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Matchnight: USA-T&T

Your running commentary on the U.S. World Cup qualifier in Port of Spain (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) is welcome here. Unfortunately, with the Americans having secured a final-round berth, I am not on site tonight. (I miss this place.)

I also encourage discussion on the other CONCACAF matches and the Houston-San Jose game.

By Steve Goff  |  October 15, 2008; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: CONCACAF Clarity (Sort Of)

Comments

What's the freaking line-up, Goff?

Posted by: person | October 15, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

the lineup is on the ussoccer.com matchtracker.

gk: guzan
d: hedjuk, orozco, califf, pearce
m: torres, edu, kljestan, adu, beasley
f: altidore

looks pretty good

Posted by: pat | October 15, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

USA! USA! USA!!!!

Posted by: Uncle Sam | October 15, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Man, I had a good time at the Cuba-US qualifier on Saturday. Also, Altidore is a large man. He's big.

Posted by: Charm City | October 15, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I've never been to the Crew's Inn, but I now miss it too.

Posted by: Jacob | October 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Phillies!

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | October 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Chaguramas: site of a US base during WWII. Betcha didn't know we had bases there.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

A Steel-Drum "Star Spangled Banner" that was different.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 15, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Perkins is not on the bench? Isn't it unusual not to have a goalie on the bench?

Posted by: beckster | October 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

dudes is there a video feed somewhere? My wife wants to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter...

Posted by: dadryan | October 15, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@ dadryan

The game is being shown on espn360.com.

Posted by: cha | October 15, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Perkins is not on the bench? Isn't it unusual not to have a goalie on the bench?

Posted by: beckster | October 15, 2008 8:13 PM
.........................................

The matchtracker at the US Soccer site shows Perkins on the bench. Indeed, he should be considered a pretty good bet to see some playing time, if only to cap-tie him and keep him from going Norsk on us.

Posted by: The Jeff | October 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jeff, when I first went there at 8, didn't see his name. Nice that Brian Carroll dressed.

Posted by: beckster | October 15, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I dont understand what BB is doing. He has already played Guzan before. Why not give Perkins a shot? This is like a learning match. See what your new players or GK's are like. I would like to see TP go play for Norway if he has the shot to actually play not ride the pine like he is doing now.

Posted by: Spartan | October 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Spartan, agree. Besides which, Guzan has bobbled every ball tonight..he is very shakey...rusty...

Posted by: Beckster | October 15, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

im pretty much done with this central midfield grouping...torres clearly cant play a holding role, edu is giving the ball away like its his job, and klejstan might as well just run off altidore and look for long distance shot opportunities because he's not doing anything to keep them together in there.

Posted by: cp | October 15, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Freddy lucky to get away without a card.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they could definitely use a veteran presence in the center of the midfield.

If only Bennie were healthy.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

lets see davies enter at half...his pace could break this game open

Posted by: cp | October 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Well the EDU turnover drinking game is in full swing on Ives! Everyone pretty drunk.

Posted by: Beckster | October 15, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

My halftime comments to the team:
- wear the long studs
- skip the first touch and go right to the second. The first touch has been iffy tonight.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Nooooooo! So sorry, you need to snag a TV tuner for your computer .. . it adds a second TV just like that . .
>>>>>>>

My wife wants to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter...

Posted by: dadryan | October 15, 2008 8:15 PM

Posted by: delantero | October 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

My wife wants to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter...
Posted by: dadryan | October 15, 2008 8:15 PM
==================

Is "Dog" on Lifetime now?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The Mex-Can game has football lines on it. Canadian football. Colored green, but still. Anyway, my point: That "55" at midfield looks incredibly funny.

Posted by: Jacob | October 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Oooooh, nice goal Canada!!!

Posted by: Kev | October 15, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

So does that count as an own goal?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Looked like United's defense there. 1-0 TT.

Posted by: delantero | October 15, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

How many defenders were in the box just watching the ball?

Posted by: Jared | October 15, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

GOAL t&t - BRING IN PERKINS!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Beckster | October 15, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

No problem, I'd rather play T and T in the next round then a second game in the dark confines of that Guatemala stadium . .

Plus, Goff will get back to the Crew's Inn.

Posted by: delantero | October 15, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice job by #3 there backtracking to put the T&T player back onsides so he could receive a pass and cross for the goal! Ugh. Only thing uglier are these carolina blue jerseys.

Posted by: Fairfax | October 15, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Davies looks a little shaky.. doesnt like to head the ball that much. What time does he play for?

Posted by: Spartan | October 15, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Was that Davies' first touch?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

goal DAVIES!

Posted by: Spartan | October 15, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Worst jersey grab ever. Jozy needs to be subbed out.

Posted by: delantero | October 15, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Dont want to seem unpatriotic, but Im fine with T&T winnng tonight. Filthy Guat team is a disgrace to the competition.

Posted by: Kev | October 15, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather play T and T in the next round then a second game in the dark confines of that Guatemala stadium.

Posted by: delantero | October 15, 2008 9:37 PM
======================

Good point.

Jozy should have put that away.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

only started watching in second, but hejduk and klestjan make the right side pretty worthless

Posted by: jesse | October 15, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Jesse. Every first touch was popped up waist high. Way too many of those overall.

Glad to see Cuba winning, though. The only thing this does now is give T&T some confidence against us next round, but oh well. We'll have the big boys then.

Posted by: Fairfax | October 15, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Pleased for Trinidad, look at their gracious fans and players following the win, much better for the confederation. We should never have trouble qualifying, so I pull for the Caribbean nations as well.

Posted by: Kev | October 15, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!

Radzinski? Isn't he 40?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Jozy was the centerpiece -- and I'd say he had a real tough game, overall, though he looked great on the goal. There will be better games for him. Let's hope that he never does anything like that shirt-grab on a corner kick again.

In fairness, he and Beasley both got screwed by lousy offsides calls -- and I believe that first one might have come on a pass from Altidore, or was it Torres? I hope the linesmen get serious rebukes.

Still, this lineup did not create enough good chances. I see comments about Davies' first touches. What about Edu? His touches were miserable. He almost got in the way of the play that resulted in our goal. He's going to have to get a lot better. Freddy looked awfully good on the ball. When he gets better with his passes he's gonna be a good one.

Speaking of good ones -- how about that Carlos Edwards? Every time I see him, I think he's one of the best opposing players the US faces in CONCACAF. Wish the MLS had snatched him up before SUnderland did.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 15, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Adu looked slow
Beasley was no existant
Altidore 1 great play 1 bad play
Sasha needs to play in the middle of the field nuff said
Torres ahh ok
Edu bad game
Frankie did nothing well
Califf was solid
Orozco was ok
Pearce was ok but got played on the goal
Guzan not bad no shot on the one goal and the PK was taken well
Subs
Davies I like his game and is a great instant impact sub
Szatela I think he should have got more play the kid is good
Rolfe Did nothing

Posted by: Tom Dooley | October 15, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Were there a large number of bets made on the CONCACAF matches tonight? One upset...ok, but this is pretty ridiculous. I expect Goff to either quit his day job or launch an investigation. ;-)

Posted by: sitruc | October 15, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

USA loss worked out well for those who hate the Guats like me. I could see RFK getting a match against T&T in the final quals group as opposed to a hispanic team like Honduras, El Salvadore or Mexico, eh?

Posted by: Nine | October 15, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Mexico ties it at 2.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

any updates on the EL Salvador game?

Posted by: Spartan | October 15, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

ES 2 - Suriname 0

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Szetela should've been in there from the beginning. I thought Torres was mostly ineffective, though he did have a nice run -- should have received a better release pass from Adu -- and he made a nice through pass that was wrongly called offsides. So, two good plays. I guess it's something he can build on. Adu looked wonderful when he was dribbling. It was the rest of his game that was a bit lacking. Hejduk was better than anyone here has given him credit for, though he lacked finishing ability. Beasley wasn't bad, but it was clear he missed the support he usually gets from Donovan and Dempsey. Altidore, I discussed. Missed that header and lost the game with the penalty -- but showed pretty good instincts otherwise. I continue to believe he will develop into an extraordinary striker. Edu was terrible. Orozco only marginally better. Pearce didn't do much. Kljestan -- perhaps he was out of position...He did a great job in setting up Jozy for that late header, but he was better against Cuba. Of course, the Cubans don't compare with the Soca Warriors. Guzan? I guess he can't be blamed on the goals, but I'm not convinced he had such a good game. In short, it was a young, inexperienced and tentative team. some of these guys will definitely grow into the jobs. Others? We'll see.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 15, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Canada is attacking well and hit one off the crossbar. But in the final third they're playing April Heinrichs' style: down the wing and pump it into the box. In a just world they will get another goal.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 15, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Rough night for Edu, to be sure.

Posted by: Taylor | October 15, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

USA should play its game against Mexico in the hex in Edmonton.

Posted by: the slammer | October 15, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

i'm happy for the t&t win and the guat loss. now hopefully we will beat them nicely and eliminate them. after the guatemala city miracle where no one was seriously injured they deserve elimination.

Posted by: mizage | October 15, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

looks like jamaica has put itself back in the running. hopefully they will advance at the expense of honduras.

we could have a little rfk reunion with those rude boys.. i think that qualifier for Fr 98 had the highest attendance ever at rfk. although the game was crap the atmosphere was money. it sure did smell good.

Posted by: mizage | October 15, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't really impressed with anyone. Well maybe Orozco. I mean it seemed like we had no shots on goal. Wonder who BB will pick for the next one....

Posted by: Krista | October 15, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

hejduk is horrible

first touch, passing, crossing
he gave the ball away on the first goal

klestjan was off too

edu wasnt good

adu showed little

defense looked good

guzan blew that goal

Posted by: castroviejo | October 15, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Frankie Hejduk, for those remaining people who say he is somehow good, is like a black hole. Ball goes in, never comes back, at least to your team. Who cares if he gets forward well? He can't dribble, he can't pass, and he sure as heck can't cross.

Also Beasley, for all his speed, is not good at the fundamental skill of trapping, which is something that universally killed the US at the World Cup in 2006. I don't know how many times the ball hits the foot and goes five feet away...not good.

Edu has not been good in months. Kljestan is not only butt ugly, but also looks out of place. I liked what I saw from Freddy and although Pearce made a few mistakes, I love what he does with the ball both decision- and skill-wise.

I'm not happy we lost this game because even though it was "meaningless", we should be doing everything we can to maintain that air of invincibility, i.e. we can beat you with whoever the heck we throw out there, we're that good.

Posted by: c-hawk | October 15, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Edu was terrible with the ball - agreed - but he is also one of the best on ball defenders i can remember seeing. he is outstanding at pressuring the ball and winning back possession (which he too often gives away immediately).

Posted by: Peter | October 15, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I-270: For the record DTBH is on A&E.
Having the "home office" and the main TV in the living room is bad enough.
We have relatives that run two laptops and at times two different tvs in the same room. We're still trying to kid ourselves that we're not that bad.
What we lack in square footage we make up for in great cooking, a fine vinyl record collection, and a very cozy/shabby/chic appeal...

Can't wait for tomorrow nights game vs the Revs!
Come on United!

Posted by: dadryan | October 15, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Big, big win for T&T. I'm thrilled they'll likely be going through at los Chapines' expense.

And I might actually be rooting for Mexico against Honduras...as stingy as Jamaica can be at home, I'd rather it be Jamaica in the Hex and not Honduras. Of course, there's still a mathematical chance Jamaica could knock Mexico out, but Mexico's 7 ahead of Jamaica in goal differential.

El Salvador seems to me the weakest Hex-bound squad.

As for our game, the attack broke down for two primary reasons: (1) no contributions from overlapping defenders (Hejduk's final touches were always a let down and Pearce didn't add much) and (2) Edu and Kljestan were both turnover machines. As a result, our attack never really took shape and no one was moving off the ball for Adu and Torres. At least those two showed a little skill on the ball, and Torres's feed to Altidore for the goal the idiot linesman disqualified was pretty sweet.

I'm very disappointed Bradley's first two moves were to take out the only two players who showed a shred of ability on the ball tonight. Davies was needed, though. I liked Orozco. Szetela earned more minutes against Guatemala. Frankly, I'd like to see Szetela pair with a veteran like Mastroeni in place of Edu and Kljestan against Guatemala. And, please, no more Hejduk. Put Wynne in there.

Posted by: Reston, Va. | October 15, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I think just maybe that Hejduk started because Bradley wanted some veteran experience in there, on the road. I really do hope that Wynne plays in Colorado.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 16, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

The Dynamo beat SJ on a 93rd minute goal by Holden -- sounds like there might have been a scramble after Jacqua hit the post. Basically knocks the Earthquakes out. However if they go to KC and win Sat., or Columbus beats the Red Bulls in the swamplands...AND DC United holds serve -- winning tomorrow night....there's a good chance that DCU will be back holding the final playoff spot, going into the final week.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 16, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Heydude and sascha were great players tonight... for TnT.
I thought the players taken out made no sense.
Why is Torres playing holding mid? He is an attacking player with pace, vision, and fantastic passing ability.
Szetela also plays out wide, but is brought in to the center of the park.
Hey B. Bradley if jack warner isn't paying you to throw this game; then why are you taking out the two best players in possesion in the midfield and the one back that is effective in the final third, when other players were gagging to be subbed. Hejduk,Sashca, Edu.....
Edu looked rusty, but his poor passes weren't as punishing as Frankie's and K-stash's. Calif looked out of place and uncomfortable on the ball. Altidore looked good at times, but also made stupid errors.
I don't care if we have qualified for the next round, it is unacceptable to lose to any team in this region....EVER!
To you; Mr. Bradley, I say Boo!

Posted by: Dips since 78 | October 16, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry:

Good thoughts on the game. That's pretty much what I saw out there.

***

Playing Hejduk over Wynne is inexcusable. It's not because Wynne is that much better than Hejduk; it's that he could (and should) one day be twice the player Hejduk ever was, and that he needs to start getting experience now. This was a great chance for all the young players: away qualifier, the opponent needs the points, and there's no pressure in terms of advancing on our end. If Wynne isn't cut out to play in a game like this, how will Bradley justify having to use him in the Hexagonal (which, given Cherundolo's recent tendency to pick up the occasional card, seems certain)? Would you rather have to play Wynne at Azteca or Ricardo Saprissa with the experience he would have gained tonight, or without?

Torres as a holding midfielder was, I believe, an experiment. I get the feeling Bradley is feeling Torres out because he's less familiar with him than the other players in the pool. What we saw tonight was that he belongs further forward, whether on the left or in the middle. Hopefully Bradley takes that on board.

Orozco looked like he's still not ready for this level yet. With Columbus already certain of a playoff berth, I think it would have been better to see if Chad Marshall has grown enough to enter the mix. Califf also looked no better than a fringe player. Gooch and Bocanegra are obviously first choice, but after that I don't know if any of the foreign-based center backs are better than guys like Jimmy Conrad or Marshall. It would have been nice to have DeMerit healthy for this one, that much I'm sure of.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 16, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for rubbing it in Goff. yeah we get it, you have the best job ever. jeez.

Posted by: Reed | October 16, 2008 3:09 AM | Report abuse

I said this right when the roster got posted and I was right. Everybody has taken their shot already but i'm going to take mine. Hejduk had no business being called for this match much less passing the ball to the other team all night. I believe that it was his poor pass that led to the first goal. Horrible decision. Horrible player.

I'd rather have the inclusion of Eddie Johnson on a US squad than the inclusion of Frankie Hejduk. We all know Wynne should've been out there. Heck I'd rather have seen Spector or Simek on one leg out there. HORRIBLE

Posted by: Josh in SLC | October 16, 2008 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Lest we forget that Jozy did have a goal called back on an offsides call that appeared to be incorrect. Probably would have changed things if we has scored first.

Posted by: Gooner | October 16, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

As every experienced coach knows, all players(when playing hard) can operate within a given range but not above. Hence,some on our MNT will always suffice for CONCACAF but not the WC Finals. This should be obvious about Hejduk now, also Beasley (too weak physically and easily sepa-
rated from the ball without fouls called), Ching, Twellman, Noonan,
Mastroeni,among the established players. The younger ones,e.g. Edu
Adu,Jozy,Torres,Wynne,Rogers,all
have a chance to rise and raise their game (hopefully). What is esp.troubling is that even "stars
LD,Dempsey,Boca,MBradley,Adu,Edu,
Pearce,Jozy,Guzan, EJ can't get playing time and often don't make the bench. It is a long road from
making an ordinary EUR team, to
starting, to dominating, when the Spain's,England's,Germany's, Italy
etc.all have the best players from super clubs, not the likes of Fulham,Rennes,Borussia MG. We clearly need more leadership. I
have known and followed BB since his college coaching days and always considered him ordinary.The
US needs a coach with vision, and
who identifies players above the
CONCACAF range(except Mexico which
has 6 starters in top EUR clubs
unlike the USA).
This is not to belittle our progress but to call for new direction at USSF (and my beloved
DCU). Enough with the second-tier
mentality(and imports)! Coach P.

Posted by: CP | October 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I know this may sound a little off topic, but did anyone else get a kick hearing the Star Spangled Banner played on steel drums? I thought it was one of the coolest things I heard!

Posted by: Dsmac | October 16, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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