Mission Accomplished

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team needed just a draw to advance to the next round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, but what they got instead was a convincing victory that saw them shake off an early scare.

The United States won Group A in the semifinal round of qualifying and reached the Hexagonal by fighting off an early goal from Carlos Ruiz and scoring three first-half goals en route to an impressive 3-1 triumph over Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City on Tuesday night.

Clint Dempsey led the way for the U.S., scoring twice and adding an assist in a game that saw the Americans improve to 4-1-1 in their World Cup qualifying campaign. Carlos Bocanegra scored the other goal for a U.S. team that was on the front foot, netting an equalizer in the 10th minute to become the all-time leading scorer among U.S. defenders.

The loss, coupled with Jamaica’s 4-1 win vs. Antigua & Barbuda, eliminated Guatemala. The Reggae Boyz earned the other place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying from Group A with 10 points and a better goal differential than Guatemala.

Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation and in front of a pro-U.S. crowd, the Americans opened the game by dominating possession. But that did not stop Guatemala from taking an early lead after a long ball played over the top exposed the U.S. defense and allowed for Ruiz to race in on goal before rounding Tim Howard and tapping the ball into the back of the net in the fifth minute.

While the goal stunned head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the rest of the U.S., it did not take long for the Americans to respond. Bocanegra leveled things five minutes later with a simple finish that came after Dempsey nodded down a Graham Zusi corner kick in the U.S. captain’s direction.

With the U.S. continuing to push, Dempsey went from provider to scorer in the 18th minute. Steve Cherundolo hit a quality through ball in behind Guatemala’s defense that found a streaking Eddie Johnson and the U.S. forward laid off a low cross towards the center of the penalty area that Dempsey finished with a sliding effort.

Dempsey then gave the Americans a 3-1 lead 18 minutes later with his second strike of the night. Michael Bradley raced in on goal and lofted a ball over goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez that looked goal-bound, but Dempsey made sure it would find the back of the net by tapping it home from a yard out.

With Jamaica leading Antigua  & Barbuda in the other Group A game, Guatemala needed to come out of its defensive shell in the second half but the visitors did no such thing. The U.S. continued to dominate possession and created more chances, but Jerez denied Dempsey of his first international hat-trick while also stopping Sacha Kljestan and Danny Williams from building on the Americans’ lead. Even without scoring again, the Americans saw off the game with ease by holding onto the ball and limiting Guatemala to mostly half-chances.

The U.S. will continue their World Cup qualifying campaign with their first matches of the Hexagonal round in March 2013. The other teams in the Hex are Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

The schedule for the Hexagonal should be finalized by no later than December.

—–

What do you think of the United States’ 3-1 win over Guatemala? Who impressed you? What needs to be addressed before the start of the Hexagonal?

Share your thoughts below.

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

185 Responses to Mission Accomplished

  1. DeLarge says:

    Phew.

    • Ed says:

      With the game in the bag, that dive by Dempsey was incredibly stupid.

      Let’s hope that card does not come back to haunt us.

    • JRP says:

      3-1 is a phew? No 1 out of the bracket is a phew?

      • Sam says:

        Finally playing to potential is a phew

      • Dank says:

        Not guaranteed to advance until the last game is a phew.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        After that beginning don’t even play like this was a foregone conclusion.

      • Monty says:

        Yeah but we lost to Jamaica, drew Guatemala and needed a 90th minute goal to beat Antigua and Barbuda. At times we were pretty poor during this stage of qualifying. The likes of Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras are going to be much tougher tests.

        • Pedant says:

          Even the elite have their difficulties. Referenced on the US v Guatemala broadcast was the Germany game where they were up 4:0 at home versus Sweden, and Sweden struck four times in 30 minutes to tie it up 4:4.

          World Cup Qualifying is often messy and never easy.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Chat with Mexico and Honduras re easy. Great to get advanced but I can’t trot out cliches for escaping Guate, Jamaica, and Antigua.

            • EasyPeasy says:

              Honduras was in third going into the final game, so no it wasn’t easy for them either.

            • Josh D says:

              But Mexico struggled last qualifying round four years ago too. Let’s accept we had difficulties playing away from home, as usual, but showed two very dominating displays at home.

              Now we get a breather when Klinsi can start experimenting a bit more, and hopefully filling in our big defensive hole which wasn’t there earlier in the year.

            • The Subjunctive Mood says:

              I suspect you’ve just started watching the game. Welcome, baseball fan!

            • The Subjunctive Mood says:

              My comment was for the Imperious Voice, not Josh.

          • Monty says:

            This portion of qualifying is usually easy for US. We qualified to the next round in only four games. Also, Sweden is a quality team(they beat France in the Euros) and I am sure Germany’s manager and players are receiving tons of criticism from their press and fans right now.

        • Benny says:

          No it won’t

      • SilverRey says:

        Yes.

    • Old School says:

      Are the school girls screaming “Fire Klinsmann” back to listening to Justin Beiber yet?

      Yes? Awesome. Looking forward to reading SBI again since their mouths are full of crow.

      #1 in Group/Advancing to the Hexagonal = Mission Accomplished thus far..on to the next step.

      • downintexas says:

        One home game does not let him off the hook. You have yet given much of an argument to any of the Klinsmann “haters” other then belittle them. You are a sad, sad man

        • Old School says:

          I’ve yet to give an argument? You can rationalize with insanity. Trust me, if I cared enough to remember the names of the countless people that look silly now, I would have referenced them. Unfortunately, they weren’t memorable. Thanks for remembering me?

          I’ve routinely said, there’s reason for concern. I’ve routinely said, I do not agree with some decisions that JK has made. I’ve routinely said, I’d be the first to call for his head if we fail to qualify.

          However, I refuse to take the side of people crying tears of hyperbole.

          At this point, you know why I don’t need any defense? Because what I said all along came to fruition: be patient and let the men take care of the job while you women cry tears of fear.

          This just in…we finished top of our group.

          Find your next target to feign outrage over.

          • Keeping_The_Brek_Shea_Faith says:

            “…I’d be the first to call for his head if we failed to qualify…”
            How’s that band wagon treating you?

          • Keeping_The_Brek_Shea_Faith says:

            “…I’d be the first to call for his head if we failed to qualify…”
            How’s that band wagon treating you?

            • Leo says:

              Don’t bother. Clearly there was no reason for concern, especially not when we went down in the fifth minute.

              We had it all under control the entire time!

              What, me worry?

              I think Old School is the one in fantasy land here.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            “I’ve routinely said, there’s reason for concern. I’ve routinely said, I do not agree with some decisions that JK has made.”

            No you haven’t.

            “I’ve routinely said, I’d be the first to call for his head if we fail to qualify.”

            Well, don’t go out on a limb, there.. If we failed to qualify, it’s already too late to fire the coach.

            I’ve never thought JK would be good as our manager (I wanted him as our Technical Director), but I’m certainly not “eating crow” as he’s accomplished the nigh-impossible mission of, um, making it to the hex.

          • Scott says:

            “while you women cry tears of fear”! I came home, fired up the grill, made a drink and promptly spit it out on my computer screen when I read this. I was laughing the whole time I cleaned up my mess.

        • slimkid32 says:

          I do agree it is probably too early to be “eating crow” but it does seem you might be “eating crow” in the near future. No reaching the hex is not a HUGE feat, however it was a goal and now it has been accomplished. Did we have perfect performances, well no we didn’t. However, we are I’m the midst of change and mistakes will occur. Will we learn from them? I think we will. Did we react poorly to mistakes? No we didn’t. Give the players and the staff a little credit here. To say that we have not improved as a team since JK took over would be incorrect. We have seen new players emerge, new leaders emerge, better possession, more attacking, all good things as far as I am concerned. Yes there are defensive concerns, yes we need better finishing, but we are actually attacking more we are getting more chances It seems the new regime has created an environment where younger players are given confidence and room to grow while at the same time finding ways to keep the veterans engaged. Lets be honest, JK inherited a program with no real vision to the future and is trying to create one. A little time and patience is needed.

      • PetedeLA says:

        Ehmmm. If you call that good soccer, you’re the one who needs to check himself.

        OK. Guatemala can’t defend crosses or set pieces. Better said, they basically don’t know how to defend at all.

        But that has to have been some of the worst passing I have ever seen the US produce.

        Players were ABSOLUTELY struggling to trap, get past their opponents in space, play their teammates into space, string more than 3 meaningful passes together, the list goes on.

        We have a LOT of work to do.

        I’m happy to have gotten the three points. But right now we look like a very second rate team.

        I’m happy for EJ and Graham Zusi. They did well for themselves considering they are not staples of the national team set up. Everyone else should be quite embarrassed. Dempsey got two goals. For a striker I guess that’s enough. Bradley helped create a bit of shape. Other than that it was hard to find real quality to get excited about. Looking forward to seeing how we do with Donovan and Fabian Johnson back.

        But I am indeed happy that we advanced. Just disappointed that it just didn’t seem that convincing to me.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Some of the worst passing the US has EVER produced?……. OOOOooooooK. Wow. Lots of drama queens round here.

        • slimkid32 says:

          I have to agree with old school here. Klinnsman haters find every negative thing they can about every game even the convincing victories. You never hear “great job guys” or “way to go USA” only negative comments. They have made up their minds that klinnsman isn’t the coach we need and their hatred for him and his methods is so blinding that simple positive, supportive statements are set aside in favor of comments wrapped in pessimism. Yes Old School lashed out at the “haters,” but downintexas you also found the need to tell him he was a sad, sad man.

          • downintexas says:

            I’ll admit I’m not a fan of JK, but it did not start out that way. Tonight he did what he had to do and he gets credit for that. That does not change the fact he has done some baffling things that deserve either criticism or us to look a little deeper at what he is doing. It just seems, not you or Old School at least I dont think, but some fans who gave Bob a short leash have given JK “god” status and he can do no harm even when he does the same things as Bob.

            As for Old School I call it how I see it. If he wants to debate the subject go for it, but stop belittling those who don’t agree with you. He is either a sad man or an immature kid. I just assumed since his name was old school, but I could be wrong.

          • biff says:

            oh, man. gag me with a spoon, slimkid38. I am a fan of Klinsmann and I was tickled pink when Bob B. was fired and I am still glad he was fired and no way do I want him back as coach. But I have been unhappy for months with some of Klinsmann’s roster picks and on-field strategies and some of the lackluster games and I have been nervous as heck the past month that we MIGHT not qualify. That does not make me a Klinsmann hater. And, quite frankly, USMNT fans were not the only once scared. Klinsmann has had the headlight in the eyes of the deer look all week. Klinsmann knows his stuff and he knows that he just about blew it. I have no doubt he knows he made mistakes.

            The big question now is how he moves forward. Weill he learn from his mistakes or start that down the slippery slope again?

            All that said, I do agree with you that there is a small group of rabid Klinsmann haters, some of them people who are still mad that B. Bradley was fired, and they are still hoping that Klinsmann will mess up and get fired. But just because someone criticizes Klinsmann does not mean he (or she) is a hater.

            • slimkid32 says:

              I have also said that we DO have cause for concern and that some of the decisions JK tends to make aren’t popular or are not the kind of decisions we are used to. It is absolutely OK to worry and express the worry that is what this comment rooms are about. Like you said there are people who do post that only criticize and put it all on JK, which is, in my opinion, wrong. I am open minded to what others offer, and I don’t always see that reciprocated, which I find tiresome. If the criticism is fair I have no issue and enjoy the discussions that follow.

              • biff says:

                I will admit it: Unlike my comment above, your response is 100% mature, slimkid32 :-)

                thanks.

              • slimkid32 says:

                I am a frequent reader of SBI, but have just recently started contributing. In my opinion, I have seen a lot of comments go against the JK regime and personally have some different perspectives to offer. I feel most (not all) of his questionable decisions have actually worked or are in the progress of working. However, I do realize that does not make the decisions any easier to take, since they are not always the most popular. I maintain confidence in the JK regime and can’t wait to see wait the future holds for US soccer. Call the me eternal optimist. I look forward to future discussions with you and the other regular contributors.

            • Joamiq says:

              I cosign this 100%. I was a Bradley supporter, but I was excited about Klinsmann. I have become very concerned about him, and he has a lot left to prove.

      • kodi says:

        Really bro? Don’t be so reactionary. Your just as bad. You think that this one game means those fears/doubts were unfounded?

      • bizzy says:

        Mission accomplished? For what?
        Tying Guatemala…..
        defeated by Jamaica…..
        Take full mins to beat a team like A&B that Jamaica hung 4-1…
        Carlos Ruiz exposing our defense…..imagine what will happen when we meet Mexico or Honduras.
        The results are not outstanding because this is what should have happened in the first place in a group with Jamaica, Guatemala and A&B…..
        Klinsmann takes credit for getting the wagon moving again, by patching the issues not exactly fixing them.

        • Josh D says:

          And we’ve struggled in the past just as Honduras has and Mexico lest we forget the last World Cup cycle. And Honduras is in the same boat as us: a mediocre qualifying campaign and a final game when they dominated.

          Honduras could have easily been eliminated from their group yesterday if Canada didn’t implode. So Mexico withstanding, let’s not make other teams out to be giants.

          • bizzy says:

            Josh D….man whether we like it or not, the US and Mexico are the team to beat in CONCACAF…..sorry to say but WE ARE ONE OF THE GIANTS. So we need to be consistant……Not beat Italy today and lose to Jamaica tomorrow…..Not Beat Mexico and struggle to put A&B away…..we need consistency, gradual progression, sustaining improvement……

        • bryan says:

          Jamaica tied A&B in A&B 0-0. We beat A&B at home 3-1. So what is your point? We beat them twice by a combined score of 5-2 and Jamaica won once and tied once for a combined score of 4-1. Stop cherry picking.

          • Mr B says:

            I don’t think it is Cherry picking to take issue with these performances against these opponents.

            Comparing our performance against A&B to how to Jamaica fared…there should be no comparison.

            A&B are essentially a USL team and we gave up 2 goals to them. this should be beneath us by now.

            We should be beyond head and shoulders above A&B and we should be well ahead of jamaica not comparable.

            Yes qualifying is tough, but we shouldn’t have struggled as much as we did and the way that we did.

            • bryan says:

              it’s cherry picking to compare Jamaica’s result against A&B at home to our result against A&B at A&B.

              i agree with the idea we should be crushing A&B, there is no denying that. but the original point was cherry picking info and trying to compare apples and oranges.

              and yes, we shouldnt let them score twice on us. but take a look at the two A&B goals. Gooch gets absolutely demolished with speed on 1 and terrible defense/marking leads to the 2nd. which i think is further proof that our CB situation is really messy, regardless of the team we play.

              • bizzy says:

                Do you get the point Bryan?? for the fact that you are actively associating/comparing US and Jamaica or US and A&B means we have major problems. We should be beyond this point by now…….thats why we brought Klinsy on in the first place

              • bryan says:

                I’m not comparing them! You are! I was simply saying if YOU are going to try and compare, at least do it right.

              • bizzy says:

                talking about A&B with the same breath is failure on our part…..thats what you don’t get

              • bryan says:

                Bizzy you are seriously thick. I did not make the comparison. YOU did. I simply pointed out that you didn’t even compare it correctly.

      • Amen

        How could there have ever been any doubt? Because the new soccer pundits need something to create controversy where there is none.

      • Sarasota says:

        Agree with Old School. Klinsmann received harsh criticism in Germany as we was re-engineering that team. He was almost run out of the country after a 4-0 loss to Italy in a friendly He then became the toast of the country after their performances in the 2006 World Cup. The guy knows more than any US coach in history. Give him his full team and a chance–at least through the Hexagonal.

        By the way, Old School, you’ll need to explain the word “hyperbole” to some of the vapid, foul-mouthed children who populate this site.

    • Dan in New York says:

      U.S. has the same number of points (13) and position (first) in this round as the last time we qualified.

      • Josh D says:

        Thank you for clarity. The nostalgia on here is insane. People need to realize qualifying has never been a breeze for us and everyone is just getting tougher.

      • Noah says:

        That is not true. The US got 15 points in the semifinal round in 2010. Goal differential was 14-3 vs. 11-6 this time. In 2010, the US started the round 4-0 and was guaranteed to advance, so we brought a B-lineup to our final two games. The only loss the US had was on the road to Trinidad in the 5th game, when we didn’t have Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra or Onyewu.

        This time we started 2-1-1 and then eked out a victory over Antigua in the 90th minute. Then we fell behind to Guatemala in a game we had to tie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very encouraged by how we played today. But if you really think this was the same as last cycle, you are wrong.

    • Dennis says:

      Once again the USA gave up an early goal. Can’t the coach get the team ready to play?

      Same ol’ grit and determination that got the US to the same point in qualifying as 4 years ago with slightly worse results:
      13 pts in 6 games with a +5 goal difference now vs 15 pts and +11 goal difference then.

      On to the 4th round or Hex.

  2. Yankeedom says:

    A good night. We won and CAP’ed Corona!

  3. Jason says:

    Great/Smart move by Klinsmann bringing Corona on at the end of the game. Now he’s cap-tied!

    • Todd says:

      I thought Corona looked rally good and aggressive on his few minutes.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      Finally!

    • Josh D says:

      I was shouting for him to put Corona on, and in the 8 odd minutes he had, I thought Corona did excellently. You can tell his mind works faster than most and he knew what he was going to do with the ball before he got it. He’ll defiantely get minutes next year before qualifying starts again.

  4. AC says:

    EJ missed some chances but his touch and hold up game was really good…Altidore should take notice that he has some competition, which is only a good thing….Loved how the USA play fast possession….Michael is a freaking beast in the midfield!

    • Datrufth says:

      Who was a beast ? Michael bradley ? please…….

      He was ok throughout the game, too many back passes for my taste in the first half and he made one good play. When he plays against a high pressure team, the dude is a ghost

      • Seriously says:

        There’s always got to be one…

      • duhboy7 says:

        Are you serious? Michael is one of the best if not THE best player we have. He’s the great bradbinho. The colossus of clout!

      • JD in FL says:

        MB played back passes when we needed to slow the tempo in the second half and keep possession. Not sure what you were watching.

        Anyone see Sasha’s fancy footwork on the ball in the second half. The talk that we don’t have players who are technical on the ball has to stop. The US isn’t deep, but we have anew who can ball.

      • Catholic School Girl says:

        Jr. is not a beast nor the best player we have. He’s useful as a holding mid. He’s neither creative nor quick thinking enough at CAM nor quick enough physically as a destroyer. He plays his role and that is good.

      • Keeping_The_Brek_Shea_Faith says:

        You do realize he starts for Roma in midfield next to Daniele De Rossi…right?
        And too many “back passes”? How much soccer have actually watched? I’m not going to take the time to explain why passing the ball back has strategic value…..

    • Jeremy H says:

      Agree that it should be a wake up for Jozy, which I’m sure was Klinsey’s plan. I for one like that he was left off the roster.

    • TerkyJerky says:

      Love the Bradley/William midfield JK should really stick with that combo for the hex. EJ was decent I still have a problem with him though, he tends to look at the ball way to much when he is dribbling that really slow down his pace. I’m saying he played ok even though he got an assist because Guatemala left the wings wide open Cherundolo and Parkhurst had so much time on the ball and acres of space out there so did Zusi and EJ.

      • bryan says:

        i agree. i think Bradley/Williams needs to be our midfield combo from here on out. i like Jones, but he would be a better option off the bench at this point. Bradley/Williams need to continue building their understanding.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Dempsey and Bradley played well, Gomez did some hustling. EJ played well and looked composed, and only really reminded me of his old self when he whiffed on that volley. Can EJ do this against Mexico? I dunno. But I’d prefer having that kind of controversy to “why can’t any of these guys score” type talks. Motivation to Jozy and Boyd.

      Now, as smart as that offense made Klinsi look, that defense was a joke. The same accountability concept needs to be applied to that bunch. Wingback might resolve itself through better selection but CB is a wasteland, got two years to figure out a solution.

      • TerkyJerky says:

        When Johnson comes back the wingback should be ok just need to find someone who can at least step into Cherundolo role or be his back up decently. CB I don’t know what is going on there, in every game there always seems to be some sort of communication problem between the 2 CB. It’s like they don’t know who is stepping up and/or who is suppose to step back to get on the forward that is making his run.

      • David JS says:

        The problem to me with the CB situation is none of the guys in contention actually PLAYS centerback at a top club level consistently. Cameron has been used as a RB and occasional CDM at Stoke, Boca is playing in the Spanish 2nd division after playing all of August in the Scottish 3rd tier, Goodson is playing in Denmark and hasn’t looked good at all recently, Edu is hardly getting any time at Stoke and when he did get in it was at CM, Omar Gonzalez has been awesome for the Galaxy but hasn’t really been given the chance to show his skills for the national team, Tim Ream can’t get a game right now for Bolton in the English 2nd tier. It really is looking wide open right now with no natural candidate really emerging to fill the void at CB. Hopefully we get 2 guys that can step up by the time the Hex comes around next year, but it’s the biggest worry for me right now for the USMNT.

      • Berto says:

        EJ was the best US player on the field. If you watch the replay, the cross was actually tipped. Are you Panamanian bye chance?

      • bryan says:

        I agree. We have to figure out our defense, specifically, the CBs.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I thought MB was stellar…I was hoping we would see something like this from him…he looks comfortable up field, but for me he is more valuable controlling the game and distributing the ball from a deeper position. MB was so dominant that it took Williams a very long time to get into the flow of the game. MB could be a world class number 6 instead of a decent number 8. With our back line, I think it’s more important that he be a 6. I agree with others that Williams is not there yet.

  5. felipe says:

    nice win boys!! On to the HEX!!

  6. SwerveZ says:

    I think this game showed real quality, except for the back line. We need some better defenders in the mix now. EJ is astonishing me with the change in his game and confidence. We need Donovan back for the next round. See what a difference a good pitch makes?

    • Benjamin C. says:

      I totally agree about EJ, and it is reason I have wanted to see him back in National Team fold since early summer. Anyone who watched Seattle’s games knew that his game was much more advanced than in his earlier years, that he appeared to be a much better teammate, and that he simply understood how to play within himself rather than just rely on his immense physical gifts. I love what he brings to this team, and him and Dempsey seem to really enjoy playing together as well, which is nice to see. Now, if Altidore and Klinsi can figure out how to coexist, a forward pool of Gomez, EJ, Altidore, and Boyd, and I suppose Dempsey as well since he is our top goal scorer, is very appealing going forward.

      • SwerveZ says:

        Yep. Amazing offensive potential.

      • Sam says:

        Please no Out The Door

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think EJ needs to stay fit to be this sort of interesting player. He has gone on runs like this before, hence the stronger USA goalscoring record than Jozy, etc. Part of the question is mental, does he start buying the press and coasting or does he stay fit and sharp.

        • slimkid32 says:

          Love that you pointed out the chemistry between deuce and EJ. They obviously enjoy playing with each other, probably because of time together at Fulham. You can’t teach chemistry

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          EJ was one dimensional before…just a kick and chase speed move over the back line. His game is more well rounded…he’s recognizing open players sooner, and moving the ball quicker also much better in the air.

      • Todd says:

        Except for that horrific whiff! Look, EJ is playing well, but I still want Boyd, Gomez and Dempsey starting up top.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Many of the defensive issues in these last two games stem from unfamiliarity of the CB pairs. After the first half hour, Bocanegra and Cameron started to get used to each other.

      Honestly, I think more of the blame goes to JK for not playing this same backline against A&B to build familiarity.

      That said, we need more sharpness from Cameron and to start grooming a younger backup/replacement for Boca.

  7. Brian K says:

    Cameron and Boca shored up the defense in the second half, but they looked shaky for the first 30. Parkhurst didn’t look like the answer at right back at all.

    I loved the way EJ and Dempsey worked combinations together. Bradley was his old reliable self. It’s gonna to be interesting to see who sits down when Landon is healthy.

    Finally, Howard had a really poor game tonight. His distribution was awful. He was extremely slow off his line on the goal and almost giftwrapped Guatemala a second one on what should have been a routine save.

    • GW says:

      Brian,

      Parkhurst played left back and did a good job filling in for Fabian..

      Howard has had other shaky games for the US but tonight, he seemed slightly off somehow almost as if he was sick or carrying some minor injury. This was probably his worst game in the JK era.

      Fortunately, it wasn’t fatal.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Parkhurst got outleaped on some headers. Smart player but limited value, no speed no ups.

        • Ben says:

          True, but I’m totally fine with Parkhurst as a backuo who can fill either outside back position in a pinch. Limited, but valuable.

        • GW says:

          His flaws are well known.

          I prefer to focus on what he can do.

          What he can do is put in an overall composed performance. That is what you expect from a versatile backup type. He did his job.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            He is a second tier quality defender in sum who uses his brains to overcome his physical limits. Except when Ruiz and Co. are running by the defense I don’t care if he’s smart and theoretically useful for his composure, I care that he contributes to a glacial backline unable to stay with a mere MLS-quality forward.

            Personally, I tend to want backups who offer tactical wrinkles. Height, speed, a cross. Merely being a wise next man up does nothing to me when your physical limits mean I have to worry you can’t stay with a man.

            • GW says:

              He’s not theoretically useful.

              He is just useful. He just played well subbing for Fabian.That is real usefulness.

              Someday he may play poorly and give up a bunch of goals. But it hasn’t happened yet.

      • primoone says:

        Parkhurst reminded me of bornstien at times…giving away possession in his own half…multiple times. For a defender its a cardinal sin. Going forward and being dangerous is all great however, I prefer a defender that can distribute at a 100% clip from the back. That said, he is fine as a back up.

  8. Paul says:

    It’s time to give proper credit to Klinsmann for getting us into the next round. How many raised eyebrows with his roster selection, and his decision not to backfill the roster? I sure had serious doubts with his decisions, but the inclusion of Johnson and Gordon were a stroke of genius with A&B. I feel a lot more confidence going forward with his leadership. No question we have problems in the back, but I trust his ability to find the right players and strategy to fix the problem. Watch this be a focus for the January camps.

    • bottlcaps says:

      Klinsmann rational for not backfilling the roster is to bring home the fact that when you get to the WC, you make do with who you have. Having that mentality brings the team closer together. But I think the US coaching staff will have to pay closer attention to the players “real” health in the Hexagonal. You cannot afford to have this many roster spots vacant because of injuries, either recently sustained or lingering or illnesses that will not let you play 100 percent.

      • GW says:

        I’m pretty sure the USMNT was aware of the health situation but were willing to call in LD, Shea and Fabian anyway. They were worth the risk.

        Even with the absences, JK had more outfield players than he could have played. So he was not short handed.

        The key is to be sure about your first 14-18. Then you don’t have to worry unexpected absences.

        What those of you who were criticising JK for not bringing in replacements were really saying was you did not believe in his players 12 thru 18. JK was telling us he did and tonight the ones played justified his faith.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      All due respect but for every bit the offense made him look smart, the defense did not and he was openly stubborn on that. Kljestan also did squat until about 5 minutes to go. In fact, the subbing was basically inconsequential.

      • GW says:

        I Voice,

        The US had the lead before any subs were made. Did they need any more goals to qualify? They did not.

        Did Guatemala score after the subs went in?

        Did the US more or less keep up their level of play after the subs went in?

        If so then the subs were not” inconsequential”.

        If your bench increases or holds your lead then they have done their job.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Want it more blunt? I think you could pick a top-half MLS coach, hand them the same players (actually they’d probably pick better because they wouldn’t be mule stubborn), get a similar or superior result, and probably get more out of the second half. Honduras just beat the living stuffing out of a Canada team we recently tied 0-0.

          If you want to term nothing added nothing lost consequential, whatever floats your boat. Nobody he put in besides Corona seemed to add anything, and even rostering Kljestan was questionable. He then did nothing much when he went in.

          So, yes, he did not suffer a Porter meltdown, but is that really the standard?

          • Hogatroge says:

            Honduras also tied Canada 0-0 in Canada, more recently than we did, and it wasn’t their 4th game in like two weeks.

          • GW says:

            What does Porter have to do with this?

            You put in subs to do what is necessary, tie the game, get the lead, hold the lead, whatever.

            In this case JK wanted to preserve the scoreline, which and guarantee quailfication for the Hex.

            The US was ahead when the subs went in and, as I recall, it stayed that way.

            That means his substitutions worked.

            What more exactly, did you expect?

          • The Subjunctive Mood says:

            »Honduras just beat the living stuffing out of a Canada team we recently tied 0-0.«

            A flimsy false equivalency argument? Well, welcome anyway, baseball fan!

  9. Benjamin C. says:

    I would say the revelation of this qualifying round was Zusi. He is pure class in the attack, and really surprised how quickly he acclimated to the international game. The most refreshing news is that EJ showed that he could translate his career renaissance from MLS to the National Team.

    Things to improve, a short list: The defense needs shoring up; we need to learn to play with more confidence on the road; and Klinsi and Altidore need to kiss and make up.

    • Josh D says:

      Zusi should get a few looks from Europe after those couple of qualifiers.

    • Clover362 says:

      Zusi, has looked good so far for the USMNT. He has good technical ability and reads the game well. Zusi’s real test will come when he faces a team that will press the united states because they match up closer athleticaly and technically. We will see if he remains composed and puts in good work when he has less time on the pall and has to fit it in to tighter spaces. Also in the Hex his pace will be challanged a lot more on getting back to defend. I don’t know how it will go but so far so good. I hope his quality continues but its too earlier to conclude anything.

  10. JRP says:

    I for one can’t believe Klinsmann hasn’t been fired yet. He clearly has no idea what it will take to get the US through the qualifying rounds.
    To all the idiots out there that were doomsdaying it up, suck it. Go USA. Go Klinsmann.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Tell that to Mexico fans who were in a group with CR and ES but could watch their 6th game in full relaxation mode. Or 8-1 Honduras.

      FWIW, I get no idea our squeaking by was to plan. In some previous rounds coaches have made some experimental callups mid-round and risked points. We left some people in Europe. Those might have been measured qualification runs. But I think this was Klinsi’s A team concept give or take some injuries and discipline issues. Granted, I think the world is catching up. But Jamaica’s 4-1 on A&B suggests there is plenty of room for improvement.

      • GW says:

        What does Mexico have to do with this?

        Performances at this round of the qualifiers do not necessarily predict what will happen in the next round.

        Four months is an eternity in the world of soccer.

        And should the US get through, performances in the Hex do not necessarily predict what will happen in the Cup.

      • JRP says:

        There is plenty of room for improvement. No one is saying we are in top form. Just give it time and stop questioning the coach on issues very few people know anything about. If we don’t get to Brazil there is room for concern. Otherwise, chill.

      • Hogatroge says:

        By the first round of the hex, 2 missing starters will be healthy, and new blood will have been identified in the January camp.

        Before we’re even halfway through the hex, the European season will have ended. There is still potential for several players to emerge during this time.

      • Josh D says:

        We qualified with as many points as we had the last cycle. Let’s take a time machine back four years and fire Bradley for not beating Klinsi’s total. Rabble rabble rabble…

  11. bottlcaps says:

    I was rooting for the Reggae Boyz to make the Hexagonal if for no other reason than having a Caribbean team would allow the US Soccer Federation to put at least one home game in a Southwestern US city, with LA deserving the nod. Jamaica would be the only team where you can safely have a WCQ game in LA without having the home team outdrawn by the other side.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      This brings up a good discussion point: who gets the home games for the hex? I like your point about L.A. getting the Jamaica match. I thought Kansas City acquitted itself very well tonight. I am also thinking one in the Pacific Northwest, probably Seattle, though Portland creates a great atmosphere. Since I am from the Southeast, Nashville would be a personal preference of mine.

      • Dimidri says:

        LA has a surprisingly large Jamaican population, Chicago’s is smaller, more centrally located (can get fans from Columbus, Kansas City, etc.) is less of a flight for European players, HQ for USSF, I would argue an equally good soccer city. The Mexico game in 07 was just as bad a the Mexico game in LA in 11. Plus if the game is in the winter we want to freeze out Jamaica.

      • Paul says:

        Let’s be honest. If you want a pro-American crowd for the Hex, play the games in small venues in small, remote locales. If you are like me, and have attended WCQ games against Latino countries, and felt like a stranger by being surrounded by fans cheering against their adopted country in their native language, than that is the hard decision USSA has to make. While I’d love to have another game played up here in the northeast, I’d vote for another locale unless it’s Jamaica.

  12. Amru says:

    I was more impressed with our second half performance than the first. We did not score, but we maintained possession of the ball created chances that should have been finished and a penalty that wasn’t called and saw the game out. I must give credit were credit is due, Eddie Johnson was stellar tonight despite missing some clear chances. He can obviously excel at this level of competition, I am interested to see he he plays against stiffer opposition. Oh and MB90 FTW!

  13. Landon says:

    USA > Canada x 1,000,000 + a bag of potato chips.

    • JRP says:

      Unless we are talking about currency. They got us beat there. But on the pitch, no contest.

    • meowmix says:

      That’s true, but I always hope Canada and Mexico do well. They are neighbors (not sure that’s a good reason, but whatever). Plus, I’ve always enjoyed time I’ve spent in Canada, and I like there suppport in MLS. Kinda sad they got smoked so bad today

  14. Heft says:

    It wasn’t Bradley’s best game, but Deuce is looking good. I’m looking forward to Saturday morning.

  15. ANM says:

    A strange game in some ways. I kind of think that Guatemala’s early goal undid them. It forced the US to up their intensity, a process that continued after the tying goal. Before they could get their heads, they were 3-1 down and basically out. Had they game remained 0-0, they would have kept shape while the US patiently probed. The craziness of the opening fifteen minutes shook them out of the game plan.

    It’s been a wonderful week for Eddie Johnson, but I think the jury is very much still out on his place in the team. Let’s see if he keeps up that form for the winter friendlies against more potent defenses.

    • GW says:

      “Let’s see if he keeps up that form for the winter friendlies against more potent defenses”

      You can .say that about most of these guys. Howard was very shaky.

      • PD says:

        If you’re willing to sit the undisputed #1 for half a shaky game all I can say is I’m glad you’re not the coach.

        • GW says:

          Howard has played very well for JK but he has been prone to losing his concentration in the past. He had a terrible World Cup. I felt it was because he was no longer being challenged for the #1 spot after Keller left.

          When JK came in, it lit a fire under Howard again. My concern about this performance is that it makes me wonder if he isn’t slipping back into his old ways. In the next round the kind of shaky performance Howard gave tonight could be fatal.
          It is very important for the US that Guzan begins to seriously challenge Howard.

          I trust you would agree that competition makes players better and that complacency makes them worse. Hopefully the US gives Guzan, Howard’s only serious competition, a run of games. The US would be better off a with a serious goalkeeper competition.

    • David JS says:

      totally agree about the early goal undoing Guatemala. It made them forget what they were there for, the draw. Still think we win the game either way, but they did it to themselves as a result of the early goal.

  16. Gregory Rossmiller says:

    Obviously, very happy about the result. We looked comfortable in possession, especially in the second half. I would have loved to see a goal or two in the second half because being comfortable in possession does not always translate to goals/wins, especially in CONCACAF. The defense did a good job getting things tighter in the second half but I was INCREDIBLY disappointed with the effort in the first half. There sure seems to be a lot of shouting at each other after the goals go in but, at the end of the day, the communication is not there throughout the backline to prevent us from giving up these “easy” goals.

    Seriously, we cannot give up early goals to truly good teams. We are going to be irreversibly punished sooner or later.

  17. BK says:

    Great game. Bradley and Dempsey were awesome. EJ, Zusi, and Williams all looked good and helped their stature in the pool. Parkhust is just not quite on the required level. Will be great to get Fabian Johnson back, and we need to bring Lihaj back into the fold in the hex so we have high quality cover at the fullback position. The centerback situation will eventually need a long term fix. With Jozy, Donovan, Shea, and maybe even Holden one day rejoining the fold, things are looking up.

    • GW says:

      Parkhurst was fine.

      The US does not need “bring Lichaj back into the fold”.

      He needs to play better for Villa, that is how he gets back.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Exactly how crappy does the defense have to play before people simply ask themselves whether the other candidates can’t possibly be this bad and deserve at least friendly chances? And since Lichaj (and Chandler) played well in the colors, it’s this absurd thing where I can’t call up a player I know has played well for the US because of his club situation, that’s insane! For all the Why Jozy criticism, he actually makes sense because he is a frustrating US player most nights. But if it’s obvious a player would help invoking the club situation sounds like BS excuses. So what if Parkhurst and Goodson are pillars of the Danish league, cause they’re about as useful to us as the eponymous breakfast food.

        This is one of those quirks where you see Klinsi is marching to his own drummer…..the offense is rife with accountability but the defense is chock full of Jozys, and here we’re back on supposed club form again.

        • Hogatroge says:

          You can knock Parkhurst all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that your claims don’t have substance. He might not be the strongest in the air, but he can certainly draw fouls while defending corner kicks.

          While he certainly wasn’t the #1 standout for the team tonight, he played well. He also played well the last time he saw the pitch during WCQ (in Kingston) and back in January as well.

        • GW says:

          “And since Lichaj (and Chandler) played well in the colors, it’s this absurd thing where I can’t call up a player I know has played well for the US because of his club situation, that’s insane!”

          You seem to feel that Lichaj has nothing to prove.

          Lichaj played for the US under another manager and you can argue it was rather a different team then. He has since had a major injury and while he has more games for Villa, I would not say his club career is going great right now. He has not demonstrated that he is a consistent front line EPL level starter.

          His relative success under one manager does not guarantee a similar level of performance for another. If you recall Agudelo, for example, looked really promising under Bradley but has since regressed.

          And it’s not as if Lichaj won a solid starter’s job like LD or Dempsey under Bradley. He won the left back job but the fact that he beat out Bornstein puts an asterisk on that achievement. USMNT fans would have preferred you starting over Bornstein.

          A manager calls up a player to the national team even if that player isn’t playing for his club because he knows what he brings to the national team and he knows that player well enough to know what he will get from him. JK does not have that familiarity with Lichaj.

          At any rate, Dolo and Fabian are the starting fullbacks. If Lichaj and those two are at their very best, both of them are better than Eric. So Eric is fighting for a backup slot. And JK made it clear that for these games, he was going to stick with his guys because he trusts them. It’s the old the devil you know business. And since JK has won the group and qualified for the Hex, it’s pretty hard to quibble with him over his choices for the #15 to #23 slots.

          If in the next four months Lichaj makes a case, I’m sure he will get called in.

  18. toby says:

    In need of 2 central defenders!

  19. 2tone says:

    Eddie Johnson is back, and because of this the USMNT striker corps just got a whoe lot more dangerous. Gomez, EJ, Altidore, Demps, and Boyd. Who would have thought that the striker pool would start to get so deep.

    On another note it’s time to start looking at otehr Cb players i.e. Besler, Gonzo, John, Berry, Hedges. I think you saw that Cameron needs to be playing CB for his club team. I still think that Cameron and Boca will be the starting tandem, but it’s an area of issue.

    • PD says:

      I dunno, EJ missed at least one if not two sitters in the second half. Against stronger competition that’s when the chances may come and he needs to finish those… Had he scored at least one of them I might feel stronger about him being a lock, but now all I keep thinking is what would Altidore do with EJ and Gomez running one either side if him, with Dempsey behind and Bradley and Williams bossing the midfield. I like them apples.

      • GW says:

        Players miss sitters.

        Watch Clint Dempsey against Guadeloupe in the last Gold Cup. It will make you cringe.

        • Bobb says:

          Yet it’s like a crime against humanity that Wondo missed a sitter at the same 2011 Gold Cup where Dempsey missed that….

  20. whoop-whoop says:

    The sky was so falling…. until it didn’t.

    Pffft… course we all had full confidence all along…. right? Oh yeah, for sure.

    Nothing like a little self inflicted capital D-raaaaam-a to keep the blood flowing.

    Nice freaking work boys, onward and upward!!!!!!!!

  21. Tom says:

    Cameron is a disaster. It still has not been adequately explained how he suddenly got anointed automatic starter. Better than Gooch, I guess…but what did Goodson do to get passed over by Cameron? Is it just because he moved to Stoke? He and the now-ancient Bocanegra form a pretty scary center.

    • meowmix says:

      Tom, I really can never understand where you get your analysis from. Literally never see what you see

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Cameron always struck me at Houston as an instinctive athletic back who was not the brightest bulb in the shed when someone did something sneaky like Ruiz (or Berbatov that one all star game). He does well in a come right at me warrior mode. And he’s shown well in that kind of game. But if teams aren’t that direct……which is why we need to open the compo back up before the Hex.

      That being said, what concerns me is the lack of obvious kickbutt CBs in the pipeline. People are all advocating their mediocre to above average suggestions but what we really need is a dominator a la Pope or Boca in his prime or Gooch before the knee. The U23s did not have that, Gale has basically flopped and is in the minors, anyone know if the U20s have someone? Cause you can “open it up” all you want but there is wingback talent I know of not being used, but not so much CBs……Ream? John? Perhaps people start to see the issue.

    • Bobb says:

      Goodson has the same problem as Ream: we can’t have a center back who gets pushed around / out-muscled / knocked down by grandmothers and toddlers. Both those guys need to put on 15 pounds of muscle and toughen up.

  22. Sabella says:

    I can focus on the extreme sense of vulnerability the American defense showed early on. But I won’t because there are some substantial positives to take from this game. The fact is, finally, we played an uptempo, possession oriented game and at times, looked like we could score at will. I thought we played attractive soccer and I’m proud of the performance. The boys played with an intensity that has been missing. If they can shore up the defensive issues, we will be allright. As a side note, did anyone read the Jamie Trecker commentary on the game? That dude is clearly seeking shock value; I think he was watching a different game.

    • PD says:

      Well, too be fair, I think that if we’re honest, the boys were probably holding their breath through these last two fixtures. The US fan base is smaller than the UK, but we seem to be every bit as hysterical and unreasonable.

    • slimkid32 says:

      +1

  23. SwerveZ says:

    Is Gonzalez going to get a shot now? Not necessarily a follower of his, but I honestly don’t think boca or Goodson can start in the World Cup.

  24. Ben says:

    If we had to play Mexico at Mexico tomorrow and Landon was healthy, I’d choose him. However, a year from now, I’m not positive Zusi won’t be first choice. He is becoming quite the player.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive, just like I don’t think we have to play a ton of DMs. The goal should be to have the best XI onto the field and a virtue of Dempsey and Donovan is their versatility can also make room for others.

  25. Colin in MT says:

    Minus the one miscue, this was exactly the kind of performance I was hoping to see tonight. Interesting to note that 13 is the same number of points we went through with the last time around. These kind of trials will only make us stronger.

    Now I’m interested to see who gets called in for Russia. Would love to see a side of mostly U-23’s

  26. Andy says:

    Tonight’s game highlights our need to call in a few new defenders. Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler top my list. What about yall?

  27. Mike says:

    Hexagonal round: Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica are the early favorites. Jamaica, Panama, and Honduras can surprise any of the favorites at any time. Looking at the USA EVERY game will be decisive. Remember Eddie Pope? Remember the speed Pope brought to the USMNT in the back four? I believe we need more pure speed in our back four not only for the Hex, but for the WC and after the WC first round. Our standard is the first round of the WC. We need to make the picture bigger and more clear. Now would be a good time to get pure speed on defense. If it means moving Bocanegra to a DM position then so be it done. Let’s not forget Josh Gatt. Josh Gatt could potentially move Donovan to a permanent forward.

    • GW says:

      Mike,

      Speed? Cameron is fast. He needs more experience. Bornstein is fast but you all hate him. How’s about the US gets defenders who actually know how to play soccer instead of worrying about how fast or big they are?

    • Mike says:

      He had some moments at Fulham playing the position. Boca or the Jackal. More importantly, going forward, we may have to see a generation change on the D.

      • Mike says:

        No, not serious about him playing DM…just more serious about injecting speed and I am talking about world class speed…imagine the WC.

  28. Chris says:

    Looking back over the last year, it certainly seems JK made some “curious” decisions. I like the fact that he challenged certain players, but was as nervous as everyone else about getting through this round. My take-aways from his strategy at this point looks like this:

    1. He was looking for the next “guy” to step up to the plate (hence calling in so many different players and so many different lineups) In My opinion, the 2 “finds” are Graham Zusi & Fabian Johnson. .I would add Danny Williams as a runner up but those guys show a lot going forward.

    2. There have been several players that had their chance to step up that missed or showed that they are not there yet despite the hype. I think Brek Shea has taken a step back as a flash in the pan. Gotta a lotta work to do. I also think we shouldnt forget that he continued to monitor Freddy Adu who showed well in the Gold Cup but missed his chance to lead the Olympic qualifying and has been closely suprvised by JK’s team. I would also add another guy who became “the next big thing” that pooped out was Juan Agudelo. I would add Jose Torres but not to the same extreme.. for some reason he seems to fall a little short yet had those legs that seem to be able to trap, dribble, and take opponents on- something we as a soccer nation still dont demonstrate.

    3. Posters on this website seem to love rolling out their favorite lineup every week. Im not going to jump on the bandwagon and start predicting lineups from now, but I will throw this out for discussion, Im anxious for a healthy Landon, Stu Holden, & revived Omar Gonzalez. Even though we havent heard from Stu in a long time- well we have a good long wait till the HEX.
    So the real question here continues to be who are the next Donovan/Deuce. I gotta say a “healthy “midfield 4 of Landon * Zusi on the wings, with Stu & MB90 in the middle is something that is very very tantilizing.
    I will also add that Zusi’s showing should boost Landon’s games ( I hate this injury bug & talk of retirement..but I will say this- When he played for Everton he looked GREAT)

    4. The back like seems to be the biggest questions. It would be great for Omar to get healthy, Lichaj to get a look, and frankly Jay Demerit could work his way back into the discussion.

    5. A lot of tiime to reflect and see the HEX, where JK will show his worth, no more experiments or excuses.. Overall I give him a B-

    • Lost in Space says:

      If the back line “seems to be the biggest question” in your eyes…consider that in 3 of the last 6 Qualifiers we’ve been without our #1 & #2 Left backs (Johnson and Castillo). If both are ever available….and we add in Dolo, Lichaj and Chandler the backline suddenly looks better. Beyond adding Lichaj and Chandler what we need most are Center Backs. I expect JK and the rest of the coaches to bring in John, Gozalez, and Beasler for looks in January….Then there is Seb Hines (if he files) and a couple oters who could move up the depth chart….Give it 5 Months and we’ll have a much clearer view of what the defense will really look like.

      • Chris says:

        Point taken, you are right- It certainly appears this is a spot where we just dont have to get healthy, but get the same 4 guys on the pitch at the same time is equally as important to get them time to gel

  29. Jason says:

    The back line is the reason we got knocked out of the WC w/ Boca getting scored on against Ghana…thats our true achilles heel. We are going to have deuce playing “marker” like he did against italy if and when we get to the cup and we are going to have to rely on a counter attack to cover our weak backline.

    • Mike says:

      I believe you are spot on about becoming a counter attacking team in the WC as of now. I still believe we are not really settled on a complete roster right now in regards to D, MF, and F. I believe Josh Gatt will find a permanent spot as RMF sometime really soon. I believe Gonzalez will be coming in soon. The next friendlies coming up will be interesting for sure.

  30. ptk says:

    Everyone has knocked Jay DeMerit for the past 2 years…. eye injury, hernia, etc…even his age… but he would not even be the oldest defender on this team. Maybe it’s time JK gives him a look. If there’s anything that JD has done it’s consistently prove people wrong and overcome obstacles. Are we not struggling at he back; isn’t this what happened when Gooch proved too unreliable?

    Even if people think age is a factor he is still one of the fittest athletes in MLS, just ask his Vancouver teammates and look at his durability this season. I am surprised his name never comes up; especially given all the people on here that know everything…. He wasn’t broke at the Confed Cup, The WC (and don’t bring up Ghana, everyone had problems); and he is the only person from the last go round yet to be called in…

    Sure it was 2 years ago, but we are still using Dolo and Boca, and I am pretty sure they aged 2 years…

    I personally think it’s a testament to JK and his lack of scouting or coaching abilities… Maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

    • Mike says:

      I wondered about Jay Demerit. I also wonder about Corey Gibbs too. Klinnsman has a core of players that will start nearly every game. Other players supplement the core players. I have noticed that more than one player who has come back to MLS, who played on the USMNT, generally do not get back in the team. I believe a US player who returns from abroad is seen as having problems or there playing days are winding down to retirement. Eddie Johnson being one big exception. I think the USMNT has not finished tryouts for D, MF, and F. I’m sure we still have core player openings all over the field.

  31. Hayes says:

    Happy to see us get through while playing a very positive style last night. Attack was very good in the first half and was still creating chances in the second. I do wonder what an in form Altidore would have done in a game that open.

    As far as the defense, I disagree with the people that say we do not need more speed in the back. In addition, we need to settle on 3 CBs and let them get use to playing with each other as well as our GKs playing with them. In my opinion, Boca is just too slow in that he has no recovery speed as eveidenced by the goal. Yes Cameron was caught up but the other CB should have enough speed to recover.

    Parkurst was adequate as a backup but is much better on the right. With that said, our LB situation looks more stable going forward than RB. Dolo is the man there right now but noone else has really made a great case for challenging him for the starting spot. Need to sort this out before the Hex or there may not be a WC to worry about.

  32. Bobb says:

    I am NOT worried about fullback:

    LB:
    F Johnson
    Lichaj
    Castillo

    RB:
    Cherundolo
    Chandler
    Parkhurst

    Beyond that: Beitashour, Meyers, Loyd

    I AM worried about CB:
    Cameron: needs to improve mentally and get more experience
    Bocanegra: getting old
    Goodson: weaker than Steven Hawking
    Ream: see Goodson, but mentally weak as well
    Edu: one game at the position in years
    Gonzalez: can get turned easily
    Onyewu: knee held together by duct tape, doesn’t fit passing style
    John: injury prone
    Demerit: doesn’t fit passing style
    Besler: don’t know much about him
    Berry/Hedges/Soares/Anibaba? Brooks?

    • Dinho says:

      My concern, as well. I think Cameron can get the job done. The quagmire is…. who should he be paired with? Against mediocre opposition, Boca is okay. But, against quality/speed, I’m VERY worried.

    • Scott says:

      Well Said. Know anything about Alfredo Morales?

  33. THomas says:

    My favorite part of the entire night was JK’s reaction to the third goal. Perfect.

  34. Since 82 says:

    Thankful that the US got through but a midling performance from Coach Klinsmann for the hex IMO. I don’t like his “handling” of Altidore whom I believe will be crucial to our chances in WC 2014, his lineup choices are incredibly uneven, but I did like that he got both Zusi and Eddie Johnson involved. Looking forward to January.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      The fact is, we really know very little about interactions and discussions between JA and JK in private and exactly what goes on in training, thus… very little about the true handling of Altidore. The fact that similar exchanges have occurred w/ past managers… and the most recent seems to have sparked the greatest run in JAs career gives me hope that Klinsman is not totally off base with his assessment or reaction and that it may well pay off.

  35. Ryan says:

    Does anyone know when the draw for the Hex will be. Hoping we get Mexico at home when it is still nice and cold.