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Olympics: USA Men vs. Netherlands (Your Running Commentary)


Good morning all. Today the U.S. Men’s Olympic team faces off against the Netherlands in a crucial group match for both teams. The Americans won their first group game, 1-0, against Japan, while the Dutch tied Nigeria, 0-0, in their opener.

I will be providing live commentary on the match over at the NBC Olympics website, where you can watch high-quality live feeds of all the Olympic matches.

If you will be watching the USA-Netherlands match, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

For now, let’s take a look at the lineups:






Yes, it’s the same starting lineup as the Japan match. Surprisingly, Jozy Altidore is left on the bench yet again. I thought Peter Nowak would go with Altidore over McBride with just two days having past since the Japan game, but Nowak is sticking with the 37-year-old striker.

Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers get starts despite subpar performances against Japan. Rogers will be switching over to the right flank, with Holden moving to the left flank where his defensive work will better help left back Michael Orozco.

I have to say that I’m very surprised to not see Danny Szetela in place of Kljestan, or even Benny Feilhaber. Nowak has a lot of faith in Kljestan and it will be interesting to see how the Chivas USA midfielder responds.

Here is the Dutch lineup:







Dutch changes from the first match are Roy Beerens in for the injured Roy Makaay and Ottman Bakkal in for defender Calvin Jong-A-Pin.

What do you think of the USA starting lineup? Shocked that Altidore is still on the bench? Surprised to see Kljestan back in the lineup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I wouldnt say Szetela is a given to start. In fact, I might take a long look at dax for one of the central holding positions in midfield. Szetela’s kind of a puss, and cant keep the ball the way dax can.

  2. man, i’m hurting, heartbreaking, i cant even imagine how the players and coaching staff feel. We had this, why Lord, why???????????

  3. we should’ve won the game. But, i think going in, we were expecting 3 or 4 points after 2 matches and we did that. We knew it was going to come down on a game against Nigeria. So, we are where we wanted to be.

    It’s now come down to mental preparation because all the players looked a little down, as they should be, after that tie. What scary is that this is very similar to WC 06. At the time, we needed to win against Ghana (an African team) after a very good game against Italy.

    A tie would probably get us through, but we better play to win.

  4. geez does this flash back to WC 2006? we tie a Huge European team and we’re up against an African team that if we win we’re through…..except…this is a must win/tie and Nigeria is a bit more favored this time around…….

  5. Okay so let me get this straight….since USA have more goals than Nigeria if we tie, regardless of Hollands result against japan,we go through. I get that.(obviously if we win we’re through). But what if we lose to nigeria by a score of like 1-0 and Japan wins against Netherlands 1-0. wouldnt we still go through?

  6. Terrific game for the USA! I read all the posts here and want those who trashed Nowak and Sasha to eat lots of crow immediately. Leave the coaching to the coaches. They know their players. The Dutch looked completely gassed after 30 minutes and the US showed how superior fitness can turn games. We were 30 seconds from winning this game and that last ninute free kick goal hurts but I don’t think the US should hold their heads down after this game. The game back from 1-0 goal down and played with enthusiasm. Sacha’s goal was a gem… What a terrific dribbling run thru the Dutch D! Also the 2nd goal is thanks to the solid line-drive cross by Orozco and to our Jersey boy Jozy! We still can win the group by beating Nigeria Wednesday and if the boys play like they did today.. they will…

    Finally, I would like the Dutch coach, who basically called the USA team mediocre, to go f himself!

  7. Balboa has NEVER LEARNED that the less said the better. He simply has diarrhea of the mouth. I just hate listening to him. Somebody pay Andy Grey what he wants so we don’t have to listen to this pathetic American dribble every time we play.

    Oh well – much better result than I expected. Bradley- stupid, stupid yellow card. WHY? I swear these little forays into gamesmanship come out on the negative end 90% of the time. In a way I am glad to see us (or anyone for that matter) get punished for it.

    It was fun while it lasted. Just can’t see them beating Nigeria with no play making mid fielder and playing for a draw is not our forte. I say will go out with 4 points with another “moral” victory which is 3 more points than I thought we would get in the first place.

  8. Javier you may be right and I’m just as pissed as you are. But understand this is and Under-23 Tournament. The USA is learning. This is their lesson. The games not over until its over. Holden certainly learned that. He brushed off his miss like “haha my bad oh well ive scored before, and we’re gonna win anyways”. How do ya feel now Stewey? All I’m saying is you live and you learn. Thats life man. Now the question is have the USA learned enough to beat Nigeria, the clear favorites? We’re going to see very, very soon.

  9. The US played great today. Congrats to the coach and all the players.

    What is Balboa talking about Bradley getting a smart yellow for timewaisting? He’s out now against Nigeria.

    Too bad Adu got a yellow to miss the game too. He played great but should have watched himself on that play.

  10. so…..lineups? Mine would be…







  11. I’m just disappointed we didn’t play more composed, possession ball for the last 5-10 minutes. The Dutch were beaten. There was plenty of space and time to hold the ball more, play the corners, etc. I agree with you Neal that it’s a shame we didn’t make use of that third sub.

    I will say though for having thought I got up early for nothing around the 20 minute mark when we were down 1-0 and getting dominated, to having a 2-2 draw with the way we performed overall, is not that bad. Everyone is saying we’re screwed, but we’re in a position where after 2 games we’re on top of our group…and a very strong one at that. Freddy is a big loss, but then again we get to bring in a guy like Jozy in his place.

  12. Now that the game is over and the U.S. blew the lead. I’m wondering what the Hell was Holden thinking? And why didn’t the U.S. try to finish off the NL? It seemed after the second goal they settled into playing defense instead of pushing forward and keeping the Dutch trying to defend. Was that a coaching decision or simply poor decision making by the players? It seems this is something we constantly see from U.S. squads once they get a lead they start playing defensively instead of doing what got them the lead to begin with and they end up payinf for it. And what the hell was up with all that sloppy play and giving the ball away? I’m pretty pissed by what I saw. Michael Bradley should never wear the U.S. Jersey again he’s yet to prove he can play well at the international level.

    Without Adu for Nigeria’s game The U.S. is going to have problems. He’s the most creative player this team has. And there is no one in the U.S. squad that I’ve seen in the last two games who can feed the ball to Brian McBride. I saw highlights of Nigeria v. Japan and I don’t think the U.S. can beat Nigeria. And that B.S. attitude of the U.S. of “well we were never expected to advance” may turn into a self-fullfilling prophecy.

  13. Gotta start BMB and Jozy and whoever can get the the best service. I.E not Robbie Rodgers. His tourney should be over, MLS lifer. Game too simple for international play. Thanks for your contribution at the youth level Robbie.

  14. Nowak really did a good job this game. I have to say, he’s been resting up Jozy altidore for the right Moment. That Moment is now. The New Jersey native has a chance to leave a mark on US National team history…

  15. Both of the Nigeria players out are defenders. Nice defender Onyekachi Apam is one of them. The other is Olubayo Adefemi from Hapoel Bnei Lod in Israel. Their roster only lists three other defenders and two of them play in the Nigerian Premier League.

  16. Holden KNEW he had help on that break… WHY didn’t he try to cross it to Kljestan?? And to commit that needless foul on top of it?? Just killed us.

  17. Yeah you guys are right. The goals edge v. Nigeria mean a draw is enough to earn the right to get thrashed by the Argies.

    Need more coffee before trying to calculate anything else.

  18. I’m not going to call out names, but there was a lot of Nowak bashing going on here… some of you might want to post your “clarifications” before it starts to get personal.

    My question is this; if the USA ties Nigeria and Holland beats Japan by one goal – which two teams advance? Or what if Holland beats Japan by 3 goals and the USA ties Nigeria? What is the next tie breaker after goal differential?

  19. so, with Adu and Bradley out of the next match, and with it being a must-win for all intents and purposes, what kind of lineup are we looking at? Do we keep Edu on the back line and bring in Szetela to take Bradley’s spot? Do we go with Josy and McBride together or use one of them with Benny as the extra midfielder? Lots of possibilities, not sure which one is the best for the likes of Nigeria.

  20. Alright so the group looks like this:

    USA 4

    Nigeria 4

    Netherlands 2

    Japan 0

    So I think I’ve got this straight. If we win, we’re through. If we tie, and Holland wins, it will come down to GD…which Nigeria and the USA are tied on, but then it goes to goals for? If so…we get through on that right?

  21. Well, I’m still confident we’ll make it through, just depends on whether it’s as the first or second seed that’s left to see. Just gonna be a bit more pins and needles that I wouldve liked and it seemed like it was gonna be.

  22. I believe that is correct – it looks like goals scored is the second tiebreaker. That means we qualify with a draw. Still dicey though.

  23. We have the tiebreaker versus Nigeria on total goals so we go through with a draw. Nigeria-Netherlands tiebreaker could get complicated, 0-0 won’t get Nigeria to the next round if Netherlands wins.


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