Late Diskerud equalizer helps USA tie Russia

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he wanted to end the year by going into Russia and picking up a result.

It didn’t come easily, but thanks to the heroics of Tim Howard and Michael Bradley, and a last-minute equalizer from Mix Diskerud, Klinsmann got his wish.

The U.S. finished 2012 with a 2-2 draw against Russia in Krasnodar on Wednesday after Diskerud saved the Americans from defeat with a late strike for his first international goal. Russia went up twice in the game, but the United States responded both times to prevent ending the year with a loss.

Russia looked poised for a win after Roman Shirokov converted an 84th-minute penalty kick, but Bradley helped set up the winner with a perfectly-floated long pass into the penalty area that a Russian defender headed into the path of Diskerud. The Rosenborg midfielder pounced on the ball and struck a stoppage-time volley that took a fortuitous deflection before beating goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov for the equalizer.

Bradley delivered the first U.S. goal just minutes before the hosts’ second-half penalty when he blasted a perfect volley off the post following a headed Juan Agudelo pass to make the score 1-1. Russia, however, reclaimed the lead shortly after as Clarence Goodson was whistled for a foul in the penalty area.

That the Americans were even in the game late was a credit to some outstanding saves from Howard. The U.S. goalkeeper was forced into making a handful of fine stops throughout the match, as Russia overwhelmed the Americans in the first half and threatened repeatedly late in the second half.

There was little Howard could do about the opener, though. Danny Williams took a quick free kick in the Americans’ own half in the ninth minute, but he passed it to the opposition and that allowed Fyodor Smolov to beat Howard with a low shot. Smolov, who was making his international debut, was then subbed off due to an injury sustained on the play.

Things got worse for the U.S. minutes later, as captain Carlos Bocanegra picked up a knock that forced him to be replaced by Goodson. Still, that was the least of the Americans’ worries in the first half.

The United States could not hold onto the ball and Russia poured on the pressure despite leading 1-0. Geoff Cameron snuffed out several attacks, but he was one of few bright spots for Klinsmann in the first half of a game that marked the U.S. debut of Josh Gatt and returns of Jozy Altidore and Timmy Chandler.

The U.S. showed improvement in the second half, but Bradley’s goal did not come until after Klinsmann made some changes to his 4-3-3 formation. Klinsmann inserted Agudelo, Maurice Edu and Sacha Kljestan as substitutes, and they gave the U.S. more of an edge in the attack en route to helping the team score twice in the final 14 minutes of their last match of 2012.

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What do you think of the USMNT’s 2-2 draw with Russia? Who impressed/disappointed you? What is your biggest concern heading into the Hexagonal?

Share your thoughts below.

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

174 Responses to Late Diskerud equalizer helps USA tie Russia

  1. Spencer says:

    New players looked good. Definitely need to figure out our central defenders. We also need to figure out who is leading the attack. Jozy looked good with his hold up play, had the one bad touch that would have resulted in a shot. But he definitely needs more service. Forwards in general didn’t get any service.

    • T-moble says:

      Well Juan and Boyd did good without much service. However this must be said, I think Mix can solve our midfield problem, he is a skilled player. Also we need Omar Gonzalez, because Goodson and Boca are not the answer we need at the back.

      • Mark says:

        Jozy did NOT look good today.

        He got the start and then went immediately back to his lazy, non-attacking style of play. Not to mention his horrible touch.

        He once again did not even try hard for a ball if it wasn’t put on a platter. He actually ran away from several balls that were passed to him b/c he would have had to actually fight a little for the ball.

        This guy looks like a monster but plays like a little boy.

        Boyd needs to start as our hold up guy, instead of Altidore.

        • bryan says:

          i disagree completely. i thought Jozy did very well with his hold up play. passing was just ok though. and obviously that first touch on the pass from johnson was not good. overall, i thought he had a decent game. i certainly thought he hustled more than i have ever seen before. he tracked back on defense multiple times and was always rushing their GK and defenders if they were toying around with it.

          • Byrdman says:

            agree with you bryan. But he also looked nervous. I think he was trying too hard. If he gives us that effort everytime out, CONCACAF opponents will have their hands full

          • Alf says:

            I didn’t watch the same match you were watching.
            Jozy appeared except for when the table was set the same lazy Jozy. Well except for that long recovery run near the end.

          • SuperChivo says:

            I agree with Bryan, Jozy’s performance was on the whole positive. It was a game that he could have easily disappeared from (we were rarely in the offensive third) and yet he found ways to be involved and make an impact.

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          I thought Jozy was more engaged than he has been. He’s moving in the right direction.

        • beachbum says:

          Calling Jozy lazy is lazy analysis

      • GW says:

        You were not watching. The good that Boyd and Juan did came from good service by Bradley and Edu.

    • Jackson says:

      Oh yeah?

      Jozy looked good? Even Alexi piled on Jozy. Jozy was not good and everyone saw it. He got fine service and didn’t capitalize–especially on the perfect ball that Johnson played in that would have resulted in a goal.

      Quit blaming others for his failures.

      • biff says:

        Jones also played a good pass to Jozy around the 56th minute that he flubbed.

      • bryan says:

        No offense, but using Lalas as an example is not good…

        • heff says:

          +2
          It’s pretty easy these days to pick on Jozy given the prevailing sentiment on these boards. That said, he had some good moments and one error with his poor touch on johnson’s through ball. That said, he needs some more service (all of our forwards do) to single him out as the source of our deficiency up front is shortsighted.

      • Bird says:

        You realize how difficult it is to trap that ball? Johnson didnt exactly make a great pass. The vision was great and playing that pass into space was great, which by the way was created by Jozy positioning himself and making a great run. Johnson’s pass was hip height with pace, that pass should have been to feet. Had Jozy managed to bring that ball off his hip at a run with a defender on his other hip and then score the goal it would have been world class. I dont think you can really blame the kid for not getting that one exactly right……

    • biff says:

      Jozy did not make a case today to be a starter for the first Hex game in February. And he some chances (service) that he did not take. I will not be surprised to see him out in the cold again February and not got an invitation. I doubt that Klinsmann would have called him back for this game had it not be for the Timmy Chandler. I think Jozy was sort of a smoke screen for Chandler’s call-up. If Klinsmann would have called in Chandler without calling back Jozy, he would have taken a lot of heat. That will not be an issue in February.

      • Spencer says:

        You can’t single out Jozy without also calling out Gomez. I forgot he was even on the field till they showed him and even then it was still a little longer till he actually did anything. I’m not saying Jozy is without fault but when not one of the forwards has a shot on goal you need to start looking at what we already know to be our weakness. It is those who provide service is where we are lacking. Any impact forwards made were on the outside and never in the center

        • OPMG says:

          Nobody should be surprised at the lack of service, JK deployed the 3 DM trifecta again. That just will not produce offense no matter how many times JK trots that lineup out there. I thought we were past that after it blew up in our face during WCQ.

          I actually thought Jozy was very active and did well to win a lot of balls up front.

          • David JS says:

            agree with the midfield being the problem, but Jozy can play better than he did today. Not that he was horrible, and I’m not a Jozy-basher in the slightest, but I was hoping today would be the day where he came out and played his A-game. The other forwards aren’t outperforming him for the most part, but that is because they aren’t on his level. Sooner or later, Jozy will come out and dominate the game like he can, it’s just frustrating watching him not perform as well as he’s capable of. I think the main reason Jozy gets heat so quickly is because we know how good he is and expect so much more from him than guys Gomez. I hope Klinsi realizes that Jozy is really just one game away from it all clicking and him taking off out of sight. I just hope to god that next game is when that click happens.

          • THomas says:

            Holy eff when will it end? He threw out 3 guys that most national team fans have only seen play as defensive midfielders.

            Bradley plays a primarily offensive role at Roma and Jones isn’t a #6 at Schalke but more of a #8.

            Yes they have both played the #6 role for the Nats recently but they are more suited to play box to box and join the attack. That is why Williams is put in as the #6 and Jones and Bradley are given the freedom to push forward and also track back when necessary.

            Why did Russia get so many chances? Because we did not play 3 d mids.

          • Since 82 says:

            I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to scream when I saw the three of them listed together again. It is very difficult to assess any forward’s play when they are starved for service. In addition, if Altidore did poorly what did Gomez do?

        • biff says:

          I like Jozy, Spencer. But today was not a good day for him and Klinsmann now has all the ammo he needs to snub Jozy in February and call back Eddie Johnson and maybe even Terrence Boyd or Juan Agudelo. I don’t think we will see Jozy in February. You are right, Herc’s did not impress today. The problem there, I think, is he was playing too much as a winger/midfielder and those are not Herc’s strengths. He needs to be up top.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Smoke screen for Chandler? your rampant speculation never disappoints biff.

        I think Klins calls Jozy back in in February but he likely won’t start.

      • Darwin says:

        LOL. Klinsmann is trembling at the sight of SBI comments.

      • Josh Perrella says:

        You are an idiot. There was no smoke screen. You are an idiot. He may not have played well but Jozy earned his call up by getting goals. Chandlers call up had nothing to do with that.

        As for the game. The US gave away two sloppy goals. I dont see this as a positive. We are still too slow and too careless. I was a huge supporter of klinsman, but I wonder if he is really the best coach to push these guys to the next level. He has arguably the best pool to chose from than any coach before him and yet he gets mediocre results.

        • A says:

          You’re a f******* Id*******.

          We just finished with the greatest win percentage in modern American soccer history on the year.

          Take your bullsh*t lies elsewhere.

        • Rory says:

          The Forward pool is pretty shallow. Jozy will always start the big games because he’s the only guy that scores a decent amount of goals anywhere right now. Herc was MIA, everyone else in the pool is either of the “has speed and potential” or “has speed and sometimes gets kind of hot but not really” type.
          WHERE ARE THE FORWARDS??? Agudelo and Boyd would be a great combo… on a U-20 or U-23 team. Can we finally lay Herc to rest? I get it, we probably missed out on his last couple good years but it is time to move on. These young guys have a great opportunity but they’d better make the most of it or the US is going to be hurting for years to come.

          • Alf says:

            Herc is the one player you never have worry about getting into the match. If you know anything you’d know he played very well.

  2. Mc says:

    Very pleased we could grind out a result, but either our defense was miserable or the Russian offense was exceptional, or both I guess. Overall, for playing one of the top European teams away from home, not bad, but the goals we gave away were so lame, it hurt.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Cameron played well, but Goodson did not.

      Whoever pairs up at CB with Cameron needs to acknowledge that they’re probably not as good going forward as he is, and they need to stay back to be the last line of defense.

      That’s what led to the Guatemala goal in the last WCQ match.

  3. 2tone says:

    A few takeaways-

    1. Gatt had an average first cap, but you can see that he has traits that will serve the USMNT well going forward.
    2. Klinsmann needs to figure out CB.
    3. Chandler is the back-up Rb to Dolo still.
    4. The USMNT is still in need of Landon Donovan
    5. Good result in a hostile environment against a team that does not give up goals.
    6. The commentary was ridiculous. People are acting like Russia was steam rolling the USMNT today, and clearly it slightly exageratted. Did Russia have a few mlre chances on goal? Yes. But I gaurantee the stats will show possession fairly even.

    • Mc says:

      Yeah, Twellman is just over the top sometimes. It was not as bad as he was making it out to be. To me, the frantic nature of the game can be mostly explained by all of the subs and young players trying to make their mark.

    • THomas says:

      We you watching? The Russians deserved to win. Their chances were of a higher quality, they produced them more often, and only Howard saved us from losing 6-2…and that’s being nice.

      Obviously Ian Darke is awesome and I think Twellman was just making the point that although we tied, we can’t lose sight of the problems which is sloppy on free kicks and in defense and not a lot of thrust in our attack once we enter the final third.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Let’s not forget that Howard is a member of the squad.

        People are always quick to say, “OMG they should have lost if not for that meddlesome goalkeeper!”

        Are there defensive questions? Yes… but honestly, the US could have stolen 3 (theoretical) pts if Howard had made one more easy save on the first goal (though I don’t blame him for being surprised at the ugly turnover that led to it).

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        Russia’s goals came as a result of a gift from Williams and a penalty. They were not impressive.

        Not saying we were, either, but let’s not make Russia sound like Spain. They flubbed chances, we flubbed chances. They had good spells, we had good spells. But our goals were infinitely more impressive than theirs were, if only because theirs came from a pk and a defensive blunder.

        • GW says:

          Many on this site act as if USMNT players who make mistakes are morons as if good players never make mistakes.

          I think it is interesting that it never occurs to them sometimes the other team is good enough to force people into making mistakes like dumb free kicks and penalties. Most penalties I’ve seen were caused by attacking players pressuring defenders into dumb errors.

          Russia was at home and came into this game playing very, very well. They could well have scored more.

          You are wrong if you think we were playing anything other than a top flight team in good form. On the other hand Russia were minus the motivation that often leaves European teams when they play friendlies.

          Overall,the draw was just about the correct result.all things being equal.

  4. BKBOOGER says:

    I thought the USA weren’t great, but still a lot more positive then negatives to take out of the game. They came into the game from the 30th minute on, and I bet the possession numbers would be fairly even from then. Still, Russia is a tough place to get a result and team showed nice grit to score a late goal and steal a result.

    Bradley has blossomed into such an influential player, and his technical ability has improved tremendously as evident by his beautiful volley. He reminds me of Steven Gerrard a bit, minus maybe the blistering right foot, the way he runs all day long and how disruptive he can be box to box.

    Out of the German contingent, Fabian Johnson was the most impressive. I’d really like to see him higher on the right flank, with Cherondolo in behind him. Danny Williams had a rough night, but I still think Klinsy should stick with him as he has a bundle of potential.

    Negatives, have to say Jozy Alitore. Did well to set up Jones for a nice look but overall was poor and had some bad touches which disrupted some attacking movement.

  5. Annelid Gustator says:

    First time a group of German[-Americans]s went into Russia with winter approaching and emerged with a decent result.

  6. A says:

    Um we beat Russia and that photo is from Jamaica.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Germany in the headline was my fault, was doing multiple posts and the other involved Germany. As for the photo, we were still waiting for photos from today’s game to come in.

  7. JJ's Shin says:

    Today was the best example yet of how crucial Michael Bradley is for us. We’ve watched him grow from a solid midfielder to world class player in the last few years. It’s good to see the nepotism cries have mostly stopped.

    • Mark says:

      +1

      Bradley is definitely one of the world’s best and strongest midfielders. He creates chances and never loses the ball.

      Oh, and by the way, he can strike the ball with authority from distance.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        I’m a big fan, thankful the US has him and that he is so young with more growth to come. Works HARD, is composed and his skill level and vison have taken leaps the last year. Bradley is proving that he can compete on a world class level, but saying he is one of the world’s best…… a bit much. How about we give him some space and allow him to get in a full season as a quality Serie A midfielder. Plenty to boast about and be proud of there.

  8. jeff says:

    Pretty sure we played Russia. No?

  9. Primoone says:

    I have seen this game before. Its a game I watched circa 1984 way back in the day when we use to gift the ball to our opponents in our own half and dare them to score a goal on us.

    God almighty in Heaven that game was absolutely hard to watch.

  10. hope solo says:

    taylor twellman is UNBEARABLE!!

  11. AC says:

    Glad to see Gatt get his first cap finally…He was average but not bad….You could see he definitely was aggressively running at defenders anytime he could….That centerback position really needs to be figured out….Boca has lost a step and Goodson just gets muscled off the ball too easily….Nothing need to be said about Bradley other than he played great…..The Jones playing as on offensive positioned midfielder really is not working….Of course he has a motor that goes the whole game but his technical ability is practically non-existent….Hopefully a true offensive player can take that spot….Jones is a defensive midfielder…

    • OPMG says:

      +1 about Jones. I think Mix could have made a case for himself to play that attacking/creative mid spot that JK keeps trying to force Jones into. that’s just not Jones strength and he looked frustrated out there trying to play that role

    • THomas says:

      It was always strange that at the end of the game he got moved out to the left forward role almost and Klejstan was moved into the central midfield role. That’s why Jones kept popping up out left and sending in ‘crosses.’ It was weird but he kept getting into dangerous positions out wide in the final third.

      • THomas says:

        And by ‘always strange’ I mean ‘also strange’

        • OPMG says:

          I agree that he was in dangerous areas, but I never really saw anything come of it. Maybe I missed something but it just didn’t look like he knew what to do once he got the ball out there.

    • ronniet says:

      I actually thought JJ did well in the attcking third of the pitch….had some great crosses that should have ended better, threaded some incisive passes that were either flubbed or wasted(to bradley and chandler) and got to the byline after by going at the russian defenders while showing some technical ability in the process! I didnt think bradley was all that in the first half, turned it over a bit and couldnt hold possesion in the final third but grew into the game….Danny williams was poor today as was altidore, and definately goodson(why does he continue to get called in?)….although edu hasnt played alot for Stoke this season, i think his technical ability and calmness on the ball has improved….gatt wasnt bad either, grew into the game….diskerud, agudelo, sasha and boyd acquited themselves well too! Bravo USA!

    • Hogatroge says:

      Gatt had a good first showing. Had flashes, but didn’t wow everyone and set ridiculously high standards. He showed he has a future with the team, though.

      It took him ~15 minutes to settle in, but he showed promise. If anything, he just needs to learn how to be as physical as he was without drawing the foul sometimes.

      Considering the circumstances, I’d say he gets high marks for his first cap.

  12. biff says:

    The best thing about this game was the never-give-up attitude of the guys. Great to see them tough it out on the road against a very good team. Tim Howard was beast of the
    match, but other starters also put in good performances, particularly MB, Fabian Johnson, and Jermaine Jones. As for the subs, Agudelo was solid, and Mix and Boyd invalable.

    Danny Williams had an off day, but I am not surprised. I think he overrated by some and I do not see him as a starter in the Hex unless he improves at the club level. I think it is time for the USMNT to move on from Clarence Goodson and Maurice Edu and leave them off the Hex roster in February. If Edu starts playing regularly for Stoke, he can be reevaluated. I wish Klinsmann would have called in Matt Besler for a look at central defense.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      What did Edu do wrong today? He wasn’t out there long and he helped set up our first goal. If nothing else he’s valuable for his versatility off the bench.

      • biff says:

        On the day after, I take your point, Michael Stypulkoski. A bit harsh. But Edu did that one time give the ball away needlessly deep in our own half, when he was dribbling around and got trapped by two defenders, and that image stuck in my head. But you are absolutely right about the pass to Agudelo that set up MB’s goal. That was nice and similar to MB’s pass to Boyd. I have always been an Edu supporter and I still like him. But I think going forward he needs to be playing regularly at the club level before he gets call-ups next year in the Hex.

  13. biff says:

    Chandler looked very ordinary to me today. Not bad, but not impressive either and certainly not the world class player that people were gushing about a couple of days. But that is not surprising because Chandler has mostly sukked at Nurnberg the past two months and did not really deserve this call-up. Our defense was shaky today and more so on the right side (Chandler) than on the left side (Fabian). I wonder how Chandler got along with the guys, and I am talking about team chemistry. Hard to judge, but I didn’t see much chemistry with him today.

    One thing nobody has mentioned since Chandler gloriously committed 1000% to the USMNT, is what happens if Geoff Cameron continues to play right back at Stoke, as he has been doing now for several weeks (I think he even played a left back for the full 2nd half half last weekend). I think Cameron is a better right back then Chandler already, and what happens if this time next year Cameron is firmly established as Stoke’s right back, 40+ games per season? Would it make sense for Klinsmann to play Cameron out-of-position at center back for the USMNT. Some would argue that it would make more makes more sense to move Cameron over on the USMNT to play his club position of right back, and this would open a second center back position for guys like Omar Gonzalez and George John and Matt Besler and other guys who are aching for a chance to wear the US shirt in WC 2014.

    • atd says:

      I hope no one was talking about Chandler as a world-class player. Barring anything unforeseen, he’ll be a squad player, ready for service if anything happens to Dolo or Johnson.

      Let’s be real here. Over the last couple of years, the US comes down with an injury or two, and suddenly we’re fielding Jonathan Bornstein, Jose Torres, Carlos Bocanegra at left back. Don’t you think we could use a little extra depth?

    • Eurosnob says:

      Biff, Cameron’s natural position is CB. Stoke plays him out of his natural position, but it does not mean that USMNT should do the same. CB is out weakest position and Cameron is our best CB at the moment.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Cameron’s natural position is defensive mid, but he is still our best CB even if Stoke plays him at striker or goalkeeper.

        Everyone keeps complaining about “the defense,” when the problem is “HALF the CENTER defense.”

        • GW says:

          Cameron’s natural position is attacking midfielder.

          • biff says:

            ha-ha. Could be. A long way until Brazil 2014 and nothing would surprise me, even Cameron starting as an attacking midfielder. But, my point about Stoke, if Cameron starts playing as right back and puts all his club energy to learning that position, I think Klinsmann is going to have to consider playing him at RB for the Nats. Unlike others, I am not yet convinced that Chandler is Dolo’s heir for RB. I am still baffled how people are gushing about the guy as the second coming when he hadn’t played for the USMNT for a year. Let’s not forget, Klinsmann has pointed out numerous times that you gotta prove your worth to hold a slot and Chandler yesterday did not impress.

    • Conrad says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think he’s cap-tied (regardless of being gloriously 1000 percent committed) till he plays in a WCQ, which is, what February vs. Honduras?
      Of course, after that game, I’m not so sure Germany is dying to compete for his skills. (I’m sure he’s great; he just made a few huh? passes in the midfield, and was turned inside out by Russian forwards at least once.)

  14. OPMG says:

    Overall I thought the USA came into their own after weathering the storm a bit to start. Gatt looked nervy but settled down some as the game wore on. Small sample size, but Mix looked very confident and showed a good bit of skill to come in and score in such a short amount of time.

    I’ve watched again and again and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Jermaine Jones should not be allowed to touch the ball in the attacking third. Countless attacks broke down with him pushing forward. He’s very different for the USMNT than he is for Schalke. I don’t think he and Bradley should play together, too much the same except Bradley is sharper in attack. I said on another thread that JK’s tactical problems are still with personnel and putting players in the right positions, I don’t think a 4-3-3- with bradley and jones wide is going to work moving forward. We look much stronger with Bradley and Williams bossing the middle of the pitch.

    • Hogatroge says:

      What game were you watching? Jones played more hold up ball than Jozy and set up a few nice chances that others squandered.

      Simply looking at the shot he mishit overlooks everything else he did this game.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Pretty sure Williams didn’t come closs to bossing anything today, btw. Not calling for his head, but only adding more support to my last argument.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Agree with Hogatoge. Gave up some balls sure, but mainly became a headache for the Russian defense. Also, Jones and Bradley do not play out wide in the 4-3-3. It is more of a central triangle, leaving width to the fullbacks to push forward.

  15. jb says:

    Overall you have to be impressed with our effort and the result. We were definitely overrun in the midfield for long stretches, and the central defense was weak throughout(although Cameron had some bigtime saves), and Howard was forced to make some nice saves which he did. But we’re taking on a top 10 world power on their soil!

    Bradley was fantastic. And contrary to what others seem to think, I thought Jones had a very good game as well. Our forwards struggled, but I chalk that up to their organized defense and thought Jozy and company put in good effort. Our goals were fantastic strikes! gotta love that, although both came after Russia made so many subs it seemed to disrupt their defense.

    Think we have a strong young nucleus to build around. Central defense now seems like the biggest problem area.

    • biff says:

      I agree with you on Jones, he was a feisty pain for Russia in the second half, especially over on the left wing. Had some very good crosses in the box, much better crosses than Timmy Chandler had from the right. But I personally would like to see Jones play a straight number six on the USMNT, the slot that Danny Williams was playing today. Jones is much better than Danny Williams (at the current time). That could change by Brazil 2014.

    • Betamale says:

      Jones had one of the better games on our team today. Showed why he’s playing Champions League football. Was the only one positively moving the ball forward in the early going and looked by far our most consistent dangerous player.

    • Davy Crockett says:

      Totally agree about Jones. While Bradley was better in the 2nd half, Jones was also a consistent threat going forward.

      Also contrary to what people think, I thought Fabian Johnson had his worst game in a while. He made a couple memorable runs forward, but he gave the ball away a lot and seemed a little soft on D. I still love the guy and think this is an aberration, but he didn’t play well.

      • Byrdman says:

        I’m glad someone else saw what I saw. I thought F Johnson was very risky with his choices throughout the game. Not his best, but he’s usually outstanding.

        As for Chandler. He got beat a few times but he crossed the ball pretty consistently. Jozy was better today than usual, but he never attacks a cross. He always allows the defender across his face to the ball, and hopes for it to float over.

        I was pleased with the Mix and the runs that Gatt made after the first 25 minutes. He needs to develop some ball skills, but for his first international game, I was pleased, and encouraged for his future.

        • GW says:

          Byrdman,

          Gatt is 21 and now is a two year pro. He’s too old to “develop some ball skills”.

          What he needs is to build up his confidence so he feels comfortable using the skills he has

        • biff says:

          I think Chandler had one good cross, Byrdman. He had a couple that went off into space for goal kicks and other crosses that missed the marks by a mile. He usually wimped out and did not attempt to take any defenders on one-on-one, preferring to back pass, and a couple of times dribble past a defender he lost the ball. Take off the rose-colored glasses folks. Chandler did not have a good game. We would have been much better off with Dolo or Parkhurst.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        Yeah, I thought Johnson was playing mellow D for the friendly. I’d like to think he would play heavier for a meaningful game. I enjoyed his passing up field…good stuff.

  16. Darwin says:

    Why all the focus on this player or that? Compare our movement and possession with the best teams. The real problem is not the pieces on the chess board, it is the tactic to the game. I’m 100% behind Klinsi because I think he can get this team to qualify. However, the issues he needs to address are not defense and service, but how to get the passing, possession, and movement up to world class in order to compete in Brazil.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Darwin, you make some good points, but the coach needs to select the right chess pieces to execute the fluid movement and possession oriented style. Jones, Williams and Bradley are good players, but nobody will mistake them for Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets. Is this trio really our best choice for playing a possession-oriented style? When you want to describe Jones or Williams, and to a lesser extent Bradley, do you use terms as “great passer,” “great soccer intelligence,” “playmaker,” or something more like “tough player,” “works hard,” “ball winner?”

      • Byrdman says:

        the problem is that our cb’s are weak so bad that we need the focus of our midfield to be defensive. I don’t think MB and JJ played as dmids today, per se. But they did have more of a defensive posture. We missed Deuce and Donovan for sure.

    • slimkid32 says:

      I think you are both right. I don’t think Jk’s real goal is to turn the US into a world class possesion style team by WC 2014. The goal is more likely to improve on keeping possession when needed. He knows what kind of players he has and knows that most of these guys are in places in their careers where drastic changes in their games just aren’t going to happen. Where we will see this change is the in youth teams and in the younger players working up to the senior squad.

  17. Todd Marsch says:

    I was watching at work, so I was doing work, changing tabs, when someone walked by, etc., but it didn’t seem to me that the US was completely dominated (like they were against Italy and Mexico). I think a 2-1 win for Russia would have been a more just result, but the US had plenty of posession, some good passing movements, and several dangerous opportunities (aside from their goals). I’m more heartened by this result than the fluky, all-out bunker wins in Italy and Mexico.

    • Francois says:

      ^ This. I’m shocked that people are making it seem like we were completely dominated. I don’t know what game they were watching, but they’re wrong.

    • Shaggie96 says:

      +1

      • PD says:

        I have to disagree. With a non-superhuman GK this game would have ended at least 4-2. Russia dominated for long stretches, and the Russian goals were generated by mental mistakes on the part of US players. That said, there were some pretty incredible moments generated by the US and on this day that’s what it took to cone away with the tie, but Russia really dud carry the majority of the match. But hey, that’s the game, sometimes, right?

        • Rory says:

          The first half it was Russian men against American boys (57-43% possession and it was the kind that was legit, not a statistical fluke). The second half things were closer, and then the last 15 minutes were pretty even.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Howard’s a member of the squad too. He’s the MotM and earned that result for the Nats. No luck about it.

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          Yeah, I agree. As far as decisive plays Russia was far more threatening, if not for Timmy having a stellar game everyone would be roasting the D even more. There were some definite positives for us, Cameron was solid, MB was very solid, the subs were good, Agudelo’s ball to spring Jozy down the sideline was a thing of beauty, a shame Jones couldn’t do anything with the cross.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Agreed. Most of the fault lies with Taylor Twellman.

      Russia probably had 60% control of this game, and created many more quality chances, but it’s hard to believe that this team is unscored upon in WCQ!

      The US was it’s own worst enemy so many times today, and that factored into what edge Russia did have. If some of our players had brought their touch today, we’d have a few more highlight reel gems to show of us splitting the Russian defense, whether or not goals resulted.

  18. Andy says:

    Gomez was invisible and Altidore was average to wasteful. Boyd should have a fighting chance for a start in the hex. It probably won’t happen though because Gomez seems to be cemented in the US lineup now despite being painfully average.

    Agudelo looked pretty good, and Gatt didn’t show a ton, but he looked dangerous and gave the US a little different dimension than having Zusi on that side. Speed is always a worry for defenders.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Gatt had a good debut. His first cap came against a top-level European side AWAY for Pete’s sake.

      He made himself known several times, was strong in his challenges (even if he drew a few too many fouls) and earned himself more looks come WCQ. With a little more experience, he would even had had a goal today (should have drilled that shot low post).

  19. Andy says:

    Also, Jermaine Jones still sucks. I just don’t get how he plays so much on a team like Shalke. His ability on the ball is atrocious. When he plays on Shalke, he just destroys attacks and keeps it pretty simple, but with the US he seems to try to do to much and be one of the stars. Plus, he always a threat for a yellow/red card.

    • Betamale says:

      Funny how people who don’t like Jones clearly show they know little about the game by making ignorant statements like “he sucks”

      Jones was one of our best players on the pitch. Looked the most threatening going forward and was one of very few people whose first touch didn’t let them down. Had lots of good crosses in dangerous areas; one of which Jozy was too clumsy to handle in the box.

      • Conrad says:

        See, Andy, if you had called the field a “pitch,” you would have demonstrated how much you know about the game. (“Sucks.” When will you learn?)
        Me, I see Jones as a paradox. He can often win the ball, get possession near the box, but then? He almost ALWAYS makes the wrong decision, whether it’s a hospital ball into the feet of a forward surrounded by defenders, or a blast 40 feet wide right. I’d say he was not great today, but he was played out of position.

      • Hogatroge says:

        +1

        Not the same ignoramus making uninformed and uneducated statements about Jones today, and probably not the last.

        Jones was a best who fought for 96 minutes today.

  20. David M says:

    Many negatives, some positives. Altidore looks, like one of the commentators said, very nervous. I guess there is a lot of pressure on him now and doesn’t seem like he is handling it well. On the other hand, the US team cannot afford not having Altidore. We really don’t have any other strikers who can score.

    Unlike most here, I thought that our CBs were pretty solid; the problem was with the defensive midfield. We’re starting three defensive midfielders and the Russians still move the ball with great ease right through the middle. Jones and Williams are not the answer. Actually, I think there might be a place for Jones after all — left wing. He looked very comfortable there, taking people on, and actually winning lots of those battles. That was very surprising.

    In general, I was very disappointed with the Bundesliga quartet. Four defensive players playing in one of the top leagues in the world, yet completely overrun by the Russian attack. Williams, of course, had a nightmarish game. Chandler had a very poor game as well — lots of bad touches and passes, nothing going forward.

    • Hogatroge says:

      You’re being a little dramatic. Bradley and Jones may be defensive minded midfielders, but they weren’t tasked with the #6 role today.

      Williams’ horrible free kick early on set the tone for him to have an atrocious game. The WHOLE TEAM took a while to recover.

      Jones was pretty good today. Not outstanding, but one of our best players on the pitch. Anyone who says otherwise does not know how to objectively analyze a soccer player over the course of a match.

      Chandler was mediocre, but not horrible. Johnson was mediocre too, and compared to the high standards he’s set in the past, a mediocre performance from him seems much worse.

  21. AMPhibian says:

    if we want three central mids, i would like to see something like:

    —zusi/mix——-
    ———–bradley—
    ——jones——–

    i personally would like 442 diamond, moving johnson up to lm and moving chandler over to lb.

  22. Mat says:

    If you look at the 2012 results under JK, you have to tip your hat and be impressed. We played some nasty teams, many of whom away, and overall I believe this is probably one of the best win% years stat-wise for US soccer. Beating Italy and Mexico in their home stadiums was pretty sweet, too.

    • David M says:

      This team gets very good results in friendlies against good teams. This team also plays lousy against much inferior opponents in official games.

      • Mat says:

        Yes, but we’ve always looked iffy in CONCACAF away games, that’s not new. Still, we were 1st in our group, so what more do we want?

      • Hogatroge says:

        That said, we’ve lost twice this year… once to Spain.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Nobody is going to look back at this year and say “Well yeah the winning percentage was great, but some of the performances weren’t very good” Results are results.

  23. Brain Guy says:

    I watched it on the Spanish-language channel and so did not have to endure Twellman, et al.

    Altidore may not have gotten a lot of great service, but he rarely did something useful with the service he did get. Most importantly, especially with the team as currently constructed, his hold-up play was poor. I lost count of the number of times he received a pass with his back to goal and proceeded to lose possession off of a poor first touch.

  24. koko says:

    Wild thought … I wonder if Jones can be a central defender. I’m prepared to take a beating … LOL.

    • Tyler Kitchens says:

      That’s where I play him on FIFA… But in all seriousness, if he could play contained yet aggressive soccer from the back I feel as though he would be a good option. That would allow a more creative midfielder to play alongside Bradley and Williams in the middle of the park and perhaps allow us to maintain possession a bit more than we were able to in the early goings of this match.

    • Mat says:

      Jones brings way too much to the offense to be left in the back. The dude is an assist machine when he’s on.

    • Spank says:

      I’ve thought this as well but instead of Jones at CB, how about we try D. Williams? I think i read a while back that he played CB a few games for Hoffenheim. He has great speed and usually great positioning. This way Klinsmann can slot Jones in his more natural number 6 role and slot Bradley into the number 8 role. This would allow Bradley to attack and Jones can focus on the defending. I would much rather rely on Bradley then Jones for attacking creativity.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        Yeah , we share the same opinion…get D williams in the CB rotation. with a year and half experience he could provide a great deal to the back line …solid defense, pace and distribution.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Disagree. Williams is too small to play CB and Jones cannot play the lone #6 role, just too much ground for him cover effectively and not get yellow cards.

    • Hogatroge says:

      He’s played there sparingly for Schalke before.

      I agree that his attacking talents would be wasted there, but Cameron needs a partner who’s not over the hill (sorry Boca) or mediocre (Goodson).

      Jones could be an interim replacement until someone like Gonzalez gets acclimated. That would solve the problem of keeping one of our best players on the pitch without playing 3 DMids.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        But then again…. Cameron is having to re-acclimitize himself each time he returns to the Nats having been out of position at club…. and Jones, of course, would be getting acclimated as well while filling in for the acclimating Gonzalez…. maybe we could put in Edu while Jones acclimates and….. uhhhhhh… wait a sec…

  25. NE Matt says:

    We looked like a team that had 1 and a half practices together a s a group. I’m happy with the result.

  26. Ryan nanez says:

    Twellman is the worst. He almost pisses me off as much as wynalda

    • Byrdman says:

      Do we have to have a former USMNT player commentate. They are all horrible. Harkes, Lalas, Balboa, Twellman, etc. How about a former duel national guy with a good accent. At least that might be intertaining. Twellman thinks he has to give his opinion on every play. I understand he has played some internationally, but really, does that mean he has a high soccer/football IQ??

  27. David M says:

    By the way, did Russia play in yellow and black today? The top photo seems to indicate so.

  28. THomas says:

    That Bradley goal was quite the Hump Day Treat.

  29. Getrealtime19 says:

    Jozy won headers all nite. Just didn’t have Bradley blast a ridiculous goal, or have someone take a long outside shot that gets deflected in. He actually set up JJ with a great ball that should of been put on goal. It was the best chance of the night. Jozy played good not great, but he tracked back and put pressure on up top, and called for others to do the same. Tracked back a few times too. Outplayed Gomez tonight.

    • David M says:

      Actually, according to the Russian daily “Sport-Express”, at the post-game press conference, Klinsmann said that he had nothing but praise for Altidore.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Altidore showed he belonged. While he had a poor game offensively compared to his standards, he put a LOT of work in tracking back and had a TON of nice headed passes.

      It was clear he was overly eager to not screw up, too.

  30. mike says:

    The US has master the ability to play down to lessor opponents and to have better opponents play down to their level.

  31. Brett says:

    Goodson seems to have a real problem with barreling into people in the box. It seems like every other game he plays he gives up a PK.

    I still think that Bradley/Jones/Williams all out there together is a serious hindrance to our attack. They are too similar and create more confusion than fluidity.

    • THomas says:

      You think? Goodson looks like a baby giraffe.

    • Hogatroge says:

      The US seemed to get forward more easily when Kljestan came on and Bradley was dropping back farther.

      Someone above suggested using JJ at CB. Not unprecedented and prevents us from benching one of our best players just because he’s redundant to another one of our best players. Could work in the interim until someone like Gonzo’s ready to go.

    • slimkid32 says:

      Goodson’s lack of pace and athleticism is a real problem. It’s like he is trying so hard to keep up and can’t slow down when he needs to. We all just need to accept to MF trio. They are our best midfielders right now and no one is an obvious choice to replace any of them, so they should all be on the pitch together. It looks bad at times, but I see improvement in the trio every game. If Williams wouldn’t have had such a dud, the midfield would have looked very solid.

  32. MiamiAl says:

    Cherundolo was missed…

  33. mikeandike says:

    it might not be fashionable to have an equivocal point of view, but i think Jozy played OK on the whole, with some face-palming misplays and a beautiful set up for Jones who blasted it over…. he seemed to definitely hustle more to put pressure on the defense and goalie than he has in the past… not a world class performance, but not a complete dud either…

    now as for the dreaded 4-3-3 formation…. as a result of the wing-forwards being pushed wide, U.S. typically ends up with only one player in the center on offense (Jozy or Boyd) and is reliant on one of the three center mids to make runs from deeper in the field to link up…these mids have to either communicate among themselves, or individually decide to surge forward, while making sure that not too many of them commit forward… it also puts JJ and Bradley in position to shoot at the goal (one proved competent, the other not so much), the quesiton is do you really want to build the offense around a center mid shooting from distance on goal?…..-and then run all the way back to defend again-this seems ed to leave lots of room for the russians to operate on the counter and have space and time in the middle of the field when attacking

    • Hogatroge says:

      You’re correct. Just because a dozen ignorant haters are spouting “OMG JOZY SUX!!!1″ comments doesn’t make them correct.

      Had a better game than he has in a while, even if all the positives came from winning headed balls and passing in the middle 3rd instead of putting shots on frame.

  34. srf says:

    In every single match JK has started three defensive midfielders we have struggle to maintain possession. Why does he continually do it if it never works?

  35. koko says:

    Just re-watched the 2nd half …

    1) Twellman is a disaster. His commentary was so off the mark it was absurd. You could sense Ian trying to even out the discussion and make it more on point. In truth, outside of a couple of moments, Russia was quite ordinary in the 2nd half yet Twellman praised them as if they were Barcelona. The 2nd 1/2 was a flip of the coin in terms of the better team.

    2) Bradley, Jone and Williams can not be on the pitch at the same time. There is no continuity in midfield. The spacing between midfield and the backline was atrocious when all 3 were on the pitch. Edu seemed to slot into the bucket role nicely and closed the spacing gap.

    All for now …

  36. jomar says:

    For everyone who thinks we got played off the pitch, go check out the match stats.

    link to mlssoccer.com

    In particular, possession was 51% Russia — 49% US.

  37. GBG Matt says:

    I understand striker is a higher profile position, and with the controversy over his recent exclusion I get that everyone wants to come on here and talk about Jozy. I thought he did fine today, not particularly impressive, but certainly not horrible. I understand that “forgettable” isn’t exactly what we’re all looking for, but to me, the real takeaway from today is the nightmare scenario that exists if Boca or Cameron get hurt. Clarence Goodson is just not good enough. At all. He was consistently out of touch with his line, a yard or two behind, keeping Russian attackers on-side. He is panicky with his clearances. He seems to have a tendency for giving up penalties, despite not exactly being a crushing tackler. I just don’t understand how he is our number one back-up. Give me Gonzalez. Give me George John. Hell, give me A.J. Soares. Goodson is not international caliber.

    • GW says:

      For all the weeping and wailing, JK’s post game comments about Jozy were very positive.

    • JoseDosEquis says:

      I agree w/regards to Jozy, i’m baffled by the people claiming he sucks or was terrible. Service was a problem again, and he had a bad touch off the Jones pass but he did fine overall and I think he’d be even better if he was getting regular time with the NT rather than bit and spurts of playing time in erratic intervals.

    • josh says:

      Not to dispute your general opinion on Goodson, but on the PK, he was holding his line up, and played the attacker offside. Edu, however was a step behind him, and kept the Russian striker onside, which forced Goodson to try and recover from behind with all of 10 yards to make up the space. Clumsy, maybe, but he was put into that position by Edu’s failure to hold the line.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Yes but that happens all of the time, and your CB is basically your last line of defense and should be accustomed to making those plays without giving away a penlaty. Not to mention Howard had it covered and was calling him off. Goodson’s lack of pace was evident throughout the game.

  38. bryan says:

    Shots (RUS/USA): 19/12
    Shots on Goal: 10/4
    Shots off target: 6/6
    Blocked Shots: 3/2
    Corners: 5/2
    Fouls: 18/19
    Run of play crosses: 12/9
    Offsides: 6/3
    Yellows: 3/3
    50-50 duels won: 53/55
    Passes: 455/439
    Passing %: 84/79
    Possession %: 51/49

    The key is that Howard had 6 ridiculous saves.

  39. matt says:

    Jermaine Jones stepped up his attacking in the second half but he’s not in the lineup to run down the flanks putting balls in. If JK insists on the midfield triangle why not start a mixx type? The final ball/creativity in the final third simply isnt there…

  40. beto says:

    overall a great game. entertaining if nothing else.

    howard, bradley, jones, edu, mix, agudelo, cameron, johnson, chandler all had great games very excited about them!

    williams, bocanegra, goodson and altidore are in the needs improvement category. but hopefully all rebound.

    the only serious issue I had with game was Taylor Twellman and the other jerks on TV. Why are they so negative!!! Basically two lines the whole game;
    1. something good happens: “Do you know how hard that is? That’s what he needs to do instead of being terrible all the time”
    2. something bad happens: “Just not getting it done, this team is really struggling”

    Give it up Twellman! stop killing any sort of enjoyment. Playing away anywhere you shouldn’t expect everything to go how you expect. They were not perfect but the team as a whole absorbed the Russian attack and stayed in the game. Does he expect the US to walk into Russia and push the hosts on the ropes the whole time? Ya Russia was the better team, but they were not the winning team at all. If it wasn’t for Goodson screw up we would have won!

    Eventually they got a good old fashion US result: enough key goals, good pressure and a lot of keeper magic.

  41. Hogatroge says:

    Another positive… it was only a friendly, but the Italian ref today was excellent. Shame he doesn’t ref for CONCACAF!

  42. cj says:

    Should the US have lost this game? Yes. Did they no. Also, this is not just an average soccer team they played. This will be a dangerous world cup opponent and the way they have been playing in qualifiers is more than impressive. The Russians have not allowed goal in qualifying and they showed why. They are disciplined and are not scarred to push you around. We handled it well at times and poorly other times. Friendlies are about teaching moments and the US can take away a lot of things to focus on against bigger teams that play with a controlled mean streak. But they also worked their way to a result on the road, and that is extremely impressive no matter how ugly or wonderful it looked.

  43. CJ says:

    I didn’t see the game, so I’m just speculating…

    Maybe Twellman’s “problem,”if there is one, stems from all his concussions? I usually enjoy his commentary, for the most part. Sure beats listening to Ty “Havoc” Keough and some others.

  44. Mwing09 says:

    Why are people only talking about one striker (Jozy)???? After a ridiculously mediocre MLS season I expected a poor showing from Agudelo. But I thought he showed great movement and work rate all game, very impressed. People can talk about Bradleys tactical volley all night long, but it wouldnt have been if it wasnt for agudelo’s intelligent touch backwards.

    Also, I think we need to see an Omar-Cameron CB pairing.

  45. Isaac says:

    Franco, this picture is from the USA’s match in Jamaica! What are you trying to pull on us pal? ;)

  46. Leslie says:

    His remarkable strike against Russia notwithstanding, it should be obvious by now that Michael Bradley is the best player for the U.S. His work rate is second to none, and when he’s on, the U.S. plays at another level. Love Deuce and Howard is indispensable, but Bradley is the engine for the MNT. As his game has evolved, the U.S. finally has a reliable attacking central midfielder.