Gomez impresses in rare USMNT start

USMNT0530121174

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

LANDOVER, Md. – Herculez Gomez is not unfamiliar with taking advantage of opportunities, and it appears he has made the most of a chance once again.

In his first start with the U.S. men's national team in nearly two years, Gomez put forth an impressive outing in a 4-1 loss to Brazil on Saturday night at FedEx Field that included a goal that trimmed a 2-0 deficit. His 90-minute outing against the Brazilians was also impressive for other reasons, such as his ability to draw fouls and the kind of runs he made off the ball. And all those elements combined may have just won him a starting role with the team for the near future.

"I think we found a striker that is very mobile in Herculez, one that is a fighter, that keeps defenders busy, that is also nasty to do certain things," said head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "That's important, that's good to see. That gives more movement up front there, because we're not scoring enough goals yet, so we've go to give that message to our strikers to go for it, and Herculez did a good job."

Gomez was handful for the Brazilian defenders from the opening whistle. He repeatedly drew fouls in dangerous positions, and part of that was because of how well he did with his back towards goal. But he was also dangerous attacking the goal, making constant runs against the likes of Thiago Silva and Juan.

Showing those abilities in training during the past week and his experience playing in big games are the reasons Klinsmann said he decided to start the World Cup veteran over youngster Terrence Boyd, who got the nod and fared well in the Americans' 5-1 victory over Scotland this past Saturday.

Klinsmann, however, is not the only one in the U.S. camp to notice those qualities.

"Herc's one of those really greedy goalscorers who plays for the team," said goalkeeper Tim Howard. "He's always looking for goal, he's always looking for that half a yard to get a shot. He came on against Scotland, it was 5-1. He doesn't care, he wants a goal.

"He played well tonight. For a little guy he's strong, he digs his heels in, heads the ball well, he buys us fouls. Herc was good. I like the way he runs the line, he comes inside the defender and then he runs beyond them and he poses problems. And his record in Mexico is fantastic so it just goes to show you."

Gomez's goal-scoring ways in Mexico in recent years have been well-documented. Following a journeyman career in MLS, Gomez was one of three players to share the spoils of the Golden Boot during the 2010 Clausura campaign when he scored 10 goals for Puebla (Mexican international Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Peruvian striker Johan Fano were the others) in his first year in Mexico's first division.

That helped earn him a roster spot on the 2010 World Cup team from the United States, and he followed that up with decent stints at Pachuca in 2010-2011 and Estudiantes Tecos in 2011. He then joined Santos Laguna this past December, and he played a role in helping them win the Clausura title this past season.

"I don't think I'm the same player that I was when I played (in) MLS, and I hope it doesn't look like that," said Gomez. "I hope you guys see a man that's kind of grown into his skin, that's kind of taking more of a responsibility and is kind of relishing an opportunity and the challenge."

Gomez pointed out following the loss to Brazil that his time with Santos Laguna was beneficial to his growth as a player. But it also hurt how he entered the U.S. training camp this summer, as Santos won the championship three days prior to Gomez heading to Orlando, Fla.

It is not as if Gomez was out of shape, but he was not up to par with the rest of the American players who had been doing up to three sessions a day with Klinsmann in the hot and humid weather in Central Florida.

"I was kind of behind the eight ball," said Gomez. "I came in and literally an hour after my flight I was doing fitness testing, so I knew if I had any chance of playing in any of these games – and playing against Brazil is something special, and this is a game I wanted to play – I'd have to give it my all and leave it all on these training sessions.

"Thankfully (Klinsmann) gave me an opportunity and whether it was enough to merit an opportunity, I don't know, I still haven't spoken to Jurgen. But I'm excited for the chance to keep working and the chance to keep trying to better myself as a player."

If the past is any indication, Gomez will take complete advantage of that chance.

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

99 Responses to Gomez impresses in rare USMNT start

  1. scott says:

    it’s about time Herculez is getting his due. I thought he was the a bright spot in a dismal US performance. I really hope he gets more playing time in the future.

    Go Herc!!!

  2. JGD says:

    The most impressive thing I saw was Gomez backtracking and stealing the ball away. In our own box. I’m not sure if that’s an indictment of our defense or a testament to Gomez though.

    Can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen Altidore track back that deep to help on defense. A goal and would-be assist from Gomez. Most complete performance from a U.S. forward I’ve seen in some time.

  3. bryan says:

    he did very well last night. much better than i thought he would as the lone striker. i absolutely stand corrected! and he did it against brasil. i was at the game, and in the second half the USA was attacking on my side. i remember thinking how good his runs were. he kept getting behind them and causing problems. and his work rate is FAN.FING.TASTIC!

  4. Mat says:

    I’d like to see us play in a 2 striker formation.

    Howard
    Dolo, Gooch/Goodson, Boca, Johnson
    Jones, Bradley
    Donnovan, Dempsey
    Altidore, Gomez

    I still like Gooch as a defender, despite his horrible game vs Brazil, which I will put on account of his recent return from injury and lack of game sharpness. When fit and ready, Gooch is still a beast, as proven by his great success in the Portuguese first division. If he’s not 100%, give Goodson the nod, he’s solid enough.

  5. bryan says:

    i remember thinking the same thing. and that comes down to the type of player gomez is. never lazy. always working.

  6. biff says:

    I liked this guy so much last night, totally impressed with him. He has a nice touch and good ball-handling skills, can hold up play, can play with his back to the net or attack and is cool, calm and collected and passes well. I noticed he was even chattering with the Brazilians, sometimes with a smile on his face, but he also was not afraid to get physical with them. I see him as a winger, leaving the forward slot open for Jozy or Boyd or whoever. When Boyd came into the game last night to pair up with Herc, along with the additions of Dempsey and then Beckerman to take over the lone defensive midfielder slot that Michael Bradley was playing and then MB moving into an offensive role, the USMNT was attackin’ and rockin’, man. And that was even after Castillo had replaced the great Fabian Johnson. If that had been the squad from the beginning with Geoff Cameron starting and with a fresh Fabian, we might have seen a USMNT win last night.

    In any case, if last night was not a one time fluke and Gomez can regularly play at that inspired level, I would say he is a bona fide starter and is going to be scoring goals and possibly winning a ticket to a club in Europe, which he recently said he wants.

  7. dcm says:

    Yep, i saw that 3 or four times during the game, and you see Jones and Donovan kind of jogging back behind him. Very impressed with Gomez.

  8. Patrick Starr says:

    I remember when play where hulk (or another Brazilian) intercepted the ball in the midfield and made a run into the US defence…Gomez came streaming back and helped on the D.

  9. marco says:

    Gomez was good, and Gooch was bad, but what about Klinsmann?
    I must assume Klinsmann was honest when he said he wanted to win these 5 matches. Then why did he make 3 disturbing decisions prior to the game and fail to correct them at halftime?
    1. Gooch is not fit, mentally or physically. Klinsi should have known this prior, or at least removed him later.
    2. Dolo and Donovan were getting over-run on the USA right all night, yet he never altered the tactics or formation.
    3. Edu should not play forward of Bradley and Jones, he doesn’t have the ball skills.
    Klinsmann did not look like a coach going all out to win.
    Strangely the USA wins this if Gooch and Donovan didn’t have such bad outings. The days are numbered for these two great warriors, 2014, may be a bridge too far for both.

  10. MikeAd82 says:

    You are right Biff, Herc was one of wo players that did not look overwhelmed by the mighty Brazilians, the other being Johnson. Gomez played with a sense of urgency that the other players need to adopt…ASAP!

  11. Mike says:

    Exciting player.

    Was always really upset that he was cast aside for Findley and the likes under Coach Bradley.

  12. MensreaJim says:

    “Gomez works hard and scores goals.” Good work, Herr Sherlock.

    I’m a Jozy believer, but it’s been clear for two years that Herc needs to be in the rotation.

  13. juice says:

    nice to see we have 3 versatile options at forward…

    jozy for strength
    herc for positioning/finishing
    boyd for spark/speed…

    now if we could only combine all 3

  14. majorrealitycheck says:

    perfectly said

    1 – Edu is just not that great at international level – Shouldn’t ever see the field if there is a healthy Danny Williams or Stuart Holden
    2 – Gooch is done – good defender but lacks the skills necessary to play out of the back – goodson should take his spot
    3 – Johnson is pure class – that move he pulled in the box was tremendous
    4 – gomez certainly has a spot on this team – good to see a few forwards fighting for a spot – competition does great things

    Lastly, it’s scary when our almost #1 team is outplayed and outclassed by Brazil’s OLYMPIC team!

  15. Dennis says:

    To be fair, Gomez struggled at times in MLS and Mexico until the most recent season. He had always some good runs and some bad ones, He was more consistent last season and that turned up as a better performance for the USMNT than he had given previously. Simply put, Gomez is a better player now than he was 2 years ago.

  16. crocajun1003 says:

    Here’s my analysis on Herc:

    Herc is an incredibly opportunistic and scrappy player that puts himself in fantastic positions. He is an absolute poacher, and I mean that as a high compliment. He makes smart runs, is a tireless runner, has a bit of flair, and is always looking to score.

    The knock I have against Herc is around his hold up game. Go back and watch the replay and try to find the number of times the midfielders were able to find Herc in an advance position with his back to goal. It just didn’t happen. Whether he was not making himself available as a target player or whether the team just didn’t feel comfortable playing him the ball I’m not sure. His best plays as a holdup player were drawing fouls against players who ran into him from behind.

    For these reasons I wouldn’t want to see Herc start as point man unless we switch to a two forward formation. He is a great option off the bench to add a spark and look for goals when the game opens up, but he’s not the grinding type of forward we need in the early stages of the game to make JKs lone striker system work.

    What do you guys think?

  17. Mark says:

    I do not mean to negative for negative’s sake, but I am not a fan of Jozy Altidore and I am a huge fan of Herculez Gomez.

    Herculez tracks back to help out in the defense. He fights hard for every ball. He has a great hard shot with accuracy. He does not shy away from hard tackles.

    and mostly…..He plays with heart!

  18. Joel J says:

    Maybe some good soccer minds can help me out on this: Any possibility of the USA playing more of a 3-5-2 with:

    ————-Howard————-
    Dolo———-Boca———-Johnson
    ——–Edu———-Jones———
    ————-Bradley—————
    —Donovan————Torres——-
    ——–Dempsey——————–
    —————-Altidore/Gomez—–

    We’re not so hot on our CB’s while Edu has experience at the position so he could track back if necessary while Jones can hold and clean up the mess in the middle.

  19. elgringorico says:

    I would just like to say THAT… I said Herc should start over Boyd and a few people jumped down my throat saying they “didn’t play the same position.” At the time my internet feelings were hut, and now they have been restored to full confidence. Soliloquy complete.

  20. Mike says:

    That was pretty much Brazil’s top squad. It just happens that most of their best players are really young.

  21. Joel J says:

    Gomez won the Golden Boot in the World Cup year, that’s pretty much how he made the squad.

  22. Joel J says:

    Minus a few players: Alves, Lucio, Julio Cesar, that’s gonna be their top squad.

  23. elgringorico says:

    I think that this team is closer to a full strength Brazil squad than most think.

  24. Mat says:

    1- Edu is fine for his role. He did well in the other friendlies. Vs France he was excellent, in fact. No one in midfield had a good game vs Brazil save Bradley who was great.

    2- “Gooch is done” – let me get this straight: a player who has one of the best central defenders in one of the stronger European leagues (Portugal) when he was on the field is “done”? Gooch had a bad game because he wasn’t match sharp. Once he’s 100%, he’ll be a beast once again.

    Lastly, Brazil’s “Olympic” team is laden with superstars playing on Champion League teams and whatnot. They’re not your prototypical U-23 side by any measure.

  25. Joel J says:

    My only logic to why Edu played in front of Bradley and Jones (and I wondered this for a long time), was that Klinsmann knew that Brazil would press deep into their attacking half. Thus he would much rather have Bradley, who doesn’t have a clank foot, there to control the ball and distribute out of their attacking third.

  26. Mark says:

    Although Jozy has a very athletic build and very well may be strong, he usually does not go in hard for tackles or fight hard for 50/50 balls.

    He actually typically shies away from going up for headers in the box and will opt to see if the ball will miraculously fall to his feet.

    It’s like he’s scared. Maybe he just doesn’t want to get hurt and ruin his club career.

  27. kevdflb says:

    100% Agreed – Herc was doing the sort of “first defender” work that we rarely see from Altidore.

  28. marco says:

    “Gooch had a bad game because he wasn’t match sharp…”
    That falls on Klinsmann for putting him out there. And if your trying to win all 5 as Klinsmann said, you don’t do that.

  29. crocajun1003 says:

    In a 3 CB formation the 3 CBs have to remain back at all times. This kills Johnson’s ability to go forward and thus removes one of our best attacking options. It’s a formation teams use when they don’t have players like Johnson.

  30. marco says:

    That makes sense if Edu is taken out and Torres is used in that spot or forward.

  31. sandtrout says:

    I’d add Michael Bradley to that list. And all three combined for the one goal. The rest of the players were either average or poor.

  32. Joel J says:

    I don’t agree with Edu playing there if that was the reason, but that’s all I got.

  33. Julio says:

    I think Jozy’s days as a starter could be numbered. Both Boyd and Herc are bringing more to the table then he is.

    I suspect he’ll get a look at Canada but then, so will the competition

  34. Joel J says:

    I see and Klinsmann is stressing attacking from the wings and going forward so we’d never play this formation. Oh well, an idea.

  35. louis z says:

    well said. how many times have we heard GOOCH wasn’t match ready during the past couple of years. when is people going to realize that he is not that good. as to him being a top CB on a good porto team, I believe he has been sub out because of his playing. he is either hot or cold. consistancy is the trade mark of a good player.

  36. Angel of Los Angeles says:

    I’m glad yesterday he proved that he belongs with this team and I hope he can continue until 2014, We pretty much and good forwards corps with the like of Jozy, Boyd and Hercules with Dempsey and Donovan that can be used as forward also. Now we need to bring our own Neymar (Gyau)with his speed and technical we could has used him against Brazil, And soon I can’t wait for Adu, Holden and Gatt to be incorporated into this Squad.

  37. Siberian says:

    I feel comfortable calling Gomez our #2 striker. Boyd is probably #3. I’d like to see Wondolowski play a little more.

  38. louis z says:

    sorry if we hurt your feeling but there is some truth to it. Gomez is capable to play as the single guy up on top but he is ALOT better if he is paired up with a Boyd/Jozy player.

  39. Mark says:

    I feel more comfortable calling Gomez our #1 striker.

  40. John says:

    Great analysis and everything you said was accurate. However, what should also be considered are the intangibles that Gomez brings to the table, e.g. tireless work ethic, plays two way football (offense and defense), etc… which opens up the game and makes it possible for him to be such an effective poacher. I don’t disagree with your statement about him being a supersub but I think he would also thrive as a starter because of the aforementioned qualities.

  41. Mark says:

    Also to be fair, Jozy has struggled probably even more. At the club level, he is having a good year in Holland, but before that he bombed at Hull and even at a club in Turkey.

    For the USMNT he really hasn’t done much at all given the amount of chances he has received. And, please don’t bring up that side-footed pass/goal that Iker Casillas should have easily stopped for Spain in the Confederations Cup.

  42. Travis says:

    Good post.

  43. PD says:

    I agree with Timmy Howard’s observation after the match last night where he said that that there have been many matches where the US has lost or tied where they looked much worse than last night.

    I think that we saw some interesting pieces coming together as well as some combinations that did not work last night.

    In all the there quality of players and mindset and style are all going in the right direction, execution was lacking and a few unlucky calls here and there didn’t help either. It was interesting to see who could deal with how tightly Brasil pressed and who could not. On the whole the guys seemed pretty resilient and patient in terms of absorbing the pressure, but many could not quite find the way to press back, so as a team they had to wait until Brasil would let up in order to assert themselves. Most top 10 teams will do that, so this was a good lesson.

    Dempsey and Johnson paring = fantastic

    Bradley = this kid just gets better and better.

    Jones = a fully integrated member of this current team. Really glad he’s gelled.

    Edu lined up in front of Bradley and Jones = not as effective, but not a reason to bench Edu when playing a 4-5-1/4-3-3. Holden and Beckerman and Williams will still need to outplay Edu for that role to no longer be his.

    Gomez = possessing many of the elements that made losing Charlie Davies such a blow to the US. His work rate, finishing and constant running will open up more space for Jozy, Deuce and Landon, not to mention Bradley and Jones and the fullbacks. His being on the field makes everyone else more dangerous. If he stays healthy there is no reason at all to think he can’t contribute in 2014.

    Torres = still learning, but great prospect. f he could learn to be a little tougher (or as JK puts it “nastier”) I see a time where he’s a lock as a starter. Having his passing skill on the field is a must when playing a 4-5-1/4-3-3. In a 4-4-2 though for the near future I see him losing his spot to the added striker.

    Gooch and Boca = still our best pairing, but were sorely tested last night night plus not at their sharpest. I refuse to jump on the Gooch is done bandwagon, but he did look bit outclassed last night, even with the understanding that Brasil will abuse any backline. That said, I hope Ream and Goodson and Parkhurt and Cameron and John keep working very hard, as one of them needs to emerge as, to use a previous posters term, an impact player, not just competent.

    Cherundolo = while still our best option at right back for a good long while, with Timmy Chandler being so coy finding his heir is going to become a big priority. I don’t know if Parkhurt is the answer at fullback or as a centerback who is good with the ball at his feet under pressure.

    Bring on Canada. Hope we paste these guys.

  44. PD says:

    4-4-2:

    ——-Gomez–Jozy——
    Dempsey———-Donovan
    —–Jones—-Bradley—–
    Johnson———Cherundolo
    ——Boca—-Gooch——
    ——–Howard———–

    4-5-1/4-3-3:

    ———Altidore———-
    Dempsey———-Donovan
    –Torres/Jones—Bradley—
    ——–Jones/Edu———
    Johnson–Boca-Gooch–‘dolo

  45. PetedeLA says:

    Please don’t bring back the days of arguing whether or not to play three in the back.

    Johnson is a wing back, not a center back. And Dolo is a also not a center back. Like someone else said, center backs need to stay back (most of the time) and cover that box.

    If you really watch a top team play with 4 in the back, you will see why they have made 3-5-2 basically obsolete. The defenders are much quicker and smarter nowadays. On offense they stretch wide INSTANTLY and cover the “rear end” of the team. If you play three back there, you basically lose a man that you can put up in midfield or up front.

    Like others have said, Gooch looked pathetic out there– slow and clumsy. He did not look like one of the top 11 soccer players in this country. That goes on Klinsmann. He should have seen that he wasn’t ready.

    He should also have seen that maybe Donovan was gassed.

    As far as this respect issue goes, it begins with the commentators.

    The only thing exceptional about Brasil was how skillful they were.

    All of their goals were due to stupid, coachable mistakes.

    1st goal. Gooch shouldn’t have been anywhere near that field.

    2nd goal. Anybody can score on a corner. You just need to be defend properly against it. Klinsmann is slipping in the one area where Bob was competent.

    The rest were variations of the same theme.

    This is where the problem started. The main 2 differences between this game and the last one was that 1. Scotland was TERRIBLE. They couldn’t defend to save their lives. 2. We had three players on the field who were overwhelmed.

    Gooch, Edu, and Torres were not ready for this match. They are good players, and they have a future in a US uniform, but they were not capable of being part of an upset on this day. I don’t rate Edu’s skills, but he was definitely more effective behind Jones and Bradley.

    Parkhurst was also a fool for allowing himself to get duped by Neymar’s simple school boy antics. I wouldn’t even have fallen for that!

    On the positive side,—

    1. I think we should go back to the midfield triangle of (with Edu in front of the defense):

    —-Bradley————-Jones

    —————Edu

    2. We found out Gomez is a hungry beast.

    3. We learned that Donovan can be awesome. But maybe not two games in a row.

    4. Michael Bradley has become mister consistency. I’m so glad he went to Italy, because it has really improved his game. I would not be surprised to see him playing Champions League soccer in a few years.

  46. Jermaine Jones is the man says:

    Everybody now knows that against the Brazils and the Spains and the Germanys we are woefully exposed at both centerback positions and right back. For those of you wwatch the Bundesliga carfully, this won’t be a surprise, but I’ll tell you how we can shock the world and advance to the finals in Brazil.

    1) Chandler at right back. Promise him a starting role at his natural position. Let him sleep with Joan. Whatever it takes.

    2) Danny Williams at CB. His injury this year came at an unfortunate time, but watch how he plays that position next year in the Bundesliga. He obviously has the kind of lateral quickness the absence of which has always been Gooch’s main weakness. He is fast enough to cover up mistakes along the back line. And he is freakishly strong. Perhaps most importantly for Klinsy’s system, he can play the ball out of the back calmly. All Williams needs is experience, and he’ll continue to get that in one of the top leagues.

    3) An unexpected blossoming/revelation to pair with a healthy and increasingly experienced Danny Williams. Tim Ream or Geoff Cameron look like the likeliest candidates right now. But both would have to make that giant leap forward. If no one emerges the best pairing might be Danny Williams and Goodson rather than Williams and Bocanegra.

    4) With our Bundesliga+1 back line who plays where up front really doesn’t matter very much. Bradley, Jones, Torres, Dempsey, Boyd, Gomez and Altidore are the seven guys likely to be most indispensable. The great leap forward on offense will be the healthy rivalry between Altidore and Boyd. Altidore will rise to the challenge of competing with a player every bit as talented as himself (arguably moreso), and the result is that both achieve what is, by the relatively low standards of US attackers, undeniable greatness.

    5) The only real controversy will be Donovan being pushed into a bench role. Much of what we have counted on Donovan doing on the wings will fall to Chandler and Johnson overlapping from the back with various combinations of MB, Torres and Gomez. Dempsey’s continued brilliance makes Donovan’s link-up play redundant in the middle. Donovan will get his 50th goal and his Scotland hat trick will be remembered as his last great performance.

  47. bryan says:

    ok, now you are taking this too far. Jozy is absolutely a starter. what’s nice now is that he has two players that will be putting tons of pressure on him to perform.

  48. Frank says:

    Gomez reminds me so much of Chicharito. Good runs, good heading ability for being shorter, and good poaching instincts. At the very least Gomez is the perfect super sub.

  49. msknutson says:

    +1

  50. bryan says:

    actually no, he was never subbed out on a regular basis for Porto. he started and played 90 minutes every game until he got hurt (or got a red…haha). when he came back, he got his spot back immediately and would be subbed out due to a lack of 90 minute fitness.

    people, gooch is NOT done. this is ridiculous. if only i had a dime for every time a US fan said a player was done after a bad showing…

    i remember when goodson had a bad game and people said he was done and that gooch should have played. now it’s the exact opposite. simply put, JK was wrong for playing gooch last night. he should have started goodson and brought gooch in. then let gooch start against canada and go from there.

  51. FCD96 says:

    ^100% AGREE^

  52. crocajun1003 says:

    Sir, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  53. elgringorico says:

    I like it… pretty in-depth and surprising at the same time, esp. your call of Scotland being Landy’s last great game!

    The only thing though: Chandler. Planning for his inclusion at this point seems silly. Better to just fugghedda about him and be pleasantly surprised if for some reason it works out.

  54. bryan says:

    Good post. You have to remember, some US fans seem to have extremely short memories. Having said that, I think Williams would be interesting to try in that (Edu’s) role when healthy.

  55. Phil says:

    Gomez was great last night he’s class on the field and off. We all talk about wanting the players to be committed to the USMNT (looking at you chandler). This guy when he didnt get a call up for the france game came down to Las Vegas and watched the match with the American Outlaws chapter there and became a member. Think about that how many other players can say even when I am not called up and am sitting on the sides I am here as a supporter with fellow supporters. Plus it helped that he bought the whole bar a round to say thanks for supporting him during the world cup. Class act and deserves eveything that comes to him!

  56. PetedeLA says:

    I’d love to have Chandler back, but I wouldn’t forget about Lichaj.

    He held his own in the Premiere League.

    But if I’m being honest, I’d beg Chandler to come back on bended knee.

  57. bryan says:

    to be fair, Jozy was on a terrible Hull team and he still managed to score 2 goals and notch 3 assists.

    for the USA, 13 goals and 3 assists in 46 caps. that puts him tied for 10th on top USA goal scorers list. he’s only two behind Cobi, 4 behind Beasley.

    in fact, if you look at Dempsey, he has 25 goals in 84 caps. if you do the math, that means Jozy has the same strike rate as Dempsey and is on par to at least match Dempsey as it stands right now. so no, your idea that he hasn’t done much is unfounded and an opinion not based in facts.

  58. MLStoRaleigh says:

    I think this is the exact reason. Got to put your best midfielder in that role.

  59. bryan says:

    pretty good analysis i think. but i disagree about torres. he was one of the only good looking players in the first half. he was the only one trying to be creative and was actually putting out some nice moves and passes. enough that my entire section noticed it and started talking about how he looked good. but then he dropped off and came out early for Dempsey.

  60. bryan says:

    i was one of those people and i still think it to be true. but like i said above, he played that role much better than i thought he would. either way, they are both two different types of strikers. but JK didn’t really have a choice in the matter and clearly wanted a more experienced player against brazil.

  61. PetedeLA says:

    OK. I’ll concede it was poorly written.

    I’m pressed for time.

    My main points were this:

    1. Three in the back is obsolete.That is in response to Joel J.
    2. 3 players shouldn’t have been in the starting eleven: Edu, Gooch, and Torres.
    3. Brazil was good, but our poor defending made them seem better than they were.
    4. Everyone was talking about how good Brazil was— from Taylor Twellman to Juergen Klinsmann. But the goals we conceded could have been conceded against any team. They were strong, but the first two goals were given away far too easily for a team of our caliber.

    I fully admit I rambled and the post was poorly written.

    But this is a bit much: “Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    In future, let’s leave God out of this please. And if you want to get personal, please just go on the other sites where petty squabbles are more commonplace.

  62. bryan says:

    good analysis. i basically agree with everything you just said. i’m hoping lichaj will continue to start next season for AV. i’d like to have him and chandler as our RBs.

  63. Tyler says:

    I was on the same side, just behind the goal. I liked his work-rate but I need slightly better touch from him (and the team in general). We had more than one foray into the final 3rd that was derailed by a poor touch one the ball

  64. bryan says:

    i need Studio 90 to do something on Johnson. this guy seems so quiet. i feel like i know nothing about him (personality wise). he seems like a reserved and humble guy. always seems to get out of the camera shots, etc. but then he tears it up on the field.

    also, boyd on the latest behind the crest video was cracking me up. when he called corona “dawg” i almost died laughing. and then his picture with the soldiers. too funny watching him position himself so he got a front facing picture since the solider couldn’t turn around.

    i love this team.

  65. Jeff says:

    He was just doing a little Billy Madison there.

  66. skyman says:

    I 100% agree with your statement, outside of Boyd. He’s still far behind Jozy, although a very competent hopeful.

    I love our team. .. ahhhh. . . just looking forward to a complete back line. Who will it be?

  67. Jeff says:

    My Internet feelings were hurt. Ha ha. I like it.

  68. Stephen says:

    I was not a fan of Gomez being brought in. I thought he was over his head the last few times I saw him in international play. That said, I was very impressed with his game. He was also in the face of Marcelo and others when things got chippy, which I hope rubs off on other players. Overall, I was very impressed with his game.

  69. Kaka says:

    Kaka? Ramires?

  70. Tyler says:

    Pete, thats from the movie “Billy Madison”. And I disagree with your Torres analysis. He made some mistakes yes, but he wasn’t as bad as you make him out to be.

  71. skyman says:

    Makes sense, AND, am I the only one who notices that Edu is a physical force, albeit with a lack of skill at the international level? He does very well (much better than Clark IMO) as a defensive mid, just doesn’t have the skills to distribute so well.

  72. Tyler says:

    Mad Men reference! I love it! Hell there aren’t many things I wouldn’t do if I could sleep with Joan.

  73. skyman says:

    That is a fair assessment. I’m warming up to the idea of having Herc play with a hold up forward (Boyd very well may do better than Jozy at this), so that Herc can take advantage of his strengths.

  74. Mwing09 says:

    “I think we found a striker that is very mobile in Herculez”. As I read that line I said to myself “because Jozy sure as hell isnt” haha.

  75. weaksauce says:

    I always thought him and buddle shouldve started in World Cup

  76. 2tone says:

    I’m all for having Cameron garner more minutes.

    I respect Gooch and what he has done in the past, but I will say that Cameron is the future at CB. We all know Boca will continue to play eventhough he may have been more worse than Gooch last night.

    Quite frankly it’s time to satrt looking at more RB options as well. If Chandler deceides he wants to play then great, but Lichaj and some MLS guys like Chance Myers and Steven Beitashour need to get some looks. Dolo is just not the same player he was two years ago.

  77. fortunate only says:

    No he didn’t.

    Javier Hernandez and Herculez split the golden boot since they scored the same amount of goals.

    Hernandez is considered the actual winner because he did it while playing less minutes than Gomez due to injury.

    Just because Ives keeps repeating it doesn’t actually make it accurate.

  78. Cervantes says:

    Kaka blows. Where have you been?

  79. b says:

    We also have Wondolowski, Agudelo, Sapong, Wooten…

  80. bryan says:

    dude, he turns 27 next month, 29 by the WC. i would not call him the “future”. he is another option to provide us depth while we wait for the future to come up. i think someone like Williams could be the future at CB for us.

    as for dolo, i agree. it’s time to start finding him official replacement in some our upcoming friendlies. gatt, lichaj, and chandler come to mind.

  81. bryan says:

    i agree. i need to see some better touches when we play big teams. sometimes they get too nervous and the ball just keeps rolling.

  82. dan says:

    Good or bad, Herculez is the American “Chicharito” many wanted; opportunistic, great runs and hard worker.

  83. PetedeLA says:

    More than a few times I saw Torres get tossed around like a rag doll. My internet connection was shoddy at best, so maybe I missed out on some of his better moments. But when I see a midfielder get pushed off the ball, beaten to the ball on a 50/50, missing crucial tackles, etc, it gives me pause.

    Having said that, I love the player. I just don’t think he was up to this match. But that’s just my opinion.

  84. Joel J says:

    I can’t find the stat, but I’m pretty sure Gomez played the least amount of minutes. Gomez was a super sub that year and he missed the last game. Can anyone find a stat on this. If you’re saying the “true” winner of the golden boot, it’s actually Herculez.

  85. I was formerly a Herc “hopeful” type, who didn’t believe he could deliver for the Nats on a consistent basis. I now think he’s consistently dangerous and his rise will only elevate the game of Altidore, who will either be paired with him or compete with him for a spot up top. Herc plays a refreshingly simple game, a lot like Dempsey, actually. He just has a nose for the goal.

  86. Boca getting muscled off that ball was just one of many examples of the difference in athleticism for the two teams. I wouldn’t read too much into it. As Donovan said the last time these two teams faced “we’re the best soccer players in the U.S., but they are the best athletes in Brazil”. The sheer size of the Brazilians was amazing and those same body types would be channeled into basketball or football if they grew up here in the U.S.. Donovan bounced off of Marcelo like a gnat hitting a truck windshield. And Neymar is just way fast.

  87. Scott says:

    Gooch has been good when? I keep hearing how good he is when fit. Getting fit won’t give him touch, because he never had it before. Getting fit won’t make him quick of foot. Never was before. Gooch isn’t what we need anymore. We need better touch and ball control. Also, keep in mind, when was the last time he played. We seem to have put together a 5 game winning streak and a squeaker against France. I don’t remember him starting any of those games. Goodson and Cameron are already better options with Ream having done quite well as a holding mid and CB in the PL. A much tougher league than where Gooch plies his trade. Fit doesn’t fix the problems Gooch has and age isn’t helpin either.

  88. bryan says:

    i totally forgot to share this story. the best part of my night yesterday at the game! my buddy and i leave the stadium and start heading towards the metro. anyone who has been to FedEx knows the metro is like a 15 minute walk. anyway, about half way there, we realize the development that was on our left walking in was not there. we soon realized we went the wrong way. so we start heading back to the stadium prepared for a 30 minute walk to the metro.

    as we are going pass the stadium, we see two buses with their interior lights on and cops on bikes in front of them. there was also some barriers and about 50ish people. we both looked at each other and realized those were the team buses and they were about to get on them. holy #%^@!!!

    sure enough, Boyd, Jones, Pato, and Luiz come out first. Pato and Luiz, I could see, but they were near their bus talking to fans and I wanted to be next to the USA bus. Boyd and Jones came right up to where I was (and many others, but i was right in front) and shook hands, signed autographs, took pictures, etc. so awesome. they both looked pretty mad about the loss, but were still really nice to the fans.

    after that, Bradley, LD, Gooch, Boca, Dempsey, Parkhurst, Johnson, Beckerman, Edu, and Klinsmann came up to the fans and did the same thing. we actually had a conversation with Dempsey (guy joked that he wanted to buy Clint’s shoes and Clint was like, “hell nah, i love these!”), Bradley and Klinsmann. it was awesome. you could tell they were all bummed about the game, but were still talkative and so nice. i love this team.

    the only player from the US who came out and didn’t talk to fans was Howard. he acknowledge everyone and waved, but he clearly wasn’t in a talking mood. which was too bad, but i get it. it was weird though because i never saw any of the players who didn’t make the bench get on the bus and i did not see Torres, Castillo, Corona, Dolo, Gomez, Rimando, and Goodson. maybe they snuck on.

    all i know is that im 27 and i probably looked like a middle school girl at a justin bieber concert. hahaha

    the brazil players were lame and only Pato and Luiz really talked to the fans. when their bus left Pato was waving through the window which was cool. klinsmann did the same thing and dempsey was texting.

  89. Scott says:

    When was the last time Gooch had a good USMNT outing? When was the last time he looked good for Jurgen? I am not saying that Gooch is done because of this outing. I am saying that Gooch has never recovered what he was before the injury. I don’t care how he looks for Porto. Goodson is better than Gooch and Goodson is a better fit than Gooch. Ream should be taking Gooch’s roster spot right now. Then he could be getting touches and experience. Instead we get to watch Gooch grow old before our eyes. EPL>Porto.

  90. Scott says:

    Struggled until the most recent season. That Golden boot (2010) must have been for the top struggler of the year.

  91. ben in el cajon says:

    Don’t forget Omar Gonzalez. In general we should have a giant/speedster combination at CB; one to cover the air and the other to cover for him when he cannot move quite fast enough. Gonzalez/Williams, or Gonzalez/ Ream even. Maybe Goodson instead of Gonzalez . . .

  92. vince says:

    that’s because Gomez lives in Vegas bro…

  93. Mark says:

    against what teams though? Most of those are concacaf teams and not even Mexico.

    Dude, I could score on Guadalupe.

  94. GW says:

    That makes you bettter than Clint Dempsey.
    He could not score against them in that very same Gold Cup game even though he had a career’s worth of chances.

  95. joejoe says:

    Great thanks dude. Next time keep it to less than 2 sentences.

  96. joejoe says:

    I don’t know why some people are surprised with Gomez performance. Same player that has been scoring a bunch of goals in Mexico. Same player that left Sigi (Seattle) wondering if that was the same guy he told many years back that he would never be great. I only regret that he’s thirty and may not make it to the show.

  97. RNG says:

    Which is pretty hilarious when you think about it. How many people are smarter for having watched an Adam Sandler movie?

  98. bryan says:

    not exactly a two sentence story. feel free to not read next time though. i could care less. but some people might find it a good story.

  99. crocajun1003 says:

    Let me get this straight…

    When he doesn’t score he’s wasting opportunities.

    When he scores against Spain it’s luck.

    When he scores against Guadalupe it doesn’t count.

    I guess you’re right. He really hasn’t done anything.

    And don’t bring up that assist against Italy b/c it was probably Italian match fixing, right?