Torres thriving on Klinsmann’s USMNT squad

Jose Torres MNT (ISIPhotos.com)

BY JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – Jose Torres has had his ups and downs as part of the U.S. men's national team over the past three years, but Torres has enjoyed a national team renaissance under new U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann

Despite the U.S. team' s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica on Friday night, Torres was one of the standout American bright spots, and was arguably the best U.S. player on the night. That's not bad for a player who had gone more than a year without a national team appearance before being called in by Klinsmann last month.

“Bob [Bradley] gave me an opportunity to be here and to get a good World Cup in and I tried to do good but played only 45 minutes,” confessed Torres. “After that, I never got called in again. I never heard from him again.

“I got interviewed a few times and they asked me if i thought I was ever getting called in again and I just thought hopefully. And then Klinsmann came in and I got called up again."

Since taking over as U.S. head coach, Klinsmann has had nothing but praise for the Texas native and has even gone to the lengths of promoted him to a new position on the team.

At Pachuca and with the national team under Bradley, Torres has operated as a central midfielder, but in the Klinsmann era he’s spent more time on the left flank.

“My usual role is in the midfield, but Klinsmann puts me out wide on the left to attack a little more,” Torres explained. “But wherever he puts me I try to do my best.”

After Friday night’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, in a game that was dominated by the Americans in the first half, Klinsmann had nothing but praise and admiration for his side, and singled out Torres as one of his best players.

“Overall, the feeling is very positive,” Klinsmann said. “You can see that he’s more comfortable and confident, and he needs these types of games to grow and I think he’s doing it at a very fast pace.”

Though Torres was muscled off the ball a few times, he was able to deliver precise passes, sometimes even under heavy pressure, and was working through every part of real estate on the pitch.

“I think he has a very good vision," Klinsmann said. "He sees the spaces, he passes those balls, and he can switch it really quick to the other side.

"And we told him to take those risks and not to worry about a pass not ending the right way.”

Torres is a skilled player with experience, but he’s still young and developing. Klinsmann understands that the way to help Torres keep progressing and improving is to keep encouraging him and giving him experience in pressure situations.

“The more he’s here, the more he understands his role, the more comfortable he’ll get," Klinsmann said. "He’s definitely a player that we’ll build in the months and years to come."

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128 Responses to Torres thriving on Klinsmann’s USMNT squad

  1. A says:

    Bradley never even contacted Torres again? Wow.

  2. CGold says:

    He looked great against Turkey just before the WC began..then had a bad 45 and was never even spoke to again?? I believed in Bradley and defended his decisions, but that is very weak on his part.

  3. Neruda says:

    Torres, sí. Castillo, no. Castillo needs to season a lot more in league play before coming back in to USMNT.

    Torres isn’t afraid to pull the trigger from long range and he’s got accuracy to boot. Klinsmann is right to put him out wide because the midfield for the US is very crowded.

  4. Mizzou says:

    So he too one shot on goal…He didnt look all that great to me

  5. A says:

    He was the undisputed best player on the field.

  6. A says:

    He deserved to be let go if that is how he was handling players.

  7. Aaron says:

    Sure, Torres had some moments of weak defensive play – but overall he moved the ball quickly and was always looking to move the ball forward. He may not be a future superstar but it’s definitely a good mentality. If Shea and Rogers had actually driven down the sidelines and played better passes into the box we’d be looking at a big victory and praising Torres to no end for his part.

  8. Pangloss says:

    Finally, we have a manager who seems the quality that Torres brings.

    Bradley never knew what to do with the kid. In effect Coach Sweats blamed Torres for other people’s errors in both the qualifier down in Costa Rica and the first half against Slovenia in South Africa.

    Klinsi has his limits. But good grief, what an improvement over Bob Bradley.

  9. SuperChivo says:

    Torres never got called back not just because he didn’t perform for the Nats, but because he lost his starting spot on his club as well. He’s regained that spot for club and is now representing country, which is the way that it should be.
    I thought he played great last night, and agree that he was the best Yank on the field.

  10. Joey says:

    This kid is the next Claudio Reyna. The fact that BB didnt see it and couldnt find a way to use him explains why he’s where he is today.

    He made some absolutely beautiful passes and is more then capable of generating passes. I think in the end, Donovan will be out left and Dempsey on the right and he’ll be even better

    Kudos to Klinsmann for knowing a quality player when he sees one. I only wonder why he’s shunning Adu so far?

  11. Joey says:

    Not bob’s type of player. He always like bangers and muckers, not finesse players. Who do we know that fits that description? hmmm

  12. A says:

    No, that is not the reason why.

    See Bradley, Jozy, Bornstein, Findley, Clark, Beasley, Johnson, etc.

    If a player starting for his club was required under Bradley, then his son first and foremost would not have seen the field since the World Cup pretty much.

  13. golfstrom says:

    It was a slow game, Costa Rica did not press at all, and Torres (and Edu) had ages on the ball. I think we all knew JFT can be a quite a decent deep-lying playmaker in these setups. I remember him showing similarly well in the final WCQ game v CR, when CR really dropped off to preserve the lead. The question is can he bring it in a faster, more combative/competitive game.

  14. 99 says:

    Claudio was stronger defensively, but, yeah, that’s whose name kept popping in my head last night too.

  15. Timothy says:

    Agree. From a Mexican-American, you expect their touch to be good and for them to be comfortable on the ball. Castillo had Robbie Findley touch. I’m ready to try out the next left back.

  16. A says:

    We could be so lucky to have Torres develop into Claudio Reyna proto-type. Those are some huge boots to fill, the true best US player ever.

  17. UCanStudyBuzzed says:

    Torres looked great, I hope he’s here to stay….Rodgers on the other hand, not up to speed, rarely did anything positive…I hope he doesn’t become Klinsi’s Bornstein…..

  18. A says:

    Don’t think Freddy is getting shunned. Klinsmann is letting him work back to fitness and build chemistry with his team.

  19. Chris says:

    I’m just glad Klinnsi has a plan and a direction. If building a team and playing philosophy by growing skilled players like Torres, all the better. It will take time but it is the right direction for the program.

  20. tony says:

    Feilhaber seems to be a better choice in this role – not sure why Klinsman hasn’t called him in

  21. biff says:

    Darm right!!!!!!

  22. Haydnjo says:

    I thought he looked better in first half.
    But thought altidore and shea out played him in that half.
    in the second half costa rico
    was much more physical with him and he was muscled off the ball much too often

  23. GW says:

    You might want to slow down on the Reyna comparisons.

    By the time he was only a few months older than Torres’ is now, Reyna became the first American to captain a European club (Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga in 1997). That was a real big deal in those days. He was accomplished at right back, holding midfielder and attacking midfielder for a powerful Rangers team when they were legitimately good and eventually became the only American ever named to a World Cup all star 11.

    Torres has done well lately but he’d be lucky to have half the career Reyna had.

    JFT has a long way to go before anyone can legitimately compare him to Reyna.

  24. Be Serious says:

    I don’t agree. So therefore you are wrong. He was certainly NOT the undisputed best player on the field.

  25. bryan says:

    Torres was very good last night. Really strong first half with a solid second half. He won a lot of balls back and did a great job distributing. He still has some things to work on, but that is expected from a young player.

  26. GW says:

    Tony,

    Torres, Feilhaber, Adu , Mix, Sacha and a number of others could be reasonably be considered for that role.

    What do you expect? Did you want JK’s 2014 lineup to play against Costa Rica?

    Bring all the prospects in in one huge cattle call and give everyone 30-45 minutes per game?

    They lost to Costa Rica, so maybe JK should be fired for not playing everyone’s preferred choices.

  27. bryan says:

    Agreed. Rogers didn’t play terrible in the first half, but he did always look a step behind every other US player. I hope JK moves on from him. I know he likes him, he gave him a shot, but I think Bedoya will be called in instead from here on out.

  28. Freddie Footballer says:

    I think Klinsmann should have swapped Rogers and we go into a 4-4-2. Like this:

    ——-Altidore——Agudelo——–
    Shea—————————Donovan
    —————–Torres———–
    —————-Edu——————–
    —————backline—————-

    I think this 4-1-4-1 can work, but it wasn’t working in the second half anymore.

  29. bryan says:

    yeah, i agree. not sure why rogers stayed in and jozy came out.

  30. Hugo says:

    I think there’s a reason why both tab Ramos and reyna are being brought in to coach with the squad, to help the Latino players get comfortable. Having tab on the bench probably helps paco feel a bit more comfortable knowing he understands why he plays the way he does. Bobbo was never willing to understand just how much help a Latino could bring to the team but I don’t blame him. He coached chivas USA and previously Princeton… And dd we ever see Hispanics come out of chivas USA like we could have assumed we would? Naw.
    Now to await when Salgado, and ochoa Get integrated specifically Omar Salgado- we never know he could be the player aguedelo needs next to him or jozy…

    Regardless it’s been long awaited that a coach try to blend in everyone and really use the kinda resources (players) in america.

  31. Thorpinski says:

    According to JK, Jozy was nursing a sore hamstring.

    It will be interesting when Johnson’s paperwork gets approved to see if he is used at LB versed LM.
    Chander and Johnson are both young, have great pace and could be our bookends in the backline for years to come. AlsoHaving Johnson, Torres, and Shea on the left will give us 3 left footed players and allow us to attack each flank.

  32. Brett says:

    Come on man, this is the national team, not your son’s select team. Bradley didn’t owe torres anything.

  33. Thorpinski says:

    I hope Moises Orozco is next and don’t be surprised if we see Gil in 2013

  34. I agree with the Castillo criticism. He is not ready and needs more time with his club this year.

    Torres is a quality player. We are lucky to have him.
    Let’s get over the prejudice against Mexican-American players and welcome them as Americans.

    If the first 30 minutes is a prelude to what we can expect going forward, I want to see them get to 90 minutes of it.

    Torres is a key ingredient because of his touch and excellent passing. HIs cross field balls were spot on to teammates.

    Go Torres! Go USA!

  35. Second City says:

    funny you should mention “son” in relation to torres area of position.

  36. Second City says:

    Well said.

    Results are for the fans. Development is for the players/program.

    The former is short-term amusement, the latter is for 2014 in Brazil.

  37. treasure22 says:

    Torres must have been the media talking points for the game, even before the game started. I think the USMNT must have issued a press release before the game started about how great he played. He was actually average, unimpressive.

  38. bryan says:

    ohhh ok, i didn’t know that.

  39. freddino says:

    The USA looked very good in the first….really good. the one touch passing, the possession, the finding space, the chances on goal….wow. So much so I’m not even worried about the loss.
    With no Bradley, no Dempsey, No Bedoya, No Jones, No Adu, no Cherundolo, no Lichaj, no Goodson, we can come up with this type of brilliant even entertaining style of play????? Dont need to knit pick on players, because with the limited talent we had we did well.

  40. Hugo says:

    Gil along w Guido and gyau are gonna be huge in 2 years time. Can’t wait to see them along w conor Doyle

  41. replying says:

    Yeah, no. He was great. Anyone who says otherwise either has something against him to begin with, or with there being “Mexican-Americans” on our team.

  42. ThaDeuce says:

    +2, one for each of you!

  43. ThaDeuce says:

    yes, that must be it… SBI always reserves their judgement until the USMNT gods have passed down their wisdom (which is why i constantly check the site)………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Not!

  44. ThaDeuce says:

    i totally support this… just want to add, this is klinsman’s second game and he is trying to implement and develop that style. in two games we already get an entire half of total football from a b+/a- team!?! i’m willing to wait much longer for the entire 90. no problemo!

  45. primoone says:

    With all due respect to you and your opinion…Rogers was terrible. Look at the game again. He F-cked up even the simple things. He did run a lot and was fast…and ran fast…and…well…took up some space…defended a little.

    He played like Holden did when he first came into the national team wide right…turned the ball over quite often…and dissappeard for the majority of the match they both are similar in that they can run forever and can defend on both sides of the pich…HOWEVER, Holden turned into a special player. Rogers isnt even the best winger in MLS. He is lucky that he has has a Bro-mance going with Heir Klinsmann.

  46. I thought he was fantastic last night. He switches the point of attack so well from one end to another. I know some people here dog him on his defensive ability and how he gets muscled off. I think we should look at how he reacts when that happens. He didn’t commit a stupid foul, instead he tracked back numerous times, won the ball back and played the intelligent ball to keep possession. I also feel that altitude played very very well. People calling him lazy must I’ve missed that give an go sequence where he ran 30-40 yards and jut missed the ball to get a shot off. Fantastic hold up play although his touch was a tad bit heavy. You can see how much playing in holland has helped his game and his decision making.

  47. Jeff says:

    That is ridiculous. Throw the race issue in just because someone does agree with your hero being so great. If Torres is the best we got then we are in trouble. I believe the score was 1-0

  48. sy says:

    Torres looks completely different, at least on the teevee, from almost all of the players in our pool. He threads through traffic at high speed, doesn’t get flustered, and puts great, leading passes on the feet of teammates. He curled a ball perfectly in front of someone in the left midfield at one point, and it seemed like he sparked the realization in the recipient’s mind where he was supposed to be moving. Forward. Very subtle, but that kind of thing makes the difference between a break and another back pass. A lot of people here don’t like Torres, that’s clear. Critics say he gets “lost,” but so does Donovan. If you can’t watch Torres play and recognize that he has something special and pretty rare for a US player in terms of the combination of ball skills, speed, precision and intelligence, I don’t know what to say. I think he has a lot to offer, especially with an aggressive system. If the “talking points” about this game are about Torres, it seems to me about two years too late.

  49. JD in FL says:

    One of my biggest problems with Rogers game was that he did not pass the ball to Chandler on a number of key overlaps. When your RB is bombing into the attacking third with open space ahead, you need to get the ball out there. Rogers has ability, but can he raise the speed and quality of his decision making.

  50. cajun says:

    That explains why we really haven’t had a decent midfield tandem since Claudio Reyna and John O’Brien. Torres is Reyna(ish), now we need an O’Brien(ish) midfielder to pair with him. Never mind these “holding mid”,”attacking mid” pseudo names. Just a “midfield tandem with chemistry” of the likes we haven’t seen since WC 2002.

  51. Stormeagle says:

    Damn we as a USMNT fanbase muse be out of touch if we think Jose F. Torres is the way forward…

  52. gbs says:

    results count in world futbol

  53. CplDaniel says:

    Everybody remember to wish Jose a happy birthday October 29th!! Little things to let our boys know we appreciate them.

  54. Peter says:

    Yes they do in games that actually matter!!! This was a friendly.

  55. johnny2 says:

    Always liked torres, but Bradley could not do this. The fans would have had his head. In a way it’s great to have a different coach, because we will kgive him a chance to make mistakes. However if bradley did this, brought in the same team with the same results, the fans would go nuts. The fans hated Torres.

    I liked Bradley and I think K will make the right changes. But K’s impact will be in the youth program I hope. He’s a director with vision.

    What I’d like to see is K coach the team through 1 world cup and then replace Gulati.

    K can create the vision the full US program needs and he will bring in the right people and the next coach. I think he’s going to scare Gulati, maybe so much so that gulati wont give him the latitude he needs to make significant changes to our current foundation. What about getting red of Gulati now…like Bradley he’s done as much as he can do. We need a change.

  56. beachbum says:

    man, come on

  57. Dennis says:

    Torres is skilled and can see good passes. There is no denying that he is an intriguing player, but he still has a lot to do to become the center piece of the US national team. Playing defense is not his strength, nor is it the role Klinsmann seems to have in mind for him, but he can tackle and win a few.
    I think the major weakness he has is his inability to stand up to physical defending. At least 3 times he was stripped of the ball by C.R. in spots and times that were dangerous to the US. C.R.’s inability to capitalize on those chances made them less noticeable and in fairness one or two of those challenges probably deserved to be called fouls. Still, it is always very bad to have the ball stripped from your C.M. when the whole team is thinking and moving in attack mode, those losses of possession are dangerous. Torres must get better at that or for all his positives, he may end up costing more goals than he creates.
    I think he has gotten better in this regard since the W.C. but that might simply be the difference in the opposition he was facing.

  58. John says:

    He’s a nifty little player but saying that he could use some muscle. Small players can be good but they have to be strong ala Messi, Aguero or even Maradona. Hit the gym and gain about twenty pounds then he can shrug those thuggish players off. I think he could be special with a little work.

  59. beachbum says:

    Torres’ first half was the best we’ve seen from him yet in the uniform. Since his first feature for the team I’ve liked him, and follow Pachuca whenever possible just to watch him play these past couple of seasons. I’d be one of those posters who gets accused of over rating him, but am also critical of his performances and not blind to the second half…but I like him, like watching him play, and watching him grow and get better.

  60. beachbum says:

    very balanced review of his performance I think, and agree with it.

  61. JpJ says:

    And look at the result!

  62. JpJ says:

    Is that why he can pick his team in Europe? Man City is going to come calling. Calling him the next Claudio is laughable.

  63. wilyboy says:

    I’d like to see if Torres and Holden can play on the field together (thus freeing up Donovan and Dempsey to be used as needed). Both have the potential to be highly creative, controlling, and tenacious players who will make the individual talents at our disposal far more potent. It already looks like three in the midfield anyway.

  64. Shane says:

    There are lots of finese skilled players that cant cut it once the game matters. This is completely stupid bringing up that Bob Bradley didnt call him again after the WC. He was calling in new players for meaningless friendlies. As for the Gold Cup, Bradley had the guts to call in Adu who is just frankly better than Torres and has acutally contributed to the US MNT in terms of asssists and goals which Torrres has yet to do.

  65. Swifty says:

    i recall the WC qualifier against costa rica the first time back in june 2009 when we played costa rica and lost 3-1. torres started in that game for bradley and IMO was by far the best US player but was taken off at halftime. I was baffled. then if I recall correctly he never played another MEANINGINGFUL USMNT minute until that 45 minutes vs slovenia which was mostly bad.

    Bradley did the same thing with adu after they played england, spain and argentina in the summer of 08. adu played vs. spain and argentina and was amazing(watch the youtube highlights) then was subbed at the half vs. argentina, and for some reason could hardly sniff the mnt.

    That was the thing about bradley, if he didnt personally like a player, he didnt keep them no matter how they played, like convey. but if he did, they got chance after chance after chance until it finally cost him his job (beasley, gooch, and worst of all borstein).

    im glad we got a coach now that will give more than a one game shot to players even if they are terrible in their first showing. (not saying i want to keep seeing castillo now, but im glad he got at least two games.) I honestly think every player should get at least 3 chances in 3 seperate games( starting or coming off the bench) to get comfortable. After that if they cant hack it, oh well. but how many of us would be able to step into a high pressure situation knowing u get only one shot and still be able to perform to best of our abilities? Id be NERVOUS!
    I realize this means we would have to live through another cameo or start by castillo, orozco, and rogers, but i stand by it. if after the third chance they still arent where they need to be then,”too bad, so sad.”

    I love the way klinsi is doing things now even with this loss cuz there were so many positives. OVER TIME he will take us to the next level.

  66. biff says:

    that is an inetersting point, gets me all excited just thinking about the dynamic attacking possiblities. And to think, six weeks ago we were being told the talent pool was weak and small and the coach was doing a great job with what he had…oh, the times they are a changin’…

  67. biff says:

    +1 just looked at the stats on Omar Salgado. Will turn 18 in a few days and is 6’4″. is he the real deal?

  68. biff says:

    agreed. the first 30 minutes blew me away, seeing the like between the the defenders and midfield and the triangle passing, just like Germany, albeit at a more primitive level. Can only get better from here. What really amazed is that the guys never really lost their cool under pressure, not deperation long kicks forward into a black hole. And that as a back line of three youngsters anchored by Boca….

  69. biff says:

    But, Dennis, Jozy got knocked flat a couple of times by the Costa Ricans. And Jozy ain’t a little guy. The point is that Torres took the knocks and jumped back up and kept his cool.

    And in my mind, the most significant quote after the game was this gem from Klinsmann: “He (Torres) is definitely a player who we will build over the next months and years to go.” That is a bold statement that Klinsmann would only make if he is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt of Torres’s talent.

  70. biff says:

    Like your comment very much, can tell you are writing from the heart. But whether or not certain players were called up by BB and received playing time, I think, goes beyond whether or not BB liked a player. You noted that Torres and Adu each were pulled at half-times when they were playing well and seemed ready for bigger roles on the team, but that they basically did not see any USMNT time after that.

    I will pose a question: If Torres and/or Adu would have been integrated into the USMNT squad as key players, then which starting midfielder on the USMNT squad would have seen a diminishing role and reduced playing time on the squad? Think about it. But those dark days are over. Bright future ahead for the USMNT.

  71. meadowland mel says:

    if you think usmnt was depleted than take a look at costa rico.. they left all their players home.. the cr team was a c plus team at best.. when did we ever have the lack of pressureon the ball that cr gave us. if you cannot control the game under these condition you never will.. to be in awe of ourfirst 30 miutes is a joke, yet this poor team tok the game away from us for the next 60 timutes.. i donnot think we even had a shot in the second hald and did not win any 50-50 balls. i cannot try and make excuses(tired players, missing player, etc) we were terrible, call it like it is.

  72. RangerSG says:

    Thanks for that bit of explanation about the Jozy sub. Because JK has talked about wanting to play the JAs together, and that would’ve been a perfect time. But no reason to risk a player in a friendly.

  73. RangerSG says:

    Sorry, JFT had a good, not great game. He seemed to tire substantially after the 55th minute, which makes me wonder if he has a 90 minute tank for the International level.

    But let’s hold off the Reyna & Tab Ramos comparisons until they’re actually warranted. He offers a skill set that the team could use, but claims that he’s a better all-around MF than MB are misplaced at present.

  74. RangerSG says:

    It wasn’t missing any more of its best players than the US was. Don’t overplay the ESPN talking points, please.

    The 2nd half was disappointing, to be sure. Edu ought to have done more to protect the back 4, and they needed another ball-winner in MF. Having Bradley alongside Torres would’ve made for a stronger MF presence when we needed it. It also would’ve let Donovan play in Roger’s spot. Which would’ve been better all around.

  75. GW says:

    “If the “talking points” about this game are about Torres, it seems to me about two years too late.”

    It’s still early.

    The role JFT is being asked to play for the US is not one he plays at Pachuca so for this experiment to succeed, Torres will have to be tough and patient and everyone else will have to bear with the ups and downs.

    Two years ago Torres was not the player he is today. He is obviously older,wiser and tougher.

    And two years ago he did not have the support of an attack first philosophy and the kind of teamates he has now. There was no Shea, Agudelo, an in-form Adu , Altidore etc. etc.

    Two years ago I thought Torres was a special player but not necessarily good enough to build a team around.

    Two years down the road, the players and the team philosophy have changed enough so that, while I would not say JK is building the team around him, the team is now where there is more of a role for players like Torres,Adu,and maybe Mix.

    The change actually started in the Gold Cup where Bradley brought in Adu and Bedoya to play major roles, much to everyone’s shock. Bedoya,in particular, was very much despised by most everyone at SBI after a few early non-descript games. This is a good thing to remember when evaluating Castillo and Fiscal.

    Torres is actualy playing the role Benny was supposed to but never could for more than 20-30 minutes.

    And it remains to be seen how Torres will react to the kind of brutal pressure a team like Belgium can put on you.

    JK obviously is looking for someone to serve as Donovan’s partner in crime but, given Donovan’s lack of form, JK may have to feature Dempsey as his “best attacking player” and find a sidekick for Clint instead.

    The Belgium game should be fascinating

  76. RangerSG says:

    Adu and Torres are not the same player, in any way, shape, or form.

    Adu is a withdrawn forward, he’s not terribly strong on the ball. He’s not a playmaker.

    Torres is a deep-lying midfield playmaker. That kind of player doesn’t ‘get’ assists often (which is actually a pretty useless stat in footy). But he CREATES goals and goal scoring chances with his vision.

    Adu’s problem (besides not being fit), is that he plays the same position as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, and can’t do it as well.

  77. GW says:

    The way to keep your guys from getting stripped of the ball is for them to know where they are going to pass it before they even get it.

    JK sees Donovan as his best attacking player and seems to be trying to locate him centrally and find players to support him.

    Comparisons are dangerous but, while obviously not in their class, you could think of Torres as playing Xavi to Donovan’s Iniesta while Clint will be Messi.

    And the way to deal with tough physical challenges is to speed up the pace of the movement of the ball and to increase the danger to the opposing team off the missed tackle or blown defensive assigment.

    Messi, Xavi and Ineista are small guys but are frightening because they are smart,quick and dangerous. Defenders have to be careful about tackling them really hard because if they miss the consequences are terrible.

    Torres cannot be stripped of the ball if, before he gets the ball, he already recognizes multiple options in terms of where to send it and does so immediately. If you do that there is no crunching tackle.

    This is the essence of what Barca do and it took them years of playing together to get it right. I suspect that JK is trying to develop some semblance of rapid ball movement and cohesion with this group so it will take time.

  78. Alex G says:

    I didn´t watch the game, did Chandler had a good game?, I expect much more from JK and the USMNT, but I have a good feeling, this team will improve a whole lot, kudos to Torres.

  79. Vic says:

    Throw in Brad Davis to that list. Bradley traded Davis when he was coach of the Metrostars for Mike Mcgee. Bradley never gave Davis a fair chance after that.

    Funny how Rogers, Bornstein and Klejchan got plenty of opportunity because Bradley drafted them at Chivas USA.

  80. GW says:

    “That was the thing about bradley, if he didnt personally like a player, he didnt keep them no matter how they played, like convey. but if he did, they got chance after chance after chance until it finally cost him his job (beasley, gooch, and worst of all borstein).”

    Problems with your logic:

    How do you know who Bradley personally liked or did not like?

    Bardley gave Torres his start in the USMNT and gave him many chances. It was Torres who never quite seized the chance. Presumably, he is a better, tougher player now.

    You probably forgot it was Bradley who brought Adu to the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup even though he had played 5 minutes for Monaco that year. And it was Bradley who brought Adu back to this year’s Gold Cup after he grew up and worked hard in Turkey. And most of you had written Freddy off and thought Bradley was crazy to bring him to the Gold Cup.

    We know Convey disliked Bradley but, to my knowledge, Bradley has never said anything about how he personally felt about Convey.

    And if you are saying not calling Convey was proof Bradley personally disliked Convey, that is insane.

    Convey last played for the US in 2008. The same can be said for Ramiro Corrales, Pat Noonan and Danny Califf. I never hear anyone say Bradley personally disliked those guys.

    They just weren’t good enough and neither is Convey.

    Convey plays left back part time for the Quakes and does a credible job. That does not mean he is USMNT left back material.

    Wondo is a legit star striker for the same team, far more legit that Convey, yet he hasn’t show anything at the international level either.

    “im glad we got a coach now that will give more than a one game shot to players even if they are terrible in their first showing. (not saying i want to keep seeing castillo now, but im glad he got at least two games.) ”

    Bradley kept playing Bedoya after his poor USMNT start and I remember most of SBI as being outraged about it.

    You say that now but wait until JK keeps on playing Fiscal, Castillo and Rogers.

  81. Matt says:

    before someone decides to come on here andtalk trash, I want to be the first to set the record straight:
    A Mexico fan could try to say “Well you can have him, he is just a scrap for us that we don’t need.”
    The truth is although Jose Torres, back before the summer of 2010, was eligible for both the US and Mexican national team and was open for both, he was a rare case in which the USSF actually beat Mexico to get to him! Believe it or not, Javier Aguirre did want to call him up to his Mexican squad. Therefore, nobody better say he was a leftover scrap from anywhere.
    YouTube “Frente al Reto, Jose Torres” (It’s only in Spanish, sorry). It’s a short documentary on this kid and how he almost went unnoticed in the US.

  82. GW says:

    “Adu… he’s not terribly strong on the ball. He’s not a playmaker. ”

    It seems to me that is Adu’s main strength so we disagree there.

    I saw a fair number of Pachuca’s games before the 2010 World Cup. Torres did not play the role you describe then for Pachuca. He played even deeper, serving almost as a link between the defense and midfield.

    The role JK seems to have in mind for him is more like the one you describe.

    We disagree but Freddy has the skill set to play that role.

    Until Adu actually gets into a camp, we’ll have to wait and see what JK has in mind for him. JK will be changing the roles of a lot fo the hold over players, Torres just being the most prominent example at this point.

  83. freddino says:

    we were terrible, call it like it is? We watched US vs Costa Rica game….I don’t know what game you watched or maybe you simply don’t know anything about soccer. Whether its for 30 min – 45 min….have you ever seen the US dominate possession, put together one touch passes (with B team players included), get the kind of openings and scoring opportunities, pressure the ball and force a team to use only the counter attack, at the start of a game…ever in recent years of the USMNT? The answer is no, and being able to do that, in our second friendly, with players like Rogers, Castillo, Orozco, Shea, Torres (that BB didn’t even considered!!!!) makes it even more impressive……
    We’re looking at the bigger “picture” of US soccer, and with Klinsmann as the “Artist”, with the “Tools” he’s currently using, it’s looking like a masterpiece….

  84. BF says:

    lol..do you know anything about the game??

  85. BF says:

    typical “physical american” comment…go watch Barca and learn.

  86. inkedAG says:

    zing!

  87. hogatroge says:

    Agreed… it’s baffling that he has never gotten a shot outside of the successful (!) 2005 Gold Cup.

  88. hogatroge says:

    Regardless, you are in the vast minority of people who don’t agree, including most professional analysts.

  89. beachbum says:

    Barca…sure, OK. Thanks for teaching us all.

  90. hogatroge says:

    Torres had a run of bad form leading to the loss of his starting spot. That probably factored into why he wasn’t called back.

    Lack of PT for all the others had less to do with dropping off in form and more to do with not cracking the starting 11 because they never got into sufficient form to do so.

  91. hogatroge says:

    Yeah… I can picture at least one instance of exactly that just from memory.

  92. hogatroge says:

    But based on his performance against Mexico–his first call up under Klinsmann–he deserved another shot in this game. Unfortunately, he didn’t show the same level of quality.

  93. hogatroge says:

    I think we’ll see Gil at the Olympics for sure.

  94. GW says:

    “He was the undisputed best player on the field.”

    A,

    Mizzou disputes that so Torres’ status is not “undisputed”.

  95. biff says:

    Do you think Michael Bradley could have had any influence on his dad’s roster decisions? I ask because of the Sports Illustrated article in July quoting Eric Wynalda as saying that with BB as coach and MB on the team the USMNT “locker room will never be normal.” The story says: One universal aspect of all players, Wynalda observed, is their need to share frustrations, and at some point they often build camaraderie by complaining about their coach to each other. This can’t really be done honestly and openly when the coach’s son is on the team.

    I have no doubt that USMNT players were careful to never criticize BB when MB was around. But what if in the locker room or at the team hotel someone might have overheard Midfielder X and/or Midfielder Y whisper a bit of frustration about MB’s guaranteed 90 minutes per game or question MB’s role on the team or his skills or his form. Do you think if Bob Bradley caught wind of a hint of dissatisfaction with his son that he might have decided to nip it in the bud, so to speak, and quit calling up those players? Or would he have written it off as just normal playing griping and called up the players anyway? Just wondering how you see it, as it is clear that you have followed the team very closely for some time.

  96. Face says:

    Thriving? Probably not the right word choice here. He’s been pretty good the past couple games, but thriving he is not. This is like claiming Castillo is “thriving” because he’s getting called up again. “Torres back in Klinsmann’s USMNT squad” is a much more realistic title to this article.

  97. Ed says:

    Keep fightin’ the good fight G Dub.

  98. Ed says:

    Pretty sure Bob Bradley just wanted to put his best team on the field, which pretty much always means including Michael Bradley. Its that simple folks.

  99. Ed says:

    Rogers justs needs to be a bench guy rather than 90 mins, thats why he was so effective vs. Mexico

  100. PetedeLA says:

    I just watched the first half. Chandler looked good,but Rogers (the player in front of him) was pretty useless. So Chandler ended up having to play two positions basically. There were times when he was pushed forward and lost his man. But a lot of those problems were down to communication as Orozco (the right sided center back)is certainly no veteran.

    For me Rogers and Castillo cost the team from being effective. With those two under-performing, it was basically like playing a man down.

    But I advise to watch the first half like I did.

    I’d never seen the 4-3-3 work before with the US. We DOMINATED possession, but Donovan missed a relatively easy chance.

    I’d love to see basically the same set up, but with…
    ————Dempsey———-
    Shea/Altidore———-Holden/Adu
    –Torres————–Donovan
    —Bradley/Jones/Beckerman—-
    Lichaj—Boca–Goodson—Chandler

    After Donovan flubbing that easy chance I think Dempsey is the only person that can be relied upon to really put them away. Altidore seems to need that another center forward to feed off on. His touch is too leaden at times. Agudelo is still a bit too young for the responsibility. Bunbury is a bit too raw. So let Dempsey do his thing. He’s not a true center forward, but who cares at this point. He’s got the tools to get the job done.

  101. beachbum says:

    Landon’s been tried and played in that centrally advanced role often. We’ve all seen him in other positions and roles in which he’s been more effective, roles that put him in space. Maybe centrally under JK he’ll be the answer, and I hope so. How do you think he looked there Friday night?

    it will be interesting to see what transpires tactically vs. Belgium on the old continent

  102. Hush says:

    Adu is not a playmaker??? WTFudge? I strongly disagree. The only playmaker against Mexico & Panama was Adu. If I had to pick between Adu or Torres, I pick Adu every single time. Look at the different position looks Adu has gotten on the USMNT and how successful he has been in comparison to Torres. Torres was our best player on Friday and I hope continues to grow into a huge contributor.

  103. marco says:

    Nowak has sent Adu to the bench.

  104. Louis Z says:

    I agree with you, JFT had tons of time on the first half to look down field and pass. second half CR put more pressure which cause US to spend more energy and get tired which led to errors. JFT is a nice little player but he is nowhere physically strong as Reina was. FT is young and may improve.

  105. russell says:

    This is a great point.. and could work well with Torres in the middle effectively pinching in giving the wingers space. Plus he likes to play deep allowing FB to get forward..

  106. Russell says:

    It is true though that people newer to the game may not see his benefit.
    People under estimate the value of having someone control the tempo and play positive passes or ones that open up space when played behind midfield.

    Notice how when JFT is in the game how the centerbacks and Edu dont have to play the ball out of the back as much.

    It’s true too that JFT and Bradley’s style don’t mesh. So we know how that went.

    A good criticism I heard was that JFT needs to push into the final third more. And of course be stronger in the ball and tackle.

  107. Warren says:

    Yep, pretty sure Bob always thought Mike was the best option. It is that simple, dad had a high opinion of son. Funny how that works. For Mike, obviously not so much for Jose, etc.

  108. danny says:

    Jozy Altitude. Hmmm. I kinda like it.

  109. RangerSG says:

    Adu hasn’t been that successful with the national team, other than the Gold Cup. If you actually watched the match, instead of the You Tube highlights, you’d know that several of his ‘best sequences’ of that match were offside plays.

    And no, he isn’t a midfield playmaker. You see, this is where the problem is. A playmaker pulls strings and keeps touches to 1 & 2. He doesn’t run with the ball, dribble, or take players on as a 1st option. Valderrama was the classic MF playmaker. Reyna did something similar, though w/ more defensive responsibility, for the US. And those are the players closest to Torres.

    Adu isn’t that kind of player. Not even close. He WANTS to take people on, and he wants to get forward. That’s fine. But he’s not useful for maintaining tempo or switching the point of attack consistently. He’s not a player you run the game through.

    Adu isn’t pacey enough to be a winger, which leaves him out of the role that’s typically been used for his type of play for the Nats. He’s not of the mentality to be a deep-lying midfielder. His game is nothing like Reyna’s was, or Torres’ is.

    He’s a withdrawn forward. A free-role player who’s best served playing off a main striker and creating chances in the final third. And note again, this is the difference. I didn’t say Adu can’t create scoring chances. I said he’s not a midfield playmaker.

    Define terms correctly. He has the same problem Torres has with strength on the ball. But he lacks Torres’ vision of the field, willingness to slow play and restrain his dribbling, and general first instinct to play quickly to feet.

    Adu plays in the box, Torres plays at the back of the attacking third. Not the same player, and they’re not competing for the same place. Adu has to prove he’s more worthy of a spot than Dempsey and Donovan. But right now, let’s let him get off his club team’s bench, first.

  110. RangerSG says:

    Ugh, that should be “…watched the Spain match, instead of the You Tube highlights.”

  111. RangerSG says:

    Yikes, that formation is a mess.

    Dempsey isn’t a CF, never played one, doesn’t want to be one. He’s a withdrawn forward, and lacks the ability to hold up play and link.

    Altidore isn’t a winger, and he’s not left footed. Holden ‘might’ play that role, but not as well as Donovan. And Adu isn’t pacey enough to play on the wing.

    Altidore is where he belongs. The problem against CR was ones related to service, primarily, and then Donovan drifting out of range to link up, because he was too far withdrawn, and Rogers being generally useless whenever he got the ball.

    Altidore @ CF, Dempsey and Donovan on the wings. Torres and Bradley behind them (until Holden is healthy, then you decide if he pushes one of them). Jones/Beckerman/Edu shielding the back 4.

    Agudelo and Shea off the bench. And let’s wait for Adu to be consistently in his starting 11 in MLS before bringing him into National team discussions. But still, he’s best off the bench for D or D.

  112. GW says:

    I have no idea.

    I do know that listening to Wynalda pontificate about professional behavior is like taking a lecture from Bernie Madoff on business ethics.

    My guess would be Bob listened to his son about as much as he would to any of his other regulars.

    Have you ever worked with the son, daughter, wife or husband of your boss?

    I have, many times, and it can be different in each case.

    Some take advantage, some bend over backwards to show they are their own person. Some hate their parents, some are passionate about them. Some parents were twice as hard on their kids to show they were impartial to the point of being ridiculous and cruel. The worst were the in-laws, the husband/wife of your boss’s daughter/son.

    “they often build camaraderie by complaining about their coach to each other. This can’t really be done honestly and openly when the coach’s son is on the team.”

    Really? Is that they only way to bond with your teamates? There are other ways to build camaraderie. The players for the USMNT are professionals and if they hate Klinsmann, for example,they would be unprofessional, not to mention stupid, to bitch about him to their teamates. That is always a bad idea.

    I assume you aren’t stupid enough to criticize your boss to anyone who works with you?

    I see very little evidence that Bob Bradley let his son dictate how Bob ran the team but if he did let his son dicate how he did perform the best job he ever had,the job of a lifetime, then Bob Bradley is a lot dumber than I thought he was.

    Bradley is a stubborn man and I believe he played MB because he thought Michael was the best man for the job.

    And if I am right about that then it also means he is a man of great courage because it means, in order to do the best thing for the team, he was willing to take the enormous flak he had to know would come from people like you.

    But then again the USMNT is the team that, at one time,had their captain sleeping with their striker’s wife so I suppose even the unsavory things can happen to the USMNT and anything is possible.

    Though personally I see Bob Bradley as a bit smarter and more professional than a Prell model like John Harkes.

  113. GW says:

    I never thought about the GW as relating to him but you’re right. I like it. Thanks.

  114. GW says:

    Landon looks tired. I’m not an Galaxy fan per se but I hope they win the Cup this year so Donovan can get that off his bucket list and move on to other things. I think he will be a better player if that happens.

    The Iniesta comparison may not be a bad one as Iniesta generally floats all over the field and I think Landon would prefer to do that.

    I suspect Clint will eventually be that centrally located guy.

  115. KillerInstinct says:

    I am not sure how he became the best player on the pitch…sorry guys, Im just not drinking the Torres Koolaid just yet…if you see the higlights of the first 30 minutes of when the US were playing well, it seemed to me, that it was the Brek Shea show. And good overall performance was Edu’s ability to cover lots of area in the midfield and he controled the the tempo very well….IMO…Yes Torres did have some plays, but he still seems to loose the ball when he starts cradling it and make aimless runs into the midfield with no purpose, instead of making an anticipated quick pass or simply by making a back pass to reset the attack.

  116. GW says:

    Hush,

    It was RangerSG who said Adu was not a playmaker.

    My reply to that was:

    “It seems to me that is Adu’s main strength so we disagree there.”

    Kindly direct your fire elsewhere.

  117. bryan says:

    yeah, he was not good. i’m not saying he was. i didn’t think he was terrible, but he was damn close to it. i also don’t think he is the best winger in MLS or that he should be on the USMNT.

  118. RangerSG says:

    GW,

    And he’s not, if you mean it in the sense of Valderrama, Reyna, Xavi, or how the term is TYPCIALLY used tactically. That is, a deep-lying midfield orchestrator, who helps defensively when needed, and typically stays deep in the attacking third to switch play. He does minimal dribbling, and typically stays on the ball no more than 1-2 touches, and then follows to take wall or return passes.

    Adu is a withdrawn forward, a free-role player who sits in the ‘hole’ between the striker(s) and defense. Typically he either makes the final pass, or takes follow on shots. He also has a lot more freedom to dribble, less concern for tempo, and little/no concern for defense.

    They’re not the same player. Adu’s sensibilities are to attack and take on players. Torres’ is to stay behind the ball, leave himself open as a square option, and control the field of play.

    The second is PROPERLY a playmaker. The first may create goals, but that’s not what the term refers to.

  119. PetedeLA says:

    “Dempsey isn’t a CF, never played one, doesn’t want to be one. He’s a withdrawn forward, and lacks the ability to hold up play and link.

    Altidore isn’t a winger, and he’s not left footed. Holden ‘might’ play that role, but not as well as Donovan. And Adu isn’t pacey enough to play on the wing”

    You sound just like Bob Bradley.

    Dempsey HAS played center forward. And he HAS scored goals from the position.

    Altidore HAS played left wing. And if you think the fact that his stronger foot is his right disqualifies him from being a left winger then you haven’t been watching a professional soccer game in the past 20 years– C. Ronaldo, F. Ribery, R. Pires, A. Schuerrle, A. Iniesta, A. Arshawin, A. Young…. I could go on and on!

  120. GW says:

    You are way over-emphasizing semantics.

    When people talk about things like the Valderramma role, there are always going to be slight variations because every player and every team is different.

    You are describing the role Adu has played.

    I described the role Torres has played.

    That Valderrama role you talk about isn’t exactly what Klinsmann seems to have asked Torres to do ( Torres is playing a little more like what Pirlo used to do for Milan) but, if JK asks either Adu or Torres to play it, they will both be learning a new position. Which was my point.

    Torres may be better at it than Adu but Freddy certainly has the skill set for it.

    As I said all the holdover players will be learning new roles so I’m curious to see what JK has in mind for the next few games.

  121. AdamFromMich says:

    Shea had some great passes into the box; Rogers would have had a couple good ones, if he was a half-second quicker. But you are right about those two needing to go outside more.

  122. AdamFromMich says:

    I had a couple other/additional problems with Rogers game. First, he was late on a couple passes to Jozy running into the box. I also remember Rogers killing a couple of promising offensive sequences with a poor first touch.

    I think Rogers is more effective coming off the bench in the 60th to 80th minute when his speed outweighs his shortcomings.

  123. biff says:

    Thanks. Hard to know what really was going on.

  124. RangerSG says:

    And there’s where we disagree. Because I’ve never seen anything like the skillset you claim Adu has from him.

    He doesn’t have the patience on the ball. He doesn’t have the willingness to play 1 & 2 touch and restrain his dribble. He likes to play too far forward.

    It’s not semantics, it’s an entirely different position.

    Like it or not, Adu isn’t a midfielder. He’s a forward. And a withdrawn forward at that, which is a position non-existent in a 4-3-3. He isn’t a deep-lying player and has never been comfortable being one.

    And if he can’t get off the BENCH for an MLS club, he doesn’t belong in the starting 11 discussion for the National Team at any rate.

  125. RangerSG says:

    I’m not Bob Bradley, and I’m all for wingers who can cut inside.

    But why do that, when Dempsey can play the position more naturally, and Altidore is the more natural CF.

    The idea is to play people where they’re strongest and combine best for the team. Not where it looks novel.