USMNT suffer underwhelming loss to Austria to close out 2013

Terrence Boyd

Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A memorable year ended with a more than forgettable result.

The U.S. Men’s National Team closed out their successful 2013 with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Austria in a friendly at Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna on Tuesday. Marc Janko scored the game’s lone goal shortly after the half-hour mark, and the Americans failed to come up with a response despite having some decent looks on goal in the second half.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side initially looked to have taken the lead in the 17th minute, but a ball that was handled by Austria forward Marko Arnautovic towards his own goal was controversially deemed to not have completely crossed the goal line despite pleas to the contrary from U.S. players.

Those same U.S. players, deployed once again a 4-2-3-1 formation, found it difficult to break down Austria from the run of play and had to rely on set pieces for two of their more threatening goal-scoring opportunities. In addition to the Michael Bradley corner kick that led to Arnautovic’s mis-hit, Jozy Altidore fired a shot inches wide late in the first half following a dead-ball delivery from Bradley.

Chances were also had from the run of play in the second half, but the U.S. was not sharp enough in front of goal to make them count. Altidore hit a harmless 74th-minute shot at Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer, who also did well to deny right back Geoff Cameron’s close-range effort six minutes earlier and an Aron Johannsson blast from distance in the first half.

U.S. goalkeeper and captain Tim Howard and his defenders were tested more often throughout the 90 minutest than their Austrian counterparts. Howard made a number of routine saves against an Austria team, and added an incredible stop on the game’s final kick to prevent the U.S. from losing by a larger margin, but he could do little about Janko’s winner.

Austria found the back of the net on a well-worked sequence that exploited some subpar defending from Brek Shea, John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez. The ball was worked from midfield out to the right flank, where Gyorgy Garics took advantage of free space to hit a low cross that Janko thundered home after Brooks failed to clear the ball.

The Americans may have finished 2013 with two goal-less performances in Europe after settling for a scoreless draw in Scotland on Friday, but they still ended the calendar year having secured a 2014 World Cup berth and with a 16-4-3 record that marks one of the most successful years in U.S. Soccer history.

All American eyes will now turn towards the World Cup draw on Dec. 6 in Bahia, Brazil, as that is when the U.S. will find out which three nations it will be grouped with next summer.

—–

What do you think of the U.S.’s 1-0 loss to Austria? Who impressed/disappointed you? Are you worried or confident heading into the World Cup year that is 2014?

Share your thoughts below.

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

225 Responses to USMNT suffer underwhelming loss to Austria to close out 2013

  1. H-town says:

    When are we going to stop playing the 4-5-1 with Jozy as a lone striker? How many times do we have to look completely inept for that to stop? Jozy needs a strike partner to stretch the defense. He works best when he can move into space that has been opened up by a teammate.

    …and for heaven’s sake, stop pairing Bradley with Jones. Have Bradley with Cameron for a more defensive minded group, and Have him with Diskerud when you need to push for a goal. I just fail to see why this is not seen by the coaching staff, and if they do see it, why is nothing being done.

    Jones could be great if we get a lead and need to limit Bradley’s minutes to keep him fresh. Pull off Bradley insert Jones, and he will destroy anyone near the box.

    I have said my peace…

    • Chris says:

      +1000.

      Seriously how does the coaching staff not understand this? Cameron shows poise on the ball. Jones… doesn’t. I’m tired of Bradley sitting back so deem when he’s so good at orchestrating the attack and making that decisive pass. We are our own worst enemy with these lineup decisions. I don’t think Jurgen ever makes Jones a bench player though.

      • John says:

        Then we’ll miss all the 40 yard passes Jones tries but never turn into anything

      • Joamiq says:

        I think our only chance at Jurgen benching Jones was a healthy Holden. Sigh.

        Jones is capable of Champions League quality play. But he does it about once in every dozen games (if that) for the US. I wouldn’t mind if he decided to retire from the national team tomorrow.

        • Just the Facts says:

          In 2013, Jones achieved ONE assist in over 900 minutes of play………..

          • David says:

            Yeah I guess the coaches know nothing. We could do their job!

            • beachbum says:

              no one saying that, but are you saying they are always correct in their decisions?

              • Ben says:

                no but what he is suggesting, is that perhaps the coach knows what he is doing when deploying the center mid from Schalke in the center as opposed the rightback from Stoke. And before we talk about wingers and playing people out os position, remember, he desperately wants a real winger, which is why he keeps going to Brek. The US lack of width is a huge problem for the attack, Bradley, Mix, and Kljestan are all, I think decent enough going forward from the middle, but we have no one to attack on the wings, and it is no secret we have look best with Fabian on the left. Still, the major problem on this team is the utter lack of width. Teams aren’t afraid of our wings, assign their defense on the basis, and we generally can’t do anything about it. The huge problem is that there is no good solution for this. The World Cup is 8 months away, and we have few options. We need Fabian to be healthy and hopefully, in some wonderful dumb lack, an amazing wing player with materialize in the US jersey, a relative unknown, obviously, but ready to play at a wonderful high level (Julian Green?). In any event, I’m not terribly optimistic about finding a solution to that problem. Maybe Red Bull?

              • GW says:

                Managers and coaching staffs are not infallible.

                However, starting every match with a 4-5-1 for example, doesn’t mean they stay with it the entire time.
                In the BozHerz game for example in the second half it wasn’t just a question of going to a 4-4-2. Jones spent almost the entire second half attacking and the US pushed up on the flanks; Mikey mostly stayed back so in effect the US were attacking with 5 men not just 2.
                These exhibition games are all about experiments and any experiment needs a certain amount of time to run to see if it works or not. And experiments sometimes require a lot of moving parts. Starting every match with a 4-5-1 could simply be another way to reduce the variables and give everyone a frame of reference.
                I don’t have a problem with this sort of experimentation. After all JK said all along he was going to be doing this sort of thing until they got the best team possible.
                Because while experimentation is necessary, it is a game that needs to be won since that is the context of the experiment, i.e. will this new wrinkle help us win?
                The only clear lesson from this match was that the US could use the sort of width that Cameron, Shea, Bedoya and DMB were not providing.
                Which means the USMNT staff is still holding out hope for the likes of Dolo, Castillo, Gatt, Holden, Chandler and Lichaj. Maybe even Brad Davis.
                It should be a very interesting few months.

      • Tab says:

        Don’t think Jones has shown as well as he could.

        But this is someone who is a regular for a team that is at the upper end of the German table and has been playing in the Champions’ League.

        Kljestan over Jones? This strains credulity. Diskerud over Jones? Fine. But then almost all the ball-winning responsibilities fall on Bradley, who also would need to restrict his forward runs. Cameron over Jones? Cameron looked very accomplished in one outing in central midfield, but currently has a day job as an outside defender…

    • Amru says:

      After Cameron’s performance today I don’t think you can play him anywhere else but RB. He wasn’t perfect, but he looked comfortable in that position and got forward well enough.

      I’m with you on Jones, I really wish Mix or Sacha would step up and force Klinsmann to bench him. And if I see EJ on the wing one more freaking time, I’m going to lose it. Same thing with Sacha on the wing, I don’t get why klinsmann keeps playing them out of position.

      • Nihal says:

        +1 especially with our RB depth atm

      • Troy says:

        I actually thought there were times he got forward when he shouldnt have and a few times he didnt when he should have. I would have been okay with this if he hadnt played the position very often but he does play it all the time.

        I still think that Jurgen should have given Yedlin a look in some of the friendlies or at least to come in and practice. I think that if he could hold his own defensively, that he adds a ton of value in the attack. When the games get bigger he steps it up. He is one of those kind of players. Hopefully he will get a camp cupcake call.

        • Chicago Josh says:

          First, I’m a big Yedlin fan. With that out of the way, he is a converted midfielder who has a lot of defending to learn. He’ll get there, but not for this cycle.

      • mike says:

        yes and no. Cameron did well. Jones’ passing/link up play was poor but he was a beast defensively in the 1st half in particular.

        • Amru says:

          Sure he was all over the place, but that often put him out of position for when we did force a turnover and that forced MB to stay back more

      • Joamiq says:

        EJ on the wing really makes me question Klinsmann’s basic understanding of his players. And playing Kljestan advanced or on the wing makes it seem like he wants him to fail.

        • Hogatroge says:

          On the contrary, I think Klinsmann trying Kljestan in so many different positions shows that he wants Sacha to fit in somewhere.

          For what it’s worth, I thought he did fine on the right side. The U.S. were in a 4-4-2 so he didn’t have the same responsibilities he would have in a 4-5-1.

    • Wonderloaf says:

      Or, you know, we could put Jozy on the bench because he falls over a lot and has the touch of a horse sculpting pottery.

      • H-town says:

        Apparently, this is the only game you have watched this year if you think Altidore doesn’t have touch. He scored in 5 or 6 consecutive games for USMNT this year alone. He has made real progress as a striker, but his strong suit is having someone to play off of up top. Your comment was wrong or uninformed.

        • dman says:

          Just because jozy scored 5 or 6 goals does not mean he has great touch. I watched every game this year my impression of jozy is as follows:

          Jozy does sometimes look very dangerous, but it just does not happen often enough for USA to depend on him to bring us World cup glory unless his form improves a lot.

          Jozy is really good at just missing the goal, and yes his touch does let him down more often than not.

          • Troy says:

            Thanks for showing us how ignorant you are. His touch is pretty good for a man his size. Who would you like playing striker holding up the ball? Eddie can do it against CONCACAF competition but not against the worlds best. Anyways carry on

            • john says:

              He’s not showing any ignorance at all.. Jozy’s touch has gotten worse lately – particularly his 2nd touch… which has always been his weak point, but which is at an all-time low.

              Having watched every game Jozy has played in this year, it’s pretty obvious that he’s in poor form. When his touch and his shot desert him it’s trouble. Don’t just go into a knee-jerk defense of Jozy…. We all love the guy, but he’s not his best right now.

            • dman says:

              thanks for your positivity.

              “for a man his size” really?

              That why the Sunderland press has said he has the worst fist touch in the epl.

              announcer Troy “well yes Taylor he did just lose the ball again and blow any chance we have of scoring, BUT LOOK AT HOW BIG HE IS!!!” your the one who is ignorant.

              • HyperboleAside says:

                Yeah, you’re right. Let’s COMPLETELY write off this 23 year old. He obviously will never develop into anything. Certainly not by WC in 2018 when he will be 27 and in his prime…
                So many short sighted people posting these days.

              • go euro or go home says:

                hope you are not putting a bunch of meaning in the way that the sunderland newspaper rates jozy’s touch. surely they have been looking for scapegoats early in the season. i also would not put to much meaning into his current form with sunderland. he just got there and will take a bit more time to figure everything out.

            • Joamiq says:

              I am a huge Jozy supporter, and he has his strengths, but his touch is not one of them. Some of his touches are good, but too many send the ball awry.

            • Duke says:

              I am completely frustrated and don’t understand why JK refuses to take him off. Enough is enough. Tonight he squandered several chances and couldn’t score if he was in a ho house with a fist full of hundreds. ENOUGH. Did he have any testing shots? NO. Did he have several clear chances but blew them all? YES. And still he starts. When it’s sub time, he stays on and Aron goes off…Crezy. We should invest the time into Aron. He can actually score and his shots go on frame

              • away goals says:

                This is incredible.

              • louis z says:

                I’m a believer is a player is on leave him in, if he can’t hit the side of barn, they pull him out. I know Jozy has score x number of goals this year and his touch is good for his size etc. etc. but if he is not playing well, he needs to sit, he didn’t have a good game again today. oh, but he looked good on a USA jersey…
                for his size

          • bryan says:

            i hope your analysis of our players does not hinge on “bring us World Cup glory”…

            • dman says:

              how about just a little glory?

              By glory, I mean playing well, and winning a few games, representing well you know.

        • Don says:

          Bingo…. he seems to get a lot of slack from JK and I just don’t get it. He is not a scoring machine and about half the time, his goals are the result of other people’s work with him getting the tap in. When he’s called upon to create his own shot or beat people to get a shot, his production drops off fast… We cannot go anywhere in the WC if:

          1) We try and play a lone forward with that lone forward being Altadore
          2) We insist on playing that 4-2-3-1 (or what ever it is) that flat out doesn’t work.

          JK really needs to look at the fact that we just played two games, scored zero goals, against teams that won’t be there next summer. This is an unacceptable result

      • usaalltheway says:

        That argument was valid a couple of years ago but not anymore.

        His problem it himself. He just needs to get into things mentality.

        His touch is actually quite good and the cold, hard reality is he is the best striker the USMNT has, period.

        Until the Iceman really gets his shots and finishing under control, it’s Jozy’s spot to lose.

        That being said, I would like to see Jozy lose it to him just to set a fire under his butt. It worked once so why not a again?

        • AMPhibian says:

          I did not like Jozy today. He kept going for power shots in situations where it would have been better to use finesse. Then he would put his hands on his head, and display his self frustration. He is still easily the best striker we have, but he hasn’t been very well composed these last two games. Altogether, I don’t think this is something we should be worrying about, since we have much larger concerns.

      • Smokey says:

        And put Wondo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Just the Facts says:

        In 2013, Altidore was the THIRD leading goalscorer for the US, averaging 0.74 goals/game………..

        • Duke says:

          I’d like to see his goals per minute played stat. I can’t believe that number looks too good.

          We are going nowhere if we play a lone striker and Jozy is that lone striker

          • Just the Facts says:

            In 2013, Altidore scored 8 goals in 1075 minutes of play……actually 0.67 goals per 90 minutes of play……

        • H-town says:

          Just the Facts,

          I don’t know where you are getting your stats, but Jozy was tied for 1st in goal scoring for the USMNT in 2013 with Landon Donovan at 8 goals a piece. Donovan had the benefit of playing in Gold Cup against terrible teams and a terrible Guatemala friendly. Jozy played in the hex primarily.

          • Just the Facts says:

            Goals per 90 minutes of play.

            Wondo – 1.50 goals/90 minutes of play
            Donovan 0.88
            Altidore 0.67

            • Birgit Calhoun says:

              Yes, Wondolowski scored 17 goals in all competition this last season, part of that was with a broken foot. Klinsmann knows how good Wondo is. That’s why he takes him along. Right now he gives other players more playing time because he doesn’t know what they are capable of. If the starters don’t score who is going to say this or that player is better. It doesn’t matter how pumped up a player looks, the result is what counts in the end. That goes for all the BPL players except the goalies. The game yesterday was not exactly anything to write home about. The lack of scoring certainly must have to do with those who were on the field for the longest time.

      • Mr_A says:

        Jozy’s form is always debatable and always debated. But I encourage everyone to respond in terms of what kind of pottery the horse may be spinning. That way we can cut out half the debate, and the visual appeal is understood by all. Thanks,

    • Umlaut says:

      I’m just going to keep calling for ONE HALF of Bradley and Kliestjan paired in midfield. Not with Kliestjan playing the advanced role under Altidore (or whomever it is), but the role Jones gets every game.

    • Palisades says:

      I don’t mind the 4-5-1 as much when Fabian Johnson is on the left, but generally I agree with you. Also, I too am tired of seeing Jones out there with Bradley.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think the problem was not so much the formation as the personnel composing it. When at full strength and with full Jozy effort we get balls in and we create chances. But if you start playing Kljestan and Bedoya and Shea and a lot of the second tier types, we will regress back down to Old Klinsmann effectiveness and results. Fair amount of possession, few incisive balls, sound familiar?

      And in terms of yesterday’s result the other telling factor was crap defense. Brooks was lousy and Gonzo left his man.

      As a Dynamo fan I can tell you that while Jones likes to hit homerun balls deep, Cameron has a habit of running straight upfield and trying to thread throughballs straight upfield, which wouldn’t work for me in men’s league. He also is long limbed and IMO better suited to wings because he’ll stumble over the ball in tight spaces centrally. He is athletic with a cross and shot but those are more wing traits.

      I’d actually prefer Beckerman, who plays DM like a DM, can keep it simple, can play in tight space, can tackle, and has some homerun ball capability.

      Personally I’d like to see more emphasis on tactical division of labor, Bradley being up and Jones being back, which would resolve some of the problems. I also think if you put A team mids around them Jones feels less urgency to go forward, and can then be effective at what he does best, destroying. You need that destruction and when he stays home his ability to hit balls forward is in fact unusually high for a DM.

  2. bryan says:

    i have more questions than answers after these two games. a few bright spots but that’s it. really disappointed with these games.

    • Troy says:

      I take these games with a grain of salt. Im actually happy the defense didnt give up a bunch of goals. We were missing A LOT of our attacking options. No Dempsey, Donovan, Zusi, F. Johnson, etc . If most of them had been playing then I would be there with you

      • chris says:

        +1 for perspective.

      • bryan says:

        i understand all of that and my internal analysis and perspective take that into consideration. i’m saying, even with this group, i’m left with more questions than answers. i thought we would play better even without players like LD, Dempsey and FJ. i actually thought the game today was pretty decent, we dominated possession and had good opportunities on goal. but overall, after two games, i’m disappointed. i certainly don’t think the sky is falling though.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Well said…Those four guys you named either scored or facilitated so many of the goals this year. Take away four attacking contributors like that from any team and you’re likely to see them struggle to create quality chances.

    • Acebojangles says:

      Of the attacking options, I actually think the team missed Fabian Johnson the most. His runs through the final third led to a fair number of goals when the US is having trouble breaking an opponent down.

      • Just the Facts says:

        Fabian achieved almost one assist every two games (0.46 assists/game) in 2013. MORE than any other US defender this year……….

  3. Hayes says:

    Mix needs to be on the field especially if playing with only one up top. Without Dempsey and Landon, would have liked to have seen Cameron and Bradley in the middle with AJ, Mix and Bedoya across the attacking positions with either Altidore or Boyd up top. Cameron, IMO, is not a RB based on how JK wants them to play. His offensive runs are made too much in the center which then leaves him really out of position defensively. IMO, he would be a much better pairing with Bradley.

    • bryan says:

      i thought Cameron did well today, but i agree that he always drifts into the middle. i thought at one point he was playing CM. still played well though but something he needs to work on.

    • Troy says:

      I agree I wish that Cameron was paired with Bradley thus allowing Bradley to get forward much more. Jones wont accept that role which ticks me off and I wish they would replace him. I still think that Yedlin or someone like him should have been given a shot at RB because of their ability to get forward like Jurgen likes

  4. Chazcar2 says:

    4-4-2 or 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 is not the point. why are we attempting crosses from way outside the box. And how do we have no players in wide positions. Further, why do we keep recycling the ball to the fullbacks who push it inside. Where is overlap and width! Why is no one driving to the endline? Why are the players allergic to the space between the edge of the 18 and the sideline? And even when we get there why do we send it backward. You are in the box! Why are you sending it all the way back to the centerback?

    ok rant over

  5. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    Jermaine Jones IS NOT A STARTER.

  6. Joe says:

    An in-form Deuce in that game would’ve been killer.

    Meh result. We probably take 10 points in 5 games against that Austria side. We needed to use our large athletic advantage a bit better.

  7. Adam M. says:

    CD-JA–AJ
    Donovan
    Jones–Bradley
    FJ–OG–MB–Dolo

    That’s what I am hoping for. 1-3 instead of 3-1. Dempsey in the area where he is most dangerous. Jozy with multiple options instead of no options. Donovan central and involved instead of wide and disappeared. Oppotunistic wing play from backs rather than default wing play from players that aren’t really wingers. Add Mixx to the mix when necessary. Throw in Castillo if deperate, and Cameron to secure a lead. Zusi and Bedoya when rest is required.

  8. The Other Jeff says:

    Player most missed the past two games: Donovan, the player who turns the counterattack better than any other in a US uniform. Both opponents threw their entire midfields forward in attack and we were unable to punish the overcommitment on the counter. Even the few times when it got started right, it stalled and went backward somewhere between the 2nd and 4th pass.

  9. Maykol says:

    Glad I watched the portugal game again

  10. blokhin says:

    if this is how US looks against European teams that did not make the World Cup, how will they look against those that actually did? plus the Lat Am teams that will have storng support on the “home” continent? US will playing 2-3 of those regardless of the group

    Jones is the only player that JK hasn’t played mind games with or called out that I know of-unless I missed it-if I did let me know…the guy is the weak link in the build up play…if the game plan to bunker down under BB’s empty bucket formation and disrupt the opponent’s play, fine he has a place on the field- if the goal is to play “attractive, attacking soccer” then please remove him for Mixx…(I’d say Klestjan but he made some aimless passe sof his own)

    Wings and backs? JK, stop trying to make Shea happen and stop trying to play EJ on the wing…DMB decided to run away from the ball into the box and almost cost a goal, Lichaj also bungled it toward the end of the game…Cameron looked good-HEY, he plays RB in the EPL-did you know that? what a find!…. Bedoya is your marginal wing player- on some nights, off on others

    come WC time, JK’s challenge is to get Jozy, LD, Dempsey, Bradley, Fabian Johnson on the field together in a formation that maximizes their talents- there isn’t anyone else in the pool that is a lockdown starter outside that group…

    Demspey-Altidore-Donovan
    Johnson-Bradley-?
    ?-?-?-?
    Howard

    Jones (sigh),Besler and OG are as close as they get…so are Beasley and Evans-but something about tha group just strikes me as inadequate when it come to playing in Brazil

    • The Other Jeff says:

      The team’s playing IQ goes up a big step with Donovan and Dempsey on the pitch.

    • AMPhibian says:

      I was hoping we would find someone who could handle that left side in the attack, and we would have the option of moving Fabian back to LB, but oh well. Our back line also makes me nervous. I like him, but Lichaj hasn’t looked sharp at all. Right now, I see it as: DMB-Besler-Gonzo-Cameron. I know Evans has been a good soldier, and is more reliable than Cameron, who likes to take risks, but I think Cameron is more athletic and skilled, and fits more comfortably into the offense. I’d like to see Altidore up top with AJ, EJ, or Boyd, with Dempsey sitting underneath the pair. That attacking triangle should cause problems for any defense, especially if we have Fabian and Landon running the wings. In the 442 Diamond, I think we could get our steadiest, best players on the field in natural positions, and would be able to create chances. Honestly though, I think we should have been experimenting with our formation and style, in a more conservative direction. We haven’t had much practice breaking into a counter attack from a bunker, and it’s likely we may be best served bunkering in two of the three group games.

    • Just the Facts says:

      Outside of CONCACAF countries, the US scored 14 goals for and allowed 16 goals against World Cup qualified countries in 2012 and 2013, a record of 3 wins, 1 tie, and 2 losses………..

  11. Reid Davis says:

    I am not a JJ hater. He has done some solid work in the USA kit. But this was one of his worst games in a long time. He was a walking turnover out there — more losses of possession than on-target passes.

    • John says:

      Yeah I really like the guy but the poor preformances are just adding up and then you have him smacking guys in the face. Something like that could really cost us huge next summer.

  12. The Other Jeff says:

    I’ve been on the fence between Zusi and Bedoya until these two games. Now, Zusi seems clearly the better choice. I don’t know if he starts, but his work rate both ways and his service were both sorely missed. Bedoya duplicates other players, while Zusi brings something that is missing otherwise.

  13. damon says:

    Altidore on his own is pointless. Bedoya is terrible. Cameron always turned inside or under hit his crosses. The two together had no chemistry. Brooks stepped up too often. Gonzalaz can’t defend one on one. Jones doesn’t know how to hit a pass that leads Cameron or Beasley into space. Shae should be a sub at best. Beasley had to suck-in on the goal because Brooks was out of posistion, so not his fault.
    The only players that looked good were Bradley and?
    Why not play 442 with Bradley and Mixx from the start and Jozy and Aron or Terrence?

    A lineup of Fabian-Besler-Goodson-?
    Landon-Mixx-Bradley-?
    Jozy-Johansson

    ??????????

  14. biff says:

    Klinsmann showed how smart he is today. I mean, the guy played Geoff Cameron at his club position of right back. A display of true genius from Klinsmann the Tinkerer. Did not take Klinsmann much more than a year to figure out that a player starting every game at right back in the Premier League might be better than an MLS midfielder playing out of position at right back, might be just the man to play right back next summer in Brazil. Jurgen is pretty quick on the draw. Probably by next March or April he’ll figure out that Damarcus Beasley is not the man for left back in Brazil, but rather should be playing left wing for the USMNT instead of Brek Shea.

    Hi GW :-)

    link to soccerbyives.net

    • blokhin says:

      he has just been testing Cameron to see how tough he is by playing him in positions where he does not play every week or keeping him on the bench and instead playing players who play in other positions every week at RB-it’s a way to toughen up these players and prepare them to bleed for the shirt and have them demonstrate to JK how committed they are-they need to be prepared for the challenge. They need to be ready to step in at any point and be ready to take on the game, that’s the key. This team need sto show its coach how tough and prepared they are for the challenge. To have that belief.

      That’s why…… or it’s all hype-filled b.s. coachspeak that some fans swallow whole and ask for more

      • Gary Page says:

        Somebody who “gets it.” Do people really think that Klinsmann doesn’t realize Cameron can play RB? He knows how good he is at right back, all he has to do is watch video of all his EPL games. As Klinsmann keeps saying, it’s about getting players out of their comfort zones. Here’s another important aspect. We now have an # of players who can play multiple positions. This greatly helps with depth. In the WC there are a lot of games in a relatively short period. With the versatility Klinsmann is building into the squad, he has a lot of interchangeable parts that can be mixed or matched. DMB not playing well at LB, move Fabian Johnson there. Jones playing poorly, move Cameron into his slot and Evans can back stop Cameron at RB. Or Evans can play midfield. Dempsey or Donovan can play up top or in midfield. And so on. This gives the coach a whole lot of options. It took me a while to catch on, but I am now convinced that from the very first Klinsmann knew we would qualify and didn’t worry about it much. Everything he has done in regards to tinkering with formations and playing players in different formations has been about getting the team ready for the WC. Barring injury, I’m pretty sure he knows just who he plays where and it may not be what we see in any particular warm up game. Also, it may change due to the opponent.

        • biff says:

          @Gart Page, blokhin: I respectfully disagree with both of you, just don’t buy it, that Klinsmann is playing so many players out of position for the strategic reasons you guys are arguing. But if you are right, then I think it is bad coaching and is only going to confuse the team while at the same time will prevent Klinsmann from finding the best players from the pool at each position. We are now half a year from WC 2014 and Klinsmann is still dinking (= tinkering) around with various positions without either giving players that he has either called in or (in some cases) not called in a chance to be tested for the USMNT at their club positions. I find this worrisome. I mean, why in the h*ll are we still seeing club forward Eddie Johnson failing game after game at left wing.

          Do you remember back in the good ol’ days when we were all scratching our heads with Daniel Williams struggling at right winger or Klinsmann’s innovative three d-mid starting rosters? This is how I have felt watching Evans at RB while Cameron plays out-of-position at CD and d-mid. And, of course, also watching Beez, who I love, at left back. yeah it worked a few games but it has been clear for months that it won’t work in Brazil and Klinsmann keeps wasting time with it, too stubborn to admit he is wrong.

          Quite frankly, I think Caleb Porter and/or Jason Kreis are better coaches then Klinsmann and more sensible and would be doing at least as well as Klinsmann if not better if given a chance to take over the USMNT. I hope Klinsmann leaves the USMNT after WC 2014 with a $10.5 million WC-winner bonus check in his pocket and replaced by either Porter or Kreis.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Or, he cuts against the grain and then ends up back with it eventually.

        Look at how many times he put in Mixx and Holden for Torres and Corona or the like in the Gold Cup. Or now plays a current RB as a RB, after using him at CB which he hadn’t played much since Houston. He gets cute and then corrects back to what makes sense. I think he wishes he was all psychological. The effective version of psychological for him is omission, which seems to get attention.

    • Amru says:

      Do you really think Beasley would do a good job at LW? His passes and crosses leave a lot to be desired in my opinion

      • biff says:

        yes, Amru, I do think Beasley would do a good job at left wing. But we will never know as long as Klinsmann stubbornly insists on playing him out-of-position at left back. I do agree his cross and passes have deteriorated in recent games from last summer. But I think, possibly, that is because he is a natural left winger and not a left back and it is two different animals. On the same token, I think Fabian is better offensively coming from left back than playing as left winger and I think it is crazy to be playing Fabian as left winger instead of left back.

    • usaalltheway says:

      “Klinsmann showed how smart he is today. I mean, the guy played Geoff Cameron at his club position of right back. A display of true genius from Klinsmann the Tinkerer. Did not take Klinsmann much more than a year to figure out that a player starting every game at right back in the Premier League might be better than an MLS midfielder playing out of position at right back, might be just the man to play right back next summer in Brazil. Jurgen is pretty quick on the draw. Probably by next March or April he’ll figure out that Damarcus Beasley is not the man for left back in Brazil, but rather should be playing left wing for the USMNT instead of Brek Shea.”

      +10000

      THIS. THIS. THIS.

      I said it once and I will say it again; JK is NOT a good coach. He would make a perfect behind-the-scenes guy but as coach is sub-par at best.

      • Goalscorer24 says:

        Yeah he is not a very good coach, oh but he has lead the US team to its highest winning percentage ever.

        • Byrdman says:

          Two years running.. Or close to it. I am not sure about last year

        • biff says:

          listen up, guys: Klinsmann, to borrow his own phrase, hasn’t done stuff yet…

          He has not done anything that counts that has not been done before by coaches like Bruce Arena (WC quarter finals) and Bob Bradley (Gold Cup winner, Confed runner-up, WC Sweet 16). Kllinsmann gave us 20 months of absolutely boring mind-numbing 3 d-mid soccer up to the fiasco in Honduras in February of this year, and then after the Brian Straus mutiny story he finally changed his ways. This is good and I am optimistic about next summer. Klinsmann, who now has the benefits of the deepest US soccer player pool in history, will be judged not on the successf during the past seven months including the nice Hex showing, but on how deep USMNT goes in the knock-out rounds next summer on the Big Stage. An appearance in the semi-final would be a huge success. Quarter-final would suffice, although we’ve been there and done that. Another Sweet 16 appearance and loss would be a disappointment. And not moving out of group would be a massive failure.

          • Dirk McQuigley says:

            The sobering probability that we will either end up in the Group of Death or Group of Death Lite may mean we will not make it out of group play. Our goal should always be to make it to the knockout round. If we are in a tough group against Germany, Italy, Ivory Coast that may not be possible. The tougher the group the less of a failure it should be. If we are in an “easy” group, and don’t make it out, then I think the criticism is warranted. Like 2010, we were placed in the easiest group possible. Everything was in place to make it to the QFs but we didn’t. Fact is there are going to be 16 teams NOT making the second round, and there is a good chance at least one of them will be ranked above us.

            • biff says:

              I guess I should expand on the Fifa World Ranking link. The USMNT as the 13-ranked team in the world must move past the group stage, whether we are in a Group of Death or not. No room for excuses. I agree, though, that the Sweet Sixteen is a different story. Facing Brazil or Spain or Germany or a half dozen other teams, then another heartbreak loss could be forgiven. But not a loss against teams like Switzerland or Greece or Crotia or Ghana or — ahem — Mexico, a team that should not have made it to the World Cup and that under the unalterable rules of Murphy’s Law is gonna come back and bite us.

          • Just the Facts says:

            The US national team’s record against non-CONCACAF, world cup qualified countries, 2 years prior to WC 2010: 2 wins, 1 tie, 7 losses

            The US national team’s current record against non-CONCACAF, world cup qualified countries, 2 years prior to WC 2014: 4 wins, 1 tie, 2 losses….so far….

          • beachbum says:

            well said, let’s see what happens next summer

    • GW says:

      I notice that the US lost this game.

      Cameron started because Evans tweaked his hamstring.

      Geoff did what he does but I notice the attack lacked width, something JK and staff are hoping Dolo, Chandler and Lichaj can provide.

      This same lack of width tells me Fabian will be deployed at left midfield since Shea, did not do it

      Guys like Davis, Gatt, Castillo, Holden , anyone who can provide width and crosses will take heart from this game.

  15. Bac says:

    Summarizing these last 2 games, you have to separate wasted energy vs. legitimate issues; especially when you dont have a full squad:

    Wasted Energy:
    1. Dont get so caught up in formations in these friendlies when you dont have your full squad
    2. Eddie wont be playing on the Left Wing when you have a full squad
    3. Brooks is 20, just his 2nd game with this team,coming off an injury; he’s got a lot of upside
    4. Jozy didnt score, but never got lazy or immature like he used to. He’ll be fine w/ the right mates
    5. We get SO excited about new players such as AJ, Mix, Shea off the bench, but when called upon to put in a full 90, they kinda show they arent quite ready for prime time, but we are so quick to put them on a pedestal.. because we WANT them to be the answer… (me included)

    Legit issues:
    1. We do not have a CM pairing with Bradley..period. This is one of our biggest issues going into next year, and frankly, I dont see an answer. Everyone has an opinion, but there has not been anyone who has shown they can be our 2nd starting CM. Jones hot/cold, Sasha inconsistent, Mix too slight, Cam only 2 1/2 games there (1 good), Beckerman too slow for Int’l play…
    2. The way Evans played the last 2 WCQ & vs. Scotland, JK has got to give the RB spot to Cam I hope.
    3. Shea is a late sub- bench player only, but still may make the 23. Why? Because so many of our other midfielders are just too similar
    4. We miss Dempsey, Donovan, & Fabian more than we realize….(regardless of your MLS feelings towards D & D..its the truth-and it shows)

    Just my 2 cents for today

    For tommorow, Im still hopeful… for a good WC draw!!

    • AMPhibian says:

      I agree, completely. We need to secure reliable partners for both Jozy and Bradley, regardless of formation. I would love to see Dolo come back healthy and in form, and i hold no grudges towards Chandler, should he get his head on straight and work back into the fold.

    • usaalltheway says:

      “1. We do not have a CM pairing with Bradley..period. This is one of our biggest issues going into next year, and frankly, I dont see an answer. Everyone has an opinion, but there has not been anyone who has shown they can be our 2nd starting CM. Jones hot/cold, Sasha inconsistent, Mix too slight, Cam only 2 1/2 games there (1 good), Beckerman too slow for Int’l play…”

      This is spot on. Email it to JK. Hopefully he will listen.

      I would suggest that Mix be given the role. He is the second best and has shown flashes of brilliance despite still not be up to the challenge yet.

    • Chris says:

      Easily the best comment out of them all. Wasted energy assessments were spot on. We really need to sort out Bradley’s midfield partner (which shouldn’t be Jones), and Cameron is not the greatest RB in the world but still far superior to Evans.

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        Wasted energy AND too many careless passes, especially in our own end. That being said, far too often we made attack-killing back passes and lateral passes. Take on a defender and do something in the final third. It was really horrible football to watch for 75-80% of the match.

    • roundhead says:

      thanks BAC, your comments are very perceptive. helpful points

    • Gary Page says:

      Just last week a lot of posters were going to throw Dempsey and Donovan under the bus. They weren’t good enough to start in the WC some said. All sorts of alternatives were suggested. Now they aren’t in the game and the US scores 0 goals over 2 games and people begin to appreciate them again.

    • Bac says:

      @AMP, USA, Chris, Round, Gary… All good comments, good stuff. As you can see there are so many others just looking for verbal diahrrea any chance they get

      -Gary, very true, so many people so quickly want to throw D & D under the bus, whether its the MLS hate, or whatever.. their presence is missed
      -Chris I agree abut Cam, and I’d also add that if you watch him, you can see the EPL intensity that he brings.. add another season of that and I dont think you can ignore that

      I’d also like to add a few things to my earlier comments:

      In these friendlies, you’re never as bad as your bad days, and your never as good as you think you are when you win

      When I watch & judge games like these, I dont try and dissect every touch, but overall decision making as well, and there were a few things that jumped out at me:

      - Beasley getting caught 4 yards behind the rest of the backline not stepping up, keeping 3 guys onside ( Thats an instinct he doesnt have as hes not a natural LB, and this isnt the 1st time its happened)
      -The off the ball movement to get into;and create; clear passing lanes, is below average. And thats making our average midfield look below average.
      -I think there has been more back passes the last 4 games than the 1st 9 months, & I think thats a confidence issue.. a lot of that goes back to positioning and the CM pairing
      -If theres one guy who could go on loan that would have the most to learn it would be Gonzo- a few months against different & better competition would benefit him

      Considering all that, Im really wondering if going to Roma’s 4-3-3 with Bradley manning the Center Mid spot doesnt end up being our best way to get the right guys in the right spaces.
      I know a lot of people talk about Bradley getting forward, but Ive heard him say he prefers to come in late, and they play that 4-3-3 at Roma ( and actually Jones does as well).. I dont know if we have the backline to play it, but I gotta think it should be considered

      • Greg says:

        LOVE the analysis, Bac, really impressive, level-headed comments that seem to really strip out the extreme emotions many of us post with.

        I’d like to submit one idea that goes only slightly against what you’ve said. I personally think Sasha has not been as inconsistent as many might think. Sure, he’s missed a few passes, particularly in these last two games, but I’m buffering that for one important reason…he was playing out of position. He should have been right next to MB, middle of the field, allowing the two time to practice the balancing act of “you stay, I go” which has clearly eluded Jones.

        Sasha showed (mostly) very good 1st touch, was one of the only very creative people on the field (I’d add Mix, AJ & of course MB to that list), and his work rate is at the very top of the team. Don’t get me wrong, he certainly had flaws in his game, but out of our options and in the formation we were in, I’d say he’s our best mid pairing with MB.

        People will argue for Mix, I don’t disagree with that, but I believe Sasha adds more grit and experience vs Mix, who needs more games but has a lot of upside.

        Enough from me, great comments, really enjoying reading this discussion (for a change!)

        • Bac says:

          Thanks Greg, and you make a great point.
          In fact, the guy on MLS.com made a very perceptive assumption about these last 2 games & Sasha & Mix. JK played Sasha at the CAM, even though he plays CM for his club, and then played Mix at CM, when he plays the CAM for his club. The assumed thought being ” I know what they can do in their natural position, Id like to see which is more flexible and can play either spot”..
          It makes you think that the two are probably competing for one spot AS OF NOW.. (which can, and should, change)..

          Thats why I mentioned earlier about the USMNT having too many similar players.
          Example: Bedoya didnt do himself any favors the last 2 games, on this squad do you really need both Bedoya & Zusi? They both deserve it, but do you need both?
          Thats another reason why I think Shea is a lock for the 23.. not because he’s one of the best 23, but b/c he can give you a 15 minute burst off the bench that nobody else can.

          Ultimately I think you’re right, I think Sasha makes the 23 because there has to be another box to box CM as an option on this squad. I think Mix makes it also.
          Why? Because of the flexibility Cameron gives you, and honestly I am starting to think the one “surprise” we will end up with is Eddie J not making the 23.
          The next few months will probably seal the 23 for JK, and most guys have a good club spot..except EJ..

          Good Stuff.. ultimately, I think youre right. The trick is actually getting him enough minutes next to MB to see if he’s advanced enough for the Int’l level…

          • Greg says:

            Once again, fantastic analysis and really strong fact-based assumptions. Don’t know what you do for a living but you’ve already surpassed 90% of “analysts” I regularly read/listen to, “there’s a future here for ya’, son”.

            Haha, can’t wait for Camp Cupcake! Keep up the awesome comments

  16. bryan says:

    AJ should have not been pulled. we could have had a 4-3-3 with AJ, Jozy, and Boyd across the top and Kljestan, Bradley, Bedoya across the three CM positions.

    i know i cursed at the TV when i saw EJ coming in and the formation stay 4-2-3-1.

  17. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    more importantly, how are you all able to watch while you’re at work? I’m jealous.

  18. Chicago Josh says:

    Dear Klinsi,

    #1 Please stop showcasing Brek Shea. He is fast and tall, and beyond that, not a very good soccer player. His laziness and failure to track back helped contribute to Austria’s goal. He was tripping over the ball for f*** sake.

    #2 Some players in our pool are good against CONCACAF opponents, and not good enough against anyone else. Please leave Eddie Johnson (behind Jozy, Aron, Dempsey, and Boyd) and Alejandro Bedoya (behind Donovan and Zuzi) at home.

    #3 Jermaine Jones doesn’t make our team better. Players are constantly covering for his mistakes, and he keeps MB90 from being a lethal attacking midfielder. Cameron is a very good D-Mid.

    #4 At the World Cup, teams will relentlessly attack our two outside backs if we start DMB and Evans. Castillo is not a good defender, but his runs forward make our left side much more dangerous in attack. Also, Lichaj needs a chance to start the March game.

    • bryan says:

      #1 – pretty harsh honestly. the guy has a natural talent as we saw in 2011. his issue is attitude and no playing time. like you said, today he was falling over the ball. “come on mannnnn”

      #2 – agree about EJ, disagree about Bedoya.

      #3 – JJ does, but he also sometimes doesn’t. too inconsistent for me. and Cameron has played at CDM and been inconsistent too. i think it is one of those positions you need to play week in and week out. as much as i’d like to think Bradley/Cameron would be good, i’m not 100% sold. i think Bradley/Mix has more potential.

      #4 – our fullback situation scares me. especially at this World Cup where almost every team is going to be very good.

      • truthiness says:

        Similar physical specimens, but with very different games, you can see why Cameron is garnering Premiere League minutes while Shea languishes. Cameron is composed on the ball, with footwork to get himself out of most sticky situations. Shea starts to receive the ball, and like a wide receiver that turns before he makes the catch, he goes straight to step three or four, before completing step one. Occasionally this will leave defenders in his wake, but most of the time he trips over the ball and the play goes in the other direction.

        • bryan says:

          there is no doubting Shea’s form is really off right now. but when he is in form, he has that natural ability. either way, the guy needs a loan and regular playing time before he is considered for the 23.

          i’m not sure why you are comparing Shea and Cameron though. did i say something to compare the two?

          • Dirk McQuigley says:

            Which REALLY might have been the reason Shea received so much PT during these two matches. He NEEDS to play regularly somewhere even if it is not for Stoke or in the EPL. Regular consistent PT w/ a Championship side or lesser European first division is a necessity for him.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      Yes, he may look good, but he doesn’t have soccer sense.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Chicago Josh knows what he is talking about.

      Agreed 100%.

      • roundhead says:

        you all are too much really. did you watch his play against Scotland? we didn’t have a good game, but Shea did well. I am not a Brek Shea fan at all but come on really? how do you get to the top of American soccer by being lazy? how do you make it to the EPL by being so bad? is it politics? money? good looks? what?

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          All of the above. Yes and money changes hands. Read: “I am the secret footballer”. It’s written by a former player. You get a good feel for the culture of soccer (or better football in England)

  19. KJ says:

    Brek Shea needs to stop being called up until he gets regular playing time. No more trying to showcase him by leaving someone more deserving out and making the national team look bad in the process.

    • John says:

      Who exactly is more deserving?

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      Again Wondolowski got too few minutes of playing time. I think maybe 5 minutes? The reason why there was no score was because Altidore was in an offside position as Wondo headed the ball towards him. An Austrian player handled the ball that was meant for Altidore. If he had not been offside there would have been a penalty kick for that handball.

      • AMPhibian says:

        I agree that a hand ball would have been called if Jozy was onside, but I don’t think that play is a metaphor or microcosm of anything significant. Wondo isn’t close to as good as Jozy, and doesn’t offer us enough to justify giving him a lot of minutes.

        • Just the Facts says:

          In 2013, Wondo averaged 1.5 goals/game, the HIGHEST of ALL US players…………

          • Birgit Calhoun says:

            Go Wondo!!!

          • Greg says:

            Not saying we don’t appreciate your contributions, Just The Facts, the stats really are helpful.

            But c’mon maaaaan, some color might be helpful here, after all, we are talking about 3 vs Belize, 2 vs Cuba & 1 in a friendly with Guatemala….those 3 have a combined ZERO world cup appearances.

            Face it everyone, Wondo is NOT the answer. Period.

            • Just The Facts says:

              US forwards in 2013, **goals against any concacaf team were counted as 0.5 goal, considering weaker opponents.
              1) Wondo 0.80 goals/90 minutes of play – yes….that is correct……Wondo……

              2)Dempsey 0.55 goals/90 minutes of play

              3)Donovan 0.50 goals/90 minutes of play, at the forward position

              4)Altidore, 0.50 goals/90 minutes of play

              5) Shea 0.50 goals/90 minutes of play, *at the forward postion

              6) EJ, 0.33 goals/90 minutes of play, *at the forward position

              7) Gomez, 0.30 goals/90 minutes of play

              8) Bacon, 0.20 goals/90 minutes of play

              Why not start Altidore with Wondo at forward, Shea is a late sub. Dempsey Donovan on the wings. Based upon their performances in 2013, this would lead to an average of 2.33 goals/90 minutes of play against a non-concacaf team, and 3.5 goals/90 minutes of play against a concacaf team. Play 4-5 games in this manner and we should see these results averaged out. What do you guys think?

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          Wondolowski has played well for the Earthquakes. What has Altidore done for Sunderland? I like Altidore. But it would be good to put Wondo next to Altidore. I think they would play well together.

  20. Freddie Footballer says:

    Not feeling particularly optimistic about our chances next year if we can’t beat a team that missed out on the World Cup. Maybe we’ll get some good news with the draw next month, but I doubt it.

  21. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Again Wondolowski got too few minutes of playing time. I think maybe 5 minutes? The reason why there was no score was because Altidore was in an offside position as Wondo headed the ball towards him. An Austrian player handled the ball that was meant for Altidore. If he had not been offside there would have been a penalty kick for that handball.

  22. DavidU says:

    Confusing 2 games. From the past year people locked to start are Howard.Beasley.Bradley.Donavan.Dempsey.Altidore
    If they are Healthy JK has played them it seems everytime. So I believe those are his core (even if Beasley is not the “best” option) he’s had all year to plug someone in to those spots but he refuses.

    Everyone else is has been a moving piece it seems. I agrree with the Jones assesment other than the Denver Snow Game he clogs up the midfield. If they don’t decide to put someone next to Altidore then bring Iceman of the bench. Today showed he’s not a play behind type.

    • Madkins says:

      There is a lot of potential with this team, but there are plenty of guys who just aren’t able to cut it with the speed (Beckerman), physicality (DMB), or tactical awareness (Shea) required at this level. While Klinsmann has been experimenting, its time to solidfy the starting 11. My take if we stay in the 4-2-3-1 would be:

      Altidore
      Dempsey-Donovan-Zusi
      Bradley-Diskerud
      FJ-Omar-Besler-Cameron
      Howard

      This puts all of our top attacking options on the field at the same time. It gives you two strong outside defenders who know that part of their job is to make runs on offense. That is our strongest defensive pairing, our best CDM with 2 more offensive minded players playing central (Mixx and Donovan), our best true wing player, and Dempsey – who likes to create changes from that space on the left that isn’t out wide, but outside the 18. I see all kinds of potential with that group…

      • AMPhibian says:

        Mmm, I love it. And I love Mixx, but I think I would rather have a more defensive minded midfielder next to Bradley, so that MB can be more involved in the attack. I believe Jones when in form, Cameron, Evans, or Beckerman would round out that squad a little better.

        • Madkins says:

          I hear what you are saying, but the U.S. has traditionally been a “defense-focused” side. In order to do well in next year’s Cup, I believe we need to orient ourselves toward a more attacking side. At the end of the day, we need goals – and we don’t have a lot of creative playmakers. This line-up could be dangerous defensively, but damn would I enjoy watching this group. With the exception of Bacon, this puts our best side on the field at the same time… which is my goal with this lineup.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I think the offense is an embarrassment of riches that can only be messed up by forcing people like Kljestan in among Jozy, Landon, Dempsey, AJ, Zusi, et al.

            The issue is whether he can find a defense that works and won’t leak goals and lose games. It’s a potential U23 issue depending on the draw. Soft draw, can be overcome. Tough draw, he better get it sorted.

      • roundhead says:

        I think you are right but the verdict is still out with JJ. not sure who would work better Mix or Sacha at that spot

      • Amru says:

        If I were to field a line up this is pretty much what it would look like

  23. Sabdi says:

    You’re not in CONCACAF anymore.

  24. Mike says:

    Not really concerned with the game, should have been a 1-1 tie.
    Anyway, wanted to get thoughts on a line up. Basically a 4-4-2 but with Landon more advanced on the left flank and bedoya a bit back to provide defensive cover when needed. Obviously, think may have to change and go more defense vs very good teams but here it is….

    Jozy AJ

    Landon

    Clint Bedoya

    Bradley

    Fab J Besler Gonzo Cameron

    • Mike says:

      well that didn’t come out right….o well

      • AMPhibian says:

        I like it, although I have some questions about Bedoya’s defensive work rate in that formation, and I would probably swap Demps for Donovan, because I think Lando is better at finding space and causing problems running from a deeper position.

  25. usaalltheway says:

    I didn’t get to see the game due to work but I have a few things I would like to input to the conversation.

    1) As I have posted before, Shea is super sub, not a starter. From what I gather and based on Goal.com score, Shea was a disaster tonight. He isn’t great going the full 90 minute but he is excellent at coming on in the 60th and 70th minutes to harass fullbacks and get in crosses.

    2) The current formation doesn’t work. Bradley and Jones don’t pair well together and Jozy isn’t used to his fullest as the lone striker. It’s really quite galling that this even has to be addressed at this point really. JK, get your head out of your arse and smell the roses.

    3) Beasley is not a fullback but a winger. Put him on the wing and get Lichaj in on the left back position.

    4) The Iceman isn’t a midfielder. He is a striker. Pair him with Jozy, not play him under near him. This goes back to formation issues. 4-4-2 is looking pretty good right now.

    5) Bradley needs to be the general in all senses of the word; in other words he needs to player higher up on the pitch. He is the closest thing to Xavi or Pirlo we have at the moment (he isn’t those players just to make myself clear) and when he is involved with the attack, the US shines.

    6) Last but most important, JK isn’t a good coach. It’s more than painfully obvious at this point. He simply doesn’t “get it”. He doesn’t know when or how to use players and can’t get them to play as a functioning unit. He makes good subs and second halves are usually better than first halves but that only proves further that his plans are deeply flawed to begin with.

    I predict zero goals and zero victories at the World Cup.

    What do you guys think about my opinions?

    • John says:

      Shea just didn’t find his way into the match but neither did Bedoya for most of it. I wouldn’t say he was a disaster or anything like the Cuba match. However I will point out both were in the rain so perhaps thats something he struggles with. Just needs to find his way on to a feild and get some matches.

    • bryan says:

      1. 100%
      2. Yup.
      3. Hard to say Beasley would play LW over FJ or that Lichaj is ready for starting at LB.
      4. Agreed
      5. it’s true, but in a 4-4-2, Bradley would be the #6 with Dempsey or LD playing the #10.
      6. Disagree and so do the stats.

      as for the World Cup, i’m worried too. not because i think the US is bad but because almost every team in the World Cup is reallllllllly solid. but it’s the World Cup, that’s the point.

      • usaalltheway says:

        Actually, I mentioned Lichaj as LB in haste. My favorite man for the spot is still Johnson. He is total boss in that position, which is his natural position. He played great there.

        So why more him to midfield? Because JK doesn’t know what he is doing (mine opinion).

        Glad you see you agree with most of what I am saying. I still don’t think much of JK’s record. Nothing has been convincing for me. I stand by my predictions; zero goals, zero wins.

        • bryan says:

          yeah but even FJ himself his best position is midfield. something JK agrees with. so i don’t put that one on JK whatsoever.

          either way, i agree our fullback situation is worrisome.

    • AMPhibian says:

      I think Beasley and Shea are both sub material, and that Shea is still just on the outskirts of making the WC squad. Also, I don’t know if Lichaj at LB is any better than Beasley right now. I agree with your other points, besides 6A and 6B. JK is playing a long game here, and I don’t think you can judge the final product yet. Not to mention, his record at the helm has been pretty darn good. All I know is that the man has a strategy, and it’s a bit unorthodox. That prevents me from getting too zealous when it comes to passing judgement, or making predications about WC results.

    • Chicago Josh says:

      I worry about your point #6 as well. The US has long relied on a somewhat solid D, great goalkeepers, scoring when the few opportunities come, and also getting a bit lucky. This is our weakest defense in decades and certainly our most inexperienced. The quality of teams that have qualified for Brazil is very deep this cycle, and based on FIFA’s stupid seeding system, our draw – which was VERY favorable in 2010 – could be brutal. Here are my three simulated draws with no cherry-picking:
      #1: Belgium, Cameroon, England
      #2: Argentina, France, Russia
      #3: Colombia, France, Italy
      (…deep sigh…goes to the fridge for a beer)

      • usaalltheway says:

        Yeah, this really is the problem.

        You are absolutely correct with your assessments. This is why I am predicting zero goals and zero victories. No way on God’s green Earth is our current defense, or should I say seriously lack-there-of, going to hold ground against solid attacks. Teams like Russia and France will destroy and exploit every little mistake.

        JK has dug himself into this hole and he seems to stubborn to see that he needs to correct ASAP. Evans and Beasley aren’t good enough for the World Cup, at least not at their respective positions.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Amen. A lot of the commenter focus seems to be on who starts among good players, whether Jones starts, whether Kljestan or others sneak in. Embarrassment of riches.

          The issue is not there, except when Jones gets caught up. The issue is the defense leaks a goal or two every game which will (a) force the A team offense to pull a Panama every game or (b) lose you the games if you don’t. It’s a potential U23 situation with a great offense and a poor defense and I’m getting anxious it’s being resolved largely by shuffling the same set of usual suspects in and out, and not by freshening the pool much. Klinsi seems to think it’s “gel” and that he can get it done by popping in and out the same set of people, but I think it’s a talent issue among that pool.

          Whether this kneecaps us for Brazil will relate to the draw. 2006 draw, we will be in a world of pain. 2010 draw, we might be able to get two Ws outscoring opponents and squeak by, then lose in knockouts to someone who can expose us.

  26. AMPhibian says:

    why not try pairing MB with Evans in the middle? Evans is solid, and would allow MB to focus on orchestrating the attack.

  27. Ulysses says:

    Unlucky today. Where is the goal line technology when you need it? Cameron goal was not allowed. Many, many chances for USA. Austrian keeper blocked Cameron’s shot at close range. By the way, 4-2-3-1 formation just doesn’t work for USA. How about playing with 2 forwards? At least, we found a RB today. Cameron played well. Jones is a destroyer who doesn’t play destroyer. First half, the midfield was overwhelmed. Second half was so much better. USA controlled game, but couldn’t break down the Austrian bunker. Brek Shea shouldn’t start. AJ and Altidore need more time together. Bedoya was lackluster. No one made an early cross all game. USA players are reluctant when attacking. Too many back passes. Too predictable.

    Anyways, the starting 11 next summer is starting to look like this::

    ———- AJ —- Altidore
    Dempsey- Bradley-Jones-Donovan
    FabianJ – Besler – Gonzalez – Cameron
    ——— Howard ——

    Throw in Mix, Zusi, Bedoya, Johnson and Brek Shea as subs.

  28. AMPhibian says:

    Haha, you’re probably right. Jones has simply been playing rusty, and once again, reckless. I don’t think he’s inconsistent, I think he hasn’t been in solid form for awhile now. JK has to notice at this point, and should take the proper precautions to prepare for the chance Jones does not get his groove back in time for Brazil.

  29. Smokey says:

    These refs are idiots!!!!!!!!!!!! Cameron headed a goal. How can the ref not have seen such the shot!!! Then the hand ball near the end. Talk about homer calls. These refs better be better than they were in 2010 for they U.S. They really suck.Spain lost too today by the way. These are just friendlies, and I really think come June they will be much better and playing on neutral ground will help.However, the away games in Europe are invaluable. Tim Howard thinks the U.S. will get into the quarter finals.I think they will get there or even deeper. The U.S. will be solid.

  30. John says:

    So who has been the best wide midfeilder this year for US Soccer?

    • AMPhibian says:

      Tough, but Zusi made a good case this year, and I felt like Corona continued to improve. Even out of position, I would take those two over Shea, Bedoya, Mixx, or Sacha.

    • Bac says:

      Fabian Johnson in my opinion.
      He didn’t get enough games, a few missed due to injury, 1 suspension, 1 at LB & 1 at RB.
      But on the wing he’s the most complete winger we have.
      Delivered a few @$$ists, can also cut inside & use both feet, can defend and attack.

      He’s also our best LB

    • Just the Facts says:

      In 2013, based upon average points per game:

      1) Donovan
      2) Shea
      3) Corona
      4) Zusi
      5) Holden
      6) Bedoya
      7) Beckerman
      8) Diskerud
      9) Torres
      10) Bradley
      11) Jones
      12) Klejstan

    • beachbum says:

      Fabian imo

  31. AC says:

    Obviously the team should have played better, especially for players wanting to make the World Cup squad. Remember though, this is a November game where players usually just want to avoid injury. And no Donovan, Dempsey, Johnson, Besler, Zusi.

  32. John says:

    Klinsmann needs to decide if he really wants to play this style he has been talking about for so long or not. If the US wants to defend 90 minutes and win on set pieces and counter attacks then Jones is great. He covers alot of ground is strong and gives the team an edge. However Klinsmann has said he wants the US to play an attractive style with more possession. If thats the case then Jones doesn’t fit into it at all. It feels like Klinsmann wants them to play one way but then puts out of lineup that doesn’t reflect that. I’m just not sure what this teams identity is at the moment.

  33. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Lichaj got roughly 15 minutes in each match, so we still haven’t had the chance to see what he can offer. The same thing has happened with Boyd, but over the course of two years. Disappointing.

    Also, I assumed ESPN3 would have the replay. Dumb assumption on my part.

  34. LM says:

    I stopped watching the game after the subs came in on the second half because it was so ridiculous of Klinsmann to change Johannsson when up to that point he was the only one who had actually tried to do something to find a goal unlike Jones who kept on fighting with some player there and Brooks who practically let the ball pass him by and allowed that goal. I also think Shea still had something to proved before he was taking out but the midfield and Jozy were being so selfish and not passing the ball his side. I mean what do you really expect to get without any teamwork and the coaching staff better figure out what to do and fast

  35. Since 82 says:

    Jones, by far and away, is the largest issue facing this team. I believe that he both offers little and detracts from MB90. I would roll the dice and play Mixx with Bradley IF one thinks Cameron is the answer at RB. If not, play Cameron and leave Evans at RB.

    My central argument with Jones is he takes the match away from our best player. That’s a problem.

  36. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    As bad as it has been in these friendlies….putting Donovan and Dempsey in there and it is a completely different game…both games.

    ALL of the guys that people are complaining about are marginal national team members. 100% true. Some of them are going to make the team and they deserve to make the team. They may not be your first choice (or mine), but they are not much worse than your first choice, inspite of your (and my ) biases.

  37. STEVE says:

    KLINSMANN OUT!! COMPLETE FAILURE OF COACH. TIME FOR NEW COACH!!

    • Smokey says:

      Semi finals with Klinsi, dude. By the time 2014 rolls around the team will be very prepared and a team loaded with experience. Who care about the draw, the U.S. will be at least in the quarter finals.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Although it’s a bit much to put your sentiments all in caps, you are correct. He is not a good coach. Why is it so hard for many of you to see this???

  38. Smokey says:

    Screw the ref. Total homer calls. The ball was clearly over the line plus a hand ball. In the second half, another hand ball. What a prick ref. This is only a friendly and no harm done , but there better be quality refs at this next WC. They better have instant reply in Brazil.

  39. Smokey says:

    By the way, for all of you morons, it is Colombia not Columbia. Please buy a brain.

  40. Gary Page says:

    Considering that the US was denied a clear goal and the US controlled the game the second half, I only have one major concern. Why does the US wait until the last 30 minutes to really play hard? The worst thing about this game is that for most of it, Austria out hustled the US. That should not happen. One of Klinsmann’s goals is to play 90 minutes of pressure soccer, pressing high, attacking, having players in superb shape to run all 90 minutes. We didn’t see anything like this over the last two games. There is no excuse for not playing hard. I hope and trust we see a different effort in the WC.

    • John says:

      I didn’t think Austria out hustled the US. I just think they put everyone behind the ball and bunker-ed in the last 35 minutes

  41. Landon Klinsman says:

    Sports writers are so resigned to hyperbole. It is a shame that a decent game has to be clouded by over-generalizations. The U.S. gave up glaring chances and were lucky to have been only a goal down. But they also had a few chances and by the end of the game they easily could have tied, and perhaps scored the go-ahead goal. Shame that we have to use terms like “underwhelming” because team USA was inches away from being impressive.

  42. AH says:

    Not the result we wanted, but we don’t necessarily play friendlies for results. I thought we played well and definitely 10 times better than we played against Scotland. Despite the scoreline I thought we were the better team, had some good combination play, and were unlucky not to score.

    The disallowed goal in the first half was unlucky and the goalkeeper made a good/lucky point blank save against Cameron in the second half.

    Cameron and Bradley were good. Johansson was good. Mix looked pretty good. I thought that Brooks had a solid game overall. I don’t put that goal on him. He had to come off his guy because Shea didn’t track back and then couldn’t react when Shea’s man didn’t touch the ball on its way through.

    Jones did not.

    Brek Shea did his best impression of a giraffe on rollerblades all game.

    • AH says:

      Jones did not look good I mean.

    • Don says:

      The goal was mostly Beasley’s fault. He left his mark alone outside and his mark delivered the cross.

      Beasley makes far too many mistakes to be a defender. Both him and Evans are the weakest links

      • Byrdman says:

        Beasley left his mark to cover because Gonzo got stretch high and didnt recover. Beasley’s decision was actually the fundamentally correct one. Furthermore if you watch the play from the sideline view you can see the Omar tracks back slowly, even looking at Janko, but never moves to mark him. While it was a tough play for JAB to deflect the pass already deflected before reaching him, it is one that we needed and will need him to make in the future. Just my two cents

        • Chicago Josh says:

          At halftime, NBC Sports caught Shea losing his man and failing to track back, but more important in the whole scheme of things was Jermaine Jones’ terrible give-away that started the Austrian attack leading to the goal.

  43. Rabbit says:

    My perspective (which stands in stark contrast to Franco Panizo’s and many commenters on here):

    1) I don’t know what game some of you were watching, but we played WELL. We came in on European soil against a team that 15 years ago would have thought we were a joke, and we had the better of the play against them. Better possession, better athleticism, and I think even better chances. I thought we were largely very confident and composed, and we definitely worked our buutts off the whole game and really tried to win it.

    2) The ball didn’t want to go in the net for us today. That’s ok. It happens. Even when we scored what was probably a goal, it wasn’t awarded. We also had some shots in front of goal that didn’t pan out — the keeper somehow kept Cameron’s effort out though I think he knew little about it, and one defender used his nuuts to block MB’s shot.

    3) Obviously we were without two of our best players of all time and at least one other starter.

    4) Shea did not look confident. Maybe it was that slip early in the game that drew the derision of the crowd.

    5) Peoples expectations get out of whack. We’re not going to go into Austria and blast their national team 3-0 through wonder goals from Jozy, Aron, and Boyd. We were super competitive, showed heart, forced them to play behind the ball, and created chances. They didn’t go in the net this time. No need to sound alarm bells.

  44. Hayes says:

    Cameron, IMO, is not the answer at RB. He gets caught up and in the middle because he provides no width with his runs. By nature, he wants to play in the center and that is where he makes his runs. Really hope Dolo makes it back.

    Cameron, on the other hand, does have the skill set to step in an play in the center with Bradley. Look at other countries (Austria for instance) and you will always find guys that play different positions for club and country.

    Really hope F Johnson ends up at LB providing width with Dempsey in front of him. Donovan on the right, Cameron and Bradley in the middle with Altidore up top paired with Boyd/AJ or with Mix underneath depending on set up. Dempey pinching in would provide that extra support for Atidore with FJ providing the width on that side.

  45. Pingback: Orlando named 21st MLS team, US ends 2013 with a loss, WC field nearly set, bloopers, more

  46. barnie says:

    one name, McGee, would have been a perfect fit, not a big wondo fan, wasted sub

  47. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Jones slowly on the decline, Jones is lazy as Dempsey with tired face all the time.

    Shea isn’t a starter and Shea is better coming off bench.

    Brooks had a learning experience by getting his ass kicked. Still young and needs more cap, not a starter yet.

  48. Dc says:

    I know they are young and full of steam, but you have to love that when AJ or Boyd lose the ball, they don’t throw up their arms like Altidore, Johnson, Dempsey, they try and win the ball back right away, and half the time they end up pressuring them into giving it back. That is a quality that every striker should have, always.

  49. jaybeezwax says:

    Only three players looked good for the first 3 quarters of the match.
    Bedoya did well to find the game but was pretty much on an island on the right side.
    Omar did well even though he was picking up the slack for Brooks.
    Bradley was pretty much on an island in the mid/defense

    Everyone else looked sloppy
    Beasely – over powered for most of the match
    Brooks – couldn’t hold the defensive line and got burned a few times; too green
    Cameron – His game was overrated; put in an average performance at best. still looked better than at center back
    Jones – slow, easily dispossessed, hindered Bradley’s ability to get forward
    Shea – all talent/no results. Too much of a liability to keep calling him up and waiting for him to figure it out. He’s taking up space that could be occupied by a more deserving player.
    Johannssen – Looked lost in the play maker roll. Should be kept at winger/lead striker.
    Jozie – refuses to drop to find the game; easily dispossed for someone of his stature. Petulant

    What I would have liked to see…
    EJ not played at left winger
    Sasha keep coming off the bench/not in a playmaker position.
    Mix in playmaker position
    Camron as holding mid in place of Jones
    Johannsen or boyd up top instead of Jozi to see what they can do.
    Lejich at left back to build depth

  50. McG says:

    The European friendlies weren’t all that exciting but we did learn a few things:

    #1. Jermaine Jones is not the center midfielder to pair with Bradley. In both Glascow and Vienna, the US finally got a spark when Jones was subbed out of the game. When he came on for Jones, the high energy Mix Master D allowed Bradley to take over the midfield. It could be Cameron, Kljestan, or Mix that starts alongside Bradley in Brazil but Jones showed us that he isn’t the guy.

    #2. Jeff Cameron is the best American right back. It was nice to finally see Lichaj and Evans fills a role but Cameron showed what we have been looking for since Cherundolo went down. He did his duty shutting down his side and was totally comfortable leading the attack with the ball at his feet. He got down the line and whipped dangerous crosses into the box. With the captain of a Bundeslega League team challenging an English Premier League starter for right back, it’s now the USA’s strongest position.

    Starting 11 in Brazil:

    Howard
    Cameron Goodson Omar Fabian
    Landon Mix Bradley Dempsey
    Jozy Iceman

  51. Just the Facts says:

    Which US national team midfielder had the highest offensive contribution in 2013? ** any points achieved against concacaf opponents is worth half as much as European opponents.

    Read it and weep………
    1 – Donovan, 1.32 points/90 minutes of play – “Still No. 1″
    2 – Shea, 0.89 point/90 minutes of play – “Good, but not pretty or consistent”
    3 – Holden, 0.57 points/90 minutes of play – “unfortunate”
    4 – Davis, 0.54 points/90 minutes of play – “may be undervalued”
    5 – Corona, 0.46 points/90 minutes of play – “overshadowed due to new club coach”
    6 – Zusi,, 0.43 points/90 minutes of play – “should receive a plane ticket to Brazil”
    7 – Bedoya, 0.43 points/90 minutes of play – “better than people realize”
    8 – Bradley, 0.14 points/90 minutes of play – “good, but not THAT good”
    9 – Beckerman, 0.14 points/90 minutes of play – “Yawn…….”
    10- Mixx, 0.14 points/90 minutes of play – “rather Mix, than JJ”
    11 – Torres, 0.12 points/90 minutes of play – “nothing”
    12 – Jones, 0.07 points/90 minutes of play – “overrated, maybe he is the nephew of Schalke’s owner”
    13 – Klejstan, 0.00 points/90 minutes of play – “it’s just not there my friends……..just not there……..”

    • Dennis says:

      Interesting, Of course Donavon did spend a good part of that time as a forward and the holding mids (Jones, Bradley, Sasha, and Beckerman) are not really tasked with getting forward as their primary focus, sure they should contribute some, but it is not realistic to suppose that guys whose primary responsibility is to defend will have great numbers in the attack. It is a bit surprising that Mix comes out so low compared to the other guys who were tasked similarly to him. Not so surprising that Donavon (who was really a forward most of the time) and Shea (who mostly just waited until he got a chance to use his speed to attack, else did little) are the leaders when presented in this format.

  52. Dennis says:

    It will be interesting to see how Ives grades Bradley. I thought he made at least 3 bad giveaways, each could have resulted in goals for the opposition and his free kicks were off about half the time. Also I thought he spent too much time playing between our CBs and was not able to get forward (but that might be as much the fault of Jones as with Bradley). Still Bradley did serve some good balls and certainly did better in that regard than most of his teammates despite a lack of consistency.