U.S. Men's National Team

USA lands in Nashville, turns attention to Paraguay


photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Less than a day after earning a 1-1 draw with Argentina, the U.S. men's national team arrived in the Music City to prepare for its second-to-last friendly before the 2011 Gold Cup.

The United States did not train on Sunday and instead had a regeneration session despite being slated to face Paraguay at LP Field on Tuesday night. That doesn't mean the team's focus hasn't already turned away from Argentina and towards a Paraguay side looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to Mexico, a result that put a dent in its preparations for the 2011 Copa America.

"Hopefully we can build on (our match versus Argentina)," said captain Carlos Bocanegra. "I thought we had a pretty good second half. We did some things well. There was obviously still some stuff we could improve on, but I think we'll take the confidence into this game against Paraguay and try and improve on some of the other things that we did and keep going from there."

With only three days separating the friendlies against the two South American teams, the United States knows it will need a quick turnaround in order to record its first win of 2011.

That's something the Americans seem mentally prepared for, including youngsters such as Juan Agudelo, the author of the United States' goal in the draw against the albiceleste.

"To me I think of it as just being fun," said Agudelo of the turnaround. "I don't think it's going to be tough, but we're going to see. Argentina is an amazing team and Paraguay is going to be an amazing team, too. We know that. We just need to go out there and work our best and try to play some good soccer."

The last time Paraguay and the United States met was in the Copa America in July 2007, when a young U.S. squad fell, 3-1, to Paraguay. Of the players that dressed, and played, that day, four are on the current U.S. roster (Jonathan Bornstein, Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan).

Obviously, the two teams are much different now, but they will share a common goal when they step onto the field: finetune things before their respective federation's tournament this summer. 

"The baselines for us are our workrate and our energy," said Bocanegra. "I think we need to go out there and be a little bit more confident and impose our game on Paraguay, and we're going for the win."

Other News and Notes

  • One player who will not be available for selection against Paraguay is Edson Buddle, who was sent back to FC Ingolstadt 04 on Sunday. That leaves 22 players in camp for head coach Bob Bradley to choose from on Tuesday.
  • The United States will once again sport its new red jersey on Tuesday, forcing Paraguay to wear something other than their traditional red-and-white home uniforms.
  • As of Sunday, more than 20,00 tickets have been sold for the game at LP Field.


What do you think of the upcoming USA-Paraguay match? Do you see the United States winning? Will you be attending Tuesday's friendly?

Share your thoughts below.

  • jb

    Wonder about the details of Buddle’s release. He has never gotten a fair chance with the A team, despite doing far more to earn the minutes last year than any other striker. BB biggest mistake at the world cup was not pairing Buddle with Altidore. Does Bradley have some kind of beef with him (ala Convey)?


  • BenH

    Hopefully we’ll actually the Bob decide to play some possession game for once. While I am glad we tied Argentina, the soccer sucked. The fact that our keeper was man of match…well….


  • bryan

    absolutely. i was astonished with the defending. they didn’t seem to care. and mexico’s finishing was spot on.


  • chavftw

    I agree in principle to everything you said, esp. in the style of play I’d like to see. BUT I don’t think we could have played it out of the back against the likes of Argentina (at least given our formation in the first half). It was like a clogged toilet in the midfield, and you have Messi and Lavezzi swarming up front.

    I’m waiting for Ream’s big shot though. I couldn’t see BB putting him in either half v Arg, but against Paraguay? Definitely.


  • Lst

    Not surprise México beat paraguay. Last time Mexico face paraguay in copa America 2007 and Mexico won 6-0 and eliminated paraguay.


  • wyofan

    FC Ingolstadt has a game on Friday and they are in a relegation battle. I’d venture to guess an agreement was in place early on for Buddle to be released early.


  • CroCajun

    Louis Z is right.

    Goals only count if:

    1. The team you are playing is better than you.

    2. The chance is beautifully taken.

    3. Your teammates don’t help you too much.

    If goals don’t meet this criteria they should have an asterisk placed next to them.

    Wait Louis Z…to PK’s count?

    I need more of this great wisdom from you.


  • Don Pelayo

    I’m not sure what game you were watching. Bradley was great against Argentina. While Howard deserves the most credit for limiting Argentina to one goal, Bradley crucially slowed down and broke up countless Argentinian attacks.


  • Don Pelayo

    A bit random, but did anyone else hope that the idiots chanting “USA!” during the minute of silence for Japan would be trampled to their death? I was really disappointed that a couple of drunk douches ruined our opportunity to properly honor the victims of the tsunami.


  • Omar Little

    Surprised Dempsey hasn’t been released back to England. Doesn’t Fulham play on Wednesday?


  • Dennis

    +1 Michael clearly had a better game than Messi did. (Though Messi is absolutely a special talent, he was the one left wondering how things went so wrong.)


  • Dennis

    In the Argentina game, Jones passes did not connect, save one. He still seems to be on a different page than either Dempsey, Donavon or Altidore. I don’t see how Bradley did less well, especially since he found the ball so much more often than Jones did.


  • Natsalways

    Not much talk on this board about Chandler, which surprises me. I thought he was excellent, and his service is outstanding. There were three or four really dangerous chances because of his service.

    And he gets back to cover, which is better than a lot of our defenders do.

    Lookng forward to the future with this bunch.


  • Dennis

    Where are you? I don’t want to be close by when the game starts! On the bright side another MB hater will bite the dust.


  • Spectra

    It surprises me that were mostly in our 20’s on this board. Soccer is the future!!! (28)


  • Dennis

    The backline against Argentina had Spector/Chandler only because ‘dolo was injured. If not, the backline would have had the 3 oldest field players on the roster (Onweyu, who at 29 in May, is the youngest of the 4 by only 2.5 years).

    The Gold Cup lineup will likely include most or even all of these guys, but 3 years from now in must change.

    Ream, Chandler, Lichaj, Omar Gonzales,and others must step up! Experience matters and I think it would be folly to replace the backline right now, but the practice of calling in young players for training camps must continue. Anyone who suffered through the last Gold Cup final against Mexico has no problem understanding the importance of an experienced, cohesive backline.


  • MiamiAl

    It sucks about Edson Buddle. I think Bob Bradley has been making a huge mistake with him since before the World Cup. Buddle is a much more polished striker than Altidore. He can create his own shots from a number of different ways. All Edson Buddle does is produce. I cant say the same for Jozy…


  • SoCal Soccer Mom

    I’ve heard a lot worse. At least it had some spirit so it sounded like an anthem and not the national dirge.

    I still maintain that only the Marine Corp Band should do the National Anthem (and I’m a former sailor!).


  • Detroit!

    Totally agree. Goals scored is the only measure that matters. For instance, Lionel Messi is clearly over-rated because has only 13 goals in international competition, counting friendlies.


  • joejoe

    The USMNT had no attack. Someone has to feed the ball to the front guys. It’s not Atidores’ fault.


  • Jose

    I agree, Boca has been a great captain for the team. He has been great with the USMNT but I think it is time to develop a young left back. Boca is slowing down and although he has great experience we need to start looking towards developing younger guys. They need to start getting the experience of playing at this high level.


  • Jose

    Yes that was so stupid and also that the people sitting in the lower rows of section 104 stood up the whole damn time. I was there with my dad who is sixty and had to move from those seats. Couldn’t make him stand for all 90 mins in the cold. It was the only section that idiots were standing throughout the whole game. There is a section for that and this wasn’t it.


  • Louis Z

    implying that he is more productive than the other players mentioned simply because of the number of goals he scored is a flawed assumption. If your need to be sarcastic to prove your point speaks for itsef…more power to you.


  • Designated tackler

    So Edu and Jones didn’t have to defend right?

    The Argentinians with the ball went looking for MB since he was the designated DM?

    ” I understand you are the DM? Here, try to take the ball off me?”.


  • GW

    Take your standard for goal validity and apply it to the top 15 or so best goalscorers in Europe.

    I think you’ll find a lot of them will have to come off the list. for example thetop goal scorer in Scotland can only count the goals he scored against Rangers or Celtic since everyone else sucks.

    Ronaldo and Messi are both on 27 goals but how many of those came against inferior teams? By your standards the only goals that shouldcount for them should be aginst each other’s rteams. And maybe there should be a panel of judges ( no East Germans) to vote on their goals.

    You’ve got the wrong sport, Z. You need to be a figure skating judge where they give style points. Or how about American Idol?

    Next thing you’re going to tell me is Messi is crap because he kept shooting right into Howard and the US defenders.


  • louis Z

    How can you possibly compare jozy to Messi to make a point. Looks to me you draw your comparisons on extemes so it makes sense to you. The original discussion was jozy being important because of his “10” goals which I disagree. somehow you guys ran with it to extremes to see your way. move on, there is no used to continue this discussion.


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