Agudelo’s equalizer, Howard’s saves help USA overcome rough first half in 1-1 draw

AgudeloArgentina (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The score was different, but the final result was the same.

Nearly three years after the U.S. men's national team played to a scoreless draw with Argentina, the Americans tied the albiceleste 1-1 through an equalizer from substitute Juan Agudelo in front of a record crowd of 78,936 fans at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday.

The 18-year-old's second goal in three international matches not only pulled the United States level after Esteban Cambiasso's first half goal, but also helped the team overcome a sluggish first half in which Lionel Messi and co. thoroughly dominated possession and the majorty of the goal-scoring chances.

"As the game moved along, the responses were good," said head coach Bob Bradley, who switched the team's formation at halftime from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 when he inserted Agudelo and newcomer Timmy Chandler. "I think to come away with a good result against a very good team, (there are) some things to talk about, things that need to be improved, but also some positives."

Among those positives was the performance of Agudelo, who built on his first two impressive national team caps by injecting some life into a U.S. attack that looked to be on the brink of flatlining in the opening 45 minutes. Agudelo showed a willingness to take on defenders and made dangerous runs as the U.S. team got itself back into a game that displayed Messi's magical touch throughout .

Agudelo's second-half cameo was highlighted by his goal in the 59th minute, when he knocked in a rebound after Mariano Andujar swatted away a Carlos Bocanegra header.

"For a young player, whenever you put (Agudelo) on the field, you can tell he has confidence," said Bradley. "He puts himself in good positions and when the ball comes, he's strong and he has something where he's looking to try things, things that make sense."

Chandler was another youngster who impressed. The 20-year-old right back made his U.S. national team debut by coming off the bench at halftime, and although he had some trouble containing Ezequiel Lavezzi, he demonstrated an ability to get forward well and swing in nice crosses.

"I thought he played very well," said Jay DeMerit, who played in his first U.S. game since last summer's World Cup defeat to Ghana. "He got up and down, he recovered well, played some very good balls into the box, and that's what you always ask from your right back. I thought he did all of those things very well tonight."

A veteran who shone in the match was Tim Howard, who came up with big save after big save, just as he did in the match in June 2008. Howard kept the Americans in the match by denying Messi, Lavezzi and Angel Di Maria repeatedly, and there was little he could do on the Argentines' lone goal.

After Messi played a ball into the middle of the penalty box, Howard made a kick save on Di Maria's effort from point blank range, but Cambiasso was there to rifle home the loose ball.

The U.S. team almost gave up a second before the intermission, but the defense, which included Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra, held firm.

"We understood that the first half didn't go the way we wanted, and you can't against a very good team come out and just, in your attempt to push the game, leave things wide open," said Bradley. "But we felt that there was more in us. Now we wanted to push a little bit higher, defend a little bit higher, be more confident with the ball."

In order to help accomplish that, Bradley began the second half by switching to a 4-4-2 formation and replacing Jonathan Spector and Jermaine Jones with Chandler and Agudelo. Those changes paid divends as the Americans found their rhythm, jumpstarted their attack and ultimately got the equalizing goal from Agudelo.

The United States next faces Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday.

——

What do you think of the United States' draw against Argentina? Who was your Man of the Match? Impressed even more by Messi and Argentina after this game?

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230 Responses to Agudelo’s equalizer, Howard’s saves help USA overcome rough first half in 1-1 draw

  1. John in FL says:

    wow……Very proud of our boys!!!!

  2. Georgio says:

    Red Bull fans have to start showing up to these US matches…

  3. MJD says:

    Ah, the good ol’ 4-4-2

  4. CrispyST3 says:

    Timothy Chandler. I think he just passed Lichaj, but it’s still too early. Agudelo and Altidore need to be paired at the Gold Cup. Jozy played much better with the extra striker

  5. CR says:

    So proud. Just can’t describe how happy that second half made me. Agudelo looked dangerous, and Altidore seemed to come along well when partnered with him. That was refreshing.

  6. Flaveur says:

    Chandler played a phenomenal game. Agudelo played very well. Altidore was energized when Agudelo came in, almost as if he knows that other forwards are finally nipping at his heels.

  7. Amir says:

    I hope all you Jozy haters saw his work rate tonight. I think he did a great job.

  8. jim in Atlanta says:

    US best line-up would be

    ——jozy—Juan——

    Landon—Holden–Jones—Dempsey

    Boca—Gooch—-Jay/Goodson–Dolo

    I know we would never see this because bob refuses to sit Jr. Sure Mikey hustled but all his passes were shart, as usual. Holden hustles and tackles just as good as Mickey but he’s a much better passer and better on the ball. Mickey looked like my 10 year old cousin trying to dribble out there.

    Too bad Stu got injured. One question I have is why did Bob take off Jones instead of either Jr. or Edu? Seriously, he if I idea was to put a good team on the field why take him off? Bod seriously baffles me. Now we get to look forward to Sasha, Edson, and the rest for the next game. I seriously hoe he starts the same team but add Juan with Josy, and have Jones and Jr. in the mid with Chandler at RB at least for the first half.

  9. AJ says:

    Great game. Very happy with Chandler’s debut. He shows some real promise.

  10. A says:

    Timothy Chandler is the class defender we have always lacked. He is more interested in building an attack than playing boot ball. His pace is unmatched in the back, and he can really cross the ball.

    Having watched a number of his club matches, I have no problem saying that he should be starting almost immediately.

  11. Louis Z says:

    I think boumberry may have something to say about that, he complements agudelo much better than jozy.

  12. Andrew H. says:

    Um Gooch isn’t good.

  13. Johnny Foreign says:

    Overlooked somewhat, I think, by the commentators: fantastic game by Timmy.

  14. CrispyST3 says:

    Yah thats true, but right now Jozy is a better player then Bunbury and u can’t bench him for Teal. Teal can come in as a sub

  15. Louis Z says:

    actually Chandler can player much better, he looked very much scared at first.

  16. Miguel says:

    I would like to see him on the wing.

  17. Supsam says:

    i hope you mean the other way around :]

  18. Supsam says:

    haters dont listen to valid points, they just hate

  19. ThaDeuce says:

    Agudelo!

  20. Louis Z says:

    I don’t think too many people complain about his work rate, more than anything about his finishes or lack off. can’t say too much on this game, he didn’t get a chance to score.

  21. FulhamNick says:

    Second half was much better then that awful first where we looked timid and had zero off the ball movement. Chandler, Jozy, Agudelo, and Demerit (minus that one turnover that led to an Argentina break) all looked good.

    Everyone else had their moments of good and bad but played about average. The exception being Gooch who looked absolutely terrible. I can not explain how he doesn’t get pulled…

  22. ThaDeuce says:

    General question.
    Why do folks think Coach Bradley took out Jones in lieu of MO and Bradley

  23. Todd Nelson says:

    I agree.

    Then again. My girlfriend would fight for the ball more than Jozy “Hit-The-Door.”

    When is BB and the rest of the world going to realize that Altidore is simply not a national team caliber player?

  24. Der_Amerikanische_Kasier says:

    TIMMMMY X 2

  25. ThaDeuce says:

    oh yeah, and Chandler was awesome.

  26. ThaDeuce says:

    X2

  27. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Concur

  28. ThaDeuce says:

    Edu looked good.
    2nd half Bradley looked good.

  29. shao2007 says:

    Gooch sucked tonight
    Tim Ream can pass out the back and should start

  30. ThaDeuce says:

    Holden is hurt.

  31. Kevin says:

    Haha i love it. 79,000 wasn’t enough damn it!

  32. Der_Amerikanische_Kasier says:

    Roger that Deuce

  33. FulhamNick says:

    Really not sure…none of them really out played the other in the first. But lets be honest, hell would freeze over before we see MB get pulled from a game. So it’s between Jones and Edu and maybe he left Edu cause he offers a little more going forward.

  34. kent says:

    I’m guessing Bob probably didn’t want a language issue to lead to a mistake when he changed formation. I’d have rather had Jones in there paired with Edu/Bradley though.

  35. CR says:

    Yeah I wasn’t too impressed. I though Demerit looked better then Gooch. His mistake in the first half about made me crap myself.

  36. Be Serious says:

    Apparently you didn’t watch the second half of the game tonight. Too bad for you.

  37. Louis Z says:

    actually Chandler got burned a couple of times around the end line. but I think most of all is because of being nerveous and a bit scared, specially when playing with a brand new team. i give hima passing grade on ‘D’ a “B+” on moving forward and making decent passes unlike Gooch

  38. Phil says:

    great game, we absorbed the inevitable pressure in the first half. Timmy came up huge. Bradley made some really good subs at the half, though I would have taken Junior off instead of Jones. All in all, it was a very effective match. Everyone played their role well and there were very few mistakes. This was a great match. The Argentines played well as well, so this result was well earned.

    One question: ESPN kept showing a graphic that the USMNT will play England next Saturday. Is that true? I thought that we play Paraguay on Tuesday and then the FIFA window shuts…

  39. Be Serious says:

    Haters just hate. As usual. How can you question the coaching decision tonight? It worked out perfectly.

  40. Louis Z says:

    good work for jozy, specially in the second half.

  41. Be Serious says:

    Who cares? It worked out perfectly so why question it afterwards? Probably he did it because he knows more about the team and the players than anyone post here. He watches them train while you just guess at what happens.

  42. Warren says:

    In the second half Altidore was solid; at key moments in 1st half Altidore was standing instead of moving.

    Still, like when paired with Davies, Altidore plays much better with a little time and space, which he never has as sole striker. Hopefully Bob has learned.

    And who didn’t know that jamming the middle with Jones, Bradley and Edu wasn’t going to work since they would bunch and get in each other’s way? Just like the last time BB played 3 DM’s together.

    Actually better/impressive hat they only conceded the 1 goal.

  43. Phil says:

    I disagree. He and DeMerit were not perfect by any stretch perfect but they both did the job against a juggernaut.

  44. jmadsen says:

    yep, you’ve certainly figured out what the rest of the world can’t

    what’s it like to have to live with 7 billion dummies? must be trying

  45. Be Serious says:

    I didn’t see any such graphic. What are you talking about?

  46. Neruda says:

    Juan Agudelo needs to keep curfew and never hang out with Charlie Davies friends. He’s the future of US Soccer and could be great for years to come. Timmy is easily man of match.

  47. Peter says:

    I wished we played England on Tuesday (or better yet Ghana, who England is actually playing.)

  48. salim says:

    Much better 2nd half. Love the switch that produced results.

  49. FulhamNick says:

    The women play England

  50. ThaDeuce says:

    agreed. Gooch looks scared…he may be past his prime, mentally. He looked VERY shaky on the ball. It was a bit scary. Would have liked to see Ream. Although, maybe if the coach shows faith in him he will come around, like players often do.

  51. jmadsen says:

    +1000

  52. John says:

    More like Jozy “Out The Door”

  53. Adam says:

    Que the Agudelo media hype train..

    It’s probably deserved to be honest.

  54. Peter says:

    If Landon Donovan is the Michael Jordan of US soccer, does that make Agudelo LeBron James?

  55. Paul C says:

    Our ladies will be playing England.

  56. Peter says:

    Of course it is!

  57. Warren says:

    In 2nd half.

    1st half of Edu+Jones+MB everyone but BB knew would not work.

    I was also for giving Jones more time, but honestly he looked tentative at times too, and MB had a good 2nd half.

    Real frustrating to watch Gooch et al just booting the ball up the field and not evene trying to make a pass out of the back when they could.

    Still great game against a great team.

  58. Paul C says:

    A few weeks ago, who would have thought our concern going forward is who to play in the midfield?

    Proud of our Yanks, genuinely proud.

  59. bernini says:

    Phil: England v US is the women’s match….

  60. CR says:

    Aside from the game, anyone else hear a fan yell “Konichiwa B*****S!” during the moment of silence for Japan? Very tasteless.

  61. Louis Z says:

    i guess he will tell the media “because he got a yellow card”

  62. Louis Z says:

    that was U.S. womens team vs England

  63. Louis Z says:

    maybe we should store him in a glass case until the next game.

  64. Warren says:

    Agudelo may be Lebron, time will tell.

    But Landon – good as he is – is no Jordan.

  65. Andy says:

    Jones is the least disciplined, from a team shape perspective, of the three. He has the same problem at Blackburn.

  66. jim in Atlanta says:

    REALLY!! I didn’t notice. I never said he played well, he was close to a disaster! All I said was what I believe our best line up would be. I was screaming at him, just like I assume all u were when he constantly just booted the ball up field or out of play.

  67. andrew in tampa says:

    Donovan was virtually invisible tonight. Although Demsey didn’t have a great game he has shown that he not Donovan is the most skilled/experienced pro on the pitch. Donovan seemed overmatched for size and speed.

  68. Phil says:

    thank you!

  69. jim in Atlanta says:

    *FACEPALM* CAPT. OBVIOUS!

  70. Paul C says:

    Yeah that was fairly embarrassing.

  71. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    CR: That was an embarressment to the US during that moment of silence after seeing the honor paid to the Japanese during the England match in the AM and the Germany match in the PM. We have some undisciplined fans, or maybe it is just NJ/NY.

  72. jim in Atlanta says:

    how so!? The first half was a disaster and Bob took off one of the better players in the first half. Mickey or Edu should have been Subbed not jones.

  73. Ben says:

    Much like everyone else, I was happy with Agudelo, delighted with Chandler, excusing a couple mishaps, and disappointed with Edu, Bradley, Gooch, and Boca. Frankly, Boca was putrid and Bradley not much better. Before anyone gets angry, I’m usually a Bradley supporter, but I do think he is a player that needs to be getting regular time to play well; otherwise, he is just too off.

  74. bizzy says:

    hahahaha…hell will freeze over before MB is taken out. Chandler was dangerous with the overlaping on the right side against a team like Argentina so why no have him play RM supporting spector???

    ————Altidore——-Agudelo————

    —Donovan—Jones/Edu—Dempsey—chandler—

    —Boca—–Gooch—–Demerit——Spector—-

    —————–Howard———————–

    Paraguay won’t know what hit them…..

  75. Amit says:

    Gooch was not at his best and Bocanegra was laughable on the ball as well. It’s just a friendly, if Tim Ream is gonna be forced away from club duty he should at least see time in a match where the guys in front of hum on the pecking order are playing like garbage.

  76. Paul C says:

    On the scale of too soon to past its prime…that comment was way too soon.

  77. Amit says:

    I agree. I held my head in hands for a good minute or two in sheer shock when I heard those comments during the telecast.

  78. Phil says:

    Again I disagree. The Argies are not idiots and they are not bad footballers with a crackhead coach (anymore). They knew who to contain, and who to keep the ball from and as such they kept LD, Deuce and Jozy well under wraps. All three of them did their job in being a handful and making the most of what little daylight they were allowed–all three threatened at times. Agudelo made the most of an opportunity that was laid at this feet (much like Cambiasso did) and he was the unknown to the opponent. It was a brilliant change on Bradley’s part to throw that into the mix as opposed to a Feilhaber, but people will quickly learn that they need to keep tabs on Agudelo as well. How he responds will determine if he becomes a quality international has-been or a superstar, Just like Jozy before him and Adu before him.

    As for Chandler, I hope Lichaj can play left back….

  79. Seriously says:

    Good idea.

  80. Byron says:

    Where was Ochocinco?

  81. kent says:

    Out of 70,000+ people in the stands, there’s bound to be some a-holes.

  82. Since 82 says:

    A fair portion of this board are ridiculous when it comes to Altidore. I don’t care who is up top as a lone F. It won’t work, period. Altidore played fairly well tonight IMO.

  83. dan says:

    MB for flop of the match?

  84. dave says:

    I am amazed that there is not more talk of Tim Howard’s play. Definitely man of the match and one of the finest games I have ever seen him play. At least 4-5 leg blocks and if he had been off, we would be looking at a 3-1 or 4-1 result. He has had a tough year at Everton but truly in best form tonight!

  85. Brett says:

    Should have made more changes. Edu was visibly winded and should have been replaced. I think we could have snatched it easily. Argentina was tired.

    Gotta be happy with a 1-1 draw against one of the giants. Howard deserves a medal.

    Only real negative was Gooch. Maybe Bradley was telling him to play this way, and if so shame on him, but he was nervously getting rid of the ball whenever he got it. We had several chances to milk possession and he just lobbed it up to nobody. Chandler was a revelation. He looks like he belongs in our first team at right sided midfielder (not gonna say RM because Ives doesn’t like it) when Cherundolo comes back. Then move Donovan to the left and put Agudelo up top with Dempsey.

  86. Darryl says:

    Chandler did great for his limited opportunities. I think tonight proved that without stu the nats dont really dont have that creative center attacking mid so medling withwith a formation outside the 4_4_2 is pointless. Also Marcelo Bielsa would be a better coach than. Not trying to hate on bob but he just cant keep “expirementing” against teams where we should be coming with all guns blazing. Bielsa loves to play the wings wich would be good with the amoint of 6 foot n up forwards and our best players playing against the chalk. Just saying……

  87. colin says:

    Prolly not for a long time, since he has already shown he is better than any other options and by scoring 10 goals and garnering a similar number of assists (2 at world basically) he has demonstrated he can play). Thought he did well today actually, particularly second half. I personally think Jozy will start finding the back of the net soon, but even if he does not I still find him to be an asset to the team.

  88. Micah King says:

    Some things I saw. Yes, I know I am not a professional coach. Bob Bradley STOP PUTTING JOZY UP TOP BY HIMSELF HE NEEDS A STRIKING PARTNER WHEN HE IS BY HIMSELF HE IS INEFFECTIVE!!!!!!! Chandler was very good he sprinted down the wing multiple times like a champ. Also, please do not start Bradler jr, Edu, and Jones all at one they are to defensive and they sit back to much when all three are in choose only two out of the three. Good win for the USA.

  89. Paul C says:

    ——Agudelo—-Altidore——
    Donovan—–Dempsey—-Chandler
    ————Bradley————-
    Boca—–Gooch—Demerit—-Dolo

    I liked Chandler going forward, but I wasn’t overly impressed by his defensive capabilities at all. I think he and Landon could provide good width in the midfield. I’m also concerned about Jones being a liability. He’s got great skill, but he’s very reckless. I’d like to see Edu go in over Bradley, but let me know when hell freezes over. Not saying this is our best look going forward, as I think it’s safe to say 4-4-2 is what we’ll be seeing, but I’d be interested to see Chandler get a run in the midfield.

  90. Since 82 says:

    The lesson learned is obvious. We should never, ever … NEVER … play 3 mids again.

    Even when Holden comes back. It plays to our weaknessess.

    It doesn’t matter who is up top … Altidore, Agudelo, Davies … we need two forwards and they are all young.

  91. Thorpinski says:

    agree.. I think Jozy is better paired with another forward. The boys got stronger as the game went on. The 4-4-2 appears to still be the best formation based on our talent pool.

    Tim Chandler very impressed.

    Howard MOTM

    Still need another CB to go with Gooch and last but not least a LB

  92. Paul C says:

    He was definitely not sharp, but I think overall his play was above average.

  93. GW says:

    I guess you didn’t see Demerit give the ball away to De Maria in the second half only to be rescued by an excellent tackle interception by Gooch.

    The fact remains that Argentina only scored once tonight a tribute to Howard and his defense.

    The way they played very few teams tie Argentina tonight.

  94. Thorpinski says:

    Time to passs the torch form Dolo to Chandler.

    Demerit is done imo.

    Edu and Bradley both looked much better with Jones out of the line up.

  95. ThaDeuce says:

    A) As a fan of any sports team, I care why decisions are made, and why the coach makes decisions in favor or disfavor of players when I can’t see a difference. Why don’t you?

    B) You didn’t answer my question, but your opinion could have been expressed without the first two sentences.

    C) “If you want to get into this boy’s hole, you have to pay the TROLL TOLL”

  96. ThaDeuce says:

    could be…thanks, never would have thought of that.

  97. Warren says:

    +1

    If Tim was off – and Argentina a bit sharper – it could have been 5-0 at half.

    And for Boca, he can always say he was nutmegged by the world’s best player on the goal. Not much shame there,though embarrassing.

  98. Thorpinski says:

    Demerit needs to retire. He panics under pressure. Gooch was solid. Lets not over look that gooch headed the ball on net that Juan cleaned up. Gooch is our best attacher on set plays.

  99. ThaDeuce says:

    I asked the question because I didn’t think anyone outplayed another, was curious if others thought the same thing.

  100. montana matt says:

    +1

  101. ThaDeuce says:

    may not be the best when he recovers… Gooch hasn’t recovered to where he was before, neither has davies (yet). Holden has done it before, but its not a given. with 6 months out, you can’t really say he is part of the best team.

  102. Thorpinski says:

    Tim Ream is not international quality. Sure we may see if against the lower tiers teams but he doesn’t belong in a game with the likes of Argentina. Hopefully Kitchen, Boss or someone with a higher ceiling can be integrated before 2014.

  103. vivalosburros says:

    Really? Really? You obviously missed a pretty good half. Can we stop with this idea that Jozy is lazy?

  104. ThaDeuce says:

    I thought that was boca! Was it gooch?

  105. vivalosburros says:

    Worst name since landycakes

  106. Thorpinski says:

    agree. BB just has to make the hard decision to sit good players and there’s nothing wrong with that. Edu and Bradley are our two best CM’s right now but when Holden regains his health things will get interesting.

  107. Adam says:

    Donavan was pinned back pretty much the whole game, especially the 1st half when the Argentina fullbacks were hugging the offside line. He improved the second half when Argentina let off the gas somewhat and he was higher up the pitch.

  108. vivalosburros says:

    I think that he was the best of the three central midfielders.

  109. Adam says:

    yea, but maybe we can keep the microphones away from them next time…

  110. nico says:

    Let the unrealistic expectations for Agudelo begin!! ;) Glad he got a goal though.

  111. GW says:

    “Real frustrating to watch Gooch et al just booting the ball up the field and not evene trying to make a pass out of the back when they could.”

    That’s really easy to say when you aren’t on the field with a team that can probably easily disposess your best player in your half and then turn it into attack in a flash.

    Yes it would be nice to work it out of the back but sometimes, and Argentina were having one of “those” nights, you know not to mess around too much. Jones was anonymous the first half which is too bad because he’s a guy who supposedly can hang on to the ball a bit.

    Neither Gooch nor Demerit can work it out of the back with the best but that isn’t why they are there.

    If the Gooch and Demerit don’t play as well as they did the score is 4-0 by halftime and the game is over. In the second half, in case no one noticed, the Argies were a much reduced force. You can’t do what they did in the first half forever. I’ll bet you BB knew that.

  112. Weems says:

    no idea why they needed to have a live mic during that moment. Or why we can’t be respectful for 30 seconds. incredibly embarrassing.

  113. Louis Z says:

    You think Gooch is the answer to the NATS? he looked terrible. he didn’t make a single forward pass the whole game. look it up. I’m afraid we may need to go with the youngsters for CB assigments. Boca looked aged as well. Defense needs a lot of work, at least RB looks well stocked with chandler and lichaj backing up Dolo.

  114. Louis Z says:

    I believe it was Boca with the header.

  115. Dlewis says:

    I agree completely. If Jozy is given a second striker he is quite effective.

  116. Louis Z says:

    i concur

  117. SwerveZ says:

    +1

  118. beachbum says:

    the lazy takes need a file upgrade

    next!

  119. beachbum says:

    this…well said

  120. Aaron in StL says:

    Agree on DeMerit. He was shockingly bad with the ball in his area. Maybe it’s rust, but time to start the transition now before we get to the meat of qualifying.

    Love the guy but when your first reaction is, “BOOT IT!!”.. it’s time.

  121. GW says:

    He was helping out on defense.

    Argentina have some very good attackers.

    Oh, and his free kick led to the US’goal, so what else do you want?

  122. Since 82 says:

    The choice has to be made. I give Bradley a slight edge over Edu. Two reasons. I believe his aggression on the pitch will mature in time and believe he will grow as an offensive player. Edu is fine as well. I would leave Jones out, because he is older, injury prone, and a bit reckless.

  123. Tap Rank says:

    No…Lazy Out-the-door is still subpar

  124. SwerveZ says:

    I thought Chandler was way faster going up the field than in defense…what’s up with that? Jones was horrible tonight, what gives?
    We’re missin’ Holden baaaaaaaad…

  125. beachbum says:

    Top Rank has spoken…significance unknown

  126. GW says:

    Bocanegra’s header led to the rebound that Agudelo tapped in.

    No Boca, maybe no US goal

  127. Mano says:

    The ignorant part of the USA contingent still exists…Hope we was dealt with

  128. Roy says:

    no excuses

  129. Gw says:

    Bradley was playing very well.

    Chandler played well but notice that the game was a lot more open by the time he came on. Spector did not have the same freedom Chandler did ; he was busy in the bunker.

  130. Elmer says:

    Get ready for all the pronouncements among the American soccer community that Agudelo is the future. I’m happy he is doing well, but let’s just let him develop. The last thing we need is another player to go the way of Freddy Adu.

    I think Agudelo has the talent to succeed for the USMNT but let’s temper expectations a bit.

  131. Remilar says:

    Didn’t notice any…

  132. Dlewis says:

    I would like to see Holden and Jones as the mids. Yes I understand Bob Bradley is the coach so this is unrealistic.

  133. GW says:

    “I think we could have snatched it easily. ”

    Really? That says a lot right there.

  134. fairly embarassing? thats offensive and disgusting if you ask me

  135. beachbum says:

    agree with your analysis except about Michael Bradley; Junior played very well…did you really miss that?

  136. Thorpinski says:

    I thought it was gooch but you could be right. I was just excited that we scored.

  137. GW says:

    It’s not that you are not a coach but your comments don’t make sense.

    MB, Edu and Jones have played together in two games, hardly often enough to scrap the idea.

    It’s not that the US are so defensive. Argentina are actually a very talented offensive team. You might not know this but that number 10 Messi, he is considered one of the very best players to maybe ever play and he never stops attacking. His teamates? They are all probably more talented than anyone on the US roster.

    So it was very clear to most knowledgable people that Argentina were going to come out with all guns blazing. Ask someone who really knows the game and I’ll bet you they will tell you that very few teams in the world would have gotten out of that first half with a one goal deficit.

    By the way, the US and Argentina tied.

  138. crocajun1003 says:

    Like clock work…Todd Nelson with another anti-Jozy post.

    Did Jozy steal your girlfriend at some point?

  139. CroCajun1003 says:

    I would love to see Chandler and Lichaj out there at the same time. If one can figure out LB. They give the squad so much energy.

  140. MJD says:

    I bet he drove in from Philly

  141. MiamiFCforever says:

    The newer fans tend to forget the worldwide exposure football gets as opposed to an NFL game. I was truly disgusted and appalled.Would have liked to been there would have had some choice words for that idiot and if a physical confrontation ensued so be it.

  142. Pushy says:

    Chandler was much better than Spector

  143. fischy says:

    I do think DeMerit was the better defender, though he was caught ball-watching on the goal.

  144. beachbum says:

    the back line actually played balls out of the back in the 2nd half…it was the difference in the game. DeMerit and Chandler in particularl stepped it up in that category

  145. Jose says:

    2011 Gold Cup championship squad…

    —————-Howard——————
    ———-Dolo—Goodson—Boca———-
    –Chandler———————–Spector–
    ————-Jones—–Bradley————
    —————-Donovan—————–
    ——-Dempsey————Altidore——-

    Bench: Guzan, Gale, Lichaj, Benny, Edu, Agudelo, Bunbury
    Best of the Rest: Hahnemann, Gooch, DeMerit, Mixx…and…wait for it…Chuck D

    Come on, you’d at least like to try it on FIFA

  146. fischy says:

    I was also very pleased. With a few more players like Chandler and Aguldelo, the USA could win the World Cup.

  147. fischy says:

    We saw the same player/game. He’s got a future with the USMNT

  148. beachbum says:

    without a doubt, and saved bacon on numerous occassions as well

  149. beachbum says:

    if yesterday is today, what becomes of tomorrow?

    more what ifs tonight at 11

  150. Clover says:

    I think we shuold wait on dismissing the 4-2-3-1, I would Like to see it with Holden in the middle flanked by donovan and dempsey with bradly/edu/jones fighting for the the two defensive midfield spots. I think if we had this line up, donavan and dempsey could push foward more and give altidore more space. I think the problem we faced tonight was having all three defensive midfielders in and jones was sinking back to far.

  151. Benny says:

    Embarrassing as it may be, the best thing to do is to mind your own business. You’re there to enjoy a soccer game with friends of family, not to have words or a physical altercation with some nut you don’t even know.

  152. beachbum says:

    Jones is a No as of right now. good player, but not fitting into the scheme of things. until that changes, pair MB and Maurice and let’s go 4-4-2

    I say start Edson next to Jozy on Tuesday, then sub in Juan again, keep him routined like that for now

    DeMarit and Chandler changed the game in the second half by playing calmly out of the back and catching Argentina way off guard with that ability; they did not expect that after the first half display…no way

  153. Messi the best says:

    Argentina had technics, skills etc but no goal. But they didn’t have tevez, huguain,henzei, and others. Argentina has the capacity to build 3 national teams. But good job USA and agudelo ny redbulls must be proud to have a player like that in there club.

  154. Pedrinho says:

    hahaha. preach

  155. Aaron in StL says:

    Just watched the ESPN w/Agudelo after the game, kid seems pretty grounded and just at awe with the moment. Nice to see that appreciation he has in these days. That’s something that is definitely lost in the other major sports and leagues nowadays.

  156. Chise says:

    Remember Brasil vs USA 2-0 and 3-2. Ghana 2-1 wc 2010 and wc 2006 2-1

  157. Be Serious says:

    Gale? Are you serious? He isn’t ready for real international competition.

  158. victor says:

    first half was ugly but effective against a polished Argentina. 2nd half, we played them almost to the point where the US had them on their heels. Bright spots Agudelo,and Chandler. Better play from the rest of the US squad….and,of course Howard. note. US was actually pushing back and double teaming Argentina players to the point of creating small wars on the field. This was most impressive. too bad it did not happen in the first half.

  159. DCShawn says:

    Bocanegra is a major weak link, and the fact that bornstein is next in line is very frustrating. 3 defensive mids is shiite. MB will never be pulled, which in the first half had me furious. That being said, MB and Edu played very well together in the 2nd half. Love Agudelo up top with Jozy. A Dolo/Chandler right side would be sick. A Chandler/Holden right side would be sick. A Chandler Donovan right side would be sick. Did I mention how annoying the left back issue is? 2014 back line = David Regis, Kitchen, Gabe, Chandler.

  160. Since 82 says:

    I’m not wholly adverse to this lineup with Holden back, but I think our next generation of forwards are worth playing. I believe Altidore, Agudelo, and Davies are all going to see significant time through the cycle. Hard to see enough time for them with only one up top.

  161. Rob says:

    It’s only a friendly, but can we please see, just once, a Bradley free midfield. It will either shut the haters up, or give them a legit argument. Either way, I want to see it.

  162. Mike says:

    A few things I learned tonight:

    1) Without Holden (and maybe even with him) we don’t have the midfield or striker personnel for a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1, or 4-3-3 or whatever you want to call it). Jozy can’t play well alone, and we don’t have an attacking mid currently to make it work.

    2) Agudelo needs to see the field, but please, our 18 year old striker with one club goal and 2 nat goals is not a 90 minute starter. I see him (for the Gold Cup) filling a similar role to tonight- 30 minute super sub, running at tired defenses and paring up with a target man. He might be the starter by the WC, but he isn’t ready for that by June.

    3) Chandler needs to be on the field, but I don’t trust him as our Gold Cup RB. I think Dolo is fine for the Gold Cup. Perhaps moving forward (between Gold Cup and World Cup) we can explore Chandler as a first choice RB.

    4) So, if we need Chandler on the field but not at RB, can’t explore the merits of a 4-5-1 without Holden and shouldn’t play Agudelo 90 minutes this summer, what should we do for the Gold Cup?

    I think that THIS summer, you run a 4-4-2, starting Altidore and Dempsey up top, and starting Donovan and Chandler at the wings. Chandler would give us nice width. I think you then bring in Aguedlo as a sub for Chandler, and move Dempsey back to the wing. You would also have Bunburry and Buddle on the bench to give you different options (allowing you to sub Altidore as well).

    I am not crazy about Dempsey and Altidore up top (I think we tried it in the World Cup run up, and some at the WC without much luck), but I really think it is the best option. Seriously, I think our Gold Cup attacking options are:
    – Altirode/Aguedlo starting up top playing most of the game (Chandler on bench)
    – Altidore/Dempsey up top, Chandler starting, and Aguedlo exploiting mismatches as a 30 minute sub (second half sub is the only role he has known with USMT)
    – or keep forcing the 4-5-1

    If those are my Gold Cup options, I say start Dempsey up top…

  163. JPGR says:

    I’m not a fan of Jozy’s past performances, but I will say that Jozy played better in the second half when he wasn’t up top alone, though he needs to do better with his decisions on when to go forward and when not to.

    He had a few bad traps but I think he played pretty good overall.I don’t think I’ve ever praised him before so that’s a first.

    By the way, we got 4 yellow cards and Arg. got 0. C’mon refs…there should have been at least 1 that should have been given to them…right?

  164. JPGR says:

    Oh, and hats off to the USMNT for not giving up and to Argentina for such a great performance.

    USA ALL THE WAY!

  165. Jerome says:

    Agree. But, What is Up Bradley as the coach? He does his best to make our team stink in the beginning until he realizes he made a dozen mistakes, And switches is it. Im starting to wonder how many more games we could have won. And he also has no problem showing favoritism to Mike. We were all wondering how bad this 4-5-1 is with 3 Defensive CM’s, but with respect to the players. It was mike’s turn to be subbed off since he does not play with his club and Jones and Edu are. Bradley’s rule was playing time. so much for that. Jermaine Jones to CB…

  166. Darwin says:

    They did, but who did you expect them to support?

  167. Micah King says:

    Please read my comments before you post a comment in reply that is ludacris and vague. I watched the game Edu, Bradley, and Jones were not attacking at all. Did you not see how far Jozy had to track back on Def??? He should not have to do that, but since coach Bradley still continues to put him up top by himself we were not getting any shots cause Jozy had to play Def way far back. I knew that the game was going to be slow. those three in the middle are to defensive. None of them were attacking. The USA is not good with three in the middle in midfield. I do not know if you know this, but USA’S BEST FORMATION IS 4-4-2. Jozy needs a striking partner always if he starts look at the confed cup ala Davies was with him. Look at all the times he has scored or assisted he had a partner to make passes and move past and to with.

  168. Andrew says:

    Really loved seeing agudelo and alitdore out there together, with their youth really shining. Though this summer is important in terms of reaching the Confederations Cup, it is still all about building towards 2014 for me. Though Holden is hurt, I hope to one day see a lineup of:

    Forwards – Agudelo, Altidore
    Midfield – Donovan, Holden, Bradley, Dempsey
    Defense – Lloyd (?), Ream, Boss, and Chandler.

    Maybe we can see how Lichaj would do on the left-side of the defense. It couldn’t be worse than Bornstein.

  169. Micah King says:

    Heinze did play they were missing Aguero though.

  170. Dave from charlotte says:

    howard is a top 5….maybe top 3 keeper in the WORLD. Mad props to ‘stoner.

    My new ATK nickname for Timmy….

  171. Andrew says:

    bump chandler on the wing

  172. Micah King says:

    Are you serious Bocanegra is not a weak link the goal did not come from his side it came from Demerit and Spector side. Also Boca has scored the most goals as a defender for country in this current generation of US talent.

  173. Micah King says:

    Why are you putting in a B squad defense ? SMH.

  174. Jack says:

    I just got back from the game (only took me an hour and a half to make the half hour train ride from the Meadowlands to NYC–AWESOME). It should only take me another twelve hours to defrost.

    And wow. Just wow. The first half had me gritting my teeth, but the game just changed entirely in the second and you could feel it in the stadium. I will be honest and say that I expected our defense to be absolutely routed (especially when I saw Specs and Bocanegra were our outside backs), but they did well against Messi. And the feeling of a full capacity stadium just going absolutely insane, despite being frozen, when Agudelo scored was just incredible. Really no other way to describe it.

  175. Dennis says:

    I was at the game. The US really quieted the Argentine fans in the second half. The Messi, Messi cheers were silenced.

    In the first half, Jones was the one who looked like he was supposed to be the attacking mid of the three and he did not do it very well. Not that Bradley is a better player than Messi, but he did have a much better game. He played the role of defensive destroyer to near perfection.

    In the second half, the substitution of Agudelo for Jones opened up the midfield and had the effect of bring Dempsey and Donavon into the game more. I thought BB would substitute Edu due to the yellow card, but… Chandler looked good going up the right side and that led to a good share of the US chances in the second half.

    Onweyu, Demerit and Boca defended well, but all 3, especially Gooch, made way too many aimless clearances or passes that missed the mark. I would hav eliked to see some of Ream in the back.

    I am pretty tired of the M. Bradley haters, in this game, he was clearly the central midfielder who took the lead in stopping Messi (of course, all 3 had their moments, but it was Bradley who most often took command and made the definitive play). He did that, I think without any dicey fouls, unlike Edu who got the card and Jones who I thought was lucky to escape without a caution.

    It is almost routine for him, but Howard again made it a long night for Argentina.

    I was glad that Batista was taking this game seriously as evidenced by his not using a lot of subs. It would have ticked me off if he had thrown in 5 or 6 subs and the US had scored after that.

  176. donttreadonme says:

    I thought Bradley did well tracking back on D and pressuring attackers/mids. Granted, it wasn’t genius, but I don’t think it was as godaweful as you all say it is.

    Chandler rocked. Spector dissapointed. Agudelo defined the new slogan tonight. Boca is getting to old and out paced too often. Don’t know what Gooch’s deal was tonight – maybe bad sushi. Jones was a huge disappointment. I saw his debut vs. Poland live. He rocked it. Triangle then? Dont remember. Edu was solid. Jozy…the jury is still out on him. We should never see him solo again imo. He obviously works better paired up – 4-4-2 whether you all like it or not. Bring on Paraguay!

  177. Dennis says:

    Glad to see no one seems to be jumping on the Agudelo as savior bandwagon like was done for Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore. He is a very good young player with has a good touch and he is quick enough to diosrupt defenses. The goal was a nice opportunistic play. Still there we moments when he looked like a teenager playing against adults (whoa he was). His trajectory so far has been amazing I hope he keeps improving, if he does, he will become something very special.

  178. joel says:

    1st have was terrible but we turned it around and the changes at halftime along with the formation were the correct ones. question is should we play a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2. personally i think it depends on the opponent.
    Good job from the boys!

  179. Jack says:

    I agree with all of this. As someone who ended up attending with some Argentina supporters, it was nice to hear them shut up after the first half.

    I honestly don’t understand all of the Michael Bradley hate in the comments (although, not unexpected, I guess). From where I was sitting, he had a very good game.

  180. BigNor says:

    Agudelo…an 18 year old kid. When he gets past his nerves by playing against world class players. I wonder how good this kid will really be

  181. Jack says:

    Wholeheartedly agree.

    Reading some of these comments, I’m wondering if we were watching the same Michael Bradley.

  182. David says:

    Jerome, everyone is thinking we need to stack the midfield before the game. Isn’t it a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking to claim the coach should have known better all along. After he pulled Jones and subbed Spector, the team played significantly better. One of his substitutions scored the leveler. I say credit to Coach Bradley for inciteful adjustments.

  183. David says:

    Yes, the first half was a disaster, Jim. The fact that the team played so much better in the second runs counter to your claim that Jones was playing well. He wasn’t.

  184. Peter says:

    Great request but with his DAD as the coach this will NEVER HAPPEN!

  185. Ocho Quatro says:

    Bigtime pimpin..

    Chandler needs to start.. Agudelo is sick.. I promise to keep my exspectations of this kid at a reasonable level.

  186. Tyrone says:

    I’m fine with it.

  187. mypurpleundercracker says:

    Idiot

  188. mike says:

    Chandler look fairly good going forward but needs to tidy up his defense. Altidore look very good the second half look dangerous and gave the Argentinian back line a hard time. If he ever finds his scoring touch he just might turn out to be a fairly good player just not for the U.S but internationally too. Aguadelo got a goal but played how I expected him to play. Made some decent plays but look lost and uncomfortable on the ball sometimes.

    The defense did well but Gooch although he had some good played look stiff and he really cant pass out of the backfield. Majority of the time with or without pressure he would just boot it somewhere. The midfield should never consist of those 3 guys ever again I mean again. It’s the second time with this midfield and the second time we looked this defensive and lost offensively. If anything put Dempsey as the withdrawn if Holden isn’t available and play Aguadelo, Chandler or someone else out on the wing. Dempsey does well when he gets the ball but a lot of the time he just doesn’t go looking for it and with him playing that position he should see the ball more.

  189. mbw says:

    I was also surprised he took off Jones instead of Edu. My guess is that he chose to keep Edu on the field because the US was down at the time and Edu has been more of a scoring threat this year than Jones has. Michael Bradley might have been a candidate for substitution because he’s not been playing ninety minutes but he also has a history of scoring late goals.

  190. Scott A says:

    New Jersey’s own Juaaan Agudeelllooo

  191. gas huffer says:

    +++

    Gooch looked terrible.

  192. jcl says:

    Biglia and Mascherano deserved to be bitchslapped both

  193. RB says:

    “ludacris”? Seriously?

  194. RB says:

    Maybe everyone’s just dazzled by Chandler or something, but I’m surprised there’s not more commentary on how poor Spector’s performance was…

  195. Micah King says:

    Yeah, his post was ludacris. I do not understand how my post did not make since. I was typing in English.

  196. Charles says:

    Yeah thank god! It’s funny because I feel like on here a few months back everyone was really keen on bradley dropping the 4-4-2

  197. Charles says:

    I feel the same way, but I am looking forward to the day when a draw is a disappointing result as a US fan the majority of the time rather than a food one

  198. Chris says:

    Did you see the game? Argentina dominated the first half. Usually, you get a yellow card when you are defending.

  199. Sometimes talent kind of stands out. But it isn’t just his talent, its his compusure, and his confidence. Kid’s gotta swagger.

    He made our veterans look more confident even before the goal. I loved how he came out and jumped around loosening up before the start of the half. He knows he’s good enough to be on that field with anybody. El Chico Dorado.

  200. El Chico Dorado. All aboard.

  201. Gerald says:

    Good Point Supsam

  202. bizzy says:

    There is a difference between Playing well, Playing, and playing bad. MB just played. He couldn’t hang with any off the Argentinian players when the going got tough in the first half. Playing the 4-5-1, with everything turning into a soup sandwich Spector was still holding his own…blocking shots….and playing. Mike was walking when that goal was scored….walking, our defensive mid!!! Edu and Donovan were so far back it made you wonder what position they were playing!!! He couldn’t keep up with anybody. Argentinian players just SIMPLY blew right by him and not only that he couldn’t mark either!!! Nobody got through jones without FEELING it, not even Messi!!!

    The two people that had a little Fight in them (especially jones) were taken off and Mike that couldn’t do anything when things were really bad stayed on. Gw if BB wasn’t coach MB comes off and thats a fact. We can make excuses for him all day long but there is a clear reason why he doesnt start for Villa.

  203. Edu’s speed and hustle tracking back was essential. He was one of the most important players on the pitch.

  204. Gerald says:

    You’re right the the 3 central midfielder were getting in each other’s way

  205. Probably somewhere getting laid.

  206. KnappL8 says:

    The women play England next week.

  207. I kinda like that look. Already thinking of 2014 and I’d slot in Holden at your RM and drop Chandler to RB. His speed at the RB position is devastating and Dolo might be too past his prime for the next WC.

  208. bizzy says:

    Bradley stopped Messi???? By himself??? When?? Ok what game where you watching!!! Messi BLEW by MB almost everytime in their one on one match up (98%), like he wasn’t even there (during the 4-5-1, is when the true characters of our players showed and MB’s was present. Second half the game had opened up with a better offensive keeping the Argentinians back a little. It’s ok to love the coaches son but DAMN….

  209. PAKmon says:

    Altidore is a donkey! The faster we forget him the better off we are. His lack of 1 goal at the World Cup was the deal breaker for me.

  210. Micah King says:

    What other forwards do you recommend other then the ones who have already been capped ?

  211. Dennis says:

    I just watched part of the game on tape and yes M.B. took the ball off Messi more than a few times. Of course, no one will stop Messi all the time, but the US proved that Messi can be thwarted by good team defense (and Messi was a bit undone by his inability to combine as effectively with Argentina as he does with Barcelona). Bradley was very instrumental in forcing Messi into tight spaces where Onweyu and Demerit could easily make the cleanup tackle.

    So yes, Michael Bradley had a much better game than Messi.

  212. Ryan says:

    I thought the blond dude that kept jawing and Dempsey should have seen yellow, or an elbow to the jaw…

  213. Ryan says:

    People keep saying this as if Jermaine Jones wasn’t awful in the first half.

    I understand that Jones is some hotshot euro player or whatever, but he was complete garbage during his time on the field. Club time be damned, Jones was a hack and Mike B was solid.

  214. Ryan says:

    Oh hey, another commenter who doesn’t understand the game at all! The internet is full of surprises.

  215. RB says:

    LOL!

    OK, no worries. :-)

  216. JG13 says:

    Dennis, I think we’re all going to suggest that you should watch the match a third time.

  217. Tactics 201 says:

    Tacticly when you decide to pull a CM and put another forward up top its much harder to clog the midfield (which is what they did in the first half). The strategy almost worked but Argentina did well to go around our outside and get crosses in. For the most part the central players did well to snuff out chances. However, when you’re defending like that you tend to launch the ball in a panic because A) you’re in a panic and B) you dont have a ton of outlets anyway. It also forces Landon and Dempsey to have to pinch back in to defend which is why there is no outlet and little attack by the US. When you do get the ball up top your only option is to have Jozy hold it until help arrives. He worked hard to do this (most of that effort goes unnoticed when watching at home) but it was not an easy task at all and not what he’s built for (not many strikers are).

    So why did he pull Jones? Well knowing the center part of the pitch would be more open he has to think Argentina is going to be able to break us down there at lot easier, which opens up the whole attack for Argentina. So you need a guy who can really cover ground and that is Bradley. His work rate in the 2nd half was incredible. I counted 3 or 4 times he sprinted from the middle of the park to make a tackle or provide defensive support. So essentially his work rate had to cover for a lot of the space we created when we changed formations. He is way more adept at that than Jones (not saying he’s a better player, just tactically it made more sense). Now Jones vs. Edu is simply that Edu is a much more attacking player. His runs to support the attack in the 2nd half were outstanding.

  218. Tactics 201 says:

    Tacticly when you decide to pull a CM and put another forward up top its much harder to clog the midfield (which is what they did in the first half). The strategy almost worked but Argentina did well to go around our outside and get crosses in. For the most part the central players did well to snuff out chances. However, when you’re defending like that you tend to launch the ball in a panic because A) you’re in a panic and B) you dont have a ton of outlets anyway. It also forces Landon and Dempsey to have to pinch back in to defend which is why there is no outlet and little attack by the US. When you do get the ball up top your only option is to have Jozy hold it until help arrives. He worked hard to do this (most of that effort goes unnoticed when watching at home) but it was not an easy task at all and not what he’s built for (not many strikers are).

    So why did he pull Jones? Well knowing the center part of the pitch would be more open he has to think Argentina is going to be able to break us down there at lot easier, which opens up the whole attack for Argentina. So you need a guy who can really cover ground and that is Bradley. His work rate in the 2nd half was incredible. I counted 3 or 4 times he sprinted from the middle of the park to make a tackle or provide defensive support. So essentially his work rate had to cover for a lot of the space we created when we changed formations. He is way more adept at that than Jones (not saying he’s a better player, just tactically it made more sense). Now Jones vs. Edu is simply that Edu is a much more attacking player. His runs to support the attack in the 2nd half were outstanding.

  219. beachbum says:

    you are correct…no need to rewatch the match.

    who would have expected that? no one. certaily not the Michael Bradley haters, who choke when served their crow, unable to find the stomach to sack up and eat it

  220. Goalscorer24 says:

    So tired of Bradley’s strategy’s. Can we officially put the 4-5-1 to rest it does not work for the US. Also can we play from the beginning of the game like we are down a goal?! The stupid bunker defense is another strategy that does not work for the US. We need to be pressuring the opponents form the get go, not backing up giving them space, and time on the ball. How come all the US fans on the blogs can see this, but the coach does not? This would never be if we had Klinsmann as our coach.

  221. Andreinvegas says:

    I completely agree. Jozy is overrated and is useless up front as lone striker. Juan A. & Teal B. play very well together. I was however confused when Mike Bradley was left in and not Jones.

  222. Andreinvegas says:

    Right on the money!

  223. JPGR says:

    Give me a break. Listen to yourself…with your rationale no yellows are given when you play offense?

  224. abc says:

    These facts are irrelevant to MB and BB haters.

  225. abc says:

    …until Tuesday (maybe)

  226. abc says:

    When you nonchalantly write “Boss” like that, you’re basically admitting you have never actually seen him play.

    He’s one of the best on the U20 team but he is by no means ready to start for the national team. Maybe in a year or two at the earliest.

  227. Ben says:

    A bit harsh don’t you think. It’s not black and white. I thought M Bradley played like crap (as did almost everyone else the first half).
    I, personally, would have rather seen what Jones could do with a little more room, but still think we needed Holden (or a Reyna-type player in the middle). As others have stated, what galvanized the offense was Chandler and Agudelo, not leaving “sonny” on the field. If you watched the play, both Edu and Bradley had to hang back to keep Messi from waltzing through.

    As for MB, this game confirmed (again in my mind) that he is just not offensive or defensive enough. Really he just works hard and, therefore, is able to make clutch saves and/or clutch goals, but lacks that extra bit of skill that would make him really good. He’s still young though, so hopefully he improves.