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World Cup Qualifying

Altidore, Pulisic lead USMNT to dominant win over T&T

Photo by Logan Bowles/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Logan Bowles/USA TODAY Sports

Christian Pulisic is among the newest faces with the U.S. Men’s National Team, while Jozy Altidore is one of the moreĀ experienced. On Tuesday night, the two combined masterfully to lead the U.S. to a dominant win over Trinidad & Tobago.

Led by Altidore and Pulisic, the USMNT cruised past T&T, 4-0, on Tuesday night in Jacksonville. The win seals the USMNT’s spot atop the group, while also eliminating Guatemala from World Cup qualifying.

The first half started much slower than many would have predicted, but the game opened up moments before halftime as Sacha Kljestan fired the U.S. into the lead.

After playing a one-two with Fabian Johnson, a series of missed clearances saw the ball fall to Kljestan’s feet. The New York Red Bulls star proceeded to tee up a shot, firing the U.S. into the lead with his second goal in as many games after scoring four in his first 46 caps.

While Klinsmann was the beneficiary of a bit of luck, Pulisic saw quite the opposite. Active throughout the entire first half, the Borussia Dortmund product was robbed as he saw a shot from the left side carom off both posts and out, depriving the U.S. of what would have been an opening goal.

The USMNT’s second goal would come 15 minutes into the second half on a solid transition sequence from the U.S. After quickly moving the ball up field, Johnson found Altidore at the top of the box. The Toronto FC forward took a touch around his defender before rolling a shot just inside the past, doubling the lead.

Less than two minutes later, it was Altidore again, as Pulisic played provider. After playing cross after cross to open the second half, Pulisic’s ball across the six-yard box fell right to Altidore, who tapped into an open net to push the lead to 3-0.

In the 71st minute, substitute Paul Arriola got in on the fun, jumping on a rebound to seal a dominant second half for the USMNT.

Following the win, the U.S. returns to action in October for a pair of friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand before beginning the Hexagonal phase against Mexico on Nov. 11.

82 comments
  • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

    “Nah, Jozy can’t turn-dribble-shoot”

    “JK doesn’t know when to start or play his talented youth”

    Will now turn into:

    “He got lucky, it hit the defenders leg; he score a tap-in, so what?”

    “See? It’s about time he started Pulisic! He should have started in the copa every game! JK is the worst!”

    Commence…

    Liked by 4 people

    • UclaBruinGreat

      JK is definitely not the worst. I would simply say he is among the mediocre/bad. šŸ™‚

      Like

      • UclaBruinGreat

        DLOA, I finally understand your Klinsmann stance then! Using pass/fail then:

        2013 Gold Cup: pass
        2014 World Cup: pass
        2015 Gold Cup: fail
        Concacaf Cup: fail
        2016 Copa: pass
        2018 World Cup Qf (so far): passing as of now.

        Definitely Klinsmann’s evaluation becomes much better pass/fail.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        Exactly. And it’s because the coach is just someone hired. There’s just a list of expectations to suffice. I care about the players and their personal growth and play. I never give the coach a rating after matches. That’s silly lol

        Like

      • Gary Page

        I would just remind people that Bruce Arena, who has some experience, said that the only thing a national team coach should be judged on is (1)did he qualify for the World Cup, and (2) how well did his team do after it got there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nate Dollars

        @garypage

        i’m sure that has absolutely nothing to do with his underwhelming record in gold cups šŸ™‚

        Like

    • Socceroo

      I’ve been a major Jozy doubter but I thought he very good tonight. Between his passing and finishing it may have been the best game I’ve seen him play.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

        Not an Altidore hater at all, in fact he has been great. Morris is better, will be much better and thus a better option.

        Like

      • johnnyrazor

        Quit Whinning: On what planet is Jordan Morris better than Jozy Altidore? Do you even watch the games? Might he someday maybe, but he is no where near the same level, sorry. Jozy is 26 which is in the optimal age for a striker and will still be in the productive range in 2022. Its like a Bayern fan saying “yeah we like Lewandowski and Muller, but Green and Kimmich might be better someday so we should replace them now.”

        Like

      • ironyank

        Tears in my eyes as you just compared Jozy to Lewandowski and Muller LOL
        I get the point you’re trying to make, however.

        Like

  • gillyking

    Pulisic and Sascha must be part of the attack!!!!!! MB needs to drop to the #6. Bedoya was all over the pitch tonight .. unsung hero who does all the dirty work. MB was slow as always and should defer to Sascha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chase

      Bedoya has a great work rate and is a solid 2 way mid, but dang, I wish he was a little more clinical in the final third.

      On the bright side, if Wood and Pulisic continue to develop, we’re gonna have some serious bite to our attack.

      Like

      • Socceroo

        Agree about Bedoya in the final third. Attacks seem to die whenever the ball reaches him.

        Like

    • Socceroo

      I agree that Bradley shouldn’t play attacking mid, but at this point is he really effective as a defensive mid? Is he a better 2 way player at DM than Jones or Cameron?

      I’m also very curious to see how Gooch develops. Maybe he’ll get in the mix at DM if he gets more playing time there at Sunderland.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anthony

        Cameron should never play DM again unless in a pinch.He is a Center Back. Did you watch play or know much about him? I ask because he is not a DM, he is an AM and/or attacking wing.

        Like

      • johnnyrazor

        So far anyway Gooch is not a DM, he is more a Bedoya style player that can play outside midfield or centrally.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Socceroo

        http://americansoccernow.com/articles/lynden-gooch-to-asn-i-want-to-play-every-game

        As he matured, Gooch’s coaches have played him in a variety of positions, including on the wing, where Moyes tends to use him. Against Middlesbrough he also shifted into a more defensive-midfield position.

        ā€œA lot of the coaching staff on the first team are the coaches I had with the U-21s and the U-18sā€”they know I can play other positions,ā€ Gooch explained. ā€œThat’s why you see me playing all over the place. The manager has coaching staff around him that know me really well.ā€

        Like

      • peterprinciple

        What did Bradley do poorly tonight? Howard was barely tested,MB snuffed out and won a ton of attacks and possession. The only thing he didnt do particularly well was help in the attacking third, but they sure didn’t seem to need it. Winning and holding possession is a huge plus, and his measured abilities were superior to Beckerman and/orJones

        Liked by 1 person

      • johnnyrazor

        Socceroo: I only saw parts of that game with Boro so I’ll take that one, other than there is a difference between playing the #6 like Bradley did last night and shifting into a more defensive midfielder role as the article said.

        Peter: I thought Bradley had a great second half and was excellent in helping to shut down KJones. In the first thirty minutes he was pretty bad in distributing the ball (not all his fault Bedoya and Sacha didn’t seem to be working very hard to get open). MB had a couple bad give aways and his usually high rate of back passes. People don’t expect MB to be involved in the attacking third as a #6, but they do expect him to be better linking the back to the midfield.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        A) MB is our best DM… not sure what the distinction is with #6 vs DM… but whatever. Cameron should not be playing there. he is our #1CB.

        B) Gooch is going to be fighting to replace Bedoya… not Bradley.

        C) Johnnyrazor… Bradley was having a tough time linking with the back 4 because T&T spent a good deal of effort shutting the pass to Bradley down. So we had to go up the wings. First the US tried the Right side with Cameron/Bedoya… but it didn’t work (mostly why I am rating Bedoya as bad) then we tried up the Left and had success the entire rest of the game. So hence the good rating for Pulisic. As for Bradley, you can either blame him, or the fact that T&T played hard… or the fact that the 2 CB’s were bad at distribution… all probably had something to do with it.

        But you can’t judge Bradley on his link play alone as a DM… he covered massive amounts of ground and made huge stops covering for Cameron, Fabjo, Pulisic, and Klejstan mistakes all night, and he was disciplined going forward (way more so than JJ has been in the past). If we are going to play a diamond in Russia… MB is the only guy to put back there (I mean unless there is someone I haven’t heard of plying their trade as a DM for Juve/ManCity/Madrid who is also an American).

        Like

      • Socceroo

        Turkmenbashy do you think Bradley played well in the Copa? From what I saw, the opposition sets out to apply pressure to him, which leads him to pass backwards or turn the ball over in our own half. Isn’t the ability to link with the players in front of him a huge part of his job? I get that he runs around a lot, but can’t we expect more?

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        He had better and worse games. But yes, overall he played well. Yes, he needs to link with the players in front, and he did that well in a couple games… not so well in others.

        Like

  • gillyking

    Lalas actually said something worthwhile! “the best player on the pitch is only 17″… LOL He’s actually correct as it applied tonight..

    Liked by 1 person

  • Benjamin C.

    Favorite moments were when Pulisic, Kljestan, and Johnson linked up. Jozy was very good. Nice to see Arriola and Morris being active in sub appearances. Center back pool is quite deep. Good night all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lost in Space

      Center Back depth chart is deep & talented. We’ve got 5 CBs that I wouldn’t be worried about starting (Cameron, Brooks, Besler, Birnbaum, Gonzalez), 2 others who are knocking at the door (CCV & Miazga), and a handful of decent darkhorses that could slot into the conversation at almost any time (Zimmerman, Hedges, Parker, EPB).
      Our Attacking depth is actually looking surprisingly deep as well with the likes of Jozy, Wood, Morris, Pulisic, Green, Rubin, Gooch, Arriola, Johannsson, Boyd, Zardes, & Dempsey.
      Where we are lacking in options & depth is at outside back. Once we shore up these 2 spots I’ll be much more confident about the USMNT.

      Like

      • Socceroo

        Hmm good points about depth at forward and center back, but what about the middle part of the spine? Jones has been great but he’s on his last legs, and Bradley has been mediocre over the past couple of years.

        What we need now is for the next generation of midfielders to step up. It looks like that means 3 EPL guys at this point – Hyndman, Zelalem, and Gooch!

        Like

  • Dan

    For anyone who has been on the we shouldn’t play pulisic 90 minutes every game side of the fence, even the USA veterans disagree with you. They looked to get him the ball all night long.

    I will state again as I stated months ago, pulisic is the best player on the team. Right now.

    Also Sasha’s creativity is a breathe of fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

  • recovered amishman

    Clint Who? Seems like some o’ the kids are ready to step up should the opportunity continue to present itself.

    Like

    • Socceroo

      Heh, I have to think Clint would have had 3 or 4 goals if he had played in the last 2 games, but it’s nice to see us create and convert without him!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Scott e Dio93

    I can’t complain. For first time agree with Klinsmann.

    I love Yugoslavia connection and Altidore was a true leader Tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lost in Space

      I’m still not sold on Kljestan being any kind of answer for the US. Yes he had a good game against St. Vincent, but you have to take that with a grain of salt because almost anyone would look good against that team. He played OK tonight, got a goal and made some good passing but still lacked some of the energy & tempo I would like to see from the position he played. IMO Nagbe is still a better overall player for the top of a diamond midfield.

      Like

      • Scott e Dio93

        Donovan was the last USNT player tempo creator with energy, but Pulisic might take that role.

        Like

      • johnnyrazor

        A. Nagbe doesn’t play that point of the diamond position. Could he, possibly, but he doesn’t play it on any sort of regular basis now. Valeri is pretty darn good (4 goals 2 assists 26 shots over those same games) so I don’t see Nagbe getting much time there going forward either, Diego just signed an extension through 2019.

        B. Nagbe has 2 assists and 10 shots in 10 games since Copa America and really wasn’t that impressive after the Bolivia warm up game this Summer. This is his first full year with the dual US/MLS schedule following a long playoff run season last year, perhaps its wearing on him.

        Like

  • Lost in Space

    Overall I was happy with tonight’s performance. They may have started out a little slow in the first half and was a little nervy at times, but turned up their performance in the 2nd half. What I was most pleased with was that neither Orozco or Wondo saw the field in either of these 2 games. I am hoping we have finally seen the last of these 2.
    We got to see a fair number of the younger generation of players (Pulisic, Morris, Arriola, Stanko) even if we did still have to use Beckerman for one of the matches.

    Heading into the Hex I’m feeling pretty good even if Jones and/or Dempsey are unable to return to the team due to their health/injury/age concerns. We had a fairly dominating win against one of the teams that we’ll face in the Hex with a starting XI that had a clobbered together feel to it. Pulisic is progressing well, Wood & Jozy are building chemistry, Fabian’s versatility gives great flexibility to the team, while Bedoya & Bradley do the dirty work freeing up others to overload the opponent.

    Liked by 1 person

  • RB

    Great to see them finish out strong and win the group, to head into the final round with some good momentum.

    And on a personal note, will be good to see if this post actually appears, as SBI has blocked me elsewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  • bizzy

    Sasha Kljestan has really proved a lot of people wrong, the man is just class…..he did it for Anderlecht (which no one gave him credit for) and now racking up stats in NY. He was one of the most underrated players for the USMNT. Finally his time to shine……Congrats

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nate Dollars

      i don’t know, i watched him fairly often at anderlecht, and he looked pretty average in a weak league. there were a couple of standout games, but nothing too exciting. his stats show he averaged 5 goals, 4 assists per season: not bad, but you’d expect more in that league, and it was clear at the end that anderlecht was trying to move him on.

      i think it’s more that he’s in a great run of form right now, it’s only been a couple games, and probably most importantly, the current role he’s playing suits him perfectly.

      Like

  • johnnyrazor

    Jozy good, Pulisic good, Arriola and Morris fast. Howard good. Birnbaum/Gonzo mostly good.

    Central midfield movement in the first half abysmal. Once again there was too much standing around being easily marked causing hopeful balls over the top to Jozy and Wood. Bradley and Klejstan only had a day or two to work together, but Bedoya, Camron, and Johnson were also too stagnant.

    Once the second goal came and the game opened up Bradley was able to dominate in the middle and spring Jozy and CP on the break. His work in midfield led to a lot of those chances in the last thirty minutes.

    Like

    • Turkmenbashy

      Morris looked like he was completely out of shape. he lumbered around like he has 20 lbs too much… everyone jogging, Morris walking… then he would sprint for a moment… then walking again. I like him and think he has potential… but tonight he did not look good. He is definitely behind a healthy Altidore at this moment.

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        yeah, i might have to go back and re-watch the second half because i’ve seen a couple people mention how good morris looked, but i wasn’t impressed, apart from his great move to set up the third (i think) goal.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        My wife of all people mentioned how he wasn’t running and looked like a fat lumbering hulk out there… so I started watching… he was late a couple times… he was slow… he took wrong angles. It was not his best game.

        Like

  • troy2

    Jozy is back! I am the first one to criticize his past laziness and poor form but last night he looked like great in his movement and finishing.

    Now, can he maintain it? Hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  • ironyank

    Glad Pulisic had a wonderful game. Everyone benefitted (looking at you, Jozy) but this isn’t a good thing. It merely papers over the Grand Canyon sized cracks in our team, the coaching, and the youth development.

    Like

      • ironyank

        I point out that there are still flaws that need attending to and you tell me I can’t support the team? How about we don’t let 2 stat padding matches go to our heads?

        Like

      • johnnyrazor

        Ironyank: I won’t ever say someone should stop “supporting” a team, some guys are just glass half empty, that’s just who they are. There certainly is plenty of room for improvement, but we took 6 pts from those two matches which is still pretty good considering France got a draw with Belarus, Portugal lost its first qualifier, and Chile got 1 pt from matches with Paraguay and Bolivia.

        I don’t see how you can complain about the coaching this week, people played in their prescribed position, subs were timely and scored goals when put in, defense was cohesive for the most part. Also, have you followed our youth teams this summer, we had several cup victories at different levels and had quite a few U19 players sign with European clubs and they have been having success in the European U19 divisions.

        Like

      • ironyank

        Maybe I am a glass half empty guy…I call it pragmatism. I just say we wait to break out the ticker tape. Remember the 2013 Confederations Cup? Fernando Torres was joint top scorer. He put 4 of his 5 goals past Tahiti. TAHITI.

        Yes, I will cede that we should have, and did, win both of these games. But that’s all. They did their job against inferior opposition. But that is no reason to get excited. The reason we do get excited is troubling; and its because we have failed, in recent years, to perform at the level we SHOULD be performing.

        I am quite optimistic about the future, for it looks bright indeed. Pulisic looks a genuine threat at 17 and Morris’ development continues. Bobby Wood has been scoring in the Bundesliga and we finally have midfield options emerging besides the old tired warhorses who have lost more than a step or two.

        Portugal lost to the Swiss, not Moldova.

        Like

      • Chase

        No, IRONYank, you didn’t point out flaws. You belittled the performance of Jozy who unequivocally dominated the game and then b$&*#ed about our “youth development.” What exactly does youth development have to do with the game last night? Furthermore, we started a 17 year old and brought on 3 young guys who all looked good in an important match. Oh, the irony.

        Like

      • ironyank

        “belittled” I said he benefited from Pulisic’s industry and creativity.

        And youth development has EVERYTHING to do with the game last night, and the game before. In fact, you made my argument for me. In a game where we start a 17 year old and bring on 3 younger players we won, and arguably dominated. Perhaps I was remiss, and a bit too inflammatory, in not stating that this should have been happening a bit sooner in stead of having to rely on aging legs and the tactics that are bent to fit them.

        Like

      • Chase

        Ironyank: you said Altidore directly benefitted from CP (I agree). You then indicated that that is a bad thing and implied that Jozy is part of a Grand Canyon-sized crack on our team. How can that possibly be taken as anything but belittling?

        Like

      • ironyank

        If you inferred that Jozy is part of the problem then my message got lost. The emergence of Pulisic has the potential to be a problem. Too much reliance on one or two players (i.e. Deuce and Landy) would not be beneficial to US Soccer as a whole.

        The current state of US Soccer, in my opinion, is that it has the best and worst thing: potential. It’s how the Hex is handled that will be the litmus test.

        We need to be bringing more youth in more often. That’s why these two games have been a bright spot in an otherwise very bland 18 months.

        Like

      • johnnyrazor

        Let’s be honest Iron the last 18 months are pretty par for the course for the US. Sometimes we lose to weaker Concacaf opponents, Let’s not forget in the last 18 months we’ve also beaten Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, and Ecuador twice. There’s been nothing over the last four months to suggest that we will not get through to Russia.

        Like

      • ironyank

        Agreed. We’ve been so far off course the map has been useless.

        It’s always good to beat Mexico, but I rate the Germany win the highest out of the lot. We played a Germany team that had a Euro qualifier the next week, so it was far from a glamour friendly that some made it out to be.

        We will, of course, qualify for Russia, but I’d like to see the US comfortably win all the Hex games, because that’s what we should be doing. And as long as I’m living this little fantasy I’d like to see Jones, Beckerman, and Wondo left off the team sheet. They’ve been loyal servants but we have no need to start games set up to earn and hard fought, come from behind draw any longer.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        IronyYank: You are wrong about the excitement and here is why. We finally look like a soccer team. (Let’s ignore the Vincy game as no one can really be excited about it. However, I will say this… I remember people posting on boards that until we can take care of business 5-0, 6-0 against the minnows, we could never take the next step… well, we are now taking care of the minnows. We never have done that before.)

        Now for T&T… I am excited because a B team centerback pairing, a washed up AMF, and a 17yr old, along with a young new striker, and young subs LOOKED LIKE A SOCCER TEAM. no bunker… no kickball… no running around like chickens with heads cut off… goals from the run of play… OMG, do people not remember the shit our team used to put out in games against T&T? We would win these games on corners and free kicks… 1-0, struggling to close them our 2-1, 3-2… I used to be satisfied with wins, now I expect more… and JK has finally been delivering on it. Starting since Copa, the US team has played real, honest to god soccer… and I am excited about this development… and there is nothing about the development system, or our U-23 fiascos that can take that excitement away. We have about 15 guys who can actually play… not fast guys, not “athletes” but honest to god talented soccer players. Oh, but yeah, who cares… don’t get excited about it. Whatever.

        and for the record… I will be disappointed if we regress… but I would rather be disappointed from time to time than be an eternal pessimist.

        Like

      • ironyank

        There is hope. Our style has improved drastically and there is finally some depth.

        But lets be cautious, please. It’s the games after these that will be the test, as I outlined in a previous post.

        I’ll be excited when we breeze through the Hex. Too lofty an expectation you say? I say its not. Why should we continue to strive for mediocrity and settle for draws if JK and his players are as excellent as we think they are? (And have proven to be for that matter.)

        On towards Russia.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        We should get through the hex without too much risk (breeze through is probably too much as CR and MX are tough at home… but I will now be disappointed if we don’t get 10/12 points from our first 4 games.

        Like

  • Big Red

    As much as people want to say that Kljestan was great and finally proved himself, he didn’t look that much different than he usually does. He was a Champions League midfielder. This guy has always been solid. When we got Jones to play for us a few years back, I was wondering if we were ever going to see our all Champions League central midfield with Jones and Kljestan. We’ve only seen it once in a friendly that didn’t matter and was played in bad conditions. I’d love to see what these two can do with the weapons around them now. Forget Bradley, he is finally getting exposed for how terrible he has been. Make him actually earn his spot which is something he’s never done. For now, relegate him to the bench and let’s see Kljestan/Jones finally!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    I said this a couple of years ago and got ripped on. US has depth.

    Two years later, it is serious depth. Whether you agree with decisions of who sits or not.
    We have a stud at keeper on the bench, either way it goes. Guys like Nagbe sitting. Centerback, holy moly, someone is going to be mad that their favorite sits. We will all be happy in how good whoever the starter is. Forwards. Wood had to be bummed last night, Morris was fantastic when he came in with speed and fresh legs.

    The next step will be getting starters that aren’t just very good, but can be great. Probably a huge step, but not undoable. As the money continues to flow to soccer games in the US, it will happen.

    Like

  • AKinDC

    Jozy literally looked like a different player…how much weight has he dropped since his last appearance?

    Like

    • Chase

      He supposedly has seen numerous and various specialists/doctors/etc. and has overhauled his workout/rehab/stretching routine. A lot of times people with strong quads have hamstring problems. Here’s to hoping he can stay healthy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Nate Dollars

    holy sh!t, some of you need to slow down.

    the only player who might have been validated in these games was pulisic (not jozy, not sacha), simply because people were actually questioning if his frail little legs could hold up for an entire 90.

    we didn’t discover that we had new and improved depth; we showed that our backups can hang with a 2nd tier concacaf opponent, like they have for the last 20 years.

    we just played st vincent and a t&t team who had already qualified for the hex. it would’ve been a shock if we *hadn’t* looked good.

    now if we play like this against mexico? count me in. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnnyrazor

      I keep waiting for the Guatemala scored 9 against Vincy Heat, we could only score 6. People are excited we won 4-0, let them whoop it up a bit, the time for where do we go from here happens in November.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Turkmenbashy

      We played like this against Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia (x2) and Paraguay this summer. Can I count you in yet?

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        no, we played like this against costa rica, we ground out results against ecuador and paraguay, and looked toothless against colombia.

        i thought our overall copa performance met the expectations that should’ve been set for the team, and while it sure was an improvement over last year’s gold cup, it wasn’t anything to get too excited about. and it certainly didn’t prove that we had reached a new level or anything.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        sorry. Our guys played well against Ecuador and Colombia. No, we didn’t win 4-0, but that is because Ecuador, Paraguay, and Colombia are really good teams. To say we didn’t play well against them is crap. We looked good. It was a new level for US soccer. Never before have we gone toe to toe with a team of Colombia’s caliber, AND GIVEN THEM ALL THEY COULD HANDLE. As for the uglyness of Ecuador and Paraguay… part of that is that we were playing better, so they reverted to the South American way of handling that… kicking you… which we couldn’t do vs. Messi &co… so we lost 4-0 instead of 1/2-0

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        don’t worry about it, you just may want to go back and re-watch the games.

        we didn’t give colombia all they could handle; they did enough to win, and then let us attack all we wanted without really troubling them — that’s what they do. ecuador and paraguay did play ugly, we were made to play their game, and — to our credit — we barely got away with it. the only game where we dictated play was against a costa rican team without their best player.

        your expectations were probably just lowered from the disaster that was the 2015 gold cup. with the team that we had, in a semi-competitive tournament on home soil, we were up to par — no better, and no worse.

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        Colombia’s 2-0 was a fluky handball penalty and a counter-attack in the second half after we had been pressing for 60 minutes. Yeah, we didn’t have enough attacking quality… they are #4 in the world. But we played well and looked like a soccer team. This is the problem with Americans… they think, oh, we lost 2-0… we must have played like shit. well, no, in soccer, you can play well and just not be good enough, or be unlucky. In the second game… the 1-0 game… no fluky goal, we still played like a real soccer team. Vice Versa… in soccer you can play like shit and win by using bunker-ball or catenaccio… playing well is MUUUCH harder than playing bunker-ball. so losing by playing well is harder than winning by playing negative.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        you said a whole lot, but didn’t really counter anything i wrote.

        in both games, colombia got their goal(s), then sat back and let us have the ball; again, that is how they play. you can crow about how well we moved the ball, but when the other team is letting us have possession and (successfully) just focusing on keeping us from scoring, then i really don’t think it’s something to write home about.

        but yeah, those ignorant americans…

        Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        they didn’t score until the 31st minute in the second game. and those first 31 minutes were even.

        Like

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