USA reaches final with 1-0 win over Panama

USA Panama 2 (Getty Images)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON, Texas – In the end, the U.S. men's national team got the last laugh against Panama.

The United States got vengeance for its group stage loss to Panama, defeating Los Canaleros, 1-0, in the first match of a semifinal doubleheader at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday night. Clint Dempsey scored the winner in a match that saw the U.S. team reach its fourth consecutive Gold Cup final.

"A really good team effort. A hard game for sure," said head coach Bob Bradley. "In all ways, I thought the mentality of the group (was) looking for ways to win. In the first half, I thought in stretches we had pretty good rhythm with the ball. … Defensively, they're solid and I felt we put a very good play together to score a great goal."

The Americans scored through a 77th-minute goal from Clint Dempsey after substitutes Freddy Adu and Landon Donovan combined to breakdown a tough Panama defense. Adu layed off a through ball to Donovan on the right flank before Donovan hit a low cross to Dempsey, who finished from close range with ease.

"We got out of our end well. The key passes I think between Michael (Bradley), Alejando (Bedoya), Freddy, all did a good job to get out of pressure," said Donovan, who started his second consecutive match on the bench despite being healthy. "I made a run forward, I wasn't sure that Freddy saw me but he played a great ball.

"My first thought was to hit it first time to Clint. I saw the defender back off so I wanted to be aggressive. I ran at him, Clint and I made eye contact and I knew if it was going to get there I had to hit it hard. I hit it hard and Clint made a great play to get his foot on it."

The Americans, who were without injured Jozy Altidore, deployed the same 4-2-3-1 formation it used against Jamaica. As a result, the U.S. team dominated most of the possession from the opening whistle, but had trouble creating clear looks on goal.

The U.S. team came closest to going ahead in a rather uneventful first half in the 25th minute, but Juan Agudelo's headed effort off a Steve Cherundolo cross hit the near post.

"It was kind of like the same tactics," said Eric Lichaj. "(Bob Bradley) showed us some video on Panama, what each player is like, their tendencies. We knew what we were doing on the get go."

With Felipe Baloy and the rest Panamanian back line defending aggressively and compactly, Bob Bradley inserted Donovan at halftime for Sacha Kljestan. Donovan was quiet during the opening minutes of his cameo, as Panama began to control the better and create opportunities.

In the 61st minute, Panama had a near chance as a cross from Nelson Barahona almost found a streaking Alberto Quintero but Quintero couldn't reach the ball.

The Panamanians came closer nine minutes later when Armando Cooper hit a shot that Tim Howard got a fingertip on to force a corner.

"The second half got harder," said Bob Bradley. "Panama did a good job of keeping things very tight. Now you have to look for different ways to win the game."

To do that, Bradley turned to one of the guys who had yet to play in this tournament. Bradley replaced Agudelo with Adu in the 66th minute, and Adu made an impact almost immediately. The 22-year-old midfielder threatened defenders with his dribbling moves and sharp passing, and he helped the U.S. team take the lead 11 minutes after entering with a precise through ball that helped set up Dempsey's third goal of the tournament.

"I was just relieved because the way the game was going it seemed like it was going to go on forever, maybe into extra time," said Lichaj of what he felt when he saw Dempsey score. "I was really relieved."

The United States fought off the desperate Panamanians for the final 13 minutes of regulation, earning payback, its third straight shutout victory and a berth in the final of the tournament.

"I think we showed our quality in being able to grind out a result even if it wasn't our best game and we now find ourselves in the final with a chance to win it," said Dempsey.

The Americans will face the winner of Mexico-Honduras in the final on June 25 at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, California.

——

What do you think of the United States' 1-0 victory? Who impressed/disappointed you? Do you see the Americans winning the final with the way they're playing?

Share your thoughts below.

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

284 Responses to USA reaches final with 1-0 win over Panama

  1. Soccer Guy says:

    I think either Mexico or Honduras will beat the U.S. This U.S. team is the weakest in a long time. Bob Bradley must go.

  2. Jon says:

    Adu, stay in LA with the Galaxy!

  3. jshmrt20 says:

    really like Adu’s addition to the game…brought us the creativity we needed…my name is Cpt Obvious…just happy for the kid.

  4. erikwmark says:

    oh my, i predict this is going to be a crazy thread. it was a helluva pass.

  5. ADU10 says:

    Im sorry, what were you saying about my obsessive adoration for freddy adu??

  6. patrick says:

    very well done Mr. Adu. he served as the perfect release valve at the end of the game. The ball to donovan was perfectly executed.

  7. Beat Mexico Saturday says:

    Bob is looking like a genius with the Adu substitution. I have to admit it was a real head-scratcher when I saw him standing on the sideline getting ready to come in. His 1-2 sequence with MB to get out of trouble prior to him releasing Donovan with a great through ball was excellent. Really good counter attack by the US. Hopefully they can up their game in the final.

  8. fieldsy says:

    Donovan and Dempsey saved us from a lackluster 2nd half. So far, so good, we’re in the final!

  9. Greg says:

    Adu is the story. Just the fact that he was on the field, hell on the bench, hell ON THE TEAM was unthinkable just a month or so ago. You could see why he was thought to be special. He’s only 21, can’t wait to see more of him during the WCQs next year.

  10. JCC says:

    I think if Panama had Blas Perez he would have put one of their dangerous chances away. I was actually impressed with Panama’s play to be honest. They had some crisp passing, nice ball movement. The US was okay, but weren’t as good as they were against Jamaica, and I think that had a lot to do with Panama just frustrating the hell out of the US the whole game. Outside of the sequence that led to the goal, not much to be impressed about.

  11. REAL Coach says:

    Let’s all thank Jozy for getting hurt because without that happening Freddy wouldn’t have seen a minute in the Gold Cup. Adu — You are DA MAN!

  12. marco says:

    I wanted to say something about the USA’s level of play and who played well.

    No Comment.

  13. Polish Wonder says:

    It will be interesting to see if Donovan starts next time. Good work by Adu, but he is still a sub and not a 90 minute guy.

  14. Jay says:

    I wonder if the Red Bulls are still eyeing Armando Cooper, a younger, more technical version of DMB…

  15. Crosebud says:

    Good Job Freddy. FANTASTIC Cross Donovan! Seriously beat five defenders with that cross. Good job Team LETS BEAT MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!
    (Right now Adu adds more as an offensive center mid than Sascha so lets remember that)

  16. Goalscorer24 says:

    I was thinking put Adu in to break down the Panama Bunker, and I could not believe it when Bob actually did it. He looked nervous, but he made that one great pass.

  17. Mike Caramba says:

    Did anyone else get a strange craving for Campbell’s soup and Sierra Mist around the 65th minute?

  18. roger says:

    hahaah true!

  19. marco says:

    I’m going to watch the tape tonight and count the number of times they strung three passes together on attack, but just use one hand.

    Landon and Freddy saved Bradley’s bacon.

  20. Anthony Hewetson says:

    Yep, weakest in a long time. I suppose that’s why we’re heading for the final.

  21. no love nola says:

    bradleys subs were pretty neat, those were three pretty different squads that panama had to deal with. way to go boys. adu-donovan-dempsey goal was class.

  22. Bigmeat says:

    Your post sucks!!!!!!!!

  23. beckster says:

    After that horrific display by kljsten where he lost the ball every time it came to him, I wouldn’t spend to much time wondering if Donovan will start.

  24. Adu Dabu says:

    All I can say is Go Rutgers!!

  25. Chris in Arlington says:

    The first half lofting balls into the box was getting us no where. BB actually changed the plan for the better and good things happened. It is amazing what can happen when not back passing. Congrats Freddie and welcome back. Now keep your s together.

  26. A Basket Full of Biscuits says:

    It’s the finals. He’ll start.

  27. tom g says:

    Um, you realize that they didn’t put themselves in the game, right. It was Bradley’s decision to make those subs, yet you are crticizing him while praising those players? Let me guess, you’re not a logic major, are you?

  28. tom g says:

    Um, you realize that they didn’t put themselves in the game, right. It was Bradley’s decision to make those subs, yet you are crticizing him while praising those players? Let me guess, you’re not a logic major, are you?

  29. marko says:

    Only because Freddy is his son

  30. ChiTownFire says:

    Adu should have been incorporated a long time ago. Nobody in this US team has the skills that Adu has NOBODY.

  31. spencer says:

    It is clear that Adu is the offensive catalyst that we have desperately needed. He can help us get the possession that we need. He sees things that most other people don’t. There were times Bradley was making me mad because he wouldn’t lift up his head. Adu is playing more defense now than ever. I don’t think anyone ever doubted his talent, because I for sure never did. It was always more of an effort and defensive thing for him. Hopefully he gets the start in the next game, should help us with possession against Mexico.

  32. Kelly Goosecock says:

    Are we not clocking Adu time on this thread?

  33. Modibo says:

    It was a good pass, but I would also say that Dempsey didn’t finish it “with ease.” Dempsey worked hard to get himself into position and reached around the defender to get his foot on the ball.

    It may have LOOKED easy, but that is a world-class finish. Let’s not forget that in light of all the excitement that Adu’s pass may generate. With anyone else on the US at the end of Donovan’s pass, we’d be looking at a long thread complaining about our finishing.

  34. Roy says:

    So was it a stroke of genius to sub in Adu…or just about damn time? Great coaching or late coaching?

  35. A Basket Full of Biscuits says:

    Adu still has a tremendous amount of work to do to ensure this is the starting point for his USMNT career and not the high point, but his performance tonight is a great example of why people still talk about him even when he’s disappeared off the face of the soccer map. He has technical skills and vision that no one in the USMNT pool, including Donovan, can match.

  36. CA says:

    1) This team is best when Donovan is on the pitch.
    2) Adu was a GREAT sub tonight, but one great sub appearance doesn’t mean you’re “back.” Having said that, I DO want to see him come on in the second half of the final.
    3) Dempsey is our best finisher.
    4) Regardless of the outcome of the final, I’d still like to see a new head coach. BB is not a bad coach. I just happen to believe that a new coach every cycle, or every other cycle, forces players to continue to play at their highest level-they have to prove themselves to a new coaching staff.

  37. Murph says:

    Question, who on the team besides Adu has the vision and skill to make that pass? I can’t think of any.

  38. agnigrin says:

    +1… You said it!

  39. Wayne says:

    Another clean sheet! Well done boys! Much better D!

  40. colin says:

    Jozy prolly would have scored earlier or set up a goal, he was looking good this tourney, had a bit of fire. And lets be happy for Adu, I was impressed with his all around play, rather than the one ball. Some great dribbles and hustle. But lets see him perform consistently. I of course have been telling all my friends for a while not to write him off, but now I say to everyone, dont overhype him again. Let it come.

  41. agnigrin says:

    Hear, Hear! Panama was like Ghana in how tenacious it played but the USA proved they could do it!

  42. shweazy says:

    People are starting to Wake up, dont let that performance vs Jamaica Fool you. The Jamaicans sat back and allowed us to steamrole them they looked nothing like the team that beat Honudras. They were scared of us for some reason . Mexico will Kill us again if we continue to play like this. The fact that we’ve made it this far is evidence of the poor play in concacaf and our home advantage.

  43. Modibo says:

    Um, what dangerous chances are you talking about? Timmy had a pretty quiet game. Besides, you could say the same thing about Altidore, who would have challenged their big men in the back much more than Agudelo, pushing them into dangerous positions that Agudelo could.

  44. buff111 says:

    I would have liked to see Adu in the middle. He is creative and he could play to the whole field. When he’s out on the wing, he’s limited, but in the middle he could move the ball left, right or up the middle. It would be fun to watch.

  45. Scott says:

    Did anyone else think that Freddy looked much quicker/faster than he did before? Everybody always knew he had more skill than any player in the US pool, but I always thought he just didn’t have the raw speed. When he beat that guy with a nice touch on the top of the TV screen in the US half, then made a long run, he really showed some good speed. He lost the ball there, yes, but a Panamanian was running with him and couldn’t catch up.

    If he has gotten faster, he will undoubtedly become a part of this team, even if it’s just as an offensive substitute for the time being…

  46. agnigrin says:

    Wah?

  47. K-Town says:

    No. Clocking Adu time is for when people post things about Adu on threads that have nothing to do with Adu. For the first time in a long time, this thread is appropriate time for Adu discussion.

  48. Supsam says:

    +1 Yeah! this team is so crappy that we are one win short of the trophy. haha

  49. shweazy says:

    no one does and i’ve been saying it for ages.
    Freddy is our most Gifted Midfeild General but we kicked him out. When Gio Dos Santos was struggling in Europe Mexico never stopped calling him up for games and he always did wel for them despite not playing much for Barcelona, or Spurs.

  50. colin says:

    Because normally we all clamor for 2nd division players to get playing time on the national team (Sarcasm). If it was anyone bought adu you would treat him like rogers. Personally I always thought it was a bad idea to write adu off at 21, and still have faith he will come good, but him having a decent season in Turkey is no reason to say he should deff play, provides some hope for the future. But no one should have legit faulted bradley for never playing Adu. It was a gamble, it paid off, good coaching move. Im not a huge bradley fan, nor am I a hatter you are obviously the later. Wow I dissed you with a rhyme.

  51. BrianVT says:

    Agreed. I’m neither a hater nor a hyper; nor am I jumping on the Adu bandwagon. But there aren’t many players in the USMNT international pool that could have even *SEEN* the run that LD was on, much less executed the pass — and all that at 38 years old and 4′ 8″ tall!

  52. colin says:

    This is really my feeling, I dont have much respect for people who think Bradley is a bad coach, he has repeatedly gotten results and played more top 10 teams than prolly all other USA coaches of the last 20 years (actually bet it is close). But I do like the idea of changing things up each time, why as an Everton fan I would not devastated if Moyes left even though he is an amazing coach.

  53. CA says:

    “who on the team besides Adu has the vision and skill to make that pass?”

    How about Donovan, Bradley, Jones, Dempsey, Dolo, and many others.

    Adu had a great game tonight. But don’t let one great showing as a sub convince you that he’s made a complete turnaround just yet. You’re getting ahead of yourself.

  54. BrianVT says:

    I’ll add that there were a few other instances in the second half where he also showed good understanding and chemistry with his teammates — kind of like a point guard making a no-look pass because he knows exactly where the other player is.

  55. Eurosnob says:

    I agree. Plus he should be fresh after playing 45 minutes in the last two games. The chances are that a Mexican or Honduran player that will be covering him him played at least 90 plus 90 during the same time span.

  56. David M says:

    Horrible game. One shot on goal, if I’m not mistaken. Two good chances all game. Against Panama, for crying out loud! It wasn’t Spain or Brazil or Germany. Not even Sweden, Poland, or Ecuador. I think we often forget how weak CONCACAF is. An average national team should be able to beat Panama at home by 3 or 4 clear goals any time.

  57. Adam M. says:

    Credit Bob for bringing Adu to camp. That Adu was even in consideration for that sub had to do with Donovan’s weird situation/play and Altidore’s injury (and probably Feilheiber’s injury, which indirectly led to Bedoya being a starter at a position we usually have someone going 90). So no credit there. But I also credit Bob about 60% for putting him in a high pressure situation and another 20% for recognizing we needed a mid rather than a striker there. The other 20% is really a matter of having no other mid on the bench offensively minded. Who else would have been the sub there? So I’d give Bob about 75% of the credit, with the rest to happenstance.

  58. bizzy says:

    HE SEEMS TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH COACHES…YES
    HE CAN’T STAY WITH ONE TEAM FOR LONG…YES
    HE WENT PRO TOO QUICK….YES
    HE PLAYS FOR A TURKISH 2 DIVISION TEAM….YES
    HE MADE THE DIFFERENCE TODAY IN THE US WIN….HELL YEAH

    No only did he give the US an immediate spark, his touches where accurate, he had speed on the ball (though he was winded…lol), he had vision on the pitch with crisp passes, he orchestrated two runs with one resulting in a goal.

    The kid not only rewarded BB but shut up the haters and all that doubted him. I know a lot of people threw their hands in the air when they saw Adu on the line. BB might not be the coach to take us to the next level but he showed courage (a lot of courage) fielding Adu at a time the US offense was flat….

  59. Eurosnob says:

    It’s true, but even subs could be difference makers, like Adu and Donovan were in this game.

  60. K-Town says:

    I read somewhere recently that he was working on his speed. That he knows it is an issue. He seemed pretty aware of his deficiencies and is wanting to work on them. I think it may have been an interview with Grant Wahl recently.

  61. colin says:

    The fact some people try to argue that this is the worst American team of the last 10 years or so astounds me. Maybe they underachieve a little but look at where the players play (which is the indicative of their talent). The fact we dont have a mls player on the field besides Donovan demonstrates the pools growth.

  62. Supsam says:

    its funny how quickly ppl forget that Altidore was leading the US team in game winning goals not too long ago…

  63. BrianVT says:

    “Mexico Killer” will start.

  64. Supsam says:

    in reference to this gold cup

  65. colin says:

    Panama bunkered in. Watch European Soccer and see how many club teams struggle to break other teams down. Look at Arsenal. Look at Everton in england, if the league was just the top 8, Everton finishes third. But they finished 7 because they could not break down teams who bunkered in. Its a tough thing to do.

  66. Mingjai says:

    Makes me think of a redirect of a slapshot shot wide on purpose in hockey… not an easy shot by any means.

  67. shweazy says:

    +1 but he failed in Europe so he’s not good enough, are you crazy ? lol

  68. sir coble says:

    I thought he looked faster too! wondered if it was due to the amount of minutes panama had played in the past three days? I also have to say for adu that when he lost the ball he looked pissed to get it back. If he keeps that fire and keeps working adu will be the uber sub.

  69. BrianVT says:

    Adu even did some of “the little things” really well — intangibles such as giving fouls at just the right time, tracking back on ‘D’, carrying the Gatorade cooler, etc..

    Congrats to him on a thus-far successful reintegration into the USMNT fold.

  70. marden08 says:

    Excellent right on 4 out of 4

  71. Jose says:

    There are also just some teams that always give another team some problems. Like Colombia against Peru (Colombia always plays Peru tough even in Peru), USA against Ghana (World cup 2006, 2010), Argentina against Mexico (last couple of World Cups Mexico has been eliminated by Argentina), USA vs Italy (Everytime USA plays Italy, they give Italy a tough time and at times they draw). I guess now it is Panama after all back in 2007 they played together in the final and had to settle the game in penalties.

  72. erikwmark says:

    no doubt,. imagine too if freddy’s turnover in midfield had resulted in a goal… yikes. i give panama quite a bit of credit though, they played a great game and we were still a touch passive and slow.

  73. BrianVT says:

    So who’s stock do you think has risen the most in this tournament? The obvious choice is Jermaine Jones, but I’d make a case for Eric Lichaj, as well.

    What say ye?

  74. Joe from El Paso says:

    Nice from Freddy Adu! Good to see him mesh will with Donovan and Dempsey. He needs to get more looks in the future…

  75. erikwmark says:

    or even a third imaginary scenario (very popular on this site): if MB scores on freddy’s great pass into the box instead of some meek pass to the middle. eyeyeye

  76. colin says:

    Not saying I dont still have hope for Adu, but to compare not getting time for Barcelona and Spurs to not getting time for AS Monoco, Belenese and Aris is laughable, with all due respect. Adu did not deserve the call up. Yes he was technically gifted but he was lazy and did not play d. He played well this year, deserved the call up, impressed in camp likely, and we really needed his technical skills, things were done just how they should have been. You ever think not getting called up gives him impetuous to improve. Hope adu goes on to be a core player in the future but Bob dealt with him right.

  77. chris says:

    Adu Time!

  78. Duck says:

    No comment on the game because i only saw the first half.

    but I am SOFA KING EXCITED to go to the game here in the Pasadena

  79. CA says:

    Mexico-Honduras is about to kick off. Damn, these Spanish stations do a MUCH better job of showing the beautiful chicas in the stands than do American stations:)

  80. ChemTrails says:

    One solid chance One goal

    WE need to make more chances against Mex.. their keeper and D… ,… much better.

  81. Roy says:

    Untwist your knickers, dude. I don’t “hatt” anyone.

  82. John King says:

    Any truth that the final is sold out?

  83. Adam M. says:

    The problem is we aren’t scoring much against anybody, much less the teams we should be demolishing, which makes every game tight and difficult to watch. Part of that is the coach’s style, part of it is the lack of a creative player in the middle of the field, part of it is that Donovan seems out of sorts (depsite his moment tonight), and part of it is just lack of tehcnical ability/finishing required to break down defenses. I don’t think we are much better or worse than we’ve been over the last two World Cup cycles.

  84. ChemTrails says:

    Both.. Bedoya in a year or two

  85. Supsam says:

    If i remember in 2007 GC, Mexico couldnt defeat Panama either and had to settle for a draw. I believe it was in 2005 GC where Panama defeated Colombia TWICE. Give Panama credit will you.

  86. MicahK says:

    Si se puede. GO USA USA. The play was horrible and we should have killed Panama 3-3. At least we got revenge and Freddy Adu is showing a little of the magic he had in his youth days.

  87. John Harvey says:

    Weak game, Great result=I’m Happy!

    Gonna need more vs Honduras, and much more vs Mexico!

    As always Donovan/Dempsey save the day!

    My two cents.

  88. Adam M. says:

    Jones, yes, but Lichaj is apparently a good solution to a huge continuing problem at left back.

  89. trident says:

    Yeh great win for America whatever but did any one realize Tejada from Panama had a gold grill. If Panama won the cup he could have used it to finish the bottom row

  90. PetedeLA says:

    I don’t think it was so much that he saw the pass. Plenty of players can do that. More important for me was the ability to weight and curl it just right so the receiver (in this case Donovan) can manage to play it easily.

    Kudos to the kid.

    Good sub, Bob.

  91. Kojo says:

    Why is that Adu seems to run faster when he is attacking the goal then when he is defending his own goal. Yes I was extremely impressed with Adu’s technical ability on the ball tonight. However his attention to defensive team structure appeared a bit lacking. Still an excellent outing for a player who has not seen one second of the field up until tonight. He really could have fallen on his face in a very important match and he showed maturity by injecting some energy into the US side.

  92. colin says:

    Yeah i was worried about that one I was manage to spell hater wrong, spelling is just atrocious, always has been. O well. But anyways why are u upset that I called you a maker of hats, does not seem to be much of an insult to me.

  93. This Panama team was balanced, well coached, and very strong in defence. They played very well and deserve credit. Of course, we could have played better, but Panama played together and with passion.

    You have no class. The Panama team I watched play deserves our respect.

  94. SoccerInATL says:

    adu to donovan to dempsey = espn top plays of the day. Would not be surprised to see it in there with the name awareness of those three.

    If we are going to play 4-2-3-1 then adu definitely can work his way into a starting spot. The dude looked very ripped since last time i saw him. I wish we got some replays of his moves because I kept saying how in the world did he just do that. He made Panama look like some serious traffic cones with his passing and dribbling.

    Lando seriously needs to run off the ball. Its killing me. All world cup it was a back pass to cherundulo and then he would run up the field and cherundulo would chip him through. Now lando back passes and just stops. weird.

  95. Big Red says:

    This is classic Adu. People shouldn’t be surprised. If you actually watch the national team you would know he does this all the time. That was not his first cap.

  96. jpc says:

    I’m not sure why people are so negative about this team… We have Never just walked through concacaf tournaments or qualifying, the teams are always scrappy, have underrated talent, and usually put max effort into playing the US. Games are always close, and our strongest asset has always been the ability to pull out close games, just as we did tonight… Obviously criticize when its relevant, but the sky is not falling, we are in good shape, and getting better… Oh and finally, BOB BRADLEY IS A VERY GOOD COACH!!! Anyone who thinks that he doesn’t know what he’s doing isn’t paying attention, or just has an inferiority complex about American coaches

  97. colin says:

    One game does not shut anyone up. I have hope for adu, and agree with the majority of the post, but you can not really say he shut anyone up with his performance. I bball player who averages 5 a game for an entire season and then scores 25 in a big win, does not shut anyone up. The body of work maters, dont ignore it. That being said lets hope, and I also believe, adu will go on from here.

  98. colin says:

    Regardless I think my problem is that people dont acknowledge this is the most gifted USA team of all time, regardless if they dont always play up to snuff.

  99. Nate says:

    This was like watching so many games under Bruce Arena. So much to criticize but they got the win they needed. Let’s not forget how many dreadful games we watched in the early 2000′s that we eeked out 1-0. It’s a little bit reassuring to know we can still grind out a win when necessary.

  100. colin says:

    Lets say Bob is a good coach, i think that is not only a good compromise but the truth.

  101. syght says:

    Head on a swivel and cross field on a counter like that? Donovan, maybe Jones, and Adu. Dempsey would dribble into a turnover. Bradley wouldn’t pick up his head and would pass sideways or backwards instead. Dolo wouldn’t be in that position, and if he was, he’d play it to a safe spot to get back in position.

    Great pass by Adu, great vision and very good decision making. Adu should stay as a sub, clearly, but needs to keep working hard, getting chances, and can make an impact off the bench hopefully thru World Cup qualifying.

  102. filfisher says:

    The good – Adu, Jones and Donovan

    The bad – Agudelo (abused), Michael Bradley

    The ugly – Bob Bradley almost making the bonehead decision of the year by leaving arguably our best player on the bench to start the game. What a foolish error.

  103. g-dub says:

    How is it that all of these Adu backers are suddenly coming out of the woodwork? The Adu bashing has been relentless on here for quite a while.

    I for one am man enough to admit that I’d pretty much written him off for the USMNT. Happy to say I was wrong. Good on ya Freddy

  104. jmc says:

    I don’t really think it is a stroke of coaching genius to bring two of your most skilled players off the bench. With the lackluster performances we have seen so far it was criminal that LD and Freddie weren’t starting in the first place.

  105. jpc says:

    fair enough, but he is probably the best ever US coach (not that there’s been a ton of them). Bora has international credentials, but Bradley’s resume w/ the US is better

  106. Eurosnob says:

    Technical skills have never been in doubt for Adu, it was his decision-making and work rate, particularly without the ball. He did well with both today making good decisions and trying to win the ball back (I even saw a sliding tackle from him).

  107. syght says:

    I’d say Lichaj and Bedoya even more than Jones. We knew Jones could be good, and he’s just shown us some consistency here (though not as much as I’d like to see). Lichaj has shown a lot more in his ability in attack and defense (still gets caught in offense too often, needs to work on his left foot) and Bedoya just hustles and scraps and makes an impact (needs better luck or heading to finish).

  108. bizzy says:

    “seems to run faster when he is attacking the goal then when he is defending his own goal”….are you serious?? All the tackling he did wasn’t enough for you? Why do you think we have 2 CDM and the defense back there?

    An excellent performance “for a player” who has not seen one second of the field….but not for a regular?? The kid is the reason we did go to penalties, provided the spark in the offense, laid off several perfect passes including the one to bradley that were a threat on goal and of course orchestrated the goal. HE HAD AN EXCELLENT SHOWING AND defending, even though is part of the game, is not his number one priority….its getting up field and creating chances

  109. syght says:

    Yeah, outside of that assist though Donovan was blah. Agudelo was good, should’ve scored. And Bradley putting Donovan on the bench, and us still winning, leaving us with a MUCH more rested Donovan than one who had played two full 90s against Jamaica and Panama is a GOOD COACHING DECISION. He had faith that we could pick up the wins with only half-time Donovan and we did it. Smart coaching.

  110. Ben says:

    No, but congrats for a classic overreaction. Adu had a few very good passes, and one superb one, but he also lost the ball plenty.

  111. Rob says:

    Only Wondo could have missed that finish. Just kidding – it was a well developed sequence. I’m all for replacing BB, but this is 2 games in a row where I have few if any complaints with him. I would have liked to see a 2 goal + win, but we advance so we should be pleased. Panama played well and deserve much credit.

  112. syght says:

    Eh, Donovan out of form, Adu doesn’t need to be starting (maybe one day). Sitting Donovan was risky, but in the end both moves proved genius.

  113. Reality Says says:

    A. Man of Match: Freddy Adu. Easy.
    B. Freddy was BY FAR the best player on the field after he entered.
    C. Freddy set up the goal, possessing the ball twice on the possession.
    D. Freddy dangles and puts the ball on MB’s foot in the box…MB heehaws it to Panama! What?!
    E. Donovan’s first pass after the goal is 5 yards behind a running Dempsey.
    F. How many times did Freddy see the ball in 20 minutes?
    G. How many times has Donovan seen the ball all tournament?
    H. How many players did Freddy make look foolish in 20 minutes?
    I. How many players has Donovan make look foolish in his career?
    J. All the Freddy haters can eat crow.
    K. My post from 6/13/11:

    “In a perfect world:

    Agudelo – Dempsey
    Adu – Jones – Holden – Diskerud
    Donovan – Ream – Spector – Chandler
    Guzan

    Goodson
    Lichaj
    Cherundolo
    Bradley
    Feilhaber
    Davies
    Bunbury
    Howard”

    L. Response from some idiot:

    “Your perfect world has Adu…that is one of the worst things I have ever seen.”

  114. Malice29 says:

    Perhaps Panama would play better if they had a soccer guy as a coach instead of Anderson Silva…

  115. TimN says:

    I have to say that I’m hoping for a Honduras upset of Mexico, because I just don’t see this U.S. team beating Mexico in the final. I hate to say that, but in my gut I just have that feeling. I think Hernandez would create total havoc for our back line, and eventually it would give. Mexico has literally demolished their competition, bar one misstep with Guatemala, and I venture to say that the U.S. would not have been able to tally the scorelines that Mexico has so far in this tournament.

    The U.S. team I think at this juncture lacks a truly dangerous striker of the caliber of Hernandez. An argument could be made for Dempsey, but he’s more of a “right place right time” kind of scorer. I think Hernandez is more skilled. Altidore’s first touches are often heavy, and he’s not the kind of guy that can create and get free in tight spaces. Jozy needs a “wind up” and a ball put right to his feet.

    Going forward after the Gold Cup, the MNT truly needs to scour the player pool for an international caliber striker up top. Jozy’s not bad, but he’s just not dangerous enough.

    Lichaj has looked good recently at LB, and he may be the solution that we’ve long sought to that troubled position for us. Cherundolo has been so solid at RB…I really like his level of play. He gets forward very well and provides great service from the wing, and is stalwart in the back. The tandem of Bocanegra and Goodson also has looked good. The only critique I would have there is that Goodson sometimes has a bad propensity to clear it up the middle, which can result in giveaways to attacking players in dangerous positions at the top of the box. He needs to focus on working it wide out of the back.

    Of course if Mexico wins, I’ll be still be pulling hard for the Nats and hoping my gut is wrong!

  116. solles says:

    er… who? And what does this have to do with US-Panama.

  117. tom g says:

    There’s no question that freddy is capable of adding a dimension to a languid attack and change the flow of a game. We still haven’tfound out if he can defend worth a damn or if he’s learned to play within a system or if he can do the dirty work and the little things necessary to play winning football. It is a good sign, though, that he worked his way onto the bench and into the rotation. That means he worked his butt off in training. That is a very good sign of progress. A lot of folks gave up on Joe Cole for showing the same immaturity that freddy has shown in his game and he turned out all right.

  118. filfisher says:

    “smart coaching” almost cost us the most important game since the WC. Stupid decision which he rightly corrected at the half.

  119. bizzy says:

    …but a ball player who, despite being unstable in Europe for most of his career, has a goal to appearance ratio of 1:4, putting the weight to deliver in a big game like this on his shoulders (after having lost prior), at a time the team was running on flats and he comes in and creates chances and the goal…..can shut people up…….just the way he did today.

  120. Ben says:

    And time for fun on the boards again…Sacha reverted back to form, but its hard to fault Bradley for the start when he had been playing well and Donovan needed a message, and I’m a Kljestn hater. Anyhow, MB was up and down as usual, goo passing combined with too much time on the ball, and he should have shot that Adu pass at the end, solid if nothing special. Jones was a force and all over the field. Bedoya was at the center of everything good in the first half, then he slowed during the second, but I liked what I saw overall. I thought Agudelo had some very good moments and some questionable ones, but that is what you get with an 18 year old forward, and he certainly gives a lot of effort. Okay, deep breath, too many people are ready to start Adu right now. Yes, he had two or three very good passes and one outstanding one, but he also lost the ball a few times when he shouldn’t have and still appears to need a lot of work. In short, he is a valuable offensive spark off the bench, but nothing more. For me, the only change for the Mexico game would be Landon for Kljestan.

  121. s-bah says:

    Amen. That is a fair assessment of a team definitely on the rise.

  122. Ben says:

    *good passing

  123. Ben says:

    He didn’t make many players look foolish, but you do with your uninhibited love of a player of Adu caliber.

  124. Ben says:

    Also, props to Bob. I’ve slagged on him at times, but when you press all the right buttons, you should get the credit, and he did it tonight.

  125. Kyle says:

    I have always thought that Adu has the creativity and vision that no one else on the NATS has. His defense has always been woeful and you need to keep him far from your own goal. He has tremendous potential to be a game changer. A nice option off the bench but definetly not starting material yet.

  126. winston says:

    er… he plays for panama. Guy with COOPER on his back.

  127. Ben says:

    Hahaha, Chicken arise!

  128. Ben says:

    dude, we all know he can pass; we know he has vision; we know he can dribble. These things are what people question about Adu, so relax, take a valium, and wait to see what he does over the course of a season.

  129. Ben says:

    *aren’t

  130. REAL Coach says:

    Jozy has played well so I’m not knocking his play. Just stating the fact that Freddy wouldn’t have seen a minute but for his injury.

    Also, let’s give Bob Bradley his playa’s card back for tossing out the 4-4-2 and using the 4-5-1 formation. The switch gave Freddy a chance to shine.

  131. winston says:

    God, I’m glad I don’t know you. You must be miserable. And check out the second game, this was hardly a home field.

  132. Matt says:

    great jon guys. give mexico hell boys!

  133. Tim M. says:

    It wasn’t until Freddy came in that the US found more rhythm in their game and the offense starting flowing all around the field.

    Once he got himself settled in, his positioning was great all over the field. He did a superb job of setting up numerous players on the field to be successful in their execution and constantly made the right decision with the ball.

  134. fischy says:

    From halftime on, I thought the team needed Adu — well…Donovan and Adu. I was very pleased to see Adu getting ready to come in.

    Adu did a lot more than just the one pass. He was nearly perfect. His corner might have been a tad longer than I would have liked, but he nearly found his target. When was the last time you saw someone replace Donovan to take a corner kick from that side? Adu also gave up the ball on that breakaway because of a carelessly long dribble. He also got stripped of the ball in a dangerous spot. Other than that, he was magic. Given his nerves and his obvious desire to make a difference out there which led him into trouble those two times, Adu had a helluva game.

  135. lprevolution says:

    Let’s just start calling him “The Adu”

  136. lprevolution says:

    “The Adu”

  137. Firebob says:

    Anyone with a brain could see adu had talent but he lacked discipline focus and defense. You can be a good player but cause too many mistakes to warrant less playing time. We saw spectacular things from adu and then dismal mistakes. Getting tossed around in europe has humbled him and his game. Lets hope he can stay that way. I think altidore gets it too sometimes. We were a lot more entertaining as the unde rd og. Now we get a bit lazy. That to me is all coach. The world cup spelled it out as big as could be when we were left scratching our heads with the lineups and game after game we had to wait for the subs to get on the field. If it was one game..eh…maybe a fluke. Every freaking game. The subs were not a spark they were the netter players. They should have been on the field for 90.

  138. lprevolution says:

    “The Adu” may be on PED’s. Turkey is a prime spot to eat “tainted carne.”

  139. Ben says:

    very well coached.

  140. lprevolution says:

    “The Adu-ed” obides

  141. SuperChivo says:

    Mexico and Honduras both look beatable, but perhaps they are tired. The physical play seems to throw Mexico off. Also, their wingbacks (including Salcido) look beatable. It will be fun to see the formation Bob throws at them. Without Jozy, it will be much more difficult but I still see it about 50/50. Here’s hoping.

  142. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Troll..
    But i bet u thought Bradley was good in the second half.

  143. JM says:

    Are you crazy???

    That first halfe was more intense than anything I’ve seen from the US in the whole tournament!

    Maybe it’s me, but i was just thinking how these two teams especially Mexico are playing very well.

  144. CroCajun says:

    HAHA. I’ve been saying the same thing.

  145. Supsam says:

    i concur. B. Bradley really stepped it up in keeping Donovan on the bench and releasing him and Adu to get that winner

  146. Lichaj even whipped in a great left-footed cross this match. If he can develop any consistency there, that could be huge for the team and for his career.

  147. Bigmeat says:

    Bizzy, you need to go to a shrink, but you might be correct on this one.

  148. tricksyclown17 says:

    I’m glad Adu came in a played well, including providing the outlet for the game winner. I hope he is one of the great stories this WC cycle. If he can become a regular for the team, I think we’d be in great shape. That being said, everyone saying, ‘I told you so’ need to remember it was just 25 minutes he played. And skill has never been Freddy’s problem. He has tons of skill and talent. He was just never mature enough to sustain a high level of play. He just needs to keep working hard, stay patient, and continue to learn how to play at the highest level. Again, I’m not knocking him, he’s got tons of talent.

  149. SuperChivo says:

    We’re not watching the same game. They are both running their a$$es off but poor passing and control of the ball. And just now they took their best player off.

  150. Peter says:

    I missed Jozy in this game. Agudelo gave away too many fouls, and I don’t think he drew a single one. With a big, aggressive defender like Baloy, Agudelo should have drawn a few fouls.

  151. SuperChivo says:

    Bengston (Catracho) is a stud though. Jozy could have turned Mexico out like that but now we’ve lost that weapon.

  152. Dennis says:

    Not quite perfect, he did get caught dribbling across the middle in his own half and turned over the ball in a bad spot when the USA was not really in a shape to defend well. Thankfully Panama squandered the chance. It is those mental lapses that have kept Adu from playing more. His technical gifts and creativity are not in question, but he still needs to learn where and when to do risky things. But he does seem to have improved his ability to combine with teammates when attacking and did understand that killing time was an important thing late in the game when we had the lead.

  153. joel says:

    as a panamanian american it was a bittersweet game for me….happy for one sad for the other…but proud of both teams…a tough game….
    hope the usa win in the final!

    could have gone either way…nice setup by adu.

  154. Dennis says:

    Sure Mixico will kill us just like they killed Guatemala and are curently tieing Honduras (20 min into the 2nd half). Killing Cuba and squeaking past Guatemlama is not the same as beating Jamaica 2-0. Of course, getting past Panama 1-0 is not exactly setting the world on fire either.

    All that hype due to Mixico winning big against what was arguably the weakest group was probably a bit overdone.

    Panama was a much better team than people gave them credit for, they were technically solid and tactically sound, it took a great pass to spring an dangerous player who made a good play to beat them (but Agudelo’s header could have changed things in the first half if it had been 4 inches closer. and Panama’s attack in this game was less than overpowering.)

  155. Scarlet says:

    They are both playing very fast which admittedly we haven’t seen from the US. However, I wouldn’t say they are playing very well. A lot of sloppy play from both sides. Also a lot of fouls. Hopefully they wear themselves out with the frantic pace.

  156. MicahK says:

    No donovan at left back your d squad would get destroyed man

  157. fischy says:

    Sort of — but. let’s not forget what a great combo Adu and Altidore have made. I’d like to see them get some chances to hook up for the varsity

  158. Ray Tango says:

    you have donovan as a left back?

  159. Dennis says:

    Not sure I buy that, the 2002 WC team with Reyna, O’Brien and McBride probably had as much or more outright attacking power and the defense was a bit more organized and athletic.

  160. Mark F says:

    I have never been a fan of a single strategic move that Bob Bradley has ever made in 4+ yrs but inserting Freddy Adu was incredibly bold and made the difference in the game. Bravo.

  161. fischy says:

    I think our defense is as good as it’s ever been and, with a healthy Holden, we’ve probably got our best midfield ever (though Reyna, Stewart, Cobi, O’Brien, Armas, Lewis and young Donovan and Beasley in ’02 was a very strong group). Howard is no Brad Friedel, but he’s still awfully good. However, our forwards are still a problem.

    Our best team ever? They’ve got some work to do first. Too bad Rossi isn’t with these guys, because that would make all the difference.

  162. Bryan says:

    Dos Santos should have just won it. He looks like a woman btw

  163. fischy says:

    I’d go with Lichaj. Jones had his coming-out party against Jamaica, uyt his place in the lineup isn’t secure. WHen Holden comes back, I’m not sure how we’ll line up….except that it looks like Lichaj might be locking down the left-back slot. Of course, Chandler is going to battle for that slot, too,

    There’s still one game to play, though — plenty of time for Adu to get the nod.

  164. fischy says:

    3-3 would hardly be a killing.

    Seriously though — Panama was wining the second half, hands down..until Adu came on.

  165. fischy says:

    “espn top plays of the day.”

    Whatever.

  166. PD says:

    and you’re surprised becasue why?

  167. Scarlet says:

    Game tied at zero at end of regulation. Have to like that as a US fan. That extra time will potentially take a toll on the players.

  168. Dennis says:

    Yes Good comment regarding Adu.
    It is not a good sign when you have 2 defensive midfielders and they get so much of the ball while the guys who are supposed to be attacking (outside of Bedoya) can’t seem to stay in the flow of the game. Adu at least stayed involved throughout his time on the field. Donavon did not, Klejstan did not, Dempsey did not (but Dempsey was being closely marked throughout the match so it was arguably more difficult for him to see as much of the ball) when Dempsey did get a bit of space, he made something of it.

  169. Brent McD says:

    Extra time for Mexico / Honduras. It’s been a good game, fairly open, back and forth, plenty of chances for each team. Chicharito missed a header that he should have buried. SKC’s Roger Espinoza has looked good and almost won the game with an impressive long-range shot in the 90th minute. Hope both teams get extra tired with the extra time ;)

  170. fischy says:

    Panamanian-American?

    Are you really John McCain?

  171. MC Pharaoh says:

    Great news with Mexico going into overtime… 30 more minutes of football for whoever our opponent is cant hurt us. KC right sided player, Espinoza almost won it for Honduras with a great strike from distance…

    Certainly interesting seeing Mexico having difficulties like we have the last two games… Not firing on all cylinders as they were before playing Guatemala.

  172. Neruda says:

    Did anyone else laugh when Freddy came on? BB’s throw caution to the wind substitutions and line-ups are crazy enough to work. Adu comported himself very well with the his skill and passing. It’s hard to see how he plays for a second division Turkish backwater.

    Meanwhile Mexico is in danger of not even making the final.

  173. PD says:

    rossi moved to taly when he was 13. get over it.

    Tim Howard is every bit the keeper Brad Freidel was at his age, which is to say word class and amazing.

  174. Matt says:

    ahhh crap this de nigris guy is good. we’ll need to lock him down

  175. PD says:

    excellent post. I’d only add that Cherundolo has been an absolute monster for the US. before Adu came on it seemed that nearly every attack began with a service from ‘dolo.

  176. Northzax says:

    And a big part of it is that we don’t have a striker. Our current starting striker is a 18 year old substitute for an MLS team who has four goals in 17 appearences for his club (including cup competitions) Think that over for a second. Mexico starts a twenty goal scorer for the European Cup Runners Up and a five goal scorer in La Liga. 25-4. Even when healthy, adding Altidore makes that 20 goals in England plus 5 in Spain versus 4 in the US and 1 in Turkey. Our midfield is perfectly acceptable. We have no strikers. That’s not really Bradley’s fault.

    So far in the past 10+ years, the US has had world class goalkeepers (friedel, Keller, Howard) Defenders (Cherundelo, Gooch pre injury, maybe a few others) midfielders (Donovan, Dempsey, Reyna) but not a decent striker since McBride (and maybe Joe-Max) we need us one of them to dominate, even Concacaf.

  177. WIld BIll says:

    No. Soon as I saw Freddy made the bench the last game, I knew his only hope to shine was for the U.S. to be lackluster. We have ZERO creative options off the bench. I’m not a Bradley hater but Adu was the obvious choice after everybody else failed. Even if Altidore was in the game if the scoreline was the same Adu would have been the choice. On a rosier note, anybody else think on that goal that a few years ago that was what you were sure was going to be the future of the Nats with Dempsey, Donovan, Adu, Bradley (Altidore) carrying us?

  178. patrick says:

    jermaine jones made a somewhat similar “vision” pass to Jozy against Turkey, I’ve seen Feilhaber do it, Donovan has done, as has Dempsey etc. It’s a great ball, it’s not the best ball ever played. He switched the field to an open man streaking down the field.

  179. trident says:

    De Nigris

    Chicharito

    or…

    Mexico 2-0 US!!!

  180. SuperChivo says:

    Wow, Mexico totally outplayed and they still find a way to win. Sloppy defending on the corners to give up two to los chaparritos

  181. robertoS says:

    Did anyone mention that Dempsey looked offsides?

    That extra dribble that donovan took almost cost us a goal. Dempsey was open.

  182. Ray Tango says:

    Mexico 2 -0. Chicarito on a set piece. Mexico is fast. Damn. Giovanni has got some freak’n wheels. I have to go to a wedding on Saturday. Not happy about it. I pray I can find a tv to watch this game.

  183. Bryan looks like a ?... says:

    Jealous you’re just an armchair spectator who never played/never will at Barca or any other level?

  184. Dennis says:

    About 7 years ago after MB and Adu had played in the U-17 world Cup and Freddy was the darling of the press, I had the chance to speak to Michael. I asked him about Adu, saying that all I had really seen were the highlight tapes and wondered if he was the real thing. Michael learned at his father’s feet so he said something that was vague enough and vaguely positive like “He can play”. I did not push for more.

    They have been teammates on the U-20 and U-23 Olympic teams and the full national team as well. Each have had moments of brilliance and moments they might prefer to forget. Certainly Bradley has had fewer bad stretches than Adu. His 2 goal performance in the first WC qualifier against Mexico was a clear bright spot as was his season scoring 18 goals in one season for Heerenveen also outshine anything Adu has managed to accomplish professionally.

    Yet Adu is capable of dazzling plays that outshine all but a few dozen players in the world.

  185. Bigmeat=Dumbmeat says:

    I’m scared of both Mexico and Honduras, because both teams would KILL the US!!!

  186. Leon says:

    The thuginesh of the Honduran players made me lose all respect for them.

    The challenge on Guardado and the one on Juarez were criminal!!!

  187. JW says:

    +1, the weight of his passes was giving the midfield more bite.

  188. Daniel says:

    To be fair, is only a few players.

  189. Daniel says:

    Are you from Honduras by any chance? Relax, it was a good game.

  190. The Guy Who is a Big USMNT Fan Ever Since the Thrashers Moved to Winnipeg says:

    Agreed. The redirection goal by Jones vs Jamaica was reminiscent of a hockey goal, too.

  191. dgoshilla says:

    I don’t think they’re weak. I think they’re missing key players new and experienced. Chandler, Holden, Diskerud would add tremendous depth and skill. These guys will be in the lineup soon enough. It is safe to say we’re in the top three of CONCACAF without those players. With them we’re #1. Give this team another year. It’ll be one of the best we’ve had.

  192. Final says:

    US MEX

    MEX US

    US MEX

    MEX US

    YEAH BABY!

  193. Ben says:

    yeah I agree. I’ve posted before that I think Dolo has been the most underrated yank of the last 10 years, in part due to his position no doubt. I think the back line has done quite well ever since Lichaj slotted in and Boca moved over to center.

  194. Ben says:

    child please, Ray Tango pretends nothing

  195. Brian says:

    hahaha that made me laugh pretty hard. I’m SOFA KING EXCITED to go the final too. Flying to Vegas from Sac tomorrow then flying from Vegas to LA on Saturday morning! Awesome weekend coming!

  196. mw says:

    On this site, for the USMNT at least, being outplayed but still winning means the coach sucks donkey b***s, the players both suck and, ironically enough, are also very skilled but not used properly, the team will get killed by (insert next opponent), the sky is falling, the US Soccer Federation are a bunch of jerks who don’t know the first thing about football….did I miss any?

  197. Ben says:

    Whoa, I made a joke in response to a post of yours earlier, but this is way over the line. I hope this gets deleted and your get suspended. There is absolutely no need for this kind of abuse.

  198. Chicharito and Gio says:

    After the game on Saturday don’t be hiding behind you’re mommy’s skirt BigCaca!!!

  199. Brian says:

    You are SOFA KING stupid

  200. Hector Welch says:

    I’m Mexican and could not be happier about playing the US on Saturday. But people like this Bigmeat, who obviously have a little brain puts a dent on the proceedings.

  201. Nick says:

    Panama was fairly impressive.. if they play like that, they should reach the Hexagonal.

    Adu is able to be calm in possession like JFT but is also able to play that killer ball and take ppl on 1v1. He should start or be an early 2nd half sub vs. Mexico. He is worlds better than Klesjtan.

    BTW, Lichaj was solid at LB once again and is always a threat moving forward. He had one horrible giveaway but looked very sharp. I think we have our LB of the future.

  202. Ben says:

    sorry Ray, when I first saw this, I thought harsh but harmless joke, then I saw what he posted farther down, my bad.

  203. Ray Tango says:

    Im sorry but is Giovanni not fast? I know Honduras was tired but he looks like he’s got the fifa speed burst going like whoa.

  204. Paul Thomas says:

    Eh, prior to last year’s World Cup, the US team was scoring (and conceding) goals in bunches. Nate Silver ranked them something like 9th in the world in offense and 29th in defense.

    Was the US team filled with “technical ability” back then? Hardly… it was, for all practical purposes, the same players.

    This stuff comes and goes.

  205. martha says:

    Donovan Yes, Bradley NO Jones NO Dempsey Yes Dolo NO many others NO

  206. Powderhorn Pops says:

    +1 Well said Collin. Frame it or better yet, copy it and paste on as a reply to every post on this thread.

  207. Ben says:

    Hope you find a TV to watch the game on man, should be great. Is the wedding at a hotel by chance, because then it shouldn’t be a problem. I, too, have had to sneak out of weddings to catch some sporting events. It’s always great, if your team wins, youre in a drinking mood; if you’re team loses, you’re in a drinking mood.

  208. Paul Thomas says:

    He wasn’t.

    He was behind the guy marking him, but clearly onside because of a defender on the opposite side of the six-yard box. Conveniently, the pass went right through his five-hole…

  209. Ricky B. Free says:

    Gio is fast with the ball.

  210. ga-gone says:

    haters gonna hate, even when we hoist that trophy on saturday

  211. Nytshade says:

    Fun idea; add that kind of grace to an already efficient and solid team. I like!

  212. BM says:

    jones to roma, translate please ives..comments: link to tifosidellaroma.com

  213. Since 82 says:

    No kidding.

  214. Since 82 says:

    I think you will be proven wrong about Jozy in due time.

  215. Juanma says:

    This guy would certainly inject some pace

  216. G-man says:

    I was proud to see Adu have a great game. Surprised to see him come in of course, but definitely a nice change and nice sub at that time. Klejstian was horrid for some reason. Let’s keep the same starting 11, but Donovan starts in place of Klejstian. Maybe Edu in for Jones if his groin is pulled and let Adu come in the second half if we are down a goal.

  217. G-man says:

    Was rooting for Honduras tonight, but those Mexicans pulled it out of course. They are so damned cocky and I need to see them go down. DiNigris karate kick to the flag made me want to puke. Take these guys down USA!

  218. Ike says:

    The weakest group? You do realize that Panama tied El Salvador and Honduras tied Costa Rica, both need penalties in order to advance. In fact Panama needed late goal to equalize El Salavor, and many aren’t sure the ball went in on that goal and Costa Rica was unlucky Saborio didn’t covert his penalty to win the game 2-1. It was clear that Mexico’s group was the hardest of the three, don’t let your bias blind you.

  219. Mike says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Freddy was actually trying to hit Dempsey with that pass? Maybe not, I dunno. but why wing it when Dempsey had the nothing but grass in between him and the goal?

  220. Phil says:

    I, like many others in America, audibly gasped when I saw Adu at midfield waiting to come on. In watching him, we are all reminded of the element that catapulted him to a (too) early fame…incredibly skill and quick feet on the ball. He definitely brings a different skill set to the field for an opponent to deal with. Big risk by BB, so far so good.

  221. B.Stef says:

    So did Sacha. Adu lost less possession less than most of our players in this one. That being said I dont think we all should think he is our new soccer savior. He did played well.

    Watch the final. If we beat Mexico, most of those Mex jerseys will be pulled off to reveal US jerseys. Thier fans always do that. ha ha

  222. PD says:

    I read so many of these posts and I’m reminded of that great quote from “Boyz in da Hood”

    Anyway, I for one thought this was a vintage USA performance and that it was a great one. CONCACAF is always a pretty “ugly” brand of soccer and grinding out a win is more often than not the order of the day. Jamaica and Panama had moments of playing end to end, but had long stretches of bunkering 11 folks behind the ball.

    You have to give credit to a Panamanian team that rode a hot hand as long as they could. The more teams we have like that in the conference the better it is for the USA and Mexico.

    Some thoughts: It was nice to see wave after wave of US possession and attacking. They showed patience and a level of creative possession that the US is often accused of lacking.

    Depth has never been something that was seen as the USA’s strong suit, yet we’re starting to get glimpses of that the USMNT might look like in the post Donovan/Dempsey era and that is giving some reinforcement to the current squad.

    Agudelo had great energy and was a dinger away from sending the USA up early. Bedoya and Adu made strong cases for being included in the final, Lichaj is actually starting to use his left foot… Bradley makes it easy to forget he’s only 23. Plus, we have Chandler, Holden, Diskerrud, Bunbury, Torres and quite a few others waiting in the wings. Plus don’t forget Altidore played with a real chip on his should until his injury. That doesn’t even consider many folks like Davis Gomez Goodson Cherundolo Edu LD and Deuce who are far from hanging it up.

    I still wish we had Herc and Chandler on this squad, but had they been there we may not be talking about the players that we’re talking about now!

  223. Alex G says:

    Adu is a great player and I knew he had to play, unfortunatley BB didn´t see it that way and only sub Adu in the 78 minute, instead of placing him in the starting eleven, ahead of Sacha.

  224. Mark F says:

    Wow…what a win will do for confidence. It was Panama. There was nothing amazing about that win. I also don’t think any of the players you mentioned as depth are difference makers, but you’re right that there is a lot more then there used to be which is reassuring.

    This was Freddy Adu’s coming out party. The guy had so much hype surrounding him as a kid that there was basically no way he was going to live up. In fact he crashed and burned. He picked himself up though and went to a 2nd division Turkish team to get playing time and prove his worth. He’s done that.

    Freddy, is the best pure attacking player the US has. You heard that right. He’s the best player we have with the ball at his foot and going at the goal. He has other holes in his game which have kept him on the sideline but i feel like he’s worked hard to close those gaps. Freddy Adu is going to be a mainstay on this team for the next two world cups. I feel more comfortable saying that about him than any other player on the roster (altidore, agudelo included).

  225. DC Josh says:

    Freddy Adu, welcome back to the United States Men’s National Team. What a breathe of fresh air he was in a game that was SO dull.

  226. Mark F says:

    Bradley finally made a bold and intelligent move. He’s Mr. Play It Safe most of the time.

  227. Jason says:

    C’mon guys we’re talking about the Gold Cup. Cuba? El Salvador? Canada? We’re not talking about world class teams here? Throw CONMEBOL in the mix and then I’d be impressed if the US made it to the final.

  228. Eurosnob says:

    It does not matter who had the easiest or hardest group. The finals are US vs Mexico. The winner takes it all. And Mexico played 120 minutes against Honduras so they will have heavy legs with the short turnaraund between the games.

  229. Detroit! says:

    I was happy to see him do well, and to see his confidence.

    It’s easy–and probably deserved–to complain that Bradley hasn’t used Adu enough. But at the same time I’ve got to give Bradley props for the way he’s turned this tournament around. He’s made some gutsy decisions, from benching Donovan to playing Jones (cards) and Freddy last night. Some of his calls didn’t work out (Wondo, Ream) but overall I respect what he’s done here.

  230. Detroit! says:

    Jones is a monster. But a lot of guys have shown up: Lichaj of course, and Bedoya. I don’t think Sacha was as strong, but he certainly quieted the haters. Ditto Adu. He showed that at the very least we need to cut him the slack that many of us are willing to give to MB and (once) Gooch: even if they’re not getting time with their clubs, they still produce for the MNT.

    I’d also add that it’s easy to take Dempsey for granted, but man, I love that guy’s game more and more.

  231. Felix says:

    A few minutes before we saw that Adu was coming on I thought myself – the US is losing control of this game, he needs to change something up, but BB doesn’t have any other bullets in his gun….. except Adu. Then when FSC showed Adu getting ready to come on I was just plain shocked. I just didn’t think we’d see him. To be fair, BB didn’t have a choice, there wasn’t any other player on the bench who could have made a difference. That game was easily heading for injury time if it wasn’t for that sub.

  232. Grammar Police says:

    You still use tapes!?!? How old are you?

  233. Felix says:

    Kljestan lost a fair share of possession, but to his credit he worked his butt off on defense.

    It was the right move to sub him out though.

  234. Brandon says:

    Not to defend Bryan’s comment, but aren’t we all armchair spectators here? If we have any Barca players on this board, I would certainly like them to speak up.

  235. Felix says:

    I wouldn’t say perfect, I remember one sequence where he beat his first man and ran down the right wing but held the ball to long and was dispossessed. Also another sequence on defense where #7 on Panama came up and had a lot of space in front of him and was looking to shoot – you could see Adu trailing him as it was his marker and was lightly jogging. Plus his corners were long. But still, the man is a one-man plan B, and it was the right move to bring him in.

  236. Detroit! says:

    “The US needs to scour the player pool for an international caliber striker”: Do you really think they haven’t and aren’t? And do you really think that somehow all the clubs in the world have failed to find some American striker better than the ones playing now? Not even Mexico had a striker like Hernandez until he came along.

    As for scorers, what more do you want than for a guy to be in the right place at the right time and then to score?

    I had a kid on the team I coach, gawky, unathletic. I never wanted to play him but when I grudgingly put him up top, all he did was score goals. We won the league behind his weird, ugly goals, one hat trick after another. Dempsey’s got way more style in his little finger than this kid will ever have, but they both get the job done.

  237. Mouf says:

    Who is this Adu guy?Never heard of him

  238. Erik the Orange says:

    Point 4 makes very little sense to me. If you have SAF or Morinho or countless others, do you replace them just to motivate your players? You do realize these players are professionals…I highly doubt they need a new coaching staff to push them to prove themselves.

  239. beachbum says:

    cheers, man. hopefully the USMNT will make us all proud on Saturday and further win your heart over :)

  240. baller says:

    link to youtube.com

    all of adu’s touches….pretty impressive to be honest, did positive things the majority of the times he touched the ball

  241. beachbum says:

    Ha ha ha :) good morning coffee laugh. thanks.

  242. beachbum says:

    and my favorite play of his was when he lost the ball up the right flank, and then did something not often seen from Fred…he chased back hard to get into the play defensively to stop any counter. he fouled on the play, which was not needed, but to see him give up the ball and then immediately get on it defensively…no pouting…that was awesome to see.

    and the rest he did was great to see, too :)

  243. Max says:

    I feel obligated to post to Ives after reading all his articles on foxsoccer.
    Over the years, throughout the world cup and now the gold cup, American commentators and soccer journalists, have to my amazement, praised the services of steve cherundolo.
    If I were Mexico, after watching film you would quickly realize attacking cherundolo, would be a fantastic game plan. He blows as a defender and I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY HE PLAYS AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL! After watching him consistently take too many touches, give the ball away without any pressure, CONSISTENTLY HAVE AWFUL CROSSES(I counted yesterday, 2/8 crosses reached a red shirt last night). Meanwhile the commentators are jerking him off “what a great cross by cherundolo” when it doesnt get over the defender at the near post, HA.
    Not only to mention his inadequacy as an attacker fullback, but if you watch his positioning on counters and pressured attacks, he gets so lost and abused it’s ridiculous. He continuously is having to recover after stabbing or being caught out of position missing tackles etc. It blows my mind how anyone thinks he’s a good player, let alone “best XI”. The only good thing i like about him is his work rate, but if we capped everyone with a hard work rate our national pool would include an additional million players.
    And finally the putz Bradley pulled his head out of the clouds and played someone he knows how to attack out of the midfield. Adu is the most TALENTED player in our squad, and he finally showed a spark of that. I also want to mention J. Jones. If anyone deserves best IX, it would go to him. Hes been the most consistent player on the field, running box-to-box, making tackles everywhere. His ability to switch and make 60 yard diagonals, getting involved in the attack. How many opportunities has he had in front of goal? How many has Bradley had? The best acquisition to the US team in years.

  244. JamesC says:

    Top 3 in CONCACAF? I think we are clearly Top 2 with Mexico. Still a big gap between the US/Mexico and everyone else. Which team would be better than the US? who’s in the Gold Cup finals? What teams were predicted to by in the Gold Cup finals? What two teams does everyone else in the world think are the 2 best teams in CONCACAF?

    Key players? like Chandler, who has 2 friendly app. plus we have Cherundolo at RB (the Captain of Hannover 96 and having a great Gold Cup). Key players like Diskerud, 2 app that were not great. And Holden who I think is good but has been injuried or a bench player for all the big tournaments, so I don’t really know if he is key.

  245. wides in MN says:

    Bradley has made some gutsy calls in the last few games, I definitely give him credit. Adu did look good, he had the really good long ball that lead to the goal and he did some great work in the corner that could and maybe should’ve lead to a goal. Had some nice moves with the ball.

    Though, he did get caught badly once or twice in possession that led to quick panama attacks. And hopefully, people can put to rest the idea that he is a speed demon, he couldn’t get any separation from the defense.

    But I am happy for him, it’s been a long time away for him. Hopefully, he’ll either stay with Rizespor or move to another team that will get him a lot of playing time.

  246. JamesC says:

    Every confederation has its good teams and weak teams. The Gold Cup final is a big deal becuase you can’t play in bigger tournaments without being the best in you confederation. If the Gold Cup isn’t a big enough tournament for you then why are you even bothering to read about it. The next World Cup is in 2014, you can check back then.

  247. Annelid Gustator says:

    Are you on crack?

  248. wides in MN says:

    LOL

    Under no circumstances did Adu deserve to start or come in much earlier than he did. He played a good shift and had some very good plays, but he also gave the ball away cheaply in the middle of the field that almost led to a goal.

    Sacha was very solid, kept the ball moving and didn’t get caught dribbling the ball around.

  249. BrianVT says:

    Well said, indeed, but please don’t “copy it and paste on as a reply to every post on this thread” until you’ve changed “impetuous” to “impetus”. :-)

  250. wides in MN says:

    And also, Sacha started in place of Landon Donovan, so Adu wasn’t going to be taking his place. Adu came in for Agudelo, who he’s also not going to start over.

  251. Triturador says:

    Please, always complaining like a little girl!

    Jones celebrating by saluting military style is ok, but De Nigris Karate kick is not.

    Mexico DOS Honduras CERO!!!

    Go cry some more!!!

  252. BrianVT says:

    Apart from the Adu hype, given that there are two sides to every successful pass, let’s ask who (in the USMNT pool) other than Donovan could have collected that pass from Adu, and made the sublime feed to CD23 for that goal?

  253. rick says:

    Bringingadu in the game was a very gitsy move by bradley considering adu hadn’t played a minute yet in the tournament.

  254. Ike says:

    Well said, but on the Ives part he’s American and writing for an American audience of course he going to always praise an average US player, it’s what he’s paid to do. He will defend those guys like they are family, just look at how much he defended Jones on his dive, you don’t see Grant Wahl doing that. He did the same thing on the Bedoya dive during his running commentary, it just his American bias in him.

  255. zeke in el paso says:

    i thought the same thing. but hey, it worked so cant complain lol….

  256. zeke in el paso says:

    +10000000000000000000000000

  257. jacob says:

    I love Agudelo. Think he’s got a bright future. But right now, as he really better than a Conor Casey or a Herculez Gomez? I have only followed the Nats for a couple of years, so I don’t remember exactly how Conor Casey played for us, just was wondering.

  258. Alex says:

    SuperTonto:

    Mexico outplayed? Granted It was not Mexico’s best game against a very tough opponent who should’ve been two man down for the criminal challenge on Guardado and Juarez period!
    If you don’t think this version of Mexico is good let me tell you, Mexico hadn’t beaten Honduras outside of Azteca in 13 years! Since Blanco scored two against them in the 98 Gold Cup!

    What Panama is a soccer superpower?

    Chaparritos?
    De Nigris, Moreno, Marquez are taller than Donovan, Adu, Bocanegra, Bedoya, Lichaj, Cherundolo and same height as Jones and Agudelo! And the absent “Maza” is taller than everyone except Goodson!
    Only Howard, Onyewu and Goodson are taller than those first two!

    Everytime someone who knows NOTHING about the game and uses height and muscle volume as an argument I say three words-

    Messi, Iniesta Xavi!!!

    Estas ardido buey!

  259. terry143 says:

    The US offensive tactics were wrong. They insisted on crossing high balls into the box for Panama’s tall and athletic defenders to knock out. If Donovan had put the ball in the air CD doesn’t score. The US doesn’t have a ‘half-court’ offense where they can attack up the middle and break down a defense with short passes on the ground. And if you’re going to play with just one forward, it can not be Agudelo. Not yet. Agudelo is best playing off another forward right now. CD should have been on top from the beginning. Panama is a very beatable team, we made them look good by showing little imagination on offense. What Altidore does better than actually scoring is those sharp passes in the box from the side for the forwards to finish. If you’re going to overload the midfield to control possession and get outshot 9-6 by a team missing their top scorer, you must re-think your approach.

  260. TimN says:

    @Detroit,

    Jozy is simply not the kind of striker to carry the U.S. to the next level, and Dempsey isnt suited to be the lone target up top, which was my point. Yes, obviously Dempsey scores goals, but hes more of a midfielder than a striker. Jozys first touch is often poor, and he doesnt turn or navigate well in tight traffic. If you carefully pay attention to my post, youll read that my main criticism was of Altidore and not Dempsey.

    The U.S. sorely misses a guy like McBride, which was what I was trying to say. And yes, if we have scoured and this is the result, then more scouring needs to be done…

  261. abc says:

    Well said.

    Yeah they are merely beating CONCACAF teams, but those are the only teams they can beat in a CONCACAF tournament!
    This is like commenting in a U-17 World Cup thread “who cares they’re only 17 year olds”.
    Well then GTFO!

  262. abc says:

    Oops, responded to the wrong comment:
    Well said.

    Yeah they are merely beating CONCACAF teams, but those are the only teams they can beat in a CONCACAF tournament!
    This is like commenting in a U-17 World Cup thread “who cares they’re only 17 year olds”.
    Well then GTFO!

  263. abc says:

    Pretty sure Jones did not play against Turkey, that was in the run-up to the World Cup and he was injured and not on the roster. Actually I’m not even sure he had filed his switch with FIFA yet….

  264. Kenny_B says:

    On what planet was Sacha solid?

    Would that be on the Planet “Turntheballovereverytimeitouchit”?

    Sacha was terrible.

  265. Kenny_B says:

    Timmy did make a finger tip save in the second half that was bound for goal. Panama did look more dangerous in the second half. Their defense stifled young Agudelo.

    Though to be honest, I thought Juan didn’t get a single call from the ref when Roman repeatedly hit him, kind of the way Shaq used to bang into defenders in basketball to clear space. It was like a foul, but not really sure, over and over again.

  266. Kenny_B says:

    HE Better, he had to because he kept giving the ball away.

  267. Kenny_B says:

    You can’t blame that entire sequence (dribbling across the middle) on Adu. Only about 85% of it. He ran into his own teammate (can’t remember who it was) ho had basically collected the ball. Had that player not collected it Adu might have been able to push thru to further the attack.

    The more disciplined thing for him to have done there was to allow his teammate to make a pass back to maintain possession.

  268. Kenny_B says:

    I guess will just have to play the game and see. Will you come back if the US can somehow someway beat Mexico…..shweazy…..will ya?

  269. Kenny_B says:

    Not really, I don’t think Bizzy is right. Adu has neglected his defensive resposibilities in the past. He has forced the issue too many times in the past. He was and is still a very young player, with lots of Hubris. I don’t think somebody needs to be “shut up” because they have been critical of Adu’s performance/decision making in the past. Adu has not been vindicated. He simply is maturing (hopefully!!!).

    Apparently Bob Bradley is included in the “shut up” class because he hadn’t selected Adu for from what I see, the reasons I noted above, plus other reasons that Bob hasn’t shared with me since I don’t know Bob.

  270. Kenny_B says:

    I didn’t realize it before the game but I did while he was sitting on his a@@ in our eighteen yard box yapping at anybody who would listen and even those that wouldn’t.

  271. Kenny_B says:

    I thought Michael Bradley had his worst game of the tournament last night. He repeatedly held onto the ball way too long. He barely completed any passes forward and passed on taking a shot you have to take after some brilliant work from Adu.

    I hope MB got that out of his system. We need him to be way more decisive against Mexico. I read a rating on another website that put him at a 7.0. Personally, I thought he should have been about a 4 maybe a 5 because of his defense. Anybody else agree? I didn’t see to many complaints about him in this thread.

  272. silent e says:

    I find it interesting that in your comparison of Dempsey and Hernandez you dismiss Dempsey as a “right place right time” goal scorer. It’s odd because, as Detroit! said, what’s wrong with that, what more would you want? Even more, though, is the fact that “right place right time” is exactly what I think Hernandez is, much more than Dempsey. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Hernandez create a goal on his own; rather, he seems phenomenally good at riding the offside line until the pass is made, then positioning himself perfectly to meet the cross, through-ball, rebound or errant clearance and precisely slotting it in. That’s an amazing talent, but it’s not lethal; if there’s no service, Chicharito is nothing. I wouldn’t say that about Dempsey.

    Also, I know your comments were made before the conclusion of Mexico-Honduras, actually only about halfway through the first half, but I think it was quite clear that Mexico were not invincible. Very good, yes, but not invincible. I hope to see an exciting game.

  273. silent e says:

    Um, okay Max. I know you’re extremely knowledgeable and all, but I can’t help but wonder how such a terrible player could have led (yes, led–he’s their captain) Hannover to 4th place in the Bundesliga last season. Maybe the other 17 coaches in the German top flight just don’t have your amazing skills of perception, and it never occurred to them to attack down the left. Or maybe no one playing professionally in Germany has a left foot.

    I won’t comment about this game in particular, because you’re speaking of his play in general. He has been very consistent for the US, and has often been a threat in offense with his crossing. As one other commenter noted, perhaps sending balls (high floaters, at that) against Panama’s tall defenders wasn’t the best tactic. Kind of like Spain v. USA in 2009.

    Ultimately, I find it odd (but funny) that people here will slam the US for “only” beating Panama 1-0, and talk about how Mexico will destroy us in the final, as though tying Honduras 0-0 in regulation was somehow much more impressive. I’m not shouting out that the US will win; I think it will be a very exciting game and I expect to watch it frozen in place with my heart in my throat; I just don’t understand why people seem to only be happy trashing the US.

  274. abc says:

    “Howard is no Brad Friedel”

    We’re talking about the national team here, right?

    Tim Howard 35 wins 64 appearances
    Brad Friedel 27 wins 82 appearances

    And the US plays much tougher friendlies now.

  275. abc says:

    “I’m not sure why people are so negative about this team… We have Never just walked through concacaf tournaments or qualifying, the teams are always scrappy, have underrated talent, and usually put max effort into playing the US.”

    This is probably the first Gold Cup for 60% of the US fans posting on this site.

  276. abc says:

    LOL “our best player”

  277. abc says:

    +100000000000