guys are really starting ahead of me? Um, okay? ... wait, "against CANADA?!"

“Those guys are really starting ahead of me? Um, okay? … wait, “against CANADA?!”

Interesting tidbits: Josh Gatt is on the bench. There’s no way he doesn’t play in the second half, but I totally agree with Davis starting in his place. This is actually a really solid lineup, and more or less what I expected with a few exceptions (Tony Beltran being one, and Evans). I think the biggest surprise is the omission of Mix. Kid can’t seem to catch a break. Without a club, he obviously didn’t make a big enough impression on JK. Need to see big games from Zusi and Gonzalez, who are both on the cusp of a first-team starting gig (Gonzo for Boca and Zusi for Donovan’s corpse). Also very interested to see Besler.

Ah yes, here we are. Glenn Davis aside TAYS! on the play-by-play. The finest purveyor of the pocket square this side of the Mississip. A 4-4-2 diamond as I expected (pat pat), with Evans advanced (?). Prime spot for Feilhaber to sub in late in the second half. If we don’t see him I’m mutinying. He deserves a shot to prove he belongs in the side for qualifiers. I will fight the Mad German for his right. To party.

Good lord there is nobody at this game. Now that ESPN has picked up El Tri through the Hex, we get to be depressed about team support now. Good. Good. More for you and me.

O Canada rings through the BBVA Compass and a flag with a leaf on it flutters in the wind. A flapjack falls into syrup. Somewhere, a solitary hockey goal falls through the ice. A child gets a free checkup.

No caption needed.

No caption needed.

John Candy does a dirt angel in his grave

A single eskimo cries. I just caught Wondo in the pregame lineup singing the National Anthem with the cheekiest smirk I’ve ever seen on a human. Scrolling through his mind: “God I hate Canada. Did I leave the stove on? No. No, I did not. I’m so damn awesome.

Game time. Lets roll.

‘1 – Already some shakiness from Morrow, who was caught too far up on the left. The fullbacks are probably the shakiest piece of this group (WE. ARE. AMERICA.), so it’s imperative they stay sharpish.

‘3 – Glenn Davis: “Jakovic, living on the edge.” I get the feeling Canada will resemble Patrick Swayze in Point Break all night. Just all screaming and presidents masks and craziness.

‘5 – DID YOU SEE THAT SQUARE PASS FROM THE MATTY BEEZ???? God I want him to be good tonight.

‘6 – Holy mother of DeRo. Catches up to a dangling cross and rips at Sean Johnson, though luckily he zips it right at SeanJean. First shot to the Ice Munchers. Tony Beltran. What. Are. You. Doing. Perk up you monkey. This isn’t the Democratic Republic of Mars.

‘9 – Brad Davis dumps a free kick into Canada’s wall to kill a promising set piece. What? I thought he was perfect?

’11 – Oh what a ball from Beckerman, who drove Davis into the box with just a point-perfect touch. Anyone who thinks Beckerman is useless in the attacking third doesn’t watch him play enough. He’s silk when he wants to be. But Davis’ cross died at Evans. Think that might be a weak link tonight. At least as long as Evans is on, which might not be super long.

’14 – Brad Evans and Tony Beltran need to form a support group. Davis and Zusi are now both pinching in to supplement the lack of facilitation in the middle. This is OK as long as Morrow and Beltran keep pushing high. Against Canada, this will probably work. Against real soccer humans, probably not. I think both are probably just nervous. Might take 20-25 minutes for them to settle down.

"Onsides! Onsides! Holy sh*t he's onsides!"

“Onsides! Onsides! Holy sh*t he’s onsides!”

’17 – Nick Rimando is the right linesman! Did anybody else see that?? I guarantee you he snuck on the field to slip advice to Tony B. This is like the best/worst buddy cop movie ever made. Someone sign Nick Nolte to play Rimando. This game has been pretty blasé so far. How could you tell?

’21 – Simon Thomas’ clearance just then looked like that four-eyed kid in your 4th grade kickball class who wore green khakis to the field and accidentally kneed a half-mile an hour pitch into his face. I’m pretty sure Canada is that kid all growns up. Possession is 70-30 right now with Brad Evans on the field. Just, you know, FYI.

’25 – Nothing happening at all in the middle right now. Wondo is having to drop too deep to cover for Evans, and Beckerman is (rightly) reticent to step too far up so he can protect his inexperienced center backs. The easiest fix is to replace Evans. If anybody comes off at half, it’s him. Evans is lost in Mordor somewhere asking an orc for directions to Houston.

’33 – This game is the soccer equivalent of a Ben Stein lecture on Ben Stein’s breakfast choices. I HATE.

’35 – Feilhaber comes into this game a rips open the thin veil separating space and time from the feeble machinations of our human minds. Evans puts his feet up, scratches himself, farts.


’38 – Screw this. I’m looking at cat videos on YouTube. (Fuck yeah, VAN HALEN!)

’40 – Now I’m getting my wife to explain to me how she’s cooking her muffins. HOW SHE’S COOKING HER MUFFINS. She’s chilling the butter right now, you guys. If you were concerned.

’42 – I just Wikipedia’d “Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina.”

’43 – Corner kick! Something’s happening! Noise! Brad Davis kick! And nothing. Superb.

HALFTIME – Guys. I have no words. For God sakes, get Feilhaber on the field. Warm up Gatt. Get Twellman off his rocker. Sub on a half-drunk member of the AO. I don’t care. Get a damn clown if you have to. At least then we can laugh at him clopping around in his huge red shoes trying to link up play. See? I’m laughing now. Thanks for nothing, jerks. I’m getting a muffin.

You said it TSG!

You said it TSG!

’46 – Hier kommt DIE FEILHABER. He comes in for Beltran and Gatt for Wondo. 4-3-3 here. More vertical passing into the dangerous areas. More speed and creativity on the pitch. I need to be a damn coach. Brad Evans for the fail. Do we ever see Wondo again?

’47 – I just had a thought: Ian Darke would be completely shredding this game to ribbons right now. Glenn Davis, you’re on blast. Cue up those zingers. Wait, on second though, maybe not. That’s my job. ESPN needs a professional snark-o-meter run by yours truly. It would just me my face occasionally popping up in the left corner mid-game yelling things at everybody. CAN’T WAIT.

’49 – So Brad Evans is at fullback now. The guy you originally employed to pull the creative strings? He’s at fullback. Your creative midfielder. Fullback. Fullback. Just a salad. Just a salad.

’50 – Tays makes his first howler. “I think it’s a credit to this Canada side.” No. No. A thousand times, Pocket Square, no.

’53 – WHOA SOMETHING HAPPENED SORTA! And it was DIE FEILHABER who started the move (AHA!). He plays Johnson through with a silky touch, and EJ finds Davis, whose shot whizzes wide. That was kind of a chance. And Feilhaber started it.

’55 – When Zusi and Davis’ free kicks look like me rain-dropping NBA-range 3’s onto grandmothers at the park, you know it’s been a good night.

’59 – PREDICTION: Will Bruin is going to come on for EJ and he’s going to run around like an epileptic bear and do nothing. As soon as I say that, EJ deposits an Evans cross into the Gulf. You guys, I’m on my game tonight.

’63 – Looks like its Agudelo coming on. Ale Bedoya on for Zusi, who looked really not very good.

’65 – Announced crowd of 11,737 is really happy with their decision to do what they did tonight.

Winner: Best player, BBVA, January 29th 2013. Congratuf*ckinlations!

Winner: Best player, BBVA, January 29th 2013. Congratuf*ckinlations!

’66 – Benny Feilhaber has been the best player on the field for the US in the second half, and it isn’t particularly close. Floppy-shoed clown guy is a close second.

’70 – Can we just have Benny and DeRo bare knuckle this out to save us all another 20 worthless minutes? Is anyone else playing?

’72 – Josh Gatt runs fast.

’74 – Aha! Bruin for EJ. Now for that epileptic bear thing…


Let’s cut to the quick, because I don’t want to write any more on this failure pile and you don’t want to read any more about this heaping garbage pit. Winners: my wife’s muffins. Kyle Beckerman (COPYRIGHT). DIE FEILHABER. Clowns. Losers: your eyeballs. Everybody everywhere.


Dear god, please end.

47 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Snipersghillie on 2013/01/30 at 1:08 AM

    Always a pleasure to read your work, This piece is probably the only good thing that came out of tonight’s game.


  2. Posted by Freegle on 2013/01/30 at 5:34 AM

    Forget giving credit to Canada’s side. This lackluster performance is on Klinsmann and lousy tactics and failed player selections. The first half group had no speed on the wings and no creativity/guile in the middle and the second half group, despite being better in that regard, was up against a team that, by that time, was well organised, had settled into the match, and had a full 45-60 minutes of bunkering experience under their belt with no discernible reason to open up the match. He would have been better served to try to open up the match early with guile and speed and if that didn’t work, try to bully a tired team in the second half. Poor Wondo was miscast as up front as a cross target for crosses but looked decent when he had the ball played to his feet. Playing with Benny would have served him well. Agudelo showed he was adept at attacking headers but his first touch needs work. He could have been a good target for Brad Evans crosses.

    I know it’s just a friendly and maybe JK was trying to see who could best adapt when put into positions not ideally suited to their abilities. But, on the field, it just looks like he set his squad up to fail.

    I was a proponent of Camp Cupcake as important and very useful. But if Klinsy is going to use it like this, what’s the point?


    • Posted by John Mosby on 2013/01/30 at 2:47 PM

      Freegle, you were against Bob Bradley and MLS players, now you are against a German legend and still against MLS players, unless they have had time in Europe. Obviously you would have called in Ryan Guy and Ricardo Clark. And of course when USA played more direct in the past, you wanted more possession.


      • Posted by Freegle on 2013/01/30 at 5:39 PM

        Ouch! Keep the gloves up!

        I’m not “against” anyone. I wish they all would succeed and we had the best domestic league and the best national team in the world and we never lost a game. (See? I can use hyperbole too!).

        All I said was I think JK got the tactics/player selection backwards. That’s no knock on the players or the league (improving by the day). There was nothing there resembling a reference to european players being superior to MLS players (a discussion for another time).

        What about my post was as critical or rude as yours?

        This is a forum for an exchange of ideas and opinions. Next time come with some of that instead of being just another troll.


        • Posted by John mosby on 2013/01/30 at 8:20 PM

          Trolls are what keep websites interesting. If everyone just stepped in line and agreed just for the sake of agreeing, we would be called the USSR. as it is, we are USA.

          You are entitled to your opinion, as is everyone else. I mean, not giving up any goals, that’s not failure. You said this team was set up to fail. You also said what’s the point of a January camp, if this score line is going to be the result, as if that even makes any sense at all, when the score line and result of this game mean absolutely zero.

          Really what’s happening is you are venting your frustration that the coach did not play the player you wanted, and did not play with the tactics you expected. All your vast soccer knowledge leads you to some sort of higher understanding .

          Please, I’m sure you will applaud the tactics if USA have three points in the HEX come next week. Maybe sometimes you just don’t know as much as you think you know.


          • Posted by cfig on 2013/01/30 at 9:53 PM

            Playing a Canada B/C team to a boring 0-0 draw at home with no attacking presence is failure.


            • Posted by John mosby on 2013/01/31 at 5:23 AM

              Sorry I don’t see it that way. Was it failure when the USA hockey team lost an exhibition to the Russians one week prior to the 1980 Olympics, at home? There is no need to respond either, because we all know the answer.

            • Posted by Byrdman on 2013/01/31 at 5:48 AM

              Kind of full of yourself aren’t you John Mosby. There are usually discussions here, not attacks. Personally, if I want the personal degradations and harsh words I can go to any number of other sites. Maybe you would enjoy them more.

            • Posted by John Mosby on 2013/01/31 at 6:47 AM

              So danmark tied Mexico 1-1, with each team scoring from the penalty spot. Well, at least Mexico can say they were not playing at home .

            • I think most saw a lack of passion, interest, and desire from most of our side on Tuesday night. I was there watching it from just off the pitch and I’d agree, and I consider that a failure.

              The way we played is much more the failure than the result; if we ended that match 0-0 but did it with some fire and intensity I’d be disappointed but feel like we accomplished something.

              See how I said that without coming off as a condescending jerk?

            • Posted by John Mosby on 2013/01/31 at 12:04 PM

              Just one point cfig. It does seem a little disengenuous to call a Canada team with dero a B/C team.

          • Posted by Freegle on 2013/01/31 at 9:10 AM

            Trolls are not what keeps websites interesting, discussions are. There’s a difference.

            Your point about failure is well taken… it depends on what your goals are. It also depends on perspective. You mentioned the USA vs USSR exhibition in 1980. I admit that I wasnt alive when it happened but I’m sure that the day after that game happened, a 10-3 dismantling by USSR was considered an embarrassment and a failure by the USA. It wasn’t until much later, after the “Miracle” that the failure was forgotten. The same may be said for this match if/when the USA qualifies for WC2014. But, for now, this match was failure, not just the score line – we failed to exert our will, show any semblance of cohesion, or even threaten a (far) weaker team (in talent and experience) at home.

            You havent posted previously under the name dikranovich have you? You have the same condescension, irritability, and need to tell me what I’m thinking as he did. The same ignorance too. Troll on.


          • It looks they had DeRo and 2 or so other members of their WCQ roster, so I’ll give you B team.

            Either way it’s Canada that didn’t make it into the Hex, this is not a team we should struggle with.


  3. Posted by Soccertes on 2013/01/30 at 5:56 AM

    I think this result had less to do with tactics and more to do with the overall lack of technical ability in the squad. The fullbacks (save for Omar) never played the ball at their feet or started plays from the back instead kicking it sideways or booting long balls over the top. The mids (save for Becks and later Benny) rarely if ever were proactive in linking up play with the forwards (very few overlapping runs, e.g.). The forwards did nothing to create chances and the scant few that were created for them were utterly wasted by their flagrant inability to finish (much less put a quality strike on the ball).

    The result was a mostly narrow field of play where we were unable to unlock the Canucks’ bunkered-in, 5-man midfield. We dominated possession, even in the crowded midfield to some extent, but were impotent in the attacking third. To me, this reflects not tactical errors but the players’ lack of speed of thought – and probably the skill to support it – that is needed to pick apart tightly-packed defenses that play 10 guys behind the ball like the Sons of Maple Syrup Country did (and like most of Concacaf will in the Hex).

    All that said, remember that this team bears no resemblance to the team that will take the pitch against Honduras next week. Lots of people are referring to last night’s lineup as a B-Team squad. That’s not accurate. It was a C-Team Squad. There was maybe 1 potential starter in this group, and many never will-bes. Not to bash MLS, but this was the first time in 6 years the we used an all-MLS starting lineup, and the rarity of that statistic was explained by the outcome.

    Hold ye heads high, dear USMNT fans, and fear not for the (very near) future. I expect a very different game, and result, down in Honduras next week.


  4. Soccertes… I agree with everything you posted. Scary thing is most of these players (yes even the possible 6-7 that go to Honduras) will be part of the Gold Cup team! Scary! Like many in the first team, the player’s first touch is not good (its like watching Edu receive a pass and it bounces up in the air). I was expecting better service from David/Zusi on corners and then to have 2-3 free kicks in front of goal and not give the service to Gonzalez, Evans, Agudelo, EJ, etc… is ridiculous as FEILhaber hit it into the wall, another pass to Morales for a poor shot and only 1 was made by Feilhaber that had a chance.

    Anyone notice that Diskerud didn’t play? Anyone as surprised as me? I know JK questioned his toughness and I wonder how much that had to do with it. If you don’t play tough and strong, it will be hard to earn JK’s respect and when toughness is questioned… to me that is another way of saying play harder be it playing 110% or more effort (defensively or something). That was the only true shocking thing I notice on “who didn’t play”.


    • Posted by John henry on 2013/01/30 at 8:00 AM

      Besler’s long diagonal balls to the wingers were the best passes in the whole game. Set up a couple of 1/8th chances (good for this game), and showed good technique. Without referring to any stats, I would guess that he had the most completed passes of the back four.


  5. Love the cats video…it definitely lightened the mood hanging over that dreary affair.

    I think I saw Jermaine Jones’ cat in there – the one stalking it’s reflection in the mirror.


  6. Posted by John henry on 2013/01/30 at 8:07 AM

    Not sure what to make of this game. If the US played direct, route one football, packing the box, they almost certainly would have had more chances and probably would have won by a couple goals. (Canada wasn’t looking likely to do anything, even off the counter.) But klinsman clearly wanted the team to practice breaking down an opponent with skill and patience, not brute force.

    In other words, the draw was due to tactics, but that’s not necessarily bad, if you’re end is to teach the team to play a different style. Winning is all that matters, except when it doesn’t, like in a meaningless friendly against a non-rival nobody.

    Let’s see what happens in qualifiers. My guess is if the new style still isn’t working, winning will take precedence.


    • Posted by Jared on 2013/01/30 at 10:58 AM

      Canada really should be ashamed for playing that style in a friendly. How did that help them progress as a team? They already know how to park the bus considering they did it to us last year.

      If one thing comes out of this game I hope it’s that Wondo has finally had his last chance. He’s just not an international level forward and a game like this against a Canada B team proves that.

      I think you’re right about trying to force the style over the result and even the lineup in the first half sort of showed that. In the second he brought on guys that he knew would be more comfortable with possession like Feilhaber in an attempt to move the bus.


  7. Posted by James H on 2013/01/30 at 8:27 AM

    Great write up! Much better than the game itself. Whether the main issues are tactics or technique, or both – fact remains that the US were unable to beat Canada… again. More disturbing was the clear lack of shots on goal (2, if you were curious). Two shots on goal? Two shots on goal… against Canada….


  8. Posted by evan on 2013/01/30 at 8:35 AM

    thank the LORD i decided against driving to Houston for that game. i think the guys who raised their stock the most from this game were Mix Diskerud and Freddy Adu.


  9. One note on attendance (which while not stellar, IMO wasn’t terrible for a weeknight B/C team game after raining much of the day): in Texas high school games are played on Tuesday and Friday nights, meaning that a whole lot of coaches, players, and parents couldn’t make it out to this one. Bit more research there next time US Soccer.


  10. Posted by Sayas on 2013/01/30 at 9:45 AM

    Great write up, as always.

    I was one of the unlucky few that went to the game. I don’t know what ended up coming across on the broadcast, but a few of things saved the game for me live that you might have missed:
    1) The Canadian fans drunk by the anthem gave the most enthusiastic version of O Canada in recorded history. In two minutes they displayed more heart than the entire USMNT team in ninety. They, deservedly, received a standing ovation by our section.
    2) I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen since high school.
    3) Non of my friends I’ve been trying to convince about the greatness of soccer were able to come. They would have been lost causes, forever, because of that one.

    But, on the bright side I did get to walk back to my truck in the rain and stepped in a giant mud puddle, so you know, it wasn’t all bad.


  11. Posted by Tom Patton on 2013/01/30 at 11:08 AM





    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/01/30 at 12:32 PM

      LOUD NOISES!!!


      • Posted by Tom Patton on 2013/01/30 at 2:23 PM

        Why do caps bother people so much? My keyboard was broken and locked when I wrote the above this morning after a coffee accident which most likely occurred because I was still fuming from last night. For that I sincerely apologize. However, responding “LOUD NOISES” every time someone writes in caps is just juvenile.
        And if last nights lack of performance did not piss you off then you are not a true fan. What an awful , ugly display of football by vs. a semi pro pub squad should anger you. (with the exception of the irrepressible 34 year old DeRo – shame he never got his shot on the other side of the pond)
        We made Sepp look like a genesis in his analysis. Not from a business standpoint, the MLS is doing very well on that side, but on the player development side. And I hate that euro snob/thief so much it kills me to see him proven right. And yet he is. We are not developing players fast enough and out league is maybe the 10th best in the world and not getting stronger.
        Face it folks- we played the Faeroe Islands/Andorra etc. at home with the best our league has to offer and the best chance all night went begging because of on fine save by our keeper in the forth minute. That is all of it in a nutshell.

        Klinsmann knows he does not have the horses and now I think he realizes all the positive thinking and news paper motivation is going to work without more players breaking through and getting regular time at quality European Clubs.


  12. Posted by Crow on 2013/01/30 at 12:46 PM

    The only thing that made that “watchable” was it was my first AO viewing party experience and my first time at Giordano Bros in SF (which was awesome being from PA)

    I was complaining about Evans starting in the hole before kickoff- WTH??

    Also, I wouldn’t shut up about Gatt being on the left and Bedoya on the right. I am a huge Gatt fan boy but he isn’t great in tight spaces, needs to improve on decision making, and has no left foot. Why wasn’t he deployed on the right???

    Feilhaber can lead the way during the Gold Cup but he has no business with the senior team until he proves to be more consistent.

    Why wasn’t Sheanon Williams called into this camp? A much better RB than the other options. I would have liked to have seen Okugo as well.


    • Posted by Jake on 2013/01/30 at 6:36 PM

      I, too, was puzzled by the reluctance to let Gatt attack the endline on the right. Let him use his speed to get past one defender and then put in a cross…not get past one defender just to encounter 5 more. And bedoya would have been as useful (not very…save one good cross) on the left as he was on the right.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/01/30 at 10:48 PM

        I think Klinsmann actually had some positive here. While Gatt clearly would have been better on the right. Klinsmann was attempting to get Brad Evans up on the right — which worked a few times though he did nothing with the possession.

        If you put Gatt out there, he inhabits the space and also can *only offer a cross really with how deep Canada was playing.

        Playing him on the right allows him to cut in which created some opportunities.

        Again, just playing the other side, but some merit to it. More devil’s advocate

        As I elaborated on on the March To Match Podcast, playing Brad Davis left and tucked in without getting a fullback up really put Davis in a poor role and it certainly showed.


        • Posted by crow on 2013/01/31 at 12:51 AM

          Thanks for the input.

          It seemed to me that Bedoya does better on the left than Gatt but I wasn’t even thinking about Evans coming up. I guess you do have to look at the whole picture.

          I like Gatt alot but he seems to always want to go to the outside with his speed, If I remember correctly in the Olympic Qualifiers Gyau would use his speed to cut in alot. if he can cut in more at times, develop even a decent left foot and make better decisions he is going to be legit.

          I’m just dreaming of Gatt, Gyau, and Shea reaching their potential- imagine the wide options we’d finally have.

          BTW- if you make it to Giordano Bros (really liked it felt like home) for the Honduras game or some other game I’ll buy you a beer- really glad I checked the place out. Good group of guys there too and we help pique the interest of some of the regulars who dont really know anything about soccer.


          • Posted by Alex on 2013/01/31 at 11:02 AM

            To me it looked like Gatt was cutting in onto his right when he was at LW, like Gyau does. He beat a guy or two but he was running right into a pack of Canadians. I think his reluctance to play crosses with his left hurt though. And Morrow certainly wasn’t providing much service.


  13. Posted by Ufficio on 2013/01/30 at 1:07 PM

    I probably spend way more time watching sports than is healthy, but I’ve never before quite had the feeling of having completely wasted two hours of my life that I got from watching this match.


  14. Posted by surfndave on 2013/01/30 at 1:40 PM

    After a day to get the venom out, I’m left feeling as if I watched a terribly glorified pre-season MLS match (understatement). Oh, the voices in my head…Klinsmann knows each and every one of his lads can play route one ball. And wet t-shirt contests just don’t do it for me anymore. Most painful for me was the inability to, or reluctance of our forwards to attack 1v1 at the top of box. So Wondo trips over his shoelaces? It would’ve been more appreciated than a back pass into deep mid-field, and another back to Omar, et. al. Confident runs into the box were either mis-timed, mis-calculated, sabotaged by awkward crosses, or just plain non-existant.

    Yet, I see a ray of hope in Hounduras. Not pretty. Omar heads home a Bradley corner in the 78th minute. 1-0 USA. 3 points.


  15. Posted by s44 on 2013/01/30 at 4:40 PM

    Free Landon Donovan!

    Yeah, I gave up at halftime. I was literally falling asleep.


  16. Another fine article. Glad I read it before trying to watch the game on the DVR. Not much of a cat person but it seems I could’ve watched that video over and over for 90 minutes and still enjoyed it more than this Camp Cupcake Climax. Save me a muffin and spare me the cupcakes!


  17. Posted by Uncle Lefty on 2013/01/30 at 6:46 PM

    matthewsf. This is brilliant. Would you please write something every day? A drab gray world needs you. Incidentally, my first and only cap was 1/22/06 in San Diego. US 0, Canada 0. Notable only because it was also 16-year old Freddy Adu’s first senior cap. With his first touch, maybe 30 seconds in, he was yellow-carded for diving in the box. Good times.


    • Posted by gino744 on 2013/01/31 at 6:47 PM

      Hey, I was at that game, albeit in the stands. As I remember it, the only memorable thing about the match was Freddy’s first cap. At the time, I thought it’d be something I’d want to tell my grandchildren about. Guess not. I remember Heath Pearce was our left back but not much else other than it was cold (for San Diego).


    • Posted by John mosby on 2013/01/31 at 9:17 PM

      It’s interesting td that in 06 the USA played Canada to this nil nil draw and a week later they torched Norway for five goals, giving up zero


  18. Posted by Union on 2013/01/30 at 9:50 PM

    Anyone watching Mexico’s B team? Yea they’re pretty good.


    • Posted by ex_sweeper on 2013/01/30 at 10:42 PM

      Yeah, entertaining game, but not as much of a B squad as the US game. They were missing Guardado, Chicharito, Dos Santos, and Ochoa. Call it a B+ squad.


  19. Posted by ex_sweeper on 2013/01/30 at 11:12 PM

    My strongest impression from the game? That the US players on the bubble were not enjoying themselves on the field and were so terrified of making a bad mistake that they could barely string three passes together. Not surprising – take the best players in MLS, whose teams tore up the league last season, cut them down to size by telling them their accomplishments are meaningless in the coach’s eyes. Tell them that they are too slow for international play and that the only way they can win a spot is to move abroad. Go to the press with specific criticisms of individual players. Is it surprising that Wondo scuffed shots that are normally on target, that Brad Davis’ free kicks were not up to par? Every player that has not been given the tacit promise of inclusion looked stiff, frightened, and out of synch in this game.

    I used to get impatient with Bruce Arena’s motivational tactics with the USMNT, which were a tad heavy on the patriotic shtick, but he clearly knew how to instill confidence in his players. I have yet to see that Klinsmann has that ability. I sure as hell hope he learns it before 2014.


    • Posted by Eric on 2013/01/31 at 6:20 AM

      It’s not about destroying confidence. These aren’t children who need to have their egos coddled. They’re professional athletes who Klinsmann is trying to push beyond their current standards and limits to the next level. You can argue about whether or not he’s going about it the best way or whether every single player really needs to go to Europe (Not everyone does…) but it’s hard to argue with the idea. I tend to agree with the fact that American players can sometimes get… complacent is quite the right word but I’m struggling to come up with a better one right now. Essentially, both us as fans and Americans as players have struggled with the idea that there might be some sort of glass ceiling on where we can play, how good our players can be sometimes. I really don’t see an issue with Klinsmann telling them they need push themselves out of their comfort zone at all times.

      As for a couple of your examples, and maybe it was just hyperbole on your end for a effect, but Klinsmann has never really called someone too slow for international play or tell them that they have to go abroad (although he clearly believes the daily standard of competition is higher in Europe). What he has suggested is that the international game is different than the club game (see his comments on Mix for example) and that players need to put themselves in situations to prepare them as appropriately as possible for that level of competition.


    • Posted by Jared on 2013/01/31 at 8:42 AM

      That’s on the players. When you get the opportunity you need to step up. If someone calls you out then you have two options, do exactly what was said about you or prove the person wrong. We need to have players that aren’t scared. The guys that truly deserve to be on the team will make the step up and prove the coach wrong. If they can’t do that then I don’t want them on the team because they don’t have the right attitude.

      Weren’t most of Klinsmann’s comments about specific players directed at guys like Dempsey and Donovan?


  20. Posted by Alex on 2013/01/31 at 11:03 AM

    Do you know who really could’ve used on Tuesday? Beitashore. If all that hype about his crossing is true he could’ve potentially been a game changer, especially compared to Beltran


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/01/31 at 5:33 PM

      I don’t understand how these guys get called in over Williams- he is one of the best if not the best RB’s in the league at getting forward and 1v1 defending. He also certainly has the highest ceiling when it comes to MLS RB’s.


  21. Posted by Kevin O' on 2013/01/31 at 2:40 PM

    I was at the game. My thoughts relative to Comos’: My wife is hot. Lots of Dempsey jerseys (it is Texas, you know.) We didn’t enjoy the cold, FU rain that ended the evening. Houston always sucks. We stayed in a dusty room at a relatives house cluttered with some “distant” uncles junk who had recently died. 0-0 sounds about right.


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