Gomez goal propels USMNT to crucial World Cup qualifying win vs. Jamaica

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. men's national team got back on track in their road to the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday night and they did so with one of their more dominating performances under U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Four days after suffering a disappointing World Cup qualifying loss to Jamaica in Kingston, the United States rebounded by defeating the Reggae Boyz, 1-0, in in front of a sold-out crowd of 23,881 at Columbus Crew Stadium. The win gave the Americans seven points through their first four matches of the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, pulling them level with Guatemala and ahead of Jamaica by goal differential.

Herculez Gomez scored the winning goal in the match played on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, hitting a free kick in the 55th minute past Jamaica goalkeeper Dwayne Miller to end the U.S.'s run of bad luck. The Americans were the dominant side for much of the 90 minutes but hit the posts and crossbar a combined three times in a scoreless first half.

"The team did really well, especially what you saw (in) the first 30 minutes was outstanding," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "The only thing that was missing was scoring goals. Posts unfortunately don't count. We said at halftime, 'We've got to keep pushing, we've got to force it, at moments you've got to force your luck' and it came with a beautiful free kick from Herculez.

"It was very important after that frustrating loss there Friday night in Kingston to come back and get in pole position."

Klinsmann not only changed the 4-4-2 diamond midfield formation from Friday's defeat to a 4-1-3-2, but he also made a few personnel moves that paid dividends for the Americans. The German-born coach played Danny Williams as a defensive midfielder and he also inserted Graham Zusi and Jose Torres on the outside of the midfield, which helped with possession and allowed for fullbacks Steve Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson to overlap and get involved in the attack.

That resulted in the U.S. seeing much of the ball from the opening whistle and they were able to get numbers forward and create several quality looks on goal. Unfortunately for the Americans, they were either denied by Miller or by the posts and crossbar.

Cherundolo, Zusi and Williams all had shots smack off the woodwork and the Americans were unable to find the back of the net despite having eight shots in the first half.

"You live through that," said Klinsmann. "I just wanted to make sure that we keep on pushing it, that they always kind of go for the next occasion. It was really important in my whole career as a striker, you can't get frustrated. You've got to stay hungry for the next one that comes and that's what I told them at halftime. Not even one negative thought you can have after missing or hitting the post or the crossbar.

"You've got to stay positive and force it and we had that sense from the team (that) they were very determined to do really well on a very special night. They really deserved it."

The breakthrough came 10 minutes after halftime. Clint Dempsey was fouled by Rodolph Austin from about 28 yards out and Gomez took full advantage of the opportunity by hitting a curling free kick that Miller got a hand to but could not push clear.

"It was unlucky for him but after all we did in the first half and hitting the posts and what not, we deserved a bit of luck," said Gomez. "In the first half I was taking free kicks and I was feeling confident with the way the ball was moving and how it was going for me so I was excited to pull the trigger there."

The Americans continued to push for another goal but Jamaica found some life as they broke out of their defensive shell and tried to win more possession. Tim Howard had to come up big on one play to deny Austin in the 80th minute, but aside from that the U.S. was not troubled much by the Reggae Boyz.

"Obviously we're back on track, we know it's not done yet, we know it's down to the wire. That's what World Cup qualifiers are all about," said Klinsmann. "We're going to be very, very sharp and focused going into Antigua and then at home in Kansas City playing Guatemala."

The United States is now tied on seven points with Jamaica and Guatemala in Group A. Guatemala topped Antigua and Barbuda, 1-0, in the other match on Tuesday.

The U.S. will round out group play with a pair of matches in October. The Americans visit Antigua and Barbuda on October 12 before playing Guatemala at home at Livestrong Sporting Park four days later.

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What do you think of the U.S.'s 1-0 win over Jamaica? Who impressed you? Impressed by the pro-U.S. crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

178 Responses to Gomez goal propels USMNT to crucial World Cup qualifying win vs. Jamaica

  1. Jurgen says:

    A lot of players really improved their stock tonight. We also saw a lot of them play in positions that better sutied them as well.

  2. T-Mob says:

    I think Zusi had a very good game, along with D.Williams. I told people Beckerman should never again be on the national team, Zusi is better. Good think Bradley and Donovan will be back next game. I was nervous the whole game. I do think the US needs to keep the gas on the paddle, they relax to much.

  3. Leonardo says:

    Great home victory. I’d love to see the pre-goal intensity to continue all 90 minutes (especially against teams like Guatemala), but I can’t complain for now. I’m relieved, almost happy.

    Standouts: Gomez, Jones, Williams
    Not in form but will be soon: Deuce, Jozy (short time out there, but gave ball away when we needed possession).

    not complaining, cuz we won. that’s all that matters. GO USA

  4. Shaggy says:

    Rule #1 Only bring Brek Shea in when we are down.
    rule #2 Don’t play Torres ever.
    Rule #3 Send Jermaine Jones back to where he came from.

  5. Adrian says:

    Torres was one of the best players on the field. Jones broke up a ton of plays today.

  6. Leonardo says:

    +1 on intensity for the full 90.

    i didnt know Zusi before this game, and I was impressed. Would have loved to see that shot go in.

  7. juan says:

    Glad we won but we were not that impressive. Lot of possession and near goals but only one actual goal and that was on a set piece. Take that away and we tie and are in trouble.

    We have to finish off teams like this if we want to go to Brazil. I thought the subs actually hurt us.

  8. kevin says:

    Agree with #2 as he was a non-factor. All the play in the first half that was incisive went through Zusi and CHerundolo. Shea looked lazy out there but all in all a good performance.

  9. Adrian says:

    Great game from a lot of guys. Williams and Torres were huge in the middle.

    Deuce should never have seen the pitch. He is CLEARLY not in game form. Man, I thought he said he was training full time… Also, Jozy pretty much blew opportunity bad.

  10. Bryan says:

    I think Jones was fine as well

  11. Adrian says:

    Not impressive?

    That was the best half of American soccer in probably 10 years. 80% possession? 3 posts and 2 saves that would make Tim Howard’s jaw drop.

  12. cITY says:

    He is great in MLS for Sporting Kansas City. I’m hoping that Pontius can get a call up, he is also very good.

  13. cITY says:

    I think you need help, all three of your points were wrong tonight.

  14. Jimmy Geyger says:

    More Gas on the PADDLE!!!

    like a giant PADDLING MACHINE!!

    that would certainly show CONCACAF who the Boss is.

    that and more goals.

  15. This Guy says:

    Geoff Cameron is quickly becoming a star. Danny Williams plays extremely well for Hoffenheim but this is the first time it has transferred to the USMNT. Jozy is too passive and should be considered our 3rd striker option.

    Most importantly; the style we played for the first 60 minutes + Sir Landonlot + The General will make a great squad and our own possessive style as an identity that we’ve been missing.

  16. The Walrus says:

    I think Altidore is the one player on this team that we can do without…he always makes 3 or 4 bad plays for every positive play…let him go

  17. somedude says:

    Williams at D-mid. Williams not at right wing. Williams at D-mid. JK, your second half tactics make no sense.

  18. Leonardo says:

    HerculezHerculezHerculez! link to youtu.be

  19. cITY says:

    However Jamaica defended well, also 80% is not bad.

  20. This Guy says:

    I’d say best first half since the first half in 2002 WC against Portugal.

  21. T-mob says:

    also the keeper made some great saves

  22. a fan of the musical Avenue Q says:

    so i guess the internet is for porn and b*tching.

    why do think the ‘net was born?

    porn, porn… and b*tching.

  23. ben says:

    Promising signs but a lot of work to do, which is fine as long as we can get the results that matter in qualifying. Aside from the lack of goals, I think the first half is one of (if not the) most complete performances so far under Klinsmann. Things broke down in the 2nd half, but I think there is a lot to build on. Zusi can be a decent backup to Donovan in the short term, Williams looked like a potential starting DM, and Cameron still looks legit. With Bradley/Landon back and an in-form Deuce, this could be a pretty good team.

  24. Dw says:

    Agree with the intensity!! They played as a team very well. Need to keep pushing. Gomez is a great soccer player. Williams looks solid in his natural spot.

  25. bizzy says:

    Right when the US puts on a dominating performance up to the goal, they become completely deflated in regards, to possession, control and shots on goal. Zusi, Gomez and Torres appeared to leave the field, gradually, WITH OUR POSSESSION. We hit the post 4-5 times in the first half so the 1-0 win is still comforting but imagine seeing the US finish the game with the same tenacity, the same control and chances on goal (even if they didn’t score!!) they had in the first half? At this point I don’t know how to feel, I’m just glad we won…..

  26. The Walrus says:

    Agreed…but Altidore, in my opinion, lost alot tonight.
    He is noteven a good bench player.
    He never plays smart!

  27. Adrian says:

    10 years :)

    2012

  28. biff says:

    U.S. could have won that 4-0. Midfield was generally excellent, with Zusi, Torres, and Williams showing they belong. Jones also a good game, a Redemption Song for Friday’s game in Jamaica. Dolo still has his stuff and Fabian and Cameron and Boca all good stuff. Dempsey was solid, not top fit. And Gomez is a beast. Love the guy.

    Only complaint are the substitutions. As soon as Torres, with his ball-handling came out of the game, the U.S. started to lose possession. I would have left him in and maybe Shea should have replaced Dempsey, who looked tired, or Gomez. Would have rather seen Boyd than Jozy.

    What Klinsmann needs to do now is take a peek at some new faces, Chris Pontius and Chris Rolfe. Bring in Eric Lchaj and please: Time to forget Timothy Chandler for WC 2014 and move forward with no illusions.

    Oh yeah, and Klinsy should also tear up that piece of paper that holds those losing strategies of playing 3 d-mids and always playing players out of club positions. Onward.

  29. kg says:

    THANK YOU FOR PLAYING DANNY WILLIAMS IN POSITION!
    folks, I think we have found our starting d-mid.

  30. bizzy says:

    wow…What game were you watching?

  31. Charles says:

    I just dont see it with Altidore. In this case, he is brought in for one reason to hold. He was pathetic at it.

  32. biff says:

    ignore the bozo, just a troll using a one-time name

  33. Dave says:

    How quickly we all forget about USA 5-1 over Scotland less than four months ago. Now that was the most impressive offensive game I have seen them play in ten years. The best game they have played in the last ten years probably a tie between Round of 16 game against Mexico in 2002 WC and the semi-final win over Spain in Confederations Cup 2009.

  34. Dw says:

    Qualifying is tough man..today spain won 1-0 agains georgia and italy won 2-0 against malta. they tied bulgaria last game. portugal won 2-1 against Luxembourg…all those teams are far superior but that’s why they play the game. Anything can happen

  35. fischy says:

    Funny game, that soccer. USA plays a brilliant first half and gets nothing. Best they’ve looked under Klinsmann, I think. Then, they play a very shaky, tentative and unimpressive half in which Jamaica might even have been the better side (I don’t agree with Franco that the USA dominated for 90 minutes), and the USA gets the winning goal.

    I think we saw an excellent back line. Lichaj and possibly Chandler might have a shot at challenging Johnson for the left back role, but we have a solid set there. In the midfield, I’d say we really miss Bradley, Donovan and, even, Holden. No one in the USA fold can substitute for what those guys can bring. Still, Jones and Williams have good qualities. Edu’s form is so far off what I’ve seen from him in the past. Right now, he needs to play his way back into Stoke’s lineup, allowing Stoke to move Cameron to the back line, where we want him. Until he can get that done, the USA needs to find other options.

    That’s why Holden’s return would be so crucial. We could play Holden and Bradley in the center, saving Jones for protecting late leads. The question is whether Stu will be able to get back to his old level. In the meantime, I’d pair Bradley with Jones, and have Donovan pair with Williams or Dempsey. Zusi is a good option, too.

    Up top, either Gomez and Dempsey, or Gomez and Altidore/Boyd. We can be a good team. With a healthy Donovan and Bradley, I think we would have dispatched Jamaica much earlier, and I think grab one of the qualifying spots to be won in the hexagonal. If we can get the old Holden back, the USA could be competitive in Brazil.

  36. louis z says:

    I don’t Jones that standout of a game. he had a so-so game and again looked very tired at the end. I think Cameron had another excellent game. DOLO looked DOLO of always.

  37. fischy says:

    Don’t really agree. Scotland’s defense was horrible. The USA was actually much sharper in the first half tonight than they were against Scotland. Having said that, with a healthy Bradley and Donovan, we’d get results that looked more like the Scotland game than tonight’s effort.

  38. Tony in Quakeland says:

    We needed that. But nothing about this game answers my growing doubts about Klinsman. The team went slack after they scored and moving Williams wide in favor of edu nearly cost us.

    I can’t say this is a well coached team

  39. HoboMike says:

    Agree with this. Dempsey was absolutely gassed in the first half, and was completely non-existent in the second. You can’t blame him, but Shea for Dempsey would have been fantastic.

    I hated how we took our foot off the gas. That will come back to kill us. Go for the jugular.

    Oh, and Danny Williams? Hello D-Mid. Zusi? Wake up call to Donovan. I think we’ve found our lineup, with Bradley replacing Jones and Donovan replacing Zusi.

    I like your comments, biff. You have sense.

  40. Dan in New York says:

    Jones was excellent tonight. What the heck game were you watching?

  41. Gnarls says:

    We absolutely dominated the first half. Graham Zusi was a revelation in the first 45 as well. I love to see MLS represented well.

  42. louis z says:

    keep in mind we knocked the ball around pretty well because jamaica parked the bus, once they got scored on the came out to play and we no longer controlled the midfield. It seems we are only a good passing team as our opponent allow us to be. MB was badly needed.

  43. martha says:

    Altidore did not play well however Herculez did. Hercules was a very average player until the light suddenly came on about 2 years ago. Too bad hes 30 already. Hoepfully the light will turn on for Jozy.
    Geoff Cameron..too bad no club team wants to put him on the backline where he could be Vidic dominant. Makes me forget about Subotic.Too bad he wasted all those years in midfield.
    Zusi had his chance… and took it by the horns.
    Williams good too.
    I would like to see how Williams and Zusi hold up against better competition. It would be great if Zusi can perform at this level because of the lack of offensive minded players in the pool.

  44. Ben says:

    Williams looked good. It will be interesting to see if he continues to get looks starting at d-mid. At least, we can bring him off the bench as a defensive replacement instead Maurice, whose love of passing is so profound he doesn’t care what team receives the ball. Obviously, we missed Bradley and Landon, but we got points without them, and really, for all the dire offense in Kingston, we lost on two set pieces. And Gatt needs to stay healthy because he is good enough to help this team.

  45. HoboMike says:

    I wouldn’t mind if Edu stopped being called in. His first pass was an immediate giveaway, and he was sliding all over the place, falling for all of Jamaica’s fakes (I counted three straight slides). Williams is clearly better at D-Mid (and holy hell, what a shot).

  46. The Imperative Voice says:

    That was a tactical bunker not an effort letdown. My thing is when we start with 2 dms you’re only getting more and more sluggish as you add Edu and Jozy in.

  47. Roger says:

    First half a success! After the goal we looked like most of the concacaf teams. It was tough to watch Dempsey play. Pretty cool to see 4 current/ex dynamo players on the field

  48. SuperChivo says:

    Change that to “over the past year against an opponent that we beat every single time (well, until Friday at least)” and I think you’ll have it right; A good night, at any rate.

  49. Amru says:

    I know Altidore was not very impressive when he came on, but I still think he should have started and would have eventually settled into the game. Gomez is a great player for us but he is not big enough to hold off big CB’s

  50. louis z says:

    wrong. Torres came out because he was starting to get runover once Jamaica lost the tie score and came out to play.

  51. JD in FL says:

    Is anyone excited about the possibility of D. Willams and Bradley paired together in the center? And not to sound like a downer, but I was dissapointed in all of the lateral and negative passing in the absence of pressure. In the first half, Jamaica was leaving gaps that could have been exploited by aggressive off-ball movement or dribbling in the attacking third.

  52. beachbum says:

    +1, and Zusi/Dolo combo on the right was good

    for me, even tho Torres played better and had some nice touches, the team/formation is still looking for a true left flank player who can pressure and go forward dangerously consistently. Torres is a good player tho, and good for him for his game tonight

    Williams good too, especially first half

  53. Eurosnob says:

    Altidore played a total of 10 minutes tonight so I wouldn’t draw any sweeping conclusions from his ten minute cameo. And, by the way, he leads the Dutch league in scoring and is a regular starter on a very good team.

  54. Ben says:

    and I’m sure you won’t. I’m curious as to how doubts as large as the universe grow.

  55. The Imperative Voice says:

    If they’re going to play flowing passing soccer they have to pass-pass-pass and switch sides at a faster tempo.

    What I felt like helped was the wingbacks getting forward and even making some runs through the defense, second half. If they’re gonna park the bus back no sense hanging 4 back on defense.

  56. juan says:

    I agree on Altadore… never been a big fan and with the arrival of Herc… he needs to step up or go away. EJ is on a tear… maybe hes the one?

  57. Ben says:

    Seriously, you’re complaining about the first half, when we had 70 whatever percent of the ball, 6 shots, and hit 3 posts?

  58. T-mob says:

    I know it was a tactical bunker, thats the problem. US needs to more aggressive, they were at home.

  59. The Imperative Voice says:

    Torres, fine. Shea, incomplete. Jones was fine, got stuck in. The problem is he’s a DM playing CAM. Klinsi’s problem not his.

  60. Benny says:

    This was a Super win for the United States with great possession and pressure in the first half. After the goal, I would have loved to see the same type of pressure. There was no reason to let off the gas. The U.S. needs to play this type of game. As I said before, the ref stunk. He gives Suzi a yellow card and Watson and others who deserved to be carded none.

  61. The Imperative Voice says:

    I mean, I agree with you on Torres but felt like Jones played fine. Two different meanings of fine.

  62. Spencer says:

    agreed, it is disappointing to watch us play mediocre when we have so much more talent than the other team. A 1-0 lead in must win is not something you protect by defending for 30 mins, its best defended by getting the second goal and then defending a bit more.

  63. T-mob says:

    us bunker in once they got the Goal, it had nothing to do with do with Jamaica, they took the gas off.

  64. Adrian says:

    Yeah I think we’ve already gathered that you never thought that and never will regardless.

    While people are lauding Klinsmann for the masterful change in tactics, Tony in Quakeland here says Klinsmann isn’t responsible for that.

  65. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think we need more wingback attack, more wing play and speed, and less DMs. The ball needs to move faster and switch quicker, and ideally we need to flank them on the switches. Little too half court for my taste.

  66. SuperChivo says:

    Big love for the vets Dolo and Boca, showing how important they still are to this team. Dolo is back to the excellence that he constantly brought last cycle.

  67. theraccoun says:

    haha. Post game reactions on SBI is where it’s at. b*tchin at its finest

  68. Dan in New York says:

    Dempsey mocking the “tough guy” Jamaican player was a highlight. Here’s a hilarious gif of it:

    link to thebiglead.com

  69. isma_el83@hotmail.com says:

    and everyone thought D. Williams sucked. dont know why klinsmann took so long to play him at natural position

  70. MiamiAl says:

    What a difference Cherundolo and Bocanegra make. Those two have solidified their place going forward in my mind. Dolo really is one of our best players! And Bocanegra always shows he has a calming influence on the backline. Great captain work from Bocanegra tonight!

  71. The Imperative Voice says:

    Shea to me looked more chicken with head cut off, trying to catch up to game speed as sub. He’s better when he can slow things down and iso people.

    Jozy to me was the one who looked a complete waste.

  72. T-mob says:

    both Chandler and Lichaj are RB and having 80% of the ball is pretty dominate.

  73. beachbum says:

    Williams destroying with Bradley above and to the right

  74. HoboMike says:

    After we scored, it was clear Klinsmann ordered his troops to sit back and absorb pressure, which is not Torres’ game, which why he faded. I thought that was the biggest mistake and could have been very costly. We need to win those games 3-0.

  75. JD in FL says:

    Not specifically complaining about the outcome but making an observation. If a team is giving you space in front you need to take it. The first half looked good, but I hate lateral or back passes unless you are playing out of pressure. I may be in the minority, however. We were dominant in the first half in any event.

  76. The Imperative Voice says:

    It helps when the opposition sends over an experimental postseason team on a junket, and many of our MLSers are rounding into early season shape.

  77. Adrian says:

    Also, that was some of the most pathetic and limp refereeing I’ve ever seen.

    1 yellow card for well more than 20 fouls.

  78. fischy says:

    That’s a pairing that could work, until and unless we get the old Holden back — but I’d be OK with a Bradley and Jones pairing, too.

  79. The Imperative Voice says:

    I felt like we were knocking it around but struggling to get in the dangerous part of the final 3rd. Better off cutting it back to the top of the D on the ground….Zusi shot….or trying to pass into the box itself. Too many lazy crosses against a tall team….now against Antigua or Guate….?

    Chandler and Lichaj would help because they can get up and down the line. This game called for a little bit of getting forward and overlapping because they were content to hang back until Gomez put us ahead.

  80. Vic says:

    You can see that when we play with skilled players we play well. Hopefully Klinnsmann and US fans will learn a less from this but I doubt it.

  81. fischy says:

    Of course — but, barring injury, I think Dolo has a lock on the RB slot — maybe more so than any position except possibly goalie..

  82. T-mob says:

    Come out to play or US bunker in to get the win? more like bunker in.

  83. Paul says:

    If people stay healthy, and continue to progress, we will finally have some decent depth at midfield. Add a possible Holden comeback, and some game experience for someone like Corona, and it gets interesting. Williams can effectively compete at D-Mid, and he’s versatile.
    Now with Cameron pushing ahead at defense, and others like Ream and hopefully Gonzales getting quality experience, we’ll also see depth there as well. Edu makes an adequate CD in a pinch.
    Which leaves us with the curious striker position. I don’t think Altidore can take it for granted anymore. Besides Gomez, Donovan can play up top as well as in mid. And now we’re seeing players like Boyd and a few others moving up and performing with their respective clubs. It’s going to get very competitive, and it should be interesting to see who steps up.

  84. The Imperative Voice says:

    That was not masterful they nearly scored. Thought occurred to me that he effectively reconstituted the same unit that just lost in Jamaica. Throws the 3rd dm out with Jozy, etc.

    I am a bigger fan of playing keepaway on the other end as opposed to hanging back and hoping they don’t reverse the tables and punch one through your barricade.

  85. Diego says:

    Why are you guys tripping about Jozy? He came in around the 79th minute. Didn’t get the feel for the game. It’s not like our players where storming down the filed toward the end of the game.

  86. SuperChivo says:

    Remember that we had never lost to this team before Friday night, right? This is going back to the era of college players. Kudos to Klinsi for putting another attacking player on the pitch (Zusi). A good night for him and it solidifies his position in the top three coaches this team has had in the last decade.

  87. The Imperative Voice says:

    Herculez is a clutch gamer just like Dempsey. Good player to have around because even when he has an anonymous night he’ll sneak an important play in.

  88. Seriously says:

    Torres was not that good tonight. I think he had a decent game and was applying pressure which was good, but he didn’t add much to our build-up play like he is supposed to. Not a bad game, but not a great one either.

    Zusi on the other hand was fantastic. Glad to finally see him and not Beckerman. Zusi is a much better player and I called for him over Beckerman on here a long long time ago.

  89. Brolo says:

    Altidore has never had touch, and he leads the league in scoring because of two games. So sick of people depending jozy. He has zero touch.

  90. SuperChivo says:

    +1, it was a whole different game after he came in.

  91. Tony in Quakeland says:

    That is not true. I wanted him for coach. (He was actually my favorite player during his career, but that’s neither here nor there.) But game after game I have become increasingly convinced that what his detractors in Germany and Munich said was true.

    What about this two game set should convince me otherwise? His plan on Friday was abysmal. His team tonight nearly came apart once we scored. The subs were bizarre. In addition to the Williams sub I mentioned, did he really bring in Brek Shea to help kill off a game? Really? And I LIKE Shea, but that’s not what he does. Of course posters blast him for looking lost, but do they ask why he picked Shea for that role and why his roster didn’t include the type of vet (like maybe Beasley) who actually knows how to do that? How about bringing guys having success in Europe like Kljestian who might actually know how to hand on to the ball?

    And what “masterful change of tactics” are you talking about? NOT going with three d mids? NOT trotting out Beckerman yet again? Finally adding some attacking width? His “masterful” change was simply making up for elementary mistakes he never should have made in the first place. As soon as Jamaica decided to attack, we looked extremely uncomfortable.

    To barely survive a nail bitter at home to Jamaica. Yes, we now control our fate and there is time to get things right. But open your eyes and look at how we played. There is nothing impressive about this team right now.

  92. marden08 says:

    I was at the game. Jones and Williams particularly Jones bossed the midfield. I would not want him beating on me for 90 minutes. Zusi looks like a natural winger. Torres played well but he gives you nothing wide and Williams is much better at defensive mid. I think Cameron raises the level of defense and the starting defense is porbably what we will go with for a while but boca and dolo can’t go on forever.

  93. The Imperative Voice says:

    We should have started the same team that got clobbered at the office and banged our head against the wall til it bled.

    Jozy will be more useful for the games coming up where his size is more of an advantage. But this game with big, physical Jamaica called for a more surgical precision, ie, Gomez, Dempsey.

  94. HoboMike says:

    Torres was pretty good, I thought. He even tracked back and stole the ball once or twice. It’s what he needed to do. He’s so much more comfortable with the ball at his feet going forward as opposed to soaking up pressure.

    Zusi was awesome too, but in fairness to Beckerman, you can’t compare the two. However, Williams was my Man of the Match, which is fantastic because I hope that means he knocks Beckerman out of anything but the occasional friendly.

  95. Shaggy says:

    Jones sucks most of the time so he has 1 good game out of 19. Nice. Let’s make him captain.

    Brek Shea wasn’t aggressive at all. He’s only that way when we NEED to score.

    Torres. Sorry but I just don’t think the guy shows up all the time.

  96. away goals says:

    Yeah but take away those goals we scored against portugal and we would have been in trouble.

  97. The Imperative Voice says:

    It does not make me giddy to simply switch around the cogs in the stalemate mechanism. I hope when Donovan gets back that we actually play a real CAM and quit pretending like yet another DM is one. What we needed was incisive passing into the box, but with DMs running the show the ball was getting thrown wide all the time. And that’s not so hot when the wings are touch players like Zusi and Torres and not real wingers with speed and a cross.

  98. jon says:

    Stevie C never quits!

  99. kevdflb says:

    Right about #1.
    #2 and #3… not even close.

  100. Goyim says:

    ha nice… Well-worded

  101. The Imperative Voice says:

    Yeah I think this one would have opened up more if Greco-Roman wrestling holds were barred. He was not helping us whatsoever “letting them play.” Bunker team’s dream ref. “Just don’t hit him with the wrench when I’m looking.”

  102. Yellow says:

    if you watched any of his goals this year, and any of his goals last year, which by the way gave him the 7th highest total and the best for his team, you’d see that altidore has got some game. He has pretty good touch

  103. beachbum says:

    great call. for the win tonight too

  104. Scott says:

    I take it you didn’t watch the game tonight.

  105. Matt says:

    I think your criticism of Altidore is a bit harsh. He had 22 goals last year for AZ, so it’s not like he had two fluke games.

  106. kevdflb says:

    Tonight we HAD more wing back attack.
    Cherundolo was very goodboth defensively and pushing forward.
    And Fabian had showed did well in front of Jamaica’s box – as well as breaking things up on the left side. HUGE difference from 5 days ago.

    I think Klinsi brought Alitdore on for his size and strength… But he plays like a guy 50 lbs lighter and 4 inches shorter.
    I would have rather seen Boyd than Edu, as well.

    A very good first 60 minutes.

  107. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I thought he did well, but the only hesitation is that Jamaica had no interest in attacking most of the game so he was under little pressure. Need to see him with more pressure on him before deciding.

  108. The Imperative Voice says:

    And Gomez actually scores for the USA at a higher rate, as opposed to leading us on. So what?

  109. kevdflb says:

    Agree.
    Shea came on to be a game changer…. and looked about 2 steps behind everything. Both his feet and his head were WAY too slow.

  110. iheartscotch says:

    Everyone is missing the real issue. My respect for Danny Williams went way down when I noticed he has a tramp stamp tattoo. What a way to ruin an awesome performance overall…….

  111. Amru says:

    I disagree I believe that Jozy paired with a player like gomez or dempsey would open up more more space for them to sneak into which is what they do very well.

  112. Vic says:

    One goal under the Klinnsmann era and that was a penalty kick. Add that to poor work rate and poor passing.

  113. Ryan says:

    High praise considering we’ve only actually had three coaches in the last decade

  114. The Imperative Voice says:

    I just was saying the foot coming off the gas is the coach’s. I think the team earned the win by their pre-bunker increased effort.

  115. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I read articles asking if he was going to get his spot back from Parkhurst. Really, Dolo gets no respect. One of the top nats of all time and the best field career of any US player in Europe. (He will get passed for that, but he’s played top flight in Germany a lot of years.)

  116. The Imperative Voice says:

    I didn’t really notice an effective wingback effort until Fabian starting making the slashing runs, which were not actually chalk line jobs. I didn’t really think Dolo whacking crosses over heads was being effective in creating dangerous chances. That I felt was playing into Jamaica’s strengths.

  117. beachbum says:

    +1

    Dolo is a US all timer, and showed up ready to play tonight from the opening whistle, helped set the tone. a leader

  118. The Imperative Voice says:

    We looked worse because IMO he reverted back to 3 dms plus Jozy in an attempt to clog. It’s pretty ironic that for our tiki-taka continental savior in practice he ends up trying to squeak out games with a defensive midfield like Bradley on steroids. Heck, I remember when 2 dms used to prompt aesthetic complaints. But 3?

  119. Goyim says:

    co-signed.

  120. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think Jozy would have done what he did the game before and then for 10+ minutes more. He’s a slow big fellow who ironically is softer than he looks. Once he came in the possession went to crap, the giveaways mounted, and we started playing on our end.

    I think he’s more useful against weaker or smaller teams that he can get headers on, or the occasional team like Italy who plays low pressure defense.

    I think Klinsi did fine with the Fs. Where he needs a brain transplant is the midfield

  121. andrew in tally says:

    For the Jozy haters …I think the present set up wastes his talent big time. No service on Friday. In the first half Gomez and Dempsey had no impact on the game because of the tight spaces. We’ve seen Jozy mix it up and he can play in tight spaces. He has the ability to take on defenders and make life difficult if he’s getting service. The lack of service has been sadly consistent so far this year. Gomez has been a key contributor but I am still not convinced he’s the longterm answer at forward.
    With Torres… I thought he killed too many attacks by playing backward. He never tried to take on the defender on the wing. His crosses and shots were always a second too late.
    Danny Williams and Zusi were fun to watch, however too many of Zusi and Cherondolo’s crosses were wasteful. We need consistent quality service.
    Cameron is making a claim to be the indispensable center back. Good for him.

  122. beachbum says:

    I can understand Coach’s idea to push Williams out wider since he’s played that before even if not as effectively, but he was getting it done so well where he was; team needs a Heather O’Reilly type sub, pace and skill who can serve it with quality. Shea’s getting the looks to be that player these days, some good results but not much tonight

  123. jones says:

    Someday I’d like to see Williams in the center with Bradley

  124. A.S. says:

    Meh. So the US can keep possession in the midfield without creating many chances, provided the opposition plays 9 behind the ball and applies no pressure. WHO CARES.

    When the opposition goes forward and applies some pressure — which is what will happen in most important games — we are outplayed. The first 60 minutes were pretty irrelevant to the development of the team. Yes, got us the three point, which was vital, but we were outplayed as soon as the other team decided to play.

    This game answered NONE of my questions about the future of the team.

  125. Vic says:

    Torres is NOT a wingers. He needs someone to play to his left otherwise he has to drift there. He belongs in the middle.

  126. monty says:

    After tonight I’d like to see this lineup vs Guatemala if everyone is healthy.

    Dempsey Gomez

    Donovan Bradley Zusi

    Jones

    Johnson Boca Cameron Dolo

    Howard

    After tonight Williams certainly proved that he will be a contender for that D mid spot but I think Klinsmann favors Jones too heavily to bench him.

  127. Vic says:

    Altidore, Shea and Edu did alot to lower our possession. They came on for skilled players: Gomez, Zusi and Williams.

  128. A.S. says:

    We were outplayed before any of them came on. Jamaica was the better team beginning immediately after the goal .

  129. Sarasota says:

    Very impressed with Danny Williams in his natural D-mid position. Pleasantly surprised at how well Graham Zusi played. I am still totally unimpressed with Torres after having high hopes for him–no penetrating passes or runs, AGAIN! I’d love to see Chandler and Lichaj back in the team. I also think Mixx Diskerud and Joe Corona bring more than Torres even at their young age.

  130. Amru says:

    I think it would have been similar to the Italy game where he struggled a bit early on, but then found the game. And Jozy did not sub on until we once again had 3 D mids in the game.

  131. Lukas says:

    Someone needs to post a pic of that scrunched up face Dempsey was making when taunting that Jamaica player after their little scuffle. Hilarious!!

  132. Benny says:

    No, we were not outplayed in the second half. What game were you watching? The U.S. did not play like they did in the first half but were not even close to being outplayed.

  133. A.S. says:

    This is crazy. Of course we were outplayed after the goal was scored. It’s not even debatable.

  134. Clover362 says:

    You cannot call a will be 35 year old a lock, we desperately need to find a replacement for dolo for 2014. Dolo is good for qualifying right now put lichjai, chandler, or someone else will need to be there come WC tIme.

  135. Dennis says:

    I thought the US lineup was one that was aimed at attacking a bunkered defense, which it appears L=Klinsmann expected. While they were doint that in the first 70 minutes they looked very good. However, when Jamaica had to leave theri own penalty area and started pressuring the US, the US attack and possession pretty much fell apart.

    Note to Guatemala and Antigua, if you want to do well against the US, pressure them, expecially without Bradley and Donavon the number of players who can be pressured into easy give-aways is high. Once Jamaica upped the pressure nearly every US player looked a lot more suspect, even Cameron was unsettled, only Dolo and Boca were able to remain calm in the face of the pressure. I hope that Cameron, Zusi, and Johnson can learn from this. I expected more composure from Torres, Dempsey and Jones than I saw. I thought Williams and Gomez did OK under the pressure, but their exits might mean they simply had fewer chances to cough up the ball.

  136. NE REVS says:

    Oh, so that’s what Crew Stadium looks like with people in it.

  137. Dennis says:

    The US qwas clearly outplayed starting immediately after the goal. There was no question about it. We were lucky to survive.

  138. Dennis says:

    I thought Klinsmann should have substituted for Dempsey rather than Gomez. Clint was the one who looked too tired and many of his touches showed it.

  139. Benny says:

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  140. Benny says:

    What a joke. Do you have any idea what being outplayed iis like? The U.S. outplayed Jamaica in the first half and the second half was at best even. Give me a freaking break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  141. Benny says:

    Yeah, I’m sure Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala are going to listen to you. PSSSSSS!!!

  142. PD says:

    Aw Shaggy, it’s such a shame you’re dealing wih the loss of Scoob by smoking crack and typing smack.

  143. PD says:

    Plus 91% pass completion. If the Jamaica keeper hadn’t gone all Matrix the scoreline could have easily been 3-0, 4-0. What was most impressive was the turnaround from the last match. Every last thing that I thought led to the loss was addressed. Incredibly impressed not only by the performance but by the turnaround. That’s a credit to the coaches and the players.

  144. A.S. says:

    Yes. I thought overall Clint did not have a great game.

  145. louis z says:

    i don’t think we bunkered because we scored. Jamaica took the game to us, JK made subs to counter that which didn’t do much help. For us to bunker it would mean we had no offense, we still did, it just wasn’t a walk in the park like the first half. It didn’t help for BOCA to conceed those corners toward the end of game, didn’t he get the memmo that is the only way Jamaica is going to score on us…Dead balls.

  146. louis z says:

    I don’t think this is true. we didn’t let off the gas, Jamaica came out playing after we scored on them, JK saw that Torres was starting to get runover and decided to sub him, also Zusi because of his yellow, the subs didn’t do their job which made the game a bit up in the air. hated when Boca was knocking the ball for corner, didn’t he get the memo…Jamaica can only score on dead balls plays.

  147. louis z says:

    calming influence? then explain to me why we has easily conceding corner later in the game. doesn’t he know that is the only way Jamaica is going to score on us?

  148. louis z says:

    :-) you saw that too.

  149. louis z says:

    you had me at “boca were able to remain calm in the face of the pressure” didn’t you see him knocking the ball out of bounds for the corners late in the game? If jamaica is going to score is going to score in death ball plays.

  150. louis z says:

    i that so too.

  151. Johnny says:

    The positives: Cameron continues to play well and solidified his spot on the NATS roster after the Scotland game. Williams made a case for his spot and had a great shot (as well as some good touches). Herc continues to have a nose for the goal. Johnson played well and has earned a spot at LB. Zusi obviously played great. My only question though: where has that effort been? I watched him earlier this year and he didn’t stand out for me like he did tonight.

    The so-so’s: Torres continues to unimpress IMHO. He’s not bad, but I thought the US would have someone better we could turn to; coach Klinsmann obviously doesn’t share my opinion. I like Edu on he back line; in the midfield…not so much. He’s fast and physical but his touch isn’t what it needs to be at the national level. Shea was so-so…after the first time he played for the NATS I thought he was going to be a game changer for us. Hopefully he turns it around. Altidore hasn’t impressed me much lately. I think he deserves a spot on the team, but if I had to choose between Altidore and Gomez, I’d pick Gomez.

    The questions: Cherundolo and Bocanegra continue to play well, but each time they start it reminds me we really need to start transitioning them (unfortunately). We all thought Chandler was the answer at RB, but that’s gone. Spector is a bit too slow at the national level. Lichaj seems to be the likely choice. I still think this team could benefit from Adu and Feilhaber. I thought Adu played very well against Panama, and I think the US could benefit from having skilled players in the midfield.

  152. Hayes says:

    Important win for the US and loved to see the possession in the first half. Williams and Zusi stepped up to the plate and Cameron continues to look like one of the CB asnwers. Boca was just average. Any CB can look organized and composed when your team has 80% possession but he looked flat footed once the Jam started to attack. Thought Dolo had a good game but his service needs to be better. Realize he and Johnson were more attacking but that is easy to do when you have that much possession. He may be the best RB we have but I do not think he will be able to play 90 minutes for 3 pool games by 2014, so someone else is needed.

    Torres slows the game down too much going forward and is too slow of foot and speed of play to add much at this level.

    Here is a potential option with subs options in ().

    ——-Altidore(Boyd)—-Gomez(Dempsey)——
    Dempsey(Shea)——————-Donovan(Zusi)-
    ———–Jones(Williams)–Bradley———–
    Johnson——–Boca(Edu/Goodson)–Cameron–Dolo
    Howard

    I think the whole outside back depth issues will be sorted out but Parkhurst added his name to the mix if Chandler ends up not playing for the US. Lichaj should also be in that mix.

  153. Jay in Ft. Lauderdale says:

    True. Still though, can MB and LD please get healthy?! Does anyone think we struggle at all the last 2 games if they’re on the field? … and is Stuey ever coming back?

  154. Alex G says:

    IMO Dempsey needs to start playing smart soccer, simple soccer, he always wants to show off and wastes a lot of chances with bad ball control skills.
    This result is not enough, if we are having trouble in this stage of the qualifiers, I don´t want to know what´s going to happen to us in the Hex, God help us.

  155. nycRone says:

    Berkerman is the new Bornstien!

  156. DL says:

    This, coming from a Revs fan? Really?

  157. Juan says:

    Donovan depends on transition to do anything. He would have been invisible last night

  158. THomas says:

    If he did…those are two impressive games. And judging a sub off of ten minutes of work, especially a striker like Jozy, is not really fair.

  159. Juan says:

    No goals against Jamaica is not impressive. Possession when the other team bunkers doesnt mean much either. When Jamaica started attacking in the second half, we didnt look so hot

  160. THomas says:

    These 3 rules are why you are not coaching the US Men’s National team.

  161. THomas says:

    You do know that we did score right? It was 1-0. We won. Sooooooo, is that impressive, or hot?

  162. THomas says:

    I agree louis z. And if we did, we had to a little bit. We couldn’t keep bombing guys forward when Jamaica was looking for a quick counter. I think it was the perfect game. And Jamaica is good, better than they’ve ever been and probably top 5 in Concacaf right now.

  163. The Imperative Voice says:

    And I felt like the player we missed more than anyone was Landon, who could have been put in either Torres, Zusi, or Gomez’s spots and been an upgrade. While I agree that he blossoms in an open game that lets him run, there were plenty of opportunities to get around the corner on their backs last night that the nominal wings Zusi and Torres lacked the physical tools to exploit. And then in the period where the game opened up after the goal, and Richards came in, that would have been Landon paradise. So there were windows where Landon would have helped.

  164. RK says:

    Highlight of the match for him…he was off…

  165. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’ve said this a few times now but the USA has in recent years played Italy well because they back off and let us play, then try and win the ball with physical defense. This allows Jozy time to receive the ball with less pressure and figure out his options. Italy does this because their defense is traditionally so good it can beat most teams sitting back, and thus feels like it can be non-gimmicky and conservative.

    However, against the USA, it’s an invitation for us to move the ball downfield and actually hides some of our passing and touch flaws. Jozy doesn’t have to trap in pressure. Jozy can iso his man. Jozy can get the ball and then make a deliberate decision.

    It’s a very good matchup for us, just like T&T was for Jozy.

    The Eredivisie bears some similarities in that they tend to emphasize flowing offense over half-court, physical defense. That AZ is not MLS or England or Brazil is thus to Jozy’s benefit in terms of appearances.

    But it’s not general reality. Most national teams aren’t going to let Jozy trap, think, turn. They’re going to hassle him like Jamaica, at which point last night he started back passing to no one, flubbing traps, etc.

    So I disagree. I think Jozy is instead better suited to games coming up like Guatemala where the opposition is smaller and he can bowl them over or head over them. But Jamaica had some beefy backs and that neutralized Jozy.

  166. The Imperative Voice says:

    I realize Landon is a part answer to the question, but they need to sit down and figure out what the wing player pool is? Cause a continuing pattern I see is having players in wide positions whose crossing is mediocre and who lack the speed to create their own openings. Torres was anonymous and Zusi looked better receiving the ball in the 35 yard danger area centrally. There was no chalk on the boots winger with speed to get to the endline, and the irony is that sort of play was what was flanking Jamaica’s bunker and then getting ground passes turned into shots from the top of the 18. Also the crossing was decent but not really really sharp.

    So, on top of DMs posing as CAMs we also need to work on CAMs posing as wing mids. Shea was as close to a wing as we had and his confidence looked shot. Really need to figure out who the wings are because that has recently been an American strength.

  167. BrianH says:

    If they are going to play flowing passing soccer there also needs to be more movement off the ball. The guys off the ball are generally standing looking at the man on the ball or only moving vertically. Rarely do we see diagonal movement, or much creativity in our movement. Also, while improved, I think we still are making negative passes when good positive options are available. Particularly with a team that is bunkered in, a quick pass forward in transition affords you a little more space and options on attack. If instead you make a negative pass and build slowly, you let them get all 11 behind the ball and it really does make stringing the passes together more challenging. Also, if the pass to an advanced position does not lead to additional forward attacking options, you can almost always find a drop ball and regroup.

  168. The Second Gunman on the Grassy Knoll says:

    Wise words from the Imperative Voice. Particularly a fan of the latter comment on a Landon paradise after Richards subbed in. The US had a lot of decent looks on the counter but were too slow in many of those instances. LD always has endurance and fitness to burn in 90+ minutes (see US v Algeria). I think he would have been a good bet to capitalize on those counters.

  169. KillerInstinct says:

    ….that would actually be Torres… with the countless chances he has gotten, while Sasha is being overlooked. At least Berkerman is not a turn over machine and tracks back to defend unlike Torres. Alot of people who bag on Berkerman, clearly dont follow MLS…he is a holding midfielder on RSL (a team that is known for high possession) he is able to get out of pressure…exactly what Klinsi wants.

  170. beachbum says:

    agree. Johnson tried to fly by on wide runs outside of Torres on the left, but didn’t have the ball played to him when he overlapped

  171. Dennis says:

    No they couldn’t. It took Jamaica only a minute to up the pressure all over the field after the goal was scored. If the goal had come early, the US would have come under pressure much sooner. In that case more of the game would have looked like the last half hour with the US basically hanging on instead of like the first half with Jamaica content to put 10 or 11 in the PA and defend only inside 30 yards.

  172. Since 82 says:

    I would prefer to see Alitdore as well. Gomez did not do much aside from the set piece.

  173. BF says:

    what, his touch is one of the worst parts of his game!!

  174. Since 82 says:

    Great first half. Mediocre second half. We played very well for 45 minutes, but we could of seen our WC chances go sideways if Jamaica had gotten lucky.

  175. BF says:

    scoring goals and being a highly technical / smart are mutually exclusive. his goal stats are not an indication of quality. the guy sucks!!

  176. sturmar says:

    i think both teams are good,give jamaica credit.jamaica did not want to loose the game so they played defensive and game out after the goal was scored and the usa team did not look so good after jamaica came out to play.hope both team reaches the next round so they can prove themself again.good luck both teams. two good teams.

  177. Eli says:

    Does anyone miss JONATHAN BORSTEIN..?????lol worst mnt player