Tuesday Kickoff: Greetings from Amsterdam

Gio van Bronckhorst (AP)

Good morning folks. I'm coming to you from Amsterdam today, a day ahead of the big USA-Netherlands friendly at Amsterdam ArenA. The U.S. national team is in town and ready to face its toughest test before the World Cup in June.

We have already had plenty of discussion about the potential U.S. lineup for tomorrow's match, but we should now consider the match-ups we could see against the Dutch. You have Michael Bradley likely battling with Wesley Sneijder, Jonathan Spector tangling with Arjen Robben, Jay DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra potentially pitted against Dirk Kuyt and/or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and either Landon Donovan or Stuart Holden going against Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

There are these kind of quality tests all over the field for the United States, which makes this friendly so valuable for U.S. coach Bob Bradley to get a sense of where certain players stand. For me, the battles on the wing will say the most about the success or failure of this match. With Spector, Jonathan Bornstein, Stuart Holden and potentially DaMarcus Beasley getting chances, how they perform will go a long way toward determining whether or not this match is a success.

Here's my question to you this morning. Which potential match-up are you most looking forward to? Excited to see how Spector can do against a world-class winger like Robben? Curious to see how Jonathan Bornstein holds up in his toughest match since the Confederations Cup? Wondering how Maurice Edu or Jose Torres do against top-class competition?

Share your thoughts below.

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219 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Greetings from Amsterdam

  1. Judging Amy says:

    Bornstein has the most to prove IMO. He’s a good player but probably the biggest liability on D. Also interested in seeing how Edu, Holden, and definitely Torres do. I hope its an exciting game.

  2. fubar says:

    I’m looking for Simek to have a BREAK OUT game and illustrate to all of you out there that he is a pleyr to be contended with NOW. Not 2014, but NOW. Let’s see him for at least 45 minutes. First half would be preferable just in case the game gets out of hand and the USMNT has to chase it in the Second Half.

  3. Beantown Football says:

    Does anyone (Ives, maybe?) know if the game is sold out? The only website I could find online with tickets was the KNVB site (only in Dutch) and just gave the ticket price ranges but not much more . . .

  4. chris says:

    This is a game where we have to try to sit back and hit them on the counter… they may be looking to do the same, plus they lacking in front without Van Persie… little chance for US to play possession, since De Jong will no doubt wreck our midfielders. We do have a chance out wide, however, as the Dutch Fullbacks may be a little suspect…

  5. JLo says:

    Most excited to see play: Torres, Holden.

    Most eager to have questions answered about: Bornstein, Beasley.

  6. Aquaman says:

    I’m excited to see Altidore vs. Stekelenburg and possibly Heitinga and/or Mathijsen

  7. bryan says:

    i cannot wait for this game! 1pm, EST, i leave work to go home tomorrow. just to watch this game. haha

  8. J says:

    I thought it was 2:30pm Eastern

  9. Natures Gift says:

    Q&A for Amsterdam Ives,

    Sativa or Indica?

  10. cpd says:

    I believe it is a 2:45 kickoff.

  11. Jeff Parke says:

    Duuuuuudes, I’m soooooo ready to go to Amsterdam. Par-ty!Par-ty! Parrrrr-tyyyyyyy!

  12. B1879 says:

    Jermaine Jones met with the team Tuesday morning and will attend the game. He will not participate in training.

    Ives, will you get a chance to talk to him?

  13. jim says:

    are you serious, where did you hear this?

  14. No but seriously im working half a day and then speeding home to catch the match.

  15. B1879 says:

    US Soccer MNT blog.

  16. Josh D says:

    I’m pretty sure it is at 2:30 and no replay :(

    I thought Robben plays as a right winged forward for the Netherlands like he does for Bayern which would pit him against our leftback (please don’t let that be Bornstein, please don’t let that be Bornstein)….

    I’m interested to see how we deal with Sneijder. We generally don’t press well in the center and that’s at the heart of the Dutch. It will be interesting to see how we deal with that. I’d personally ask Edu to mark him tightly and constrict in the middle.

  17. vivalosburros says:

    Yes, there are still tickets available. Here is how you can get to it. Go to http://www.knvb.nl and on the right click on the game with the US. Then on the next page click “Bestel” next to the US game. This will lead you on to a log in page in which you will click on the “hier” in order to register. From that point it is fairly easy to fill in your information and you can click on the English page which gives you translations if you need help with any of the words. I just looked myself and there seems to be plenty of tickets. It also seems that after you buy the tickets they will send you an email where you can pick them up.

  18. Murphy says:

    that’s great news…

  19. Cameron says:

    You can watch a replay of the match in its entirety on ESPN360.com. That’s what I plan to do since I won’t be getting home until around 6.

  20. montana matt says:

    “Which potential match-up are you most looking forward to?” Ives vs. Skunk #1.

    Had to insert another cliche Amsterdam joke.

  21. understood says:

    i hope and pray bornstein starts and plays at least 60-70 minutes so that he can either serve us a heaping steaming pile of crow or bob can finally get it through his head that he doesnt belong on this level…eventhough kuyt wont be as much of a test as robben or even babel or elia would be since kuyt doesnt really have the greatest technique himself but nevertheless…cant believe im saying this but lets go johnny!

  22. Murphy says:

    it probably will be bornstein because cherundolo isn’t playing, right? but that’s a good thing. let him play vs. the dutch and we will see how he does.

  23. Lil' Zeke says:

    Patience grasshopper… he’s only 35

  24. dan says:

    skipping class tomorrow for sure

  25. ernj says:

    Want to see EJ and Torres both get significant minutes. Think an EJ/Altidore pairing could be a good one. Also interested in seeing an Edu/Bradley tandem.

  26. Sg says:

    Bornstein will get smoked

  27. William the Terror says:

    “This is a game where we have to try to sit back and hit them on the counter… they may be looking to do the same, plus they lacking in front without Van Persie”

    Sorry, but the Dutch attack, attack, attack AND counterattack. They will be unrelenting, and the lack of RVP will be much less of an impediment that you imagine, as they have attacking talent in spades.

    They are weak in defense, however. Slow and clumsy. So, we can counterattack and expect to succeed. But the key for us is midfield possession (a battle we will not win) and a strong back line.

  28. BrianK says:

    Many good points above. Oddly, I am most intrigued by how Stu Holden performs against Holland. Suddenly, he is on the fast track at Bolton,…if he continues to impress and secures a starting position at Bolton then we are probably looking at Holden on the right side of midfield for USA in SA, which would allow Bradley to move Dempsey forward and pair him with Altidore.

    I am VERY concerned about the back four. I believe we have some decent players in the back (Cherundolo, Spector, Bornstein, DeMerit, Gooch, etc.) but I think World Cup level forwards and attacking middies will feast on them.

  29. Thorpinski says:

    LOL Coffee from my nose to keyboard. co workers staring.

  30. Thorpinski says:

    I love this site

  31. LC says:

    I am looking for our Strikers and Mids to put quality shots on goal. Not set pieces or these dink shots on goal. Not shots directly aimed at the keeper and ricochet into the net. Looking for smart movement on/off the ball. A win is not necessarily important.

  32. Thorpinski says:

    Damn With Edu and Torres’s recent play I had finally gotten pass the Jones playing for us. Too many quality CM’s not enough CB’s

  33. AKRyan says:

    Win,lose,or draw, I’m convinced that we are a quality side. My concern is that we are quite a ways from a consistant starting eleven. We hear about our forwords and left back not being settled but even our mids outside of Landon and mb are up for grabs. considering demps is still out and may or may not be back in time to play. Sure we could start torres,edu,mb, holden and that looks ok but they never play together. I think it’s time we man up, settle on our starters and let th start making a rapport with eachother. I m sick of seeing kickball. I know we are better than why we have shown.

  34. DC Josh says:

    Same here. Hard working Americans we are.

  35. Sg says:

    Interesting that Jones will be attending the match. I guess there’s still a chance he could dress for US this summer

  36. sir coble says:

    agreed with bornstein, disagree with kuyt respectfully. He will prove quite a challenge. His technique is more than satisfactory for any team in europe, and I believe our back left line will be exposed for its weaknesses to an international audience. If BB is looking to work on solidifying the left hand side, this is the team to start with. “only after disaster can we be resurrected”

  37. I’m hoping to see a 4-2-3-1…..played it twice on FIFA 10 last night and we won 2-1 each time with, Jozy scoring twice one game and Bradley and Bedoya scoring the other…..The formation helped chop up the Dutch defense….Anyway, anyone know any good Dutch insults…My friend is bringing his Dutch friends over and I like to talk alot of S#$%T…..I’ve never got to watch games with other opposing fans besides Mexico fans, so this will be fun…and I took the day off from work and told my Grad Teacher that I had, “important things to do,” which it is, but I don’t think she would be too happy if she knew it was a futbol game..

  38. einar says:

    the only wy to win this game is for donvovan to outplay bronckhorst which is very doable (but not easy) and to lock down and hold position in the dutch half of the field. and for the fullbacks to have a great day of course.

  39. einar says:

    isnt bedoya overall 60 in the game and than 62 on the flanks?

  40. pd says:

    IF DAVIES CAN NOT RECOVER IN TIME, THE KEY PLAYER FOR THE AMERICANS TO MAKE ANY IMPACT IN THE WORLD CUP WILL BE – STUART HOLDEN

  41. Adam M. says:

    The only relevant matchup is Bob Bradley v. The Netherlands. We all have a pretty good idea what the players can do and what they cannot do. My question is whether Coach Bob has implemented an effective strategy for the game or not. That, probably more than anything other than injuries at this point, will determine how far we go in a few months. His coaching has been inconsistent, at best, and it would be nice to see going into the World Cup that he has devised something to deal with The Netherlands far superior talent and their attacking style. Will we see another quick second half goal scored against us? Will we sit back and try to absorb the attack, a strategy that was largely ineffective in the Confederations Cup even with all of our regulars? The outcome of the game doesn’t matter much — we probably wouldn’t beat them at home even on a good day. So the question for me is whether Coach Bob has them ready to deal with what’s coming.

  42. DC Josh says:

    I’m looking forward to the central midfield matchups. It should be Bradley & Edu vs. Sneijder & DeJong. That’s going to be one fierce battle. I’m hoping our boys come out healthy.

    It will be interesting whether or not Bradley goes with Beasley or Donovan on the left. Something tells me we’ll see Donovan unless Beasley impresses in training.

  43. DC Josh says:

    Spector will have a tougher time with Robben’s speed.

  44. DC Josh says:

    Agree about the back line. But defense relies on team work more than individual effort. If the back four work well as a unit they can shut down any attack, even Rooney.

  45. DC Josh says:

    LINK??

  46. DC Josh says:

    Who else do you play on the left? Spector is the only other option, but Cherundolo isn’t healthy, so we’re left with Bornstein.

  47. Ferris says:

    I’ll be watching for Altidore’s recent improved play at Hull reminiscent of the Confed Cup to carry over and see how he matches up physically as well as the pace he keeps. Also eager to see how Edu and Beasley fold back in the mix.

  48. Jimmy says:

    Ives, thoughts on Jermaine Jones joining the team? future implications??

  49. vivalosburros says:

    try kankerhoer on your friends. It is pronounced kanke- hoor and means cancer whore. Its weird but the Dutch use diseases in their insults.

  50. Aaron in StL says:

    If I’m not mistaken, doesn’t van Bronckhorst play on the left? If that’s the case, it’ll probably be Holden. Landy prefers the left w/the Nats.

  51. Aaron in StL says:

    I’d like to see young Bradley have a disciplined game, both in not making stupid fouls as well as positioning. I know he likes to get forward, but if we’re to be successful in the WC, we need a discplined box-to-box performance from him. If he can stay central and provide good service, he could definitely aid in springing our attack.

    Also, anybody else think the all-navy configuration looks a bit off w/these new jerseys? I’d like to see navy jersey/white shorts. This really is like starting the final countdown to the WC…only 100 days left.

  52. Tony says:

    yeah, he was toasted by Valencia a week ago…hope he does better this game

  53. Felix says:

    Even though I like Spector as a fullback, Robben will make him look bad.

    I’m curious to how DeMerit will look since we haven’t seen him in awhile. I’m also curious about Bocanegra since his form has dipped with Rennes

    I also want to see how Donovan rebounds from the weekend’s game against Tottenham. That miss he had is getting a fair amount of talk, I hope his confidence doesn’t take a dip. I don’t think it should, but he only in the past year or two really matured mentally, I’d hate for him to take a dip or get tentative because of one bad game.

    Finally, I want to see Bornstein have a good game against top talent. He gets regularly slammed all over the place, and I personally believe he’s better than he gets credit for and is getting judged for past performances and not present ones.

  54. montana matt says:

    You can tell he’s serious because his post is IN ALL CAPS!

  55. Scott says:

    are you kidding me? He’s not even THAT good.. he will be lucky to start a game at the World Cup.

  56. Felix says:

    Good call. They have to be smart and sharp in possession. Losing the ball repeatedly will lead to our defenders getting caught out against the pacey and technical Dutch.

    If the US keep their shape, stay organized, and are good in possession, they should show well and get a result.

  57. bryan says:

    it is…but my ass is going home at 1. haha

  58. Jeffrey Kean says:

    Agreed. I think everybody is. I am wondering how the staff will adapt to this concern and what will happen tactically to help relieve the back 4. Hopefully this does not result in more hoofing it down the field.

    Would like to see JFT in there to provide a patient outlet for the back 4. We will need to slow down the game and at least try and hold the ball a bit.

  59. Gunther Armadeus says:

    Who?

  60. einar says:

    his form has not dipped now but it did 2 months ago. As for spector i fear the same but he can pull a solid performance for the US

  61. Grinch says:

    Noble post, Adam, but unfortunately the last 4 years have already shown that Bradley is not even a mediocre tactician.

    He is fine in Concacaf, as the region is so anemic that you don’t need a master of strategy.

    Unless of course you count the rope-a-dope strategy he employed in his most recent and critical coaching success (the Confed Cup of last summer)which included being pimp-smacked by Brazil and Italy in group play, and then masterfully orchestrating the last game where Brazil beats Italy by 3 goals allowing the US to qualify for the semis.

  62. Felix says:

    I think it’s hilarious everyone is so convinced Bornstein is a bum at LB but the greatest LB in American history – Jonathan Spector – has looked bad against Aaron Lennon (twice I might add) and against Antonio Valencia.

    If we are going to progress in the World Cup, we need someone who can effectively mark pacey wingers like Lennon. We have seen that Spector cannot do that. Let’s see if Bornstein, whom I believe has grown as a player in the past couple of years, can do it.

  63. JesseVentura says:

    The Dutch play 3 up top for a reason, and it isn’t for the counter attack. But you’re right about us countering. We’ll only have opportunities on the counter if Boob plays 2 up top instead of 1, and I think he will. The only problem is converting those opportunities, which has been a problem for our team for so many years against quality opponents. So I’m looking most forward to seeing how the fringe forwards like EJ, Findlay, and the rest of the forwards do. Altidore is a lock.

  64. Stephen Bunger says:

    Um, Pearce? Also, Demerit has played RB before so he could in a pinch which would allow Goodson some time.

  65. Felix says:

    Two weeks ago, Bocanegra was benched at halftime. I cannot remember whom the opponent was. There’s no arguing that his overall play this season for Rennes is as strong as it was the year prior. Also keep in mind, he normally plays as a LB week in and week out, not as a CB for the US.

  66. bryan says:

    “Jermaine Jones had his first opportunity to meet members of the U.S. Men’s National Team since choosing to represent the United States. The Schalke 04 midfielder arrived last night in Amsterdam after driving in from Germany and met the team this morning. It is Jermaine’s first time in a Men’s National team camp and though he’s not training with the team, he’ll be attending the game against the Netherlands tomorrow.

    Jones is still recovering from a shin injury he sufferred last summer.

    We’ll have comments from Jermaine later today. We’re heading out the door to training at the moment…”

  67. William the Terror says:

    “only after disaster can we be resurrected”

    “it’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.”

    ah, the wisdom of Tyler Durden, my first Zen Master.

  68. bryan says:

    hahaha yeah, i’ll go “all of the above”.

  69. understood says:

    i dont think spector is the answer either…the argument that he plays in the epl is weak when hes gotten torched everytime he goes up against a dynamic winger when he plays on the left…we dont have any perfect solutions…ive been advocating for castillo not because i think hell be better but i already know pearce bocanegra spector bornstein arent great alternatives so lets see what the kid has…if he falls flat then hey we gotta make due with what we got

  70. John from Philadelphia says:

    jermaine m@@@@r f@@@@@g jones!!!!!!!

  71. DCD says:

    And also with Robben’s diving . . . though that could be a silver lining. The dive is less convincing when you’re three yards ahead of the defender.

  72. DCD says:

    Time for a rest.

  73. DCD says:

    So tragic that he plays for such a loathsome team. I hope they end up having to sell him to cover their debts.

  74. Erik V says:

    Funny their defense is the weakest yet they were undefeated in qualifying (don’t get me wrong I agree too that it is their weakest line). On the Dutch soccer sites the Dutch coach said his main focus for this friendly is his defense since he is not convinced about some of the players there. This means the Dutch defenders will be just be a little more tense since they know if they play bad they might not make the team. This could be good for the US.

  75. kpugs says:

    Dirk Kuyt should be a cake walk for any one of our defenders. I’m not ragging on the guy…he’s good. But he has to be the least intimidating attacking player that we’re likely to face tomorrow.

  76. Isaac says:

    I understand that Torres is an amazing passer and mover of the ball, but what are Bradley, Holden and Edu? Chopped liver?

    They are all much better two-way players than Torres is, something that will be important come World Cup time. We’ve seen Bradley deliver some excellent passes from central midfield, like the one-touch volley or the 40-ish yard pass. Holden has clearly impressed at Bolton in order to get two consecutive starts and has looked good in both. Edu is now getting minutes for Rangers, and while one match was clearly due to a players injury, he showed he deserved to be on the field, breaking up attacks, passing well, and getting chances on goal. He’s probably behind Jones and Bradley respectively in terms of soccer IQ.

    They key for me is that even if they don’t offer as much possession as Torres might, they understand how to use and combat possession much better than Gringo does.

    That being said, I’d like to see Jose get his fair share of minutes.

    This is the lineup that I think has the best chance against Holland:

    ——————-Altidore—————

    Donovan—–Holden——Bradley—-Beasley

    ——————-Edu——————–

    Pearce—–Bocanegra—DeMerit—–Spector

    ——————-Howard—————–

    Something I could also see happening is Spector playing next to Bocanegra and Bornstein being played at right back. Pearce could play right and Bornstein could play left seeing as how that’s the respective positions they play for their clubs in. This way, the USA has the pace to deal with Holland’s attack and we have a couple of good subs off the bench in DeMerit and Goodson.

  77. montana matt says:

    I agree with Felix. I’d like to see Bornstein do well. It’s been said before, but Spector struggles somewhat on the left against speedy, top quality wingers. As LB’s, I think Bornstein, Pearce, Castillo, and Spector, all bring different qualities to the table, but I rate them about equally. For better or worse, it’s clear that BB is unwavering in his loyalty to Bornstein, and as such, I think we should be rooting for him to succeed rather disparaging him on the message board. Bornstein isn’t as bad as some posters suggest, and I doubt BB would seriously consider replacing him anyway.

  78. Isaac says:

    I kind of agree. He’s got strength, nose for goal, and isn’t bad with the ball, but I think we should be able to handle him.

  79. Isaac says:

    So Bradley lost to Brazil and Italy…..I think it’s fair to say that’s a result that doesn’t shock anybody.

  80. Isaac says:

    Did Bedoya score off the bench or right from the start? Who assisted?

  81. John from Philadelphia says:

    this lineup works for me. you can do alot with this. and it easily converst into a 4-4-2. Torres is a great sub once we go down a goal and need more creativity a la Benny.

  82. Isaac says:

    Very true. It’s no coincidence that he’s helped the USA comeback from being down two goals twice off the bench.

  83. Zach says:

    Not to sound like The Situation, but I’m skipping the gym to watch the game lol. Luckily I’m done with class before 2:45

  84. J says:

    I thought at the time espn soccernet said he was subbed due to injury at halftime

  85. kswiss says:

    You mean 25, right?

  86. Josh D says:

    I hate that about ESPN. They claim “Soccer just doesn’t pull the same crowds as football, basketball, baseball, etc.” Yet if the NBA came on at 2PM Eastern Time and wasn’t going to be replayed, those numbers would plummet too. I just feel when it came to the Champions League and the National Team, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy of “Well they won’t pull high scores so let’s just show it live. Oh look the game got crap ratings at 2PM so let’s not risk it when people are home from work and instead we put Bowling and Dominoes!”

    Another thing they don’t consider is soccer is a very community driven sport. Whereas you don’t find too many guys (and gals) coming together for an NBA game at a bar, soccer fans love getting together at a bar to watch the games. So that although it may show only 1 million official viewers (i.e. TVs on), there’s bound to be 30+ at every bar, if not more. So the numbers are skewed as well.

    Pity.

  87. Mig22 says:

    You think that Italy game was the US getting pimp-smacked? Really? That it was a result defined by tactics? REALLY?

    I would suggest watching some reruns of that one.

  88. Zach says:

    Would also like to see white shorts with the navy shorts and then navy socks. Would look sharp a la our aways during the 2002 World Cup which were awesome.

  89. Chris says:

    Just a heads up, since I didn’t know this:

    Anyone on a college campus in the US gets ESPN360 for FREE. So if you’re in class during the game like I am, you can watch it later on tomorrow night!

  90. fubarscks says:

    Hey fubar,

    Like the man said patience. Simek has played like 8 first team games in the last two years and is only now getting back into some kind of shape. So chill out.

  91. Aaron says:

    Gunther Amadeus… haha

  92. primoone says:

    Im more interested with the match up between Bradley and the opposing skipper. I want to see how he manages the game and how he reacts to what transpires on the pitch. We all know he has been given the ” its a friendly” card and doesnt have to win, however, taking into consideration the recent matches where he has been out-coached, it would be nice to see Bradley make sound, game-changing tactical decisions against a superior coach.

  93. ThaDeuce says:

    They play 3 up top because they are not as smart as BB. They really should play 2 lone strikers up top of the defense. I am sure BB will be willing to set them up with this winning strategery.

  94. GB says:

    What team in our SA pool is most like Netherlands? Attacking team with up to 3 forwards.

  95. AngelUSAfan says:

    Well here is a crazy thought and a bit crazy lineup. With Holland having a weak defend we can have Donovan playing at forward but behind Altidore. in a 4-4-1-1 Since we all know that Donovan can play left and right, he can play freely as Messy does in Barcelona. with Torres and Holden playing wide and those two are very deadly on crosses. we can have Donovan can play the counter attack. well is just a guess what you guys think.

    ——————Altidore—————

    Torres————Donovan———-Holden

    ————Edu———–Bradley———

    Pearce—–Bocanegra—-DeMerit——Spector

    ——————-Howard—————–

  96. ThaDeuce says:

    Antonio Valencia’s play right now is tops among wings in the EPL….almost everyone has looked bad going against him.

  97. Erik V says:

    Dirk Kuyt is one of the most under estimated players in footbal right now. He will be all over the place and that will create a ton of space for the other Dutch players. I think he’s the one you should be worried about the most! Yes it some times looks a little uncoordinated but he deserves more credit than most poeple give him. The Dutch defense starts with Kuyt pressing the back line and forcing them to give a bad pass. That is one of the many things the USMNT is missing.

  98. Law says:

    However, Simek might so I suspect you’ll see Simek, Demerit, Boca, Spector as the back 4 at some point.

  99. ThaDeuce says:

    I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!!!!!!

  100. Apple cobble says:

    Kuyt is a bit of a bull in the china shop but is quite effective. He isn’t like too many other attackers the US will face.

  101. Grinch says:

    Two words:

    Score-board.

  102. primoone says:

    and you’re making this bold declaration based on what?

    Holden is a quality player…can get up and down that wing as well as provide great service. But how, in the name of Giorgio Canaglia, can you say that he would be the only one making an impact if Davies doesn’t recover? To be completely honest with you…im not sold on Holden actually making an impact at all considering he is untested at the intl tourney level. His playing time is very scarce because of a player by the name of “CLINT DEMPSEY” who..by the way, owns that position.

  103. ThaDeuce says:

    Friendly or not he better coach to win…I know it is hard for him….what are we 1-4 in our last 5? 2-3?

    The guy is a shite coach and needs to go. We have our deepest talent pool and best draw in the world cup ever….and sadly it is all for naught because of BB.

  104. Grinch says:

    I agree. Very few teams get the better of traditional powerhouses like Brazil and Italy.

    Losing with dignity is one thing (which I think most US fans can live with): getting schooled is quite another.

  105. Joamiq says:

    This is not a fair criticism. There aren’t many backs in the world who can effectively mark an on-form Lennon.

  106. obxfly says:

    I hope the USA to matches their attacking style even if it means putting more pressure on our backs. It certainly would increase the chances of a loss but it would be fun to watch.

  107. Grinch says:

    And no, I don’t really believe there were any Bradley tactics at play in the Italy match.

    By the bye, it’s called “sarcasm”. I suggest you look it up.

  108. Joamiq says:

    Two things:

    1. Scoreboard is one word.

    2. The US got schooled in one out of four games against Italy, Brazil, and Spain. I’d say that’s pretty good. They were playing very well against Italy before the red card, and even after it for a bit. I don’t think anything needs to be said about the other performances.

    Fact: Bradley got the team to massively overachieve in South Africa last summer.

  109. madmax says:

    Ives, USSoccer says Jermaine Jones visited the camp. Can you ask him if he’ll play anytime soon at Schalke?

  110. Joamiq says:

    Gunther, have you been contacted by Bradley yet?

  111. montana matt says:

    Who will be our captain for the match tomorrow and during the World Cup? Will it continue to be Boca? I feel like Landon or Howard are more deserving honestly. That’s not meant to be a swipe a Boca, I just feel that Landon has really stepped it up lately and has grown into a gutsy, charismatic leader.

  112. Joamiq says:

    Man, only US fans will declare that everything was “all for naught” before the World Cup even starts

  113. Joamiq says:

    Altidore can’t play up top by himself. This has been tried and has never worked for club or country.

  114. chris says:

    fair enough – either way, I think a 2-1 loss or a draw (2-2, 1-1) is a fabulous result.

  115. Grinch says:

    On your #1 count, a bit of irony is lost on the uninitiated. I promise that I’ll be much more literal in the future to aid in your reading comp.

    And again, my whole point, as you’ve failed to read between the lines is that Bradley & team got lucky to even make it to the semis. There were no tactics employed. Once they did make it, the field players made the most of it, and god bless them.

    But none of their performances could be attributed to Bradley’s tactics. Luck and injury is what got them through.

  116. ThaDeuce says:

    Do you honestly have faith that BB can lead us to glory? honestly….I don’t want a homer answer.

  117. ThaDeuce says:

    Well AngelUSAfan said a 4411 not a 451…his line up is off….Altidore wold not be alone up top. Donovan playing the withdrawn striker role would be actually decent imo. Altidore would be able to play that desired target forward role setting up Donovan and the wings….although they rarely pinch in. Also, Donovan running the middle could open up space for Altidore to run.

  118. EA says:

    I’m guessing we don’t have a better RB than Spector or Cherundolo. And this probably isn’t the opponent to find out. I’d much rather find out how Spector does against top flight competition ESPECIALLY when he gets tired, instead of throwing someone out there who may or may not be at this level, have him get roasted for two goals (*cough* Moor & Corrales vs. Mexico *cough*) and then you can’t analyze anyone else.

    Use your head for something besides a hat rack.

  119. KutamaObama says:

    Any place in Suffolk county (Long Is.), NY that will show the match….I work too far away from home

  120. Felix says:

    It is fair because if you want to progress in the World Cup, you have to be able to shut down strong attacking players. You can’t make the excuse that so and so is in form, so they never had a chance anyway.

    So let’s say that if Spector has a bad game against Robben tomorrow, then it’s not Spector’s fault cause Robben is a great player, BUT if Bornstein plays poorly against Robben tomorrow than Bornstein sucks and shouldn’t have played anyway?

    Because that seems to be the logic we see here. If it’s a player that US supporters like, we make all the excuses in the world for him, but if its a player we do not like, we can’t dump on him soon enough

  121. madmax says:

    Jermaine, wenn Sie wieder am Schalke spielen?

  122. Nik says:

    I want to see Holden, In BB’s 442, I think Dempsey is given to much defensive resposiblity. His best position is to play off the 9 or target forward and let him have the freedom to move about.

    I am rooting for you JB. As much crap as he get’s, I think we would all like to see him play well.

  123. understood says:

    why are you using someone else’s name to confuse people? the real “ThaDuece” is a much more positive poster than you

  124. Felix says:

    I can understand your logic. Even though the consensus seems to be that Castillo is even a weaker defender than Bornstein, but is probably the best going forward of all the LBs in the USMNT pool. Castillo himself has admitted that he isn’t a great defender (yet). Plus, wasn’t he benched recently with Tigres? I could be wrong on that.

    My personal opinion, of all of our LBs are in form, Heath Pearce is the best all-around LB. He offers sharp passing and crossing on the left, but doesn’t get caught out as much, and is a good defender, perhaps not as strong as Bocanegra, but he offers good pace as well. The problem with Pearce is that his form seems to come and go without warning.

  125. Mig22 says:

    Well, you obviously don’t like Bradley, that’s cool. But the losses to Italy and Brazil in the group phase really had nothing to do with tactical mistakes or tactical superiority. The Italy game was a mess with refereeing,etc. making a huge impact and the Brazil game was simply a matter of being overmatched.

    If a tactical failure on Bradley’s part occurred, it was after getting a 2-0 lead on Brazil.

    I’m not against criticizing BB, but at least be fair about it.

  126. Shark says:

    The Bradley hate never ceases….

  127. Yup, played Bedoya on the flank..He came in for Beasley at the half.

  128. He came off the bench at half for Beasley. Donovan assisted in the
    middle…..

    link to easportsfootball.co.uk

    Here’s the video of it…geeky I know.

  129. Grinch says:

    “If a tactical failure on Bradley’s part occurred, it was after getting a 2-0 lead on Brazil.”

    That’s a prime example, which is not even an “if”. It’s a glaring fault on the part of Bradley to assume that the US could just sit back and absorb wave after wave of Brazil’s attack.

    Bradley has also proved himself to be a curious, if not mind-boggling, judge in his late game subs. The fact is, his teams seem to always be fighting from behind, and when they do take the lead, they surrender it in late game situations.

    How’s that for fair criticism?

  130. Very true, I work for a University and have watched games at lunch and on the clock with this glorious channel!

  131. That’s the line up I like too for this match.

  132. pd says:

    didnt realize it was in all caps. anyway. im saying if davies is not well, we need dempsey up top. that leaves the flank position open. holden has the most likely the best service from outside on the US. he has not proven it internationally bc he is young, but you can see teh talent. its not that he’s fast so we put him out there, AKA Beasely, he just overall brings alot to the field. An overall good player. Now torres could possibly do this as well. we will see. But if we do not have a solid answer for dempsey moving up front if davies is not available, then we are in trouble.

  133. Goalscorer24 says:

    I don’t know the whole Jones thing… Could be a big disruption to try and bring him in for the World Cup. We certainly could use his talent.

    As for the game against Holland, I hope we press them for the 1st minute and do not just do the preventive defense, otherwise we will get chewed up. As for LB, we will get to see where Bornstein is at against top flight competition. (Yikes!)

  134. kenny_b says:

    Their defense doesn’t get tested often since they hold onto the ball so much. Sometimes a good defense is a great offense.

  135. kenny_b says:

    This is not the forum to be criticizing Dominoes!

  136. kenny_b says:

    Not to mention Kuyt’s work rate is unmatched.

  137. AngelUSAfan says:

    Thank you ThaDeuce I couldn’t say it much better and thanks for agreeing with me. I think is a nice way to attack and at the same time it helps on Defend.

  138. kenny_b says:

    Spector may get beat by the Lennon’s and Robben’s of the world, that is true. But it isn’t because he is out of position. I am not sure you can consistently say that about Bornstein.

    IMO Spector is a more intelligent player with better service into the box then Bornstein. Quickness wise they are about the same.

    So while Spector may not be a world class defender he is better than Bornstein and less prone to blatant blunders. That is why I prefer Spector over Bornstein.

  139. kenny_b says:

    Yes, call them Swiss.

  140. Mig22 says:

    Now THAT is fairly stated. I don’t recall that many times we’ve lost a lead and again, I’m not sure that tactics have played a significant part in falling behind.

    Subs, I’ll grant you. BB is particarly slow to sub even if I happen to agree with who he finally does bring on.

    But again, this is fair criticism. I happen to feel that BB uses tactics well-suited to his very limited talent pool and depth. But we can disagree on that one. ;)

    Cheers,

  141. kenny_b says:

    Which is it? Sarcasm or Irony?

    I’m so confused.

  142. fubarscks says:

    Like you said, you’re guessing. You don’t know if Simek can cut it against someone like Holland, do you? What better opponent to find out if Frankie is worth a place in SA?

    This is, after all an exhibition where the result does not really matter. What matters is what you learn about the guys available to you.If Frankie doesn’t work out you know you’ve got Dolo to play there. And guess what, you saw Spector at Right Back against Brazil and Spain in the Confederations Cup. The last time I looked, those two are World Cup favorites.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how Spector does at Left Back for the USMNT against top teams? He hasn’t played there for the US, I believe, since 2008 when the right back was …..Frankie Simek.

    We know Dolo and Spector are going to SA. What we don’t know is where Spector will play and whether Frankie can back up (or maybe even beat out)Dolo on the right if Spector shifts to the left.

  143. kenny_b says:

    I’m not sure it is fair criticism. Bradley did what many managers do when up by two goals. They play a very defensive counter-attacking game.

    Which I am pretty sure was the same strategy employed in the first half. Brazil just executed better in the second half.

    What strategy would you have employed against Brazil other than counter-attacking?

  144. misunderstood says:

    Have you seen Castillo play? Tigres have been on Telefutura and Galavision more than a few times lately.

    He’s a good player but his natural postion is midfield. Think Ashley Cole lite ( very lite). Overall, if he is an upgrade over Bornstein it would only be because he has better attacking skills. As far as I can tell, he isn’t any better a defender than JB. You have to remember that in the Mexican league defense, close marking, that sort of thing is an afterthought. That is probably one reason why Mexican league players generally don’t do well in Europe.

    I think he declared too late for the US to be a serious candidate for SA. And after 2010 I think his future with the US is as an attacking left midfielder.

  145. kenny_b says:

    He has 9 goals in all competitions playing for an arguably struggling Liverpool side. I agree with Erik, the defense has their work cutout for them with Kuyt.

  146. kenny_b says:

    Ever consider the thought that not turning over the ball as much = working really hard to win it back after a bad pass?

  147. kenny_b says:

    Did Boca sleep with Bradley’s wife?

    I agree that Landon is deserving but I’m not sure Bocanegra is undeserving and should relinquish his role. I kind of think it’s Bocanegra’s to keep unless he does something really un-captain like.

  148. Felix says:

    I think Spector offers better service in the box from crosses, but only with his right foot. If he’s on the left though, that right foot is largely taken away.

    Their initial quickness may be the same, but I believe Bornstein if faster in a foot race. However, I have nothing to back that up, just personal opinion.

    I think (again, personal opinion) that Bornstein has gotten better positionally and would like to see how he does in a meaningless friendly against pacy wingers.

    Again, I don’t think the gap between Bornstein and Spector (as LBs) are as wide as some here like to believe. First, Spector plays in the EPL, Bornstein in MLS, which colors alot of people’s opinions. Second, Bornstein has played more, which means he has a larger pool of games to judge, as opposed to Spector.

  149. Grinch says:

    Dude, quite frankly you are confused.

    It’s not a question of which tactics I would have employed. I’m not the international-level manager here. Last time I checked, I’m a regular joe with a day gig.

    But I don’t think I need to be Bradley’s pro equal to state the obvious:

    It’s rather a question of which tactics any one of Bradley’s colleagues or peers on the pro/int’l level. And there are no guarantees, but I have no doust that a coach with experience on par with Bradley’s, plus tactical saavy, would have figured out how to convert a 2 goal lead into a big fat “W”.

    That’s my two-bits.

  150. Grinch says:

    I’m at work, so it ain’t easy for me to rifle these off under my the glare of my boss.

    I meant to say that it’s a question of which tactics Bradley’s pro/intl colleagues would have employed under the same 2-goal lead.

  151. tmack says:

    I know we’ve visited this alternative before as well, but if we were facing a right winger with too much pace for any of our left backs, I’d look at maybe using beasley back there in those match-ups….he has the speed to better cope with the lennons of the world and it’s not like those guys are so physical that they’d push demarcus all over the field

  152. Victor says:

    RIght. And we should make sure that each of the two play away from the other so that no plays can develop. That will really confuse the Dutch.

  153. ThaDeuce says:

    I want to see how 1) Beasley 2) Edu 3) Bradley 4) Torres 5) Altidore 6) EJ hold up under this game. I hope Donovan looks like he is completely in control.

  154. primoone says:

    Looking at it from an objective point of view, I think Bob’s a good coach and he does possess some redeeming qualities…however, I dont think he has the sufficient tools in his coaching shed to compete with other coaches (by tools I mean Soccer IQ). He is way in over his head and the only benefit to him being coach of the NATS is for his personal gain. This gives him the experience he desperately needs and quite frankly, there will be some teams, domestically and maybe some abroad that will be looking for his services (not too sure about the abroad thing considering you need many coaching certifications to actually apply for a head-coaching job). Unfortunately for us, he is getting on-the-job training in his quest for a better pay-day.

    Thanks USSF

  155. kenny_b says:

    I’ve called for Bradley’s head as much as anybody in the past, but I’ve kind of mellowed a bit. (Tactically against Costa Rica in Costa Rica he was awful).

    Let me make the hypothetical argument for a moment that Bradley made the perfect tactical decision under the known circumstances starting the second half of the game against Brazil. Let’s say for a moment that the players did not execute the plan perfectly. The result was the US lost 3-2.

    I am arguing his tactics against Brazil were solid (which is when I said I didn’t think you were being fair). There is a talent gap and execution needed to be flawless. Perhaps you aren’t giving Brazil enough credit. I am contending that based on skill level, our execution needs to be near perfection (see first half) to beat a determined Brazil team.

    How would you have tactically played it differently? You can’t just say it was a mistake and then cop out by saying I’m not a pro coach..blah blah blah.

  156. Aaron in StL says:

    He’s that guy everybody hates because he may not be as naturally gifted, but his work rate is so hight that eventually he’ll carve out some good opportunities for himself.

  157. Aaron in StL says:

    I don’t think any coach could tip the scales in our favor right now. We’re still years away from thinking/expecting that we should win the whole thing. Now if we get to the knock out rounds I’m not saying we couldn’t go on a magical run..but come on. Even if Hiddink came along today we wouldn’t be expected to win it all.

  158. Aaron in StL says:

    I like that as well. LD is effective on the periphery, but he can disappear at times. In the middle he pretty much has no choice but to stain involved.

  159. Aaron in StL says:

    That probably wouldn’t be visited until after the WC or unless he somehow isn’t a starter this summer. I would imagine this is last WC, so they’ll probably instill a new skipper before the 2014 qualifying cycle.

  160. Grinch says:

    “You can’t just say it was a mistake and then cop out by saying I’m not a pro coach…blah blah blah.”

    Oh, on the contrary. I can. Just watch. BTW, I think “blah, blah, blah” is the most sensible thing you’ve said so far.

    I also criticize my congressman for some jackass legislation, but it ain’t like I’ve got an alternative bill in hand for proposal.

    It’s pretty much the way things work on these message boards.

  161. montana matt says:

    You’re probably right, but still, it seems as though we’d want our captain to be the player who inspires those around him the most. For me that would be Landon. Lately it seems as though he has more drive and commitment than just about anyone, and he has really taken his game to the next level while Boca struggles for minutes at Rennes. It would probably be tough to strip Boca of the captaincy at this point though.

  162. ThaDeuce says:

    I wish I was in Amsterdam…

  163. The Cat in the Hat says:

    1-Sarcasm has no place in these posts since it does not translate well to people who don’t know you personally. What it does do is prove you have a very high opinion of your own cleverness.

    2-Bradley’s reluctance to sub may be because his choices for subs suck.

    3-Compare the US player pool to the Italian and Brazil player pool and tell me again that a Bradley knows nothing about tactics.You weren’t there in the locker room and on the bench and you don’t know what went down and how it went down. You just think you do.

    Bradley took a ragtag bunch, by international standards, none of whom (except Howard and Guzan) would even be on the Italian, Spanish or Brazilan rosters and got them to the final. He lead that effort, not the players and not you.

  164. ThaDeuce says:

    just for to unmurk the waters a little bit I did not write this

  165. ThaDeuce says:

    I could not disagree more, and I believe your opinion to be shite. Next to Bob Bradley’s yours is worse than shite. His record speaks for itself. Your comments do their own damage, and I’m tired of them damaging my comments!

  166. Grinch says:

    You know, you’re absolutely right! I can’t believe I haven’t seen the light until now.

    Brazil and Italy are so clearly superior to the US team, that there’s no compelling reason for the players to even get out of bed on game day, suit up, and take the field.

    The result is a foregone conclusion, right? That’s what I understand you to be saying.

    Oh, wait. That’s more sarcasm on my part. My bad.

    Sue me.

  167. ThaDeuce says:

    Thanks!

    Ives, get rid of the imitators!!!

  168. John says:

    Geeky doesn’t BEGIN to describe. This is flesh and blood, leave your joy sticks at boys.

  169. Isaac says:

    So the USA was going to make it through to the semis using it’s incredibly large repertoire of classy world renowned players?

    It was ALWAYS going to take luck for the USA to get to the semis, or even to the final for that matter. Fans just don’t seem to be able to accept that the USA, apples to apples, isn’t expected to beat teams like Italy, Brazil or Spain. The fact that they were able to at one point lead in each match is an incredible statistic in and of itself. I think it’s also unfair to start saying that none of Bradley’s choices led to the USA’s success in South Africa. When you consider the fact that Bradley could have put out guys like Adu and Torres and let them get a few minutes on the world stage and instead he put out players like Clark, Davies and Bornstein, I think he did a good job. I can remember people cussing out Bob for not putting out the two aforementioned players during the Egypt game and then the massive amounts of crow being shoved down their throat when the USA got through. If Bradley had put out a test lineup full of fringe players then we probably wouldn’t have gone through and we probably would have heard comments from just about everybody on this blog about how Bradley not trying led to the USA not getting through.

    Bradley has made mistakes, but come on, quite acting like any coach we put out there wouldn’t have.

  170. kenny_b says:

    Your only argument is that he didn’t win the game against Brazil, therefore he must’ve had made a tactical mistake. I’m pointing out there is a fallacy in your argument. But if blah, blah, blah is what you comprehend better, than there you go.

  171. Isaac says:

    I actually posted this lineup on the last USA-Netherlands post Ives had up. I think that Torres skill, creativity and crossing will be tested, because they need to be good to overcome his lack of pace. He’s not slow, but I’ve never seen him beat anybody with speed.

  172. lil vic says:

    jesus man,
    they’re up against robben, huntelaar, wes sniejder, etc.
    It would be a victory if it doesnt end up 6 to 0 in favor of the orangemen.

  173. HoneyHell says:

    What I want to see and what I think I’ll see are 2 different things. What I’d like to see is:

    1) Edu & Torres both get around 45 minutes.

    Def Mid is our deepest position. Clark is

    currently the 1st. Edu/Torres 2nd/3rd. Jones

    if healthy makes the squad leaving one of E/T

    home.

    2) Holden & Beasley get around 45 minutes.

    One or the other needs to make the claim as

    Deuces back-up or replacemnt if he moves up top.

    3) Bornstein & Pearce get around 45 minutes.

    Whos 1st chair whos 2nd?

    4) EJ & Findley get 45 around 45 minutes.

    With Deuce & Donovan as additional options at

    forward wouldn’t be supprised to see us only

    take 3 true forwards to SA. Jozy, Ching, and

    one of the above.

    This will go a long way to telling us who is/isn’t ready to contribute to the WC Squad. Would also like to see Bedoya as he was one of the few who impressed Vs. Honduras.

  174. ThaDeuce says:

    Off topic, but I found something you might think is interesting in regards to wanting young players to get called in to camps for the next World Cup…
    Currently:
    Pontious is older than Altidore, Bradley, Torres, Adu and Bedoya
    Pontious shares the same exact birthday with Rogers
    Pontious is one month older than McCarty
    Pontious is one year older than Davies and Edu

    I just wanted to show that Bradley has done extremely well in bringing in new young players for this year’s World Cup as well as superbly preparing the United States for its future qualification and hopeful World Cup finals in Brazil.

    Pontious and Omar may not have shown enough yet…

    Beckerman was still getting a look for this year, he had shown more.

    I don’t want to dredge up another half day long winded discussion, but this was a new factual point no one had made yet that is interesting.

  175. kenny_b says:

    I agree. I would love to see all the defenders fair well. Personally, I don’t think there is any crime getting beat by a skilled winger as long as you continue to try to apply pressure to make the cross more difficult or you continue to recover while the CB covers for you. The decisions like holding the ball in the box or making just a good clearance instead of trying to bicycle a ball out of the box have made me call for JB’s head. Hopefully he has learned his lesson(s).

  176. ThaDeuce says:

    Well, I can’t say I’d prefer to watch it on tape delay at home…
    That would pretty much ruin it for me as I’d be on here checking the score.
    Yeah, I like the live games, whatever time. For sure. I’m trying to convince all my friends to take nooners tomorrow.

  177. Micah King says:

    Wow, Ives you move really fast all over the United States and the world. I wish I can travel and see a lot of stuff like you. Have fun in Holland.

  178. ThaDeuce says:

    Ouch!
    nice “b!tch-slap” (is that one word or two?) Joamiq.

  179. ThaDeuce says:

    Fair point brother Isaac.

  180. ThaDeuce says:

    Good job providing any facts to base your temper tantrum on. His record? Against minnows? really? Your better than that, right?

  181. ThaDeuce says:

    you can’t be fairly certain AT ALL that coach (whichever one you have in your imagination) would have been in that game at all, much less gotten that lead…I am fairly certain everything that happened up to that match had to happen that way, or different results. Football is fickle. Potato failed to qualify russia. Sven has not done well. Klinsman was recently fired…. Bradley made it to the final of confed cup and topped qualifying in concacaf. pretty SWEET

    I won’t post at you again because I have read all your posts and they S U C K

  182. ThaDeuce says:

    ditto my sharp layered teeth friend.

  183. ThaDeuce says:

    can i pay for a subscription to ESPN 360 if my cable internet provider does not provide it.

  184. ThaDeuce says:

    Minnows like Spain?

  185. ThaDeuce says:

    “The guy is a shite coach and needs to go. We have our deepest talent pool and best draw in the world cup ever….and sadly it is all for naught because of BB.”

    Absolutely NONE of this is backed up by fact.
    1) The guy (Bob Bradley) is a shite coach.
    2) (The guy) needs to be fired.
    3) We have the deepest talent pool in the World Cup, ever.
    4) We have the best draw in the World Cup, ever.
    5) All of this (we have the deepest talent pool in the World Cup ever, we have the best draw in the World Cup ever) we have has nothing to do with Bob Bradley.

    Please please please factually back this up for me. I love a good source I have overlooked.

  186. AngelUSAfan says:

    Well having Edu and Bradley playing the Mid holding Position Torres and Holden Don’t have to have the fastest speed in the world cause those two guys, Edu and Bradley can cut in front of this guy. Torres and Holden are good in holding the ball, Controling the Tempo of the game and Creating good chances and passes. So Donovan or Altidore use their speed against Holland Defends.

  187. ThaDecue says:

    agree. Bob can use six subs, I expect him to use them all.

    I wonder who the two of the twenty he will leave off the bench are.

  188. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    I’ll be there. Go USA, Crush the Oranje!

    Oh yes, Jermaine Jones will meet the team as well, a good sign. Hope he is fit by end of March. Zumwol, Jermaine!

  189. golfstrom says:

    Though I have no problem w/ seeing Spector out there at left back, against speedy right wings, JB is probably our best option. No one seems to remember that in the USA-Argentina friendly at Giants stadium, Bornstein basically shut down Messi on his preferred right flank…so much so that Messi moved to the left wing in the second half. If you don’t believe me, go look up the comments for that game.

  190. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    I’ll be the lone Yank in the Oranje section wearing Red, White and Blue. Going with my Dutch born American buddy from work who is a HUGE Oranje fan.

  191. Isaac says:

    As a matter of fact, the first Brazil game is the ONLY game in the Confederations Cup in which the USA didn’t take/have the lead at some point. Considering the USA’s opponents,(Italy, Brazil, Egypt, Spain) I’d say that’s MORE than enough to keep Bradley around. People act like it was Obvious Davies should have been starting next to Altidore the whole time, but seriously, who actually stood up and said that Altidore and Davies would be a good tandem. That’s a huge credit to Bob Bradley and it was probably one of the discoveries of this national team’s decade to find that the two had such incredible cohesion. Maybe Davies wouldn’t have played as often if Ching was around, but how can we say that Ching wouldn’t have played as well? It’s not like anybody would have known, and people acting like they would have annoy me.

  192. Isaac says:

    Props to you understood. Way to weed out the phony. That was the most badass thing I’ve seen someone do on hear in a while.

  193. Isaac says:

    Are you so thoroughly convinced that Edu will pass the ball horribly? It’s not Edu and Torres’ pass conversion rate that we’re worried about here, it’s the job they’re assigned to do.

    Granted, Edu’s pass conversion rate is probably lower than Jose’s, but he more than makes up for it with his atleticism, work rate, defensive technical ability, and ability to read the game, things that will definitely come in handy. Holden and Bradley are both excellent passers of the ball and I think they’ll do a good job of spraying it around. Against opponents who we can’t afford to not have good defenders like Holland, we need guys like Edu/Clark. Against teams like the ones we commonly face against CONCACAF, Torres is more suited.

    I will say this, If Feilhaber were healthy, I would like to see him over Edu. Feilhaber is an offensive weapon, no doubt, but he has great strength on the ball, a LOT of bite, and is very good tackler for someone regarded as an attacking midfielder. That way, we have guys in the middle that possess good passing, creativity, and technical skill as well as bite, tackling and defensive ability.

  194. ThaDeuce says:

    Actually people had been clamoring for Davies to start over Ching, but that was after Davies had already been brought into the fold, and everyone still hated Ching.

    However, I think during and after the confederations cup until the injury Ching was playing 2nd fiddle to Davies, and Altidore was playing 2nd fiddle to Ching…

  195. WK says:

    let’s battle pace w/ pace. LD in a forward role playing withdrawn and working w/ either Holden or DMB to pressure their outside backs- his work rate will naturally have him back in the MF to forecheck DeJong (sorry-still got hockey on the brain). Bring on JFT for Edu, Bedoya for DMB, Pearce for either JB or Spector, and Goodson for Boca.

    ——-Jozy———

    —————–LD——–

    DMB—–Edu—-MB—–Holden

    JB—–Boca—Jay—-Spector

  196. ThaDeuce says:

    good luck and cheer loudly! I want to hear you from their section when we score!!!

  197. ThaDeuce says:

    any place with ESPN 2

  198. war says:

    Excited to see how Spector can do against a world-class winger like Robben? Curious to see how Jonathan Bornstein holds up in his toughest match since the Confederations Cup?

    Switch these statements. Bornstein didn’t do anything in the gold cup. Robben will own him.

    Hopefully, EJ can get lucky, Edu will be on onfidence, Torres can show what he can do on the ball, Simek will impress and

    Findley wont play

  199. Joamiq says:

    No. It’s silly to argue that you have to have defenders capable of shutting down one of the world’s best speedy wingers in order to progress in the World Cup. Shutting down someone like Lennon is a silly standard to judge someone by. There are only a few left backs in the world who can shut Aaron Lennon down. We don’t have to have one of them in order to advance.

  200. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Bob Bradley vs Bert van Marwijk

  201. Joamiq says:

    In your response to my first point, I guess you don’t know what irony is.

    Your opinion on Bradley is fair but impossible to demonstrate. It’s just an assertion. I find it logical to give credit to a coach when his team outperforms its expectations and your claim that “there were no tactics employed” (which is just a silly statement, frankly) has no basis in evidence. Were you standing next to Bradley to observe whether he gave tactical instructions to his players? Anyway, I never said anything about tactics in the first place. I was just stating the facts that: 1) we had one poor performance out of four against the top competition in 09 and 2) the team massively overperformed with Bradley at the helm.

  202. Joamiq says:

    Great points.

  203. Joamiq says:

    Your last sentence is the best thing in this thread, haha

  204. Joamiq says:

    Wow, seriously, good call. I was going to say… that’s not the ThaDeuce we all know on this site

  205. Joamiq says:

    Define glory. You seem to be concerned that our good draw will mean nothing. Does that mean you don’t think we’re getting out of the group? I’m as cynical as they come (fan of the Knicks, Mets, etc.) but I absolutely think we’ve got a great shot to advance to the knockout stages.

  206. Joamiq says:

    Sure, but this still means Altidore will be playing the target role and that Donovan will be making runs off of him. I love Jozy and have all the highest hopes for him in the future, but this just isn’t an effective part of his game right now.

  207. war says:

    he’s 25

  208. war says:

    so does Beckerman…lol

  209. war says:

    odd how the next best forward after Davies is EJ or Findley. Ching does not count because he doesn’t show up for the big game. I hope the USMNT can do some speed training. Our best defenders have no speed (spector, demerit), but our fastest defenders cant defend to save their lives. It’s very odd ESPN isn’t rebroadcasting this on ESPN2. They did it will Champions League didn’t they. You’d think this is more important that American Gladiator reruns and definately Jim Rome.

  210. war says:

    meant espn classic

  211. Russell says:

    Among every other reason.. This is why this site kicks ass. Readers who contribute..

    Its not just Frankie Simek die hards.. lol

  212. Dakota says:

    Agreed on all accounts. Torres and Holden are just the young players who can shine in this game.

  213. Dakota says:

    Scott you are WRONG! He is that good. With Davies hurt name are best starting 11 without including Holden and even if he isn’t Holden will be our first mid-field sub.

  214. ThaDeuce says:

    *crickets

  215. ThaDeuce says:

    hahaha, and sasha, robbie, and adu!

    Though if I were Adu I’d take the short flight north to watch and hang out.

  216. Isaac says:

    We’re not really even talking about how the players played. They played fine considering the opponent. We’re talking about whether Bradley made the right decisions and I believe he did. The USA were making some good chances and while Italy were dangerous, that’s what we’ve come to expect from them. Bob Bradley shouldn’t be fired for the Italy game, or any game in the Confederations Cup for that matter.