England 2, USA 0: A look back

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It was ugly.

There is really no other way to describe the U.S. team’s 2-0 loss to England. The Americans were thoroughly dominated and had few players really step up to the challenge presented by the star-studded English lineup.

Wednesday’s loss wasn’t about what Americans were missing, not about Jozy Altidore being left home or Freddy Adu being left out of the starting lineup. It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is, a young group still in transition after the retirements of several key figures.

The U.S. team had two glaring weaknesses, the lack of a central midfield presence capable of keeping possession under pressure (ala Claudio Reyna) and no target forward capable of presenting problems to the defense (ala Brian McBride). These are issues that have been concealed for the most part in the past two years, but issues that couldn’t be ignored against a skillful and experienced England squad.

So who do I think played well? Other than Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce, I think the rest of the U.S. performances were pretty forgettable. Eddie Johnson had some decent touches but after hearing some good reviews of his performance I can’t help but wonder if he has set the bar so low in his recent national team showings that any sort of decent play could be seen as better than it actually was. As for Freddy Adu, yes, he showed something, but the game was already decided by then and there was definitely a foot-off-the-pedal feel to the game at that point.

I’ll re-watch this morning to see if anyone else stands out (I know, unlikely).

Who didn’t play well? Yes, it’s a long list but I’ll point to Josh Wolff and Ricardo Clark as two who stood out. Wolff looked completely lost while Clark had a hand in both of England goal’s. The first via a clumsy foul in an area of the field that is David Beckham free kick territory, the second when he completely lost himself in midfield and left Gareth Barry all alone to deliver a pin-point pass to Steven Gerrard (to be fair, Barry had just come into the match and neither Clark or Bradley picks up Barry). I like Clark as a player but he has not done himself any favors with his recent national team performances.

I’ll get more into the carnage later today. For now I want to hear from you, the SBI readers, and find out what your biggest complaints are about the England match and what you think were the high points and low points.

Share your thoughts below.

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182 Responses to England 2, USA 0: A look back

  1. Gooch says:

    I thought I did a pretty okay job yesterday.

  2. A Diddy says:

    A few quick conclusions from the game:

    1. Heath Pearce isn’t ready for the big time yet.

    2. Eddie Johnson should be finished with the national squad.

    3. Goddamn, this team needs Landon to compete.

  3. eric-dynamo says:

    it was emberassing watching the US play last night!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. pete says:

    i’ve seen alot of mixed feelings on Pearce.

    i think he played well.

  5. PKTaker says:

    adu needs to be playing. he’s our most creative player and knows how to possess.

  6. sidenetting says:

    Adu must start for an LDless offense. And, believe it or not, EJ wasn’t bad. Neither was DaMarcus. After that, it was downhill fast. Bradley held his own but the team needed more weapons. Maybe in 10 years well have the depth we need.

  7. Mario in SJ says:

    The US seemed to be awed by the occasion. They were playing like a youth team, kicking the ball out of trouble and not able to string together a few passes. If Bradley was supposed to be the attacking midfielder forget it. He seemed to be non-existent.There was a bright spot, when Adu was inserted. They were finally capable of stringing some passes together to create an offense that died at the feet of the strikers.

    On the other side, Hargreaves was phenomenal. He was all over the place and really killed our midfield. Apparently Capello is using the Sacchi midfield defense concept that won Milan a few crowns back in the 90s. England has the horses. Interesting few years ahead for them.

  8. DMee says:

    I thought eddie johnson had a decent game. He didn’t do too

    much but he seemed to attack a little bit more, which was nice.

    Although he did have some terrible touches so I’m not sticking up for

    him too much. I’ve got many comments about last nights game.

    Starting with coach bradly….

    Why is wolff even out there? That dude is done. Hopefully bradly just put him out there just to make sure he doesn’t

    need to be included in the qualifying, he doesn’t. And on that tip,

    why not get him out sooner to give freddy more than 20 mintues

    out there, piss poor.

    Good to see beasly back. He definitly didn’t have that quickness

    though, looked a step slower than his old self but that should come

    back with time. I again question why he was kept in for so long in a

    friendly.

    I thought young bradley did well in the middle. Nothing too much to

    speak of, but he did his job. Rico on the other hand looked like a

    small child. He got thrown around like a rag doll and contributed

    nothing besides his running mouth. He committed the foul that led to

    the first goal as well.

    Defense looked allright. I still think gooch is a bad bad defender. On the

    second goal not only did he keep gerrard on side but he didn’t track

    him before he got the ball. Just pathetic and (sorry ives I know you love him, but) he is by far the weakest link of this squad.

    BB got outcoached and our players got outclassed. Next couple of

    weeks will be very interesting.

  9. redbull fan says:

    Can’t agree with Ives any more than I already do. The US the past two years just does not do well in the final 3rd of the field. Harkes pointed out that the midfield lacks that flare and creativity, I expected more out of Bradley (player), especially if you consider his performance like an audition for the EPL. Our forwards lack that instinct to go to goal and the midfielders never (besides Landon and younger Beasley) make the runs off the ball ala Gerrard.

  10. nate says:

    If you need one player just to compete, you don’t belong at the World Cup. What happens when LD goes down with an injury or red card in Souht Africa? Do we just get on the plane and fly home?

    I think the biggest problem is the delusion of most fans that the USA is something that we are not.

  11. Andrew Karl says:

    What the hell was Bradley thinking starting josh wolff up top. Why is this guy getting looks? he’s 31 years old and playing in the Bundesliga 2. He even plays on the wing for his club side. When, in his entire carear, has Wolff shown the quality to warrant a start up top against England, a team with 2 of the best central defenders in the world?

    Also, it’s official, Eddie Johnson doesn’t deserve to wear the shirt. There just no work ethic from him at all. It’s infuriating to watch him refuse to chase the ball or put pressure on the defenders/keeper.

    I hope this was a wakeup call for Bob Bradley.

  12. Jeff says:

    The game was hard to watch…one of the more frustrating USMNT games I have ever tuned into. People should lay off EJ. He didn’t play terrible this game. It has got to be hard when Josh Wolf i your other starting forward. Good lord. Josh FREAKING Wolf???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  13. Day says:

    All that needs to be said, it that we have no real chance at competing on the same level as the European or South American sides until we develop players that can hold possession. Even when we beat a decent team like Mexico it is usually off of goals against the run of play, with no real buildup. Are there absolutely no decent holding mid prospects in the US?

  14. Matt says:

    Gooch played well? I must have been watching a different match. He fell asleep on Gerrard’s goal.

  15. Rob C says:

    I think for all his success in Europe, Michael Bradley has been very disappointing for the Nats. The U.S. seemed to have a few decent build-ups going that were interrupted by a mistake or bad touch by Bradley. His tackling is okay, but he has contributed little else from his center midfield spot.

    Other than that, without Landon, this game went as expected in all honesty. I truly believe that with Donovan in the game, the energy his 100th Cap would have brought, his speed and attacking prowess, the U.S. might have nicked a goal and made this one interesting.

    I also think credit needs to go to a very focused and well-coached English squad as well. They forced the U.S. into mistakes with a lot of pressure on the ball. They seemed very determined and let’s not discount the fact that they were at home, so the task of even scoring a goal in this one was always going to be difficult.

    I had expected a 2-1 loss, so this isn’t that disappointing. I think it’s great experience for the guys going forward, and it’s great for Bob Bradley to learn more about his team as 2010 Qualifying approaches.

  16. Dan says:

    I definetly noticed that alot of the USA team was not playing as much as watching, as England is obviously better physically and technically than us (just watch the 2nd goal with the pass from barry…everyone just watched it instead of doing something) Also is it just me or did USA look really small compared to England…idk if all their players are 6’2 180 pounds but it sure seemed like it.

  17. Erik says:

    My thoughts on the game.

    Bradley the player needs to be further up the field and not playing so defensively. Our defense didn’t look too bad to be quite honest. The second goal was a clinic in one touch passing. Gerrards run was in perfect and there was nothing Gooch could do.

    We are severly lacking at forward. Wolff is done, Johnson isn’t up for it and we have nobody else. Jaqua for a few minutes was worthless and Adu showed very quickly that he could hang with the big boys. Some of his stops and turns made the england players slip.

    Either way, I didn’t expect a win out of this game.

  18. Domino95 says:

    Lots of comments each way on Eddie – hard to bury the guy at such a young age but a concrete wall would have had a better first touch than he did yesterday.

    Unskillfull and plodding – no shape, no transition, no idea what to do with the ball once(if) we received it. Harkes commented about a “good” pass Bradley made to Wolff. Wolff had three guys within 5 yards, a fourth just behind these three, before you could see another US player. How’s that a good pass? U9 kids are taught not to play the ball into pressure like that.

    Since Convey’s comment (2006 WC) about not knowing what to do on the field (Arena’s sarcastic rebuttal) it does seem our team is still lost out there. I know their technical skill is better than what they demonstrated yesterday – I still wonder what our “national” style is supposed to be. You can spread 11 Brazilians around the globe, but when they get together for a national game they know what to do. We’re not there yet.

  19. Jeremy says:

    “It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is, a young group still in transition after the retirements of several key figures.”

    I see this a little bit differently. I saw a group of players who are largely supposed to be in their prime! 24-28 years old with European “experience.” Just enough experience to freeze up on a large stage. In this group I see very few players with the hunger, swagger, and moxey to play attacking soccer. Eddie Johnson has never produced when he was needed. Josh Wolff is a complimentary roster player. Heath Pearce is the new Greg Vanney- an international third-stringer at best. I don’t mind counter-attack soccer, but can we please possess the ball once in a while? Please!?

    I would prefer we blood the U-23 attacking players now. I would have loved to see a Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu, and Jozy in the lineup than watching another snoozer by Eddie Johnson, Josh Wolff, and two defensive midfielders. Let’s find out if any of the young guys have the same “nothing to fear” attitude that Landon, Cleetus, and DMB brought to the 2002 WC.

    Please! I feel like I’m watching one of Bruce Arena’s teams all over again.

  20. Barry U says:

    Nothing to take in pride really. OK performances by Adu, Gooch, Pearce. Also you need to take into account the home field advantage and Fabio Capello as the manager. He has those guys attention and I think they are playing for national team lives at this point. Also, he had his team together for like an 11 day camp which british media said was the longest in recent memory. I know the CL guys came in later but hey they played in the CL. U.S. did not play well but we are moving to be better by 2010 and I think that will be the case. If they play better against Spain and Argentina this will have been a good run of games. Becuase then Barbados and the like will not seem so hard.

  21. Hey Ives, I have to disagree with you and the EJ “bar”

    EJ did some things he never does – face off against defenders, TRY to run through opponents, NOT fall as much as he has done in EPL, and he was able to hit a couple of crosses and put himself in a good position to find the ball in the few occasions that the US had in the attack.

    Adu plays the game the way it should be played – not ticky tack, but creative. His presence in the lineup would be beneficial against creative squads like Spain and Argentina (fingers crossed that Jozy and Adu play at Giants Stadium)

    They are the only players, in my mind, that stood out. In positive ways. And though expectations may have been set lower, EJ did better than his counterparts.

  22. George says:

    The love I have for this USMNT is similar to the love a father has for a son. I want this team to be great, but we have to be honest, we are decades away from seriously challenging the world powers.

    The world powers best athletes play soccer, ours do not. Its as simple as that. The genius of having a large player pool is that the competition will ensure that only the best survive.

    Honestly, some of the players who start for the US team wouldn’t even make the pool of consideration for some countries.

    Bradley and Clark are essentially two holding mids and that was evident as we had no linkage from the midfield to the strikers all game!!

    Furthermore, We need more players and athletes. We are not there yet.

  23. Brett Kozinn says:

    Glad to see Adu has been working on his right foot.

  24. Ives says:

    Dave, you do realize that England was applying a fraction of the pressure they were providing before the second goal after the second goal right? Adu came into the match when things had slowed down and he had far more time to operate than American players had in the first half. Might he have made an impact if he started? Possibly, but his performance against England has to be put in a little perspective.

    And I do agree about Johnson, I was somewhat impressed, but again, I think expectations are pretty low for him.

  25. HoustonUSA says:

    I was very disappointed with the speed of the team. There was no attack down the wings at all. (I am not counting Lewis’s work in the last 20 – the game was already over.) I’m willing to give Beasley a pass, since he has been out for so long, but Dempsey didn’t do anything. Johnson didn’t work at all to get the ball, so the England back 4 weren’t forced to extend their efforts.

    Ont the other side, England looked great, especially early. With the amount of talent on that team, how could they miss Euro 2008? We’ll see how Capello does in WC qualifying, but I’m starting to wonder if the Three Lions can play when it counts.

  26. Frank the Frowner says:

    The reality is we’re not as good as we think we are. When your starting forwards are Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson do you really expect to win against teams other then Barbados?

    I still don’t see what all the hoopla is about Michael Bradley. He’s a turnover machine and a red card waiting to happen.

    We have no creativity in the midfield, why doesn’t Adu start at CAM?

    Bob Bradley stinks.

  27. rocky says:

    I would have to disagree with you ives, even if we had reyna and mcbride i really dont think it would of made much of a difference, the bottom line is americans just dont know how to play soccer the right way and it is expossed against world class talent. Enough of the killing of this team lets think about what needs to happen for this team to take the next step and start to play better:

    Lets take a look at the player pool of this squad. How many of these players come from urban or inner cities in america. Prob. none. US soccer needs to pump money into this area, to neglect inner and urban areas in america is only killing themselves. Now i know soccer is not that popular like basketball or football, but you pop in a tape of christiano ronaldo or ronaldinho and you will get some interested people into soccer. Their is no reason why america shouldnt dominate the world like our basketball team, we have too many people period and way to many good athletes that could excell at soccer. This is a big problem for our country and one that US soccer should look into, because im sure their is so much untaped talent in cities across our great nation.

  28. Michael F. says:

    1. Josh Wolf is an absolute waste of a player (this says even more about Bradley as a coach – very sad.) Give a new young player a chance. Wolf had one nice goal against Mexico at Giants Stadium in 2002 on a great pass from Mathis, other than that – he’s done NOTHING. Move on.

    2. Agree with Ives – Pearce held his own.

    3. Johnson is still living off a good national team season 2-3 years ago. But he has done NOTHING since. Nothing at KC, nothing for the NATS and nothing for Fulham. Move on.

    4. Dempsey is getting better. That’s great to see.

    5. Beasley had flashes of goodness. Great to see him healthy and working his way back. We need him to succeed.

    6. If we are ever going to compete against the big teams, we need Donovan. Yes, he is that good and he is that important.

    7. Bradley and Clark were over-matched and out-classed.

    8. Dolo was solid. Very reliable.

    9. Adu should be starting. From the short time he was on the field, you can see he has something NO ONE ELSE HAS – it’s called IDEAS.

    10. Char Barrett should get a look.

  29. Michael F. says:

    I meant Chad.

  30. Rocco says:

    After watching the game on DVR, I didn’t think it was as bad as I was expecting.

    Did England dominate possession at times, yes. Did we have trouble keeping the ball, especially our FWDs, yes. But, at this point England has superior players, plain and simply. Also, I don’t understand why we don’t try and attack the baseline. In the final third we settle for crosses from 30-40 yards which usually get picked by the goalie or blocked by there D. Some things I saw from different guys.

    Cons

    Wolf- Sorry, he was terrible. He can’t hold the ball, let alone make a formidable attacking run at someone. Against CONCACAF he might be ok, but against Europe or South America forget it. I think his days are numbered.

    Clark- Kept losing the ball and made a lot of dumb fouls. I think he is better than he played, but if he keeps this up bring back Pablo or insert Edu in the middle. Overmatched by the two center mids all day.

    Dempsey – Yes. Maybe its just the long EPL season, but he looked sluggish, tired, and not interested at times. He seems to always be looking for calls from the ref now, too. He needs to bring back the energy to his game.

    Pros

    Pearce – I though he played really well and I think will be our left back for years to come without any serious injuries. He covered for others and came forward to create some chances.

    EJ- He played OK in my book. I think its still mental with this guy. He held the ball well even though they double teamed him all day, b/c Wolf was non existent. He needs to just play, go at people, take more shots, be greedy. If he PLAYS in the EPL next season I think we’ll see great strides.

    Bradley- the kid is a workhouse and is only 20. He gave the ball away a few times, but mostly in the 2nd half when fatigue set in. He needs a good attacking counterpart in the middle.

    Adu- seemed to be the only one who had any creativity in the attacking third. And he isn’t afraid to take the ball at people. Needs to play now.

    Onywu- Still looks a bit slow, but if he slims down and works on his touch I think he can play in the EPL.

    Lewis- He’s old but he had the best service on the team. Maybe the best guy in the last 10 years we’ve had on services. Good off the bench or an occasional start. Maybe too old by 2010 though.

    Others

    Beasely- needs more work, not sharp

    Boca – needs more work, not sharp

    Dolo – solid

    Howard – one of the tope goalies in EPL, nuff said

    Hedjuk- not bad getting old

    we needed Donovan, you could tell there were no runs coming through the mid field.

  31. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I’m with Ives – I think were are in transition. Which is okay as long as we peak two summers from now. Guys like Bradley and Edu in midfield and Adu and Altidore in attack are good bets to be substantially stronger by WC 2010.

    As for right now, without Donovan we are already giving away the attacking , increasing pressure on the rest of the team. Even an occasional dangerous run in attack would help. We got none of that yesterday.

    It was discouraging, but the result really didn’t point out any weakness we didn’t already know were there. Maybe the next couple games will offer more encouragement.

  32. josh says:

    after watching the replay, don’t know if i really understand Ives’ comment on rico being to blame for the second goal…

    anyways, something we all know is that our central midfield is young, inexperienced and not particularly skilled at holding the ball (and with bradley in there not particularly quick to chase pressure the ball). i think that bob bradley made a big mistake by playing with 2 forwards. wolff did nothing in this game. i think that we would have been a lot better off with another man behind the ball, clogging up the midfield. (our young central midfielders need all the help they can get.) is it common for teams to go to wimbley and play with 2 forwards?

  33. Elliott says:

    This always comes up, so I don’t know why I waste my time. But… when Bradley deploys an “empty-bucket” midfield (like he does 99% of the time), there is no CAM; no #10.

    I’m not saying we SHOULD be playing with a CAM, but – c’mon guys – quit asking why he didn’t play Adu at CAM. The role doesn’t exist.

  34. Ives says:

    Josh, if you have the game recorded, go back to before the second goal and watch Ricardo Clark and watch Gareth Barry. Clark should have been with Barry but was in no-man’s land. By the time he realizes Barry is all alone it is too late. You can’t give a player like Barry the freedom to deliver a pass in that position with no pressure.

  35. TBryantMU says:

    I keep asking myself this question again and again and have yet to come up with a logical answer: Why did EJ deserve a start and not Adu? EJ has had the same amount of playing time over the last few months (none) as Adu, but Adu presents the MNT with creativity and a legit posession-keeper.

    I have to disagree with everyone who is trying to give EJ any sort of credit for yesterday’s abortion. You can’t give a guy credit just for TRYING when you’re on this sort of stage. The only difference between yesterday and his season with Fulham is that he didn’t seem to be afraid of the ball as much (but he still didn’t know what to do with it when he had it.)

    Wolff was a ghost and had no reason to be on the pitch with the likes of Gerrard, Rooney, or even my 14-year-old sister. This goes for Ricardo Clark as well. I don’t see what Bob sees in him. You think Micheal Bradley is reckless? Ask yourself who had a hand in each of England’s goals and the majority of their close range set pieces…Clark.

    Positives:

    – Adu can and will be a playmaker for the Nats down the road.

    – a USMNT with Lando, Freddy, Jozy, and a fully fit DMB would have shown us a different game yesterday and (if they play together at all over the next two games) will be able to compete with the big names.

    – Eddie Lewis looked like the youngest player out there and showed that he can still bring it to the table for the US when called upon.

  36. josh says:

    i’m looking at it. and it looks like bradley is the one not doing anything on that play…he pushes up to “double” on a man and leaves barry wide open…

  37. Joe_in_ND says:

    I knew we were going to lose when Bradley trotted out a Wolff-Johnson striker pairing.

    Dempsey was poor, and should have been better, since he is one of our better creative and attacking players. Adu should have started.

    Clark and Bradley got absolutely bossed by the English midfield. Gooch and Pearce played well. Cherundolo could have played better.

    Neither Bocanegra nor Beasley were match fit. But they are still good players.

    I love how people are acting like the sky is falling. We weren’t expected to win this game. It was England at Wembley, and we were without Donovan. People need to stop hating on both the players and on Bob Bradley. Take a deep breath, realize this is a friendly, and get on with it cause we got two more of these coming up next week.

    This is why I stay away from the USA Men’s NT forum on BigSoccer. So much negativity and ridiculous expectations.

  38. josh says:

    bradley runs in a complete circle on that play. credit to england though because it is a pretty dynamic move. rooney dropped deep into to midfield, clark correctly steps up to pressure him. the mistake (if you can call it that) happens when bradely pushes up on hargreaves who’s already being closed down by ej, leaving barry wide open.

    why isn’t one of our central defenders on gerrard? (my guess is that they are outnumbered 3 to 2, with barry being wide open though it’s difficult to tell on the view that i have). a simple 1 for 1 switch between rooney and gerrard shouldn’t cause a bunch of pros to lose their shape that easily in my opinion…

  39. HomeyBoehme says:

    We looked slow out there. We can thank Capello that Defoe started at forward because that guy cannot shoot the ball. The scoreline would have been embarrassing if anyone else would have been up top. Our first touch was terrible across the whole side. There was no attempt at holding possession. I think Josh Wolff touched the ball twice and both times John Terry quite easily dispossesed him. EJ (after the first 20-25 min) actually got some decent touches and passes back to the midfield (what? a pass back?). I think we have more options up top than those two. Time to give Cooper a shot IMO. I understand why Bradley has to give them a shot though, because we really lack some depth in that position. I can remember maybe 3 or 4 good sequences of passing from the US. Every shot we had was blocked and from somwhere outside the box. Too many fouls committed in dangerous positions (though this connects back to our lack of pace across the field). If this is how we play in Spain, we are going to get absolutely crushed. Finally, and I think that is the point of these friendlies, this is going to make playing in our region seem like a cake walk. I applaud the USSF for setting up friendlies that challenge our national team to step up their game.

  40. JAT says:

    What a desultory performance. The sad reality is that save for Tim Howard, there isn’t a single US player that could compete for a spot on England’s subs bench, let alone their starting XI. And this isn’t even one of the world’s best teams. We have quite a way to go.

  41. I find it fascinating to read people talk bad about Gooch when the people who actually have to put their money where their (keyboards) are want to give him money to play. Once again I’m more likely to rely on the Harry Redknapps of the world as to whether a player is talented and worthwhile than someone such as myself.

  42. Johnny says:

    I am a teacher. Many of my American students said they would be rooting for England. I had a hard time understanding why they wouldn’t root for the country that they’re from. Acter watching that total debacle I understand why. Everytime I get hopeful about the team (Poland 0-3) I get knocked down (England 2-0). Two steps foward one step back sums up the state of this team for me.

  43. josh says:

    looking at it again, boca steps to defoe and gooch steps up to try to put gerrard into an offside position. it’s really close, but no call – so gerrard waltzes in. and without a doubt bradley is the one who’s lost in midfield. he follows barry all the way across the field and then leaves him to double team hargreaves in england’s half of the field. but why??

  44. Paul says:

    back line + Howard and Beasley were the only bright spots. Pearce has made good progress. Beasley proved how critical he is to our form.

    Bradley was okay, but it’s just too much to ask of such a young guy to be the holding midfielder for us at this point. He’s a great player with potential to be one of our all-timers, but he’s not yet world-class. We have a generation talent gap between Reyna & Bradley.

    Clark was the worst player on the field. Second to him was our forwards tandem. Give Wolf credit for a good nat’l team career, but he’s done. EJ will forever disappoint – we need to move one. Without Donovan on the field, since it forces Dempsey back, we’re pathetic up top. As we haved known for the last 2 years, since McBride retired (from int’l) we have no one.

    Let’s hope for a bounce-back vs. Spain next week. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact Donovan will have — assuming he plays. Also, Bob has to give someone else a look at D-mid.

  45. tedhill says:

    A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS, FOR ANYONE TO ANSWER

    1. Is Michael Orozco strictly a CB or can he play on the left or right side?

    2. Are there any other options for defensive midfielders besides Clark and Maurice Edu? Don’t get me wrong, I like Edu, but I don’t think he is ready. As for Rico, he is too aggressive at times, too many silly fouls.

  46. jahuff says:

    The US did not have a good game last night, and can certainly pley better. However, I think the loss had to do with excellent strategy not just England having more talented players.

    Capello put together a fantastic smothering defense with a fast and versatile counterattack. They had the quality to win balls in the midfield and foul appropriately to stop our counterattacks.

    Capello decided to give some respect to the US by using a defensive formation. This is the smart way to play against the US especially when you have the player personnel to create some spectacular goals without committing too many forward.

    Bob Bradley generally seems to use a similar strategy and tries to get goals through speed on the counter or set pieces. Last night there

    Many other teams have come out against the US trying to show their superior skills and not relying on solid defense, which is a mistake. I think more teams will realize this after what Capello did. I feel like Ghana used a similar strategy against us at the 2006 WC and got some luck to win.

    I think the game was ugly because both coaches came out with a similar defensive mind set. The English just seemed to have the edge in talent to win the balls more often and more quickly in the defensive half. They also closed down space better and pressured the ball better as a team. That led us to dump long balls and bypass the midfield.

  47. gimmi says:

    There is no way we can blame EJ this time, if hes not getting good services what can he do. so this game was lost in the central midfield (which I thought It would happend), because England has two of the best in the world. So I really cant blame anyone here, we just dont have the talent right now. But trust me by the time World Cup comes around I think our lineup would be nothing but studs.

    P.S.

    Mr. Bradley,

    Adu needs to start. Theres no other way around it.

  48. Marc says:

    I think Pearce played well, but he allowed Gerrard to run free on the second goal with a half-baked attempt to pull an offsides trap. One thing that I think has not been discussed in much detail is Clint Dempsey. I am sorry, but for all of his fancy touches, I don’t think he creates many dangerous opportunities. Now, perhaps that is because he doesn’t have another midfielder within 20 yards of him and only one of his two forwards showed for the ball all game. Let’s at least acknowledge that EJ looked better yesterday than he did before he went to England. Why is Bradley sold on the two defensive midfielder alignment? It creates huge gaps between the midfielders and forwards and there is little support (at least in the US version of it).

  49. gimmi says:

    Also, one last note our formation I think might need to be with Adu starting should be

    2

    1

    2

    1

    4

    Gk

  50. irishapple21 says:

    Michael Bradley, Heath Pearce, Tim Howard and Demarcus Beasley were all very good. Josh Wolff, Eddie Johnson and Ricardo Clark were awful. Put a fork in the three of them. We should be giving more field time to the younger guys like Altidore, Adu and Edu. We were sorely missing Landon Donovan. It wasn’t a complete disaster, though. 2-0 is still a respectable scoreline against a very established team.

  51. tedhill says:

    The issue with CLINT DEMPSEY, to me is that he should be playing up front instead of the midfield. He is not one of our better creators, so why not let Freddy Adu do that from the midfield and Deuce can finish goals for us.

  52. DL says:

    The biggest issue, in my mind, is not the play of the US team. The biggest issue is that Bob Bradley conceded this match at the very beginning with the player pool/lineup that he put into this game. However, with our VERY mediocre starting XI(even for US standards) we put up a decent fight.

    Remember, we were playing on the road, in Wembley, against England’s best XI. Eddie Johnson came very close to tying it up in the beginning of the 2nd half. What happens if he scores? We pack it in and defend for the 1-1 tie, or at worst a 2-1 loss – a very respectable score against England in Wembley.

    Granted, not everyone on the US side played to their potential. But in this match, we shouldn’t be too worked up about our players or our talent. Rather, we should be questioning rather Bob Bradley is the right man for the job. We don’t need a coach who gives our squad no chance to win from the very outset – even in friendlies.

  53. Q says:

    I enjoyed the game. Thought that Howard did well with what he was handed. That’s not saying much! Josh Wolff should never have started. I think that this is Nowak’s influence on Bradley since we know that Nowak doesn’t like Adu. I also thought, as soon as I saw the starting lineup, that I didn’t like Clark starting. He has not played well at all for the Nats.

  54. Tim Crawford says:

    I’m wondering what people think of this, so please comment back: I think Jeff Larentowicz should get a look at DM. I know it’s a position the US are supposedly loaded with, but Rico Clark has put in a series of uninspiring performances, Feilhaber has lost it a bit, and I really haven’t thought Bradley has done much in his last few (though he’s young and still learning). I think Ginger may be in the top 2 or 3 for DMs in MLS, but is relatively unnoticed due to Shalrie. He’s also got one heck of a free kick which would’ve been useful yesterday.

  55. AC says:

    I agree with you about Ricardo Clark. He’s a good player, but I think only for MLS. He seems to disappear or make stupid decisions on the national team. Hopefully Feilhaber can play his way back into the lineup after his injury recovery, or Edu is given more of a legitimate shot soon.

    And besides a true target foward, this team needs to find a true attacking midfielder as well. Also, Bocanegra and Gooch form a viable centerback tandem, but not against quick teams. In the future against fast teams, I say keep Gooch and use more of a quicker centerback alongside him such as Orozco. Hopefully down the line, the 4-4-2 formation can be tweaked more into a 4-5-1. With this formation, Donovan can be used on the right wing, Beasley on the left, Dempsey can use his ability on the ball in attacking midfield/foward, and Altidore can be the main foward. With the 4-5-1, they can also still keep their two holding midfielders and be able to attack on offense more without having to rely on set pieces as their main means of offense.

  56. Brian says:

    I think what’s really showing is Bob Bradley isn’t getting the job done. His lineups are awful. The team is timid and uncreative. Spain is going to beat us, Argentina is going to embarrass us.

  57. Rocco says:

    Does anyone think that the US team might be getting stale? I mean, we’ve had Arena for 8 years, now Bradley who is in the Arena mold and was one of his top prodigies. Its almost like having the same US President since 1998. I’m not saying Bradley is doing a bad job, but sometimes fresh ideas or perspective needs to be brought in.

    I wonder if we had brought in a foreigner to give us a different perspective what would be different? Maybe we bring in a foreigner as a technical director…. Did we already do that? Any comments? Any thoughts?

  58. tedhill says:

    I agree with DL that we conceded the game with the lineup we put out and the thoughts of Bob Bradley on this one. That was a peculiar starting eleven and I know Landon was not available but why not replace him with Freddy Adu? Why not bring in Adu at the start of the second half instead of the 68th minute? Like I said before the game, the way to beat England is to be aggressive and not play their style of a dull game. We let them lull us to sleep in a bore game and they caught us a couple times. If we do the same against Spain then we may lose 4-0 or 5-0. I’d like to see a 4-5-1, more specifically a 4-2-3-1 with Adu as a winger and either Dempsey or Donovan as the CAM.

  59. Brant says:

    Here’s my take – the US seems to have a lot of role players. There are a lot of very productive guys out there than can play good consistent soccer for good teams all over the world.

    Now, start naming the Brits, and stop when you get to the first one that you’d replace with an American if you were building a team around a player. They’ve got Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Terry, and Ferdinand that you could put as the centerpiece of virtually any team in any league. They’ve also got Beckham, Hargreaves, Joe Cole, Ashley Cole, DeFoe, and Owen (tho not all in this game) who aren’t quite the same level, but would go before any American except (maybe) Donovan, and the keepers.

    They’re just better than we are, plain and simple. A great bunch of role-players wins titles in MLS with a salary cap, but they won’t win in the wide-open world of big-time soccer. Not now, not ever.

  60. Ives says:

    Josh, I’ll split the blame between Clark and Michael Bradley on the second goal, but to be fair to both, and I hadn’t realized this until the re-watching, Barry had just come in so I think they got a bit crossed up on who was supposed to have him. I pinned it on Clark at first because he was a little slow to react to the ball moving forward, but by then it was too late for him or Bradley to get to Barry.

  61. Chg says:

    Johnny, I’d guess most of those students are Lakers, Red Sox, and Patriot Giants fans too. Some people have such a poor self image they’ll cling to any “winner” in the desperate hope that it will somehow rub off on them and make them cool by association.

  62. Sandro says:

    I like EJ but as far as US National he just hasn’t proven much outside of the streak of goals he scored for the US National back during the last qualifiers. I think Jozy should have played if not for anything but at least to get the experience in playing big games. Adu should have come into the game after half time. Josh Wolff time has passed.

    I was pretty dissapointed that the team play the way it did. I mean I don’t expect the US to win every game but I do expect the US to come out to win every game. The US team’s demeanor was just not there. They gave too much respect to England and played lousy. They offer to many open spaces and just seem to be playing subpar and not to their full potential. We need to keep demanding more from this team so that we can continue to grow. We have to be able to prove on the big stages and play the same every where with the same hunger.

    Let’s see how the US does agaisnt spain. Otherwise these next three games will seem like a disaster against top teams.

  63. mary says:

    I had the interesting experience of watching the game on such a bad screen and from such a distance that I had no idea the identities of the individual players… for example, I couldn’t tell who left who open to pass to gerrard. And I only knew it was gerrard when they took a close up after the fact.

    That being said, here is what I noticed:

    1. When the game started, I thought we looked like we were playing with some intent, that our players were trying to make something happen. Not that it was necessarily well executed, but that there was a plan. I can’t remember the last time I saw this. The same for the defense – they felt like a unit, rather than four guys strung together. I’m not saying that I think we played well, I’m just saying this because I can’t critique individual performances.

    2. We actually did a pretty good job at certain points breaking up their play, and we even did a decent job of getting it to an open player, but we didn’t have a good second and third pass. We couldn’t spring anyone to really get moving down the field. This comes from both not having play makers in the middle of the field and not having people make those runs.

    3. Guzan looked scared to death when they gave a close up of his face at the start of the second.

    4. I think we badly got outplayed. I don’t think we were outclassed.

  64. gsh says:

    While England may not be one the best teams in Europe, those are some pretty talented players they marched out there, didn’t 7 of them just play in the Champion’s league final last week?

    I wasn’t expecting much… but i was hoping for more energy and fight out of the US. Way too many uncontested passes to the wrong team, and England seemed to disposses the Americans at will.

  65. Chris says:

    I say this only for Michael Bradley’s sake, so that people stop having undue expectations for him….He is not an A-mid. I watched the Herenveen games/goals throughout the season and they resulted from him utilizing good build up play (novel concept Bob/US defenders and midfielders) and well timed runs into the box. Nary was there a time when he took the ball, controlled possession, beat defenders 1v1 and ripped one (please if I’m wrong show me a clip so we can all see). He can be good offensively but he’s still primarily a defensively minded midfielder, those are his strengths and he’s good in that role (by the way, a Defensive midfielder can still function in the offense, it just means the onus isn’t necessarily on him to dictate tempo and play). What shouldn’t happen is to pair him up with someone who essentially performs the same role (albeit with more fouls) and has even less possession capability and expect our midfield to do anything more than win balls and consequently lose them. Rongen of all people knew this and paired him with Szetela and Adu in a midfield triangle at the U-20’s with Adu functioning as the offensive/possession influence (Szetela kind of mirrored Bradley’s role, perfectly normally in a 4-3-3 midfield triangle). So a pairing with Feilhaber when healthy or Adu or anyone else we can cook up between now and 2010 that can play well off of him is going to be sooooo much more enjoyable to watch, you may think our team is actually playing soccer.

  66. Adam (Joliet, IL) says:

    The game was lost before it started. When I saw the lineup the only question I had was “Can we even keep it close?” The answer was ‘No’, and it is not often that a 2-0 score doesn’t show accurately how dominating a performance England displayed.

    I really appreciate your (Ives) comment about how, “Wednesday’s loss wasn’t about what Americans were missing… It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is…” Josh Wolff, Eddie Johnson, Ricardo Clark just won’t cut it on the international level. Despite their performances I find two things much more disappointing, and both are related to Coach Bradley:

    1) The team did not display the passion and comradery he preaches so often

    2) Wolff, Johnson, and Clark have all been tested in the past and not shined on the international level. If I know that sitting on my couch in Joliet, IL Bob Bradley should know that as the coach of the team. For my money, I would have used a game against England to give Adu, Edu and others a ‘baptism by fire,’ and let them prove themselves on a big stage.

  67. Kevin says:

    You see the difference in that after every pass the England players made in the offensive half – the passer made an aggressive run. This was creating opportunity and causing the US to make stupid fouls (ie Rico on the first goal). The U.S. couldn’t hold the ball, kept losing possesion and running around with no plan and no linkage between Defense and Offense.

  68. Aguinaga says:

    People generally seem to be forgetting about Bradley Sr. As a unit, the team looked completely uninspired and unprepared to play on that stage. As a result, that was as boring and as time wasting a friendly as I’ve ever seen the US play. The tactics were horrendous, the gulf in talent sad, and the performance as such was a complete embarrasment. Just a friendly you say? Wait until we play a team that isn’t against running up the score, like Spain. We play like that vs Spain, we lose by 5 goals minimum, easily. I mean damn, if you’re going to lose, at least go down swinging and make it an aggressive, entertaining, and educational game! Isn’t that what friendlies are for? But what did the team learn from that experience? That we SUCK ASS against England? That we don’t have the talent and depth to compete against them? Not a single player stood out imo save Gooch. Why schedule these games then? To relearn those facts?? Bradley and perhaps Gulati as well need to be called out for scheduling 3 games within days of each other against world class opponents without considering whether or not they had the depth to be competetive let alone show up in each of those games. Bradley Sr. deserves blame for not inspiring in his team the one talent the US has equal to or more so over England: heart. It would seem that instead, he believes that much complacency and respect towards an opponent will be returned.

  69. Nutmegger says:

    Two things: Our team did not match the intensity with which England attacked the ball when they didn’t have it, and attacked with the ball when they did have it. Second – and the halftime look back at the 1993 game in which Ramos delivered two pinpoint passes to the heads of his teammates to beat England brought this even more to clarity – there is just no quality service on the field. And the only one who really can provide it at a high level of consistency at this point is Adu. NM

  70. Rocco says:

    Chris – I agree completely on Bradley. He needs a good counterpart. They should have put Adu in there. At least for one half.

    Maybe Donovan or Felheiber in the future. Dempsey could but not right now. He seems sluggish.

  71. usnavysrchief says:

    Watched the entire horrible mess!!! Coach Bradley was awful in his team selction from start to finish. From calling up derelicts Like Wolff and Jaqua instead of Charlie Davies, Kenny Cooper, Jermiah White etc….. to actually thinking Donovan would play in such a big moment as last night to not starting Adu after that wuss Donovan quit on the team. He had no clue!!!!!! Performance wise:”

    Cherundolo – was non-existant hopefully Spector, Simek or somebody else steps up soon.

    Wolff – Well we all know he should never have been called into the team to begin

    with.

    Clark/Bradley combo does not work. Two holding mids does not generate enough offense/posession to help them stop opposing players. They don’t seem to know when to shift from defense to offense fast enough. We definitely need to find a CAM. Bradley an do it but I still belive that Dempsey can do that job.

    Pearce – did a good job last night. Challenged Becks completely during the first half. Becks only effect happened because Clark was fouling people left and Right. Pearce held his own against Beck/Bentley and also contributed several good play covering the CM’s during the Game. He needs to stay and hopefully impressed enough people last night to get some offers from bigger teams.

    Gooch/Boca – Did fine Got caught out on the Second goal by the Midfielders trying to play both ways when they are DM’S, and I believe that Terry was Boca’s man during that set piece he scored on. But again England are coached by one of the worlds best coaches (Capello) and they David Beckham delivering the crosses!!!! Not many teams are going to stop that combo 100% of the time

    Forwards – NADA from them non factors and they made the England back four’s job very easy!!!!

    Adu – Should have started!!! Hopefully he gets more PT at Benfica to justify more NAT Team PT.

    Beasley looked Tired. Could not even make Becks chase after him. Bad night all around for him.

    Sub’s – Why is Coach Bradley so poor at this area of coaching??? Should have done his subs a lot sooner and with more effect. Of course not having quality players available for the match is his fault anyway so I guess he fails there also.

    England were ready for us. They looked at film and thought we were a worthy opponent. Which last night we were NOT!!! Unfortunate!!!!

    I believe htat Spain will spank us and Argentina will Kill us if BB does not change his strategy of 2 holding mids, and no true strikers on the field.

  72. gimmi says:

    irishapple21, u r smoking something, i think the wrost performance was put out by M. Bradley not Clark, but Clark is right below Bradley.

    If you take EJ out and put Jozy in thats fine with me, but Jozy needs a partner thats good other wise he’ll be just like EJ.

    Maybe K.Cooper should get a look at some PT

    He’s def. good on this feet.

  73. ManicMessiah says:

    If Bradley wanted experience, I don’t know why he didn’t start Lewis on the left, move Beasley to the right, and play Dempsey up top (I still would’ve rather seen Adu start, though I was worried that he would’ve had trouble with the physical nature of england. If he doesn’t start against Spain, I will be more than a bit perplexed).

    My biggest problem with Bradley’s lineup is I don’t see where you could’ve expected a result at anything other than a miracle 0-0 finish. We weren’t going to possess the ball well in the midfield without having numerical superiority, and you couldn’t expect the forwards to come up with some moment of brilliance. Moreover, you didn’t even have a player who you could say has a definite chance to play a great ball on a set piece.

    I don’t really blame the players for putting in a bad performance for the most part, because I don’t know how you could look at that starting XI and expect a great game from it.

  74. A.S. says:

    The more I watch Michael Bradley at the US National Team level, the more my opinion of the Eredivisie drops. If this guy is a top player in the Eredivisie, then the Eredivisie must really not be a good league. I have no idea why an average to good team in the EPL would want Bradley.

  75. John says:

    What a terrible night for the US. England didn’t play particularly well and still completely outclassed us. Eddie Johnson was poor, poor, poor. What has happened to him? Slow, clumsy and seemingly disinterested, I can’t believe anyone would praise that performance. Eddie Lewis looked good, Heath Pearce wasn’t as bad as most people seemed to think, that’s about all I have to say that’s positive.

  76. groovester says:

    I’m dreading what kind of starting XI bradley comes up with for the Spain match. Anyone want to venture a guess? I wouldn’t be shocked by anything anymore. He can’t be thinking, ‘hmmm, lets give that Wolff-Johnson tandem another shot.’ Can he? Like someone else said earlier, why even schedule these spotlight friendlies if you are going to send out weak lineups.

  77. Juke Box Hero says:

    predictably, some major over-reactions in these comments. What I said on this board prior to the game is what transpired: inability of Bradley’s chosen d-mid tandem to hold possession will eventually wear us down and we’ll concede possession and goals.

    On the bright side, there’s time and talent available to fix this. Between Donovan, Adu, Altidore, Klejstan & Cooper we have the possibility to seriously upgrade the skill, possession, and unpredictability of our squad, even as soon as next week but definitely before WC 2010.

    My hope is that Bradley realizes soon that twin d-mids does more harm than good.

  78. josh says:

    okay, Ives, that’s fair. and it really highlights the problem with our team: that we don’t have any great central midfielders. clark has upside because of his wheels, but he’s not super confident on the ball and gets pushed off it too easily. bradley just doesn’t move very well. edu is still really green. feilhaber has so many people following his development because these guys are our best options at the moment. i really wish that dempsey had continued on the path that he was on with the revs towards being a center of the park player. he’s alright at forward, but i think that he could have been pretty good for us in the middle (and an upgrade over the current crop). with these kids pulling the strings, WCQ is going to be really interesting this time around…

  79. A.S. says:

    BTW, I think that Ives’ diagnosis of the US team’s two main problems – no midfielder able to possess the ball and no decent target forward – is exactly spot on.

    However, the problem in the central midfield is even deeper than that. I’d put the “keep-possession-and-direct-the-play” type midfielder in a slightly different category than a creative attacking midfielder. Of course, the best midfielders do both – guys like a Riquelme, for instance. Reyna was good in the early 00s in possessing the ball and directing play, but he wasn’t as much of a threat taking it going forward and being creative in attack. We’ve not had a real creative attacking midfielder – a true #10 type player – in a long, long time. Even in Reyna’s heyday, he wasn’t really that type of player. I would go all the way back to Tab Ramos in the mid 90s as the last time the US had that type of player.

  80. Chris says:

    one thing I would like people to address when they tell me how good he is/was is his penchant for playing a defensive header either straight up or back (but not to the keeper). I’ve seen him do it in the past and it perplexed me, but for those who want a specific example here is one. Gooch jumps up over Gerrard to head a long ball away, the ball flies straight up in the air instead of out of the defensive half. The ball drops to Rooney who plays it to Gerrard who sneaks in a great pass to Defoe that could/should have been a goal if not for decent marking by Heath Pearce (why is everyone so down on him, the one full back who actually looked like might contribute to the offense).

    Gooch, there are two guys playing your position on the opposite side of the field that don’t make that defensive mistake, please take notes to improve your game.

  81. kpugs says:

    It was truly pathetic. As a fan I find it disgusting that Bradley shows up at Copa America with a C-team, plays nobodies vs. England, etc. Call these games meaningless if you will, but they are not meaningless to me, or THE REST OF THE WORLD.

    Europe is still laughing at us after yesterday. South America is too. When the hell are we going to step up and play to win one of these big games we get every once in a while, even if it’s a friendly?

    Everyone is laughing at us but us, and as long as this habit of fielding shitty teams against world powers that is not going to change. We are forever the butt of the world’s footballing inside joke, and it pisses me the hell off because it’s our own fault.

  82. kc says:

    I cant believe all of these comments about EJ. Did we watch the same game? He had 1 good shot thats it. I think that 1 shot is affecting some of your memory’s. He has been given more than his fair share of time to shine, its time for Bob to give others their chance, take your pick on who that is.

    Adjustments should have been made at halftime. OK the “EMpty Bucket” formation worked for about 35 minutes of the game while ENG got used to it. Halftime Clark should have been taken out for Freddy at a CAM position.

    We had no linkage of our midfield and strikers. The ONE good cross into the box was from an overlapping defender (peirce).

    We just need work all around and it starts with the manager. This formation and personnel is not conducive to our strengths. Wake up BOB…

  83. wally says:

    Watched the game on tivo night and we weren’t as bad as I expected based on all the comments. This team looked miles better than the one we trotted out for the Gold Cup — England did not have an inordinate number of scoring opportunities and we did manage to keep some possession and create a few scoring chances.

    I think the blame people are directing at coach bradley is flat wrong.. the fact is, from what I saw, every single starting english player is significantly more athletic and technically proficient than our starting XI.. no coaching tactics or minimal roster changes are going to negate england’s overwhelming talent advantage.. And re the roster: the only thing he could have done differently is start Adu instead of Wolff– Donovan and Altidore weren’t even available. I agree with those who vastly prefer Adu to Wolff, but if you think the result last night changes with Adu (who had a few nice touches, albeit against very little pressure late in the game) instead of Wolff, you are deluding yourself.

    In any event, I thought Eddie Lewis was way more effective than Adu, or any other offensive player for us last night. If any player could have used more pt, it was him.

    Re the midfield: I think Bradley did ok for himself, Clark a little less so. Gerrard and Hargraves outclassed everyone in our midfield. Here’s the tough reality: Gerrard is way better than any soccer player the US has ever produced. If he doesn’t outclass our midfield, he’s having a bad day. I like an in form Benny (or Reyna of 6 years ago) instead of Clark, but, again, I’m not sure, the result changes much.

    I do hope that Altidore, Adu and Bradley (and maybe Rogers) develop into players that could make England’s starting XI, but we have a long way to go.

  84. Chris says:

    That last comment was about Gooch, by the way, I accidently left his name out of the first sentence (Proofreading is for wimps).

  85. kpugs says:

    Chris, not sure if you know this, but when you are a defender clearing with your head, the ball is not meant to be headed by you. It is meant to either go in the goal, or to a guy on the other team. Does that make sense to you? Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to execute a perfect brilliant header in your own end while trying to keep tabs on the other players in the area.

    Let me guess, this is the first time you have seen anyone on England play, that can be your only excuse for literally saying their central defenders are perfect. Watch a game sometime–Terry and Ferdinand et all make their share of mistakes, stop trying to make them out to be gods.

  86. wally says:

    I meant copa america, not Gold cup.

  87. Michael F. says:

    There is nothing “respectable” about a loss. That is a loser’s mentality. I bet the players would agree. We are at point where there is no such thing as moral victories. The only way we gain respect is to win.

  88. Evan says:

    I was really looking forward to this game and came away bitterly disappointed. While only a friendly, I thought it would be a great measuring stick to see how far the U.S. had come. We have a developing domestic league, an increasing number of players playing overseas, and have dominated teams ranging from Barbados to Mexico. The England, Spain, and Argentina games will determine whether we’re ready to be big time. The answer, after game 1, is a resounding NO.

    Too many of our starting players would be third tier — at best — at many of the other top teams in the world. Here’s my quick player summary:

    LD – We needed him bad. He is our best player, and makes everyone else on the pitch better. I don’t think his presence would have changed the outcome, but perhaps it would not have been as painful to watch.

    Wolf – Please, no more of him. . . ever.

    Bradley – Showed glimpses for a 20 year old. If he continues to improve, he could be a solid midfielder for us.

    Clark – overmatched

    Dempsey – surprisingly slow and overmatched.

    Guzan – Made some good saves. Seemed frozen on the Gerrard goal, but not much he could have done.

    Beasley – glad to have him back, but he couldn’t beat anyone off the dribble and lost the ball a lot.

    Adu – we need him to start. Yes, he’s small and still developing, but he’s our most creative player.

    Pearce – Was active, but I thought his crosses were miserable.

    EJ – Had a few nice plays, particularly the volley at the start of the 2nd, but he losses possession too easily.

    Final thoughts: I am not upset that we lost. Without LD I knew it would be toughgoing. What upset me is how thoroughly dominated we were. Hopefully, we can rebound and do something against Spain or Argentina, but i’m not counting on it.

  89. josh says:

    everyone talks about how far we’ve come over the last 15 years, and i think it’s fair to say that we’re much deeper than we’ve ever been (with a pool of viable players at least 30 deep). but watching that video that US soccer showed of our game against england from ’93 (a 2-0 US victory), i couldn’t help but think that the first 11 from that team could probably take the team that we put out there last night. what an amazing group: wynalda, a bunch of foreigners (dooley, wegerle and stewart), a crazy beach bum-looking dude who played in mexico (doyle), f’ing lalas and some dudes from jersey. our defenders today are much better overall, but the midfield and forwards on that old team were really strong.

  90. Dale Murphy says:

    I think our biggest problem as a national team going forward is our lack of central midfielders. I think Bradley will be very good in time, but I don’t see Clark or Edu ever being better than average. Feilhaber is a big question mark right now as we all know. This is going to hurt us even worse than our striker situation, because if we can’t possess we can’t play. If I were Bob Bradley I’d make it my first priority to bring central mid talent through the ranks to link up with Adu as an AM/second striker.

  91. DL says:

    kpugs, Take a deep breath. You act like someone was attacking your mom or something. Chris’s point was good – and it goes to a bigger point: the US is not fundamentally sound, whether it’s ball-striking, trapping the ball, or making sound defensive headers. While Terry and Ferdinand are not gods, they are certainly more tactically and fundamentally sound than any defender we have.

  92. eric says:

    “There is nothing “respectable” about a loss. That is a loser’s mentality.”

    Dude, I’m with you (and Jose)!

    Ives – good analysis, you stopped me in my tracks with the realization Adu was operating without pressure. Hmmmm. Guess that’s why you get paid the big bucks. But he’s still the only guy with ideas, right, and if BB really doesn’t mean to give him meaningful minutes in these friendlies, then he should have turned the Toloun team over to Adu, right???

  93. Mike From Baltimore says:

    My thoughts:

    1) Johnson is just not up to snuff for the USMNT rght now. He doesn’t take people on, he doesn’t challenge in the air, and he has little to no creativity which prevents him from linking with the rest of the team.

    2) Beasley looked fair to poor. I’m giving him a pass since this is his third match since his ACL, but his service was terrible and he lacked his trademard burst to go past people. Without that- he’s not good enough to compete. When he gets his speed back though I fully expect him to tear it up again.

    3) Will we ever have a #10 again? Since Tab and Claudio (and Claudio isn’t REALLY a #10) we just don’t have a CM who has the creativity and composure to run the show in the middle of the park. We will never compete on England’s level until this kind of player is developed. Landon has some of these skills, but not all of them, same with Freddy.

    4) Liked what I saw of Guzan and it’s nice to see BB give him some experience at this level in case Howard gets injured. Guzan looked a lot better then he has in MLS (for the most part) this season.

    5) England were on a completely different level from a mental and tactical approach then us. Some of the runs they made were just unbelievable (especially Steveie G). I hope our players used this as a learning experience. England really put on a show yesterday.

  94. Larry Y says:

    Simply put, the US was out classed in the center midfield.

    Having someone like Lampard, Gerrard or Hargreaves would have made a huge difference on this US squad. It would have allowed Michael Bradley to move forward, for one thing.

  95. Pat the Red Bulls Fan says:

    All is not lost. Alot is lost, but not everything. Moving foward toward the World Cup, I like our back 5. We need to work long and hard on the front 6.

    You figure that DMB, Deuce, Donovan and Bradley are going to be there, so two more. Edu is 22, Altidore and Adu are 18, Cooper is 23, and Rogers is 21. Some combination of that, is our best chance moving foward, I hope.

  96. Neo says:

    This is a team I would like to see, as bad as it sounds lets hope the US gets throttled by Spain and Argentina so we can fire Bradley before we WASTE ANOTHER WORLD CUP:

    Howard

    Spector Conrad Parkhurst Blackmouth

    Edu Clark

    Donovan Dempsey

    Rolfe Altidore

    The Bench:Adu, Cooper, Holden, Orozco, Reis, Johnson, Bradley, Beasley?

    THIS IS A ROUGH LINEUP- BUT THE PLAYERS THAT SHOULD BE PENED IN TO START- Parkhurst, Edu, Donovan, Dempsey, Altidore, Howard

  97. leonardo rabelo says:

    As a fan of soccer I completely understand why the blog readers are focusing their criticism on the players. However, improvement must begin at the top. Why not hire a world class manager like Gus Hiddink or someone else like him? THAT could definitely make a difference, long-term.

  98. Mattman says:

    This was a tough game to watch. The first 10-15 weren’t too bad before the Brits figured out that they could pressure us into making bad passes, long clearances to no one, and midfield turn overs. I think that they believed our hype after the 3-0 Poland game. That respect soon was gone.

    I saw an earlier comment about EJ saying that we should lay off of him. I’m sorry but EJ has been given chance after chance and has nothing to show for it. His form is still poor and I believe that even Fulham are regretting signing him (though that’s just an assumption wathcing his equally dismal performances in the EPL). In my opinion he should be finished with the men’s team until we see a return to goal scoring form for him. These games aren’t where we should be giving him his practice to “get good” again.

    This may be Bob Bradley’s first failure as a coach. Bad players selcetd for the first team, poor use of subs. I’m sure that Nate Jaqua got a whole lot out of his 4 minutes of playing time. Arena used to wait until it was too late to sub as well. I’m beginning to wonder what their thought processes are and why this seems to be an American trait. Do they think that they’re giving up on a player if they sub? Clark and EJ should have been gone at half time. Two fresh faces may have made some difference over the next 45 minutes.

    We’ll have to see how we do with Spain. I’m going to chalk this loss on Bradley’s shoulders for a change. The buck should finally stop with the coach for a change.

  99. Kevin says:

    With Harksey in the booth, I started to miss the grit from the Nats of yesteryear.

  100. Skeptic says:

    Does anyone seriously think that Landon Donovan could have made the England XI? Maybe the bench, but LD is not as talented as many people (US fans) make him out to be.

  101. Revenge of Chuckie says:

    I am sooooo glad i missed the game and messed up the tivo recording!!!!!!! It sounded miserable.

    This team reminds me more and more of the WC Germany sqaud. Only the players are younger and inexperienced – not older and slow. Truth be told, we are probably looking at another 4 years before we can compete again…..dammit

    Ct

  102. HomeyBoehme says:

    I have to say that perhaps the MLS tied Bradley’s hands a little bit regarding team selection? Or Bradley is waiting to put the MLS pieces in place on our home soil? Eh, I don’t know…but I have to say that our team selection did slay us from the very beginning. And I also echo the questions of why you schedule a huge friendly against the best competition but do not bring your A-side? Please please please I hope things change for Spain.

  103. splice says:

    I’m embarrassed by two threads of unsophisticated thoughts on this message board, but that’s what happens when you combine the Internet with the expectations and understanding of the typical U.S. soccer fan.

    First, questioning Bradley Sr.’s status as a coach is absurd. He did just win us three games in a row, in Europe, against teams that are actually playing for the European championship. Yes, his tactics and selections seem strange in certain games, but his job is not to win friendlies. It’s to win continental competitions and be respectable at the next World Cup. We have to give him, and the administration of U.S. soccer, credit for scheduling this series of three games in the first place.

    2. It’s equally absurd, given the status of the U.S. striker corps, to say EJ doesn’t deserve to play, especially when Landon is hurt. EJ is not a great player. But he has enough raw talent, talent that’s been proven on the international stage, to get lucky against teams like England, and that’s more than you can say about the other U.S. striker options for this game (re: Josh Wolff). Of course guys like Cooper, Altidore, and Rogers deserve a chance, but they’re U.S. based and with three high pressure games in a row you have to value the game experience of EJ. He’s not worthless, he’s just inconsistent, and no one else has proven (emphasis on proven) they have the combination of talent and consistency to displace him in the pecking order.

    As for the game:

    1) Pearce has done enough to be first choice left back.

    2) Clark is only useful as Bradley Jr.’s back-up.

    3) Everyone’s right, possessing the ball down the middle of the field is our biggest weakness, whether it’s the central midfielders or the forwards. We can’t play two mids with the touch of pin ball machine flippers AND two forwards who are either mentally incapable of hold-up play (EJ) or physically incapable of high-quality soccer (Wolff). Feilhaber’s not a serious option until he proves himself on a club team. Personally I think a Dempsey-Bradley central pairing is worth a shot, while blooding Sacha Klejstan to see if he can possess and pass out of midfield. Adu, in addition to being small, works best as an attacking-only player, so I don’t think he’s an option at central mid. Hopefully Cooper and Altidore will have a chance to show some quality as target/hold-up guys in the next two games. Maybe, just maybe, Donovan and Adu can find someone to run off of.

  104. Michael says:

    THIS IS WHY WE LOST

    I blame this game on Bob Bradley. I am the biggest Bradley fan in the world, but yesterday was Coach Bradley’s fault. Our strategy was to play the ball every time into EJ and expect him to hold the ball on JT, Rio Ferdinand, and the rest of the Champions League back line. It made us predictable and ineffective. England always attacked moving forward and we were most effective with Eddie lewis runs and give and gos with EJ etc. The US must learn to play facing the opponents goal. It was a weak strategy that lost us the game. The players did not have their best performances, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we did not change our tactics. Aside from players with solid performances were Pearce, Ogneywu, Lewis, EJ, and Dempsey. Bradley played mediocre, he gave the ball away to much. He started great with hard tackles, but he never touched the ball until the 8th minute. He has the capability to control the middle, but he is not being used by Bob Bradley. Let’s see how the US will change their tactics by next Wednesday. I hope they try to play more down the wings, play behind players, and push Michael into the center of midfield and use him as a distributor. Go on USA!

  105. Michael says:

    Plus I’d like to see Edu. He’s more athletic and stronger than Rico. He’s a good presence, but he needs to play his position. He forces Michael to make up for his poor position and being drawn out. He tries to do too much, he just needs to sit back and let Michael play in front of him.

  106. Original Aaron says:

    People should stop complaining about BB not giving Adu enough playing time. BB sees the same things in Adu that we all do, but he isn’t worried about results in a single friendly, he is worried about developing the players in the USMNT pool so that we are peaking at the right times. Getting Adu minutes against such quality oppostition in one of, if not the, most famous stadiums in the world was very important. However, more important than that is that BB keeps putting him in situations where he can succeed and grow in confidence- which he did. Putting him in with 20 minutes left, in a game whose tone had already relaxed b/c of the second goal, is the perfect way to get him big-game experience whilst giving him every chance to be successful. What if he had started and been physically abused by the Three Lions? Would his confidence have been shattered? The kid is 18 and needs to be brought along slowly. You can’t give him too big of a role too quickly. So far, I think BB is doing it perfectly, b/c every time Adu goes in he succeeds. Hopefully overtime, his minutes will creep up and by the time we get to South Africa he will be a starter (but if you are a USMNT fan, there is no reason to push for him to be a starter RIGHT NOW). The same all goes for Altidore (who is even less ready than Adu is). Likewise, I think that Michael Bradley’s role on the USMNT is different now than it will be in South Africa. He is only 20! Asking him to be strong in the tackle and break up the other team’s moves is enough for now. Yes, he’s a box to box holding midfielder in the Eredivisie- but guess what? The Eredivisie isn’t the same level as international play! I think that by South Africa he will be an excellent holding midfielder, but for now, let’s continue to give him a role we know he can be successful at and let him grow from there. Be patient guys. We are continuing to improve.

  107. Chris says:

    Kpugs, thanks for the disparaging comments. I have played and have taken plenty of individual defensive training sessions throughout my life. When you are attempting a defensive header you are most certainly accountable for the location of that header, regardless of the intent of the initial pass. I understand sometimes conditions are not ideal but as I mentioned this has happened numerous times and I only pointed out one example, it’s something that can be corrected.

    And I do watch plenty of England games/Chels/ManUtd games and admit that Ferdinand and Terry make their share of mistakes, but would go as far as saying they would prove good examples for Bocanegra and Gooch to learn from.

  108. Reid says:

    Leo – def agree with a world class coach, new ideas are needed over the whole pitch. Pearce was the bright spot on teh back line the others I thought did fine. I thought the US needs to look at film, seemed like everyone else know when Ashley Cole was going to make a run besides our guys on the right.

    I could complain about specific players, but i thought pressure from the whole team was lacking when compared to England.

    And finally agreeing with the 85 people before me, the link between midfield and forwards in non existent. I can’t blame EJ or wolf when the only time they get passes when 1 or 2 people is directly on them, and the pass is directly to them.

    US needs to keep video of this game and teach themselves to move without the ball, until then we deserve to be 20-30th in the world

  109. Diego Pasley says:

    Emergency call up or not, Frankie deserves real consideration. IMO, he was the only player moving well off the ball and making intelligent plays. Late in the game he was the only player to displayed a real passion to try and pull out the win. Sure, he is getting on in years, but he should be considered for the squad as a locker room leader and play as a sub to spark the team when things are going poorly. I’m not a big fan of his, but the guy deserves some credit for the effort he put in.

  110. Colin says:

    Bradley hasnt lived up to the hype hes played brillantly on club level but doesnt seem like he wants to attack on national level

  111. Proof says:

    A team that defeated Switzerland and Poland in their own backyards is now done? Come on guys. Yes, the USA played terrible; it was reminiscent of the game that they lost to Sweden in Sweden, but they bounced back. The U.S. at the moment is playing hot and cold due to this stage of transition, but there is plenty of time to fix things. By the time ” Copa Federaciones” rolls around, the USA will have an idea were it stands.

  112. Wow i have missed alot this thread.

    Ives – just to get back to my last post – I realize England was “chillin” by then, but Adu inspires play, where there was no inspiration from our mids at all.

    And EJ is EJ. lol

    On to Spain.

  113. dc fan says:

    I think its time for the US to move away from the 4-4-2 or the 4-5-1. We simply don’t have the wing backs or the strikers to be effective in that formation. What we do have are three or four good attacking midfielders and some depth at CB with Spector and Demerit.

    I would like to see us go with a 3-5-2 of 3-6-1.

    The back line would be:

    Spector – Gooch – Boca

    the midfield would have:

    Cherundulo – Clark (or Edu)- Beasley

    Bradley-

    And – Donovan, Dempsey, and Altidore/Adu would play a solely attacking role with Beasley and Cherundulo providing width and helping out on d. With three Central mids and with Clark/Edu behind him Bradley could also move more freely into the attack.

  114. DeliBelly says:

    “It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is, a young group still in transition after the retirements of several key figures.”

    ——-

    I see this a little bit differently. I saw a group of players who are largely supposed to be in their prime! 24-28 years old with European “experience.”

    ——–

    I too was puzzled by Ives comments. The lineup we fielded was not a “young” team — Bradley was the only player out there from the Under 23 pool, and he already has 4 years of professional experience under his belt. We’re hardly a team in “transition” either. The retirements of McBride and Reyna happened two years ago, so there has been plenty of time to adjust.

    Let’s not make excuses for what happened out there. England is simply a better team, no matter how we tweak our lineup.

  115. Joamiq says:

    I think the defense was OK and overall kept their shape quite well, but there is a glaring lack of speed. You cannot run the offside trap like the US did repeatedly yesterday without a fast CB to recover when you mistime it (as they did a number of times). The crossing from Pearce and Dolo also left a lot to be desired. It’s too bad, because the back four generally did well defensively, but this group certainly still has liabilities.

    The midfield was entirely toothless and the only one who played well was Eddie Lewis, and that was obviously brief. Dempsey and Beasley did nothing on the wings (though Beasley did have some comfortingly competent touches), Bradley didn’t do enough in any respect, and Clark was just putrid. I mean, having Clark out there was like playing 10 on 11. I like him as a player but I can’t see how he plays any kind of significant role going forward.

    Ives, I think you’re right about Johnson setting the bar so low that a mediocre performance looks good just because he didn’t completely embarrass himself. Wolff didn’t offer anything either. The team really does need Landon and Jozy up top.

    I think the midfield seriously needs a ball winner (Edu?) and it needs Bradley to step up and play like he did at Heerenveen. I’m not asking for goals galore, but he needs to be able to at least complete simple passes and use passing combinations to get forward. Adu also needs to be on the field. I don’t think it matters where you put him because he’ll play where he wants to play – and I think that’s fine.

    Hopefully the team can learn from its mistakes and make some progress in the Spain game. I am worried however that their attack will punish us far worse than England’s did.

  116. John says:

    Johnson was still terrible. It really is time to put him away. I would honestly rather see Chad Barrett start than him. I really don’t think Barrett has the mental game for international soccer, but he’s got the physical tools to miss at least one sitter, as opposed to never getting the chance.

    Wolff should never suit up again, except for low-level qualifiers.

    Adu needs to start soon. I think a 4-4-2 Diamond set-up would be decent, with Jozy/Landon up top, Adu @ CAM, DMB on the left, Dempsey on the right and Bradley at D/Holding Mid.

    This said, I think our upcoming generations of talent are really getting better. I know that they’re all still young, but look at Stefan Jerome, Charlie Renken, et al…these guys should be monsters at the U-20 level (Renken is only 14 or something).

    Unless we get a sick, sick group, we should advance out of group stage at the WC…and this is assuming that we only have our current pool to work with. Not a bad team at all if you look at it that way.

  117. groovester says:

    How tall is Dolo?

  118. Lemoyne says:

    We must be the only national team on the planet with players out of contract starting in a major friendly. Can’t understand what the point is giving Wolff, Frankie, Lewis, etc. a run when they should be testing new talent. There’s something to giving them a testimonial appearance at Wembley – they’ve made their contributions over the years – but giving experience to Adu, Mapp and(insert other attacking-minded players that exist here) would be far more valuable.

    In the end, the physical difference between our boys and the English and other countries in general at this point is obvious: they have the top echelon of athletes funneled into soccer from the start. While we do have talented players, they are slighter and far less ‘battle-hardened’ coming up through our youth system/college.

    Finally, having the entire country behind you, no matter how small the nation, can only help give you the most complete passion for winning. It’s hard to find a player on our side with a stern brow of determination.

  119. JesseMT says:

    Here’s an idea for a line-up. I think right now this could be the best we can do.

    Howard

    Dolo/Gooch/Boca/Spector

    Beasley/Dempsey/Bradley/Lewis(rogers)

    Donovan/Altidore

    – Yes, Lewis is old, but he’s great on FKs and looked pretty good in his 20 minutes yesterday.

    – Dempsey should play in CM. He only played up top at Fulham when there was a rash of striker injuries.

    – Donovan should play up top as a second striker as long as his goal-scoring form keeps up.

    – Adu, right now, is best suited to the supersub role.

    Thoughts?

  120. Sean says:

    I don’t understand how anybody can say EJ was one of the worst players on the field last night. He was quick, found triangles, and actually showed a willingness to go at players, the latter two being things he never does. I don’t like him and was very disappointed to see him in the starting lineup, but he impressed me yestarday. It’s not exactly like he plays a back four with that much quality every weekend.

    Maybe people should make their own opinions instead of instantly running to bigsoccer after the game to see what toxic ideas are made to be the consensus.

    About Adu and how his performance should be put in perspective- England wasn’t playing that much pressure the entire game, its not like they were going at a breakneck speed or anything when Wolff was on there. Wolff was struggling just as bad right before Adu came on the field as he was at the beginning of the game.

    And I liked Heath Pearce, except for the very big blunder of letting Defoe turn inside the box.

  121. Disappointed says:

    Is Ricardo Clark a hot head? He seems to lose his composure quickly. Witness the 9 game MLS suspension – countless reds – and constant complaining.

    Used to like the dude – now I think he’s got a critical flaw that can’t be covered at the USMNT level.

    I hope Edu can push him for more playing time – he seems like a better battler who won’t cost you silly fouls/free kicks.

  122. Norbert Sykes says:

    Seriously people can use the phrase “very good” in the same breath with discussion of any american’s performance? The midfield didn’t move well off the ball, the touch was sloppy and we couldn’t maintain any sort of possession…No one came close to putting a body on John Terry on the goal. (that could be attributed to the general set piece defense on that play but it was horrible all around)

    And Gooch who people were saying had a good game lost his man on several occasions around the box, made one terrible two footed challenge after losing his man and getting turned around, and didn’t cut down the shooting angle on Gerrard when he was going in one on one to the goal. There is a slight possibility this could have been excusable if there was an unmarked player trailing the play who could have tapped in a cross, but there wasn’t and better yet Gooch didn’t even check to see if there was a trailer. Instead he ball watched. At least Heath did the right thing on a similar play in the first half thereby making it easier for Tim Howard to defend the play.

  123. BJR says:

    No Donovan = No Hope

    The game: thoroughly depressing. Also, is everyone on our team afraid of that thug, Rooney?

    …Meanwhile back in the states, Cooper with yet another clinical finish.

  124. Matt in Tampa says:

    WE all know this much. Games are won and lost in Midfield. And we ain’t got one. Game over.

    England’s middies: Lampart, Hargraves, Becks and Gerrard vs. Jr, Clark, Dempsey and DMB. (it’s already 1-0).

    The Benny Fielhaber we saw when he first came on the scene needs to reappear. Bradley’s in trouble without him.

    Dempsey needs LD.

    WE need some kind of attacking flair in the center mid. If that means throwing Adu to the fire, let’s get it over with and put him in the fire. If it means moving Demps to the middle, do that. I don’t think he’s a wing mid either.

  125. awful says:

    About J. Lawrenowitz —- i think he definitely deserves a shot. he has a “I dont give a F*C) who you are attitude which the USA needs. Dempsey use to have it, now he respects who he plays too much and he’s not as dangerous as he once was. Did anyone see Girard tell dempsey to get up and stop crying yesterday? old dempsey would not have shown gerard the respect.

    (felihaber sort of has this attitude now and a reason along with his creativity is why he needs to be on the field)

    Bradleys got to go. Agree with others, we lost with the pool he brought in. Nowvak doing a horrible job with the under 23s.

    EJ is done./horrible. let him develop with fulham and than give him another try. Not on our watch aymore.

    We suppose to be progrssing each year and i have not seen one performance (besides italy) since ther germany quarter final.

  126. bob says:

    Michael F

    Great 10 points you had there. Agree whole heartedly with most of them and mostly on board with the Adu one. But then I read number 10. Damn man you are funny, Chad Barret should get a look.LOL thats funny stuff.

    Clark should never never never play again(UMNT). All he can do is foul. He is a thug. He is the reason we lost this game.

  127. Tim says:

    Unfortunately I couldn’t watch this game because I was at work. Is it being replayed?

    A few thoughts…I was concerned when I heard Donovan wouldn’t play. There are U.S. fans who don’t like him, and I can’t really say I understand that AT ALL. He’s very talented, is the all-time leading U.S. scorer, and gives us much needed speed on the attack. It hurt us not to have him yestersay. Period, and foolish to think otherwise.

    I would like to see Twellman get more calls. Like him or not, he has a knack for putting it in the net. There are some guys out there like that. They simply score, and sometimes it’s difficult to say why they do.

    Someone above mentioned that the best U.S. athletes simply don’t play soccer, and that’s why we struggle against the best teams abroad. There may be some truth to that. Football and basketball are “king” in the U.S., and the most talented athletes, particularly inner city kids, often aren’t exposed to soccer. We may not always be “bringing the best cards to the table.”

    Lastly, Ricardo Clark…WHY!!?? He has consistently proven to be a liability, and it sounds like yesterday was no exception. However, I’ll reserve final comment here until I can hopefully see a replay of the game.

  128. Ralph says:

    The only bad things of that worst game is Josh Wolff, and Ricardo Clark. They both did not play well. My thing is why has Bob Bradley not used the 3-5-2 yet he has used it in Chicago and did well. A few times with Metro and Chivas we got the players for the 3-5-2. He is to be blame really on this game and players were trying. It is just that Capello had us scouted well and knowing that BB was going to use the similar formation he used against Poland come on what did we expect. Plus in an interview BB did not sound confident we could win and that I fault him very much on. He needs to stop trying to hide and say what you want to say show some more pride on your team. Come on “I guess we could win” that is what you say man up BB man up that is all you need to do. Also Jaqua and EJ up top would of been a much better choice for the England game. Should of given Adu a start in my opinion. Oh well we lost and we got to move on.

  129. rups says:

    Nothing good to say about that game.

    For all of you who keep saying “well if we just had Donovan…”. All I can say is what if England had Owen? Pathetic performance, 2002 was a fluke, we do not have the weapons to compete against big teams. People and the media need to stop treating this team as if they are top 10 in the world, we don’t even belong in the top 30. It will get worse before it gets better, probably staring with Spain next week!

  130. suckerpunch-tm says:

    okay, the England game is over… Here is what I’d like to see next week versus Spain:

    ………Dempsey……….

    …Adu- Donovan- Beasley..

    ……Bradley- Edu……..

    Spector- Boca- Gooch- Dolo

    ………..Howard………

  131. suckerpunch-tm says:

    okay, the England game is over… Here is what I’d like to see next week versus Spain:

    ………Dempsey……….

    …Adu- Donovan- Beasley..

    ……Bradley- Edu……..

    Spector- Boca- Gooch- Dolo

    ………..Howard………

  132. MiamiAl says:

    I actually thought Tim Howard did not look that special. In fact, that first goal they re-played from the goal perspective, you see the ball clearly coming over the wall, and Howard frozen for a second. And he misses on his dive getting a hand on the ball by inches…I think Keller would have saved that. Keller looked sharp towards the end of Fulham’s season, and his reaction saves were getting back to where they were pre-injury. I thought Howard should have been able to get a hand on that ball.

    I think for the sake of the NATS all positions must be up for competition, and Howard’s should be no different. I would love to know how many of the goals that Howard let in were a result of his handicap.

    Dump Clark.

    Dump Wolff.

    Dump EJ.

    START EDDIE LEWIS!

    Eddie Lewis I think should be the captain of this team and should play for us in the next world cup, despite his age. He can do so much, including being accurate on set pieces. Beasley should not be handling set pieces. He wasted our few good opportunities yesterday.

    START FREDDY ADU!

    Freddy’s ready! Build the team around him, and not Donovan.

    And finally if Bob Bradley does not get a result in the next two games, I think we have our “Avram Grant” clause where we recognize he is Bruce Arena “lite” and cut our losses. Too bad Sven Goran Erickson won’t be available. By not going after a big game coach, Sunil let Mexico get significantly stronger. Qualifying is not going be be a cake walk at all. They are going to be tough, starting with Barbados.

    That is all contingent that Bob Bradley does not get a result in Spain, or back in New York…He gets any type of result in those two games, a 0-0 tie, anything, he stays…

  133. Jeffrey says:

    I would add that Clark is not playing well for Houston either. He has been out of position a lot and getting beat regularly. He tries to compensate by fouling. And he isn’t so great at fouling nicely either. I think he is leading MLS in yellow cards this season.

  134. noname says:

    Can’t say anyone played well. Johnson and Wolfe upfront meant we would have no attack. These guys are way down on the depth chart. Adu starting instead of Wolfe would have been better for his development..but lets face it, his touch was way off too last night and he passed more to the opposing team than his own.

    Without Landon, I suppose more was expected of Beasley and Deuce but England effectively shut them down. We should not let Beasley handle free kicks and corners. He squanders the opportunity. In that regard, Lewis is probably better despite his age and his balls and passes were certainly more threatening. Pearce and Cherundholo were not very good either in their attacks up the wings. I think Cherundholo will bounce back but Hejduk was better last night. As for Pearce…I think Bob will need to keep looking for his left back. Maybe he will develop (there is time), but maybe not. In the meantime maybe looking at Lewis or Convey along the back line is not a bad idea. Or move Bocanegra out wide and give Conrad, Demerit or Califf or someone else a shot in the middle. The goalies were fine given what they were faced with. The defensive mids seemed a bit lost. Bottom line however is that without an attack, our defensive mids and middle defenders will only stand up for a while before giving in to the pressure of a top flight team. We will be better with Landon paired up with a solid Number 9 (Jozy, Cooper??…heck why not throw in Jacqua or go back to Dempsey in that role?) and some more creative wing play and interplay between our outside mids and outside defenders.

  135. EnginBlue says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned how terrible the service was on set pieces. That was the major difference I saw with the Poland match and it masked all these other problems. Beasley kept hitting the wall!

    Until we get to a point where Harkes doesn’t have to call 5 back passes from the forwards to the keeper ‘better from the US’ in reference to possession and combination, we’re going to continue as we have.

  136. Beckster says:

    Agree with Ives although might add Eddie Lewis as doing well. Who is this new ESPN writer who rated the players and had high marks for Ricardo Clark? You must be joking? And wasn’t Beasley pretty much invisible the whole game?

    This game shows that we don’t have midfielders who can play at this level. I would have been much more interested to have seen Bradley in attacking mid and Mastrioni in holding mid with Lewis starting on left to see what kind of impact that might have had on control and service.

  137. Mark says:

    Kudos to England, they played well. Makes you wonder how a team with that sort of talent could miss out on the Euros. Sort of the new Portugal…

    England also took their foot off the gas, so lets not annoint Freddy yet. Kid can play, and hopefully he’ll get a chance for a full 90 against Spain. EJ had his best game in some time, so hopefully he’s gettig over his mental block, since he’s got all the tools be a great striker. I also thought Pearce did well. The rest, not so much with the exception of Lewis, but again, England had let down a bit but he was all over the field making plays.

    US team will be fine, but it’s clear we still have a ways to go, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Hopefully the current crop of young players will help close the gap a little bit more and the next crop will continue to improve.

  138. CM says:

    Cooper & Jozy needs to play with the nats more.

    ——–Cooper—Altidore——-

    ————Donovan————-

    Beasley——————Dempsey

    ————Bradley————–

    Pearce-Bocanegra-Onyewu-Cherundolo

    ————-Howard—————

  139. rups says:

    All of you guys need to stop prentending that if Twellman,Fielhaber, Jozy, or Landon were in the game we would have played better. That’s like saying, “geez, I wonder what taste better polar bear crap or grizzly bear crap?”…You know what, their both crap, and they both taste like crap. You can plug in all kinds of names that should have played, it doesn’t matter, the end result would have been the same. Our US guys are MLS players (Beasly is the only exception). MLS is the minor leagues, you can not expect these guys to compete with players who play in the epl,serie A, and la liga. MLS games are unwatchable due to their lack of speed, creativity, and just overall skill,(all 3 things lacking from yesterday’s game). The better teams have players who battle in champions league, euro and world cups. And what do we do? We go play Jamaica, or TNT, or Guatemala in Foxboro, and we beat them 5-0, and all of a sudden that means we can compete with the Top 25 countries?

    I love the US, and I was there when we got out teeth kicked in against the Cechs in 2006, this story is not new. We don’t have the players who can strike fear against the opposition. Sure we can beat Mexico,China, and all these other teams who barely qualify for anything meaningful. But all that is doing is setting us up for is a huge dissapointment when we play a team superior than us. And as of right now, there might be 35-40 countries that are better than us, and I put Mexico in there as one of those teams.

    If the future wants to get better, we need to take action now. The US SOCCER FED. needs to get involved, pour more money into recruiting kids who are 4-5 yrs old, and show some promise. We need more acadmeys who teach our elite young players the proper mental and physical aspects of the game.

    It’s either that or send a few 1000 of our hottest women down to Brazil, and start marrying some of their futbolers, give them green cars and let them be citizens!

  140. Bob Bradley says:

    Sorry about the game guys. My team selection was really bad.

  141. tedhill says:

    4-2-3-1

    The 4: Gooch, Orozco, Heyduk, Pearce

    The 2: Bradley, Edu (we could use more here)

    The 3: Adu, Donovan, Beasley (sounds good huh)

    The 1: Any of the following, Dempsey, Cooper, Altidore, Jaqua

  142. awful says:

    hey rups, you are right to an extent. but you have to be out of your mind if you think there would be no difference in starting altidore instead of wolfe? There are better combos which we need to find and than maybe these score will be 2-1 instead of 2-0 or what should have been 4- 0. we easily could have been more competative with another lineup.

  143. brentmcd says:

    Why can’t US soccer get a game like this on a decent channel??!? I don’t know anyone who has ESPN Classic. I went to two different bars at lunchtime yesterday and neither were able to get the game. Was hoping to catch it on Galavision last night, but I couldn’t get that either. From the comments here though, it appears I didn’t miss much.

  144. ArtnSue says:

    Frankie Heydude needs to stay in the Nats. No one hustles like him and his play was the only strong point for the second half. I wish Eddie Johnson would once and for all figure out if he is going to hustle for a full 90 (does Bradley ever sit him down and make him watch his laziness on tape?). If not, he needs to go. Freddy Adu looked silly on a couple of his free kicks, straight give aways, unless you realized that it was Eddie Johnson standing around and not making the runs onto those actually clever passes. The US young guns, Adu, Edu, Altidore, Bradley Parkurst etc, need to start playing together regularly.

  145. Mayor Bloomberg says:

    Did some you watch the match? England was poor and we were a billion times worse. Bob had no idea what he was doing. Rico Clark is not that good and uses his hand too much.

    The US is regressing. Cut the nonsense about we only lost 2-0. That’s why I was hoping for a 5-0 so some of you would see how bad we have fallen behind.

  146. This was a pretty deflating loss. But I think our reasons for not playing well were more mental than anything else. Beaz said we gave England too much respect, and I agree. I would even say we were a bit scared out there. Coach Bradley had better both give the guys a pep talk and light a fire under them. We’ve got to be mentally prepared to face Spain.

  147. HomeyBoehme says:

    @rups – Everyone knows we do not have the same talent, fundamental skills, etc that the other major soccer powers do. However, we do have some great talent, and not all of that talent was put onto the field last night for that game. That is what is upsetting me the most. I wanted to give that game the best the USMNT has to offer, and Bob Bradley did not do that.

    That said, Bob is the coach, and he is doing what he feels is the best OVERALL for the USMNT. I am going to try to reserve harsh judgements until World Cup Qualifying begins because THAT is when we NEED to be fielding our best XI.

  148. Bogicevic says:

    I’ve seen enough of Michael Bradley with Heerenveen, the U-20s and the full national team to come to one inescapable conclusion: He can’t play for his dad.

    When there’s a coach/manager other than Bob Bradley on his sideline, he plays futbol. He’s aggressive, he’s skillful, he’s a leader. When he plays for dad, he always looks as if he’s looking to the sideline to see if the old man is OK with what he’s doing, like he’s not free to play his game. I don’t know if that’s in Michael’s head or if his dad messes with his head or if his dad doesn’t use him in the right role, but he just doesn’t look comfortable on the pitch for the full national team.

    I hope it’s either something he’ll grow out of (he’s still only 20, as some people seem to forget, which is younger in US soccer years than it is in soccer years for European or South American players) or something that won’t be a problem if somebody else is pulling the strings for the MNT. But it concerns me.

    Overall, I was apalled at most of what I saw Wednesday. I’ve often made excuses for the MNT’s poor performances before, citing the absence of key European-based players, but they were all there this time. The only notable absence to me was the obvious one, Donovan, and if the absence of Landon Donovan drops our level of play that much, we are in some deep doo-doo.

    By the way, is Michael Parkhurst ever going to get a fair shake as a MNT defender? Sure, he’s not the most physical defender around, but you don’t have to be when you read the game the way he does. I’d rather see Parkhurst paired with Gooch so that he can match up with a quick forward like Dafoe than the dual lumbering central defenders combo of Gooch and Boca. I know both of those guys are dangerous on set pieces, but both are just as likely to give up a goal as they are to score one.

  149. Pearce, bocanegra, onyewu, adu, guzan, were the bright spots for me. M. Bradley did the job he was told to do pretty well, but the general strategy of Capello put him a bit out of the picture. With Bradley and Clark/edu as the defensive midfielders we were always going to be unable to posses the ball in midfield against better oposition. No surprises there. Ej was actually pretty nice to watch, and dempsey was quality despite being totally worked out of the picture by the strategy of the game. I think the harsh critisism against the forward line should surely primarliy go to the fact that while England may lack certain qualities, there back line is mouth droolingly fantastic. We needed a ball possesing midfielder with a creative edge in the middle to do anything about that. I have always thought Wolfe is a nice completmentary player, but he needed to be world class against a back line like that.

    Cappello had to win tonight. Home game with most of his best players on the field. We needed donovan and then some. Actually, home filed advantage with a great free kick in from an amazing ball expert like beckam for the first goal and what are you gonna do away at Wembley? Ugly? I guess the ugly thing was just that Cappello is just a better tactian than Bob Bradley and even when we came out up for it after half time, Cappello’s adjustments were just better than Bradley’s. I don’t feel like I wish we had a better coach cause Bradley is quite good for us, but recently we have gotten by with our “special teams” play and that was totally undone by England.

    The true quality of what we have as a team will be revealed more by how we respond to the defeat in the next two upcoming games.

  150. John says:

    Wow, I can’t believe some of these comments. Eddie had a decent game? He is a forward and he needs to score. He had a lackluster game at best.

    Also, Heath Pierce isn’t ready for the big time yet? He was one of the few brights spots in the game yesterday if not the brightest spot.

    Do some people comment without watching the game?

  151. Paul says:

    I’ll take a “glass half full” approach. Wolf and Johnson are not going to play a significant role for the team as strikers against good opponents. No Dononvan and (for the most part) no Adu meant no penetrating threat from the midfield. Beasley (due to injury) and Bocanegra and Adu (due to their coach’s decisions) have not seen significant time in months. And through it all, they created a few very good chances in a road match against a top-notch, motivated team whose coach had something to prove. Bradley has been able to evaluate and give experience to a staggering number of both veteran and young players during his tenure so far. I would not draw any conclusions about the state of the team until WC qualifying finally begins. That’s what the last two years has been all about.

  152. John says:

    Wow, I can’t believe some of these comments. Eddie had a decent game? He is a forward and he needs to score. He had a lackluster game at best.

    Also, Heath Pierce isn’t ready for the big time yet? He was one of the few brights spots in the game yesterday if not the brightest spot.

    Do some people comment without watching the game?

  153. Adam M. says:

    The Americans problem is lack of movement, and perhaps, lack of players who know where to move. I’d guess that the overwhelming majority of balls played were either (i) long balls in the air to a player with his back to the goal who either didn’t control the ball or couldn’t do anything with it or, (ii) point-to-point balls played at the feet of stationary players who were unable create anything if they controlled the pass. The Amercians seemed hopelessly locked into their 4-4-2 “positions” and are in desperare need of diagonal movment, the kind that created Gerrard’s goal, for example. Donovan helps here, and Adu clearly has the ability, but if Americans don’t have the technical skills of better sides, they do have the talent to work more to create by running around. If Bradley had a game plan against England, you’d be hard pressed to know what it was by watching. And the worst part about it is that England hardly has the reputation for creative soccer. Somebody like Torres or Iniesta will tear the U.S. apart. Ouch.

  154. Adam R. says:

    Bob Bradley wins in Europe…he’s the greatest. Bob Bradley loses in Europe…he stinks. You hear from each camp depending on the result. Yawn.

    Johnson – No match sharpness + Rio Ferdinand = long night

    Wolff – struggled to find a role. Would have like to see he and Dempsey switched

    Bradley – Covered a lot of ground. Hard to knock his passing when his options were so limited.

    Clark – He is very good on the ball, but his tackles were consitently late, which drew ire from Ives and co. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a little time in the EPL or Championship would get his timing up to speed. I’m still very high on Rico.

    Beasley – Off the pace, but give the guy a break. Should be rounding into form by the time the 2nd leg of the Barbados match is upon us.

    Dempsey – Looked tired. The guy needs a rest to get that explosiveness back.

    Pearce – Excellent going forward. Got repeatedly abused on defense. My advice: switch to midfield.

    Cherundolo – Looked tired. Gerrard is a tough assignment for any back, though.

    Onyewu – Strong in the air, ok on the ground. Terry lost him for the opener, and didn’t step up in time on the second, but otherwise he’s better than this time last year.

    Bocanegra – Played well, IMO. Cut out some dangerous passes.

    Howard – No chance on Terry’s header.

    Subs

    Hejduk – Looked fresh and pacy. His crossing was spotty, but that’s expected. Still in the picture.

    Lewis – Still a decent winger. His left foot will be useful during qualifying.

    Edu – Tackles were behind like Rico, and he’s not nearly as good on the ball. Would love for him to move to CB.

    Adu – Showed flashes of how dangerous he could become. Needs club playing time ASAP!

    Jaqua – No time.

  155. BK says:

    EJ needs to watch the tape of the game and see how England’s forwards pressed our backs in the first half. You wanna know why we had no service? B/c they were pressuring our defensive mids and backs non-stop. There was a hustle and determination from them that we NEVER see in US team. I think some of these players have begun to think it’s their right to put on a US team and the pride isn’t there. EJ is a perfect example.

  156. collegeball???? says:

    You all saw the national program in a nut shell yesterday!

    They all played as they are in college! Remember Bob Bradley is a college coach! Coached as a youth by college coaches, played in college for college coaches, coached in college and coached college players in the MLS. Our whole system in made up of college coaches from youth to national level. Until we get rid of all this “college ball” in our system it will never change. We need professional coaches and it starts at the top but the powers to be will never let it happen, they will never let someone from the outside in their inner circle (it’s all about the cash$$$). Has anyone besides myself watch a youth national team play U15 to U23. Big, fast, fit, physical with little skill and that’s the feeder program for our national team. When these so called youth national players grow up in this system they can’t compete with international teams. Sorry but it’s the truth, so how can you expect our national players to compete with teams like England. One more thing, can Coach Bradley sub his kid out of the game when he’s playing like S____!

  157. Clayton says:

    I don’t understand Bradley’s inability to sever ties with the older generation who didn’t even produce when they were in their prime, like Wolff and Lewis. These games are perfect opportunities to give the likes of Cooper, Adu, and Altidore some top tier competition. Sometimes throwing young guys into the fire is the best way to get the best out of them (i.e. Altidore against Mexico). If I see Josh Wolff, Danny Califf, or Eddie Lewis in the roster again, I’ll be extremely disappointed.

    Exceptions would be Mastroeni and Friedel, guys who are older but have shown to be able to handle top tier talent.

  158. colman1860 says:

    Just an FYI (for some of the commenters): 1860 Munich released Josh Wolff a couple weeks ago – hes clubless right now. I suppose we may see him pop up somewhere in the MLS – but after last nights performance, we may not.

  159. Rashid says:

    On the US v England:

    I learned a few things…

    -Gooch is a good defender; I forgive him for the slip ups against Terry and Gerrard. He had a solid game.

    -Heath Pearce wasn’t afraid to get down the flank and push forward.

    -Michael Bradley needs to be more dominant in the mid-field, playing in the EPL (if he gets there) should help that. I miss Benny in the middle, I know that he’s jaded and immature but he can hold the ball.

    -EJ and Wolff are nowhere near Brian McBride in terms of class and Wolff seemed lost 98% of the game. Can we bribe Giuseppe Rossi to play for the US instead of Italy? At least he would bring a finishing touch to the team and a pedicure having played for Villarreal and Man U.

    -HAHAHAHAHA to all the MLS haters that thought moving to America would cause Golden-Balls to forget how to play. He had a SOLID first half

    -DeMarcus Beasley to me was the only offensive threat in the game and if his free kicks and corner kicks were a little rusty but he hasn’t really played in like 3 months… He and Gooch have to be revered as the best Internationals overseas at the moment.

    -I miss Lando as much as anyone but we Galaxy fans will tell you Donovan by himself doesn’t always make the difference.

    That’s all from me. I think that I should watch the game again to see if I spot anything else.

  160. nyfutballfan says:

    I think you are wrong. This definatly was about the players that were missing. The players who are going to need to be key players in two years at the World Cup need to be getting this experience. That is what these games are for. IF you are going to play someone like JoSh Wolff and you are not gooing to play someone like JOzy Altidore then don’t go to play the game.

  161. Eugene says:

    I don’t think this was about young American players in transition at all.

    What it was about was the best English players in the EPL playing a bunch of guys who either couldn’t cut it in the EPL or were on relegation quality squads (and I’m including Fulham in that bunch, even though they just escaped). Having Landon or Claudio in there wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference because those two guys are not substantially better in the big picture than the guys who were playing.

    Perhaps Brian McBride would have made a difference, but without a midfield, no one would have gotten him the ball anyway.

    2 things frustrated me the most:

    1. Why on Earth did Bob Bradley choose such a conservative formation and conservative gameplan when the game is in England’s home and we all knew we were playing a group of much better players? Why not just come out with an aggressive 3-5-2 and attack England relentlessly from the first minute? There’s not much downside for us because we were expected to lose, so we should just have gone for the upside. England was the team that had to be concerned with losing because it would have completely embarrased them in front of their media. I knew from the first minute when I saw that we were using the KC Wizards 2006 attack tandem (that was useless for KC in 2006), Dempsey at right wing instead of forward, and no playmaker in the midfield (or anywhere else for that matter) that we were in trouble.

    2. Ricardo Clark was called up. Frankly, after his attack on Carlos Ruiz last season, I started paying closer attention to Rico, who I had generally thought of as a good player. I don’t have it in front of me, but in his MLS games this season, he has drawn a yellow card very frequently and lately in almost every game. The guy is a very sloppy midfielder who gives away silly fouls and can’t play well enough to take the ball away cleanly on a tackle. Prior to giving up the Beckham free kick, which he SHOULD KNOW is a serious danger at that position on the field, Rico had made a series of poor foul decisions that had been close calls. On top of that, his performances in MLS have been poor and his club team is leaking goals badly and has generally sucked. Why would this guy get called up ahead of other American defensive midfielders in MLS or other leagues that have been playing better? Whose teams have been defending better and generally performing better? Stinks of favoritism to me. I don’t think the guy deserved the call up, let alone the start.

  162. Matt says:

    There’s not much more to add, especially since I think Ives’ assessment is exactly right: We don’t have target men. We don’t have target men. We don’t have target men.

    What can we do? I really think the only option is to completely stop playing our existing forwards. Altidore should be playing every game, and we need to find him a partner. There is no value in playing Johnson, Ching, or anyone else up top (I won’t write Wolff’s name there since he’s so pathetic) who’s been in the system for years. They haven’t been able to score in the past, and they’re not going to change that all of a sudden in the next two years.

    Play the future now since the present can’t play.

    Lastly, I simply don’t understand those of you who think Beasley played well. Every single free kick he took was atrocious. When was the last time Beasley truly mattered in a game? He’s not *horrible,* I can’t think of any game over the past few years where his performance positively affected the team in a way that other players are unable to contribute. Yes, the guy has some speed, but it just never seems to matter.

  163. Eugene says:

    Here is what I would have played, just for the hell of it and just to attack from the very first minute. Why not just be bold and go for broke? We know England and teams of their caliber are head and shoulders above us. Might as well make the game interesting!

    ———Johnson—–Dempsey——–

    Beasley———————Lewis—

    ———–Adu——Bradley———

    —————-Edu—————–

    ——Boca—–Gooch—-DeMerit—–

    —————Howard—————

    Honestly, I would have preferred that Bradley also call in Altidore in place of Johnson (or recall McBride), and a proper right wing like Zizzo or Jeremiah White.

    Michael Bradley has to play farther forward, he has shown definitively that given the mandate, he can score.

  164. JB says:

    Who didn’t perform well? Bob Bradley, this was the worst coaching game of his tenure as U.S. coach. Wolff over Adu? seriously.

  165. Chris UCF says:

    I agree with everyone who says the midfield killed us.

    That being said, Clark simply can’t cut it. He’s had enough chances on this level and he has failed to impress even a single time. Feilhaber really is a step up as crazy as it sounds. His touch and distribution are much better then Clark’s.

    Adu was outstanding last night for the time he was in, he was rarely dispossed and made smart decisions almost every time. His experience in Benfica has been invaluable to him. The time has come for him to become a fixture on the National team.

    This experience as a whole at Wembley as a whole has been tremendous for the team. Cheers to a much better showing and a victory against Spain!

  166. brizzle says:

    Josh Wolff?

    Eddie Johnson?

    These guys started?

    No wonder the game was an embarrassment. These guys are has-beens from 2 World Cups back…

  167. P says:

    I was at Wembley last night and we in the US section never had anything to get behind for the entire game. We didn’t expect to win but US fans do expect a more spirited effort. The team normally comes through on this. I don’t know what happened last night…Anyways, the Wembley atmosphere was great, just unfortunate we didn’t play a game that was more representative of our progress. The English think we are jokes after that performance…Good thing is the no one in the generally English public seems to care about the game last night.

  168. William says:

    It looked very 1994 for the US side out there last night. All that was missing was Balboa making square passes in the back that get picked off by poaching forwards.

  169. Eugene says:

    This was probably the easiest friendly of the three. Spain is going to be more challenging and Argentina is going to top it off.

    I don’t understand why Bob Bradley keeps calling on the same guys. ESPN was talking about Bradley’s last two wins in Europe, but frankly Poland is a joke and the Switzerland game was won by infusing the best players from our U-20s.

    I guess the good thing is that if we keep scheduling challenging friendlies, Bradley will get exposed for his lack of tactics and his tenure will end sooner.

  170. Scott says:

    I thought Eddie Lewis was the best player on the field for the US by far. He gave effort the entire time he was out there, which is more than can be said for most of the team. Eddie Johnson had a good game, and if he had put away his one good opportunity allowed to him by the rest of the team’s poor play everybody would be lavishing praises upon him. Heath Pearce is a terrible defender, and Boca needs to be replaced. He is too slow and lumbering. Orozco and Spector need to get looks. I see them both as better options than Boca and Pearce at either CB or LB.

  171. Scott says:

    And Bradley was complete garbage. He was asking for a yellow every time he put a challenge in, and he couldn’t make a five yard pass to save his life.

  172. Thom says:

    If they play with that line up with that lack of execution vs. Spain the score line will 5 – nil

    Other then Wolff the greatest failure to me was Bradley followed by Dolo. Both were horrible and their touches on the ball were amatuarish. I was shocked at how bad they played. Everyone else was about what one would expect on an off night all around.

    Beasley gets a pass because he is clearly playing himself back into shape but his set piece kicks were awful.

    Note to the U.S. squad- play like your life depends on it these next friendly’s or risk setting back perceptions of America’s progress back 10 years.

  173. eric says:

    My last thoughts on this game, and then I need to let it go, is that it secured obnoxious derision from the Brits, and we have no way to reverse it until the World Cup, at least.

    I’m dreading it, between friends and business contacts, I talk soccer with 3 of them, and they will be merciless and condescending.

  174. FK PIRIN says:

    It seems like people are making too much of this loss.

    It is better for our national team’s development to play against better teams, than to play against weak teams.

    We played a team with the talent to be the best in the World. England have been underachieving for a long time, and Capello has the ability to get the most out of the English players.

    We lost one game against solid opposition on their home soil, and we didn’t get blown out. Our players learned where they need to be to beat a top team; so did our coaches. This will only help develop our national team.

    Bradley seems like a great coach. He has been mixing up the talent level we face, so that we have challenges, but so that we can also beat some teams and keep confidence. He has been bringing in young guys towards the end of matches, so that they are in a position to play without feeling the responsiblity of the loss. That’s great for their confidence.

    It doesn’t seem like a good idea to throw Adu out onto the pitch early because you could break his confidence before he is ready for the challenge.

    Also this was a friendly and Bradley put it to good use to see what he has in Europe to help in qualifying.

    The US has been making steady progress in football, but they can’t be expected to challenge for the World Cup. We don’t have a strong enough domestic league or domestic interest to have our best athletes play football.

    Given our resources I think our teams are very strong and that US Soccer has done a good job. Our consistency in qualifying for the World Cup is a testament to the strength of our coaching and national association. Even in a relatively weak group like Concacaf, it is still impressive to have qualified for every WC since 1990.

    I think people are being too pessimistic and unfair about Bob Bradley and the US National Team.

    Also I would like to see more games without Landon Donovan because we have to learn to play well without him. You can’t count on one player and we have already seen that disaster at the 2006 WC were Donovan played adequately, but certainly didn’t live up to the expectation that made Bruce Arena cast him as the lynchpin of the team.

    Eddie Johnson still has time to develop and is probably our best forward option in Europe except of course for Clint Dempsey, so I think you keep calling him in when you play friendlies in Europe.

  175. yo says:

    Hey Ives, Your Buddy Bob Sucks.

    Need to hire a real world class coach

  176. jpc says:

    I don’t think we need to overreact by this loss… Anyone who actually thought we were gonna go to Wembley and win this game is insane, especially missing our best forward (altidore), our best attacking player(donovan) and maybe our best defensive player (Spector)… A few observations however.

    – in my opinion, the problem at defensive midfield is and has been Michael Bradley for the past few games (Why Ricardo Clark has been taking all the blame from US fans I have no idea). I like him as a player, I’m just not sure where he fits right now, b/c his ability in distributing out of midfield are severely lacking, there are so many careless turnovers from him

    – I think Jonothan Spector is the best choice at defensive midfield. He is very intelligent and skilled w/ the ball, and he is also a very intelligent defender. Plus, he has experience playing there w/ West Ham

    – I know people moan about eddie lewis being included in the team all the time, me included, but when he gets into a game for a short period of time he is extremely effective running at defenders and putting the ball in dangerous spots, I wish he were about 8 years younger

    – Dempsey was effective, and Beasely was very good, what a different look w/ him out there, I wasn’t his biggest supporter, but I didn’t know what we had until it was gone for a while, and I’m not getting off his bandwagon again

    – Heath Pearce and Dolo were also good, was I the only one who thought Pearce was gonna get a goal on one of those shots from outside

    – Overall defensively, DUMB, I think Beasely was right when he said we gave them too much respect, our players where marking them like it was a basketball game, and every ball they played through The Defense happened b/c the marking was too aggressive, and they just slipped back door on the defenders (See Gerrards goal). It looked easy not b/c England is that good, but b/c our defenders just mentally are not that bright, particularly our central defenders (and it pains me to say this b/c i like both of them)

    – The lineup I would like to see for Spain

    ———–Altidore————

    Beasely–Adu—Donovan–Dempsey

    ———–Spector————-

    Pearce–Bocanegra–Oneywu–Dolo

    ————Howard————-

    OR

    -Playing W/out a forward Per Se, but allowing Adu and/or Donovan to release up field when either the other team is pressing so as to stretch the field and release pressure, or when they feel in the most dangerous position to make runs. It may or may not sound radical, but the fact is that we do not have a target forward capable of holding a ball long enough for the midfield to catch up, and instead we get flustered in midfield and play ridiculously pointless balls to a forward who has no shot at retaining possession (not necessarily the forwards fault, just a fact)

    Beasely–Adu—Donovan–Altidore

    ——-Spector–Dempsey———

    Pearce–Boca–Oneywu–Cherundolo

    ————-Howard————-

    THOUGHTS?

  177. K. Bowen says:

    I don’t think anyone played especially well. Some played better than others. The days of the respectable loss are over. Or at least they need to be.

  178. robh54 says:

    Lots of thoughtful comments. I share the feeling of national embarrassment. What most impressed me was England’s speed of play–reading predictable US passes and closing down quickly to limit options on the ball and the ability to make the series of one-touch passes. Superior awareness of space and time and the technical ability to use them efficiently. I totally disagree that the problem is athletic ability. My son recently played with a regional ODP team in Spain against an FC Barcelona youth team (that won last year’s Nike World Cup in their age group). If anything, the US boys were faster and just as athletic, but the difference in technical ability was telling. Our youth development program has been way behind and that really has to do with the historical lack of professional opportunities in the US. In other parts of the world, player development is a symbiotic relationship between vast money-making enterprises (professional clubs) and the athletic aspirations of young boys. US Soccer recognizes this and is trying to address it through their new Development Academy initiative, but really it’s the development of the professional game here that will eventually upgrade our player pool. No easy fix and probably a long wait, but we are going in the right direction.

  179. Justin says:

    You know what, I don’t blame Bob Bradley. I like the guy and what he has brought to the table. I feel no matter what team of Americans he would’ve fielded we still would’ve lost. That midfield England fielded, premier.

    One knock I do have though is that we, the U.S. national team, need to start fielding players that are playing and producing in their respective leagues and stop giving players a spot because they have been around. I think that would yield the best results.

    To start, why not let Jimmy Conrad play as a wide back? He scores beautiful goals on set pieces and plays solid defense. And Twellman, hear me out now, has produced the most goals over since 2002 than other other American striker has in their league. I just think we need to get him more minutes with the national team when he is healthy; it seems like the only chances he is given is when he is recovering from an injury or is ailing from an injury. I think he is a great aerial threat, maybe shades of McBride. After all, he is much better of an option than Wolff or Eddie Johnson.

    Those ar just a couple things that run across my mind……here is a tweaked roster from a couple days ago that I would love to see.

    GK: Howard

    D: Conrad, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Pearce

    M: Adu, Donovan, Bradley, Beasley

    F: Dempsey, Twellman

    Bench:

    GK: Guzan

    D: Spector, Cherundolo, Demerit

    M: Lewis, Edu, Mastroeni

    F: Altidore, Cooper

  180. Wahid azam says:

    It was ugly.

    There is really no other way to describe the U.S. team’s 2-0 loss to England. The Americans were thoroughly dominated and had few players really step up to the challenge presented by the star-studded English lineup.

    Posted by: gerrad azam | June 02, 2008 at 03:34 PM

  181. gerrad azam says:

    It was ugly.

    There is really no other way to describe the U.S. team’s 2-0 loss to England. The Americans were thoroughly dominated and had few players really step up to the challenge presented by the star-studded English lineup.

    Wednesday’s loss wasn’t about what Americans were missing, not about Jozy Altidore being left home or Freddy Adu being left out of the starting lineup. It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is, a young group still in transition after the retirements of several key figures.

    The U.S. team had two glaring weaknesses, the lack of a central midfield presence capable of keeping possession under pressure (ala Claudio Reyna) and no target forward capable of presenting problems to the defense (ala Brian McBride). These are issues that have been concealed for the most part in the past two years, but issues that couldn’t be ignored against a skillful and experienced England squad.

    So who do I think played well? Other than Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce, I think the rest of the U.S. performances were pretty forgettable. Eddie Johnson had some decent touches but after hearing some good reviews of his performance I can’t help but wonder if he has set the bar so low in his recent national team showings that any sort of decent play could be seen as better than it actually was. As for Freddy Adu, yes, he showed something, but the game was already decided by then and there was definitely a foot-off-the-pedal feel to the game at that point.

    I’ll re-watch this morning to see if anyone else stands out (I know, unlikely).

    Who didn’t play well? Yes, it’s a long list but I’ll point to Josh Wolff and Ricardo Clark as two who stood out. Wolff looked completely lost while Clark had a hand in both of England goal’s. The first via a clumsy foul in an area of the field that is David Beckham free kick territory, the second when he completely lost himself in midfield and left Gareth Barry all alone to deliver a pin-point pass to Steven Gerrard (to be fair, Barry had just come into the match and neither Clark or Bradley picks up Barry). I like Clark as a player but he has not done himself any favors with his recent national team performances.

    I’ll get more into the carnage later today. For now I want to hear from you, the SBI readers, and find out what your biggest complaints are about the England match and what you think were the high points and low points.

    Share your thoughts below

  182. gerrad azam says:

    The game was hard to watch…one of the more frustrating USMNT games I have ever tuned into. People should lay off EJ. He didn’t play terrible this game. It has got to be hard when Josh Wolf i your other starting forward. Good lord. Josh FREAKING Wolf !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!