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Thursday Morning Kickaround

- It was not the best of nights for the U.S. national team in San Jose, with the Americans getting drubbed by the Ticos. Goff linked to his match report earlier, but here it is again.

Needless to say, I was getting happy phone calls from my father and 'what happened?' phone calls from Mom.

- Can't get enough of Goff's run-in with Speidi the other night in Costa Rica, here's Lisa de Moraes TV column with Steve's insights on "The Hills" couple.

- For my story on D.C. United goalkeeper Josh Wicks, click here. I'll be out at RFK tonight for the game with New York, and I'll post a blog on that later.

- It's Real Madrid or nowhere for Kaka. Might we see him at FedEx?

- Did want to post one last item about an event going on tonight in the D.C. area that is well worth attending.

Author Stephen Rea's new book, Finn McCool's Football Club: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead, has been receiving great reviews from around the world, and Rea will be making an appearance tonight in the city at The Pug on H Street.

Yes, I know many of you will be at the game tonight. But it's the perfect place to go after. Details from the press release after the jump and many more details on his website, www.stephen-rea.com.

On Thursday, June 4, Rea will appear at The Pug, 1234 H Street NE for a book talk and autographing from 6-7 pm and 10 pm - till. This event is free and open to the public.

Rea launched the unique memoir at a party at Finn McCool's Irish Pub in New Orleans, the establishment that inspired the book. He also recently appeared at a bar in Baton Rouge.

In his captivating debut, Belfast native Stephen Rea crafts a story of sportsmanship and strength built around a pub soccer team in the heart of New Orleans. Set against the dark backdrop of Hurricane Katrina, this luminous and infinitely inviting story traces the affecting experiences of Rea and his hilarious and dynamic friends and teammates.

A celebration of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and survival, Finn McCool's Football Club stands out as a haunting and powerful memoir filled with laughter, loss, astonishment, and of course, soccer.

Since its release, the book has been garnering praise from around the world.

Four Four Two magazine praised the book as, "A powerful and often haunting account, which shows how, in the wake of disaster, the friendships formed by football were all that some survivors had left."

Derek Rae, senior UEFA Champions League commentator, ESPN, heralded the book an "uplifting account of friendship, football and overcoming the odds in the face of tragedy . . . an impressive winner."

Patrick Thurston of 90 Minutes soccer magazine said, "As the best sports writing can be, Finn McCools's is so much more than a book about just a game . . . Rea has written a work of literature well worth reading."

Stephen Rea is a freelance writer who has contributed to national and international newspapers, magazines, and Web sites for more than twenty years. He has worked for the Sun in the United Kingdom, as well as regional newspapers in the news, features, sports, and entertainment departments. He lives with his wife and daughter in New Orleans.

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 4, 2009; 9:11 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Misc. , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Adios, Costa Rica
Next: DCU Matchnight #13 - DCU vs. Red Bulls

Comments

Hey. If I wanted to read book reviews, I'd read the Book World insert in Sunday's paper. Ummm... never mind. :-)

Thanks for the tip on the FMCFC. Isn't the title about 19 words too long by today's publishing standards?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

A real test for team USA is to play in places like CR but you saw the result last night. a few friendlies win here and there doesn't cut the crap. You go with winning mentality but no they went with getting a point and got humilated. As everyone points out to sub Torres who played better than anyone is beyond me to understand. Dempsey is always invisible when he playes for the US. Fulham has better squad than US so they make him better and get more opportunistic goals I think. Donovan, crap, Bees crap, Masstro crap. The only player who has soccer brain is Adu and Torres but Boose Bradley doesn't see it.
First goal partially to blame Howard too because he was way out of his line. Had he nof off of his line he could've tip away but no one seems to put the partial blame on him and give him a free pass.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | June 4, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Did Namoff just leapfrog Wynne on the depth chart? Or is Namoff not even on the depth chart? And if not, why not?

Posted by: delantero | June 4, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

That looked like the real US Team - aweful - they are not a top 25 team - watch in a couple weeks when they play Italy, Brazil etc - going to be UGLY!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 4, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

>You go with winning mentality but no they went with getting a point and got humilated.

Not in a million years. That was not a park-the-bus lineup.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"First goal partially to blame Howard . ."

#1 No way. Beasley blew it. "A real howler," said John Harkes. He should have one timed it out under pressure, but he coughs it up in our defensive 1/3rd. Then Mastroeni flubs it, before a wonder strike.

#2 Gooch can't get caught outside the 18. He's too slow. He and Wynne were beat easily and looked like a lost couple wandering the pitch all night. Still, someone has to mark the wide open run into the 18.

#3 Bradley is made to look SILLY! He must have been exhausted, because he usually plays good d, but to be used and tossed aside like that is pretty poor.

Posted by: delantero | June 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

And blaming Howard on the 1st goal? Seriously?

He saw a shot coming and stepped up to cut off the angle. He was beaten by a fantastic, intelligent shot.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey Paul, I'm wondering why a blatant racial slur has still not been removed from the Matchnight thread? I've had much tamer comments deleted... What's up with that?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

From the perspective of the senior Mr. Tenorio, a happy night indeed. Ticos put on a clinic in every facet of the game. The US team should stop whining so much about the concrete turf and do something about their concrete touch. Ticos played fluid dynamic attacking soccer; it was fun to watch if you could get past the humiliation of our national side.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't buy that Torres was as good as anyone else. No worse, perhaps, than a few others, but I'm surprised at some of the praise going his way. By the time he had a few good forward touches, the match was decided.

Posted by: JkR- | June 4, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand on all the focus on Torres either. Why isn't anyone criticizing Altidore, Donovan, or Dempsey? You win if you don't score.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree Torres was the only guy out there capable of holding onto the ball and getting to somebody upfield. How many backwards passes did Boc and Masstro have last night?
I get why the lineup (injuries, playing surface), but why not Wynne, DeMerit, Onyewu, Boc at the backline where you have people in their comfortable positions and help for Wynne? Beasely can sit on our bench every bit as good as he can for Celtic.
Donovan disappeared like he always does. Will he ever put a shot on goal from a moving ball?
Playing a 4-3-3 should have helped with pressure on thier transition game but Donovan, Altidore and Dempsey did nothing to slow them down. The whole team played 2 steps slower than CR. Just a terrible performance from the coaches down to the players.

Posted by: jsm3 | June 4, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Donovan sux; he should most certainly not be taking free kicks. He can't get the ball to the back post. Not to mention his apparent inability in a real match to find the ball.

The first goal was mostly beazley, but what about Bocanegra staring at him for 30 seconds before passing a weak ball to him and putting him under immediate pressure? It's as if no one on the team realizes that it's ok to play the ball long for the first few minutes to take the pressure off.

Dempsey gave the ball away every time he touched it in the first half. He needs to play like he plays in England and stop trying to beat three guys every time he gets the stupid ball.

Torres is good on the ball, but he seems like he's unable or afraid to actually go into a tackle on defense.

Ultimately, the US played like a bunch of spoiled babies who didnt want to get stuck in. What a joke of a performance.

Can we PLEASE bench Donovan?

Ugh.

Posted by: hacksaw | June 4, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Rangers; Beaz is on Rangers' bench... and you're right; his first touch is worse than mine. He needs to be watching from the sideline.

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

@jkr -- I wasn't overly impressed with Torres. He plays as I would -- which isn't the highest praise. He has some speed and can dribble. Big deal. The best play the USA had going -- Bradley led Torres beautifully up the middle, when it was still a game -- and Torres tripped. I like a guy who doesn't play scared and can dribble, but Tab Ramos was better. Of course Jose, is very young. Hopefully he gains in experience -- learns his defensive responsibilities and makes plays that open up routes for teammates. Having said that, I agree that no one played well -- it's stupid to single out any players for criticism....except maybe Beasley...

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

you CANT win if you don't score. Sorry. I'm stepping away from this machine till later.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Bradley was badly out-coached! Why? (1) The team was mentally not prepared. Much of the team looked slow and unresponsive all night as if they were not ready for the quickness of the opponent or the oddity of the (crap) field. (2) He keeps calling up players that lack the desire to compete, i.e., Beasley, Mastro, Boco, to name a few.

Bob - "Experience" only provides leadership when they actually lead. And, there wasn't much of that last night, except from some of the younger players - Torres, Davies - neither of whom played a full match.

Please remember, it's not the paper or the pedigree, it's the play!

Posted by: carnack | June 4, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

By the way -- over at Nats Journal, they're obsessed with the weather today. No comments here? They're really going to play in the slop tonight? The pitch at RFK may take a year to recover, if the city even bothers to fix it.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Did you see Mastroeni fall face-flat on the first goal? Poor guy should have been subbed. Why did BB sub Torres?

BTW-- Isn't it just like American soccer to have the head coach's son play center half?

Posted by: lprevolution | June 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, the Nats need better coaching. Fire Manny Acta!

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The Nats, Manny Acta . . . EVERYBODY's shunning those boys . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Switching topics. I saw the highlight (there was only one) of the France-Nigeria match and it looked like the French goalkeeper's name on his jersey was in Braille. Ignoring the logic of that, did anyone else notice it?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I-270, I did notice that. I was wondering if anyone else had their names in Braille, but didn't see any more highlights (or, lowlights if you are a fan of Les Bleus).

I agree that is confusing logic. Kind of like the Braille that is on ATMs and elevators. How do they find where the Braille is in the first place? I'm not being disrespectful, I seriously wonder these things.

Posted by: EssEff | June 4, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'd say it's nothing like the Braille on elevators or ATMs, if in fact the name was in Braille. There's a reason and useful purpose for the former. I can understand why marketed jerseys might have a Braille name, but game jerseys? Perhaps, y'all were mistaken?

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The answer to my own question. The 200th anniversary of Louis Braille's birth.

In a similar attempt to mark the 200th anniversary of a famous American's birth, the US defense looked like this.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

That was a funny highlight...ball bounced back off of the keeper. Good thing it was a friendly.

fisch, that was the Turf Monster that brought down Torres. Monster Stadium, you know.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The bad news continues for the USMNT:

"The SPL and Scottish Cup champions announced American Edu will be out for at least three months after top London surgeon Andy Williams carried out a successful operation on the 23-year-old's knee.

Edu damaged ligaments during the league-winning 3-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice on the last day of the season."

That was ligaments -- plural. I don't know anyone who returns from any ligament repairing surgery in 3 months. We would be fortunate to see Edu back in playing shape and speed in time for training for next year's World Cup. Maybe, he gets his way into Rangers' lineup before then....

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. After last night's performance, it's clear we kneed Edu.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 4, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

whats the positive about last night's game, the effin reality check for Bradley. His team is strugglin now which is better so he has time to better analyze his options. Not like when Brucey took a "strong" squad to the Cup to then have an epic fail. At least the mistakes are happening now and not in the Cup.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | June 4, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Torres came off because of his performance. I think they took him off because they wanted a more attacking player like Kljestan... not that Kljestan did a thing on the field.

Posted by: TCompton | June 4, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

whats the positive about last night's game, the effin reality check for Bradley. His team is strugglin now which is better so he has time to better analyze his options. Not like when Brucey took a "strong" squad to the Cup to then have an epic fail. At least the mistakes are happening now and not in the Cup.


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | June 4, 2009 12:31 PM

After last night, don't assume qualifying is "automatic." You have to factor in a loss at Azteca and a possible loss in Honduras, coupled with Saturday's coming "home" game in Chicago. Moreover, even if Bradley's team "fixes" its mistakes and qualifies for the Cup Finals, its 3 and done -- this is a very flawed, very ordinary (in talent and coaching) team. Tim Howard is the only standout player, a few are "good" (Dempsey, Edu, Bradley, Gooch), the rest are ordinary or worse.

Posted by: griffin1108 | June 4, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think that Torres came off because of his performance. I think they took him off because they wanted a more attacking player like Kljestan..."

So you take off one attacking player, but leave on two defensive ones? Doesn't make sense to me.

IMO, Bradley was by far the worst player on the field last night. The third goal is directly contributed to him, and the 2nd goal was partially a result of his piss-poor tracking (though Torres was to blame too...as well as Wynne and Gooch). Only unlike Torres, Bradley was absolutely invisible offensively. He did nothing. There wasn't one redeeming quality about his game last night.

And I'm a Bradley fan. But the complaints need to start first and foremost with him.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I just realized...Sasha wasn't the turnover machine that he usually is.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'll preface this by saying although I've played the game most of my life and even coached some at the youth level, I am no tactical expert. With that being said, I was surprised by the formation that Bradley went with to start the game. I thought that going with 3 in the midfield would affect the ability to hold the ball. And I thought that going with a 3 man midfield while running 2 unexpirienced players (Beas playing out of position and Wynne being untested internationally) on the defensive wings would leave the US vulnerable on the flanks. Wouldn't a 4 or even 5 man midfield made more sense? Push Torres inside and move Beas to a midfield wing. I've always felt that Torres was more of an inside midfielder, the kind that moves all over the middle of the field and causes problems with his speed and tenacity both offensively and defensively.I usually refer to a player like Torres as a mosquito. A guy who's all over the place and frustrates you with his speed. Again, I'm not claiming to be a tactical genius or anything, I'm more curious of seeing that guys like Joe Doc and others think.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | June 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

where's that weather watcher thing for game days? this has all the makings of last years houston game

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Yankiboy and Reignking theorized on the previous thread that Torres came out because Bradley wants him fresh in Chicago, and he'd played 90 already the past Sunday.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | June 4, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

That's a good point -- with the lack of defensive personnel available last night, a 3-man backline could've been a good idea. I suppose you can't just change to that on a whim, though.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Woah, wait a minute, Bradley had no redeming qualities and was invisable all game? Dude, I must have been watching a different game.

Bradley was one of the only players out there that was hustling. Most of the team was just standing there. I saw Bradley run from one end of the field to the other. I though that Bradley was one of the few standouts (if that performace of the whole team had any standouts).

Posted by: dogboy | June 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

DR-

Yeah... I'm wondering why people can get away with that as well? Probably because Goff is on a plane.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I saw Bradley run from one end of the field to the other.
=====================

He was looking for the exit . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought MB's touch was awful last night...

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

... the French goalkeeper's name on his jersey was in Braille.
Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 11:51 AM
================

I'm very disappointed that none of you wrote, "They wore Braille because the ref was Maruffo."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

PSPS-
Last time, I'm going to say this, cause we've beaten round the bush on the second goal:
Bradley wasn't tracking any more. He'd already been beaten. He was recovering, and no one stepped in to cut off the free man. After a player is beaten, all you can do is ask them to recover. In a well-organized defense, someone else is in position to step up to the free man. Unfortunately, the defense last night was anything but. Physical errors are bad, because players fail to do the right thing. Mental errors are worse, because the player did the wrong thing. In the former case, there's a chance that the outcome of a repetition of the event might be a positive one. On the latter, there never will be a positive outcome.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

dogboy, watch a replay of this goal and look at Bradley's movements on here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeJyGUcFBaY

There's no way you can convince me he was a stoundout defensively, whatsoever. He completely gave up on the 3rd goal as well, just as his man turned him to the inside.

And trust me, I like Bradley. I think he's earned pretty much a 'permanent' spot on the roster, and he deserves it. But last night was awful.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Today's prize goes to I-270.

Though, you could have easily named any MLS ref.

Last night's officials did a pretty good job, except with awarding possession to the team that last touched the ball in play, which they did on several occasions.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"He was recovering"

Where do you see Bradley was recovering? He got beat, then gave up 100%. Unless you consider his half-hearted jog as the man turned him as some form of recovery.

Look, I'm not saying everyone else is blameless, but the amount of slack given to Bradley is mind-boggling right now. He gave up. Twice. And we got scored on. Twice. From either (1) his man, or (2) his space. It was pathetic. I can't describe it any other way.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

His Man? Once he's beat, it's not his man anymore. He's already failed, but only physically. It's the responsibility of the next guy in line to step up and pick up his mess. Because of a mental mistake, that guy never came over.

His space? This is the second goal, right? The whole defense had sagged right because the RB and RCB had been beaten. The LM has to pull to the middle, mark near post runs, and force the cross to go far post. If CR can chip a ball over the defense to a far post runner and slot it home, more power to them, because they were forced into the hardest connection and pulled it off. If you want to single out a midfielder to blame, that one's on Torres, because Borges *ran right by him* on his way into the area.

(Aside: Was Bradley even playing in the center on that one, or was he on the right side of the field still? Don't have TIVO here...)

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@psps -- you linked the wrong gaol -- the second one, but if you click on the poster's name, you will find the third one on his page.

Not only was Costa Rica's futbol team much better, so was their coverage. Multiple angles, close-up shots. Also their cameras happened to be on the right side of the field to really get those goals. Watching the replay of the second goal, it's amazing how foolish the entire USA defense looks. Both Wynne and Onyewu chase after Ruiz down the wing, and Mastro has already given up on the play, leaving Sirias unmarked. Then, Torres lets Borges beat him into the box, while Beasley fails to see see that coming and step up. There's also another Tico behind Borges who is also unmarked. Ugly.

You're right about Bradley's effort on the third goal -- the far side camera used by ESPN didn't really capture how bad his effort was. It wasn't a good move, or anything. Bradley basically stopped and jogged, while they guy sprinted past. It's as if Bradley thought he was supposed to keep Herrera from running along the goal line and had some support to defend a higher run. The only explanation I can offer -- as he really did turn into a human pylon. My girlfriend's kid, who's about the slowest 10 yr. old out there, gets beat like that. A national team player?

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think nitpicking anyone's performance last night is a waste of time. Seemed obvious to me that at about 20 minutes in, already down 2-0 the while squad basically said 'hey, let's not get injured or too tired for Saturday, eh?' and proceeded to mail it in. This is a team that was soundly beaten and basically closed their eyes and let it happen. At least no one got hurt, but we will miss baby boy in Chicago.

And for those who keep saying Bradley took the team in to get a point, I wish. A 4-3-3 in Saprissa? He was going for the knockout punch, only to never recover from the first blow.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | June 4, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It's as if Bradley thought he was supposed to keep Herrera from running along the goal line and had some support to defend a higher run.

===

This is my contention. If that's the way the defense was supposed to be organized, it's on whomever missed that pickup. If it's not, then it's on Bradley. It just doesn't make sense to me that the defense would be organized such that there would be no support coming from the inside on a breakdown like that.

Mental errors kill teams because all they can do after a ME leads to a goal is stand around, point, and bicker. At least after a physical error (missed tackle, failed save, failed clearance), there's no doubt what went wrong.

Also, good breakdown of goal #2. Someone said it last night, but in that situation, Beasley has to mark someone. Anyone. If bob is going to keep playing him back there, he needs to run a drill wherein an outnumbered Beasley has to make a quick choice on who to pick up. He was a bit too tentative.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm -- maybe, you did mean the second goal?

If you did, I'd say that Bradley is the least at fault there, except for the forward line. You have to go back from the goal almost 30 seconds to find a moment when Bradley was even close to anyone with the ball -- as he allowed Borges to take a pass and give it right back, without a challenge, all the way on the far (left) side of the field. Then, he slowly tracks over to the near (right) side, but never gets close enough to be in the play...as the ball is always about five or ten yards ahead of him.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but I haven't seen anyone mention the ref's jersey switch yet. When I saw the refs and the teams walk out from the tunnel before the national anthems, my first thought was wondering why the refs are wearing a color so similar to the CR jersey. I didn't hear the announcers say anything, so I just thought it might be because I don't have the HD version of ESPN2 (is there such a thing?). But then I see the refs come out in Grey before the 2nd half. I can't recall another World Cup qualifying game where the refs had to change colors. Can anyone else remember this happening before? Even in the local youth games refs bring multiple jerseys and make sure there are no conflicts!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | June 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Woah. A racist, know it all cracker(?) who doesn't have a TIVO?
Now I've seen it all. Ho, hum... Any news from RFK? Are the lights working? Is Lot 8 under water?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"The LM has to pull to the middle, mark near post runs, and force the cross to go far post."

(1) The US was playing a 4-3-3. There is no LM. They're all central middies, playing a rotating triangle (though most of the time, Torres was shifted towards the left side of the field).

(2) It's both of their responsibilities to cover the central space. Pablo got beat...physically (to use your term). Bradley was beat mentally, as he was sucked out marking a man 45 yards from goal as the ball was being played directly in the space he was supposed to be covering. It's basic defensive tactics in a 4-3-3. You mark a space, not a man. Pablo was sucked out wide, but at least he was applying pressure to the ball. Bradley was sucked up high, marking a man that was of no threat to attack the goal, and left a gaping hole in the center of the park.

Yes, Torres was beat by his trailing man. I already said that. But the initial run to carry the ball in the box was solely the responsibility of Bradley, once Gooch applied pressure out wide. That's his area. And he blew it. Badly.

Again, I'm not relieving any poor performances of Gooch, Wynne, Mastro, or Torres on that play.

I'm merely pointing out the underplayed yet extremely critical brain lapse on Bradley. It's inexcusable.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Again, I'm not claiming to be a tactical genius or anything, I'm more curious of seeing that guys like Joe Doc and others think.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | June 4, 2009 1:57 PM
=========================
Thanks, CK, but my focus is at the youth level and what it takes to be in a position to make a National Team. There are far sharper minds on SI than mine when it comes to tactical analysis at the international level.

So, I guess that makes me fully qualified to say: Fire Bradley!

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 4, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

(1) The US was playing a 4-3-3. There is no LM. They're all central middies, playing a rotating triangle (though most of the time, Torres was shifted towards the left side of the field).
=====

Except that Torres didn't play his position. He was still too wide and too high. Look... Try as you might, Torres, not Bradley was out of position on this play. Torres was the LCM, and the ball was on the right. It's his job to fill in behind the CM and RCM and go with runners. The RCM (Bradley) and CM (Mastro) press the ball and cut off passing angles.

===
Yes, Torres was beat by his trailing man. I already said that. But the initial run to carry the ball in the box was solely the responsibility of Bradley, once Gooch applied pressure out wide. That's his area. And he blew it. Badly.
===
This is bullhockey. Bradley was cutting down angles in the midfield just like he's supposed. The carry into the box was because of a double wall pass. Those wall passs worked because Wynne and Onyewu both went to the ball. Twice. It also wasn't helped by the fact that Mastro didn't press nearly as hard as he should have.

Clearly, we watched different matches. ;)

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

dogboy, watch a replay of this goal and look at Bradley's movements on here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeJyGUcFBaY

OMG!! Michael Bradley is Awesome! Thanks for the highlight.

Bob Bradley coaching his own son? Isn't this a problem?

Posted by: lprevolution | June 4, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Woah. A racist, know it all cracker(?) who doesn't have a TIVO?
Now I've seen it all. Ho, hum... Any news from RFK? Are the lights working? Is Lot 8 under water?

===

Oh, look at that. A paladin of the Internet. Fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

Go sit on a fence post. I had and gave my reasons for what I said, and if you don't like it, IDGAS.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A paladin of the Internet.
===================
I am Sarium, son of Arleas, and I carry a +3 broadsword and +2 healing powers! Away, you knaves! Before I hew you like timber before a loggerman.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 4, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"This is bullhockey. Bradley was cutting down angles in the midfield just like he's supposed."

Looks like this is just going to have to end in an 'agree to disagree.'

Sure, Bradley was cutting off an angle. But the absolute wrong one. There is no shot a ball should be able to be played from 30 yards out on the touchline angled directly towards the first post with no obstruction. I don't care if there's a quintuple wall-pass, double dummy, 6th-man run that generated it, that is a spot the central midfielder has to be covering, especially when the central defender has committed himself. You let them play backwards. That's what you want in a 4-3-3. Even if Torres shifted over to that spot, Bradley would then have had to shift over to the far-central area of the midfield that Torres was (briefly) covering, something Bradley would have been out of position for anyway. In the end, Bradley was out of position on all accounts.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Dougmacintyre -

The only thing I can think of is that the blaze orange shows up on TV better than the grey, but that one team or the other complained at half time. The refs and teams probably checked it out earlier under different lighting conditions than found on the pitch during the match. Or maybe it clashed with the 4th official's eyes?

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd say you're both wrong. Bradley wasn't sucked up high guarding anyone or cutting off angles -- he was loafing his way across the field. He never got into the play. He wasn't taken advantage of or committing a mental error -- and I don't think he was really focused on playing a man or a space. I think he look a lazy arc and hoped to be there if and when the defenders shut down the play -- maybe as an outlet.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

delantero:

On goal #3, someone else should be pinching in close to Bradley to prevent Herrera from strolling past him. Bradley did take up the position of a mentally and physically tired player, but the lack of defensive help there was more infuriating. Of course, the effort defensively wasn't there all night, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. Herrera could have literally stopped the ball for a full second, then continued his run, and he'd still have had a silly amount of room.

fischy:

"...if the city ever bothers to fix it"

Thanks for the laugh.

CrippledKeeper:

In the 433 we started with, Torres was basically inside anyway. When you're playing a 3 man midfield, the "outside" midfielders should spend most of their time in the middle of the field. He only started playing out on the left when Bradley moved Dempsey back to go to a 442. I think you've got a decent handle on what Torres offers, but last night's poor play on the ball wasn't really down to formation. The guys were, depending on who we're talking about, lazy, slow, uninspired, oafish, or all four. There was no formation that could have saved that US team last night.

joshuaostevens:

Yes, they did mail it in. For me at least, that's precisely the worst and most upsetting thing. You're wearing the US national team jersey; mailing it in is one of the last things you are allowed to do. Have a wooden touch? Fine. Make bad decisions? It happens. Position yourself stupidly? Well, I wish you wouldn't, but no one's perfect. Go behind early and acquiesce to defeat? Never.

Then again, I've sworn at friends and family over perceived lack of effort on a bad indoor team in a bad indoor league, so maybe I'm a bit tightly wound.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 4, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Takes a lot of BALLS to talk so much horse sh@t while hiding behind your computer. Bravo!

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

fischy, could be that too. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, saying that Bradley was at least attempting to do something defensively (though I know that no player truly attempting to commit himself defensively would ever have given that type of effort).

And hence, my rating of "1" for Bradley. On top of his invisible offensive presence, he was atrocious an all accounts defensively (IMO). I like Bradley, I think he should/could be a 10 year fixture, but last night...no redeeming qualities to be found.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

You're really stretching to find a way to blame Bradley for the second goal, but I suppose that's your prerogative. Let me try to understand it: In the time before the penultimate wall pass, Bradley should have dropped about ten yards to his right (towards the goal, and slightly above the CR attacker who made the cross), and then run with him?

Am I right on that? That's about the only way I could see Bradley making a difference in this play. That's four defending two, and if we need to commit that many men to stop wall passes, perhaps we have no business not conceding goals.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am Sarium, son of Arleas, and I carry a +3 broadsword and +2 healing powers! Away, you knaves! Before I hew you like timber before a loggerman.

Posted by: joedoc1
=============

(Spoken to Scurry and Spisek)
I am Eric McLeod of the Canadian Clan McLeod. There can be only one.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Takes a lot of BALLS to talk so much horse sh@t while hiding behind your computer. Bravo!

===

Seriously, are you this pleasant all the time, or are you just too PC for your own good?

Gringo is a slur. It's fighting words. Tossing it out casually is meant to provoke, just as much as a white guy wearing blackface into an Anacostia barber shop and passing out watermelon would be meant to. Both are rascist and have no place in public discourse.

(And no... I'm no better than him for taking the bait.)

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Soccer Insider Newbie Rule #1:

Chest Rockwell is usually always right.

#2:

I270 is usually always funny


#3:

I tend to fail at both of those


Now, time to move on. United in a few hours, US in two days, take advantage of the short break.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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

"Let me try to understand it: In the time before the penultimate wall pass, Bradley should have dropped about ten yards to his right (towards the goal, and slightly above the CR attacker who made the cross), and then run with him?"

Not sure if you still have the clip up, but right around the 26/27 second mark, the ball gets played into the feet of the running midfielder and he turns to face the goal. Immediately at that moment, Bradley needed to drop in-line between the man with the ball and the 2nd forward, pinched in closer towards Bocanegra. That's his position. He needs to be able to cut off any passes fed into that area. Gooch and Wynne still would have gotten worked on the sideline, but the second wall pass would not have gone through cleanly to the box. Bradley would have been able to clean it up, or CR would have been forced to play the ball at a much wider angle, allowing Bradley to pressure the ball and the cross.

The blame is not solely on Bradley, but ANY time there is that much space between the defenders and the midfielders, there is a huge problem. With Torres pinched over from the far side and Mastro applying pressure to the ball, it was Bradley's responsibility to drop in that space.

Posted by: psps23 | June 4, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Michael Bradley should have used to Force to break up the play. Maybe if the rains had come and Saprissa turned into Dagobah, Yoda would have come out to help him.

Kljestan was unable to infer Costa Rica's strategy. He needs to improve his mind meld.

Ringo! Yeah! I'm talking to YOU, Richard Starkey!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@mason -- take it up with Andres Cantor, who calls Torres "El Gringo Torres."

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Pienso que somos todos gringos en este autobus.

(I think we're all gringos on this bus.)

:)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 4, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

So what you're saying is that the big hole of green in the middle at 0:27 is Bradley's job? I see what you're saying but I don't agree.
You'd still have four defending two on the wing, plus, if you look at 1:13 (corner shot), there were two men above Bradley. Yes you "want" the backpass, but that backpass would have opened up a very nice angle to attack straight up the gut in numbers. No... The two backs and one mid need to be able to defend two on the wing and run with the man, not the ball.

Really, looking at it from the corner, none of the midfielders distinguished themselves on the play. After the ball was behind them, none managed to recover.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I've lived in Mexico. Gringo is not a slur. Gilipolla.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The two backs and one mid need to be able to defend two on the wing and run with the man, not the ball.

Really, looking at it from the corner, none of the midfielders distinguished themselves on the play. After the ball was behind them, none managed to recover.

Posted by: mason08

I agree with everything you said in this passage, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that Bradley was one of the goats on the play. He was out of position, and badly. And it wasn't just on this play either, it was a recurring them throughout the game.

I'm just calling it how I see it. I have no agenda against Bradley, next match he's available, I hope he's right back in there. But he was not good at all last night.

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

"Maria. Necessito 'Whisk' para mi camisa. Tengo Gringoroundthecollar."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Reginking-
That's nice and all, but someone must have forgotten to tell the Mexican American community.

For the last one:
Que te parta un rayo.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

You guys are making it really tempting to learn Spanish.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Gringoroundthecollar -- that's what was missing last night...at least until Davies checked in.

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

""Gringo is a slur. It's fighting words. ""

Uh, only to the ill informed.

Gringo, who some say is derived from "GREEN GO", the color the US Army wore into Mexico during the Mexo-American War.

The American Heritage Dictionary classifies gringo as "offensive slang," "usually disparaging," and "often disparaging."[2] Hispanophones disagree on whether the term is derogatory; it is not considered as such by the authoritative Diccionario de la lengua espaƱola de la Real Academia EspaƱola.

Posted by: delantero | June 4, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

PSPS-

The problem is that you're picking on one player among three. That's my only issue. I don't see how, having watched that play, you can possibly rate Torres a 5 (That's correct right?) and Bradley a 1. Yes, Bradley was out of position 35-40 yards from goal and never really recoverd, but Torres was out of position 14 yards from goal and didn't either. Sure, the latter was good with the ball, but he had two bad errors with in 20 yards of goal that lead to CR scores.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

JacobfromAtlanta-ish:

You're being hard on yourself. For example, you're right about moving this thread along. As such:

Since it's hard to predict what sort of tactical nonsense Osorio will attempt (though I think it's pretty likely that we'll see Borman at left back, with Pacheco called in by El Salvador), it's best to focus on what DC needs to do to take 3 points tonight.

If Gomez's toe is still a problem, I think Fred earned another start as our attacking midfielder. His movement off the ball is a very big plus in the position, and the fact that he'll be instigating, rather than trying to finish, chances increases the likelihood of us getting goals early. This will be a good night to attack the flanks (particularly the left), so hopefully Pontius (or Quaranta) and Wallace bring their A game.

With the weather, I wonder if we won't see N'Silu or Khumalo up front at some point. The rain may make it hard to play technical soccer going forward, but the slow pairing of Petke and Goldthwaite can be exposed with a bit of simple, direct passing. I guess it will depend on the condition of the field. I also like the idea of Moreno, who likes to drift to the left, testing the decision-making skills of Jeremy Hall at right back.

Simply put, anything less than 3 points tonight would be a really big letdown. NY is playing poorly all over the field, they're an awful road team, and they're missing players (Pacheco, obviously, and possibly Kandji). Good teams win this game, and with only a little bit of stress. While we're better than I thought we'd be at this point, I'm not sold on us as a good or bad team. Tonight is the kind of game that can tell us a lot about our squad overall.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 4, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@Jacob: In all seriousness, do it. It will open up a whole new world to you...even though, honestly, you only need to know one word when watching Spanish-language futbol broadcasts:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

(es muy divertido, tambien, para coquetear con las mujeres latinas...but that's a whole 'nother story for another day)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 4, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm too tired and frustrated from last night's game...I forgot about tonight's.

Burn Notice is on, anyway.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@Chest -- who plays best in galoshes?

Posted by: fischy | June 4, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

with apologies to mick and keith:

I was a gringo in Leon
Which is haole in Hilo
So I saved my money
And I took a plane
Wherever I go they treat me the same

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

With the weather, I wonder if we won't see N'Silu or Khumalo up front at some point.
Posted by: Chest_Rockwell
=================

I don't follow. Do they have webbed feet?

Ha ha ha! I quack myself up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to make it to Madrid in the spring, but I'm out of school for now and Rosetta Stone is damn expensive.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Jacob, vaya a Barcelona. So much better than Madrid...

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Uh, only to the ill informed.
===

Great... Now I suppose you're going to tell me that I've never seen one group of guys (or girls... HS cat fight!!) insult another by calling them "stupid gringo(a)s" before starting a fight? There were some other things that would fly back and forth, but it was in there, and it wasn't friendly.

===

Gringo, who some say is derived from "GREEN GO", the color the US Army wore into Mexico during the Mexo-American War.

===

That's a folk etymology and one of many. Some will say it comes with from "griego" or the Patrick brigade's songs. I took that class, too, but I'm an anglophone, and in my language and experience it's often considered a slur. That said, context is key, but gloating on a message board doesn't qualify for the familiarity exception.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

For you my majesty, I'm more interested in seeing the Royal Whites in the Bernebau.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I was afraid of that, Jacob. Barca is a bit reserved when compared to most fan experiences, though.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the game, dvr'ing Burn Notice, then watching it right after without commercials.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh great Reignking. Now you're making him by Rosetta Stone for Spanish and for Catalan.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yo Mason, ever since Torres got his first Cap EVERYONE on Spanish speaking television calls him "Gringo". I actually brought this up in the fall when it started happening, and as Reignking pointed out it may simply mean foreigner in Mexico. I can hardly believe Cantor would be allowed say it EVERY single Pachuca match Torres plays in if it was meant as a slur.

The word YOU used IS a fighting word. I have no trouble believing that your upbringing shaped your prejudice, as mine has my own. Coming up in here and throwing your garbage all over the floor isn't cool though dude.

I'm hardly an "internet paladin" in fact I've been told I'm more of an "adolescent crackhead with a double digit IQ".:-)

I've also been deleted, cautioned, and learned what is and isn't really acceptable on a Washington Post sports blog. Just sayin'.
Have fun but don't be a d-bag man.
Peace.

Where is my DCU match night thread!!!!!!!!!?????????????

Posted by: DadRyan | June 4, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't buy the Catalan, but maybe the British English for if I can spend a weekend there as part of my trip. I have no idea what things like "pollywompus" means. Chest?!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

It could be worse. I could suggest San Sebastian.

The Basque language and a team that is stuck in the 2nd division. I'm still having a hard time believing that Royal Society will be in the Segunda for another year.

Posted by: Reignking | June 4, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@J from Atlanta(ish) and Reignking, Mrs. Doc and I are watching Burn Notice live and DVRing the game.

Looking forward to some great lines from Michael and Co.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 4, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

For those of you at home and unaware, Burn Notice 2nd season finale is about to hit the climax if you want to get pumped for later...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 4, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"adolescent crackhead" - that's a great name for a rock band, Dadryan.

Did somebody say "band"?

"We were just another band out of Boston
On the road just tryin' to make ends meet
Playing all the bars
Sleeping in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 4, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

2 more hours to stuff ballots for Sonia as WPS player of the month

http://fancorner.womensprosoccer.com/

Posted by: OWNTF | June 4, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

DR-

Did I not say that context is key? Look... I told you about how words lead to fights in HS and Middle School. Here's a positive example of context. Back in HS I worked as an odd-job day laborer type on weekends and summers. I could have got a McJob or service, but it would have bored me stiff. Working day-labor was much better for the variety of it. Carpentry. Plumbing. Painting. Gardening. Hardscapes. You name it, I'd do it... Except tile. Couldn't figure that out, despite my name.

So there I was... A 17 yo red-haired kid hanging out with a bunch of Latinos in a Home Depot parking lot. For the first couple of weeks, these guys were resentful of me. Were they abusive? No. They were standoffish, and they were well within their right to be. What the hell was I doing there? This "gringo", this "hijo de puta" had a birth certificate. What's he doing out here taking our jobs. What's he need the money for? Look at him driving his mother's car! (Beat up white Volvo 740 Wagon). Doesn't he realize I have a family that depends on my envios de dinero? Did they ever say these things to my face? No. But they said them, and unkindly.

Then, they started going on jobs with me. I'd get hired because I was white somewhat competent, and could translate, and someone else would get hired because they actually had the skills to compete the job, if it was a skilled job. After a while, the mumbling behind my back stopped, both because they knew that I knew what they were saying, and because they had grown to respect me as a worker. Eventually, I became friends with a few of them an "hermanito gringo", complete with full privileges to both beer and tacos after work. I was touched.

(Not like that, sicko...)

Unfortunately, most of those guys moved along down the road long ago, as did I. Hard workers to a man, and mostly honest to boot. More so than the homeowners anyway.

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Jacob:

Pollywompus: An old, old wooden ship that was used in the Civil War era.

Just speak slowly and loudly. People in other places love when Americans do that.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 4, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

""insult another by calling them "stupid gringo(a)s"""

You must have gone to Mason . . .the insult here would be "stupid" not the term "gringo." The insult would be the qualifying adjective, not the noun. It is common for gringo's to be upset when they are called it, but it really is there cultural bias, not the term itself.

But to each his own. You call me a drunk potato head in reference to my heritage, I might be offended.

And Mason08, you don't get any points for the most number of posts.

Posted by: delantero | June 4, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

People in other places love when Americans do that.
Posted by: Chest_Rockwell
=====================

You mean "when Gringos do that," don't you?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 4, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Delantero-

Are you suggesting that "gringo" is always the equivalent of "yanqui", "rubio", "anglo", "norteamericano", or "estadounidense"? Just a harmless noun? Is that your contention? Are you suggesting that the good old boys fought with cholos because they were called "stupid"?

Posted by: mason08 | June 4, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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