What a game.
For all the complaints and concerns and fears following the U.S. national team’s losses to England and Spain, most of those were put to rest on Sunday night as the USA showed skill, heart, determination and definite potential in a 0-0 tie against Argentina, the No. 1 team in the world.
This was the U.S. team we have been waiting to see, a team that can stand up against the big boys of world soccer and match them. Yes, it would have been better if the Americans could have scored a goal, but they still showed more than enough to leave fans feeling optimistic about the progress they have made after friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina.
Here is my story on the match for ESPN.com.
I will offer a more detailed take on the match in a short while. For now I want to hear from you on what you thought of the match. Are you feeling better about where the U.S. national team is in terms of progress? What players stood out for you and how do you feel about the U.S. team as it heads toward World Cup qualifying.
Share your thoughts on last night’s match, and on the U.S. national team, below.
Ives, I agree with yours and most of the other comments celebrating the US draw with Argentina- Howards performance and team defending were the keys to the result.
I don’t want to rain on our parade, but the match still showed the 2 critical probelms with our national team when facing quality opponents: quality outside midfielders and finishing.
Regarding the outside midfielders, the work rate and speed is there, but I can’t count the number of open crosses in the 3 games that ended with opposition defenders easily collecting and creating a counter attack. While they may be the best we have (please don’t hunt me down), I think Bradley needs to reexamine Beasley and Dempsey and think about putting someone who can cross the ball with consistency on the outside.
Overall, the US plays well for 80% of the field, and I don’t think we necessarily need a Luca Toni or Fernando Torres type world class finisher to score goals. We simply are missing the final pass or touch that would lead to a break through. If Adu or Donovan can get a little more support and freedom, they may be able to create the breakthrough we need.
I know that we are going to breeze through qualifyication and there will be tremendous hype going into South Africa, but until we create better chances and break through these two problems, we will never be more than a flash in the pan squad on the international level.
Sushant- “Now thing about EJ and BB’s refusal to try anyone else up top (aside from Josh Wolff).”
i disagree with that… up until recently, BB has only used Dempsey and LD up top… excluding some Gold cup and Copa…
as for the 3 recent games he was limited on options AND he went for some of our more experienced forwards… agree or disagree with that if you want…. but i will say they arent our best options… Jozy and Cooper were preoccupied with injuries and club duties… i guess we couldve pulled some other euro names like Smith, Ferrari, Davies, etc… but we were facing 3 big named teams and you’d think we’d do better with players who have the experience… but like i said they werent our best option..