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USA-Mexico Rewind

Yes, the USSF confirms, goalkeeper Tim Howard is suspended from the March 28 match at El Salvador for accumulation of yellow cards. He received one last night for delaying the game after the Marquez red card. Howard's previous yellow? Last August in Guatemala. Would FIFA please change this ridiculous rule? Red cards should carry over from the past round, yellows should not.

Player Ratings: Howard 7; Hejduk 7, Onyewu 7, Bocanegra 7, Pearce 6; Dempsey 6, Bradley 8, Kljestan 5, Beasley 7; Donovan 7, Ching 5. Subs: Clark 6, Altidore 6.

My match report from the print edition and the Post Web site.

Match highlights.....

Watch closely before the second USA goal as Altidore and then Donovan get drilled by frustrated Mexican players as they release the ball.

By Steve Goff  |  February 12, 2009; 8:43 AM ET
Categories:  Mexico , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Video: Argentina-France


Yeah, when I saw it live, I thought the foul on Altidore would be a sure yellow. Didn't notice the smack on Donovan when it was live, probably because he didn't react that much to it. Speaking of which, Clint Dempsey seems to go down at the slightest contact...

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 12, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else think the quality of that game was a bit poor?

Posted by: gode | February 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The field, despite holding up well - was waterlogged. That's bad for the footing, the speed, and the passing in a game like this.

I'm also going to call out some of the US players for holding on to the ball far too long. I don't know if it's over confidence or sloppiness like Bob Bradley claims or just trying to make the game stick to the field, however, watching our guys lose posession in midfield for holding on to the ball too long was worrying for me.

I'm sure they'll get it sorted out and they will find a way to move faster - but yikes - made for a few nervous moments.

Disappointed that Torres didn't get in at the end.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 12, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Solid class effort by the USMNT last night. I was one the questioned Columbus as a mid-winter venue but USSF perhaps knows what its doing. We we were the better side despite Mexico playing without several starters and the red card on Marquez which was quite ugly. Mexico does not seem to have the firepower of previous years. Their (un)sportsmanship is legendary.

Posted by: sbg1 | February 12, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff Goff. I would swap Pearce's 6 and Ching's 5 but agree otherwise.

Also, thanks for the tip on Elevator Brewery; we had a nice lunch there yesterday.

Posted by: ahelms10 | February 12, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The quality of the game wasn't great but you have to attribute at least some of that to the conditions. I think Goff's ratings are a bit high for the center backs. Didn't think Gouch was in form and Boca had at least one howler. Frankie was the best. Going in to World cup play I have to think that Bradley has to address a couple of areas of concern:
- 2 holding mids - not enough attack nor service to the front. Bradley stays in one of those slots - the other up for grabs.
- The two center backs. Love Gouch and Boca but they have their flaws. Are they the best option in the center? Would we be better with Boco in left back slot?

Bradley rocked. It was his coming out party. Beasley was really impactful which probably couldn't have been predicted given his playing time. Frankie and Timmy very solid - as for the rest, ho hum.

Posted by: Beckster1 | February 12, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Steve, they were not "drilled by frustrated Mexican players" - it was the same guy - how did he not get a yellow for at least one of them?

I always enjoy watching the Mexican team lose 2-0, it makes me smile.

The USA did not take advantage of being a man up very well at all, they gave the ball away casually and gave the mexicans way too much space to pass it around.
In the same general vein - why did Bradley wait so darn long to put some fresh legs in. Mexico with 3 new folks of their 10 looked much more active and quicker than our tired 11. If they had tied it, I would have laid that firmly on Daddy Bradley (with an assist by Heath Pierce who I thought was the most careless with the ball late).

Posted by: dcufan | February 12, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I think it was Salcido that hacked Jozy and then went on a hacked Donovan. Watch the replay, it is the same player on both.

I figured he would get a yellow for the Jozy tackle, then thought it might be a red for his back to back hack jobs. I couldn't believe he got neither at the end of it all.

Posted by: joblinsk | February 12, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the match and enjoyed the score 2-0. USA played well in defense I agree with the rating. Mex, just played horrible, but there were some scary moments, that should need to be address by bradly in prepration for the next match.

Posted by: RM27 | February 12, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Its crazy that Bradley scored twice, Romero from ELS scored twice to tie it at the end, and so did Furtado from costa rica who scored twice.

Posted by: RM27 | February 12, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think Gooch is showing a lot more touch on the pitch. I see him distributing from the back a lot more often than in the past.

Also, how about some love for Donovan. It was his header off the corner that got the whole thing started on the first goal!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 12, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

My Spanish is rudimentary - so forgive the translation - but I came across hundreds and hundreds of entries like the following one on

For sale
doll of voodoo
dress of team america
1 peso beginning bid

Next time, try Santeria.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 12, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Tough game, good effort, good score.

My only concern was the apparent drop in cohesiveness after Marquez's ejection. I was worried. It happens quite often that a 10-men team jells together and overplays a relaxed opponent. It did not happen yesterday, but could.

Related to that thought is that we needed fresh blood infusion sooner, 10-15 minutes sooner, to keep pressure and maybe use the man advantage.

I am happy for Michael, he was all over the place pressing and had some nice vision passes. Game of his life. Keep it up.

Posted by: Tolik | February 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

i think the ratings for Hejduk and Howard are too low. they weren't involved in either goal, but their play shone the most, i thought. also, Ricardo Clark does not impress me when he gets into these games. i have a hard time believing we can be a competitive team in WC'10 if he is our best midfield sub.

to what extent do things change along the back line with Cherundolo available? does he push Frankie up to defensive mid or does he allow the rest of the back line to be shuffled a bit (or both)?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Good stuff as always Steve. The same player drilled Altidore and then got Donovan. Should have been a card given after Bradley scored.

Paging Brad're up.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | February 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

DMB's first touch and crossing have vastly improved. I'm still not sure why he's the go-to guy on set pieces, but I'll take the goal on the corner.

Didn't anybody else want to see Klejstan take that early free kick?

I'm cutting Boca some slack on his howler. That's a tough play to make on soggy turf.

There were sparks of brilliant speed of play through the midfield, especially in the last 2/3 of the first half. This crew has pulled that off against weaker opposition lately, but that's the first time I've seen it v. Mexico.

What a great run by Bradley on the second goal. He was well in the defensive half of the field when Donovan held his run with the ball and looked for passing options.

The biggest piece of the puzzle this team lacks is the ability to make that final pass in traffic and create a real scoring chance in the run of play.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 12, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Dempsey does not deserve the rating of 6. He went down at the slightest contact. his first touch was poor. always turning the ball over. It seemed like he was always slowing down the momentum. He looked like he was not fully there, sleepwalking or jetlag. completely off his game.
watch the tape again. focus on the Deuce. He deserves a 4. Horrible night for him.

Posted by: gmail | February 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Goff, It was the same guy who fouled Altidore and Donavon as they released the ball leading to Bradley's second goal. How does that guy avoid a card, even in a "play-on" situation.

Posted by: ashegrow | February 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Goff- could you do a roundup from Mexican media on the post game reaction? it would be appreciated. i want to hear wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: bobbyoshea | February 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Giovanni should have been whistled offside while he there on the ground, ball rolling past. He was past the last defender. Is it possible he didn't make a better play on the ball because he figured he was offside? If it's whistled there, doesn't Marquez stay in the game?

Kinda strange, all around. I think we would have felt hard done if that had caromed in off him.

Posted by: JkR- | February 12, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Gooch and Boca were very bad. 7 is too generous. Howard was simply great. The reason we won. I am completely sold on Michael Bradley. The guys is world class. The roster needs Edu and Adu. We lack skill in the midfield especially with Dempsey playing with a sense of entitlement that he hasnt really earned. Overall the US looked very bad but Mexico looked awful.

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | February 12, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I figured he would get a yellow for the Jozy tackle, then thought it might be a red for his back to back hack jobs. I couldn't believe he got neither at the end of it all.

Posted by: joblinsk | February 12, 2009 9:20 AM

There might be a problem with sending someone off for a second bookable offense when he hadn't yet been informed that the first offense merited a card. Perhaps there are some referees out there who can comment on this.

Posted by: universityandpark | February 12, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

3 thoughts on last nights game:

most under rated player: Hejduk

most over rated player: Dempsey

boycott blockbuster!!! they were the ones giving away the voodoo dolls. why cant an american company support its own team?

Posted by: hiro_pro1 | February 12, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Got to agree with gmail about Dempsey. Not his best outing.

I was watching at a Boston bar and, at the end the camera was panning across Sam's Army. One guy had a 2 - 0 T shirt on. From behind me came this surprised voice, "How did he know that was going to be the final score?"

Chuckle. I explained to him that's our expected dos a cero outcome with Mexico. As my own 2 - 0 T shirt describes, it's not a score, it's a way of life.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 12, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

That 2nd goal should teach the Mexicans to give Bradley (or any deep midfield player to loves to take long-range shots) that kind of space. Bradley had so much time and space before shooting that he could've planned the team's post-game celebration before he took the shot.
One man down + lax defending = goals

Posted by: DrBeaker | February 12, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

To Goff:

Dempsey, who seems to be learning to dive in England, had an off game, but I thought he was measurably better than Pearce. I think you were unfair to Ching, whose role was target man, not the principal attacking player, and unfair to Kljestan, whose role was to hold the midfield while Bradley moved into attack. Both Ching and Kljestan did what was asked and were more than adequate.

Posted by: runningcloud | February 12, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The vast, lonely acreage through which Bradley roamed was expected.

"One man down" + Mexico's quest for the equalizer + fatigue = goals

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 12, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Marquez is a classless dirtbag thug. He leads by example and the rest of his squad follows in line. Exactly what I expected from the Mexicans.

Posted by: Str8Red | February 12, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Re Gooch, running down that breakaway at 50' and heading the ball back to Howard was defensive greatness. Go watch it again. The 7 is right. Posters tend to be a little hard on the defenders around here -- as if a clean sheet is to be expected every time out, and anyway something the keeper deserves all the credit for.

Posted by: dccal | February 12, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Shut up Sven!

Posted by: PeteO1 | February 12, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree with dccal about Gooch. He seems to be much more in control of himself as of late, and miles ahead of the way he played '06. I no longer expect to see him just smash through attackers, or drag them down, in an attempt to break up plays. It was also his header that deflected down to Bradley for the first goal.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

i love clint, but i think he has always had the tendency to go down too easily; this is not something he picked up in england.

mexico is psyched out by us these days i think...vindictive b4stards! even though 2-0 in columbus is great, 0-2 in azteca would be even better. maybe it can finally happen this august???

Posted by: dfunkt | February 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

while I agree the rule is silly, I have no problem with howard sitting out the el salvador match. Guzan is capable and needs the time with the MNT. As long as Friedel stays retired, we need another keeper who has been in there (and while I like Hahnemann, I don't want him in the MNT). Better that Howard sit this one than later in the hex.

As I mentioned on another thread, I scanned through Mexican press available on-line and found it surprisingly realistic and balanced. Lots of anger, to be sure, but directed at their own players for being outplayed, not at our players, the referee, or the weather. In a discussion of the Hejduk incident, the Mexicans claimed he told them they had no cojones. A Mexican posting a comment on the article asked, "well, did he lie?"

Posted by: troy6 | February 12, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree about the cards. They should carry over. Otherwise, you invite free shots -- like the one at Altidore -- if they're late in the last game of the round.

Posted by: fischy | February 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The roster needs Edu and Adu. We lack skill in the midfield especially with Dempsey playing with a sense of entitlement that he hasnt really earned.
Of all the off-base Dempsey comments today that is the most ludicrous. Hasn't earned? Pivotal starter for top 10 club in EPL versus Adu who is a perennial non-starter? Jeez, you want to talk about a sense of entitlement that hasn't been earned, my fren, there it is. At least among his adoring fans if not the very young man himself, as to whom I would not presume to say. Dempsey has earned every bit of his role, and it's nice to see some other mids stepping up to his level.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 12, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"I scanned through Mexican press available on-line and found it surprisingly realistic and balanced. Lots of anger, to be sure, but directed at their own players for being outplayed, not at our players, the referee, or the weather."

I find it truly saddening that many of the posts here have a whiff of racism when addressing "the Mexicans". What people here have to understand here is that this is team rivalry only. The kind of person who makes it through the ranks of the soccer system in Mexico is not representative of your average Mexican, whether in terms of "class", "cojones", "education" or whatever. Trust me, people in Mexico dislike this team as much as you do. But some of the postings here remind me of people who drive by the day-laborer centers scattered around the Washington area and wish that all those "ugly, brown people" would disappear from their backyard.

Posted by: ElmoL | February 12, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Senor Goff -

Great reporting as always, and I'm as grateful as anyone for the extras that can only be found in the Insider, such as your scoop yesterday on Garber's deadline for a Beckham deal (which I then saw on the bottom-screen crawl during the second half last night).

Just one minor complaint about the match report: "a massive cloud mass the color of outer space." Impressive imagery, but was there no room in your luggage for a thesaurus on this trip??

Posted by: BaltoFan | February 12, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse


At least Adu plays hard. Dempsey looked like he was playing in the Italian league last night. And merely playing for a top EPL team for 1 season hardly means you earned anything. If he's fatigued thats one thing (which may be the case) but wlking around and flopping everytime you get touched isnt going to cut it. By entitlement I mean he actually expects to get those calls. He hasn't earned a thing. and his rap music is terrible.

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | February 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Adu plays?

Posted by: Reignking | February 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I must of been watching a different game last night. I thought we were lucky to get the win and not a 1-1 tie. Mexico easily could of scored on that flurry that led up to the red card. This game to me is the perfect example of why we will make the world cup again and not advance out of group play again.

Our attack was anemic and when you consider we had a man advantage for the last 30 minutes it was pathetic. I'm not the biggest Landycakes fan, but he put a great effort with almost zero support. Dempsey just fell over time he touched the ball. He must of stopped to stare at the ref or linesman at least 6 times. He should of been yanked out no later than early in the 2nd half. I would put him on a 3 for the game. I fail to believe that Ching is the best forward in the entire united states. He never looks to attack, his touch is horrendous, and he wouldn't know how to create something with a coloring book and crayons. I love all the adjectives used to describe him "tireless worker" "solid" "defends well from the front" That may help you advance against 2nd rate powers, but it does zero against the teams we will face in the world cup.

I agree with whoever mentioned the subbing. I was screaming at the TV to get some fresh legs in there as it was clear with 10 the Mexicans were fresher than us. What was Bradley waiting for? Who would of thought that at this point in his career HeyDude is one of our best and most consistent players? The only time this team did anything in the world cup we had some creative players mixed in to the usual work horses we trot out like O'Brian and Clint Mathis. Unless we mix in some more creative forces to support Landycakes and Beasley its going to be more of the same old same old.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

>Who would of thought that at this point in his career HeyDude is one of our best and most consistent players?

ME! I'm stunned that people are just figuring out that 80-year-old Hejduk just doesn't age. He is soccer's Richard Alpert.

Posted by: Reignking | February 12, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

boycott blockbuster!!! they were the ones giving away the voodoo dolls. why cant an american company support its own team?
Posted by: hiro_pro1
From Blockbuster's website early 2003
"BLOCKBUSTER operates more than 2,000 international video stores in 25 foreign countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Pacific Rim, and North and South America.

The only allegiance companies have is to the almighty Dollar/Euro/Peso/Centavos.

Posted by: PocketKings | February 12, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming a number of us also know exactly what to expect from Frankie, and no more. I've posted before he's always in my 18, just not always in my 11.

Despite his decent game last night, I thought he had way too many touches offensively, given his relative weakness in putting in a decent cross at this level. Surely his team mates know by now what he excels at, and what his weaknesses are. Let Frankie make the deep penetrating run, but DUMMY the pass to him!

Posted by: JkR- | February 12, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I guess if Clint wants those calls he's gonna have to earn them the Freddy way -- arms out, palms up, shoulder shrug, eye roll. Have to dig back into the archives for actual game footage of that move though.

Perhaps unduly harsh, but I think it's outrageous when the US midfield played so well (IMO and apparently Goff's too) that there are always multiple people who will ride them down shouting about Freddy, just like the little kids at RFK did when Adu was 14 years old or whatever and Nowak didn't play him.

Adu is neither literally nor figuratively anywhere near Dempsey's league at the present moment. If someday he surpasses him, good for the US MNT. Until then, Dempsey is a damn fine player, why not just leave it at that.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 12, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that Deuce did not have his best game, but in HD he actually looked REALLY sick. Pale, haggard, just very unwell.

Speaking of HD, it's nice that ESPN is showing the games in hi def, but can we hire someone who actually knows how to shoot a soccer game? Last night was just... not good. Get whoever UEFA hired to run the cameras at Euro last summer, that was great to watch.

Here's a happy thought, though: we will have Michael Bradley for three World Cups. Oh that's sweet.

Posted by: Kozemp | February 12, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Odd question: How do you properly pronounce CONCACAF?

Posted by: jonathanskt | February 12, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

A few late thoughts:

1) After being a solid detractor in the past, I'm now sold on Bradley, Jr.

2) As someone else said, that was hardly a convincing win. About the same # of good chances, but we have Tim Howard and they have the Mexican Zach Wells. That 2nd goal was a decent strike, but should always be saved at this level.

3) I like Kljestan, but didn't look very sharp out there. A number of unforced giveaways in the middle of the field.

4) 100% agree with the other posts about the lateness of the subs. I was yelling at Bradley to get them on at the 70 minute mark to take advantage of the man advantage. Seems like Soehn has the same aversion to using his subs.

5) I like Ching fine, and he preforms a role, but like others say, he's really not a game changer.

6) Still don't understand why Adu isn't at least on the 18. He's the only only only player other than Donovan and maybe Duece that can create something out of nothing. He would have been the perfect 70 minute sub for Duece last night.

7) I generally like Dempsey, but he was not good last night. Looked ill or something.

8) The ref was shockingly good.

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 12, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

To OWNTF: desire to see somebody like Adu is not irrational. Its possible that Adu himself won't be capable to raise to the level we want, but all this is about is creativity. As restonhoops said above, only when we have creative guys next to the hard working guys we can hope for something better.

We had workhorses of good solid middle level for quite a while. Working hard, well organized, and giving it all CAN bring success on occasion. But to be able to compete with better quality teams we need creativity. The best example is Ching - I have a tremendous respect to him - he holds, fights, assists - works to the best of his abilities, but...

I think it s a testament of how soccer have grown in the USA that we are not satisfied anymore with just good solid play. Adu is symbol of this yearning. I'd be happy if he can pull it of one day. But if not him, we still want it.

btw, Mike had good vision yesterday, besides the hard work. DMB did some unexpected moves. Sacha did something like that at the previous games, but I did not catch anything yesterday.

Posted by: Tolik | February 12, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse


I was at the game yesterday and I would swear that the referee gave a yellow card after our second goal. I haven't check the official box score, but he was definitely holding up a yellow after the goal. What's the word?

Posted by: jermWV | February 12, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Odd question: How do you properly pronounce CONCACAF?

Posted by: jonathanskt | February 12, 2009 1:55 PM

Anyway you want. One of the dudes on Fox Soccer Channel (Christian Miles, I think) pronounces it as if it were Spanish word.

Fox Soccer Channel; Where everyone has a foreign accent - except Carlos Machado.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 12, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Odd question: How do you properly pronounce CONCACAF?


Posted by: Reignking | February 12, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I like Dempsey in general, but trying to defend him last is indefensible from what I saw. I don't recall that many plays where he contributed. In terms of creative players hopefully there will be more soon, but Adu is still one of the only ways that I have seen consistently spring a pass or two per game that has potential to unlock a world class d. The only question to me is how much time can we afford him on the field instead of another hard worker bee. But sorry the worker bees aren't going to advance you out of group play.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I was puzzled by Kljestan's virtual disappearance last night. Was he following a Bob Bradley script by hiding in plain sight? He seemed to have very few touches for a central midfielder. And after we went a man up, it seemed that we became unnaturally defensive. Donovan would get the ball on a break and then have to wait for his teammates to catch up, by which time the opportunity for a run-of-play goal had passed. Was this also following coach's orders?

Posted by: b18bolo | February 12, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Odd question: How do you properly pronounce CONCACAF?


Posted by: BarkerDavidL | February 12, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that as well. LandyCakes was the one out there seemingly trying to get a 2nd goal with an occasional Bradley or HeyDude push forward.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"I fail to believe that Ching is the best forward in the entire united states. He never looks to attack, his touch is horrendous,"

Are you serious restonhoops! Why don't you go back to the 3-2 victory over Sweden, watch Kljestan's 3rd goal and tell me how the touch looked for the assist.

Posted by: rosslyn1 | February 12, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the ref from El Salvador? (Our next opponent)

Posted by: Barracudas | February 12, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Jozy had more of an impact on the match in the 10 minutes he got than Ching did in 80. Ching looked tired out there, especially in the second half. Altidore should get the start in the El Salvador game to show what he can do for the full 90.

Posted by: hudson22 | February 12, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Ching spent a good deal of the match in offside position. While not directly damaging, he was unavailable as an option on several counterattacks because he had been unable to recover into an onside position to present for the ball. The Mexican back line was, um, disorganized, to say the least, in its offside trap work when Marquez was in, and even worse when he went out. BB might want to convince Ching to get onside a bit more quickly.

Posted by: mason08 | February 12, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game and as such it was difficult to get a proper read for an analysis, but judging by what I've read, my instincts on the game were right.

Ching had zero impact on the game, either way. His tenure being given the starting spot needs to go. Still could be a solid reserve, but he's not a quality starting international forward. Altidore is much better.

Beasley was the best player on the field for the US, in terms of consistent overall play. Bradley was great with his two goals, and was equally as great breaking up passes in the midfield, but I felt Beasley was the key to US controlling the game. (Note: this is not a knock on Bradley, just an opinion on how underrated Beasley was).

Hejduk had a hell of a game.

And, that's about it as standout opinions...

Posted by: psps23 | February 12, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me why US Soccer doesn't release a decent quality video highlights package of these matches? Instead, we search YouTube and foreign media outlets for a decent recap. Think of just the exposure they could get for their website if they issued a decent quality file with the plastered across the bottom. The video clip on their website is a disgrace.

Posted by: dsheon | February 12, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game and as such it was difficult to get a proper read for an analysis, but judging by what I've read, my instincts on the game were right.

Ching had zero impact on the game, either way.

What section? I was in 222, R10, S2 (Technical area side grandstand, closest section to the OH State Fairgrounds,top deck)

I'm a ref, and even when I watch games as a spectator, there are certain habits that I have, and certain things I look for while watching a game that are born from my refereeing. One of these things is watching the positioning of the Center Ref relative to the ebb and flow of the game - close enough to see the play, but far enough away so as to not be in the play. Another of these things is keeping a very close watch on the location of the second to last defender. Like I said, Ching was in an offside position for much of the night. I don't know if that's a fitness issue, or what, but it's hard to impact the match when you're can't be used as an option by your teammates because even _they_ can tell you're offside.

How about that wind, eh?

Posted by: mason08 | February 13, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Dempsy covered a lot of ground defensively; he does get lazy though and tries to dance thru a bunch of guys then flops down. Watching him in England he plays a lot more one and two touch - maybe he just thinks he's better than everyone else in concacaf.

One of the posts above was right on the nose, though; a couple different breaks and this is a 1-1 or 3-2 match and the US is in a hole. I don't think we can be too satisfied with the performance. But, then again, I just don't understand why everyone seems to rate Donovan and Ching so positively; Ching was able to settle a few balls, but he's no star out there. Just don't get it.

Posted by: hacksaw | February 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

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