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USA-Honduras Rewind

There are times when a story writes itself, and this was one of those games.

A scoreless draw is changed dramatically on a strike by a player that not only was the sentimental favorite entering this match but has fought back from adversity in a truly inspiring way.

You can guess what my lede to the story is...and you can read it right here.

For now, I leave you with some quotes from the press conference. For some, the first ones from Santino, for example, you'll have to read the game story. Is that motivation enough?

And, of course, before I depart Estadio RFK, player ratings...


Bob Bradley's opening statement: "We knew that this would be a good challenge tonight. Honduras is a good team and this was a game that was going to go a long way toward determining who would finish first in the group and I thought the response of the team was good. Games like this there's just got to be a good collective effort from start to finish. You need to have the ability at certain points to bring subs on who help and so in all ways I though it was a good solid team effort. Obviously its also special that Santino scores the first goal so I think that's something he has obviously worked hard in many different ways to be here tonight and I think that's obviously a very special part of the evening."

Santino on whether it took a while to calm the emotions down during the anthem:
"It did, it did. This means a lot to me. To be able to play for your country is, before it didn't mean as much to me as it does now. And like I said it's very special to be a part of this."

Santino on the goal: "First, Charlie [Davies] did very well on the goal, I think he came in and he changed the game for us, as well as Benny [Feilhaber]. He held the ball up and it was just a great layoff, I just tried to keep it on frame. But a million things went through my head when I scored. I was just so, I guess more proud to do it have done it here. You know, anywhere to have scored for your country is special. But to be able to do it here at RFK where it all started for me is special. I keep going back to that, but it really is."

Santino on if he ever had given up on getting back to the national team:
"I just wanted to come back and be a good person and once that all started falling into place soccer came next. I've been enjoying life, I've been very happy off the field, like I said today. And I think being so happy at home has really done well for me on the soccer field."

Player ratings:
Perkins 7; Cherundolo 6, Marshall 7.5, Parkhurst 6, Pearce 6; Quaranta 8, Pause 5, Beckerman 6, Rogers 6; Adu 4, Ching 7. SUBS: Feilhaber 8, Davies 8, Cooper NR

By Paul Tenorio  |  July 9, 2009; 12:35 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , Gold Cup , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: U.S. Soccer Rewind
Next: Barklage Out for Season

Comments

"Maybe I'm a homer, but I think Tino offers far more than Rogers"

And I think an 8 for him is a home town call.

Rogers offers pace that Tino just can't bring. If we get lucky enough to go up against the likes of Brasil/Spain again, we're going to need to be able to counter.

Tino likes to send balls into the box and hold possession, but I just don't see him beating people on the dribble on the outside or defending well enough against the likes of Melo, Torres, etc.

Having said this, he'll be in the picture for the US team, just not next summer. Maybe he'll prove me wrong (and I hope he does) over the next week.

Posted by: delantero | July 9, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much what we're learning is that the only players from the GC roster who belong in the NT discussion are the ones who are already there. Cherundolo, Davies, Pearce, Feilhaber. A lot of these players look fantastic against Grenada, but so would my co-ed team. Honduras wasn't really rockin' it either. The true test for these fringe types will be Haiti. Not.

Posted by: duck95 | July 9, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I agree with duck...
I would add Ching because he played OK and he got himself a goal, but I would still only bring him off the bench. Adu and Tino I think at best are bubble players for seat warmers.

Posted by: bh20755 | July 9, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Freddy's headed back to Benfica for pre-season training. He REALLY needs more playing time over in Europe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/09/AR2009070900072.html

I'll always be proud to wear his jersey, but for right now, he's gotta get himself back into the game.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 9, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

It will be a wonderful day when the US nats can outdraw Mexico in the US. Mexico playing in Oakland doubled the US crowd in Seattle and will probably quadruple the number of US fans we had last night during their game tonight in Houston.

I know its our second team but still it’s the US national team. Maybe we need to take a hint from the Mexicans in the US and promote some of these games and actually encourage fans to come.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 9, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

@Duck -- I think you're missing a lot. Rogers has stood out as a player who is probably working his way onto next summer's squad. Quaranta has a shot at that, too. Marshall -- there's a few central defenders ahead of him, but he's going to inherit at least a back-up spot in a few years. Perkins may be a capable back-up for Guzan, when Howard lets go. And, Beckerman is beginning to step-up to his youthful promise.

Pearce's speed was impressive, but he showed he's still got some big holes in his game defensively, which is a problem for a defender.

Overall, though, I'm not sure what your point is. That this as basically a "B" team? Of course it is. If Bradley had thought any of the new players were better than the roster he took to South Africa, he woulda brung 'em. Not surprising that hey aren't quite at the level of the "A" team, yet. Some may get there, others won't. Also, consider that Bradley needs to find more depth -- hate to say it, but injuries happen.

Posted by: fischy | July 9, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John -- thanks for the link. I agree -- Adu needs to get some playing time abroad. Unless he does that, and sharpens his game in a hurry, he probably won't make the trip to South Africa the next time.

Posted by: fischy | July 9, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

As for Ching -- he is already in the "A" team -- the reason he's playing here is because an injury kept him from the Confederations Cup squad. I hope to see a lot more of Cooper, as I think he'd be a stronger replacement than Casey. He may not be the fastest guy, but he's got a way of making an impact on a game.

Posted by: fischy | July 9, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

count me in as having fallen off the Freddy Adu bandwagon. Seems like he has taken a few steps backward since leaving MLS. Davies looked a lot sharper on the field. and that pass to Quaranta... Had it been Freddy, i'm sure he would have taken the shot, only to have it blocked by the defender.

but my biggest beef with Adu is that he thinks that he can take every player head on, only to turnover the ball. too many times he has done that. He needs to learn that not every opponent is a dope and that they can actually defend against him.

He really needs some playing time.

Posted by: gmail | July 9, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Rogers and Quaranta were head and shoulders above the other starters. Q showed well and made some creative passes but there were times he was out of synch. Everyone was really out of synch though. Rogers kind of petered out at the end. I thought the defense as a whole had long stretches of atrociousness in the first half.

Adu needs to play anywhere he can. Hell, Rochester even if he has to. I still don't think it will work though. As he's matured he's just not turning out to be much of an athlete: strength, size, speed, weight, agility. Great skills, but just can't keep up with the game.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | July 9, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

I'd say the 8 for Tino was a home town vote - he was tentative in the first half but brilliant night for him - feel good story so far of the tournament.

Dolo deserves a much higher rating than Parkhurst. He was a constant threat down the side and he never lost his man as a defender. I'd have given him a 7 and Parkhurst a 5 - was not impressed.

Let's hope Tino gets more playing time - would like to see him in the Adu (not impressive) slot now that Freddy has left.

Posted by: Beckster1 | July 9, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I only saw the 2nd half on TV, but for at least that half, the player that continues to impress me is Davies. If I can use a hockey term, I love his "forechecking" abilities. His energy and hustle force defenders (and keepers) into silly mistakes and he always seems to have a good sense as to where his teammates are. That lay off to 'Tino was great and he had another one later on for Cooper, but Cooper tried to settle it rather than first-timing it, and his shot was blocked.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 9, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Like what I've read so far, good solid analysis by knowledgeable folks, good show. That said I need to raise an issue. By reading the papers you are lead to believe that US fans were outnumbered (X to 1) however if you were in the stadium last night you know that the US had a sizeable presence, much larger than was obvious looking around (witness the deafening din raised after Tino's goal and then Ching's and we held our own in the "U S A" vs "Hon Dur Us" chants), however you can't tell by looking because the US MNT doesn't have a standout, clearly recognizable jersey/color scheme that translates for the fans to wear, i.e. like the rest of the world's teams....we do have the R-W & B but we as Americans don't go around wearing the flag it's considered disrespectful.

Posted by: Kiotaye | July 9, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't there last night Kiotaye, but I can tell you I've seen plenty of Americans drape themselves in the stars and stripes at RFK.

I do agree that it is strange that US Soccer asks us to wear red, but the team doesn't. The grey away jersey has really grown on me, but I have kind of dug the all white look the US seems to have latched onto in the Confed Cup and into this Gold Cup. It looks better than the white shirt with the blue/grey shorts.

I wonder if the US has any plans to change the jersey for 2010?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Davies was an all-american wrestler when he was in prep school - no small accomplishment - and you can see it in the way he acts in tight situations. Someone said he is going to be a great complement to landycakes and I agree.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | July 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I went last night having not seen most of these guys play previously. Beckerman impressed me with his crisp passing and decision-making from the midfield. I'm not sure if he's quick enough (mentally or physically) for a higher level opponent.

Adu was a huge disappointment. When he moved the ball to open teammates he was generally effective, but the ball stopped with him way too many times. His one-on-one efforts were feeble. Plus, he didn't do a good job of winning balls, and only occassionally made up for it with effort.

Davies gave a nice burst of energy when he entered the game. The goalkeeper was also solid last night. Despite the shutout, I was not impressed by the defenders, who seemed a step slow.

Posted by: TheSecretWeapon | July 9, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Rodgers was way better than a six! He was the best player on the field in the first half. he created 4 corner kicks, which for a team that scores on set pieces a lot is important. Parkhurst looked totaly lost at times. I would say is pretty far down the depth chart. Marshall was a bit better, but not a 7.5! Charundalo was clearly the glue holding the back four together, I dont see how he only gets a 6. Tino played well and finished his chance well. It was good to see him score as a DCU fan.

Posted by: jjfooty | July 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Great night for the Maryland boys Quaranta and Beckerman.

Where are all those posters who were lashing Bradley for not inserting Adu into the games in South Africa? Hello? Hello? A "4" rating is ridiculous. I guess Mr. Tenorio, like Mr. Goff, is grading on a scale of 3 to 8.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm just going to echo what I've already read -- I think we all agree for the most part.

Rogers has been the best player on the pitch -- in a position that we are sorely thin in (unless you want LD there). I know the competition hasn't been fantastic, but he has blown those two teams off of the field. I hope Europe is watching.

Pearce is taking advantage of the fact that we can push up, and I really like it. Hard to judge his defense.

I, too, am off the Adu bandwagon :( He is too indecisive, but I think this can be attributed to his lack of playing time. A turnover by someone in his position can be deadly for a counterattack. Please, someone, just trust him to be your QB and let him play. I think it will have to be a second division squad in Spain, or something like that. Playing in a few Cup games won't do it.

Feilhaber has played 10 games in a year for Aarhus -- mostly as a sub. I know he is returning from injury, but he should be getting a lot more minutes from them this year (or move on).

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Where are all those posters who were lashing Bradley for not inserting Adu into the games in South Africa?"

I'll own up, but in my defense it was Torres vs Adu vs Connor as a late stage sub that I was calling for . .. Adu thinks he's still playing sand lot/backyard ball.

>>>
Re: Tour de F, not only did I have Voeckler on the bench thereby missing a stage win, but my dark horse candidate for a later stage win, R. Gesink, broke his wrist and dropped out. Bad day in fantasy land.

Posted by: delantero | July 9, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the US has any plans to change the jersey for 2010?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

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

I think the proper question is whether Nike has any plans to change the jersey for 2010! They've definitely unveiled a new jersey before each of the last three world cups (since the switch to Nike) so it's likely they'll do the same for 2010.

I actually really like the current two-toned white shirt (that they wore last night) even if it is basically ManU's training shirt with the US badge on it!

Posted by: combedge | July 9, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@Kiotaye - good points. All the Honduran supporters wore one or two variations on the same uniform. Some US supporters wore white, some wore red and some wore other colors! We're not nearly as united in our color scheme.

After the two goals, the cheering was quite loud for the US, so we had decent support.

Posted by: billindmd | July 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@delantero, I was really seeking out those who were urging that stupid dumb-head Bradley to sit Dempsey and start Adu.

Re Connor . . . fleeting thought last night . . . I really like Connor and Cooper in my starting team . . . for Australian rules football . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to watch Barcelona in HD tonight...too bad it is rainy.

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Video of the goals:

http://ballhype.com/video/video_usa_v_honduras_concacaf_gold_cup_full_highlights/

Ching's header looks like it may have gone in off a defender's head. But a hit's as good as a single, as my old baseball coach always said.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | July 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"that stupid dumb-head Bradley"

You must have elementary aged kids . . Personally, I still think he's a stupid dumb head and only played Davies, etc b/c his hand was forced with injuries. I mean, he started Beasley twice!

Posted by: delantero | July 9, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Rogers had a wonderful game. Look how often he beat the Honduras fullback and crossed the ball. I suspect that he will be Donovan's back up on the left wing. Tino had a good match and it's good to seem him back. It will be a battle to get a place on the WC team as we have more depth on the right side than the left. Pearce is still in the mix for left fullback but needs to get out of Hansa Rostock where he has clashed with the manager.

Adu pretty much played his way off the team. We really don't have a position for him. He's not physical enough to play up front and too slow to play on the wing. As long as the two central midfielders have defensive responsiblities, he won't play in the middle either. Feilhaber is a much better midfielder than Adu and brings the necessary calm into the midfield as needed. I think what Coach Bradley will struggle with is the central midfield since Dempsey and Donovan will be on the wings. Bradley junior will be one midfielder but not sure who the other will be. Beckerman's stock rose considerably last night.

Posted by: agoldhammer | July 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

We'll get new jerseys next year because it's a WC year. Some web retailers have already cut prices on the old ones. But I'm not holding my breath for anything appealing. Like Argentina and Brazil, whose jerseys immediately identify those teams, the USMNT is easily recognized in our uniforms. "Who are the blokes with the bloody ugly kits. Aight, the Yanks."

Adu needs more club games (as everyone has pointed out). He seems to try too hard. I though he played a lot better against Cuba than he did last night, but he was a late sub back then and were were up a man.

I don't know if Tino is WC quality yet. He's certainly CONCACAF quality. But maybe he's the kind of guy you want on the roster who will push the ones ahead of him and fire up the team.

Davies - IMO he's on the WC roster unless he plays himself off of it.

Was Perkins ever really tested?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Rogers the best player on the field?? Come on, he was ok at best. I felt Tino played very well and was deserving of being on the pitch. I think he also proved it.

The placement of his crosses were on point, 90% of the time. Though, my only criticism of him is he has the Clint Dempsey disease, where he will do something great for 5 minutes then disappears for a while.

That being said, it does show that our program is improving. Honduras is our biggest challenge (aside from Mexico, which has not looked that impressive).

Posted by: dogboy | July 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Adu's problem or one of his problems is he's a man without a position in Bradley's 4-4-2. Adu is really not a forward, he's a facilitator with probably the best skills and vision of anyone in the US pool. Case in point the heel in traffic in the first half that opened up Rogers to deliver that ball for Tino's diving header effort. I would say that play would only be made by Adu and that's the type of play required to unlock stingy defenses. That said, there is no excuse for the way he played so lazily last night in his chance to show what he has. He never closed out on defenders and lost every 50-50 ball that came his way. To me it looks like he plays with a I'm too cool for this attitude like I've seen far too much from Dempsey lately.

I think Davies has emerged as our new Cobi Jones/Ernie Stewart. He is a great option as a 2nd half sub to stretch an already tired defense. I think Tino should warrant a look on the A team for the 2nd half of qualifiers. Beasley should be left at home and let Tino push Dempsey to start hustling more to keep his spot. Better yet, I like Dempsey and Altidore starting up top.

Posted by: restonhoops | July 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

More post-match quotes. Apologies if someone already posted the link.

Tino will continue to succeed. His head is in the right place and so is his heart.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Go Millar Go! What is up with what the computer attached to his helmet? It sorta looks like a Power Tap brain, or something, but why is it on the back of his helmet?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Another thing I liked about that game was the yellow for diving. We need more of those.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Agreed OWNTF. I was LMFAO when Moreno got one last week in Columbus. Pissed me off that he made up for it scoring against DCU later on, but still.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that was Adu's last game here and he's heading back to Europe now.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@dogboy: Totally agree on Rogers - he seemed awfully one dimensional trying to sprint past defenders on the left wing, and the quality of his crosses was not terribly high. I didn't see the Grenada game, but I wasn't impressed with him tonight. Tino's a better rounded player and has a flair that few Americans demonstrate. If he keeps up his play for DC United, I think he'd be a great option to have around on the wings or up top.

Posted by: patricktmetz | July 9, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought Beckerman had a solid match, considering he spent most of it partnered in the middle with the entirely forgettable Pause. He was active, tackled hard, and displayed some nice technical skills. That said, I think Beckerman could benefit a lot from a move to Europe, facing higher quality opposition on a regular basis - right now, he's a bit too slow/inefficient in many aspects of his game.

I really hope Feilhaber can get some regular playing time at the club level. I like the idea of a Bradley/Feilhaber combo for the World Cup.

Posted by: noptov | July 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

the first half was a pretty dull affair, and i found myself watching ufc on spike for lengthy stretches. the second half was more of the same until the substitutions were made, and then things changed dramatically.

i was one who was criticizing bob bradley for not playing adu during the confederations cup, but now that i have seen his level of play i am changing my mind. he seems like he always tries to just take defenders on but then gets easily dispossessed. as many on here have said, he needs to get consistent club playing time.

i thought rodgers and beckerman were the best of the starters. rodgers looks to me like he could play on the first team. his pace is amazing, his dribbling is good and really effective, and he appears to have a very powerful and accurate shot with both feet. beckerman was very composed, handy, and tidy, i would much rather have him playing that mastroeni. charlie davies should be a first team starter in my opinion. he has pace, skill on the ball, great vision, persistence, and defends with high-pressure. i continue to be underwhelmed by ching. i thought cooper looked pretty good, and would VASTLY prefer to see him on the field instead of that lump of protoplasm conor casey. frankly, i don't see why quaranta would merit an 8. i thought he took his goal well, but i saw a lot of poor crosses, lost balls and generally lackluster play. i would give him a 6, and that is only by virtue of his goal.

Posted by: dfunkt | July 9, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Adu- i agree that he was unimpressive last night. Not sure im going to jump off the wagon just yet. I think it is obvious that he has not seen much time. His game speed is dam slow, his reactions are dam slow. Not sure why he is at Benfica. In my mind he should be in england, perhaps 2cd division. I dont like the kind of player he is turning out be. The portugese influence should come later in his career. At DCU he was blazing quick, now he is the slowest guy out there. I blame portugals league for the downfall.

Fielhaber should start on the usmnt. Granted he was schooling a 2cd rate honduran team, he still showed that he knows alot more. Beckerman's rating from goff is garbage. Sorry goff but i think Beckerman was at least a 7. He controlled the entire game in the first half. He was every where. Only when Benny came on did he die down for obvious reasons. Davies was good last night. He should def be on the roster as well. Ching in my mind stranded alot of chances by being one step behind. Part of the blame can go to Adu for not supplying any balls. but from ching i expect more. He looked like just another 2cd teamer out there. He is still one of my pics because in the box he is dangerous with his head and his feet. Not sure that he starts though.

Bradley Jr should be benched in my mind. The coach should try him off the bench, and see what happends. I think Benny is an all around better player, maybe not defensively, but offensively he is clearly better.

Posted by: g3impreza | July 9, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Rainy stage to Barcelona still exciting, carnage always happens in the rain. They'll eat well tonight though!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

very interesting game last night...

enjoyed watching it from my couch... also enjoyed hearing the united chants and songs...
I also enjoyed the pace of the game..
I enjoyed reading the metro hate on ives about supporters wearing United shirts in the stands. Silly metros, the just don't get it..

while I enjoyed Rogers' runs, I have to question why was he falling so gosh darn much? was he attempting to pull fouls out of the air to get good positioning for a free kick?? he should of realized early-on that courtney was not having any of it and continued to push into the 18... while I understand falling happens in this game, for rogers it seemed like a condition..

lastly, maybe it's the hair or the stench of hippie, but I still don't think Beckerman has got it... he seemed to play in slow motion... he did well for a holding mid, but this game called for more...

oh yeah almost forgot... I like Perkins ALOT. his game has matured leaps and bounds from his time with United... he controls his space in such a calm & strong manner... Does anyone know of where Tippeligaen games can be seen on the web when they are in season? I need to watch him when he plays with Vålerenga...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Boonen down! Ouch! Pesky white stripes!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF - Good effort, but Connor would run out of steam playing Aussie Rules faster than he normally does.

Posted by: TassieTiger | July 9, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know of where Tippeligaen games can be seen on the web when they are in season?
Posted by: bonghits4gomez
======

It's along way to Tippeligaen. It's a long way to go.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Who was the referee for the match, and can he be cloned?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Yea, an 8 for Santino is quite a hometown favor, though he did play pretty well.

But if you're saying that Santino was as good as Feilhaber or Davies last night, even in the limited minutes they played, you're flat out mistaken. Those two are clearly one cut above the rest (including the other "A" team players like Cherundolo and Ching).

Posted by: psps23 | July 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Rogers looked less effective then in his previous game because the referee (who was very consistent) tended to allow contact that could easily have been whistled as fouls. Rogers was hindered by this on several occasions. If he can increase his upper body strength, this will become less of a problem. He should work to get stronger if he wants a place in the 2010 WC squad. He clearly has the talent to claim that left wing position

Posted by: lmscdad | July 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

while I understand falling happens in this game, for rogers it seemed like a condition..
=========================

Maybe he had too many Funky Cold Medinas?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Sooooo, any news on Barklage?

Posted by: the_slammer | July 9, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The ref was Courtney Campbell (Jamaica). Here's his website.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"I blame portugals league for the downfall."

When Freddy was playing for Benfica, he was playing twice as quick as he ever had in a US uniform. In the Spain and Argentina friendlies last year, he was moving the ball in and out, getting it off his feet quick, he knew what he was doing with the ball before he got it, and it showed.

It was when he went to Monaco that his play fell off. It's so obvious how bad of an effect being on a non-competitive, low-level team has been for him. His speed of play and decision-making are back to MLS levels, he's not thinking two steps ahead, and his chemistry is off.

Having Freddy play in a 2nd or third tier league just for PT will do nothing for him. He can get by just fine in those leagues playing the way he is, with a his few moments of magic per game. He needs to go back to Benfica, train his ass off, get back into a competitive environment where he's forced to play at a racing pace. Freddy shows all the signs of being a "coaster", someone that does just enough. He needs to be pushed, and be pushed in the proper environment. Hopefully he sticks with Benfica this year. He needs it. Badly.

Posted by: psps23 | July 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I agree he that he needs to be pushed. He seems like he is just cruising around out there. I would make him run Hills everyday till he starts ball chasing.

Posted by: g3impreza | July 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought Beckerman ran a good midfield. Charlie Davies is wonderful. I was so glad to see all 3 United players in the game. Was the Espinosa on Hondouras the one on Real Salt Lake?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 9, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I missed the second half! I thought the US side stunk it up in the first half, particularly the defense. Some guys didn't even look like they were trying (Parkhurst, Pause). I can't see many of these guys making the WC roster next year.

Posted by: Brokenbil | July 9, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Espinosa is on K.C.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Espinoza is a US citizen I think. He played with Brunner at Ohio State. I remember him in college as a hothead, and in MLS getting red carded in (I think) his first game.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Was Perkins ever really tested?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 10:30 AM |
-------------------------------------------------

Perkins had a great diving save to cover the near post on a terrific free kick late in the game. He also cleanly handled a sharp grass-cutter. And, he forced "Peri" Martinez to shoot wide. A nice performance -- combined with an entry in FSC's "Saves of the Week" for his one-handed tour de force against Grenada, Perk is looking very solid. Makes me wonder why isn't more successful in Valarenga's league play (he won a Cup, but his league record not as impressive).

About Peri -- though he missed two good chances, I still feel DCU should have offered more money to bring him in.

@OWNTF -- It's unclear whether the yellow was for the dive, or for the handball which preceded the dive.

@those who criticize player ratings, even as they write that they tuned in a lot of UFC during the game -- Don't. If you didn't watch for 90 minutes, you have no way of evaluating anything.

Posted by: fischy | July 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Also -- I retract my calling Perkins "Perk". Since there is a younger 'keeper in the US system with that last name, it will get confusing. From now on he's "Perks" -- or "Troy", as he was curiously labeled in FSC's pregame lineup. He could be one of these one-named socer players. Just "Troy".

Posted by: fischy | July 9, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

You'd think that Lula would give Obama a Kaka or Alves jersey.

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/07/09/lula-zings-obama-on-soccer.aspx

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a DC United update?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a DC United update?

Posted by: DadRyan

******************************

The next game is in 9 days against Columbus. In other news you may heard, Tino Quaranta scored at RFK last night but it was for the US Men's National Team.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@fischy: hmmm, so my 6 for quaranta, based on the match portions that i did watch, was off the mark? in fact, i watched probably 80% of the match, changing channels during throw-ins and fouls, etc. and do not feel that i am in any way arguing from ignorance. possibly you might inform me of the outstanding play of quaranta that i missed?

Posted by: dfunkt | July 9, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Fun game to be at to a point. Stuck between some Hondurans who had too much to drink behind me and some Americans with the same problem in front. I am a very enthusiastic fan and love the atmosphere, noise, spirit and so do my kids, but I don't think it is too much to ask to go to a game without flying beer and a guy (US fan) who drops his pants (literally) to show his tight speedos to the Hondurans behind him (though I grant that a speedo moon is better than the real kind). Mr. Speedo informed me that if I didn't like getting hit with beer aimed at him, I should be sitting at the upper deck or staying at home. Just my take, and maybe I am getting old, but if we can't have a reasonable balance between the family crowd (we made a lot of noise, too, btw)and the rowdier 20-30 something crowd, soccer won't keep growing and the Mr. Speedo's of this world will be sitting at games with drunk Hondurans or, for MLS, with a chosen few thousand hard core...

On the field...A scientific poll of me and my 3 soccer playing kids/critics led to some mixed views of player performace - no consensus on Tino (consistently good or just good in spots?)- even though we all love him for DCU - more + overall for Rogers and Marshall, OK on Beckermann and Cherundulo, down on Pause and Adu, big plus for Benny and Charlie.

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | July 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel, we just played Columbus ya smart aleck. I'm curious about Barkalage's injury, maybe an update on Moreno, Emilio, etc. Is Tino headed to Houston, you know the normal kind of stuff I'd expect on SI, even with Goff out of town. Couldn't care less about wether or not Gooch was in the crowd or not...

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Speedo informed me that if I didn't like getting hit with beer aimed at him, I should be sitting at the upper deck or staying at home. "

Wouldn't have helped, I was up top where another drunk flung his beer over the wall from section 417....half of it hit the few rows up front. This was Honduran on Honduran spillage. Overall, an awesome experience, one of the best I've ever to at RFK. The Quaranta goal was unreal especially how it just silenced the blue and white. On the color schemes, I had no idea Red is preferred, I just went with my DCU jersey.

Posted by: mbetka23 | July 9, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@sportsparenttoo: As you probably know, for DC matches there is the loud side and the quiet (family) side. For CONCACAF matches, it's harder to separate the families from the frenzied because the visiting fans (and traveling US fans too) probably don't adhere to the unwritten and unspoken codes of conduct for each side.

Sitting in the upper deck may not help either because also sitting there are the drunken idiots who throw cups at the fans below. Well, you'll be a little drier anyway.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Barklage out for the season.

I have my sources ;)

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

sportsparenttoo: I've never understood why idiots throw beers. There's nothing worse than trying to drive home smelling like that -- imagine if you get pulled over. Hope your kids didn't get any...

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@restonhoops: I second your proposal: "Beasley should be left at home and let Tino push Dempsey to start hustling more"

Posted by: Alsatian1 | July 9, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

With the price of beer at RFK, even that beer-water they sell, I also don't understand why people throw it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

With the price of beer at RFK, even that beer-water they sell, I also don't understand why people throw it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 1:29 PM |

Last night one of the beer stands was manned by Marines who volunteered for the night. Must have something to do with the sponsorship of US Soccer. Anyway, they were selling what had to be at least 32 ounce cups of Bass Ale for $7. The last time we went to get a refill someone from Sodexo was in the booth and we were back to the 12 ounce cups.

Semper Fi indeed!

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

god bless the corps.


ubnlike everyone else i was really not impressed by beckerman. he is slow and unskilled. his only real strength is to intimdate and put in a crunching tackle. dude should not be seeing real international play and an opponent with the skill level of the honduran b team is as high as he should see. would have rather the team gone with an extra attacking midfielder and overwhelmed them with offense then seeing another plodding dime a dozen american defensive midfielder. brian carroll would have been just as good as beckerman and would have furthered the dcu reunion motif.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | July 9, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sodexo is un-American!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

A comment I should have made earlier about last nights game. The Honduran fans near us were very emotional (by which I do NOT mean rowdy) during their National Anthem. Which made me very emotional during ours. We forget we are lucky to live in a country where we don't wake up one day to find the president thrown out and the military running the show. Whatever our political views, we are free to express them without fear.

I also got misty-eyed when Tino scored.
That could have had something to do with the Bass Ale.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Well said B&RRD.

Tino's post-match quotes choked me up a little and I haven't had a beer - yet.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Huntelaar to Stuttgart for 20 mil euro

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Coach Bradley deserves a round of applause for inserting just the right 2 guys and removing the ineffective 2. Lots of coaches can see the problem, but not so many can look at their bench and see a solution (yes, you Tommy Soehn)

My favorite moment that wasn't a goal was the scare that Davies put on their keeper charging down his clearance and nearly getting to it to touch it into an open net. Think how we'd be talking about how much Freddy had learned if that had been him. Adu should look inwards and think of why he can't summon up that kind of drive.

Finally, I thought Beckerman deserved better than 6. Did he lose points for his ridiculous hair? Because if not, I thought he patrolled the back really well and worked 90 minutes making tackles and tracking back. He also stepped up quickly and closed space for their midfield, possibly one of the reasons that they resorted to hoofing it long to their front pair. I think last night was easily his best game for the US and should warrant his inclusion in the upcoming WCQ squads. 7/10 would be a fairer mark.

Posted by: gooner71 | July 9, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Sportparenttoo, I think I would have temporarily switched allegiances, bought Pepsis for me and my soccer critic kids (cheaper and stickier than beer), and family-dumped them on Speedo boy. Perhaps set the Hondurans up with Pepsis too.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | July 9, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about Barklage. There were rumors to that effect going around Lot 8 pre-game yesterday.

DadRyan, do you seriously expect me to believe that there is both a Columbus AND a Colorado in MLS?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 9, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

this game may have produced the most agreement i have ever seen on this blog - scary.

that said, i have a couple of bones to pick with Mr. Tenorio:

1. i would argue that they key moment of the game was the subs which led to the goal moreso than the goal itself, though i understand that doesn't lend itself to as nice of a narrative.

2. the use of the phrase "changed everything" at the end of his article annoys me. this is a phrase that is fast becoming overused in the media to the point of being a crutch ("this is the episode that changes everything" ad nauseum). it's a bad, bordering on meaningless phrase.

the subs were the key to getting the win, but i don't know if BB deserves a ton of credit. they were so obvious that i predicted them in the comment thread during the first half, and my opinions should normally be considered suspect at best. but in a game where it was obvious that we needed a distributor and some speed in order to create some space for ourselves, Benny and Davies were really the only choices. but i've been trying to remain neutral/positive on the BB front, so i will give him a thumbs up for this one as well. i really do think he can lead us out of the group stages at the WC.

on a much lighter note, here's a fun collection of all the World Cup mascots since 1966 (not including Zakumi):

http://kidz.bluehyppo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/all-fifa-mascots.jpg

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 9, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

according to ESPN, charlie davies is set to sign with league 1 side sochaux for a 3 year deal! very interesting development if correct...

Posted by: dfunkt | July 9, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

this game may have produced the most agreement i have ever seen on this blog - scary.
Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 9, 2009 3:21 PM
============

I disagree with that! This changes everything.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with that! This changes everything.

Posted by: I-270Exit1

Overegging the custard.

Posted by: Reignking | July 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit to multi-tasking, but the Rogers love affair seems to be based more on the hangover from a sparkling performance vs. Grenada than anything last night. Yes, he showed quickness and effort, but didn't actually accomplish much with the ball once he had it. I was kind of disappointed.

I also don't get the Beckerman thing. I did not see him being overly creative, and I saw some UGLY touches. Again, multi-tasking, but what I did see was middle-of-the-road, nothing special stuff from him. If I had to distribute player ratings he would therefore get a middle-of-the-road rating (5.5).

Adu needs to play club football. He was pretty much useless. And Ching...ahh, Ching. Typical Ching performance, not that good, but redeemed by a goal scored apparently with his elbow or upper arm, which makes Bob B. forget about anything else. I HATE seeing Ching score, because it just reinforces Bob's love despite all of the other glaring weaknesses.

Now, @fischy, from earlier:
"Overall, though, I'm not sure what your point is. That this as basically a "B" team? Of course it is." Etc.

My point is, understanding that this is a "B" team, and he is out to find depth, none of the players on this squad are going to provide it in top-level international football, in my opinion. And, they're all known quantities. What Bob SHOULD have done is called in some people he HASN'T seen before, and tried to find depth in new places. A little creativity could go a long way. I'm just thanking God that Jay Heaps hasn't seen the field.

Posted by: duck95 | July 9, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

fallschurch1 - interesting suggestion, keep that in mind for next time.

I270 - yes, we do stick to the family side for DCU games and enjoy the spectacle of the bouncing stands from the safety of section 306 or 310 or wherever we get tickets since we don't have a season package yet. That said, probably just bad luck where we were sitting, but last night was worse than all previous Concacaf RFK games I've attended - maybe the result of the 9pm start with lots of time to drink cheap beer outside before throwing the expensive stuff inside. (Reingking, yes my kids got it, too but my son's Uncle Sam top hat way some protection for him, at least.)

BandRRD - agreed, the national anthems both were a bit more meaningful last night all around and I have no problem with that sort of emotion or just plain old rowdiness up to a point. My kids and me doused with beer more than once (from behind me and from the walk way above), crosses the line.

I'll still be back whether it is Concacaf or DCU but less hard core soccer fans than us might not be...

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | July 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 9, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Watched my DVR of this game last night. Fox Soccer's production really failed at capturing the energy of the stadium. It came across as dull and lifeless. I suspect it was the audio set up they employed.

Kind of disappointing as I felt the energy in the stadium was some of the best in a while. (Since perhaps 2007 playoff loss to Chicago?)

Posted by: JkR- | July 10, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Santino did not deserve a 8 He should of got a "9" .
It is remarkable that the state of Maryland small in size is tremendous in the ability of its players. Beckerman,Adu,Quaranta,Cooper All grew up playing in the area.

Posted by: highlandtownoldtimer | July 10, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Having seen Adu the last two games I am now pretty much convinced that he is older than he says he is (as a Ghanaian friend in the DC area assured me). He dominated when he was playing against younger players but is now having a really tough time.

That said, he looks worse against grown men than he used too.

Posted by: olinto | July 10, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixedmingle dot com--- All singles there are seeking interracial relationships and sports friends. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

Posted by: sallyworking2006 | July 11, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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