USMNT and Canada finished scoreless yet again

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann entered the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Canada wanting to erase the memory of last summer’s dull scoreless draw in Toronto.

Rather than forget the bitter feelings from that game, they were compounded, as a young and inexperienced Canada squad held an inexperienced U.S. team to another goal-less draw on Tuesday night in Houston.

The Americans were the better side for much of the night at BBVA Compass Stadium, but once again were unable to find the breakthrough against their northern rivals. In fact, the well-organized Canada, who was routed by Denmark just three days prior, had arguably the best chance of the game off an early volley from Dwayne De Rosario.

The U.S. controlled possession for large stretches and had some decent half-chances, especially in the second half of the match after Klinsmann made a number of substitutions. Still, the Americans struggled to break down a compact Canada side that was content on sitting back and hitting on the counter.

The insertion of Benny Feilhaber and Josh Gatt at halftime helped a tepid U.S. side look more dangerous in the closing 45 minutes, but the Americans was wasteful in front of goal. Juan Agudelo, Brad Davis and Omar Gonzalez all had looks on goal but did not convert.

Gonzalez came closest to putting the Americans ahead, getting on the end of a Feilhaber free kick before heading the ball just over the crossbar.

The Americans deployed a 4-1-3-2 to start the game but switched to a 4-3-3 in the second half. Will Bruin, Alfredo Morales, Justin Morrow and Tony Beltran all earned their first caps in the game. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who did well to deny DeRosario in the opening minutes, started and went the distance en route to recording the cleansheet.

The U.S. national team will return to action on Feb. 6th when they travel to San Pedro Sula to face Honduras in their first qualifier in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Klinsmann has said he will pluck anywhere from 6-9 players from this current team to the one that will compete in next week’s qualifier.

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What do you think of the USMNT’s scoreless draw with Canada? Who impressed/disappointed you? Which players do you think will be taken to Honduras?

Share your thoughts below.

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

118 Responses to USMNT and Canada finished scoreless yet again

  1. 2tone says:

    It is what it is. The USMNT looked like individuals vying for WCQ team slots. And Canada looked like a team that was afraid to get blown out.

    • ian says:

      Yep. Not worried. Zusi will play a role in qualifiers, Gonzalez and Gatt might play out of positional need and potential to change the game with speed respectively. Beckerman may have fooled Klinsi into playing him in a qualifier as well. Otherwise, everyone else from this game is very much on the fringe.

      • 2tone says:

        But I will also add that I thought Klinsmann’s decision to not include Diskerud in the 18 was a little shortsighted. Klinsman selected players that are physical, but lack a certain kind of quality on the ball. Evans has proven himself to be an effort player, but he has never had quality on the ball.

        Klinsmann needs to realise that this team needs some quality on the ball. Being Feilhaber, Diskerud, Holden, Kljestan, or should I even dare say Freddy Adu.

        But I was little dissappointed to not see a player like Diskerud get a run out considering Canada was always going to sit back and defend. Diskerud could have provided the little quality the team was lacking tonight.

        I still don’t know if Klinsmann has a good feel for players and their ability.

        • downintexas says:

          Don’t you know this is Kinsman master plan to motivate Mixx.

          Spot on we need some creativity. I don’t think Kinsman motivates players well.

        • ian says:

          all of them except Adu. you should not have dared.

        • Josh D says:

          I think 5 minutes into the game, as soon as Evans touched the ball, Klinsi regretted his decision. Feilhaber yet again showed why he deserves more game time. He alone created opportunities and found pockets of space. I think he earned himself a ticket to Honduras. I think Gonzo and Beckerman did too.

          I felt Gatt was horrible. I’ve been a big support of his the past year, but his decision making was terrible. And his speed was only utilized on one occasion. He needs to test himself in a better league.

          I think Evans and both sidebacks were terrible. Johnson did well, but looked like he gave up at the end, letting balls go out of bounds when he could have gotten them. I was more impressed with Agudelo, but Johnson is the safer bet to Honduras.

          I think: Johnson (keep), Johnson (striker), Gonzo, Feilhaber, Beckerman, Zusi are making the plane to Honduras.

    • ld says:

      That USA roster isn’t capable of blowing out any team

  2. Metalface13 says:

    Evans, Johnson, and Wondowloski were a snore. I really hope klinsmann doesn’t snub Altidore again. Gatt impressed me with a couple of runs. Gonzalez and Beslerwere tidy, but didnt have too much to deal with.

  3. Metalface13 says:

    Evans, Johnson, and Wondowloski were a snore. I really hope klinsmann doesn’t snub Altidore again. Gatt impressed me with a couple of runs. Gonzalez and Beslerwere tidy, but didnt have too much to deal with.

  4. Shawn says:

    That 90 minutes is why so many people dont get soccer. Because it can be painfully boring at times. I know that was the US B/C team, but man that was brutal.

  5. ed - houston says:

    EJ dissapointed, as did feilhaber, our davis, gatt was ok, the defense in general was ok. zusi was good as was beckerman (i never thought i would say that for the nats but he won me over). very disapointing, even my jack in the box after the game sucked. the left back was decent.

    • Dlewis says:

      Zusi was our best attacker at some points.

    • Ryan says:

      Jack in the Box always sucks, and if Feilhaber disappointed you, I don’t know what your expectations were, because he did exactly what Benny Feilhaber is known for doing, and he did it pretty well. Honestly, he’s a guy we could really use when trying to pick apart a packed in defense.

      • Josh D says:

        Exactly. Feilhaber came in, found pockets of space, and kept momentum building with FORWARD passes. I think he was the only midfielder out there that tried moving the ball forward. He is perfect for Klinsi’s system.

        Evans was useless. Davis showed that he just isn’t made for the international level, as did Wondo who had one good touch, but just could not find his way into the game. Compare him with Agudelo who came in, had great movement, and forced himself to get the ball. Wondo was fine making dainty runs with nothing to show.

    • MLSsnob says:

      I think the consensus on Felihaber was that he was one of the best US players after he came on. I wouldn’t mind if he got a call to the hex.

  6. James says:

    Very lackluster game. Frustrating to watch, but Canada always plays the US hard, and it’s never an easy result. I was really impressed by Gatt. I thought he made the biggest impact of any of the subs, good to finally see him play on the USMNT.

    • fortunate only says:

      Gatt showed some very interesting things but it is clear that he is still very raw and relies too much on speed.

      He may get away with that against certain CONCACAF teams and in his league but he will need to improve a lot if he wants to play in a bigger league or have a role with the USMNT going forward.

      Still rather promising though but I would take Gyau over him right now.

  7. USMNT searching says:

    Fell asleep before half, and I am glad I did. Disappointing Klinsmann. Beware of a strong Honduras side.Better get your s@## together. BTW, Benny can play, and Gatt can be an asset.

  8. USA says:

    I felt Beckerman was the highlight of the 1st half with some great passes and control in the midfield, whereas in the second half Feilhaber had a very good showing, considering what was needed on the field, some sort of creativity. I don’t know what Klinsmann was thinking putting Brad Evans as an attacking player. Beckerman could’ve have played that role much better than Evans, and that is saying something..

    • Ryan says:

      I’m with you on this one. Beckerman controlled the game while he was in.

      • Anthony says:

        Control the game as in slowed down the game to benefit the Canadians with his perfect back pass. Has the best back pass in the league. We should start a drinking game whenever he passes back to his defense, we’d all be drunk 15 minutes in.

  9. Dlewis says:

    Evans was atrocious in the first but actually was very serviceable in the second at right back. Still don’t think he’s going to Honduras but he can at least leave the camp with some positives.

  10. MO says:

    morales has a high ceiling. Gatt was trying too hard to impress. Benny had more good passes than not.

  11. 2tone says:

    And I will continue to call January Camp; Camp Cupcake.

    • Todd says:

      Let’s try this again…I think my first comment on this got removed. I like cupcakes….let’s call it Camp Turdcake….or Camp S#@$ Sandwhich.

  12. Todd says:

    Well it is disappointing, they should have done better. It was actually shocking to see they had over 60% of the possession and equally as shocking that they lacked creativity is the final third. Until we can make teams pay for adopting this tactic…we will be forced into terrible games like this.

    • Josh D says:

      It’s because our possession consisted of passing the ball backward or in the case of the defense, passing it back and forth for a minute at a time. Feilhaber and Beckerman were the only ones passing forward, Agudelo and Johnson were the only one finding space as a striker to receive the ball, and Gatt, although not impressive, was the only one pushing forward. Funny that all those players have played at the international level before.

      Otherwise it was expected: MLS fringe players, not wanting to be the man who made a mistake, not used to bunker teams, content to plop the ball around backward. None of them grasped the opportunity, and I think Klinsi will be disappointed with that. Klinsi has always encouraged his players, in friendlies, to try the long shot, try the pass, ask for the ball – and they just didn’t.

  13. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Big old Meh. Beckerman showed that he’s a step above this level. Benny had some flashes and with a good season in KC could be back in the mix. I think Zusi shows better when he’s got better players around him. Gatt runs really fast and has a right foot. That’s about all I took out of this game.

    Kinda surprised we didn’t see Mix in the 18. Had to figure Canada was going to bunker (and they did), why would you leave one of your better attacking mids out?

    • Josh D says:

      The Mix issue is perplexing. Mix has shown himself handy every single time he has played for the USMNT. He has had a goal and an assist to bail us out and he always pushes forward.

      This was Klinsi trying to encourage Mix. He called him out last week for not putting in the effort at during camp. To Klinsi, if you don’t put forth an effort in camp and dig in, then you aren’t playing. I don’t agree, but Klinsi has laid down the law.

    • The_Trawler says:

      100% correct on Zusi. I don’t see how people can rate Zusi as one of the better performers on the night. I thought for being one of the “senior” players, he was atrocious. Poor touches, poor decision-making and service was non-existant. He definitely benefits when the “A” squad is around him (as most people would). But he’s not one who can go out there and make a statement on his own. Those are the types of players we need to be after… such as Gatt. Even though he was sloppy and you could rate his performance as mediocre, he at least made a go of it and caught people’s attention.

      Also agree on Mix. A complete mystery as to why Evans is in that slot and not Mix. Jurgen… don’t fail me now!

  14. fischy says:

    If Klinsi’s gonna take 6 guys from this team, 3 of them are gonna have to be the goalies.

  15. Jeter says:

    I got soaking wet after the game when the rain came rumbling down. Yes the game was boring. I wanted the US and even Canada to play better. Kyle Beckerman was beast in the midfield so kudos to him. Eddie Johnson should’ve gotten subbed out sooner while Wondolowski was subbed out to soon. Brad Davis could’ve been better had Eddie Johnson and Wondo been able to penetrate Canada’s defense better. Juan Aquadelo was being covered so tightly and fouled because the Canadians were scared of him whereas Graham Zusi was left open to do whatever because he wasn’t a threat, that’s why he was always open and had plenty of time to get on the ball but did nothing with it. The whole team looked like a hodge-podge of players thrown together to make a diamond out of pile of shit instead of a pile of coal. I liked the effort the forward Gatt was putting in, I’m sure he could’ve done better had he had some support.

    The United States needs Stuart Holden to return to form so he can pair up with Michael Bradley, Landon Donavan, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Bocanegra, Gooch, Fahlhaber, Torres, Geoff Cameron, and Tim Howard.

  16. Dennis says:

    It was pretty much the ugly game I feared it would be. The US could keep possession, but were unable to do much with it. Davis and Zusi both failed to provide decent service from the flanks and the outside backs were largely invisible offensively despite having relatively little to do defensively. Faced with a team that was pretty content to put 8 players between the 6 and 18, the US did little to draw them out or make productive use of wide play. Johnson and Wondo were basically forced to attack 6 defenders on the dribble, not surprisingly that was not very productive.

    Overall, I thought it was a poor game plan by Klinsmann, the team has fast players capable of getting past defenders on the wing and crossing the ball, but it was a tactic seldom tried. Gatt made some dribbling runs, but never released a decent cross at the end of those runs. Zusi seldom drove deep to make a cross, he seemed satisfied to serve diagonal balls in from 35 or 40 yards, the same can be said for Davis. The US midfield was out-manned and the back line plus Beckerman was unable to support the attack despite having to deal with only 2 Canadian players who seemed remotely likely to get forward. Basically the game plan seemed to be to put an inexperienced back 4 fronted by Beckerman into totally defensive posture, leaving the rest of the US team to play 5v9 in the attack, little wonder not much came of it.

    • Todd says:

      +1 …nice analysis!!!

    • AMPhibian says:

      well said

    • SJ says:

      Beckerman did exactly what Klinsman asked of him. Cover the two CD and disrupt any semblance of a counter.

      One of the biggest problems was slow movement of the ball. The only time the US looked threatening in the 1st half was when there was quick 1-2 touch passing.

      • Dennis says:

        Yes and Beckerman did it well enough that the backs never were asked to do much, except for that early ball into DeRo, which the failed on. But when you basically tell 5 players to stay back and defend against a team that you know will put 9 or 10 players behind the ball, you ask a lot of the midfielders to provide any service or the forwards to find any space since they are forced to play 5v9 in a 20 yard deep area since even Canadas mids were more likely to be at the top of the 18 than at the halfway line.
        Too bad Beitashour got hurt, he would (probably) have gotten forward to help the attack.

    • Soccertes says:

      Dennis, you nailed it. Although I don’t know that the game plan is too much to blame, given that the fullback pool for this squad save for Omar is stunningly lacking in quality and technical ability on the ball. When you combine that with the inexperience and nervousness of 3 dudes getting their first cap, you get no hope of creating buildup play from the back. Instead, you get kickball and sideways “can kicking,” which is what we saw last night. Not to oversimplify, but I chalk up last night’s result mostly to 3 words: Lack of quality. This was our C-Team squad. I expect a much different result from our A-Team next week. (Hopefully. Oh, for the love of God, hopefully.)

  17. DaveInSLO says:

    It’s a shame anyone had to witness that. Maybe every time we play Canada it should be a closed scrimmage so we can just fabricate some excitement for the press. I’ll bet there were a dozen fans in the stands (of the dozens who bothered to watch that garbage) who could have pulled on a jersey and limped around with the same ingenuity shown by the starters on the field. That the hell were those guys doing for three weeks in camp?

  18. Carlo says:

    And I thought our A team is uninspiring. That was brutal. I wish I had taken the advice of almost everyone I know and stayed home. That was a waste of time and money. The positive we can take away from this one is that Johnson played 90+ minutes in goal and did not crap himself. Who would have thought?

    • silent e says:

      Actually, he almost did. He made a pass to a CB right at the top of the arc who had a Canadian player all over him before he even made the pass, when he had the left back (at least) wide open. Why is he the future of American goalkeeping again?

  19. Amru says:

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to achieve a different result. Klinsmann keeps fielding lineups with these box to box midfielders and no real attacking mids, which leads to plenty of possession but no great chances, which seems to be a reoccurring theme.

    • Soccertes says:

      I think “Insanity” is all they did in training. Two-a-day fitness drills with Shaun T screaming “C’mon Y’all” at a pack of sweaty, exhausted players.

  20. Darwin says:

    I thought that Gatt’s runs were made ineffective by the lack of movement of those around him. In A team midfield, he would be fun to watch. At least he’s giving Shea a headache.

    • Prescott says:

      I think Gatt is much more effective when played on the right wing, where he can put crosses in. I am pretty sure that is the position he normally plays at club level and I am not sure why Kilnnsman keeps putting him out on the left wing.

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        Gatt does play RW for Molde and he has never played LW for USMNT before last night. It was only his 2nd cap.

        But I do agree he should stay on the right.

  21. Tony in Quakeland says:

    JK had three weeks with this team. You’d expect rust and the players not to be in synch, but this team was devoid of ideas, with no discernible tactical identity. They should at least have had that coming out of camp.

    I know this was the B or even the C team, but this game raised serious questions.

    • SilverRey says:

      One of the complaints by the German NT players was that Klinsman rarely talked about team tactics.

      • fischy says:

        Well, that…and the general conviction that he’s in over his head when it comes to tactics.

        • Soccertes says:

          That was a remark made by one guy (Philip Lahm) in his recently-released autobiography, which is by most accounts typically sensationalized and self-aggrandizing. That’s not to say JK’s methods are unassailable, but this oft-repeated Lahm criticism is way overblown and not necessarily well-corroborated. Me, I’m still behind JK. He’s a proven coach at the international level and he’s played at the highest levels. He’s now dealing with a player pool that we must remember has some serious limitations and trying to bring it to another level. It will take patience, and even after 1.5 years there will be growing pains.

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            It was a lot more than just Lamm. And I don’t know what you mean by “proven”. The performance of the German team since he left has hardly skipped a beat, adding fuel to the speculation that it wasn’t JK who was responsible for the team’s success. And I don’t think you can call his tenure at Bayren Munich a success.

            You can still support the guy and we all WANT him to succeed, but the evidence is mounting that he is little more than a motivational speaker.

            • stpauljosh says:

              evidence in the way of a 0-0 tie with Canada which was more-or-less a combine type game?
              or is it the win in italy, mexico and the tie in russia?
              me thinks you’re suffering from the same syndrome that most english folks do…the we-should-be-WC-winners/we-can’t-accept-the-reality-of-our-team syndrome.

            • Josh D says:

              Many people either forget or are new fans to the game, but the German side Klinsi inherited was terrible and some Germans I know thought he over achieved. The team has been taken to a whole new level since Klinsi left, but let’s not kid ourselves: At the 2006 World Cup, he did well for himself.

              His Bayern stint was cursed by in fighting and egos.

  22. G. Lebowski says:

    I agree on Gatt. Could he be the next Gareth Bale? CD9? It is pretty obvious that his athleticism was a step or two above anyone else on the pitch. The sky is the limit for that kid — you cannot teach speed.

    • Darwin says:

      He needs to move to the EPL right now to get there in 2 years.

      • Mike R says:

        Epl ? Why so his career can be hacked out underneath him. He needs to go to Holland to improve his technical ability.

        This is the disappointing thing, these were the creme of MLS players and most show little technical ability. Shown what MLS is loads of athletic ability real lack of technical ability. What’s wrong with US soccer in a nutshell

        • fischy says:

          This isn’t news , of course….which is why Agoos and company are overhauling the Development Academy system to cut back on games and add in a lot more training. Still way behind what other countries do in terms just in terms of hours training for kids, but we’re already seeing much more progress and these changes will help. When players like Flores and GIl join the team for 2018, we’re gonna look a lot different.

        • Darwin says:

          Bale is 2 years older and plays in the EPL. That is the only reason I said that.

    • Darthspud says:

      Feel like he needs to learn to pick up his head so he can pass the ball. It’s nice to see that he can get by people, but what else can he do? He also needs to learn to use his left foot.

      Drop off between A team and B team is huge!

  23. TomG says:

    Embarrassingly inept effort considering that we had 3 weeks of camp to prepare yet there seemed to be zero tactical cohesiveness. On the one hand, it’s a meaningless friendly, but on the other, if the lack of ambition by Klinsmann re: his tactics and lineups is at all indicative of what we will see in the hex v other squads who play a defensive shell, then we are n trouble.

    Very timid lineup selected in the first half with no central playmakers and no speed or dynamism apart from EJ. Also an utter lack of tactical imagination tin unlocking Canada’s shell as the whole plan seemed to be just to lob in long balls and crosses and when that failed there was no back up plan. Hopefully, Klinsi has a gameplan that incorporates something remotely ambitious and involves tactics that are more sophisticated than 1950s England long ball footie.

  24. Goalscorer24 says:

    Three words sum up the way the US team looked, “too much pressure”. They players were too tense. I think Klinsman needs to relieve a little of that pressure. The players that showed well, Gatt, Gonzalez, Beckerman.

  25. Caxmarca says:

    Benny was by far the best player on the field, his class showed through almost immediately finding runs, waiting just enough to spring players and slipping passes past the D, Klinnsmann had to notice…it is what he has been looking for from Torres, Finally Benny plays in the middle and not on the wing…Morales looked interesting, went into challenges hard and looked skilled and calm on the ball…i’d like to see more…Gatt was disappointing again

  26. Caxmarca says:

    I also agree that Mixx should have been available…if he can play so be it, why is Klinns messing around, the future is now…he’s 22 not 17…will Lichaj be called for Honduras? one would hope with the injuries to Cherundolo and F Johnson

  27. JesseMT says:

    Everybody’s ragging on Evans, but he played his game very well tonight – even in the first half. He’s a holding mid, not a creative attacking threat. He distributed to the wings and helped his defense by presenting as an outlet for pressure the few times Canada ventured out of their half.

    A formation that relied on his creativity was always doomed to struggle, and it did. That is on Jurgen and the lack of creative quality from the wings and striker positions, not on Evans.

    • fischy says:

      I guess that’s a fair criticism. Evans isn’t an attacking mid. That first half is more of an indictment of Klinsmann than anyone else.

  28. Bobb says:

    MOTM: Diskerud for not being in the 18… didn’t hurt his stock AT ALL!
    Great because they didn’t get tested at all… even though that was the ONE THING we really needed out of this: Gonzalez, Besler
    Decent at times: Feilhaber, Gatt, Beckerman, Morales, Agudelo
    Not great but give them another chance: Zusi,
    Not int’l level fullbacks: Morrow, Beltran
    Not int’l level midfielders: Evans, Davis
    Not int’l level forwards: Wondo

    NEVER AGAIN: Evans, Davis, Morrow, Beltran

    • Bobb says:

      EJ should be listed next to Zusi

      • Caxmarca says:

        Zusi, played ok, Morrow is a player worth keeping around, I see him play every game, he has int’l pace, defends well, and can get forward when width is available…he may be a decent back up to F Johnson and Lichaj..he can challenge Castillo…again I thought Gatt was very disappointing but he’s young…

        • silent e says:

          I don’t know Morrow well so I can only comment on this game. I sat on his side in the attacking half for the first half and he was where attacks went to die. He never made good overlapping runs, and when he did have the ball, even when defense was mild at best he didn’t send a single cross in. It was always a pass back. If you fear taking on Canadian defenders what hope have you?

      • Josh says:

        EJ was terrible. He’s past his prime. Zusi at least has a few good years ahead of him. EJ couldn’t get anything done, and basically left Wando on an island to try and score on his own from outside the box, clearly not his thing.

  29. Rick says:

    Feilhaber was the best player tonight (followed by Agudelo) and Evans was the worst. Gatt is a bit raw, but will be a killer in a couple of more years. I thought Zusi was a bit off.

    • Todd says:

      I remember all the talk about Feilhaber after he hit the volley against Mexico in the Gold Cup final. The future midfield of the Nats was going to be Bradley and Benny…since then not so much talk about Feilhaber. Didn’t really see much to change that tonight. Not sure there was a best player…maybe players who were not completely terrible. I want to see more Gatt…and Morales has great qualities….strong into tackles and neat with the ball.

  30. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I’m sure USSF tried to schedule a more talented side for the friendly, hoping for an open game, but we ended up with Canadian bunkerball. They played very hard and frustrated us again. Our full side struggles to breakdown bunker D, what chance does a B/C side have. I didn’t get Evans as ACM at all. The chemistry between EJ and Wondo was poor. In theory Davis and Zusi lobbing crosses to EJ and Wondo doesn’t look bad, but Canada closed space quickly and limited our ability to cross the ball. It was disappointing to see the lack of continuity. I don’t give a rats a$$ about possession stats in front of a packed D, it is meaningless. We also didn’t get a chance to see the CBs under pressure. The game in Honduras will be so much more intense. We still don’t have any sense what some of our MLS defenders will do under real pressure if they need to be brought into the game.

  31. Leonardo says:

    I believe in Jurgen, so this comes a surprise to me. Biggest disappointment is Coach Klinnsmann. We were expecting more out of our 2nd team, and this proves that he is incapable of doing something worthwhile with raw talent – Gatt’s speed, Omar’s heading ability, and Wondo’s scoring knack. There is only one constant, and it’s Jurgen. He needed to do something with these guys, at least 3 of ‘em – and he did nothing.

    Coach Rating: Jurgen = 1.0 (for showing up?)

  32. Joshua says:

    I’ve never understood the reasoning behind playing an entirely brand new squad. They looked horrid as one might expect. Sub par players, no team cohesion and a lot of individual “effort”.

  33. 2ndBall says:

    I was completely underwhelmed! Did ANYONE really look like they were trying to impress in order to make a push to be included in qualifiers. I say NOT!

  34. Cincyred says:

    Was waiting for someone to “flash” last night, but nothing, really. How can you evaluate Gonzo and Bessler against an opponet that did very little attacking? Wish we would have had some players take on the Canadian defenders, but only Ej, Gatt, and, later, Bedoya, seemed to have the “green light” from Klinsi to go at someone.
    Not sure anyone from last night could help us in the Hex games. Honduras will be a great challenge!

  35. David M says:

    I sometimes wonder how many coaches use public criticism of their players as their main motivational tool. Has Bob Bradley publicly questioned the mentality of Egyptian players, or complained that they don’t play or practice enough, or told them they haven’t achieved anything? I doubt it very much. Klinsmann is clueless and takes out his frustration on the players. I’m afraid (or hoping) there will be a major player revolt quite soon, after the first bad results in the hex. He seems to have already alienated some of our top players.

  36. biff says:

    Yeah, although just a friendly with mostly B players, very disappointing. And it is worrisome with Honduras looming on the horizon. If next week’s performance with the A-Team would be similar to last night’s then I, for one, will be pushing the panic button and not waiting until losing the first three games of the Hex (or losing two and tying Costa Rica at home), which is the nightmare scenario. But all we can do now is wait and see what happens next week and hope for the best, which is defined as Three Points anway anyhow.

  37. Ryan says:

    I can tell you one thing. After tonight’s performance I’m absolutely not watching the gold cup this year

  38. Rob says:

    The substitutions breathed some life into the game and i think we wouldve had more chances if our outside backs couldve contributed to the attack more. Many times we moved the ball to the outside backs into the final third and couldnt get a cross off or they turned and moved played it backwards. Both Morrow and Beltran looked unsure on the ball and it was unfortunate because thats where a lot of the space was to operate. I know it goes without saying, but with fabian johnson, chrundolo, or chandler on either side, we probably wouldve laid siege to their box for the better part of the game.

  39. Patrick says:

    That was probably the worst game i have ever seen by the national team. I’d had rather watch high school junior varsity

  40. Paul says:

    In a span encompassing over twenty years, I can easily rank this game in the bottom five all-time of US international games. I am hard pressed to think of another recent friendly that was this lackluster.

    We knew going in the US has weaknesses at CB, and I thought both Gonzales and Besler made a favorable impression. For his first US game, I was impressed with Besler’s distribution out of the back. I think both will be selected for qualifiers in 2013.

    The two current pool players who I think did the most to raise their stock were Feilhaber and Agudelo. Benny showed flashes of good play-making that was sorely needed, even though he has had a few lackluster years for the Revs. Benny is notoriously mercurial, so let’s hope this form continues. What Agudelo did was hold up and maintain US possession well with distribution and drawing fouls, as the Canadian defense covered him so tightly. We don’t normally see this from him, which to me shows he has expanded his game since I last saw him play.

    We do have a gap to fill on the wings, and what impressed me was that both Gatt and Bedoya were not afraid to attack and move without the ball. I did not see any aggressiveness, or willingness, for direct wing attack in the first half. While both had mixed results against a packed defense, we certainly have that void to fill with this type of player. I could see both of these guys getting time this summer in the Gold Cup, and possibly a qualifier.

    I don’t see Wondolowski breaking into the striker pool for the qualifiers. You need to create your own chances and finish at this level.

    With Cherundolo out for Honduras and F Johnson a maybe, I’d see Chandler filling in one of those spots. I’m also thinking Parkhurst’s phone was ringing after the game, as I think he is a better alternative than the other potential candidates out there last night.

  41. FCBTony says:

    Ives –
    I was there…it’s all true…hard to see, my eyes are still bleeding from the sheer boredom…
    Sunil should apologize to the rest of the world for even having the game – Klinsmann should refund EVERYONE’S ticket cost for fielding that team. I cannot imagine that t.v. captured the utter tedium and slowness of the game. I watched the Dynamo play a local college team Saturday, and that had more action in the first ten minutes for both teams than this crap. My 17 year old son said it best as we left – “That’s the kind of game that gives soccer a bad name.”
    I am convinced it was the soccer gods shi**ing on Klinsmann for not starting Tally Hall.

    That was really bad – I feel sorry for the folks that paid for VIP seats – well, actually, I feel most sorry for those that stayed until the end and got rained on – we at least left before the rain came.

  42. AMPhibian says:

    sure, beckerman did well for what he was asked, but he wasn’t asked to do much, sadly. there were a few times where he clearly could have/should have gotten involved in the attack and moved forward to combine, but he sat back and was basically a non factor in the offense after a couple nice long passes early. why protect your two young CBs so drastically if you want to evaluate them?? also, why not tell your fullbacks to get involved more? i felt like we had five sitting back, and you can’t do that when you’re trying to bust a bunkered down team and you don’t have a lot of class. EJ and Wondo were painful to watch, and i believe a large part of our stagnant attack in the first half, and i am not sure how much to blame them vs JK. we are controlling the ball in the midfield and those dudes just stand next to each other, both pressing canadas back line, but neither checking back or making runs for each other often enough. i’m not sure i saw us do a give and go/wall pass more than 5-6 times, and that’s really unacceptable for a team trying to play like we supposedly are.

  43. Todd says:

    Even though this was our C squad, this was the worst US men’s game I have ever watched. Extremely boring, and what upsets me the most, is that most of these players were from MLS.

  44. Cairo says:

    Soccer commentary is so maddening–unbelievably subjective and obviously colored by our own expectations coming in. Unsurprisingly, I saw some things differently than most of the other folks posting here.

    1. You can’t unlock a bunkered in defense without some creativity. Feilhaber was the one creative midfielder who played, and we immediately had a few positive things happen when he came in. I’ve never rated him, so this was a nice surprise. Deserves another shot at the full team.

    2. Beckerman was very good in what he was asked to do. If he were a little quicker I would prefer him to Williams, Jones, and Edu. He is better on the ball and has better vision than these three. Alas, he is not a little quicker, so when we actually need him to mark talented guys, we have a problem. Still, he performed well last niht.

    3. I totally disagree with all of the negative Wondo critiques from this game. The ONLY things resembling chances in the first half ALL involved Wondo. The only threatening shot on goal in the entire game came from Wondo. As is his custom, he moves around in the box and finds space. He had two other half-chances and was wide open on another when EJ’s cross was about two feet too high. He is a player who needs service, but against everyone he plays (in MLS, vs. Chelsea, last night) he finds space. He also tracks back and made a number of good tackles last night. I don’t understand what people want from him–have you never seen poachers before? Does Chicharito go on 20 yard runs before his goals? Never ever. He finds space in the box and uses his quick reflexes to get on the end of service, deflections, rebounds. If we cut Altidore slack because of lack of service, then Wondo should get it too. Wish we could have seen him with Feilhaber, Bedoya, and Gatt, because there was actually a little bit of service after they came in.

    4. About Gatt–yes, he’s raw, but he has two unteachable things to build on–speed and a fire in his belly. His presence immediately changed the energy out there, and his run into the box was the most entertaining moment of the game. He is one of only two or three young Americans with a chance to play at the highest levels in Europe. Will be fun to see where he is in, say, 2015. Keep him on the Nats

    5. Anyone who says they learned anything about Omar and Besler last night is crazy. Most MLS backs could have handled what they faced last night. Too bad.

    6. Didn’t see enough of Bedoya and Morales. Jury is still out.

    7. Biggest disappointment for me was the lack of service from the wings. I expected that this would be a strength with Zusi and Davis in there. Yet there was no service.

  45. Dick Tracy says:

    + Besler, Feilhaber, Agudelo, Bedoya

    = Davis, Gatt, Gonzalez, Beckerman, Zusi, EJ, SJ, Evans

    – Beltran, Morrow, Wondolowski, Morales

  46. The Imperative Voice says:

    If Klinsmann knows what he’s doing, then part of the reason the game was frustrating was that he did not start the players he likes, but rather the players he wanted to test. You could theorize that some of the guys coming on in the second half like Gatt and Agudelo were actually higher-esteemed and thus saved for a cameo. [Though I think he did start the backs he preferred.]

    Although, where does Mixx fit in? Why was he not dressed? I can understand cutting the no-hopers and taking the longest look at the borderliners, like this is a tryout scrimmage really instead of a game. But then Mixx in theory should have been coming in with Gatt late. Is he hurt?

    I then take a lot of the fan frustration to be the way Klinsi’s apparent core goals played out in practice. Canada has been embarrassed two games running and had every incentive to park the bus and save face. They treated it like a game. Klinsi may not have wanted to abandon the 451 too much because that may be his Honduras plan and he wanted to see how the campers handled that formation. I think he could have been a lot more tactically aggressive and/or started the actual starters from that 18, but I think to him it was a glorified scrimmage to ponder the edge of the Honduras 23. I’m not sure the paying fans or the people who burned 2 hours of TV would appreciate knowing it’s a tryout scrimmage where we look that bad.

    That being said, I think the game also underlines the issues with Klinsi’s 451 many a night. Too defensive, bad angles to go forward, too easy to aimlessly pass (particularly backward), not enough actual dangerous chances, not enough striking options.

  47. NacosRus says:

    Klinsi seems to inspire the fringe players as much as he does the main squad.
    Let’s see if his latest player critiques will have his desired effect next week.

  48. Dennis says:

    Actually Wondo did create the chances he got. One was a dribble to setup a shot, but the shot was a bit too far out and weak, but the keeper made the save look hard. One was just good positioning for the bicycle kick, but it was too soft. He did struggle to get open for crosses in the air, but since he and Johnson cycled in and out whenever a cross finally did come in it was 1 attacker against 3 or 4 defenders, both Wondo and EJ got sandwiched when the long slow crosses came in. If the crosses had been better, harder and faster, they may still have missed, but at least there would have been some chance the defenders would not have had the time to completely surround them. The high looping crosses sent in were going to work only for Gonzalez and he was being bumped from all sides by the time the ball got there.

  49. thatkidnandez says:

    Alejandro Bedoya played well for the small time he played and so did morales.

  50. Mc says:

    Remember all of the quotes that you have read from the players, saying that JK is pushing them to play “their style,” to try different things in attack, even if they fail? I think this accounts for the play of Gatt, trying to make something out of nothing. I give him props and hope he is involved in qualifying. It’s not that he is perfect, it’s that he offers something that not many players do, that mix of speed, creativity, and willingness to run at defense, same with Agudelo, and in different ways Benny, Mixx (and sadly, Adu, nope, I won’t get over it). These are the offensive players we need to break the concacaf bunker tactics.

    I liked Gonzales, dude is so calm on the ball, and has serious confidence going forward. I thought he had the best game of anyone.

  51. Gnarls says:

    Fugly game, but it is what it is: a friendly. Honduras will be a whole other animal.

  52. Francis says:

    Some good discussion in this thread & love the passion & the different perspectives; must remember last night was just a friendly with many young American players that have very little international experience at the senior team level. A 90 minute trial in match conditions to see if there are any players who may help/represent next week, when the result really matters.

    I agree that it was very difficult to watch, in that they did not respond effectively to Canada’s defensive-minded plan, but no reason to be down on our team – similarly to how when (a different 18) played attractive attacking soccer in their last contest vs Scotland was clearly no reason to be elated.

    JK has his hands full, is doing a good job and is moving US Soccer forward. What happens in WC qualifying and in Brazil come 2014 will be the best measure of our progress.

  53. SwerveZ says:

    If you’re worried about this game, you worry too much. This wasn’t a game they should have even televised. Meant nothing, playing vying for positions, playing a lack luster team that sat back, equals a recipe for yawn factor. Who cares? This was a match where only a few players were being watched and that’s it. Get over it.

    • Josh says:

      How dare you think about this in a rational way? Why make sense when we could freak out about our opinions, berate the coach for not growing better players, and question why we even have a team. We should just give up now.

      Here’s to rationality

      • Jason says:

        We can always err on the side of projecting the illusion (sp) of rationality…as im sure you saw this result comming.

  54. Jason says:

    Klinsman better be paying for his own chopper rides after this.

  55. Dan M says:

    what a sleeper. Whimping out from direct shots on free kicks just outside of the area really summed up the lack of technical ability on the U.S. side. Also, if you are going to rely on looping crosses from the wings, then your forward and attacking mids need to get more bodies in the area. Overall, the game was definately not worth staying up to watch.

  56. oldeninho says:

    Everyone says the US needs to find a playing style and its seems as if we have been searching for a playing style forever. Maybe because we have so much diversity in the US that we might not need a playing style trying to fit ourselves inside a box that we are to big for anyway. I say put the best players on the field and just adjust your game plan to the team your playing next. Maybe not having a playing style is the beauty.