U.S. Men's National Team

SBI Stoppage Time: A look back at USA-Colombia

SBI Stoppage Time: USMNT Edition 10/12/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

  • Aristophanes

    The other post already has 200+ comments, so I guess i’ll start the party here.

    I’ll take some medicine and admit that lil’ bradley was AWFUL in the first half. Couple of really bad give-a-ways that led to golden chances for Colombia. Couple of hospital passes. Terrible positioning and no coordination with Edu and Jones.

    That said, what the heck was the idea with that opening formation? No one in the midfield knew what to do or where to go, except maybe Shea. We were playing 4 holding midfielders in a confused jumble. I haven’t been a Big Bradley hater, but he’s got to be on a short leash. The team is horrible organized and confused, especially between the defensive line and the first line of the midfield.

    But, the second half was great in terms of ball movement and possession and even defense (organized and strong in the tackle). The only real problem was the lack of anything in the attacking third.


  • Aristophanes

    Bradley did look a lot better in the second half, though. So maybe more of the blame goes to his pops.

    I loved what Lichaj brought to the game. Really impressive on defense, and his overlapping runs (with one brilliant cross that Jozy should have headed in) are something this team’s been missing.


  • cj

    Ives, didn’t listen to Stoppage Time. I am a reader (just saying). This is what happens when you sign up the same coach for 4 more years. You get the same, unimaginative soccer with the same old playbook.

    I know we didn’t have Donovan out there but by 2014 it might not matter. I know Bradley was trying some new things but the offense was impotent. Just awful soccer. We couldn’t do anything to penetrate. Everything was negative passing.

    I know Klinsmann would not have done much more in these games but at least we could see some building something. It doesn’t look like we are building anything. Very disappointed in even wasting my time watching this game.


  • afrim

    gonzo excites me but not as much as the thought of Cameron and Ream. Both of those guys can distribute pretty well for CB’s. Thats something this NT needs


  • Mike Z

    I think the best formation for the US is 4-2-3-1. I like the formation used against Poland but with a few changes.





    Edu needs more time to develop good center back instincts, but I think his upside at that position is tremendous. He has good vision, good distribution, and better speed than the other options at center back. I think Donovan and Dempsey on the flanks add the best attacking element going forward in support of the lone striker. Dempsey is more dangerous on the wing cutting in and running at defenses than as a second striker. Holden may not be quite ready, but he potentially could be the US answer to the dearth of a number 10 playmaker. Holden has good crossing ability, but anyone who has seen him play for Bolton (or for Houston before that) knows he is most dangerous in the middle. If Donovan and Dempsey are consistently supporting the attack, I think it would work to put hold at the top of a midfield triangle.


  • Murphy

    Ives is right it was kind of an experimental game and really the US has time to try a lot out for the next year before the Gold Cup. Jones looks good but some of these guys weren’t really doing much. ALtidore was offside a lot and often gives the ball away–he needs to be playing regularly but really he’s only 20 so let’s not overreact. It was Shea’s first game but he looked like he didn’t want the ball at all. The first half lineup just didn’t work out. And Johnson is still the same old Eddie even though he played better than usual (not saying much). Lichaj looked good and is still young.

    The biggest problem is definitely making chances and finishing them. Right now we have to hope Altidore gets better over the next 4 years and hope some new options develop. We didn’t know how good Charlie Davies or Altidore would be in ’09 and ’10 back in ’06, so hopefully some new players will develop.


  • jts

    Now is the time to experiment. Keep trying different line ups. Don’t revert back to the best line up to win today. Develop. Get a few guys experience.

    Yep- post WC, nothing on the line type friendly.

    If you were looking for the WC finals you may have had the wrong going in expectation.


  • Der-Amerikanische_Kaiser

    Great analysis Ives! Keep up the great work-hope Stoppage Time translates to coverage on Fox Soccer at some point in the future.


  • Raymon

    Welcome Jermaine Jones. We really need to give him more options for the quality service that he can deliver from the midfield. I say if Miroslav Klose can find TX on a map, we should cap him so we can finish those chances.


  • K-Town

    “You get the same, unimaginative soccer with the same old playbook.”

    Are you for real? In the last two games we had 3 new caps( Jones, Lichaj, and Shea), and played three formations( 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, and the old 4-4-2).

    Is it really Bob’s fault if the youth that comes to him isn’t ready tactically or technically to adapt to new systems? Or is it the fault of our youth system? A national team coach cant teach a player touch on the ball or make him a more accurate passer, nor should they have to. Bob can only be as imaginative as his player pool allows.


  • K-Town

    that is the exact formation i like for the team. Defense could be tweaked possibly though.


  • DC Josh

    No reason to jump ship. It was a friendly in which Bradley experimented with a set of players with certain roles.

    They did look horrible in midfield. Too compact, too confused. They looked really fluid in the setup from Saturday.

    Bradley is tinkering with formations and players. That is what these friendlies are for.

    My biggest concern is up top. We have no threat up there. Jozy constantly loses the ball and only attempts to draw fouls. We have no one who can partner him.


  • duhboy7

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this was one of the most boring games, if not THE most boring game I’ve ever watched. it’s games
    like this that make me not blame people for hating soccer…haha


  • K-Town

    I kinda wouldnt mind seeing if Lichaj could play left back as well as he did right back. if so, put boca back centrally, and let Edu, Jones, and bradley battle it out for the two spots at DM, put the player on lesser form on the bench as a sub.


  • DC Josh

    Mike, I love that formation. Especially the midfield. But I am still not convinced about Edu in the back. That is not his natural position. I thought Goodson played okay last night considering the opposition. Let’s not forget about DeMeritt as well.

    My hope is that Cameron, Ream, Opara or Gonzalez step up and play a role in next summer’s Gold Cup. We are old in the back and now is the time to bring in youth.


  • kimo

    I watched the last 30 minutes ONLY…

    1) Altidore…skill wise looked very good during the final 30 minutes. He really didn’t lose the ball. I can’t comment on the 1st 60 mins. However, he is one lazy SOB. It’s getting ridiculous. I think my 4 yr old daughter has more stamina. To me, it’s clear that he doesn’t spend much time conditioning on his own. It’s becoming more and more evident.

    2) EJ – mentally…maybe one of the slowest forwards I’ve even seen. Please discard this guy.

    3) Jones is pure quality. Benny gave the ball away far too often. MB looked OK.

    4) Lichaj NEEDS to be tried as a LB immediately. If he can play that role, we’ll be in good shape.

    5) Goodson, during the last 30 looked great…and Parkhurst surprisingly read the game quite well.


  • tnnelson

    i totally agree with what your saying Ives about how US fans need to be patient with Altidore. people need to quit expecting him to be a superstar by age 22. he has some work to do to get to a level where he is scoring consistently, but there is still plenty of time


  • K-Town

    I wish Parkhurst could play a different position. He has a really good soccer mind, but not a CB body. Damn shame he doesnt play LB. I really like his sense of positioning, and always have since his NE days. I just dont think he can physically get it done at the National level. At least not in the modern game. It is too physical.


  • K-Town

    Amen, can we give the kid a break? I really hate how he is our only option because it puts WAAAAY too much on his shoulders. It is crazy that we expect him to carry the team. I am surprised he hasn’t cracked. He should be having fun and developing at his age. He will be burnt out from playing this hero crap before 2014 if people don’t ease up.


  • David

    I think Jozy needs to feel a little more compitition for his place in the line up. At 20 he has become the only striker more or less guaranteed to be on the team sheet with 30+ caps already, yet everyone universally agrees he is only 20 and still developing. He can’t be the only striker and focal point of the attack by default. That hurts him and the team. It can only make him complacent because international soccer is usually the ultimate prize for players. I think Bradley would be wise to try Dempsey as a lone striker the way he has with Jozy. It would light a fire under Jozy but also help the team because despite not preferring that position Dempsey is a better hold up player than Jozy and can create for himself and teammates better as well.


  • JrDosSantos

    Jozy doesnt need to FEEL competition in the USMNT pool, he needs to get PT at a club, whatever level, and get better period.

    He’s strong, draws fouls, and thats all i really see when it comes to him…but the other options we have at striker are Dempsey and thats it.


    that would probably be our best attacking lineup

    whenever we play 2 strikers, i always feel we’re wasting a talented player that could be on the field. But this cluster mess of D CM’s has to stop, the first half of that game was one of the worst fewtball games ive ever seen, there were no shots on goal and it wasnt because the D’s were playing well, just no creation


  • Chris

    I would just like to know why the USMNT is always lacking any type of creative attack. It seems like Jozy is never going to live up to his potential as a big powerful striker.


  • David

    I think in general the biggest problem for the US is that except for a very small number of players most are better suited to playing centrally in all positions.

    Dempsey and Donovan are both more effective tucked in behind the strikers or as strikers.And operate that way anyway when they are played on the wing.

    Holden, Feilhaber, and Torres all are better suited to center midfiled despite playing on the wings for the Nats. Holden was habitually drifting into the middle these last 2 games which seems to be a product of his club play because prior games he has more or less stuck to the sideline and blasted in some wicked crosses.

    Boca and Spector are both physicially better suited to be centerbacks but play on the outside for the Nats. Some will argue Spector is a natural right back and that may be currently but eventaully his size and speed will necessitate a move to centerback. If he couldn’t cross the ball so effectively most would be screaming for him to move to centerback anyway.

    Bradley definitely has to search the pool and find some wide players who can be out there naturally. The only ones that come to mind in the midfield that have been getting regular calls are Bedoya and Beasley, neither of which have seen the field much.


  • Brian

    I think he plays right back sometimes, but clearly he’s not needed there. I wonder how he’d do at left back.


  • cj

    I am sure glad BB gave his son 180 minutes. He really needed those minutes since he hasn’t gotten many in the NT.

    Jones was encouraging, Johnson should be on his ninth life. Without Dempsey and Donovan on the field we have no offensive punch.

    It is going to be an interesting couple of years with BB in charge.


  • bryan

    not too much to add from what has been said already. but i thought shea looked god awful.


  • The Dude

    Two reasons. 1) No Donovan. 2) Too many defensive-minded midfielders on the field at once.


  • Kevin_Amold

    Oh, he wasn’t THAT bad, was he? Did he really do anything that awful? He didn’t really stay wide enough, didn’t get too involved in the game, but was he truly awful?

    You want awful, awful was Michael Bradley in the first half. I am as big a fan of Bradley as anyone, but he was terrible. A lot of that was this abominable three central midfielder formation that didnt’ look very good. Too much clustering.


  • Robert

    I enjoyed the video but the could you turn down the volume on the intro in future editions?


  • ThaDeuce

    I agree, but do not forget how good Spector looked when he first came into the team! Remember the two assists to Dempsey from spectacular crosses? I believe they were in the Confed Cup no less.


  • ThaDeuce

    swap Bradley for a forward, like EJ and I agree.
    I think another attacking option gives us more than another average D-Mid.


  • ThaDeuce

    to clarify before any potential onslaught, yes i think bradley is better than any forward we have, like EJ, but I think Jones is capable of handling it alone in the middle, with a player like Holden assisting and attacking, therefore, I would like to have 2 strikers because I think we need two strikers to move the ball to and have them move off of each other. EJ is the flavor of the month, and is in form and fast.


  • Alex

    So sick of the “he’s still young” excuses for Jozy.

    “Just 20 years old” is different in soccer. Because physical skills are so important, players peak earlier. Prime is 24-28, not 28-32. A 20-year-old in European terms has gone through European academy training and spent at least two years as a full-time professional. Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas, two of the biggest stars in the world, are just 22. Twenty-year-old Thomas Muller, in his first season for Bayern Munich, scored 20 goals and was pivotal on a team that went to the Champions League final. Jozy isn’t young by soccer standards. He’s the age where he should be starting to show his talent.


  • Smith

    This was a terribly unimaginative formation used by a terribly unimaginative coach who wouldn’t still have his job is Klinsman was less demanding and Sunil less afraid of him.

    I wouldn’t be surprise to see Bob NOT make it to the next World Cup.


  • Mwing09

    One 32 year old Didier Drogba would beg to differ with your statement that prime is 24-28. The difference here is that Jozy WASNT raised in European academy training. If he was, then maybe your argument would be a little more valid. The fact of the matter is that he was raised in MLS, and thats what we have to deal with as US fans, our players arent getting the technical training like they are in academies. Stop acting like 20 years old is too old to make any more progress. Just because he isnt as good as Messi or Fabregas when hes 20 doesnt mean he wont be a good player in the future. Sorry to burst your bubble dude, but dont expect any 20 year old as good as Muller to come out of the USA in the near future….


  • Eurosnob

    Mwing09, Drogba is a great example for why we should not discount 20 year old strikers as failures. I also don’t think that Messi and Fabergas are good analogies. They play different positions from Altidore, and Messi is a really special player that 99% of the countries do not have. Muller is a better analogy, but I wonder how he would have faired if instead of getting quality service from Ribery, Sweinsteigher, Robben, Lahm etc, he was surrounded by the motley crew that played for Hull. I agree with you that being groomed by a good academy in Europe is a great advantage. Altidore’s change from Hull to Villareal has been great for him so far. He is making the match day squad for one of the top team in La Liga and played several games in the Europa league and friendlies. And he scored several goals for Villareal too. His coaches in la Liga trust him enough to include in the match day roster and they know what they are doing.


  • thisisphil

    It will be interesting to revisit this in the coming months–already some developments that will make this lineup impossible (RIP Yura)


    SBI’s Projected USA World Cup Roster for 2014 (posted on SBI in July 1)

    GOALKEEPER- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Chris Seitz

    DEFENDERS- Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector, Jonathan Bornstein, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Ike Opara, Kevin Alston, Kofi Sarkodie

    MIDFIELDERS- Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Francisco Torres, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan

    FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Charlie Davies, Yura Movsisyan


  • thisisphil

    if we had to call a camp for gold cup next month this is who I’d love to see get called:



    this can shift to a 4-4-2 without a single subs: Deuce up, Holden to left wing.

    Guzan, “Wah”nemann, Rimando
    Bornstein, Spector, DeMerit, Onyewu, Pearce, Gonzales, Opara
    Beasely Torres Edu Feilhaber Bream ???
    Gomez, Buddle, LeToux, Mwanga


  • Dainja

    Does anyone know what celebration Onyewu was doing after his goal??? The camera came back late and I couldn’t find anything about it online.


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