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USA-Sweden (Your Running Commentary)

Good evening everybody, it is time for the first U.S. national team match of the season as the USA takes on Sweden at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

I will be checking in routinely but will not be doing a running commentary, but I will leave this post in place for everybody to offer their comments on tonight’s match.

Share your thoughts and opinions on the match below. Enjoy.


  1. I’m not sure where all the negativity is coming from; did you guys see the same game? It was our MLS squad vrs. the Swedish domestic squad, and we were definitely the better team. Not pretty, but both leagues are on break (especially MLS!). I think is was a good showing for the US and MLS. I’m not sure where all the Donovan hating is coming from; he consistently attacked and beat people from the flank all night; his crosses were sometimes not great, but that’s definitely not his strong point. He had a good combination with Jozy in the second half, but Jozy was a bit offside, too bad, it would have been a great chance. (Thank God, it wasn’t Donovan offside to spoil Jozy’s chance, or the Donovan haters would be having a field day πŸ™‚ Overall, I think it was a good game for Jozy, Donovan, Noonan, and Guzan. The center defenders looked good, but they can’t keep giving away so many free kicks. I think that Edu kid shows a lot of promise…

  2. hey Ives,

    can we get some player ratings?
    (and maybe some youtube links for those of us who missed the match – if they exist or become available of course)


  3. Altidore looked very good, he shouldn’t be left out from now on, and if he gets the chance to move somewhere overseas where he’ll get first-team minutes (not a given, obviously) then the sooner the better, because last night’s game was a dismal showcase for the quality of MLS play. Noonan also played well; considering he had no real service, he still created both scoring opportunities. Conrad didn’t look good at all, and I still haven’t seen anyone convince me that Jay Demerit isn’t at least the 3rd option at CB (that’s generous, actually, my real opinion is that he should start.) And for those who say Guzan will be pushing for #1 by 2010, don’t get carried away. Yes, he made some decent saves against Sweden’s B/C lineup, but let’s not forget Tim Howard’s clutch stops against their A team, and Ibrahimovic in particular. Not to mention his clutch play against Brazil, and Mexico. (Oh, by the way, Everton just moved into 4th, and he’s a huge part of that.) I’m just saying.

  4. a few final thought from yesterday’s game
    – Ramiro Corrales played well, good w/ the ball
    – I’m not sure what all the negative Donovan posts were all about, he played well, always seems to make the right pass, I can’t remember him losing out in possession, and burried his PK… he is the best choice at right mid, which may be the best place for him b/c i’m not sure he can hold up physically at forward
    – Ricardo Clarke and Michael Bradley need to be playing in the center of the field. both are smart, tough, and play a simple game. Also, clarkes got a nice long shot, as he displayed today (and in Copa america)
    – Edu looks good, but he holds the ball too long, he may need to go to Europe (Not England) to develop that quicker touch… If he does he could be fantastic
    – Chris Rolfe was dissapointing for me, I still think he’s a very good player, and maybe can grow into a good international
    – overall, a tremendous showing from a side that probably is less talanted overall than the Copa America team against a good team (albeit a Swedish B team)

  5. The cynicism on this board is incredible. Sure, it wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t atrocious either. I was disappointed mostly by Edu. I thought this game was his opportunity to shine. I don’t really watch the MLS, so I also have to say I was unimpressed by Clark and TT, both became invisible at times of the game.

    But positively, I thought Landon played pretty well, and honestly could have been MOTM. I thought corrales was scrappy and not timid. Borderline on the Altidore call, but there was contact, and we are playing at home, so we’re supposed to get that call. We dominated the first 25 minutes and deserved the first goal, regardless of the fact that it came off a corner. Also, it’s pretty apparent that Guzan is going to challenge for that #1 spot come 2010.

  6. 1. This was not a good game by ANY standards. It’s alright to enjoy watching your national team play and win, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a good game because they won and you enjoyed it.

    2. Anyone who thinks this game means anything as far as how good the U.S. is, or how good Sweden is, is sadly mistaken.

    3. I think we can all agree that Landon is the best player ever for the USMNT, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized or held to a standard. Actually, it means just the opposite. Playing in a lousy game with mostly poor performances he did look very good in comparison. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he made a lot of poor passes, especially crosses, and can play much more aggressively. Landon’s inability to play in an overseas league while lesser players continue to do so, says a lot about Landon and how good of a player he is. He has peaked. As good as he is, he could have been much better. At the same time people seem to give him credit on the level of a player who did go overseas and make it. I think this is why he is held to such a high standard. His performance against Sweden may have been good for that game, but it would have been sub par in a game that really mattered. We will always be able to talk about Landon being great in American soccer circles, but he is only world class in a small amount of games. He could have been world class period.

  7. I thought it was a solid performance from just about everyone but the players who really stood out and impressed me were Donovan,Jozy and Guzan.those three are a different class.
    GO US.I was at the game with some family and we had a great time.

  8. I was at the game last night, and it was painful. It looked like a mid level MLS team playing against a Swedish rec. league team. Terrible, boring futbol.

    Donovan didn’t play badly, but this was one of those games that really frustrates me. He seems too content to play the safe, easy pass. It would be nice to see him play with half the intensity that Michael Bradley brings to the field.

    On a positive note, Jozy is the real deal. Outside of Donovan, he was the only player that even looked remotely dangerous (or, potentially so) when he had the ball. Sweden always had 2 or 3 guys near him. Jozy seems to play with urgency.

    Parkhurst also looked good in the back. Other than that, with the exception of Guzan, nobody else really impressed.

  9. Eddie Robinson was fantastics, why are we having so many problems at left back? Corrales simply isn’t the guy, i kept waiting the whole game for him to get substituted. Twellman NO MORE!! does Bradley have any advisors?? Let’s go with Altidore, for good or bad, he’s our guy, he will be our forward for years to come!! No more TT PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!

  10. I know I’m a little late commenting on this game but due to other family priorities I had to TIVO the game and watch it on Sunday morning.

    Bottom line is I have to agree with the comment written by Luis above. What game did you guys watch? And why all the bashing for Donovan?

    The USMNT put up a great show against a very decent European team. Yes, it wasn’t a perfect game but its expected from a friendly game. The USMNT can walk off the field very proud of their effort last night.

    In regards to Donovan, he is the best US player to ever play for the USMNT so far. Donovan does a great job representing our country and wears the US jersey very proudly. This is a national team game and not a LA Galaxy game so take off your MLS hats and put on your national team hats. Enough is enough!

  11. Why oh why do we feel the need to hold the ball in the corner in a friendly game vs. Sweden’s ‘C’ team? It makes us look ridiculous. I understand we’re playing for the win, but we’re up 2-0 and Sweden hasn’t had an attack all day. Why not get the young players some more experience by playing and not holding the ball in the corner. Absolute shite.

  12. Gotta go with Dan and Jeff Carlisle on Espn. Compared to Premiership games, this was sloppy, slow and looked like a bad mls game. No way davis can possibly compete with convey and beasley for left mid. What did he do in between set pieces? Just goes to show that the European based players are the ones who will form the basis of the MNT.

  13. Altidore could have been carted off the field after 10 mintues and would have had a better game than Twellman. They need to stop calling Twellman in. He is CLEARLY not cut out for international football.
    Not sure where the Donovan bashing is coming from, he was outstanding today.
    Still a bit too much long ball for me, though we are slowly weening our team off that, but I’m sure it will return once the Prem players get back into the setup which is sad.
    Eddie Robinson provided yet another reason to bench Gooch.
    Guzan is the truth. Ihe he isn’t picked up in this transfer window, he’s as good as gone after the season. He is truly outstanding. Timmy better watch his back. El Guzano is pushing HARD for that #1 shirt.

  14. Ah, “john&proof” you say that to everyone. Flattering though.
    And Ted, you WISH were as semi-illiterate as I am and an easier ignoramus to humiliate than kpugs.
    If only we were all so lucky, eh?

  15. What game were you all watching? this is probably the best game I have seen the US play in a long time. I mean how times did you see the US team play there usual kick and run? probably 2 or 3 times but the rest of the game was played all on the floor. There were many times were they connected real well. I think what Bradley is doing is changing the US game of the defense kicking it up and hoping the forwards get it to actually having possession. For example I at least saw 10 plays were the us players actually took it back to the left/ right defenders and played possession.

    I don’t understand all the negative comments on Donovan, when he has a bad game, you all take bad about him, when he has a great game you all still talk bad about him. I mean he does play for our country, he is the leading scorer, and he is the pest player the USA has produce as of today. What is it that you all dislike about him?

    But know I think the real test will come on 2/6/08 when we play Mexico. Hopefully we can get a two week camp again because I think that is what we really need.

  16. You Landon-haters need to relax. The fact tht he has scored a lot of goals from PKs is impressive. Who woould you rather have taking the PK? For years Landon has been taking them. Why? Because Arena and Bradley have a lot of confidence in him and he doesn’t miss much.

    No matter what you think, Landon has scored 35 international goals. If he wasn’t playing, where would those goals have come from? Noonan? Convey? Twellman?

    This is a great accomplishment. You should at least give him some praise instead of negative comments.

  17. Positives:
    Davis (dead ball skills only but did well)
    White (very brief appearance)

    central defense

    Sweden’s team

    Holding the ball at the corner flag in a meaningless C team friendly…

    Overall, a good game to establish depth for future qualifiers should European players be injured or unavailable. Altidore is simply a different class. Credit to Donovan as well.

  18. Phil…Im not insane, that is just my opionion of the match. To me it was bad that i watched alot of premiership games this morning (Including my gooners winning) and so watching this game was somewhat boring considering there was such a slow tempo in this game compared to the premiership which is played with the best players and at the highest tempo

  19. Ted, I don’t think you could have been more wrong. You remind me of that FedEx commercial with the “leaning tower of pizza” and “French benefits” guy. And your commentary throughout the game was way off base.

    That was not a bad showing for some young, raw players. I was particularly impressed with the way we moved the ball.

    Twellman is simply not national team material. How many more chances does a player deserve?

  20. Yeah Landon looks good when he is on a team filled with MLS players. Figures that he would become the leading scorer for the US on a penalty.

  21. Donovan was the best player on the field, how can you guys not see that.

    You want a dose of reality? Jozy has got to work on receiving the ball, and his first touch if he wants to be the deadly FW you expect him to be.

    Oh yeah, and the fact that Klinnsman even said that is asinine. Donovan’s confidence appeared sky high in that tournament to me.

    By the way, read Jozy’s blog post in the NY Times. He say’s Donovan is all that.

  22. From some of the comments, I feel like I might have been watching a completely different game. Wasn’t that Noonan flicking the cross back to Robinson for the first goal? And didn’t he have a great little half pass to set up Jozy’s PK? And I thought Landon was everywhere. Truthfully, I thought he looked more like a captain today than I’ve ever seen him. I love Landon as a MF, as he can have his overlapping runs which to me are his specialty.

    So I was pleasantly surprised by both Noonan and Robinson, as well as with Davis. Also thought Landon, Edu, and Conrad all played very well.

    On the other hand I was a bit disappointed with Jozy, maybe just because I expect soooo much from him. But I’d like to see him fight through a bit more and hit the turf a bit less.

    And I think we all agree Twellman just can’t cut it…

  23. ^


    Are you insane?

    Noonan was the WORST player on the pitch.


    Clark and Edu were average at best in the midfield today.

  24. Things i took from the game
    1. No one on either team is in good shape, considering that its offseason for both leagues in each respective country.
    2.Both Sweeden and USA played with their B teams basically, so this isnt like a big revenge because sweeden was just testing out a couple players, like the left back.
    3. Corrales was terrible today. Couldnt take anyone on, couldnt take free kicks, just not good at all. He should have gotten norweigian citizenship and played for them…we dont need him
    4. On the bright side, Jozy was great, as well as noonan and rico clark. There are some positives to take out of this game for sure.
    Hopefully we will get a better picture of the USA Team on february 6 vs Mexico, where they always show up to play and play their best.
    Heres to an Undefeted 2008 so far!!!
    -Dan Karell

  25. Dominghosa, great running commentary you semi-illiterate. Your about as simple as your girlfriend Kpugs who is the easiest ignoramus to humiliate by the way. You both are truly pathetic blog rates. Be productive in society instead of being a bunch of pricks making inane comments when you do not agree with someone. What a waste of energy. Kpugs, you probably still wait until 3:00A.M. to see what I write. By the way, why don’t you and Dominghosa have a judge pack party? Oh yeah, throw the half human hapless Papabear in there as well. Remember, you guys set the fire, and I am just putting in the wood.

  26. With that, g’night y’all. Good win against a Euro team at home.
    And yeas, ari, that was a US B- team beating Sweden’s B team 2-0.

  27. Not much creativity out there and passes didn’t connect as well as anyone wanted but there was good work all over the field tonight.
    Sweden had a few chances but Guzan made up for any issues the backline had.

  28. kpugs,

    Seriously. I think my problem is that I have been watching the U.S. for way too long. I have already been through the cycle where great U.S. players are coming in future years several times and I am just getting tired of waiting. There is no bigger fan then me. I am just tired of the future and wonder if it will ever arrive unless we make more changes.
    I hope you are right.

  29. Tony,

    Admittedly I am going from memory and para phrasing, but his comment was to that effect. I will try to find it and post it for you when I see you again on SBI.

  30. Corrales, Davis, Robinson, Moor all had good games. You heard nothing from Sweden’s midfield, thanks to some good work from Clark and Edu.

    Forward was an absolute mess, as always. Altidore was the only one who played well, and got fouled almost every time he touched the ball.

    Another good performance by Guzan.

    Donovan had a decent game. It’s nice to see him break the record (sort of).

  31. I know this is off topic, but somebody should tell Ives (and whoever runs the ESPN draft tracker) that Ryan Miller was taken by Columbus, not Dallas.

  32. The good thing for us is that we aren’t building to 2008 (i.e. Euro) but 2010. If we have a couple of solid finishers up top by then I’ll be happy.

    In all seriousness I share your worry about strikers, but I’m not quite as worried as you. Between Eddie Money, Jozy et al and the possibility of having enough good midfielders to push Landon up top who knows what will happen?


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