SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Alejandro Bedoya

Alejandro Bedoya

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

If there was a bright spot in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s uninspired performance from Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat in a friendly against Ukraine, it was Alejandro Bedoya.

In a game that featured a disjointed back-line performance and a punchless showing by central attackers Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore — concerning indeed for the USMNT’s hopes in Brazil — it was Bedoya on the right wing who appeared to be the most dangerous in the Yanks attack. Bedoya beat out Tim Howard, Geoff Cameron, and Aron Johannsson for the honor.

Most of Bedoya’s best work came in the second half, with Ukraine controlling most of the action early on.

He teamed up with Kljestan, Altidore and Dempsey on a nice build-up in the 49th minute. But Bedoya’s shot was blocked out for a corner kick.

Right back Geoff Cameron and Bedoya teamed up to get a cross in to Altidore, but his header went over the crossbar in the 51st minute. Bedoya then made a strong run in the 52nd minute that ended with a nice look that rolled just wide of the far post.

He finished with two of just six shots for the USMNT.

In his 27th cap, Bedoya’s performance Wednesday was yet another resume builder for Brazil 2014 after solid work last summer in the USMNT’s first Gold Cup championship in six years.

The performance on Wednesday likely helped Bedoya case for a World Cup spot as USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann searches for a true winger to add to his final roster. Bedoya has widely been considered one of the many bubble players needing to make their best case to be included this summer.

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What do you think of Bedoya’s performance? Was there anyone else who impressed you against Ukraine?

Share your comments below.

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113 Responses to SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Alejandro Bedoya

  1. TomG says:

    I disagree. I thought Bedoya was occasionally dangerous, but not very clean at all. He had a couple awful turnovers on easy passes that killed promising attacks, notably one give and go with Altidore. He was also late pulling out of the zone on one play keeping a man onside and almost costing a goal. I think Timmy is the only possible choice for MOTM. Everyone else who started was pretty lackluster. Oddly enough, I thought Shea looked like a big matchup problem and the most dangerous man on the pitch after he got on, though he flubbed an easy cross after a nice cutback.

    • user222 says:

      I saw the same…

      Dempsey was his lately self… awful! too slow, too many bad passes/first touches.

      Altidore was awful too… holds the ball when needs to pass it, and passes the ball when he needs to take on the defender…. his first touch betrays him at the worst possible time.

      Both Jozy and Dempsey displayed lousy technique on headers. Jozy’s should’ve been on target and not over the bar… wtf, If you only get one chance you need to execute… no excuses.

      I still like Shea as a sub only, playing in England even in 2nd division helps him get confident. He only plays 35-40 minutes, he needs to hustle a lot more in defense.

      Dempsey was his lately self… awful! too slow, too many bad passes/first touches.

      Altidore was awful too… holds the ball when needs to pass it, and passes the ball when he needs to take on the defender.

      Both Jozy and Dempsey displayed lousy technique on headers. Jozy’s should’ve been on target and not over the bar… wtf, If you only get one chance you need to execute… no excuses.

      Cameron defends well and is comfortable with the ball but got beat a couple times, not enough pace for outside fullback, he will get roast by speedy wingers at the WC. He doesn’t cross the ball well, most crosses are over the goal or floaters, they need to be ropers…

      • Philly Union Used to Rule says:

        Bedoya was effective and showed passion that seemed to lack from the rest of the US squad. He was crisp, clean, and his movement with the ball was the best the USMNT showed on the night

        • TomG says:

          Definitely not clean. He had 3 turnovers that were easy short passes without any pressure on him.

    • Dennis says:

      I thought Cameron was the most consistently good player for the USMNT. In addition to being the only US starting back not caught badly out of position, he successfully joined the attack when it became possible in the 2nd half.

      Bedoya was OK, but he did not impress any more than Dempsey which is faint praise in this game.

      Jones was the other field player who looked mostly good, but where was he on the first goal? In addition to the 2 CBs being asleep, neither CM was any where near to track the deep run.

      Howard was called on for a couple impossible saves, but other than those 1v1s he really did not have that much that was difficult.

  2. Eric says:

    Men of the Match (in absentia): Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler. Take a bow, gents.

  3. bryan says:

    100% agree. Bedoya was solid in this game. IMO, he booked his ticket to Brazil. those reports about him impressing in camp clearly weren’t joking. the guy looked very good.

    • Paul Miller says:

      I’m okay with him on the roster (in case JK was wondering), but I don’t think he’s built a case for starting.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Bedoya is certainly in contention with Zusi for the starting position. One area of his game that has definitely improved since he moved to France is his set piece delivery – our corner kicks were quite dangerous.

  4. Ralph says:

    How is Jermaine Jones not even on your list? Not even kidding. That’s embarrassing.

    • TomG says:

      Not sure how JJ gets any love when the central midfield was completely dominated by Ukraine in the first half with Ukrainians running free through the middle of the field and very little pressure on the ball. Add to that that JJ didn’t complete a single pass that led to anything and he had a pretty poor game, IMO. He’s clearly not back in form or fitness yet. At least he was safe and clean on the ball, though, as opposed to his partner.

      • SBI TroII says:

        “Add to that that JJ didn’t complete a single pass that led to anything and he had a pretty poor game, IMO”

        Disagree. He saved Castillo’s bottom numerous times and was all over the pitch. Kljestan often was missing in spots that Jones had to cover for. As for the comment above, he sent a really nice ball in the second half to Dempsey that he let roll away from him. A nice trap and shot, would have led to a goal. Hey, you asked for one…

        • TomG says:

          I actually though the pass was too heavy. It needed a bit of backspin. Deuce didn’t let it roll away from him, he played it through as I’m assuming JJ meant it to be.

          • SBI TroII says:

            Seeing the replay of that, he let it roll past him. He could have taken a touch and had a one on one with the defender but he choose to try and poke it past a charging keeper. But in the end it was still a dangerous pass from Jones.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      I agree. Not MOTM for me, but Jones deserves some credit for not screwng the pooch like so many others. He did play a nice pass to Deuce, who let it roll on to the keeper.

      • TomG says:

        He didn’t let it roll to the keeper, he chased it full speed and was even able to poke it out of the keeper’s grip for an instant. The ball was just a bit too heavy. It needed a touch of backspin.

        • QuakerOtis says:

          He let it roll. He could have corralled it with a soft touch to keep it close. Instead, he let it roll…

          • TomG says:

            That was the whole intent of the pass, I believe. If he stops the ball, the defense is on him, instead he plays it through and past the defense.

            • QuakerOtis says:

              Just to cap-off our pointless side convo: I know it was a throughball, but you could see it was heavy an
              d needed a touch. Clint didn’t exactly chase it with gusto either. But ok.

              • TomG says:

                You can’t touch a through ball, that’s the whole point. You touch it and it stops. He could have touched it wide, but then would not have had an angle to shoot. If he touches it centrally, it gets intercepted.

              • The Garrincha says:

                Quaker Otis, with you there.
                My final two cents.
                It was a good and dangerous through ball by JJ.
                Deuce could have given the ball a slight touch as it passed him to slow it down for control, in this case with the outside of his right foot.
                Or Deuce could have blasted it one time on the turn. Being positioned at or inside the post, and just inside the box he would have had good quick first strike opportunity.
                Deuce took option three which was to let the ball run.
                that is the last option unless the player knows for sure they are clear and in the open, however inside the box particularly at the top level the keeper is going to be on you in no time. Watch Neuer scary how fast he protects the top of the box.

      • Chris H says:

        Hey, he only fell down “injured” one time this game! That deserves man of the match!

        Actually, kidding aside, I thought I saw the Jones that others say he is in the 2nd half when he was hustling down attackers, didn’t see that as much in the first half, but for about 15 minutes at the start of the 2nd, he was world class.

  5. Garth says:

    I guess that I’m the only one who thought Dempsey looked solid. True, he wasn’t much of an offensive threat, but he did appear to be the only one out there who could trap a ball and make a decent pass (albeit control rather than attacking).

    • QuakerOtis says:

      I wouldn’t agree on “solid”, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as people have been saying on other threads.

      • downintexas says:

        The game was not as bad as most fans think. They need to keep in mind we had 6 starters in our XI v UKR. JAB and Gooch both coming off an injuries and not going to be in the starting XI in Brazil IF they make it. Castillo has told everyone he is not a good defender. Dempsey who is a starter has not played much the last month or so.

        Put in our starting XI it could have been a different game. I know that is a what if, but a majority of these players are not going to Brazil and if they do they are not starting.

    • TomG says:

      He was pretty clean on the ball, but I thought he needed to be more dangerous off the ball and win some balls like he used to do a couple years ago.

    • Chris says:

      The thing is, the USMNT needs Dempsey to play at a higher level than ‘solid.’

  6. Brad says:

    I can get on board with this. Jones would have been my choice.

  7. Kyuui-Musikq says:

    Edgar Castillo was one of the most demanding attacking presences the US had out their tonight. You don’t know what your looking at if you don’t see all the positives he brings to the table with his game. How many times was he fouled and earned one few number of set pieces we had tonight?

    Having the technical ability to operate in tight spaces and making difficult successful dynamic plays or being able to cut into the midfield from his position and land nutmegs on everyone is something that he does unheralded, yet, still better then some of our best midfield players

    • Dinho says:

      Yes, but you’re forgetting something. He’s a defender. If you can’t defend, you don’t belong at LB. If he was playing left-side of midfield, you would have a valid argument. He wasn’t.

      • bryan says:

        to be fair to Castillo, he’s even said he shouldn’t play defense. that’s on JK.

        • downintexas says:

          +1

        • Dinho says:

          I did not know that. If that’s true, then JK takes full responsibility. Do you have a link?

          The point nevertheless stands. One cannot be considered a man of the match as a LB after failing to properly defend. :)

          • bryan says:

            “Castillo does not consider himself a good defender, he said, but he is working on that aspect of his game in hopes of achieving his goals — both with the Xolos and with the national team.”

            i believe he’s said it a few times. Ives always makes reference to it too.

      • Kyuui-Musikq says:

        Right, because he’s a WB. Theoretically, in a four man defense, you need each and every player to be a strong individual defender, who in our case at LB, would probably be Fabian Johnson, who was pretty good today himself defensively.

        But as a player to put on in the last seconds of the game if pushing for a goal he’s ideal and would be perfect to have on the bench as an impact sub because he’s one of the most impactful left wingers we have with very special traits

        And the tactics called for Castillo to push high behind Fabian Johnson while Brooks was supposed to push up high behind Castillo, but he played poorly today and constantly didn’t know what to do really.

        • Dinho says:

          Huh?

          “Right, because he’s a WB. Theoretically, in a four man defense, you need each and every player to be a strong individual defender, who in our case at LB, would probably be Fabian Johnson, who was pretty good today himself defensively.”

          I’m not sure how your argument makes sense. First, Castillo STARTED as LB in a four-man defense. F. Johnson did not. So, as one of the four-men in defense, Castillo should be a strong individual defender. He is not and showed that today.

          And, “Brooks was supposed to push up high behind Castillo”?!?!?! What? Brooks is a CB. He needs to stay central and not get stretched from Gooch. This also did not happen, which resulted in gaping holes and goals.

          That all said, I agree that F. Johnson should play LB over Castillo. And, I’ll take Zusi and/or Donovan any day over Castillo at the LM role….

          And, I’m glad you are not the coach :)

          • Kyuui-Musikq says:

            My argument is clearly geared towards why he deserves a place as a substitute and not for why he should be the starter at LB, or why he should be your next congressman, so I don’t see the reason for all this maligned anger but…

            In modern day tactics the players and their positions and what their assigned responsibilities are of extreme variance and their explanation is beyond the depth of what you can read from the title of their position The only reason why Castillo started today was because Fabian Johnson was starting ahead of him, someone with the necessary attributes to supplement the defensive deficiencies on the left that came with starting Castillo when he makes his marauding runs into the center of the field or overlaps on the wing. And yes, all the while Brooks was supposed to push up in support of the mifield and the outside backs, making sure to spread the ball adequately down the left and when the ball gets played over Castillo, seeing that defender out wide.

            Early in the game Clint even screamed for the center backs to push up. They never did that well of course so Clint Dempsey had to start dropping deeper to try and try and get the ball.

            If this all seems alien to you I’m sorry but this is the how the game of football is played on an advanced level.

            • Dinho says:

              That’s not what your post above implies.

              And, maybe there was some confusion with what you meant by Brooks pushing up behind Castillo. If you mean keeping a high-line and applying pressure from front to back, that is something completely different to pushing up behind Castillo, which implies that Brooks is to provide a lot of high width coverage for Castillo. THAT is what I would disagree with.

              And, don’t get all high and mighty with me and tell me about “advanced level” of football. I understand and played the sport for too many years to count.

              At the end, perhaps it is due to the confusing way that you expressed your opinion.

              Here. This sums it up.

              Castillo is good running at players. He cannot defend. Fabian Johnson is good at both. Zusi/Donovan are good at both, but perhaps lack the one-on-one ability of Castillo going forward. For my money, I take both Zusi and Donovan starting in front of Castillo at LM. To bring him as a sub is somewhat okay with me.

              • Kyuui-Musikq says:

                Nor do I think Castillo should start at LW. Again, he’s great situational player to bring on if your trying for a goal at the end of time and that’s, where is think his best fit is.

                Zusi and Bedoya have both proven ineffective on the left, which is why Klinsmann continues to bring in guys who are completely on the outside of making a spot in the WC (Shea, B. Davis) in the hopes that someone is an effective option their but nobody is. Which is the same reason Castillo got will be on the team and Brek Shea, whom he started over, will not.

              • Dinho says:

                I think you are right that JK takes either Castillo or Shea, but not both. But, not sure who gets the nod at this point…..

        • bryan says:

          Castillo has never actually played as a LWB though…

          not for TJ not for the US.

        • The Garrincha says:

          Well said QMusik. Castillo as with Shea are good to consider as change up, situational, and substitute type players.
          Bedoya has raised his stock because he is showing a greater degree of skill and versatility in his game, whether that be in the free kick department or just all out effort offensively and defensively he at the very give this. I have always been on the fence regarding Bedoya.
          He has grown and benefited by going to Nantes Atlantique.
          Now just get Josy out of Sunderland preferably back to AZ on transfer/loan tomorrow.

    • bryan says:

      he is not MOTM though due to his defensive woes. this game just proved Castillo should be used as a winger and not a defender for the US. he does look great going forward and that was one positive for him today.

    • TomG says:

      He was awful defensively and did very little offensively except for hitting a cross that fell short.

    • UclaBruinGreat says:

      I agree. Castillo should be a starter for us in the World Cup, but at Left-Wing/Left-Mid. He is much better than FJ, Brek Shea and Suzi in that role. Fabian Johnson should start at Left-Back.

      Why can’t Klinsmann see this?? I wan’t to smack him, knock some sense into him.

      • Kyuui-Musikq says:

        I don’t think Klinsmann is comfortable playing him there because he’s always play a wing back role, and I’m not sure if he ever played there for his club teams, but even so, if the tactics are tuned well enough, he could be just as impactful at LB as LW

        The decision to play Fabian Johnson ahead of Castillo today was made because statistically, FJ is a goal threat in the box and can operate well enough in that position, but also because his defensive qualities help also balance out the appropriate defensive efficiency needed on the left side, while Castillo is either cutting into space or trying to make overlapping runs.

        Meanwhile, Brooks should’ve been pressing up the whole time up the left and didn’t decide to start until later in the games. But the whole back line was a mess and didn’t know what to do positionally or tactically.

        • bryan says:

          Castillo plays LB in a 4 man defense for TJ every week. Beasley plays the LWB for Puebla. i think you confused the two.

          • Kyuui-Musikq says:

            Your right techically, but he’s always playing attacking football on the field like a wingback although he did play as an actual wing back under Muhammed at times there

            • The Garrincha says:

              based on what I see on LB at the moment. it looks like a carrousel of Beasely, FJ, and Castillo, Any two may start and become interchangeable.
              In reality we are looking at the entire left flank throw in maybe Shea. and this is also why JG becomes very desirable for that 23rd spot.

  8. Bac says:

    I gotta disagree with this MOTM ….
    1. Bedoya had a few nice runs and p@$$es in the 2nd half, 1 shot, and 1 great clearing header near our goal, but he had some bad traps, weak p@$$es, got caught out of position a few times
    2. He got 11% of the SBI MOTM vote
    3. Timmy kept it from being 4-0… and almost made it a miracle draw….
    4. Jones & Cam both played better than AB… they may not have played great, but I’d put AB 4th

  9. biff says:

    Sorry, cannot take this seriously at all, naming Bedoya man of the match. This is a joke, right? If not, you really lose a lot of credibility doing this.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      I hear you, but look at what the game provided… not much to work with.

      My MOTM: The physio who massaged JJ’s obliques.

  10. user222 says:

    on the first goal, Brooks got caught but Castillo stopped tracking his guy who continue running to the box an eventually scored. This is basic defending skills. Castillo is a liability.

  11. Don the Jewler says:

    He had a few bad moments but you can definitely see the quality in Brooks. Unfortunately he and Gooch were out of Zinc, that and an undermanned mid field left the US chasing all night

  12. Dc says:

    Only one positive from this game, AJ still looks good!

  13. SBI TroII says:

    Jürgen got a ton of credit last year for his selections so its only fair he takes the blame here. Playing Castillo at left back was a horrendous mistake.

    First off you have a back line that has never played together and a left back who says he isn’t good at defense. Johnson needed to play as a fullback along with Cameron on the right to give the team some familiarity. Johnson is also best at LB since the squad has Donovan, Dempsey, Bedoya, and Zusi as the attacking kids, not to mention Johannsson, Agudelo can also play there.

    Williams should have also played instead of Kljestan. With the defense a weak spot, this team needed a player who could sit in front of the back line and shield them, leaving Jones the ability to get into attack. In addition, Williams hasn’t featured for the US in a while and could have made a statement passing Beckerman as the 3rd CM.

    Lastly, Johansson needed to feature in the starting 11. He is on fire with AZ, hasn’t much time with the senior team since his one-time switch. I would have liked to see him come in on the left and interchange with Dempsey to give Jozy some support up top. A 4-4-2 from the start could have been nice but I don’t see them using that in the World Cup, so Aron on the left was my choice.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      We’ll said

    • Kyuui-Musikq says:

      But he didn’t start anyone else on the bench because he rates Castillo ahead of anyone who can play LW on the bench and was more curious to see these players play with each other and their chemistry together because they compliment each other well.

  14. Bruce Arena says:

    Yeah, definitely should have been Timmy. No real grudge against Bedoya. It is upsetting how sluggish Dempsey is though. Just seems to be wandering around without much effort, with an uninterested look on his face.

    • jb says:

      I’ll disagree with Dempsey looking uninterested. He looked plenty committed to me, including the tussle at the end after he was kneed in the groin. As far as his play, I thought he was ok in the first half, but tired badly in the second. He is obviously not at 100% fitness or form for whatever reason. But he is one of the four or five players that we have to play, and hope finds that form for Brazil. There is no substitute for the quality he is capable of.

      Jones was my MOTM. Dude was everywhere, trying to pick up the slack of every player around him. Hats off to his effort. What the he** happened to Klejstan?

  15. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Please start Castillo at left-mid/left-wing from now on!! Play FJ at left-back! World Cup starters should be:
    ————————-Altidore/Johannsson————————–
    E.Castillo——————-Donovan———Suzi/Bedoya/J.Green (if he switches)
    ——————–Bradley————-Jones—————————
    F. Johnson—-Besler———O. Gonzalez——–T.Chandler/Cameron
    ———————————-Howard———————————–

    • Dinho says:

      I think if Cameron and Chandler are both healthy….. you have a duel between Cameron and Gonzalez as to who starts at CB. For me, Cameron wins. Gonzalez scares me.

      I really like Donovan in the “hole” but I prefer if we played 2 up front. Something like this:

      ——————Johannsson——Donovan —————–
      E.Castillo———————————–———Zusi/Bedoya/J.Green (if he switches)
      ——————–Bradley————-Jones—————————
      F. Johnson——–Besler———Cameron———T.Chandler
      —————————-Howard—————

      • UclaBruinGreat says:

        That works for me too.

      • Chris H says:

        If Dempsey regains form and focus, where would he fit in your lineup?

        If the old Deuce returns, then I’d keep your lineup, dropping Jones for Dempsey at CAM and Bradley at CDM.

        • Dinho says:

          If Dempsey returns to his form, then I put him up top with Johannsson. I then move LD to either right or left-side of midfield.

    • The Garrincha says:

      You could slot Green on the left side, in fact he has the skill and ability to play left, middle, right, or striker, kinda sounds a little like a true number 10?.

  16. dibo says:

    Bedoya is in good form – playing a lot of minutes for his club – not a stretch that he looks good out there in comparison to some of our other players who are not playing as much right now. It’s not just what he does/doesn’t do on certain plays – it’s his overall game. You look at your team and you know when a player is fit and thinking quickly – quicker than teammates, sadly. For me, Bedoya was that player today.

  17. bryan says:

    Chalkboard (Opta) stats backing this up. so you all can complain as much as you want, but it’s pretty obvious Bedoya played well. Bedoya, Jones, and Howard with the best numbers. Cameron not too far behind.

    it’s incredible how effective Jones was from a statistical standpoint. he CRUSHED Kljestan in everything.

    • jb says:

      I don’t need stats to tell me about Klejstan. Really disappointed from him because I can remember last cycle when he had some dominating performances for the USMNT. One would think with his experience and ability we could count on him as Bradley’s backup. After this game though, you have to think his chances are over.

  18. Expat4455 says:

    biff, you made a statement of fact about Timothy Chandler in another thread and I am calling you on it.
    You said: “his (Chandler’s) coach, Verbeek, was saying in December he (Chandler) did not do enough to help Nürnberg, who (Verbeek) wanted to bring in a better right back.”

    Please post a link where what you stated can be proven. I believe you are full of it and made it up but if you can prove your outrageous accusation against Timothy Chandler well…………………..

    • bryan says:

      typical Biff. luckily Chandler went on to play extremely well before getting injured and i can’t find anything stating Chandler is being shopped around. not saying it does not exist, but given Biff’s history with Chandler related news, i have my doubts too.

      • Expat4455 says:

        This is a very serious accusation and I hope biff can give us a link, or something, to prove the outrageous accusation he stated as fact is true. We are talking, in public, about a professional athlete here, whose income if affected by public perception.

      • biff says:

        @bryan: I like to read your comments and you seem to be a nice guy. But, please, do not misquote me. I did not say that “Chandler is being shopped around.” I think Chandler is overrated and I think Cameron and F Johnson are both better fullbacks. And I also think that although a maority of the inherent physical skills of Brad Evans and Michael Parkhurst might lag those of Chandler, that both Evans and Parkhurst have something within called heart and the will to fight for the shirt that in the end would make them better choices for WC 2014 than Chandler.

        Timothy Chandler will have a clean slate in August after the WC 2014 to prove not only his commitment to the USMNT for WC 2018, but that he is good enough to play for the USMNT. He has not proved either thus far in the WC 2014 cycle. If Chandler proves both in the years leading up to WC 2018, I would have no problem supporting him wholeheartedly like I now support Cameron and Fabian.

    • biff says:

      @Expat4455: Hmmm. A few comments I would like to make about your tirades, but I’ll pass. Here’s one link

      link to kicker.de

    • biff says:

      Now, Expat4455, I would like to respectfully ask you about a statement of fact that you have been perpetuating on the SBI boards numerous times in the past couple of weeks. You have been saying that Chandler “made the Bundesliga eleven of the week for 2 straight weeks before he was injured.”

      link to soccerbyives.net

      I have checked both Bundesliga.de and Goal.com and could not find Chandler listed as a member of the Bundesliga 11 of the week on either Web site for the first two weeks after the winter break. I am not accusing you of making this up, because maybe I made a mistake in reading Bundesliga.de and Goal.com, or maybe you are referring to other publications. Could you please provide links to a publication (or publications) that lists Chandler as a player of the week for each of the two weeks before he was injured? Thanks.

  19. Dinho says:

    Based on what I’m reading about today, this is my best guess at the 23 with a plane ticket:

    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando (3)
    D: Cameron, Besler, Gonzalez, Beasley, Orozco, Goodson, Evans/(Chandler) (8)
    M: Donovan, Zusi, Bradley, Jones, Williams, Diskerud, F. Johnson, Bedoya (8)
    F: Johannsson, Altidore, Dempsey, Agudelo/(Green) (4)

    And, MY preferred starting XI (assuming Chandler is healthy) (yes, I know you don’t rate Chandler):

    ——————-—-Howard———————
    Chandler——Cameron—Besler—–F.Johnson
    ————–Bradley—–Williams———
    Bedoya —————-——————— Zusi
    ——– Johannsson —-– Donovan ————-

    If Chandler is not healthy, Cameron plays RB and Gonzalez slides in with Besler. Either way, that leaves Jones, Dempsey and Altidore coming off the bench, which I think would be good subs if we need them (i.e. Jones comes in to kill the game, Dempsey/Altidore come in for more a “spark” and add something different to the lineup).

    Never going to happen, but this is MY reality, damn it.

    • Expat4455 says:

      Good to see you list Green. I am hopeful still.

    • dewey says:

      Beckerman is definitely going to Brazil ahead of Danny Williams.

      • Dinho says:

        I wouldn’t say that’s a “definite.” Williams is German-American, remember? :)

      • bryan says:

        you better knock on wood. Williams is in form and his play today was very good. his play for Reading and if he keeps it up, Beckerman better look out. i do agree Beckerman is still ahead of him, but i wouldn’t pencil him in.

      • Increase0 says:

        Oh don’t be silly if there is anyone Jurgen clearly loves as much as say JJ its Beckerman.

    • The Garrincha says:

      Like your list Dinho,
      Only thing, I would replace Green with Williams and put EJ in Greens spot with Agudelo,
      And I hope Chandler, gets match fit ASAP.

  20. dude1 says:

    Bedoya man of the match? I would have said F. Johnson, continues with consistent class, and was the only defender in the hemisphere on the second goal.

    Zusi abides. We really could have used him in this game, we needed stats more than whatever Ives saw Bedoya bringing.

  21. Expat4455 says:

    In any sport there are good and very good players. What makes great players is how they, and their play, affects the other players on their team. Like Larry Bird for instance. His presence and play made every other player on his team play better, so good in fact, that he took Indiana State to the NCAA final game. And Terry Bradshaw for the Steelers, he played for a coach who hated him and did everything to keep Terry from starting. However, Terry was a great player and his teammates played like there was no tomorrow, with many of them making the Hall of Fame. I could name so many more.

    If Julian Green comes to the U.S. National team he has that chance, to be a Larry or Terry.

  22. Brad says:

    Remember a few years ago when we’d all collectively groan when we’d send a team of MLS players to these USMNT games? How times have changed… Says a lot for the progress the league has made.

    • Dinho says:

      Completely agree about the progress of the league. At this point, an all Mexico/MLS side may be close to as competitive as an all-Euro side.

      ——————-—-Rimando ———————
      Orozco ——Gonzalez —Besler—– Beasley
      ————–Bradley—– Feilhaber ———
      Zusi—————-——————— Castillo
      ——– Donovan —-– Johnson ————-

      VERSUS
      ——————-—-Howard———————
      Chandler——Cameron— Ream —– F.Johnson
      ————–Jones —–Williams———
      Bedoya —————-——————— Shea
      ——– Johannsson —-– Altidore ————-

  23. Samuel says:

    I don’t care about Brazil as log as we win the Gold Cup.

  24. bogieocho says:

    happiest MAN not OF THE MATCH: C.Goodson

  25. Jake says:

    Alejandro Bedoya… the least horrible player today.

  26. Joamiq says:

    Bedoya is such a useful player to have. In a team that’s composed largely of static pieces, he’s one guy with an engine who will move around and try to make things happen. It makes him a good complementary guy in most US lineups.

  27. Len says:

    I thought Bedoya played reasonably well but I thought Jones was MOTM.
    I didn’t think Dempsey was as bad as many have stated.
    I am continually amazed how limited Jozy is in the air considering his size. His best skill seems to be brief interchanges with players moving in close proximity which you also wouldn’t expect from such a huge man.
    Klejstan played the way he usually does for the US, that is, he makes some shockingly poor inaccurate short passes which result in turnovers.

  28. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I’d rather have seen MLS players win than watch a half-baked European contingent struggle. Klinsmann should have known what would happen. Of course it could be that he wanted to prove a point by giving the team an opponent that would make certain players look bad so that he wouldn’t feel bad telling them that they are not going to Brazil.

  29. K. bowen says:

    For what?

  30. ThatKidNandez says:

    I’ve said it and i’ll say it again Graham Zusi’s spot is up for grabs! Donovan is secured and Bedoya just proved himself in a bad game. I see Julian Green taking it if does commit to the US.

  31. Jeff says:

    27 games, one goal, and plays no defense

  32. James H says:

    The MOTM did not make the trip to Cyprus. The USA coaching staff are still looking for him; probably lost in an airport somewhere in Europe trying to make a connection. He clearly did not show up for this match.

    Seriously, Bedoya or Howard may have been the MOTM by default, but no one really qualifies as a MOTM in this one. Sorry, any MOTM was wearing a blue kit, and not a god awful white golf shirt.

  33. 46_and_2 says:

    Bedoya was lively and dangerous on a couple of occasions in the second half, which balanced out a first half where he was very sloppy in possession. Howard was MOTM, though it doesn’t shine through when you make big saves and your defense and midfield hasn’t tracked back to help you out with the second chances, so your saves end up goals.

    Dempsey wasn’t poor. He was solid, just not dangerous like we need him to be. He was easily one of the best players we had in possession, keeping it in several instances where he was put into a difficult spot with a lot of pressure on him. Add better midfield play underneath him, which gets the wings more involved, and Dempsey will start to show more danger in the attacking 3rd. A lot of his attacking punch comes from his timing getting on the end of things and from quick short interchanges near the penalty area. If your midfield can’t keep the ball moving and your wings and outside backs either can’t get it or can’t cross it effectively (Cameron was solid, but his crossing is awful), you don’t get the opportunity to do those things.

    Jones and Sacha didn’t really get it done with any consistency on either side of the ball.

  34. Raggamuffin says:

    Bedoya had that right flank locked down for over a year. Kid a complete stud. Always in the right position on the field. He will be playing in England after world cup…Bedoya>Zusi any day of the week.