SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones

Jermaine JonesPhoto by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

For virtually every minute following Clint Dempsey’s first-minute scoring opener, the U.S. Men’s National Team defended as if their lives depended on it. Through literal blood, sweat and tears, the U.S. fought back wave after wave of attacks from their World Cup nemesis, Ghana.

No man was more instrumental in preventing the Ghanaian siege than midfielder Jermaine Jones, who marshaled the U.S. defense all the way to a 2-1 victory. John Brooks will get the headlines for his late-game winner, but it was the play of Jones that won the U.S. the game, as the 32-year-old often times was exactly what stood between the U.S. lead and a Ghanaian onslaught.

Time and time again, it was Jones who made a key tackle to stop an attacking storm. It was Jones whose extinguished fire after fire in front of an inexperienced backline. It was Jones who played protector on the biggest stage when his side needed him most. It was Jones, the controversial, rambunctious and overly aggressive machine, whose calming influence led his side to the victory they needed to open the world’s biggest tournament.

Jones’ defensive performance was enough to earn him recognition as SBI’s World Cup Man of the Match, beating out teammates Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman and Tim Howard for today’s honors.

What do you think of Jones’ performance? Who impressed you the most in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s victory over Ghana?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

189 Responses to SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones

  1. Without a doubt, he earned it and then some. To have had him 4 years ago!

    • Sam U El says:

      Absolutely… He was the only player that seemed focused on the match… WTF was up with Bradley?

      • Fahq says:

        The team feeds off Bradley – his nerves and play today rattled nearly everyone else, aside from Jones. No idea what was going on with Bradley’s head today. Sick? Exhausted? He’s going to have to do better to advance.

      • Mark says:

        I agree Bradley had a bad game, but the guy really just got marked out of the match. There was almost always two guys breathing down his neck, and when he got the ball with space it was closed down so quickly that he had to get rid of it right away. The point is yea he did play poorly, but it’s hard to blame him,

        • Maykol says:

          Yeah it seemed like Ghana’s game plan was to bombard Beasly and limit Bradley as much as possible. Seems like a good idea, but Jones and Beckerman stepped up and Beasly was up to the challenge, not trying to excuse Bradley’s bad game though. Really proud of the boys

          • Nathaniel says:

            I don’t know how well known this is, but Beasley is around 5′ 8″. To hold up against the towering Ghana squad was a huge accomplishment.

        • Xander Crews says:

          That comment proves you weren’t paying attention. If he was marked out of the match, he wouldn’t have had the ball, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to give it away time and time and time again. To say he was simply marked out of the match means you’re either related to him or have never seen a match in your life.

          • Woody says:

            Marking out doesn’t imply never receiving the ball. It’s incredibly difficult to mark someone out to the point they they never touch the ball. But Bradley was constantly hounded with a man near enough by to make sure he had no time to make decisions. Doesn’t excuse the poor play though. Hope fully he will adjust and get back on track

          • flagermunsen. says:

            I agree with Xander. Bradley made his share of poor passes when he was not under heavy pressure. He was subpar and it Ghana’s midfield was not always the reason. I am curious to see completion percentages of the midfield in the first half. I thought they were better in the 2nd half. Jones included.

        • Alex says:

          I disagree. When he was not pressured, he gave the ball away cheaply on multiple occasions. Worst game he’s had in over a year. I hope he shakes this, otherwise we won’t advance.

          • Michael says:

            Bradley has not been himself the entire send-off series. He’s played well in many aspects, but has uncharacteristically turned the ball over waaaaaay more often than what we have grown used to seeing. This was the worst I’ve seen, but my wife and I had been talking about his unusual turnovers since the first game of the send-off series. Something is up. Nerves, funk, trying to do too much, Toronto, who knows? I just hope he gets it sorted out so we can see more of the Michael Bradley that beautifully flicked the ball over the top for Fabian Johnson’s volley vs Turkey and less of the turnover machine.

            • KGB says:

              +1. He was pretty awful in the first game of the send-off series. I feel like the picture-perfect chip pass he played to Fabian Johnson was given a lot of press, and almost masked the fact that Bradley wasn’t playing his best football of late. He needs to be that steady, reliable presence in the midfield for this team to have any further success.

            • White Kix says:

              Bradley is a very good passer for a holding midfielder. He not a very good passer for an attacking midfielder. He can hold it, keep posseion and hit an occasional through ball. He can’t consistently hit dangerous passes in the attack. The problem is Klinsmann wants an attcker who can defend first, and attack second. Bradley is a better as a holding mid, but he is a better passer than the other holding mids, so he gets moved up the field, and his performance suffers. He should be kept as a holding mid who can make an occasional great passer, and let some one else (Feilhaber) play the creator role.

          • Big Red says:

            This should not be surprising. This is how he has always played when asked to be an attacking midfielder. Remember Klinsman’s first match he managed against Mexico post 2011 Gold Cup? Bradley played an advanced midfield role. His terrible performance played him off the team for 6 months. He looks so much better when he plays next to someone else that can take the blame for his poor positioning.

      • Ben says:

        Nerves I think. Last time he has Landon and Dempsey to shield him. Now, this go round, it was clear to everyone, even fans who screamed nepotism in the past, that he was one of, if not our most, our important players, and he was look difficult in the pass the whole send off series. I’m not convinced he can handle it.

      • Ali Dia says:

        I’ve said it elsewhere so I won’t belabor the point… but this was a very bad matchup for Bradley. He lost focus a couple of times, but mostly the problems were due to size and athleticism of a monstrous and talented Ghana midfield. The other teams in the group will have their hands full too, if the Ghanaians aren’t too demoralized.

    • bphs says:

      Seriously. Two cheers for Jones. I’m proud that he made the choice to play for the United States.

  2. The Other Jeff says:

    So obvious a choice I’m astonished SBI seems to be the only one making it. How many US-Ghana games took place today? Honorable Mention to Dempsey who wins the OTM (one tough… you get the idea) award.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Your Moby D*ck post came to mind several times. Was that the white whale? How old am I now?

      • The Other Jeff says:

        That was The Chase – Day 1. Two more coming. Moby = Group of Death. (BTW, in my revised edition Ahab wins.)

  3. JoeW says:

    Very impressed. Outstanding match. Bradley was uneven. Dempsey had a superb goal and some good moments but he is always in and out of matches. But Jones rose to the occasion. He goaded a couple of Black Stars, he refused to back down, he played tough, he defended well but also had some good transition moments. Just an all-around stud of a game.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Bradley was not uneven: he was $hit. Total $hit.

      I honestly wouldn’t mind it one bit if he didn’t see the field for the rest of the tournament. He was beyond bad.

      Jones on the other hand played the game of his life. He was amazing.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        That is a complete over reaction to a bad game by Bradley . . . but yes it was a poor performance by MB90.

        There is no way we beat even an undermanned Portugal squad without Bradley playing a good game.

        • Joamiq says:

          Correct. Bradley was terrible tonight. But you don’t overreact and drop your best player on the basis of one poor game.

        • jmadsen says:

          yeah, but he rarely has two bad matches in a row. so, let him have the bad one when we win, and back to normal self for Portugal!

      • grubbsbl says:

        Step away from the keyboard and take a breather. Bradley missed a few passes but he was fine. Its a long tournament, he will come good.

        • MidWest Ref says:

          this may have been the poorest I have see Bradley play. He covered a lot of ground, but got in the way, was in between bounces, and I can’t think of a second ball that he won in the middle of the field.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Missed a few passes?????

          You obvious we not watching the same game as I was.

          He was TERRIBLE, and that is being generous.

          • just stop says:

            Bradley did have a poor match…. but that is uncommon. True to form, you are completely hysterical…… Bradley is terrible and should be benched… the US was pure rubbish in WC victory against a team they matchup very poorly with. You say Altidore was a big loss today, but commentated abused and trashed his every step for months. I remember a post of yours when Bradlley made the move to MLS where you said you were no longer supporting the US in World Cup, that you would be pulling for Brazil. Remember that beaut? I found that one particularly ludicrous coming from a poster named usaallthe way. Take a breath my man, we had a rough match with lots of adversity and yet… we’re 1-0 and still very much in this thing.

        • Ben says:

          While I agree he needs to take a breath, Bradley wasn’t “fine.” He played a terrible game and we don’t despite him. He absolutely needs to start and play against Portugal, but he needs to start and play a lot better.

        • Scott says:

          Missed a few passes? Missed the game! Terrible. Should have been the first sub if not for injuries. You don’t leave him out for the next game, but you do have his replacement scheduled if he shows like this next game. Jone and Beckerman had to cover for him the whole game. Hope he returns to normal against Portugal.

      • Sam U El says:

        Today Jones was the General and Bradley was Pvt Pyle.

        • usaalltheway says:

          You said it brother!!

          Jones was a beast and Bradley was clueless and lost all night.

      • Philly Union Rule says:

        Calm down. He is our engine in the middle. Muntari is a beast.

        • usaalltheway says:

          A broken engine who did nothing all night.

          He usually is great. Tonight he was by far the worst player on the field.

      • Hogatroge says:

        > I honestly wouldn’t mind it one bit if he didn’t see the field..

        Are you —king insane?

        He had his worst game in a long while. It happens to a lot of players. Bad timing? Heck yeah, but your statement is pretty much the dumbest thing I’ve read, maybe ever, and I’ve read the Twilight series.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Fan boys.

          And you read Twilight? And admit to it? HAHAHAHAHAH

          Fan boys will be fan boys.

          Let’s see if he picks it up next game. If you are right, great. At any rate, you read the Twilight books!!! Did you get wet?? ;)

          • Mason says:

            Give him the benefit of the doubt. Some people have daughters, and some fathers like to know what their daughters are up to.

            If he read it for GF, though, yeah… let him have it.

          • Lil'Zeke says:

            T r o l l

      • Xander Crews says:

        I’m with you, only I don’t get the people saying it’s only one game. Bradley had two absolute stinkers in the Send Off Series, now this – if they hadn’t had to use two substitutions as injury replacements, I’d have yanked his sorry butt and given Diskerud a run.

        • Annelid Gustator says:

          “I’d have yanked his sorry butt and given Diskerud a run.”

          And that would have been the ball-game. Mix would have been ground into Nutella out there.

          • Broadsthooligans says:

            Definitely. I still might’ve put mixx in but not for Bradley. He had a rough go because of a very solid midfield. Mixx would’ve done no better.

            I might’ve put him in for Dempsey who also looked totally shut down after they broke his nose. Without those two playing great games and with Jozy injured it’s gonna be a very rough tournament.

    • Futefan says:

      Marca, the Spanish site with no skin in this, gave jones a 6 and Bradley a 5. Dempsey and Howard got 7. I think American fans value the tackle too much, like the English. Part of the reason we had so little possession was because our defenders weren’t able to pass the ball forward.

  4. usaalltheway says:

    Obvious choice. He was all class all night. So happy that I can finally write these words!!!

  5. Venicebeachbull says:

    He was a boss. Totally deserving.

  6. MidWest Ref says:

    Compared to many here at SBI, I am not a Jones fan. But he played a man’s game today. Ghana played him very physically and he kept his cool when in the past he might have retaliated and gotten a yellow, or even sent off.

    Jones was tough in a midfield battle that the US didn’t exactly look convincing. Kudos to JJ who played the type of game we have all been looking for from him.

    • Citronomics says:

      Well said MidWest Ref. JJ played strong and composed throughout the 90 mins.

    • petro4ever says:

      Worth pointing out that he’s actually never been sent off for us, but overall, yea I agree with you — he had a monster of a game and MOTM is well deserved.

  7. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Jones was incredible. Best game he’s ever played in a US shirt.

  8. grubbsbl says:

    Jones is fine winner. He left everything on the pitch. JohnWallace is correct…. to have him four years ago.

    Yet, my vote went to Beckerman. He made so many tackles, was everywhere on the pitch and took his chance in possession excellently. No matter what we are splitting hairs here. Excellent performance.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Beckerman played a good disciplined game, and was one of the few who didn’t give away the ball immediately upon receiving pressure. I am not sure I have seen a USMNT game where we were so careless in possession.

      Between Bradley not passing to the team in red, to everyone else running into a cul-de-sac, our possession was awful

      • Grubbsbl says:

        That’s why I rate Beckerman’s performance so highly. His composure on the ball was a bright spot in a difficult midfield match. Bradley, et al struggled to find a teammate in red all night. I hate to admit it cause I have questioned him way too many times, but this match showed why Jozy is key. His hold up play and pace to run in behind opens up the field for our midfield. Once he left the pitch Ghana’s backline knew they had nothing to worry abt in terms of being beaten over the top. They stepped up, squeezed the space for Bradley to play, and combined with their athleticism in the midfield, it was going to be a long game.

        I’m sure if we were to get an on field view of how tight the midfield was, a lot of these Bradley haters would go back into the hole they crawled out of (seriously, you all want complain about an individual after a great team preformance?!?).

  9. ANM says:

    Absolutely the right MotM choice. Jones was brilliant in defense and even in attack. And he didn’t even get his yellow card! The best match he has played for the USA.

  10. JayAre says:

    + 100000000000

  11. Cmbecker says:

    I’ve been a huge Jones critic, but he played a HUGE game today, 100% deserves MotM

  12. TomM says:

    I think this was a Jones and Beckerman type of game, especially given we’re in a defensive shell for 80+ minutes – several of the players commented that Ghana is about the only team in the tournament that might surpass the physicality of the US.

    MB90 will have his game- don’t count him out yet based on one performance.

  13. Sam says:

    Matt Besler’s hamstring for MOTM.

  14. didoson says:

    This is actually several poor matches in a row from Bradley. this site and twellmann give him a free pass. Jones has been motm for last two games. His fitness is unbelievable and he has no quit in him at all. He carried the team today.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Wait a second; Bradley was passing the ball very well in the second half of the Nigeria game when they first tried this line up. He tackled plenty and as the cog for most of the game – he gave the ball away in the first half against Nigeria, but he was at the worst, solid in the other two games.

      • Ben says:

        Bradley made some, as in several, good passes against Nigeria, but I’m with OP. He has been way off in his passing for most of the send off series, and now this game

        • Alex says:

          Keep in mind he’s being asked to play a different role than he has in almost his entire USMNT career. I do agree he’s making very uncharacteristic mistakes despite this.

          • Ben says:

            I agree, but it has also seemed something that he has wanted, to be more than a defensive mid, so its a bit disappointing, but maybe you’re right implying its not surprising, that he has sucked a bit of a lemon lately.

        • Jo says:

          The two beautiful passes that set up 2 beautiful goals in the send-off series out-weigh 100 bad passes that give up possession. Bradley’s passing is worse now because he’s being asked to be the playmaking magician in the midfield. He’s never done it at the international level. He will learn and get better as the tournament progresses.

    • JustinV says:

      Really, because he looked great against Nigeria. This is the only bad game from Bradley I can recall for quite some time.

    • usaalltheway says:

      You are right about the free passes on this site. Bradley can be a great player but there are NO excuses for his performance tonight. He was beyond worthless. He actually hurt the team and should be benched for it. No excuses. It is the World Cup. You cannot play that poorly and be allowed to start.

      I wish the US fan base would actually watch the games before making their comments.

      • Joamiq says:

        I watch every game twice. The fact that you want to drop Bradley after today makes your opinion beyond worthless.

      • tom johnson says:

        watched the game, go pound sand. he was bad but you can’t bench his level of quality when the step down is so big. pull your head out of your self-righteous orifice.

        • Ben says:

          Agreed. Bradley was awful, just terrible, but you can’t drop him. Makes me worried for Portugal, but Bradley will, and has to, start.

        • usaalltheway says:

          He wasn’t bad. He was WORTHLESS.

          • Woody says:

            I wouldn’t say worthless. Even in stoppage time, he was running and defending. I would love to see Mix but in a tight game like this with Ghana pressing late, I would rather have a very off Bradley who still cover ground and defends well to a more offensive minded player. If this continues into next game and we need a goal, I expect Bradley will be subbed off.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            More useful than your “commentary”

          • MN Footie says:

            For chrissakes, usaalltheway….

            Bradley was terrible tonight, you’re absolutely right. But bench him???? #1: He’s almost never that bad, and in fact, most of the time over the past couple of years, he’s one of the best players on the pitch. #2: Who are you going to replace him with who has a CV and past results that can even come close to Bradley’s?

            There is no one. Please just stop the ridiculousness.

      • Dennis says:

        Bradley did not have a good game. But AJ was invisible to bad and after getting kicked in the face, Dempsey did not do a lot. Some of Bradley’s apparent confusion was likely due to turning upfield and not seeing a teammate moving to get open for a pass. Bradley did track back and made some key interceptions. His passing accuracy was uncharacteristically poor, but his movement was good and his teammates continued to give him the ball which says something positive about their faith in him.

      • Chris says:

        You are the KING of overreacting. Not debating how bad Bradley was, but I’m sure as hell debating that BENCHING our most integral player and one performance is absurd.

        Got to bed and calm down kiddo.

      • OwnGoal says:

        What the heII is wrong with you? You keep shouting the same crap all over this page, but you offer no insight or analysis AT All. We all watched the game, but I none of us are so bent out of shape that we feel like insulting everyone wants else’s intelligence.
        Go suck gravel.
        And change your username to something more fitting.
        Dlckhed would be perfect.

    • Joamiq says:

      … Bradley was excellent against Nigeria. Guess you haven’t been watching.

    • Xander Crews says:

      You’re dead on here. I’m amazed that Twellman can actually still do a broadcast while simultaneously trying to give Bradley a BJ from the booth.

      What’s funny to me is how people just now seem to be discovering that Jones can play. I’ve been saying for a while that the problem isn’t Jones, it’s Bradley. When Jones gets paired up with a central midfielder who understands that the role is a two-way role (like Jones plays), he shines. When Bradley wants to pout because he’s apparently too good to play defense, the whole team suffers.

      I’m all for Diskerud in place of Bradley against Portugal. If you’re going to play with one attacking central mid, Diskerud’s got the better skill set for that.

      • Mason says:

        Defense was Bradley’s main contribution in this match. I didn’t really see him “sulk” and not cover back.

  15. Tim F. says:

    Really liked the play of Jones (of course – agree with selection) but also Beckerman, Bedoya, Johnson, Cameron, Besler Zusi, Brooks and Howard. Must have been hard for Dempsey to breath because he was never the same after getting kicked in the nose.

  16. Matt Bk says:

    Agreed, Jones was a boss. Stood strong so many times. I think he even pleaded against a card on behalf of an opponent at the end of the first half when it looked like the other player went after him. Anyone else see that? Really physical game, Jones was there for us.

    • Philip S. says:

      Yes, that altercation that could have blown up into something serious with Muntari. Remember how they calmed down and took the lecture from the ref with no griping and then made up. I thought that was a sterling moment and applauded.

  17. Mikey V says:

    We need Fabian making more runs into the attacking 3rd!!!!

  18. Eric Griesheimer says:

    Never looked tired. Ran all day, tackled well, was as dangerous as any US player (not saying much). I thought without him they would have been over run.

  19. TGA says:

    Bradley has turn to poop since he came back to MLS….meanwhile the Germericans saved our butt…

  20. Punk Soccer says:

    JERMAINE!!!

    Never understood all the hate for the guy. Every team needs a bruiser. He’s our modern day Charlie Columbo.

    • skyman says:

      I never understood it either. Perhaps due to not having seen him play much in Europe? I’ve always known he’s a gamer, was reinforced by his CL play with Schalke.

      Why on Earth don’t many readers on this site see that he very well may be one of the best to don the uniform. We will see after the next two games, but today no US player has ran and competed at the rate and intensity that he did today, in a World Cup.

    • GW says:

      US fans hate Jones because they hate JK and Jones , like Beckerman is a player that JK has consistently had faith in even though most you have not..

      Mostly those people are ignorant because they don’t understand how, at the highest level, such as the later rounds of the Champion’s League, the game is very. very physical and is as much about heart, intimidation and will as anything else. I’ve seen the US, w/o Jones, wilt in games like this before because they were “SOFT”.

      Which is why Jones has a job with the USMNT . He won’t let that happen. Especially in front of his friends on Ghana like Boateng..

      • The Garrincha says:

        GW, well said.
        Junior Jones, after years at Shalke, and now with his time at Besiktas, has only further developed his game as a consummate box to box destroyer
        It was priceless, seeing Wiggy Jiggy and mad dog Rasta, at the front of the Anthem Line. A United Eleven.
        . One down, two to go for this round.
        Boateng down, now pop and drop some Portuguese,
        Meet The German Connection, and Boateng II.

  21. EspinDOHla says:

    SnoFro forever! Never forget!!!!!!!!

  22. Mike R says:

    +10000000 jones was the man especially since Beckerman and Bradley couldn’t complete a forward pass today and bonus shocker !!! No yellow!!! Cameron also excelled

    Johannesen, Bradley , Johnson and Bedoya disappointed offensively bedoyas corners were atrocious as was his passing.

  23. Joamiq says:

    I’ve criticized Jones’ performances for the US a lot. Not tonight. Absolute beast. We would have been lost without him.

  24. Old gaffer says:

    JJ ran for 100 minutes just like against Nigeria…MOTM. He’s the beast.

  25. Sam Nishi says:

    ABSOLUTELY > World-class effort @ LM and was one of the few who distributed well and stopped everything in fron of him .. ..

  26. Brad M says:

    Played like a man holding onto his lifelong dream and never let it go. His composure has been a revelation. We need this guy for this tournament.

    Bradley is mentally very tough and I have faith that he will bounce back. He looked like he was starting to show that resilience towards the end, but came up a little short of our high standards of him with a few mistakes (e.g. the early cross in stoppage time).

    Lights looked a little bright Kevin Bacon. Looked stumped and indecisive in the final third.

    • Karim says:

      +1 on Kevin Bacon. When he came in and they showed him talking to Dempsey he looked sooo scared and totally confused and this was born out in his play. You want a guy coming in with fire and confidence.

      • Mr_A says:

        I was hoping for Wondo… not expecting it, but Wondo works to prove he earned his spot. And I know he’s good and fast, but for this game, AJ looked small. I think AJ will be good against Portugal, but I’m hoping for some Wondo magic in sub time.

  27. Smith says:

    Jones gets so much grief from fans, but he was a rock today.

    Bradley, on the other hand, is loved by all and was awful today.

    • usaalltheway says:

      He was beyond awful. He was useless in defense, connected ONE pass, and generally let Ghana boss the middle of the park.

      If he had been named Clark or Bornstein people would be calling for his head.

      He is usually a great player but based on this performance it makes one wonder…

      • Xander Crews says:

        Oh, I’ll give Bradley some credit – he connected with plenty of passes to our center backs. But any time he needed to push forward with a pass, he was nowhere to be found. He pulled up on his far-post run on the corner in the second half – had he finished that run, he had an open net that would have made it 2-0 (the one where the Ghanian keeper flailed wildly and missed). Late in the match, needing to kill clock, he had a wide open run to the corner flag, and instead wildly kicked the ball 30 yards the opposite way to nobody – yet still had enough in the tank to make a recovery run to get back into position defensively (which begs the question, why didn’t he carry the ball forward?).

        Atrocious doesn’t begin to describe how bad he was tonight.

        • Increase says:

          That failed bit of time wasting was just bizarre. Dempsey was smart… Aron even did better….

        • usaalltheway says:

          One sane voice in the group.

          Just as you wrote, he was atrocious plus a million.

          He clearly is everyone’s boyfriend on here because people have been FREAKING OUT that I would call to bench him after this performance.

          He did nothing all night but get in the way. I think he usually great but based on what I saw tonight, it’s hard to see him playing well against Portugal.

          • Bac says:

            Ok, you made your point.. so what would your solution be if Bradley was benched? Would you feel more confident with him on the bench? All of Spain’s midfield looked like crap a few days ago, would you bench them all going forward also? Considering we only get 3 subs a game what would you do without Bradley?

          • just stop says:

            “I think he is usually great” you say, but you want to bench him for the rest of the tournament” To be replaced by who? Do you suppose Mix would have held up in this game?

            • MN Footie says:

              HEY EVERYONE, JUST A HEADS UP:

              Ignore usaalltheway. Dude’s a total broken record of a troll. Just ignore him, and he’ll go away.

        • Jcrocker8 says:

          Spot on. The turnovers, pulling up on the corner kick, the cross instead of killing the clock.. Bradley did everything wrong tonight.

      • JD in FL says:

        One pass!?

        Your bias is showing. Whoscored has Bradley with 43 passes at an 81% accuracy. Not up to his typical standards, since he was dispossessed several times, and soft in a few tackles. He seemed to be chasing the game for much of the contest. He didn’t look good. But it wasn’t a horrible performance. Bad decision making on his last long ball to AJ. He should have run it to the corner to run time off the clock. JJ seemed to have more influence on the game.

        • Xander Crews says:

          And how many of those 43 passes at an 81% accuracy rate were passes not under pressure, straight back to the center backs without even taking a look around or upfield? I’d venture to say the vast majority of them.

          Look, it’s one thing to keep possession. It’s another thing entirely to keep possession along your back four, 35 yards away from goal – that’s not helping your defense get a breather.

          • JD in FL says:

            Agree with your points. He definitely had a sub-par game. I don’t think many will dispute that. I just provided some factual data that indicates he had “some” success. I do not know the actual numbers but several sources quoted 50% or less in the attacking third. That’s not going to give us much of a chance against our next two opponents.

            I think the rush to judgment clouds bigger issues with the midfield. The lineup had MB at the top of the diamond, but we rarely held anything close to that shape. Multiple times Bradley dropped deeper towards the back line than Jones or Beckerman. Why was that? To me, it seemed that Ghana went after our left flank. This pulled JJ over to that side in defensive support, and Beckerman shifted to support Beasley, leaving a central hole. Difficult to pass your way out of trouble with the midfield flattened against the defense and few outlets.

            In possession, Bedoya seemed to be invisible in support of the midfield. But Ghana didn’t appear to attack our right flank as much as the left.

    • Xander Crews says:

      What I’ve found is that Jones typically gets grief from people who have never played the game, and have no concept of the nuances of the game.

      Most truly knowledgeable fans appreciate what Jones brings to the table, game in and game out.

      • Peaton says:

        Well, I think the shift in his position where he is b-to-b has had a big impact. He is not an organizer. Today the U.S. did not organize much, nor is he a pure D-Mid like Beckerman can play. Where did Dempsey go? Also, I thought Howard was good.

  28. Jonathan Geach says:

    Jermaine – wow – I’m a believer, he gave it all. If MB90 could have just passed to the open guy we would have dominated. At any rate, I now dub Jermaine JJ90.

  29. Hatrix10 says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever uttered a kind word about JJ until today. He played like a man who had been waiting for this moment his whole life. From the opening whistle to the final whistle he played with his heart on his sleeve. Those are the kinds of performances that make you proud to be an American!

  30. john.q says:

    Cheers to that SBI. Even some USMNT newbies watching the game at a bar (3rd Legends spillover bar in nyc) were like “this Jones guy is amazing.”

  31. MiamiAl says:

    Jermain Jones was a maestro tonight! Magnificent performance. He showed why he is The Champions League player.

    • Xander Crews says:

      Amen… THAT is why Klinsmann stresses players need to test themselves at the highest level – so that when they enter a stage like they had tonight, they don’t wet themselves like Bradley did.

  32. YanksWY says:

    JJ is awesome, just amazing.

    Bradley was poor, but you can’t drop him, who takes his place?

    It’s not like we’re England trying to decide between Rooney and Barkley.

    If you want to talk about dropping somebody, it’s Beasely. Ghana had the run of that wing all game long. Part of the reason Jones was so amazing is that he was basically playing left back and the side of the diamond.

    • Mason says:

      It’s the same question on dropping DMB. Do you put in TC? JAB at CB with GC at RB and FJ at LB?

      • YanksWY says:

        Klinnsman wouldn’t switch it up that much, even of that’s the best option. You put in TC.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that’s a good idea, I just think leaving Beasley there is worse idea. Can’t count of Portugal and Germany failing to provide service like Ghana.

        • away goals says:

          That’s exactly the thing though. We KNEW we could count on ghana’s poor service. So we shaped our defense (including beasley) to deny play through the middle at the expense of relatively free crosses.

          It was the gameplan for ghana and beasley just about did what was needed. It won’t be the game plan against portugal.

      • Bac says:

        You can’t pull Cam out of the middle
        As much as I think TC is a better defender, watching guys drop like flies makes me think you gotta risk DMB in the Amazon… Even Italy who was much more disciplined than England looked like they were gonna drop too at the end…
        I also think Portugals midfield is not as good as Ghana, but predicting what they will do is a crapshoot… So I think you stick with Beas for the fitness, experience, and continuity.. (Yea it scares me too)

    • pitch invasion says:

      Beasley did get pushed around, but it seemed like most of their really dangerous runs (including the goal) came down our right. Fabian got caught out a few times and was ball watching a bit on the goal (it was a classy play so hard to be too tough on him), but he was good in the attacking third so sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.

  33. USAEverton says:

    Can’t believe that my two best players would be Beckerman and Jones in no particular order. Wonders never cease. Still wonder why JK didn’t use Wondo as the sub for Altidore though as I don’t think the kid is ready to carry the load for a whole match.

    • YanksWY says:

      Kevin Bacon is better in possession and with passing, so while he can’t really hold the ball up he can shift the attack with good distribution. Did that a couple of time.

      • Jack says:

        I’ve watched a lot of AZ, he gets lost on the ball a lot. He’s the best finisher we have however connecting play is certainly a weak spot in his game at the moment.

        • YanksWY says:

          I’ve felt watching that’s been a high point for him with us, admittedly I’m not dvring the Dutch league on a regular basis.

          Wish Terrance Boyd or Aguedelo were here over Wondo, even though I favored having him the side. A lot harder to be nostalgic when the games start.

  34. Old Futbol Coach says:

    Jones was the main horse that carried the USA through. The Nacogdoches Man played through a broken nose for most of the game. That took grit, deserving of being appointed the captain of the team. If Bradley shows up against Portugal, we have a chance to go through. Portugal can be “had.” Hats off to Juergen Klinsmann. Would that the USA Soccer gurus realized that he was the man for the job, earlier than they did. Better late than never.

  35. Bac says:

    1. How about some credit for a win when we DIDNT play well
    2. Bradley played poorly, wont happen again-not to that extreme
    3.Dont crucify the mids only with loss of possession, neither forward tracked back too well, Deuce couldn’t breathe after breaking his nose, AJ didn’t do enough – Look for Wondo vs Port
    4. Gameplan worked well, clog up a superior midfield/neutralize their speed/force them to the outside where their service was not as effective. Ghana has some great mids, the ugliness had to do with giving away possession-not the gameplan
    5. Doc says Contrao and Almeida out 10-14 days..plus Pepe’s RED = minus -3 – gonna be a gutcheck against Portugal
    6. Brooks said he had a dream 2 days ago he’d scored in the 88th minute ( close! 86th minute)
    7. Injuries a concern, but don’t crucify the trainers or JK – bad luck so many at once…
    -Jozy’s hammie injury like that could happen anytime
    -Deuce broke his nose & couldn’t breathe
    - Bedoya hurt his hip-not a fitness issue
    - Fabian got his ankle crunched in a 2 footed tackle
    - tightness/cramping by Besler/Cameron a concern
    - A LOT of players have been cramping the 1st week..

    Tell Brooks to keep having dreams!!

  36. Futefan says:

    Off theme, but Jozy just did an interview in Spanish and was perfect. He was there not even two years over 4 years ago.

  37. Todd in NYC says:

    Jones was an absolute beast today. Sprinting 40 yards up the field to chase down a ball going out of bounds in the 80th minute while other guys seemed barely able to jog in place.

    MOTM. No doubt.

    Bradley was off. Way off. There should be no disagreement on that.

    Why is unclear. Was it the weather? Was it nerves? It seemed like, especially near the end, his touch began to pick up again which makes me think it was nerves. I don’t think it was some incredible Ghanian strategy to mark him out of the game that did him in.

    Beasley looked like he was playing drunk at times.

    • GW says:

      “Beasley looked like he was playing drunk at times.”

      How long have you been watching DMB play?

      He doesn’t look any different now than he ever did except he is a little more disciplined.

      DMB is about results. Did his man score? No. Did Ghana score from his side? No.

      He’s never been enjoyable to watch but when he is good he gets it done.

      If you want style look elsewhere..all you get from DMB is substance.

      • Todd in NYC says:

        I’ve been watching him play since he was a Chicago Fire rookie in 98.

        But, ad hominem remarks aside, Beasley gave the ball away again and again. To the remark that ‘he didn’t look any different than he ever did,’ he played fantastic against Nigeria and was very composed and solid in shutting down all attacks coming down his flank. That was not the case last night (although, after watching Nigeria yesterday, Ghana are clear a better team).

        This game was a mixed bag. He had a lot of good defensive stops but was shaky to say the least with the ball at his feet. He inexplicably fell over, Julian Green style, at least twice in the first half and had a few touches that went directly out of touch. At one point he even accepted a pass while standing out of play.

        The only reason Ghana didn’t score from his side is because their finishing was woeful. We’d be looking at a difference scoreline if Gyan were a better header of the ball.

        I actually do think he is our best choice at left back and I expect him to start the next match – especially considering we’ll need his work rate in the sweltering jungle.

    • Jimmy. B says:

      You’re on crack…. Beasley was awesome.

    • Chad says:

      Todd is correct if you can remember the first half? He fell down at least five times and was really off queue.

  38. Jimmy. B says:

    This honestly has to be a joke. Did no one see that Jones was playing on the left side of the midfield and was caught WAY too far inside time and time again allowing the Ghana to STREAM down the right hand side. It was literally the only side they attacked. He simply refused to stay outside. The second half was better, but Ghana still constantly exploited that side of the field. Yes, he made some nice tackles and matched Ghana’s physicality, but no way in hell was that a man of the match performance. Watch the tape folks.

    • Bac says:

      The rest of the soccer watching world disagrees with you

      • Jimmy. B says:

        Well, if the plan was to not play a left mid, then fine, but Jones constantly being caught inside allowed Ghana to constantly attack down their right flank. They hit about 30 crosses from that side (mlssoccer,com has the breakdown). Frankly if not for a veteran, awesome performance from Beasley…. Several goals would have resulted. However, Ghana was still allowed more crosses than ANY team in the tournament. If it was strategic on Klinsmann’s part, then shame in him, but I what I saw was Jones constantly tucking inside and allowing ACRES of space behind to his left. Watch the tape and tell me, I’m wrong.

        • Bac says:

          I did. You’re wrong. Jones was the MOTM by far.
          Hence why the rest of the soccer watching world disagrees with you

          • Jimmy. B says:

            You clearly didn’t. Explain to me how Ghana dominated his side of the field if Jones was the MOTM?

            • "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

              Jimmy, I’ll help you out here.

              Ghana was given the wings. It’s that simple. We can win balls in the air! Simple
              We can cover and trap players and force the ball back and into other wide (read: non-threatening) positions. Simple
              Can’t score from a cross from 35 yards!

              Jones pinched in to prevent the MFAMILY being the direct to the goal that it has been in 2006 and 2010. This was a PURPOSEFUL DECISION made by Jürgen.

              Your welcome

            • Bac says:

              I clearly did.. because I pressed the play button on my DVR.
              Ok, we get it, you hate Jones. But the rest of everyone else disagrees with you, he was the MOTM.
              The strategy was to clog the midfield, not allow them to use their best players to penetrate up the middle and force them outside where they didn’t provide the best service. The reason Ghana probably went to that side so much is because they’ve figured out Fabian was playing well on the other side. So Jones was very involved, and he also had the legs & the lungs to get up the field also.

              And guess what… it was ugly but it worked. We won. I know this because when I pressed the button on my DVR, the result was the same.
              Just admit you’re wrong and jump on board with the other 99.99% of the people who say Jones was the MOTM.
              I’m sure another day will come when you can find a different reason to hate him.

              • Jimmy. B says:

                I don’t hate Jones… At all. I’m a big fan. He is one of best and should and will start for us. I just don’t like him on the left deployed as he was. Maybe that was the plan, but I have my doubts that he was supposed to give that much space to Ghana. I simply feel he was caught out on numerous occasions and should have provided more cover on the left. That is all.

          • Bob Bradley says:

            I admit it – I am Jimmy B.

            Also, shouldn’t the US be using a box midfield?

        • Matt says:

          ahahahahahahahaha +100000 for trolliest moron ive ever seen

          • Jimmy. B says:

            I have never trolled in my life…. Once again, did Ghana not dominate their right and our left of the midfield? I seriously want to know because I saw them constantly taking possession 25 yards into our half with no one in front of them. The US flattened the midfield and limited this a bit in the 2nd, but the first half was a disaster in that regard. Maybe it was tactical… I don’t know… I just know they were streaming down their right with impunity.

    • Mason says:

      The US left side was the only side Ghana attacked, except for that one time they scored from a play that started on the right…

      • Jimmy. B says:

        Granted, but look at the possession stats. Again, 80+% of their crosses came in from their right.

        • Mason says:

          True, but look where they came from on the right. Most of those crosses from the GHA right came from high. DMB was playing off the prevent GHA from reaching the goal line and crossing back. He was perfectly willing to let them cross early, and if they didn’t want to they found themselves doubled from the right by KB/JJ. It really looked like the strategy was to invite the early cross into a defense that was still facing forward, and then double from behind.

          • Jimmy. B says:

            He had no choice, but to allow the cross. If he had pressed the ball… Ghana would have slipped a ball in behind and it would’ve been off to the races. Again, if it was a tactical choice on JK’s part to give up one side of the field and invite cross after cross after cross from the final third then shame on him. IMO, however we had a guy used to playing in the middle of the park who failed to keep his shape and stay wide…. That man was JJ.

            • Mason says:

              Shame on him? The tactic, if that was what it was, worked.

              • Jimmy. B says:

                Yes…. We won and I’m ecstatic. However, I can’t believe the plan was to allow that kind of penetration down the right given Ghana’s size, speed and aerial prowess. JK probably won’t be asked, let alone say and it is all good at this point, but I sure as hell don’t wanna see that against Portugal or Germany.

              • Mason says:

                If you don’t believe that the strategy was to allow crosses from the mid-to-high left flank, then you really missed the strategy. Ghana didn’t penetrate past about 12 yards from the goal line down the left side. If you take away the by-line, you’ll give up the early crosses. Any CB would rather defend back to goal rather than facing goal. That was the gamble, and it worked, because DMB was able to force longer crosses.

                Will we see this gamble again for POR or GHA? No idea, but against GHA, it worked.

              • Jimmy. B says:

                I am not saying the idea wasn’t to push Ghana to the right…. I am simply saying that I don’t buy that the idea was for Jones to push THAT far inside and give them that kind of space. I’m also not saying Jones was awful… He provided some physical steel and had some great moments, but I do think he was caught out on multiple occasions and allowed them too much room on that side. It was better in the 2nd half, but the idea that he had no responsibility to defend the left flank seems laughable to me,

      • Jimmy. B says:

        Jones flat refused to stay in his lane. Period….end of story.

        • Mason says:

          Which would be why you saw more crosses from that side. DMB was preventing movement down the field, but with JJ too far inside, GHA cut back and hit the early cross. They were still hitting crosses into defenders who were facing away from goal.

          • Jimmy. B says:

            I’ve got nothing bad to say about the way our back for played… Nothing at all. I thought they were really good. Very few free runner and they did well to handle the crosses. I just can’t believe the plan was to allow Ghana to penetrate that freely down one side of the field.

  39. Rudy says:

    Hats off to J. Jones. The rock. He was hard-tackled violently, at least once, never was intimated by Ghana’s thuggish, tackle-to-injure/kick-to-damage style, and made beautiful clean slide tackle saves when it counted. I give Dempsey credit too, but a broken nose is a serious injury (if you’ve never had one) and likely concussion will dampen one’s style. I tried to remember any moment of U.S. control involving three mid-field passes and don’t recall any. Compare to the Azzurris disciplined play against England. Will the refs still in to prevent Ghana’s unsportsmanlike play in the future? I admire these guys’ talent, but they suffered no red card for some of the worst play I’ve seen, well, since the last time Ghana played. Once again crap jobs by the refs.

  40. Paul00 says:

    Wow! what a game. USA definitely played a rough game I was very frustrated by the lack of possession. It also killed us. Perfect corner from Zusi. Brooks just finished. Very nice. Couple thoughts…
    1) People can just calm down about Bradley. Yes, it was NOT a good game but all you screaming about it, WHO are you going to put in for him? And seriously, JK isn’t going to sit him, so just all of you calm down. No one’s going to argue that he was his usual dominant dominant self and PLEASE don’t tell me that this is just a trend…PLEASE. Once again, unless you have someone of the same quality just SHUT UP with the whole benching nonsense!
    2) The real question is WHO starts for Altidore and what formation do we use against Portugal? That’s what I want to hear about now from others. I thought AJ looked totally lost. That last long ball from MB that everyone is yelling about, to me looked like it was meant for an on-running AJ. AJ didn’t make the run and grant it MB should have just taken the ball to the flag, but I kind of thought he was thinking that AJ was going to break through and get a one on goal opportunity. I really think that Wondo should start against Portugal or if AJ still looks shell-shocked, he should be pulled at halftime.
    3) So here’s my line up for Portugal…
    —–Howard—-
    FJohnson–Besler–Cameron–DMB
    —-Beckerman—-
    Bedoya ——-Bradley ——–JJones
    Wondo———-Dempsey

    Just my thought. Let’s have some other suggestions. One other thing I noticed. Maybe someone can comment. Why did I keep seeing MB BEHIND Beckerman. I don’t think it’s good for Bradley to be back that far but maybe he was retreating from the pressure?…. I don’t know. Just noticed that a number of times, usually when the USA was in defense.

    • Bac says:

      JK said post game they felt more comfortable going with 4 across the midfield, I don’t know if he meant they planned that the entire game or after we scored or after Jozy went out .. maybe because of the strength of Ghanas midfield he didn’t want him caught too far up too many times… I dunno..

  41. Paul00 says:

    you could also put dempsey up top but I don’t now that he plays the target forward role real well. JK took a risk not bring a Altidore sub and it looks like now he’s going to PAY for that. No to through gas on the proverbial fire but JGreen should have been left for TBoyd or even Wondo or AJ. AJ and Wondo are kind of the same player. Shouldn’t have brought them both. JK roles the dice and he lost. Remains to be seen how USMNT will recover. US, I’m afraid will do well to get out of the group. But with Jozy’s ability to stretch the field, they will be hard pressed to keep opponents from possessing and then ultimately crushing you. Sure some of you watched Germany. Wow did they look good. Glad we have a week plus before playing them. Can only hope and pray by chance Jozy gets well fast. But I think it very unlikely. How many NFL WR have you seen hall up and go down on a far or near post run. Me? enough to know that Jozy is VERY likely done at this World Cup.

    • Mr_A says:

      Yeah, Eddie Johnson (or Shea) would look good, too. Water under the bridge, though. I’m less of a JK fan than before. I didn’t like our bunkering game, and was pretty amazed when we threatened after Ghana’s goal. If we could have turned it on like that, why didn’t we do it before? If we were forced to bunker because of Ghana’s ability, it points to missed opportunities in team composition.

      We’ll get the medical reports and root for red, white and blue on Sunday. I’d like to see AJ start, and have Wondo come in at halftime.

  42. Benny says:

    Jones was a beast

  43. Hush says:

    I’m not sure about this one. I agree, JJ put in a great effort today. Man was beats. But I will have to agree with Univision on MOTM overall. I will say Brooks. He cleared the box comfortably and even saved a few strikes on goal by positioning himself in perfect angles. He was a beast!

  44. Four Cents says:

    In a very hard fought, ugly win- JJ was definitely my pick for motm. With all the negatives we could pull from this game, the US finally got Ghana off their (our) back. Howard & Beckerman should both get honorable mentions. Now we should see how bad the injuries we sustained truly are (fingers crossed), regroup, and prepare for a Portugal team that is still very dangerous.. In Klinsmann we trust… LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

  45. toiletduck says:

    Bradley = Awful. 2014 Bradley is suffering from the slower pace of MLS, I think. Yeah, yeah…Euro snob or whatever. Simple fact, however: when you feel rushed, you tend to make bad passes. And you feel rushed more often, even when you actually have time, when the game is moving faster than you’re prepared for. This is the thing people refuse to admit about MLS vs. Euro, the game here is fine but it is way slower than overseas. To me, that’s the biggest meaningful difference as far as a tournament like the World Cup goes.

    I thought Bedoya played well, too, and as much as I hate to admit it because I dislike the guy, Beckerman was pretty solid. He can get away with the pace issues since he’s not expected to distribute the ball quite like Bradley, just to get in the way and not needlessly give it up. Howard was his usual self as well, thankfully, and no issues for his leaning the wrong way, it was point blank and you kind of have to cheat, and when you do, you’re not typically going to cheat toward a high quality, outside of the foot strike. Not really at fault.

    So + performances for Bedoya, Jones, Beckerman, and Howard…as well as Cameron and Brooks. I’m equivocal about Besler, he seemed to do fine. I was disappointed in Johnson, Beasley, Bradley, and Johansson, the latter of whom was probably being asked to do something he’s not too good at. No real thoughts on Zusi except that was a heck of a corner.

  46. Andy says:

    I agree with this MOM selection. It was possibly the best game I’ve seen Jones play and was so needed, especially with Bradley not being his usual self.

    Honorable mention to Howard.

  47. Scott e Dio93 says:

    I loved how Jones suckered the Ghana to foul him.

  48. Skoman says:

    You don’t have to defend like your lives depend on it if you are able to pass the ball. Yes Bradley that means you too!! Suck it up next game or we will lose.

  49. Aquaman says:

    The problem I had with him was that the reason Atsu had so much possession of the ball is because Jones would not go out wide to help Beasley. He did clog the middle well, but he let them have that left flank. If Beasley goes forward, that tactic could be damaging, especially if Ghana was able to connect on one of the many, many crosses they got in. I would say that against a better team like Portugal, they’ll make you pay on those crosses, but having seen Nani play yesterday, I don’t think he’s making anyone pay with any type of accurate play.

  50. dan says:

    Phenomenal

    That being said, Bradley and Beckerman have to step it up because they were awful in helping us control possession or really anything. Bedoya wasn’t that great either and Johansson has to work hard defensively and he barely saw the ball.