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Busy Day, Eh?

1 p.m.: Canada vs. Guatemala, Gold Cup quarters at Foxborough (Telefutura)

4 p.m.: USA-Panama, Gold Cup quarters at Foxborough (Fox Soccer Channel, Univision)

7 p.m.: USA-China, women's friendly at Cleveland (ussoccer.com)

7:30 p.m.: United-Fire at RFK (HDNet)

I will create my usual DCU thread an hour or two before kickoff this evening, so let's devote this space to the international matches. When the Gold Cup group stages ended, I convinced myself that the U.S. men would not have much trouble with Panama, but after going back and watching tape of the Panamanian matches and assessing the American performances, I now believe this will be a little tighter than expected -- tighter in terms of the result, but loose in terms of play. Panama loves to get out and attack. If the Americans are able to absorb it and counter, they should be able to find ample space for Donovan, Beasley and Dempsey to create and improvise. It should be an entertaining match.

Share your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts here!

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2007; 7:57 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Matchday 10: United-Fire

Comments

I'd just like to comment that the Post's print version coverage of the Gold Cup has been invisible, quite literally! Today is the start of the Quarterfinals and there is not one piece on it, nothing, nada. There's coverage of the DCU match tonight, why nothing on the Gold Cup? Is there any mystery on why Soccer is less popular than other sports in America? Why, on the eve of the most meaningful regional international tournament in a year, do we suffer with nothing to read? In fact, the only coverage of the Gold Cup in the last week and a half has been an AP wire after a US victory in the group stage. That and the Radio/TV schedule, nothing more. Goff, give your readers (and the uninitiated public) something to digest about American soccer, please! I don't think it's too much to ask!

Posted by: wileyone | June 16, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

We played Panama 4 times during WCQ last cycle, won 3, tied 1 and outscored them 12-1. Including the breakout game by Eddie Johnson. I see more of the same today. Panama will not score, the US will look rather dismal but win 2-0 anyway.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | June 16, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wileyone: American newspapers have sent most of their sports staff to cover the parking lot arrival of football players to the pre-mini training camp. The Post also have two, TWO, reporters covering the rehab of a pitcher, who threw 45 pitches, in Frederick. With these priorities, there are no resources to cover the Gold Cup. We should consider ourselves lucky that Steve wasn't also sent to Frederick for this world-changing event.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 16, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I still think it's a shame that the priorities are placed where they are. Goff is the soccer writer for the Post, and I think he should be covering the Gold Cup in print. I don't think it's too much to ask for -- there has been zero coverage and the tournament is going on 2 weeks. I thought the Post might be waiting until the group stages were finished, so I held my tongue until now, but... we have known the match-ups of the Quarterfinals since Wednesday and there's not one mention of it? It's a cop-out.

Posted by: wileyone | June 16, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I 270:

Since you haven't had the pleasure of Hasselhoff . . I give you . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi2CfuqcUGE

Posted by: d | June 16, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Once again, a DC United game is only on HDNet. This really blows.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Geez, calm down, y'all. Assuming the USA advances, I will cover the semis and, if necessary, the final in Chicago. We're not going to commit travel resources to early rounds of the Gold Cup. Sorry, it ain't happening. Even if I did feel the need to be in Foxborough, I can't be in two places at once and, for me, local coverage of the local club, DCU, takes priority over a quarterfinal. One of the reasons we created this blog was to provide a forum for all things soccer that, because of space limitations in the print edition, would otherwise not see the light of day. Between the print edition and online, we have committed ourselves to to an awful lot of soccer coverage.

As for the baseball, the reason a reporter (one reporter, not two, the other was with the team and added to the coverage) was in Frederick for a pitcher's rehab assignment was because it was IN FREDERICK (40 miles away). If it had been in Columbus at the AAA farm team, we would not have been there.

Sorry we can't cover everything. We will have a staff reporter at every DCU road game (with the possible exception of one or two late in the year). Any paper in the country doing that? Hello? NY Times? Chicago Tribune? LA Times? Even defending champion Houston doesn't get road coverage regularly anymore. League-leading New York visited RFK last weekend -- not ONE reporter from the NY area.

We will be at the semis and final of Gold Cup. We will be at the USA-Brazil u-20 match in Ottawa. We will have Sports Bog Steinberg with Beckham in L.A. upon his arrival. We will be at the Women's World Cup in China (sorry, guys, it's a major event for American soccer and will be covered as such).

I understand your frustration, but pick your spots to complain, please. The quarters of the Gold Cup vs. Panama shouldn't be it.

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I have given up on print editions of newspapers. I read everything online at my own pace, of my own interest. Soccer is covered at great lengths and by good reporters the world over.

Why would I bother with print anymore?

Posted by: delantero | June 16, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The print edition offers a little bit of everything for everybody -- baseball, football, basketball, soccer, golf, etc. It is what it is. For extended coverage, there's plenty available on that Internet machine.
:-)

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

returning the converstation back to today's games . . . anyone else surprised by the amount of empty seats? Maybe it's just the camera angles but I would have thought more people would have be there. Canada isn't that far from Boston for fans to come down.

Also, I'm a bit of a soccer novice, but anyone else impressed by Canada's first goal?

Posted by: emanon | June 16, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The crowd will increase as the afternoon progresses and the U.S. fans begin to arrive.

Canada looks sharp, two nice goals. Guatemala is not good.

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't expect in-depth coverage at every US match, that would be foolish. What I do expect is, at the least, some discussion of what the tournament is, it's meaning and history, the fact that the games actually mean something in international rankings vs. friendlies, the regional implications, etc. Of course the primary task is coverage of the local club team, but it's pathetic to justify your lack of coverage on the fact that other newspapers also have shoddy coverage. The Gold Cup is our Euro, our Copa America, our Nations Cup, smaller and less impressive though it may be. I understand that it's not up to the soccer nuts to decide on what the print edition provides space for, but to have nothing, not even a shred, is a disservice to the sporting community.

The Gold Cup is meaningful because it can give the lay-reader a better understanding of world football. I agree that the web is the obvious place to go for in-depth analysis, but the paper should serve as a baseline of information. Reporting the news of the soccer world, with an emphasis on the US teams (mens, womens, U-20, etc.) should be something the Post strives for. Otherwise the public may just start to lump you in with the NY, Chicago, and LA papers.

And I did choose my spot, to complain today -- I was tempted to write in last Thursday when there was nothing about the first group round games. It's really not about the specific coverage of US vs. Panama (though you should have covered it, no question), it's the general attitude that it's not important enough to put resources into it. And this blog is the spot to make these points, is it not? Certainly a letter to the sports editor would have been overlooked, and it got nearly immediate feedback here. You can take these comments to your editor to perhaps make a case that there is a need for better coverage. Your coverage of DC United is usually very thorough, why shouldn't it be extended to meaningful international tournaments?

Posted by: wileyone | June 16, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance, Guatemala.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | June 16, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

you heard it here: Mira Mupier signed with DC United. want to confirm that Goff?

Posted by: Jay | June 16, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Online is the place to be for soccer. Dead trees are so 1997.

Vamos United!

Posted by: DCBird | June 16, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

As a developmental-eligible player, Mupier certainly makes sense. They liked him a lot in preseason combine and would've signed him then, but he wanted to explore Euro opportunities first. Curious to see if the club signs the Swiss defender.


Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Wileyone:

As I said earlier, we will pick up coverage of the Gold Cup in the semifinals. Today and tomorrow, the emphasis is on DCU. In a perfect world, the paper would be full of soccer, page after page like in Spain and England and Argentina, but in this country, there are other sports with bigger followings and a finite amount of space to cover it all. We could quibble all day over space for this, space for that, but we're not going to get anywhere.

As long as we continue to send three writers to the World Cup, cover various events here and abroad, and devote more resources than any other paper to MLS, frankly I don't think we will ever be lumped in with the NY, Chicago, LA. I can certainly live with the fact that we've used the wires for early rounds of Gold Cup.

Okay, I'm getting a headache. USA-Panama thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Guatemala thoughts....

They knew they couldn't play with the United States so their tactic was to bunker and keep the match close. They figured they didn't need to do that against Canada and decided to play -- bad move.


Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I hate Ruiz more with every game I see. It's really pathetic how he flops around. I'd really like to know what the ref said to him after the Canadian defender beat him to that header---the one where Carlos grabbed the back of his own head in mid air and tumbled to the ground as if he'd been shot.

Posted by: delante | June 16, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wileyone: outstanding points made both before and after Goff's rebuttal! I can only admire that you make your opinions lucidly and without rancour. Really, what the Post is saying is it doesn't want more than one soccer writer, someone who fills-in the local scene while Goff is at the major international tourneys--even at far-flung places like Foxborough. The Post can't be so cash-strapped to make story decisions based on domestic travel costs. Of course we readers of both the paper and the blog don't amount to much of a market to be concerned about so that's why Goff can down-play the importance of our disappointment in no Gold Cup coverage in the Post. Also, the Post shouldn't encourage its writers to constantly stick-up for its editorial, story or business decisions as much as Goff does--this attitude to be a company spokesman is getting kind of predictable.

Posted by: cuzco03 | June 16, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Goff - the overwhelming majority of us understand and appreciate the great work you do, between print articles and the blog. By it's nature a blog is going to attract the Internet nuts, just tune them out (although it's hard to do when they write essays like todays).

just looking at the comments section on Ive's blog article you linked to earlier, he's even more inundated...

Posted by: pat | June 16, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Soccer coverage- personally I am more concerned that games are televised than covered in newspapers. Now we have more soccer on TV then ever before: Europe 2008 ESPN, WORLD CUP 2006 every game was on TV!, GOLD CUP 2007 on FSC or telefutra or UNI, MLS games are on all the time, etc...Things are soooooo much better now then ever before! DON'T WORRY! BE HAPPY!

USA vs. Panama- The Yanks will look nervous in moments early on, but once they settle in everything will be fine. USA 3 Panama 1. I am curious to see the starters for today's game b/c in theory I would imagine Bradley will be putting his top team on the pitch. Do you agree?

Posted by: John Berrodin | June 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

my only comments on the Post soccer coverage:

it's not enough, it's not perfect, but it's better than anyone else in the US. Sure, it'd be great if Goff could go to Foxboro, but we all have budgets people, even the Post. we already get better coverage than anyone else (what other paper has the coverage that Goff gives us, especially on the Insider? does anyone make an effort to read either of the Times' coverage? the Chron? anything? no, everyone comes here from those cities to read this) so let's not complain too much, shall we?

now when US-Panama draws 40,000, and is broadcast on network TV (or at least basic cable in English) then the investment can be made. but until then, come on people, let's just keep supporting what we do have and making the Post's investment worthwhile.

Posted by: northzax | June 16, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

US lineup according to match tracker on ussoccer . . .

G:Howard
D: Hejduk, Onyewu, Bocanegra
M: bornstein, bradley, mastroeni, donovan, beasley
F:twellman, dempsey

Posted by: emanon | June 16, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Of course it would be nice to cover both, but its more important for Goff to be at RFK today than at Foxborough. I don't think there's any way the Post will add additional soccer reporters for anything but the World Cup.


I like the lineup. We'll see if Twellman can earning his starting spot today.

Posted by: Shatz | June 16, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

On last comment/summation, and then I'll let it lie...the print coverage could realistically never be enough for the soccer hungry among us, and that's why we're all here, on the blog. My point is simply that without a baseline of coverage on soccer it will never grow in stature here is the US. Most casual readers don't seek out blogs like this until they've developed a passion for the game, which unless they played as a kid (more widespread than any other youth sport, so I guess there's hope) or have read about it/experienced it on a basic level, they won't care that it's absent. Vicious cycle. I'm glad to have had the discussion, and I only hope it might affect future coverage. Of course we appreciate Goff, his coverage is all we get from the Post, and that must be supported. But why not stand up for fuller coverage of the sport we all love?

Soapbox vacated. Go US!

Posted by: wileyone | June 16, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe michael bradley is starting over feilhaber.

why do the FSC announcers keep talking about the possibility of a 'North American matchup' if the US advances to play canada? every game in the Gold Cup is a 'North American matchup'!

Posted by: pat | June 16, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

also don't get why bornstein and hedjuk are in instead of spector and simek

Posted by: pat | June 16, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

what an awful breakaway from landycakes. sheesh, finish already. .

Posted by: northzax | June 16, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Why did Donovan wait so long to shoot???

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I can understand Hejduk's inclusion (he does do a lot of the little things imp for good team play) but i really dont understand the fascination with Bornstein who, imo, has been the worst player on the squad all tournament. it'd be nice to have Simek's bulk though.


I really wish Dave Johnson had been called up for the match.

penedo has a fantastic mullet. i am afeared.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Referee giving out cards, but barely in control of the match.

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Twellman = jarvis hayes

Posted by: Bob | June 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

if you're going to wear fancy yellow shoes, doesn't that mean you should be able to score goals?

Posted by: ffx | June 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Twellman badly scuffs a clear opportunity. USA cannot continue to miss these chances.

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Twellman, take off the fancy yellow boots. With a shot like that you don't deserve them.

Posted by: del | June 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

at least dempsey put it on frame

Posted by: ffx | June 16, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

That is a WEAK yellow card ref.

Posted by: del | June 16, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

um, Gooch? a yellow for that? such is your bad reputation. maybe if we are lucky we will end up playing a little 9 on 9 by the end

Posted by: northzax | June 16, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Revs fans present realize now why Twellman wasn't called up for Germany.

Posted by: d | June 16, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

aw come on, d, at his last shot "looked" on frame, if weren't for Dempsey's unfortunate offsides block.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Looked like it was on frame at the keeper to me . . . but we'll never know . . .

Nice handball that the entire stadium saw but not the ref or linesman

Posted by: d | June 16, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Between the USA missed opportunities, the referee's missed calls/lack of presence and the general lack of rhythm of this match, I don't know if I can watch much longer.

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The game seems to be getting away from the ref a bit. I hope the US boys learn to deal with the calls and play through it.

Posted by: Memphis Rookie | June 16, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Thank god for the whistle! Let's put that half out of mind, in the history book and burn it.

Here's hoping for a much improved second half?

Posted by: Memphis Rookie | June 16, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

A few thoughts on the US:

The refereeing crew is terrible.

Twellman is just not good enough to earn a roster spot in important games.

Hedjuk's apparent role is to provide useless service. Why hasn't he been retired from internationals already?

Lots of chances created, but the finishing is bad bad bad. I kinda feel bad for Donovan; I thought the keeper recovered well to make the save.

Posted by: wsinger | June 16, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

CONCACAF's REFs are horrible!
USA's finishing is horrible!
The broadcast team is horrible!
Landycakes, just take the shot!
45 minutes left to put away an overrated Panama. This is frustrating!

Posted by: John Berrodin | June 16, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

halftime adjustments id like to see...

Simek for Hejduk. Ching for Twellman. Johnson for Bretos.

Posted by: bob | June 16, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Lovely, now we need a great Howard save to stay even .. .

This is getting better and better.

Posted by: d | June 16, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching on Univision!
;-)

Posted by: Goff | June 16, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic pass from Dempsey!!!

Posted by: d | June 16, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

should have been a penalty plus another card. that's a good tackle for a cornerback

Posted by: northzax | June 16, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

GOAL LANDCAKES on a penalty drawn by "# 10."

On a separate but incredibly important point, we don't stop Goff to thank him enough for all he does for the soccer community in DC. The coverage we do get, especially on this blog, is outstanding. While I'd always love more coverage, it's hard to complain with the WaPo compared to other news organizations.

And as I already stated above, we don't stop nearly enough to thank Goff for all the work he puts into this. So, thanks.

Posted by: Kyle (Falls Church) | June 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Also Goff, I'm watching on Univision as well, and I didn't realize the commentator did the same thing for penalty as he did for goals.

For those of you who don't watch

Penal... penal.... penal.... penal... penal... PENALTY.

Kills me.

Posted by: Kyle | June 16, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, definitely saw that coming. With half their side in the ref's face he was going to get fed up with it eventually.

Posted by: Colm | June 16, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

safe to say Panama is falling apart at this point, no? although they had a heck of a good point on that Gooch foul. maybe it's time to go back to watching the US Open, this is getting ugly....

Posted by: northzax | June 16, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

getting a bit more interesting in the second half.

Can the US hold onto the lead for the next 5 mins?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

hopefully that goal is a wake up call for Michael's dad regarding the pyromania of ralston/hedjuk.

Posted by: eek | June 16, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

loved the univision coverage

Bornnnnnnnstein and *Ching*

Posted by: dtd | June 16, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Steve Ralston...ugh...

Posted by: DCUfanSE | June 16, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The Yanks need to play better this Thursday! Why did we look like we were playing with 10 men at the end of the game!
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO FRUSTRATING! This game should have been 3 zip at the half! Instead the yanks were scrambling to hold on to the victory. Something needs to be done about these refs!

Posted by: John Berrodin | June 16, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Univisión...
The best thng most of you have going for you is that you do NOT understand the language.
Pablo Ramírez is Brutal! And Jorge Pérez -their other PXP- is even worse. It's all "style (the word has never been used more loosely)" over substance.
They would never work in TV in their native Mexico. The shame about Pablo is that he seems to have great knowledge. If someone at Univisión had enough courage to tell him that he should just call the game, don't exaggerate the excitement when it's not there, get away from his catch-phrases and just tell us what is going on he'd have potential. In the meantime I preffered to listen to Max Bretos (uhg!), which is no picnic either.
Cheers!
PS: If most people can pronounce López (LOW-pez) why do they always misspronounce Pérez (PEH-rez) by saying Peh-REZ (you never hear Low-PEZ, do you?)? Hear that Mr. Bretos???
It's the same rule. Sorry, pet peeve. Needed to vent.

Posted by: Roberto | June 16, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Bob Bradley is lucking his way through this tournament. That lineup was, well, not good. Why Feilhaber, Simek, and Spector were not in there is beyond me, and they'd better be on Thursday. Hejduk's "experience" is experience making bad passes, that's about it. And as I continue to stress, Bornstein is simply not good.

FSC announcers seem to feel they played very well and we're impressed with just about everyone I wasn't impressed by. Even Dempsey's passes were too soft and too often didn't reach the target. Landy's contribution was to latch on to a picture-perfect feed, and then dink in a spot kick probably because Penedo got bored waiting for him and just dove to get it over with already. Thought Howard did nicely though...umm...and maybe Pablo.

Ralston needs to go with Hejduk the way of David Regis, retired land. Bornstein just needs to go back to LA and leave it to the real players.

If we lose to (the constantly underachieving) Canada, Bradley should be fired on the spot.

Posted by: c-hawk | June 16, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope that the yanks will work on finishing for the next four days. I agree that anything short of winning the Gold Cup should result in Bob Bradley's firing. By putting all his eggs into the Gold Cup basket he has put that kind of pressure on himself. OK that's kind of harsh, but the lineup today was not the strongest one Bradley could have fielded. Hejduk is all hustle and crap service. Newsflash, Frankie Simek is all hustle combined with skill, service, and by the way he will be around in 2010. The love affair continues with Jonathan Bornstien...I just don't get it! Why am I seeing Ralston again, isn't there a better younger option! Ralston has a 0% chance to make the 2010 squad and has looked invisible for the most part when he is on the field. I have to stop before my head explodes!

Posted by: John Berrodin | June 16, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Taylor Twellman just can't score for the USA with the exception being the Norway U20 team. The pace of play seems to quick for him. I did not think Hejduk had a bad game. I'd prefer Demerit to Onewyu though.

I was suprised to see the lineup today with no Feilhaber...

Posted by: Kevin | June 16, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Exhibit 100 as to why Bob Bradley is so over his head.
Hejduk is an out of control madman who can't cross and will 40 by 2010.
twellman is a complete joke at this level as I have said time and time again. he offers nothing but a bunch of sweat. if he isn't such a hack the game is over after 20 minutes and the us cruises 4-0. not onyl does he lack skill, but he must be the least lucky striker in the history of international soccer, and I'm sorry, luck had a whole lot to do with that job (go re-watch many of Wynalda's 34 goals for the US)

the lineup stunk, weak tactics late in the game and horrible subs. needed to bring twellman off sooner and got with ching directly when you pull him off. the ralston sub was ridiculous (he's on the roster to provide a decent cross only and can't do anything else; a right sided Eddie Lewis, only without 50 percent of the talent).
bringing on ralston was stupid, period, and his idiotic run to the middle of the 18 led to the freak deflection off gooch that gifted panama the goal.

clark should have come on sooner - for bradley.

it's sad when you have to try to overcome your coach in 3 of the first 4 games of a tourney.

how simek, spector, parkhurst and demerit all started on the bench in a must win game after how well they have played thus far vs. gooch, bornstein and hejduk pretty much blows my mind. guess sunil has a thing for gooch, hejduk and bornstein.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 17, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Exhibit 100 as to why Bob Bradley is so over his head.
Hejduk is an out of control madman who can't cross and will 40 by 2010.
twellman is a complete joke at this level as I have said time and time again. he offers nothing but a bunch of sweat. if he isn't such a hack the game is over after 20 minutes and the us cruises 4-0. not onyl does he lack skill, but he must be the least lucky striker in the history of international soccer, and I'm sorry, luck had a whole lot to do with that job (go re-watch many of Wynalda's 34 goals for the US)

the lineup stunk, weak tactics late in the game and horrible subs. needed to bring twellman off sooner and got with ching directly when you pull him off. the ralston sub was ridiculous (he's on the roster to provide a decent cross only and can't do anything else; a right sided Eddie Lewis, only without 50 percent of the talent).
bringing on ralston was stupid, period, and his idiotic run to the middle of the 18 led to the freak deflection off gooch that gifted panama the goal.

clark should have come on sooner - for bradley.

it's sad when you have to try to overcome your coach in 3 of the first 4 games of a tourney.

how simek, spector, parkhurst and demerit all started on the bench in a must win game after how well they have played thus far vs. gooch, bornstein and hejduk pretty much blows my mind. guess sunil has a thing for gooch, hejduk and bornstein.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 17, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad Sunil didn't look to the denizens of the Insider Nation when he was shopping for coaches... nothing but experts here. Everyone's waiting for the first loss and the inevitable deluge of "told you so's."

Watch this space for brilliant comments such as "won the gold cup in spite of the coach," "did well in copa america despite the coach," and of course "somehow won our group in qualifying even with Bradley coaching."

Apparently, we'd be winning by 5 to 10 extra goals each match if Klinsman or Morhinio were coaching. Clearly Bob's holding us back.

Btw, if I had been in the booth with Bretos when he declared (with 10 minutes left) that "you can write it in ink, the US is advancing" I would have punched him in the nads.

Posted by: bbarrie | June 17, 2007 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Bbarrie:

Excellent post. Hysteria at every turn.

Surely, Klinsmann or Hiddink would've won every Gold Cup game 10-0, captured the Copa title with ease and vaulted the USA into the top three in the world rankings immediately. He surely would have uncovered the brilliant little playmaker hiding in a hut in rural northern Idaho that will revolutionize the American game and who has so far been ignored by every previous coach. (sigh)

Should some of Bradley's decisions be scrutinized? Of course. (Hejduk-Bornstein remains a mystery to me.) Is he over his head -- in a CONCACAF tournament? Um, no. (Is Hugo Sanchez in over his head?) If the U.S. loses to Canada, is it a failure? Yes. If the U.S. loses to Mexico in the final, is it a disaster and grounds for termination? Of course not.

Just some semi-rational thoughts...

Posted by: Goff | June 17, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

In any other country the coach is fair game, particularly after his showing in his regional championship.

How anyone could give him high marks for his tactical decisions is an argument I would love to see. It was the big area of deficiency with Bruce and they got a guy with even worse credentials and it's already proving to be a big issue with him, and they aren't even playing top teams.

There's nothing hysterical about it. He makes one questionable decision after the next.

Of course no one would win 10-0. But for anyone to think BB has even a fraction of the international playing and coaching experience of guys like Hiddink and Klinsi is again, an argument I would love to hear. If someone wants to defend his use of subs, decision making, and tactics managing the final 30 minutes of that game, again, I'd love to hear it. I am sure the suits at the USSF have perfectly sound explanations for his coaching in 3 of these games. (I thought he handled himself well against El Salvador - which is of course the US should be able to beat at home in a major competition with Pamela Anderson handling the managing duties).


I give him credit though - at leastBeasley was taking some of the free kicks.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 17, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I really am grateful for the passion and high expectations of my fellow bloggers, but all who are coming down hard on Bradley for his player selection or tactical decisions sound like they just started watching int'l soccer last year.

The Guatemala friendly was a poor effort. They apparently fixed that for the Gold Cup. As far as the team having to overcome the head coach in 3 out of 4 matches, what is that supposed to mean? How is it Bradley's fault that we don't win 4-0 if the players are blowing easy shots?

Yes, some of these players are too old for the 2010 roster. Please remember that we are three years away from 2010, but only one year away from 2006. It makes sense to use some of the players from the 2006 pool. Hell, if McBride (AARP in 2010) hadn't retired, he' be starting.

Twellman is just snake-bitten. He's like McBride in that he'll put his head in a guillotine if the ball is there, but he's like Albright in that the effort never pays off. Bear in mind though that Dempsey wasted his chances too. Any calls for his head or was that Bradley's fault?

You have to look at big picture. Bradley has to assemble 2 rosters this summer. The GC schedule is so tight that, as Arena said, you need to take 2 teams. With Copa America immediately after the GC, Bradley had to do more diplomacy with club managers than ever before in USMNT history.

We're 4-0-0. We have a young team. We've given up 1 goal. what's the word I'm looking for... perspective.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 17, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think Ellinger and Adu would solve all of the U.S. team's issues.

;-)

Posted by: Goff | June 17, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Does a desire to have a coach capable of judging talent, manging a game, assesing tactics and tempo and not playing favorites qualify as "high expectations?"

Does ecpected a modicum of logic behind significant roster andgame selection decisions make someone crazy?

Again, against real competition these constant flaws are going to be exposed big time. And you guys know it. I am still waiting for someone to say this guy has had a strong performance in this tourney - his first real test - from a tactical standpoint? Haven't heard it yet.

Freddy looks like a shell of the prospect he once was, but is still a pup. Eillinger is lucky to have work.

Bob Bradley is even more lucky to have this job. Wouldn't happen at any other top 50 federation in the world - how many titles does he have again? - and all of your guys know it.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 17, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Also, Hugo is on over his head as well. for as much trash as he talked. and trust me if this costa ric game goes the way it might, he will be looking for work soon enough.

that's the way it goes in real soccer countries and until there is something clsoe to a true standard of coaching here, it's going to be middling performances at best. I am not saying be a total fanatic, but with all the money ther US had made off the sweat of the players the last 8 years or so, at least re-invest it in a coach worthy of the job.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | June 17, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Jason, coaching a club to a domestic championship is hardly a prerequisite for a national job (Bradley did win one, fwiw). Do your homework. Steve McClaren won the Premiership how many times before getting the England job? Dunga's coaching experience in Brazil? Donadoni in Italy? Klinsman before the World Cup? Terribly flawed argument.


Posted by: Today's The Day | June 17, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

We have to keep in mind that our top XI players will not and should not start every single game. Just because Simek and Spector didn't start over Hejduk and Bornstein doesn't mean that our coach is an idiot. Same goes for M. Bradley over Feilhaber. I would be shocked if we don't see at least 2 of those guys starting vs Canada.

But the Ralston sub was probably the dumbest decision of the tournament. We don't give up that goal if he doesn't come rushing in to try to defend a player that is already double covered.

Posted by: Shatz | June 17, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I know everyone is sick of this topic, and I definitely am thankful for Goff and his coverage of DCU and all things soccer and don't normally read the LA Times, but my girlfriend was in LA over the weekend and brought back the Sunday Times which had a story about the US game on Sautrday as well as a preview of the Mexico game today. It seemed like they had a reporter in Boston and Houston, according to the bylines. I am not going to pretend to know what their Galaxy and Chivas coverage is like, and they definitely don't have Goff.

I don't know if the Post lets commenters link to other papers here, but you can find the articles here:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-soccer17jun17,1,3358597.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-soccer&ctrack=1&cset=true
http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-mexcup17jun17,1,5909919.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-soccer&ctrack=2&cset=true
I think you might have to register to see them.

Just thought folks would like to know this what with all the comments about other papers not covering this and the Post not having the resources, Boston is definitely farther from LA and they managed to have someone there and in Houston.

Posted by: mike | June 17, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I managed to finish watching the USA-Panama match on my VCR earlier today. On Bocanegra's goal, despite the high cross from Beasley, it looked as if the Panama keeper went low, giving Bocanegra the entire top half of the goal to shoot at; in fact, at the end of the play, he appeared to be down on one knee. Can someone familiar with the art of goalkeeping explain what was going on? Did he perhaps expect CB to try to head the ball straight down (sort of a Baltimore chop shot on goal), or what?

Posted by: Go Penn State! | June 17, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Just thought folks would like to know this what with all the comments about other papers not covering this and the Post not having the resources, Boston is definitely farther from LA and they managed to have someone there and in Houston.

-----

Thanks for the links. Kudos to the LA Times on this particular day and in this particular tournament. They don't often send reporters outside the SoCal area to cover soccer.

This will be my last overreaction to this tiresome topic. Promise. In the future, feel free to share your concerns about our coverage with the editors at sports@washpost.com. They are always eager for reader feedback.

SG

Posted by: Goff | June 17, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Penn State...your theory seems as good as any other. The Panama keeper did excellent against Lando's early breakaway and messed up the Boca goal. Then again, Beasley sent a perfect feed (placement and the sick spin) and Boca did what 8 of 10 US players usually fail to do, which is get positioning and then actually snap the header. Most our players seem pleased with themselves when the ball rubs against their hair in some fashion.

I think La Canfora is perhaps a little excitable about this game, but he's also right. Someone else pointed it out too, but the sub decisions were crap. Bradley has the same ability as Arena to make me scream at the TV for a sub.

Twellman had a crap game. Obviously wasn't finishing squat. So I'm thinking new striker at the half or about 5/10 minutes into the 2nd half. I would have gone with EJ (despite my love-hate relationship with him) b/c we were getting plenty of break opportunities with Panama's loose play.

Twellman then comes out in the 2nd half and misplays everything for 10 minutes. And is still in there. When he's finally replaced it's for FrankenChing? Way early for the "hey this guy is tall and might get his head on a late corner" sub.

We have two outside D presumably in the game due to their speed (still should have been Simek over Bornstein) and we're putting Ching out, in a fast, loose game over Johnson? Shrug.

Gotta give it up to Donovan, Beasley (wow, please keep playing like this), Dempsey (blew some shots, but he displays the ballsy footwork and creativity most our team lacks), Bocanegra and Howard.

Posted by: Shmoo | June 17, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

While in some ways I agree with JLC that we need a diff type of coach to take us to the next level and improve on our intl aspirations I dont really think time is of the essence. bradley is certainly capable of winning the gold cup (humiliating hugo) and putting up a respectable showing for the next two years. hiddink and klinsi werent available/turned it down and some of the other options werent great fits for us.

the bornstein situation does concern me and i really want to see more of simek but bradley has been rotating his players so im still keeping an open mind.

Posted by: FreeDC | June 17, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

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