SBI Sunday Rewind: The USMNT’s gut-punch draw to Portugal; Belgium advances; and more

Tim Howard omg Portugal getty

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Sunday was game day for the U.S. Men’s National Team and there was no bigger story than the U.S. drawing to Portugal in the second round of Group G, the so-called World Cup “Group of Death.” But more than the score, what stood out was the brutal ending for the Americans, who let Portugal equalize in the 95th minute on what was effectively the last play of the match. As the group stands, the U.S., Portugal, Germany and Ghana are all still alive in the group.

From Brazil, SBI’s Franco Panizo reported the Americans were still positive in their post-game reaction — after all, a draw to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal was a fine result, despite the harsh ending. SBI named Jermaine Jones the Man of the Match for his top-notch play on both sides of the ball and a beautiful long-range goal.

In other group play, Belgium forged ahead with their World Cup campaign, beating Russia to secure an early place in the knockout rounds. And Algeria were able to top South Korea in a wild back-and-forth goal fest.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:

U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM:
Last-gasp goal from Varela sees USMNT settle for discouraging draw vs. Portugal

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones

World Cup: USA vs. Portugal (SBI Live Match Commentary)

Portugal enter must-win match vs. USMNT ravaged by injuries

WORLD CUP:
Belgium score late winner to beat Russia, advance to knockout rounds

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Divock Origi

Algeria outlast South Korea in wild six-goal thriller

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Islam Slimani

World Cup Day 11: Your Running Commentary

World Cup Day 11: A Look Ahead

 

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79 Responses to SBI Sunday Rewind: The USMNT’s gut-punch draw to Portugal; Belgium advances; and more

  1. Ali Dia says:

    I rode the train home from today’s game (in LA, this is a time-consuming affair), I was, of course, a bit drunk and hoarse in the throat. And hungry. And so I made a decision to cut my trip short, say goodbye to my buddies, get off at a station near my girlfriend’s house and walk over there (about a mile walk through a heavily Mexican-American neighborhood).

    Best decision ever. I was geared out pretty heavily in USMNT stuff, and I got so much love from people I had never met I stopped three times to have a beer, eat BBQ, and talk WC with folks… I probably could’ve stopped 10 more.

    The consensus among these random people? Everybody gushes about this team– how what is happening here is new, different, special– Lots of well deserved pride for El Tri, but much more respect that I’m used to in these moments for the USA…. Everybody I met had something to say about Tim Howard, or Jermaine Jones, or how they don’t even like our team but they’d never miss a game these days,,,

    It was great day. Sucker punches happen in soccer. In time, you get used to it.

    We’re getting through. I have no doubt.

    Don’t look so surprised.

    • TomG says:

      Cool story, bro. I agree. There was still so much that was great to take from yesterday.

    • Awesome story! Despite the defensive lapse at the end, I think most of us are feeling a lot better about this team after yesterday’s performance. Hope we find a way through on Thursday.

      • Don the Jewler says:

        Really ? I don’t know about that, I’m sick to my stomach there is now a real possibility that we don’t get out of the group

        • johnny99 says:

          Well, there was a real possibility that we don’t get out of the group before yesterday’s game, so in that sense nothing’s changed.

        • Dirk McQuigley says:

          If we play as well as we did against Portugal, we are going through. We can even advance w/ a loss in most scenarios as lon g as we maintain a superior goal difference to Ghana. Germany should be worried. Their left flank is weak as Atsu exposed them. I would play Johnson and Yedlin on the right again. Let’s be pro-active and attack it. The early goal killed us and made us chase the game Bob Bradley style. Bradley how do you miss an open goal. The corner was open! And the give away. You deserve to lose your spot to Diskerud. Cameron sucked. Why not start Brooks and Besler? Bedoya was pretty impotent, bearing some responsibility for the cross that Cameron shanked right to Nani. I would replace Bedoya. We might want to consider Brad Davis on the LW and/or Julian Green. Germany is weak out wide. We can exploit this.

          • Steven C says:

            Umm, if we lose and Ghana wins, our goal difference is null by default.

          • Matthew R says:

            Its not an open goal if theres someone standing in front of you… i.e. that guy named Costa who blocked the shot… People act like he whiffed or put it wide in an empty net situation. He didn’t. He one-timed that ball as hard as he could and put it on frame and by the grace of everything good in Portugal and Costa’s pure luck he happened to be standing in the exact position that Bradley shot the ball. People act like Bradley had time to take a touch and look up and shoot. He didn’t. Bradley one-timed the s*** out of that ball and Portugal got lucky. Get over it. If you want to sit Bradley against Germany then go ahead and watch our team struggle for 90 minutes.

          • Matthew R says:

            Also if you’re considering Green or Davis over Bedoya then you surely have not watched any games other than these two at the world cup, or you have and seem to forget what that might look like. Also, Cameron DID have a bad game for a defender because he had 90 solid minutes but two mistakes bookending his shift. However, to drop him for THAT would be a mistake. Cameron has played in probably close to 75 games for the US and Stoke City against top flight competition since WC Qualifying started, and to drop him after one bad game after he’s shown that he consistently plays well and rebounds from any mistakes would be foolish.

            • Matt C says:

              Matthew, there you go again with that intelligent/logic crap. Please get drunk, put on your Bradley/Cameron hater goggles and come back with something that’s got much more of a rant tone to it.

            • Brett says:

              Bedoya has been very lackluster. He has the motor but lacks the final ball. If you could combine him with Zusi, you’d have a pretty good player. Personally, I don’t want to see either against Germany.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Sounds like Dirk’s management style would be to immediately drop everyone after a bad game. Luckily, JK isn’t quite so harsh.

    • Pissed! says:

      If you were wearing a Zusi jersey I hope they were saying “we love you forever and ever!”

    • Chad says:

      Nice story…good to hear this…thanks for sharing!

  2. Steven C says:

    I noticed on ESPN, they have a poll asking, “Which place will the US finish in Group G?”

    4% put 4th. D’oh. I’m not exactly sure why they included 4th in the poll, since it is impossible for us to actually finish there.

  3. Dirk McQuigley says:

    I have NEVER been a fan of the “keep the ball in the corner to kill the clock” strategy. IMO it’s the prevent defense of futbol. We could have Yedlin attacking the goal or passing to a virtual empty net because everyone was expecting us to go to the corner. We ended up blowing a game in similar fashion in the Olympic Qualifying against El Salvador (?) two years ago.

    • AP says:

      I too see a patter here…

      Jürgen said that each nation develops its own character resulting from playing the game, their OWN style of play. The game reflects the culture. So regarding the game, how do we define American culture form what we saw in the Amazonian jungle; can we define American culture form what we saw in the Amazonian jungle?

      We play the game a certain way, with OUR style. WE WORK … HARD. We don’t lie on the ground rolling around fainting injury; we don’t commit infractions maliciously; we play the game the “right way”.

      Jürgen also states that we need to get “meaner”. I think what he means is that we need to learn “how to cheat”. That is not reflected in our game nor our culture. We play the game the “right way”.

      A whole series of errors resulted in the tying goal by Portugal last night.

      Yedlin failing to track back & fowl after losing the ball in the corner.
      Bradley failing to recognize the danger, not tracking back and fowling after losing the ball in midfield.
      Tim Howard not pointing out the danger, singular, to the defenders, who were facing the goal
      Howard not being aggressive enough coming off his line and clear out all present in HIS box
      Johnson & Cameron watching the ball rather than being spatially aware of the danger.

      A series of errors that reflects how WE play the game …
      We don’t know when to fowl …
      We need to get “meaner”.

      See USA v Ghana … WC 2006 (group stage)
      See USA v Ghana … WC 2010 (R16)
      See USA v El Salvador (U-23) … Olympic Qualifyers 2013
      See USA v Portugal … WC 2014 (group stage)

      We need to BREAK this pattern

      USA, do or die, USA !!!

  4. Lorenzo says:

    Do we know how many people watched the game on TV?

  5. Crazy world says:

    that tie against portugal feels like a loss. ughhh!

  6. lassidawg says:

    It probably won’t happen, but the USA and Germany should make an on field deal to take it easy on each other. Yes I know that goes against everything in sports, but the idea in this tournament is to advance. I say let Germany have first and we take second because it doesn’t really matter where you end up any team is going to be capable of winning that game. The German’s incentive for doing this is their round of 16 game would be on Monday June 30th, so it will give them a better chance to be healthier. It also helps to avoid any yellow card suspensions.
    for the USA it is obvious it means in addition to the above reasons it means they are in.
    Before the tournament everyone was hoping Germany would be in the position of not needing a result so they would likely take it easy, what we didn’t expect was for the USA to be in the same spot. ItThe Germans are in a spot of needing what we need, a tie. Both earned the right to do this by playing better against Portugal and Ghana.

    • Raymon says:

      we dont need a deal, havent you been listening to the commercials – all or nothing bro

      • lassidawg says:

        Thanks, but I’ll take the kick around and advancement over some doubt
        Goal is to win and the best way for both teams is to show up and tie.

    • Felix says:

      People are talking about a secret “deal” between Germany and the USA, but no deal needs to be done.
      Think about it….. Germany only needs a draw to secure 1st (which is all they care about) and all we (the USMNT) need is a draw to secure advancement. After two tough games in the heat and a final one in Recife, what reason would either of these two countries push for again when they can both advance with a draw and somewhat rest up for the Round of 16.
      A deal isn’t needed when common sense already dictates the pragmatic approach.

    • AP says:

      We don’t play for no stinkin’ tie. The team will have to COWBOY up and stick it to them Germans … time to SUFFER lads!

  7. Matthew R says:

    I need to say something to all these Bradley haters who have shown up on other posts (and this one) calling for him to replaced. Since the majority of you conveniently haven’t started posting since the World Cup started, I’m going to take you back to a sweltering WCQ game against Costa Rica in Costa Rica this past year that you may or may not have seen depending on whether or not you just started watching US Soccer (which is fine if you have). Bradley rolls his ankle in the pre game warm ups and gets scratched from the lineup, and within the first 5 minutes (just like yesterday) Costa Rica goes up on a goal that probably should have been defended better. All of a sudden, looking for someone to take control of the game for the US and to help us keep possession and build going forward, everyone realizes there’s no Michael Bradley. Costa Rica remains in control of the game and scores a 2nd goal within minutes that quite frankly the US never recovered from that night. Now fast forward to yesterday and the difference is Michael Bradley IS on the pitch. Michael Bradley sees that our team is shaken and drops back ALL THE WAY from his position underneath Dempsey to gain possession in the back and starts controlling the tempo going forward. Guess what? It worked. For the next 15 minutes the United States did not concede a second easy goal like they did in Costa Rica. Michael Bradley combined with Jones and Zusi and worked the ball up the field and then had two amazing sequences with Dempsey in which he first put Dempsey in on goal with a ball over the top, and then got a wonderful shot of his own on goal after a Dempsey back heel. Most of you don’t seem to realize that in the vital 15 minutes after we conceded it was Michael Bradley who kept our team in this game, he went from being just a creative midfielder to a box to box midfielder in the 80+ degree Manaus heat and near 100% humidity just to breathe some life into this team to put us back on our feet. And yes, he did get tired near the end of the game. After 95 minutes of covering more ground than just about anybody except for Jermaine Jones, Bradley did get tired. But if you wan’t to pin our late goal concession on him, instead of thinking that maybe DMB could’ve closed down on Ronaldo much better instead of giving him space, or acknowledging that both of our CB’s didn’t pick up Varela’s run when they should’ve (neither did Howard), or realizing that Omar Gonzalez was brought on the field with quite literally one job to do (win headers) and wasn’t even near Varela at the time of the goal- then go ahead. Blame him. Bench him for our next game against Germany. I don’t know if you saw our game against Costa Rica, but it was ugly, one of the hardest games I’ve had to watch as a fan of the USMNT. It will be a lot uglier if Bradley isn’t there this Thursday against Germany.

    • Raymon says:

      I hate to admit that I groaned when I saw Gonzo get on, and was hoping he wouldnt goof and concede a goal, given his recent appearances. I know that Howard, Beas and the other defenders could have helped prevent that goal, but you are spot on that Gonzo had one job to do and was AWOL in the key play of the night. Ugh.

      • Increase says:

        I don’t even know if we can blame Gonzo. I will need to rewatch the play. Now “should” he have been there? As he was like the only guy with Energy. Sure. I dunno if we can actually blame him though.

        Also Bradley did well enough but I think we learned we might need to sub the man at like the 80th minute.

        • Matthew says:

          I would be perfectly fine with that. If we need him to run that much in the course of the game then by all means replace him when he gets tired and can’t anymore. It’s just the people who overlook everything good that he did and think that he shouldn’t even start that I disagree with.

    • Matt C says:

      Matthew…holy sh%t…there you are again…posting well thought out explanations.

      thank you for saving me the time to write everything you already did. The Jr haters never really went away; they just hid under their rocks waiting for the slightest perceived slip up.

      • Matthew says:

        Haha, thank you, it’s good to know there’s someone capable of understanding logical thought.

    • DanO says:

      +1

      Bradley has been subpar so far, but a subpar Bradley is still well ahead of any replacement. Plus, he’s being asked to play higher up the field than he’s used to, and has not been as effective as a result. However, the combination of Bradley being higher and Beckerman further back has allowed Jones to be a monster.

      Bradley’s giveaway was terrible, and it started a chain of mistakes that you nicely outline. He should have smashed it anywhere, and hopefully has learned from the mistake.

      All that said, I still want him on the field at all times and trust him to do what needs to be done. He will get a goal and/or an assist this WC.

    • AP says:

      Yes, I too groaned, for a bit … He has been playing bad football for a month now (since camp), but his mistakes were not apparent because it cost US(A) nothing.

      We need him to step his game up. His WORDS are fine, but We need his ACTIONS, positive action. While I was “briefly PO’ed” post match, the bigger picture prevailed …

      WE NEED MICHAEL BRADLEY !!!

      • Matthew R says:

        This is a good point and I won’t deny that he hasn’t been the same player since camp started. I think a lot of that has to do with his new role as a creative midfielder up top instead of as a deep lying midfielder. That being said though, his play up top has allowed Jermaine Jones to go into beast mode so it is possible that Bradley’s new role, although it’s making him play worse, is actual beneficial on the whole for our team. Ideally though we can have our Michael Bradley from the first half of the Mexico game as well as our beast in Jermaine Jones.

  8. Raymon says:

    Weren’t we talking about a “successful” WC even without getting out of the group? One of those scenarios was 1 W, 1 D, 1 L. If you asked me 2 weeks ago if I would take 4 points after 2 games (including beating GHA), I wouldve said heck yeah. Even a L against Ger could see us through if Por win and we have the GD advantage (i.e., dont give away a -4 GD).

    • Raymon says:

      And I believe we can win. WIN, not advance on GD or even a draw. The Germans are very vulnerable at the back, as potent as they are up top.

  9. Brett says:

    It sucked to have our ticket to the next round snatched away on the last kick, but in the end we still got a point against a team that every expert picked to beat us out of desperation. We faced a team with world class players who were playing for their tournament and we had them on the ropes. This is a huge positive, though it might not be as positive as it could have been. In all fairness, with our defensive blunders we could not really say we deserved the victory.

    Our scenarios for qualification are now many. We don’t have to win the final game to advance, and even a draw guarantees us passage. If you had told me that was our scenario headed into the final group match back in May, I would have gladly taken it. To have our fate in our own hands is all we could have asked for.

    As for the way we gave up the goal, that has me a little worried. Klinsmann outsmarted himself. Bradley’s giveaway was horrid, but Gonzalez was mentally not into the game and was lazy tracking back on the goal. Why on Earth is our extra central defender 30 yards from goal when the cross comes in?

    I’m a realistic fan with unrealistic hopes. All I really expect is for the team to show well, and through two games they’ve done just that–beaten a very good Ghana and fought to a hard-luck draw against the team boasting the world’s best player. Not too shabby.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      +1

    • White Kix says:

      Gonzo is our best player in the air, but that was a bad sub. Our defense had played well on the night (With the exception of a few poor to terrible clearances, but we were there). The players knew their marks and spacing. We were already playing a 4-5-1 with the central midfield dropped deep, so we had plenty of players ready for clearances. Then adding the extra man in the middle messed with the spacing and marks. The other problem was we sacrificed our left mid to put the extra person in the middle. So when Ronaldo gets the ball on the right, Beasley is all alone marking the best player in the world. Beasley gave up the cross from 30 yards out to prevent getting beat. Goal. If we still had a left midfielders, we could have put pressure on Ronaldo and prevented that delivery. That change of formation cost us the game.

  10. Uncle Sam says:

    Ugh Bradley and Cameron killed us. While Bradley has given his usual work rate and effort but he hasn’t been nearly the offensive spark he was supposed to be. The second goal for the US was a result of a bad touch as was the sequence that led to the goal. His passing AGAIN was very suspect. Despite all the hate, it very scary to think where the US would be without German-Americans. This is why it was important to advance. There will be no Dempsey, Howard, Jones, or Beckerman in 4 years and the pipeline is thin even with the dual nationals

    • Clover362 says:

      I think the future is actually really bright. This cycle has represented the transition from the Donovan-Dempsey-Beasley generation (the greatest generation in US history so far) and they have done so well and getting great results. There are a lot of younge players that didn’t even sniff the roster this cycle and players that are on this team that are not getting playing time at all who will hopefully continue to develop.

      With that said we will have a great core of players returning for the next cycle. MB will be 30 (I could see him being used as more of a pure d-mid like beckerman or jones), bessler will be 31, brooks will be 25, Gonzalez would be 29, Fabian Johnson would be 30, chandler would be 28, mix would be 27, bedoya word be 31, altidore would be 28, Johannson would be 28. Green will be 23, yeldlin would be 24. Even Cameron would only be 32.

      • White Kix says:

        I understand what you are saying Clover, but predictions for four years out are hard to do. 4 years ago we could have said Gooch will only be 32 and Holden will be in his prime. I was expecting John O’Brien to lead us in 2006. Some of those players you listed will be there, but many will not (Look how many players we had return from 2010, even though I think that number should be higher than it is).

  11. Gerald says:

    Gonzalez was playing in front of the back 4 (a mistake in my opinion) instead of playing 5 along the back and yes the CB’s were blindsided by Varela Let’s give some credit to CR who made a great cross as well as Varela for the finish. Bradley took a good shot and Costa made a better play that happens. I was wiped walking out of the stadium (about 10-12K US Fans) but 4 points is exactly where I thought we would be. The short turnaround and travel is not going to help

    • Brett says:

      His feet should never have left the 18. Absolutely no reason to push that far forward in the 94th minute.

    • Uncle Sam says:

      Agreed once again Gonzales proves he can’t play at this level. Lacks the soccer IQ and is too slow. He has also been injured and out of form should have been left in LA with Landon. This is one sub Klinsman screwed up on. Brooks is taller faster and apparently a gamer. Even if he had been in the wrong spot like Gonzalez he would have had the speed to make it up unlike Omar who would lose a foot race with Cuahtemoc Blanco if it were held today.

      • White Kix says:

        The problem with the sub was not who was put in, but the change in the formation. We gave up our left side, and Ronaldo happily took it over.

  12. Clint says:

    I’m having fun playing ball and laughing at all the A-holes who thought I was done

  13. Clover362 says:

    Just to make a few points. Bradley had a good game and a bad touch at the end that never should have lead to the goal but it did. MB deserves some blame but the amount of scorn he is receiving is rediculous. If anyone deserves this amoun of internet hate it’s Cameron who was most responsible for both of Portugal’s goals.

    At the start this tournament I think we all would have considered 4 points in 2 games a success but at the same time we played so well and came so close not getting the 3 points feels like a loss and I’m gutted.

    I hope the US goes through and we have a strong chance but I’m worried. Hopefully both teams will score a goalie the first half and then Be very cautious in the second leading to a tie. Portugal has no chance against Ghana. Reading their body language and the quotes from after the game it’s clear they have given up. I expect Ghana to win comfortably and erase our GD advantage.

    Last point this tournament should put all the klinsmann hate to rest forever. He has done great. His game plans have been spot on, his subs had made impacts, and he has the team full of belief and playing great. We just tied Portugal in a game they had to win and we are feeling disappointed, klinsmann has given us the reason to have such expectations and that is a huge step forward for the US. Also he has brought in and made a successful transition to a new generation while archiving even better results. The cuter is very bright.

    • Matthew R says:

      Agree with you on all points especially about Klinsmann. I can’t count the number of people who asked what we would do needing a goal late in a game and saying Klinsmann was an idiot for not bringing Landon. Turns out DeAndre Yedlin can help score late goals. Oh, also this guy named John Brooks, he must’ve been picked because he is Jurgen’s beat German busy or something *sarcasm*, turns out he can score goals too.

    • Uncle Sam says:

      Future is NOT bright. We have Green, Brooks and Maybe Zelaleem and that’s about it. No US born players look WC worthy as of now. Heck we don’t even have a goalie for the next cycle as even Guzan is getting long in the tooth. I fully expect Howard to retired from intl play after the WC. He will have the record and has stated he doesn’t see himself playing past his current Everton contract

      • blokhin says:

        the funny thing about the future is that you have no idea what’s going to happen…

        ithe National Team is kind of like college football or basketball, no matter how great a certain payer or a certain team was-there will always be another taknig its place and often times performing even better than its predecessors…

        Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were not on anyone’s USMNT radar post WC 2010. Omar Gonzalez was all but anointed a starting CB spot, but he did not live up to it on the field.

        Beckerman and Holden anchored the 2009 Gold Cup Final disaer against Mexico and if you had to bet which of the two would be a WC 2014 starter, I doubt you would have bet on Beckerman

        between now and 2018 there a four club seasons, where hundreds of players will play hundreds of games among those, only 23 will get picked for the roster-besides, there’s gotta be more Germericans and Boy Band Scandinavians around, right?

      • deno says:

        How was Yedlin rated 4 years ago?

        • Clover362 says:

          He wasn’t because he was only 16. Check out my post Ina. Reply a bit further up, The US will have the option of returning a huge amount of core players from this team next cycle (most will still be in their prime (26-31).

      • slowleftarm says:

        No US born players look WC worthy? What are you talking about? For starters, how about the numerous players on this WC squad who are young enough to play in Russia? Someone recently posted this website’s first edition of “23 for 2014″ which was published a few days after the Ghana defeat in 2010. Four years ago, most of the guys who are on this roster weren’t even on the radar yet.

        Every cycle we are getting better and better. I wasn’t sure before this tournament started whether this squad was better than 2010 but now I’m sure that it is. Doesn’t yet have the experience that squad had but more talent overall I think.

    • Vlad says:

      Bradley was the WORST PLAYER on the field. I have absolutely no clue what you were looking at. Lazy and ineffective

    • chris says:

      I agree with the majority of your comment but to say JK hasn’t put a foot wrong is a little over the top. Part of Bradley’s problem is he was asked to play a different role than he’s played all through qualifying 3 games before the world cup. He’s looked lost out there. You also have to question JK’s decision to remove Zusi and put on Gonzalez especially when the CB you put on is no where to be found and that vacated LM spot would have doubled up on Ronaldo. It didn’t work against Nigeria and didn’t work yesterday.

      Where did this new generation notion come from? Bradley had to replace more 30+ players than JK has had to

  14. QuakerOtis says:

    The main thing this team (and I) need now are rest and an ice cream party. Anything to keep legs fresh and the psyche positive.

    No getting around the fact that we could have played better at key moments. But that’s how it goes some times. We benefited from Ghana’s momentary lapses this in our win against them, and now we suffer a draw the raw way too.

    But come on: Cameron’s poor clearance playing out that way was just crap luck. And while he and MB certainly could have played better, how about giving the Portuguese some credit? Nani didn’t choke with his sitter, and that cross and finish on the FINAL DO OR DIE play… if I were a neutral, that’s the play of the tournament so far. It took bad luck and a masterful, instant-classic play for Portugal (PORTUGAL!) to DRAW an otherwise BETTER US team.

    I am nervous as hell about getting dropped from this group. But that’s only because the odds are STILL in our favor. No matter what, proud of this team and all its players.

    • Increase says:

      I’ll give the last goal credit as amazing. I wish the Portuguese players looked like they actually wanted it though. Seriously Portugal if you aren’t gunna try in the last game…why try then.

      Nani well… ever since that amazing header to steal away a Ronaldo goal in the Euros he is kinda a joke to me. He avoided being super incompetent I suppose.

  15. Vlad says:

    How are people so blind to Bradley, if Jones had the game Bradley did the last 2 world cup matches, + at least the last sendoff people would be crucifying him. Are people forgetting that Bradleys lack of pressure outside the box directly led to a shot hitting off the post?

    Go back and watch the game Bradley was refusing to pressure the ENTIRE GAME. If you look at him specifically you will see him jogging alongside Portugals midfield putting 0 pressure on the ball from the very first minute of the game. He was absolutely pitiful, and frankly worse than Cameron.

    • Chad says:

      I can excuse Bradley’s reduced defensive pressure as he is playing higher. What I cannot excuse is his sloth on the ball & the turnover that cost us the win.

      • Vlad says:

        You cant excuse it when is is 5 yards outside our box and not pressuring. He did that the ENTIRE game. He was not up the field he was in perfect positions to make defensive challenges but refused to. That is inexcusable. Even look at Portugals mids, if he was in their area they didnt even worry about it

        • Chad says:

          You are probably right…though I’d prefer Bradley to be comfortable in possession and react quicker with distribution.

          Cameron and Gonzales were much worse defensively and that is their prime responsibility.

    • deno says:

      Bradley was gassed. He ran himself out of the game.

  16. That_Guy says:

    The lack of experience really showed last night. Hopefully for 2018 that won’t be a problem.

    Ugh Michael Bradley, just Ugh. We all know he is better, he just isnt showing it. I really would have liked Edu to make the the team just for this reason. Would have been nice to of taken Bradley off the field at like 85 and have a fresh CDM who can also do something in offense. Plus the sub for Gonzo was a waste. Hmm, Ronaldo plays out on the wing? How about we take off the man covering him and stick a CB who has the soccer IQ of a kindergartner to figure things out. Really worked out.

    Is it too much of a stretch that this is the effect of playing bradley playing in MLS? I understand the move if it was made for his kid, family comes first. But if he made this bc he wanted to play more, then yikes what a terrible move. He can boss around the crummy Concacaf teams and half strength European rosters, but now against the real deal he is faltering. i can’t really say he is the best player in the pool anymore. When the USA are on the main stage he cannot deliver. And the scariest thing is he won’t advance to become any better in the MLS.

    • deno says:

      I think Bradley is trying to do to much. He’s running too much and gassing himself. He ran almost 2000m more than the next closest player: link to resources.fifa.com

      He really should’ve been subbed for fresh legs.

      • Vlad says:

        That has nothing to do with it. Before the half he jogged along side a major threat who rang a shot off the post

  17. Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

    Would like to see what the Portugal media/fans are saying and how the Portugal team feels. They are in worse position than us and is probably getting a lot of heat from their side. Maybe that will help us and the US team feel better :-D

  18. slowleftarm says:

    Bradley was much better than he was against Ghana, although he certainly can play a lot better too. Sure, his giveaway was a bad mistake but at that point, the ball is about 70 yards from goal and there’s plenty of blame to go around. People calling for him to be benched need their head examined. There isn’t a logical replacement (and no Mix is not a logical replacement) and benching anyone who has a poor game isn’t a strategy, it’s just emotional nonsense.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      This

    • Vlad says:

      Heres a change. Bench Bradleys underachieving behind and change formations. Go to a 4-4-2 with Bekerman and Jones, then 2 forwards with Wondo and Dempsey

      • Matthew R says:

        Here’s a change. Stop being such a fickle fan who only looks at a players most recent performance and uses that as their only basis for judging a player, and look at how poorly the US has played without Bradley. Then consider the fact that he possibly singlehandedly kept us in the game by dictating our play for the 20 minutes after we conceded.

    • Matthew R says:

      +1 thank you