Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Matchnight: USA-Costa Rica

Venue: Estadio Saprissa.
Kickoff: 10:06 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2, Galavision.
(ESPN2's pregame show starts at 9:30)

The latest weather forecast for greater San Jose. It's been gorgeous the past three days, but as always this time of year in the Central Valley, there is a chance of late-day thunderstorms.

I bumped into a few USA supporters this morning -- guys from Chicago and Los Angeles who plan to wear Captain America outfits to Saprissa and a couple from Brooklyn who have followed the Americans to the past two World Cups and plan to travel to South Africa next summer. They were turned on to soccer by Irish contractors doing work on their floors while the 1998 World Cup was unfolding in France. For another tale about USA fans in San Jose, read Michael Lewis's entry from bigapplesoccer.com.

I'll rejoin you from Saprissa later and share the USA lineup and subs as soon as possible.

USA: Howard; Wynne, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Beasley; Dempsey, Bradley, Mastroeni, Torres; Donovan, Altidore. Subs: Guzan, DeMerit, Adu, Bornstein, Clark, Kljestan, Davies. (Ching is out with a hamstring injury; Spector not in the 18)

As always, this is the gathering place for pregame, in-game and postgame banter. While watching the match tonight, be sure to join your fellow Insider loyalists in the comments section for lively discussion and analysis. Enjoy!

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2009; 3:48 PM ET
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Wallaces of Costa Rica
Next: Adios, Costa Rica

Comments

Any predictions on a result tonight? If our midfield and forwards play anything like they have over the last few qualifiers, I find it difficult to believe we will be held scoreless. Our fullbacks worry me with their inexperience, though. I think the Ticos put 2 past Howard. My heart says 2 (Dempsey, Kljestan) for us, but my head says 1.

Posted by: daandre3 | June 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Yowza. Would take some Cahones to wear a captain america outfit into that stadium. Just bring a change of clothes in the event we win and the crowd riots......

Posted by: hacksaw | June 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

OT, but premium tix for Thursday's game vs. NY are available for $15 (DCU must realize that empty stands will look bad on ESPN). Order online via DCU using the promo code "ESPN" at this link:

http://www.dcunited.com/shop/premium-special-64-dc-united-vs-new-york-red-bulls

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

cojones

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 3, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worries about the inexperience of our back line, especially if Specter is added to the mix. I am worried about the lack of speed and quickness in central defense. They're much better suited to playing physical teams, than quick one.

Posted by: icehippo | June 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

$15 premium ticket sale suddenly released from DCU...60 degrees and rainy...team coming off a string of ties and a disappointing loss...weeknight...yep, it's all adding up to a great night for attendance!

Eh. I'll be there with three buddies singing my head off.

Posted by: the_slammer | June 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@edgeonyou:Good heads up brother. Not sure I 'll be able to make it, but this news better's my chances.

@22206no1: Kids these days don't even know how good they've got it when it comes to the abundance of SICK cement parks that have been multiplying in the last 10 years. The Pacific Northwest is like Mecca for that kind of thing. Oregon and Washington state are a skateboarder's paradise!

Get those flatland skills down, and get em' rollin in young! Let me know if you ever want to sneak in a session behind the ol' lady's back;-) I'm down!

Oh and on Topic: GO USA! Go USA! Go USA!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different.

Denilson to Vietnam:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=652272&sec=global&cc=5901

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 3, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dad, I threw the email I use for facebook up on the last thread we mentioned it, try it out. Also, you'd be happy to know my gwinnett county park (Sports Illustrated top 10 system in the nation, take that Tennessee!!) just built a phase two, with a concrete park the size of 5-ish basketball courts. Looks like fun, but I suck at that stuff.

Okay, so checklist for tonight's game:

Nice tv: Check

Nothing recording on the dvr to get in the way: Check

Friends coming over: Check

Food: Check

US Soccer t-shirt on: Check

Fifa09 cranked up with my created player on the national team: Uhhh, I'll see you guys later!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's another bit of info. Denilson's salary is undisclosed but "much higher" than Lee Nguyen's 10K per week, the current top salary in Vietnam.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/feedarticle/8538739

There may be dozens of Lee Nguyens playing soccer in Vietnam but maybe an American (former US youth team star) is the highest paid foreigner somewhere!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 3, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Right on Jacob. BTW my FIFA09 player has progressed considerably since the last time we talked about it. My second season at DCU Yielded like 89 goals, and yes, I am the captain of the USMNT too.
I've since transferred to Roma where I'm not quite crushing it as hard as I was. I also turned up the difficulty...

Also, my wife claims that Heidi and Spence "aren't off the show" according to TMZ, etc.
Goff! Do you have the Paparazzi Scooped?????

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

man I have been nervous all day, LEts get these 3 points and getout of saprissa ASAP.

Altidore with a brace

2-1

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Ives is reporting that Spector didn't dress...any word?

Posted by: Beckster1 | June 3, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

He also mentioned a surprise starter or two, with Adu's twitter feed (as much as it pains me to talk about things that way) thanking his fans that supported him, "even in the down times", and that he wouldn't let them down, he promises.

So...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Beckster1:

That's alarming (at least to me). Hope Wynne proves me wrong.

***

I am really jacked up for this one. Great chance for us to knock off one of the two "unwinnable" venues in CONCACAF.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

No Spector even as a sub would be a shock. But I'll wait till the official lineups...

Posted by: the_slammer | June 3, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Satellite TV Viewers in the DC metro area: Prepare your backup ESPN360 Feeds.

Biblical electrical storms out here in Loudoun.

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

#USMNT lineup: Howard; Wynne, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Beasley; Mastroeni, Bradley, Torres; Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore.

Posted by: ahelms10 | June 3, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

#USMNT subs: Adu, Bornstein, Clark, Davies, DeMerit, Guzan, Kljestan. Among those not dressing, Ching with hamstring issue.

Posted by: ahelms10 | June 3, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to guess that, once underway, that lineup will look an awful lot like either a 4231 (Mastroeni and Bradley behind Dempsey, Torres, and Donovan) or a 4141 (with Mastroeni behind Dempsey, Bradley, Torres, and Donovan). In either case, not what anyone was expecting.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Well, this lineup has some flavor. Torres, Dempsey, Donovan, and Altidore coming at you must be scary. Why no Spector though? Why is he good enough for West Ham but not for us?

Posted by: the_slammer | June 3, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

the_slammer:

It could be that Bradley (like many fans, though not me) believes that Wynne's speed and experience on turf is the right choice over what Spector offers for this game. Or, it could be that Spector just didn't train well. It's hard to say, and Bradley almost never reveals that kind of thing to the press, so we'll probably never be able to say.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Not the first time that Bradley has not had Spector dress. If the answer is that he isn't used to the turf and they are worried about injury for him I'll only buy it if he starts Saturday. Let's face it, in soccer some players just aren't favored by the manager and I'm hoping that this isn't the case with Spector but I fear it is.

Posted by: Beckster1 | June 3, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

So, for all of you BB haters out there, we've got an adventurous lineup.

I'm really worried about Jozy disappearing up top and LD/Bradley getting overworked.

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Lost in some of the other stories, JFT gets his first start.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

2nd (T&T)

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

That's why it got lost in other stories, because it isn't one. My b.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Eh, I just read someone else's post who had the same Torres thought ;)

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Rob Stone singling out New York for "being in trouble" was wonderful

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Ives just said there's no power for the media because "the room with the power is locked" and despite he and SI's best efforts, they couldn't break in. Odd.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

BB has decided to let it ride and has cast his die.

I like it.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Heidi and Spence can help. I hear that they know everything.

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I hear they are coming back....

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Man, this is gonna be sick!
NO power for the media? Hunh?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

That's not HD, is it?

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Um, that was not an American flag...and nice feedback on the music...

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say that Donovan may be overworked? He is the most fit player on the team next to Hejduk. I highly doubt he will be tired.

I am not a fan of Wynne starting, but it may be because Spector is injured. Who knows?

Posted by: no_recess | June 3, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Torres in 9. Nice.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

no_recess: worried about him having to do too much

Um, there's no way Mastro is RM. Right?

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Great Beas. Hit your own player in the face.

We're playing kick ball.

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Ayiyiyi

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Nightmare start started by Beas's clearance into Wynne's face

Posted by: carmines757 | June 3, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it's Futsal...

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Howards positioning was suspect as well. Just like on chelsea's "non" goal in the FA cup

Posted by: jjfooty | June 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Beasley's downward spiral continues

Posted by: dahx4 | June 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Arrrgh! Four GLORIOUS minutes of no John Harkes. I guess all good things come to an end. JP's already feeding him essay questions. Watching this was hard enough....

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Surprised CR seems to be holding back a little after the goal. Torres has not looked good so far.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

beasley is having a bad game so far

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

my lord.

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Howard Again!! what is he thinking??

Posted by: jjfooty | June 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

My goodness...

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Howard nowhere near the top of my list of faults on either goal.

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

over/under 5-0? thoughts?

Posted by: jjfooty | June 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

He's thinking, "have these guys ever played defense before?"

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Starring Pauly Shore as Landon Donovan, and Chris Rock as Demarcus Beasley.

Posted by: SMACK1 | June 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Beasley = poo.

Posted by: combedge | June 3, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

JkR: Look at his posistioning for both goals. He has to at least give himself a chance to make a save!

Posted by: jjfooty | June 3, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Attacking Wynne every time.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

It's not Howard's positioning, it's the players in front of him that lack any sense in defending

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Saw his positioning clearly. He's not Spiderman. He has to expect his defenders to look like they have played before.

All 4 defenders blew it on the second goal, plus the d mid.

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind seeing at least one of our guys tackle. You know, that thing that wins us the ball and stops them from flooding forward whenever they want to.

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

anybody ≠ poo so far?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 3, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised US went with a 4-3-3. Such an open formation and there is so much space in the midfield that CR is taking advantage of.

Spacing in the back and defensive transitions is shaky. Beasley looks rough right now.

Posted by: P-Ten | June 3, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Beasley and Wynne have looked like crap. time to go to a 3-5-2.

on the 2nd goal i put the blame (after wynne) on bocanegra. beasley was covering the other guy and torres didnt have enough time to get back. boca needed to recognize where beasley and torres were, step up and trust howard. instead it was an easy put away.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 10:31 PM

Where was Gooch? Where should he have been?

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse


anybody ≠ poo so far?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals

Torres is not poo.

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

He does not have to be spiderman (?) he just needs to stay in his hole and not wander outside of his six.
Very poor performance thus far by the entire team. They really looked rattled from the opening kick.

Posted by: jjfooty | June 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

First goal, strictly defenders, two players must win that ball. Second goal, terrible play on the wing, but Howard was certainly out of position, almost looked like he was coming out to defend the cross himself

Posted by: dahx4 | June 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Bradley not poo. Mastro is dysentery.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Bradley and Torres are getting more and more familiar with each other as the game progresses. I like their work.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm, sorry, but his defenders are lying in a pile, and the striker is walking into the box on him, essentially 2 on 1, then Beasely whiffs on his last chance. Tim didn't distinguish himself, but really....

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

wow...shocking defense. what a joke. beasley and wynne need to come out at the half.

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Question re: crowd noise

As a lineman, you are supposed to rely on the sound of the ball being struck to determine offsides (and keep your eyes on the last man).

So what do you do in an environment like this where you can't HEAR anything due to the crowd? It's gotta be hard to look at both the player kicking the ball and the recipient simultaneously.

Bottom line: expect some errors on offsides calls? (that aren't necessarily the lineman's fault)

Posted by: Pedalada | June 3, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

List of complaints. First of many.

1) They should be ashamed of this field. Somehow I think their not. Major advantage for the Ticos.

2) Dempsey needs to get back to his Texas roots and get his head out of London. He has lost his tenacity when playing on this side of the pond. Embarrassing really.

3) Wynn is out of his element right now.

4) Get players in there who arent afraid of carpet burn.

Posted by: ATPDC | June 3, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

As bad as this is, I'm enjoying watching Torres and Bradley in the middle. Remind me of Beasley and Donovan in '02

Posted by: dahx4 | June 3, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I hate turf.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

ok, let's focus on the positive. torres has been good. onyewu's throw-in's have been long, with a pleasant arc. bradley and beasley's incessant backward passes have been accurate. that's it. that's all i can think of.

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Dhx4-

Howard was out cutting down the angle of the shot, but the man crossed. Howard was "out of position" because the scorer struck it first-touch. Nothing could be done about it.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Over there! Over there!....say a prayer indeed.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Craptastic. Shambolic. Smoley hokes...

Posted by: Juan-John | June 3, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Positives? We only have another 10 minutes of listening to Lexi.

Posted by: ATPDC | June 3, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

And it's not in HD.

Lame.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

The idea that a proper GRASS pitch cannot be maintained in Costa Rica is complete BS.

Install proper MODERN drainage and you'll be fine.

If they insist on playing on plastic, FIFA should mandate that it be top of the line and no more than 2 years old.

Posted by: alecw81 | June 3, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Massively disappointing half in terms of defending. Where's the pressure? Where's the tackling? Mastroeni and the back four all look like they're at a training exercise rather than a qualifier. This isn't a tactical problem; it's a problem of effort and execution.

Harkes made 2 salient points: Mastroeni looks gassed already, and Bradley can't do all the pressuring alone. No one ever won soccer games pressuring with one or two players; you do it as a unit. This team needs Rico Clark in for Mastroeni, or a wholesale tactical change. Since Bradley already moved Dempsey back and switched to a conventional 442 (getting a marginal improvement), I would guess it's time for Clark or even Kljestan (though neither has the first touch to make me comfortable).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

To add to list of things that have made me cringe tonight...

Landon Donovan *still* cannot serve a frackin' free kick with any kind of consistency or usefulness.

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Our defense needs a complete restructuring. Maybe Obama can help.

Having Subotic would have completely changed our back line.

Posted by: adamsunited | June 3, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Good point, originally thought the cross came from the wing

Posted by: dahx4 | June 3, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with sec133row5. Donovan's free kicks suck a**.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Torres is the best player on the field tonight. Anyone else a little bummed we don't have Chingy up in this mug tonight or what?
I think Alexi just called Randy Johnson the "Big Eunuch"... He corrected himself, but Gee Wiz...

PABLO HAS GOTTA GO!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chest -- I totally forgot Rico was available. He is a must-sub for Mastro. And I thought that would be because Mastro has his usual yellow.

Move Torres to the middle, somehow. He is doing it on his own, anyway.

Anyone for Beas.

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it would be nice if Donovan could get a free kick inside the 12 above waist high

Posted by: dahx4 | June 3, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Whining about the turf seems silly to me while our team has given us so many other things to complain about.

HT ratings:
Howard - 5
Wynne - 4
Onyewu - 4.5
Bocanegra - 4
Beasley - 4
Bradley - 5
Mastroeni - 3.5
Torres - 5
Dempsey - 4.5
Donovan - 5
Altidore - 5

Torres was actually down due to lack of pressure on the first goal, but his composure on the ball has been one of the only good things for us since then. Wynne is having exactly the game I imagined he would, which means he's playing poorly. On this kind of surface, brains and technique are much more important than speed.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Remind me why Beasley is a lock in the starting lineup. I don't want to seem him in the kit again - and he can take Mastro with him. And Bryan Namoff would be a better right defender than Wynne. Almost as good as the absent Spector.

At leastBradley and Torres are looking good.

Posted by: b18bolo | June 3, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Sacha for Torres says twitter. WTF? Bradley saving him for Honduras?

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Torres out? Really, Bob?

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Unless Torres has a broken leg or Klejsten scores a hat trick, Bradley should be fired for that substitution.

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't second-guess coaches, because I believe it is really up to the players...

But Sasha for Torres??????????????????????????

Posted by: Reignking | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

And Torres gets pulled?
Maybe Bob would like the only dude who's done his job wash his hands of this mess?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Our defense needs a complete restructuring. Maybe Obama can help.

Having Subotic would have completely changed our back line.

====

Extraordinary rendition target?

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Should have been Bornstein for Beasley...

Posted by: combedge | June 3, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

kljestan for torres? ok, im finally with yall. bradley is a joke. beasley, wynne and mastroeni have all sucked. boca hasnt been great. torres was everywhere playing as a virtual third dmid and actually had the touch to play on this surface. unless he's hurt this was a shockingly bad coaching decision.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

That was a puzzling substitution...

Posted by: cray | June 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Huh. Refs switched jerseys at half time. They were in safety orange before hand, and now they're in grey.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

these CR crosses are just target practice. why can't someone close these guys down?

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Unless Bradley Sr. decide to give up on this game he should be fired. To take out Torres over Beasley, Wynne, and Mastroeni otherwise is nuts. He should be fires anyway for the starting line-up.

Posted by: Dancy1 | June 3, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Balls bounce, get over it.

Posted by: SMACK1 | June 3, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Mastroeni was mostly at fault for both goals...weak tackle on the first and failing to track the runner on the second. I realize Bradley often plays him for his experience, but he'll be 34 next summer. With Bradley, Edu, Clark, Feilhaber in the mix for central midfield, is he really considered an option for next summer? It seems those other players could use games like this to build experience for next summer's World Cup.

Posted by: gilligab | June 3, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

That was a pretty weak-ass card. Foul, for sure. But a caution? Give me a break.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

God, this ref is bad....and in our favor for once.

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

KLEJSTAN!?!

KLEJSTAN is the player who will turn around the game and make the defensive problems go away?

MASTROENI and BEASLEY NEED TO GO AWAY FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!

As for Wynne, you had Spector! And we'll never see Adu or Davies now.

That's it, with that one substitution, I'm back on the Fire BOB band wagon. He has proved himself emotionally incapable of service (throw in Kljestan in for the composed dude who should be starting next to Bradley, when you're two down?) MORON!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

why is wynne side so empty??? so much open space

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Where was Gooch? Where should he have been?

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 10:33 PM |
-------------------------------------------
Gooch got burned trying to cover for wynne. oh, he's at fault too but by the end the best decision was for boca to position himself to cut off the pass to the top of the box (which would also take away a far post shot) and leave it to howard to make the stop. instead it was an easy put away.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

In no confederation or league is Bradley's foul a yellow. CONCACAF is a joke and so is Bob Bradley. WTF!!!!

Posted by: no_recess | June 3, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't understand Harkes:
1st half - outside backs are going too far, forcing the center backs to cover more ground.

2nd half - outside backs need to get further up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 11:20 PM

Let's say there was plenty of disastrous defending and leave it at that.

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

is it me or should sacha have sent a center on that last play?

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Mastro...they're laughing at you!!

Posted by: combedge | June 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

If there's so much competition on our team pushing out guys who suck, then why is Mastroeni still playing?

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

honduras must be salivating...they probably can't wait for their home game against the US in chicago. sweet, adu coming on...

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

its not wynns fault? he was not ready for such a big game. the coach throw him out there and he got burnt

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Pablo out. Freddy in.

All ahead full.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I think that Bradley should try Adu at left back. He has all the qualities Beasley has: no experience at the position, he is diminutive, and he is not known as a good defender.

Posted by: no_recess | June 3, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I think that Bradley should try Adu at left back. He has all the qualities Beasley has: no experience at the position, he is diminutive, and he is not known as a good defender.

Posted by: no_recess | June 3, 2009 11:29 PM

Plus, he's a natural lefty, so he'd dominate...

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Uh... We're not going to have a midfield on Saturday.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

wonder what the midfield is going to look like on Saturday without Bradley or Klejsten (and, I'd hope after this performance, a benched Pablo). Rico and Torres together?

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I am worried that our guys are not going to be able to come back from this for Saturday. *I* may not be able to come back for this by Saturday.

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Hasta man~ana amigos.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The second string left back (he just came on for Wallace 10 min ago) just burned our entire D. No help for Bradley from anyone in the vicinity -- HORRIBLE!!

Posted by: gilligab | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

WEAK US EFFORT

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

No one moved to do a damn thing to keep that man from dribbling in.

Poor. I would have accepted someone coming in to take out his legs for a PK, but to not react is horrid.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Our defenders need to get on these guys! Put some hands and shoulders on them. Don't just chance behind them in the box.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | June 3, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

oh my, another goal. this time due to kljestan laziness and another poor play from boca. and where in tarnation was the left back?

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Bet the federation is now having second thoughts about scheduling another 'away' match in Chicago this weekend. Dropped points there and we start entering white knuckle qualification mode.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 3, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of Bradley, NOW!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

That was a suh-weet back pass from Adu!

Posted by: EssEff | June 3, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

our coach is letting this happen and does nothing???

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

beasley made a run and then never got back as the 3rd goal went in. What the heck is he doing? I like him, butbthis should be the end of the DMB at left back experiment. Also, where on earth is Dempsey? He has been an apparition.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 3, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

U G L Y... we ain't got no alibi...

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | June 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Altidore is a quitter.
He's learned nothing in Spain but how to apologize for a stupid foul and to throw up his hands when he doesn't get a call. I don't even know what he's calling for. His hat trick was a farce.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Ticos seem to have 6 men in their own box defending, 8 men winning balls in the midfield, and 4 attacking.

Really clever tactics, the 6-8-4.

We seem to be in a 1-2-1....

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The surface is a disgrace, I can't believe FIFA is allowing one team to play their official qualifiers on plastic.

Isn't it obvious what a huge competitive advantage it is for Costa Rica? It's a totally different sport if you change the surface from grass to plastic. The ball behaves differently and players who aren't used to it are at a huge disadvantage. It's not just the crazy bounces, every touch, whether it's passing or dribbling, needs to be adjusted.

Anybody want to guess why Costa Rica is the only team in the world who haven't allowed a goal at home in World Cup Qualifying? I'll give you a hint: it doesn't have **** to do with their defense.

What a joke, almost as funny as the ref, freaking card-o-matic.

Posted by: uranderson | June 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday, I noticed that 80% of the people participating in the poll here had us winning or getting the draw, and I laughed. Yes, of course, it's 80% likely when we've *never* won there.

Of course, it doesn't help when the team (particularly the defense) doesn't care.

There isn't a single player out there tonight that's played well. Not one. Use the U-20s from here on out. We won't qualify, but at least they'll *care*.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Norteno-
Uh.. WTF is he supposed to do at this point? This one's on the players.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Wynne and Beasley.....

THE DYNAMIC DUO!

Posted by: Hoost | June 3, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

chris, i disagree if you said that Torres didn't play well.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 3, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Instead of that low percentage shot, Donovan could have sent Jozy through for a 1-on-1. A very bad night all around. And these bad free kicks are the mark of a team that has no chance of scoring.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 3, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: uranderson

Re: the surface-

You're right of course, it's a completely different touch required, different speed and weight on the ball. It even looks funny on the TV.

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have decent stock of natural defenders, this can happen.

Guessing Torres has dropped down a peg in Bradley's book tonight. Horrid effort on the first goal - then subbed at HT.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 3, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

DR: Torres started poorly, but recovered -- he had the best half of anyone. I don't think he played *well*, really; but I do think he played better than anyone else we had out there.

But it would have been nice if somebody had played well.

And it'd be nice if this team showed more heart when it's down. This match feels like the Czech Republic match in Germany.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 3, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Davies play since coming on is even more damning for Dempsey. We've needed an energy guy all night.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 3, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris-

Calm down. You're talking crazy.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

i am going to chalk most of this effort on the turf. i know both teams play on the same surface but the US team has never been known for their technique...and it really showed tonight. now if they put up an effort like this on saturday, bradley's gotta go...

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

way too little way too late from Boca right there with that check. couldn't you have showed some of that in the first half, 'los?

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Adu has actually added a little positive energy since he came in. He is at least working hard.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | June 3, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Now we're on the way back!!!!


USA! USA!

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's not miss this, OK?

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey... At least we soiled their sheets.

Posted by: mason08 | June 3, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

at least their streak (and ours) is over

Posted by: sec133row5 | June 3, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

The turf didn't make our duct taped together defense mark so sloppy

Posted by: Kev29 | June 3, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

1 goal is better than a goose egg!

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | June 3, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I wished he missed that. How important is that goal that he had to do some ridiculous ritual before taking the penalty?

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Now we'll regroup and get them in the third period!


Wait, what...?

Posted by: JkR- | June 3, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Howard-5, Wynne-4, Onyewu=5, Boca-5, Beazy-3.5, Torres-6, Bradley-5, The Mastro-3, Dempsey-3.5, Donovan-5, Jozy-5; Sasha-5, Adu-5, Davies-5. The best player on the night sub'd at half.

Posted by: gilligab | June 3, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The pity goal.

Shame Donovan gets to improve his stats given the awful match he's had.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 3, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

the best part of that goal was to see that girl in the stripped dress jump up and down.

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 3, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

gilligab: You gave 7 of 11 players a 5 or better? For that effort? That's some serious grade inflation, man.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 4, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The turf didn't make our duct taped together defense mark so sloppy

Posted by: Kev29 | June 3, 2009 11:57 PM |
----------

"Duct taped together defense"? You're being kind, Kev29...

Posted by: Juan-John | June 4, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I'll still take the goal for any potential goal differential needs. You never know

Posted by: Kev29 | June 4, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

kev29-

A lot of the sloppiest of the defensive play seemed to come from the ball, or the players, for that matter, moving in unexpected ways. There was a lot of unexpected quickness in ball movement and not a few times where the ball's spin really made it act funny on bounces.

That doesn't excuse some of the horrendous marking by the full backs, though.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Makes one wonder whether the altitude (not like Mexico, but still noticeable) at 1500 feet above sea level had anything to do with it...

Posted by: Juan-John | June 4, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

30,000 Honduran ticket holders in Chicago are getting fired up

Posted by: Kev29 | June 4, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh how I loath this game.

More when Goff makes the ratings.

Oh yeah, and Lalas is saying Davies was the only man among boys. How was Adu not a notable spark?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 4, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

There's no excuse for getting repeatedly schooled for 85 minutes, turf or not.

The only real answer is to go to bed and forget that this game ever happened.

Posted by: delantero | June 4, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I think the reason Torres came out was because he let the second goal scorer run right by him. Watch the video. Borges comes from deep, runs by Torres, and steps into the cross. Bob probably didn't like the effort. When a holding midfielder scores like that, you can bet that an opposing midfielder or two were caught watching.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

What is going on? Just got back from an epic bike ride and I don't have tv. Too many posts to read but people appear to be ticked off. Could the team have really played that poorly?

Posted by: evanskr521 | June 4, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Now Alexi is trashing Torres in the same breath as Wynne? WTF? Maybe he gave away the ball a couple times, but he looked like the only guy capable of not having it taken away every time they touched it. I hope dude isn't hurt.

DCU better NOT Lose Tomorrow night or I'm gonna riot.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Torres' defense on the first goal could also have been better.

Whatever. I agree with delantero. Best to forget this one ever happened.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Torres effort/non-tackle leading to the first goal was ATROCIOUS!

Yes, he's a nice player - good skill -tried to get forward and make up for his mistake. But Mastro's whiff and Torres lack of effort set the stage for this pummeling. No manager would have accepted that.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 4, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes. A good whalloping of NY by United would bring a smile back to my face, too. Followed, of course, by 3 US points vs. Honduras.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | June 4, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

How much of this disaster can be attributed to the U.S. European-based players being tired or letting down after long seasons? Bradley looked spent in the second half, his fatigue contributing to Costa Rica's third goal. And with the U.S. height advantage, how did they manage to look so bad on all the set pieces?

Posted by: hudson22 | June 4, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one for hyperbole, but that may have been the single worst performance by the US that I've seen in the last 20 years, and that includes the 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic in 06'.

The ONLY redeeming quality is that the US managed to luckbox their way into a goal and keep their goal difference after this match at +3

I said before this match that I was more worried about Honduras than I was Costa Rica because I had a loss chalked up already. However, I never expected that embarrassing performance. The game was over 2 minutes in and it's a sad state of affairs when once again the ultimate weakness of the American soccer player rears it's ugly again.

First touch. Beasley demonstrated it while coughing up the ball and starting the 1st goal scoring sequence. That being said, a terrible attempted tackle from Mastro (who had his worst ever US match) and it's Katie Bar the Door...

The US will be fortunate to escape Honduras North on Saturday with a point. If they lose, we're looking at 3 straight qualifying losses as you know this group of mental midgets won't get a result in Mexico.

I will regret that last little bit in the morning, but for now, it stands...

Posted by: ARickey | June 4, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Bash Torres all you want fellas, but WTF were Altidore, Donovan, and Dempsey? Torres looked better ON the ball than anyone, his defending may have been lacking but isn't that what the four man back line and big dumb timmy are for? Jesus. Where was OUR offense?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan-

He looked good on the ball, but his sub-par efforts in defense doomed him in this match, and possibly in future ones as well. Defense is a team effort, and he's a wide midfielder. Stick your tackles on the wing, and for God's sake don't let men run by you unmarked.

None of those other guys looked good in attack, but their poorish efforts didn't lead directly to CR goals.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Torres looked GREAT. Good distribution!!!!

Posted by: arswift24 | June 4, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

OT:

RIP Koko Taylor.

Count your blessings. There's another soccer game tomorrow, but there will never be another Wang Dang Doodle. (Check the "Post Mortem" blog if you haven't yet.

Sh*t. I'm in tears.


Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 4, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

First of all, rest in peace Koko Taylor. You were among the greatest. I'm going to Chicago for the Honduras game and it's sad to have lost one of the true Blues greats.

Regarding the game, wow, where to begin? Defense bordering on atrociuos, and just a year before South Africa. Lack of touch & pace all around. Zero offense (unless you count giving offense). Michael Bradley out for the Honduras game, ouch! With lack of playing time and/or injury I give Altidore, Adu & Beasley some leeway but everyone else, man, where were you?

I'm dejected. Positive note, at least we got a goal even if it was a PK>

Posted by: KireDCU | June 4, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

yadda, yadda, yadda. No one else was on the ball. What good is the defense if you DON't Score at all yourself. Lecture me all day and night, you can't win if you don't score. Donovan gets some sort of redemption cuz Jozy is a diver? Give me a break. Those Ticos were playing like it was a futsal match. You gotta put the ball in the net man! Torres may have been the wide mid, but what the HELL were the four dudes in the back doing? It's insane. you guys must not like mexican americans or something... seriously.

Where WAS PABLO?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Whether Torres was at fault on the first goal--I thought that it was Beaseley mostly and also Boca-- he was the ONLY player on the field during the first half who could control the ball and not give it away (or play it back as most others did). Taking him off was perhaps the biggest boner yet of BB's career as USMNT manager.
We always hear about the importance of someone "slowing it down" and setting up teammates, and we finally find one.What was BB thinking when the team trailed by 2 goals? Torres is clearly not a defensive player, but we needed OFFENSE and were not getting it from LD or Dempsey.MBradley also played poorly in the first half.
We need to recognize that the ES game could have been lost also and accept that the current setup,i.e. lineup and coaching, is a recipe for failure despite occasional successes. As others noted, losing at Saprissa is not shameful,but playing so poorly is.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | June 4, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

our coach is letting this happen and does nothing???

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 3, 2009 11:40 PM

-----------------------------------------------

Exactly. Manny Acta must go....

Soooo....My take:

Torres was basically an unguided missile in the first half, and his defending hurt us on both goals. Maybe there's a reason Pachuca likes El Gringo on the wing. However, he did have the ball skills to take the possession into the CR end. Giveaways? Every US player did that -- even Bradley.

Not unsurprisingly, the player who seemed most lost was Beasley. I expected he'd play, but I said Bornstein should get the start for a reason. You don't start learning a new position in WC qualifiers. Beasley's giveaway reminded of USA circa '90. On the second goal, he was the only defender in the box, yet he managed to leave all three Costa Ricans wide open. He needs to mark someone in that situation.

Mastroeni showed some heart -- more than I can say about some -- but the US isn't going very far with him in the starting lineup any more. He's not Maldini, so when he ages, he's not at international level.

And, what is about Dempsey this year, in the qualifiers? Dude disappears. Like he takes off most of the game. He's probably the best we've got right now, but Bradley needs to figure our how to get him into the game.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Wynne did get lit up a little, but his runs did have impact in slowing down the Ticos. That said, I agree with the comment above -- right now, I'd think Namoff is a better defender. Let's see what Spector can do, in Chicago. On the left side, if Bradley doesn't have the confidence to play Bornstein, he should shift Boca out wide and start DeMerit in the middle -- but, I think Bornstein might surprise us.

I guess we'll see Clark and Kljestan up the middle, but it's worth considering moving Donovan into the midfield. Or Dempsey -- there's got to be a way to get him involved. Freddy Adu might make the USA a little more dangerous, but - man oh man -- he has to find a team that will play him every week. I see signs already of rustiness -- hoping it's not diminishing skills.

Charlie Davies loves to throw his elbows around, huh? Funny, though, how the Ticos play on until the whistle, then drop and clutch at their faces in agony.

We can give some of these guys a pass for lack of playing time, but why are we starting players who don't even play at their club? Find some guys who are ready for these matches, and tell our "stars" to find club teams that will play them.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Feilhaber gets in at Chicago...

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

What good is the defense if you DON't Score at all yourself. Lecture me all day and night, you can't win if you don't score.

===
You can't win, but you can draw, and a point on the road is worth a little to us. More importantly, it's two points that CR doesn't get at home.

===
Torres may have been the wide mid, but what the HELL were the four dudes in the back doing?
===
On the first goal, everyone, including Torres was in position and missed their tackles, Torres' miss let the attacker get to the backs, and the backs made a complete hash. On the second, Wynne and Onyewu had defended, poorly, on the right because of some really nifty wall passing, and so were already behind the play, however, Bocanegra, Mastro, or Bradley, had them covered, forcing the cross. The problem with that is that it shifts the defense to the right, and if the left mid doesn't close into the middle, midfielders can slip in behind you. This is exactly what happened.

In short: IT'S A GOD DAMN HOLDING MIDFIELDER HITTING A BALL CUT BACK TO THE 18. THAT'S NOT THE BACK FOUR'S JOB. IT'S A CENTER OR OPPOSITE SIDE MIDFIELDER'S.

That, more than anything, was why Torres probably came out.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Quick player ratings:

Howard - 5
Wynne - 3
Gooch - 3
Boca - 3.5
Beasley - 3.5
Bradley - 1
Mastro - 2
Torres - 5
Dempsey - 3.5
Donovan - 5
Altidore - 6

Subs:

Kljestan - 4
Adu - 6
Davies - 6

Coach:

Bob Bradley - 3


Absolutely pathetic performance all-around. Nobody played "well" with the exception of maybe Adu and Davies, though neither had the time to make a proper impact.

Bradley was atrocious. Mastro was too. Kljestan was close, but at least gave half an effort defensively. None of them were anywhere near existent offensively. At least Torres settled the game down after the first 15 minutes (though he was also atrocious to start the game) but Bradley and Mastro literally did nothing, offensively or defensively. It was nearly mind-boggling to see the only offensive threat in the midfield pulled at halftime, while the two pylons kept their spots parked in the center of the field.

Wynne and Gooch got beat on an elementary wall pass for the second goal. And both got beat in the exact same way (chasing the ball instead of running with their man). I don't know where these guys are being coached, but these are simple, simple mental errors. It's embarrassing.

Altidore was the only starting attacker worth a damn in this game, except his major contributions (drawing fouls) were immediately effed up by some of the worst set pieces I've seen from professionals. He was the only one with balls to take a man on, he nearly turned his defender in the box for the only legitimate chance of the game, and showed good strength on the ball. He had zero help, though.

In the end, I think this is a game where you simply just throw it away and try not to think about it too much. Not much will be learned from this victory, other than feeling of the pressure to perform in a hostile environment. The vets played just as bad (if not worse) than the "green" youngsters, so it's impossible to attempt to take anyone to task without taking everyone to task. Regroup, get your heads focused, and come back with an attitude against Honduras.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

"Not much will be learned from this victory"

I don't even know what was going through my head when I used the term "victory". Obviously, that should say "loss" (or "pounding", or "embarrassment", or "annihilation", or....)

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the ride gringos! Keep having nightmares about the Cave!

Posted by: jchidalgo80 | June 4, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

The vets played just as bad (if not worse) than the "green" youngsters, so it's impossible to attempt to take anyone to task without taking everyone to task.

===

This. QFT.

Though I do have to say I thought you were a bit harsh on the young Bradley. Worse than Mastro? He was the only one in the midfield that seemed to care in the second half.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

jchidalgo80-

Get a real stadium.

Or do what we do. Have the Chinese build you one.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

And look out for the lead/melamine/antifreeze/etc...

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Mason08,

Wake me up when the U.S. fields a team.

Posted by: jchidalgo80 | June 4, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Revenge at RFK

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 4, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

howard: 4.5
wynne: 3.5
onyewu: 4.5
bocanegra: 4
beasley: 3
mastroeni: 3.5
bradley: 5.5
torres: 6
dempsey: 5
donovan: 5
altidore: 5.25
kljestan: 4
adu: 6
davies: 6

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 4, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

"He was the only one in the midfield that seemed to care in the second half."

Maybe, but his actions weren't backing him up. Personally, I like Bradley. But on the 3rd goal, that was the worst performance I've seen out of the US defensively...possibly ever. Bradley tracked back, but put zero pressure on the ball. I know I was being hyperbolic when I compared Bradley (and Mastro) to a pylon, but that's what it looked like on the 3rd goal. The attacker turned at will, and freely carried the ball into the box as Bradley paralleled his movements from 5 yards away. I don't know what he was even attempting to do there, but it certainly wasn't deterring anything the attacker wanted to do.

And I know Harkes' explanation was that he was tired from the track back, but if he's that tired from that one run, he needed to be pulled immediately. There are no excuses for that type of defending. You see better defending coming from lower-level high school JV teams. His heart may have been in the right place, but his play was nowhere near it.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Hil-
Off nights happen. Call us when you get out of the first knock-out stage at the WCF? Mkay?

Anyway, you know that China is building a new stadium for you all, right? And that in four years, there's no way FIFA will let you play on that horrid plastic if you have a perfectly good grass field across town? Let's see how you do at home on grass. It's a different game entirely. I'm not saying that you'll lose with any certainty, but there won't be nearly as many bad-touch give-aways where a ball that would stay close on grass squirts away.

I give them credit, for the Ticos have adapted to their environment, and have a very deft touch on that crap, but it's not going to be around next time. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Mason08,

Can you remind me on the U.S. record at Saprissa before we got the turf? I'm short of memory here...

Posted by: jchidalgo80 | June 4, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

As for calling Bradley young, he may be young in age, but I consider him a vet for the US considering his experience in the last year or two.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Howard must really miss his Everton defense.

@psps -- I mostly agree with what you say, but think you're too harsh on a couple of players. I saw Bradley make a couple of turnovers, but he was actually pretty sharp with his passing and he did a good job of controlling balls that came at him. Gooch played a pretty good game, but it's hard to overlook how easily he and Wynne got beaten on that second goal. On the other hand, Torres made a few too many mistakes -- not just on defense. You're grading him generously, just because he dribbled some -- he nearly gave away a ball deep in US end, but recovered fast enough to steal it back.

I agree with you that Altidore showed some sklls. I didn't even know he had the step-over in his repertoire. I look forward to watching him grow. I would look forward more to getting him some decent passes.

Mostly, I agree with you that the US was killed by truly awful free kicks. This used to be our strong suit. Not sure what happened on this night. Maybe it was a product of too many injuries and too much uncertainty among the players about what to do, but Donovan deserves some blame for truly awful service. One of his worst games to date.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

PSPS-
You might want to look at the third goal again. Bradley was the only person moving. Everyone else wearing white was standing still. There were several that were close enough to step in and help, or at least cut off an angle.

I saw it this way:

Was he chasing the play? Yes.

Was his path bad? Initially, no, but after he was beaten, yes.

Was he getting any help from his teammates? No.

Why is this the greater sin? It is the greater sin in my eyes because defense is best applied in layers. If the first man gets beat, someone needs to step up so that the initial defender can recover, and, possibly get a tackle in. In this case, players were available to help defend both at the initial turn (Beasley?) and at the carry into the area (CB, CM?), but no one stepped forward to the ball. I could almost understand Beas not assisting, for fear of giving up the outside and another easy cross, but once a man is running free into the area, someone has to close him down, and it's best if that person is coming from the goal or center side because of the angles.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Can you remind me on the U.S. record at Saprissa before we got the turf? I'm short of memory here...


===
You didn't qualify for the WCF then, so who cares what you did?

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

It's possible I was being a bit emotional in the ratings, but I thought this was the worst performance I've ever seen out of Bradley. I saw no positives whatsoever out of his game today. I was shocked at how poorly he looked, but maybe it was more a product of the overall team's performance.

Regarding Torres, a "5" wasn't meant to be good either. I'm fine with turnovers from the midfielders, so long as they're trying to make a play. I saw none of that out of Bradley or Mastro, but did see some out of Torres. To be sure, I'm not saying he played well at all, but he did settle the game down and was one of the first players to stop playing scared on the field for the US. That's why I put his rating where it was.

Anyway, that's enough for me tonight, but I'm sure I'll be back at it tomorrow morning, as this loss clearly won't leave my mind anytime soon.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

BTW -- I hope DC United was watching. The sub -- Herrera -- looked pretty good, not withstanding the card he got. A good young talent that hasn't been snapped up by Europe. I know right back is one of DCU's stronger positions, but you can always use talented players.

The goalie, Navas, seems like a young talent that bears watching.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

And, maybe Esteban Sirias, who assisted on the second goal.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

"but once a man is running free into the area, someone has to close him down, and it's best if that person is coming from the goal or center side because of the angles.

Posted by: mason08"

Last post of the night.

This may be true, but the initial defense is the most important, and Bradley, being the initial defender, should have never allowed his man to (1) turn inside, and (2) run free into the box. As I said, Bradley was moving, but nothing he was doing was worth any sort of defensive assistance. He was in no-man's land, basically a useless body. The help defense only works when when the help is getting pressure from the initial defender.

I can tell you this, Bocanegra would have been better off if Bradley never tracked at all. At least then, Boca would have known that he HAD to apply all the pressure. Bradley did more damage by tracking then backing completely off than he would have if the man got a clean run into the box.

And that's not to say that Boca is blameless, because he WAS late on the help, but that all starts with Bradley.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Bad use of italics on that last post. I'm on fire today.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

@mason -- you're being childish and obtuse. Costa Rica qualified twice in the days of grass fields.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Psps-
Note that I'm talking about layers of defense. When I speak of "help" defender, I'm not talking about a double, or someone coming from the blindside. I'm talking about who picks up the attacker with the ball when, not if, he beats his man. Sometimes, you can have two initial defenders - one shading one way, and another shading the other way - but most of the time, one will do. Zero initial defenders is not usually advisable.

Anyway, when the initial defender has been beaten the help defender becomes the new initial defender, and the former initial defender's sole job is to recover so that he can help. He's already blown his assignment, and now somebody else has to pick up the pieces. My problem with the read-and-don't-react on that play was that there were two others who could have come from the inside to shut down their run, and they hung back. Getting beaten physically on the wing is one thing. It's not a good thing, but it happens to everyone. Having a mental foul up that causes you to react late in the middle of your own penalty area to a man running in with the ball is inexcusable. The attacker has the ball headed toward the penalty spot. That's a defensive emergency if there ever was on, and nobody is going to look at you askance if you come off your mark to pressure the ball.

I'd be willing to bet that if Bradley knows he's on an island there, he doesn't try to push the issue to make that tackle. Instead, he would have waited until either help arrived or the attacker tried something too cute. Since he didn't know nobody had his back, he went in for the tackle, missed, and then there was nobody to be found backing him up because SK and CB read the play poorly.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Fischy-
I'm just needling him. I know damn well they qualified in 1990 and 2002. I also know that CR will likely qualify this time around, too. Or at least get the play-in.

It still doesn't change the fact that that field is awful. I've seen meadows more fit for a match. Like I said, I hate turf. Hard on the knees. Makes the ball too fast. Too much spin action on bounces. The only benefit to it is that it's easier to keep level and doesn't require water/mowing/feeding, but there were a lot of strange hops in that match... I know the US players often have cementine first-touches, but that was... eh...

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Move Bocanegra to left back. Start Gooch and DeMerit at CB on Saturday.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | June 4, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Well -- that comment will certainly get censored, and might get you banned...

Yep -- Costa Rica will qualify. Right now, I'm just not sure the USA will... The Catrachos have talent. They could take a depleted USA squad on Saturday. If we lose that game, the USA may find it's competing with El Salvador for the play-in spot.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Fischy-
I've no problem with it getting nuked, so long as the initial comment gets taken out as well.

I'll just point out that in many places, such as where I grew up (Central California), either of those words tossed carelessly down a hallway at a middle/high school or bar could be enough to clear that room.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Re: prospects ahead
I'm afraid that I just don't understand the worry about Honduras. I understand the history, and the stadium situation, but they drew 1-1 at T&T. Yes, it was a 90th minute goal for T&T, but that's hardly a convincing result.

Then again, they did hang a 3-1 win on Mexico. Some dodgy officiating in that one if I remember correctly. Missed offside calls favoring Honduras and Mexico's "PK"...

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Reignking:

As you saw by Donovan's performance last night he was the least bit gassed at the end. I believe that Dempsey saw most of the play on the right wing and boy did he suck. However you are right there is no way Mastreoni is a right midfielder and we lost our shape because of that BS 4-3-3 formation at least four to five times in the first 25 minutes.

Posted by: no_recess | June 4, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

@mason08: I just don't understand your not worrying about Honduras.

When they show up to play, when they are focused and in a flow, they take it to CONCACAF competition. When they have an off day, they look increibly ordinary.

You just don't know which Honduran side is going to show up.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 4, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow mason08! I guess I was right about you having a problem with Mexican Americans you racist moron.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Fischy,

Pachuca does not play Torres on the wing. He's a holding / linking mid usually alongside Jaime Correa who plays more of the destroyer role. Essentially they're both d-mids with slightly different roles / strengths / skill sets.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 4, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Reignking:

As you saw by Donovan's performance last night he was the least bit gassed at the end. I believe that Dempsey saw most of the play on the right wing and boy did he suck. However you are right there is no way Mastreoni is a right midfielder and we lost our shape because of that BS 4-3-3 formation at least four to five times in the first 25 minutes.

Posted by: no_recess

LD shouldn't be gassed -- he was MIA :) I never doubted his shape -- I was concerned with his having to do too much. Sadly, I wish he had done more.

As for that ESPN lineup -- I didn't believe it, and there's no way that's what it was. I still never got a clear idea of what they were running, though. For example, I kept seeing Torres (thankfully) in the center of the field, then he would end up on the left side playing defense.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company