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U.S. Men's National Team

Slovenia 2, USA 3: A Look Back

BuddleSlovenia (Getty)

The U.S. men's national team's 3-2 victory over Slovenia broke down into two parts. The exciting and encouraging offensive display in the first half and the shaky and discouraging debacle in the second half.

It was an important win for Jurgen Klinsmann, who ends his first year in charge of the United States on a winning note, and an encouraging note after an otherwise lackluster start.

We were treated to Fabian Johnson's first start for the United States, and the first match mainly using a 4-4-2 formation. We saw Edson Buddle make a statement, and Michael Bradley remove any doubts about whether or not he should be a regular starter.

We saw some negatives as well, particularly with a back-line that just didn't work well together. Timmy Chandler had his worst game since moving over to left back while Clarence Goodson saw his national team stock drop back to post 2009 Gold Cup final levels.

Here was my Fox Soccer column on the match, as well as my USA player grades. Feel free to give those a read and share your own thoughts on the match now that you've had a few days to digest the final U.S. national team match of the year.

Share your thoughts below.

69 comments
  • TomG

    Our defense is bad in a 4-4-2 and you eant to switch to LESS defenders? I have one word for what would happen: EVISCERATION. Very few teams in the world can play with only 3 in the back. The key to that formation is skill on the ball and possession. Barca can play with 3 defenders because they can play keep away. Skill on the ball and possession are the 2 WORST aspects of our team.

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  • TomG

    Maybe against a poorer team that bunkers 10 or 11 behind the ball it might work. Versus better teams we’d need another CM to possess, distribute and defend. Ideally, that’s Holden. Maybe Torrres if he is healthy. Maybe Mixx or Gill in 2 years. Right now? Fabian plays some CM for Hoffenheim, so I’d pair him with Bradley in CM and put speed on the wings with Lando and Shea, pairing Deuce and Jozy up front.

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  • marco

    Both Clarence Goodson and Tim Ream get knocked off the ball too easily. I can’t why some technique and muscle can’t be gained.

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  • LD

    Bocanegra got away with a clear, deliberate handball in the box in this game. On another note there aint no way the good ole USA was gonna beat Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup

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  • Hush

    Adu & Mixx I completely agree! … Sasha? I’m still hoping he can make a one time switch to Cananada. That clown can score & play all he wants, he is not International caliber…. He makes Beckerman look like Xavi Alonso.

    I don’t think there is room for Benny anymore. I would take Torres before him. And ADU before both of them.

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  • Hush

    Adu & Mixx I completely agree! … Sasha? I’m still hoping he can make a one time switch to Cananada. That clown can score & play all he wants, he is not International caliber…. He makes Beckerman look like Xavi Alonso.

    I don’t think there is room for Benny anymore. I would take Torres before him. And ADU before both of them.

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  • Ron

    Buddle should have been starting a long time ago. He will never be hotter than he was with the Galaxy.

    Thanks Bob Bradley

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  • john

    JOZY ALTIDORE SUCKS!

    Start Buddle and Donovan up top! They have chemistry from their time on the LA Galaxy.

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  • away goals

    Might want to reserve a midfield spot for fabian johnson. Small sample size obviously, but he could prove to be very dynamic indeed.

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  • away goals

    Whew. Glad that’s settled then. I woke up this morning in a panic wondering if the us would have won a hypothetical game 18 months ago.

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  • Adam M.

    Its a generalization, but there are basically three types of mids: (1) Defensive holding (Mascherano), (2) Playmaking (Xavi), and (3) attacking forwards that aren’t strikers (Ronaldo). Dempsey obviously isn’t meant to be 1, is very average at 2, and is pretty good at 3, but clearly not elite. The problem is that we don’t have a healthy solid 2 right now (maybe Johnson) and Dempsey, as our best overall player, has been spending more time at 2 in a role he isn’t ideally suited for which makes him less good at 3. The freedom that Dempsey wants/needs will work much better for everyone if Dempsey can hand the keys to the offense to a real 2.

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  • Kosh

    Of couse you would, that’s because you don’t get fired for it at the end of the day.

    Not that losing 1-0 is good but getting consistently routed is now the way to keep a coaching job…at least that’s what I heard on the Internets.

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  • Scott e Dio

    I still don’t understand Klinsmann’s fetish with defensive midfielders. Johnson did great & very stick player, good to see Williams get as a defender,both pairing up top did well.

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  • pancholama

    I’m gonna put Fabian Johnson, Stewart Holden and Jose Francisco Torres in that role for now – only one is healthy. Others suggestions for holding / play-making midfield role, people? Feilhaber – good vision, good passing, a Brazilian “savoir faire” about opening the field with one pass – but really hasn’t the pace for international or World Cup play. Kun Aguero and Gio dos Santos were competing with Adu for golden boot at the U20 WC in 2007. When Adu plays like Aguero I will eat my hat. Wherefore art thou US soccer Michael Jordan?

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