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Monday Kickaround

*"Not Just a Liga, It's SUPERLiga" Update.....

After four matches, MLS's record against Mexican counterparts stands at 2-1-1. (USA! USA! USA!) Defending champion New England, still without star forward Taylor Twellman, scored three goals in 22 minutes of the second half to subdue Santos Laguna, 4-2, at rainy Foxborough. Shalrie Joseph (knee) is also sidelined and Steve Ralston left late in the first half with a hamstring injury. On a brutally hot day in St. Louis, the Kansas City Wizards played to a 0-0 draw with Atlas.

Tomorrow's doubleheader at Toyota Park: Chicago vs. Chivas USA (8 p.m. ET, Telefutura) and San Luis vs. Tigres (10 p.m. Galavision).

*With Houston leading the league in points average, Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear has earned the right to guide the MLS select squad against English Premier League club Everton in the All-Star Game July 29 at Rio Tinto Stadium outside Salt Lake City. Houston is unbeaten in 11 straight matches.

*WPS snapped out of its goal-scoring rut with a pair of 2-0 results yesterday -- Los Angeles over Gold Pride and Boston over Chicago -- but attendance lagged over the weekend: 2,731 in St. Louis, 3,889 in Chicago and 4,593 in Los Angeles. While Marta and the Sol are running away with first place and an automatic berth in the championship game, competition for the other three playoff spots is tight: The second-place Washington Freedom (16 points) has a narrow advantage over Boston (15), followed by St. Louis (14), Sky Blue and Gold Pride (12) and Chicago (11). Washington visits Boston on Wednesday.

Continue reading this thread for USL updates and Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner's thoughts on USA forward Charlie Davies.....

*It was a dreadful weekend for USL2's Real Maryland (5-6-0), which followed a 4-0 loss at first-place Harrisburg with a 3-0 home defeat to Wilmington in front of just 251 spectators. Crystal Palace Baltimore (5-5-3) is in second place following a 2-1 victory at Bermuda. John DiRaimondo, on loan from D.C. United, converted a first-half penalty kick in Richmond's 2-2 tie with Charlotte. DiRaimondo played 83 minutes before being replaced by DCU teammate Anthony Peters.

*Gardner's comments on Davies: "A forward who looks like, moves like and plays like a genuine, modern forward. Strong, but not big, quick as lightning, but when it matters, not sheer speed wasted by pointless running, and most encouraging of all, a player who shows promise of being the up-front quick-witted, quick-moving partner that Landon Donovan has been lacking for years."

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  MLS , Mexico , SuperLiga , USL , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Confederations Cup
Next: MLS Misadventures

Comments

You mean Paul Gardner is still alive and pontificating on the U.S. game?

He has been using the "pointless running" meme for too many decades.

Posted by: alpha6 | June 22, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

My USA lineup vs. Spain:

--------------Howard--------------
Spector--Onyewu--DeMerit--Bornstein
--------------Bradley-------------
-------Adu-------------Torres-----
--------------Donovan-------------
-------Altidore-------Davies------

Defense? What defense? Let's attack in waves and have some fun! Who cares if Spain scores 10 against us? Maybe we can put a couple past them (nobody else has scored against Spain in this tournament).

:-)

Posted by: SSMD1 | June 22, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"We played with 11 guys for 90 minutes," Michael Bradley said. "All the f------ experts in America, everybody who thinks they know about soccer, they can all look at the score tonight and let's see what they have to say now. Nobody has any respect for what we do, for what goes on on the inside, so let them all talk now."

>>>>
Yeah, that you needed a miracle to advance, Michael. Let's not start tooting your team's great display and getting all tough. You were lucky to advance and your Dad's still an idiot. He's just a fortunate idiot.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Freedom have gotten better results without Wambach than with her.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 22, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting quote by Bradley. He needs to show more cussedness on the field and less in the interview room.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

delantero, he is making a point that the US didn't have a chance to prove itself because of the red cards in the previous games.

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

He's just mad that everyone is calling for his dad's job (rightly so)....notice the exact same verbiage there "what goes on on the inside."

You can stick up for your dad all you want, he still shouldn't be coaching the USMNT.

Yes, we made it through miraculously. It took 5 Egyptian starters getting hurt and an Italy side totally crap the bed against Brazil...yay Yanks!

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | June 22, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Brazil's 3-0 result against Italy wouldn't have helped the US if the US hadn't helped themselves with their own 3-0 handling of Egypt. Sunday's match was a great effort/result for the US. And yes they were facing a banged up Egypt.

But even the results in their first two games (against very solid/outstanding opponents) didn't do enough to knock the US out. We'll see how the US preforms against Spain. Perhaps they'll get a result. But I certainly wouldn't expect one.

I wonder what non-idiot coach would be able to guide the US into a position where it would be favored over the likes of Brazil, Italy or Spain.

Posted by: tab5g1 | June 22, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@Interstate Connector: You were being too kind. "Aplogists", nothing. "Whiners" or "Chokers" would have been a better selection.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 22, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh no.

What major changes did he make after a difficult 3-1 loss to Italy where they controlled the match for the first 55 minutes, and a 3-0 drubbing against Brazil where they controlled the match for zero seconds. "There was nothing different," said Landon Donovan.

"My ways of doing things are set," Bradley said.

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

At the apologists...

Good job they didn't have to play at Costa Rica, turn around and play at Chicago, before flying however many hours to South Africa, to play three games. Wankers.

Posted by: Tweaked | June 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"yeah, we DEFINITELY woulda DESTROYED Moses, but our horses were tired, the wheels fell off our chariots, etc etc . . . "

Posted by: OWNTF | June 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what kind of odds you could have gotten on USA advancing yesterday morning before the games?

Posted by: the_slammer | June 22, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

All ya'll lay of my "pretend" nephew Mikey and my new best friend Bob Bradley!!!
Uncle Yank Yank got a lot of love for you (again).

The youngin' is just closing ranks, trying to do an "us vs them" thing. Whatever it takes to get the boys pumped up Mikey. Do your thing, Playah. Hope that you enjoyed your moment and got that out ya system.

Today is Monday. Time to get back to business, to get prepared. Uncle Yank Yank has just one big request:

Please, please, please--when the semis get here, be prepared. DO NOT go out like a bunch of BUSTERS when you play the Spaniards or I will turn on you like my wife turns on me when I forget to put out the trashcan on pick-up days...

Posted by: yankiboy | June 22, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

slammer- 3:0

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah. Gardner needs to geta grip. let's not to overboard on CD, too soon. Yeah, I would like to see more of him. Yeah, I hope that he is one of the answers that we need to some tough questions. But haven't we been through this enough times already that garner should be slowin' his roll a little bit?!?!

Posted by: yankiboy | June 22, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"yeah, we DEFINITELY woulda DESTROYED Moses, but our horses were tired, the wheels fell off our chariots, etc etc . . . "

Posted by: OWNTF
===================

:-)
... and we didn't bring our swimsuits.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

You would have had to be blind or stupid, or both, to not want to criticize the U.S. performance in the first two games. Even with the bad breaks (cards, phantom fouls), the level of effort was embarrassing. Bradley Jr. needs to recognize that.

However, you would also have to blind or stupid, or both, to not recognize (or to excuse away) the grit and determination (and skill) that the U.S. showed to advance against all odds. The anyone but Bradley Sr. crowd would do well to look at the w/l ratio since he's been at the helm and commence shutting it for a while.

Posted by: Danno1313 | June 22, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"Good job they didn't have to play at Costa Rica, turn around and play at Chicago, before flying however many hours to South Africa, to play three games."

...and add "play three games with 10 men for the majority of 2 of the 3 games..."

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Real Maryland is definitely better than the results that they got this weekend. I know that Father's Day was going on and whatnot but it seems to me they brought more than 251 people to Baltimore the last time they came over.

Brutal weekend for the Monarchs.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 22, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I predicted this before the match when I saw the Pharaohs mumbling their National Anthem while Charlie Davies and Brad Guzan were giving it the Ethel Merman treatment....


:)

Posted by: JkR- | June 22, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"All of the critics in America who said we were no good after losing to Italy and Brazil, let's see what they say now," Michael Bradley said.

____

That you were the only team to loose to a weak-ass Italian side. That you lack discipline resulting in being a man down for two matches. That Clint Dempsey seems to have the right not to play defense.

Good win, agaisnt a pretty un-inspired opponent. You need to get a grip.

Posted by: hacksaw | June 22, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

the usa victory yesterday was IN SPITE of bob bradley's coaching, not because of it. all credit goes to the us players, who showed that they do have more class than some would give them credit for.

bob bradley made some decent coaching decisions (that i think anyone knowledgeable about us soccer could make): 4-4-2, charlie davies, no beasley.

and he made some *really bad* coaching decisions: fielhaber for altidore sub (we needed at least one goal and he takes off a productive striker. i don't have a problem bringing in fielhaber, but why not for rico?), conor casey for charlie davies sub (its CONOR CASEY, who has shown consistently poor work rate and we need to protect a lead so we needed someone more defensive), only used 2 subs (we should have been that last one as a tactical time-wasting sub in those 3 minutes of extra-time. move someone to the far side of field and tell em to walk it in clapping! if we had given up a goal we were dead).

i remain utterly convinced that bob bradley needs to be fired asap so that we can get some coaching that matches our players skill and heart and gutsiness!...

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

and he made some *really bad* coaching decisions: fielhaber for altidore sub (we needed at least one goal and he takes off a productive striker.

Posted by: dfunkt

When was Jozy productive? April?

Honestly, the Feilhaber sub stunned me, as well...

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"only used 2 subs (we should have been that last one as a tactical time-wasting sub in those 3 minutes of extra-time. move someone to the far side of field and tell em to walk it in clapping! if we had given up a goal we were dead)."

i agree with this completely. why not bring in marvell wynne for a forward and let him run around like a track star on PCP?

Posted by: bobbyoshea | June 22, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Man, you read these comments and you'd think we lost, rather than squeaking though in what can only be described as miraculous fashion.

Where's the joy? Grab some good coffee, some of you are apparently only drinking the bitter stuff...

:)

(yeah, yea, yea, style of play, effort, mindless subs, etc...)

Posted by: JkR- | June 22, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked Gardner actually had something positive to say about a US player that wasn't Latino. His man-love for latino players is legendary.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | June 22, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"When was Jozy productive? April?" Posted by: Reignking

altidore made an excellent turn in the box to help setup charlie davis' goal i believe. he also had a couple good shots i think. i don't remember too much about the details of his performance, but he left me with the impression of having done well. ultimately though, he is a technically gifted forward, strong, and fast, so he is gonna have a better chance to score than any midfielder.

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

""he is making a point that the US didn't have a chance to prove itself because of the red cards in the previous games""

>>
Oh, I thought the U.S. proved itself rather well through the rather mediocre offensive display (with Bradley/Altidore miss against Italy), poor coaching/ personnel (Beas/Kljestan)/tactical (Clint to C-Mid) decisions and poor defensive midfield play . . . that resulted in rash challenges and red cards . . .

My mistake, we soccer fans in the U.S. just don't know any better

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@bobbyoshea: i think that would have been a great idea! *anything* is a better idea than leaving a sub on the bench with 3 minutes of extra time looming and only needing to give up a SINGLE GOAL to put you out of an international tournament! brazil beat egypt in the first game *in extra time*, and i don't want to even give the pharaohs a chance to even the karmic score.

what happens if we are in the same position in last WC group game next year? is bob gonna leave another sub on the bench cause "his way of doing things is set?" bob bradley is _terrible_ at managing games, and that is an understatement.

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. So we lost to Italy and Brazil, two of the best teams in the world. The team looked strong against Italy, even in losing, and Brazil is just that much better than the we are. I want to be contenders as much as the next fan, but the reality is that we have years to go before that happens. We need more guys getting more minutes in bigger leagues.

I'd like a coach with more vision and better tactics, but Bradley's doing enough that he won't get dropped until after the Cup next year.

Looking forward to Wednesday, and the Gold Cup matches, and hoping to see some of the bench make the field.

Posted by: eadc | June 22, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Jkr: you know full well that we could beat brazil in the 2010 finals on pks and the first post here would be to complain the Bradley's lineup made it impossible to score from the run of play. Yeah, this was a shock, but then, who thought we were going to advance a week ago? We're playing with house money now, time to let it all hang out.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | June 22, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@JkR-: my joy at this "miraculous" turn-of-events is tempered by the realization that bob bradley continues to coach our team, and thus their talents and efforts are quite likely to be squandered by poor planning and in-game decision-making. certainly, the players play the game (and i have always thought we have good ones), but coaches DO make a difference, and so it is of the utmost importance that the difference the coaches make is for the better, not worse.

bob bradley needs to go...

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I-270Exit1

Bradley show plenty of "cussedness" on the field. So much so that he received a yellow card for a questionable challenge. He would have probably could have avoided that card had he not been ranting to the ref after every questionable call.

Posted by: no_recess | June 22, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Was Egypt short a few key players, like Zidan? I was out of town and only caught the last 20 (watching the recording later).

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@joshuaostevens: that is just absurd. i am not a gambler (gambling is a math ignorance tax), but i see what you are getting at, and i do not agree. we were *extremely* (possibly unprecedentedly) lucky to get through the group, but that does not mean we should continue to push our luck. using your logic, someone who is playing russian roulette and hears the click of an empty chamber should just keep on squeezing the trigger, and let it "all hang out", right???

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The anti-Bradley faction should be thrilled to death with the results, as it provides them the best of both worlds - a win, for which they can deny any credit or long-term positive consequences to the team and the coach, AND they get one more game against world-class competion, after which they can b*tch their hearts out, if we loose.

Posted by: michanikos1 | June 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I see 15 Locks for next year (if healthy):

Howard/Guzan

Cherundolo/Spector, Gooch/Bocanegra/DeMerit,
Hejduk/Bornstein

Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley

Altidore, Ching, Davies

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Altidore also drew pks against Italy and CR (should have drawn another against Egypt), and has drawn numerous set pieces in very dangerous areas (if only BBradley could stop getting cute with ideas and simply put the ball in the box for Gooch to attack). From the run of play, Altidore hasn't been brilliant, but he's definitely been more than productive.

Posted by: psps23 | June 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It's a joke, people. Usually productive for a forward means goals.

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@michanikos1: well, as a member of said "faction", i can say that i am of two minds about our victory yesterday: one mind is indeed thrilled, because my ultimate goal is for usa soccer to achieve sublime glory on the world stage; but the other mind, the more realistic one, is saddened because it just serves to obscure the underlying coaching problems beneath a superficial layer of success.

if it weren't so sad, it would be funny, that there are still fans who satisfy themselves with qualifying for the WC out of CONCACAF! i look forward to the days when we can qualify using our youth team, and i know that it will never arrive with coaches like bob bradley at the helm...

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

dfunkt-
Playing on in an international tournament that you should have crashed out of due to questionable tactics or personel decisions is hardly the same repeatedly pulling the trigger in a game of RR. The penalty is a bit more severe, and certain, in the latter case. Get some perspective.

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What's most disturbing is that people are satisfied with our performance b/c we advanced . .

If Italy doesn't score the own goal, we don't advance.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

President Obama accepts invitation to World Cup

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=656525&sec=worldcup2010&cc=5901

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

delantero: I'm more scared by the quote from BB that he isn't going to change.

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@mason08: i am not saying that continuing in the tourney is like repeatedly pulling the trigger in russian roulette. i AM saying that continuing to play an insipid 4-5-1, and using poor line-ups, and worse substitutions, and not practicing good in-game management WILL kill usa soccer's chances on the international stage.

oh, and i do have perspective. my perspective is that of a die-hard usa supporter who watches a ton of world soccer and sees what _real_ coaching does.

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

""I'm more scared by the quote from BB""

Yup. At least he benched Beasley. Maybe he can convice D-mids not to slide tackle wildly all over the field. Two reds and a yellow (for his son) should be enough, but BB doesn't like change.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

dfunkt: don't be surprised to see it against Spain. BB (understandably) likes to hide and bunker against the world's best teams.

But the best defense is a good offense...

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Delantero, my favorite left-wing friend, you're spot on. All of the slide tackling in the midfield is ridiculous. Leaving your feet is a sign of desperation, not good defending.

"Get stuck in" is the term of choice for this, I believe. Stupid. Stay on your feet, contain and delay, then double up and strip the ball. That, of course, may require some defensive help from Altidore, Dempsey and Donovan.

Oops. Perhaps I've just stumbled on why the midfielders slide tackle after all...

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 22, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

To all the people who are moaning about how we had to play 90 minutes a man down and we would have done better if we would have had all eleven players....that's like saying we would have won if we had scored more, or if the other team hadn't scored. I tend to think thats a little bit of bad coaching and bad selection in addition to bad play. If you don't fully impress upon the players the need to not play recklessly then don't be surprised when they get reckless cards (yellow or red). When you select players with a history of rash challenges, don't be surprised when they commit the fouls. Its the little things sometimes, like giving up the cheap goal against Italy which made us need to win 3-0 to advance.

I still don't think our play is necessarily improving, BUT hopefully this team learned somethings from the red cards and the goal differential in this tournament that will help them in the WC. I have some player selection issues but its too late in qualifying to totally shuffle the deck, so to that extent I understand Bradley's logic of not changing anything. He's gonna coach his way and if it works it works and if it doesn't at least he did it the way he wanted to.

Again, not that i like the guy and his style or decisions, but he's right, at some point you gotta make a decision and run with it. I just hope we finally decide to go with a foreign coach after this WC.

Posted by: Brian76 | June 22, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking: i am fully expecting to see it, BECAUSE BOB BRADLEY WILL NEVER LEARN. :`-(

yes, i agree totally with you on the point about a good offense being your best defense. when you are attacking you 1) have a chance to score; 2) prevent your opponent from having a chance to score.

speaking quite honestly, i actually do hope bob bradley gets a clue and learns his lessons. i have nothing against the guy (other than messing up our team, but that's fixable) and i would be perfectly happy with him as our coach, providing he performs at an acceptable level. that being said, i see nothing in his performance so far to suggest that he will change anything. in fact, his statement yesterday makes it seem even less-likely...

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

If Italy doesn't score the own goal, we don't advance.

===

If if if maybe if if but if if if.

If Italy doesn't score the own goal...

If Rico doesn't get carded...

If we are granted a penalty for the goal line handling of the ball. (Arm in unnatural position? Check. Contact? Check. Arm to ball? More like whole body to ball. Distance? As I explain about every other weekend, you have time to at least attempt to put your arms behind you when the ball is kicked from more than about eight yards.)

If is nothing. What happened happened and them's the breaks. I'm not sure that BB is the right man for the job, but this whining after a good result (ours) and a lucky result (Bra-ITA) is nuts. By the rules of the competition, the USMNT earned the right to play two more matchs against stiff opposition. It doesn't paint the "Fire Bob Bradley" crowd in a reasonable light to complain about that fact. At least wait until we get trounced by Spain to fire up the FBB machine again.

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We need Ditka.

Posted by: EssEff | June 22, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Dfukt-

Oh yeah... If we bunker 4-5-1, we deserve what we get, but that's not playing with house money, nor is it letting it "all hang out", as the original poster stated. Playing with house money and letting it all hang out is coming out in a 4-4-2 and telling the team to take it to the Spaniards like the Umayyads did in the Eighth century.


Your lack of perspective is in comparing soccer to suicide. Not close. Not hardly.

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Umayyads.

Great name for a rock band.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 22, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

We need Ditka.

Posted by: EssEff | June 22, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Nah. As I've said before, Herm "You Play To Win The Game" Edwards. He could hire Preki and Nowak for the technical side of things.

Hmm...Preki as a future national team coach? Hmmm...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 22, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Dfunkt-
What was your opinion on the lineup that was put out on the fieldt against CR?

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it's amazing to me how people are starting to make this win feel like a loss or worse. Were we lucky? Heck yeah, so are many other teams that win things. There is always an element of luck in games - a call here an event there. Even the best in the game know this and say this all the time. It's a cup tourney, luck always plays into it.

Italy wanted that game yesterday. Do you really think that they wanted out of the tournament? Or were game for a 3-0 dress-down? Brazil beat them down and we were the better for it. So there's your luck, I'm not sure I would go placing (or stressing) superlatives in front of the word "luck" - as Italy played and played hard and lost.

Even with that result, the US had to do its part and they did. Were we lucky to beat Egypt the way we did? Who knows? Don't go bandying names of injured players, because we are missing some starters too. We played the same amount of games as they did, the same opponents and we were the better fit team. Is that luck?

I was as angry at Bob Bradley as most in here, but to not give the guy any credit for the line-up change and for the subs just does not feel right or fair. Dempsey was sucking something ugly out there and BB pushed him up front - and guess what happened? Oh I forgot that was luck. BB put Benny out wide where Dempsey set up a toll free booth for all traffic headed towards the US goal, and Benny brought in some husstle and did the work. But I guess that was luck too.

As fas as the 3rd sub? He brings in someone, upsets the chemistry and man-marking and Egypt scores a goal -- I can only wonder what the detractors would have said at that point. So he left a sub on the bench, so what? There's no rule that says he has to use them all. Plus looking at what was on that bench at that stage of the game I can't say I fully blame the guy.

Admit it, people are just angry because BB was given a get out of jail free card, a life line. I am not a big fan of his tactics but he is doing the job. And for those who want his head, who would you have coach the team? And the real question is what magic potion will he bring to make the team play measurably better than they did yesterday? Our team is good, but we are only so good. We'll get there, we're just not there yet.

We had some luck but we did our part too. It resulted in a strong win. So enjoy it for what it is for a while and get back to it on Wednesday.

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 22, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

For me, especially with the a national team that really doesn't train/live/work together for months on end, the most important thing a coach can do is pick the guys out on the field. It is up to the players do execute.

To that end, the only thing that I could blame BB for is picking the wrong players -- playing Beasley. Stuff happens -- stupid cards, dumb fouls -- that I can't blame him for.

As I've been saying, I just don't think we have the players yet to become a contender. That's just the way it is. We can get lucky every so often, and maybe beat a Spain.

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Umayyads.
Great name for a rock band.
Posted by: joedoc1
==============

They were a rock band, but they broke up because of unexpected events.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

everyone who keeps talking about injuries to the Egyptian team and how "tired" they were, think about the facts that:

1. we had played the same 2 teams they had and could also be reasonably thought of as "tired" - especially since we played with 10 men for the equivalent of a full game.

2. we also have players missing due to injury. all teams do - it's a fact of life in sports and it's a ridiculous smear job to try to denigrate the US victory yesterday by claiming that Egypt was too hurt to play well.

it's not all sunshine and lollipops where the US is concerned - 1 good game doesn't wipe away 5 or 6 bad to mediocre games. but it does offer a ray of light that maybe things are as bad as we fear. even if we get crushed by Spain, there were positives that came out of this tournament (even from the Brazil game), and that Italy game doesn't seem nearly as bad anymore - we were the better team for about 55 minutes in that one.

the game at Azteca will be telling. who plays in the back? who plays in the D-Mid spot? where is Dempsey? how do we look coming out of the gate? do we use all of our subs and do we use them to advantage? do Beasley and Kljestan even make the 18?

BB may have to go down with the ship, but i don't think he's intentioanlly steering it into an iceberg.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 22, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@dfunkt

The problem I have with your school of thought (if I'm reading you correctly) is that there is apparently no result that would change your opinion of the coach. If the team loses, the coach sucks, if the team wins, the coach sucks, fire the coach, no matter what. Am I oversimplifying your position, and if not, does it really seem like a reasonable position to take?

Posted by: michanikos1 | June 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

dimesmakedollars-

The reason they were exhausted, tired, and injured, was the fact that, for every minute and every second, they Fought Italy and Brazil and tried to outwork, and out SCORE Italy and Brazil.

This was the first game all tournament that we did anything but loft the ball in for a double marked Altidore or gave it to Donovan or Dempsey to take on everybody.

We need to score against Spain. And we need Torres. There is no equivocation for me.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 22, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

UD-
Where, and in what formation do you play Torres. The guy just isn't a strong defender, and we need midfielders that defend.

(You too, Dempsey!)

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

We need to score against Spain. And we need Torres. There is no equivocation for me.
Posted by: UnitedDemon
================

Torres has 65 caps for Spain. No chance of getting him.

Oh... never mind.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

joedoc:

I always thought "getting stuck in" just meant tackling with strength, whether it be sliding or standing. It's tackling plus conviction. I could be wrong, though, since I'm not exactly the biggest Anglophile in these parts.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 22, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@mason08: my problems with bob's choices against costa rico are inclusion of beasley and mastroeni, and playing in a 4-5-1 (that's what we deployed as, if my memory serves right). i actually think wynne could be a good right back for us, so i have no issues there. i would like to see torres in a more central role where he can hold the ball and spray passes around. i like clint and landon on the wings where they can get the ball with more space and run at defenders. the single target striker is a lost cause for us, i really liked the altidore-davies combo yesterday as they each bring different strengths.

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@michanikos1: its not just the result, its how the result is obtained. i would be *completely* satisfied with us winning (doesn't even need to be a blow-out, but that is always appreciated!) by fielding the strongest team, in a tactically-sound formation, with a well-thought-out game plan, and supported with wise substitutions made in a shrewd fashion. generally, bob bradley just gets acceptable (barely) results against CONCACAF opposition. italy was ripe for the taking, and brazil's left-side was available to be exploited... that's why i am not satisfied with this coach.

Posted by: dfunkt | June 22, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

My boss was coming, so Now I'll answer your question.

Torres would be more effective than Clark in the center of the pitch. Bradley does the dirty work, Torres controls and keeps the passing game alive against a team who we CANNOT allow to win the midfield against.

As for suspect defending... When? Against Costa Rica, most of us thought he was our best player. Is Bob taking him off your chief evidence? In that case, Bob just told you to invest in AIG.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 22, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, the first two times Bob subbed him in, our defense and attacking thrust improved Immediately. It was like Beasley when he didn't play in this tournament.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 22, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Dfunkt-

While the line between a 451 and a 433 can get pretty blurry, it was really more latter. Dempsey and Donovan were in quite advanced positions on the flanks with relatively few defensive responsibilities. I liked the philosophy (attack), but I wasn't so sure about the personel. If you're going to have that optimistic of a lineup, you need to do better than a converted midfielder at LB and a somewhat weak defensive player at LM/LCM.

UD-
Torres may have been our best attacking player against CR, but he was nearly our worst defensive player as well. He tackled very poorly on the first goal, and let the scorer of the second (a CDM if I recall) run right by him at about 25 yards from goal without marking him. That's why he came out at halftime. Granted, that was in a 433 system, so he had no cover except for the back line, and maybe he's not used to that kind of defensive responsibilty. However, unless we can provide him with some cover to attack and, like Dempsey, be a little bit "lazy" (or loose if you prefer) in defense, he's not going to see much time because of that defeciency in his game.

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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