World Cup Qualifying

USA 2, El Salvador 2: Who impressed and who disappointed?

Frankie Hejduk 2 (Reuters) 

The U.S. national team's stirring 2-2 comeback draw had its share of drama, excitement and disappointment, but it is clear the match as a whole was one that left many U.S. fans feeling a little less confident about the U.S. team's ability to dominate CONCACAF competition.

While we work on a more detailed look at the game for Monday, we here at SBI wanted to find out who you, the readers, thought the standounts and disappointments were for the U.S. national team.

There are two polls, one for your pick for most impressive performance, and one for most disappointing performance by U.S. national team player's on Saturday. Cast your votes after the jump and feel free to share your post-game thoughts on the USA-El Salvador match in the comments section below.

  • Mark


    I understand the frustration, I really do, but have you stopped to think if the team is capable of “destroying” or “burying” a team like El Salvador? They have NEVER dominated in a World Cup qualifier on the road. However, they have improved dramatically, though it didn’t really should on Saturday until the final 15-20 minutes.

    These teams are all up to play against the US in these home games as it’s the biggest game for them, and while our talent pool continues to grow and improve, we’re still starting guys who can’t see the field on their club teams. There aren’t too many elite programs that start reserve players.

    So what I’m saying is that we’re simply not there yet, but we WILL get there. And there is nothing wrong with it taking more time. In less than 20 years the program has gone from college kids to having pros spread around the world and a relatively healthy domestic league to help develop talent.


  • Tolik

    Pearce is over his head. Its not a matter of him being disappointing as that he has limitations of how well can perform. Sorry, Pearce.

    Sacha is very uneven. He can brilliant games and then totally stink. Any way to know which Sacha is going to show up?

    Jozy and Ching CAN work together. For some reason there is a myth that it should be eather-or. Lets give them chanse to play together for a match.

    Torres was very good. I hope he is not like Sacha and will be consistent.

    A site of Hejduk pushing Jozy aside to score a header(!) – that’s something to remember.


  • David

    Extremely disappointing performance, but I am pleased with the heart at the end, although Torres calming presence certainly helped as I never once saw us keep possession through the midfield until he entered the match.

    BBradley’s style of play is so incredibly boring and has gone the way of the wholly mammoth at the international level. I don’t think any other team on the planet has a forward as slow and undynamic as Ching.

    We need to play attacking soccer and we have the players to do it. I don’t care if we tie or win when we play like we did last night – watching that style of play (bypass the midfield and knock it long out of the back all the time) makes for a yawnfest, and certainly will not work in SA.

    Why no Spector?

    We regressed in this match and there is no excuse – the pitch looked perfect.


  • dantheblue

    Do we seriously expect to win virtually *every* road WCQ

    Posted by: bkupp | March 30, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    YES. Why bother to play if not?


  • dantheblue

    Mark, thank you for those thoughtful comments. Yes, maybe I am expecting too much; however, having played competitive basketball for so many years, the mindset is essential. What I saw Saturday night was not the hustle, crispness, organization, etc. from experienced and talented players. I watched Beasely wait for the pass and then react time and time again. I watched Duece send the ball to space where his target was on the camera and not paying attention. I watched normally strong on the ball players get pick pocketed over and over again.

    I agree with your “maybe we aren’t ready” if we are talking about Josie and Adu, guys who don’t have 7 to 11 years experience… but we aren’t discussing them, we are talking about several years of experience in MLS and Europe…

    I stand by my comments.


  • David

    Here is what I would like to see against T&T:






    An attacking line-up. For goodness sake can we please take an attackign posture at home against a team that we should easily beat.


  • primoone

    that guy Torres…that was inserted into the match 20 min from regulation time. He was moving the midfield, making precise passes at the correct times…running at defenders…not only chasing down 50-50 balls but actually winning them. At one point he gave the ball away at midfield and actually chased the oposing player and took it back from him. Well folks, he has been doing that every sat. for 90 minutes at Pachuca…who will be fighting for another championship this season. Put the boy in Bradley…dont let this one slip through your hands like subotic and rossi


  • Chris

    Ching, Kljestan, Beasley, should be sent packing.

    Move Donovan up front, add Torres and Freddy.


  • Rafael

    Here we go again. Everyone was happy when the team beat Mexico. Now everyone is complaining about the coaching and the players on the pitch.

    Anyone that is calling for Adu, needs to sober up before posting. Adu is a long way from being in the starting XI.

    I can honestly say, the US under estimated El Salvador and it caught up to them when they were down 2-0.

    Let’s give Bradley some credit, he fixed the line-up to be more attacking and it paid off at the end. 2-2 on the road is ok in the CONCACAF.


  • Jason

    Best perfomrances = Torres, Hejduk, Altidore.

    OK = Bradley, Dempsey, Ching.

    Poor = Guzan, Donovan.

    Horrid = Pearce, Calif, Bocanegra, Kljestan, Beasley, Bob Bradley.

    3 CM’s out of six field players on the bench. The typical unbalanced line-up from BB, his seems genetically incapable of having a sub for each spot on the bench. We sure could have used Freddy late.

    Boca kept passing out of bounds, and Pearce was poor in defense and a non-factor coming forward. Calif was shaky. Kljestan and Bradley has poor control all night and contributed nothing.

    Donovan wasn’t horrid, but the bar is a bit higher for him than the others, and he sure didn’t do much. Same true for Dempsey to a lesser extent.


  • Patrick Marshall

    Sacha is a good player but he is clearly not the US Nat’s answer for central midfield playmaker! Never will be! Heath Pearce has no business on the pitch for the nats. Danny Califf just kicked the ball forward on many occassions. Beasley had a bad game, but is a dangerous player. He needed to push forward more, but playing on the side of the field with Pearce made his job difficult. The game was not conducive to Landons style of play.


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