USA lands in Nashville, turns attention to Paraguay

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Less than a day after earning a 1-1 draw with Argentina, the U.S. men's national team arrived in the Music City to prepare for its second-to-last friendly before the 2011 Gold Cup.

The United States did not train on Sunday and instead had a regeneration session despite being slated to face Paraguay at LP Field on Tuesday night. That doesn't mean the team's focus hasn't already turned away from Argentina and towards a Paraguay side looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to Mexico, a result that put a dent in its preparations for the 2011 Copa America.

"Hopefully we can build on (our match versus Argentina)," said captain Carlos Bocanegra. "I thought we had a pretty good second half. We did some things well. There was obviously still some stuff we could improve on, but I think we'll take the confidence into this game against Paraguay and try and improve on some of the other things that we did and keep going from there."

With only three days separating the friendlies against the two South American teams, the United States knows it will need a quick turnaround in order to record its first win of 2011.

That's something the Americans seem mentally prepared for, including youngsters such as Juan Agudelo, the author of the United States' goal in the draw against the albiceleste.

"To me I think of it as just being fun," said Agudelo of the turnaround. "I don't think it's going to be tough, but we're going to see. Argentina is an amazing team and Paraguay is going to be an amazing team, too. We know that. We just need to go out there and work our best and try to play some good soccer."

The last time Paraguay and the United States met was in the Copa America in July 2007, when a young U.S. squad fell, 3-1, to Paraguay. Of the players that dressed, and played, that day, four are on the current U.S. roster (Jonathan Bornstein, Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan).

Obviously, the two teams are much different now, but they will share a common goal when they step onto the field: finetune things before their respective federation's tournament this summer. 

"The baselines for us are our workrate and our energy," said Bocanegra. "I think we need to go out there and be a little bit more confident and impose our game on Paraguay, and we're going for the win."

Other News and Notes

  • One player who will not be available for selection against Paraguay is Edson Buddle, who was sent back to FC Ingolstadt 04 on Sunday. That leaves 22 players in camp for head coach Bob Bradley to choose from on Tuesday.
  • The United States will once again sport its new red jersey on Tuesday, forcing Paraguay to wear something other than their traditional red-and-white home uniforms.
  • As of Sunday, more than 20,00 tickets have been sold for the game at LP Field.

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What do you think of the upcoming USA-Paraguay match? Do you see the United States winning? Will you be attending Tuesday's friendly?

Share your thoughts below.

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

85 Responses to USA lands in Nashville, turns attention to Paraguay

  1. julio says:

    I hope Agudelo turns out to be what we all hope, a real legit consistent Forward. Not asking for a Messi (not in our lifetime in a US jersey) but just someone to keep the defense honest.

  2. The Dude says:

    4-4-2….at least it’s better than 5 midfielders.

    Altidore/Agudelo
    ………Mix………..
    Demps…….Donov
    ……..Jones……….
    Boca Ream Gooch Lichaj/Chandler.
    …….Hein…………

    My head will explode if Bradley goes 90 yet again. Let Jones play behind/alongside a playmaker and see what happens.

  3. Matt says:

    Can’t wait!

  4. Matador says:

    Such a shame, I personally think that Buddle deserved a look. Sure, many people will say that Bob is building a team for the 2014 WC and the ex Galaxy will be too old…..but we need strikers who can score goals for the Gold Cup. Sure Altidore is talented but he cannot score for the National Team. Potential can only go so far, its time to produce Jozy.

  5. Jon says:

    Dude, I was at the Argentina game, and, you know what. Mike B was better than Jones or Edu. He had more succesfull tackles/takeaways than the other two gus combined. He’s gonna start against Paraguay and it will be the right decision.

  6. Grayson says:

    That is silly. We played the first half with 3 holding midfielders against Argentina (though we called Edu an attacker). You think Bob is going to line up in a 4-4-2 diamond against Paraguay? No.

    If MixDisk gets to play as a central attacker, it would be in the 4-2-3-1, or even a 4-4-1-1. He won’t go out there without 2 holding mids.

  7. Grayson says:

    I have not been high on MB with him not seeing much time at Aston Villa, but he was good. His passing was not crisp, and maybe that was because he was rusty, but whose passing was crisp in that first half? I have been down on MB, but I think he converted me (at least for now) with his showing against Argentina.

  8. Duck says:

    Opinions on new red jersey?

    I think it might look nicer with a white sash, to contrast better with the deep red and blue.

    In the same vein, the white jerseys might look better with a red sash and paired with blue shorts. Get the red, white and blue going.

  9. thomas mcbooglebones says:

    I dont think anyone could legitimately say that they will have another messi come about in a lifetime, hes a once in a lifetime talent. That being said I whole heartedly believe the USA will produce a few world class talent before i die (im 20).

  10. Primoone says:

    lets be completely honest. You give 90 minutes to anyone and law of averages starts to kick in(with the exception of Sasha who prgressively gets worse). All of those DMF sucked equally with the exception of EDU becuase quite frankly…you didnt even know if he was on the field or not. But don’t take my word for it…jump on other sites and you will find that the general concensus is along that same vein.

  11. The Birchman says:

    Jozy’s scored 10 goals in 33 international matches. He’s also 21 years old and scored as recently as 3 international games ago. His production’s been plenty

  12. The Birchman says:

    Agreed. It’d be nice to see the blue sash trimmed with white to contrast a bit better.

    All around, though, I quite like the red jerseys.

  13. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I sure hope so (22).

  14. encantadefutbol says:

    Yeah, I’m not on the MB bandwagon AT ALL (I’ve always thought there was too much playing time for too many give aways), but last night I thought MB was the best of our central midfield, especially defensively. If Stuart didn’t get injured, then I’d be pissed like you, but he’s the man without Holden in the pic.

  15. Louis Z says:

    Well, I’m praying for that to happen (54)

  16. Louis Z says:

    I guess we have different standards of what current productivity is.

  17. Tom says:

    He was the best defensively because he was the only dedicated dmid. He just sat there above the back four. Edu and Jones were fine.

  18. OC says:

    Never thought of adding white, actually sounds real nice. I like them a lot regardless, though; I think I’m gonna order a #8 that reads ‘Deuce’ to add to the collection :x

  19. Since 82 says:

    I have been watching the NATS religiously since the mid 80s. We are getting better and we are getting better all the time. (37)

  20. Jack says:

    If they weren’t dedicated, they weren’t fine. I don’t think that Jones had a single successful tackle in the first half.

    I’m rewatching the game after having been there yesterday. Yes, he made many mistakes (like the rest of the team), but he also had many successful tackles and blocks.

  21. OC says:

    PLEASE play Tim Ream. Even my roommates who don’t know a whole lot about the game complain constantly about how Gooch and Jay (I like them both) just hurl it out of the back whenever they get it. I think of guys like Lucio and I see a bit of his offensive quality in Ream; I think Tim could really be the fulcrum to start counters / set up the offense, as well as be pretty solid at the back.

    Plus, that gives us 3 Tims in the starting 11. Pretty badass.

    P.S. I don’t think ream is as good as Lucio, but if there is such thing as a CB who ‘runs the point’, Lucio is it,and Ream could be a similar weapon. I feel that we could really use some stability passing the ball out of the back with a guy like Ream. He’s so calm on the rock.

  22. Jack says:

    They definitely looked nicer on the players, as opposed to the photoshopped red ad images that Nike released. I like the deep red, but I agree with the white stripe–or at least outline the blue sash in white or something to make it stand out more.

  23. The Birchman says:

    I suppose we could, but that would depend on what how YOU define it. He’s got more international goals in the last five games (Poland) than Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley and most other midfielders combined. He’s been getting playing time with Bursaspor but until recently, only at right midfield. He was the best player on the field in the World Cup game against Algeria and it was his header that led to the game-tying goal against Slovenia. I don’t have the numbers, but I’m sure he draws the most fouls of anyone on the US squad.

    But for whatever reason, the simple fact that the kid didn’t score in the World Cup and is on loan means he’s a let-down and not producing (not necessarily your words, but a lot of comments tend to say this)? I don’t buy it. He’s going to develop into a very nice player for this team if we fans don’t kill him first.

  24. Calling out the idiots says:

    Anyone that is a Michael Bradley hater is truly ignorant to our national team. Seriously, if you are calling out BB for playing mike over Jones or Edu then you are a moron.

  25. Supsam says:

    i feel like displaying my age too (22) haha

  26. Bart Scott says:

    You own me some cash!!!

  27. PN says:

    MB was outstanding. Stuart Holden is a nice player who has had a decent season in the EPL. I have seen several Bolton matches and have yet to see him dominate . He works hard, covers a lot of ground and is always available for a pass. However, from what I have seen his best skill is whipping in a dangerous cross, which rarely comes up when he plays in the center. Holden is a good player and I wish him well in his recovery, but he is being described as the lynchpin of the US attack, which so far has never been the case.
    Finally, despite all the naysayers, the US held Argentina to one goal and are to be congratulated on a hard earned draw.

  28. cajun says:

    I’m rooting for Josy, but he has cement feet when attempting to hold up the ball and don’t you think it’s irresponsible for him to try to barge through 4 Argentina defenders with no help? He’s been frustrating to watch lately. Hopefully Davies will be back soon and prove that Josy’s position is not a ‘given’ as he seems to think it is with both Davies and Agudelo waiting in the wings to relegate him to the bench if need be.

  29. StevenG says:

    Maybe it will be sooner than we think. (19)

  30. gomez says:

    How bout:

    Agudelo Jozy

    Demps Edu Donovan

    Bradley

    Lichaj Chandler

    Demerit Boca

    Boca is too old and slow to play left back. Convert a right back to left back we have time. These guys are pro’s, they can get a quality cross in with the left foot. Bornstiens problems was that he was a liability on in “team defense” and makes stupid errors. Chandler or Lichaj can play left back or right back

  31. gomez says:

    Agudelo Jozy

    Demps Edu MB Donovan

    Lichaj Demeritt Boca Chandler

    Is the way I meant

  32. cajun says:

    As for Paraguay, who ever saw the Mex/Par match saw a team (Paraguay) play alot worse in their 1st half than we did. Their defense looked like a bunch of candycane colored traffic cones out there, dreadful. I’m sure we’ll see changes from both teams though.

  33. RB says:

    I agree about them looking better in action than in the still images.

    Disagree on the white trim idea, though. As much as it might sound nice to have RW&B all more clearly there, the primary objective until we get a real re-design has to be to de-emphasize that beauty pageant sash as much as possible. The navy blue on somewhat dark red accompilshes that to a fair extent; adding white trim would just be counterproductive along those lines.

  34. Louis Z says:

    buddle was release from the Paraguay game. interesting, there is only 2 forwards. I wonder if we are going to see Demps up on top for a half and Chandler playing RM in his place.

  35. The Birchman says:

    Did he hold the ball up well in the first half? No, not particularly. But I’ve watched the game twice and I’ve yet to find a viable alternative to what he attempted to do. With little to no support play, it seemed he had two options: run at defenders and hopefully find some space to ease up the pressure on the defense or hold off/play backwards and hope support arrives. In either case, he was left it do it himself regardless and I’ll never fault a player for being aggressive.

    Secondly, and much more seriously, what honestly makes you think Jozy considers his position a “given?” What has he EVER done to make it seem as though he’s not devoted to getting better and proving his worth? Why do people insist they know EXACTLY what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling? It’s just absurd. I’m not having a go at you Cajun, I just never understand how people can seriously make assumptions about a player’s thought-process…

  36. Since 82 says:

    Can I buy you a beer? If Altidore continues to develop, he will be a force.

  37. Chad OchoCinco says:

    Child Please!

  38. chewp says:

    I haz koala farm (24)

  39. Phil says:

    Isn’t that a 3-3-4?

  40. mike says:

    People just like hating on Jozy, cement feet, lazy can’t score blah blah blah. It goes on and on. You would have think if he was that bad Bradley would had realize it by now. Bursapor would had realize it or even Villereal. Somehow the fans on this board are smarter then they are.

  41. Hush says:

    Well, this is going to be a great game. I would love to see an Edu and Jones working that midfield. I feel that this two can do some great defensive work with much better skills going forward if asked. Bradley’s footwork is horrible and passing ability is way off most of the time. And Edu & Jones would be nice on Tuesday… maybe Bob knows this could be a solid dual but knows this might bench his son for a while.lol.. just saying..

    One thing I do think we need is, Mr.ADU. Watching that last 08 game against Argentina it clearly showed how much a technical ability player is needed in field. Get rid of Buddle, Sasha,Benny, and bring a TRUE offensive player into the mix. Not being able to dribble the ball for more than 3-seconds es una Mier$% de futbol!:) Adu for salsa lessons! ;) We need a mix of players and not 10 Urlacher’s on the field at the same time,.. It won’t get us to the next level.

  42. Ian in ATL says:

    Wherez my cheezeburger? (25)

  43. Brian says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned this before: Didn’t anyone else think the US National Anthem was terrible? The singer seemed completely off and was not going at the right pace.

  44. Louis Z says:

    ok. let me gather my thoughts here for a minute…

    1. – he has more goals that the names you mentioned, TRUE, but they are not forwards, they all are midfielders.

    2.- He has 10 internationals goals, TRUE, since his first cap back in 2007. out of his 10 goals 6 of them have been against lesser foes, cuba, el salvador and trinidad and topago not much of competition I would say, so the 4 other goals have been against mexico(2008, 14 games that year), spain(2009, 24 games that year), turkey and poland(2010, 14 games that year). if you take away the goals from the lousy teams(games) you only have 4 goals and 3 out of those were friendlies. and the sole goal against spain he kicked straight to casillas who he actually blocked but trickled in and don’t forget his last goal against poland, he actually missed the trap when Jones passed him the ball and his kick was straight to the golie, lucky for him the golie decided to dive to one side first. I don’t think his numbers are as good as you may think.

  45. SBI Troll says:

    I know it won’t happen but lets see this 4-2-2-2 lineup. I think Spector at centerback might be his best chance to play for the nats in the short term. I’m not sure Ream is ready for the pace of the international game and Demerit and Gooch are dreadful in possesion.

    Jozy, Agudelo
    Donovan, Dempsey
    Jones, Bradley
    Lichaj, Bornstein, Spector, Chandler

  46. SBI Troll says:

    *I meant Bocanegra at CB not Bornstein

  47. Kevin says:

    Jon, I’m with you. When BB first took over the helm of the USMNT I was a little nervous that MB was just getting playing time because of his dad. I don’t see it that way at all anymore. I see Michael Bradley undoubtedly as our best central midfielder

  48. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Buddle sent back, or returned of his own accord? If he was sent back, then that tells me he will not see the field during the Gold Cup, and for someone who is scoring vice Altidore who is not, that is wrong.

  49. Grant says:

    Like it except i would want Ream for Demerit

  50. jb says:

    Wonder about the details of Buddle’s release. He has never gotten a fair chance with the A team, despite doing far more to earn the minutes last year than any other striker. BB biggest mistake at the world cup was not pairing Buddle with Altidore. Does Bradley have some kind of beef with him (ala Convey)?

  51. BenH says:

    Hopefully we’ll actually the Bob decide to play some possession game for once. While I am glad we tied Argentina, the soccer sucked. The fact that our keeper was man of match…well….

  52. bryan says:

    maybe at half time, that’d be a very inexperienced backline to start.

  53. bryan says:

    absolutely. i was astonished with the defending. they didn’t seem to care. and mexico’s finishing was spot on.

  54. RK says:

    Christina Aguilera?

  55. RK says:

    If he did, you think he’d call him up in the first place?

  56. chavftw says:

    I agree in principle to everything you said, esp. in the style of play I’d like to see. BUT I don’t think we could have played it out of the back against the likes of Argentina (at least given our formation in the first half). It was like a clogged toilet in the midfield, and you have Messi and Lavezzi swarming up front.

    I’m waiting for Ream’s big shot though. I couldn’t see BB putting him in either half v Arg, but against Paraguay? Definitely.

  57. Zack says:

    XXXXXXX(100) getting older

  58. Lorenzo says:

    It will happen (almost 25)

  59. Lst says:

    Not surprise México beat paraguay. Last time Mexico face paraguay in copa America 2007 and Mexico won 6-0 and eliminated paraguay.

  60. wyofan says:

    FC Ingolstadt has a game on Friday and they are in a relegation battle. I’d venture to guess an agreement was in place early on for Buddle to be released early.

  61. CroCajun says:

    Louis Z is right.

    Goals only count if:

    1. The team you are playing is better than you.

    2. The chance is beautifully taken.

    3. Your teammates don’t help you too much.

    If goals don’t meet this criteria they should have an asterisk placed next to them.

    Wait Louis Z…to PK’s count?

    I need more of this great wisdom from you.

  62. Don Pelayo says:

    I’m not sure what game you were watching. Bradley was great against Argentina. While Howard deserves the most credit for limiting Argentina to one goal, Bradley crucially slowed down and broke up countless Argentinian attacks.

  63. Don Pelayo says:

    A bit random, but did anyone else hope that the idiots chanting “USA!” during the minute of silence for Japan would be trampled to their death? I was really disappointed that a couple of drunk douches ruined our opportunity to properly honor the victims of the tsunami.

  64. Dennis says:

    Babies! it will happen before I die (eternal optimist, 64)

  65. Omar Little says:

    Surprised Dempsey hasn’t been released back to England. Doesn’t Fulham play on Wednesday?

  66. Dennis says:

    +1 Michael clearly had a better game than Messi did. (Though Messi is absolutely a special talent, he was the one left wondering how things went so wrong.)

  67. Dennis says:

    In the Argentina game, Jones passes did not connect, save one. He still seems to be on a different page than either Dempsey, Donavon or Altidore. I don’t see how Bradley did less well, especially since he found the ball so much more often than Jones did.

  68. Natsalways says:

    Not much talk on this board about Chandler, which surprises me. I thought he was excellent, and his service is outstanding. There were three or four really dangerous chances because of his service.

    And he gets back to cover, which is better than a lot of our defenders do.

    Lookng forward to the future with this bunch.

  69. Dennis says:

    Where are you? I don’t want to be close by when the game starts! On the bright side another MB hater will bite the dust.

  70. Spectra says:

    It surprises me that were mostly in our 20′s on this board. Soccer is the future!!! (28)

  71. Dennis says:

    The backline against Argentina had Spector/Chandler only because ‘dolo was injured. If not, the backline would have had the 3 oldest field players on the roster (Onweyu, who at 29 in May, is the youngest of the 4 by only 2.5 years).

    The Gold Cup lineup will likely include most or even all of these guys, but 3 years from now in must change.

    Ream, Chandler, Lichaj, Omar Gonzales,and others must step up! Experience matters and I think it would be folly to replace the backline right now, but the practice of calling in young players for training camps must continue. Anyone who suffered through the last Gold Cup final against Mexico has no problem understanding the importance of an experienced, cohesive backline.

  72. MiamiAl says:

    It sucks about Edson Buddle. I think Bob Bradley has been making a huge mistake with him since before the World Cup. Buddle is a much more polished striker than Altidore. He can create his own shots from a number of different ways. All Edson Buddle does is produce. I cant say the same for Jozy…

  73. I’ve heard a lot worse. At least it had some spirit so it sounded like an anthem and not the national dirge.

    I still maintain that only the Marine Corp Band should do the National Anthem (and I’m a former sailor!).

  74. Detroit! says:

    Totally agree. Goals scored is the only measure that matters. For instance, Lionel Messi is clearly over-rated because has only 13 goals in international competition, counting friendlies.
    /sarcasm

  75. Don Pelayo says:

    Nope. They play Sunday versus Blackpool. COYW!

  76. joejoe says:

    The USMNT had no attack. Someone has to feed the ball to the front guys. It’s not Atidores’ fault.

  77. Dinho says:

    Is this a serious comment?

  78. Jose says:

    I agree, Boca has been a great captain for the team. He has been great with the USMNT but I think it is time to develop a young left back. Boca is slowing down and although he has great experience we need to start looking towards developing younger guys. They need to start getting the experience of playing at this high level.

  79. Jose says:

    Yes that was so stupid and also that the people sitting in the lower rows of section 104 stood up the whole damn time. I was there with my dad who is sixty and had to move from those seats. Couldn’t make him stand for all 90 mins in the cold. It was the only section that idiots were standing throughout the whole game. There is a section for that and this wasn’t it.

  80. Louis Z says:

    implying that he is more productive than the other players mentioned simply because of the number of goals he scored is a flawed assumption. If your need to be sarcastic to prove your point speaks for itsef…more power to you.

  81. Designated tackler says:

    So Edu and Jones didn’t have to defend right?

    The Argentinians with the ball went looking for MB since he was the designated DM?

    ” I understand you are the DM? Here, try to take the ball off me?”.

  82. GW says:

    Take your standard for goal validity and apply it to the top 15 or so best goalscorers in Europe.

    I think you’ll find a lot of them will have to come off the list. for example thetop goal scorer in Scotland can only count the goals he scored against Rangers or Celtic since everyone else sucks.

    Ronaldo and Messi are both on 27 goals but how many of those came against inferior teams? By your standards the only goals that shouldcount for them should be aginst each other’s rteams. And maybe there should be a panel of judges ( no East Germans) to vote on their goals.

    You’ve got the wrong sport, Z. You need to be a figure skating judge where they give style points. Or how about American Idol?

    Next thing you’re going to tell me is Messi is crap because he kept shooting right into Howard and the US defenders.

  83. louis Z says:

    How can you possibly compare jozy to Messi to make a point. Looks to me you draw your comparisons on extemes so it makes sense to you. The original discussion was jozy being important because of his “10″ goals which I disagree. somehow you guys ran with it to extremes to see your way. move on, there is no used to continue this discussion.