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USA 8, Barbados 0: A look back


It was a bloodbath worthy of a regional champion facing a minnow, but through all the goals and the domination by the U.S.national team in its 8-0 drubbing of Barbados on Sunday, we are still left trying to figure out exactly what we learned from the exercise.

Well, we learned that the Americans won’t be facing a humiliating upset in this round of World Cup qualifying. We also learned that Eddie Johnson can, in fact, still score against low-level CONCACAF teams. We learned that playing against the world’s best teams has helped sharpen the U.S. team from top to bottom and we were reminded of just how young the American team is, with youngsters Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu featuring on Sunday.

So here is the question for you. What do you feel you learned about the U.S. team on Sunday? Share your thoughts on the blowout, and the performance of the U.S. team in the comments section below.


  1. Thom- while im glad that we get a free pass (pretty much) to the WC and a 50/50 on the Gold Cup, i think CONCACAF tends to hurt the US and Mexico more…. we constantly play weaker opposition continually towards the WC… while teams in europe are constantly playing each other we get stuck competeting against CONCACAF teams.. dont get me wrong i truely enjoy knowing we have a 90% chance of making the WC (leaving 10% to injury and being unlucky), but just saying it hurts as much…

    tyduffy- its a WCQ match…. if we are up 6-0 i am NOT taking any chances and i’ll let anyone who can score, score…. not only does it ensure a move to the next round it also builds up the confidence (ie. EJ) by simply putting a goal away even if its against a weaker opposition…. this isnt rec soccer anymore, these are grown men who are professionals…. and this is a tournament

  2. I thought the display was rather tasteless. When you are up 6-0 already with like ten minutes remaining, it is time to call off the dogs.

    The classiest moment was Landon’s quick free kick when they were already up 3-0 against feeble opposition.

  3. Do not forget about Honduras in regards to the CONCACAF..Very stong team and they have 3-4 guys playing in the EPL ; 3-4 in Italy’s Seria A, and a handful playing worldwide. Look out for David Suazo.

    Now on to the game….

    Adu is the key going into the WC but I am sure BB is trying to keep him supressed.

    Dempsey is looking slow to me and he always does the same moves. Any smart defender will start looking at tapes and will be able to shut him down.

    Donovan is okay and is the conerstone of the team.

    Beasely should be okay and is defintely starting 11.

    Pearce (WOW)…Glad to see him stepping up…

    My World Cup starting 11



    Beasely Donovan Bradley Dempsey

    Pearce Bocanegra Onyewu Cherundulo


    Must Substitutes

    1. Edu

    2. Hedjuk

    3. Guzan

    4. Lewis

    5. Ching

    6. Feilhaber(If he can get his stuff together)

    7. Gibbs (if he is 100%)

    8. Demerit

    9. Kismek (Can’t reemeber name but defender)

  4. I think we learned that outside of the U.S. and Mexico, CONCACAF is HORRID. I think both the U.S. and Mexico COULD be consistently better than they are, but are poorly managed at the higher levels.

    Canada, T&T, Costa Rica, and Panama can occasionally shine, but our region is simply light years behind Europe and South America.

  5. I’m squarely in the “we learned nothing” camp. Seriously, there isn’t much to be gleaned from playing an opponent who lets our midfielders (or defenders) have 15 yards of space at the halfway line all game long.

    I came away from that match with no better sense of what any position’s selection should be, let alone the forwards.

  6. I was at the game and had a great time. I heard a rumor that we are playing Brazil in San Diego next month. Can any one confirm this?

  7. @Posted by: m-d0g | June 16, 2008 at 02:15 PM

    not a friendly. this game actually counted for something.

    As for the lack of class; goal differential counts. You pound teams as badly as you can.

    Plus, the ref waved him on to shoot the ball. He at least asked the ref which a lot of people don’t even bother doing. He showed more class than he had to.

    Re: what we learned? We learned that Bob Bradley has very little imagination and is afraid to try different tactics against lesser opponents.

    We also learned that most of our team has such little faith in their and their teammates touch that they prefer to launch hopeful long balls over the top all day rather than clinically slicing a far inferior opponent apart.

    The scoreline was impressive, the performance, not so much.

  8. will the mls internationals play this weekend before going to barbados or will they abandon there clubs this week and go to barbados early?

  9. “I told [the referee], ‘We don’t want to wait for the whistle,’ so he got the ball, made sure we were set, and said ‘You can play if you want,'” Donovan said. “It was a freebie.”

    But it was also a goal that was the result of some thorough preparation.

    “We talked about it all week about making the game fast, and that included restarts and corners,” Donovan said, “and if you can do those things sometimes they turn off for a second, and that was the case.”

  10. I was at the game I learned:

    -You can’t put a game in LA with the Lakers and the US open competing for the upper middle class dollar.

    -Adu is still a game changer. It had been 3-0 for some time when Adu made that beautiful run for the Donovan free kick.

    -Freddy disappears because people stop passing him the ball. He has to learn to DEMAND it

    -Beasely was more effective centrally than on the wing. But he would last about two games before an injury

  11. Beasley is much better on the wing than in the middle of the park. He looked fantastic in the first 20 minutes. Then, after Mastroeni came off, he shifted towards central midfield and looked completely lost and disinterested. After halftime, Beasley played on the right wing where he was effective again. Also, I don’t know if he was worried about getting reinjured, but DaMarcus was really shying away from 50/50 balls all game.

    Regarding Ching, obviously he is not the fastest guy. But his soccer acumen is quite good — he plays good short passes and links well with Landon and the other midfielders. Also, importantly, he consistently displays hustle and a strong work ethic — something EJ could learn alot from.

    a brief conversation with the BlackMouth after the game….

    me: Where you playing next year, man?

    CB: I don’t know, man!

  12. glad to see the commentary has turned a bit on Ching. Just can’t deny the fact that he was involved in the buildup in most of the goals, particularly the most technical ones (as compared to, ahem, Dempsey’s first goal in which the defender misplayed a most elementary boot from the back from Bocanegra)

    Ching provides, albiet in a less stellar form, many of the qualties McBride brought to the table: hold up play, passing ability, heading prowess. The haters just need to get over themselves and recognize he brings some quality to the side. Doesn’t anyoen remember he key performance and contributions against Ecuador (a goal + assist) in 2007, arguably one of hte US’s best wins last year.

  13. Maybe its just me, but I was rather underwhelmed, if one can be by a 8-0 scoreline. Quick, name one attractive goal! I mean one goal that resulted from a true flow of offense, rather than a set piece, or defensive mistake or mad scramble against overmatched players. Neither can I. At a high level, goals are goals, of course, but one might think that, say, Freddy Adu (who I like), would be able to “create” against weaker opponents. Instead, he seemed to run straight until he couldn’t. I thought the US played more attractive soccer against Argentina, frankly. The bottom line here is that we all know the weaknesses of this team as presently constituted, and small island nations are unlikely to strain them. Brian Ching is not the answer. Alitdore might be.

  14. I learned that no matter how tired and sluggish Bradley becomes in the course of a game that his Dad ain’t gonna take him out. He was jogging around on fumes.

  15. hate to pile on, M-dog, but Donovan looked at the referee twice, willing to wait, and the referee TOLD him to take the kick. Donovan shrugged, and scored.

    As far as Ching is concerned, I agree that Cooper should get a chance. Buddle, not so much. And the fact is, BB is the one calling the shots, and if you read his comments at you’ll see that he REALLY likes Ching. So, unless he’s blowing smoke, and unless he suddenly sees the light so many of you think Cooper is, you’re gonna see a lot of Ching, whether you like him or not. I still say he helps the offense by his play with Dempsey and Donovan more than EJ does, and he’s fearless. Speed would be nice but I’d trade his play for EJ’s any day.

  16. Clint Dempsey (1)

    Michael Bradley (12)

    Brian Ching (20)

    Landon Donovan (59)

    Clint Dempsey (63)

    Eddie Johnson (82)

    Brian Ching (86)

    Brian Ching (89)

    Just a random observation, why do people keep saying Dempsey and Ching combined for 4 goals? Yes, one of Ching’s goals was lucky as can be, but it probably doesn’t go in otherwise.

  17. Because we get to just show up and qualify for the WC.

    I think both us and Mexico would be the envy of many a nation for that fact.

  18. m-d0g–all Barbados needed to do was have someone stand in front of the ball, forcing the referee to shoo him off, whilst teh wall is be set up. There is no requirement to wait for a second whistle until and unless the referee says to wait for a whistle. Is it a cheap goal? Yes, but Barbados is to blame.

    As for what we learned? We learned that Bob Bradley needs to get out of the bucket 4-4-2 and play a diamond midfield with Adu in attacking midfield and Dempsey and Ching/Johnson up top.

    Perferably, I would like to see Kenny Cooper or even Edson Buddle called up for the next match to give them a good look see.

    We also learned that the U.S. first touch is better than we saw in the friendlies, but not good enough against top teams.

  19. I learned that FSC is pissed because they didnt air this game. They love these type of qualifiers like Germany v Andorra or Frace v San Marino.

  20. That the graphics being used on Euro 2008 telecasts are better than the “traditional” ESPN graphics used on USMNT telecasts.

  21. We learned that we pass the ball around better then ever before even vs. a Glorified Amatuar squad.

    We also learned we should thank God we are in CONCACAF.

    We learned that it will be good not to be a mexican player or coach this morning.

    We learned MikeMike is more then capable of a great one liner.

  22. @ William The Terror: I think Whitehill’s out with an ACL so we’ll probably have to call Chastain out of retirement 🙂

  23. some are failing to consider that Bob could throw some of the MLS clubs a bone, and not keep players away from them in the return leg (ex: Landon)…with that said, i think the european based players are a lock to be on the roster, because their teams are done for the year.

    even if it’s just to maintain a higher level of training, it’d be silly to send those guys home.

  24. Last thing: I’m frustrated that Adu doesn’t start.

    That said, if I’m BB and we are generating no offense, it’s really valuable to have Adu coming off the bench. Really, we have no one capable of changing the game aside from Adu.

    If there was someone that could bring some offense off the bench, then Adu should start.

  25. One other thing.

    You can tell we have improved by playing England, Spain and Argentina.

    Having watched Euro ’08, I think we should try to schedule some games against:

    Big Fish (yes, these are obvious): Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, France, Italy

    Smaller Fish: Russia, Czechs, Turkey, Croatia (generally attacking teams; though you could argue about the Czechs)

    Maybe: Romania, Greece (get a taste of true defensive soccer, but they may open up playing us)

    Personally, I think we’d learn more about the team by playing the Smaller Fish and the Maybes.


  26. What did we learn? Uhhh, not much.

    We learned that our first team and our 1.5 team is much, much better than Barbados.

    So, what? Will this tell us anything when we get to the next stage?

    Hopefully, BB uses the away game to check out some players.

    I would recommend that he starts our 1.5 team (no Landon, Dempsey, Beasley, Mastro; starting Adu, Edu, DeMerit, Califf, Jaqua?) and bringing a number of MLS players to check them out (Rogers, Parkhurst, Cooper, Reis).

    Really, we need to look at the big picture. Which of these guys will help the Nats in a game when one our first team has gone down and we need to bring someone off the bench?

    It would be a waste of time to have EJ, Wolff, Hejduk, etc play because we know what they can(‘t) do. I’d like to find out what some of these others can do.

  27. Ching was a poor man’s EJ in this game and it was against Barbados. Ching’s only possible role would be to hold the ball up and be a target for crosses. The only time he got onto the end of a cross he blew a golden chance, where as EJ put his sitter away. In terms of holding up the ball to allow the defense to clear out and join the attack I’d say EJ did a better job of this type of work in the last 3 games then Ching did against a far inferior opponent. In total I’d say EJ is the better “target” forward and he adds the threat of running onto a long ball which Ching certainly doesn’t. EJ is not the long term answer unless he suddenly realises his talent but he’s definitely a superior option for now.

  28. Adu is ready

    Donovan is invaluable

    Boca is sorely needed

    Onyewu is still hit or miss

    Pearce and Dolo are the pair to beat

    EJ should never wear the shirt again. Celebrating when you are up 6-0 is classless.

  29. brett,

    Yes, it’s not exactly a 2 Defensive MF set. There’s some flexibility for MB depending on who we are playing.

    When Adu went in for Mastro, I think we were fielding our best attacking lineup (besides the addition of Altidore for the Forward du Jour.)

    It’ll be interesting to see who we take to the next leg. I would like to see some depth built in the backline. Otherwise, I’m pretty comfortable that we have enough guys. Also, would Kenny Cooper be available?

  30. inkedAG- which i would say we’ve done since BB has taken control of the team… more out of country games… especially some big names home (arg. and brazil) and away…..

    its clear those games truely improved us in the long run….. hopefully BB picks up a few here and there against some other teams like Croatia and Czech…. not quite the Arg. but at least a team that we can continue to sharpen our skills throughout the process

  31. 4now- or it has taught us that BB is more cautious then risk taking… perhaps Guzan got injured, would you want to take a chance putting in a GK that has potential despite unattractive games already played…. disregarding the fact we were playing Barbados….

    BB is playing the safe route for the first leg…. expect Guzan to get the start on the 2nd leg (to rake up the starts for the work permits) and possibly subbed out (altho i dont know if BB is wanting to waste a sub on a GK…

  32. The thing I learned from this game is that the CONCACAF competition, for the most part, isn’t so great. If we play more world-class talent, that would sharpen the skills.

  33. Sorry KC, didn’t know I’d have to spell that out. Cervi has been training with the team for weeks now, and if he had impressed the staff then you’d think he would have been included in a gameday roster as Guzan’s backup against Barbados at home. The fact that BB felt the need to call Ries in from New England would lead me to believe that Cervi has not been impressive.

    A lesson


  34. Paul- personally id like to see Ferrari and Bernardo get a shot with some 1st teamers…. i know some people may haze me about Ferrari and his performance in France, but that was hardly a squad you could base any judgement on anyones performance…

    if we are solely going on wants, id want to see Bernardo start up top with Cooper… Rogers out left Adu in the middle… Edu also in the middle… can someone help me with a young right mid…. i guess Zizzo could have a go… i truely enjoyed his play in the U20’s but havent heard a peep from him since :-/ cept a small callup against the swiss i think??

    and im sure some people may say Bernardo doesnt deem a callup yet, but im basing this solely on WANTS 😀

  35. How do ppl feel about this?






    I know Gibbs is not on the radar, but assuming he regains match fitness.

  36. 4now, Cervi did not impress? Not that anyone expected him to considering he wasn’t even active on gameday (Reis was). Can’t really say thats a lesson learned.


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