USA U-23s suffer shock defeat to Canada in Olympic qualifying

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-23 men's national team's hopes of reaching the 2012 Olympics have been dealt a serious blow.

Two days after routing Cuba, the Americans suffered a shocking 2-0 defeat to Canada at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday night in their second Group A match. Both goals came in the second half off of corner kicks, with Doneil Henry and Lucas Cavallini scoring after defensive mistakes from the United States.

The result was just the latest bit of bad news for U.S. head coach Caleb Porter, who earlier in the day found out that forward Juan Agudelo would miss the rest of the qualifying tournament with a meniscus tear in his left knee.

The United States' loss to the Canucks, combined with El Salvador's 4-0 win in the first match of the doubleheader at LP Field on Saturday, essentially leaves the United States in must-win territory in its final match of group play. Assuming Canada defeats already-eliminated Cuba on Monday, the U.S. team will need a win versus El Salvador in order to advance to the must-win semifinals game.

Canada earned the three points with a defensively-disciplined performance. The Canadians' midfield made things tough for the United States, who seemed to be out of sync offensively despite winning the possession battle.

Even so, the United States nearly opened the scoring when Ike Opara finished off a Freddy Adu free kick in the 48th minute. The headed strike was negated, however, as Opara was whistled for offsides.

That allowed for Canada to capitalize off a corner kick ten minutes later. U.S. goalkeeper Bill Hamid failed to punch the ball clear after the service was sent in from the right, and Henry jumped in front of him to head the ball home.

The stagnant United States offense, which started an ineffective Teal Bunbury in Agudelo's place, tried to respond, but the final ball was always lacking.

Adu was invisible for large stretches, Joe Corona and Mix Diskerud struggled to impose their will on the game, and Brek Shea repeatedly failed to find his teammates with crosses sent in from the flanks.

The faulty execution on offense cost the United States once again, as in the 83rd minute Cavallin scored off a diving header after breaking free from Opara.

The United States then picked things up on offense as the visitors sat back on their 2-0 lead. With substitute Joe Gyau providing a spark off the bench after initially failing to find the ball, the Americans created good looks on goal.

Unfortunately for the Americans, Canada goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz was up to the task on every shot, making a handful of fine saves in the waning moments of the match.

The win gave Canada four points and second place in Group A, while the United States dropped to third with three points. El Salvador is in first with four points and a better goal differential than Canada. Cuba is last in the group with zero points and is unable to advance to the next round.

The Americans will take on El Salvador in the final group game on Monday night at LP Field.

——

What do you think of the Americans' 2-0 loss to Canada? What needs to change versus El Salvador? Think this U.S. team is capable of winning back-to-back games to advance to the Olympics?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING, U.S. Men's Olympic Team. Bookmark the permalink.

172 Responses to USA U-23s suffer shock defeat to Canada in Olympic qualifying

  1. James says:

    I am so depressed.

  2. somedude says:

    Time to man up now…

  3. Aquaman says:

    I don’t want to blame Bill Hamid entirely for the loss because there wasn’t much on the offensive side either, but what was he doing on those goals. The first one he was leaning backwards looking to catch and let a guy slip right in front of him for a header. The second one he was tentative and waited for someone else to play the ball. He could have easily punched or caught that one but stayed on his line.

  4. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    The game against Canada tonight proved that we really miss Juan and that our defense is hot garbage. Also, Johnson should be starting because Hamid just isn’t doing it.

    At best we get to play Mexico in the semis for a shot at the games… without Juan and Alfredo Morales, who both had big games against Mexico when we beat them 2-0.

    If we don’t make the Olympic Games I am going to be gutted… absolutely gutted.

  5. Jamie Z. says:

    A frustrating result, for sure. My hope, of course, is that it doesn’t turn out to be demoralizing for the young group. I think youth teams are more likely than senior teams to fall victim to psychological factors in high-pressure situations like this, but on the surface of it, it sure seems like Caleb Porter and the current U-23 squad should have the talent and potential to learn from their mistakes and come out with a much better effort against El Salvador. One step at a time.

  6. Paul H says:

    As a DC fan, this game is the only time I can think of where Hamid has had a bad game. The fact that people are so quick to call for him to be benched is ridiculous, and shows in the impatience of a lot of the fans. The US team was resting too much on their laurels this match, but they won’t be making the same mistake against El Salvador.

  7. Man, Shea looked hosed in the second half – am I crazy, or do I remember this happening several times since he became a regular starter with the USA? Should have chugged some maple syrup at halftime.

    I’m with Jamie Z – frustrating result, but also a good challenge for the U23′s. Hope they’re up for it.

  8. chris says:

    Wow, when will USA coaches realize that Teal bumbury sucks, he sucks in MLS and sucks internationally. Second this is the second youth tournament in a row where a super talented USA team is overconfident and doesn’t get its act together. This is a team sport, and once again the USA doesn’t play as a team

  9. prizby says:

    watch the CCL round 6 match against Toronto FC when either team had to win to get through…he was donzo after 30 mins

  10. Kevin_Amold says:

    Ok, I”m disappointed too. It was a poor game from us. Little creation offensively, some great saves from the opposing keeper. We basically lost on two set pieces. Just as I thought last win wasn’t as good as it seemed, this loss isn’t as bad as it seems.

    We were bound to face at least one must-win game in this tournament. Now we face two. It can be done. In fact, I’d give us almost 50-50 of doing it.

    Of course, we need to play MUCH better. I’d like to see Gyau get a start. We need to see better from Hamid. We need to see more movement, I feel like we got a little stagnant in the second half.

    Come on you Yanks

  11. Also, listening to the British CONCACAF online streaming announcer makes me want to tear my hair out. Jorge is not pronounced “George”, nor does Terrence “Body” exist. My cheapness in not buying cable is really coming back to haunt me.

  12. Kevin_Amold says:

    Agreed with the principle, but this is not a time to let a player play through a slump. If he is damaged psychologically at all by today, he needs to sit. If he is okay, then play him because I think he is typically good. But, boy was he awful on those two goals today.

  13. joel says:

    I read many people saying we would cruise in the group….games have to be played… its an unacceptable performance. I hope this doesnt turn into another disaster like the u20 not qualifying for the U20 World Cup.

  14. funny guy says:

    I find it rather amusing….Terrence Body lol

  15. joel says:

    I know that commentator was killing me every time he said Terrence Body, he though he made a mistake the first time but found out this was not the case.

  16. Anybody else wondering why Corona was subbed out at the half? I thought he was one of our best players up to that point, and he confirmed after the game the sub was a tactical move, not because he was hurt. Baffled…

  17. Conrad says:

    Agudelo is the answer!
    Although Jozy is under 23…don’t know if he’s allowed to be on the roster, but….

  18. Bellus Ludas says:

    With Agudelo missing this was a night that you needed Adu and Mix to break down a packed defense and they didn’t get it done. Lets hope they pull it together for Monday.

  19. eli says:

    The first one was all on Hamid. The goalie can’t wait for the ball. As for the second one, Opara was at fault for me. He fell down in front of his man who was then basically unmarked. Opara had a really bad game. He got beat on the first goal too.

  20. Kent says:

    In fairness, the concacaf stream for some reason put up a graphic that read “Terrence Body.” I’m assuming he read it off of that because mispronouncing Boyd is an elementary level mistake.

  21. eli says:

    You can watch the livestream on universalsports.com with different commentators.

  22. GW says:

    “I’d like to see Gyau get a start.”

    Only if the guy he subbed in for, Joe Corona, plays 90. After the game Corona said he was told by the coach that he was subbed because the middle was too clogged.

    I get the width bit but Mixx and Adu are apparently not as composed as Corona so Gyau did not get much service.

    Canada proved more resilient, more disciplined and tougher than the US. They deserved this win.

  23. Ricky B. Free says:

    It was like watching a Seinfeld episode were Kramer makes up names.

  24. Fanatic says:

    Is this deja vu or what? Weren’t we just here during the U20 World Cup in El Salvador? A great start to the tournament, a bunch of goals scored and none given up and then… I like the coach and his ideas- but the most difficult coaching happens when things go wrong. Example: Agudelo out with an injury. We should know what we have. Why did Terrence Boyd not get a run in the first game to get acclimated. He is a good player. Bunbury shouldn’t see the field again this tournament. He only is effective playing a college game of run and gun. He doesn’t check to the ball well and his overall movement off the ball is weak. He is a step slow to read the game in order to create chances. When he does get a chance he shoots wide or over the top. Overconfidence definitely – but also some reality. Nobody is asking why Joe Corona was taken off today. He is a lock in the midfield and scored 3 the other day. Much more effective than Freddy Adu. It is clear that our best lineup should have Joseph Gyau starting at left wing. The decision on who to leave out is between Brek Shea or Freddy Adu. Freddy has been playing the right wing but Shea would be better there. Brek Shea was terrible today. Never once beat a player to the endline, caught in possession, didn’t cross the ball well. He did track way back to defend but that left few options up front. We went back and forth laterally but with little speed/tempo in our passing. Canada simply slid over and took things away. Nobody running from behind to create 2v1 situations. Where was Kofie Sarkodie. I thought he played pretty well in the first match. Very difficult now since both El Salvador and Honduras have good teams.

  25. Ricky B. Free says:

    Because Porter wanted to bring in Gyau but didnt want to sit Shea or Adu. SO he moved Adu to the middle.

  26. PD says:

    I agree the announcer was pretty smug, but the best was him picking up on the US fan who said “why must you make this a field of lies?” …that was hysterical.

    Seriously though, this loss was bad news all around. I’d like to think these players are more professional than to think that 10 man Cuba was not what they were going to get against Canada, but still… flat offensively, incoherent defensively, no head in the game at all from what I saw. Hopefully this will be a loss they can build on and doesn’t just tighten them up.

    Oh and that random red card to the Canadian player who wasn’t in a track suit? Please tell me that can be appealed, because that was just silly.

  27. Fanatic says:

    Not to mention Mexico who we are most likely to play in the semis.

  28. GW says:

    In his post game interview on CONCACAF tv, Joe said he was told they needed more width since the middle was getting too clogged up.

    I guess they pulled the wrong midfielder.

  29. PD says:

    in the post match interview on the CONCACAF feed JoeCorona said it was a tactical choice on the part of the coach to try to force the game wider. He is not hurt.

  30. wes c says:

    You’re entitled to your opinions, but the statement “Brek Shea was terrible today. Never once beat a player to the endline” is just completely untrue.

  31. Lorenzo says:

    Now we have a must win vs Mexico in the semifinals. That team is firing on all cylinders. We have a serious chance of not making the Olympics at all now.

  32. joejoe says:

    This means that if the USA comes out runner up of group A and Mexico winner of group B, one will go home and some other team will go to the Olympics.

  33. Brad says:

    just back from the game in Nashville. It appeared to use that the Canadian keeper was clearly handled the ball out of the box around the 60th minute. He was agressively pulling a ball out of the air, but sailed outside of the box with ball in hand. Did the replay show this or did we all see it wrong?

  34. GW says:

    This was Spain vs the US in the Confed Cup all over again with Canada being the US and the US being Spain.

    I suppose that is progress in a way.

  35. CJ says:

    I thought Caleb Porter was supposed to be the second coming! People here have been singing his praises for the last couple of years. Granted, he rocks for Akron, but this is a different league. The US was exposed tonight. I hope they can get past El Salvador.

  36. James says:

    Oh no, one game we lost!!! Good god! Was Barcelona exposed when Osasuna beat them? Good god man, we are allowed to lose once in a while. It was still a bad loss, but it doesnt invalidate everything hes done for the past year.

  37. poo says:

    Terrible loss. The fact that Canada bossed the first 10 mins of the second half says a lot about what went on at halftime.

    Porter couldnt get these guys to produce.

    Canada did really well.

    i dont see this team beating mexico.

  38. Doctor Detroit says:

    You are getting a little ahead of yourself. It is a must-win against El Salvador to even get to the semifinals. Don’t put that in the bank just yet.

  39. Conrad says:

    Do you not understand how teams qualify for the Olympics? This potentially puts the US out of the running. The team MUST win at least the next two games.

  40. AG says:

    I was thinking the same thing when he got subbed out. Coach knows as well as everyone that Corona and Diskerud are essential to the success of the team in a 4-3-3. Obviously Gyau was needed but Corona should have stayed in. That move altered the team and thus the outcome for the worst.

  41. SuperChivo says:

    Losing Agudelo is huge, because he is the only forward that can really play Porter’s style. Bunbury is fast and a target man and pretty good at that but doesn’t hold the ball up and doesn’t have the technical skills or tactical awareness of Agudelo. He doesn’t come back and contribute to the midfield. I have no idea what Boyd offers, he hasn’t done much in the two brief appearances I’ve seen him in.

  42. Doctor Detroit says:

    Porter can’t play the game for them. Players have to produce on the field, too.

  43. Lil' Zeke says:

    Oh get your act together

  44. crickets says:

    chirp… chirp… chirp

  45. Duck says:

    I am going to hate myself for this, but the replay showed he had gotten the ball out of his hands before he landed outside the box.

  46. SuperChivo says:

    I am mostly with James on this one. This appearance sucked, and it really puts the US in danger of not qualifying, but it doesn’t mean the the team sucks. We already knew the back line was weak and I think that a damp pitch, back luck, and poor officiating all mitigated against the US. Plus Canada was solid in the back; took a page from the Bob Bradley school defended well and counterattacked with pace and skill.
    Now, El Salvador only needs a point and could choose to play Canada’s game but I don’t see that happening. They don’t have the physique and don’t have the pace. Instead, it will be a more apples to apples match with a fight for control over the midfield. Ought to be fun!

  47. Lil' Zeke says:

    Two wins for the Olympics? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal

  48. wilyboy says:

    My one and only question for Porter is why did Opara, Mix, and Jeffrey look so tired from the very beginning. Bunbury isn’t in form, that’s a given. But this team was Killed by the fact that a large number of the starting players had no energy.

    If it was partying, punish.

    If these players are trained to much, that’s a problem.

  49. kevin_amold says:

    Yes we do. We also have a chance, a decent chance, of keeping Mexico from making the olympics. I choose to see it that way.

  50. Carlos says:

    Replay shows the Keeper handling the ball out the penalty box. He caught the ball inside but his momentum carried him out. He drop the ball about 2 feet outside. Should have been a penalty & I think a Red Card.

  51. YO says:

    I know the Cuba game did not show how bad team really is, but today they showed their arse. —and to think that JK is considering Hamid as second to howard!

  52. jones says:

    At one point I heard him refer to Mix “Dicks-are-rude.” No joke. Could not stop laughing!

  53. Bob Bradley says:

    Boy, earlier today we were debating whether this team would be a bronze or gold medal team, now we may not even make the field!

  54. Fanatic says:

    Shea was completely ineffective because he is not Joseph Gyau.

  55. CJ says:

    In college they play one, sometimes two matches a week with plenty of time for recovery. Maybe our depth is just not good enough to give Opara, Mix & Jeffrey a night off?

  56. Clint says:

    The US Soccer coaching staff should consider taking a step back and realizing that this possession/european style that they are trying to implement will not get us over the hump in becoming a futbol power in the near future. Our athletes are generally big, strong, quick & very athletic. We should think about going back to using a more physical & counter-attacking style tailored to the skill-set of our players. Refine what we are good at and get better at it. “Whats wrong with winning ugly as long as you win?”

  57. BrianVT says:

    I cringe at every picture and video clip I see of Diskerud. He is always leaning back with his knees bent. An ACL tear waiting to happen. :-(

  58. Jamie Z. says:

    Teal Burbury is a very young man and has plenty of time to work out the kinks in his game. There’s more to fostering talent than making snap judgments about players who are barely old enough to play for the full national team, chucking them out the window, and moving on to the next player du jour until he put in a subpar effort and you can turn on him as well.

    It frustrates me that people are so myopic in their analysis and comprehension of the game (and, you know, everything else) that everything has to be a snap judgment. Caleb Porter didn’t turn into a bad coach overnight and Teal Bunbury has not gone from “the next big thing” to “sucks” in no time at all anywhere but in the minds of the reactionary fans watching him. In all reality, he is likely a player with an appreciable upside (especially considering the few options we have to work with at his position) and plenty of work that still needs to be done before he’s judged either a success or failure. Coaches don’t keep bring him in because they’re not as smart as you are; they keep bringing him in because they know a hell of a lot more about what’s going on than the blowhards on the internet.

  59. Chris B says:

    So he handled the ball OUTSIDE of the box, and it should have been a penalty, but penalties can only be given inside the box, so he didn’t handle outside the box, so I am confused.

  60. JW says:

    IT’S ONE GAME, Y’ALL, IN A U23 SETTING. The USA and Mex have only ever co-qualified once, in 1992: this should suggest to you just what a crapshoot it is. Especially with teams that aren’t full Olympic squads!

  61. Dancy says:

    Hamid has always been iffy on coming out for crosses and bad in the air in general. He has had many bad games with DC and this is usually the reason, except for the whole red card slide tackle of crazy for no reason.

  62. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Bunbury was in the game?

  63. baldomero123 says:

    Romance with this team is over and with no happy ending. Good squads also lose but they don’t lose this ugly. We have no business being at Olympics.

  64. Carlos says:

    I should have said a foul not a penalty. Not sure if that counts as a Red Card. You can see the replay on concacaf.com

  65. cajun says:

    Yep, they played like they were reading there own press hype and didn’t even have to play. Criminal defense on both corner kicks. You’re right, they definitely need to grow up.

  66. cajun says:

    Who cares about the “psychic” of this team. If they can’t handle it, find someone who can. Every other team is U-23 also. And we’re playing at home. They played bad and didn’t deserve to win. If they play like that vs El Salvadore they won’t have a chance to go to London. It’s time for them to grow up! To hell with “demoralizing” and “psychological factors”.

  67. Milkshake of despair says:

    My two cents. Our defense could not handle canada’s high pressure in the second half, leading to poor service to our towards or easy give aways at midfield.

  68. louis z says:

    plenty of time to work out his kinks? This is a tournament, no place to workout issues that have been going for months.

    Porter’s fault for starting Bumbory and not managing his midfield. Did he really believed that Mix and specially Adu where going to be able to play two full games with only 2 days of rest?

  69. ACS says:

    There is no way Jeffrey is going to be able to play in the next game except as a sub unless Adrenaline shots are allowed before the game. Too bad Morales wasn’t released considering he didn’t even make the 18 today for Hertha.

  70. KevDC says:

    Hamid has had “many bad games with DC”? You haven’t got one clue what you’re talking about. He’s a young keeper and clearly had a bad game, but there’s a reason Klinsmann has been calling him up.

    Hamid will be fine.

  71. Jamie Z. says:

    Yeah! I agree! Blah blah blah! Angry shout blame! No excuses! Every subpar performance is an affront to me personally! Blah blah blah!

    And the “psychic” of this team is Miss Cleo. She says they’re going to beat El Salvador.

  72. Jamie Z. says:

    You and many other people commenting right now really don’t seem to understand the concept of developmental coaching. If the point of the U-23 level is to groom players for the senior team, then yes, he has time to mature. And maybe he’s not the answer, long term. Maybe Boyd will take his place in the pecking order until Agudelo or Altidore become available for selection. This is not a team with unlimited depth. We don’t have that luxury with the junior teams and we don’t have that luxury with the senior team. So our coaches make the best decisions they have based on the resources they have available to them. And his name is Bunbury.

  73. What about Porter? says:

    There is plenty of blame to go around, but the vast majority of it needs to be placed directly at the feet of Caleb Porter. Clearly he had no idea what to expect, because he has no prior experience at these tournaments. Porter keeps saying how deep this team is, yet he only changed two players in the starting lineup. The Canadians changed seven. Unsurprisingly, our entire front six were exhausted and couldn’t get much done, and at times were completely overrun by their less talented Canadian counterparts. As far as individual personnel decisions, Porter started Bunbury over Boyd, and for the second game in a row our right back was a mediocre Akron player who hasn’t proved much at the MLS level instead of Sheanon Williams. That’s what happens when you go with an inexperienced college coach.

  74. Bob Dobalina says:

    CJ is right. Porter was thoroughly out-coached by Fonseca tonight. Look at his post match comments below. He pretty much admits it…

    From MLSsoccer.com

    But Caleb Porter admitted the Canucks bunkered down even more than he and his staff anticipated, as the Americans were shocked 2-0.

    “They set up in Christmas tree, a 4-3-2-1, and it’s not a shape they’ve used,” Porter said in the postgame press conference. “That’s a shape you use to really stop a team. They did that to shut down. Essentially, we were three vs. five in the middle.

    “If a team is going to play that way, you have to beat them wide, and I don’t think we created enough,” he added later. “I don’t think it had anything to do with our three [midfielders] struggling, it was more just the alignment. We knew it was going to be difficult to penetrate up the center channel.”

    Add a couple early counterattacks that, according to Porter, “unsettled [the team] psychologically,” and Canadian manager Tony Fonseca had himself a recipe for an upset.

    Brek Shea overhit a number of crosses and Teal Bunbury’s runs were too often mistimed.

    “I didn’t know if it was going to go near or if it was going to go far,” Sporting Kansas City’s Bunbury, who started in place of an injured Juan Agudelo, said. “For the most part, I felt like I was the only guy in the box.”

    Attempting to exploit the weakness in Fonseca’s formation, Porter urged his charges to play wider. He inserted Joe Gyau at the half in an effort to stretch the width of the field. The USA were better after the break but continued to misfire in the final third.

    “We were a little surprised when we saw the start sheet, and they had seven new guys in the lineup,” Porter said. “But that didn’t change our approach. Credit to Canada. They put some fresh guys in there. They sat in and made it difficult on us.”

  75. Akloln says:

    Yeah they could man up… or Zarek Valentin could record a half dozen more podcasts about how awesome he is for the ussoccer website. Same difference.

  76. Bumblebury says:

    Bumbury was never “the next big thing”… the dude made a PK earned by Agudelo, for the US C team, and people hyped him because of his personality.
    He doesn’t have the game for a 4-3-3, everyone knows that. The guy has like two moves, aside from that he has no aerial ability, no hold up play, and feet made of stone, both his passing and his first touch are embarrassing for a professional.

  77. wat says:

    I thought random nonsensical comments were the answer?

  78. It's call a "bench" Porter, use it says:

    Why would Adu and Mix be any less tired while playing their THIRD full game in FIVE DAYS than they were while playing their SECOND full game in THREE DAYS?

  79. cololege soccer says:

    Ever notice how the best college football and basketball coaches can’t get it done in the NFL and NBA? That’s because college coaching is all about recruiting. The best teams have the best players. But you can’t do that at the professional league with a salary cap, you need to actually outcoach your opponents. Porter has recruited some great college players to Akron, and continues to do so. Great for him. But unless he’s coaching Man City and has an unlimited budget, both MLS and international soccer don’t work like that.
    How many times has Akron had to play three important games over the course of five days? I’m guessing never, that would probably hurt the feelings of poor college babies. Well, that’s what we were up against, and he used 9 of the same starters two days later. What a surprise that they ran out of gas as fast as they did against all those fresh Canadian players…

  80. Lackron says:

    Porter can’t play, but he could have started some fresh legs who could play instead of fielding almost the exact same team two days later:

    “We were a little surprised when we saw the start sheet, and they had seven new guys in the lineup,” Porter said.

  81. Where was that depth, Porter? says:

    OUR depth isn’t good enough? What about Canada?? They started 7 fresh guys. We started 2 fresh guys.

    “Five games in twelve days, and three games in the first five days. I’m confident this group can do it, and we selected this group in order to manage that,” said Porter. “We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of balance within this team and we’ll have a very clear plan on how we’re going to approach the group stages.”

  82. Goalscorer24 says:

    The Cuba game when to our heads. Canada really just out hustled the US until the last 15 minutes of the game when we woke up, but it was too late.

  83. Goalscorer24 says:

    +1000

  84. FSegaud says:

    I noticed in the Cuba match that the sub list showed “body” so maybe the announcer was only going by the list provided by CONCACAF. In the end, blame Jack Warner (yes, he is gone…blame him anyway)

  85. Alex G says:

    If we play like this against ES we are doomed, damn, this is painful

  86. Ricky B. Free says:

    The reason is that Tim Howard thinks that he is the next one in line. Hamid reminds me a little bit about Howard, cant cut crosses to save his life, but he is one hell of a shot stoper.

  87. theraccoun says:

    Why? Why do I bother coming on Ives after the US men’s team loses? Reactional, uninsightful crap. Tone your emotions down people, it’s one freaking game

  88. poo says:

    its one game that made our changes of making the olympics go from maybe 75% to 25%. That is a huge deal, and people should be reacting poorly. I will be upset when I get to see honduras on the big stage, knowing our guys are sitting at home.

    Yes, I think everyone understands that the loss isnt meaningful in the big picture development of the program, but it’s huge in its direct impact on chances for the olympics.

    One thing that upsets me is I can’t find a single positive from this loss. usually you can say so and so played well, or this guy finally got his chance etc out of a loss. this one leaves us with nothing.

  89. pd says:

    Well done!

  90. pd says:

    Well said.

  91. Brett says:

    Looked like Brek Shea caught Altidore-itis before the match. He was getting hacked a little, but he was falling down anytime someone breathed on him, and the ref (his horrible officiating is a story for another day) wasn’t having it.

    Shea and Bunbury must be completely different players in training. I can’t fathom why you would keep playing “Give away” Shea (see: Theory on standing orders from Klinsmann to play Shea ALL THE MINUTES of every match). He’s like a stiff gear, everytime the attack has to go through him he slows it down with a bad back-pass or gives away possession with an uncontrolled flick. He doesn’t think his way through the game. Bunbury is useless, but Boyd wasn’t much better when he came on.

    I watched every minute of this match and I can count the number of creative movements the USA had on one hand. It was bad. The one goal we put in looked legit to me, but it wasn’t like we played our way into it. Hopefully this loss, like any loss, will be a wake-up call.

  92. Shady says:

    His name was listed as “Body” that’s why the guy said it that way.

  93. Shady says:

    Porter only just now gets top college recruits. He built Akron into a national powerhouse with coaching, not the best recruits in the country. College schedules are much more compressed than pro schedules so he is very used games on little rest.

  94. Blue says:

    You guys should be worried. El Salvador is miles ahead of the other two teams. If there is sweet justice in this world, Dustin Corea will score the goal that sends the USA out.

  95. Jozy Wales says:

    There is no way Canada has the talent to beat the US. The game exposed Caleb Porter as a terrible coach. The Canadian coach with much less to work with , embarrassed the US. It is Porter’s fault, the players felt they game was already won before it started. Look at German soccer, if even the best players in the Bundesliga dog it in practice , there is hell to pay. Of course, I wasn’t at the practice, but it is obvious, our players were in the worst mental state going into this game and didn’t believe they could lose. What other explanation could there be? Canada whose senior team is ranked 90th,suddenly discovered world class U23 players they didn’t know about before? The US team didn’t take the game seriously until it was too late. For those who say it is only one game. This “one game” will have the US players watch the Olympics on TV instead of participating.

  96. GW says:

    Before last night, Porter was a god.with the front running USMNT fans. Now, it seems like Porter’s reign as the Golden Boy/Poster Child for attractive American soccer is in danger of being cut brutally short.

    Seems a bit unfair since the Canada game was the first serious, difficult game they have had. But that is life in fast lane.

    Should they fail to qualify it will justify Porter’s decision to hold on to his Akron job.

    A least it will put Klinsmann on notice that US fans’ love for managers is a mile wide and half a millimeter deep.

  97. Julio says:

    Im not going to fault Teal until he gets the ball and ball and flubs chances. While I don’t think he’s much, he can’t control the midfield play and there lies the real problem.

    WHY, WHY, WHY do we back pass every time we make a forward pass? We need to attack when we have it in their end and I dont mean 100% crosses from the wings. We had Canada trapped in their own end for long stretches in the first half but did we even get one good chance? I don’t think so. This team is too focused on possession rather than scoring and that has to be coaching. Possession is great but when it doesnt lead to chances…it’s just keep away. Now we have to beat a team that Canada couldnt score on to advance to play Mexico.

    I saw nothing from Corona. For me, Adu is the best with the ball on the field. Adu needs to be creating the offense that is if were going to have any. Also too many unearned turnovers. Break was good at times but not when it came to crosses.

    This result is due to coaching mismanagement and a faulty game plan.

    Not that it had much to do with it but I thought the ref allowed Canada to play a form of Soccer/hockey. Too may fouls, to few cards

  98. Charlie G. says:

    You stole my post ! Exactrly…what it must be like to face a Bob B. team. Was looking for a shift to maybe a 4-4-2 during halftime, but maybe we don’t have the pieces to do that. It’s a bummer in that we didn’t get beat in the run of play, but on poor play on two corners

  99. Stog37 says:

    Canada is an emerging nation. Sort of a rebirth as they were formidable in the early 80s. With the three MLS teams and their academies producing talent, Canada will once again be a tough team in our region. This is just the beginning. We will still be ok, but others nations will be emerging. You have to face reality. The rest of the region is catching up.

  100. GW says:

    You might not have been around for Bunbury’s first few caps.

    He was the “next big thing” mostly because he did the Dougie very well with Agudelo and because he wasn’t Jozy.

    There is still a large percentage of the US fan base who live and die by the “anyone but lazy Altidore” philosophy.

  101. Bunbury sucks says:

    LOL Wear it USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Canada Go!!!

  102. ld says:

    Dear USA,

    Thanks so much for taking Teal Bunbury off of our hands, that guy is garbage!

    Canada

  103. ld says:

    Why did this loss surprise you guys? Beating ten man Cuba is not impressive, all the goals they scored except Adu’s were because of a soft Cuban defence. All I keep reading is, we are so talented, we are so skilled, how could we lose to Canada, they have no skill, its embarrassing. Your coach thinks he is Guardiola and your players think they are Barcelona, but in reality they are all crap. How did you not see this coming? You dont have the talent to play the Spanish brand of soccer, your players just arent very good.

  104. ld says:

    Comparing this team to Barcelona? Are you Caleb Porter?

  105. VIlniusNastavnik says:

    Can we call in a replacement for Agudelo? Sapong perhaps?

  106. VIlniusNastavnik says:

    “Why did this loss surprise you guys?”

    Because somewhere on the spectrum of talent between Canada’s U-23 and Barcelona lies the US U-23.

  107. Cru says:

    Is there any chance that this makes Mexico even consider that 2nd place in their group may be better. Regardless of last night’s game—Mexico has to like their chance versus Canada better than versus the US (in KC). And by “consider” I mean throw out a back up squad that could lose a game…
    I know that this is unlikely and requires the US to win Monday; but, it isn’t a crazy thought…is it?!!?

  108. Eurosnob says:

    Hamid, should have been more assertive on the first one, but it is not all on him. Opara lost his mark on both goals and allowed two free headers from 4 yards or so.

  109. marco says:

    The Canada goals came from poor footwork from Hamid and Opara. Hamid makes too many catches at chest level, a poor work habit? Opara is often unbalanced and slipping. He needed just a nudge to fall on the second goal. These are poor techniques that should have been corrected a long time ago. The offense was stymied because Mix and Jeffrey had little time on the ball, with no one to play to. Shea and Bunbury were toothless attackers, Shea because he was more interested in talking to the officials, and Teal because he’s in poor form

  110. beachbum says:

    I’m glad to put Teal on the chopping block, and also those who insist on calling him up.

    He gets called in repeatedly, gets the start, and can do NOTHING up top. He’s not a good hold up player and the USA refuses to play balls over the top to him so he can face goal and run onto balls into space–which is his lone strength!!!

    I never understood him at the tip of the attack considering his skill set and this team’s stated intentions to play the ball on the ground.

  111. marco says:

    How about a Salsa dance instructor for some of these chaps who can’t turn without falling down?

  112. beachbum says:

    did you see the pre-tournament games from this team? that’s why

  113. beachbum says:

    I wish. CJ could have been on this team but the powers that be insist Teal is the guy.

    no one agrees but them.

    in AZ vs. Venezuela, once CJ finally saw the field and Teal the pine, the USA started playing good soccer up top.

  114. marco says:

    “Mexico has to like their chance versus Canada better than versus the US”

    I’m not sure that is the case. Nobody would be afraid of the USA side that played yesterday.

  115. beachbum says:

    not just Mix and Jeffery, Corona was troubled in there as well. I find it revealing that his missing game in the middle was not mentioned by you

    Joe looked like a player with no legs to me

  116. marco says:

    Hamid has some bad habits that were exposed.

  117. beachbum says:

    the problems came when Freddy was lipped inside…he’s no good in there. That’s when he disappeared because he can’t find the space he wants in there.

    AND Canada was determined to make the USA play up the flanks, which used to be a USA strength, BUT, with the teams we field nowadays, is a weakness because there is no target forward to dominate the area on the crosses

    Teal Bunbury scares no one, and it shows on the field. In fact, Canada looked SUPER psyched to punk him and make him pay for the turncoat, and they did

  118. marco says:

    Agree, it’s not Bunbury’s training ground, and he doesn’t belong there. There are many cases where ‘favored sons’ get continued undeserved, call-ups

  119. marco says:

    Good idea tactically but wrong player taken out.

  120. marco says:

    Correct, red card offense. That’s part of the CONCACAF learning curve for Caleb and some players.

  121. marco says:

    I agree, they will be playing for self respect, nothing more.

  122. beachbum says:

    Why is right. It’s a 3 game tournamnet. One game is vital. Exactly what did you expect here today?

    thanks for the laugh at least.

  123. marco says:

    Hamid has some very bad habits. I’m surprised that his pro coaches haven’t corrected them yet.

  124. marco says:

    Most followers of USA soccer never liked the defense from day one.

  125. beachbum says:

    OR at least incorporating some of that USA strenghts into the gameplan.

    Geez, if the middle is clogged and the opposition backline is sqeezing everything forward, play a couple of balls over the top to the speedy forwards we have!

  126. beachbum says:

    I sure hope not. My hope is Hamid was brought in to the seniors because he was always going to be the keeper on this team, that’s it.

    No way is he better than Guzan, Rimando, others

    Goalies get better with age, Hamid is just a kid still

  127. beachbum says:

    this

  128. Taylor says:

    thats exactly what i thought. i think some players rested on their laurels a little after that massive victory. overconfidence is like a plague in a locker room and it only takes a few players to be out of sync for the whole system to fall apart, which it definitely did last night

  129. pancholama says:

    I watched the whole game, and have watched a couple of other games where Bunbury got minutes. Compared to Agudelo he is brick footed, slow in his decision making, largely clueless as to how to link up with his teammates, and his shooting / finishing touch is also poor. In the game v. Canada he showed that he was very good at hurtling over slide tackles to avoid getting injured and that’s about it. Put Terrence Body out here.

  130. Taylor says:

    i don’t understand why Terrence Boyd didn’t get the start over Bunbury

  131. marco says:

    When I said Jeffrey and Mix could find no one to play to, it implied Corona, etal.

  132. beachbum says:

    oh please, come down from on high

    Snap Judgment? Teal’s holey game has been known and discussed ad nauseum, and what happened last night was simply the latest proof that he does not belong, nothing “snap” about it, rather a continuing resume’ of performances that speak for themselves.

    what the H E double hockey sticks are you watching?

  133. beachbum says:

    no it didn’t, showed the opposite

  134. Mike says:

    Sean Johnson would’ve made those saves. Am I the only one who isn’t buying the Hamid hype?

  135. MC Pharaoh says:

    Neither of them really impress me at this time. Boyd’s technical game is really raw & Bunbury’s tactical side is really raw so they are 2 very incomplete forwards who really annoy me at this point in time tbh. Dont get me wrong, they arent bad but those sides of their game really hurt the team when they need them to do the simple things correctly. Missing Juan did indeed hurt us which makes me want to see Altidore in the group if we qualify for the olympics.

  136. predicto says:

    Candid words from Porter. I’m still impressed with the guy. I hope the outcome of this tournament doesn’t change his approach to U23 play.

  137. ld says:

    I have read many different places, USA fans comparing this U23 team to Barcelona and Spain, and comparing this result to the USA 2 Spain 0 game at confed cup. People claiming that Bob Bradley invented the bunker and counter attack game plan! Are these people that delusional? They really think the USA is that good? There are no household names or world superstars on this USA team. Why are the expectations so high? USA is not a world power!!! These USA u23 players are just as arrogant as their fans I guess…

  138. CRK says:

    Same as after the first game, people calling for more Gyau. He was courageous and silly kinds of fast but again totally unwilling – for the second game in a row – to get the ball anywhere near his left foot.

    My two cents…Penny 1: if we need greater presence out wide, and Gyau is the guy you want to provide it, he has to play on the right side and cross instead of on the left side and cut in. All he did was further clog up the middle and lose the ball. Penny 2: the game didn’t, in fact, require greater width, it required creativity through the middle. Canada’s strength was their physicality – as demonstrated by the nature of their goals. Crossing the ball, which I see as the ultimate end of creating width, when we only had one presence in the box was never likely to be effective even if the crosses where coming. Which, of course, in light of Penny 1: they weren’t.

  139. Andy says:

    Ahhhh it’s doomsday! We’re finished! And all that sh!t… Now, good news is we already beat Mexico 2-0, so if we do have to play them, it’s not the end of the world. Teams have bad games, but it doesn’t make them bad teams

  140. marco says:

    Is it Porter’s fault that Hamid likes to catch crosses at his chest? Is it Porter’s fault that Opara cannot turn without slipping and sliding? No, but it is his fault for selecting, and playing them. I am baffled that MLS coaches have done so poorly with these young men.

  141. Andy says:

    Well Sapong is too old so he would have to be an overage player once the Olympics start.

  142. Good Look says:

    It’s refreshing to see intelligent discussion on this comment thread that didn’t resort to name-calling or trolling. A credit to SBI readers.

  143. prizby says:

    enjoy the Canadians version of Benedict Arnold…may he lead the US to glory like Arnold did for the British!

  144. Conrad says:

    Nonsensical?
    “Agudelo is the answer” is a bit epigrammatic, I agree. But it’s not that random to say he is the “answer” (in an Allan Iverson, crucial player usage).
    And Jozy is certainly available to play with the team in the Olympics. And he wouldn’t need to take up one of the veteran spots.

    You forgot the “T” in your name, _wat.

  145. Brett says:

    It’s certainly his fault for not correcting those bad habits…

  146. H2Oman says:

    Wow…. Absolute euphoria, proclamations of Porter as heading up the Nats, talk of Olympic medals. A day later it’s all doom and gloom and hand wringing. It’s life… full of obstacles, challenges, things that don’t go as planned… other teams that want to make the Olympics and will fight their hearts out. I say it’s much better to lose now… to have the wake up call while there is time to respond than a wake up go home call in the semis.

    THE ASSIGNMENT HAS NOT CHANGED ONE BIT- YOUR PERSPECTIVE HAS!
    Fact: from day 1- they knew they needed 2 wins to make the semis. From day 1, the semis was a must win game. Today it stands at- one more win in group, one win in semis. I’m confident they’ll recover and take care of business against El Salvador. Not an unreasonable to ask to advance. Can this team beat Mexico or Honduras in the semis? Hell yes. I don’t see either team bunkering down like Canada did, so the game should be more to their liking and if they do I’d suspect they’ll be better prepared.

    So, the only question that remains is the same one asked coming into the tourney. You have the skills, but do you have the backbone and balls? I think Porter and the boys will respond… guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  147. beachbum says:

    not doomsday, but somehting that makes you sit up and take notice, yes?

  148. JCC says:

    Funny how US fans cry when fans of other national teams don’t give them credit for winning against a stronger side, yet USMNT supporters show their hypocricy when they basically do the exact same thing. Give credit where it’s due. Canada played a great game and their coach implemented a smart strategy to win this game.

  149. beachbum says:

    I like your post.

    on Penny 2, man, I want to agree, but what I saw was a lack in the middle to create due to
    1. Canada’s approach, and
    2. USA players that seemed more tired than their opponents from jump in the midfield

    Canada closed space relentlessly from all 10 like energizer bunnies and squeezed the middle from all angles. Canada knew our intentions on how we’d play and stacked their D to deny it and challenge other aspects

    Perhaps if it was Game 1 the US midfield would have been better legged to deal, who knows? but they couldn’t create thru the middle but not for lack of trying, and the flank attacks to counter that Canadian tactics were constant, they didn’t produce

    on Penny 1, maybe Gyau on the right. Have to believe that he starts this 3rd game in 5 days for sure tho.

  150. derekT says:

    give up already on the possession style and go back to the counter-attacking, physical play.
    It suits the US strengths……just tweek it a little.

  151. Pepe says:

    exactly @ beachbum.
    I thought americans prided themselves on out hustling, working & being more physical that the opposition.

    the USA has some of the biggest, strongest & fastest futbol players…..start using their talents correctly & quit trying to play like the spanish.

  152. marco says:

    The odds have certainly changed greatly, just math.

  153. marco says:

    The USA was out physical-ed by Canada, all over the pitch.

  154. derekT says:

    you are right. maybe its because the USMNT is so worried about style-points nowadays.

  155. john says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Agudelo’s tactical awareness is his best asset?

  156. john says:

    I would love to find these comments where people are comparing the USA U-23s to Barcelona. That comment invalidates the rest of what you said.

  157. The Imperative Voice says:

    I agree with the poster who mentioned the number of repeat players, I thought a key difference was they looked fresher. Coaching decision.

    I was a tsd befuddled by pulling Corona, by resisting putting Gyau and Shea on field together. By insisting on the 433. Okugo late. Coaching decisions.

    Agudelo is going to cramp our style unless we move someone like Shea or Corona forward. Need more skill up top.

    Hamid was responsible on the first goal but I’m more worried in the bigger picture about the defense. Even though Canada was finishing the dead balls they were getting free looks at the 18.

    We’re going to earn this one game at a time. ES tied Canada and had a healthy Cuba win, 4-0. Then it will be a toughie versus Mexico or Honduras for the London spot. Tad worried Porter doesn’t have a good rotation or tactical flexibility going for us to be fresh for the semi.

  158. dan says:

    Playing Mexico is really a 50/50. Mexico had missing players on the last game, and like you said teams have bad games.

  159. Andy says:

    Oh yeah, definitely something to take notice of! I’m not trying to minimize the loss because it was definitely bad, but I don’t want it to get overdone, which seems to happen a ton in the US soccer community.

  160. Droo says:

    DC’s goalkeeping coach is Pat Onstad… a CANADIAN!!! I sense a conspiracy! Onstad must be intentionally teaching Hamid bad habits.

  161. CRK says:

    Thanks for the response!

    It was admittedly hard for me to watch the game and see clearly where the problems lay for us. I think,as you suggested, it is probably the case that our boys had tired legs from the Cuba game. Kudos to the Canadian coach for managing the short turnaround better than Porter. Were it not for the tired leg problem, I think the key would’ve been sharp passing through that midfield triangle – Canada’s high pressure not withstanding. They are big and physical and we didn’t have the personnel to match up to them in the box as far as I could tell: no experienced target man.

    That said, the tiredness complication does suggest that fresh (and fast) legs on the flanks could be the only productive way to unlock the defense. However, if that is what we were going for, Gyau failed to implement the strategy by cutting inside to his preferred foot and being stymied every time. I found it painful to watch and, frankly, I can’t see him being especially productive at a high level unless he learns to use his other boot.

    I like your last point and I’d be very interested to see what Gyau could do as a right sided attacker or as a second forward where he could run at the hearts of the defense. Both of those roles seem better suited to the way he has been approaching the past two games.

  162. beachbum says:

    Thank you too man.

    let’s see what Porter does. Gyau could be a player, in the 3rd game in 5 days for all, who is rested and equipped to do damage; where does Porter deploy him? Maybe Corona is helped by not going 90, too. And who starts as the target man? If Bunbury, do we incorpoarate some tactics that better suit his abilities?

    I expect Porter to get it right. I do believe he’s an excellent coach. And I expect the team, down to the last man, to come up with the best efforts of their collective lives to keep their Olympic Dreams alive.

    El Salvador will come with that too. Game can’t start soon enough baby!

  163. sir coble says:

    Mixx appeared to be playing with heart throughout the match.

  164. Ben says:

    Bunbury is a practice legend and game disaster.

  165. Judging Amy says:

    Agreed. For all the hype surrounding Boyd on SBI (some said we might lose him to Germany’s NT!) from people who can’t have seen him play all that much, he has justified very little of it on the field.

    Not saying dude won’t eventually be good or anything, but from the admittedly little I’ve seen he appears nothing special.

  166. MiamiAl says:

    There goes watching the Olympics…

  167. beachbum says:

    @ Pepe. ha ha

    yet off…more like do both, aim for both.

    Germany does. Physical technicians.. Mueller is awesome at the counter, Ozil orchestrates in his ways too, and they crunch and run hard all day.

    crude example, but German :)

  168. pancholama says:

    Sorry about that – I was pretty sure it was Boyd, not Body, but I drank the Koolaid listening to that self righteous British ponce call the game on the CONCACAF web stream.

  169. Judging Amy says:

    “I was a tsd befuddled by pulling Corona, by resisting putting Gyau and Shea on field together. By insisting on the 433. Okugo late. Coaching decisions.”

    Absolutely. Great points here.

  170. dave says:

    The olympic team needs to play more matches and be a full four year program.I am tired of the same or similar format that CONCACAF has used for this level since 2000. The current format has seen many upsets and never seen the two best teams emerge. (Thus, the overall Olympic performances for CONCACAF have suffered.)Honduras beat Mexico in 2000; then Mexico underperforms in the group stage and beats 2004 group winner U.S. In 2008, Guatemala dives in the last group game, thus Mexico misses the semifinals and now the U.S. loses to Canada.
    The one time the U.S. won at Mexico was in 1992 qualifiers when they actually played more games a home and away group schedule for example. People should get the email for Chuck Blazer at chuckblazer.blogspot.com and ask for a much longer process with home and away group games for Brazil 2016 on FIFA international dates starting soon after the 2013 u-20 World Cup.
    Hiring a college coach with no pro coaching experience is coaching to fail. Yet, we can’t blame Porter for a second goal that should not have counted and the handball situation I read. Unfortunately, it looks like Panama referee standards have not improved as much as their team in recent years. Funny how the next day Panama was denied a legit second goal with a referee who probably got a talking point from CONCACAF.

  171. marco says:

    A major tournament that only plays once every four years, is not a youth tryout. Bunbury has not suddenly dropped in stature. He has fallen below 3 to 4 of his peers at the U23′s based on months of play. He has also fallen behind his young teammate CJ at SKC. It is not the responsibility of the Olympic coach to nurture him.

  172. MicahK says:

    Bumbury LMBO.