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It was ugly.
There is really no other way to describe the U.S. team’s 2-0 loss to England. The Americans were thoroughly dominated and had few players really step up to the challenge presented by the star-studded English lineup.
Wednesday’s loss wasn’t about what Americans were missing, not about Jozy Altidore being left home or Freddy Adu being left out of the starting lineup. It was about a U.S. team exposed for what it is, a young group still in transition after the retirements of several key figures.
The U.S. team had two glaring weaknesses, the lack of a central midfield presence capable of keeping possession under pressure (ala Claudio Reyna) and no target forward capable of presenting problems to the defense (ala Brian McBride). These are issues that have been concealed for the most part in the past two years, but issues that couldn’t be ignored against a skillful and experienced England squad.
So who do I think played well? Other than Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce, I think the rest of the U.S. performances were pretty forgettable. Eddie Johnson had some decent touches but after hearing some good reviews of his performance I can’t help but wonder if he has set the bar so low in his recent national team showings that any sort of decent play could be seen as better than it actually was. As for Freddy Adu, yes, he showed something, but the game was already decided by then and there was definitely a foot-off-the-pedal feel to the game at that point.
I’ll re-watch this morning to see if anyone else stands out (I know, unlikely).
Who didn’t play well? Yes, it’s a long list but I’ll point to Josh Wolff and Ricardo Clark as two who stood out. Wolff looked completely lost while Clark had a hand in both of England goal’s. The first via a clumsy foul in an area of the field that is David Beckham free kick territory, the second when he completely lost himself in midfield and left Gareth Barry all alone to deliver a pin-point pass to Steven Gerrard (to be fair, Barry had just come into the match and neither Clark or Bradley picks up Barry). I like Clark as a player but he has not done himself any favors with his recent national team performances.
I’ll get more into the carnage later today. For now I want to hear from you, the SBI readers, and find out what your biggest complaints are about the England match and what you think were the high points and low points.
Share your thoughts below.