U.S. Men's National Team

What's the biggest positive you took from the USMNT's two friendlies?


Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team has just one more match before the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and these past two friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay were rather important in helping Bob Bradley with his personnel and tactical decisions ahead of this summer's competition.

While there are still plenty of issues and concerns — the weak pool of left backs, the trouble scoring in the run of play, the lack of cohesion in a 4-5-1 to name a few — there were still some positives to take from the 1-1 tie with Argentina and the 1-0 loss to Paraguay.

Between the emergences of Timmy Chandler, Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream, earning a result against a strong Argentina side and having the team's No. 1 goalkeeper put on a fine performance, there's much to build on heading forward.

What's the biggest positive you took from the two friendlies? Cast your vote after the jump:


How did you vote? What are you feeling most hopeful about after the two matches these past four days? Or do you only see doom and gloom in the USMNT's future after its recent showing?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Dennis

    I saw the Argentina game in person and afterward on tape. MB was the biggest reason the US managed to escape the first half while allowing only one goal (Howard’s great saves came in the second half). MB was the midfielder most often close to Messi, who intercepted passes, muscled Messi and made Messi’s play predictable so Demerit and Onyewu could make tackles with confidence.

    Of course MB did not make great passes, but he certainly connected more passes than Edu or Jones did, if for no other reason than he stayed connected and involved in the play 100% of the time.

    MB is not a great dribbler (and in the part of the field he is most often playing, dribbling is a risk that should not be taken lightly inany case). Surely you aren’t faulting MB for not being like Messi and dribbling until he was crowded out and dispossessed?

    If nothing else, he had a better game than Messi did!


  • Dennis

    Holden and Bradley are not that much different. Both work 100% of the time, risk themselves making tackles and can strike the ball well. Bradley is probably a bit stronger and more durable while Holden is, I think a bit quicker and a better dribbler. Somewhere there must be statistics about which one connects with his passes most frequently, I imagine, Holden has an edge there, but probably not as big an advantage as some on this site seem to think.

    Ives: Are there any accessible matchtracker data for the EPL so we could compare those figures?


  • Rick

    I wasn’t aware those three guys were the only ones responsible for producing killer passes in the final third.

    I’ve seen MB and Jones produce some great kiler passes in the Bundesliga. I haven’t seen Edu do that but that’s not really what he does.


  • Ground Zero

    Your opinion. Based on a very small sample size about a kid who very little experience.

    JB is flawed but has tons more significant experience, under fire with “real bullets” flying, under his belt, as you point out.

    And that experience matters.

    Loyd may be better in the long run but right now JB is a better international fullback.


  • GW

    Did Jozy disappear or was he “disappeared”?

    If you are a US opponent, you know the US is not the most talented possession team and you know they live off the counter. So the first thing you do is seal off the target forward and compress the field.

    Ever notice how it seems the most fouled US player is Jozy followed by Clint? That is no accident. Seal them off and the counter is blunted and so is much of the US attack.

    This is why Chandler and Lichaj are so importantt to the future of the US offense along with AG.


  • GW

    Clint draws so many fouls because he is the US’ best attacker and because his style is to hang on to the ball longer than Landon.

    Last night he wasn’t sharp and neither was LD. In fact Donovan was awful. That means neither one was able to bail out the other as they often do.

    If they are on we win, no doubt.


  • Grimey

    Gooch looked positively flat footed as if he re-injured his leg. I have no seen anyone comment how Messi leapt over Gooch to win a header. Messi is great but he is at least 8 inches shorter.


  • Danny

    Yes, this is the best lineup. It gives Dempsey the freedom to roam and be a better playmaker and he doesn’t have the speed to be a traditional winger anyways. I think when Holden is healthy he could play either Dempsey’s or Chandler’s role. Bocanegra is still a little slow for LB, but considering our other options… Ream, Demerit is great combo of strength/tackling CB paired with a more skilled/controlled CB. In these last two games and at the WC, Demerit has proved that he’s a much better option than Gooch. Lastly, the Bradley-Jones combo will only get better as they play more together- look forward to seeing that.


  • Hush

    The positive thing I saw with the U.S team overall is how well they receive their new teammates. Agudelo and Chandler were a great revelation for us. Some players looked a bit rusty or just stiffed around the field, but overall they were solid. The only person that looked bad in the friendlies was BOB BRADLEY. His decisions in both games were not so good. And please, don’t preach to me about how BB was testing out his players for the gold cup, because the same rules apply to HIM! I have all the confidence in our players, It’s BOB’s decisions that scare the crap out me.


  • Hush

    Well the biggest fact on who is better is easy,.. Holden has been one of the top players for his club in the best league in the world, while MB is barely a top 50 player in the Bundesliga. Now that he is in the best league in the world, he is a bench warmer.lol Holden is a better technical player and a better distributor, pure fact. Games don’t lie.


  • Goalscorer24

    DCUPedro, Yeah Chandler that is a real foreign sounding name. That is why we like him.


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