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USA-T&T, the Aftermath

With tonight's 3-0 victory, the Americans remained unbeaten in their semifinal-round group and set an all-time program record with six consecutive shutouts (the scoreless draw with Argentina and five qualifying wins).

The Cuba match Oct. 11 at RFK should secure passage to next year's final round. It will also allow Coach Bob Bradley to call in other players and give his veterans a break from international play the rest of the year. Here is what he had to say on that subject after tonight's match:

"We have a good pool of players, we have used different guys, and we want to continue to build that pool. The job is not totally finished yet, so that has to be considered. But certainly we always want to look for the right moments to get some of the other players that are on the radar screen into camps and hopefully get them on the field."

My full match report with quotes is available here.

How about some player ratings?

Howard 6; Cherundolo 6, Onyewu 7.5, Bocanegra 6, Pearce 6; Dempsey 7, Bradley 7, Kljestan 6, Beasley 7; Donovan 7, Ching 6. Subs: Clark 5, Johnson 5, Lewis 5.

At the midway point of group play, here is how CONCACAF looks:

*USA 9 points, Guatemala 4, T&T 4, Cuba 0.
*Mexico 9, Honduras 6, Canada 1, Jamaica 1.
*Costa Rica 9, El Salvador 6, Haiti 1, Suriname 1.

In case you were wondering, the tentative dates for 2009 final-round fixtures are: Feb. 11, March 28, April 1, June 6, June 10, Aug. 19, Sept. 5, Sept. 9, Oct. 10, Oct. 14.

By Steve Goff  |  September 10, 2008; 11:58 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight: USA-T&T
Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

Guate & T&T is such a tight race now, Guate better pull it off.

great showing from Ruiz.

on the side note, i see a ManCity 07 voyage for Mexico, they are playing good but they will be challenged next round.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 11, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I thought we already started the whole, "let Cooper ride" business in an earlier thread. Sure can't wait to see Brad Guzan @ RFK... (rolling my eyes)
THANK YOU STEVE FOR ALL THE RELEVANT INFO. Especially the fixture dates.

Posted by: dadryan | September 11, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Great ending to the Peru-Argentina game.

Posted by: FC | September 11, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but it seems as if the singing portion of the crowd at tonight's game was singing a Vamos USA song most of the night, which is an exact replica of Barra Brava's Vamos United! Could this be another example of the trend setting Barra Brava? Or is it vice versa? Goff, can you shed some light on this?

And they say that Toronto FC sets the tone with their streamers...HA!

Posted by: D | September 11, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Umm, D... That tune did not originate with the Barra Brava. In fact, I'm pretty sure that all of Barra's tunes are taken from other soccer hotbeds.

Liked your ratings, Goffer. As I posted in last thread, I thought Gooch was a real standout, turning in his best game as a Nat, albeit against limp opposition. Dempsey also had a terrific game.

Of course, I'm not writing to say I agree with you -- this is the internet, after all. So here's where I'd quibbble: Cherundolo (would ya'll prefer I call him "Dolo"?) deserved higher marks than Boca and Pearce. Not just because he preserved the shutout, but because he did a lot more on both ends of the field. I thought Clark looked pretty good as a late sub, especially defending. Other than that, I'm right with you.

As for playing with the lineup, I think Bradley should start doing that now. When we get to the next round, He should have a pretty clear idea who he wants to play against the better teams, so they can get the experience and start gelling.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 11, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

I know it's late and all and I must be off to bed, but aren't all the chant songs bit? The irony of ripping off the white stripes still gets me.
I saw someone in the crowd tonight, beating a drum and had what looked to be a DCU Shield tattoo on his right arm... anyone else catch that? Know who he was? Hmmmm.?

Posted by: dadryan | September 11, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Dude, did you say Gelling?

Posted by: Tony Hawk | September 11, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but it seems as if the singing portion of the crowd at tonight's game was singing a Vamos USA song most of the night, which is an exact replica of Barra Brava's Vamos United! Could this be another example of the trend setting Barra Brava? Or is it vice versa? Goff, can you shed some light on this?

And they say that Toronto FC sets the tone with their streamers...HA!

Posted by: D | September 11, 2008 1:02 AM

That song is actually a well known and sung song throughout latin america. BB might be responsible for making it popular here in the states though, but definitely not an original, much like most songs
*cough* you'll never walk alone *cough*

Posted by: Not original | September 11, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, that was more like it. We came out against an inferior opponent, imposed ourselves on them, and won with ease. Great first half, professional 2nd half (for the most part). We didn't see that they were bunkering and decide to wait them out. Instead, we went right at them to break them down, and it worked. It would have been nice to grab more goals from the run of play (we had the chances), but when you win 3-0 and the worst thing you can think of is that it could have been a wider margin, you're doing things right.

Getting off topic for a moment, congratulations to Jaime Moreno and Bolivia, who managed a surprise 0-0 draw in Brazil despite playing the last 34 minutes down a man. Moreno played 56 minutes.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 11, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

How about Bradley calling up local boy Freddy Adu for the RFK game?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 11, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

It's not whether a song is original *cough* It's whether the use of it as a cheer is original.

Personally, I'd like to see the DCU and the USA fan groups come up with their own "originals". Since 1990, I've been trying to get the USA fans to go with my own version of Blitzkrieg Bop:

"Hey Ho, Let's Go. Hey ho, let's go
Shoot one in the goal now
We all want a US Goal
We're all revved up and ready to go"

We could substitute "United goal" for "US goal"...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 11, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

A quick stab at a Barra-specific lyric:

We're standing in the front seats
We generate our own heat
Pulsatin' to the drum beats
The Barra Bop

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 11, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

the "vamos ________" song is sung in so many different places, from south america to spain, that for a member the DCU supporters group to try to claim it as originating there only highlights the ignorance of that person

get one perspective, please

Posted by: anotherbodymurdered | September 11, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Gooch gets a seven and a half? I don't know, Goff, I was thinking he should get a seven and three-eighths, tops. ;-)

Off topic, but Portugal-Denmark last night was a thriller. Portugal up 1-0 towards the end of the game and already celebrating and showing off. Oops, 1-1 in the 82nd. That bucket of cold water got the Portuguese moving, so a minute later they get a penalty and are up 2-1. Time to relax and celebrate again, right? Sure enough, 90th minute Denmark scores again. The Portuguese shrug their shoulders, accept that they will only get one point out of this qualifier, and then Denmark nets a third at 90+2. Final: 3-2 Denmark over Portugal.

Posted by: troy | September 11, 2008 3:35 AM | Report abuse

it is sang by barra bravas all over south america. if you watch a argintine game you will see barra brava banners and if you listen you will here the songs that they sing at dc games.

Posted by: chris | September 11, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Hum...Lewis and EJ each getting a 5? Seems to me that Edie L. had good first touches and actually moved the ball forward - kind of an insult to rate him the same as EJ who was useless and should have sealed his fate on the MNT.

Posted by: Beckster | September 11, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

p.s. Steve, think Jeff Carlisle's ratings are more accurate. 4 for EJ and 5 for Sacha (who I don't understand why you rated so highly) and Ching. Other than that, pretty on target.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

On par with the Portugal/Denmark game was last night's Peru/Argentina match. Soccer's version of the buzzer-beater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovEPIJr80lU

Posted by: Mark | September 11, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Bradley gets a 7 - are you f---ing kidding me? Cheap passes, giving the ball away at midfield and sleepwalking for the first 15 minutes of the second half gets you a 7 ?!?!?

While he's a decent player, there is no way he should get an automatic call-up every game. He must be tired by now and by halftime his legs and mind are lost on the pitch.

Posted by: jocco | September 11, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

hey murdered, point out where a Barra member claimed that song. Dumas...

Posted by: Dumas | September 11, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

That person with the tattoo was most likely Jay (Victory), I saw him on TV and he does have that tatoo on his arm (thought I wasn't paying attention to that specifically).

Posted by: DCUSA | September 11, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

bradley dominated in midfield and our possession and purpose was a direct result of his play. the haters need to stop already. he had a classy finish as well.

Posted by: PKTaker | September 11, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Bradley sucks.... the only reason he's on the team is because of his dad.... as a matter of fact, I think I saw Bob pull down the guy who was marking Bradley on the goal that he scored with the outside of his right foot.... how the officials missed that I don't know.... I mean he's a good player but really he sucks and his dad only has him on the team becasue they're related. Where does he play like... the Dutch, scratch that German 1st division.... that league sucks.... how about this rating for him Goff... start with a 5... subtract 3 cause he's only on the team because of his dad.... take away 1 for his dad helping him score the goal and 1 more for him having gone from 1 sucky league to another.... final total rating for MB=0 That's about right in my book.

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | September 11, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

p.s. Steve, think Jeff Carlisle's ratings are more accurate. 4 for EJ and 5 for Sacha (who I don't understand why you rated so highly) and Ching. Other than that, pretty on target.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 6:52 AM

We may be the only two people who saw EJ blow every single pass, including two that almost led to T&T goals, and noticed that he was completely out of position the entire time he was on the field. I’m shocked that Goff gave him a 5. I’m trying to remember what he did right that would give him a 1 rating.

I'm sorry but unless EJ can completely turn his play around he should be off the team.

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 11, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Has Washingtonpost sport section become the Red Skin, National section? You might as well call it that since it's covered with those. We need a another sport section where every sports treat equally.

Great win for UMNT but it was at home against a weak opponent still lacks speed, flash and beauti. I can say the second goal between Dempsey, Beasley was how they should be but that was it. No jaw dropping performs. If they want to try something creative they should be doing with team like T&T where no offence, no defense, no mid field. Over all congrats for the win.

Posted by: td | September 11, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Weak opponent or not, I'll take where we're at this year compared to 2000 when the semi-final round went down to the wire against Guatemala, Costa Rica, and what, Barbados?

Posted by: Ben | September 11, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Has Washingtonpost sport section become the Red Skin, National section? You might as well call it that since it's covered with those. We need a another sport section where every sports treat equally.

Posted by: td | September 11, 2008 8:01 AM
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Get a grip, td. ALL sports equally? Like Ping pong? Badminton?

The Post is a business and has to serve the interests of their readers. When soccer has the following of American football and baseball you'll see equal coverage.

In the meantime, we are lucky to get quality coverage in WaPo. Many cities are not so lucky.

Posted by: KR in DC | September 11, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is specifically saying Bradley, Jr. sucks. He's an ok talent with a decent future. But he shouldn't be playing EVERY game from whistle to whistle (or at least darn close).

A legitimate coach not related to the guy wouldn't play him nearly as much.

Posted by: Chimaera | September 11, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Has Washingtonpost sport section become the Red Skin, National section? You might as well call it that since it's covered with those. We need a another sport section where every sports treat equally.

======================

The WaPo sent Mr. Goff to Cuba to cover the MNT, and he covered the game last night in Chicago that only 11,000 people bothered to show up at, against the national team of a country whose total population is roughly equal to that of Fairfax County. His story was front page of the Post Sports section today. The Nationals and the Orioles played in front of crowds of ~50K, and those articles were on E3. And the Post covered exactly ZERO high school games of any sport.

So I wouldn't complain about the Post's coverage of soccer. If anything it's disproportionate to reader interest. If soccer fans want to grow the game in US, they should try to interest the general sports fan, and (among other things) avoid contributing to the perception that many hard-core soccer fans are insular and too easy to take offense at perceived slights of "the beautiful game."

Posted by: OWNTF | September 11, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree, dump Bradley. that spot belongsto Pablo Mastroeni. oh wait, he's too old for 2010, people will complain, it should go to Rico Clark, oh wait, he has no track record of anything resembling success internationally, Maurice Edu! it should be Maurice Edu. I would much rather have a guy who has a pretty good touch (for a CB) playing holding midfield.

Anyone notice how lackadasical the team was after Rico and EJ came in? neither really did anything (EJ REALLY didn't do anything) so please explain who our holding/linking midfielder should be?

bob Bradley gets fired tomorrow. you are appointed head coach. who's your holding midfielder from now through 2010?

Posted by: northzax | September 11, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I just got back from canceling my washington post subscription, what did I miss?

Posted by: dc fan | September 11, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

3-0. Called it! (for once)

Posted by: RK | September 11, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I did that too!

o the barra brava comes more from argentina.

no disrespect to BB but they need to change it up a notch. Its getting boring at times. sorry just saying.
vamos united, esta noche tenemos que ganar.ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

change it!
*cough* los fabulosos cadillacs *cough*
should be a starting point

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 11, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Agree that Dolo was a big difference getting involved in the attack and putting in respectable crosses. He is quality when he's got his game on, unlike the Guatemala game. So I think he deserves a 7.

EJ was predictiblly poor, offside multiple times, poor passes, slack effort--he has to have sealed his fate by now, for sure, right?

Donovan still was sub-par, though maybe that is his level for now--he really doesn't impose his skill against this inferior level of opposition--sorry. Beasley is still lacking in game fitness so it was good to see him work through his rough patches and keep trying and contributing--you could see he's laboring with his quickness, think he's been battling back from some injury incurred with Rangers in preseason.

By-the-way. Watched most of the match on Galavision and on Dempsey's goal which was a great combo with him and Beasley, Gooch actually had a hand-ball a couple of passes before the Demp-Beasley combo, it was pretty obvious, they showed a replay.
Anyway, the ref robbed Beasley of a PK, so that kind of balances it out.

I think overall, we are playing down to our opposition and will have to bring in some new blood for the last three games because we will be challenged in the Hex alot more.

Posted by: cuzco03 | September 11, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Since I complain about this often, I'd likke to give credit where it is due and congratulate the fans in Chicago for singing the national anthem out loud. I don't know whether it was to support the team, or to commemorate 9/11, or what, but it was a joy to hear that, I hope we can take it up a notch at RFK. And thanks for singing it without shouting "O!"

As far as the supporters songs go, don't you guys know that we originated everything the United States? We invented soccer. We came up with the English language and the Spanish language. Rogers and Hammerstein wrote "You'll Never Walk Alone." George Gershwin wrote "Ole ole ole ole." Bob Dylan wrote "Allez les Bleu." And the Jonas Brothers wrote "vamos USA."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 11, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

As far as the supporters songs go, don't you guys know that we originated everything the United States? We invented soccer. We came up with the English language and the Spanish language. Rogers and Hammerstein wrote "You'll Never Walk Alone." George Gershwin wrote "Ole ole ole ole." Bob Dylan wrote "Allez les Bleu." And the Jonas Brothers wrote "vamos USA."


CLASSIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WELL PLAYED SIR

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

MB is our best bet for 2010

Posted by: christiannn | September 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Say what you will about our attackers, but I'm pretty confident in our defense right about now.

Posted by: DCUMD | September 11, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Jaime for gettin' a point vs Brasil. I know his missed PK's for United have really hurt(sorry to bring it up), but Mr Moreno is having a pretty good year. I hope it continues through November.
Not trying to be a dick AlexandriaDan but M. Bradley is one of the better coaches sons I've ever seen, in any sport. Bottom line is even if your dad was the coach Michael would still start before you. He scored a goal, what more do you want?
@DCUSA: I would prefer if the cameras never strayed from the field personally, and when they scan the crowd I'm generally looking for chicks in stars and stripes bikinis:-)
Couldn't really miss a big dude, beating a drum with 1 tattoo on his arm that happened to be a DCU crest. United should give him a couple free tickets for the free advertising... maybe a gift certificate for a couple more tattoos?

Posted by: dadryan | September 11, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

So much hyperbole from the Mike Bradley fan club!

No one's said he sucks. No one's said he doesn't have a bright future. But, fairly, folks have pointed out that his minutes are out of proportion to his abilities, especially when other (perhaps more promising) youngsters are being left at home for reasons that could easily apply to Mike, too. I'm glad he scored. I'm glad he had a great first half. It was about time! He'd been totally underwhelming is a long string of performances for the USMNT.

Strange that he doesn't go 90 when he has a decent game (though his lack of focus in the early stages of the second half almost erased his positive contributions in the first half), but always goes 90 when he struggles.

Posted by: Reston, Va. | September 11, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr goff

You first had gooch as an "8" and now he is a "7.5"-just curious as to what prompted the change. Do you watch the game on tape?

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 11, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

REston: the reason he didn't go 90, I would wager, is because he is carrying a yellow, and Bob wants him for Cuba at least. I think cards wipe when you get to the Hex. no point in keeping someone around to pick up a cheap yellow, right?

Posted by: northzax | September 11, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

So much hyperbole from the Mike Bradley fan club!

No one's said he sucks. No one's said he doesn't have a bright future. But, fairly, folks have pointed out that his minutes are out of proportion to his abilities, especially when other (perhaps more promising) youngsters are being left at home for reasons that could easily apply to Mike, too. I'm glad he scored. I'm glad he had a great first half. It was about time! He'd been totally underwhelming is a long string of performances for the USMNT.

Strange that he doesn't go 90 when he has a decent game (though his lack of focus in the early stages of the second half almost erased his positive contributions in the first half), but always goes 90 when he struggles.

Posted by: Reston, Va. | September 11, 2008 10:05 AM
-------------------------------------------
Exactly. Nobody has said he isn't a good player, just keeps getting all the minutes. We need to get all of our potential D-mids playing time. Would hate to see MB get hurt right before WC or next round of qualifying and have to figure out who's next in line at that time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Goff clearly getting a sandwich during the 25 minutes of EJ's play. I like what Ives said:

"89th minute- Here lies the body of Eddie Johnson's national team career. Please pay your respects."

Posted by: beckster | September 11, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

First time in 10 years El Salvador will be in the Hexagonal/Final Round of CONCACAF (Last time was during the France 1998 WCQs) . The last time we were in it, our stars were Raul Diaz Arce, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Nidelson DeMello,Ronald Cerritos etc....I'm hopeful that we perform well in the next round...Eliseo Quintanilla, Shawn Martin, Cristian Castillo and Alfredo Pacheco are some names you US fans should keep your eyes on...Can't wait for the next round to begin...

Posted by: ES | September 11, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with everything Reston said about MB. Unfortunately, other than Mastroiani (whose ability to perform at world cup speed in 2010 is questionable), we don't have a good solution to what should be ONE holding midfielder. Edu and Clark have many more serious flaws than MB. I can only hope that Benny Olsen will have a miraclous recovery and return to that position!

Posted by: beckster | September 11, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm going out on a limb and say M Bradley should be playing in a more offensive position for the national team. He scores what,20-some goals as part of a three-man forward tandem at Hereveen last year, let's utilize his poaching or scorer's touch, lord knows we don't have that capability in spades do we? We do have ample d-mids don't we? Bradley's young, big and no slower or less-skilled than whoever else we can use up top. OK, you all can bash me.

Posted by: cuzco03 | September 11, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Bradley should continue to get plenty of minutes of international experience - just as other good, young players should.

Who should play in his place -Mastroeni? Clark? We've seen what most others can do.

I think DMB was rated too highly - he's not even playing up to his own standard right now. His passes were missing and he shied away from contact all night.

Speaking of shying away from contact, I'm about out of patience for EJ. He's so good at getting himself *almost* in position for a quality chance, but always manages to not quite get there if there's any kind of challenge. Over in Europe, they must want to put a skirt on him.

Posted by: rkupp | September 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Johnson sucked as usual. Eddie Lewis should be higher and Rico Clark too. Both worked hard. Landon should be lower. He hides in the middle.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | September 11, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Of all our younger players bradley is the best right now. He has done better than Adu, (Granted it is not his fault that he didn't get much playing time in Benfica) and Jozy has yet to produce. Out of those three players bradley is the best as of now. Must likely adu will be better in the long run, as for Jozy, the jury is still out on him.

Posted by: bob | September 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Well attendance sure sucked, and I'm sure it will be more of the same when Cuba comes to town. These ticket prices for games against relative nobodies are outrageous. It is obvious that US Soccer is more interested in a pay day than actually getting out a pro-US crowd.

Posted by: Colin | September 11, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Yup, chance to rest the regulars... except Bradley, who will play every minute of every game for the rest of my life even if he has a broken leg.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 11, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Honestyl, If you ask me, Michael Bradley is just fine, I do agree on the huge amount of minutes he plays that should be less than what he's playing. Johnson needs to say goodbye and let Kenny Cooper take his place. i think the best midfield would be


LW-Charlie Davies, S. Holden, or Robbie Rogers

CMid's - Would Definitely be M. Bradley and Kljestan

RW - Freddy Adu hands down

If BOB were to try this, you'd see how our gameplay would change.

Posted by: Kenny from Miami | September 11, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey WashingtonDips, you want to organize a group and start a whole bunch of new chants? If we're boring you, you can show us how to do it right.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | September 11, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Great job Washington Post. You put game #3 in a 14 game World Cup Qualifiying run on the front page of the sports section. Meanwhile, the hometown DC United wins their first major Championship in 4 years and you bury the article on page 4.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | September 11, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bradley gets a 7 - are you f---ing kidding me? Cheap passes, giving the ball away at midfield and sleepwalking for the first 15 minutes of the second half gets you a 7 ?!?!?

While he's a decent player, there is no way he should get an automatic call-up every game. He must be tired by now and by halftime his legs and mind are lost on the pitch.


Posted by: jocco | September 11, 2008 7:20 AM
-------------------------------------------

So much hyperbole from the Mike Bradley fan club!

Posted by: Reston, Va. | September 11, 2008 10:05 AM
-------------------------------------------

Right, the MB fan club is hyperbolic (is that right?). I responded the way I did ealier because in chatting with my wife this morning I said, "I hope the people who constantly ride MB" will be satisfied with the result. Thank God the internet is hear to prove me wrong. The guy scores a goal in the 9th minute, contributes to a shut out and plays a position that (outside of GK) might demand the greatest amount of consistancy in terms of player selection, and people still bring up or allude to nepotism. The facts speak for themselves. We want to qualify for the next round... we need to use our best players...right now MB is our best option at D-mid (in the opinion of many) and we have 9 points from three games. The whole team sucked the first 15 of the second half right? MB's not the only one to start all three semi-round qualifiers right?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

What game were you all watching?

Johnson was offsides a few times -- because he was running into scoring positions. I saw Dempsey and Beasley do the exact same things over and over, and no one is trying to rip them a new one, or say they should get a 3 rating. Johnson nearly scored on one flurry -- perhaps nearly is the operative word there, but if his shot had gone in, would you be clamoring for his head? I saw a few times where he didn't seem to have a clue where he should be -- on the other hand, he isn't playing regularly, so he's rusty. I'm not saying it's the same as Beasley, since Beasley has the added burden of coming back from reconstructive knee surgery, but Beas messed up his share of attacking chances. Hopefully, EJ will be playing regularly at Cardiff, and you will see a difference.

As for the Bradley thing, he played a terrific first half, and there was a considerable fall-off when he left. Even Hislop commented on it, when Clark drilled a long ball to EJs feet, where the defender was able to knock it away, instead of over the top, where EJ had wanted it. Bradley's one of the few US mids who is really learning to play the game the way it needs to be played at the top levels, and it's starting to show in his game.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 11, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm the anonymous above and have too many syntax problems.

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | September 11, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Well attendance sure sucked, and I'm sure it will be more of the same when Cuba comes to town. These ticket prices for games against relative nobodies are outrageous. It is obvious that US Soccer is more interested in a pay day than actually getting out a pro-US crowd.

Posted by: Colin | September 11, 2008 11:16 AM

I have to say that I agree with Colin. THe ticket prices for the US games are a bit steep, especially for early round matches. THe USSF needs to be cognizant of the difference. What's wrong with charging less?

Same goes for DC UNited. I was appalled at the prices DCU is tryign to get -- for the "discounted" strip to the CCL games. I don't want to pay that much for any of those games. I'm sure not going to pay the walk-up price, and I don't think I'll pay for the strip either. These games aren't likely to draw the crowds of a Saturday night MLS match. What's the point in charging considerably more? They're not a bigger draw yet. Perhaps they might become a bigger draw, if the FO did some smart marketing to get people used to these games and the burgeoning rivalries. Instead, the FO is driving a stake through that possibility.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 11, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

so everyone is complaining how MB had too much playing time when he was one of the firsts subbed off for Rico and Johnson? At least BB recognized it and did it. Complaining about something that was taken care of. Weird.

Posted by: MemRook | September 11, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Of all our younger players bradley is the best right now. He has done better than Adu, (Granted it is not his fault that he didn't get much playing time in Benfica) and Jozy has yet to produce. Out of those three players bradley is the best as of now. Must likely adu will be better in the long run, as for Jozy, the jury is still out on him.

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I agree that Bradley is the best of the young crowd right now. He's getting consistent playing time because he's proven himself at the club level in a good league. That quality is starting to show with the NT. Adu has never done this, not in MLS and not at Benfica. Until he makes himself a regular and produces (whether or not it's "his fault"), he's not going to be someone the NT goes to. Altidore I think is more promising because he does at least have a fairly impressive season in MLS under his belt.

I really don't think Adu will ever be a top player. He's great at the youth and Olympics levels because being so small doesn't hurt him there, but I doubt he'll ever really overcome his stature at the club and NT levels.

Posted by: Ash | September 11, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Howard, Onyewu and Bocanegra get too many minutes. Bob should bench those guys! We need to develop the younger players. There's a twelve year old in Bowie who looks pretty solid!

Posted by: noname | September 11, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Tell that to Bojan Krkic and Lionel Messi..... probably not a good idea to remotely say to anyone that they are too small or not good enough to do something. The person normally proves the detractors wrong.

Posted by: Ash | September 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The line-up for the next match (as seen by the radical wing of Bob Bradley's detractors):

M Bradley
M Bradley M Bradley M Bradley M Bradley
M Bradley M Bradley M Bradley M Bradley
M Bradley M Bradley


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 11, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see my 1-1 prediction was way off. A few notes:

Someone posted: "Cherundolo deserved higher marks than Boca and Pearce. Not just because he preserved the shutout, but because he did a lot more on both ends of the field."

I seem to recall his crosses really sucking, and he picked up another really dumb yellow, so maybe that's why the rating is lower?

Emo Boy impressed me in his ability to get up and down the field and contribution to defence. Still has a long way to go, but I liked what I saw.

Glad to see Clark in there getting some minutes. Is he = to MB? Not sure, but it'd be nice to find out, just in came MB breaks his leg or sumpthin. EJ = done. Eddie Lewis? Why? When we're up like that, how about subbing in someone like Califf to get some minutes?

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 11, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ash
About Adu, you have no clue what you are talking about. Adu and Altidore are both going to be dominant players and a HUGE part of our national team. These games arent important for them to be playing in.

Posted by: Eric | September 11, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Also Sasha was abysmal in the first 20 minutes and was barely passable for the remainder of the game. I wonder if Bradley will play our real team in the second round. I just hope he starts anyone but Ching or Eddie Johnson up top for the RFK match on 10/11. I guess that may be a little too much to ask. Ricardo Clark is a really really bad soccer player. Simply terrible.

Posted by: Eric | September 11, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Me again...A lot of posters here are forgetting how completely awesome Edu is. If I'm not mistaken he is going to (or is) starting for the Rangers. He will be starting in the WC. Forget about Kleistgianofhafhgf getting a roster spot.

Posted by: Eric | September 11, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson had a good night compared to the "Ed Johnson" whose name kept crawling across the bottom of my screen on ESPN's newsticker. Apparently "NFL Ed" Johnson got arrested for marijuana possession or something while "Grown Ass Man" Eddie Johnson merely had a disappointing stint in a soccer game.

Posted by: garbaggio | September 11, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Yo Eric:Don't completely count Emotional Sacha out, anyone could get hurt in a year and then some's time and even pipsqueeks could hit the gym and get ripped..
I wish the US had a coach who could really crack into some of these kids heads and help them see the outline of the forest.
Regardless of how much playing time any of these guys are getting at their club teams(MLS, La Liga, French Orangee 1?), they need to be getting cut up.
Edu does look solid, I am sure that dude is hitting a little bit of weights right? I know it's asking these kids a lot to get toughened up but I really think they need to. I think M. Bradley is plenty good, I do think Mo' could be better.
Would Nowak be the interim coach if they canned Bob Bradley?

Posted by: dadryan | September 12, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

man I need to stop taking these steroids and doing these bench presses...

Posted by: dadryan | September 12, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

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