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In victory, U.S. players make World Cup push

Read about the 2-1 victory over El Salvador on Wednesday night.

Watch ESPN's wrap-up and highlight package.

It's safe to say that Jonathan Bornstein is a lock for the World Cup roster and Clarence Goodson is inching closer. That said, following the friendly in Tampa.....

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Thursday kickaround

Comments

i only watched the first 55 minutes or so of the match and it was god awful.

i wish more people had bothered to stream the bolton/tottenham game so I have ppl to compare opinions on holden with, sigh.

Posted by: crocken | February 25, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I fell asleep around halftime. Glad to see we came back! Was Casey replaced by Ching? Maybe it's just me, but it seemed to me he contributed nothing.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 25, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Bornstein and Goodson are probably on the plane, but Pearce's performance has to open up the conversation about the starting left back again. Perhaps Bornstein or Spector might be better suited to take on England, but I'm thinking Pearce could help the USA go on the offensive against Slovenia and Algeria. Now that he's healthy, Ching should recapture the target striker role. Does Casey make the plane to SA? Possibly as a fifth striker, if BB decides to bring that many. On the other hand, what happens if an MLS strike or lockout drags on for a couple of months? Does the USSF have a contingency plan to keep these guys in training shape? Inquiring minds want to know...

Posted by: fischy | February 25, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

"Does Casey make the plane to SA? Possibly as a fifth striker, if BB decides to bring that many."

I just puked.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 25, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Sigh Crocken? YOu know ESPN 360 was steaming the thing for free, and I'm sure they've got an archive if you wanna go check yourself?

redskinsux proves once again he has no idea what he's taling about. Who didn't do anything again?

Effing Chumps these posters sometimes. No love.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 25, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

"redskinsux proves once again he has no idea what he's taling about. Who didn't do anything again?"

haha. Well, unless Casey played exceptional between the time I fell asleep (40'?) until he was subbed, I stand by my comment. By the looks of it, he once again looked like he had logs on his feet.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 25, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

@redskinsux -- Yes, Ching came on for Casey at halftime. He had a number of chances, before knocking in the tying goal on Pearce's fantastic cross. Gavin also came on for Davis and was giving his best Clint Dempsey impression, drawing foul after foul with his nimble dribbling. Rogers served up some delicious free kicks and rang one shot of the woodwork, but I don't know if that will be enough to beat out Holden. There were lots of aimless runs, and a painful miss on a 1 v 1, when he probably should have crossed. Kljestan basically disappeared in the second half, until his daring steal and give-and-go that produced his winning goal. No one else did anything worth mentioning.

Posted by: fischy | February 25, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@fischy

Yeah to me, Casey looked really slow. In two instances where we had a chance to break out, he cheated on the line and was called offside. It was like he didn't even try to hold the line.

This is my problem. Why wouldn't BB give Pontius a chance over Casey? Give him a shot to show something because we all know what Casey brings--Grit. No speed, no technical ability, nothing worthy of a National team, in my opinion.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 25, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

No one else did anything worth mentioning.

Posted by: fischy | February 25, 2010 1:30 AM
___________________________________
I would add that Heath Pearce looked quality, especially going forward.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | February 25, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Kljestan.

Although I'm still a bit baffled that he can score 3 goals against Sweden, a goal against El Salv. but he can't come through with big numbers in MLS (1 goal every 10 games). He definitely has the potential to be a solid starter for the US but just needs a bit something…maybe a trip to WC 10 will be what he needs to motivate for 2014?


Posted by: Southeasterner | February 25, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I defy BB to tell me that Pontius would not have played better than Casey. What a waste he was.

And while I'm on it, if we can't find forwards that finish the opportunities, we'll never make it out of the first round this Summer.

Posted by: carnack | February 25, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I really hope this game proves to Bradley that Casey does not belong on this team. The team would have been better served had Ching started. Also I really do not understand why Evans got the nod and went the whole game. I realize that this was a meaningless tune up, but it demonstrated to me that Bradley's lineups are laced with coach favorites. He reminds me of a high school coach that would pick a player whom they favor (for whatever personal reasons) over someone more talented. I thought it was a shame that Cameron did not play more and I really think Gaven is overrated. Gaven played well, but his finishing and passing in the final third is mediocre.

Posted by: no_recess | February 25, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't know a thing about Clarence Goodson. His name is just so...uninspiring. It's vanilla. It's blah. Completely unfair, I know, but I the guy has barely been on the USMNT radar that I haven't bothered.

Posted by: Reignking | February 25, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought Rogers and Gaven both played pretty selfishly, trying to notch goals to make an impression on Bradley. Particularly when Rogers took an awful shot to beat the keeper nearside when Ching was pointing to pass the ball to whoever was wide open on the right.

Posted by: joe_hill | February 25, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Who voted for Findley? His relatives?

Argy Bargy players may have noted that, as promised, I continued moving up the charts. 4th with a bullet!

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 25, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

someone seriously voted for Casey in this? and Findley as well? C'mon, fess up, fellas. that was a joke, right?

Posted by: troy6 | February 25, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@ joe_hill

Gaven-as-selfish-as-Rogers-say-WHAT?

He generated plenty of attack, and provided service into the box from the right side. Are you suggesting that, because he actually had a shot on goal, that he was selfish to do so from that position? Or was it his penetrating runs that displeased you?

Rogers had the easiest assist opportunity in National team history, and shanked a shot from a tight point blank angle instead. There is no competition.

Ching, you better have some ability when Bob subs you into the World Cup. I mean it.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | February 25, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

perhaps we should look shorter-term. rather than, "who's going to SA" we should ask, "who's going to Amsterdam?"

Ching, Bornstein, Goodson, Beckerman, and Pearce should go. Rodgers and Kljestan also, pending space availability.

Posted by: troy6 | February 25, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Why does everyone think Ching is so good. I have nothing against the guy personnally and he is a higher level MLS player. Even his play against this team was good. But El Salvador made everyone look top notch last night. However you can notice a few things about Ching: His headers aren't as crisp as they once were, his goal was lucky, and his movement is still second class. It just benefited him that all he had to do was move and the defender would not follow.
He probably will make the WC squad, but he won't play. Jozy is better, and i'm pretty sure everyone we have playing up top is faster.

Posted by: SexyOffender | February 25, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The biggest eye-opener for me last night was Rogers, he DOES NOT belong on the national team. His crosses are garbage and his off-the-ball play is terrible. His physicality leaves a faint ray of hope, because you cant teach size or speed, but he has a huge hill to climb in regards of playing the game! (did i say his crosses, after he left the defense reorganize, suck a fatty? because they do!). Casey can pack his passport away too, he shouldn't be within 1700 miles of SA in 4 months.

Ching and Pearce were the bright spots on a pretty dim night. Sascha saved his OK performance with a brilliant steal and one-two with ching for the game clincher. He played the whole game (literally and figuratively), and that kind of effort really impresses. He also seemed to be the most fit american out there, most of the other guys looked like they still had a bit of there winter weight on them; especially rogers (dont get me started) and ching (off-season surgery).

Good win against a familiar, yet way over-matched opponent.

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | February 25, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night. Our passing wasn't bad in midfield , here is where I give a nod to Beckerman he did a lot of little things to control play. Ching was a good target and strong up front. Evans played a mediocre game, the mistake that cost a goal was inexcusable. I guess it was Rogers who missed the cross/shot when he had two teamamtes. Still we have trouble finishing, we had an opening in first half someone stubbed a weak shot at the keeper anything harder would have scored The salvador keeper kept themin the game with several good saves. over all team needs to tighten up.

Posted by: anti1 | February 25, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I continue to scratch my head over some of Rogers' decisions. I can't stop thinking of his effort to take on two Hondurans all by himself last match.

Ching is a big man with some agility and a high work-rate. Starting XI IMHO.

I would like to see Pearce making overlapping runs with Donovan!

I wish Cunningham had been given a better shot over the last two games, starting alongside a big-man versus Honduras and not playing on a 10-man side.

Posted by: DaninFL | February 25, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

My thoughts on the game:

-Ching is going to the WC, he was the best player on the pitch except for the El Salvador goalie. He'll be in Amsterdam
-Kljestan is such a paradox. He disappeared for large stretches of the game and made some very bad passes. He made up for it with his goal. He also missed 2 other excellent chances he had. I dont know that he brings enough upside to counteract his mistakes. I think he will be brought along to Amsterdam. He's on the bubble bigtime.
-Rogers has the potential to be a very good player. I thought he made some poor decisions when he had much better options available. He also had some very bad touches and turnovers in bad areas. I dont think hes going to Amsterdam or the WC.
-Pearce looked pretty energetic and his willingness to get forward and cross the ball were excellent. He worked his tail off. This a tough call, he's regained his form, but Bornstein has also been playing well. Unfortunately I think he gets left home.
-Bornstein will probably end up splitting time at LB with Spector/Bocanegra in the WC.
-Goodson has probably solidified himself a spot on the roster as the 3rd or 4th CB depending if you view CB as the left back or not
-Beckerman gave what he always does. Central Midfield is so jam packed with quality, I don't know how he will make the squad.

No one else really stood out to me. The biggest thing that got me was Perkins did not start. I thought he had a real shot at the #3, but I am not so certain now with Marcus playing so well abroad.

Posted by: strago | February 25, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I voted Ching and Pearce. I'm not the biggest Brian Ching fan but I would rather see him in SA than Casey. I also don't think anyone is seeing him as a starter with Jozy. Ideally he could come in if we are trying to kill a lead as he still has good target forward skills. Pearce looked pretty dangerous all night on the left.

Posted by: giardinie | February 25, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Kljestan.
Although I'm still a bit baffled that he can score 3 goals against Sweden, a goal against El Salv. but he can't come through with big numbers in MLS (1 goal every 10 games).
Posted by: Southeasterner
================

I didn't watch the match and am not a Sacha fan, but imagine if Wayne Rooney were to play for the team soom to be known as the team formerly known as Chivas USA. He'd be OK, but nowhere near as well as he does when surrounded by high quality players. BaRRD covered this a few days ago. Having good teammates brings out the best in good players.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 25, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

-Kljestan is such a paradox. He disappeared for large stretches of the game and made some very bad passes. He made up for it with his goal. He also missed 2 other excellent chances he had. I dont know that he brings enough upside to counteract his mistakes. I think he will be brought along to Amsterdam. He's on the bubble bigtime.

Posted by: strago

He's no paradox -- that sounds exactly like him.

Posted by: Reignking | February 25, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to smack their head on their desk.

OK, good. It was El Salvador. And an uninspired team that appeared to be on vacation. Save for their goalkeeper Montes who played very, very well.

Opening up spots for Player X, Y or Z b/c he had a good game against this hapless opponent is silly.

Now, having a bad game against this team (Casey, Rogers, Findley) is a red flag for me.

Posted by: delantero | February 25, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

England's making their push... to completely implode before the World Cup begins :-)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/feb/25/wayne-bridge-quits-england-john-terry

Posted by: Kev29 | February 25, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Good win against a familiar, yet way over-matched opponent." I would not go as far to say completely "over-matched." They had their chances as well. El Salvador is a second tier team (no disrespect intended) in CONCACAF...and yet we had our difficulties.

Truth of the matter is, outside of Donavan, we are hurting up front as we head into SA.

Posted by: Kromer523 | February 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"Good win against a familiar, yet way over-matched opponent." I would not go as far to say completely "over-matched." They had their chances as well. El Salvador is a second tier team (no disrespect intended) in CONCACAF...and yet we had our difficulties.

Truth of the matter is, outside of Donavan, we are hurting up front as we head into SA.

Posted by: Kromer523 | February 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"I have thought long and hard about my position in the England football team in the light of the reporting and events over the last few weeks," said Bridge in the statement.

That's what she said.

Posted by: Reignking | February 25, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Any chance Bradley will bring Pontius to the Netherlands to play with the big boys, just to see the mix? Maybe that's the reason he didn't make the bench last night.

Just hoping....

Posted by: reedd1 | February 25, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I watched the stream of Spurs/Bolton yesterday, and to be honest, I forgot that Holden could appear for Bolton until almost halftime, when I saw him in the game (was that his debut?) Not that it mattered, Bolton were pretty well dominated in the first half. In the second half they created a few chances that they squandered; Holden had a header in the box and shot from the right side from 12 yds that were saved easily. However, he did deliver a wonderful free kick that should have been headed home, but Gomes saved well. Holden was also taking their corners, and the delivery was fine. All in all not a bad performance on an otherwise forgettable night for Bolton fans.

The important part is Spurs are through to the Quarterfinals!

Posted by: RichmondHotspur | February 25, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Any chance Bradley will bring Pontius to the Netherlands to play with the big boys

Posted by: reedd1 | February 25, 2010 9:42 AM

Umm, no

Posted by: Kev29 | February 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

It really is shame BB couldn't have found 5 minutes for Pontius in this game, or even keep him on the bench! Maybe he has wants his debut to be a bit more special than garbage time in a friendly?

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | February 25, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Excuse my ripped ranting last night, but I still think it's ridiculous when people try to rate a match they didn't even watch. It's one thing to do it, but another thing entirely to do it and ADMIT it on a blog.

I don't think Ching is great, but I think he's a hard worker who does a pretty solid game of taking his chances.

Maybe my Hawaiian roots make me a little biased, but the guy plays and acts like a man. Not diving, hand throwing up at refs, etc. that we see from some younger players. That in itself makes a world of difference for me. When Jozy mans up I'll applaud him, but the kid still has a lot of growing up to do and is yet to impress at Hull.

Don't tread on Chingy.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 25, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I watched Olympic hockey. I just can't get excited about matches that are essentially tryouts for a few roster spots.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | February 25, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@UnitedDemon

I will begrudgingly admit that Gaven added some energy and had some nice shots but saw a few times were he would have been better served trying to pass instead of take a big shot. I *hate* Gaven though, so my take on him is biased.

Posted by: joe_hill | February 25, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Rogers is making a great case for 2014, but I think his bubble just popped for 2010. Like a lot of players with exceptional skills and tools, he has major trouble when thrown into a mix where those tools are just average or slightly above. He looked good on dead balls, making runs off the ball, and when running at a single defender, but in the general run of play (never mind in front of the goal) he gets this jumpy, tunnel-vision thing. The senior international game moves too fast for him.

I wouldn't put it past Bradley to bring Rogers to Holland anyway for one more look, especially with the senior roster full of holes.

Gaven likewise is a dark horse for Holland/SA. He's clearly worked hard to round out his game, be less selfish and therefore more dangerous. And he did well with the opportunity he was given, I thought. Personally I'd have him slightly ahead of Rogers at this point, despite Rogers' edge in natural gifts.

Would have been nice to see Ponty come home with even a token cap. If nothing else, he'll come back motivated to prove he belongs in the picture long term.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | February 25, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

El Sal showed what a 4th rate squad it is and the USMNT showed that their play-making, finishing and cerebral discipline is sub-par even against an opponent of such incompetence. As for the Ref, he deserved to get this match.

Posted by: juke2 | February 25, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

El Sal showed what a 4th rate squad it is and the USMNT showed that their play-making, finishing and cerebral discipline is sub-par even against an opponent of such incompetence. As for the Ref, he deserved to get this match. Except for the giveaway winning goal, Sacha K was horrific.

Posted by: juke2 | February 25, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

No one else did anything worth mentioning.

Posted by: fischy | February 25, 2010 1:30 AM
___________________________________
I would add that Heath Pearce looked quality, especially going forward.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | February 25, 2010 6:59 AM
--------------------------------------------------------

I did discuss Pearce's crossing. IMO, Pearce was the revelation of the game. I expect him to another look against a more challenging opponent next week, with Spector getting a look on the right. It was a shame we didn't have a more challenging opponent -- It's been a while since I've seen the USA in a more one-sided game that didn't involve some minnow Caribbean island squad. However, it was a way to see who can finish when presented with opportunity. Right now, that's Ching and no one else. Kljestan on the bubble, and Rogers looking to improve for next cycle.

Argy Bargy -- congrats to Chest. My squad finally moved out of last place, where I've been since missing the first week's games. Goals from Scholes, Milito and Ciani. Could have made an even bigger jump with the biggest week of all if I'd gone with my Bordeaux players instead of the Madrid ones. Hoping to get out of the relegation zone before season's end.

Posted by: fischy | February 25, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe some people voted for Robbie Rogers. We're talking about the World Cup here, that crap he pulled is expected in an MLS Reserve match.

Posted by: Pete803 | February 25, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Robbie Rogers had some awful moments last night. At the same time, you couldn't help but notice that he was constantly on the ball and constantly causing ES problems. I don't think he made a case for 2010 but looks like a strong player for the future.

Also, whether you like Eddie Gaven or not, he was one of the better attacking players for the US last night.

Last I was going to add that I'm sure people are right in saying Brian Ching helped his case for 2010. The problem with Ching is that he's a beast in CONCACAF because of his size, but its not enough against the European teams. He needs something else.

Posted by: jva1 | February 25, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I wish Ching was on DC United! I agree with DadRyan, I think he brings a lot to the table, especially with the strong possibility that Charlie Davies will not make it to SA, and we clearly do not have another player in the pool that can mimic what Davies can do. In fact, I think Ching gets the start along side Jozy for the England match. We will need some size and strength to battle and wear down the Bully Boys! He works very well with Donovan, and to me that is the most important thing. It is all about Donovan, our best player, and setting up to his strengths. Ching's game has always aided Donovans game, from San Jose to the National Team.
Now I was disappointed that we did not get to see Pontius! I am hoping that we will see him in Amsterdam. But what are the chances that we will see Pontius or Freddy Adu for that game?

Posted by: alan19 | February 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

No congrats for my Argy Bargy squad fischy!? Dude, had I not been a bonehead and forgot to sub in Ciani before my deadline I would have lapped Chest... I still jumped up quite a few spots and collected the second most points for this matchday in our group!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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