Altidore hat-trick helps USMNT pull off improbable comeback vs. Bosnia

Bosna i Hercegovina - SAD

 Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team were staring at a 2-0 deficit at halftime of their match against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Wednesday, and their 11-game unbeaten streak was in serious jeopardy.

Then, Jozy Altidore changed all that with one of the more dominant performances in recent U.S. history.

Altidore helped the U.S. pull off an improbable comeback, scoring a second-half hat-trick that included a splendid free kick goal while also adding an assist in a 4-3 victory in Sarajevo. The impressive rally saw the Americans extend their record winning streak to 12 games while also giving them their first come-from-behind win on European soil.

Altidore’s heroics, which made him the first U.S. player to score in five straight games, spoiled a two-goal performance from Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko. The Manchester City striker netted the opener in the seventh minute and scored late to make things interesting again after the U.S. had pushed four unanswered past the hosts in the second half.

A pair of young and inexperienced Americans contributed to the impressive result, as Aron Johannsson and John Brooks made their debuts for the United States. Brooks started and went the distance while Johannsson came off the bench to provide a spark for a U.S. team that struggled mightily in the first half.

Starting the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Americans were unable to create much in the way of scoring chances in the first half and were plagued with sloppy turnovers. One such giveaway from Eddie Johnson led to the opener from Dzeko, who scored off his own rebound after U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard had initially stopped him.

The hosts then doubled their advantage at the half-hour mark, as former St. Louis University player Vedad Ibisevic nodded a cross from the right flank past Howard. The Americans had cleared the initial cross, but Bosnia recovered the ball and whipped in another that Ibisevic beat centerback Geoff Cameron to.

Trailing by two goals, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann altered his tactics by going with a 4-4-2 to start the second half. The results were almost immediate as in the 54th minute Michael Bradley, who also enjoyed a strong performance for the Americans, hit a sublime ball over the top to Altidore. The veteran forward brought the ball down and into the path of Johnson, who made up for his earlier mistake by scoring easily into the open net.

Four minutes later, Altidore turned from provider to goal-scorer to bring the U.S. level. Altidore scored his first of the game on clinical left-footed finish to the far post following a short diagonal pass from Fabian Johnson, who had moved into the left midfield spot at the beginning of the second half after starting the match at left back.

Altidore was not done, however. He bent a wicked free kick from about 25 yards out past Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and into the top corner of the net in the 84th minute to put the U.S. up for good, and then capped his incredible showing with a low finish following a nifty pass from Bradley two minutes later.

Howard also impressed in the closing 45 minutes, making a number of fine saves to keep the Americans from falling behind again before Dzeko beat him with a header in the 90th minute to make the scoreline close again.

The U.S. will now set their sights towards their next round of World Cup qualifiers in September. The Americans visit Costa Rica on Sept. 6 before hosting arch-rival Mexico four days later.

—–

What do you think of the Americans’ 4-3 win over Bosnia? How impressed are you by the comeback and Altidore’s performance? Which U.S. players do you think showed well?

Share your thoughts below.

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311 Responses to Altidore hat-trick helps USMNT pull off improbable comeback vs. Bosnia

  1. SanFran415 says:

    Jurgen Klinsmann is a god among men.

    Pepper needs new shorts, Cotton!

  2. Dc says:

    Altidore is from HAITI!!!! He’s not a “real” American!!!!!
    He is taking spots from honest hard working MLS players!
    and so on, and so on.

    • BFBS says:

      And from Preston Zimmerman, don’t forget him

    • Dc says:

      And on a non-sarcastic note. Those were three of the finest goals I ever did see. Nice work Jozy.

    • someAhole says:

      In all seriousness though, Jozy is from New Jersey. So are Bradley and Howard… They’ve always made me proud.

      • chris says:

        Jozy may have been born in New Jersey but hes lived in Miami most of his life. Played for Boca United

        • Kenny says:

          One time Jozy had a layover in Albuquerque. He’s more of a New Mexican than Edgar Castillo.

          • SJ says:

            Jozy has played several games in Utah. He’s now a native son–as are Castillo, Herc, Corona, Cameron, and everyone else.

  3. Aguinaga says:

    Can’t wait to see what adding Donovan does for Jozy.

  4. Clyde Frog says:

    huzzah

  5. Hush says:

    What a game!.. Jozy & AJ are going to be a bad a$$ dual for years to come. AJB looked nervous at first, but settled down. He looks sharp IMO .. Very mobile.. USA USA! I’m excited we no longer play 46-defense against decent apponents. We play real futbol nowadays .. I’m proud

  6. Hey says:

    Fabian should only play LM

    • Dudester says:

      I would agree if only we had a solid LB.

    • That Guy says:

      With Zusi, Donovan, and Dempsey in the pool, that decision becomes a lot harder. Of the three I named, I wouldnt put any of them in defense. While Johnson’s best position is LM, i think he is better for the team at LD and have him overlap with one of the three mentioned.

      • Joamiq says:

        He’s terrific at LM, but I think it’s tough to argue with putting Donovan in front of him and playing him at LB.

  7. Maykol says:

    So is aron johannsonn officially the best dribbler in the player pool?

    • Ali Dia says:

      Very impressive stuff, although there were 1-2 times I felt he he might’ve been able to pick his head up and get a better shot/pass. Regardless, it’s good to see this and I think AZ will be a good place for him to develop.

    • Ryan nanez says:

      He’s neck and neck with Fabian

    • Chris Becker says:

      Best I’ve seen on MNT since Charlie Davies

  8. Micah says:

    Great game for the US. Brooks will be a great defender as he gets more nats experience. I wish the US would play always 4-4-2 all the time. I feel like that is our best formation. Pairing Jozy with a striking partner makes him play better (ala when paired with Davies in the confed cup).

    • louis z says:

      With Johannsson on board that may be a logical option. Problem is, where is Dempsey going to play? he is not a true winger.

      • beachbum says:

        prefer LD up top with Jozy doing what he’s been doing for club and country all summer long…find spots for the others with Jozy and LD the dynamic duo up top

  9. Since 82 says:

    Our two best players were on the pitch today in Bradley and Altidore.

  10. Dubstepan says:

    Great game, I’m totally digging the Iceman.

  11. Nick says:

    It’s gonna be Altidore and Johannsson up front in Brazil!! They worked very well together and Johannsson has a silky smooth touch along with speed and quickness.

    Don’t need an Attacking mid when Bradley creates like he did in the second half. Fabian Johnson is a lock to play somewhere on the left… just not sure if we need him more in D or Midfield.

    Brooks was impressive for the most part going up against Dzeko. Definitely has a shot to start in Brazil.

    I thought Sacha played with a lot of creativity when he got on. Mixx just couldn’t get anything going. EJ was horrid in the first half but turned it around with his more familiar position in the second.

    Altidore is gonna be a 20 goal scorer for Sunderland if he keeps his form going!

    • Ali Dia says:

      Out curiosity, where does Dempsey fit in to your system?

      • Nick says:

        Winger or CM with Bradley

        • Dudester says:

          CM with Bradley…lol.

          • Nick says:

            Yes.. more of a diamond midfield. don’t need the “dual destroyers”. I’d prefer him on one of the wings though like he used to play with the Nats.

            But please go ahead with your sarcastic laughing.. i’m sure you know much more about this silly game than i do

            • Kodi says:

              I don’t think Dempsey plays enough defense to be the tip of a diamond midfield. With the way Jones has looked at times, I’d like Bradley to play there with Cameron as the deep lying midfielder.

    • Dudester says:

      Dempsey played up top with Jozy in the last WCQ and the Belgium and Germany games.Its gonna take a he!! of a run from till Brazil for Kevin to displace Clint from his position as second striker.

    • chris thebassplayer says:

      It would be great to see Johannsson under Jozy. He has pace and plays fast…he’s a better fit there than Deuce…can we just make MB the captain so we can super sub Deuce. I can’t wait to see the chemistry between LD, Johannsson and Jozy.

    • louis z says:

      I also like the AJ/JA tandem but Dempsey kind of stands in the way, I see AJ taking some of either Dempsey or JA minutes as a sub. AJ has moves that neither of the other two have, wait until he starts to score.

      P.S. Today you saw what he can do when he creates his own shot, wait until you see him score when poaching.

      • GW says:

        Johannsson is one reason why JK is not worried about Deuce’s move to Seattle.

        He also puts a damper on the Charlie Davies for Brazil faction.

  12. Dawwilly says:

    The free kick and the third goal were fantastic. Wicked dipping curve. One of the best free kick goals from a U.S. player in quite some time.

    • Ali Dia says:

      It was also great how well Jozy was able to use his body positioning to sell the possibility of of a far post cross. If you watch the keeper, he’s clearly focused on that and thinking about cheating. Ball was past him before he knew it.

  13. Travis says:

    This game continues to show how important Bradley is to this side, he was great in the second half after a rough first half. Hope he gets playing time this year at Roma or else we may have issues at the WC, need him in top form.

    • Roy says:

      Jones may be better than a lot of other guys, but a lot of other guys play better with Bradley than Jones does. I’d like to see Jones on the bench with Bradley starting, and see how that goes.

  14. Culture Czar says:

    I was glad to see that Johannsson was the first one to hug Jozy after the free kick. Hope that means he’s meshing in well with the squad. I know they had some crossover at Alkmaar, but it’s still a good sign that he’s excited to be on the team.

    • louis z says:

      They actually became good friends at AZ.
      Aron wants to play next to JA. It will probably happen soon enough

  15. Dillon Gilbert, says:

    my thoughts on costa rica:

  16. Kmac014 says:

    Jozy. That is all

  17. Matt DCU says:

    Whoever this Jozy kid is, we should try to cap tie him

    • Joamiq says:

      He was definitely better than that Altididore guy Ives had in his projected starting lineup for this game

  18. Kmac014 says:

    Thought mixx played very well in the first half. He’s getting overshadowed by altidores brilliant performance

    • Byrdman says:

      Imo. Very weak on the ball, and in challenges. May not have a place in Brazil.

      • Joe says:

        IMO, you are insane. Mix is a great player and outplayed the rest of our mids in the first half. He closes down and Jones made him look out of position because of a shoddy performance on the day. He’ll be better, just a down day for JJ but he did not do any favors for Mix.

      • Ben James says:

        He’s weak physically but not on the ball. I thought he played well…good touch and passing ability and he nearly drew a penalty after a nice turn. I actually thought he was one of the bright spots in the first half along with MB and JA.

        • paddymac says:

          Yep, mix is a big time player and a huge pickup. Klins keeps hitting jackpot on dual nationals! Anyways, the kid has superior vision and is very comfortable on the ball. He easily makes WC squad. And yeah, in 9 out of 10 games, he would have drawn PK in first have with a gorgeous turn and individual effort. That was a terrible call. What is different now, is we don’t have to botch and moan at bad calls. We have the quality and talent to overcome the bad calls that the US is always going to get. the offensive prowess of this team is really starting to crank up. It is so exciting to see after 20 years of watching guys like Coby Jones, Josh Wolfe, or Robbie Findley who could not beat a keeper if their life depended on it.

  19. Dillon Gilbert, says:

    my thoughts on costa rica:

    Jozy – Deuce

    F. Johnson – Jones – Bradley – Landon

    Beasley – Besler – Brooks – Evans

    • Judging Amy says:

      I don’t hate it.

    • John says:

      It would be a risking move but I kind of wonder if Zusi could play right back now. He is pretty good at closing guys down and can hit a perfect cross. Perhaps its a silly idea but I don’t want to loose the service to players he’s been putting in.

    • timothy says:

      I’ll go
      . altidore
      deuce – bacon – Donovan
      . Jones – Bradley
      Fabian – besler – brooks – dolo or other
      . howard

      • Duracell says:

        I really like this. We could also see Deuce or Landon slide to the middle and put in Zusi, though (admittedly after only one game) right now I prefer AJ.

    • beachbum says:

      against Costa Rica maybe Beckerman starts with MB? he just showed he plays very well against them. I hope it’s LD with Jozy up top putting Clint on the right OR a formation change to 4 3 3 w/ Clint—Jozy—LD; LD makes that formation work I think, showed well in Gold Cup with it, so Fabian–Beckerman–MB in the middle maybe? or maybe JJ for Beckerman but not for me

      fun to think about

  20. Judging Amy says:

    Depth. Beautiful team play. Developing young players. Key cogs on form. Excellent tactical adjustments. Bright days ahead.

  21. Joe Dirt says:

    New nicknames:

    Jozy “Stanky Legs” Altidore

    Eddie “Grown A$$ Man” Johnson

    Aron “The Alabama Hammer” Johansson

    Michael “The General” Bradley

    JA “Beastie Boy” Brooks

  22. IgnerAnt says:

    Not that I’m complaining, not one bit, but wow, I’m actually starting to wonder how we’re going to get all of our best players on the field in the World Cup… I don’t recall the last time I was this excited about US Soccer. What a game!!!
    Dream lineup, based on “right now”– what say you all?
    For me, it’s probably (very, very tough call):

    —————-Jozy– Deuce————–

    LD——–Bradley—-Jones——Zusi

    Beasley—Besler–Goodson–Cameron

    But bottom line is I trust Klinsmann will get it right, he sure as hell knows better than I do!

    • Duracell says:

      Fabian Johnson needs to be on the field somewhere. Not his best game today but he’s one of our 6 best field players.

      • IgnerAnt says:

        I hear ya, Duracell, but where? He’s better going forward, not so great defensively, IMO. Which makes him one of the many, many tough calls I’m glad I don’t have to make… can’t leave LD or Zusi off, can you? Or can you? Or him in place of Beasely?

        • Duracell says:

          I think he has to play in place of either Beasley or Zusi (with Landon moving to the right), but it’s obviously a good problem to have, as both Beasley and Zusi have shown they are capable options on the international level.

    • Lost in Space says:

      To me will depend on how JK rates Beasley/FJ @ LB….and what happens @ RB. Based on tonight’s game, the GC, and June Qualifiers, I’d roll out the following:
      ———————-Jozy———-Donovan—————
      ——————————Deuce————————–
      ———–FJ———————————-Bradley——
      ————————–Cameron————————–
      —DMB——Besler———–Goodson—-Evans—
      —————————Howard—————————
      Gonzalez & Goodson are equal in my mind. Just different strengths/weaknesses.
      Evans is a Place holder at this point. Does well….but not sold on him 100% (Dolo, Chandler, Orozco, Lichaj, Parkhurst are all in the running. Will depend on club performances).
      DMB has done well but not 100% sold on him either.
      with a pinched in midfield….makes lack of a stand out winger(s) unnecessary. FJ/Bradly are basically #8’s with a #6 CDM screening the inexperienced CB’s.

  23. John says:

    3 central midfielders just doesn’t work, no matter how you put them out there and the Eddie Johnson winger experiment is over.

  24. SanFran415 says:

    People jumped on me when I said AJ was regarded as one of the very good to great young strikers in Europe.

    It’s so easy to see why Iceland was furious. But AJ himself said he couldn’t pass up playing for one of the greatest of all times–Jurgen Klinsmann.

    • Judging Amy says:

      SF,

      I like you but so many of your posts start, “People laughed at me when I said x…Y has happened and who’s laughing now”.

      Even if that’s the case bro, why always start strife, looking for a reaction?

      Do you not get enough recognition in your non-virtual life?

      And yes, AJ looked awesome.

      • Dudester says:

        Ouch.

      • SanFran415 says:

        Does anyone really get enough recognition in their real life? But no I’m good. I like to rib people who are so negative about that stuff.

        • Joe says:

          And yet you become negative and part of the problem per Amy’s post. Seriously, you are no Left Arm, but rather the exact opposite end of the spectrum. That ain’t a great thing either brochacho.

    • joe says:

      I don’t remember anyone doing this and I read every single comment on this website. Everyone. Provide proof please so that I may change my opinion if I am factually incorrect and people did in fact jump on you.

  25. chris says:

    4-4-2! Stick with the 4-4-2!

    -Still laughing at the Bradley and Jozy are no good people
    -Mix is so weak and unathletic I feel bad watching him get bulldozed
    -Brooks and AJ looked good
    -Jones didn’t have a good game
    -EJ is NOT a winger stop putting him there
    -FJ may be better at LM but he is too valuable at LB

    • Dudester says:

      “FJ may be a better LM but he is more valuable at LB. +1000 anyone who calls for FJ at LM doesn’t see this.

      • Ben James says:

        I agree. We have a lot of options in the midfield right now. If we put FJ there, we push another good player to the bench. I’d rather send a weaker link like Beasley to the bench. It’s not like FJ is bad at LB and he’ll still get forward in the attack.

    • Byrdman says:

      To be fair both MB and Jozy have improved greatly over the last few years. MB was always good but he didnt always need to be MB90. Maybe MB65-70 would have been ok a couple of times. Jozy works twice as hard now, and i have ALWAYS been a fan. Leaving him home last fall was good for him. He is a beast now and i love it!

      I agree with just about everything else you said.

      • chris says:

        And that’s the problem people can’t identify potential. Jozy led last WCQ qualifying in goals and had already bagged 30+ goals for AZ before JK left him off the team and continued scoring at the same rate afterwards. Scrapping the 5 cms and giving jozy a parter up top is what was good for him and the team. Who would have started over Bradley? Why would you sub out a box to box midfielder who has always had good fitness and waste a sub to see Torres or Sacha do nothing in his place? It makes no sense

    • Joe says:

      Mix is what?!?! Uh, huh, um, did you see the balance after getting continually getting thrashed in the 18 in the 1st half? He was the lone bright spot to me. You, sir, have been partaking in the stickiest of the icky have you not?

  26. Wispy says:

    Gotta say: as impressive as Bradley was today, Jones was just the opposite. He single-handedly killed 5 or 6 offensive forays in the first half alone by either dribbling too much or making lazy passes. And he flat out gave up on the play after one giveaway. I like Jones a lot and think we need him on the pitch in certain situations and against certain opponents, but more and more I’m leaning towards starting Cameron as a true #6 in a 4-1-3-2. With everyone healthy:

    ————–Altidore———-Dempsey———–
    —F. Johnson——Bradley———Donovan—
    ———————–Cameron————————
    Beasely—Besler—Gonzalez—Cherundolo
    ———————–Howard————————–

    And based soley on today, I don’t think it’s long before Brooks unseats Gonzalez.

    • Dudester says:

      The question is does JK have the balls to start Cameron over JJ.Even if the Camdog is outperforming JJ at the pre WC camp.

      • Wispy says:

        Right — that is the big question. I get that JK sees stuff every day that we don’t in training, in the locker room, etc., and he rates him highly. But wow did Jones have a stinker of a first half. I honestly thought he was injured at one point because he was moving so slowly and his first touch looked like mine in high school.

      • John says:

        Jones might be the only player he has never benched or made fight for a spot.

    • Turgid Jacobian says:

      Yeah, I would like to see JJ either step back up a couple of notches or sit down in favor of Geoff as a real DM–that would be quite alright by me.

  27. BayernAtHeart says:

    JAB had a decent debut. Nothing particularly special, but at least he did not look like a fish out of water.

    AJ had a much more positive looking debut as a sub.

    Neither debutant likely to start in Brazil, but both could be on the roster.

    • Byrdman says:

      Disagree. Consider the learning curve for Brooks will be much faster than Gonzo, because he is younger and just getting to the big time. Reality is that if Gonzo does not improve second half of MLS season, he wont move up much in league quality. JAB is already as good or better than Goodson. In 10 months, who knows….

      • Mike in Missouri says:

        JAB made young player mistakes in positioning. He doesn’t have the experience yet to jump into a starting role on the team. Let’s not forget we gave up 3 goals today

        He’s obviously an athletic freak with an incredibly high ceiling. And it’s possible that he could start next to Besler by the WC. But I think it’s doubtful. Get him some experience, have him as a sub in the WC, and then turn him loose the next cycle.

      • beachbum says:

        I’d like to see Gonzo play the way Gonzo plays, and stop trying to do a bunch of things that aren’t his strengths, and let’s see what happens. he’s starting to do that again with the Galaxy lately…hope that continues

  28. Dimidri says:

    Ives-when did you change the comments section from newest to oldest? Don’t hate it, but kind of weird.

    The Fabian Johnson debate (LM or LB) has less to do with where he’s best and more to do with which combo is better-Johnson-LB/Donovan or Dempsey-LM/Zusi-RM, or Castillo or Beasley-LB/Johnson-LM/Donovan RM.

    I’m by no means a Zusi lover but he does a lot of useful things, and Beasley worries me against bigger opponents. To me it really comes down to Castillo, if he can play LB against a Colombia or a France and do ok defensively, then put Johnson at LM. Otherwise Zusi has to start (or corona or bedoya.)

  29. Petro4ever says:

    Wow. I only tuned in at the start of at second half, but that was a heck of a game!

    We should have a pretty formidable team offensively going into the next set of qualifiers. Altidore is proving, game by game, that he is capable of carrying the scoring load and can score in a variety of ways. Fabian Johnson and Michael Bradley have done a remarkable job providing service, and I think Fabian’s feed to Altidore on the first goal shows why he needs to continue to play in the midfield rather than along the backline. Once our absent captain Dempsey rounds into form with Sounders, he should continue to be a scoring threat playing under Altidore. And while Eddie Johnson’s turnover cost us a goal today, I think he’s showing us that, so long as you don’t count on him to be your primary scoring threat, he can chip in goals, even against fairly good opponents. Add Donovan to the mix, and we certainly are not hurting for players who can create scoring opportunities for themselves or others.

    As far as the young players go, I’m pretty impressed by Johannson. He seems to position himself well and he’s quick, calm, and pretty creative on the ball. He actually seems to be the player many of us thought Juan Agudelo would develop into earlier in this cycle, only Johannson has had more club success that Agudelo, so he has been able to play his way onto teams that are doing a better job with his development. I wouldn’t pencil him into any line-ups yet, but could see him being a wing option off the bench for 2014, and possibly moving into a 2nd striker position with Altidore next cycle.

    What did people think of Brooks? A lot of TV commentary about him being raw and making mental mistakes, but that’s been the criticism of Gonzalez as well (albeit to a lesser extent). It’s a shame that Orozco got injured, as I think Brooks is probably battling him for the 4th CB spot in our depth chart right now.

    • SanFran415 says:

      They tried to blame him for Edin Dzeko skidding a header off the top of his head from 15 yards on a whipped in early cross into the far corner when Brooks was bodied up and had goalside position.

      It’s that kind of American commentating that drives me crazy. Sometimes there’s literally nothing a defender can do other than just football tackle the guy.

      Otherwise no, he was not raw at all. His positioning and composure was incredible for a 20 year old.

      • Ben James says:

        Yeah I thought about that too. That was just a good offensive play by them that really couldn’t be stopped. I’m not sure how Brooks could have played it differently. I thought he looked poised and did well in limited pressure situations. Hard to take too much away from one game though.

        • C(note) says:

          I agree it was a beautiful offensive sequence and tough to defend the header…but it would not have been tough to defend the run which brooks failed to do.

          I think he is a beast of a young man and his upside is incalculable, but he was lulled to sleep by a world class striker who made him pay. Lesson learned and better luck next time

      • paddymac says:

        Great point sanfran. That was just a brilliant play by a world class striker. The kid is 20 years old and did a fantastic job in a hostile venue marking an elite striker; in literally the first time he has even kicked it around with USMNT! It would be absolutely brilliant if this pickup by Klins wins starting CB job alongside Bessler. Dude is prototype atheletic CB.

    • Tensnake says:

      I think Brooks did very well today. Remember when it was a 3 on 1 situation and his lunge stopped it? Commentators just like to put people down.

    • Bird says:

      I have watched Bacon at his club a bit and I’ve always thought his game is similar to Reus at Dortmund, which is a really good thing. He is faster than he looks and can finish nicely but also has a great eye for the pass like the one he put through to Jozy when he first came on.

    • Joamiq says:

      Brooks was terrific. It was only one game, but considering that he still needs to develop chemistry and communication with Timmy and the rest of the backline, his performance was kind of remarkable. I really can’t blame him too much for that last Dzeko goal – he was marking him, but Dzeko just got there first and placed it perfectly. He’s a world class striker – it happens. Brooks could maybe have been marking him a shade tighter, but even a world class CB could have been beaten there.

      He’s not battling for 4th CB. After today he instantly enters the conversation for who starts next to Besler. I’m not giving him a spot on the plane just yet, but he’s definitely in the mix to start. And given their playing styles, I can see him and Besler forming a great partnership.

      • 2tone says:

        Words from Stevie Nicol. Not one CB anywhere else in the world is stopping Dzeko on that last goal. Brooks was poised and played really well for his first senior international start. Besler is going to have competition for LCB.

      • Petro4ever says:

        Yeah, I should probably have been more clear about that “4th CB” comment. In my mind, Besler is the clear-cut #1, but nobody has really locked down the #2 spot. Cameron would be #2, except I have a feeling he’ll ultimately be our starting RB. Below Cameron, Gonzalez is prone to mental errors, Goodson struggles again physical forwards, and Orozco really hasn’t faced enough top international competition to be a known quantity (which is why it would have been nice to see him today).

        Right now, I have Brooks entering the depth chart at #5 on the basis of his not having played any games with us until today. I tend to prefer moving players up spot-by-spot rather than jumping them ahead of multiple players (unless a player just goes lights-out over multiple games), so his first task is passing Orozco. But realistically, I think he’s got as good a chance as any of the guys “above” him of climbing all the way to #2 and starting next to Besler in Brazil, because nobody other than Besler and arguably Cameron has really distinguished himself.

  30. BFBS says:

    Negatives:

    1) The only player who I was disappointed in overall was Jermaine Jones – just too many turnovers, wayward passes, and running into dubious situations.

    2) EJ’s dallying on the ball and the consequent turnover on the first goal was frustrating

    3) Service from the wings was subpar

    Positives (too many to list but here are some):

    1) Brad Evans made a meaningful offensive contribution (Parkhurst got involved as well to good effect) and looks like he could play RB against pretty much anyone, especially once he gets more experience.

    2) EJ is getting better seemingly by the game (although soon between LD, Dempsey, Aron Bacon, and Jozy there might not be a spot for him, or for Zusi, in the starting 11)

    3) I think Klinsmann has done what seemed impossible: He has the USMNT play prettier soccer than the Mexico NT

    • Tyrone says:

      EJ has regressed. All we are seeing from him now is hesitation.

      • Joamiq says:

        EJ only started looking better after being moved to forward. At midfield, his warts are far too exposed. He should only be a backup forward option from here on out.

        • Duracell says:

          I’m not so sure he even makes the 23 for Brazil. I think JK rates him, so he probably has the leg up, but I think he’ll be in a battle with Boyd and Gomez for the final forward spot.

          • McQ says:

            There is a reason Johnson is not playing in Europe and you saw it tonight. He was responsible for thier first goal and he has nothing in his bag of tricks that get him past a defender and to the goal. His first inclination is to do two or three stepovers and if the defender hasn’t fallen over, he passes backwards. Sure he scored a big goal but what striker on our squad wouldn’t have burried that sitter? Jozy did everything except put a cherry on top of the ball for him. Put another way…what would Clint or Landon have done? Would they have turned that ball over in front of our goal? We all know what the answer is. Maybe EJ sneaks on the roster but right now I see other more versitle options out there.

      • AK48 says:

        “Hesitation” — yeah, it’s not really that, though. It’s an attempt to freeze the man marker and then blow by him on superior speed and reflexes, once he’s planted. That move sometimes works really well when you’ve got the athletic mojo EJ has. Today, the 2nd defender snuffed it out a couple of times. But hey, nothing is 100%, ever.

        Nobody else in the pool forces a defender to back off two steps the way EJ does. A little respect for that, please.

        • DCS says:

          “Nobody else in the pool forces a defender to back off two steps the way EJ does.”

          Donovan does. Castillo has blazing speed, but tends to lose control. Young AJ looked dangerously quick, but of course it’s early to judge him. DMB is fast, and Fabian is fairly fast.

          The U.S. has a fast pool. EJ may be one of the fastest, but it’s not like he’s the only speedy guy on an otherwise slow team. There are lots of other players who are as fast (or nearly so) and add touch, vision, or defense to their speed. I think that’s what frustrates fans about EJ.

      • GW says:

        That is how EJ plays. It gives his teammates time to make their moves and sometimes allows EJ to blow by the defender. It does not always work but then EJ does not always do it. And it only has to work once or twice. If you keep doing the same thing sometimes they figure you out.

        One other thing. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen EJ in person but he is much bigger and wider than he looks on TV. If Jozy looks like a cornerback, EJ looks like a linebacker.

        He’s quite a handful to stop from a standing start.

        He did not have his best form but still had a postive effect on the game.

  31. Zztoppppp says:

    And to think we were able to beat one of the top 8 teams in Europe that had their full strength squad without Dempsey, Donovan, Zusi, Beasley and Besler. This team is looking very good moving forward.

  32. BayernAtHeart says:

    Current best XI:
    ————————–Altidore———————————
    ————————————Dempsey——————–
    —–Donovan—– Bradley—— Jones——- Zusi——
    —–Beasley—– Besler—— Goodson—- Evans—-
    —————————–Howard——————————

    Brazil XI: I would only predict Gonzo over Goodson, Maybe Dolo or Chandler over Evans, and Jones could lose his spot with more performances like today. I feel like there needs to be a spot for Fabian, but I don’t see it.

    • Micah says:

      Evans is not in the best XI. I would start Cameron or Parkhurst over him

      • sushant says:

        Guaranteed spots as starters (6): Jozy, Clint, Landon, Michael, Besler and Timmy

        Possible starters / subs, 2nd tier (10): E.Johnson, F.Johnson, J.Jones, G.Zusi, DMB, C.Goodson, O.Gonzalez, B.Evans, G.Cameron, B.Guzan

        On the bubble, 3rd tier (9): A.Johnnasson, H.Gomez, T.Boyd, M.Diskerud, J.Corona, A.Bedoya, M.Parkhurst, K.Beckerman, B.Shea

        Lots of competition. Which is good!

        • Josh says:

          This seems like the most common sense way to think about it. I think DMB is basically an auto-start at LB anymore.

          Considering there are 25 guys on here and 22 of them will make the roster (23rd being 3rd GK), this is probably the the group we’re looking at for who is in, and who gets “snubbed” by being in the 3rd group.

          • BayernAtHeart says:

            I guess reading/commenting here had me thinking of the XI, but it would be better to think of the 23.

            I would add DMB to guaranteed starters list at this moment.

            JAB should be added to the 3rd tier along with those in the running for 3rd GK: Rimando, Hamid, S. Johnson, Cropper

            There’s also Brad Davis, Bobby Wood, Feilhaber, Bocanegra, and others in what could be considered 4th tier who could make the team with some GREAT club form

            • Lost in Space says:

              Davis & Boca are done as far as the meaningful International game goes. Davis has never impressed me at the international level. As much as it pains me to say Boca is done (save Camp Cup Cake). Besler, Gonzalez, Goodson, Cameron, Brook, and Orozco are the top 6 CB’s in the pool…Serious injury issue would have to occur to bring Boca back.

        • danny says:

          F. Johnson is a guaranteed starter, or he should be. Might be our most important player after MB.

          • Been There says:

            2nd most important, really?!! I would have him as a starter but more important than Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore, or Howard?

            • Bac says:

              He’ll never make the MVP discussion… but he is in the MIP discussion right behind MB Jozy & Deuce… most important player… he brings a LOT to the table

              • paddymac says:

                Fabian continues to impress and create chances. He deserves to start and is a big time player going forward, but I wouldn’t go that far. He needs to be on field. Ideally, he could master LB position as it frees up valuable midfield slot to maximize our talent and it keeps DMB out of starting defense. Beas is solid, but he’s just not a high quality international defender. He can work in a pinch, but seriously, he isn’t near physical enough to match up with world class international players. He constantly gets muscled off the ball and even ends up on turf on his back in front of goal hoping for a call. Having him as starting LB is commentary that we lack talent at position, nothing more. That said, it is nice to have someone reasonably reliable that we can count on, and I appreciate his efforts.

    • rdnanez says:

      Fabian Johnson should not be left out

    • Dudester says:

      Lol at Beas over FJ right now.I know LB is not his beat position but surely he’s better than Beas and Castillo.

      • BayernAtHeart says:

        I feel that Beasley has performed better at LB for USMNT than FJ. But you are welcome to disagree.

        I see FJ as a midfielder only, and therefore I don’t see a spot for him because our midfield is crowded right now.

  33. Omar says:

    Best 11 in my opinion would be:
    —————Altidore—————-
    —F.Johnson–Dempsey–Donovan—
    ———–Jones–Bradley————
    –Beasley–Besler–Cameron–Evans–
    —————Howard—————-
    Subs: zusi, johansson, & brooks.

    • nick says:

      ————–jozy———-
      bacon-dempsey-donovan
      ——–jones—–bradley——-
      fab—-besler/cam—gonz–evans
      ————-timmmy————-

      i say competition for all the back 4 spots but mid and up feels good to me w/ zusi, johnson, bedoya, corona, disk, sasha, danny w, as backups. i liked the way brooks looked back there. thing our cb’s will pull it together by next year, but definitely an inexperienced group…

    • Rags in DC says:

      +1. Could not agree more!

  34. Joamiq says:

    Awesome stuff today. Jozy and Bradley were dynamite, Brooks and AJ had mostly terrific debuts, Mix played well, and even Evans is starting to win me over. But I really hope that’s the last we see of EJ in midfield.

    Also… we didn’t really start bossing the game until Jones was out. Yes, Jones is our most talented CM after Bradley, and I don’t know if there’s anyone else who can consistently partner with Bradley better than Jones does… but after seeing Kljestan partner well with Bradley (albeit in limited minutes) today, and after the game that Bradley had with Cameron, we should really be trying out some other partnerships with MB. When he gets more freedom to roam forward, man, this team looks really, really good.

    • Beto says:

      +1 everything!

    • keithbabs79 says:

      From the recent small sampling, I’d much rather see Cameron start over Jones. He looked like a poor man’s Beckerman today. Tooooo many touches, and even losing possession without going forward. On multiple occasions.

    • Ben James says:

      Yeah watching Jones give the ball away over and over again was brutal. His performances are so up and down that it makes me wonder if he’s really a worthy starter. I wouldn’t mind seeing Cameron in the holding midfielder role and think he looked great there in the June qualifiers.

  35. Riggity21 says:

    Go back to your shanties BOSNIANS. Payback for Behind Enemy Lines.

  36. Beto says:

    Awesome game for the most of the players out there. Good debuts for the Baconater and JAB. FJ is certainly better in the midfield but we need him in fullback. The only thing i worry about is Jones.

    I say at Costa Rica we go 442 diamond
    ————-Jozy———-Donovan——–
    ——————-Dempsey—————-
    —–F. Johnson—————–Zusi——-
    ———————Bradley—————–
    Beasley—Besler———-Gonzalez—Evans
    ———————Howard—————–

    Jozy and Lando would be leathal up top together and Dempsey lurking behind to finish loose balls off. FJ and Zusi provide great service and midfield defense. I think MB can handle the center by himself. I wouldnt mind seeing a new RB; cameron? chandler? But Evans has not had a bad game yet at that position. If it doesnt work bring FJ back to defense and put Jones back in vs Mexico… Time to gamble!

    • QuakerOtis says:

      No hate for Zusi here, but I like LD in Zusi’s spot and Mr. Bacon up top with Josmer. Otherwise, not bad.

      • Beto says:

        Aron Baconater had a great game and certainly has the look of (very near) future USMNT star but he doesnt displace Zusi who has been an amazing two way winger all year. I see him as great weapon off the bench. Landon on the other hand has been playing foward for both LAG and the US all summer and killing it. The trifecta of landon, Jozy and Dempsey in the penalty area complement eachother in so many ways

      • shawn says:

        My thoughts exactly

    • Josh says:

      I thoroughly enjoy this lineup if it were every to happen. We’ve needed to get rid of Jermaine for the longest time, and when that day comes I’ll be the first to cheer. I think RB will continue to be a revolving door and could also see Gonzalez take the game off until he remembers how to play soccer.

      • paddymac says:

        J. Jones had an abysmal game today, but needed to replace him for a long time? Unbelievable. The guy is a player, and has had some masterful performances. I don’t know, there is a loud (but small) group of detractors that are always slagging him off like he is absolutely terrible hack that shouldn’t even put on the jersey. It’s bizarre. It reminds me of all the irrational Michael Bradley haters a few years back that insisted he sucked and only played because his daddy was coach.

        The only thing I can figure is people don’t like his aggressive play or that he’s German, I don’t know; but it strikes me as a really biased and subjective evaluation. The guy is easily one of our top 10 talents.

        • skyman says:

          I’ll second those sentiments and add: When Jermaine Jones has a good game, and he has had a few with the Nats, his performances are up with some of the best MFs to ever perform with the USMNT.
          I just don’t quite get the hate on him. For God’s sake, to those who want him out, watch him go 90 for Schalke sometime, preferably in a CL game.

    • Atletico Man says:

      You misspelled one of the centerback’s names. It’s spelled G-O-O-D-S-O-N.

    • Been There says:

      Love this line up. I think FJ and Zusi’s defensive abilities make it possible. I’m not sure starting both Bradley and Jones together adds much. However, I do not hate Jones like so many others and see him as a valuable part of the team. Just played poorly today.

  37. rdnanez says:

    Lol remember when he had no forwards and had to rely on twellman and like conor Casey haha

  38. Dudester says:

    I know Bacon did well today, he’s very promising.Lets slow our roll though saying he’s gonna replace Demps as Jozy’s partner any time soon.

  39. SanFran415 says:

    Yikes. ESPN’s player ratings are why SBI is at the top of American soccer coverage.

    Castillo a 6?
    Brooks a 5 and got the same rating as Jones and EJ?
    Brad Evans a 5.5?
    Cameron a 4? Dafuq.

    • Bac says:

      UMMMM…. did you seriously just say they gave Evans a 5.5
      Surely you jest….

      • Mike in Missouri says:

        what did Evans do wrong? Which goals were his fault?

        • SanFran415 says:

          Don’t think any were. He played quite well.

          He was flabbergasted that ESPN gave him a 5.5

          • Mike in Missouri says:

            Hard to tell with Evans. He’s one of the favorite internet whipping boys for whatever reason.

            He’s been very solid, I think, and his goal in Jamaica is the most important moment of the hex.

          • Bac says:

            Yup, that about sums it up…

            After Jozy’s MOTM
            and Bradley’s performance (apparently a “record setting” passing game)
            I’d rate Evans 3rd tonite

            Unlike some others, I dont change the starting 11, starting formation, halftime formation, halftime subs, 23 man roster, and my hair color after every game…

            But I’ll say this: JK must have seen something in the guy to move him to RB, and to bring him all the way from the left coast for this game..he is starting to look like a serious contender

            He didnt hurt his chances tonite

        • beachbum says:

          I think Bac believes the mark is too low, as I do too

  40. Truthiness says:

    At some early part of the game, the ball went to the end line and Jozy hustled to the ball, physically fought off him man, and then made a highly technical behind the leg touch to keep the ball in play, it didn’t ammount to anything, but at the time I though to myself – “that is the difference 18 months makes. Well I was wrong, that isn’t the ONLY difference…

    EJ is the prettiest ineffective player I’ve seen, always has some awesome moments that gain him 1 yard at most.

    When JK brought on Castillo, I thought he was giving up…

    JF looked pretty bad in back today.

    Cameron may have had a couple of bad moments, but he just looks like a baller out there.

    Evans continues to suprise

    I generally like Mix and Jones, but both of them had an ouch game – though I thought Mix’s attitude was better – there were a few times when Jones just gave up – maybe that is better than him getting pissed and picking up a straight red.

  41. Bac says:

    A little more than an hour after a great victory coming from two down on the road, and here are some of the collective comments from the bleachers:

    1. Jones , who starts for a CL club in Germany in the midfield, stinks and should be replaced by Cameron, who has played 1 1/2 games in our midfield
    2. AJ Bacon , after playing for us for 45 minutes, is now the best dribbler on our team
    3. JAB is either average or a stud, or he’s great or he’s young
    4. Fabian Johnson should definitely be the LB, except he should definitely be the LM, except that now a lot of you can’t find a place for him to start…definitely
    5. Mix definitely doesn’t belong on the field because he is definitely not strong.. of course that’s right after his Gold Cup…where everyone said he definitely belonged on this team

    But nobody mentioned Sashas 1970s moustache??????

    Have fun guys…. it’s a good time for the USMNT

    • downintexas says:

      haha, +1. One friendly, albeit a fun and good game, and everyone knows everything. Imagine if we would have lost.

      That stache was pretty nasty. Oh, any one knows why Sashas ear was all taped up?

    • beachbum says:

      cheers Bac!

    • Cairo says:

      No truer post has appeared on SBI in my years of following the site.

    • Bac says:

      I amend my earlier comments…..

      Now we got people dropping Deuce from the starting lineup….

      LIGHTEN UP FRANCIS…….

      You brilliant tacticians make me wanna go drop a deuce…..

      • paddymac says:

        Lol, bac. Class “dropping a deuce” comment.

        I agree there are people jumping to ridiculous conclusions. Aron Johanson is promising, that is pretty much it at this point. He will
        Need to have a great year and continue to impress in friendlies to make the squad let alone get minutes. That said, he looks great.

        Same thing with Brooks. I hope the guy is a rock at CB, because we damn sure need one. Again, needs to have a great year. I would love it if the guy wins the job.

        At this point, I would put Goodson alongside Bessler. He is reasonably solid and had a good world cup last cycle. He won’t beat us with mental lapses that Omar seems to have a propensity for.

        Dolo if he is healthy is best defender on team – and had a brilliant world cup last cycle.

        Finally, replacing Jones with Cameron is knee-jerk and ridiculous without further evidence. As has been said, Cameron has had 1 and 1/2 good games for nats in the midfield. Love Cameron on squad and it would be great if he can win the CB role alongside Bessler, but again, needs a year to prove himself. His versatility gets him on squad easily.

        Also, as good as Fabian is in midfield, I hope he can lockdown LB position and master it by world cup, as this will free up a much needed midfield slot for someone like Zusi, Mix Dix, shea, or Corona.

        Finally, Zusi is great player who will get useful minutes, not sure he should start unless he wins the job in next year. The guy is nasty on set pieces and crosses though.

        Also, Guzan over Howard? Preposterous at this point.

    • SBI TroII says:

      You just earned of a ton of credibility from me with this post. Cheers!

    • Jay in Ohio says:

      well done sir…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Mixx blew his opportunity and the accumulation of attacking talent may pose problems for his roster chances. Some of the people playing F now may get chances at M also.

  42. downintexas says:

    Things we learned

    1. We play better in a 442
    2. Our subs are better than their subs.
    3. Klinsman is willing to make the right tactical changes.

    Great friendly win!

  43. OB Rick says:

    Fantastic 2nd half. Now to make the day perfect let’s hope Ivory Coast beats the snot out of Mexico.

  44. paulwp says:

    Here’s the current roster I see
    G: Howard, Guzan, Rimando
    D: Johnson, Beasley, Besler, Gonzalez, Goodson, Orosco, Dolo, Evans
    M: Cameron, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Corona, Zusi, Bedoya,
    F: Donovan, Dempsey, Johanson, Altidore, Johnson

    next men up
    G: Johnson
    D: Castillo, Brooks, Parkhurst, Chandler
    M: Beckerman, Williams, Holden, Diskerud, Shea, Torres
    F: Gomez

  45. Jordy says:

    Where my Jozy haters at?!

    • bk says:

      I am one of the biggest haters out there. I think jozy is a crap player. But he is scoring for us and for that I give him credit. He deserves to start right now. Plenty of crap player have found tremendous success. I hope he can do it in big games for us

      • peterprinciple says:

        No you don’t. This is just posturing. He is a classic striker, won’t run past people but will hold the ball up and can finish. I can’t believe there are soccer fans out there that still hold the opinion Jozy is a “crap player”

      • CJinOC says:

        Is he really a crap player? I think one may have had an argument for that early 2012, but I think he grew during the ’12/’13 season at AZ: his touch has improved (see goal one today—I saw that as an intentional half-volleyed p@ss rather than him missing the touch and it winding up at EJ’s feet), he’s learned to create just enough space for himself to create more quality shots on goal (see goal two today), and I think he’s moving better off the ball, which is creating better chances for him and those around him.

        That being said, he may not be great right now, but I don’t think he’s crap either. That’s what I would argue anyway. Support your opinion—which, of course, you are entitled to have.

      • Gary Page says:

        First American 2 score in 5 straight games, a hat trick against Bosnia, most goals last season ever by an American and you still think he is a crap player? This is a wonderful example of delusional thinking.

    • SBI TroII says:

      All he’s done is become the best striker in CONCACAF this year.

  46. Dinho says:

    Soo…if everyone is healthy, your best lineup for WC 2014?

    Here is mine:
    —————– Altidore —————-
    ————- Dempsey ——————
    Donovan ———————— Zusi
    ——— Bradley — Cameron ——–
    FJ —- Besler —- Brooks — Dolo
    ————— Guzan ——————-

    (easily converted to a 4-1-3-2 or a 4-3-3). The big variables – Brooks/Dolo

    Bench (again, considering everyone is healthy)

    GK: Howard, Rimando
    D: Evans, Goodson, Orozco, Beasley
    MF: Jones, Corona, Diskerud, Shea
    F: Johannson, Boyd

    If Dolo isn’t healthy, Parkhurst (sadly) may get the nod….

    I have one too many players…. who doesn’t get a ticket??? Shea?

    And, no, I don’t rate Klejstan, Gonzalez or Chandler…..

    • paulwp says:

      Lineups that continually feature Guzan I immediately write off. The same thing with STARTING Brooks at this point. I just don’t see it.

      • Dinho says:

        I appreciate that. I just like Guzan (call it a preference).

        And, starting Brooks is hopeful, for sure, but I am scared (literally) of our other CB options. Goodson was adequate in the Gold Cup. But, that was the Gold Cup.

        Brooks will be playing the highest level competition for a full year before the WC. I’m hedging my bets on him. And, against Gonzalez.

    • Shocked says:

      Boyd has to be out. Too many better attacking options ahead of him. Altidore, Donovan, Dempsey, Johansson, and EJ are much better selections to play up top. Gomez’s work rate puts him ahead if healthy too. Boyd’s only hope is that he is a better target forward than all but Jozy on that list.

      • Dinho says:

        I’m okay with leaving Boyd out. I guess EJ could fill that holding role as Altidore’s replacement, if necessary. Gomez needs to have a big year to keep his spot. The competition is fierce.

    • Dinho says:

      By the way, my own edit. Replace Shea with Bedoya. That was my mistake.

  47. Stateside Supporter says:

    I’d like to see this in Costa Rica…

    Altidore Johannsson
    Dempsey Bradley Landon
    Cameron
    Fabian Besler Gonzalez Evans
    Howard

    I’m not sure I’ve seen Dolo’s name mentioned in any of the above posts. When healthy (assuming he won’t be fit for CR) he is top of our depth chart for RB spot…

  48. Del Griffin says:

    Klinsi needs to stop making nachtmusik with jones and bench his Butt. Cameron rates higher in all categories except bad passes, turnovers, and no vision.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      This.

      I would also rather see Bradley playing in front of the defense with Mix in the middle, then see Jones again. He is a good player though. He should def. be on the team, and I rate him higher than Edu for sure.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        Jones had his worst game I can remember for the national team, but I don’t know about kicking him when he’s down. When he’s at his best he deserves to be on the field.

    • Rabbit says:

      +1 for the Nachtmusik

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Cameron is a DM turnover machine. You need to have seen old Dynamo games. He will hit home run balls downfield that roll over the endline.

      I also think Cameron has some issues with overaggressiveness that were evident yesterday in his positioning, and costly.

  49. Cairo says:

    Four points:
    1. Great game today with some nice performances–people here low rate Zusi, though. He was arguably our most important player in the last set of qualifiers–great work rate, quick enough to get a step on a defender and get his cross off, and really nice crosses. He’s a no brainer for me
    2. The battle for who pairs with Besler heats up. So much will depend on where Cameron ends up playing for Stoke this year. People forget that he was our best centerback prospect six months ago. I will guess that he plays there some for Stoke and beats out Omar and Clarence. Brooks is the wild card, and it’s just too early to tell. Check back in six months
    3. I will go ahead and predict that Evans wins the right back position (everybody gasps). He’s a very smart player with a great work rate, an underrated passer, and is likely to get forward more as he learns the position better. More importantly, he’s going to be really valuable as another air threat against better teams. A healthy Cherundolo is a threat, but I love the idea of Evans in the box on both ends for set pieces–where games are often won or lost
    4. Ok, I’ll say it. I love Clint Dempsey, and he may well end up being our leading scorer at the WC next year. But this team is probably better with Landon paired with Jozy up top, Fabian Johnson at left mid, and Zusi on the right. That would leave Clint out. It’s not going to happen, and I’m not sure I even want it to, but I’m starting to agree with Simon Borg (ugh) on this one. Still, probably won’t happen, so here’s what I see next year in Brazil:

    ——————————Altidore———————————–
    ————————————–Dempsey————————
    Donovan——————-Bradley————————–Zusi
    —————————Jones————————————-
    Fabian————–Besler——–Cameron——————–Evans
    ——————————–Timmy———————————–

    • peterprinciple says:

      Why not just play Donovan out right, where he is at least as capable as Zusi and maybe even more, and have Dempsey (who is at least as capable as Zusi and almost definatly more) play a little higher than he did during the last round of qualifying when we were still using the 4-2-3-1?

      The issue I would have is will Donovan defend with the passion of Zusi? We know he can finish and distribute better and can cross as well.

      • beachbum says:

        so sure are you on the formation? Not me…played some 4 2 3 1 to start halves but seemed to evolve into other formations soon enough and in every game. Are you saying Jozy was the lone striker in those last WC quali games in attack? Actually, wasn’t it the Germany game that saw Klinsmann begin to pair Jozy up top and also have the midfielders provide width along with the outside backs instead of only the outside backs, and so provided better service to Jozy? Guys like Zusi for example. And defensively, didn’t those games show the end of Jozy being asked to provide all the pressure up top on D?

        whatever numbers in the formation when the games began and the TV shows it, the tactics played out differently it seemed much of the time, and the team seemed to play better with on Dmid as the true holding mid and true destroyer instead of having that shared like when they tried to play that 4 2 3 1

        • beachbum says:

          *seemed to play better with one Dmid

          • OPMG says:

            I actually think that’s a good lineup. The differences between a 442 and 4231 are pretty insignificant if you have the same players on the field. That lineup leaves some good players on the bench though. Our pool of players is very competitive at this point.

  50. Murray Burns says:

    Brooks will be the man in Brazil a year of experience in Bundes is worth five in MLS

  51. Murray Burns says:

    I love the MLS. I’m a season ticket holder. But reality does not = ignorance

  52. Good Jeremy says:

    RE: Brad Evans

    He has surprised me and been perfectly average in a place where I thought he would be overmatched, but…

    He is seen as the second-best American RB on Seattle, so how long until we see Yedlin given a shot? I know that he is young and hyped, I just wonder if Klinsy sees something that Sigi doesn’t. I thought we would be looking at a lot more people at RB since Dolo has been injured and a handful of players we have in Europe have been disappointing there.

    • SanFran415 says:

      Yedlin is a marketing tool for Seattle. Clearly Brad Evans is superior to Yedlin as a right back. So Sigi wants them both on the field.

      And I’d hazard a guess that Klinsmann sees quite a lot Sigi doesn’t.

      • Super Metro says:

        agree

      • MLSsnob says:

        Disagree, JK is not going to call up a 20 year old, that’s why he hasn’t called him in. Yedlin is a promising talent.

        • ironhorsewayne says:

          Can I get an age check on aisle JOHN ANTHONY BROOKS?

        • louis z says:

          JAB is 20 y.o. with ONE (1) BL1 game under his belt. JK not only called him but started the kid.

        • nate says:

          Really? You’re saying that after we all just watched JAB go the full 90 at age 20. I think more likely is that Klinsmann doesn’t think he’s ready. Even if I wasn’t inclined to agree with JK (though I am), I’d probably give him the benefit of the doubt, given his recent success.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        I saw an interview with Klinsman where he said it was Sigi who suggested he give Evans a run at RB.

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      That’s like saying Beasley is a better LB than Fabian. I’d say it’s more likely that the coach is making the best decision he can for the players he has to work with.

      I do however also find myself conflicted with Evans. On the one hand, he’s an MLS midfielder playing RB on our national team. On the other hand he’s been unremarkable (a good thing for a defender) during a 12 game win streak. I think at some point I’m going to have to suck it up and admit that this guy may have some game at right back. Enough game at least for Klinsman to have the confidence to tell Chandler to go fly a kite.

      • GW says:

        Crocajun,

        No reason to discard Chandler before he has to. There are still ten months to go and Chandler may yet come good. Ten months ago most of you laughed at Evans.getting capped with Parke.

        Re: Evans

        If it walks like a duck……

        Dolo, Chandler, Castillo, Fabian, Evans, Torres, DMB,
        Parkhurst, Cameron.

        These are the main guys who have been fullbacks for JK. The first seven are converted midfielders. The last two are converted centerbacks but Parkhurst made the conversion years ago and Kinnear converted Cameron to centerback from midfield and back again.

        Dolo is the only “natural” fullback but I always thought he might be a better midfielder and Chandler if he did not start as a midfielder certainly plays as a midfielder often enough.

        The abundance of converted midfielders is not a coincidence.

        On JK’s teams the fullbacks are withdrawn wingers with defensive responsibilities. But their primary orientation is offensive and aiding in possession. JK expects 11 on attack and 11 on defense so the team is set up to protect the fullbacks when they are under attack.

        The basic ideal template for a JK USMNT fullback is quick, good on offense , good on defense, and smart, good at reading the game. That usually describes a midfielder.

        While he isn’t ideal and none of these guys are, Evans is close enough to it.

        • CroCajun1003 says:

          GW.

          Can’t disagree with that assessment of the RB situation. Spot on.

          I will say that I never felt Klinsman should discard Chandler. Only that Klinsman has shown that he will sit a player to send a message, and that Evans is playing well enough to give Klinsman the ability to do just that.

      • joe says:

        Evans looked solid all game and in the previous games, and has a surprisingly good touch on the attacking end. If you’re looking for faults and can’t find many in a back, its a good thing. Until Cherundolo looks better, Evans has the starting spot.

        • LB says:

          Sounders fan so I watch Evans and Yedlin every week. Yedlin is much faster than Evans and better with the ball at his feet, but he also has a tendency to be out of control and not make effective passes once he beats a couple of players on his runs forward.

          Defensively, I’d rate them about even. Evans is much taller and will win more balls in the air. He is smart and far more experienced than Yedlin. He is also slower and more prone to getting beat on a through ball. Yedlin can find himself out of position on occasion, but has great recovery speed. He can be outmuscled both in the air and on the ground.

          Yedlin has a lot of upside, but I don’t see him being World Cup ready. And while I think Evans would be an adequate right back in the World Cup, I’d like to think there is someone better.

  53. Chris says:

    This was a very nice result and we played some fantastic attacking soccer, especially in the second half. Your definitely seeing the possession based game klinsi has been pushing for. However, the defending really has to improve, yes were winning these friendlies but we’re giving up wayyy too many goals, and they’re stupid and easily avoidable goals. Even in the gold cup, we didn’t give up many goals but the ones we did concede were just stupid, avoidable goals.
    Some specific thoughts:
    -JAB looked very good, could see him filling our 4th CB spot for right now, but has huge potential. I think I’d like to move forward with besler and gonzo who kept two clean sheets at the end of the last batch of WCQ.
    -Still unsure of evans, i get hes a decent MLS midfielder but i dont think he deserves to be starting out of position over some other guys, it is good to have someone that versatile tho
    -Bradley was exceptional like always
    -EJ oh boy, what can I say, his first half was dreadful, cant give away possession where he did and then had two good chances in the 1st half and was just too slow, i like johansson over him going forward
    -Actually castillo really impressed me and im not a huge fan of his, he always had speed and ball control going forward but he defended pretty well here, and he actually runs at people and creates chances for others
    -Lastly, jozy altidore, he scores when he wants

    • Dinho says:

      Why does it seem like it’s me that is scared sh*tless (and not in a good way) when I see Omar line up in the backline. His lack of composure and tendency to have brain lapses is terrifying.

      Evans is definitely an interesting issue. For me, the question is whether he is playing out of position for club or country. Yes, Yedlin plays right back for the Sounders but that’s because Evans fills another role for the Sounders in the midfield. It’s kind of like the “big fish is small pond” scenario.

      • Chris says:

        1. Yeah gonzo scares me as well but i think him and besler complement each other pretty well, and if gonzo does go off the rails i could see cameron, goodson or maybe even brooks filling that spot. But for right now i like gonzo, just the dudes gota focus.

        2. Ive just never been impressed by evans, i was at the germany game when he first came in at rb and he didnt exactly impress me as a player he just worked his a$$ off, i think id take a healthy dolo, a motivated chandler as well as an in form parkhurst over him. I might even like some other guys like lichaj or spector to possibly play over him. Evans is a guy going into a WC that you bring a long to keep other players up to it, as well as to fill in at a few different spots. I would just use that pick for cameron who can play CB, CDM as well as RB if needed.

      • Lost in Space says:

        Until the back 4 are more settled and gain experience playing with one another I think we’ll continue to have questions/concerns with the defense.
        RB is in flux at the moment due to inconsistent performances and injuries.
        A healthy Dolo is still likely first choice, Chandler needs a stretch of good games @ club level, Parkhurst needs club minutes period, Evans (IMO) is holding his own….but not inked in (yet). Dark horse for me is still Lichaj. Yedlin is for camp-cup-cake or next cycle….
        LB will really depend on how JK deploys Donovan, Dempsey, & Zusi. Unless JK moves 1 of the 3 to the bench, F. Johnson will be the 1st choice LB. Beasley is the Backup, and Castillo is 3rd. Dark horse would be Lichaj again (speed of Castillo/Beasley, strength of FJ).
        Once the wing backs are more settled I think the CB’s will be more comfortable and understand the cover scheme better. Familiarity between the 4 will be key to improved performances.

        • OPMG says:

          Chandler needs to accept a call up. he’s not even in the conversation at this point. It’s pretty clear that he’s not as committed as he needs to be.

          • louis z says:

            I don’t think he was invited. He is going through a rough patch even at club. PLUS, JK didn’t like the fact Chandler called in “sick” for the qualifiers after the Honduras game and went to play for his club a couple of days later. There is a price to play.

  54. Michael says:

    Can we officially rule out Wondow making the World Cup squad. I’ve gotta think AJo is ahead of him just based off of this game!

  55. Shawn says:

    clear starting linup
    ——————————————–Altidore———————————————————-

    F. Johnson—————————Donavon——————————–Dempsey

    —————-Bradley———————————-Jones—————————————-

    Cameron/Castillo—————–Besler———————Gonzo/jab————–Evans/Chandler/Cherundolo

    • Dinho says:

      Two things:

      1. Funny that you say “clear” starting lineup, but have multiple guys listed at multiple positions. Was that to be funny?

      2. Dempsey and Donovan need to switch positions

    • Lost in Space says:

      1) No Beasley? Would actually have him ahead of Cameron/Castillo as LB.
      2) I too would switch Donovan & Dempsey. Would also flip Jones & Bradley
      3) Have been a little concerned with Jones/Bradley pairing. I think they may be too similar in style. If they can’t work out the pivot may need to sit 1 for a more dedicated CDM.
      The possibilities and interchanging parts of this team is what is making this run so much fun to watch. Real quality at positions without a significant drop in performance is great to finally see.

      • Generalisimo says:

        castillo is not very good defender. I cringe every time he comes in. Johnson is a better option with Donovan taking the L mid

  56. sho says:

    It is a friendly but…

    In one game, the US scored 4 goals on BH. BH only has allowed 3 goals in 6 World Cup qualifiers so far.

    That is kinda sweet.

  57. DJ777 says:

    Great win today. But the few of you that said there is no place to fit dempsey in the USMNT lineup need to get your heads examined.

    • GW says:

      JK said Clint needs to maintain his standard. I’m sure he is serious.

      If he does not, does anyone doubt JK would drop him?

      • ironhorsewayne says:

        Dempsey’s “baseline” if you will is higher than anyone on the USMNT other than maybe Donovan. He could ride pine at Seattle and still make it onto the Brazil squad.

    • Nate says:

      After Altidore’s recent run as well as Donovans run for club and country, and now that Dempsey no longer plays in “Europe”, does anyone seriously believe Dempsey is the most important US player?

      • Lost in Space says:

        Would argue that Bradley is the MOST important player for the USNT.
        He’s been the most consistent player who has been most influential.
        Jozy, Donovan, Dempsey, & Howard are all important and solid contributors, and as individuals can be replaced for a game or 2. But combined with Bradley they are what have been driving the 12 match winning streak. Can’t wait to see them all together.

        • Generalisimo says:

          Bradley is the most important player.Bradley is the connecter on the squad. He makes the long passes, switches the play, breaks up play, and makes the late run into the box to take up space and draw defenders away. He is very good at what he does and I have been more and more impressed by his continual development (mostly his passing lately).

          • Nate says:

            Bradley is certainly important, but the US does not win that game without Altidore. What makes the good teams stand out are players who can change the game in an instant. While Bradley is good at what he does, he can do that all game and the US doesnt score ( see the first half). The second goal was a great run and pass by FJ, but a sublime first touch and finish by Jozy. Jozy is the only player in the pool who can pull off goals on the turn like that. And having that type of player puts tremendous pressure on a defense. When it comes to turning a match, especialy at the world cup, you need special players like that. I see Bradley as like a Phillip Cocu, type player, important, but not the difference maker.

        • Nate says:

          Doesnt the 12 game streak include the Gold Cup?

  58. Mueller says:

    My new lineup:

    Jozy-Johannsson
    Dempsey-Jones-Bradley-Zusi
    Johnson-Besler-Goodson-Donovan
    Howard

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      LD as right back… Ok, dude

    • Dinho says:

      Donovan could never play RB. If you insisted on playing someone out of position, it’d be Zusi over Donovan.

      • GW says:

        Dolo and Donovan are almost the exact same size. LD is just as good a tackler. He is faster. He is better in the air than Dolo. He can put in a cross with either foot. He reads the game well. He would certainly be the most dangerous attacking fullback around.

        I see no down side.

        • Mueller says:

          +1

          I just love the idea of his speed on overlapping runs and his ability to create for others. I love Donovan but the 3 best finishers on the team are Jozy, Johannsson, and Dempsey. They are the ones I want closest to the goal.

          • Nate says:

            have you been watching soccer lately? dont know how you rate dempsey as a finisher over donovan given donovans performance over the last 4 weeks and um, history…

            • Mueller says:

              You are kidding right? Donovan scored 5 goals in the Gold Cup but missed countless chances inside the box.

              History is nice and all but he has like 15 PKs and about 50 caps more than Dempsey. If you look at their goal scoring form over the past 5 years or so and who those goals where against, Dempsey is much more impressive to me.

              • Nate says:

                You obviously missed the last Galaxy game. Now that Dempsey is in MLS, we’ll see how well he stacks up against Donovan. Remember, Dempsey is only 1 year younger than Donovan, yet in 284 pro games, Dempsey scored 82 goals, against Donovan’s 98 in 205 just with the galaxy. And goal scorers take PK’s. Donovan isnt the only one.

        • Dinho says:

          1. Donovan is not as good a tackler as Dolo.
          2. Dolo has played the position professionally for 13+ years, so you cannot compare them. It’s a completely different position, completely different role, completely different point of view.

          This is not FIFA on your XBox.

          Have you played the game a lot? Honest question.

        • louis z says:

          Sorry GW,
          How can you say LD is a better tackler when LD’s defense is to contain not to tackle an opponents. LD is a finesse player, DOLO mixes it up with bigger players because he is a defender.

        • patrick says:

          you see no downside? WHat about defensive p[ositioning, running a high line defense, defending set pieces, etc. Just because you have speed, and look like another guy who plays the position well doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. Dolo has been playing in the bundesliga for 12 years, the comparison is silly.

          By the way, LD is not just as good a tackler as cherundolo, and its insulting to even think.

    • Johnnypauly says:

      Switch Zusi to bench & bump Donovan up. That’s our 6 up front. I would even enjoy switching JJ for Cameron and let Geoff play the #6, while MB bombs forward and slices defenses with a pass or a late run into the box whenever possible. Clint on the left cutting in often & Donovan on the right wing, duh. The back-four? Well, we have 299 days to figure that out….

    • Alf says:

      LD is not good at making a tackle.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Landycakes? I thought we just saw an object lesson yesterday in why you want a back who doesn’t just get forward but can play his spot defensively. Doesn’t get stuck in.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Jozy
      Dempsey Landon (Bacon first off the bench)
      FJ Bradley
      Jones
      Beasley Besler Brooks Evans
      Howard

  59. Johnnypauly says:

    If I were Terrence Boyd, I’d be nervous. If I was Hurcules Gomez, I’d be nervous. If I was ANY other young player in the USMNT striker pool that is not named Jozy Altidore, I would be exceptionally nervous cause the boy Aron Bacon can play. And our boys looked good in that 4-4-2, can’t lie. Seriously impressed today.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It’s going to be interesting how the midfield and forwards shake out. You can’t have Jozy, Landon, Dempsey, Bacon, Zusi, and EJ all on the field at once up front.

      A healthy Gomez might be competitive but same numbers game.

      Boyd has to be nervous in general because he’s roughly Jozy’s age. He can’t wait him out and his body type pigeonholes him at Jozy’s spot.

      • OPMG says:

        I love me some Zusi, but no way he takes a spot ahead of LD if what we saw in the Gold Cup is any indication of his form. EJ scored, but he looked awful for most of the game. Still, I’m not sure how Jozy, Dempsey, and Bacon all play together. Bacon brings a lot energy and quickness, could be a very useful sub for this cycle

  60. Troy says:

    If you go through and run all the scores and update the FIFA calculator it places us at #12 in the world as of today. I know the rankings are FAR from perfect but they matter. If we are #12 now then every game could be crucial to getting in the Top 7. Will it happen probably not but if we are at #12 that would be a goal to shoot for in my opinion.

    • DC Josh says:

      Even if we earn a seed for the draw, we will still get the Group of Death. It is just our World Cup luck.

  61. Al says:

    ———————–Altidore———Dempsey————————

    Donovan————Bradley ——————Cameron————–Zusi

    Fabian Johnson——–Besler———Gonzalez/JAB———–Evans/Dolo

    Howard

    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando/whoever
    D: FJ (m), Besler, Gonzalez, JAB, Evans, Dolo, DMB (m)
    M: MB, Cameron (d), Donovan (f), Zusi, Jones, Corona
    F: Jozy, Dempsey (m), Aron, E. Johnson (m-hate him here but JK does it)

    That’s 20… a lot of versatility and guys that can play multiple spots… the next 3 are a toss up but I would take Torres, Kljestan, and Castillo at this point

    • Hooligan says:

      Your line-up is correct except Jermaine Jones will be paired with Bradley, I don’t know why people hate on Jones so much, although he is always a risk due to yellow card accumulation. Also I think Evans has now solidified himself as the #1 right back, I thought he looked really confident yesterday. And I believe when all is said and done Omar will be paired with Besler in the back. There just isn’t any other room for Cameron, E Johnson, Beasley, and a few others but they will all be on the roster next month.

      • patrick says:

        Evans is certainly not the #1 right back. Cherundolo, parkhurst and even chandler are ahead of him in the long run (not saying right now).

        As for no room for Cameron/Beasley/Johnson, it’s pretty clear how highly JK thinks of all three, so it’s silly to think they don’t have a place. Bringing in Beasley to play LB allows FJ to push into the midfield, where he’s a far more impactful player for us. You could even do the same with Chandler.

  62. DC Josh says:

    Jozy is in beast mode. The show has finally arrived. Haters can find exits at the back and front, but please walk, do not run.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Straw man. When he wasn’t scoring for an extended period everyone from the coach down had reason to beef. Now that he’s producing at this rate I doubt there are any “haters” left.

  63. The Imperative Voice says:

    Few thoughts:
    EJ may have scored when shifted upwards, and getting him out of M may have helped the reversal, but that may not bode well for his role in the team going forward. If he has to be played up front to not be a liability he would be down the depth chart once you go back to the quali situation of calling up the best……Jozy Landon Dempsey Johannson etc.

    FJ also underlined he’s a LM and not a LB. Which means you still need a LB, Beasley or otherwise.

    Liked Johannson’s energy.

    People are all excited about the comeback but it covers up the fact the defense was shoddy again. You give up two goals to the starters in a real game and there won’t be a friendly-sub-time reversal, you’ll probably lose. We have been consistently leaking a goal many games. Running theme that needs correction. If it gets fixed this is an offense where if the right people are chosen can be scary.

  64. chris thebassplayer says:

    Internal team politics aside, this would be the most fluid attacking group

    …………….Jozy………………….
    ……………………….Ice…………….
    FJ…………………………………………LD
    …………..MB(capt)…….Cam………..
    X……… JAB………….Besler………..X

    I don’t have a problem with two lefty CBs. Now we just need to find flank fullbacks that we are comfortable with at a WC. Deuce can do what he does best, sub in and grab a opportunistic goal.

    • OPMG says:

      Pretty sure one decent showing from Johannsson doesn’t replace Deuce as the starter…but he did look good. Didn’t make a wrong decision all night.

      • chris thebassplayer says:

        Yeah, I know but Johannsson is the real deal and will only get better with familiarity…he could be scary good on a LD level, we’ll see. The combination of FJ, MB and LD supporting Johannsson and Jozy is first rate.

      • louis z says:

        A bit early but this is the way AJ play at club, it’s not a one-off performance that he gave us, in fact, I think it may be a sub-par performance compare to his 1 goal per game average.