Gold Cup Group C set up for a nerve-wracking final day

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA – The results in Group C began as expected, but Panama's 2-1 upset win over the U.S. men's national team on Saturday night has made Tuesday a vital day for all four top teams in the group.

Canada won in uninspiring fashion over Guadeloupe, needing a Dwayne De Rosario penalty kick to defeat a team playing with 10 men for nearly the entire game. But that result, combined with the Americans' surpise defeat, has allowed every team to still have a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout phase of the tournament.

That the Americans are entering essentially a must-win game against Guadeloupe is nothing but surprising, and Saturday's result was just equally as disappointing.

"We've got to learn something from it, but that doesn't help us for Tuesday," said Landon Donovan following the 2-1 loss. "Tuesday we've got to turn around and make sure we're ready to play. We've got to win Tuesday, see what else happens and see where we end up. We're still fine, we've just got to make sure we learn some lessons from tonight."

Whatever lessons they may be, the United States needs a win, not only to secure qualification but also to restore some team confidence. 

Head coach Bob Bradley said following Tuesday's loss that with only two days to prepare for the match at Livestrong Sporting Park, he's going to consider changes. Some of the positions where changes might come are in central defense, central midfield and at forward.

"We just look at ourselves and see the areas where we think we need to improve in order to continue to move forward in this tournament," said Bradley.

Even if the Americans progress to the next stage of the tournament, just who they will play ranges anywhere from Costa Rica to in-form Jamaica to archrival Mexico. That will be determined via the U.S. team's result on Tuesday as well as other results throughout the tournament.

For the United States, however, no result is as important as Canada versus Panama.

The two teams will do battle on Tuesday prior to the U.S. team's game versus Guadeloupe, so the Americans will know what kind of result they'll need in order to advance, or maybe even win the group.

All that means is that the United States is in for an intense final day of the group stages, a day where its result and another will determine its future in the tournament.

———

What do you think of Group C? What type of result are you expecting out of Canada-Panama? Do you still believe the Americans can win the group?

Share your thoughts below.

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

119 Responses to Gold Cup Group C set up for a nerve-wracking final day

  1. Jeremy says:

    I think Panama takes care of Canada, and the USMNT barely get a winning result against Guadeloupe. Maybe 1-0. That would put us against more-than-likely Honduras. If we somehow got past them, a rematch against Panama looks likely. That’s my optimistic look anyway. As sad as it is, I’m not confident going into the Guadeloupe game. Those guys looked athletic against Canada despite down a man.

  2. Arky says:

    Typical USA as of late, has to come down to the last game. I hate/love being an American soccer fan.

  3. Sam's Army General says:

    If we advance to the knockout stage, then I don’t think we stand a chance of winning the tournament with the way we’ve been playing. Some big changes need to happen. Juan Agudelo shouldn’t be starting. He should be a coming off the bench in the 2nd half to provide a spark. I think you have to go with Dempsey/Altidore upfront, then take a chance with someone like Bedoya or Kljestan playing on the wing. Heck maybe even let Spector have a go considering what he was able to do for West Ham playing in the Midfield. I feel like Bob Bradley wasted a roster spot on Adu, because he hasn’t even given him the opportunity be a threat coming off the bench (Adu hasn’t dressed for a Gold Cup game yet). If we don’t make it out of group play, then I could see a coaching change in the near future.

  4. Mat says:

    One thing which is never really mentioned by any of our soccer writers in the US is the dark truth of the performance of the USA since the World Cup.

    I repeat myself, but not enough people seem to realize that if you include the WC, we’ve only 3 wins in over a year vs Algeria, South Africa, and Canada.
    We’ve played 8 games at home during that stretch, we’ve only won 1 vs Canada. We weren’t able to beat either Poland, Chile, or Colombia at home.

    I’m not a BB basher, I actually liked him for the past cycle, but it’s pretty amazing the free passes he keeps getting from the media in this country. It’s almost as if criticizing the coach of the US team is not allowed.

    Where else in the world would you see a national team play poorly for a whole year, not being able to win at home, always falling behind score-wise, and then losing to a nation (Panama) we beat with our C team 2 years ago, marking the first time the USA lost a game in pool play btw, and not have the specialized media questioning the coach with more force? It’s absolutely crazy. Most countries’ press is up in arms when a national team loses a couple of games, and here ours is complacent and barely daring to challenge the USSF and BB’s decisions.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Then again, all us fans are great with these knee-jerk reactions. One day Mexico is struggling with suspensions and depth, making the USA a possible favorite to win the tournament. The next we’re terrible and Bob Bradley must be thrown in front of bus. As much as I hate this pattern, I wouldn’t be shocked to see this Panama debacle pay off for the team. This could spark an energy and a urgency in the team that wasn’t present last night.

    Lets be real here….the first goal for Panama was unlucky for the USA, the second was absolutely ridiculous. Clear flop. The official clearly had his own agenda last night.

    We played with little passion and will to win, but the team wasn’t the only factor that led to our defeat.

    So I really don’t know. Maybe this really is the end. Maybe the Bob Bradley era has officially reached “Empty”. Or, maybe this motivates the team to do better and win this tournament. Guess we’ll find out soon.

  6. stargate5 says:

    Can Altidore play D ? he can’t score but has speed so put him in the back.

  7. Hopper says:

    At this point the USA should call up Lenhart. Dude’s on fire lately. Surely even he would have buried Wondo’s chance.

    I’m only half-joking. I’m not a fan of Lenhart at all, but he’s a forward who’s scoring, which is more than I can say for the USA forwards.

  8. StevenG says:

    I hope we can get past Guadeloupe……

  9. Lebron James says:

    Where did Landon Donovan go? Isn’t this his team?

  10. OmarVizquel says:

    “of late”? C’mon man. 1994 World Cup (advanced as third-place team in group). 2002 WC (BARELY advanced, thanks to S. Korea). 2006 WC (had a chance to advance on the final group stage match). 2010 WC (advanced, as we all know, in the last few minutes).

    The Gold Cup, obviously, is quite a different matter. Of course we would have liked to beat Panama, but we still would have expected to win against Guadeloupe, no matter who we expected to take the field. Win and we advance, and I still like our chances of meeting Mexico in the last game.

  11. mw says:

    Did his goal against Canada not count because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

  12. shweazy says:

    only in a America, Its clear to any knowledgeable soccer fan that the typical US fan is very ignorant of the sport, they know very little to nothing about this sports so how can they tell when a coach sucks and not the player pool itself ? it think we have alot of talent that is not being properly used. Its also amazing the writers are pretty poor themselves, they tend to groupthink along with the crowd instead of forming opinions.
    Bob Bradley needs to go and its evident , been evident for years but our fanbase has such low standards that an under performing coach can seem good. Why is Juan starting for us ? smh he’s still a kid he has no business starting. If we took this comp serious we would have invited Buddle, he wont be in the group 2014 but we could use him now to help secure a confed Cup spot you know Bradley? Ream though and improving defender is still raw and prone to mistakes he has no business starting over Gooch. Gooch is not Mr Smooth with the ball , he’s still out typical kick the ball out defender but mistakes he wont make. He’s a proven player but Bob seems to be listening to the the tards on the internet bashing him becuase we got Ream lol, dumbasses.

  13. mw says:

    I agree. People don’t seem to realize that this has always been our style, no matter who the coach/players have been, no matter the tournament (Panama comeback win in 2007 anybody?). Maybe we just need to realize that the talent that perpetually gets produced in this country is incapable of the blowout wins that people seem to expect.

  14. baller says:

    Sunil Gulati’s email: skg21@columbia.edu

    Let’s let him know that we’re not pleased with the direction we’re headed in.

  15. OmarVizquel says:

    It’s a fickle thing, being a US fan. After the Spain game you woulda thought the world ended; after the Canada win we were going to demolish everyone on our way to the final; after yesterday Bob should be fired, etc.

    Emotions run so high that people want to make gigantic sweeping statements and changes, when in reality we are still 100% in the Gold Cup and with a wide open route to the next round. I’m just not interested in the whole existential endless debate about Bob and our “style.” We are who we are — a team that is about as good as Ireland. Like it or not — that’s just the way it is. We can beat anyone and also we can lose to just about anyone. It can be exciting at times, but also greatly frustrating.

    I expect us to win tomorrow and advance all the way to the final and play Mexico tough.

  16. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Can anyone give us a breakdown of the what ifs: ie, if we qualify for the knockout as the 2nd place team, who might we play? What if we get 1st? What are the chances of playing Mexico?

  17. shweazy says:

    Its because of this mindset why will never be the real deal, your mindset will make excuse for mediocrity over and over and the cycle continues. We have not been winning games at home and you think we are overreacting ? do we always have to wait for death to react and get some inspiration ? do we always have to depend on these types of moments to perform ? I think we should be a team that wins without coming from behind and feeling like we have lost it all. how about that for a change ? instead of waiting to be 2 goals down at the half to do a comeback ? We need a real coach who can win without having to be down goals all the dam time to inspire come kind of fairy tale come back.

  18. gerald says:

    It will be much clearer Tuesday Morning you might as well wait until then

  19. Jeff Awesome says:

    I find the Wikipedia article pretty useful. It has a bracket.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  20. abc says:

    How about a 3-4-1-2?

    Howard
    Cherundolo-Goodson-Lichaj
    Donovan-Kljestan-Bradley-Bedoya
    Dempsey
    Altidore-Agudelo

    In reality I don’t know if Dolo can go again so soon either, he and Boca are old men now, so it may have to be Lichaj-Goodson-Bornstein
    Despite Wondolowski’s terrible miss I’d actually like to see him starting and Agudelo used as a sub but I don’t think that will happen…

  21. abc says:

    MLS Wondo would have surely buried int’l Wondo’s chance.

  22. abc says:

    Did you watch him on the first goal? That was his man? Before the kick you can see Bocanegra pointing to the guy “you take care of him”… didn’t work out so well.

  23. Jeff Awesome says:

    If the US doesn’t make the final, I think everyone will be writing. But let’s just wait please.

  24. OmarVizquel says:

    People seem to want us to win 4-0 every match and be leading by 2 goals at the half. We are not a great team; we are not a bad team. We are a very good team. There are 30 or 40 nations with very good soccer teams. At any given time we can win against a superior team, tie a team that’s as good as us, or even lose to a team that is much worse than us. We aren’t Spain; we aren’t Argentina; as I wrote above, we are an Ireland. Not because of coaching or a style, but because our talent pool is not spectacular.

    I’m not happy to be down by a goal to anyone, and I’m certainly not happy to lose to Panama, but I wouldn’t expect any coach in the world to make us that much better than we are right now.

  25. canchon says:

    There are still a lot of scenarios, but most likely are:

    Win the group (small chance but possible), El Salvador or Guatemala.

    Second in the group, Honduras or Jamaica.

    Third in the group, Mexico.

  26. jmac says:

    Correct assessment.

  27. shweazy says:

    wrong we wont winn all games 4-0 and in never said that, what i clearly made light of is the fact that we are not well coached . Its pretty obvious we are poorly managed when the same dam thing happens every time, we have to come back and pull off a freaking miracle to tie or win games .

  28. shweazy says:

    the fact that you cant see any coach making us better is more evidence to back me up that our fans are ignorant. We could be much better with better tactics that suit the players. Tactics must consider the quality of the players and the opponents. but we come out with the same strategy every game. Start flat ,go down a goal, take out a striker bring on a mid , move Dempsey to forward and hope for a miracle. Its getting pretty dam old buddy.

  29. 20 says:

    wouldn’t we play Mexico after Honduras/El Salvador?

    Assuming they beat Costa Rica they would be on top of the table because of goal difference.

    And if Costa Rica gets a result against Mexico we will play Jamaica/Panama (correct me if i’m wrong)

  30. SBI Troll says:

    We won’t see this lineup but it could be similar:

    ———Jozy–Dempsey——-
    Donovan—————-Bedoya
    ———-Edu–Spector——–
    Bornstein-Boca-Goodson-Lichaj
    ————Howard———–

    -Baby Bradley could start or Bob may opt to rest him and avoid getting another yellow.
    -Bring on Bedoya and push Dempsey to striker.
    -Bring on Agudelo as a sub.
    -Rest Cherundolo and drop Ream from the starting 11.
    -It’s obvious that Kljestian is playing the Benny spark off the bench role.
    -Bocanegra must move back to the center. He provides nothing offensively and is slow to recover when beat.
    -If we have a lead at halftime, look to rest Dempsey, Donovan, and Jozy.

    If this lineup can’t beat (not tie) Guadeloupe… we have bigger problems.

  31. Mat says:

    I agree Buddle should have been part of the squad. We could have had one midfielder less on the team and put in a veteran striker (did we really need Rogers AND Adu?)
    Also, I never quite understood why Buddle got the short end of the deal at the WC when he was clearly in top form and not Findley. Same for why Clark over Edu, when each game proved who was most in form. Dare I say poor coaching or that not allowed…
    I like BB and respect what he has done. He did his time, we’ve squeezed all we could, but now it’s time for a new vision and direction.

  32. Phil says:

    Good, ideas but I’d have Spector in for Bedoya and save him to sub in.

    Fingers crossed we survive the group of dearth… I mean group of death…

  33. PetedeLA says:

    When you have an inexperienced defender who tends to make mistakes even in a low level league like MLS, how is that unlucky when he just stays true to form?

    I don’t think it was a mistake to play Ream-Goodson. I think this experience will be invaluable to them.

    But obviously some things aren’t happening in training. Of course I fault our central defense but even without seeing a full training I have to fault our philosophy of play.

    Players are constantly making crappy passes to each other with the ball bouncing up and down even under no pressure.

    I even think this kind of crappy passing is ENCOURAGED, because you see the “leaders” of the team doing it all the time.

    Look at Donovan pass. It seems like half of his passes are crappy, wannabe flick on’s.

    The only one who can really pass the ball is Dempsey.

    The Panamanian philosophy was simple.

    “Clog up the middle where our superior technique gives us the advantage. Give them the wings and hope that Cherundolo and Donovan have a bad day with their crossing. Frustrate Altidore quickly with a taste of his own medicine (physicality), and play the ball quick at their slow defenders.”

    We will always lose games against decent opposition unless we can find a Plan B to long balls and crosses.

    I have to blame Donovan, Cherundolo and maybe Boca for this loss because our whole offense is based around crosses to the box and these guys simply could not deliver.

    But as far as comparing this performance to usual ones, the obvious problem was the fact that Donovan and Bradley jr are usually a rock, and in this game they were MIA.

  34. MC Pharoah says:

    In my opinion… We should take out both Goodson and ream. Agudelo shouldn’t be starting anymore either. He has great skill, bright future, AND ACTUALLY WORKS, but when our mids had the ball he struggled to find the spaces and his areas. I want to see boca and gooch back at CB. Gooch may just kick it now, but he may be better defensively than goods and ream. Keep jones and bradley CM. Jones was actually better than Mikey 1st half, he was involved but got a lame yellow and the US needed the offense so they took him out.

    Howard
    Cherundolo Gooch Boca Lichaj
    Bedoya Bradley Jones Donovan
    Dempsey Altidore

  35. Josh says:

    Seriously, stop with all of this well-reasoned sanity. Don’t you know this is the Internet?

  36. Bobeto says:

    Landon continues to say he needs some rest….I lost all respect for him when he made that comment. How many months was he off after MLS season….we didn’t see him in Europe? He needs to look at a Messi….The best we saw of LD was when he went from MLS to Everton….and back to MLS…..

  37. baller says:

    Dear Mr. Gulati,

    As a concerned USMNT fan, I would like you to know that I am not pleased with the direction that US Soccer is headed. Our team has been very inconsistent and has only averted outright disaster with last minute heroics and at times lady luck (Making it out of the group stage at the confederations Cup, Robert Green’s howler, last minute goal against Algeria, etc.). Since the World Cup, the only teams we have beaten are South Africa and Canada, with neither being very convincing performances, and now we have lost in the Group Stage of the Gold Cup for the first time in history. This is unacceptable and unfair to USMNT fans who know that they deserve better considering the talent we have available in the player pool.

    Many USMNT fans wonder why you didn’t hire Jurgen Klinsmann; he is by far the most qualified candidate to coach our team, and the only reasoning many of us have heard as to why he wasn’t hired was that you didn’t want to give him the amount of control over the program that he wanted. I would really like to hear from you as to why he can’t have as much control as he wants.

    I think I speak for most die-hard USMNT fans when I say we need change, no matter the outcome of the Gold Cup.

    Thank you for hearing us,

    Riley Schenck

  38. Mat says:

    Yes that is a good lineup.
    I’d put Dempsey in the midfield and put Wondo with Altidore but for the rest I agree.
    Boca & Gooch have a long history of playing together in the center, I don’t get why this tandem wasn’t revived if no one is injured.

  39. CaliNick23 says:

    Alitdore-Dempsey
    Donovan-Jones-Adu-Bedoya
    Bornstien-Boca-Gooch-Dolo
    Howard

    Why do we need two Defensive midfielders?

    We need better distrubtion in the midfield, I wish Holden, Torres, Felihaber where here.

    Where’s Spector?

    Ream and Goodson simply do not play with enough fire. We need someone like Demerit

  40. mw says:

    First off, shweazy, just because someone takes a different perspective than you, doesn’t make them ignorant. It’s just called having a different opinion. You should learn what ignorant means if your going to continue label people that way. Second, exactly what tactic do you think enables us to be world beaters? Where is this immense talent coming from in our pool that you believe we will be able to dictate tempo and rhythm? National team coaches are fairly limited in the amount of time they have with players. Therefore they can only institute so many tactical gameplans with players that don’t regularly play together (and if you think playing a game or two every one or two months will keep players in sync with one another, then who here is ignorant?). Now there’s no question that the U.S. has made a habit of starting slow under Bradley, and he can’t shy away from that responsibility. But after a certain point, the coach can only do so much. It comes down to the players to execute. Did Bradley miss that 4 ft. sitter? No, Wondolowski did. Did Bradley lose a mark that led to a goal? No, Altidore did.

    The point is, people like to think that National team coaches have an impact on their teams akin to club coaches, which is just plain not true. For example, England sucked under McClaren, and when Capello came in everyone hailed the amazing coach. But it’s easy to look good when you beat up minnows in qualifying. When England showed their true colors in the WC, people went on blaming Capello and his tactics, but as some point, people have to take stock of the players, and whether the expectations of the actual talent are realistic (not the perceived talent). Closer to home, people want the US to be a possession team, but when has anyone in our midfield shown impeccable first touch, soccer IQ (off the ball movement – i.e. triangles), ability to pressure high without getting beat, superior dribbling skills in close quarters, etc. to be able to play that game (you can also apply this to the back four and the strikers). The key here isn’t just one or two players who have some of those skills (i.e. a Feilhaber or Torres), but an entire midfield of players capable of all those traits.

    At some point people, we need to realize that we are a good, but not great team, incapable of the free-flowing style that people expect. Remember, if it was so easy for teams to be able to play like Spain and Barcelona just because they can see how they do it, then why don’t more teams implement that system?

    I can’t even imagine some of the reactions on this board if we were Argentina after they lost to Nigeria.

  41. CaliNick23 says:

    We should have callend in Gomez or Buddle who were in decent form.

  42. Freddie Footballer says:

    Yep, just look at our last two FIFA tournaments: ’09 Confed Cup, we squeaked into the next round to end up in the Final and last year we needed to beat Algeria in the last group match to go to the round of 16. Why do we do this to ourselves repeatedly?? This team needs a sports psychologist, really.

  43. chris says:

    I think we should move boca back to CB into reams spot. Ream is a good player but their forwards play in the 2nd mexican division and some other league and if you can’t deal with that then gtfo. Lichaj should start at LB an Edu should start over Jones. Jones did not look good at all very sloppy and went down way too easily. Push Dempsey up top and put bedoya in his spot. Keep the lineup the same except for these changes, with spector, wondo, agudelo, sacha, jones, and ream on the bench.

  44. chris says:

    Bradley has been playing better than Jones and sacha is much better than adu. That’s a no for bornstein would rather have lichaj and goodson is 100 times better than gooch. Other than those mistakes your lineup looks ok.

  45. Alex G says:

    Mexico is killing CR, man, they are a good team, I guess it is true, Mexico is the favorite

  46. Jay in Ft. Lauderdale says:

    Not that we’ll make it that far… but IF we somehow play Mexico in the final, I’m afraid Guardado, Chicharito, and Dos Santos would slice us to pieces, especially the way we’re playing at the moment…

    Just watched them score 3 goals in 10 mins vs Costa Rica, and the last 2 by Guardado were disgusting, just pure class. I HATE Mexico, but they’d wipe the damn field with our back line right now….

    Here’s hoping we wake up the rest of the tourney!

  47. dcm says:

    is anyone watching mexico right now? we will have our a$$es handed to us by that team. it doesn’t matter if we play next round or the final. our team as it is now cannot beat the mexico squad. a real shame.

  48. Aaron says:

    Great summary here. It’s time for Bradley to go. I wasn’t in favor of us retaining him post WC. We have serious issues, and you are right, we have for over a year. In fact, I think it goes all the way back to the Confederations Cup. We made a magical run over a couple of games, but it only served to gloss over our slow starts, Bradley’s curious roster decisions, etc.

    It will be interesting to see what changes he makes on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I think our bench is so poor that I’m not sure there is much help there. I look for Bocanegra to come inside for either Goodson/Ream, Lichaj/Bornstein (ugh) to get the call at LB, and Klejstan to end up paired with Bradley (no way he sits Michael who played well against Canada, not so well vs Panama – and I’m a fan of MB). Wondo should have never made this roster, nor should Oneywu (not fit), Bornstein, Rogers or Adu.

  49. agon123 says:

    Agreed…Gomez needs more time with the national squad.

    Anyone have tally of his total minutes played? I can’t recall him playing a full game and then being used as a 15-minute sub late in the game (when the rest of the team is tired). Yet another example of this coach not “managing” his talent appropriately.

  50. NF says:

    At this point, I hope that if we’re going to lose, it happens to a team other than Mexico. That’s the only thing that might put pressure on Gulati to hire a top-class manager.

  51. NF says:

    4-0 Mexico. At this rate, Costa Rica could find itself out of the tournament.

  52. Jay in Ft. Lauderdale says:

    On Mexico’s 4th goal… does anyone think our back line would’ve defended that combination play any better?? …. NO? … me neither!!! The thought of playing them makes my stomach hurt!!!!

  53. FredMacMurray says:

    your actually blaming Jozy on that first goal? the guy came right out of Boca’s area, totally unmarked, inaside the box. and you want our striker to be the one who should have picked him up?

    i dont undersatnd why no announcers, or even bloggers, have not pointed out Booca’s misplayed defense on that first goal.

    Everone is blaming Ream – I think Ream is marginal at best for this level, but i odnt know who esle we have (certainly he is a better long term option the Gooch) so i am ok seeing him out there. I would sooner blame Wondo for missing that open sitter at the 5 yard line- that would be upsetting on a u14 team, no reason for a national team striker to miss that one. That turn and pass by Jozy, byt the way, was the most dangerous play of the game for the US, but no one mentions that either. (not that i think Jozy had a good game, but give credit where it is due)

  54. Felix says:

    I think you can owe that up to that the media is afraid of losing whatever access they have to the team/managment/coaches etc if they “tee” off on someone. That, and a lot of the soccer media within the country are fairly close to the players and coaches, so they seem to lose that “objectivity” that’s essential to be a truly fair journalist.
    I don’t know if I want our media to turn into the hyper-reactionary excuse for journalism we see in England and Mexico, for instance, but I do expect something more critical than what we do see.

  55. ChiTownFire says:

    As much as it hurts me to say it, Mexico is going to wipe the floor with us if we even make it that far. They are scary good and it pisses me off that they’re going to win this. But, if it gets Bob Bradley fired it’ll be worth it.

  56. Alex G says:

    this GC is a nightmare, I´m feeling helpless and desperate, please wake me up!!

  57. Felix says:

    Great points – this is basically the kind of argument I attempt to put out whenever someone puts out the typical “BB sucks” argument.
    Now that being said, I’m not saying that perhaps after the GC has been completed, before WCQ starts, that US Soccer shouldn’t seriously re-consider their coaching decision – and this is coming from someone who has defended him.
    No coach is going to make these players world-beaters – I agree with this assessment 100%. We have a solid talent pool with a few strong players, none of them world-class. However, something does have to be said for keeping things fresh, changing the message, fresh eyes and ideas for the limited talent pool – and this is where US Soccer has dropped the ball. I think BB has done basically all anyone can do in his 4 years of service so far – but if things continue to go they way we have seen it – with making results more difficult then is needed, not utilizing the full depth of our talent pool, than US Soccer needs to re-consider.
    The question is – whom can do better right now that is realistically available.

  58. ASL says:

    Mexico has scored 14 goal in 2 1/2 games with none allowed.
    SCARY

  59. dibo says:

    Whatever players are in that back line, and midfield line, for that matter, need to adjust to changes more quickly. We looked totally static, especially first half. The time Panama had on the ball was disgusting to me. We were organized when in possession, but we never adjusted after losing the ball – we just sat.

  60. baller says:

    No, nobody who understands soccer said we were gonna “demolish everyone on our way to the final.” If you go back to the Canada thread, you will see many posts throwing up the red flags, criticizing our performance.

    And I for one, will not settle to watch the US be a mediocre team when we can be a slightly better than mediocre team ;)

    seriously though, people have been calling for Bradley to go for awhile, that’s ridiculous to say it’s just from this game.

  61. Felix says:

    I felt you had a good argument until you brought up Klinsmann. He’s a bum – there’s a reason that not one team in Europe has picked him up since his disastrous stint at Bayern Munich. I understand USMNT fans have this obsession with an European coach, but we can do much much better than Klinsmann.

  62. Cranky Old Ref says:

    Well, what is the goal of this Gold Cup? Is it to win now and worry about the future later? Does anyone believe that last year’s team was solid and will be in 2014? If this cup is to see what you have in a tournament situation, Bradley is basically doing the right thing. Switching the pieces around at this point will lose now and fail to see what might work in ’14. To be sure, the team is not very good, but that is more a function of some vets playing like rookies (step to the front, Landon), not rookies failing to play like vets.

  63. baller says:

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

  64. baller says:

    are you sure that no other European clubs were interested or that he loves my beautiful state of cali too much to leave :p ….haha

    in all seriousness tho you’re probably right, that’s just the first name that popped into my head, and I still think even Klinsmann now would be better than sticking the cycle out with Bradley. It sucks cuz honestly I really like the guy and he kind of reminds me of my Dad with his mannerisms lol but the fact of the matter is we MUST move on…

    Convince Ancelotti not to take that year off? We could use all the revenue from that disastrous Spain outing that USSF so greedily scheduled…

  65. ChiTownFire says:

    Dude, don’t even make it sound like Bradley is doing the right thing. You go into a tournament to WIN it. If you don’t go to win than don’t go at all. Mediocrity in any tournament is not acceptable. This year is important because it’ll take the winner to the Confeds cup therefore there shouldn’t be any experimentation in the lineup.

  66. R.J says:

    Hows this
    ——Dempsey—-
    —-Donovan—-
    Sacha/adu————–Bedoya
    ——Bradley-Jones—-
    Lichaj-Goodson-Boca-Cherondolo
    I am watching the Mexico game, and if we can’t beat Guadeloupe 4-0, we might as well just back it up and go home. Hey wait, we are already home. Its all about the wing play and finding people who can score when put in the situation.(i.e not wondolowski) I would like to see our wing backs pressing the ball and dempsey and donovan putting pressure on the defensive backs of the other team. They can’t score if they are so busy defending all night.

  67. Brett says:

    Yeah, we are definitely second fiddle now. For the record, I’ve wanted Bradley gone since the World Cup. I know a lot of you thought winning the group was a “victory” for us, but losing in the next game made it worthless to me, and it was Bob Bradley’s decision to start Ricardo Clark for NO APPARENT REASON that put us in an early hole in that game. The last World Cup should DEFINITELY have been considered a “fail” for Bob Bradley, and he should have been replaced. His teams consistently come out flat, uninspired, and unfocused. His selections are brutally inconsistent and his tactics are ancient and slow. We gave up an early goal against England and lucked out that Rob Green flubbed a shot and Howard hit the beast switch. We went down 2-0 to a team we should have handled easily, and while we did come back, it only served to magnify how awful we were to go down 2-0 in the first place. And then we get pretty lucky after a long, ugly game, and manage a goal at the death to earn the honor of losing in the next round.

    Yeah, Bradley should have been gone A WHILE AGO. I’m almost happy to see us bombing out of this tournament if it means a swift change at the top.

  68. burnsy says:

    Let’s be very candid and honest with our posts….Our problem lies in the fact that BB/US Soccer are either afraid, or too connected to certain personnel to make the the changes needed to improve our team. New eyes, vision, and mindset are needed! Players like Bornstein, Gooch, Wondowhyheevnplayski, Rogers, Bedoya, etc…are continually given opportunities, while players like Zak Whitbread (Lead his team to Premiership promotion at central defender), Mix Diskeruud (extremely creative), Charlie Davies (fast, 3rd leading scorer in MLS), Jose Torres (creative/possession player), Timothy Chandler (You think He would have turned Klinsmann down???), Benny Feilhaber (know he is injured), Jay Demerit (Who Knows what BB was thinking???) are left off the roster. Not to mention other good young Americans like Mike Grella, Teal Bunbury, and Eugene Starikov.

    Line up:

    Cherundolo–Demerit–Whitbread–Bocanegra (Chandler)

    Donovan–Jones–Torres–Bradley

    Dempsey—Davies

    Bench:

    Ream, Goodson, Lichaj, Spector, Diskeruud, Edu, Aguadelo, Altidore, Klestjan, Feilhaber (If Healthy)

    Think about all the interchanging possibilities thru the midfield and forwards with that starting eleven…not to mention the possible substitute combos!!

    People keep on saying that we “are what we are….that we will never be Spain, Argentina, or any other free-flowing team!” And they’re right, that will never happen if we have a coach who doesn’t have the tactical acumen or the cahoona’s to pick the players who can play that style!

  69. Jhollywood says:

    Let’s be very candid and honest with our posts….Our problem lies in the fact that BB/US Soccer are either afraid, or too connected to certain personnel to make the the changes needed to improve our team. New eyes, vision, and mindset are needed! Players like Bornstein, Gooch, Wondowhyheevnplayski, Rogers, Bedoya, etc…are continually given opportunities, while players like Zak Whitbread (Lead his team to Premiership promotion at central defender), Mix Diskeruud (extremely creative), Charlie Davies (fast, 3rd leading scorer in MLS), Jose Torres (creative/possession player), Timothy Chandler (You think He would have turned Klinsmann down???), Benny Feilhaber (know he is injured), Jay Demerit (Who Knows what BB was thinking???) are left off the roster. Not to mention other good young Americans like Mike Grella, Teal Bunbury, and Eugene Starikov.

    Line up:

    Cherundolo–Demerit–Whitbread–Bocanegra (Chandler)

    Donovan–Jones–Torres–Bradley

    Dempsey—Davies

    Bench:

    Ream, Goodson, Lichaj, Spector, Diskeruud, Edu, Aguadelo, Altidore, Klestjan, Feilhaber (If Healthy)

    Think about all the interchanging possibilities thru the midfield and forwards with that starting eleven…not to mention the possible substitute combos!!

    People keep on saying that we “are what we are….that we will never be Spain, Argentina, or any other free-flowing team!” And they’re right, that will never happen if we have a coach who doesn’t have the tactical acumen or the cahoona’s to pick the players who can play that style!

  70. Rob says:

    I don’t like Bradley as a coach either, but I could never hope the US loses. I also am of the opinion that Bradley will be coach no matter the outcome. He has very little pressure from the media, as some seem to have become friends with him, to get scoop on breaking stories, and interviews. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same if I were in their shoes as well.

    Oh well go USA, please prove us doubters wrong and win this tournament.

  71. SuperChivo says:

    This is the opinion that I wanted to write but could never have done so eloquently. Fire Bob, keep Bob, the difference would be minimal (unless we hire an idiot like Maradona). The emphasis of US Soccer needs to be on player development and Bradington needs to improve and there needs to be much, much more coordination and work between the MLS and the USSF.
    Mexico is an excellent case in point. Mexico realized that its days of dominance in CONCACAF were over and tightened up on the number of foreign players, five a team if I remember correctly. Mexican teams were forced to develop their own players instead of importing South Americans and now Mexico is reaping the rewards of this.

  72. Brian says:

    A few things…I agree DeMerit should be here, and I also agree that Whitbread should be there but he essentially turned down the Argentina/Paraguay call up so that kinda ended his chances of playing in the Gold Cup. Bob however should have tried to get him for the Colombia/Poland friendlies.

    Chandler hasn’t ever played on the left for the US or Nuernberg, so it is stupid to list him at left back.

    Davies was/is still working himself back from a hamstring injury.

    Grella is an English League One player. He is not deserving of a call up.

    Mix was average against Chile. Not so sure he’s ready for the big time yet.

    Starikov got called up for the January camp. Didn’t make the roster for the Chile game. Doubt this guy is deserving of a call up right now.

    Bunbury, Buddle, and/or Gomez should be here. Not Wondo.

    Torres is good but unfortunately for him CM is a deep position for the US. Bradley, Jones and Edu are all ahead of him. Feilhaber would be ahead of him if he was healthy. I would say that he’s more deserving of Kljestan, but even as someone who is a Sacha-hater like me, I have to admit the guy played pretty damn good last game.

  73. Paul Thomas says:

    Guadeloupe has a good team; I mean, obviously, it’s a tiny island country, but given that fact, they’re extremely competitive. Like Panama, they are capable of beating the US if the players mail it in.

    I told people before the Panama game that this group was by FAR the strongest of the three, and boy have I ever been proven correct. Cuba and Grenada are just godawful and have run up the goal differential of everyone in those groups (apart from Guatemala, which gets its turn tomorrow).

  74. fischy says:

    Well, if the USA did fail to advance here, you can be sure Bradley’s days are done. In fact, any other loss here to any team besides Mexico might do hte job.

  75. Paul Thomas says:

    The USA plays Mexico if it finishes third in the group but still qualifies, which basically means if it draws with Guadeloupe and Canada beats Panama. I think we can safely skip over the “Grenada doesn’t lose” scenarios.

    If the US beats Guadeloupe and Panama doesn’t lose to Canada, we play the Jamaica-Honduras winner. (This can also occur if the US draws with Guadeloupe and Canada fails to beat Panama or, bizarrely, if the US loses to Guadeloupe by one goal and Canada loses to Panama.)

    If the US beats Guadeloupe and Panama DOES lose to Canada, we win the group and probably play El Salvador, but could play Guatemala if they blast Grenada as thoroughly as everyone else has.

  76. fischy says:

    Yeah — Ream is going to be so much of a better player now that he has made that stupid mistake. It’s going to be a magical transformation.

    If Ream were to actually impress and land a deal with a foreign team, where he could actually learn to play the game — that would be a big deal.So far, the signs aren’t good in his favor.

  77. fischy says:

    Actually, Wondo’s getting a bum rap. That ball was behind him — almost impossible to “bury”. He should have brought it down, and then turned and shot. It seemed to be endemic in that game, with USA players feeling the pressure and getting the stupids around the net…hurrying shots, when a patient move or pass would have produced a goal.If Arsene Wneger had coached these guys, the USA would have scored.

  78. fischy says:

    LD needs some rest so he can take some HGH or some such PED and get younger, without being drug-tested.

  79. Paul Thomas says:

    Well, let’s be fair– had it not been for two of the very worst blunders in a tournament full of officiating gaffes, the USA would easily have won the group. It is difficult to show well when you’re playing 11 against 12 every game.

  80. Ed says:

    —-Cherundolo—Boca–Goodson—Bornstein—-
    –Jones——-Bradley——edu——–Donovan—
    ————-Dempsey——Altidore——————-

  81. chris says:

    I was talking about the lineup for the goldcup we already have but since we’re on the subject I’ll respond. Where do I start? First off I do agree we need change but good thing you’re not in charge. That was the third time wondo touched the field hardly given repeated chances. I don’t know if you watched the january game but I wouldn’t call mix extremely creative. He hasn’t done anything at the club level, but i guess because he plays in europe hes the future, while bedoya who plays in a better league continues his good run of form. Charlie davies, demerit and feilhaber were injured or still are but its definetly bob’s fault I understand. Chandler opted out for fatigue reasons and klinsmann wanted to shift the mls schedule but the possibility of maybe helping the nt is worth jeperdizing the mls, the one thing that will improve our talent. Torres? You have to be joking. He has looked terrible for pachuca while I hate to say it but klestjan has gotten much better. As for your good young americans you must really love the creative european leagues because mike grella can’t score in englands third division and starikov is nothing worthy of a gold cup roster spot. Bunbury has been sluggish the last couple months and played his way off the roster. I’m pretty sure spain didn’t become great by playing their 2nd best players. I wouldn’t try to emulate the Argentine national team right now either.

  82. andrew says:

    Guadeloupe will fall apart in opening minutes of 2nd half. Their players aren’t fit enough to play 90 minutes. Let alone play 2 games in 3 days.

  83. Primoone says:

    @ MW :Would not let me reply so I posted it here…

    What people don’t realize is that it is actually a direct reflection on the coaches inability to correct it. Personally, I think it’s a cop out to use the excuse about how inept we are at producing talent. We all know what our team is capable of doing from the opening whistle to the closing whistle. If we are beating good teams in the last 5 minutes of a game then it tells me that there is an attitude adjustment that needs to be made starting from the coach trickling down to the players psyche. No one is expecting a blow-out however, we do expect to control the game with a strong mental aspect from the beginning of the match to the end as well as win against teams that have not beaten you, especially in a tournament in your own country. If that coach can’t get our players to manifest his philosophy from the opening whistle, then ultimately that coach has failed to get the best out of our players. What you call “our style” is what ultimately gets a coach fired anywhere else on this planet. The exception being in our own back-yard for some reason. Thanks Sunil Gulati!

    AKA: The Great Gazu

  84. jnanez says:

    Your nuts to think we can compete against MEX…..only if we play
    5-3-2 & then substitute def for def player. If Bob wants Boca & Churrondolo runnin up the field to join in attack then he better have ream, goodson, & edu back to stop up the MEX att. Time to get real the only playmaker close to openin up the other team is….miguel bradley????? Better hope that Mex has a brainfart & harkens back to the “were the 2nd in CONCACAF” mentality or is that no longer bein thought by Mexico. If I were Demps I would seriously start to question my teams confidence goin ahead in the tourney….hope for the best but prepared for the worst…..

  85. marco says:

    The USA side just isn’t that good for many reasons. Number 30 in ranking is about right. The missing Holden, Davies, and DeMerit could make them 25 or so. Those hoping for some better results in this tournament need to look at the bigger picture. This is a team in decline no matter what place they finish at.

  86. SBI Troll says:

    i think we should try this lineup when everyone is healthy.

    ————-Altidore————-
    Dempsey——————–Donovan
    ———————————-
    —-Torres————-Holden—–
    ————-Bradley————–
    ———————————-
    Bocanegra-Demerit-Goodson-Cherundolo
    —————Howard————–

    Bench: Chandler, Agudelo, Jones, Edu, Lichaj, Guzan, and Bedoya.

  87. Lukas says:

    Can’t believe I’m saying this but, i actually hope they get bowled out of the group stage. Then maybe US Soccer will finally be embarrassed enough to get a real coach, and a team psychologist! It’ll hurt but at least we can move on. I think deep down the players must know Bob doesn’t cut it.

  88. mw says:

    I would agree with you to a certain extent, but I definitely don’t think it’s a cop out to say that the talent we have isn’t as strong as people would like to believe. Just because we have players plying their trade in Europe does not automatically make us a stronger team. Lots of guys play in the EPL that I wouldn’t personally care for on the National Team. Same goes for La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, etc. There has to be more context than just the generic “player x plays for such and such in this Euro first division.” That is just as big a cop out as you claim the opposite is.

    Let me also address the player’s psyche argument, which I continually hear over and over. These people are professionals playing at literally the highest level possible. If that isn’t motivation enough then that person doesn’t deserve to be there at all. When all indications in the press and from the players themselves detail how much these guys want to play for Bradley, then how long can you use that as an argument? Once again, go back throughout our National Teams’ history, and you will find a common style, all the way back to 1994. Maybe your not old enough to remember those teams, but I am. Gritty, ugly, determined – those are the traits that we have always encompassed, whether Bradley, Arena, Sampson, or Milutinovic. Can you name a time period, ever, where the National Team did not play in this fashion? Probably not, because it has never existed. Your just going to have to accept that until we as a sports culture in America train kids from a very early age to dribble and juggle until the ball is an extension of their feet, that we will technically suffer in certain areas. But that’s OK, so long as we understand our limitations.

    People in this country seem to think that styles in soccer suddenly change overnight, when in reality trends tend to take decades or longer. Do you really think that the German national team just decided that they were going to play the attractive, attacking soccer they are now known for in a split decision? That happened over many long years, instituted from the top down to youth levels, and this is after having had literally 50 years of success playing a much different style. We still have areas of the country where soccer is derided. Do you really expect our fragmented youth system to have an all-encompassing, national approach when pockets of the country look down upon the game itself? You can’t disregard the cultural aspects.

    Now, I’m not going to disagree that a coach can affect a team, and the biggest glaring error of Bradley’s tenure has been a tendency to start slow and fall behind. But the overwhelming majority of the core players have not changed, and unless they have developed amnesia, no doubt remember all of the times that they have done this same thing. You would think then that maybe they wouldn’t need a coach to tell them, “Hey, let’s not let the other team score first!” It’s my personal opinion that National Team coaches have much less impact on a team than a club coach, specifically because of the limited amount of time together. If you’ve ever read any interviews with former National Team coaches (of any country) or with someone like Jose Mourinho, they always talk about how little impact that have upon the players, and that they have to hope that the players come in hitting the ground running.

    But I also think there is an element of arrogance at play here. I get it, I’m American too. We think that we should naturally be the best at everything. But it wouldn’t be a sport if someone didn’t lose. To think that we are going to control every team, every time out is just plain arrogant. I don’t care if we were ranked #1 in the world playing the Faroe Islands every game. Eventually they are going to play a good game, its a statistical certainty. We can strive for these kinds of unrealistic goals but it doesn’t always serve us any good while also completely disregarding the other teams desire and talent. Many times in soccer the better team doesn’t necessarily win, even for the traditional powerhouses (See Argentina 1-4 Nigeria or Italy 0-2 Ireland). Just because FIFA says they are ranked lower doesn’t automatically mean they suck and deserve your derision.

    Anyway, new coaches don’t necessarily equal better teams. And I for one don’t believe that there is some magical, European coach, steeped in tactics, who will all of a sudden change the personnel that we have into a formidable, dominating team. Eventually we’ll get a foreign head coach, who will eventually do something that pisses everyone off, and then everyone will call for his head and charge him of favoritism. It’s just the way of the world to cast blame for a team sport onto one person. But it’s worthwhile to note that no team has won a World Cup with a foreign head coach. Probably because homegrown coaches know home-based talent and psyches better.

  89. dycsoccer17 says:

    Guadeloupe played 80 minutes with 10 guys last match in Tampa, FL. It’s going to be tough for them to rebound. They also will be missing Jean-Luc Lambourde, who will be serving a red card suspension. He leads the team in caps with 51 and has 12 goals. He also seems like one of their top defenders.

    Guadeloupe has actually played more minutes this tournament with 10 players than with 11 players (only 42 of 180 minutes have been played with 11 men).

  90. mw says:

    So many problems with this.

    First, you really want to put two guys together for the very first time in a tournament that has serious ramifications?

    Really, Klinsmann? Please. And it’s funny to me that so many people seem to be privy to information that doesn’t exist (i.e. Chandler turned down Bradley). You guys are worse than gossipy teenage girls (though some of you may very well be teenage girls).

    I’m not going to even get into your player selections. But really, Mike Grella? You want to bring in a guy that sees limited playing time for a League 1 team and has not played with any of the other guys on the team at any point? You’ve ruined whatever little credibility you had with that suggestion.

    And really, you think that a Luis Aragones is going to turn us into Spain lite? Give me a break. Don’t you think that it helps just a wee bit to have over half of your starting 11 play together on a daily basis?

  91. mw says:

    Sorry, that should be “put two CBs together for the very first time”

  92. Since 82 says:

    I think most of you guys need to jump off a bridge. Let’s coronate Mexico and bury the US before the Group Stage is complete.

  93. Hush says:

    Firing Bradley is a must no matter what the results are after this GC. This whole let’s move Dempsey on top and wait for a “last minute miracle crap” is getting old. Our record after the cup has been embarrassing. The selection of players like Rogers,Sasha,Borns, and wondolousy is just ridiculous!

    BOB’s whole theory on why he didn’t play a solid team against the Champions of the world shows lack of coaching skills. Here u have the champions of the world, who by the way, were kind enough to bring a zillion dollars worth of investments to play a midocre U.S team worth about $5 million all together. So here u have a coach who thinks preparing and saving players for the bigggeeessst showdown against Canada, is much more important than getting a result against the champions of the world!!!!! This is so disturbing! If Mexicos team had a shot at playing Spain before the cup, I guarantee u all that every single starter plays, and plays for the win. You have to play every starter in your squad if you want to become a better Futbol team against the best in the world. Not take breaks because u are preparing for something more important. C’mon!!!!! Panama, Canada, and lupe???? GTFOH BOB!!!!!!

    I wish one day Alex Morgan, Rodriguez, and AMY WAM are elgible to play for our mens NT!! These bad bitches can score and keep possession better than 80% of our MNT. Bring Lopez aka Cox in too.. She a bad mofo to!

  94. jpc says:

    I’d like to see Donovan and Dempsey on the bench. Give the unproven guys a shot to make a name for themselves. This tournament really doesn’t mean anything, and this is a team in transition after the world cup…

    We need some young leaders out there, guys that are willing and able to lead this team both mentally and on a skill/physical level. B/c let’s be honest, next world cup, Dempsey and Donovan are past their prime, Bocanegra is gone, Cherundolo is most likely gone, and Jones and Oneywu who knows. 3 years from now nobody is gonna remember or give a damn that we lost to Panama, but they will remember if this is the tournament that Klejstan, Adu, Ream, Bradley, Bedoya, or Agudelo really put their stamp on this team, and make it theirs

  95. SuperChivo says:

    Beautifully written! Some fans will want to pin the whole thing on Bob, or believe that Edson Buddle should be playing instead of Jozy, but really the options are limited. Not just the player pool is lacking, but also the fans. They scream about how we should be spending all our money on some famous ex-player turned coach without asking how we are going to pay for it when the national team draws fewer fans than the Seattle Sounders. Perhaps that money would be better spent on player development and in forging a system that unites the MLS teams and USSF in developing players.

  96. Rob says:

    Means nothing, but bragging rights, and a confederations cup spot. The second is important, as you get a preview of what the world cup will be like, and what it will be like to play in Brazil.

  97. Rob says:

    I would just point out that two years ago Mexico was going through the exact same thing, almost bombing out of qualification. What did Mexico do? How did they change to look like the class of Concacaf? They switched coaches.

  98. ztrenz says:

    Jozy was marking that guy on the set piece. The free kick hits the wall but rebounds right back to Panama. So, Jozy is still marking the guy. Except all he does when the ball is sent back in is raise his hand for offside and doesn’t move with the man. Wasn’t Boca’s guy.

  99. Brett says:

    Not relevant. The refs didn’t make us give up 2 goals against Slovenia, and the refs didn’t make Bob Bradley start Rico Clark against Ghana. Winning the group easily and winning the group by the skin of our teeth both result in us playing Ghana, and there’s no way to explain away that result other than to point the finger directly at the leadership.

    I’m done being an apologist and passing the blame to FIFA, or refs, or anybody else. Bradley has not moved the program forward since 2007, and in some ways, it seems to have regressed.

  100. YO says:

    I hope we play Mexico right away so we can get it out of the way and fire BB already.

  101. Roy says:

    Actually, I wish we played Copa America every time, tested ourselves against tough south american nations, even if it means getting our heads handed to us time and again. It would be good for the young players especially to face Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. We shouldn’t be afraid to fail and shouldn’t take too much pleasure in Gold Cup victories, to be honest. I mean, if we manage to beat Guadeloupe and scrape into the knockout round I’m not going to be swelling with false pride.

  102. FredMacMurray says:

    maybe i need to watch that again – i watched that reply a few times during the game and Boca was, for some reason, 10 yds upfield at that point, and it seemed to me your defenders ought to be in the box defending, and not relying on strikers to do the defending. But i see Ives also partly blamed Jozy for that goal in his Fox piece.

  103. DC Josh says:

    I am glad there will be changes in central midfield. Jones and Bradley just don’t work well together. Bradley was coming back WAY too deep, collecting the ball near his own 18 yard box. I thought Kljestan did very well Saturday and deserves a start alongside Bradley – Jones had a very bad game. Having two defensive-minded central midfielders just kills the game unless there is an attacking central player ahead of them in a withdrawn forward role. We miss Holden badly, but Kjlestan had a good year in Belgium and could have himself a good tournament if given the chance.

  104. Paul says:

    Has anyone noticed Landon Donovan in this tournament?

    Me neither.

  105. zuid says:

    It pains me to admit but I almost wish the US come up with another disastrous result just so Bob get’s the ax. Almost.

    I liked him for the job through the end of the WC but really wanted to see a change at the helm for the GC and upcoming WC qualifying cycle. We needed progression not stagnation, yet we see regression.

    I need to see Gooch in place of Ream and Dempsey up TOP against Guadeloupe in order to have any faith in Bob restored.

  106. TommyOC says:

    Reports were that Landon has been ill since the Spain match. I don’t.care if you’re a regular Joe or top-tier athlete: you get a flu or other bad virus and while you ought be symptom-free after a week, it can take you several more to return to 100%. For most of us, we can function at 90% for a bit and no one would notice. But not being 100% is easily noticeable to a professional athlete.

    Landon’s comment wasn’t about his season workload – it was specific to his illness recovery as hes been otherwise in form this season. Cut the guy some slack – hes entitled to get sick on occasion… even when its inconvenient for us fans.

  107. FredMacMurray says:

    OK i found a good replay – and I blame Jozy AND Boca on that goal. You are correct Josy had the outside man on that play, and did nothing to defend him. Both Jozy and Boca stepped up to trap after the deflected free kick, but everyone else did not (at least not evenly). Boca then realized and started to run back to the box, but in a sort of half-hearted jog. Jozy just stood there with his hand up calling (incorrecly) the offside.

    A very telling play about the mental state of the team at that point in the game actually- and i think a much more important play than anybody is talking about. I actually thinked the game turned on that play. Panama’s confidence surged, and they were able to keep 4 back to defend, not needing the goal. Se we faced a pretty solid wall each time in their area…

  108. Ray Tango says:

    I know he just played a full soccer game but Donovan looked drained in the post game interview. Clammy.

  109. McQ says:

    I think if the US fails to get out of the group Bradley should be fired end of story if not fired anyway. How many times do we find ourselves in this situation – relying on other results to pull our bacon out of the fire? His teams have never started quickly and for four years he has not figured out how to solve this. We need someone who can shake things up and put us into a position to win and advance on our own.

  110. Ted says:

    I think Dempsey needs to play up top this tournament. He doesn’t play defense and his man was playing unmarked going forward all night Saturday. Obviously, he’s our top offensive talent. He needs to be on the field. I can, without a doubt, tell you he is better than Altidore or Agudelo. Dempsey needs to either play as a striker or as an attacking mid.

    I think we need to bring Bornstein or Lichaj in to play left marking back and slide Boca in to play for Ream.

    Team really needs a healthy stu holden. On another note, why not bring davies in to get some time with the team and achieve a level of comfort and fitness with the boys. I mean, Adu’s spot is just a waste.

    Trying to be positive, but man, IT’S TOUGH!

  111. Brett says:

    I noticed this too, and I believe it is because Dempsey was tasked to say forward in the attack and let Jones and Bradley stretch across to cover the left side in front of Bocanegra. I also noticed that Bocanegra was getting forward in very advanced positions and not getting back quickly enough to defend when we inevitably lost the ball.

    So, he WAS playing attacking mid on the left when you think about it. The problem with pushing Dempsey to the top of the formation is it limits his opportunities to get involved and tires him out too early. His work rate is already on the poor side. That’s why Bob likes to move him up late in games because by then he won’t have to chase the ball around the back of the opposing defense.

    What we really need is pretty simple. The starting 11 was fine, it’s the tactics and shape that need improvement. What we do with the ball, we do fairly well. Knock it around the back, switch the point, let the wings get forward, put in the cross… The real problem is that strategy is almost as outdated as leather balls and thigh-high shorts.

    What we need, and I lamented this several times against Panama, is to play in transition and attack at speed. Many times against Panama we had chances to play cutting balls and put players into space with through passes, and instead our ball-possessor simply turned around and played it backwards. This is fine for getting numbers forward, but Panama could have been caught flat-footed if our team was more intent on playing quickly and aggressively. This, more than anything, is what makes me sad to watch Mexico, because they do it so well.

  112. Ted says:

    Thanks Brett. I hear ya. But why not just start Dempsey up front instead of waiting until the 65th minute? Start Bedoya or Sacha out on the right wing. Bring Agudelo in as a striker sub in second half.

    Those calling for Gooch in the lineup…well, I think it’s obvious he’d finished, but I see your point in calling for a change given our central defenders performance.

    We’re aging on the back line. Ideally, I’d like to see Lichaj and Chandler at the marking back spots…but, who knows if that’ll happen in the future.

    A question, do you guys think Bradley will get axed if (meaning if we even get to that stage) and when Mexico trounces US in the finals?

  113. sjr says:

    Call Panama’s PK whatever you want. Ream flat out kicked the guy in the midsection and he went down. A goal is a goal.

  114. Luis says:

    well considering the lineup the US had, a lose was not that suprising..

    Perkins

    Jay heaps

    arnaud

    cooper

    etc

    where are they now???

  115. Primoone says:

    I know we have issues with regards to player development. I get that. That is a really valid point and the main reason why the US cannot compete with most of the best teams in the world. However, it is no excuse for our guys to come out starting like that against a team in Concacaf. Don’t you agree? What do you think were the reasons why they came out like that?

    With that said, the angle of approach I took reflects on the coaches ability to get these guys prepared and inspired. That result is not about our players ability to compete with respect to talent on our field as evident by the chances we had to equalize or even win the game late. The coach does not take blame for missing those sitters. I get that also. However, you state some examples about how the US is always coming from behind no matter what coach is at the helm. You can’t really argue about that because there is some truth in that. However, just because you have really talented players doesnt mean they are goign to perform at their best as a unit. Am I off base? I remember the days when friedel had hair as well as Bora’s tenure I even go back to the days of watching them play college teams as well as exebitions with teams comprised mostly of indoor players. I have watched them for some time now however, it is you that may not know that there is another way to play, coach and develop the beautiful game. Your analysis with respect to head coaches reaks of a youth and inexperience with a touch of that American arrogance that you speak of. You make excuses for the coach yet fail to realize that every team around you seems to follow a different type of philosophy regarding head-coaches. Maybe you are on to something here! Something that these countries havn’t picked up on their 100+ years of footballing experience…NO. I seriously doubt it.

    You made the arguement that our style of play is to get scored on first then that will motivate us to come from behind and win (which is a direct reflection of our inability to develop players here in the country). And I am not quoting however, it is the main gist of your arguement. Again, kicking that same can down the road about players needing to take responsibility for their unmotivated play as well as the coach not having that much influence on their players, in light of the small amount of time they get them for, is complete rubbish. You drink the kool-aid that Murinho serves regarding the influence he has on his team, yet his pay-check, results and the respect his players have for him say something different. It is no coincidence that when this man comes in; there is a difference in the attitudes of the players. With respect to talent and class, these players were the same players before he came in. The best money can buy…? I’m not buying it.

    Ok MW, I give. I think we should give Bradley a lifetime contract. Bradley doesn’t have that much influence on our boys anyways. Right? In addition to this, since our boys can’t get up for these games, we should just replace all of our players with those that are in the right frame of mind. Right? Because our coach has little influence on them.

    I don’t expect to blow out teams. We are not built for that type of output. Truth be told, we do have the tools to play different styles but player selection and formation is a different issue. However, what we do have is heart, mental fortitude, athleticism and a will to win. That is part of our fabric. Not the (come from behind because we don’t want to lose) style of play. And because we don’t have that many resources to use then guess what? The mental aspect and preparation become pivotal and when we come out flat, that my friend falls on the shoulders of the head coach. Like it or not. Sunil sees this as well as the rest of the board that runs USSF as evident by their courting of a European coach two cycles running. However, they are not willing to give up too much control. Tell me, if the coach wasn’t so important, then why try and get their first choice coach Klinsman? The US has always resisted much of what the world has taught us about the game however; eventually we buy into it and incorporate it into our own processes on every level from Claudio Reyna borrowing from the Dutch youth development to Sunil actively looking for a technical director. The time will come when the USSF will start to have heads rolling at the head-coaching level just like every other successful footballing nation.

  116. deepm says:

    I think you’re wrong. In both their games they had a player sent off and still managed to put up a fight.

    They are a pesky team and don’t give up easily.