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U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Nigeria: SBI Live Match Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Nigeria (6pm, ESPN/Univision) today in the final match of their World Cup send-off series, and the toughest test the Americans will have faced before making the trip to Brazil.

The U.S. is coming off consecutive wins against Azerbaijan and Turkey, but Nigeria will offer a significantly tougher challenge as the African champions look to make their own final preparations for the World Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann said he would use today’s match as a final look at some positional battles, and not necessarily a match where he will deploy his first-choice starting lineup for the World Cup. In Nigeria, the Americans face a team that should offer a strong challenge to the very areas in the U.S. lineup that are still up for grabs, like central defense, left back and central midfielder.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):

186 comments
  • atleticodemadridfan

    Jozy, Jozy, Jozy, Jozy!!!!!
    Yeeee-hah!
    The flood-gates have opened!

    Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    I feel just a tiny bit sorry for Nigeria. As far as the refereeing goes, they are getting CONCACAFed.
    Not too

    Like

  • Zack

    Zusi made a bad play, how in the world could a decent soccer player over shoot the middle.

    Like

    • atleticodemadridfan

      Maybe he is still feeling all of the interval and training strength conditioning. Heavy legs, heavy touch from stiff muscles.

      Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    too, badly, but still a little bit of home cooking from the officials.

    Jozy going off to a standing ovation.

    Like

  • Nate

    Jozy set both Mix and Dempsey up on a platter…Dont know why Dempsey gave up on that ball…

    Like

    • Paul6

      He’s been a boss all three games. This is the JJ we’ve been waiting for for so long. Let’s hope it continues.

      Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    This style of playing it loosey goosey at the end of the game, not closing out the game, missing knockout punch goal opportunities and giving up a penalty late is becoming a disturbing habit.
    Hope it ends here.

    Like

    • Yusef

      All of those subs reduce cohesion. They will keep it tight and bring in guys to shut down the games in Brazil. Best to do that with veterans off the bench like Cobi Jones shutting down Portugal and Mexico matches back in ’02.

      Like

  • Dawsaw

    Lost in the shuffle of Jozy’s goals is that Omar looked really bad in his 10 minutes regardless of what happens in the last 3.

    Like

  • Zack

    Besler took the man down, if he wouldn’t have Howard diffidently had the save. Bad, very bad, move by Besler.

    Like

  • Nate

    Hate to say it…but I would much rather have Donovan in the Zusi/Bedoya role….they are simply not on his level when it comes to the final pass…

    Like

    • Paul6

      I like bedoya. But yeah, that right side has looked dangerous up until the final pass is needed.

      Like

    • BookNerd

      And he is not on their level of fitness. Especially, in the heat of Brazil. Donovan is not there. Its time to move on. Focus on this team.

      Like

      • Paul6

        I heard he was top 3 in the beep test. LD’s fitness shouldn’t ever be questioned.

        Like

      • Chris

        Donovan’s fitness is always good. You have no idea what you’re talking about

        Like

      • hahabooknerd

        Klinsmann made it personal. Don’t spin some silly fitness jive. Can you really say you would rather have Wondo running around aimlessly or donovan coming in at the end of a game?

        Like

      • Zack

        It is fact time. Landon Donovan is, today, the best soccer player in the world! And everyone knows that, Messi, Ronaldo, Ribbery, they all know it.

        Everyone knows that, and yet Klinsi dropped him.

        Like

    • Benny

      You are correct. With Donovan’s Passing in the box, the U.S. could have had 4 goals total.

      Like

    • Yusef

      +1. As much as I like Bedoya, seeing this system seems to create a perfect place for Donovan to slide in. Assuming Donovan could get in the same space as Bedoya, team would’ve been better in final third. Bedoya was strong getting back though.

      Like

  • Zack

    Green proved today that he should not have even made the 30, much less the 23.

    Don’t you agree slowleft?

    Like

      • Zack

        Don’t you see Paul, he didn’t play today. So, Green proved today that he has given no reason for us to believe he should be going to Brail.

        He has shown us nothing, he has never played 10 minutes for any professional league team, Can’t we all decide that our host and most of the commenters here know, Julian will sit the bench.

        Also, consider satire, irony, and other things of that sort. You know, like maybe saying one thing, while meaning another and having everyone listing knowing that is what you are doing.

        Like

    • Jack

      I don’t think he’ll see the field in Brazil. Even more so if we play this formation with 3 center mids.

      Like

    • slowleftarm

      I agree. He is awful and a fake American. Makes me sick to my stomach.

      Like

      • Cristiano Donovan

        I hate those fake Americans. Always taking our fake jobs.

        Like

      • sean357

        Want to punch you in the face. There is no such thing as a “fake” American. It is a 1,0 thing you are or you aren’t American. And he is American. You can not argue with someone being American, they are or they aren’t.

        Like

      • Anthony

        This is not slow. It is a new troll that has been on the boards for the last week or two. He posts outrageous comments under other people’s names. He is probably some 15yr old that gets off being a keyboard bully/troll.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        And something the admins of the site could easily block….

        Like

  • MikeG

    Zuzi looks better as a ‘playmaker’ in the middle. Anyway, stay compact on both sides of the field and we should be competitive in Brazil.

    Like

  • Abe

    How about Jeremy shad trying to tell Jozy all about his drought and him not making shots. Not bout him making them.

    Don’t like his reporting

    Like

  • deepvalue

    Heck of a game by Jermaine Jones. Probably best I’ve ever seen him play.

    Like

  • Leo

    Takeaways from this matchup:

    1) We have the ability to take on, and match, quality sides. Yeah, Nigeria played on US soil, the refs weren’t great; however, with players like Moses, Ameobi and Mikel, we defeated a really good team.

    2) Jozy’s back. Haters, out the door.

    3) We have a bunch of bosses in the midfield. Not only did they track back to help out the defense time and time again, they really appeared unfazed by Nigeria, held possession well (after that slightly nervy beginning), strung passes together well, and played well together in tight spaces. They probably did everything Klinsmann asked of them. Now for them to replicate this in Brazil.

    4) Gonzalez. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I was really rooting for him to make something of his USMNT opportunity, but I really haven’t been impressed with anything he’s done over the past six months. I’m really disappointed in his performances lately.

    5) I was initially really disappointed in Donovan’s exclusion. I think he’s a special player, and he’s always had the ability of (and I think he’s still capable of) providing a spark when the chips are down. All that being said, I think his Road to the World Cup interview spelled out everything we need to know about why he was excluded by Klinsmann. Seeing this team today, win or lose at the World Cup, I think we’ll be okay without him.

    Like

  • JC

    Good game. We really have Zero EV from the LM position. Bedoya, meh. Zusi, meh…I guess if I had to pick one to start, I would go with Zusi since I think he is the better passer.

    Brooks needs to be second in the depth chart over Gonzalez (assuming besler is starting).

    Like

  • hudson

    Seeing this game makes it even more puzzling why Donovan was cut from the team. He would have flourished in a counterattacking game like this with plenty of space to operate in at pace. And when Bedoya blew those two chances in the box with errant cutback passes it’s hard not to think of Donovan doing in better in the same position. Bedoya will likely provide more on the defensive end but he’s got to be more consistent with that final ball on the attacking side.

    Like

    • JC

      With 4-2-3-1 I would not really care too much for defense from my mfs, as you pretty much have 6 in the back. Agree with the rest of the post.

      Like

    • JC

      Donovan at lm or rm would have worked wonders, so it must have been conditioning that Klinsmann did not like. Donovan already said that he gets tired after practicing too much, so that is the only answer I can point to.

      Like

    • Fredo

      Agree. LD’s vision & passing would have been a nice option to have on the bench.

      Like

  • Fredo

    Odd choice for Klinsmann to go 3 in the back to kill the game. Otherwise, decent performance with a defensive setup to start. I’m happy for Jozy. His second goal was sweet. Still think Chandler is undisciplined. USA!

    Like

  • JC

    Only question I have is that Dempsey is not really playing as a forward if we use 4-2-3-1, so Klinsmann comment of “Donovan is a forward” does not hold much water. Things that make you go “hmmmmm.”

    Like

    • MikeG

      Many other double talk examples of Klinnsman, but we would need a new thread to make room for the long list and comments.

      Like

  • MikeG

    I think the dual DM and back four is what we will start against Ghana. We have seen Dempsey as a withdrawn forward and now kinda on the RW (at least formation wise). We clearly saw more compact play and a counter attack. Interesting. When we have possession it’s best we stay compact and move well off the ball to support, but when we see the opportunity to counter attack we do..I will gladly accept those tactics.

    Like

  • Zack

    What will we do now? They are going to Brazil and will have another friendly, with Belgium, a really good team. But it is closed to us, it is to be a secret. Then we, the USMNT plays Ghana, That is all we know between this moment and the kick-off of the Ghana world cup match.

    Be prepared for surprises.

    Like

  • QuakerOtis

    Anyone mentioning the one who needs not mention. Is. A. F*cking. Tool. Move. The. F*ck on. My two points of consolation:

    1. Jozy is back.

    2. The tools will go back in the shed after 7/12/14…

    Like

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