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Final Thoughts From RFK

Four USA matches, four USA victories, nine goals in two home games, one conceded overall. The final two group matches are important only to the opponents -- at T&T on Wednesday and Guatemala next month in Denver. Those nations are tied for second place with five points apiece after playing a scoreless draw Saturday.

The USA roster for Wednesday's match is tentatively set to be released around noon on Sunday. Several regulars are being sent back to their clubs, which should provide ample playing time for Altidore, Adu, Edu, Califf, Torres and others. I'm expecting Donovan and Ching to return to L.A. and Houston respectively for Sunday's MLS matches. Howard said he's heading home, which leaves Guzan and Perkins as the keepers (unless an MLS goalie is added). Bob Bradley said there's a possibility he will add some MLS players (Cooper? Wynne?) for the trip.

One Insider loyalist noted that, other than a sequence in the 85th minute, Cuba did not have possession in the U.S. penalty area the entire match.

The match report.

The Beasley angle.

The Cuban defections.

PLAYER RATINGS
Howard 5; Cherundolo 6, Onyewu 7, Bocanegra 6, Pearce 6; Dempsey 5, Bradley 5, Kljestan 5, Beasley 8; Donovan 8, Ching 6. Subs: Altidore 6, Torres 6, Adu 6.

I will rejoin you Sunday evening from Houston for D.C. United's critical league match against the Dynamo (7 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet).

By Steve Goff  |  October 12, 2008; 12:33 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Sunday Kickaround

Comments

I'm blown away by how consistantly inconsistant Michael Bradley is. He had several give aways again tonight, even when he isn't pressured. A better team would have buried MB give aways. I agree he is one of our options at DM, but don't get how he starts every game. wait, I do get it. I guess we'll see our other option getting a "fair" shot playing with the rest of the "B" team from hear on out.

Posted by: donkeyrichard | October 12, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Great atmosphere tonight! Great game! Awesome time!

Anyone who thinks or says differently, has no idea what a RFK soccer match is and should never go back again.

Posted by: katie | October 12, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Bradley could've had one or two assists with his through balls into the box tonight... like he's nearly had in many of our recent games. Then, he nearly had a goal.

Donovan doesn't shoot enough. There, I said it.

Posted by: Phillip | October 12, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Can't see how you give Bradley and Sacha the same score. Bradley's inability to clear a ball leads to the Cuba goal. He clearly was off all night and then the stupid yellow at the end was sad. Meanwhile, Sacha gets a couple of assist and really had a goal with his header. 2 assist and a goal and he gets 5 points??

Posted by: Jeff | October 12, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Bradley was fine, and the USA was even better. I can't overstate how much fun I hd tonight. After nearly two decades of following the US team around (Italy, France, Germany, and the northeast US), I've finally seen them win one!! And, not just win, but probably play the finest game the USA men have ever played. The offense has never looked so good. If they'd been a little sharper ther could have been more goals, but this could not have been any better.

While I loved watching the Donovan-Beasley show, the best part was seeing the future announce itself such authority: Altidore with a truly spectacular move to create the space to shoot, and Adu with a fantastic, memorable assist. I also really enjoyed watching the players come over one at a time to salute the fans. Great stuff. If I live to enjoy another 40 years of USA soccer, there won't be too many better moments than this..... Thanks, guys!

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 12, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Onyewu should be an 8, he must have had over 100 touches on the backline and except for his long chance balls to the forwards I dont think he missed a pass all night, and his goal was awesome.

Bradley deserved a 6, he is underrated for all the chippy, just got something on it plays. And that takedown of the Cuba guy on the first counter attack was a brilliant pro foul.

Donovan was pretty blah for me, did alot of fancy stuff that ended in lost possession when he could have put something on frame

Posted by: BBFunnyMan | October 12, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

The Insiders ratings have been putrid lately, oh well good game. We'll see what the young guns can do against the soca boys.

Posted by: Thora | October 12, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Seeing "Cooper?" in that post made me do a rare spit take following a triple take.

Posted by: sitruc | October 12, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Kljestan should be atleast a 7!!

Posted by: Tom Dooley | October 12, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Wynne deserves a call and should start to get the experience. Things are starting to fall into place for him, and a road WC qualifier with meaning to the opponent is a great way to learn more. I wonder if Cooper gets called in since Davies may have only been held out due to a small injury. Altidore clearly should start if Ching is sent home (here's hoping he is allowed to rest rather than play United, since he's had some success against us), and if Davies is there as well, you wonder if there's room for Cooper as well.

The only rating I thought was off was Kljestan. Everyone else got what they deserved.

Off topic schadenfreude for DCU: Ralston broke his right fibula tonight. While Ralston is one of the classiest players in MLS, all I care about is the fact that it makes it much easier to take 3 points next Thursday.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 12, 2008 4:11 AM | Report abuse

270, what was the crowd rating on the national anthem, please?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 12, 2008 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve, I think you nailed the scores. For those of you who think Sacha should have gotten anything higher than a 5, you are nuts. The weakest players last night were in the midfield, Bradlye, Sacha and Dempsey. I don't think Sacha has the speed or skills to play at the international level yet. He needs to get out of MLS and play in a faster European league otherwise, he will be exposed as the US moves deeper into the tournament.

Posted by: Beckster | October 12, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

I was trying to get them going with this chant,

De-fect! De-fect!

But nobody else would go for it. Too bad. USA men looked great from section 231.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 12, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Adu came over to shake our hands was really great. I had hope Perkins should have come over as well.

Posted by: FOOTBALL | October 12, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

anyone know if ESPN is re-showing this instead of it's prerecorded Sunday Scrabble, Dog Show, World's strongest man, billiards, bull riding and poker?

Posted by: garbaggio | October 12, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Sacha K deserves a 6 for the game, but if he's starting for us in the world cup, we are in trouble. He doesn't have any outstanding soccer quality and is very inconsistent, sometimes a great pass, sometimes a deplorable one, to be a constant fixture and someone to rely on. Here's hoping Edu or Szetela can continue to grow, because we need someone who can pass AND play defense as a holding midfielder, to pair w/Bradley who has great potential as well, but is still learning. If anything, it looks like 2014 is the cup for us.

Posted by: victorv | October 12, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

hey goff,

Why don't you go and watch the match again? YOur ratings suck! Klejstan was the second or third best player out there and you gave him a 5. Dempsey was good also. the only player that played poorly was Ching. Wake up dude you are blind!

Posted by: Ratings | October 12, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I am continuously shocked by the local news media about the coverage of US Soccer games including ESPN. An important game showing on ESPN Classic which many many people don't have access to while they are showing meaningless games flooded on regular channels. There was not a single interview on the local network stations while they go out to bring Capitol and the likes of other endless interviews.
Is this because of how USSF employees treat them and restricts the access or just the general negative view towards Soccer and trying really hard to keep silent?
We had some bad experience dealing with them yesterday even though we were helping out displaying banners and flags.

Posted by: FOOTBALL | October 12, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

hey Rating...I don't know who is blind but I saw Dempsey played like dead man walking, Sasha was slow and Ching too was slow but he got a goal.

Posted by: td | October 12, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I allowed the US to score four goals in the second half.

Posted by: Red Card | October 12, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Lets hope in the T & T game Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall finally get their due with a call up and cap. They are certainly a couple of the best in the MLS right now and have been instrumental in taking their team to new and unexpected heights.
http://crewonespot.blogspot.com/2008/09/keys-to-victory-against-nyrb.html

Posted by: Tom R | October 12, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Awesome game! It was a weak opponent that was weakened even further by other factors (defections, the dumb sending off) but hey, you can only play who is in front of you, and that our guys did tonight. What a display. Say what you want about Donovan but he was as sharp as I have seen him in a while. His vision of the field was scary good and he controlled the attack quite impressively. Kljestan was just as impressive. Beas did the business, finally. All around awesome effort.

To the youngins, welcome to the party. Jozy...need I say any more? Adu? Sweet assist. Torres? We may finally have a US player with the guts, skill and ability to shoot from distance, plus kid has mad talent. After all the subs were made did anyone recall a decent segment of interplay that kept the ball on the ground with one-touch passing and sweet use of space? I saw a glimpse of the future, and I must say I like it!

Big Bradley, unleash the kids on T-and-T and Guate. Let's see what these little whipersnappers can do.

Go USA!!

Posted by: Kosh | October 12, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Kljestan 7, Altidore 7

A few other ratings were a bit harsh but reasonable. But Kljestan as a 5 is unexplicable

Posted by: anon | October 12, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

td you have no idea what you are talking about. I was at the game and Kljestan was phenomenal. YOu have no idea what it takes to be a holding MF. He had very few turnovers, an assist, and would have scored had Ching not been cherry picking. So what more do you want. Dempsey created a few opportunities and should have scored in the opening few minutes. I am so glad that you or Goff's opinions don't count. Thank god for Bob Bradely and his wise choices. I suppose if it were up to you would state that Kljestan stunk in the olympics too. Oh and why was he an all star? Who knows man?!?

Posted by: Rating | October 12, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

270, what was the crowd rating on the national anthem, please?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 12, 2008 4:59 AM
================

We made it into the stadium, but noit to our seats just in time for the national anthem. I would rate the crowd at a 5. Average, with room for improvement, but way better than the crowd at the WNT-Canada match. It was nice to hear the loud side singing the SSB.

My six year old is still brimming with excitement at having seen six US goals and Freddy Adu. He enjoyed the singing from the BB/SE/SA. It was a very good match for a young fan.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 12, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Match ratings don't mean a thing, why are so many of you crying?

If you rate someone higher or lower than Goff. Good for you. Go start your own Soccer Blog for an Internationally Known News Service.

Many people on here that know me from elsewhere, know that I'm openly critical of Goff from time-to-time (I think he tries to wear the badge of impartiality a bit too proudly), but bashing him over this (player ratings) in a match against a minnow, is a freaking joke.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 12, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I was trying to get them going with this chant,
De-fect! De-fect!
Posted by: Wiggan | October 12, 2008 6:30 AM
================

?Como se dice "defect" en espaƱol? :-)

I thought for sure that the red-carded player was going to defect on his way to the locker room.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thank god for Bob Bradely and his wise choices.
Posted by: Rating | October 12, 2008 11:06 AM
=================

Wow! Did someone actually type that in this forum? And regarding your earlier post, why don't you get your own blog?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 12, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Torres looked real solid.

Posted by: JLMAN | October 12, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What is worse to have barra brava (big dc supports group) not show up to cheer for the us?

Having them show up to the match and boo
Landon, Altidore, etc. just because they laid the smack down on our team (DC united) before.

I am a 10 year united fan and always wondered why barra had so many people in there sections and how much noise they made? Well it was my first game in the section supporting USA not dc united, and man for as much people as they have there, and i mean tons. except for 1 small section (as big as LA NORt) there was no singing, none. and I had to deal with some barra ---- who had some type of europen accent, i dont know i didnt understand a word he said talk about how this is our section..lol.

Barra brava blowing is like a disease coming from the top. Maybe one day new leaders will come out and stop trying to operate barra like FIDEL CASTRO. I feel sorry to all the US fans who are barra members, they have to ask for permission from there owners to allow BARRA BRava to OFFICIALY support the US. YET when I was at bolivia vs guatemala a couple of years ago . IT SEEMED LIKE THEY WERE MORE OFFICAL than anything. I GUESS as long as $$$ is made they dont care.

BARRA BRAVA=run by dictators
Barra Members= you are getting the short end of the stick and you dont even see it.

Posted by: Chico, Oscar=disgrace to all bolivians | October 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

M Bradley was steady and unspectaluar. Dempsey was menacing but a step off all night. Adu, Torres, and Jozy are the real deal. Beasley was great despite the Cubans apparently trying to hurt him. Donovan has gotten about as good as Claudio Reyna ever was for the Nats. Gooch is a beast. Ching was invisible for long, long stretches but layed off a nice pass that led to a goal and scored one himself. Marvell Wynn needs a call-up, as does Cooper.

Posted by: Ron | October 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I was in 230 and I haven't heard the anthem sung so well as last night. credit to dc. always feel sorry for the fans across the pitch w/out a fan section who cant seem to manage a cheer. My bro asked me who my favorite player is. always will be mcbride, but currently, maybe torres. donovan is just a hope (for greatness),but until he becomes a true goal scorer will always be just that.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Was anybody else excited to see Torres take a shot from outside the 18? Suddenly, a whole new dimension has been added to the US attack. I mean, Landycakes, Beasley, and Dempsey sure look cute with all their stepovers and no-look passes against a 10-man Cuba, but that stuff won't fly against a decent team.

Posted by: Kenobi | October 12, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It gouud have been a great game if the the men sitting in Mezzanine section M-35, row-1, seats 15 & 16 would have used deodorant.

Posted by: mpd1 | October 12, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

mpd1: oh boy,,,I hear you. I feel bad for you :)
Kenobi: oh yeah...I am very excited about Torres. I am very excited about Adu, Altidore, Torres combination. No one has me to inspire to buy a UMNT jersey yet but Torres just might.

Posted by: td | October 12, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

What is worse to have barra brava (big dc supports group) not show up to cheer for the us?

Having them show up to the match and boo
Landon, Altidore, etc. just because they laid the smack down on our team (DC united) before.

I am a 10 year united fan and always wondered why barra had so many people in there sections and how much noise they made? Well it was my first game in the section supporting USA not dc united, and man for as much people as they have there, and i mean tons. except for 1 small section (as big as LA NORt) there was no singing, none. and I had to deal with some barra ---- who had some type of europen accent, i dont know i didnt understand a word he said talk about how this is our section..lol.

Barra brava blowing is like a disease coming from the top. Maybe one day new leaders will come out and stop trying to operate barra like FIDEL CASTRO. I feel sorry to all the US fans who are barra members, they have to ask for permission from there owners to allow BARRA BRava to OFFICIALY support the US. YET when I was at bolivia vs guatemala a couple of years ago . IT SEEMED LIKE THEY WERE MORE OFFICAL than anything. I GUESS as long as $$$ is made they dont care.

BARRA BRAVA=run by dictators
Barra Members= you are getting the short end of the stick and you dont even see it.

Posted by: Chico, Oscar=disgrace to all bolivians | October 12, 2008 12:07 PM
-----------------------------------------

Waaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa

Are you serious? hope you got cheese with your wine. I'm not a BB, SE, or LN member but it is universally understood that supporter groups ARE dictatorships and as far as I know they don't hide this fact from anyone. BB is a United supporters group not a US group. Join Sam's Army or American Outlaws. If you resent having to ask permission to use BB for non United events or that some of them root for other national teams than start your own supporters group.

I love the nats and I support them 100% but I have no problem if some guys boo Landycakes. I root for our nation not individuals, welcome to international soccer, booing your own for a myriad of reasons (including club they play for) is par for the course.

Posted by: Tony T | October 12, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought Torres showed promise last night with his ability to actually control the ball with his feet. Unfortunately, we will probably never see him play again because he took a shot from outside the 18.

I would love to see a lineup with Altidore starting up front with Adu, Torres and Rogers right behind. That would allow Bob to play his 2 holding midfielders and include a striker that might actually score at the national team level.

I think Onyewu has grown tremendously as a player in the past couple of years. His passing has improved and he doesn't just automatically manhandle players anymore. Now if only we could convince Subotic to come partner him in defense.

Posted by: Jared | October 12, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

good job to the dc supporters groups, for segregating your selfs from the other usa fans there, and not making an attempt to have any unified chants going, also good job for wearing dc united jerseys, on a national team game night. Way to show a uniformed front with the rest of the usa supporters.

Posted by: usa fan | October 12, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Yo Mr. Whiner, you don't like the way we run the Barra? Tough....

We're not here for your amusement. We here to support United which for 12 plus years we've done a pretty damn good job if I do say so myself. Feel free to ask any of our American members how much they hate being part of the Barra. And by the way, what were you doing in our sections? The only way to get in there was buying a ticket from us. So which one is it? Did you seat jump to get in the Barra or did you buy a ticket and get called out by one of our members for being a whiny *****?

Chico Solares
Proud Boliviano

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

good job to the dc supporters groups, for segregating your selfs from the other usa fans there, and not making an attempt to have any unified chants going, also good job for wearing dc united jerseys, on a national team game night. Way to show a uniformed front with the rest of the usa supporters.

Posted by: usa fan | October 12, 2008 5:51 PM
-----------------------------------------

I think they do it in part to piss off people like you and the Jersey scum. I like it =P

Posted by: DC fan | October 12, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think they do it in part to piss off people like you and the Jersey scum. I like it =P

Posted by: DC fan | October 12, 2008 7:04 PM

if thats the case, i hope dc never gets another nats game again, every other teams supporters clubs go out of their way to get everyone involed in the game day experiance. Dc fans in general make me sick.

Posted by: usa fan | October 12, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

WOW, love united & love usa. not in a supporters group but without them the atmosphere is stale. w/out barra & screaming eagles RFK would be extremely lacking, so regardless of the hole their firecrackers put in my shorts last year, i love 'em. La Norte need to set up shop at midfield across the pitch and get those fans going. usa fan, please...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

AS a member of LA NORTE, one of the reasons LA NORTE was started was because original members complaid about how things were run and never felt like there voice matterd. I was not one of the originals, in fact no orginals remain. La Norte has small numbers but we all have a voice in group, no one is bigger than the group or the team. We aren't there to get rich, in fact we make sure all funds are controlled and go right back to our group. We may never have a huge following because of our section, and competing with The Barra, and the SE. But our #1 motto is everyone has a voice. Im not sure what happened last night, but i won't lie i hear complaints from barra members all the time about the same things, i never hear things about SE just barra so take that as a grain of saly.

IS it me or did someone ask CHICO what country he was from??? Wierd

I thought we were talking about the US GAME?

??What teams does Sams Army and the american outlaws cheer for other than the US? I thought they were formed to support the US, and each member proablly is affiliated with a local MLS team. MAybe Im wrong Could someone explain?? Is sams army a supportes group for NY, or columbus or something??

Posted by: LA NORTE | October 12, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't angree MORE with those who think Klejstan was FANTASTIC. The mixed reviews stun me. I was at the game and was impressed, and I was even more pleased when watching it again today. SK did all of the small things correctly, and he was rock solid on the ball almost every time he had possession. His simple play and smart passes cannot be overstated, and he was a direct contriuter to half of the US's goals (if not more). I think he posseses all of the attributes necessary to be a stellar international midfielder, and his future is very promising. Those of you (Beckster) who undervalue his contributions are lunatics and should pay more atnetion next time.

Posted by: Geoff S. | October 12, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LA NORTE | October 12, 2008 9:51 PM
------------------------------------------

I think it's great they(LaNorte founders) started their own supporters section. Anyone who doesn't like BB or SE or whomever should do the same, but to cry about a SUPPORTERS GROUP being a dictatorship is hilarious. I congratulate LN on their "everyone has a voice" policy, I imagine BB is an utter Castro like ditactorship =) but the fact remains you are the exception not the norm.

Supporters groups throughout the world are ruthless dictatorships, and the majority are club over country. Having lived in Europe I totally understand the mentality, and I think it's just a cultural misunderstanding of American soccer culture and European/Latin American soccer culture. Booing nats who play for rival club, wearing club gear and not nat gear, club over country mentality, dictatorship like rule of supporter group is the norm.

By the way I was referring to "joing AO or Sam's Army" because it was obvious whoever complained was a BB member and sitting with them during a nat game. If he was a AO, Sam's army, he would have sat with those folks and would not have been so offended. I think Chico was referencing his nationality because the person originally complaining called him a disgrace to his nationality. Reading is fundamental.

There's many things I don't like about BB, SE or LN which is why I'm not a member, but you gotta give BB props for what they've done for so long. Complaining about the way a supporters group functions is LULZ inducing. Do as LN did and start your own group the way you like it.

Posted by: Tony T | October 12, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone,

If you know our names, you obviously know where to find us and tell us these things in person instead of hiding behind internet monickers. It's quite arrogant to sign yourself as LN when you don't represent the group.

Barra is a "dictatorship" because that's what works for supporter groups and if that doesn't work for people in other groups that's probably why they're in them and not Barra.

Tony thank you for keeping it objective. Original poster is from a different DC group (in fact I thought he was from another mls club because I've never seen him at home, let alone away match). Interestingly for all his complaining about the singing he stood quietly and watched the match. Really, there's nothing for us to defend here, things are obvious to anyone that attends matches in DC or wherever DCU plays.

Posted by: Srdan, La Barra | October 13, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how they count the attendance but there were way more than the near 21,000 reported as attendees. There were more at the US/Cuba match than there were at the Chivas/DC United match.

Posted by: Kurt | October 13, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't like gypsy's!

Posted by: Char | October 13, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I too am not fond of gypsies.

Especially gypsies with large flags.

Posted by: Riz | October 13, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

so many idiots, with too much time

Posted by: 121 | October 13, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

To Riz and Char :D, thanks girls for the laugh this morning. Best posts here!

My two cents: agree with Tony T, it's about the team not the individuals - players change, loyalty to the team does not.

Secondly, keep up the hatred of the Barra - it only makes us happier. :)

Posted by: kasdc | October 14, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

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