USMNT Notes: Klinsmann hints at future friendlies, Onyewu disputes PK & more

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

LANDOVER, Md. — In the middle of his post-game comments following Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann let slip what has been speculated for some time: That the U.S. men's national team will play Mexico and Russia in friendlies in August and November, respectively.

When talking about developing the team's overall attitude and growth and doing so against the world's more talented teams, Klinsmann alluded to both matches, which have yet to be officially announced and confirmed by U.S. Soccer.

"With these games against Italy, against France, against Brazil, we get those experiences and how to deal with them," Klinsmann said. "In August with Mexico, later on in the year we play Russia in Russia. Those are the benchmarks. 

"We want to play the big nations. Out of those games we learn a lot. We got a lot out of this (Brazil) game." 

Here are a few more notes from the United States' loss to Brazil:

ONYEWU DISPUTES PENALTY CALL

Oguchi Onyewu's return to the U.S. men's national team's starting lineup was one of the more scrutinized aspects of Wednesday's loss, and for fair reason. Onyewu's night got started off on the wrong foot, with him being whistled for a 12th-minute penalty for handling Leandro Damiao's shot in the area. In Onyewu's eyes, referee Jeffery Calderon's call was harsh.

"I watched the replay, and I'm actually amazed that he would even call the penalty, one, that early in the game, and two, seeing that it wasn't intentional, my arms were inside my body," Onyewu said. "By no means was my arm spread out to block the shot. I was shocked, but you have to be prepared for this, this might be what we see in the qualification process. You have to accept it and move on to the next one."

Onyewu was not alone in his assessment of the play, as Klinsmann was also highly critical of Calderon's call. Klinsmann said he was "furious" and that it "kind of pisses me off, to be honest" with both the penalty call and the final Brazil goal, in which replays showed that Onyewu played Alexandre Pato onside despite Klinsmann's contention that Pato was "two yards offside."

JOHNSON EARNS RAVE REVIEWS

One player to emerge with passing grades from the two opening friendlies of this five-game stretch is left back Fabian Johnson. The versatile German-American displayed his quality against Brazil, most notably in his forays forward and providing width to the U.S. attack.

Johnson assisted on Herculez Gomez' goal with a trademark run into the box and cross toward the goal mouth, and he had a hand in setting up a few other chances as well. He inspired a strong fan reaction with his second-half move to fake out Danilo and create space for a cross to Gomez that was headed across goal toward Clint Dempsey before being put out of play.

"He's a player now that gives us high quality, international-level quality," Klinsmann said. "He knows what he's doing with the ball, he can time the runs, he can play killer balls into the space."

Johnson, who was making just his fifth appearance for the national team, has asserted himself as the top-choice left back and has won over his new teammates in a rather brief time. 

"His ability to read the right times to get forward and use his quickness and agility to find space out wide in behind the other team's outside back, he's done really well for us," said Michael Bradley, who played Johnson through down the left for his cross that led to Gomez' goal. "He's somebody who, going forward, I think is going to be an important guy for us." 

Johnson was subbed off for Edgar Castillo in the 80th minute because of a minor calf issue, according to Klinsmann, but the substitution was more preventative than anything else, and Johnson is expected to be fine for Sunday's match against Canada.

DEMPSEY RETURNS TO ACTION

Dempsey made his return from a groin injury, entering as a 56th-minute substitute for Jose Francisco Torres to finally appear on the field at the same time as Landon Donovan under Klinsmann. After returning to full training on Monday, the match against Brazil came a bit too soon to insert Dempsey in the starting lineup.

"We hope for every day of training of progress from Clint," Klinsmann said. "Certainly a fully fit Clint Dempsey makes a difference in our team, there's no doubt about it."

Dempsey was involved with a couple of scoring chances for the United States. His ball over the top toward Gomez led to two shots that were saved expertly by standout Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael, and he also had the chance at the goalmouth that was cut out at the last second by Thiago Silva. With 34 minutes under his belt and a couple of days to build more fitness leading up to Sunday's match, Dempsey could supplant Torres in the starting XI in Toronto. 

"We had to deal with his groin injury, we had to build him," Klinsmann said. "We couldn't play him against Scotland. He's not 100 percent yet, so we said, 'Let's bring you on in the second half.'" Hopefully now every day we see an improvement, every day we see more sharpness. He needs to be confident, he needs to believe in his body that everything is fine. We'll try to catch up as fast as we can, and hopefully he's available from the start against Canada."

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139 Responses to USMNT Notes: Klinsmann hints at future friendlies, Onyewu disputes PK & more

  1. Old School says:

    RGIII

  2. GJJ says:

    Ghana in Ghana.

  3. scott says:

    who is that with klinnsman? is that the redskins QB?
    (i don’t follow football if you couldn’t already tell)

  4. CSD says:

    what’s your point

  5. Old School says:

    …Imagine his athleticism in a Nats kit.

    Will be an awesome day when/if our cream of the crop, best athletes, play and stick with soccer.

    Not saying we can become Brazil but that would be the worlds worst nightmare.

  6. John says:

    Why, just play them in London and it will still be a home game for them without the added travel of flying to West Africa.

  7. Ballin is My Hobby says:

    Cap HIMMMM!!

  8. LiquidYogi says:

    You got beat by the Brazil Olympic team and the US Olympic team can’t even make it into the tournament. Pathetic.

  9. NE Matt says:

    If Klinsmann wants more nastiness, he should give Steve Lenhart a shot. That guy would draw yellows and reds against teams like Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala like they were giving them away.

  10. marco says:

    Gooch needs to be worried more about his fitness(he could barely move at the end), than the officials. He and Donovan were the main culprits on all four Brazil goals. The both of them should not be automatic starters. Klinsmann gets bad grades for EDU, Gooch, and the right side defense. The officiating wasn’t that bad, expect much worse.

  11. Old School says:

    I need one?

  12. Old School says:

    You?

    You mean “us”? Oh, you’re living in this country but aren’t American when it comes to soccer.

    Got it.

    Speaking of pathetic.

  13. CSD says:

    Not being as good as Brazil has nothing to do with athleticism. With the mentality in place in the soccer culture in the US, he would have just developed into another poorly coached great athlete that has a horrible first touch and can’t finish.

    I am thinking if Klinsman is smart he hooks him up with a nice fit German gal and makes sure their male offspring are raised in Germany.

  14. Oranje Mike says:

    A troll or someone that knows nothing of Brazil.

  15. Gonzo says:

    At some point, all players get to the point that they’re no longer the best option. The secret is to know when to stop calling. Weve seen it happen with Hey Dude (before retired), Clark, Ching, Keller..the list goes on and on.

    Gooch may think he can continue as its been in the past but I’m not longer sure he’s the best option. He’s not that fast and he tends to somehow do something to hurt the team one way or another. If its not a foul near the goal area, then its a handball or marking errors. All I know it that I don’t think he’s a first string player anymore and Klinsmann would be well advised to start developing a replacement now, rather then wait.

    Since he has Cameron… give him the minutes and lets see if he works out. We have seen Gooch for years and will learn nothing more by seeing him again. He hurt us badly last night and it should be enough to place him off the bench for Canada

  16. Old School says:

    Brazil’s best athletes play basketball, football and baseball. Correct? No? Soccer, you say?

    I understand their ability is borderline innate but if you’re not understanding my overall point sparked by a picture of RG3 on the front page, I can’t help you.

  17. swoopy says:

    If Klinsi gets this worked up in a friendly, I’m glad he wasn’t coaching in South Africa. He might have had an aneurysm.

  18. slowleftarm says:

    Anyone else tired of playing Mexico at “home” in front of crowds that are 2/3 Mexican every single year? How about some different opponents?

  19. Old School says:

    Let’s play them in Seattle/Portland.

    Maybe one of those cities/clubs are willing to step up and put down some permanent grass or in Portlands case, expand the stadium and field.

    Those markets are fantastic for being pro-American. Unfortunately, the criteria above prevents a rather nice home field advantage.

  20. Colin says:

    I think part of the reason we play Mexico so frequently is that SUM makes $$$ when Mexico plays games in the USA.

    That and every game is nearly guaranteed to be a sell-out.

  21. CSD says:

    The Gracie Family can beat the crap out of every member of the Brazilian national team and they would probably dispute your claim. There are great athletes from Brazil that participate in other sports. Is a Brazilian Center in the NBA less of an athlete than the players on their national soccer team?

    My point is that the USMNT is not short of athletes that can compete at the highest level. We are not there yet with skill and mentality. RG3′s athleticism is not what we are lacking.

  22. m says:

    good call. i was like who the hell is that

  23. Cabrito says:

    2/3 Mexican crowd is being generous to us. More like 9/10th and, yes, I’m sick of playing Mexico.

  24. Philly Union Rule says:

    Gonzo, I agree.

    What does Ives think of Gooch?

    I know the saying has been,” if he is fit and healthy, he is our best option” Is Gooch ever fit and healthy?

  25. Scud says:

    + major TV$$$

  26. J says:

    CSD is correct, it isn’t athleticism that kills us, it’s our technical and tactical abilities. That is why you see Spain and Barca dominate. They aren’t the biggest and fastest of players, but their movement on and off the ball is flawless. Their first touch and ability to move the ball quickly is what breaks teams down.

  27. T says:

    Were going to play in the “Azteca”, so get ready for bloody bags of piss and other clown activity associated with being the opposing team.

  28. SBI Troll says:

    Future Bust

  29. CA says:

    I like Klinsi more and more every day. He brings a passion and fire that neither Bruce Arena or BB ever had. I love it!

  30. GTRX7 says:

    We only play Mexico in front of 2/3 Mexican crowd in friendlies. We try to play them in qualifiers in places like Columbus. I think that is the right approach.

  31. THomas says:

    It’s called Terrence Boyd

  32. bkyn says:

    JK’s commment suggests the game will be played in Mexico. That would be something new.

  33. Byron says:

    Sic’em!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Lost in Space says:

    The biggest take away’s from last nights match is the need for some speed and youth in the back. Gooch, Boca, & to a lesser degree Dolo all had poor performances. Not calling for them to be replaced right now, but we need to find their replacements before the Hex. (Looking for Cameron, Ream, Gonzalez, John, Hines to really step it up and claim the CB spots).

    Gooch – showed rust and was off in his reading of runs. Even when he did read the game right he didn’t have the speed to adress the problem.

    Boca & Dolo – The quick turn around between games really showed that they need more time to recover from matches. Their passing was off most of the night. Really wish Chandler or Lichaj was there to give Dolo a breather as I don’t think Parkhurst has enough quality to play the way JK wants the team to play. Lichaj & Chandler need to be there going forward to 1) replace Dolo 2) provide cover for Johnson (Castillo isn’t the answer at LB…LW maybe but not LB).

  35. Joe says:

    RG3. I hate the nickname, Robert Griffin, III.

    link to youtube.com

  36. Kevin G. says:

    Hope we don’t play Mexico, we aren’t ready. I rather we play during the qualifiers that way there’s no excuses for a lost, even though some will find some like they did for the Gold Cup finals and qualifiers.

  37. Aquaman says:

    Man, Russia in November seems like it would be rough on players.

  38. RK says:

    You should watch more than 1 game.

  39. ACC says:

    ….if you can’t beat them…blame the referee.
    So sad.

  40. hogatroge says:

    When the news first leaked (via the Russian Federation website), the plan was to play Russia IN the U.S.

  41. SilverRey says:

    I don’t mind playing Mexico, but these meaningless friendlies are getting old.

  42. Mwing09 says:

    Yea, we play Mexico in places like Univ of Phoenix is because they know they can get like 60,000 people there every time. If we want a new US stronghold (besides Crew Stadium) I say we go to Livestrong Sporting Park.

  43. SilverRey says:

    From the back, the replay looks like it could be called either way, but on the replay from the refs perspective it actually looks like Gooch brings his hand into the path of the ball. Gooch is saying that he was trying to bring his hand into his body – he should have been dropping his hand down and behind his back.

    I have little confidence with Gooch on the ball. His dribbling is scary to watch, and the outlet passes are even scarier.

  44. Cdub says:

    Gooch’s penalty was indeed a penalty.

  45. Jamie says:

    +1000

  46. DingDong says:

    And Gooch (or someone) also played Pato onside.

  47. ComoPark says:

    As Luca Brasi would say, “May their first child be a masculine child.” But with the requisite US passport.

  48. ComoPark says:

    It did appear that those gaps between the CBs were there all night. Goal #3 and Pato’s shot off the post were prime examples. I wonder if that was speed or our unfamiliarity with pressure from the middle.
    On Dolo, I don’t think he played as bad as a game as you suggest. He seemed to be absorbing pressure pretty well in the 2nd half. I don’t recall any really poor passes.

  49. b says:

    “Dempsey could supplant Torres in the starting XI in Toronto.”

    Ugh, Dempsey should supplant EDU not Torres. We don’t need THREE freaking defensive midfielders against Canada, Antigua, and Guatemala.

    ——-Altidore——-
    –Dempsey—-Donovan–
    ——-Torres———
    —-Jones–Bradley—-

  50. Mark says:

    Who’s that guy in the photo with Klinsmann?

  51. Nate Dollars says:

    yeah, i’ve never heard every athlete ever do that before.

  52. john.q says:

    lil wayne

    just kidding. RGIII. 2nd overall pick in the nfl draft. quarterback for the washington redskins.

  53. TheFrenchOne says:

    agree. bradley and jones can certainly handle the d-mid duties. keep torres on for his creativity and possession. a torres-dempsey-donovan trio looks pretty good

  54. sam says:

    Absolutely right.

  55. Dinho says:

    The good:

    Johnson – stud. We are VERY lucky to have him.
    Bradley – stud. Wish he was deployed a bit higher, but still is capable of controlling the tempo.
    Gomez – showed very well. Surprised me completely. I didn’t expect as much bite out of him as we saw.
    Jones – his tackle on Neymar. Period.

    The bad:

    Onyewu was plain bad. I’ve never been a huge fan. Great in the air. Scary with his feet. In JK’s system, we need someone more comfortable on the ball.

    Donovan – seemed to be playing timid/ scared/intimidated, etc., take your pick of adjectives. He was completely ineffective, although Marcelo played very well (I hate him to no end, but he was good).

    The mediocre:

    Everyone else.

    Will be interesting to see if/how Altidore raises his energy level to compare with Gomez once he is in the lineup.

  56. whoop-whoop says:

    You pretty much took my post right off my keyboard- agree 99%

  57. Rags from DC says:

    Why was Edu playing closer to the attack than Bradley and Jones last night? Experimenting? I thought he played much better in front of the back four. Did not make that much sense to me.

  58. Sam says:

    +1 on Steve.

    It seemed when they attacked down his side, midfielders were often caught upfield (the Marcelo goal is a perfect example). His attack could have been better–his runs always ended up inside, where he didn’t get passes or shots off in time. He’s better wider playing crosses, but didn’t seem to find those opportunities. But, Johnson relieves a lot of pressure offensively, so his role in the attack is bound to be less than what we are used to.

  59. iheartscotch says:

    Anyone mentioning the athleticism argument on this board…. Please leave and go back to the uneducated ESPN boards. Seriously…. leave

  60. David J S says:

    I would add to the bad: Edu playing an advanced midfield role. I don’t think it’s really his fault because it’s just not within his skill set. He is a more athletic Beckerman, if you will. If we want a midfielder that gets forward, we have plenty of other options to choose from (Bradley, Jones, Torres, Corona, Kljestan, etc). If Jurgen wants to play Edu, it has to be as a defensive mid.

  61. David J S says:

    +1. Playing important internationals at Livestrong = great idea

  62. jon says:

    nice post. 98% agree. But I dont’ think Jones was “good”, even with the badass tackle on neymar. Also, I thought torres and edu were notably inneffective. Donovan was dissapointing — looked a little tired to me, and was completely outclassed by Marcelo, who was AWESOME. Klinsy’s rant about nastyness/toughness was I think meant largely for donovan, who looked timid, like he didn’t believe he had a shot to get by tougher, nastier, savier marcelo (which was probably right).

  63. iheartscotch says:

    Is this site getting too big now where we have Mexican trolls running around like on ESPN? I thought this was a safe zone.

  64. David J S says:

    ditto

  65. bryan says:

    trollin’, straight trollin’

  66. bryan says:

    he was most certainly not the main culprit on goal 2 and 3. the fact that he was on 1 and 4 isn’t good, that’s for sure. but seriously, jones left his mark on the 2nd goal. just because gooch gave up the corner doesn’t mean he is the main culprit. and for the third, at least gooch was trying to help dolo. bradley was jogging and ball watching without marking anyone (unusual for him) while boca was literally just standing in front of the goal not marking anyone.

  67. Dinho says:

    @DavidJS – Agreed. Edu was ineffective in that role and was simply out of his element. In my opinion and as you say, Edu (if he needs to play at all) can only be effective playing the classic #6.

    @jon – Jones was not very good, a bit spastic to me. That’s why my only reference to his game was the tackle. Like Edu, I think Torres is being played out of position. He is not a natural “attacking player.” It’s a bit of a shame we can’t get him on the field at the same time as Dempsey in that formation (i.e. with Edu and Jones in the lineup). However, if we tried something, such as the following, with Jones playing the classic #6, I think Torres is better suited and would perform better.

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

    And, I agree that Donovan looked tired. If the whole “Dempsey and Donovan” playing together thing wasn’t such a show, I would have liked to have seen Dempsey come on in place of Donovan rather than Torres.

  68. bryan says:

    seriously. gooch has been a beast for us. we certainly have to figure something out with our CBs if what happens last night happens over and over, but that seemed like an unusually bad defensive effort from our team. gooch deserves his criticism, but he does not deserve some of the comments. this is still a starting CB for Porto for crying out loud.

  69. jon says:

    totally agree. Edu just doesn’t seem comfortable making aggressive forward moving passes. Instead, if he gets the ball in the other team’s half, rather than probe for the creative forward move (like bradley), he usually rushes to get the ball off his feet by making an obvious sidways pass.

    Hopefully, the experiment’s over.

  70. Dinho says:

    Whoops. Here is that back-line again.

    Dolo–Cameron/Goodson–Boca–Johnson

  71. bryan says:

    so what would you propose? FIFA make a new tourny so you don’t have to watch meaningless friendlies? this is not the same as meaningless summer friends between Euro club teams and MLS. this is our national team, it’s either friendlies or meaningful games in a toury/qualifying. and i think not having any games before those meaningful games could be the stupidest suggestion yet…if that is what you think should happen.

  72. bryan says:

    agreed.

  73. David J S says:

    agree with your assessment of Torres. I think a lineup that would allow our personnel to play to the best of their strengths would be a Christmas Tree:

    ————– Howard ————–
    Dolo—-Goodson—Boca—-Johnson
    —-Bradley—-Jones—-Torres—-
    ——-Donovan—-Dempsey——-
    ————–Jozy————–

    This would let Bradley and Torres get into the flow of the game as they see fit (as far as getting forward to link up/playing deep and spraying balls) with Jones as a pure d-mid covering for them. Also it allows Donovan/Dempsey to tuck in and get width from the fullbacks.

  74. Spank says:

    I like your line up but i’d rather play Jones as the single D-mid with Bradley on the right and Torres on the left just slightly above Jones. Basically the same thing just a simple adjustment.

  75. David J S says:

    I think he was more suggesting saving our match ups against Mexico for more meaningful occasions, and getting different competition for friendlies. I could be wrong though

  76. Adi from Oregon says:

    I am reposting my comments which were removed about our biggest US weakness. I totally agree with your observations on the over the hill US defenders (Gooch, Boca & Dolo). If Klinsi wants success, he better get some new players so that they can get some experience. Presently, our midfielders have to play too much back & defensively to beat a top team like Brasil.

  77. Dinho says:

    Spank and David JS, I’m not opposed to that and it would probably work well.

    I guess my only concern would be having enough width. As good as Johnson is, to rely on him exclusively (Dolo would need to hold his ground a bit more) to provide width would be a lot on his shoulders.

    But, he is a stud, so I wouldn’t put it past him. He created one goal (with MB’s help last night) and nearly created a second. Like I said, we are VERY LUCKY to have him.

  78. biff says:

    agree. it seemed to me last night it was penalty and then after the game Klinsmann complaining it was an awful call I thought maybe I saw it wrong. but, as you say, seeing the replay today it appears that Gooch is clearly moving his arm up to stop the ball. it was a good call by the referee.

    it’s kind of weird that Klinsmann is protesting so loudly about the PK and the lack of an offsides call, when replays show that Pato was clearly onsides because of Gooch’s mistake. But I can kind of understand Klinsmann why Klinsmann was doing it. Right after the final whistle, when the camera focused on him, he looked devastated at the loss like I had never seen him before. I see that as a good sign, showing how competitive he is and how badly he wanted the win to build on the Scotland momentum.

  79. biff says:

    me five!

  80. Sushant says:

    I think he has to take some, if not most, of the responsibility for goals 2 and 3 as well.

    On goal 2:
    - he had a mishit that led to a corner
    - on the corner, it looks like Gooch originally had thiago, who moves away from him, and then Jones tried to take him, but thiago was wide open for the header

    On goal 3:
    - Dolo had 2 guys on his side, one with the ball and the other even more wide; Gooch is behind Dolo with M.Bradley is coming over to help
    I would have expected Gooch to either tell Dolo to take the wide guy and Gooch take the guy with the ball OR Gooch to slide over to take the wide guy.
    - The ball is sent wide, the wide guy take is to the end line and then crosses back to Marcelo in front of the goal
    When the ball goes to the end line, Gooch drops back to the point he’s almost even with Timmy, but Marcelo is wide open

    I’m a Gooch fan, but he’s back at the point where he was after his 1st serious knee injury. He’s very rusty. Before his most recent injury, he was playing quite well, both for club and country. Right now, I think he’s not ready to play, at least at a high level.

  81. marco says:

    Klinsmann needs to step up his game. The selections and tactics were poor. Yes, Landon and Gooch were very disappointing, but his job is to give them help or take them out. The officiating was not bad. He can and better plan for much worst in qualifying games.
    Ratings:
    Gooch 3
    Landon 4
    Klinsmann 3.5

  82. TGA says:

    lets talk about michael bradley…he is athletic…good first touch…but when he ball watches like a U10 rec player as Brazil is burying another ball in our net…what cures that….?

  83. Ryan in NYC from NC says:

    +100

  84. MJC-DC says:

    I don’t agree with it as an absolute argument either. However, to imply it has no impact and anyone who mentions it needs to go to the “uneducated” boards goes to far in my opinion.

    I think your right though athletcism is not what were lacking. We need to develop our own, unique soccer culture and instill it in our best young soccer talents. Then refine our soccer style/culture and find better ways to teach that style/culture. All this takes time, hard work and commitment.

    One thing I will note about the best players play sport X in America and not soccer argument is there is more than athleticism in our best athletes, there is a mental toughness, work ethic and passion for the sport they play that is tough to replicate.

    That said I think its wrong to focus on surpassing MLB, NBA, NHL … MLS and US Soccer just need to focus on what they can do to improve the quality of the league and style of play.

  85. You are just applying old stereotypes of Brazil’s glory days into the modern context. Apart from Hulk’s backheel pass, I saw little or no Jogo Bonito yesterday. They simply had bigger and faster horses in the race and that’s why they won. There were at least 5 situations where this was blatantly obvious to even the casual obeserver. Whether it was their pressing up in the attacking third, charging out of their own end, or body checking Donovan and Boca off the ball, they were beasts and that is why they won. The only real skill was shown in the final third with Pato’s clinical finish. Otherwise, they just out hustled and out muscled us.

  86. Ashley Watson says:

    Judging from the previous final 4 teams in most World Cup tourneys, those teams tend to have strong backline including GK. one defensive enforcer, and one playmaker. Forwards cannot function to the maximum if it don’t have those key ingredients. USA:
    GK: checked
    LB: checked
    2 CBs: not checked as we are still looking. Boca is too old as he will be 34 in 2014
    RB: not checked despite that Chandler may decide to join us after all. If he do, then consider it checked. Imagine both RB and LB shutting the best attackers on the wings down.
    D-Mid: checked (Jones)
    Wingers: Checked ( loaded at those positions)
    Central midfielder: not checked.

    So we need to work on two areas: CBs and central playmaker ( the true #10)

  87. Kenny_B says:

    You are discounting the althleticism of these players. It’s not just tactics and skill. There is speed there as well. You don’t think Villa and Torres are fast?

    Jose Enrique was a sprinter in Spain. Ramires who plays for Chelsea and Brazil blew past Enrique a couple of times in the FA Cup final. These guys are top athletes in addition to their skill.

    If it was only a technical skill gap we would have caught up with athleticism. There isn’t an athleticism gap. These guys are top athletes in addition to their technical skills. Tactically I don’t buy into us not understanding how to play the game.

  88. Kenny_B says:

    Disagree. If your assessment was correct there would have been no need for their goalies heroics. As it was, he was called into play quite a lot.

  89. GW says:

    It’s interesting to compare American message boards to for example, UK message boards.

    Granted, I’m just one person but it seems to me that they focus much more on how “we” lost, the team lost, the manager had everyone playing poorly. Perhaps it is a reflection of a more socialized society but over there when England fails (As they always do) every player gets the Bornstein treatment. It’s more of team thing.

    People here just love to search for scapegoats after very loss whether it’s Gooch, Donovan, JB, Sacha, Rico, Edu, Dempsey ( yes and not that long ago), etc.
    I expect to see hundreds of posts demonizing Gooch until the Canada game when, if the result is bad, there will be another victim for the boards to hound half way to hell.

    You’d thought Gooch was an axe murderer.

    As for the notion that this was so shameful because it was “only” Brazil’s Olympic team, that is just horse poop.

    For one thing Brazil takes the Olympics more seriously that most soccer nations.

    For another, take that team last night, give them a decent draw in Euro 2012 and I think they would be just fine.

  90. Kenny_B says:

    You can hang Marcelo’s goal squarely on Michael Bradley’s shoulders and no one else. It marred an excellent game for him otherwise.

  91. marco says:

    Bryan is splitting hairs on the words ‘main culprits’ and forgetting Landon’s involvement completely. Why defend someone who was horrible by saying he only contributed to some goals? OK I accept that, but so what.

  92. GW says:

    “The biggest take away’s from last nights match is the need for some speed and youth in the back”

    They have been saying that since 2009. Speed and youth is not enough. Castillo is fast and he is young.

    The truth is you either need smarter, better defenders (Chandler for one), or you need to have a more regular rotation where everyone knows each other and can anticpate moves better.

    As the man said ” The faster player is the one who starts running first”

    Last night was the first time Gooch and Boca had played as a unit in a very long time. If Boca is going to be a fixture, then they need to settle on his partner and not change him. Either play Cameron all the way through from now on or play Gooch.

    But do not go back and forth. Not now with qualifiers only days away.

  93. 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.

  94. marco says:

    Why do I need to think of Gooch’s performance at Sporting not ‘Porto’ I believe, when I can see his current play. He didn’t have the energy or quickness to step up on numerous occasions. He handled a harmless shot in the box. He screwed another harmless ball over the endline for a corner, and may have lost his mark on two goals (it’s not clear to me how Klinsmann’s marking on these attacks). Both Gooch and Landon have always been my favorites, but sport is always what are you doing now, and both cost the USA this game, more than anything else.

  95. gruntparty says:

    I see ‘em trollin’, they hatin’…

  96. jjraines says:

    Based on the huge pro-USA turnout in Jacksonville, perhaps we should consider that venue as well?

  97. bryan says:

    ok, i went back to watch the highlights. i still don’t think he is the one i would put most the blame on.

    goal 2:
    - yes, he did not clear it well despite it being a simple ball. and that sucks, but that does not mean the goal was his fault.
    - yeah, that is true. but the way i see it, gooch would have had to run through jones to get to him. jones was right there, he had to change directions for sure, but he didn’t realize the run until too late. it was in his space. but, that is certainly a failure of communication on all parties.

    goal 3:
    - pause at 4:48 on the highlights posted earlier. he is marking marcelo who boca at that point had.
    - at 4:49, neymar has it and dolo is pressing him and gooch is in the crossing lane waiting for it. bradley, who is leaning back (aka jogging/slowing down from sprinting), does appear to be pressing (with no hustle, and leaving marcelo) at 4:49
    - then at 4:50 & 4:51 you can clearly see him notice marcelo wide open in the middle and jogs that way. neymar crosses it right then, which was also when gooch starts rushing neymar to help dolo.
    - back at 4:49-4:50, you’ll also notice boca pointing to johnson to cover his guy out wide. at this point he loses marcelo and is marking no one and by 4:51 boca is inside the goal box also noticing marcelo wide open behind him.

    to me, i just can’t put goal 3 on him. bradley and boca were both not marking anyone but were right there, especially boca. for goal 2, i still don’t put it on him completely, but i do understand what you are saying in regards to jones not originally being on silva.

    as for gooch as a player, i agree with you. he was absolutely playing well and it was this last injury that killed his playing time at the end of the season. that and the fact he got a red card with only two games left in his first game back from said injury. clearly, he was rusty then and apparently he is still rusty. i would have thought JK would have noticed that for sure. i’m not saying he should start at the moment, but the people freaking out and saying he is done and terrible just annoyed me.

  98. bryan says:

    yeah, him and boca were not doing anything. and i agree, bradley had a great game other than this play.

  99. ThaDeuce says:

    true.

  100. bryan says:

    i agree dude. i absolutely remember when people were saying dempsey was trash. in fact, back like 4, 5 years ago (after 07 copa america), i was at RFK for a USA game. i bought the copa america jersey not too long before that but got dempsey on it (obviously he wasnt even in copa america). i remember multiple people, no joke, yelling out that he sucks. it was unreal. i’d like to know what they have to say now.

  101. ThaDeuce says:

    gooch hasn’t shown while for the u.s. in a very very long time. i watch all the games. Maybe give him one more run, then got to try something else, like goodson, WHO is not better than gooch’s past, (nor Demeritt’s for that matter), but someone who is better than gooch is now, which is the best player at the position. Lets face reality, gooch isn’t wht he used to be, at least not yet, so if he continues to play or we replace him with another starter, it is a step down. Klinsi needs to find the smallest step down. I say goodson.

  102. ThaDeuce says:

    centerback is no longer our strongest position. on the bright side, left back is.

  103. bryan says:

    grrr, Sporting, my bad, i’m always mixing those two up and i don’t even know why. i’m not sure know how to answer that second sentence. of course you look at someone’s club play to determine national team lineups. you have to think of their performance for club play to make any decision on their form for the year. and this year, dude has been solid for Sporting. that’s it, it’s not complicated.

    what i also said was that it was clear he was absolutely rusty, tired and probably a coaches error starting him. while you should take in their club performance, you should also be making decisions based on training.

    again, my point is only to say gooch does not deserve this backlash and comments saying he was solely responsible for all four goals and his utter inclusion in the lineup caused our team to fail. to me, boca was just as bad last night. and a few people talk about that, but a lot have been attacking gooch. i also think bradley isn’t getting some criticism on goal 3 simply due to the fact he had a great game otherwise. because he certainly should have done better on that one.

  104. bryan says:

    yes, we all watch all the games. moving on…

    gooch hasn’t even played for the USA in a long time and last time he did, we went to the Confeds Cup final. he essentially missed all of 2010 and some of 2011. so i disagree with that comment. due to that length of time away, the only thing the coaches have to judge him on are club performances. which he played very well in and was showing the same gooch pre-ACL injury and playing in a stronger league than he had been when in Belgium back in ’09.

    as for goodson, i agree that he should have started last night. and he should certainly start against canada. but do i think goodson should replace gooch permanently from the starting XI? not a chance. the truth is, both are 30 and are going to be nothing other than bench options in 2014. so for now, you base it on club performance and then fitness. JK should have realized gooch’s lack of fitness. but that’s is not gooch’s fault.

    again, my point is that no one should be saying gooch is done when we have yet to even start qualifying for the World Cup. eventually he’ll be fit again and if he can get back to his season form (which there is no reason to think he won’t), he would be one of the best CBs we have available.

    personally, i would like to try williams out there as a true replacement.

  105. bryan says:

    oh yeah, i took it the other way. as in all friendlies were meaningless. but i see he was likely talking about countless friendlies against mexico. and that i agree with 100%.

  106. dibo says:

    It’s everything: Skill, physical ability, tactical awareness. Yesterday was just a case of a team with 11 outstanding, in-form players (outstanding in all of the above areas) beating a team with maybe 4 outstanding players and a core of good players. And yet we were/are dangerous. Brazil learned from the 3-2 cup final and stopped our counter attack. We didn’t adjust to their higher pressure in this game, but that isn’t to say that we can’t continue to learn/grow.

  107. PD says:

    GHANA WHEREVER.
    JUST GET GHANA.
    BEST 2 outta 3, 3 outta 5 4 outta 7 or whatever until we win.

    and Japan, please.

  108. PD says:

    you know that is something I didn’t think of. CONCACAF refs tend to get card happy with the US.

  109. marco says:

    Nearly all USA vs Mexico games are played in ‘mexico’. El Tri probably play more home games than any other nation. It hurts them in international tournaments.

  110. Cliff says:

    Don’t know how it came across on TV, but I was at the USA-Brazil match and the crowd was 9/10 in favor if Brazil in “Washington, D.C.” (Maryland).

    So maybe it’s not necessarily the proximity to Mexico, but the fact that the cities who host these games just aren’t sending fans of USMNT.

    Another thing I noticed last night: a LOT of the Brazil fans didn’t sound all that Brazilian. Not trying to generalize on looks and accent alone here, but I saw a LOT of people just rocking the Brazilian jersey (it seemed like). Also, a lot of fans who “sounded” genuinely South American seemed to be rooting for both sides. A lot of the fans in my section were cheering for USMNT too, just not as hard.

    I wonder if that’s what happens when we play Mexico on USA soil. A lot of Mexican-Americans show up in their Mexican colors but go both ways because, after all, futbol is football.

  111. Cliff says:

    That’s pretty cool. I was at the game too. I was also at the USWNT-China game on Sunday and those players are awesome too. It’s really cool to have groups of athletes you don’t feel weird about letting your kids look up to.

  112. ThaDeuce says:

    i agree,but my point is that it has been a long time. we can’t assume gooch is still going to be the best option moving forward. same with holden, davies, anybody else who is out for that long and then hasn’t produced for nats.

    i mean, i still wish demeritt was in top form.

  113. ThaDeuce says:

    i was replying to rk about watching more than one game.

  114. ThaDeuce says:

    we have hopefuls. cameron, ream, john, etc. hell, i don’t get why spector isn’t getting a look.

  115. ThaDeuce says:

    but lenhart would solve the nastiness problem.

  116. ThaDeuce says:

    put bradley or jones next to torres is the one tweak i would make. oh, and consider herc over altidore.

  117. ThaDeuce says:

    bradley

    centerback is the new biggest hole in our team, in lieu of left back.

  118. GW says:

    I’m curious as to what you think a Brazilian is supposed to sound like?

    I actually know quite a few Zimmermann certified genu- wine full blood Amercuns who love Brazil and wear their shirt.

    I’m not sure about the exact numbers but the DC area has a very diverse population and being on 95 is easily accesible to other cities with very diverse populations such as NY and Philly.

    They are only a couple of hours away, no barrier to a true fan.

  119. Goalscorer24 says:

    I never go to a Mexican national team blog site to say stuff about the Mexican team because I don’t care about them. But we always get Mexican team trollers here because they still care about what their big brother neighbor is doing. Just can’t help being jealous, sad really.

  120. GW says:

    I don’t know if you had the chance to watch JK much during his playing days; if you had his behavior the other night would not have been surprising.

    JK’s German teams were expected to win by just about everyone,including the other team, a lot of the time. They usually did even when the other team had better talent which happened quite a bit. Which is why he expects us to beat the Brazils of the world.
    He knows it can be done.

    JK’s teams were very physical, borderline dirty, and tried to intimidate the ref and often succeeded. Jermaine Jones would have been considered a wuss by those guys.

    Remember that JK single handedly made an art form out of diving when he played for Spurs.

    The man is a seriously sore loser.

    If JK could find a way to transfer that sheer will to win to his players, we would have no worries.

  121. Ashley Watson says:

    No doubt about that, ThaDuece.

  122. Ashley Watson says:

    Your mention of Bradley in reference to what?

  123. Roman says:

    Did anyone else hear Ian Darke compare Jermaine Jones (positively!) to Yaya Toure. Absurd. Yaya is world class, jones is… not lol.

  124. solles says:

    didnt know who it was either but apparently he’s a USA fan!

  125. joejoe says:

    Oguchi,

    You touched the ball. Your arms were sticking out. That’s bad technique on your part. The rule says nothing about intent. Yeah it was a friendly and the ref should have looked the other way, but he didn’t. The ref wasn’t wrong. Bad play on your part Gooch. Two laps and foot massage for Fabian.

  126. David J S says:

    that’s sick man i’m jealous

  127. Céu says:

    Athletes: Pele, Zico and Ronaldo.
    No athletes: Garrincha, Socrates and Romario.

    Garrincha, THE JOY OF THE PEOPLE.
    In 1962 when Pelé was injured early on Cup Garrincha took on the responsibility and took Brazil to World Cup-Bi. He had Indian blood, drank, smoked, fled from physical training, and on top of his legs were crooked. With all this was more skilled than Ronaldinho.

    Socrates drank, smoked and had an unhealthy thinness.

    Romario, fled from physical training and living at night. Once in Barcelona and to ask Cruijff If 3 goals if he did would be released to an evening party. Cruijff said yes and Romario scored three goals in the match.

  128. Céu says:

    “Training for what, if u already know what to do.” Romário

  129. Céu says:

    “Training for What if I already know what to do.”

  130. bryan says:

    i understand that, but what i am saying is i disagree in that regard. gooch DID come back and was playing very well for Sporting (holden and davies have not come back from anything). to the point where he was looking like the old gooch. he was then unlucky to get a minor injury that kept him out of some games towards the end of this season. then when he came back with two games left, he got a red card and missed the final game.

    so, he was clearly rusty. but if he had been fit, there is NO reason to think he would not have been playing as good as he has been for Sporting. and when he is playing 90 for Sporting, he is better than any of the other options you listed (for now). my guess is he showed well in training but they took a gamble on his fitness and sharpness, a gamble we lost. haha

    cameron, ream, john, etc. are hopefuls for sure. problem is, cameron is going to be 30 by the WC, so he isn’t a replacement, just a depth option. we have to hope ream can develop nicely and hope that williams turns out to be a solid CB.

    as for spector, he got injured right before camp. and he would likely play fullback or defensive mid as opposed to CB.

  131. bryan says:

    yeah it was really cool. first time i have had a chance to do that. the closest time before that was yelling out my window at gooch getting off the bus going into the Four Seasons in Philly. we were staying at the Embassy Suites across the street. haha

  132. bryan says:

    that’s great!

  133. tom says:

    THANK YOU! TGA

    He was culpable for one goal against and fortunately for us the other bad, bad ball watching incident came off the post. Watch the replay of the second goal. He stops the man at the top of the box, who then plays a diagonal ball. Bradley just stops, watches the ball, then his man takes three steps, and scores. Hey Michael. Just stay any where near that guy and he won’t even see a shot. Wow. You are a professional. How hard is that. Instead, you see him just standing in an empty space. There isn’t even a passing lane there to block. It is pure juvenile defending and he is guilty of it too frequently. Go back and watch Mexico give us a beat down in the Gold Cup. He was doing the same thing in midfield thus making Dos Santos look like the second coming of Ronaldinho. Of course you look good when the guys who are supposed to clog the midfield watch you run free and clear.

    Arrrgghh. Team like Brazil are too good to be given goals. They put too much pressure on you to give them preventable goals.

  134. elgringorico says:

    Bro I was at the game too and you are CRAZY! I’d say the crowd was 60/40 Americans/Brazilian fans. 90% wtf?

  135. Boise says:

    Bingo! Main thing I’d add to your comment is that it doesn’t stop with Bradley. All players, especially those in the middle, have GOT to man mark and stop ball watching. All JK has to insist upon is when the other team is in our third of the field, players have to stay goalside–and on–their marks. Players who loaf and ball watch should ride pine.

    If they had done this against Brazil, two goals would have been denied.

  136. Josh says:

    To any JK skeptics:

    I think it premature to say yay or nay or anything in-between. He’s still in his late infancy at the helm. Let’s take a step back to remember that.

    And upon re-watching the Brazil match: Brazil were better but not by a lot IMHO. US had a lot of possession, created plenty of chances but couldn’t finish. Obviously finishing is what matters but if the ref doesn’t give that early goal to Brazil it’s a different game.

    If if if. If we could only let some time go by before there are sweeping JK judgments. And at that, Bradley was solid if not great.

  137. Josh says:

    Those who lambaste Bradley are off base. Last I checked the US was down 1-0 fast then 2-0 within the first 30.

    A little Bradley redux, JK style, no?

  138. Matt says:

    That sort of thing is called as a handball all the time. He hsould not have had his hands out from his body once he realized he would be blocking a shot. Gooch was at fault for two goals. Might be time to have him sit.