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Matchnight: USA-Czech Republic

Greetings from Rentschler Field on an unseasonably hot day just outside Connecticut's capital city. It's 85 degrees at 5:40 p.m. (tomorrow's high is 95) -- quite a contrast from the 63 and possible rain that will welcome the traveling party in Johannesburg on Monday.

Before we turn our attention to the USA-Czech Republic friendly.....

*Bill Clinton, honorary chairman of the USA Bid Committee, hosted members of the board of directors at his New York offices. Among the participants: Henry Kissinger, Donna Shalala, Spike Lee, Mia Hamm, Don Garber and my boss, Katharine Weymouth, The Post's CEO and publisher.

*The Insider has learned that Freddy Adu, who ditched his representatives at Wasserman Media Group for IMG a few years ago, has rejoined agent Richard Motzkin and WMG.

*Friendlies involving World Cup teams today:
Greece 2, North Korea 2 (in Austria)
Nigeria 0, Saudi Arabia 0 (in Austria)
Ireland 2, Paraguay 1 (in Dublin)
Cameroon 0, Georgia 0 (in Austria)

I will be back later with the game-day roster and lineup.

The latest buzz: Guzan; Cherundolo, Goodson, Onyewu, Bornstein; Holden, Torres, Edu, Beasley; Johnson, Buddle. [Update: It's now official.]

Eligible subs: Hahnemann, Spector, Marshall, Pearce, Bedoya, Rogers, Clark, Kljestan, Gomez, Ching, Findley.

Not in uniform: Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Bocanegra, DeMerit, Altidore, Bradley, Feilhaber.

Kickoff: 8:03 p.m.
TV: ESPN, Galavision.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame observations are encouraged in the comments section.

By Steve Goff  |  May 25, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bill Clinton, Freddy Adu, U.S. national team, World Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: World Cup news & notes
Next: The U.S. friendly and World Cup roster decisions

Comments

Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Donna Shalala, Spike Lee, Mia Hamm, Don Garber and Katharine Weymouth.

What in the world did this group accomplish besides a press release?

Posted by: soccerreform | May 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

GO USA!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 25, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Donna Shalala, Spike Lee, Mia Hamm, Don Garber and Katharine Weymouth.
What in the world did this group accomplish besides a press release?

Posted by: soccerreform
***************************************
Balenced the federal budget, ended the Vietnam war, I don't know, movies that should be good but are usually weird, won a World Cup and Olympic Gold, commissioner of the best soccer league in the...ok, I don't know and I don't know.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 25, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Please no Eddie Johnson...please no Eddie Johnson. Can't wait to see Gomez, Torres and hopefully a healthy Holden as we need some depth out there.

Posted by: eccles310 | May 25, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Is she Tina Weymouth's sister? 'Cause having the Tom Tom Club backin' ya is pretty sweet.

Posted by: billq1 | May 25, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Bummer. It doesn't appear to be an HD broadcast. ESPN hates friendly's.

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Donna Shalala, Spike Lee, Mia Hamm, Don Garber and Katharine Weymouth.

----

I don't know. That lineup looks a little old, and missing a few players.

Oh, wait. That's not the lineup.

;)

Posted by: VioletCrown | May 25, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The coach of the Canadian women's national team, who used to play for and coach Italy's national team, told me Sunday that even today, there is not a player in the world as good as Mia Hamm.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

This is an interesting lineup. It should be competitive enough to give guys like Torres, Johnson and Buddle a legitimate opportunity to make their case or seal their doom. I'd still rather see Spector at LB but we've got more chances.

Pulling for Gomez, Bedoya, and Feilhaber to see a half. I wouldn't mind 20-30 for Findley, Kljestan and Pearce, just to satisfy my curiosity, but I won't shed a tear either way.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 25, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

What about the roster?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to the match in Phila on Saturday!?! We'll be tailgating! Will you!?
Chest_Rockwell, are you ready to hoist your Heineken Mini-Keg yet mr. Champions League? :)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 25, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Here are the subs:
Hahnemann, Spector, Ching, Clark, Kljestan, Pearce, Marshall, Rogers, Findley, Bedoya, Gomez

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Demerit still injured/recovering? Is there any chance of seeing Edu for a half at CB in either game?

Posted by: Josh86 | May 25, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

No Feilhaber? Does that mean he's a lock to go, or to be left behind?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

So only 22 on the roster for tonight. 7 mortal locks left off (Howard, Donovan, Boca, Demerit, Dempsey, Altidore, Bradley). And no Feilhaber. Odd . . . I don't know whether to think of him as a lock or a guy who's already on a plane home.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan -

I will be tailgating for sure! Plan to get up to Philly around noon in order to prepare for the match. I'm excited that we will get to see a full lineup and not some mix and match lineup that we'll see tonight.

Posted by: CYork1 | May 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm pulling for Buddle. What a great story that will be if he comes on strong.

Posted by: dccal | May 25, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Cancel the non HD jihad. Normal service has resumed.

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Fan overheard on TV: "This is America and we don't flop."

Riiiiight.

Posted by: EssEff | May 25, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Benny better already be on the plane. I'm gonna feel awkward in my Feilhaber jersey at the Linc on Saturday if he's not...

Posted by: daandre3 | May 25, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

i would guess that this lineup bodes poorly for the chances of Marshall, Pearce, Bedoya, Rogers and Findley to make the trip. I assume Gomez will get the 2nd half, but we'll see.

good opening couple of minutes from the US, but pretty blah since then. need some possession.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I have so much confidence in Torres and Edu. Edu is just so lively. And Torres is so creative and does those nice feints where he passes where you don't expect it.

Posted by: EssEff | May 25, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Gooch looks like he still has that hitch in his step.

Posted by: CYork1 | May 25, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

DO DA STANKY LEG!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 25, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson will need to do more. Not a good night to disappear. Buddle looks more energetic to this point, IMHO.

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

SET PIECES

England scored 2 yesterday off coners, and are a major, major threat off all set plays from any part of the field. A big think I'm interested in during this game is how well the USA can defend these set plays. So far so good; EDU has cleared two away that I have counted.

Scoring off of one ourselves is a great sign, albeit from suspect goalkeeping. We are going to need a few set play goals in SA.

Posted by: tphasbdp | May 25, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

if bornstein plays even a minute in SA, i'll go crazy...not good crazy, bad crazy.

Posted by: birdynumnum | May 25, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@JkR- my sentiments exactly. i had to re-check at one point to see if he had actually started the game on the field. and there he goes offside.

Gooch looks OK, love Edu and Bornstein is looking his usual self (i.e. should be lucky to make the 23). Beasley has looked worthy, though.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Bornstein looks BAD!! Gooch looks slow. DMB wants to go to SA, he may just play his way there tonight, if he does not get killed by these chech goons. EJ may be watching the USA WC games from his moms sofa. Buddle has looked good, needs to get a clear chance on goal to see if he is for real.

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty dissapointed there is not more discussion in here. This is an important match for the USMNT. What gives?

Posted by: tphasbdp | May 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

meant to make this comment earlier regarding those other friendlies today: did FIFA have some sort of coupon from Austria "Buy 2 International Friendlies get the 3rd one FREE!"?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

WTF Gooch.... did not even make it off the ground. So much for my post about set pieces a few posts ago...

If he is getting beaten like that we are in trouble

Posted by: tphasbdp | May 25, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

did i say Gooch looks OK? scratch that. though Guzan should have been closer to keeping that out, to my eyes.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

That was eerily similar to how he injured his knee, backpedaling for a ball in the air. Gooch has been playing a bit tentative. Goodson looks good.

Posted by: inzzo79 | May 25, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Gooch had a little flashback to RFK in Oct...very tentative trying to go up and stop that header.

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

good: beasley, torres, goodson, buddle
bad: bornstein, goochs' jumping ability

Posted by: birdynumnum | May 25, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

1st half assessment:

GOOD: Edu, Holden, Goodson, Cherundolo, Beasley
50/50: Torres, Onyewu, Guzan, Buddle
BAD: Bornstein, Johnson

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

my 1st half ratings: Guzan 5; Bornstein 3.5, Onyewu 5*, Goodson 7, Cherundolo 4; Beasley 6, Edu 7, Torres 5, Holden 6.5; Johnson 5, Buddle 5. (Harkes 3, English guy 4)

Onyewu gets an asterisk because I thought he had a very good half--until he really needed to jump.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 25, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I doubt his injury entered his mind on that play. We misjudged it and adjusted to it well, but he clearly does not have the strength to explode up to that ball while moving backward. He will be hard pressed to regain that strenght in the next two weeks.

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hungrypug |

What didn't you like from Cherundolo?

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Has Croatia fallen that far from the team that got us 3-nil in the last world cup? Or were they in a tough group during their WC qualification? They should still prove to be a strong test for the current lineup Coach Bradley has out there, which I'm hoping impress.. interesting lineup! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by: dcurob | May 25, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The ref is really whistle-happy here.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I meant...He misjudged it

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@inzzo79 - you are obviously a very smart man! Very astute observations...

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

for me, Cherundolo gave the ball away way too many times. granted, he didn't expose himself nearly as badly as Bornstein did. am I being too harsh?

Posted by: hungrypug | May 25, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Gooch's distribution from his feet actually seems much improved.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

OOPS! Scratch that post! Confused the Czech Republic with Croatia.. World Cup fever!!

Posted by: dcurob | May 25, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

generally, there was poor service from the outside backs up the field to the forwards (which looks like a big part of Bradley's gameplan). I didn't get much of a look at Johnson or Buddle, because the ball seemed always flying over their heads. But Buddle seems to have good presence and good instincts.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 25, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

for me, Cherundolo gave the ball away way too many times. granted, he didn't expose himself nearly as badly as Bornstein did. am I being too harsh?

Posted by: hungrypug

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah, maybe by a point. Take one from Eddie and give it to Stevie C. :)

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Soccernet saying 5 subs at the half?

Do we have any left?

Posted by: delantero | May 25, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Can't anyone take command in midfield?

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

1 sub left, delantero.

Holden appears to be taking charge a bit - i really like him and think he should start if we put Dempsey up top, though that means playing Donovan on the left possibly.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if there is a replay of this game later tonight or tomorrow?

Posted by: Dancy1 | May 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I think 1 more sub. For Findley, Marshall and Bedoya, it's squeaky bum time...

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@dcarmy: you're right, Bornstein is a foul waiting to happen. Unbelievable.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

that offside was verrrrrrry close. Gooch did a better job in the air right before that, though.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

This Czech flopping is getting really irritating.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

and the left back situation is no closer to being figured out...

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

1 - 2 Czech Rep. Defense looks porous, very porous.

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Robbie Rogers looking lively tonight - i like it. it would be nice if we could get Gomez a touch at some point, though.

and here comes Bedoya as the last sub.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Goodson has surely booked his spot...looks like Marshall is the odd man out in back.

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

it would also be nice if Gomez could bury his chance when he does finally get that touch, too! can't believe he shot right at Cech.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Goooooooooalmez!

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

We have a major concern at left back...I guess that is not news. DeMerit or Spector are going to have to step up and sit in there I think. Maybe Boca, but I doubt we can lose him in the middle though with gooch at less than 100%

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

What did I say a while ago about SET PIECES !?!

Posted by: tphasbdp | May 25, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

dammit, Herculez keeps doing stuff as i'm hitting "Submit". well done by Goodson - he's on the plane and may see some serious time if Gooch and DeMerit aren't fully fit.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Holden is really impressing me with his poise on the ball and passing. He could play a bigger role at the World Cup than I thought. There's a lot of focus on individual play in comments, but, Holden aside, passing for the U.S. has looked disjointed for much
of the match. Too many passes are soft or wind up as 50/50 balls in midfield. Obviously, these guys haven't played together a lot but you'd like to see less risky long balls.

Posted by: hudson22 | May 25, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I like Edu getting some time in back

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Goodson is going to SA! and he may start.
How many Terps will be in the final 23?

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Holden. First 11 for me...

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Gomez...that was just poor on the 2-on-2

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

sloppysloppysloppy....who went down for that missed sliding tackle??

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Gomez really doesn't look terribly comfortable with the ball at his feet, does he?

shambolic defending there. ay caramba.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

2 - 3. Where's my defense?

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

dimes: no. He showed zero ability to go 1 on 1.

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Heath Pearce, that's not a phone call for you from Bursapor.

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Pearce made that wild sliding miss...the defense needs to regroup quickly

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Pearce got his shot...and failed.

Posted by: jjfooty | May 25, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Pearce and Kljestan would appear to have played themselves out of any chance they may have had. that said, i think the US has actually looked better in the 2nd half, especially on offense. but we have to be able to score from the run of play (or against it) occasionally.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

OK...predictions on who's left off the list tomorrow? My guess is Pearce, Marshall, Johnson, Bedoya, Klejstan, Findley - and a player to be named later!!!

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@soccerman - probably Rogers due to a numbers game. i think you have to take Beasley over him right now.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh guzan.

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

OK the Edu as center back experiment is a failure. Maybe we can't cut 2 defenders...

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

What a beat down. There is a huge drop off from our starters to bench. Our D looks bad top to bottom.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Might as well leave Guzman home too.

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking - yeah, give me Hahnemann as the clear #2 right now. perhaps Guzan's form is suffering from not playing much behind Friedel this year.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice defense. Edu experiment in the back again fails.

Bradley is a joke of a manager. If you already know the 23, which he clearly does, name it a week ago. This game meant nothing. Absolutely nothing.

And Pearce couldn't make my coed team.

Posted by: Hoost | May 25, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Harkes is such an apologist.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 25, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

2nd half assessment:

Good: Holden, Goodson, Gomez, Rogers
50/50: Edu, Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bedoya, Ching
Bad: Pearce, Guzan, Kljestan

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Unless USMNT makes it through to the 2nd round in WC, we will be looking for new coach. Right now, I am not too optimistic.

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

@dimes. Agree but Edu looked awful on last czech goal.

Posted by: tfshea | May 25, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Bad (as in stay home): Kljestan, Pearce

Good: Torres, Gomez, Edu, Holden, Rogers, Ching, Beasely

Don't know: Bedoya

Don't care (either could stay or go): Johnson, Buddle

Let's pray that Gooch's problem was just mental, not physical.

Guzan didn't look very confident. he looked like a bench keeper. He needs regular playing time.

Posted by: RRP1 | May 25, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Definitely out: Pearce, Kljestan, Johnson, Findley, Marshall, Rogers (although he did some nice things tonight).

For the last spot, I really want to say Bornstein, but I can't figure bringing only two natural wingbacks, so Bedoya or Gomez. It doesn't matter much, I can't really see either one getting any playing time in SA.

Also, four goals are waaay to many to give up, fringe players or not. Very dispiriting.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Goodson punched his ticket big time. Who's the other starting center back?

Coach Doc must be smiling tonight!

Posted by: OWNTF | May 25, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't find it dispiriting at all. I enjoyed the "tryout" nature of the game, seeing who could play for a job. Some did, some didn't. There were some fine momonets, and some rubbish.

I don't think you can make 6 subs in the second half and establish any cohesion.

I'm hoping they peak June 15...

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

left back = achilles heel. again.

i am very, very worried about this team's defense, starters or not.

Posted by: birdynumnum | May 25, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Always disappointing to lose. This team has a long way to go before we can honestly believe we can beat England or even advance. But here is my guess as to the final 23 after tonight...
Going to SA & Starting 11:
1. Howard, 2. Bocanegra, 3. Demerit, 4. Goodson (the one guy Bob acknowledged he made an impression today), 5. Cherundolo, 6. Donovan, 7. Edu, 8. Bradley, 9. Holden (played excellent today), 10. Dempsey, 11. Altidore
Subs: 12. Guzan, 13. Hahnemann, 14. Onyewu, 15. Spector, 16. Bornstien, 17. Clark, 18. Torres, 19. Rogers, 20. Beasley (the vet is still in it), 21. Ching (just won't go away, made some great passes today), 22. Buddle, 23. Gomez (no one-on-one skills, but he pops up and scores goals to get the last spot)
Out: 24. Johnson (just didn't do enough), 25. Klejstan (almost, but no cigar) 26. Bedoya (wish we could bring him - but not quite enough there) 27. Feilhaber (with Torres, he's not really needed - although I could be totally wrong and he might be in over Ching) 28. Pierce (made a great case tonight for why he shouldn't go), 29. Marshall, 30. Findley,

Posted by: SeanWG | May 25, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Edu misjudged that last goal, but I liked his distribution out of the back.

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Goodson distinguished himself. Holden played well until he tired.

I actually thought Ching played the best out of tonight's 4 forwards--good runs, good work on the ball. I would keep Buddle. Despite his goal, Gomez did not impress--neither did Johnson. I'm indifferent between those two.

Bornstein was bad, and Pearce worse. Onyewu needs more work--will he look more comfortable in the next game? Klinsmann seemed worried about the back 4, but that's premature. The next game needs to be a better defensive performance.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

We don't have to beat England. We have to advance.

If we focus on England too much, we'll miss out on the those other teams, whatever their names are...

;)

Posted by: JkR- | May 25, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there's any extraordinary significance to Gooch receiving the ice pack on his knee when he subbed out? I'd say he's a long way from going toe to toe with England's finest in 2 weeks.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 25, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It's too close to the World Cup to still be having tryouts for fringe players like Klejstan and Rogers. They should've been cut already. Giving up 4 goals to the Czech reserve team only a few weeks before the WC begins just doesn't look good. But with the back line in disarray from injury and weak substitutes(Bornstein and Pearce), tonight's scoreline could predict the U.S.-England outcome.

Also, the fact that the U.S. once again didn't score in the run of play is troubling. Much of that has to do with a lack of incisive passing to set up good chances. Gomez's shot from the top of the box off a back heel from Ching was the best look of the night for the U.S. But the biggest problem that there's not enough time to solidify the defense before the WC starts.

Posted by: hudson22 | May 25, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think Jonathan Spector locked down the starting left fullback position tonight?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 25, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

dcarmy, he does that every day.

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Goodson is good in the air. But he watched the ball go right by his leg on the second goal and watched it bounce right under his foot on the third goal. He may have skills, but he has liabilities as well. I think he's on the 23, no doubt, I'm just worried what will happen if we have to depend on him to play significant minutes next month.

Posted by: jpeace121 | May 25, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Reignking. Bradley was correct to assess Gooch's status by giving him 65 minutes. Now he has to make the right call and not start him.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 25, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The Czech reserves beat our reserves..I'm not taking away anything
from the result other than the first-time backline of
'Dolo-Edu-Goodson-Pearce is a goal sieve. Color me unsurprised. I
would be worried if that was our back line in a Gold Cup match against
Bermuda, much less a world cup tuneup against the Czechs.

Depth at the back is scary, yes. Gooch looks unready for prime time.
My favored backline right now would be Cherundolo-Spector-Demerit-Boca
(or maybe Spector out left and Boca in the middle). A Gooch who can't
jump is a Gooch who is a liability, and I'd rather have a slow left
back who knows positioning (Boca) than a slow left back who doesn't
know positioning (Bornstein) or a quick, acceptable MLS left
midfielder playing out of position (Pearce, who isn't even playing LB
full time for FC Dallas anymore!). Goodson and Bornstein still need to
come for depth, but God help us if they see the field. We can't afford
an injury on the back.

Holden and Gomez both played very well, in my opinion. Holden was a
lock, but punch Gomez's ticket. He seems to be an offensive spark off
the bench that we have lacked. Johnson pulls another international
disappearing act, and Buddle didn't look out of place but didn't
impress. I don't understand all the Ching hate, he goes out and does
his job, gets the ball in good positions, and draws fouls. He is what
he is at this point but at least he is that effectively, which is more
than you can say for most of the other forward corps.

I think the locks going into tonight were:

GK (3): Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann
D (6): Bocanegra, Onyewu, Spector, Cherundolo, Demerit, Bornstein
M (8): Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Clark, Edu, Holden, Torres, Feilhaber
F (1): Altidore

And I think the 5 bubble players that will be brought are...

Gomez, Beasley, Goodson, Ching, and Kljestan (who edges out Bedoya).

I don't take much away from this game other than individual
performances, especially from players who were way out of position
(Edu). I thought Edu was very good in CM before his switch back.

Saturday's game will be much more illuminating.

Vamos USA!

Posted by: the_slammer | May 25, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

My cuts: Pearce, Johnson, Kljestan, Marshall, Findley, Bedoya, and Rogers.

Posted by: addick | May 25, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The fact that fans are worried about beating England is an amazing accomplishment.

Just 12 years ago we were still excited to even qualify for a WC. Now we fire coaches when they can’t beat some of the best teams in the world and expect to win CONCACAF.

Props to everything the US has accomplished in such a short time, our primarily second team looked great out there tonight.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 25, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@Slammer You make a lot of sense, but Kljestan? Really?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 25, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

jpeace121 - you're right that Goodson didn't have a perfect night - he was also part of the disaster against Mexico in the Gold Cup last year, so i'm not 100% convinced he should be starting. i guess it comes down to how comfortable you (assuming you are Bob Bradley) are with Chreundolo starting on the right, and whether DeMerit and Gooch are healthy. i'm OK with it, personally, but it looks like these are our 2 best backline possibilities right now (R to L):

1. Cherundolo, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Spector
2. Spector, DeMerit, Goodson, Bocanegra

i think i prefer option 1. Cherundolo and Spector are also the best of our defenders at getting forward and helping out the attack.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@BooThisMan -

Here's my reckoning...

1) Bedoya didn't show a whole lot, and plays a position with Dempsey and Holden probably both in front of him.

2) Kljestan is more versatile.

3) Bradley keeps giving Kljestan chances.

Honestly though, I wouldn't be surprised if it was either of 'em.

Posted by: the_slammer | May 25, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

not sure you need Kljestan when you have Clark, Bradley, Edu, Feilhaber and Torres in central midfield and Holden and Donovan who could step in there if needed (Holden looked good playing centrally tonight).

i'm not sure Torres is definitely going, though. Bradley has jerked him around before and it's not like he was scintillating tonight. if we took an extra forward instead, it wouldn't upset me, though i know there are Torres fans who would disagree.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

As a fan of DCU, I choose at this point to look at the negatives:

I have this horrible feeling that Bradley is going to bring Kljestan and leave Torres home.

Posted by: sockey1 | May 25, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

JkR is my man of the match.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 25, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

You have to remember this was Gooch's first competitive game of any kind since Costa Rica @ RFK. As such, it was not as bad as people seem to want to think. The idea that he'll be scratched as a starter is extremely far-fetched, barring some pronounced medical setback. He and Ching are not under the sword here, just getting some much needed minutes.

SeanWG: Feilhaber is already on the plane. Rogers is a definite no (maybe 2014). Otherwise I think you nailed it.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 25, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

RE:Medical Setback, like an inability to JUMP!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

this isn't basketball

Posted by: DadRyan | May 25, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals - true, it may be a bit hasty to have Gooch on the bench and i thought he looked OK other than the goal, but will he be able to come back in 4 days and play close to 90 minutes in Philly? if not, can he be counted on to play full games in SA on 3 or 4 days rest? will he be able to contend with someone like Rooney without committing a ton of fouls and opening himself up to penalties and cards? we'll see how it plays out.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Certainly, this game just proved once again that the USA isn't very deep in quality players.

Pearce played his way off the team. If the Coach were anyone but Bob Bradley, I'd say the same about Kljestan, who was probably the worst American player. Edu misjudged that last long ball, but the play started with one of many Kljestan miscues. Based on performance, Rogers should make the team, ahead of Sacha, Jose, DaMarcus and Alejandro...but I doubt Rogers had any real chance of making the team.

Ching not only locked up a roster slot, he made a case for seeing real time during the Cup. I know I'm always talking about how good I think he is, but it's not really about his skills. He real gets the game, and makes things happen for other players. Gomez should definitely make the squad. Buddle, probably, over Johnson, but I'm indifferent.

Have to agree with dcarmy -- Onyewu's condition worries me. If he wasn't the guy with the AC Milan deal, and if we had someone to partner with DeMerit or move out left while Boca covers the middle, Gooch wouldn't be in the running to start. Frankly, he's not ready even to play, and few countries would take a player in his condition to South Africa. Unfortunately, Bradley's stuck with Gooch.

My cuts: Marshall, Pearce, Kljestan, Findley, Johnson, Bedoya (closest call) and Torres. I'd be OK with letting Bornstein go, and taking Bedoya, but we're so thin on the back line.

Posted by: fischy | May 25, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the people saying Torres isn't going. I thought he was distributing the ball well out there. After tonight, the people you may encounter at Summers watching the England match on 12 June:

Pearce, Marshall, Findley, Johnson, Rogers, Kljestan, Bedoya.

I don't think I'm the first one to post that particular list, so popular opinion must make it true...

Posted by: daandre3 | May 25, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

If Gooch had to ice his knee after coming off, that tells me he's not fully fit yet. Question is, will he be fit by June 11?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 26, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Soccernet ratings.

We're an entirely different team without the not-in-the-18 vets. We may not be deep, but the Czech match will not be our starting line-up against England.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Ching needs to be on the list that is NOT going.
Tired of him. He is a slow and opportunistic player.
so its Ching, Marshall, Pearce, Bedoya, Findley, Bornstein, Rogers.

BTW, the person who tweets for MLS insider really needs to check his/her word configuration. The tweets make no sense at all sometimes.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 26, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Ching needs to be on the list that is NOT going.
Tired of him. He is a slow and opportunistic player.
so its Ching, Marshall, Pearce, Bedoya, Findley, Bornstein, Rogers. or Johnson.

BTW, the person who tweets for MLS insider really needs to check his/her word configuration. The tweets make no sense at all sometimes.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 26, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Torres had some great passes and showed nice touch.

Ching looked very good.

Gomez should have had a second goal when he turned and shot from the 18. He made it easier for Cech.

I like Buddle, too. He looks like he's lost weight from previous years. And he looks faster b/c of it.

Goodson played well enough, but was wrong footed on their 3rd goal.

Klestjan was awful. He lost the ball prior to the last goal, too, exposing our back line. No way he goes to SA.

Gooch was icing his knee b/c that's what you do when you recover from injury. Michael Jordan reportedly iced his ankles after every game.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Torres had some great passes and showed nice touch.

Ching looked very good.

Gomez should have had a second goal when he turned and shot from the 18. He made it easier for Cech.

I like Buddle, too. He looks like he's lost weight from previous years. And he looks faster b/c of it.

Goodson played well enough, but was wrong footed on their 3rd goal.

Klestjan was a ghost, plus he lost the ball prior to the last goal, too, exposing our back line. No way he goes to SA.

Gooch was icing his knee b/c that's what you do when you recover from injury. Michael Jordan reportedly iced his ankles after every game.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I always ice my fingers after double posting.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

If Bocanegra starts against England, Walcott's going to get a hat trick.

Charlie's just not fast enough.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

How bout a cold glass of Guinness instead?

FYI . . After I submitted, my screen froze, I closed everything, went back to the Insider, my post wasn't there, so I edited and reposted. Then my post shows up as double. Time for bed.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

If Bocanegra starts *at left back* against England . . .

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

IF not Bocanegra then who?

Posted by: alan19 | May 26, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Jeff Agoos!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 26, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mario Gori!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 26, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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