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U.S. Men's National Team

Who was your Man of the Match vs. Italy?

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photo by Bernd Feil/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team earned a historic result on Wednesday, defeating Italy for the first time in 11 tries.

The 1-0 result in Genoa was a hard-earned one for U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his team, but one in which a handful of American players delivered strong performances en route to Klinsmann's fourth consecutive victory and second on European soil.

From Tim Howard's sure-handed saves, to Michael Bradley's industrous and disciplined effort in midfield, to Fabian Johnson's surging runs forward and competent defending as a left back, to Clint Dempsey's game-winning goal, the United States recorded its first win against the Azzurri thanks to a team effort.

While there is much to discuss about the result and the game itself, SBI wants to ask: who do you think was the United States' Man of the Match against Italy? 

Cast your vote after the jump:

Who did you vote for, and why?

Share your thoughts below.

93 comments
  • dgoshilla

    Bradley was great. His touch was spot on. He was seeing the next play. He read his teammates movements perfectly. His game has elevated. Great to see his progress.
    On the other hand we’re still missing a striker.

    Like

  • mike

    i can’t stand altidore. granted, the second half was better but he either loses the ball or takes a dive.

    Like

  • kpugs

    Wish I could vote for three or this was the NHL. In my own order, Howard followed by Deuce followed by Bradley.

    They were all brilliant…and I thought Jozy looked great.

    Even more positives…if our team can whether that type of storm in the first half against a true world powerhouse, get the goal and continue the fantastic defending…this is a fantastic thing.

    Like

  • Dennis

    LOL, Italy must be wondering how they could be offsides so many times. At least 2 could have been called the other way, but I think on those 2 Howard saved. Pretty disciplined display from the US back 4.

    Like

  • Dennis

    Of the starters, I agree Shea was the weakest. I did think that worst of the game has to go to Sasha, I generally like him, but when he should have been covering for Spector who got drawn into the middle, he looked lost and gave away too much room in the corner, then did not have the speed to recover adequately.

    In recent games, the victory over Spain in 2009 and the tie vs Argentina in 2011 were at pretty much the same level.

    Like

  • Dennis

    It was not a foul in the box, he played the ball, the Italian tripped and Bradley played the ball away. Only the Italian who went to ground complained and even he did not make much of it (uncharacteristic of the drama the Italians too often display).

    Howard and the central defenders had some much scarier moments in the first several minutes than anything that came about due to Bradley.

    Like

  • Dennis

    It was interesting that Klinsmann used the same formation BB used, for example, against Spain in 2009, but Edu where Clark was. And, yes both Bradley and Edu played primarily as defensive mids.

    Like

  • Northzax

    I think he’s gone from Chievo this summer, he and Dempsey will vie for the US transfer record. MB is probably worth more, frankly, since Clint pretty obviously wants to stay in England.

    Like

  • H2Oman

    I am used to seeing Bradley playing a bit like a mad-man… putting out great effort, but often to his own detriment, running himself out of position. He has matured loads in a short time. Much more in control, head up, knowing where he’s going with the ball before he receives it, passes more crisp. In addition, he has found a nice touch on a little chip pass that he used 5-6 times… never seen him use it before. I’ve always admired his grit and thought he’d be a stalwart, solid guy for years… but I see his ceiling much higher after today.

    I have visons of Chandler screaming up the right side on over lapping runs w/ LD and Johnson up the left with Shea… amazing that we now have the luxury of OPTIONS. Considering how our defense looked a short time ago, I’m freaking thrilled. My feet areon the ground, we’ve still got along ways to go…. but things are coming in focus, and I really like what I see.

    BTW: Our u23s looked fast and crisp tonight in TX. LOVE what Porter is doing- that was a hell of a move giving him those boys. Nice day for US Soccer.

    Like

  • bearusky

    Kljestian turned it over also of the 3 touches he gave away two….wand why should be included on this team again?

    Like

  • BrianVT

    “He does not rest on his laurels – he is clearly determined to continue improving himself” — million dollar words these. And anyone who has not seen this all along does not follow U.S. soccer very closely.

    That said, I heard a rumor that MB90 only played because he was the coach’s cousin’s girlfriend’s mother’s paperboy from 2005-2007.

    Like

  • BrianVT

    Also, I could prolly do the research myself, but I need to get to sleep — I’d love to see a line graph of MB90’s mean-time-to-booking over the past five years.

    He used to be a jermainjones for a card per match, but there is no greater indication of his maturation than his new-found composure.

    I see him eventually wearing the armband, someday.

    That said, Beebs should *not* have played him the full 90 of every flippin’ match, at the expense of not being able to havalook at any other up-and-comers on the depth chart. Props to Klinni for keeping MB90 off the roster for the first few look-see matches.

    Like

  • Bradley's disfigured dog

    haha too early for that.

    he’ll be with Chievo for at least one more year, i guarantee it.

    If you look at his team history, he plays for a midtable team for at least one 2 years and then moves up

    Herveenes for 05-07
    BMonchengladbach 07-11
    Chievo 11- probably 13

    Like

  • BrianVT

    “MB is probably worth more, frankly,” because he is four years younger.

    Like

  • eman

    honestly, in my days of playing, coming on in the second half of a high pressure game, it is always difficult to quickly adjust to the intensity that is already established on the field.

    plus, Italy where already on full fledged attack

    but, i can totally agree that kljestan’s play was not very good. he should of been more composed than what he showed on the pitch.

    cheers

    Like

  • Jon

    I’m with Timmy H. Clean sheet, in Italy, top class positioning. Banner day for the Yanks.

    Like

  • Jamie Z.

    I look forward to the day when we have Jonathan Klinsmann and Brooklyn Beckham playing for the U.S.!

    Like

  • Jon

    Bradley signed a two year deal with Chievo. So this summer, Chievo will have to decide whether they cash in on Bradley or offer him a new deal. Any agent worth his salt should be able to get Mikey a decent raise…

    Like

  • Kryptonite

    I think US fans are still traumatized by the LB position. I love the work Johnson does at LB, but I hope his appearance at LB is short-lived. Johnson is the only midfielder the US has that has all the attributes Klinsmann wants in a midfielder. He does more for the national squad in the midfield, where is passion desire and skill are greater, than he does at LB. His combo of creativity and possession, and reading the game are sorely missed when he is at LB. This scoring-challenged side needs him on the wing if the US is to take the next step. Take Shea out of the starting lineup and insert Chandler at LB and the US is a better offensive squad immediately. jm2c

    Like

  • biff

    GW: Saw your comment on the previous thread from yesterday, as well as some heat I took from a couple of others. I’m not prejudiced against MB, but I’m not on the rah-rah bandwagon either. I’m just a USNMT fan calling it as I see it. The comments I made were mild and constructive, not like the rabid hate-infested and ugly comments I sometimes see on this board directed at Kyle Beckerman and a few other players, usually midfielders. Watching the Italy game, I felt Fabian Johnson was man of the match, with Clint Dempsey a very close second. I was totally surprised after the match to see the board flooded with postings declaring Michael Bradley M.O.M. (although, in retrospect, I should have expected it).

    In any case, I agree that MB had a solid game, despite some defensive lapses and several way off-target corner and free kicks (especially the kick from midfield at the end of the first half that flew way over Goodson, whose head was free high above defenders and poised for a headshot). MB was solid, but I saw Johnson as the driving force of the USMNT, the focal point, the man others were looking to, the man that made the great Mesut Ozil-cross to Jozy. Maurice Edu was surprisingly good and, I think, played at the same level as MB.

    I think a lot of MB supporters (some no doubt posting here under multiple names) are judging his performance more from the heart, relieved that he had a solid game and did not have any major screw-ups rather than from an objective assessment of his game. I saw MB as a contributor — among many — to a great win.

    MB no doubt deserves strong consideration from Klinsmann for a starting spot this summer when WCQ rolls around. But after one solid showing, it is way too early to say MB owns a starting midfield slot, especially after very good outings in January from Jermaine Jones and with Jose Torres coming back and probably Stu Holden and when Landon Donovan takes back the right wing what will happen with Danny Williams, who is a great defender, and don’t forget Klinsmann fave Kyle Beckerman and we now have a resurgent Mo Edu and maybe even Fabian Johnson will be vying for a midfield spot and Brek Shea might finally get it together. It’s a battle to win a starting slot on a Klinsmann-coached team and the team will just keep getting better and better as players fight for them.

    Like

  • biff

    tough call on Fabian Johnson, he’s a great left defender but also an awesome winger. But I tend to agree with you, his ball-handling and passing skills remind me of Mesut Ozil.

    Like

  • NotBornstein

    Didn’t see the game (work) so I didn’t vote. But the words, “…competent defending as a left back…” made me weep with joy.

    Like

  • Andy in Chicago

    Michael Bradly was definitely man of the match.

    I also must say this. For once, I cannot complain about Jozy. He actually played very well and I was impressed for the most part. The one dive to try and draw a penalty was ridiculous, but other than that, he was great in this game.

    Like

  • Bradley's sons' son from the future

    Guess what you guys… I just got signed by Real Madrid

    Like

  • Kryptonite

    If my memory serves me, Johnson was on the youth teams with Ozil and was on pace to be a German national until his hiccup at Wolfsburg, which the US should feel extremely happy about in retrospect. Johnson should be happy about it too as he should be a fixture in the starting XI and likely in multiple World Cups.

    Like

  • TrollsWillTroll

    The only reason that Michael Bradley is on the team is because his father is the coach.

    Like

  • happyjuggler0

    You might be right, but his stock in Italy just went up with everyone in that country watching his amazing performance.

    If he keeps playing well for Chievo, then “General” Bradley could definitely be transferred to a top Serie A team.

    Like

  • bryan

    Bradley and Howard were brilliant. Either one works for me. Johnson looks great, but I think given Shea’s continued disappointing displays, Johnson will be LM once Chandler is back. Sacha didn’t look good at all, which is a shame because I have been saying he deserves a shot. It’s really too bad. While Boca/Goodson did pretty well, there were way to many balls over the top. Gooch would have been nice to have. I think Williams is a good player with good skill on the ball, but it’s obvious he shouldn’t be playing RM.

    Like

  • broadsthooligans

    Did Bob tag Shea? Or are we saying he was an MLS find before Klinsi. Remember how bad Shea looked against Colombia before answering that. I was at the Mexico game for his assist to Rogers that really put him on the map. There was an energy around him at that game that felt like he was just being discovered by a lot of people. Although then again you could say those who were really paying attention knew he was special from his time with Dallas.

    Like

  • broadsthooligans

    Bradley looked great, but this was a real show of force from Johnson. I think he’s earned a starting spot somewhere from this game. Hopefully at LB, he looked miles ahead of Chandler and it would allow Timmy to head back to the right side.

    Like

  • broadsthooligans

    I really feel like we can’t be impressed enough with Tim Howard. I’ve never watched a USMNT game he played where he wasn’t our Man Of The Match. I just naturally assume I’m voting for a Man of The Match not named Tim Howard. For all the talk of Dempsey and Donovan, Howard has been our undeniable best player for years.

    Like

  • broadsthooligans

    because he’s a central player who was forced to play on the wing? That he was forced to play out of position because he was the only midfielder Klinsmann had on the bench for this game? Because he’s had the most impressive stand-out club season this side of Dempsey and Bradley? Because of that silly moustache? Because he had a good Gold Cup the last time he got any real play before he started tearing the roof off in Belgium? Most importantly because two bad passes shouldn’t eliminate him from contention?

    Like

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