SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones

Jermaine Jones

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Jermaine Jones was at his best once again for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Sunday night.

For the second consecutive game, Jones was a beast on both sides of the ball, helping slow down Portuguese attacks as well as scoring his first ever World Cup goal in stunning fashion. With the U.S. down 1-0, Jones controlled a poor clearance off a corner in the 64th minute, dribbled to his right, and unleashed a blast that had eyes for the back of the net. The goal helped start a second half comeback that eventually put the U.S. up 2-1 late in the match.

Jones overall performance on the night, which ended in a 2-2 draw with Portugal, earns him SBI Man of the Match honors. Jones beat out Matt Besler, Tim Howard, and Fabian Johnson for the honors.

——

What did you think of Jones’ performance? Which players stood out the most to you in the USMNT’s 2-2 draw with Portugal?

Share your thoughts below.

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

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

  1. Increase says:

    I wanna see MLSsoccer talk down about Jones now. That site is so biased its unreal.

    • Mike says:

      I want to see people stop whining about everything.

    • Tiny says:

      What do they usually say?

    • JayAre says:

      They gave him a 9 on their player ratings and Beckerman a 5. They’re final coming to their senses.

    • quozzel says:

      Let’s break it down here for a moment.

      We’re an interesting team – not a perfect team, by any means – but it appears we’ve found some spots for certain guys, and others are (slowly) growing into theirs.

      Jones is not, and has never been, a #10. He tried to be early on in the cycle because we didn’t really have one, but he’s always been a holding guy, a destroyer, and now that he can be what he really is, he’s killing it. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got a Beckerman beside him. The two of them make a really good tandem.

      Bradley was actually pretty good today. He had a shot blocked by a CB – which he only got because he made one of his trademark late runs into the box – unlucky. He gave away a ball in the 95th minute…in Manaus. In that heat. Crucify him all you want, but I’ll forgive him. By all reports Bradley is the fittest guy on the team…if he was dead on his feet at that point, the guy put in a shift. If Ronaldo doesn’t put in the best cross of the tournament at the 94:50 mark, it doesn’t matter. Well, it did…that’s soccer.

      Cameron had a goofy clear on the first goal, and was maybe a half-second late tracking back. Now he’s a goat. Whatever. That’s life as a CB.

      Guys, we thoroughly outplayed Portugal. We held the ball, attacked all over the field, played that pretty attacking soccer everybody wanted, CAME BACK FROM BEHIND AGAINST PORTUGAL, and justifiably grabbed the lead. Klinsmann literally played every card right, saw the weakness in the Portugese left side, subbed in a freaking RIGHT BACK as a RIGHT MID because he wanted to run at the Portugese with pace – and lo and behold, it worked. Goal delivered. Then the soccer Gods away a well-deserved win…just as some might also say they gifted us an undeserved win the other night.

      By the way…we were playing without our target forward…which in some ways, combined with the Portugal early goal, forced the US to get up out of our traditional defensive shell and get after it. Might be the best thing that’s ever happened to us. We had to play…you know, exactly like the Germans, with pretty much what amounted to six midfielders. And whaddya know…we did it pretty well, actually.

      And yes, Jermaine Jones is a beast. He’s also out of contract with Schalke 04 – they loaned him to Turkey – and he’s looking for a new home…hopefully somebody in MLS is smart enough to realize he’s worlds ahead of the standard there and signs him as a DP. I’d say he’s worth the phone call.

      • Don't mind if I Freddy Adu says:

        not bad

        but I don’t think the Gonzo sub helped much

        other than that klinsmann has been great and thoroughly outsmarted Bento tonight

        • Increase says:

          Urg Gonzo. I can’t even tell if he did anything wrong. I know he wasn’t there for the goal but that means nothing.

          I really think Klinsmann thought “You’re tall and good in the air. Go do that.” Also wanted the guy to take part in the WC by doing something WE ALL KNOW Gonzo can do. Its so bizarre it didn’t work.

          • The Garrincha says:

            With you there Increase.
            Maybe could have shown the confidence in Brooks,
            he had the other night?.
            got to believe, they will get it done.

        • Mr_A says:

          Yeah, I’m afraid subbing him in is a jinx. Ghana gets one a minute after he comes in, and Portugal, too. I feel bad for the guy, but worse for the team. On the bright side, Wondo looked good in his 10-12 minutes.

      • Big Red says:

        Bradley goggles in full effect. Too bad he’s not MB95. He has not been essential to either of our WC games and when he was hurt in qualification we didn’t miss him then either.

        • Four Cents says:

          Quit posting before you make yourself look even more stupid. MB had a bad first game, and a good second game. He’ll most likely be the mastermind that will help put us through to the knockouts.. Two games- four points…. LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

          • MLSsnob says:

            Good? I wouldn’t go that far. A good game is played throughout the game. You can have a good game that’s defined by one moment and that’s what people will remember, it’s unfair but that’s life. Fact is he was culpable for the last goal and didn’t try to track back.

          • Jeff says:

            A good second game? What game were you watching. he had numerous missed passes, didn’t run nearly as much as normal, hit his chance at goal right at the player on the line with the goal at his mercy, etc., etc. Klinsi should have subbed him out in the second half.

        • Me says:

          Speaking of goggles, you honestly think we didn’t miss Bradley in the qualifier at Costa Rica?

      • Jb says:

        Fantastic post quozzel. Nice to have some posters here than can get past their own emotions. Bottom line is we have 4 pts after 2 matches and very few would’ve ever guessed that could happen. Some more unpopular opinions from me: Bradley played well, and klinnsman has delivered every promise and then some.

      • Matt C says:

        Spot on Quozzel. Love the analysis and criticism without the hate i’m seeing for Jr.

      • Bradley was good for moments. but should have finished that tap in in front of an open goal. u have to finish you chances if you want to win. you only get 3-5 per game.

        we didn’t dominate Portugal. they just couldn’t finish to save their lives. Nani is an old man and Ronaldo looked like he just play 50 games back to back.

        Jermaine jones will score that goal 1 out of every 100 games.

        pros: we control moments of the game and did have chances.
        Fabian up the left side in first half and Bradley pass through to deuce.

        bedoya is non existent. ( still not sure why landon isn’t playing).

        Cameron is definitely the goat but more so for the first play.

        the last play was awful. awful first touch by Bradley, then thinking he can still win the ball instead of just doing anything else. Beckerman watching him, then Beasley playing soft and finally Cameron not tracking( least of the egregious errors).

        that said a tie against Portugal who went up 1-0 is great.
        tieing in the last seconds is never great.

        • Mason says:

          The goal wasn’t open.

        • Broadsthooligans says:

          Jones may not score that goal frequently, but Portugal was dating us to shoot from there and we put four or five shots from that range just outside the corners or challenging the keeper in the ten minutes before his goal. We were bound to have one of them drop in from distance. No reason it shouldn’t have been Jones’

        • ann says:

          Jone’s goal with Schalke vs. Stuttgart ;) 11/30/2013:
          link to youtube.com

          If they let him roam the field more freely and not only pressed him into the purely #6 role JJ from time to time has the ability to score.

      • Eurosnob says:

        I also thought that Bradley had a pretty good game prior to the turnover, but the turnover was a mental error that cost us dearly. And one could also argue that regardless of MB’s turnover 3 CBs should not be losing a header to a winger. It’s hard to win against a quality side when you gift them two cheap goals. Let’s hope that one of the two remaining games in the group ends with a tie.

  2. Dave says:

    Spot on. Dude has been a freaking animal out there.

    • downintexas says:

      Wish he was healthy back in 2010!

      • beto says:

        Absolutely! sub Jones for Clark and we probably would have won both the England and Ghana games in 2010.. Glad he is on our team now and was part of the whole cycle.

    • TomG says:

      That guy is, what, 32, and running around that sauna for 95 minutes like it has no effect whatsoever while younger guys are dropping like flies. What a motor he has in big matches. He flat out knows how to step it up in big matches. I have been down on him at times in the past but I will never question his heart. What a pair of matches he’s had.

      • Fair Observer says:

        i agree, he may have a few bad passes/choices every game but overall he adds alot to the character of the team. the question is, in 4 years, will D Williams become this type of player like he could? high motor, strong presence

        • TomG says:

          JJ is a unique cat, man. You can replicate his skill set, but not that heart or that motor.

          • Dawsaw says:

            Jones is like Russel Westbrook in the NBA. You love him when he’s on and hate him when he’s not. It’s exciting but he’s gonna give me a heat attack one of these days.

  3. stargate1 says:

    What a shot by Jones. Klinsy took a shot at FIFA for favoring the big teams like Germany.

  4. Jonnypauly says:

    JK’s shot at FIFA in the post-game was priceless. And honest.

    • chuck says:

      link please!

    • JJ says:

      Except it’s not honest (i.e. accurate) since schedule’s are purely luck of the draw. The only advantage for “big teams” is for seeded teams, in that they are seeded. Just bad luck for us, hopefully we overcome it.

    • Twomilerule says:

      The location of USMNT training base is questionable based on the game locations. I wonder if any teams chose Brasilia for training? Brasilia is centrally located to every stadium in Brazil.

      • jimd says:

        Teams choose their own training grounds whenever they want. The USA chose very early before the game sites were announced. They picked the site with the best ammenities (fields/transportation/hotel rooms/airport/etc). They gambled and lost, since all 3 of their games got scheduled 4 or hours plane flight from their base.
        Germany on the other hand, picked their site AFTER the game schedule came out. Thne they spent 25 million dollars to build their own camp right near the site of their first game, and with an hour flight from their other 2 games. Pretty smart.
        Though its interesting that they get the extra day rest, and had no games in manaus.

  5. deno says:

    Jones was awesome. My favorite part his game other than the obvious came when Jones recognized the opposite winger was wide open. He ran over, called for the ball dribbled to the middle of the field and switched it to Fabian. It was a great “you’re not doing anything – give me ze ball” moment.

  6. engkzl says:

    Jones was very good, but Howard was even better, and should be MOTM. And Cameron was AWFUL. He was central to both Portuguese goals and almost responsible for a third. He should’ve been pulled.

    • Paul says:

      Cameron was Portugal’s MOTM.

      • TomG says:

        Poor Geoff. He was one of the last ones I would expect to lose focus like that. It just goes to show that you never know what is going to happen in this crazy game.

        • Jesse D says:

          I don’t think this is an anomaly for Geoff. The poor clearance was, but he tends to lose track of runners. For a CB he doesn’t have the best awareness. He has all the physical attributes you want, size, strength, speed, fitness, even ball skill. Just lacks in tracking of runners without the ball.

          • TomG says:

            Not sure what you can possibly be basing this on. He’s been playing CB all of 5 games here, a couple matches over the last two years and a stretch years ago with Houston? And he was absolutely awesome against Ghana and on the send off series. That last goal to me wasn’t even a tracking issue, but a matter of just being exhausted physically and mentally.

            • QuakerOtis says:

              I don’t want to bash Cameron for two poor moments (one of which was bad luck), but if you’ve watched him at Stoke, you’e seen him lose runners like that a few times a game.

              • Jesse says:

                I agree. I’ve watched a lot, if not all of his Stoke games. I think it is the biggest weakness in his game.
                To be clear, I’m not calling for his head. He offers a lot to this team and is a valuable contributor. He probably would like to forget this game though.

    • Landon Klinsmann says:

      Thing is, Cameron is one of our best. Who would replace him if we benched him for his gaffe and ball watching?

      • Gary Page says:

        I saw a lot of Stoke games this year and Cameron played nearly every minute and made few mistakes. Mark Hughes obviously thinks highly of him. I think we need to give the guy a break. CB is one of those places where you only notice the player if and when he makes a mistake.
        Remember he is there because Omar has had his problems and Brooks is still a youngster.

        • Jesse says:

          In no way do I want Omar to come in for him. I think highly of Geoff too. As I pointed out in my post, his strengths outweigh his weaknesses. If you are going to bring up Hughes, remember he also hasn’t let Cameron play CB.

      • Jesse says:

        I’m not suggesting we should bench him. Just like we should not bench Bradley for being slow or Dempsey for often losing his cool.

        It’s something that Cameron struggles with. Having eyes in the back of your head isn’t easy.

    • Mr_A says:

      Sorry, I know everyone loves Howard, but I didn’t love him much against Portugal. He could’ve come out and punched the ball away on that last cross: usually he would’ve done that. And he slipped on the first goal, which probably would’ve been a goal no matter what, but still, you don’t want your keeper slipping. Guzan and Rimando are both good, and might’ve done better. Also, Howard could’ve wasted more time at the end, with a few goal kicks the extra seconds might’ve done it as well. Water under the bridge, but Fabian Johnson is way ahead of Howard, if we’re talking MOTM.

  7. didoson says:

    Agree. I really thought Bradley played well in the first half and was on his way to MotM but then he turned back to poo in the second half. Appears to be fatigue or maybe just not used to receiving the ball with real holding midfielders marking him. Those guys tackle differently than pressing forwards. Fabian close to Jones except for the last play. Howard also great and kept us in it.

    • TomG says:

      Agree that MB was not as good in the second. I wonder if he’s still getting used to the attacking role and trying to do too much at times, especially when he’s fatigued and or under pressure.

      • Xander Crews says:

        The biggest problem with Bradley is that he’s not an attacking midfielder. Never has been, never will be. He’s best suited for the role that Beckerman is playing, but somehow he’s gotten it into his head that he’s too good for the dirty work – a byproduct of being “the man” in MLS with TFC?

        If Klinsmann is going to continue to play three in the central midfield like that, he needs to put Mix Diskerud in as the playmaker with Jones and Beckerman/Bradley behind. Diskerud is far better suited for that role, as his skill set is control and distribution.

    • Oog says:

      I think Bradley was complete crap. I think he is the weak link on our team. He’s our attacking midfielder and half the time he is back with the CBs like a defensive mid. He really wasn’t connecting on many passes and lost the ball on several occasions including the last goal. Him losing the ball while dribbling around was led to the last goal. My wife and I looked at each other and said “not Bradley!” and sure enough he lost the ball and late goal. He needs to pull his head out and play.

      • Twomilerule says:

        Bradley is such crap that his first half performance forced Portugal to make a sub after the US owned the midfield
        All these jokers throwing Bradley under the bus fail the recognize a series of three mistakes always lead to a goal. Bradley’s giving the ball up at midfield. The second and one not discussed is Beasley not forcing a difficult cross by defending closer or tackling the ball from CR. The third was Cameron or FabJ not marking the runner in the box.

        • Jesse says:

          You are right those are the 3 things that led to the goal, but asking Beasley to 1 on 1 mark the best player in the World right out of a play is a little much. Beasley let him cross rather than letting him dribble right by him. Choose your poison but I’m willing to let Beasley slide on that play.

      • Me says:

        > I think he is the weak link on our team.

        This would be a reasonable statement if he had only played 2 games for the USMNT. But when you take the entire WC cycle into account, he’s been the strongest link on our team. No offense, but it’s not fair to judge a player on two games.

  8. Brain Guy says:

    How do you say “beast” in German?

  9. Chris H says:

    I confess, I was wrong about Jones. He has been a stud in the last two games and I’m happy we have him.

  10. Paul says:

    Deserved. I wouldn’t have complained if they picked Johnson, either, but Jones had that monster goal.

    • Gary Page says:

      I think his goal was every bit as good as the one Messi made yesterday. Also, Dempsey’s goal against Ghana approached world class and Tim Cahill of MLS had the goal of the tournament so far. US connections are looking good.

      • Jesse says:

        You may get some arguments that Van Persie’s goal was better. Cahill’s was outstanding as well though.

  11. oldCoach says:

    There is an interesting free iPhone app called Cup Scout where you can rate all the players. It would be interesting to see what the collective ratings of all the players would be on a 10 point scale. Jones was great but how does he really compare to players like FJ and Dempsey.

  12. At the soccer bar, and after Jones scored, one guy stood up after the shouting died down and confessed “I take back every bad thing I ever said about Jermaine Jones” to a big round of applause

  13. usaalltheway says:

    I was one of those who used to hate on this guy. Boy was I wrong. So many of us were.

    He has been without a doubt the best field player this Cup. He is solid, strong and on point in both attack and defense. And that goal!!!

    On a side note, is Jozy going to be ready for Germany? Also, what do you think JK is going to do about Bradley? It can’t be ignore, he has been garbage this World Cup. Does Mix get his spot?

    The team played well tonight. I was impressed most with Jones and Fabian. The latter just owned his side of the field. He was a constant threat all night.

    USMNT World Cup games are so dramatic!!!! LET’S GO USA!!

    • peterprinciple says:

      Ignoring your faulty Bradley analysis. I would be hesitent to play Jozy from the start. The attack looked interesting tonight without him. I wonder about Bedoya

    • Mason says:

      “It can’t be ignore, he has been garbage this World Cup. Does Mix get his spot?”

      Short: No.
      Long: Do you remember what was said before the tournament? It boiled down to Live and Die with MB90. It pretty much still is, unless Jozy gets better. Then you can drop MB90 to MB-Last20 and put CD in the SS behind Jozy.

      • Jesse says:

        Bradley cannot and will not be benched. You could see Mix play for Bedoya, but I don’t think you’ll see him for Bradley. Maybe as a late game sub if Bradley is really dragging.

  14. bizzy says:

    He’s showed the level of his game in this world cup.

  15. Steven C says:

    Question: What happens if the US loses to Germany 1-0 and Ghana beats Portugal 1-0??

    • Increase says:

      We go through on Head to head as we both have the same number of goals scored and the Same Goal differential.

    • thebicyclecafe says:

      We would advance with goals scored of 5, Ghana would have 4. Even if Ghana won 2-1, and we were tied on goals scored, we would still advance, since our head to head result was a win against them.

      • thebicyclecafe says:

        Sorry, you’re right, we would be tied with Ghana for goals scored with that result. 2-1 win would favor Ghana.

      • Mason says:

        No. Given 1-0 GHA and GER wins the USA and GHA would have 4 points, 0 GDs and 4 GS. US goes through on points in head-to-head matches.

    • Paul says:

      Ghana goes through.

      In any game there are three possible results. Nine possibilities in two games. We advance with seven of the nine (U.S. win or tie, regardless of which of the three results happen in the other game, or U.S. loss with a Portugal-Ghana tie),

      In the eighth and nine possibilities, we lose and either Portugal beats Ghana or the other way around. If Portugal wins, we still advance if the goal differential (currently five) holds. If we lose and Ghana wins, they advance.

      • peterprinciple says:

        Possibility 9 is a bit flawed. As illustrated above Ghana has to score at least two more goals than the US if they win by 1.

        • thebicyclecafe says:

          a 2-1 result would favor Ghana. Portugal’s goal differential now is -4.

        • Paul says:

          Yep, I see that. So we advance with seven out of nine, and we can advance with the other two out of nine. Cool!

          • Jesse says:

            I like the option where we win the game and thus the group. Let’s choose that option.

            Germany is almost certainly in. They have the same set of 9 scenario’s where 7 get them in automatically. In scenario 8 with Portugal. Portugal would need to make up 8 goals. In scenario 9 Ghana would need to make up 5 goals. It would be really hard for those things to happen. Germany is playing to win the group, not to advance to the next round.

    • RB says:

      “Question: What happens if the US loses to Germany 1-0 and Ghana beats Portugal 1-0??”

      We take advantage of the one and only scenario where a US loss + a Ghana win allow us to advance. In every other such case, they’re through and we’re out, because either their GD or their GF would be higher.

      • RB says:

        Or not, subject to review of the 2-goal detail noted above. :-)

      • Mason says:

        Well… Not quite. If the US has a high-scoring, one-goal loss to GER (2-1 or anything better) and GHA beats POR 1-0, then the US would go through on GS (5+ vs 4).

        This case can be generalized to say that in the event of US one-goal losses and GHA one-goal wins, the US will advance on the basis of GS if they score the same amount of goals as GHA does vs POR. They will advance on the basis of H2H if they score one fewer goal than GHA does. GHA will advance if they score two more goals than USA.

        • RB says:

          “GHA will advance if they score two more goals than USA.”

          Right – that’s the 2-point detail I referred to from the above conversation.

          • Mason says:

            My bad! I tried to find what you were referring to with that line and couldn’t so I decided to go for redundancy. The permutations are killing me.

            • RB says:

              Well but do we have it down right? Because MLS has just posted a link that says what I was initially thinking:

              “If Ghana win, things get a bit hairier for USA. The Black Stars would need to make up just two goals against the US, which would happen if they win 1-0 and the US lose 1-0. But If that scenario does happen, the US would still advance…
              In any other scenario in which the US lose and Ghana win, Ghana would advance.”

              link to mlssoccer.com

              • Mason says:

                The last sentence is wrong.

                A 3-2 GER win coupled with a 2-1 GHA win would send the US through on GS (6 vs 5). Ghana needs to make up GD and GS, because as of now the US has scored one more goal than GHA. There are a few pairs of results that get GHA their GD but not the GS they need.

                If GHA only catches the US on GD, they also need more GS.

              • RB says:

                I’m with you. Strange error for them to make. I mean I made it myself, at first, but I’m not the MLS site writing an article on precisely what the advancement scenarios are, either.

              • Jesse says:

                yeah, I immediately read that and go “no”. What they should have said is – In any scenario that Ghana wins by more than one or the US loses by more than one, they are through.

    • JJ says:

      Ghana won’t beat Portugal 1-0. Hard to see them only getting one.

      • QuakerOtis says:

        The worst case is Ghana scoring three on Portugal and it not resulting in a tie. This sounds horribly possible. But there are a number of ways in which we win too.

  16. Aquaman says:

    Unlike the first game where you could argue that Jones gave up too much of the wing, there is nothing bad that can be said about his game tonight

    • Mason says:

      I’m gonna reach here and say the card was the only blemish?

      But not really…. That’s what happens to DMs.

      • peterprinciple says:

        right, a well taken card that thwarted a counter as well. If only someone had done that in the build up to the second Portugal goal, but the only player we have willing to do it already had done it.

      • Jeff says:

        I was guessing his 12 turnovers

  17. steve says:

    Total stud. I sure wish he and Fabian Johnson both had twin brothers.

  18. Umlaut says:

    A thought on that final play:

    Jurgen tried the three-CB’s-to-hold-a-lead tactic against Turkey and we get scored on in no time (via a PK). Tried it again today, same result. Let’s put it to bed! One, I’m not sure the whole team is clear on their roles when the change occurs. We take Zusi out for Omar, so I assume we’re switching to more of a 5-4-1, but now there aren’t two wingers (Zusi and FJ/Yedlin–whoever was playing more advanced, as they seemed interchangeable) and instead we’ve got Jones, Beckerman and Bradley in the middle with FJ/Yedlin on the right, so who slid over? Well… it didn’t look like anyone did. Beasley was on an island! (This could be a result of Bradley being out of position after his turnover, too).

    AND, I think CR7 saw the switch, saw that the right side of the field was WIDE OPEN, and did something he basically hadn’t done all night. He seemed remarkably complacent to stick on the left and occasionally drift centrally, but for the first time I remember, he was all the way wide on the right touchline. Of course Beasley gave him a good 10-15 feet, inexplicably. Then Ronaldo hits an inch perfect cross, Varela goes one-on-three in the box and still manages to be 5 feet clear of a defender, and now we’re sweating out another week of group stages rather than wondering whether we go first or second in the group. Great.

    Anyway, from here on out I never want to see the 3 CB set again, please!

    • Paul says:

      Interesting stuff. I was completely confused when I saw Gonzo ready to come in, and then a little relieved when I realized a midfielder was coming out. But instead of trying to figure it out I was just watching with white knuckles.

    • MemRook says:

      This sums up every one of my thoughts perfectly. Thank you for typing this so I didn’t have to.

      A decent result for us that feels like a brutal loss. Soccer is funny.

      • Jesse says:

        There was a collective “NOOOOOOO” at the bar I was at, when we saw Gonzo coming in. I immediately flashed to the Nigeria game. It was just a bad idea.

    • Tom_in_So_IL says:

      I yelled a four letter word when I saw CR7(the nickname sucks) get 1v1. Yeah taking Zusi off was a bad idea. I agree. I wondered why Omar though I think Brooks would’ve been a better choice.

    • JJusa says:

      I had the same realization after watching the replay a few times. People are unfairly jumping on Bradley because to be fair if zusi is still on the field, Bradley actually has someone to pass to on the wing or at the very least ronaldo doesn’t have a 1v1 on that wing. So really Klinsmans subbing move had a part in why that goal was scored. (Not to mention the defense losing a 3v1 in the box)

      • Matt says:

        oh please. Bradley apologists are the most blind fanbase on the planet.

        Bradley coughed up the ball after a poor game, period, end of story

        • Mason says:

          “End of story”

          Except that the ball still had to be passed down the field to CR7, crossed, and scored. Other than that, yeah… End of story.

        • SJ says:

          If Bradley blasts the ball down field or out of bounds, instead of losing it, game over.

          The Bradley lost duel was the catalyst for the equalizer.

    • Bac says:

      I agreed with the strategy:
      1. You get fresh legs in
      2. You get your tallest defender in
      3. I know they’ve practiced it based on Howard’s comments last week

      And Beas did the right thing-He’s alone vs CR, don’t let him run by u….

      The execution was pathetic
      1. I would have guessed Brooks, but they must have practiced it with Omar
      2. Omar should have never been that far up the field no matter what. They needed to keep their shape and they didn’t
      3. If Cam’s the deepest(which he was) he’s always gotta be deeper than anyone

      Bradley’s giveaway was the icing on the $h!tcake…

    • Gary Page says:

      I think the failure was due to the players, not the formation, But I tend to discount all this speculation about how one formation fares against another. When you look at the all time great coaches in other sports, they emphasized doing the fundamentals well, focused on how well yopur team was executing, and did not worry that much about formations and tactical adjustments. What Klinsmann did made sense to me, the problem was that there were a number of ;individual breakdowns on defense.

      • Bac says:

        That’s my point, right strategy, poor execution.
        I watched it again a few times.
        When Bradley is dispossessed(strike 1), Omar is 5-10 yards in front of Jones-and at least 20 yards ahead of Cam & Besler(strike 2) No way he shoulda been that far up…especially further up the field than Jones… The runner comes from behind Fabian(strike 3) and Cam is ball watching and way way out of place-there’s 3 others that could support Beas if he got beat on the dribble-and Cam doesn’t track the runner(strike OUT)

        • beachbum says:

          found a way to pin it on Gonzo? wow
          I could be mistaken, but he’s not in there to line up along the backline, he’s positioned above it like a destroyer so he’s not involved in holding the line for any offsides (or lagging and therefore playing an opposing player onsides)

          • Jesse says:

            It was a bad idea. If you want a middle of the field destroyer, don’t bring in the slowest/least athletic guy on your roster. Drop Bradley back as a destroyer and bring in Mix to chase the ball up top. Gonzo is not a midfielder. He was in the wrong spot whether that was his fault or the coaches, it was a mistake.

    • atleticodemadridfan says:

      What can you say. We are still a young soccer nation. And as a team, a work in progress.
      They are kids – barely 20-25 y/o – the most of them.
      I am worried about Bradley. His natural position is to play where Beckerman is playing.
      Klinsman is asking too much of him to be the #10, attacking midfielder, pulling the strings. He doesn’t have the skills to do that. He is flopping like a fish out of water.
      What to do? Put Mix in his position. Then what? Bench Beckerman, and play Bradley in the hole? Or Bench Bradley?
      About tracking runners into the box, both Fabian Johnson and Cameron were to blame on the last goal.
      Overall the team played with great heart and determination. Beautifully at times.
      There is precious little time for them to rehydrate, rest, and recuperate – work on a few glitches and kinks in tactics and individual roles in practice – then go for it v. Germany on Thursday.
      There are more scenarios where we go through, than not.
      Fortune favors those who arrive on the playing field well prepared.
      Let’s go USA!

      • Jesse says:

        Weird. This is the first post I’ve ever seen calling for a major change in Midfield that didn’t call for Jones to be pulled. How times change.

        You are right that Bradley is more natural playing a deeper midfield role than he has been recently. I don’t think Mix is going to be an improvement here. He will have a lot of the same struggles Bradley has. The best American for vision, passing and creating opportunities isn’t in Brazil.

    • Twomilerule says:

      Gonzo came on for set piece defending! The corner prior to Gonzo coming in just missed CR7. He was dangerous all game on set pieces but lack service.
      All the Monday Morning Quartebacking is so heavy on the negatives. The US played and coached a brilliant game. Everything worked from the early long balls Bradley sent into Dempsey, which opened up the flanks. Making the right side a strength all night. JK inserting Yedlin was brilliant further stretching the space provided by Portugal.
      The US really confused Portugal with there attack. No one has mentioned how Zusi was pretty much playing all over the field especially the second half.

      • Jesse says:

        Gonzo should be there to defend against crosses. That is really the only thing he offers this team. I have no idea why he was at the half way line with seconds to go instead of filling up the box.

  19. Dan Brunell says:

    Well deserved.

    Quick question for Ives / et all.

    According to TransferMarkt.com (LINK: link to transfermarkt.co.uk) , Jones’ contract with Besiktas JK is up on the 30th. Is this accurate.

    I can think of a few MLS clubs that would be interested in him.

  20. RB says:

    I feel bad for the folks who always argue that Jones, Brooks, Johnson, etc aren’t “real” Americans or aren’t American “enough” and should not by rights be on the team. I mean everybody else is enjoying the hell out of this WC but they have to discount both these US results (as well as some in the lead-up matches)…

  21. juvi says:

    Beasley rocked it for the whole game.

  22. stanson says:

    Can anyone think of someone else who can play the #10 role for USMNT well? Someone who distributes the ball really well?

    • Helium-3 says:

      Diskerud.

      I said MB90 isn‘t an atracking midfielder after the Ghana game and he proved to everyone again tonight. An attacking MF knows what to do with the ball before he gets it. MB90 is a great ball winner who gets into the right spots and makes that great pass once in a while but he is no playmaker. He has a good brain in reacting quickly but he doesn’t have the proactive traits required for attacking MF due to his inexperience in that role.

      Guys who are attacking MF know how to keep possesion and know when to release the ball when you are surrounded by 4 guys. Should have passed to FJ on his left instead of going against the defender on that ball which led to Portugal’s equalizer. This instinct is inherent
      with an attacking MF.

      MB90 in Beckerman’s role and put Mix as attacking MF.

      • Sam says:

        Beckerman > Bradley

      • Petro4ever says:

        Mix wouldn’t be any better. He’s more creative than Bradley (marginally) but struggles to cope with pressure from physical defenders — the same thing that’s contributing to Bradley’s struggles. As much as I like Mix and as much as Bradley has struggled, our best bet is really to stay the course lineup-wise and hope that Bradley gets his stuff together.

    • Gary Page says:

      There is a player who has twice as many career assists as any other national team player in history. He is also good with taking corner kicks, taking dead ball kicks, and penalty kicks. He can also play as a winger or striker. His name is Landon Donovan.

      • Mark from LA says:

        Donovan was not in form, Klinsmann was very clear he would select players based on form.

        Klinsmann spanked Donovan earlier in the cycle and it had a positive impact on the group. There was a final realization by all players that Klinsmann was running a ruthless meritocracy. Everyone knew they had a real chance but could never relax.

        While I personally am sympathetic to pro-Donovan arguments, one could argue that Klinsmann did have Donovan contribute to the team by coldly sacrificing him as a sacred cow.

        I have to say, when one looks at the total group of 23, it feels like a real team, with veterans and rookies, and I’d wager the young players contributions to training sessions have made a contribution to the final production on the field. I’ve noticed, for example, that the touch of the players is improved from previous cycles, there are far less clunky traps leading to turnovers and far more successful outcomes from 3 on 3 in close quarters and the like.

        And lastly, both Brooks and Yedlin have made vital contributions to results. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green make an appearance in the Germany game.

        • Neal says:

          Jozy was not exactly in form, yet was a lock to make the 23

          • twosevenstreet says:

            But Jozy was in form…. granted he did not score much this year, but he was still one of the leaders in fouls drawn in the EPL…. you have to still pay attention to him at all times, with two defenders because he is too strong for just one defender.

            • Jesse says:

              come on.. I love Jozy, but he clearly was not in form. He missed more than his fair share of opportunities.

        • Uncle Sam says:

          Omar Gonzalez was injured and not in form and he is here. Watch the inside the USMNT series Espn did.

          Omar is the proof that the Landon situation was personal

          • Jesse says:

            I agree. It was an odd decision to bring an injured Omar instead of a healthy Goodson.

      • Petro4ever says:

        This again? OK, I’ll bite.The only way that Donovan’s a better fit in that role is if he’s in good enough shape to not wilt in the heat and humidity. During pre-World Cup camp, he gave an interview to the national press and a documentary film crew where he said that he couldn’t even consistently *train* at a high level multiple days in a row, let alone train and play games in a compressed schedule.

        The fact that even the most fit players are tiring should tell you that bringing a slightly slower, aging Donovan wouldn’t help this situation, regardless of his virtues in deadball situations (where, by the way, we’re not really struggling).

        • Jeff says:

          If Donovan had been kept on the team, I would’ve seen him being a second half sub to bring on some fresh offensive legs-not as a starter.

  23. Jack says:

    Anyone else think a few MLS teams might be making a call to his agent tonight?

  24. Matt says:

    Is anyone else concerned that Howard has conceded 3 goals, 2/3 of which he was beat at the near post?

    • Mason says:

      You could probably have scored the goal Nani scored.

    • Don't mind if I Freddy Adu says:

      Wasn’t a big fan of Howard before this tournament because I think some people automatically give him a free pass.

      BUT I don’t think he was at fault for either gol tonight TBH.

      Nani did a little hesitation move to make Howard go low and then blasted it above him (the ball was handed to Nani on a plate)
      2nd gol happened too fast to try to step out for a punch, and it was headed with too much power to have any chance at being stopped

      Howard’s saves earlier in the game were borderline miraculous and kept the US in the match. He has been solid in this WC in my eyes

      • Big Red says:

        Dude, you just gave him a free pass. Pretend Nani’s goal was a perfectly placed cross. I would still blame Howard for falling on himself. He did that against Ghana too. He’s not 100% at fault but he could have offered some resistance.

        • The Garrincha says:

          Big Red, not sure, Howard stayed upright as long as he could.
          still no defender in sight.
          Then Nani, blast’s a roof job, I don’t think many keepers would have stopped?.

    • Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

      For the first goal, it looks like Tim lost his footing and slipped. Would have been nice to see what would have happended if he was able to make himself big and charge Nani.

  25. beachbum says:

    Stud

  26. Benny says:

    It would have been great to see JJ in 2010

  27. Akraul says:

    Cameron cost the USA two goals wow that’s such bull crap brooks or Gonzales would not have made those mistakes. I coach high school soccer and even my freshman know when we have a lead worst case kick the ball out of bounds, great job Bradley. USA men just don’t get it smarter not harder!!!!

    • Helium-3 says:

      It’s what happens when you have players inexperienced in their positions making bad decisions. Cameron as CB, and MB90 as attacking MF. If both of these guys have played their positions regularly for their clubs, they would not be making bad decisions under pressure.

      JJ is a Champions League level player and he stepped up over the last two games. If we
      had more CL level players, they would not be making these bad decisions late in the game.

      Guys like JJ and Dempsey (Europa League finals) have reached the top levels and know how to maintain focus late into the game. This is why high level experience counts because they know how to deal with pressure and make the good decisions.

    • Helium-3 says:

      Gonzales would have made the same mistakes. Do you remember the qualifiers against Honduras and Guatemala? It’s why he’s not starting and Besler is. Besler does not have the physical tools of Gonzales but he is a better decision maker.

  28. Akraul says:

    And yes jones has been a rock on both sides of the ball. Overall much better and harder working than 75% of the team.

  29. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Sadly, I missed Jones’ goal because weather conditions, in South Florida disrupted over 20 minutes of the game!

  30. Benjamin C. says:

    Jones spent part of his youth in the Mississippi Delta. Trust me, from experience, if anyone on either squad was mentally prepared to deal with stifling heat and humidity with no breeze, it was him. Great match and a wonderful Cup from him so far. A true professional.

  31. Uncle Sam says:

    Best World Cup by a field player since JOB in 02

  32. Mr_A says:

    At some point, we should also talk about how cool it was to see Yedlin sprinting around upfield, how great Fabian Johnsons performed, and even how Wondo did well in his few minutes. (Maybe should’ve gone in for MB in the last 15 min instead of Gonzo for Zusi.)