Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
Awesome performance from the USA.
Quality performance after the shaky start. Stars of the night were Deuce, Bradley, and Cherundolo. Pretty much everyone played well with the possible exceptions of Howard (and maybe Bocanegra.)
On to the Hex!
Bradley, Williams and Zusi have stated the case pretty emphatically that they deserve to be on the field as starters moving forward in their respective positions. Their chemistry and tempo were very impressive.
Johnson and Dempsey have a very good understanding of each other. I’m not sold on EJ being a regular call-up yet, but the spark between the two of them reminds me of the spark between Altidore and Davies back when those two were really becoming a handful. It’s worth seeing more of that tandem on the field.
Gomez’s work rate is unbelievable. I think he single-handeldy righted the ship right after the opening goal. While everyone else was reeling, he was digging and challenging and fighting for possession. It was an easy thing to not notice, but it was a key moment in the match.
The US players were so comfortable absorbing pressure during possession. This is a HUGE step forward in the collective technical ability of the team and one that is easy to not fully appreciate. But there were several times where Guatemala tried to press individual US players while they were in possession and rather than panic and boot the ball they absorbed the challenge and played through and made the smart simple pass to maintain control of the game. This. is. HUGE.
Our back line is in transition and it wads depleted during these two matches, so there were bound to be moments where lapses happen. That said, it needs to be addressed before the Hex. I hope that come January the callups for defense are not “cupcake” but give our top 6 defenders (Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Johnson, Cameron, Goodson, Parkhurst) plus a few other prospects and bubble boys (Gonzalez, Beitashour, Lichaj, Ream, Gooch?) an opportunity to play together and continue to build their understanding and chemistry.
It’s nice to see that Howard can have a shaky match and the team can bear that and carry him for a change! That was an uncharacteristic performance for him.
Great performance overall. Was I the only one really disappointed with Parkhurst?
In the event F. Johnson (and Timmy Chandler) aren’t available for the hex, we’ll need a better option out there than Boca, Parkhurst, or even Castillo.
Klinsmann seemed content to just occupy the LB position with a body these past two games. It cost us a goal in Antigua and it cost us a lot of offense last night because Parkhurst couldn’t get the ball around the edge to E. Johnson because he has no left foot.
anyone else have WHO SHOULD THE USMNT START VS. GUATEMALA? stuck at the top of your page still?
Also do yellow cards reset for the hex?
Yellow cards still count, so Deuce’s Suarez impersonation may hurt him a bit.
Yes it’s still up there for me. And no, yellow cards carry over. So we have a few guys still on a yellow card and Dempsey picked one up.
It’s not “stuck”, it just hasn’t moved. Yes, that statement makes sense.
When you first open the page, you see the three stories that cycle through their rotation (the ones you can manipulate by clicking on “1″, “2″, or “3″). Those three are the three NEWEST articles that have been posted.
Then, you see the rest of the articles in SBI’s chronology which you can’t cycle through. Those aren’t as new as The Three. When a new article gets posted, the 3rd story of The Three will drop down into the column where the other, older, “non-moving” stories are and then there will be a new Three.
Observations, my friend.
That article I talked about stayed at the top even with other articles going down below it
You can screen this message and not post it, but I have a question about the new site and the ad under the section on the right titled Key Soccer Sites. It’s an autoplay ad. Mine is about Marriott Suites. I completely understand that you need ads on the site, and I’m OK with that, but this particular ad won’t stop playing. It just keeps reloading when I look at the posts. Even within the same post and after I mute it. I don’t need to get rid of it, but can you please tell me how to get it to stop repeating. I’ve even clicked on it and gone to the Marriott site thinking that would get it to stop. No such luck. Thanks in advance. It’s very distracting, especially when I’m on a post such as this one where I’m attempting to watch a video.
Clicking on it is the worst thing to do. It’s a re-targeting ad, which means you visited the Marriott website before this one and so Marriott pays other websites to post links to their website knowing you have an interest in their product. So by clicking on it, you just reinforce your interest in Marriott.
All websites do this, not just SBI.
It’s about time we had a decisive victory, although there was still shambolic defending. The lack of communication was poor, and Howard was completely indecisive. In fact, that was one of the poorer games Timmy has played.
Here are some of my thoughts:
1) The emergence of Williams may have been the next step in Bradley’s evolution. He looks like he has turned into the player we all hoped Jones would be, minus the ridiculous penchant for yellow cards. The fact that he can sit in front of the D and clean up while offering control going forward lets Bradley push into the #8 role. I see Bradley becoming dominant.
2) Zusi may have put Klinsi in a bad situation when Donovan comes back. Who starts? I think you still need Donovan in the bigger matches, but Zusi did little wrong.
3) Ditto EJ. Played 2 great games. Either Jozy or Boyd have to be worried.
4) We need some serious defensive tweaking. The outside back spots are locked down, but Bocanegra has clearly lost a step. This could be troublesome in 1-2 years.
5) I was hoping before the game that we’d get a sizable lead and Kinsi would cap-tie Corona. Thankfully he did. That could be huge going forward.
Bottom line: we qualified for the last 6 with 4 wins, a draw, and a loss. In the loss, we gave up 2 freak free kick goals and played on a terrible field. In the draw, we gave up another free kick goal. Antigua was the only team to score against us in the run of play (which is a bit troubling). Do we have some kinks we need to iron out? Hell yes – we need to shore up the defending, find a striker who can reliably score, and try to keep a clean sheet once in awhile. But all in all, it wasn’t the doom and gloom that people made it out to be.
P.S. I NEED someone to make a GIF of Klinsi’s reactions.
Not too shabby on the analysis! I’m a Corona fan and it was good that JK cap-tied him but I’m not sure I would call it “huge”. Still, a good move nonetheless.
I agree on the Zusi v. Lando front. Zusi is playing very, very well. He will, undoubtedly, leave MLS for a good, healthy, productive career in Europe. My hat goes off to him.
EJ is back! Back and better than ever. He looks dangerous, energetic, and he’s putting work in.
Dempsey, ’nuff said.
Bradley, BEAST MODE!! Year after year, he keeps getting better and better. His soccer IQ, his positioning, his patience, and the calm with which he manages and dominates the game…it’s unbelievable. He is already, in my opinion, the best midfielder ever produced by the U.S. and he’s still 25.
I’m liking the state of the team right now. Yes, the defensive third NEEDS to be addressed as soon as possible. It might have gotten us by in this semi-final round of qualification but in the Hex and in the Cup proper, it will not go unpunished. Boca is not the same Boca of old. His time is coming to a close (as has Onyewu’s, his once reliable partner). Maybe it’s time for a changing of the guard when the new stars of tomorrow start being integrated gradually. Cameron was the first step in that direction but it’s still an area of need. This needs to be Klinsmann’s top priority as we head toward the Hex.
Great point about LD vs. Zusi moving forward. Hate to add even more internal conflict for you, but what if Stuart Holden finally gets healthy (big if, I know)???
Over the past week
If all you look at is results sure, but how impressive is it to beat a team that is dead last in the third division of our soccer pyramid on a 90th minute goal?
Are you new? points are points.
keep your head up
Why didn’t they show Eddie Johnson’s whiff right in the front of goal in these highlights? Still playing in my mind…
The quote of the day was when Ian Darke called Minor Lopez the “Guatemalan Peter Crouch.”
That boy wears some SHORT shorts lol
And that baggy long sleeve shirt. Kinda goofy looking.
I agree, I filed it under “phrases I never thought I would hear”.
Nice atmosphere KC! Thanks!
Did you see the giant Deuceface behind Deuce at 4:09?
+100 for that, still laughing from when I saw it…
Too bad the highlights don’t show Hercules Gomez earning the corner that led to the equalizer. His heads up play won the corner that some less alert or lazier player might have let go as a GUA goal kick. Herc deserves a star on his helmet for that heads up play.
Great point. A great hustle play by Gomez.
Great game by Cherundolo, again. Especially the pass to set up the second goal. Maybe it’s a good thing Timmy Chandler has been waffling on playing for us. Klinsi would’ve probably started Chandler over Cherundolo. We still want Chandler to commit, but thanks for waiting Timmy…
Eddie Johnson was a huge contributor! I did not see that coming. Apologies to EJ for doubting his selction.
The Guatemala goal is on Tim Howard. He had a rough night. A 50 yard through ball that gets two yards inside the box before Ruiz ever touches it is the keeper’s ball. He’s got to be off his line cleaning that up before Ruiz ever gets there. He badly misjudged it. In the replay you can see Boca pull up a little bit and then realize that Howard’s not actually coming for it and that they are f’ed. Then his shaky bobble later could have cost a goal. Pretty good performance by the rest of them.
It was not his fault. Bad defending
I was shocked by Guatemala. For at least the last 10 minutes, they knew that they needed another goal to get through. Still, they hardly chased the game or tried to pressure us up the field. It reminded me of Algeria not trying to win against us in S. Africa even though they also needed a win to get through. Strange.
AH… I was pretty shocked watching and waiting for them to come at us as well and it never really happened. I really do think this is a result of one of the more pleasing developments we’re starting to see with this team. The emphasis on possessing the ball with a lead. I honestly can’t say I remember ht last time a US team did so as crisply and consistently as they did last night. There was virtually no booting the ball up field. I think I remember seeing the US had over 73% possession the first half and it seemed by the 60-65th min, Guatemala was already gassed and beginning to look defeated. Loads of space out there. It will be interesting to see if we can do that to any extent against a more skilled team. In the past, it has always seemed as though we didn’t quite know what to do with a lead.
I have to say that KC does NOT deserve the title of best home stadium for the USA. I have seen the USA live about 60 times and I would have to say the atmosphere was good, but not the best.
More troubling was the fact that my friends in I wanted to stand and all the fans behind us were angry. That is very weak in my opinion. Last night wasn’t the 110th baseball game at the stadium of a last place team.
Pretty much anywhere in the World you would be laughed out of the stadium if you told people to sit down because you don’t want you little legs to get tired.
Sorry KC, but you guys can do better.