USA vs. Spain: Matchday Commentary

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Good afternoon folks. The USA-Spain match will be kicking off shortly and today should offer us a very good look at whether the Americans can rebound from last week’s awful showing against England.

The USA lineup for today’s match should make USA fans happy because we will finally get to see Freddy Adu start against a top opponent. Check out the starting lineup after the jump.

I will be doing a live commentary during the match so if you want to follow along, and don’t care about having the result spoiled for the tape-delayed showing of the match, then be sure to stay here for the latest on the match. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.

Stay here for all pre-game discussions and for the match itself.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL- Spain 1, USA 0. Spain didn’t overrun the Americans like England did, but never looked too troubled, although Freddy Adu certainly was a handful in the first half.

What I liked today: Adu, Bocanegra, Howard, Eddie Lewis, Bradley in the first half.

What I didn’t like today: Eddie Johnson, Bradley in the second half, Eddie Johnson’s first touch, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson’s shot, Josh Wolff’s cameo, Eddie Johnson’s headers.

Share your thoughts on the match below.

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90th minute- Johnson get a nice ball into the area, but then sends a shot on goal so week that any goalkeeper older than 10 in the world would have saved it.

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90th minute- Bradley botches a header on a nice ball in from Hejduk. Bradley’s been playing on fumes for about 20 minutes. Not sure why he’s still out there.

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88th minute- "Eddie Johnson has had a good couple of games here." I wouldn’t go that far.

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87th minute- Mastroeni for Dempsey.

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82nd minute- Michael Bradley looked tired on the goal. Can’t imagine we’ll see Bradley against Argentina after his second length performance in a week.

SAVE GuZAN on a hard shot from Senna.

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80th minute- Fabregas sent the ball to Xavi, who touched it beautifully into space, raced around Onyewu, fought off a challenge from Hejduk and beat Guzan easily. Nice run.

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79th minute- GOAL SPAIN. WOW. What a great dribble, run and shot by Xavi. Beautiful. Spain 1, USA 0.

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78th minute- Josh Wolff is in for Dempsey. Let’s see if he can make up for that England debacle.

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77th minute- Michael Bradley draws a yellow after grabbing Xavi after turning the ball over. Bad turnover by Bradley and not a great backpass from Johnson.

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75th minute- Xavi with a hard shot that Guzan smothers easily.

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74th minute- The Americans look like they’re holding on for the tie. Pretty disappointing right now and Spain looks like it will find a goal any minute.

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71st minute- Spain again but the centering pass is cleared out for a corner by Onyewu.

I wonder if we’ll see any more USA subs. The team could use some fresh legs.

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70th minute- Spain attacks again but Beasley tracks back to break up a great chance from Cazorla.

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68th minute- Spain with a great passing sequence but Senna’s shot hits the right post. USA got lucky there.

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66th minute- I tell you what. Heath Pearce has held up well and I think he has made the left back spot his for the forseeable future.

Spain corner leads to a nice clash in the air. Onyewu won out as you might expect.

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64th minute- Looks like Bradley drew a yellow card for a clash with Fabregas. Didn’t see what happened there.

And here comes Spain.

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62nd minute- Bradley with a bad foul, sets up a dangerous Spain free kick.

Xavi hits the free kick off the crossbar. WOW. What a kick.

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61st minute- Eddie Johnson is a turnover machine.

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59th minute- Freddy Adu is missed right now. No ideas in the attack. Looking for Eddie Johnson isn’t working.

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56th minute- Xavi with a beautiful pass, that helps lead to a cross, but nothing for Spain. Spain corner is cleared. Spain’s passing is just so sharp, well, except for the final passes.

Dempsey just got crunched by Marco Senna. Wow, a two-footed scissor lunge. That’s a red card in a regular game.

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53rd minute- Fernando Navarro in for Capdevilla.

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52nd minute- Beasley working from the right, looks good making a run forward. With Eddie Lewis looking so good, I think Beasley on the right flank is a real possibility down the road.

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49th minute- No word yet on whether Adu came out because of an injury or just a halftime sub.

Johnson comes close with a great ball from Lewis in but can’t direct his header on goal.

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47th minute- Torres and Alonso out. Guiza and Senna in.

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46th minute- Guzan in for Howard, Hejduk for Cherundolo and Beasley for Adu.

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HALFTIME- Bob Bradley should definitely insert Beasley for Johnson, with Dempsey moving up top. That would certainly be an interesting lineup, and arguably the best lineup the U.S. team can field without Landon Donovan.

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HALFTIME- Changed that need to be made at halftime? I’m not sure there are any to make. As disappointing as Johnson is, he’s still probably better than the other forward options, though I think we’ll see Jaqua late.

Michael Bradley has had a better first half today than he had against England. Edu looks a bit timid out there, which definitely isn’t like the Edu we’re used to seeing.

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HALFTIME- And we’re scoreless at the half. Spain with tons of possession, but couldn’t break through for the goal. The USA just can’t hold on to the ball, except for Freddy Adu, who looked very good every time he’s had the ball. Eddie Johnson is just not good enough. He made one nice run onto a perfectly-timed Adu pass but scuffed the shot.

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44th minute- Freddy Adu draws a foul. The free kick does nothing and here comes Spain again.

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42nd minute- Spain is passing well but the USA back-line has broken up every final pass.

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39th minute- Too many turnovers from the USA. Spain is pressing but the Americans block every shot.

Eddie Johnson runs onto a long Adu pass and has a shot saved by Casillas. Johnson with a weak shot after a nice run.

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36th minute- Okay, there’s no other way to say it but Eddie Johnson’s first touch is tragic.

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34th minute- Eddie Lewis takes the free kick but sends it just a bit high from about 30.

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32nd minute- Dempsey with a nice little run before being tackled by Xavi Alonso.

Maurice Edu has yet to tackle anybody. He needs to get involved.

Puyol stepped on Adu’s foot on a challenge. Adu looks okay. Dangerous free kick.

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31st minute- Bocanegra has had his hands full with Torres, but has held up well.

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30th minute- Americans doing a better job today of handling the attack, but Spain is a bit calmer in attack than England, which pressured far more.

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27th minute- Spain’s midfield is so patient on the ball. Whenever Spain wants, it can play keep away.

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24th minute- SAVE Howard! Torres with his trademark turn and shoot but Howard smothers it.

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23rd minute- Nice sequence from the Americans, with Adu slipping a through ball to Johnson, but Johnson is offside. Great sequence though.

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22nd minute- Freddy Adu makes some magic happen in the box, sends a dangerous ball in front of goal but nobody is there. He’s the only American player showing anything in the attack.

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20th minute- The USA gets forward in the attack and Johnson tries to take on a defender, but is stopped, not before he tries yet another bad dive attempt.

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19th minute- The USA midfield needs to start holding some possession. It’s tough against this loaded attack.

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18th minute- Spain is dominating possession. I know, not a shock, but the USA defense is holding up and looking better than vs. England.

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16th minute- Tim Howard loses a ball in the area but taps it clear of danger.

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15th minute- Adu tries to force the attack, but loses the ball. He’s definitely being aggressive.

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13th minute- Those of you wondering where David Villa is, he picked up an ankle injury in training.

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11th minute- Michael Bradley with a nice tackle on Fernando Torres in the penalty area to break up a threat. Corner kick for Spain.

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10th minute- Howard with a good save on a dangerous header from Silva off a perfect Sergio Ramos cross. Bocanegra caught watching on that one.

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9th minute- Bocanegra with a floating free kick that leads to a collision between Dempsey and Iker Casillas. Dempsey is called for the foul.

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7th minute- Spain fans start to whistle after their back-line passes it around a bit.

Tim Howard runs onto a ball in the area to break up the threat.

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6th minute- Freddy Adu with a nice dribble run at Spain that draws some cheers from the crowd, but doesn’t get anywhere and drops a pass off.

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5th minute- Spain with a nice sequence of passes but can’t find the final one, the USA looks for the counter but Eddie Johnson loses it.

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3rd minute- Edu looking for Adu turns the ball over with a bad pass.

Spain’s back four is so good on the ball.

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2nd minute- Spain knocking it around a bit, almost a good touch on to Torres but the USA handles it.

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1st minute- And we’re off.

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PRE-GAME- And the ESPN360 has kicked in and we’re ready to go.

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PRE-GAME- So it’s 4:06 and my ESPN360 isn’t working. This should be fun.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the Spain lineup:

Silva———-Torres——–Cazorla

———–Xavi—–Fabregas——–

—————Alonso—————-

Capdevila——————–Ramos

——Marchena—-Puyol———

—————Casillas—————

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PRE-GAME- Here is the USA lineup:

——————–Johnson——————–

Lewis—————-Adu—————Dempsey

————–Bradley—-Edu——————-

Pearce—Bocanegra—Onyewu—-Cherundolo

——————-Howard———————-

Beasley won’t be making the start. No word on whether it’s an injury or Bradley wanting to rest him and have him for the Argentina match on Sunday.

What do you think of the lineup?

This entry was posted in International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

291 Responses to USA vs. Spain: Matchday Commentary

  1. mitchell says:

    USMNT Blog starting XI:

    Howard

    Cherundolo Onyewu Bocanegra Pearce

    Edu Bradley

    Dempsey Lewis

    Johnson Adu

  2. Eric515 says:

    I am definitely okay with this lineup! This is a positive sign that Bradley realized he needed to make adjustments after that embarassment in England!

  3. Andy says:

    It’s about time Freddy got the start. He should be starting every game for USA.

  4. beckster says:

    Good on Lewis but think Pablo should be in holding mid

  5. DL says:

    What?? No Josh Wolff??! What is Bradley thinking?

  6. Danny says:

    Adu right behind Johnson could be very, very nice. He needs to be playing that central attacking/playmaker mid.

  7. Coach says:

    What time is kickoff? (for real, not the tape delay)

  8. eric says:

    No Way!!! That’s about best case scenario with this roster, hooray for Double B, using this to actually test something new, not roll out the same old.

    And no, I don’t count Lewis in there, somebody has to hit the freekicks, plus Beas isn’t totally back yet.

    I’m sickened by ESPN2 showing it delayed. Maybe they were thinking they’d get a bigger audience after 5pm east coast, but come on, show it live on Classic. No 360 for me either with my provider. I’m torn if I’m going to check the MBM, I hate spoilage but I don’t think I’m going to be able to function knowing we’re playing Spain!

  9. brett says:

    you guys seem to expect too much of Freddy… starting every game would be insane with this short of time span… he played 20 min in england and starts here… probably subbed into the argie game…. if he started all 3 games he’d be worn down before the end of the spain game… to short of time frames to constantly be starting everyone

    the fact that EJ is starting again tells me he definately wont be starting against the Argies….

  10. Geoff says:

    anyone know where to stream this game from?

  11. Dominghosa says:

    looks like it starts in 40 minutes, coach

  12. brett says:

    eric- ESPN360 is on the internet…. if you have a highspeed connection (assuming you do otherwise you wouldnt be a frequent poster) then you can watch it at ESPN360.com

  13. nicholas s. says:

    Anyone have a good way to listen/watch online? On a mac, so no sopcasting or anything…

  14. brett says:

    Geoff- >.< ESPN360.com

  15. Coach says:

    Thanks, Dominghosa, hopefully not too many folks are around the office, lol

  16. Dave Bonzagni says:

    positive line-up for what we’re working with.

    I have to wonder what EJ is being told by the coaches.

    I would like to hear something along these lines:

    “EJ if you do not run your ass off every second you are on the field, you will not step on the field for the USA again.”

  17. should be beasley at left mid and mastro instead of edu, at least to start. but ok, fine by me.

  18. DL says:

    Gotta feel bad for DeMerit not getting the nod.

  19. brett says:

    Freddie Footballer- with beasley coming off an injury there is no reason to force him back into the swing of things…. let him rest for Argentina…

    Mastro isnt on b/c he’d go out there and get a yellow in the first 5 min…. i never liked his style of play and still dont see how he possibly made the roster

  20. DCM says:

    Brett

    ESPN360.com only works if your internet service provider is one of the few who actually pays ESPN for the right to carry its content. There are alot (and I mean alot) of us whose ISP does not have access to ESPN360, like Comcast in my case.

    Coach

    Match actually starts at 4:00 EDT.

  21. Dave B says:

    I’m conflicted on Mastro. In 2002, he looked like Claudio’s heir apparent but w/ more bite.

    In 2006, he got one of the stupidest red cards a US player has ever gotten and in probably the biggest game of his career.

    2 years later, in MLS he seems old and slow to me, I don’t really know what to make of him for the Nats anymore…

  22. brett says:

    DCM- had no idea…. this is news to me…

  23. Rocco says:

    I’m debating to watch on delay @ 5:30 or follow along on SBI.

    I like the lineup top to bottom.

    Edu is probably almost as strong as Pablo just doesn’t have the experience, yet.

    DMB needs to rest for Argie, plus Lewis played well last game and in the EPL this season.

    The middle 3 are going to be the same as the Olympics this summer. This might tell us how we’ll do.

    Let’s see what Adu does. I just hope that he doesn’t try to A Du too much. This might show how he has matured as a player. Let the game come to you. Save the one on ones for the right situations, play some D when you have to, etc.

  24. Trex says:

    With a win, the US can earn 588 points towards their FIFA world rankings!!! I spent a good 15 minutes researching that at work, can you tell I’m psyched up?

  25. brett says:

    DCM- perhaps you should get AT&T… thats what my work has and it seems to be a provider…

  26. Rocco says:

    Brett,

    Mastro = poor man’s Gattuso.

    You need a guy like him. He’s definitely not attactive to watch at times, but he does the dirty work and guys on the other team have to know where he is at all times or they will get chopped. There is something to that.

  27. Pat the Red Bulls Fan says:

    F Espn. Tape delay? Is this the 3rd world? Way to grow interest in American’s seeing one of the best teams in the world.

    I’m sure when they play the delay, they will flash the score on the crawl. I’ll put money it.

  28. Bill says:

    Trex — just go ahead and leave the office, you’re useless to them at this point :)

  29. EDB says:

    i like the changes and all the youth.. its exactly what most people where clamouring for against England

  30. Rocco says:

    I bet a 5:30 tape delay gets better ratings than a 4:00 live game. I bet half the people won’t even know, except if they flash the score.

  31. HomeyBoehme says:

    It is official. I hate ESPN. F tape delays. F ESPN Classic. WTF…you show f-in’ strong man competitions and bass fishing and poker and you show Sportscenter like 37 times during a 24 hour period…ugh…

    @Trex – lol! I do not even want to know how long it took you to figure that out, but thanks for the info!

  32. jose says:

    It’s possible someone will rebroadcast the game at link to justin.tv. I watched the US England game there live last week.

  33. Rocco says:

    10 guys under 30, 5 under 25.

  34. Collin says:

    Count me in for following along with the match commentary. I’m at work and my DVR is on the fritz…

    Excited to see how the Adu/Johnson experiment turns out! I hope Pearce can stay with Joaquin or Navas or whomever Spain puts out there on the right flank these days. I’m definitely cheering for the Bradley/Edu tandem. I think everyone would love to see them as the future of our central midfield (my apologies to Benny Feilhaber).

  35. jose says:

    Sorry…lets try this again…

    http://www.justin.tv

  36. eric says:

    Brett – yeah, it’s a weird thing, I guess ESPN is trying to get some kind of cable station model for the web. Time Warner is who we have, who doesn’t spring for the content.

    Kind of interesting to watch the Pablo fans come out of the closet. I think he’s done, he’s been nothing but bad tackles since the WC, and Col will regret for years keeping him instead of Beckerman.

  37. hamburglar says:

    if espn360 won’t work for you, try:

    link to justin.tv

    http://www.goooltv.com

  38. Ken says:

    Even a bad attitude, out of shape Feilhaber has to be better than Ricardo Clark…

  39. jose says:

    Sorry…lets try this again…

    http://www.justin.tv

  40. nate says:

    Mastro = shopping cart-pushing homeless man’s Gattuso.

  41. Jonathan says:

    why do you have to feel bad for demerit DL??? I appreciate Demerit’s rags to riches sotry, and the promotion campaign with watford… but I know he had some issues last year and I really don’t think just merely athletic wise he’s any where near some of our other center backs. He will be very servicable during qualifiying, just not in a high profile game such as Spain… My goodness I just thought about torres and villa again… gosh I hope freddy comes to play today!!!

  42. Ted says:

    http://www.goooltv.com normally has good quality broadcasts.

    As for espn360.com, if any of you are in college, then any computer on a campus network should have access. I’m watching it at my desk in our campus newsroom.

    Same goes for military internet networks.

  43. jackaroo says:

    jonathan, you are an idiot, demerit is probably the best athlete, on that backline

  44. DCM says:

    Brett,

    I wish I had access to AT&T but its not offered in my neighborhood yet (if ever) and I would love to have AT&T over Comcast. I do not get ESPNU, ESPN Classic, Big Ten Network &… while paying more $.

  45. Chris says:

    Any word on who Spain will be starting?

  46. Ken says:

    No pretty picture but:

    Iker Casillas

    Carlos Marchena

    Carles Puyol

    Joan Capdevila

    Sergio Ramos

    Xavi

    Xabi Alonso

    Cesc Fábregas

    Santi Cazorla

    David Silva

    Fernando Torres

  47. DL says:

    I just feel like DeMerit has been jerked around by Bradley a bit over the last few years. Would have liked to see him get a few more opportunities, and this game seems like a perfect shot for him to get a full 90 at center back.

    Also, I fear that Gooch and Boca are far too slow to keep up with Torres and Villa, and Demerit would bring some speed and scrappiness to the defense. Regardless, this lineup is a huge improvement over England, and I shouldn’t be complaining.

  48. Robert says:

    good lineup, not great, but good. Can’t wait to see Cooper, Rogers and Jozy next week.

  49. brett says:

    Rocco- while that may be accurate, id rather take Edu in the midfield over Pablo… we dont need a liablity… we dont need needless free-kicks 25-30 yrds out… Edu is more technical and just as forceful….

    in HS terms, Pablo would be the HS Footballer who couldnt cut it hitting people and decided to try soccer… Edu is the aggressive and talented athlete that plays soccer… Brute vs Talent, ill take talent any day

  50. eric says:

    Sweet! Thanks for links, y’all!

  51. our bench is not very deep at all, other than mastro, hejduk, demerit, beaz and our keepers. if wolff comes in, then we know we’re in some deep trouble.

  52. brett says:

    DCM- eeek gad no big ten network??? i had no idea anyone with the letters DC would be a fan of the Big Ten….

    do ya live in the boonies?? reasoning being AT&T seems like itd be offered all over the place what with being AT&T n’ all

  53. Ted says:

    I would like to see DeMerit / Gooch personally, but for some reason, Boca is our captain…

  54. brett says:

    Freddie Footballer- doubt wolff would come in…. if in need of a forward, Beaz would come in and Dempsey would push up…

  55. Ted says:

    Freddie Footballer- doubt wolff would come in…. if in need of a forward, Beaz would come in and Dempsey would push up…

    Posted by: brett | June 04, 2008 at 04:01 PM

    That would be the logical thing, so we can pretty much count it out.

  56. eric says:

    DL – I’d be more sympathetic to DeMerit if he hadn’t lost his place so thoroughly in the Watford line up. I guess you could say the same about Bocca, but at least he was still on an EPL team.

  57. eric says:

    Horrah, Kick Off!

    What, no twin D-Mids for Spain?!?

  58. Dominghosa says:

    Adu paying dividends already. In a tight space, he keeps possession, doing a 360 on the ball to make space and passes it off to an open player.

  59. Ryan says:

    game is on justin.tv

  60. Dominghosa says:

    BlackMouth slides to break up a pass to Torres at the top of the box.

    US keeping some possession at midfield. But have yet to break into the final third.

  61. HomeyBoehme says:

    Adu is going to answer any questions Bradley has about starting every game for the USMNT tonight. Adu should start EVERY GAME.

  62. DCM says:

    Brett,

    DCM are my initials and I live in the heart of Indy.

    AT&T’s U-Verse is what I’m referring to and it is available in very limited areas of only a handful of cities at this time.

  63. HomeyBoehme says:

    And we need to stop trying to fast break every time we get the ball back. We only have 1 forward.

  64. Dominghosa says:

    Spain’s one-touch passing in the final third keeps US on its heels. But blackmotuh once again slides in to break it up. Just head’s up, Bradley is starting.

  65. Collin says:

    Do i detect a hint of arrogance in Spain’s opening play? Hopefully we can capitalize.

  66. Dominghosa says:

    Adu again shows some moves at the top of the box to get away from pressure. passes it back out. Nothing has yet to come out of US attack, still early of course.

  67. eric says:

    I’m glad to be watching, but can’t tell at all who is actually on the ball from the wide angle. It looks like red bugs v. white bugs. Come on white bugs!!!

  68. HomeyBoehme says:

    OMG I thought that was a goal.

  69. Dominghosa says:

    Howard reaches up to save a header.

  70. eric says:

    EJ draws a foul on Xavi Alonso, and the US nearaly make trouble on the free kick.

  71. eric says:

    Timmah with another quick save, this time a header.

  72. Dominghosa says:

    Spain causing trouble ear the box. A pass inside to Torres is broken up by a Bradley slide tackle. Spain’s corner kick is headed way high for a goal kick.

  73. Dominghosa says:

    14th min — Spain again controlling possession and pace, a nice through pass out wide to Capdevilla looked dangerous but the Spanish internatonal gets a bad touch and it goes out for a goal kick.

  74. eric says:

    Spain just hanging out with the ball for about 3 straight minutes, finally attack in the box and Bradley makes a great stop. Nothing doing on the corner.

  75. HomeyBoehme says:

    anybody else thinking we look a lot better than we did vs. England? can’t control the midfield, but we still look better, I think.

  76. Kevin says:

    I will go out on a limb and predict a 47-0 win fro Spain. This lineup is EMBARRASSING! We have so much more good, young talent than this in MLS!!! Where’s Kenny Cooper? Where’s Jozy? Where’s Stuart Holden? Where’s Robbie Rogers? And did Bradley just give up on Hejduk? He looked solid against England.

    And hell, I’d take Santino Quaranta over Eddie Johnson. He has shown me NOTHING on the National team, or with Fulham. At least Quaranta tries his hardest every time (though he needs to work on controlling his frustration).

  77. Dominghosa says:

    15th min — Bradley deos well again to slide and break up Spain’s possession. Adu et s the ball runs with it, does a stepover to get past one defender but his last touch is too long and goes straight to another defender. At least he’s being aggressive and showing he can create.

  78. HomeyBoehme says:

    oh Howard…trying to pull a David James there.

  79. Dominghosa says:

    16th min. — US backline almost makes a mess out of things but is steered clear. Spain with a free kick into the box. Foul on Spain.

    17th min — Spain again on the attack, a cross is cleared out wide.

  80. Dominghosa says:

    18th min — scary moments for US defense. Spain knocking it around. US looks to get lcky to break things up. Spain offside on another through ball into the box.

  81. HomeyBoehme says:

    Spain starting to turn the screws. Short quick passes are dismantling our back line. Thankfully Ricardo Clark is not playing or Spain would have already had 4 free kicks in dangerous areas.

  82. eric says:

    Howard with a nervous moment, spills a cross that was headed back post, and has to scramble to get it away.

    Spain’s backline are mesmerizing, they just knock it around until the field looks right to attack, then Spain comes down toward the American goal.

  83. Dominghosa says:

    20th mn. — Johnson recieves a ball off a Spain turnover, runs at three defenders but his attempt is blocked out as the ball goes right to Adu, US passes it around. Back then forward then back. Still has possession.

  84. HomeyBoehme says:

    is it just me or does it seem that whenever we get a break, the ball somehow ends up getting passed all the way back to our defenders without even a half chance on goal?

  85. HomeyBoehme says:

    OOOOOOOOOOH! Two great chances.

  86. emilio says:

    In Spain they will be criticizing spain saying they arent playing well.

  87. Dominghosa says:

    22nd in. — US with a great chance! Adu beats a defeder in the box, his pass off gets blocked and heading for the endline. Adu tracks it down and his frst touch is a low cross goes diagnolly untouched through the box. If someone was there, it would have been a goal. An attempt is blocked and goes to a corner. Corner results in a foul on US.

    23rd min. — A through pass to Johnson, wide open! Johnson is called offside though.

  88. Collin says:

    I like this lineup. Nice job, Daddy Bradley.

  89. Dominghosa says:

    24th min. — Howard saves a low shot. Whew.

  90. Collin says:

    Howard really came to play, as usual.

  91. eric says:

    Nice stuff from Adu!!! The kid can really do it at this level. Nice interior passing

  92. Dominghosa says:

    25th min — US on the attack again. Gets some passing outside the box. But a shot is blocked and right to Casillas.

  93. eric says:

    Ye Gods! So close!

  94. Alejandro Ruiz says:

    I’m liking the Adu kid, where did they find him?

  95. HomeyBoehme says:

    Freddy Adu proving his worth yet again. Keeping possession, running at defenders, causing problems for that back line. Thank you Mr. Bradley for starting him!

  96. David says:

    good to see Adu in there, he brings something new to the US’s attacking strategy, something they’ve been lacking

  97. Ives says:

    Guys, can we keep the comments to reaction to the play and not another running commentary. It’s a bit redundant.

  98. eric says:

    Even the little things, Adu makes the right pass up top to keep possession, which EJ ends up losing.

  99. Dominghosa says:

    30th min. — Bradley having a good match, breaking up another Spain possession. Adu helps keep it with a smart pass to Edu. Spain gains control but US gets it back.

  100. Dominghosa says:

    Pearce is seeing a lot of the ball. But he can’t do much with it. ot sure what blackmouth was thinking sending a long all forward when US was keeping god possession.

  101. eric says:

    Spain getting possession are like that Simpson’s episode, where soccer comes to Springfield.

    “Centerback to fullback, to the centerback, Holds it, Holds it, Holds it”

    All I need are some overexcited Mexican announcers.

    (Then of course they attack, but still)

  102. Dominghosa says:

    Adu runs at Puyol, almost beats him before getting knocked down. US witha dangerous FK now just 4 yards out for top of the box.

  103. Dominghosa says:

    Lewis’ attempt goes jsut high and just wide.

  104. Dominghosa says:

    Much, much better from the USMT attack.

  105. HomeyBoehme says:

    Not a bad free kick…that said, we could have at least tried to have some people run into the box to grab a possible rebound? I really like the formation/personnel changes Bradley made for this game.

  106. Dominghosa says:

    39th min — US again on attack but Pearce’s through ball forward goes too long and too wide. Goal kick.

  107. HomeyBoehme says:

    I like the way Spain plays out of the back. USMNT just seems to hoof it out of there and hope for the best.

  108. Dominghosa says:

    39th — Spain’s attempts to shoot form outside the box and passes toward the box are blocked repeatedly.

    40th min. — EJ takes it dow, runs onto a ball! Shoots! Save!

  109. Dominghosa says:

    Following corner goes nowhere, foul (or was it offside?) on US.

  110. matt says:

    great ball from adu to johnson over the top. it’s so obvious that adu’s our most dangerous offensive threat. maybe landon, but he’s hurt

  111. HomeyBoehme says:

    Not the best shot by Johnson, though he looks twice as good as he did against London. He really needs that goal though.

  112. Rob C says:

    Entering the stage of the game just before halftime. We have a bad habit of conceding goals here. Let’s at least hold and get to halftime 0-0, if not nick one before the break!

  113. Dominghosa says:

    Angle for EJ was too tight to expect a goal. But that would have been crazy if it got through Iker.

  114. eric says:

    Well, EJ doesn’t fall over himself latching on to a long ball and getting off a shot near post. But he just isn’t the guy you want to see getting that, I’d love to see this line up with Donovan up top.

    Let’s go US!

  115. eric says:

    It’s kinda weird to watch an actual, old school black and white pattern soccer ball, not one of them euro-swirly balls

  116. Dominghosa says:

    It’s funny that any time a Black US player touches the ball, the Spanish commentator always say it’s Adu when half the time it turns out to be M. Edu or EJ.

  117. David says:

    can’t wait to see adu and altidore starting together

  118. Dominghosa says:

    Spain taking down Adu now any chance it gets. Wow.

  119. Aguinaga says:

    I think EJ making that backpass from 20 yards away from his own goal almost giving Spain a thru to goal sums up his performance. Jozy can’t grow up fast enough, this dude is horrible!

  120. Eric406 says:

    US defense looks pretty solid, letting little through. Adu is performing well and is making effective runs.

  121. eric says:

    My feed went down on justin.tv, anyone got a working non-ESPN360 that works?

  122. Sven says:

    Finally! Let Freddy Adu play.

  123. Dominghosa says:

    Half. 0-0. US looks 100 times better than it did vs. England. Though Spain had its chances, Howard and the backline has done well to stop it. Spain didn’t have dangerous possession in the last 10 minutes of the half.

    Offensively for the US, B. Bradley is kicking himself for all the other time he did not start Adu, who has shown brilliance throughout the first half. Here’s hoping he has enough in him to continue that in the second half.

    EJ has done OK but just needs to do better with his first touch and more oomph at his shots on goal.

    M. Bradley has done well defensively and in keeping possession but hasn’t shown much going forward.

    Dempsey and Edu are the invisibles right now and need to show much, much more in the second half.

    Pearce has seen a lot of the ball in the offensive half, but seems lost on what to do with it.

  124. matt says:

    eddie johnson really is terrible. LEARN IN SPAIN IN A HURRY JOZY

  125. mewho says:

    @ eric

    Just click reconnect. That worked when I did it…

  126. josh says:

    holy sh!t, great half! edu and adu kick it off right with some confident touches, and then – poof! – these guys remember that they’re the best players in this country. that belief was sorely lacking at wembley. have to admit that bradley looks pretty good today too (though he almost gifted torres a goal with a dicey back pass)…

  127. eric says:

    I’d like to see Beas come in on the right, slide Clint up top, and pull EJ. We will miss his speed, but EJ’s had enough chances to get it done.

  128. Bobo says:

    Do you guys honestly think that Spain is trying to pressure the US? They look like they’re half-asleep out there. They’re making the US look way better than they actually are. But this is to be expected when the Euro is so close and David Villa and Sergio Garcia just got injured this morning.

  129. Dominghosa says:

    just fyi, Jacqua did not dress. Nor did Cervi.

  130. YankatOxford says:

    Impressive half from the U.S. Of course Spain seem a bit tentative, but Adu has linked well with the midfield and both Bradley and Edu seem to be on the same page. Dempsey has not been involved enough, while Pearce has looked solid again. The back 4 were very consistent throughout the half.

  131. RD says:

    I’m starting to think we just need to get our best offensive players on the field, regardless of formation. Jozy, Dempsey, Adu, Donovan, Beasley and Bradley all need to be out there.

  132. Juan-John says:

    Any way we could just CLONE Freddy…???

  133. eric says:

    Bobo – yeah, I think Spain are definitely trying to score a goal. They’re not playing with the most urgency, but they’re trying to win.

  134. AC says:

    NO MORE EDDIE JOHNSON! NO MORE EDDIE JOHNSON! NO MORE EDDIE JOHNSON!….Edu is good but its all still potential…Bradley should put in the veteran Mastroeni to go along with the younger Bradley…They need a calming presence in midfield

  135. hamburglar says:

    Freddy Adu is looking the golden boy today. Now, why did he let old man Eddie Lewis take that free kick? Freddy should have taken that one Olympic-qually-style!

    Eddie Johnson makes me bang my head against the wall.

  136. Dominghosa says:

    Guzan in as is Beasley.

  137. matt says:

    ac: might as well keep edu out there. he’s holding his own, they’re playing a team with more talent in 3-4 dudes then we have on our whole team. he needs to learn to play in this situations. plus i like the kid and i like watching play so theres always that.

  138. David says:

    no adu = no attacking chances

  139. eric says:

    For ADU?!?

  140. AC says:

    I think Bob Bradley is a good coach. But I wonder if he’s starting to become a little timid in making decisions now. We all know the USA doesn’t have a deep foward pool at all. But Eddie Johnson, who hasn’t even played much?!?!….What about Brian Ching or Cooper?….At least they’ve been on the field more and can hold the ball better

  141. smokeminside says:

    why didn’t Eddie keep going down the sideline….there was no one in front of him!

  142. David says:

    WOW, EJ mises

  143. Mike says:

    AFTER THAT MISS, GET EJ OFF THE FIELD!

  144. eric says:

    Like the way Gooch followed that up, even if it was offsides

  145. Collin says:

    How much longer can our backline hold?

  146. smokeminside says:

    Was that a card? I don’t see how it wasn’t but I might have missed it….

  147. Dominghosa says:

    Sigh. There really ins’t a reason why Adu shouldn’t be left in there. Unless, of course, an injury. but I highly doubt he suffered one,

    My computer is going real slow, missed that EJ miss. Darn. It would have given me more reason to cringe at the sight of him in futbol shoes.

  148. eric says:

    I’m still shaken by Freddy getting yanked, I don’t think I can concentrate on this until I hear if he’s ok.

    But if he is ok, why the hook???

  149. HomeyBoehme says:

    Boy I thought that was a good tackle

  150. HomeyBoehme says:

    nevermind…just saw the replay…why would you make that challenge in that part of the field. arrgh!

  151. eric says:

    I’m so totally going to watch the ESPN2 broadcast of the 1st half again in 6 mins.

    Agh! I thought that MB challenge was good. Dangerrous free kick…

  152. smokeminside says:

    me, too

  153. HomeyBoehme says:

    whew…thank you post.

  154. matt says:

    wow xavi.

  155. Neal says:

    If Eddie Johnson ever starts another match for the US, Bob Bradley should be fired immediately. I am dead serious. He doesnt deserve that place at all.

  156. hamburglar says:

    Dempsey in Adu’s role = not doing as well.

    ———— EJ ———

    Lewis——Dempsey——-Beez

    —–Edu———-MB——-

    Pearce—————–Hejduk

    ——–Boca—-Gooch——–

    ————Guzan———–

  157. eric says:

    Off the bar, Guzan had it covered if it was lower, I’d be curious if he could summon an iron palm against that bullet.

    BTW, does BB get a cut of El Guzano’s transfer fee when it happens? I say yes.

  158. matt says:

    i dont understand what bradley’s thinking w/ the adu thing. shouldnt this be the sort of trial by fire that our young guys need? what was the point of these games if we’re gonna trot eddie johnson and eddie lewis out there? really…is it these guys getting time out there cause of the time they put in? that’s real nice and all but it doesn’t do jack for the betterment of this team in the long or short run. all i can surmise from that is he’s some sort of idiot.

  159. Dominghosa says:

    Truly disappointing if Dempsey can’t cut it in the playmaking role that Adu was doing pretty well in.

    There goes that idea. Oh well. Deuce isn’t too effective on the right either.

    Where to play him? I guess up top is his role from now on.

  160. David says:

    Bradley needs to stop with those dangerous tackles

  161. HomeyBoehme says:

    love watching Gooch run people over…unless it results in a penalty at the world cup of course.

  162. Collin says:

    We are truly showing some grit in this game. Now if we could just turn that into a blue-collar goal of some kind…

  163. smokeminside says:

    whew!

  164. eric says:

    Wow, Spain go all Arsenal on us, make a ton of pretty passes around the goal but kinda lose sight of scoring. Decent job of the defense to not lose focus and markers.

  165. matt says:

    yea lets ruin spain’s euro hopes with crap tackles!

  166. Dominghosa says:

    Let’s see, if Dempsey has to be at forward….

    that leaves…

    Altidore up top with Dempsey…Adu in the hole…Donovan on the right…Beas on the left…looks good until you see that M. Bradley will have to be relegated to the defensive mid role to protect Adu’s back.

  167. josh says:

    ARGH

  168. matt says:

    nooooo! josh wolf for eddie lewis. wolf sucks

  169. eric says:

    Oh jeezus, BB let the Wolff out.

  170. Dominghosa says:

    Can you sub Adu back in? I mean, it’s only a friendly right?

  171. josh says:

    @ Dominghosa

    I’d rather be overly offensive and use m. bradley at dmid than have useless and redundant players on the field (edu, johnson, lewis, feilhaber, etc.)

  172. HomeyBoehme says:

    goodness what a weak foul to call

  173. Neal says:

    I wonder if Everton still likes what they see in bradley?

  174. David says:

    NO!!! Josh Wolff came in

  175. HomeyBoehme says:

    not a good sign when your lone forward is 15 yards inside your own half defending

  176. Neal says:

    You have to give Lewis some credit though. The guy is still a decent player. He did well tonight

  177. Dominghosa says:

    I somewhat agree Josh. I would like to see that lineup though with Pearce, DeMerit/blackmouth, Gooch, and Dolo in front of Howard.

    Too bad we’re probably never going to see it.

  178. eric says:

    Guzan with another save!

    1st half repeating now, going to enjoy the Freddy show again

  179. royce says:

    today’s effort is much better… i think we now see why johnson has been so terrible recently; because the service and creative midfield behind him wasn’t so creative…

    we’ve messed up the second half of this game by taking adu off the field

  180. Dominghosa says:

    tape delay is now 8 mins. through on espn2. and about 70 minutes old.

  181. eric says:

    Dominghosa – where did the ‘blackmouth’ name come from for Bocca?

  182. HomeyBoehme says:

    Another great build up ruined by a poor first touch.

  183. hamburglar says:

    Useless in 2nd half: EJ, Lewis (other than 1 outstanding cross), Dempsey, Beasley, Bradley, … wait no point in listing the wholse squad…

    OMFG! Wolff?! I just shot myself in the head.

  184. RYC says:

    I know he’s injured right now, but why doesn’t Spector get more looks at left back. He did play there for ManU, not that sucessfully granted. Also, I’ll admit he might be a little lacking in pace, but it seems like he’s still an impovement over Pearce or Bornstein and the others who’ve attempted to plug this hole.

    Also, I’d really like to never again hear the name Hejduk in the MNT context. He’s not horrible, but he’s close. What good does having loads of pace and a great engine do for you if you can’t serve in a decent ball to save your life and you really don’t defend that well.

  185. Yossarian says:

    Godawful first touch by Bradley. He has a long way to go before he can be considered a world class player

  186. eric says:

    There it is.

  187. HomeyBoehme says:

    Damn…no surprise there. What a goal. 4 defenders and a keeper beaten there.

  188. David says:

    horrible 2nd half, all the US is doing is turning the ball over, defending, and no offense what so ever

  189. Collin says:

    That’s called getting torched, my friends.

  190. Dominghosa says:

    dang, xavi. he never does that for barca.

  191. eric says:

    No real blame for the defense or Guzan, that was such a good run.

  192. Dominghosa says:

    boca = mouth, negra = black.

  193. AC says:

    I’m just curious, does Eddie Johnson know how to dribble at defenders anymore? Does he know how to hold the ball? And does he know how to try and make a play at least once instead of a lazy back pass?

  194. Neal says:

    Goal SPain. 1-0.

    F***

    WHY IS ADU OFF? WHY IS EDDIE ON?

    YOU ARE KIDDING ME BRADLEY!

  195. eric says:

    ok, it definitely works, but i feel dirty saying it…

  196. Your Sister says:

    You get Adu out and leave Johnson in and this is what you get.

  197. hamburglar says:

    Bradley has looked crap. Some good hustle to cover back a few times, but not much helping control or attack and some terrible terrible challenges.

  198. Dominghosa says:

    maybe we should call gooch, “God fights for me” (translation of Oguchialu) or maybe just GFFM

  199. Neal says:

    Does anyone is US shirt have any self-belief? Why must we play timid negative-football? Nothing to lose in this friendly, so we might as well attack and try and equalize, but I think we will continue to kick around. How are these tactics suppose to benefit our team development?

  200. AC says:

    I’m wondering, does Bob Bradley plan to get some good experience for this team or simply to help European teams as a practice squad? Why players like Wolff and Eddie Johnson?…This rediculous playing to a tie isn’t going to work against these top-notch European squads….A team as good as Spain will eventually break you down as they’ve done here with Xavi’s goal

  201. eric says:

    Pablo in now… whatever. I’m closing that out and watching 1st half

  202. Neal says:

    Mastro on. Lets see him take out a forward

  203. Dominghosa says:

    At least B. Bradley can now see the vast difference between a half with Adu and a half without Adu in the same match. I guess. What a waste.

  204. Frank says:

    Fire Eddie johnson!!!

  205. Dominghosa says:

    ouch. m. bradley must be tired, he couldn’t even get a good header off that service from hejduk. that was terrible.

  206. Yossarian says:

    We play bad football because we have bad players. The MLS player development model is crap. We have been incredibly fortunate to be able to have the limited success we have actually achieved. Against a skilled team that can possess the ball, we’re helpless because our touch is crap (outside of Adu, Altidore, Feilhaber, Donovan)

  207. smokeminside says:

    Aren’t the dynamo on somewhere?

  208. smokeminside says:

    Eddie KICK the f’ing ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  209. eric says:

    Hmmm, should MB sit out Arg? He hasn’t exactly made himself indispensible. He’s kind of done most of what I complain Rico Clark and Pablo do…

  210. SC says:

    FIRE BRADLEY IMMEDIATELY, IVES Start an Article on your Boy Daddy Bradley to get the Axe

  211. Dominghosa says:

    It’s over. Oh, the joys of the first half. When does the second half start? Anybody know?

  212. Neal says:

    Yet, Domingosha, you still sense that Bradley wont give Adu his chance again.

    I want to see what Ives thinks. IMO, you cannot defend Bradley’s tactics for the past two matches. The qulaity of teams we played and our ineptitude at forward positions should not excuse him. I just hope we gained something from all this.

  213. David says:

    what a waste of a header by bradley

  214. JH says:

    Maybe this is a big overreaction to the last two weeks of play, but qualification for 2010 is going to be a loooooooooooooong and difficult road given the weak play of late.

  215. eric says:

    Dominghosa – I sure hope BB gets that lesson, not just that Adu is ready, but that we need him. Even if you argue just on possession of the ball, he’s way better than almost everyone else. He makes good passes, usually the smart one, and nicely dribbles out of trouble (and rarely into it).

  216. Dominghosa says:

    that is an overreaction. c’mon. england and a slightly disinterested spain squad is still much better competition than anyone i concacaf outside of mexico. ridiculous.

  217. Neal says:

    If Johnson cant even finish that easy headed goal he was served on a plate, then he does not even deserve to wear the US shirt for a long time.

  218. Dominghosa says:

    And that’s ridiculous with an “i.” Not sure what language that word is spelled with an “e” after the letter”r.”

  219. eric says:

    that’s when it’s diculous again, and our (strikers have been diculess, again)

  220. David Berger says:

    Eddie Johnson….ugh, sick of seeing him play.

  221. Dominghosa says:

    On the bright side….Altidore is going to Spain! Wahoo!

    See ya later, folks.

  222. NOLA soccer fan says:

    As a US soccer fan…man im worried about the future of this team…

    it seems like every game, some part of the team is bad…the defense, midfield, or strikers. If Bob Bradley doesnt get things together…then we have a good chance of missing out of WC ’10. Mexico can only get better under Sven, and Canada and Honduras are on their way up…and for those of you who say those Canada and Honduras arent better than us…all i can say is any given day.

  223. Neal says:

    IVES! I need you to please tell me how Bradley continues to justify Johnson even coming into USMNT camp, let alone starting?! It is mind-boggling. You, or Jen Chang, of Goff have to ask him next time you interview him. We cannot as supporters continue to watch the team trot EJ out there, as if he is suddenly going to transform from a concrete-booted, backwards passing, weak shooting, timid forward to Drogba. Any other country that cares about soccer would be screaming for Bob to bench him, yet we just accept this. Please explain to me what I am missing?

  224. josh says:

    I wish Bradley would wake-up and realize that Eddie Johnson is never going to be that special of a striker. He has a horrible touch, and is so slow to set-up a shot. This works in the MLS and when playing against Barbados, where the game play is slow and the defensive talent is okay at best, but against a talented European side…forget it. Also, I can’t stand Josh Wolff he is so overrated, I can’t remember the last time he even scored a goal, and isn’t that what strikers are paid to do.

    Forget about Johnson and Wolff, time to bring on Altidore and the other young strikers and get them going.

    I’m glad that Freddy Adu was looking good, I think he will turn into a very solid player, he just needed some more playing time at a better level. The US needs some creative playing in the midfield.

  225. kahlva says:

    I swear to god Eddie Johnson must be an absolute BEAST in practice. Seriously. He must score millions of goals in scrimages. Fake out the entire defensive line. Run like the wind and never tire.

    Because WHY else would he still be starting and staying in games??

    Dear lord, please let Landon Donovan never get hurt again. Please let Altidore continue to develop into the player we think he’s going to be.

  226. josh says:

    i think it was a pretty good display up until the subs (so the first half was good). since none of the subs were tactical, more along the lines of getting players some time, i don’t see how you can blame b. bradley. of course we played worse after the subs. we brought on a worse keeper and a less skillful right back and put in a guy with a surgically repaired acl who’s only played 3 games in the last 6 months for one of our best performers in the first half. then we made our first and only tactical sub and replaced a guy who starts in the prem for a part time bundesliga2 player for the sake of fresh legs. to be fair to dempsey, he was playing on the wing in the first half and chasing through much of the second half – so he was at least as gassed as lewis but had to run until the end.

  227. Neal says:

    I know that EJ is not all to blame, we have issues at every position, but EJ must go for awhile, develop in the EPL.

    How will we make the WC now?

  228. royce says:

    i’m going to make a lot of people sick right now, but i think eddie johnson has played really well these last two games. clearly, he should have scored twice tonight, but that being said he’s easily been the most dangerous player on the field outside of adu. i think he’s improving.

    also, i think this game shows us that while donovan is still a lock for the US, i’m not sure that beasley and dempsey are anymore, at least in this formation. adu, edu, and bradley are much better for this team than i’d ever thought…

    as for backs, i’m still clueless as to why bocanegra is playing. he almost gave away a clear goal in the first half and looked lost for at least the first 25 minutes. i thought heath pearce was exceptional tonight especially with a few long balls out the back freeing EJ. while ‘dolo was in the background in the first half, his absence was surely felt in the second as hejduk was getting abused. i also thought that gooch showed us why he is a champions league level defender tonight, the goal notwithstanding.

  229. eric says:

    What a waste. I really wanted to see if Adu could create some magic and steal one from Spain. With Landon in a goalscoring state of mind, I’d love to see him running onto Freddy Adu passes.

    I’d say the starting backline held their own again, and still deserve to be called our first choice defense.

    Eddie Lewis can still bring it, but we really need at least one of Rogers, Alvarez, and Holden to take it to the next level.

    There needs to be some way that MB can make runs at the goal off the ball, that’s how he does it in Holland, making that 3rd run. On the first half Adu cut back thru the box, he was just standing outside the box as the ball rolled past Dempsey, he’s got to get into those positions.

  230. Kevin says:

    Bradley must go. Why would you take out Adu? Why wouldn’t you bring some real strikers, not out-of-contract players and Eddie Johnson? Why can’t he make any good tactical decisions in general?

    We should have jumped on Sven Goran Eriikson and left Mexico with Bob Bradley.

    Next thing you know, USSF will hire Hugo Sanchez…

  231. combo breaker karma says:

    if i was eddie johnson and i read ives review, it would totally crush what little confidence i had left.

    i dont think he bad, but he isnt the soltution up top for the U.S.

  232. Neal says:

    Dear Royce….I am speechless. By your standard, I should be playing forward for the USMNT – I can pass bacdkwards like EJ all day

  233. Neal says:

    I guess I will leave now….I feel sick.

  234. hamburglar says:

    Someone needs to youTube Eddie Johnson’s “highlights” from this match for BB to watch. With some telo-strater action to show where EJ is when he receives a ball and where the ball ends up after he “traps” it, dribbles backwards 15 yards, and “passes” it to a back. Then splice in his “shots” on goal for a good laugh. Seriously, who wouldn’t watch this video a million times?

  235. AC says:

    I agree with you about Dempsey being what you didn’t like. He hasn’t been the same since the 2nd half of the Premier League season. His aggressiveness seems to be in neutral. Eddie Johnson shouldn’t even be on this team. And neither should Josh Wolff. It seems Bradley wants to save his younger players for the Olympics and just tried to fill out the team with bodies. Johnson and Wolff just aren’t cutting it out anymore.

    But I was impressed with Adu as well. I can’t wait to see him team up in the Olympics with Altidore and Rogers. Adu’s attacking awareness is there and its a shame much of the rest of the team didn’t share that same mentality.

  236. josh says:

    This will offend some, but the more and more I watch the MNT, the more and more I come to the conclusion that MLS stars are not that great. Sorry EJ ripped through the MLS the last few years, and he could hardly make the reserves in the EPL. Freddy Adu looked capable of keeping up with the speed and talent of Spain, but I think this comes from his exposure to higher level football in Portugal. If you are an American with any talent, leave the US, play in a second tier division if you must…the MLS is not going to create the US into a competitive side with Spain or any other top notch soccer power.

  237. eric says:

    Anyone got Player of the Game nominations?

    I’ll take Ramos, played great all day, nice passing out of the back, and a terror up the right.

  238. Bobo says:

    I dare anyone to argue that Spain was actually trying in the first half. They played so tentatively that they made Edu and Bradley look like Gattuso and Makelele. But then they wised up in the second half and started shooting on target at will. Did I mention Spain should have also gotten a penalty kick as well? This game should have been 4 – 0 on the basis of the second half alone. But Guiza is no Villa and Xavi ended up being the hero. Good game from Spain, but they shouldn’t have allowed the US such freedom in the first half. Puyol and Marchena (or was it Albiol?) should have been more vigilant.

  239. RYC says:

    I’m beginning to have serious doubts about B. Bradley. What’s the logic of giving Wolff all this playing time in these friendlies? He’s a known quantity and he ain’t that great, best days are behind him. Yes he might come in handy at some point in qualifying but why not give an opportunity to someone younger who needs experience. Playing in these games is not going to make Wolff better, but it might for someone younger.

  240. eric says:

    josh – saying EJ is proof MLS is weak is a lame, tired argument. Sometimes he’d get hot and score in bunches, but he never had any consistency, was always a suspect star once he started showing up at practice wearing diamonds. That last year plus, all the smart fans were screaming for MLS to sell high on the GAM.

  241. NOLA soccer fan says:

    Freddy adu will be good. hes what 19. he’ll get playing time at Benfica.

    And yes EJ does deserve the blame he gets. In a 5-4-1..hes the main attacker. so he damn well better produce. at least a shot that doesnt go directly at the goalie.

    Bradley needs to move on to the next set of strikers because the ones he chose to play today proved that they just cant get it done.

  242. Freddy looked the most comfortable with the ball. They should be giving him more time with the senior squad.

  243. future says:

    pathetic……we should be scared about our future.

    we have taken a few steps backwards since our quarterfinal loss to germany in ’02 instead of pregressing.

    said it before, let ej develop on fulhams watch now, not the nats.

    ————-altidore————–

    ————–donovan——————

    beasely——–adu—————–dempsey

    —————bradley——————

    dolo——-gooch–boc———-????

    spector, demerit, pearce, felihaber, edu mastro, cooper and a few others on the bench

    -all of those who complain about felihaber, shut up u do not know soccer(he’s one of our most creative players and should be on our roster)

    - dempsey needs to step up or bob needs to take him off the field, he’s not the same player he once was bc he’s lost his edge

    - bob may need to go bc he has not once fielded a team that can be competative with europe’s premier teams and its scary to see him keep playing johnson and older players as well

  244. Javier says:

    did EJ hit on Mrs. SBI or something? you’ve been hating and piling on this guy forever…i think you’ve made your point.

    he is what he is, and we don’t really have many other options…might be time to start sharing the wealth and picking on guys that you protect, like i don’t know, maybe Claudio Reyna??

  245. kriz says:

    bradley sucks…ej played way better than him today

  246. josh says:

    i’ve got to say that m. bradley’s positioning has played a role in yet another goal. he was running around in circles when we broke down against england for gerrard’s goal and tonight he allowed xavi to turn and run straight at our back line. i think he should be practicing this stuff with the u-23′s or positioned farther away from our goal. of course, based on that attempt at a “header” at the end of tonight’s match, i’m not sure that the latter is really a good idea. he does some good things, sure, but he makes too many mistakes in the middle of the field (like the wretched first touch that led to the yellow) to be a starter for the national team at that position at this point in his career.

  247. Metzeng says:

    “What I didn’t like today: Eddie Johnson, Bradley in the second half, Eddie Johnson’s first touch, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson’s shot, Josh Wolff’s cameo, Eddie Johnson’s headers.”

    Ives, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think your criticism of EJ is over the top. Not saying you have to call him the best player on the field, but listing his name four times under “What I didn’t like” is simply out of proportion. Other writers rated his performance quite highly.

    link to goal.com

  248. Javier says:

    and who do you suggest, Josh?

    people want to pile on and run off different guys, but it doesn’t change the fact that there aren’t really better options…some of these guys are young, they have their weaknesses, but i’d rather give them time in games like this as opposed to guys like Mastroeni or Twellman.

  249. Mike Kurowski says:

    I’ve watched up to the 86th minute. Most of the team put in a solid performance. Clearly the guys are tired, but most of them battled hard. Credit to Bob Bradley, he recognized the problems and he did his best to change the lineup and tactics. But you can only lead a horse to water, the team must play confidently. I was very pleased with the performance, we only lost 1-0 to Spain. We fought the entire time. Everyone played weel except Edu. He watched too much. I liked Bradley’s performance, he just ran out of gas in the end. Our back line played like a wall. I appreciated Hedjuk jumping into tackles. he was really just trying to be aggressive. EJ did well enough. I’m extremely pleased with the turn around and the team should keep their heads up after this trip. These games are meant for learning. I only wish two things for next time. Everyone battles, everyone! We play with confidence! Take people on, it doesn’t matter if we lose the ball or the game. Those Spaniards carry themselves in such a confident way. So should we. Good luck Sunday guys. And Pierre, just let the guys rest. Come ON Men you only live once, fear no tomorrow, not your opponent or what others think. Don’t worry about the results, there’s a time and place for that down the road. Make your first goal to set up a fearless, tireless mentality.

  250. Javier says:

    metz, Ives has been doing this forever as i just posted…whether it’s an attempt at humor, or simply being unjust, it’s pretty clear Ives will take any opportunity to talk as poorly about EJ as he can.

  251. Mikebsiu says:

    Well Argentina vs Usa should be interesting, wonder how much the USA will lose by.

  252. VMan says:

    It’s incredible how a player in the middle of the field with the skill to pull the strings of the attack can elevate the play of everyone around him. I guess my question is who, other than Adu, has that kind of skill set? Landon never struck me as that kind of player. I thought maybe Dempsey had that in him, but he’s looked lost as of late, fatigue maybe. The US looked like a totally different team having that option (Adu) in the middle. There were less hopeful long passes along the sidelines, fewer long balls that bypassed the midfield. Gosh, it was refreshing. I hope Adu isn’t hurt that badly.

  253. Mike Kurowski says:

    BOBO – Spain was trying in the first half. they just weren’t good enough.

    ROYCE- i agree with you on EJ. Gooch did well. Don’t you think that Boca or Gooch, the central defenders, should have stepped on Xavi? I know Bradley gave up on that run, but JT or RIo Ferdinand would have stepped up and cleared the ball and Xavi if he dared

  254. DL says:

    Dempsey was so disappointing. As of a year ago, he was the most exciting US player on the field. Now, he is consistently invisible, lacks creativity, lacks defensive tenacity, and rarely starts an attack. The dude needs to get his act together. Other than that, I had low expectations about this game, so I’m not too worked up over a 1-0 loss.

  255. chris says:

    BOB BRADLEY NEEDS TO GO NOW

    1. We should never see or hear from josh wolf or frankie hejduk with the national team again they are part of a bygone era, we must look to the future for results and not to the past

    2. Adu needed to play the whole game

    3. Why not try different strikers like robbie rogers or kenny cooper

  256. Ives says:

    Javier, I think Eddie Johnson was terrible. That’s my opinion and I’m entitled to one just like anybody else. He has some tools, mainly his speed and some strength, but today his shooting, heading, touch, and passing were all awful.

    Is it promising that he put himself into some good positions? Yes, but he also got great service from Adu and Lewis on a pair of chances and just did nothing with them. AND, he’s supposed to be in position for that service. He’s the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1. That’s his role, to get to the service and FINISH.

    And Metzeng, am I supposed to question my opinion based on the rating of one writer I’ve never heard of? Like I said, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Maybe it is just me Javier. I might have to start a post and ask the readers what they think about Eddie Johnson.

  257. Thom says:

    EJ still stinks

    M. Bradley is in terrible form and should be benched. Maybe he isn’t all that?

    We need a manager with a vision

    Dempsey?? what the hell has happened to him

    Gooch is better anyone gives him credit for

    Boca was not Fulham problem. Baird and Hughes were.

    Wolff – can anyone rationally explain his presence?

    Edu looked solid.

    Beasley needs to take time off and get back to match touch and fitness.

    What does it say when Eddie Lewis is your best threat offensively?

    Why does Benficia not see what wee all see in Adu?

    Play an MLS allstar team Sunday so some new players get a look vs. a first rate team.

    Get a good european coach if you want to move up a level or be happy with just qualifying.

  258. jloome says:

    MLS will be second-rate for a long-time and so will the US, because the sport isn’t a passion yet; simple as that. Kids in spain are given footballs before they can walk, just like some US kids with our version of football. Adu is the best U.S. player because he was born in Ghana and was playing in the street at age 5. Altidore is an exception because he was accelerated to play with much older kids due to freakish physical development.

    Past that? Name a world class U.S. player that isn’t in goal. Honestly: Clint Dempsey? Bocanegra.

    This is why MLS isn’t as strong as we fans delude ourselves into thinking: it’s too young and has not yet managed to transfer the culture to the society that surrounds it. How can a league and nation expect to improve if it thinks it can find its best players from a college draft, post age 20, when kids in these other countries are being identified and singled out for training in their pre-teens?

    The good news is the process is organic. Even as the fifth- or sixth-rated TV sport, soccer will still inspire young kids here, and two decades from now with a huge population of young fans coming up to draw from, there’s no reason to think the U.S. won’t be competitive.

  259. Neal says:

    Thats it, Ives, dont back down from these EJ-sympathizers. Are they related to EJ or something? Anyone with any knowledge of soccer can see that EJ does not belong at the moment. What has he done to earn that shirt in the past 3 years? He is a forward-he is supposed to score. When was the last time he did that? Apparently, all he has to do is show up now and some of you and these alleged “other writers” think he had a good game. Let EJ develop at Fulham, not on our time. I dont care that we are low on options-if we have to, play beasley, LD, Dempsey up front. EJ is not working, and has not for a great period of time. He needs to earn his place.

    And did someone say Bob Bradley had a good game? Shocking…..what can you say?

  260. Javier says:

    Ives, come on, you’re better than that. At no point did I fault you for having an opinion, or even ask you to praise Eddie Johnson (nor do I think you should, he hasn’t been praiseworthy). In short, yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I don’t know why you go out of your way to express that, as if I disagree with the statement.

    It’s the extent to which you consistently go to bash the guy, that seems really unnecessary. It reached a childish point a long time ago. That’s all I’m pointing out, though really, you’re obviously entitled to continue to bash him as harshly as you’d like to as well.

    It just really sticks out when you incessantly ridicule some players like a small-minded fan, but not others who are equally worthy of that treatment, if it’s your preference to stoop to that level. I suppose you’ll take that to mean that players should NEVER BE CRITICIZED, so I’ll clarify that I just think there are ways to professionally criticize a player. In EJ’s case, you’re nowhere near that.

  261. papa bear says:

    why only one half for Adu? Unless he’s saving him to play the full 90 against Argentina. The kid has had little playing time for club this year and has been magic on the international level. I don’t know what Bradley is so afraid of.

    Is it because he’s actually attack minded and not another d-mid who’s first 5 thought processes are ‘boot ball long, boot ball out of bounds at the first opportunity, boot ball long, lose possession’?

    Oh and watching Spain and seeing the US youth internationals, it’s HIGH time Bradley get on the ball in terms of stressing a possession style of game. The U-20′s play it, the U-17′s REALLY play it, it’s time the senior team learn to hold onto the f’n ball and impose their will more or dump ‘em all and let the U-20′s take over and have a trial by fire.

  262. Neal says:

    You are contradiciting yourself, javier – so you are telling Ives that his opinion is his right, yet you say the extent of his opinion is too much. In other words, he cannot call out a player for a poor display throughout a game, even though this player’s performance may be deserving of it. I know Javier, why dont you start your own, “more professional” blog. Then you can softly critiscize some players and coaches, and then send them flowers and make them cookies to make them feel better.

  263. Ives says:

    Javier, my bad if I snapped at you a bit. I just don’t see how my criticism of Johnson is unwarranted. I really don’t. Yes, other players have bad games, but I can’t think of many players who are as consistently disappointing and who have been as ineffective and missed as many opportunities as Johnson has.

    And you say “I just think there are ways to professionally criticize a player.” I don’t see how my criticisms are unprofessional? Did I write “Eddie Johnson sucks” or something like that? I believe I offer explanatory criticisms even when I’m trying to be funny. And let’s face it, criticisms in a running commentary aren’t going to be the same as criticisms in a column, though the ones I have delivered have never crossed the line.

    When Eddie Johnson starts playing well I’ll stop criticizing him. If he keeps missing sitters, showing a terrible first touch and looking painfully ineffective, I am going to criticize him. Yes, I realize that for all my criticisms, he is still a better option than most, but that doesn’t make him any less worth of criticism for playing badly.

  264. Neal says:

    In reality, Javier, the person who should shoulder the blame is Bob Bradley. you can keep leading a consistently underperforming player to water (3 years running now), but you cant make him drink.

    I dont blame EJ for getting call ups he doesnt deserve. he scored 9 goals in 10 games back in 2004, and ever since, managers think he will suddenly become Pele. SO, maybe in one sense, you are right. ives should perhaps be asking more of Bradley.

  265. JustinV says:

    Just finished watching the game and B Bradley’s decision to let his son keep playing when he was obviously out of gas cost the US the game. Pablo should have been sent on around the 70th minute, but definitely after M Bradley picked up the yellow card with his “I’m exhausted” foul. I’m generally a fan of the kid and he had a strong 1st half, but his dad let him down in this instance. I know nothing about their relationship, but I wonder if there is a bit of a Great Santini thing going on there. “My son doesn’t quit!”

    I don’t know if B Bradley leaves any other player in a similar situation on the field for so long when obviously Pablo was available. The goal may not have completely been Mike’s fault, but he wasn’t marking Xavi and he got beat by the pass. A fresh Pablo probably has a better chance to break up that play.

    Otherwise I loved Adu and most of the team in the 1st half and was disappointed by B Bradley’s substitutions in the second.

  266. Gene says:

    Overall, U.S. played better than last week. Spanish goal was just a moment of individual brilliance. If Eddie Johnson could have scored on that header, we would have had a 1:1 tie, which would have been fitting. Lack of individual quality in front of the goal was the difference today.

    I liked Adu in the 1st half – he looks to be the best U.S. player on the ball and was passing very well.

    I also thought EJ played OKAY in the 1st half(alert CNN). He did have a pretty good run to beat Puyol in a foot race after a great pass from Adu. He still cannot shoot to save his life and he needs a good midfielder to get him the ball in a perfect position to make his runs.

    I did not think Spain played all that well – they did not learn the lesson from England and allowed U.S. too much time and space to set up.

    I also thought that Adu was injured b/c Spain put a few fairly rough tackles on him, which was b.s., considering this was a friendly. This goes totally against my nature on the field, but someone from the U.S. should have put a hard tackle on Puyol, so that he did not do that anymore.

  267. sushant rao says:

    I think we have to be realistic.

    Given the poor showing we had against England and the fact that we are trying out players to see who should play on the MNT, I was quite happy that we were competitive with Spain in the first half. The 2nd half (except for the missed EJ header) was a disaster (though missing that header should qualify as a disaster).

    We played much better in the first half against Spain than we did last week vs England. Some things are clear:

    Played Well

    - Adu, Pearce, Edu, Bradley, Lewis, Beasley, ‘dolo, Guzan, Howard, Boca, Gooch

    Would like to see more

    Dempsey, Edu, Bradley, Hjeduk

    Good luck with your Club

    EJ, Wolff

    Notice how much we are depending on our U23s and U20s? We really need some depth.

    The questions I have for BB are:

    - Why did you bring in Wolff instead of giving Jacqua a chance? Really, is Wolff so much better in practice than Jacqua?

    - When Boca had to stop in the 2nd half, why didn’t you bring in one of your subs like Califf/Demerit and give them a chance?

    - Mastro for Dempsey? Bradley was the one on fumes

    - Why didn’t you bring another attacking mid so you could have replaced Dempsey with them?

    I’m not too worried about the result because the first half was good (not great). I can live with the result.

    If you take our first half lineup and replace EJ with Landon, I think we would actually have scored a goal :-)

  268. papa bear says:

    @Posted by: DL | June 04, 2008 at 07:39 PM

    Couldn’t possibly agree with you more. I chalk it up to playing on a crap side in England. He is ‘learning’ to play long ball and plays for a team where he is playing not to lose more often than he is playing to win.

    It’s one aspect of the ‘any move abroad is a good move’ mentality. Playing for a garbage side will do nothing for you.

  269. Javier says:

    Thanks, but no thanks, Neal. I think you’re a little too small-minded for me to discuss much of anything with, but check both recent and old articles by Ives on this site, if you’re that passionate about defending SBI. You’ll find that while I’ve never sent him flowers, I have had absolutely no problem complimenting him on his insight and/or a strongly written piece.

    Anyway, I agree that EJ isn’t worthy of any praise. His last two games have been a slight improvement over what he’s done in his more recent starts, but it’s still nowhere near enough. What I maintain is that the criticism crosses a line where it comes off as incessant and just looking for excuses to pile on. It’s disappointing that he’s falling well short of expectations that fans and coaches have for him, but it doesn’t mean he’s been the worst player on the field. You either fail to capture that, or ignore it and criticize him as if he has been. Still, we can agree to disagree.

    What I do wonder is why no other player gets criticized nearly as much on this site. The most obvious candidate that seems to get ignored, like I mentioned earlier, is Claudio Reyna. Now THAT is a guy who has consistently disappointed fans and coaches, and maybe it’s just me, but he’s pretty much gotten a free pass from you. In fact, you usually take the opportunity to stress what few positives he has offered, in spite of the more plentiful, glaring negatives. Does he not have the potential to be impacting the team a lot more? Could Eddie Johnson not benefit from better players around him, the way Claudio Reyna might? Something worth thinking about, I think.

    That’s all. SBI Mafia can take a few deep breaths, and maybe even take Ives’ advice. We’re allowed to have different opinions.

  270. papa bear says:

    @Posted by: Ives | June 04, 2008 at 08:23 PM

    FWIW I think you could probably criticize EJ 100 times more harshly before you crossed any kind of line. To quote someone from the Red Card the last time the USMNT played, the guy has the first touch of a rapist. It’s unreal that at his age he hasn’t worked on that more.

    The levels of suck he achieves are truly shocking and remarkable in their own way.

  271. Javier says:

    Sorry Neal, missed your follow-up. Also a more open-minded attempt, so apologies for my last comment. I’ll bite on this one.

    I think Bob has done a lot more good than bad since he’s taken over. He’s done his best to get a look at everyone that could merit being in the player pool, and making decisions for himself. He’s also done a good job of working with MLS clubs, which is why we haven’t gotten to see players such as Kenny Cooper (who is far more deserving than EJ at the moment).

    The fact is that Johnson is still young enough to realize some/all of his potential, however doubtful that might be. What’s maddening about the situation, is that there aren’t better options to keep him away from the Nats for long periods of time. Wolff was truly awful vs England, and Jacqua is, well, Jacqua. I’d have loved to see Landon in EJ’s place tonight, but Donovan wasn’t available. Ching and Twellman have hit their ceiling already, and besides, they’re with their MLS clubs as well. I simply can’t fault Bradley for the lack of talent at forward available for these games, or in general.

    I actually thought this particular lineup was pretty good, and was disappointed to see Adu leave at the half (injury?). My only real issue with Bob tonight was leaving Bradley in the whole game when he was clearly gassed.

  272. andrew in tampa says:

    I’m with Javier on Ives’ criticism of EJ. Way over the top. Actually disappointing, bordering on personal..definitely not professional. Would have loved to see EJ finish those two chances especially on a night when the chances were few and far between…at the same time guys like Demsey brought nothing to the table and hasn’t done so for the last few games. As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to think that Clint shouldnt be an automatic starter. he looked listless on and off the ball. And BB should have taken off his son just after half time. MB has not delivered for the national side. Again, don’t think he should be an automatic selection. Positively loved what Adu brought to the game. The kid is ready for prime time.

  273. FK PIRIN says:

    EJ didn’t have a spectacular game, but he didn’t play that badly. Also isn’t he naturally left footed? On both of his shots he was forced to use his right. Obviously he needs to improve on that. Also yes his first touch wasn’t great, but he did have some good first touches. In addition he was playing against a strong defense pretty much on his own. I think it is important to recognize that many strikers might get no chances against Spain. He also showed that he can be dangerous with his speed. He also did create a couple of free kicks up top and had some decent hold up play. Of course he lost the ball a few times and made some bad passes. He flubbed some shots, but I thought he had a decent game and showed improvement.

    Maybe he deserves criticism, but I think we should also recognize when he plays better. He didn’t look offside by much on that goal, and he never really had a chance to shoot with his left. I don’t think that he should be singled out as playing poorly in this game. He had more of an impact than say Dempsey, but I didn’t see nearly as much criticism of Dempsey.

    The US team held Spain to one goal at home. That to me is an accomplishment. I also thought we had some great combinations and nice quick attacking play. Spain was the better team and I could see the gulf in class, but the US team has improved. I think we will be able to shred most teams in Concacaf except for Mexico, who is always tough. Honduras or Canada might beat us, but that would happen on an off day. I wouldn’t be worried about qualifying for Concacaf. The US has shown that they don’t take teams for granted, and I feel that is the only way that we will miss out on Concacaf qualification.

    Hopefully EJ will get his head right and live up to expectations. Maybe Fulham and Hodgson can do that for him. I would be interested to know what Brian McBride thinks of his ability and mentality.

  274. mikeo says:

    i'd chime in to agree that Ives has a real bug up his butt about EJ. yes, he's been crap, which should be pointed out. once or twice. after that you have to look to the gaffer. Bradley needs to shoulder the blame for continuing to play him. in my opinion he's the biggest problem with the USMNT. granted he doesn't have a lot to work with, but his substitutions and tactics seem bizarre quite often.

    and can someone please explain to me why it is so hard for most US players to trap a ball at their feet? i've played rec ball for thirty years and would get my ass chewed off if i exhibited the kind of "feet of stone" that i see on display with our boys. pathetic.

  275. mikeo says:

    i'd chime in to agree that Ives has a real bug up his butt about EJ. yes, he's been crap, which should be pointed out. once or twice. after that you have to look to the gaffer. Bradley needs to shoulder the blame for continuing to play him. in my opinion he's the biggest problem with the USMNT. granted he doesn't have a lot to work with, but his substitutions and tactics seem bizarre quite often.

    and can someone please explain to me why it is so hard for most US players to trap a ball at their feet? i've played rec ball for thirty years and would get my ass chewed off if i exhibited the kind of "feet of stone" that i see on display with our boys. pathetic.

  276. MIKE B says:

    EJ strikes me as a guy who believes he belongs on the field. His lazy play looks even worse when Frankie "Hustle" Hejduk(who shouldn't even be on the team) shows up crazed after every ball. There are a lot of professional footballers that would kill for the physical skills that EJ possesses. Talent squandered.

  277. Gabe says:

    I agree with Metzeng, I didn't follow during the game, and just saw the running commentary now. I like this blog alot, and was surprised and dissapointed to see those shots at EJ. He wasn't great today, but he was not our worst player by any means. Why would EJ be mentioned four times in the "bad" category and Dempsey mentioned once? Dempsey was much worse.

  278. brett says:

    >.< i started skipping alot of the posts b/c people are absolutely stupid….

    it has been repeated NUMEROUS times why players like Cooper, Jozy and Rogers were not brought into the camp… they all have club priorities… fact of the matter is Bob has to respect the clubs, even the lowly MLS sides…. these players (minus cooper) will be seeing olympic games as well as other friendlies and WCQ matches…

    EJ did well today…. had some issues tho

    Demspey was non-existant

    Adu needs to start more often… he’s clearly ready… AND THE REASON HE WAS SUBBED OFF WAS B/C HE SUFFERED A MINOR INJURY…. it wasnt BB’s fault so get off his case

    defense looked good but id like to see some new CB’s as i blame the goal completely on Boca and Gooch…

    MB and Edu played well the first half, but fouled up the 2nd half… and my reasoning for that was b/c Adu was subbed due to injury… adu opened the field and lifted ALOT of pressure off the defense with his creativity and control…. 2nd half there was simply too much work for the defense to truely handle….

    alot of you people are blowing too much out of proportion…. we cant bring our starting XI to EVERY friendly… get over yourselves…. Bradley is testing certain players and certain combos to prepare for WCQ…. Jozy and Rogers will be at the olympics, and they are currently playing in club ball… Alot of you expect too much…. you want a competitive starting XI and thats what we had…. however, when Adu got injured our creativity fell and we fell as a team…

    plus Spain beat us off the subs… they were bringing in players who play at BIG clubs around europe, and we were brining in players who are getting off injuries and the MLS…. give the US time and you’ll see the difference..

  279. eric says:

    Wow, last check before bed just to see if there was anything interesting – and it’s a blitz of EJ defenders!

    Y’all are right about one thing, EJ has played much better the past two games. Now, since he hasn’t looked close to scoring in either one, what exactly do you like about his game at this point?

    Actually, don’t answer that. The vast majority of us are D-U-N with EJ.

  280. Metzeng says:

    Ives, of course you’re entitled to your opinion. I said your criticism of EJ is out of proportion, not that it isn’t valid. And I raised it because I think your feedback of EJ is often over the top.

    EJ is what he is, we get it. Under “What I didn’t like today” you mention his name four times. You mention Dempsey and Wolf only once. Ok, you thought he played bad, fine, why fixate on him? I cited another writer to back up the point that his performance was not so bad as to warrant that type of ridicule, especially when compared to Dempsey and Wolf.

    For EJ, today was a decent showing. He’s one of the best options the US has in the pool. Does that mean the pool is awful shallow? yes. Will EJ get better? Maybe, maybe not. But to repeatedly hammer at him for not being Fernando Torres is just small and tiresome.

  281. flyingoose says:

    how about that miscommunication between boca and gooch on the goal? they both half stepped to xavi, who just pushed the ball past them, rode hejduk’s challenge and scored.

  282. John says:

    Fre-ddy! Fre-ddy! Fre-ddy!

    IMO, it is now time to embrace this young man as possibly the greatest talent in U.S. history. Why do USMNT fans still hate on Adu?

  283. Mike Caramba says:

    People are being a little hard on EJ, in my opinion. He’s been pulling the ball back at every opportunity for months now, and it was refreshing to see that he’s grown some balls since joining Fulham. He’s not there, but despite his weak shots and terrible header, it was his most promising performance in quite some time.

    What I didn’t like today: Frankie Hejduk. Why does this guy still get called up? His first touch is terrible. His tackles are reckless (and he. His crossing is pathetic. He whines. Yeah, he can run…if that’s all it takes to be a good wingback, I vote we cap Seabiscuit.

  284. Don says:

    Well, Spain ran us around quite a bit, but we managed to put together some good chances. If only we had a striker right now. Eddie has speed, but until he gains a first touch and a shot is pointless. Let’s hope that Altidore really develops in Spain the next 2 years and is ready for WC 2010! I though Adu was by far the most impressive player going forward. Edu looked REALLY tentative. In fact, the whole team took quite a while to make a pass strong enough to get to its recipient. We really have to get past jitters this bad on ANY stage. Thought Pearce did a good job and managed to get forward too. I still wish Gooch could pass. He also got badly exposed by Xavi on the goal.

    Well, overall this seemed a good growing experience, although I still wish we had been able to get a few more of the young MLS types involved. Lets hope that happens with the Arg game.

  285. joshW says:

    there’s another josh on here – so i’m adding the ‘W’ for what it’s worth…

    Javier, as for other central midfield options, i wouldn’t mind seeing brian carroll, the rooster from the revs or rico start along side edu in the next game. i think that we owe it to ourselves to see other combinations. why does it have to be m. bradley + X? he’s 20 years old, plays a different position for his club and his defensive positioning (or concentration) has been really poor at times during the last two games. and for that position, positioning is the key aspect of the game when your team does not have the ball. plus, he’s supposed to be organizing everyone around him to an extent – how can he be expected to do that when he’s lost half the time himself? maybe we’re trying to get him ready in time for the qualifiers for a role that is different than his role at his club (trial by fire, no?), but i think that we have players (from the list above) who are more seasoned and ready to go right now. one of them should be given a chance to pair with edu (who i think really distinguished himself yesterday) in the game against argentina.

    as for ej, i don’t think folks are viewing his performance realistically. he has to be judged within the context of being off form and without regular appearances for his club. this is really more a problem of depth (donovan’s injury) and availability (mls schedule and altidore’s transfer). we clearly have suitable players who are match fit but who for some reason or another were unable to be included for this match. that left us with ej as the best option despite the fact that he was in no way ready to play against spain. he was not match fit, which can explain why he didn’t have legs after running from one side of the field to the other to pressure spain’s center backs by himself for much of the game. and the main reason he was benched at fulham is that he’s not in goal-scoring form – so his confidence in that regard is in the basement – which is probably why he didn’t do better on the two nice chances that he had on either side of the half. as discussed above, his selection was clearly not based on form alone; if form was the sole basis for selection, ej would have been on the bench. he was asked to do a job because he was the best player available for this match to do it.

    as for his hold-up play, i have two points. first, we all know that that’s not his strength to begin with – so how can you complain about as if it’s something new. he’s in the picture because at times he has been a good finisher for us. if he’d finished two chances last night, nobody would be talking about how poor he was with his back to goal. my other point is that, based on his level of preparation (it’s been months since he got a game at fulham), what he was asked to do in this game was incredibly difficult. i contend that any of the best strikers in the world would potentially look like crap if he hadn’t played a game in two months and was asked to play as a lone striker on a wet, fast pitch with two spainards up his a$$ all night. ej was simply not prepared to give a good performance, and it showed. at times he looked incredibly frustrated (as if saying, “i’m better than this”) because the speed of play was too much for him. i’ve felt the same way myself in games at a level that i’m normally comfortable with when i’ve come back after being out of action for a while. and i’m just talking about A league recreational indoor in suburban US. i imagine you have to take that feeling and multiply it by 1000 to compare it with being rusty and suiting up against spain in a full international. he just needs games.

  286. brett says:

    for all the MB haters, lemme just piont out one thing…

    when Adu was on the field , MB and Edu played very well… however, once Adu left the US lacked any form of creativity on the field…. Spain respected and allowed Freddy to have space… they focused alot of their attention on him, opening the field for the rest of the team…. once he got subbed (DUE TO AN INJURY) Spain possessed the ball 95% of the time… MB and Edu were running all over the field trying to hold the ground, but all it did was tire them out resulting in some bad tackles…

  287. NJ Guy Stuck in DC says:

    JoshW – not sure of your points. Those are just excuses for EJ. Sort of like saying he has a disability so we shouldn’t judge him by how he plays.

    He’s not playing regular minutes; so are half the European-based players, + EJ has been playing reserve games which is serious business in the EPL. He’s “out of form.” You can’t be serious – that’s called not being good enough. Forwards are paid to finish and hopefully set others up, simple as that. And saying we already knew he had no touch and can’t be a target and distribute – one of the things he has to improve upon to ever be a regular in the EPL.

  288. inkedAG says:

    All of you guys harping on Ives’ criticism of Eddie Johnson are nuts!! Ives is stating the obvious and he’s no way near how some of us posters have been against other players. Ives is professional and calls it like he sees it, just like we call it like we see it. Because…it’s a BLOG!!!

    Now why Ives is so critical of Eddie Johnson, yet shows nothing but love for Claudio “Little Nothings” Reyna, is a mystery and another story for another time.

  289. Mike Caramba says:

    Ives can rip on EJ all he wants…I’m not his biggest supporter…in this case, though, I think he’s wrong–EJ wasn’t great, but he was doing stuff he has been too scared to do for years (a promising performance despite his shortcomings). I’m not “harping on Ives”…just expressing a differing opinion.

  290. joshW says:

    NJ Guy Stuck in DC, i’m just saying that i don’t think you’ve really considered how difficult his assignment was given the circumstances. if you had, you probably would have expected a performance like the one he gave and would not seem so suprised.