USMNT practice observations

Oguchi Onyewu (JohnToddISI)

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

 

The first thing you should know about U.S. men's national team practices is that they are closed to the media. Well, except for the last 15 minutes, a time period that usually doesn't reveal much about the team besides who is doing well in finishing drills and crossing drills.

On Thursday, we were lucky enough to get to see a bit more of training and there was a little more to see as the squad prepared for Saturday's friendly vs. Turkey. Here are some observations:

Herculez Gomez was partnered up top with Jozy Altidore on their team. The training session wasn't divided up into what could be called a first team and a second team, but the partnerships that were on display seemed to suggest some potential pairings. Gomez and Altidore worked well together and it wouldn't shock me if Gomez got a start (though Clint Dempsey is still more likely to start up top).  Gomez impressed in finishing drills and has a blast of a shot.

Among the other interesting pairings was Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit. Onyewu looked fast and confident, showing none of the tentativeness that seemed to creep out at times during Tuesday's match vs. the Czechs. There was no limp to speak of, and on one sequence he raced upfield on the dribble, fended off two challenges and completed a pass. The sequence was impressive and leads me to believe he should have a better game on Saturday than he had on Tuesday.

DeMerit also looked fine in training and you have to wonder how much, if at all, his eye injury will be an issue.

Maurice Edu was deployed at centerback during the late action. After being used there late in the Czech match it is clear he will be called on to provide cover if needed. Does it mean he's already lost the battle with Ricardo Clark for the starting central midfield spot? It's too early to tell.

Jose Torres looked sharp and confident playing alongside Michael Bradley. He definitely brings a calmness on the ball that can help in the middle of the park. Does it mean he's ready to start? Probably not against England, but I could see him getting the call against a team like Algeria.

If anyone didn't have a good practice on Thursday, it was probably Jonathan Spector, who launched some wayward crosses and shots and committed some turnovers. Cherundolo looked sharper in training, but again, we're talking the tail-end of one training session, so don't assume Spector's form is in crisis mode.

Stuart Holden was held out of practice to give him some rest after playing 90 minutes on Tuesday. He's in the mix for a starting role, but could lose out to an in-form DaMarcus Beasley. Brad Guzan was also limited to individual work after going 90.

Dempsey joined the forwards in the finishing drills, and it's fair to say we probably haven't seen the last of him at forward, even with four forwards on the roster.

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What do you think of these tidbits? Encouraged by the word on Onyewu? Hoping to see Gomez get a start?

Share your thoughts below.

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208 Responses to USMNT practice observations

  1. Nathanael Greene says:

    I’m glad the Gomez/Altidore partnership is looking good. Come on Yanks!

  2. KP says:

    I love the idea of Edu/Clark starting against England and the likes of Gerrard/Lampard and then using Torres in a bit more of an attacking role if we’re down in the game. Then, the opposite could be true in the other games, meaning start Torres (especially as the other teams will likely give us possession and bunker) and then let Edu/Clark come in as a defensive sub later in the game.

  3. patrick says:

    i think what we’re going to see is if Edu starts and we need a spark, he’ll move back to CB, pull someone out, and allow bradley to insert torres/feilhaber gomez or whoever whoever while having a little more technical ability on the backline

  4. alf says:

    Ives, that’s great inside scoop. Thanks. Great to hear about Gooch.

  5. DingDong says:

    Where are they? Somewhere in Philadelphia or back in Princeton?

  6. Second City says:

    Honestly, I’m elated to hear Gooch appears to be practicing at 100% and showing no signs of any limp or lingering soreness after his first action against the Czech’s….

    …with that said, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    If he starts against Turkey, that’s a great sign. If he doesn’t start or does and continues to favor that leg, play tenative and shows the limping-like motions he did on Tuesday I think it’s time to consider an injury replacement.

    No one is pulling for him more than I am, but to give a roster spot to someone who is no where near 100 % is irresponsible.

    Again, I’d love to be wrong but for some reason far too many didn’t see what a majority of us saw on Tuesday and that’s leading up to an extremely important Saturday match for Gooch.

  7. Captain Hook says:

    Shhh, don’t say anything. England might be trolling on these boards

  8. Kevin_Amold says:

    Great peak in. Thanks.

    Is it common for national teams to restrict training to the media? Common in past Cups for USA or common in other countries?

  9. Derek says:

    I don’t think Clint will start up top. He will start on the wing, and move up top second half with Holden, maybe Torres taking his place, just like the Confed Cup. I like this because it’s confusing for the defense.

  10. Lost in Space says:

    Encouraged by the news of Gooch…Yes. But need to see it on the field in a game situations.

    Discouraged by Holden being rested. Would hope he’s fit enough to Play 90 one night and then be back into full practice after a day of rest. He’s had 1 day when the team went to DC so a little disappointed there.

    Hopeful that the Gomez/Jozy combination can at least approach the level of the Charlie/Jozy combo. 4 points in the Group is not necessarily enough to insure advancement to the round of 16. Really need 5-6 points, or 4 with a HUGE goals for advantage.

  11. ChadC says:

    Thanks for the training post. I feel like I have some below the surface insight now.

  12. FootyFanUSA says:

    I still don get it!! How can anyone say that Beasley is in “GOOD FORM”. He had a single game where looked meek and uncreative down the left. He falls down all the time and is not strong on the ball. Please God let Bob Bradley be smarter than some of these folks.

  13. Kevin_Amold says:

    Nathanael Green….nice. How’d you come up with that name?

  14. Chris says:

    Awesome post Ives!

  15. AllNats says:

    Thanks for the update! I wouldn’t mind seeing Gomez start, mainly to see if he can be as effective or if he’s better as a super sub.

  16. awesome update, Ives. thanks for all your coverage.

  17. Toumba says:

    The notion of Dempsey in the midfield tells me that Bob is more interested in the possession game in terms of building up from the back. Let’s be honest….if we just lash the ball up the field against England we are playing right into their hands. John Terry and Rio won’t have any trouble fending off attacks of that nature. But, if we can possess the ball then maybe we can take advantage of the fact that Lennon/Walcott don’t defend much. IMO the “long ball” would be the exactly the worst tactic to use against England. So lets get our best players in midfield (Dempsey, Donovan) and see if we can build it up a bit.

  18. FootyFanUSA says:

    Should have said first, thanks Ives, this is good info.

  19. Davis says:

    Ives-You really consider Beasley in-form? more so than Holden appeared against the Czech Republic?

    (SBI-Beasley’s 45 minutes on Tuesday were the best of any American player. If you disagree that’s your choice. As for his form, player after player pointed to Beasley’s form in camp as being impressive, that includes vets and new guys. I think some folks need to get over his shocking form last year and accept that he is playing much better now.

    Not saying Beasley is better than Holden, but right now he can help the team in a way that could help the team against England more than Holden. Having a confident Beasley buzzing up and down the left wing to help negate England’s right flank, thus allowing Landon Donovan to pressure Ashley Cole on the right wing, could wind up a better option than having Holden on the right. That doesn’t mean Holden won’t get minutes or start any other matches. He’s the better offensive option, but we’re talking what makes the team better vs. England, not who might rate higher as an individual player.)

  20. Brian says:

    Edu and Torres are capable of controlling poorly played balls. Bradley and Clark both hinder our ability to maintain possession when under pressure. I don’t know why Bob isn’t capable of seeing this over the last year or so.

  21. sread says:

    BB never ceases to amaze. Be prepared for some surprises tomorrow.

  22. FootyFanUSA says:

    Totally agree. I would say then that Beasley is not the answer. Holden is much better on teh ball than Beasley, if possession is what matters. I think if you have Holden, Torres, Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey in the mid with either Donovan or Dempsey playing right behind the striker you can posess the ball pretty well and still have seed up top and on the flanks.

  23. Second City says:

    Mexico and their 70 % possession disagree with your assessment.

    The defensive-minded/counter/long-ball play can be frustrating to watch at times, I get that. However, it’s not as cut & dry as you make it seem.

  24. JFC says:

    if we go down a goal vs england i can see a dempsey gomez and altidore all playing up front

  25. wilyboy says:

    Great news about Gooch and Demerit, who are our best central pair. If they are strong and healthy, our chances of making it out of the group increase 100%.

    Ives, I doubt that Edu has lost his starting spot to Clark, but Clark will see time in the world cup as a defensive sub or maybe a replacement to carded Bradley. If you’re right, than I think Bob is making a very peculiar blunder, I can’t get enough of Edu’s defensive and passing ability.

  26. mikeandike says:

    I don’t see how a guy stapled to the bench over the course of the entire seaosn cn be considered “in form…”

    Maybe in slightly better form that Holden, but far from in-form… Besides Holden did go 90, and unless he is suffering a setback as a result of that game, he’s just as “in form” as DMB

  27. Brad says:

    How does one half in a friendly make Beasley in form? He hasn’t played for his club in forever. I would much rather see Holden start against England.

  28. Luke CBus says:

    They were training at a Philadelphia Eagles facility yesterday.

  29. Toumba says:

    You must admit that with some better finishing…Mexico is winning that game at halftime at least 4-2. It was not all the possession that killed Mexico that is for sure.

  30. Brad says:

    ah, answered by Ives himself above…

  31. dougs says:

    when did edu have a starting role over clark?

  32. Jerome says:

    Over Edu vs England?

    somebody like Torres will get destroyed vs England. Dont let the open-space of the Mexican league fool you.

  33. QuakerOtis says:

    Answered by the Ives from Above…

  34. Brad says:

    This has to be the WC with the most up-in-the-air USMNT roster ever. Never before have we had so many quality players to chose from. Shows how much the USA is progressing…

  35. Raffi says:

    I’m curious about Edu as cover for center back. Wonder why they aren’t looking at Spector there.

  36. Fred says:

    +1.

  37. goforgol says:

    It really does not matter if Dempsey plays Mid or front. The frontrunners and mids are always interchangingand combining positions. For example if the run of play is deep into the opponent’s right side, Dempsey’s left flank position is expect to cover the opposite front side of the goal in the event of a cross. In some teams the mids score more goals than the forwards. Mids and forwards are not static positions. You have to combine and mix it up otherwise you make easy for the defenders. Donovan is a good example of a player who knows how to move and combine to find space anywhere in the front or midfield.

  38. wilyboy says:

    Um, since he came on against Holland, Edu has played and Rico hasn’t. He was the being groomed for the spot before his Rangers injury, Clark has been in and out since the beginning of the cycle. Edu simply has more skill, more composure, and less risk.

  39. Mark says:

    None of us see what he looks like day in and day out in practice. And in the game I thought he looked active and quick, and less like the shell of the player he was a year ago. A healthy Damarcus Beasley is an asset to the team and should be considered for a starting role if Dempsey is playing up top.

  40. JuniorDosSantos says:

    If you want posession and not many turnovers then you give Holden the start in CM or RM.

    If you want goals then you start Dempsey up top. Dempsey played sooo much harder when he got moved up top those WCQs. I’m just surprised he doesn’t come out and tell Bradley he likes being up top more than doing the dirty work of tracking back at RM.

    The only thing I didnt like about Beasley is his vision. He’s done it a few times where he tries to pass to someone he thinks is streaking up the sideline or down the field as if its a fast break, and it just rolls out of bounds with no one within 30 yards of the ball. Thats the only thing I hate about Beasley. We NEED posession, we NEED Torres or Holden to start. If you saw Holden against Tottenham, you know he can hold the ball and make passes that arent turnovers.

    We need posession and goals in the very few opportunities we are going to get.

    I’m not one of those guys whos concerned about the backline(wait yes I am). Im not worried about anything except if Rico starts or if Bornstien starts. Or if someone gets hurt and Sascha sneaks on the plane and gets subbed in when we are up 2-0 at halftime.

    I know hes not close to being the next in line(Rogers and Bedoya are) but its still a nightmare losing to Brazil after being up like that.

    DONAVON AND DEMPSEY SCORE dont make them have to track back a lot please. I just foresee this cluster-mess of USMNT players in the box just looking at eachother right before any team scores.

  41. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Loose lips sink ships, baby!

  42. Ben says:

    nobody is talking about feilhaber… he might just get a start.

  43. Second City says:

    You’re absolutely right Toumba and I don’t discredit that assessment.

    My only opinion on the matter is that we do not have the capability to possess 70 % of the ball, nor are we Mexico in our style of doing so. Conversely, I’d take our defense and GK over their’s any day, which leads way to our style/strength.

    That’s all I’m saying, is while it’d be nice, that’s not our style of play with these players or more importantly, this manager.

  44. kimo says:

    FANTASTIC to hear about Gooch. I’ve suffered from a torn patella and know the struggle to return to full fitness. It’s a very good sign that he’s reacting positively to Tuesday’s match.

    As for DMB, he had a run of unbelievable form this year at Rangers until getting injured. It was pretty universal that he was the most dangerous player on the squad. After he returned he barely saw the pitch and there were some whispers that he had words with Smith and that’s why he never saw the pitch again. SBI – any truth to this?

  45. ex_sweeper says:

    I don’t see leaving Beasley off the field in any game if he’s playing like he did against the Czechs. He brings speed, tactical acumen, excellent defense, and rarely gives up bad fouls. With such an inexperienced team as we’re bringing to SA, his history of World Cup and Champions League matches is badly needed. I don’t know why he faltered so badly in the last few years, but he seems to be back and that’s a huge boost.

  46. T says:

    Nathanael Greene ruled. George Washington gets all the credit, but it was Gen. Greene who actually won us the Revolutionary War.

    He took the reins of the southern continental army in Charlotte, and from there rocked Cornwallis’s world.

    America > England for the win

  47. Second City says:

    That’s cetainly one way to look at it. I like the positivity.

  48. GauchosLocos says:

    we really just have a lot of quality midfielders to choose from…. midfielders who can play CB and DM… and midfielders who can play LW/RW and Forward

  49. Toumba says:

    Second City, I think we have found the ever elusive “Internet Agreement”. Your last sentence is spot on.

  50. T says:

    Plus he looked strong in his Rangers appearances these past few months. In fact, many of us were puzzled he didn’t get more playing time, because he always looked pretty good.

  51. Mason says:

    He was slow in the head on Tuesday, not slow(er) in the legs. It’s the difference between “fit to play” and “match fitness”.

  52. Carlo says:

    I think this sounds great! I’m getting excited. Can’t wait to see how we do against Turkey! OLE OLE OLE OLE, Gringos! Gringos!

  53. JL says:

    Don’t know about all countries but Dunga has kept Brazil’s closed this time around.

  54. BetaMale says:

    How does Ives know that Dempsey is more likely to start up top? I like it, but is that fact or opinion?

  55. Brad says:

    Based on success in the Confed Cup…

  56. Mathieu says:

    Ives, any word on Bocanegra? How’s he recovering?

  57. golfstrom says:

    uh, sorry to bring facts into this, but you’re talking about a span of two games, one of which Clark missed due to injury and the other in which first teamers not coming off patellar tendon surgery didn’t even feature. Edu seems to be rounding into a good young player, but the constant overrating of him in these parts is annoying.

    Oh and Clark simply has a unbelievable work rate, more bite, and a much better shot from distance.

  58. JL says:

    Dempsey’s on record, recently, as saying he prefers playing MF to forward, but he’s willing to do so.

  59. BetaMale says:

    yea I completely forgot about him. So did the whole sports journalist field.

  60. BetaMale says:

    So opinion then.

  61. Andy in Altanta says:

    Well… i guess the only question now is if Onyewu will wear a black arm band on Saturday… I mean he is the Gooch…

    RIP Arnold, you always made me laugh as a kid.

  62. BetaMale says:

    He has a bad case of gut rot after Tuesday nights tacos and wings. He’ll be in limited training.

  63. FootyFanUSA says:

    I’m sorry all these replies to anti-Beasley posts all wreek of nostalgia. And citing what his team mates are saying about him in camp is utter nonesense. Show me any national team player who is going to slag off a veteran who is not playing well. I am surprized Ives that you would cite that as a reason is support of Beasley. Instead of holding him to a higher standard everyone is happy to accept the bare minimum from him. I think players like Holden have a higher chance of doing somehting realy important in this world cup. I’m done. Go USA.

  64. D says:

    Yes, it semes the USMNT should go defensive in the England game w/ Edu and Bradley in the mid. Then start Torres (who seems to have taken over Felli as the number 1 CAM) in the Algerian and Slvoenian match. I think what is important is that Bradley/Edu/Clark may pick up cards against England, which may limit there pt later.

  65. kev says:

    Ives you gonna do an article on the team meeting Obama?

  66. kev says:

    And is Michael Bradley ever going to grow his hair back? Shaved head at 22 is only cool every few months, not year round.

  67. D says:

    I think that it makes a big difference as to whether Demps starts up front or in the middle. I like him a lot more up front for the USMNT than the middle, especially agianst England because the wingers will have to track back a lot. Donovan, Holden and Beasley are a lot faster and track back a lot better than Dempsey.

  68. Aristotle says:

    It seems like nearly all of the posters here believe that Gooch is back, or will be at 100% when he plays. I really don’t understand this. If he is at 100% in anything, it’s fitness, though I doubt that after his last performance.

    The World Cup isn’t a fitness contest, it’s a soccer tournament, and only delusional fans could honestly believe that Gooch is anywhere near his best playing level. It’s not possible given how long he was out with injury. Is he supposed to be the first player in soccer history to get back to anywhere near his top form after a long layoff followed by a few games?

    Hopefully we got a break in Hercules Gomez in that he will be able to make a significant contribution. That’s just what we needed up front. We could be optimistic and now say that maybe the front line and the midfield will be up to the task. However, the back line is still a huge problem and the last area you want to be weak in. If Oguchi Onyewu is given a significant role in this World Cup he will likely play a major part in why we were bounced in the first round. It would have been much wiser to just concentrate on the defense without him. Maybe Bradley doesn’t really plan to play him unless something miraculous happens in his recovery and is just taking him because of desperation. I hope that’s the case or he will very likely be a costly mistake.

  69. Second City says:

    If that’s all you took from the match, awesome. However, I stick by my post.

    He was much more than what you’re elluding to but you’re entitled to your opinion.

    Some have said it was just mental and they saw no limp, etc. If that were the case and he plays like he apparently is in training (showing no signs of any injury)…starts against Turkey and looks like the Gooch of old, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.

    I hope I am wrong for the record.

  70. Swamp Fox says:

    word

  71. kev says:

    Guys you have to believe. We are a nation of not only dreamers but believers and we turn our dreams into reality.

    watch America-Story Of Us :D lovely.

  72. madmax says:

    Ives thanks for the detailed report. Past reports, on all soccer sites seemed liked they were coaches’ hand-outs. “The first thing you should know about U.S. men’s national team practices is that they are closed to the media. Well, except for the last 15 minutes…” This explains a lot of the reports, thanks.

    Edu practicing as the 8th defender, can he play LB? My appreciation for B. Bradley has gone up two rongs in this camp.

  73. Mathieu says:

    Lol, yeah why the hell would you eat that crap preparing for a WC, I mean seriously.

  74. T says:

    Haha, nice move, Francis Marion.

  75. Gringo_Prime says:

    I don’t know if you meant to imply Gerrard starts at CM, but he plays on the left for England, though he does cut inside quite often.

  76. Second City says:

    Haha, indeed. Mark it down in our history books.

  77. JavaLavaJoe says:

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!!!!

  78. patrick says:

    These players, when asked who was surprising, and who was playing real well, answered beasley. IT wasn’t framed as “what do you think about damarcus’ form?” As bob said a couple weeks ago, a lot of times, the players pick the team. Clearly beasley has been impressing both players and coaches in practice, and without you or I being there, I’m much happier to take their word than yours

  79. Second City says:

    No idea. The man was laying into a big cheeseburger (with a hint of lettuce….for health purposes) and handfuls of fries and a soda on Tuesday night during the game.

  80. Ron says:

    How is this team looking at set pieces.

    I ask this b/c Ireland has scored an easy goal against Algeria, of a set piece.

  81. Second City says:

    Unfortunately he is already has a good case of receeding hairline.

    The man can fight off world class players but genetics he can not!

    (Plus, it fits his personality much like his Dad, never smiling and such)

  82. Betinho says:

    What do you think of these tidbits?

    Ives, at the moment these tidbits are what I’m living for (after my wife and kid of course). Thanks!

  83. Derek says:

    Dempsey starting a mid and moving up to forward seemed to work well in South Africa before??

  84. Josh D says:

    Edu is preparing there for when we end up with our token red card…

  85. Mathieu says:

    He probably tried to sneak a last junk food meal in, though it was caught on tape. I’m sure the coaches gave him an earful.

  86. Tony "Dainja" Meola says:

    Wow, Ives…great, great reporting. This is the kind of inside info as to why I go to your site several times a day. Thanks…I think you are very in form right now, and may have earned a start next to Jozy. (I think you’re more of a finisher than a target man)

  87. madmax says:

    aristotle, “It seems like nearly all of the posters here believe that Gooch is back, or will be at 100% when he plays…”

    I’m not one of those. I think he’s still recovering from injury not rust. There’s a huge difference in my lexicon between the two(ex. learning to cover and learning to run).
    Notice Edu getting more CD time according to Ives. It looks like coach is not sure yet either. If its just mental, there’s hope.

  88. ETJ says:

    Damn that is what is ownage looks like

  89. wilyboy says:

    Agree to disagree. I’m glad Clark is in the squad, but I don’t understand America’s obsession with players who have bite if they earn red cards, work rate if it means we chase the game, and shots from distance if only one of them finds the back of the net.

  90. J says:

    Spector has been playing poorly for a while ( club mostly) Im putting my money on cherundolo starting.

  91. kev says:

    I love all the historical additions. That’s real cool. I honestly believe USSF and the FA should arrange a yearly USA-England friendly around July 4. Now wouldn’t that be awesome. At Wembley or Giants Stadium every other year.

  92. Yogi says:

    Flip a coin between Bradley and Clark.

  93. Betinho says:

    As I’m sure you know being able to run for a long time doesn’t make you match fit. the major thing to take away from the report on Gooch is that THERE IS NO LIMP (btw…there wasn’t on Tuesday – until he had an ice bag wrapped on it – and there isn’t any now).

  94. ETJ says:

    He lost his starting spot on a team in Denmark that was relegated… then again the fact that he didnt dress for the Czech game could be a sign of confidence

  95. madmax says:

    Target Man is so yesterday. Ives is the future.

  96. ZacIndy says:

    Seeing as we scored both our goals last time out on set pieces it looks like that may be the differnce in our game vs. Algeria. They have a risk taking keeper which may be their bane this WC. They like to break out early and seem to rely heavily on the counter- attack. They flop like Salvadorans too, so if we get stuck with crappy officiating that could cost us.

  97. joshw says:

    dempsey will play the second half at forward, just like in the confed cup…

  98. kev says:

    Spector needs to get his head straight. This is an opportunity he can’t miss. He’s an average PL defender at best. This WC could get some potential interest in him from other first division teams or at least keep West Ham from canning him. I’d hate for him to be shopped to some lower league club. Dude is 24 and has been in England for 7 years. amazing.

  99. Second City says:

    I’ve been accused of being ” crazy ” and I don’t deny this, in most cases.

    With that said, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one refusing to drink the ” Gooch is: fine/great/just rusty ” cool-aid.

    I may be crazy but blind I am not.

  100. Stephen says:

    Ireland 1 Algeria 0 at halftime.

  101. madmax says:

    I can’t understand the Irish color guy on my broadcast, and I’m Irish. I need to find a Spanish or Arabic broadcast.

  102. Brad says:

    I want to know what will happen if for some reason North Korea withdrawls from the WC. Or will that not happen? Things are getting testy out there…

  103. johnny2 says:

    Ives we need you to be watching England’s or Algeria’s practices to give us the lowdown, there.

  104. 4now says:

    Goodson as target forward vs. England.

  105. Ron says:

    Algeria really do not look threatening, at all. I’d be surprised, and really dissapointed, if we lost to them.

  106. Warren says:

    Most countries do the same, a mix of open practices and times for media, and then closed practices to come up with a few things to break out in the games.

  107. Ron says:

    Wouldn’t Saudia Arabia or Bahrain take their place?

  108. Ron says:

    make that 2-0.

  109. Warren says:

    So you’re one of those who got fooled by Harkes schtick about ‘lazy’ Clint.

    Yeah the guy who’s been playing mid for Hodgson for 3 years is lazy. The golden boot winner is lazy. Sure whatever.

    It couldn’t be…lack of tactical awareness and ability (of tothers) when Demps was paired with old-timer/low-skill heydude, or..whatever.

    Anyway, all those obsessed with Dempsey tracking back need to realize the B formation relies on not 1 but 2 DM’s for cover. If Demps is playing further up the field – it’s bevcause that’s where BB wants him. Closer to goal. Where you all like him more too. Get it? I guess not. Back to the regukarly scheduled ‘lazy demps’ show.

  110. frank from sf says:

    agree, also id say he’s probably looking better in that run+pass he did, because he’s been practicing w/ the team for a couple of weeks and knows everyone’s tendencies. turkey will prove a better way of seeing his improvements. i still say he’ll get torched and turned around a few to many times in the wc.

  111. CA says:

    Good to hear Gooch looked better.

  112. Warren says:

    losing the starting spot on the relegated team – has me worried about Benny’s form.

    I’ll take Torres over Feilhaber for the Cup.

  113. ZacIndy says:

    They really haven’t produced anything and I’m not so sure they’re expirementing either. Ireland is having their way with them. I would also be disapointed if we don’t get 3pts. from that game.

  114. Warren says:

    + 1

  115. Warren says:

    +1

  116. Warren says:

    They have their priorities….sabre rattling and the World Cup. I expect they will be able to manage to do both.

  117. Terry says:

    It’s smart not to start Feilhaber. When he has featured next to Bradley, he hasn’t impressed me. I like him in the super sub role much better and I think Bob Bradley knows that.

  118. jessie says:

    It’s not about how Onyewu can run. It’s about how he can jump. If he can jump as high as Goodson from a standing start and from a running start and trust himself to land, then that is useful and helpful information. That he can run is close to meaningless.

  119. Mason says:

    I just didn’t see him limping around like some have suggested. I saw him moving slowly as he always has. He is a slow, but physical player who relies heavily his positioning and strength. Think back before his injury. The major knock on him was that he would be behind the play, lunge in, give away fouls and collect cards. When he improved his anticipation, he was able to be in the right spot, let play come to him, and be under control.

    Too much is being made of one play (the goal). On that play, he was caught marking space and watch the ball. He reacted, but it was already too late, and by the time he was in position to leap for a headed clearance, Sivok was up and had his forearms on Gooch’s back/shoulder. It was a good play by Sivok (since it eluded detection), and there wasn’t much Gooch could have done to avoid being out jumped there. When you start to jump and someone pushes down on your shoulder, your hang time will be severely impacted.*

    *See the Orlando-Boston NBA ECF series for copious examples of this principle.

  120. Adonis says:

    I agree. If Gooch is not 98%+ I would not start him. Goodson has looked solid recently and we have other fine options at CB (Boca and Spector). I would also add that Goodson is our best offensive weapon off of set pieces. Goodson and Demerit should take Crouch completely out of the game. What worries me most about England is not their speed, but a flick-on header from Crouch.

  121. Felix says:

    The thing I’m most worried about at the moment more than who pairs up with Altidore or with Bradley,formations or even our upcoming opponents is the fitness and form of our CBs.

    This is going to be a short WC if our CBs are all rusty and/or carrying nagging injuries. It is more tantamount than any other concerns. If you cannot defend properly, you will not go far in this tournament.

  122. nynow says:

    DMB is in form because he’s better than last year. A lot of people seem to forget that his skill level and understanding of the game lag far behind his athleticism. Yes, he’s better than last year, but the the failings we’ve seen in the past–mental lapses and poor ball striking at crucial times–are a part of who he is as a player. Hopefully BB will not forget that until it rears it’s head at a game changing moment.

  123. KMac says:

    I have to agree with Ive – from my view in the center of the park Beasley was one of the top players Tues. Holden was certainly very good too, as was Goodson. Of course Herc too.

  124. KMac says:

    sorry Ives…typed too fast

  125. Second City says:

    Not once did I mention the play where he was out-jumped on the header for a goal.

    That’s why I’ve continued to be baffled at the clear distinction between the two sides of opinions on this matter, that’s one play…we’re referring to the entire match (60 minutes he played).

    Not saying you, Mason, but many on the other side of the fence seem to have had made their mind made up already that he was healthy & what we saw was merely rust. Of which, I have sincere doubts due to the match I saw and not the reports I’ve read/reading.

    Either way, I’ve stated my opinion and anymore would be redundant since both sides of this discussion is mostly hyperbole until Saturday evening, after the Turkey friendly has been played.

    Again and for the record: I hope I’m wrong, as a loyal USMNT supporter.

  126. Mason says:

    How are people forgetting that he is slow?
    He wasn’t limping Tuesday, and he’s not limping now. Even if you think he was limping then, Ives is telling you he has no limp now. Do you think it went away in three days after seven months of recovery?

    If you’re seeing a limp, you may not be blind, but you may need to check your TV or invest in a pair of field glasses.

    If he’s not anticipating play because of rust, it’s still a problem. If that’s the case then we’re looking the Onyewu from about four years ago who was always chasing the game, despite being perfectly healthy (and still slow). That guy gave away a lot of fouls.

  127. ISaac says:

    I’d like to see this against the Turks:

    ———————Altidore—-Gomez———————

    Dempsey———————————————Donovan

    ———————-Bradley—-Torres——————–

    Bocanegra————-DeMerit—-Onyewu———-Cherundolo

    —————————-Howard————————-

    If the notes we see above on players doing well are true, then this lineup should do pretty well. The next two games are going to serve very well in terms of testing Dempsey’s statements that he likes to play left midfield when the USA are moving the ball well and playing forward when his team need goals. Torres provided a hard-working presence on defense, and a calm, sharp passer and mover of the ball on offense against the Czechs and just about every other time we’ve played him.

    Something I’d also like to see against the Turks is Beasley coming, hopefully at the half, for either DeMerit or Onyewu, and Bocanegra slide into one of their spots. I know Beasley was poor at left back against Costa Rica, but his head wasn’t straight and he was incredibly rusty due to lack of playing time. Now, he seems to be in very good form, and even in his poor form, his defensive qualities have always been a factor of his game that you can count on. Moreover, neither Pearce nor Bornstein did anything to impress anybody against the Czechs and Bob Bradley has to know his options at left back.

  128. primoone says:

    I can see Torres dusting himself off of the pitch numerous times against England. They are very physical with MF that hold the ball and distribute.

    He better eat his wheaties.

  129. primoone says:

    wow…really?

    Beasley the defender huh…If that happens then we are more F-cked at LB than i thought. Beasely was actually in form…up until he got abused during that costa rica match at left back. As a matter of fact, Beasley’s confidence was shot to hell in a handbasket after turning in that piss-poor performance. Personally I would rather see anyone who can actually play defense (including Bornstien) as opposed to Beasley. . If you are worried about speed then find a way to nuetralize the service.

  130. Wayne Bridge says:

    Ives,

    If he plays, the weak spot in the English back 4 is Glen Johnson. If he doesn’t play then Carragher will take that spot.

    So who do you want attacking that position, Donovan, DMB or Holden? I think DMB can take Johnson.

  131. Darb says:

    If DMB is playing well right now, and you’ll see that in training and in the two friendlies, then he is in form. Tha’s plenty good enough for me.

    You are talking about maybe 3-7 games in the next couple of weeks. In fact, you can argue that because he has played so little he will be fresher than say Donovan or Dempsey, who have worked their butts off all year. Plus he is a proven player and a hungry one.

    Play well and he gets a new contract. Play poorly and unemployment beckons.

  132. Mason says:

    You didn’t mention the goal, but many have, particularly the broadcast team. Complaints in the match thread about Gooch’s mobility also increased dramatically after that goal. Prior to it, response seemed neutral to positive.

    I just didn’t see a limp Tuesday, Ives doesn’t see one today, and prior to the goal I don’t think most people did either. Sivok is not getting enough credit for his fine run, well timed jump, subtle hold-down, and being 6’1″. It seems to me that there is a search for an explanation to a mental lapse, and many have settled on his injury as the cause. It’s the easier explanation, for sure. It took Gooch quite a while to develop the anticipation he exhibited before the injury.

    BTW – Limps from reconstructive knee surgery don’t go away all of a sudden after seven months. It’s a gradual process. Therefore, if you don’t see one tomorrow, chances are your eyes were playing tricks Tuesday. Keep in mind that the man is not a graceful player.

  133. Mark says:

    nynow, you’re quick to point to DMB’s faults, which I don’t agree with, though I will say he was a ghost of the player he had been a year ago. None of us will ever forget the give away in the Confed Cup against Brazil.

    However, this same player was a lock at left mid for years when he was healthy, and is a player who is a true 2-way player, getting into the attack and tracking back on defense. When he’s on, he’s a menace on the left. Bradley and many of the players have stated how well he’s been playing in practice. He deserves a shot to play. He’s no longer a lock as he was for much of this decade, but a healthy Beasley is an asset to the team.

  134. Second City says:

    ” Ives is telling you he has no limp now. ”

    That’s awesome but Ives also said he saw no limp in him during the game, of which I strongly disagree.

    Ives also gained access to the training during the last 15 minutes of a training session. 15 minutes….training session……

    No one is calling anyone a liar or saying their word isn’t credible enough but I’m also not going to be spoon-fed an opinion as fact or let someone else formulate my own.

    If you want to throw out cliche retorts in an attempt to be witty (new tv, glasses, etc) than I fully expect you to be on here and standing by that assessment after the Turkey game and more importantly after the England game.

    I’ll fully admit I was wrong when I’m wrong and I look forward to your equal accountability.

    You say it’s just rust. We shall see.

  135. Second City says:

    Why are you putting words into my mouth or trying to form conclusions based on nothing I’ve said.

    I’ll be as clear as possible: this has nothing to do with the header and I witnessed the favoring/limping/dragging of his leg well before the ” header “.

    Don’t assume everyone is harping on that because those of us that are concerned are concerned for the right reasons, not flailing are arms around because he was beat by a header.

    RE:” BTW – Limps from reconstructive knee surgery dont go away all the sudden ”

    So, the World Cup is the best venue to shake your so-called ” rust ” and attempt to refind: form, physicality and confidence?

    Unreal.

    BTW, the World Cup is in two weeks and by your own account, he’s not going to ” all the sudden be better ” after 7 months.

    Awesome.

    I hate having to play the role of Debbie-Downer but your posts make it look as if you’re blindly loyal to Onyewu the man and not the physical state we witnessed on Tuesday.

  136. Mason says:

    I suggested you should buy binoculars.

    You know… If you watched at home, your TV was fuzzy, if you watched at the stadium, you were too far away. I’m sure your eyesight is fine. Whatever.

    I don’t know about you, but my form, and touch were always the worst at the end of training sessions, particulary when recovering from injury. Compensation is a bear. Given that, if a limp is going to be evident, it’s going to be evident then.

    Even without the exacerbation of fatigue, it doesn’t take more than 15 seconds, let alone 15 minutes to tell if someone has a limp, so this business about being “spoonfed opinion as fact” is ridiculous. Ives is reporting that Gooch was not limping today. You’re not at the practices. I’m not at the practices. You have no factual basis to make an opinion on the proposition “Gooch was not limping at practice today”, yet you question someone who does. It’s like telling Buzz Aldrin he didn’t go to the Moon because you heard that the moon is made of cheese.

    And yes… I’ll be here Saturday, but late. I’ve got a thing, so I’ll be watching the DVRed version of the Turkey match.

  137. RB says:

    “THERE IS NO LIMP (btw…there wasn’t on Tuesday – until he had an ice bag wrapped on it)”

    Correcto!

  138. Second City says:

    Who says we even landed on the Moon?

    ^^^

    Only kidding.

    Yes, neither of us were at practices, so commenting on said reports is irrelevant unless you’re letting someone else form your opinion. I’m glad we see eye to eye on that.

    We do, however, differ on our opinions of what we saw in the match. Of which, I’ll be here too after the game or late and look forward to our discussion.

    After all, the discussion part is the fun part of all this…but I can easily throw around some not-so-clever attempts at insults too if that’s the road you want to go down. Though, I think there is some substance to this particular debate, on both sides.

    To infinity and beyond…..!

  139. ERic says:

    Except that didn’t Dempsey pretty much always start at midfield in the Confed Cup, then move to forward later in the games? Why do reporters (including Ives) keep thinking that Bradley will do anything different?

    My bet is Dempsey starting in midfield and Jozy and someone else starting at forward. Gomez seems like the more likely combination. I gave that combo to a friend just a little earlier today, and it makes me actually feel a little smart to hear that’s what was seen at practice.

    But I fully expect Saturday afternoon to be proven to be another comment board idiot, though.:)

  140. starspangledcannon says:

    I think the main reason DMB didn’t see the field much more was bc Rangers weren’t extending his contract and wanted to see how other players that would be at the club next season fill that role. This theory might be wrong, but I think it makes sense and is common in europe.

  141. jimoh8002 says:

    I agree. One thing I noticed about england is that they can’t handle player with a high level of ball skill that’s why Torres tears the premier league apart and england look like children when the come up against countries like spain and brazil…..so we should try to use benny or torres to exploit that. Even mexico made them look stupid the other day. If it wasn’t for bad finishing and poor defending mexico would have wrecked them and there starting option in the middle is basically carrick and he is horrible at marking players with technical ability….. Remember the champs league final??? Or go and watch the last game against mexico and see

  142. Mason says:

    Read my posts. Read them.

    Frak it. Read this:

    If his head isn’t back to where it was before, it doesn’t matter if his legs are, because then he’s the guy from four years who was always a hair behind play. It took him years to get to the point where he wasn’t always chasing. How many times do we see players, even those without injuries, drift in and out of form.

    The mental aspect of the game is always remarkably under rated, and that mental sharpness going to be the last thing that comes back for him. There’s no timetable for it. It could be tommorrow or August. Unfortunately for the him, we have better options than the player he was four years ago, but unfortunately for us, we don’t have better options than the player he’d become last year.

    Knock the hyperbole off. It makes you sound daft. He wasn’t dragging his leg around, and you know it. No one made a single negative comment about him in the match thread until 8:43pm, when someone proclaimed him “not ready”*. The match started at 8:00. If he was favoring, limping and dragging, don’t you think someone would have said something prior to that? Don’t you think one person would have said, “He’s limping – Not good”. Yet no one did. How odd. Care to try to explain that?

  143. jimoh8002 says:

    We are putting to much on the england game. Regardless of the out come of that game we should have a pretty good world cup. Have you seen the caliber of players compared to 2002 or 2006? I expect a yanks team playing at 100 percent to trash slovenia and algeria and get a result againts england any day.

  144. Second City says:

    Wait, you want me to explain other people’s opinions or the time-table of the match-day thread?

    What is it with you and other people’s opinions? First it was Ives’ opinion and now it’s others within the match-day thread. Why not solely address/focus and respond to mine and disregard trying to use others, since they’re not in our discussion? Or must you call upon them since yours is rather bland, unimaginative & nearly copy and pasted.

    Talk about daft.

    If you really think the match-day thread is reflective of the overall pulse on the concern of Onyewu’s health, this conversation was over before it began.

    Previously you said you’d be on here to stand by your opinion/assessment but it’ll be ” late “. Why wouldn’t it be during the game?

    *Gasp*

    You mean you’re not going to be within the match-day thread? You mean not everyone is in there during the game?

    Crazy, crazy concept…yet you’re attempting to use it as if it backs up your generic opinion.

    Talk about daft.

    I’m sorry you have an issue with people disagreeing with you but mostly I’m just sorry you’re you.

  145. Mason says:

    I’m sarcastic in real life, too – not just on the internet. And you’re a Fire fan. Anyone who could support Fatty Blanco is beneath contempt. (joke)

    But yeah… that was I meant by the Buzz Aldrin line. We’ve got no basis to really say what he looks like other than the game and media reports. No one in the match thread said a thing about Gooch looking bad until after the goal. Maybe you were, but you were quite alone in that until after about 8:43PM, and I find that rapid shift of opinion odd, to say the least.

    (And if you haven’t already, check out the Youtube of Buzz laying the wood on a denier. A fine display of “Old Man Strength”. He’ll always be my favorite Apollo 11 astronaut for that. Neil Amrst-who?)

  146. dan says:

    Hey D,

    Clint Dempsey covered 36 miles during the Confederations Cup. That was the second most distance covered, second only to LD. It looks like Dempsey doesnt track back because they run the counter through the wings (LM/RM)and push them fwd as the outside backs move up in tandem with the central mids to provide cover and depth across the field, D, watch the game and hit mute on your tv…..

  147. fooooooo says:

    I would put the 2002 team up against this one. We’re talking an in-form JOB, Reyna, Friedel, Heydude and Sanneh playing out of their minds, a young Mathis coming off the bench, Pope, McBride, and fearless Beas and LD?
    Yeah, that ’02 team was good.

  148. Second City says:

    I’ve been called a lot of things but I’ve never been called a Blanco fan.

    That was uncalled for and below the belt!

  149. fooooooo says:

    golden boot? when did Clint win the golden boot?

  150. Mason says:

    What is it with you and other people’s opinions? First it was Ives’ opinion and now it’s others within the match-day thread. Why not address/focus and respond to mine and disregard trying to use others to prove your own opinion.
    ===
    >I can’t. Your opinion isn’t based in fact. That’s all there is to it. The video showed no obvious limp, and you claim there was. There’s no arguing that opinion because it’s not informed by fact.

    ===
    If you really think the match-day thread is reflective of the overall pulse on the concern of Onyewu’s health, this conversation was over before it began.

    ===

    >What would you prefer as a better barometer of real-time reactions to match events?

  151. Mason says:

    Yeah… That may have been a bridge too far. Sorry about that!

    At least you get to watch McBride now. All we’ve got is zombie Luciano Emilio’s reanimated corpse.

  152. Aristotle says:

    Good for you, and welcome to the “tell the truth and your crazy club!”

  153. Louis Z says:

    I agree with Second City, I also saw him favor one leg over the other. now this report tells me that he some how made excellent progress since 4 days ago. we will see tomorrow how much improvement he has done. no need to elavorate more until fater the game.

  154. Mason says:

    Head or legs, if he’s not all there, Goodson gets the call.

    Or Bocanegra in the middle and Bornstein on the left.

    (ducks)

  155. Mason says:

    You know what? I did too: right after he made a nice move, got kicked and drew a foul. Any other times you can think of? A minute would help…

  156. Louis Z says:

    I concur

  157. stever says:

    Interested to know how one could conceive Beasely as on form? delighted Bradley has taken off the blinkers and made decision to bring Gomez and Torres, at least they have been actually playing this season.

  158. Second City says:

    Alright Mason.

    I’ve got to head out the door, otherwise I think we’d both continue this back and forth banter for several more hours.

    Something the other posters and Ives probably don’t appreciate.

    With that said, I’ve enjoyed it and hopefully it’ll continue after the match (whatever time that may be) on Saturday.

    As I’ve said before, I hope I’m wrong…I sincerely do. We need Gooch and I’m pulling for him.

    After all, no Gooch and there’s a higher probability that Bornstein somehow finds the pitch then in the group stages.

    Yikes!

  159. phil says:

    tell em…

  160. phil says:

    huh huh Frak….

  161. phil says:

    isn’t a new manager coming into rangers next season?

  162. phil says:

    true, but Beasely was superb at tracking back in the match against the czechs, and we’ll need tons of that gainst england.

  163. phil says:

    yeah and if wishes were horses we’d all be double fisting Big Macs…

  164. phil says:

    tell em!

  165. phil says:

    TELL. EM.

  166. phil says:

    or the MLS…

  167. madmax says:

    I think you may be right but the recent England vs Mexico game casts deep doubts about a superior England, not to be confused with the EPL.

  168. Jay says:

    I love the idea of pairing Bradley and Torres. And although I favor having Dempsey as a forward, Its good that Altidore and Herc are doing well. Good news on Gooch- he’s a huge asset when healthy and in form.

  169. phil says:

    i don’t see Gomez starting mainly b/c I don’t think he can go the full 90. perhaps dempsey shifts up once gomez comes of at the 60 minute mark?

  170. phil says:

    don’t worry he hurled it back up in the bathroom at half time…. just messing with the england spies watching on the tele.

  171. phil says:

    he should get a tattoo of a zipper around his crown. that would rock.

  172. phil says:

    they won’t back out, but god help us if those two teams meet up in a match. they’ll strap hand grenades to themselves…..

  173. phil says:

    nyuk nyuk nyuk

  174. phil says:

    what about torres and holden?

  175. Isaac says:

    I can see where you’re coming from by saying Beasley’s confidence was gone after the Costa Rica game, but he was also suffering from a lack of playing time with Rangers, which made him severely rusty. Throughout the match, Beasley showed a first touch comparable to a brick wall. Nowadays, his touch, confidence, skill and awareness are all on. I find the best measure of a team and it’s players are who they can defeat and how they play on their best form, not on their worst. Beasley clearly hasn’t been in his best form in a while, and there are very few games to point out that show it, but he’s clearly working his way back up the ladder. Bradley just needs to know what his options are and how they’re going to perform in certain positions, especially at the problem position of left back. If anything, I’m asking to test the USA’s depth at ONE position for nothing more than 45 minutes. Is that so wrong or so harmful to the national teams World Cup campaign?

  176. primoone says:

    affirmative…

  177. Warren says:

    Yeah 2 must-win games in a row, against the African champs and the team that knocked out Russia will a walk in the park.

  178. Warren says:

    Yeah Gooch’s legs are fine, amazing vertical leap there – ok just kidding.

  179. Warren says:

    ok bronze, I gave him a color or 2 upgrade, sue me

  180. Taco Hell says:

    Capello is considering using Gerrard in Gareth Barry’s role as defensive holding mid, pending the results of Barry’s scans.

  181. Warren says:

    you’re right,they already knew they were cutting DMB loose. Because of all the debts they’d run up,they wanted to lose his contract.

    And since they were sure to win the league amyway, why not play the other guys and see how they can manage without him.

  182. Taco Hell says:

    “Even mexico made them look stupid the other day.”

    Really? I hope England makes us look stupid as long as we win 3-1.

    In case you forget, Mexico beat us twice last year and looked pretty good doing it. On their day they can beat anyone.

  183. Warren says:

    +1

  184. SochauxPrez says:

    Guys,

    Just think of the fun you two could have had if Davies had made the squad.

  185. 89 cent says:

    Warren,

    He didn’t screw up that cross because he couldn’t jump. He completely misread the flight of the ball. The play was over before Gooch was even in position to jump.

  186. Bong Wheaties says:

    “ok bronze, I gave him a color or 2 upgrade, sue me”

    I wonder what Michael Phelps would say about that?

  187. Master Blaster says:

    Really? What doubts do you have about a 3-1 victory?

    The last time I checkced the idea in the World Cup was, win = advance. No one cares how you look doing it. You think Italy will give back the Cup because Matrix got Zidane to Jozy him?

  188. Warren says:

    Right, I am sooo tired of all the idiots chanting ‘Dempsey doesn’t track back.’

    Umm, he’s doing what BB wants him to do, and yeah he’s running – a lot.

  189. Warren says:

    Gooch clearly has sveral more months of training and rehab to go trough to be at full fitness.

    His leg muscles and uppper body too just don’t look like the Confed Cup Gooch’s.

    Is a 75% Gooch still good enough to play? .

    We better hope so

  190. I wonder if Gooch is going to lose the emo attitude. My wife is a therapist, I was about to FedEx him her card. He had all but the black eye-liner and nail polish.

  191. Stephen says:

    African champs?

  192. jayrig5 says:

    Feilhaber could be a very important player, though. He basically created the second goal against Spain last summer, and has done very well going all the way back to 2007 in the Copa America when he split open Argentina to create the chance for Eddie Johnson that turned into the only US goal there, I think. And really, he’s never played terribly for the US, because when he wasn’t in form with his club, he wasn’t in camp. So you have to figure he’s in position to see the field this summer. He’s a solid player, and an example of the midfield depth that still could lead to the US changing formations at some point. (Maybe.)

  193. jayrig5 says:

    I always kind of thought Demerit’s eye problems have been overblown lately (in that every story about the USA’s injury concerns say that he has vision problems.) He played against the Netherlands in March, and was one of the best players on the field. His eyes have only improved since then, right?

  194. Sierra Madre says:

    “Possesion? Possesion? We don’t need no stinking possesion!”

    Copa America 2007 Final, Brazil 3 – Argentina 0.

    Watch that game again if you can. It pits the same basic Dunga team you will see in 2010 against the previous edition of Argentina, led by that classic midfield general Riquelme and Messi. Argentina was a classic “possession” team, while Brazil, still wonderfully skilled, had morphed into a more physical, athletic, fast, brutal and direct side. These are the guys you saw in the Confederations Cup final.

    Around that time the talk around coaching circles was how Brazil realized that too many passes were a bad thing and being more direct was no bad thing. The popular theory was that anything more than 7 passes tended to decrease your chances of scoring. It gave the defense time to set up and smother the threat, even one as good as the young Messi. Brazil humiliated Argentina.

    I mention all this because playing “possession” ball is not about one or two players being good on the ball. The US has more than enough of those guys. It requires the commitment of the entire team starting with the goalkeeper. I don’t much care for Howard’s distribution.

    The USMNT does not play that way for a reason. Since Bob and I don’t talk, my suspicion is that, if you slow the game down, then the top teams have time to set their defenses. To beat that you need great one on one players and the US really have no top class, consistent one on one defense breakers, no George Best, no Pele, no Messi, no C Ronaldo, no Maradona.

    So the US’ best hope is to beat the defense down the field before they have time to get set up. Simple and effective and it makes use of our strengths, fitness, speed and athleticism. Remember how good the US looked with Charlie Davies?

    In basketball terms, the US is best fast breaking and don’t have much of a half court game.

  195. Taco Hell Belle says:

    How do you know that wasn’t some kind of veggie burger with salad?

  196. Master Blaster says:

    aristotle and max,

    No sane person believes Gooch is 100% in terms of game fitness and mental sharpness.

    On the other hand , this is the World Cup and very few top flight players are in tip top shape. Look at Torres of Spain and Barry of England, Fabregas is coming off a broken leg; all of the top European players have had very long brutal seasons. Most everyone is carrying some kind on injury but they will all play.

    The fact that guys like Beasley or Joe Cole of England ( if he makes their team), for example, appear to be healthy and have not played much, yet are proven players, is probably an asset to their respective teams.

    Skill and talent are a given at the World Cup. Physical and mental health are not. I think Bradley plans to bring Gooch along so that he will be sharper by the Slovenia and Algeria game and hopefully for the others to come. It’s not perfect but it’s what we have. I think if Chad Marshall had not also been hurt, he might have gone instead, something Marshall will regret till the end of his days. Bradley isn’t giving Edu time at CB just for fun you know. Against England chances are you’ll see some combo of Demerit, Goodson and and Spector in the middle.

  197. fooooooo says:

    You gave him the wrong award as well.
    It was the Bronze Ball, not Boot.

  198. Lil' Zeke says:

    Pffffftt

  199. The CAT says:

    This is the World Cup. To win it you have to play seven games. How does that relate to American sports fans? Well, think of it as the playoffs where the walking wounded miraculously strap it up one more time for a shot at the prize.

    Most everybody, especially the good players, are carrying some sort of injury. It’s always that way when you place a tournament at the very end of everyone’s long season. The US is in the same boat as lots of teams. Get over it.

  200. Lil' Zeke says:

    Nope, primoone is bass ackwards on this one, and not paying attention. That is a great idea for a little contingency planning.

  201. Lil' Zeke says:

    “close to meaningless”… hmmm

  202. Grogtank says:

    Holden over Beasley at RM all day everyday. Holden over Benny as a CM all day everyday.

    It’s a shame Bedoya didn’t make the cut. We will be kicking ourselves next cycle looking back and wondering why he wasn’t on the 2010 squad.

    Goodson is our best CB against crossing teams. He’s our best CB for set plays. Goodson is also our most agile big CB. Does this make him our best CB? If not, he’s not far from it.

  203. rick says:

    Mexico beat our B-/C+ team in the Gold Cup and in Estadio Azteca with thin air and our best player trying to run with H1N1. Those two wins don’t impress me that much.

  204. Joseph nanez says:

    Saw U.S v Czech Rep again and noticed that we were fielding a dumb formation. Also, there is a reason Holden, Torres, and bornstein should be on the bench. Want to know just ask me.

    Joe texas

  205. Joseph texas says:

    Second striker wasnt pressuring Czechs’ lone def mid, holden was caught up field most times, and johnny borno wasnt making smart choices and was overcommiting on his ‘d’. Boob bradley, sorry, bob bradley didnt prepare the guys well. We worked hard on the set pieces but slack off when it comes to positioning, marking, adjusting on ‘d’, etc! Thats just the first half!

  206. Taco Hell says:

    A win is a win.

  207. Paul Revere says:

    I can ride my horsie… And make things out of silver