Altidore delivers in Gold Cup debut

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com 

By FRANCO PANIZO

DETROIT – Jozy Altidore entered the media press conference room following the U.S. men's national team's Gold Cup opener with Canada and was quickly received with the Man of the Match trophy, a small silver replica of the actual Gold Cup. Altidore smiled as he analyzed it and posed for a photo with the award, an award he won via votes from media members who attended the game at Ford Field on Tuesday night.

It was a deserving reward for Altidore, who moments earlier had scored a goal against Canada and helped set up another in a 2-0 victory to start the U.S. team's Gold Cup campaign. That type of performance was one he badly needed, having seen limited action while on loan with Turkish club Bursaspor and considering his recent lack of goals for club and country.

Altidore wouldn't say as much about his Gold Cup debut during the ensuing press conference, though.

"I think it's for everybody," said Altidore when asked if the game was a confidence builder for him. "I think coming off the game against Spain obviously we got down a little bit. But we picked ourselves up well, and we still have, clearly, a lot of ways to improve but I thought the start of the tournament wasn't too bad."

The start to the tournament began well in large part due to Altidore's 74-minute performance. The 21-year-old striker was a handful for Canadian defenders from the opening whistle, drawing a foul at the edge of the penalty area three minutes after kickoff.

Only a corner kick came from Clint Dempsey's free kick that followed, but that moment was the beginning of one of Altidore's better performances since last summer's World Cup.

"We count on him and in a lot of ways," said Michael Bradley. "He plays a big part in our success, and there may be times when may be the goals don't come but even on those days he gives our team a lot. All you need to look at that in terms of that is the World Cup. He wasn't able to score, but just his overall contribution to the team and every game was really big."

Altidore made a big impact for the United States 12 minutes after he drew the game's first foul as he found the back of the net for the eleventh time in his United States career and the first time in eight months.

After making a darting diagonal run across Canada's back line, Altidore received the ball when Landon Donovan fed him with a precise through ball. Despite facing away from goal, Altidore took a good touch on the ball and surprised defender Kevin McKenna and goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld when he unleashed a potent driven shot towards goal. Hirschfeld wasn't even anticipating the shot as he failed to save it despite being in a good position to do so.

"It's good for Jozy's confidence him getting the goal," said Dempsey.

If the goal helped Altidore's confidence, his near assist on Dempsey's second half insurance goal raised it to a whole different level.

In the 62nd minute, Altidore raced passed a defender and nailed a driven cross across the penalty area. Juan Agudelo got the slightest of touches on the ball before Dempsey knocked it in, and the assist was given to Agudelo not Altidore.

"I think they should give the assist to Jozy," said Agudelo with a smile. "It's not like I meant to pass it."

Assist or no assist, Altidore delivered at a time when many doubted him and questioned his repeated starts with the U.S. team. That'll likely change, at least temporarily, as Altidore's performance helped the Americans earn three big points.

"For confidence it's a good game for Jozy," said head coach Bob Bradley. "The movement that led to the first goal and obviously the ball he that he put across for Clint's goal; both great plays. When you go through a stretch with your club team and now not always playing regularly and not getting goals, I think in terms of confidence this was very important."

If Altidore can indeed carry over that confidence and continue playing the way he did against Canada, he just might be posing a few more times this tournament with Man of the Match awards.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Altidore delivers in Gold Cup debut

  1. Josh D says:

    Good job Jozy, keep it up. We need you performing to not only help us into the Confed Cup again, but we need you to land at a good team, earning solid playing time!

    Saw more hustle and determination from him. Similar to how he played in the Costa Rica game after Davies’ accident – the best game I’ve ever seen him play.

    Let’s hope it continues. And that his confidence builds.

  2. Annelid Gustator says:

    He had a fine game. I would hope to see Wondolowski with the full side, too, as he was pretty impotent out there when he came on. Just like to see what he can do against a team aside from the best in the world.

  3. Alexandria says:

    Good start but I still want to see him work harder off the ball and make his runs quicker. It was interesting to see him and Dempsey get into it a bit but he Has to keep moving there where at least two times i saw that he stooped his run and if he would have just kept. going the play would’ve had a better result. But good start.

  4. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    He was definitely more active which is something he needs to keep doing.

  5. OmarVizquel says:

    “…an award he won via votes from media members who attended the game…”

    Just curious — who decides which media members vote for the Man of the Match? And is it a straight vote? Random curiosity.

  6. kimo says:

    Wondolowski did look impotent. He offers nothing on the USMNT level…not speedy enough, not tricky enough. He’s a very nice MLS club player when in form, but this is a different level. Adu could do everything that Wondo is asked to do w/ much more creativity. I realize that Adu’s just getting back in the fold, but there’s no way he’s not better than a couple of the guys suiting up over him.

  7. Joe says:

    Dempsey should have won an award for the Scorpion kick he nearly pulled off, it looked like it would have been on frame if the defender hadn’t touched it.

    Can you imagine what a scorpion trophy would look like? Badass.

  8. pancholama says:

    el escorpion de oro

  9. Andy in Chicago says:

    You hit a nice triple last night, Omar. :)

  10. JoeW says:

    Altidore has always been a handful to play against–drawing fouls, creating matchup issues. Even players who’ve shut him down have talked about the combination of strength, jumping ability, quickness and speed. But the drawback on Altidore has always been production…not scoring goals, not creating chances for others (minimally at best). When he produces like this (a goal and realistically an assist plus some other chances created) then he’s a huge asset to the team. He doesn’t need to be Ronaldo or Gerd Muller or Klose. He just needs to show some production (which also makes Dempsey and Donovan more effective).

  11. BumpBailey says:

    Let me preface this by admitting that I am a Quakes fan…. I too question if Wondo is Natioanl Team Caliber and on the surface I would say No. He is not going to outrun anyone, or outdribble/finesse anyone. But, there have been a lot of successful forwards that just seem to have a “nack” for scoring goals through hard work and determination. I am not saying he is one of those but I am saying he fits that mold. He just seems to get himself into dangerous areas on a regular basis and makes goals out of half chances. I know that is in the MLS…. but, a golden boot is worth a good look. As far as his 20 minutes went last night, he wasn’t good. However, I would like to see him get a decent chance in one of the next two games. Then let the jury decide.

  12. kimo says:

    On Ream…a bit of a disclaimer…I really like the kid and think his future is bright, but…he’s getting a free pass. His 1 vs 1 defending is sporadic (sometimes good / sometimes downright awful) and his back-line positioning is questionable at times. I’ve seen it with the RBNY, against Spain and now against Canada. He will get absolutely toasted by the likes of a Hernandez on well-timed runs with over the top balls. With time, Ream will get better, but as of now, his positioning with this sort of play is a gaping hole.

    On Wondo…see in other post.

    On Jones…I feel like most writes are not giving him much credit for last night. He was fantastic…great defensive work and very good passing / distribution.

    On Boca…boy oh boy…do we need a legit LB. With more pace, Boca would be fine. His experience and positioning is what allows BB to play him on the flank. His lack of pace is big red flag, but there’s not much of a choice. Lichaj (sp?) could fulfill this role, but his positioning is a problem. Boca, at the very least, is very intelligent on the pitch.

  13. marco says:

    Tim Howard was the Man of Match for me, Jozy and Michael close seconds.

  14. kimo says:

    Bump,

    I think Wondo is a quality MLS club player. There is no shame in that. I’d love for him to be on my team. He’s a dependable pro. However, international football is a big step up. Look at a guy like Jason Kreis. GREAT club player. A true pro. It just didn’t translate for him on the international level.

  15. kimo says:

    I’d give it to Bradley, but I really don’t have an argument against Timmy. He’s an absolute stud.

  16. strider says:

    I don’t think you can judge Wondo by last night. First off he didn’t get to play with the full team, i.e. came on after others were subbed out, but more importantly, when he came on we were killing time and not in attack mode as much anymore. Additionally, he was alone up top as Agudelo had been replaced by Klejstan to better minimize Canada’s ability to build from the back. So, there were several factors that kept him from having any real chance to show anything last night. We just don’t know if he can handle this level yet, so we’ll have wait to judge.

  17. Omar Little says:

    Where are all those MB haters this morning? Kid’s our future captain so get used to that q-tip running all over the pitch for the next decade.

    I have heard Jozy has interest from 2 teams in the Eredivisie, which is a league I have thought for a while would be a good place for him to develop. Has anyone heard any specific names as to which teams may be interested?

  18. Sleepy says:

    maybe he can play his club matches in his nats uniform, he looks like a different player

  19. drew says:

    Definitely agree with you on Jones. Last night was probably his best game for the National team. I don’t really remember him giving up strays passes like he has done in other outings. He and Bradley looked very strong together.

    Boca looked quite unsettled out there last night. Surprising really.

  20. kimo says:

    Strider,

    Fair enough. I’m basing my opinion simply on what I’ve seen when he’s been on the pitch as a Nat and what his skill set looks like in the MLS environment. Again, he looks quality in the MLS, but I don’t think his game translates to the international level. Let’s hope I’m wrong as we need as much quality depth as possible.

  21. Vince says:

    I already have new nickname for J.J.:

    Jermaine “Wake Me Up When It’s a Real Match” Jones

  22. drew says:

    A solid performance from MB last night.

    Question: Did it seem like he was dropping back further than usual to get the ball off our D? Every post about Ream seems to be about his distribution skills, but MB seemed to have to do more work than necessary dropping so far back. He Jones were playing so far back, it looked like a 4-2-2-2 at times.

  23. Vince says:

    Apropos of nothing, but after last night Juan Agudelo is now officially cap-tied to the U.S.

    He doesn’t seem to have been approached or interested in Colombia, but he would have been eligible.

    If Lichaj gets into a GC match here soon, he’ll be officially cap-tied as well. Poland called him in October to touch base, but Lichaj never seriously considered them. But until he plays in a competition the option to switch is conceivably there. (Like it still is for Timmy Chandler — though he appears happy with the U.S.)

  24. drew says:

    at the moment, that nickname might be applicable to the entire US Federation.

  25. neill says:

    I agree with you on Ream. I was at the game last night and was surprised to see that his performance got fair-to-positive reviews in most pieces that I’ve read. His technical ability with the ball and passing is a great asset to have at that position, but he had a couple of massive screw-ups that were covered either by Timmy or poor final touches and finishing by the Canadians.

  26. JJ says:

    Altidore, Aguedelo, Buddle, Gomez, Davies > Wondo

  27. Josh says:

    Indeed. The US has had lots of players of that type. In addition to Kreis, Twellman and Kenny Cooper come to mind. They’re too slow, too short, etc. for the international game. As you say, there’s no shame in that, and they can have long, productive MLS careers, but if they’re on our WC roster, then we’re not going anywhere but home.

  28. Josh says:

    I noticed it, too. But I think that was partly because Canada played so compressed that a) the middle was a little too clogged for longer passes, and b) because Canada had no width, Boca and Dolo were pressing up the pitch.

    On a couple of occasions, when Howard distributed out of the back, Ream and Goodson were the only two players hanging back. If anything, the US formation looked like a 2-4-2-2; so I think that was at least part of the reason Jones and Bradley dropped so far back.

  29. Josh says:

    Forgot to add: this is why Bradley keeps calling Jozy in, even when he’s not playing well (or at all). Jozy is a physical beast, and to defend Hirschfeld just a little bit, Jozy’s always had a powerful shot. Remember his blast that Casillas couldn’t stop, even though he got a hand on it. Jozy can be frustrating to watch, but he can also do things that the rest of the strikers in our player pool can’t.

  30. matt says:

    You have to consider the potential defensive benefits of that calm passing though. Jay Demerit, who I love to death, hardly ever gets burned, he is a fantastic defender. He’s not a gifted passer though, and he and Gooch/Boca/etc. lobbing balls back to the opposing team comes with it’s own problems. It limits our possession, tires out our team, and can lead to fast-counterattacks for the opposition (while limiting our opportunities for meaningful offense.) It’s possible that he will be absolutely torched by Chicharito, but limiting Mexican possession will help starve service to their forwards. Plus, no player in our pool can hope to contain Hernandez save perhaps Boca. I predict if we make the finals and play Mexico, you’ll see Boca/Ream or Boca/Goodson with Bornstein on the left. I do not have a ton of faith in Bornstein, but he’s faster than Boca, and he won’t continually make positional errors like the talented but raw Lichaj on the left.

  31. kimo says:

    Matt,

    Ream reminds me of a Marquez without the positional savvy…and that comes down to a lack of experience. Ream undoubtedly is the best distributor out of the back that the Nats have seen in some time and dare I say potentially ever. Again, however, his positioning will get him killed at this point in his development, but as you state his benefits likely outweigh his shortcomings.

  32. BK says:

    If we US fans are hanging our hopes on Jozy, then we are all heading for a world of disappointment for as long as he plays. He is not world class. He made a great cross on the second goal and was the beneficiary of bad goalkeeping on the first but other than that looked every bit the mediocre player that he is. Problem is that I can’t figure out if he is really the best this country has to offer. If so, then we are in trouble no matter what we do.

  33. crosebud says:

    Hope we don’t forget to mention the very strong performance by Dolo. Solid on Defense and nearly all our offense involved good runs up the right flank.

    Many good performances but it was great to see him contributing all over the field!

  34. Jeremy says:

    exactly. People get so upset that Ream might get burned badly a few times, whereas gooch or Demerit would have made the stop.

    The problem is more often than not, gooch or demerit either put the ball out of bounds or just back to the other team, leading to more attacks to deal with, and over the course of a game. This ultimately creates a greater danger of leaking a goal than Ream’s few bad plays.

  35. slyboy says:

    Lol, i get what you are saying. But the guys you just mentioned are ALL tall. just thought it was funny

  36. BK says:

    Taking nothing away from Altidore who played well and was productive with the goal and assist, I was equally impressed with Agudelo who I feel had a much higher work rate and was dangerous when on the ball however received many balls on the flanks and farther from goal.. With his speed and skill, Agudelo needs to work towards receive the ball in more advanced and dangerous attacking positions.

  37. tricksyclown says:

    It’s similar to what Xavi does with Barca or Carrick/Scholes for Man United.

  38. Annelid Gustator says:

    “I don’t think you can judge Wondo by last night. First off he didn’t get to play with the full team, i.e. came on after others were subbed out, but more importantly, when he came on we were killing time and not in attack mode as much anymore. Additionally, he was alone up top as Agudelo had been replaced by Klejstan to better minimize Canada’s ability to build from the back. ”

    Yeah. OTOH, he’s too old to really count on going forward. Ultimately I think I’d have preferred another “bubble” forward in the 22-24 y.o. range be called in.

  39. Annelid Gustator says:

    I’m not going to disagree with that, but I’m not ready to order the last four of that whole list. I’d like to see Wondo get a real runout alongside the rest of the more-or-less starting XI. I don’t have high hopes, but it is too tough to make a fair assessment without it.

  40. Annelid Gustator says:

    Yes. And a 22 year old centerback is a great asset going into 2014, *if* he continues to develop. Which probably needs to include a couple of years-worth of play at a craftier level.

  41. Matt says:

    I’m actually hanging my hopes on the entire team, and not any one individual player.

    However, I’m more concerned about our internet soccer boards. I mean, if all we can offer is non-stop cynicism and unoriginal whining, then I’m afraid we just might not be world class internet posters.

    BK made some nice general assumptions, and used his own personal bias to continue to hate on player who deserves some credit for a good performance, if only for a few days, but other than that BK looked every bit the mediocre poster that he is.

    Problem is that I can’t figure out if he is really the best this country has to offer. If so, then we are in trouble no matter what we do.

  42. Colin Ferguson says:

    Well played sir, well played indeed.

  43. Todd Nelson says:

    Matt,

    Let people opine as they see fit. Quit labeling people “Haters” or “Trolls” just because they are providing criticism which may be in contrary to your view.

    Everyone has a right to give their honest opinion and as long as they are not personally attacking anyone.

  44. Paul Thomas says:

    Well, actually, he WAS personally attacking someone (albeit, Jozy Altidore probably doesn’t read this site– but what if he did?). So, really, he’s got no call to act offended on that score.

    More generally, it’s one thing to speak about specific problems with a player’s game, but it’s another to do what BK did and just spout off a paragraph which is nothing but saying “he sucks” in five or six different ways. It adds nothing to the discussion and deserves to be ridiculed.

  45. jimg says:

    I agree. I thought the goal was good, but nothing spectacular. I mean, he put a ball on frame…good. The keeper should have stopped it, but he didn’t.

    I think the real man of the match was Tim Howard by far. He made a multiple spectacular saves in the second half.

    I thought Juan Agudelo had a much higher work rate and had more of an impact on the flow of the game, he just didn’t get the proper service at the right time.

    My issue with Jozy is that he never fights for 50/50 balls or puts pressure on their defense. I mean there are times when he actually shies away from a challenge or pulls up at the last second, almost as if he doesn’t want to get hurt.

  46. AdamFromMich says:

    I was also at the game last night, and I was impressed by Ream. I was seated close to the corner on the side that the US defended in the 1st half, so I got a good look at him then. He looked great in the 1st half — good positioning, good passing, and physical enough to win most 50/50 balls. I don’t remember him getting beat then, although Simeon Jackson looked dangerous.

    I couldn’t see him as well in the 2nd half, but I remember he had at least one screw up then. Overall I would give him a good rating (with an asterisk that he needs to keep limiting his mistakes). I’m guessing BB will remind him of that.

  47. Paul Thomas says:

    The strength gap between him and the other USA forwards is enormous. The really impressive part of the goal against Spain wasn’t the shot, it was his utter destruction of the defender, who was perfectly well-positioned and then got posterized.

    It’s very frustrating when Altidore doesn’t always make the greatest decisions or show a lot of touch on his shots, but the fact is that he is bringing something to the table that no one else in the national-team pool comes close to right now.

  48. bryan says:

    dude, go away.

  49. oncebannedtwiceshy says:

    i think taking h. gomez over wondo would have been the better move.

  50. This is Great? says:

    Yeah, Altidore was great. Now if he can just get goalkeepers to make horrible errors on a regular basis he might be able to score.

  51. Vince says:

    All right, all right, everyone gets their own opinion, and I’m not saying Altidore is Rooney or Drogba, but “never fights for 50/50 balls”?

    That I have to strongly disagree with.

    I can’t remember the last Tim Howard goal kick Altidore HASN’T thrown his body at, often with a defender hanging off him.

    In fact, that’s how last night’s second goal started. Altidore beat his defender to the ball, chested it down right, and continued to that side before putting the cross in.

    “Never fights for 50/50 balls”? That’s like the one thing Altidore does every match….

  52. Eurosnob says:

    Dude, you are entitled to think that Altidore is a mediocre player, but he just got the man of the match award for our national team. You take his two plays away and the US does not win but has a 0-0 draw against Canada. He was the difference maker last night.

  53. Brian says:

    I heard Simon Borg likes to make sculptures using his own s*$t. Maybe he could have modeled a scorpion trophy for Dempsey.

  54. Brian says:

    He got nutmegged in the box

  55. Jeff M in CHI says:

    Kenny Cooper is not a proven MLS player…way too inconsistent a career to date.

  56. Eurosnob says:

    Not that I disagree with your general point, but Tim Ream is turning 24 in October, which is still young for a CB.

  57. Typical Ranter says:

    Yeah well your just saying that cause your dad runs the message board. If we can’t be perfect we’ll never get to the NEXT LEVEL!!!! Oh and fire Bob Bradley.

  58. Citronomics says:

    I think you make a key point about what was good about Jozy’s goal (and I agree with others that he put the ball on frame and the keeper should have done better). What I saw and liked is how he shielded the defender and turned and shot after the first touch. Certainly his stregth and improving ability (from what I’ve seen) to use his frame effectively when put in advantaged positions are encouraging. Hopefully, the next few years see him grow into more of a completer player and striker along the lines of what others have mentioned.

  59. Citronomics says:

    Agreed on all points. My observations from watching the match – MB’s positioning, distribution and I think most importantly moving into space to provide link up options were all quite good last night.

  60. Judging Amy says:

    I like Agudelo a lot but IMO he’s being a bit overhyped on SBI. Even when he has a mediocre game, its “Juan shows such promise. He has such great work rate aka he ran like a chicken with his head cut off.”. He’ll try a dribble that doesn’t come off and its “What a great move, his skill is evident”. Has yet to show great consistency at either club or country. Not saying it won’t happen but people should probably pump the brakes on him a bit. EJ had a blazing start to his Nats career.

  61. kimo says:

    What Brian said…

    But that will happen…

    My general concern was that he got caught flat a number of times. Over the short to intermediate term this will continue to plague Ream; however, as he gains experience, he’ll likely become quite efficient w/ his positioning. He’s definitely a keeper imo…

  62. Kenny_B says:

    Todd,

    Let Matt opine as he sees fit regarding BK’s comments. It’s a never ending iteration of letting people opine.

    I tend to agree with Matt’s remarks that BK’s opinion (summarizing here) was stupid.

  63. Zstar says:

    Goalkeepers are more likely to make errors with Altidore because of his cannon shot at close range. See Casillas, 2009.

  64. Kenny_B says:

    Agree, i think Bradley put a very short ball through into the box that had Altidore been on the same page….would have been in a very dangerous position to score.

  65. Kenny_B says:

    Jones was tremendous last night and got virtually no credit. He was a quiet assassin.

  66. Don Pelayo says:

    Nothing like trolling in the afternoon, I see.

    Jozy was fantastic. He deserves the MOM award.

  67. Don Pelayo says:

    Although the keeper was in a good position to make the save, Altidore’s shot was vicious. All the credit to him for getting that much power behind it and creating a goal from that tough angle.

  68. Duck says:

    Was it Jones’ first cap in an official competition as well? I wasn’t sure if he only played friendlies before

  69. Thorpinski says:

    I thought Howard was MOTM, possibly if we had swapped keepers we might have lost 1-0

  70. BK says:

    Wow, the anger… “Cynicism,” “unoriginal whining,” “assumptions,” “personal bias,” “hate,” “trolling?” haha, dude…take a step back a minute and look at yourself. All the people taking my opinions of Jozy as a personal insult to them reminds me to be thankful that I have a life. Interestingly enough, the picture posted with this blog is just moments before Jozy tripped over his own feet after a half-hearted step over that top of the penalty area. Face it…He’s just not the player we all want him to be. Simple as that.

  71. Ben says:

    EJ never evinced the technical ability that Agudelo has. Sometimes he might dribble too much, but at least he can.

  72. Ben says:

    Yes, but how often? Once every two years or so? Jozy has always been powerful, and that is part of the problem. What he lacks is the finesse that the top strikers have. I’m not trying to bash him here, just point out that he needs to work more on placement. Also, I was happy to see that he looks much more fit than he has in the past, which shows me that he is serious about really getting better.

  73. Vince says:

    Once you file a switch with Fifa, you can’t switch back, so technically it never mattered whether Jones played in a competition — he’s cap-tied by filing the switch.

    You only get one switch.

    Same with Edgar Castillo. Doesn’t matter what happens now, he’s cap-tied to the U.S. He can’t play for Mexico even if he’d like to switch back.

  74. Judging Amy says:

    Very true. He also had (has?) some qualities Juan doesn’t have. Its popular to hate on EJ nowadays but back then he was seen as the future.

    And I’m not saying Agu will have the same career trajectory as EJ, just that an 18 year old is no sure thing no matter how good he is (and Juan hasn’t even been that good).

  75. Judging Amy says:

    A legit and sensible criticism of Altidore. I wish there were more measured arguments like yours on this site, instead of all the spewed idiocy, fanboyish hype and hate.

    I might not agree with you about Altidore as a whole, but your reasonable opinion leaves room for a discussion to be had, which is what a true soccer fan should want in a forum.

    Cheers.

  76. Annelid Gustator says:

    Thank you for correcting me–that was quite a silly error.

  77. ThaDeuce says:

    Bad A dr. B, bad a

  78. BumpBailey says:

    You can’t always judge a forward by speed and skills alone no matter what level. You all are probably too young but Ger Muller was a small man and not the most athletic looking player. But man, could he find a way to score a goal. All I am saying about Wondo is he reads the game well, gets himself in good positions, and he has a great shot. Now all of that doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get service. But like I said earlier the guy scores goals from half chances. He scores with both feet and, his head. And he is a tireless worker. One of these next two games are good chance to see if he can do it at that level. Maybe he can’t. For the record I like Herculez Gomez too. I always think of that guy as a guy you hate if he isn’t on your team. I think he is the perfect first off of the bench if you need to attack.

  79. Adrian says:

    Hmm.

  80. AdamFromMich says:

    He got nutmegged in the box in the second half. That is the screwup which I mentioned in my post. I don’t remember any other bad mistakes. I also think the Canadian player (Jackson) should get some credit for a nice move on the nutmeg.

  81. GW says:

    “Face it…He’s just not the player we all want him to be. Simple as that.”

    Well now, who do you want him to be?

    Jozy right now is mediocre but I don’t care.

    The team is also mediocre but I find them entertaining,fun to root for and watch ( cue in horrified reaction of supporters of Joga Bonita. Frickin snobs. My comment to you is champagne taste,beer budget).

    They may be mediocre players but they are my mediocre players. Sort of like supporting Maryland basketball.

    Mediocre as Jozy is he still produces for the US, when it counts ( Confed Cup, WC qualifying, WC and now Gold Cup).

    His play for his various clubs has been underwhleming and his play for the US in exhibitions, well, I think he may have a twin and sends them in his place.

    But when it matters, he answers the bell better than any other US forward. You can look it up.

    And BK since you have a life and know, isn’t that what life is about?

    Besides unless I’m seriously delusional these guys all get paid by their clubs, not the USSF. And I get the endorsement opportunities, exposure leading to possible transfers and all that but the point is, they don’t have to be here.

    And if you think it isn’t risky, you need only to look at Gooch and see how his career has been compromised and possibly ended by his injury while on US duty. Yet, now that he has only one leg, (personal experience with serious knee issues) most of you treat him like a used disposable diaper, something embarassing to be swept out of sight as soon as possible.

    The effete person who said Jozy didn’t go for 50/50 balls didn’t watch the World Cup where he and Dempsey were battling to see who got more beat up, who had more bruises. Jozy was unlucky not to score against England, assisted on Bradley’s Slovenia goal, centered the ball to Dempsey that got blocked back to Donovan and was unlucky not to score against Ghana.

    I’ve watched forwards going back to Denis Law. Jozy is no Law, or Geoff Hurst, Roger Hunt, Ian Rush, John Aldridge, Alan Shearer, Gabriel Batistuta, Ricky Villa or Emilio Butrageno, no Gerd Muller or Drogba and definitely not Brian McBride.

    But he is the best the US has right now and he is only 21, so he has a chance to improve.

    If he could work his way up to be a reasonable facsimile of Joe Jordan or John Toshack circa mid 70’s, that would be just fine.

  82. GW says:

    “He had a fine game. I would hope to see Wondolowski with the full side,”

    If I read you right, you meant you want to see what Wondo can do with the first team. The trouble with that is if he is playing it’s no longer the first team.

  83. GW says:

    All you guys who have already buried Wondo, yes he is limited and yes maybe he’s slow, but if he can score enough goals, nothing else, absolutely nothing else matters.

    And right now, it is way too early to judge him.

    Kreis, Cooper, Twellman had their shot. If BB is willing to give Wondo his shot I say let him.

  84. GW says:

    The USSF, BB and just about everyone else has made it crystal clear this roster is all about winning the Gold Cup not 2014. There are some questionable retreads ( Adu, Rogers) on the roster but no real newbies. Bedoya was an injury alternate.

  85. GW says:

    Gerd Muller scored 489 goals in 565 senoir club apperances. He scored 68 goals in 62 games for Germany.He won 16 titles including the World Cup, the European championship, and three European cups. He was short and stocky amd he was a better striker than Wondo and Gomez.

    With a low center of gravity and massively strong thighs, he was very hard to move off the ball or from a spot.

    He also was far more skilled and athletic than you give him credit for. He realised that most of the balls he would get a shot at would come to him from awkward angles and at awkward heights. He always said usually the ball came in somewhere between his shoulders and his knees.

    So he would stand in the middle of the box and have the ball served to him from all the possible points of the compass. He excelled at volleys with either foot and at diving headers. If there is a tape of his practice sessions it would make a great instructional DVD.

    But most of all, he had a sixth sense of where to move and where to be, the infamous “nose for goal”.

    Neither Gomez nor Wondo is in Muellers class but I see no reason why they can’t be successful goal strikers.

  86. GW says:

    When you were 21 did you always show the greatest judgement? I sure did not.

  87. GW says:

    What is wrong with that?

    Life is short, you only have so many great games in you.

  88. BK says:

    “But he is the best the US has right now and he is only 21, so he has a chance to improve.”

    That may be true. People have been saying that about Freddy Adu for 7 years. I’ll be honest though, I’ve come to expect more than a Round of 16 finish at the World Cup. Anyone Remember “Project 2010?” We were supposed to be a contender in the near future but I think we are still way off. A big reason why is this country’s inability to produce world class forwards. If Jozy is the best we have, I think we are just going to have to accept that we are only a top 32 team in the world at best.

  89. Joamiq says:

    … Would you rather that we not be a top 32 team in the world?

  90. Joamiq says:

    “was quickly received with”? Really?

  91. Tom says:

    World Class??? That’s the problem with a lot of USMNT fans. You have a good, young, strong, athletic, developing 21-year-old striker and you complaning that he’s not world class. It’s completely insane. Do you even know what world class means? World class means the top player at his position IN THE WORLD! Only 11 players in the world are “world class.” Your expectations are far, far, far out of line with reality. I’m thrilled to watch a young, versatile talent laden pair of strikers like Jozy and Juan develop before our eyes. This is clearly, far and away the best young striker tandem we’ve ever seen in this country. Let’s appreciate how far we’ve come instead of pretending we’re Brazil.

  92. Tom says:

    The EJ comp is always a natural argument, but this kid has so much more technical ability – surely you can see that?