Klinsmann provides updates on injured USMNT trio

Clint Dempsey

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

SAO PAULO — The outlook on the injuries of Clint Dempsey and Matt Besler appears to be positive. The one on Jozy Altidore is still not known.

A day after seeing his U.S. Men’s National Team pick up a dramatic 2-1 win against Ghana in its World Cup opener, Jurgen Klinsmann gave an update on the status of some of his injured players. Klinsmann said succinctly that Besler is recovered from the right hamstring tightness that forced the centerback to be replaced at halftime of the Group G match and is “all fine” for Sunday’s clash with Portugal. He added that Dempsey is also going to be available despite suffering a confirmed broken nose that caused the U.S. captain to have trouble breathing.

Klinsmann was also optimistic about a potential return for Altidore, who left Monday’s match at Arena das Dunas with a non-contact left hamstring strain in the 23rd minute. There was no timeline for the striker’s recovery, however, and he seems all but certain to miss the upcoming encounter against Cristiano Ronaldo and co. at Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

“With Jozy, we’ve got to see now how he reacts the next couple of days with his hamstring and we are full of hope that he comes back still in this tournament,” said Klinsmann. “That’s what we kind of work on every day, the medical staff is doing a tremendous job. We still have the hope that Jozy will be back. How quickly? That is down to his healing process.”

Altidore and Besler both underwent MRIs on Tuesday when the U.S. returned to its World Cup homebase in Sao Paulo, but the results were not made available at the time of Klinsmann’s press conference. What was also not yet known was whether Dempsey would opt to wear a face mask to protect his broken nose against a Portugal team coming off a 4-0 loss to Germany.

A tidbit that did come out of the U.S.’s meeting with media members at Sao Paulo FC’s training facility was that Alejandro Bedoya was suffering from cramps just before being replaced in the second half against Ghana. The veteran U.S. midfielder was also troubled by what he described as a “hip pointer” following a corner kick in the opening 45 minutes.

“I got hit there and it’s an injury I’ve had before, so it was bothering me a lot,” said Bedoya. “But then I just cramped up as well, my hamstring, when I tried to block that last cross right before I came off. A little bit of both things (led to me being removed), but I should be all right.”

The number of hamstring injuries the U.S. suffered in the game raised concerns over whether Klinsmann and his coaching staff had pushed the Americans too hard during the run-up to the World Cup, but the head coach dismissed that notion.

“It’s the result of a very physical game, very fast-paced, very demanding and demanding conditions,” said Klinsmann. “I think our preparation went really, really well. We were lucky not to have any injuries (in the pre-World Cup camp) and we slowed it down before that game. Everybody was fresh, everybody was good so then you hit some individual cases.”

—–

Think Altidore can return for the Germany game on June 26? Is the U.S. coaching staff responsible for any of Monday’s injuries? Who should the U.S. start on Sunday in Altidore’s place?

Share your thoughts below.

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242 Responses to Klinsmann provides updates on injured USMNT trio

  1. Mikey K says:

    Right as I post in Coentrão article this appears.

  2. James says:

    “comes back still in this tournament” sounds a lot like he won’t be there for Portugal

  3. Jack says:

    I think you have to go with Wondo because he’ll press and close down the back line. Not allowing Portugal to pick out passes to Ronaldo is just as important as who is defending him if not more so.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      I would at least consider playing Dempsey up top with Mix right behind as the ‘forwards’ against Portugal. Mix always seems to prefer playing an extremely advanced position and has shown he makes good runs and decisions in the box. Probably won’t happen, but I hope is on the table.

  4. bryan says:

    about what i figured. still interested to hear the final word on Jozy. as for Bedoya, i think you let him rest in the next game and give Zusi the start.

    • bryan says:

      also, this is exactly why Boyd should have been brought over Wondo.

      • Four Cents says:

        +1 Those are my thoughts about Boyd exactley, and if Landon was good enough to make the list of 23, them he could also help fill the void a loss like Jozy would create. Doesn’t really matter now- we don’t have either of those players on the team (even EJ would be great to have at this point).. No use crying over spilt milk. We took some hits in the first game, and now the boys need to get ready for a pissed off Portugal… LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

        • duke says:

          Its not spilled milk, Its the result of JK picking picking people that can’t be used that have created a short bench for him. This causes one to question his judgement

          Altadore is gone for this tournament. Nobody comes back from a hammy in days. If he does play again, will most likely get hurt worse.Assuming that, he has no replacement that can play in that mode. Throws all his plans out the window.
          Green won’t see the field. Down to 22. Two backup goalies… down to 20. Wondo is hopelessly outclassed at this level…19. Omar? we saw he’s slipped down to at least second sub since he played Brooks over him. Chandleer? wont see the field unless someone else gets hurt.

          And after all that… there was no room for Donovan or Goodson? Bad choices that may get worse if we get more injuries

          • Alex says:

            Saying Donovan left off the roster was a bad decision is an understatement.

          • BDWG says:

            Omar was not subbed because he is Cameron’s sub. Klinsy said so in the post-game. You’re trying to make apples to apples comparisons, and it’s more like tangerines to tampons. You’re completely ignoring positional substitutes.

          • swift says:

            Omar is a joke and JK finally see’s that. JK was very clear that fat bot Landon wasn’t in shape. Did you watch “The Road to Brazil” It’s funny how people keep talking Wondo down and all he does is put the ball in the net. You’ll see when he scores against Portugal. Either way we need to go with the dual forward formation or we will never score and yes I know that opens us up to being scored on as well.

      • reignman says:

        I said in the buildup to the WC that Boyd might end up being a big miss for us, he hasn’t done a ton for the USMNT but he is the closest thing to a Jozy clone we have.

        • Dennis says:

          I was not that impressed with Boyd in his appearances for the USMNT. I will go with JK on this and think that while AJ and Wondo are not like-for-like replacements for Jozy, and certainly Mix is not, they are talents that can help the US better than Boyd.

          • Scott e Dio93 says:

            Boyd was “nickle and dime man” with USNT, Boyd never got the proper chance to proof himself.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              “Boyd never got the proper chance to prove himself.”

              Not really. The correct statement is, “Boyd never got the chance to prove himself [in front of the fans].” But Boyd was in practically every camp that featured any Europe-based players. He had dozens of chances—numerous hours and days working with the team and coaches.

              He had plenty of chances.

              (Disclaimer: I would have placed Boyd on the roster.)

  5. Marden8 says:

    Coach played with 3 broken noses. I don’t think he ever played with a severe hammy unless he was in a wheel chair. my heart breaks for Jozy if he can’t come back at all. Portugal will definitely be without two and maybe as many as 4 starters, but we will have our hands full on Sunday . A point would exceed expectations.

    • reignman says:

      Don’t agree with your last sentence at all. Portugal is a team in a bit of disarray to me, they didn’t look good at all and never play up to their talent level. Anything less than a point would be a disappointment to me.

      • Felix says:

        The one thing that brings me some hope outside of all the Portuguese injuries is the way seemed to be bickering throughout the first game against Germany.

      • cpldaniel says:

        Agreed. I’ve said all along, Portugal is the most beatable team in the group. Win vs portugal, and we are through to the round of 16 to play Belgium if my Magic 8 ball from a few weeks ago was correct.

      • duke says:

        I agree. Mexico dominated them in Foxboro during the runup. You mark Ronoldo out of the game or play him very physical and they’ll fold.

        We must get at least a tie. I don not expect to get anything but embarassed in the Germany game. I expect a win

    • Dennis says:

      Not really, I always thought the US would get 4 points in the group and Portugal’s struggles have me hoping for 6.

    • Kosh says:

      Not that I am saying this was your position but it’s looking at the game like this that made many say we’d be 3 and out with 0 points. There’s a reason why people actually do play the games.

      We’re hurt, they’re hurt and we both have to play in the heat. Game on!

  6. jordanthesoccer says:

    I haven’t seen any full explanation of Fifa’s injury replacement rules. I read in the pdf Fifa makes avail online, so I am aware that up to 24 hours before a team’s FIRST game they have the option to replace an injured player.

    However I have not seen anything to confirm or deny whether injury replacements are allowed if a team has reached the stage of 16. I would imagine that all federations, as well as fifa sanctioned leagues/clubs would not want to have their players risking further injuries if a team is so depleted due to injuries etc that they have a 14 field players available. I’m just curious. Hopefully Ives, or someone with equal/more in the know about this can answer.

    Again I’m just curious. Fully aware that our boys have their 2 toughest tests ahead. But hoping, since it within our grasp, our boys can do the punditry-unexpected and WIN against pRonaltugal

  7. Paul says:

    Glad they ‘confirmed’ Dempsey’s nose was broken. I knew that last night. I actually thought he got kicked in the mouth, but then the close up of Dempsey down on the field showed the nose pushed off to the left.

    • Gary Page says:

      On another thread someone had the gall to question Dempsey’s attitude after he played 60 minutes with a broken nose.

      • George Baldwin says:

        cala boca mulueque, vc so fala merda

        • usaalltheway says:

          Também sabe falar português, hein??

          However, with a name like George Baldwin, I am guessing Google helped you out there, right?

          • Robbie says:

            Judge people much?

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            I’d guess that he didn’t use Google. Among other signs, he misspelled “muleque.” If he used Google, he’d just cut and paste (probably).

            So, how did I become fluent in Portuguese, despite my obviously English name? A king must know these things.

      • away goals says:

        Remember in like the 90th minute when dempsey, broken nose and all, put his body on the line for a 50/50 ball at midfield with a full speed sulley muntari and got slammed into but drew a foul/yellow card?

        I can only assume usaalltheway is confusing “bad attitude” with “badass attitude.”

      • Matt says:

        really dude? I question his attitude period and it was me. Guess what, i played in the Rugby State Finals for 45 minutes with 3 broken ribs, its not that freaking unusual

        • Del Griffin says:

          Lol, I really love the weekend warrior comparisons to these guys

          • Matt says:

            Ok, how bout multiple of our womens players playing with broken noses during matches? How bout that? Or all the football player that play with broken ribs? Even dislocated shoulders?

            Stop treating him like hes a hero for doing something that every single pro athlete would be expected to do

            • usaalltheway says:

              +1

              You are correct sir!!

              Lots of people on here looking to argue.

              How about his goal at any rate? How crazy did you get? I think they were thinking of throwing me out of the bar I was so loud!!

              • GW says:

                It wasn’t because you were loud.

              • Come Correct says:

                We all did. You antagonize a lot bud. Under this name. Under other names. You know it. Everybody knows it.

                It’s funny sometimes. Less and less. You’re clever. Everyone’s clever, and you are clever. You’ve proven your point in this anonymous space.

                Drop the act for a couple of weeks and have fun. Is it too much to ask?

        • away goals says:

          Rugby State Finals you say? How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?

        • Kmac014 says:

          Good for u bro

        • Mueller says:

          Players dropping like flies due to the heat and humidity, and he is playing an hour with his nose packed. His attitude was fine.

  8. Luke says:

    If Dempsey wears a mask, that ‘s not going to feel good in the heat and humidity.

  9. JP says:

    Wasn’t the temperature 77F and humidity around 70% at the stadium for the USA v Ghana game?

    I wouldn’t call that oppressive… I remember watching games in the USA world cup in 1994 where the field temp was above 100F with high humidity and don’t remember that much whining about conditions…

    • Benjamin C. says:

      Either Twellman or Darke pointed out that the correspondents said it was brutal at field level in the stadium.

    • Scott says:

      What you are forgetting is how close to the equator they are. The sun and heat is much more intense there.

    • Kevin says:

      I was 8 rows back. Jacksonville heat and humidity were worse. Daylight was over as well.

    • Coach Beck says:

      I was at Germany and South Korea at the Cotton Bowl in ’94. Lived in the south my whole life. High humidity area. That was the single hottest damn sporting event I’ve ever been too hands down. Had the chug water after you bought it because it would get too warm to drink if you waited.

      • Dennis says:

        In ’94 when Mexico played in the Meadowlands, it was brutal on the field. Even in the stands it was over 95 sunny and humid. I run and did a lot back then even in the summer but just sitting in the stands was tough. There is something about the big stadiums that seem to magnify the effects of the heat and humidity, maybe lack of air movement.

  10. Ghost of John OBrien says:

    Anyone know where you can get horse placenta in Brazil?!

  11. User222 says:

    Jozy will miss group games 2 & 3, he will also miss the round of 16 game sometime in July 2nd or 3rd… he could be available if the US makes it to the quarterfinals July 7th or 8th…

    • Felix says:

      I joked around with a guy at the bar after Jozy went down that he should be back for the Final lol.

      • Ha, so did I. I asked everyone at the bar “So, do you think Jozy will be back for the semi-finals or the final?”

        • NC Jeff says:

          The other funny thing about that is if the US were to get to the semi’s, basically without Jozy, how likely would they be to use him then?

          I hope JK’s serious that Jozy’s not too bad and is available vs. Germany, but I really believe it’s just gamesmanship.

  12. The Who says:

    My two immediate thoughts…
    1) Jozy is done.
    2) Besler ain’t getting his spot back.

    • thebicyclecafe says:

      On your #2, why? If healthy, I don’t see why Besler shouldn’t start. Brooks looked OK in the second half but was still made a few mistakes. No way that Brooks is higher than Besler on the depth chart, provided Besler is as fine as Klinsi makes him out to be.

      • mike says:

        id say brooks was responsive le largely for ghanas goal.

        • Mason says:

          You could say that, but you’d probably be wrong.

          • WK says:

            No kidding. JAB didn’t make a play but he was hardly at fault. If you’re gonna play the blame game, it starts w/ Johnson who is ballwatching and doesnt start tracking his man until he’s a step beyond him. Or maybe Timmy for getting beaten near post with an outside of the foot shot.

            • Landy Cakes says:

              that back heel was quite deceptive. as soon as I saw him back heel it, i looked away from the TV I knew we’d been caught out.

        • kevino says:

          it was a great goal. not much the defense could do.

          • Ali Dia says:

            +1 Dead right. The entry ball was immaculate, the backheel equisite, and the quick touch and finish with the *outside of the boot to the near post* was outrageous. An immaculate goal. That’s what it took to break us down, and it wasn’t enough in the end.

            Faulting Howard’s positioning is one of the most laughable things I’ve heard. He should dare the striker to go near-post with an outside toe-poke like that every single time.

  13. RB says:

    Nice try with this —

    “It’s the result of a very physical game, very fast-paced, very demanding and demanding conditions,” said Klinsmann … “Everybody was fresh, everybody was good so then you hit some individual cases.”

    — but the elephant in the room is that while our guys were dropping like flies to non-contact muscle issues even during the first half, no Ghanaian seemed to have any such problem…

    • usaalltheway says:

      BINGO!

      It’s pretty obvious but saying so on will get one attacked by the fan boys.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        I happen to 100% agree with you on this one but do find it…. hmmmm “unfair” that anyone who disagrees is automatically labeled a fanboy.

        • usaalltheway says:

          One can disagree. It’s more of “you said something and now I will take it so personally that I am going to get bent-out-of-shape and attack you” mentally that makes me nuts.

          So, I like to rouse that anger, get someone spinning and enjoy the ride.

          Too many on here take things WAY TOO personally. You would think these guys had crushes on most of the players.

          At the end of the day, I couldn’t care less but it is GREAT to screw with the unhinged on here. :D :D

          • MN Footie says:

            Actually, I haven’t seen too many people attacking you, more just attacking your positions.

            And frankly, on this issue (overtraining) I tend to think you may be right.

            (But that doesn’t change my position on your unhinged lunacy re: Michael Bradley. Partly because it would be foolish to bench him, and partly because, as you correctly suggest, I and others have a totally justified 100% mancrush on Bradley. Guilty as charged, and proud as hell of it. Because Bradley is The Truth, regardless of his showing in the Ghana game.)

      • Landy Cakes says:

        The US may have over trained. I know a big strategy was to use fitness against our opponents and run them into the ground it may still have paid off in that defensive stand, its very tiring to never posses the ball and have to defend like that. But it seemed to me to be either over training or too much adrenaline.

      • RB says:

        And I initially thought this comment was exaggerated…

    • Don the Jewler says:

      We were chasing the ball they weren’t, big difference.

    • GW says:

      RB,

      It occurs to me that Ghana is in Africa and I get the impression it is pretty hot and humid in Africa.

      I would guess that a lot of the players for Ghana grew up playing in these kinds of conditions.

      • RB says:

        It occurs to me that European teams ought to be falling by the wayside left and right, if that is the explanation.

        • NOLAJ says:

          Quite a range of climates in Brazil, and it does make a huge difference- look how England and Italy were dragging by the end of the game in Manaus….
          as for injuries coming up now, we were lucky all through training camp and the sendoff games- as Reus, Ribery, Falcao, Oxlade-Chamberlain went down, we came through almost unscathed. sooner or later the odds catch up.

          Somehow France ended up with all their games in the cool dry south of Brazil, and we ended up with all ours in the warm, humid north…

        • The Garrincha says:

          RB, uefa is what? 5-7-2 to date?. ambiguous at best maybe?.
          usaalltheway. I understand where you are coming from with you’re double smiley face.
          Anybody remember the ESPN boards just a year or two ago, before FB, et all etc.
          That was the front lines, I like many others on here I suppose cut their teeth on such boards, battered and bruised battle tested.( I’ll tell you about being a Cleveland Browns fan and surviving “Linsanity” some other time) btw please bring back J. Lin to NYC.
          Anyway I digress, In short, I also am trying my best to reform myself, maybe a touch less Grinchy, more Garrincha.
          playfully, It’s hard! coming from having to battle it out with “Boston Strong”, and Philly Fanatics.
          Throw in New Jersey and we got a total love fest.
          So……
          Welcome to some of the best and worst soccer talk around.
          Now back to the “Rumble in the Jungle”.
          Manaus, Amazonia, here we come!.
          Everybody gets a +10 for Pele!
          Peace, god bless, and have a nice day!.

          • RB says:

            “RB, uefa is what? 5-7-2 to date?. ambiguous at best maybe?.”

            If we were tal king about their results, I guess it would be ambiguous. I didn’t realize anyone was talking about the results, however, as the issue was how many sides from Europe (for example) were similarly losing players to non-contact muscle injuries. After all, I was replying to the suggestion that Ghana did not suffer them like we did because Ghana is in Africa, where the climate is similar.

            The European record along these lines is, however, outstanding, as again only Portugal out of all the European sides suffered the same types of injuries to a similar degree.

    • Dennis says:

      Of course, Portugal had similar problems hamstring and groin with minimal contact.

      • RB says:

        Yep, that’s why I noted them as the one other team in the first round of games that had a similar outcome. Yet their European opponents in the same match (so obviously in identical conditions) didn’t, nor have other European sides. Or others from elsewhere, for that matter.

        [Now cue from the crowd the irrelevant talk of just cramping, like in the England–Italy match or wrt bac's silliness re South Korea, as if just cramping was ever what was in question here.]

  14. PD says:

    My heart breaks for Jozy. I love what he said though, this has to be about the team, now.

    So I think this can now go one of several ways:

    ————Dempsey———-
    -Jóhannsson—-Diskerrud—
    Jones—Beckerman–Bradley
    ——-same back four——-
    Deuce as a holdup, Mixx receiving and looking to make plays back to Deuce, AJ running into space, or wingbacks. But, that’s a lot of chemistry to form in 5 days.

    ————-Wondo————
    —Deuce————Bradley–
    Jones——-Dred———Zusi
    ——-same back four——–

    Wondo tries to fill the holdup role with his back to goal for 99% of the game, maybe poaching on a set play or two. Keeps the Christmas Tree Diamond in play.

    –Green—-Deuce——Jòhannsson—-
    —Jones——Dred———Bradley—–
    ———same back four—————

    AJ and JG run run run at goal Deuce distributes. I have no idea if this would work.

    some other thoughts on last night:

    THANK GOD WE FINALLY BEAT GHANA

    As much as last night was heart attack inducing, it was EXACTLY the strategy the USA needed to play, especially once Jozy was subbed off and Deuce was mugged. Anyone who watches Italian soccer on a regular basis will know it’s a very common strategy– smash and grab an early goal, bunker in and defend your lead until you’re forced to do otherwise. The USA ceded Ghana possession and forced them to figure out a solution that wasn’t counter or speed based or right up the middle–the greatest strengths that Ghana possesses as a team. For as much possession and as many shots as they had, maybe three were quality, maybe one of those to the point of them being a “sitter”. More importantly, there were perhaps one or two moments where white jerseys were running at speed facing the US goal with space and options. Ghana tried to break the game open and came close a few times, but the USA held. The USA planned to keep Ghana’s strengths in check and as a team they executed that plan. Epic.

    The USA were nervous, and it influenced their play. This was a nationwide eight year itch. Excepting Howard, Jones, and Deuce, you could tell they felt it to a man until the final whistle… including Klinsmann. I think we’ll see a looser team from here on out, even if the opposition gets even more intimidating.

    Bradley did not play his best, but I’m not going to panic yet. I think the next two games will provide him more room to work. FWIW I now understand why he’s not quite ready to wear the captain band. But if the past is any indication he will be the stronger for this experience and will only get better from here on out.

    Beasley ALWAYS plays a bend don’t break style of defending, but my man GOT IT DONE. AGAIN. People need to stop freaking out about him and accept his style of play.

    I like our odds against Portugal for at least a point if not an upset. If they settle for a tie and go all-in against Ghana that plays to our favor. If they try to risk now in order to bank their three points that will make then vulnerable to counter. Without Pepe and Contraõ on the field, and Ronaldo playing higher up and Nani trying to force the issue as he tends to do, I think we’ll see a lot less organization in the middle and back of the Portuguese squad, which will give Bradley time on the ball. The thing that concerns me is that we will need folks other than Deuce and Jozy to generate a significant number of goals from the run of play now. Who will step up? I can’t wait to find out.

    • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

      I know it’s a bit unconventional, but what do you think of this?

      ——————Dempsey—————–
      Bedoya———–MB——-Yedlin——
      ————Jones——–Becks———–
      Beas——Bes/Brooks—Cam—-Johnson

      Yedlin basically plays as a right winger anyways when he plays fullback, but now he would have Fabian Johnson covering behind him. He has the speed and ability to get all the way up and down the wing, and I have a feeling that him and Johnson together could completely shut Ronaldo down.

      • GW says:

        If you are going to do that you might as well put Chandler at right midfield.

        He has played there for the US and in Germany before and is almost as fast as Yedlin and is more experienced

        • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

          Yeah Chandler can definitely do the same job. I just think either him or Yedlin needs to be on the field to give us some speed on one of the wings. Zusi against Ronaldo scares me, he got beat on Ghana’s goal and Asamoah is no Ronaldo..

    • Buttian_Warlord says:

      I haven’t heard any reason to believe Bedoya won’t play so I suspect this is what we’ll see:

      ————–Clint—————
      Bedoya——-MB———-Zusi
      ——–KB———–Jones—–
      ———same back four——–

      I think it’d be interesting if we tried this:

      ———–clint——AJ———
      Bedoya–MB—–Jones—Zusi
      ——–same back four——–

      I don’t generally prefer the ol’ 4-4-2, but since none of our forwards are really capable of playing up top alone this is a possibility.

      • Paul says:

        One thing I think we don’t want to do is anything completely new to the players. Playing for our advancement from the Group of Death against a desperate Portugal side might not be the time to experiment.

        At some point, you have to dance with the one you brought – or in this case, something as close to the 11 you brought as possible, with player responsibilities they know.

      • peterprinciple says:

        Playing the 4-4-2, is natural to this team. I like the thought of it and launching counter-attacks. I would play Becks and Bradley in the middle and Jones and Zusi (for set deliveries). I would have Jones at LM to try and slow the action down that side. And play Becks on the RCDM spot to help Fabian and Cameron to handle CR7.

        The thing I do not like is that Johnson will then be asked to stay at home and he can be such a good option there, but for this contest and considering our need for a point as well as our injury to our only man capable of playing lone strike, a defensive posture with a combo forward game may work.

    • Emma Jones says:

      Thanks. Nice assessment.

  15. Steve Ralston says:

    More Klinnsman prevaricating. The detritus that emanates from this coach’s pie hole is relentless. He blames the conditions not his obsessive training regimen. Then what about Ghana? How come they weren’t popping hamstrings left, right and center. Other teams have played in this stadium with this humidity without this level of injuries. At this rate, maybe we’ll see Julian Green after all.

    • usaalltheway says:

      +1000

      You nailed it man!

    • slymer says:

      Yeah, he should have come out and said “it’s my fault! The guys were overworked and now we’re done for”.

    • Mark from LA says:

      um, the US won the game, and the team was recognizably American in style and in their commitment to maximum effort, defense, and optimism at the end. And Besler is available for Portugal. The US has always emphasized fitness in their World Cup cycles.

      While I too have enjoyed speculating if the way the team has been led might have contributed to the hamstring issues in some way, I don’t think Klinsmann has lost his players, nor do I think he should have answered the injury question any differently than he did. I also believe him when he mentioned that the training staff took care to taper off the physical demands on the players in the days before the game.

      Ultimately I think Ghana has proven to be a very difficult match up for the US because Ghana matches up physically with the US better than almost any other team in the tournament. This put a lot of additional stress on the US to try to play to their normal standards and I speculate contributed to the injuries.

      Why not just write “I hate Klinsmann” 50 times somewhere and be done with it?

      • Donlaw says:

        1) I was at the game and the conditions were fine. Was way worse in USA 94
        2) I was lucky enough to stay in the same hotel as the usmnt in natal and while I of course wasn’t in their training sessions I would believe that the intensity tapered off leading up to the match.
        3) most guys seemed to be really relaxed. Jones most of all. A few guys were uptight, Bradley and Jozy most of all. Who knows if they were nervous or focused or what.
        4) so gutted for Jozy. Injury happened right in front of us. It looked really bad. I hope he comes back but feels like it would be a bit of a miracle.

      • RB says:

        “While I too have enjoyed speculating if the way the team has been led might have contributed to the hamstring issues in some way, I don’t think Klinsmann has lost his players…”

        ???

        We haven’t lost Altidore?

        • Mason says:

          Not that kind of loss, sparky. PP is talking about losing the room.

          • RB says:

            And what does that mean, Gilligan?

            • Landy Cakes says:

              He means the players being unwilling to listen to Jurgen’s instructions.

              • RB says:

                So the proposition in question is that perhaps the training regimen is so off-kilter that key players are being injured and going out of commission as a result of it, but his position is that that would still be OK, as long as the players haven’t recognized this and are thus not disgruntled with the coach and his approach.

                Yikes.

              • Mason says:

                Alternately, the players don’t think they were overworked.

      • Bac says:

        TT just said some interesting things:
        -He said all of the players were complaining they had trouble catching their breath after 5 minutes of warm up, that the humidity was awful at ground level.
        -We’ve already seen more goals scored than ever before, with a vast majority coming in the 2nd half, when players were tired etc.
        -In 2010, there was only like 3 or 4 comeback wins, and theres already been more than that just through 1 round, asking the question once again if heat etc. is a contributing factor
        -If you’ve watched every game, you’d see a lot of players cramping, but more so in the games played in certain cities..
        -he didnt know the injury comparison to 2010, but said it seemed higher

        Seems like the evidence up to this point would show we weren’t alone in battling the heat/humidity/conditions

        • RB says:

          Watched every game, thanks. Only seen the same level of cramping/muscle injuries with Portugal.

          I watched TT say that, too. If you did, you saw how much credence it was given by the others listening. You seem way ahead of the evidence in your conclusion here.

          • Bac says:

            Thanks for the smart ass response.. yea it was Lalas & Foudy who disagreed with him.. so yea considering the Lalas source who in the same sentence tried to blame Klinsmann for it ( which TT disagreed) I’d be more than willing to discount anything out of Lalas’ mouth.
            And if you also listened, he sited the England Italy match which had people cramping up – not me
            And pointed to games in the harsher conditions where it was happening- not me
            I earlier commented on the SK game, sarcastically, because within about 5 minutes late in the game 3 different guys went down with cramps.
            And since there’s been others, I wouldn’t say that was my opinion.. Id say its what I witnessed.
            And since its a topic everywhere, Id say it wasn’t my opinion, its a topic being covered by several media sources- however despite ESPN being the only TV source it would require one to have read other articles – you know, on this interweb thing…
            And If you also listened, TT gave his opinion on why there’s been so many 2nd half goals & comebacks-which no one else had an opinion on, as a possible explanation.
            And If you also listened, he also commented on how all of our players were out of breath before the game started. Now since I wasn’t there, nor was anyone else in that studio, I find no reason to think he was making that up out of the clear blue.
            Considering Deuce was calling to the bench BEFORE he got kicked in the face- he was saying he was having trouble breathing.
            If you also listened, HE said he wondered about how many injuries there were-which is when Foudy disagreed calling this tourney a survival of attrition.

            But I noticed in your response you didn’t address any of these opinions or reasons stated by HIM, just chose to say I was way ahead of the evidence in my conclusion.
            But that doesn’t surprise me, because It wouldn’t fit the anti JK is a Devil narrative- would it??, because he obviously is the reason for all of this. In fact, he must be the reason why Bedoya reaggravated his hip injury, and he must have asked someone to break Dempseys nose, and Ive never seen a guy running full sprint pull up lame with a hammie tear…ever..never happened- ever.. so JK must have caused that also…
            But it makes total sense that you would pick and choose your response, since apparently you’ve read 2 of my other sarcastic comments…

            But my simple comment of “seems like we’re not alone in battling the conditions” was much too provocative of a comment.. so much so you felt the need to spout off. so I guess Im on notice.. nobody else remaining is allowed to have a cramp or an injury or else I may be accused of being a craaaaaazzzzyyyy strawman- whatever that means…

            Oh wait- you’ve already done that- twice

            • RB says:

              We’ll I got this far —

              “Thanks for the smart ass response.”

              — and no farther. No real point after that, as you’re the one running around slamming those strawman arguments out as soon as anyone suggests that we might want to consider this training possibility. (Indeed you help support what I thought was an exaggerated claim by usaalltheway.)

              Maybe somebody else will read your rant here for you.

              • Anthony says:

                RB,

                You’re an annoying a**hole. again, Please go home and lay across some train tracks because I honestly feel you add nothing to society.

              • Bac says:

                Oh I apologize RB- I’m “sure” u didn’t read my response…
                Perhaps I should have started it “thanks for the dumbass response”?

                Or you could just read what everyone else wrote…
                Twice…

            • Emma Jones says:

              Couldn’t agree more with the content of your post. You could work on the tone, but your analysis of the overall prevalence of muscle problems has validity.

              I personally think that the players may be getting too much calcium,which can hinder magnesium absorption,thus leading to cramping and injury.

        • RB says:

          P.S. But if you disagree, you might want to try some craaaaazy sounding strawman argument sort of approach!

          Oh, wait — you’ve already done that at least twice on this page, so…

          • Ali Dia says:

            Same team, fellas. Same team. Save it for tm.

          • Andy Los Angeles says:

            Why are your comments so negative? The US team got through all of training camp and their pre-World Cup friendlies without injuries (unlike most teams). They play one game and do suffer several. Let’s not freak out over one game. If it is a consistent trend through each of the 3 group games, then we can start criticizing Klinsmann’s training regimens, but hold off on the harsh judgements just a bit.

          • Anthony says:

            It’s like this annoying twit refuses to acknowledge that other teams have had cramping issues or other teams haven’t lost people to cramping or muscle injuries.

            Maybe it’s because I am working late, so I am angry, but you are really aggravating me with your obtuse assumptions. You can say not bringing EJ or LD was a mistake – fine, but some of the things you said about cramping are just wrong. I torn/pulled my hamstring in University in similar conditions as a defenders. Stuffy conditions can cause this. On the ESPNFC World Cup show they mentioned that players were reaching for water within 5 min. They were playing in rough conditions.

            Go away…

      • SwerveZ says:

        +100

      • Alex says:

        You’re right, I recognized that old American style of hanging on by a thread for 90 minutes.

    • Tim Riggins says:

      Ghana didn’t get hurt, but they didn’t win either

    • Emma Jones says:

      One can only hope.

  16. FRANK says:

    YEDLIN START FOR CENTER FORWARD HE WILL RUN HOLE TIME

    • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

      I really think Yedlin needs to be in this game. His speed is insane and he’s strong enough to body-up on people, unlike Johannsson or Green. I would really like to see what he’d look like on the right wing with Johnson behind him. And as crazy as it sounds, I feel like he could even be useful as a forward. I have a feelng it would look a lot like how Boyd plays running around being a menace

      • Paul says:

        You want to play a young defender as an attacker in the most important USMNT game in four years?

        Man, and I thought I had a crazy streak.

        • Shawn says:

          lmaoooooooooooooooooo

        • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

          I wasn’t being totally serious, and I obviously don’t think it will ever happen. But when I think of the guys on this roster that can physically match what Jozy does, Yedlin is the guy that comes to mind. Obviously we have no idea if he can score goals but I have to think he’d be a nightmare to defend with his speed, strength and power. More realistically I think either Yedlin or Chandler should play one of the wings for us with Bedoya on the other to provide more mobility up and down the wing. But that’s assuming we go back to a 5 man midfield with Dempsey alone up top

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I think that BERK SHEA would be better.

  17. Mr_A says:

    Did the US team overtrain? We know they didn’t because “the head coach dispelled that notion.” Well THAT clears it up, then.

    If anyone else thinks he’s doing a bad job, just ask: I’m sure he’ll set you straight.

    • Bac says:

      Or you could ask the fans…
      I’ve read different polls on sites asking the fans opinions of their opinion of him, as well as some of the decisions he’s made, the last few days..from USA Today, ESPN, Bleacher Report, can’t recall others off the top of my head..
      The responses were overwhelmingly positive in the 75-80% range.

      That would go against Lalas & company…as well as others…

      So until he wins multiple world cups, cures cancer, and uncovers who really shot JFK some of you will find every reason to condemn every single thing he does no matter what…
      After all, he is The Devil…

      • Fredo says:

        I knew it.

      • Mr_A says:

        The comment was more about the article than about Klinnsman. I think he’s done great, including a good strategy in the Ghana game. Disagree on LD, and think he’s benefitting from a deep talent pool but also doing his part to expand it. And, as a solid fan of the team, I reserve the right to my fair-weather-friendly opinions.

      • Emma Jones says:

        Klinsi for President. Go USA!

    • Dennis says:

      Well, as I understand it, most hamstring injuries are a result of a strength imbalance between the quads and hamstrings. I don’t remember the strength ratio thought to be required, but it is pretty well-known and I would be very surprised if the trainers were not working to get the players into the safe range. Of course, the training exercises that can help reduce the incidence of hamstring pulls are not perfect, just a reduction in the injury rate. Two hamstring injuries in 5 weeks for this group is a bit on the high side, but hardly that unusual. (and Besler’s injury seems to be pretty minor, so it should respond well)

  18. Bac says:

    Oh my gosh, I just saw a 3rd South Korean stretch his leg with a cramp… All in the same game nonetheless!!!
    It’s obviously JKs fault… we should banish them all to the north and let Kim Jung Un feed them to his dogs…

    • Anthony says:

      …and the 2 Aussies out due to hamstring injuries that cannot play today and the Portuguese and the English

  19. H-Town says:

    I could see Zusi for Bedoya on the right, Davis on the left, and Clint as striker.

    Dempsey
    Davis Bradley Zusi
    Becks Jones
    Beas Besler Cam Johnson

  20. Dan says:

    We probably did over train, but the good news is we dodged the bullet. Hopefully the training staff got the message and our boys will be enjoying some bubble baths and massages the next couple of days. And a lot of gatorade and bananas.

    There’s no reason that this problem has to extend into Sunday’s game – it doesn’t work like that (except for Jozy of course and maybe Besler)

    • RB says:

      Seems like we certainly took a bullet in Altidore’s case, and might well have taken another one in Besler’s if not for the shock performance by his replacement.

      • Dan says:

        I mean’t dodged a bullet in the sense of “we got lucky.” We absolutely could have lost the game 1-4 given our injuries. We’ll see how things turn out for Jozy. As for Besler it was clearly precautionary – he’ll be back Sunday (if Jurgen decides he wants him)

  21. Papo says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Broken nose HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Don’t you love those African teams?

    • Brain Guy says:

      I’m still trying to figure out how an otherwise quite competent officiating crew missed a kick to the face. Not intentional, I know, but isn’t a leg that high up in a challenge by definition a dangerous play worthy of a card?

      • Papo says:

        Believe me, it was intentional. That leg kept going on so high because the Ghanian had little regards for Dempsey’s safety and he hid behind the awkwardness of the play to get away with it. Red card.

    • Mason says:

      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is this?

    • Bac says:

      Will this be the new “Deuce Face”??

    • Mark from LA says:

      wow. perfect!

    • swifty says:

      I know I am going to catch a lot of flak for this but, in my humble opinion as a lowly youth rec league ref, this was highly unfortunate incident but not a foul. If you watch this gif, it is obvious deuce never came close to the ball and was merely trying to put up a challenge to keep the other player from getting it cleanly. Nothing wrong with that. His arm does end up pushing into the Ghanaian players upperchest though, which obviously would cause the player to fall backward and his feet to come up somewhat. the player’s simultaneous attempt to throw his head forward into the ball (which he got by the way) required him to throw his legs forward as well to counterbalance his upper body. Together these factors explain what happened. Dueces face was just wrong place, wrong time.
      No way that was malicious, simply a result of how they collided.

      • Chuck Norris says:

        This is correct.

        I could do this intentionally to any of you. Right now. In the very chair in which you are sitting.

        Not this fellow.

        Give him a yellow card and a lollipop. And tell him to be careful in the future.

      • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

        It doesn’t matter if it was malicious or not. If your leg gets above you head when going up for a 50-50 ball, that’s a dangerous play and deserving of a card. Even if he missed Dempsey all together, that should have been blown dead for a dangerous play.

        • Emma Jones says:

          Absolutely. Intent is not a criteria. Badly missed call by the ref, for whatever reason. He should not get a second chance. John Boye deserved a yellow card at the very least. Red would have been justifiable.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            intent is absolutely a criteria. you might as well say that if a player gets flipped head-over-heels by a tackle, and his foot catches someone in the head, he’s also deserving of a red. boye didn’t have any control over where his foot was going at that point.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          don’t know if you read his whole comment, but i saw the same thing as him:

          dempsey (understandably) was pushing the ghana player in the air, which, when his head was going for the ball, made his leg fly up. thought it was unfortunate for dempsey, but not dangerous play.

          • Emma Jones says:

            How can intent be a criteria? Does the FIFA have mind reading technology?

            • Nate Dollars says:

              it’s up to the ref’s judgement (right or wrong). no, fifa does not have mind-reading technology.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Nate Dollars: that’s the crux of the debate: was Boye initially trying to kick the ball, or did his leg only fly up because he was thrown off balance?

            (After re-watching the replays, I’m pretty sure he was trying to kick it, but I know none of us will ever know.)

      • Mason says:

        I’m going with the CR and ARs didn’t see it. Normally, if a player suffers a severe injury like that, even accidentally, refs will stop play immediately. It took them a few seconds for this crew to recognize that CD was down. They didn’t seem to recognize what had occurred and restarted with a DB.

        If its in a match I’m calling, I’d have sent him off for SFP. Kicking someone in the face with enough force to break their nose is quite excessive. I don’t buy that he was off-balance from a push in the air.

  22. Mario Galarza says:

    i think we should whit Demsey Aron Zuzy o Davis,

  23. Vic says:

    When do player ratings for usa/Ghana come out?

    • Keith says:

      I’m not affiliated, but I’ve noticed Ives’ ratings have been going on goal.com since the tuneup games. Instead of here. They are up there already.

  24. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Approximately 18.9 million people viewed the USA vs Ghana game in the United States (to say nothing of bars and viewing parties where multiple people share one tv)!

    “The USA-Ghana game on Monday drew 11,093,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed men’s soccer match ever to air on ESPN or ESPN2. The telecast also averaged a 6.3 household rating, which was also the best-ever mark for a soccer event on ESPN’s platforms. It was ESPN’s most-viewed telecast since the January 6 BCS National Championship (which drew 25,572,000 viewers) and the company said an additional 1.4 million people viewed the game on its WatchESPN product.”

    “The numbers have also been strong for Univision, which owns the Spanish-language rights in the U.S. The U.S.-Ghana match drew 4.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched U.S. Soccer game ever on that network. It topped the previous best U.S. match (USA-England in 2010) by 17 percent. The match also drew more than 1.7 million views on Univision Digital. Through the first eight matches of the tournament, Univision had averaged 3.7 million viewers, seven percent higher than ABC/ESPN’s average over the same eight matches.”

    • Mike says:

      Even more impressive considering it was a Monday game and started at 3 pm on the west coach as well.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Yes. And now we get to the good stuff. I’m talking about Sunday.

      These numbers were wildly impressive for any game, any sport, any day. This weekend, there is almost no competition from any other sport (even most MLB fans would agree at this point in the regular season). It’s a beautiful weekend. First of the summer. Plenty of people with an open agenda and few with work obligations (fewer still jobs that isolate them from televsisions or streams).

      And that’s before you get to the game itself. Ghana are a good team, but not-so-marketable, particularly as an opening match opponent. Portugal is an utterly different proposition, and they are now on the ropes and in need of nothing short of a win. It is a plot that ESPN would had salivated over, and now will be selling full-tilt until Sunday.

      Point is… THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE HUGE. And God bless that. The entire waking world will be watching the late game on Sunday,. DON’T RESIST THE FRENZY!!!!!

      One thing we can all agree on, regardless of outcome, is this is a real chance to put to bed at long last the tired notion that “Americans don’t care about soccer”. So grab your buddies, your parents, your kids, your neighbors (even the ones you don’t like). Get them turned on. Probably it will happen anyway… this is right now. RIGHT NOW!

      Go outside. Go to a bar. Go to a restaurant. Go to an outdoor showing. Create an outdoor showing. Share it with friends. Share it with people you’ve never met. Share it with that old Portuguese guy down the road who you don’t talk to enough but seems like he could handle defeat over a burger and a beer. Whatever. SPREAD THE FEVER AND LET’S GO YANKS!!!!!!!

      [I know. I know. I really can't help it. Can you? How?]

      • atleticodemadridfan says:

        Right on brother!
        I am having a barbecue and Portugal v. USA viewing party. I even invited my wife’s office staff.
        Burger or veggie burger?
        USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Pep Guardiola says:

    Jozy needs some of that Horse placenta!!!

  26. Jeff says:

    I actually am a medical doctor (which means nothing on the internet, where wild guessing almost always trumps knowledge and reason). I think Jozy tore his hamstring and is out for the WC. Just posting it here so I can say “I told you so” to a couple of friends later on…

    Sucks that he’s out…

    • RB says:

      There are people who don’t think he tore his hamstring?

    • Ali Dia says:

      Was my initial response too, unfortunately. As a kid I always thought it was weird how fast Chick Hearn could see a hamstring tear happen almost immediately (notably with Magic Johnson, but that was not the only time),,, thousands of hours of watching sports have made that a little less incomprehensible. Still, all the (very early) cramping etc. and the relatively positive initial diagnosis have given a glimmer of hope, which is important even if only for Jozy’s psychology.

      Out of curiosity, why would you post something to a place that has no provable identification system to document something for your friends… seems that texting them would be easier and more provable… no? Do you know Zack?

  27. Dieter says:

    What if we play all poachers and just poach all night? I’m talking poachers at every position.

    • Dieter says:

      Well, we might need one guy to boot it upfield, so Timmy stays in goal. No poachers in goal. But Rimando’s clearly a poacher and will be put amongst the outfield poachers.

  28. notinthe18 says:

    Did anyone notice, every time Howard had a goal kick last night, it was directed to Jermaine Jones? JJ got some hops and won quite a few headers. JJ is not the tallest in the squad or in the attacking half last night. That was impressive. I believe Johannsson and Dempsey are taller, but maybe are not as strong JJ in the air. What’s up with Beasley falling all over and breaking ankles? Nani and Mueller are licking their chops. Can Brooks play LB? :)

  29. Bac says:

    Tonight’s analysis on ESPN by Lalas and Twellman to prepare for Portugal:
    Go to a 4-2-3-1 with Deuce alone up top, Zusi and Bedoya on the wings…
    Then they debated where Landon Donovan would fit, and if he’d start…

    Serious Questions folks…(honest, non venomous answers please)

    1. Is this the option that would be best for us?
    2. Do you think their analysis is credible? Do they really know this team or was this something else?
    3. Do you, as a fan, want the Donovan issue to continue to be front & center like this when our analysts are discussing the Usmnt at this point in the tourney?

    • MikeG says:

      I think a lot of the butterflies flew away. We should see more possession and build up play out of the back when necessary. We have to play a fundamental game. Soccer 101. This is not an insult in anyway. Shorter passing, movement off the ball, compact shape in defense and offense…use strength in numbers keeping it simple for each other.

    • bryan says:

      1. No, Dempsey is not a target forward.

      2. Yes but when they say things like that, you have to wonder what they are talking about.

      3. No, people need to drop it and move on. Jozy and LD are two completely different players.

      • Bac says:

        Thnx Bryan

        Anyone else care to weigh in?

        • UclaBruinGreat says:

          Bryan is wrong in my opinion. Yes Donovan should be on this team!! Yes we should keep talking about it!! Yes you should throw something at the TV every time you see J. Green, B. Davis and Wondo just sitting there on the bench and Landon Donovan in Los Angeles!

          It is perfectly fine to critique/criticize the moves of the national soccer team manager. It is perfectly fine to speculate on his motives and sincerity. “Donovan was a few steps behind…” hah!! That’s laughable.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        bryan: so who would you play as our target forward in a 4-2-3-1?

        • bryan says:

          Honestly King, I wouldn’t play that formation when on offense. We don’t have the striker for it to work now. I’d transition to that formation defensively I guess, but on offense I think the 4-4-2 diamond is still the way to go. Isolating Dempsey up top seems counter productive to me. Heck, even transitioning to a 4-3-3 w/ a false 9 when attacking makes more sense to me than the 4-2-3-1 static formation.

          That said, the 4-2-3-1 is comfortable and familiar. And if Dempsey is having trouble breathing, it may be smart to stick him up there. And let’s be honest, it’s not that I care about the formation as much as I think isolating Dempsey up top when attacking is just not a great idea. Or looking to Dempsey to provide hold up play.

          Of all people to get injured, it just had to be Jozy…

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            bryan: I can understand your point—and even mostly agree—but I’m still not clear on a few things.

            I agree that Dempsey alone up top is not ideal and it’s better to pair him with another forward. But what would the lineup look like? Who you would play in a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3? (You don’t need to list the back four if they stay the same.)

            And if we play some form of 4-5-1 defensively (and Dempsey is breathing fine), who do you play as the target forward while we transition out of the 4-5-1?

            • bryan says:

              in a 4-4-2 transition, something like this:

              —————-AJ————Dempsey———
              ————————Bradley——————–
              ———–Jones———————-Bedoya–
              ———————-Beckerman—————-

              hard to show it, but Jones doesn’t go out all that wide (same as he has been doing). basically, he plays the position JK tried to get Torres to play. LM but not wide, allowing Beasley to provide the width on that side.

              in a 4-3-3 w/ a false 9 (yes, this just looks like a 4-4-2, but can only do so much with this formatting):

              ———AJ——————————-Bedoya—–
              ———————–Dempsey———————–
              ————Jones———————-Bradley——
              ———————–Beckerman——————–

              in either scenario, Dempsey has support and can play off another. should also note that Zusi can slide in for Bedoya.

              as for when defending, we’re kind of stuck in a bad situation. i think the key is not going with the game plan to use Dempsey as a hold up guy. which means we have to pass out of the back and not bomb balls forward like we could with Jozy up there. with the players above, i’d tell AJ to stay higher up on defense and allow Dempsey to come back deeper. obviously AJ is also not a hold up player, but i’d rather sacrifice some of his ability than Dempsey’s.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                bryan: that’s clearer, thanks. So in any case, you go with AJ over Wondo.

                I have to say, I like that 4-3-3 better than the 4-4-2. The former keeps Bradley back on defense where he can be more effective than Bedoya at passing the ball out of the back. It’s basically choosing between Dempsey and Bedoya for who is going to pass the ball around with JJ+KB+MB. Dempsey >> Bedoya.

                —and if we need to boot it, Bedoya is up there to run run run.

                I’m actually starting to like our chances.

              • bryan says:

                King – absolutely. i don’t even think Wondo should be on the team. he is a sub option for me. would never start him up top alone. even TT pointed out that without Gordon or Lenhart at SJ, he is not effective.

                who would you start for this game given all the injury issues Portugal is having? especially if the rumors about CR being out are true.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                bryan: I’m somewhat torn between your and Bac’s arguments for formation and players—for when we have possession (so I’m not talking about defense). What I think it comes down to is: do we play to win or to survive?

                SURVIVE/COUNTER:
                4-2-3-1

                ________Wondo_____

                Bedoya____Deuce___Bradley

                ____Jones___Beckerman__

                or 4-3-2-1

                _________Wondo________

                _____Deuce___Bradley_____

                Jones___Beckerman__Bedoya

                Why Wondo over AJ? Because Wondo seems better suited to “steal” a goal in a survival mindset, and he would hound defenders trying to pass the ball out of the back.

                PLAY TO WIN:
                No need to re-draw the formations you already showed. I’d go for the 4-3-3 though, for the reasons I already stated.

                Why AJ over Wondo? Also for the reasons you stated. Plus, subbing Green in for AJ late in the match would make a lot of sense.

                PREFERENCE:
                I think both options are viable and could result in a victory, but I would choose to play to WIN. We can beat Portugal, so we should try.

    • Chris says:

      The biggest issue I had against Ghana was lack of wing play. I think the 5 man midfield with two legit wingers and Deuce at forward is our best option to start the game. Let the fullbacks overlap into attack, let Deuce float around…game on baby.

    • Jack says:

      1. Start Wondo up top with Dempsey. Wondo’s work rate at closing down the back line is going to be huge. Cutting off the source is even more important then who actually defends Ronaldo. Klinsmann thought he was good enough to bring him, I think he should get his chance.
      2. They just have there opinions like anyone else
      3. No, maybe if we don’t make it out of the group, however right now it’s pointless. Klinsmann seems to have a plan, lets see if it works out.

      • Bac says:

        cool..thnx

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Jack, re your #1: I agree, but I answered according to a 4-2-3-1. In that formation, I’m not so comfortable with Wondo.

        I’m also not sure that I would go with a 4-4-2 against Portugal. Seems too risky.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Bac:
      1. My first thought was: “No. I don’t like Deuce alone up top.” But thinking about establishing some hold-up play, he’s the best we’ve got (still walking). The problem is that we’d be left without any other true attacker. He’d hold up the ball…for what? To pass it out to Zusi so it could be crossed back in to Demps?

      So go ahead and field Dempsey alone up top, but there has to be another forward with him. Aron on the right wing would be my first choice (though I really don’t know enough about Green).

      2. Credible? Never.

      3. No. I love Donovan. But I’m tired of debating the whole blah blah blah.

      • Bac says:

        Thanks everyone, good debate.
        I asked because:
        1. I can’t remember a time where Deuce was up top alone an entire game & it worked. I think Wondo would be a good option to start because he’ll run around like a bat outta hell till he drops pressuring the ball, something AJ didn’t do. Plus we are gonna need goals
        2. I thought it “convenient” (sarcasm) they only drew up this lineup
        3. With a nightly show going for 1 1/2 hours, I would have liked more than one brief segment the night after our victory, and it why bring him up now… I have WC fever, so I’m tuning in to every show, but would like more constructive discussion at this point

      • Bac says:

        And another point- I’d be nervous about starting both Zusi and Bedoya. 90 minutes in Manaus is a lot to ask of a two way middie.. like to have one of them available off the bench

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Bac: I agree about Zusi/Bedoya. But more than not wanting to risk them both at the same time, it’s more a matter of positions. We’ve probably settled in on a 3-CDM midfield: Bradley, Jones, Beckerman (even if we say that Bradley is an attacking mid or wing or whatever, he is a CDM). With four across the back, that leaves only three more spots. One of those is Dempsey, the other is one of Bedoya or Zusi.

          One spot left, and we have only one true attacker on the pitch: Dempsey. So do you fill the remaining slot with another midfielder (Bedoya/Zusi) or a winger/forward?

          • Bac says:

            Over on Goal, Ives did a live show, and said the same thing. He picked AJ to start, citing he’d have more success vs. Portugal than Ghana. I’d pick Wondo because I think he’d run around like a maniac applying pressure up top, and I’d rather AJ come off the bench. He also predicted Zusi over Bedoya to start, saying he thinks JK will want more in the attack.

    • Sean says:

      1. It’s a decent option. These guys are not dumb.
      2. Yes it’s credible. Klinsmann has changed things up so often that any formation and squad is reasonable.
      3. Yes I do. It is the most important, divisive, and I underhanded decision in as long as I can remember in US soccer. And US Soccer should get rid of Kinsmann. He was even cunning in getting his contract extension early, maybe not far-fetched, because he knew he would be making a decision based on his own prejudices or best interests of his son’s national team future stats.

    • Emma Jones says:

      Donovan is irrelevant. He is an announcer on ESPN. He has no current role to play in the team.

      Unless people secretly hope the USA to crash and burn just so that Klinsmann will look bad, then they should realize that it is not helpful to constantly spread doubt and disillusionment.

      The fact is, the USA is doing a great job. We beat Ghana! W How about contributing something positive which can help the team instead of all this negativity. And people had the gall to criticize Klinsmann just because he said it was unrealistic for us to think we would win the World Cup.

      After the tournament is over we can dissect JK’s strategy and decisions. Now is not the time to be stabbing our guys in the back with counter productive attacks on their coach.

      • Bac says:

        Thnx Emma

      • Steve Ralston says:

        No one is stabbing anyone in the back Emma. I have been a staunch supporter of US Soccer for years and never posted anything critical of Bruce Arena, Bob Bradley on this blog. Many of us have legitimate gripes about Klinnsmann’s tactics, judgment, honesty and ethics. Personally, I take offense over how one of our best players was treated and I’m sorry, I’m not just going to get over it.

        We have great players who give their heart and soul to the team and they are being underserved by a guy who sees this as all about himself. I’m glad we beat Ghana and hope we go through. But we are now likely missing Altidore, and JK has built a formation (that he finally landed on in our last friendly) that relies on the unique talent of a single target forward. No Eddie Johnson or Boyd to replace him who both share those characteristics. Above all no Landon Donovan, although not a target forward, someone we sorely miss.

        But we do have Julian Green.

        And why shouldn’t people criticize Klinnsman for saying we can’t win the World Cup. What’s the point of a stupid comment like that other than to lower expectations and make him look better. Talk about negative. I don’t think we can win the World Cup either but what’s the point in saying it. Is that meant to be motivational? Look at Mexico our Concacaf rival who we’ve beaten and needed a win from us to help them get through. Do you hear their coach telling the press they can’t win the World Cup. On the contrary they’ve been saying they feel they can beat any team in the World Cup — and they tied Brazil.

        You can root for your team and hate the coach, this happens in sports. It’s not disloyal and shows that you care.

        • Bac says:

          Thnx Steve for honest-non venomous answers. I disagree on the EJ inclusion because frankly he was terrible leading up to selection. In every way. With only 30 spots to start camp, he couldn’t bring everyone. I’m ticked off about it to, but at EJ for bad play, poor hustle, bad attitude, and not getting himself ready. But it’s one decision I can’t fault JK for, u gotta draw the line at some point..

        • Emma Jones says:

          Steve,
          Your point is well taken. I didn’t mean to imply that fans who miss and respect Landon don’t have a right to say so, although I do think at this point it is an unhelpful distraction.

          My real issue is with media people whose main issue seems to be that JK is German. Sure, they use criticism of his coaching as a convenient cover to package their prejudice, but the message is unmistakable. The Donovan debate is often wrapped up in that same cloak, especially when the punch line is always Julian Green.

          I do think that it is a serious concern, and the not so subtle undertones of ethic stereotyping could possibly drive a split between the players and the coach, between the players and the fans and even among the players themselves.

          Using the option to acquire good players from overseas was a smart move. Saying they are not American and calling someone German, as if that was an insult, is wrong and anti-American.

          Sure, Landon may have been able to come through for us given the situation as it is. Maybe he wouldn’t have. Maybe there were other factors which influenced Klinsmann’s decision. Who knows? JK made the call, and I think we should support the coach during the tournament for the good of the team.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Steve Ralston: “Many of us have legitimate gripes about Klinnsmann’s tactics, judgment, honesty and ethics.”

          The tactics and judgment I get—I may not agree, but that’s all opinion anyway. But “honesty and ethics” accusations require some objective evidence—no, not just “some,” more like “substantial.” What are basing your accusations on?

          (I hope it’s not what others have complained about: “JK says players need to be starting, but then he brings X; he says they need to play Champions league, but then he brings Y.” That argument is flimsier than a soap bubble. Sorry, I don’t mean to presume to lump you in with that crowd.)

          “Personally, I take offense over how one of our best players was treated.”

          How was he treated poorly? He was cut from the squad and praised in a press conference—i.e., that it was a very difficult choice. How should Donovan have been cut from the team? (Unless your position is that under no circumstances would it be okay to cut him from the team—in which case, your beef isn’t really with how he was “treated.”)

    • Mueller says:

      3 NOs for me. I’d go 4-3-3/4-5-1 with Bedoya up top and Dempsey to the left and try to keep the clean sheet. Have Bedoya run around for 60-65 minutes like Herc Gomez before you bring on Wondo or Aron.

      —Dempsey-Bedoya—–Zusi———
      —–Jones-Beckerman-Bradley——
      Beasley-Brooks-Cameron-Johnson
      —————–Howard——————–

      • Bac says:

        Thnx Mueller, agree with the thought process, but I’d use Wondo to run around like a banchee. He’s got the motor, Deuce plays better underneath, & even though Wondo lacks the holdup play, I think he’s the best option of relieving pressure on our midfield so we don’t see a repeat of Ghana.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I like this. Bedoya up top would be just the sort of trick JK would play too. Still, more likely it’d be Wondo.

    • FTBDoL says:

      1) No, Dempsey is not a classic target forward, in the way in which it is generally viewed. He lacks the “hold-up & distribute” technique that a classic target forward has. What he provides is that moment, that thing in the final 3rd of the field. Not a classic poacher, although he can do that too, but that moment (see Monday night) where he creates a seam for himself or others within the final third. What I have always found odd about his play is that as good as he is at doing this near the goal, closer to mid he is just average. I guess maybe the simple way to say it is he is focused on generating strikes rather than, and possibly at the expense of, possession. (Compared to Bradley who drives for possession in search, or to create a seam/strike.) With all that said, whether as, having a designated running-mate for him up front seems to be better for him. Right now, he is the most likely player to get/cause goals on the US so the offensive shape in the run of play, so I would bend the offensive formation and personnel to give him that running-mate, rather than putting him solo. If forced to choose, I guess I would go with the 4-3-2-1 with Johannsson up top and CD-MB90 as the 2. This puts Dempsey and MB in position to create attacking triangles with the greatest number of combinations (strikers, mids, and backs) Behind them I will be a little less specific simply b/c I think it’s nibbling: JJ—Dreds—Bedoya/Zusi (I guess I like starting Bedoya with Zusi a late game sub); as for the 4, ugg, I just don’t know enough about each player but my gut says start with DMB—Bes—Cam—FJ simply because it’s been consistent. If DMB gets killed, is there any way that Bes can go play out left…sorry, really showing my lack of knowledge here. Really my brain is putting FJ on the left, Cam on the right, and Bes-Brooks in the middle, but that seems to be an incredibly inexperienced middle. Getting back to the point is building the offensive team from the strongest point(s) by putting Dempsey and Bradly in their happy places. One last thing here. I actually think Mix equal to more ready than Johannsson; I hold him out simply b/c as sub he can replace so many more positions for injury/fatigue/tactic.

      2) Ex-Athlete Analysis generally go down one of two paths – entertainment (with a ridiculous amount of hyperbole) or field level experience & tactics (with significantly less hyperbole). It’s pretty clear to me that Lalas and Twellman have gone the former path. I have no doubt that they have spoken with the players/coaches/trainers/etc more than any of us commentating here. However, they are entertaining not analyzing, and in American sports casting today, that means making bold statements. I think that pressure gets the better of them. Also, I think for non-fans of soccer this adds drama which brings in the less passionate fans but infuriates those of us who watch this year round. Its not that different than the personal stories that chop up the Olympics.

      3) Donovan. Donovan! It took me a week to get my head back on straight after the announcement. I knew there was a 10% chance he would not make the team, however it still hit me like a ton of bricks. My following of the USMNT goes back to John Harks (I remember the Pert commercials), and no field player (McBride came close) moved the offensive expectations of the team like this. I think it is pure ego from Klinsmann that he is not on the team. And that is an utter shame.

      Donovan is no longer the best player on the team, but his skills are still unique and unmatched by anyone on the current roster. And, I believe, as do many others that he is still among the top 10. Our talent pull is far broader than 2010, and while I believe it is also a bit deeper it is still not deep. So given the drop off in talent, say from Donovan to the final 3 (no need to use the names) it is still disapointing.

      No, Donovan is in no way a replacement for Jozy, but as we now know, NOONE on this team is that direct replacement. That became clear v Ghana. It would have been nice to at least try a top triad of LD-MB-CD in some type of shape along with the added breath of FJ, Cameron, JJ, Mix, etc. Ultimately, I guess Klinsmann, for all his experimenting, essentially went back to 1994 American soccer with an important wrinkle– hardnosed marking, running, and defense everywhere on the field, counter, individual greatness or set piece goals – with the addition of defensive wings that are legitimate offensive assets. With that in mind, I guess Donovan became the odd man out of the starting line up in comparison to the work-horses defense Beckermann/Bedoya/Zusi offer. (Donovan is a better defender than given credit for, but for pure marking, positioning, tackling, these guys do get the nod.) Still, in a game like Ghana where the pressure was pretty hot for 30 minutes or so, a well-played counter in the 60-80th minute essentially solves things, isn’t Donovan the exact sub you want.

      But that is not the question you asked. You wanted to know if Donovan should continue to be a topic of discussion. My answer, is an unequivocal Yes, and I am going to paraphrase Klinsmann in explaining it.
      a) It is Klinsmann himself that tells us every day, every player should be evaluated on his performance, his output, his decision making, his dedication to team. Therefore, shouldn’t the coach be up to such scrutiny. Each tactical decision, preparation for game, and each selection of team and line up. Klinsmann demands this from his players, and we have the right to demand it from him. In particular, I think he is long overdue for an explanation. There is an obvious one — Landon is not a true striker, Dempsey is the forward mid, and I wanted more defensive minded wings, so Landon does not fit. However, this does not answer the sub question, so it’s easier to just say nothing. As I stated before, IMHO, this is just ego on Klinsmann. This is his team, and no one else’s – certainly not an independent thinker like Donovan –should take any of that spotlight away.

      b)Rewards should be given for what you have done today, not what you have done previously. Today, Donovan is still among the 20 best field players on the team, and possesses a combination of control and counter from the mid through goal that no one else has. In the 2-0 qualifier against Mex he had a goal and an assist. In 2012 he DOMINATED the Gold Cup (which is ironically sighted as the springboard for at least 4 members of the current team.) Even if he does not fit in the system, he certainly fits in as a change of focus sub. As such, he should be on the roster. Conversely, Klinsmann was able to keep him off the roster because he was paid and rewarded by and large based on his name and what might come, not on what he’s done. (Qualifying for WC is now table stakes.) I have no idea how Klinsmann has the stones to come after Kobe Bryant (not a fan) for money based on past performance when that it EXACTLY what he got from the USMNT. (I’ll give Klinsi some credit for changing the midset of German soccer…a little. However, if you look at the RESULT in 2006 – Germany in 3rd at home, are we really calling this an amazing result.)

      c) Taking this in a positive side of this, when has the breath of talent ever been so great that a discussion such as this can go on. (Don’t give me Harks.) However, this is a real conversation about real results and possibilities for advancement and wins rather than that horrible “moral victory” conversation I remember so well. As fans, we should be able to relish in this conversation. In past world cups we talked of players who maybe simply did not belong on a world cup field. We knew the problem and saw them grow once the tournament began. But by and large there was no other choice — that dude was the best (or close to it) we had at that position and yet had almost no business being on the same field as other players. We don’t really have this problem this time around. The discussion has changed from “if we have this guy as a starter, there is no way we can really do anything” to “if Donovan were here, how would that change the nature of our outer-most potential”.

      This is awesome. This is the conversation futbol countries have all the time. They debate it game by game, player by player. I think inserting Donovan v Ghana after the Jozy injury would have created a stronger counter attack and more space for the midfield without detriment to the outstanding defensive play. He would have given a second outlet to Timmy who essentially began chucking all clears to JJ. I think there will be at least one more 15 minute stretch where we need someone more than just MB90 to creatively connect the midfield to the final third to create an opportunity. I Believe that We Will Win! I think we have the potential to do some damage. And I realistically understand that a few minutes of brilliance from Ronaldo could ruin everything before we get to far. And so, as a proud supporter of the US Men’s National Team, I will continue to debate the decision and cheer on our team.

  30. MikeG says:

    Coaches, Staff, Players: Thank you for the blood, sweat, tears, and every effort all of you make.

  31. Matt Bk says:

    I want to thank Clint for doing what he did. It’s what we all wanted. He took the attack to Ghana and scorched them… in the first minute. I know this is obvious, but it hasn’t been said enough amidst the hand wringing and angst. That’s our team, that’s how these guys play. Throw out your fears, lose the hate. These guys are going to come at Portugal to win – and win they can. We proved that.

  32. Dennis says:

    Johnson and Beasley did one thing pretty well, they did not let the attackers get to the goal line and cross the ball back so that the central defenders seldom had to defend while facing their own goal. Nearly all the crosses came in from about the 18 and where high which played to the strength of the tall US central defenders. Ghana’s attacking tactics were found wanting as they played to the US strength and not their own.

    In midfield, Ghana was able to outnumber the US when the US tried to go forward and the US forwards did not do a good job of showing for passes so that the US midfielders had to look for a second option while Ghana’s midfielders closed them down. That resulted in more than a few balls that went to no one. The US forwards must do a better job of getting open quickly when the midfield has the ball. Perhaps it will not matter as much against Portugal who will be pushing forward and leaving the US attackers unattended. But I do not think Germany will be less vigilant defensively than Ghana was for most of the game.

    • Justice says:

      More accurately, it was Ghana’s awful passing and crossing that fizzled out attacks. And still the US could not control the game. Awful play by US. Ugly win and a win is not good enough if it is by the skin of your teeth… that won’t work vs Germany or Portugal.

    • Emma Jones says:

      Nice assessment.

  33. Keith says:

    Regardless if it’s AJ or Wondo up front, I think Beckerman is essential to the chemistry of the defense. I’d like to see Zusi start, I’d like to see Yedlin sub in early if DMB looks like he’s having any issues, and I really wouldn’t mind seeing Jones as a sub. But, all those things I’d like aren’t as important as keeping the dreadlocks in the back of the midfield.

  34. Dan says:

    Let’s see how Germany does against an extremely athletic and skilled Ghana team (albeit with poor tactics). Germany’s 4-1 rout of Portugal felt more like a 2-1 win. This group is more evenly matched than people think.

  35. Justice says:

    Fire Klinsmann

  36. Fast Eddie says:

    From the very bad attacking play and with Jozy out it is false 9 time with Julian Green starting.

  37. Murray Braun says:

    Lots of denial on these boards.
    We’ve lost our only target forward. Dempsey, Johannsson and Wondo aren’t targets.
    Dempsey can’t wear a mask in Manaus. Local anesthetic lasts about four hours–so that’s brilliant, and will help him when he gets smashed by Portuguese players.
    This makes 4321 and 4231 difficult if not impossible.
    It’s 4-4-2 or nothing–with the players that are 100%–in the jungle.
    JK will be forced to make his 3 subs in the second half from a bench of Wondo, Davis, Chandler, Yedlin and Green in that order.
    This doesn’t look good but isn’t hopeless.

    • Steve Ralston says:

      If this is the formation and system Klinnsman prefers, why didn’t he bring another target forward? EJ or Boyd?

      • Bac says:

        Yes Steve, Boyd is definitely a legit question. (disagree about EJ-see above).
        My guess is Wondo was just playing too well over Boyd in camp to cut him??
        And if this unfortunate scenario happened, his contingency plan was more of a 2 man front…

  38. Sean says:

    Just don’t put Dempsey in the midfield. He has a phobia of defensive responsibilities.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I’ve seen Dempsey hustle back further than our CBs to cover goal on many occasions. What you mistake as “a phobia of defensive responsibilities” is far more likely a game plan decision to have Dempsey reserve his energy for scoring goals. Do you really want your forwards running box to box?

  39. BamaMan says:

    I think it’s entirely possible we start against Portugal with the lineup we finished with against Ghana. Only changes I see could be (a) Bessler back in over Brooks, but I think Klinsmann has been pretty big on riding momentum for guys; (b) Mix in over AJ with Dempsey moving to holdup position and Mix playing more of a false 9 role; (c) Timmy Chandler over Beasley; I thought Beasley played well considering he was the target all night and Chandler ha struggled; (d) big stretch here, but benching Bradley? He played poorly. I’m not sure what we’d do. Maybe keep Bedoya and Zusi both in and move Jones up.

    • Clover362 says:

      Beasley had a tough game but that is more of a credit to Ghana’s quality and a dedicated decision to attack him on the flank in 2 v 1 situations, While beasly couldn’t stop the crosses I think all but 1 of them was him in the area to bother the Ghana player and it forced lob after lob into the middle where I bet the US feels good about their chances of preventing a goal with tall center backs and Tim Howard’s box presence. After all of the 2.5 chances ghana created none came from a cross on beasley’s side.

  40. jordanthesoccer says:

    Don’t be surprised to see Green in this game. If anywhere, up top. With Jozy out, and nary a Boyd or a Johnson on the roster we will not play the ball over the top to our holding ST/CF. But rather what I expect to see is a ground game, short passes, from players that have the motor to move.

    Our opponent in Portugal is reckless in dangerous challenges, and oft to lose their heads fairly easily. Green, although not the physically strongest player on our bench – is one of the fastest, and quick enough where the fouls on him should be plentiful. Pairing him on top with Clint, or having him play just above Clint might make for some very interesting link up play. Homeboy (Green) should only be used as a forward, is a liability as a LM.

    • Emma Jones says:

      Jordan,

      Dream scenario. Green comes in at forward, handles the pressure and scores. Next best thing, he keeps Portugal guessing and opens up the defense for Clint and company.

      Theoretically, it could happen. Realistically, it would probably be smarter not to put an 18 year old under such pressure in his first game, but he might be mentally tough enough to handle it.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Would be fun to see Green draw a few dangerous free kicks, a card or two, and maybe even a penalty….

  41. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Does anyone have stats on how far teams have run in this tournament? Where can I find that info?

    I’m curious to compare the USAvGhana triumph to other matches.