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USA Loses at Denmark, 3-1

The USA finished the 2009 calendar with a thud -- a troubling 3-1 loss at Denmark after seizing the lead in the first half. Jeff Cunningham scored on a left-footed strike from about 21 yards, but the Danes shredded the USA backline in the first 10 minutes of the second half with three routine goals, including the equalizer 70 seconds after the break.

Edgar Castillo made his long-awaited debut, entering midway through the second half on the left side of midfield. Frankie Hejduk showed his age. The USA was without several regulars, but most of those given the opportunity to shine flopped.

The Americans played 24 matches this year (13-8-3 record) and used 54 players. The starting lineup was different every match, except for the Gold Cup semifinal and final.

Positives: Securing World Cup berth, finishing first in final round, upsetting Spain to advance to Confederations Cup final, taking lead at Azteca, coming from behind several times to earn points.

Negatives: 5-0 loss in Gold Cup final, Costa Rica nightmare, relinquishing two-goal lead vs. Brazil, meltdown against Denmark, long-term injuries.

Wins: Sweden, Mexico, T&T (twice), Honduras (four times), Egypt, Spain, Grenada, Panama, El Salvador.

Losses: Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil (twice), Mexico (twice), Slovakia, Denmark.

Draws: El Salvador, Haiti, Costa Rica.

Hello: Stuart Holden, Edgar Castillo, Jeff Cunningham (Jermaine Jones?).

Welcome Back: Benny Feilhaber.

Goodbye: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Frankie Hejduk, Pablo Mastroeni.

Next: Training camp with available players starting in early January at Home Depot Center, home friendly late in the month.

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: MLS News & Notes

Comments

I'm guessing Frankie was a late addition to your list...

Posted by: Reignking | November 18, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wish I stayed at work! That sucked!

Posted by: srose13 | November 18, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

To those who still roll their eyes at us irrational Bradley haters... the man thinks that this is a finished product that, time to time, needs to be mixed up, with guys like Goodson, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie, and, if he's not in already, Bornstein.

Oh yeah, and Rogers totally is going to be great on the right. Just watch him NOT cross.

But, we capped Castillo, so I guess that's kind of a plus.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | November 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Totally Sucked! Vamos Ireland!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

With Medvedev and Abramovich watching from the visiting fans' section, Slovenia hangs on for a 1-0 win over Russia and qualifies (2-2 aggregate, Slovenes got away goal in 1st leg).

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 18, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

They're dancing in the streets of Ljubljana

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

To those who still roll their eyes at us irrational Bradley haters... the man thinks that this is a finished product that, time to time, needs to be mixed up, with guys like Goodson, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie, and, if he's not in already, Bornstein.

Oh yeah, and Rogers totally is going to be great on the right. Just watch him NOT cross.

But, we capped Castillo, so I guess that's kind of a plus.

Posted by: UnitedDemon

Amen.

Posted by: Brian76 | November 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well that was a hot pile of... You thought you knew pathetic? This was a pathetic performance. At the end of the day the midfield sucked a massive one. Those machine gun goals in the first 10 min of the 2nd half I lay at the midfield's feet. This team is pathetic when they come out at the half but the midfield really sucked something galactic today - they look a league or two below in class.

This team relies way too much on Landon Donovan, which any coach with a fraction of a brain would know how to neutralize and once that happens - it's headless chicken powers activate time.

I know I am about to commit blog sin here but for me Jozy is not an automatic starter right now - YEAH I SAID IT!! I know Davies was a huge loss, but watching Jozy's half-assness up there lately is just sickening, no wonder why he can't get a sniff in at Hull.

Maybe it's too many games, or the psychological impact of the loss of some key players, or the lack of hunger and testiculars of the backups (depth my left one), or...whatever - but this team better get it together because we are NOT going to be seeded and chances are pretty good that we are going to be in a nasty group. If this team does not sort itself out and it's 3 strikes and your out time all over again come the summer, which would be extremely unfortunate, considering the growth that this team has made recently.

This is sickening.

Posted by: Kosh2 | November 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

as they say in Denmark, "uff da."

I understand goodbye to the three old and perennially injured, but to Freddy? No one would put him on the squad right now, but he's healthy and in season. Solid play in the Portuguese league from now until, say, March wouldn't get him considered?

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Solid play in the Portuguese league from now until, say, March wouldn't get him considered?

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 4:48 PM

Freddy... solid... play... league - does not compute

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is an indictment of the coaching staff. If you have to bring in this many players to evaluate them, you clearly have no idea of what the H you are doing. Not only do you not have a nose for spotting talent but you never put together a combination that may work in the long run. I also think BB has lost the faith of his core squad with all this messin around. He may turn it around, but I'd feel better if we had someone else running the show

Posted by: Ruthie1 | November 18, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Extra time in Paris

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Russia didn't qualify?

HIDDINK FOR DC NOW

Posted by: spidergoose | November 18, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This is an indictment of the coaching staff.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | November 18, 2009 4:53 PM

I just don't understand the people who constantly blame managers for the US shortcomings. The team gets to a level (and often above it) that talent takes them. Who are all the guys that he's leaving out tearing up club football? Our defense is poor because we don't have good defenders - doesn't that make sense? And we have injuries on top of that.

You know who's a sh*tty manager - Raymond Domenech. He left Karim Benzema on the bench tonight. If you're the US manager, Karim Benzema ain't walking through that door to sit on your bench.

Be proud that we've qualified for a 6th World Cup Finals in a row - and happy that it's not being played in Europe.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Sports Nation is just like Soccer Insider!

FREE LAMBERT!
;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Jesus! Henry is a cheat!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

definitely a hand ball. ireland has a legitimate complaint.

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Going mental on Irish radio - apparently Henry handled the ball before the goal. Ugh. It's 2-1 France on aggregate but Ireland could still win with a goal

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

France scores on a slap-pass-shot, DadRyan wants to say.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Do away goals count for the 30-minute overtime?

Posted by: Cerealman | November 18, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

And if I'm the Irish, I go down anytime they're bumped in the box ... give the ref a chance to even things up.

Posted by: Cerealman | November 18, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Do away goals count for the 30-minute overtime?

Posted by: Cerealman | November 18, 2009 5:15 PM

yes

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Henry used Iverson-like dribbling skill to get that assist.

Tough series of calls for the ref as the replay was obvious but it would be hard to spot for the ref unless he was on the endline. A few minutes earlier replays seemed to show Given fouling Anelka on a breakaway but it was very hard to spot on the first "real speed" viewing.

Here's a good feed for those who can watch the 2nd extra period:

http://www.atdhe.net/10488/watch-france-vs-ireland

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 18, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The hand of G-d kept that ball from going out of bounds

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

This is pathetic. The reason Gallas doesn't celebrate one iota is because he knew he didn't earn it.

Henry can't seem to stop using his effing hands!!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

From Reuters:

Paris, France, Nov. 17 -- France surrendered to Ireland today when thousands of white-towel waving Parisians gave the city over to Patrick Donovan moments after he departed a cafe in tears and curses.

"We have been invaded by Ireland, and we do not want more bloodshed," French President Nicholas Sarkozy said in a statement today, minutes after he departed for Switzerland. "We ask that Mr. Donovan have mercy on us all."

Donovan could not be reached for comment, although he was heard as repeating "Let me at Henry! Let me at that bloody bloke! That cheating bloody @#$% *(&$^@# *&^$)@!"

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 18, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

fifa got the result they wanted, but that was just wrong (no, I don't allege corruption; merely incompetence).

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

nice, joe! prepare for the onslaught of angry posts by patriotic frenchmen.

;-)

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

fifa got the result they wanted, but that was just wrong (no, I don't allege corruption; merely incompetence).

Posted by: troy6 | November 18, 2009 5:34 PM

I don't necessarily think FIFA wanted this - maybe Platini and UEFA. Ireland would have sent tens of thousands more fans to South Africa - not to mention good cheer and humor with them. To a tournament that really needs a lot of good fans.

Travesty - I almost feel bad for Henry who will now have this mentioned for the rest of his life.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Jozy needs to come back to MLS. He'll at least get some regular playing time in March and April. The way he's been struggling lately he's no longer an asset to the Nats.

Posted by: Figgy | November 18, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Jozy needs to come back to MLS. He'll at least get some regular playing time in March and April. The way he's been struggling lately he's no longer an asset to the Nats.

Posted by: Figgy | November 18, 2009 5:44 PM

Congratulations on the most bonkers post of the day.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Congratulations on the most bonkers post of the day."

1) First of all, could you please do what I just did, and immediately indicate when you're quoting a prior post? Some of you make it way too confusing to read threads around here. (And no, sticking the "Posted by" part at the end doesn't do the trick. The trouble has already been caused.)

Sorry, but I'm really grumpy today because of the USA and Ireland losses. But that's all you need to do: Just plop some quote marks around it. Job done. Nobody will mistake somebody else's words for yours.

2) Second of all, I don't think the post was all that bonkers. Jozy IS struggling, and he's not an asset right now. Probably wouldn't hurt him to come back to MLS, and people need to stop thinking of that as such a radical proposition for our players. Europe isn't some sort of auotmatic magic bullet.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | November 18, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Incredible that both referees could not come to make the right call on the Henry hand ball. Anyone who has played the game knows the ball could simply not have made that kind of movement withOUT hitting his hand.

Re: US

Fair assessment of ups and downs of this year for the team. Adu should not be lumped in with aging players as a 'goodbye', however.
A bit of consistency with the starting 11 would be ideal, but I think the core contributors are set enough for next summer: Howard, Donovan, Boca, Jozy, Bradley, Clark, Dempsey. Between Dolo, Specter, Demerrit and (wavering) Bornstein we have the D set. We can only hope Big Bradley finds a way to incorporate clearly more talented players in Castillo and Jones. I won't hold my breath on that.
Up front, going with the in form players has worked so far. You can't say any of the secondary options have proven themselves beyond the other for outside mid/forward.

Posted by: inzzo79 | November 18, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"I know I am about to commit blog sin here but for me Jozy is not an automatic starter right now - YEAH I SAID IT!! I know Davies was a huge loss, but watching Jozy's half-assness up there lately is just sickening"

Who do you suggest? Casey?

I was skeptical but satisfied with Bob Bradley as coach, but recently things have been spiraling downward. This is the probably one of the worst times for a team to lose its momentum and not have chemistry. Do'h!

Posted by: redskinsux | November 18, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

redskinsux -- Why is it that the answer MUST come from what we have seen, or know? There are lots of guys out there playing in other leagues who have gotten ne'er a sniff of an invite for a look see. If you will recall, before we fell in love with Davies and he became a starter he was playing in the Scandanavian leagues. He brought speed, but that was about all we knew about him. Then he got his shot and well like the say the rest is...

I sincerely hope that BB and co. give the Traceys, Findleys and other guys a look see in January, because he needs to answer some serious questions up top.

...oh and to answer your question, no, Casey is not the answer. Sweet heavens man, are you running a high fever?

Posted by: Kosh2 | November 18, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I think Lalas said it best when he noted that the US is fragile. Take away a couple of key players and we fall apart. In the best interests of the USA - in fact it's a national priority - Landon Donovan should be benched for the MLS Cup final. We can't risk and injury.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Hiddink's available.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Defense sucked. Midfield sucked. Strikers had no service. Ugly. But I do blame Bradley as well. Why didn't he replace Frankie at halftime, put Spector on the right and put Conrad in the center - check out another center back combo. Why in god's name did he put Castillo on the flank instead of giving him a half at left back. Borenstein certainly was nothing to write home about and how does Bradley find out if Castillo is a potential answer at left back if he doesn't give him a shot.

Posted by: Beckster1 | November 18, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I have to see that I completely agree with Beckster1's comments. I expected that Hejduk and Bornstein would sit in hte second half. When the half started without changes, I was surprised. All I can think is that Bradley wanted to see what Spector could do in the middle, and wanted to see if Hejduk could still bring it...and that he needed more than a half to tell. I'm reluctant to criticize a coach for moves in a friendly match, but he really should have brought on Conrad or Goodson and moved Spector out wide. What was really mind-blowing was that he pulled off Spector, and left Bornstein and Hejduk in to play the whole game. Maybe he needed some convincing that they aren't the answers -- if so, this game ought o be the final proof.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I love it when people who rarely post anything come on here making demands about "how confusing some of us make it".

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused.
Posted by: me

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"I love it when people who rarely post anything come on here making demands about "how confusing some of us make it"."

Are they less entitled to have an easily readable string of comments?

For the record, the lack of quotes doesn't bother me, since I usually read every response and will therefore recognize when one has been copied and pasted...

Posted by: carmines757 | November 18, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Entitled" carmines? This ain't no Sounders blog...
My thoughts are actually right along your lines, my point is that if you're going to skim through the comments you are hardly in any position to start demanding how people post. Is that really so unreasonable?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

horrible.

agree jozy looks like a fat slob up top.

eddie johnson is beyond wothless.

robbie rogers was not good.

defense horrible.
spector didnt look good for a change.

hejduk and conrad are u kidding me????
bornstein are u double kidding me??

45mins of pain and agony.

Posted by: castroviejo | November 19, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see one poor display on the road with a bunch of longshots to make the WC squad is being treated like an outrage. I seem to have misplaced my pitchfork, does anyone have a spare?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 19, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that the US B Team lost to a good European B team.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 19, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Step back on Team USA. It was a successful season. We qualified for yet another World Cup Final and came close to winning the Confederations Cup. We showed we are quite competitive when we can field our first choices -- and that we are no better than average when we have to dip into the reserves. Highlighting the downside was the Mexico debacle in the Gold Cup and yesterday's embarrassment.

Bradley is doing a good job with the tools he has available. Job #1 is evaluating who he will take to South Africa. It's easy to question game-to-game tactics. Why play Hejduk and Bornstein? Maybe he wanted to let them finally prove they can't play to international standards. If he can't see that, then criticism of him is warranted. Gooch's absence -- and maybe DeMerit's too -- exposes the lack of defensive depth. Conrad's too old. Goodson needs more seasoning. Can Marshall step up yet? Perhaps, but European clubs don't seem to be camping on his doorstep -- which is a good indication of a player's worth. Gonzalez looks like he could be the next Gooch, but he doesn't appear ready for a key 2010 role. We can cover DR with Spector and Cherundolo. DL is a huge void and questionmark. But Bradley is not unique among managers. In the football world, DL seems to have the thinnest talent pool. Bocanegra can play there -- if another DC can be found. Hopefully, a new face can be found for DL before next June.

Yes, except for capitalizing on the Denmark keeper's howler clearance, the USA attack looked poor yesterday. Can anyone expect better when Donovan, Dempsey and Davies are missing? Each requires close attention from opponents, freeing up other players. We won't have Davies for South Africa, but Donovan and Dempsey will make our attack better than it was yesterday. Rodgers and Holden can hold down the right side. Up top? Who knows? Except for Davies, nobody's emerged from the pack. We're still trying to replace McBride.

Like most national teams, USA is not deep when it comes to competing against the Brazils of the world. We are a young football nation. We have the disadvantage of seeing some of the best young athletes playing other sports. When our first-choices bring their best game and blend as a team, we are competitive. Anything less and you get results like yesterday's. Bradley had a good year, considering player availability and lack of depth, especially in defense. With luck in the draw, he can take the team beyond the group stage next year.


Posted by: runningcloud | November 19, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

My question is how many other countries use that many players? I would argue that a team of good players that consistently play together is much better than a team of great players who rarely play together. I would just like to see the US squad pick a core and stick with it. That being said, well done Danmark.

Posted by: TheDane1 | November 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Cmon. There was nothing positive that came from those two games from a team perspective. The US can't continue to play like this and expect anything but another flop in the first round in SA. We need to go back to packing it in and relying on the counter.

Is there anyone who can consistently play a 30 or 40 yard ball to feet? It was like watching a bad highschool match with the balls out of the back. Does lil Bradley play this bad in Germany? Yikes.

Posted by: hacksaw | November 19, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

TV commentary by Harkes & Dellacamera got more weird after the 3-goal in 10-minutes fiasco. Naming several players as 'perhaps' not fit questions why a coach would bring unfit players into the squad if such were the case. And if friendlies are supposed to give the new faces a chance to showcase their abilities why not give them the full 90. Castillo could not show anything because the whole squad played like a bunch of school kids knocking the ball all over the pitch without purpose, without parience and without control. What tactics did Bob come up with before the game and after the first half; obviously none after such a pitifull and horrendous display. He's better off having friendlies with college teams.

Posted by: juke2 | November 19, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Whoever advocates Jozy returning to MLS must explain how this would help him prepare for WC2010, considering the MLS season is now over until Spring. Unless you'd like him to secure his future with RBNY instead of fighting for his place at Hull.

Posted by: duck95 | November 19, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Well excuse me for wanting my team - A, B, C or 15 - to at least compete whenever they show up for whatever match. Last I checked it was a match - otherwise known as a competition - friendly or not. Do I expect us to win them all? It's insulting to even suggest I would think that. But is it unreasonable to ask for a serious effort? This fan does not think so.

Posted by: Kosh2 | November 20, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of Bradley!!!
Obviously he keeps regurgitating players that should not be at the Nat level.
The fact that after about 4 years, he has not settled on a true A team with a B team in the waiting is unacceptable.
4 years to deliver a true starting line up with quality subs and he is still looking at players 7 months before the WC..?????
As Goff stated, "the starting lineup was different every match".
Sure injuries make you change things up, but come on......let them develop chemistry.
One prime idiotic move was to put Demarcus B. as a fullback. He was pathetic. Out of all the players in the US, there is noone else out there to give a chance.
I am tired of American style of coaching.

Bring in Gus Hiddink now, then we might have a chance at going farther in the World Cup!

I will still root for the USMNT but with the lingering doubt of why Gulati has kept Bob Bradley as the coach.

Posted by: Redskins2881 | November 21, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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